Saturday, April 27, 2013

Post Publish Optimization SEO Case Study - Tweet After Death

Blog posts are tricky. Sometimes, writing a well-optimized post will land you views for many years down the
road. But occasionally, even a very well thought out blog post can be knocked down the rankings long term.

In June of last year, I wrote a post on how to schedule tweets after death. I was really happy with it. The picture was custom-designed by the honorable Steven Rosenbaum of SR-Graphics. The topic was fresh. 

The post was well-written. Livefyre’s interns shared it in their own feed. Death with Dignity had me as a guest for their live Twitter chat. And best of all, I got to share thoughts with interesting people about an interesting topic: what social media can do to help us communicate and what that means for our mortality and experience.

Out of curiosity, I Googled “tweet after death” last week to see where it came up. Articles from CBC, CNN, ANC, CBS, RT and a wealth of other media with strong sites essentially wrote the same story and knocked my article to page 2. (To be fair, one of them had quoted me).

I was grumpy about it. Here I had this innovative idea months before any major media and I was getting shoved to page two. I wanted to climb back onto the first page and stay there.

So I started sending out tweets with the post. I circulated it again in Google+, Facebook and chat boxes. I sent it on to colleagues, hoping that a little traffic would help push the thing up. And it did.

Exactly two ranks. Yay!

I realized that what I was doing was the last element of SEO for blog posts. While most people optimize their post before publishing, very few people optimize down the road and see if they still have their spot in the search rankings. Everyone PRE Publish Optimizes, but nobody POST Publish Optimizes (PoPO).

Here was an opportunity, and not just for regular monthly SEO campaigns, but for true strong outreach for a new concept. PoPO is a chance for SEO firms to rerun old blog posts in a chance to boost them in the rankings and retake ground in strategic fashion so as to own concepts in the mind of the blogosphere.

And when a post becomes too old to be relevant, the internet will have seen an era when old posts become less relevant and algorithms knock them down a peg or two. Then, PoPO will become even more essential, as the only way to control key SEO ground will be to swim through a sea of content and prove the relevance of your own over others.

From here, the water remains murky. How do traffic bumps and links to previous posts affect the long-term search rankings? This is the first mystery of PoPO. Without any data, it’s hard to know how you can help or hurt your blog and by how much with each action.

And, even more importantly, the Google algorithm is subject to updates that rearrange search rankings. To that end, PoPO’s future is uncertain. On the other hand, what is fairly certain is that reminding people of past posts as a way to keep traffic stored up may be an effective way to boost visibility.

What I like best about the concept is what I like best about most effective, worthwhile business tactics: finding resources others aren't using and capitalizing on them. PoPO is a chance for you to get amazing results while leaving your competitors in the dust. 

About the author: 
Daniel J. Cohen is the Founder and Lead Writer at RedShift Writers, a Houston-based content writing firm. RedShift Writers prides itself on creating content that is friendly for both search engines and customers. They offer a wide variety of message strategies and content writing services and specialize in web writing for product launches and energy companies.

To find out more about PoPO and how you can get the sharpest PoPO tacticians working on your SEO strategy, email RedShift Writers today.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How Indian Politicians are Using Google+ Hangouts

“Would you like to hang out with me this evening?”   

Indeed, all of you may have been asked this question by your friends and family. But Google has completely changed the way we “hang out” with our near and dear ones.

With the advent of Google+ (G+) multi-party video chats or Hangouts, not only can we now hang out with our friends and family, but, if we like, with the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, or the President of the country.

Image: SatishAcharya via Google, CC 3.0

Interesting, isn’t it?

It seems governments and their agencies and organizations have understood how powerful social media can be (Facebook, Twitter, G+) for engaging with citizens, seeking feedback, creating awareness on different initiatives, and creating a participatory model of governance.

Some of the world figures who have used G+ Hangouts include U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and South African President Jacob Zuma.
And Indian politicians aren’t being left behind.

Hanging out with India’s Finance Minister

Making full use of the power of social media and understanding the importance of getting real time feedback from the citizens of the country, Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram decided to “Hangout” with the “netizens.”

Every year, when the country’s budget is announced, everyone is glued to the television to follow the FM’s speech. PR professionals like us are usually busy chasing our clients to get quotes to send to the media, and as a result, follow most of the announcements either through Twitter or via the news online.  It is indeed a crazy day for media and communications professionals.

Yet after all the announcements have been made, we all still have questions, and there is no one around to address them. I’m sure there were people who wished they could speak to the FM themselves and get their answers.

And then it happened.

Following the budget announcement, P. Chidambaram responded to citizens’ questions about the budget, and discussed the state of the Indian economy with a panel of thought leaders as well as citizens through G+ Hangout.

Check out the video below to see how the FM addressed the various questions he received via G+ hangout:

Before the Hangout, citizens could submit their questions to Chidambaram either by uploading a video, commenting on the YouTube channel, or through the Google India Page by tagging text or a video with the hashtag #askthefm.

G+ and the Indian Government

According to an article in the Financial Express, there were over 38,200 online views on YouTube for the 62-minute Hangout. The event was covered live by most major English and Hindi news channels, taking the combined reach to over 5 million in real time.

But that’s not all.

Last year, Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, was the first Indian public figure to use Hangout to reach out to his audience (August 2012). According to his website, Modi’s one-hour Hangout attracted over four million viewers, including online and television, as it was beamed on many channels, and over 20,000 questions were asked.

Other interesting facts from Modi’s G+ hangout were:

  • About 1,66,000 clicks were generated on Narendra Modi’s website on the day of the Hangout
  • Over 70,000 tweets poured in from all over while the Hangout was in progress
  • #ModiHangout remained the top trending topic on Twitter and all cities Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad
  • It was witnessed by people from 116 countries all across the world!
In my opinion, the government of India has been much faster in adopting Google+ Hangouts than many corporations and MNCs, and are doing a pretty good job of reaching out to their audience and engaging with them. Perhaps this is one area in which India’s corporate citizens could take lessons from the government, instead of the other way around.

Considering the power and reach of Google Hangouts, do you think they will become the next best alternative for PR professionals? Would you get your client and the media to hangout on G+ and interact with each other? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!