Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Optimizing AJAX for Rankings

In New York recently I was upset to have missed a seminar on optimizing AJAX websites for rankings. Fortunately Liz Camps of the Big Green Blog took some fantastic notes and summarized the seminar. I highly recommend the read for those who anticipate they will be implementing AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript & XML). I know, it sounds awfully fancy but I expect to see a dramatic increase in use of AJAX by StepForth’s clients over the next 2 years.

Here is an excerpt from Liz’s synopsis:
“If you’re planning to use AJAX on your site, or if your web site already contains AJAX, you’ll need to take some extra steps to protect your natural rankings in major search engines. As long as you follow a few guidelines, you can make AJAX work without any impact on your SEO. But if you don’t follow these guidelines, your search rank can suffer.”

As it turns out the search engine un-friendliness of AJAX mirrors many of the disadvantages of FLASH. As a result, the solution to search engine friendly design with AJAX is not to use it as the basis for the entire website but to (much like FLASH) integrate it within spiderable content such as text content and links or other JavaScript-free content.

I highly doubt FLASH and AJAX will always pose such a barrier to search engines but for now and the near future you will need to utilize this technology carefully to allow search engines to access content on your site.

Last week I commented on Google’s plan to integrate news results with organic results. Search Engine Land noted the change was suppose to be completed by last Saturday but I have yet to see the integration anywhere.

Is this perhaps a limitation of my region? Is anyone seeing this update completed? I would appreciate any news on this. Search Engine Land is oddly quiet regarding the update so I wonder if they are waiting for the change to complete just as I am.

I found this interesting post from “Dr. Pete” at discussing his experience rescuing a client’s website from the vastness of Google’s supplemental index. Pete provided a great deal of detail on how he succeeded with his particular client. In this case the client was definitely in a bad state beforehand where even the most basic SEO strategies were not in place. The most basic fixes he implemented consisted of creating unique Titles and Meta Description Tags which in my opinion would definitely reduce supplemental results. Read more…

Google is treading in dangerous waters right now. The prolific company will inherit its own search engine optimization (SEO) company called Performics after purchasing the online advertising giant DoubleClick on April 13th (takeover due to complete at the end of the year) and so far there is no sure indication of the company’s future. Unfortunately, since the purchase it (outwardly) appears business is as usual at Performics and the prospect of that continuing does not sit well with many people. The fact of the matter is a leading search engine like Google who claims to highly value its “don’t be evil” mantra will rapidly lose any remaining credibility if it continues to operate a SEO/SEM company. Read more…

Since Google began ruling the realm of Internet search it has become a major figure in my professional life. As a result, whenever an interview with a key figure of Google is posted I try not to miss it. To that end, John Battelle recently interviewed Google CEO, Eric Schmidt at the Web 2.0 Expo and posed some questions that have been tugging at my imagination lately. I watched the video over at WebProNews and jotted down some of my favorite points in the interview – I did the work, I might as well share it!

Please note that unlike the answers from Eric, the questions are not quotations but are similar to the question asked by John Battelle. Read more…

In a recent update to the Search Engine Land blog, Chris Sherman announced that Google will be mingling the latest news headlines into the main body of search engine results; wherever searches appear relevant to the news. According to Marissa Mayer, VP of search products at Google, “this allows us to rank news according to relevance in search results rather than at top of the page.” The Google update will be happening over the next couple of days with a planned completion of the role-out on Saturday. It was not noted whether a organic algorithmic update would also take place but I highly doubt it since they will have enough on their hands with this change alone. Read more…

The following video is an excerpt from the 2007 Search Engine Strategies Keynote discussion between Danny Sullivan and Windows Live Chief, Steve Berkowitz. In this excerpt Steve Berkowitz explains that “it is not ever satisfactory not to be number one” in the search engine industry. He further explains that Microsoft’s first goal is to reach critical mass from an advertising standpoint and how Microsoft’s search platform will continue to evolve.

This video was shot by Ross Dunn, CEO and Founder, StepForth SEO Services and was originally posted at The StepForth SEO Blog.

A special thanks goes out to Matt McGowan of Incisive Media for allowing StepForth to tape segments from Search Engine Strategies New York 2007.

Written by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth SEO Services

Credits: (Continued from Part 1)
The following is Part 2 of the coverage of the Search Engine Strategies (SES) New York presentation called “Mobile Search Optimization” by Cindy Krum of Blue Moon Works, Gregory Markel, President of Infuse Creative LLC and Rachel Pasqua, Director of Mobile Marketing at iCrossing. Read more…

At the 2007 SES New York, Google’s Shuman Ghosemajumder responds to the question: (abbreviated) “How is it possible for Google to identify click fraud when an aggressor utilizes rotating proxies?”. Shuman responds by discussing the Clickbot A botnet case and how Google deciphered the click fraud in that situation. This video was taken during the “Auditing Paid Listings and Click Fraud Issues” seminar that took place on April 12, 2007.

This video is courtesy of the StepForth SEO Blog. Video taken by Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth SEO Services. Special thanks to Matt McGowan of Incisive Media for allowing StepForth to record this footage.

I have long been a fan of ClickTracks and it’s professional line of analytics software. In my experience ClickTracks is leaps and bounds above its competition both for quality of software and quality of service. In the interests of full disclosure StepForth has been an advocate of ClickTracks since we bought our first copy in 2003 (or thereabouts) and I (Ross Dunn) recently completed my Professional ClickTracks Certification.

The following video interview was recorded at the ClickTracks presentation booth at the New York Search Engine Strategies Conference, yesterday, April 11th, 2007. To view the videos just click on the question and you will be taken to the appropriate YouTube page to view it. I hope you enjoy StepForth’s first round of video journalism. Read more…