Archive for the 'Search engine news' Category



28
Oct
11

This just in…

Google Says SEO Is Not Spam

22
Sep
11

Netflix, Facebook, and Change for the Sake of Change

Okay, this really isn’t all that much about SEO. But it does have a lot to do with online (or any other kind of) marketing.

Is Change Always Good?

Judging from the recent observed behaviors of a number of commerce giants, you’d have to draw the conclusions that

  1. Commerce giants think “YES!”
  2. Commerce consumers think “NO!”

Why the disconnect (bordering on cognitive dissonance)?

First, let’s review.

  • Microsoft Windows. We count 14 updates so far this month, not counting Office, or Security Essentials definitions, or Explorer. Hmmm. Really?
  • Adobe. An avalanche of updates virtually every time we connect.
  • Facebook. Unfathomable update to the news feed. As well as countless “privacy” updates, most of which have been detrimental to the user’s privacy.
  • Netflix. “I messed up” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Not just a bad idea, but a bad idea handled badly.

Why do they do these things?

Well, same reason a shark has to swim to breathe. In today’s corporate environment, nobody’s job is safe—not CEO, CFO, or eeny-meeny-minee-mo—unless they can show something to the board every quarter. “Here’s what me and my team are doing!” they exclaim, to the accompaniment of a PowerPoint chorus. “Look! We changed this and that and updated this and next month, we’ll upgrade that!” Doesn’t matter if it all means a gigantic loss of credibility, or loyalty, or even subscribers. Doesn’t matter if the changes improve anything. Doesn’t matter if they were necessary. Doesn’t matter if they were wise or in any way a good idea.

Just gotta put something up there on the damn agenda, don’t you know?

Well, to us, it all comes out to be one helluva argument for open-source, cloud-based EVERYTHING. Updates and upgrades can be done without impacting the users’ experience. Updates and upgrades that prove unpopular can be rolled back without loss of face (or job). Nobody feels compelled to change just because they can.

14
Sep
11

Rel = “author” = Whaaaaat?

William Shakespreare's Google Profile

Shakespeare's Google Profile--Will the rel="Author" tag help him with his keyword ranks?

Attention all content creators! Google has recently launched an initiative designed to give you “credit” for all the things you write. Which is cool enough, we suppose, not even counting the probability that the resulting “credit” may well be used by Google as a measure of “authority” which, of course, means “keyword ranks.”

With us so far? No? Okay, again only slower. The idea is this: people who write content for the web typically end up published all over—in articles, in blogs, in interviews, and reviews, and stories, and reports, and on ad infinitum. To a spider, all these bits of content have no connection. They are all just disparate bits of content. Yet, they may have all been written by somebody with some specialized knowledge, skill, or connections who might actually be more credible than other writers tackling the same subjects. Connecting all these pieces of writing under a single author could be used to determine that author’s authority, her publication history, her general appeal, and even her topics of expertise. Which could then be used to help Google determine the content’s value. Quality content (or so we have heard) is just what Google loves best.

Does that make sense? Good.

Here’s how it works, hands-on. Every time you write content for the web, you include a link somewhere (anywhere) on the page. It can be an image or a phrase, in the by-line or the body or the bio. This link points to your Google Profile page. (You do have Google Profile, don’t you?) Inside the link, you add this attribute: rel=”author”. Then, on your Profile page, you put a link pointing back to the page that contains your author tag.

And the content is now credited to you.

On the article’s published page, it would look like this:

A Content Writer’s Guide to Content

by <a href=”https://profiles.google.com/farley-mac&#8221; rel=”author”>Farley McFinklestien</a>

On the author’s Profile Page, under the About tab (note that the links point to the actual article page):

Farley’s published works include:

How to Fry a Rat (Gourmet Rodent Monthly)
A Scenic Guide to Payson, Utah (The Places to Avoid Blog)
A Content Writer’s Guide to Content (Unemployed Writer Wiki)

That’s all there is to it. Of course, this may well turn out to be another one of Google’s “Nice Try but No Cigar” initiatives. (Remember Google Wave?)

Then again, we think it’s about time the poor, under-appreciated content professionals got their props.

22
Aug
11

What Would One-Page Google Results Mean for SEO?

We came across this article at Web Pro News yesterday and it really got the old “what-ifs” rolling.

Google May Start Serving All Results On One Page: Good for SEO?

The gist of it is, some folks have spotted what look like some test page layouts that may indicate Google is thinking along the lines of a single, infinite scrolling search results page.  First, to be completely accurate, Google have not indicated in a direct way that they plan to do this anytime soon. The page layout stuff they appeared to be testing are things like sticky navigation—so no matter how far down the page you scroll, the left nav and the search box (and maybe even the AdWord ads) stay in same places. That change would effectively make an infinite single-page results page possible.

What’s not addressed is how they would manage to load those results cleanly, or how much of your browser’s cache they’d use, or whether they’d use all that new page real estate to increase the number of AdWords displayed, or just what they’d do.

Nevermind. All we’re interested in here and now is what effect on SEO all this might have. Here are a few things that popped into our infinitely scrolling minds:

  • Every website would now be—at least technically—on the first page of Google’s search results. The only way to judge success would be keyword rank. And we hate keyword rank. A lot of marketing copy would have to be changed….
  • Would it change search engine user behavior? Currently, the vast majority of searchers rarely go past the third or fourth result anyway. But if there were millions of results on page one, might that encourage folks to go a little deeper?
  • What if they also added more sort features to the ones they have now (price sorts, alphabetical sorts, geographic sorts—all sorts of sorts are possible). Would that not make the job of SEO really, really, really hard?
  • And what would happen if you searched “www”? Would the internet explode?

Just a few thoughts. We’ll let you know if we hear anything else.

20
Jun
11

ICANN Haz (dot)Cheezburger

ICANN haz .cheezburger?

ICANN haz .cheezburger?

ICANN, the dark and diabolical secret society that controls all internet names and naming from their Lovecraftian lair  somewhere deep beneath the Matterhorn, has unleashed a new terror upon us: unlimited third-level domain extensions.

You didn’t think .com, .net, .edu, and .gov were all there is, did you? Surely, you’re already using all the new top-level domains they’ve introduced since 2004, right? Of course, you regularly find yourself typing blahdeblah.us, blahdeblah.jobs, blahdeblah.ru, and blahdeblah.asia, don’t you. Well, if you love those extensions, you are gonna swoon over this next round:  Unlimited. Third-level. Domains.

That’s right, kiddies. ICANN haz .cheezburger!

Or .coke, .ibm, .google, .nytimes, .wendys, .you-name-it. All you need is a $185,000 application fee, and proof that your new .domain is useful, necessary, and yours by right.

Since ICANN is a “non-profit” (if “self-funded”) operation, we’re sure they initiated this earth-shaking plan purely out of concern that the internet was growing short of usable territory, and NOT because every time they approve a new set of third-levels, every company in t he world feels obligated to snatch up all the new variations of their brand name. And not because every Fortune 5000 company in the world is going to immediately pony up the $185k for their new vanity plates.

They did it for us.

In case you wonder, here’s what this latest hold-your-breath-ICANN-announcement really means.

Nothing.

Seriously, nobody cares. Because nobody types URLs into the browser address box anymore. Nobody goes anywhere on the net that didn’t start with a link from somewhere else: a search result, a bookmark, a link in an article, a link forwarded in a joke email by a goofball co-worker. The biggest impact unlimited domains is likely to have is a surge in new SEO company marketing materials.

ICANN haz nap now?

10
Jun
11

Friday’s SEO Site of the Week

This week, we uncovered a little mini-site inside a an old pal, SEOMoz. SEOMoz conducted a survey of SEO industry professionals, asking them what they thought the most important search ranking factors were, how they thought those factors interacted, how they stacked up importance-wise, and more stuff like that. They then took all that data, turning it into a slew of colorful charts and graphs, and made a very interesting report out of it.

We think that this is about the coolest thing we’ve seen all year.

If you want to know what the experts think works for SEO now and into the future, read

2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors

We give it a big round of applause.

06
Jun
11

Another SEO Infographic

Last Monday we showed you a pretty sweet infographic representation of SEO. So why not continue? Here’s another we found at Search Engine Land, The Periodic Table of SEO.

”Search