The Bizz by AnyPromo.com

Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: UN Ads for Women’s Rights


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile the UN’s new women’s rights campaign.


By Fausto Mendez

    The UN asked women in various countries to use Google search’s autocomplete feature to find out what people are searching for - in relation to women - in those parts of the world. The ads speak for the themselves, and if you do a similar search in Google in your region, you will most likely see similar results. Below, I screenshotted the sad results from my search with the query “women cannot”.

    My regions is Southern California in the United States, so it’s pretty sad that this is what came up. See the rest of the ads at the behance profile of Kareem Shuhaibar, featuring ads that show autocomplete results from various parts of the world. 


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

What Scams Should You Watch For When Hiring an SEO Firm?

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By Fausto Mendez

    Finding and hiring a great SEO provider is tough. Some businesses can never find one, and worse, other businesses fall for dirty scams that cheat them out of thousands and thousands of dollars. That’s why you should watch out for the following scams when hiring an SEO firm.

    Our experiences with SEO companies has not been so great. Actually, we’ve never worked with an SEO firm that impressed us with measurable results and a reliable work ethic. As a result, we have enough experience to know what to look for in an SEO company that only offers ineffective services that are only designed to eat up as much of your money as possible.

    Search Engine Journal has a great piece on SEO scams. We summarize SEJ’s list below, and we follow up the list with a few scams that we’ve seen ourselves.

+ Don’t fall for “free” services. There is no such thing as a free SEO service that also works. It’s possible that the company selling you “free” services is stealing your data, your customers’ identities, or learning your trade secrets. In the best case scenario, a free SEO service is just a way for the company to get its foot in your door to sell you more expensive services.

+ Watch out for first-page guarantees. Any company that guarantees first-page rankings is (pardon my French) full of shit. Don’t get me wrong. Getting on the first page is certainly possible, but nobody has the power or skill to achieve first-page rankings so consistently that they can actually guarantee it. Real marketers never make guarantees except to guarantee to do their absolute best.

+ Beware meaningless services attached to big numbers, such as “submitting your site to hundreds or thousands of search engines”. The truth is that there are only a handful of relevant search engines, and it’s not hard to “submit” your site to these search engines. Anyone with a minimal level of skill and knowledge can do it.

+ Don’t believe anyone that says they have connections at Google. I’ve heard this line from every SEO company that we’ve talked to. It’s most likely a lie, and even if it’s true, NDA agreements and fat paychecks prevent Google employees from giving out insider knowledge or favors. 

+ Beware anyone that assumes they know Google’s Search algorithm. No one knows Google’s algorithm very well, not even former employees or even current employees. Google Search is developed and maintained by several sets of teams that specialize in smaller aspects of the engine. There probably is someone in the world that manages these teams and has better insight into the algorithm, but I’m sure that guy is paid far too well to risk getting caught handing over secrets to an SEO company.

+ No one has a secret formula for successful SEO. The information that you need to be a great SEO marketer is freely available to anyone that wants it. Even so, SEO is hard work and requires a lot of daily research. Any company that claims to have a secret formula is playing you for a fool. In SEO, the only secret is that there is no secret. Most successful marketers know what it takes to rank well. The problem is most people don’t want to do the hard work that gets them there. 

    SEJ’s list is great, but it feels somewhat incomplete. Here’s a few scams some companies have tried to sell us before.

+ Never (ever) buy backlinks or use a backlink farm. Google killed this strategy a long time ago, and any website that creates unnatural backlinks in mass is only going to encourage Google to drop the hammer of penalty & pain. 

+ Avoid companies that don’t have experienced and well-trained copywriters on staff. SEO firms that outsource copywriters often outsource really, really bad writers that only write English as a second language. That’s because they don’t have a writer on staff, so there isn’t anyone that recognize great copy. Google is getting much better at recognizing well written (user-friendly) content, and if it finds that you are creating a great user experience for your site visitors, your site should rank better over time. However, bad copywriters may actually hurt your rank.

+ Avoid companies that create tons of low-quality content to help your site rank better. Why? See the above details on bad copywriting. Basically, you don’t want to associate your site with low-quality content.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

WTF, Google? What Does the Search Engine’s Massive “Hummingbird” Update Mean for Me?

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By Fausto Mendez

    Has Google felt a little bit different lately? On the surface, Google may look like the same, reliable search engine, but under the hood, the company just launched a major overhaul of its search algorithm. And it’s already affecting the way you search.

    Google is constantly updating its search algorithms to better serve the public; most updates barely tweak the search engine’s behavior. However, Google’s latest update - dubbed “Hummingbird” - is a major overhaul, and if you’ve used Google.com this week, you’ve already experienced features of the new change. We summarize the update below, the meatier details courtesy of TechCrunch

Presenting a New Focus on Questions & Answers

    Perhaps the most noticeable change is a new focus on questions and answers. Previously, Google Search focused on keywords, but now, Search takes a more intelligent approach to questions. Asking a question results in Google trying to answer it with the most relevant and reliable answers. 

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    Furthermore, an update to Google’s Knowledge Graph, which is a database that attempts to store and relate (connect) all kinds of data from various sources, has made the search engine much more effective at comparing and “understanding” data. For example, you could ask Google to compare the nutritional characteristics of broccoli and asparagus, and it should bring up relevant comparison charts, diagrams, Google+ pages/posts and, of course, good-ol’-fashioned links.

    In my test of this feature, I didn’t get any fancy charts or diagrams next to my search results, which is what is supposed to happen (sometimes) if Google understood your question. Fortunately, the first link on the search results did feature a fancy chart. So it looks like the update made the search results more relevant and useful at the very least, but if you’re hoping for fancy charts by your search results, Knowledge Graph may need to grow and “learn” a little more about veggies.

Over 90% Of Searches Affected by the Update

    During Google’s presentation of the Hummingbird update, the company remained quiet on how it all works, but they did mention that about 90% of global searches would be affected by the change. That’s a big percentage for an algorithm update, and that number is absolutely frightening to search-engine marketers as they may have to make big changes to the way they operate, the clients they work with, and the employees they hire. I’m search-engine marketers will ponder it over one too many drinks this weekend.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

#MarketingMonday - Google’s 10-Day Panda Update is Here

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By Fausto Mendez

    Google’s search-algorithm updates sometimes occur too fast, causing some sites’ search ranks to undergo drastic changes, but Google’s latest Panda update is occurring over ten days. More importantly, the rollout has already started! Are you ready?

    Google’s new 10-day Panda update started last week, and it continues throughout this week. Like all of Google’s search-algorithm updates, it’s hard to know exactly what’s changed, but SEO experts around the Web are already commenting on their experiences with the updates.

    Search Engine Journal's Adam Morgan witnesses the following effects.

1. Impressions have risen, but click-through rates (from SERPs) have remained steady.

2. Rankings for informational sites, such as Wikipedia, have been hit hard.

3. Sites with high authority will rank better in SERPs.

4. Sites using Google+, such as authorship markup and Google +1 sharing buttons, are seeing some nice effects.

    Remember that Panda’s ultimate mission is to…

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    So you’re best chance of surviving any Panda update is to use white hat SEO techniques and to follow Google’s best practices guidelines. Seriously, quit that black hat stuff! 

    It may be a few more days before your site feels the full impact of the new update, but have you noticed any major changes in your search rankings yet?

#MarketingMonday - Purposely Misspelling Your Brand Name in Ads Can Be a Smart Marketing Strategy

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By Fausto Mendez

    Sometimes, the best marketing strategies take advantage of the most unlikely tools, glitches or places. For example, Lego famously leverages construction sites to send an inspiring and unforgettable message. In the same spirit, Snickers took over one of Google Search’s most beloved features - spell check.

    Snickers and Google partnered up for the snack brand’s latest marketing campaign, and if you’ve seen some of the more recent Snickers TV ads, such as the one with Joe Pesci at a party, you may already know the slogan, “you’re not you when you’re hungry.” Taking that same concept and plastering it all over Google Search, Snickers bought ads for about 25,000 misspelled search terms.

    When you search for these commonly misspelled terms, such as “snikkers candy”, you’ll notice an ad or two at the top of your search results. The ad varies depending on your specific situation, but our test pulled up an ad for the brand’s YouTube channel and also product ads to buy the candy at online stores. Some users are directed to a page dedicated to the campaign.

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    More importantly, it doesn’t matter if you click on the ads themselves. If you know the slogan from the TV commercials, you should be amused by the same message after you misspell a word.

    The tactic is brilliant SEO marketing. Most professionals and businesses tend to execute safe and easy SEO strategies, which is wise - don’t get me wrong. But if you really want your brand to reach the top of the search lists, more often than not, you’ll need to think way outside the box. 

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Does it Make (Business) Sense that Facebook’s Launching a Custom Version of Android Deeply Integrated with Facebook?

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By Fausto Mendez

  Facebook announced a custom version of Android for smartphones today (in some ways, it’s more like a big app suite), but by relying on Android, it’s automatically supporting Google. Does this make (business) sense? Furthermore, with the launch of open graph, Facebook is openly challenging Google in its main line of work - search. Now, Facebook is trying to take over smartphones? Is Mark Zuckerberg provoking a sleeping beast?

    Personally, it’s hard for me to see how Facebook will outsmart Google. Google seems to be three steps ahead for everything Facebook does, though it isn’t always obvious. For example, Google was analyzing social signals for SEO long before Facebook launched Open Graph (Facebook’s system for measuring social signals for a new search engine). And by relying on Android for it’s new smartphone OS, Facebook is automatically supporting Google - its main foe.

    Big #changes are happening in #socialmedia. As expected, #Google and #Facebook will fight it out to the death. Who do you think will #win? Why?

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    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com. Thanks to The Verge for the pics.

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