Buzzword #2: Organic

urlWhat exactly does “organic” mean in social media terms? It’s actually very similar to the definition of the farming and food definition. Organic search results in search engines like Google come about from hard work and dedication without paid advertising or bidding on keywords. When an employer wants better ranking in organic search results, they are asking for the very basics of search engine optimization. While SEO may be the most cost-effective way to maximize your online marketing efforts, it is also the most time-consuming. It requires you to post quality content frequently while managing inbound and outbound links and making sure what you’ve submitted becomes visible and easily found on all your social media platforms. The process might be methodical, but the content is where you show off your expertise in whatever you’re advertising.

How can you be sure your submissions are counted by Google? Like I mentioned early, you need to post quality content frequently. But what does “quality” really mean? It means to avoid copying and pasting large blocks of text. It means flexing and expanding your vocabulary. It means to be creative. Organic results are awesome, but only if you put in the time and effort to make it worthwhile! As a long term investment, it will make you a strong and reliable source of information, which in turn maximizes the influence you have in directing traffic and generating hits.

Tips:

1. Avoid expository text in flash objects. Your text might very well contain the keywords required to improve your organic search results, but because they’re imbedded in videos or flash files, Google cannot pick findthem! If a video or flash object is absolutely necessary, make sure to have a well-written description that make use of your keywords.

2. Vary your terms! While it’s fine to use terms like “social media” frequently if you’re optimizing for social media, you can break term up and still be relevant to Google’s search bots: “See what media is saying about social networks”.

3. Pictures draw them in! If you’re going for a longer article, make sure to include a picture every few paragraphs to give the reader a different kind of mental stimulation. It will keep them interested in what you have to say. Likewise it is usually best to start off with a picture to get their attention in the first place.

Click here for Buzzword #1: Viral

The End of Google Reader

google-reader-issuesMany of you may have already heard the news: Google Reader is shutting down due to a decline in users. Some of you might even be asking: “what is Google Reader, and why should I care?” Technically you don’t have to care if you’ve never used it, but it’s been an invaluable tool for me in my hunt for bigger and better jobs. Essentially it’s a tool built into your Google account that allows you to consolidate all your job search terms into one convenient reader that continually updates in real time. Job search sites like Indeed.com, Mediabistro, and Craigslist have included very convenient RSS Feed buttons in order to aid you in this endeavor. Simply type in your search, however broad or specific, and click the RSS link to add it to your reader. Once you have a bunch of feeds, you can create a folder labeled “Job Search” and drag all your feeds into it, then presto! You have job listings from all your favorite job sites in one convenient page! Simple, convenient, fantastic. But since not enough people are utilizing this tool, Google will be dismantling it and focusing their efforts elsewhere.

ReaderLuckily Google isn’t cutting us off cold turkey. You can still find the Reader under “More” though for a few days last week it was absent from the menu. The announcement was made on March 13th 2013, and the shut-down transitional period will happen over the next 3 months. During this time you can save your RSS feeds and use them in other readers that are still available.

While this may be a good move in a business sense, Google Reader’s demise might spell trouble for its current users. For many small publishers  like MG Siegler, it has been the lifeblood (or flower) of his traffic. He explains that Reader’s design may have been the reason for its failing: “The key element of Reader, of course, is that it allows readers to consume content without visiting a site if they choose to.” There may be a much larger user base than reported in Google’s metrics, but due to the overly convenient nature of its design, those metrics just could not be measured.

But don’t despair, RSS fans, because where one good feature shuts down, another will quickly fill the void. The top contender appears to be Feedly, who has now monetized this portion of the RSS world in the mobile app sector. Maybe Google Reader will come back one day. It’s hard to imagine that such a large and innovative company wouldn’t be able to make something this awesome work!