Google takes the guess work out of their algorithmic changes. In their continuing effort to provide transparency to developers, site owners, and SEO professionals, Google publishes all of their algorithm changes on a monthly basis. They make it easy to stay ahead of the game. Here’s a link if you want to take a look at what the Google Search Quality Team did in February, 2012.
But that’s not all! Just when you thought reading Search Quality Algorithm Changes were fun, the Google team took it to a new level of excitement! They added video of a portion of their meeting. No, you don’t get to see the really “secret” stuff but it is interesting to see Matt Cutts and the rest of the lesser known Googlites in action. Click here to see a portion of the Quality Lunch Review Meeting.
Most people had no idea that search engines and social engines including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft had been collecting search information for decades. Unfortunately, for people like me who live off of collected marketing data, Google instructed its users on how to turn their search histories off. And turn them off they have! The backlash that has been escalated by the media has caused mass hysteria and people are responding exponentially. The fear that one might be followed by ads or that others might be voyeuristically enjoying their private searches has lead to a huge data gap.
For those of you who have never looked at your Google Analytics Data, here is a sample.
The part highlighted in red labeled (not provided) is the source of my angst. People are hiding their queries due to paranoia and it is creating these huge “not provided” information gaps.
What the media and Google have not done very well is to explain to the public that you cannot track a person, you can only track ip addresses. So if you are shopping for car insurance or swimming pool covers, the machines cannot identify “who” you are, they can only gather generalized data from your ip address like your city, operating system, browser, and time of visit. This means that the ip address might get an increase in car insurance ads but as additional data is collected searches from that ip address will produce better results. The individual working from this ip address will see fine tuned results that offer rich opportunities and intelligence that they might not otherwise have known about.
Additionally, the data forces better web design and web usability. The research is useful in making website improvements. The queries that users type in to those little boxes are recorded, saved, delimited, measured and analyzed to make a better experience and deliver better web material.
CCP Web Design
On Friday, November 13, 2010 Register.com was attacked by a hackers that orchestrated a (DDoS) Distributed Denial of Service Attack. A DDoS is an attempt to make computer resources unavailable to users.
If your domain is registered at Register.com you may have had some trouble with your website or email over the weekend. They are working to correct the issue but many may continue to experience internet issues due to this attack.
The motive for the attack has not been released to the public at this writing.
Google Instant Previews is an early Christmas present!
This is a time saving new feature that allows you to take a glance at the search results by hovering over a magnifying glass icon next to the link. So instead of opening all of those website links to find out if you picked the right one for your search query, you can quickly view a small screen shot of the website page. In less than a 10th of a second a large thumbnail appears that is readable enough to get a general idea of the content.
I applaud Google for, once again, putting the user first on their list! I have been complaining for years that the website snippets were deceiving and frustrating for users. I am estimating that this solution will dramatically cut down on keyword abuse. For example, let’s say you typed in “Buick LaCrosse, Charlotte”. You might end up 2 or 3 pages that mostly consist of directories. I hate directory pages! And I don’t think I am alone. If you are searching for an item, you don’t want to search once on Google and then again on a directory or lists page. With this new tool, you will easily be able to hover and quickly identify the Buick dealers in your area!
Want to take this one for test drive …. Sign up for the service by going to this link and click on Try It Now.
Dashes VS Underscores for SEO … Dashes WIN!!!
Prime domain names are in short supply these days so customers are resorting to dashes and underscores to get the “right” keyword phrases in their domains.
The dashes are definitely better if you are concerned about the way algorithms or Google bots see your website domain. For example, Google sees Charlotte-Web Design as three words. It sees Charlotte_Web Design as only two words.
What is it?
Simply put a canonical issue is when your web server (usually at a host site) handles sites that begin with www (http://www.example.com) differently than sites that exclude the www (http://example.com).
How to test for a canonical issue.
- Type http://yoursite.com in your browser. Remember to leave off the www
- Now watch the browser. Does the URL redirect to the www. version?
If not, you may experience search engine optimization issues due to this problem.
You see we humans know that www.yoursite.com and yoursite.com are the same site but search engine bots do not. These algorithms view your site as two different sites with the same content. As you know if you been paying attention to the google rules duplicate content may be penalized.
How to fix canonical issues.
If you have control of your own web server, set up a 301 redirect in IIS.
If you do not have control of your own web server, call your host and explain that you have tested your site and need a 301 redirect placed on your URL. Occasionally there is a charge for this service but most hosts offer this service for free.
*** Warning *** If you get an inexperienced technician at your web host, they will likely offer you a web forward. Its not the same thing. Ask that your service request be escalated to a more advanced technician.
Canonical! What a word! Just makes it sound more complicated than it really is doesn’t it?
This is a great tool for seeing your website as the Google Bots do. Just go to this link http://www.seo-browser.com/ , put in the URL to your website and click “Parse URL”. For more advanced information on your website stats switch to the advanced mode.
This tool is not great for link calculation but it’s spot on for content. AND BEST OF ALL ITS FREE!!!!
When Facebook announced the Fan pages, there were a number of mixed reviews. Some were hailing it and its integration to the new advertising platform and some hated it – claiming it was turning Facebook into Myspace. Whatever your stance is, here are 6 reasons you need to make a Facebook page for your website or company now.
Business Pages Are Indexed by Google – Most of Facebook is behind a login, preventing search engines from indexing. However, Business pages are not behind a login and thus search engines can index the page. Hopefully, people will stumble on the result in SERPs, visit the Facebook page, and then get to your site via a link .
Business Pages Include Links – Because the pages are public, you can get some nice facebook.com link credit back to your website.
You Can Send Updates to “Friends” - One of the greatest features is that you can send “updates” to friends/fans whenever you want. It’s a nice way of building a database of interested users. Send messages about new products, updated website, etc.
You Control the Page & Your Message - You are able to send the messages, edit or remove sections, and control the information to an extent.
Facebook Is A News Feed - When a someone joins a Business page, it’s published in their News feed for all their friends to read. It makes someone joining your Business page somewhat viral.
Facebook Places Is A New Platform for Small Business! – What makes Places so important is not so much the functionality (which appears to be largely lifted from existing players), but rather the fact that it’s being launched by Facebook. With over 500 million users, who are automatically opted in to the new feature, it may well be Facebook that pushes geolocation into the mainstream. It’s another channel for word of mouth promotion that you want to be in on from the start!
By: Sandy Mullis
CCP Web Design