Saturday, December 31, 2011

Some Selected Posts On Search And Social Of 2011 - The WebPro Blog

The year 2011 has been a year of major changes and updates for the search and the social media industry. All these changes made in 2011 makes us look forward to 2012 with great anticipation.

We have tried to summarize some of our posts under the following categories for a quick look at the search and social scene of 2011:

  1. Why SEO Is More Relevant And Important Today
  2. Why User Generated Content Will Be More Important In the Future For SERPs
  3. SEO Though a Subset Of Internet Marketing Has An Edge Over Advertising And Marketing.
  4. Using Google Webmaster Tools Appropriately For SEO
  5. Google's Algorithmic Change To Prevent Content Spam Is Live Now
  6. How Good SEO Contributes To The Larger Objectives Of The Web Eco System
  7. A Major Algorithmic upgrade by Google To Reward Quality Sites - Means More To Society Than Just Quality SERPs
  8. All About The Farmer Algorithm Update Of Google [A List Of Related Links]
  9. Google Considering To Give Lesser Weight To keywords In The Domain
  10. Bing Webmaster Tools And The Much Needed Index Explorer
  11. How to Re-engineer The Existing Inbound Links For Better SEO Benefit
  12. Traffic Sources And Significance From The SEO & Web Presence Perspective
  13. + 1 Recommendations : Google’s Way Of Offering The Facebook Like Button
  14. What To Do When Your Content is Being Copied ?
  15. SEMPO :Search Marketing Report 2011- SEO, PPC & Social Media – Company Trends & Agency Trends
  16. URL Shorteners And Anchor Text
  17. The Art Of Commenting On Blogs
  18. The Etiquette Of Co.ordinating With Guest Post Submissions
  19. The Quality Content Site Guidelines and Parameters By Google
  20. SEO Is Much Beyond SERPs But The Importance Of SERPs Cannot Be Ruled Out - Old Wine In A New Bottle.
  21. Content Explosion And Content Curation
  22. Metrics That Matter For SEO And Quality Web Presence
  23. Major SEO Factors Influencing The Search Engine Rankings And Web Visibility
  24. Understanding And Adapting To The Google Panda Update - A Simple, Systematic, Straight Forward Approach
  25. Authorship markup And The rel Attribute
  26. The Purpose Behind Commenting On Blog Posts
  27. Why Is Your Google+ Profile Important From The Search And Social Media Perspective?
  28. 20 Questions Which Help You Judge The Progress Of The SEO Campaign Without Facing The Meteors Of Metrics
  29. SEO Periodic Table By @sengineland – A Valuable Resource.
  30. An Introduction To Schemas And
  31. My Perspective On How The Correlation and Causation Concepts Are Correlated to SEO
  32. After Link Building Spammers, It Is The Content Spammers Trying To Make Hay While The Sun Shines
  33. Matt Cutts Answers Some Important SEO Questions
  34. Is Google's Encrypted Search, A Bane Or Boon For The SEO Industry?
  35. The Best Way To Assure Quality Content Is To Innovate, Excel And Work Hard In Real Time
  36. The Right Approach For The Keyword Research Phase Of The SEO Campaign
  37. Google+ Important For You If You Are Serious About Search
  38. Is The SEO Of Your Website On External Link Steroids – A Case Study
  39. Search Queries , Google's Encrypted (Not Provided) Keyword Data And SEO
  40. Saying Bye to SEO 2011 and A Very Big Hi to SEO 2012

Social Media

  1. Twitter Testing New Advetising Platform - Beta Stage
  2. It Is The Collective And Selective Voice On Social Media That Matters
  3. Integration Of Social And Search Results In SERPS
  4. Mark Zuckerberg at BYU About The Power Of The Internet, Social Media and Facebook
  5. The Importance Of Creating An Online Brand
  6. Game Dynamics And The Influence Layer Of The Social Scenario On The Web
  7. The Importance Of Your Twitter Bio
  8. Setting The Purpose Of Your Social Media Presence - Social Media Marketing V/S Social Media Optimzation
  9. Social Media Engagement Is Much More Than The Count Of Followers, Klout Score, likes, Shares & Google+1s
  10. Google+ Is Coming Along Riding On The Social Wave….

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Age Is No Barrier For Learning New Technologies. Its Just Your Mindset.

The article I read today on reminded me of an incident which occurred way back in 2000 when we used to run courses on Microsoft Technologies and train people for MSCE, MCSD and other Microsoft Certified Courses.

One day , the computer room was full of students practicing their Lab Work and I happened to be on my own without any help to attend to all of them (a batch of 16 students) working on different technologies.

My younger son then 8 years old had a holiday that day and was present in the lab drawing on one computers using Paint . There were two senior people from reputed organizations who were approx. 50+ in age sitting next to my son trying to learn MS Word. As I was busy with some other students they were waiting for me to come and answer their questions. My son who was sitting next to them asked them “May I help you in the meantime she comes?” They were surprised but were amused and thought of having some fun. They said why not and started asking questions .

To their surprise when he started answering their questions and explaining them they were dumb struck and when they left for the day they said more than MS Word we have learnt a bigger lesson today . An 8 year old also can teach you something which we think is advanced technology and had a resistance to learn. After interacting with this child I think it is so simple and I had a mental block of it being something very technical . This child made everthing sound so simple.

That day I had a win-win situation my son’s confidence soared and that person left the office premise with an open mind all set to learn more.

I think more than age it is our mindset which makes us still have that thirst for knowledge and open mind to learn new things .

upgrading oneself and keeping pace with the latest technology and adapting to the mindsets of the young is the only solution for facing the uphill battle confidently.

The experience and knowledge of the senior people is an asset for every organization but as you advance in age one should not stop learning and updating oneself with the latest technologies.

If one can do that then the young and the so called aged seniors can supplement each other in the most qualitative way and both can learn a lot from each other.

Always keep the atmosphere and ambience  of learning alive at home and office . If you add a little fun and liveliness to it its like an icing on the cake.Well my motto in life is to learn for the pleasure of learning.

Below the multimedia set up we had at home in 2000 when my sons were 8 and 11. Now they are in their twenties  pursuing their engineering and management studies.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Google+ Is Coming Along Riding On The Social Wave….

Finally Google seems to be achieving the much needed stand on social media via Google+ . Google is very much focused on search and according to me the Google+ initiative is mainly aimed at enhancing the quality of search results which is very much affected due to the mal practices because of link building and content spamming.

On a wider perspective Google is trying to converge all the data from other Google owned platforms on Google+ and all these signals will finally affect the search results.

When social media signals got integrated with search , SEOs left no stone unturned to prove to their clients that having a social media presence is of great importance. But, it is not only the presence but a presence which reflects authority and trust for your business online.

Authority, trust and Goodwill cannot be bought it has to be earned. Hence every digital footprint you make on the web is adding up to the Halo of the overall aura that your online presence is creating.

2012 is going to be a year of the Greatest Challenge for the SEO industry. In 2012 the trust and authority of an online presence and all the UGC (User Generated Content) for that online presence is going to gain prominence and priority . All the SEOs who made hay while the link love sun was shining are going to get a reality check as in the long run only those natural links achieved as a result of the valuable contribution are going to have the multiplier effect for the online presence.

Website owners please do not assume that your SEO company has some magic wand and just because you have signed an SEO contract and are willing to pay a big amount for the SEO services you will start getting unlimited traffic to your site and your business is going to start getting unlimited inquiries.

If you do not have a good product even if you have a good presence on the search engines your business is not going to improve as you may get the inquiry but to finalize a sale your product and pricing has to be highly competitive. You need to work hard on your product and the display on the website, share the information on social media, create a persona for online queries , create an authority and trust factor for your online presence by meaningful engagement and then as a result of course whatever effort your SEO has put in for on-page factors, technical issues and other off-page SEO factors will work in your favour.

In fact I appeal to the website owners to take ownership of their digital presence by taking interest in what their SEO is working on. At least one person from the organization should be in regular contact with the SEO for knowing how their online presence is improving.

SEO is like establishing your business online and whatever factors apply in real life to establish a business are also applicable to the online presence . The SEO just tries to help you to highlight these factors and makes it possible for the search engines to record it in their index to influence better search presence. Just like in real life you need to have an attractive sign board, a good product, a competitive price, good WOM, efficient sales people, etc. which help in improving your business . Google also tries to find such signals via many platforms and metrics. The social media buzz and the UGC generate your digital WOM, your website content reflects the product details and company ethics, The Time On Site and the bounce rate indicate the interest level of the people in the products, the online sales indicate the acceptance of the product and pricing, etc.

Just as establishing any business in real life takes a lot of effort , hardwork and time similarly SEO also take a lot of effort and time to start accruing results.

In December 2010 , on our blogpost for SEO 2011 we had mentioned the following factors playing a vital role for 2011:

  • Have great content on your site
  • Have a social media presence
  • Engage and interact on social media establishing an individual and business persona
  • Have a blog with a focus on your main line of business which you keep on updating regularly
  • Participate in conversations of your topical communities
  • Take guest blogging seriously
  • Do not ignore the Local Search
  • Go mobile

The overall aura generated from all these efforts put together will create your online brand and identity which in turn will reflect on your current and potential online business.

The search engine bots will measure all these signals according to the algorithms which the programmers have worked on, the online visitors will make judgments on the basis of what they read on the various platforms about your business and your ROI and social media mentions and comments will give you the answer to where you are heading to on the web world .

All put together SEO is going to emerge as Web Presence Optimzation rather than Search Engine Optimization maybe we need to have a new term for SEO as in order to reach the search engines and SERPs, first you need to have an over all presence on the web.

All the people who have worked on these issues in 2011 qualitatively will be the beneficiaries as Google can measure all these digital footprints more efficiently now with their updates in algorithms and the gradual convergence of their technologies on Google+

The competition is becoming tougher as the aggregate of your overall online presence is going to decide your trust factor and authority factor and thereby the search presence on the search options.

Though the future seems to be challenging I am just in admiration of all the changes and updates made by Google in 2011 to fight content farms and link spam because finally one can easily fore see that only those SEO companies working on SEO in its true perspective are going to survive and the grain will be sieved out from the chaff.

Google+ is not only a social media platform it is going to be the consolidation of your overall online presence quantifying your online personality.

I personally just love this video which very effortlessly shows the seeds of the convergence being laid by Google.

Google+ is not only a social media platform it is going to be the consolidation of your overall online presence quantifying your online personality.
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saying Bye to SEO 2011 and A Very Big Hi to SEO 2012

As the sun is setting on 2011 and as the dawn of 2012 approaches the SEO industry as a whole seems to be discussing in a frenzy regarding the core issues of its existence with true dignity, respect and meaningful existence.

We all know SEO means Search Engine Optimization that means optimizing for search engines but the fact is that Google practically monopolizes the search scene so the changes, updates and modifications in the Google algorithm and search results are of high priority for all search industry professionals and website owners.

According to Amit Singhal in 2011 there have been more that 500 updates in the search algorithm and all these updates have been aimed at achieving better quality results for the user by penalizing low quality content and attacking the link spam.

The major changes , updates and modifications announced by Google this year have been as follows:

· The Panda Updates:
  •  Panda/Farmer - February 23, 2011 
  •  Panda 2.0 - April 11, 2011 
  •  Panda 2.1 - May 9, 2011 
  •  Panda 2.2 - June 21, 2011 
  •  Panda 2.3 - July 23, 2011 
  •  Panda Goes Global (2.4) - August 12, 2011 
  •  Panda 2.5 - September 28, 2011 
  •  Panda "Flux" - October 5, 2011 
  •  Panda 3.1 - November 18, 2011 

· The +1 Button - March 30, 2011

· - June 2, 2011

· Google+ - June 28, 2011

· Expanded Sitelinks - August 16, 2011

· Pagination Elements - September 15, 2011

· Query Encryption - October 18, 2011

· Freshness Update - November 3, 2011

· The integration of Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics, reflecting SEO data (queries, landing pages, geographical data)

· Google Analytics social data (engagement, action and pages )

· Google Analytics real-time data ( this data shows you what is happening on your website as it happens )

With algorithms being updated with such frequency and the ranking factors varying with the changing times one can easily understand the challenge of achieving search engine presence and then maintaining it.

The Panda update focused on improving the search results by rewarding original content with high standards of quality .

The other updates and modifications focused on the ownership of content. Integration of social and search was proved when Google introduced the +1 button and also launched Google+, its own social networking site and went one step further by reflecting all this data in Google Analytics.

I am sure all these changes will be perceived differently by website owners and search industry professionals depending on their field of operation and what elements of the web they have a focus on, for getting meaningful traffic to their website depending on budgets and beliefs.

But, one thing is for sure that the search engines are aiming for better quality results by attacking the content farms , link farms and the spammers and the search behavior of the users is also evolving . The search options in the search results are also increasing trying to cater to the user in a more specific way.

Search engines are a source of targeted traffic having a very high potential for business opportunities whether it is advertising on search engines by getting listed under the paid listings after paying a high bid amount or whether it is ranking on organic search results after working on the SEO of your site. But, both these options need a unique and a different approach when you include them in your online marketing strategies.

The paid listings are a source of income for the search engines and as search engines are not charitable institutions the importance to paid results is quite justified. But again, search engines are not paid directories either, hence quality organic search results are the true character of a search engine, the organic search also cannot be undermined. As a result the search engines have to achieve that optimum balance between both the results. Google has always given a lot of information about SEO on their official blogs, webmaster videos, forums, discussions on blogs and by announcing the launch of every product by trying to have the maximum outreach via live events.

Lately there have been many blog posts on whether SEO needs to known by any other name after the integration of social and search. There are even blogposts on how the so called big companies are resorting to spam and black hat for gaining and maintaining their rankings and search engine presence.

Firstly, I think the very reason such topics have come out in the open for discussion it proves that the search industry especially the SEO industry is on the verge of transformation and is finally come of age and has evolved to carve a meaningful niche of its own on the online scenario.

Instead of searching for a new term for SEO , I think the right approach to SEO and its true inherent meaning needs to be put forward not only to the budding SEOs but also every website owner whose site we optimize. As this will sow the seeds for the right reputation of the SEO industry which is at a stake mainly due to the link spam.

Infact this year we were approached by one of the so called well known SEOs for outsourcing their SEO projects. When we delved further into the project details they told us that they will be sending us the list of sites where they want us to make submissions to create back links for the sites managed by them. When we told them that we do not undertake such tasks as we work on the on-page factors of the site, help create a local online profile and then train the client’s team for engaging in social media and help them work on the natural link building methods in a qualitative way involving them at every step. This reply made that SEO tell us that this will make us earn more than what we normally are earning. But we refused to go ahead with their proposal as it was totally against our SEO ethics and Mission. This made him furious and he said that the part of the world we are working there is a pressure on high rankings and quick results hence all this talk about ethics should not be discussed with him.

The reputation of the SEO industry is getting tarnished because of two main reasons:

· False promises by people who want to make a fast buck by calling them SEOs

· Very high expectations of website owners

This very pressure of quick results which SEOs commit to their clients or vice versa is the root cause of the bad reputation of the SEO industry . Hence we do not need a new name but the right approach towards SEO to reach out across the web.

Yes, we have to stop comparing PPC and SEO. Though PPC also operates on the edifice of keywords and search engines, it has its roots on the propensity to pay and the bid amount of the targeted keyword. The PPC campaign needs to operate keeping budgets in mind. SEO on the other hand requires a different mindset altogether, SEO is about overall search engine algorithms, the technical and content quality of your website and the willingness to patiently develop the overall web presence by the website owner to get targeted traffic in the long run. This difference has always been there inherently.

SEO has always meant to enhance the quality of the website in such a way that the search engine spiders and the visitors can read what they are finding on the web page and the content adds value to their search. Hence the SEO works on the code behind the page to cater to the bot and the SEO also works on the content on the page to cater to the visitor. SEO also contributes to the web eco system by adhering to the technical aspects of the site like the Page load speed, 301 redirects to avoid duplicate content issues, removing unwanted content from the search engine index, etc .

Sometime back we had written a blogpost on : Why SEMPO showing a decline in SEO spending in 2011 is good news for the SEO industry.

As according to us this indicates that finally the website owners are realizing that once the site is optimized for search engines, then in order to future proof the presence, they need to focus on quality web presence which is reflected in the increase in the social media spending . This further reflects the integration of Social media and Search. This attitude shows that there is a shift from the focus of just building links to developing quality content and then sharing it on social media for natural link building – which I am sure is a step ahead towards the right attitude to SEO.

Read more on:

So SEO is about the improvement of overall quality issues of the site , quality footprints across the web for natural links and there by achieve high ranking as an offshoot.

Google clearly says SEO is not spam and infact they have been quite open in offering the SEO Starter Guide, SEO Guidelines and have a plethora of information on the Google blogs and forums.

It is the SEOs who have to carve a niche for themselves by letting SEO retain its unique essence and gain good reputation for this industry else the SEOs itself will be responsible for the doom of this industry .

Lets say Bye to 2011 and a very big Hi to 2012 by having a focus on the true meaning of SEO and work on natural methods of earning links by trying to add more and more value to the site holistically.
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