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Thursday, January 7th, 2010

How To Use The Google Wonder Wheel To Create More Efficient Content

20 Comments

Have you heard of the Google Wonder Wheel?

It’s been available for 8 months, but few know what it is…and I hadn’t heard of it until recently.

I use Google Wonder Wheel (it appears within the “Show options” after you search something on Google) as a word reference tool when I’m writing a new article –  to get an idea of things to include.

Google Wonder Wheel = More Efficient Content Creation

For example, I wrote an article two articles on the SWOT strategic planning tool (SWOT Analysis and SWOT Analysis Examples) the strategic planning tool. And when I searched “SWOT” on Google Wonder Wheel, I got back the following topics:

  1. Strategic Planning
  2. SWOT Definition
  3. SWOT Marketing
  4. Personal SWOT
  5. GAP Analysis
  6. Porter’s Five Forces
  7. SWOT Examples
  8. SWOT Template

I ended up using the majority of these related topics as keywords within my articles.

Why? As I wrote about in Got Googlejuice, it’s important to be specific in your content in order to attract visitors from Google who are searching different variations of your topic (another way to find out exactly how many people are searching a specific term on Google is to use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool)

So, if I can cover such topics as “SWOT Definition” and “SWOT Examples” in my SWOT Analysis article, then I will attract additional traffic from people searching those terms on Google.

The Google Wonder Wheel allows for what I call more “efficient content.”

An additional use of this word reference tool is to suggest to you ideas for additional articles for you to post.

For example, I ended up writing separate articles about Gap Analysis and Porter’s Five Forces.

There’s a super-useful video of how this all works here: How To Use Google’s Wonder Wheel.

20 comments so far (is that a lot?) | Continue Reading »


Monday, December 14th, 2009

How To Get Incoming Links to Your Blog (or Web Site)

26 Comments

I’ve seen traffic from my blog go from zero to 8,000 visitors in eight months…and I’m starting to learn how to get incoming links.

I thought I’d share some tips (many of which I still need to master myself!) on how to get incoming links to your blog (or Web site).

Top 8 Tips for Getting Incoming Links

If you’re like me, you’re going to learn all sorts of things as you try these tips out – including finding potential business opportunities beyond just incoming links.

Ok, let’s begin the list of my top 8 tips for getting incoming links:

Incoming Links Tip 1: Provide Valuable Content on Your Blog

For starters, you should have valuable content on your blog — if you do, others on the Web will eventually find you and link to you…it’s that simple.

That’s how I got this blog up to 8,000 unique visitors per month in six months.

For example, if you write helpful advice, then you’ll initially get found through search engines such as Google (who will find you through the keywords you have typed)- and then when users are searching Google for advice they will find you.

As they said in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come!” As visitors do come to your valuable content they may: link to you without even asking;  ask you to publish your advice on their Web site (with a link to you); tell their friends; add you to directories of blogs, etc.

Creating valuable content on your blog takes time and it also takes time for people to find you and link to you…but in the long run, you’ll be successful generating incoming links by following this advice alone: write valuable content!

Incoming Links Tip 2: Write Comments On Blogs

Search other people’s blogs to find topics similar to those on your own blog and contribute a comment to their blog along with a link back to your own blog posting of the related topic.

Note/Warning: You should add genuine value to their blog posting (not just post a link back to your own posting) as the administrator of the blog your commenting on can easily delete your comment for being too selfish.

Incoming Links Tip 3: Insert your Blog link or RSS Feed into Your Social Network

  • LinkedIn
    • LinkedIn has a “MyBlog” field on your profile to let you put in the address of your blog.
    • LinkedIn has “Applications” that allow you to insert your blog feed into your LinkedIn profile so that people will see an excerpt of each new blog posting you make.
  • Facebook
    • Your profile on Facebook allows you to insert an RSS feed of your blog to your Facebook page so that every time you post a new item on your blog, it will show up on your Facebook page. note: if your blog is a business blog you may want to set up a separate Fan page on Facebook).
  • Twitter
    • Insert links to your blog on Twitter. These links may be clicked on by your Twitter followers or also come up in search engines which now index Tweets (you may have to use a URL shortener (such as TinyURL or bit.ly to get your link to fit on Twitter.

Incoming Links Tip 4: Alert Content-Sharing Sites of Your Pages

Each of the below sites allow you to share your content by allowing you to submit a title and short description of what your site/content is about.

  • Digg.com
  • Reddit.com
  • StumbleUpon.com
  • Delicious.com
  • Folkd.com

Visitors to these sites below then rank your content good or bad and the more good ratings you get the more visibility you get.

Incoming Links Tip 5: Reciprocal Linking

You should always be on the look-out for Web sites whose traffic you desire and consider how you might link to each other.

For example, I have a friend who writes for a Web site for entrepreneurs and that’s part of my Web site — so he has linked to me in particular articles and I have linked to him.

The key with such reciprocal linking is to make sure the links are relevant and in context, otherwise you might get into trouble with Google and other search engines.

Google frowns upon “link schemes” such as:

  • Links to or from spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the Web
  • Excessive/automated link exchanging (“I’ll link to you if you link to me”)
  • Buying or selling links

Incoming Links Tip 6: Link Directories

There are plenty of directories that allow you to freely provide a link to your blog or Web site.

I’ve listed some examples of ones below ranked by largest to smaller ones (rank = their rank in terms of traffic on the Web (e.g. Yahoo is the second largest Web site) and unique visitors is per month).

  • Yahoo (rank: 2; 120,000,000 unique visitors)
  • Blog Catalog (rank: 233; 4,600,000 unique visitors)
  • Technorati (rank: 529; 2,868,383 unique visitors)
  • MyBlogLog (rank: 802; 1,294,037 unique visitors)
  • Dmoz.org (rank: 1,774; 1,015,926 unique users)
  • Scribnia (rank: 90,510; 19,115 unique visitors)
  • OnTopList (rank: 98,802; 17,308 unique visitors)
  • Dr. 5z5 (rank: 124,385 13,221 unique visitors)
  • FeedPlex (rank: 214,466; 6,948 unique visitors)
  • ooBdoo (rank: 329,927)
  • DayTimeNews (rank: 397,805; 3,328 unique visitors)
  • rss001 (rank: 548,185; 2,274 unique visitors)
  • FeedMil (rank: 629,551; 1,931 unique visitors)
  • Blogbal (rank: 736,845; 1,611 unique visitors)

Note: The source of the rankings and traffic is a combination of Quantcast and Compete.com

Niche Directory Submission

There are also more specific niche directories for you to be listed on – you should try a search on your favorite search engine for “keywords related to your business + directory.”

For example, if you searched “business advice in the United Kingdom” you would find that a site called FreeIndex provides a free listing of your blog/business/web site

Incoming Links Tip 7: Write an Article for Someone Else

You can get a link back to your Web site by writing an article on such sites as ArticleBase and eZineArticles. I checked ArticleBase and it seemed to allow you to use at least two or three links back to whatever URL you choose.

Incoming Links Tip 8: Acquire An Existing Web Site/URL

You may consider acquiring a Web site that has a high Google Page Rank.

For example, go to Sedo and check out existing Web sites for sale and then look at their page rank (which you can do by downloading Google’s tool bar).

If you can acquire a Web site that has a higher page rank than yours, you can then control that Web site and link to your own blog or Web site.

Note: I only recommend doing this with a Web site that is relevant to the blog or Web site you want traffic to.

For any external link you seek you should know about the no-follow link.

What Is A No-Follow Link?

If any site links to you (including some above), they may include what’s called no-follow code within their HTML.

A no-follow link indicates to search engines that the Web site publishing the link does not necessarily want the search engine to associate its reputation with the site it’s linking to.

That said, there is still value to you of being linked to from a no-follow link since you will receive traffic and some believe it is another way to let a search engines know that a particular page on your site exists (especially useful if your blog/site is a new one with few to no links to it yet).

How To Determine if a Link is No-Follow

To determine if a Web site uses no-follow you can click on the page on which they are providing links, click View/Page Source on your browser and search for a URL and see if it is preceeded by the words “no follow.”

You can also search the Web for “do-follow” Web sites – some people have compiled lists of them.

A link without the no-follow in the HTML is more valuable than a link with no-follow.

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Monday, November 16th, 2009

What is Affiliate Marketing? — Tips From a Veteran

15 Comments

Pam White has helped affiliates sell millions of dollars of  products…and those sales were made at little risk to the affiliate marketer’s she managed, as they were primarily performance-based (they didn’t layout any cash until the products were sold!)

She generously agreed to answer some questions to help us understand the affiliate marketing business.

Q: Welcome, Pam. A lob-ball question first: What is online affiliate marketing?

A good description, I believe, is “selling other people’s stuff” on the Internet and receiving a commission for doing so.

Affiliate Marketing Expert Pam White

Affiliate Marketing Expert Pam White

Q: If you’re a business, and you have products to sell, how do leverage affiliate marketing?

Determine the financial benefits of handing over the marketing expertise of a “staff of affiliates”, versus the cost of marketing the product through your own marketing department’s expertise.

Does the competitor have an affiliate program?  Maybe you should consider it as well.

Q: If you want to run a business, but don’t have any products of your own, how do you leverage affiliate marketing?

1. Learn all you can about affiliate marketing – in general.  SEO, PPC, etc.

2. Research products or services of which you have expertise and are passionate about.

3. Analyze keywords and quantity of searches performed for the   niche.

4. Realistically analyze your budget and ROI goals

Q: You mentioned earlier that the top affiliate marketing programs are offered by Commission Junction (CJ), Sharesale and LinkShare — please tell us more about each of them?

Commission Junction /LinkShare/Shareasale and many other networks, contract with hundreds of merchants selling products, and for a fee, handle the management, tracking internal listing of the Merchants Affiliate program.

Those interested in joining an affiliate program within the network can peruse the various products offered once they have completed the signup and approval process.

Generally speaking, however, the affiliate must have a domain name and website or blog to be approved to sell the merchant’s product.

Q: You also mentioned, that if you’re selling a service you can utilize Clickbank: how do you make money with Clickbank?

Clickbank is similar to CJ, in that there are several merchants listed in the Clickbank Marketplace and you can choose which products you wish to promote.  With most merchants offering up to 75% commission per sale, it’s very popular for those wishing to sell digital products or membership site offers.

Q: What’s the “Clickbank Elite”?

Clickbank Elite is a program sold by a 3rd party merchant that extracts the “hot” selling products at Clickbank as well as cloaking the Clickbank generated hoplinks.

Q: I understand that Google has entered this space — what are your thoughts on the Google Affiliate Network?

I must be honest and say that I’ve not had the opportunity to search their offers or speak with any Merchants who are currently using the Google Affiliate Network.

Q: Speaking of Google, I hear stories about affiliate marketers who receive “Google slaps” — What’s a Google Slap?

A Google Slap occurs when Google views your website’s content and the Adwords keyword used to drive traffic via that ad to your landing page as not relative, or of poor quality.

This will result in an increase in your PPC costs to as high as $10.00 per click.  Additionally, your page rank, and thus your Quality Score, will be adversely affected.

Q: How do you avoid getting Google-Slapped?

Consider the keywords you are bidding on and the landing page and Adwords Ad group to make sure that they all “relate” to the content on the landing page as well as offer value to the visitor.  Be sure the page has adequate “original” content.

A great place to learn all the basics of Google Adwords is from the Google Adwords Learning Center. You can also view the Youtube videos published by Google.

Q: I hear that Pay Per Click (PPC) is key to affiliate marketing — would you elaborate on that, including defining a PPC Affiliate?

A Pay Per Click affiliate bids on and pays for each click on his targeted Sponsored ad at Google, Yahoo, Bing or any PPC network.

PPC is the key to gaining an immediate presence for your brand or campaign in the search results.

Q: What do you consider to be the best affiliate marketing program of all time?

I don’t know that I’m qualified as an expert on that question, so I’ll go with Amazon, since they were one of the first to enter the space.

Q: Who do you consider the best affiliates in the marketplace?

Not to hedge that question, but “the best” I believe, would be relative to the vertical.   Best CPA, Best CPL, Best CPM.  I haven’t worked in all those verticals.

Q: What’s a super-affiliate?

Again, this is relative to the vertical.  A “super-affiliate” may be an individual, an agency, or a network.  It’s any affiliate that has the ability to drive high volume sales (consistent with the niches expectations) which outperform the “average” amount generally produced over a given period of time.

Q: What’s the best way to recruit super-affiliates?

Network, know the competition, review who is the top PPC advertiser in your niche, identify them through various online tools, contact them, present your offer and metrics and invite them to join your program.

Q: What’s the best way to learn affiliate marketing?

Forums, Blogs, E-books, Industry leaders, Google Learning Center, Articles, Mentors, Coaching programs, trade shows like Affiliate Summit. Twitter, Facebook

Q: What’s a good affiliate marketing website to check out for beginners?

Affiliate Tips owned by Shawn Collins, who is also the co-founder of Affiliate Summit.

Q: In our last conversation you mentioned ABestWeb.com — would you describe the affiliate marketing forums they provide?

Basically, almost any network you choose to join will have a corresponding forum at ABestWeb where you can discuss openly any issues, complaints, questions, or accolades you wish and have it viewed and answered by a moderator/associate of that particular network.

Q: Thanks for sharing your perspective, Pam. If someone were to want to get in touch with you, how might they do that?

You’re more than welcome.  Those who wish to reach me may do so by contacting me at my e-mail address pam.white@gmail.com.

15 comments so far (is that a lot?) | Continue Reading »


Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Black Friday

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I woke up today and noticed that Google Trends lists “Black Friday Deals 2009″ as the fifth hottest trend in terms of search traffic.

As I reviewed my other keyword tools, it looks to me like more than two million people will search the keyword “Black Friday” this month.

Here are some examples of the number of searches involving “Black Friday” in the most recent month available (September):

  • Black Friday Ads: 246,000
  • Black Friday Deals: 110,000l
  • Black Friday Sales: 90,500
  • Walmart Black Friday: 22,200
  • Black Friday Specials: 9,900
  • Black Friday Coupons: 5,400
  • Black Friday Flyers: 1,300

What is “Black Friday”?

Black Friday is primarily an American event referring to the popular shopping day of the Friday following Thanksgiving each year.

Many retailers provide deals on Black Friday to attract the numerous people who take that Friday as a vacation day.

The news media hypes up Black Friday as the busiest shopping day of the year in the U.S. — this has been true twice this decade (according to Black Friday Wikipedia).

The Black Friday history dates back to January 1966 when the Philadelphia Police department described the day after Thanksgiving as “Black” because the excessive shopping that day brought traffic jams.

Technically, the Saturday before Christmas is typically the largest sales day (but I’m not going to blog about that because there’s no nickname for that day (and only 36 people searched for “Saturday before Christmas” on Google last month (I checked!)

When is Black Friday?

Since Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November, Black Friday occurs between November 23rd and 29th each year).

This year (2009), Black Friday falls on November 27th.

How Businesses Can Leverage Black Friday on the Internet

One way for you to leverage the Black Friday trend is through search engine marketing — buying keywords (such as through Google AdWords) or search engine optimization (making sure that you have good content on your Web sites that represent what people are searching on).

I recommend you use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to review what people are searching on.

For example, if you are in the consumer electronics vertical, here are some of the top Black Friday-related keywords searched last month:

  • Black Friday Laptop: 2,400
  • Black Friday Electronics: 1,900
  • Black Friday TV Deals: 1,600
  • xBox 360 Black Friday: 1,000
  • Fry’s Electronics Black Friday: 590
  • Microcenter Black Friday: 590
  • K mart Black Friday: 210

The day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” should not be confused with the Black Friday 1929 which refers to one of the days following the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

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Sunday, June 28th, 2009

SEO Tips From eBay’s SEO Specialist

34 Comments

I sat in on a talk that eBay’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Manager Dennis Goedegebuure gave at eBay’s headquarters in San Jose earlier this month.

I got to chat with Dennis and he’s both smart and interesting — away from eBay he blogs about poetry, tips on San Francisco (in Dutch) and a favorite topic of mine: Black Coffee.

SEO Tips from eBay's Dennis Goedegebuure

eBay's Dennis Goedegebuure likes WordPress and so do I!

Note: Just to be clear, even though this was an eBay SEO specialist presenting his tips are not focused on eBay Store SEO or any other SEO for eBay Web pages.

While Dennis was through most of his presentation, I realized that he was going to make the slides available online — They are located here: Dennis Goedegebuure on SEO at eBay DecCon09.

I decided to go ahead and include my notes (below) as there were some comments Dennis and attendees made that are not in the slides — I encourage you to look at both!

Ok, on to my notes:

Dennis’s Definition of SEO

  • Free traffic
  • More visitors
  • More downloads
  • More transactions

Those sound like things you want?

Here are some SEO tips, tricks and topics:

Be Worthy

First and foremost, Dennis recommends that you make sure that your product is worth talking about; if you don’t, no person will link to you or visit your site or install your application.

Read the Search Engine Webmaster Guidelines

Dennis adds that you can learn a lot from what the search engines give you…the top search engines have documentation so you should read it… such as Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Google Universal Search: Threat or Opportunity?

Google and other search engines have moved more towards images, video and news — what we call Universal Search.

This is a threat — if you are just text-based…yet this is also a great opportunity to rank higher since there are fewer businesses that have images right now.

Sniplets Presentation

Through structured meta data the presentation of your site can be enhanced. Two tools on this are Yahoo Search Monkey or Google Rich Snippets.

Microformats.org is a great resource for how to code, present, etc. better for search engines to have better display — you won’t rank better but your appearance will be better.

How Do Search Engines Work?

Search engines have crawlers crawling links to discover your content.

If your content is not linked to (hidden in java script or flash) it can not be easily discovered. Crawlers will look at your Link Structure.

Site Indexing

Search engines download html content of the page and store it in their database. As they perform this Site Index, only extractable content is stored.

Then, search engines rank it. Here are keys to their ranking (in no particular order):

  • Keyword in anchor tag to the page
  • Links to the page/site
  • Page Title
  • H1 Tag
  • Quality of the content

How Do I Get Google To Index My Site?

To get into the Google Site Index, or other website indexing, you simply have to publish your content onto Web pages and then link to it from somewhere. Google site indexing can be done as fast as just couple of minutes or many weeks depending on the type of Web site you have (note: Google indexes blogs more frequently than other Web sites).

Taking Your “LUMPS”

LUMP stands for Links, URL Structure, Meta Content, Page Content, SiteMap. Here are some

Links

Search engines discover you through links. It also helps with relevancy.

For example, Adobe Reader is ranked for “click here” (because its Anchor Text reads: “If you don’t have Adobe Reader, click here”

Google was the first to do a link-based algorithm based primarily on:

  • Quality of links to a page
  • Quantity of links to a page

Four other important Link-related tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keyword used in the anchor tag
  2. The age of a link
  3. External Links — The majority of your links are typically to your home page
  4. Internal Links — You need a good site structure to leverage your link juice.

URL structure

  • If you have a good domain name with a keyword in it, that is considered a “keyword rich domain.”
  • If you don’t have a good domain name, you want to include keywords in the URL — you’ll notice that the URL for this page is robdkelly.com/blog/increasing-web-traffic/seo-tips-from-ebay.
  • Avoid a lot of “parameters” in your domain (like symbols and numbers) as that confuses the crawler.
  • You should also avoid canonical URL problems such as using multiple URLs for the same page (e.g. Purchase.com/index and Purchase.com/main).  Canonical tag is a band aid to solve this problem.
  • A general rule of thumb is that you should use dashes between words in your URLs so that the search engines look at them all as individual words. Dashes are always preferred over underscores.

Meta Content

Meta tags are HTML elements used to provide structured metadata about a web page. Make sure all of your pages have a unique page title with the keywords you want to focus on.

Page Content & Elements

  • Build pags for two user agents: Users and Crawlers — You should focus on serving Users first and then Crawlers next.
  • Build your Web site in plain HTML — Because text is extractable by crawlers.
  • Prevent usage of flash or other rich media — It’s harder for crawlers to extract this.
  • MicroSite — A business called BlendTech built WillItBlend.com  in pure HTML with embedded videos and every video has its own URL. They now dominate the first page on “Will it Blend.” Sales went sky-high for BlendTech.
  • Avoid Cloaking, etc.– This is an approach that looks at crawlers and treats them differently — don’t do this! You will be violating most search engine’s guidelines. “Don’t try to fool a search engine as they are smarter than you!” Also don’t buy links or put white text in the meta tags. Don’t put text on a minus 99 location so it’s all the way to the left of the screen. These are all flags to the crawlers.

SiteMap Protocol

  • What are sitemaps? — An XML file that Webmasters provide search engines about  your URLs with metadata about each URL such as how often it changes, how important it is, etc.
  • Sitemaps can help crawlers discover pages such as XML sitemap and HTML sitemap.
  • Tip: Submit an XML sitemap to all major search engines for easy discovery of your pages
  • Add sitemap location to robots.txt file.

Image Search Optimization

  • Use a file name that contains the keyword
  • Supply an ALT text
  • Provide relevant text around the image

For one of MR. Goedegebuure’s sites, 50% of his traffic is coming from image search.

Use Semantic HTML

If you would like to have one thing emphasized, use an h1 and only one h1 per page.

Three main factors

  1. Anchor text in the link
  2. Page title
  3. H1 tag on the page

If you do those three best practices, you will rank pretty well.

SiteMaps Continued: HTML SiteMap

Build an HTML sitemap with all links on your site for users and for search engines.

Keep your number of links to 50 or fewer because Google Sitemaps frowns upon anything more than that.

Four free tools

1) Sitemaps

Dennis recommends the following tools:

Google Webmaster Tools

Yahoo Site Explorer

Bing Webmaster Center

…to help you to:

  • See incoming links
  • Submit Sitemaps
  • Get alerts on problems
  • See how search engines crawl your site

2) Free Firefox plug-in toolbar

You can disable cookies, images, javascript to see what the search engines see when they look at your site

3) Google Insight for Search

You can use this to see what’s searched more: singular or plural keywords.

4) Microsoft  Advertising Intellgence Plug-In

It provides trending data for keywords, Cost Per Clicks, demographic data and real data from bing.com.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Dennis!

If you found this posting valuable, you may want to check out my Got Google Juice? item.

34 comments so far (is that a lot?) | Continue Reading »


Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Some SEO Basics

3 Comments

I chatted with a guy named Dan Rosenbaum today.

Why? He knows a bit about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — he increased organic referrals for #1 women’s site iVillage by 30% in one year.

Plus, he and I used to work together at a then-amazing company called CMP Media; and he said he was looking for his next adventure (job).

If you know anything about SEO, you know that good SEO people are hard to find! Plus, I look out for CMP alumni!

Dan’s perspective on SEO is made all the more interesting because he has 30 years of experience in content (offline and online).

This is Dan Rosenbaum, feeding us SEO tips

This is Dan Rosenbaum, feeding us SEO tips

I decided to pick Dan’s brain on some basic SEO stuff and share it with you.

If you’re interested in hiring Dan, then check out Dan on LinkedIn.

Ok, so here are my questions in bold — the rest is pure Dan!

Ok, Dan, so what type of SEO professional are you?

There are three types of SEO professionals.

There are some people who are very code-based about it. They see things through a lens of technology. There are some who see it through a lens of analytics.

My lens is a lens of content.

None is better than any other. I like mine (content) because I spent 30 years in content, so I come to SEO on a content basis.

What’s a surprising thing about SEO that most people don’t know?

Ranking in the SRP (Search Results Page) is meaningless. Anyone can get to the first page for something.

What I always watch for is traffic, and changes in traffic.

I care about the conversion of what happens once someone hits my page…clicking the buy button or the ad.

I can rank #1 on a search of “cellphone”…but if they come to my page and don’t convert, all I’ve done is cost my company money.

If I can generate meaningful traffic to my reader, to my customer…that’s the win.

As it happens, Google is helping that. They are working very hard to eliminate the concept of the importance of the first page of results.

Such as with Universal Search.

What’s Universal Search?

Universal Search is searching not just Web pages but audio, video, user reviews — which is a new thing.

So instead of having ten Web pages on the first page, you’ll have four Web pages, two videos, a little blurb about shopping sites, a blog post and a user reviews.

And the result for the user in San Francisco is different from the result of a user in New York.

And, further-more, the results may differ based on what’s in your Gmail Inbox.

A sufficiently-targeted ad is not an ad, it’s content. They’re as valuable, if not more valuable, than what the room full of editors is churning out.

It becomes even more important…and Google helps that along by lumping more information on the SRP that isn’t necessarily in control of Google or the Content provider.

We believe Google rolled this out a couple of weeks ago.

What changes did Google make a couple of weeks ago?

It used to be that a Content guy can control what was on the SURP (aka SRP or Search Results Page) — not so much now. It used to be that it was 156 characters — there’s the page title, two lines of text (maximum of 156 characters) and then the URL — you can’t dictate what that will be any more.

Google is in control of what’s on that page — Google will present whatever serves its user better.

This makes publishers and big e-commerce companies completely nuts — cuz they’re in the business of controling their message.

Until a couple of weeks ago, you could be reasonably sure based on how you coded your page of what would show up in your listing.

To an increasing degree, Google is no longer listening to that suggestion.

It’s actually going into the page and saying these two sentences are the most relevant and showing the Google user that.

Google used to show what was in the description meta text of a page.

Was there an announcement about these new Google changes?

Google admitted they were doing this a couple of weeks ago…at Searchtopia…a glorified news conference.

If you look at a Google results page, at the top left, you’ll see a link that says “Show options.”

You click that and it flies out a whole column of options that didn’t exist last month — it controls how much you see, what content you see and how long the snippets are that you see.

Google is pretty invested in making that [Show Options] link as prominent as they can.

What are other secrets about SEO that most people don’t know?

That SEO is not rocket science.

SEO isn’t an event, it’s a process. If you’re going to do it right, it has to involve every department in the company — the tech staff, the marketing, the research, ad and ad ops, metrics and, especially, executives.

The reason that there are so few good in-house SEOs, and that they bail for agencies all the time, is that people involved in SEO don’t have the management experience to come into a company and do that.

The difficulty of [SEO] agency work, is that it is kept at arms-length — and it doesn’t work that well.

As for companies who hire SEO internally, too often the employers  aren’t emotionally equipped to understand what SEO really is — it’s a quality process…that involves the entire company.

When Toyota decided they were going to out-quality Detroit, they didn’t hire a quality guy and stick him in a cube.

They hired someone who would come in and look at the operations of the entire company and build a process that baked quality in.

And the best companies that do SEO, bake SEO in.

Thanks for sharing, Dan. What’s your ideal next gig?

My job is to help people build great sites with great information that serves appropriate readers.

I want to get elbows- and knees-deep in the next thing. If there’s a company committed to that and SEO, that would be a good fit.

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Friday, April 24th, 2009

Got Googlejuice? 9 Simple Tips for Showing Up in Search Results

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Googlejuice!

If you had to master one concept in online marketing, this would surely be it.


I’ll give some Googlejuice tips below…but first, some of you might be asking: what is Googlejuice?

Googlejuice is a catchall for a handful of things that you and others can do to make your products, business or anything else show up high in Google’s rankings when people search.

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Googlejuice!

If you had to master one concept in online marketing, this would surely be it.


I’ll give some Googlejuice tips below…but first, some of you might be asking: what is Googlejuice?

Googlejuice is a catchall for a handful of things that you and others can do to make your products, business or anything else show up high in Google’s rankings when people search.

By the way, there’s a great book called What Would Google Do? that recently came out — it has a few pages on Googlejuice and in general how to work better with Google.

So why is Googlejuice so important? Because it can send enormous traffic to your Web site — and you don’t have to pay marketing dollars for it!

Question for You:

When you search on the names of your product categories, products, company, executives or industry, does your organization show up first every time?

If the answer is yes, please contact me as I’d like your advice!

If the answer is no, you may find the rest of this article helpful.

What’s the secret? I don’t know.

Google Juice is based on secret algorithms, and we’ll probably get the formula around the time Coke gives out its secret recipe!

GoogleJuice Tips

But, there are some basic Googlejuice tips you can start working on now:

  • Be Open – You should provide as much relevant information about your business as you can. Unless you’re giving up trade secrets (i.e. some secret algorithm or patent you own), you should publish it on the Web. The New York Times saw exponential growth when it freed its newspaper articles on the Web (it had previously charged readers money for accessing its articles online)
  • Be Unique – If you have information that is rare or unique, that can help your Googlejuice! For example, if you sell an unusual product line of “Fabricated Resin Plates (I made that up),” mention that exact phrase on your Web site. Since very few other businesses sell such a product line, your site will come up very high for the people searching any variation of “Fabricated Resin Plates.”
  • Have Many Links to You– The more sites that link to you the better; Google considers these to be endorsements of your reputation.
  • Have Quality Links to You — The higher their Page Rank (a score Google gives your site (named after founder Larry “Page”) the more Google Juice you get.
  • Have .Gov and .Org Links to You – Google sometimes gives links from .Gov and .Org sites more Juice than links from .Com sites (all other things equal) because they are typically linking out for reasons other than making money.
  • Be Transparent – Show the world who you really are. If you messed up on some product or have bad news, you should consider mentioning it on your Web site (perhaps in a blog…Others outside your company are going to be writing/talking about it anyway (wouldn’t you rather have your prospects/customers hear about it from you!?)
  • Be Clear & Specific – If you’re in the business of selling a vetinarian instrument for operating on squirrels, say it…People do search on such specific terms and if when they do they will find you!
  • Be Simple – Google tries to behave like a human so don’t get fancy with graphics and such…just simply describe your services.
  • Have Permalinks – Google rewards you for Web pages that stick around a long time (as long as they have useful information)…so if you have some valuable information, write it on a Web page and keep it there!

Now go enjoy a Googlejuice smoothie!

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