Google Instant and Its Affect on SEO September 27, 2010 No Comments

How Will Google Instant Affect SEO? 

Google has enhanced its popular search engine with a new tool called Google Instant. As you have probably already noticed, Google Instant provides you with quicker, more accurate search results as you type. You no longer need to type in the full search phrase before finding the results that you are seeking online. Although this hasn’t altered SEO yet, it certainly has the potential to affect it in the near future.

Google Instant offers predictions as to what you are planning to search for as you type. Right now a core goal of SEO is to show up on the first page of Google for specific search times. Google Instant may change this goal or add a secondary goal related to appearing in the top search results for the predictive text. The predictive text can actually alter the way that we decide to search.

For example, let’s say that your customer is doing a search for Your Business Name. Because of your previous SEO efforts, Your Business Name shows up in the first page of Google’s search results after the person has typed it in. However, let’s say that one of the things that you really want to promote about your business is your effort towards sustainability. With proper attention to SEO, you could encourage this to show up as part of the predictive text. As your customer begins to type in Your Business Name, a predictive text option might read Your Business Name sustainability. The customer will then have the option of exploring that information in more depth.

From a customer’s perspective, he or she may be able to find more and varied information using Google Instant for search. In Google Instant, he can use the up and down arrows and can also add and subtract words to the search to get a preview of the breadth of information available for the topic that he is searching. He may also be able to gain a better understanding of how to hone and refine his search efforts over time. From a business owner’s perspective, the goal will be to tailor a website to encourage the right type of predictive text to come up when people are searching for topics relevant to your site. So Instant will change SEO although it isn’t yet clear how that is specifically going to happen.

Finally, it is important to understand how Google Instant may change a customer’s perspective on search. This new tool will allow us all to get search results more quickly. Over time, this can make us more impatient about searches. Many people will stop moving on to the second and third pages of a Google search because they will expect the most accurate results on the first page. For that reason, SEO to reach Google’s first page may actually be more important than ever before!

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Tips for Making an SEO Friendly Domain Name September 13, 2010 No Comments

10 Tips for Naming your Domain for SEO 

There are so many different things that we can do for SEO. Sometimes we forget the little things. One of those things is choosing the right domain name. The following ten tips will help you to properly name your domain to take advantage of SEO opportunities.

  1. Use your main keyword in the domain name. If there was only one keyword that you wanted your business to show up for when people typed it into a search, what would that keyword be? Figure out a way to incorporate that into the domain name.
  2. Make it brandable. For example, if your keyword is “SEO” then find a way to use that while making your own unique brand from it (such as SEOtastic or awesomeSEO or SEObsessed).
  3. Skip the silly characters and spaces. Don’t use underscores, dahes or special characters in your domain name since this detracts from SEO value.
  4. Avoid using numbers in the domain name. As with characters and spaces, numbers don’t really do well in terms of SEO. Of course, there are exceptions such as if your business name uses a number and you want the domain to be the business name. In general, though, leave numbers off of your domain name if you want good SEO.
  5. Choose a short name. This is getting tougher as fewer and fewer domain names are available. However, it’s still recommended if you can find a relevant short domain name that hasn’t yet been taken.
  6. Select a domain name that people would feel credible linking to. As a blogger, would you rather link to “I Am a Loser” or “Amazing Winning Strategies”? You want people to feel proud of linking to your domain name so that they will do it more and increase your site’s value.
  7. Go with a .com domain name. There are a lot of other options these days (such as .net) but the .com domain name remains the most popular extension. It tends to have higher SEO ranking. The only exception would be if you appropriately qualify for a .gov or .edu or .org domain name.
  8. Add the other types of domains only for the purpose of pointing back to your main domain. In other words, if your original domain name is DomainName.com then you might go ahead and get DomainName.net and DomainName.org as well. However, these would only be used to create attention and links for the main site which is at the .com.
  9. Double check whether the domain name has had any problems in the past. You want to research what the history of the domain name is. That is because if the name has had bad listings and problems with search engines in the past then it could serve as a black mark on you, decreasing SEO rank value through no fault of your own.
  10. Register your domain for 3+ years at a time. If you only register your domain name for one year then search engines may suspect that you aren’t going to be around for a long time. This decreases their interest in giving you a high ranking. Longer-term registration improves SEO ranking.
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There’s an App for That – SEO on your Mobile Phone August 23, 2010 No Comments

Top 10 SEO Apps for Mobile Phones

Amazing developments are being made in the area of mobile phone apps. You can do almost anything on your cell phone these days if you have the right apps. That includes SEO.

Check out the following ten SEO apps:

  1. SEO Rank Pro. Keyword research is a really important part of SEO. You can do this research from anywhere using your mobile phone and this free app. Use it to check out keyword positions in Google.
  2. Pokeseo. This great app allows you to check page rank and backlinks information for sites on the four most popular search engines. Note that this app is currently on hold while an updated version is being developed but is one that might be worth bookmarking and checking into again in the near future.
  3. SEO Site Rank. This is a very simple app that makes it super easy to check a website’s Google Rank and Alexa Rank using your mobile phone. There’s a free “lite” version that does only that. There’s also a paid “pro” version that provides additional SEO stats and information. This is great for doing basic SEO research from your mobile phone.
  4. SEO Automatic. This is another app that comes with both a free “lite” version and a paid “pro” version. It uses an instant URL tool to provide you with information about organic ranking. The pro version stores your results and allows you to email them as well, which can certainly facilitate SEO work between your phone and computers.
  5. iSEO. Another popular mobile phone app that is actually very similar to SEO automatic is the iSEO iPhone app. One neat feature with this one is that it has an updated list of web directories for submission of your site URL. That’s something useful that you can do on the go!
  6. SEO Submit Pro. Speaking of submission-style apps, it’s worth it to check out this one. It offers super-easy submission of your site to directories and has actually been named the #1 iPhone SEO app.
  7. Analytics App. SEO experts who rely on Google Analytics information to help them keep their websites updated will probably find this iPhone app to be very useful. Note that it’s now also available as an iPad app.
  8. SenseEarn. A lot of people who are interested in SEO are using AdSense. SenseEarn is an iPhone app for people who want to check and track their AdSense accounts from their mobile phones.
  9. SEO Noobie. People who are just getting started with SEO (or who want to brush up on the basics) may find this app helpful. It is a learning app that teaches you about SEO via quick tips while you’re using your phone on the go.
  10. SEO Tips by Brick Marketing. This is another helpful tips app but this one is in the form of a blog. Use the free app to get the blog delivered to you. This one tends to be for people more advanced with SEO than SEO Noobie is.
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Add More “Social” to your SEO August 18, 2010 No Comments

3 Ways to Add More “Social” to your SEO 

The major difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is that the latter involves a two-way interaction. We no longer simply put information out on the web and allow an audience to soak it up. Instead, we share information and thoughts with the network of people who are out there on the Internet. That’s why merely having the right content isn’t enough for your SEO efforts. You must also make sure that you have a high level of social media optimization for your site.

Social Media Optimization (SMO) refers to the use of online social networks to increase your search engine rankings. It isn’t just about being on Facebook or Twitter. It’s about appropriately using your time and energy on social media sites to purposefully increase the popularity of your primary blog or website. It uses a range of different social media sites to increase links and traffics for your main site.

The top 3 SMO methods that can improve your SEO are:

1. Intentionally increase the number of inbound links to your main site or blog. You can do this in a number of different ways including:

  • Create content on social article sites such as HubPages and Squidoo. Link back to your main site or blog in this content. Increased popularity on those sites will enhance the value of your links.
  • Offer to guest blog on the blogs of your social network contacts. This leads to some great links.
  • Allow other people to use your content. Syndication of your content with appropriate links back to your site can lead to better SEO.

2. Make it easy to tag, bookmark and share your content. You want to make it as easy as possible for others to help increase the visibility of your content. Some tips for that include:

  • Make sure that you add sharing buttons to your content.
  • Make it easy to copy and spread links. You might also want to track link sharing using a tool like bit.ly
  • Make your tags clear and relevant for better SEO when sharing.
  • Make your content portable. Use pdfs, videos and audio files. These improve your content and make it more share-worthy at the same time.

3. Share and support the work of the people that are in your social media networks. The more support that you give to others, the more that they will give back to you. Don’t just promote your own stuff; this doesn’t give you the best links. Instead, promote others. In exchange, they will likely promote you and this will provide much better SEO in the end.

Source: http://www.seotrafficspider.com/social-media-optimization.html

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3 Rules to Improve Your Social Networking Profile August 9, 2010 No Comments

3 Must-Follow Rules for an Effective Social Networking Profile

There are many, many different things that you can do to improve your social networking profile. The things that will be most effective will depend greatly on your industry, your audience and your own personal style. However, there are three must-follow rules for anyone who wishes to make sure that their social networking profile is an effective one.

Number one, you absolutely must keep your social networking profiles up to date. Social networking allows you to continuously reach out to your audience. The more you appropriately remind them that you’re out there, the more likely it is that they will remember you. Regular updates allow you to provide information, boost your relevant content on the social networking site and develop bonds with your readers. Most importantly, regular updates on your social networking sites show that you are serious and passionate about your business.

The second must-follow rule for a good social networking profile is to stay relevant. Think about your audience and make sure that every item that you post on your site is relevant to their interests. Think about the mission of your business and make sure that every update you post on your social networking sites is relevant to that mission. There is a lot of extraneous information that you could choose to post on your social networking sites. Don’t. Stay relevant!

Finally, you absolutely must contribute to the social networking community that you are a part of. You’ll be doing this naturally with your regular relevant updates, of course, so keeping up with this rule should be too much of a stretch. However, truly being a member of the community goes beyond just your own updates. Offer advice, comments and assistance to other people who are posting relevant information on the site. These sites are all about the power of the community on the site.

The specific tips for promoting yourself will vary depending upon your industry and your social networking goals. However, these three rules are must-follow rules regardless of what industry in. If you’re going to have an effective social networking profile that it must be updated regularly with relevant information and you must contribute non-promotional assistance to others in the community. Do that and you’re well on your way to making social networking work for you!

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5 Reasons to Make your Website SEO Compliant August 2, 2010 No Comments

5 Advantages of Making your Website SEO Compliant

You know that you need to make your website search-engine friendly. But have you ever really stopped to enumerate the reasons why it’s important to have a website that complies with the rules of SEO? If not, read on because this article aims to make it clear for you.

The five main reasons that you want an SEO compliant website are:

  1. The right SEO makes things easy for the search engine spiders. One of the biggest reasons to make your website SEO compliant is because it makes it easy for the search engine spiders to crawl through your site. This maximizes the effort that you are putting in to your content. By simplifying the process for the spiders, you allow them to regularly and properly update your site information within the search engines. This keeps you relevant online.
  2. Your website will be ranked for the right keywords. Proper SEO compliance is going to help you get ranked in the search engines for the right keywords. This means that when people do a search that lands them on your website, they will end up on a page of yours that relates to what they were looking for. This increases the chance that they will remain on your site.
  3. Your site will load faster. Did you know that having an SEO optimized site will mean that the site pages load faster? The proper HTML marking along with the right organization of the site means that readers can easily move from one page to another without downtime. There are other things that affect this, of course, but SEO compliance is one of them.
  4. You will increase website accessibility for visitors with visual impairments and other disabilities. This is an increasingly important issue and one that you should be concerned about. Following the right steps to make your site accessible to all people works hand-in-hand with making your site SEO-compliant. Learn more at http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/accessibility.php.
  5. You’ll effectively avoid getting penalized by search engines. If you use questionable practices to rank with search engines and get caught then you can be penalized. All of the hard work that you’ve put into your site can disappear when your site suddenly drops in rank. You can avoid this by making sure that your site is SEO compliant.
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Improve Your PR with SEO and Social Networking July 26, 2010 No Comments

Social Networking and SEO for Improving PR Today

Any business needs good PR in order to keep growing. Of course, PR today doesn’t look a whole lot like it did a decade or two ago thanks to the growing importance of new media. Whether you are relying entirely on new media for your PR or taking a mostly traditional approach to public relations, there are a couple of key things that you need to be doing to improve the PR for your business. The first is to engage in social networking and the second is to utilize the power of SEO.

Social Networking for PR

Social networking can be used for a variety of different purposes. A good business today is on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at the very least and uses these different sites in different ways in order to grow business. Even if you are using these sites in a detailed manner, yet, you do need to be on them to enhance your PR.

One of the best things about these sites is that they offer an easy platform for promoting good news about your business. They do what they traditional press release used to do but in a much more frequent and simple manner. If your blog gets linked to or a product gets a good review or even if you just have a productive day, you can share that information on these sites. It’s a great way to toot your own horn so others want to support you.

And, of course, these site naturally lend themselves to having others promote what you’re doing as well. The joining, friending and sharing features on these sites all give people a chance to tell others that they like what you’re all about. That’s better press in many ways than any form of traditional PR can offer. What PR is all about is maintaining your public image and these sites are a great way to do that.

SEO for PR

In today’s world, you also have to concern yourself with the use of SEO in your PR efforts. How does SEO for your site influence your public image? Well, at a basic level, the more positive attention that you get from search engines, the stronger your public image will be. However, it’s more than that. It’s the fact that good SEO gets you noticed for certain keywords which means that your image will be associated with those things. Plus, good SEO today incorporates things like images and videos, which give you an opportunity to connect with the people who are checking out your site.

New media is crucial to PR today even if you aren’t entirely focused on the online component of your PR strategy. By properly using social networking sites as well as modern SEO techniques, you can enhance the image that others have of your business.

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New Firewall Technology Makes Debut July 20, 2010 No Comments

New Next Gen Firewall Technology Provides Full App Control and Malware Protection

SonicWALL – a 19 year-old organization that has become a leader in network security – debuted its new firewall technology product at Interop Las Vegas 2010.

The new product, Project SuperMassive, becomes the industry’s first next-generation security platform and technology capable of detecting and controlling applications, preventing intrusions, and blocking malware at up to 40 Gbps without introducing latency to the network.

What makes this so special is that it promises to operate at more than 10 times the speed of today’s fastest technologies.  Project SuperMassive is, therefore, capable of protecting the world’s highest performance networks from malware of all kinds. As many companies are being forced to choose between performance and security, Project SuperMassive promises to make that frustrating choice a thing of the past.

SonicWALL’s Project SuperMassive is designed for enterprise organizations with high performance networks that are currently struggling to deploy the latest technologies.  Examples of these technologies are Web 2.0, data center consolidation, and converged communications.  However, Project SuperMassive is designed to allow organizations to embrace these technologies in order to enhance workforce productivity, business collaboration and effectiveness without compromising security or performance.

In the past, security has often been viewed as a barrier to business innovation with available security technologies.  Now with Project SuperMassive’s 40 Gbps technology, that concern is a thing of the past.

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Executives Discuss Cloud Computing Pros and Cons July 13, 2010 No Comments

Cloud Computing Lessons Learned from the Executives

While attending Interop 2010 in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to sit in on a session about Lessons Learned in implementing cloud computing.  The moderator over this discussion was Killian Murphy, who had just started as the Director of Product Management at VMware two days prior to the session.

The executives sitting on the discussion panel were:

Colin Hosert, CIO and CISO, Escape Media Group

Donald Army, Sr Director Network Services PRN

Jim Vitek, eCommerce Director, Dominos Pizza

Jeremy Edberg, Operations Manager, reddit.com

Kowsik Guruswamy, Co-founder and CTO, Mu Dynamics Inc

One take away for me is that we’re really still a long way from standardizing what cloud computing means to every organization, how it is best implemented and utilized, and how we ensure that data is secure in the cloud.

Some interesting factoids from the discussion:

  • Small company pluses: low cost, high scalability
  • Big company pluses: allows an end around through the red-tape purchase process of servers
  • Escape Media Group findings: migration was a big plus using the cloud, extraction was a big plus for the initial migration and for the ongoing ability to move data/files around.  However, they ran into testing issues.  They should have run heavier test traffic throughout because bigger loads once they went live brought the cloud service down.
  • Reddit.com findings: had a physical data center through May 2009. Actual migration ended up just being some down time on a Friday night with some tweaks following.  Overall the migration wasn’t too difficult – can depend on your expectation and preparedness going in.  The less you’re expecting things to be just like your data center the easier the migration will be.
  • Domino’s Pizza findings: Superbowl Sunday is always difficult – they try to ensure that they have a little more server power than their normal peak.  On Superbowl Sunday the stores are just about as busy as a typical Friday night, but the one central web ordering point is were the stress happened.  They’re working toward attaining a provisional infrastructure to be able to handle the largest loads, but they’re not quite there yet.
  • Reddit.com findings:  29% reduction in monthly costs immediately following the move to the cloud.  This has continued for the past year even though traffic has quadrupled.  Agility is much better, they’re ordering fewer machines, and flexibility is huge.
  • Problem diagnosis issues:  reddit.com found problem diagnosis to be a big pain.  They have to determine if it’s the cloud’s fault or their own fault.  It’s always been reddit’s fault every time so far even though they assumed it was Amazon’s fault (their cloud provider).  Escape Media Group stated the same problem resolution issues.
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SEO Tips for Local Optimization July 6, 2010 No Comments

SEO Tips for Local Optimization

If you have a website then you most certainly implement some type of SEO to get your website noticed. The problem is that everyone else on the web is doing the same thing. That’s why it is important to get focused on who you want coming to your website and then optimize the site with that in mind. Local SEO is a top way to achieve this because it allows you to target the customers who are located near you.

Why Local SEO?

Even if you ultimately want to reach a global customer base, it helps to have a strong base of local customers. Local customers are increasingly interested in supporting local businesses. This is especially trendy today in the era of Groupon-style websites that specifically attract attention for local businesses. Getting a loyal local customer base will help you grow your business to whatever size you desire

So How Should I Do Local SEO?

Some of the most important tips for you to follow when doing SEO for local optimization include:

  • Start with your keywords. You probably already have your site optimized for the keywords specific to your industry; now you need to re-optimize with the local level in mind. For example, if you’re a Houston luggage company then you want to change keywords like “luggage” to “Houston luggage” and “Texas luggage”. Remember to include your new local keywords on title pages and in your blog.
  • Make sure to spend time on local links. Keywords matter but SEO is more about making the right online connections these days. You want to link to other local businesses. You should network with the people who own these businesses so that they will want to then link back to you.
  • Get yourself added to local lists and directories. Depending on the industry that you’re in, you may be able to market yourself to get added to local lists of services or even local directories. Your Houston luggage company may get added to an article of top stores in Houston or to the local government’s list of top travel resources depending on how good you are at marketing yourself. Make sure you are added to local directories including Google Maps and City Search.
  • Engage in social media interaction at the local level. Social sites like Facebook and Twitter let you know where people are located. This allows you to befriend and follow people who are relevant to your local region.
  • Provide information that is relevant to locals. If you provide high-quality information on your site that is relevant to the people who live in your area then you will attract their attention. This will attract more inbound links and social media promotion, increasing the value of your site at the local level. One great way to check out what people in your area want to know is to use Google Trends and Twitter Trends for your specific area.
  • Add your address to your site. You want to list your address several times in your site and blog so that people know where you are. This helps with basic SEO as well. Also, make sure that your address is up to date with the site WhoIs.net.

Don’t Neglect the Bigger Picture

When doing local SEO, don’t do it at the expense of attracting a bigger market. You want to continue to do the general SEO that you’ve been doing all of this time. Simply add the local SEO to the work that you do to increase attention for the site.

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