While doing some local search marketing for a client of mine last Friday I took a moment to watch the introductory video at the Google Local Business Center and I was impressed on how well it got the message across to viewers. As a result, I think it is a benefit to you to watch this if you are not already maximizing your Google Local account:

One critical element that this intro leaves out is Read more…

If you don’t know already it is very important to setup your local business listing on local and mainstream search engines. Well since Bing came out I thought I would go there and get StepForth’s listing. So I visited the Bing Local Listing Center and tried to add my company’s local listing but I ran into an annoying wall a little ways into the process that was a real let down; they didn’t bother to tell me that only the USA is supported at the moment.

January 30th, 2013 Update: Great news! You can now add your Canadian business easily and free to Bing Local via Nokia.

If you are in the USA the process to get your local listing is straight forward – at least as far as I got. Just go to the Bing Local Listing Center and log in with your Microsoft Passport (or create one) and if the system does not find a current listing it will allow you to create one. Well StepForth does not have one yet according to their system so I was directed to the listing local listing creation page. When I got to the creation page and began to fill out the submission form I was rebuffed by a big pet peeve of mine… the system knew I was Canadian (it is noted in the header of the page) and yet the only way to add a listing was to enter a State and Zip (see screenshot). Read more…

At SMX Advanced a few weeks ago there was a huge hullabaloo about Matt Cutt’s saying that PageRank Sculpting using nofollow tags is no longer effective and it should no longer be used. I haven’t posted anything about this until now because frankly there were enough people making a stink about this topic. That said, I now am ready to weigh in on the subject mainly because Matt Cutts posted his own take on PageRank Sculpting last week and it gave me some food for thought.

So what is the deal? What did Matt say? Let’s examine the details based on his post:

Matt’s Post: “So what happens when you have a page with ‘ten PageRank points’ and ten outgoing links, and five of those links are nofollowed? … Originally, the five links without nofollow would have flowed two points of PageRank each (in essence, the nofollowed links didn’t count toward the denominator when dividing PageRank by the outdegree of the page). More than a year ago, Google changed how the PageRank flows so that the five links without nofollow would flow one point of PageRank each.(Colour formatting added.)

Read more…

Good news fellow WordPress junkies! John Godley at Urban Giraffe has kindly updated HeadSpace 2 so the rel=”follow” attribute is no longer implemented! I don’t know about you but having that made-up attribute on my website as a result of using HeadSpace was not a comfort to me. The WordPress IconAnyway, a big thanks goes out to John Godley for being such a great guy and acting on my suggestion to drop the psuedo attribute. Thank you John!

Not sure what I am talking about? What is HeadSpace?

If you are familiar with WordPress but you have not heard of HeadSpace then you are in for a real treat. Read more…

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Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

MySpace Loses (to) Face (book)

MySpace user engagement versus Facebook - from the Silicon Alley Insider, June 16, 2009Sillicon Alley Insider just released this insightful set of charts illustrating the “horrendous” drop in user engagement MySpace has experienced in the last 12 months.

Average Stay per Visit (in minutes, rounded up)

  • MySpace: May 2008 = 20 min, May 2009 = 10 min!
  • Facebook: May 2008 = 14 min, May 2009 = 16 min

Average Visits per Person:

  • MySpace: May 2008 = 14,  May 2009 = 12
  • Facebook: May 2008 = 11,  May 2009 = 16

Read more…

So much of what I discover on a given day in the search marketing industry is via Twitter. When I find interesting and occasionally hot stories I note them on our @stepforth account and/or my @rossdunn account. Since our blog often suffers from my Twitter distractions I felt I had better provide a summary on the busy days. Thus, welcome to our very first Tweet Update for June 5th, 2009: Read more…

I was just reading more about the IIS SEO Toolkit when I came across the following interesting tutorial on how to block competitors from running the IIS SEO Toolkit on your servers. If you have an asp-based website then this is a mandatory update in my opinion unless you want your competitors to have easy access to your site’s information. That said, a lot of the information that the IIS SEO Toolkit provides is likely available through other tools but at least if you block the Toolkit you will make it that much harder on the competition.

Here is the tutorial: Read more…

IIS SEO Toolkit imageIn my discussion with Rajesh Srivastava today on day 1 of SMX Advanced he mentioned there will be a plugin released (no mention of how soon) for IIS  that will interface directly with Bing’s Webmaster Center. The plugin will allow IIS webmasters to submit sitemaps to Bing from within their systems and utilize other webmaster center tools.

UPDATE: It has been 9 hours since I posted this article at an ungodly hour and apparently the IIS plugin has just been released. It is called the IIS SEO Toolkit and it is now in Beta and was officially announced today. Read more…

Microsoft Bing logoI am at SMX Advanced in Seattle this week and I was fortunate to have a one-on-one lunch with Rajesh Srivastava, the Group Program Manager for Portal Search Experience. After complimenting him and his team for finally pulling off what looks like a search engine that can compete I asked a few burning questions.

Why did Kumo (Now Bing) take so long to come out? There had been rumors of a rebranding for a while now. Read more…

Bing is online a full 3 days before the scheduled launch date; a surprise leap of faith very uncharacteristic of Microsoft. That said, the search engine is “in Preview” mode at www.Bing.com and Live.com continues towards its inevitable demise on June 3rd when I expect the address will be redirected to Bing.com.

A screenshot of the Bing preview home page (the Canadian edition)

I spent a little time on Bing.com and I challenge you not to be at least a little impressed! Might Microsoft have actually pulled off a good product?

It is late and I haven’t done a lot of searching but so far I am very impressed at how accurate the search engine appears to be. I am especially impressed with the image search options. In particular the ability to show only images with faces – nice touch! They also cleverly made the image results never ending… they just load and load and load on demand as you scroll down the page – no more clicking to additional pages.

Anyway, I hope to have a better review of Bing soon. For now please check it out and let me know what you think. Perhaps Bing will earn Microsoft a more significant percentage of the US search market (Live.com sits at only 10%).

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