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The genie is out of the bottle. In this day and age, everything is public and visible. A plethora of information floats around the internet and trying to control who posts what feels like boiling the ocean. To make it worse, it takes so much time to build a reputation and only one bad moment to tarnish it.

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Many businesses focus on SEO, social media and content to build their online presence. One way to accelerate your online growth is to focus on growing your brand through citations and mentions. Both Google and Bing have indicated that they can track brand mentions and that they matter for search engine rankings. Duane Forrester, a former senior product manager at Bing, stated that unlinked mentions can be just as strong a signal as links for measuring a site’s authority.

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Remember when Donald Trump said "America should never have given Canada its independence"? Well, that was fake. Fake news has a long and storied history. Ben Franklin spread propaganda stories by creating a fake issue of the Boston Independent Chronicle. Today celebrities, politicians and everyday people are affected by it. Tomi Lahren of Fox News was recently quoted as saying "If you die in a mass shooting, it's not the fun's fault, or even the gunman's fault. It's your fault for not believing in God enough". She didn't say that either.

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Brand touch points are like digital fingerprints; they tell a story. What are brand touch points and how do they affect business? Whether you realize it or not, your brand's customer touchpoints are working to help, or hurt, your organization's reputation with consumers. If a potential customer sees brand-related content and it piques their interest, what will they do next? They may perform a branded search (using your company name), in which case it's up to Google what your customer sees. How dost Google love thee?

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