Hot At Sphinn: How To Explain Twitter, Small Biz SEO Checklist & More

sphinn-logoEver been frustrated trying to explain Twitter to a client, friend or relative? You’re not alone. Twitter can be different things to different people, and a lot of people use it differently. Heck, if Twitter itself has struggled over the years to explain it simply and concisely to non-users, you know it’s not easy to do.

Our discussion of the week last week on Sphinn asked, How do you explain Twitter to someone who’s never used it? Sphinn member Jim Magary of Boomient Consulting supplied our choice for comment of the week when he replied this way:

I think newbies enjoy understanding the concept of “microblogging”… the idea that you are trying to make a post in less than 140 characters, and that is the core idea behind Twitter. I then explain how following works, and distinguish Twitter from “approved friend” sites like Facebook. The third point is the reality that most people don’t write much in Tweets, and basically use it as a forum to share links and interesting stuff they find on the web.

That topic drew the most comments last week, while an article sharing an SEO checklist for small businesses drew the most activity on Twitter. Here’s a look back at the popular stories on Sphinn last week.

Most Comments

  • Discussion: How do you explain Twitter to someone who's never used it? – Chances are that if you're an avid Twitter user, you've been faced with somewhat daunting task of explaining how Twitter works (and why it's worthwhile to use it in the first place) to someone that's a complete newbie (or "Tweebie" as it where). If that's indeed the case, please share your strategy and experiences with doing so.
  • Paid Link Outing – Trying to Game Google on ‘Mother’s Day Flowers’ – Internet marketing experts say Teleflora, FTD, and ProFlowers are trying to elevate their Web sites in search results with a strategy that violates Google’s guidelines. The flower companies deny it. But all four have links on Web sites that are riddled with paid links, many of which include phrases like “mothers day flowers,” “mothers day arrangements” and “cheap mothers day flowers.”
  • Small Business Guide to Online Couponing – Nice guide to the 4 major players in group buying: LivingSocial, Facebook Deals, Groupon, and Google Deals.
  • How Businesses Should React to Negative Social Media & Reviews – Social Media still scares many businesses both large and small. But hiding from social media isn’t the answer. The real answer lies in embracing it … in all of its brutal, raw honesty.

Most Tweeted (not already listed above)

  • SEO Checklist for Local Small Business Websites – Rae Hoffman writes about a fantastic checklist that every local business interested in SEO should take to action.
  • SEO Lessons Learned Through Pictures of Matt Cutts – Matt & his team produce a ton of helpful videos on a weekly basis at Google Webmaster Help on Youtube. I’ve watched several during my downtime and found there are some serious lessons to be learned.
  • A Study of Fan Engagement on Facebook Pages – In this report, Visibli analyzed over 200 million Facebook Fans to determine their engagement habits across different Fan Page types. By tracking the number of Likes and Comments that each post received over time, they studied the resiliency of each Facebook post as well as the overall activity.
  • 14 Things to Ask Before Starting a PPC Project – A good overview of the dynamics involved in managing a paid search campaign.
  • How Google Creates Black Hats – Aaron Wall on Google breeding webmasters that don't care much about their guidelines: "Google is betting that anonymous strangers will behave more kindly than Google has, but when an animal is backed into a corner it often acts in unpredictable (and even uncontrollable) ways."

Hot On Sphinn: May 2 to May 8, 2011

  • The 4 Layers of Online Brand Marketing – Your brand, website, content development and on-page SEO, and social/reputation management…the marketing pyramid. The author writes "At each point of the marketing pyramid, you should be there."
  • Canonical Tag or 301 Redirect: Which one updates SERPs faster? – Interesting test by Tony Adam comparing a 301-redirect to the canonical link element (aka rel=canonical).
  • So You Wanna Throw A Twitter Party? Here’s How – Lisa Barone does it again.  This blog post is fantastic for not only learning what a "Twitter Party" is, but how to successfully pull one off!
  • Neil Patel’s Guide To Closing BIG Deals – Nice article based on Neil's real world experiences. He says, "If I was able to close 6 figure deals while I was in high school, there is no reason why you can’t do it as well."
  • Contrarian Perspectives On Link Building – I don't agree with everything Eric states in this article, be he definitely hits the mark on several fronts and offers a refreshing perspective.
  • 5 Must-Dos for Effective Twitter, Facebook, and Blogging Campaigns – Although no one has exactly the same reasons why a campaign hasn’t worked out as expected, usually it’s because they’ve forgotten something – some step – along the way. Look at our checklist and see if, just maybe, you’ve missed something.
  • How Concatenation Schemas Can Make Large Site SEO a Small Task – If you do SEO for large sites and haven't used this technique, read and digest immediately.
  • Is There Too Much Sugar In Your Testimonials? – You didn’t write the testimonials. You can’t control what customers say. Or can you? If you’re getting icky, sugary-sweet testimonials, it’s not the client’s fault. No sir, it’s not! It’s your fault. You’ve been asking the wrong questions. This article shows a way to acquire rocking testimonials.
  • Speculating On The Next Shift In Google Search Algorithms – So what’s next? What is the next shoe to drop? I believe that it will be in the area of links. There are still way too many sites that are prospering through the use of poor quality link building practices, and the Panda algorithms do not address them directly. These poor practices frustrate publishers that try to play by Google’s rules, because they see “cheaters” taking business away from them.
  • How to Build Links with Images – In this post we’re going to be talking about using image optimization as a link building technique.
  • Stepping Off the Drug-Fueled Animal Ledge – Lisa Barone does two great things with this piece:a) she gives Aaron Wall the credit he deserves for being the most unique voice in the industryb) she explains why you don't have to do what he suggests in a recent post of his (while acknowledging that he's write at the macro level)
  • Shopping Cart Page Checklist: 16 Things I Look For – Great list of items to look for, evaluate, and optimize for an ecommerce shopping cart.
  • Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Do 404s hurt my site? – So there you are, minding your own business, using Webmaster Tools to check out how awesome your site is… but, wait! The Crawl errors page is full of 404 (Not found) errors! Is disaster imminent??
  • 21 Major Benefits to Blogging (Not Involving $ But That Could Get You Paid) – Starting a blog has been one of the single-smartest things I’ve ever done in my life. However, when I started it I had no clue that it would ever be worth anything whatsoever – let alone a place that has helped me along with a lot of my career goals.  Here are 21 reasons why you should partake …
  • Google & The Death Of Osama Bin Laden – I remember distinctly how Google reacted during the 9/11 attacks. Miserably, having to resort to using its ad space and special links on its home page to keep people informed, because its results were so out of date. How things have changed, in so many ways.
  • Can We Please Stop Pretending That Microsoft's Bing Is Doing Well? – As even a quick glimpse under the hood reveals, Bing not doing well. It's doing horribly. Worse, Bing is burning attention and money that Microsoft could instead focus on a much more important battleground, one that–unlike search–could eventually destroy Microsoft's core business.
  • Using Social Awareness Streams To Learn What People Care About – If you’re only interested in keyword research for page rank purposes, you’re missing out on what people really care about. Since Google and Bing have learned how to determine what people like the most, it make sense to look for new ways to get that information for your web site.

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.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Sphinn


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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