Groupon-like Site Goes Viral?

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We have all seen the scammy offers out there designed to get you to market a company for them. Get 10 friends to enroll in our terrible service and get yours free! Right… Even Groupon seems a little contrived. Post a deal in which lots of people must sign up, otherwise the deal won’t go live. Of course, if the deal is even the least bit good, at this point it won’t have any trouble getting the required number of buyers. Any marketing that people did is just superfluous and not actually required for the process.Buy With Me Logo

Today I came across a deal via slickdeals.net (I am a very longtime subscriber) which was essentially 4 AMC tickets for $24. They don’t expire and you can use them at any location. Not bad, if you go to nighttime showings frequently. But the site I bought it from was more interesting… It is buywithme.com and the deal works like this: You buy it normally, and thats all good. But then you share a link to the deal, and if three friends buy it as well, you get the deal free. The deal only lasts 24 hours apparently, so presumably they don’t charge your card until that time is up. If 3 friends bought it, they don’t charge anything.

I could definitely see this picking up in the future because it offers an attainable way to get free stuff. People actually have an incentive to share since it’s so easy to see how you could save money with it. Large brands with decent followings could easily see a huge influx of  traffic and usage for deals they post online. I am calling it now, this site or sites like it will either grow much more popular than Groupon, or fail do to an unsustainable business model. Only time can tell!

Also, here is the link to buy the tickets and help me get them free. http://www.buywithme.com That’s right, I am selling out for free tickets… Oh wait, I am just being social using SOCIAL MEDIA! Yay!

The Power of Good Practices

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In almost everything in business, there is a generally accepted “right way” to do things. There might be some variation on that way, and many may in fact find great success from creatively developing new ways to do things. But still, there is usually a right way. Unfortunately, there is almost always a wrong way as well. Maybe it looks like it will save time, maybe you think you aren’t going to get caught, or maybe you were just offered bad advice. Either way, as a business person, you will be faced with these choices every day.

I would love to think that everyone would want to do the right thing just because it is right. Unfortunately, that is just not the case. From corrupt corporate executives to bad SEOs, there is no end to the list of people who picked the wrong way. And how does that work out for them? Maybe they got some short-term benefit. Maybe they were rich or very successful. But eventually that ended. Some went to jail, most just continue to struggle in their chosen profession.

The issue at hand today is search engine optimization and the tools we have at our disposal. Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media goes into detail discussing some of the recent changes to the Google algorithm and how this has affected SEOs in this post. I think she summarizes it pretty well when she says,

“You’re investing in SEO to grow your business and your brand over the long-term. That is not done through shortcuts, through buying links, or through acting out because you’re PO’d at Google. It’s done through putting in the work. “

Best practices are not just called that because they are morally correct. They are also the most effective. Maybe not in the short term, but if you are looking for sustained success, then they are the way to go. Despite any complaints about the recent “Panda” update to Google’s algorithm, the bottom line is that Google and all the other search engines will most likely improve over time. There may be ups and downs, but through all the changes you will be better off using legitimate, ‘white hat’ SEO tools. Obviously link farms and scraper sites provide little benefit to actual people. Do you really think they are going to help your site forever?

Bottom line: do the right thing. It’s in your best interest and the best interests of those around you.  Not just this week or this month, but in the long term.