SearchCap: YP acquired, PPC trends & tennis Doodle



Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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LISTEN: Danny Sullivan reflects on 21 years covering the search industry



In this week’s podcast, our outgoing co-founder Danny Sullivan talks about the beginnings of his career documenting the search marketing industry, how SEO has evolved and why he’s stepping away now.

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SearchCap: Google AdWords Editor, Danny Sullivan podcast & conversions



Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google AdWords Editor, Danny Sullivan podcast & conversions appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.





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Defining Social Algorithm

The word social is currently in vogue, we have social networking, social software, social bookmarking, and now social algorithm. Social networking is the activity, social software are the tools which make social networking possible, but what is a social algorithm?

The following tries to define what a social algorithm is.

Social Networking.

Let us look at the examples. Famous social networking sites include Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, Friendster, Wikipedia, Facebook, del.icio.us and the the virtual gaming world of Second Life. Bookmarking and tagging are considered social network activities. The purpose of the network is for people to rendezvous, collaborate, or just sharing something (photos, music, movies, information, etc).

Social Software.

Social software are the tools which make it possible for people to network. These range from email, mailing lists, RSS, IRC, instant messaging, Napster like P2P, blogs, wikis, AJAX, Web 2, etc. Their characteristic is that the networking must be interactive, and bottom-up (users provide content). These software used to be called group-ware. Some of these software are quite old, but some others like blogs are more recent. Wikis have been around ever since Ward Cunningham, the father of Wiki started it, but it was then considered for geeks only, and have been accepted widely only in the last couple of years. Some software are documented using wikis, and businesses, educational institutions have started to make use of it.

Algorithms.

So, what is a social algorithm? An algorithm is like a cooking recipe or computer program with step-by-step instructions to execute a procedure. Algorithms are stated in pseudo-code, easy for people to understand, and are more abstract than computer programs. The programs are said to implement some algorithm, being a machine level translation of the pseudo-code.

Although most algorithms are numerical, they need not be, as shown in cooking recipes, logical unification algorithm, string matching, face recognition, etc.

Agent based.

Social algorithms differs from general algorithms in that they involve agents, and the algorithm is the result of the interaction of the agents. The ant colony algorithm is an example, with ants as the agents, and used to solve some problem, such as the shortest path or the traveling salesman problem. Social algorithms can used for distributed problem solving as the ant colony algorithm, but need not be.

It is said that Google’s PageRank algorithm is the decisive factor for Google to win the battle of the web. The PageRank algorithm ranks websites using many criteria, including the number of inbound links, each with a weight which is the PageRank of the referring site (the algorithm is recursive and almost real-time).

To have an idea of the algorithm, here is a description:

The original PageRank algorithm was described by Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin in several publications.

It is given by

PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))

where

PR(A) is the PageRank of page A,

PR(Ti) is the PageRank of pages Ti which link to page A,

C(Ti) is the number of outbound links on page Ti and

d is a damping factor which can be set between 0 and 1.

Since PageRank defines ranking of sites in a search, it affects many things, and in the last analysis, many people who derive income from the sites. Hence people, who are the agents here, try to modify their site parameters to increase their ranks. This is commonly known as SEO: search engine optimization.

This is an example where the algorithm provides rules for the social network, and in so doing modifies the agents behavior or actions. Abuse of the algorithm have occurred, in one case, someone builds websites based on (almost) links only with no content, but manages to get a high PageRank. Such anomalies will be probably be taken care of, as the PageRank algorithm is also evolving.

Internet auctions and reverse auctions such as provided by EBay, are also algorithms which provide the rules of the game, where we are the players.

Digg.com is a social bookmarking site, the original suggestion is given 1 digg, and people can digg again if they like the suggestion, or undug it if they don’t. The number of diggs in indicative of the suggestion’s popularity. This system will favor groups of people who collaborate to digg each other suggestions.

We see that social algorithms have weaknesses, often exploited by certain people. Hence the need for improving social algorithms.

Netflix is a famous case, they have offered one million dollars to anyone who can improve the accuracy of their existing algorithm by 10%.

Non human players and avatars.

Back to the definition of social algorithm as a multi-agent based algorithm, where the agents are people, we feel that this definition must be enlarged to include cases where people are substituted by animals or software surrogates. I would consider a simulation of the Digg algorithm, or a simulation of market trading using intelligent agents as social algorithms. So is the ant colony algorithm, which substitutes animals for people. Likewise swarms, flocks, etc.

Cellular automata is a border case, it is agent based all right, but often used to simulate physical, and chemical processes. If use to mimic human activity, it would be a social algorithm.

The evolution algorithm as an abstraction of the Darwinian process is also a social algorithm.

Genetic algorithms and its variations are included here.

Evolutionary Game Theory.

The field of social algorithms intersects with evolutionary game theory. Game theory studies strategies use by the agents, for example in trading, auctions, marketing, voting etc. The prisoner’s dilemma sets a game for 2 prisoners, but it can be iterated and played in a population, which then becomes a social algorithm.

If you have ever played Second Life, you know how complicated social algorithms can be. In the virtual world, the whole life, including economics, relations, and property, is defined by algorithms.



Source by Soei Tan

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Lead Generation Techniques for Real Estate Wholesalers

Many people are overwhelmed when they look into real estate as a possible income stream. Aside from the nervousness hesitation to put out legal contracts constantly, there is an obstacle before they are even able to make an offer on a single property. That obstacle is in the pursuit of actually finding motivated sellers.

Leads are the bread and butter of any successful real estate wholesaler. Without leads, the wannabe investor will spin their wheels. You will find that cash buyers are pretty easy to find when compared to getting motivated sellers to contact you.

Lead generation is your answer. For the next few minutes, you will discover some incredible ways to pull in those motivated seller leads. You will discover the trade secrets of a 20+ year internet marketing veteran that just so happens to be a real estate wholesaler. Let’s get started!

Do you find sellers, or do sellers find you?

There are many methods wholesalers use to reach motivated sellers. Many of them require you to reach out to them. Others will allow them to reach out to you. I am a huge fan of having the motivated seller contact me. Why? Because if they are contacting me, then I know they are more likely to be motivated in the traditional sense. They will be much more open to a discount offer, or even creative financing terms, or subject 2 if there is little to no equity on the property.

While I prefer that the seller contacts me, I am not one to close a door on a gift horse. Every lead is a good lead, and a potential assignment fee. This is why I am going to recommend that you employ as many of these techniques as your time, budget, and determination will allow.

Before you begin, you will want to follow a standard format for your ads. Here is an example…

We Buy Houses

ANY Area, ANY Condition.

Zero Closing Costs, “AS-IS”

Call Now! (555)-555-5555

This will not necessarily be the case for post cards and letters however. You can find that format by searching Google for “yellow letter”.

  • Yellow letters and post cards

The “yellow letter” or post card are excellent sources of done deals. The problem is that a mass mailing can be expensive, even at a single piece cost of $.40 cents per post card. You will need to send between 1,000 and 2,000 to secure a couple of deals. On top of it, the best method is to send it 6 times to the same people before moving on to the next list. That’s about $400 to $800 per mailing times 6. When you are already established in the wholesale game, that cost is easy to absorb thanks to the many assignment fees you’ve collected. When first starting out however, you may not be able to manage that.

The yellow letter is targeted towards a direct mailing list of homeowners with equity and other factors. ListSource is a popular provider of such lists. I have obtained ‘small lists’ of about 180 addresses and names for about $50 or so. You can import the list into a yellow letter or post card mailer service such as BigYellowLetter or any of the various others.

  • Lead websites

As someone who started in the website design and internet marketing business way back in the teenage years, I am always creating websites whenever I get an itch to start a business or collect leads. One of my favorite website backbones is WordPress due to it’s ease of use, ability to optimize for search engines, and the mere fact that I can create multiple variations of lead pages targeting different campaigns.

A wholesaler without a lead website isn’t a wholesaler at all. Not everyone wants to, or has the option to call you. Just providing a phone number on your ad materials isn’t enough. A URL should always be provided as an option, and the visitor should be able to reach you through an intricate contact form that collects information about the house they want to sell you.

When creating your lead site, make sure that you ask all of the appropriate questions so you can analyze the deal ahead of any discussions with the seller. I have an example down below. I like to collect the address, contact info, property type and info, description of needed repairs, etc. I even include an option for them to tell me whether or not they would be willing to hold a note for all, or a portion of their equity. This leaves the option for creative financing in the event that the property is not ideal for a cash offer (low to no equity).

  • Social media

I spend hours every day on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites interacting with others, promoting, and just trying to drum up traffic to my website and lead conversions.

Be careful to provide the right ratio of content vs ads however. Over posting ads can be annoying to followers and friends. It would be a good idea to provide fresh articles, resources, ideas, quotes, and other goodies to keep a follower interested long enough to convert them down the road.

  • Newsletter

As an internet marketer, I know the value of building a list. But who is going to want to just hand over their name and email address to a stranger? Someone who is getting something for free of course!

To build a newsletter, you first need to offer something of value for free in exchange for their name and email address. This is often an eBook, or even something smaller such as a 10 page ‘report’. Your report would contain some simple information that teaches them something that they want to know. In order to get access to the report, they must first submit their name and email address. They can then download the report via a confirmation email you send them automatically afterwards. This is email list building 101. Follow this blueprint, and you can have a massive list in 30 days or less.

  • Blogging

Don’t just have a lead site. Blog on it regularly. You can write articles ahead of time, and schedule them to publish week after week. This way, they are getting new content on a regular basis.

In addition to value for your readers, blogs are great for search engine traffic. Content is king. This means that every time you publish a new article, you run the risk of showing up on the first page of Google or another search engine for your target search terms. This will bring in motivated sellers to your lead site (if you convert them), and it can also attract cash buyers if you are targeting them as well.

  • Forums

As before with social media, I have to warn you not to spam forums either. But forums can be excellent sources of leads if you are smart about it and actually contribute. Forums provide a place for you to add your URL and contact information in a signature. This signature would show up whenever you post on the forum, and interested parties can follow you.

I like to join credit repair forums, bankruptcy and back tax forums, and give advice. You can get motivated sellers who are in preforeclosure this way. Just avoid posting urls while giving your advice, as that is considered spammy. Rely wholly on the signature you be your golden goose, and you can’t fail!

You can also join real estate investment forums like EquityPaper or BiggerPockets, and interact with other investors. This can be a chance to co-wholesale deals with other wholesalers who may not have a cash buyer for a certain property. You may be able to help them, and share in the assignment fee.

  • Newspapers

I’m sure you have seen a newspaper before. They still exist, and many people read them. In the classifieds section, you will see other ads just like the one I mentioned earlier. Give it a shot, and see how fast you get calls or leads through your website.

Newspapers can be expensive, but there are some smaller ones with more manageable fees.

  • Podcasts

I have gotten quite a few commercials done and played on live and recorded podcasts. They were bought and paid for through Fiverr, and certainly affordable. You can get an ad played for $5, or a little more for larger podcasts. You can get gig extras which also have your ad mentioned on the podcast’s social media accounts, permanent links on their podcast website, and other goodies.

You can also create your own real estate podcast, and gain a bunch of new listeners to promote to here and there.

  • YouTube

YouTube channels have to be one of the greatest methods of generating a following, and converting to leads. You can manage to do a simple 15 minute video every week, and publish it can’t you?

It can take some time to build a following, but soon enough you will see thousands of new followers ready to absorb what you are putting out there. They will share your content and spread the word. Do not fall asleep on YouTube marketing. It truly is a heavy hitter.

Put your creative juices to work, and come up with some excellent lead generating ideas. You may be surprised at what you come up with!



Source by Brandon Connell

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