SiteStream SEO - Online Marketing Blog

Online Marketing News this Week – Feb 4th 2011

February 7th, 2011


Combination of Google tools for local search

Consider how the how the following add up:

From the Google Mobile Blog:

“We first introduced Google Latitude to help you stay in touch with your friends and family by making it easy to share where you are. For the 10 million people actively using Latitude each month, this “where” has been a location on a map. Starting today (Feb. 1st 2011) in Google Maps 5.1 for Android, you can also connect that location to a real place by checking in there using Latitude.”

If you are using Latitude, Google knows where you are and you can now ‘check in’ to various locations either manually or automatically.  You can then see which of your friends are checked in and where they are.  The important thing for businesses to note is that people can then talk to anyone who is listening about what they are experiencing.  Note the review in the picture below:


From the official Google blog 2/2/2011:

“Back in November, we introduced Hotpot, a new local recommendation engine powered by you and your friends. Using Hotpot is simple: you rate places on—restaurants, hotels, cafes—and add friends on Hotpot whose opinions you trust. Then the next time you perform a search, Google will serve up personalized results, listing places based on your tastes, as well as recommendations from your friends.”

In conjunction with mobile AdWords which can now contain offers and ‘click to call’ response this all continues to point toward an emphasis on real time local search.  The competition is intense for this market in America with Foursquare, Facebook, Bing, Yelp and others.  The challenge for local business is how to develop as positive an online presence as possible.

From the Google Mobile Blog 1/2/2011:

“As we announced last November, millions of people have downloaded Google Shopper for Android to help them shop on the go. Today, we’re excited to let you know that Google Shopper, our popular Android shopping application, is now available for iPhone as a download in the App Store. Google Shopper turns your iPhone into a shopping assistant, so you can:

  • Learn more about products and read relevant user reviews
  • Compare prices at online and local stores
  • Save and share products for later consideration”

Up until this announcement many Google local search applications have only been available for Google Android.  An iPhone version hugely increases potential use.

Advertising on Facebook:

A recent Webtrends report shows the average CTR for Facebook ads to have dropped from 0.063% in 2009 to 0.051% in 2010.  0.1% would be considered an industry average.  Meanwhile the average CPC has increased from US$0.27 to US$0.49.  The report also states that social brands perform the best and that fans say they are primarily on Facebook ‘for fun’ .  This seems obvious for a social network like Facebook but it needs to be carefully watched if you are considering how to engage through Facebook and whether or not to advertise.  New trends could develop very quickly.

Bing ‘caught’ copying Google search results?

This one has reached the international press.  The two sides of the story make fascinating reading:

Google’s suspicions lead them to set a trap for Bing.

It is hard to read Bing’s response as anything other than a complicated way of saying ‘we are only doing what everyone else does’.

Social Media and Online Marketing Strategy – Running Before You Can Walk

February 2nd, 2011

There is a lot going on out there on the Internet.  Promoting your business online used to be a niche thing but not so much today.  The whole world is telling you to get online and find some customers.  The media won’t shut up about Twitter and Facebook and it seems everyone who can turn a computer on is offering Social Media consulting.

This happens.  Back in the late 90′s it was “You’ve got to have a website.  Put up a website and your business will just explode.  If you don’t put up a website, you’ll be out of business next Tuesday.” 

And everybody rushed to put up websites because they were told to. 

And 90% or more of them were left to sit there and didn’t make much in the way of difference.  Probably never acquired a single customer that a brochure or a phone call wouldn’t have got anyway.

So What is my Point Here? 

My point is that the media is driving massive awareness of online marketing among business.  The only problem is that the people feeding this information don’t understand that much of what they are talking about.  The result is that there are massive awareness levels but it seems to be a very shallow and confused awareness.

  • You hear a lot about Social Media but how do you make it work for your company?
  • You’ve heard of SEO but you’re not quite sure what it is or where it fits in.
  • You’ve read some advice but it sounds like you have to dedicate 80+ hours a week in the hopes that 10 people like your video on Facebook and you maybe make a €100 sale in 3 weeks time.

This post is about giving one really simple piece of advice.  So, here it is:

You don’t need a Social Media Strategy until you have an Online Marketing strategy for it to fit into.

The vast majority of businesses should be marketing themselves online.  That’s where your customers are for large chunks of the day and ignoring how they choose to look for information is dangerous. 

Just like when they told you “You must have a website.  It will change your world.”  the public message is missing much of the point.  They tell you:

  • You must have a FaceBook page
  • You must use Twitter

If you do these things, customers will crawl out of the woodwork and love you.  Your brand will be bigger than Nike and we’ll all enter a new era of 2 way, open engagement with our prospects, right? 

It’ll just happen.  One minute I’m playing Farmville or whatever waste of time is today’s craze on Facebook and the next, there’ll be nothing more important to me than your company and buying your product.

The Internet can change your business.  I am a firm believer.  But it isn’t as simple as the message that’s out there now and that’s why there is so much confusion.  It doesn’t sound right because it isn’t.  It sounds too simple because the story is coming from people who don’t really understand it.

Social Media can be massively important to many businesses these days.  Facebook is a high flyer right now and you owe it to your business to consider whether you can reach those potential customers. 

But it’s just another channel that needs to be understood in the context of an online marketing strategy.  An online marketing strategy that itself needs to fit with wider business and marketing strategy.

We’ve got some posts coming over the next few weeks to try and help with some of this.  I suppose you could think of this as a kind of long-winded introduction.  In the meantime, let us know what you think.

Online Marketing News this Week – 28th Jan 2011

January 28th, 2011

Better results for music video?

Google are trying out changes in the way they present results for music based searches.

“Rather than return repetitive links, we group results for the same song together, making it easier to scan and choose the song you’re looking for.”

Search Result for Michael Jackson Thriller

You can see that  ‘also watch on’ shows results from other sites.  It is impossible not to notice that if anything this emphasises the strength of the YouTube results.

Display ads to appear in gmail

Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land spotted a Google  image ad in his gmail account yesterday for the first time.  He got the following quote from the company:

“We’re always trying out new ad formats and placements in Gmail, and we recently started experimenting with image ads on messages with heavy image content.”

Targeted ads in LinkedIn

LinkedIn have been beta testing their PPC Ad service for two years now.  Although relatively expensive and not the right choice for everyone, it has had the following targeting options:

  • geography
  • job function
  • industry
  • company size
  • seniority
  • age
  • gender

With the official launch on Jan 26th they have added:

  • exact job title
  • company name
  • LinkedIn Group

We will wait to see if these improvements in targetting will make a LinkedIn ad campaign a viable option for more businesses.

Google to drop Real Estate search from Google Maps

“At Google one of our key philosophies is to take risks and to experiment. To that end, in July 2009 we announced the ability to find property for sale or rent directly on Google Maps. This is one of the “search options” next to the search box on Google Maps, and is currently available in the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Japan.

In part due to low usage, the proliferation of excellent property-search tools on real estate websites, and the infrastructure challenge posed by the impending retirement of the Google Base API (used by listing providers to submit listings), we’ve decided to discontinue the real estate feature within Google Maps on February 10, 2011.”

Google say that they will remain interested in this market so we will watch to see what their next approach is.

Click fraud drops in fourth quarter of 2010

Statistics collected by Click Forensics show click fraud dropping from 22.3% to 19.1% in the fourth quarter of 2010.  This is the first drop since the third quarter of 2009.

Click Forensic Stats Chart 2009-2010

We have to rely on PPC providers to continue to minimise the affect of Click Fraud.

Flash Websites – Give Your SEO a Break – SEO Tip

January 26th, 2011

I saw a banner ad the other day – “Create Free Flash Websites”.   Simple, direct communication written in the imperative.  It’s a good ad. 

Here is some equally simple, direct communication, also written in the imperative. 


Don’t create FREE flash websites.  From an SEO perspective I’d say don’t create Flash websites at all.  Those flashy effects you love so much often tire quickly for your visitors and create little real value for you.   Meanwhile you’re creating a needless barrier to your SEO.

I’ve seen good Flash websites.  There may be markets and individual businesses where the visual impact is worth the tradeoffs but I doubt those websites were free.  There is a lot to be thought about to get the effect you want without suiciding your SEO.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Lots of what you communicate in your Flash website will not be readable by the search engine.
  • Lots of what you communicate will not be available to the visually impaired.
  • It takes a bit of thought, but there are usually ways to achieve the effects you are looking for without designing the site in Flash.
  • You can still use Flash to add animated effects and video without main blocks of content being in Flash.  Or you can use a javascript framework like jQuery to get many of the same effects.
  • If your whole site is in Flash can people link to individual pages?  Can they share your content?  Tweet it?  Like it on Facebook?
  • There are things you can do to increase the SEO value of Flash content but there are still better ways to do things.  Why band-aid a bad solution when you could just do it right instead?

15 Steps to a Search Engine Friendly Website – 12 Post SEO Guide #4

January 21st, 2011

In this section of the SEO Guide, we’ll look at some site setup issues that impact on your search engine rankings. 

Site owners don’t usually understand much about the technology used in their pages.  Those that do understand the technical end of things don’t usually understand, or care much, about SEO.  Somewhere in the middle lies the average web designer who does some things for design reasons, knows a little about SEO and does some things for technical reasons.  The result is that bad SEO practices get built into almost every site that goes up on the web. 

This article, part 4 of our 12 Post SEO Guide, is a 15 point checklist to help you end up with a search engine friendly website.

1. www vs non-www redirects and SEO

Typing in


should both lead you to your website in most setups. 

How this is achieved, however, makes a difference.  The first instinct of server people seems to be to set one address  up as an alias of the other.  This solves the user problem (it redirects people to the site they are looking for) but creates a problem for the search engines.  It creates duplicate content. 

A principal to follow when structuring and setting up your website is this:

Each unique piece of content should exist at one and only one URL. 

In this case, the solution is to pick one version of your site (either with the www or without) and redirect the other to it.  This needs to be done with a permanent (301) redirect.

2. Other URL Canonicalisation Issues

Canonicalisation is a long winded way of saying that each piece of content should have one and only one URL(address).  There are many situations in which this practice is breached.  Sometimes for good reasons and sometimes not.  One common situation where this arises is when your CMS links to the homepage of your site like this



Most of the external links to your homepage will go to  These are 2 different addresses serving the same content.  Look out for canonicalisation issues in situations where the same data is presented in varying ways.  These can include sorting or scripted sections of your site where a return URL or some other data is appended to the page’s address.  Identify and deal with all duplicate content on your site.

3. Frames and Your SEO

These days there is pretty much no excuse for having your website in frames.  It seems to have fallen out of fashion anyway so I won’t go into too much detail about why it fails to be search engine friendly.  If your website is in frames the best option is almost always to do away with the frames.

4. Flash Animations

Flash is used a lot and can do a really good job to spice up website designs.  Flash can be used to play videos on your site or add slideshows and is often the tool of choice to add that touch of flair.  Flash content as an addition to your pages is fine but flash is not very search engine friendly. 

You should keep in mind that search engines can’t read images and can’t watch videos so a lot of the content contained in your fancy flash animation is not being read by the search engines.  Flash sites can be an SEO disaster.  The main content that you are trying to present on any given page should be presented as marked up text.  That way the search engine can read it and can make assessments as to what is important and what the page is about.


Watch out for situations where you are clicking on the page and loading different content but the URL does not change.  Remember, each piece of content should have one and only one URL.  If you have content that isn’t accessed by a URL then it can’t be linked to directly.  This causes SEO problems.  With social media and sharing so important these days, the problem gets worse.  If separate content doesn’t have separate URLs then it can’t be shared.

AJAX can be used to greatly improve the user experience of your page and can even be used to benefit SEO.  If AJAX is being used on your site, make sure that you are aware of exactly what is being presented to the search engines.  Often there is more content on the page than it appears to human visitors and other times there is less.  Make sure that content of key importance can be linked to directly.  Usually, this has not been thought through and unfortunately the results are harmful more often than they are positive. 

6. Multiple Query Strings in URLs

What we are talking about here is web pages with an address like

You don’t see them as much as you used to but if this is what the URLs look like on your site or the sites you develop then it is time to think again.  Multiple query strings can be a barrier to indexing your content in the search engines.  You are better to stick with URLs with only one or possibly two parametres in the URL.  Even better, use URL rewriting to achieve addresses with URLs like 

These are often called Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs.  In fact you should also think of them as human friendly URLs.

You get a URL that the search engine will happily index and one that makes sense to humans. 

7. Unique Titles, Descriptions

Title and Meta-Description are two HTML elements which appear in the head section of your web pages.  The Title tag is an important signal to the search engines helping them determine what the page is about.  It is also displayed as the Headline of your search engine result when you do get rankings.  The description is not currently of much use in getting you better search results but again it is often used as the text describing your page when you appear in the results.

Why is this in the technical barriers section of the SEO Guide?  Well, if you have a CMS or a shopping cart or any backend system that allows you to manage the content of your site, this becomes a technical question.   In a search engine friendly website, each page needs a unique Title and possibly description.  You need to be able to create and change these and in some circumstances you may want to create rules to automatically create default Titles and/or descriptions for sets of pages.

There are other elements you need to have flexibility to control including heading tags and content elements.  Does your system allow you to do this?

8. Validation and SEO

I am not really that interested in whether your html validates.  It’s not like you are going to get a boost in rankings for valid code or for standards compliance.  There are ways in which bad code can make a web page harder for search engines to parse however and valid code should avoid these.  Sometimes HTML validators and even accessibility checkers can show up errors that might just cause you problems.  Making content accessible for humans (for example to the blind), aside from being a good thing to do, will often do a good job of making it accessible for search engines.  No harm.

A large part of making your website search engine friendly is making your content and pages accessible to the search engine spiders.

9. Robots.txt

Make sure that you know and understand the instructions contained in your robots.txt file.  Things to look out for include accidentally banning one or all search engines from major sections of your site.  Believe me, it happens.

10. Password Protected Content

If your visitors have to log in to read your content then remember this:  Google doesn’t have a login, so they can’t read your content.  Won’t index it either. 

11. Missing Pages Return 404

If a page doesn’t exist then it should return a 404 – Page Not Found error.  Some databased systems will accidentally serve a custom error page to the visitor but with a 200 OK code.  I’d rather not bore everyone with the details.  This is a bad thing.  Get it fixed.

12. Hosting Issues and Volatility

Your site should be available and reliable.  When individual pieces of content or your whole site regularly times out or goes down entirely, this is not good.  Human visitors will not be reassured as to the quality of your site and Google will take pretty much the same view.

13. Host Location & Search Location

I like to host my sites in their primary market.  Geo-location as a ranking factor for searches is an area that continues to undergo change.  Host location is just one of the possible signals that search engines can use and how they use it varies from engine to engine.  Better safe than sorry is what I say.  If you want to target your site at the USA, go host it there.  If your market is in the United Kingdom or Ireland, find a good, reliable local host.

14. Server Response Time

Your site should not be painfully slow.  Without getting into the page speed propaganda that Google sparked by announcing it as a ranking factor page speed is always an improvement that will help you.  Don’t expect speeding up your pages to massively impact your search engine positions but don’t risk being painfully slow.  Regardless of SEO a faster page will mean a better user experience.

15. Broken Links

Broken links happen in any site of any size that makes any effort to create and change its content.  Check for them regularly and aim to get them down as close to zero as possible.  Just to be clear, I am not suggesting this is a ranking factor for Google.  There is no calculation that says FACTOR1 + FACTOR2 x FACTOR3 – NUMBER OF BROKEN LINKS = FINAL SCORE.  That’s not how it works (at least I hope not, otherwise it would be pretty silly).   We check for them anyway.  If I come across broken links on a site, it’s not a sign that this is a high quality resource.  It doesn’t inspire trust.  I want humans and search engines to view my site as a trustworthy and high quality resource.  No broken links.

This post is part of our 12 Post SEO Guide, an ongoing series.  If you would like to keep up to date you can follow the blog through RSS or follow us on Twitter.

Online Marketing News this Week – 14th Jan 2011

January 17th, 2011

Google add new option to their Keyword Tool to target Mobile Search

A new option in Google’s Keyword Tool will help advertisers target mobile searchers.  With use of mobile search up 130%, mobile specific advertising is becoming a must and the information provided by the keyword tool will be essential when it comes to making the jump to placing mobile ads and creating landing pages for mobile users.

Screen Shot Mobile Option in Google Keyword Tool

Bing expands into three more countries

For those who welcome competition, Bing has announced that it is now powering the Yahoo! search engine in three more countries:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Mexico

Google with only five countries to go for World Domination

Recent reports show Google becoming the largest search engine in the Czech Republic. Having been 20% behind the local at the start of 2010, good old fashioned TV advertising forced them into first place.

  • Russia (where Yandex is #1)
  • Japan (Yahoo)
  • China (Baidu)
  • Taiwan (Yahoo)
  • South Korea (Naver)

These are the remaining countries in which Google is not (yet) the market leader.  See Search Engine Land for more details.

Bing sees a increase in Search Activity

Data from Hitwise shows share of US search activity increased from 10.1% to 10.6%, with Bing powered searches increasing 25.27% to 25.77%  from November to December 2010. search activity dropped from 70.1% to 69.67%.  By the way, the same report shows Amazon’s paid search traffic increase by 51%.

One area where the competition will be fought out

Bing is showing its intent to give increasing amounts of information in their search results with further information just a click away in specially created pages which keep the user within Bing.  Initial emphasis is on the car sales industry with detailed specs appearing in the instant answers box and new and used car listings available one click away.  You are not being taken to a website but staying within Bing.  The SEO implications are wide-ranging.  If you are selling a car you are going to want it to appear on that page.

Bing Search Result for Nissan Cube

You can find more information from Bing themselves in this video from Stefan Weitz at Microsoft.  Bing aims to be able to take you through the whole process from an initial search for a model of car to contacting the dealer when, with the aid of their search filters, you find what you want.

Did Monetising Your Website Turn it Into Low Quality Junk?

January 17th, 2011

I normally don’t talk too much about visual design.    My experience has mostly been that whether a site looks “good” or not has little to do with the next steps it should take to be more successful.  There are, however, several aspects of visual presentation, particularly presentation of content, that can be crucial. 

This post is about one issue where the purely visual presentation of your site becomes a game changer for your SEO and your conversion.  There is an imaginary line where your site goes from being not particularly visually appealing to creating a strong negative impression.

The other day I came across a link on Twitter to a blog post.  The title in the tweet looked interesting so I went to take a look. 

The problem was the content column was full of Google Adsense ads.  I was three or four lines into the article and what I was reading stopped.  Interrupted by a block of Ads from Google.  I got another paragraph or so and then it happened again. 

People Don’t Link to Low Quality Junk

Monetising your blog can be important but be careful not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.   That post was interesting.  The first paragraph or so was promising.  Now, I can’t even remember what it was about.  It was presented so badly that I couldn’t read it.  More importantly.  The effect of shoving that many ads at me in that prominence with such poor, stand-out formatting was that the page looked like low quality junk.  It gave me such a negative impression that I could not link to it or share it on Twitter.  The last thing I want is for people to click through and think “He just sent me to a load of low quality junk”.

So there you go.  You came up with good content on an unique and interesting topic.  The kind of thing I love to share.  I would have shared it on Social Media and maybe talked about it and linked to it in a blog post.  You did all the hard stuff well.  Then you threw great lumps of ads into the middle of your content in a way that was both disruptive to your message and visually unappealing.  Not everyone will react the way I did but there will be many. 

The result:  You lose links and social media mentions that the post would have gained, harming your SEO.   You lose conversions because the impression of low quality junk is hardly going to inspire visitors to see what you have to offer.

As it happens, I wasn’t looking at the ads either.  I probably wouldn’t have been looking at the ads anyway but if you’d engaged me and kept me around to look at a few more pages or come back, who knows?

From my perspective as a visitor, wowing me with your web-design is usually a waste of effort.  But you should take a look at the pages of your site and consider whether the impression it gives fits with your goals and the goals you have for your content.  And be careful when monetising your website or blog.  Those ads are a necessary evil but if you take it too far you’ll start to see negative reactions.  As with everything.  Test, test, test.

6 SEO Reasons to Start a Blog

January 11th, 2011

Today I am going to stick to a simple SEO tip and look at 6 reasons that you should start a blog.  If you have a blog already, maybe you can think of these as 6 reasons to put some effort into it.

1. Content Generation

A blog gives you the technical platform and the venue to add a volume of content to your site. Relevant content is what the search engines eat.  Adding to the content of your site on a regular basis will help with your SEO and also help flesh out what your company is about for your potential customers.

2. Long Tail Searches

As you blog, you will cover specific topics relevant to your niche.  You won’t necessarily be seeking specific traffic from specific posts.  As you add content, though, you will find search results and traffic coming in through long-tailed queries that you never thought of.  There is a lot of traffic in the long-tail and often there is less competition for rankings.

3. Generating Traffic to a New Site

Search Engine rankings can be a challenge in the early stages of a website’s life.  Google in particular puts a lot of store in trust metrics and the results at Google will tend to favour older, more established sites.  Blog search is time sensitive in nature and it makes sense for Google to treat them slightly differently to static content.  Often a newer site can gain traction in the search results with its blog while the main site is still struggling to achieve decent rankings.

4. A Hub for your Social Media

Your blog can form the hub of your social media efforts.  Blogs are naturally part of the social media conversation.  They include tools for syndication and can be linked to social media outposts such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.  Your blog, if you can write good content, will allow you to take part in the conversation of your industry.  If you can write something that people are inspired to share then your blog will generate links, social mentions and visits.

5. Demonstrate Credibility

If you are a service business, then your blog can play a vital role in demonstrating credibility.  It may take several points of contact for a prospect to become a customer and I’m not one of those people who believes that your blog will sell for you (on its own).  It can certainly help show the in-depth knowledge that your prospects need to see, in order to feel comfortable buying.  The SEO benefit here is secondary but real.  Strong links from high quality resources don’t grow on trees.  If someone cares about the standard of their website then they need to believe you are credible before they will link to you.

6. Link-Worthy Content

To generate links, you need to have content that is worth linking to.  It seems obvious but there it is.  If you run an online shop, how many links are you going to get to your product pages? Real, natural links from actual people I mean.  At what point will you run out of directories and other standard sources of links to your homepage?  If you want to achieve natural inbound links then you must have something worth linking to.  A blog can help.

Take this site as an example. As proud as I am of our search engine optimisation services, it’s not a page that I expect other site owners to spontaneously link to.  I don’t really expect even my real friends to be inspired to “like” that page and share it on Facebook and Twitter.  We have to describe our company and our services.  It’s useful information for anyone considering purchasing the services we provide.  The blog though gives us a chance to say something that’s useful to a wider audience.  To engage in a conversation that can lead to links (as well as customers).

So there it is. 6 SEO reasons to start a blog.  They aren’t the only reasons to start a blog and I probably didn’t even get all the SEO benefits in.  I hope it’s enough to make the point though.  Blogging isn’t the only thing you should be doing to promote your website and your business but it is almost certainly one of the things you should be doing.

Online Marketing News this Week – 7th Jan 2011

January 10th, 2011


155,214,354 pages of spam created since 1st Jan

This is according to the Blekko ‘Spam Clock’.   Spam puts pressure on the search engines and is  harmful to search results.  Added to this there is a conflict of interest created when spam pages earn Google money.  These and other issues are discussed by Danny Sullivan in his article Blekko Launches Spam Clock to Keep Pressure on Google.

Huge increase in use of mobile search accross the globe

Google have announced huge increases in the use of their AdMob service.  Interesting to see from the chart below that Europe is providing a very large chunk of that growth.

Google Mobile Ad Stats

Bing make a deal with Toyota

Bing will be the search engine provided with Toyota’s new in-car software, entune.

On board computer screen showing bing

Have a look also at this screen shot of features being offered by Toyota and think about the implications for local search:

Toyota Entune features

Online Marketing News this Week – 31st Dec 2010

December 31st, 2010


Interesting fact emerging from Rosetta Stone’s case against Google

The complexities of the Rosetta Stone – Google case are beyond the remit of this blog but here is one pertinent fact:

  • Google AdWords provides Rosetta Stone’s best advertising return on investment.

They are also quoted as having found Google very helpful in identifying counterfeiters.  Another piece of information which Rosetta Stone initially tried to surpress was that it takes a consumer between two and four weeks to decide to buy or not.  Whether or not this should be public information is not for me to comment on here, I just had to point out that monitoring as ever produces crucial sales information.

Social signals and how they affect Google and Bing search results

Number of tweets, authority of twitterer, authority of link source affecting link weight are all factors in both Google and Bing results. Danny Sullivan got some interesting responses in a recent interview with both Google and Bing.  He concludes:

“In the end, it’s clear that Twitter data especially plays a role in web search, these days. Who you are is being understood. Are you a trusted authority or not? If there’s PageRank for pages, both search engines have a form of TwitterRank for people.

Meanwhile, retweets serve as a new form a link building. Get your page mentioned in tweets by authoritative people, and that can help your ranking in regular search results, to a degree.”

Google shows intent on cloaking for 2011

A tweet from Google’s Matt Cutts reminds site owners not to use different headers or redirects to Googlebot than users.  This is a clear signal that Google with look closely at cloaking in 2011.

Cloaking is defined by Google as:

“Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to users and search engines. Serving up different results based on user agent may cause your site to be perceived as deceptive and removed from the Google index.”

The simplest way to look at it would be that if you are showing anything to the search engines that you do not show to the visitor then you are cloaking.  Of course, it is not quite as simple as that but you should take care.  I am reminded of a blog article I read the other day which asked the question: Do you know what your SEO is doing on your behalf?  Of course your SEO shouldn’t be cloaking, it has been spam since the dawn of time.  A better question might be: What is your web developer (probably unknowingly) doing on your behalf?

Sponsored tags in local search

Yext are starting a local search sponsored tagging product similar to Google tags which will run on a range of local search sites including yelp and yahoo!.  We will watch out for the results of testing in the US.

Google search results informing searchers that a site has been hacked

It is worth making sure you are aware of this.    Adding a new notification to search results helps searchers avoid compromised sites but also helps site owners become aware of a problem.  The notification looks like this:

Malware warning screen shot

If you click on ‘this site may be compromised’ you get more information about the problem.

Facebook is top search term and most visited site in 2010

Just in case you are still wondering if you need a facebook page: Hitwise press release. 

Happy New Year from SiteStream SEO!

Page 5 of 8« First...«34567»...Last »