Tag Archives: XML

Yahoo Search Marketing Tools: What’s at Risk & How to Avoid Surprises

When Yahoo and Microsoft announced their Search Alliance in July 2009, only the high level agreement details were available:

  • Microsoft will provide the development and management of search engine results technology (bing)
  • Microsoft will provide the search and content network ad platform (adCenter)
  • Microsoft will manage the relationship with self-service advertisers
  • Yahoo will manage the relationship with large accounts
  • Yahoo will provide their own user interface on top of the Bing results which will appear on Yahoo properties

Microsoft - Yahoo Search AllianceNow that US and EU regulators have approved the deal, search marketers need to assess which Yahoo tools they rely on – and need to be prepared with alternatives should these tools be discontinued.

During the SMX West 2010 session Microsoft + Yahoo: What’s It All Mean?, I looked at the agreement’s implications for three Yahoo tools search marketing professionals have come to know and love:

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The real news behind the Google and Bing Twitter deals

Yesterday we saw a lot of press and blogosphere attention devoted to deals being made between the two leading search engines, Google and Bing, and leading social media services Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter search deals, while interesting, doesn’t yet merit much beyond a big yawn – we’ve already had decent, if imperfect, search via Summize, which became twitter search. Sure, both Google and Bing can improve this, but still, things like Google Squared are much more innovative.

What is really interesting about the search engine deals are the implications of the business details:

Is twitter being compensated for the indexing and retrieval attention Bing (and Google?) is giving them?

If so, that would seem to set a big precedent (the AP content hosting deal aside). Why shouldn’t other content rich sites not also receive payment from search engines? Newspapers worldwide have been making this point, to no avail, for several years now (The Italian Federation of News Publishers is pressing its case by arguing that Google has a monopoly position).

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7 sources of link intelligence data and key link analysis considerations

It may seem like a cliché but on the web no website is an island. Any site worth its salt will have accumulated inbound links and will most certainly contain outbound links to other resources on the web. Indeed, one can easily say that without links to interconnect websites, there wouldn’t be a worldwide web.

For search engines, such as Google, incoming links provide a strong signal as to the authority of a website. If multiple websites link to a specific website for a given topic, there is a good chance the website cited by others is deemed to be highly relevant for a good reason. Google and other search engines identify the theme of a website page by analyzing a page’s content and the text of the incoming links – the underlined text you click on to arrive at a page. Links, especially inbound links, are thus one of the most significant in the over 200 factors Google considers in its ranking algorithms. Inbound links from related sites in a business’ sector are also an excellent source of highly qualified direct traffic.

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Search engine optimization for websites in multiple languages

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.

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How do search engines, such as Google, handle JavaScript and CSS?

A frequent Search Engine Optimization question is “how do search engines such as Google handle JavaScript and CSS?

Historically, search engines processed web pages much like an old text video browser such as lynx. A search engine only “saw” what the simplest browser could display – simple html.

Much for this reason, search engine optimization consultants have long advocated that site developers keep site coding simple, avoid hiding navigation systems in JavaScript menus and the like.

Today the situation is more complex. Google and the other search engines will try to extract links from anything they can – from PDF files to JavaScript embedded in a web page. This process is not foolproof, however – a site should still avoid relying solely on a JavaScript based navigation system, especially when CSS is a better choice.

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Accented Characters, Symbols and Special Characters in HTML Documents: Considerations for Search Engine Optimization, Usability and XML Feeds.

One issue many international Webmasters face is how to properly manage documents written in languages containing accented and other special, non-English, characters. Does it matter how the special characters are written? Do HTML documents need to contain both accented and non-accented words to be found in search engines?

Continuing our series on website internationalization for search engine visibility, we’ll take a look at how special characters can be specified in a document and how these characters are managed by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Ask and Microsoft’s MSN.

In the early days of computing, engineers mapped each of the letters of the latin alphabet used by the English language to a specific numeric code. This mapping became known as the ASCII character set. Unfortunately, no provision was made for accented and other special characters found in the many languages which share the roman alphabet.

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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:

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Unofficial documentation of Ask’s Web Search API

In part one of this article, we set out to document the little known Ask web search API by providing background information. In this continuation, we’ll look at the actual API details.

Note Update: Ask disabled access to their API on 6 March 2007. We are working on obtaining additional information. Write us if you would like to be notified of further developments.

NoteThe following information was determined by observation and conjecture. Write us if you want to be notified when we update this page with more complete information. We are assuming the reader has already worked with REST queries and is familiar with parsing XML data.

Request URL

The request URL is formed by adding query parameter and their values to a base URL using the format query parameter=values. Successive parameters are added using a & before each parameter.

Base URL: http://xml.teoma.com/e?

Request URL parameters should be URL encoded.

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The Google Webmaster Dashboard, a.k.a. Google Sitemaps

In order to index and display web content in their search results, search engines need to be able to find the content. The first generation of Internet search engines relied on webmasters to submit a site’s primary URL, the site’s “home page”, to the search engine’s crawler database. The crawler would then follow each link it found on the home page. Problems soon emerged – much site content can be inadvertently hidden from crawlers, such as that behind drop-down lists and forms.

Update: Google Sitemaps was renamed Google Webmaster Tools on 5-Aug-2005 to better reflect its more expansive role.

Fast forward to 2005. Search engine crawlers have improved their ability to find sites through from other sites – site submission is no longer relevant. Yet many web sites are still coded in ways which impede automatic search engine discovery of the rich content often available in larger, complex web sites.

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UK and US English Dialect Considerations for Site Internationalization

Search Engines and Site Localization

While there are few differences between the UK and US English dialects which might lead to miscomprehension, Noah Webster‘s spelling reform does lead to interesting issues which need to be considered when designing sites for international audiences.

Note Update: This document was written in 2006 and no longer represents the current state of search affairs. It has been left here as a historical reference. Search engines continually refine their algorithms and that is reflected in how they currently handle regional linguistic differences.

Is it “my favorite color” or “my favourite colour”?

While it may seem like an arcane academic question, how you spell your English language content can determine your site’s visibility in search engines and how your site is perceived by your visitors.

With about two-thirds of native English speakers in the US, American spelling predominates the web. Not surprisingly, a non-scientific survey of search expressions using both US and UK spellings yields more matches for the US variant:

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