Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Twitter & SEO

March 24, 2009

Twitter recently made a big change to the way they format their title tags on profile pages. They no longer keep the Twitter…. tag, but rather list the User Name and Profile name. This will help out brands and individuals immensely who are trying to gain more traffic through the search engines.

Although the link drives the visitor to the Twitter profile, it’s there that the URL listed can be the corporate website. 

It’s no longer just MySpace and Facebook profiles showing up on the SERP’s. Twitter is there too!

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Twitter ads search to some home pages

February 19, 2009

Twitter announced they are beta testing a new search feature. Rather than having to use a third party application or go to search.twitter.com to search for trends or content, you will be able to search directly from a profile. This is a brilliant move for Twitter as it supports the notion they can become a “search engine”. The content is not static web content, but rather real time content and conversations.

Wikipedia was the most updated content during the shootings at Virginia Tech, now Twitter is the source for the most up-to-date news content on the web. Rather than seeing what is “indexed the best” and not necessarily the most recent, Twitter allows you to search what is happening right now as Tweets often have a half-life of a fruit fly. 

Making the search functionality easier to access is another arrow in Twitter’s quiver for changing the search landscape. Even though there are several different thoughts about Twitter and different uses, it continues to grow and make a legitimate threat to certain types of search queries once owned by the traditional search engines. Google needs to keep Twitter under a tight watch.

Status of search for 2009

December 23, 2008

A recent number from ComScore might be alarming to some in the search world not associated with Google. YouTube received more search queries in November than Yahoo! and Microsoft properties. Google owned 63.5% of the search queries in November while Yahoo! only had 20.4% of the volume. The fact that YouTube is getting more search volume than the second and third place search engine shows that YouTube might have finally grown up and cracked into the big time.

It’s no coincidence that YouTube now allows search ads on the pages as well since there is more traffic there than the other two major engines. It’s also no coincidence that YouTube is not just skateboarders and stupid human tricks. They have learned a lot in their short tenure and are learning to monetize their huge traffic base. Search is no longer just for the engines. Search has expanded into video, auctions, shopping, and so many other functions since people are accustomed to search absed results. It’s the beauty of the internet. 

YouTube receiving more queries than Yahoo! and Microsoft is big swing heading into 2009 and the “consolidation talks of ’08’ are behind us (at least for now). Will anyone be able to make a viable run at Google or will they continue their dominance in the search space. It is my guess that if someone can make a run at Google and their dominant market share, it will come from a small player not on the big map today. Remember, Google started small too and just made it easier for the consumer. If someone else can take a similar concept and improve the process, people will switch. It likely won’t be in 2009, but it could happen.

Anyways, it’s been an interesting year in 2008 with all the swirling talks of Microhoo and Googoo mergers and in the end nothing. So enjoy the holidays and look forward to 2009.

What’s the hype with cuil?

July 29, 2008

Cuil.com officially launched Monday morning adn has generated a ton of buzz about how it could be the Google killer. Just because it was started by a couple of ex-Googler’s doesn’t mean that it will win or have a better chance than other potential killers. It supposedly indexes more pages than Google and has better results.

However, I did a quick search for my favorite jean brand Nudie Jeans. Of course, nothing was returned. I guess I can give them some credit for not running on the  “nudie” word and making sure it was about clothing, but the brand is not that obscure, so I expected something.

So it will be interesting to see how this plays out and cuil.com has a real chance at competing against Google. As we have seen, Yahoo! and MSN are havinga  hard time, but maybe a small start up run be ex-Googler’s is what it will take. Only time and better results will tell.

Google to launch “skip intro”

June 12, 2008

How many times have you looked for an address, hours of operation, or contact info and had to sit through a 90 second flash intro that treats you like a first timer? Guessing quite a few..

Google has launched a new option in the search results that allows users to click through avoiding the flash intro and be placed directly to the home page where they can navigate to the information that they were seeking.

A screen grab of the option can be seen here.

Blogs dramatically increase speed of results in SEO

May 9, 2008

For a long time, marketers that needed a quick result or boost were stuck with PPC. They could build out the campaign and have a campaign live and generating traffic in minutes. However, upgrades to blogging software is now allowing SEO efforts to be realized much faster. Blogs use correct title tags, headlines, urls and linking structure. Search engines are now indexing blogs much faster now. Also, blogs are inexpensive and easy to set up.

So next time the SEO component of a campaign gets pushed off due to costs, lack of speed, and difficult to measure, make sure that blogs are brought up in the conversation and explain how they can be utilized to help see quick benefits.

Meta Keywords in court?

April 28, 2008

A recent court case determined that people can use trademarked terms in their meta keywords in hopes that search engines query their page and use these to help determine page rank. We all know that most search engines quit using meta keywords for a major part of their search results awhile ago, and the judge agreed. The court ruled that most search engines bypass the meta keywords inserted by site owners and look at other factors to determine rank. This means that webmasters can use whatever terms that they want in the meta tags.

Although this only relates to the meta tags, it will be interesting to see if this case is referenced in cases about paid keywords and trademark infringement.

Google stealing second click?

March 27, 2008

It looks like Google’s search within a search box is possibly winning the 2nd click battle that so many affiliates have relied on for revenue. Affiliates were used to getting traffic from Google to their site and then making money when the visitor clicks through on when of their ads, even if its a Google AdSense ad. Now however, Google’s search within a search box is allowing people to get to their destination without having to leave Google. This will definitely have an affect on the affiliate marketing model with so many relying on SEO to get traffic and then redirect users to places they probably would have liked to go in the first place.

Google is looking at all ways to increase their ad revenue, but they need to tread lightly sometimes as a major affiliate backlash could actually punish them more in the long run in terms of revenue than trying to make the extra few cents now. This will be interesting to watch and monitor the reactions of Google’s AdSense community.

The future of search might not be Google – Visual Search

March 19, 2008

The future of search might be changing, Searchme.com is using images of websites, rather than the traditional text based response that Google returns. At first, I was a little skeptical but after looking at the demo and taking personal biases away, I think they are on to something huge. As more and more boomers come online, and become comfortable with the internet, I think this will become their preferred method of searching. This would be right up my moms alley, and might even get my grandma to enjoy the internet.

Rather than relying on what Google tells them what the page is about, they will have the chance to see it. This will likely reduce their frustration of clicking on the wrong site and having to continue clicking on “blind” pages. The visual search results also have a text component returned as well at the bottom of the image. One issue they might face if this is successful is bandwidth, but bandwidth was issue a few years back with video and look where we are today.

Another interesting twist might be based on their algorithm for page or I guess “view” rank. Will they take images and designs into affect to make better looking sites with good images rank higher? Its all about visual, not necessarily content.

Overall, I think searchme.com has potential as it is completely different than Google, MSN, and Yahoo. It will be tried by different demographics and accepted by a few, but I think this might be the next step in the life of search. Check out the demo, its actually pretty cool. I was thinking I was playing with my iPhone the way the pages roll.

Local search is the buzz but not the fact

February 7, 2008

There has been a lot of emphasis on local search becoming more popular and prevalent as SMB’s become more aggressive marketing themselves online and implementing SEO strategies. There was a good article on iMedia Connection today about various ways to improve your local search results.

I just wish that the supreme powers (Google and Yahoo) would return local results more prominently. I can’t argue against other businesses that have invested in SEO strategies and return high in the SERP’s, but I am a marketer and understand this process. My mom, she has no clue and doesn’t care about some shop in GA or FL.

My example I used today to test about local search was ‘floral shop’ as I am interested in buying some flowers for Valentine’s Day. I live in Utah, so I would expect to see local floral shops, or more likely, the large national floral chains. Much to my surprise, the first listing was Seahorse Florists out of Jacksonville FL. There were actually quite a few other floral shops listed on the first page of results for other towns such as Buffalo, St. Louis and Memphis.

I was quite intrigued with the SERP’s after reading the article on local search. I am in Utah and the local returns are for shops on the other side of the Mississippi, that doesn’t help me find flowers for Valentine’s Day.

Just for fun, I then Googled ‘flowers’ and got results that I had expected on my first query, national retailers. Doing this little experiment about local search opens a lot of doors for small local businesses to find key terms that are derive from the normal search query like ‘flowers’ and rank on the first page for a similar search of ‘floral shop’. Using a strong SEO strategy and good local linking for local SMB’s looks like a good strategy, and there might be a better search experience future for people like my mom.