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BloomReach today released Continuous Quality Management (CQM) technology delivering ongoing web page quality visibility and management. If you haven’t checked out BloomReach, they are a pretty sweet analytics software that helps customers analyze the long tail.  CQM introduces four types of continuously updated quality metrics for every page managed by BloomReach including content, behavior, uniqueness and flux.  CQM gives marketers more control over the quality of each page published by combining marketer judgment with machine-learning to deliver the best user experience, matching content to intent.

The Metrics of Continuous Quality Management

The four types of metrics within CQM are Content, Behavior, Uniqueness and Flux. Every metric can be used for analysis, filtering and to set thresholds for action.

Content is determined by interpreting a page’s topic and comparing the content to the topic.  Content Quality considers the number of unique, relevant products on the page as well and the fit of the products and their attributes to the intent.

Behavior is measured by integrating traffic metrics such as bounce rate, conversion in addition to other factors.

Uniqueness is measured using BloomReach’s

Dynamic Duplication Reduction (DDR)

technology to determine how much of the content on the page is unique versus other pages on the site.

Flux captures the rate of change of products on the page, which is critical to understanding why quality can degrade over time and critical to predicting pages that require further inspection.

“The perfect balance of technology for generating high-quality content and relevant experiences are those that let machines do what they do best – interpret and act on unmanageable amounts of data – and leave the fine tuning and quality assurance to humans,” said Raj De Datta, CEO of BloomReach. “The launch of CQM gives e-tail marketers a proven tool to manageably capture the long tail at scale with high quality, relevant content.”

I’m interested to see where this technology takes our World.  Does anyone use these guys, I’d love to have a deeper understanding of how they are liking the service.

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Google Redefines What Is Considered Low Quality Content

Google updated its Quality Rater Guidelines this week, which includes new information regarding the assessment of “low quality” and “lowest quality” pages.

Of all the changes made to the guidelines, the sections on page quality received the most significant updates.

Quality Rater Guidelines are a set of instructions that Google’s quality raters follow when manually evaluating the performance of Google’s algorithms.

So, in other words, if a rater were to analyze whether or not a piece of content is of “low quality,” they would refer to what is laid out in the Quality Rater Guidelines.

It’s important to know that quality raters cannot personally change how a page is ranked. Rather, they pass feedback onto those who write Google’s algorithms.

From there, an algorithm update may be pushed out which would then impact page rankings.

How Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines Defines Low Quality Pages

According to Google’s updated Quality Rater Guidelines, low quality pages are those that miss the mark on what they set out to achieve.

This could be for one of two reasons. Either there is not enough main content (MC) to adequately satisfy the reader, or the content creator lacks expertise in the topic they’re writing about.

“Low quality pages may have been intended to serve a beneficial purpose. However, Low quality pages do not achieve their purpose well because they are lacking in an important dimension, such as having an unsatisfying amount of MC, or because the creator of the MC lacks expertise for the purpose of the page.”

The key difference between this revised definition of low quality pages, and the previous definition, is that quality should still be considered “low” even if there was a clear intention for the page to serve a beneficial purpose.

Quality Raters are instructed to rate a page as “Low” if any one or more of the following applies:

An inadequate level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).

The quality of the MC is low.

There is an unsatisfying amount of MC for the purpose of the page.

The title of the MC is exaggerated or shocking.

The Ads or SC distracts from the MC.

There is an unsatisfying amount of website information or information about the creator of the MC for the purpose of the page (no good reason for anonymity).

A mildly negative reputation for a website or creator of the MC, based on extensive reputation research. If a page has multiple Low quality attributes, a rating lower than Low may be appropriate.

Google elaborates on this point, stating:

Here is a roundup of other notable changes that were made to the “Low Quality Pages” and “Lowest Quality Pages” sections.

Ads should now be considered distracting if they feature grotesque images.

Extensive research is required to evaluate the reputation of a content creator.

Identifying a content creator using a long-standing Internet alias or username is now acceptable.

A page is of “lowest” quality when the purpose of the page cannot be determined.

’Your Money, Your Life’ pages with no information about the content creator should be rated lowest.

Unmaintained websites should be rated lowest quality if they fail to achieve their purpose due to the lack of maintenance.

Pages that promote hate against groups of people based on socio-economic status, political beliefs, and victims of atrocities should be rated lowest.

Pages that promote mental, physical, or emotional harm to self or others should be rated lowest.

Content should be rated lowest if the creator has a negative or malicious reputation.

Pages that misinform users with “demonstrably inaccurate content” should be rated lowest.

The points listed above are all new additions to Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines.

For more information, see the full PDF document here.

Key Metrics To Track Your Content Marketing And Overall Digital Marketing Performance

You have put in huge efforts to create high-quality, relevant, and informative content. After thoroughly researching market demands, you have optimized your pages and articles using targeted keywords. What’s more, your content marketing team is also working hard to update your web pages regularly to rank higher on search engine results. Keep it up; you are doing a great job!

However, listen up! Are you sure your content marketing strategies are generating the expected results? Are your content marketing campaigns doing better and producing the desired ROI? Do you even track how well your campaigns are performing? What are you even trying to achieve from your content strategies in the first place?

If you don’t have a solid answer to these, it’s time to focus on measuring your efforts and tracking your results. After all, without having clear goals and marketing objectives, you cannot track how well your campaigns are performing and what results you are really looking for.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is an umbrella term that includes optimizing and marketing various content formats, like blog posts, web page content, email marketing, social media, eBooks, videos, and many more. There may be multiple activities involved while implementing content marketing strategies. However, the basic goal is to get your message to your target audience.

Your content creation team needs to stay updated on the latest content marketing trends and search engine algorithms to enhance higher customer engagement and conversions. In short, ensure your content is engaging and enables visitors to find the answers or products they are looking for.

The Basic KPIs You Need to Track for Content Marketing

To track whether your hard work is really paying you off, your team needs to identify the metrics and track them to measure your content performance. Start with measuring the following Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to identify your success factors.

Brand Awareness

The primary target for every business is to place their brand’s name favorably in the market and let others do the talking. To convert your content strategies into visibility gains, you need to focus on building brand awareness by tracking your −

Pageviews and website traffic volumes

Brand mentions on different social platforms

Unique visitors during certain offer periods or seasons, and

The number of followers gained on your blogs, social pages, and newsletters.

Audience Engagement

After generating brand awareness, focus on improving audience engagement by measuring a few website metrics, including −

User engagement rate, that is, how long your visitors were interacting with your website content

Page time of your visitors to identify how engaging your content was for your potential buyers

Page or scroll depth that helps to determine at what points your visitors lost interest in your content

Organic Visibility

Therefore, to give your brand a voice through greater organic visibility, track the following metrics −

Organic website traffic that gives an aggregate of your overall traffic on a certain web page. It helps to track how many potential customers landed on your content from the search results.

Keyword rankings and volumes can be easily measured through keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Google Search Console, or Google Keyword Planner.

Backlinks generated from high-value domains, boost your website’s credibility.

ROI (Return On Investment)

Finally, your ROI is a key metric that lets you identify whether your content marketing strategies are paying off. Analyze the revenue generated over the past few years to determine your profits generated and the percentage of revenue increase after implementing content strategies.

How to Analyze and Measure Your Content Performance?

Now that you are aware of the KPIs you need to measure and work on, let’s proceed toward our vital step of analyzing and tracking how well your content marketing campaigns are performing. The following approaches would help you stay competitive with highly engaging content.

Revisit Your Goals

If you feel lost in a sea of information and ever-changing market trends, it’s time you revisit your business goals. What are the short- and long-term goals you wish to achieve? What are your organization’s vision and mission statements? Determine why you are putting efforts into content marketing in the first place.

Analyzing these answers from time to time is necessary to stay on track and ensure you are not getting diverted from your objectives and purpose. Besides, this era is witnessing a rise in purpose-driven brands. So, if your end goals are unclear, you cannot determine the right marketing approaches for your business.

Track Social Media Engagement

Focus on posting more attractive and visually appealing content that is either 100% text or a balanced mix of multimedia. And don’t forget to use trending and relevant hashtags.

Another way of promoting audience engagement and discussion is by creating polls and lists, introducing fun concepts and games, and starting debate-worthy topics. In short, get your audience talking and then, from their activities, measure their interests and chances of getting converted and spreading your brand name through word-of-mouth.

Track Your Backlinks

Backlinks play a vital role in boosting your site’s credibility and authority. Getting good quality backlinks from other creators and publications is a sign your content creation tactics are working and showing results.

However, remember to focus on quality rather than quantity and be consistent in your content creation schedule. It will help you receive more valuable backlinks from high-authority domains, giving search engines the impression that your content would create high value for visitors (and hence, the higher ranks!)


We hope the above techniques and methods help your content marketing team to identify the loopholes and fill the gaps for better decision-making. These principle KPIs and strategies will not only change your content marketing game but also take your overall digital marketing to the next level. Just make sure your efforts are not going to waste by tracking your content performances from time to time, thus leading you in the right direction.

Use Metrics To Find The Right It Outsourcing Partner

Subjective measures come into play as outsourcing moves beyond help-desk applications and mainframe maintenance into helping a company meet its electronic commerce initiatives, or more efficiently run its accounting department. The goals don’t just improve productivity, but they improve processes and new business as well.

The new economy

The Internet plays a major role in the move to value vendors based on more subjective measures. In the Web world, companies are not judging their outsourcer on code per person but on knowledge of Web-based technologies, quick installation of these technologies, and ultimately the company’s customer satisfaction.

Big money goes to outsourcing

Source: International Data Corp., Framingham, Mass.

“A primary driver for outsourcing is access to new technology and access to skilled human resources that a company can’t afford to bring in or doesn’t have the time to bring in and train,” says Cynthia Doyle, senior analyst for information systems outsourcing and business process outsourcing with International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass.

Chicago-based Andersen Consulting refers to this type of outsourcing as “sourcing.” One partner says the firm has three times the number of sourcing deals in its pipeline as it has traditional outsourcing deals. Virtually all of these opportunities are in electronic commerce.

Typical performance metrics don’t seem to work in the new environment, says one corporate IT employee, familiar with her organization’s outsourcing contracts. Those in the field agree that benchmarks such as local area network uptime, server uptime, the amount of time it takes to close a call to a help desk are all good because they provide quantitative measures. These same experts agree that the challenge is how you qualitatively measure the service your customers perceive they’re getting.

(based on 282 responses in North America)

Source: “Critical Issues of Information Systems Management, 1999,” Computer Science Corp.

These warm and fuzzy terms also come into play because outsourcing vendors are increasingly being judged by business results, notes Bruce Caldwell, a senior outsourcing analyst at Gartner Group Inc., in Stamford, Conn. “Metrics aren’t just faster, better, and cheaper, they’re changing the way companies take care of business, so the outcome is improved over the process,” says Caldwell, who is based in Riverhead, N.Y.

“IT outsourcing relationships have evolved from strictly a client-vendor relationship to more of a partnership,” says IDC’s Doyle. Metrics are now linked to strategic business value and customer satisfaction, she notes. “You can recognize business value through increased productivity or new business opportunities, and increased shareholder value,” she says. “These metrics are very different from traditional outsourcing metrics.”

Business metrics come into play in a variety of outsourcing deals, including business process outsourcing, and are harder to measure. Which cost savings do you measure? Do you include only IT cost savings? In terms of generating revenue, do you give the outsourcer credit for being innovative or simply look at the extra dollars generated?

BP Amoco p.l.c.’s deal with Andersen Consulting, signed in January 2000, is one example of a contract where the vendor will be judged based on more qualitative measures. The $200-million outsourcing agreement calls for BP Amoco’s downstream business to outsource its finance and administrative services to AC. As part of the 10-year agreement, AC will assist BP Amoco’s downstream business in moving manual processes toward electronic commerce. The downstream business accounts for all activities after oil is found, such as distribution, sales, and marketing.

BP Amoco will judge Andersen Consulting on how innovative it is, according to Gartner’s Caldwell. Andersen is “contractually obligated” to bring new ideas to BP Amoco, he says. The ideas need to focus on organizational structure and business processes within the finance and accounting operations. A governance body will ensure the delivery of the “innovation quotient” through a quarterly review, Caldwell notes. The contract also contains a risk/reward component.

Jim Dewar, the Chicago-based commercial manager in BP Amoco’s downstream business, says AC will indeed benefit from using innovative business practices that ultimately drive down costs. In particular, the contract stipulates AC needs to demonstrate innovation in creating Web-based strategies. “We’re looking to move to an e-world, wherever possible, that will facilitate cost savings, but not at the expense of service level delivery,” Dewar says.

Although AC’s global-managing partner for business-process management, Hugh Morris, declined to discuss the specifics of the BP Amoco arrangement, he discussed the terms of a business process and IT outsourcing deal the firm has with another company. AC is evaluated on a 100-point scale. Innovativeness accounts for 20 of those points. The deal is evaluated quarterly, but an annual evaluation determines the overall scoring in all categories and, ultimately, AC’s economic benefit. Morris says the interim and annual results are expected to be similar. AC wins all 20 points in the innovation category by coming up with business-process improvements, says Morris, based in London. In other words, the client will look at the number of new ideas Andersen Consulting generates in a period, how many ideas the client accepts, and the improvements or savings resulting from the ideas.

Look for a partner, not just a vendor. Your outsourcer should be flexible, innovative, and cost-efficient, not just “introduce a solution in place for the sake of introducing the technology,” says a corporate information systems employee who requested anonymity.

Be clear about what you’re outsourcing, the service levels, and expectations. “You should never outsource a problem,” Dewar says. Others concur. “If you haven’t defined the playing field for the outsourcer, you can create serious problems,” says Ken Bohlen, CIO of Textron Inc., in Providence, R.I. Textron has relationships with a number of outsourcing vendors including Plano, Texas-based EDS; IBM, in White Plains, New York; AT&T Solutions in Basking Ridge, N.J.; and El Segundo, Calif.-based Computer Sciences Corporation.

Create a strong review board with representatives from both sides. Learn from past deals. “Every deal can be made better than the one that has gone before,” says Dewar.

Andersen Consulting receives a fixed percentage of any savings during the first two years after the firm generates an idea. AC receives a greater percentage of the savings in year one than year two, Morris says. In addition, the contract has an incentive for AC to come in at or below the financial budget for the deal overall in any given year.

In an IT outsourcing arrangement with a United Kingdom-based utility, AC can receive up to 25 points (out of a total 120) for being flexible. How does AC score 100% in this category? “If the client came to us with a need, did we say ‘this is not in the contract,’ or did we say ‘how can we help’?” says Morris.

In other deals, AC is evaluated on responsiveness. “If somebody calls and says ‘I need help urgently,’ how quickly did we respond? Did we say there were 14 pieces of paper to fill in or that we would be there at 2 p.m.?” Morris says. The quality of the working relationship is also important. It’s evaluated by how respectfully the AC staff treats the client’s employees, and how committed AC professionals are to the client’s concerns, as opposed to their own.

Mixing the two

Morris notes that outsourcing arrangements generally include a mix of quantitative and qualitative metrics. When it comes to the latter, however, Morris says the clients use subjective measures rather than a formula to determine the number of points awarded to Andersen. “AC perceives value in its own way,” he says. “We might suggest that certain activities demonstrate the values they want from us.”

Customer satisfaction is another qualitative measure outsourcers are judged upon–in other words, is the client’s customer satisfied? The percentage improvement in customer satisfaction is being used as a metric, says Barbara Melby, an outsourcing attorney in the Washington, D.C., office of New York City law firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, LLP.

One corporate IT employee who wishes to remain anonymous rates customer satisfaction as a top qualitative concern for her company. “It’s difficult to sit with a customer and explain quantitative measures if it affects them personally,” she says. “For example, if our customers place a call and they don’t get the response they want. Even if my outsourcing provider is hitting the mark 99% of the time, those quantitative measures mean nothing to our customer because they were not serviced at the time.”

The company is looking for more proactive partnerships with outsourcers. “We want a partner to deliver services that meet our customer’s need. We want them to be flexible and innovative in bringing the ideas to the table,” the corporate IT employee says.

Despite all the hype qualitative and business-results measures are receiving, quantitative measures are still important. All sources interviewed for this story say that their arrangements include quantitative measures as well. “However, with Web-based technology, the qualitative measures are more important than the quantitative,” says the IT employee.

“Qualitative gauges have a role on performance,” says QSMA’s Mah. “But there are also going to be a lot of hard numbers. When lawyers establish goals, the hard numbers generate commitment.”

Quality Quest: The Irrational Ratio

Linda G. Hayes

Do you remember learning about irrational numbers? I always pictured them as being somehow unreasonable, numbers you had to coax or cajole into behaving rationally. Actually, they are numbers that never end–no matter how far you carry them out–like pi. In that sense, the term is particularly apropos for describing the proper ratio between developers and testers, because the answer keeps changing the longer you look at it.

Not a conference or class goes by that the question is not asked: What’s the magic ratio? Some breathlessly report that they heard Microsoft has a one-to-one ratio, while others abjectly confess that their companies have 10 or more developers for every tester. So what’s the best answer? That’s easy. It depends.

The ideal ratio between developers and testers depends on the type of development and the phase of the project. In some cases, developers should outnumber testers, but in others–believe it or not–the testers should outnumber the developers. The secret is to know when and why to adjust the ratio.

Planning and Design

In the earliest stages of developing a new application–that is, one being written from scratch–developers should outnumber testers. Although test planning and design can and should commence during the planning and design phases of the development project, the fact is that there is simply more work to be done by developers. Until the design stabilizes, which in most cases happens during coding, testers can at best define and prepare the test environment and process.

The ideal ratio at this stage is probably one tester per team, or about one for every four or five developers. Most applications are built with a team this size; especially large applications might have multiple teams, but each team typically stays small. We have all learned the hard way that adding more people does not always add more productivity.

Testing Ratio Tricks and Techniques

If you follow these basic rules, you will be in a better position to effectively use temporary resources and/or employ automation in testing when it’s appropriate. These tricks and techniques may also help you achieve a more rational method for managing the ratio of developers to testers in application development.

Plan your test

Document your tests

Dumb-down your tests

Standardize your tests

There is an exception, however. In some cases, new applications are really just modifications of existing ones. For example, a retail data analysis firm developed six applications that were simply just special versions of the same system customized for different customers. The same application in other cases might be ported to execute on multiple platforms. The effort in these situations is more like maintenance and enhancement, so the rules are different.

Coding and Testing

As a new application completes the coding phase and moves into test, the ratio should start to shift in favor of testers. In fact, a ratio of one or two developers per tester is probably realistic.

This happens because the testers now have enough information to design, develop, and execute test cases. It takes time to review the application’s intricacies in order to design the proper tests, then more time to develop the tests, and then even more time to execute the tests and document the results. Then it takes yet more time to work closely with developers to resolve issues. The iterative retesting of corrections and changes adds substantially to the testing workload as the application nears release.

Linkedin Launches 6 Free Advertising Courses

Course material ranges from basic to intermediate and are all laid out in a step-by-step learning path.

The initial course offerings cover foundational content such as how to launch your first campaign and how to launch a content marketing strategy on LinkedIn.

All courses can be accessed from the LinkedIn Marketing Labs hub. Upon visiting the hub for the first time it will attempt to tailor a learning path for you based on your job.

It will ask if you run ad campaigns, do media planning, or both.

As you can see, each course is labeled to indicate the level of material covered and how long the course should take to complete.

The complete list of initial course offerings is as follows:

Introduction to LinkedIn Ads

Using LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting

Reporting and Analytics for LinkedIn Ads

Building a Full-Funnel Content Marketing Strategy on LinkedIn

Using LinkedIn for Brand Awareness

Using LinkedIn for Lead Generation

Each course begins with an (optional) pre-course self-assessment which includes a series of questions designed to evaluate your existing knowledge on a subject.

The main content of each course is set up to be interactive using a combination of text and video. Although LinkedIn estimates how long it should take to complete each course, you can complete them at your own pace.

Each course has multiple components which all have their own individual lessons. After completing a series of lessons there’s a “Knowledge Check” at the end which quizzes you on the material you went through.

Example of LinkedIn Marketing Labs Course

Here’s an example of what’s included in one of LinkedIn’s courses. For this example we’ll look at the “Using LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting” course.

Using LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting:


Pre-Course Self-Assessment (Optional)

Introduction to LinkedIn Targeting

Why LinkedIn Targeting?

How LinkedIn Targeting Works

Audience Targeting Driven by a Members’ Profile

Two ways to Target on LinkedIn

When to use AND-OR Targeting

Match Your Marketing Objectives to Your Targeting

Knowledge Check

Audience Attributes

Audience Attributes Available

How to Target by Audience Attributes

Knowledge Check

Matched Audiences

How to Create LinkedIn Matched Audiences


Contact Targeting

Company Targeting

Data Integrations with LinkedIn Marketing Partners

How to Reach Members with Similar Professional Characteristics

Knowledge Check

Targeting Demo

Targeting Set Up

View your Forecasted Results

Knowledge Check

Optimizing your targeting strategy

Best Practices

Knowledge Check

Course review

Course Review



Source: LinkedIn Business Blog

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