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Today’s SEO and Online-Marketing News

December 28th, 2010

Social-Media Use Trends

The rate of participation of senior citizens on social-networking websites has been increasing. In addition, teenagers have been blogging less often in recent years. Of course, as all marketers know, younger people tend to be early adopters while older demographics are late ones. But now that the latter is increasing their use of sites like Facebook, it is important for social-media marketers now to explore how they can reach that target audience. I wonder: Will social-media users increasingly see advertisements for prescription drugs and biotech devices like those that flood nightly-news broadcasts?

Moreover, as the Times article notes, fewer young people are blogging now since they can communicate with friends and spread their life-updates though microblogging sites like Twitter. Just as instant messages and SMS technology has shortened language through abbreviations, so are the length of the messages themselves decreasing.

But do not proclaim the “death of blogging” just yet. With fewer young people using blogs as online diaries, the average quality of the blogosphere may increase — as defined by the percentage of people who use of blogs for serious purposes like online marketing and political commentary. If this trend occurs, then it will become that much more important for marketers to use SEO and related inbound-marketing strategies.

Digital Coupons

The use of online coupons has skyrocketed since 2006. Now, coupon websites can immediately transfer the credit onto a store’s loyalty card. High-tech company Point Inside is now developing geo-tagging technology that can alert shoppers of nearby discounts while they are inside stores.

Online marketing, of course, is more than just SEO, keywords, and linkbuilding. (The terms just themselves are complicated enough so that one may need an SEM wikipedia to understand so-called off-page SEO factors. The definition of Internet marketing is merely an strategy that aims to increase traffic to a website.) Marketers need to follow the latest technology and understand how it can apply to their websites — food companies retailers, as the article states, can use their websites to transfer discounts to customers. Those who will be the most successful in the Online Age will be those who can develop innovative, successful ways to use their company sites in addition to the standard SEO practices.

Hebrew Domain-Names

Domain names in the Hebrew language are now available for registration. However, I am not sure how much of an advantage they will provide to marketers who want to target the Israeli demographic.

First, the domains use Hebrew characters for the main part with a suffix using Latin characters — for example, בית.co.il (the Hebrew word means “house” or “home”). The Internet Era prizes simplicity and efficiency, and different languages within a single word or sentences requires a keyboard shortcut — Alt+Shift on my PC — for each change. I’m not sure how many people will bother to make the, well, shift.

Moreover, the presence of multiple languages — or at least characters in multiple languages — in a domain may confuse search-engines and make SEO much more difficult. As SEM experts and online marketers know, a website targeting a specific country can use a country-specific suffix to bolster its search-engine rankings within that location. And while the co.il suffix will achieve that goal, I still wonder whether the presence of both English and Hebrew characters may hamper the effort since Google may not know whether the website is targeting English-language speakers in Israel or Hebrew-speaking ones.

Real-Time Demographic Targeting

New Israeli start-up Taykey is offering a marketing software to companies who want to discover where their target demographics are located online in real-time as they move. The article in Globes — the linked version is to an English-language version of the Israeli publication — is short on detail, but I imagine that the software allows marketers to use trending topics and related data to know what their demographic is discussing and where they are online.

I imagine something like: If many Wal-Mart customers are discussing the latest Britney Spears album on Twitter, then the company’s online marketers can start posting marketing messages on Twitter with whatever hashtag is being used. But I am just guessing.

One problem I see is that of potential spamming. When phones became common, so did telemarketing. When business used faxes, so did unsolicited faxes. And we all know what happened with e-mail. Spammers are always early-adopters. I fear that the technology, if it works how I imagine, will allow mobs of marketers to follow the online masses — always being one step behind. It is always important to market in a way that is honest, welcomed, and not spam.