Natural Search Blog


Google Takes RSS & Atom Feeds out of Web Search Results

Google just announced this week that they have started reducing RSS & Atom feeds out of their search engine results pages (“SERPs”) – something that makes a lot of sense in terms of improving quality/usability in their results. (They also describe why they aren’t doing that for podcast feeds.)

This might confuse search marketers about the value of providing RSS feeds on one’s site for the purposes of natural search marketing. Here at Netconcepts, we’ve recommended using RSS for retail sites and blogs for quite some time, and we continue to do so. Webmasters often take syndicated feeds in order to provide helpful content and utilities on their sites, and so providing feeds can help you to gain external links pointing back to your site when webmasters display your feed content on their pages.

Google has removed RSS feed content from their regular SERPs, but they haven’t necessarily reduced any of the benefit of the links produced when those feeds are adopted and displayed on other sites. When RSS and Atom feeds are used by developers, they pull in the feed content and then typically redisplay it on their site pages in regular HTML formatting. When those pages link back to you as many feed-displayed pages do, the links transfer PageRank back to the site originating the feeds, and this results in building up ranking values.

So, don’t stop using RSS or Atom feeds!

Advice on Subdomains vs. Subdirectories for SEO

Matt Cutts recently revealed that Google is now treating subdomains much more like subdirectories of a domain — in the sense that they wish to limit how many results show up for a given keyword search from a single site. In the past, some search marketers attempted to use keyworded subdomains as a method for improving search referral traffic from search engines — deploying out many keyword subdomains for terms for which they hoped to rank well.

Not long ago, I wrote an article on how some local directory sites were using subdomains in an attempt to achieve good ranking results in search engines. In that article, I concluded that most of these sites were ranking well for other reasons not directly related to the presence of the keyword as a subdomain — I showed some examples of sites which ranked equally well or better in many cases where the keyword was a part of the URI as opposed to the subdomain. So, in Google, subdirectories were already functioning just as well as subdomains for the purposes of keyword rank optimization. (more…)

NebuAd – New Twist on Behavioral Targeting for Online Ads

News stories this week highlighted Silicon Valley startup NebuAd, which recently unveiled their behavioral targeting network at ad:tech.

NebuAd

Behavioral ad targeting is nothing new on the internet, and I easily recall it being offered in one form or another as far back as about 1999. In fact, 24/7 Real Media currently offers behavioral targeting through their ad network as just one case in point. So what’s new with this incarnation is the way in which NebuAd collects data to base the targeting upon. NebuAd’s innovative twist on behavior targeting is based upon monitoring individuals’ internet browsing habits through their ISP, essentially seeing all the sites and pages that a user visits. (more…)

Google Requests Help Fighting Malware

This last week, I whined a bit about Google results containing many links to malware sites, due to them making use of well-known black hat tactics. InternetNews.com is now reporting that Google is asking for assistance from the altruistic public on fighting the malware offenders. Google’s Security blog requests more assistance on fighting the bad guys, noting that they’ve improved in the past year, citing the warnings they pop up when users click on a link where they’ve detected possible malware.

Here’s one suggestion I have: (more…)

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