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SEO and Other Terms to Know for Digital Media Success

As print publications continue to close shop or move content entirely to the Web, more and more writers and editors will need to adapt to the digital landscape. And with this new environment comes a new language every online journalist should know.

At the top of the list is SEO or search engine optimization. No doubt you’ve heard of it. ”SEO… determines rankings in Google, Bing and Yahoo searches,” said Brande Victorian, deputy editor of MadameNoire.com. She added:

It’s sort of this game of picking out keywords that are going to make the content that you write show up in these searches so that you’re getting more page views than anyone else.

Once you have your keywords (another important term) determined, the next step is to incorporate them in your headline, dek and body copy — in a cohesive, natural way. Forcing keywords into your copy won’t fool Google — and does a disservice to your readers.

For more vital words digital journalists should know, read: 7 Terms Every Digital Media Journalist Should Know.

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ClearVoice Measures and Scores Writers’ Social Influence: How Do You Rank?

imageAnalytics are either your best friend or your worst enemy. And now, there’s a platform to not only track how your work is being shared, but will give you a score. I hate to compare, but ClearVoice, launched in June, is basically a Klout for digital journalists. Anita Malik, Vice President of Content Operations for ClearVoice, says:

There was nothing out there to score content creators and look at what authorship was doing out there in the marketplace and going beyond Google authorship to give brands and publishers a real view of what writers are able to offer in levels of expertise, who’s improving in what area, and who will give them a good voice for their audience.

It works like this: you do a search for your name and the platform pulls up all the indexed sites that you’ve posted on. You claim your work, create a profile, and voila. You have a ClearVoice score. The hope is that you can use that to coerce and editor into paying you more, find more tailored gigs if you’re a freelancer, or just brag to the guy in the next cube that you rule. It’s really up to you how you use it.  Read more

The Guardian Already Has An In-House Tool for “Attention Analytics.” Do You?

orphanWhile Upworthy was busy writing their “down with the pageview” manifesto yesterday, it turns out that the Guardian’s been using attention analytics it since an in-house hack day, when web architect Graham Tackley and digital audience manager Chris Moran decided that they wanted to see real time data to help manage the SEO for The Guardian’s ”400 pieces of content” a day, according to this piece by Ciara Byrne on Fast Company.

Here’s how it evolved from a took on one man’s desktop, to a newsroom-wide tool called Orphan, according to Byrne’s piece:

[Tackley] tailed the logs on to a couple of servers, pushed it to a messaging queue, and created a Scala Play Framework app to consume and display the data on a dashboard…Word got around and more and more Guardian employees started to use Tackley’s dashboard, now named Ophan. Tackley decided to upgrade it to capture the Guardian’s entire click stream, which generates between 15 million and 25 million events a day and store the data for seven days. This meant moving from his desktop to Amazon Web Services…A JavaScript hidden pixel on the website now records every event instead of retrieving it from the logs and places it in a message queue. Since there were now too many events to hold in-memory, an app called Serf takes the message queue, extracts what was needed, and inserts it into an ElasticSearch cluster. The dashboard asks the same questions of ElasticSearch, a real-time search and analytics engine, that it had previously posed to the in-memory event list

There are a few lessons to be gleaned from this: Read more

How Your Google+ Profile Can Help Your Articles Links Stand Out

By now, you’ve probably noticed that when you search on Google, sometimes the articles in the results pop up with a person’s headshot and link to their Google+ page.

Case in point:
google search with authorship

How did I make that happen? I dusted off Google Plus and added myself as a contributor to the publications I write for.

Basically, this tells Google a human being — YOU! — wrote this piece of content. And it shows your face and how many people you’re connected to — again, my Google+ profile is a bit dusty so not too impressive, but it’s enough to establish I’m not just a spambot. I have legitimate connections and a full-fledged profile.

It’s really simple, too. There are two ways to establish authorship, but start by putting a decent headshot on your Google+ account (well, I guess start by creating and filling out the Google+ account if somehow you’ve made it this far without it). Then add the pages you contribute to your profile. You can do this by…
Read more

What Really Happens To Your SEO Rankings When You Change Your Name (Graph)

Three months ago, I married my best friend. There was no doubt I’d personally take his last name, but as I blogged about this summer, I was less sure about changing my byline to take his name professionally as well.

For a myriad of reasons, I did in fact change over my byline and every account I could think to change. That’s why my byline where I could change it now says Meranda Adams. My Google+, My Twitter, My Facebook, My LinkedIn, My Pinterest, etc. etc. etc. They all dropped Watling and gained Adams.

I Googled myself to see how I’m doing in gaining traction on the other Meranda Adamses of the Internet (the top one happens to live in my same metro area, which is unfortunate). When I search, my Twitter handle pops up first. Half of the links on the first page of results are ME. I felt pretty good about how the transition was going, confident I’d quickly regained my prime rankings.

But then a colleague and I were playing around with some of the Google Webmaster tools, and I saw a graph that literally made my jaw drop. All I could say was “Wow.” His immediate reaction? “What the hell happened on Sept. 16?”
Read more

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