Posts Tagged ‘bing’

Search Engine trio introduce, schema.org

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

The three top search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing have collaborated in the hope to improve search engine results. Schema.org will assist webmasters who are looking to add markup to their pages and will create a better understanding of websites for the search engines.

logos of the top 3 search engines, yahoo, google and bing

A variety of schemas such as html tags can be used by webmasters so that pages will be distinguished by the search engines. This in- turn will make it easier for searchers to find the accordant web pages.

A number of websites are generated from assembled data which is generally stored in data bases and is formatted in html, making it difficult to recover original data. Search engines and various other applications will benefit from having access to this data directly.

Mark- ups allow search engines to understand the data and information on these website pages and then provide richer and improved results for search purposes, This valuable addition to search engines will certainly make web browsing more useful. Get started here.

What will Schema.org do for your website? Schema.org will assist website owners and improve on where they

rank on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Google has certainly been providing useful additions over the years, Rich Snippets (2009,) Expanded on Rich Snippets and a collaboration in 2006; Common standards for Sitemaps. However schema.org seems to offer more relevancies to the webmaster.

  • New markup types (over 100 new types have been added. Popular markups include: Recipe, Movie, Book, TV Series)
  • Use of microdata (primary focus to improve simplicity and consistency across search engines)
  • Support of existing rich snippets (Webmasters that have already done markup on the pages will still be supported)
  • Testing web pages’ markup (Test website pages with markup. Use rich snippet testing tool)

Webmasters are encouraged to start marking up web pages as soon as possible. Currently the schema.org website as well as the rich snippets testing tool are all in English however rich snippets are displayed in Google results around the world.

Schema.org has been launched with hope to extend and improve search engine results and ultimately grow the tool.

schema from yahoo, google and bing!

Bing and Facebook’s Popularity Contest! And why Google will win

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Bing and Facebook Social Search AnnouncementIt was announced last night that the social media giant Facebook, would be sharing the social context of its information database with the search under-dog, Bing. In other words, Bing will now know what every Facebook user “Likes”. Bing announced that it would be incorporating this information into its search algorithm to help increase the relevancy around its results.

An example of how this would work would be: if you search for hotels in Johannesburg, and your friend Jack has “Liked” the Nicol hotel in Bedfordview, Bing would give this more preference in the search engine results. Your friend’s name would also appear alongside the listing stating that he/she liked this hotel.

Popularity vs Relevance

While this does provide another level of intelligence to the search algorithm, is it not one that doesn’t really matter? Does this new addition not measure popularity over relevance?

Relevance: Relevance is a term used to describe how pertinent, connected, or applicable something is to a given matter.

Popularity: The quality or state of being popular; especially, the state of being esteemed by, or of being in favor with, the people at large

In short, are they not just making it more difficult for the potentially relevant under-dogs (less popular) businesses, ideals and people to be found high up in the search results pages? Just because I liked an article doesn’t necessarily mean I found it particularly useful or relevant. I could have just “Liked” that article as it was someone I admired who posted it. Once again, this proves that people with many connections and friends will have the upper hand in getting their content “Liked” and displayed higher up in the SERPS.

By using the “Like” button as a guide we are placing a lot of trust in our “circle of friends”. If I’m looking for something technical, who is to say my friends are well versed in the technology that I’m looking for.

Google has spent years refining its search algorithm and fine tuning it in to what is today, a highly relevant set of results. Granted, Google is going to have to find an answer to Bing’s heightened social search. But I highly doubt that Bing’s 10% market share of search is going to keep the developers and mathematicians at Google awake at night. Not to mention that in the announcement they said that 4% of their searches were of a social nature (searching for people). If this is their target market for this algorithm update is it really worth all the hype?

Next Step

If they are truly trying to measure relevance, then surely the next step would be to have the long awaited “Unlike” button. If we are just measuring what people like, as apposed to their likes and dislikes, are we not only looking at one side of the coin? Surely these results will be skewed as they are far more things in Facebook that have not been liked than the ones that have. Again this goes back to our initial thoughts on popularity versus relevance.

Irony

Ironically this article is highly relevant in terms of the Bing and Facebook announcement. Does that mean if no one “likes” this article, does that mean that it is not relevant in the eyes of Bing?

Written by: Nick Duncan and Jonathan Houston

Canonical Links – Specifying duplicate pages

Monday, October 26th, 2009

If you don’t already know, duplicate content can have a hazardous effect on your SEO efforts, and we were lucky enough for Google to tell us about it in February this year. Google released an article hinting that you should specify your preferred version of your page(s). And when Google “hints” something, you’d be stupid not to make it a standard in your procedures! By using canonical links, you are telling Google which page is the “original” or “preferred” page, of a page that can have multiple variations that are identical or very similar.

What is a canonical link?

A canonical link is a <link> element specified in the <head> section of your duplicate page(s).

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.example.com/products.php?prod=tyres” />

Give me an example!

If you have a page listing all the tyres you are selling, such as:

http://www.example.com/products.php?prod=tyres

and another page listing the same information, but sorted differently, such as:

http://www.example.com/products.php?prod=tyres&sortedby=brand

You would need to specify your preferred version of the URL on the duplicate page. Therefore, if you would like the first URL to be your preferred page, insert the canonical link pointing to that page into the duplicate page. When I mention the term “preferred page”, this indicates the page that you would want Google to list in the SERPs.

What most don’t understand.

This works perfectly well for the example mentioned above, but did you realise that even if you dont have an e-commerce site and you believe that you do not have any sort of duplicate content on your site. Chances are, you do! The URLs below are all different in the eyes of a Google bot.

http://www.example.co.za

http://example.co.za

http://www.example.co.za/

http://example.co.za/

http://www.example.co.za/index.html

http://example.co.za/index.html

And did you realise, your PageRank™ is probably being spread between some of them? This is due to the fact that others link to you differently. Its a given that you cannot control how others link back to your site, but you need to let Google know what your preferred URL is so they can transfer the properties accordingly. Inserting some code into your .htaccess file to accomplish this is a very good idea. You should also keep in mind not to have contradicting URLs in your sitemap.xml, and using Google Webmaster Tools to specify between “www” and “non www” is another must do.

Conclusion

Google is not the only search engine using this standard, Yahoo! and Bing have both incorporated this into their algorithms and you can read their press releases here and here. So in the hope of increasing the efficacy of your SEO knowledge, keep this listed at the top of your “SEO to do” list.