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Yesterday I posted about the negative impact the Google Panda changes are having on all sorts of websites, and with each day that passes, more webmasters are realizing they have been affected by the black and white bear of search. I thought it might be useful to offer a few tips on how to fight back for those sites that have been affected. Please bear in mind (no pun intended), that these tips are based on general research and my experience of the changes.

Eliminate Spammy On-site Links

If you have spammed your footer or sidebar with longtail keywords in an attempt to gain extra “Google points” then you may well have felt the force of the panda. Unless these links are linking to relevant and visible pages in your sitemap, then this could be a reason for Read more

The latest in a string of search engine services to hit the block is search tool called ‘Local Trend Search’ created by fwix . Currently in beta version, the tool provide users with a list of things happening ‘right now’ and recently in a specified local area. For example, if you type in ‘Yankee Stadium’ you get a display of results including news, events, photos and updates. The updates include posts from Twitter, Foursquare and Gowalla. The news results are generated form media sites and local blogs, and events from sites such as Eventful and Stubhub. The photos from what I can see are generated mostly from flikr.

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* Picture Reference: http://searchengineland.com/fwix-launches-hyperlocal-search-engine-46948

There is also a sponsored link section at the top which merges the search engine advertising via the fwix Adwire facility, a product they developed some time ago. This allows small businesses to leverage local user search to their advantage and apply a more reliable, targeted approach to local advertising. At the moment coverage is limited when it comes to small towns, always a thorn in the side of map creation, navigation and search in general, but no doubt something fwix will work on over time.

Of course there are alternative search engine services for local search including Sency which integrates similar features to the fwix application, Bing maps, and of course Google maps. Google could easily rival fwix by adding news, events and general updates to its agenda. But in the mean time fwix is one tool to keep an eye on, not only for its user friendly application but the rates for search engine advertising may turn out to be cheaper than existing options.

The internet has pretty much made the paperback dictionary redundant, I mean who has the time to get up from their computer, grab a dictionary and flick through those annoyingly thin pages and small print to find a definition, certainly not me!

Which is why using search engine services for word definitions is so much more efficient. At one time I used dictionary.com, but then even that became long winded and I switched to simply typing my query into Google. Not one to complain (er-hem), I found having to type “define: word” or “word definition” long winded, I longed to just switch tabs, type in my word and hocus pocus my definition would appear.

Well my prayers have been answered. Google have recently added “implicit triggering” of the dictionary result, so for example, a search on the word “annoying” shows a dictionary result at the top of the page as follows:

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In my opinion this is a marvellous little adjustment, and out of all the search engine services Google always seems to be striving hardest to respond to consumer needs. It won’t improve my search engine optimization, but, not only does it mean less typing, it means less arthritic pain in my fingers as I grow old. For those of you who weren’t aware of the Google dictionary in the first place this is what one would have previously had to type in for an instant word definition:

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Or

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It is indeed the small pleasures in life that bring us the most joy, and even though it won’t help your search engine optimization in any way I hope you find this little innovation as rewarding as I did. Just think, if I hadn’t of blogged this you may still have been typing in two words instead of the required one for a long time to come.

Finally, as threatened many times, Google have come up with a social aspect to search, albeit a rip-off of the Facebook “Like” button. +1, pronounced plus one, will allow you to effectively “like” search results and adverts by activating the +1 feature and clicking on it each time you feel the urge.

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google-remarketingHave you ever wondered why, sometimes when you browse a product on a website, the very site you abandoned suddenly starts targeting you with adverts via YouTube, Facebook and other platforms you visit?

This is called “remarketing” and, if you own an online business, could be the answer to reducing cart abandonment and infiltrating the minds of potential customers.

How Does Google Remarketing Work?

Google Display Network’s “remarketing” program lets you create ad campaigns based on Read more

Google Farmer Algorithm Guide

Late last week I sent out an update on Google’s Farmer algorithm change, and while the change comes as a pleasant change for websites being plagiarized by content farms, there is some concern by websites that churn out daily content. Web owners are concerned they might be labeled “the farmer” should another site copy their work or house similar content.  So how does one avoid being considered a low-quality publisher in the eyes of the search giant?

  1. Don’t Stress Over every Single Piece of Content
    Google wont just label you a farm based on one piece of content, so if you have one article extremely similar to twenty other sites in a particular week I wouldn’t worry too much. If this is happening on a daily basis, however, then you might want to have a word with your editorial team and consider some drastic Read more

Google Farmer UpdateA while ago I told you the Google Farmer change was coming, but just how big an impact it was going to have I couldn’t have told you back then. Well, since this baby has been in operation for a good couple of weeks now, I can tell you a lot more about how it is affecting search and ecommerce in general.

Massive Changes In Search Results

We knew this massive change to Google’s ranking algorithm would improve query results and wean out websites who reuse content and try to beat the system, what we couldn’t of known is that this change would affect 11.8% of Google queries in the United States.

Google makes about 500 changes to its algorithm per year, some miniscule and others with greater importance, but most with the aim of Read more

Google Rankings“How do I rank a page highly in Google”? If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this question I would be nearly a billionaire, I am sure.  The answer isn’t as difficult as people would have you think, in fact Google tell you, just look at their philosophy statement and the words are clear as day: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.”

If you focus your website on user experience then the rankings will come. Now, of course, knowing how to do that isn’t particularly easy, but keeping that philosophy in mind will keep you Read more

By the end of this month the Google social search mechanism will be completely rolled out. For those of you that don’t know what this is, let me give you the heads up. It has actually been in test phase for quite some time – the last quarter of 2009 I believe.  Now, by social search I don’t mean real time results  from random people on Twitter, I mean social search as in connecting you to content created by people in your social circle.

What is Your Social Circle?

Your social circle is people you are connected to through Googlemail, Twitter, people you follow in Google reader, Flickr and other social mediums. Google will now display blog posts, profiles, images and other content from members of your social circle when you conduct a search. Be aware though that you may be shown friends of your Twitter friends or slightly random people you wouldn’t expect to pop up – but this is intentional and will also be related to you in some way. The idea is to broaden your social circle and discover other people with stuff to share that you will genuinely be interested in.

To give you an example of how it works; if you were my friend and connected via twitter, gmail, etc. and you typed in ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, you might see the following:

Google Social Results

Why Are Google Introducing Social Search?

Well, believe or not we like to follow each other, I don’t mean on Facebook I mean in reading, buying and browsing trends. For example, if I was buying a new mp3 player I would more than likely want to know what the people in my social circle thought about mp3 players and what brand of player people had been purchasing. One of my social circle may have written a “best mp3 players” blog post, and another may have recently purchased and reviewed an mp3 player on Amazon. This would surely help me to buy with more confidence, and with affiliate marketing and fake reviews making it all but impossible to source honest information, this is great news in terms of reliability.  In a roundabout way Google social search is putting control back in the hands of the browser, allowing us to trust content again and operate within search boundaries. Or is it? I mean you can hardly trust friends of friends on Twitter or someone you liked on Flikr. I guess what this really means is, we now need to be extra careful who we ‘socially’ connect with.

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