The “Pepsi Challange” of the 1970’s and early 1980’s was a classic marketing move that created tons of similar advertising campaigns. In the challenge, Pepsi went to popular areas like shopping malls and had public participate in blind taste tests, in which people seemed to prefer Pepsi over Coke.

Microsoft is now using a similar marketing campaign with Bing. The new campaign, available at, allows people to blindly compare search results side-by-side on the same page. Microsoft is even claiming people so far choose Bing 2:1 over Google. Microsoft believes that Bing is a higher quality search engine and are trying to convince the public to “break the Google habit.” They are even offering prizes for those who take the challenge.

First, you enter a query or choose from a list of suggested searches, and the site presents you with two sets of unbranded results. Then, you decide which you prefer. After you’ve done this five times, the site will tell you which search engine you chose.

The site doesn’t let you have the full capabilities of either website, but focuses only on basic searching and results.


To see the original article:
Bing Offers Own Version Of “Pepsi Challenge” Against Google: “Bing It On”

Don’t let the headline fool you. Marketing your business over social media can be an excellent decision. However, it’s easy to put more emphasis on those ‘Like’s and ‘RT’s than actual, money-making sales. Here are five reasons why you need to include other platforms as well into your overall marketing strategy.

1.  Social Media Makes You Anti-social

While establishing your online presence, it’s easy to mistake interaction with customers on social media with conversations with customers. Regardless of how active you are in your online community, it doesn’t take the place of good, old fashioned face-to-face or phone conversations.

2. Online Trends Are Fleeting

There are those that say social media will be around forever. That may be true, but how do you know where your customers will be congregating in 10 years? Facebook and Twitter might still exist. However, ten years ago, AOL and MySpace were major players online. Here’s some free advice: don’t include them today in your marketing plans.

3. Social Media Only Works For Certain Businesses

Depending on your business, social media may not pay dividends for you. For example, generally, if you sell service to other businesses, you could actually hurt your credibility by using social media to market yourself. That time is better used making in-person connections with executives and other decision makers.

4. Lack of Effective Language

Social media is constantly updated and timeliness is key. This leaves no time for businesses to perfect their message before releasing it to the masses. Messages to your followers should value quality over quantity.

5. There Are Better Ways

In marketing, old school is usually most effective. Nothing beats in-person communication with your customers. Social media shouldn’t be viewed as a marketing revolution to forsake all other platforms for. Instead, it is an additional weapon in your arsenal, but one that should be used wisely and with restraint.

For more information, check out Alex Goldfayn’s article on Mashable.

One of the best dirty little secrets about social media for businesses is that you don’t need enormous resources or a large, established audience for your efforts to pay dividends.  In fact, small businesses can adapt to constantly changing trends much faster than their larger counterparts simply because of their lack of size and available manpower.

To get the most of your social media endeavors, you simply need to ask, “why?”  As in, “why would our customers connect with us on social media and why would my business want customers to connect through this format?”

Asking these questions before starting a social media campaign and using this five-step approach, allows you to capture customers’ attention and build relationships and loyalty.

1. Know the Trends

Familiarize yourself with the social medium you plan to use for your business.  Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or any other option on the Web, you need to know why your customer’s are there and what they are saying.

Once you understand your desired customers’ experience, you can reach them more effectively.

2. Define Your Online Brand

Before making an online profile, think about why your business is unique.  Then, develop your profile based on the desired experience of your customers when they connect with you.

Be sure not to to sell too hard, however.  Users are especially wary of sales pitches on social media.

3. Develop a Strategy

How will you know success unless you’ve first defined it?  Decide how social media will enable you to meet your goals.  Discover which format your customers’ perfer and which is the best for you.  Keep it light and fill your profile with a mix of entertaining and relevant content.

4. Build Your Community

Be an active member of your online community.  Share insights, talk with influential online users and link with others in order to interact and help existing customers and add to your audience.

5. Learn and Repeat

Over time, when you have learned more about your community’s wants and needs and monitored changing social media trends, repeat this process to stay relevant.  Be sure that your online profile is on target with your customers.

Brian Solis writes more on this topic at his blog.  You can also follow him on Twitter @briansolis.

In the SEO industry, there are more than a few people out there who are more than happy to take advantage of unknowing website owners  They are detrimental to the expertise, authority and trustworthiness of the entire industry. Numerous website owners and marketing managers have been victimized by these questionable SEO providers and the largest hurdle to overcome while working with them is gaining the client’s trust. They have put faith in a supposed “expert” before and ended up regretting it. This is why transparency is essential in providing good SEO services and building client trust.

There are four keys for SEO providers to be more transparent to help establish trust with their clients.

1) Long Term Strategy

Outline a six month to a year building link strategy when working with a new client. By creating this strategy and reviewing with the client before beginning any link building activities, a reference point is established for the client.  This also establishes accountability for the SEO provider.

2) Monthly Reports

In the past, companies like Google held website owners accountable for all of their link building service. If the site owner was taken advantage of by a not-so-fastidious SEO, there was no one to turn to. The client had put blind trust into an “expert” and assumed work was being done. Monthly link building reports show precisely where you are developing links each month. Your client doesn’t have to assume anything. Keeping track of what you have built, and what you are working on helps to provide a log that can be referenced to at any time to show how your work is helping a certain client.

3) Monthly Calls

While some clients may want to keep in contact more often than others, a scheduled monthly phone call to review that month’s activities and plans for the next month helps keep the client, as well as the provider, in sync.

4) SEO Reports

Rather than overwhelming your client with analytics, send the organic visitor data and keyword reports. These two reports show what kind of effect SEO is having on their site without boggling client’s minds with too much data. They show how well you are attracting visitors to their site and how well recommended keywords are doing. 

Nick Stamoulis, of Search Engine Journal, has more on this topic. 
Transparency is Key to Building SEO Client Trust



We all use Facebook apps for one reason or another, but you may have granted those apps and their creators access to your personal information without even realizing it.  Thanks to a handful of redesigns, it is harder than ever to tell exactly what you’re agreeing to when you start using a new app.

1. A Single Button

Instead of giving you a choice between a button that allows access to private information and a button that does not, Facebook apps now use a single button that grants you access to the app and the app access to your information.

2. Tiny Gray Font

Let’s be honest, most of us ignore the fine print, especially when it blends into the background of the page.  Facebook apps are using that to their advantage and using that tiny gray font to tell you what permissions you are about to grant.

3. Hidden Symbol

Rather than explaining what information you are agreeing to grant an app access to, an app launch page now features a nearly indiscernible question mark that links to that information.  Most users never see it and agree to give access to information without even knowing it.

4. The Action Line

Most users find the “main action button”, usually the one that says “Play Now” and is brightly colored, and ignore anything below it.  Facebook has utilized that area under the main action button, which is often overlooked, for important information about your loss of privacy.

5. Friendly Jargon

Facebook’s App Center previously used language that made it clear you were granting access to personal information.  Now, rather than a headline of “Request for Permission” and buttons labeled “Allow” and “Don’t Allow”, there is simply a large blue button that says “Play Game”.

Avi Charkham, head of Product and Design at Lool Ventures, has more information in his article at TechCrunch.


Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to help determine how much visibility a post should get. There are many ways to improve a business’s page feed on Facebook to increase EdgeRank, but here are five to try that may help your page.

  1. Post photos – There are six “types” of posts: text, a photo, a link, a video, a platform post, or a question. Research has shown that of all of these, photos get the best response. Even when posting another type of information, adding a photo will increase your visibility and your EdgeRank.
  2. Create photo albums – While photos alone can do well, a full photo album can get even better response. It’s one big photo with multiple small ones underneath and can draw attention because of the visible difference in post style.
  3. Add more text – If you add enough text, a link will be displayed that says “see more”. This can help entice people to click the link and investigate further, and many people will associate content that has more time put into as higher quality, and will often share these posts more because of this.
  4. Share content outside of Facebook – When you post an image in the photos section, you can get a URL to the photo in the album page to either a photo or to the full album. Take this URL and share it on other social networks. By getting more people to interact with this album, it increases your EdgeRank and will display it to more people on Facebook.
  5. Use Post Targeting – This is something that was originally only optional to advertisers, but can now be done on any Facebook page (and it’s currently being rolled out). You can choose the demographic of your target audience, and by targeting more specifically you have a better chance of engagement with the audience.

By using these methods with your Facebook pages and posts you’ll be able to increase EdgeRank and help spread the content of your page to more people to get more visibility and attention.

Read the original article here:
5 New Ways to Improve Your Facebook EdgeRank

One element of web design and SEO that is referenced quite a bit is the concept of being “above the fold”. This is something that is affected by the resolution the visitor has and the size of their browser. You can now see exactly how people are viewing your site through an option in Google Analytics. To see it, you can find it here: Standard Reporting > Content > In-Page Analytics, then click “Browser Size”. You’ll get a good idea of what people are actually seeing on your page here.

To adjust your web design you can start using a “vertical responsive web design”. This adjusts the way the design responds by the size of the resolution being used. To see a few different ways to use this method, you can check out the following great article by Arley McBlain: Responsive Web Above The Fold

For internet marketing in the U.S., SEO is still the top method of generating leads. It appears now that PPC is losing its ability to do lead generation (based on the 2nd annual State of Digital Marketing survey). Both business-to-business and business-to-client industries saw a drop of 5% or more in lead generation percentages.

The cause of this is a bit controversial. It could be that PPC is becoming more difficult with the movement of more internet marketers to PPC from SEO after Google’s latest algorithm changes, being forced into other avenues of advertising. If this is the case then many businesses trying PPC for the first time may not be able to compete effectively against experienced pros and are the cause for this percentage drop in lead generation.

See more details on the survey data here:
Industry Survey: PPC Is Losing Ability To Generate Leads