Archive for May, 2008

Reason 1,000,001 Why Quality Writing Matters

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

While I’ve discussed why having quality writing is important for various reasons on our SEO Copywriting Blog, the following image shows why not only is writing quality content important, but paying attention to your meta descriptions can be equally important.

While the website bullysticks.com may be ranking in the top position for the keyword “bully sticks”, their meta description “boasts” that their “prices do not compare!” Clearly not the message they meant to send to potential customers. While bullysticks.com seems to be claiming that their prices are higher than their competition, our client, Best Bully Sticks, has a meta-description that clearly states how their high quality product, low prices, and customer service make the difference.

Meta descriptions do get read so make sure your’s says something useful. Amazing how four little words can make a difference.

bully-sticks-results.png

Should I Build My Own Linking Network?

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

This SEO question is from Joel Cohen, RestaurantMarketing.com

SEO Question:
If I have a furniture store website in a first page position on Google for “home furniture Houston” and I decide to do a separate website for my “kids furniture division” and it gets a top position for “kids furniture Houston” and I do two more separate sites for (example) outdoor furniture and recreation room furniture and they all get top positions on Google, AND they all link to each other, does Google discourage this? It’s like building my own linking network.

SEO Answer:
This sounds like a sound business practice. Too often in the Internet world we base on decisions on what Google would want. Google, in fact, says to market your site as if the search engines weren’t involved. Straight from Google’s Guidelines, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?” I personally would say this is a solid idea and focusing on product lines on each website can be a seen as a clever business decision. Interlinkng between them is would also be encouraged. Why would it be considered bad to link to your similar themed sites? If you owned more than one brick and mortar store you would certainly point visitors to it, so why should the web be any different.

You should make sure you don’t have duplicate content on your sites. If you are going to break out your outdoor furniture from your “main” furniture site, be sure you aren’t showing the same products with the same descriptions. Interlinking should be done strategically and with an eye towards marketing. Just don’t place a link in the footer, create a page that talks about the other site and its line of products and place multiple links to the other site. You want to drive targeted traffic that is well-informed of its link destination.

In summary, creating topically focused product sites isn’t a bad thing, it is a business decision that should be thought out. There will be more work and stores to admin, of course and cross-site linking won’t encourage visitors to view other related products as much as everything being on the same site. Pros and cons to each, as with most things in life. Just don’t let Google control your business decisions, after all, controlling the search results is enough power, don’t you agree?

If you have a question you would like us to answer, please send to contact[at]bigoakinc.com.
Due to time constraints and the fact we run an SEO business we may not answer all questions.

Google appears to Change Algorithm: Using Capital Letters Creates New Keywords

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Keyword research tools may be in for another overhaul.Google’s algorithm now appears to be viewing the capitalized versions of keywords as separate from the lowercase versions.I came across this while searching for the lowercase and uppercase versions of the keyword “engagement rings.”Look at these screen shots from the 216.239.59.99 datacenter.

Screenshot of Google results with a lowercase “e” in engagement rings. Click for larger image.

Lowercase E

Screenshot of Google results with an uppercase”E” in Engagement rings. Click for larger image.

cap-e.jpg

Searching with a capital “E” gives different results than searching with all lowercase letters, and I also noticed discrepancies between lowercase and uppercase letters with that keyword at the 64.233.183.107 datacenter.

Now, look at the differences in the SERPS at the 64.233.171.107 datacenter for the lower and uppercase version of the keyword “dog tags.”The results change after the second search result.

Screenshot of Google results with a lowercase “d” in dog tags. Click for larger image.

dog tags lower

Screenshot of Google results with an uppercase “D” in Dog tags. Click for larger image.

Dog Tags upper

Assuming this isn’t a temporary glitch, the SEO landscape will undergo another transformation.If this reflects a real change in the algorithm, keyword research tools such as Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery will have to be adjusted to compensate.They currently don’t differentiate between searches with lowercase and capital letters.Since the Google search results were believed to be identical for each, they had no reason to.

We’ll have to wait for an official word from Google (if they give one), but right now this is looking at lot less like a glitch and a lot more like a real shift in the algorithm. And it would be a significant one.I would guess that people search with different forms of capitalization as often as they misspell words or use theplural form of words.But it’s just a guess, as there is no keyword research data to back that assumption up….yet.

We’ll have to keep our eyes on this one.

Outsourcing Reservations

Monday, May 5th, 2008

outsourcing-reservations-teaseri.jpgThis month’s Ranked Hard, SEO Comic deals with the touchy subject of overseas outsourcing in the SEO industry with a humorous twist of course. Take a look at Outsourcing Reservations, leave some feedback and laugh a little.

Top Wuss Rock Bands of All Time

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

A few weeks ago a co-worker and I were discussing some bands we like (we are children of the eighties, so bear with me) and more than a few we labeled “wuss” rock bands. Now this isn’t necessarily an insult, but more of a classification. As I said we personally liked the bands, but we had to admit that a large number of their popular songs were kinda, well…wussy.

We then asked friends and colleagues who they considered the top wuss rock bands. So I included them below in order of wussiness, based on the number of times a band was listed. The top five bands have a link to a YouTube video for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Air SupplyTop Five Wuss Rock Bands (based on votes):

  1. Air Supply – Two guys you hope weren’t actually singing to each other.
  2. Chicago - Does every Chicago song sound the same to you?
  3. Abba - I was never sure if they were friends, siblings, spouses or what.
  4. Loverboy - The name says it all.
  5. REO Speedwagon – I can’t fight this feeling any longer…I’m numb.

Other bands receiving votes, in order of number of votes received. (I published comments as well):

  • Coldplay
  • Foreigner
  • Hall & Oates
  • Jefferson Starship
  • Journey
  • Radiohead – great musicians, but let’s face it, the Backstreet Boys could probably take them in a fight.
  • Styx
  • Survivor
  • White Lion
  • Winger
  • A Flock of Seagulls
  • Aaron Carter – it’s bad when your brother was a Backstreet Boy and he’s referred to as the “hardcore” one.
  • A-Ha
  • Ambrosia – Holdin’ on to Yesterday was their biggest song and their destiny.
  • Backstreet Boys
  • Bang Tango
  • Bread – I found your Diaper underneath the tree?
  • Creed
  • Culture Club
  • Dashboard Confessional – been singing about the same girl that left him for nearly 10 years…get over her dude.
  • Dire Straits
  • Everything But the Girl – I still have EBTG worship issues.
  • Extreme – Hole in my heart makes me want to put a hole in my head.
  • Fall out Boy
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Genesis
  • Goo Goo Dolls
  • Heart
  • Huey Lewis & the News
  • Maroon 5
  • Mr. Big
  • N Sync
  • Nelson
  • New Kids On the Block (reunited)
  • Night Ranger
  • Teenage Fanclub
  • The Carpenters – They had a chick playing the drums. If Mama Cass would have given Karen a sandwich, they’d both be alive.
  • The Scorpions
  • Toto
  • Warrant

If you would like to contribute, feel free and post a comment.

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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