Google and SEO: “Social Signals are For the Long Haul”

“There is no longer any value in serving up generic or commodity information. With Hummingbird and semantic search, Google is getting better at using machine learning to understand the world’s knowledge base. The main reason for Google Search to exist, from Google’s point of view, is for people to be exposed to AdWords ads, the source of most of Google’s income.”

From Matt Cutts at Pubcon 2013: Authorship, Authority and the Future of Search.

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…



Press Releases: Not just For SEO

Press release

Have you been using press releases for your business? For a time, they were out of fashion, because Google’s Matt Cutts discounted their value for search engine optimization (SEO).

However, apparently they are still worthwhile for SEO. If you choose to use them for that. This article reports:

… we showed one case where Google not only discovers the links within typical press releases but uses the anchor text for ranking purposes.

One ranking might not make a case for their value, but SEO benefits, while pleasant, are far from the only use to which you can put press releases.

I call press releases “the gift that keeps on giving.” Here’s what else they can do for you:

* They get your company’s name in front of your customers;

* They’re “free” content for your website;

* They’re an ongoing resource for people who arrive at your website, without knowing anything about you. Create a “media” or “newsroom” section of your website, just for press announcements and news releases;

* They let you put your point of view;

* They give you credibility.

In this article, I encouraged you to make the most of your press releases in various ways, including:

* Offer your news release in PDF form, for easy downloading;

* Offer a short report, or additional information. If you’re promoting a new product, add a report on the research you’ve done, your testing procedures, or anything else which seems relevant. Once you’ve got someone’s attention, and they’re reading your release, make the most of their interest.

Press releases can be extremely valuable. They’re not an instant fix for marketing woes, but if you’re not using them, consider it. Not only can they bring traffic to your website, they can encourage your visitors to linger — some of them will buy from you.

photo credit: BrittneyBush via photopin cc

Keywords, And More Keywords: Google’s Fun, Free Keyword Tools

Web content is all about the words — keywords. The search engines index them or they don’t… If they don’t, you’re in big trouble.

If you’re not sure where to get started with keywords, let’s look at some free tools.

Google’s Keyword Tool

Google Keywords Tool

Google’s venerable AdWords tool is a great place to start.

Tip: if you have an account, make sure you log in; it saves you bothering with the captcha, and has some excellent utilities.

Google Trends Timeline

Google Trends

See what people searched for over time — “hot trends” is very useful, this shows you the most popular search terms over 24 hours. Currently, “Felix Baumgartner” is the top search, with over a million searches.

Yes, Baumgartner’s a daredevil, and a very brave man. He’s also a marketing opportunity, as this article points out:

But while the stunt is a rallying cry for science, it’s also proved to be a huge marketing opportunity – and not just for the expensive watch strapped to Baumgartner’s wrist.

Energy drink Red Bull has sponsored the entire event, from Baumgartner’s training all the way through the skydive itself – complete with branding on the parachute.

Tip: there’s a BIG lesson for you in this. If you can tie your content to a hot trend, you’ll get lots of traffic. Be careful with this strategy. It works, and it’s powerful, but it can also lead to a lot of useless traffic if you’re not careful.

Google Suggest

To use Suggest, just go to Google, and start typing. Google offers you ideas of what you may want, depending on what you’ve typed.

Google Suggest

You can use suggest in various ways.

Tip: choose a keyword, and then work your way through the alphabet for your next word.

For example, if your chosen keyword is “keyword”, type “keyword a…” etc.

So there you have three of Google’s free and fun keyword tools. There are more; these will get you started.