SEO Tips for Google Panda Update

Most of the webmasters and digital marketing professionals struggle to understand the nuances of Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, especially when it comes to understanding the theory with a deeper perspective than is presented in most blogs and online forums. One of the burning issues that has hit the Web-Masters is how to tackle the Google Panda, after it was released in late 2011. SEO tactics deployed by most web-masters have seemingly failed and many reliable and white hat sites are drastically getting downgraded ever since the Google Panda was introduced.

Google Panda was introduced to weed out “content farms” and low quality sites which strive to make a living by producing low quality content. New dimensions that has been added in Google Panda are that it analyzes websites based on an self-learning AI algorithm, which looks for similarities between websites people found to be high quality and low quality, based on surfing behavior. There is also a high probability that there is an increased usage of Image Analysis  with Text Analysis to identify original content. There is also a higher importance to content recency based on content type. Also, which sites and which articles connect to you from which sites, matter a lot.

Google Panda has been criticized by renowned web-masters since many a time renowned websites had “scraped” content and yet the original lesser known site was penalized. Also, it appeared to impact an entire site’s ranking or specific section, rather than just the individual pages on a site. Also it adversely impacted sites where most of the traffic came from “ever popular” content but were of smaller scale (e.g. Websites with niche content, Personal blogs).

So what does that leave you? If you are a web-master, you are probably worrying how to ensure that all the effort you have put in to develop your website does not go down the drain.While age old SEO tactics like getting good quality back-links still do the trick, it is important to realize that there are some basic differences which needs to be addressed, if you want to ensure that your web-site is recognized by Google Panda as a high quality site.

So we have brought out few pointers on what not to do, if you are attempting to optimize your website based on the guide-lines from Google Panda.

  1. Never keep a high percentage of duplicate content. This might apply both to a page or a complete site. So content that you may have on headers or footers, if they are repeated across pages, should never increase more than 25% of the content across all the pages.High percentage of boilerplate content (similar static content) is a strict negative pointer from Google Panda.
  2. A low amount of original content on a page or site is always bad. It is a good practice to ensure when you make a post, you should have more that at least 300 words in every post. Semantic analysis is done by Search Engines nowdays, which can actually trace the quality of content that you may have posted in your article, which is new from your older articles or novel from other content in other web-sites.
  3. A high percentage of pages with a low amount of original content will drastically downgrade your SERP rank. So it is important to ensure, that you create a post only when you have substantial content to make a new post. The age old thought that you should post frequently irrespective of the post content is way dead. It has been attacked by Search Engines besides Google, to weed out content farms.
  4. A high amount of inappropriate adverts, especially in the beginning of the page, showcases the focus of the web-page is only revenue. Hence Panda will recognize that page and a site as being a Content Farm.
  5. If the page content and page title tags do not match for the search queries a page does well for, it will be taken as an attempt to play around with key-words. Text snippets will be analyzed through Symantec Analyzers to ensure there is high consistency between the meta tags and content.
  6. Unnatural language on a page including over-optimization of SEO will be harshly penalized. Google is increasingly becoming efficient to recognize Black Hat SEO tactics.
  7. High bounce rate from a particular web-page or web-site or even low visit time on pages or site, less than 30 seconds, will be recognized as a low content web-page or website. Also low percentage of users returning to a site, without search, will be an indicator that the site has low quality content where visitors do not return. These are strong indicators of the content quality and quantity in a website.
  8. Low click-through percentage from Google’s results pages (for page or site) as and when it appears in Google Search will ensure that the page ranks even lower for consecutive searches, for the search criteria.
  9. Low or no quality inbound links to a page or site (by count or percentage) is always bad. However, low quality backlinks is judged by the relevance of the web-page where it is linked to, by analyzing the text snippets of the mentioned paragraph. If a page is mentioned where it won’t have substantial semantic linkage to the content, it may get penalized.
  10. Low or no mentions or links to a page or site in social media and from other sites is also bad. It is of critical importance that new people share your content. Typically, most SEO professionals link up with a group to promote their content by exchanging votes/shares. Over time, the same group of professionals share the links and posts of a site get shared by the same group, and within the same group. The search engines today can track the sharing pattern through web-mining and this is a serious negative pointer for a web-sites. Sharing or mentions across pages or new profiles is the new mantra for success. Even if you hit Digg’s first page by exchanging votes, you are likely to be recognized by Google Panda as a Link Farm.

I hope you enjoyed going through these guidelines on how to protect your web-site from Google Panda downgrades. Do let me know if you have any queries. You could also check out few of the good service providers for web marketing. Also, check out the free ebook “Advanced Guide to Digital Marketing” for more details on digital marketing, the theories and advanced concepts.

Mozilla Firefox vs Google Chrome

The battle amongst the browsers have reached a critical climax in 2012. We may be witnessing another change of an era. Amidst the ever declining popularity of the Microsoft Windows Explorer, this time the collision is between Google Chrome against Mozilla Firefox. And the Google Browser has actually overtaken the browser that has ruled the hearts of technocrats for the last 5 years in 2012.

Firefox took over the digital world earlier dominated by Windows Internet Explorer, in a complete monopolistic market (MS used to command a 95% market share then). Firefox saved the world when Microsoft had stopped its investments on the Explorer research for few years, just because it was by far the market leader. While Microsoft remains the market leader still, the monopoly was shaken and stirred long back and today the company enjoys a 40% market share only, that too only from the corporate users of Microsoft Windows. The tech savvy netizens really needed a change at that time which could jolt the monopolistic market dynamics and improve the market of browsers drastically.

Within a few years of its launch, Firefox had demonstrated the power of CSS and JavaScript and how the two may be leveraged to change the web experience of the netizens, altogether to a new level. In fact, it was Firefox that triggered the HTML5 revolution. It is because of Firefox that Windows 8 application developers could develop the same in JavaScript. And ironically, it is because of Firefox’s spirited success and huge adoption, that Chrome was conceptualized in 2008.

When introduced in 2008, Chrome was foreseen by many technocrats as being an extension copycat of Firefox only, but lighter, with almost no features. The positioning of Chrome was simple yet effective: it addressed a single basic need of the netizen, Speed. This came at a time when Firefox was slowly becoming sluggish with tons of Apps which was making the experience of web-surfing cumbersome. However, shrugging off initial concerns on stability and security, Chrome has come a long way, and may now be equally poised to challenge Microsoft’s position within a few years.

Today, Firefox has lost a third of its market share, from around 30% down to 25% in 2011 end, and Google Chrome has surged to almost 26% market share, to become the new leader in the consumer web-market. StatCounter Global Stats reports that Chrome took 25.69% of the worldwide market (up from 4.66% in November 2009) compared to Firefox’s 25.23%. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still maintains a strong lead globally with 40.63% although the share arises from Microsoft’s Windows/Office users mainly. In fact, almost as a party to rejoice its victory, Google has recently announced the launch of full version Chrome for Mobile, putting a fully fledged web browser on a phone’s tiny screen.

The future seems exciting, and we may witness a splurge of innovation in the browser technology, in an attempt to control the market share. Whatever happens, the netizens and cyber citizens will benefit from this competition which is bound to keep all the netizens at their toes to see what happens next. What do you think? Do let us know your take on this gizmotalk.

Digital Marketing Presentation

Digital Marketing is the promotion of an offering using all forms of digital advertising media to reach the target segment. Today, theoretically, these channels of promotion include Radio, mobile, Internet, Television, social media marketing and other less popular forms of digital media. However, when speaking in a generalized manner, digital marketing is synchronously connected with marketing using the web or internet.

Most of us strive to understand the nuances of Digital Marketing, especially when it comes to understanding the theory with a deeper perspective than is presented in most blogs and online forums. This presentation / ppt is for all those who are searching for a crisp yet highly informative presentation/ebook on digital marketing.

Check out this ebook/presentation on the theory behind digital marketing and search engine optimization. Advanced Guide to Digital Marketing

DOWNLOAD THIS PRESENTATION NOW TO UNDERSTAND THE MANAGEMENT THEORIES BEHIND DIGITAL MARKETING.

In this presentation, the main focus is on 6 different sub-topics in digital marketing

  1. Theoretical frameworks which affect digital marketing strategy development
  2. Digital branding theories and frameworks
  3. Digital Marketing Research, the roadmap for success
  4. Optimizing through Web Analytics
  5. Promotions and Advertising Channels
  6. Finally the eye of the Apple: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION. Here we discuss in details about how it is done, the best practices, what’s done and what’s not done, and so much more..

Here’s a sneak peek to the slide of contents for all those who are still deliberating whether to download this ebook  or presentation.

Do let me know how this presentation may be improved upon. Your feedback is very valuable to me. Do refer this ebook to your friends and link back to this page, if you benefited from this ebook. Also, subscribe via email to this blog, to get more business management lectures and updates.

Advanced Guide to Digital Marketing

This week we have a special gift for all our email subscribers. You have special access to the “Advanced Guide to Digital Marketing” for free. To download your free copy, subscribe via email. The footer section of the newsletter contains the download link for the guide, which will boost your understanding of digital marketing. It is short and crisp, and will help you to deliver. It is a 32 page document which will provide enormous insight on how to brand your offering, how to do market research and how to optimize your web-site using SEO tactics to ensure greater visibility on web. In fact the SEO section has been designed to ensure you have a deeper understanding on how to deliver greater value to your business.

Do contact me if you face any problems while downloading the free E-Book. I will mail it to you personally. Also, feel free to get back to me if you have any query after reading the same.

Business Fundas has been revamped

To all our thousands of subscribers, we thank you for being there for us patiently. We have finally revamped the Business Fundas website, after its database crashed at the hosting server. Do mail us your comments and suggestions on how we can improve the look and feel of this blog.  A wordpress based new theme has been implemented, and we have made a substantial effort to speed up the page loading time. Also, we have minimized the external links to social media directly. Hope all these changes would ensure a better readability from all places, including work.

Pricing models for Outsourcing and BPOs

Outsourcing in current times is more value adding exercise done to enhance competitive advantage by focusing on the areas of core competency rather than just a cost saving practice, as it used to be. Its role as a business-value-creator is established across the world in terms of long-term gains like increased customer satisfaction and decreased customer churn along with short term cost cutting. Along with changes in outsourcing objectives and practices, the pricing models also keep changing in the outsourcing industry.

A transaction based pricing model is based totally on the number of transactions. It draws theory from the concept of economics of scale from resource sharing and usage based pricing. In this pricing model the client typically pays the service provider for individual transactions or per unit of work performed by the resources deployed. In such a model, SMEs benefit drastically from resource sharing with overall lower cost of outsourcing. An average base level of transaction is defined in the SOW, the fluctuation from which impacts the per-transaction base level pricing, in this model.

Similarly, an FTE based pricing model is one where the client pays for the time & material invested directly by the service provider. Often in outsourcing contracts, this is further broken down into multiple categories dependent on the expertise of the resources deployed, complexity of tasks performed (which impacts turn-around time of task completion), degree of domain experience and onshore/offshore presence. Typically these are fully loaded costs with often standardized SOWs including factors like number and level of resources deployed; infrastructure and external dependencies bundled into the price points.

While another variation of pricing models that can under serious contemplation is the Risk/Reward sharing pricing models, where the benefits and the losses of the services outsourced are shared amongst the partners. This is a move towards greater collaboration between separate partners in a value chain. However, for such a pricing model to be really successful there has to be significant maturity in the process level which can then be mapped to quantifiable benefits. As of now, since the services rendered by BPOs/KPOs are yet to reach the required level of maturity, these pricing models are yet to be adopted as industry standards.

Next comes the big question: When to choose which pricing model? Typically transaction-based pricing models would be more suitable for Small or Medium sized organizations where transaction count would not be significantly high. In such organization, keeping a dedicated division (with active resources) would be more cost-intensive than sourcing it to third party service providers. Thus in such scenarios, a transaction based costing would be more beneficial. Similarly, if the transaction volume is on the higher side, a FTE based pricing model (and outsourcing SOW) would be more cost effective and thus more suitable for the organization. Also, if the transaction levels are subject to high degree of fluctuation, a transaction based model (and thus the SOW) is more suitable and beneficial for both the parties involved in the deal.
Do let us know if you have any feedback in this context.

Principles of Google – The Chrome Story

For years Google has tried to hunt down Paid link exchanges and Black Hat SEO tactics by penalizing websites investing on paid links to rank higher in Google search, by getting back juice from back links. Has the time come when the internet major is caught red handed involved in practicing exactly what it punishes others for? The “Is Google Evil” question has again returned to haunt this innovator which has given us a new life through its innovative web based offerings.

While this goof-up may have not been done intentionally, in an attempt to promote Google Chrome, it has got into a mix up, when paid bloggers in-inadvertently placed -do-follow links instead of no-follow links to the Google Chrome download page. This created a huge influx of juice to the Chrome page when a video advertisement of the same was launched. It was an attempt from Google to become the market leader in the Internet Browser industry, by re-branding and relaunching Chrome.  This happened after Google hired Unruly Media, an international media agency, to get a number of paid bloggers to promote a video for its Chrome browser featuring a US flour company. However, another SEO firm named Essence Digital has “come to the rescue” of Google by declaring that it acted as an intermediary between Google and Unruly Media.

However, to clear up this “mistake” Google has now lowered Chrome’s position in the Search results, in an apparent effort to correct the mistake. However, it is interesting to note at this juncture the degree of strictness with which Google penalizes bloggers and webmasters for indulging in link exchanges, link purchases or even black hat SEO tactics.

In an era where management principles are often scrutinized for ethical legitimacy, this blunder by our favorite Web Prodigy, will no doubt leave a lasting impact on its fans like us. While Google “might not have” authorised this campaign directly, it is indeed in violation of their own webmaster guidelines, and thus the managers of Google should be held liable to fulfill a higher ethical standard, given the fact that they take such a strict action against similar defaulters.

How Technology will change Small & Medium sized Business

And here come 2012. The era of computing has seen some dramatic improvements in 2011. But what is interesting is the evolving focus of technology majors from large enterprises to small and medium sized businesses. So what could be the major movers and shakers for the next two years as we gear ourselves to ride this wave of technological evolution, more in terms of focus and perspective?

  1. Small and Medium Enterprises (Popularly called SMEs) will ride the wave on e-business offerings. The time has come when even the smallest service provider will leverage m-commerce to advertise his service range for the customer in serviceable range, with the growing popularity of location based services. Everyone with a mobile is potentially reachable through this technology, which is fast increasing in popularity. The fact that Forrester Research predicts m-commerce will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 39% through 2016, and that tablet adoption will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 56% per year through 2015, indicates Location Based Services have a really bright future.
  2. With the increased popularity of SaaS models in Information Technology offerings, small business can today harness the power of costly powerful technological resources, shared by multiple users, without shelving off millions of dollars. I foresee more and more focus of offerings in the domain of Business Intelligence, which are in a cloud model, for SMEs from the technology service providers. With the resources moved to a cloud, it would be possible to harness the power of ever improving processing capabilities to the available data and then leverage the information and knowledge and gain competitive advantage. The offerings of Business Intelligence on the cloud, should be of the greatest boon to the SMEs and should have a great rate of technology adoption.
  3. With the increasing access and penetration of the internet, the years to come may witness a growing proliferation of web based start-up ventures, which may operate purely on a click first e-business model. There may be a splurge of knowledge disseminating service providers or web-based internet marketers leveraging the power of affiliate marketing. However, it would remain to be seen whether this time the wave survives longer than the last wave which crumbled during the dotcom burst of the late 1990s. These pure-click e-business models may be further boosted by the integration of such business with the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the likes of which have seen a faster adoption amongst the consumers than any other technology.
  4. With a greater focus on web-based offerings, very soon SMEs will start harnessing the power of open source resources and applications, in the regular operations and transactions. Job monitoring, scheduling, live meeting and communications in general will start being more accessible to the SMEs without deep pockets. This may see a fast growth amongst businesses who are able to assimilate the benefits of the increasingly accessible technological offerings.
  5. Last, but not the least, technology may again be leveraged in providing social services. With the increasing focus on social marketing, and the issues centered on triple bottom line, sustainable governance structures may evolve amongst the SMEs which would be heavily leverage on the power of technological advances in general, and e-Business models in particular.

In short the next few years promises to deliver a lot to us. But to what extent the technology evolution and revolution will witness an adoption and assimilation in the SMEs will be interesting to monitor. What do you feel about this era of technological evolution and its impact on SMEs? Write to us.

Pricing of Telecommunication Network Services

Pricing is one of the key components of services marketing. Service providers like that of telecom service providers, often are at a major dilemma, how to price their offerings? What would be a sensitive price point for converting a potential target customer into an actual consumer? The divide between perceived value of  a service and its perceived cost would often vary across segments of customers for the same service offering.

So how should a pricing manager go about pricing network services?

Typically some of the more classical approaches in pricing Telecommunication Network Services are as follows:

  • Maximization of consumer surplus
  • Welfare maximization
  • Peak load pricing
  • Pareto optimal pricing
  • Ramsey prices
  • Cost based pricing

Here the objective of the pricing manager would be to set a pricing technique which depends on measurable parameters

  • Fully distributed cost pricing (preferred by regulator)
  • It may obscure the fact of inefficient technology
  • Over provisioning of infrastructure
  • Long run incremental cost approach
  • It may be costly to implement

This pricing technique must ensure that if not at an individual service level, at least at a service bundle level, the price bundles post consumption must be profitable to the service provider.

Another  major challenge for the pricing manager is how to apportion the cost when same resource produces two services (voice and video). This becomes extensively critical when a cost based pricing mechanism is used. It is important to note at this point that decisions, if not prudently taken, would turn a Business Unit of the service provider into a potential cost center without strategic deliverables. Cost apportionment is especially problematic and questionable in an industry marked by production not directly proportional to input materials (as all services are, where the intellectual capital matters a lot more than tangible artifacts).

To take care of this challenge, one may approach this dilemma using the following approaches:

  • Subsidy free (very difficult to decide on the price)
  • Sustainable (Ramsey pricing)
  • Activity based costing : It is based on a hierarchy of four levels and is a refinement of FDC approach

Another major issue is Pricing Services Bundles. Pricing is a major decision point in the adoption of service bundles, especially when the key differentiators are extremely intangible in nature. That again is another ball game. If you find that interesting, you can go through the following article of mine: A Model for Bundling Mobile Value Added Services using Neural Networks, 2012, International Journal of Applied Decision Sciences, Vol. 5, No. 1.

Do get back to me if you have any queries.

Location Based Services

Location-Based Services (LBS) typically are information based or entertainment providing services, accessible with mobile devices like smart phones, web-enabled phones, PDAs, Notepads and Palmtops through the services of a telecom network provider. Typically these services utilize the ability to make use of the geographical position of the mobile device. These services are getting immensely popular as a tool for services marketing for B2C focused businesses. Continue reading “Location Based Services”

Debt Crisis in Europe

The woes of the economic slowdown and financial crisis in 2011 is largely attributed to the debt crisis in Europe. This is not a recent happening and bubble started growing from as early as 2009. The 3 of the highest exposed countries; namely Greece, Ireland and Portugal, collectively account for six percent of Eurozone’s gross domestic product (GDP). Continue reading “Debt Crisis in Europe”

Agile software development methodology

Agile software development is a model for development of information technology systems based on iterative and incremental development, based on feedback from the clients.  In this methodology the requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams who work in close liaison with the clients. Continue reading “Agile software development methodology”