March 18

The Weekly Briefing: Swarm’s A-Comin’

Senior Account Manager Michelle Lyons presented us with a new advertising platform…
In a South by Southwest Interactive 2016 keynote speech, BuzzFeed’s CMO, Frank Cooper, announced that BuzzFeed was in the beta testing stage for it’s own ad format – Swarm. Swarm will allow advertisers to run campaigns simultaneously across all of BuzzFeed’s web and mobile properties – Snapchat Discover, Vine, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and tumblr. The Internet community basically adores BuzzFeed; the cross-platform, global network gets 6 billion monthly content views. With a presence and prestige like that, it’s no wonder Swarm has come to life. Cooper said that this type of advertising is for those who “want to launch something [and] when you want to create mass awareness – an event.” This is definitely an advertising platform to keep a close eye on.


Account Managers Chip Fox and Michelle Conway shared “the in’s and out’s of an SEO audit” with the team…
Wondering why would you perform an SEO audit? If you are launching a new website, having a first time look at non-optimized site or site that hasn’t launched yet, planning website redesign, setting up a domain/subdomain migration, or diagnosing traffic drops and penalties, you’ll want to perform an SEO audit. Overall, SEO audits are great ways to stay in touch with what’s happening with your SEO strategy for your website. This Search Engine Land article covered a variety of topics, but we walked away with three standalone thoughts.

  1. When performing an audit, begin with looking at website’s properties and background. Essentially, just as a medical professional would establish a patient history before an exam, an SEO specialist would establish a website’s history.
  2. There are a lot of great tools out there to help you more efficiently and effectively perform an SEO audit. Some of our favorites are Screaming Frog and SEOquake for establishing site architecture, Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool for checking structured data, and Moz for backlink data.
  3. How you deliver the results of an SEO audit to your client is just as important has performing an audit in the first place. Not only will “dignified” findings report establish trust with your client, but it will also give you a chance to explain exactly what you found and how you plan to change it.


SEO Copywriter Jared Townsend talked about Google’s most recent expansion to some of its Webmaster Guidelines…
Late last week, Google reminded the Internet community about the “best practices for bloggers reviewing free products they receive from companies.” The Guidelines are as follows:

  • Use the nofollow tag where appropriate
  • Disclose the relationship
  • Create compelling, unique content

We can easily understand the relationship disclosure and the (repetitive) call for great content, but the use of the nofollow tag is where confusion sets in. According to Google, “Bloggers should use the nofollow tag on all such links because these links didn’t come about organically (i.e., the links wouldn’t exist if the company hadn’t offered to provide a free good or service in exchange for a link).” While on paper [read: screen] that makes sense, it makes us wonder if Google has really thought this one through. A recent article from the Search Engine Roundtable cited digital marketer Joe Youngblood as saying to Google, “you probably don’t understand this, but bloggers have no clue wtf you’re talking about.” Instead, Youngblood brazenly recommends Google “focus on smarter algorithms rather than forcing bloggers to dance to your tunes.”