Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Mar
20

Google Plans to Punish Sites “Over Optimized” for SEO

Getting good placement in Google search results can be a matter of life and death for many companies these days. Given that Google is constantly tweaking their search algorithm to improve their search results — and to fend off threats from search rivals like Bing and Apple’s Siri — keeping tabs on how those changes in Google search impact content creators can be a full-time job.

Yet search engine optimization (SEO) has been employed by some website operators to game Google’s search algorithm and increase search results artificially. According to Google’s Matt Cutts in a speech at SXSW transcribed by Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz, the search engine giant is working to adjust their search engine to “level the playing field” against site owners that engage in SEO “over optimization.” (Schwartz has also included a partial transcript of the Cutts speech in his blog post.)

The changes to Google’s search engine should be coming soon, and is yet the latest in a number of tweaks and updates Google has made in an attempt to improve search results. One of the more significant updates to Google search came in the form of the Google “Panda” update in April 2011, which sought to minimize the impact of so-called “content farms” that publish huge amounts of marginal content that is heavily SEO-optimized.

Google is also looking to improve so-called “semantic search,” which is being popularized by Apple’s Siri technology. Semantic search is focused on providing immediate facts to a given query rather than presenting a page full of links to sites that provide those answers.

In a recent interview by Amir Efrati with the Wall Street Journal, Google search executive Amit Singhal said that the changes would help Google deliver an improved search experience, rather than the “cross our fingers and hope there’s a Web page out there with the answer” solution that currently exists.

So what are your thoughts on the upcoming update to Google’s search engine? Feel free to add a comment to this blog post or contribute to the discussion on Twitter.

Apr
22

Google Doodles

Hello everyone, I hope you are enjoying your holiday to those states and countries that celebrate! For those that don’t get the holiday I will leave you with something nice to waste your time with for Friday before the Easter weekend. If you didn’t notice Good Friday also lands on Earth Day this year, Google did something special with their doodle for Earth Day and made it interactive! Have a great Friday everyone!

View current and past doodles from around the world at http://www.google.com/logos/index.html

Apr
20

How to Optimize Your Brand’s Facebook Page For Search Engines

For this Wednesdays article I am giving you a great article I found on ReadWriteWeb.com about SEO for your company’s Facebook page. As we all may have noticed now, social media is becoming more popular and also more so integrated into everyday life. Backlinks can be an important part of SEO but they have to be relevant and useful. When you are linking to your site’s content within Facebook status updates, it should be noted, does not help your SEO directly, since these links include the  “nofollow” attribute, they do not count for search ranking purposes. However the links do create more relevant traffic.

Read the original article at http://www.readwriteweb.com/biz/2011/04/optimize-your-brands-facebook-page-for-search-engines.php

So your company has mastered search engine optimization (SEO) for the brand’s main Website and established a killer social media strategy, both of which are driving hordes of traffic and new business. Way to go. Both are critical to your company’s success online, but have you connected these two very important dots?

If you’re like most major companies, your brand’s Facebook page doesn’t even appear in the first 20 search results for your company on Google, even if your Website does. This is apparently the case for more than 70% of major brands, according to a recent study conducted by SEO services firm BrightEdge.

This is a huge missed opportunity. Although social media may not yet be a significant direct source of revenue, the type of customer engagement it provides is unparalleled. You want people to find your Facebook page and, if appropriate, hit the “Like” button, essentially subscribing themselves to updates and enabling you to keep in touch with them in a way that your Website can’t easily achieve on its own.

Fortunately, optimizing one’s Facebook page for search is pretty simple, and doesn’t require some of the under-the-hood tinkering that standard Website SEO does.

facebook-page-biz-info1.jpg

Snag That Vanity URL

Facebook offers brands the opportunity to set up a custom URL (or “username”), which can not only make advertising and word-of-mouth marketing easier (“Check us out at Facebook.com/companyname.”), but also plays a crucial role in SEO.

If you haven’t yet claimed your company’s vanity Facebook URL (you’ll need at least 25 “likes” to be eligible), hop to it. In general, you should go with your company’s name, sticking as close to the original brand as possible.

It’s worth noting that Facebook doesn’t allow dashes or underscore in the vanity URL, so this limits the amount of typical URL keyword trickery you can do. This username cannot be changed, so choose it carefully.

Pay Attention to Your Company’s Name

It may seem obvious, but the name you use in your brand’s Facebook page is really important. Again, sticking to the original brand is important here, as it will help people find you not only via search engines, but on Facebook itself.

You have a little bit of leeway to include keywords in this field but don’t stray too far from the company’s actual name. Don’t worry, there will be other opportunities to get those keywords in.

facebook-page-biz-info2.jpg

Fill Out the Company Information, Keywords and All

Facebook gives you three fields to describe your business from a high level: About, Description and General Information. Use them all.

As its smaller size would suggest, the About field is for a shorter, one or two-sentence tagline about your business. Description and General Information give you more space to describe, in concise detail, what the company does. This is an ideal place to include as many relevant keywords as you can.

The more fields under the “Information” tab you can fill out, the better. This will help people find your brand no matter where they’re searching.

Link to It

Let’s not forget that at the heart of Google’s PageRank algorithm still lies the hyperlink. Link to your Facebook page from your main Website and at any other (appropriate) opportunity that arises.

Linking back to your site’s content within Facebook status updates, it should be noted, does not help your SEO directly, since these links include the  “nofollow” attribute, and thus they do not count for search ranking purposes. That said, these links can be a huge source of traffic back to your brand’s site.

Apr
18

Which SEM advertising platform is good for you?

Picking the search engine you want to advertise on is often a very difficult choice. Most people will pick by personal preference or by knowledge of current traffic share the search engine holds. Google generally being the most popular. I found after working for a search engine (which I will not name) that most advertisers won’t take into consideration the content networks behind the search engine they’ve chosen. For example the websites I recognize at first glance in the Google platform are:

Some of these sites may not be the best choice for you however the traffic from Google.com may suffice for you and your business; given the fact that there are 3 Google products in the top 5 most visited sites on the internet Google.com being number one. If you are looking for a specific audience then you may want to look into content advertising. This requires very relevant ads, which means you should have an SEO expert hired. I know from personal experience that the advertisements on the Bing.com content ads system require the utmost relevancy. Some people may be weary of the Microsoft adCenter platform because of the lower share in search engine traffic. Keep in mind that it is a fair playing field and each platform has its pros and cons. The adCenter platform serves ads for the Yahoo search engine as well because of an agreement that was made years ago.

Microsoft also paid $240M for a 1.6% share in Facebook which allows them to sell internet ads for Facebook outside the United States as part of the deal. Bing search also provides all search results on Facebook.com as well, apart from this fact they have quite a reputable content network as well which includes:

View the Microsoft Content Network

You may also find these article of interest:

Rumors of Microsoft purchasing Adobe
Adobe purchase of Omniture (Formerly owned by Yahoo)
Yahoo-Microsoft Search Deal: The Key Facts
Microsoft buys stake in Facebook
List of acquisitions by Google
Alexa Top 500 Sites on the Web

My intention in this brief article is to have no bias, and hope that all the information provided can help you choose the right advertising tactics for your business. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at my website. Here are the links to the advertising platforms discussed in this article:

Google AdWords

Microsoft adCenter

Apr
13

How will HTML5 change SEO?

I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz about html5, and you may be wondering how this is going to affect seo. As a SEO expert, you are most likely interested mainly in those changes in the HTML 5 specification, which will affect your work. Here are some of them:

  • Improved page segmentation. Search engines are getting smarter and there are many reasons to believe that even now they are applying page segmentation. Basically, page segmentation means that a page is divided into several separate parts (i.e. main content, menus, headers, footers, links sections, etc.) and these parts are treated as separate entries. At present, there is no way for a Web master to tell search engines how to segment a page but this is bound to change in HTML 5.
  • A new <article> tag. The new <article> tag is probably the best addition from a SEO point of view. The <article> tag allows to mark separate entries in an online publication, such as a blog or a magazine. It is expected that when articles are marked with the <article> tag, this will make the HTML code cleaner because it will reduce the need to use <div> tags. Also, probably search engines will put more weight on the text inside the <article> tag as compared to the contents on the other parts of the page.
  • A new <section> tag. The new <section> tag can be used to identify separate sections on a page, chapter, book. The advantage is that each section can have its separate HTML heading. As with the <article> tag, it can be presumed that search engines will pay more attention to the contents of separate sections. For instance, if the words of a search string are found in one section, this implies higher relevance as compared to when these words are found all across the page or in separate sections.
  • A new <header> tag. The new <header> tag (which is different from the head element) is a blessing for SEO experts because it gives a lot of flexibility. The <header> tag is very similar to the <H1> tag but the difference is that it can contain a lot of stuff, such as H1, H2, H3 elements, whole paragraphs of text, hard–coded links (and this is really precious for SEO), and any other kind of info you feel relevant to include.
  • A new <footer> tag. The <footer> tag might not be as useful as the <header> one but still it allows to include important information there and it can be used for SEO purposes as well. The <header> and <footer> tags can be used many times on one page – i.e. you can have a separate header/footer for each section and this gives really a lot of flexibility.
  • A new <nav> tag. Navigation is one of the important factors for SEO and everything that eases navigation is welcome. The new <nav> tag can be used to identify a collection of links to other pages.

As you see, the new tags follow the common structure of a standard page and each of the parts (i.e. header, footer, main section) has a separate tag. The tags we described here, are just some (but certainly not all) of the new tags in HTML 5, which will affect SEO in some way. For instance, <audio>, <video> or <dialogue> tags are also part of the HTML 5 standard and they will allow to further separate the content into the adequate categories. There are many other tags but they are of relatively lower importance and that is why they are not discussed.

For now HTML 5 is still far in the future. When more pages become HTML 5–compliant, search engines will pay more attention to HTML 5. Only then it will be possible to know how exactly search engines will treat HTML 5 pages. The mass adoption of HTML 5 won’t happen soon and it is a safe bet to say that for now you can keep to HTML 4 and have no concerns. Additionally, it will take some time for browsers to adjust to HTML 5, which further delays the moment when HTML 5 will be everywhere.

However, once HTML 5 is accepted and put to use, it will be the dominating standard for the years to come and that is why you might want to keep an eye on what other web masters are doing, just to make sure that you will not miss the moment when HTML 5 becomes the defacto standard.

From webconfs.com

If you’d like to see the capabilities of html5, here are some great demo sites by Google, and Apple:

http://www.youtube.com/html5

http://www.html5rocks.com/

http://slides.html5rocks.com/

http://studio.html5rocks.com/

http://www.apple.com/html5/

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