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Google announced three days ago that it was introducing another markup attribute that webmasters could use on their websites. The attribute is obviously geared toward news sites that use multiple authors for writing page content. But any website with multiple authors or content creators can use the link attribute.

The attribute of which I am speaking is the real=”author” attribute. It’s to be used on links on the same domain, not on links that point from one domain to another.

For instance, if you have a website where videos are posted by several regular contributors and you want each of those contributors to have a bio page, then you would link from each video content page on the site to the creator’s bio page using the rel=”author” link attribute. It would look something like this:

In this example, Mickey Spillane is the video’s producer. Because he has produced more than one video for the sample website, he would have several links pointing from his author bio page to his videos. In turn, each video would point back to his producer bio page with the rel=”author” attribute.

This is a rather nifty link attribute I think. If searchers are looking for a particular video content producer, then the link attribute would likely be used to help them find that producer.

Is Internet marketing less expensive than traditional marketing. It is in many cases, though not always.

In times when the economy is struggling, every small business wants to save money. That’s understandable. But what many small business owners end up doing is killing their marketing budgets, which leads to less business. You really don’t want to kill your marketing just when you need it most. So what’s the alternative?

How about redirecting that budget to online marketing where it can be easily tracked, controlled, and measured?

Television and radio advertising, long-running staples for most small businesses, are just not what they used to be. TV ads are expensive. Radio ads are not as much so, but your audience is limited. And newspapers ads are not as effective as they used to be. Internet marketing, however, offers several channels and marketing solutions for small businesses that are quite affordable – and effective.

For instance, PPC advertising allows you to set your own budget. You choose how much you are willing to pay for a lead, and you don’t pay for that lead until you receive it.

Even if you do use PPC advertising, your marketing budget could exceed that of your traditional marketing budget. The difference, however, is that it is easily trackable and you can measure your results a lot more effectively, not to mention that PPC advertising often leads to increased business on a scale that TV advertising can only envy.

So is Internet marketing less costly than traditional marketing? It depends on how you measure cost. In many ways, it is less costly and more effective.

Al Qaeda is back in the news and this time it’s not Osama bin Laden. But it IS about Osama bin Laden. This story is useful because it has something to teach us about video marketing.

The first lesson is that you can use negative news to make a positive statement. What is Al Qaeda’s “negative” news? Our leader is dead. And the positive news is? Even in death, he’s going to stick it to the enemy.

You don’t have to agree with the message to note its effectiveness. The evidence of its effectiveness is the fact that it made international news.

When any organization has something to say about public events, that’s effective marketing. And the fact that this message was delivered by video makes it even more powerful. Note: Video marketing can be ten times more effective as traditional content marketing.

Another lesson we can pull from Al Qaeda’s attempt to remain in the public eye is that you have to act fast. It hasn’t been that long since the U.S. killed the terrorist leader. Ayman al-Zawahri wasted no time in getting his organization’s message out to all who are interested.

Finally, keep telling your story. No matter what. Al Qaeda could very easily have hung up their hats when their charismatic leader was vanquished. Instead, they’re continuing to tell their story. You should too.

I’ve done some looking into some of the websites that keep track of Twitter trends, including the Twitter search feature itself. The one I think has the best possible use for businesses looking for trends in their niche is Tweetmeme.

Most of the Twitter trends websites are tracking all trends on Twitter, and coincidentally you’ll find mostly personal tweets. Those aren’t going to help you as a business owner. Even geographically-based trend search websites show mostly personal tweets. What you need is a trend search website that ranks tweets according to channels or categories. That’s Tweetmeme.

Tweetmeme’s categories include Comedy, Entertainment, Gaming, Lifestyle, Science, Sports, Technology, and World & Business. While these categories will also turn up personal tweets that won’t do you any good, they are also each broken down into subcategories, or subchannels. This makes it even easier to follow the trends in your particular niche.

For instance, the Sports category is broken down by sport: Basketball, Baseball, Golf, Hockey, etc. The Technology channel includes Apple, Design, Gadgets, Hardware, etc. If you are a software manufacturer and you want to see the trending topics on Twitter related to software, just click on the Technology tab on the navigation menu and scroll to Software. You’ll see the trending topics in that category.

This is a useful organizing system because many personal tweets can be filtered out right off the bat.

Tweetmeme also allows you to put a retweet button on your website so you can join the metrical parade. Tweetmeme is also popular enough that many website owners and Twitterers are already using it as a bookmarking and tweeting service. You could benefit from its use as well.

Internet marketing has come a long way since 1991. I mean, the World Wide Web came into the light in 1990, which is when the first Web browser and the first website were built. Since then, pioneers have championed some powerful marketing tactics. The following four Internet marketing tactics were among the first channels ever used, and they are still just as effective today.

  • Website Design – Naturally, we’ll begin with the granddaddy of all Internet marketing channels. Having your own website has become synonymous with Internet marketing. It just seems logical, therefore, that this should be at the top of the list.
  • Article Marketing – From the time they built their first websites, pioneering Internet marketers started driving traffic to them with articles. Article marketing became one of the first very successful methods of marketing online – and it still works.
  • E-mail Marketing – E-mail marketing enjoys the status of being one of the most profitable Internet marketing channels ever. It was also one of the first ways that successful online marketers used to leverage a sustainable income.
  • Forum Marketing – Forums were the first real social media tools. Early Internet marketers discovered how effective they were at driving traffic to websites. Despite all the rules in place at many forums today, you can still use them effectively for your marketing efforts.

While the new methods of Internet marketing – blogging, social media, Twitter, video marketing, mobile marketing, etc. – are effective too, these four primitive online marketing tactics are still just as effective as they ever were. Don’t leave them out.

Is SEO getting harder to achieve for everyday webmasters? I believe it is. This can be evidenced by the number of webmasters who are giving up on it entirely, or in part, and begin chasing other, less effective, channels like social media marketing.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe that social media marketing can be effective. But numbers don’t lie. And the number that I’m speaking about specifically right now is the 80% number. That’s the percentage of web traffic that is driven by search engines – organic search.

If 80% of your web traffic is coming from search engines (and 90% of that from Google), then that’s a channel you don’t want to ignore.

Granted, the search engines are making it harder and harder for the average webmaster to figure out how to style and write their content for the best rankings. It seems sometimes that the blackhat guys have a better chance. Don’t fret. You have as much a chance to rank your content as everyone else does – if you just pay attention to a few little details first.

  • The first thing to remember is that search engines like fresh original content. Don’t use those old PLR articles. Even if you rewrite them, you’re likely to fill your website with duplicate content.
  • Titles are very important. Write good ones that are effective and optimized.
  • Build some inbound links to that website, but be careful where you go to get them.
  • Study the competition; what are they doing right – and wrong?

Search engine optimization hasn’t changed a whole lot in 10-12 years. Sure, there have been big changes, but the core fundamentals are still the same. Don’t go chasing every new method or technique someone mentions and be sure to do a lot of testing.

Schema are a new tool provided by a partnership between the big three search engines – Google, Bing, and Yahoo! You can learn more about them at schema.org.

The basic idea behind schema is that certain content is ambiguous and difficult for search engines to ascertain the purpose and intent while human readers have no difficulty. For instance, if you are writing about Vipers, the search engines may not be able to tell if you are referring to the snake or the automobile. Of course, if you are trying to sell cars, then the use of schemas can more easily define your content as related to automobiles and help the search engines in ranking your web page accordingly.

For instance, let’s say you are a local car dealer. There is a schema just for you. It’s listed under the broader hierarchy categories of Thing and Organization. The specific category is LocalBusiness. If you want to get more specific, there’s an AutomotiveBusiness type under that category. Even more specific is the AutoDealer category. That’s where you’ll fall in Mr. Local Dodge Dealer.

But what about that Viper? You can mark up your Viper review with the Review schema to let the search engines know that you are reviewing an automobile or the Product schema to highlight the fact that you are writing about an automobile called Dodge Viper.

With schemas, you stand a better chance of getting your content understood by the search engines. In turn, you stand a better chance of having it rank respectfully.

First, there was Groupon. Then LivingSocial. And several other online coupon shops – some of them like Jetsetter and Ideeli focusing on narrow niches – popped up. Recently, Google and Facebook announced they were getting in on the action. Now, Amazon has entered the online coupon competition as well. Is that too many?

I don’t think so, especially since some of the older ones are niche sites. And Google, Facebook, and Amazon are all rolling out their offerings one market at a time. Slowly.

Facebook opened up in five markets last month: Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, San Diego, and San Francisco. Google Offers opened in Portland, Oregon and will soon hit New York City with local offers. AmazonLocal is starting in Boise, Idaho.

Technically, these three aren’t competing – yet. But you can bet that there will be a ramp up that will lead to all three – three of the largest Web enterprises – hitting the daily local deals category of online marketing very hard. I think they all have the potential to give Groupon, which recently introduced an IPO, a run for its money.

If you are a local small business owner looking to increase your customer base, or offer your current customers a discount to get them back in your store, then online coupons is one of the best opportunities you’ll find. And right now you’ll find them all over the place.

Internet marketers generally talk about Internet marketing channels as if there are hundreds, or at least dozens. In reality, there are three primary channels with multiple legs holding them up. Learn those three primary online marketing channels and you can more easily manage your entire Internet marketing strategy more effectively.

Here are the three primary Internet marketing channels:

  1. Search engine marketing
  2. Social media marketing
  3. Paid advertising

All Internet marketing falls into one of these categories, and some may easily slip into more than one category.

For instance, pay per click advertising fits into the paid advertising category, but it can also be considered search engine marketing.

Under the search engine marketing umbrella, you’ll find these marketing subchannels: Onsite SEO, link building, local search, PPC, web design and development, and variations on these tactics.

In social media marketing, you have social networking, social bookmarking, video marketing, podcasting, forum marketing, blog marketing, and other variations of these.

For the paid marketing channels, you’ll see pay-per-click advertising, display advertising, PTC (pay to click), CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPA (cost per action), and variations on these channels.

If you analyze the reach of each of these types of online marketing and what they are capable of on their own, then you can select the best channels and subchannels for marketing your business.

Google is introducing its +1 button today. Hooray!

According to the WebProNews article, Google is saying that +1 votes will be used to determine search rankings. But will anyone use it?

I think this is an open-ended question, and will likely remain so for a while. Google has introduced many new developments that have gone nowhere. Need a list? Here are a few:

  • Google Wave
  • SideWiki
  • Social Search
  • Shared Spaces

These are just a few of Google’s attempts at social media, attempts that have gone nowhere and that are still lingering in the air. This time, Google is right up front that the effort is going to be used to help determine search rankings. That’s like an open invitation to become a spammer.

Think about it. Any time Google announces that a certain action is being used to determine search engine rankings, then everyone gets on the bandwagon. Remember link building? Or social bookmarking? Yep, the Google +1 button will likely become the next big SEO factor. All the SEO blogs will be talking about it – but they’ll be the only ones.

That may be what Google is hoping for. Call it the Google +1 trickle down theory. SEOs will talk about how wonderful the tool is for SEO. Their blog readers will take it as gospel and begin to use it themselves hoping to push their websites up in the rankings. When the rest of the Web sees the +1 button being used so much, they’ll begin to +1 sites they like and we’ll all be in search heaven.

But will it work like that? Only time will tell. Still, it’s a novel idea. I just hope it goes somewhere.