At the most recent Victoria Web Marketing Meetup we had a full house as Gil Namur, President and Creator of the popular ezine LifeasaHuman.com presented his secrets behind building his successful website. The reason Gil was chosen to speak was because our Meetup membership showed great interest on WordPress and he had a mountain of knowledge to share after creating LifeasaHuman.com on the WordPress platform using StudioPress and taking it from zero traffic to 200,000 Quantified visits per month (add 30% to get a more accurate number says his tests).
In addition, I know Gil personally and was convinced he would give a great presentation and indeed he did. To that end, you can view his presentation in all its glory below. Read more…
A friend of mine recently asked me to comment on why I felt so strongly the rel=”author” attribute would play a large role in the future of search rankings. In order to answer his question I felt I needed to take this a step further and explain how rel=”author” appears to fit into a much grander plan Google is implementing around personal profiles. Please note, what I have shared with you below is merely my opinion based on experience, analysis, and discussions with some of my fine colleagues in the SEO community; not the least of whom is John Carcutt (my co-host on SEO 101 Radio).
First consider what we know:
- Google is taking into account the personal blocking data (the block site option in results) from users that have a long and trusted profile; confirmed by Matt Cutts in his September 21st Q&A (the first answer on the linked page).
- Right now, if you have a highly trusted profile and you have authorship markup (rel=author) on your articles/copy you will get representation in Google search results – by having your photo show up next to the article.
- In order for this markup to work you need to have a Google Profile and it must be correctly associated with the sites you write on and your author page on the site has to connect back (a few hoops are necessary) to your Google Profile to finalize the association.
- Google is integrating Plus into most (if not all) of their products – this was confirmed by Vic Gundrota on a recent Web Summit 2.0 interview with him and Sergey Brin.
- In order to be on Google Plus you have to have a Google Profile.
- Your Google Profile prompts you to connect all of your social profiles so Google knows your social fingerprint and can highlight content in search results that your friends have socially shared/liked.
- Links are an important part of Google’s algorithms but they are heavily gamed and likely cause the majority of spam found in Google’s results.
- If Google sees that others like your content then it has a better chance of appearing at the top of relevant searches.
Next, let’s connect a few dots and make some educated assumptions:
The top web browser at this moment, otherwise known as the browser with the most market share online, is easily found using some really handy and freely available tools which I have listed starting a few lines below. That said, why bother?
What is the use of knowing what browsers are the most popular?
Browser compatibility is usually the reason. You see every website created by a developer worth his/her salt will be cross browser compatible at the time it is launched; meaning it will look great on all of the top browsers at that time. The key point here is “it will look great at that time“; as a site gets older Internet technology does not stay the same and browsers are often upgraded which can leave once decent web sites looking lackluster or possibly broken when viewed in the latest browsers. In addition to enhancements in browsers causing problems, you could also be faced with an entirely new browser in the marketplace gaining massive traction (i.e. Google’s Chrome browser) which happens to render your website in ways you never intended.
TIP: If you are creating a business plan and trying to find out what web browser your target market will be using then try viewing the browser data on Quantcast.com for a few websites which closely resemble your anticipated website; you may find other information in the reports helpful as well! Quantcast offers this information free but often times the data is estimated and not the most reliable – in those cases either keep looking for a site that is “Quantified” (logo on footer of page) at which point the data will be highly accurate or settle with the data you have. There are other ways to get this data but I will leave that for another article; contact me if you wish for more details.
The head of Google’s webspam prevention team, Matt Cutts was kind enough to conduct an impromptu 45 minute live Google questions and answers video chat on YouTube in September which I decided was so chalk full of content it would make a great article; it just took me a lot longer than I had expected to get done! Anyway, I tie it up with a fun ode to a future Movember Matt.
Also you can listen to some discussion on this Q&A on the Oct 3 2011 episode of SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM which I co-host with fellow SEO veteran John Carcutt; you can find the show on iTunes here.
The Prelude to the Google Q&A
Before he did the Q&A Matt wanted to cover a few points which I outline below along with direct links to the most pertinent section of the video where he explains each point; so you can hear it in his own words (and I don’t have to write them all down). After these points you will find his Q&A where my short-hand should give you the answers you need; if not you always have the video!
Pagination: Matt mentions the use of rel=next and rel=previous to aid in the improved indexation of paginated pages. This is not a light topic so he understandably does not get into great detail but watch Matt’s short explanation on pagination here.
Reconsideration Requests: Matt discusses an article by Tiffany Oberoi and Michael Wyszomierski from the Google Search Quality Team called “Reconsideration requests get more transparent“. As the title aptly describes the Google will now be much more open about whether your site has been penalized or not should you submit a reconsideration request. Here is Matt’s description of the changes to reconsideration in his own words.
Requests for Crazy Ideas: if you have “crazy ideas” for how to search which Google has not done they invite you to add your ideas on Matt’s blog where he posted a request for those ideas recently: What cool new websearch ideas should Google launch in 2012?
Matt Cutts Answers Google Questions
NOTE: each of the linked titles below will take you directly to the relevant segment of the video – in case you want to hear it from Matt directly. Otherwise I have done my best to paraphrase his answers; a shorter version of the actual transcription. Read more…
Yesterday Google formally announced it is acquiring Motorola for $12.5 billion dollars in an effort to stem off intellectual property lawsuits from companies such as Apple, Oracle and Microsoft; here is the official investor’s notice to Google owners and here is the live blogging record from the press conference. The rest of this post will examine some of the benefits of this acquisition through related links and other external information. In a way, what you will see is my own research on this interesting move on Google’s part; I hope you find it informative.
Here is an snippet from the official investor’s notice which outlines very basically the reason for the purchase:
The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.
To get to the meat of this purchase, however, we need to consider the following snippets from the Wall Street Journal’s article on this acquisition:
Android is an example of open-source software that is designed to allow outside engineers to tinker with the way it works. While that makes Android highly customizable—companies using the software can optimize it for their devices—it also has left the operating system vulnerable to intellectual-property lawsuits.
Motorola’s patents will help Google address that weakness, which already has prompted a lawsuit by database giant Oracle Corp. Motorola, of Libertyville, Ill., holds or has applied for a total of 24,500 patents.
As noted above this purchase will strengthen Google’s position as a patent holder in the mobile space and hopefully thwart or minimize the legal actions against Motorola. That said, what kind of patents are of interest that would provoke such a major leap? I have little or no experience with patents (unlike search engine patent expert Bill Slawski) but it appears the following would stand out as welcome additions to the Google portfolio: Read more…
It recently came to my attention that LinkedIn has a setting activated by default allowing it to “use my name, photo in social advertising.” Below is a screenshot of this setting in my LinkedIn profile.
First, I should state I understand this is a means of increasing social engagement and connection-making within LinkedIn. What I find problematic is LinkedIn’s flagrant disregard for our privacy by making such a setting default. If you feel the same way, here are the steps to disable this feature in your LinkedIn account, provided in graphical form:
LinkedIn Privacy Step 1: Under your name in the top right of your account click on “Settings” Read more…
In the latest Victoria Web Marketing Meetup we chose to do a night featuring live reviews of websites owned by attendees. The idea was to answer any pressing questions for at least 3 site owners while educating (or refreshing) the rest of the Meetup crowd. It was a lot of fun and although we had fully planned for a break half way through the 2 hour session the questions just kept coming and I decided to keep up the momentum… I would like to think attendees got a lot out of it. Anyway, below are a few of the issues I noted on the reviewed sites along with some answers provided for anyone who missed the evening or wants access to the URLs mentioned. I hope you find it useful.
1. How to optimize your website for local search
In this situation the website provided a local service but did not have its address located in the footer of each page on the site. I strongly recommended updating the footer to include the name address and phone number (AKA N.A.P) for the company because it would increase the odds the site would appear in local search results on Google. I also stressed the importance of using the same formatting for the address everywhere on the site and the Internet to maximize the likelihood Google & Bing would give them credit for their address. Read more…
To quote “Fine Art America” who started the support thread at Google Webmaster Central, this is the issue: Read more…
Learn how to create a list of links that are benefiting your competitors so you can obtain them as well. This competitor analysis tutorial focuses on the incoming links portion of offsite SEO competitor analysis. Taught by search engine optimization (SEO) industry veteran Ross Dunn (of WebmasterRadio.FM’s SEO 101 Radio Show) this tutorial will provide you with the tools and tactics you need to improve your competitiveness in search engine rankings.
Elements of this analysis include: how to find your competitors backlinks, how to determine why your competitor is succeeding online (from an offsite perspective), how to check if your competitor is spamming Google, how to beat whois privacy protection (legally), how to conduct a link popularity analysis, and much more.