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SEO - Search Engine Optimization Blog



Know SEO - Get search engine optimization and marketing knowledge to accomplish your online business goals. Find articles, tips, tutorials and news about search engine marketing, optimization, website design & development.



Updated: 2015-11-14T12:19:35.566-08:00

 



SEO and IA - Evolving Search Engine Marketing

2009-02-23T06:41:00.961-08:00

Now this is a nice and simple way to understand the relationship between IA (Information Architecture) and SEO, as well as history of change from both sides of the fence. I found this to be a great portrayal of the search evolution that's taken place over the past 8-10 years and the hard fought understanding of how SEO can be enriched to perform on a client by client basis. Take a gander of the presentation to see what I mean...



Advice on SEO Marketing Consultants and Firms

2009-01-01T20:24:52.322-08:00

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For the past ten years or so, SEO has been increasing in interest and proportionately in practice. Albeit there are many search engine optimization firms and agencies practicing the marketing art of SEO, many of them don't really understand what to do or how to do it to achieve successful results. Rather, their efforts are derived from picking apart advice and tactics mentioned on a plethora or forums and newsletters. Also, be sure to have a good PPC program running that benefits SEO and vice-versa to gain the most from search engine traffic possible.

Marketing company X may be skilled, but is marketing company Y also technically equipped with software/hardware and expertise to succeed at the highest optimized level? This is a question customers need to ask and figure out, since it is an often overlooked element (perhaps due to one's level of understanding or knowledge in the search marketing space). Either way, my advice about SEO is to realize that its an art concatenated with a science wrapped up in a reverse-engineered riddle, one only the most adept will reap competitive benefits from.



Google Breaks Speed Record for Processing Data Online

2008-12-01T18:49:24.876-08:00

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Google has recently announced new strides in its race to process the world's information - they've been able to sort 1 terabyte of data across 1 thousand computers in a only 68 seconds. The previous record of the the same data (1TB) was sorted across 910 computers and took 209 seconds. For one petabyte of data, it took Google 6 hours and 2 minutes to do the sorting, and the sorted data gets moved to 48,000 hard drives!

Google also acknowledges that they had triple redundancy and the data was backed up on 3 hard drives. Could it be that if you reduced that redundancy, this would all be much quicker? Not necessarily, since storing may not be part of the sorting algorithm that was recorded (and storing the data could have still been ongoing after the sort had been completed).

What's next? I guess the exabyte would be a huge step towards instant live data sorting...



The Rarest Words - Semantic SEO Project by Lone Russian Programmer

2008-05-30T06:43:05.908-07:00

Semantic SEO, a new wave of extreme Skiing? A daring court stenographer? Nope. It's a new website that challenges the way information is categorized.

It's interesting when you come across a beta website like this. The site, therarestwords.com, scans whatever website you place for words it deems opportunistic from a search engine marketing perspective. While these rare words are indeed "rare" and theoretically offer the possibility of being opportunities, the reality may be quite different.

That being said, the site is fun and can be quite useful - most of its usefullness depends on its future applications. My favorite feature is the "SEO fight" where you compare one site to another to see who wins the round for unique and rare words. This is a pretty gamable idea, knowing how SEO's tend to take opportunities like this and make them theirs. Why do I say this? Simple. The site encourages users to add terms that describe the sites or to edit what is already described. Simply click and edit any floating box to tag words and add descriptions, thus boosting "rare" words and adding to the database of terms and descriptions that therarestwords.com has for use on collected websites.

Another reason SEO's will take advantage of this tool is that they have incentive. The top 50 websites with the largest collection of rarest words gets a spot on its homepage and a free link that Google, Yahoo! and MSN adore.

I originally came on this article by techcrunch and got interested enough to try the tools.

I do like the site, and it is impressive that one lone Russian programmer built this, but not quite sure how feasible the concept is just yet. Try it out and let me know what you think. Oh and by the way, the Russian programmer has wanted to lay low without exposing his name or any details about him... Sensationalism? Anticipation or suspense building? Who knows.



Where's That Business Located? Try Google Local Voice Search

2007-08-06T12:49:03.401-07:00

When I read that Google has a free 411 phone service, I just had to give it a shot. It turned out for a beta, actually pretty good. The system is based off of it's local results database and maps, with a very cheery set of male and female voices. The number is 1-800-GOOG-41 1 and aptly responds similarly to the 411 operator - all except the fact that is it completely automated. No voice operators here!

Albeit, a bit strange calling a phone service provided by Google instead of an online service, as one expects from the search engine - it could prove quite useful and it's free.
The service is in beta and is called, Google Voice Local Search (GVLS), and according to Google, if the business is part of the Google Maps database, you should be able to get connected.

If there's only a single listing available, it offers to connect you; if more than one, you get a numbered list to choose from. And the best part is you can keep searching and trying other businesses to see how accurate the system is.



Google Web History

2007-04-24T08:06:14.582-07:00

Check out the official Google product blog explaining the benefit of having access to all of your search information from a short and longterm prospectives. While extremely useful for finding your own web trail, it now becomes a major privacy concern, since all of that info is housed on Google and not on your computer or within your own grasp. Yes, one can make the point that it has always resided on Google and was never available to the user, but now it is just that much more targetted.

While I am a proponent of having access to useful data and being able to track your own endeavors (mainly because my memore sucks...), this is a problem, because the web user has no control over the data or situation tied into it... a problem in my book. Nonetheless, this is the advent of new advancement in user searching - thanks Google!



Fighting Google Spam - SEO Technologist Style

2007-02-12T17:42:34.126-08:00

It all began with a client calling and telling me that they uncovered a heinous result in Google. The offender, seeking to gain on their branded term to display pornography and perhaps even install spy ware and viruses, was sitting at position 3 for my client’s brand. We all as SEO’s know the standard procedure is to jump up, bump one’s head into the wall and scream emphatically over the sound of New York City police sirens. But seriously, to submit a Google spam report can take weeks, weeks of defamation and slander for no good reason that leaves one feeling helpless. Well, I decided to proceed with the standard approach and also to dig up everything and anything I could about the culprit – especially with my curiosity piqued over how this black hat person got a leg up on Google’s algorithm. Thus began my challenge to discover the technique (websites and names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty). First, I took a look at the offending website listing on Google, where it was listed as www.website.info/myspampage.html, clicked on it and let it take me to the pornography result.It ended up taking me from www.website.info/myspampage.html to www.pornowebsite.com. I decided that there were way too many unquestionably bad things to see in front of my face all at once like that, so I took a step back. Pressing the escape key on my computer keyboard prior to the redirect into porn, I landed in a seemingly blank page. To my surprise however, there was nothing on this page but an H1 tag, JavaScript declarations and some ellipse marks. JavaScript? That certainly seemed out of scope on a basic page like this. I took a look at the JavaScript, and to my surprise the code was in fact, encoded. At the time it seemed to me to have been encrypted. So I decided to look up the function and low and behold, the key to the redirect was held in the encoded JavaScript. So, what is the easiest way to analyze and determine what the code was doing? Take the code, save it to the desktop (X if you are a Linux geek), and change the JavaScript to not execute but rather write the result to the window.Now once that is complete, I ran the code once more with no executed code and on the screen I see the redirect to yet another website URL:document.location=http://website2.info/govno/search.php?qq=websitekeywordhere;Sneaky bastards used a complex JavaScript to embed an encoded JavaScript into the page and also applied a gateway/cloaking page strategy to ensure the key terms used were spammed to hell – giving them some possibility of high rank for some time… But alas, there was more, much more. The site was using a proxy website spamming technique.Example: www.website.info/myspampage.html (with redirect from website2.info/govno/search.php?qq=websitekeywordhere) -> http://www.pornowebsite.com/.So in essence, the spammer could have thousands of websites using the redirect script, a proxy from website2.info/govno/search.php?qq=websitekeywordhere and even if one was banned, delisted or penalized, there were thousands of other foot soldiers to take its place. Another very interesting fact was that these “foot soldier” websites held hundreds to thousands of spam pages as well, giving them that much more potential to rank for seemingly random keywords and terms. On with the challenge… I decided to remove the spam page URL and try the root URL were there were large blocks of links (up to thousands) with nothing but spaces in between them. Looking at the different terms used, they must have been generated either using an inventory.overture.com bot to determine best search frequency terms or from a sampling of RSS feeds/website directories. Given this scenario, there were so many random links and phrases/terms that it seemed like it was sampling from a text file or some directory listings. Now knowing that the spammer had a brilliant strategy in mind to conquer results t[...]



Search Dead? Not likely by Yahoo!

2006-06-22T10:34:36.783-07:00

While Dave Pasternack (did-it.com) has some valid reasoning as to Yahoo!'s Subscriptions - their new beta service engine, in my opinion, Dave loses me on his thoughts that search will transition because of Yahoo!'s decision to put stock into their Yahoo! Subscriptions Service. After all, we all know Yahoo! is quite monetarily motivated, not user experience motivated, second, Yahoo! is losing market share to Google, the unreputed victor in search engine technology.

While Yahoo! in essence seems to be admitting defeat in the search engine space when it comes to natural search (organic), Yahoo! is just looking to monetize yet another approach to search. Google is making search better through it's many offerings - enhancing the usefulness of the results and user experience. While Google is in no way perfect, and quite frankly, churns out some very useless results, this is a complicated technology and with experience, testing and experiementation - search engines will remain organic in most.

Organic (natural search) may change when the algorythm improves to a level of proficiency within the best 10 results, making the SEO process intense, however, competition will remain and boost the need to know search engine technology inside and out.



Search Engine Optimization Newsletter

2006-06-20T06:31:21.360-07:00

The Webmaster Newsletter - Site Pro News is a great source for Search Engine Optimization information, and I would emplore you to signup for their SEO tips newsletter (especially if you are new to SEO). Many of their articles are useful, and best yet, they keep things simple and cite sources for direct information.

Of all the SEO or website development newsletters by email I receive, Site Pro News is one of the better ones. Fo instance, at the time of this writting (06.20.06), Site Pro News has on its home page 25 ways to add quality content to your website (part 1). This article makes its way into some fresh and not-so fresh ideas however, all of them are excellent for SEO and also making your content useful to users. While there are quite a few ads and sponsored links available on their website, the content is always useful and written to inform.



Google Coop 101

2006-06-14T11:14:27.026-07:00

I was experimenting with Google Coop and actually learned quite a few useful things regarding the usefulness and utilization of the service. Here are a couple of bits in the way of public knowledge and observation:

1) Google Coop is subscription based - Meaning, only users logged in and subscribed to Google Services will be able to view Coop listings (not coop refinements in the SERP)

2) Google Coop is flexible - The feeds that are provided for searches allow for dynamic rulesetting. For example: If you own a blog at site.com/blog and you offered green, purple, yellow, orange, white and black widgets, a ruleset could be set to include a format like: [Color]+ site widget. These feeds can be "smart" enough to be found, and are easy to implement - such as: "purple site widgets", "blue site widgets" or "green site widgets" (Take a look at the screenshot provided to see what I mean).

3) Google Coop feeds gain more visibility through popularity - Feeds that have high subscriber counts within their industry, gain more visibility through subscriber searches, and also place into the category "authority" sites listings within the Google Coop home website (whether or not someone is subscribed or logged in to Google Services). Much more to be unveiled soon, however this is certainly a great start with regards to service understanding and knowledge for Google Coop.

Do tell if you in fact have findings or your own research to share, this is most useful to anyone dedicated to learning SEO or staying on top of the curve within the industry...



Spreadsheets Courtesy of Google

2006-06-07T07:43:17.210-07:00

Rumors are flying concerning Google Spreadsheet, a new web based spreadsheet application which allows users to create spreadsheets online (rumored to be included directly off of Google Toolbar with an additional partnership with Sun).

I am always curious to try a new offering, particularly when it has the potential to be really useful or if it competes against a product I deem inferior within the same class (IE: Microsoft Excel spreadsheet Program). Although Microsoft's spreadsheet program works to a degree and has helped me create ton's of useful documents, The way it works is... well... a bit clodgy. Web-based may not necessarily be a good thing eaither, unless it offers the potential to be linked into intranet applications using an API... think about this Google Spreadsheet developers (if you haven't already).

We can wish for the best, however in reality, all we can do is wait for Google Spreadsheet and at the current time, it is quite a tease for many in industries which utilize Spreadsheet technologies such as analytics, financial and SEO. Given all of the tools that Google develops and releases, it is amazing at times at the rate in which they are churned out (all in beta mind you).

Comments, anyone?



Google Music - Search with an Extra Bit-e

2006-05-30T13:24:30.923-07:00

Take a look at the above screenshot and you will see what I mean. I got a Google Music result off of the term "Foxy".

Although this to me is all a part of the Google search engine suite of tools, including but not limited to: Google Maps, Google Local, Google Desktop, Google Toolbar, Google Base, Google Trends, Google Finance and Google Coop. Of course there are more, but these seem to be the core of apps for the search engine giant, and this particular selection of tools seems to fit the bill when it comes to user search refinement and quality searching.

One thing in common is the logic behind the search engine applications, but they are all unique in the functionality and accessibility they offer to their users and sources.



KartOO Meta Search Engine

2006-05-30T12:16:16.996-07:00

KartOO is a search engine which has applied a great implementation of design, interactivity and search, all-in-one website. Although it doesn't use it's own blended algorithym, this meta search engine taps into results from a variety of sources and brings them together into a map generated by top twenty results and then "maps" them into a keyword/theme cloud.

Not only is the KartOO search engine fun, but it also provides guidance for new web users, or for practicianers of SEO or website optimization for search engines. By viewing the keyword cloud provided, one can determine which of these words stick out at a search engine more (search engine simultation), posing keyword optimization issues or strengths.

Check out this website as it is indeed something to look out for and use.



Google Coop Testing and XML Feeds

2006-05-23T12:22:13.816-07:00

I've been testing Google Coop quite a bit, making several XML feeds and trying out a combination of elements as per the Google Coop developer pages. I still haven't asked anyone to subscribe to my links just yet, but I am hoping since you are reading this (Hint, Hint), that you would want to subscribe to my SEO Google Coop profile...

Basically, I would think you will start seeing advanced notice of any activities related to my blogs, SEO, Search Engines and of course, updated info on Google Coop. Let me know what you observe given a subscription to my Google Coop Profile.

And feel free to post relevant and useful Google Coop profiles here as well.



Google Travel Inlays : CSI Las Vegas (Can Search Include?)

2006-05-23T10:38:21.896-07:00

We've all seen by now the Google Base drop downs on Google's SERP for selections based on recipes, real estate, jobs and car models, but there is a new intregue upon the horizon.

Enter the specific search below for "Monte Carlo Las Vegas", bringing a travel inlay unlike the usual suspects...

In making this observation useful, I also searched based on the pattern for other "known" hotels in Las Vegas, namely "Paris", "Luxor", "Bellagio" and "Venetian". Funny thing is, that while "Paris" and "Luxor" hotels came up in the Las Vegas search, Bellagio and Venetian inlays were non existant - rather they led directly to the standard SERP listing on Google for the official hotel websites.

When I ran a more general search on Google for "Las Vegas", I got what appeared to be a Google Co-Op result - providing a selection of drill-down links to narrow the search down for relevance. I find this encouraging and highly useful for information and research abilities.



Kosmix Niche Search Engine

2006-05-18T08:13:55.410-07:00

Practically, this is a refined search engine looking up relative topics and information across a select vertical set. Namely, Health, Travel, Finance, US Politics and Video Games.

It is refreshing to see how information is laid out at Kosmix, a combination of ASK.com and Superpages.com, giving refinement categories / key terms once a search is performed.

Although the Kosmix search engine is small right now, I could see where it has it's strengths, certainly specified searches in it's verticals can provide essentially more useful results than in a generic search like MSN or Yahoo!



Snap

2006-05-15T11:38:02.426-07:00

Snap has come back into the race with a new interface and also a nifty new search engine. While I don't think it will win any following as of yet, it really is quite easy to use and may in fact beat out www.live.com (MSN's offering) without much difficulty. There are far less bugs and with a couple more features added to Snap.com, the search engine might be a serious contender.

Definately check Snap's search engine out, I had fun testing several searches and using the in-browser, browser, lol. There in fact seems to already be a way to "suggest" a website without them actually having any link to it... As a matter of fact, it looks as if Snap uses an ASK.com approach - Using results that it spiders without recommended URL's then if they exist in the database and someone searches on those sites that aren't yet popular, it votes it into caching a thumbnail and other relevant visual and textual info.

The inlaid browser that displays a thumbnail and information regarding that site being looked at, makes Snap's search engine easy to use for comparing result descriptions with actual page content, making the life of a search that much more short and efficient.

Now it's up to the test of time and feedback from users to see how Snap is regarded when compared to top-tiered and even second-tiered web search engines.



AlltheWeb Livesearch Beta

2006-05-11T08:41:05.893-07:00

I am sure this search has been around for a while on alltheweb, but I found it to be a very good implementation of a "Google Suggest" clone for search. It's slightly buggy, but for the most part fund and useful. If the engine also moves into being more targetted, perhaps a niche discovery search engine, I think alltheweb might gain popularity and play with the big boys...

Check it out for yourself.



SEO Keyword Trends Brought to you by Google Trends

2006-05-11T08:09:53.743-07:00

Now this tool is quite useful when comparing terms due to consistancy of searches, seasonality of a search and also to determine popularity of terms. So in addition to keyword frequencies, this tool can certinaly help pinpoint the stress-points of an campaign or strategy to optimize it even further. Google Trends also displays regional, language and top cities that conduct the search. Talk about search intelligence!

Furthermore, Google Trends can do wonders for SEO and SEM in external site side optimization and keyword / trend research. It also comes with nifty and easy to use line and bar charts (which can go very well within research, sales and presentation documents). Another note to take in is the viability of ad posting and even related search terms inclusion into results in the future release of Google Trends.

Keep them coming Google.



Spam brought by StopBounce

2006-05-03T07:54:25.940-07:00

All I have to say is, OMG, what a spammy concept. Not only is this very easy to implement (a javascript declaration on the homepage or landingpage replacing the "Back Button" destination with the spam site.

In theory, this is a good concept, but it seems like in every implementation, it goes to sites like these to ruin the viability of relevant results for users, after all, these are commissioned and can certainly be irrelevant. Figured I would speak on this topic since it's a rare implementation and it's just way to simple an exploit of website visitors...



Yahoo! tries SERP Integration

2006-05-03T07:40:09.410-07:00

Although in many cases Yahoo! Buzz results are not extremely relevant, I have to say that there is one very positive thing coming out of Yahoo! and Google for that matter.

There seems to be a surge in search engine tool integration directly into the SERPs. While Yahoo! Buzz may not be best suited in this fashion, it's nice to see that Yahoo is taking search a bit more seriously and making a move on enhancing results.

Yahoo! Buzz would certainly help some users and for some particular searches, could be valued, but I am sure Yahoo has other tools which can be even more effective... to better follow in Google's footsteps with Google Local and Google Base.

I will certainly keep my eye on this movement and see if any new suprises appear.



Flash SEO and Optimization

2006-05-02T13:08:48.926-07:00

This is an excellent example of how to and how not to use Flash on a website that is looking to gain traffic or to conduct SEO. The biggest no-no's for Flash is to have a 100% flash based website. It is a large topic of discussion in the SEO community - whether or not Google and the other large search engines (MSN, Yahoo, ASK) pick up on difficult-to-impossible coding technologies (IE: Flash and Javascript). Until search engines are 80% or more accurate at searching these types of files/code, there is no reason to adopt them. It may work in the longterm or it may not, one thing is for sure, simple is better.

Although I hate eye sores, you know, those websites made all of text with about 30 colors, many of them do extremely well and it is not because of their design. Think about it for a second, those websites are extremely thin, little to no hinderances in terms of code and visible content, thus search engines can better read and spider (AKA: scan) websites. This in turn improves the success of an SEO campaign or effort.

In my opinion, I don't refrain from using images, flash or javascript. I just offload javascript to external files, minimize the lines of code those external references take on a page, use a reasonable amount of images (roughly 10-20% of the page), and no more than 30% of flash is used on a page. When imbedding navigation into flash, I always double it up with either image links with alt attributes or straight-up text links (preferred).

Read the article for a bit more insight into this topic. I know you will find it useful and perhaps a great learnings opportunity.



SEJ - Google vs. Microsoft - Bout 2

2006-05-02T07:26:30.323-07:00

This story, fresh off the press from Search Engine Watch, involves a treacherous plot followed by reveling in absolute horror and finally topped with incredulous mayhem! Just kidding, its the ongoing Google VS Microsoft battle involving a buch of whining, software debates and the neverending fight for market share.

Thing is, Google's bundled into firefox and now Microsoft intends on integrating MSN (Live) search into IE7. Of course Google has a problem with this move on Microsoft's part and has filed complaints, however is it fair that they do the same with firefox? Essentially We understand a couple of things that also make this unfair:

1) Microsoft sells everything under the sun (OS's, Search, Electronics, software) whereas Google is purely search (working on getting other offerings, clearly)
2) Google dominates the search market share, something like 45% VS MSN's 11%.

So this cannot be considered apples to apples, but on the search landscape, Google clearly owns it. As has been mentioned on other blogs, the two should shift from default settings to an initial user setup to determine which engine they want set up as default. Personally, they should just set the default to clusty, just to agree that neither will be favored ;)I left this comment on the page as an opine relation to the subject and companies: It's pretty incredible how easily the tide turns. Microsoft, just recently, in the public's eyes, was considered the big brother / evil corporation and now Google's being put into that role. The difference I believe is that both Google and Microsoft are the worlds mega corporations and it would seem perception has made them equal. Although users are somewhat married to Google search and Microsoft Windows, most refuse to let go to adopt new software, and perhaps with good reason. It costs alot and also requires a good bit of learning shifts and perhaps even paradigm altering. Despite the battle between the goliaths, so long as they perform at least to par, we are certainly talking business. By the way, I don't agree with Microsoft most times, but they are certainly using a strategy followed by tactic that will raise their search market share.

Let me know what you think, love to get feedback on these topics.



Social Networking - Does Myspace own it?

2006-05-01T06:57:27.140-07:00

Never really having the inclination to participate on Myspace, I haven't felt the need or desire to communicate in that way, until now. Considering the possibility of Myspace-like websites that have more to offer than some rants from 11-16 year olds, I might, along with a myriad of other Internet citizens, also take flight to these new websites. It could take a while though.

A friend introduced me to myspace years ago, but it has really gained steam in the media as of late. As a matter of fact the "Social Networking" website has brought my best friend a fiance, and they are extremely well matched. I couldn't believe that Myspace could be a way to communicate effectively since to me it seemed like a college micro-site and nothing more, but once again, its how people use it and think of it - not how basic or advanced.

Well on to the actual story at hand. The article at CNN Money goes into a couple of new companies poised to make money off of the social networking space - based all on topics and subjects in business and personal fields. Everything from joke sharing to business collaboration.

Realizing that this is precisely what the Internet was envisioned to accomplish, these sites should do phenomenally well... Looks like the big boys have it in a vice at this point, but as always, the 'net gives the little folk quite some leverage...

Like the old saying goes, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for days, give a man a fishing pole and the man can live for years." , or at least somewhere along those lines. You get the point.



Prime Time for Vlogs?

2006-05-01T06:35:53.286-07:00

I admit, when blogs just became known, I shrugged them off as diaries for little kids back in 2000-2001, but they have certainly come of age and advanced far beyond what I expected. Although they are in fact fun or useful and informative, there are lacking elements such as touch, animation and smell. Obviously we have not come of age for those senses through technology (at least not publically known or available).

Welcome to Vlogs. Practically an online video diary which can be used in a plethora of ways - everything from commercials to low-budget films to someone's every day existance. I can certainly ses this as a huge thing in the next year two with the abundant proliferation of video blogginh devices such as cell phones, Ipods and combination gizmos.

Let us all rejoice, yet another way to waste time in the office! But seriously, this coulod be a liberating experience for you and I, perhaps even a life saving method of delivery for those without the means to get their messages out from third-world countries and the like...

We will soon see and be able to contribute to this new found and widely available medium.