Tag Archives: Blogs

Why SEO & Usability are like two peas in a pod

Good user experience is fundamental for the success of a website:

On the Internet, it’s survival of the easiest: If customers can’t find a product, they can’t buy it. Give users a good experience and they’re apt to turn into frequent and loyal customers. But the Web also offers low switching costs … Only if a site is extremely easy to use will anybody bother staying around. – Usability guru Jakob Nielsen1

While Nielsen probably had site design and information architecture in mind, his point also encompasses search engine visibility. Without search engine visibility a website is hidden away on a dead-end street instead of being front and center on main street2, where the people are.

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7 sources of link intelligence data and key link analysis considerations

It may seem like a cliché but on the web no website is an island. Any site worth its salt will have accumulated inbound links and will most certainly contain outbound links to other resources on the web. Indeed, one can easily say that without links to interconnect websites, there wouldn’t be a worldwide web.

For search engines, such as Google, incoming links provide a strong signal as to the authority of a website. If multiple websites link to a specific website for a given topic, there is a good chance the website cited by others is deemed to be highly relevant for a good reason. Google and other search engines identify the theme of a website page by analyzing a page’s content and the text of the incoming links – the underlined text you click on to arrive at a page. Links, especially inbound links, are thus one of the most significant in the over 200 factors Google considers in its ranking algorithms. Inbound links from related sites in a business’ sector are also an excellent source of highly qualified direct traffic.

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SEO Session: Up Close With Google Blog Search

Google Blog Search is Google’s vertical search engine which focuses exclusively on blog content. While overall usage is probably pretty low, results from Google blog search are starting to appear in Google’s web search as part of their “Universal Search”, more generally known as blended search. Blog content can appear in Google’s standard web search independently of its presence in Google Blog Search. Google’s Chris Pennock, an Engineer with Google’s New York office, discussed how Google Blog Search works at the SMX West search conference.

Moderator: Matt McGee, Assignment Editor, Search Engine Land

Speaker: Chris Pennock, Senior Software Engineer, Blog Search, Google Inc.

Who uses Google Blog Search?

Google Blog Search is used by someone looking for more opinionated or fresher information. Users come may come from Google.com or a blogger looking for information on their own blog. (Google Blog Search also powers some of the information in the WordPress dashboard – Sean).

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So many aspiring SEOs! – the SEO Quiz results are in

15 questions, 5 weeks and 5 books: almost 700 people took the 2008 SEO quiz challenge.

Note to the reader: this article was originally posted on our Italian blog on December 2nd. The quiz targeted an Italian audience; we’ve published this translation in order to allow a wider audience to follow search marketing developments in Italy.

Why a SEO quiz

The idea of the quiz came from reflections on the state of SEO knowledge and usage in Italy, observed from the perspective of a SEO practitioner.

Search engines, with Google in particular (question 1), are the gate keepers between us and the net. We use search engines not only to search for information that we imagine is out there somewhere, but also to navigate to a specific site, such as Fiat, or to perform a task, such as buy a ticket for a Tiziano Ferro concert (question 15).

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SEO for a Blog – All roads lead to RomeCamp 2008

One of the things that I really like about the Internet is that anyone who has a minimum of familiarity with a computer can communicate their ideas to a wide audience. Once upon a time the platform of choice was a personal site at geocities, clarence city or the like. In the meantime the blog format has emerged, a format that facilitates not only self publication but a broad exchange of ideas through visitor comments.

Embraced as well by politicians and companies, there is little doubt regarding the success of a blog as a means of modern communication. Yet there is a common misconception that I often hear:

“WordPress (the blog platform) is already optimized for search engines.”

If only!

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Enhance your blog or website with Google’s Site Search. Measure the results in Google Analytics.

You’ve done it. You’ve created a successful web site with compelling content. A loyal community of readers keeps coming back for more. SEO efforts have paid off too, with lots of traffic from Google, Yahoo!, MSN and minor search engines. Time to sit back with a fine Real Ale or a glass of Monteregio di Massa Marittima… but didn’t you forget something? Internal Site Search perhaps?

By Internal Site Search we mean a search feature on your website to allow site visitors to find what they’re looking for, using their own words.

Don’t fret, there are good reasons to deploy site search functionality and it’s relatively easy to do.

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Links and Algorithms behind Blog Statistics: BlogBabel reopens.

I couldn’t help but notice the reopening of Italy’s primary blog classification service, BlogBabel. Just over a year ago I wrote about BlogBabel:

“While it is worth keeping in mind that BlogBabel’s ranking is just one measure of the importance of a particular blog, Ludo deserves kudos for the transparency in which BlogBabel’s rankings are calculated.”

Since then, the ranking factors have changed a bit. Currently BlogBabel says the following parameters are considered1:

BlogBabel Ranking FactorDescriptionWeight
Google PageRankThe “official” global weight Google assigns to a site. (Its worth noting that this is updated only once every 3-4 months and is not what Google uses internally.)1
FeedBurnerNumber of feed subscribers for blogs.0, thus not considered
Link/6Inbound links from posts on other sites, added within the last 6 months.1
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Web statistics for internet market research: pick a number, any number

How to perform competitor research using web statistics while avoiding lies, damned lies, and …statistics?

Comparison with competitors is a fundamental element of business; even innovators need to know how far ahead they are in their market. The Internet seems to offer fertile terrain for capturing accurate marketing statistics on website usage and position relative to other players in a given market. Indeed, most of us have often heard web statistics from Nielsen//NetRatings, Alexa or comScore cited in the press and elsewhere. Practitioners of Search Engine Optimization and web marketing know that web analytics is not just silo analysis of a company’s website: it also entails looking at how a website and its business performance metrics measure up in the overall web ecosystem.

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Blog statistics with BlogBabel at ZenaCamp in Genoa, Italy

Expats in Italy need to stay on top of professional and daily happenings locally while still engaging in the wider world. This task is made difficult by the vast quantity and quality of resources available in English (my native language), as exemplified by the BBC. Unfortunately, their Italian equivalents, such as the ad-infested public broadcaster RAI, just can’t compete for my attention.

It doesn’t get much easier on the web marketing front. The primary search engines in Italy are the US based Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Live and Ask, sometimes found in their rebranded skins: Arianna (enhanced by Google) and Virgilio (listed by Google as a customer). Inevitably, most of my web marketing reading is English language centric.

As a side note, Google commands a percentage of the market in most western markets that most politicians can only dream of. Yet the search market remains very dynamic and innovative.

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Google Labs has re-released the much-maligned Google Web Accelerator

The Google Web Accelerator made a brief appearance in May 2005 before downloads were cut off due to a „maximum capacity of users” being reached. The Accelerator was criticized by many, with privacy and security concerns frequently expressed. Google Labs has made a reworked Accelerator available for download.

Aimed at broadband Internet users in Europe and North America, Google Web Accelerator is a tool to speed up web browsing. Available for MS Windows users, Google’s Web Accelerator (GWA) works, with a few differences, like similar accelerators available from leading ISPs.

In the following article, we review the Web Accelerator’s functionality and consider its potential impact on web sites, with a particular focus on Web Analytics reporting.

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