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Leaked Info from Google Confirms Earned Media’s Impact on Search Rankings

googleSEO (2)Image Courtesy of Google

In response to a recent patent filing by Google, a number of online influencers (okay, Search-nerds!) are talking about something we already knew: earned media has a definite impact on organic search rankings.

Like most platform-owners, Google is usually tight-lipped when it comes to the inner mechanics of their algorithm. In the filing, however, a bit of the mystery is revealed: not unlike Facebook, their engine favors high- over low-quality sites. Anytime a brand (or company) is featured in a story on high-quality site, Google counts it as an “implied link.” The more links, the better the ranking.

Reacting to what many are calling an “inadvertent leak,” one watcher stated that “this single-handedly validates all of the PR that you’ve generated for your brand, all of the mentions and citations that you’ve accrued through hard work, great products and reputation, and effective public relations, even if you didn’t necessarily get an explicit link in the coverage.”

In short, PR is the new SEO.

So, if Google views media placements as “implied links,” how do we know whether or not the mentions we’ve secured through “earned” are having an impact? For site owners, there are number of tools that can provide the answer, the simplest (and most common) of which is Google Analytics.

If you’d like to see how many links point to a particular website, or if you’d just like to give Google’s algorithm a kick, try this hack: enter “” into the search bar (minus the quotes, and obviously more descriptive than “site name”) and hit enter.

Vine Introduces Vine Messages

WINEImage Courtesy of Vine

In case you missed it, Vine has just pushed a rather interesting update that introduces a new feature – Vine Messages – to their platform.

In a nutshell, Vine Messages (or VMs) enables video conversations – one-to-one or one-to-many – with other Vine users. The option can be found in the app’s navigation menu: to send a VM, simply go to the “Messages” screen or tap the “Message” button on a user profile – it’s that simple.

Now here’s where it gets interesting…

VMs aren’t limited to one’s Vine contacts: anyone can send a VM to anyone via email or SMS, even if they’re not part of the Vine community. Seems like an interesting way to engage our followers, crowdsource feedback, invite non-Vine users to connect, etc.

On the flip-side, having the service “open to all” could have darker implications… something to keep an eye on for sure.

From Inside The ePharma Summit: Wearables

This year’s ePharma Summit continued to bring out the best and brightest of the industry to share successes, exchange best practices, and talk about some of the new opportunities that exist where the worlds of digital and healthcare meet.

An exciting technology that presents lots of opportunity for Pharma is wearables. These devices, which range from the almost ubiquitous FitBit, Jawbone, and Nike Fuelband, all the way to Google Glass and the Google contact lens that can detect glucose levels in tears, have been around for a few years, but are really starting to become more mainstream. They were all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show, too. Wearables are turning people into data centers, with a constant stream of information generated daily. Pharma is in a unique position to help make that data meaningful for patients, doctors and research.

While the future value of wearables in healthcare are yet to be fully realized, ZocDoc took a stab at predicting the future:

Wearable tech – An infographic by the team at ZocDoc

At the ePharma Summit there was lots of speculation about the use of wearables– and the data they generate– in health management, adherence, insurance and treatment. While the verdict is out on how to capitalize on this data and technology, this is an area that MMC, and all of Pharma, is going to be following closely. It represents an area for the courageous Pharma executive to lead.

Food for Thought: “Basic” Equality in Women’s Health

papsunImage Courtesy of Getty

In 1993, Congress passed the NIH Revitalization Act, which directed the NIH to establish guidelines for inclusion of women and minorities in clinical research. Nearly two decades later, it’s surprising to learn that there’s still much to be done to ensure gender equality in biomedical science.

The Brigham and Women’s Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology is spearheading a movement to demand more for women’s health. You see, quality science and treatment for women’s health doesn’t just mean ensuring women are included in clinical trials. Understanding gender differences at a biological and pre-clinical level also translates into better quality of care.

Take heart disease, for example. Research shows that heart disease appears differently in women than in men, and so the gold standard test to identify heart disease for both genders may not work as well or as efficiently in women. Other diseases that are more prevalent in women, or affect females in a different way than males (like lung disease and depression), also require further biological research to truly understand how they present in a female vs. male body.

In the age of technology and advanced medicine, it seems almost antiquated to start research at such a “basic” level. But while science has made great strides, it may be necessary to hone in on this level of research. We could gain a deeper understanding of our bodies, translating into better quality of care.

Next month, the Connors Center is hosting the first national summit dedicated to improving women’s health care. Notable speakers include the Connors Center Executive Director Paula A. Johnson, MD, MPH; U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY); “60 Minutes” Correspondent Lesley Stahl; and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD. Last week, the FDA wrote a blog post about the agency’s history shaping data, drug approvals, and industry guidance to better understand how drugs work differently in men vs. women. For example, in 2011, FDA issued guidance on the study and evaluation of sex differences in medical device clinical studies.

The Connors Center will need to rally these business leaders, industry, policy makers, regulators, academics, and advocacy groups to succeed. More importantly, they’ll need to invigorate an already complicated and crowded conversation about women’s health.

What do you think is most important to achieve women’s health equality?

DAILEY DISH – A hearty helping of all that’s making entertainment headlines this week!

  • NBC Going for the Olympics Coverage Gold – It’s that time again! The world has shifted all focus to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. NBC’sAnna Kendrick Newcastle coverage of the London Olympics can either be seen as a massive failure or a huge success, depending on who you ask. Viewers throughout the games shared their complaints, many via the hashtag #NBCfail, which found life in the social sphere. Regardless of viewers’ discontent the Olympics are a powerhouse for NBC—bringing in advertising dollars and a massive audience. This year the broadcast giant isn’t changing much of the format from the London games but they are bringing in new digital elements providing a second screen experience for viewers. According to Mashable NBC execs are following the simple rule – the more Olympics you give people, the more they want. We’ll see how that pans out come closing ceremonies.
  • S#@!* Bowl Ad Wins – My fingers are shaking just thinking about typing the word S#@!* Bowl. It has become the running punch line of the “Big Game” ads the past two years, starting with Samsung’s winning ad from last year featuring A-listers Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd (side note: when will we get more from these two)!? Many industry experts praised Radio Shack and Budweiser as this year’s big winners, but my personal favorite was Newcastle’s hilarious Mega Huge Football Game ad which featured Anna Kendrick and didn’t actually air during the game. The perfectly deadpan video features Anna being interviewed about the Newcastle Huge Football commercial that never was. The ad was no-frills which made it the perfect fit for their slogan “Newcastle: No Bollocks.” With millions of views on YouTube to date, I think the non-ad will be a big trend next year as brands fight for the right to play, without the hefty price tag.
  • Tonight Show Shake Up (Round Two) – Here we go again, but I think this go around will be a much smoother transition as Jimmy Fallon takes over as host for “The Tonight Show” and Seth Meyers lands the gig at “Late Night.”  Historically NBC likes to “keep it in the family” with these types of shifts but as we saw with the Leno/O’Brien debacle that’s not always the best plan. This time around the family mentality might just work. Jimmy has proven to be a late night force and his universal humor and likeability will carry over to the earlier time frame. Meyers is Lorne Michael’s chosen one so no doubt he will succeed. As the long standing head writer for SNL, he has the writing chops to make a name for himself, and impeccable comic timing. Seth Meyers also just secured fellow SNLer Fred Armison to be his band leader! Cheers to a new generation of talent taking the reins.
  • Amazon vs. Netflix: The Streaming Battle – The Netflix model is working and others are taking notice and shaking up their own models to compete. Amazon Studios recently launched 10 pilots as part of their second wave of pilots which are intended to directly combat Netflixs’ original series. In an interesting twist they will use viewer feedback to determine which pilots live on for a full season and which ones don’t. Through a deal with 21st Century Fox they have also secured exclusive rights to FX’s thriller “The Americans” and non-exclusive rights to “How I Met Your Mother,” along with other hit series. All content will be available to Amazon Prime members.  The price needs to be right but these moves just prove that streaming is everything these days!

Image courtesy of YouTube

Rockstar Campaigns from the World of Social Media

Check out some of the top social media campaigns generating attention from last week.David

H&M’s Super Bowl ad (you remember: the one that asked consumers to vote on whether or not star David Beckham appeared #Covered or #Uncovered) is still getting attention for its clever use of Social Media and a “T-commerce” platform that made the spot “shoppable” for SmartTV owners… (Source: Today).

In related news, brands like Oreo, Heineken’s Newcastle Brown Ale and Nestlé’s DiGiorno Pizza are among those being recognized for their clever newsjacking efforts during the Big Game… (Source: Digiday).

Old Man Winter has truly been tough on the airline industry these past few weeks. In a scramble to provide support to inconvenienced travelers, one company – JetBlue – has received accolades for their transparent use of Social Media… (Source: BrandChannel).

For their tweet that poked fun at Grammy-winner Pharrell Williams’ hat, sandwich chain Arby’s continues to attract buzz. Touted by real-time marketing experts as a “responsive marketing coup de grâce,” their efforts even merited praise from the likes of Pepsi and Hyundai… (Source: Ad Week).

Ajax has just launched an app that “treats your Social Media presence like a dirty counter.” how you ask? By removing unused content and SPAM from your Twitter feeds and Facebook News Feed… (Source: Fast Company).

If riding shotgun in the Weinermobile is on your #BucketList, you might want to check out Oscar Mayer’s latest Twitter campaign. All who tweet using the hashtag #Tweet2Lease have a shot at that “Grand Prize”… (Source: Ad Age).

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How We Use and Feel About the Number One Social Network

Facebook turned 10 yesterday and hit that milestone as the #1 Social Network, used by 57 percent of all adults and 73 percent of all those aged 12-17.woman looking at Facebook in office

Adult Facebook use is intensifying. Among teens, the total number of users remains high, according to Pew Research Center surveys, and they are not abandoning the site. But focus group interviews suggest that teens’ relationship with Facebook is complicated and may be evolving.

Followed are six excerpts from a new Pew Research Center study that asked Facebook users about their behaviors and what they like/dislike about the Network:

1. Some users dislike certain aspects of Facebook, but fear of missing out on social activities (or “FOMO”) isn’t one of them.

Their dislikes start with oversharing by friends and people posting one’s personal information (such as photos) without first asking permission are among the most common. Parents are especially protective of images of their children, as 57 percent of Facebook users with children under the age of 18 say that people posting pictures of their children without asking permission first is something they strongly dislike about using Facebook.

On the other hand, the “fear of missing out” phenomenon resonates with only a small proportion of the Facebook population. Just 5 percent of Facebook users strongly dislike the fact that Facebook allows them to see others taking part in social activities that they themselves were not included in—and 84 percent of users say that this aspect of Facebook life doesn’t bother them at all.

2. Women and men often have varying reasons for why they use Facebook – but everything starts with sharing and laughs.

Users say they especially appreciate photos and videos from friends (47 percent say that’s a major reason they use the site), the ability to share with many people at once (46 percent cite that as a major reason), updates from others (39 percent cite that), and humorous content (39 percent). Other aspects of Facebook—such as keeping up with news, or receiving support from the people in one’s network—appeal to a more modest audience of users. Men and women sometimes vary in their reasons for using the site.

3. Half of all adult Facebook users have more than 200 friends in their network.

Facebook users differ greatly when it comes to the number of friends in their networks:

  • 39 percent of adult Facebook users have between 1 and      100 Facebook friends
  • 23 percent have 101-250 friends
  • 20 percent have 251-500 friends
  • 15 percent have more than 500 friends

Among adult Facebook users, the average number of friends is 338; the median, 200. In other words, half of all Facebook users have more than 200 friends, and half have less than 200.

Younger users tend to have significantly larger friend networks than older users: 27 percent of 18-29 year old Facebook users have more than 500 friends in their network, while 72 percent of users age 65+ have 100 friends or fewer.

4. 12 percent of Facebook users say that someone has asked them to “unfriend” a person in their network.

Younger users are more likely to have experienced this than older users: 19 percent of 18-29 year old Facebook users have had someone ask them to remove a friend from their network (compared with 10 percent of 30-49 year olds, 7 percent of 50-64 year olds, and 5 percent of those 65 and older).

These “friend removal” requests tend to come primarily from other friends (35 percent), or from current (23 percent) or former (12 percent) spouses or romantic partners. Some 38 percent of those who received this type of request say that they were asked to remove a friend from their Facebook network, while 22 percent were asked to unfriend a former romantic partner.

5. Facebook users “like” their friends’ content and comment on photos relatively frequently, but most don’t change their own status that often.

When asked about the frequency with which they engage in certain behaviors on the site, Facebook users tend to point towards “liking” content that others have posted and commenting on photos as the activities they engage in most often. On the other hand, most users change or update their own status only occasionally:

  • 44 percent of Facebook users “like” content posted by their friends at least once a day, with 29 percent doing so several times per day.
  • 31 percent comment on other people’s photos on a daily basis, with 15 percent doing so several times per day.
  • 19 percent send private Facebook messages to their friends on a daily basis, with 10 percent sending these messages multiple times per day.
  • 10 percent change or update their own status on Facebook on a daily basis, with 4 percent updating their status several times per day. Some 25 percent of Facebook users say that they never change      or update their own Facebook status.

6. 52 percent of Internet users who do not use Facebook themselves live with someone who does.

Many non-Facebook users still have some familiarity with the site through family members. Among internet users who do not use Facebook themselves, 52 percent say that someone else in their household has a Facebook account. In many instances, these may be parents who do not use Facebook but live with a child who does. Fully 66 percent of parents with a child living at home who do not use Facebook themselves say that someone in their household has a Facebook account.

In addition, some 24 percent of Facebook non-adopters who live with an account holder say that they look at photos or posts on that person’s account.

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