Tag Archives: Directory

Dear Google, thanks for the instant preview, now please support the “nopreview” meta tag

Search engines offer web site owners a wide range of options to specify exactly what content in a website should be indexed and how, that content may be presented in search engine results. This is only fair, as it is the site owner who creates the content in the first place. Beyond the myriad existing options, site owners focusing on Google now have an additional search result presentation issue to consider: should they allow Google to display Google Instant Previews or not. Unfortunately, Google has made the choice to forgo site previews more difficult than it should be for site owners, but before I return to this point, a brief review of current search result presentation options is in order.


Yahoo Directories in Europe RIP. Did anybody notice?

Yahoo! has closed some of their European directories sometime this year – their Italian and German directory URLs, e.g. http://it.dir.yahoo.com/, are now redirecting to their search page. Others may be impacted but I haven’t checked. At least the Italian directory is still in Google and Yahoo search results but not those of Bing. Yahoo Site Explorer also shows cached pages from the Italian directory with the copyright 2010; unfortunately Yahoo! doesn’t display a cache date. Other Yahoo! directories, such as the US and UK versions, are still open for business.
Yahoo Directory Italia
Figure 1: Yahoo! Directory in Italy, once upon a time

Yahoo Directory closures not really a surprise

As I’ve previously noted (see question 3), Yahoo stopped updating their German directory in 2006 and the same is probably true for Italy although they never admitted that it was closed to new entries. With Yahoo’s de-emphasis of search, and the long decline in human edited directories overall, these directory closures can’t really be much of a surprise. Yet as one who remembers using the Yahoo! directory before DEC’s Altavista, this is quite a search milestone. I might not miss you Yahoo! directory, but your passing has been noticed.


What’s New With Social Media Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing is part of a bigger web ecosystem. At SMX West 2009, three habitués of the social media scene shared tips on successfully promoting a website using social media.

Moderator: Sara Holoubek, Consultant, Columnist and SEMPO Board of Directors



Brent Csutoras describes the user-generated news site reddit. When logged in, the front page is dashboard of reddits. You can create your own social media site using a CNAME sub domain name and the Reddit platform. (Add a CNAME record aliasing your domain to rhs.reddit.com. Enter this new domain, e.g. social.antezeta.com, in the domain field when you create a new reddit. – Sean)

1 Comment

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).

1 Comment

Improve search engine and keyword reporting in Google Analytics, a SEO strategy

In three short years 1 Google Analytics has become an important tool for many companies looking to get more out of their presence on the web. Google Analytics’ wide range of website reports, from traffic sources to conversion rates, provide invaluable insight into a site’s business performance for an initial cost which is difficult to beat.

One particular report, the Search Engine report, is of particular interest to companies looking to optimize their organic search engine marketing activity. This report identifies sources of search traffic that brought visitors to the website.

For each search engine source, a drill-down feature shows the keywords people used – the very keywords which express a visitor’s intent as they came to your website.

Updated 2013-08-26: The examples now refer to the asynchronous 3rd version of Google’s tracking code, released in 2009. Universal Analytics users should consult this updated article.


Are directories still useful for SEO and in increasing web site traffic?

An ongoing question in search engine optimization (SEO) projects regards which directories might be useful for increasing incoming traffic to a web site and as a means in obtaining better search engine visibility. The question arises due to the importance that was once attributed by search engines to some directories and by the desire to attract direct traffic to a site, where and whenever possible.

For a new site, directories, short reviews of sites organized by categories and subcategories, can be a useful source of incoming links.

However, it is highly doubtful that most directories today help very much in improving search engine visibility, nor in generating much direct traffic.

There are multiple reasons:

  1. directories are often “generalist” – yet it is thematic links which are most useful for most sites that deal with products, services or in specific sectors;

9 SEO Security Tips for WordPress

In theory, this is a marketing blog, focusing on search engine optimization, web analytics and other web marketing topics. So what does WordPress security have to do with Google and SEO?

Well one downside of the extended web ecosystem is that the same idiots who jump the queue in the supermarket will try to exploit your good blog as a way to jump their way to the top of Google’s search results.

One thing is certain, you won’t be feeling very groovy if you have the misadventure of being de-listed by Google as has happened to several of my fellow blogger friends.

I’m not a WordPress security expert, and I don’t play one on TV. That said, there are a few WordPress security best practices worth considering for your WordPress installation.


6 methods to control what and how your content appears in search engines

While it may seem paradoxical, there are many occasions where you may want to exclude a website or portion of a site from search engine crawling and indexing. One typical need is to keep duplicate content, such as printer friendly versions, out of a search engine’s index. The same is true for pages available both in HTML and PDF or word processor formats. Other examples include site “service pages” such as user friendly error message and activity confirmation pages. Special considerations apply for ad campaign landing pages.

There are several ways to prevent Google, Yahoo!, Bing or Ask from indexing a site’s pages. In this article, we look at the different search engine blocking methods, considering each method’s pros and cons.

Just need to review REP directive support? Jump to the:


Google Sitemap Standard Adopted by Leading International Search Engines

Each of the three major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft’s Live Search, now Bing) have announced joint support of Google’s sitemaps protocol.

2007-04-11: Ask announces support of the sitemap standard. It is not yet clear if they actually use sitemaps. While Google and Yahoo do process sitemaps, Microsoft does not yet use them.

2008-06-02: Yandex supports xml sitemaps. China’s Baidu also supports sitemaps through their Baidu webmaster tools which is currently (2011) invite only. For those interenested in the Czech Republic, Seznam supports sitemaps.

A new site, www.sitemaps.org, has been created to support the sitemaps protocol. While the Yahoo blog indicates Yahoo is apparently already accepting submissions, there is not mention of this on their Site Explorer submission form. Microsoft is committed to supporting sitemaps after finishing internal testing which is currently underway.

Comments Off

How to Specify an HTML Web Document Language for good SEO

So you just wrote a stunning essay on James Joyce’s Ulysses – in Irish Gaelic. Will Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft and Ask recognize it as Gaelic, hosted as it is on your co.uk domain? Maybe. But you can given them a hint!

The trick is to use all of the HTTP and HTML language code settings available to your advantage to ensure your documents aren’t falsely identified. This article considers HTTP and HTML aspects of website internationalization for search engine optimization.

Why is Language Recognition a Problem?

Search engines try to match a web searcher’s language (based on ip geo location recognition or user specified preferences) to web documents when determining the best matches for a search query. In some cases, a user may specify that results be limited to a specific language. Left to their own devices, search engines have a few clues to determine the human language of a document:

1 Comment