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Posts Tagged ‘seo’

Internet Marketing in a Bad Economy or Even Worse a Recession?

November 15, 2008 1 comment

Internet marketing is more measurable, accountable, faster and viral than traditional advertising. While both forms of advertising might see dips during this economic slowdown it’s likely that traditional (print, TV, radio) advertising will see the biggest decline due to the uncertainty of their results. Internet advertising can be measured immediately via web analytics giving you instant feedback on the success or failure of your advertising dollars. 

Most corporations have not embraced online marketing & social media tools to effectively market their brand. With advertising and public relations (PR) budgets being cut, executives need to utilize the cost effective tools of social media, blogs and online marketing. To cut costs executives have to take an active role in the communication between them and their clients. All of this can be done affordable, but it takes active participation.

My advice – Don’t waste your money on expensive search engine optimization campaigns. SEO firms charge exorbitant fees (however likely to decline in the current market) and they can’t guarantee any results. No SEO firm can promise you the number one spot because they’re not Google and if they were it’s all based o Google’s algorithum. You can accomplish the same results that an SEO firm would do by utilizing online media to your advantage. Also unless you’re in the top 5 of the first page (for a popular keyword) you’re not going to see any significant amount of traffic. 

Now is the time to embrace the web more than ever and now is the time for corporations to take a direct and active role in their online marketing.

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1 Trillion URLs

July 26, 2008 1 comment

Google announced on Friday that the web is big, real big.  To be exact Google has just indexed the 1 trillionth URL – an astounding number.     When Google first indexed “their web” in 1998 they had 26 million pages, in 2000 that number was 1 billion and in July 2008 it hit 1 trillion. 

With 1 trillion URLs how does a website stand apart from the rest?  How is that URL found?  With more URLs becoming optimized the chances of being found on Google (even though you’re listed on Google) is very slim. What if each one of these URLs were optimized for Google?  Search engine optimization would be a dead industry and search would be useless for traffic – unless you’re one of the lucky 10 on the first page.

Eventually half of these URLs will be optimized for Google and when that happens SEO will be useless. What’s next for internet marketing?  YouTube?  Facebook?  Will Google still provide websites with traffic?

In other Google News the company also announced that they are hitting 40 languages to cover the languages read by 98% of Internet users.

The Political Web: Barack Obama vs. John McCain

June 24, 2008 9 comments

To date Barack Obama has raised a whopping $296 million for his presidential campaign. Much of Obama’s fundraising success is due in large part to a fantastic website, a dominate internet presence and the viral marketing efforts of his supporters via blogs, links, content and of course YouTube.

For John McCain his fundraising efforts are 143% lower than Obama’s at $122 million. McCain’s web presence comes in a distant second (comared to Obama) in every category.

Below are a number of web analytics which compare the candidates’ online saturation. When it comes to web analytics Barack Obama crushes John McCain in every category.

Google Results (Winner: Barack Obama)

When performing a search for Barack Obama on Google you’ll find 54,900,000 pages that at least mention the presidential candidate. The same search for John McCain brings up 37,600,000 pages. Impressive for Barack since he was relatively unknown before 2004 whereas John McCain has been a senator since 1987 and ran for president in 2000

Google Results for Barack Obama & John McCain

YouTube Videos (Winner: Barack Obama)

This election is the first presidential election of the YouTube generation and to date there are 130,000 videos about (or talk about/mention) Barack Obama whereas just 39,400 YouTube videos focus on John McCain. Of course there is no way to tell if these videos are for or against a particular candidate but one thing is certain and that is more people are talking, writing, blogging, and recording Barack Obama.

Barack Obama & John McCain YouTube Videos

Site Lookup – Google (Winner: Barack Obama)

A site lookup determines the number of pages indexed for a particular website on a search engine such as Google. Doing a site lookup (on Google) for BarackObama.com we see that Barack has 889,000 pages indexed. Compare that to JohnMcCain.com and we see that Obama has far more online content – McCain has 30,400 pages. Generally speaking the more pages a website has the more search traffic that website will receive. If optimized (called SEO) then more pages means more opportunities to be found online. If internet visitors are going to your site then you can craft your message exactly the way you want – not the way your competitor wants it.

BarackObama.com is a terrific website built in Web 2.0 fashion with social networking tools embedded into it. As we know BarackObama.com has raised a significant amount of money from small donations via the website. My guess is that the 889,000 pages indexed and the Web 2.0 features of BarackObama.com have a lot to do with Barack’s financial success.

Number of Pages Indexed for Barack Obama & John McCain

InLinks – Yahoo (Winner: Barack Obama)

Inlinks (or inbound links) are the number of outside links pointing to your website. Inlinks are very important in determining a website’s search engine placement and therefore search traffic. Google’s original algorithium relied heavily on the quality of inbound links and based on this created the PageRank. PageRank (which had more pull a few years ago) measures the quality of a website in the range of 0 to 10. Both BarackObama.com and JohnMcCain.com have a PageRank of 7.

In the case of Barack Obama and John McCain you can infer the popularity of a particular candidate by the number of websites linking to it – in essence it can be seen as a recommendation. With that BarackObama.com has 60,801 links pointing to it and JohnMcCain.com has 21,905.

Both stats are from Yahoo which is more reliable than Google in determining inlinks.

Inbound links to BarackObama.com and JohnMcCain.com

Google Blog Search (Winner: Barack Obama)

Blogs have become a tremendous political force. Both candidates maintain a blog (Obama, McCain) but more importantly millions of Americans have a blog and now a voice. Bloggers have more influence than ever and some are arguable as influential as The Washington Post and The New York Times. With every election a new form of media has emerged forcing a candidate to adapt. In 2004 blogs showed their influence for the first time and this year video is a the new major player – now we have video and blogs!

So, one more way to measure the online success of a potential candidate is the number of blog posts about a particular candidate. In essence it measures what people are talking about, what people are thinking about and who they’re voting for. Once again Barack Obama has a commanding online presence over John McCain with 7,367,910 posts about him and only 4,242,637 blog posts about John McCain.

Blog Search - Barack Obama & John McCain

Keyword Searches (Winner: Barack Obama)

According to Wordtracker, the keyword “Barack Obama” is searched for 7,682 times per day. “John McCain” sees 4,392 daily searches. This means when people go to Google (and search for a candidate) they are searching for Barack Obama 75% more than John McCain. These numbers only include both candidates’ full name – there are hundreds of variations that people are also searching for. For instance, if you do a search for just the candidates last name then Obama is searched for 9,643 times/day and McCain 1,122 times per day.

Daily Keyword Searches for Barack Obama & John McCain

People Count (Winner: Barack Obama)

According to Compete.com, BarackObama.com received 1,568,981 visitors in May 2008 compared to JohnMcCain.com which received 424,214 visitors. Both candidates (Barack 3 million and McCain 1 million) saw a huge spike in traffic in February 2008 thanks to Super Tuesday.

Barack Obama vs. John McCain Internet Traffic, Visitors, People Count

BarackObama.com

This data goes back to January, but I couldn’t write a piece about website earnings without computing the business valuation of a website’s earnings. In January Barack Obama raised $32 million, of which $28 million came from online donations. According to Techcrunch, over 250,000 individuals made donations of which 90% of those were under $100.

Barack Obama\'s Website Earnings & ValuationAccording to the Compete.com graph (above) BarackObama.com received around 3 million visitors in January 2008. Like I value a websites’ worth on this blog and on Bizak.com, I will attempt to do the same with BarackObama.com. Entering these numbers into the Bizak Business Valuation Calculator (and assuming no costs) you get a whopping $9.33 earnings per visitor (EPV). This means on average Barack Obama earns $9.33 for every person who visits his website. Internet powerhouses like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, & Myspace wish they had a $9.33 EPV. If BarackObama.com was an internet site making $30 million/month then they would have a valuation of $1.344 Billion!!

Summary

When it comes to internet marketing Barack Obama is far ahead of John McCain. Unfortunately, I can’t compare The Political Web for Bush vs. Kerry in 2004 so it remains to be seen if a dominate web presence converts into the presidency. What we do know is George Bush had only 35 electoral votes and 3,012,166 popular votes more than John Kerry in 2004. Both candidates had roughly the same amount of funds – at this time in 2004 John Kerry had accumulated $186.2 million. At the time this was 5x more than any previous democrat had raised. That was of course before Barack Obama who so far (with 4 full months remaining) has raised $296 million compared to John McCain’s $122 million. This equates to a 143% difference in funds. In 2004 George Bush had only 13% ($41 million) more dollars than Kerry, but only captured 2% more of the popular vote.

Web Comparison of Barack Obama vs. John McCain

Internet Startup Comparison Charts & Benchmarks

April 30, 2008 Leave a comment

Comparison Charts

Bizak launched its beta site on Tuesday April 29, 2008.

Bizak is currently in beta allowing startups to contribute their projects for computing profitability.  Once enough data has been aggregated then the comparative benchmarks will be available to both startups and investors.

Startups Registration

http://www.bizak.com/startups/register

Starting a Startup

April 15, 2008 1 comment

Linked below are a few articles that can provide some direction and advice when starting a startup.

The Revenue Model is one of the most important decisions a startup can make. Whether to use an advertising or a subscription model depends on a number of factors. Linked below are two previous articles which talk about revenue models.

Internet Marketing includes a number of online techniques to increase targeted traffic to your startup. One of the most popular internet marketing fields is search engine optimization or SEO. SEO is essential in grabbing traffic from the search engines however I believe SEO is becoming ineffective and will continue to become so. Listed below are some previous articles that touch on SEO and forms of internet marketing.

10 Tips for a Successful Internet Startup

If you’re looking to start a startup and need help with creating your ideas into a business please feel free to contact TOKiBiz, Inc. at 617-947-8071.

Domains

If you’re looking for high level .VC domains we have a handful for sale such as Technology.VC, Internet.VC and other .VC names revolving around startups and venture capital.  If interested in receiving the list and prices for these domains please email Tom via Bizak.

SEO Will Eventually Become Ineffective

March 31, 2008 7 comments

I just came across an article entitled, “Bright SEO Career Prospects Could Dim,” which once again has resurfaced my belief that SEO will eventually become ineffective. The decline in SEO utility will ultimately force the majority of website owners to abandon their reliance on Google (for traffic) and look somewhere else. According to the article SEO consultants will see a surge in business over the next 5 years but after that business will plateau and ultimately decline. According to the author the decline will be the result of more educated users and website owners who will just optimize their websites on their own.

I agree that SEO will likely see a surge in business over the next 5 years and a decline after that. However, I disagree as to the reason for the decline. I don’t think the decline will be due to skilled web designers but rather due to the ineffectiveness of SEO. I agree that SEO is not rocket science and anyone can pick up the basics in just a few hours however I think the decline will be indicative of a bigger change in behavior.

Given that search is a very competitive (and crowded) place it will only get worse when the number of optimized websites increases over time. This will lead to an increase in competition that will mean fewer and fewer visitors for optimized sites, in return decreasing the value of SEO. If in 5 years an optimized site can’t guarantee a surge in traffic then SEO consultants can no longer demand their exorbitant fees. Websites obviously still need the traffic but since Google can no longer provide it to them then they are going to seek alternative ways to get that traffic. It remains to be seen whether that means niche search engines, advertising on focused social networks or an entirely new platform??!

I think the disparity between those that are satisfied with Google and those who aren’t will increase over time. Those who remain satisfied with search will be the end user looking for information. He/she doesn’t own a website and isn’t concerned about receiving traffic from Google – he is only interested in finding information when he needs it. Google and the search engines will always satisfy this user with the most relevant source.

The frustration sets in with the website owner who relies of Google for traffic. Over time his website will see a decline in traffic from Google (due to excessive competition) that eventually leaves him frustrated and unsatisfied with Google’s results. This dissatisfaction will ultimately force website owners to be the first group to migrate away from Google. Whether the average user follows remains to be seen but they have in the past. This scenario is not unlike the early days of Google when the more advanced web users fled Yahoo’s directory for Google. As we know everyone else eventually followed.

Not if, but rather when the next migration occurs is just a matter of time.