Category Archives: General SEO

Google SERPs for blog

The ever changing Google SERPs showed me at the end of last week a new way of presenting blog and forum posts.  This is genuinely helpful.  I havent seen it since, but if you enlarge the image below by clicking on the image you will see an addition piece of text like.

“4 posts – 2 authors – Last post: 12 Mar 2007”

Google screenshot of blog post

You dont see many personal blogs in the SERPs, and by definition you need at least two ‘authors’ to be a multi-person blog and forum.  It seems the Google has that info and even wants to share it now.

Take a look for yourself.

 

Google’s SEO Starter Guide

Those helpful folk at Google have written a really simple and easy to follow PDF to explain the basics of SEO and how to do this on a small site.  It is worth a read.  Here is a link to download their file. (549kb)

You might want to compare this to my article about common SEO mistakes.

Here are some other Google articles 

 

A SEO site audit

his is my essay plan on what I would put in a site audit.  Obviously there are extra bits that you may need depending on the type of site you are working on.  But this is meant to be a kind of generic framework.

Three main categories for any analysis

  • Technical Spec of site
  • The site itself
  • External SEO

These blend into this report format / essay plan below. So, here goes…..

SE Index visibility by Engine
Look at the what each of the main SE’s have on your site(s) and compare this to what they should have !

  • Observations / Duplications / URLs / Session ID’s etc
  • Tech issues, clitches, err
  • Comments between G, Y and M.
  • Use of Google’s Webmaster Central etc

Site architecture
How is the site organised, how the site all links up.  Can you find everything if you dont have JS enabled and this includes deep content on SERPS or through refinements

  • Structure of domains and folders
  • Static pages
  • Search results, refinements and pagination
  • URL structure – capitalisation and inconsistencies
  • Directories versus Search results navigation
  • Effectively site map pages

Site link analysis
Quantity, Quality, Depth. And internally, can you find everything in a logical and consistent way?

  • External links, Where do they go to? Anchor text of those links
  • Internal linking, Crumb trials, On page, Anchor text review,Footers and Headers

Keyword ranking and optimisation
What are you targeting and is the optimsiation up to it?

  • Ranking report summary, current position
  • Observations , head body tail, general KW distribution.
  • By Search Engine
  • Compared to competitor(s) performance
  • And how the keywords fit in the site structure and linking

Onsite optimisation

  • Metas, Title, Description,  Best practice and Summary from GWC about duplicates, By key templates etc
  • Markup audit of H1, h2.  Quality CSS
  • Error handling protocols including errors and genuine site changes, adding or removing pages!

Summary of key issues with solutions

Next steps and Recemendations

– – end – –

All you need to do now – is take the recemmendations and turn that into your action plan.

Hopefully you wil get the technical resource or/and the biz resources before your competitors gain too much ground.

SearchMe.com

Another new search engine was passed around the office today. Its a visual based search results. It is slick. Its looks great. And is easy to use. I guess if you are going to try to take on the established players you are going to have to out do them. This is a partial search grab. I would urge you to go and play with searchme.com

searchme.com search results

Now the professional bit. The results are very very, oh so very US focused at this stage. Apart from that and you like the Mac style user interface then you might like it. Over the coming months, we will see if they get any market share.

The techie bit. If you want to control their spider it is User-Agent: Charlotte.

List of Search Engines & Directories

adrianland - seo list to doThe problem with global marketing is the sheer number of different search engines out there around the world. And, some people expect me to know them all. So, over time I have been collecting a list and I thought I would share.

I will keep adding as I come across sites. But if you have any send them to me and I will credit you with the find.

General – most countries
• Google
• Altavista
• Yahoo
• Yahoo Groups
• DMOZ
• MSN
• AllTheWeb
• Teoma
• GoClick
• Miva
• go2net.com
• Kanoodle.com
• Search123.com
• 7metasearch.com
• SearchFeed.com
• Amazon.com / A9.com
• Alltheinternet.com
• Advancedsearchbar.com
• Snap
• Mysearch.com
• Alexa
• HotBot
• Ask.com
• Netscape
• SearchIt
• Wisenut
• Lycos
• SiteSearch
• Wisenutbot.com
• RealSearch.net
• Findtarget.com
• Peoplepc.com
• Towersearch.com
• AOL
• Freefind.com
• Entireweb.com
• Livesearching.com
• Scrubtheweb.com
• all-websearch.com
• Mamma
• Searchhippo.com
• Deepindex.com
• Comcast.net
• Ixquick.com
• Searcheurope.com
• ExactSeek.com
• Information.com
• Dogpile
• Izito.com

Netherlands
• MSN.nl
• Vinden.nl
• Wanadoo.nl
• Zoeken.nl
• Kelkoo.nl
• Google.nl
• DeTelefoongids.nl
• Linkotheek.nl
• Linkspot.nl
• Favoos.nl
• Webaapje.com

Norway
• Google.no
• Eniro.no

Sweden
• Google.se
• Sokmotor.biz
• Eniro.se
• MSN.se

Canada
• Msn.ca
• Google.ca
• Netscape.ca

Germany & Austria
• Google.de
• MSN.de
• Lycos.de
• Google.at
• Kelkoo.de
• Fireball.de

France
• Google.fr
• MSN.fr
• Sympatico.msn.ca
• Lycos.fr
• Aol.fr
• Kelkoo FR
• Voila.fr
• Excite.fr
• MSN.be (french)
• Kelkoo.be
• Yahoo.fr


Belgium

• Google.be
• MSN.be
• search-belgium

Switzerland
• Google.ch
• MSN.ch

Denmark
• Google.dk
• MSN.dk
• Eniro.dk

Finland
• Google.fi

UK
• Google.co.uk
• Google.ie
• MSN.co.uk
• Searchanything.co.uk
• Ask.co.uk
• Kelkoo.co.uk
• Blueyonder.co.uk
• UKirectory.co.uk
• Excite.co.uk
• Wanadoo.co.uk
• Yahoo.co.uk

Italy
• Google.it
• MSN.it
• Lycos.it
• Supereva.it
• Yahoo.it

Czech Republic
• Seznam.cz
• Centrum.cz
• Atlas.cz
• Quick.cz
• Zoohoo.com
• Toplist.cz
• 1.cz
• Centrum.cz (Morfeo)
• Volny.cz
• Centrum.cz (Fulltext)

Russia
• Yandex.ru
• Google.ru


Spain & Mexico

• Google.es
• MSN.es
• Google.com.mx
• latam.msn.com
• t1msn.com.mx


Israel

• Google.co.il
• MSN.co.il

South Africa
• Google.co.za
• MSN.co.za

India
• Google.co.in
• MSN.co.in

Japan
• Yahoo JP
• MSN JP
• Google JP
• excite.co.jp
• goo.ne.jp

Australia
• NineMSN.com.au
• girl.com.au
• femail.com.au
• Citysearch.com.au
• Ebay.com.au
• Seek.com.au
• Anzwers.net
• Anzwers.com.au
• AOL.com.au
• Yahoo Australia
• Google.com.au

New Zealand
• Google.co.nz
• XtraMSN.co.nz
• Yahoo Australia & New Zealand

Others
• Google.mu
• Google.lt
• Google.ae
• Google.hn
• Google.as
• Google.cl
• Google.lu
• Google.co.ve
• Google.co.vi
• Google.co.kr
• Google.ro
• Google.co.id
• Google.co.hu
• Google.sk
• Google.pl – Poland
• Google.pt – Portugal
• Google.co.th
• Google.hk – Hong Kong
• Google.com.br
• Google.com.ar

A new search engine call Cuil

cuil - a new search engineToday there has been a lot of notes about a new search engine launched today called Cuil pronounced “COOL” !!

We will see. Not too convinced at this stage about the quality of the results. I do like the seach refinement widget on the top right hand side. It on occassion gives some good alternative searches. But in its teething it gives you searches with no results.

Currently no traffic to any of my sites – but we will see.

It would be nice to add some competition to the UK searchscape.

SEO what is it all about and how does it work?

HyperTextTransferProtocolsFor anyone in this business I bet you get asked the same question……. “what is important for a search engine and how do we do that?”

Which in most other businesses would be easy to answer but SEO is not a straight forward question. Here is my attempt to answer this to people who only like bullet points, ‘whooo-har’ action plans!

What do you think?

I have tried to write some notes down to explain the different stages. It is a summary and may include some sweeping generalisations. But the idea is to identify the important topics as I see it from an SEO perspective.

What is important for a Search Engine?

The SE’s objective is to present the most relevant content to their users. It uses a series of ways of achieving this.

They try to find all of the webs content and then make sense of it all.

In short – they want the content, and we need to make good content and make it available!

How it works

There are 3 distinct stages (imho!)

1) Being crawled

2) Being Indexed

3) The SERPs (search engine results pages)

“Being Crawled” – when the search engine’s web crawler comes to our site and makes copies of our pages.

This is based on an allocated workflow for the spider. This will consume as much content as it can find easily.

The quickest way of stopping a spider is the Robots.txt file, producing spiders traps (where the spider gets trapped e.g. calendars if errors!)

The SEs confess they have a limited capacity and fresh content updated regularly will get more attention than an infrequently updated content on a poor site.

“Being Indexed” – when Google (or other SE) makes a first pass over the content it has found. Based on some basic quality scores it will then allocate the page into the main index or a separate ‘supplemental index’. This is based on a number of factors which we can assume are: A combination of a good server being available, accessible content, unique content with relevant keywords, good internal linking, has inbound quality links, age, status and no reason why the site should be barred. In this process Google or other SE ‘tags’ our content. You can have multiple content tags and is filed away on their servers.

“the Run time index” – this is what you see when you search the SE. This is where the algorithm sits.

When you run a search, it searched its own tags it has made about the page. Recalls the most relevant ‘tag’ or ‘token’ and displays a snippet. This is based on its criteria.

This is always moving and is in a state of “Ever flux”. This means they may change the weighting in their algorithm at any time.

Periodically they will have a ‘data push’ to a website with a new feature, page format change etc. But there are no longer ‘Google dances’ !

There is a new variable as mentioned – “Personalisation”, so that Google produces an individual set of SERPs which it thinks are the most relevant to them.

What do we measure?

1) Pages indexed

We measure the number of pages in the index. This is an approximate number and is best for trends rather than absolute numbers.

2) Ranking and Visibility report

This is taken on a sample of phrases. An automated programme tests these terms on the Search Engines. It shows us how many results we return.

It also shows us a visibility score – how much exposure do we get. This is another theme. And the trend is important over the absolute numbers. It builds over time and is a snapshot from that day and datacenter.

3) Traffic and other business specific KPI by traffic source etc etc.

And this is one that really matters.

Ways to achieve this.

  • Have a fully accessible site
  • Well structured hierarchy
  • Good Internal linking
  • Comply with webstandards on code
  • Stable site etc
  • Content
  • Unique useful content, and accessible
  • Regularly updated
  • Status and Authority
  • Quality inbound links
  • Well connected on the internet and endorsed by other authorities

Things to avoid

  • Blocking their webcrawlers
  • Avoid confusing their webcrawlers – infinite loops, bad navigation
  • Confusing URL and internal links
  • Duplication
  • Instability

Common misconceptions

  • Dynamic sites cannot be read by SE’s
  • CMS includes are bad
  • SE’s can’t read ? and &’s

it could go on – but this is enough for now.

Any comments welcome !