The Smartest Guy-Search Engine Optimization
 

The Smartest Guy

Search Engine Optimization No Comments »

Well I have managed to completely ignore my blog for nearly 2 years. Something funny came up at Pubcon 2 years. A client of mine said I was the smartest guy in SEO. After a few beers it came down to me working on getting my website to rank for the terms “smartest guy” and “the smartest guy“. Well on a very part time basis I have done some search engine optimization work on getting it to rank for these terms and it has ranked in the top 5 for the smartest guy and smartest guy for about 6 months. Just today, I appeared #1.

My client is (still a client 2 years later) is going to appreciate this….

Google’s New Internet Browser Chrome

My Thoughts, Search Engine Marketing No Comments »

Well just as Microsoft released it’s Internet Explorer 8 which has available privacy settings which could potentially make Google’s AdSense ad tracking a lot less targeted, Google releases its own browser. Google has branded this browser as Chrome.

Internet Explorer 8 has added some nice new features. Although many have been available from Firefox for sometime now, it is a welcome sight to many IE users.

Chrome is apparently going to be Google’s first attempt at getting into the internet browser game. Not sure if Google is wise to get themselves into yet another battle, as I think they have been taking on many companies on many fronts, but apparently they feel it necessary now.

I have not been able to spent too much time using Chrome, but it appears to be very “Google”, It appears to take IGoogle one step further. Not quite sure anyone is going to require Chrome to use their I Google, but I am sure that the fans of Google will download it and give it a try.

The browser bar looks like an either-or—you can type in any search term or any website URL and you will be either taken to the Google results page or the corresponding website. It has a tab set up or new tab set up just like Firefox, and the latest versions of IE.  It does have some basic tweaks and customizations, but its galaxies behind any other browser. It appears to be relatively fast, has a clean easy to use interface (very Google) and offers the basic required function of a web browser.

I have a feeling that this is as much of Google making a statment then acually producing a browser to compete with Firefox, Internet Explorer or even Opera.

URL Canonicalization huh? Will explain

Search Engine Optimization No Comments »

Canonicalization is an important SEO topic that can be relatively confusing. And one aspect seems to be coming up again frequently. The debate about the importance of www.yoursite.com vs. yoursite.com continues. Is a site’s Page Rank and/or Link Popularity affected when these URLs are not structured properly? And what is proper at least in Google’s eyes? Are they read as separate domains?

Basically, canonicalization when used in terms of a URL format is referred to by Wikipedia as :URL normalization (or URL canonicalization). It is the process by which URLs are modified and standardized in a consistent manner. The goal of the normalization process is to transform a URL into a normalized or canonical URL so it is possible to determine if two different URLs are actually equivalent and the same, not duplicate sites.

Search engines employ URL normalization in order to assign importance to web pages and to reduce indexing of duplicate pages. Web crawlers perform URL normalization in order to avoid crawling the same resource more than once. Web browsers may perform normalization to determine if a link has been visited or to determine if a page has been cached.

In other words, this is viewed as giving your website two different URL addresses which are not necessarily the same address to search engines. What you need to do is set one as the default, usually people prefer the www.yoursite.com. If you do not have a default set you really should add a 301 redirect from http://yoursite.com to http://www.yoursite.com. In doing this you can rest assured that 100% of your internal and external link juice and search rankings are being applied to your primary website.

Matt Cutts from Google recently discussed this on his blog. It seemed like a worthy topic for discussion here for anyone interested in perfecting their on site SEO, and insuring that their off site SEO is paying full dividends.

So to be sure, you should add a 301 redirect to you .htaccess file on your website. If you are not familiar with a 301 redirect you can read up on how to do this here:

http://www.beyondink.com/howtos/301-redirect.php

http://www.webconfs.com/how-to-redirect-a-webpage.php

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/1.3/howto/htaccess.html

In summary, a 301 redirect is a text file saved as .an htaccess file on your server which states 301 redirect http://johnwieber.com to http://www.johnwieber.com

I believe this is fairly important. If when visiting http://yoursite.com, you do not get redirected to http://www.yoursite.com and vice versus then you possibly have a problem.

A “Cool” New Search Engine Joining the Game www.cuil.com

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Ex-Google employees have started their own search engine called http://www.cuil.com which is pronounced “cool”. Two ex Google engineers and an Ex IBM employee have started their own search engine which is touted to have indexed more then 121 Billion websites. It appears to be more than anyone else including Google, although Google stopped counting publicly at 8 billion.

So you may ask why would anyone take notice of yet another search engine that is framed out to be the next Google killer?  Well the reason is Google has taken notice. Before Cuil even officially launched Google posted to the Google Blog or Google webmaster blog about the size of the internet, the amount of indexed pages it had and that Google has indexed 1 trillion links.

Needless to say it is very unlike Google to take notice of anything, so this could possibly mean that a few ex-google employees with 33 Million could burst Google bubble.  Who knows.

Google Page Rank Always Updating and Always Available

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With the latest Google Toolbar Page Rank Update, I have been discussing this with several clients. It came to my attention that most people do not realize that at anytime you can get a real time snapshot of your websites current Page Rank according to Google.  Within Google webmaster tools, you can view what your current Google Page rank is in a way.  They do not offer you a specific number, but they do break it down into 4 catergories. High, Medium, Low and not yet assigned. It displays this in the form of a bar chart, offering an clear picture of how your websites current pages are valued based upon Google’s Page Rank.

To view this for your website, all you need to do is click on statistics and then crawl stats to view this information.

Assumptions can be made that your home page is probably the highest ranking page, so if you see a really small bar in the high or medium section this is most likely your home page.

At first you may look at this and feel somewhat perplexed by what does low, medium and high really mean. Based upon my experience, I can help with this:

Not Yet Assigned- would be a grey bar or no Google Page Rank.

Low- this puts your Page Rank Between PR0-PR3

Medium- this puts your Google Page Rank Between PR4-PR6

High- this puts your Google Page Rank between PR7-PR10

I was amazed at how many webmasters and website owners did not know that they can get a pretty clear picture of their current Google Page Rank and how to view this realtime.

I hope now, everyone does not feel that they need to sit around and wait for Google to do a Toolbar export to see their current website Page Rank. It is always available to you.

What would be cool, is if Google would just really show you the actual PR number of all your pages right in Google Webmaster tools, maybe some day.

Hope this helps.

Google Toolbar PR Update nearly complete

Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Optimization Tools No Comments »

As stated by Matt Cutts the Google Toolbar Export or update did begin on Friday July 25th 2008 and appears to be nearly completed. Does not look like there were too many wholesale changes, appears that some new sites got some PR and some old sites either went up and down. Appears to be little drama, and also appears that the general public is becoming somewhat disenchanted with the entire Google PR system.

“Google PR Update coming in next few days”

My Thoughts, Search Engine Marketing No Comments »

Well for the first time, Matt Cutts has announced that the visable Page Rank update as seen in everyone’s Google Toolbar is going to be updated in the next few days. This marks a milestone, as often webmasters around the world discuss when, how, what will change, and simply guess as to when the next PR update is coming. This go around Matt Cutts from Google has formally posted on his blog that the next PR update is going to happen in the next few days.

I applaud Google for advancements in communication and think the more Google shares with the internet community the better, and each little baby step they take in keeping webmasters aware of what is going on at Google and what Google’s plans are, will better the internet community.

I am excited to see this and hope that this upcoming PR update turns out to be everything, that everyone is looking for…

Good New Post to the Offical Google Blog

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Yesterday Google made a good post to their offical Google Search Blog http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/technologies-behind-google-ranking.html.

It is a good read, it does touch a little on SEO (search engine optimization) but it primarily discusses the search experience and how Google has improved search results over the years.

Google Making Changes to SERP’s

My Thoughts, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization No Comments »

It is becoming more and more evident that Google is making some serious changes to their algorithm. Webmasters around the world are seeing very inconsistent results. It appears that most webmasters agree that wholesale changes began on June 4th 2008, and have been going on ever since. I personally agree with the general population on webmasters. I have been seeing some major changes in results, on a multitude of websites. Some sites that were in the top 10 for say 15 to 20 keywords, bouncing all over down to 30 back up to 2 and so on. Other sites, maybe number 4 now, in 1 hour will be number 9 and then 15 minutes later back to number 3. One day last week, I was just hitting refresh on my browser and I could see the rankings changing real time, I also noticed the search results changing from IE to Firefox although I assume this was just the rapid changes in results being diaplsy only a few seconds apart, although you never know?

One thing I have noticed is, that the shuffling going on seems to be primarily from number 3-10, sites with number 1 ranking are staying put and the number 2 seems pretty solid, but after number 2 your guess is as good as mine as to where your ranking will be in the next 5 minutes.

I have two primary theories, the first one is that this is the new way Google will be displaying results, nearly real time shuffling. This will be with the hopes that people and seo (search engine optimization) companies, will not be able to really track a website’s search engine results. It is quite disturbing to see a site ranked number 3 one minute and number 10 the next. The difference in traffic from 3 to 10 can be 1000%.

My second theory is that Google is making major changes, and attemtping to implement a large scale change to their algorithm. While they are doing this they are constantly tweaking, testing and changing and this is causing the massive swings in results.

On a different topic, I am seeing penalties being potentially thrown around a lot more often, I am quite certain that in the last month I have seen or spoke to website owners and webmasters that are certain they have gotten penalties for certain keywords. They wake up one day with a -30 or -60, the problem is they appear to be somewhat short lived. The next day they will be bouncing all over the place, at times they can be 9 and 15 minutes later -90. I am not sure if this is also tied to the algorithm changes or if this is the “new way” of Google doing things.

In summary some crazy things are going on in Google’s search results and personally they are not good. It really seems that Google is more interested in staying in control, then they are in giving their users a good experience. I think they better keep their eye on the ball, as their search engine directory (remember what Google is) is only good as long as users like it and continue to use it. With these types of results, I think most users will start to become disenchanted with Google results bouncing all over the place. Personally I often search for a keyword (say cars), and make a mental note  that the 3rd result was the website I wanted to go back to, but now I can do the same search and that site might not even be on the first page.

Cool Tool FREE SEO Quake

Search Engine Optimization Tools No Comments »

Just a quick one here, I discovered a very cool new tool called SEOquake.

This tool when placed in the hands of the right person very powerful, it can be used to examine a multitude of on site and off site SEO (search engine optimization) factors. I just discovered it, and it is fairly accurate and displays a lot of information required to get a quick snapshot or your current SEO.

Have a look, well worth the 4 minutes it takes to install.