You have some email addresses of potential customers that you found on the internet. They are called 'cold' contacts because you've never had any conversations or communication with them before. Brrrrr.
A few fine chaps have signed up for your newsletter on your website. Those clever people have now 'opted-in' and have given permission for you to email them as much as you like (remember they'll take it back if you annoy them).
Here's the clever bit. If those subscribers then click on a link you have sent them to confirm they've subscribed, they are then 'double opted-in' and you can be sure they want to hear lots from you.
The big conundrum for us marketing folk is whether that email you send them to confirm actually annoys them. That, we don't want. We think it can be better to encourage some sort of action, like clicking a link through to your website, so we can see they are interested. A softer approach. It does, of course, depend on the industry and business. Everyone is different.
Google updates its way of searching the web so often that it is almost impossible to keep up with it.
One key point we picked up recently is that the search engine needs to see at that at least 60% of the content on your website is unique - you write it yourself and it isn't repeated anywhere else on the web. This is harder to do than you might imagine for businesses that sell products with standard descriptions for example. A word from the wise (wiser?!) - don't be tempted to repost blog content or even page content to your own site without writing about it in your own words and checking you haven't fallen under the 60% boundary.
Sites that are known as 'content farms' - those that collect text and images from all over the web and feature them, uch as news portals, are bad news as far as Google is concerned. If a content farm is pulling your information, Google will penalise you for it.