There's a few slightly larger than life people, that don't really run in the same circles, that I admire. I haven't necessarily drawn inspiration from them, I don't think. I think I've arrived here more because of things I've done in the past. But, they're all very well known for what they do. And I see a piece of what they do in what I'm doing with PC4Media. And I am sure, atleast on a subconscious level, they've inspired me. Calacanis
: Here's his most recent post
, of which, I'm afraid I might be getting lumped into the "knowledgeable skeptics" group. I admire Jason because he builds scalable online businesses that engages the distributed work of people. There aren't many people that know how to do this. He's a master of people, media and tech. I'm good at this. But, not yet a master. I've also given Jason alot of shit over the years through my blog. But, it's all out of respect with a health dose of jealousy. Jason pioneered the concept of the blog network. He did it with high quality paid writers. I am creating a blog network of business owners who are paying me to help them reach a larger audience. Schefren
: I know his name. I get his email blasts, which I'm sure go to 10s if not 100s of thousands of people. But, I probably only ever visited his website twice before. Ironically, he uses a lot of the words I use, such as "Business Growth". I also know that he's good at building networks of people who are helping themselves - and him - at the same time. He pioneered the concept of being an "internet marketing coach". I prefer advisor, but clients tell me I make a good coach. Mostly because I don't let them get away with slacking. Gitomer
: I could have written, "The Little Black Book of Connections
". But I didn't. And I wouldn't have done it as well as he did. I missed his seminar when he came to Boston, as my son was born the day before. Peter Moran got me a signed copy of it, though. It says inside, "Congrats on being a dad." How cool is that? PC4Media is all about building a network of businesses that help each other. I hope Jeff will be proud. Jeff's motto is not to sell people things, but to help them buy. Although I learned how to do this from Rick
, Jeff is the pioneer. Godin
: Another one I've given a lot of shit to. But, IdeaVirus and Permission Marketing
were one of the first "internet marketing" books I've read. And Seth is a master viral marketer. He might be riding his past success, but as long as the wave still carries the board, why not? I don't know a thought leader that has had a longer run than him. And he did pioneer the switch from interruption marketing to permission marketing. So, credit where credit is due... I might not be doing the things I do, if it weren't for Seth.
Regarding the gauntlet, my first step in playing in these guys' leagues, is to get my site competing with theirs, atleast in terms of a website grade
Catie Foertsch of OurTown Productions is a member of Next Level Executives, a networking group run by Michael Langford of Course Pilot Financial
. I am a member and also help promote our once a month public networking meetings. Each month, a member, group of members or a guest speaker gives an hour long seminar, as well. Catie shoots video and has started a Next Level Executives YouTube channel
for the group. We might be the hippest networking group when it comes to using the web to promote our group and our individual members. More coming on that soon, though.
Dave Lima, Real Estate and Bankruptcy Attorney
Patti Lima, Realtor
Marco Scioletti, Mortgage Advisor
Peter Waeger, Home Inspector
Frank Damelio, Professional Speaker & Trade Show Expert
I am slightly obsessed with "Local SEO".
I think it's because my experience has been providing services to small businesses who do business primarily locally.
The web is where they can compete with big companies. In traditional outbound marketing and advertising, they couldn't. But, on the web, in their area, they can win because they can focus their online marketing dollars and activities on "Birmingham, AL house designs
", for example. Whereas the big guys won't be able to focus on just one city as intensely.
But, this has been just a theory for awhile. It is a rare small business that has been doing this for years
But, now it's possible for small businesses to compete without any outside resources. The tools are available and the knowledge is digestable and it's all at the right price point. Small businesses can bring their marketing in house, and measure their return on time spent.
The big reason for this is "Local SEO".
Two of the guys that are more obsessed than me just released their "Local SEO" predictions for 2008: Andrew Shotland
and Greg Sterling
. Worth reading if you don't want to take my word for it - that this might be the year of the small business on the web.
Google just dropped an elbow on the yellow pages biz in the local search ring. They're displaying A LOT MORE local search results for local searches. See the graphic below.
If you aren't listed in Google Local
, you better get on that ASAP.
Here's the search
. Do you see it?
For startups and small business there are two interrelated tough
issues; (1) how to formulate a productive web marketing strategy that
reaches my target customers with the right balance of methods, content,
and accessibility; and (2) how do I support, sustain, and improve the
strategy and tactics over the long haul. Small organizations have a lot
of difficulty sorting out the meaningful and effective from the
blizzard of action in the web world. And, small organizations can not
afford high-priced solutions.
Read the rest of Mark Orton's post
to see the solution.
At HubSpot, we get a lot of marketing and web design agencies who fill out demo requests
, download our internet marketing kits
and use the website grader
I spoke to a few firms today. I spoke to some firms that are our partners who are very good and I spoke to some firms that are not very good - who aren't.
I think I've figured out the buckets that they fall under. So, if you're a web design firm or marketing agency and I send you a link to this post, be prepared to tell me which one you fall under. It'll save us both a lot of time. Type 1: www.iknoweverythingaboutinternetmarketing.youcantpossiblyteachmeanythingnew.com
These guys are the most common. Usually, I get people on the phone and ask them a bit about their business. Then, I get into more specific questions to diagnose what they know or don't know. I ask them how they've done keyword research for search engine optimization, whether they use a content management system to update their website; how they manage pay per click campaigns, etc. Most of these guys say "We do all that". So, I then ask a few questions to determine whether they really know how to do that. Something like, "What tools do you use to do keyword research?" These guys don't usually have an answer because they haven't really done it. They know that they can bullshit their clients about SEO because their clients won't know better. These are the same guys that charge $4k to set up a template and load their email list into Constant Contact.
If you asked these guys why they requested info from HubSpot, and they were feeling honest that day, they'd tell you they are doing competitive intelligence. But, their real reason for downloading our white papers is because they want to make themselves feel good about themselves by concluding that "they know all that".
If this is you and you want to do business with me, your first step is to admit you have a problem. Then, maybe I'll help you. If you don't want to repent, my goal is to put you out of business. You give all internet marketing professionals a bad name. Type2: www.ifwecantbuilditourclientsdontneedit.com
These guys are generally techies that build websites. Not marketers. They get more excited about writing C# then figuring out what strategies will generate more traffic to your website. These guys are also doing competitive intelligence. But, they don't have the patience or marketing acumen to actually determine how to build something like HubSpot. So, they'll usually just find a "technical" or "feature" reason to prove to themselves why they are better. They'll ask the question like "Does your service have Widget A?" where widget A is pretty trivial and unimportant in the scheme of "attracting more traffic" or "converting more traffic into leads".
I don't see any reason for us to talk unless you want to come work as a developer at HubSpot
. Type3: www.itsnotprettyenoughformyclients.com
These are usually the women that come from the marketing and ad agency world. They still have to be reminded of the difference between SEM and SEO. They've just gotten around to recommending email marketing over newspaper ads. They usually advertise that they help their clients with SEO, but their site is built entirely in flash and you will never find their website in the search engines unless you type in their company name. Of course, HubSpot websites can be pretty too. But, "pretty" for "pretty's sake" is not our objective. We help our clients achieve results. And to do that, it's about having a decent design and to focus on content creation, link building, social media, and increasing conversion percentages. Anyway, I just lost you if you're a www.itsnotprettyenoughformyclients.com type because you probably don't want to take the time to learn that stuff. If you do, just admit you need some help on that side. We can help you still achieve "pretty" for your clients, and add a dash of "results" to the mix. Type4: www.icharge$50hour.com/whyshouldtheypaymonthlywhenicanbuildthemasitein20hrs
If you want someone to take your brochure and put it online, by all means, hire one of these guys. They are usually graphic designer or IT professionals that decided to get into the web design business. They are good at setting up computers or designing brochures. They don't know how to identify your business goals or recommend a solution that helps you use the web to grow your business. They probably aren't too good at designing websites to convert traffic into leads either.
HubSpot charges a monthly fee because we have 15+ developers working to improve our toolset every day. All of our customers get the benefit of the new capabilities that they develop. You're basically getting the benefit of a bunch of amazing developers helping you build a lot of backend intelligence into your site. We also have an online methodology which prescribes best practices in internet marketing, and you have access to our collective internal expertise through your internet marketing consultant and a client only forum. Our clients have a mini-MBA in online marketing after 6 months of working with us.
I genuinely feel bad for hourly web workers. I think they don't know better. They are usually just scraping by because they don't do that great of work and/or they don't know how to sell properly. OR they are underselling themselves. Either way, we have a lot of work to do if you want to become world class. Your first step is to start to understand how you can add value to your clients by quoting them fixed cost projects and retainers that add long term value to their business. Type 5: www.wepartnerwithothers.com/whohaveexpertise/soweredoingtherightthingsforourclients
These guys are rare. We have a few partners that are smart and seek outside expertise and tools that can help them help their clients. They realize they can't build everything. They don't pretend to know everything. They are usually very good at making things look pretty, but they don't sacrifice performance. And they only bill hourly for extra stuff after they've developed a good working relationship with clients.
They are always the more successful firms for some reason. They care about their clients first and foremost. And you know what... that all comes back to them. Clients come back to them. Clients refer them to other prospects who quickly become clients. They know that doing the right thing for clients is also the right thing for their business.
If you're one of these firms (or aspire to be), I'd like to talk to you. I can probably help you grow your business AND help you help your clients grow their business. And if we can work that out, I am sure that you'll be able to help me grow mine. Here's how you should get in touch with me
From 6th-8th grade, I devoured "State of the Environment" type books. If I could have figured out a way to save the environment and make a buck, that's the way my career would have went. Went I went to college, there wasn't really that option unless I wanted to be a Civil Engineer and design wastewater treatment plants. I actually took the "wastewater treatment" class in school and decided it wasn't quite for me. When I got into the workforce, I kinda got swept up in the internet. I don't think I'll get back to the environment until I figure out how to leverage the web to save the environment. But, in the meanwhile, I'm enjoying hanging out with some people that have figured out how to make money and save the earth at the same time.
Recently, a bunch of stuff has happened that kinda makes me think business is perking up to the fact that we can't keep consuming the earth like its resources are neverending.
Revitalized Whitinsville Mill Home to Alternative Use for Alternatives Unlimited, Inc.
by Bruce Mendelsohn, The Hired Pen
For more than 30 years, Dennis Rice has worked to fulfill a vision of community life for people with disabilities. The organization he leads, Alternatives Unlimited, Inc., creates opportunities for personal relationships to exist between Blackstone Valley communities and disabled people, connecting the two in meaningful and life-changing ways.
Alternatives operates 45 residential and employment programs for people with developmental and psychiatric disabilities throughout Central Massachusetts. Now under construction in Whitinsville, their new headquarters reflects Alternatives’ unique approach to building and bringing together diverse constituents.
Upon completion, Alternatives will transform Whitinsville’s 1826 Brick Mill Building into a cultural hub featuring a museum, performance spaces, galleries and working artisans. The “green” complex will generate 80% of its electrical power and 100% of its heating and cooling needs using solar, hydro and geothermal technologies.
On November 15, Mr. Rice discussed Alternative’s new headquarters with Beechwood Forum participants. “Like our mission,” he reflected, “this project establishes an inclusive community treasure that will attract people from all walks of life—the environmentalists, the historians, the art lovers, the restaurant goers (the facility is currently seeking a restaurant tenant), or even the person who’s going to eat a bag lunch on our riverfront community plaza.”
For more information and to view a humorous two minute movie about the project, visit www.alternativesnet.org. Mr. Rice encourages interested investors and potential donors to contact him at 800-325-6233.
This summary was written by Bruce Mendelsohn, Beechwood Forum member and Principal of The Hired Pen (www.the-hired-pen.com). The Hired Pen provides fast, effective communications solutions for businesses and organizations of all types and sizes.
Thanks to Dennis, Jay, Laura, Bruce and everyone else involved who's renewed my interest and certainly my hope that there are like-minded people out there that care about preserving the earth for our grandchildren.
If you'd like to meet some of these people face to face, see me speak, and learn how to use online networking to generate leads for your business, you can do all three by attending the Beechwood Forum tomorrow 1/23/07 at 3PM. Register here
. We can certainly talk about the environment too.
After reading my blog, Mike at Inquisix
asked me if I was a HubSpot SEO Consultant. (HubSpot doesn't call them that. They are internet marketing consultants or IMCs for short. They are the people that coach Hubspot clients in developing and implementing their inbound internet marketing strategy.) But... Very fair assumption.
Jonah, who's in charge of all the IMCs at HubSpot, read my site and said "It looks like YOU are helping people with their online marketing directly. Shouldn't it say Hubspot somewhere?" Very fair question.
I met Don Dodge
very briefly the other day at HubSpot. He's the closest thing Microsoft has to a well know blogger evangelist type, since Robert Scoble left. On the day I met Don, he wrote about the reasons why Robert Scoble didn't start a business of his own
, but joined Fast Company instead to start a new video website project within Fast Company.
I've taken the reasons that Don has written and have applied them to why I've joined HubSpot. I hope this will clear everything up for everyone.
Understanding what you are good at..and what you love to do
- I love meeting new people and hearing about their business. I am pretty darn good at solution based selling. I'm really good at helping people diagnose their internet marketing problems. I know enough about online marketing and business to make solid website and internet marketing recommendations for almost any type of business. Hubspot has 90% (maybe more) of what a small or mid sized business needs to attract more visitors and convert more visitors into leads and inquiries in one inbound marketing platform
. And they are good at helping everyone from large companies, small business owners, internet geeks and marketing professionals focus on what's important and actually generate leads online that turn into business. Using their own cooking, they also have more leads than they can handle - which made joining them as a sales rep - a really easy decision. HubSpot and I are a real good match. Building a diverse set of income requires a sales crew and attention to client happiness.
Agreed. HubSpot has a "Customer Happiness Index". It's a SaaS business and clients must renew. If a client isn't happy, they leave.
In terms of a diverse set of income, I have that. I have a few passive income streams. WhizSpark clients are being taken care of through outsourced help. Hive411 generates some passive income. But, these aren't my focus areas. Building up my Hubspot revenue is. And I'm part of a rapidly growing sales team where I'll be instrumental in helping them bring new products to market and generate a diverse set of income streams for HubSpot.
Brian Halligan and Mark Roberge are taking care of building the sales team. But, if you are based near Boston, know internet marketing and solution based sales, let me know. HubSpot is hiring a salesperson per month
. I can put you on the inside track.Setting up a business requires a ton of other tasks.
I know this from experience. It was difficult for me to juggle selling, servicing and delivering at WhizSpark, not to mention product development, bills, etc. It's nice to be able to just focus on selling at HubSpot. At WhizSpark, Jeetu handled a lot of these tasks and did a great job. But, HubSpot has an office manager, a product support group, and a very smart development team lead by an accomplished software engineer and startup guru
, Dharmesh Shah
. (Who also happens to be hiring superstar developers
, btw. Again, let me know if you want the inside track.)
Doing a business is stressful on everyone involved.
Running WhizSpark was difficult not just on me and Jeetu. It was difficult on our wives. Now that I have a son, I don't want anything to distract me from being a GREAT Dad. HubSpot helps me generate a healthy income with less stress, so that I can spend more time with Peter V and Amy, our family and friends. Brand extension is hard when running your ass off to build your own business.
Aha. This one hits it on the head. I've always wanted to start "Peter Caputa IV Media" and build kinda like a Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch type empire. I'm not incorporating PC4Media anytime soon. It's a vehicle to help me grow my HubSpot sales and support my clients. And to keep me out there for other potential strategic opportunities
. But, I'd much rather focus on creating "my own brand" than something else, right now. Thanks to HubSpot, I have that flexibility. Getting access to things, when running your own business, is tougher.
Don meant that it's harder to get into events and interviews with rock start CEOs, which is important to Robert Scoble. I'm not sure if it's important to me yet. On the other hand, interviewing CEOs is potentially an important
reason to blog, at least from a lead generation and sales perspective. I'd much rather call at the top
All that said, I still kinda like the ambiguity. I still see myself as a business owner. Rick Roberge
says that being a salesperson is the closest thing to being a business owner anyone can get. I think the reason he says that is because salespeople have to build the business, which is also the primary responsibility of most business owners: growth.
Another great business coach, Kate Hyland Mercer
and I were chatting the other day and we agreed that we only want to take on business opportunities that help us make more money and do less work. That's what sales is about: How do I get better and better at sales so that I help more people, make more money and ultimately: do less work.
Along the same lines, I was talking to Rick on the phone. He thanked me for making him an honorary member of PC4Media
. He also said he "gets what I'm doing". Just to confirm, I told him that I think I can turn PC4Media into a lead generation and prospect qualification machine for me, so that I ultimately just pick up the phone and take prospects' credit card numbers. He corrected me and said, "You mean have someone else pick up the phone and take credit card numbers." I agreed.
Unfortunately, that job posting isn't live yet. So, in the meanwhile, I also hope it's obvious to my clients that I recognize that my success is dependent on their success and that I'm here to do what it takes to make them successful. Although I don't get residual income from them staying on as a HubSpot client like I would as a business owner, I know that helping them achieve their goals will ultimately help me achieve mine. That's what Karma is about. Having a vested interest in your clients' success is what "business ownership" is about. That's why my clients are "mine". And that's why I like a little bit of ambiguity.
This is part of a series of posts
about how to get free links pointing to your website
in order to raise your search engine rankings and generate direct traffic from other websites.Site: Aboutus.org
is a wiki, a website that anyone can edit, similar to wikipedia. Except, Aboutus.org's goal is to create a wiki about people, websites and topics. Whereas Wikipedia is a wiki about topics and things. If you try to build a page on wikipedia about you or your business it'll probably be deleted, unless you are Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, GE or Microsoft. Aboutus.org encourages you to do it. Quick Instructions
: Your first step is to create a page for yourself. They want you to use your real name. You should. Here's my page
. Notice that I created two links under "My websites" for PC4Media and Hive411: Online Business Growth Network
and Online Networking and Link Building for Local Businesses
with good anchor text
. You'll need to learn how to create a link in a wiki
, which is different than writing html, but very easy. Your next step is to create a domain page for your website. Follow the directions about "Domain pages
". Here's mine
. Assuming your website is designed well, it automatically grabs a title, description and logo when it creates your domain page. Don't forget to go and add additional links that point to important parts of your website with the right anchor text. I created a link called "link building" which points to my blog tag page on "link building". I'll be adding more as I blog more about keyword research, content management, lead generation and lead tracking, etc.
You can also add your business to topic pages. I added HubSpot and PC4Media to the internet marketing page
. Also, if you have the cash, consider sponsoring a portal
Those instructions didn't turn out to be so quick. However, your time spent on Aboutus.org building links will be well worth it. Here's why...Benefits of Getting a Link from It:
- Search Engine Optimization. Hell yeah. Here's Aboutus.org's website grader report. Aboutus.org has a page rank of 5/10. Google thinks aboutus.org is important: They've indexed 650k+ pages of the site. Further, you can create any link on your page - within reason and with good faith - with good anchor text. Link building sites don't get any better than Aboutus.org. And the nicest thing about Aboutus.org, if the community continues to keep out the riff-raff, it's creating a really worthwhile service for all of us.
- Secondary Search Result. Again, I'm going to go with "Hell Yeah". If you are going to have another website come up in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) for a search for your name, wouldn't you want it to be one that you can edit? That's what Auboutus.org does. We'll give it a day or two, but I'm hoping that Aboutus.org edges out the guy that owns pc4media.com in a search for pc4media. This guy is definitely capitalizing on the pseudo-popularity of my blog. He hasn't built a website for someone in at least 2 years.
- Direct Traffic. Yes again. Although probably without the "hell" prefix. According to the website grader report, Alexa puts Aboutus.org in the top 1% of traffic garnering websites out there. But, my guess is that most of the traffic comes from search engines and leaves fairly promptly. But, I bet there are also some power users on there. Probably SEO professionals. Regardless, I'd expect some traffic from it as if it were a rest stop or reference check between you and the search engines.
This is part of a series of posts
about how to get free links pointing to your website
in order to raise your search engine rankings and generate direct traffic from websites.
. Ok. I own this site. But, that's a good thing. It is designed from the ground up to help small businesses be more findable. There are NOT many sites out there like that - that are free. That's why we built it. Here's some press coverage
of it that explains what it is all about. Quick Instructions:
Go to the site and search for what you do in the town that you do it. (Eg Residential Contractor in Worcester MA
) Then, scroll down and click "Add New Nomination". Enter your website address and other contact information for your business. Encourage other people to vote for you by sending them a link to it. Then, nominate and vote for other people in order to get more visibility and votes for your business. Benefit of a Link from it:
- Local Search Engine Optimization: If you're a business that does business locally, your website should be designed to attract local traffic from search engines. For example, if you're a cosmetic surgery place in Southborough, MA you should also be getting visitors from google who type in "rhinoplasty boston ma". If your website isn't designed to do that, we should talk. But, even though your website is designed to catch that traffic, you still need links pointing to your website that confirm that your website is about that. Do you really expect google, yahoo, msn and ask to just believe you? So, that's what Hive411 allows you to do. It helps locally focussed businesses get a link that helps them attract local traffic to their website.
- Secondary Search Result: Hive411 also acts as permanent endorsement of your business. The nomination that you create on Hive411 is likely to be found in the search engines too. (The site gets lots of traffic from search engines.) Since your clients, friends and family can vote that you're the best "Home Designer in Birmingham, Alabama", you can get to the top of each page if you rally your supporters. Also, it shows who voted for you. So, if John Smith voted for you and Barry "I'm looking for a house plan" Jones knows and trusts John, Barry is more likely to want to hire you to design his house.
- Direct Traffic from the Site: The site also drives some traffic to people directly. The site is pretty viral and gets a decent amount of repeat traffic where people are using it to actually search for things. I anticipate this will happen more often in the future, as more businesses are nominated. However, you can control how many times you get seen on the site by doing a few things. Your business gets automatically rewarded when you nominate and vote for other people like Russ did. So, spend some time clicking around and voting for people you know. Or spend some time nominating new businesses. If you want to send an excel spreadsheet, we'll even bulk upload a bunch of nominations and notify them that you nominated them. They'll be likely to return the favor, getting you more votes and more visibility.
I launched a landing page that encourages people to share info about their business and when they do, I agreed to build 3 free links for them
On the first week I launched this landing page - with just a small amount of promotion - I had 9 leads. Since I don't want to become a full time link builder, I am rethinking this approach.
I am sure people are attracted to the "Pete will do it for us. I don't want to do or understand this stuff." approach. So, I am sure this new approach will cost me some new friends. However, I want to be in the business of advising people how to do this stuff. Not doing it for them. I want to attract people that want to learn this stuff because they recognize that it's important for their business. If they don't want to learn it, I have trusted internet marketing partners
who will help them. Even though it takes time, building links is probably the least expensive and most effective way to promote your business on the web, assuming you have a solid website in place already. (I'll have to define "solid website" at some point. You probably don't have one
.) Plus, you are the best person to build links for you, as it often requires writing, which requires knowledge of your domain.
Originally, I was going to build 3 links on one website. One that I run. But, If I am going to take the approach of instructing people how to get 3 free links, I think I'll pick 3 different websites and tell them how to get a good link from it.
Most people forget that if it wasn't for Yahoo, Google wouldn't exist. Yahoo had enough foresight to realize that Google's algorithmic search engine was better. And they did a deal to use Google's technology to power Yahoo's search engine, before anyone ever heard of Google. Years later now, Yahoo has spent a lot of $ and time to try and duplicate Google's technology. And they've developed a nice "me-too" search business for both organic rankings and paid listings. It's a big business for Yahoo! Huge, actually. But, they are very far behind Google in terms of search volume and revenue
Find me 10 websites that get more search traffic from Yahoo than Google and I'll kiss a monkey's ass. Most people use Google. As a result, Google makes a lot more $ from search than Yahoo! Some people have suggested that Yahoo should throw in the towel and use Google again to power their search and ppc ad platform.
I highly disagree. It would be disastrous for both democracy and commerce. Without Yahoo in the race, Google would be the closest thing to Big Brother as the human race has ever invented. Maybe they aren't evil. But, they'd wield way too much power and influence. They already wield too much power with an almost unbreakable ecosystem of SEO & SEM professionals, small businesses, advertisers, media companies and individuals reliant on it for survival.
Not only would Yahoo throwing in the towel be bad for womankind. But, I think it'd be like quitting a marathon because you're behind in the first mile. There's lots more room in the search race for game changing innovation.
One of Yahoo's secret weapons is Del.icio.us. If you haven't heard of it, you may soon. It's generally a site that web native early adopters use to save web pages they want to visit later - like you probably use internet explorer's bookmarking tool. However, del.icio.us saves the web pages to an online account that you can search, gives you tools to organize lots of pages, and share it with others.
Unlike Digg, many different types of demographics (besides pimpled slightly-post-pubescent internet geeks) use delicious. So, it's not constrained to one demographic. For example, I did a search for Vegetarian Chili Recipes
on delicious this weekend, and it returned a ridiculous amount of great results. I used the recipe that had been bookmarked by 264 delicious users, and the chili turned out delicious! (Pun fully intended.)
In a conversation I had a week or two ago with a prospect, we talked about Delicious. Among other things, HubSpot's website grader
reports how many times your website has been bookmarked on Delicious vs your competitors. It doesn't mean a whole lot by itself other than the fact that your website may be "viral" if a bunch of people have bookmarked it. In "non-marketing" other words, if one company has a lot of bookmarks on delicious vs their competitors, it means they are probably better at publishing information that people find useful. But, delicious itself doesn't send a lot of traffic to websites and it doesn't help you increase your search rankings in search engines since it uses the "nofollow
" tag in all outbound links.
Atleast not yet. TechCrunch reported last week that Yahoo is inserting Del.icio.us bookmark data in Yahoo's search results
. It's not clear whether Yahoo is planning to use Del.icio.us data to reorder Yahoo search results
. But, I'd highly doubt if they weren't thinking about using it as a factor to atleast help rank search results. They'd be stupid not to consider it.
Both Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask all use formulas that take into account the number, quality and construction of links pointing to a website to rank websites in search results for a given keyword phrase. However, most people don't create links on the web. I'd hazard to wager that more people bookmark stuff more frequently than they do create links on the web. So, by using delicious bookmarks to rank search results, Yahoo could drastically improve the quality of its search results. It's like running two different polls. The one with more votes is usually a more accurate poll results. Right now, Google has more votes in its poll. But, with delicious, Yahoo could leapfrog google.
Assuming they are considering this, Yahoo isn't the first company to consider letting people more directly influence search rankings. Back in 2004, Eurekster
started an interesting trend of letting people directly build search results. I actually started an unofficial blog to cover it
. Google has an experiment in place too
. And Readburner
is a cool application
built on top of Google reader which shows which stories are shared the most. (Ironically - or not - an article about Delicious is at the top right now.) Techmeme
is a much more popular memetracker which uses link patterns between a small group of tech blogs to create a list of top news. There's one for baseball, gossip and politics too. It's certainly feasible that a search engine could take this approach for every topic conceivable. Both Mahalo and Wikia search are attempts at throwing away the algorithm and letting users build search engine results pages
. Google Web History
also uses your previous search results to rank your own search results. Many SEO professionals think that click track data affects the main search result rankings too
In short, there are all kinds of experiments being conducted to leverage different user inputs to rank search results. Many different types of approaches are being tested to let users rank search results more directly; to crowdsource search rankings
. As search engines expand the variables in their algorithms to include more user inputs, the search engine with the most user inputs will most likely serve the best search results. Delicious is a huge bank of user inputs with a thriving community of inputters. The question is whether Yahoo + Delicious search results can attract searchers to Yahoo from Google? Combined with a new more-useable Delicious
look and more prominence in search results, could Yahoo's search business see a rise in usage? Will SEO professionals start using Delicious to engineer Yahoo search results? Can Yahoo leverage the user base at Delicious to increase usage of their search and impressions for Yahoo Search marketing? I wouldn't bet against it. On the other hand, are they too disorganized to pull it off
I've moved my blog over to the Hubspot Internet Marketing platform
. I was using typepad, which has pretty much useless web analytics. Hubspot's analytics are exactly what a marketer needs. Hubspot marketing analytics ranks keywords by the number of visits and leads each term attracts, making it real easy for marketers to see which keywords generate leads.
The funny thing about my blog is that there are about 4 posts (out of 2200) that attract a disproportionate amount of traffic. And those 4 are not related to internet marketing. They are all posts that were "That's funny. I think I'll post about that" posts. Despite their direct irrelevance, there's an internet marketing lesson in disguise here.
One of the posts was about buying and selling breast milk.
(I'll link to it, once my blog posts are moved over to Hubspot.)
Then, this morning, I received an email from my wife, by way of Jennette Frem at Mothers & Company
. The email asked us to vote for Mother's Milk Bank of New England
to win a $10k business startup competition
(Ideablob profile at Mashable
). The milk bank's goal is to collect breast milk and donate it to premature babies
. (Certainly a very worthy cause. Both my wife and I voted. So should you.)
Whew! That was a lot of background. What's the internet marketing lesson in disguise? There's too many. But, the main one is...
The Milk Bank should do a little keyword research
. Based on my web analytics, I think they might find that there's a lot of demand for a milk marketplace where people can buy and sell. A marketplace might create the kind of market liquidity (no pun intended) necessary to finance purchase of the equipment needed to pasteurize milk and even fund ongoing operations. I now know from first hand experience that breastfeeding has numerous health benefits for babies. And many mothers have difficulty breastfeeding. I also have heard of mothers who produce more milk than their babies can handle. Despite the high price of formula, I bet that the number of babies being fed with formula is at a record high. If there were a way to buy SAFE breastmilk, I bet it'd be a best seller.
I set up my domain name, pc4media.net to point to Hubspot. We're technically live. I have a lot to do to get this thing rocking. And I'm looking forward to sharing how I'm doing as I go. But, we're live. Websites should be continuously tweaked. That's what I'll be doing. Thanks to my early readers for joining the journey.