Google penalized its own Chrome browser page after getting caught using sponsored posts to gain links. Last year, Google penalized JC Penney, Forbes, and Overstock for doing the same thing. A statement from Google to Search Engine Land explained that Google would lower the page rank for its Chrome browser download page for a period of 60 days. Google claims that it did not authorize the practices used in the campaign.
Lowering a page rank is not to be confused with banning the page. Danny Sullivan explains, “Lowering the PageRank value is not the same as removing or banning the page from Google. Potentially, however, a lower PageRank value will reduce its ability to rank well for certain terms.” Although this penalty is by no means crippling for Google Chrome, Sullivan considers Google’s move “a solid penalty against itself.”
Jeremiah Owyang predicts that we are coming to the end of a Golden Age of tech blogging. He explains that we are leaving a period of emergence and innovation, when nearly anyone can get on board and anything goes.
Four factors indicate that tech blogging is becoming an established media:
- Corporate acquisition of organized blogs, which locks down the blogs with a more conservative attitude.
- Leading blogs are experiencing a major talent turnover, as the kings and queens of the industry start looking for new opportunities in other areas.
- Audiences are looking for something different. Readers have come to expect blogs to be small, fast, and socially oriented.
- Business models are beginning to solidify as we learn what works and what doesn’t, making it harder to jump into the game with new ideas. However, with the talent turnover mentioned earlier, there is still a vacuum for new people and ideas in the field.
Jennifer Howze of The Huffington Post makes some predictions about how the blogging world will change in the upcoming year. First and foremost, she believes that blogs will become more professional, and less of an item of personal hobby. Howze also guesses that blogging will go more mainstream. Instead of just being a tool of the tech savvy, Howze says that even average Joes are becoming familiar with the medium. “They’ve gone from saying, ‘What’s a blog?’ to ‘Should I have one?’ and this year will be saying, ‘Check out my latest post.'”
Howze also predicts that video blogging will become more prevalent, that parent blogs will grow and expand as a genre, and that bloggers will look for new ways to market their material with e-books and online widgets.
Rick DeJarnette breaks down some do’s and don’ts for successful link building this year. As usual, creating great content is high on his list of priorities, as well as building a steady social media community as a platform for that content. DaJarnette points marketers towards some up-and-coming social media sites, including SlideShare, FourSquare, Gowalla, and Pintrest.
“Since you’ve already resolved to regularly invest time in social media outreach, do more than the minimum with the ubiquitous venues of Facebook and Twitter,” he says. DeJarnette also warns marketers against submitting to junk directories, as well as purchasing links.
Great content and skilled use of social media applications can result in profits for your business. But one more element is necessary for success online, and that is data tracking. According to Frank Reed, “unless you can truly monitor the impact of all the great content your company has produced then you can only really say that you have produced great content.”
A recent study by Connotate shows that more businesses than ever are at a loss as to how to measure the impact their Internet marketing has on their revenue. Forty-five percent feel that they have to devote significant manpower to collecting and analyzing all of their data. On top of that, 44% feel that there is simply too much information in order to break it down and use it effectively.