Gleaner tipster Orville ‘Clarkie’ Clarke has swept both sections of the Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) tipsters’ competition’s first bi-monthly race for 2016. Spotting five winners on the final raceday last Saturday, ‘Clarkie’ moved away from closest rival Jimmie of the Star to beast him by four winners (46 to 42) to secure the $20,000 prize. And the veteran tipster, who was champion in 2014, also captured the wagering section with a healthy plus $1,093.24, clear of IRIE FM represented by last year’s champion tipster Howard Abrahams. As a result, Clarkie picked up another $20,000 for a grand total of $40,000 donated by the promoting company. He leads the competition with 46 wins, ahead of Jimmie (42), Howard Abrahams and Cable Sport Network (Francisco ‘Linky’ Mills) jointly in third on 41 wins each.
29 June 2010With the spotlight on South Africa during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, it’s easy to forget what the game of football is like elsewhere on the continent – played far, far away from glitzy stadiums, often in remote dusty villages with hand-made balls, bare feet and a couple of crooked sticks for goal posts.This is what photographer Jessica Hilltout is trying to show. Her recently launched book, Amen, seeks to draw attention to the spirit of grassroots football in Africa, and the highly dedicated players and teams that follow the game as if it were a religion.MediaClubSouthAfricaFree high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. “All the people who live and will remain in the shadow of the World Cup deserve to have a light shone on them, not just for their passion for the game, but more so for the fundamental energy and enthusiasm that shines through the way they live,” she says.In this regard her work delves deeper than the sport itself: “This book is not just about football, or indeed about football in Africa. It is a book that tries to capture the beauty and strength of the human spirit. It pays homage to Africa. It is a tribute to the forgotten, to the majority,” Ogilvy & Mather’s creative director, Ian Brower, writes in the introduction.MediaClubSA Gallery: Grassroots African football“Africa is a world like no other … there lies a passion for the festival, a reason to rejoice. These moments are centred around music and football. Often the two go hand in hand. Football is the one activity that costs nothing.”So be itHilltout believes, and has largely based her work on the premise, that in Africa, football is not a religion, but everything a religion should be. “Football is the glue in Africa – it’s a necessity,” she says.“In every little village, no matter how far off the main road, I’d find people playing football at sunrise and sunset. One small village could have as many as five football fields. Waking up at dawn I’d join the players and spectators gathering together on the football field, like we were congregating at a shrine or a temple. There was a true sense of devotion to the game.”The book’s title is also based on this sentiment. “Amen is a four-letter word, the same in every language. It means ‘so be it’,” Hilltout says.“This is very pertinent to Africa in terms of how people accept their fate, with pride and dignity, tough as it may be. It was also the word I heard the most during my trip. When I would leave groups I had been working with, they would say to me: ‘Amen, amen. May this project work. Amen, amen.’”A life on the roadHilltout, who was born in Belgium in 1977, is no stranger to travelling and a life on the road. As a child her family moved around a lot and spent time in the Seychelles, US, Canada, Hong Kong and South Africa.After studying photography in Blackpool, UK, and a brief stint in advertising in Europe, she bought an old Toyota Land Cruiser with her boyfriend in 2002 and made a 15-month trip from Belgium to Mongolia.Following this, the two shipped the car to South Africa’s port of Durban and drove up through Africa, back to Brussels. Throughout the journey, Hilltout kept log books and a photographic record of the regions and places she explored.“Although there was no thread holding my work together at that stage, it was the foundation of what I am trying to express now: highlighting the value of simple, banal things – that stuff that people usually overlook. My first photographic project that held any ground was called the Beauty of Imperfection, which Amen is linked to. It also pays tribute to the imperfect.”Return to AfricaIt was Christmas 2008, back in Europe, when the upcoming 2010 Fifa World Cup sparked the idea of a grassroots football book for Hilltout and her dad, who ended up working with her on the project. “We thought, that with this huge event happening for Africa as a continent, why don’t we show everyone what football means in the little villages, cities and towns across Africa, the places that aren’t going to be the focus tournament?”For the project, Hilltout concentrated on Southern and West Africa, covering about 20 000km between South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire.“There was no real planning for the trip. Nothing had really been pre-arranged. I got on a flight to Cape Town from Brussels, and with me was a Hasselblad with one 80mm lens, 300 rolls of film, a digital camera, my log books, a mini printer and a stock of new footballs. I packed this all into an old VW Beetle that was equipped with a roof rack, three spare tyres, two jerry cans and a higher suspension.”Southern Africa was a natural choice because Hilltout’s dad had the Beetle stored in Cape Town, so she borrowed it for that portion of the trip, but West Africa was a more spontaneous choice.“I decided to go to West Africa because I had never covered that region before … and I knew there were lots of big football countries there, like Ghana and Ivory Coast – so I just flew to Accra. Once I arrived there I bought a Nissan Vanette and kitted it out with four big boxes: one for footballs, one for food and the other two for clothes and film. The whole trip was done on gut-feeling. I would literally arrive in a village … start talking to people … show them my log books with the ideas I had for the project … then off we’d go.“All in all I spent seven months on the road and worked in about 20 different places across the two regions. Each place has a story to it, and that’s covered in the book. There are stories about the guys who fixed boots in the villages, the guy who took in hard-up youngsters and mentored them, and the guy who owns a ‘football cinema’ in West Africa that’s built of mud and sticks, but it can seat 60 fans – and you can even get a fried egg and cup of coffee in there while watching the game!“After this I returned to Europe to put it all together. In total I spent about two years on the project.”Communicating with locals wasn’t too much of a problem for Hilltout, as she speaks English, French and Spanish, but she admits things were a little difficult in Mozambique, as she couldn’t converse in Portuguese. “I drafted a letter and got it translated from Spanish into Portuguese and addressed to the chiefs of the villages I intended visiting.”The contacts she made in the bigger towns, who she says became “her very good friends”, helped her connect with communities in far-off places and translated when only an African language was spoken.“The people with whom I worked were all essential to this project. Once they understood the message I was trying to portray, once I’d gained their trust, they gave me more than I could ever have dreamed. They let me into their villages and homes. They proudly showed me their shoes, their balls, their jerseys.”Trust was a big thing, Hilltout says. “Sometimes it took three days before I took out my camera. I was very aware of the fear of deception, and how these people had perhaps been promised things before. They think people are coming to take – not to give back. And I think this is very well reflected in the history of Africa.”Tired ballsThroughout her trip she exchanged the manufactured footballs she’d brought along for more intricate, home-made ones put together with old socks, pieces of cloth, string, plastic bags and – believe it or not – condoms. Hilltout says that once inflated and covered in a few protective layers, these can keep a ball bouncy for up to three days!“Eventually I found myself with 35 such balls and realised the extent to which they represented the essence of my trip and the heart of the project. I am looking to exchange the balls I collected for equipment for all the players who made this project come to life … so that they can keep on playing the game they love,” she says.UK sports writer and author David Goldblatt talks about this collection extensively in the foreword to Amen: “A few years ago I wrote on the opening page of The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football: ‘Football is available to anyone who can make a rag ball and find another pair of feet to pass to’, as if making a rag ball were a simple matter.“How glib, how foolish, and from a man who had never made a rag ball in his life. I still have not made a rag ball, but I have had the good fortune to see the photographs in this book, Jessica Hilltout’s Amen, and I will never take the manufacture of footballs, from any material, so lightly again.“Among the many things that I have learnt from this book, is that getting or making that ball is no simple task. On the contrary, it is emblematic of the inventiveness, diligence, creativity and single-minded focus of Africans in particular, but of poor communities everywhere,” Goldblatt writes.Exhibitions and book salesThe photographs in Amen are on exhibition in Cape Town, at the Joao Ferreira Gallery, from 15 June to 24 July. A similar exhibition is on in Brussels, Belgium until 18 July.The 208-page hardcover version of Amen is currently available in all major South African book stores for R600 (US$77), and available in magazine format for R190 ($24).Where to from here?“Part one of my campaign is to get the word out about the book, and then the next step is to use the publicity and funds generated from it to make a sustainable contribution to the football communities I photographed in Africa,” Hilltout says. “Of course, I can’t go back and help everyone, but want to focus on two highly committed groups I met in West Africa.”While Hilltout is working to make a positive change in lives of those she photographed, she says her own outlook has changed too.“The life lessons I learned in Africa could never have been learned in Europe. This project has changed me. I’ve begun to understand the true importance of football, which would have been impossible if I hadn’t lived through all the stories in order to capture the pictures. Through football I think I understand a little more about life, or at least a certain way of living.”First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
Want to learn more about filmmaking? Check out the filmmaking section of the PremiumBeat blog. We have hundreds of articles dedicated to helping you become a better filmmaker. Here’s a few you might be interested in:How to Pick the Right Tone, Shots, and Music for Trailers8 Great ‘Proof of Concept’ Films That Got Picked Up by HollywoodCinematography Tips For Horror FilmmakersKnow of any other quick tutorials under 5 minutes? Share in the comments below. 3. The Flip ShotCreated By: Brent Pierce via PremiumBeatYou don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on rigs to get professional quality shots. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity. In this video tutorial, Brent Pierce shows us how to create a Flip Shot using just a tripod and sand bag. The end result is very unique. 5. Mad Max: Center FramedCreated By: Vashi Nedomansky This video is an interesting look into the center-weighted cinematography style found in Mad Max. The video features an interview with DP John Seale ACS as he explains the hidden motivations behind the center-framed decision. 4. F for Fake (1973) – How to Structure a Video EssayCreated By: Tony ZhouWe’re huge fans of ‘Every Frame’s A Painting’ here at PremiumBeat. In the series ,Tony Zhou breaks down film techniques on a fundamental level. In this incredibly insightful video, Tony explains how the film ‘F for Fake’ inspires him to create narratively engaging video essays. There’s a lot to be learned about storytelling in this video. These 5 quick filmmaking tutorials are a great way to get some quick inspiration!We love filmmaking tutorials here at PremiumBeat, but it can be rather difficult to sit down and watch hour-long tutorials when you have so many things going on. So we thought it’d be helpful to find a few quick tutorials that are still incredibly helpful for filmmakers. If you know of any more awesome tutorials under 5 minutes, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.1. 7 Special Effects that Anyone Can Do for FreeCreated By: Matthew Rosen“Just fix it in post” is an incredibly dangerous thing to say. An over reliance on your post-production abilities will often leave you with a poor finished product. When on set, it can be easy to run into a problem and think that After Effects is the best way to fix it.However, in many cases you can get your desired effect by simply thinking of creative ways to get your shot. In the following breakdown video created by Matthew Rosen, we’ll take a look at how he created a few impressive shots using only practical effects on-set. If you’re interested in this subject, check out our ‘Top 10 Best and Worst Practical Effects in Movie History‘ post. 2. How to Make a Toy Gun Look RealCreated By: Film RiotIf you’ve ever tried to shoot an action film, then you’ve probably come across the whole “what gun do I use?” question. Unless you’re a trained professional, a real gun should be off the table, but fake guns look too… well, fake. In this quick tutorial by Film Riot, we’ll take a look at how they made their toy gun look real in After Effects. Andrew Kramer also has a cool behind the scenes video about how he created his pulse gun by spray painting a nerf gun.
Originally published Apr 28, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Photo: Robert Crum on Flickr Inbound Marketing Kit So you’re graduating from college in a month, you’re interested in marketing, but the economy’s stuck in a ditch, you don’t have a marketing job, and you’re worried. What do you do to standout from the thousands of others in exactly the same situation? I interview a lot of people here at HubSpot, and I think there are a few things you can do. Here are my top 10: Start a blog. This is critical. At HubSpot resumes that list a blog immediately move to the front of the line. Here’s why: Online marketing is a complicated ecosystem in which blog posts are the cells — the most basic forms of life. If you’ve started and maintained a blog, you understand that ecosystem. You understand how search engines suck up content and spit back visitors. You understand how web applications work. You understand the concept of linking. You understand widgets and basic html. You understand how important pictures and video can be. You get the point. Start a blog. Take your job search seriously. Sounds basic, but it’s really, really important. Don’t start off your interview joking about drinking with your roommates, as one unsuccessful HubSpot applicant did this year. Show up on time, respond promptly and be prepared. It’s easy, and it makes a huge difference. Be confident. The job market is tough and looking for a job sucks, but don’t let it show. Walk into your interviews with your head high and everything under control. This is critical for marketing roles because it’s how marketers have to present their product. Start a Twitter account. Twitter will teach you a lot about new marketing techniques, but even more importantly, it will connect you with professionals and companies looking for talent. It’s also very useful from the employer’s standpoint. Right now I’m following several people who have applied for jobs at HubSpot. Twitter is a way for me to get to know them better. Think analytically. Inbound marketing is comprised of two main activities: Creating content and measuring its use. Candidates who can do both well get hired. Period. Know the company. If you’re interviewing at HubSpot, you better know what inbound marketing is, and you better know how our approach to marketing is different from that of traditional marketers. Every company has similar “must understand” tests. Figure out what they are before you apply. Demonstrate a content mindset . Go to meetups or events and post to flickr, YouTube or Facebook. Show that you’re not afraid to dive into these tools. Online marketing is about building an online presence through content. The more you can do that, the more valuable you’ll be to a company. Show that you get stuff done. There are people who get stuff done and there are people who talk about getting stuff done. Show that you’re the former. Blogging and creating content is a great way to do that. Get passionate about something. People need to know what makes you tick. You’re going to be a much more productive employee if you’re excited about what you’re doing, so employers want to understand what gets you fired up. Learn to write well. Much of the day-to-day inbound marketing grind is writing — case studies, blog posts, emails, video scripts and lots more. If you can write clearly, your employer will be able to keep you very busy. What tips would you add to this list? Please add them in the comments. I’ll update the post with some of my favorites later in the day. One more thing: If you’re a job seeker in the Boston area, definitely check out today’s MITX Digital Combine being held at the Back Bay Events Center all afternoon. I’ll be speaking on a panel at 3 p.m., “Positions in the Digital Industry: The Opportunities, Skills, and Experience Needed.”UPDATE: HubSpot friend and Boston videoblogger Steve Garfield has an awesome post today that’s right on the money: ” How to Get a Job at HubSpot .”A couple more great ideas from the comments:From Kevin Richard : “Interact with people in the industry/area you want to work in.” From David Spinks : “NEVER pass up an opportunity to reach new people.” Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. Download our inbound marketing kit .
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Lead nurturing is a crucial part of your marketing and sales success. Studies show that 50% of leads are qualified but aren’t immediately ready to buy something from you [Source: Gleanster Research]. With lead nurturing, however, you can bring those leads through your sales funnel and garner 4-10 times the response rate compared to a regular email blast while doing it [Source: SilverPop/DemandGen Report]. To nurture those leads correctly, however, you need to somehow adjust your messaging based on their point in the sales cycle. But how do you do that?The best lead nurturing campaigns begin with content mapping, a process in which you decide what content is most appropriate for a person to receive at a given time. And to be honest, sometimes it feels like you have to be psychic to nail it. But while a little bit of psychic ability would certainly help, there’s actually a structure you can follow to map your content very accurately for your lead nurturing campaigns — after which you can simply make tweaks on your messaging, email sending frequency, and calls-to-action based on feedback, open rates, click-through rates, and other email marketing metrics. Here’s how you can map lead nurturing content to every stage in the buying cycle.Understanding the Buying CycleTo understand content mapping for lead nurturing, you need to understand the buying cycle. People have broken it down into many sub-stages to align with their particular business model, but it can universally be boiled down to these three stages:Awareness: Leads have either become aware of your product or service, or they have become aware that they have a need that must be fulfilled.Evaluation: Leads are aware that your product or service could fulfill their need, and they are trying to determine whether you are the best fit.Purchase: Leads are ready to make a purchase.Content mapping becomes important during these stages because prospects’ needs are different depending on which stage in the buying cycle they fall into. David Skok explained the buying cycle well on For Entrepreneurs with a retail scenario. When you’re walking around on the weekend and wander into a store with nothing in particular you’re looking to buy, you don’t want too much attention from a hungry sales person. It’s annoying, because you’re in the awareness stage. But when you make a beeline for the store because you need to buy a black sweater immediately, you want a sales person to approach you right away so you can find the sweater, purchase it, and get out of there. That’s because you’re in the purchase stage of the sales cycle.The same concept applies when someone is interacting with your brand online. If they’re just seeing you for the first time, they have different informational needs — and thus require different content — than someone who is ready to purchase something from you. Mapping the most appropriate content to each stage in the buying cycle will help you speak to the individual needs of each lead so you’re having the right conversation with the right people at the right time.How Content Mapping WorksDoing content mapping is very specific to each individual business — you have a different sales cycle, different buyer personas, and different content assets and topics than other businesses — but the content mapping structure outlined in this section will be transferable to any scenario. Here are the 4 questions you need to ask yourself when content mapping.1.) What are the logical pathways to take a lead from awareness, to evaluation, to purchase?Content mapping can be tricky because you have to work backwards. Start by determining the logical pathway a lead would take when navigating through the sales funnel. To do this, you’ll need to lay out several scenarios in which leads convert into customers, and trace back which actions they took from their first conversion to close. If you’re using HubSpot software, you can take a look at the activity history of leads to see what patterns emerge.What pages did they visit? In what order? What offers did they convert on? What emails did they click through? Here’s an example of what a logical conversion pathway might look like:Visit company blog >> Convert on ebook call-to-action >> Click through to site on ebook nurturing campaign offer >> Navigate to Product/Service pages >> Click through to site on case study nurture email and download data sheet >> Receive free trial email >> Download free trial >> Receive coupon >> Become a customerThere will be more than one logical conversion pathway, but as you examine how your leads have historically converted into customers, a few pathways will emerge as the most common, the shortest, and the most profitable.As you’re determining these conversion pathways, you may notice that there are pieces of content, calls-to-action, or nurturing campaign emails that you aren’t sending out yet, but should be. That’s okay! One of the benefits of doing content mapping — aside from improved content relevancy for your lead nurturing campaigns — is identifying holes in your content strategy that you can now remedy.2.) What specific content assets can be deployed along those pathways to help advance leads to the next stage in the buying cycle?Now that you know the logical pathways a lead might take to convert into a customer, what type of content assets should they receive to nurture them along that path? It seems like the options are endless, but there are actually certain types of content that are more appropriate for certain stages in the sales cycle than others. Reference this table of content asset types that are aligned with their appropriate stage in the sales funnel.The content assets listed in the ‘Awareness’ stage are appropriate for that stage of the buying cycle because they help educate your lead — not on your solution, but on their need. The content assets in the ‘Evaluation’ stage, however, speak directly to how your company can help solve their needs, bridging the gap between the educational assets and product/service information. The assets in the ‘Purchase’ stage require more action from the lead — actions the lead is more likely to take because they’re now more educated about their problem and why your company is a good choice for solving it.You’ll notice some content asset types appear in more than one stage of the buying cycle — webinars, for example. This is due to the content in that content asset type. A webinar from the ‘Awareness’ stage of the buying cycle would be educational about a general subject matter, while a webinar from the ‘Evaluation’ stage would be centered around your specific solution.When assigning content asset types to the touchpoints in your conversion pathway, you should also assign topics to those assets. Those topics will obviously change depending on the nature of your business, but here’s an example of how to execute this step correctly based on the conversion pathway defined above:Visit Unicorn blog >> Convert on Unicorn Hygiene ebook >> Click through to site on ebook nurturing campaign offer “10 Best Tools for Grooming a Unicorn” >> Navigate to Unicorn Accessories product pages >> Click through to site on Glittery Farms Unicorn Grooming Case Study nurture email and download Unicorn Grooming FAQ >> Receive Unicorn Grooming Kit Coupon email >> Redeem coupon and become a customerNotice how the content asset types move along from ‘Awareness’ assets — like an ebook — to ‘Evaluation’ assets — like a case study — to ‘Purchase’ assets — like a coupon. We will examine an example of a real business’ content asset types and how they map to a conversion path later in this post as well.3.) What content assets are you missing?At this point you might be saying, “That’s great, but I don’t have all of those content assets at the ready.” That’s ok. Remember, in addition to knowing when and where to use your content assets, part of content mapping is identifying which content assets you need to create to execute lead nurturing effectively. Once you’ve created your list of content assets and where they belong on the conversion pathway, perform a content audit to see what assets you already have and which ones you need to create. Then get going with content creation!4.) How do you need to adjust the messaging in those content assets to align with the persona to whom you’re speaking?If you haven’t created buyer personas yet, pause at this step in your content mapping exercise, read this guide to creating buyer personas, and create them. Pay particular attention to the question of how to identify the personas — if you can’t identify them based on their information and behaviors, you can’t appropriately target your marketing to them.For example, a company that sells personal tax software may find that they have two buyer personas — one that is identified as a professional accountant, the other identified as an individual looking to prepare his or her own taxes. You wouldn’t speak to these two audiences the same way, right? That’s why it’s important to not only create your buyer personas, but ask them to self identify when they become a lead so you can appropriately segment them in your lead nurturing, create content messaged just for them, and map the content appropriately.If you have created your buyer personas, ask yourself how you need to tweak the messaging in your already existing content assets (and those on your list to create) to speak most appropriately to each persona. Some content assets you may find can exist as they are — an FAQ about your product or service, for example — while others may need to be rewritten — like a case study, perhaps — to be more easily digestible for two personas who don’t quite speak the same language.Applying Content Mapping to a Real-Life ScenarioNow you know how to map content to each stage in the buying cycle, but let’s take it from (unicorn) theory to real life application. HubSpot customer Magic Software successfully moves leads who filled out a form to receive an educational whitepaper — a top of the funnel offer — through the ‘Awareness’ stage of the buying cycle to the ‘Purchase’ stage with these content asset types. Take a look:Step 1: Download an educational whitepaper — this lead is in the ‘Awareness’ stage and is looking to learn about integrating two pieces of software.Step 2: Instead of pushing the lead right to the ‘Evaluation’ stage, this email encourages the lead to review more educational content in their Resource Center about software integration.Step 3: Now that the lead has spent some time reading educational materials, it’s time to move them gently along to the ‘Evaluation’ stage of the buying cycle by offering some software integration webinars. The lead is still being educated, but webinars are a more time intensive content asset to consume, and indicate a lead’s willingness to seriously consider your solution.Step 4: Still in the ‘Evaluation’ stage, this email makes the jump from the webinar — educational but high-commitment content — to content centered around the solution they offer. Now the lead is ready to read about how a Magic Software product can solve their software integration problem through its product documentation.Step 5: Finally, this lead moves to the ‘Purchase’ stage of the buying cycle with high-commitment content. This email asks the lead to sign up for product training — an offer only a lead seriously considering a purchase would redeem. Because this lead wasn’t rushed through the buying cycle, but instead received content appropriate for their level of interest and education, they are in a far better position to turn into a customer.Have you mapped content to each stage in your sales funnel? Share tips from your experience in the comments!Image credit: Sudhamshu Originally published Feb 16, 2012 12:40:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Lead Nurturing Topics:
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: It’s a common debate in many businesses. Just who should be responsible for managing my company’s social media presence? Sales? Marketing? Customer Service?Do you want our perspective? How about all of the above? For most companies, social media management is a function of the marketing department, but there is a slew of social applications for your customer service and sales teams, too. Wouldn’t your sales team like to know if their assigned leads were asking questions about your products on Twitter? And aren’t customers constantly flocking to social media to complain about or seek help with products and services? In fact, according to a study from Booz & Company, 75% of marketers using social media identify customer service as a primary use of their social media platform. That being said, only 26% of respondents in the same study describe customer service as a department responsible for contributing leadership to social media strategies.Let’s be honest. The old adage, “too many cooks …” needn’t apply to social media management. Marketing, Customer Service, and Sales can all have a hand in your business’ social presence, and it doesn’t have to be a headache. You just have to know how to organize it. So let’s discuss how you can create a social media management function that everyone can take part in — and profit from.Identify Your Contributors Let’s be clear: just because you shouldn’t limit social media management to only one department, doesn’t mean you should have a million hands in your accounts. As I emphasized a few sentences ago, you have to know how to organize it, and part of this organization involves designating a few key players. So before you move on, identify who these key players are from each department. Ideally, you’d have one or a few people (depending on the size of your organization) from each department who are responsible for helping to manage your company’s social presence.You should also assign one or two point people from one department to manage your company’s overall presence. Because the marketing function of social media requires a lot of content creation/sharing and frequent updating of social accounts, you’ll probably want your marketing department to ultimately drive your company’s social presence. These social media managers will oversee the day-to-day operation of your social media accounts, as well as implement and carry out any social media marketing promotions. Essentially, these people will field and ‘outsource’ any sales or customer service/support-related queries that pop up in social media to the designated sales and customer service contributors.Choose the Right ToolsFor social media collaboration to work smoothly, you’ll also need to implement the right tools. Otherwise, the “too many cooks …” adage will start to apply. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available that enable you to manage social media collaboration among multiple contributors. When you’re evaluating social media management tools, you’ll want to look for tools that give you the ability to do the following:Schedule updates for the futureSet up filters to monitor your business and keywordsMonitor multiple social networksSupport multiple collaborators Assign specific social media updates to your collaborators for follow-upBONUS: hooks up to your marketing software for closed-loop social integrationHootSuite, for example, is a third-party social media management tool that enables you to do all of the above. It even now integrates with HubSpot’s marketing software to give customers the ability to monitor their leads’ activities in social media, and better use social media for lead nurturing — a huge win for Marketing and Sales.Now let’s dive into each of your social media contributors and the roles they should play in social media management.Marketing’s InvolvementAs we mentioned, your marketing department is likely to have the most proactive social media involvement, as marketing’s main use-cases for social media are promoting marketing content and offers, and engaging fans and followers. Be sure your marketing point person is sufficiently balancing updates about offers, educational content, and content that engages (e.g. questions, visual content, etc.).It’s also Marketing’s job to work with other teams’ contributors to be sure everyone has the opportunity to share the messages and updates that are important to those teams. For example, the customer team might want to share news of an upcoming webinar specifically meant for customers or announce the launch of a new customer-only email newsletter that customers can opt into receiving. To make this more efficient, have your point people create a sort of social media editorial calendar for the social networks you’re participating in. Fill it with the marketing content and offers you plan to promote, leave some open spots for other team’s messages, and give them access to the calendar so they can add their desired updates. To make this seamless, set a deadline each week for when submissions need to be made, and then schedule the content on a week by week basis. And as the point person/people for your company’s social media engagement, your social media manager(s) will also be responsible for monitoring mentions of your company, products/services, and industry terms. Make sure your point person routes questions to the appropriate social media collaborators in Customer Service and Sales as they arise. If you’re using HubSpot’s HootSuite integration, for example, and the point person notices that a lead in the HubSpot Contacts stream is asking a question about your product pricing, you might assign that update to your sales team collaborator who can either follow up directly or loop in that lead’s assigned rep.Customer Service’s InvolvementAccording to eMarketer, 46% of customers want to solve a problem when they’re engaging with a brand on social media, and 39% are looking to give feedback about a product or service. No wonder it makes total sense for customer service to have significant involvement in your business’ social media presence. That being said, using social media for customer service communication doesn’t go without its challenges. In fact, we’ve highlighted 7 of these such challenges and how businesses are tackling them in this past blog post. And while there are certainly challenges, that shouldn’t deter your customer service team from getting involved. After all, who is better trained and capable of handling a disgruntled customer or answering a nitty gritty product question — your marketing team, or a customer service rep? Do we even need to answer?Any customer service reps who are collaborating with your social presence should be at the ready to answer questions or respond to customers that your marketing point people can’t appropriately handle on their own. Whether your customer service team is using the same social media accounts, replying via a dedicated “Help” account, or contacting the customer through another method such as email (all are acceptable options, depending on your business), the customer service social collaborator should be following up in a timely manner and providing the most helpful assistance manageable. Furthermore, these contributors should be collaborating with the point person to communicate important customer-related updates that pop up unexpectedly, such as software outages or maintenance.Sales’ InvolvementLet’s not forget about Sales, folks. Your sales team is chatting it up with potential customers all the time, and knowing how to use social media to help them be more effective in the sales process can be a very valuable sales tool. And besides just responding to social media assignments from your marketing point people, your sales team should proactively be using social media to prospect as well as prepare for sales calls, follow ups, and nurture their assigned leads.If social media participation is new to your sales team, train them! Teach them how to locate their leads in social media to conduct some research in preparation for sales calls. Some marketing software, like HubSpot, may even show your sales team their lead’s social media account information, if available. Does the lead have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another social network or community popular for your industry? Once the sales rep has identified them, have them scan the lead’s information and updates on these social media sites. Encourage them to learn about the lead’s interests and pain points and strategize about how they can leverage these insights on their sales calls. After they’ve been in touch, Sales can even use social media as another way to keep in touch with and nurture their prospects by sending leads links to helpful content and looking for opportunities to answer their questions so they stay top of mind.What other social media collaboration tips would you share? Should other departments be involved in social media management? If so, who? Originally published Jun 19, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Social Media Marketers
Hey, remember that groundbreaking, cool feature Facebook announced back in January? It was called Graph Search. It supposedly was going to change the way people used the platform … but it wasn’t really available to be used quite yet. Then in July, Facebook announced it was going to roll out to all U.S. users — again, it was exciting, but Graph Search didn’t have great data points that I as a marketer would love to use. All in all, pretty meh-worthy announcements. … That is, until today. Facebook will start including status updates, photos, check-ins, and comments in your graph search. Yep, you heard me right — pretty soon, you’ll have access to data that will actually be useful to your life as a marketer. Previously, you only had access to pages, apps, and groups that included search terms. Now, you can search for terms in posts, updates, check-ins, and comments from your friends and people who post publicly. Here’s what the different will look like:What Graph Search Currently Looks Like Featuring Dancing With the StarsWhat Graph Search Will Look Like Featuring Dancing With the StarsIsn’t the second much more useful?This new feature opens up a slew of opportunities for marketers, such as:Monitoring Facebook posts about events they’re running. Researching product usage. Identifying content opportunities based on the interest of their most enthusiastic Facebook Fans.Tracking brand mentions by influencers.And lots and lots of other things!We’re kinda bummed because this new feature won’t be available to everyone with Graph Search. First, it’ll be tested in a small group of people, and then roll out to everyone after that. But, once it’s rolled out, marketers have a huge opportunity to make their content even more relevant to their audience with this data — which is something we all can get pumped about.Once you have this Graph Search feature, how will you use it in your marketing? Share your ideas with us in the comments.Image credit: Ksayer1 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 30, 2013 5:39:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: SEO and Social Media
Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This post originally appeared on Inbound Ecommerce, the ecommerce section of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing blog.It’s been a busy month for Google, the 50 billion pound gorilla of the search world. Even my dog, Zoe, got in on the analysis. She wrote an article for her blog (that’s right, she has a blog … and a Twitter account …) summarizing her opinions on the changes from Google.If you’re not sure what changes I’m talking about, earlier this month, Google decided to encrypt all keyword data — except for keyword data from ads, of course.We’ve been trying to provide you with content on how to deal with the changes if keyword traffic analysis was part of your strategy. Personally, I’ve historically looked at keywords for which I get very little traffic to give me ideas for long-tail keyword phrases. Sometimes I’ll find keyword phrases that are basically blog articles writing themselves! For example, one of our recent articles was inspired in part by discovering someone had hit our website searching for “how do I sell to people in the awareness phase of the buying cycle”.However, my dog had a slightly different use for this data — one of her favorite activities was writing about the weird keywords she does get traffic from. Sadly, that will have to end, but for your entertainment I decided to do some diving to see what kinds of amusing keywords we here at HubSpot get traffic for … that are totally random and irrelevant. (Note: These are straight from our historical keyword data, so the misspellings are intentional.)Google Keywords We Won’t Miss Being Able to Track1) “i want you tagline”I’m really hoping this is some Valentine’s campaign we wrote about, and not someone looking for a pickup line.2) “horseless headsman pumpkin carving pattern”A horseless headsman could just, like, buy a horse? Right?3) “people who don’t care about others facebook quotes”Not sure if that’s really mean or highly relatable. Either way, hope we helped!4) “black humpback whale jewelry”My personal hope is that they were looking for jewelry to give as a gift to their friend, who’s a black humpback whale.5) “catchy headlines about love”We at HubSpot are known for being hopeless romantics. Not even joking.6) “why somebody interest working at target”I’m sure Target is a great company to work for! I guess. I don’t really know I’m just being positive.7) “like facebook but better”If you find an answer to this, lemme know. I’ll be an investor.8) “what to say on store intercom if child is lost”Aren’t there codes and procedures for this? I’m concerned we showed up as an informational source. I feel that if this is your responsibility that you should already know this.9) “keywords in the ocean”There’s a joke in here somewhere. Keyword fish? Lots of people think my Inbound Commerce methodology looks like a fish … ok I’m really reaching here.10) “boring writing”Now Google is just being hurtful. I think our writing is quite good. Most of it anyways. We’re kinda jumping the shark with this post.11) “automated jokes”So a robot walks into a bar and orders a beer and asks the bartender how much. Bartender is in a great mood and says “For you buddy, no charge.” The robot shuts down.Get it? Automated robot? He had no charge? Ok moving on …12) “is it hard running a business”Yes. At least that’s what Brian Halligan tells us.13) “adverts that bring down other brands”That’s just mean. And probably ineffective. Don’t chase your competitors. Lead them.14) “what percent of people pay companies on time”I always pay on time, except when the rent is too damn high.15) “cheat to get 10000tweets”Cheaters never prosper, friend.16) “free email spam sender”Spammers never prosper, either. Let’s face it, they’re just really uncreative cheaters.17) “can you retweet something about yourself”You’re so vain, you probably think this tweet is about you. Also, yes you can. I do it all the time.In other news, I’m vain.18) “sick of being customer serice rep”Come work here. Customer Support Rep happiness is literally a metric we track. Who wants to talk to someone who’s sick of their job at the moment when they need support?19) “do you remember better with bullet points or number”… I honestly don’t know. Is someone studying this? Seems like someone should.20) “can people have a relationship through social media”But I would tweet 500 times, and I would tweet 500 more, just to be the man who tweeted 1,000 times to TwitPic at your door …21) “scary costumes list”HubSpotters are also known for their creative Halloween costumes. This year I’m going as an MQL.22) “elvis presley & the jamaican wailers”Thank ya, thank ya very much mon! (try reading that in both accents in your mind, it gets funny over time).23) “how to make your business facebook”Go back in time and take over Mark Zuckerberg’s life. Just be careful. Terrible things happen to wizards who meddle with time, Harry. #ImANerd24) “living in parents basement”… I … I have nothing for this one. Do what you gotta do.(Editor’s Note: This might have been due to this blog post.)25) “don corleone as a role model”I guess everyone has redeeming qualities. Like, landing pages should make the prospect an offer they can’t refuse. (See what I did right there?)26) “format of best article ever in the world”*blushing* Awwww … thanks Google for showing us for that. That makes up for that hurtful “boring writing” result from earlier.27) “it may not work out the way you had planne”Ain’t it the truth.28) “red color button”Fair enough. We haz red buttonz.29) “red better than green”Boy, that escalated quickly. You should test that yourself, variate testing results will be different site to site.30) “hubspot rentals”Like, you want to sublet one of our apartments? We’re usually cool to have guests. Just bring cupcakes.31) “awesome companies”*blushing again* Thanks, guys :)32) “presentation 90 hours”I’ve been in some presentations that felt like they lasted 90 hours.33) “trick to calculate if 1700 per month payment what is the payment of one day”Divide by number of the days in that month (figured I’d be helpful once today).34) “fashion focus group questions”Some of us actually have excellent fashion sense. But I am not one of them.35) “how to call back telemarketers”Please video tape yourself doing this. For me.36) “some junk words”I’m hoping this was someone teaching their parents how to use The Google.37) “dependability as a strong branding in bars”I get it. My bartender’s dependability is a big reason I come back. He never fails to put me back on my bar stool when I fall off.38) “stuff kids can make for a trade fair”I used to make crafts out of palm fronds. I’d love to pretend that “used to” means when I was a kid and not last week …39) “worst thing a customer has ever yelled at you for”I once yelled at the JetBlue Twitter account for scheduling bad weather while I was flying. They apologized and said they’d do better next time. I <3 them.40) "what can a 40-65 year old do in america"Anything they want!41) "goodbye just means hello will be coming soon"Don't know what they're searching for -- looks like they have all the answers already!42) "mack my google plus page"Add flame decals. Flame decals make everything better.43) "where in my home can i find some of elements"You know, questions about elements are the only reason people bring me to trivia nights. I can do the Periodic Table from memory alphabetically, by weight, or by atomic number. They obviously don't bring me to raise the cool factor.44) "rotten pumpkin"Load it into a trebuchet and watch it explode. Problem solved.45) "how to hack a private instagram account"BAD! BAD GOOGLER!46) "ignore the haters"Amen.47) "jordans shoes boston red sox colors"#GoSox48) "pick up lines to make a girl like you"I'd recommend just having great content to attract people. Content is what's inside. #DeepThoughts49) "guerrilla football idea"I really want this to be a real game! Just pop out of the bushes and throw a hail mary.50) "secret love prediction"Just tell them how you feel, my friend. Life's too short for secret loves.51) "how to approach a drug dealer"... with a badge. Because you should only do this if you're a police officer.I hope you enjoyed this! As marketers, any loss of data makes us sad. We want to create relevant content that helps people answer their questions. If there are any posts you'd like to see us write, you know where to find us -- leave a comment, tweet at us, find us on Facebook, whatever makes you happy.What about you? What weird keywords have you seen in your data? How will losing the keywords data affect you? Keyword Research Originally published Oct 10, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 Topics: Pinterest Marketing Did you know that Pinterest is turning four in March? I mean, where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday marketers were beginning to explore how Pinterest could fit into their marketing strategies. Now, the site has over 70 million active users, and marketers around the world have embraced it as a legitimate social media marketing channel.Though Pinterest is much more mainstream now, we’ve got to be careful. As my mother tells me every so often, sometimes you think you know it all — but you probably don’t.Free Resource: 12 Pinterest Templates for Business Not because there isn’t an answer to your question, but perhaps because you haven’t even asked the question yet. Maybe you think it’s a silly question. Embarrassing to ask, even.But we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve listed the answers to some of your most burning Pinterest questions in the best judgment-free zone to find answers: a blog post.11 Questions About Pinterest You’ve Wanted to Ask1) Okay, I’m on Pinterest. Now, how do I get followers?It’s intimidating to join Pinterest and see a big fat zero next to your number of followers, but don’t worry — they’re out there. Building your reach on social networks takes work and time, but can really turn the dial up on traffic and leads for your business.Because there are two options for people to engage with you on Pinterest — either follow an individual board or your account as a whole — there are quite a few ways you can get more people to follow you. A couple small things you can try include adding a Pinterest follow button to your website, pinning content throughout the day, letting your email subscribers and leads know that you’re on Pinterest, and even following a few other people on Pinterest in the hope they’ll return the favor.2) Um … what am I supposed to be pinning on Pinterest?There are many, many things you can pin on Pinterest. But, before you start pinning, you should to be thinking about your strategy for visual content.Marketers should invest in visual content as part of their overall marketing strategy, but when it comes to Pinterest, there are a few things that can help guide your decisions on what to pin.Beyond regular photos, marketers can post articles, experiment with infographics, and even pin videos. You’ve just got to make sure, though, you’ve got your Pinterest board strategy down first.3) So what’s the difference between a pin, a repin, and a favorite?Just like other social networks (especially Twitter), Pinterest has some lingo of its own you’ll want to understand as you navigate the site.A pin is essentially a bookmark, so when you find something on the web you want to keep or look at later, you can “pin” it to one of your boards.Meanwhile, a repin is when you take an image that’s already on someone else’s board and post it to one of your own. When you do this, notifications are sent to let the other person know you’ve repinned something of theirs.Same thing with anything you like: Pressing that “heart” button on a pin will send a notification to that person that you liked their pin.4) Will people actually use Pinterest in the long run or is it just a fad?Heck yeah they will. As mentioned, the site has millions of devoted followers. It’s also popular no matter what time of day it is. For example, 4.8% of American users check out Pinterest at the office during work hours.And just what are people doing on Pinterest? Well, they’re pinning pins, repinning pins (80% of pins are repins), creating boards, and following other boards of interest.Very Pinteresting, if you ask us. Evidence hints that the site isn’t dwindling in popularity anytime soon.5) Isn’t Pinterest just for women?Nope. While women account for 80% of registered Pinterest users, plenty of men use it as well. While it’s up to you to post content to the site and, in turn, find your core audience — men, women, Millennials, older generations, students, professionals, etc. — using Pinterest for business can help you drive traffic to your site, bring in leads, and even boost sales.I could go on, but instead, I’ll point you to more resources you can check out after this reading this post. Here’s our ultimate guide on mastering Pinterest for marketing.6) I’m scared to ask my manager: How do I decide if Pinterest is good for my business?Good for you for not jumping in with both feet on a popular social network just for the sake of having an account. Smart marketers know they need to evaluate if that new social network they’re considering is worth their company’s time.Here’s a good place to start: Are your buyer personas likely to frequent the site? What are your competitors doing on Pinterest? Once you’ve gathered that information, you’re better equipped to decide if Pinterest is a good social network for your company to have a presence on and if it’ll help with your overall marketing strategy.7) Are businesses actually successful with their Pinterest marketing? Which ones?Yes, and let’s get on the same page about one thing: You can do successful marketing on Pinterest whether you’re a B2C company selling cars or a B2B company selling software.For instance, Staples learned a lot by using Pinterest as a marketing channel. So has Chobani: Yes, the company sells yogurt, but it’s using Pinterest to teach people more about the Chobani brand and lifestyle through the use of different boards and relatable photos.8) Analytics. Data. Metrics. Do those even exist on Pinterest?Yes, there are ways to measure your success with Pinterest. When thinking about the success of your marketing on the site, there are two things to consider.One is how your account is performing on Pinterest itself. The second is the return on investment you’re getting by using Pinterest as a marketing channel.With those two concepts in mind, read our blog post on measuring success on Pinterest. And if you have a Pinterest business account, the platform offers free analytics for measuring this stuff.9) I assume there are some rules for Pinterest, right? What are they?There are definitely “rules,” but they’re not as hard and fast as you might think. Where Pinterest is concerned — and, actually, where social media at large is concerned — is that there’s proper social media marketing etiquette that you should always follow.For instance, it’s best not be too self-promotional, which can be tempting as a business that’s trying to bring traffic to their site. Pinterest actually has a webpage that discusses Pinterest etiquette in which they say, “We think authenticity — expressing who you really are and what you’re really like — is more important than getting lots of followers.” So be sure to take this to heart — otherwise, you’re at risk for being banned from the social site.10) What’s another way to show my pins to my audience without always linking to Pinterest?There’s a couple. Just like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and a slew of other social networks, you can showcase your account on other marketing collateral you have.For example, a quick win is embedding one of your boards right onto your website — and we’ve got instructions on how to do that. But that’s only one of the four ways to cross-pollinate your pins with the rest of your marketing.Pinterest also has a “Pin it” button, a “Follow” button, a “Profile” widget, and a “Board” widget that are all easy to integrate with your website. And the best part? We’ve got a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to use all of these social sharing buttons.11) My website is the cat’s meow. How can I get people to share it on Pinterest?It’s pretty easy to make it … well … easy for people to pin things from your website to their own Pinterest boards.Pinterest has a great Goodies page that shows you how to make a “Pin it” button to put on your website. This button helps your website visitors quickly share your work on their own Pinterest boards.
Image from MozJuly 2014: Pigeon 1.0The introduction of Google’s Pigeon algorithm in July was — for local businesses, at least — its biggest change of the year. The changes are meant to help users find “more useful, relevant, and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals,” according to Search Engine Land. While Google says it improved their distance and location ranking parameters, some local businesses likely found it affected their number of web site referrals and leads.It also seems to have given local directory sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor better visibility in Google’s search results. For example, if you search for “chicago hotels,” the search results favor URLs from sites like Hotels.com, Travelocity, and Kayak, while individual hotels’ websites don’t show up until page two.August 2014: Authorship Removed + HTTPS/SSL As a Ranking SignalIn August, Google announced they would start giving a small ranking boost to secure HTTPS/SSL sites and decided to kill Authorship.Authorship Removed: Google decided to remove Authorship results from search, which many believe strips Google+ of the only value it every really had. This move meant Google would no longer track the rel=author tag data — although keeping it on your pages “won’t cause problems,” Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller wrote in a post to Google+. Mueller told Search Engine Land that the reason for the change was that users didn’t find it helpful or valuable, and it had low publisher and webmaster adoption. But, interestingly, Google+ posts from your connections will now look like Authorship did — so it’s possible this change is an (aggressive) ploy to get more people using Google+. (Learn more about the removal of Authorship here.) Panda: A search filter meant to stop sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. (Poor quality content is most commonly content created solely for SEO purposes — featuring things like keyword stuffing and scraped or duplicated content.) It was first introduced in February 2011. Originally published Dec 19, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Penguin: A search filter designed to better catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings. When a new Penguin Update is released, sites that have taken action to remove bad links may regain rankings. It was first introduced in April 2012. Penguin 3.0: This update was just a refresh affecting fewer than 1% of English queries, but it helped boost search ranking for websites that have cleaned up the webspam discovered in the previous Penguin update, while also catching and dinging sites with new spam.Were you affected by any of these major updates? Learn more about how to recover from a Google algorithm update here.What do you think Google has up its sleeve in terms of changes to its search algorithm in 2015? Topics: Inbound marketers are constantly on alert for changes in Google’s ever-evolving algorithm … but that doesn’t mean we don’t miss one every now and then. The combination of frequent algorithm updates and a busy workload means that sometimes a critical update gets lost in the sauce.To make sure you’re fully up to date on the latest major changes in SEO, we’ve compiled a full list of the most important Google algorithm updates from 2014. This year, we saw changes from pirates and penguins and pandas and pigeons; the removal of authorship, and other notable updates. Let’s take a closer look at what those updates were.The Animals: A Quick RefresherFor your reference, here are the names given to Google’s algorithm updates that were relevant for 2014 and a brief description of each.Pirate: A search filter designed to prevent sites that have a lot of copyright infringement reports (as filed through Google’s DMCA system) from ranking well in Google’s listings. It was first introduced in August 2012. Authorship Photo Removed: Google decided to drop Authorship photos from most search results, frustrating marketers everywhere. Instead, authors’ names would be linked to their Google+ profiles, without including circle count. Why the change? Mueller wrote in the announcement that it decluttered search results, particularly for mobile users — which makes sense as Google continues to embrace mobile-first design. Mueller also cited some of Google’s eye tracking research, which found that social annotations like author photos completely changed the way users looked at search results. Payday Loan 2.0: The details of the Payday Loan 2.0 update are a little fuzzy, but Google did release the update to specifically target “very spammy queries.” Google told Search Engine Land this update was an international update and affected different languages to different degrees.June 2014: Payday Loan 3.0, Authorship Photo RemovedIn June, Google updated their Payday Loan algorithm and ended Author Photos in search.Payday Loan 3.0: Google made a significant iteration to its anti-spam algorithm less than a month after the last major Payday update. According to Moz, “official statements suggested that 2.0 targeted specific sites, while 3.0 targeted spammy queries.” Google Updates Pigeon: A major local search algorithm update launched in July 2014 to provide more useful, relevant, and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. Payday Loan: Okay, this one isn’t an animal — but it’s still important. It’s a search filter that targets “very spammy queries” that are frequently associated with spam — often for payday loans, accident claims, and other insurance-related sites. It was first introduced in June 2013.Alright, let’s get to the actual updates.The Major Google Algorithm Updates of 2014February 2014: Page Layout #3In February, Google refreshed their Page Layout algorithm, also known as “Top Heavy,” which dings sites that load too many ads above the fold. This smaller update is meant to improve user experience — users want to see the content they were looking for right away when they click on a search result, and Google heard them loud and clear.May 2014: Panda 4.0, Payday Loan 2.0In May, Google released a major update to its Panda algorithm, and a smaller one to its Payday Loan algorithm.Panda 4.0: Starting with a tweet from Matt Cutts, Google announced the rollout of its major Panda 4.0 update to help small businesses and websites that create great content do better in Google search results. Search Engine Land called this change a “softer and gentler” Panda algorithm that specifically helps out smaller businesses with shallower pockets. HTTPS/SSL As a Ranking Signal: Google uses about 200 ranking signals when determining organic search page rankings, and in August, they added secure sites to the list. They cited this change as part of a broader effort to make the internet a safer place. With the update, adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your site — what Search Engine Land calls “going HTTPS” — began giving websites a small ranking benefit. According to the official update, it’s only a “very lightweight signal” for now, affecting fewer than 1% of queries and carrying “less weight” than other signals like high qualiy content. September 2014: Panda 4.1In September, Google released the 27th version of its Panda Update that will make the search filter more precise to better identify low quality content and therefore allow more small and medium-sized sites that generate high quality content to rank better. Although this is a much smaller change than Panda’s May 2014 update, it still shows Google’s listening to user feedback and doing what it can to reward smaller sites putting out good content.October 2014: Pirate 2.0 + Penguin 3.0In October, Google made some changes to their Pirate and Penguin Updates.Pirate 2.0: In their continued effort to fight digital media piracy by dinging sites with a lot of copyright infringement reports, Google’s most recent Pirate update targeted a relatively small group of suspect websites and caused dramatic drops in their ranking. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack