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Archive for the ‘Latest News & Algorithm Updates’ Category

We here at Schipul – The Web Marketing Company love to share knowledge, information and news with each other. On any given day, our inboxes are filled with links to great articles, SEO tools, and sometimes just plain awesome randomness.

So, we decided on the SEM team to begin sharing some of the articles we’ve been reading regarding the SEO industry on a weekly basis. Below are links to some of this week’s SEO news. If we’ve missed anything important, please feel free to share it with us in the comments below. Also be sure to follow our twitter account for the latest SEO & SEM news at @SEMBlog.

Search News From Around the Interwebz

Top Articles from Search Engine Land

Head-To-Head: Yahoo Search Direct Vs. Google Instant – March 23

Yahoo rolled out Yahoo Search Direct today, its rival to Google Instant. Yahoo says that its service is focused on providing actual answers, while Google’s is focused on bringing back links. True? Let’s have a face-off. Test 1: Who’s #Winning For Charlie Sheen?

Location Controls on AdWords Get More Granular – March 23

Google has modified the way its location targeting controls function on AdWords to give advertisers more control over who sees their ads. Most importantly, advertisers can now distinguish between people that signal a location as part of their search query, and others that search from an IP address or GPS location in the area.

Bing Mobile Updated: Improved HTML5 Features, App Search & More – March 23

Microsoft’s Bing team announced some significant changes and updates to Bing For Mobile. The core changes include better HTML5 support, better and faster image search, real-time transit and directions, iPhone app search, improvements to shopping, weather and movie search results. The new interfaces and features currently work on all smartphone browsers that support HTML5.

Bing News Adds Tweets To News Results – March 23

Bing has added tweets from Twitter on the Bing News search results pages. The tweets are public updates from the Twitter stream related to the news query. For example, search for [japan] on Bing News and you will see a box on the right that says “Public updates for japan.”

Google Hires Georgia Tech To Build Internet Monitoring Tools- March 23

Ars Technica reports Google has given a $1 million grant to a team at Georgia Tech in order to build tools to help users around the world monitor the internet for free. The goal is to build web-based tools any user can use that enables them to detect Internet throttling, government censorship, and other transparency.

How To Use AdWords Broad Match Modifier: A MallowMayhem Example – March 23

So, you think you created a campaign structure that covers all the bases. You added broad, phrase, and exact match keywords with distinct keyword roots defining meaningful AdGroups. You have ad copy that leverages those core words for that important boost in CTR and conversion rate, and targeted landing pages to match.

Bing Feature Update: Discover City Attractions Before You Go – March 23

Bing has teamed up with content providers Frommers, TripAdvisor, WCities and Zvents to launch attractions pages. Users will be able to see information including reviews, events and photos for over 50,000 top city attractions. Page content will also be contextual and based on the user’s location.

10 Tips To Check The SEO Soundness Of Product Listings – March 24

Optimizing for search engines and shopping engines is all about accessibility, relevance and authority. In the process of continuously optimizing for search and searchers, sometimes basic areas get ignored, overwritten or overdone leading to entire sections of the site being blocked. . .

Google’s Think Quartely: An Online Magazine Done the Google Way – March 24

Google has published its first edition of Think Quarterly, a 64-page online magazine/book that comes from the company’s UK & Ireland offices. The first issue is dedicated to “data” as a topic and features a series of articles written by guest authors and Google employees.

SEO News - SEMBlog - Schipul -The Web Marketing Company

Other SEO & SEM News

SEM Industry News

Over the past few weeks there have been some great articles published in the SEM world that you may have missed. Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel, we wanted to share them here so you can stay up to date on the latest news and thoughts from the search engine marketing world.

Google uses site speed in rankings – we’ve known for a while that Google was headed in this direction, and they finally made it official. Site speed is now counted, though it’s more of a tie-breaker than anything. Check out the full article. There, Matt Cutts points out that in addition to helping you in the rankings, speeding up your site will also please your visitors. Win-Win.

Google Analytics browser-based opt-out – Google takes privacy seriously and is working on some browser plugins that will allow people to opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics. As a site owner, don’t let this frighten you. Web users have always had the choice to opt out of many tracking tools by turning off javascript (though many don’t as it affects their overall web experience). Chances are you will not see any major dip in your statistics, and your users will have an additional tool to control their privacy online.

The So What test to Analytics reporting – This is a favorite topic of mine. While Google Analytics and other tools offer you a sea of reporting options, very few of those give you actionable steps to improve your site’s KPIs. Avinash Kaushik offers a few examples of how asking “So What?” can improve your reporting efficiency and save you time, energy, and help move you closer to your online goals. Take some time to read it and then look at the reports you usually review and ask, So What?

To stay up-to-date on the important news in the SEM world, you can Subscribe to The SEM Blog and receive all of our updates in your favorite RSS reader.

Paid Blogging – The Dirty Little Internet Secret

posted by Jason McElweenie
Thursday, March 5, 2009

If you are a blogger or you are thinking about getting into blogging to increase your revenue from your site please take heed over recent blog posts concerning paying someone to blog for you or your company

A recent report from Forrester, as reported by Adage, states that marketers should pay bloggers to write about their experience. This type of thing is done a lot but it generally gets the blogging community up in arms when someone blogs for pay.

We have suggested to clients that they invite bloggers and photographers to their events to help generate traffic to the blogs and in turn to their sites but we don’t suggest you outright pay people to say nice things about you. Forrester is suggesting you do but Google, especially Matt Cutts tells you not to.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

If you are going to pay someone to blog about you and say good things Google doesn’t want to have anything to do with it and if they find out you never told them about it they will penalize your site/blog. Google requires that all blog posts have the ‘no follow’ tag applied to all posts.

From Matt’s Blog

“My bottom-line recommendation is simple: paid posts should not pass PageRank.”

nofollow What Matt is referring to with PageRank, if you are unfamiliar, is the system at which Google ranks pages in it’s algorithm based on keyword relevance. Google does not support paid links and having someone write a blog post for you is considered a paid link. Think Payola

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t people to say how great you are you just can’t use it to push your sites ranking up. If you are going to pay someone to talk nice about you make sure you tag your posts with ‘no follow’

The Adage article quotes Forrester’s author Sean Corcoran who imparted this advice if you are to have someone blog for pay.

Forrester’s Paid Blogging Advice

  • Be transparent and disclose all financial relationships
  • Bloggers should speak in a genuine voice and be vocal even when they have something unflattering to say about the sponsor
  • Be relevant — don’t try to push car tires on a beauty site
  • Listen to the bloggers in the community
  • And, of course, follow the "no follow" rule

 

Jason McElweenie

For more information please contact the Search Engine Marketing Team at Schipul – sem@schipul.com

Meta Tags – The Game is Always Changing Part II

posted by Jason McElweenie
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Last post we talked about Meta Tags descriptions and keywords and we left off telling you that you can be penalized for stuffing your keywords. Some of you in SEM know this but most of our clients don’t. There is some gray area so let’s do some digging and find out what the rules are.

Here is Google’s official statement on keyword stuffing

"Keyword stuffing" refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google’s search results. Filling pages with keywords results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.

To fix this problem, review your site for misused keywords. Typically, these will be lists or paragraphs of keywords, often randomly repeated. Check carefully, because keywords can often be in the form of hidden text, or they can be hidden in title tags or alt attributes.

O-K? A little ambiguous but it’s a start. Google’s keyword statement leaves some room for interpretation and it’s this type of thing that can get you in trouble. It does say that ‘Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google’s search results’ but surely there must be some clearer indication of what this means. It doesn’t say how many keywords I can use or should I use all of my sites keywords on every page or should I use page specific keywords – keywords that only show up in the content of that page and nothing else. It doesn’t mention using keywords that aren’t specific to my page, like Paris Hilton or iPhone. Hmm, let’s do some more investigating.

One place we found some clearer information was a post on SEO Consultants. They state;

"Use a "keyword" meta-tag to list key words for the document. Use a distinct list of keywords that relate to the specific page on your site instead of using one broad set of keywords for every page."

Now we’re getting somewhere! If you are going to use keywords in your meta tag make sure that they are evident in the body copy of the page. Avoid site specific keywords for every page. Also, do not add any spammy words like Paris Hilton or iPhone if your page has nothing to do with either of them. So we have our answer, short and sweet – to the point!

To SEM folks like us at Schipul this type of information is common knowledge but as we see it takes some investigating to find out what the rules are.

This type of ethical Search Engine Optimization or SEO is called White SEO. The practice of stuffing your keywords is called Black Hat SEO and can work for you in the short term and can generate attention. This will most likely be a bad thing as we see below.

In a post on Matt Cutts blog, head of the Google’s Webspam team, he points to a site by Alex Chiu and blatant body keyword stuffing. Below is a screeshot of Alex Chiu’s site.

alex-chiu-textareaHe has added a small text area near the bottom of his page as shown in the screenshot to the right. This text area contains an insane amount of keywords, some that make sense ‘Circulatory System’, some that don’t  ‘Conservative Mission Wallpapers’. Chui’s keyword stuffing area represents about 50KB of keywords. Matt was kind enough to post them all for us. Just what is ‘Tupac Kazaa Hospital’? Who knows. Check out the list here.

This is the kind of stuff that can get you banned so don’t do it!

So in closing do things ethically and you will reap the rewards. Don’t keyword stuff, it’s bad.

 

Jason McElweenie

For more information please contact the Search Engine Marketing Team at Schipul – sem@schipul.com