Natural Search Blog


Online Reputation Management Through Search at SMX West

I was interested to hear the presentations in the Reputation Monitoring & Management Through Search session at the SMX West Conference yesterday in Santa Clara, and the five presenters didn’t disappoint.

Andy Beal
(click to enlarge)

First up was Andy Beal, who I was particularly interested in hearing since this presentation came just after he announced his new online reputation management monitoring service, Trackur, and he also announced he’d have a number of free copies of his book at a booth in the exhibit hall later.

Additional speakers included Chris Bennett, Veronica “Niki” Fielding, David Wallace, and Jonathan Ashton. (more…)

LinkedIn Beta Tests New Homepage Layout

So, I’m at the SMX West conference tonight, hopping around networking with people and every so often updating my Flickr pix or sending work emails when I noticed that LinkedIn is apparently beta-testing a new homepage layout on me. Check out the screengrab of what I see now when I login to LinkedIn:

LinkedIn Beta of New Homepage
(click to enlarge)

So, they want feedback on their new design, so I’ll give it here. (more…)

Google’s Ranking Advice in Blended Search at SMX West

David Bailey at SMX WestJust a quick post here on some simple tips that David Bailey of Google advised in this morning’s session on “The Blended Search Revolution” at the SMX West conference in Santa Clara:

Flickr Starts Nofollowing

Solitary RockA couple of my colleagues, Brian Brown and Jeff Muendel, identified that Flickr has begun NOFOLLOWing hyperlinks in their photo profile pages. I’ve confirmed this and have a few more details to add. (more…)

Retailers Recession Proofing Through Optimizing Internet Retail Sites

Overall economic fears are causing many retailers and other businesses to step up their games in terms of promotion. While some retailers are cutting back on advertising or paring down on their inventory, there are compelling reasons to increase the intensity in marketing efforts in order to offset the expected reduction in average customer spending. If your competitors are cutting back on efforts, not only could you have a chance to dominate in your sector, but you could even increase profits at the expense of your competition’s market share.

The internet is a prime area to focus in this period, since the net reduces distance barriers and the difficulty of locating products for buyers, and efforts to increase sales through this medium can be accomplished at lower costs than many other options. One of the most cost-effective areas for internet promotion is via increasing your “natural” traffic referred to your site from search engines.

Many internet retailers haven’t connected the dots sufficiently (more…)

Origins of the Google Logo

Wired today has an article on the preliminary Google logo designs – something that aspiring internet commercial artists should check out.

One of the designs is obviously referencing Op Art to give a modernistic feel. Another treats the second “O” as a sort of loose metaphor for the web or to symbolize multidimensionality. Yet another uses a magnifying glass for the second “O” — a much more literal representation for a search engine which we used to see really frequently in the earlier years of the internet (remember stuff like the old WebCrawler logo?).

I think the version they ultimately used is the best/strongest one, even though I think it likely owes something to eBay’s playful/colorful logo.

The original designer of the Google logo was Ruth Kedar, an assistant professor at Stanford at the time. She noted, “I had no idea at the time that Google would become as ubiquitous as it is today, or that their success would be of such magnitude”.

Ubiquitous it is indeed. As I noted two months ago, the frequency of use of the Google logo and its familiarity within the popular culture have been growing to the point of actually being a little bit of a danger from the viewpoint of being able to protect the marks as intellectual property.

Google Lip Balm Stick
The Google name is on everyone’s lips.
Copyright Silver Smith 2007. All rights reserved.

Independent Contractors Excluded from Google Maps

My article on How To Get On Google Maps Without An Address pubbed today on Search Engine Land – it outlines one of the top most frustrating issues facing some small businessmen who need to have listings in directories without including their street addresses. Google Maps, by policy, does not display listings for those who do not have street addresses, so smaller providers who might actually provide the best quality service work are left out in the cold when users perform local searches. Independent contractors (like plumbers, electricians, building contractors, etc) are the most affected by this issue, but some other businesses are also impacted.

My perception is that this lack of what is something of a standard among traditional yellow pages directories is due to Google’s desire to provide best user-experience. In a map search display, does it make sense to display items which can’t be pinpointed to the map?

My opinion is that it does make sense to do so, (more…)

Hello from New Zealand

Swans on the LakeI’m in New Zealand for this week and the next, working with our fantastic Kiwi development team at our Netconcepts offices in Browns Bay, at the northernly end of Auckland’s metro area. (We’re working on more innovative SEO features for our GravityStream product, but Shhhhhhh)

I’m still adjusting to the radical time zone twist from over here — it’s currently about 2:20 pm Tuesday here at the office, while it’s about 7:20 pm Monday back in the Central time zone in the US. So, I’m responding to emails and such a bit later in the day than I normally do.

If you want to see some of the beautiful sites I’ve been seeing while over here, keep checking back at my Flickr New Zealand Photos album which I’ll be updating consistently.

Blog SEO Tip: Hop On A Media Feeding Frenzy

For bloggers wishing to improve their traffic, hopping onto a media feeding frenzy can give a nice burst in traffic which can translate into increases in longterm traffic.

Media Feeding Frenzy Traffic Graph

A media feeding frenzy is when a subject or thing that’s happened suddenly becomes a top headliner story for journalists. News organizations have a well-developed radar for which stories of the day are going to be the most interesting for their audience, and they avidly push to provide articles quickly to satisfy the public’s sudden thirst. As more journalists glom onto the subject, it suddenly seems that everyone is reporting on some variation of the same subject, and this is a media feeding frenzy.

Bloggers can hop onto these feeding frenzies, and ride the wave of traffic associated with them. (more…)

Biz Profile Article Awarded the SEMMY for Local Search

2008 SEMMY WinnerMy article, “Anatomy & Optimization of a Local Business Profile” was just awarded a SEMMY in the Local Search category for 2008.

Many thanks to all of you who voted for it! (more…)

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