Major Trend Alert: Shared Links Can Trump SEO for Internet Marketing

NYTimes "share this" imageLink sharing inspired by social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn is nothing new. But fresh data published in Sunday’s New York Times by Brad Stone in his article, “Share The Moment And Spread the Wealth” reinforces the fact that this trend is continuing to gather momentum. It is doing so even to the extent that it has become equally important and now sits side-by-side with SEO (the historically dominant technique for building website traffic via Google) as a strategy for increasing the visibility for your website.

This underscores the powerful points made by some of my favorite thought leaders. Whether you call it building your “Tribe” as Seth Godin does or creating a “World Wide Rave” as David Meerman Scott articulates the opportunity, I have to say that whether you are a marketer or just a business owner, social networking has now crossed a major trend line. If you didn’t consider it essential before, now there is no doubt (at least in my mind) that social networking that encourages link sharing must now be considered a mission critical component of every company’s marketing plan.

For this reason, ComBridges’ is increasingly offering more social media marketing services in a variety of formats, including contract, consulting and even mentoring/coaching. Click here to request a free consultation.

FYI, I’m also very excited to let you know that I will be covering social media marketing and related topics in our upcoming EBiz Express Teleseminar series. Be sure to subscribe to our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter if you want to be invited. The guests/co-presenters will be awesome, and we are keeping this educational series very affordable.

Still Think Social Media is a Fad? Then Watch This Now.

Don’t view this in your face presentation at your own risk. It’s packed with provocative stats, presented in rapid fire fashion, to make the case for Social Media as much more than a fad, but rather a real people-powered media revolution. Dare to disagree?

Twitter Resisters Surrender!

If you are still in the “I don’t get it” crowd in relation to the current Big Thing i.e. Twitter, you are not alone. I resisted it. Tim O’Reilly resisted it. David Letterman is still resisting it. Even Kevin Spacey can’t convince him. Just the same, the Twitter “toothpaste” is out of the tube and it’s not going back in.

So, to support your techno-enlightenment, especially if you are a business person not taking advantage of this remarkable opportunity for fun, social networking, information gathering, low budget customer service, and just plain ole marketing, I offer the following recent bites of online media in a friendly effort to get you going:

  • Our ComBridges team uses Central Desktop as “groupware” for project management and collaboration. I appreciated a blog post by one of their young associates called “Twitter for Business? Call Me Dr. Jekyll…” Although I think of this as more of a “Confessions of a Former Twitter Resister,” bottom line he makes a solid business case in a very personal way (which, by the way, is a very good thing to do online).
  • Nissan has recent launched a new website for its upcoming electric car called the Leaf. What’s interesting is that their new website is “Powered by Twitter.” Of course, this is just one example, amongst many, of serious businesses investing in Twitter for marketing and customer relationship building. Note the real time Q&A below the car stuff.
  • Darren Rowse, a.k.a. ProBlogger, who I respect, is arguably one of the most successful professional bloggers in the world, and he is also a down-to-earth, authentic thought leader. Darren has not only created another blog especially for Twitter, Twitip which is packed with great info on how to use Twitter; but he’s produced a very nice, FREE 40-minute orientation program for you which I’m embedding below.

Now, go tweet your brains out, have a great time, and market appropriately please. Thanks.

Tapping into Twitter & other insights…

I am happy to write and release a new issue of my ComBridges enewsletter last week. It included some of my excitement about Twitter as well as other insights.

Please click here to check out the last edition of the ComBridges “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter.

In the meantime, what I’ve come to call “Twittermania” has continued to heat up. In addition to the resources listed in the enewsletter linked above, here are a few more that I have found valuable:

And the list goes on, and the beat goes on, lots of interesting information being found by tuning into Twitter streams.

As pointed out in the O’Reilly webcast, Twitter really is different than other Internet communication channels. 1. Because the posts are SHORT, it’s microblogging, snappier and more accessible. 2. Because the posts are public and you can “follow” (or “listen”) to someone without permission, it’s more open than other social media platforms where you have to accept people as “friends” or whatever. And finally, 3. because it’s a text-based platform it can be pushed to you on a wide variety of distribution platforms from cell phones, to the web, to IM clients, you name it.

Mark my words, Twitter is really a big thing, maybe even the “next big thing.” The experience seems to be consistently that people don’t get it at first. It was that way for me and lots of others. But once you do get it, you see its enormous power and how much fun it is, especially for us information junkies. Enjoy.

More Very Useful Explanations in Plain English

I’m going to claim this might be the best resource for explaining Web 2.0 communication platforms to newbies ever! See my post below about CommonCraft, and if you’re someone who would like a better understanding of stuff like blogs, RSS, social networking, podcasting, Twitter and more, there are easy to understand and remarkably clear and enjoyable CommonCraft videos about each of these subjects on the CommonCraft YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Podcasting (and Twitter) in Plain English

OK. I’m someone who has been doing his best to “span the Grand Canyon Gap between people and technology” for quite a number of years, so when I say this is impressive, I at least have some vague idea of what I’m talking about… 😉

I was trying to explain Twitter to my associate and went to and clicked “Watch a Video” Ta-da! A simple, cleverly animated, and impressively clear (and that’s the main thing) explanation. What a concept! No kidding. As I once wrote, “making it look easy is the hard part.” The creative production company is They say, “Our product is explanation.” I love that and I love their work.

I’ll let their work speak for them and maybe you’ll agree it’s impressive. Here’s “Podcasting in Plain English”:

Web 2.0 Expo Provides Snapshot of Rapidly Evolving Next Generation Web

I had the illuminating pleasure of spending a few hours today attending the keynotes and browsing the innovations on the floor at the O’Reilly/TechWeb conference, Web 2.0 Expo SF. These have become quite vibrant affairs with NY, European & (I think) Japanese iterations now on the annual conference schedule.

(Keynote photo of John Battelle on stage with Marc Andreessen at Web 2.0 Summit SF 2008 by James Duncan Davidson.)

This spring’s SF show attracted about 8,500 web-savvy geeks and associates and I was impressed with the consciousness of both the collaborative conference editorial orientation as well as the folks in attendance. Top level insights of the day were provided by John Batelle’s interview with Mosaic browser creator, Netscape founder and do-it-yourself social network entrepreneur Marc Andreesen who offered a interesting historical perspective on why the web browser will persist and warnings about the “coming nuclear winter” with regard to the economy. Author and Harvard/Oxford professor, Jonathan Zittrain also offered a quite thoughtful “big think” analysis of how and why we should take security and Web 2.0 business concerns more seriously.See his book, The Future of the Internet… and How to Stop It for more details. We’ll all be glad if you do.

Beyond these considerations, Web 2.0 seems to be alive and well with not only ample opportunities for open source collaboration, but with myriad kinds of mashups that bring remarkable power to the web browser.

Many folks are familiar with the Facebook and MySpace plug-ins that let individuals do more… (as one presenter said, “we’re no longer browsing the web, we’re creating it”), but there are now many more web-based tools that let you create powerful online applications, plug-in widgets and whatever, without the need of any desktop software. For example:

  • At the most basic level, Slide let’s you create custom slide show widgets from digital photos that you upload to PhotoBucket or Flickr
  • For multimedia types, I’ve been impressed with Sprout Builder which is kinda like a web-based Flash authoring tool for the rest of us. But in this case, you get embed code so that your Flash widget can be posted anywhere and can spread virally
  • hypes itself as a social computing platform, but what I liked is its ability to let you drag and drop virtually any kind of web content into a Zude page for online publishing and sharing
  • and for the more advanced gear heads, offers a platform, also in a web browser of course, that let’s you build interactive business processes, like lead capture for example, all in a drag and drop environment. Who needs code? 😉

What I find most interesting is the way that all of this functionality has become web browser-based. It seems that we are destined to do all of our computing in the cloud. In any case, the creativity, collaboration (amongst people as well as interconnected bits and bytes) and the communication channels are continuing to get ever more powerful… and all of this is really just getting started. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Thanks O’Reilly for giving me a glimpse of the future as it is appearing now… in browsers near us all.

The True Meaning of Search Engine Optimization

As I explain in my ebook on internet marketing, there’s nothing more important in the optimization of a website than relevance. There’s also probably no more important goal that “stickiness” or the ability to get a website visitor to stick around for more than a nano second. There’s also probably no greater authority on this subject than Bryan Eisenberg, author of “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing,” other books and the blog.

For a seven minute overview of what I’m talking about, please watch this:

Information R/evolution

I love the way these videos from an outpost in academia illuminate information’s revo-evolutionary process. IMHO, the insights are way worthy of reflection. Enjoy and appreciate the disruptive dynamics of our rapidly changing information society…

Search Engine Ranking Factors Clearly Illuminated

For those of us who work (either for ourselves or for clients) is pursuit of organic or natural search engine rankings for targeted keyword phrases, there is a slew of information out there about both the on-page and off-page factors that contribute to these rankings (as I explain in my internet marketing ebook: “EBiz Express: What Every Business Should Know About Internet Marketing“).

I’m writing not only to make this shameless plug, but also to share a new resource that I just found that aggregates the opinions of an impressive selection of experts in order to indicate which of the various factors carry the most weight (according to these experts). As something of an expert myself, I found this interactive page to be informative and useful. Thus, I recommend to you:

SEOmoz’s Google Search Engine Ranking Factors V2