Behind London’s 2012 Olympics

While the ringing of the bells marking the 12 hour countdown to the opening ceremony continue to ring in our ears, why not take a second to consider some of the bigger stats behind the facade of Londons 2012 Olympic Games.

Olympic Ins and Outs: London 2012

There is a plethora of sporting disciplines coming together over the next 16 days and its enough to confuse and flummox the most ardent of sporting supporters however, worry not – all you ever need to know about the London Olympics in 2012 is here in this handy desktop viewing guide.

The Death of SEO

Author: Ken Krogue @ Forbes

I had lunch back in March with Adam Torkildson, one of the top SEO consultants in Utah and one of the best in the country.

He said something to me that blew me away. “Google is in the process of making the SEO industry obsolete, SEO will be dead in 2 years.”

I posted his statement on my blog and immediately received a flurry of comments; many from his colleagues in the SEO industry who wanted to:

1.Weigh in on my statement that Adam is great (or crazy)

2.Promote themselves

3.Accuse me of writing a title for “link bait”

4.Declare how absurd Adam’s assertion was

5.Agree and prophecize their vision for the future

I have often used the (recently re-proven) phrase from the bomber pilots in World War II, “The flak only gets heavy when you’re over the target.”

Adam’s explanation about his claim made a lot of sense. I’ll quickly summarize and add some background information.

“SEO” means Search Engine Optimization.

There is internal and external SEO. Internal makes up about 15% of the process (I’m told it may be much higher now) and it means to design your site so it follows the best practices proven to rank high on Google. External SEO used to mean to write articles, press releases, blogs, comments, and content with embedded keyword “backlinks” to your site. Now it is changing fast to include social media strategies.

SEO has been traditionally divided into “white hat” or “black hat.” Black Hat is the obvious villainous practice of gaming the system by doing things to raise rankings that Google doesn’t want, and White Hat is just more subtle.

But what does Google want? They want relevant, real content on the internet that people want to read and tell other people about. If Google doesn’t bring you the most relevant content when you search they aren’t doing their job.

So by definition even the word Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means to “game” the Google search engines (and others) to get your valuable content ranked higher than it would be if left alone to the forces of the Web.

Google proved Adam right one month later (to the day) with the “Penguin release” that is a code name for the algorithm that decreased search engine rankings of companies who were using schemes to artificially increase their rankings. Google decided to change the weight of their emphasis from “backlinks” more towards social media likes, shares, tweets, reddits, and 1+ (Googles obvious favorite.) In the world of digital media the emphasis is on follows, comments, and views as well. (Note: I have changed the wording slightly to clarify my meaning and make it more precise since I wrote it four days ago.)

What does that mean? Google used to think if you linked to someone on the Internet they must have valuable content. Now Google seems to believe that if you promote content with social media it is more indicative of relevant content and less likely to be faked. Though many point out social can be faked as well.

The bottom line is that all external SEO efforts are counterfeit other than one:

Writing, designing, recording, or videoing real and relevant content that benefits those who search.

If you generate content and place it all over the web promoting and linking to your specific content, it is obviously fake. (And that is basically a big part of the history of the SEO industry, both black and white.)

And hey, I’ve done it myself. That is how I met Adam in the first place.

It is the overly aggressive marketers that always spoil it for everyone. Mmmm, let’s see… false advertisers, telemarketing at dinner time with predictive dialers, unsolicited faxing, email spamming, now SEO.

It was Seth Godin that said “all marketers are liars,” I’m a marketer, so I can say this.  I think it means that if you have to advertise a lot to change perceptions, it’s probably being “spun.” Think media, the lack of advertising on fruit and vegetables, and the current presidential race.

Adam told me that it is hardly about the links anymore, it’s about the metrics of engagement on your site.

It’s about social “shares”, and you can’t fake that (easily). Now with recent policy changes, Google knows who everyone is once they open themselves up on the social realm. They will be able to tell the fake people. Facebook already knows. Adam did a test by creating 1000 fake accounts a year ago, but today they have all been banned.

I asked him how they figured it out, he said “I’m pretty smart, but I have no idea. That’s why they hire PhD’s! That’s why Google bought Twitter’s data. They failed to get Facebook data, but they rely on Facebook’s internal API. Now social signals are a much bigger part of the Google algorithm.” He continued, “I’ve already seen them using it, I know.”

So what do we do?

Adam grinned with resignation, “It’s the Hubspot strategy of great blog content with a massive opt-in audience of social followers. It’s your InsideSales.com approach with strong industry research that people follow. And it’s old-school PR. PR has made a full-on 180 degree swing. I started in PR as a major. Now it is the ultimate, because it is about who you actually, really, know. It’s the buzz you create. And how much value you provide your community of followers in return.”

I summarized:

“So great content is king, and communities of avid followers make the king? And my friend Cheryl, of SnappConner PR will rule the world?”

“Yes, basically.” Adam went on, “Dell does a really good job. They have 1M followers on just one account in Twitter. Their team answers all direct messages from their community, and stays on top of their brand and reputation.”

I asked, “So how has this affected you?”

“We hardly do any of the old SEO stuff. It still brings results, but not like it used to. Google is pulling the rug out to provide better search for their audience. They are routing out the counterfeiters. Now it must be real, valuable, content, and lot’s of community value and interaction.”

So how does it affect entrepreneurs and business executives?

Simple.

Invest in real, valuable, relevant content that your audience wants. Grow your internal thought leaders to where they can add value to your audience and positioning in the market. Follow internal SEO practices to make sure it is found and sees the light of day. Take the time to make it so compelling so people talk about it and share it.

Look to real social media community support, compelling PR, and real content; for that is where true SEO practitioners are turning more and more also.

Common sense, but not common practice.

WordPress Infographic

Author: Tony @ GraphicTony

Tiger Woods Economy

The Tiger Woods Economy infographic depicts the sponsorships and financial impact of Tiger Woods on golf such as tournament viewing figures and ticket sales.

Admittedly this was a few years ago but I am awaiting the updated review of the same information.

You’ve Been Trumped

American tycoon Donald Trump has hit the first ball on his new Scottish golf course on Tuesday.

The building of Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire has been controversial, with environmental campaigners opposing the construction of the course on protected sand dunes and Mr Trump himself complaining about a potential offshore wind farm being built near the site.

The course will open to the public on Sunday July 15 with a series of private events being held this week.

The businessman cut a ribbon on the first tee on Tuesday to mark the opening and hit the first balls with former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie.

More than £100m has been spent on the course and the clubhouse, but further plans for a hotel and homes in the area have been put on hold until a final decision is made on the offshore wind farm proposal.

Trump International said 160 jobs have been created so far with positions in management, catering and course maintenance.

Work on the course began in July 2010 after the tycoon won planning permission to start work on the construction four years after plan were first put forward.

By way of a topical look at the development, take a look at the trailer for the movie “You’ve Been Trumped” released in 2011 (links to the full film are available…).

What Are The Odds?

Author: Eilidh Donaldson @ Tweetsport (@tweetsportcouk)

Eh, no you don’t…

Football is a funny old game but Arsene Wenger isn’t laughing. More later.

The end of the football season 2011-12 was spectacular. Man City won the Premiership with the last kick of the game and Chelsea’s 10 man defence claimed the Champion’s League against a shell shocked Bayern to prove anything is possible.

The Euros may have had a predictable conclusion, with the ‘boring’ Spain lifting the trophy, but there was at least one surprising moment.  The invisible Nicklas Bendtner can apparently play and he’s actually quite good (!) but only in a Danish shirt and with Paddy on his pants.

Maybe Arsene can get that passed by the EPL? No? Ok.

There has barely been a chance to breathe before UK football kicked off again. Not on the pitch obviously and this is where Arsene ears prick up.

In an amazing 72 hours football has been turned on its head. None were total shocks maybe but good and bad things happen in threes and these are three whoppers!

Rangers are doooooomed

I’ll admit to kind of losing the thread of this story but essentially the 11 other SPL teams don’t want to play anymore, whatever Rangers are calling themselves these days, and they have taken away the ball.

So will there be room at the Inn in a lower division or will Rangers disappear? One of the legendary teams in world football -unthinkable. Turkeys voted for Christmas.

Paddy Power are offering odds of 1-50 on Celtic to win the league next year.

The Resurrection of AVB

Its lucky Harry Redknapp had his heart fixed at the start of a busy year as it’s been a rollercoaster since then. In court for tax evasion, crowned England Manager, watched Muamba collapse, oversaw Spurs spectacular slump, snubbed by the FA, shoved by Levy and stood down from BBC commentating at the Euros. Wow!

The final straw – being replaced by AVB, the man not good enough to last a season at rivals Chelsea. That’s not to say that Andre Villas-Boas isn’t in good company, the list of ex-Chelsea managers is full of legends of the game but if even one of the stories of what the players did is true he isn’t one to keep the dressing room happy. He’s picked the spot for his portacabin already.

He’s 8-1 to leave White Hart Lane in 2012.

RVP walks

Arsene might want to look away now.

History repeats itself. Its summer, it’s raining and the top Arsenal player wants to leave. Gooner’s fans take to Twitter but there appears to be no surprise but is there a glimmer of blame for Arsene. Asleep at the wheel again?

Calls for Guardiola to get himself over to London have started and how things have worked out in 2012 so far. I wouldn’t bet against it.

Hey Paddy, what are the odds?

Tweetsport

www.tweetsport.co.uk is a real-time sports site covering football news and other things which involve balls and scores. Created by a girl. Who knew?