Joe took the kids to Camden Yards see the Orioles play the Blue Jays this evening (Orioles won 6 – 2) and I have the house to myself (whoo hoo!) so I’m playing catch-up with email and my reading. Found several interesting things I thought I’d share:
In March of this year Google quietly launched a marketing booklet in the United Kingdom called Think Quarterly, a publication whose aim is to create a “breathing space in a busy world. A limited number of books were printed and mailed to 1500 Google UK advertisers and partners, the rest of the world was invited to view the new magazine at the companion website: www.thinkquarterly.co.uk.
A few days before the site went live, a Twitter account was set up and started tweeting:
If you look through the Think Quarterly tweet stream you’ll see they were tweeting their little hearts out until mid-May and then things slowed down.
In July, Google announced the US version of Think Quarterly, (it wasn’t much of a post even though it was written by that smart Susan Wojcicki). I thought it was interesting she didn’t mention the UK launch or the Australian and Brazilian versions. (shrug) The announcement also marked the last time the Think Quarterly Twitter account made a tweet:
Take a look at their online magazine, there’s no Twitter button. I can’t find a screen shot of the UK edition with a Twitter button either, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist, just that I can’t find one and I went through hundreds of images and had friend in the UK do the same on his Google. In fairness, the official Google blog does have a Twitter and Facebook option under their posts but they’re gray and obsure whereas the G+1 button stands out and sports pretty colors.
Is this the start of the great Google kickout or their way of “suggesting” people try G+1? How hard will Google push to save their bonuses? Is this simply an effort to stay “Googly clean” and not mess up their stylish magazine with Twitter buttons? Or is the magazine new and they’re still working on it? Who knows. It will be interesting to watch how many of their Twitter and Facebook accounts slow down or stop, a quick look shows some of them dead right now.
There’s a video by Googler Jen Howard, Head of B2B/Local Markets where she talks about how people can win at the Zero Moment of Truth. (<– more on that in a sec). Starting at the one minute mark, Ms. Howard makes some interesting comments, here’s the first one:
Another key change in B2B is also the length of the query itself. We’re seeing searchers become much more sophisticated, up to the point where now seven-term queries are actually not uncommon at all. And in fact, two to three terms still tends to be where the majority of searches happen, but seven is actually equaling in that volume. So being very specific and knowing exactly what your customers are looking for and making sure that you are represented on those types of terms is increasingly more important.
Bold mine. I know her focus is B2B but I’m hoping the seven word trend is universal. If it’s true, this makes sense and is good news for those of us who practice link marketing. With the emphasis placed on relevance lately and the fact it’s difficult to blend one and two word anchors without noticeable repetition, adapting longer keyword strings into content is good for ranking and user experience. Win-win!
Here’s the second point, starts at the 2:38 mark:
The final way to win at the zero moment of truth is really about being flexible. One of the things that we prioritize at Google is speed beats perfection. It’s not important to have your marketing plan perfect and completely established the moment that you begin your new year. In fact, it’s better to have different strategies that you’re employing that you can test, learn, and then iterate, so that way you can scale the successful solutions for your business in a better way
Again, bold mine. More times than not when we run custom campaigns, we hire bloggers in future time-zones who are working as we sleep and can jump on stories and articles before the rest of the East or West coast wakes up. By the time we get to the office at 8:30 a.m., Europe is almost getting ready to go home and a whole world has been working and blogging. Ideas, news stories, opinion pieces… they may be written in different countries but the content and principles apply no matter where you live.
She also mentioned having different strategies, I couldn’t agree more. If you had a store on Main Street, you wouldn’t run Yellow Page ads and nothing else, you’d employ a wide variety of advertising campaigns so you touch a wide variety of people. It’s same online, you need to implement multiple and varied link building tactics so you leave no link opportunity unturned.
So what is this Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)??
It’s an ebook written by Google employee Jim Lecinsk and available for download here. Google launched it about the time they launched G+1 so it didn’t get a lot of play which is too bad because it has some very good data in it. Actually, really good data like these eye tracking charts showing the influence of search engine usage by category:
I love this kind of stuff
A couple of winning take-aways from ZMOT:
As Rishad Tobaccowala of VivaKi says: “Don’t call them search engines. Call them connection engines”
“Connection engines” – smart and oh-so right! Used to be SEO focused on being first and being found, now it’s sooo much more than that. Another good take-away…
Our 2011 ZMOT study found that 37% of shoppers find online social sources to be an influential driver when making decisions. The top online social activities among shoppers:
- Getting an online referral from a friend
- Becoming a friend or follower of a brand
- Reading blogs where the product was discussed
- Seeing the brand mentioned on a social networking site like Facebook
Each one of those points can also be also be an influential link building driver:
- Are you more apt to link to something after you’ve seen a fellow blogger/friend link to it?
- Are you more apt to link to a page if you’re enthusiastic about the subject/writer/potential it has to make you look good?
- Do you link to pages to reinforce a point you’re making?
- Do you link to something you find funny/sad because you noticed a lot of people Liked it on Facebook?
If any of these points inspire you to link out, you know they’re doing the same for others. ZMOT isn’t a new or novel concept, but Jim Lecinsk has done a good job putting it all down in an easy-to-read-book filled with good data, statistics and case-studies from private industry.
Funny thing though, there’s no Twitter or FB button on the ZMOT landing page or the PDF! Maybe it’s something simple like they don’t want to mess up their stylish web page with Twitter buttons, or, the site is too new, or, they’re still working on it… who knows. (shrug)
Until next time – good linking!