Web Journal – Week of March 25th – April 1st, 2012

Reviews – books I’m reading or thinking of reading

Been reading Global Search Marketing by Anne F. Kennedy and Kristjan Mar Hauksson, and quite enjoying it – perhaps because it gives search statistics and guidance on most countries of the world, where search marketing matters.  I’m also writing a review of the book for Search Engine Watch, which I hope to have ready, shortly.   My point with the review, and what I like about this book, is that the problems and insights of search are very close to those of social media monitoring and analytics – they are two sides of the same coin.  More in the review, when it appears.

There’s also a new O’Reilly book on Mastering Search Analytics  by Brent Chaters that looks  good though I noticed the one book review on Amazon was negative.  However, I’m looking for the technical aspect of the book, not so much it’s readability – since I’m  fairly conversant in Search Marketing I might be the typical audience, and look, its an O’Reilly book – what does a reader expect – certainly not a novel – you don’t buy O’Reilly for that.  Same thing with my book, it’s not a beginners’ book – and perhaps we should have made that  more clear. People trying to make sense of social media Analytics, who didn’t ever touch it, probably won’t like my book either – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value for those who have (though the audience is more narrow, I’ll admit).

Also thinking of reading Why Nations Fail, I noticed the book last week in a Barnes and Noble – it’s very think, but there’s a good review by Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times  today.

Analytics and Search Engines

Was also going to review Google Analytics new Social Reports but felt that I could not add value to an analysis now since I don’t yet (as of yesterday) have access to the new reporting in my Google Analytics account.  Rather than add to the verbiage of what has already been said, I’ve decided to stand back and wait till I have some thing to say, which goes along with my point of view now.   That being (POV) that people are expecting real value when they read, and I don’t tend to want to talk about platforms or features I haven’t personally tried, and worked with (I have a hard enough task talking about the platforms I have access to, and have been playing with for a while).   I don’t care about the traffic or the mentions – I just want to wait till I have something worth saying – hopefully, that will be soon.

There was a great post on merging of Search and Social Media, something I’ve maintained has been happening for a while – here’s the points the author of the post made:

  • 1. Google+ posts from your network relevant to your search. These posts can be public or private and relate to virtually all relevant topics within the schema
  • 2. Videos, photos and rich content relevant to your query that are pulled out from either your own stream or your network stream
  • 3. Personal profiles. Simply typing the first name of your long-lost pal can bring out not only his complete name (via auto-complete) but also his complete profile in Google+, his latest posts/updates and also an option to instantaneously add him to your circles. Not to mention the most prominent people profiles belonging to the same name, if applicable, can appear as options alongside.
  • 4. People and pages feature that allows you to search on a topic that is close to your heart, for example, and be presented with a mash-up of rich results that comprise profiles of like-minded people with whom you can immediately connect and start a discussion.
  • 5. You can choose to view these personalized results separately or in a blended fashion as well thanks to the toggle control which one can see in the results page.

Google’s plot, I hope, is amply evident here: To bring an all-encompassing Google social experience into your search world, providing a very rich, personalized mash-up alongside the normal search results in order to provide a heightened search experience.

But what I am stressing is the truly powerful evolution of social on one hand and search on the other. An evolution that is poised to change the way we discover, consume and utilize content.

There’s also an article by Heidi Cohen on why people pull certain social media metrics – because it’s easy for them to pull those particular metrics (and not so much because they are the right ones for them to pick).  In fact, they are often the wrong metrics – almost all the time – since the right KPI’s will end up being, more often than not, a customized list based on your business.  Here’s more of what she has to say:

Why do businesses count these social media elements?

Counting social media related elements are an easy way to shows results. Unlike other marketing approaches where results must translate to bottom line improvement, with social media you succeed by showing you can attract lots of people to your Facebook page (or other social media platform) even if you can’t explain how this activity translates to sales. [Here’s the “What’s the Value of a Facebook Like” research.]

…. To drive sales, you must incorporate this goal into your social media marketing and create relevant metrics that help you track your progress. Integrate appropriate promotional codes, contact history and other tracking methods to capture the relevant information.

Also noticed that Google is going after Amazon with Google Play and even more so, it looks like with a third party platform to rival Facebook Commenting.  Let the Games begin (or should I say, Wars).



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