The SMX Advanced conference was jam-packed with info that I know many site owners and webmasters who could not make the show are dying to see. There have been a large number of summaries published from other attendees including those who blogged in real time; great resources for truly detailed reports. In my case, I want to provide StepForth readers with a concise list of the news and tips that really stood out from the rest. In part one of the SMX Advanced summary I discussed duplicate content issues and some other tips that I felt deserved immediate attention. In part two, I will tackle tips for efficient marketing and search engine optimization and a list of the top SEO tools including my own favorites. Read more…

Google Product Manager Vanessa Fox posted her notes from the Duplicate Content Summit at SMX Advanced. She discusses some of the recommendations from the audience members and some of the questions and answers from the audience. It is worth a read if even just want to reassure yourself with words from a bonafide Googler.

Want more info from SMX Advanced? Here is part 1 of my SMX Advanced notes. Part 2 will be released today or tomorrow.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth SEO Services
Akamai, which claims to route 20% of the Internet’s traffic through its platform, has used this data to create a very interesting real-time view of Internet usage for news, retail, and music. What I found most intriguing was another report that shows real-time Internet usage data; just drag a viewing box over specific sections of the world to see where the most Internet usage is occurring. It is interesting how these statistics mirror the regional traffic statistics for many of StepForth’s clientele. Read more…

Today marks my first day back from a short road trip through Oregon and from Danny Sullivan’s inaugural SMX Advanced Expo in Seattle. Considering the conference was the first expo in Danny’s new conference series I would say it was a blazing success. Danny brought together an impressive gaggle of leading names from the search engines and search marketing industry including: Matt Cutts, Tim Meyers, Vanessa Fox, Amit Kumar, Todd Friesen, Bruce Clay, Neil Patel, Greg Boser, Christine Churchill, and Jennifer Slegg just to name a few. Now let me get to the meat of the matter… what can I and what can’t I share with you? Read more…

Blogs 101 is a resource to provide our clients and readers with a clear concept of what a blog is, why a blog might be a positive addition to their website or marketing campaign, and how to implement, optimize and promote a blog. In Part 1 of this series I discussed the basics of a blog and some of the necessary steps to take before starting one. In Part 2, I explained blog feeds and how to optimize a blog. Now in Part 3, I will explain social media marketing and outline a selection of strategies for socially marketing your blog. Read more…

Blogs 101 is a resource to provide our clients and readers with a clear concept of what a blog is, why a blog might be a positive addition to their website or marketing campaign, and how to implement, optimize and promote a blog. In Part 1 of this series I discussed the basics of a blog and some of the necessary steps to take before starting one. In Part 2, I will explain blog feeds and how to optimize a blog. Read more…

StepForth’s Blogs 101 is a resource to provide our clients and readers with a clear concept of what a blog is, why a blog might be a positive addition to their website or marketing campaign, and how to implement, optimize and promote a blog. In Part 1 of this series I will discuss the basics of a blog and some of the necessary steps to take before starting one. Read more…

This morning Search Engine Land released details of a “robots-nocontent” tag that has just been adopted by Yahoo. The tag will allow site owners to block portions of a page from searches. This means that blocked content will still be indexed by Yahoo!’s search engine spider but it will not be among the searchable content at Yahoo.

What would be the purpose of such a robots-nocontent tag? Perhaps you have a few paragraphs of generic content duplicated across several pages of your website and you are suspicious the dupe content is hampering rankings. In this case you can now block that specific content from searches and test your assumptions. It remains to be seen how well this tag will work but it is always favorable to have more tools in the optimization tool chest.

Implementation
The new tag must be included as a “class” in these exact words “robots-nocontent” and can be included anywhere in the page. If wide areas need to be blocked then simply use DIV tags to encapsulate the content.

Additional notes:

  • At this time it is not known if any other search engines will follow suit.
  • Yahoo has provided official word of this launch on the Yahoo Blog.

In reference to my article “Mobile Search Site Creation and Optimization – Part 1” Vance Hedderal, Director of Public Relations at .mobi explains why he thinks the .mobi extension should be used instead of a mobile subdomain (i.e. yoursite.mobi vs. mobile.yoursite.com) Read more…

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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.