If you are Sprint Nextel, when they become customer service nightmares. While watching the local newscast last night, a story caught my attention about cellular phone provider Sprint “firing” customers for abusing customer service. I followed up with it online and found Fox News covering the story. Apparently they are disconnecting more than 1,000 subscribers for calling their customer service lines too often and making what the company called “unreasonable requests.”
Traditional companies have been very slow to embrace social media. In fact it seems that some are downright scared to death of it. Sites like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, even Twitter continue to grow in popularity as well as usage and yet the willingness of many companies to jump on board is to say the least – apathetic. One of the most common fears seems to be the lack of control a business has once they step into that social media space.
Word of mouth marketing, where consumers tell others how much they like or dislike your products and services, is on the rise. In fact, eMarketer reports that 65 million adults in the U.S. are talking about products and services they encounter. What is significant is that 27 million of them are doing it online via forums, blogs, consumer review sites, social media sites and the like. That trend is only going to increase.
Lee Odden is reporting that Marketing Sherpa has no plans to publish future guides to selecting SEO and SEM firms. They have been publishing the guides for the past five years, initially dealing with SEO but then later launching a separate guide for paid search. Historically, the guides have not only listed firms offering SEO/SEM services but also provided practical advice on what search marketing is as well as advice on how to select a firm. Anne Holland confirmed that future guides would not be published due to the inherent difficulty in providing qualitative evaluations of each SEO and SEM service as well as the fact that they will be focusing more on their Benchmark Guides.
Alex Kinnier, a Group Product Manager at Google, has shed some additional light on why Google went after DoubleClick in April of this year, an acquisition that is still in process of completing. The post first of all provides a short history lesson on how online advertising ha evolved since its birth. We then are reminded what ad serving actually is and how it works. Before revealing the exact reasons why Google is buying DoubleClkick, the author points out some differences between the two companies – Google sells ads while DoubleClick provides ad serving.
I spent all last week visiting amusement parks in the New England area, which not only included riding roller coasters, but interviewing some of the owners and key people responsible for each park’s existence and success. In reality, I am not doing the actual interviews, but rather my friend, Gary Kyriazi, who writes for Park World Magazine is conducting them. I am simply along for the ride. Out of four interviews, one stands out as a great example of how to practice customer relations the right way while another stands out as the wrong way to go about it.
Not related to search in anyway but simply wanted to announce that I’ll be off next week on my annual roller coaster trip. We will be hitting six separate amusement parks in just six days. Our travels will take us to five U.S. states as well as Montréal, Canada. There will be opportunity to ride 33 roller coasters ranging from woodies, steel, kiddies (they add to coaster count) and even a bobsled coaster. This will push me past the 100 mark to a total of 121 individual coasters.
There is an interesting debate going on over at Small Business Ideas Forum where forum member, Dale King, starts a thread entitled “The Truth About Flash Websites” where Dale lays out his arguments as to why Flash and SEO together are not a good idea. He summarizes by stating that while Flash may look fantastic and can admittedly add a lot to any presentation from an accessibility and SEO standpoint, it should be used very sparingly and only for non-crucial content.
After putting together a clever post grading Google’s acquisition progress over the years, Joe Sinkwitz from the Pay Loan Affiliate Blog has put together another report card grading acquisition behavior. This time it is for Yahoo! The Yahoo! Acquisition Report Card reaches back to their first acquisition of Net Controls in September 1997 to its most current acquisition of Right Media in April 2007.
I’ve always had a problem with the hard fast rule of “don’t use hidden text.” Even though it is technically against search engines guidelines, there are valid reasons to hide text. Sites that are developed completely in Flash, pages that are graphic heavy and web designers who want complete control over font styles are just a few examples. Whether for one of these reasons or possibly something not quite so ethical, webmasters have always been warned by both search engines and white hat search marketers that is is risqué. “Go ahead and do it but do so at your own risk.”