Blog about Internet marketing strategies - social media, & SEO

Standout Content in Google News

Google has just launched a new type of link attribute called standout that news organizations can use to highlight their major news. This will be used to promote the news in the featured section of Google News.

The syntax is simple. Just add rel=”standout” on your link. Such as

a rel="standout" href="yourstandoutnews.html" to highlight your internal news or

a rel="standout" href="" to highlight external news. Currently Google only allows upto 7 standout news per week. More than that is not considered for featured content. Google even encourages citing others’ standout content as important parameter for earning trust on your own standout work.

This could be very significant for news organizations in terms of gaining extra exposure. This can be compared to the sitelinks features of websites where important pages get extra attention.

Some more help on how to use the standout feature can be found at Google Help here.


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Premature Scaling of Startup

If you are a Startup and wondering why your company has not performed as expected, the premature scaling theory may help you understand it better.

All Startups essentially go through several phases such as Discovery, Validation, Efficiency, Scale, Sustain & Conservation. Premature scaling in terms of business can occur when you jump to a next phase while still in the lower phase. Premature scaling can occur in terms of several dimensions such as:

Customer: spending too much resources on a customer before the product/market fit

Product: building product without validating the problem/solution fit or product/market fit

Human Resource: hiring too many people and a tall organizational structure. (Often a problem when cheap human resource is available)

Financial Resource: raising too much capital than Startup can handle (especially from outside sources)

Business Model: focusing too much on profit maximization without looking at market or environment.

premature scaling infographic

Infographic on Premature Scaling of Startups

See more details as covered by the Startup Genome Research

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Google Search and AdWords Research with SEMRush

SEMRush Logo
SEMRush is an online tool for Google organic keywords, AdWords and competition research. SEMRush analyzes data from its millions of keywords and domains database. This tool is as simple as entering your (or competitor) domain name or keyword to get back insights to the organic keywords, AdWords keywords, competition analysis and more. SEMRush is an essential tool for online marketers!

Let’s look at some of the features of SEMRush that makes it such a great tool. For reference I have used as the website under consideration and categorized the results into three types of reports: Organic, AdWords and competitor analysis. These reports can be easily viewed from the navigation on the left. The results can be exported to various formats as well.

1) Organic Keywords Report
The first visible results are the organic keywords results. Among others, this shows the organic keyword list, its traffic share on the website, the URL triggered by that keyword and the position of that keyword on Google, each of which can be sorted. For example you can sort by your best ranked keywords. It even shows the volume of search in other countries (SEMRush currently supports 9 countries).

SEMRush Google organic report

2) AdWords keywords Report
This shows the keywords that trigger the AdWords ad, position of ad in Google, search volume, cost for ad, competition and other details. You can even view the ad copy. Quite a handful if you want to know your competitor ads.

SEMRush AdWords

3) Competition Research Reports
The remaining reports show the competitors in organic or AdWords. These are

  • Competitors in organic search,
  • Competitors in AdWords,
  • Unique AdWords Ads (ad copy),
  • Potential ad/traffic buyers, and
  • Potential ad/traffic sellers

SEMRush competitors
SEMRush ad buyers sellers

An interesting addition is the competition graph, where you can compare various properties such as search traffic or number of AdWords to your competitors in graphical format.

SEMRush trend graph

You can also use the SEMRush competition research by starting with target keywords to find the related keyword variations and competing websites.

SEMRush keyword search

Free version of SEMRush shows the first 10 results in the report only. So you may want to upgrade to pro version to view the full reports. SEMRush is a tool by the same team that brought popular SEO tools such as SeoQuake and WhoRush. And SEMRush is among the best search engine marketing tools available.

Start using SEMRush

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Basic SEO tips for website

Who doesn’t want to rank the highest on search engines such as Google or Yahoo? Follow these basic search engine optimization (SEO) tips to help your website rank better.

  • Do some keyword research first. It helps to know about the important keywords to target.
  • Buy a domain name with keyword if possible. Domain names cannot be changed later.
  • Use keywords throughout the web site. But focus on only one keyword per page.
  • Create a sitemap. Sitemaps help search engines crawl your website better.
  • Avoid using Flash. Flash are not indexed properly by search engines.
  • Go for search friendly website design. Navigation should be easy for visitors as well as search engines.
  • Apply META tags optimization. These are the tags that are indexed by search engines and should be used wisely.
  • Apply ALT tags optimization. Search engines don’t recognize images, so don’t forget to give description of your images.
  • URL structure optimization for dynamic pages. Include keywords in them or use search friendly content management system (CMS) such as WordPress.
  • Control overall page size. Smaller size pages are better for users as well as Google.
  • Use headings. Headings are good place to put your keywords.
  • Optimize anchor text for your links. Links should include keywords for best results.
  • Get links to your website. This can be using link exchange or using social media.
  • Do social media optimization. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be used to target your keywords.
  • Put fresh content online. Having new useful content always helps in SEO.
  • Do not fool search engines. Bad ethics or bad tactics eventually backfire at your online business too.

Interested in SEO for your website?

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Google bias – Google Books Explosion

Does Google give preference to search results from its own products? It has been a topic of great discussion, particularly after the search bias research by Benjamin Edelman. In my recent search for long phrases I also found Google’s ineffectiveness in results and a bias towards its product Google Books.

Here are some of the results on Google search engine.

Query 1:
Do any of them show progress? Which one is the best? Note the characteristics
Google Books results among the top 10 results = 10. External results = 0.

Query 2:
not everybody are created equal. But what is the logic? Shall we proceed
Google Books results among the top 10 results = 9. External results = 1 (6th position)

Query 3:
I suspect not. Why is this happening only here? Answer remains to be explored.
Google Books results among the top 10 results = 7. External links = 3 (starting from 5th position)

Other search engines such as Yahoo do not display Google Books results for these terms. Does this show some problems with the search algorithm of Google? Or intentional bias towards its product, that is Google Books in this case? The problem here with the search results is that there is no relevance to the search phrase and the displayed Google Books result. So what is with this explosion of Google Books results? I believe Google knows the answer. But will it tell?

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101 awesome marketing quotes

Here is a collection of 101 great quotes of modern day marketing, especially regarding social media and internet marketing.

The first quote by marketing Guru Seth Godin is “If you wait until there is another case study in your industry, you will be too late”. And that’s just the beginning.

Which is your favorite quote?

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Website Marketing Strategy

In general, a website can serve any of these three purpose.

A) Website providing information regarding your professional services
B) Website selling products or services online
C) Website as direct source for generating income through ads

Website Marketing Strategy

Having a website fulfills different objectives or goals for different groups. Understanding your goals is the first step to proper website marketing. Let’s look at the three categories to see where you fit in and what you should do.

A) Website providing information of professional services

Example types:
Business houses, hospitals, universities, colleges, institutions, professionals such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, consultants, entrepreneurs.

These need website to provide the information of organization to existing clients, or as a contact channel for target clients.

Website goals:
Allow users to contact you via email, contact form or telephone or personal visit
Spread organizational information
Provide products and services information
Brand awareness

Recommended marketing strategy:
Go for a good website design that is pleasing+easy easy to use and is search friendly (so that people can find you on Google or Yahoo). If you are in this category, your website can go for on-page or off-page SEO to make it search engine friendly. If your organizational brand management is important, your website can go for social media marketing as well as online advertising.

What you should do:
Go for a search friendly website designer + SEO for building such website.

B) Website selling products or services online

Example types:
Export, travel, ticketing, supermarkets, online shopping carts, web applications, online transactions

These can be websites that sell products or services online using debit or credit cards. Or these website can allow users to fill up details regarding their interest or place booking orders.

Website Goals:
Make an online enquiry
Make an online order
Online purchase

Recommended marketing strategy:
Along with good looking and search friendly, your website should have transaction system that is easy to access and use. This may mean checkout system using third party applications for online transaction. Or it may be a booking form that visitors can fill to order the product or service or seek further information. If your website has many products or services, you can go for search engine friendly content management systems, or CMS so that your staff can put the new products or services whenever needed. Promote popular products or services more through search engines and social media.

What you should do:
Hire a team of expert programmer, designer and Internet marketer for your website.

C) Website as direct source for generating income through ads

Example types:
Content blogs, affiliate networks, business listing, news aggregator, social sites

These can be websites that do not have any product or service of their own but sustain through ads. In fact, they advertise third party products or services on the websites or gather useful information through RSS or produce user generated content.

Website Goals:
Get high traffic to website
Get users to try products or services on the website
Get visitors to click on ads
Get high number of registrations
Get high number of interactions

Recommended marketing strategy:
Search engine optimization (SEO) and viral social media promotion play a big role for such websites. Optimizing website for high volume keywords would be an objective for such website. Also content organization to attract glue users is a must. Having CMS is essential for adding new contents. Understanding visitor needs and your niche is crucial. Integrate viral marketing campaigns through social media to bring useful traffic to website. Explorer pay per click (PPC) opportunities as publisher as well as advertiser.

What you should do:
Hire experienced Internet marketer for your website.


Different organization have different requirements. Knowing your target and reaching out to them through website effectively requires a detailed strategy. Contact to build one for yours.

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Social Media Trend

social media sharing trend
Social Media & Sharing Trend

Social media has been playing a dominant role on the web. The following is a trend of the most popular social media globally. It also presents the comparison of popularity of social media in Nepal, India and USA and globally.

Social Media Global Share Global Growth USA Share India Share Nepal Share
Facebook 41.4% 3% 36.5% 38.7% 63.6%
Email 8.0% -2% 14.5% 6.2% 2.3%
Twitter 9.9% 25% 9.2% 9.8% 7.4%
Facebook Like 7.2% 517% 5.9% 5.6% 7.3%

Taken from the social bookmarking sites such as addthis, what’s interesting in the trend is the gradual decrease in the older sharing method of email and use of new social media such as Facebook, Facebook Like, Twitter and others. Facebook Like is in fact among the most popular way of sharing information on the web right now with up to 517% increase trend.

Another interesting social trend regarding Nepal is the high proportion of information sharing on Facebook compared to other media. While the global social media trend shows increasing portion of Facebook sharing as well, Nepal in fact is well ahead in its way to choosing the right social media.

Interested in building a social media strategy for your brand?

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