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  FEATURE:
Understanding SEO for Small and Local Businesses
BACK TO BASICS:
The Ins and Outs of Meta Data
INTERNATIONAL:
SMX Sydney 2010 Highlights
THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, sound bytes, shindigs, attaboys and word on the wire.
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  FEATURE:
Understanding SEO for Small and Local Businesses

Author: Virginia Nussey
 

With 40 percent of search engine queries containing some local intent, small businesses would do well to position themselves for search engine success. At the same time, those managing a small business often don't have the time or resources needed to manage an SEO initiative. In these situations, it may make sense to hand a website over to a qualified and reputable SEO professional to optimize a site for local and organic search.


  BACK TO BASICS:
The Ins and Outs of Meta Data

Author: Jessica Lee
 

Meta data. The name doesn't conjure up any particularly exciting images... more like crickets chirping. Turning the concept of Meta data creation into a compelling "must read" could put even the best writer at a loss for words. But, it does serve a very important role in search engine optimization - which is why you must read this article if you're unclear on the role of Meta data in your SEO efforts.


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  SMALL BIZ DISCOVERY CONTEST:
Win a Passport to SES San Francisco

 

Enter the Small Biz Discovery Contest

How to Enter

Submit an article that answers the question: "What one recommendation would you share with small business owners to improve their online presence?" Please answer this question by focusing on one of three categories: SEO, PPC or social media marketing.

Articles should be a minimum of 750 words. Articles should explain the benefit of the recommendation and include a guide to implementation. Articles must be original, first-run content not previously published in print or online.

One person may submit up to one entry per category. One company may have up to two people enter the contest.

Article entries will be accepted May 1-31 and winners will be announced July 2. E-mail contest submissions to social-bc@bruceclay.com. All entries are the property of Bruce Clay, Inc.

Prizes

Grand Prize: A Platinum Passport to Search Engine Strategies San Francisco 2010, a seat in the SES San Francisco one-day SEO training with Bruce Clay, and a copy of Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies. The grand prize winner will be interviewed on the SEM Synergy podcast.

Prize for Top of Category: SEOToolSet Training (standard) in Simi Valley, CA, or Long Island, NY, and a copy of Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies.

Prize for Category Runner-Up: Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies.

  INTERNATIONAL: SMX Sydney 2010 Highlights
Author: Marc Elison, Bruce Clay Australia
 

In order to better serve subscribers around the world, the Bruce Clay, Inc. SEO Newsletter has partnered with Bruce Clay Australia to feature news and events from the fast-growing Internet marketing industry in Australia. Be sure to look for international news and content, which will be identified with an icon of the Australian flag.

I was recently fortunate enough to attend my second ever SMX Sydney a few weeks ago and just like the last occasion, I had a very enjoyable and productive event. There are some who say that SEO conferences have zero value and that they are not worth the investment anymore; I am definitely NOT in that camp. I was lucky enough to be liveblogging the entire conference, so I managed to be in A LOT OF sessions. I will admit that a very small minority of the presentations were a little boring, during which I found I knew the majority of the content spoken about. But many SMX sessions were invigorating, refreshing and even interesting.

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  Hot Topics

Facebook has been the source of heated discussion over the last month. Many of the changes were first launched at the f8 Facebook developer conference in late April, and since that time, users, tech analysts and marketers have been adjusting to the new format. Changes included the social network's terms of service, new APIs and social plugins, and functions of applications on the network.

Open Graph

Facebook has announced a far-reaching strategy that seeks to connect the various graphs across the Web and put Facebook in the middle as a central sharing hub. In making the announcement at the f8 conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "Yelp is mapping out the part of the graph that relates to small businesses. Pandora is mapping out the part of the graph that relates to music. If we can take these separate maps of the graph and pull them all together, then we can create a Web that's smarter, more social, more personalized, and more semantically aware." The Graph API will allow publishers to tag their content by type, making it easy to view the connections between users and other things they like.

Liking and Connections

Open Graph ties directly into changes Facebook has released for Facebook pages and its new social plugins. The button that allows Facebook users to follow pages on the network changed from "Become a fan" to "Like", however the change goes deeper than semantics. All "liked" pages, both on Facebook and across the Web (thanks to the social plugins that let publishers include Like buttons and other Facebook widgets on a Web page) are linked to a user's profile and considered a connection.

Privacy Concerns

With all the changes to the Facebook platform, privacy has been an increasing concern as leaks have occurred and control has been compromised. One Open Graph exploit discovered on Yelp allowed malicious sites to harvest user data if a user had merely visited a site. Another security hole would allow anyone to view public events that Facebook users said they would be attending. Facebook has also removed much of a user's ability to restrict the use of information shared on the social network along with a number of other controls previously available. Some U.S. lawmakers have urged Facebook to make content sharing with third-party websites an opt-in process for users and to roll back new features that invade user privacy.

 
  Shuffles

Yahoo! and Samsung have extended their partnership to include a number of Yahoo! services on Samsung mobile devices. Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Front Page, Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Flickr, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance and more will be available on Samsung's mobile devices globally, beginning this month.

Web traffic in the U.S. from Android devices surpassed that of iPhone devices for the first time in March. Google has also confirmed that the upcoming 2.2 version of the Android operating system will support Adobe Flash.

The explosive growth of netbook adoption slowed to 5 percent in April. One theory is that the market had become saturated. Another suggests the release of the iPad is causing the slump in the netbook market, a theory supported by the fact that one million units of the Apple iPad tablet device were sold in just 28 days.

Twitter has acquired the mobile text message company Cloudhopper, a move the microblogging company says will help it manage the more than 1 billion SMS texts sent to the service each month.

Google has renamed the former Local Business Center to "Google Places" and launched a number of new features for the service. Enhanced listings can be purchased for $25 per month, interior photos will be offered to businesses for free in select cities, and customized QR codes will be made available, among other features.

Social news site Digg has reduced staff by 10 percent and cites an emphasis on engineering and development as the main reason for the decision.

The growth rate of active Facebook users dropped from 50 percent to 25 percent since the f8 developer conference, though the reason why - privacy concerns? Saturation? - hasn't been determined. Of the top 25 games on Facebook, 18 games saw declines in the number of monthly active users in April.

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has relinquished top-level administrative control over the community-based online encyclopedia following scrutiny over actions he took to remove pornographic images from Wikimedia Foundation properties.

Nielsen Market Intelligence released data about the Australian Internet market for the month of March 2010. Some information included:

  • 85,669,928 monthly unique browsers
  • 8,439,794 daily unique browsers
  • 4,901,492,067 page impressions served

RESUMES WANTED! Bruce Clay, Inc. is accepting resumes for a number of positions within our California and New York offices. We expect to fill the following positions throughout 2010, so we encourage you to forward your resume for consideration.

Positions in California:

  • Sr. SEM Analyst
  • SEO Analyst
  • Sales Executive
  • Sr. IT Manager
  • HR Hiring Recruiter
  • Web Developer
  • Web Analytics Analyst
  • Content Writer
  • Client Liaison

Position in New York:

  • Sales Executive

All employees must work at the respective office locations. Please send resumes to employment@bruceclay.com.

 
  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.

Air Date

Segment One

Segment Two

Segment Three

May 5
(Listen Now)

Google Brand Bias

SMB Contest

Search News

May 12
(Listen Now)

Facebook and SEO

David Turner

W3C Validation and Rankings

May 19
(Coming Soon)

Small Business Focus

Eric Enge

SMB SEO Strategy

May 26
(Coming Soon)

Mayday & Long-Tail Traffic

Tony Adam

Retail SEO

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

Bruce Clay will present a webinar focused on managing expectations and defining success for SEO in large organizations. The free webinar from Search Marketing Now will take place Thursday, May 20.

SMX Advanced occurs in Seattle June 8-9. Bruce Clay, Inc.'s one-day SEO training class will be held June 10. Receive a discount by using the code smx10bruceclay at checkout. The conference has SOLD OUT but you can stay up on the latest conference happenings with Bruce Clay, Inc.'s liveblog coverage.

SES Toronto takes place June 9-11. The one-day SEO training class presented by Bruce Clay, Inc. will be held June 9. Use code 20BCLAY at checkout for a great deal.

The SocialMediaPlus Web 2.0 Business Summit is scheduled for May 25 in Philadelphia. The Ragan Social Media Summit for PR professionals will take place June 9-11 in San Jose.

Mashable and CNN have partnered to present a one-day Media Summit on June 8 in New York City. A Corporate Social Media Summit will occur June 15-16 in New York City.

Affiliate marketing convention AffCon2010 takes place in Denver June 21-23. Attendance is free for affiliate marketers.

Web performance and operations is the focus of the Velocity conference, presented by O'Reilly June 22-24 in Santa Clara.

In the U.S., upcoming SEOToolSet® standard and advanced training and certification dates are as follows:

  • July 12-16 in Simi Valley, California
  • July 19-23 in Long Island, New York

Bruce Clay Australia will present two one-day SEO training classes in June:

  • 9 June in Sydney
  • 23 June in Melbourne

A course covering why online reputation management matters will take place in Brisbane on 20 May. Cebit Australia will be taking place in Sydney from 24-26 May at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Australian Marketing Institute - Social Media Applications for Business will take place in Melbourne on 27 May. Web3.0 & the Future of Social Media will take place in Sydney 3-4 June.

 
  Attaboys

Yahoo! celebrated Earth Day by creating a green trivia game and creating an Earth Day microsite for those interested in learning more about environmental money savers, myths and facts.

Google's Earth Day celebrations took on a food theme with solar cooking demos, farmers markets and talks on sustainable cooking, along with other events and projects. Google also announced a $38 million investment in two wind farms as the next step in its support of renewable energy.

At Microsoft, a site dedicated to earth related research and technology shares information about environmentally conscious living.

Information retrieval specialist David Harry shared an extensive guide to Web spam, helping Internet marketers to avoid techniques that may violate search engine guidelines or be a perceived nuisance to search users.

Expedia, the online travel company, has unveiled its first TV and cinema brand campaign for Australia and New Zealand with the tagline: "Where you book matters".

Yahoo!7 has signed up RealEstate.com.au as its official property partner, launching a new real estate channel on the media company's site.

The Australian-created Tic Tac "Shake & Share" iPhone application has reached more than one million downloads worldwide, 12 months after it was launched. The app, created by Sydney digital agency Webling Interactive, allows users to share digital Tic Tac mints with other iPhone users via Bluetooth.

 
  Word on the Wire

On May 5, Google rolled out a three-column search results page to all users. The left-hand sidebar features technology powered by Universal Search, Search Options and Google Squared. Users that dislike the new user interface will not be offered a way to return to the previous search results layout by Google, however a free plugin by Bruce Clay, Inc. for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers, Hide Google Options, will restore the classic look.

Webmasters are reporting a significant drop in long-tail traffic referred by Google and have dubbed it the Mayday update. Google has not commented on the issue, although webmasters are sharing theories including a self-improving algorithm and a Caffeine-related indexing upgrade.

Brands were given a visibility boost in some product-related Google search results. Users now see brand refinements displayed above organic results when searching for products.

A study suggest that social media users that follow brands on social networks are more likely to buy that brand's products or recommend it to others. The findings showed that 51 percent of Facebook fans and 67 percent of Twitter followers describe themselves as likely to buy from brands they follow, and 60 percent of Facebook fans and 79 percent of Twitter followers say they're more likely to recommend a brand that they follow.

The Google Advertising Professionals program has undergone changes, including a new name and additional requirements. The new Google AdWords Certification Program has more training materials than the previous course and a number of terms of eligibility have changed. Participants must now pass two exams, and those certified through the former program must meet the new criteria within six months of the AdWords Certification Program launch.

The role of blogging in media is being defined by recent legal developments. A New Jersey court has ruled that comments posted to a message board are not protected by shield laws that allow journalists to keep the identity of sources secret. In California, technology blog Gizmodo is arguing that its bloggers meet the qualifications of journalists in the state. After Gizmodo editor Jason Chen released video of a lost iPhone prototype, authorities seized his property using a search warrant, whereas a subpoena would be required to retrieve sources from journalists.

New reports for AdWords are available in Google Analytics. The new reports focus on activity on AdWords that occur after the click. Users can view all visits from clicks on ads with exact matched keywords, ad groups or campaigns of an account.

Google has partnered with Bazaarvoice to display product reviews on Product Search results. Businesses involved with Bazaarvoice are now eligible to submit reviews to Google, though Google Product Reviews is expected to become available to additional partners and will launch a self-submission model in the future.

Microsoft released its results for the fiscal quarter ending March 31. The company's online services division, which includes its online advertising, Bing, and MSN websites, saw an increase in revenue. However, the division reported a quarterly loss due to increased operating expenses.

Google's acquisition of the mobile advertising platform AdMob remains under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission after the agency received a two-week extension. Reports suggest that Apple's purchase of Quattro Wireless and Apple's stringent restrictions on software developers for its iAd system may be weighed in the FTC's decision.

 

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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