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March 23, 2011

SEO Hot Tub – 18th March 2011

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The SEO Hot Tub is back again and we’ve got a whole bunch of SEO updates to report on. Major topics covered include the future of article marketing, keyword domain names, Google’s domain blocker, Blekko’s AdSpam algorithm, when to use canonical tags and more!

The New Age of Article Marketing

As the dust begins to settle post- “Farmer” update, there has been much discussion about the future of article marketing and its impact on SEO. While Google’s algorithm update hasn’t destroyed this SEO tactic, it has certainly changed it and the long and short of it is that it’s not going to be as easy to implement as it was before.

There are a few article marketing tips that SEOs can use:

  • The aftermath of the Farmer update has revealed some clear “winners” and “losers”. SEOs should now target the winners such as YouTube, Facebook and eHow.
  • Utilise social media by writing compelling copy that people will re-tweet, like and link to. Basically, put more time into producing one quality piece of linkbait, as opposed to several generic articles.
  • Start email marketing if you haven’t already.

Google’s Matt Cutts Talks Down Keyword Domain Names

Matt Cutts has recently hinted at an algorithm adjustment to give less weight to keyword rich domain names. In the following video Cutts compares brand domains vs. keyword domains and makes comments about a potential algorithm change, “…we have looked at the rankings and the weights that we give to keyword domains, and some people have complained that we are giving a little too much weight for keywords in domains. So we have been thinking about adjusting that mix a bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given two different domains it wouldn’t necessarily help you as much to have a domain name with a bunch of keywords in it.”

<iframe title=”YouTube video player” width=”640″ height=”390″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/rAWFv43qubI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Hide Sites to Find More of What You Want

In an effort to create a more personal search experience Google have now enabled a feature that allows users to hide or block results from certain domains. In order to do so users will need to be signed in to their Google account, from which they can also manage, add and unblock domains.

Google Adds Video Instant Previews to Some Results

Google has now added Instant Preview to video results, which will show frames from a video when a user mouses over the thumbnail image. However, not all video results will have Instant Preview as the video providers must opt in to enable it.

How Instant Video Previews work:

  • Search Google or Google Video
  • Look for a video result
  • Mouse over or click on the magnifying glass preview icon
  • A dropdown of up to four frames may be displayed

When to Use Canonical Tag for Paginated Results

Google may ignore the rel=canonical tag if pages are not similar enough. For example, this may occur if you have 5 paginated pages and intend to use the canonical tag to direct pages 2, 3, 4 and 5 to page 1. Technically, this should not be done, as these pages are different to page 1.

A solution is to create a “view all” page and have all pages (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) canonical to the “view all” page.

Blekko AdSpam Algorithm Finds, Eliminates Spam

Blekko is touting “the first search engine algorithm ever created to find spam rather than rank results.” AdSpam has been designed to detect spammy web pages signals, for example, pages with an unusual content/ad ratio. This comes after Blekko announced they removed 1.1 million domains from their search results. Blekko’s attitude is that it’s better to detect and eliminate spam, rather than crawl it.

Bing Feature Update: Discover city attractions before you go

Bing has teamed up with content providers Frommers, TripAdvisor, WCities and Zvents to launch attractions pages. Users will be able to see information including reviews, events and photos for over 50,000 top city attractions. Page content will also be contextual and based on the user’s location.

That’s the latest from us for this week! Check back in for more SEO Hot Tub action in another two weeks.

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