“Buy a Link Now” and What Will You Get?

Today I notice on the bottom of the Reuters site there are ads that are served by Marchex. After there ads their a link that says, “Buy a Link Now.” As an SEO this made me cringe a little.

(Click image to Enlarge)buy a link now

The reason this bothers me is because clearly Google does not want people to sell links. This practice has long fallen under the grey or more so black hat approach to SEO. Coming out and saying “buy a link now” instead of “buy an ad now”, seems to be blatantly saying, “Hey Google look at us, we’re selling links.”

Interestingly enough Matt Cutts posted a video today explaining what happens if they discover you are buying or selling links. Short answer your site will be penalized, but watch the video to see the full answer.

How To: Five Things You Can do With Social Media Marketing

social media handymanSo you made the resolution to get a social media plan off the ground in 2011. Great! It’s already January 4, so let’s get started!

Social media marketing is the newcomer to the marketing scene and continues to be a hot topic. Many companies fail when they attempt to leverage it as a marketing tool. Often they just don’t understand what the potential of social media marketing really is. This list will help you see what it can do for your company:

  1. Bring links to you website
    Link building is a key component of search engine optimization and social media is a great way to get inexpensive links. Although many social media platforms use what’s called nofollow links (nofollow links tell the search engine bots not to follow the links) there are plenty of ways to get follow links as well. Don’t forget that blogs are also a form of social media. By posting relevant content and then promoting it through social media platforms you create many more chances to be found by bloggers, who in turn may post a link to your content in their blog. Plus, even if people link to you content via social media platforms with nofollow links, guess what, people follow those links.
  2. Bring traffic to your website.
    This ties into the links as well. As you create good content and link to it through relevant posts on social media platforms, this alone can drive traffic to your site. But when it really gets interesting is when an influencer gets a hold of your content and shares it with their connections and those connections share it with their connections this can quickly turn into a stream of traffic being driven to your site. This is what I like to call word of mouth on steroids.
  3. Create consumer brand awareness.
    It’s definitely true that brand awareness is good for your business, social media can help you create a good first impression as well as keep your products in the minds of consumers. If you are engaged with social media marketing and continue to post relevant thoughtful information, when consumers are in need of your product they will remember they saw your posts online and come to you. Recommendations are also a big part of social media marketing, and not just review site. Every time someone includes a link, or shares your content they are essentially giving a recommendation.
  4. Drive conversions.
    A conversion can be many things depending on your objectives. It could be downloading a whitepaper, purchasing a product online, filling out a contact form, etc. Whatever you consider to be a conversion. A well thought out social media marketing plan can drive people to convert.
  5. Start conversations.
    Today’s consumers don’t want to be spoken to they want to converse and they are looking for input from their peers. If you are getting links and traffic from your social media marketing, that’s because people are talking about you. On the flip side if you can get conversations started, then there’s a good chance you will also see more traffic and links to you site.