Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We're all doomed! America gets its crazy on (again) ahead of the 21st of May

Time to sync calenders and save the date 'cos if ya aint one of the saved you are in for a bit of a bumpy ride. You got it, once again our cousins in the USA have gone and got their crazy on.

Enter stage left radio personality and preacher - Mr Harold Camping. Mr Camping from Oakland, California, is confident in his message that the second coming of the Lord will happen at about 6.00 pm on the 21st of May 2011, at this time he reckons about 2% of the global population will be, without any further ado "raptured" into Heaven, while the rest of us get a one way ticket to "The Other Place".

I think it's important at this point to point out that we've been here before with Mr Camping, back in September 1994, hundreds of his listeners gathered at an auditorium in Alameda looking forward to Christ's return. It seems that Mr Camping has had time to reflect on why the big J didn't put in an appearance at that time which was mainly down to his skim reading of the Good Book, that's all changed now and only last week he said "At that time there was a lot of the Bible I had not really researched very carefully," "but now, we've had the chance to do just an enormous amount of additional study and God has given us outstanding proofs that it really is going to happen."

In normal circumstances it would be easy to ignore Mr Camping and assign him to the' crazy old man' label but Mr Camping's pulpit isn't in some USA backwater. Back in 1950 Camping founded the Family Radio Network which is entirely funded by it's listeners with an asset total of $122 million, 66 radio stations in the USA and radio stations as far afield as Russia, South Africa and Turkey producing daily shows recorded in 48 languages.

The greatest concern is the pernicious nature of his preaching such as his comments on recent events such as the earthquake in Japan, New Zealand and Haiti all these are harbingers of doom he says as are the changing social values "All the stealing, and the lying, and the wickedness and the sexual perversion that is going on in society is telling us something," he says. "So too is the gay pride movement. It was sent by God as a sign of the end."

Where the crazy steps up a gear is that there are pockets of folk across the USA that have handed in their notice to their employers and are closing up shop in preparation - ahhh America, you never let us down.

Content is King - all hail the King!

Where to start?
When looking to improve your online presence, you need to ask yourself a couple of important questions in order to focus on a goal or set of goals. Do I want to increase my brand awareness, generate more leads, increase sales, or do I want to do a combination of all three?

Content is important
After figuring out a goal, there is need for content. If content has already been created, there is a need to reanalyse it because content is king! Creating relevant, quality content might be obvious to some, but not to everyone. This is probably the single most important and basic thing to first focus on when looking to start or improve an online presence. Content is so important to Google that they recently updated their algorithm code named “Panda,” to combat content farms and low-quality content in general. Content farms are sites that produce low-quality articles for clients with the goal of obtaining a better organic search rank. The result of having poor quality content, identified by Panda’s algorithm, will be a drop in organic search rankings. The Panda update has also had a negative effect on websites which have copied or duplicated content from the original source.There's a good article on this over at The Guardian on their DigitalContentBlog with an interesting chart on some of the winners and loosers.

According to Google’s Blog, their goal is “to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible.” Panda is one of the many steps Google has taken and will continue to take to make search fast and relevant to users’ search queries. Matt Cutts, Google’s lead engineer on the Panda update, gives some helpful advice, “The sites that do put a little bit more individual care and attention and work into the content of their site — whether it be a product description, or a blog post,” says Cutts, “those are the ones that users tend to prefer a little bit more and appreciate.” Because Cutts provides some vital insight of what Panda is doing, the importance of creating quality content that is relevant to the goal of the site’s purpose is key. Remember: quality, original, and relevant content is paramount and will increase your online presence.

Stay Up-To-Date
The internet is such a fluid environment and is always changing. Because of this environment, it is very important to stay up-to-date with the changes and always look to become more educated. A couple of good sources to start with are:
  • Adwords Help Center
    • Contains study material for the Google Fundamentals Advertising Exam
    • It also contains help material for Google Analytics
    • Google’s blog
      • Contains updates and good general happenings

Remember, content is KING! And education and staying up-to-date are both very important.