EML Wildfire Tech PR Blog

Is the end of Google Authorship a blow to PR thought leadership?

Posted by Ian McKee on Aug 29, 2014

type writerWell, c’est la vie, Google Authorship. John Mueller of Google’s Webmaster Trends has announced in a Google+ post that the search engine will no longer be showing any kind of authorship data in search results.

What could have been

If you’re unfamiliar with what Google Authorship mark is (was?), it’s a method of marking up web pages so that the authorship can be attributed to a particular individual. Google had connected it up with its social network Google+, which essentially functions as Google’s index of individuals’ identities on the web. If you had ever seen a person’s profile photo pop up in search results next to content they’d written, that was Google Authorship.

Google had actually already removed those photos in June, leaving only by-lining links to profiles next to results. But the real reason that Google Authorship was a big deal for PR practitioners was its potential for thought leadership positioning.…

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The shocking truth about SEO: it’s not as complicated as you think

Posted by Ian McKee on Aug 08, 2014

Magnifying glassThis post originally appeared on Econsultancy.

As you probably know by now, SEO and PR are getting more closely related. But there is one aspect that both have always had in common, and that is that both have long been labelled a supposed ‘dark art’.

PR and SEO; mysterious art forms that deal in the unknown, experts fixing things unseen, like wizards behind the curtain.

It has suited both industries, to be known this way.

“Oh, yeah, we just need to curbudgle your whojamaflip. It’s absolutely essential, or you’ll get befluddled. You don’t want to get befluddled. Yes it’s an extra thirty grand.”

The importance of transparency

Fortunately, we have been forced to throw back the curtain somewhat on PR. Even the real masters of its dark arts, the government spin doctors, have had their behind-the-scenes treatment in TV shows such as the BBC’s The Thick of It.

Of course, the life of a tech PR in an agency such as the one I work for is not quite that of a government PR, and our own MD Richard Parker is a bit less sweary than Malcolm Tucker.…

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OkCupid and Facebook: the line between A/B testing and human testing

Posted by Ian McKee on Aug 04, 2014

RatWeb based companies have been using A/B and multivariate testing to hone their services since the early days of the internet. One of the most famous examples being Google testing 41 different shades of blue for links.

To me it’s as much a part of the web as HTML or IP addresses. Though I don’t always see it in action I know it’s always there. I’m overtly aware that everything from the colour of a ‘buy’ button to the items in a search results page are probably the product of a multitude of tweaks and tests. In some cases, the button’s colour or those search results may even be based on details about me personally. That’s the colour that other 25-34 year old males responded best to, or other people who also searched for ‘Radiohead tour dates’ clicked on this link.

It’s all part of the trade off. You test and tweak and serve me with different stuff, I get a progressively better web.…

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Social ecommerce: Spend your life on Facebook and Twitter

Posted by Tom Lawrence on Jul 25, 2014

Facebook buy buttonDevelopments over the last few days have raised questions over the future of social networks and their relationship with on-site advertising and purchases. It really seemed only a matter of time before Facebook or Twitter integrated an online payment system that let users buy stuff without leaving the site. Which makes it no great surprise that news has surfaced of Facebook testing a “Buy Button” that lets you complete an entire purchase flow within Facebook and Twitter acquiring CardSpring to enable developers to write applications for in-tweet payments and partnering up with Amazon so that you can #amazonbasket the stuff you want.

Is ecommerce integrated social media the future?

Whilst I am partial to a bit of online browsing and even the odd linked advert, I can’t see a future in which I want my newsfeeds jammed full of adverts and links for purchases (any more than they already are), particularly when I would rather be seeing videos of my mate’s cat doing unadvised things or scrolling through graduation photos.…

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Measuring and tracking Chinese social media

Posted by Chris King on Jul 17, 2014

sina weiboOver the years we’ve helped many clients (predominantly electronics ones but not exclusively) to build brand awareness in China through traditional media relations, but like most of the Western world Chinese social media has proved something of a challenge to incorporate meaningfully into campaigns.

As pretty much everybody knows, the first challenge is that all the main Western social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc., and the likes of Google and YouTube are completely irrelevant in China, where it’s all about Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and search engines like Baidu.

But perhaps more important is the second challenge, namely getting reliable analytics with none of the traditional tools, like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck etc., able to track Chinese social media reliably, or at all.

Whilst many of the Chinese social media sites themselves do provide analytics options for their premium customers these tools are in Chinese and not Western-friendly. Sina Weibo did briefly moot BuzzEquity – its free tool for Chinese media analytics in English – but this quickly disappeared.…

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