Content is king (now more than ever!)

Even though, when we think about positioning websites, we have to take into account a wide variety of factors such as design, usability, code optimisation etc., these days, (almost) nobody would dispute that content is THE top priority. And, we talk about “positioning websites” because we are not referring only to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but also to the fantastic coverage that we can obtain on the social networks. And these two concepts are complimentary: the more social your content, the better organic positioning your website will obtain and the better positioned your content, the more easily it can be shared and the more likely that it will go viral.

Many of us are very aware of Google’s Panda Update, a change in the organic search algorithm that first appeared in February 2011 and changed the positioning of a many websites, and obliged us to concentrate and redouble our efforts in obtaining quality content and improving the form in which we present this content to our audience. Matt Cutts and co. are working on their desire to improve the quality of content across the web and to reward those who really work to produce original quality content (according to the Google guidelines).

Here we summarise a series of points that are useful in planning and optimizing content while keeping in mind the implications of the Panda Update to avoid penalization and to work your way up the rankings to a better position.

Prepare a well thought through strategy.

Who is your target audience? What do they like? What style do they use? Are you up-to date with the latest news in your sector? Do you compare your sources? As with any marketing activity, it’s essential to have a strategy that aligns your work with the answers to these questions.

Freshness of content

The first iPhone was revolutionary but these days it’s been surpassed by later models by Apple and others. The same thing happens with content, which is why Google likes fresh news, placing a higher value on those that add new content regularly.

Content is fresh

The balance between quantity and quality

It’s not just about content, it’s about relevant content for those that arrive at your site or might do so. And it’s about depth of content – keyword spam sites with minimal deep content always lose to competitor sites with genuine content depth.

Write for humans

Neither Google nor your users will thank you for excessive keyword repetition, poor grammar, confusing text, typos, spelling mistakes etc...

Everything is important

Apart from text, your content is composed of various elements, like photos, animations and videos. And, in the same way that we can optimise the text with anchor texts, meta data and mark-up, similarly we can and should make the most of all our other content.

Be aware off the duplicate content

Let’s not be lazy, copy cats! Aside from the legal consequences and the consequences upon our online reputation. If you copy content from other sites Google will realize and sooner or later you will be penalized (mercilessly!).

Content is fresh

Following all these recommendations isn’t easy. It requires time, dedication and patience. But, you can be sure that it’ll give you good results. And on top of having a good product or service, having relevant content on your website is, in the long term, one of the most profitable strategies for acquiring a loyal audience and for generating engagement.

If you're into email marketing and you haven't already optimised your email templates for display on mobile phones it's past time to get that done.
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Top Email Clients: iPhone: 20%, Outlook: 18%, Yahoo: 13%, Apple Mail: 9%, Hotmail: 8%
Infographic: iPhone Beats Outlook As Top Email Client, As Mobile Overtakes Desktop
What’s the most popular email client out there? The iPhone, which stats say now is used by more people than Outlook. That goes along with a trend of more email now being opened on mobile devices than in desktop clients.

Dot combat - An expensive row over new web address suffixes

IT IS the online equivalent of the land-grabs of 19th-century America. Earlier this year the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the outfit in charge of addresses in cyberspace, allowed applications for new suffixes. That would allow new domains, such as .microsoft, .paris and .music, to join the 22 existing handles, such as .com and .info.

This move has generated excitement, but also controversy. Security experts fret about fraud. Even if the new suffixes flop, brand owners complain they will have to spend millions buying domains they don’t want, just to protect their online identities. The cost was pitched high to deter time wasters: $185,000 to ICANN to start with, an annual $25,000–and tens of thousands in lawyers’ fees. But such “defensive registrations” will be costly for small businesses and charities—and a nuisance for big ones, who may have to register multiple domains. Continue reading at The Economist