Tag Archives: links

Simon Says… or is it Google Says?

The rel=”canonical” link duplicate content panacea

As many readers probably know, Google and other search engines recently announced support for a rel=”canonical” link attribute value. The new attribute value canonical (not a tag mind you, link is the html tag) can be used by website developers to specify which of essentially similar web pages is the definitive version.

A SEO problem known as duplicate content arises when websites use different URLs, generally through parameters, to provide slightly different versions of a page, such as a printer friendly version, or to support web analytics campaign tracking. In order to give search users unique choices, search engines tend to choose the “best” URL for a page, filtering out similar versions.

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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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My website has disappeared from Google. What do I do now?

One day you note a fall off in the traffic Google sends your website. As Google is the main source of your traffic, as is the case for many websites, alarm bells naturally start ringing. Investigating, you realize that the site does not appear at all in Google or has poor visibility at best in search results. What is a poor site owner to do? Did someone say panic?

Understand why the site disappeared from Google

There are several reasons why a site no longer appears in typical Google search results.

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Google Crawling and Execution of JavaScript: where are we at today?

For a long time, Google’s advice to website developers was to keep things simple to ensure search engine spiders could successfully crawl and process website content:

Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most search engine spiders see your site much as Lynx would. If fancy features such as JavaScript, cookies, session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling your site.1

In reality, Google often found links in Flash objects, significantly improving this ability as announced last June (creating much confusion by misrepresenting this as a new feature rather than an improvement). And despite the hoopla, there are still many good reasons to avoid Flash.

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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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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;
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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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Top level domains, subdomains or directories for Search Engine Optimization of multilingual websites?

Companies targeting multiple linguistic markets on the web have a lot to think about when planning their Internet strategy and execution. Ideally, search engine optimization should be part of their strategy considerations. In this article, we look at a technical marketing issue of website localization: how should a company distribute content targeted at different markets on the web? Do search engines, such as Google, care if a company uses a separate domain for every country, separate folders on a generic top level domain (TLD), such as a .com, or perhaps subdomains? Do users care?

Four common ways to organize website language variants

Perhaps the best way to understand the range of possible solutions is to look at some examples.

OptionExamples
Top level domains (TLDs), i.e. by domain suffixwww.antezeta.com
www.antezeta.co.uk www.antezeta.de
www.antezeta.it
Subdomains, i.e. by domain prefix.it.antezeta.com
de.antezeta.com
en.antezeta.com
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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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Searching the World’s Information in Google’s Universal Search

Over its short life span, Google has been diligently carrying out its stated mission of organizing the world’s information including web pages and documents, blogs, images, news, finance, videos, books, products & catalogs and local places. Each of these data types has had its own distinct search interface.

Internet users could access any of the specialized search types, known as a vertical search, using links (tabs in the past) above the Google search box. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize the power of “advanced search“, leaving the specialized Google search engines underutilized.

Google has decided to default a user’s search across multiple data categories, mixing data source types in order of relevance. In addition to Google’s new Universal search, the specialized, or vertical, search tools are still available via links which have been moved to the top left of the search screen.

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