For Web sites that have been successfully optimized to pull in international traffic, Erik Dafforn serves up tips to give site visitors the appropriate content without sacrificing "SEO equity." Among other tidbits of information, Dafforn looks at the most efficient way to offer alternative content to users in specific countries, and provides insight on the biggest problem with language-specific sections on the site.
Bill Hunt provides insight on connecting with the 338 million people who log on to the Internet in China through Baidu, one of the country's largest search engines. Hunt discusses Baidu's shift in strategy last April when the company launched its new platform, code name "Phoenix Next." The change moved paid search listings from the left to the right side and made Baidu SERPs look and feel more those found on Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines, he explains.
If you run a small business, Carrie Hill offers up some tips to improve productivity with search engine marketing. Some are free, some are paid, but all of them are worth the investment of time, according to Hill. There are tools to improve keyword research, ranking reports, analytics, link building, competitive intelligence and social media, and Hill runs through sample suggestions for all. For example, HootSuite with Ping.fm allows you to maximize time by updating multiple sites with one post.
David Ciccarelli likens finding lost links with "The Parable of the Lost Sheep." He offers up a list of ways to help you search. For starters, you can find lost links through Google Webmaster tools, which crawl sites looking for 404 errors. Every error gets added to a list. Ciccarelli explains how to tap into several tools to keep track and confirm that links work. He also steps through making a spreadsheet and the information it should contain to improve your chances of success.
Click-through rates, page views, time spent on site, number of pages read, and entrance and exit points are all important metrics, but if you don't use them to improve conversion rates, why bother, asks Stoney deGeyter. DeGeyter views each Web page as one step that should lead site visitors to a specific goal, conversion. He walks through seven steps to help build that path.
Googlers are showing a bit of optimism lately. Some believe an economic recovery is in the works. Austin Rachlin writes that Google wants to become a partner through the recovery in 2010. So, the Mountain View, Calif., company has launched the series Think2010: Getting Ahead of the Recovery. The series highlights insights from Googlers and others, offering tips on AdWords as 2009 fades out and a new year begins. Posts will cover themes critical to success in 2010, such as innovation, experimentation, speed, and deeper customer connections.
Ron Jones reminds us about 63% of the world speak multiple languages or another language other than English. Some companies may want to consider an international SEO strategy, but he points out that it takes a very different kind of approach to become successful. For starters, make sure the domain extension is applicable to the country you're trying to optimize in. Jones writes that this can make the difference between success and failure.
SEO Guru Dave Harry explains why Google's behavioral targeting should "creep you out." Harry describes some of the tools Google relies on to profile people searching the Web for information, and tells us about Google's Social Graph API, which he describes as one of the more interesting tools. Targeted ads will increase as advertisers look for ways to cut costs and lift return on investments. Two other devices that will see an impact from BT are mobile phones and set-top boxes. Harry points to an interview on YouTube with Google's Eric Schmidt, who talks about a Google-built platform …
Google Place Pages, a new maps profile page format that replaces the tabbed version of the "info bubble" on maps, has the SEO community up in arms, according to Greg Sterling. Google lets businesses submit specific categories they want to include. It appears that when searching for a specific restaurant you get Web pages, directions, reviews, images, street view imagery, and more. So what's the problem? There are too many unanswered questions about what this will mean for SEO professionals. Some speculate Google wants to keep users from having to leave the query results.
Search Engine Journal's Loren Baker lists notable search engine milestones. This year the industry witnessed the consolidation of search, the launch of Microsoft Bing, the Microsoft and Yahoo partnership, and the launch of WolframAlpha. The post offers an expandable timeline that opens in your browser window -- beginning in 1994 and going through to the present.