Google removes special presidential candidates box that omitted Trump

Why is Google not showing Donald Trump as a candidate for the 2016 US elections in the search results?

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Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Lack of Advertising, Sluggish User Growth Continue to Plague Twitter

Twitter is having a hard time attracting advertising dollars.

The social networking firm admitted in its second quarter results report that it is not getting a big enough slice of advertisers’ dollars — and shares dropped more than 11 percent in after-hours trading as a result.

Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey

“First, there is increased competition for social marketing budgets,” Twitter said in a letter to shareholders. “We’re still priced at a premium CPE [cost per engagement] relative to others.”

In other words, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are attracting marketers’ advertising dollars because they have more users and cost less.

Twitter recorded revenue of $602 million for the second quarter, an increase of 20 percent year-over-year, but still fell short of Wall Street’s estimate of $606.8 million.

Despite revenue coming in at the midpoint of the company’s forecasted range of $590 to $610 million, it was still the slowest revenue growth quarter-to-quarter since Twitter went public in November 2013.

User growth — or the lack of it — also continues to be a drag on the microblogging site. Twitter reported an unimpressive one percent rise in the number of monthly active users in the second quarter from 310 million to 313 million.

CEO Jack Dorsey, however, was positive during his call with investors.

“We continue to see steady growth in both audience and engagement. What makes our audience growth this quarter notable is we can see directly the link between the product changes we made and our growth,” he said. “We’re making the right decisions in our products, and it gives us a foundation for future growth. We’re working every day to make Twitter faster, more intuitive, and easier to use. You’ve already seen us take some big steps here, like the changes to the timeline, and the announced changes to the character account and reply rules. And there’s more changes like these on the way.”

Twitter is estimating its third quarter revenue to come in between $590 million and $610 million.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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SEO requirements for a new website platform

Not just facing a site redesign but a full replatform? Columnist Clay Cazier presents the features most important to ensure your new site can support today’s SEO best practices.

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Apple Profits Slide 27 Percent, But Sales Beat Analysts’ Predictions

Apple profits were down 27 percent in its third quarter, but the iPhone maker still beat Wall Streets’ sales estimates.

The company posted quarterly revenue of $42.4 billion and quarterly net income of $7.8 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share, a significant drop from the year-ago quarter when Apple recorded revenue of $49.6 billion and net income of $10.7 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share. International sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

iPhone sales came in at 40.4 million compared to the 47.5 million handsets the company sold in the third quarter of 2015. Analysts had predicted Apple would sell only 40 million units. Apple also topped analyst estimates iPad and Mac sales in the quarter.

Despite the company’s decline in profits, Apple remained upbeat.

“We are pleased to report third quarter results that reflect stronger customer demand and business performance than we anticipated at the start of the quarter,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. “We had a very successful launch of iPhone SE and we’re thrilled by customers’ and developers’ response to software and services we previewed at WWDC in June.”

Apple was quick to point out that its services business is on the rise — it is up 19 percent year-over-year, in fact. App Store revenue enjoyed an all-time sales high and transacting customers “hit an all-time record” as well, Apple chief financial officer Luca Maestri said.

“We returned over $13 billion to investors through share repurchases and dividends, and we have now completed almost $177 billion of our $250 billion capital return program,” Maestri added.

Apple is expecting revenue between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion for its fourth quarter.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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Google: There is no PageRank dilution when using 301, 302, or 30x redirects anymore

Google’s Gary Illyes confirms that any 301, 302, 3xx redirect does not lose any PageRank value.

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How Gifographics Can Build Your Brand – Plus 5 Other Types of Powerful Social Media Content to Publish in 2016

When it comes to creating premium content that generates clicks, views, shares and ultimately, productive conversations between a brand and its fan base, the competition can be pretty tough.

Content based solely on text no longer does the trick; not today nor in 2016 when most audiences have a huge appetite for bite-sized chunks of information served in the most digestible manner, which usually involves the presence of smart, funny, well-placed visual cues.

In an attempt to stay on top of their game, content creators are turning their attention to innovative forms of visual content to keep pace with the new demands and expectations of their public. One amazing way to create an engaging graphic is with a gifographic.

What Are Gifographics and How Can They Help Your Brand?

Gifographics are GIF-based infographics that ensure a better representation, visualization and understanding of the message through your content.

Also known as animated infographics, these fun, informative and engaging additions have been heavily promoted by Neil Patel on his blog, and have the substance and visual appeal that your writing requires to make waves in 2016.

In this post on Content Marketing Institute about the pros and cons of gifographics, a marketer says that these visual elements are clearly more complex than infographics, and thus, more expensive and difficult to produce. However, the author also says that since we all need to be creating better content, and gifographics are just that—a none-too-over-saturated better content type—you should invest in them right away, as a priority.

So, are they really worth it? I’ve created one of my own and will be discussing my findings below. Keep reading.

How to Craft Inspiring, Information-Rich Gifographics

Done right, informative and entertaining gifographics can put your brand in the limelight, improve your communication with your audience, and give wings to your social media marketing strategy by encouraging shares, comments and any other type of feedback.

In November this year, we put the gifographic to a test and created our own, A Guide To Writing & Optimizing Great SEO Content (Gifographic). It took us a month overall: one week to brainstorm and write the content together, another day for the staff to review, and one full week for our designers to put together all the visual and moving parts. Overall, it got about 200 percent more shares than our normal blog posts get, and several comments.

The investment was certainly worth it, for us.

3 Steps for Fundamental Creation of Your Gifographic

So, the next burning question on this topic: how exactly do you create awesome gifographics? Here are three basic steps:

1. Make a Storyboard. Start by creating a script based on the info that you wish to incorporate and the frames that you want to make.

2. Create the Draft of a Basic Infographic. Next, create a first version of an infographic to picture how things will eventually come together. Canva is a great visual tool that even has infographic layouts pre-made to play with.

3. Save Frames Individually, Load Images and Display Frames. Save every single frame as an individual numbered image; then load all images into the gifographic stack, and display your frames. Select the most suitable animation speed for your project, and save it. Now, this isn’t as easily done as said, so I stuck with my design team who also knew animation. I suggest you do the same, to get the best results.

Don’t forget to share your beautiful creation on different platforms, including Pinterest, which is heaven for gifographic curation.

5 Other Effective Social Media-Friendly Content Types to Create in 2016

In 2016, gifographics are still seen as a rarity, which means you have ample room to create your own—it’s another great avenue to prove you’re a thought leader and groundbreaking content creator.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you should invest all your time and energy in innovative visual elements and ignore the traditional ones that still do a great job at getting you noticed.

Did you know that 90 percent of the overall amount of information that reaches our brains is visual? At the same time, it seems that presentations that contain a plethora of well-balanced visual aids are up to 43 percent more compelling and persuasive than the rest?

These numbers suggest the fact that any content marketing campaign developed to boost engagement and support your rapid growth should benefit from interesting, original visual elements added to reflect your uniqueness and offer you a competitive advantage.

Aside from gifographics, here are five other key visual aids that you should create and distribute in 2016 to set yourself apart with ease and facilitate a more successful communication with your audience.

1. Infographics. Inforgraphics are exceptional tools that you could make use of to sum up a rather complex message based on endless strings of numbers extracted from relevant industry stats. Infographics give you the perfect opportunity to put your succinct information on full display after collating it into a palatable, digestible visual display designed to stimulate the interest and curiosity of your readers.

To reach their target and offer you the expected results, your infographics should count on a perfect balance between layout, design and the quality of the information that you wish to offer to your readers. Just remember to distribute only quality, accurate information coming from trustworthy sources and do your best to achieve an ideal mix of fonts, shapes and colors to make your message stand out. Also, keep in mind that even the least interesting facts could benefit from the full attention of your readers, as long as they count on an amazing visual representation.

One infographic we put out in July of 2015 has picked up a lot of shares throughout the past month: How To Make Sure Your Brand Is Publishing High Quality Content (Infographic).

Tying into No. 2 below, we also syndicated it to SlideShare (uploaded as a PDF), where it reached “most popular” for the day there and was featured for roughly one to two hours on the home page. This infographic was one of our most actionable ones (the level was for any business owner wanting to increase the quality of their Web content), and I think that was the key to why it was one of our best-performing.

2. SlideShare Presentations. Presentations are no longer an element associated exclusively with more or less tedious boardroom meetings. At this point, SlideShare presentations are an exceptional ally for any business seeking a simple and effective method to inform, educate and entertain the targeted audience.

Presentations make it easier for you to dress up, pack and serve a larger amount of information, slide by slide. You can also upload other forms of media (infographics, whitepapers) to SlideShare as syndicated content.

Nonetheless, it goes without saying that even the amplest, data-rich presentation can preserve its appeal and superior entertainment value, as long as you create multiple slides, present your food for thought in an elegant, concise manner, adopt a tone of voice that resonates with your audience and stay consistent with key visual elements, such as colors, logos, fonts and borders.

3. Branded Images and Custom Drawings. Branded images and custom drawings are listed in broader category called “brand visuals.” These two handy elements allow you to reflect the uniqueness of your brand and make it recognizable on a larger level. While stock photography represents a simple and cost-effective method to add new visual cues to your articles or blog posts, in all honesty, first-hand, personalized, one-of-a-kind images that tell the story of your company, products, services and clients are the ones that could actually help you reflect your individuality and boost brand awareness.

Check out this custom drawing of Scheherazade, legendary queen and Arabian Nights storyteller heroine, that we had drawn for The Art of Storytelling: Is Your Story Worth Talking About?

This blog image has been widely used since by us quite successfully, as an image on Instagram, a tool in a Twitter chat conversation about visual imagery (it had a lot of retweets and favorites), and has had more than 100 shares on its own.

4. Memes. The term “meme” is not nearly as trendy and innovative as you may think it is. As a matter of fact, it was coined by Richard Dawkins almost four decades ago, in 1976. This concept refers to an idea, emotion, style or type of behavior that spreads from one individual to another within a community or culture. These days, most people associate memes with funny messages attributed to real or fictional characters such as The Overly Attached Girlfriend, Grumpy Cat or Jonathan Goldsmith as The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Aside from their obvious benefits (we can all agree that some memes are funny, catchy, shareable and totally relatable), memes give you a great opportunity to resonate with a younger audience, create a solid community around your brand, and tell memorable in-jokes about your niche, which may help you separate yourself from your competitors and make your brand cool. After all, a high-impact, original meme that can be traced back to your brand could go viral in a matter of seconds and offer you more than a few minutes of glory and power. Moreover, memes are extremely easy to make, given that you could use one or more free or almost free tools, like Quickmeme for instance, to create your own versions, using a wide range of templates.

5. Screenshots. Screenshots enable you to add a personal touch to your content and reflect its authenticity. Unlike other visual elements that could be linked to several other players operating in your industry (think stock photography), screenshots can help your prospects become more familiar with the characteristics of the products and services that you sell. Furthermore, as Kissmetrics suggests, screenshots are also a great option given that they support some of the claims that you may want to make in your content designed for sales enablement. In addition, you could also add and use screenshots as a tool to build trust and authority, by putting into the spotlight some of the most inspiring client reviews and testimonials that you have gathered so far.

Conclusion: Factors for Creating Awesome Imagery

This brings us to the next question: what are the factors that you should focus on when it comes to creating awesome branded images and custom drawings? As a recent blog post published by Hubspot indicates, one should apply the recipe for social media success to come up with awe-inspiring and 100 percent effective brand visuals.

This standard formula is based on a mix of elements, including:

  • A consistent color scheme;
  • Font pairings that are fully compatible with your brand image;
  • Suitable filters and imagery;
  • Social media templates added and followed to speed up the entire design process.

In a nutshell, you will need to select the most appropriate fonts and colors for your company and products, feature images in accordance with the message and visual elements that you have in mind, and add filters that portray your brand in the best light. I can tell you right now that a professional designer is going to help you best here. You won’t know what color palette jives the best with your brand logo colors, but a designer will. Save yourself from putting out crappy stuff by hiring a professional designer.

Use Quality Visuals to Increase Brand Engagement and Growth

These days, text-based content is clearly not the most effective weapon of seduction that you could count on to stay on the same page with your readers, boost brand awareness and stay competitive in your industry.

Don’t hesitate to create and incorporate attractive visual elements designed with your audience in mind, and remember that quality and consistency should be the main factors driving the process of visual content creation.


Julia McCoy is a writer and entrepreneur. She created three businesses and wrote a book at 16; at 20, she dropped out of nursing school to teach herself online writing and start Express Writers. Today, her content agency has more than 70 writers and thousands of worldwide clients. Julia hosts The Write Podcast and #ContentWritingChat, and is the bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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How to Combine SEO and Social Media to Boost Your Authority

With the sheer number of similar businesses already in existence online, it can be hard for you to stand out from the crowd. Chances are, every tactic you plan to use has been used by another company. Nevertheless, this should not keep you from trying. There are ingenious methods you can use to ace it in online marketing. Using social media to boost your search engine ranking is one of the unconventional tactics you can use.

Recent studies have shown that search engines, more so Google, are relying on social media activities to list and rank pages that are relevant to keyword searches. This gives online marketers an opportunity to boost their search engine raking with social media inputs. The point you need to note is that, regardless of the social media platform you are using, it is the attention the content gets that is used as a signal to determine its relevance to a search.

Another amazing point you should note is that you don’t have to go to school to learn how to incorporate social media in your SEO efforts. There are innumerable online resources you can use to master the strategy. This post focuses on a few strategies you should consider implementing — most of which can be done on your own.

How does social media really help?


As aforementioned, social media impacts your search engine ranking by sending relevance signals. This means that the more likes, and shares you get, the more relevant your content will be and the better the ranking you will receive. Today, SEO and social media marketing are entwined. Google is placing more emphasis on the Author Rank factor, which is based on the ranking and rating of the content creator.

Here are some of the ways you can use the popularity of social media to boost SEO.

  1. You can use Facebook and Foursquare to allow your visitors to check in from your business. At the end of the day, Google perceives this as a signal for how popular your business is among users. This will boost your search engine ranking.
  2. Google+ is a product of Google and will give you better results than other social media sites. Therefore, more activity on your profile will impact your search listings on Google. Encourage your followers to like and comment on your posts. This will improve your search rankings.
  3. More reviews on your social networks will show that your content is popular and relevant. This, in turn, will boost your rankings on Google. However, for you to get the best SEO results from this, you have to make sure that you get your content to the right audience. The authority and influence of the people who like or review your content matters.
  4. Making your content available across several social networks will also impact SEO. Being available on various platforms shows that you have more influence. This will determine how Google values and ends up ranking your content. Here, the following points are considered:
  • The number of combined mentions or followers your business has on Twitter;
  • How often your Facebook page content gets like or shared;
  • How authoritative the people who follow, mention or share your content are;
  • Is the trend of your followers constant, increasing or dropping?

Social marketing and SEO are closely entwined and mutually synergistic. But how exactly do you ensure that you use the best strategies to boost your rankings? So far, this post has discussed the crucial points you have to remember to ensure you get the best ranking. But which methods should you use to boost your results?

Connect with social media influencers


As you saw earlier, the type of people who like and share your posts have a big part to play in determining your ranking. If they don’t have much influence, your likes and shares will not be as impactful. Therefore, to make sure social media works in your favor, you need to link up with social media influencers.

One way of doing this is to embed authoritative links within your content. Being referenced in other content as a voice of authority will also help. You should also not forget to encourage your followers to share your content. The more shares you get, the more authoritative you will be in the eyes of Google.

Link from content to your social media profiles

Leading social media sites like Twitter and Facebook enjoy a high authority because of the great amount of engagement they get. You can tap into this by making sure that you link all your posts to your profile. This helps you capitalize on the authority of the site, which will lead to better SEO results.

Don’t buy followers


It is easy to be tempted to buy followers. This will not benefit you much in social media marketing, however. To get better results, you have to attract genuine followers. You need followers who will engage with your content and posts; users who will keep coming back to your page for updates. Google can now distinguish genuine followers from the fake ones.

Build brand awareness with more interactions

To attract followers and build more brand awareness, you have to engage your audience. When you post something, make sure you are available to respond to the comments you receive. You should also participate in the debates that you spark. In addition to that, you have to make sure that you add posts regularly. A dormant profile will be abandoned.

These points will help you boost SEO with social media. The important thing you need to do is ensure you attract a larger following and always keep your audience engaged with informative and entertaining content. You must also respond to the comments your followers leave. Simply put, more engagement on social media leads to better search engine ranking.


Lalit Sharma is a SEO consultant who runs a SEO house called Ranking By SEO. He is specialized in link building and other SEO related activities. You can also find him on Twitter, Google+ and his personal blog.

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Verizon Extends Its Digital Reach

You will find more statistics at Statista

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Virtual Reality: Changing the Way Marketers are Conducting Research

Rutgers Online

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The Worst Metric to Focus on First in PPC

Open any PPC analytics dashboard and you’ll start swimming in numbers. Which ones are important and which ones can be set aside? Many people focus on the click-through rate (CTR). That’s the proportion of how many people see your ad versus clicking on your ad. So, if 1,000 people see your ad and 100 people click it, that’s a click-through rate of 10 percent.

It seems like an obvious metric for success. But speaking from more than a decade of personal experience, the click-through rate is not the first metric to examine for long-term success. Why? First, it’s a lousy way to measure how well you’re doing versus the competition. If everyone else has a high click-through rate on the same keywords, your piece of the overall clicks is smaller than you might imagine. Many new PPC marketers also seek a high PPC rate because it means lower prices from your provider, but that’s also measured in relation to your competition.

Also, just because someone clicks on your ad doesn’t mean they’re going to buy. A high click-through rate means you have an ad that people like but it doesn’t necessarily translate into purchases. If no one buys, you’ll just be paying for all those clicks with nothing to show for it.

So, if the click-through rate is misleading for success, then what’s the metric we should look at first?

The most important metric – Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

The most important metric to look at in your AdWords account is cost per acquisition. This is the average of how much you spent on AdWords for each conversion that you received on your landing pages. If your CPA is high but your CTR is low, that means that your landing page is working really well and you’re earning money despite your low ad response rate. On the other hand, if it’s the other way around it means you’re spending a lot of advertising and not selling the service well enough at the end. This is a bad situation to be in.

If your site isn’t converting and making money, it does not matter how many people are clicking on your ads. The biggest goal you should set for your metrics is to drive your CPA down. If you cannot drive it down because of high-value keywords then you’ll need to raise your prices so your CPA still leaves you with profit.

CPA is trickier to measure than CTR. It can take leads multiple visits to finally convert, so it’s hard to measure whether your landing page was a factor in bringing them back a second (or third, or fourth) time before conversion. But, in general, you need to try to push this cost down. Only when the amount you’re spending on ads is making a good return on revenue should you worry about increasing the CTR.

CTR gets a lot of press (even in earning reports) because it’s easy to measure and easy to change. Just write an ad that’s more attractive or spend more for more impressions and you can change your CTR rate. But, again, clicks are always secondary to conversions. No conversions, no profit. Worry about lowering your overall ad spend through a better CTR after you’re making money off your site.

If you focus on CPA first, your PPC campaigns will function from a much stronger foundation. Use A/B testing, changing your price points, and other landing page tactics to improve the conversion rate of those who click on your ad. The more sales you can make, the more money you’ll have to spend on advertising and improving CTR. If you chase the easy goal of a higher CTR too soon, your campaign will crash and burn.


Chris Hickman is the founder and CEO at Adficient with 14 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. In 2006 he founded Adwords Suspension and Google Penalty recovery service at to help businesses and websites to get back on Google.

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