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The D-Blog

6 Questions You Should Ask When Developing a Web Analytics Strategy

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Photo: Sculpture of General Sun Tzu - Confluence Digital Blog“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I’ve got a pet peeve. It’s when I hear someone talk about tactics and claim they are discussing strategy. Or vice versa. It happens time and time again and too often it comes from executives and others who should know better.

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The Power of Online Reviews for SEO

By | The D-Blog | 2 Comments

Image: Logos of Local Review Websites - Confluence Digital BlogBefore the Internet, business was all about the customer. It still is. Except that now, instead of sharing their experience with their friends and neighbors, your customers can tell the world—or, at least the part of the world with Internet access. In addition to exchanges on social sites like Facebook, online interest groups and discussion forums, online reviews provide another powerful feedback mechanism for both consumers and business owners.

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Top Ten Pointers to Spring Cleaning Your Paid Search Campaign

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Spring is finally here. It’s by far my favorite time of year in Seattle. This city of avid gardeners bursts into shades of green and colorful bloom starting in April (but don’t tell anyone, we like our rainy city reputation).

More significantly for those of us in the business of selling goods or services the arrival of Spring signals the start of the second quarter. Following the Holiday madness and three months of “business as usual” (if there’s anything to be considered usual given the current recession) we should take a step back and evaluate our business strategy in light of results from this past quarter or year over year.

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Social Media and Change: Confluence Welcomes Alonso Chehade

By | The D-Blog | 3 Comments

Unless you’ve been hiding somewhere to avoid the news (I know I’ve been tempted to do that), you’re aware of the discussion about the role social spaces such as Facebook and Twitter have played in helping organize, initiate and connect revolutionaries and changemakers in the Middle East and North Africa. The Egyptian revolution did not start on Tahrir Square on January 25th. It started more than a year earlier with a virtual organizational effort in the digital space with the creation of a page on Facebook. Even after the Egyptian government responded by shutting down the Internet, tech-savvy Generation Y citizen journalists continued to put “social” and “media” back into social media. Using a service called speak to tweet, created through an unprecedented collaboration between engineers from Google, Twitter and SayNow, protesters on the ground were able to use their cellphones to continue to supplement traditional media reports with a rich, live Twitter “breaking news” stream.

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Internet Ethics Part 3: Black Hat SEO and Regulation

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In recent weeks there has been much discussion in the search industry about the use of questionable link building techniques industry insiders refer to as black hat SEO. This most recent buzz was generated around a well-documented New York Times editorial about J.C. Penney. The short story is that J.C. Penney hired a firm willing to cross to the “Dark Side” to boost its client’s natural search rankings when it really counted: over the lucrative holiday season. But then got punished for it by having its position slip to “Search Purgatory”, well beyond page on of results.

Photo: Black Hat SEO - Confluence Digital Blog

So what is black hat SEO?

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Internet Ethics Part 2: Online Privacy and Safety

By | The D-Blog | One Comment

In the first post on this series I explored the relationship between cookies, privacy and the value of content in the context of 2 questions I was recently asked in the forum:

1.    Are you willing to give up your “privacy” in order to have easier-to-use websites?

2.    Are you willing to give up your “privacy” so that the ads you see on websites are likely to be more relevant to you?

Another factor we should consider when discussing cookies and privacy is that there currently does not exist a set definition of privacy. I venture to guess that we all define it differently. Maybe we wouldn’t find as many unique definitions of privacy as there are snowflakes, but I am certain that most of us fall somewhere in the middle between the two extremes endorsed by Facebook’s Zuckerberg on one end, and organizations like the World Privacy Forum on the other. It’s just that the folks on the extremes make the most noise and generate the discourse.

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Internet Ethics Part 1: Cookies, Privacy and the Value of Content

By | The D-Blog | One Comment

I was recently involved in a spirited debate about the use of first and third party cookies by websites and advertisers in the context of personal privacy. Specifically, the questions asked were:

1.    Are you willing to give up your “privacy” in order to have easier-to-use websites?

2.    Are you willing to give up your “privacy” so that the ads you see on websites are likely to be more relevant to you?

Before I tell you what I think (ah, the suspense…), I’d like to frame this discussion. It’s been a hot topic in the press recently, and like everyone else I have my own opinion.

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Infographics for SEO

By | The D-Blog | One Comment

Infographics, those colorful and familiar data charts made popular first by USA Today and now appearing everywhere, are a great way to build your inbound link profile – both inbound link numbers and domain diversity — with very little effort on your part. These graphics, illustrations, and charts appeal to the approximately 65 percent of the general population who are visual learners. We humans are, after all, designed for visual interpretation of data.

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