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Google And The Rules May 16, 2011

Posted by Daniel in Search Engines, SEO, WebStuff.
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The guys over at Link-Assistant.com have started an interesting stream of posts analyzing user submitted sites in what they’re calling SEO Crash-Tests.

They decided to kick things off by analyzing Google.com, and the surprise piece of info that caught my eye was their HTML code validation, or lack thereof. Take a look at Google’s 35 errors and 2 warnings (as of today 5/16/2011) on the W3C validation site.

W3C HTML Validation Shows Errors on Google.com

In their defense, Google did follow many of their own recommendations by having basics like robots.txt and xml sitemaps. Can’t wait till Facebook steamrolls Google search with Facebook SocialSearch and Google struggles to get ranked, playing by FB’s rules.

Google Webmaster Tools New Features October 7, 2010

Posted by Daniel in Search Engines, SEO, WebApps, WebStuff.
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Surprise! Google’s adding stuff to Webmaster Tools. Apparently they’ve discovered that we (SEO type people) have to find other tools and software to track changes and run the numbers on percentages and increases, etc., and would rather us spend our time in a Google product. I’m ok with that.

Google Webmaster Tools Updates

The updates involve tracking the change in amount of impressions and clicks and the change in rankings for each keyword and can be found in “Your Site on the Web” under Search Queries. It doesn’t replace my rank tracking software or some good digging in Google Analytics, but it definitely helps me see more information at a glance about each keyword. Thanks for the early Christmas present Google.

Google Instant Search + Blue Arrow October 1, 2010

Posted by Daniel in Search Engines, SEO.
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This morning, Danny Sullivan pointed out the new blue arrow in Google’s search results. At first I agreed that it was a little bit of an overkill addition to the already turbo-charged Instant Search update. But after using it in a few searches, the blue arrow kind of started to grow on me. It’s a nice function to not have to reach for my mouse to scroll. But the over-simplicity is starting to remind me of 2 things – parodies on over-simplification. (The 2nd is from teh Google themselves)

1. The Onion’s Apple Spoof – Announcing the Macbook Wheel

2. Google’s April Fools joke from 2000 – the MentalPlex

Personally – Instant Search is annoying and visually overwhelming. But I guess when Google’s only¬†hindrance¬†is us in speeding up search – whats left to do but annoy us into “faster” search behavior.

The City as a Chalkboard – There’s an App for That January 8, 2010

Posted by Daniel in Search Engines, SEO, WebApps.
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BlockChalk is a new piece of fun for your phone that lets you “write” in chalk all over your city, town, neighborhood, favorite restaurant, etc. How will this affect search you might ask? It’ll only be a matter of time until Google (more…)

SEO Basics October 21, 2007

Posted by Zac in SEO.
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As you can see there is a little bit of a theme on these first few posts as we figure out blogging and the likes, that being getting back to the basics.

Most people would give you volumes about the Basics of SEO but I am just going to outline what I think are some of the most important aspects of the industry and why its important.

The first point which is practically a given but most people don’t think that much about is the importance of search engines. Can anyone even imagine what the internet would be like without them? It sounds painful and frustrating to me so their shear importance to the space is the first point that people need to understand. No matter what search engine you prefer or what you are looking for everyone wants relevant results to help them find what they are looking for. On top of this there are literally billions of websites that could be returned for searches through search engines which simply adds to the complexity. At its core SEO is simply about trying to get search engines to properly index and rank a website. The better the site, the better the ranking for related terms and most of the time people simply don’t understand what makes a “better” site. The fact of the matter is that if you simply optimize for search engines and leave users out in the cold no one will want to use the website, likewise if you forget about search engines it will be extremely hard for people to find the website.

Search engine optimization can really be broken down into two categories:

On Site Factors
These include site structure, internal linking, content, meta tags, page titles etc. On site factors are typically everything a webmaster or site owner has control over, these are usually the first areas to look at when assessing a sites overall search engine value and friendliness.

Off Site Factors
This includes links to your website, link anchor text, etc. Off site factors are usually things that webmasters and site owners can affect but are largely outside their control. The number of links a website has, the anchor text of those links and their value are all things that can not only drive traffic but are used by search engines to rank websites (exp Google Page Rank).

Search engines usually take all of these factors and use them to rank sites accordingly for particular words or phrases people search for. So the goals of an SEO is to use all of these factors to influence the search engines in “good or bad (white hat or black hat)” ways to rank their site highly for related terms. Remember the goal for search engines is to serve the most relevant results, thats how they attain users and make money so they are constantly trying to understand every website as best as possible to complete their mission.

So as I close out the post, a “great” website is all in the eyes of the website creator but a “better” website is something that is useful, valuable, content or resource rich and is easy for both users and search engines to use.