What’s Going to be Big for SEO in 2011?

By Wayne Barker

What will the new year bring for your SEO?

What will the new year bring for your SEO?

I know we are only at the start of December but 2011 is looming and if this month passes as fast as the previous 11 it will be on us before we realise. On reflection 2010 has been a pretty big year for Google – we have had Caffeine and the May Day update, changes to local search and Google Page Previews…and if you try and stay up to date with all the tweaks to Google Maps, Earth, Gmail, YouTube and the million other Google products, I tip my hat.

So what is going to be big for SEO in 2011? In my opinion two of the biggest changes that have occurred this year were the changes to Google Places and the Google Page Previews. If you are unaware of what these are then I suggest you continue to read. If you are already familiar with the changes you need to make sure you are one step ahead of the crowd and get your thinking caps on. Continue reading

Call for Guest SEO Blog Articles


By Richard V. Burckhardt

Got something to say? Guest blog at The Web Optimist.
Got something to say? Guest blog at The Web Optimist.

Just so you know, The Web Optimist blog is open to guest blogger articles related to SEO, VOIP and search marketing. These guest posts are free, of course (take that, Google!) and posts must be a minimum of 250 words in length.

Guest blog post in the following categories for free – SEO, PPC, Social Media, News, Reviews. All are moderated and edited. Inappropriate posts will be deleted. Be civil, folks! A total of three links are allowed within the body text (two of which can point to your own sites). Obvious spam, inappropriate or off-topic content will not be considered. In other words, if I do not like it, I will not publish it! ;-)

Simply go to the Contact page to submit your article idea. I’ll set up frequent contributors with an author’s account.

SEO & Social Media Integration


By Richard V. Burckhardt


Social Media and SEO are both about search

Take a look at the following and see what you think:

  • Create great content, including articles
  • On page optimization
  • Links from authority sites
  • Get content on industry sites, providing contextual links
  • Get noticed in Social Media
  • Get noticed in search
  • Get into niche sites

Sounds like the basics of SEO, right? Well, these apply to Social Media, too. Any SEOs out there who are still avoiding the Social Media bandwagon are, well, stuck at the bus stop without a token.

Social Media and search engine optimization have become so integrated that you can’t really separate them anymore. Social sites like Twitter, which many of us laughed at when it first came out, are pushing a revolutionary shift in how information is found on the Internet because they add interaction and community to the equation. In addition to the basics above, they throw in features like:

  • Participation
  • Voting
  • Comments
  • Friends
  • Trust

That last one, Trust, is a BIG one. Social sites are working more like search engines these days and there’s a huge difference between they way they dish out results and the way the search engines do. The social sites look at what your friends think about a subject and their results are based on that. You trust your friends, right? A perfect example is Twitter search. It’s based on tweets from folks you can check out and follow or who can follow you. And, look out Google, it’s really fast! And, it’s immediate. You can catch what is happening right now. Wanna see what the fans of Battlestar Galactica are tweeting? Check it out in real time (Or, if you’re a real Twit, check out by the hash tag #bsg).

The search engines dish out results based on the trust of folks you don’t know (PageRank, back links etc.).

Which begs the question, will trust kill the algorithm?

So, think of Social Media sites more like search engines that can help your visibility in, well, search engines.

Confused?

Don’t be. It’s simple. The more social links you have, the more you’ll be noticed and linked to and crawled. It works pretty much the same way as SEO.

Next, Optimization for Social Media Integration. Look for this post soon!


This article is an original post from The Web Optimist – SEO in The Desert.


Advanced Tips for Optimizing Your Blog

Advanced blog optimization tipsI introduced you to blog optimization in S E O 101 – Blogs and Feed Optimization Tips.

Hopefully, you’ve got your blog up and running and chock full of great content by now. If you’re just getting started, read the post above first, then come back to this one.

In addition to providing a platform for terrific information (for humans and search engines), a blog is a natural pathway to the world of social media. Blogs are interactive, encouraging posts and information from visitors, and syndicated through RSS feeds, spreading your content (and links) across the web to be found in search engines, dedicated blog searches, news feeds, you name it.

So, here are some advanced tips to help get your blog on the road to good rankings.

1. Socialize. Interact with your visitors. Don’t just publish your posts and sit back. Answer questions, link out to their sites when they offer good content, respond to their comments in a timely, informative manner, etc.

2. Own a niche. It’s a lot easier to dominate a space if you start out with a smaller, less competitive, narrowly focused subject area. For example, you’re more likely to become a dominant player with a blog about “rechargeable outdoor power tools” than you are for simply “tools’ which is way too broad a term with a lot more competition.

3. Work your titles for both audiences – readers and searchers. Be sure you start out with the title of your post to attract readers. After the post has some history and has fallen into the archive section of your blog, go back and optimize the title for SEO.

4. Keep the post slug the same. Write this yourself, don’t let WordPress generate it. Don’t go back and change it at a later date because this is what determines how your post link is formed. Writing your own post slug allows you to create an easy to read, optimized URL.

5. Optimize for the Google indent. We’ve all seen Google search results where a page from a domain ranks with another page from the same domain just under it, but indented. Focus on getting a post ranking well using standard SEO, anchor text links, etc. Then find another, similar post to optimize. Link the ranking post to the second post to try to pull it up.

6. Re-purpose posts and pages. Let’s say you did a post on social media way back in 2005 and you want to do a similar, updated post. If the 2005 post is just way out of date and not of particular use these days, write over it with your new content. The old post has history and back links that can give you an immediate bump.

7. Use a single category. I know it’s tempting sometimes to place your posts in multiple categories, but get over it. You risk duplicate content issues with multiple categories, so make it easy for Google and concentrate on one.

8. Use a folder. Unless there is a very good reason to put your blog on a separate domain or subdomain (like your site is just a blog or you really believe a separate domain will give you more credibility), put it on your main site as a folder. This keeps link juice targeted to your main domain.

9. Got a Flash site that won’t rank? Start a blog on the domain to create the related content and links to the Flash pages. Chances are your blog pages will be what rank, but they’ll link back to and guide your visitors to your Flash pages.

10. Create your own custom footer. If you’re using WordPress, try the Feed Footer Plugin. With it you can create your own custom footer content, complete with HTML, for your posts that will show up in your RSS feed. This is great for plugging favorite posts and monetizing your feed.

One final thought to consider. Blogs are all about sharing, so if a visitor shares something really good, promote it to the front page of your blog. Do a post all about it and thank them for the great content. Your visitors will love it and come back for more.

Remember, you can turn active users into free SEOs who write content for you.

The Fonz is Cool. Cuil, Not So Much.

The Fonz is CoolThe buzz the past few days has largely centered around the new search engine, Cuil.com, created by some former Googlers, including SMX West 2008 Keynote Speaker Louis Monier.

For those of you not geeky enough to know, Cuil is pronounced “cool” which could be a problem for the upstart search engine. I can already hear the uninformed trying to explain about this new search engine they found . . . pronounced “swill” or “sewill” or “kwill” and so forth. Not real good for easy branding.

And, judging from my initial attempts and searching with Cuil.com, Fonzie is cool, Cuil.com, well, not so much.

We all remember The Fonz in his black leather jacket and slicked back black hair, the epitome of cool in the 1950s based TV show Happy Days.

Cuil.com’s interface is also jet black, simplicity itself, though strangely not centered on the screen (at least not on mine). Type your query and off you go.

Cuil.com interface

I’ve heard that the new search engine claims to have the largest index on the planet. I’m seeing old and even off-kilter content that needs to be removed or fixed. For instance, I ran a search for “FramesDirect” since I do SEO for FramesDirect.com to see what Cuil.com would come up with. They were gracious enough to make our home page first in their results, but one of the other results on the page pointed to and described the site’s lens option page using an image for a “Corvette Black Book” which obviously came from another site.

Cuil.com result with mystery image

I then ran a search for “richard v burckhardt” and who the heck are these guys?

Cuil.com just can't get the pictures right

In another case, the Cuil results included a page on the FramesDirect.com site that was 301 redirected something like two years ago.

A search for “eyeglasses” resulted in Eyeglasses.com coming in first place. No offense to the competition, but that site has been down for several months with a single “Under Construction” page in place. I believe in the power of back links, and Eyeglasses.com will have some powerful keyword rich anchor text for “eyeglasses” in its back links by virtue of the domain name. But, a search engine that ranks a single page that is under construction and has been for months in the top spot needs some algo work.

That said, the search engine has a nice clean interface, with images and related search tabs at the top of the results. Better yet, Cuil.com doesn’t collect any information from you. If you are concerned about privacy, you’ll like this feature.

If Cuil.com wants to be The Fonz of search engines, it just needs some refinement, which I’m sure will come with time. After all, slicked back hair and black leather jackets got stale in the 1960s, kind of like some of Cuil’s current index.

Time for a Beatle haircut!