Love: myth busters. Google covers a couple important myths here: duplicate content and affiliate programs causing traffic drops. From my experience, duplicate content seems to be one of those issues that is brought up frequently by both clients and potential clients. I think it’s one of those issues that is easy to latch onto since it’s a simple concept to grasp upfront, unlike, say, tossing out the words canonical, static and dynamic. One area where duplicate content can easily reek havoc, though, is in title tags–if you target the same keywords across mulitple title tags (everything else being equal), you will likely see your site drifting in and out of prime ranking real estate.
Love: myth busters, again (I’m doing my best Joseph Campbell impersonation). Also, getting into the nitty-gritty, academic side of search. Search is information retrieval and infromation extraction. It’s, “let’s crawl the Internet’s billions of documents” and, “let’s rudimentarlity extract information (I know you have to refine your searches still, I see you) from these documents and provide relevant results.” And, like the article says, search is linguistics, cognitive psychology, information architecture, statistics and more. Motto: Something academic nearly always undergirds what’s happening in front of the masses–go be academic, read the “boring” stuff, find out where your field is heading and how you can help yourself and clients get there first. Or, more simply, “there are smarter people than me behind this, what do they have to say about it?”
Love:OpenID and the ability to skip out on registering for another website. As we have covered previously on this blog, people don’t like having to register and constantly log in to website after website after website. Well, the big boys are finally starting to get it and are slowly adopting the OpenID platform, or some type of single sign-in protocol, with Kmart and Sears the latest mainstream companies to join the OpenID party.
Love: openness; as in, “Facebook, tear down this wall!” Your social media platform may be an island, but this user isn’t! </rant> Currently, most of the information contained in social media sites is walled off from the rest of the World Wide Web. As the article states, Facebook Connect does allow users to connect and share their information with other sites, but it’s only a fraction of the Internet. Will users continue to silo their information?
Love: free? How do you survive as a business that creates content, whether video, text, images, et cetera, in the age of the Internet where free is very easy to find? Check out the conversation between Chris Anderson, Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin on how free plays and will play a role in business. I tend to agree with Seth Godin–free is already here and businesses need to figure out how to provide enough free content to entice users to pay for the rest.
Love: leverage what you’ve already got for SEO benefit–that goes for anything, take all of that offline information and put it online in the form of a blog, how-to articles, videos, answers on Q&A sites, images and more. It can all be spun. In this case, use the PageRank your website already has to provide valuable internal links. Don’t insert that keyword into the content all willy-nilly–make sure it’s relevant and appropriate. Also, an important principle to take away from this article is that it’s okay, not to mention extremely beneficial, to make edits to the content of your site. Updated content informs the search engines that you’re likely providing even more relevant information about your industry.
Last night I spoke at the Austin Internet Marketing Meetup, which is organized by Laura Alter. There are professionals of all kinds in the group — some that focus primarily on SEOfor their career, some that have their own business and want tips for online success, and others that are in a traditional marketing role that have some online goals that they are trying to reach.
My presentation was creatively titled (thanks Laura!), “Head to Toe SEO: Steps to Optimize your Website,” and focused on:
Helping search engines find all of the pages of your site (indexing)
There were many great questions asked on an array of topics, from dynamically generated pages and tags to XML and HTML sitemaps. We also dug a bit into Google Webmaster Tools, which was new for some but not for others.
All in all, everyone was engaged and enthusiastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better event!
I gained a lot from this event, so I’ve decided to give back and provide those who were unable to attend with my presentation. You can download the slides here:
The four of us on the business model panel at OMMA had diverse points of view and different plans for the future of Twitter, and those have been well-documentedelsewhere. My business model was built on the idea that, as a Twitter user, I wouldn’t want Twitter to change very much. As a Twitterholic, however, I did not want Twitter to change at all, and therein lay the foundation for my business model.
Twitter needs to capitalize on its addiction-inducing capabilities. As laid out to awesome effect by Rohit Bhargava, Twitter has stages of acceptance, and while it would be unwise to rely on new adopters to invest in Twitter’s livelihood, there is a group of core users that, in my opinion, would gladly support Twitter as a conduit of direct communication to the community they’ve grown within the Twitterverse.
My business model postulates that after a Twitter user has issued (not received) 100 “tweets,” they would be cut off from tweeting for the rest of the month–they could still receive tweets, but not send them, unless they paid a $5 fee. Upon payment, the user would be able to tweet at will for the rest of the month, and this process would repeat each month. This would keep the fee optional, and assuming most people don’t usually tweet the same amount from month to month–for example, many entities who tweeted in abundance during election season might not tweet as much since then, and wouldn’t be taxed as if they were not consistently heavy users. New Twitter users, except for spam accounts, aren’t going to tweet enough to break that limit, and therefore will not be charged. However, people could elect to give $60 upfront to Tweet freely for an entire year. This way we build Twitter’s future based on small commitments from many people, rather than large commitments from just a few companies, which other proposed Twitter business models rely on.
Hey, Obama’s campaign succeeded with this mindset, so why not Twitter too? In my honest opinion, relying on corporate Twitter accounts is definitely not the way to go, but that might turn out to be the route that Twitter takes. To be continued….
The search marketing world is assembled at SMX West today. The irony is that the talk of the conference isn’t even at the show. Instead, he’s sitting pretty back at his headquarters for world domination at PC Mag. He, of course, is John Dvorak.
This is classic Dvorak. Anyone who has followed Apple for any period of time is no doubt familiar with his twice yearly proclamations of Apple’s doom. Other common tropes are Microsoft’s domination. The pillorying of SEO just before a major conference fits right into his M.O. Need further proof? He published a related rant on November 17, 2008, “Why Google Must Die.” The title is deceptive, if you read through it, you will see that the focus is really on search engine optimization. You will notice that 3 days earlier, on November 14, 2008, Pubcon, another large search / social / Internet marketing conference took place. The timing was a little off.
Coincidence? Maybe it’s just me, but I want to believe.
Of course, being an optimization scientist, I want to go beyond belief and prove my theory. How can I do that? It is simple really. If my theory is correct, then the next Dvorak SEO rant should come just before the next big SEO or social media conference, such as SES, Search Analytics, or Found.
Apogee Search’s director of product development Ian Strain-Seymour will be speaking at this month’s Web Analytics Wednesday Austin. To help get the most out of this session, post your questions in the comments, and Ian will do his best to tackle these questions on Wednesday.
Not sure what Ian will be talking about? Read on then, oh seeker of knowledge!
Are you trying to understand how engaged your website visitors are? Do you want to know which marketing channels bring in your engaged visitors? Or perhaps you are just tired of discussing how to best measure engagement with your boss/team/coworkers? Maybe your problem is how to best share this data within your company or how to measure the return on your efforts.
These questions and more will be the focus of this month’s edition of WAW Austin. Post your questions in the comments and they will be addressed this Wednesday. The best question will win a free lunch (who said there was no such thing?)!
Stein pointed out that Google values a verified business owner’s listing as the most authoritative. However, Google will list third party data, like yellow page listings, along with the business owner’s listing.
He also discussed why Google doesn’t bold keywords in business names in the local search results. This issue caused some confusion in the past because a Google-promoted best practice is to include keywords in the title of a webpage.
“On Google Maps, our mission is to show users the proper names and addresses of physical businesses,” stated Stein. “The Business Title is not the title of a website – it is the title of the actual business. Adding keywords to this field moves away from giving users the proper representation of the businesses they see on the map.”
Google is also taking steps to prevent spammers from infiltrating the local search results. One of these steps is providing quality guidelines and removing entries that do not meet the specified criteria. Google seems committed to providing quality listings for local businesses.
This month’s event will use a “birds of a feather” format. Each table will have an assigned topic, allowing people to easily find others that have similar interests. Attendees will be able to easily network and share knowledge by moving from table to table (the only problem may be making sure your drink order finds you).
Table topics will include:
Measuring visitor engagement
Online marketing success
Web analytics for events
Want to add a topic? You can do so on Web Analytics Wednesday’s LinkedIn group.
Information on the Austin Web Analytics group can be found on LinkedIn or on Facebook.
What is Web Analytics Wednesday?
Web Analytics Wednesday (WAW) is a monthly networking and educational event. It is held on Wednesdays around the world. It is a great chance for web analytics professionals (and amateurs), online marketers, online merchants, designers, developers, students and anyone else interested in web analytics to meet and share knowledge.