Archive for November, 2008

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!

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 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

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

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 or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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