Category: Biz

Facebook screenshot of Johnny Vicious post complaining about mislabeling of his Ecstasy song on YouTube incorrectly attributing to Tiesto

This is track is not by Tiesto

In our fast-moving social media universe, many times music fans do not stop to think about the implications of posting a mislabeled audio or video content to YouTube or SoundCloud. Whether simply excited about hearing or a song or thinking they helping an artist as a super-fan, they might take a part of a song from another performance, such as a DJ mix, and upload that song again. Not under the original artist’s name and song title, but the name of the artist whose mix they stripped it from. In the process, Mr. or Ms. Super-fan has confused other music fans, as well as the digital systems that track the public performance of songs in these services by labeling the song incorrectly.

While there are some systems in place to recognize the audio fingerprint of a song, if a song has never been fingerprinted, it will not exist in the various databases of all fingerprinted songs, which there are many. The song could be in one, but not the other. Therefore, it cannot be identified by the digital systems in place to decide who is the correct artist.

In addition, that person would have also added the metadata for the song, including artist name and song title. Every time someone else ripped the audio from YouTube,  inaccurate metadata will come along with it. As the song then spreads virally through file sharing networks, it may end up in databases for companies promoting music for play in retail stores. Or, the song may get played on radio. Each time, reporting the performance of the wrong artist and title back to a performing rights organizations like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or SoundExchange. Today, there are tens of thousands of mislabeled songs and millions of dollars of royalties sitting in bank accounts, which never make it to the artists who deserve it, because of these meta data issues.

Long time DJ and dance/electronic music producer, Johnny Vicious, recently took to Facebook to state his frustration with a system that sometimes penalizes artists, before correcting the record. Many times after it’s too late.

 

Some time ago, a YouTube user, 3nt3rZz, ripped the song,“Ecstasy (Take Your Shirts Off)(Remix),” originally produced by Johnny Vicious, from a DJ set by Tiesto. That user has been inactive on YouTube for 2-years, but before his account went dormant, he posted the song both with the wrong title, which he spelled Extacy, and he incorrectly attributed the artist as Tiesto. At the time of this writing, the original YouTube video for the song racked up 34,447 views. The one with the mislabeled song title and artist name has, well…4,218,890 views.

That is a huge discrepancy.

Here is the incorrect version uploaded with the wrong title and artist name.

Here is the original version, with the correct title and artist name.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0lAfzGGlTw

The only way to resolve these issues is to tell YouTube of your copyright complaint through an online form. In order to file a complaint. you must be the rights holder or a representative of the rights holder. If you are an artist, but the rights holder is the label that acquired your song, you may no longer have the right to issue the takedown (depending on your agreement with the label, unless you share rights). The label is the one filing the complaint. If the label no longer exists, then whomever acquired the label catalog can file the complaint.

For many artists, this is frustrating, because they won’t see any of the revenue from a song with 4M views if the meta data is wrong. And, once the royalties are distributed, it’s most likely difficult to get them back. There is a lot of work involved with YouTube and Tiesto’s publishing company to fix the issue. While he may inadvertently benefit from the mistake, it should still be fixed.

Unfortunately, in today’s world of social music, many artists and labels not only have to make, promote, and distribute their catalog, they also have to police it too. That can take up more time and energy than most of us realize. There is no easy fix and to attempt to educate the masses on the proper tagging of uploads is, well, futile.

As we continue to further develop these online services, the hope is that songs are tagged correctly using identifiers, like ISRC (International Standard Recording Code), and those tags will help control the flow of revenues to the correct rights holder. However, we are a long way off from a global system, so for now, policing your catalog is the cost of doing business as an artist or label today.

Of course, even ISRC will have its problems, because not every song in every system will have a code assigned to it. Someone has to go back through tens of millions of songs and apply ISRC or replace those without ISRC with a digital copy that contains the code. In many cases, songs may have multiple codes assigned to them by both the label and the artist and those codes may conflict. There is a lot of work to be done, but don’t hold your breath, because we’re not there yet.

UPDATE – November 13th, 2014

After a little investigation, here is how a copyright owner can ensure that his/her work is properly identified, even if it is mislabeled by any user.

According to Google’s support forum for YouTube, a copyright owner with “substantial” works existing on YouTube can apply to be included in their ContentID program. That copyright owner would then submit all works through ContentID. Those works would be fingerprinted and can then match any existing or new uploads to the system, even if they are tagged incorrectly or mislabeled by YouTube users. The copyright owner would receive notifications for each incident and be able to make a determination on how to handle it – whether to issue a takedown or something else.

Here is a link to the form for copyright owners who wish to apply to the ContentID service.

First, check the criteria to make sure you qualify.

Also, SoundExchange does not collect a performance royalty for the artist from YouTube, Vevo, or any other video service. SoundCloud only collects for artists at digital radio, such as Pandora or 8tracks.

For those artists that need a service to help them collect royalties from YouTube and other video platforms, former TuneCore founder and CEO, Jeff Price, is a co-founder of Audiam, as service which helps artists collect royalties from video platforms.

Dead Prez headlines at Santos Party House in New York City

Dead Prez at Santos Party House - October 19th, 2014

Dead Prez at Santos Party House – October 19th, 2014

One of the best things about running Netmix for over 19-years is supporting our long time industry relationships through the blog, as well as our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Some of which have transformed into great personal friendships.

There’s one deep friendship made over 20-years with DJ and Hip-Hop producer, Madsol Desar, who has been active in house and Hip-Hop scene since we left Boston in the mid-90s for New York City. Madsol went on to launch Hi-Rise Records with his partner, Derek Ferguson. Today, Madsol is still manning the decks and we’re always psyched to promote his appearances. He’s become a dear friend of Netmix and we’ve collaborated on a number of opportunities over the last 20-years. It’s easy to just get the word out about Madsol, who is a great producer and even better friend!

On October 19th at Santos Party House in New York City, Sky’s The Limit Entertainment, 007 INC, and No Sleep Till Brooklyn present a live performance by Dead Prez, with special guest appearances by A-Alikes and KO-P.

Of course, music is served up by the one and only, DJ Madsol-Desar and E.R.O.C.

Doors open at 7 pm and the show kicks off at 10 pm until midnight. The price is $25.00 in advance and you’ll need a few more dollars at the door. Sorry, the show is 21+.

Kick it to Santos Party House at 96 Lafayette St (Between Walker St & White St) in NYC for this event. Buy advance tix at Tickemaster.

Check out Dead Prez last studio album, Information Age (2012) on Amazon below.

DEAD PREZ 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fans-of-Dead-Prez/547448498650336

A-ALIKES

https://www.facebook.com/AAlikesGN

K-OP/LEEK92

https://www.facebook.com/LEEK92MusicGroup

DJ Madsol-Desar 

https://www.facebook.com/djmadsoldesar

The new Beatport Pro…mobile optimized!

screenshot of pro.beatport.com webiste home page
pro.beatport.com home

The world’s largest pure electronic dance music retailer, Beatport, today announced http://pro.beatport.com. The new website is mobile responsive. Yes, that’s optimized for mobile devices. Beatport says the color scheme is better for Pro DJs in low light environments for those jocks in the booth purchasing tracks on the fly.

The above view is a screenshot of the home page on a 13″ MacBook Pro. I noticed right away the switch to the audio player at the bottom of the screen, which begets the question – where is your playlist?

pro.beatport.com screenshot of playlist tool
Playlist Tool

Well, Beatport took some liberty here with the “hamburger” menu icon at the bottom right, which usually signifies access to a setting area for account management, user profile management and that sort of thing. Then again, dance music never really stuck with convention, did it? It will probably annoy a bunch of information architects, but as long as you figure out what it it’s for, you’ll be alright. Just click on what UI developers call the “hamburger” icon at the bottom left and you’ll get your tracks listed as shown here.

Beatport also reveals a completely new logo.

Beatport 2014 Logo Update
Beatport 2014 Logo Update

Clark Warner, BEATPORT’s Executive Creative Director says this about the new look:

“The new Beatport logo is all about connections: the universal connection with music; the sacred connection between DJs and fans; and our shared connection with one another as members of this vibrant community and culture. Headphones represent the beginning of these connections, not the end. They’re the point where the DJ first interacts with the music, and with that spark, sets the soundtrack to our musical experience.”

We took some screenshots from the iPhone to show you what the mobile responsive view looks like (as if you haven’t seen it already). But before you get started below, one thing we are curious about is this Beatport Pro direction. Is that for DJs who want to buy music or does that include fans to? According to the press release we got tonight about the beta launch of Beatport Pro, Lloyd Starr, President of Beatport Pro and COO of BEATPORT was quoted as saying:

Beatport has grown into the leading destination for fans of electronic music culture of all stripes over the last 10 years, and Beatport Pro represents our commitment to the DJs that are the lifeblood of this community. It’s a commitment that Beatport was founded on, and one that remains a decade later. I would like to personally invite anyone with constructive feedback, suggestions, and ideas to share them so we can continue to make Beatport Pro the best DJ resource available.”

Hmmm…does that mean that pro.beatport.com will be for DJs and Beatport will then enter the consumer market with a subscription service for rabid Avicii and casual Kaskade fans alike? Inquiring minds think we know.

While you’re thinking about that, have some fun with the screenshots below. Don’t forget, in the new mobile responsive, you have to use the “hamburger” icon menu to flip to the wav to skip through a track. An extra click. Not sure if that was necessary, but maybe it will improve over time. It’s hard to get these web based experiences to react like an experience in a mobile app. Too bad they couldn’t replicate what SoundCloud has done with their wav form scroll in their new mobile app experience.

One gaping hole we almost missed, but then did notice, is the checkout process. It still runs through Beatport.com. I almost missed it, because I wasn’t going to purchase a download just to write this post. But, I said, eh…what the heck. I might as well try it.

I learned you can’t purchase directly through Beatport Pro and that is problematic, because it doesn’t keep with the user workflow they intended with the complete redesign. I wanted to see how the iPhone would handle a download – can you store a download to your phone or do you have to download it at Beatport and then transfer it in via iTunes? It doesn’t look like it’s an end-to-end seamless experience, because on the iPhone, the payment screen is not responsive. Browse through the screens below for a look or try it on your phone yourself.

Beatport Home Screen
Scroll down to begin playback of top ten
Active playback at bottom
Flip to the wav form
Artists I follow
Search result
Login screen
Sign Up/Login call to action
Another login window
My Beatport screen
My Beatport Menu
Hold Bin
Account setting do not yet exist
Beaport Pro Shopping Cart
Add Coupon Code
Beatport Pro Checkout redirect

 

YouTube will try to convert music video viewers to subscribers to block ads

YouTube will attempt to monetize it’s service with paid subscriptions by asking users to pay a monthly or yearly fee to block pre-roll advertising before music videos play. Many YouTube music videos have ads that play before the video begins, which users can often times skip after a few seconds by clicking on the Skip Ad overlay that appears at the bottom right of the video window.

 

ScreenShot of YouTube video window with skip advertisement feature
Ad in video window with Skip Ad feature displayed.

Mashable writes that Google, the company that owns and operates YouTube, generated about $53B last year. Google doesn’t break out revenue for YouTube, but cites a report from The Independent, which quotes anonymous sources estimating the service added only $3.2B in to Google’s bottom line, short of analyst predictions of $5B.

To improve the numbers, Google AdSense and AdWords exec, Susan Wojcicki, took over CEO role at YouTube in February after reports indicated YouTube losing market share to AOL and Facebook, resulting in a drop in ad rates. A subscription music service is one way the company is seeking to add to their bottom line. However, many independent record labels are not happy after receiving an updated agreement reducing compensation in the future. And, in an increasingly crowded content marketplace, new content creators are finding it more difficult to find an audience and generate revenue to support programming.

More companies today are looking to the consumer to pay a subscription fee to turn off ads in content and consumers have gotten used to paying a nominal fee to block ads. However, as more services turn to this type of offering, consumers will be faced with having to decide which services they really need. YouTube is now entering a subscription world, competing with Netflix and cable television for the consumers dollar. It remains to be seen if enough people will pay to block ads on YouTube, when they already have a Spotify subscription, combined with a cable subscription (or at least high speed Internet) at home and Sirius/XM in the car.

Today, consumers are faced with an issue of privacy. Accept the freemium advertising model and agree to be tracked and targeted for ad wherever you go. There are now ad auction exchanges set up to deliver advertising to websites instantaneously as traffic ebbs and flows. Prices rise where there is more traffic and reduce where there is less. This makes Internet advertising more efficient, while at the same time putting pressure on media creators to keep eyeballs on their content. That’s why Internet meme sites like Upworthy, which promote short, viral content scientifically analyzed and optimized to constantly drive eyeballs. Users are also tricked into staying engaged by being forced to to click through page after page of images, so that the site can deliver more page refreshes to deliver more ads. It’s for this reason, it is not a stretch to see why consumers would want to pay YouTube to turn off ads. The question is, can YouTube be trusted to deliver a completely ad free experience?

When we first started paying for Cable TV, cable companies delivered ad-free programming, but soon realized they could both charge consumers for content and display ads at the same time. Given that the quality and amount of content was far more than was available on free television, cable companies got away with this for many years. But now with cable’s monthly costs reaching into the hundreds of dollars and other media competing for our attention and wallets, as well as the Internet supplying high quality content, many cable subscribers are cutting off their TV and paying only for high speed Internet access.

The same has happened at Sirius/XM. While many of the generic, programmed music channels are ad free, we’re starting to see some content creators that license content to the popular satellite radio service insert ads in their programming. Again, consumers have grown accustomed to this, so their is little outrage when it happens. However, as we make our way into a world of asking consumers to subscribe to everything, companies need to be careful about stepping over the line.

As for this blog, we do host advertising and recently turned off ad units being delivered by one of our partners, who now publish video content inside advertising blocks. Those types of ads have become intrusive and are affecting our readers ability to focus on our content, so we’ve turned them off in favor of our general Google AdSense program. That begets the question, do Internet companies really need advertising to survive?

In YouTube’s case, billions of dollars in ad revenue last year is nothing to sneeze at, but can one solely base their entire business on advertising? History has shown that diversification is critical. Finding and testing alternative revenue models is important. The over reliance on advertising without a strategy for expanding revenue in other ways is now proving troublesome for YouTube. Facebook faced this issue for the past two years and quickly found mobile revenue from ads as well as allowing anyone to place a targeted ad or promoted post to get attention to their content in Facebook would be its future. In a closed network like Facebook, controlling the ad revenue stream is different than simply selling ads to brands. They’ve created products around promoting likes and shares, which is advertising like, but also a utility for content creators who want to employ the tools to reach a wider audience. What kinds of tools can YouTube give to content creators to promote content in the YouTube network?

Lastly, it’s important to note reliance on advertising is something that our brightest minds are looking at and trying to solve. In a recent The Atlantic article, “The Internet’s Original Sin,” author and Director of Civic Media at MIT, Ethan Zuckerman, writes:

Advertising became the default business model on the web, “the entire economic foundation of our industry,” because it was the easiest model for a web startup to implement, and the easiest to market to investors. Web startups could contract their revenue growth to an ad network and focus on building an audience. If revenues were insufficient to cover the costs of providing the content or service, it didn’t matter—what mattered was audience growth, as a site with tens of millions of loyal users would surely find a way to generate revenue.

Zuckerman, who was a former employee of Tripod.com, the company that created what we now know as the pop-up ad, which is an ad placed on a pop-up page that appears on top of the content you’re viewing, says that there are two kinds of ads: expensive and cheap. The expensive ad is the one that pops up in Google when you’re ready to buy something. It’s a lead generator, which is why companies will pay top dollar to get your attention.

The cheap ad is the ad that competes for your attention with the content the user is interacting with. Those ads are obviously going to pay less to the content publisher, because interest to action is low. Therefore, web publishers must look for other ways to monetize their digital business, because we’ve gotten to a point where so much freemium content is available, advertising prices are dropping considerably and these companies will not be able to survive on ad revenue alone.

Needless to say, YouTube have their work cut out for them. We’ll be watching to see how this new ad free model plays out and how consumers adjust to companies asking them to open their wallets, instead of agreeing to view content in exchange for their eyeballs.

 

 

 

 

Bob Lefsetz, please, oh please change your URL!

Lefsetz Letter Home Page Screenshot
The Lefsetz Letter Home Page

Dear Bob,

I’ve followed your popular, The Lefsetz Letter, for many years. I’d subscribed to your email newsletter after I’d first heard about you through the Pho List, a long running private listserv about copyright, where discussion is heavily weighted toward the music industry. Whether the list members were supportive or not, your posts were certainly a hot topic for some time. Yes, for those younger folks reading this, we’re still communicating using old school email and listserv technologies instead of Secret, Yo, Snap Chat and texting.

Because I’d originally subscribed to receive the your blog by email, it wasn’t until years later I clicked through to the “Archive” page on your website, which is really the homepage of your WordPress blog. Even though your actual homepage is a splash page with two links (above); one for clicking through and registering to receive the blog posts by email and the other to view the posts in blog format.

It’s been this way for many years and my guess is that’s the way you prefer it, despite a very public “noemail” campaign by iBiblio.org Director and UNC Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science Professor, Paul Jones, who will only respond to those who connect with him through social media and not by email. He deems email to be an archaic format, which has long outlasted its usefulness.

While Professor Jones presents frequently on why email is a relic of the past, it still seems to have a place in this world for you, although less than a quarter of your readers open email related to the music industry. To bolster Jones’ #noemail crusade, I found this research report by Palo Alto-based technology market research firm, Radicati online, which states North America accounts for only 14% of global email accounts. Estimated growth of email accounts is only 7% -– from 3.1 billion in 2011 to 4.1 billion by year-end 2015. Compared to Asia Pacific, which accounts for 49% of all email users and Europe with 22%, we here in the USA are not reading email as much as we once did. While corporate email is growing due to low cost cloud based services, personal email is declining while instant messaging is growing by an estimated 11% from 2011 to year-end 2015.

Despite these numbers and Jones swearing off email, companies like MailChimp, Constant Contact and iContact thrive on the reliance of marketers to send email. But 19% of all email received by corporate email users is spam or “greymail.”

MailChimp publicly post their industry benchmarks, which show average campaign rates by each industry using their service. Email seems continues to have a place in this world, albeit a smaller one. It has certainly taken a back seat to social media. According to the report, social profiles will grow from 2.4 billion accounts in 2011 to 3.9 billion by year-end 2015.

MailChimp’s industry averages for Music and Musicians show a 22.49% open rate with a 3.03% click through rate and a low 1.08% soft bounce rate. A little less than a quarter of all those who receive email coming from the music industry click through to open and read the message. Only a small percentage of those people convert, but it seems they do read these messages given the low bounce rate percentage.

Sure, while Paul Jones may decry email for its quaint antiquity, Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft still support their popular email services and MailChimp, Constant Contact and iContact have created multimillion dollar businesses around email marketing. However, like snail mail and the music industry at large, email has been impacted by new technologies, which means that your stubborn reliance on email as a medium can be equated to the music industries failed resistance to digital downloads.

You are arguably one of the most well read music industry bloggers in the world. Your posts by email reach many certainly reach many of your readers, but are they reaching as many as they could? ts pretty clear by the way you’ve setup your homepage that you prefer readers subscribe to your posts by email. Given the numbers above, have you started to think about when you’re going to expand your digital horizons?

Many (including me) admire you for keeping your Lefsetz Letter blog simple. In it’s plain style, it’s certainly unique. There are no bells and whistles. No images or advertising. It’s just plain text. The only links you post are generally to Spotify and YouTube content. And, you’ve managed to consistently deliver under the 1,700 words Buffer has analyzed as the best length for a blog post. In this day and age when there is a battle for our collective attention to media messages, your long posts aren’t as novel as I thought they might be, but your reliance on email to deliver your messages could very well be.

I’ve written to you on occasion in response to your posts, but you’ve never replied to me. I’m not in your inner circle and those are the people who seem to get your attention. Since I don’t know if you read my email replies to your posts, yet you sort of force me into your reliance on email (yes, I know there is RSS, but I don’t sub to RSS like others do), I thought I’d write this post instead.

First, I consider myself and others will support that I’m somewhat of a WordPress expert. I have been working with WordPress for 9-years. I just so happened to check my WordPress.org profile, which says I joined in February 2005. Just a short month before your first blog post in March 2005.

Screenshot of Tony Zeoli profile on WordPress.org
My profile on WordPress.org

I founded WordPress Westchester Meetup in 2009 and then WordPress Chapel Hill Meetup in 2010 after moving to Chapel Hill for job at UNC. I’m no longer there, but that’s another story. I have also presented on WordPress topics at WordCamp NYC, Raleigh and Asheville. As you can see, I’m so engaged in WordPress, I build businesses on the platform through my company, Digital Strategy Works and this blog has been on WordPress as long as the Lefsetz Letter. As a WordPress expert, there are three things that irk me about your blog and I hope you address them. They are:

1. Your URL: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress

Lefsetz Letter home page with lefsetz.com/wordpress URL.
Lefsetz Letter home page with lefsetz.com/wordpress URL.

When you set up WordPress, you decided you wanted to front a “splash page” that drove some people to the blog and others to your mailing list signup form. Back then, we didn’t have as many available widgets in our WordPress sidebars. But you could have still put your mailing list registration form in a sidebar back then instead of in a page. It’s one-click to that page after landing on the homepage, but in today’s busy world, one-click is too much. Most sites now either have their mailing list signup just above or below the nav bar or at the top of a right or left sidebar.

You’re also still using PHP List, which is a mailing list software. Most web hosts now frown upon sending out an email list through their web servers because of the CAN SPAM Act. And, there is now a “whitelist” and “blacklist” of which hosts are being let through and which hosts are being targeted for spam. Reliance on PHP List instead of migrating the list to MailChimp or equivalent, who are “white list” providers, may be impacting the delivery of your message to your audience. It may not be, but it’s something to consider if you want to a. ensure your audience receives your emails and b. track open rates and unsubs. In fact, with MailChimp, you can even send out a weekly digest of emails published via RSS. You have it so people can only subscribe on your site to full post when it comes out, but some people enjoy weekly digests and that’s not an option. Additionally, it’s not obvious on your site where you might be able to unsub either.

My suggestion is to make your blog “archive” your home page and adopt a widget for your email subscription form in the right sidebar or in your site header. But, how do you do this?

Well, it seems when you installed WordPress, you uploaded WordPress in your “root” directory at your host, which is generally a folder named: “httpdocs.” Your URL resolves to: “httpdocs/wordpress” instead of just root aka “lefsetz.com/.”

If you were ever so inclined to fix this, you can simply edit your index.php file and change this:

** Loads the WordPress Environment and Template */

require( dirname( __FILE__ ) . '/wp-blog-header.php' );

to this:

** Loads the WordPress Environment and Template */

require( dirname( __FILE__ ) . '/wp-blog-header.php' );

This would then resolve your home page to lefsetz.com instead of lefsetz.com/wordpress. Anyone who types Lefsetz.com will no longer have to click on “Archive,” which is really a pain in the you know what. You say everyday that people “don’t have time,” yet you are a hypocrite by continuing to force people to one-click to your content from your “splash page.” For someone who crucifies artists on doing it right, you’re not doing it right yourself. Does it matter? To people like me, yes – it matters! A lot!

2. Social Sharing

There are NO social sharing icons on your blog. For someone who is so critical of artists who don’t use social media, you do not do it right.

What to do? Simple. Install the WordPress JetPack plugin and activate it. Then, connect it with your WordPress.com account by logging in, in the admin, with your WordPress.com user/pass. Access Dashboard > JetPack > Settings. Scroll down to Sharing. Turn it on by clicking “Activate.” Next, navigate to Dashboard > Settings > Sharing and drag’n’drop your social icons and click the check boxes to make them activate on your posts, pages and media (I have additional boxes for other post types), so that people who read your blog can share your posts in social media far easier than copying and pasting a link.

You’ll also be able to connect up with Google+ for your Google Authorship, so that your Google+ profile appears in Google search results. And, you’ll also be able to cross post into social networks without having to copy and paste links! Pretty awesome, I’d say.

If you activate Publicize, you’ll also be able to sync your blog with your social media accounts and cross post into social media. You can simply activate it in your JetPack Settings as well.

Screenshot of Netmix JetPack Sharing settings
Netmix JetPack Sharing settings

3. No XML Sitemap

You don’t have an XML sitemap, which can help your blog in SEO by connecting it directly to Google and Bing, who can then more accurately spider your blog posts while delivering analytics on keywords and other useful data.

Here’s what I found when I went to http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/sitemap.xml. A 404 Not Found error. Ghastly!

Not Found Error
Not Found Error

How does one create a sitemap? Simple, just download, install and activate All In One SEO Pack, the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress (downloaded over 19M times), from the WordPress.org plugins repo. It comes with a sitemap generator, but it’s core purpose is to allow you optimize the SEO of every post and page.

All In One SEO XML Sitemap Generator screenshot
All In One SEO XML Sitemap Generator
Now, head over to http://google.com/webmastertools and simply Add Site.
Screenshot of Google Webmaster Tools Add Site Page
Google Webmaster Tools Add Site Page

Once you’ve added your site, you’ll need to “Verify” the site (no screenshot provided) by linking it to your Google Analytics account or using All In One SEO site verification fields to enter in the string required for Google to see your site. Once it’s verified, you’ll be connected to Google directly. You’ll have to repeat this at Bing as well. Pinterest is also available.

All In One Sitemap Verification panel
All In One Sitemap Verification panel

An additional benefit of JetPack is activating WP.me, which is also located in the Settings panel. Using this integrated JetPack plugin will shorten your links. Shortlinks are certainly useful for those who don’t want to copy long links in a URL bar. I use a Bit.ly plugin to convert my links to that service, because I’m interested in managing my link sharing analytics with their analytics dashboard.

That’s it. I hope you’ll take this advice. If you need some help, let me know and happy blogging!