Bing’s Webmaster Tools Guidelines document will read as commonsense to anyone experienced with SEO, but it’s worth a read and a refresher, especially if you are new to SEO or you have clients or a boss who doesn’t understand much about SEO. You should make sure anyone involved in decision making is familiar with these to prevent them from making any poor decisions.
Here Matt Cutts talks about whether the signal of “freshness” is important to all sites or not. The answer is no. It is not important to all sites, for news type sites it is, and even blogs, the type of sites that get updated regularly. But sites that do not require new content regularly should worry about the other 200 algorithm factors instead. There is no point changing up your existing evergreen content every now and then to try and make it appear fresh, that isn’t how it works so don’t worry about it.
For example, information on the “about us” page of your site or your article about the history of your company are not things that will need to be updated very often. Updating them for the sake of updating is not useful. If you have a shopping page, changing the item descriptions or prices will not count as freshness. However, on a side note, if you do have an eCommerce site, make sure your product descriptions are not copy/pasted from another site.
Google Places is no more and Google+ Local has replaced it. It is now a merger of the old Google Places with the typical Google+ Features. In keeping with the rest of Google+, the key feature now is about the reviews/ opinions of friends who have been to these places rather than the opinions of strangers.
If you are logged into your Google+ account you will be able to see which of your Google+ contacts have been here before and what their feedback on the place is, which is similar to the old reviews of Google Places. It seems the old anonymous reviews will still show up if none of your friends have actually commented yet or you are not signed into Google+, as well as any new posts by Google+ users. Read the rest of this entry »
Has the latest Google Penguin Update affected your site?
In April 2012 two major updates came out, another Panda Update on the 24th and a few Penguins throughout April. Each of these updates have hit people who were not expecting them, though many people are starting to expect to be hit with each update, even though they don’t think they deserve to be hit.
How do you know if you were hit?
The first place you should check is your Webmaster Central and see if you were given a notification. Read the rest of this entry »
One of our blogs received a seemingly innocuous comment:
Thanks for the fascinating post. I honestly like your weblog and decided which I’d let you know! Hi and thanks, Thanks a bunch
The writer was Astol@gmail.com from IP address 220.127.116.11. There was no URL in the comment, which is a dead giveaway of drive-by comment spam. None of our blogs allows unmoderated comments. Read the rest of this entry »
A recent update to the Google Algorithm is penalising websites that feature too much ad space above the fold of the website. The fold is the point at which the page cuts off at the bottom of a particular screen. The fold can be at different points for different people depending on their screen size or resolution. If the user sees mostly ads when the page loads and not much content, they are forced to scroll down and this is inconvenient and Google is addressing this issue.
Google isn’t penalising sites for having too many ads on the page in particular, but is just penalising the placement. No one would recommend clogging up your page with advertising, but if you want ads on your site, just make sure it doesn’t fill up the top of the page.
The top and left side of the page will often have navigation tools on it; these are not ads but if they are too bulky they could push your site content too low below the fold. Try to keep as much actual content above the fold as possible.
There is a free Google tool called the Browser Size Tool. This shows how much of your page the user is going to see when they first see the page. URL:
Source: Google Webmaster Central Blog
Anyone who gets caught up in this change and notices their ranking dropping will have to wait until the spider crawls their page again, you might be waiting a few weeks before any noticeable changes take place.
Google claims that only about 1% of websites will be affected and that most typical users will not even notice a change in rankings.
Occasionally we publish ranking checks featuring various industries and this month it is the turn of Australian law firms. A few of them show signs of search engine optimisation (SEO), and a handful have done a good job, as the results will show. SEO causes a website to show in the first page of a search engine for a specific search. As there are millions of possible word combinations that may lead to a law firm’s website, you cannot expect to rank well for all of them, but you should try to rank for the ones that will bring you new clients.
The top 20 results (first two pages) were checked across Google, Yahoo and Bing. Yahoo uses Bing results now, but in a different way. Normally we check only the first page, but in a few legal specialties such as Insurance, Maritime, Energy or Mining, there would have been no law firm on the first page. I have no personal connection with any of the firms mentioned, past or present. They were selected based on the ones that showed up in the top 100 results for the various keywords. So, if a site is not listed, it did not rank in the top 100 results for the chosen keywords.
Ranking with non-competitors
When searching, you may have noticed that the top results are often from Wikipedia, universities, magazine/news articles, legal publishers, law associations, or directories, which are not business competitors. However, they are ranking competitors and some are difficult to outrank. Of course, ranking depends on the exact search term used, so Wikipedia or the University of Melbourne (for example) will not rank if you are searching for “Brisbane commercial lawyers”. Read the rest of this entry »
Ash: How and when did you get into Local Search? What is your current role in your business? Tell us a little about the typical challenges you face in your work.
I first got into local search while in 1996-97 working for Verizon’s Superpages.com (actually, this was before Verizon — it was GTE Directories Corporation back then), when I was asked by one of our business development people to look into ways to increase the site’s organic search traffic. I was the site’s Analyst back then, and I noticed that people didn’t just arrive on the site’s homepage, but that they also could arrive via other site pages which got indexed in search engines. It didn’t take long to figure that if we built pages targeting consumers’ keyword phrases, such as “boston seafood restaurants” or “hotels, miami, fl”, we might be able to get more traffic than just trying to target “yellow pages”. So, I put together a pilot test involving some dozens of pages engineered to target business categories or geographic areas or combinations of both, and the limited research experiment showed a clear advantage. Read the rest of this entry »
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Leading Boston search marketer Ted Ulle joins teaching faculty of TrainSEM
Boston, MA, January 9, 2012 — Well-known search marketer Ted Ulle, who is better known as “tedster” in online circles, is bringing his vast knowledge and experience to the search marketing training curriculum at TrainSEM.com, which is based in Melbourne, Australia.
With over 30,000 quality posts at webmasterworld.com since 2000 and numerous public-speaking engagements each year, Ted is best known for his helpful responses to search engine optimization questions.
TrainSEM CEO Ash Nallawalla quit his day job in 2007 to start Australia’s first classroom-based courses in search engine optimization (SEO). Says Nallawalla, “Owing to a scarcity of reputable SEO training, anyone can offer SEO services. Unfortunately, some so-called SEOs have not updated their knowledge for many years and do not deliver what their clients expect. We do not perform SEO tasks, so we do not compete with our students, unlike some others. We train and we advise.” says Ash.
“With Ted’s help, TrainSEM will offer its training classes in North America in the coming months. Search engines keep their ranking algorithms a secret, so SEO experts have to reverse-engineer these constantly changing secrets”, he added. “We could not think of a better qualified expert than Ted to join our teaching faculty.”
TrainSEM also offers courses online at http://www.trainsem.com.
About Ted Ulle
File Type Detection – Now instead of clicking on a particular icon for the file type you are going to upload you just press the 1 button and upload whatever media file you want and WordPress will work it out and then display the appropriate fields for you to fill out based on the file type.
Drag-and-Drop Media Uploader – Many websites have allowed this for quite some time, it’s a great time saver. Dragging files from your desktop or a folder on your computer right into the browser is much faster than searching through folders to find things, especially if you are do not store your files in a neat and organised fashion.
Here you can see a photo being dragged into the file uploader.