Category Archives: Web Optimization

Tools of the Trade: SEO

SEO ToolsIn the SEO industry today, the problem is not lack of necessary tools, but rather which tools to be used in SEO. The answer is, “nobody can tell you”. And not because these tools are irrelevant but rather because these tools are not made with one size fits all principal. Thank god for that. The range of tools are available because there are a variety of business and within the same type of businesses, there are many approaches one takes towards company strategy, including search engine marketing. Read more »

How do the Hreflang and Canonical tags help?

Google rolled out a solution for the problem that multiple language sites started facing due to Panda filter. This key was in the form of ‘hreflang’ and ‘canonical’ tags. This is Google’s way of telling site owners that they should use a regional subtag in their head tag for the website URL. This will help Google search crawlers to figure out the nature of content on each page and its relevance to a search performed. With these tags on websites, Google will comprehend that content on the site is truly intended for that region. Read more »

Digital asset optimization beyond search – Next Generation SEO

Companies in most cases have from many digital assets that they can play with when communication their message online, simple things as annual reports in PDF’s and Power Point presentations can be optimized and made visible through either own sites and/or such services as Slide Share.

Images from the last product launch can play an essential role on Google Image search and manuals in word can lower the load on support. Not forgetting social media such as Facebook, Twitter, the Company blog, Digg and Sphinn to mention few.

Implementing Digital Asset Optimization helps the search engines notice all your online content and everything from file names to meta-tags and HTML files to PDF files and Image labelling through Google Webmaster tools plays a role when it comes to holistic usage of the Internet as a marketing and communication channel.

I will be talking about this topic a the upcoming SES San Francisco.

Google‘s growing prominence on real-time search within search results

In August 2009 Google famously changed their algorithm and how they value current events, but different from the 2003 Florida update this change to how they value content  and display search results seamed to roll out rather peacefully and in some cases unnoticed.

I have been monitoring how this has changed the search engine and it seems that the Google Caffeine update is to putting growing prominence on real-time search within search results. Specifically on Twitter and other real-time communication tools.

This might explain a post on Search Engine Land that the Caffeine update really had not been rolled out fully and is slowly being implemented throughout Google’s data centres.

But what did this update incorporate? First and foremost it was Google keeping their competitors away, there was a lot of buzz about Twitter’s real-time search options and Microsoft had just rolled out their “decision making search engine” Bing. Real-time search was the thing and Google needed to come out with an update and that they did.

Google had some years back introduced their Google Universal search, were they mixed together various results on their organic results pages, when searching on a topic you could find various channels such as web, blog, news, shop, PPC, image and video being mixed together. What Google did with the Caffeine update was to take this even further and put more emphasis on current events and blend them with the more tradition results in a kind of a “ticker style” where things happened in a more dynamic way.

What they also did with this update was to take the emphasis slightly of inbound links (still very important) and put on good copy, other things we have noticed but I am not sure if we can directly relate to this update is the emphasis on URL’s, that is the text between the www and the .TLD/ccTLD.

According to this update two companies in the same industry, let’s say car rental, one has an URL with their brand in it such as www.alp.is has a handicap when compared with a car rental URL like www.carrentals.is.

Having car rental in the URL gives the later URL more chance of visibility, one more box ticked in how Google values that URL. My research has however shown that Google has a limit on how it values the URL so something like “verycheaprentalcarsreykjavik.is” are likely to rise a spam alert, prompting a Google rep to manually review the site for spam tactics or even worse Google just demoting the site or even removing it from it’s index.

There is a massive opportunity for marketers to look pass their traditional emphasis on their own site but also to use Twitter, blogs, online press releases and other channels that can provide an alternative option to visibility based on how Google now places emphasis on current events.

The question of a white hat or a black hat

Just came from a session at the SES called Black hat/White hat “Unconferenced” hosted by Matt McGowan, Publisher & head of U.S. Incisive Media and Mike Grehan, Global VP Content, SES/Search Engine Watch and ClickZ (believe they are merging). Everyone that came to this session was offered a white hat or a black hat to wear, in my case I got the black.

Not that I am a black hat in the sense that I use under the radar none ethical tactics when marketing online, nobe more because that the size of the black hat fitted my head better. Great session that taught me black hats have bigger heads than white hats or that Matt and Mike did not order enough hats for people with big heads, either way fantastic session and great fun!