Big Reveals in SEO and Promising Changes for Tablet Publishers

Digital publishing news for July 17, 2013

Publishers using Adobe DPS for their magazine apps should be thrilled that their most recent update includes the ability for users of the app to “pin” their favorite articles. If you’re using the platform and are a craft or food publisher, especially. Additionally, they’ve added GPS abilities which makes for some pretty creative advertising opportunities. In theory, a publisher could set ads to display by certain advertisers in different cities. Or, if you’re a location-specific publisher (like Seattle Weekly or Rhode Island Magazine) you can display certain content based on location.

You can also now tease readers with free content. “Previously, articles were either designated as “free” or “protected” in the Folio Producer Service,” says the Adobe update. “As promised in Colin Fleming’s Release 26 video on Free Article Preview, you can now set up an additional content type — “metered” — and define a certain number of articles available for free to engage readers before encouraging them to purchase premium content. Once readers encounter the paywall, convert them into buyers with subscription and upsell prompts.” Check out the full list of updates.

Guardian revenues grow 30%, and iPad subscribers are up

Last year print revenues were down for the Guardian, but this year, including a price increase, they’re back up. “The publisher of the Guardian, Observer and website network – including MediaGuardian – increased digital revenues by 28.9% from £43.4m to £55.9m in the 12-month period, helping the publisher to slightly increase total revenues year on year to £196.3m,” reports the Guardian itself (talk about a credible source!)

Also worth noting: “While mobile traffic is at a record high, with almost 22.8 million unique browsers in May, paying subscriber numbers have slackened. iPad subscribers, who pay up to £11.99 a month, have risen from 17,000 to 22,951; iPhone app users, who pay £3.99 for six months, stand at 57,259, down from 82,000 a year ago.” Is it any wonder, as tablet usage continues to grow? Lots more data about the changes here.

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Matt Cutts clears up the link building debate

Since marketers and content producers are fearing for their bloggy lives lately, they took a hint from the last algorithm update to stop link building efforts. Because of this, everybody has been asking Matt Cutts whether or not it’s still OK to build links. His response is nothing more that what you’d expect (but not what most marketers hoped):

“…not all link building is bad. The philosophy that we’ve always had is if you make something that’s compelling then it would be much easier to get people to write about it and to link to it. And so a lot of people approach it from a direction that’s backwards. They try to get the links first and then they want to be grandfathered in or think they will be a successful website as a result. Their goal should really be to make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings.”

So basically, the act of generating your own links on external websites isn’t the way to go. Cutts wants you to focus on the content so that other people will be more apt to link to you.

He doesn’t poo-poo on SEO though. After all, the algorithm needs keywords in your content in order to know what to rank you for. You can’t talk in a foreign language or fill a post full of jargon about fixing a leak in your roof if you want to get ranked for an apple pie recipe. “There are best practices,” says Cutts,  “and you need to make sure you get the basics right, but it is true that a lot of SEO is now circling back around to good old fashioned marketing.” You know, writing good content.

Moz finds out what Google still wants

Speaking of SEO, Moz runs a yearly “Ranking Factors study” that determines “which attributes of pages and sites have the strongest association with ranking highly in Google.” I’ll cut to the chase – here’s what they found:

  1. “Page Authority correlates higher than any other metric [Moz] measured.
  2. Social signals, especially Google +1s and Facebook shares are highly correlated.
  3. Despite Penguin, anchor text correlations remain as strong as ever.
  4. New correlations were measured for and structured data usage.
  5. More data was collected on external links, keywords, and exact match domains.”

Reputation is more key than ever, and it comes as no surprise that social shares are a big indicator of how good that reputation is.

Forbes team ‘in the midst of a shakeup’

According to Folio, “Meredith Levien has left her role as Forbes Media Chief Revenue Officer to become executive vice president of advertising at The New York Times.” Levien has had a major impact on the success of Forbes, reports Folio: “After turning Forbes Life around, she helped launch programmatic buying and native ad projects, while integrating print and digital sales teams. Programmatic now accounts for 20 percent of Forbes’ annual ad revenue, according to Digiday, while the company projects its Brandvoice native ad platform will make up more than 20 percent of ad dollars by the end of this year.” Mark Howard, former SVP of digital advertising strategy will take Levien’s place.



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