Friday, November 4, 2011

Google + and SEO Rankings

With the popularity of social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google +, it's a common question: How much do these sites impact search results?

For Facebook and Twitter, the impact is slim to none, at least when it comes to Google. Not ironically, Google + does not only make an impact, it makes a huge one. It was only introduced to the Internet in the past few months, but it's already poised to have a significant impact on Google's search engine results.

Facebook does have the advantage of indexing in Bing, but for the most part, Google is a heavily used search engine that both web savvy and web newbies alike utilize. Indexed Twitter results are basically obsolete. But Google + shares? Anything public contributes to your Google results and when they receive a +1, they get even more of a boost.

If you haven't set up a Google + profile, now is the time!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Say Goodbye to Facebook Places

Despite past speculation, Foursquare has remained a stalwart in the social "check-in" industry. Facebook, however, has decided to cut its losses and shut down Facebook Places. While geographical check-ins will not disappear from Facebook entirely, they will be combined with other features--such as tagging a photo with a location. On smartphones, stand alone check-ins from others will no longer show up in your news feed.

Foursquare will still be a dominant provider of social check-in and meetup services. With partnerships with American Express, Groupon, and Living Social, among others, Foursquare is solidifying itself as a force to be reckoned with.

Of course, let's not forget Google has a hand in the local check-ins as well. Google+ has a check in feature that should correlate directly to local search results and help Google Places in search.

Blackhat Scamming on Google Places

Google Places has a huge effect on search results, which we've addressed before with the significance of optimized place pages and user reviews. Well, it was only a matter of time before the blackhat SEOs manipulated the system to their clients benefit. Fake negative reviews have been a problem for many companies, and now the new tactic is to go to competitor listing pages and mark the business location as "place is permanently closed."

So far, the only troubleshooting you can do for this is to periodically check your listing, and to report to us if any suspicious activity occurs. We will also be checking your listings, but an extra set of eyes won't hurt! Hopefully Google will enhance Places communication in the near future and notify business owners of any settings that are modified on their listings--especially to verify that their place of business is in fact closed permanently.

Remember, your team here at Tandem is here to help with any questions or problems you are having. Do not hesitate to reach out!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Foursquare Forges Partnerships with AMEX and Groupon

Back in January, we asked you if you were on Foursquare yet. Now, several months later, the company has grown leaps and bounds--particularly in the partnerships division. Over the past two months, Foursquare has announced a deal with American Express and a separate deal with coupon conglomerate Groupon.

The AMEX deal is pretty straightforward: cardholders will receive discounts when they check in to specific bars and restaurants. Syncing your account with the app will make you eligible for cash back, discounts, and all kinds of AMEX-only perks. There are no coupons to print or show, the rewards simply show up on your statement.

The Groupon deal opens Foursquare savings to everyone, not just AMEX holders. While Groupon has been long-standing on the platform of buy-now, print tomorrow savings at various vendors, a new deal has formed where checking-in on Foursquare triggers nearby Groupon deals to pop up for instant purchase & redemption. The real time coupon app is aptly called Groupon Now.

If you haven't joined Foursquare...or if you've been slacking on the's the time to get back in the game!

Here at Tandem, we eat, sleep, and breathe all things Internet. We strive to be your one-stop search marketing and SEO shop! If you've got questions about Foursquare or any other site, shoot us an e-mail or leave us a comment here on the blog.

Happy weekend from Tandem!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Search Engines Top Provider of Local Business Info

A recent study conducted by the Local Search Association, internet search has taken over as the most popular method for finding local businesses and their information.

The most used method is still via various Yellow Pages online outlets, but the percentage of users who utilize internet search wins over printed yellow pages users. The statistics show that yellow pages edged ahead for the cumulative year, but internet search won for the past month.

Of course age demographics play a factor as well, and for the most part ages 18-34 preferred search, but above age 55 the preference leans toward traditional phone books. Rural vs. city users showed fluctuations in preference as well.

Regardless, it's clear that search online is continuing to gain momentum. Have you maximized your online presence, including Yellow Pages online directories? Contact Tandem Interactive, your friendly internet marketing agency, where we can help you optimize your online profile.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Social Media Terms to Know & Rules to Follow

SMA: Social Media Advertising- paid media (i.e. Facebook ads, promoted Tweets)
SMO: Social Media Optimization- content that goes viral (popular on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter)

These terms are important to know and understand, because they are changing the face of the Internet, and actually have been for a while. As the web continually integrates search and social results, the two become harder to seperate. According to this article from Mediapost, search engine queries are down 20%, and social searches are up 50%. Essentially, people are relying more on reviews, recommendations, posts, and commentary by their network to learn about a place or product.

2010 was a gigantic year for social media. Facebook page views in 2010 grew month over month by 150%. Year over year, time spent on Facebook in 2010 was up 80%.

So, the question now becomes, "How do you have a great campaign for Social Media?"

1. Audience targeting. Geographical location, age, gender, interests, and language are just a few of the many criteria you can focus your efforts towards.

2. Customized Ads. Building ad groups and targeting specific ads to keywords relevant on a profile make your ads even more relevant to the user.

3. Managing Bids. Facebook ads can be auctioned, and your ad's frequency demands simply on demand.

4. The Brand Within a Community. Your ultimate goal doesn't have to be driving to your website, you can cultivate relationships and easily communicate with fans and followers right on a social platform, such as a Facebook page or Twitter profile.

5. A Cycle of Continuous Efforts. Test new ads, change wording, see what results work and rule out ones that don't.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Setting Goals For Your PPC Campaign

Most people work on achieving their goals by concentrating on the daily tasks that have to be accomplished in order to reach their main objective. The problem with that strategy is that they focus so much on the daily tasks that they forget not only what the objective is, but also the purpose behind it. Moreover, the long list of things that have to be accomplished on a daily basis may become overwhelming for many; which consequently makes them lose their motivation and interest.

The purpose is the driving force and motivation to reach any goal; therefore, it is imperative to plan goals in three steps. When setting out your goals answer the following three questions:

1. What is my massive action plan?
2. What is the result/outcome that I want to achieve?
3. What is my purpose/Why am I doing this?

This concept could be implemented into pay-per-click as there are many steps that have to be taken in order to achieve a well performing campaign. It may be frustrating to perform the daily/weekly tasks on your account and not see the immediate results, but this is where the focus should be shifted towards the purpose of the work that is being done. When looking at the big picture, the purpose is to achieve either sales with a cost-per-click campaign or spread the word about your brand with a cost-per-impression campaign. The goal is achievable, but since there are many steps that have to be taken in order to achieve a high-quality campaign you shouldn’t get discouraged by seeing the long list of tasks. Many factors play an important role such as the keywords, the ad copy, quality of the landing page/website, quality score, targeting, and much more.

Focus on the results you will achieve and the reason for your goal and you will have a mental shift that will keep you motivated and on track.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why Blogging is Good For Business

"I have a website, what do I need a blog for?"

The answer is that blogs are a source of easily updated, current news that is pertinent to the company. Updating a blog doesn't require maneuvering a content management system, often it's as simple as logging into a blogging platform, typing away, and hitting publish. Essentially, a blog is a low-key method of dispersing information. It takes on a familiar, friendly tone.

Blogs are also a great way to link back to your website, to tie into social sites, to announce news and events, to enhance search results, and to increase internet popularity in general. One central site can have your photo galleries, videos, presentations, testimonials, PDFs, twitter feed, Facebook updates, and include links to your mentions on other sites. RSS feeds and share buttons add to the convenience of your Internet marketing campaign.

At Tandem Interactive, we know the value of blogging and the search optimization impact it has on your business. If you have any specific blog requests or material you'd like us to add, don't hesitate to reach out.

The Co-existence of Email & Social Sites

These days, it seems social networking is everywhere. People are constantly talking about connecting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and countless other social networks, and it seems people are less frequently exchanging e-mails. However, according to a recent study, the general population isn't quite ready to say goodbye to e-mail and rely solely on social networks. In fact, the two worlds seem to be quite peacefully co-existing on the Internet. Here's a look into why social networks won't stomp out e-mail anytime soon:

*Professionally, e-mail is still the standard form of communication
*To set up a social profile, you need an e-mail address
*E-mail is the preferred method for sharing links, photos, articles, and other information with family and friends

Breaking it down unto percentages, a study found that when people find something online they wish to share--photos, websites, videos, etc, 78% of users send it through e-mail, 22% through social media; with the remaining percentage split between other less popular methods (in person, on a blog).

Friday, February 18, 2011

Notice From Microsoft Regarding adCenter

On March 3, 2011, Microsoft is changing their trademark policy to align closer to Google's, where you will now be able to bid on trademarked terms, but you won't be able to include them in your ad copy. Microsoft Advertising writes:

We are writing to alert you to some pending changes to the trademark policy within the Microsoft Advertising adCenter Intellectual Property Guidelines. Starting March 3, 2011, adCenter will no longer review trademark keyword complaints. However, adCenter will continue to investigate brand owner complaints related to trademark use in ad text.

We want to make it easier for you to manage your search advertising campaigns. By aligning the adCenter trademark policy with the current industry standard, we hope to help simplify your marketing efforts across the various online advertising programs.

Remember, if you would like changes made to your Microsoft adCenter ads, then don't hesitate to contact us here at Tandem to inform us of any changes you'd like to be made to your accounts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Is Your Business on Foursquare Yet?

Foursquare certainly made their mark in 2010 as the leader in location-based social networking. In fact, the website saw a growth rate at over 3000% and rang in 382 million check-ins.

Once dismissed as an application holding little value for businesses, but its massive growth and popularity has resulted in check-ins from everywhere, even...from space. Yes, on October 22, 2010, a Foursquare user checked-in from the International Space Station.

60% of the 382 million check-ins took place within the United States. However, with the remaining 40% spread across multiple countries, Foursquare is becoming a global network. So what does this mean for businesses? There is potential here! Having a presence on Foursquare allows users to check-in, thereby letting their friends see where they are checked-in, and also for businesses to promote incentives through the program. For example, checking into a store in the mall can pull up a "Special Nearby," such as "Get 20% off by checking in and showing the cashier." Even checking in at restaurants can garner free appetizers or a glass of wine.

So, while some feel telling people what they are doing through Facebook or Twitter is enough, (multi) millions of users want to also show people where they are.

Here at Tandem, we are all check-in enthusiasts. If you have questions about getting your business on Foursquare, don't hesitate to ask us!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Attention Tandem Fans: Come See Joe in Dallas!

Tandem Interactive's own Joe Laratro will be heading out to Texas next week, this time to speak at the Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association's January 19th meeting. Joe will be speaking alongside Brett Tabke of Webmaster World.

They will be speaking to the meeting attendees on their specialty--Search Engine Marketing. Aside from Joe's work here at Tandem, he is an active speaker at industry conferences for the likes of Pubcon, Webmaster World, SMX and SES. Additionally, he teaches SEM curriculum for the DMA, SEO Class, Netowrk Solutions, Pubcon Master, and University of San Francisco.

The meeting will begin at 7pm, and will take place at the Richardson Rennaissance. You can register for the event here:

Blekko Stays Strong at Tracking Spam

Blekko, a search engine that I previously posted on, has been holding strongly to their word about the excess of content farms and spam, and have been tracking the growth rate of spam with CEO Rick Skrenta's "Spam Clock" creation.

At the beginning of 2011, Blekko began tracking (via the Spam Clock) how many pages had been created that were essentially deemed spam. Today, the clock has ranked up over 250 million spam pages that have been created since January 1, 2011. The website also states that about 1 million spam pages are created every hour.

The problem with spam websites, for those who are unaware, are that they dilute search engine results and make it difficult for searchers to locate legitimate websites containing the information/products that they are looking for. In Blekko's words, they steal clicks and also increase click fraud. In essence, they are counterproductive to the whole scheme of search.

For more on the Spam Clock and the impact of spam on search engines, you can check out Search Engine Land's take on it all.