5 For Friday — Links, Stories & Posts For Your Weekend

July 22nd, 2011 by Search Influence University

4 Reasons Why Contests Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy — Mashable

While contests and sweepstakes can be intensive campaigns to undergo, they can have an enormous impact on your customer base and should be part of every media marketer’s toolbox. Check out Ben Pickering’s concise list of four reasons why you should consider one today.

Google Overhauls Place Pages, Emphasizes Reviews & Kills Citations — Search Engine Land

Google’s recent overhaul of their Place Page system and elimination of third-party review snippets has set a lot of tongues around the SEO community wagging. Check out this article for a brief overview, but be sure to come back next week for Joseph Henson‘s in-depth review of the change.

YouTube SEO – 5 Step Formula To Dominate YouTube & Google — Tom Breeze TV

YouTube videos have enormous potential for attracting traffic, but are consistently underrepresented in the optimization community. This handy video from Tom Breeze gives a step-by-step explanation of just how valuable video content can be to you, as well as tips to engage the community and divert traffic to your site.

Google Adds URL Parameter Options to Google Webmaster Tools — Search Engine Land

Google has added a feature enabling webmasters to specify how URL parameters can communicate how content is viewed on a webpage for sorting, filtering and pagination purposes (among many others). SEL’s Vanessa Fox has the technical details and the nitty-gritty on what this means for your site configuration.

38 Million in US Purchase Under Influence of Social Media — Social Times

While you probably already knew that social media marketing holds a large influence over consumer behavior, it’s only now coming to light how strong a grasp this really is. The purchase decisions of a staggering 38 million 13 to 80 year olds in the United States are now influenced by social media, and the number is growing — up 14% in the last six months. Check out this study and see how you can be making the “ripple effect” work for you.