Friday, November 30, 2018

IAB Tech Lab issues revised ads.txt for apps

The spec for app-ads.txt brings ad inventory verification to apps. The post IAB Tech Lab issues revised ads.txt for apps appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Marketing Day: Facebook search, Claritas buys Barometric, new LinkedIn privacy setting

Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. The post Marketing Day: Facebook search, Claritas buys Barometric, new LinkedIn privacy setting appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

More than 400 Marketers Critique Marketing’s Holiday Approach

By Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert

Do you become a different marketer during the holiday season? 

Until it begins, you spend countless hours researching your audiences, building buyer personas, and executing strategies that put the customer’s experience first. All of your work is rooted in best practice and is conducted with an innovative spirit. I mean, let’s be honest, you’re really good at this. 

Then, out of nowhere, the holiday marketing season takes hold. 

All of those best practices and innovative, creative ideas take a backseat to what needs to be done for the final push before year’s end. We don’t act like ourselves. We send multiple emails daily. We execute a variety of promotional ideas we would never consider in Q2. We try to tailor our messages in ways we aren’t quite ready to do. The result is a marketing tsunami that results in a lot of noise and a bunch of tired marketing professionals. 

Here’s the thing: We know we aren’t ourselves during the holidays. And it makes sense why we act the way we do in the final quarter of the year. According to a National Retail Foundation survey, consumers will spend 4.1 percent more during the holiday season this year than they did a year ago for a total of $720 billion. 

This year, we decided to ask a group of marketers what they think of the profession’s approach during the holiday season. We partnered with our great friends at Oracle Marketing Cloud and surveyed more than 400 seasoned marketers across the U.S. We asked them what they like and dislike most about the holiday marketing season. The answers we received were revealing, candid and funny.

We took our survey responses and developed a set of hilarious, spot-on cartoons that illustrate how marketers feel about Q4 activities. We want you to download the entire ebook when you can.  

In the meantime, here’s a summary of marketers’ top holiday frustrations. 

We Don’t Like Holiday Campaigns that Begin Too Early

Taking the top spot for biggest holiday annoyance is holiday campaigns that coincide with back-to-school shopping. Sixty-three percent of marketers say it drives them nuts when they see a holiday marketing campaign in full flux right before Labor Day or just before March Madness. We believe there’s a window when it’s appropriate to do holiday marketing even though we don’t necessarily abide by that window.  

We Could Do Without the Stress

During the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, 70% of Americans shop. Black Friday is the busiest shopping day during this period with almost 115 million shoppers. Perhaps, it’s because we know this fact that we get a little carried away. Marketers’ second top holiday annoyance is the practice of creating sales and promotions for Black Friday or Cyber Monday that are so hot they induce consumer stress. 

We Email and Email and Email

The third top frustration marketers have is using the holidays as a justification to send more emails. Nearly half of marketers said this practice got under their skin. Interestingly, while some survey respondents claim we abuse email during the holiday marketing season, others say it’s justified and that consumer behavior data backs the increase. 

We Re-Connect with the Word T’was

This is the most interesting result our survey revealed. According to survey respondents, more than half of marketers believe it’s time to retire the Christmas poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas. Sixty percent of us are bothered by campaigns that use phrases from this poem and believe t’was time we looked to other sources for creative holiday inspiration. 

There is plenty more we do during the holiday season that we wouldn’t do any other time of year. All of those ideas have been illustrated for you to enjoy in our ebook. 

Remember, like any phase, this holiday marketing season will come to an end. When 2019 starts, we’ll be ready to get back to best practices and talk about the importance of customer experience. Consumers are paying more attention to experience than ever, except—apparently—during the holiday marketing season. 


Convince & Convert founder Jay Baer is an award-winning Internet pioneer, who puts his 25 years of experience to work helping the world’s most iconic brands improve their digital marketing and customer experience. A New York Times best-selling author of six books, Jay is an inductee in the Professional Speaking and Word-of-Mouth Marketing Halls of Fame.

from Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

Facebook confirms searches performed off the platform do not influence Facebook search results

The company issued an explainer on how Facebook search works. The post Facebook confirms searches performed off the platform do not influence Facebook search results appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Feds take down international hacker ring that cost advertisers millions

What you should know about the dismantling 3ve and Methbot botnets. The post Feds take down international hacker ring that cost advertisers millions appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Wanted: Nominations for this year’s ‘Naughty & Nice’ list

Who in marketing, advertising or search deserves a candy cane – or a lump of coal – for what they’ve done in 2018? The post Wanted: Nominations for this year’s ‘Naughty & Nice’ list appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Claritas buys Barometric, marrying user segmentation with attribution

Together, the companies say they will be able to offer targeting and optimization for ads. The post Claritas buys Barometric, marrying user segmentation with attribution appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Chevron storytelling uses purposeful immersive experiences to engage stakeholders

While a brand like Chevron may not seem an obvious choice for immersive experiences, they found success using AR and VR to explain key Chevron narratives. The post Chevron storytelling uses purposeful immersive experiences to engage stakeholders appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Customers Want You to Understand Their World

I want to tell you the tale of two companies both trying to reach part of the community they serve and how one failed and the other nailed it. Why this is important is because it ties closely to the way customers choose to spend their money these days. They want companies who understand their world, and they want to feel like they’re with a company that cares about what they like.

This isn’t really a story about Fortnite, but it is

If you have a kid between 8 years old and 50, you might have already heard about Fortnite. The video game which launched in 2017 has already raced to 200 million active users (75 million in just the last six months). They passed a billion dollars in revenue last July, and will quite likely make a big year end revenue goal announcement.

Continue Reading

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11 Outdated SEO Tactics You Need to Retire

Just like most aspects of marketing and technology, search engine optimization has evolved over time.

Marketing strategies that were effective for your company five or ten years ago may not be as effective today. The same applies to SEO.

Search engines have changed the way they rank websites.

If your company hasn’t been staying up to date with the latest trends, your SEO strategy is outdated.

I see this problem all too often in my consulting work. Many companies still employ old strategies that no longer work.

That’s what inspired me to write this guide.

The outdated tactics on this list vary in terms of how they will affect your business.

Some of these are ineffective but harmless, while others could potentially hurt your SEO ranking.

Every business with a website needs to read this guide. Use it as a reference to see if you’re still using outdated SEO tactics and possibly hurting your SEO game.

1. Exact match domain names

Exact match domains were popular for a while.

With this strategy, websites were able to move up their search rankings very quickly. In some instances, rankings climbed in just weeks or even a few days.

As the name implies, the whole idea behind an exact match domain is that your website matches the keywords you’re targeting. For example:

  • detroitplumber
  • garagedoorpartsmiami
  • bestpizzanewyork

But Google adjusted its algorithm to make exact match domains obsolete. When it made this update back in 2012, the influence of exact match domains dropped nearly immediately:


Now, an exact match domain has the same chances of ranking as high or as low as any other domain name.

In fact, some of these exact match domains have a greater chance of being flagged by algorithms or manual reviews. Low-quality sites won’t be ranked high just because their domains are exact matches to the targeted keywords.

Furthermore, it’s difficult to brand a company with an exact match domain.

For example, think about Amazon. Imagine if it started with a domain like


That’s just not brandable. This strategy is less trustworthy, and it will make it increasingly difficult for you to build links.

Instead, you want to make it as easy as possible to increase your brand exposure by having a domain that’s brandable.

Don’t use exact match domains.

2. Link directories

For the most part, link directories are useless. There are some exceptions for niche-specific high quality directories.

This strategy worked before search engines become powerful.

People could find what they were looking for by using sites with directories.

These were easy for site owners to install and manage, and they increased in popularity. However, a link directory doesn’t provide actual value to website visitors.

That’s when search algorithms got adjusted to ignore link directories.

Now, having a link directory on your site can get you penalized if you have low-quality links. The same goes for article directories.

Marketers started to use software to submit articles to thousands of directories. But this low-quality content didn’t provide any value to people. It was a quick and simple way to build links.

Today, link and article directories are usually perceived as poor content, and they won’t help increase your search ranking.

3. Flat URL architecture

By default, WordPress will set up your pages with URLs like this:

It may look simple and clean for your visitors, but it’s not helping your SEO.

If you don’t change these defaults, it will be challenging for search engines to understand the hierarchy of your website. SEO crawlers and bots will rate all your pages with the same level of importance, but that’s not what you want.

You need search engines to recognize the importance of each page compared to its relationship within other pages.

You can manually change your defaults to something like this instead:

Then, the hierarchy of your site architecture will make more sense.


Removing the flat URL structure will make it easier for crawlers to index your site, which ultimately will improve your SEO ranking.

Search engines will be able to learn the value of each page within your site.

I recommend making these adjustments sooner rather than later. If you change your architecture, you’ll also have to change all of the redirects which can potentially hurt your ranking.

4. Automated link building

Links clearly play an important role in SEO.

Once this was discovered, many marketers tried to take advantage of link-building software to maximize their domain exposure on as many other sites as possible. They did this so their sites would be recognized by search engine algorithms.

As a result, their links got randomly posted on forums, blog comments, link directories, and guestbooks.

While I’m an advocate of using automation to improve your operational efficiency, this isn’t where you should be using that strategy.

Link building is only effective if it’s high quality. You can’t automate this process.

You have to build strong relationships and create valuable content.

For alternative methods that work, check out my post on the process of consistently building backlinks every week.

5. Keyword stuffing

When search engines weren’t as complex as they are today, keyword stuffing worked.

Sites would just put dozens and dozens of keywords throughout new content. The problem with such keywording is it’s unnatural because it was only being done to improve the search relevance of the page.

This doesn’t work anymore.

As algorithms became more advanced, keyword stuffing lost its power. Now it just looks like you have low-quality content.

You can potentially be penalized for keyword stuffing as well.

A recent study from SEMrush showed the most important ranking factors:

keyword stuffing

While keywords make the list, they’re not nearly as important as the other aspects of SEO are.

In fact, 18% of domains that ranked for high-volume keywords didn’t have any keywords in the body. Only 3% of backlinks had anchor text with keywords.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t include keywords in your content. But you need to make sure that you’re using them sparingly and that your content is written to read naturally.

You’re much better off publishing valuable content without lots of keywords than low-quality content with too many keywords.

6. Keyword variation pages

Do not create a separate page for each variation of a keyword you’re trying to rank for. This strategy won’t work.

Search engine crawlers are smarter, so you don’t have to do this in order to target these variations.

Google’s AI system, RankBrain, can even detect and rank sites for keywords not displayed within the content.

For example, let’s say you create a landing page dedicated to your B2B audiences about boiler services. RankBrain will understand that this page will also be relevant to users who search for things like:

  • boiler cleaning
  • boiler maintenance
  • boiler inspection
  • boiler repair

You don’t need to have a separate page for each one of these keyword phrases. Having too many pages on your site will make your site navigation more difficult than it needs to be.

For this example, you’d just need to have one page. Then, you’d include a subheader for each one of these variations.

This strategy will make your content more relevant and improve your site navigation.

7. Paid links

The last thing you want to do is violate Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Buying links can improve your ranking, but not if you get caught. For this reason alone, I don’t think paid links are worth it.

Some of you may have bought a few links without getting penalized in the past, but don’t think that means you’re invincible.

Sure, you might be careful with the way you’re conducting your operation, but what about the seller?

According to Google, both the buyers and sellers are guilty. It describes such practice as a link scheme:

link schemes

If someone is selling to you, they’re probably selling to other sites as well.

All Google needs to do is catch one person, then follow the trail of links.

If an unnatural pattern of inbound links is identified and leads to another buyer, it can get traced back to the same seller you’re using. It’s very easy for you to get caught.

Build quality links the right way, and don’t try to take any shortcuts.

8. Building several interlinked sites

Some of you may own multiple businesses and websites. This seems like a good way to build links among them, right?

Not necessarily.

Interlinking sites need to be relevant to each other.

If you have a website selling camping equipment, it wouldn’t make sense to link to your other business offering credit loans.

You’re not rewarded for the total number of links you build. Relevant links hold more weight.

You might not be penalized for this, but it limits your opportunity and resources you can use for promoting your primary site.

However, there are certain times when this can be done properly.

For example, let’s say you have a commercial contracting company and a plumbing company. These are relevant to each other, so interlinking them would be fine.

I’ve seen some instances when people create multiple websites just for their link building strategy. This won’t work.

It’ll be difficult for you to manage this many sites for this purpose alone, so each one won’t have a high authority ranking.

Google will recognize this pattern, and your SEO ranking will suffer.

9. Prioritizing quantity over quality

Publishing ten pieces of new content a day is useless if they are all low-quality.

You’re much better off sticking to a publishing frequency you can handle without letting the quality suffer.

Write for people, not for bots. Writing for bots is unnatural.

As I said before, these new algorithms and site crawlers are becoming so advanced that they can distinguish between poor quality and high quality content.

Look at your blog for example. How long are your posts?

These are the average lengths of blog posts published over the last four years:

blog length

As you can see, the majority of these posts have 500-1,000 words.

But that doesn’t mean that’s your sweet spot. Longer blog posts are slowly trending upward each year.

For the most part, I would recommend going longer over shorter.

But don’t force a long blog post for the sake of increasing your word length. By nature, some topics will be longer or shorter than others.

But it’s definitely better to publish five 1,000-word posts a week as opposed to 50 100-word posts a week.

Those 100-word posts won’t be high quality. You can’t possibly address a topic properly in that length.

10. Irrelevant guest posts

Guest-blogging is another great way to build links, but you need to make sure you’re doing it properly.

Irrelevant posts won’t help you.

Instead, you should only be guest-blogging on sites that will increase exposure for your brand. You want to reach a new audience that falls within your target market.

The only way to do this is by publishing relevant content.

For example, I’m a content marketing expert. I have no business submitting my posts to cooking magazines.

It’s irrelevant to my personal brand, website, and target audience.

As I discussed earlier, Google will identify irrelevant links and potentially punish both parties.

Take this into consideration when managing guest posts on your site as well. You won’t want to publish irrelevant guest submissions for the same reasons.

11. Ignoring local SEO

It’s a misconception that you always need to focus on the big picture.

Many companies are just trying to get traffic and ranking by targeting mass audiences as opposed to their actual target market.

This is especially important to local business owners. If you have a local business, you should be prioritizing traffic from people in the area.

Don’t put too much emphasis on generating traffic from people out of your market.

Sure, traffic can improve your site ranking, but local SEO will be much more beneficial to your overall strategy.

Here’s a recent study from Search Engine Land looking at the factors of local SEO:

local SEO

Use this graph as a reference.

Are you making the right effort to improve your local SEO strategy?

If you’re ignoring these areas, it’s a big mistake.


SEO has changed. It’ll continue changing in the future.

If you are still using the outdated tactics on this list, it’s time for you to put those behind you.

You need to start implementing new tactics.

I’m referring to things such as voice search and mobile-first indexing. I’ll be coming up with more in-depth guides on those topics in the near future.

But for now, just worry about retiring the strategies on this list. They’re a waste of your time and could potentially be hurting your ranking.

What are some new SEO strategies your website has had success with?

from Quick Sprout

LinkedIn’s new privacy setting prohibits marketers from exporting emails

A new privacy setting allows users to keep their email address from being downloaded. The post LinkedIn’s new privacy setting prohibits marketers from exporting emails appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Digital Marketing News: Google Updates Search Console & Map Hashtags, MarTech’s Growth, Blogging Trends & Color Psychology

The post Digital Marketing News: Google Updates Search Console & Map Hashtags, MarTech’s Growth, Blogging Trends & Color Psychology appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

from Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®