Search Engine Optimisation Recap
Stories, news, and other notable items from the past week, including : HTML 5 video tags to be released in 2010, 7 unruly tips to creating successful viral videos, new ways to PageRank sculpt, quality SEO pays for itself and the Nofollow Kerfuffle.
Photo by cobalt123 via Creative Commons
HTML 5 (HyperText Markup Language Version 5) is the next major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web, HTML. HTML 5 provides a number of new elements and attributes that reflect typical usage on modern Web sites. The video tag is supposed to replace Flash by linking to video files in the same way that the image tag links to images. Key Elements of the HTML 5 tags include:
• In a year or so HTML 5 will be released and it will specifically contain tags for audio and video
• Soon video can be added to a page via
• It will be important to search engine optimisation because every piece of audio and video can be specifically tagged and have attributes, such as meta-data, title, alternative text, etc, built into the tag making it far more noticeable to the search engines.
• Following is an example of the new HTML 5
< VIDEO> Tag:
• There is speculation that this will negatively affect the popularity of Flash videos.
Creating Successful Viral Videos – 7 Unruly Tips.
The focus below is specifically on tips for viral success of videos – how to produce and distribute a video that will get people talking about and sharing the content.
1. Get under the skin of your audience-think about the type of viewers you’re hoping to reach and find out what they like to talk about with their friends.
2. Choose appropriate viral triggers-once you’ve got an understanding of what makes your audience tick, you’ll be better placed to identify the viral triggers most likely to hit your target audience’s sweet spot.
3. Turn the volume up to 10-once you’ve decided on your viral triggers, focus on making them as strong as possible.
4. Take it straight to your audience-it’s often difficult to predict exactly where viral activity will take off, so it’s a good idea to adopt a multi-platform approach to viral dissemination.
5. Make it portable-do allow downloads, embeds, comments, and use URL shorteners e.g. bit.ly to create Twitter-friendly links.
6. Get your timing right-at every stage in the process, timing is crucial.
7. Work those viral hotspots-once your clip is out there, be sure to track where the viral activity is taking place in order to identify and capitalize on niche communities where the clip is proving particularly virulent.
Google Says: Yes, You Can Still Sculpt PageRank. No You Can’t Do It With Nofollow.
This post starts with a quote from Matt Cutts that states “So what happens when you have a page with “ten PageRank points” and ten outgoing links, and five of those links are Nofollowed?
Let’s leave aside the decay factor to focus on the core part of the question. Originally, the five links without Nofollow would have flowed two points of PageRank each (in essence, the Nofollowed links didn’t count toward the denominator when dividing PageRank by the outdegree of the page). More than a year ago, Google changed how the PageRank flows so that the five links without Nofollow would flow one point of PageRank each.”
Another interesting question came up on Matt’s blog
Q: Okay, but doesn’t this encourage me to link out less? Should I turn off comments on my blog?
A: I wouldn’t recommend closing comments in an attempt to “hoard” your PageRank. In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites.
Rand also brings in some classic techniques to sculpt PR:
• Option A: An embedded iFrame on the page containing the links you don’t want the engines to follow (remember not to link to the iFrame URL, and potentially block it using robots.txt)
• Option C: An embed in Flash, Java or some other non-parseable plug-in that contains the desired links
• Option D: Settings that turn off links for non-cookied or non-logged-in visitors
Rand also posts a comment of Danny Sullivan’s from Matt’s post:
“Rather than clarify things, I feel like this is what your post is going to do — cause people to consciously reduce the number of links they allow on their pages. We’re going to see an increase in iframe usage or other techniques to reduce links and flow more PageRank to the remaining links, for those who really worry/believe in such things.”
Quality SEO Pays for Itself
Cost is usually the wrong question to focus on when choosing a search engine optimisation (SEO) firm, as it implies you are buying a commodity. Strategic effectiveness and search marketing profitability impact are much more appropriate questions. The following are factors why confusion is created in the SEO firm selection process:
• Most executive management teams don’t yet fully understand the economics and far-reaching business implications of SEO
• Search engine marketing’s transformation of legacy enterprise profitability is in its infancy
• Most people outside of the search engine community do not fully appreciate the magnitude of the shift from push to pull marketing
• Management teams must understand SEO to effectively manage it
• Measuring SEO is still an imprecise art form, which Google appears determined to prevent from becoming a science
• Search engine marketing might be the largest change management project in history
• Executive recruiting needs to look beyond the job title to hire effective search engine marketing leaders
• Search marketing-centric organisations will outperform
Once understood, it becomes quite clear that SEO is a senior level strategic activity affecting enterprise profitability. The selection process followed should reflect this fact by being as granular and comprehensive as possible. With the result being the best possible SEO firm is selected for the firm’s needs.
Following the Nofollow Kerfuffle.
Talking about Matt Cutts PR admission (more than a year ago, Google changed how the PageRank flows ) – if this really did happen 1 year ago how can an industry, that is so hung-up on testing, not have realised this?
Scenario 1: Matt Cutts is Telling the Truth
1. Maybe PageRank sculpting itself was not doing as much as people thought.
2. Maybe it was, but there are too many variables at play with the sites that were using it, so the change in Google’s algorithm went unnoticed among other shifts.
3. Perhaps in the process of implementing the PageRank sculpting, the SEOs made other changes to the site’s structure that did have an effect, which still worked even after Google’s changed algorithm.
Scenario 2: The Competitive Advantage Theory
In this scenario, Cutts is still telling the truth, but it turns out that some SEOs already knew Google had made the change, but kept it to themselves. [Raise your hand and say ‘I’ — Kate]
Scenario 3: The Conspiracy Theory
The conspiracy theory version of this situation says that PageRank sculpting works, and works so well that Google is uncomfortable with so many SEOs using it. They think that Google never changed its algorithm regarding Nofollow, and that it still works fine, but Google is trying to dissuade SEOs from doing it.
Scenario 4: The Pity Theory
A final scenario goes like this: PageRank sculpting with Nofollow never worked, and Google is finally letting everyone know they’re wasting their time. While it was fun to watch SEOs debate the intricacies of a technique that took lots of time and energy, Google started to feel bad for sending them on a wild goose chase for so long.
From the amount of articles centered on the change of the Nofollow attribute and its effects on PageRank, there still seems to be a fair bit of confusion and consternation regarding this matter, any new significant developments will be covered right here on the Bruce Clay Australia blog.