Jan 12, 2010

List of top five micro-blogging platforms

http://twitter.com/– Maybe most popular micro-blogging service out there. I’ll be surprised if you don’t use it. So much is written about Twitter that I can’t add noting new.

http://friendfeed.com/ - FriendFeed is a micro-blogging service and feed aggregator that makes it easy to share information like messages, photos, videos and so on online. If you want to keep track on multiple feeds and share information with your friends, FriendFeed is your option.

http://identi.ca/ - Micro-blogging service based on the StatusNet tool. It is getting more and more popularity.

http://www.jaiku.com/ - Conversation-based service, currently owned by Google.

http://www.ping.fm/ - Free social network and micro-blogging service, that enables users to post on multiple social networks simultaneously.

Jan 11, 2010

Real Time Search - SEO experts, are you ready?

Social Media gains more weight in SEO. This video shows the value of Twitter posts in the search results page.

The event video:

Jan 10, 2010

How to optimize a flash site for search engines

Many people still believe that search engines can’t crawl flash content. This may be true for small search engines but Google can actually read and index flash content. Of course if you go to a SEO company, asking for optimization of flash website, there is a huge probability that they will turn you down or ask for a huge amount of money.

SEO of a flash website is not that unusual or complicated, compared to optimization of standard, HTML site. Google can crawl and index the text content and discover links of all swf file formats. At the moment of writing this, Google bot can’t index images, stored in a flash. So flash is not appropriate for an image gallery, if you want to get traffic from your images. It’s a pity because Flash is very suitable for designing cool and shiny photo galleries; I think that soon Google will handle flash images.

External content
The latest update of Google flash handling capabilities was the ability to crawl external resources, loaded by a flash file.

Flash for navigation
You can see many articles with advice not to use flash for site navigation but you can go around the problem easily, just submit your sitemap to Google.

So, how to optimize flash content for search engines?
  • On-site optimization
    Google bot behaves like any human visitor, it will fill forms, press buttons and view the content. The bot can understand text content and hyperlinks so you need to have accessible text content within your flash website.
  • Off-site optimization
    You need to do all the standard SEO routines – submitting to link and articles directories, forum posting, blog commenting, Social Media Optimization, Social Bookmarking.

Further reading:

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/06/flash-indexing-with-external-resource.html - Flash indexing with external resource loading

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/06/improved-flash-indexing.html - Flash Indexing

Jan 9, 2010

4 reasons your pages to be deindexed by Google

Pages that are indexed by Google appear on the result pages. Pages that aren’t indexed or are deindexed for some reason don’t appear in the SERP and don’t bring SE visitors. So if you have a website with over thousand pages, only the pages that are indexed by Google will appear in the search engine results page.

Duplicate content
Even though Google have several videos where they claim duplicate content is not so dangerous for website ranking, it may lead to loosing positions and even disappearing from the SERP.
Blog platforms often show the same content in different pages – monthly archives, label pages and so on. Try to minimize the harm through robots.txt and canonical links.

Unprofessional search engine optimization can harm your site and case it to be deindexed from Google. It is better to avoid fast and aggressive methods of link building.

Untrusted site
Thousand pages on the net have some kind of malicious code that harm their visitors. Google tries to ensure its users safety and de-index such pages.
For some reason Google may think that your site is untrusted or even harmful.

When SE bots try to crawl your pages and
If your server is down when SE bots try to crawl your pages, they may disappear from the SERP. You can check unreachable pages and other crawl errors through Google Webmaster Tools.

Jan 8, 2010

Social Media Optimization in 2010

Social Media Optimization is a marketing technique, used to attract visitors and customers by promoting website, service or product through social media. At the beginning of 2010 many businesses are aware that SMO is important for their development and success.

With the invasion of personalized search results, SMO campaigns gain more value for direct marketing and indirect link building and optimization.

SMO – important parts
Social media optimization includes many techniques like blogging, micro-blogging, forums, commenting, participating in different social and mailing groups. SMO is not just creating accounts in Twitter and Facebook, or blogging the promotions. Social media optimization is the art of engaging the community into dialogs, getting feedback, and even providing online support services. Yes, social media tends to work great as an online support or feedback media, and it works a lot more poorly for just usual promo messages.

SMO affects SEO
SMO plays great role in regular SEO campaign. Yes, it brings SEO value as it brings new links. You can easily obtain new, SEO-friendly links from blogs and forums, and even links with nofollow like Twitter links are crawled fast and add some SE value to your content.
Actually I have an observation that Twitter message links are crawled in minutes after posting. They contribute great for your content to be crawled fast and indexed as popular.

Community links
People usually blog stories and services that grab their attention. Quality tweets get hundreds and even thousand retweets. All this mark your content as popular and increase its search engine value. You can even just ask your friends and followers to spread an idea and add a link in their blogs. This simple approach may get incredible success.

Social Media Optimization will have great impact on this year optimization strategies. Smart businesses will orient their marketing efforts on getting better communication with their potential clients, and SMO will play big role there.

Jan 7, 2010

Twitter followers

Social websites like Twitter are valuable tools for online marketing. With the constantly increasing number of users Twitter is tempting place for internet marketers. But Twitter marketing don’t always work, many people are disappointed after a try. As any other type of optimization and marketing, Twitter marketing needs a carefully designed strategy to succeed.

Mass following
Mass following – this strategy doesn’t work so well any more. While Twitter accounts are increasing their number, the real people using this service are relatively same count and their number isn’t growing so fast. Of course many accounts will follow you back – some of them use auto follow back scripts, others just follow all of their followers. But how many of them are real people? And how many of them will read your tweets? Here is the time to ask: Why do you want more followers? Is it because you want somebody to read what you have written? If it is so you need real people not empty accounts or bots. Even most of the SEO specialists and Twitter marketers don’t read other people tweets. They usually follow more than thousand people, it is totally impossible to keep up with all.

One reason Twitter became so popular in a short period is that it is easily used for marketing products, services and brands. Large numbers of Twitter users are actually there not to participate in the community but to promote. Some have gone even further with automated posting and similar techniques.

Following blindly or using mass follow tools will get you large number of followers but your tweets won’t get any attention. No one will read your messages, no one will retweet good ideas and no one will follow your links.

Many people complain that Twitter doesn’t work for them and this is the main reason. Using mass follow tools get them only low-value followers. So they spammed their bot-followers with their link and surprise! No visitors from Twitter …

Twitter marketing is more than getting random followers.
You need followers who are interested in your business and your tweets. Getting such followers is hard and time consuming. You must build your name like building a brand. Being an expert in your sphere will make people to take you seriously.

People are more likely to pay attention to someone who talks with them. Real personal messages, answers to questions, comments on relevant tweets are all ways to interact with your followers.

Jan 6, 2010

How to promote a blog

Do you need to market your blog?

If you want to make money from your blog you need to market it as any other product out there. Blogging is not just writing and publishing articles. Visitors and income won’t just fall from nowhere upon you. You need to work hard to optimize your blog, create quality content, and promote them.

Content quality

In order to make money from your blog you need to have content that can bring people to visit again and again. Here is a set of simple rules that can help you:

  • Writing high quality content is the first and most important rule.
  • Use spell checking and grammar tools.
  • Read your post twice before publishing.
  • Find someone to read your post and find errors and misunderstandings before posting.
  • Write on valuable and popular topics.
  • Use simple but professional design.
  • Make your blog SEO friendly.

Ways to promote a blog
There are several basic ways to promote a blog.
  1. PPC advertising
  2. Social media marketing – promote your blog in services like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace.
  3. SEO – hire a SEO company or do the job your self. SEO can bring you tons of targeted, SE traffic.
  4. Forums – you can successfully market your blog on forums, especially your niche forums. Join some and give a try.
  5. Blog commenting or guest posting – participate on other blog communities, share useful and relevant information.

Jan 5, 2010

HTML basics for SEO specialists

You need to learn the basics if you intend to do SEO yourself. HTML is very important for both on-page and of page SEO optimization.

You need to know how to structure a web site, what are the value and the meaning of the basic HTML tags and how search engines see them. During a link building campaign you must know which online directories, services and sites provide quality links.

Basic HTML tags you need to know

<html></html> - this tag tells that this is a HTML document. It is the root element of HTML document.
<head></head> - this tag is a container of all head elements like title, meta-tags, styles and so on.
<title></title> -this is your page’s title. It must be located in the head of the document. The title tag is very important – it provides basic information about your page to both human visitors and search engines. SE use titles in their result pages. The title must be short and descriptive with one or two keywords in it.

<body></body> - this tag defines the document body, all text and formatting elements must go here.

<a></a> - an anchor tag. This is the most important HTML tag for you as a SEO specialist. The anchor can be used for both creating a link to another HTML document or a bookmark within the same document.
The anchor tag has several attributes but the most important of them is href. It tells the link’s destination.
Another important attribute is rel. It tells the relation between this document and its target document. If a link is marked as nofollow (rel=nofollow), it says to search engines that this pages links to unverified document and it don’t want to pass its rank and quality to the linked document.
The text between the opening and closing anchor tags is the text that will explain to humans and search engines what kind of page is on the other way of this link. Search engines pay special attention to this text so it is the best place to put a keyword. Both search engines and human visitors pay special attention to the text around a hyperlink or anchor. Humans decide to visit a page according to this text. Search engines index the page content according to this text again. Humans and search engines are quite similar, aren’t they?

If you want to learn more:
What do you need to know about links

Headings - <h1> to <h6> - these tags are used to define HTML headings. The lower the number the larger is the text shown on your browser. Headings are great way to mark titles like blog post titles or category titles for example. This blog by default has several posts on a page and each post title is marked with a heading.

<img> - this tag defines an image. Here you have two SEO-important attributes. The first is src and marks the location of the image. The second is alt and is used to mark an alternative text to be shown to the visitors. Search engines aren’t exactly humans and can distinguish what is on the image. They use the other elements on the same page and the alt element of the image tag to index the image. Using a keyword here will help you get traffic from image searches.

Read more:
Getting traffic from your images

You can learn more HTML here.