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FEATURE: SEO Recommendations for Nofollow Implementation

During a Q&A panel at SMX Advanced in June, Google's head of Web spam, Matt Cutts, had a discussion with the audience and the conference's chief content officer, Danny Sullivan. Matt explained that the nofollow link element "evaporates" PageRank, recommending against the use of nofollow to "sculpt" PageRank and referring to PR sculpting as a "band-aid." At Bruce Clay, Inc., clients following the news wondered how it might affect their SEO strategies. It's important that SEOs make an educated decision on the best use of nofollow. To help with that decision, the following is Bruce Clay's guide to SEO implementation of the nofollow link element.


BACK TO BASICS: An SEO's Guide to Using the Canonical Element

In early 2009, the three search engine giants, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, came together for a rare collaboration to create the canonical element, a useful new search engine optimization tool for a webmaster's toolbox. The new canonical element (or "canonical tag," as it's generally referred to) addresses the problem of duplicate content for Web sites that just cannot avoid duplicate pages within their domain. Identical content pages referenced by several URLs within a site can cause SEO problems for the site. This article outlines the solutions available to SEOs facing duplicate pages and the best practice guidelines for use of the canonical tag.


Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies Published

SEO For DummiesBruce Clay, Inc. partnered with For Dummies Publications to produce the all-in-one desk reference guide for SEO. The Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza is now available for $39.95 from major booksellers and comes with a free $25 AdWords coupon. The all-in-one desk reference is intended for those wanting to do search engine optimization themselves, providing many tips and hints necessary to optimize and operate in today's online market. But it is also a useful tool for any professional SEO out there needing any extra help. The Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies is currently available on Amazon.com, Borders.com and BarnesandNoble.com, so be sure to grab a copy today.


Hot Topics
Google Develops Chrome OS

Google has announced that the company is in development of an operating system designed for PC netbooks. Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight, Web-based operating system which will be available to consumers next year.

Industry analysts are looking at the Chrome OS as an attempt by Google to corner part of the Microsoft-dominated OS market. Microsoft executives have pointed out that Google already has the Android Operating System, and that in Microsoft's past experience, dueling OS products are problematic.

Meanwhile, Google has distanced its product from any comparisons with Microsoft, instead focusing on the benefits of a cloud-based computing platform that, in large part, does away with software updates and hardware configuration.

Cloud Computing Takes a Step

The development of a Web-based Operating System is another step in the direction of cloud-centric computing. Nearly ubiquitous Internet connectivity and Web-based applications have brought computing to a place where most electronic activities can be done from the Web.

Cloud computing makes it easy for users to retrieve documents or information from any machine connected to the Web, allows for easier file transfer and sharing, and is less cumbersome than traditional local-machine-based computing. Because Google has produced many Web-based applications, Google also stands to gain from users' increased dependence on cloud computing.


Shuffles

In SEO-specific news, Rebecca Kelley left SEOmoz in June to become 10e20's new director of social media. Scott Polk, former senior SEO analyst with Bruce Clay, Inc., joined Search & Social Media LLC as its director of operations.

Microsoft hired away three more former Yahoo executives, Kevin Timmons, Yongdong Wang and Knut Risvik, in June. Jeff Weiner, also previously of Yahoo fame, made news with his promotion from president to CEO of LinkedIn.

Microsoft formed an alliance with ad agency Publicis, which also partners with Google. Microsoft put Razorfish up for sale, and Publicis is among the potential buyers of the digital advertising agency.

AOL chose Kate Burns, previously head of the social network Bebo, to lead AOL's European Sales division. Google finally appointed a new head for its German operations, Lars Lehne, who comes to the position of Country Director Agencies in Germany with experience from GroupM and Maxus Communications. According to StatCounter, Bing surpassed Yahoo for the second time on July 9, with 12.9 percent search engine market share compared to Yahoo's 10.15 for the same day. On a monthly basis, however, Hitwise figures show Yahoo still far ahead of Bing, Ask dropping, and Google actually gaining ground to over 74 percent search engine market share in the U.S.

MySpace announced it is cutting four offices and 300 jobs internationally, on top of reducing its U.S. staff by 30 percent. This restructuring may be primarily due to Facebook's rapid rise to become the top site people spend time on online.

Speaking of Facebook, the company has hired David Ebersman (formerly with biotech giant Genentech) as its new CFO, a move speculated to be in preparation for an IPO. And according to a MarketingSherpa report, Facebook has also joined the list of PPC providers attracting advertiser dollars.


Sound Bytes

If you like what you've read in the SEO Newsletter, there's more Internet marketing expertise where that came from. Check out SEM Synergy every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern and Noon Pacific on WebmasterRadio.fm.

Bruce Clay and the other hosts discuss industry news, SEO tactics and marketing trends, while expert guests share their insights on methods, best practices and upcoming events. Check out the show schedule below for a look at recent shows and upcoming topics.

July 1
(Listen Now)

Online Ad Growth

Colby Atwood

LCV through PPC

July 8
(Listen Now)

Ask.com & Semantic Search

Tomasz Imielinski

Common Tag

July 15
(Coming Soon)

New Ad Opportunities

Heather Lutze

Theming with PPC

July 22
(Coming Soon)

Real-Time Search

Dana Lookadoo

Search News

July 29
(Coming Soon)

Yahoo Search Submit Pro

TBA

Submission & Paid Inclusion

Got something to say? Contact the SEM Synergy team and share your thoughts, comments and questions. You might even hear your question answered on the show.


Shindigs

Search Engine Strategies San Jose comes to the West Coast August 10-14. To start conference week off in high gear, attendees can sign up to take Bruce Clay's one-day SEO Training class on August 10.

A slightly less conventional convention, Twiistup, will be in Los Angeles July 30-31. For northern California SEOs, new conference called Local Search Summit kicks off in San Francisco on July 17.

Affiliate Summit East comes to New York City August 9-11. Bloggers may want to attend the BlogHer Conference happening July 24-25 in Chicago. And the next Search Marketing Expo conference is SMX Sao Paulo, taking place in Brazil on August 4.

For the educationally minded, online search marketing courses are available from SEMPO Institute through their new summer session.

SEOToolSet Training courses are scheduled on both coasts. Next up:

  • August 18-20 (standard) in Simi Valley, CA
  • September 14-18 (standard and advanced) in Simi Valley, CA
  • October 20-22 (standard) in Long Island, NY

European search marketers will want to check out the SEOToolSet Training coming up October 26-28 in Milan, Italy.


Attaboys

The Facebook and MySpace application Causes, which lets users donate money to various good causes, announced it has helped raise $10 million since its launch just over two years ago.

Google launched a volunteer activity search interface called All for Good which has an API, is open source and was developed using Google App Engine and Google Base.

The Google Apps suite of applications, which includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk, came out of beta after wearing the tag for more than five years in some cases.

Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against three individuals who are allegedly responsible for click fraud on the MSN ad platform.

Google is now cracking down on AdWords advertisers who pedal scams or misrepresent an affiliation with Google. The AdWords click measurement system has been accredited by the Media Rating Council, certifying that Google's processes for counting interactive ad clicks meet industry guidelines.

Yahoo announced its plan to build one of the world's greenest, most energy-efficient data centers, fueled by hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls. The company has also launched a pilot of My Display Ads, a display ad builder and marketplace designed to give small- and mid-size businesses an affordable yet customizable display ad platform.


Word on the Wire

Bruce Clay discussed PageRank sculpting, SEO silo strategy and other search topics on the digital media podcast DishyMix.

Global marketing company Interpublic has forecasted that online search will be the only major advertising medium to expand its market this year.

A new product from Yahoo called Search Pad lets users track, make notes on, save and share their searches. Site owners can now augment their Yahoo search results with enhanced product pages and local news, events and info through SearchMonkey. Yahoo also announced that the search engine will accept five popular types of Google Base feeds: events, products, reviews, job listings and personals.

It appears that the Vince brand update has been rolled out in Google UK; however, the search results were flooded with non-UK Web sites.

Google has reserved 1 million phone numbers, leading to speculation that Google Voice may be nearing a public launch. A new Google Labs project called Flipper may be on its way, designed to display news in a more engaging way.

Google has invited Google News partners to share professional news videos on YouTube, giving approved news organizations an additional opportunity for ad revenue at no cost for video hosting. YouTube also released a number of updates, including Wonder Wheel, an improved advanced search, additional language support for the mobile app and more.

A real estate search feature has been added to Google Maps, returning real estate listings and information on a map. Google Maps have also been enhanced with the City Tours experiment available in Google Labs. Google Affiliate Network launched Product Ads in beta, a program that charges participants only when customers make a purchase.

A post on the Bing Community blog about linking with relative and absolute URLs suggests that absolute URLs may pass more link value: "The use of absolute links reinforces the use of your full URL and, like canonicalization, focuses the link juice to that URL."

Microsoft has announced that Outlook 2010 will once again include the Word rendering engine, a move that proved unpopular when Word was first used to power Outlook rendering in 2007.

The FTC has moved forward with the approval process for new guidelines that would require bloggers to disclose any perks or freebies they receive.

Domain registrar and Web hosting provider Go Daddy has launched an SEO tool called Search Engine Visibility, that walks users through a process to make their site search engine friendly.



If you have any questions or comments on any of the above Internet marketing news items or if you would like to suggest topics for future search engine optimization articles, please contact us at Bruce Clay, Inc.

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