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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Google Planning Changes to Search Algorithm

Google is planning to make changes to its search engine ranking algorithm. Few activities of black hat SEO spammers seems to force Google to make these changes.

We often find links of malicious web pages in the top search results of Google. According to insider sources, the proposes changes are meant to fight these spate of links. Black Hat SEOs have been using techniques to manipulate search rankings during the past few months. They were successful to a certain level find top search queries and create targeted webpages to drive web traffic. Google Trends was being used for the success of this activity.

They became very disturbing during the last few months and this helped Google to decide on making changes to its algorithm. Sources at Google indicated that a ranking change is pending that tackles spam of this kind. Once the change goes live, users shouldn’t see it “nearly as often.”

Google's response to this issue looks like an admission of how difficult it is to provide fresh, timely search results and combating spammers at the same time. As Google have no control over the content appearing in its search results, these spammy websites have no issues to intrude into the top results. World wide web had become more dynamic during the last few years and this is a challenge for all search engines and search engine optimization specialists across the globe.

It is not evident from the statements at Google about the changes and consequences precisely. In order to understand this properly, we will have to keep a watch on Google's search results for the coming days.

SEO is gaining much more importance at this point. Let us hope for the best and keep a close look to the updates.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Merging Social Media Marketing with SEO

Social media marketing and search engine optimization have become buddies of each other. If you analyze the search results of Google, you will come to know about the influence of social media on search engine results.

When you search for any keyword in search engines, you will find few links like YouTube, Wikipedia, Blogs and Social media sharing sites like Digg, Reddit or Slideshare. Hence, social media marketing has become inevitable when we perform asearch engine optimization campaign. Especially, when someone search for your brand name, all the top search results need to be that of your company itself. If not, it may mislead the potential client/customer.

Social media and SEO are each other's half. The success of social media means making a buzz with people linking back to your website and writing content about you, your company, its products or related services. SEO's success lies in relevancy with content what people are looking for and getting backlinks or people talking about you.

Search results often overflow with social media content. Search engines look for websites with genuine, fresh and unique content. Latest addition to the list of social media sites along with Wikipedia, YouTube and others is that of Twitter. There is an opportunity of ranking better for tough terms using social media websites.

People try to find answer for questions like where to share the content to make their websites popular. This can often be done by merging social media marketing with search engine optimization.

Do share your comments!

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Web Tools Gets More Powerful

Introduction of new tools and features to the web frequently have become a common phenomenon in today's competitive world. Moreover, the tools that are popular are being enhanced with their new or additional functionalities on a regular basis.

It was not very long that Facebook updated its look and feel. LinkedIn is also making changes to its functionalities on a regular basis. Yahoo integrated instant messaging to its mail. Google is continuing its efforts in adding functionalities into all its tools. It is the turn of Google Image Search for few more changes. Google Image Search is enhanced with new color filter option.

After you search for 'roses', on the results page, click on "All colors" drop down in the blue bar and choose a color. If we try restricting the results to black, we will get all results of roses that are black in color. We can try other colors and see the colorful results with pages of beautiful images! It is also possible to combine the color filter with other images filter to further refine the search.

Yahoo had updated its search marketing tools with a new Ad Scheduling tool and more updates are in the process. Yahoo also updated its image search feature. We can now find images faster with new filters available on Yahoo Image Search.

These all updates helps users to get the desired results. Moreover, all these changes contribute to the online community and in turn helps in search engine optimization, pay per click, social media marketing, web usability and so on.

We need to explore the web and make use of all these changes to the best possible.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Gmail!

5 years ago, on an April Fool's Day, Gmail was officially launched. The official press release from Google titled 'Google Gets the Message, Launches Gmail' came out with the below content:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - April 1, 2004 UTC - Amidst rampant media speculation, Google Inc. today announced it is testing a preview release of Gmail – a free search-based webmail service with a storage capacity of up to eight billion bits of information, the equivalent of 500,000 pages of email. Per user.

At that time, a typical webmail was able to store only 5 megabytes of mail using Hotmail, Yahoo or other mail accounts. It's not easy to compare those days data transfer as compared to today. We are able to send 20 megabyte as an attachment itself, which is four times than the size of an entire web mail account.

Lot had changed in course of time. If it was the size of mail account (which accounted to 1 GB) which attracted people to Gmail initially, it's the features that draws attention of masses to Gmail now. There is so much in particular for that typical email experience today. It includes search, labels, integrated Gtalk, strong spam protection and so on.

This all started as internal email for Google employees and is now used by tens of millions of people in 52 languages and more than a million companies. The issues in email is totally different that of which we used to face before five years. If we consider the scenario of web browsers itself, it had changed dramatically as compared to 2004. They have become faster with great functionalities. Our email accounts have already become a suite of videos, chat, social networking and so on.

Google might consider subject or content in mails for ranking websites in their search results. Pay per click might get more vulnerable with its integration with mail accounts. Anything is possible. This will make SEO experts to work hard and come up with innovative strategies. :)

This was the case for last few years, we should get excited how this will be after 5 years. Let us hope for the best in the coming days.

Do share your comments!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Google Implements Longer Snippets

Google announced changes to its search engine results. This change involves use of longer snippets when users input queries more than two keywords. The objective behind this move is that of providing more context to help user determine if the website is worth to visit. Google is not the first search engine to attempt the issue. Many search engines have attempted to address this using visual tools or previews.

It is not easy to predict how longer snippets are going to affect user behavior. However, it may create an awareness to put longer queries over time. As we know, longer queries will surely lead to better and more targeted results if search engine optimisation is done precisely..

Along with the announcement of longer snippets, Google also announced another significant change related to the acquisition of Orion search technology which was announced by Google in 2006. It was not launched to the public till now.

Refinements will be improved now and start appearing more frequently and that too at the top of pages. These changes are being launched globally in 37 languages in Google.

Google describes how the new refinements will be in the following way:

Starting today, we’re deploying a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search, and one of its first applications lets us offer you even more useful related searches (the terms found at the bottom, and sometimes at the top, of the search results page).

Let us hope for the best and look ahead for this as a positive aspect for our clients to acquire more targeted leads and business.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Personal and Business Reputation Online

Someone, somewhere is thinking or discussing about you, your company, products, services or something related to you. It may take months or rather years for a company or an individual to build themselves as a brand recognized by all. This is not the case when we consider destroying the reputation of a brand.

It takes only few hours for anyone to destroy a brand's reputation in todays world. This is due to the reach and popularity of Internet and services like Blogs, Tweets, Message Boards, Forums, Social Networks and so on.

A new company, product or service will take months of TV commercials, print advertisements for making their presence felt to the people. The competitors or ex-employees can harm the reputation of a company using their blogs or activity online. This is a major concern in todays competitive world where SEO is of utmost importance. We need to employ innovative ways to monitor reputation of our companies as well as personal lives to manage this situation. This situation has enabled developing a branch of online reputation management alongside Social Media Management.

Each year there will be many challenges of importance to the CEOs or top decision makers and online reputation is considered one of the factors today. A research by Dr. Leslie Gaines Ross and Weber Shandwick team suggests that company executives are well aware of the importance of a spotless reputation and how easily they can personally screw it up!

Of the 703 senior executives polled a whopping 100% of CEOs admit to frequently thinking about their company’s reputation–although only 38% of executives seem to care about their personal reputation (Source: Hill & Knowlton).

Companies who follow ethical or professional ways of acquiring business will not employ these kind of black hat techniques of harming their competitors as it is not healthy for the business as a whole. Moreover, as explained by Matt Cutts (of Google), Google won't remove the page that you don't like from its search listings. Hence, it is important for each company or individual to take care of their reputation by themselves with the help of experienced hands in this emerging field.

Companies who ignore this crucial aspect of safeguarding their brand and trade names will have to face difficulties in the coming years.

I would appreciate sharing your comments on this!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Top 10 Video Sharing Sites

In one of the previous posts, we have discussed about the increased popularity of online videos and video optimization strategies.

Video have become a great way for getting popularity in the web and it is becoming an essential part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well as Sponsored Search or PPC. This helps companies to expose their products in a better way which is appealing and attract users with greater effect. Small and large businesses are marketing their products, service and brand introductions through videos.

It is seen that corporates are using online video as a medium for announcements of product features and events. This has increased the amount of business to companies during the past one or two years.

We can certainly expect more and more video results in the SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) of Google with the launch of Google Universal Search. There is a lot of unwanted or useless videos pretending to be informative even though it isn't. However, the effect of online video on increase in sales surpasses all these facts and seems quite explosive. There is also an increase in users looking for better quality videos and this is to grow in the coming days.

There are plenty of websites offering the service of video sharing and marketing. Please find a list of top performing video sharing sites where you can share or market your videos for free:

As video optimization is an important aspect of SEO, you should optimize it by understanding the target audience and how they would like to engage with your online video. Don't post a video just for the sake of posting it, instead consider the need and perception of your visitors.

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