Archive for March, 2008
Thursday, March 13th, 2008
I accidentally did a backlink check on Google.com today. And right before I went to close the browser window my eye caught something very amusing, to an optimizer’s mind anyway.
If you subscribe to the belief that Yahoo shows backlinks in order of importance (e.g. the first backlink is the most important and so on.) then it must be surmised that the first backlink listed for Google by Yahoo Site Explorer is the most important backlink for Google. Funny enough Yahoo considers a backlink from Adobe better than a backlink from Google (see image below), although it is a subpage from within Adobe.com (the Acrobat Reader Download page).
After this initial revelation, I then decided to check the backlinks to Yahoo.com. Surely Yahoo wouldn’t consider another website more important than their own, would they? As it turns out, I was wrong and PHP.net was listed first.
PHP.net was listed under Google.com in the first search. Following this logic, one would surmise that Yahoo admits to PHP.net being more important than Yahoo.com, and we already knew Google.com and Adobe.com are more important than PHP.net. So I am led to believe that Yahoo admits to Google being more important than itself and Adobe is the Grand Poobah of all backlinks.
All this of course means little to nothing, but I did smile at the irony. You can check for yourself by clicking this link and this link.
And don’t forget to tune in next episode when we reveal that Google admits…
AltaVista is the number one search engine!
Thursday, March 13th, 2008
Dr. Peter Carr is a long-time reader of our blog and I have corresponded with him previously. He has done quite well performing his own SEO tactics to his Seattle Chiropractic site. He was gracious enough to write this post about his success with local search rankings. I wrote a similar blog post on posting reviews last year.
I am a small service business, (chiropractor, to be exact) and I really only make money when people come through the doors. I perform many SEO tactics for my website www.dynamicclinic.com to the point where I’m #1 for Google searching for “Seattle chiropractor”. But people don’t come to chiropractors because of an organic #1 ranking, they come because of referrals. That’s where I’ve found that companies like www.Citysearch.com (a Ticketmaster company), www.Judysbook.com and www.Yelp.com come into play.
People (customers) want to go to hair stylists and chiropractors because their friends go there, and barring that, they want someone to say they like them.
Citysearch is a better bet in my opinion, as they have linked with Google to add their reviews on Google Local, which gives customers a map to the business location and number of ratings. I’m no expert, but it seems like only Judysbook and Citysearch do this.
Google local is trying to get in on the act, too, where people can leave reviews right on Google. Google prefers you leave your ratings and reviews with them directly.
The bottom line for SEO is this: Search engines exist to give the end user the BEST result for their search. If the search engine doesn’t, then people will go somewhere else. Yahoo accomplished this using humans “back in the day” to review individual sites, and now Google is doing something very similar, as well, with these review sites. After all, Google would love to refer you to the best chiropractor in Seattle (me) and have you be happy with their recommendation. Reviews provide that opportunity much better than, or at least more “humanly,” than any algorithm that Google could possibly come up with.
To that end, I request that all my patients who had great results with my service leave a glowing review on Citysearch or other review site, so that others can see how awesome we are. If you are in a service-oriented business, this is one area you simply can’t overlook in your SEO campaign.
Dr. Peter Carr, www.dynamicclinic.com
Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
Google has updated its advanced search page. While most people probably don’t look at the advanced search page very often, it has some nice features, especially for an SEO Expert. One of the best features is the ability to see 100 results at a time rather than the usual 10. Add the CustomizeGoogle Addon for the Firefox browser and you can view numbers beside your listing-now you don’t have to count to find you are at position 67, there will be numbers beside each listing to show you.
Also, selecting the Language as English will more realistic results. (You can also select the English language in the preferences.)
For example searching for ‘big oak seo’ returns 77,900 English pages with results when English is selected language. If you search with Any Language selected the results return 88,100 pages. Not a huge difference, right? It gets worse with more generic phrases. Searching for ‘search engine optimization’ with English shows 1,900,000 and without shows 36,900,000. These number will fluctuate, but using English as the language will get you more accurate resutls, especially when you are trying to factor the level of competition for a key phrase you may be targeting.
Of course you can filter your searches through the Advance Search form in a variety of ways and that’s for the for the power user as well as the Mom looking for the best place to groom her pet. Getting familiar with the advanced features can help you do research for keywords as well as finding information about how to grow an avocado plant or a video on growing an avocado seed.
For the SEO enthusiast or the small Internet business owner you can search by date, usage rights and even where the keywords show up on the page. All helpful information when trying to create your SEO plan. Google provides a wealth of information you just have to know where to start digging. The Advanced Search page by Google is a great place to start.
Monday, March 3rd, 2008
We have finished our third installment of the “hit SEO comic,” Ranked Hard. Sorry to keep pushing it on our Big Oak blog, but we want to give the comic a fair chance so I’m announcing it on our blog.
Take a look at the latest strip, “Cutt Her Some Slack.” It deals with the SEO industry’s obsession with all things Google, particularly, Matt Cutts, a Google Engineer who has been the voice of Google to the SEO community for some time. A lot a value is placed on what Matt says and probably he would admit that everyone should relax a little and not over analyze every word he speak or types.
Suffice to say if you don’t know who Matt is you may not find this strip as funny as the rest, but hopefully it introduces you to Mr. Cutts and expands your knowledge of the SEO Universe.