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Social Networking Sites and SEO: What Wikipedia Won't Tell You

Within an astonishingly short time, Wikipedia has become one of the most-visited sites on the Internet. Consequently, Wikipedians—the self-appointed guardians of what is and isn't permissible for inclusion on the site—have become very powerful in determining what you are permitted to know about any topic, and even which topics are worthy of inclusion. It's been said that with great power comes great responsibility. That responsibility isn't always handled properly.

For example, Wikipedia's list of social networking websites now contains 111 entries; an impressive list, but certainly not all-inclusive. To the credit of Wikipedians, the list is now much better than it was just a few months ago, when it contained only 43 entries, but it is still behind the curve.

Then there is the matter of commercial content. While no one wants to see Wikipedia degenerate into a collection of marketing brochures, the site's prohibition on commercial speech seems to be unclear and unevenly enforced. There are tens of thousands of small businesses with no presence on Wikipedia, yet Oracle (the database company) is listed, as are The Oracle (the shopping mall near London), as well as PeopleSoft, SAP, IBM, and many other corporate giants.

Finally, there is the accuracy of the content itself. To cite just one recent example, Debra Mastaler points out in her post Do You Link Dope or Incestuously Link? on The Link Spiel that Wikipedia's page on link-building methods contains "terminology used to describe outdated , incomplete and irrelevant link methods." She goes on to write that "And yet, when I publicly suggest knowledgeable people with good content should contribute to the Wikipedia, I'm spoken down to, told to read the conflict of interest guidelines and criticized." Ouch. And Debra is by no means alone on this.

When frustration in the user community is combined with the opportunity for astronomical site traffic, competitors are bound to emerge. One such alternative is Freebase, which is still very immature (but does have its own Wikipedia page). Of no doubt more concern to the Wikipedians is Knol, Google's still-in-beta entry into online reference. As Michael Estrin points out, "According to Hitwise, more than half of Wikipedia's traffic comes from Google. While Knol and Wikipedia may not be direct competitors in terms of style, the two do appear to be on a collision course for top billing when it comes to web queries." To put it more bluntly, Wikipedia gets high traffic because it gets great placement on Google searches; what do you suppose is going to happen to the site's search engine position once Google has a competitive offering?

Despite its flaws, Wikipedia isn't going to disappear. But the shine is off, and serious competitors are emerging. Through a combination of success and arrogance (over-zealous article rejection, the use of insidious "no follow" tags, condescension to contributors), the Wikipedians have brought this upon themselves.

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Twitter Twaddle, Part 2: Best Practices, Tools and The Future of Twitter

This is the second of a two-part series. Part one covered what Twitter is and why it's cool; this post discusses Twitter etiquette, tools, and speculation about its future.

How to Twitter Properly

Like any other social setting, Twitter has its own etiquette. This can be confusing to new users. (And, as you can see by spending more than a few minutes on Twitter, it's apparently elusive to many long-time users as well.) Margaret Mason has written an outstanding primer on Twitter etiquette, offering advice such as watch your ratio ("If only a few people follow you, but you follow a thousand or more, many people will assume you’re a spammer. That’s because you probably are. Go away, spammer."); never Twitter if you're drunk or high; and most importantly, "remember that everyone can hear you."

The brilliant Mike Volpe of HubSpot takes a different approach to offering his advice in 5 Things On Twitter That Annoy the Crap Out of Me. His practices-to-avoid incl…

Twitter Twaddle, Part 1: What Twitter Is and Why It's Cool

Most Web 2.0 sites fall into one of a few increasingly well-defined categories, such as social bookmarking (Digg, del.icio.us, Searchles), social networking (LinkedIn, Facebook) or file sharing (YouTube, Flickr, podOmatic). Twitter, however, stands alone. (Okay, there's also Pownce, but Twitter is better.)

Self-described as simply a real-time short messaging service and often referred to a microblogging platform, to those new to it, Twitter resembles nothing so much as a giant cocktail party where everyone talks at once and hopes others listen. You can tell who's important by how many "followers" that person has, though that's no guarantee anyone is really paying attention. People (or rather, Tweeple in the Twitter lexicon) can come and go without really being noticed, just like at a real (very, very large) gathering.

Twitter can be difficult to explain to those unfamiliar with it. Jennifer Laycock writes that Twitter is like Post-It notes; lots of them and in mu…

Top Notch Digital Marketing Tip: Know Your Audience

Looking for some online marketing tips to grow your business? Well, you’ve come to the right digital marketing resource! Web Market Central has been doling out the proper digital marketing advice for years. And as you already know, marketing to customers online is 100 times easier than using dated, expensive, and traditional marketing tactics. Like seriously, who uses billboards in 2019? Online marketing is cost-effective Easier to reach your audience members and potential customers And you know exactly who you’re reaching 

You have the ability to optimize campaigns and websites if they are not performing the way you want them to. You can clearly see how many people have opened your emails and clicked a link. You can even target who you want to when you want to.

So now that you're totally convinced of what you already knew, let’s give you today's top-notch digital marketing tip!

Know your target audience and knowing how to target them

These two online marketing tips are key. If you’r…

Tips Week, Content Marketing Part 2

Continuing the mad tips!

 Go 6 months without mentioning your product There's a study that compared CMI’s informational/educational posts to posts that mentioned their products and/or services. The posts that talked about the brand received about 25 percent of the total unique visitors that a regular, educational post did. At the same time, those branding posts received virtually no additional subscribers on sales-related posts, while regular posts brought in between 35 and 75 subscribers. The point is this: The more you talk about yourself, the more you’ll negatively impact your content marketing efforts. Keep the offers outside the content, and watch your program flourish.

WMC Opens up marketing tips section.

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Tips Week Content Marketing Part 4

More tips, more tips, more tips!

Forget real-time marketing Some of the real-time marketing examples surrounding the tragic death of Robin Williams will make you sick to your stomach. Brands and publishers alike are tripping over themselves to leverage breaking news for business gain. The only situation in which you should be considering real-time marketing is if your content marketing strategy is near perfect. Only then will you be well prepared enough to tackle the risks of real-time (and reap the potential rewards). Focus on consistent, valuable information… become the expert… get the process in place… be patient.

Tips Week: Content Marketing Strategies and Ideas Part 1

After last week's Quote Week, we're moving onto Tips Week! And our focus is Content Marketing!

Take “best of breed” seriously Ninety-nine percent of companies don’t do this. There are at least six principles that are essential to epic content marketing. The sixth, and perhaps most important, is setting a goal/mission to be the “best of breed” informational provider for your industry niche — i.e., to truly be the leading informational resource for your industry. This is critical to making content marketing work for you. If your content marketing isn’t eagerly anticipated and truly necessary, at some point, your audience will see through the façade and ignore you. Ask yourself this: If your content marketing disappeared from the planet, would anyone miss it? If no one would miss your information, you’ve got work to do. Start by setting your goal, then set up the processes and invest in the people you need to reach that goal.