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Search Kingdom Podcast #1 notes.

New Podcast Discovered

Majestic is pretty cool. One of the really cool thing I like about Majestic SEO is their blog. It is full of great information, relevant topics about SEO and now I discovered by chance that they also have a podcast.

You see, I use an application named NetNewsWire to read RSS feeds; you might use Google Reader, or Vienna or something else. One of the options that NetNewsWire gives you is that you can automatically download attachments that come in the blog posts. As I was cleaning up my desktop, I found a folder that I had configured and place there with all of these attachments. I had forgotten about this folder actually.

One of the folders within that folder was titled Majestic SEO. I opened up and discovered a podcast in there. Woohoo! surprise loot! I decided to listen to the podcast and I’m glad I did. It’s called Search Kingdom, the quality was great the topics again very much in line with current events on the Internet as well as search engine optimization discussions. So I decided take some notes and share them with you below.

Podcast Notes

  • Gamification: at the beginning of the podcast Dixon and Steve, his guest have this short discussion about gamification and I heard a great definition for the term Gamification and it went something like this:

[Gamification is:] Creating behavioral change mainly through achievements and rewards mechanics. Turning tasks into fun and games.

– Steve Locke from Analytics SEO.

  • Dixon Jones, the host of the show is on Empire Avenue too, here’s his profile.
  • Penguin update. Lots of links related changes. Lots of people affected. Seems to target really spammy techniques. So it might be a good change…? Google provides a feedback form to let users report problems.
  • Majestic SEO – largest linkmap on the planet. New products released like Trustflow.
  • Steve Locke intro from Analytics SEO, a search engine marketing professionals organization. Steve setup one of the first internet radio shows about internet marketing in the UK.
  • How does Analytics SEO compare to Conductor and other major tools out there. Great for agencies with big quantity of projects. Analytics SEO combines Google Analytics data, Webmaster tools data, Majestic SEO’s data, SEM Rush data and also their own crawlers and then present all the data in one simple place to look at it and understand it. Lots of time-saving features, especially when it comes down to reporting. The software also gives you a basic “walkthrough” or guide to tell you what’s the next most logical improvement to make in your project. (brilliant!)
  • New features coming to Analytics SEO. Classification engine coming soon. And Analytics SEO is giving away lifetime memberships to their software. Get your own membership herePlease note that even though it is a free account, they require a credit card to sign up. I didn’t like this particularly so I skipped it for now.
  • The show closed with some more chit-chat and some of Locke’s favorite conferences and events in the UK and in the US.
  • Best tool SEOs need according to Steve Locke – Crowdbooster. (one of my favorite Twitter tools! and yes, you should be using it if you’re using Twitter)

You can listen to the whole thing directly from Majestic’s blog.

Can I display other ads besides Google Adsense at the same time?

Google Adsense only lets you display their ads three times on one page (I actually don’t have a verified source on that). But what if you display 3 Google ads, and then other advertisments from other sources?

Apparently this is also okay to do so long as the ads are displayed as ads and not as something else, I think to be safe you should follow Google’s guidelines even with non-google ads. Am I completely off-base on this one?

John Chow speaking at Costa Mesa Connectors

I got an opportunity to visit with John Chow and Debra Faris at Costa Mesa Connectors recently, and I captured John’s talk. You can watch it below. It’s about blogging. The video is long, but it really gives you a great idea on how you could make a living from your blog.

If you don’t know about John Chow, I recommend you take a look at his site John makes his living from his blog, he blogs daily, sometimes twice a day about tech, about blogging, or about whatever he’s up to with his gadgets and stuff.

QR Codes. Wins and Fails

I love that QR Codes are getting traction, I see them pretty much everywhere I go now. I almost venture to say that I see at least one new QR code each day. I think that’s quite a bit, frankly.

The thing that saddens me is the missed opportunities in the use of these QR Codes. The codes are often used without a purpose, without tying  back into the context in which the code could be used. If the total gain from a QR code is 100%, then these examples I’m goign to show you are tapping into maybe the 5% of the potential.

See my commentary under each one. By the way, the images actually work so you can try them yourself with your own scanner.


4 Mailers with QR Codes in them

I got these in the mail, in one day.

Shows all four of the QR Codes I found today. Can you spot them all?

Albertsons Flyer with QR Code

Albertsons QR Code - Large View

Albertsons QR code failed because it comes up empty. .

Close up of the QR Code for the Albertsons flyer

Close up of the QR Code for the Albertsons flyer

This is the close-up so you can scan it if you’d like.

Another flyer for Albertsons with a QR Code in it

Another flyer for Albertsons with a QR Code in it

This one is a little better. It’s in a great contextual location and it actually asks you to do something other than visit the website. Plan your St. Patrick’s Day Party, that’s a call to action, and they tell you “scan here”. Whether you realize or not, that will help to get people to scan. I did, and I would have even if I wasn’t writing this post. Let’s look at the close-up

Albertson's St Patrick's QR Code up close

Scan the Albertson's St Patrick's QR Code up close

This is much better than other ones I’ve seen for the reasons I described above, but it goes a step further and actually takes you to the page where you can plan your party! It’s good and focused and it gives me as the consumer, a good reason to scan it. I get tips and recipes and ideas for my St. Patricks’ Day party.

Flyer for Unleashsolar with QR Code

Flyer for Unleashsolar with QR Code

This one is boring more than anything. “Register your interest” ::yawns:: And then the QR code takes me to just the website for more yawns. This would have been good to link to a calculator of some sort where you can see how much they could save you by installing their product. Or perhaps they could send you to a page to take $100 off your purchase if you requested an appointment today. Something like that, but linking to the website only is mostly unappealing.

Unleashsolar QR Code Up Close

Showing the Unleashsolar QR Code Up Close

Here it is if you want to scan it.

Realestate QR Code example

The only Realestate QR Code I got

Even though this is the only Realestate QR code I got today (from 3 or 4 real estate related flyers), I think it’s at least got something going for it. It’s attractive and the information on the page makes you want to scan it to see if you can find out more. That part is a winner. I’m on the fence about the actual location of the link. It’s good, but it could be better.

Up close real estate QR Code

Up close real estate QR Code

What’s interesting about this one is that the code is printed twice on the flyer and as expected, both codes take you to the same spot. The reason why I said I’m on the fence about this one is that the code takes you to the agent’s facebook page Diane Merassa. So it’s personal and lets you connect to the person, but I would have rather it take me to her website where I can see a digital & interactive version of this information. Then of course the ability to contact her and find her Facebook, email, etcetera on there.

Flyer without QR codes by Vons

Flyer without QR codes by Vons

I added this in here as the failure of the day. I consider this a total failure, of course because there is no QR code here. Imagine the potential. You could link to the bottle of wine pictured, the fish that is used in that picture or even a list of recipes you could do with today’s specials or the items pictured on this flyer. The options! “Join Vons club and receive this recipe and more like it” “scan and join our vip club to receive discounts when you buy all the ingredients for a recipe we sent you”.

The options and creativity in which to use QR codes is unlimited. They’re simply a bridge between the physical world and the online world. Easy to use, easy to understand and easy to create and integrate into your strategy today. What are you waiting for?

The key here is to think of the context in which the ad is being presented. I’ve just picked this up from my PO Box, others might go to their mailbox and pick up the mail. In my case, you have even less time to make an impression. As I get my mail from the PO Box, I sort through it on the spot and throw away junk before I get back in my car. Guess which mailings made it home with me? The ones I wanted to know more about, the ones that caught my attention, or the ones I scanned.

Offering something quick and easy to do on the spot is your best bet with QR codes. Make the offer irresistible, and obliterate all barriers of entry, direct us how to do it and then make it dead simple to do.

Oscar, @notagrouch Speaking about Social Media at the Microsoft Store in Costa Mesa.

In case you missed my tweets, facebook posts and meetup invitation, I thought I’d let you know that I will be speaking about Social Media for business tonight during Tech Talks at the Microsoft Store in South Coast Plaza. Session is FREE and starts at 6:30, you just need to RSVP at

If you know others that would benefit from attending, please share this invitation with them.

OK Go Superbowl Commercial with Chevy – Collaborating with Social Media

OK Go about to start their drive for the chevy commercial during the superbowl

OK Go, about to start their Needing/Getting Song & Video

I found a great example of good social media collaboration and marketing. OK Go, one of the iconic music bands from the social media generation, collaborated with Chevrolet for their latests music video. And it aired during the Superbowl.

After many massive hits with many previous songs, OK GO teamed up with Chevy and took this video to the next level. Very cleverly based off another already viral video (Mario Theme Played with RC Car and Bottles)

This is what Social Media is all about, collaboration and strategic partnerships. Very smart move by Chevy to partner up with these super-creative guys and produce this video.

The guys are off-roading in a car (Chevy of course), and similar to the Mario Brother’s theme song video above, they have these paddles and “drumsticks” hanging out of the side of the car. There are 1000 instruments placed strategically throughout the course and these get played to the beat of the song as the car drives by and smacks them.

This is the kind of collaboration that companies need in order to leverage their brand with social media. In this case, we see a music video by a band that came from Youtube, and it’s very clever, but at the same time it’s a 4 minute Chevy commercial. Already at 2.25Million views and counting. Even if you don’t have the budget that Chevrolet does, you can still find a way to make your brand collaborate with others and leverage social media channels to distribute the message.

Now that’s how you do social media, 2+ Million views, overnight and counting. Tons of people are and were tweeting about it too!

I totally agree, I went to the site…

I agree, Honda could have partnered up with OK Go and it would have been good too.

You just can’t get this kind of commentary from traditional approaches.

This is pure #win!

Some called the commercial unforgettable.

So next time you have to come up with a new marketing campaign, use a social media channel, get creative and let it rip, but don’t forget to. Think. Outside. The. Box.

Foursquare and QR Codes.

As you know I am really a fan of Foursquare. Recently I found this cool little app for the iPhone, called foursQR. Android users are out of luck for now, but hopefully the app soon will join the most widely used mobile platform.

The app lets you check into a venue by scanning a QR code. I think this is very good for business owners and event or venue managers.

The immediate use cases that come to mind for me are these:

  • Large area that could be considered one venue can easily be split and people can check into the right area. Think baseball stadium, amusement park, outdoor mall.
  • Venues that are overshadowed by many other surrounding venues.
  • Venues that are not in line of sight from the GPS and are hard to find.
  • Businesses with checkin specials. Why not make it easier for people to checkin and connect with you?

I got wind of this app from Chris Thompson on his article: iPhone app uses a QR code to check you in on foursquare, and I thought it was a great find.

The app is $.99 and it should be a welcome additional tool in the arsenal of any Foursquare venue manager or business trying to maximize their geotargeted social media approach.

Yes, I know QR codes aren’t all that, in fact Chris points out some of the downsides of this app. I still like QR Codes and think they’re a good solution for businesses and for some people. And if they help get a few more eyeballs on your product, store or service, then why not use them?