Where is your phone? If you’re reading this, there is a good chance it’s in your hand. Over the past few years, Internet users have made a huge shift to mobile browsing as tablets and smart phones have made it easier to access the web while running errands, dining out or even talking with your friends.

This is why it’s important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile browsers. With almost fifty percent  of your audience using mobile devices as their primary way to browse the web, not having a mobile optimized website can cost you serious traffic and money.

So what do you do if you don’t have an optimized site for smart phones and tablets?

Well first, don’t just create a miniaturized version of your site. Users don’t want to be forced to try to pinpoint tiny buttons with their clumsy fingers and they definitely don’t want to read walls of text. Even more important is making sure the site loads quickly. Over half of all mobile users expect websites to load as quickly, if not even faster, on their mobile devices as they do on their computers. To make your site load quickly, make your mobile homepage streamlined with only essential content with minimum JavaScript and CSS files.

When optimizing your site for the Internet, it is also important to make sure your website works properly on every device. Ensuring your site supports every mobile operating system protects every visitor from having a bad experience with the site.

If you don’t already have a developer with experience in mobile sites, it’s time to get one. If anything, it is a little late. Your competition most likely already has an optimized version of their website for mobile devices and if your site isn’t ready for mobile browsing, your customers will leave you for your competition.  While it may seem daunting and costly to update your site for mobile surfing, making sure your customers have a pleasant experience with your site will save you much more money.



If you haven’t seen the political quiz website ISideWith, you really should give it a look. It won’t change how you’re going to vote in November, but it is a perfect case study in great viral marketing because, as Rand Fishkin points out, it has two important psychological triggers.

First, sharing is simple and obvious. They have made it easy for you to share the quiz on almost any social site with bright and attractive buttons. They even tell you how many people have taken the quiz because of your sharing. Showing how your sharing has influenced others plays on your ego and the desire to know how many people care about what you share.

Second, they ask you how your results made you feel. When you give them feedback, they create a ready-to-share Facebook post for you. By allowing you to not just share your results, but customizing it with your own reactions, ISideWith plays on the way people use Facebook to share how they feel. People don’t always share what they are doing or interested in, but most people share how they feel. Capitalizing on emotions is a smart way to make people want to share your content.

The site isn’t perfect – no site is – but it takes advantage of the emotions people invest in politics to make their content as shareable as possible, thereby maximizing the chances of going viral. By knowing the psychologies of your audience rather than just their activities, you can make them want to share your site with the world.


Marketing your business online is a great way to build and grow your audience. In order to do that effectively, you need to network. Specifically, you need to make connections to bloggers and other content publishers. Sonia Simone at CopyBlogger has 10 steps to do just that, without turning in to someone people dread talking to.

1. Make Something Noteworthy

One great project brings influential people to you. If you’re doing something unique or game-changing, networking will be a snap. That probably sounds difficult, and it is. That’s why we aren’t all millionaires.

2. Be Positive

This isn’t just about the power of positive thinking, but rather about your positive online persona. Share helpful content and make friends through social media.

Being the bad guy could get you noticed, but it doesn’t make people want to do business with you.

3. Have an Opinion

Whatever your area of expertise is, be an expert on it. Stay current and be informed at all times, in order to contribute intelligently to discussions in your area.

4. Twitter

The Twitterverse is a popular spot for bloggers and content creators to congregate. What do you have to lose by attempting to connect with them with your own great content or intelligent questions? They’re a simple ‘@’ away.

5. Change Forums

Find the spot where the majority of your audience spends their time and deepen your Twitter connections there. Whether it’s Facebook, Google+ or another venue, you’ll sound more intelligent and competent than you did in 140 characters or less.

6. To the Real World

Soldify your online connections with real world meetings. Business connections are just like dating: face-to-face > online.

7. No Whining

Remember the step about being positive?  That means you don’t use your social media accounts to complain…about anything.  Try to read your posts from an outsiders point of view and be sure it’s engaging and positive.

8. Don’t be a Teenage Girl

OK, if you are a teenage girl with a successful business, congratulations to you. My point here is don’t talk about people behind their back, or in this case, online. No good can come of it, but plenty of bad can and probably will.

9. Don’t be a Geeky Fan

You will probably encounter some people who are both influential for your business and who you admire. Just be cool about it. Don’t gush over them. Rather, try to find a common ground by being enthusiastic about your shared interest, which also happens to be the area your business operates in.

10. Be Prepared for Twists

It’s great to set goals for yourself, but failure to reach those specific goals doesn’t necessarily constitute failure. Generally, if you are working towards the right goals and doing things the right way, you’ll have success. Just know it might not be the success you originally planned for.


McAfee’s Most Dangerous Celebrities Study results have been released for this year and the news is bad for Harry Potter fans. Emma Watson is the most dangerous celebrity to search for.

The title was held by Heidi Klum last year, but she has dropped off of the list. Searching Watson’s name has a 12.6 percent chance to leading to dangerous sites that offer spyware, adware, viruses and all other sorts of dubious content.

Also of note in this years’ list is the lack of men. The entire top ten are female. The only man to appear in the top 20 is Jimmy Kimmel, who was ranked number 13. Last year only two men appeared on the list.

The message is clear; if you’re searching a female celebrity, be careful what you click on.


For more information, read Matt Mcgee’s article at Search Engine Land.

“Social engineering” is a term for the hackers patrolling social media sites looking to steal your personal information. Think of the secruity questions sites like banks use in case you forget your password. Now think, are the answers to my security questions available to the public on Facebook or another social media profile?  More often than not, people allow their maiden name, pet’s name or birthday to be shared without ever considering the possible ramifications.

As Andrea Smith reports for Mashable, Trend Micro’s Titanium Internet Security 2013 is one anti-virus software that also protects you against hackers on social media.  Not only does it show you exactly what is being shared with the world on your account, but it also highlights suspicious links and advises you to avoid them.  You didn’t think all those ‘too good to be true’ deals and offers your friends were claiming were completely legitimate, did you?

There are also parental controls to keep children safe online.  No need to friend your kids, as if they’d let you.  Instead, it monitors posts for keywords to ensure that nothing fishy is happening on Junior’s account.

The included infograhpic includes the results of Trend Micro’s Annual Consumer Security survey and highlights the dangers of your social media activity.


Anyone that has built a website from scratch knows how much effort it takes to build an audience, raise your traffic and generally get your site known about. So, what happens if suddenly all that traffic disappears? All of that work can be undone in a single moment. Why does this happen? Usually it is because of mistakes you never knew you were making. Here are 7 common mistakes that could make your website fail.

  1. Pointing All of Your Backlinks Into Your Home Page – Link building is an essential part of any website’s SEO and doing it well means improving your search engine performance. The most common mistake with backlinking is directing all of your links back to your home page. Search engines think it is strange if all of your backlinks point to your homepage and will penalize your search rankings and your traffic. Instead, spread your link distribution and point backlinks to different pages within your website.
  2. Unnecessary Clutter – If you’re getting a lot of traffic, it’s natural to want to maximize your profit by monetizing your website. But be careful if you try to do this. Many add unnecessary clutter to their page while trying to monetize content, which changes your pages appearance and the way the public interacts with it. Too many advertisements and other clutter, will soon send the public elsewhere.
  3. Giving Too Much Content at Once – Content may be what the public is seeking on the Internet, but giving them too much of it in one place can be a bad thing. You want to keep your audience comfortable. Don’t make them feel overwhelmed by putting too much information in a single page. If you are going to be giving lots of content at once, split it across several pages so you will keep visitors’ interests.
  4. Amateurish Design – If you want your website to be respected, don’t put the design in unexperienced hands, even if they are your own. No matter how good your content is, if the design is off putting, you still won’t get visitors. It’s easy to find good website templates for cheap and there are always designers for hire. Don’t risk your reputation on a shoddy design.
  5. Being Disorganized – Visitors will always want their experience with your website to be as easy as possible. This seems simple, yet many still provide confusing and disorienting sites that frustrate their visitors. Those visitors won’t care about what content you are offering if they can’t find it easily.
  6. Trying to Advertise Before Your Content is Finished – Search engines will notice if you try to push for traffic before your website content is finished. Search engines favor content that is geared towards their audience and no audiences favor unfinished content. It seems amateurish, and you are focusing on the popularity and money before you have a proper product to offer. Instead, get some great content before you start trying to attract the public.
  7. Going Plain Text – It’s simple: people get bored quickly. Failing to add graphics, means your audience will get bored almost immediately. Give your visitors something to catch their eye everywhere you can. Keep them interested.

These ideas may seem like common sense, but websites continue to make these mistakes every day. Avoid them or one day you may notice your traffic has gone somewhere else.


For some other more information on how to keep your website running smoothly, go to Sathishkumar Varatharajan’s article at designrhub.

The combined search marketplace between Yahoo! and Bing got a new name this week, the Yahoo! Bing Network. It may lack creativity, but at least it’s sensical. 

Along with this announcement, Microsoft included the news that their search ad network, formerly Microsoft adCenter, has been renamed as Bing Ads. The network and the functionality of it appears to be the same, however.  

Barry Schwartz broke this news on Search Engine Land and you can go directly to the source, the Bing Ads blog, for more information.  


So you’ve been having steady traffic on your website for a while now. You are eyeing expansion and everything seems fine. Suddenly, your traffic nose-dives. There are a few reasons this can happen.  Some are very easy to fix, while others are more problematic. Here is a six question checklist to help identify what is causing the issue and how to solve the problem. Before going through the checklist, please make sure this is actually a search issue. If you go to Google Analytics and go to Traffic Sources->Sources->Search->Organic and select a range of a few months, you will see an image depicting your traffic with the sudden drop. If there is a drop in traffic on this chart, you likely have a serious search issue.

  1. Has the Analytics Tool Been Removed or Altered? – This tiny issue is by far the easiest to fix. It can happen frighteningly easy and frequently, but use an Analytics checker/debugger tool, and you can quickly find and fix this issue.
  2. Have There Been Any Significant Website Changes? – Sometimes just redesigning your website can shatter your rankings. Even removing content or restructuring what order your content appears in can have big effects on your site. Usually, this issue can be solved by using an Analytics tool to see if there were any changes right before the drop in traffic.
  3. Have You Been Hacked? – It is not as easy to know when you’ve been hacked as movies might make you think. There are spam attacks that don’t affect Active pages, but instead create new directories with spam content. This makes the hack harder to find. If a search engine picks up on it, the website is often penalized. Google and Bing Webmaster Tools can help you quickly find out if you are vulnerable to hackers. You can also do a manual search of “links:[your URL here]” to search for meta descriptions that look like spam. The solutions to being hacked vary but once you’ve uncovered the issue, you can look for specific solutions. Usually, it will involve loading a clean backup and changing all passwords.
  4. Has There Been a Major Algorithm Update? – If none of the above questions have helped, it’s quite possible your traffic issues are being caused by an update. Look through available and reputable resources to see if other websites are dealing with similar issues. If your problems are caused by algorithmic changes, it is time to seek professional help. Changing code won’t fix the problem. Instead, you will likely have to make large shifts in company practices, strategies, content and link building.
  5. Has the Site Been Hit With a Ranking Penalty? – If an algorithmic update isn’t your problem, chances are your Web site has been penalized. If you have incurred penalties, it means there has been a sudden spike in bad links or spam content. You should audit who is in charge of making sure your site is following SEO policies and make sure they are up to date with the best practices.
  6. Are You The Victim of Negative SEO? – Negative SEO happens when a competitor manages to automate spammy links at your Web site, causing site wide ranking drops. Bing Webmaster Tools has a Disavow Links Tool but unless you’ve seen a sudden rise in spam content or bad links, you can ignore this tool.

These steps can help you fix sudden traffic drops but you may have to hire professional assistance if the first two questions didn’t help. Luckily, these problems are fixable and soon your site will be back up to its steady flow of traffic.

You can read more about identifying search traffic drops in John Lynch’s article over at Search Engine Watch.


Someone at Google has had a bit of free time. Most people know about the famous “six degrees of separation” and how it applies to actors and Kevin Bacon. Well now you can worry no more about calculating that value yourself! Simply go to Google and type in “bacon number” followed by a celebrity’s name and you’ll get the full path to the person.

I had to try it myself and put in the following:

Now it’s not perfect, no results showed up for “Dalai Lama” or “Adolf Hitler”, but this is still something to use if you’re in a rush in a trivia game.


While building links is a common strategy for gaining exposure, focusing less on link building can actually earn you more links. Content marketing produces links, but it also improves your brand image and can make key connections that will net you more exposure than before.

These four content marketing advantages all naturally make links, which means less time focusing on link acquisition.

  1. Creating Large Amounts of Targeted Traffic: Producing great content that gets posted to popular websites gets you a large amount of traffic and exposure, but what good is exposure when it’s aimed at the wrong people? Since Google Penguin, the links of real value are those that make you visible to your market demographic. You can do this by understanding what trustable websites look like, considering audiences when evaluating a Web site, working with publishers before creating content and working with the most influential contributors to a site.
  2. Engaging Social Media: Sharing your content on social media sites helps you gain wide exposure as well as allowing you to fit your product to the needs of niche audiences. If you can get your content repeatedly shared, you can help establish your brand and its value. This can be achieved by optimizing your content for social media.  Allow visitors to link to social media sites with appropriate but non-distracting buttons on your content. Consider how the content will look when shared, and use eye-catching images. You may even consider buying ads on social media sites where your target audiences gather.
  3. Create Immediate Conversion Opportunities: By distributing content with positive brand information, you can create easy opportunities for conversions. Remember, all content you create draws people closer to your brand. Be sure to make it easy to subscribe to your RSS feed or email list and collect email addresses by making users give them to receive more content.
  4. Encourage Brand Advocacy: All content creates an opportunity to connect with your audience. The larger the audience you get, the more people you need to share your content. By getting people to repeatedly share your content, they are improving your brand’s reputation. This leads to more potential customers, which in turn leads to more potential advocates. Create advocates by always responding to feedback – positive or negative. Make it easy for people to get involved. Allow the community to help create content. If they believe in the content on your site, they will share it.

Content marketing is a sustainable strategy with long-term rewards. You always want to stand out. Unique, valuable and exciting content helps distinguish a brand in a way linking campaigns can’t.

To read more about content marketing, look at Loren Baker’s article at Search Engine Watch