Search Engine Optimisation Roundup-11 June 2009
Once again the Bruce Clay SEO analysts have collected and collated all the latest search engine optimisation news from around the globe. Following are extracts and the main points of the blogs and news sites followed. This is part 1 , part 2 of the roundup will be published towards the beginning of next week.
Photo by End User via Creative Commons
Nofollow and PageRank sculpting change
The rel=”nofollow” attribute was first launched in January 2005 and was a valid way to reduce the importance of links to low priority pages and therefore increase the relative importance of the links to more important pages. The technique became known as PageRank sculpting.
This week at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle, Matt Cutts gave a hint that the nofollow attribute is less effective today than it used to be.
Later, Cutts addressed the issue again in a Google Webmaster Help video, saying that PageRank sculpting will still work but not as well.
Basically, using nofollow will still prevent PageRank from passing from the linking page but PageRank is no longer “saved” to be used by other links on the page.
Rand Fishkin suspects the change is because many people have been abusing nofollow with regard to internal links to attempt to game Google as well as abusing it in the sense that they’ve actually hurt their site’s relevance and quality in the results.
Microsoft’s Bing falsifies Site Data to Increase Click Through Rates.
It looks like Bing has begun manipulating their own search results to increase CTR.
If you search for Bruce Clay for example, bruceclay.com.au appears with the following title:
But if you search for the url, results show the correct page title:
Automatic keyword insertion?
Some examples of code that Googlebot can now execute include:
These links pass both anchor text and PageRank. Funny aside, I tired to manually put the code in and almost broke the blog, kids dont try this at home.
• Page Speed is a Firefox Add-on integrated with Firebug
• Page speed give you immediate suggestions on how you can change your web pages to improve their speed
• Why you should use it? Make your site faster, keep Internet users engaged with your site, reduce your bandwidth and hosting costs.
Google Local – Out of Date, Riddled with Spam But Absolutely Worth It
The post starts off by mentioning the 2 reasons we need to care about local search
1. Unbranded traffic-Over the past 6 months or so Google has become incredibly aggressive with displaying local results in the main listings. These almost always come in the form of a 10-result one-box. The 10-box is sometimes the very first result that users see – even appearing 3rd or 4th in the 10-box can generate more clicks than a #1 ranking in the organic results just below. That’s pretty staggering. That means that for these super competitive travel queries, if you want traffic you need to be optimising for the 10-box before you think about optimising for the regular organic listings. But wait, trouble is on the horizon because Google is becoming even more aggressive with its 10-boxing and it’s starting to display 10-boxes on regular search results without a geographical modifier if Google knows where you’re searching from.
2. Branded Traffic-Ok sure, generic queries are generating 10-boxes so that gives me some potential to aim for, but surely my navigational branded search queries are safe, right? Right?! Unfortunately not, when one searches a brand with location in it, often the map result appears above the regular organic result.
Problems with Google local
• Spam, and Lots of It
-Spam in the main index
-Spam in the details of the Google Local Index
-So Google Local, which you’d think would be designed to handle local queries, actually sucks really badly at local language searches. The problem is that, as far as I can see, there’s only one Google Local index worldwide compared to all the local indexes you get for google.co.uk, google.fr, google.com, etc. This manifests itself in a few ways, but the most important one is this – only one language version of a page can be listed in Google Local. Then you get a combination of .com (English) and other language specific results.
-If you have a large number of geographical locations (physical stores or hotels, for example), then registering them individually can be a real pain. Imagine having to coordinate hundreds of different local verifications all with consistent data and accurate information.
o Don’t rely on a bulk upload unless you have to
o Only create one listing for each individual location
o Think about using KML Geositemaps if you have many locations – If it’s unfeasible to register all of your properties individually (or even while you’re putting that process in place), consider using a Geositemap since this should be more trusted than the bulk upload, as it relies on the same sitemap file verification process which is intrinsically more trusted than the upload process since it’s tied to your domain.
10 Social Media Maxims for Marketers
Social media has overtaken pornography as the number one online activity, according to Hitwise data. Following are a list of points to take heed of when planning a social media strategy
1. Successful marketers will be more like Dale Carnegie; listen first, sell second.
2. Consumers are looking to peers for recommendations on products, services, health issues, and more via social media. Only companies that produce products and services of great value will be part of these conversations; mediocrity will quickly be eliminated.
3. Social media’s ability to quickly disseminate information among friends and peers helps eliminate different people performing the same tasks (multiple individual redundancies), whether it’s researching the best vacation spot or smart phone. This results in a more efficient society.
4. The old adage that you can only have two of these — cheap, quick, or quality — doesn’t hold true within social media. It’s possible to have all three.
5. Successful social media marketers will function more like entertainment companies, publishers, or party planners rather than as traditional advertisers.
6. With the increasing popularity of e-books, there will be new digital media placement opportunities for brands. This is very similar to product placement in movies, only this is for books, and the placements are clickable and measurable.
7. The most successful social media and mobile applications are those that allow users to brag, compete, or look cool by passing it on.
8. The transparency and speed of information exchanged within social media mitigates casual schizophrenic behavior. Having a “work” personality and having a “party” personality will soon become extinct. People and companies will need to have one essence and be true to that essence.
9. Being “well-rounded” as a company or individual is less beneficial. It’s more productive to play to your core strength. This differentiates you from the competition.
10. Companies that produce great products and services rather than companies that simply rely on great messaging will be winners in a social world. The social graph is the world’s largest and most powerful referral program.
Part 2 to follow shortly……