Natural Search Blog


Microformats Hit Mainstream!

Microformats LogoOver on SEMClubhouse I’ve written up a post on “Why Use Microformats?” which is a mild criticism of Michael Gray’s recent post on “HCards, Microformats and Address Data does it Matter for SEO“. Essentially, Michael suggests people should prioritize implementation of hCard into local info webpages as a lower-priority, back-burner project. I not only believe that Yahoo’s SearchMonkey developer platform and Google’s new Rich Snippets display are proving that the search engines consider the Microformats protocol to be important, but anything presented as a back-burner or rainy-day project for many major corporations pretty much relegates that work to never be done at all.

With the advent of Rich Snippets in SERPs, I think I can safely declare that Microformats have now hit mainstream! (more…)

Town Changes Name For Better Google Rankings

This is just too cool to pass up mentioning in local search news: a town in Europe has decided to change it’s name in order to get better rankings in Google!

EUThe town of “Eu” in France has been edged out of search rankings for the term, since other pages about the European Union are ranking higher. According to them, they’re missing out on a lot of tourism because individuals simply cannot find information about them.

I’ve previously blogged in Ultimate Local SEO Tactics a tongue-in-cheek post recommending changing a town’s name for search optimization purposes, but I didn’t think it would actually happen!

Now, I’d say they possibly could save some money/trouble by first hiring some SEOs to try to help them rank for the term. For instance, it might be possible to get the Wikipedia page for Eu to rank on the first page.

In fact, I’ll call for a bit of generous community action here – why don’t all you other local SEO’s out there blog about this city and link to their Wikipedia page as well?  Let’s help that poor town out!

Web 2.0 Conference: SEO 101 Workshop

Web 2.0 Expo New York 2008I’ll be delivering a brief course on the basics of SEO at the Web 2.0 Expo conference in New York, September 16th. The Web 2.0 Expo is co-produced by TechWeb and O’Reilly Media.

My course on “SEO 101” is a not-to-be missed session for any search marketer who wishes to learn the basics of “organic” or “natural” search engine optimization (a.k.a. “SEO”). While basic SEO principles are really very simple to incorporate in web site design, most companies fail to exploit them when building out their web pages and internet applications — losing out on traffic and marketshare. Adjusting a site to include just a few of the basics can increase traffic and associated sales significantly.

I’ll be speaking along with the legendary Neil Patel, who is renowned as a social media marketing guru. Neil will be covering the basics of social media optimization, or “SMO”.

Australian Yellow Pages Finally Optimizes For Search Engines

Sensis LogoThe Australian edition of Lifehacker reports that Sensis, Telestra’s yellow pages division, has finally allowed bots to crawl their online yellow pages so links to their listings are now showing up in Google SERPs and other search engines. Previously, they were apparently blocking Google and bots by either using robots.txt disallow rules and/or blocking the bots with network access rules.

Australian Sensis Yellow Pages in SERPs
Australian Yellow Pages in Google results (click to enlarge)

Amusingly, Lifehacker mentions, (more…)

Privacy Policy Could Be Site Quality Signal

Privacy Policies & Personal DataSearch engines have increasingly gotten involved in protecting endusers from hostile and intrusive elements on the internet, and they’ve also become more active in internet privacy issues as consumers are getting more educated about issues surrounding data privacy. Ask.com has tried to differentiate themselves by being progressive about communicating their data retention policy and by enabling users to define how long data is retained, for instance, while Google has revised their data retention policy as well as worked to aggressively block or warn endusers about websites containing adware, spyware, and other exploits. Yahoo! even recently paired up with McAfee to assess and improve the safety of sites displayed in their search results.

One aspect of search rankings I’ve written about before is the theory of a site’s quality — a “quality score” very likely is applied by Google (and to lesser degrees, Yahoo! and Microsoft Live Search) to quantify how much they may trust a site for ranking purposes and for users’ safety. There are a number of factors which might feed into a site’s quality score (including Google’s human quality auditors’ scoring), and one major factor that could be used might be a site’s Privacy Policy. (more…)

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…)

Mahalo Traffic Growth Vulnerable To Google Penalty

A couple of weeks ago, Heather Hopkins at Hitwise noted that the human-powered Mahalo search engine has been showing a very strong curve of increasing traffic:

Mahalo Search Referral Traffic
(click to enlarge)

They also noted that 76% of this traffic comes in as referrals from other search engines.

This is slightly ironic, since Jason Calacanis, founder of Mahalo, has historically been very critical of the worth of search engine optimization. I’m not the only one who sees the irony in this, since Allen Stern also noted it, saying “Mahalo is an SEO Play“. As Allen notes, if Mahalo didn’t want this traffic it would be easy for them to block the spiders thru their robots.txt file. (more…)

Organic Search Marketing in 2008: Predictions

If you’re even the slightest bit aware of what’s been going on in organic search marketing, you couldn’t help but know that Google made a number of changes during 2007 which impacted the natural search marketing programs for many webmasters. So here’s my little post predicting where I see the trends pointing and what we can expect in 2008 and beyond… (more…)

GravityStream Does Local SEO: Now Fixes Store Locator Pages

I’m pleased to announce that GravityStream can now optimize store locator pages for those retailer sites which provide search utilities for their local outlets.

GravityStream Compass Rose

As you may recall, I’ve written before about how dealer locators are terribly optimized and how store locator pages can be optimized. A great many store locator sections of major corporate sites are not allowing search engine spiders to properly crawl through and index all the locations where they may have brick-and-mortar outlets.

Most large companies seem fairly unaware that their store locators are effectively blocking search engine spiders and are making it impossible for endusers to find their locations through simple keyword searches. I’ve also listed out a number of top store locator providers which produce locational services like this for many Internet Retailer 500 companies.

Read on for details on our results…

(more…)

Search Engine Optimization

Related tags

and/or
and/or
and/or
and/or
and/or
and/or
and/or
and/or
and/or
and/or

Related elsewhere
search-engine-optimization
google
seo
local-search
yellow-pages
local-seo
social-media
flickr
image-search-optimization
social-media-optimization
local-search-optimization
gravitystream
microformats
privacy
serps
image-seo
hcard
usability
user-centered-design
mahalo
recession
hcalendar
rich-snippets
jason-calacanis
ecommerce
internet-retailers
data-privacy
p3p
personal-data
privacy-policy
web-spam
australian-yellow-pages
sensis
telestra
seo-101
seo-basics
smo-101
eu
microformatting
hproduct
hreview
semantic-markup
semantic-code
searchmonkey
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