It seems something strange is going on with Google search traffic over the past 2 weeks, is it the start of the next round of algo changes or is it a reshuffle based on the last algo update? Last time there was even a blip was 24th April, most of the past 3 months look like the first 2 weeks data… nice and even…
Tag Archive for seo
A recent post published by ITNews has managed to again raise a level of concern about the quality of Technology journalism online and but also highlights the danger of being quoted out of context to support a poorly research article. When you read the quote from “Truman Hoyle” below you will see that you risk the danger of appearing like you have no idea about online marketing and one might wonder why you were quoted in the first place. The IT News article has pissed me as it was recently written around the recent judgement against the Trading Post which they were successfully sued by the ACCC over engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to Google AdWords campaigns but the article tries to link the decision back to SEO on some level. The article screenshot is included below because I have no interest in linking to mis-information.
The case was about Sponsored Links
In what could amount to lazy journalism combined with failing to actually read a court judgement one of their journalists decided to pick an alternative viewpoint on how the case outcome had put focus onto SEO. The mention of links does not automatically mean the story is about SEO, there is a large difference between SEO & SEM and the case is very clear that it’s about “sponsored links” as that term is mentioned 39 times during the case judgement. If you check you will find that SEO is not mentioned once during the whole judgement and the judge actually highlights that there is a clear difference between “organic results” and “sponsored links” just in case you took the time to read the judgement. Part of the ACCC case was trying to force the judge to accept that users might not be able to easily identify between Organic and Paid results but the judgement focuses around Google AdWords and does not entertain the idea of SEO. To re-enforce the flimsy nature of the article and how it is lacking support there is also no mention of any variation of SEO such as “search engine optimisation” to further re-inforce the point that this journalists failed to take the care the due diligence before writing this sub-standard post!
The journalist fails to make any real supporting links between the article theme about SEO and the actual court judgement, and gets a random quote from a lawyer at Truman Hoyle who weren’t even involved in the case. The statement by Bridget Edghill doesn’t even really fit within the context of the judgement and could have even been taken out of context in reference to the actual court judgement.
Suggest you retract your quote
If I was Truman Hoyle Lawyers I would at least get my comment retracted as it does not put forward an image of a law firm that has an understanding of the difference between Google AdWords (case theme) and SEO (not discussed). I don’t see any way the judgement implied or suggested there was a link between the case and placing SEO users on notice as the case was about Google AdWords not Google Organic results, so any link between the two is fanciful. There is a clear statement that there is no defamation implied or directed towards Truman Hoyle as it is clearly the journalist who has written a poorly researched article and added a law firm to try and add some credibility to his mis-informed article.
Journalists have to answer for fact checking
It is no wonder that business struggles to make the identification between how Google AdWords (Paid results) and SEO (organic results) actually differs. The journalist obviously found the word “link” in the judgement and choose to ignore the entire theme of the judgement along with the heavy use of “sponsored” links throughout the reasons for the judgement. There is a very big difference in the context of the word “link” and it’s use for Google AdWords and some basic fact checking would have ensured this post actually added some value around the judgement instead of mis-informing the readers of ITNews.
Google AdWords is NOT part of SEO
Just to re-enforce the point while longer term there might be a case where SEO might place a website in front of a judge currently it’s just in the minds of fanciful journalists who don’t take the time to research articles before posting them! Feel free to respond with nasty and unsupported anonymous comments below or you can reach out to the the journalists who wrote the mis-informed post on twitter.
Yahoo has today rolled out an updated to their Buzz platform that put’s it far ahead of Google Trends and Google Real-time and the usability places it in the grasp of being useful to everyone who is able to operate a mouse. I really love the potential power of the platform combined with its pure simplicity with huge vaults of almost real-time demographic data and is large enough that I can see what users in Queensland, Australia are looking putting it on par with many enterprise social media platforms.
The platform is very much pitched around what celebrities get the most buzz but I see the platform has some very powerful features outside the paparazzi knowing who to stalk online for the next high of traffic to their fashion blogs. If you are involved in marketing or search you should be testing some of your primary keywords to see what insights you can learn and measure this against your Facebook fan page analytic data to gauge the variance in the data, but I can tell you damn it’s cool!
What it Yahoo Clues tells you
- what other popular queries relate to your term
- what is the previous search query before your term
- what is the next likely query after your term
See Yahoo Clues in Action!
I did a video review of the platform and how you can use Top Trends & Trends Analysis for your keyword or article research, but also so you know more about your Facebook demographic before you start targeting them via Facebook Ads, please check it out below and then go and play with it for yourself.
Google Places will be the battle ground for both business and SEO consultants and agencies in 2011 with an increasing preference for showing and sometimes total dominance of the organic results. It seems that every week there is a new expansion of Google Places into universal results but it seems that the expansion of their Local business product is not truly consistent, which makes it nearly impossible for business to understand the trust the quality of the results. A few of these changes I thought I would comment on in this post to signal to you how Google Places is evolving and how you might have to reconsider your local SEO campaigns in 2011.
Google Places showing URLS
You can see in the screenshot below that Google Places is starting to show individual pages that match to the search query. It’s interesting that the Google places first result “A” shows an individual page that is an exact match to the search query and the third result “C” shows a URL that is a match to the geographic location. This was the first time that I have seen this showing as Google typically has taken preference to show just the domain in the Google places results but it seems to be now electing to pick a URL that it feels is a better match as it does in organic results.
Google Places showing Breadcrumbs
Google Places is also continuing to mirror Google Organic with its Places results with “B” showing breadcrumbs in the expanded Google Places result for Rydges SouthBank. You can see that Google is slowing messing up the previously clean and clear Google Places results be starting to treat them like organic results and showing deep URLs like you can see for the Clarion Collection Rendezvous Hotel.
Google Places Super Results
Google Places is a very visually attractive and their new super result for #1 listings really dominate the competition with almost a double listing but includes a bonus attention grabbing image. The result for Magistic Cruises includes the standard title link and meta description but also features 4 sitelinks, a link to its Place page, links to 4 reviews about the company and company contact details. While the 2nd result also features 4 sitelinks you will see later in this article that is not enough to attract the visitor’s attention span before it moves to focus on the 4th result Sydney Princess Cruises.
Places gaining too much attention?
You can see below the older Google results that are not showing the additional results for #1 are much less appealing and eye-catching to consumers. You can assume that the first result will receive slightly less attention when it is not showing the enhanced Google Places results but what is the actual impact in terms of visitor attention/analysis?
Google SERPS Attention & Attraction Analysis
The following test was done using Feng-GUI analysis products, that allow you to realise where the consumers eyes are looking when viewing a webpage, advertisement or photograph, it is simulated eye tracking. You can see the impact of the visitor’s attention span when Google Places results are shown in the first image, but it also shows that the amount of attention the Google AdWords results receive is also significantly reduced when Google Places are shown.
So while it seems that you risk violation of Google Places guidelines by using landing pages or trying to game their algorithm by listing unique URLs, Google can and will alter the mix to suit its own results. So do you think that Google Places has morphed and evolved beyond being just Local Business listings into the new and possibly improved Google Organic results?
This post is the result of a quick chat with Malcolm Coles on Twitter about the Econsultancy top 25 blog posts from 2010 didn’t include any of our post’s, I thought it was time to create my own self promotional list of what articles my readers have liked in 2010. Disclosure I haven’t actually written for Econsultancy yet, but I guess the invite is being sent in time for Christmas???
The top marketing posts list is based on my own articles I’ve published across the web including some for Search Engine Journal, Marketing Magazine, Dynamic Business and this blog during 2010, top be a bit more transparent, the top posts are based on reader interaction, tweets of the posts and shares via other social media such as Facebook or StumbleUpon.
Do WordPress blogs still get traffic?
Over the last 12 months this blog has received over 65,000 views of posts a 650% increase on the previous year which shows that with a combination of social media, link building, fresh and engaging content you can grow your traffic easily. It seems that the blog looks on track to continue growing at around 10% every month based on the past year’s averages with an aim to reach around 450,000 to 500,000 views this time next year which would be great and only possible with the support of the team at Automattic.
Top Marketing Posts of 2010
Search Engine Journal Post - I have written 6 posts for Search Engine Journal with a focus around AdWords marketing, analysis and how to get more from your campaigns.
Google Instant AdWords Trouble – This post was written following the launch of Google Instant and used data that showed initially there was a big impact of user interaction with AdWords
- 25 Likes on Facebook
- 314 Tweets
- 13 Comments
Marketing Mag Guru Blogger Posts – I have written 20 posts for Marketing Magazine Australia over the last 2 years ranging from failures, to success to critical analysis of marketing
MacBank’s Miranda Plan – While this blog did recieve a lot of spam comments, it still manage to attract a lot of human comments and a fair whack of search traffic
- 138 Comments
Dynamic Business Marketing Posts – I have so far only written 4 posts for Dynamic Business Australia’s leading SMEs magazine but have many more planned for 2011
Small Business CMS – A very strong and direct view of how business should be examining their use of complex or custom CMS platforms
- 7 Tweets
- 8 Comments
Google Travel ITA Buyout – this article received a fairly strong reaction along with a number of similar stories at the time
- 5 Tweets
- 1 Comment
The Lost Press Marketing Posts – This very blog where I have written close to 200 posts over the last 2 years.
- 1 Response
- 14 Tweets
Facebook Places Fails – the launch of Facebook Places stumbled a fair bit and this was a critical view of where it went wrong
- 3 Responses
- 19 Tweets
Do Hotels Get PPC? – Seeing the constant failure of Hotel websites failing to get their head around PPC lead to this post
- 4 Responses
- 15 Tweets
- 33 StumbleUpons
WebTrends Intergration with Marin – This was a great post showing the power of Facebook to bring a bid management and analytics platform together
- 3 Responses
- 12 Tweets
Security Issue in Website Optimiser – This was a nice breaking news piece that focused on an urgent update from Google
- 41 Tweets
- 6 Responses
iPad Discount – This was a post around the TJ Maxx black friday promotion that just went viral
- 103 Tweets
RockMelt Facebook Browser – It’s still not clear if RockMelt is the future of browsers but it did generate a fair bit of interest
- 20 Tweets
- 5 Responses
- 35 Tweets
- 8 Responses
- 5 Tweets
Thank you to everyone who reads, comments and tweets my and my guest’s articles, you are all awesome! To my guest writers thank you for helping grow this blog and I hope we have plenty of new topics stewing about for 2011 and hopefully will welcome a few new guest writers. Again from me and my guest writers thank you all for reading this blog in 2010 and don’t forget to come back in 2011 when there should be some more guest bloggers covering more articles, topics and breaking news. There are around 15 stories that are slowly being finished and will be set to publish during January 2011 so you have something to read while I take some time off to recharge and explore new ideas for articles.
THANK YOU FOR VISITING AND READING!
It’s clear sometimes that personal blogs and open forums are not always the best source of information about SEO from a best practice “white hat” perspective, but you can usually rely on main stream media to not screw up and publish garbage like I read today that encourages spam as a SEO technique. There are lots of blogs,communities and forums that specialise in SEO covering practical/training, guides, tips and from a pure research perspective such as: SEOmoz, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, SEOBook, SEO Dojo, Webmaster World. A majority of these sites work hard to educate their members about not spamming or following the advice contained in the SMH article I read today.
Before I upset every journalist who writes for The Sydney Morning Herald or any of their other papers such as The Age, this is a story that shouldn’t have gone to print and there is another related articles by the same writer that do nothing but cloud businesses view on SEO and increase businesses view that the whole industry is made up of Snake Oil salespeople. From my many past conversations with business about what is SEO and how it can help their business get more traffic from Google there often confusion around what you should and shouldn’t be doing as part of getting more organic traffic from Bing & Google. Garbage articles like this break down all that good knowledge and understanding with cheap parlour tricks and spam.
“Search engine voodoo: little-known SEO tricks” should not have been published as one it’s based on a technical paper published back in February 16th 2010 and its fairly clear that the SMH journalist didn’t take time to even read it as many of the points he later suggests are not advised by Nicholas Carroll. The two so-called experts he quotes in the piece don’t appear to be anyone known in the industry and if I have the website right one expert is more of a snake oil salesman that is out of his depth in being quoted for this article as knowing what was is seo.
Comment spam is back in
The biggest failure around this article is the around the encouragement of comment spam, where readers are encouraged to use your keyword phrase as your name using blog finder software to pick which sites to attack with your spammy comments. This is one of the many parts to the article that is not in the spirit with the original article by Nicholas Carroll that this article is apparently based around. So there you go its official from 2 experts no-one has ever heard of and a journalist how you can get ranked #1 in Google that no-one else has ever tried and failed to use successfully. Now go search for a general blog topic and comment spam away and you will notice a huge increase in your search rank in no time, no need for link building campaigns or creating content just comment spam what’s already out there! It’s article like this that encourage the constant bombardment of your blogs with crappy comments and irrelevant statements just to get that link, no comment on how well it works in the short-term but its not something business should be using if they value their reputation.
Fact check please
I would expect that publications like The Sydney Morning Herald would at least take some time to vet or fact check what garbage some of their journalists are pushing out into the market place under the Fairfax brand. It wouldn’t take more than an email phone call to the Fairfax owned Advantate to fact check the article or even provide some guidance around what is SEO for the journalist. Publications like SMH’s My Small Business carry a lot of weight for business wanting to stay ahead of their competitors, so seeing low quality articles like “How to rocket your search engine ranking to the top of Google” make me understand why Australian businesses struggle with SEO, it’s the garbage they read online.
One of the previous articles written by the same SMH journalist uses terms like mysterious or art when he is discussing SEO does nothing to improve both a reader’s understanding of search optimisation, unless you are doing blackhat/greyhat practices it’s not a mystery it’s just hard work!
The rocket your search ranking article talks about peppering pages with keywords and every page should repeatedly feature one keyword and to embed that keyword several times. This amounts to nothing more than keyword stuffing or spam and shows the misunderstandings the website designer has about effective SEO and to the writer for publishing it, where is your journalistic skills in vetting both the subject being interviewed about a subject he doesn’t understand and a topic you vaguely don’t care about. If you are unsure of his experience his background states that he “vaguely specialises in the internet” in an interview back in 2007.
Don’t make SEO harder
If you are going to conduct an interview with a focus around SEO that is just going to make the job of SEO consultants and SEO agencies that much harder, please just don’t publish it. Articles like this are often brought up during discussions with business owners when talking about SEO, and often the business owner will stand by the article’s points because they read about it in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Small Business section so it must be of reasonable standing.