What Does Direct Traffic Mean in Google Analytics?

Since I’ve been looking this up for my own reaons, I thought I would share my findings. Direct Traffic means of course that there’s NO referrer when the visitor came to the site. This could be because someone: typed in the URL directly in their browser used a bookmark in their browser clicked a link from an email  with a non-web-based email client (like Outlook) clicked a link in a document (PDF, Word) clicked a link from within a secure site (https://) used a mobile app (which could come from twitter, stumbleupon, email, etc.) some JavaScript redirect links may not set a referrer some corporate intranets may strip out referrers if the user has browser plug-ins to mask their referrer some banner/PPC campaigns may not pass a referrer correctly The IE browser can sometimes be problematic & not send a referrer under certain conditions   Has anyone heard of any other reasons traffic would be identified as direct traffic in Google...

5 Secret Search Engines Way Better Than Google

Google has become such an ingrained part of our society that people simply say, “I Googled it.” The search engine counts millions of internet users among its loyal followers, often making it seem as if no other search engine is even relevant anymore. But, in actuality, Google has some stiff competition, and if you’re willing to look, you’re going to find numerous websites that are actually even better than Google, including: DuckDuckGo Google’s in for some stiff competition when DuckDuckGo, now still a relatively secret search engine, spreads to the masses. Perhaps the biggest benefit of DuckDuckGo is it doesn’t collect nor does it share your personal information like Google does. In addition, DuckDuckGo doesn’t make users scroll through dozens of pages to find an answer. Let’s say you want to find out when the 2012 Presidential Election will be held. DuckDuckGo will return the answer at the top of your search page. Web users also enjoy the Web of Trust, which allows them to determine which sites are safe enough to visit, and pointless pages thrown up just to make revenue but without any real content never appear in search results. Blekko Blekko is a dream come true for those web users fed up with spam and being taken to pages from content farms and promises spam-free results. If a website’s content does not live up to Blekko’s strict requirements for quality, it isn’t included in the search results, quite a difference from Google. Users can also use the settings to ensure theirs searches are related to specific topics, such as news or the date content was published....

Is Microsoft Launching a Rival to Google+?

Microsoft’s PR department has been working overtime thanks to the recent discovery of a “social search” project discovered on a Microsoft-owned domain. The new search engine, titled “Tulalip” on the teaser landing pages, was discovered shortly after the launch of Google’s new social network, Google+. Though Microsoft claims the leaked site is nothing more than an “internal design project,” media sources all over the Web are asking one question: is Microsoft launching a rival to Google+? Microsoft Turns Out to Be Mystery Owner of “Socl.com” Domain While researching the recent sale of the domain name “Social.com,” a Fusible.com reporter made another discovery: “socl.com” was also sold on behalf of an unknown client. That unknown client? None other than Microsoft. Later, reporters discovered a teaser landing page on Socl.com. The landing page read, “Welcome! With Tulalip you can Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever” (prior capitalization left intact). The site appeared to be a social media addition to Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. The landing page offered log-in buttons for both Twitter and Facebook. The landing page also held a variety of non-working links that included a link to a “See how it works” demo as well as the project’s terms and conditions. The Twitter sign-in link did function and revealed that if authorized, the Tulalip app would be able to: See the tweets on a user’s timeline, Post tweets, Update the user’s profile, See the user’s followers and Follow new people. Microsoft’s Response The Tulalip landing page was ripped from the web shortly thereafter. A message on Socl.com now reads: Thanks for stopping by. Socl.com is an internal design project from a...

Marketing Your Business on Google+

Chances are you’re in one of three categories regarding Google’s latest social network, Google+. You’re either: Banging at the gates of Google+ to get a prized invite, Already in Google+ but struggling to understand it, or Still clueless about the whole G+ ordeal. Aren’t Facebook and Twitter enough? Now Google throws this into the social media mix? Right now, getting into the walls of Google+ is kind of like getting through an airport: it’s all hurry-up-and-wait time. You raced to get an invite, but now you’re sitting and twiddling your thumbs, waiting for users to arrive. Most people still aren’t on Google+, and those that managed to get an invite still have no idea what to do with the thing. Circles? Sparks? Hangouts? The most common stream on G+ is “I have no idea what I’m doing on this thing.” The good news for savvy businesses? You get to gain a jump on the competition by being an early adopter of G+. As fledgling Plus users slowly figure out their latest social media acquisition, you’ll one of the first up-and-running Plus users in the field. Step One: Choose Your Profile Picture Wisely Even more than Facebook or Twitter, finding a killer profile pic is essential on Google+. Your picture acts as your virtual calling card; it’s the first and the only thing G+ users see when they come across your name. Google+ requires square-shaped avatars, so choose accordingly. Select a high-resolution image that will immediately grab G+ users’ attentions– but make sure it’s relevant to your business. Step Two: Sort Out Your Circles You know how you have one...

Block Sites from Your Search Results

Google has added a wonderful new feature: the ability to block sites from your search results. You can read all about it on their blog post. Here is a snippet. You’ve probably had the experience where you’ve clicked a result and it wasn’t quite what you were looking for. Many times you’ll head right back to Google. Perhaps the result just wasn’t quite right, but sometimes you may dislike the site in general, whether it’s offensive, pornographic or of generally low quality. For times like these, you’ll start seeing a new option to block particular domains from your future search results. Now when you click a result and then return to Google, you’ll find a new link next to “Cached” that reads “Block all example.com results.” As always, Matt’s been gracious enough to let us use him as an example. His site is awesome, though, and we doubt many people will want to block it! But this does make me wonder. If you block a site, we can safely assume Google will track that. And if a site gets blocked too much will it drop in rankings where it hasn’t been blocked. I still believe this is a great tool and will be used by power users more than casual searchers, but it may have a more positive affect on overall search rankings than we realize. And that is probably a good...

The Real Time Web Is For Everybody

Many internet users believe that the real time web isn’t available to them. If you don’t update on Twitter, post pictures on Facebook, network on LinedIn – people think that they aren’t able to learn and benefit from the real time web. This is not the case – and tons of startups and new websites have launched which require no login, membership, or passwords to access. Below, are examples of how to benefit from these services, right now: Anyone can search the real time web. You can visit Twitter and instantly perform a search to see what people are saying about a specific page. To learn more about the types of searches that the real time web works best with, this search tips page offers several categories for which to search from. All in all, the best part about a real time search is that its instant. Plus, each day it changes, so a search today will offer different comments and thoughts than a search for the same keyword 3 weeks from now. If you want to see the hottest trends, head over to What The Trend which will summarize each of the hot topics on the web right now. In a format that can be compared to WikiPedia – the site allows any user to provide feedback as to why a particular topic is trending right now. Every day, something new is a hot trend on the real time web, and anyway can track them at What The Trend or a variety of other sources. When people share links on the real time web, it is often about...