Nick Garner

Search Optimisation : SEO | Online PR | Social Media

PR moment presentation on ZMOT

September 30th, 2011 · 1 Comment

PR Moment Conference

I have had the pleasure of speak at a small conference around business to business social media.

The root theme: users go to search engine to find ‘stuff’. B2B is generally niche and so you woudl have to be huge in social to be picked up by the person who is in buying mode.

I also explain Zero moment of truth and how its so important for any business who are innovative enough to mix social with search i.e. they get positive reviews and feedback about the business and then get these ranked around their core phrases. All pretty simple really.

The conference

And I’ve been experimenting on presentation technoques recently and I’ve started to use something called Prezi, a very alternative way of putting over ideas…

Here it is: (It takes about 20 seconds to load)

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EIG Milan – roundup

September 27th, 2011 · No Comments

EIG Milan

EIG Milan roundup

EIG was great fun. I had the honour of introducing the 1st of 2 keynote speakers for the event – John Palfrey.

John Palfrey

John Palfrey - keynote

He co-wrote a book called born digital which goes into how the youth of today have particular habits that will affect the whole of the internet in years to come. (I’ve appended the text below)

Essentially it ties in with a big theme of mine around social proof and how young people are far more likely to go out looking for this than their forebearers.

As a marketeer my job is to find opportunity in this. And it’ss to manipulate search results to show the stuff your potential customers want to see. Of course if there is a lot of negative stuff about your brand, then its going to be pretty hard to hide that, however on the whole brands just don’t say enoguh good stuff about themselves online – and especially around brand search phrases.

Here is a very informal interview with me :-) and
Joakim Nilsson, Head of Social Media, Betclic Everest Group
Razmus Svenningson , Head of Social Media Strategies and Operations, Betsson Group

Joakim led this and because he knows what hes talking about, he asked some very good questions!


And…. here is the presentation I did for EIG with Joakim and Razmus – here is my segment:

It’s a short round up for how to do social media monitoring for free using various tools out there. I also cover organising and archiving data, which is really important if you want to go back and look at something retrospectively.

The text from my intro for the keynote speech:

Born Digital introduction 5 mins

I’m here to introduce John Palfrey

He is Professor of Law and a Vice Dean at Harvard Law School.
He is a faculty director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

He has published extensively on the Internet’s relationship to Intellectual Property, international governance, and democracy.

He chairs the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, made up of leading Internet service companies and nonprofit groups focused on children’s safety.

He’s regularly comentating on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, NPR and BBC.

He has testified before the United States Congress on issues relating to child safety in a digital era.

His co-authored book on youth and their use of technology, Born Digital, has been called “a landmark sociological study of today’s early adults.”

Library Journal named Born Digital as one of its top Science and Technology books for 2008, the only computer science book named to the prestigious list.

Nicholas Negroponte, author of Being Digital
“Born Digital offers an excellent primer on what it means to live digitally. It should be required reading for adults trying to understand the next generation.”

The Guardian Newspaper
‘(A) serious and engaging study of how “digital natives” (people who grew up with the Internet) actually behave online.’

The Independent newspaper
‘Born Digital a diligent attempt to chart the lifestyle of `millenials’”
“satisfyingly comprehensive in its coverage of the social and civic movements enabled by the Net.’

The main theses of Born Digital:

  • The desire to post personal information
  • The dangers of lifelong “dossiers” of medical, legal, and purchase data
  • The problems of children viewing obscene and violent content
  • Copyright violations and copyright holder over-reactions
  • Online harassment and stalking
  • Young people’s predilection toward sampling content, whether in music, news, or education
  • Information overload
  • The urge to create and to collaborate
  • Online political activism

Initially this would not appear to have much to do with iGaming, but when you dig in deeper into the root theme of this book it’s about digital literacy,

Increasing digital literacy has fundamental implications for our whole industry.

iGaming is in its infancy  and the born digital are, our new customers.

European Gaming and Betting Association say:

“The European online gaming sector accounted for around 7% of the total European gaming market in 2008.Independent forecasts expect online gaming’s market share to rise to 12% in 2012.” (

In other words about 90% of all gaming is done offline in Europe.

It means there are  emerging generations of individuals won’t understand the strange concept of, forinstance:

  • Travelling to a building
  • So they can place a bet on odds far inferior to an online gaming website.

iGaming will only grow, as these ‘born digital’ citizens emerge as adult consumers.

Our greatest challenge is to communicate effectively with the ‘born digital’.

If we assume the ‘born digital’ generation began life from 1980,

  • By 1997 when the internet became properly commercial, they were 17 years old.
  • By the time they were 24, broadband was widely available
  • Now in their 30’s they’re our core demographic.
  • But bear in mind, these people remember a time before the Internet.

We’ve yet to meet those first born into the broadband age. They are 12 years old now.

Apart from the on-site changes that will emerge with the event of ‘web 3.0’ and more effective CRM, the other immediate to-do is marketing.

Now… the Internet is ‘first nature’ to a growing block of consumers.
i.e. instinctive, rather than learnt.

Those who are ‘born digital’ understand the subtle signals that help them find

  • the best operators
  • with the best service,
  • the best experience
  • and best odds.

They sense the difference between one operator and another, driving up market expectations and weeding out poor offerings.

This understanding of what to look for, where to go and how to feedback to others online has driven the emergence of social proof online.  It is a marketing game changer and is only here because of how the ‘born digital’ natively communicate and feedback on the online space.

The ‘Born Digital’ book gives us all a wake up call, on who is coming and what they care about.

When (you)  iGaming operators intuitively understand the ‘born digital’ you will

  • You will create online experiences the ‘born digital’ love
  • And you will communicate with them in a way they natively feel comfortable
  • You will also manage the threat from emergent companies like Zynga
  • And so hopefully you’ll go on to thrive in the decades to come.

So please welcome John Palfrey and Born Digital!

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Barcelona affiliate conference presentations

September 12th, 2011 · No Comments

Nick Garner

Nick Garner

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Barcelona affiliate conference over the weekend and I did 2 sessions:

This was about how for gaming companies Facebook ‘social marketing’ is more or less a waste of time for acquisition. It’s important to break out acquisition from brand marketing. Essentially if you’re in my situation, it’s all about the directly attributable sale. Branding is lovely, but its difficult to track and so its hard to get budget for unless you are the branding person! So here i run through why Facebook does’nt work in this case and then offer a set of suggestions around ZMOT – the zero moment of truth.

What’s this  you may ask.. well, here are 4 stages in the buying cycle:

  1. Brand stimulus
  2. Social Proof / word of mouth / review, also known as the zero moment of truth
  3. The checkout / Cart
  4. Feedback positive or negative, which gets recycled and made prominent by Google (search engines) when users research online.

This presentation then wraps up with some ideas on how to work ZMOT to help make that sale!

View more presentations from Nick Garner
The second presentation is a lighter one about protecting brand from affiliates. I did this with Paul Reilly of Media Skunkworks an SEO agency who specialises in iGaming clients. (Someone who I have a high opinion of) We both took opposing stances, me of the operator and Paul of the Affiliate and argued our respective cases. We then put 2 questions to the floor:
  1. Is it ethical to profit from ranking on an operators brand? (about 55% said… no! )
  2. Will operators be able to keep affiliates out of their rankings (about 60% also said no! )
So the consensus was that affiliates will rank on brand despite it being seen as unethical.
Personally I see affiliates as commission only salespeople who make money off the inefficiencies of operators, so if they rank on brand its because operators hav’nt done a good enough job on their own marketing. And yes I am on the case with Unibet :-)

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Wordcamp Portsmouth SEO presentation

July 16th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Its just a very quick post to say that I’ve uploaded my most technical and advanced seo presentation to date on slideshare. I have gone to a lot of trouble to get my facts straight and to make this a genuinely useful reference for anyone who wants to extend themselves in SEO using wordpress.

To make the presentation more interesting, I have also threaded in a cautionary tale about a guy who went from Mr White Hat all the way to Mr Black Hat, where his activities finally catch up with him

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14 Powerful meme tracking tools for Online PR

June 26th, 2011 · No Comments

I have been working on a lot of online PR stuff recently and one of the statements that comes up too often is ‘ I can’t think of a good story to write about!’ So as a Sunday morning task I thought it would be useful to aggregate some of the best meme trackers  (what’s a meme tracker?what’s a meme?) and trending topics tools out there and point my online PR people at this post, so they get some inspirational ideas on what to ‘PR up’ next.


(Clue on the above pic: Reddit FUUUUUUUUU section)

The important thing about hot topics of course is that as social animals, we are very tuned into memes and subtle social signals.  So much like with surfing, the idea is to wait for the right meme to come along and surf it by spinning up your angle on something everyone is already interested in.

IMHO there are 3 main categories of meme trackers:

  1. The raw flow on consciousness (Twitter)
  2. Filtered sources like Digg and Reddit where content is submitted and the community elect the top stories
  3. Sources that are driven by utility like most popular tags or most bookmarked on Delicious

1st group….finding the underlying ‘raw’ ideas that people care about now:

Twitter - the ultimate meme finder

Twitter… is an amazing source of trending topics because so many people use it and because its so easy to just write something. Here are a few of my favourite trending topics tools

2nd group: seeing how these raw ideas manifest themselves within communities and main stream media


  • Newsmap: Its like a tag cloud of headlines that are aggregated from places like Google News. It’s a great way to zone in on what subjects are getting the most attention right now. Here is one for the UK
  • Digg: it has lost some of its ‘shine’ over the last 2 years, but it stil has a big community and from what I can see the trending topics are useful
  • Reddit: I love reddit. I’ve even bought the Reddit tee shirt. But as a way of watching memes build, its only OK. It tends to drift off into the preferences of this rather ‘left’ community, which is fine if you want to appeal to this group.
  • Mag.Ma is a meme aggregator for video. It’s very interesting to see what’s hot here, but with video, if you see something really ‘cooking’ its gong to be a challenge to get a meme surfing video in a hurry, so for me, its about taking these hot videos and writing stuff about them, rather than produce something to compete with them.

3rd group: seeing the popular vote work in places that aren’t entirely news driven.

Wikipedia Traffic Stats

  • Wikipedia: It ranks highly across the internet and its reasonable to say that when there is a hot subject and you want unbiased background information on a given subject, its a place to go. So some clever people have set up a tool to monitor Wikipedia’s traffic.  Here for instance is their top 1000 list of most viewed pages.
  • Google Keyword Tool: it tells you where the competition for phrases is. If there is a lot of volume and or commercial competition, then obviously there is a hot meme around there.
  • Google Trends: Its the best tool I know of in the way it can give you long term growth or decline on a phrase and thus its popularity.
  • Yahoo Answers: I had never really thought about yahoo answers until I had read the post from Viper Chill and on setting up a search, I can see how its actually a very good source for picking up on stuff people want to learn more about and for what is on peoples minds. I did this search for new filtered by ‘most answers’ and ‘most popular’. I think its very current and topical. As of writing If I wanted to surf a good meme, I would write something on your rights if you were burgled i.e. can you fight back without being imprisoned yourself?
  • SEOMoz Most popoular: As a means for identifying memes in order of importance, its not great, but it does give you a general overview of whats of note.
  • Delicious most popular tags: As you will remember, Delicious is a bookmarking service, so the hot tags will reflect the subjects users are most interested in

With more time, I’m sure I could find a load of other tools, but this gives you a flavour for what is out there. We are lucky today to have so many places to reach into the minds of the masses and if you pay attention to these flows of consciousnesses, it will only be a matter of time before you get a feel for the kinds of topics that will propel your spinned piece to prominence

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Matt Cutts infographic – awesome facts on our favourite Google spam czar

June 15th, 2011 · No Comments

I randomly found this inforgraphic from For those of you who don’t know who Matt Cutts is, then this wikipedia article about him may help you.

Click on the image to enlarge it:

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