Remember the example I frequently use of a really good-looking Google result? It was very neat, but now they've gone and made it look blummin' awful.
Peering into the future, what Google is aiming at, I suspect, is for organisations to just supply it with data which it can display in its own way, eliminating the need for users to visit the actual website.
There are several reasons why people might click on your result and quickly return to Google to click on another one, even if the page you're offering is very relevant.
The overall number and quality of links to your site just edges out the links to the page you want to rank, but both factors still have a clear lead over anything else.
Some new research attempts to get an idea of what the typical Google results page looks like, in terms of how many ads surround the results, and where they're positioned.
Once upon a time, if you'd set up a one-page site called "cheapest-blue-widgets.com" you could almost guarantee to have found yourself at the top of the Google results for a search on "cheapest blue widgets".
Google may look on your page for words which might make a title, if you haven't provided it with something suitable. You really don't want this.
It's possible to rename a page which is appearing in the Google results, and redirect the old page URL to a page you'd rather see there.
If you want to get to understand SEO, or you have someone in-house who you'd like to train in the subject, then here's a superb place to start.
What we need to do is to point out where their page is going wrong, in the nicest and most helpful way. This will give them the reason to fire up their website editor, and add you at the same time.
If you're offering something useful to the world, there's every reason why people might want to highlight what you've got. What you need are sites offering lists of online resources to do with your area of interest.
Quite simply, if you want to rank highly in Google for a specific search term, one of the key requirements will be - not surprisingly - to have a page about that search term.
The 2011 edition of the SEOmoz Search Engine Ranking Factors survey is out, and it gives about as good an idea as any of us are going to get when it comes to working out what Google wants from a good website.
Every time I’ve set someone up with a company blog, I’ve ensured that it posts any new content straight to Twitter (this blog does too, and you can follow it at @bmon). Several owners of shiny new blogs have said: “That’s neat, but I can’t see our company having time to commit to maintaining a decent Twitter stream which people would want to follow”. My reply is that it doesn’t matter. Sure, it would be great if you could run an engaging Twitter stream, but even if you can’t, it… Read MoreWhy Tweet? »
If any of you are really interested in today’s subject, perhaps you should go and get a job in internet consultancy rather than industrial marketing. But stick with it, because there’s a lesson to learn in fairly plain-English at the end. The hot discussion topic in the world of search engine optimisation at the moment is Latent Dirichlet Allocation and “topic modeling”. Stop glazing over already, some of us have to understand all this stuff. The main article to read is Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) and Google’s Rankings are Remarkably… Read MoreThis one’s a bit technical »
A more technical article today, for those of you studying how to promote your website in the Google results. As you know, “it’s all about the links”. But what constitutes a good link? It’s obvious that a link from the middle of a major news story on the BBC website is going to have more weight than a link from the Blogroll in the footer of your sister’s Blogger page about her cat. What about everything in between though? SEOmoz has some great information on this in All Links are… Read MoreMake those links work harder »
I hate to put caveats on the end of advice I give people, but with search engine optimisation, where there are no rules, only observed effects, it’s hard to be definitive. Here’s a case in point: an article at SEOmoz which examines ten questions where experts are agreeing to disagree. Here are the ten questions, and the conclusions: Q. How Significantly Does Personalization Affect Rankings? We all know Google serves up different results from person to person. But are they very different? Yes, they are. Or maybe they’re not. Q.… Read More10 things search engine ‘experts’ argue about »
When it comes to improving your search engine presence, you need to know what your competitors are doing. But who are your competitors? “That’s easy”, you may say, “Here at the Blue Widget Co we have 40% of the market, and the Red Widget Co has about 30%, with the rest being made up of loads of tiny distributors not worth worrying about. So we only really have one competitor, the one the sales director obsesses about.” But you’d probably be wrong. Because we’re not talking about competitors in product… Read MoreHow Google brings you a whole new set of competitors »
A smart idea today from the SEOmozBlog on how and why you should Find Invisible Pages Using Google Analytics. If you’ve got a fairly extensive website, this is a really good exercise. ‘Invisible pages’ in this context are pages which might as well not be there as far as Google is concerned, because it’s not sending them any traffic. If you’ve got pages which nobody is finding from Google, but which you think have some value, they need some work. This applies particularly to pages which do get a fair… Read MoreWhich of your pages are underappreciated by Google? »
A website called SEOmoz has long been an important resource for those of us who analyse and improve websites for a living, particularly for a range of tools which it offers. This week it added a new tool, called Open Site Explorer, which is available free until Friday afternoon. I’d urge you to go and have a one-off look at the sort of thing which we data geeks play around with all of the time. One way you can find out what the tool can do is to simply plug… Read MoreLots of things you didn’t know about your website »
Everyone involved in internet marketing is publishing what they predict is going to happen next year, but I like the 8 Predictions for SEO in 2010 on the SEOmoz blog, as these folks do usually know what they’re talking about. If the whole concept is a bit geeky for you, here’s my elevator summary… 1. Showing stuff from Twitter on the first page of the Google results will be a short-lived gimmick; 2. People quoting you in Twitter, however, will be important for search engines; 3. “Personalised search”, where everyone… Read MoreSome trends to think about next year »
As you know, I can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to have a programme in place aimed at generating links to your website. Look, it’s May, and in a few weeks’ time there’ll be no end of self-confident, web-literate students looking for a summer job. I bet that in six weeks, one of these could generate enough links for you that you could increase your Google traffic significantly. Let’s say you get 100 visitors a day to your website, and a stronger presence in Google from a few… Read MoreA bunch more ideas for getting links to your site »
A common scenario in industry is for the sales manager to stick his head around the marketing manager’s door and say “Now that we’ve got the Red Widget 2, I’d like all references to the original Red Widget removed from the website”, which leads to the marketing manager doing just that, by deleting the relevant pages. This is a mistake for so many reasons. Never just delete pages. Firstly, you’d managed to get your original Red Widget page onto the first page of the Google results for “red widgets”. Now… Read MoreWhat to do with pages about old products and events »
The art and science of Google AdWords advertising has a level of complexity which none of us with other responsibilities will ever be able to cope with. Even if you have nothing to do with AdWords, have a quick glance at Do Not Overlook the Importance of the Display URLs in PPC Ads on SEOmoz. This article reveals some fascinating results on what’s normally considered the least important part of an AdWords ad, the fourth line with the company URL on it. Look at the length of the article! If… Read MoreWhy you’ll only ever scratch the surface of AdWords »
I hope most people by now realise that old-style “site traffic measurement” programs like Webalizer and AWstats are pretty useless nowadays, particularly for industrial websites where we need to know about conversions and return on investment. We should all be using something like Google Analytics, and I hope you are. Similarly, old-style measurement of how good your website is compared to your competitors have been shown up for the crude measurements they are. Statistics such as your “Google PageRank” and relative numbers of links shown in Yahoo! are just that… Read MoreReal comparisons with your competitors »
Although it’s on a specialist search engine optimisation website, today’s article can be followed by the layman without too much brow-furrowing, and I think you’ll find it worthwhile. Are You Forcing Your Users to Superfluously Click? on SEOmoz looks at “clicks that cause me to grit my teeth and shake my fist”. As a web user, you’ll agree with all of the examples, but you’ll probably also recognise one or two which your own website might be guilty of. “Click here to continue” prompts? Things that look like they’re clickable… Read MoreDon’t force your users to do the work for you »
Here’s one for those of you who are already well into keyword optimizing: identifying the search terms you want to be found for, and getting them on your pages in the right places and quantities. Optimizing for Multiple Word Order Search Phrases on the terrific SEOmoz blog discusses whether you should optimise for “red widgets UK” or “UK red widgets” or any other combination of those words (assuming you sell red widgets in the UK!). If all this sounds a bit like hard work, we’ll be covering these sorts of… Read MoreGetting your words in the order right »