Can a smart SEO Trick bring back Delicious

For years SEO's have been chasing more links to pump up their rankings. Links IMHO are still a major factor which makes a site "pop" in the SERP's. One of the oldest tricks in the book, is buy old domains, redirect the domain to your site with a 301-redirect, and flow all the raw pagerank to your domain to see rankings go up. This doesn't work that well anymore, since it's explicitly against Google's webmaster guidelines. But what if you revert back to an old domain your company has been using in the past, which has a much larger volume of incoming links. This is exactly what is happening at, which will revert back to its old domain according to this Techcrunch article. Smart move, or old trick? Let's run a quick backlink report and compare the domains.

Can this SEO strategy revive to new heights, or does the company need a new product strategy to pull back customers?

First, let's see what the Google webmaster guidelines are saying, to see if this is against Google webmaster guidelines.

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.

In my opinion, reverting back to a domain your company has been using in the past, and still in possession of said domain is not in violation of these. I'm sure a smart PR team can give it a credible story around branding the company in a way which is old school Web 2.0, going back to its roots yadayadayada...

Deep dive backlinks vs

Both of these domains have a backlink profile lots of SEO's would be jealous off. Lots of .gov & .edu, which are still considered among SEO's as a) hard to get b) carrying more trust. Lot's of unique linking domains, not a lot of sitewide links or footer links. Let's start with the newer one,

With more than 2.5 billion links, and almost 2 million unique domains, ranks #120 in the Majestic Million chart. This is a very juicy SEO domain, which I promise you this, would be very valuable for the backlinks alone. Selling this domain would be crazy if you don't take the backlink profile into account. Which is what is suggested in the Techcrunch post. backlink profile

However, the domain doesn't compare with the subdomain. With almost 3 times the number of backlinks, 1.5 million more unique domains linking to this subdomain, and almost twice the number of .edu & .gov domains, this is a smart SEO play to revert back to this old structure. And this is just the subdomain from the root domain! Below the screenshot here, you will see the root is even stronger!


Not a lot stronger, but a couple of million more links, and a couple thousand more unique domains, make this a very strong root domain, which will help the subdomain overall trust and authority in the search engines.


If you read the Techcrunch article, you will get it. The CEO of the company which owns is described as:

Aly, who has a background in SEO, notes that the JavaScript front-end framework the recent owners used to rebuild the site isn’t great for making content visible to Google and Bing.

“My primary specialty is Big Data SEO, and Delicious has a HUGE amount of data,” Aly told me. “In many ways, it’s an archive of the web. I’m incredibly excited by the opportunity to make this data as accessible as possible.”

We will see over time if the SEO strategy can revive to new heights. Personally I have a lot of doubts, because a) an SEO strategy will work better with a great product, and we haven't seen how the new product will work b) the delicious brand has been ~dead for a long time, will the general public go back to web 2.0 bookmarking, tagging with a folksonomy or has that time passed...?

Without a new, revolutionary product, the best SEO strategy will not win over customers to come back to the site and start using its product. The best SEO strategy, is a product that doesn’t suck, not a widely linked domain from the past…

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


For this analysis, I've used the Majestic backlink tool, which is my go to tool to evaluate websites backlink profiles.


How to Grow Facebook Search Queries Exponentially with one Simple UX change

On November 11 this year, I posted this tweet: Anybody still in doubt what $FB intentions are, proof they are serious about their role in search.

Tweet about Facebook Search

This was my reaction to the little balloon prompting me to do a search for the hashtag of the moment; "#GOPDebate".

A month later, the opportunity for Facebook in search was much better described by Blake Ross in a fantastic piece on Medium titled: "How to swallow $200 million accidentally". And Blake is probably better positioned to have a good point of view on the opportunity, since he used to work at Facebook on product. Having an understanding on how people work, think and decisions are made, gives a clear insight opinion on the way Facebook might act on the opportunity. I'm just an outside spectator working for the last 14 years in search. In my personal opinion I share Blake's point of view, search could be a multi billion dollar opportunity for Facebook.

One thing I don't understand in the current implementation of the search suggest balloons across Facebook in the last couple of days, is that with all the smart people working at Facebook, there is a significant UX improvement which can be easily rolled out. This improvement could grow the number of Facebook search queries exponentially, something Google does on a regular basis through the Google Doodle and product integrations on the Search Result page.

How Google is inflating the number of search queries

One obvious ways Google is inflating search numbers, is through query stimulation. As WTFSEO already wrote a couple of weeks ago, the Google Doodle is one way to increase and stimulate the number of searches people make. Check out today's Doodle. The doodle is leading to some obscure query people most likely would not easily search for. A whole bunch of people would explain this as a great way to pick up new knowledge. You do a Google search through the doodle, and fall into the rabbit hole of knowledge graph. Before you know it, you've spent hours clicking through search links in the knowledge graph box on the right side, inflating Google's search queries.

Google search stimulation through the Doodle

The image above here shows you the perfect example of search query stimulation, AKA search inflation. The knowledge graph box on the right is full with links which would lead to other searches. See the box below, where every link, except for the Wikipedia link, is generating a new search on Google.

Google knowledge graph example of how to ramp up searches

The ways how Google is artificially inflating its search queries is not limited to the practices outlined here. There are a couple more...but not really relevant for this article, one example will do to showcase the practice.

How can Facebook ramp up Searches

A really simple way Facebook is ramping up it's searches on the platform, are the trending topics on the right side. These are the topics people talk about, but also, when clicked on, will generate a Facebook search page for that topic.

Facebook trending topics

Probably, Facebook already is seeing big growth in the number of searches made, where in June last year the number of searches on Facebook already reached 1.5B queries each day. However, I believe they are holding back in the potential, and first do a lot of testing to get the user experience and result set just perfect before Facebook really put a foot on the gas.

How to ramp up search queries on Facebook

For instance, it would be really easy to ramp up the number of searches with one simple UX change in the little bubble from the first paragraph in this post. Yep, make the hashtag a link to the search, instead of having people type in the actual query...And if I start, I bet I will find a bunch of other ways to stimulate queries on Facebook.

I'm sure people working at Facebook are way to smart of overlooking this simple opportunity, so I'm leaning towards the opinion that Facebook is holding back for the right moment to crush it and exponentially grow the number of queries when the time is right.

What do you think...? Leave a comment below here.

Reinventing the Resume – How to land your next dream job Interview – with Nina Mufleh

How one woman got retweeted by the queen of Jordan, got the attention from tier 1 VC’s and the CEO & CMO and landed a job interview at Airbnb, while reinventing the traditional resume in the process.

Looking to get hired into your new, dream job? Competition is high? How do you get your foot in the door, in a way the recruiters and hiring managers are rolling over each other to hire you? Take an example from how Nina Mufleh (follow her on Twitter) planned, executed and now is reinventing the resume.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a number of tweets sharing this website Nina4Airbnb, which was designed to attract the attention of Airbnb executives. It worked, as both Brian and Jonathan, Airbnb's CEO & CMO, were paying attention and responded to Nina. I was blown away by the design, execution and creativity of Nina's project to land a job interview at Airbnb. It made me realize the way people apply to jobs, especially at hot startups receiving a large amount of incoming resumes, had changed significantly.

Why did she do this; from hew own website:

I fell in love with Airbnb two years ago. First, as a guest, then as a host, and somewhere in between, I found myself completely enamored by Airbnb’s internal culture. 

I moved to San Francisco last year with the hopes of landing a job at the company. I soon realized that I was up against thousands of extremely talented people who were all just as interested in the company as I am, but I;m determined to find a way to contribute to your future. 

Little did I know I would meet Nina just a couple of days later this all happened. While presenting at the 500Startups conference in San Francisco, I was introduced to Nina, as she wanted to speak with me. Just fresh out of Airbnb, she wanted to get my story, inside scoops and why I had left one of the most desirable workplaces in The Valley right now.

We met a couple of days later, where Nina agreed to answer a couple of questions on how her project came together and the execution on her plan. Since we last spoke, Nina has turned her project into a white paper, so you can follow your own plan and land a dream job at your favorite startup.

Meet Nina Mufleh, one smart lady mastering social media

You can listen to our conversation, or read the transcript below. 

Nina Mufleh>> TheNextCorner: So, Nina, tell me a little bit your background and specifically we come at your resume that you published online. We started a conversation, but what got you here, and why are we talking here?

>> Nina Mufleh: I'm originally a California native. I was born in Los Angeles. I spent my life, the majority of it, between Los Angeles and the Middle East, predominantly in Jordan, where my family is from. For the past ten years, that's where I built my career. I was very fortunate to have access to a lot of great opportunities in the Middle East. But about a year ago, I decided that I wanted to increase my opportunities and the work that I wanted to do and work with really stimulating companies in a high intensity environment. So I moved out to San Francisco, and I've spent the past year understanding the lay of the land here and seeing what opportunities exist, but also I was confronted by the fact that I don't have a network, an existing network of professional relationships, which is very valuable when you’re getting started in a new city.

So as much as I was going through the traditional routes of job interviews and applications, I constantly felt that there was a challenge that I was facing that maybe most people that have been in San Francisco or the U.S. for a while weren't facing. So after a year of going through this process over and over again, I decided to analyze what assets I had and what assets I specifically had control over and how I could leverage those to create the same opportunities that I had in the Middle East. And time and again, it came down to the fact that I'd established the reputation as a leading social media practitioner and strategist in the Middle East, but that was hard to translate over to here. So I did what I guess I do best, and I created a social media campaign out of it, which I must say the success of it sort of beyond my expectations and the interest is extremely humbling, and I'm so appreciative of the world being involved.

>> TheNextCorner: Can you explain what kind of campaign you set up and how did you get the press that your campaign has gotten and the results so far?

>> Nina Mufleh: Absolutely. So initially, the idea was that I wanted to build a campaign to engage Airbnb hosts around the world to activate that community to promote my message. After a while, experiencing the technical delays that I was going through in terms of building that social media campaign, I had to stop it. I realized that even though the design and the development of the concepts are great, there were too many factors, again, outside of my control. So to go through this campaign, I started thinking back to the assets. What is it that I have? I have knowledge of the Middle East. It's a region that if I do a bit more research on the tourism sector specifically, I can contextualize it. I can weed out the relevant information and create something that I feel would add value to the organization.

The Nina4Airbnb Campaign dissected

>> TheNextCorner: Which organization are you talking about?

>> Nina Mufleh: To Airbnb.

>> TheNextCorner: Okay.

>> Nina Mufleh: It was an experiment, so I wanted to be able to channel my energy and my passion as a community member into something that could add business value to them, and I was aware that probably the Middle East wouldn't be on their horizon for a few years, but regardless, I thought it's pertinent information. Some of the information in there is culturally sensitive so the fact that Bedouin tradition is built on a concept of hospitality. I wanted to get some pieces of information out there as well. So my intention was to duplicate the site. I worked with a fantastic designer who had the most amazing patience to deal with me and my detail-oriented nit pickiness, and it took us about a week to put it all together. And my next step was I thought, again, leveraging my relationships in the Middle East, I'll send an e-mail to a few friends that I have there at night here, so it's daytime there. They would start tweeting about it. I texted maybe about 20 or 30 people would actually respond to my e-mail, have a reaction and tweet something so that if I managed to get this on the radar of anyone at Airbnb, if they clicked the hashtag, they would see that there's at least a little bit of social proof, so a couple of people globally talking about it. What blew me away was the fact that by the time I woke up, it spiraled beyond my expectations, and people genuinely thought that this was a really cool experiment, so the ripple effect started by . . . the Middle East had an amazing reaction to it. The Queen of Jordan who's fantastically supportive, and I think instrumental in the success of this campaign tweeted directly to Brian Chesky about it. Chris Sacca saw that, and so the viral coefficient increased exponentially at that point once a few very powerful recognized influencers saw it, talked about it and then the press came in.

>> TheNextCorner: Yep.

>> Nina Mufleh: That sort of blew me away. It took me a while to digest when I got the call from Business Insider that they would even be interested in talking about my work and the experiment that I was running.

>> TheNextCorner: Yeah. So your campaign consisted very much building on your strengths then setting out a specific strategy how to reach certain people, make sure the campaign was well-designed, and then have the distribution through relationships that you already have.

>> Nina Mufleh: Absolutely.

>> TheNextCorner: Right? Very well. And timing wise?

>> Nina Mufleh: Timing I think is the key. It wasn't an accident that I utilized the time difference between the Middle East and here to my advantage and also from my experience working with press cycles and looking at conversation cycles on the social web in the past and really being able to dissect and analyze that, I was aware that if I launched this on a Tuesday, I'd have this optimal experience of being able to get the momentum going until Friday and I saw a direct drop in conversation rates Friday evening to Sunday evening and then it picked up again on Monday, so I was really able to capitalize on those ways.

>> TheNextCorner: Yeah. What else did you do to get more distribution? You already had the sweet spot with the people in the Middle East. Were you planning to do other things if that didn't work?

>> Nina Mufleh: My plan was to just e-mail it directly to the same people that I had contact with at Airbnb. Over the past year, I've used Twitter to build relationships directly with some of the team members, and I'm constantly amazed at how open they've been to exchanging their personal e-mail addresses and their professional e-mail addresses, as well as meeting for coffees and conversations around my interests. So I knew that I had the ability to get to them directly. What I wasn't sure of is if I had the ability to sustain their attention enough to actually click on the link. So looking at past campaigns that I did, I was aware that there's a big funnel in terms of taking somebody from attention in one moment to desire in clicking the link and then action upon that desire. And I think that's where the social proof came in.

>> TheNextCorner: Yeah.

>> Nina Mufleh: Which other than tapping into my network, what I was able to do was look at my own social media presence so, like I mentioned earlier, I managed over the past few years of building my career in the Middle East to build a pretty average-sized, decent social network on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and a personal blog that I run just for fun about my travel adventures. And I wanted to really make sure that I had a very specific, platform relevant content that I would be able to share directly with followers and people that are interested in engaging with me there and then give them the opportunity to see how the conversation was playing out through a hashtag that I created, which initially, I have to say, the hashtag I was thinking of going with #NinaForAirbnb, but I got great advice from a friend of removing myself one degree from that conversation and just seeing how it organically developed. So I think the less I made it about me, and this is something that I've always recommended to brands that we've worked with, is the less branded it is, the less it is about you and the more it is about the concept, the more chance that it has of natural, organic, viral growth. And I think this is a great example of this.

>> TheNextCorner: So wait, what did the hashtag turn out to be?

>> Nina Mufleh: It turned out to be #AirbnbMe, so me being the Middle East but at the same time, it sort of has that play on word or of the individual.

>> TheNextCorner: Did you come up with this or somebody else?

>> Nina Mufleh: A friend of mine actually recommended it to me.

>> TheNextCorner: Okay. You were pushing that hashtag. It was not organically . . .

>> Nina Mufleh: It wasn't. I've seen a few others organically come up. Jonathan Mildenhall, the CMO of Airbnb, when he saw the reports tweeted a hashtag #CallNina and I saw that duplicate itself in a few other conversations which I found quite cool, it was an amazing way for me to follow the conversations. The volume on Twitter, I'm still going through thousands of tweets that have come my way directly and indirectly. So I'm grateful that there's a hashtag where I can actually engage with users and thank them at least through favoriting their content. Thank them for being part of this and sharing the content.

>> TheNextCorner: And so did you do any preparation on your other profiles before you actually launched the campaign to make sure that if somebody does a Google search and did you pay attention to that while that's being mentioned further by mail, Facebook, Pinterest and all my profiles up to date, did you pay attention to that?

>> Nina Mufleh: Absolutely. As a social media strategist that is something that I've definitely taught organizations to do plus other high profile personalities to do, and it's something I've always paid attention to for myself. What is my personal brand? How do I come across for somebody that's searching for me the first time? I say one extra step that I took in this case was being, for the past few months I've been very aggressively trying to go after Airbnb specifically because I think the opportunity to work with Jonathan Mildenhall would just be an amazing . . .

>> TheNextCorner: I can only attest to that.

>> Nina Mufleh: I would imagine. You're very lucky to have had that opportunity. It's something that as a longtime fan of Coca-Cola and Airbnb, I think just my selfish reasons are I think I can learn so much from him as an individual. So this was a little catered to his past experience. If you noticed the more subtle images in there, all of my social media profiles, with the exception of LinkedIn, have me in a Coca-Cola t-shirt and the picture that went out with the Business Insider article have me in Airbnb t-shirt. So I thought even on a subtle level, I really want to drive in these messages and capitalize on both those brands.

>> TheNextCorner: Yeah.

>> Nina Mufleh: . . . however I can.

>> TheNextCorner: Good job.

>> Nina Mufleh: Thanks.

Blueprint for Resume, Get Hired!

>> TheNextCorner: You talked about your passion for travel. Tell me a little bit more what kind of travel did you do? Where do you like to travel to? And tell me a little bit more, or tell me one great experience that you've had traveling?

>> Nina Mufleh: Wow. It's hard to narrow down the great experiences, so I'll start with how I like to travel, where I like to travel. I grew up in a family that prioritized learning about different cultures and understanding them. And I was very fortunate to have these experiences from a young age, be it going abroad with my parents, taking advantage of school trips where we actually competed in the region in the Middle East against other schools, and we would be hosted within our competitors' homes. So again, that's a very similar experience to Airbnb and this connection that it creates.

But also in the past few years, I decided I wanted to step away from the idea of group travel in the sense that I realized I was going to the same places, the same destinations which I love over and over again, just with different friends each time. And I thought I want the opportunity to just immerse myself in another culture or another city, not necessarily always a culture, and get a deeper understanding for that. So that's where I really started using Airbnb.

I took a couple months between consultancy projects, I guess you could say moved to New York, had some fantastic experiences on my own over there. Past that, I got a little more . . . the wanderlust in me, and I decided I wanted to go to Iran where my mother's side of the family is originally from, but I'd never had the opportunity to go. So I went there, explored that. I think that was probably one of the most unbelievably mind-opening trips and powerful trips that I've ever taken in my life.

>> TheNextCorner: And what's higher in your list? Where do you want to travel next?

>> Nina Mufleh: Wow, that's also challenging to answer. I think the U.S. has a lot of very interesting destinations that I haven't taken advantage of.

>> TheNextCorner: Yeah.

>> Nina Mufleh: And in the ten years that I was in the Middle East, I remember constantly coming across an option. Was it Alaska? Was it the South or New Orleans or wherever? And thinking I was there for so long, and I didn't take advantage of that and so now I think that I have an opportunity to actually reverse that mistake that I made earlier, so I say that most likely, I'm going to make some geographical choices over the next few years, at least since I know I'm committed to being here for the next few years, and then seeing what opportunities I have to explore the rest of the word.

>> TheNextCorner: I've been here nine years in the U.S, and I haven't traveled a lot, so it's high on my list as well.

>> Nina Mufleh: That's awesome.

>> TheNextCorner: Next to Argentina.

>> Nina Mufleh: Oh, absolutely. I've never explored Latin America.

>> TheNextCorner: I loved Latin America.

>> Nina Mufleh: And I think that's a place that . . . food wise, culture wise and people wise, I just think that's a really interesting place I'd love to be.

>> TheNextCorner: Well, thank you very much . . .

>> Nina Mufleh: Thank you.

>> TheNextCorner: . . . for this conversation. And I will make sure that you get some extra exposure.

>> Nina Mufleh: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.


A couple of points we can learn from Nina's project;

  1. Do something remarkable to get the attention. As Seth godin has written in The Purple Cow, being remarkable these days is a good way to get noticed. These days, Airbnb gets thousands of resume's per month. Having a remarkable way to get noticed will get you in front of the line to get a call back from a recruiter.
  2. Know your audience. Two of the founders of  Airbnb have a design background. The efforts Nina put into her new digital resume shows she has taken their background in consideration in the design.
  3. Leverage your network & relationships. How to get noticed can be accelerated when you can leverage your network to broadcast your message. As Nina's website was tweeted by the queen of Jordan, it really helped to get the message in front of the right people really fast.

You can now follow Nina's plan using her white paper she has just published today! Download it here...


The Founder of Twitter Retweeted My Work, and this is what Happened…

I've been a user and a fan of Twitter since I got introduced to the service back in 2008. So working closely with Twitter to get the Twitter Buy Button integrated with Fanatics was already excited. But getting a retweet from the original brain behind he service is not something I could have imagined. Let alone dreamed!

Last week, for the NBA draft, we prepared 4 tweets for 5 of the first round draft teams to have the shirt of the player who was just drafted being featured in the tweet. Within the tweet, you could buy the shirt right there, with no click out to a different website, check out right there! As Twitter is going to behave more and more like a platform, these integrations will happen more and more within the tweet. As long as we can scale volume in the items sold, I'm happy testing this out!

Here is a screenshot of the buy button integration in the tweet, working at the Twitter platform. With below the original tweet as embedded into WordPress, as the buy button does not work outside of some of the walled garden of Twitter!


Fanatics Tweet for NBA Draft Lakers jersey with buy button

Shoptwits as e-commerce on Twitter

I have a soft spot for Twitter e-commerce, since I've been walking around with ideas in my head from the moment I bought the domain Inspired by the quick launch, and early success of, I bought the domain with the intend to build a shopping application on top of Twitter. Back then I was still working for eBay, so e-commerce was running through my veins.

I dropped the ideas, and stopped working on it as I was too busy with family, friends and new work at Airbnb. But I never got the concept of real-time commerce on Twitter out of my head!

Pretty Cool

And what do you think, the current (interim-)CEO of Twitter takes "notice" of our attempts to build a new service on their platform, and retweets one of our tweets with the buy button integration. I never would have thought I would be so happy with the action of the man who thought out this awesome service I've been using for the last couple of years, and has been taking the world by storm... at least the breaking news section of media!

Jack Dorsey retweeted our tweet for NBA Draft



The outcome of the campaign wasn't that great yet!  It does show the opportunity to get much higher engagement on tweets that are retweeted by famous and broadly followed accounts. The other 3 tweets got single digit engagement, where the Lakers jersey tweet engagement shot up as soon as Jack shared it.

Couple of things we learned

  1. The product is still rather new for the Twitter community,
  2. The NBA draft players might not have a big following within the fan base of the team they were drafted in
  3. There was substantial twitter activity during the draft process, which easily pushes our tweets down the stream really fast

Next time we will try with a more general product, see what kind of volume we can get out of it.Our strategy to test out the new feature on Twitter was probably not the right one, since we picked a product and a difficult event. Combined with Twitter advertising, targeting the right audience, we could have done better! I foresee Twitter having a real successful product feature, which for e-commerce players is a welcome new channel.

I'm a big believer in the potential for e-commerce on Twitter, hence my early thoughts buying the domain and constantly thinking how to develop a product around this. T-Commerce will take off, where I expect sports to play a big role. When your team wins, buying a jersey or championship tshirt is just one tweet away!

This is Why I Speak at Conferences

Last week I spoke at a panel at the SMX conference in San Jose on the topic of retargeting. When I'm visiting a conference, I always make an effort to meet new people. Breakfast, lunch or dinners are best to exchange names, stories and problem solutions. Sessions are there to fill up the time, and pick up some latest new testing other speakers have done. It was at one of the breakfast tables I got the best feedback of the week; somebody who had seen me speak at the Copyblogger Authority Intensive last year at my very first keynote. Based on my presentation, they made some radical changes to the way the company approached SEO, UX and design. These changes had the desired results for the company website: bounce rates dropped, user engagement up, growing SEO traffic.

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Dennis Goedegebuure keynote authority intensive Airbnb

As I'm planning to relaunch my website, I asked Jimmy if he could write me a testimonial for my new site. Yesterday I received the email with the following write up of what had happened after the company, GetVero, made the changes.

I heard Dennis speak at Copyblogger's 2014 Authority Intensive event. The topic, experience as SEO, was one I'd never considered. As our blog struggled to gain traction, we took Dennis' advice and invested heavily in design and user experience. The results have been incredible. Immediately, our bounce rates dropped and time on page increased. We even got press from a few design sites that loved the new site. Search traffic has steadily increased and we attribute much of that to the look and feel of the site.

Jimmy Daly - GetVero

Jimmy even added two screenshots, a before and after of the website:getvero-pre


This is one of the main reasons why I like to speak at conferences. Helping people to succeed online. Even when it slightly helps my competition, or I might be competing with myself later on, it feels good to contribute to a better web, better user experiences, and one more company which becomes more successful. The problem with getting these testimonials or feedback, is that it takes time for companies to implement your learnings, see results, and then report back to you. The ROI of a conference can not always measured directly the following day, week or month. Sometimes it takes a full 6 months to fully understand what you learned there, how it impacted your business.

The tools to give feedback to speakers are limited. So here it is:

If you ever have seen me speak at a conference, or have spoken with me during a lunch, and the conversation was helpful to the point you became more successful, I would like to hear from you. You can use the form below here, and let me know. I might use your testimonial on my site, and you might get a link back in return...

Can you write me a Testimonial

  • Drop files here or
    If you have screenshots of success stories, please share if I can use these
  • Write a short testimonial for my website I will be relaunching later this year. Specifically, where you've seen me speak, what you learned, what actions you took based on my talk, and the results you've seen. I really would appreciate it, and will link to your website of choice!
    Check the box for Opt-in my newsletter


Google Now Is A Mobile App Disrupter

My friend Jeremiah Owyang has been focusing on the sharing/collaborative economy for the last two years. In my time at Airbnb I hosted him a number of times at our HQ, and had some interesting conversations with him. Today he wrote a blog post on how Google is entering the collaborative economy in a big way. Of course, as a Google watcher I've been following this story, and see some similarities between the way Google is using Android as a platform to hook companies into a new service. For free, for now... See below my comment on JO's blog post. My earlier post on Google, self driving cars and Waze is also somewhat relevant in this whole discussion.

I see the extension of brands into Google Now more like an advertising play. It will become a way for Google to monetize Android, as it's now given away for free.

Let me explain; Google has been notorious for introducing new services for free, killing off whole industries. Look at companies like or other price comparison sites. By introducing Google shopping search, for free, these sites became irrelevant when the intro was combined with a de-ranking of these sites in the natural search results. As soon as Google had eliminated the competitive thread of these companies in the shopping comparison space, Google introduced pay-to-play in Google shopping.

With a prominent position at the top of the SERP's for any ecommerce query, the service is secured with a decent amount of web traffic.
Same will happen with the integration of Google Now. Brands integrate their inventory for free, at the moment, where Google will send them a lot of "free" traffic.

Here is a piece on the WSJ about it:

Most notable paragraph:

"The move to bring third parties into Google Now is aimed at making to tool more useful, and thus more popular among users. But it will also bring to Google Now, for the first time, prompts to spend money. For now, Google is not charging the third-party providers for the referral traffic."

Keywords you need to pay attention to here are:

  • more popular among users
  • for now, Google is not charging

Classic move, build the audience first, make companies addicted to the “free” traffic, start charging companies for the traffic once audience is big enough. I expect it will eat up all your mobile SEO traffic, and will be pay-2-play in the future... They teach your users to circumvent your app, and go to Google first, which is their problem right now as Google is lagging on mobile IMHO. Habits are hard to build, but as soon as these are established, habits are also very hard to break! As a brand, putting your content into Google Now seems like a smart thing to do, as you get a short term boost in direct App traffic, for free! However, long term Google will become the tax man, collecting for every visit into your app taking its cut, completely shutting down your mobile "free" SEO traffic. Big mistake!

What do you think? Where will this move from Google lead to? 

Twitter Engagement Testing > Are you using images for maximum impact?

Based on a post from MG Siegler, in which he describes the practice of posting images with text on Twitter, I wondered how my tweets with embedded images did in terms of engagement. A quick check with Twitter analytics gave me two interesting data points of last week tweets; One tweet got a massive engagement rate according to Twitter analytics. Normal tweets I post most of the time get around than 3-4% engagement rates, outliers are scoring up to 10%! This one got a whopping 17.5% in the first 24 hours!
Tweet with crazy engagement
A couple of things...
  1. The tweet was posted on a Sunday, as I shaved my head that day, this might have limited the number of people who saw my tweet! Overall, the number of impressions this tweet got was around 40% lower than tweets I post during the work week.
  2. It had an embedded picture of my freshly shaved head, however the picture was cropped as it was showing a criminal in it. A large number of the engagements came from people who clicked to see the full image
  3. The engagement could be higher than my average, just because I have a lot of followers who know me. Shaving my head was a first, so it could be the engagement was just off the charts because they wanted to see my bald head.
  4. All of the engagements were organic. I did not pay for any of the engagements.
Funny enough, a tweet from a week later, during Stormageddon here in San Francisco, actually received almost as high engagement as shaved head tweet. This one was a picture from Sharknado, a couple of sharks swimming in the basement of a shopping center. Obviously this was a test to see what kind of engagement I could score on said tweet. Pff what do you think, sharks swimming in the streets of San Francisco...
Testing engagement on Image tweet
With these detailed Twitter analytics, it's becoming easier to start optimizing for engagement on your tweets. More visuals, less boring content!Twitter Engagement Testing > Are you using images for maximum impact?
Let me know what your engagement looks like on your tweets, would love to hear!

How @Buffer Made My Day, for Days in a Row

Vanity, my favorite sin. This is a quote from the movie: Devils Advocate. The vanity has definitely worked on me, as I've been walking on clouds for the last couple of day. Ever since one of my favorite web apps, Buffer, has put one of my posts on their list of suggested post for their Buffer community.

Buffer suggested posts

The reason why I'm so happy about this; simple! I creatively worked on this system to stitch webapps like Pocket, IFTTT & Buffer together, to make it easier for you to share your curated content on social media. The fact the post was liked by Buffer is a huge statement for me.

And it brought some nice traffic to my little site, which I'm not even writing so much on.

Buffer traffic outbreak

And the Buffer gift keeps on giving over the last couple of days:

Buffer keeps on giving

Main source of traffic is Twitter, where the post have been massively retweeted. Now the URL has been tweeted over 1,000x according to Topsy:

Tweet results tracked by Topsy

Whenever something like this happens, I get fired up with new ideas to blog about. The automatic sharing system has so much potential, especially now that everybody on Twitter has access to the analytics. With a simple VLook up in Excel, I'm sure I can do some magic for a follow up post!

Get into the Buffer Suggestions, and expect a massive amount of traffic and Tweets of your post. You can pick up a decent amount of new followers as well on the way. Thanks @Buffer

Thanks Buffer for your support! I'm a happy paying customer, and love your service!

Buzzfeed Love or Hate? How a Buzzfeed article made me open my mind for more Pulp

A number of people who I work with everyday have heard me saying this; I don't particular like Buzzfeed (yep, no linking here). The click-bait article publishing website which polluted my newsfeed on Facebook for a long time, until I blocked anymore links from Buzzfeed. So when I saw the article: BuzzFeed: An Open Letter to Ben Horowitz published by Frederic Filloux over the weekend, I said to myself, "Finally somebody invested the time to write about this!" and stood up to give the writer an applause. My favorite passage:

I spent some time trying to overcome my reluctance to BuzzFeed’s editorial content. I wanted to to convince myself that I might be wrong, that BuzzFeed could in fact embodysome version of journalism’s future. But if that’s the case, I will quickly resettle in a remote place of New Mexico or Provence.

BuzzFeed is to journalism what Geraldo is to Walter Cronkite. It sucks. It is built on meanest of readers’ instincts. These endless stream of crass listicles are an insult to the human intelligence and goodness you personify. Even Business Insider, a champion practitioner of cheap click-bait schemes, looks like The New York Review of Books compared to BuzzFeed. And don’t tell me that, by hiring a couple of “seasoned editors and writers” as the PR spin puts it, BuzzFeed will become a noble and notable contributor of information. We never saw a down/mass market product morphing into a premium media. You can delete as many posts as you wish, it won’t alter BF’s peculiar DNA.

Fact is, quality content does exist in BuzzFeed (an example here), but in the same way as a trash can contains leftovers of good food: you must go deep to find it.

Exactly how I think about Buzzfeed. Why do I think this way; well, before I blocked Buzzfeed in my Facebook newsfeed, I was confronted with two articles which made me really sad about the state of the Internet, humanity and most of all, the friends who liked it, shared it or commented on it which made these post appear in my newsfeed:

  • 26 People Who Are Too Stupid For Their Own Good
  • 20 People We Hope Never To See Promoted On OKCupid

Ok, the first one might be a little funny, where most of the names of the 'stupid people' were blurred. The second is just offensive. Who made the editor of this piece of garbage the coolest kid on the block to bash other people who are searching for love? And most stupid of all is Virgin Mobile, who are sponsoring this article, and position their brand next to a blog post trashing other people based on their picture...Yuk! See what it says:

OKCupid is letting users pay to promote their profiles. Let’s hope these guys don’t decide to take advantage.


Buzzfeed OKCupid trash article


Ok, so it's clear why I don't like Buzzfeed. But what peaked my interest, was what the people on HackerNews were saying about it, the place where I found this open letter to Ben Horowitz. See the post on HN here. With all the hate for SEO normally get as being a deceptive practice from the HN community, I would have expected nothing less for the Click-Bait machine, abusing and making fun of normal people to pump up their Edgerank. As I read the comments, I was surprised to read no haters comments on the low quality editorials Buzzfeed so many times is pushing;

The author is shorted sighted. I'm surprised so many people on HN following his thought patterns, because what Buzzfeed is doing is nothing short of classic disruption.

In a disruptive startup, you always start with a _worse_ product that appeals to a marginally group of users who'll fervently love you.

The demographic that's on Buzzfeed all the time, is the type who wouldn't be reading news anyways. So what if they look at cats and take quizes, and once in a while eyeball an article about Ferguson / Ukraine / ISIS that they wouldn't have done anyways. Look at, how many of those are linkbaits? How many are quality contents? It's not unimaginable that overtime, the (vegetable news) : (shitty news) ratio can increase....

...Why can't people accept that Buzzfeed, at its current state, isn't meant to appeal to everyone? Those who bash at Buzzfeed sound like the mindless YouTube comments on Justin Bieber's videos saying how shitty his music is. It's not for you. Don't listen to it...[1]


Jonah Peretti figured out how to spam the web better than anyone with the Huffington Post. He also figured out how to get away with it. It's been called the veneer strategy. The idea is to take a little bit of legit content and make it look like that's the site. In reality all of your real traffic comes into your many thousands of shitty linkbait articles. This throws off Google's spam team and confuses people about what you're doing. Hopefully you sell before the house of cards comes crumbling down.

There's a reason McDonald's sells salads and it's not because they believe it's the future of fastfood. It provides cover when the idea of sickening billions with shitty food occasionally heats up. [2]



This is a perfect combination of every short-sighted, angry old media, and old man rant I've ever come across. I mean, to go from hating on BuzzFeed to somehow ending up on the "Africa is one single country and let's help it" trope is quite impressive.

Best article that sums up what Buzzfeed is really about, and why I believe it is incredible for the future of journalism is this piece by Felix Salmon. Basically, he makes the point that Buzzfeed is in effect a massive advertising agency, and their content efforts are all experiments to better understand how to reach younger people. They then make money off of selling that expertise to brands.

... [3]

And although these comments made me think about the post which started this whole rant, it does not change my general thinking if any brand would be smart to put their name next to the pulp articles Buzzfeed is pushing online. Even if the content is improving, the Buzzfeed brand still carries their history with it, and you cannot easily shake of your history and reputation with adding more quality in the mix.

So is there more quality on Buzzfeed?

If I have blocked Buzzfeed from my Facebook newsfeed, how would I be able to know when the inflection point for the quality on Buzzfeed is? Well, I cannot block the entries of Buzzfeed on my favorite technology news aggregator: Techmeme.

And guess what, today Buzzfeed made the homepage of Techmeme with a more quality and informed article on the settlement in the Tinder sexual harassment case. Go figure. [4]

Buzzfeed article makes Techmeme homepage

If the Hackernews community can have an open mind about Click-Bait articles, I guess even I can be open to some higher quality Buzzfeed Pulp!

Real Winner of Panda 4.0 Correlation is Causation

I can't believe this was missed by all those SEO experts writing their analysis posts about the latest Google Panda update, this is Panda 4.0! They all are focussing on the wrong stuff. You need to put your thin foil hat on to be able to see it, but it's pretty obvious once it is pointed out to you. The real winner from the Panda 4.0 update is Google!

Here is how this is played out. Google updates their index, shifts a couple of large companies around. Naturally, all SEO's trying to get into the spotlight of mainstream media, throw out a quick headline with a poor analysis of who is the biggest loser. Something like; "Brand X just lost 80% of their rankings, once you find out which company it is, it will blow you away...!" This is all the big smoke screen to hide what is really going on.

However, seasoned SEO's, who have learned the law of correlation = causation see right through this smoke screen.
Tweet: Correlation = Causation?

Here it goes:

My friends at Search metrics wrote an extremely helpful data analysis showing the biggest losers and winners of the Google Panda 4.0 update. As you can see in the losers row, large brands are used to pull up the smoke screen. You will need to pay attention to the winners of this update. Which company is close at the top of the list..? Right, it's

Glassdoor winner of Panda 4.0

Glassdoor, off course is the company where we all go to rate the company and our bosses, not using our real name off course!  Well, Glassdoor won in this update BIG TIME! Is Glassdoor so good in SEO, that they had to win? Not sure, as I received an invitation to apply to their head of SEO not that long ago, so they must still be looking for somebody setting out the strategy.

It clicked with me once I saw the headline this morning at the Wall Street Journal;

Google Rated Top Employer for Pay and Benefits by Glassdoor

Google Rated Top Employer for Pay and Benefits by Glassdoor

You see, there is an epic battle going on in Silicon Valley, the way for talent. Free food, free transportation, multi million dollar stock packages, you name it. These are the perks thrown in by tech companies to get the best people to work for your company.But a company get's really the most and best resumes if the perception in the market is that it's the best place to work.

I know a trick when I see one, and by the law of correlation = causation, this must be true. Google has given Glassdoor a giant lift in search rankings to get the #1 spot of best place to work, while pulling up a giant smokescreen so that every SEO analyst will focus on the losers. In the process, Google will safe giant recruiting budgets.

Well played Google, I guess I saw right through your trick!


Disclaimer: This obviously is a parody post, to make fun of all the so called "SEO experts" who do half baked analysis on an update just to get the attention. One of the only post I believe describes the facts, is the one from Search metrics, rewarded with a link here