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It’s a big day for social buttons. Up first is Twitter, who have just announced that they will now be offering a follow button for third part sites. Secondly, the much vaunted Google +1 looks set to launch in the United States, bringing about, what we can only assume to be a big change to its SERPs and potentially algorithm.
So what’s the advantage of having a follow button for your website? Well, in the past you could happily point people towards your profile page, where they could make an informed decision on whether to follow you or not. Of course you can still do this, just as you can encourage these visitors to tweet your blog posts or product pages. However, now they can just follow you instantly, eliminating one of the processes that stand in the way of your Twitter profile gaining a new follower.
Google +1 doesn’t need much of an introduction, although if you do want to read more, then you might want to read Tara’s post: Will Google +1 Really Improve Search Relevancy? Essentially it is a voting system in the same mould as a Facebook Like, or possibly even a Digg. If your friends and other social connections +1 a page, then it will appear higher in your searches. Essentially, it is another way of personalising results and bypassing the organic algorithm.
Whilst the Twitter follow button will probably prove reasonably popular, particularly with blog owners and online stores, there is a certain amount of mystery surrounding Google +1. Nobody is quite sure what impact, if any, it is likely to have on SERPs and search behaviour in general. Equally, will people naturally return to the search page to +1 a site that they retrospectively recommend? It’s not hugely likely, although could be easily gamed.
You can download the follow button from Twitter right now. Unfortunately Google users in the UK are unlikely to be able to access +1 instantly, although a full roll out shouldn’t be too far off as long as the Beta tests are successful. This will certainly come under intense scrutiny in the coming weeks, so expect a few updates in the not too distant future.
In today’s multichannel world, there are mountains of data which provide insights into how users have interacted with your business and their path to conversion (or non-conversion). It is important to understand performance with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modelling. Attribution refers to assigning credit to something (a channel, touchpoint, etc.) for the role it played in the final conversion. An attribution model is a rule, or set of rules, that assigns this credit correctly to the right channel or touchpoint.
For a long time, Bing, the UK’s second-largest search engine, has been underappreciated and, in some instances, even ignored. Often regarded as the inferior search engine to market leader Google, Bing has historically struggled to appeal to many in the digital world. Most PPC analysts would give justified reasons for neglecting Bing for so long; these include the volume of traffic and the user experience just not matching up to Google. However, the validity of these assessments is now diminishing. Bing has grown and improved rapidly in the last couple of years; if you are not integrating it into your comprehensive digital marketing plan, you run the risk of missing out on a large portion of your chosen market and significant revenue.