My Company Blog (ACLion) Hits “100 Entries”!

Hooray for me! When I first started doing marketing at AC Lion back in May ’08, building a blog was my #1 objective. They did have a blog in place on the MovableType CMS/Platform, so I decided to work with it. Before WordPress and MovableType, all I knew was Google Blogger, where I practiced HTML and CSS. I went in with little programming experience and no clue about blogs and threw together my first real corporate blog. Take a look at it: Blog.ACLion.com.

Well today I am pleased to announce that I have posted my 100th post for my first company blog. It’s a proud moment for me. I learned a lot about blogging and I started working with WordPress and MarketingBlog.NET as a result. A lot of my earlier posts on this blog came from my corporate blog.

One thing I learned: Working with Worpdress CMS is so much easier than MovableType. Better plugins, themes and spam control. I’d write an article comparing the two, but I’ll save that for another time. For now, congratulations to me for making it this far and I have every intension of moving forward.

Posted under Blogs

This post was written by Joshua Russak on December 2, 2008

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Online Marketing “A-Z” For Small Businesses

SearchEngineLand recently published “a list of things that small businesses can be thankful for — one for each letter of the alphabet — this Thanksgiving. These are things that can make the difficult challenge of online marketing a little easier for any small business.” I’ve went through the list and find it a great resource for small business owners. You can find the exact list, word-for-word (as found on SEL’s blog) below:



A: Analytics – It wasn’t too long ago that a full-featured analytics package was out of budgetary reach for a lot of small businesses. But thanks to Google Analytics (and, hopefully, Yahoo Web Analytics when it launches publicly), small business owners now have access to the type of data that only their deep-pocketed competition could previously afford.

B: Blogs – Have you noticed in my ongoing “Small Business Success Stories” series here on Search Engine Land how often a blog plays a major role in a successful online marketing campaign? Element One Photography, real estate agent Teresa Boardman, and Avante Gardens are just three examples of successful small business blogs.

C: Common Craft – “Explanations in plain English” is the tagline for this video-making company that takes somewhat complicated ideas/services/tools and brings them to the masses. RSS in Plain English is their most popular work so far, and a great primer for small businesses who don’t quite “get” why RSS is so great.

D: DomainTools.com – It’s not the best place to brainstorm domain ideas for your small business, but DomainTools is the best place to do competitive research on domains that have already been registered.

E: Education – From Search Engine Land to Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Guide, and the countless other excellent web marketing sites, getting an online education is pretty easy. Is there another industry in which the best in the business consistently share their wisdom so openly?

F: Firefox – Any small business owner wanting to become a do-it-yourself search marketer can thank the Firefox web browser and its countless plug-ins that put a wealth of SEO data at your fingertips.

G: Geotargeting – There are almost 20 cities named Columbus in the USA. Those dentists in Columbus, Ohio, sure don’t want their ads being clicked on by searchers in Arkansas, North Dakota, and Texas. We overlook it, but the ability to geotarget ads is a real blessing for small business owners.

H: HitTail – It’s not the only analytics-type service you should use, but with almost-real time tracking of sites and keywords that send visitors to your site, HitTail is a great complement to your primary web stats program.

I: iStockphoto – A great photo or image can dramatically improve any piece of content, no matter how well written it is. iStockphoto offers an amazing collection of images, many of which can be purchased for web, blog, e-book, or similar uses for just a couple dollars.

J: Junk Mail Filters – Be glad that you can filter away all those “Submit your web site to 5,000 directories” and “We’ll put you at #1 on Google for $49.95 per month” emails. They’re useless and should be ignored at all costs.

K: Keyword Research Tools – Whether it’s Keyword Discovery, WordTracker, or one of the many others, keyword research tools seem to get more powerful every year while still staying affordable for small business owners.

L: Local Search – All three main search engines offer local search business listings, and countless other local/social directory sites bring value to small businesses, too. Add it all up, and local search is the best way for local businesses to connect with local customers.

M: Matt Cutts – You may not like all of Google’s policies, but give credit where it’s due. Small business owners can be thankful that Matt’s blog offers a direct window into Google’s anti-spam and search quality efforts.

N: Networking – When you start a new small business, the first piece of advice you’ll get is to join the Chamber of Commerce. Why? Networking. It’s how you meet local people who might become customers or business partners and help you grow your business. Small business owners can also network online thanks to social media sites with local networking opportunities.

O: Onebox – Thanks to Google’s local search onebox, a small business now has an extra ten chances to show up on page one of Google’s SERPs.

P: PPC – For many small businesses, there’s no better and faster way to get search engine visibility than a well-planned PPC campaign. Pay-per-click advertising can bring in targeted traffic while you’re waiting out those weeks or months for your SEO campaign to bring results.

Q: Quality Over Quantity – Small businesses can be thankful that, when it comes to content and links and competing in local search, it really is about quality over quantity. With a few exceptions, you probably don’t need to go out and find hundreds or thousands of links; a few high-quality links should be enough.

R: Reviews – No small business owner likes getting bad reviews, but progressive small business owners know that it’s smart to embrace online reviews and encourage happy customers to write reviews. Searchers rely on reviews to make buying decisions, and local search algorithms look at ratings when determining rank order.

S: Social Media – Many small business owners don’t quite understand social media, but there are numerous ways for any small business to succeed with social media.

T: Tools – Using the right SEO toolbox can give any small business a big advantage over the competition. But it’s important to remember that tools can’t make decisions for you; that’s your job.

U: Unleashed – Geared specifically to small business owners, the Small Business Marketing “Unleashed” conference has quickly become a must-attend event for both its educational and networking opportunities.

V: Video – Video used to be something that only Big Companies could afford, but today there are numerous companies bringing affordable video marketing to the small business sector. And with blended search results becoming more widespread, videos can be an effective tool for attracting new traffic and customers.

W: Webmaster Central – It’s not just the tools and data you get from having a Google Webmaster Central account that matters; equally important is the fact that GWC provides a direct line of communication between small businesses and their primary source of natural search traffic. The communication aspect is highly underrated, but something to be very thankful for.

X: Xenu – Give thanks to Xenu Link Sleuth, which advertises itself as a tool for checking broken links, but really provides so much more link information than that.

Y: Yahoo Site Explorer – With Google and MSN both neutering their public link reporting tools, Yahoo Site Explorer offers the best free, straight-from-a-search-engine snapshot of a site’s indexing and inbound links.

Z: Zappos – Any small business that thinks social media, and Twitter especially, are useless as business/marketing tools need only look at what Zappos is doing. They’ve become the poster child for how to connect with customers online.

©2008 Third Door Media, Inc.


Have a happy thanksgiving and thanks again to SearchEngineLand for providing me with great content and an easy way out of having to blog pre-thanksgiving. For more about SearchEngineLand, check out their parent company ThirdDoorMedia.com, creators of SMX, Sphinn and SearchMarketingNow.

Posted under Blogs, Social Networks, Ultra Light Startups

YouTube Goes Widescreen (16:9)!

“Is it just me, or has YouTube gone widescreen?” Just do a search on youtube wide in Google and you’ll get an endless list of blog posts (including this one). YouTube has apparently changed all videos on its site to play in widescreen by default, and not the standard ratio of 4:3. They’ve had the option to go widescreen in the past, but now it’s their Default. As a result, most of the videos have these horizontal black bars on the sides. Check out JagerBomb video to see what I mean. (Take note, that is how Jager Bombing is supposed to happen!)

According to the YouTube Blog article Bigger Isn’t Always Better… But in This Case, We Believe It Is, this is what they had to say:

“Over the years we’ve heard a lot of feedback from you about what you’d like to change about YouTube, and the size of our video player is always top of mind. That’s why today we’re excited to announce a bigger YouTube player. We’re expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels to better reflect the quality of the videos you create and the screens that you use to watch them. This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience.”

I’m not really sure what they’re doing. Maybe they’re playing the game of ‘catch up to the competitors’. Just a few days ago YouTube went Live! and now they’re going Widescreen. According to TechCrunch “YouTube is by no means the first video site to go widescreen – Blip.tv (my favorite YouTube alternative) has long had the feature. And as the comments point out, sites like Vimeo and SmugMug already offer video in HD”. (TechCrunch)

You know what doesn’t make any sense? When you embed the video on other sites, it maintains the 4:3 ratio! Well, one thing is for sure, YouTube is making improvements and the world is noticing!

Posted under Online Video, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 25, 2008

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You Tube Live: “From Rumor To Reality!”

YouTube is launching its first ever live streaming event that will celebrate it’s endless list of user communities. Part concert, part variety show and part party, YouTube Live will bring together some of the amazing videos and unforgettable individuals that have contributed towards making the site what it is today. Expect to see Internet-born stars like Soulja Boy Tell’em, Esmee Denters, and “Canon Rock” virtuoso Funtwo, a global b-boy showcase featuring dancers from the movie Planet B-boy, Discovery Channel’s MythBusters and lots more.

But one thing is still unclear. Why did they call it a “Live Streaming Event“? Isn’t this more than event? Isn’t this the luanch of Google Live!? That’s the thing…nobody knows for sure. Here’s my time line covering YouTube Live from the first time it was mentioned until now:

  • January 2008: First rumored on the popular blog Scobleizer.com,  when Robert Scoble asked the Chad Hurley (co-founder of Youtube), “Is YouTube working on streaming video?”. Chad responded, “We’re working on a lot of interesting things…” (watch the video here).
  • February 2008NewTeeVee published a video taken by video-blogger Sarah Meyers asking Steve Chen (CTO & co-founder of youtube) “When are you guys gonna do live video on YouTube?” in which Chen responded:
    • “2008. We’ll do it this year. Live video is just something that we’ve always wanted to do, we’ve never had the resources to do it correctly, but now with Google, we hope to actually do it this year.” (watch the video)
  • October 3rd 2008: Wired.com’s Blog anounced that “YouTube will be hosting an event called YouTube Live in San Francisco on November 22 which (as the name implies) will be streamed live on its site”. (Blog.Wired.com) That same day, Gawker Media blog Valleywag also anounced YouTube is going live after all. But they also supported Michael Learmonth’s position saying “Google and YouTube won’t necessarily be offering live streaming video to users of the site any time soon.”
  • October 22nd, 2008: AlleyInsider goes ahead and publishes a followup to their August article with a new one titled YouTube Launching Live Streaming Service — Or Something.  They claimed a source was telling them that “someone personally involved in the YouTube Live! event on November 22 […] specifically described it as Youtube’s Live launch.”
  • November 19th, 2008: Well here we are! In 3 days the Youtube Live! event is taking place. Will this be the “official launch” or just a one-time-thing?

Posted under Online Video, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

GMail For Mobile Phones is #1 Viral Video!

“Viral Video of The Day” is part of this blogs timely Friday Tradition, as provided by my friends at ViralVideoChart.com.  They  marked an interesting #1 video for today.  So for all of you marketers and mobile junkies out there obsessed with your PDA and e-mail, you’ll love todays Viral Video of The Day:

Introducing Gmail for mobile 2.0

That’s right! A geekie video made it to #1…and with reason. For all of you using PDA’s, the proprietary email application can be quite plain (static, no html, courier new, etc.). Well, this is probably more applicable to “Blackberry Users”. Well, today’s viral video promotes Gmail’s Phone Application. The guy’s kinda funny in the video, in a geeky google kind of way. How this made #1 for the day, I’m not sure…

Posted under Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 25, 2008

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