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Showing posts from April 9, 2016

How to Write a Twitter Bot in 5 Minutes

Twitter Bots can do interesting things. You can tweet questions like “how many calories are in diet coke” to @DearAssistant and the Twitter bot, like Google Now or Apple Siri, will reply with the answer. The @HundredZeros bot tweets links to eBooks that are free on Amazon. Another Twitter bot @WhatTheFare will tell you the Uber fare between two locations.A bot is a program that runs in the background and, when it encounters a command, it performs some action. For instance, you can have a grammar bot that looks for tweets containing misspellings and tweet the correct spelling.A bot can automatically favorite or retweet tweets that match certain criteria. It can follow Twitter user who have tweeted a particular phrase. A brand may build an auto-reply bot that automatically responds when the brand gets a @mention on Twitter. You may have a bot that auto-sends a DM (direct message) to users who follow you on Twitter.Writing a Twitter bot is easy and you can get one up and running in 5 min…

Newspapers try to block Brave browser’s ad-substitution business model

As ad blocking continues to gain traction among users it’s a growing concern for publishers — though not yet an existential threat. The IAB has blasted certain ad blockers as a kind of “protection racket.”Echoing that criticism is the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). Signed by representatives of 17 publishers, representing 1,200 newspapers, the NAA issued issued a “cease and desist” letter (embedded below) to ad-blocking browser Brave.The trade group objected to what it saw as an attempt to use newspaper content to sell “Brave network” ads that would then effectively be substituted for the newspaper companies’ own ads that had been blocked. Here’s an excerpt from the NAA letter:Your plan to use our content to sell your advertising is indistinguishable from a plan to steal our content to publish on your own website. Your public statements demonstrate clearly that you intend to harness and exploit the content of all the publishers on the Web to sell your own advertising . . .We s…

Keyword research: a key element of SEO & content marketing

Imagine that you are in an auditorium, facing a large audience of your best customers. You’re getting ready to speak to them.You can say whatever you want, but there’s just one condition: As soon as you complete your first sentence, people can decide whether to stay inside and listen to the rest of your speech — or get up and leave.What will you tell them in those crucial first moments?This is a dilemma every business owner, blogger and content producer agonizes over every day. A visitor to your website decides within a few seconds if she is going to stick around and explore it or leave for another destination.Unless your content is carefully planned and masterfully crafted based on a deep and intimate understanding of your target audience’s needs, your SEO initiatives will likely fail or underperform. Keyword research and analysis is one of the most critical elements of your content preparation, planning and production.Key questions to consider here are:How do you link SEO and keywor…

Marketing Day: Facebook’s branded content changes, email marketing tips & more

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Facebook rolling out new mobile search filters on iOS
Apr 8, 2016 by Matt McGee
Separate from this week’s live video news, Facebook’s iOS app is now giving users several filters to get more precise search results. What they don’t tell you about SEO
Apr 8, 2016 by Matthew Barby
Even today, many business owners still believe that SEO is easy: just create some high-quality, optimized content, then sit back and wait for all the traffic. But there’s more to it than than, and columnist Matthew Barby explains what you should REALLY expect from an SEO campaign. Taboola will now be packaged with Disqus
Apr 8, 2016 by Barry Levine
The content discovery platform can expand beyond its thousands of publisher sites to the millions serviced by the commenting platform. Facebook drops branded content restrictions for publishers
Apr 8, 2016 by Tim Peterson

Facebook rolling out new mobile search filters on iOS

Facebook appears to be rolling out a new set of mobile search filters today that let users refine results by date, location and/or source.A search for “wendy’s” this afternoon in Facebook’s iOS app prompted the pop-up alert shown above, encouraging us to “use filters to refine your search results with more precision.” From there, two of the five tabbed search results offer the additional filters — Top and Photos. The other three tabs (People, Latest and Videos) don’t show the filters button in the upper right corner.Facebook is offering three kinds of filters: source (aka, “Posted by”), location and date. You can refine results based on source, with options including “You,” “Your Friends” and “Your Friends and Groups.” A fourth option, “Choose a Source,” lets you type the name of a specific Facebook user — including brands/Pages. It doesn’t, as best I can tell, let you query the way Graph Search used to, with phrases like “people who live in California.”The screenshots below show a se…

What they don’t tell you about SEO

SEO is tough.I’ve worked on countless projects where the company has seriously underestimated the resources needed for an SEO campaign.More often than not, they’ve read a case study online where someone has scaled up their organic search traffic from zero and is now bringing in hundreds of thousands of visitors to their website each month.“Well, if they can do it, why can’t we?”They see the same things being mentioned by “SEO experts” that guarantee success:“Create lots of great content, and it’ll start to rank. Google loves fresh content, so the more the better.”Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Organic traffic growth is often unpredictable. You might find yourself doing SEO for quite some time with very little to show for it — then, suddenly, one of your pieces of content gains traction. Once it starts ranking, it has a knock-on effect to a few more of your pages, and you start to then see hockey-stick growth.Even during this period, it just takes one of your big traffic-driving …

Taboola will now be packaged with Disqus

Expect to see Taboola’s “you might also be interested in this” thumbnail images and links in a lot more places.The content discovery platform, which provides links and images to related editorial or sponsored content at the bottom of articles on many popular sites, announced this week it is making its service available to the customers of commenting platform Disqus.The impact, CEO and founder Adam Singolda told me, will be that Taboola’s distribution will expand “from thousands of sites to millions.” Disqus says its platform is available on more than 3.5 million sites in over 190 countries, showing up on about 15 billion pageviews monthly.Singolda pointed out that Taboola’s 300 billion monthly content recommendations have been oriented around relatively larger publisher sites, such as USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and The Weather Channel. Disqus includes larger publishers like The Atlantic and TMZ, but also many smaller blogs and publications.Taboola, which might appear above or bel…