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PR Gets a Break; Google+ is Not Dead Yet; The Walking Dead Takes it to the Blood Bank

Chain link Ü Oughta Know is a combination of digital crib notes and marketers’ cheat sheet, bringing you important – and occasionally weird — stories and trends from digital marketing news. Each week our hope is to help keep your knowledge sharp while providing a delightful craving of classic Alanis Morissette.  Here’s what you oughta know:

PR pros get a little link love

Good news for PR last week: Google’s patent for what may be the Panda algorithm revealed a really important thing and it is this:
“An implied link is a reference to a target resource, e.g., a citation to the target resource, which is included in a source resource but is not an express link to the target resource. Thus, a resource in the group can be the target of an implied link without a user being able to navigate to the resource by following the implied link.”
Huh? I know what you’re thinking: Was that English? Yes it’s pretty brain-numbingly complicated out of the box. Fortunately digital marketing pro Christopher Penn – who clearly has a better attention span than I do – turned this into plain English. The simple explanation is that even if there isn’t an actual link to your site, each mention of your brand, company, website or product in a story is an “implied link” – or a “non-linking citation” – and that affects your SEO and everything your SEO affects, including your position in SERPs. Says Penn. “In short, PR is SEO (or part of it). PR professionals rejoice. That means all of your painstaking work to get your brand mentioned makes a difference – even if you didn’t get an actual hyperlink (now known as an explicit link). Free puppiesHow awesome is that? If you’re doing quality content and are providing something of value to your audience you will fare better (finally) than those using keyword stuffing, link-bait, algorithm manipulation, and free puppies. Scratch that. Free puppies will probably still work. This new information is, as Simon Penson says on the Moz Blog (and I quote him because I couldn’t write it any different without plagiarizing), “black-and-white evidence that Google is looking at mentions as a measure of authority.”

Reports of Google+’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Google isn’t new to social media, with social projects like Buzz, Wave, Orkut, Dodgeball and Reader going back over a decade. However, as most of those nearly-forgotten names imply, Google’s also no stranger to sunsetting a project. So, is Google+ about to visit its Uncle Orkut at the social media farm in the sky? It depends on who you follow.  Initial rumors of G+’s death spread from what turned out to be a mass migration of the growing G+ team coupled with project head, Vic Gundorta, leaving Google. It certainly looks like a Google sunset, but that’s not a likely outcome given the unification G+ has brought to Google platforms. The prevailing theory seems to be that Google+ will become “The Walking Dead.”  As a result, it’s likely that the social network aspects of Google+ will be minimal, but that the personal data from unified search, email and video (YouTube) will continue to lead to great opportunities for targeted digital advertising. Bottom line for marketers?  Even if Google+ isn’t dead, now isn’t the time to hitch onto a Google+ wagon unless you serve a market niche (such as marketing professionals) which is particularly active on the network. Unless Google restarts efforts in promoting the product to increase user acquisition, it likely won’t “tip” to be a competitor in the social realm.

Blood Money Speaks

Speaking of The Walking Dead, who knew a bunch of drooling, shuffling living dead could do the world good? FOX Portugal, Torke+CC and The Portuguese National Blood Bank (IPST), apparently. Here’s how it works: You go into a “pop-up” store that sells The Walking Dead merchandise and pick something out. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but it will cost you blood – your own blood. The more you give, the better stuff you get. The results of The Walking Dead Blood Store were pretty supernatural: blood donations were up 571% over the previous year; 67% were first-time donors. And viewership of The Walking Dead, which was airing its fourth season in Portugal, was up 17% over the previous year. The project was so successful that stores are planned for Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, and the U.S. It will be the first time “dead on arrival” will be a good thing when it comes to a new enterprise.  
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