Tag Archives: Search Engine Optimization
I just discovered that someone on a Web Analytics discussion group misconstrued the recent Google announcement of better Flash search engine crawling support to mean it is now good to use Flash when developing web sites.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While Google’s move is welcome support for all the legacy Flash websites still in circulation, companies shouldn’t generally be deploying new sites made wholly using Flash.
What Google has announced is significant improvements to their ability to extract information, specifically text and links, from Flash objects. Despite what many are trying to read into this, Google already crawled and extracted this information from Flash only sites – this is not exactly new.
What is new is that hit or miss crawling and discovery is probably just mediocre instead of bad. But mediocre is not good nor is it great. Before site architects and designers rush off to develop Flash only websites, they should still consider SEO and non SEO issues with Flash:
The inside scoop on how you can get a competitive advantage by including organic search engine visibility in your marketing mix.
One of the primary goals of traditional advertising is to create demand for a product or service. An advertisement awakens latent demand by bringing attention to the product or service, or strives to create demand by informing us of a need or problem we weren’t yet aware of having.
By advertising in a mix of traditional media (television, radio, cinema, billboards, magazines and newspapers), companies aim to increase their sales. The process is rather hit or miss: a return on investment (ROI) only occurs when a person, sufficiently motivated, passes through a shop’s checkout or orders a service. This ROI is notoriously hard to measure. John Wanamaker summed it up best when he wryly noted,
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”1.
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.
Regular readers of this blog be warned – this article is about the internet infrastructure needed to insure Internet users are online in the first place. We can perform all of the search engine optimization (SEO) we want, but if our target audience isn’t online due to lack of access, our results are going to disappoint. Marketing professionals are thus warned: what follows is a look at a potential technical solution to the digital divide.
In the early 1980′s I discovered the net. As a university student in Maine, I kept in touch via e-mail with a friend at Cornell University in New York state. It seemed like magic – 80 character monochromatic video terminals allowed us to exchange messages in minutes. The net in question was Bitnet, an early type of Internet connecting educational institutions. Later, in the early nineties, I used today’s internet to exchange email and files with clients. A great improvement over sending pizza sized magnetic tapes across town or across country. In Trieste in the mid-nineties I was able to browse the latest New York Times with Mosaic. By the late nineties, I had an ISDN connection in my home office (thank you, Peter Friedenbach). Of course ISDN gave way to ADSL… or did it?
A common issue facing companies and organizations with an international presence is how to deploy multilingual sites across one or more Internet domain(s). In other words, should one put all the sites on a .com or .org domain, perhaps taking advantage of directories on the web server to separate each language? Is this the best solution for existing and potential customers? Will there be problems with search engine indexing and visibility?
After having tackled the issue in various SEO projects, I decided to share some of the issues that should be considered when choosing the right path for your company or organization.
Start with the search engines – but think of your visitors
Websites exist to communicate with a diverse audience – customers, potential customers, employees, investors, suppliers, etc. In the web planning and design phase, it is essential not to lose sight of the site’s target audience. But it is also highly critical to keep in mind how web sites are found on the net, starting with Google.
So what is the state of the Internet in Italy in the year 2008? Armed with an ambitious, varied agenda spanning two days, speakers from Italy and abroad tried to answer this question during the conference STATEoftheNET, held February 8 and 9 in Udine.
We didn’t need to wait long for an answer. Stefano Quintarelli, in the first session, noted that only 22% of Italians are using broadband Internet, by now a requirement for full participation in the world of Internet. This compares with 55% in the United States, not to speak of countries where the broadband penetration is even higher. Effectively 78% of Italians are cutoff from everything the Internet can offer, from basic information retrieval to active discussion of current events. Some are cutoff due to the lack of a universal service mandate – they cannot get broadband access (the so-called digital divide). The majority of the cases are probably due to people who don’t perceive sufficient value in all that Internet can offer.