How to Promote Your YouTube Videos for Maximum Reach & Impact

Posted on March 19, 2015 
Filed Under Advertising, Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy, General, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Video Marketing, Youtube | Leave a Comment

As it stands now, YouTube has over 1 billion users.

  • Everyday people spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube
  • Every year, the number of hours people spend on the website increases by 50%
  • Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube
  • The video-sharing website is available in 61 different languages and localized in 75 countries

With stats like these, it makes sense why many businesses and marketers are jumping on the YouTube bandwagon in an attempt to harness some of the benefits of having a presence on a platform, which is as much a community site as a search engine. And while each channel on YouTube has its own approach to publishing, some of the most important actions when uploading a video on the website can be grouped into a simple checklist.

YouTube-logo

After all, making a video and uploading it to YouTube is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in optimizing the content and engaging with the community to make sure your video reaches the widest audience possible.

The checklist to upload a video on YouTube and successfully promote it is as follows:

1. Upload

This includes proper formatting, writing the metadata and creating an eye-catching and more importantly, a high-resolution thumbnail.

2. Publish

Any video you upload on YouTube should be properly annotated with a subscribe button, community CTAs and/or links to related content. Consider adding the video to a relevant playlist.

3. Engage & Outreach

To increase the reach and impact of your content, post it on Google+. You can also reach out to relevant blogs and/or online communities or you can engage with people in the comments section of social media sites and other online spaces.

Optimizing and Promoting a Video for Maximum Reach & Impact

So you created a video that’s creative, insightful and spot-on in terms of what your YouTube audience wants. Now what? The inclination is to sit back with some popcorn and watch the view count rise. If you do that, you will end up sorely disappointed because creating a great video is only half the battle. YouTube is home to a ton of great content. To really get your video out there, you need to optimize it. To that end:

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6 Ways to Get Content Ideas from Quora

Posted on March 12, 2015 
Filed Under General, Internet Marketing, Quora, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networks | Leave a Comment

Take a second and imagine that you are in front of your target audience. You have a very short span of time to keep their attention. This is a situation similar to speed dating, except that you have to send your message to everyone at once and try to win as many people as possible on your side, because right after you are done, your main competitor will try to attract them.

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From the moment visitors land on your website, they are found in a similar situation and that’s why you will hear many internet marketing experts repeating the words of Bill Gates – Content is King. However, the creation of content that will attract exactly the groups of people who need to view those messages has never been more demanding.

Competition is forcing content creators to come up with new stuff all the time. This means that in order to run a successful website you have to come up with some great blog ideas and content. A brief search on the Internet can make you feel like all the ideas in every possible industry has been exploited…but that’s not true!

The reasoning behind this conclusion is simple – there are still many question-and-answer websites that are very popular. People have questions and they can’t find answers in the articles found on the Internet.

A good example is Quora. Quora is actually an online collection of user created questions and answers that can be edited and organized by each user. Their main goal is to become the best possible source for anyone who has an issue or question and that each question becomes a collection of the best answers to that question. The users themselves vote for the best answer and in this way they rank the best answers.

Using Quora to Generate Blog Ideas & Content

Thanks to the system used by Quora you can easily find hot topics. The questions that have many answers are usually ranked higher and they are also ranked by the views. What makes Quora different from other similar services is the fact that people are looking for some specific answers that can usually be answered by experts, scientists and people who have a lot of experience in those fields.

1. Since the questions are grouped by areas, you should focus on the questions related to your niche. You will find many interesting questions and even more interesting answers that should be enough to construct a skeleton for your blog post or simply give you an idea for a topic that you can develop. You can use the questions to generate headlines, but you should never copy/paste those questions or the answers because this is bad for SEO.

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How to Safeguard Your Content from Thieves

Posted on March 5, 2015 
Filed Under General, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networks | Leave a Comment

Everyone knows the deal when it comes to the critical role content plays in inbound marketing. You need content to:

  • Drive sales without resorting to hard-sell tactics
  • Build trust and authority among your buyers
  • Build a loyal community around your brand and
  • Become recognized as a thought leader in a specific industry

The challenges marketers face in regard to producing quality content are numerous. In particular, it’s easier said than done to produce enough content and to produce content that’s interesting and valuable enough to get read. But some of us do our due diligence and devote time, resources and energy to create unique and engaging content.

content-theft

And it pays to do so because if you get the hang of creating content that sparks discussion, goes viral and drives business, you’ve essentially ticked all the boxes when it comes to the aforementioned goals and benefits of producing and publishing content.

But the web does not only consist of honest people. Instead of investing the time and energy it takes to create good content that people would want to consume, some opt for the easy way out, which is, stealing. That simple! They steal your content and use it to grow their business. After all, your content sits in plain sight on your website. In truth, at any moment, anyone in the world, with just a few keystrokes namely CTRL + C and CTRL + V, can steal your content and paste it onto their own website, sometimes verbatim, claiming it as their own.

Plagiarism is today a serious plague on the web and one that should not be taken lightly. But how can you protect your website against theft?

We’ve got some ideas!

What Copyscape Recommends

According to Copyscape, if you want to fight and prevent plagiarism, there are three things you can do.

  • You can use a plagiarism warning banner on your website to deter content thieves from stealing your work
  • You can assert ownership over your work by using copyright notices on each page
  • You can use Copysentry to automatically monitor copies of your work over the web

What DMCA Recommends

In addition to Copyscape, DMCA also recommends certain steps to fight plagiarism and to prevent your content from becoming easy targets. To protect your website against content theft:

  • Consider naming, dating and titling all the content you publish on your website within the code itself
  • Place a DMCA Protection Badge on website pages. This extra layer of protection can go a long way in deterring thefts and safeguarding your rights against plagiarists
  • And finally, to protect the non-written content on your website, watermark your graphics, images and photos. For this purpose, DMCA’s watermarking service is very practical

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Helpful Solutions To Some Common Content Marketing Roadblocks

Posted on February 26, 2015 
Filed Under Content Marketing Strategy, General, Internet Marketing, SEO, Social Media | Leave a Comment

In general, producing and publishing quality content is a valuable practice for marketers but it comes with its fair share of challenges and problem areas. You see, in reality, content marketing is so much more than publishing a few blog posts every week.

content-marketing

As a result, it demands commitment in terms of time and resources and you may also come across several obstacles and roadblocks. Some are obvious and easy enough to deal with. Others may require an in-depth diagnosis to find a cure. Let’s look at 5 such content marketing issues.

1. No Objectives

Content marketing is like any other marketing strategy; it requires planning. Before you produce and publish content, you need to know why you are doing so because your strategy will be informed by it. For example, are you creating content to close sales more quickly or are you creating content to influence your industry and ergo inspire recognition and respect? Maybe you’re thinking about customer support! By the way, who are your main customers?

In short, no matter what your reason is for hopping onto the content marketing bandwagon, you need to have clear objectives and a strategy.

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4 Social Media Mistakes That Can Spell Doom for Your Business

Posted on February 19, 2015 
Filed Under Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Twitter | Leave a Comment

In the last 10 years, social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, have seen an explosion of growth, both in terms of the number of users and popularity. Facebook, for instance, has 1.39 billion monthly active users and an average of 890 million daily active users while 89% of 18-29 year olds are on at least one social network. Clearly we live in an era where social media is a predominant way for people to interact and communicate online. For businesses, this rise in social media spells two things – opportunity and responsibility.

social-media-mistakes

Indeed, social media is an opportunity and not only because of the audience on the different platforms but also the sheer amount of data that customers make readily available to marketers. The question is: Are you listening? After all, the magic of social media lies in its application in growing long lasting and scalable relationships with your customer base. Therein also lies the pitfall of the social networks. You have an online responsibility towards your customers. At the end of the day, social media can make or break your business.

Some social media practices that could hurt your business include:

1. You’re Publishing the Wrong Kinds of Content

Marketers often make the mistake of using the social networks for the sole purpose of pushing promotional content and updates. The problem with this lies in the fact that social media is all about building trust, engagement and community. There is a time and place for promotional messages but you also have to add value to the conversations and interactions you have online by sharing content meant to indulge or help your customers.

For instance, not every post you make on social media has to come from an original idea of yours. Sometimes responding to what others are saying and bouncing your ideas off them could be as plausible a way of getting yourself heard as any. Then there are other types of content such as non-promotional company information, for example if your employees are taking part in some volunteer work or if you have a job opening for job seekers.

2. You’re Publishing too Much Content too Often

How often should you post on the social networks? That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Sadly though, there is no right answer to this. There is no best practice set in stone because the social networks, for example Twitter and Facebook are very different from one another. One thing that’s true for all the social media sites is that updates and posts don’t last long and users move on to more recent items quickly. The other consideration is the type of organization you are. A media publication, for instance, can get away with many updates a day whereas a online shoe store sending out updates at such a frequency will exhaust and consequently turn off users. One thing you absolutely don’t want to do is talk just for the sake of it. Content you post on social media should add value to the community around your brand or business.

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The Essential Components of a Twitter Friendly Blog

Posted on February 12, 2015 
Filed Under Content Marketing Strategy, General, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Social Networking, Twitter | Leave a Comment

Founded in March 2006 and launched in July that same year, Twitter has a short history of 8 years and in that time, the online social networking service went from 5,000 tweets a day in the year following its launch to 500,000,000 tweets a day as of 2013. This corresponds to an average of 6,000 tweets every second and a total of 200 billion tweets a year. As of December 2014, Twitter also boasts of 500 million users, of which an estimated 284 million are active users. Clearly, Twitter is one of the biggest social networks today and as a business, it makes sense to be on Twitter and of course promote the sharing and widespread distribution of your content by optimizing your website and blog to be more Twitter friendly.

twitter-logo

But what makes a blog Twitter friendly? The truth is, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, everyone in the digital marketing world understands the value of marketing on Twitter but not everyone understands what it takes to encourage sharing on the social network. In essence, making a blog more Twitter friendly is a two-part process and each process, in turn, involves a number of steps.

  • The first process is creating content that will do well on Twitter.
  • The second process is fine-tuning the technical aspects of your individual blog posts and the business blog in general for better results on the social network.

Let’s take a look at the steps to create a business blog more prone to widespread distribution and sharing.

1. People on Twitter like Statistics and ‘Snackable Content’

The average adult has an attention span of 8 seconds. This is a number down from 12 seconds in 2000. Obviously, as the years go by, we are not getting more patient. Quite the opposite actually!

Correspondingly, in the content-saturated and distraction-rich world of social media and by extension, Twitter, marketers have a need to grab the attention of consumers quickly, giving rise to the concept of snackable content. When you create content, make it a part of the process to include snackable bits and pieces of information easy to share on social media and ergo Twitter. In particular, you can choose to add things like statistics or compelling quotes in the body and these can serve as useful resources for easy Twitter sharing and content distribution.

A useful plugin to easily create tweetable content and promote sharing on Twitter is Click to Tweet. Use it to highlight snackable parts of your blog posts and make it practical for readers to automatically add the message to their Twitter status box.

2. Use Quality Visual Content

According to findings by Jeff Bullas, adding images to blog posts increases its total number of views and engagement and a blog’s overall number of readers, subscribers, followers, and leads. In essence, visual content serves to break up written content and make it easier for readers to go through the whole post without bouncing. Now, if you are optimizing your blog for Twitter, adding visual elements to your posts should be more strategic with at least one image featured prominently, either as the header of the piece or as one of the first images and adjusted to the right image ratio for sharing on Twitter. The ideal image dimension for Twitter posts is 1024px by 512px.

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The Secret behind Getting More Instagram Followers & Likes

Posted on February 5, 2015 
Filed Under Brand Building, General, instagram, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networks | Leave a Comment

Launched on October 06, 2010 and named iPhone App of the Year by Apple the following year on December 09, 2011, after 4 short years, Instagram announced in December that it is now a global community of more than 300 million users sharing over 70 million photos and videos each day. From the beginning, as a photo-sharing and video-sharing social service, Instagram has been focused on 2 things: simplicity and inspiring creativity.

Instagram-Logo

As Instagram grows bigger, it remains a fast, beautiful and most importantly a fun-filled way for people to share their lives with friends and followers. For businesses and brands, the large and growing audience on Instagram is a compelling reason to join the service. It’s additionally a beautiful platform for storytelling and to share engaging content.

But what happens if you join the service and after amassing a few dozen followers, your account’s growth rate slows down and eventually stops. If you have, give or take, a total of 100 followers, your images will get maybe a dozen likes at most. It’s not significant enough to gain any traction.

The key to a successful Instagram account then would be to learn absolutely everything there is to know how the social service, in particular things like what causes Instagramers to like images, what makes them become followers and how to increase the visibility and impact of your images. So let’s discuss the science of Instagram and how to get more followers and likes on the service.

1. Connect your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter Accounts

Perhaps the easiest way to grow your Instagram account is to connect it to your Facebook, Twitter and other social accounts so that any content you post on the photo-sharing service also gets posted across the other social platforms. This increases the reach and impact of your brand as friends and followers noticing your captivating imagery and rich visual storytelling will, most probably, start following you on Instagram as well. Note that if you choose to connect your social accounts, there is no rule against posting a status asking your friends and followers to follow you on Instagram as well.

2. Use Popular Tags

The most used hashtags on Instagram are as follows:

  1. #love
  2. #instagood
  3. #me
  4. #tbt
  5. #cute
  6. #photooftheday
  7. #instamood
  8. #iphonesia
  9. #picoftheday
  10. #igers

Followed by:

  1. #girl
  2. #tweegram
  3. #beautiful
  4. #instadaily
  5. #summer
  6. #instagramhub
  7. #follow
  8. #iphoneonly
  9. #igdaily
  10. #bestoftheday

Like is the case on Twitter and a few other social networking services, using the right hashtags with your images and videos on Instagram is a great way to find new followers. The key is to be as specific and relevant as possible to help you connect with other like-minded people. After tagging your content, take a moment to look at pictures and videos other people shared using the same tags. You may come across some popular hashtags you hadn’t thought of originally.

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Are You Making These 3 Social Media Marketing Mistakes?

Posted on January 14, 2015 
Filed Under Brand Building, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks | Leave a Comment

Many organizations are realizing the important role that social media plays in the marketplace today and as such, have started using it as part of their marketing and advertising strategy. While large corporations may have plenty of funds to allocate towards advertising on social platforms, many companies are not seeing the expected rate of return on their hefty social advertising investments.

social-media-banner

A lot of business managers have approached social media by marketing their organizations to consumers as a business, as opposed to just simply interacting with consumers as if they were real people. Social networks are meant to be “social”. People want people talking to them; not a faceless corp.

Some organizations have fallen into the trap of talking “at” their consumer base on social platforms in an effort to reach their bottom line, instead of talking “with” their consumer base to genuinely learn more about them. As a result, many organizations are experiencing a lack of interest and interaction, from consumers on social media despite having large followings on many social platforms.

Here are 3 steps business managers can use to begin genuine interaction with consumers to stimulate interest and interaction on social media:

1. Avoid Using Social Media Simply to get More Customers into your Sales Funnel

While every organization is in business to grow its consumer base and generate sales, business managers must realize and remember that business is not always about the bottom line. There are times when business is about setting a good example and being a leader in the marketplace. One way that organizations can lead by example and demonstrate leadership is by giving back to the very community that helps the organization generate revenues.

Businesses can interact with its consumer base across many different social platforms to generate ideas for social causes that its consumers find important and worthy of attention. When consumers see that an organization, particularly a large organization, is ready to listen to them, they are more likely to get involved with the brand socially (translation: More likes, comments, and shares!).

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The Importance of Having a Solid Social Media Policy

Posted on January 7, 2015 
Filed Under Brand Building, Facebook, General, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networks, Twitter | Leave a Comment

Social media has become one of the most effective forms of communication for organizations in today’s fast-paced world. With social media, company managers are able to strengthen relationships with their current consumer base via many different social platforms. It also allows company managers to target potential consumers who are not yet familiar with the organization and develop new relationships with them.

SOCIAL-MEDIA-POLICY

Much like a gun, while social media can be used for a company’s good, it can be dangerous for the company itself if used wrongly. There are a number of practices and procedures that company managers can develop that will help an organization manage its social platform strategies professionally and lower the chances of potential negative effects that can jeopardize an organization’s standing. This is known as a social media policy.

Here are 3 fundamental social media basics that company managers can implement into an effective social media policy and begin practicing throughout their organization:

1. Inform all Employees of their Role within the Organization

Advising all employees of the company’s mission statement, goals, and objectives is the first step in aligning all employees together in an effort to accomplish the organization’s sole mission. When employees understand the purpose of an organization, what the organization is attempting to accomplish, and that the organization needs the help of each employee to achieve its goals, employees will begin to understand their role in the company, take pride in their position, and take the organization’s desires seriously. Employees who respect their employer, and who take the company that they work for seriously, will become more aware of their own actions and will conduct themselves in a manner that prevents their employer from being represented in a negative light in public.

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2014 in Review | The Challenges, Triumphs, Headlines & Technology that Connected Us the Most

Posted on December 30, 2014 
Filed Under Facebook, General, Marketing, Social Media | Leave a Comment

At the end of each year, Google, Facebook, Bing, Spotify and some of the other movers and shakers of the world as we know it today release their “best of” or “top of” lists, giving us a clear picture of what the world searched for, tweeted or downloaded in the past year. In 2014, some headlines, technology and apps connected, moved and entertained us more than others. As we look forward to making 2015 amazing, let’s not forget to reflect on the year that passed.

Facebook’s “Year in Review”

In 2014, Facebook users posted about:

1. The FIFA World Cup

Germany-FIFA-World-Cup

The 2014 FIFA World Cup captured the attention of Facebook users more than any other event in Facebook history. The all-time highest-scoring semifinal in the Brazil v Germany game and other standout matches drove millions of conversations.

2. Ebola

ebola-outbreak-2014

When Ebola started to appear outside of Africa following an outbreak in March in Guinea and the neighboring countries, the world took an interest. The outbreak, which claimed thousands of lives so far, is the most widespread in history and organizations including UNICEF and International Red Cross are working together to contain and stop the zoonotic disease.

3. Robin Williams

robins-williams

On August 11, 2014, American actor and comedian Robin Williams passed away leaving behind a huge legacy. Fans and public figures from around the world including friend and comedian Billy Crystal paid tribute to the Academy Award winner. His death also prompted many conversations regarding mental health.

4. The Ice Bucket Challenge

Pioneered by Chris Kennedy, the Ice Bucket Challenge is campaign that went around the world between June and September this year and catapulted Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) into our lives. The movement raised more than $100 million in donations. Famous faces who embraced the challenge include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and David Beckham. Here’s a video that shows the CEO’s of Facebook, Apple, MS, Google & Amazon taking the #IceBucketChallenge. Enjoy!

5. Conflicts and Humanitarian Crises

In 2014, the world saw its fair share of conflicts and crises. From the actions of Boko Haram to ISIS attacks against civilians in Kobane to crisis in Crimea & Ukraine and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that lasted 7 weeks, Facebook users responded quickly to traumatic news. The conflict in Gaza drove the most conversations. The year 2014 also marked the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

Peshawar-Attack-2014

And just as we were bidding a happy goodbye to 2014, Taliban militants stormed an Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan firing on school staff and children. 145 lives were lost including 132 school children between 8-18 years of age. Social media was flooded with messages of grief, condolence and solidarity to remember the kids who died in this ghastly terrorist attack.

6. Malaysia Airlines MH370

MH370

When Beijing-bound international passenger flight Malaysia Airlines MH370 carrying 239 people disappeared in the early hours of March 8, 2014, people around the world took notice. 9 months later, the mystery remains unsolved. On July 17, 2014, the airline again appeared in the headlines and conversations on Facebook when another flight MH 17 bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam crashed, having been shot down, near Torez in Ukraine killing 283 passengers and 15 crew members.

7. Sporting Achievements

sports-events-2014

2014 started with a bang when the Seattle Seahawks destroyed the Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl XLVIII. Other sporting events that trended this year besides the World Cup include the Winter Olympics, the Champions League Final and the Indian Premier League. The 48th Super Bowl, which was played on February 2, is 4th on Facebook’s “Top 10 Lists” for US topics.

Here’s a Look at Facebook’s Year in Review Video

 Google’s “Year in Search 2014”

In 2014, people around the world made trillions of searches and these searches say a lot about us. We searched for:

1. Sports

James-Rodriguez-Luis-Suárez-Ángel- Di-María

Like on Facebook, the 2014 FIFA World Cup was the most searched sporting event not only in the past year but also in history. The top trending players were James Rodriguez, Luis Suárez and Ángel Di María. The world also searched for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in which Russia, the host nation won an impressive 33 medals and the 48th Super Bowl played in New Jersey, USA.

2. Headlines

ebola-symptoms

In 2014, people searched to make sense of headlines including facts and fiction about Ebola, the mystery and conspiracy theories surrounding the disappearance of flight MH370, political and humanitarian crises around the world and global news including the trial of Oscar Pistorius and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, USA.

3. Famous Faces

jared-leto-james-rodríguez-conchita-wurst

Jared Leto, this year’s Academy Award winner for Actor in a Supporting Role dominated search in 2014 ahead of co-star Matthew McConaughey who won the award for Actor in a Leading Role for the same movie: Dallas Buyers Club. The World Cup also saw Colombian footballer James Rodríguez shine for the first time on the world stage. Searches for the winner of the Golden Boot grew more than any other player of the tournament. Last but not least, Conchita Wurst, born Thomas “Tom” Neuwirth became a global superstar overnight when she won the 59th Eurovision Song Contest in May earlier this year. Here’s the video of her award winning performance for the song “Rise like a Phoenix”.

4. Science & Technology

rosetta-apple-samsung

In 2014, Apple, Samsung and Nexus dominated search in the mobile technology category. Searches for certain products also spiked including ‘wearable tech’ (clothes and accessories that allow users to track and measure their movement, sleep patters and other parameters), lightweight HD cameras, remote-controlled flying vehicles (or consumer drones) and mobile apps with the purpose of helping people get or stay active. Another technology and science related topic that drove a lot of searches this year is robotic space probe Rosetta that successfully reached its destination- Comet 67P on November 12, 2014.

5. Pop Culture

Game-of-Thrones-The-Walking-Dead

And finally, let’s talk movies and shows that conquered search the past year. Between Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, it’s nothing short of a fight to the death. Both are giant shows with huge global audiences. Jon Snow of Game of Thrones was this year’s second most searched character behind The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper.

Frozen-movie

Movie wise, the highest grossing animated movie of all time and the winner of three Oscars- Frozen was 2014’s most searched movie on Google ahead of Interstellar and Divergent. Jennifer Lawrence who was 2013’s golden girl is still driving the most searches beating big names like Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio although the former stole the search headlines for a while around the time of the Brangelina wedding. The top search was for Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress by Luigi Massi of Atelier Versace.  Here’s a look at Google’s Year in Search 2014 video:

Wrapping things up, 2014 was a year with challenges, triumphs and moments that affected us all. We saw new beginnings, extended frontiers of knowledge, witnessed courage and said goodbyes. As we approach 2015, let’s reflect on what we achieved in the past year and build on that to make 2015 awesome.

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