Request a Quotation
 

The following were questions sent to us by readers of the StepForth SEO Newsletter and the StepForth SEO Blog. If you have a question of your own we would love to hear from you; email us your SEO question.

Question from Steve:
Information about the why’s & how-to’s of the BLOGosphere have made for a plethora of copy all over the SEO world, yet my constantly recurring question never seems to come up! And this first question always leads me to second one. (1) If your business is NOT in any way concerned with… let’s call it “journalism” (it seems that the business of StepForth would have a sizable reliance on journalistic talent), how would a company go about deploying a blog initiative and still have time to sleep more than one or two nights a week? (…there’s this business we gotta keep running!) And (2) if one were to hire one of many firms offering such a BLOG service, how would it come off as more than a thinly veiled SERP ranking initiative, when your business is not of the type where there is really any “news” to report — AND further, where the BLOG service cannot possibly be expected to have the specific knowledge needed to write usefully pertinent journalistic copy? Read more…

Gravatar
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Google Answers Question on First Try!

Today something exciting happened to me. Google replied to an email I sent them. Not only did they reply, but the response I got was exactly what I was looking for – you see, they read my question, and actually answered it!

This is a first for me, as the first response I always get is some auto-generated form response that doesn’t come close to addressing the original question. After several days of email tag, the question is eventually answered.

The problem with this response I got was that it isn’t really the answer I was hoping for.

We all know that Google does not allow the same keyword to be live in more than one AdGroup or Campaign. This is common sense because if they did, you could essentially have multiple ads appearing at the same time under the same search.

But what happens if you throw in the wrench of having each of these unique campaigns target different geographic areas? In my mind this should work – unsure I thought I would check with Google before putting in the time to set everything up.

My Question:

“I may be setting up a new account in the coming weeks that will target 12 different geographic locations.

Essentially I will be creating 12 campaigns, one for each specific geographic location. The Ads will all be similar, with the main differences being the geographic location mentioned in the ad. Each of the 12 campaigns and their corresponding AdGroups will target the same Keyword set.

Will this work?”

Their Answer:

“…As you are aware if you have the same keywords across multiple campaigns, in
this case twelve, only one ad (the better performing one) from the twelve campaigns will show. Hence, setting twelve campaigns each with a unique geographical location and having the same keywords will not be feasible…”

In short, it won’t work. Perhaps this little adjustment to the AdWords system would make perfect sense, and may even happen some day – but I’m not holding my breath. I will happily give credit where credit is due – Thank you Genevieve for actually reading my question and answering it without simply pulling a response from your database.

Google Webmaster Central Blog logoSusan Moskwa and Trever Voucher from Google’s Webmaster Tools Team published a synopsis of the questions they received at Chicago’s recent Search Engine Strategies Conference. If you have ever had a question about Google Sitemaps and the effect they may or may not have on your site, this is a helpful read.

Get the answers to the following questions:

  • I submitted a Sitemap, but my URLs haven’t been [crawled/indexed] yet. Isn’t that what a Sitemap is for?
  • If it doesn’t get me automatically crawled and indexed, what does a Sitemap do?
  • Will a Sitemap help me rank better?
  • If I set all of my pages to have priority 1.0, will that make them rank higher (or get crawled faster) than someone else’s pages that have priority 0.8?
  • Is there any point in submitting a Sitemap if all the metadata (, , etc.) is the same for each URL, or if I’m not sure it’s accurate?
  • I’ve heard about people who submitted a Sitemap and got penalized shortly afterward. Can a Sitemap hurt you?
  • Where can I put my Sitemap? Does it have to be at the root of my site?
  • Can I just submit the site map that my webmaster made of my site? I don’t get this whole XML thing.
  • Which Sitemap format is the best?
  • If I have multiple URLs that point to the same content, can I use my Sitemap to indicate my preferred URL for that content?
  • Does the placement of a URL within a Sitemap file matter? Will the URLs at the beginning of the file get better treatment than the URLs near the end?
  • If my site has multiple sections (e.g. a blog, a forum, and a photo gallery), should I submit one Sitemap for the site, or multiple Sitemaps (one for each section)?

Again here is the link to the Google sitemaps Q&A.

Are you baffled about a recent drop in your search engine rankings? Do you know where to start and get a handle on what the problem might be and how to remedy it? One option to consider is using search engine forums as a resource. They are full of questions from people who have experienced similar situations and are great resources for an answer or two. But let’s say you really want to get to the bottom of the problem and you want to do it yourself. The following are some of the beginning steps StepForth takes when evaluating dropped rankings. Read more…

This week the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog announced an addition to Google’s spam reporting form for people to report sites that appear to be buying paid links in order to influence search engine rankings. This addition ties in with Matt Cutt’s none-too-subtle warning at a recent SMX Advanced interview with Danny Sullivan. Matt essentially reinforced to the audience that buying links is against Google’s guidelines and that those who are buying links may feel the heat soon as Google tries to patch this chink in its armor (see the video below).

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.

Today Google announced it is acquiring Adscape, a company that has pioneered dynamic integration of advertisements within video games. This purchase is yet another brilliant move that will continue to keep Google on the cutting edge of advertisement distribution.

Here are some highlights from Google’s FAQ on the Adscape acquisition: Read more…

Transferring traffic and popularity to a new domain is a painstaking process that no one on the web appears to be immune to, or so Topix.net has realized. Topix.net is a leading news aggregation resource that has been in the news lately because they are planning to move their site from Topix.net to Topix.com after purchasing the .com for a cool million from a Canadian animation company.

The Wall Street Journal wrote this article explaining how damaging a seemingly simple process of switching from .net to .com could be for Topix LLC. The author goes on to explain such a switch is usually fraught with ranking drops while the major search engines notice and respond to the changeover. The fact that switching addresses will cause problems is not news in the SEO world; however, I thought Topix.net’s situation was a great opportunity to review what one might expect when switching domains. Read more…

Complete Question: “How about duplicate content for resellers where the manufacturer or producer of a product describes a product with technical details and so on. Do I have to rewrite text, create my own descriptions? Or is Google able to recognize that i have to use the original text from the manufacturer and not to punish me?”

Answer: Google has a powerful algorithm that may be able to determine “right” or “wrong” duplicate content. That said, I would not rely on it. In this scenario I would rewrite the product descriptions wherever possible and improve the optimization of each description while I was at it. After all, many default descriptions are boring and less than ideal for rankings anyway.

But allow me to remind you of one thing… If you are talking about a shopping cart system where you have thousands of widgets and they all appear using similar text then DO NOT be overly concerned about this duplicate content; it is not a threat to your rankings. Yes it is usually ideal to have unique content but in this case just concern yourself with balancing this duplicate content with added value within the rest of the site. You can do this by adding unique pages dedicated to each widget. These pages can be created whatever unique content you want (diagrams, specs, reviews, etc.) but they ultimately serve to introduce a particular widget to users (and search engines) while providing direct links to the appropriate section of the cart.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.
Original source article and permalink: SEO Answers #15

Answer: Excellent question. The fact is there are a few ways to ensure you are chosen as the primary content provider. The best option is to require that all who syndicate your content provides a inline text link directly to your original posting of the article. For example they would say something like this at the end of the article included in a link: “SEO Answers #15 by Ross Dunn”. This way everyone who repost’s your article is sourcing your content as the original.

If you do not source the original release in this manner the website who publishes your article and gets the most attention for it (via links or publicity measurable by Google) will have a better chance of being chosen as the original content provider.

In conclusion, unless you strictly enforce your ownership to the article you may not get the final credit when Google is forced to guess who published it first.

For more info here is an article on article syndication content duplication I recently wrote.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.
Original source article and permalink: SEO Answers #15