Google’s Possible NSA Avoidance Untrue Regarding Secure Search

By now it’s no secret that Google’s started the process of making all search queries secured. What does that mean? It basically means that because the referring URL data isn’t passed on to the website they go to after viewing Google search results, the data will not show up in Google Analytics.

This means marketers will be unable to track conversions from organic searches. It also means they won’t be able to track how much traffic comes from what keywords via organic search.

I won’t dive into the whole aspect of how the SEO industry already has issues regarding people thinking it’s “smoke and mirrors” and having trouble maintaining trust with clients as it is…

There’s speculation Google’s doing this to prevent the NSA from spying on it’s consumers. That it’s for the good of the consumers themselves. I call Google and the industry’s bluff on this though. The NSA doesn’t need Google. They could easily get search query data directly from the ISP’s before it ever gets encrypted.

Some also speculate Google’s doing this to increase ad spend on Adwords. I don’t know they’d go there to do this, but it is possible. Obvioulsy marketers who want to test or know the conversion data of certain keywords are going to be forced to use Adwords to get this information.

I’m hoping someday that Google lets referring info into Analytics, since they’re already giving it to us in Google Webmaster Tools. Why can’t they provide the same data in Google Analytics. Makes no sense. They’re still tracking it on their end, and obviously it’s a huge benefit to giving webmasters this info so they can gauge whether they’re providing value and creating great content or whether their stuff needs improvement.

Microsoft released device superior to Apple/Android…

2013-09-23_07h25_48… And the funny thing is nobody cares. If today’s tablet market was all about specs, by all accounts I would take my hat off and declare Microsoft the winner of the super competitive tablet market.

Microsofts latest Surface RT 2 is hands done a remarkable device by anyone’s standards. No tablet in history has packed 4GB ram or 72 GPUs…

But who cares?

Joe consumer used to look for the highest numbers on the box… But today the waters are muddy. The decision isn’t just about specs. It’s about what programs it can run, and how compatible it is. It’s about what my friends have and what I’m used to.

As marketers, we all have to be careful to not be a Microsoft. Late to the game with a technologically superior device, yet even offering to buy your iPad from you, won’t convince you to buy. Microsoft didn’t listen to or observe customers in their native habitat. They ignored the smartphone and laughed at Apples touch screen interface (which I’m writing this article on right now).

The smartphone was a gateway drug to the tablet which has actually taken a 40% bite out of the PC industry as a whole in the last 10 years.

Today Apples shares are up 6% after selling 9 million new phones world wide in a couple days. Everyone thought they were done for… But they have something up their sleeves yet…

Tim Cook stated specifically the new 64bit phone has “workstation class processing power”. iOS 7 now supports mice and keyboards. Are you seeing a hint of where this goes next?

Top Expensive Keywords for July 2013

It’s not old news or an unknown fact that the top most expensive cost per click keywords are the ideal ones to build websites around for Google Adsense. Adsense is still a profitable way to earn some online income, albeit not quite as good as writing a book, building an affiliate network and marketing that way… BUT…

Back to Adsense.

While doing some keyword research today I noticed Spyfu had a feature to show the top 2500 most expensive keywords.
Interesting to note the markets that were ALL over $100 per click:

mesothelioma
structured settlement
auto insurance
accident injury attorney
birth injury lawyer
DWI lawyer
donate car california
air conditioning repair
luxury rehab centres
low balance transfer credit cards
water damage cleanup

I won’t spoil the fun of using Spyfu to find out what the value of each of these is or anything, but the fact is these are the top topics in general. Sad, they’re all reflective of the human condition :(

Anyway interesting eh?

Will Gmail’s New Filter Features Kill Email Marketing

I’m like the last guy to weigh in on what seems to be a very controversial topic that’s freaking out the internet marketing community by storm… But… Hold out for me because I have something new to say.

So, I’m not going to rehash the news.. But Gmail’s released a feature that automatically sorts your email into three or more tabs for consumer convenience. One of these tabs is “promotions” and this is where the bulk of bulk mail are winding up.

Obviously Google has many ways of detecting bulk mail, so it’s not like you can REALLY hide from it.

What I will say is the same thing I echo all the time. If you’re building massive value, you have nothing to worry about.. If your promotions are barely monthly, you have nothing to worry about. I think the days of making serious coin marketing to people daily or even weekly via email are LONG over. I’m still hearing from folks drowning in that right now…

(RAMBLING I KNOW!)

Ok, to the point you’ve been waiting for… what’s my shocking Gmail Tabs revelation?

They’re not just sorting your email for you… They’re also advertising to you… using this new feature. This, is actually super smart on Google’s end, but really frustrating to me as a user. See, they know when you DO go over to that promotion’s tab, you’re interested in spending money. They’re putting sponsored emails in that tab that you didn’t sign up for.

This is something that’s sure to upset some users, no question. However it’s also something marketers are going to catch on to. Even more reason why you may wish to stop closing your sales via email asap.

I repeat.. STOP closing sales in email.

This is my plan anyway, I think it’s going to be a game changer viewpoint if you can join me in this thought. Follow me? Yes, Google can detect bulk mail. They can also detect when you’ve singed up for updates or news, Google isn’t always going to throw it into the promo section. You have a greater chance of hitting the “primary” box if you’re not spamming or promoting and simply keeping people in the loop on things.

Secondarily, I’m looking forward to reports and case studies on how happy users are about the ‘fake emails’ promotions Google is happily selling to advertisers. What say you?

Dan

Stories are your secret weapon

It seems I’m finding myself consulting on or writing lots of copy this week and I came back to this simple core copywriting principle. Stories sell.

This isn’t new news to me… But I had two versions of this stored in my head. When I went to writ copy I didn’t use stories because I was unsure what type of story would sell best. When I thought about competition analysis… I knew that a good story could help the same old thing sell better…

But the Real Mystery

The challenge to me was to figure out what the key ingredients in a sales copy story would be – as a copywriter. Sometimes I think as a copywriter, you can get so wrapped up in strategy that you forget the art. The creative aspect. I’d love to give you some complex algorithm with specific ingredients (because that’s even my style, and my favorite type of stuff to read) but… it’s too simple for that.

The simple formula is that the story takes a person where they want to go.. A place they’re not currently at. There are other ways of telling stories that convert as well, like the way David Ogilvy used to sell volkswagens with the Lemon ad.

Sample Stories

I could give a million examples but people often buy products just based on the story alone! Just because they enjoy owning a piece of the story and sharing it with others.

Cat food… If it were sold to cats they’d sell mouse flavor… but instead we buy Turkey in Gravy or Pate!! The gravy is a story we tell ourselves. The story that cats prefer human food that has juicy sweet morsels of turkey smothered in velvety gravy!

Toms Shoes… One for one is their motto. You buy a pair of shoes and someone else in a 3rd world gets a pair too. We buy them for the story we can tell others or ourselves. Let’s be honest, their shoes aren’t better than anyone elses… but people buy for the story.

Glacier Water… Water so fresh it comes off the mountains! Often mountain water is salty or sulpheric or full of sediment, and needs strong filtration, but… great story!

Paul Hartunian sold pieces of the brookyn bridge. People bought the old wooden pieces for the story they told.

Mayan Magic skin cream… comes from the ancient mayans and was used for burns for centuries. Works great, but great story too.

What’s your story? What way could you tell one about your product?

 

Why technology doesn’t matter

In marketing – the concept has and will always be the mission to get your message and your product /service to the masses.

This weekend I find myself test driving a Google Nexus 7 tablet and admittedly switching back to the iPad mini now and again. Not that it has relevance… But I realized how easy technology makes our lives.

Its getting easier and easier to do just about anything online or offline. Its getting to the point where its less about what tech skills you have (like SEO IN 1999) and more about what kind of impact you leave.

Its not about how many friends you have on Facebook. Its not about how many people follow you on Twitter. Not even about the level of engagement you inspire (although that is an indicator)… Its about how many people would care If you didn’t show up tomorrow.

Its about how many would miss you. The Genuine connections being made. That’s why in April I’m doing something that will be the most humbling thing I’ve ever done.

I’m going to make my life story and how I got here public. Not one soul, not even my parents have ever been told the whole truth. There at one time was shame attached ton the truths. I’m proud of who I am now… So its going to be a real connector piece.

I hope it inspires others. Keep watch.

Reasons to Jailbreak an iPad Mini

I bet your wondering the same thing I did when I first got my iPad. Would it be of any use or value to Jailbreak it? I mean beyond the childish tweaks that make it look different, is there any real extreme value to it?

First a few myths…

Jailbreaking a device can break it.
On an Android device, this is likely QUITE true. However on an iOS device they’re so heavily locked down that litterally hooking it up to iTunes and doing a restore distroys the jailbreak. You can’t really hurt your iOS device by jailbreaking it.

Jailbreaking is illegal
Apparently from what I hear laws are now preventing you from doing it to phones, but tablets are still legal for jailbreaking.

Jailbreaking voids your warranty
It’s true, it does… however a simple reset of the device removes the jailbreak, so who cares?

Jailbreaking is technical and hard
Actually, with the most recent one available, it’s super super easy and has only one or two steps total.

So… if it’s as harmless, easy and care free…. what’s the BENEFIT of jailbreaking your device?
(remember this is MY list, there are TONS of reasons for jailbreaking)

#1. Dimmer
The iPad is quite bright at night when your wife is sleeping and hates anything glowing in the room. There’s a dimmer that dims it even lower than the factory brightness and allows it to almost be like a Kindle.

#2. SPEED!
Turning off animations can dramatically increase the speed of your device. It really rocks, I can’t say enough how much this simple tweak makes me love my device all the more. Also, there’s a thing called NitroJava? Anyway it’s only available to iBooks and App Store, but another tool called Nitrous gives all your other apps (Like Facebook) a javascript boost! This tool makes Nitro available to all other apps.

#3. Apps
Yes if you wanted to pirate software, you could with a jailbroken device. There are free programs like vShare and AppCake that let you download free IPA files and install them. I’ll tell you why that sucks though and why It’s actually less frustrating to just get the original app and pay for it. Hacked apps seem to crash more. They also don’t come with updates, because of course Apple shows no history of you owning it. Thus means when super cool new features come out you’re made aware of all their juicy goodness but you can’t have it unless you scrounge the interwebs for an updated IPA or pay for the darned app.

Hope that helps… I wish there were something out there like this when I hunted for the answer to that question.

You’ll probably ignore this critical advice

The title is strong, but so is the subject. Let me share with you the weakest point of all your online interactions, and what could easily get you hacked if your not careful.

I could spend hours on a post like this but I don’t have time right now. The fact is that if someone gained access to just one of your passwords, that one login would likely have enough information to help that hacker get into other things. Hacking isn’t complicated. The movies make it out to be, but it’s not. Often it’s as simple as using a random password guesser tool on something like WordPress (which allows almost unlimited tries without locking you out due to the volume of attempts). If your password is a simple one like a word plus the number one or something a password guesser could probably guess your password in under 6 minutes.

Scared yet?

If you’re not I’ll keep going. Truth is that identity theft is a real world threat these days. However, as an online marketer I’d say some of my biggest fears would probably be things like my email list, my database, my servers or perhaps even my payment gateway. I’d hate to wake up and find out i’ve already made a withdrawl from Authorize.net and not to my own bank account, or that someone’s scraped all my email addresses off the server and of course sent a mailing out promoting junk in my name.

So, regardless we all agree security is important, right?

So what if I said you should have a password that’s 32 characters in length that uses numbers, letters and symbols? Would you be able to remember a password like that? Me neither! Well, my cousin Michelle alerted me to a piece of software that works on EVERY platform that does this for you. In FACT, it’s so easy that once you have your passwords stored within IT, it sync’s them over dropbox (using a secured encrypted file) to all your other devices. That way if someone got access to your dropbox they’d have to know the password to decrypt it.

Regardless, this is incredible, I bet you can’t wait to get your hands on it.

The tool works on Blackberry, Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows phone, Windows OS and Mac OS. It works on everything. You have no excuse.
It’s called KeyPass.info and it’s completely free. The perfect iPhone app for this software costs $0.99 but i don’t mind paying for good software that does this.

Put a few of your critical things into this and you won’t regret it.

Google and Interflora – the SHORT verison

I don’t know if anyone reads this, so if they do this will be a quick way to find out. I haven’t written here much except things that were about me, and this post is surely more about YOU (sort of).

In recent news there was a penalty to a website by Google and some have been spinning it into some dumb thing about how Google doesn’t like Advetorials. What a load of horse crap! Google would rather see something that educates users FIRST before trying to make a sale. Google would rather see a magazine article style piece than sales pieces.

I really respect Dave Naylor as an SEO columnist. He’s proven his strength many times and often gets things from the horses mouth. In the case of Interflora, what really happened was Interflora was essentially giving out paid links. Google penalized them for this. Supposedly the paid links weren’t really for cash but if people blogged for them they got flowers? Anyway, I don’t think that it’s completely about that either. Perhaps overall unnatural linking. The SEO community likes to get it’s knickers in a knot and this issue certainly got them into doing that.

 

Why I suggest the iPad mini

I won’t have time to write a really long post… But let me list some tablets I’ve owned over the last two years.

Asus T91
Coby Kryos
Chinese MID tablet
Galaxy Tab 10.1 aka PT7510
Galaxy Tab 7″ aka PT1000
Le Pan II running ICS

Lots of androids… Many unlocked and rooted and all the goodness that comes with the ability to have unbridled access to the hardware.

Every one of them had hardware and design things I didn’t like. Every one was hard to type on. Every one of them left me feeling like I was compromising some where.

I’m typing this on an iPad mini and its incredible. Marketers dream. I sometimes write two page emails with it and tackle all kinds of jobs I wouldn’t dream of with any other device.

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