Tag Archives: SEO

Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expo 2008

SES Expo and ConferenceFrom August 18th to the 22nd, prepare to put your Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing party pants on because the 10th annual Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expo is coming to town.
Well, maybe not your town in particular, but a town nonetheless. Taking place in San Jose California, SES 2008 promises to be “the largest learning and networking opportunity of the year”, boasting over 70 sessions that are designed to cover all things Search Engine related. This is a chance to learn from the experts about the many, confusing ins and outs of search marketing as well as the opportunity to network at the famed, Google Dance and Search Bash.

You can check out the registration details here, and be sure to check the SES blog regularly for any news or updates. And for a general overview of the Search Engine Strategies Expo and Conference over the years, read their comprehensive About page.

Google’s Matt Cutts Sheds a Little Light on SEO

A photo of Matt CuttsCould it be? Could it really be?

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team and all around SEO aficionado is going to shed some light on that dark and mysterious labyrinth of a concept, search engine optimization. SEO: it evades many, baffles most, and causes some to bang their heads on their desks repeatedly, muttering strings of incoherent frustration. Luckily, there are guys like Matt who know a thing or two (to say the least) about the secrets of SEO and the tricks to get you ranking.

Jefferson Graham of USA TODAY got to talking with Matt Cutts with the intention of dissolving some of the frustrating ambiguity that surrounds search engine optimization and spamming issues. Search engine optimization is incredibly important these days, espeically when you consider the amount of people who’s relationship with the internet is made up soley of search engine searches.

There are many people, myself included, who will type anything into Google or Yahoo; who allow Google to essentially shape our experiences with the web; grabbing sites for us so we don’t have to do any of the legwork. Looking for a book? May as well go straight to Google, that way, even if you spell it wrong, it will be fixed up for you:

Did you mean: The Great Gatsby?

Why yes I did Google, thank you very much.

But what am I explaining this for? You all know that it is important to try and keep a good rank in Google, Yahoo and other popular search engines – it’s just a matter of how to do that.

In Graham’s USA Today Article, Matt Cutts outlines some key rules to follow when trying your hand at search engine optimization strategies, and cites blogging as an excellent search engine optimization tool. According to Cutts, Google examines over 100 pieces of data in order to determine where a site will rank and links are a big part of that decision.  Basically Google is like highschool, only not as miserable. The more popular you already are, the higher you are going to rank – the popular keep getting more popular while the geeks stay geeky…unless of course they know how to use SEO. Is this analogy even working?

Anyway, it’s all about getting solid, respected sites to link to you. If they like you, then you must be pretty cool therefore, to the top of the list with ya! A great way to exchange links is blogging. Blogging is an awesome SEO tool – it is essentially cost-free and helps you to communicate with your customers and generate helpful content.

Check out the article here – it is definitely worth your time to see what Google’s main SEO man has to say about ranking. Also, take a look at Matt’s personal blog – filled with his own tips, tricks and information, this blog is an excellent SEO resource.

 

SEO…You Need to Know it…Seriously

Say, for example, I am looking for an original, uncut copy of Sam Raimi’s classic tale of demonic antics and over-the-top, undead gore, Evil Dead 2. For some unknown reason, Evil Dead 2 is much more difficult to find than the first Evil Dead despite the fact that it is a superior movie in many ways. So where should I turn when HMV has proved itself to be a dead-end? Where can I go when my various sources for DVDs has offered me nothing? Well I head to the internet of course.

My method for finding something online, without fail, is as follows:

  • Go to Google.com (or Yahoo.com, depending on how I feel that day)
  • Type in the keywords that I know will get me what I want; in this case, “buy evil dead 2 dvd”
  • Voila! A list of online merchandisers flood the page before me and I peruse them, searching for the site that best suits my needs

For a user like me – that is to say a light to moderate user – there is no internet outside of search engines. Search engines are what I use in virtually every World Wide Web interaction I have on a day to day basis. That brings me to the point of this blog. Being as I am a fairly average person, and the world is made up of fairly average people, I can only assume that there are a great deal of other people who view the internet in the very search-engine-centric way that I do and if that is the case then search engine optimization is a very important tool indeed.

The purpose of search engine optimization is to boost your rank on popular search engines like Google.com or Yahoo.com, ideally placing your site within the first 10 or 20 sites that pop up as opposed to being buried at the bottom of page 48. If someone like me is looking to spend some money, it will be at a place within the first 10 sites listed…believe me. Being listed highly on these search engines is absolutely crucial and not only that, if you are listing well, it is basically like free, or at least cheap advertising, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

So my suggestion is to set aside some serious time to learn about the basic framework and philosophy of search engine marketing – try and grasp a better understanding of search engine optimization and the use of keywords so that you can improve your business and experience all the success that you dreamed of. Or hire a professional; there are plenty of people out there who know a whack-load about how to get your site noticed –why don’t you Google it and see who comes up first?

Buying your Google ranking

Google has always touted their superior search algorithm as a big part of being the dominant search engine; the algorithm, likely the biggest secret in the company, is the reason the site is able to provide the most relevant results to your queries. However, there’s been a screenshot released by a French blog that suggests Google rankings may be affected by what you pay. Google acknowledges the screenshot as legitimate, but maintains that there is no questionable rankings in their search results.

“Our organic search results have always been completely independent from our paid advertisements. We consider the objectivity of our search results to be paramount to our success and would never compromise that in any way,” said software engineer Matt Cutts, in a statement sent via the company’s public relations department.

via this Computer world article

While Google has been untarnished and somewhat of a golden child, it is still a corporation, and lately, the search giant seems to have lost some of their lustre. This definitely won’t help, but perhaps all will be forgotten with the release of their new open platform next week.

Online Marketing and Advertising

Online AdvertisingThe world of online marketing and advertising is a new and evolving place that few people – if any – truly understand. Whether you are trying to optimize your site’s content for search engines (SEO), trying to increase your site’s exposure through less conventional below the line or viral marketing campaigns, or simply trying to get Google, Yahoo!, and MSN/Live to index your site, unless you are one of the more savvy individuals on the web, it’s nice to have help from the professionals.

One of our partners, SEOMoz, is a great resource for this type of thing, but don’t take our word for it. SEOMoz has been recognized by Advertising Age as one of the top media and marketing blogs. AdAge’s Power 150 is a ranking of the top English-language media and marketing blogs in the world. The sites listed in the Power 150 represent an almost unending wealth of knowledge for marketing and advertising on the Internet, and although it doesn’t guarantee your website success, it definitely helps you take a step in the right direction.

For the traditional or mainstream marketer, I do post this with a word of caution. Rather, I post it with Steve Rubel‘s words:

It’s very difficult for anyone in marketing to keep up with all the twists [in] the digital space because technology changes so darn fast. It’s like chasing a cheetah. Most marketers – be they clients or agency side – are heads-down running their business. Therefore, companies are creating a new role. They’re hiring people who act as translators between the ultra geeks and the marketers…

Remember, to achieve that next-level of success, it may require employing a professional who eats, sleeps, and breaths online marketing and advertising, espcially if your small/medium enterprise is going head to head with a well established (perhaps even multi-national) corporation.