SEO, SEM, PPC, SMM Consultant

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Blogger Bio

Asif Anwar is a Search, Social, & Internet Marketing Consultant/Specialist working in Bangladesh (In Indian Subcontinent aka South Asia).

Professionally consulting and helping small businesses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) since 2003 and actively learning about Search Marketing trends from 2001. Passionate about Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Marketing (SMM), and Pay Per Click (PPC).

Working as SEM Account Manager of Blueliner Marketing, LLC. for various Web Marketing Solutions for small companies as well as large brands.

Mad SEO tweeter, SEO Trainer, and Small Business Marketing Strategy Consultant in the weekends.

Wed Mar 9

SEO Click-through Rate (CTR) Influence Ranking in Google, What to do now?



Which CTR Counts in SEO?

Click-through Rate or CTR is a popular term for PPC. But, here we are talking about SEO CTR, not the CTR related to PPC. And yes, SEO CTR now counts and has been confirmed by many experts that it does influence Google Rankings. In SES 2011 @ London many experts has confirmed that it does influence your ranking. 

What is Clickthrough Rate (CTR)?

CTR = Number of Clicks / Number of Impression

This usually tells you what percentage of impression that makes an actual click. For PPC, CTR is a great measure for you to understand how well the ad is. For SEO, this also can tell how well the content is in the perspective of the keyword searched in Google. 

Is it Possible to Know the CTR for SEO?

For SEO, evaluating CTR was tough. However, Google Webmaster now provides this insight, which can also help you understand how you can improve your SEO. This is an earlier step, before the clicks get stored in your web analytics application.

SEO CTR in Google Webmaster Tools

Take a look at the new feature by Google Webmaster from where you can find the SEO CTR for your site for individual keywords.

What Would be the SEO CTR?

The SEO impression is how many times your site get ranked in Google SERP. Even if no one clicks your site, you will get a impression count, when someone searches for any keyword that you rank for. And based on the clicks and this impression, you can get SEO CTR.

Calculating SEO Click-through Rate (CTR)

e.g. Your site ranks 5th for the keyword SEO PPC SMM. Searchers made about 200 searches in a day for that keyword. So, you will get 200 impressions as the 5th site every time. But, only 20 people among the searchers actually clicked your site. So, your SEO CTR would be 20 clicks out of 200 searches or impression, i.e. 10% is your SEO CTR.

Why SEO CTR is Important?

Searcher or User Vote

Pagerank and inbound links are external vote for your site. But, Google also needs to evaluate the user or searcher vote for a content. So, if you have quality external votes and also get many searcher votes, Google may like you a lot for the keyword.

Google’s Perspective

If Google sees that a site is less clicked from 1st page of search result (SERP), while another good page in 2nd SERP is getting good amount of clicks. Then Google has every reason to believe that the page in 2nd SERP is more meaningful for this search query.

Evaluating Search Intent

Google has been heavily emphacizing on Personalized Search for few years. One of the thing they lacked, was to analyze the search intent of the searchers. The CTR can also be used to analyze the search intent of the user. But, my assumption for using CTR for search intent is not something that is prevailing now, may be in future. CTR has been applied by Google to not only rank the pages, but also to understand the search intent of the searchers.

Why Many People Did not Realize it?

I guess no one realized it since, Google may not be emphacizing heavily on this signal. Moreover, the searchers’ behavior stayed the same for clicking more on top 1-5 and less on top 5-10 search results. So, the external links’ vote is still prominently responsible for getting your site ranked. And very less people go to the 2nd or 3rd page of SERP. But, low quality and irrelevant Page Title can wipe out your site from 1st page of SERP and place you in the back seat.

What to do for Getting High CTR for Your Keyword?

Character Limit

Place the most important message including the keyword on your Page Title in the first 65 characters, anything beyond that will be replaced by 3 dots (…) and the searchers will not be able to see them.

Keyword Prominence

Keyword Prominence (i.e. how close the keyword is on the Page Title) is an important factor for SEO. So, try to complete the whole message in first few words; don’t just push the main keywords back to the end. e.g. title like “A Comprehensive List of Tips and Tricks for SEO” can be “SEO Tips and Tricks - A Comprehensive List”. This way, by reading first few words, people will know what the link is about.

Using ASCII Art

To increase the CTR, you can use ASCII Art (e.g. ::-::-:: Link Title ::-::-::) on Page Title to attract more attraction. However, this is not encouraged, since absurd use can lead to spammy looking titles. If you ask my opinion, ASCII Art does attract my attention, but I’d also evaluate the relevance of a search result aka page. So, be careful in using it.

Category and Brand Keywords

You might have other noises in the Page Title, like category keywords or brand/site name. Try to push them at the end of the Page Title or beyond 65 characters. Don’t bother about the brand keywords, if you have the keyword on your domain name. Moreover, for having multiple pages of the same category, the category page might also get some boost.

Keyword Usage Limit

Previously, I used to suggest people not to target more than 5 keywords for a page. But, to gain high CTR, I’d advise you not to target more than 1 keyword for a specific page. Why? If you want to keep Category Keyword and Brand or Site Name Keyword in the Page Title, then 1 keyword is your maximum limit.

Human-friendly Optimization

You have to frame the Page Title within first 65 characters and choose the best title that can create a spark of attention in the searchers. Apply the Human-friendly Optimization of Page Titles. e.g. many SEO software will tell you not to use any stop words. But, can you really make a good Page Title without using stopwords?

Short Page Titles

Long Page Title does not influence CTR, since Google does not show the keywords that are used further at the end. But, also make sure that you don’t have a short Page Titles.

Link Baiting Strategies for Increasing CTR

All the Page Title developing strategies of Viral Marketing and Link Baiting also apply for choosing the best Page Title, so feel free to Google around for “titling strategy for link bait and viral marketing” for more tips to increase CTR.

Keyword in URL

The Page Title is the most prominent thing that attracts most searchers. But, keyword in URL also is bold in green. So, that also can attract the attention of the searcher and create more relevance value in the relevance analysis in the searcher’s mind.

Keyword in Meta Description and Body Contents

Keyword in Meta Description and Body Contents is also very important in creating more relevance value in the relevance analysis in the searcher’s mind. It creates the text chunk, which is called snippet below the page title in SERP. This part becomes useful to searcher, when they think all the page titles in the SERP are relevant. So, in those cases, this can give you some competitive advantage.

Place the keywords in the body content with more relevant information. That way, when the adjacent relevant information will create more relevance value in the relevance analysis in the searcher’s mind.

Fri Jan 14

Facebook Optimization (FBO) or Facebook SEO - New Social Media Optimization (SMO) for Your Site



Event: F8 Developer Conference
Date: April 21, 2010
Place: San Francisco, California

The F8 Developer Conference has determined a new fate for Facebook. Previously, all the activities of Facebook were behind the great blue and white walled garden. But, after the introduction of Facebook Connect, activities spread beyond the blue & white garden and after the F8 Summit, the spread became widespread.

Open Graph Protocol was introduced in the event. Facebook has planned to use the properties of the non-profit organization in various ways to make the web more social as well as semantic.

So, a new form of Social Media Optimization (SMO) has evolved which is called Open Graph Optimization (OGO). Well, let’s call it OGO or Website Optimization for Open Graph Protocol. But, this is not the only thing  for Facebook Optimization. Facebook Optimization consists of several other technique you can employ for your site to perform well in the social media.

Objective of Facebook Optimization

According to the source of the activity in Facebook, you can classify them into 2 separate categories, viz.

  1. Internal Activity (Link): Link sharing instance that happens on Facebook.com
  2. External Activity (Like): Facebook Like button press activity that happens over external sites

Internal Activity - Link

Internal Activity for Facebook Optimization (FBO)

The internal activity refers to the link sharing on Facebook using http://www.facebook.com/share.php or any other widget or tools. Internal link sharing was the oldest reason to have your website optimized for Facebok. Please scroll below to see the old technique for Facebook Optimization.

External Activity - Like

External Activity for Facebook Optimization (FBO)

Previously, Facebook was very much within walls. But, with like button and Open Graph Meta Tags, there are many external activities.

These two activities are also the major objectives for Facebook Optimization for 2010. But, I can prophecise that more things will come in near future. However, it will still be possible to categorize their activity into these 2 major categories.

Open Graph Meta Tag Myth (No Like Button, No OG Meta)

There is a myth that you don’t need Open Graph Meta Tags if you don’t plan to use the Like Button. But, what happens if you share the link through various sharing plugin (e.g. Hootlet), Share Button or the link sharing page in Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/share.php)?

When you share a link in Facebook, the Link Share Interface collects the Page Title, URL, Meta Description, and a random image. But, if you have Open Graph Meta Tags in place, then the Page Title is replaced with og:title, Meta Description with og:description, and the random image with og:image. So, with the Open Graph Meta tag, you have the control to place the right description, title, and image to attract more Clickthrough.

Old Link Sharing Optimization Technique

Before the Like Button and Open Graph Meta, Link Sharing Optimization was the only thing you could do to optimize your site for Facebook. Facebook also had the documentation for that. But, they have recently moved it. You are right, they brought in Open Graph Meta Data. So, the old technique was void.

But here is a glimplse of the old optimization meta data and the description inside the meta tags:

Common Meta Tags

<meta name="title" content="The title you want to appear in Facebook when someone shares your link" />
<meta name="description" content="The same description of SEO Meta Description optimized also for Facebook Sharing" />
<meta name="medium" content="medium_type: audio, image, video, news or blog (any one)" />
<link rel="image_src" href="The URL of the thumbnail image you want to share in Facebook" />

Audio Meta Tags

<link rel="audio_src" href="The audio source URL" />
<meta name="audio_type" content="mp3 (or others)" />
<meta name="audio_title" content="Title of The Song or Audio" />
<meta name="audio_artist" content="Name of the Artists/Speaker/Singer" />
<meta name="audio_album" content="The Name of the Album" />

Video Meta Tag

<link rel="video_src" href="The URL of the video" />
<meta name="video_height" content="200 (or any pixel you like)" />
<meta name="video_width" content="300 (or any pixel you like)" />
<meta name="video_type" content="application/x-shockwave-flash (or others)" />

These old meta tags still work, but it is always good to go with the wind and embrace Open Graph Meta Tags. You can read more about it here.

Facebook Optimization (FBO) Preparation

Open graph and Facebook tags are one of the tags that are not certified by W3C Consortium. So, you might get W3C errors if you use the tags. In some cases you might not be able to get the right utility you want. So, for that you need to add these two lines as attribute to the first <html> section, that should look like this:

<html lang="en-US" xml:lang="en-US" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:og="http://opengraphprotocol.org/schema/" xmlns:fb="http://developers.facebook.com/schema/">

The added attributes are:

xmlns:og="http://opengraphprotocol.org/schema/"
xmlns:fb="http://developers.facebook.com/schema/"

Open Graph Meta Tags

Open Graph Meta Tags are currently used for making sharing the links and also for the like button. Open Graph has been adopted by Facebook for it’s social graph purposes.

According to the Open Graph Protocol site:

The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to enable any web page to have the same functionality as a Facebook Page.

According to the Open Graph Protocol, several new Meta tags came into being for making your site optimized for the giant social media, Facebook.

Here is a glimpse of the new generation Meta tags:

Basic Open Graph Meta Tags

<meta property="og:title" content="A Good Title that can Attract More Clickthrough (within 100 characters)"/>
<meta property="og:type" content="blog or website (visit Open Graph Protocol site for more names of types)"/>
<meta property="og:url" content="The URL of the Article"/>
<meta property="og:image" content="The URL of the image you want to share in Facebook (usually square images perform well)"/>
<meta property="og:site_name" content="The Name of Your Site. If this is not available, then Like Button press will show someone likes yoursite.com"/>
<meta property="og:description" content=" Clickthrough (CTR) is the key. But, og:title should be most attractive. And you can also put more attracting messages in <150 character description.”/>

Open Graph Meta Tags for Contact Information & Location

<meta property="og:email" content="yourname@yoursite.com"/>
<meta property="og:phone_number" content="212-904-1240 "/>
<meta property="og:latitude" content="40.705213143114925"/>
<meta property="og:longitude" content="-74.01103019714355"/>
<meta property="og:street-address" content="55 Broad Street"/>
<meta property="og:locality" content="New York"/>
<meta property="og:region" content="NY"/>
<meta property="og:postal-code" content="10004"/>
<meta property="og:country-name" content="USA"/>

Facebook Meta Tags

Other than Open Graph Meta Tags, there are some special meta tags by Facebook that you need to use for claiming administrative powers, view Facebook Insights, and connect the External Activities with your Facebook Page.

Facebook Admin Meta Tag

<meta property="fb:admins" content="your.fb.id"/>

Please note, this meta tag does not start with fb: instead of og:, because it is a meta tag specific to Facebook, not Open Graph. In this meta tag, you can specify the name of the admins that can have insights of the site activity. Adding multiple admins never hurt.

While mentioning the admins in the meta, you can use the user name that is followed by Facebook.com (e.g. http://www.facebook.com/user.name). However, if your profile looks like this: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1234567890, then you can use 1234567890 as admin value. To find this number, you can use http://apps.facebook.com/whatismyid/ or open any album on your profile and if the URL looks like this: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=1234567890, then 1234567890 is your admin ID.

Using this meta tag helps you to get admin access to the page in Facebook and change and update various contents. 

Facebook Page ID Meta Tag

<meta property="fb:page_id" content="####### (The number of your page)"/>

When you have both internal and external activity going on for Facebook, it is hard for Facebook to identify which page is connected with the You can also get access to Facebook Insights for the page. Facebook Insights is the Web Analytics for Facebook.

Facebook Insights Preview

Facebook App ID Meta Tag

<meta property="fb:app_id" content="####### (The number of your app)"/>

This allows you to utilize the app engine of Facebook for your site. You can create an app from http://developers.facebook.com/setup/. You can associate your website with your app. In the comma-separated list, you have to mention the app(s) that administers the page.

This is an introductory part of the Facebook SEO aka Facebook Optimization. I’ll come up with more details in another blog. Also Blueliner has plans for a free webinar on best practices for Facebook Optimization aka Facebook SEO. Please follow the blog to get the updates.

Thu Dec 30

Expandable Video Ads on YouTube and Vimeo - Innovative Web Advertisement



Google has been experimenting Expandable Ads for a while. But, flash based Expandable ads is not something new. Back in 2005, I have seen many expandable ads in Yahoo homepage. In recent years, the peel off expandable ads at top right corner is currently quite popular. You can find similar expandable ad in Marketing Pilgrim site at the top-right corner.

Google Adwords also introduced Expandible ads back in 2009. Adsense users may have seen such ads. But with Youtube, the Expandable Video Ad is something new and quite innovative. 

Have a look at these videos by clicking the images (it might take time if you have slower connection):

Expandables (The Movie) Ad on YouTube

Expandables (The Movie) Ad

This video is an example of typical Expandable YouTube ad. The name of the movie is co-incidental :-)

A Hunter Shoots a Bear - Tipp-Ex Ad on YouTube

A Hunter Shoots a Bear

This is more interactive and connected with many other videos. The bear and the hunter also started their page in Facebook, which already gained many fans. 

The Desperados Experience

Youtube Expandable Video Ad - The Desperados experience

Like the hunter shoots a bear, this video also has many versions, which you can choose at the beginning. You actually can play around with the playbar in the video and make various actions suggested in the video. Moreover, the video is loaded with many social media call-to-actions in their flash interface.

Tostitos Lady - And Then There was Salsa Ad on Vimeo

Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa

This is one of the cool and colorful Expandable Video Ad I have seen. But, this is not from Youtube, rather from Vimeo.

Expandable Video Ads are relatively new trend, but there are here to stay for long. In near future, we might also see expandable video ads in adwords.

Tue Nov 30

Authority Begins at Home – Onsite Link Building is Better than Offsite



Many people ask me what is the best link building strategy. The fact is, there is no time-proof strategy to mention only one, since most people tend to think offsite, than onsite when we pronounce the word “Link Building”.

Authority Begins at Home  Onsite Link Building is Better than Offsite

Why Large Sites Perform Well in Google?

Let’s try to get answers to these questions to understand the theme of this article:

  1. Have you wondered why Wikipedia always gets Google love than others?
  2. Have you also seen the same love for ecommerce sites with large inventory?
  3. Have you wondered how Search Engine Cloaking in Balckhat SEO steals the love from Google?

All these questions point to one answer: Relevant contents and large number contents that are interlinked get you all the Google love. Google assigns Authority for a Keyword based on this phenomenon.

Why Page Rank is not an Authority Factor Anymore?

Have you seen that a lower Pagerank site get ranked high on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages)? This makes a point that Pagerank is no longer the major player for ranking your site. Remember, I said “Major” and not totally ruling it out.

Google now gives Priority to Authority and Quality of inbound links, rather than quantity. That’s why you may see many pages with Pagerank 0 appear before any Pagerank 4 page in Google for a specific keyword.

Google’s Keyword Authority Determination Factors

The Authority of a site for a specific keyword (e.g. SEO Consultant) depends on the following things:

  1. How old is the site?
  2. How many inbound links have the keyword “SEO Consultant”?
  3. How many of the inbound links points to your site using ”SEO Consultant” as anchor text?
  4. Do the inbound links with keyword “SEO Consultant”, also rank high for the keyword in Google? (Or are the inbound links also quality links?)
  5. Does the site use spammy techniques, duplicate contents, has suspicious activities or has massive links from bad neighborhoods?
  6. What is quality and quantity of various user data, like: query traffic, CTR, time on site, etc.?
  7. What is the Page Rank of the site? (one of the factor, not the major one)
  8. What is the Authority power of your inbound links? (you have to ask the above questions individually for each inbound links)
  9. How many pages do you have in your site that mentions ”SEO Consultant”?

Disclaimer: This is not a complete list Google Authority factors.

So, according to my 9th question, it is always wise to build more and more contents on your site and massively interlink them to relevant pages.

Leveraging Idea from Blackhat in a Whitehat Way

For Search Engine Cloaking, Blackhat SEOs use this theme for getting high ranks in search engines. Search Engine Cloaking refers to the Backhat Technique to show the search engine bots a different set of pages than the usual users see. And showing massive amount of relevant pages is one of the strong techniques they use.

But you can do the same in natural and Whitehat way; by building more and more contents for your site and have them linked back to important pages on your site. So, the next you think about building or buying links, please also consider building links in your home site.

Mon Nov 1

View You and Your Friend’s Activity Page - A New Facebook Feature



A few years back, when you landed on your friend’s profile on Facebook, you could see only the mutual friends you have. Then in recent change, Facebook also introduced the common “Likes” you have with your friend.

But, at the day of Halloween, Facebook brought in a new feature that highlights almost all the mutual activities, events, and interaction with your friend in a nice looking separate Facebook Friendship page. Just visit any friend in Facebook and you will find the link saying View You and Your-Friend’s-Name.

You and Your Friend's Activity Link in Facebook

After you click the “View You and Your Friend” link, you end up in a separate friendship page that includes the recent interaction you had with your friend.

Here is a list of information available in the page:

Duo Profile Image

If you and your friend were tagged in any photo in Facebook, then one of them will end up as the page picture or profile picture of the You-and-Your-Friend-Activity Page or Facebook Friendship Page.

Feed Filters

In the middle of the page you will see many feed updates that involves you and your friend. You will also find links to filter these updates just below the Duo Profile Image for seeing the feeds that are only Wall Posts, Photos, Events or Likes.

Mutual Friends

This is probably the oldest piece of information that was already available for your when you went to your friend’s profile. In the activity page, this eats up most of the space at left.

News Feed Updates

The mid-portion of the page is occupied with news feed updates that involves you and your friend. They are also categorized into Wall Posts, Photos, Events, and Likes.

Browse Friendship

In 3rd column at top-right, you will find links to other friends that are also mutual friends. From there you can see what are your friend’s interaction with other mutual friends.

Custom Friend Activity View

But, this is not all, Facebook is not only allowing you to see activities on You vs. Your Friend. They are also allowing you to see the activity of Your Friend vs. Another Friend. The interface to view the activity of two friends is available just below the Browse Friendship links.

Private Activity in Facebook with Your Friend

Currently, this new feature shows all the public feeds or the feeds that can be shared in custom settings (e.g. friends of friends or network can see). Facebook is not showing the private communication like messages, chats, or any private sharing with your friend at this moment. However, if this is introduced, then this new Facebook Friendship Page can have full functionality.

Enjoy the new feature and Facebooking!!

Tue Oct 19

Generate QR Code with Google Chart API in Bulk from Excel Worksheet



This article is about generating QR Codes automatically in bulk from Google Chart API. But, I think a lot of people want to have more introduction about some terms. So here they go:

What is QR Code?

QR Code is 2-dimensional or 2D barcode (unlike the traditional 1D barcode) that looks like the black pixilated image below:

QR Code for Asif Anwar of Blueliner Marketing, LLC.

Came from some innovative Japanese mind, who invented the code to make contents decoded at high speed. This 2D Barcode now readable by QR scanners, smartphones or mobile phones attached with cameras.

For iPhone (Semacode), Android Phones (QuickMark), Blackberry (ScanLife), and Symbian Phones or Nokia (UpCode) there are many competing apps that can read QR Codes from any printed media.

The utility of QR Code is simple, transfer a whole chunk of text or information from any printed media to your mobile phone (through QR reader) or computer  (through QR scanner). So, this is the best way for you to make people go directly to your site from the printed QR Code or have people save your business card in their mobile phone in a snap.

What Does QR Codes Have to do with Web Marketing?

QR Codes are fastest way to transfer text and information from print to mobile phones. Therefore, it has good implications on increasing your site traffic from alternative media by referring the URL to your site. e.g. if you sell a specific product; by using mobile phone, the printed QR Code on your product can make the friends or colleagues of the buyer go to the page where he/she can also buy it.

For any type of contact request, a visitor can save your contact information from web, product, brochure, coupons, etc. and might convert later.

QR Code Bilboard Ad by Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein recently made an innovative adult advertisement on billboard with QR codes, without even showing the nude models. The title of the advertisement was “Get It Uncensored”. This triggered many people to go to their website and watch the uncensored video. Please read more about this news here.

Even though QR Code is thought to be a mobile marketing strategy, combined with the web technology, it can be a great strategy for web marketing.

What is Google Chart API?

According to the Google chart API site:

The Google Chart API lets you dynamically generate charts with a URL string. You can embed these charts on your web page, or download the image for local or offline use.

Interesting fact is that Google Chart API is also currently the most reliable and free source for generating 2D QR Codes.

How can you Generate QR Codes with Google Chart API?

If you look at the URL of the above image, you’ll see that there are many information avalable in the URL:

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=350x350&chl=MECARD:N:Asif%20Anwar;ORG:Blueliner%20Marketing,%20LLC.;TEL:008801712181761;EMAIL:anwar%40bluelinerbangla.com;ADR:55%20Broad%20Street,%2017th%20Floor,%20New%20York,%20NY%2010004,%20USA.;URL:http://asifanwar.tumblr.com;NOTE:Company%20site:%20http://www.bluelinerny.com;;

So, by just inputting the information in the right place in the right format, you also can generate the desired QR codes.

Interpreting the Google Chart API URL

From the URL, you will find several parameters that can be customized. Here is the list of the parameters and their description:

cht=qr

If you go to the Google Chat API site, then you can see that Google arranges many types of charts. So, by using cht=qr, you are telling Google that the chart type should be QR.

chs=350x350

This is where you mention what would be the chart size.

chl=MECARD

CHL is the Chart Label parameter. This actually states what type of content you have and based on that, your device will create certain action. You can have content as vCard (make an Phonebook Entry), URL (../go to the referred site), Text (read the contents of the QR), Phone (call the referred number), SMS (Get info saved on your mobile), etc.

Usually, MECARD is used to tell that, the content is for Mobile vCard. According to ServletSuite.com, the definition of 

MECARD is a text format lets you present address information for phonebook registration.

It is then followed by other heads with your custom values, like:

N: Full Name
ORG: Company Name
TEL: The Telephone Number
EMAIL: The Email Address
ADR: The Address
URL: The URL
NOTE: Any note or comment.

Each of the heads should be separated with semicolon. If you are using the Chart API for generating URL only, then the custom URL is the label. You don’t need separate label for that.

More information on Google Chat API Parameters are on: http://code.google.com/apis/chart/docs/gallery/qr_codes.html

How to Generate QR Codes in Bulk from Excel Worksheet?

Well, this is what this article is about. In excel worksheet or any other sort of database, you might have information or record like this:

A2. Name: Asif Anwar
B2. Company: Blueliner Marketing, LLC.
C2. Phone Number: 008801712181761
D2. Email: ɯoɔ˙ןıɐɯb@ʇuɐʇןnsuoɔǝpɐɹʇ (upside-down text)
E2. Address: 55 Broad Street, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10004, USA. 
F2. Website: http://asifanwar.tumblr.com 
G2. Note: Company site: http://www.bluelinerny.com

[A2 to G2 are cell reference]

In terms of QR Code generation, these information is best for website/URL reference or business card transfer from print to mobile. And with all these information, you get this URL again:

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=350x350&chl=MECARD:N:Asif%20Anwar;ORG:Blueliner%20Marketing,%20LLC.;TEL:008801712181761;EMAIL:anwar%40bluelinerbangla.com;ADR:55%20Broad%20Street,%2017th%20Floor,%20New%20York,%20NY%2010004,%20USA.;URL:http://asifanwar.tumblr.com;NOTE:Company%20site:%20http://www.bluelinerny.com;;

Now, if you look at the URL that generates the QR Codes, you will find a pattern. e.g.:

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&amp;chs=[THE-CHART-SIZE-YOU-WANT]&amp;chl=MECARD:N:[FIRST-NAME]%20[LAST-NAME];ORG:[COMPANY%20NAME];TEL:[YOUR-TELEPHONE-NUMBER];EMAIL:[YOUR-EMAIL-ADDRESS];ADR:[YOUR-ADDRESS];URL:[YOUR-URL];NOTE:[YOUR-NOTE]; ;
In other analogy with cell reference:http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&amp;chs=[THE-CHART-SIZE-YOU-WANT]&amp;chl=MECARD:N:[A2];ORG:[B2];TEL:[C2];EMAIL:[D2];ADR:[E2];URL:[F2];NOTE:[G2]; ;

So, it is possible the join these information from excel worsheet to generate the URL and finally generate the QR Codes. But, there is one problem, the information you have, has spaces and @ sign that are not allowed in the URL. So, you have to replace them with “%20” and “%40” respectively.

In Excel Worksheet, you can use the following formulas to replace the spaces and @ signs and create a new text that can be easily joined:

H2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1),” “,”%20”)
I2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(B1),” “,”%20”)
J2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(C1),” “,”%20”)
K2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(D1),”@”,”%40”)
L2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(E1),” “,”%20”)
M2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(F1),” “,”%20”)
N2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(G1),” “,”%20”)

[Assuming that you are placing the replaced texts in single row that starts after G column]

Since you have all the spaces and @ replaced, you now can join the texts with =CONCATENATE() formula. e.g.

=CONCATENATE(“http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=350x350&chl=MECARD:N:”,H2,”;ORG:”,I2,”;TEL:”,J2,”;EMAIL:”,K2,”;ADR:”,L2,”;URL:”,M2,”;NOTE:”,N2,”;;”)

The strategy for generating the URLs for QR Codes may vary in case if you are using separate form of database.

Once you have created the URLs, you can easily embed them in the site or print them by visiting the file on browser.

Thu Aug 12

Dofollow Link from Facebook on Your Public Profile



Facebook has always remained the toughest walled garden for many years. But, one by one some of the things are opening up to public. And while that happens, many features are being indexed by Google.

    Recently, on my public profile, I spotted something new and interesting:

    Facebook Public Profile giving Dofollow Backlink

    The link on my public profile has this code with XFN Relationship Tag, “Me”:

    <a class=”url” href=”http://marketinggossip.blogspot.com” rel=”me”>marketinggossip.blogspot.com</a>

    Interestingly, no Nofollow tag in the URL. It is quite odd for sites like Facebook to provide dofollow links. Such dofollow link from such authoritative site can be very useful for you. Because, Facebook alone has the highest amount of indexed pages in Google. Here is the rank of Alexa’s top 10  sites, in terms of  total number of indexed pages in Google:

    Facebook.com - 1,170,000,000 indexed pages
    Youtube.com - 293,000,000 pages
    Baidu.com - 210,000,000 pages
    Yahoo.com - 184,000,000 pages
    wikipedia.org - 136,000,000 pages
    Twitter.com - 118,000,000 pages
    Google.com - 42,200,000 pages
    Live.com + MSN.com + Bing.com - 29,700,000 pages
    QQ.com - 13,700,000 pages

    However, Google in some period of time, may weigh down the score of links from Facebook.

    Now, how was this achieved? I have recently did Facebook Optimization on my blog. But, that was not the reason, when I saw several other profiles are also showing same dofollow behavior that did not yet do any Facebook Optimization.

    I, along with several other profiles have mentioned several sites in the “Website” portion of my profile and seems like Facebook is currently giving the credit to the first listed site on your profile with dofollow link.

    Sun Jul 11

    Follow Companies in LinkedIn: How You Can Utilize it to Work for Your Career & Business



    Do you know that, you now can follow a company in LinkedIn? You will find a “Follow Company” link on each company page in LinkedIn. e.g. here is ours.

    According to recent blog post from LinkedIn:

    “Follow Company” helps you be among the first to learn about developments at companies like DreamWorks, find job openings at NASA or stumble upon business development opportunities at Netflix. The new feature lets you tap into key goings-on at nearly a million companies that already have their company profiles on LinkedIn and more that are being created every day.

    Most importantly, this feature can deliver insights – you may be surprised at – such as the pace of hiring at your nearest competitor or the start of a whole new industry as you see web technology companies hiring geography teachers (for e.g.). Or better yet, you may find the job of a lifetime to do cause marketing for Major League Baseball.

    Follow Company in LinkedIn

    What happens if you follow

    After following, you can see the updates on your followed companies from the Company Menu in LinkedIn. The statuses may contain job opportunity, new recruits, promotions, etc.

    Now, the question comes: what can you do with this feature and utilize it for your career or business?

    Here are some of my suggestions:

    Do you have a dream position?

    If you care for a position in a specific company or a range of several companies, then this “Follow Company” feature will give you the insights you need.

    Be prepared for the vacant position earlier than others

    When you know that someone has left the company, you can be mentally prepared than others before they advertise for the post.

    How reliable the company is?

    The promotions and employee turnover monitoring over few months, can give you insights on how reliable the company is for you. This insight can be helpful if you want to be an employee there or want to acquire the business.

    Research Competition

    Following a company will also give you insights about the growth and shrink of a company and also will help you to spy into their activities. Often introduction of new positions and mass recruitment may tell you that, the company is really cooking something.

    Predict employee movement from your company

    Once you have the insights on the competitive intelligence, you can be on the top of industry trend and make your employees happy. If you fail to do so, then this feature can also tell you which person is likely to to shift to the vacant position of your competitor.

    Get attention of the company

    When you follow, the company page admin gets a email notification and your profile is also listed as followers of the company.

    Be informed about your counterpart if the company is your client

    If you are already dealing with the the company as a supplier, you may know that the ex-employee that you dealt with, has left. But, you might also like to know about the new person they are going to hire for the position. So, this will give you some insights. You can also use this for lost clients and try to freshly convince the new employee.

    B2B Outsourcing Opportunity

    Sometimes for many companies, a vacant position can be tough to fill in and can be time consuming. So, for the time being to meet client demands, the company may need to outsource the work. If you are into outsourcing business for businesses, then the feature can help you keep your eyes open.

    Some articles, you might also be intersted in:

    6 People Who Should Use LinkedIn’s New Follow Company Feature

    4 Ways to Use LinkedIn’s Follow Company Feature

    11 Ways to Use LinkedIn’s New Company Follow Feature

    How to use LinkedIn’s new Follow feature for business intelligence

    So, get going and find your favorite company from LinkedIn and Follow Companies.

    Sun May 30

    Bangladesh Bans Facebook on Various Complains



    Bangladesh bans Facebook on various complains. BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission) recently shooted many compalins about Facebook. e.g.

    1st Complain: Facebook is Ruining the Younger Generation of Bangladesh

    My Comment: I don’t support this.

    I have heard a lot of teachers saying that internet should be banned in dormitories of BUET (Bangladesh’s topmost engineering university). Now, these teachers are supporting them. Here, I am hearing similar thing also.

    Just because the younger generation is the early adopter, it doesn’t mean it is the media to get spoiled. Mobile is ruining the younger generation more than Facebook. Why are you not banning mobile phone use? Just beaucse, it is the most effective communication media? What is Facebook then? To grow the IT industry here in Bangladesh, we need to grow the internet usage. But, banning Facebook will not help this, nor block young generation to get spoiled.

    Bangladesh Bans Facebook

    2nd Complain: Facebook Repeatedly Ignored Activities by Anti-Islamic Accounts and Groups

    My Comment: I support this.

    I have seen after 2 or 3 reports, an account is deleted or suspended. But, even after so many reports/blocks/complains, Facebook has alway ignored the sentimate of the muslim people.

    This ignorance seems to be intentional and they have done nothing for that. Even the group “F*ck Christianity”, still exist. I am also not in favor of hurting any religion, not even Judaism. But, Facebook had always been very stubborn at this. Therefore, Facebook deserves this pressure.

    I don’t believe Bangladesh will be the one that gets hurt the most. There are 1000s of social media now. It’s Facebook that will not only loose a lot of users, but also a lot of revenue. Because, a lot of ads are controlled from Bangladesh now.

    Facebook has gained the reputation for being most visited site from the USA, followed by Google. But, I believe if Facebook remains to be stubborn, then they are actually seeing the peak in their life-cycle. And when you are at the peak of your life cycle, it’s the time to go down.

    As a good citizen in Bangladesh, I’ll gladly accept this ban and/or hibernation.

    Update: I am quite amazed that the Bangladesh Government is not at all interested about the Islamic sentiment. And the complain has been around for long time. But, they never cared. This time, they care, because some minister made a political blunder hurting the reputation of the ruling party. Now, the question comes, whether BTRC should be used for political desires or become an independent commission taking their own decision, not satisfy any political desires?

    Mon Feb 22

    Why Traditional (Old School) Email Marketing Sucks



    In best case, traditional and old school email marketing is mostly sending the right message to the unverified right people in mostly wrong time.

    In moderate case, traditional email marketing is mostly sending the right message to the wrong people in mostly wrong time.

    So, you can guess what the worst case may be ;-)

    Why Email Marketing Sucks

    Now-a-days Email Marketing has gone a long way and steadily becoming more efficient. But, the plain aka traditional or Old School Email Marketing sucks for the following reasons:

    Can’t Send Message to the Right People

    • You push message to people that doesn’t want what you are selling
    • You push message to people that are obsessed with spams in inbox
    • You push message to people that never likes commercial tone in your message
    • You push message to companies that want your product, but instead you end up sending mails to the sales guys/gals, who are not responsible for purchases
    • You mostly push message to company email address (e.g. info@companydomain.com). Company emails are everybody’s responsibility. And everybody’s responsibility is nobody’s responsibility, when you are sending commercial emails.

    Can’t Send the Right Message

    • You push message to people that use spam filters. So whenever, you use commercial terms, the receiver never receives your email
    • Even the receiver from an Opt-in list, may not like the various emails you sent to him/her that are irrelevant to their needs
    • What works best for the web, doesn’t work for email marketing. Use of heavy HTML and other Web Technologies, can put your emails behind bars.

    Can’t Send the Message in Right Time

    • You push message to people that are not willing to buy right now
    • With a mailing list of million people, you are never sure who needs what at present or at any point of time
    • You plan the seasonal mailing campaign, only to find that the receiver is already attached with other companies or planning to buy other products. And you have done nothing to grow your brand reputation to the receiver in the whole peak-season or in off-season.

    Other Disadvantages of Email Marketing

    • You spend huge time collecting and refining email lists, only to find that only 1-2 responses from a list of 1000 recipients.
    • If many receivers mark you as spam, be ready to forgo your domain forever
    • Not to mention the federal punishment for spamming
    • Most of all, you are loosing your reputation to the person you are mailing to. Come on! These days, email spammers are not treated equally against a regular business that is found everywhere on the web.
    • Once you are looked down upon as a spammer, you have really screwed your brand reputation. And you really need re-branding.

    There are ways to send the right email message for marketing, to the right people, in right time. But, let’s keep it for another blog post in future.