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Google introduced Instant Previews

10 Nov

Today Google introduced Instant Previews, a new search feature that helps people find information faster by showing a visual preview of each result. Traditionally, elements of the search results like the title, URL, and snippet—the text description in each result—help people determine which results are best for them. Instant Previews achieves the same goal with a visual representation of each page and where the relevant content is, instead of a text description. For our webmaster community, this presents an opportunity to reveal the design of your site and why your page is relevant for a particular query. We’d like to offer some thoughts on how to take advantage of the feature.

Google Instant Previews

Instant Previews

First of all, it’s important to understand what the new feature does. When someone clicks on the magnifying glass on any result, a zoomed-out snapshot of the underlying page appears to the right of the results. Orange highlights indicate where highly relevant content on the page is, and text call outs show search terms in context.

Many of you have put a lot of thought and effort into the structure of your sites, the layout of your pages, and the information you provide to visitors. Instant Previews gives people a glimpse into that design and indicates why your pages are relevant to their query. Here are some details about how to make good use of the feature.

  • Keep your pages clearly laid out and structured, with a minimum of distractions or extraneous content. This is always good advice, since it improves the experience for visitors, and the simplicity and clarity of your site will be apparent via Instant Previews.
  • Try to avoid interstitial pages, ad pop-ups, or other elements that interfere with your content. In some cases, these distracting elements may be picked up in the preview of your page, making the screenshots less attractive.
  • Many pages have their previews generated as part of our regular crawl process. Occasionally, we will generate screenshots on the fly when a user needs it, and in these situations we will retrieve information from web pages using a new “Google Web Preview” user-agent.
  • Instant Previews does not change our search algorithm or ranking in any way. It’s the same results, in the same order. There is also no change to how clicks are tracked. If a user clicks on the title of a result and visits your site, it will count as a normal click, regardless of whether the result was previewed. Previewing a result, however, doesn’t count as a click by itself.
  • Currently, adding the nosnippet meta tag to your pages will cause them to not show a text snippet in our results. Since Instant Previews serves a similar purpose to snippets, pages with the nosnippet tag will also not show previews. However, we encourage you to think carefully about opting out of Instant Previews. Just like regular snippets, previews tend to be helpful to users—in our studies, results which were previewed were more than four times as likely to be clicked on. URLs that have been disallowed in the robots.txt file will also not show Instant Previews.
  • Currently, some videos or Flash content in previews appear as a “puzzle piece” icon or a black square. We’re working on rendering these rich content types accurately.

Source: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/11/instant-previews.html

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Google’s New Service: goo.gl URL shortener

8 Oct

Google gave its URL shortening service goo.gl a standalone site on Thursday, allowing users to input and shorten links.

The service allows users to take any link and transform it into a shorter goo.gl URL. Like the majority of Google’s services, the shortener will give users additional functionality if they sign-in with a Google account, such as a history of their shortened URLs along with analytics to allow them to track traffic.

The shortening service was originally announced in 2009 and plugged into Google’s browser toolbar and its Feedburner RSS service. Subsequently, the service was rolled out to other Google products including News, Blogger, Maps, Picasa Web Albums and Moderator.

The service will compete with other URL shortening services, such as Bit.ly and Twitter’s just-announced t.co.

Applications for the shortened links include transmission across microblogging services such as Twitter, which has a 140-character posting limit and encourages brevity. Also, by virtue of owning the system which transforms the links into shortened ones, Google will gain information about which links the consumer wants to make shorter.

Source: zdnet.co.uk

Blog Marketing Tactics

7 Oct

I was going through this article and find very useful for us. Now a days everyone is looking for updates like Google recently launched Google Instant etc..After that most happening topic was “IS SEO Dead”. I went through lots of articles and came to conclusion that no SEO is not dead. SEO is becoming challenging after that. For SEO’s basics will remain same for site optimization. Here below there are some tactics for blog optimization.

1.  Invest in a custom design

In my own blogging from 2005 – 2009 I was using/tweaking various free themes, which did the job.  But hiring a blog designer to create a unique, custom theme is something you should do immediately.  Yes, blogs are best consumed through feeds.  But a unique design is still critical even in an increasingly real-time web.

The post linked in the previous graph describes why this is necessary in detail, but one item I’d like to highlight as part of design:  make sure to include multiple share/subscribe CTAs neatly throughout the theme so users can’t miss them.

On this blog, for example, there are 20 distinct share/subscribe buttons on each post.  But since they’re spread throughout the template, it doesn’t seem overt.  However you design your blog realize the single most important outcome for growth is that as many visitors as possible subscribe and/or share content and don’t just consume and move on.  Having share buttons below posts and on the right sidebar is well and good, but try to disperse them throughout the template so no matter how a visitor scans the page, they’ll see it.

2.  Take advantage of popular categories

Staying within your niche is limiting and there’s no reason you should worry about this.  Give your site a wide enough thesis you can explore content in various categories and pull in a mixed audience.  Niche is overrated, personality underrated.  In the mix of categories you do choose, make sure you choose at least one semi-popular category even if it’s complementary/supplementary to your main topic.  Remember, you need to write on topics that will generate organic links.  There’s no reason not to take advantage of more popular content categories where there are more active users threading the niche.   If you frame things properly, users attracted from the broader concept should still be receptive to more specific items in your content mix too.

3.  Provide relevant, timely information to established media

This is a really simple tactic I came up with as a PR strategist.  All you need to do is create an excel doc and add the email addresses of popular bloggers/journalists in your industry and brief description of what they cover (bonus points if you know these people well enough to do this without descriptions).  Then when you see something relevant – forward it to the right person in the list .  That content should not have anything to do with your business or a client, rather you’re providing something you genuinely believe that writer would use.  In many cases, (but not always) you’ll get credited as the information source.  As an example, see this link for a shout I received from Techdirt, one of the most popular tech blogs with more than 700,000 RSS readers simply by forwarding the blog’s editor an email.

4.  Connect with social web power users

Having been blogging for a few years before starting this site and moderating web forums/boards since 2000, I was already well-networked prior to starting this blog.  So I didn’t have to do too much work to get an initial community going.  If I didn’t have this already, I would have created a plan to connect with power users and get them subscribed to my site.  If you can build a group of social web power users who are your blog’s True Fans you’ll be in a position you can just focus on making awesome content – and your community will market your best stuff organically.

5.  Drop subscription hooks everywhere

This is especially important if you are publishing content to places external of your site, which you should.  As one example – note that I end SlideShares such as this one on creating remarkable digital content with a call to action:

Ensure that if you’re implementing tactics such as guest blogging, interviews, publishing photos to Flickr, etc. you include links back to a place users can subscribe directly to your content as the main CTA.  External networks should be secondary calls-to-action. This positions you far better in the future than if you are relying purely on real-time services where you do not control the signal to noise ratio to direct attention.  Notice all those Twitter users with 20,000+ followers but no blog/website traffic?  Exactly.

6.  Create projects tagging others that are not blog posts

Tagging a large group of others in blog posts is all well and good.  But unless the content is something super interesting you’ll likely earn a Tweet – these days maybe a link if you’re lucky.  If you want to stand out and get others to not just notice you pinging them – but share you with their networks – do something that’s not a blog post but that will still ping them.  The reason this works is because it’s different than what everyone else is doing, thus more likely to peak interest.  When everyone is doing something (such as pinging influencers in blog posts) it starts to be less effective because it’s so common.

Here’s a quick example.  Throughout 2008, I gathered quotes from some of my favorite bloggers and published it: 22 inspirational quotes.  Except I re-read the quotes and decided they were too good for just a blog post.  So I made some Ignite-style slides out of them.  Then, I sent each blogger quoted their image along with a link to the presentation.  Several them including Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Eric Friedman and Leo Babauta – all A-listers in their categories – embedded the content/linked back.  Reusing the work you’ve already done to create something new is not only efficient, but the second iteration will likely be even better.


Sample image from 2009 blogger quotes project

7.  Use other social channels for distribution, but focus on your site

I don’t do too much to nurture followings in external networks, I simply feed content into Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. and focus my time on creating the best possible content.  Building up outposts is something I still struggle finding value in – as that’s at the opportunity cost of working on your own properties.  I’m not saying don’t use them, I’m just saying if you’re working with limited resources, allocate time where it will have the highest impact.  For individuals and SMBs, that’s likely original content.

Note some of the most popular bloggers don’t even use other social channels besides their blog.  Ultimately it isn’t a large following, it is the quality of your content that will make or break your blog.  Users have infinite choice on the web and they will always vote with their mouse.


The Future Buzz Facebook page is being used primarily as just another way for readers to get content

8.  Creativity first, data second

If I purely listened to data to make decisions on what I published here, this site content would look a far different than it does.  There is a lot of use for data with a blog and I absolutely leverage it.  But I’ll never let it get in the way of a creative decision I want to test or try.  One of the best parts of blogging is you can try lots of different ideas and see what sticks – and all it costs is time.

The more you understand your industry, trending topics and audience, the less you even need the data to be successful.  You can, in essence, get ahead of your audience and predict what they will want to read next.  That’s not to say don’t pay attention to data, but if you are embedded within an industry your perspective is worth a lot more than analytics from past content.  With that said – in categories I’m less familiar with or I’m working with clients I’ll lean on data more.

9.  Pull PR

Pull PR (or inbound PR) is exactly what you think it is – it’s the opposite of traditional PR.  Whereas traditional PR pros will push their messages to media and influences in the formats of press releases,  pitches, etc. pull PR is, in my opinion, a superior approach:  you draw media to you.

Here’s a quick example:  in May, a reporter from PC Today (a print pub) found my blog through search, saw I was a digital marketer, and thought I’d be quotable for her story on web success for SMBs so she reached out for a quick chat.  Check out a PDF of the print story.  But you’ll note from my quote below – they included the URL to my blog:

If you do use your content to attract media, do be cognizant of asking nicely that links get included.  The point of this is to get consistent mentions by trusted outlets to instill authority  as well as attract new, interested visitors.

10.  Make enemies

Without question, I’ve made some enemies since starting blogging.  Not the type that are likely to take me out via sniper – the kind that debate with me blog to blog.  It actually wasn’t a conscious decision, I simply disagreed with what people said and had my say.  What did I learn?  Enemies are vital – if you don’t have any, find a way to make some.

Source: http://thefuturebuzz.com/2010/10/04/blog-marketing-tactics/

 

SEO Myths, Mistakes & The Madness of Crowds

7 Oct

There are lots of topics going in SMX Coverage. The most important discussion was on SEO Myths. Below there are some points to have a look on.  For full explanation you can check the source

SEO Myths

  1. PageRank = Rankings
  2. PageRank Sculpting = Rankings
  3. Flash kills SEO; don’t use it
  4. Pages must have valid HTML
  5. Must use text links in navigation, not images
  6. Must use H1, H2, H3, etc
  7. You must have a certain keyword density on a page, 250 words on a page
  8. Duplicate Content = Penalty
  9. XML sitemap = Rankings
  10. Canonical tags vs 301
  11. Inbound links from certain TLDs count more (.edus)
  12. Buying links = banned
  13. Competitors can’t harm you
  14. Linking out helps SEO
  15. Off-page vs on-page factors
  16. AdWords advertisers rank better
  17. Google Endorses Some SEOs
  18. SERP clicks affect rankings
  19. Bounce rate affects rankings
  20. Goal of SEO = Ranking

Tips to Make Your Twitter and Facebook Page SEO Friendly

6 May

These tips apply to both twitter and facebook fan pages and they are simple to do.. and we all like simple..right? lol

Choose The Best Name and Username

Your name should include one of your keywords, or at least fit your niche. Ex: if you sell dog toys, then choose a name that fits that. twitter, facebook, twitter seo, facebook fan pages, johnpaulaguiar.com, make money with a blog

You can also add a keyword to your display name too. I don’t do this because it makes it less personal, but if SEO juice is what you want then keyword your name too.

Use A Actual Website URL

With you url in your profile, make sure to use your actual url not a shortened one. Also remove the “www” since Google only takes your first 20 characters.

Juice Up Your Profile

Your profile is a great place to put your keywords, but again don’t go over board since you want to personalize your profile as much as you can, and you only have 160 char. keywords will help with search also on twitter makes it easier for people to search and find you.

SEO Your Avatar

This is cool, you can SEO your profile picture! You can’t can rename the photo before you upload it that way when it shows up in the URL it will have the keywords that you named. Make sure to leave NO spaces.

Use Keywords and Hashtags

Try to use your top keywords in your tweets and status messages this will help Google rank you too. Also try to use hashtags on your tweets, since Google is starting to rank hashtags.

For me, I like to use #moneydummyblog for my blog posts, that way if you search that, all my posts will pop up.

Promote Your page Like A Website

Make sure that you are submitting your twitter profile and facebook fan page to RSS feeds to directories and ping it.

You should be doing this already to get your twitter and facebook page out there, but make sure to add your twitter user name in blog posts and forums.

This will allow you to get higher page ranks.

Ok all these tips are great and done will help your Google search rankings, but be sure to not go to far, to much SEO efforts and it becomes annoying to actual people, and to little won’t give you much power with Google.

Source: blogs.iehsan.com/archives/176

Google Page Rank is Now Irrelevant, Why?

19 Apr

Google Page Rank is a number from 0 to 10 that Google assigns each page on the internet based on how “powerful” that page is in terms of the number and quality of links coming into the page. CNN is a Page Rank 10, my mom’s blog is a 1, this blog is a 6… you get the idea.  Because Google reveals this number in their browser toolbar, a number of SEO tools and toolbars started to use it as a relevant metric to evealuate the “Google Juice” of a given website or web page.

All of this resulted in a near obsession among most SEOers and many marketers on their own Page Rank.  People used to sell links, and charge more for links from a higher Page Rank site.  Google started not to like that people were focusing on this metric, and started to delay the data in the toolbar, meaning that there was a 6-9 month (or longer) delay between what Page Rank Google assigned to you and what the publicly available Page Rank was.  And there were rumors and suspicions that Google no longer used Page Rank and had moved to Trust Rank, which was not available publicly but was the new version of Page Rank.

Fast forward to today, and I think Google Page Rank is a completely irrelevant metric to track, and here are 5 reasons why.

Metrics are useless unless you can track them, and you can’t track Page Rank. The best approximation of your Page Rank you can get is 6-9 months old, and even then you’re not sure it is correct.  If you cannot accurately and frequently get new data for a metric, it is pretty much useless.

Page Rank has nothing to do with SEO rankings or results. I know of websites that have a Page Rank of 0, and yet they still get organic rankings and search traffic for competitive search terms.

Page Rank is not relevant for real time search and social media results. Increasingly, social media conversations, real time news and status updates and other content are making their way into search results.  Even though the Page Rank for a tweet or status update is 0, they still show up in results.  Same thing for news releases and other content.

Page Rank is not a results metric. Typically it is best to measure things that get you real results for your business (customers and revenue) or things that directly lead to those metrics (leads).  But Page Rank has nothing to do with any results – see the previous two reasons.

Even Google says Page Rank is not important. Google removed Page Rank from its webmaster tools because it is not important.  Google Employee (Webmaster Tools Analyst) Susan Moskwa says “We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true. We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it.” And many other places Google tells you to not worry about Page Rank.

Search Engine Optimization – New WordPress Plug-In

31 Mar

A new seo optmization wordpress plugins launched. The name of the plugin is SEO Nova. “SEO Nova provides bloggers a platform condensed within an easy to navigate format.”

Some of the best features of SEO Nova:-

— Optimize post and page titles for search engines
— Generate META tags automatically
— Customize post level META data with “SEO Best Practices” guidance
— Post page optimization control
— Sub page optimization control
— Automatically set 301 redirects for any permalink changes
— Fine tune search engine indexing to avoid duplicate content issues at
any level
— Optimize with confidence using a comprehensible interface and easy-to-
understand function descriptions

Source & Download here