Weekly Digital News Roundup: July 12-16

Weekly Digital News Roundup: July 12-16

Matt Cutts on Links & How to Succeed With Content Marketing

  • According to Search Engine Watch, Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting did it again in another info-packed interview with Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts. This time, Enge tackled all sorts of topics with link building as the lead into the discussion. One of the themes that emerged from the Cutts interview was that “SEO is moving steadily towards becoming more of a traditional marketing-type discipline,” Enge said.
  • “The philosophy that we’ve always had is if you make something that’s compelling then it would be much easier to get people to write about it and to link to it,” says Cutts. “And so a lot of people approach it from a direction that’s backwards. They try to get the links first and then they want to be grandfathered in or think they will be a successful website as a result.”
  • “SEO used to be this thing that people thought of as happening in the dark corners of the web where you could do anything you wanted and magically, you’d get more search traffic,” says Enge. “What’s really clear now as Google enforces its policies for good and bad links, for example, is that publishers are going to be pushed more and more into viewing link building as an integral component of brand building and vice versa, as a component of brand building is really smart link building.” Indeed, as Cutts noted in the interview, many people focused on getting the links to increase rankings on Google, rather than on creating a “fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience,” which is the actual secret to getting stronger, sustainable rankings.

Publishers Try a Different Kind of Pay Wall, Unlocked by Watching Web Video

  • AdAge reports that publishers including Maxim, Radar Online, Guitar World and USA Today Sports Media are experimenting with a pay wall that instead of charging readers requires them to watch an advertiser’s video. The tactic, which uses a system called Content Unlock from Genesis Media, is meant to help address the disconnect between advertisers’ interest in buying web video and consumers’ desire to watch enough of it.
  • The idea is also to squeeze more revenue from readers without actually asking them to pay. The publisher also decides what to give the visitor in exchange for his or her time. If a person watches a 15 second video, for example, he or she might have access to five free articles. “We act as a soft pay wall, which allows users to pay for content and services in a smart way — with their attention to targeted brand experiences and videos vs. their credit card,” said Mark Yackanich, CEO at Genesis Media, a New York-based started founded in late 2011. “In effect, the brands become sponsors for a reader’s content consumption, in a very direct and memorable way.”
  • As more online readers look past online display ads — demonstrating what’s called “banner blindness” — advertisers have sought out video ad units and proven willing to pay more for them. “It keeps the content free for the users and provides advertisers a way to smartly target users who are in a particular mindset,” said Jon Anselmo, senior VP-group client director at Starcom MediaVest Group.

Mobile Ad Measurement Rules Finalized

  • Media Post reports that the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) on Thursday issued final measurement guidelines for mobile application and mobile Web advertising in conjunction with the Media Rating Council (MRC). Drafted by the MRC, the new and updated guidelines received input from dozens of IAB and MMA members and are aimed at streamlining the mobile advertising process while eliminating inaccuracies that could hamper the industry’s growth.
  • The mobile Web ad measurement guidelines, first released last November, outline requirements, such as client-side counting for mobile Web ad impressions to increase consistency with computer-based ad measurement and help to reduce discrepancies in mobile impression counts. While the rules for mobile Web measurement were left largely unchanged during the public comment period, those for mobile apps saw several revisions.
  • “Now that there is clear and specific industry measurement guidance in place, both buyers and sellers of mobile advertising will have enhanced confidence that the performance and effectiveness of campaigns can be consistently and accurately measured, which will lead to greater accountability and increased investment by marketers in the mobile space,” stated George W. Ivie, the MRC’s executive director and CEO.
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