Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 7 |
Comments (0)

labor-day-weekend-2Its time for my weekly round-up of all the news that was too small or too late to print.

Does a Company Own Its Facebook Likes?

Turns out the answer is no. Bloomberg Business Week published a story this week about a legal battle between a TV network and a fan page. Stacey Mattocks started a Facebook fan page for the show The Game and amassed more than 2 million likes. When BET revived the show, they made a deal with Stacey. They turned her page into the official page then paid her to be an admin. Smart move until Stacey decided she wanted more then locked BET out of the page.

BET fought back by reporting Stacey for copyright infringement and laid claim to all of the likes on her page and the whole thing ended up in court. In the end, the judge ruled that neither party could lay claim to the likes because those are owned by the people who gave them in the first place. And since Stacey broke the contract by locking BET out. . well, she basically cooked her own goose.

What amazes me is all the time and money spent to fight this thing in court over what? Facebook likes? I bet a portion of those people dont even care about the show anymore. BET, seriously, start your own official page and let it go.

Pinterest NewsPinterest Has News!

Pinterest has added a News tab to the notification section of their mobile app. What is news in the world of Pinterest, you say? News is a list of actions created by the people and boards you follow. Frank pinned two new pictures of his cat. Susan followed I Love Pugs. Harry liked 155 pins. (Harry needs a life.)

From a business POV, anything that helps spread the word is a good thing but how many people are actually going to spend time reviewing the info in this feed?

Moving on.

YouTube star Bethany Mota is going on Dancing with the Stars. This is why you have to stop slacking and get going on your weekly video uploads.

Facebook Test Lets Users Search Old Posts by Keyword talk about digging up old dirt. This is going to lead to trouble.

And finally, in non-marketing but really cool crowdfunding news: Tiny Canadian town crowdfunding full-size USS Enterprise.

Theyre falling short of their goal (2,467 against the needed 2,000,000,000) so click here to help make it so.

Thats it for me. Have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend.

Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 5 |
Comments (0)
It was a busy week for entertainment junkies with the Emmys and VMAs, and the cat was out of the bag for Sanrio fans after a surprising piece of news. Read on for more on the last week in search:

And the Emmy goes to
Though Breaking Bad took home the top honors at Mondays Emmy Awards, people searched less for the acclaimed drama than for some of the events other, more unexpected happenings. American Horror Storys Jessica Lange proved shes still got itshe was the top search of the night. Meanwhile, Hayden Panettiere accidentally revealed the gender of her forthcoming baby, leading people to search for information about the actress and her fianc Wladimir Klitschko. And it was a night of funny women:Julia Louis-Dreyfus did justice to her award for best actress in a comedy with a Seinfeld-inspired bit on stage and a Seinfeld-throwback kiss just offstage; and Sarah Silverman won an award for best variety special (and showed off some unusual accessories). Other popular Emmys searches included HBOs The Normal Heart,which was nominated for 16 awards and won two, and True Detective, which won for directing but did not capture the acting awards some expected.

I want my MTV
The other awards show making news this week was MTVs Video Music Awards. As can only be expected at this point,Beyoncsperformance was the highlight of the night; the day after the show, there were more than 50,000 searches for [beyonce vma performance] as people scrambled to re-live (or catch up with) the spectacle. But part of Beys appeal this time was actually her daughter, Blue Ivy, who appeared on stage (as well as in multiple GIFs, natch) to steal the show like only an adorable child can. Searchers were dazzled by performances by Ariana Grande (in a crystal onesie), Rita Ora (with diamonds in her manicure) and Iggy Azalea. Finally, Katy Perry and Riff Raffs double denim red carpet tribute to that VMA power couple of the past, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, had people gigglingand searching.

Trouble out west
After a nine-year-old in Arizona accidentally shot and killed her shooting instructor with an Uzi, people came to Google to learn more about the incident, which has sparked debates throughout the country. And the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 20+ years shook up Napa and surrounding counties this weekend, leading people to the web to learn more about the damage.

Raining [searches for] cats and dogs
Sanrio fans worldwide got some startling news this week: Hello Kitty is not a kitty. According to the Japanese company, she is a little girl. Whatever her species, she was a top trend in search this week. And for those of you who arent cat fans (in which case, do you even like the Internet?), there was National Dog Day, Tuesdays top search andif you ask usa great excuse for thousands of people to share photos of their own favorite mans best friend.

Tip of the week
Dont let delays ruin your long weekend. To help you decide whether its faster to bike or take transit to your Labor Day destination, Google Search can show you all of your transportation options and estimated travel times on a single card. Just tap the mic and say Ok Google, whats the traffic like to AT&T Park and easily switch between transportation modes to determine which route works best for you.

Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 6 |
Comments (0)

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Google Authorship May Be Dead, But Author Rank Is Not

    Google ended its three-year experiment with Google Authorship yesterday, but the use of Author Rank to improve search results will continue. Wait you can have Author Rank without Google Authorship? And just what is Google Authorship versus Author Rank? Come along, because they are different things and Author Rank lives on. What Google Authorship []

  • Google Dorking: Its All Fun & Games Until The Hackers Show Up

    For anyone not in the know, Google Dorking is the practice of using advanced search techniques more specifically, specialized search parameters to locate hard-to-find web pages and information. As innocent as it sounds, Google Dorking has a dark side so dark, federal authorities are warning website owners of its dangerous nature. According []

  • In-App Search: Great Idea, Not So Great Experience

    Google, Facebook and others are trying to bring the world of internet-style deep linking to apps. Google is indexing in-app links from Android in a bid to keep search relevant in a mobile world now dominated by apps. Facebook recently touted gains that its open-source App Link program has made. Now an independent search app []

  • Why Your Content Marketing Team Needs A Link Builder

    Link building requires very different skills than those needed to create content. Make sure you have these very important capabilities at your disposal.

  • Google Allows Store-Exclusive Nearby Product Listing Ads On Desktop

    The ability to advertise locally-available products on Google via local product listing ads on mobile and desktop devices has been available since last fall. However, only on mobile devices could retailers promote items that were just available in-store. Now, Google has unofficially announced that this functionality is being extended to desktop to allow advertisers to []

  • Google Blog Search Now Within Google News Search

    Google has quietly disabled the Google Blog Search home page at and redirects it to the Google home page. Now, if you want to filter content based on blog posts, you can do so by going to Google News, clicking on the Search Tools and selecting the All news drop down and checking off []

  • Search In Pics: Google Coffee Lab, Android Ice Bucket Challenge & Public Urination Fines Via YouTube

    In this weeks Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. Google Coffee Lab: Source: Google+ Google Irvine Office Views: Source: Google+ Googleville: Source: Google+ Czech Republic []

  • Google Retires Its Web Search API

    Google announced it has retired its Web Search API this morning, recommending developers use the Custom Search API in its place. Google noted the Customer Search API has a free quota of 100 queries per day.

  • Facebook Tests Searching By Keyword In Mobile Apps

    Eventually Facebook will bring Graph Search to mobile devices. At least Mark Zuckerberg says so. In January, he said it would be coming pretty soon. Facebook is staying quiet about any timetable, but now and then tests leak into public. In June, it was a test for mobile web users. This week, its a test []

  • Live @ SMX East: Breathing New Life Into A Tired Paid Search Campaign

    If youve been doing paid search for a while, youve undoubtedly run into a situation where youre working on a campaign thats been moderately successful, but has essentially been on autopilot and isnt taking advantage of any new features that could enhance its performance. Or perhaps youve inherited a campaign from another team or agency []

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:


Link Building



SEM / Paid Search

Search Marketing

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

(Some images used under license from

Get the best search news, tips and resources, delivered each day.

Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 11 |
Comments (0)

Facebook eventsDo you use Facebook Events to promote your business? Facebook says 30% of all events on the site were created by Pages (ie businesses) but thats not a lot.

Id guess that the majority of events are party invitations between friends and family. The Event tool is an easy way to pass around all the information a person would need to attend time, date, address and a map. You can use it to collect RSVPs and answer questions. Its a handy tool because almost everyone you know is on Facebook. . . right.

Its a little different on the business end. I wouldnt expect people to RSVP for a summer sale but its still an event. Book launch, webinar, workshop if its happening on a specific date, its an event. When someone clicks on it, that event goes into their calendar and they get a reminder. If a person RSVPs, that notification shows up in their timeline so their friends can see it and RSVP, too.

Now, theres another good reason to use Facebook Events you can turn an Event into an ad.

You can create the ad the same way you create ads out of posts, using the Ad Create tool or Power Editor. The ad will show up on both the desktop and mobile timelines of your target audience and these ads look nice.

The large date in the corner really makes it stand out from all the other posts. And because its dated, theres a real sense of urgency.

Facebook is also adding insights to every Event page whether you turn it into an ad or not. (I think, theyre not really clear on this point.)

If youre a Page admin, youll see a collection of small graphs in the Event Page sidebar. This is:

  • The number of people whove seen a link to the event on Facebook

  • The number of people whove viewed the event

  • The number of joins, saves and maybes the event has received

If you run a lot of events or plan to in the future make sure the Event tab is showing under the header. If you dont see it, click the More option and rearrange the apps.

Facebook also updated the Events page on the profile side. Honestly, I dont think Ive ever seen this page before so I dont know how much of this is new but its nice.

Event Profile PageThe top box has tabs so you can see upcoming events, even saved events that youre thinking about. Below and to the right are suggestions based on your profile and local, upcoming events. Turns out my local park is having a special Bats of Orange County workshop tomorrow. Who knew? I want to go. One click and its on my list.

Facebook Events for Business: today, its a good thing.

Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 8 |
Comments (0)

google-plus-authorshipIn a Google+ post, webmaster trends analyst John Mueller says Google has "made the difficult decision" to stop showing authorship in search results.

Google's authorship support page, says simply, "Authorship markup is no longer supported in Web search," and encourages webmasters to look into rich snippets to improve their search results.

According to Mueller, Google tests showed removing authorship did not generally appear to reduce site traffic or increase ad clicks.

"We've gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we've tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information," Mueller writes. "Unfortunately, we've also observed that this information isn't as useful to our users as we'd hoped, and can even distract from those results."

Mueller says Google is "strongly committed" to expanding support of structured markup such as and he says Google will continue to use it to show rich snippets in search results.

"We make these kinds of changes to improve our users' experience," he notes.

He thanks webmasters for their efforts to improve their sites and says Google Search users will continue to see Google+ posts from friends and pages when relevant within the main results and on the right-hand side.

"Today's authorship change doesn't impact these social features," he adds.

In June, Mueller used Google+ to announce that Google would stop showing author profile images and Google+ circle counts in desktop and mobile search results.

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 8 |
Comments (0)

shutterstock-189362795In the latest post on the Bing blog, Bing dives into the inner workings of Web spam, what it looks like, and what Bing is doing about it.

In the post, Igor Rondel, principal development manager for Bing index quality, discusses the motivation behind spamming, and why it's not always easy to determine intent:

There is typically a fine line between a legitimate use of an SEO technique and its abuse ... even if SEO techniques are severely abused, it's often not clear whether it's intentional or accidental ... even the most egregious spam pages may have user value and it is important to recognize that to decide on the proper course of action.

To figure out how to detect spam, Bing looks at the primary motivation of most spammers, which Rondel says is money.

"There are exceptions who are in it for other causes, e.g., politics and general mayhem, but the vast majority of the spammers are driven by their ability to monetize their efforts," he writes.

The primary way they make money is through ads, Rondel says. And, understanding this motivation "helps us in that a spammer's motivation is often reflected by the Web page itself and while there is no absolute sure way to pinpoint this, there are often clues that one can learn to read."

Rondel says one of the primary facets of Bing's work is Web spam detection and filtering; however, talking about the details of how the search engine does this is tricky without giving away information that could fuel the spammer's goal. He writes:

Communication around spam detection is a sensitive matter, however, because unlike most other facets of search engine algorithms, we are dealing with an adversary who stands to benefit from a) detailed understanding of search algorithms and b) detailed understanding of anti-spam efforts. Therefore I hope the reader will forgive me for steering clear of specifics and instead focusing on the main themes of our detection and filtering workflow.

But there are conditions Bing uses to evaluate Web pages, including

  • The quality of the content

  • The volume and type of ads and how they render

  • The layout of the information and position of ads to text

However, when a spam page is detected, Rondel says the penalty matches the offense:

The specific mechanism that achieves this [spam filtering] is less important and could take the form of demoting the page, neutralizing the effect of specific spam techniques or removing the page/site out of the index [altogether]. The decision is made based on considerations like a) the extent/egregiousness of the spam techniques involved and b) the potential value the page presents to the users.

Rondel says spam is everywhere - in places you'd expect it, like free ringtone download pages, and places you perhaps wouldn't expect it, like LinkedIn.

Rondel says the best thing marketers can do is focus on providing quality content:

Ultimately, search engines rank pages based on whether or not we think they content will provide value to the searcher and the best way to ensure that your pages rank well is to provide content that users actually want to see, rather than focusing on the specifics of the page structure or its link graph. Aside from the fundamentals of ensuring that your pages are well formed and that the content is easily discoverable by the search engine, the best SEO you can do as a webmaster is providing quality content.

Recently, Bing discussed its efforts to help inform searchers whether or not a page is safe to visit with its site safety page. The page helps searchers understand:

  • The reason the page is considered malicious

  • How often the URL has been scanned, the date the infection was first detected, and the date the infection was most recently detected

The next post on the Bing blog in the series on Web spam, says Rondel, will look at "one specific update we recently rolled out that focused on URL keyword stuffing and how it impacted our users and the SEO community."

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 8 |
Comments (0)

When searching for a company review or local business, users have come to expect to see an orange star rating in their results.

However, Google has reportedly been mixing it up by testing additional colors, including:

  • Blue

  • Green

  • Gray

  • Red

  • Yellow

It appears search results are still orange for most users. However, the Google experiments news blog All Google Testing says users can enable these tests by inserting updated code into their browsers.

Many of the tests collected show a five-star rating for the search results, regardless of what the actual ratings are. For example, when searching for "Foster's Hollywood Reviews" without the test enabled, users see an average three-star rating.


However, when performing the same search in the testing environment, there are five stars across the board.


Stacey MacNaught, search director at multi-screen digital marketing agency Tecmark, took to Twitter on August 28 to share her observations, including asking why there are five-star ratings for businesses that clearly shouldn't be there.

Below are additional examples of the new star colors from All Google Testing:





The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 6 |
Comments (0)

You know what happens when something gets mainstay? It gets boring.

For consumers, over the years, every new ad seems to be just another ad. And theres nothing engaging, enticing, or provoking about these ads anymore. While consumers have nothing much to lose, advertisers flirt with direct losses, which can cost them millions of dollars.

Martin Lindstorm, in his book Buyology, enumerates how companies like Ford spent millions of dollars during a season of American Idol (along with Coke and Cingular) and ended up getting absolutely nothing from that spend.

These are hard times for advertisers, and this applies to every kind of advertisers, be it a small business, startup, middle-sized business, or a large corporation.

Its time to take the staleness out of ads. As they say, the most interesting words in English are the verbs. Most calls to action are verbs, but its time to turn up the heat and go for something more daring.

Of course, not everyone would like that kind of bravado. You could very well be pissing off a few people. But ads that piss a few people off are actually good ads.

Before you work on CTAs, ads, blog posts, and social updates, theres much more to do from the inside out. Youll have to change the way you think about business.

Here are 11 tips for sprucing up your CTA button microcopy, as well as a few other ideas, if you dare:

1.Use the Provoking Pop Up

If you ever visit Bounce Exchange or any of the sites that use the service, youll see the familiar pop up. As if pop ups werent debatable enough, you now have a new, pesky, irritating, and really provocative line right below the CTA button. Heres an example:

provoking pop up6 760x393 Not for the Faint Hearted: 11 Daring Ideas for Conversions

You might or might not like it. As a marketer, youd even feel a wee bit queasy to use such tactics. But these methods work. In fact, they work so well that Bounce Exchange got exit intent technology go mainstream with new competition from many other similar services. The other alternatives are:

  • Conversion Monk

  • MaxTraffic

  • ExitMonitor

  • OptinMonster

You could sit and debate whether you should use this at all. Or maybe youd just dare and go with exit intent technology for the simple fact that at least 97% of your visitors leave your website without doing anything (Ouch, that hurts!).

2.Please Assume Your Product/Service Sucks Big Time

Harry Beckwithwrote the classic on marketing for services. Its called Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing. Right at the start of the book, he writes:

We think we are better than we are

Assume your service is bad, it cant hurt, and itll force you to improve.

Before you go out to create all those ads, CTAs, and offers, always get ready to go back to the drawing board. There could be a million ways to get better at what you do.

3.Quality, Speed, Price, and Process

No matter what you sell, therell be a point in your customers life cycle whentheyllstart judging you. And although there are a million things your customers can judge your products and services on, theyll definitely judge you on four aspects based on what they perceive and not what you claim: quality, speed or ETA, price (relative to competition or on perceived value), and how you deliver what you do.

If you arent able to construct your CTA anywhere around these four parameters, theres something wrong with your offer.

4.Apply The Butterfly Effect

In 1963, Edward Lorenz (a meteorologist) went out to prove that big causes had big effects, and small causes had small effects. He went on to prove that tiny causes could have huge effects.

He called it The Butterfly Effect.

While you run your business, engage on social media, respond to queries, and write your blog posts, youd think that you wont lose much if you dont respond to a question, reciprocate someones kind words, or resolve a customers support query.

The bad news is that you do lose. Small conversations, sweet nothings, and random acts of kindness have huge effects. Gregory Ciotti of Helpscout managed to curate little stories about little things that Zappos and many other small businesses do that gets people talking.

5.Dont Think Better; Think Different

It takes an act of courage to do something different and turn the tides in an entire industry. Take Uber, for instance. It changed the way you ride. Elon Musk of Tesla now creates electric cars that are just as good as regular performance cars. Apple launched the iPhone without large keypads when the industry was addicted to the same keypads.

Within your industry, how are you different? Or are you stuck in meetings with your team on how to improve conversions by 25 percent?

Getting better earns youbetter results; not phenomenal results.

6.Open Shopbut Run it Like Charity

You are in business. All those super posts you write are to help your customers take informative decisions while they also think that you are trustworthy, credible, and authoritative. Your social engagement gets you closer to your present and potential customers. Your strategic email marketing helps you to nurture leads.

All thats fine. But learn to give. Dont talk about yourself. Dont write stories where you are the hero.

Its a hard pill to swallow, but write for your customers. Make them the hero. Online marketing is a multi-starring Hollywood flick.

Give things away. Put the spotlight on your customers. Shower genuine praises. Write stories about them.

Its just not about you.

7.We Are All in Business; We Sell Relationships

Before you go nuts about youre A/B testing, think about relationships.

You arent really selling products; you are selling solutions. Every time your product solves a problem well a relationship is formed.

You arent selling services. Once again, you areselling solutions. Your expertise helps solve problems and your experience or skill is assumed.

What cements the deal is therelationship you build.

How hard do you work to build those?

8.Do What Others Cant Do

Can you guess what makes for the most compelling CTA? Its not the button size, conversion-centric design, landing page, or the copy, although these things all matter.

The most compelling CTA is the one that promises something your competition can never do. To get bold here is to Win Without a Fight as the folks at McGladrey & Pull put it, following Sun Tzus advice.

If everyone offers an eBook in exchange for an email address, go and offer a free trial for life.

Think about what you can do. Youll be surprised.

9.Marketing is Not a Job; Its a Passion Act

Try running marketing campaigns like its a job you have to do and youll see your campaigns wont get you much.

Some of the most effective campaigns are also some of the most passionate ones. Tactics are good. They are the middle, the end, and the beginning of every strategic execution. But tactics are loose canons. They can backfire.

Passion always helps you outperform brilliant tactics executed marginally.

Go do a test: Launch a passionate campaign and see if Submit, Click here, and Download can ever be a part of your lexicon.

10.Patience Kills You

They say, Patience is a virtue. It certainly is.

But you arent from the Rockefeller family, are you? You cant just sit enjoying a sea of wealth.

You have a business to run. Theres ad spend, theres ROI, and cash that has to flow (more inbound than outbound).

Instead of just being patient, move like a shark. Always keep hustling.

If you write a blog post, reach out to every person youd have mentioned in the post and tell them that they have been mentioned. Find ways to spread the word. If you launched a landing page, push it out over your social networks. Get people to visit.

Be patient while always moving like a shark.

11.Stop the Big Data Obsession

Modern marketers love big data. Throw a statistic and its easy to see why what you say suddenly becomes credible. But then, even hard science goes soft. The aura of science has a way of playing with our mindsit is persuasive, final, and seems infallible.

But customers buying behaviors is barely science. It skirts around science, art, sociology, personal preferences, social proof, and a whole lot more. Conduct your tests; make decisions based on data, and all this gives you a great framework to work on.

But give way to gut feelings. Planning is an art.

Let your heart write the copy; not data.

Over to You

The over arching theme here is to give way to gut feelings and convert yourself before you attempt to convert others. You have everything going for you technology, information, and relationships. Find ways to leverage these into influencing the emotions that drive your customers.

How are you working on your campaigns? What are you doing differently? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Created by author for SEJPost Image: Screenshot taken August 2014

 Not for the Faint Hearted: 11 Daring Ideas for Conversions

Pratik Dholakiya

Co-Founder & VP of Marketing at E2M

Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder & VP of Marketing of a digital marketing agency, E2M & a creative design firm, Hes passionate about fitness, start-ups, entrepreneurship & all things digital marketing. Catch him on twitter @DholakiyaPratik or by emailing on to discuss on any of these topics.

 Not for the Faint Hearted: 11 Daring Ideas for Conversions


 Not for the Faint Hearted: 11 Daring Ideas for Conversions

Pratik Dholakiya

 Not for the Faint Hearted: 11 Daring Ideas for Conversions

+Pratik Dholakiya

 Not for the Faint Hearted: 11 Daring Ideas for Conversions

 Not for the Faint Hearted: 11 Daring Ideas for Conversions

Latest posts by Pratik Dholakiya (see all)

  • Not for the Faint-Hearted: 11 Daring Ideas for Conversions - August 29, 2014

  • 3 Uncommon Ways to Pump Up Traffic (When Youre Broke) - April 28, 2014

  • SEO After Hummingbird, Penguin, & Panda: How Link Building & Content Marketing Are Really Changing - January 23, 2014

Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 7 |
Comments (0)

Funny, weve had the Facebook Likebutton along the side of every Buffer blog post for the past several years. And I dont think Ive ever clicked it.

Ive hoped that others would, of course. I hope they click all the share buttons. But until now, Ive never known what that experience was like for the end-user.

Whats it like to actually share a story to Facebook?

Andhow can I make it a better experience?

We talk a lot aboutreversing thedecline in organic Facebook reachand succeeding withFacebook marketing. Maybe weve been overlooking a quick win right under our noses. The Facebook share button could be a huge opportunity todelight a reader with a seamless sharing experience, one in which you can control the look, feel, and message of what gets shared.

Come along to see what I learned (and what Ive fixed) when I clicked on my own Facebook share button.

What Happens When a Reader Clicks the Facebook Like Button?

Each post on the Buffer blog has social share buttons that sit along the left side of the post (viathe Digg Digg plugin for WordPress). Share button No. 3 is the Facebook like button.

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 02 760x784 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Now for the moment of truth. What happens when someone clicks the Facebook Like button on a Buffer blog post? Drumroll please

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 03 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Not a whole lot.

In fact, to the naked eye, nothing happened whatsoever beyond the share number going up by one and the Like button changing to a checkmark.

Lets hop over to my Facebook page. There are no new updates in my News Feed to tell others that I liked this awesome blogpost. No notifications, no alerts. To find any evidence that I clicked at all, one would have to scroll 50 percent of the way down the page, past my About section, my photos, my friends, my places, my music, my movies, my TV shows, my books, and my groups, all the way to the very last item in the left sidebar: Recent Activity.

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 04 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Phew.Thats a long ways down.

Its worth noting that the Facebook Like experience on your blog might be different than it is on Buffers. When I ran the Like experiment by clicking on buttons elsewhere, a share box popped up after I clicked Like. You can see this in action atthe KISSmetrics blog, for instance. Point being: Test your Like button on your own blog to see what happens.)

What Happens When a Reader Clicks the Facebook Share Button?

OK, new strategy.

How about if we change the Facebook Like button to a Facebook Share button? (Fortunately, theres an easy setting inside of the Digg Digg plugin to do just that.)

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 05 760x844 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Now that weve got the Share button live on the blogpost, what happens when we click it?

Voila! A Facebook Share box arrives.

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 06 760x429 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

This is likely the box that bloggers expect to show up when someone clicks a Facebook button. Readers get to choose where the message is shared, what they want to say about it, and which picture to use as the thumbnail. After all these options are chosen, the post will show up at the very top of the News Feed on a profile page, and in the News Feeds of all ones friends (depending onthe Facebook algorithm, of course).

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 07 760x547 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Takeaway: Liking and Sharing on Facebook are two totally different experiences.

What Happens When a Reader Shares a Story Directly on Facebook?

Lets continue our Goldilocks trip through Facebook sharing with the most native of share options: Posting a link directly via your Facebook page.

Assumingthat there were no Facebook share buttons anywhere on a page and that you really wanted to pass the page along to your Facebook friends, what would you do? Youd grab the URL, head to, and share the link yourself.

Heres what that looks like when I share a blogpost directly on Facebook.

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 08 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

The experience is almost exactly the same as it was for the Facebook Share button. You get to choose who sees your update, what you say about it, and which picture is used as the thumbnail. Heres the finished product as it appears in my News Feed.

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 09 760x839 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Liking or Sharing: Which Strategy is Preferable?

After reading this far, you may have already chosen your preferred style of Facebook button. Your preference probably has to do with what you hope to gain from your social share buttons, and its important to note thatthere is no right or wrong answer when it comes to liking vs. sharing. Each has its own virtues.

The Like Button is Good for Social Proof

There is power in seeing 600+ Facebook Likes on an article you wrote.The psychological explanation behind thisis wisdom of the crowds, where large groups of people approving a certain something (a blogpost, for instance) motivates others to do the same. There may even be a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out), an anxiety from new readers that they need to read this article to catch up with what everyone else has found so great.

The Like Button is Almost Entirely Frictionless

Did you notice how little effort it took for me to complete the process of Liking a blogpost? If you want to make the experience as absolutely easy as possible for your readers, it doesnt get much easier than the one-click Like button. Theres no messages to create, no networks to navigate. Its just a simple, easy click.

The Share Button Gets Your Content Maximum Exposure

If you want your story to be seen in more News Feeds, then go with the Share button. Liking a post keeps the post relatively hidden on ones profile. Sharing a post puts the content front-and-center. (And the rest is up to Facebooks algorithm to disperse.)

Smashing Magazine ran an interesting experiment on their popular blog, removing all Facebook buttons and trusting readers to share posts on Facebook individually when they found them worth sharing. The results:

The Share Button Lets You Customize the Visuals and Message

Not only will Sharing a post put your content in front of more eyes, your content can look by-and-large how you want it. You can customize the title and description that Facebook grabs as well as the series of pictures that it uses to pull thumbnails.

Heres how the customization process works in detail.

How to Control What Happens When Someone Shares Your Post to Facebook

OK, heres the fun part.

You can make your post a Facebook work-of-art with just a few simple tweaks to the code and the images on your page.

Facebook Sharing 101: A Primer on og Tags

The engineering behind this customization comes from Facebooks Open Graph, a system that lets third-party websites (like your blog) speak Facebooks language when the two communicate. Facebook uses Open Graph functionality on its own network, and outside websites that do the same cancreate Facebook-optimized updatesin a snap.

(Open Graph elements are used by other social networks, too, to customize the sharing that happens there.)

These Open Graph elements are represented in the code with og tags (og stands for, you guessed it, Open Graph). There are three main tagsthat deal with the look of a Facebookupdate.

  • og:image

  • og:title

  • og:description

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 103 760x637 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Weve found that the easiest way to implement Open Graph code on our blogposts is to usean all-in-one WordPress pluginlike WordPress SEO by Yoast that handles the Open Graph elements automatically. In our experience, it works almost perfectlywith the exception of images. Ill tackle that one below.

How to Check the og Tags on Your Blogpost

Before we begin, it might be handy to know if you already have these Open Graph tags in place. To quickly find out, you can inspect the code of your page to see whats going on behind the scenes.

In your browser, right-click anywhere on the page and select Inspect Element.

Then look in the <head> section near the top of your HTML code. Inside the <head> should be some tags that begin with <meta property= Inside these, youll find your og tags.

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 11 760x110 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

You can also check the tags on your content by usingFacebooks Open Graph Object Debugger. This free tool will analyze your page and show you what data Facebook will pull (as well as any errors). Also, if youre ever in need of resetting the cache for your page, plugging the URL into the Debugger tool tells Facebook to go check your page again for updates.

How to Customize the Title on Your Facebook Article

To create a specific title for your Facebook shares, use the og:title tag.

Best practice here is tokeep the title to no more than 90 characters. If your title is longer than 100 characters, Facebook will cut it off at 88.

You can think of this og:title like you would the SEO title for your post. In fact, if an og:title isnt present, Facebook will grab the SEO title instead.All the bestheadline-writing adviceapplies here, as youll want to make the most of the bigger, bolder fonts that Facebook uses in article titles.

As an example of what this og:title might look like, here is the code from the blogpost featured in the screengrab above.

<meta property=og:title content=What Does a Community Champion Do at Buffer? An Inside Look>

If youclick over to the post itself, youll notice that the actual headline used on the post is What Is a Community Champion? Inside the World of Buffers Community Builder. We went with a slightly shorter version for the og:title tag for Facebook.

How to Customize the Description on Your Facebook Article

To create a specific description for your Facebook shares, use the og:description tag.

Much like the meta description for your page, this sentence or two should serve as a good introduction to your content. Make it exciting and intriguingand no need to fillit up with too many keywords because there is no SEO factorhere.

Make the first few words count. In the example above, Facebook only revealed 79 characters before cutting off the description. In other cases, you might see up to 200. To play it safe, pack your description with impactful words first.

Heres an example of what the description tag might look like:

<meta property=og:description content=&quot;What is a community champion?&quot; Its a question I hear a lot. My response is, &quot;I send out love to our customers all day.&quot; But its so much more than that!>

How to Customize the Images on Your Facebook Article

Heres where things get a little tricky for us.

If you have all your og code in place for yourpiece of content and your content happens to contain a lot of images that are all tagged og:image, what might you expect to happen?

I expected each image to be available as a thumbnail option. I was wrong. There are only three.

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 12 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

I tested this with the Social Media Strategy post on Buffer, as well as with some blogposts from other sites like KISSmetrics, Quick Sprout, and Hubspot. The results: There are always only three images to choose from, despite the code containing more than three og:image tags.

So which ones does Facebook choose?

In my limited experimentation, I believeFacebook chooses your three largest images.

Thats a good bit of information to know. In my case, most of my largest images are screengrabs, not the custom images I create for each post. It seems that the images I make in Canva and other custom apps are being outshone by some ultra-specific screenshots. Definitely not ideal.

So what are we to do?

Well, there are a couple options.

  1. You can ensure that the three largest images on your page(typically in terms of height/width) are the three images you most want to be shared by Facebook.

  2. You can adjust the og:image code to showonly the one, two, or three images you want.

The latter option may require a unique plugin that lets you manually change the og:image tags for each piece of content.There are a few plugins out therelikeWP Open Graphandthe official Facebook pluginthat let you do this fairly easily.

Andwhatever method you choose to use, youll likely wantto create some images that are meant to look good on Facebook. Ill leave the design part up to you, but Icananswer the question, What image size is best?

Well, in a perfect world, our Facebook shares would look like this:

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 13 760x553 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Instead of this:

0812 Buffer Facebook Like Button 14 760x202 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

We want the large, banner photo because its those kinds of photos that seem to instinctually draw the most interest and engagement.

To get this banner photo,Facebook recommendsthatimages beat least 1,200 pixels wide by 630 pixels tall. This aspect ratio works out to 1.91:1. You can go as small as 600 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall and still have it appear as a featured image, but in general, youll want to get your pics as big as you can so they look good on high-definition monitors.

The takeaway: Create big, beautiful images at an ideal aspect ratio, and make sure theyre bigger than the rest of the images in your post. This is your best bet for getting the Facebook share style you crave.

How Does Your Content Look When its Shared to Facebook?

Have you clicked your own Share and Like buttons?

I was really interested to learnthe experience of sharing from the Buffer blog. It was not at all what I expected and a bit of a challenge to get it all working perfectly. In the end, changing the way I go about creating my images and being purposeful with how we set up our share buttons were big improvements for the shareability of our blog posts.

Feel free to share this post to see some of the changes in action.icon smile What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Which of these tips might you try out on your content? Have you been using Open Graph tags for your blogposts and web pages?Id be keen to hear your experience in the comments!

Image credits:William Hook

This post originally appeared on Buffer, and is re-published with permission.

 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Kevan Lee

Freelance writer by day, sports fan by night---and sometimes vice versa. I write about email and nutrition (not at the same time) and a whole lot more. Live simply, give generously, watch football, beat cancer.

 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button


 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

+Kevan Lee

 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

 What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button

Latest posts by Kevan Lee (see all)

  • What Really Happens When Someone Clicks Your Facebook Like Button - August 29, 2014

  • Feeling Uncomfortable: The Way to Create Amazing Content via @Buffer - August 26, 2014

  • Maximize One Blog Post: 21 Simple to Advanced Content Marketing Tips via @Buffer - August 12, 2014

Author: web_coder |
30 2014 |
Views: 6 |
Comments (0)

How do you know what link-building is safe in 2014? Is there such a thing? Thats a question most SEOs, marketers, and business owners have been trying to answer since Google Penguin first hit in April 2012.


Image source:

The only answer you can really provide is that all links should be naturally acquired as a byproduct of your brand. As Matt Cutts says above, Bings Duane Forrester followed up recently by stating that "You should never know in advance a link is coming, or where its coming from."

People are much more cautious about link-building now, and rightly so - no one wants to leave a footprint for Google. Yet we still all need links! Everyone knows links are still a very strong factor toward organic rankings, and despite all of the algorithm updates, this still isnt likely to change in the near future.

As an agency we have always developed our own internal guidelines to make sure that link acquisition is more natural and content-driven. Below I have listed these guidelines to share with readers:

1. Build an Audience, Not Links

Your biggest link-building weapon should be your publish button. If you publish content to four readers, unless they are the biggest influencers in your industry, it's very unlikely to go viral!

Whereas if you have a publisher readership of more than 100,000 subscribers, it's much more likely to resonate and have a natural outreach effect of shares/links, because you've got the attention of the right crowd. Being in this position is the ultimate position you want to build into, but if like most youre not quite there yet - try leveraging someone elses audience instead!

Look to Place Content on Sites With Clear Readership Levels.

Dont take any of these figures too seriously individually, but this can be determined via a combination of the following:

  • Brand recognition of website

  • Number of quality comments on recent posts

  • Social engagement levels of recent posts

  • Number of Facebook fans/Twitter followers (measured against engagement levels)

  • Associations within niche (partner sites, mentions, celebrity writers)

Make It Win-Win.

Always have something to offer the publisher that they cant get elsewhere (not money - unless the link contains a nofollow attributeand is clearly labelled as sponsored/featured, but even then be careful!) - but think about how you can create outstanding content, crafted specifically to their audience. This can be:

  • Well-researched and relevant data, a study or a news story

  • Something fun, creative or interactive

  • An expert opinion, unique angle or take on a topical/news story

Target the Content to the Readership of the Publisher, Not the Brand.

This process can be worked out with the publisher, but the following should be taken into account:

  • Who are the readers of the publisher? (Age range, demographics, intellect, level of niche interest, familiarity with brand)

  • What topics will interest them?

  • What angle will encourage them to engage with the piece? (How, what, why)

  • What will annoy them? (Overly branded content, overhyping of claims, bland content)

  • What kind of writing style will appeal to them? (lifestyle, scientific, thought-provoking)

Give Them Something That Can Send Them Your Traffic.

Think of a reason, or follow-up why people would click through to your site. If you can create outstanding content, people are more likely to be intrigued - that means they visit your site and hopefully start to read/subscribe to your content. This builds your marketing list and your own audience for future promotions.

Bear in mind that most blogs get paid on a CPM advertiser basis so they are interested in building an audience and supplying them with content that will encourage them to visit the site. If you can create a content piece that you know will resonate and be a big hit with their readers, its much harder for them to say no.

2. Human Engagement

Think about what great content looks like; it's not just about publishing a piece of content that links to you from a strong domain (advertorials and guest posts do that, but it doesnt make them good links). Great content has human engagement and trust signals, such as recognized authorship, quality comments, social shares from influencers within your industry, co-citations, and links.

Think more about the strength of the page than the domain. If readers dont care about your links, why should Google?

Analyze how readers have reacted to your post compared to others on the site.If its positive, then the site is worth revisiting for future content as its a good fit as a target audience; if poorly, then analyze why and try again/look for other external sites to target.

  • How much content is published by the publisher per day? Did your piece get enough time on prominent pages? Whats the quality vs. quantity, or signal vs. noise ratio?

  • Did the publisher share your piece on their social profiles?

  • Did the piece perform strongly in one or two areas (G+, Twitter, comments) but not in any others?

  • Did you share it on your social profiles?

  • Could you have promoted the piece more through paid social channels? (StumbleUpon, Facebook, Outbrain, Taboola, etc.

3. Authorship

Content that is written by a recognized and authoritative author will often create better links and get more engagement than content written anonymously. Even forgetting about the debatable value of Google authorship, if you have a writer with a popular and highly targeted social following, the promotion they are able to provide should be a big boost to your content.

Any extra boost you can have from the author is also likely to increase the organic performance of that article as a knock-on effect from the links, engagement, and social attention generated beyond the level of the publisher.

  • Always have content written or associated with a relevant industry professional/expert

  • Where possible, connect the article to the authors G+ account using the rel=author attribute

  • Encourage authors to promote themselves via social media and build their personal engagement levels.

4. Anchor Text Distribution

Keep it branded where possible, and link to deep URLs where within context - as opposed to just trying to place links to top target money pages.

  • Use a mixture of anchor text that are branded, brand + phrase, variations

  • Always make anchor text contextual, never link to transactional/commercial content unless you are talking specifically about it. Linking to studies/research is much more natural, this is an original source that is credible and adds value to your content - its not a placed link.

  • Dont force it. Link to informational content if you can and then pass on that link equity more naturally internally. But if you cant link within context, dont - you want to build up a strong reputation as a writer, dont risk it, the SEO value will come in time anyway - so keep it natural.

5. Avoid SEO Footprints

Avoid anything that is old-school SEO, or looks like a link-building footprint. While Google may never know for sure if a link was built or natural, they have the data (and the analysts!) to understand enough signals to give them a pretty clear indication on the common signs.

  • If placing the article is solely for SEO, its normally pretty obvious just in the way its written and the lack of engagement around the page

  • Try to avoid any of the following terms included in the post title, post URL, or on-page content: paid, guest, advertorial, sponsored, featured.

If the article is being placed for promotional/traffic value (with no intended SEO value) then paid placements are acceptable with the rel=nofollowattribute included and clearly labelled as sponsored/featured content - even then, be careful and dont overdo it.

6. Link Out to Others

A clear sign of link-building is that you only link to your brand. Mix it up and try to add links to other informational content, news articles, etc. to add credibility to your story. This is how people write naturally to add value to the story, so think about the readers and what they want to see - rather than your own SEO objectives.

  • Ensure you link to any claims or studies that are referenced in the article

  • Link to articles that support/add value to any information given in the article

7. Topical Relevancy

If you're a dating site and you have links from the finance sector, it looks unnatural - Google has gotten much better at identifying topical relevancy and it's more about engagement on-page now, which means you need a targeted audience to generate interest.

  • Always establish the theme of the publisher and assess whether it is relevant to your site

  • In cases where the theme isnt directly relevant, make sure you always have an appropriate angle that connects the publisher with the brand

  • In cases where there are multiple themes/categories within a site, make sure that the article has been placed in the most appropriate section

  • Poor relevancy is usually shown by poor engagement. If articles posted on sites have low engagement levels then that suggests the topic wasnt relevant enough

8. Data-Driven Brand Assets

To make it PR newsworthy, you need data - run surveys, dig deep into analytics, interview influencers, etc. Make your content much more research heavy: "78 percent of people reported by [brand]" is much more appealing to journalists - this is why data visualization works so well in infographics/HTML5 to get that message across. It's a lot more time-intensive, but also means your building real brand assets, which have value in itself as long-term brand assets, its more sharable, and its a natural link target.

  • Offer publishers unique and exclusive insights or data-driven pieces - they are more likely to go for a piece that is contains something unique to them and readers react to new facts and research much better than opinions.

9. Local Link-Building

If you can have one great national idea, think of how you can spin it into lots of local angles.

For example, with a property client we created a visualization of house prices vs. travel time vs. train fares to find the best/worst places to commute into London. This generated great London/national coverage, but then opened up lots of local PR, blogger, and social opportunities afterward.

10. Creativity Wins, But be Prepared to Fail Along the Way

You need to be innovative to stand out and win. But if you're doing something for the first time, you've got to face up to the fact that it might not work. No one can predict what is going to go viral before it goes viral - just make sure you learn from it and improve.

If you just follow the trusted approach that has worked for you in the past, you lose an element of creativity and end up following a templated process. If instead you can provide something that no one has ever done before, and lose the fear of failure- the potential rewards are much bigger at the end.

11. Less Is More

Volume of links should no longer be your goal. Therefore it makes more sense to focus activity on bigger projects that generate high quality but low numbers of links than vice-versa.

  • Find the most authoritative sites within a niche and create a plan to approach them. Analyze what the best content on their site is, and ask how can you create something just as good or better for them?

  • This is a longer game but it is worth it - build that list of dream sites to get links and attention from and then keep working on it.

  • Leverage connections again - too often people look for one link from one domain and then move onto the next. If youve found a great audience for your site, leverage it. Forget about SEO and if it has value to publish to an audience, why wouldnt you do it? And then surely if youve written 34 posts on a site, that looks more natural than if youve only written one or two - its building real authorship, not a guest profile.

12. Co-Citations Are Natural

Following the above example, rather than focusing on hundreds of guest post links, some which will work and others which will set you back, test putting that effort into bigger projects/campaigns. If you can line up additional outreach/attention around the same theme, and let's say you get 25 links on average per project - surely it makes more sense to put your efforts into promotion of a small number of bigger campaigns.

  • Rather than just focusing on the end product (the links that point directly to you), think about the signals that natural content has. Your links having their own links is a much stronger signal and the link to you becomes a by-product of great content and not the main goal.

  • If content is placed on a big publisher first as an exclusive, they should be linked to from additional outreach/coverage - with the client/brand as the original source - this is how a PR story would break and its how a natural link profile would often look.

13. Focus on Traffic, Not the Link

Look to run social promotion campaigns, use social advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit - and content distribution channels such as Outbrain and Taboola - to build more human engagement around the content and think about how you can get this in front of a targeted audience. If people/readers like it, Google is more likely to reward it anyway.

  • Set aside a social budget that can be used to boost engagement with each content piece

  • Ensure that the brand has posted and promoted the content on all their social profiles to get our audience engaging with it

14. What Type of Content Ranks and Attracts Links

Learning is an important step with link-building. Understanding what works best and what your competitors are doing well can prevent lost time on poor content and create better campaigns.

  • There's some useful analysis in this post - analyzing what type/length of content ranks is important to build a more effective campaign in the future.

  • Tools like Majestic/OSE can be used to find top content pages on a domain, both yours and your competitors. But rather than looking at the link targets, learn what has worked best for them and how to make content that if promoted well it can become a link magnet over the long-term.

Of course, any link-building guidelines need to be an evolving process - but hopefully this was valuable to share and Id be interested in seeing what other people use as their own. Please let us know in the comments!

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!SES AtlantaSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!

«     2014    »