Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Website Owner And The SEO Company – The Mutually Beneficial Association





All this hoopla about Google sending notifications to web masters about unnatural links and warnings about removing them from their link profile is just like a teenager being caught with wrong friends and is warned by his parents to stop hanging out with them else he would be grounded and all allowances and perks shall be withdrawn.


Last Year the crux of my YouMoz post - “The Question About The Reputation Of The SEO Industry” was :

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


If you see both are inter-connected if SEOs give realistic perspective about the whole SEO process then the expectations of the website owners would also be realistic. On the other hand if the website owners do not have false notions about the SEO results and they do not put pressure for quick results then the scene would be much different.
 
The article http://www.seobook.com/curious-case-small-business-and-seo also clearly points out how the business owner, the SEO Company, Google and the SEO community is directly and indirectly responsible for tarnishing the much needed SEO service by all businesses.

I totally agree that people falling under these 4 categories are sometimes jointly and sometimes individually guilty and responsible for such a situation of ultimate penalty to arise.

Many times due to lack of knowledge and at times due to impatience and greed the business owners join hands with SEOs who guarantee them 1000s of links and show them a quick short cut method for page 1 rankings.

We have been advocating natural links and vouching for on page SEO with a focus on content since we started working on SEO services in early 2000. I remember losing out on many SEO projects due to our non-compliance to offer them link building via mass submissions .

We have even got many "Thumbs Down" on our comments and views for our opinion on links for example http://www.seomoz.org/blog/dont-ask-sites-for-links-find-people-and-connect#jtc142513 but have never deterred from that view point despite all the discouragement. 

When we told business owners about our natural link building methods, Google WMT , Google Analytics and focus on content strategies we were not taken seriously and they thought that the other SEO companies who went on a link building spree were the ones who worked hard .

But today when we see them coming back to us asking us to help them undo those links , we can sense the repentance and the lesson learnt in their discussions.

This is not a matter of unnatural links only this is infact a matter of attitude towards your work and a simple law of life that there is no short cut to success and no substitute for hard work.

This same situation will reflect in case of social media signals and stuffed content in future.

Fraudulent webmasters in the past have been involved in Keyword stuffing earlier then went ahead with the link spam methods and now I am sure people having that temperament and attitude will go ahead with the social media scams and content stuffing until Google gets more equipped with detecting it and starts penalizing sites for it.

The business owners have to be savvy in adopting the right approach and not go for quick results. They also have to accept that SEO is a continuous process which keeps on increasing the potential and probability of improving the search presence of the site on an ongoing basis. This onus of making the website owners develop the right approach is to a great extent on the SEO company.


If your SEO company is working on the following aspects and offers you reports regarding them then it is going on the right track.

  •  Increased targeted traffic 
  •  Increase in the keywords with which actual searches take place (increase In The Search Queries) 
  •  Increased no. of impressions 
  •  Stable rankings 
  •  Increased visibility in more no. of Google geographic domains 
  •  Rankings and search presence not being drastically and adversely affected by changes in the algorithm 
  •  More and more pages becoming landing pages 
  •  Increased indexation 

And

 Constantly upgrading and educating you with the latest updates at Google so that you are aware of the changing search scenario .


All this can be easily monitored via Google WMT and Google analytics.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How To Integrate Twitter Cards With Blogger For Social Meta Data



With the shift of the web towards the semantic web and the focus being on data connectivity and its co relevant display. The web is giving priority to Rich Snippets, HTML 5, microformats and schemas.

Twitter last month announced Twitter cards that make it possible to attach media experiences to Tweets that link to your content. Simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpages, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a "card" added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.

There are 3 card types that can be attached to Tweets, each of which has a beautiful consumption experience built for Twitter's web and mobile clients:

· summary: The default card, which includes a title, description, thumbnail image, and Twitter account attribution.

· photo: A Tweet sized photo card.

· player: A Tweet sized video/audio/media player card.


The summary card can be used for many kinds of web content, from blog posts and news articles, to products and restaurants.

The card is designed to give the reader a preview of the content before clicking through to your website just like a snippet.

You’ll notice that this card makes use of all of the properties described in the previous section: URL, title, description, and image.

Card Property
Description
Required
twitter:card
Should be set to a value of "summary"
No. If no twitter:card value is set, we will default to a summary card.
twitter:url
Canonical URL of the card content.
Yes
twitter:title
Title should be concise and will be truncated at 70 characters.
Yes
twitter:description 
A description that concisely summarizes the content of the page, as appropriate for presentation within a Tweet. Do not re-use the title text as the description, or use this field to describe the general services provided by the website. Description text will be truncated at the word to 200 characters.
Yes
twitter:image
URL to a unique image representing the content of the page. Do not use a generic image such as your website logo, author photo, or other image that spans multiple pages. Images larger than 120x120px will be resized and cropped square based on longest dimension. Images smaller than 60x60px will not be shown.
No

 If any required fields are omitted, the card may not be shown in the Tweet. Note that the card displays clear attribution for both the website and content creator. Here's the full HTML for the card above:

<meta name="twitter:card" content="summary">
<meta name="twitter:site" content="@nytimes">
<meta name="twitter:creator" content="@SarahMaslinNir">
<meta name="twitter:url" content="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/arts/music/amid-police-presence-fans-congregate-for-whitney-houstons-funeral-in-newark.html">
<meta name="twitter:title" content="Parade of Fans for Houston’s Funeral">
<meta name="twitter:description" content="NEWARK - The guest list and parade of limousines with celebrities emerging from them seemed more suited to a red carpet event in Hollywood or New York than than a gritty stretch of Sussex Avenue near the former site of the James M. Baxter Terrace public housing project here.">
<meta name="twitter:image" content="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/02/19/us/19whitney-span/19whitney-span-articleLarge.jpg">


After this code is added the expanded tweet will appear as follows on Twitter when that particular link is shared:




This kind of  code can be easily added to WordPress for each blogpost .

In order to add this code for each blogpost in Blogger, follow the following instructions:

1. Login to Blogger account.

2. Navigate to Design > Edit HTML

3. Click on Download Full Template for your security purpose.

4. Check the Expand Widget Templates box then..

5. Add the relevant code in the <head> section of your Blogger template. Enter the following code in the head section i.e above</head>

6. Click on the Save Template button

7. To check your description you can use the view source in your browser once you have navigated to the post page


This is an example code for 2 blogposts on my blog:

1) http://blog.webpro.in/2012/03/how-semantic-web-html5-microformats-and.html

2) http://blog.webpro.in/2012/06/empower-your-website-to-claim-your.html


<b:if cond='data:blog.url == &quot;http://blog.webpro.in/2012/06/empower-your-website-to-claim-your.html&quot;'>

<meta name='twitter:card' value='summary'/>


<meta name='twitter:site' value='@webprotech'/>


<meta name='twitter:creator' value='@webprotech'/>


<meta name='twitter:url' value='http://blog.webpro.in/2012/06/empower-your-website-to-claim-your.html'/>


<meta name='twitter:title' value='Empower Your Website To Claim Your Search Engine Presence'/>


<meta name='twitter:description' value=' SEO though a branch of online marketing has its own purpose and identity which is beyond marketing – inbound or outbound. All about the SEO Cocktail '/>


<meta name='twitter:image' value='http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-POb-AA9g7VQ/T9nZS79Z96I/AAAAAAAABcE/2QYKTrePsvo/s1600/cocktail.gif'/>


</b:if>




<b:if cond='data:blog.url == &quot;http://blog.webpro.in/2012/03/how-semantic-web-html5-microformats-and.html&quot;'>


<meta name='twitter:card' value='summary'/>


<meta name='twitter:site' value='@webprotech'/>


<meta name='twitter:creator' value='@webprotech'/>


<meta name='twitter:url' value='http://blog.webpro.in/2012/03/how-semantic-web-html5-microformats-and.html'/>


<meta name='twitter:title' value='How The Semantic Web, HTML5, Microformats And SEO Are Inter-Linked'/>


<meta name='twitter:description' value=' HTML5 and microformats helping the representation of content as data for the semantic web '/>


<meta name='twitter:image' value='http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:W3c-semantic-web-layers.svg'/>


</b:if>

Twitter is in the process of bringing this new content preview experience to users on Twitter. To participate in the program, you should apply to participate. As Twitter rolls out this new feature to users and publishers, they are looking for sites with great content and those that drive active discussion and activity on Twitter.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Matt Cutts' Opinion About Links vs Social Signals At SMX Advanced In June 2012

Matt Cutts in early June at SMX Advanced discussed the importance of links vs the social signals for the site.from the SEO and search engine presence perspective.

The video below shows Danny Sullivan and Matt Cutts discussion on this topic.