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The Cost of Using Free Online Tools Like Facebook and Google
By: Christine Geraci
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It's tough to be a little fish these days. 
If you're like most small businesses, your online presence is probably good — but could be better. You likely cannot afford a hot-shot firm's expertise to make your website more dynamic or search-friendly. In addition to all of your other responsibilities, you might be trying to juggle social media, which means you can't afford a sharper focus on this aspect of your marketing. 
But at least Facebook is free to use, right? And so is Google. 
Well...are they?
Recently, Hubspot discovered Facebook's Edgerank algorithm seemed to be "penalizing" content posted from third party apps. For you, this means your fan engagement could suffer if you try to save a little time by pre-scheduling posts. 
Then, Google announced The Knowledge Graph, an update to its search algorithm that tries to more intuitively determine what people are searching for. Thing is, you need an SEO expert to properly tag your website so you can get found online by this new algorithm. If you're not one yourself, or you can't afford someone who is...well, that's not good. 
These tools are free. They're supposed to help you organically discover followers, get found, and in turn build a following for what you do. But to use them optimally, you need someone with time to post within the Facebook API, as well as someone with extensive SEO and web development experience.

The cost of using free tools like Google and Facebook is getting a little out of hand...don't you think?

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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