Natural Search Blog


Check Out New Google Maps Labs Features

Many Google Maps users may have missed the recently added button, allowing users to opt-in to try out some of the Google Maps Labs beta features. The Labs options can be accessed via the new little icon button found in the upper right of the user-interface, if you’re logged-in to your Google account:

Google Maps Labs Icon Button

The new features might also reveal some secrets of Google Maps ranking factors. It’s definitely a space that’s well worth watching for local search marketing experts.

SEO Tools: Using Xenu and Excel – Blindfolded SEO Audit Part 2

During Part 1 of the Blindfolded SEO Audit, we started learning how to use Xenu and Excel to begin our SEO audit and focused on the foundational element, URLs.

Now let’s move on to the most important signal a site’s pages can send to the search engines, the all powerful title tag. Like URL constructs, sites often have nearly as many constructs for title tags. Three things that a quick scan of our data will tell us:

(more…)

Blindfolded SEO Audit Part 1

SEO consultants spend a lot of time looking at websites. Moreover, like web designers, SEOs definitely “see” websites very differently than the average web user. Some days, it feels a little like the Matrix, where instead of seeing the streaming code, you see the people, cars and buildings that the code signifies. After doing web design, this is heightened even more, although perhaps inverted … instead of seeing shoes, cookware, and dog collars, I see title tags, heading tags, URL constructs and CSS.

Like any skill though, it takes continual honing and refining, along with the education. This is part of the concept behind the 60-Second Website Audit and training the eye to quickly identify key SEO issues and potential issues.

I’ve joked that, after so many audits, SEO consultants could probably do them blindfolded. So, whip out the blindfold and let’s put that to a test.

(more…)

60-Second Website Audit

While your mother may have taught you not to judge a book by its cover, she probably wasn’t an SEO. Mother’s logic is still pretty good to live by, but for as complex as SEO is or may seem, it’s pretty amazing what you can learn about a website’s SEO quality in 60 seconds or less.

Okay, you aren’t going to fully understand the intricate details and you’d obviously spend far, far more time (closer to hours than seconds) on a true site audit, but I’d venture that 60 seconds is enough for a good gut check and for identifying areas that need deep exploration.  What may make this most interesting is to compare results that your “team” gets from this exercise since we all have our own approaches, hot buttons, etc.

(more…)

Key to Relevance: Title Tags

I recently penned an article at Search Engine Land on Leveraging Reverse Search For Local SEO. In it, I describe how in certain exception cases, one may benefit from adding the street address into a business site’s TITLE tag. It’s not the first time that I have mentioned how TITLE tags are key to relevance in Local Search — I’d previously mentioned how critical it is for local businesses to include their category keywords and city names in the TITLE as well.

Yet, a great many sites continue to miss this vital key to relevance, and they wonder why they fail at ranking for their most apropos keywords. Keywords for which they’d otherwise have a very good chance at ranking upon!

Key Relevance: Title Tags
W3C calls the TITLE the “most important element of a quality web page” (more…)

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…)

Fantastic Linkbait: Google doesn’t need to find Chuck Norris for you!

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while – I saw this mentioned on John Battelle’s blog. Type “find Chuck Norris” into Google’s search form, and then hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button, and you’ll get this:

Finding Chuck Norris
(click to enlarge)

The result is a Google search results page with no listings and the message at the top states:

“Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris, he finds you.”

But wait! This result page is actually a hoax, only pretending to be from Google! It’s actually produced by Arran Scholsberg. Arran is a student at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and is a web designer and photographer. (more…)

Recent Google Improvements Fail To Halt Massive Malware Attack

Various news sites are reporting that a malware attack was deployed in the last couple of days, apparently based entirely upon black hat SEO tactics.

Software security company Sunbelt blogged about how the attack was generated: a network of spambots apparently added links into blog comments and forums pointing to the bad sites over a period of months in some cases, enabling those sites to achieve fair rankings in search engine result pages for a great many potential keyword search combinations. The pages either contained iframes which attempted to load malware onto visitors machines or perhaps they began redirecting to the sites containing malware at some point after achieving rankings. Sunbelt provided interesting screenshots of the SERPs in Google:

Malware in SERPs
(click to enlarge)

And also showed some screenshots of some of the keyword-stuffed pages which apparently got indexed:

Malware site page
(click to enlarge)

I think it’s not at all a coincidence (more…)

Resurrection of the Meta Keywords Tag

Danny Sullivan did a great, comprehensive examination of current status of the Meta Keywords tag, and his testing showed that both Ask and Yahoo will still use content in that tag as a relevancy signal. Both Google and Microsoft Live do not. His clear outline of the history, common questions, and contemporary testing of the factor were really helpful.

However, I think there’s still a case where Google may be using the Meta Keywords tag… (more…)

Pay-Per-Action Ads may open up Google to being a victim of fraud

I was just reading Barry Schwartz’s report that Google is opting-in some AdSense publishers into Pay Per Action (CPA) ads. He poses the question of why would Google push these ads on the publishers who haven’t asked for it? The immediate answer I come up with is that this could actually be a test to try to detect fraud, since CPA is thought to be less prone to exploit. After all, the publisher would only get paid for these ads if someone buys – not just clicks on the ads on their sites. Perhaps the publishers that are getting opted-in are ones for which Google has had some question about the quality of click-through in their regular PPC ads.

Google AdSense logo

I’ve been thinking that an unpublished problem with Google’s pay-per-action product is that Google itself is likely to become more a victim of fraud with these types of ads. Read on and I’ll describe…

(more…)

RSS Feeds
Categories
Archives
2013
Feb      
2011
May      
2010
Jan Feb Mar Apr
Sep      
2009
Jan Feb Apr May
Jun Jul Aug Sep
Oct Nov Dec  
2008
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Dec  
2007
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
2006
Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct
Nov Dec    
2005
Jan Feb Mar Dec
2004
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Other

web hosts reviews cheap web hosting reviews how to build muscle for women symptoms of depression in women painkiller addiction how to get rid of depression drug addiction