The Right Way to Think About Google

mesmerized crowd looking up

You may have seen last week that Google abruptly — and almost offhandedly — announced it was terminating a key element of its future strategy for ranking content.

The Authorship program, which would let Google rank content according to the authority of the person who created it, was nuked on Thursday afternoon at the end of the business day on a Google+ thread.

It’s not really new behavior. Google is abrupt, secretive, and dismissive of the time and energy it encourages its users to put into its various programs.

Google giveth, and Google taketh away.

And to be honest, this can get right on your last nerve. But if it causes you more than a few moments of irritation, you may benefit from shifting the way you think about the web’s favorite 800-pound gorilla.

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The Marketer’s Guide to Using Quizzes to Reach and Engage Your Audience

two question mark cufflinks

On July 5, 2014, a food blog called Food52 shared a quiz on Twitter titled, “Which cake are you?”

The quiz was built to raise awareness for several new cake recipes on the site, and the results of the quiz showed each quiz taker’s “cake type,” as well as a link to check out the recipe for said cake on Food52′s blog.

By the end of the day on July 7, just three days later, the quiz had been viewed more than 20,000 times — it was a hit.

Food52′s quiz-success story is not the only recent one. In the last six months, quizzes have been popping up at an increasing pace all over the web.

Content marketers are itching to get involved, but the elements of a successful quiz are complicated.

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How to Fix the Content Marketing Problem

If you’ve been following Copyblogger for any length of time, you know we teach people online marketing. Specifically, something that is now known as content marketing.

I’ve been a practitioner of “content marketing” since 1998. And we’ve been preaching it since 2006, years before that sexy terminology became the norm.

Here’s the main thing you need to understand about online content that builds a business: It’s different from traditional marketing, but it accomplishes what marketing is supposed to do.

It’s those differences that cause so many people to struggle. At this point, I’ve come to the conclusion that the terminology is part of the problem.

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7 Lessons Learned While Content Marketing for an Early-Stage Startup

quill pen and apple on podium in front of chalkboard

If you’re marketing for an early-stage startup, every second counts.

Any mistake is a massive setback.

Setbacks ultimately lose potential customers.

During our content marketing journey with Spectafy, a real-time photo sharing app, we made plenty of mistakes.

Fortunately for you, we kept track of what works and what doesn’t to help you avoid wasting time with your own content marketing efforts.

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How to Be in the Top 5% of Bloggers: New Research Results

Department of Blogging Labor Seal

We’ve said it so often you’re probably sick of it.

Content marketing doesn’t work unless the content is genuinely worth reading.

Routine, phone-it-in content won’t get you the audience, the leads, the prospects, or the conversions you need.

Andy Crestodina over at Orbit Media Studios is one of the content marketers who really gets it. When I found out that Andy had conducted a survey of more than 1,000 bloggers about the specifics of how they work, I knew that I wanted to get a post together to share our takeaways from the survey.

Good content takes time. It’s a lot of work. And it can be hard to put the time in when we have deadlines and publishing calendars to meet.

This tension is built into the lives of all content marketers. Every blogger and every content creator is looking for that balance between quality and quantity. All of us.

So how much time and how much work does it really take?

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What You Need to Know About Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law

sign saying Keep Calm and Don't Spam

There’s a new piece of legislation in Canada — known as CASL — that has some content marketers rattled.

It goes into effect on Tuesday, July 1, and it’s a wide-reaching attempt to regulate electronic communication (email, but also texts and social media conversations) that’s commercial in nature.

As usual when you’re talking about change on the web, there’s a lot of flutter and noise around the issue. But if you’ve been following email marketing best practices, it isn’t as scary as it might seem.

First things first: I am not your attorney and I can’t give you specific advice about whether your business’ particular email practices are in line with the new law.

But I can share with you what I’ve learned while researching it for our own business, and provide some general reassurance. Despite some nosebleed-steep potential fines, the law overall is very much in line with what good content marketers are already doing.

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