Tag Archives: search engines

Google, Oh Google: 10 Tips to Top Rankings

Ten Tips to the Top of Google

I enjoyed this article because not only are the tips practical, they’re doable for most people. Of course, only Google knows whether you’ll hit the top. :-)

TIps include:

* Focus on marketing basics;

* Consider your website’s structure;

* Build a digital footprint — be everywhere;

* Consider how your site will be viewed: multiple screens…



Everywhere You Want It: Live Your Life With Evernote


It’s no secret I’m a huge Evernote fan. I adore it because it means that no matter where I am, I’ve got my stuff with me. Everything that’s important to me — client data, current projects — lives in Evernote.

I’m always looking for new ways to use it. Here’s a way that’s new to me — outreach. I especially liked this idea, Track Link Building Outreach like a Boss with Evernote | Search Engine People | Toronto:

“You can easily use your notebook data to infer what your success rate is at different stages of the workflow. For example, if I had 10 leads in Pitched, and 10 leads spread out between Writing, Submitted, and Published, my success rate for lead pitching was 50%. The math-savvy marketer should find it easy to calculate a whole ton of other data from this.”

Very nifty indeed. Makes my use of spreadsheets (which I hate) obsolete.

Getting handwritten notes into Evernote

I think better with a pen in my hand, so I scribble on anything handy when I want to think, or just need to make a quick note.

Livescribe is handy for getting some of this material into Evernote. I’ve got the Echo pen, which means I need to sync manually, but it’s brilliant.

For those times I’m scribbling onto sticky notes or index cards rather than Livescribe paper, I snap a picture of the notes with my phone.

That works. However, this may work better — CamNote:

This allows the use of Evernote’s OCR to convert my handwritten notes to digital text in the background, making all CamNote notes searchable by Evernote. In the example below a search for the term “CamNote” instantly returns the appropriate note as highlighted.

CamNote for iOS is free, BTW.

Web Content Meta Data: Search Engines Are Dumb

Search engines are dumb — they’re scripts. Yes, the scripts are written by very smart people, but the scripts themselves can’t think.

A webpage’s meta data: the Title, Description and Keyword tags, govern what a search engine “thinks” about a webpage, and determine how it will be indexed. Therefore, they’re important.

When I’m teaching Web writing, I get all excited about meta data, because it’s something you can control. Write a webpage, and write the tags. Or write the tags FIRST, and then write the page.

I’m fond of the Description tag; it’s a free Google ad.

This article, How the Meta Description Tag Affects Google Rankings | StepForth Web Marketing Inc., gives an excellent overview of the Description tag:

“The clearer your Meta Description describes the content and purpose of a given page, the better chance you have of keeping a searcher on your page when they get to it. Now based on what I believe above, if the searcher stays on the page instead of going back to Google immediately (or quickly) your site’s page will have a better chance of at least maintaining the ranking it has or improving it.”

Write the meta data first

Web content, just for the sake of content, is useless. Before you write any content therefore, think about WHY you’re creating the content. What goals do you hope to achieve? Write down your goals for the content.

When I create Web content for a client, we discuss what the clients wants. The answer to: “What response do you want?” is vital. I write down whatever the client says, and try to boil it down into a sentence. I write the sentence on a sticky note, so that I can see it while I write.

Once you know what you want to achieve, work out how you’ll achieve it. Content doesn’t exist in isolation. You need an integrated campaign. Once you’ve planned that, and are ready to write your webpages, write the meta data for each page FIRST.

Each Page Description is an outline for that page.

Another tip: keep records, and track your content. Remember the Three Month Rule.

Search engines are dumb. Be smart, and pay attention to the meta data.

Social Glue: Prove You’re Really You on Google+


When Google+ launched over a year ago, my interest level was zero. Learn yet another social network, I thought? Surely you jest.

It’s not merely the learning of course, that’s fine. It’s the TIME required get involved in all these areas.

My view on that’s changed however: Google+ Increasing Rankings? Time to Get Busy convinced me that while I may not like it, I’d better get busy with Google+.

And of course, there’s the identity aspect: the “rel=author” attribute. Getting credit for their writing is important for all writers, and implementing that attribute across the Web means using Google+.

That’s where Google+ may be more important to your business than both Twitter and Facebook combined. Google+ helps you to prove that YOU are really you. I mean “you” in the broader sense: you as as business, your staff identified as representing your business, your products identified with YOU…

As this post, How Google+ Has Morphed Over The Past Year & What We Can Expect in 2013, points out:

“Over the past twelve months, Google+ has become the social glue across all of Google’s products. Search is still king with Google, but it’s now more social thanks to Google+. Likewise for YouTube, Blogger, Gmail and a raft of other Google products. Google+ is even an identity service for some of those products – for example, YouTube users can now opt to use their Google+ profile instead of their YouTube username.”

With search engine rankings becoming more of a challenge week by week, Google+ can and should help you to become more visible, for everything that’s related to you and your business. That’s the theory, anyway.

ReadWriteWeb says: “If I was to project what Google+ will be like in July 2013, I’d guess it will be even less about being a standalone social network and even more about supporting YouTube, Google search et al. “

My mental shorthand, for the benefits of Google+:

* Identity;

* Search engine boost (aggregate everything).

It all boils down to getting found, and recognized. That means for me, and maybe for you, Google+ is worth time and effort.

Research Keywords Creatively: Suggestion Search


Do you like Google’s suggestions which appear as you type in a search query? If you do, you’ll like Soovie. This search suggestion tool provides suggestions from a variety of sources, and it’s customizable.

You’ll get results as you type. It’s useful for marketers, and for Web content creators. I use it often, because it gives me an instant overview of possibilities for content.

Soovie’s interface is clever. You can see the sites from which it’s drawing its results, and you can go directly to a specific source when you click on a keyword search term. For example, if you click on keywords appearing over the Youtube logo, you’ll be taken to a YouTube search on that keyword.

The program’s customizable, and has 15 search engines which you can use. Just press your right arrow key, and the search sources will change.

Want to save a search? You can. Drag your preferred suggestions to the book icon on the top left of the screen; you can even get these keywords emailed to you — a great feature if you’re away from your work computer.

Web Content Quality: Focus on YOUR Needs, Not the Search Engines’

If your sites were affected by the Google Panda/ Farmer update, it’s bound to have been a painful experience. Lessons learned: quality counts (even though it’s subjective), and it’s time to focus on your visitors’ needs.

Sites which weren’t affected focused on creating quality content which served their readers’ needs and their own, rather than chasing traffic or rankings.

This article Why Quality Is The Only Sustainable SEO Strategy suggests:

“As we’ve found with the latest Google algorithm shift, when quality and the user is kept in focus, performance can withstand even dramatic algorithm adjustments. The name of the game in SEO is change, but by keeping focused on users and not algorithms, negative consequences can be minimized.”

It’s worth reading the comments to the article. This comment especially is worth remembering: “A great website is EXACTLY like a good book. Good books make the New York Times best seller list because they have some or all of these values: either interesting, informational, entertaining, enlightening, popular, useful, educational and/or illustrative.”

On my freelance writing blog, I’ve been advising writers to focus on quality content, because I think it’s the only viable way forward.

By “quality”, I mean create great content for your site’s visitors, and make sure that that content also creates conversions. If you’re thinking that that’s easier said than done, try this — change your focus. Stop worrying about the search engines, and start worrying about your site(s).

Marketing With Twitter: 4 Reasons to Tweet, Even if You Hate It

“Twitter is stupid, it’s a waste of time…” This is the response I often get from my marketing clients when I introduce them to Twitter, the social media micro-blogging tool. Then I give them four reasons they should be tweeting.

Here they are.

1. Twitter Increases Your Brand’s Credibility Online

Twitter helps you to answer several important questions, such as:

* “Who are you?”

* “Who else does business with you?”

* “Can I trust you?”

Never underestimate the importance of answering these questions: not once, but many times.

Trust is a huge factor for any business. No matter how many brick and mortar stores you have, or how large your balance sheet, you need to focus on building trust online. Trust takes time to develop, and it’s easily destroyed.

Twitter gives you a chance to show your humanity, and that there are real people behind your brand.

2. Twitter Gets Traffic to Your Best Web Content

Yes, you need Web content. But before you create content, you need to have ways to promote it. Twitter is an easy promotional tool which lets you showcase your best content, and also lets people talk about it.

3. Next Year Will Be Different from This Year: You’ll Have More Competition

Competition. You have it: every business has competitors, and here’s what’s guaranteed — you’ll have more competition in 12 months than you have right now. Not only will your current competition pose more of a threat, you’ll have a bright collection of new competitors too.

Twitter enables you to get the advantage over your competition. In 12 months, you’ll have 12 months of tweeting behind you. You’ll have formed new, strong relationships, as well as strengthening current relationships.

3. Mighty Google: Real-Time Search Done Right — Be There

Currently (in June 2009) Google doesn’t offer real-time search of Twitter streams. You can be sure that Google’s working on making its search results pages as close to real-time as possible however.

For example, Google has just added a “Recent Results” filter to its search query results pages, which include results from the past hour.

You can also be sure that Google takes your presence on sites like Twitter into account when deciding where and when to serve up your Web content.

As Google and the other search engines evolve, you need to be on sites like Twitter.

Want to make it into Google News? Top copywriter Angela Booth offers a SEO news releases which are a great source of links and publicity for your site, product, or service at her Web copywriting site, Hot Web Copy.

Contact Angela today, and use the power of the Web to get your advertising message to your customers with online news releases.

[tags]Twitter, marketing, business, small business, social media, search engines, Google[/tags]

Bing: Google alternative?

When Google first appeared in 1998 the search engine was a refreshing change — type a keyword, get a result that was actually useful. Wow, what a concept. My favorite search engine at the time was Alta Vista, as I recall, along with another text-based search engine, Open Text.

Over the years, Google has continued to delight. Who doesn’t love Google? (Well, lots of companies, but be that as it may… :-))

I didn’t expect much from Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine. Their previous search engines were adequate, but that’s all.

It seems however that Bing may be a winner.

The article Apparently Bing Is Something Of A Hit reports on user comments:

“It is fast, accurate, visually pleasing – and as Sam said above – Holly crap, it doesn’t suck. I really like the way the images are done – click on an image in the gallery and then the results go along the left hand side – that is a sweet feature. The news search falls a bit short – but hey.

The results are actually good. i did a search for ‘extend a dd-wrt network with airport express’ and was impressed by the qlty of the results. also the results look clean. and the left hand guided search assistant is great.”

There’s a common thread of surprise that Bing might actually be useful in the comments, which isn’t a surprise at all.

If Bing continues to impress, we’ll all need to redo our SEO efforts to take Bing into account.

[tags]SEO, Bing, Google, search engines[/tags]

Google buying Twitter?


Hot news: rumor has it that Google is in talks to acquire Twitter.

Sources: Google In Late Stage Talks To Acquire Twitter (Updated) – washingtonpost.com reports:

“More and more people are starting to use Twitter to talk about brands in real time as they interact with them. And those brands want to know all about it, whether to respond individually (The W Hotel pestered me until I told them to just leave me alone), or simply gather the information to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong.”

Fascinating. :-)

Do you use Twitter? You can follow me, and I’ll happily follow you right back — let’s stay in touch.

[tags]Google, Twitter, search engines[/tags]