Note on link building

You can use the syntax link:site in Google to see the number of quality links into a page on your site as judged by Google, e.g. www.davechaffey.com.

Note this also includes internal links. To exclude internal links and include pages with lower page rank or that do not have a true hyperlink, but contain the URL, search on Google for this: www.url.com - site:www.url.com.

For example,

www.davechaffey.com - site:www.davechaffey.com

(c) Blogs, podcasting and RSS

Blog

An online diary or news source prepared by an individual or a group of people.

Podcasts

Individuals and organisations post online media (audio and video] which can be viewed in the appropriate players including the iPod which first sparked the growth in this technique.

Web logs or 'blogs' give an easy method of regularly publishing web pages which are best described as online journals, diaries or news or events listings. They may include feedback (traceback) comments from other sites or contributors to the site. Frequency can be hourly, daily, weekly or less frequently, but daily updates are typical.

An example of a useful blog which can keep marketing professionals up-to-date about Internet marketing developments is www.marketinavox.com which is coupled with daily e-mail digests of stories posted. Another example, with news items and articles structured according to the chapters of a book, is Davechaffey.com (www.daveChaffey.com). Business blogs are created by people within an organisation. They can be useful in showing the expertise of those within the organisation, but need to be carefully controlled to avoid releasing damaging information. An example of a business blog used to showcase the expertise of its analysts is the Jupiter Research Analyst Weblogs (http://webloas.jupiterresearch.com). Technology company Sun Microsystems has several hundreds of bloggers and has a policy to control them to make positive comments.

There are many free services which enable anyone to blog (for example www.bloa-aer.com which was purchased by Google in 2003). Blogs were traditionally accessed through online tools (e.g. www.bloalines.com,www.bloapule.com) or software readers (www.rssreader.com) but were incorporated into mainstream software in 2005-6.

Podcasts are related to blogs since they can potentially be generated by individuals or organisations to voice an opinion either as audio (typically MP3) or less commonly currently as video. They have been successfully used by media organisations such as the BBC which has used them for popular programmes such as film reviews or discussions and for live recording such as the Beethoven symphonies that received over 600,000 downloads in June 2005 alone. Virgin Radio has also used podcasting, but cannot, at the time of writing, broadcast music (due to copyright restrictions) but only the presenters! A big challenge for achieving visibility for podcasts is that contents can only currently be recognised by tags and it is difficult to assess quality without listening to the start of a podcast. All the main search engines are working on techniques to make searching of voice and video content practical. In the meantime, some start-ups such as Odeo (www.odeo.com) and Blinkx (www.blinkx.com) are developing solutions.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

Blog, news or other content is published by an XML standard and syndicated for other sites or read by users in RSS reader software

Online communities and social networks

Companies can also potentially form or post to forums to promote their services, but it must be done in a sensitive way - it must actually contribute value to the community.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is an extension of blogging where blog, news or any type of content is received by subscribers using the systems mentioned above. It offers a method of receiving news that uses a different broadcast method from e-mail, so is not subject to the same conflicts with spam or spam filters. Many journalists now subscribe to RSS feeds from sources such as the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.Uk/2/hi/help/3223484.stm) which publishes RSS feed for different types of content on its site.

(d) Managing how your brand is presented on third-party sites

As part of online PR it is useful to set up monitoring services. It is also necessary to have the resources to deal with negative PR as part of online reputation management. Microsoft's PR agency reputedly has a 'rapid response' unit that can respond to online PR. Examples of alerting service include Googlealert (www.qooqlealert.com), Google Alerts (www.qooqle.com/alerts) and paid services such as Market Sentinel (www.market-sentinel.com), Mark Monitor (www.markmonitor.com), Reputation Intelligence (www.reputationintelliqence.com) and Brand Intelligence (www.brandintelliqence.com).

(e) Creating a buzz - online viral marketing

From a functional point of view, online viral marketing often involves generating word-of-mouth and links through to a web site, so it can be considered part of online PR. However, since it takes many forms it is covered separately in a later section of this chapter.

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