Posts Tagged ‘google’

Google Throws another Curveball for SEO Fundies.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

How to master Google’s New Hummingbird Algorithm.                            Hummingbird

Google, yet again, has thrown web content writers and SEO strategists another obstacle. Although this is great news for Google searchers worldwide, it is yet another algorithm adjustment for us web folk to get used to. Introducing… Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm.

Having been implemented over a month ago, if you are finding your site still at a good ranking, you have probably been untouched. However, to make the most of your website and optimise your site to the maximum, it is important to work according to all of Google’s new changes.

The Hummingbird, as it’s now known, deals with Google pulling web ranks according to content. Content that is based with answers to conversational queries. This newest algorithm catches users actual search intent and pulls websites that have content which answers the intent in the best way. Conversational phrases are now where it’s all at.

So now my fellow SEO content writers start thinking along the lines of how your target market would search for your product. Think of examples such as:

  • “How to…”
  • “Where is the nearest…”
  • “Where can I get…”

Adapt your keyword strategies specifically for answers to conversational queries. Use these 3 different approaches to classify your keyword strategies.

  1. 1.       Informational

When users are interested in finding information about a specific topic.

  1. 2.       Navigational

When users are looking for a particular website.

  1. 3.       Transactional

When users are searching for a product within their area.

SEO folk now need to try and determine all conversational phrases related to their specific product or service, and classify into the 3 above approaches. Writers and strategists, start thinking about creating educational content for the informational search phrases. Push your brand name, product name and business name for navigational searches.

Another trick of the Hummingbird trade is to expand your keyword research. It is now important to start paying attention to related keywords, acronyms, synonyms and spelling variants (UK, US, South African). Remember to use these for anchor text and back-linking purposes too.

All in all, this new Hummingbird Algorithm is no train smash. It increases Google’s usability, and even you as a Google user will find the results more satisfying.

 

Welcome all, Google’s New Keyword Planner!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Keyword.PlannerSay farewell to Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool and how-do-you-do to Google’s new Adwords Keyword Planner. With the release of this new integrated tool, SEO strategists are left with a huge question mark on their foreheads. Some of the comments on forums haven’t been too welcoming, but let’s weigh up the options in a more enthusiastic manner, shall we?

First things first, let’s point out the new features of this Keyword Planner Tool.

  • One of the most NB features of this new tool is that Google has decided to incorporate mobile devices as part of the default search results. Previously, results were limited to desktop PC’s and laptops only. With the ever-growing technology, users are more likely to search for content through their mobile phones or tablets.
  • With this, numbers tend to be higher.
  • The Keyword Planner combines the functionality of the old Keyword Tool and the Traffic Estimator into a smooth and integrated workflow.
  • This new tool gives data for exact keywords. Users can now upload their own keywords and see how they perform in accordance to the data result.
  • Google is forcing users to identify themselves by having to log on to Gmail in order to use the Planner.
  • The tool divides keywords into suggested adgroups (this is mostly for PPC) but this also aids in assisting you to see which keywords Google deems topically related.
  • Hyper-local geographical search option. This means, not only do results of keyword planning show for say example, South Africa, but users can now narrow their search to more localized searches. So what keywords are Capetonians searching for?

So, how does this new Keyword Planner impact on SEO Analysts and Web Content Writers?

Well, with the new feature of being able to examine keyword research on a hyper-local basis, writers are now able to gain a better understanding of the volume and competition in the general geographical area they are targeting.

With regards to keyword research, Google is striving for users to learn their demographics. The Keyword Planner forces writers to focus on magnetic content, based on what your clientele are interested in and what they want to know about. A great tool to use for this is a social media platform. By providing valuable content, users are more likely to stay on your site for longer, keep coming back, thus improving your sites usability and increasing your websites ranking.

On an overall basis, one may say, “don’t fix what isn’t broken”. However, technology is on a permanent state of evolution and it is important for Google (and every online marketing team) to keep up. The Google Keyword Planner might not seem like a good idea to most, but we say give it a chance- It’s going to help not only you, but more importantly, your business.

 

 

 

Google Plus Your World: Google takes search to the next level

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

2012 has only just begun and Google is already making news in the online world with Google Plus Your World. The search engine has always brought information from across the web. Now with Google Plus Your World, Google has rolled out its most innovative gimmick yetfor its search results.

Searches will provide all web activities related to your search including the personal ones too including:

  • Photos of friends
  • Profiles of people you know or follow
  • Family or friends posts from other social networks such as FaceBook and Twitter

With Google Plus Your World you can expand your online community by discovering people related to your search.

How Google Plus Your World works

A Google Plus Your World search combines “regular” search results with various web pages associated with YOU personally, displaying different things you intended to share. This happens only with your friends on Google+, right within the search results.

As creepy as it sounds, now, if you feed Google some obscure keyword and this keyword is present somewhere on your friends’ social media pages, those pages are likely to be included into your search results. The outcome can be quite surprising. For example, if a friend or colleague posted a link or mentioned the name of a hotel they stayed at on Twitter or FaceBook and you performed a search for that hotel, their post will come up in your search results.  This is the power of Google Plus Your World.

Who can use Google Plus Your World?

Google Plus Your World is available to Google users who are signed in to Google and searching on https://www.google.com in English.People, Pages, and Profiles will now be integrated into the search. The new features will display personal results in the SERPs, mostly from the Google network.

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  • No write off costs relating to redundant promotional material
  • Visitors can help themselves to information; anytime, anywhere, and as often as they wish – making them more likely to do so

Getting started with Woza Online

Getting started with Woza Online is very simple and it will not cost you a dime. Simply visit www.wozaonline.co.za and push the “get started now” button and follow the simple instructions. There are various templates to choose from, pick the one you like and add a few details about your business including: contact details, information about your business, products or services you are offering and so forth.

It’s that easy try it now

Panoramio: Google takes picture sharing to the next level

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

What is Panoramio?

Are you familiar with Flickr or Twitpic? Well, Panoramio is also a picture sharing website; except it is geolocation-oriented which means one can find images taken near a specific location around the world. Photos loaded on to Panoramio can be accessed as a layer in Google Earthand Google Maps, with new photos being added at the end of every month. Panoramio’s goal is to allow Google Earth users to learn more about a given area by viewing the photos that other users have taken at that place. Panoramio is available in all major international languages.

Benefits of Panoramio

The biggest advantage of Panoramio is that you can join a group of users who share in the same interests you do. Panoramio Groups allow for discussions about a topic you may feel enthusiastic about. “Wild animals in Africa”, “Traditional Dances”, “Portraits” or “cars” can be topics worth a discussion.

You can share your passions through photographs more collaboratively with Panoramio Groups. This new feature lets you create a sub-community within Panoramio around a topic you’re passionate about, so you can easily engage with like-minded photographers and hobbyists.

You may also use Panoramio groups to organise a Panomeeting and share the experiences and photos of the meeting with the world. You may also want to use Panoramio groups to organise a photo competition. The opportunities are many.

Only your imagination can decide what can be done with Panoramio groups.

To upload a photo, you’ll first need to be registered. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to sign up for Panoramio. Anybody with a Google account can join Panoramio and start sharing photos with the world immediately. Panoramio has an official iPhone application and third party developers have released a Windows Phone 7 version of Panoramio. This allows users to browse through the various images posted to www.panoramio.com

Get posting and let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Google pushes all Ad campaigns to the bottom of the page

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Google has been slowly but surely changing the way in which we use Google Search. The design and overall user experience of Google Search, that is. This mainstream search engine recently revealed that Ads will now be placed at the bottom of the search results page, instead of the top.

This transition from “top vs, side” Ads to “top vs. other” Ads is said to perform better. This is because the viewer can easily scroll from the top of the page, down to the bottom, which is a natural action. In tests that Google have been performing, results show that Ad placement at the bottom of the search results page, received better click- through rates.

Google revealed that Ads placed at the bottom of the page and those placed on the side of the page, will be exclusive. This means that these Ads will not appear at the same time, reducing the amount of clutter, with regards to advertising.

Organic search results positioned at the bottom of the page have been known to generally have higher click- through rates than Ads in that portion of the page. However, now that Google Ads will be placed at the bottom of the page, there will more than likely be an increase in traffic to the Ads. This poses the question? Is Google planning on doing away with organic search all together?

One thing is for sure… The bottom of the Google results page provides plenty more space than the top and side of the page, allowing for more Ads to appear on one search results page. But what does this mean for the Ad campaign’s success? Well if most viewers find what they need on the first Google results page, it could mean dismal results for Ad campaigns on other pages.

At this stage, it is too early to judge the success of a specific Ad campaign at the bottom of the Google results page. However if certain keywords result in high volumes of paid Ads, then a specific Ad campaign will appear at the bottom of the Google results page.

The Google 1 Chrome Extension has arrived…

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The wait is over; Google (Google Plus 1) has joined the extension bandwagon. If you are a Chrome user the Google Plus icon will become more and more visible on all your favourite web sites which will allow you to Plus 1 any web page. This ingenuity was developed directly by Google Inc. and it will function similar to the Facebook “like” button you see on most web pages today.

The concern for most, however, is the fact that Google Plus sends a list of all the pages that you have visited to the Google Server but this information will not be connected to your account as a user. Normally the company may keep some information about your visit to certain pages, usually for a period of about two weeks, to maintain and clear up its systems.

So how does Google Plus 1 button work?

Whenever you search for something on Google Chrome, you will find a small transparent Google Plus button in front of your search results. When you click on it, it becomes blue. This simply indicates that you have voted for that link, it’s like telling other searchers “hey! Check this webpage out”.

If you see 2 pages on Facebook for example – one having 100 likes and other having 100000 likes – without giving it much thought, you would go for the page with more likes.

This concept is similar with Google Plus, the number of “+1s” a site gets indicates its popularity.

Google Plus 1 extension

Not all websites have started making use of the Google Plus1 button, however the extension of Google Plus allows all Chrome users to Plus 1 any web page they desire whether it is using the in-site Plus 1 button or not. By installing the extension the user is able to Google Plus 1 the page and should you have already done so, it will turn blue. The number of Google Plus1’s are also shown.

Benefits of Google 1

The launch of Google Plus buttons literary means very effective steps has been taken that combine the power of search engine optimisation and Social Media in bringing massive free traffic to your website or web page. It affects the ranking of a website on Google Search results. The more “ 1s” your website gets, the better Search engine ranking it gets – it’s that simple!

Google search wants to know…

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

What Do You Love? An array of things I’m sure. Google loves making lives simple and providing effective tools that allow us to find out more, conveniently.

The recently launched www.wdyl.com otherwise known as “What Do You Love?” is a new service that has been designed to offer information regarding any topic, across multiple Google products. These include:

  • Google Books
  • Google Trends
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Google Alerts
  • Google Search
  • Google Places
  • Gmail
  • Image Search

These are just a few of the platforms that will appear on the extremely clean and well designed tool. www.wdyl.com offers the user various boxes on the page, each displaying search results according to the Google product. The overall idea is to take users to a single page of relevant information across Google’s online products.

Users will get the very best results by entering a broad search term, e.g. “dog.” Once the term has been entered, the user needs to click on the heart button, a sweet but extremely punny addition with love from Google.

This extremely user friendly Google tool is a fantastic combo of the things you love and how to use Google’s search tools. By clicking on any one of the numerous boxes on the results screen, users will be directed to that Google product where they may continue their search as usual.

All round, a really clever addition on Google’s behalf. Easy to use and simply designed. We give www.wdyl a massive thumbs up!

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!

IP Address could effect SEO and ranking!

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Whenever you listen to self proclaimed “SEO guru’s” waxing lyrically about SEO, they are always talking about onsite and offsite SEO. The conversation gets sprinkled with acronyms  (I’m sure half of which are designed to confuse) and they focus on the fact that onsite SEO is the first step in Search Engine Optimisation.

How is this wrong?

The server that your site is hosted on has more influence on your sites performance than you would initially think. There are a

number of items which need to be checked to ensure that you are getting not only the best value for money, but that it is the best hosting solution to ensure that your site is able to rank well within the search engine results pages (SERPS – see how I threw in that acronym?)

IP Address

When you host your site you need to check if you are on a dedicated IP or a shared IP. The IP address is :

a numerical label that is assigned to devices participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication between its nodes.

and will look something like : 196.55.562.1

The important thing here is to make sure that you are not sharing your IP with any “bad neighbors”. Bad neighbors can be defined as any website that is practicing black hat SEO techniques, is a porn site or a gambling site.

These sites are not valued by search engine robots and spiders and when you share your IP with them, your site could be penalised at the same time. The best thing to do would be to do a reverse IP look up to see who your neighbors are. A great tool for doing this is

Mummy Maze.

The next step would be to make sure that your IP address has not been listed as spam; a great way to do this is by doing a Blacklist Check.  This will help you in working out if your IP address has ever been used for shady doings.

While there is no definitive answer at the moment from anyone at Google or the other search engines; it is not advised that you share your IP with too many different websites. The smaller the neighborhood the better seems to be the general feeling. What’s more if you can arrange it so that the websites you share your IP address with are all similar in terms of the category they fall into, then even better.

Where to host?

Again there has been no definitive answer to the theory that you should host in the country where you intend to do business; but it is the generally accepted norm as far as SEO goes. This line of thinking does make a lot of sense; especially when you think back to neighborhoods : you don’t necessarily want to be sharing your neighborhood with sites that are all in the UK and you are trying to do business in Australia. Although as I said, that is all still up for public debate.

Why your company needs Google Places

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Google MapHave you ever searched Google for a company email address and find that service or company in Google Maps pin pointing where they are located?

It is a great service that Google runs and best of all there is no charge to list your company on the world wide web.

But why would you want to list your company? Especially if you do not have a website.

Google Places is a highly beneficial marketing tool for your business. It is said that one out of every five searches in Google includes the location of what the person is looking for.

Therefore, if someone searches for “Financial Broker in Parktown” and there is a financial broker listed on Google Places, the chances are very good that one of the top search results will be that very financial broker.  The result will be to the financial brokers Google Places listing that contains information such as their address, phone number and even the website address should they have one.  The chances are good that if they do have a website and they have good Search Engine Optimisation that there website will also be picked up.

The benefits of listing your company on Google Places are great.  There is no cost, you can do it yourself, and you can market your business professionally and easily.

You can also post business information, including your operating hours, additional contact details, photos, payment methods, products and services info.

Images can be uploaded to your listing that offers Internet users a look into your company. Companies can post photos of the office or workspace, products, staff or anything that the company needs to display. Showing images of your company is an effective way to open your company space to your clients and allow them to build trust in your company.

Google Places is a great way to get your company out there.