Spread Betting – Gambling or Investment?

I ask because I’ve noted on several content sites that they reject articles on poker, horse betting etc. But accept articles about spread betting. And yet when I speak to my friends who earn a living spread betting, they tell me that it is gambling. Certainly when compared to other forms of investment, but the risk can be reduced by increasing your skill in the activity.

Categorisation is important in seo.

As is the semantic meaning of words and phrases.

Spread betting is one of those terms that can have one foot in gambling and one foot in investment.

Why is this important?

Many phrases are what’s called polysemic, meaning they have a number of meanings, read Clustering of Polysemic Words for an interesting look into the the subject with regards to categorisation. The Wikipedia entry for Polysemy is a good place to look for a further understanding of the term.

It is important if you are building a keyword list, sorting keywords into categorisations. Categorising keywords as you well know is an essential part of SEO and so an understanding of the nature of the term, polysemic, may help you in this task.

Context is crucial when deciding which category to put a term which has multiple meanings in. But, there are many forms of context. Most importantly the viewer has a context which if you have done your research correctly you already are aware of and have prepared for.

Our brains like to order things, it’s why lists are so popular. If you confuse the brain over the meaning of a term your message will be lost. Context happens because of the meaning around keyword we are targeting. Context is what happens before, during, around and after the keyword has been digested by the brain.

Many things affect context, and maybe that’s for another blog post.

All this folds into useability and how effective your website is at reaching its objective, be it sales, links, subscribers etc.

Further reading on the subject can be found at:

Don’t Make Me Think, Steve Krug
When Search Meets Web Usability, Nick Musica and Shari Thurow
Neuro Web Design, Dr. Susan M. Weinschenk. Ph.D.

For a more in depth understanding of the workings of spread betting please go to financial-spread-betting.com

Using Google+ to Aid Your SEO

Over the last few days Google have launched a potential game changer into the search world. ‘Search plus Your World’ has set up a firm foundation for Google to move into becoming a social search engine in an effort to make its search results more personalised and relevant to the individual user, allowing them to have more access to information and content from people they know or from within their own online sphere.

One of the main changes brought in through this update is the way that Google+ accounts, pages and information have become even more deeply intertwined with search results. Information shared on Google+ is becoming even more prominent in today’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page), out ranking rival social networks in search rankings and set to play a deeper role in personal searches. This is why any current SEO Training should include information about the way we currently use Google+ and guidelines about using it as a tool to help get your content, and message, across.

Circles

Keeping organised groups of experts, pages and enthusiasts of different subjects is a great way to filter and view new content and comments around one topic. Building your own directory of large circles not only opens up your network to a wider audience it also helps to build internal links.

When your content appears on other users’ streams it is indexed by the web crawlers and the more a piece of content is crawled the more importance search engines place upon it.

So the more people you share your content with the better chance you have of achieving a high search ranking, as well as improving your odds of receiving more shares, +1’s and comments.

Google + Circles

We have put together a few Google+ circles for you to add to your own profiles, so you can get a start on growing your network:

  • SEO: Here is a circle of SEO experts profiles and pages which will give you the latest and up-to-date information from the world of SEO
  • Social Media: A circle of the movers and shakers in Social Media
  • Project Management: Includes experienced project managers, project management methodologies and pages offering project management tips
  • Software Testing: Pages and profiles offering insight and tips on software testing
  • Photoshop: Adobe Photoshop enthusiasts and professionals who share their knowledge of how to best use the photo editing software.

Make sure you add more profiles and pages to these circles expand your reach.

Google+ Authorship

Authorship

Google have been including author information into their search results for a while now, displaying a thumbnail photo and link to the author’s Google+ account within search results. However, now they have made it easier for Google+ users to lay claim to their online content without having to link your content to your profile using HTML author tags.

By adding the sites you contribute content to in your profile’s ‘Contributor to’ box and by making sure your email address is added to the ‘Work’ box all on your profile, Google will include your image and G+ account details to its indexed links; as long as the original post includes your name and ideally your email address.

This is a great tool to allow you to stake claim to your work and direct readers to your own account, as well as being potentially a great way of cracking down on people copying your work rather than sharing it.

Take a look at Google’s content guidelines to find out more about including your author information in search results.

The Profile

Google+ Authorship

Your profile is your online you. Google+ has set itself apart from other social media sites such as Facebook by making public profile pages far more searchable to search engines by default, indexing information such as:

  • Your Biography
  • All text from any publicly shared posts
  • Anything you have +1’d, be it on Google+ or on an external site
  • All of your photos
  • Links to anyone who has added you in one of their own circles

A lot of information can be extracted from this, which is why you can use your profile as a tool to connect everything you have done online, making it searchable in personal searches and Search Plus Your World queries. Luckily, Google do make it easy for you to manage what information you do and don’t want shared and indexed, so spending that extra bit of time sorting out your privacy settings is a must.

Sharing

Sharing on G+

Due to its keyword rich and easily web bot readable set up, shared content on Google+ has a tendency to do very well in search results. While some say this is due to Google favouring its own products a lot of it is due to the way they optimise their pages, which include long and descriptive title tags which hold more valuable information for crawlers to use in order to accurately index the page.

Also, using your circles you can easily specify who you share your content with, so you can easily target your audience with relevant content they would be interested in. This will mark the post as “Limited” on your shared post, which when clicked will show who you have selected to be privy to the post. Combine this with tagging people using a “+” or “@” before typing their name to really give a sense of personalisation, thus highly increasing the odds of your content being viewed by the people you really want to see it.

We have recently published a post giving the low-down on ‘Search plus Your World’ and its potential threat to SEO and online marketing, so be sure to give it a read to find out more about how the new development could affect your SEO efforts.

From what we’ve seen personal search is here to stay, so the time is now to adopt techniques to get your content found or risk falling off of the search map forever.

Written for Cornwall SEO by Silicon Beach Training providers of SEO Training, PRINCE2 Training, Business, Management, Programming and Mobile Development Workshops.

 

Why Attract the Linkerati

If you want links, it is the Linkerati you need to get the attention of.

Who are the Linkerarti?

The Linkerati are those who link

They are distinctive from your customers or your clients or the other people you would like to impress, but do not have the power to link to you.

There are various tribes within the Linkerati, and these all respond to different stimuli.

Most are excited by information.

Not just any kind of information, but information that intersects their current thinking. Which raises other problems.

How do you find out which kind of information intersects the thinking of the Linkerati?

How do you get the linkerati to take notice of you information?

How do you create information which will juice up the linkerati enough for them to link to you.

You have to tap into the Lizard brain, or the Old brain. You need to get down to fundamentals.

People link, motivated by emotion. It’s why popular bloggers can produce mediocre content and get links. Emotion counts.

A lot of the linkerati get emotional about data, particularly when it’s represented in a graphical format. Hence the rise of infographics for seo. The brain can digest pictures or visualisations quicker than text and the linkerati love information that is steam pumped into the visual cortex.

Although linkbait is still effective, an infographic or visual based linkbait will generally get more links.

But, if you are not part of the linkerati it’s very tricky to get into the head of this tribe. You certainly have no chance if you are a suited marketing executive, you must dip into the tribe and employ a translator, negotiator, emissary.

The best advice I can give is become like them. Even if you are one of the Marketing Executives, come over to the side. Other than that, you are going to have to talk to one of us who can communicate with both sides.

What Is the Forex Market? – Infographic

The Forex market is one of those things that really benefits from a graphical explanation. In the SEO world the Forex market is quite hot and very competitive, which is a good thing for those of us who build links for a living. Building an Infographic for links is a no brainer for this market, it is so competitive that every little helps.

Here is an example of a Forex Infographic that has done very well and a lot can be learned from it.


www.cmsfx.com


This infographic is provided to you by CMS Forex.

Click here to add this infographic to your website.

A few Thoughts on Buying Infographics

Infographics are probably one of the most effective way of getting links these days if done correctly. The problem is that they are expensive, even if you do them yourself the investment in time is hefty. Even in this space, SEO Infographics can deliver the goodies.

We offer an Infographic service with a proven track record, and it’s the single most expensive service we offer.

If you can’t afford to pay, you can’t afford to play.

The problem is, if 10% of your niche are building huge amounts of links by creating and promoting infographics, that will be the 10% which will probably rank the highest. Not that you have to do infographics, but it means you will need to work harder in other areas to compete.

You tend not to see the bad infographics as they tend not to get promoted and shared. But most infographics have many hours of expensive researchers and graphic designers working on them.

It’s not something you can easily outsource, as it takes cultural knowledge and a high degree of skill to craft something at high level.

When something is hard to do it’s worth doing

When something gets results and most people find it very hard to do it’s worth doing, because most people don’t like doing that which is hard.

You are competing with a smaller pool of competitors.

I took my time getting into infographics because you need the right team who can produce at a consistent level. It takes time and investment to put a team together and of course people move on to other things and so the machine does need constant attention. But once that is taken on board, it’s not that difficult.

Single webmasters and small business do not have the resources or skills to be able to compete and so it’s to agencies to supply at a reasonable rate. I say reasonable, but it’s still a large chunk of change for most people reading this. The service is really for those business who are making a six figure sum.

However, and for some this is the really important bit. Big corporations with slow thinking/acting marketing departments don’t get it and can’t act with the required speed and understanding and so are vulnerable to this form of guerilla marketing.

So, if you want to attack a larger corporation that is a bit stuck in the 90′s, infographics is the tool of choice.

One only has to look at how Mint.com has dominated the US financial rankings with huge amounts spent on Infographics.

In fact an infographic on the metrics of Mint Infographics may well be quite juicy.

Content Marketing Training or Linkbait Coaching?

I had a feeling it was coming about a year ago.

A new term to describe something that doesn’t really need a new term and yet at the same time is meaningless.

But lets put aside such semantic discussions for those who chose to burn time on such matters.

The term “Content Marketing” is here and lets embrace it like a long lost friend.

I don’t have to buy into the artifice that this is a new technique, all shiny and fresh. The readers to this blog are mostly hard nosed online marketers who know that knew terms like this are only created so the same old stuff can be repackaged and sold as a new marketing concept.

And so a writer, now becomes a content marketing consultant.

OK, it’s not exactly like that and there are nuances to the term and it’s meaning, blah blah blah.

The term “linkbait” went through a similar process when it stuck its mongrel head out the hole from whence it came. Lots of screen reading time was devoted to its true meaning and whether the £800 suited marketing exec of an International Corporation should be told he needed “Linkbait”, without implying it’s something found on a pavement after a crack addict has vomited on it.

And so it’s natural that the term, “content marketing” has kicked linkbait off the charts. Just like New Wave replaced punk, these things go in cycles.

I know what you are think, “yeah but linkbait isn’t anything like content marketing….” yada yada yada.

You are missing the point.

The reasons these terms exist in the first place is purely economic. They exist so we can sell stuff to clients who don’t want a two hour insight into the nuances of the technique.

The terms do not have defined meanings (a Wikipedia entry is not indicative of a defined meaning) and so when talking to a client the term can be shaped to suit the objective.

The term can now describe a range of things that were not bundled together before. Which is very useful when explaining things to a client, as they do not have the time to understand detail.

Maybe I am being a tad cynical, but I like the thought process to be transparent and it helps me when people say, “Dude, just get over it, content marketing is King“.

Now, as I train people in the dark art of linkbaiting, it’s not too much of a leap to repackage that training into content marketing training.

To my pals who agree with me that calling it “content marketing” is naff and really just a mind job, if the mainstream are running the term, may as well rank for it.

The process of going over to the dark side started last year, may as well embrace it and move forward.

SEO Infographic – Does Google Really Hate Affiliate Marketers?

Over the years I have noticed Google going through several changes in its relationship with affiliate marketers. It could be argued that Google is more of an affiliate marketer itself, rather than an organised of the Worlds Information. So when it comes to a relationship with the affiliate World, it’s not going to be straight forward. However, if you take into account the business goals of Google it becomes apparent that most of its actions are congruent with its motivation.

Affiliates do like to have a moan about Google, especially if it effects them negatively, but it’s useful to understand that it’s not personal, it’s business. And that Google is simple following it’s natural proclivity to ruthlessly achieve it’s goals.

When Google trips up, there are more than enough people watching to highlight the fact, and rightly so, the enormous power Google wields over the average person is rather worrying. Add to that fact that Google only pays 2% tax in the UK, allegedly, and you get a growing sense of unease about the way it does business. Plus, the nice and fluffy people who run it now are not always going to be running it.

And so, lets take a peek at an infographic detailing the relationship between Google and Affiliates. It does raise some very interesting points.

Google Hates Affiliates.

Internet Marketing Infographics by SEO Book

Would you buy a link for the Price of a Mars Bar?

Can a link, retailing at 55p be both profitable for the link builder and effective for the linked to?

A while back I came across a link building scheme that was effectively selling links for 90c, or about 55p. Which is the price of a Mars bar.

As I offer a link building service I was left scratching my head over how they did it whilst keep it effective and making a profit.

Consider one link being built every ten minutes

(they stated all this on the site)
By hand
Do follow
Indexed
Correct anchor text

6 links per hour
30 links per 5 hours = one day
600 links built over 20 days = one month

Retailing at 90c per link
= $540
Costs = $320
Profit = $180

Worker gets $360

This does not take in to account links which are rejected.

To hire a full time worker you would have to outsource to a country where $360 a month is a decent wage. They do exist, but running a team offshore raises other issues.

The only place which fits the criteria are forum links, not the signature links, but within a snippet of text. Could this be performed within the 10 minutes? Probably could be, but you would have to have a team process where each member concentrates on a specific task.

Tasks would be:

  • Researching forums
  • Opening accounts
  • Opening email accounts
  • Seeding the account
  • Writing link text and posting link
  • Entry into spreadsheet and saved in Dropbox
  • Indexing of links
  • Report to client

It could be done, whether or not a link from a forum is worth the effort is worth it is another thing. And you would only know this if you tested it. And if this did work you would hardly blog or comment about it.

My thinking is that it is cost effective, rather a binary yes/no work/not work.

The problem is the effort involved in setting up this kind of thing is not worth it if you only have one site. It really only works if someone else sets up the service for others to buy and then creates efficiencies of scale which make it worthwhile, and would probably need quite a few clients.

It’s interesting though isn’t it?

Updating the List of UK SEO Companies

I started a list back in 2007 of UK SEO Companies, I’ve been neglecting the list lately and quite a few new, vibrant, kick ass seo agencies have sprouted up and deserve to be on the list.

I originally tried to keep the list focussed on business that offered only SEO, but as things developed, agencies are more likely to offer a range of services covering all aspects of online marketing.

Also, I’m going to open up more geographical specific lists, after all this is the month of sharing the link love.

Click through to the page and add your seo agency in the comments. If there is a desire, I may also start a list for web designers, although as they are always at the hairdressers they may not have time to send details.