Tag Archives: keywords

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

Did you mean: porn or why not all keywords are suitable for SEO.

In the not too distant past when we spoke of search engine marketing, we focused mainly on search engine rankings (SERPS) or, in other words, of being top in Google. A nice phrase, concise and effective. Visibility in search engines is very important, no doubt.

But in the top spots in Google for what? Here lies the big trap. It is not uncommon that the keywords identified for SEO or PPC campaigns are part of the jargon used by business professionals inside a company to describe their products and services. Yet a typical person generally uses much simpler language to describe what they are searching for in Google or another search engine. Consequently a business can find itself in the top Google search results, but for keywords which are only used by competitors when they fall into the same trap. Ouch.

2 Comments

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.

2 Comments

List of over 550 search engines and sources of traffic attributable to web search

The following is a list of search engines and significant sites incorporating a search engine, such as ISP portals, which provide site traffic attributable to web search. The list can be used to verify if your Web Analytics system recognizes all the sources of organic search traffic and keywords important in your market – or for other SEO activities.

The last two table columns indicate if a search engine is recognized by Google Analytics and Microsoft adCenter Analytics. See these related articles for more information about search engine and keyword detection in these two Web Analytics systems:

This information is provided “as-is” without any representation made as to its accuracy. Use at your own risk.

Last updated: 7 October 2008

4 Comments

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;
2 Comments

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.

8 Comments

Who’s using Google for their organic and paid search results?

An important consideration for Google AdWords advertisers is to understand just where their contextual ads might appear. Google notes that AdWords ads can appear on the:

  1. Google search engine
  2. Partner search engines (e.g. Aol, Ask.com, Libero / Arianna, Virgilio / Alice)
  3. Google owned web content sites (e.g. Gmail, Google Groups)
  4. Third party web content sites (practically any site wishing to display Google ads)

The following slide, extracted from my PPC with AdWords Course, provides a visual overview of where AdWords can appear1.

Visual Overview of Where Google AdWords Ads may appear
Figure 1: Where Google AdWords Ads may Appear – Italian market focus (click to enlarge)

While Google has recently improved information about participants in the Google content network2, it isn’t so easy to find an updated listing of which major generalist portals and pure search engines rely on Google for their organic and paid search results. The following table aims to rectify this, at least for the Italian market.

Leave a comment

People, Internet and Enterprise Business, all without mentioning Google.

Last Wednesday I had the fortune to attend a world class conference on social behavior and technology applied to medium and large sized businesses. Not in San Francisco. Not in Boston, where I worked for 4 years. Not in Milan, even. In Varese. Right, Varese, once known more for shoe production. The conference, the International Forum on Enterprise 2.0, was held at L’Università dell’Insubria as part of their 10th anniversary celebration.

As a search marketing consultant, I was very interested in how the social web is being applied to business environments. The very intertwined nature of the web means that no web marketing project should be seen in isolation. <rant>Thanks to the kind folks at Trenitalia, who canceled my train from Tuscany at the last minute, I almost didn’t make it. Not that you’d find any news about this on their website.</rant>

2 Comments

Search marketing is different: how to gain a competitive advantage by insuring a successful SEO project

In a related article, I consider how Internet search marketing remains a niche focus for a few early adopters despite laser-like targeting and measurement abilities. As a relatively new media, search engine mechanics and user interaction with search engines remains a bit of a black box for many marketing professionals. In the following discussion, I aim to outline the process of a typical search marketing project.

The first consideration for a company is to identify an internal resource who will be responsible for search marketing initiatives. This person has a solid understanding of the company’s business goals and marketing strategies. They also tend embrace technology as a business enabler and ideally are already involved with the company’s web presence.

Selection of an external search marketing partner usually follows, unless the organization decides to recruit resources to manage search marketing in-house. The usual vendor selection criteria come in to play: reputation, experience, value for money, etc.

Leave a comment

Keep out: an often overlooked part of Search Engine Optimization

Rare is the web professional who doesn’t know that building a great website isn’t usually enough to guarantee its success. Sites have to be visible in search engines for the keywords and phrases web navigators are most likely to associate with the site’s content. An entire industry has grown up around SEO, search engine optimization. Yawn, you say.

What about the reverse side of the coin, keeping content out of search engines? Should be easy, no? Maybe not. In February, we looked at 5 ways to stop Google and the other search engines from downloading and indexing a website’s pages.

Unfortunately, it appears that the folks behind the personal lubricant astroglide didn’t understand the implications of leaving sensitive customer data on a public web server. They, and their customers, found out how search engines can be all too effective in finding content – as long as it is in a public area and there is a public link to it! Too bad astroglide blamed Google rather than admitting the error of their ways.

Leave a comment