Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Excerpt from Google Engineer Matt Cutts

Google posted Ten recent algorithm changes on 11/14/11 | 8:30:00 AM
Since I have been screaming CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT these past 10 years I am glad to see that Google is making some head way for ranking the value of page content.

Here is the excerpt:

Snippets with more page content and less header/menu content: This change helps us choose more relevant text to use in snippets. As we improve our understanding of web page structure, we are now more likely to pick text from the actual page content, and less likely to use text that is part of a header or menu.

Better page titles in search results by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors: We look at a number of signals when generating a page’s title. One signal is the anchor text in links pointing to the page. We found that boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as relevant, so we are putting less emphasis on these. The result is more relevant titles that are specific to the page’s content.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Google Baby

Webmaster skills, like brain surgery, architecture, or any other profession, is taught at the university level. Business owners who approach their websites like a play toy are taking a big risk, because their competitors are most likely taking their websites seriously.

Friday, July 01, 2011

How Google Could Ultimately Squash Facebook

How Google Could Ultimately Squash Facebook

Google needs to provide social users in all demographics an untapped wealth of information that is literally right under their feet!
Here's how.

1) Leverage Google Street View assets by shooting memorial parks; head stone, crypts, markers and so on. ( Many parks have client software so this could be used as well for data integration.

2) Leverage Google Goggles to read the text on same and auto tag.

3) Make this new app. searchable; any ONLY accessible over Google Plus.

4) Let people tag these images as well.

5) Give is a cool name like 'Google Generations'.

6) Let people use this to make connections like Ancestery.com ( but better ).

7) Now Google can have ( Google Ancestor Circles ). Users can use this feature to do some quasi - genealogy.

8) On an off-note or more playful use... maybe allow users to create a virtual head stone with their name and epitaph over top any image they want (Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Route 66...) Maybe even create a message linked to this that does not reveal itself until a future date set by the user; e.g.- www.timekapsule.com.

Dear Google, If you do decide to use MY idea... please dont' be evil. 
Call me stupid, but this could be a real-deal Facebook killer.
Rick Vidallon ~ posted July 1, 2011 ~ Concept also shared with Harsha Patil June 2009.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Official Google Blog: Supporting choice, ensuring economic opportunity

Official Google Blog: Supporting choice, ensuring economic opportunity

I have followed the principles outline by Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts since 2000. Today my business website shows up 99% of the time on page one of Google for search queries relating to 'Web design, web designers, web company, website company, web development Virginia!

There are NO SHORT CUTS. It takes hard work and patience to build interesting and informative website content.

Also see: http://www.visionefx.net/articles/why-they-call-a-web-page-a-web-page.htm

Saturday, May 28, 2011

25 reasons why another site will link to yours

by Ken McGaffin on 25 May 2011

Why would anyone link to your site? Here are 25 reasons why another site will link to yours. With real world examples from Ken McGaffin.

Why would anyone link to your site? Here are 25 reasons why another site will link to yours. With real world examples from Ken McGaffin.

1) Because you pay them for a listing
Directory listings are some of the easiest to get, but remember you must read and follow their guidelines carefully. Here's an example of a listing for PatioShoppers.com that you'll find at the Skaffe directory:

2) Because you're a member of a Trade Association
Join groups related to your industry and you'll soon find easy opportunities for links. As with Cabinetstore.com on the Woodworker's Website Association site:

3) Because people are discussing your products
People are talking about your products, as in this question about ShelfGenie.com published on Apartment Therapy. So, set up a Google alert to tell you when people publish and respond to any questions immediately.

4) Because you're a member of a local group
Local groups and associations can also be great sources of local links, as in this link to BrindleyBeach.com from the Outerbanks Chamber of Commerce.

5) Because you make a great case study
Always take part in surveys and volunteer your opinions. Let your suppliers know you exist. Perfume company Tuccini got an editorial link on a story about Analytics firm Coremetrics.

6) Because you belong to a specific demographic group
Whether you are a young or an over-50 entrepeneur, a work-at-home mom or a dad that runs an affiliate site, join up with like-minded people. Be part of your online community. Note that this site, YoungEntrepreneur.com, invites you to submit details of your start-up:

7) Because you submit a tip
No matter what your business, you'll have tips and tricks your customers will love and link to:

8) Because you comment on a breaking news story
Keep an eye on the news. You'll be surprised how many stories you can comment on. PetsPlace.com did a great job piggybacking on the news that the Clintons' cat, Socks, passed away. They compiled a list of the 10 Oddest Presidential Pets and got links such as this one from AbeBooks as a result:

9) Because you're a valuable resource
Make sure you're visible online so that writers can find you when they're compiling a list of resources. A writer on a ‘road and movie' trip through Arizona, visits locations from famous movies. At the end of the article, he lists resources for anyone following in his footsteps.

10) Because you offer a discount
We all love a discount and that's why many bloggers and journalists will write about and link to any great offers you have. Even better, if you can tie into a specific holiday like Broadmoor resort did here.

11) Because you make a donation
Your charitable donations are not only good in themselves, but they can also bring tasty links as shown by Crumbs Bake Shop's and their donation to the Japan earthquake relief fund.

12) Because you support your industry
FabFours.com is a leading bumper manufacturer who support SEMA, the Specialist Equipment Marketing Association – their support has been rewarded with a link.

13) Because you have an unusual business
People just love crazy ideas, so if you've got one flaunt it. Barberstops.com just cries out for attention, and links like this one from CoolBusinessIdeas.com is the result:

14) Because you give an interview
People love to hear stories, not dull business facts. Put yourself forward as an interesting interviewee and you'll get links like Bonobos.com got here at SmallBusinessAdvocate:

15) Because you're offering an internship or job
Even the internships you offer provide linkworthy content. Warby Parker is a spectacle company in New York that is looking to recruit interns. By spreading the word, they got this link One Day Internship:

16) Because you attend an exhibition
If you attend exhibitions don't be shy. Make sure the organizers know you exist. Many such events now offer links to participating companies. NewBathNow.com attend exhibitions and events in promoting their bathroom remodeling products:

17) Because you buck a trend
One day it's all doom and gloom, the next there are signs of a recovery. Learn to ride the waves like Everything2go.com in this newspaper article:

18) Because you publish videos on your own site
Producing videos is now very inexpensive. Build your video skills and then build those links. Yeti Coolers are stronger than ordinary coolers. And they've made some videos to prove it. The videos attracted links from the spearfishing community at SpearBoard.com:

19) Because you publish videos on YouTube
It's great if your videos go viral, but that's the exception. Just create great stuff your customers will love. TRXTraining.com publish an intensive 12-week fitness program on YouTube. It brings them links like this one:

20) Because your products make great gifts
Think three months ahead. That means in November you should be thinking about what you're going to do on Valentine's Day. As this post on 101 healthy Valentine's gifts shows:

21) Because you help them make money
Help people make money and you'll have little problem getting links. Many bloggers have affiliate links for the products they write about and review. Offering an affiliate scheme can bring you extra sales and extra links, as it did with Estella-nyc.com:

22) Because your products are healthy
FoodShouldTasteGood.com focus on healthy foods. They were featured in this article from Epicurious Magazine on healthy foods that kids love:

23) Because you support a local college
It takes a bit of effort, but by approaching and helping your local college you can get some tasty links, as Appareo partners with North Dakota State University. And they got a trusted link as a result:

24) Because you seek help
Isn't it wonderful that you can get links just by asking people to help solve your problems? Appareo.com asked members at Marketing Profs what they thought about its mission statement and got a nice link as a result.

25) Because you encourage reviews
Look for every opportunity to have your products reviewed. Sites such as Mommy Enterprises invite companies to submit their products for review. The results include links like this one:
Eleven on Mommy Enterprises 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What is the Best Web Programming Software?

Windows programmers and Linux programmers will never agree on which software application or development framework is the best web programming software. The best thing to do is learn a little bit about each so you are somewhat forearmed when the topic arises.

There are many software architectures running locally and on the World Wide Web. A few of these include: .NET, Linux, Red Hat, Cold Fusion, Java, Oracle, Ruby on Rails and many others.
We frequently work with clients who come to us with Microsoft Access and Word Perfect for database and communications. A good web development company can work in many different environments and help to build legacy systems to help migrate users to more modern platforms.

All things considered, a developer must look what is best for the company in terms of data migration, scalability and cost savings.

For example, client 'A' wants to have their in-house local database converted to an online application. They have over 500,000 records in an Access Database. Then it would make perfect sense to migrate them to a .NET SQL 2008 database in Windows versus My SQL in Linux.

At the end of the day, use the best tool in your developer tool box to get the job done. And if you do not know how to use that tool, get trained or hire an expert who does. Don't try to cut wood with a hacksaw.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Be Careful When You Edit Your Website

I had a client who had been updating its website for nearly a year. They added over 100 pages of content and new web pages to enrich their website and their Google search engine results. They called my web development company wanting to know why Google is only seeing 30 of their web pages instead of 131 pages.

Our analysis revealed that a keyboard character they were entering in their description meta tag was being interpreted as a snippet of code and blocked all these new pages from being seen in Google. As a result of this error they lost nearly a year of Google crawl time for all these new pages.

What you 'type' and what you 'see' displayed in a web browser can look fine, but when done wrong it can create major problems in your website HTML code.

It does not matter if you are using a CMS, Content Management System, or a fancy website editor because only a coding professional knows if the code and characters are technically correct so they do not cause your website any harm or difficulty over search engines.

What you don't know about SEO can hurt you

When I edit content for websites for my website maintenance clients, I quickly glance over a page for the following implements: Proper use of H1 through H4 tags, bolding, link-bolding, correct ALT tagging and well formed meta-data. And when I create a new web site page, my checklist also includes proper navigation linking and placing the new page link in the site index.

If you are editing your own website pages and do not know about any of the items above, you may be sabotaging your hard work.

Web grammar and good writing are just as important.

Did you know that Google can detect the reading level for your website? They can determine if your site is at the Child, Teenager, Adult, College, Master and Doctoral reading level.
You cannot see this detection, but loosely defined it is the sum of information found on your website compared to tens of thousands of similar websites and directories with traffic or visits factored in.

It means that Google might find you (your website) as more of an authority source for information on a particular search query because of your grammar and writing.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What Are the Best Website Template Systems?

Many customer inquiries to my company concern these so-called “Web site publishing systems.” Customers usually call me after spending their hard-earned money on a Web template system that leaves them frustrated and disappointed. But I can hardly blame them with all the radio and television commercials are popping up left and right to hawk these miracle web site building systems.

Not to say these Web template systems are a bad thing or that they don’t work. They do. But you better have an in-depth knowledge of HTML and graphic design if you want to publish a Web site that is original and dynamic. Otherwise, your Web site will be lost in the clutter of the World Wide Web.

From the examples I have seen created in web template systems most look dime-store cheap. A professionally built and designed web site is a powerful communication tool that speaks volumes for you and your business. You do not want to throw-up some slop on the Internet to attract business.

If you are extremely lucky, a customer might find your bargain template web site on page 750 on Google.
That’s not a good thing since most Web surfers won’t look past page 1, 2 or maybe 3 in a Web search for a product, service or information. The problem with Web templates is they are “closed proprietary systems.” Usually navigation placement is hard coded so that custom programming or effects are not allowed.

Although some newer systems allow users to post meta-data information; (the stuff that helps to get your web site pages found) most users have no idea how to use meta-data effectively.

Consider Hiring A Web Design Professional

If you are serious about launching a Web site to grow your business, you can do it without mortgaging your house. Here are some facts to consider when putting together the budget for your Web site.

Before spending your hard earned money on a Web site, do your homework. Look at the live Web sites your potential Webmaster has created and take a peak at their client references.
If you don’t have the funds available for the creation of a “professional level Web site” you should at least purchase and secure your domain name. You can do this for a very modest fee. Visit networksolutions.com, register.com or godaddy.com online or call them toll-free to get started.
Stay away from pesky templates. Save those hard-earned dollars for a Web site that will actually do your business some good.