Tag Archives: Search Engine Optimization

Google’s SearchWiki, Customized & Personalized Results

In the search engine optimization business there are several recurrent discussions with new client prospects. The most common one by far is around why conversion reports should be used for search metrics rather than traditional ranking reports. Jaws drop when people hear that two different Google users may see different search results for the same query made at the same moment in time. The reasons vary – searches made at google.com vs. google.it, data centers may not be synchronized, etc.

Two years ago, Google introduced Google Personalized Results. Google provides special results, just for me, based on my search history, as long as I am logged into a Google service. In November, Google added SearchWiki, a facility for a user to annotate and customize their search results.

In this SMX West 2009 session, two Google Engineers discuss Google Search personalization. Questions from the audience show a desire among SEO practitioners to arrive at a ranking baseline before personalization and localization is applied.

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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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SMX West 2009: Do you know the way to San José?

One sign that a profession has matured is in its ability to support a dedicated conference where professionals can hear and learn from presenters as well as interact with other practitioners (and potential clients & vendors).

Search Marketing has had its very own conference since Danny Sullivan started the Search Engine Strategies (SES) series 10 years ago. After growing the SES conference series for many years for the benefit of other owners, Danny started his own conference series, SMX: Search Marketing Expo, in 2007.

I’m happy to say that on February 10-12 I’ll be attending the three day SMX West 2009, in Santa Clara, California. I’m particularly looking forward to day 2′s Keynote Conversation with Google’s Vint Cerf. One of the advantages of the California edition of SMX is that it is easier to get key search engine employees to participate – they’re already right down the street. The sessions on Ecommerce Search Marketing Tactics and Search & Reputation Management also look particularly promising.

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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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15 questions, 5 weeks, 5 free books: the SEO quiz is here

Note to the reader: this article was originally posted on our Italian blog on October 28th. 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.

It seems that the summer fun is now over, but not so fast: it’s time to check, just for fun, your SEO knowledge! We’ve prepared 15 multiple choice questions on topics which appear frequently in SEO projects.

Only for a limited time

The quiz will be available for just 5 weeks, from 28 October to 1 December 2008. Once the quiz is over, the correct answers and the overall results will be published here. Participants will receive an e-mail with their results and a certificate of participation.

Five lucky participants will receive a free copy of Internet PR

Where there’s a quiz, there’s training. Marco Massarotto has lent us a hand, kindly offering 5 copies of his excellent book Internet PR.

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Search engine marketing acronyms: what are they talking about?

That Americans like acronyms is not really a surprise to those who have worked for an American company. Acronyms are extremely useful as a conversational shorthand especially when working with unwieldy terms like search engine optimization. SEO is just so much easier to roll off the tongue. The problem with acronyms is that it is very easy to lose the original meaning – a significant communication problem. In the world of search marketing, SEM is a good case in point.

The following search-marketing glossary highlights common acronyms often used by the search marketing community.

SEO
Search Engine Optimization. Indicates the activities undertaken to generate traffic, usually qualified, to a website through the “natural” results in a search engine. In Google, ~80% of user clicks are on the natural (also called organic) results.
PPC
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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.

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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.

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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

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Search engine detection in Microsoft adCenter Analytics

Microsoft is the other main player, after Google Analytics, in the area of free Web Analytics tools for the analysis of browser centric web data. Microsoft’s adCenter Analytics is the successor to the former LiveSTATS thanks to Microsoft’s acquisition of DeepMetrix in April 20061.

Why search engines offer Web Analytics

Certainly the name Microsoft choose for its Web Analytics tool says a lot: with adCenter Analytics you know the priority is on advertising. Google has taken a softer approach with Google Analytics; sure there is and will be strong integration with AdWords, yet everyone is welcome to take advantage of Google Analytics even if they aren’t (yet) an AdWords client. The official line is that having experienced the power of measuring business results derived from a company’s web presence, marketing professionals will be more inclined to become AdWords clients. One presumes as well that the data collected by Google Analytics is used inside Google to measure the overall state of traffic on the web (including Google’s competitor’s market share – the benchmarking with other sites feature gives an idea of the possibilities). I hope that Microsoft will adopt a more enlightened Internet strategy and aggressively promote adCenter Analytics usage among non-adCenter clients. Google is a great company but could use some competition.

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