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September 23, 2010

SEO Hot Tub 17th September 2010

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Welcome to another round of the Bruce Clay SEO Hot Tub. It has been tumultuous to say the least. The topics covered in this session include Google Instant, Google Indexing, SVG files and Weighted Sorting for Google Analytics.

Google Instant

The most ‘quacked’ topic of the week goes to Google Instant.  Google introduced a new feature that allows the user to search for results more efficiently.

The three new functionalities available with Google Instant search are:

1. Dynamic Results: The search results pages that normally are displayed after you hit the ‘Enter’ key, are now dynamically changing according to the predictive keywords being displayed in the search box.  This means more interaction and faster delivery of content so you can find what you want. Example shots below: the keyword “h” v.s. “hi”

Google Instant Search for “h”

Google Instant Search for “hi”

2. Predictions: Google attempts to predict what you are typing by finishing off your keyword phrase with the light gray letters.  E.g. if you type “hi” the grey letters will predict the word “hilton” and sure enough, if you look down it will be the search results page for the keyword “hilton”.

3. Scroll to search: When you are typing in your key phrase, you are shown several examples of suggested results

A lot of people have been trying to gauge how Google Instant will affect the search engine marketing industry, and in particular search engine optimisation.  We at Bruce Clay will be looking closely at the implications as they unfold. In regards to discussions that Google Instant will kill SEO, Matt Cutts has responded to that issue on his blog.

For more information on how Google Instant will impact the industry, please refer to a previous post by our director, Jeremy Bolt.  The easiest and most entertaining way to find out more about Google Instant is to just try it out yourself!

Google Instant can be accessed on their introduction page. It is currently only on Google.com, and can only be used with a Google account login.

Google Search Now Indexes & Crawls SVG Files

Google announced on August 31st that they will now be displaying search results for .svg, much like how they are doing now with .ppt files.

A quick crash course lesson on SVG: Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a family of specifications of an XML-based file format for describing two-dimensional vector graphics, both static and dynamic (i.e. interactive or animated).

A major benefit of SVG files over more common web image files such as JPEG and GIF is that the image does not lose resolution or ‘blur’ as you change the size of the image.

How to Grab More Rankings with Google’s Branded Search Results

A few weeks ago, Google officially announced that one domain will be able to rank for multiple search results for a particular keyword.

A post by Ian Lurie has come up, and below are some tips that may aid you in your efforts to secure multiple search results for a single domain for a keyword:

  • Have a lot of unique backlinking domains: build links from a variety of unique domains. (Unique means domains that are not owned by the same website you are optimising for and also includes any domains that do not have the same IP Address.)
  • Focus the link love: do a search “[brand name] inurl:www.yoursite.com” or “[brand name] site:www.yoursite.com”.  You will see the list of pages deemed most relevant to Google for that key term. Create a linking strategy to support those top 10 pages shown.
  • Optimise around your brand: Put your brand name at the end of every title tag on your site
  • Use your brand name and keywords throughout the site: This has to do with contextual relevance. Mentioning your brand key terms throughout the site may improve rankings.
  • Don’t count on brand-only stacked results: Take a look at your analytics data, and see what brand + keyword searches bring you the most traffic. Then apply the above steps for those phrases.
  • Get external links for sub-pages: Every brand-stacking instance I saw used pages with at least 20 unique domains pointing at them.

Factors for getting labels on maps for a business

The above post gives some insight into how to get your business to become a label for Google Maps. This post was based on words from Google Product Manager, Matthew Leske.

This is a great addition to boost visibility in Google maps. Because there is only one label available for each building, and your business is part of a skyscraper,  you will be given dominant visibility in Google maps over your physical neighbours.

The factors that influence the appearance of your business as a label are:

  • Clearly defined categories
  • Quality citations
  • Wikipedia entry (specifically mentioned)
  • Search volume of business
  • Other relevant info

Google Analytics – New sorting algorithm called Weighted Sort

Google has now come up with a weighted sort algorithm to help sift for the key insights for analytics. It creates a weight sort between metrics such as Visits and Bounce Rate to get the balance of the two metrics.

Instead of just sorting by ascending or descending order for a metric, you can check the weighted sort button and then Google will use the two chosen metrics to find a good balance of both which is then more insightful. Example screenshots on improving bounce rate below:

This is a list of referrers sorted by “Visits”. We can see that bounce rates are on the right; let’s try sorting them by highest bounce rate:

This is not very helpful.  Let’s check out what happens when we turn on weighted sort!

Ta-da! Using weighted sort, we now have high “Visits” volume referrers with high bounce rate. We can definitely make a bigger impact here.

So now we can get a list of data that has high volume but also with a high percentage of bounce rate.  We are more likely to make a difference by improving results from these referrers. Note that it is only available on certain popular metrics so hop onto Google Analytics and see what gold nuggets you can discover.

And with the post on Google Analytics and weighted sort, that concludes the SEO Hot Tub. Thanks for tuning into the Bruce Clay blog.





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