Google… Everyone’s Competitor

SEO great Rand Fishkin wrote on the Sparktoro blog about how Google in now competing for eyeballs on the internet instead of trying to send people to relevant sites.

I understand why Google is doing this. They want to surface the information for their users quickly and effectively. They want to make sure that people use their advertising platform and see the ads.

Google is definitely not living by their famous mantra “Don’t Be Evil.”

In his post, Rand includes a slide deck from a talk he gave on the topic. One of the biggest take-away was this:

Broadly, I believe the narrative for web marketers is clear. The largest source of traffic on the web — free and paid — is becoming a walled garden, intent on not only keeping people on its own properties, but competing directly with those that helped it become a dominant, monopoly power.

Rand Fishkin

Be sure to check out his deck and find out how to best work with Google to get the results you need.

Ultimately, you can take on Google directly, but you can learn how to adapt to the changing landscape.

What do you think? How do you plan on working with the landscape we have in search?


The Power of Blogging

The Power Of Blogging - li

Blogging can at times be a tedious task. It can be a real bear when ideas for topics don’t come easily.

Yet even with the clear obstacles, there is a power to blogging, which no other Social Media platform can’t provide.

  • You own and control your content.
  • You own the discussion.
  • You control the conversion funnel.
  • You control the look and feel.
  • The Search Engines give you the ranking not the 3rd party platform.

These are just some of the powers of blogging.

When you blog, you create a brand for yourself. You show people who you are and what you’re about.

On the Web, people often forget that Social Media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even blogging platforms like are not controlled by the users, instead the control lies with the platform. They are rented properties.

Granted the aforementioned sites have great built in audiences, but they are still rented, not owned or controlled by the end-users. The value rests and ends with the network.

There are some solutions that increase the power of blogging. They include using 3rd party sites and their built in audience.

  • Blog on your site.
  • Repost on Medium, LinkedIn and/or Facebook Notes.
  • Always provide a link at the top back to to the original source (your blog).
  • Have a call to action at the bottom of all cross-posted pieces, so that people can find value in connecting with you further and even going back to your site.

What does the power of blogging mean to you? How do you use your blog to benefit you? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

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Open Source vs. Close Source

Open Source vs. Close Source

I’ve been thinking about open source lately. I’ve always been a big proponent of it, but now with Google, Facebook, Automattic and others releasing their software, hardware, and other stuff into the open source community, it’s got me thinking. Why wouldn’t you want to open source your software and hardware?

First off what is open source:

In production and development, open source as a development model promotes universal access via a free license to a product’s design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.[1][2] Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of other terms. Open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code.[3] Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. The open-source software movement arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created. (source: Wikipedia)

Now, don’t write me off as naive, I do understand why some companies want to keep their software code and hardware specs a guarded secret. But often keeping stuff away from prying eyes casts questions and doubts about your product (ie. security, access, etc.). Open source allows people to not only vet what you’re putting out there, but also help you fix it and improve upon it.

WordPress is best known for being open source. Being open source has enabled WordPress to grow and in the end power close to 25% of the Websites on the Internet. Developers make plugins for the CMS, designers make themes, hackers find bugs, and users get a great product as a result.

Wikipedia, Drupal, Joomla, and so much more are also open source and because of it they are great platforms to build and grow on.

Google open sourcing its new AMP protocol from its inception will help the Web become faster. Their open sourcing of their building tool Bazel will allow people to build more effective applications and interoperate them with other open source tools to build something completely different and maybe make a product that scratches another need.

Facebook has open sourced its hardware infrastructure, this will allow others to build on top of an already tested and proven set of hardware.

Books have even been open sourced. True to their spirit of open source, the community behind WordPress released a book and released it on Github.

So, to conclude, I understand why some companies keep their software, hardware and other things under lock and key. But do I think that’s a good thing to do? No. Open it up and let the community build upon it and let’s make awesome stuff.

Do you use open source software? What do you like most about using it? Have you tried open source hardware? Thoughts?


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