+1 Button

I have not yet put the +1 Google goodness button on my site. But, I think it’s definitely worth it. Although there have been rumblings that a + 1 is going to influence SERPS, I wouldn’t get too excited as I haven’t seen anywhere that says it happens when you are logged out.

My advice, let the first movers expend time and resources on figuring out if G + is worth it, then simply modify accordingly. If you are a business you really do not have to worry about G+ or G+1 or whatever it’s called.

Some commentators are hooked on change, rather than efficiency or adapting to the environment. This is the nature of the new social media landscape. Every few months a new network/website comes out and has people running around as if robotic cockroaches are in their pants nibbling at their bits screaming, “we must change now or we get left behind”.

I think I understand where this thinking comes from when looking at places like Myspace and others and noting how they were not developed. Facebook and Twitter (old web 2.0 media) continue to innovate and develop, therefore it’s a different landscape.

I don’t use FB much, but have found Twitter extremely useful following #hackgate #notw, as all journalists and most politicians Tweet. As far as I can tell they will continue to do so. Their thinking seems to be along the lines of, “Twitter does what we need it to do, why change?”

I look at the feed in G+ and it’s mostly a river of garbage. LOLcats, music videos, the odd politico rant against socialism. You may like such stuff, but my focus is elsewhere on more serious stuff.

Sure I can spend time organising my feed into different circles and stuff, and make sure I only get stuff from people I want. The thing is, in real life when you organise something you don’t expect to have to reorganise a few months later and this is exactly what will happen.

But, some people love to organise and move avatars of friends into and out of boxes and good luck to them. These types of people probably find comfort from the harsh world in doing such inefficient tasks.

And anyway, you can just hire these people for very little money to go build a +1 empire. For what little good it’s going to do.

You can’t automate the social process, it has to be organic.

It’s not a better system you need. It’s better implementation.

Feeling like crap from a bad cold, which may make this post more rambly than usual.

What will +1 result in for small business

Not Really a Top Ten Tips on How to Make Money Online with G+

I remember when Twitter started and I was following/being followed by about 200-300. The signal to noise ratio was very high. Because you couldn’t add pictures/video/music into the stream there was little distraction.

Things were focussed on the the business of SEO and Social Media Manipulation. All good stuff. Of course the “drinking coffee” Tweets started to seep in and things increasingly got tedious and banal.

But then an interesting thing happened to Twitter, normal people started to join it. The BBC and other mainstream media organisations came to the party. And it became a powerful tool for a marketer.

Looking at my G+ stream right now, there are pictures of cars, funny videos, reviews on TV shows and so forth. Very little of what I really want, which is SEO and social media and other media stuff. Now, you could say just create a circle and blah blah blah. Problem is, it’s not the people I need to separate, it’s the topics of the posts.

I am sure there are people have a lot of time on their hands to be able to tweak and learn a new social media system. I’m trying to be polite about this, but there seems to be a lot of “look at me I’m a first mover” kinda business going on.

If your business is built around telling me what social media tool to use in exchange for piles of cash, then it makes a lot of sense to be here.

But, I look at my stream in G+ and just see a bunch of distraction and just like Twitter can be, it’s a bit banal, a bit childish and a bit crap. Sorry if this offends, but my job is to write what I think, not to give borderline personality types the warm fuzzies.

I have my Google Reader, I have Twitter, I have Facebook, I have Google Alerts, I have Linked in, I have email. I very much doubt I will miss something if I don’t squat on G+ as client work ends up being late (as it mostly does, but that’s another story).

There is a big bag of reason to be on G+ and check it out. But if it does not fit my strategy it ends up being a big bag of wank. I think there are reasons to keep tabs on the system as these things tend to morph into something that wasn’t initially expected. But the idea of sitting here, eating carrot cake and ingesting the stream of G+ leaves me a bit queasy. Much better to go and read my copy of the Guardian which I bought in a pique of righteous indignation whilst tutting at the piles of unsold copies of the Sun.

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Will Google +1 Result in the End of Small Business Online?

It’s very simple.

Either Google +1 will affect the search engine results or it will not.

What if it does?

Will the frenetic dash that Digital Media Agencies mean that they then resell their networks to Corporate big gits to help crush the small independent, just as they have on the high street?

A little emotive perhaps.

But what does Google say?

When your ad is shared, Google notes its final landing page URL. When the same URL appears in an organic search listing, the organic listing will include the same personal annotations as would an ad.

Similarly, if a user +1′s one of your organic listings, ads with the same final landing page URL will include the same personal annotations, increasing the chance of your ads getting noticed.

+1′s (whatever their source — organic search, ads, or +1 buttons on publisher sites) is a signal that affects organic search ranking, but +1′s do not change quality scores for ads and ad ranking

How will the +1 button affect my organic search listings?

I had to read it a few times before it sunk in.

Rankings are not going to be affected. It’s just that some hairy seo/social-media-manipulator is going to have their mug next to the search results. As long as you are logged into Google and you circle/follow/adore the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator who has taken the valuable seconds of his existence to +1 it.

My point is this. Is the potential buyer of a cordless power drill, when searching for a Makita 18v going to see and then be influenced by the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator? Or is it going to only other hairy seo/social-media-manipulators who see the results.

I think the latter.

As a commercial persuasion proposition, the Google +1 button will be mostly worthless. The majority of the human effort going into the +1 will stay in the goldfish bowl which the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator lives.

Sometimes the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator does stuff not because it’s going to be of great benefit to the client, but because they have something to sell and the I-don’t-want-to-be-left-behind part of the brain gets excited.

People mistake influence in the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator bubble with an increase in wealth.

I’m not anti social media/social signals/crowd sourcing etc. far from it. But, most of what you hear about it these days is garbage, people need to sell books, fill conferences and get endorsed by the latest over invested fad and so desire has to be created.

It’s as if a food is being sold to hungry people which only increases their hunger.

Stop eating the empty calories.

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+ 1 button marketing

11 Tips to Help you Outsource your SEO and link building

Last year I bit the bullet and started hiring and have now built a team of about 10 link builders and writers. It was hard letting go, but if you follow certain rules and deploy a strict process it can be highly rewarding.

A lot of people don’t want the hassle of working for themselves, they like to do the work at home in their own time and at the end of the day turn the computer off and go out and party. I don’t care when my team work as long as the work is done within set parameters. And so a team can be created

Here are 11 quick tips to think about when hiring an online workforce.

1. Don’t call them outsourcers, they are part of the team. Instead of saying “we can outsource this”, say, “we can let the team handle this. They are human beings and it’s wrong to commoditise them.

2. Pay more than every one else pays. When I have someone work on my work I want the best not the cheapest. I want to continue to work with the best and paying them extra is the best way to do this.

3. Work hard to turn the best freelancers into the best full time employees. Cost of acquisition in terms of time is high, so when you find the cool workers, keep them. Keeping long term team members means training does not go to waste.

4. Do not micro manage. Control freaks will have issues with this and have problems sending work half way around the World. Odesk (a place where you can find team members) have this thing where you can get screenshots of the freelancers work to check up on them. This is nuts, if you don’t trust them, don’t hire them. Give them the task, if they do it great, if they don’t then that’s the signal that you don’t hire them again.

5. Expect to get ripped off and lose money. Give out with small jobs and pay in advance, potentially setting yourself up to get burned. I learned this from a guy called Richard Cussons, who really has the whole outsourcing thing covered. He pays new people in advance for little jobs, some of them scarper and are never seen again, whilst others do the work and finish the job. This is the price you pay to find the best workers, consider it an investment rather than a loss.

6. Expect life to happen. People get ill, family crisis happens. This should be factored into your hiring. If any of my workers fall ill or have a problem they get a paid day off. They are worth it and are not the type of people to lie. You get to that point of trust by going though a set of processes, even though this is a human resource issue it should be run on a process based system.

7. Use your team to build your team. Your current workers are the best people to find you more workers. They will not want to introduce you to people who do not come up to scratch as it will reflect bad on them. The people you want are the people who care about their quality of work and have a good work ethic.

8. Ditch your racist stereotypes. Different countries have different cultures, I used to get into a lot of trouble being ironic and sarcastic when I lived in the USA. What I saw as witty banter was mostly taken as offence (this still happens but online). So when hiring in India or Germany or Columbia, best to see the people as people rather than through a prism of prejudice. Although references to Basil Fawlty are allowed when dealing with the Germans, (joke, see what I mean it’s easy to fall in to the trap)

9. Pay on time. This is the most important thing, and I will bust a gut and sometimes have to run down to the Western Union office in Truro to make sure payment gets out within the set time if the website is down. BTW, the local Cash Converters shop in Truro is the best one to use if you are in Cornwall and need to send cash around the World.

10. Be nice. You are dealing with human beings not commodities. Treat your team with respect and you will get it back tenfold. Just because the annual GDP of the nation they live in is lower than the cost of serving lunch to the employees of Google does not mean they are stupid or not informed about stuff. They have the Internet and they know how to use it.

11. Try to pick a country that speaks the same language as you, if you need content creating that is to appeal to a certain nation it’s best to have the content created by a national of that country. When I have content aimed at the American market I make sure the writer is American, although a lot of countries can speak and write English, you still need that nuanced writing. In linkbait this is really important, not so much if you need articles just for Google.

I continue to build my team and they continue to do amazing work, maybe I got lucky and got the right people. There have been problems as there always are when hiring people, but most can be sorted. It is different hiring people you have never met who are from another culture. A little research and you can soon get up to speed on the does and don’ts.

I always make sure my team has spare capacity, so if you want to benefit from outsourcing work without the hassle of hiring and managing get in touch and we can work something out. I will be putting together a more detailed service in the future so make sure you sign up for the email newsletter and keep in touch.

Inspired by Byrne Hobart CEO of Due Digital Dilligence on Search Engine Land