The Great Data Mine Rush

http://newsroom.fb.com/News/576/Updates-to-Custom-Audiences-Targeting-Tool

Let the great (data) mine rush begin! Facebook getting in bed with the serious players in the behavioral and demographic metrics industry.

Facebook’s ad network gets to mine the data from BlueKai – and doesn’t that mean that BlueKai’s shopping reports can integrate Facebook’s data? All of a sudden FB is even less private than before.

Thanks  to AJ Kohn for sharing this on Google+. It would be a public benefit for more people to cover this properly.

 

The Great Adwords Gold Rush

RIP Campaigns created for desktop searches only.

Hello Enhanced Campaigns – where the device is just another attribute to target.

Although the change will be painful for many campaigns, it seems the new structure is necessary to target the evolving requirements of the different devices, browsers, screen dimensions, etc… Makes sense.

The way this is going, where the new Enhanced campaigns are actually New campaigns, doesn’t this mean that everyone is starting over with the history on these campaigns?

Wouldn’t this mean that now is one of the best times to begin an Adwords campaign in recent history? Create an Enhanced Campaign now and beat the competition by getting more credibility faster. Are we racing?

What am I missing?

The Algorithm Update is Coming

Prepare! The update is coming. Can’t wait to see the fallout. Looking forward to some more spammy sites getting dropped like they should.
Not looking forward to the craziness that will occur from the quality sites mistakenly caught in the algorithm change. I expect this update will be much milder and more accurate with less mistakes.
Can I send google the list of sites I request to be dropped? Bobswatches.com would be the first. The keyword stuffing there is painful.

The PED Issue in Sports is Worse Than Ever

Last week I heard Dan Patrick make a reference to a big name (other than a-roid) in the Miami PED scandal. He wouldn’t give the name. Now we know – Ryan Braun.
When are these idiots going to learn?
If you do it and fail a test, admit it. Denial and blaming others won’t work. He completely ruined the reputation of the person who handled his sample. How about an apology?
The only good part of this situation is that it further demonstrates what a sham testing is in U.S. sports, especially baseball and football. Spud Selig proclaimed that Braun’s class of players grew up with testing in minor league and the game was getting clean. What a joke!
Until pro sports use Olympic type testing and/or biological profiling players will continue to exploit the situation. Even golfers. Yes Eldrick, I include you in this group.
I have to give Dan Patrick a lot of credit for finding this out early. Another example of that show being the best.
Bill Simmons has an excellent article on this subject – http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8904906/daring-ask-ped-question. Even Peyton Manning’s improvement over the second half of the season is questionable.

Changing the Category in Google+ Local Pages

We can now change the Category for Google+ pages. That is a huge step forward.
I expect that the situation is similar to the Places system where the categories we designate are only suggestions and Google’s system will set it for us. But, still, this is huge!

The Ray Lewis I Remember

I don’t disrespect or think less of anyone who believes Ray has transformed into a good person. He was acquitted in a fair trial and seems to have learned a lesson. I am dubious but plenty of people I respect believe it. But when I think of him, I go back to when I lived in the Buckhead bar district of Atlanta during the murder of Richard Loller and Jacinth Baker.
I lived so close that I walked past the nightclub and murder site on most days back then. There was a memorial to the two victims on the corner of West Paces and Grandview. The memorial didn’t mark the spot where the murder occurred, it marked the spot where the two kids started to run away from Ray and his friends.
The part that stands out to me was that after catching the kids, the victims were punched in the body with small knives hidden in the knuckles of the perpetrators. The kids didn’t realize that they were bleeding to death.
Think about that. In addition to being overpowered by men who significantly outweighed them, they were cut and didn’t know it until it was too late. This came from the coroner’s testimony.
In the trial it was proven that the knives were purchased at the sporting goods store around the corner from the night club the day of the incident. Somehow, Ray Lewis and his friends predicted they would need to fight dirty.
As someone who also is not of the pro athlete body type, and someone who has heckled athletes before (thank you Charles Barkley for not throwing me out a window like I deserved at 5 Paces), I believe the memories of Richard Loller and Jacinth Baker should not be forgotten. I will always root against the Ravens and Ray.

Google+ Will Evolve Into A Full Business Operating System

Recently I read a post on Google+ by Thomas Power that opened my eyes to the power of what Google is building. The post can be found here - https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ThomasPower/posts/Mxwfz6CYrDH

It explains how businesses should and will use social in the future, how Google+ will evolve, and how to convince the people in your business who are inexperienced with social networks that it is necessary to survive and thrive.
The post took Thomas Power a week to write and it is extremely long but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to read for those of us lucky enough to be forehead deep in social networking and internet marketing.
There are so many great points and themes in the article that I can’t decide which to highlight. How about this – it takes 7 years for a social network to gain maturity which means Google+ reaches this milestone in 2018.

By then, Google+ will have evolved into a business operating system tested by the public before being implemented by businesses. His reasoning and insight are so logical that there are some moments where most of us will say “why didn’t I think of that”.

Google+ Is Better Long-Term Than Facebook

Many people seem surprised when I exclaim the need for businesses to jump on Google+ now and abandon or de-emphasize Facebook. Although there are many reasons, I usually base my argument on two points that seem to resonate with marketing departments.

1. The trend of FB to limit the exposure of posts and the model of forcing businesses to use paid advertising isn’t working and is well publicized recently. In addition to the customer backlash about the need to pay to get the same impressions that used to be free, there is serious debate as to the ROI of FB paid advertising campaigns.

2. When you post something on Facebook it goes in the queue to be placed in the time lines of your followers and/or recipients of your campaigns where it can be shared. The post can also be seen on your company page and FB search results for a short period of time. That is it. The post is done. It can’t help you build brand awareness or sell a product anymore.

With Google+ your posts seen and shared by your circles but they are also found in regular google search results for a quickly growing number of searches. Google+ has a well used hashtag system (not used on Facebook) for finding posts based on keywords. Obviously the search engine within Google+ is excellent and widely used. Posts on Google+ can live forever and are available for the general public if you want them to be.

Whether your goal is to build awareness or generate sales, your internet visibility is mostly based on the content your company produces. You want and need that content to be associated with your company and website to build your online reputation as the expert in your field. With Facebook there is zero way of your content helping you other than for each posts “15 minutes of fame”. With Google+, your posts will be read and shared for as long as the content is searched by someone.

From a business to consumer perspective, FaceBook is like the Titanic speeding ahead in icy waters.

The Insanity of Conference Expansion

The idea that jumping conferences for the all-mighty television dollar is completely flawed. It is amazing that none of the people in charge of universities see this.

The article, http://nymag.com/daily/sports/2012/11/madness-of-big-ten-expansion.html, is the first time I have seen someone else bring up this point. Jonathan Chait does an excellent job of explaining it better than I can. I encourage anyone interested in college sports to read it.

Maryland has major financial problems. They have ended at least 7 sports due to lack of money. The Big 10 or B1G has a television network that, at least in the short term, might provide them with more money than the ACC can.

The B1G Network gets its money from cable companies purchasing the channel. Right now, this system works. Expanding into the DC market with the University of Maryland seems to expand the number of homes that will pay cable companies and the B1G for the television network.

It is obvious to many of us that the current system of “bundled cable television” is changing drastically and won’t last. As Jonathan Chait writes – “There is already a revolution in video content underway that is going to render the current bundled cable model obsolete.” From +Google TV to AppleTV to Twitter to second screens and so on, we are quickly changing how we watch video. There were articles this week asking if tablets were turning into the television of tomorrow. Will we getting video from our cable provider, of course not. We might buy internet access from them but probably not their video feed.

There was an interview recently with the head of one of the cable networks. He was asked if the “cable cutters” worried him. He said no, they were getting an inferior product. There weren’t that many people who could cut the cord and be satisfied without the content they were accustomed to. What did worry him were the “cable nevers”. They are the ones that have never had regular cable service. For more on this check out http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/tv-s-scariest-generation-cable-nevers/231330/.

Where does the B1G Network rank in importance with the Cable Nevers? It doesn’t and won’t ever. Look at all the newspapers going out of business. The younger generation has never had a newspaper delivered to their door, they get their news from the internet.

I hope that universities look at the future before making these short-sided decisions that affect more than just the top revenue sports. Ruining long-term relationships and the crazy logistics that these conference shifts cause might be worth it now but it won’t take long to realize that the decisions were based on flawed logic.

I would LOVE to hear someone like +Mark Cuban weigh in on this topic.

Google+ Guide For Business

Yesterday Google released its Google+ Guide for businesses, http://www.google.com/+/business/. After going over it, I can’t help but share these observations.

1. Facebook really screwed up. Can’t emphasize this enough. They had such a great opportunity with business pages and royally messed it up. The lack of a consistent, clear, or logical strategy has turned many consumers away from using Facebook to find products and services.

Facebook also greatly limited how businesses can interact and find their target market. Businesses have to use advertising on other networks to attract people to your Facebook page. Lately there are advertising choices within Facebook but businesses still have to understand PPC fundamentals to maximize your ROI.

The confusion between Facebook Location pages and Business Pages continues to confuse a lot of businesses.

There is zero customer service for businesses using Facebook unless you are a major corporation and/or advertiser. This continues to be a major problem.

2. Google fixed all of these shortcomings and is setup to dominate business social media. It doesn’t matter to Google how much success or longevity Facebook has. The role of Google+ for business is here for the near future.
With the creation of http://www.google.com/+/business/, Google has provided a clear strategy of what, why, where, and how. They also provide places to ask for assistance.

With the integration with Google Maps and Local searches with Google+, businesses don’t have to use advertising on other sites to promote their Google+ presence. It doesn’t hurt to use #Adwords but it’s not necessary. Posts, pictures, videos, and events will all appear in Google search results.

3. The SEO benefits from Google+ are tremendous. The website guide, especially in the http://www.google.com/+/business/get-insights.html section, gives us a glimpse as to how. Check out the Ripples graph and data. We can see where our Google+ shares go.

The interesting part is that we can see which sharer has the most influence. All sharers are not equal. It is obvious from Matt Cutts and other indicators that social sharing is a big part of linking in today’s ranking algorithm, now we can see a little clearer which sharers have influence.

4. The reviews system for Google+ is better than most but still not perfect. One of the most abused parts of internet marketing, Google+ forces people to actually have a Google+ account to submit the review. There are plenty of reviews left over from Google+’s import from the Google Places system, but from this point on, anyone who writes a review on a Google+ Business page, has to have a Google+ account. This can still be abused, but it will be easier to spot the abusers when businesses question the legitimacy of the review.

What did I miss?