Monthly Archives: April 2011

Apr 21

Widespread Internet Outages Impact Social Media

By Rebecca Murtagh | SMO - Social Media Optimization

Amazon.com Cloud Services Failure Takes Down Social Media Apps & Websites

In what appears to be an unprecedented event, a failure in Amazon.com Web Services in “The Cloud” has caused widespread Internet outages, impacting social media sites Reddit, HootSuite, Quora and a Facebook App for Microsoft, to name a few.HootSuite and other social media apps down with Amazon Cloud failure

The internet outage began around 4AM Eastern Time on Thursday, April 21, 2011 and at 1:30PM Amazon reporting “making significant progress” but the social media sites remain down. The problems with Amazon’s US-East 1 Region Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) which caused the outage has failed to provide hosting redundancy making various applications, including social media platforms unavailable to most, but not all users in this region of the US.

Amazon.com Failure Challenges Perception of Reliability of Cloud Computing

This internet failure could prompt evaluation of one service being the primary Cloud service provider to so many social media platforms and applications. After all, what good is a social network if your users can’t connect?

Let’s hope for a swift remedy and a fortified correction to enable access to the social media platforms we have come to rely upon.

Apr 18

Sure Things: Death, Taxes and Changes in Search Algorithms

By Rebecca Murtagh | SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Three things are sure in the life of a virtual digital marketer:

Death, Taxes and Changes in the Google Search Algorithmtips for weathering changes in search engine algorithm changes

You may convince yourself that your initial investment in SEO should last you for the next few years. However, reality may force you to face reality as your traffic continues to decline and you lose prospective customers and market share to the competition.

3 Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your SEO:

1. Optimize Using White Hat Best Practices

Those of us who were doing “SEO” before search engine optimization even became a profession will tell you that some of the best practices we were deploying ten years ago still apply.

Why? Because approaching SEO with a marketing perspective and attention to content will always perform well in competitive search.

White Hat SEO enables you to put your best foot forward without risking penalty from Google.

2. Avoid Google Blacklisting & Penalties

Many people think talk of “blacklisting by Google” is a myth. Truth is, Google is very smart. Some argue too smart. And, Google will not hesitate to penalize those who deliberately (even if not maliciously) break the rules of search.

Still don’t believe me?
Recenlty  Overstock.com was notified by Google that they would be penalized for a linking scheme that was against Google’s guidelines, which Overstock cited in a report to the SEC as the cause of a 5% revenue decline from lost organic search engine performance.

When it comes to Google, playing by the rules does pay. (literally)

3. Analyze, Adapt & Repeat

One of the most important aspects of SEO is ongoing monitoring and maintenance of your search engine optimization. Algorithms will continual change to weigh various factors of your website, making it imperative to review analytics and respond to evolving trends.

Analyze Search Engine Changes & Website SEO Performance

The best approach is to monitor website analytics, the trades, blogs and news for a comprehensive perspective on search engine behaviors and how they affect your website.

If you don’t have the time to do this, or the expertise in-house, it is highly recommended that you engage a seasoned eye to monitor search engine data for you. The benefit in hiring a credible SEO expert is they have the added perspective of monitoring multiple sites on multiple platforms, and can typically identify trends and make recommendations on how to navigate the latest changes in search so you don’t continually decline in search engine results, but rather achieve and/or sustain top position(s) in organic search engine results.

Adapt to Search Engine Changes

Algorithms will change, and although Google does publicly announce some changes in their search engine technology, these announcements typically come months after they have already been tested, or implemented according to my personal research and monitoring over the past 10 years.

Repeat Your Efforts For Best Results

Analyze search engine performance on a monthly basis, at very least.

A year-to-year and month-to-month comparison is typically a great foundation for identifying trends in keyword usage, traffic sources, landing page performance, etc. amidst search engine changes, as well as your organization’s seasonal and sales cycles.

So, although you cannot avoid death or taxes, there are ways to manage the inevitable changes in search.
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