Archive for 2008

Youtube surpasses Yahoo Search Engine

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Youtube.com has more searches than Yahoo!

Video search on YouTube accounts for a quarter of all Google search queries in the U.S., according to the latest search engine numbers from comScore. Its monthly qSearch report, which was released on Thursday night, breaks out the number of searches conducted on YouTube. If it were a standalone site, YouTube would be the second largest search engine after Google. More searches are done through YouTube than through Yahoo, which has been the case for the past few months. – From TechCrunch

Wow, Yahoo! has certainly fallen from those halcyon days when they ruled the Internet. But this news is really more important because it tells the SEO community that you should not be overlooking the video world of YouTube.com. Big Oak SEO has been stepping up its efforts into the video marketing world and this is a sure sign that it was a good move on our behalf. Are you using the power of video for your product or service? It would be a mistake not to and it is a lot more affordable than you think.

And lest you think your videos would only show up if someone is searching on Youtube.com, take a look at the screen shot below. I did a search for cheap wine (don’t ask) and the screen shot shows the last results on page 1 of Google’s search results. Yes, you see two videos from Youtube.com. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your video there if you are a wine seller.

Results for Cheap Wine. Notice the last results are videos from Youtube.com

Results for Cheap Wine. Notice the last results are videos from Youtube.com

I have also seen video results in the #4 position on Google’s search results and I’m sure this will only continue to happen more in the future. Don’t sell your service or product short, anything that can be marketed on the web can have video marketing to support it. Make sure it is part of your Internet marketing plan.

Big Oak SEO Christmas Party

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Big Oak SEO is now five years old and to celebrate our success and the Christmas season we had our Christmas dinner on December 13th. We rented out a facility at a local restaurant, Shacklefords and had a wonderful party for our employees, some of our closest vendors.

Many of our clients are not in our local Richmond, Va area and therefore have never seen us in person. So, if you are a client or intend to become a client, here are some of the only pictures of our wonderful staff available on the Internet. George may have more candid photos on other mature sites, but that is none of my business. ;-)

All kidding aside, my partner Chris Alexander and I started Big Oak on January 1, 2004 with the two of us working from our home offices. Little did we dare hope or dream we would be a successful SEO business with 7 employees just 5 years later. We both feel very blessed and fortunate to have a business that is thriving, especially in this tough economic environment. Of course we have great employees (Alyssa, George, Will, Eric and Bradley) who have helped us become the company we are today; excellent partners and vendors (Julia, Charlie and Tom) to support us and we have some of the best clients you could hope for that continue have faith in us.

So thank you from Chris and I for a great year; we are already excited about the possibilities for next year. Of course, we do need to take off a week or so to ready. Enjoy these very low-light, amateur photos. You may notice a small strange visitor who resembles a demented gnome. That is our creepy Santa mascot affectionately named Chucky. The inspiration for ‘Chucky’ came from The Top 10 Unintentionally Scary Santas post.

[nggallery id=2]

Twas the night before Google

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Twas the night before Google

Twas the night before Google when all through the net
the users and SEO’s were all upset,
Search Wiki, and GMail Themes were rolled out in style
Lively was nuked and GOOG sat with a smile.

Matt Cutts and the Spam team were out on the prowl,
with visions of Black Hatter’s on a moonlight howl.
Comments and Blog post were active indeed
Tweets and Diggs until some fingers did bleed.

Pushing the Chrome, the browser of GOOG
Collecting the data of the unknowing newb.
Signed into Google for a Search Wiki rating
Seeing spammers explode like a round of speed dating.

Knowing that Search Results are the victims of Change,
Exploring the options and manipulating the range.
There is a way to succeed with out a Adwords Budget
Social Book Mark Me Please for a Link Back, Nudge (it)!

Webmaster tools now showing me data,
my info is delayed come, back Later.
The Capcha’s not working on Signups for things,
Google Local Maps verification not giving me rings.

Twas the Night before Google and Tool Bar Page Rank still not Updated
the Indian outsources were on alert for some projects we stated.
The Ranked Hard Seo Comic issue explains it all well
It’s all Will‘s fault,  What the…

So Digg me, Tweet me, This Link Bait attempt
At humor towards Google et al,  I am feeling a little “verklempt!”

Fluent in Google?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

In the past few weeks, a new search engine hit the market. As one would expect, several members of the techno-press hailed this new search tool as a Google Killer, albeit with one large caveat – DeepDyve was not designed to kill all of Google. It wasn’t even designed to kill most of it. In fact, DeepDyve was lining up with surgical precision to take out just one area where Google showed advancements years ago, and then seems to have let languish – the “deep web.” Yes, the collection of academic, medical, and technical journals and databases that are used heavily for producing more academic, medical, and technical journals, and completely ignored outside of those fields.

Honestly, there’s a reason why Google was ignoring this part of the web. And there’s a reason why each and every SEO specialist will completely overlook DeepDyve – because you probably should. But, I tend to like to do a lot of research for my writing, so I signed up for the private beta for DeepDyve and waited.

The interior pages of DeepDyve are rather sparse. They aren’t sparse in the typical airy Web 2.0 style, but rather, in white board about to be jammed with data fashion. The site itself gives you the feeling that the data is indeed right around the corner. The problem is that actually getting to that data. And that’s where the big SEO lesson came into play.

As I started plugging in short, targeted, keyword-rich phrases into the DeepDyve search box, I realized that I was using the engine incorrectly. DeepDyve doesn’t rely on the matching of keywords aided by anchor link text like Google does. DeepDyve wants a searcher to, quite literally, paste entire swathes of an article, if not the entire article outright, into the search box. DeepDyve then finds similar, and hopefully relevant content. And let me tell you, it felt foreign.

The awkwardness was what tipped me off. DeepDyve works in the exact opposite way that Google does. Where Google eliminates search results based on the specificity of the search string, DeepDyve adds to it, the more words included in your search, the more results you’re likely to get. And while these are both paths that hope to lead to the same general location: the ideal result for the searcher, they do beg a rather important SEO question – how are the users searching?

After all, many of you are probably like me. You know Google. You’re fluent in Google. Armed with Google, a mobile phone, and one bar on a cell connection, you can find whatever you’re looking for before your coffee even gets cold. And that really helps when picking out keywords. But, what are your customers searching? And how are they searching it? How much of the internet is fluent in Google? And how many users compare Google to high school Spanish class, remembering only a few tricks? How many are clueless and simply plug in sentences as if they were spoken?

The answer can be very helpful and begs the question, have we adapted too much to Google? Are we too close to the source?

Protecting the Value of your Brand Name

Monday, November 17th, 2008

We live in an information society with the internet at our fingertips though broadband, DSL and mobile phones. We also live in a society that is comprised of consumers that have the ability to publish their words, thoughts and ideas in seconds through websites, blogs, and web 2.0 resources including micro blogging platforms such as Twitter.

Understanding and realizing that our customers are more tuned in and wired in than just a year ago is vital to protecting our name brand as well as tapping into the evolving consumer base we are attempting to persuade.

Over the weekend a valuable lesson was learned by a Fortune 500 company, and will soon be adapted across all channels of business relationships.

You see on Friday November 14, 2008 several wired in mommy bloggers took offense to a video advertisement that was on the Motrin website. The ad was geared toward “Baby Wearing Moms” and was rather insensitive to say the least.

A viral ground swell of disgruntled opinion towards the advertisement was fueled on the Twitter Micro blogging network. The Tweets continued and bloggers voiced their opinions.

By Saturday Night and into Sunday AM, 100′s of blogs and 1000′s of twitter accounts were active in their dismay of the Motrin websites and it’s marketing message. A viral and virtual boycott was formed and the public perception of the Motrin Brand sank lower the President W’s approval ratings.

By Sunday night and into Monday afternoon, the Motrin website was taken off-line to attempt damage control.  As of this post the site is back up with a Public Apology.

The lesson that should be learned from this account, is the your consumers have public voices, and monoritoring your Keyword and Brand Name can stop a landslide of public disgruntled behavior.  If the people at Motrin had a Simple Google Alert for their Brand Name, or set up and monitored a Twitter Search for their keywords and brand name, they would have been aware of the firestorm that was headed their way.  Motrin took down the ad 4 days after the incident developed into a Butter Fly Effect.

By monitoring and reacting, the Tsunami of bad publicity could have been avoided and damage control could have been set in place earlier than Day 4.

The several lessions to be learned are:
Know your market
Understand your market
Keep tabs on your Public Images via Google Alerts / Twitter Searches via Brand Name Keywords
and above all, never underestimate the power of a mommy, her keyboard, and a internet connection!
#MotrinMoms

Whatever Happened to the Google Killer?

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Back in July of this year, the internet was buzzing with news that a new search engine was coming, a Google-Killer that could unseat the giant of the search engine world. Part of the buzz surrounding this product was the fact that it was being designed by former Google employees Anna Patterson, Russell Power, and Louis Monier. This supposed Google-Killer was called Cuil (pronounced cool).

So what happened? Google is still the giant of the search engine world, and most people probably don’t even remember Cuil since its launch at the end of July of 2008. Did it collapse? Has Cuil shut down? What happened to this highly touted search engine that was supposed to draw us all away from Google?

Like most of those that attempt to overtake Google (see MSN Live, Yahoo, Ask, Excite, Alta Vista, really just about anybody), Cuil just didn’t have what it took to draw users away from the search engine that has quickly come to dominate everything we do with the web. Some blamed the preponderance of irrelevant search results that Cuil seemed to like displaying. Others blamed the unconventional style with which Cuil displayed results (see image below). But what really killed Cuil?

Cuil's unorthodox way of displaying search results.

Cuil's unorthodox way of displaying search results.

In the end, the only thing that killed Cuil was Google. Not by actively battling them, but by simply doing what they do – being the best. Sure, Cuil claimed to have more sites indexed than any other search engine, but by returning irrelevant search results, it didn’t matter how many websites they had indexed, nobody could find what they were looking for.

Google continues to capture around 80% of the search engine market, while Cuil has slipped to roughly less than half a percent (0.005% of total search traffic to be specific). Cuil isn’t the first to try and claim the title of being a Google-Killer, and they certainly won’t be the last, but one thing is for sure…there is no such thing as a Google-Killer. At least not yet.

Outside of the Box with Web 2.0

Friday, November 7th, 2008

The power to make or break any website or blog is the amount of traffic and ROI (return on investment) that can be generated from month to month. When your livelihood depends upon your on site internet presence, it pays to think outside of the box and explore opportunities as they present themselves.  Last week I introduced you to the Apple iPhones App for getting your blog iPhone ready and a quality back link from the Apple.com site.

Since it’s Friday and a gorgeous hello “Global Warning” day here in Richmond Virginia, I thought I would take the time to show you just another cool little thing I discovered in my mad labs here at Big Oak SEO – Richmond SEO Company.

I love the power of social media and Web 2.0 style sites, and one of my favorites has been Twitter.  Yes that little tool that makes you get your point across in only 140 characters.  However if you know how to use those 140 characters wisely it can pay off into huge dividends.

On election day, Nov 4th I was cruising around and saw that Yahoo had jumped into the Twitter arena. More importantly the folks that run the elusive Yahoo Directory. With a quick double check I confirmed it was the good folks at Yahoo and not some cyber loser and huge practical joke.

So I had nothing to lose and put my best 140 characters together and sent a Tweet to the folks at Yahoo – Directory.

The power of Web 2.0 Twitter

a simple tweet:  @yahoo_directory So you joined twitter, Check out http://www.parentinghelpme.com

Well the power of twitter and a decent website got the attention of the good folks at the Yahoo Directory and guess what…

140 characters of Twitter got me into to Yahoo Directory

Yup Today I got into Yahoo Directory from a single tweet. I didn’t even have to use all of the 140 characters twitter allows and I made it in with less than 80 characters and 3 days.  Not Bad for an Election Day Result and Global Warming hitting Richmond Virginia this Friday November 7, 2008.

PS: You can Follow this site @BigOakSEO or me  @bigebiz on twitter

Google Analytics Gets an Update with Motion Charts & More

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Google already had the most user-friendly analytics program (you are using it, right?), and now they have added even more features to this wonderful and free tool. Yes, Google Analytics is free and it is invaluable in helping you understand your website’s traffic. You can find more videos showing off these new features, but I have included my favorite below which shows off the new motion charts in Google Analytics.

Is your Blog iPhone Applicable?

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Is your Blog iPhone Applicable?

With the recent craze of iPhone this and iPhone that and the Mac vs PC world of commercials it’s about time we make our own websites or blogs adaptable to the iPhone Apple Mac People. As you can tell I am  PC guy and almost resemble the PC guy from those commercials. I learned on a PC and I am not usually accepting of change when it comes to my computer, but adaptable to markets and strategy.  I was using Win 95 way past 98 and hit Win 97 around the time Millennium was out.  That’s neither here nor there.  This is about adapting.

Most blogs these days use word press, and a WP plugin has been developed to enable Iphone’s to easily read your blog.  Click on the WPTouch link to grab this plugin. The plugin comes with it’s own CSS and themes for the conversion process, but all you have to do is install the Plugin into your normal Plugin Folder on word press and activate. The plugin takes care of the rest. If you are using WP-Cache or Wp Super Cache plugins then a few minor tweeks are needed.

Now that you installed the Plugin ready for the next coolest thing?

Because you blog is iPhone ready, you can submit it to Apple.com as a website app.  You can see some venturous bloggers have already joined the race at  http://www.apple.com/webapps/news/

To Join in, is rather simple actually.  Go to Apple Developer and create a user account.  Simple registration to grab yourself an account.  After you are logged in proceed to https://adcweb.apple.com/iphone/

Fill out the details, descriptions and categories.
TIP – HINT: Your “Company Name” will Be a Live Linkable Backlink, so use your Web site or company name and a Major Keyword when filling in the “Company Name” section on the application

You will need a screen shot of you blog and an Icon in the dimensions shown below to successfully complete your application.   ( 320 x 356 PNG  – For screen Shot and Icon 128 X 128 with a recognized alpha channel )

Dimensions of Screen Shot and Icon needed for Iphone Web App submission

Once and if approved by Apple your blog will appear in their iPhone Downloads section. Even though this whole process is way cool, I am still a PC guy, at least til 2012 according to my historical upgrade patten.

Checking a Webpage for SEO Quality (According to Google)

Friday, October 17th, 2008

My colleague, Will Paoletto, wrote an excellent post about using logic to prove that directory submission was still a valid SEO tactic, despite what you may have heard from other SEO companies. I thought I would take this a bit further and help you decide if the directory submission is really worthwhile by showing you how to judge the quality of the placement page your site would be listed on in the directory.

We’ll start out with idea that you  have an accounting site and you are looking for quality directory submissions.

While a directory may have a decent PR ranking (3-5) you also want to check to make sure the page your listing will be placed on is a quality page. You can use this method for any potential page you are requesting a link for, but this is especially helpful when deciding whether a page within a directory is worth your money.

(more…)

Bunk Beds & Dinosaurs: Great Linkbait

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

While site stumbling today I came across a web page that offered fun 30 second diversion, that is what StumbleUpon is for, by the way.

The page was titled: How Long Could You Survive Chained to a Bunk Bed with a Velociraptor? Silly? Yes. Smart? Even more so. After I took the test (I could survive 60 seconds, btw), and I looked at the URL, I could see it was a site promoting bunk beds and is selling advertising for kids’ furniture.

To my point, I was very impressed with the creativity of the page and applaud BunkBeds.net for a great linkbait idea. Imaginative, fun, viral and themed well for the target audience of children. So, take a visit and see how you would do against a Raptor and even more important let this be a good example in creative link building.

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at contact@bigoakinc.com or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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