Blog posts about: General Digital

Here are all our blog posts on General Digital. Contact us to discuss anything that you've read here.

Online Marketing Comes of Age

Online Marketing Comes of Age The unregulated space of online marketing has been dominated by the cost-effective, sometimes technical, sometimes creative world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Ever since search engines became available for general public use in the 90’s the geeks pioneering this industry have easily gamed the algorithm. Last month (September 2013) Google finally hammered the last nail into the SEO coffin by launching a completely new algorithm that tolls the death knell for the era of the search term. Once termed the ‘database of intentions’ (by John Batelle [was this really 10 years ago?!]), despite their seeming complexities, search engines have led a fairly basic existence at the mercy of those who choose to appease the algorithm and charge a pretty premium to their clients for the privilege. Until last month it was not only possible to demonstate that the masses searched using short string queries, but it was also possible to optimise for these searches and their many derivatives by simply creating more optimised copy and securing new exact-match anchor text back links to these pages. But now finally the age of semantic search, or entity search, is here, and the world of online marketing needs to grow up and start to understand the complexities of managing the new web of knowledge and how it is interrelated. Semantic Search Semantics is relatively easy to explain and touches the right hemisphere; entity search is more relational and complex and definitely a left hemisphere twister. Semantic search looks at additional sources of reference than that typically used by algorithms (keyword placement, prominance, frequency & back-links) such as structured mark up and other meta data (Schema.org, RDFa Lite and microdata). This information helps build the kinds of responses that you get from Siri, Google Glass and the Knowledge Graph results on the right of a standard SERP today. Entity Search Entity search is about how search queries can be broken down and understood in the context of the responses available. Here’s an explanation by Paul Bruemmer over on Search Engine Land: Structured data can be imported and exported from triplestores. Hang in there and bear with me for a minute… A triplestore is a database for the storage and retrieval of triples. Triplestores are optimized for the storage and retrieval of triples; they can store billions of triples. What’s a triple? To simplify, let’s break down a sentence: the combination of three parts of speech which form...
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The Future of Advertising

The Future of Advertising In a recent Guardian magazine article the CEO of Groupon, Andrew Mason, explains the success of his business model. In laymans terms the success of Groupon lies in it’s ability to breakdown the feeling of inertia in all of us when we see a special offer. All too often in the past we have the option of becoming complacent with the ability to shop around or come back later. Now with Groupon we have the urgency of a call to action that we know is ticking away like a time bomb. But what is really great about the Groupon guys’ vision is that this isn’t enough. The daily deal model is a stepping stone to his fulfilment of the service thanks to the technology that all of us now carry around in our pockets. Using the GPS enabled mobile handset that is now common place (or even the basic GPRS that all mobiles have) Groupon are launching a new service in the States called Groupon Now! It’s a simple idea. Firing it up gives you just 2 options – I’m Hungry or I’m Bored. Clicking will take you either to food options or entertainment options in your close proximity. This is nirvana for advertisers and consumers alike. Not only do advertisers reach a wider audience and still make a profit, increasing brand awareness through the by-product of word of mouth, but consumers can act on their impulses when they want to and on their own terms in real time and space. If you had the ability to get a deal wherever you were whenever you wanted it wouldn’t you? I think this is the future of advertising. I just wonder whether it will help us get over the discount hunting mentality that is all too common in the UK when it comes to this kind of thing, or whether we’ll discover a new motivation for exploration and the urge to do something different, and do it...
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A guide to setting up your own blog

A guide to setting up your own blog This is a guest post by Tim Aldiss from aldissandmore.com I’ve done this so many times I thought I would document the process for the benefit of others! So here it is – my guide to setting up your own blog. What do I mean by this? Well firstly I’m not talking about an automated process – this is a full installation in your own hands so that you control everything. This means that it’s an install on your own domain name, which has lots of benefits for search engine optimisation over hosting on a sub domain as is typically the case for a blog. I’m using WordPress, the worlds favourite blogging platform. It’s free to download and install. The set up is possibly the most complicated process in the whole job as you need a database connected to run WordPress and setting this up is fiddly. However there is a great guide on the WordPress site that they reckon can be followed in just 5 minutes. Hosting is the other consideration. You’ll need a package that allows database use (one will do). So what are the costs? Well unbelievably the price of everything has come down so much that cost just isn’t a factor any more. Domain registration is as low as a few pounds a year. I use freeparking.co.uk and registered my new domain (www.brianaldiss.co.uk) for just $15 for 2 years! I’ve hosted websites for 10 years and check out new providers all the time and right now I’m using Server Centre who will do you Linux webspace (good for WordPress) that includes the databse use you need for just £25 a year! Awesome. And that believe it or not is it! Those are the only costs other than your time. Themes for your WordPress blog are free – you can pay if you want a fancy one or to upgrade. Steps to setting up your own blog Once you have registered the domain name and paid for the webspace you will need to let your domain registrar (freeparking.co.uk are mine) know what the Domain Name Servers (DNS) are for your web hosts (Server Centre are mine). For Server Centre Linux web hosting they are as follows: Primary DNS: ns1.hu-dns.com Secondary DNS: ns2.hu-dns.com (you’ll need both) Set them in the admin interface at the registrars. This connects the domain name to the web space. Next stop is...
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Social CRM: The next big gold rush?

Social CRM: The next big gold rush? Beyond dealing with my extended friends in my own network I have often wondered what the best way is for brands to deal with what they might call ‘friends’ in their growing and presumably far more extensive and complex networks. So I’m sat here at the Technology for Marketing & Advertising show about to witness what Sage have to say about how they approach this growing area, which to a lot of people is the next gold rush: Social CRM Presenting their current case study for SAGE the key thing is to have common components across networks and through the technology. Using buzz words like interoperability the speaker says that monitoring the language used and when and why the ‘purchase’ happened is the key thing to tying it all together. How do they do this? Well of course it’s by integrating their own proprietary technology! Hmmm It is true that connecting sources of information makes the experience richer, I’d certainly agree with that, but what I really want to see is how. Maybe it’s the geek in me, but what information can you gather from say a tweet that starts the process of building a CRM entry around that individual. What value is applied? How does that CRM entry get linked through to lifetime customer service? Our SAGE speaker mentions the term ‘vendor love’ which to some I’m sure is a big turn off. Amazingly the example used is not just a response from corporate Twitter account to the user but a written letter follow up! How they linked up the user with their home address was never explained, and more importantly what they thought the impact of the use of this kind of personalised approach might have been (I’d be pissed off that they’d found my postal address) was also no explained. This unfortunately lost my interest in the seminar. However the talk went on to feature some dimensions for their own social media use. They cited topics as a key area for interaction. So talking specifically about things rather than generalising works well for SAGE. Traditional media is also a huge influence (no surprise there), but they did point out that directing people to content once it’s been created created is key, meaning community management is an essential task. In regards to managing time when dealing with social media the presenter states that (as an author) he...
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Sing-along-Friday: The Day The Media Died

Sing-along-Friday: The Day The Media Died ...
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