Natural Search Blog


Search Engine Ranking Factors in 2009

Recently, SEOmoz released a fantastic biennial search engine rankings report. Every two years, SEOmoz interviews the top 100 minds in the SEO industry. This time, they have gathered data from the top 72 SEO professionals to give a clear idea of how the search engines rank documents.

This aggregate data gives any SEO professional the key factors that Google uses when it comes to ranking sites on the SERPs. It is a thoroughly interesting read and will assist all SEO professionals be it a beginner or an advanced level practitioner.

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10 Tips For Buying Domain Names

Buying domains can be a tricky issue. A crucial factor in the success of an online start up is a fantastic domain name. It is easy for people to remember and link to the site. Domain names should be easy to spell, easy to say and have a .com extension.

If the domain name aptly represents the industry or niche it does business in, it can get direct traffic where users type it into the address bar and reach the site. It also represents your company in cyberspace and is the first port of call online.

There are two tricky issue involved in the buying of domains. The first is that you cannot use comparable sales figures (as in the case of real estate). The second is the intrinsic value of the domain name itself (as in the case of vehicle, jewellery etc). These are intangibles and cannot be used as bargaining chips at the negotiating table.

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WSJ Comments On Idearc Bankruptcy & Verizon Culpability

Verizon & Involvement in Fairpoint Communications & Idearc Bankruptcy FilingsA few days ago, the Wall Street Journal’s Dennis Berman commented in his column entitled “The Two Sides of Verizon’s Deal Making” on whether Verizon might have some responsibility for the bankruptcies of Idearc, Hawaiian Telecom and FairPoint Communications. As you may recall, I posted an op-ed piece on the subject, Idearc’s Bankruptcy – Who’s Really Responsible? at Search Engine Land not long back, and now Berman’s take on the issue appears to hold a lot of sympathy for my position that Verizon caused the yellow pages company to fail shortly after it was spun off by requiring it to do so with an unreasonably high debt load.

Berman states that while the market in 2006 may’ve allowed Verizon to take billions in the deal divesting itself of its directories corporation, Idearc, he further states:

“It took too much.”

Will there be any consequences for Verizon’s throwing off these companies with unserviceably high debt loads? Burman reports:

“These things matter greatly to how state and federal regulators perceive the company. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Hawaii each are in an uproar over the FairPoint divestiture, with much of the ire directed at Verizon.”

In a brief video piece, David Berman debates the issue with Evan Newmark, who takes the opposite viewpoint that Verizon should not be held responsible for the performance of its divested companies. (more…)

Taking On An Existing PPC Campaign – Things To Be Aware Of

Working in a search marketing firm throws up lots of interesting challenges. One of them is taking over an existing Pay Per Click campaign from another agency as the client is very unhappy with her paid search efforts. Her main grouse is that she is not getting enough business out of her PPC campaigns and her ROI (Return on Investment) is pretty poor.

There are a variety of factors that are contributing to the client’s poor performance in paid search. If you are taking over the client’s existing campaign, there are positives and negatives which you have to be aware of. This post will discuss these at length in no particular order.

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Do Users Trust Organic Or Paid Results More On Search Engines?

It is a known fact that Pay Per Click (PPC) model of advertising has contributed the most revenue to the Google coffers in the past few years. The fact that paid search contributes to only 12% of the total search traffic is fascinating with a bevy of tools flooding the market all promising to deliver the ultimate solution in paid search marketing.

Organic search is still the biggest driver of search traffic at a whopping 88%. Unlike paid search where results are measurable accurately and instantly, the organic SEO process is a long term strategy with measurable results becoming clearer over time. Yet, the big question in every online marketer’s mind is – Which results do users trust more on search engines – the organic or paid results?

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Link Building Through Social Media – Is It That Difficult?

The post today deals with link building using social media. Most SEO practitioners love to use social media to build backlinks to a site. It is a powerful method and can gain numerous inbound links in a short period of time.

For this, the content has to be of high quality along the lines of linkbait and capable of going viral. It gets picked up by various social media properties and earns lot of link love. Yet, there are people who complain that they are not having success in using this technique. One of the major reasons for failure is the inability to build relationships.

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