Activity is picking back up after the holidays on our sister site, the Internet marketing hub Sphinn. Last week, as most of us settled back into a regular work week, the hot topics on Sphinn centered on whether Google’s search quality is declining and how to scale local marketing.
In our “Discussion of the Week,” we asked Does Local Marketing Scale? and received a handful of replies on that topic — but not a lot of agreement. But our pick for best comment of the week came from a different Sphinn thread, Three’s a Trend: The Decline of Google Search Quality. In that discussion, Sphinn member rebeccagill of Web Savvy Marketing shared this opinion of Google’s search results:
I absolutely love Google and Matt Cutts, but lately it seems the article and press release websites are taking over search results with content that has zero value or makes little sense. I tell SEO clients to stay clear of such practices, but when they pop up in results, it is hard to keep nagging everyone (and more importantly getting them to listen) about doing the right thing.
Agree? Disagree? Read more of that discussion and share your thoughts over on Sphinn. There’s also a dissenting opinion in a different thread, Google’s Decline: Myth or Fact?, that’s worth checking out. Meanwhile, here’s a look at all of the popular Sphinn stories from the past week.
- Three's a Trend: The Decline of Google Search Quality – Anil Dash points to three separate articles bemoaning the perceived decline in Google's search results. But not all of the early commenters there agree. Do you?
- DOTW: Does Local Marketing Scale? – Over the past month there has been a lot written about the Google and Groupon deal – why it did or did not make sense for either company – but the Ad Age article "Why Google Dropped Groupon and Local Just Doesn't Scale" raised some interesting points about why a service like Groupon – any platform based service like it – simply won't work long term. For this week's Discussion of the Week (DOTW) I'm curious to hear what the local and hyper local folks – the ones actually doing the boots on the ground work with local businesses – have to add to this topic. Do you have clients using Groupon or something similar? Is there a real value proposition provided by services like Groupon for local merchants?
- Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2010 – Hundreds (thousands?) of hours are poured annually into this post. Enjoy.
- 15 Link Building Predictions & Recommendations For 2011 – Debra Mastaler teams up with Julie Joyce and Eric Ward to provide their link building predictions for the year ahead.
- Differences in Mobile Smartphone Ranking and Desktop Web Ranking in Google Search – Bryson Meunier analyzes more than 1,100 keywords and throws cold water on the idea that Google rankings are the same on smartphones and desktop searches. Interesting data in this article.
- How much does Social Media cost companies in 2011? – Mack Collier writes about what a business owner can expect to pay for a variety of social media marketing services. Some of the numbers might be eye-openers for small business owners, but valuable information nonetheless.
- Survey Results: 46 Percent Say Free Shipping Increases Profits – Some interesting stats from Practical Ecommerce, and interesting quotes/comments in the story itself. It seems like a lot of online retails aren't sure there's any benefit to offering free shipping — while others swear by it as a tool to raise profits.
Hot On Sphinn: January 3 to January 9, 2011
- How to write the most effective PPC Ad copy – A simple guide for business owners and internet marketers on how to write the most effective PPC Ad Copy for best results.
- Why the Numbers, Rankings and Followers Do Not Mean Squat! – Melissa Fach's great article on maintaining perspective about the numbers game in social media is a must-read wakeup call for those still chasing followers everywhere.
- What Does a Social Media Community Manager Do? – This might be what some community managers do. Your mileage may vary.
- Online Reputation Management Playbook – A comprehensive and thoughtful post with real world information on what to do when Google suggests that your company is a scam.
- Migrating the Small Business Owner and his Website Through the Five Stages of Grief – While letting go of your old, outdated website is not as traumatic as losing a loved one, it does represent change. While the small business owner may know his ten-year-old website is horribly outdated, the desire to change it seems overwhelming, unimaginable, and unnecessary. He thus steps into the first of five steps of grief.
- Google’s Decline: Myth or Fact? – A flurry of recent articles are bemoaning Google's decline. But is the decline real, or just relative to a mythical Golden Age of Google perfection that never existed. Your comments, and evidence either way, are greatly appreciated.
- The 11 Unwritten Laws of Reputation Management – An excellent ORM overview article for someone new to the topic.
- 10 Tips How to Make the Most out of Affiliate Summit – Read 10 practical tips from Geno Prussakov on how to make the most out of Affiliate Summits. Most tips are also applicable for other conferences too.
- 5 Unique Uses of Pay Per Click Marketing – Five uses of PPC marketing beyond just getting visitors and conversions.
- How To Be a Better Commenter – Three short, simple ways to make sure you're adding value — not noise — when commenting on other blogs.
- Reduce HTTP Requests in WordPress – As usual Joost de Valk providing straightforward information on technical issues regarding WordPress – this time how to speed up your site by reducing HTTP requests which will speed up site loading which is now an important factor in SEO as well as usability and efficient use of resources.
This is the latest in a weekly look at the stories that were “hot” on Sphinn in the past week. We’ll post these recaps every week.