The Last WordCamp San Francisco

Picture of 1000 people exiting the building during the 2014 San Francisco WordCamp fire alarm.2014, My first and last trip to WordCamp San Francisco. Why first? Economics and because WordPress has become our primary website creation toolset. Did you know that, as of the time of this article, ~23% of all websites use WordPress.* Why my last? Because it’s changing. Matt Mullenweg made a huge announcement at the event that #WCSF14 has outgrown itself.

WordCamp started in San Francisco in 2006 and the WordCamp Central team have done a great job of supporting the event. Because Matt and Automattic are located in SF, it’s become the defacto WordPress PR event of the year. Matt even comes to give his State of the Word presentation and the Saturday Afterparty is held at Automattic HQ. Historically, They’ve been tightly tied together.

With over a thousandish attendees, looking forward to the main event each year, something had to give. Though the presentations were amazing, you could tell that the faciilities were maxed out. The food was amazing but it was evident that 1000 people eating all at once was rough. Not bad, just logistically tough.

Something new is coming. It’s been described potentially as WordCamp North America, WordCamp USA, WordCamp Central (to mimic the team that drives it, or just WordCamp. We’ve heard rumors that the event will still be in San Francisco, but at another venue or that the WordCamp Central team may pick a different city/team each year, like the decision process for the Olympics.

We’re eager to see how it comes out for 2015 and we will likely attend. If it is a changing venue, we’d love to see the event help to prop up a city that could use the business instead of the old stand-bys. I’ve been to Vegas, Chicago, LA and New York for far to many conferences. Variety please. How about Detroit? Cost effective accommodations and capacity to spare.

You Already Have Great Organic Search Results. Is There a Halo Effect From Running Paid Search?

Is there an advantage to running paid search when you already have great SEO? Is there a halo effect? Your hard work is already paying
dividends in organic search. This is true on Google’s Adwords platform, the Bing/Yahoo Ad Network, and other search result pages. Bing/Yahoo and Google both rely on relevancy and recency to bring great organic results to their end users. Over 90 percent of searches are followed by an organic click. So why pay to play?
SEO is still king and we’re not advocating Paid over SEO, but the first rule of great SEO is not to rely completely on SEO. One king doesn’t make for a good poker hand. You need more cards to win.

What is Halo Effect?

The search results page halo effect gives higher click through rates than either paid or organic alone. It’s like a multiplier that amplifies your click through rate when both a paid result and an organic result are stacked on the same page. It occurs in both Bing and Google and occurs on average about 20% of the time on their results. Companies with great SEO increase the percent of occurrence. Companies with poor SEO don’t have an organic search result to work with.

Why does the halo effect improve results?

Because we are primarily emotional people, the way we feel overrides logical conclusions. SERPs are thought of as a place to find a solution to a problem. Showing up more than once reassures that you’re a valid solution. It provides the perception of competence and trust. You’re more attractive.

The term halo effect comes from the statistical side of marketing research. Here we discuss the idea of attractiveness equaling goodness. The link at the end of this sentence is a deep dive for non-statisticins, but if you’re interested, here’s the full definition from Lionel G. Standing with SAGE Research Methods.

Take a look at the infographic created by google that describes the correlation between ad position and click through rate.  What they are describing is the percentage of ad clicks that are incremental to the organic result as the organic result moves further down the page. This is commonly referred to as Incremental Ad Click or IAC. When you’re in the organic SERPs first spot, half the time your clicks goes through the ad. In spots 2-4 82% are incremental. and 96% are incremental for spots 5 and down.

Infographic from Google depicting that organic results and paid results together on a page result in incremental gains in click through. 50% increase in Position 1, 82: in positions 2 through 5 and 96% in positions 6 to the end.
Source: Google Think Insights, March 2012 – Organic Search Results and Their Impact on Paid Search Ads

Use the Halo Effect to Incrementally Build Your Own Ad Clicks

Search providers continue to reduce the screen area shown before a user has to start scrolling down. Organic results return only one or two listings above the fold on most screens. So, naturally paid search listings are always visible first. Search providers also have reduced the distinction between paid and organic results. They’ve removed distinct labels and borders and background colors for subtle nuances.

Statistics as recent as 2012 demonstrate that those who increase their Google search ad spend from a zero basis experienced a median average increase in incremental ad click of 79%. Those who decreased an existing ad spend to zero lost 85% IAC which was not made up by organic alone. What does this mean?

Updated AIC 2012
Source: Google Think Insights, March 2012 – Organic Search Results and Their Impact on Paid Search Ads

If you only run ads and have no organic results, you loose out on the halo effect. If you run SEO and have no ads running you loose a 79% increase (on average) in IAC. If you stop running ads, you’ll never make up the difference with organic results and will actually loose, again on average, 85%.  Running both acts as a multiplier when both organic and paid ads display on the same page.

How to Use Console.log in Javascript

The Javascript command console.log allow us to “Print Out” to the console.  When you need to see what the computer is processing you have to ask it to show you.  The correct way to write the code is like this:

console.log("show everything between these parentheses")

This command will log to the console anything within the parentheses including strings and equations. Here are two examples:

console.log(8 * 10);
console.log("Nice to be able to see what the interpreter, the computer, is working on.");

How to Create a Comment in Javascript

Javascript’s comment symbol is the dual // at the beginning of the line.

Comments become helpful when writing Javascript. Using the comment function forces the computer to ignore or skip everything else on the line. Comments let us separate sections of the code, write reminders and notes, annotate where snippets came from, and let us disable lines of code for troubleshooting.


//This is a comment.
//The computer executing Javascript will ignore everything after the dual forward slashes.

Penguin 2.0 is Coming Summer 2013: Google’s Matt Cutts Outlines 10 Points Forcing Black Hat & Link Spammers Out

Matt Cutts with Google put out a new video regarding Penguin 2.0. Technically this is Penguin 4, but Matt and his team are going with 2.0 as this is a major upgrade to the algorithm  The changes being made will mostly affect black hat SEO marketers, marketers that try to buy their way into search results, trick the system or cheat. He touched on 10 items that will be happening over the next few months and during the Summer of 2013 that these people will not like.

White Hat Marketers and small business wins with Penguin 2.0

This is a valuable update for small and medium size business owners who work hard to build a great compelling content and web sites. If that’s what you’re doing, Matt and his team are working hard to share your content with the world. While these Penguin 2.0 changes will help small – medium sized businesses, they will make it harder, or less likely, that web masters will find it difficult to rise up through the rankings when they try to buy their way into SEO, use Black Hat techniques or attempt Link Spamming. These are the main points of Penguin 2.0:

  1. We’re going deeper that Penguin 1.0. Penguin 2.0 is according to Matt, “…a web-spam change that’s…dedicated to try to find…Black Hat webspam and to try to target and address that. This change will have more of an impact than 1.0
  2. Advertorial that violate quality guidelines is going to have a very rough road ahead. Paid ads will no longer float pagerank  Matt explains that there’s nothing wrong with Advertorials in Google’s eyes, but they should not float page ranking in the SERPS and the ad should fully disclose that the content is paid and not editorial. I suspect that we will hear a great rumbling from those who sell advertising space online from this change alone
  3. Traditional queries will be see cleaner SERPs while traditionally spammy SERP areas will receive even tighter filtering. Matt specifically brings up pornograhpic queries and payday loan search results where Penguin 2.0 will have a much stronger impact
    Cute Samurai Penguin representing Google's Penguin 2.0 changes for Summer 2013
    Penguin 2.0 is just a little more aggressive.
  4. Denying value to link spammers by “going upstream”.   This will negatively affect black hat practices like link networks even more than what has been done historically
  5. Matt’s team is “munging” around on some ideas to enhance the sophistication of link analysis. The data they’re working with will potentially bear fruit for the team. It’s pretty early to discuss the details and we’re excited to see where this goes
  6. Improve the ability to detect hacked sites and enhance the way site owners communicate with Google when the site is reclaimed. Potentially the best part is that there will now be a single point of contact and a single source point of information for site owners to bring their website back up the SERP results
  7. Author Authority is going to have a huge boost this summer.  The Google team is working hard to use a few new signals to better determine if an author is an authority in their sphere of influence and if so, to give them more float
  8. The Google team has found and is adding some signals of quality to algorithm. This will positively affect the quality of  results and “soften the blow” for legitimate sites who were impacted too severely by the first version of Panda
  9. The team is reviewing a change that will limit clusters of results showing from the same domain.  So as you’ve reviewed results, once you’ve seen a set from a domain, and if there’s a cluster from that domain further down in the SERPS, those additional results will be ignored to allow other results to float up. The purpose is to increase the diversity of the results page
  10. Give more information to Webmasters. Beyond information about hacked sites as mentioned in point 6, Google is moving their resources around in order to give more concrete details and more useful URLs for diagnosing issues

My favorite line from the video is when Matt Cutts says, “If you’ve been hanging out on a lot of black hat forums and trading…different types of spamming package tips and that sort of stuff, then this may be a more eventful Summer for you!” Just goes to show that the anti-spam team is very serious about delivering quality results. Without it, Bing wouldn’t have to work as hard to gain market share.

As a team, Real Big Marketing is excited for these changes and the improvements it will provide to small and medium size businesses in Jackson, Lansing and the surrounding area. If you’re staying on top of your content, making sure it’s fresh and relevant, this shouldn’t be a problem for you and we hope that you have an “uneventful” Summer 2013.

If you’re interested in watching the video, we’ve embedded it here for you to view: