Friday, February 25, 2011

A Major Algorithmic upgrade by Google To Reward Quality Sites - Means More To Society Than Just Quality SERPs

Google posted on its official blog about the update in the algorithm for rewarding sites with quality content The post has been posted by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer .

They say: Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.

Most relevant answers – yes, but the answers have not only to be relevant but reliable and right too. The relevance may come from the correlation of the keywords and the search query but the search engines are the place where people right from the age group of 8 to 80 are trying to find more information about various topics.

As a result of the internet information is just a click away but the emphasis has to be on reliability and accuracy rather than just words.

Low quality content on the web or the content which is created to just rank in the search engines does not only affect the quality of the search results of the search engines but is also polluting the web with content clutter which may at times mislead people who go by what they read on the web. Especially for some important topics on medicine, weight loss, etc. and the most vulnerable are the teens and tweens who are very computer savvy now and refer to the web for doing their homework or other project assignments.

If children at such a young age form wrong notions and impressions about life and other philosophies the future of society as a whole is at stake. Its not only about Google and SERPs but penalizing low quality content is something which is necessary from a holistic point of view too.

This change made by Google has mainly been directed to tackle the problem of low quality content on sites which was lately polluting the SERPs affecting the quality of the search results. According to Google content farms are places with shallow and low quality content hence this update directly or indirectly targets to solve the problems due to these kind of sites.

Thanks to Google for taking such a step for penalizing sites with low quality content as this shall have a positive impact on much broader aspects of society in the long run which we may not be able to think of as of now.

Related post :

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Monday, February 21, 2011

The Leading Search & Social Marketing Events 2011 Has Started With (Asia & Europe)

As the year starts there are major conferences, summits and expos being conducted all over the globe for every major industry. As far as the search industry is concerned January 2011 saw the Click Asia Summit 2011 - CAS 2011 taking place at Mumbai – India which was a 3 day summit with a focus on ‘The Power Of Digital And Mobile Marketing In Asia’.

We covered the highlights of the CAS 2011 on our blog earlier on :

The Complete 3 Day Agenda for CAS 2011 can be viewed here:

The Speaker Profiles:

In February 2011 we have the Search Engine Strategies - SES London being conducted from Feb. 21 2011 to Feb. 25 2011. The details of the following event can be viewed on the following links:

About Search Engine Strategies - SES:

Since 1999, SES has been the leading international conference series for webmasters, digital agencies, online marketers and corporate decision makers. Over the years SES has guided search marketers of all skill levels through the fast changing and complex world of search — the single fastest growing marketing sector… Read More On:

Agenda Overview: SES London 2011 - 21-25 February

The Speaker Profiles:

SES Magazine View latest issue:

If we observe the agenda of both the Search events we can see that there is a clear focus on SEO, Social Media, Analytics Metrics and Digital Asset Optimization. Both the events CAS 2011 and SES London 2011 cover the basic and advance level tracks. Hence such events not only give an opportunity to the well established professionals in this field to get an idea about advanced concepts and trends but also give a platform to a newbie or a startup to get the direction and confidence to go ahead in the field of online marketing.

Other Search & Social Media Industry Events to look forward to in March 2011 are: 

Link Building Seminar 2011 Locations: London, UK and New Orleans, LA
View Details on :

SES New York From March 21st 2011 to March 25th 2011

View Details On:


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Integration Of Social And Search Results In SERPS

Google posted on its official blog recently about the display of social search results being mixed throughout the search results based on their relevance (in the past they only appeared at the bottom). This means you’ll start seeing more from people like co-workers and friends, with annotations below the results they’ve shared or created.

The social search results currently are being dominated from Twitter as is the case in the Real Time Search results also. Improving the quality of search results and making the search results more and more relevant is a constant endeavor of the search engines. The relevant social buzz from a concerned social circle is a very logical signal which influences decisions in real life.

Now, this has been added to the virtual platform too and you can know what other people in your social circle connected to you are talking about related to the searches you make. The search results shortlisted by you get a backing if you get an opinion about it from a know person. This in fact makes you feel confident about your decision.

View the video for an example:

As always, you’ll only get social search results when you choose to log in to your Google Account. We’re starting to roll out the updates today on in English only and you’ll see them appear in the coming week.

From the SEO perspective how these social signals get incorporated in the algorithms by the search engines for rankings, only time will tell us. But the factors of popularity and authority of the social media accounts will surely be the factors which shall get woven in these algorithms.

According to me SEO is what you say about yourself or company , Social Media is what others say about you. When both these versions correlate then you win the confidence of the people and have a good word of mouth which with social media has become the world of mouth now . The marriage of social and search results has given birth to the concept of online reputation which has to be taken care of with great wisdom, honesty and intelligence.


Think Before You Tweet And Pause And Ponder Before You Post.

Managing all the other UGC (User Generated Content) like comments, answers in forums, reviews, feedbacks, ratings, etc. is of equal importance as you never know how these may be incorporated in the social aspect of the search results in future. As all UGC are opinions and viewpoints of people which can be considered for further decisions.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ecommerce- The Pros Cons And Why I Love These Sites

Guest Post

What’s the first thing you do when you start a new site? Pick a niche. Well my niche is ecommerce, granted it’s a little broader than what you would typically expect but the one thing that I’ve always found strange about affiliate sites is that you build the site and optimise it to attract visitors and once they get to your site your trying to push them off your site and onto the merchants. Now I’m not trying to put the boot into affiliates and I’ve made a lot of money from these sites and they help to pay a lot of peoples wages but for me when I get a visitor to my site I want to keep them there as long as possible and still make money from them. With a web shop I can do that.

A webshop is a different breed of site and to make one work there needs to be a lot going on in the back ground, things that the customer will never see. Stock control, warehousing, dispatch and staffing are all key elements to running a successful web shop.  There is little difference between running a web store and running a shop, you still need to deal with useless suppliers and you will always have the problem of keeping your customers happy, but to me these are just par for the course and I have found the more of these types of sites I set up the smoother I can make the backend process.

The web is a competitive place and it seems that with a lot of the industries I’m currently in it’s just a race to the bottom on price, who can be the lowest and still make money and this isn’t something that’s going away, so we either need to differentiate ourselves from the rest of our competition, or we can lead that race to the bottom and either tighten things on the back end or shift more products. The words “box shift” springs to mind.

Now before I completely put you off ecommerce sites let’s talk about the good things and why I have spent years learning to build these into successful businesses.

Dropship is word that warms my heart it takes away a lot of the hassle with the back end and in the industries were these work best you are more or less working as an affiliate for the drop shipper, margins will be effected so just make sure you pick an industry where price isn’t necessarily the driving factor behind a sale and in time holding the stock your self will allow you to increase margins.

Now this is where there more traditional web marketing comes into play. Many people believe that building links to an ecommerce site is one of the hardest things to do and they may be right, but I see this as a good thing, if you are a better link builder then your competitor then you can beat them. If you can write better copy then your competitors you can drive more sales, in most cases this isn’t hard to do as they just copy the product description from the manufacturer’s sites. Why not get an army of affiliates to work for you, we already know what they look for in a good offer so why not give it to them and let them drive sales for you.

I think the idea of running a webshop has a stigma attached to it but there really isn’t that much to it, if you believe that you have what it takes to drive traffic to the site then you’ve got a good foundation to running a successful ecommerce store and you’ll find that everything else will fall into place after that, there is a lot of trial and error involved in the early stages of any business but this is where we learn from our mistakes and build on our successes. Well I hope there is something here that will help you make the move to ecommerce and all the great things that go with it.

Author Byline:

This is a guest post by Neil Jones, head of marketing for eMobileScan a leading providers of bar code scanner  and barcode printers, including the Zebra GK420D


Saturday, February 12, 2011

How Good SEO Contributes To The Larger Objectives Of The Web Eco System

Anyone connected to the digital marketing world is aware of the fact that SEO though a marketing strategy is very different from other online marketing strategies. SEO has the same objectives as marketing but the path followed by genuine SEOs to start reaping the benefits of SEO for a client is very creative, different and also involves the ethics.

Paid presence and visibility on the web lasts till the dollars are being rolled out whereas the presence and visibility attained as a result of good SEO lasts for a long time and also adds a brand value and a recall value if you rank for many important keywords related to your industry. As in order to rank high for niche keywords the SEO has to work on the Off-Page optimization factors which in the process helps in creating a web identity for the concerned company and website of the company.

While creating quality footprints on the web which will influence the SEO campaign of the website SEOs have to work on the quality aspects of the website, whether it is on-page or off-page.

Aspects Of The Website Which Help The Web Eco System And The Website:

1) Content: If  the web administrator keeps on removing unwanted and outdated content from the site and from the index of the search engines it surely will help in reducing the content clutter on the search engine servers and thus help the search engines indirectly to maintain the quality of search results.

2) Error Free HTML Code: We are all aware of the W3C compliance but many times don’t pay much heed to it as the search engines have not made it as a compulsory ranking factor. But if the HTML is worked upon keeping in mind the W3C compliance and the HTML is error free though it may not have any direct benefit on the website but will surely help the web have error free HTML on the web servers which in the long run can help the search engines in many ways.

3) Setting Proper 301 Redirects And Cannonical Tags : By using the 301s and canonical tags efficiently helps the SEO of the site but also again helps in reducing the duplication of indexing by the search engines thereby again contributing to the quality of the search results and also reduces content clutter on the web servers.

4) Follow Search Engine Guidelines: Search engines always offer webmaster guidelines and tools so that they can guide the webmasters and these guidelines if followed also helps the search engines with their algorithms as it helps them to index and rank websites better.

5) Guest Blog If You find it difficult to Maintain Your Own Blog: Many people start a blog but cannot keep up to the regular updation of the blog and after sometime it becomes a web entity which is just existing for the sake of it without having any value again adding to the unwanted web material on the WWW. Always delete such blogs created out of curiosity and with no intention of being used in future. Just because you get it for free does not mean you do not bother about it. If you do not have the time for regular updation you can derive the benefits of blogging by writing guest post for blogs which are regularly updated and well maintained and have good readership as this way you can share your knowledge with the readers and also get SEO benefit.

6) Educate The Client About What Is SEO: Many times the SEO company works hard and gets the high quality rankings, visibility and web presence for the client but at times due to some differences the client may discontinue with a certain SEO company and appoint another one and thereby the previous work done may get affected adversely but the client may not be aware of this at all as he has no clue about what genuine SEO is all about. Hence, it is necessary to have discussions with the client time and again to inform him about the SEO changes made and also about how SEO is making his digital asset (The website in this case) more valuable day by day. 

I think this is a part of SEO ethics because the client spends a lot of amount to get the rankings and the benefit derived thus should be nurtured and taken care of for which he needs to understand the purpose behind all the SEO changes made from the brand building and maketing perspective. He may not be interested in the technicalities which can be strictly kept out of discussions.

The search and web ecosystem revolves around the people who publish content, people who index content and people who search for content. We all who use the internet fall in atleast one of the categories and we can in our own little way help the web by focusing on what way we can contribute to the web rather than only putting the blame on the search engines for not giving us quality search results.

As the internet is a network of networks, we need to harness all the viral and linkable content efficiently, according to me mentions, links, email accounts on your own domain, etc. present anywhere in the cosmos of the web world and search engines will surely pass on the necessary link juice if the content is readable by the spiders and can be indexed when the internet servers are being crawled.

I have just mentioned a few SEO practices above but if you check on every ranking factor you use for SEO it will have a larger and broader purpose for the web ecosystem rather than just giving you the rankings if implemented. The algorithms built are not built in a vacuum or as a result of somebody’s imagination but by working on what would be the best practices based on past experience , research and detailed study of human behavior and indexing bottle necks so that quality results can be churned out for the searchers.

We keep on using the SEO practices for content , now we need to understand the intent behind every thing implemented on the site and make a valuable contribution to the web cosmos as an SEO. Every action if backed by the right intention does surely gives you the deserved returns.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It Is The Collective And Selective Voice On Social Media That Matters

Marketing is all about reaching out to your potential customers and marketing teams are always willing to experiment methods which will attract more footfalls to their store or more eyeballs to their website. Undoubtedly the marketing teams are allocating increasing budgets to online marketing rather than traditional marketing methods.

SEO, Social Media Integration, Uploading Videos, Writing Blog Posts, Participating in online communities, Sharing knowledge and views through guest posts are some of the ways we recommend and encourage our clients to have a quality web presence.

Companies are adopting social media for establishing an online brand, for customer support, for launching new products, etc. Whenever we have the social media training sessions and workshops the main question which often comes up is that:

What if competition uses it against us by spreading negative posts?

Undoubtedly Social media has a tremendous reach where a positive word spreads fast but the negative word spreads faster. But, when you have a social media presence atleast you can listen to what is being said about you. Just because you do not listen that does not mean people are not speaking about your brand. If you listen then you can put your point forward using the same media.

It does not matter if one social media profile speaks against you . The word of mouth becomes the world of mouth when a collective voice speaks about it in the same tone. There will be likes and dislikes, there will be positive tweets and negative tweets but eventually the majority along with the way you handle negative publicity on your social media profiles will matter the most.

If that is the fear that is stopping you to engage on social media then remember the basic Math rule learnt in school that when adding numbers always subtract and keep the sign of the larger number (Thats your collective voice - Know which voice should be ignored and subtracted and which voice has to be heard) . So, eventually it is the majority which sets the opinion and if majority of the people are speaking against your product then it is high time you did something about it and these social signals itself can be at times the true feedback you needed.

Trust me when such negative campaigns get converted to positive word of mouth due to the action taken by the company to accept their fault and make rectifications a whole new impetus of positive feedback is generated which adds more goodwill and online reputation. People like it when they are being heard or are being answered to.

Again it is not about numbers totally the authority voice in your industry matters a lot and they voice their opinion only when they totally accept a certain product and vouch for a service or when they are totally in disagreement of a product, service or viewpoint as their main aim is to safeguard the interests of the industry rather than getting personal.

Hence, don't just follow the herd, listen to the collective and selective voices.