Google’s Disavow Link Tool

Almost every week there is news from or about Google. This month, Google launched a disavow link tool. It is a new tool webmasters can use to fight spam or to clean up after a bad SEO campaign. A SEO campaign stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. In short, it is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s natural or un-paid search results. Disavowing is the same as disclaiming, so you deny that the links is there.

The tool comes with a warning. (Quote:) Google’s head of webspam team, Matt Cutts, said that most webmasters will not have a use for the tool. For instance, if you run a Mom & Pop shop and do your own SEO, you may not need it, especially if you religiously follow Google’s webmaster guidelines. However, if you are a small business that hired an SEO firm to manage your search engine optimization and found out later that the SEO company used questionable tactics that you weren’t aware of and didn’t approve, then the Disavow Link Tool might be very important to you. (end quote)

It is important to remove bad inbound links to your website, before you use this tool. If you would like to know how it works, check the following site: http://www.seroundtable.com/google-disavow-link-tool-15848.html

Most sites won’t have to use the tool, because they don’t have the wrong links. The primary purpose of this tool is to help clean up if you have hired a bad Search Engine Optimization or made mistakes in your own link-building. First contact the sites you know that are bad-linking. You should first ask them to delete the bad links from their site. By doing so, you are protecting your site’s image, because people will no longer find spam links and jump to conclusions about your website or business. If this doesn’t work, and you’re not able to get the bad backlinks down, you could/should use the Disavow Links tool.

In the following video, a man called Matt, explains the tool in a few minutes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=393nmCYFRtA

Sources:
http://socialmediatoday.com/carolinemelberg/919986/google-s-new-disavow-link-tool
http://www.seroundtable.com/google-disavow-link-tool-15848.html
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=nl&siteUrl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=393nmCYFRtA

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TechPresident.com and Gottaregister.com about voter-registration

In this post I would like to talk about an article on techPresident.com .  It’s a political website which is nonpartisan. It is founded and created by Andrew Rasjej and Micah Sifry in 2007. Its aim was to monitor the United States Presidential Election of 2008. The site follows how the campains use the internet. Especially the social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

The internet and technology are changing the democracy in the USA. In this post I will talk about the article ‘Thousands of People Have Used Remote-Controlled Pens Over The Internet To Register To Vote’ which was put online at Friday October 26 2012.

The 2012 election for the USA president is one never seen before. More than 100,000 people have signed and completed their voter-registration forms by using remote-controlled pens over the internet. The site GottaRegister.com is made available by The Obama Campain.

This is how it works: The system works by capturing the motion of an individual’s signature on a filled-out voter registration form online through a tablet device. Allpoint’s system transmits the captured data from the motion of the signature and sends that information over the internet to a pen, which then renders the individual’s signature in ink on a paper voter registration form in Allpoint’s offices in Oakland. The staff then mail those forms off to the relevant local elections boards within 72 hours. Allpoint uses federal voter registration forms, which all states are bound by law to accept. (source: http://techpresident.com/news/23051/2012-thousands-people-used-remote-controlled-pens-over-internet-register-vote )

The problem in the US with the elections is often the voter registration. For many people, it’s to much work to fill out papers, finding an envelope and stamp and then sending it to complete the registration. A report showed a quarter of the people in the US who are eligible to vote, were not registered. By offering this online service, the election parties could get much more votes.

The spokesman of the service (Allpoint Voter Services) is Jude Barry. He claims that Allpoint’s online system has an almost 84 percent completion rate. Other programs for voter registration had much lower completion rates, as news articles showed. (See http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/07/voter-registration-drives-adopting-new-sophisticated-methods/ for the news article)

Barry claimes the system is less labor intensive, more reliable and more efficient than volunteer-driven effort to register voters. It’s also cheaper than paid voter registration drives. With the service, they have established a national, mobile, online registration system. I wonder what this means for the election results. Just a few days and we will know.

My sources:

http://techpresident.com/news/23051/2012-thousands-people-used-remote-controlled-pens-over-internet-register-vote
https://www.gottaregister.com/
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/07/voter-registration-drives-adopting-new-sophisticated-methods/
http://techpresident.com/news/21768/new-mobile-voter-registration-technology-could-bridge-online-offline-gap
http://www.pewstates.org/

For a short video of President Obama, promoting the site, go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYRHVHLZ1dA

The barrier for media is getting lower

This morning, tv station National Geographic put a condolence message on their screen. The message mentioned the death of Prince Friso. Prince Friso is in an artificial coma since his ski accident in February this year.

National Geographic deleted the message in a few minutes, though the media picked it up. Especially the social media. It was a trending topic on Twitter. People were speculating about the sudden death of the prince. Because of this trending topic, the other news media were talking about it. After an hour, the national information service mentioned the prince is still alive.

As a result of the message, National Geographic reported they made a technical mistake. A mediasociologist of the University of Amsterdam, thinks the barrier for media is getting lower. A message like the death of a prince, should first be investigated before you put it online or on the tv-screen. The sociologist thinks the problem is that news stations are competing with each other by being the first with a news item. Often they don’t verify the messages for being correct.

The social media are having a strengthening effect on news like this. I think news companies should always check their sources before putting a message online. Especially with messages which can have a big social impact. The impact of social media is growing!

Here is a screenshot of the message:

For more information, check this newssite (it’s dutch!):

http://www.nu.nl/media/2944546/drempel-media-ligt-steeds-lager.html

http://www.nu.nl/media/2944331/national-geographic-in-fout-met-bericht-dood-prins-friso.html

A short video with the news:

http://www.zie.nl/video/algemeen/Toestand-prins-Friso-onveranderd/m1nz2cgfo55p

For this weeks homework assignment I had to read three articles. The articles focus on the topic ‘Diffusion and Social Influence’. I will give a brief summary of the articles and then discuss the main findings. After that, I will compare two examples of social networks related to the topic by identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

The first article is examining how firms can create word-of-mouth peer influence and social contagion by designing viral features into their products and marketing campaigns. The main findings of this article were that designing products with passive-broadcast viral messaging capabilities generate more total peer influence and social contagion than adding active-personalized viral messaging capabilities.

The second article examines how opinion leadership and social contagion within social networks affect the adoption of a new product. The main findings here were that contagion is operating over network ties and adoption is affected by peers’ usage volume, rather than by whether peers have adopted or are prescribing. There’s already an effect if people see the message.

In the last article of this week, microblogging is examined. It’s a form of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) for sharing consumer opinions concerning brands. The broad reach of eWOM provides consumers a large clout to infouence brand image and perceptions. The writers concluded microblogging can be viewed as a competitive intelligence source. The more people talk about something, the hotter the subject will be.

The examples I have chosen are Twitter and Facebook. As everyone in class should know these two networks, an other summary of the companies would be overrated. So I go on with the comparison between the two platforms.

The strengths of both Twitter and Facebook are:

  • Pushing information to followers
    With only a few words you can reach a lot of people
  • Easy to follow/like

The weaknesses of both Twitter and Facebook are:

  • You only receive information if you follow or like the company
    Searching for the information is more difficult with Facebook than it is with Twitter

There are also a few differences between the strengths and weaknesses of Twitter and Facebook.

Strength of Twitter

  • Easy to find an opinion using #

Weakness of Twitter

  • Short messages
    Because of the short message, there is less information in a Tweet. This could have a negative effect on peoples behavior because they are not fully updated.

Strength of Facebook

  • More detailed information
    More space to tell the story, including pictures, videos, links and many words. There’s enough space to write down what you want to say.

Weakness of Facebook

  • Antisocial tendencies
    Different studies showed the use of Facebook has a negative effect. Often it’s mentioned as the source of relationship problems. Though, there are studies which suggest exactly the opposite.

Coke lets you create your own drink on Facebook!

After reading the Facebook case, I was thinking about something my uncle told me a few months ago. He lives in the USA and he told me about a project of a friend of him. A few years ago, this friend had an idea for vending machines. Instead of just buying a Coke or a Fanta, this guy thought you can let the vending machine mix ingredients you choose and make your own beverage.

Many people liked the idea, even the global leader in the beverage industry, Coca Cola. And if Coca Cola likes your idea, it must be good! Coca-Cola Freestyle® is the brand name for a new Coca Cola fountain dispenser that uses microdosing technology to dispense more than 100 sparkling and still beverage brands from a single freestanding unit. In august 2011 Coca Cola rolled out a Facebook app that lets you mix your own Coke drink. It is not just an online experiment, real  Coke vending machines are already rolled out across the States. 

The app lets you mix a drink using 125 Coke beverages, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Powerade. After choosing each, you hold down a “push” button to fill a cup of your choosing. When you fill your cup, you can name it. Coke would like the apps to eventually generate a 2-D barcode, which could be scanned at one of the machines to create a blend.

The Facebook page also directs you to Freestyle vending machines in your area (in the USA of course) and lets you ask for one in your town. There are now about 1,500 such machines in restaurants like Wendy’s, Burger King and Five Guys. I think the idea of using Facebook for sharing ideas for mixing different tastes is a very good idea. A quick look tells us the Facebook page is used very often and it gives you a good indication of which mixes are popular.
I think Facebook is a good social medium for this product, because everyone can give their opinion about the different mixes and try to invent new tastes. If Coca Cola brings this concept to, for example, Europe, Facebook can be one of the most important marketing tools. You can reach millions of people with it.

But the question is, do you think the product will be a succes in Europe?

The following links will give you a better idea of the product.

Here you can find all the different tastes people invented:

Here you can find the article I’ve found about the product:

Here you can find the official website: