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Monday, August 17th, 2009

Google Leads in Mobile Search

In today’s daily chart from the Silicon Insider we get to see how well the top search properties are doing on PCs in contrast to Mobile. It probably won’t come as much of a surprise that Google has the lead in Mobile just as it does on PCs. It was interesting to note, however, that Yahoo is farther behind Google on Mobile than on PCs despite its highly touted mobile portal and tools.

Search engine marketshare by PC and Mobile

It seems Google’s Caffeine update includes some significant alterations in their local search organic ranking algorithm.

I whipped up this screenshot side-by-side comparison for you to see the differences between the Caffeine Sandbox on the term “Vancouver car sales” and the current live Google results for the same term. Please note that if you click on the image you will be taken to a MUCH larger version without the mark-up so you can see the results more clearly. Read more…

On Monday Google did something out of character by announcing a pre-release viewing of a major update to their algorithm they nicknamed Caffeine:

For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google’s web search. It’s the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions. The new infrastructure sits “under the hood” of Google’s search engine, which means that most users won’t notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we’re opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback.

The sandbox URL for the new update is http://www2.sandbox.google.com – Check it out and see if you notice any difference with your rankings. Please post any interesting findings as a comment on this article. Read more…

Over the past 12 years consulting on web marketing  I have answered countless questions but one question I receive often stands out from all; how to remove a Google penalty. The following is an example of a question I received in the past from a person named Patrick:

PLEASE HELP! For the last 8 years we were #1 for a ton of search terms but then my site got penalized by Google because we had overused some keywords. We fixed the issue months ago but my top rankings are all still over the place. Sometimes we get back into the top 10 and we all breathe a sigh of relief, then just a few hours later we are on page 5. What is going on and how can I correct this? We are beyond frustrated!


First, Some Research

In order to answer Patrick’s question I needed to find out a couple of things about his website to make my answer more accurate:

  • His site has excellent content right now and when I looked at past versions of the site I see the content was still great but definitely had keyword stuffing problems.

    Key finding: his site is really well done so I can see why it had top rankings before.

  • I took a look at competitors found in the top 10 under several keyword searches that were obviously main targets for his website. After reviewing the backlinks (definition) for each competitor’s sites I could see they were all very well entrenched but their content was not up to par with Patrick’s site. I reviewed Patrick’s backlinks and was surprised to find that he had very few.  Key finding:his competitors have a lot of backlinks than Patrick’s site does.

    An SEO Tool Note: I use Yahoo Site Explorer for cursory examination of backlinks for my clients and their competitors. For more in-depth research I use OptiLink by Winrose Software (that is an affiliate link) which provides excellent statistics that are very useful for analyzing the quality of backlinks among other things. Here are more recommended web marketing tools.

  • I checked the server headers for their home page and other key pages to make sure nothing was outwardly wrong with their server configuration; everything was fine.
  • I took some time to surf through Patrick’s website and discovered that not all of the keyword stuffing had been removed.

    Key Finding: Google may still feel his site deserves a penalty because it is not 100% clean.

Read more…

Its been nearly 2 months since the launch of Microsoft’s highly advertised and anticipated Bing, and the market share figures for the first full calendar month since its launch are in. Microsoft is likely less than thrilled. 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…

marketshare-may-2009Earlier today Nielsen Online (pdf) released the latest search share rankings. Figures are pretty much what one would expect, Google far in the lead followed by Yahoo and MSN, but this past month Google has taken another small hit.

April and May of 2009 each saw Google lose a bit of ground. Back in March their search share was 64.2%, and in April it was down to 64%. May has seen another drop, bringing them down to 63.2%, a full percentage point in 2 months. In these same two months, Yahoo has increased a total of 1.4% to 17.2. Read more…

Google Webmaster Tools has recently seen a few updates. Posted on the Google Webmaster Central blog yesterday, here is a summary of some of the changes.

The vast majority of users will not be affected by this, but now you can submit up to 2.5 billion URL’s with a single sitemap index using up to 50,000 child Sitemaps. (previously Google only supported 1,000 child Sitemaps.) This is rather interesting considering that back in 2000 Google had only 1 billion pages indexed. As of last year Google has more than 1 trillion URL’s indexed. Read more…

If your site utilizes Javascript based navigation, you are in for a treat. Google is now able to crawl links embedded in JavaScript onclick() events. These links will not only be followed by Google but they will also now pass both Page Rank and Anchor Text value!

What does this mean for your search results? Read more…

Yesterday Google Wave was announced at Google I/O 2009 and a preview of the collaborative concept was provided to developers. The following is the full 1h 20 min live video from the developer preview.

Here is a link to the video on YouTube if it does not render for you here.

In a rush? For non techies I recommend watching 50 min starting at around the 8 min mark; after the intro’s are complete. That will give you a very good idea of the mind-blowing implications of Google Wave. For techies with an interest in the convergence of web technologies the full video is really a must watch.