• How To Tell When SEO Works
    It's a critical component in online marketing, but how do you tell if your SEO strategy works to drive traffic to the Web site? Michael Estrin polled the industry to find the best advice for spot-checking SEO projects. The advice runs the gambit, from working with search engines to gain ranking insight from keyword data driving traffic to your site, to ensuring linked copy from other Web sites includes a term people naturally search on. Don't forget the title tags, pay attention to metadata because it matters, and try to think ahead to determine the type of information ...
  • Real-Time SEO Streams Are All About Hash Tags
    Hash tags came back in vogue after Twitter began using the symbol to aggregate twitter-streams on the site. But Joshua Odmark writes that the tag has lots of uses and shouldn't be ignored when it comes to SEO. He lists the positives and negatives of hash symbols, how to optimize them and why they exist. Keep in mind the purpose the hash tag serves--distributing news on trending topics that people want to read in real time, he writes.
  • Bing's Best Match
    Although search engines do a pretty good job at finding the best result for a simple query at the top of the page, they generally won't tell you if the top result is the official one, nor will they help you navigate within that site. Martin Stoddart writes that Bing's Best Match feature helps identify the most useful results, particularly when one link is the official or authoritative source of information. Best Match also lists related sites to the search, allowing people to explore words concepts connected to the query. Stoddart writes that Microsoft also has begun to ...
  • Tips To Identify Brand Hijackers
    Brand hijackers, any advertiser using another's trademark without permission, can exploit your brand through display URLs, according to Lori Weiman. She provides a list of tricks used by hijackers to divert traffic to their own Web pages using other brands as bait, and how to identify the scam. Weiman serves up details on how to protect sites against brandjackers. These culprits use your brand as part of a sub-domain, so at a glance it appears you have endorsed the display URL.
  • Will Social Media Last?
    Kevin Gibbons publishes the results of last week's "social media future profile" online survey. The poll provides insight from the community on which social media will most likely be around in 2020, as well as analysis of the importance of social media as a search marketing tool. For example, take the reponses to the question: Will social media networking replace email by 2020? Although respondents were mixed--46% think something will replace email, whereas 54% believe it will still be around--Gibbons points to Google Wave as an application that could turn services on their head.
  • The Search Relevancy Factor
    Since high quality scores lead to better rankings for keywords in search engines, Naoise Osborne has to believe Google does everything it can to calculate relevancy. Simply put, an AdWords account filled with ads that better match queries produces more satisfied searchers and money for Google. Still, it's up to each SEM expert to manage relevancy and improve the site's quality score to rank higher and gain better return on investments. So, Naoise maps out the relationship between click-through rates, creative pieces, search queries, keywords, landing pages and ad groups to provide insight on improving quality scores.
  • SEO Best Practices
    Danny Dover put together a list of search engine optimization "best practices" that ranges from the optimial format for title tags, to the importance of traffic on rankings. For instance, Dover doesn't recommend spending time or resources on Google's Search Wiki, because it doesn't really affect rankings. The team has not seen evidence it affects global results, either, but it could help identify some spam queries. Dover believes Google uses Search Wiki to distance it from competitors.
  • Telltale Signs A Web Site Is SEO-Ready
    "The real SEO basics are still often overlooked or not understood by many," writes Mark Jackson, who outlines some common failings of Web sites for "'newbies' trying to figure out this thing we call SEO." For starters, make sure the home page on the Web site serves up in the best way possible under an identifiable URL to help people find the content more easily and keep them coming back for more, Jackson suggests. Other problems: Web sites with minimal content, ones with lot of pages but no content, or Web sites that bury content within an image ...
  • SEO Your Personal Brand
    Like it or not, sometimes people are brands, too. Kevin Gibbons serves up some SEO tips for building your personal brand. He explains that it all starts with building an image reflected in your profiles on social media sites. Gibbons provides quick tips on how to make those profiles easy accessible to anyone searching for information on you. For example, video recordings of conferences or events posted to the Web in YouTube or Vimeo should have a headline similar to this: [Presentation Name by "Author Name"]. The format, used as the title tag and on-page heading, becomes important -- ...
  • The Fine Art Of Writing PPC Ad Copy
    While the keyword list and the landing page are both important elements that comprise a good PPC campaign, writing great ad copy can make or break the strategy, according to Kate Morris. That's because you only have a matter of seconds to convince potential buyers they need to click on the link. Okay, she admits to being a drama queen, but insists that a well-optimized ad can increase ROI more than you think. When used correctly, dynamically inserted keywords can help improve conversion rates. They increase the chance the ad title will match what the searcher seeks. ...
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