Google Instant Previews – Implications for SEO and Marketing

SEO Mastering Search Engine Optimisation

Google wasn’t satisfied with just having Instant Search, now it has introduced something called Instant Previews. Searchers and web users can now browse a large instant “preview” of a site’s content by placing the cursor over the small magnifying glass displayed beside each listing. These previews are large and Google sometimes highlights a major paragraph or quote from each displayed site.

Searchers can get a general look at the layout and design of a site, on page graphics and bold headlines can usually be seen from the preview. However, small print and the general content of the page can’t be read, so searchers will have to click through to your site if they want to read your information. Assuming of course, they don’t find what they’re looking for in the headlines or bold print.

Whether searchers will use this new feature remains to be seen, but these instant previews could have some ramifications on who gets the “click through” to their site. One would also reason that getting the top spot in the rankings have diminished somewhat, if searchers can quickly preview all of the top 10 listings and then make their decision. So they might not click the top listing, but decide one lower down is worth clicking. This could make any listing on the first page more worth having, not just the top one.

This doesn’t really affect any of your SEO strategies and you should be optimizing for the search engines as usual. After all, getting those top rankings for your targeted keywords in the major search engines is what brings in the quality traffic to your site. In this regard, it’s business as usual.

Google Mountain ViewHowever, Google’s Instant Previews does change the whole nature of SERPs or rather Google’s search results in that webmasters and marketers have another hurdle to get past before they get that final click. Searchers might click your top number one ranking preview and decide your page is not up to standard or it’s not what they’re looking for, and can quickly try out the other listings instead.

From Google’s perspective these previews could improve the “overall” quality of their results because searchers will come away happy, especially if they have not wasted their time clicking on a link, only to find it’s not what they’re looking for. Now they can easily find the right results more quickly and efficiently.

For the webmaster or online marketer, these new Instant Previews can be seen as another chance to get that all important click. They must make sure their page design is up to scratch and featuring a catchy headline which draws visitors to their page or site. Also, highlighting a well worded summary could help attract more of these visitors. So too, would placing your main keyword phrase in bold print so that it can be read from the preview.

Needless to say, webmasters/marketers must always keep their targeted keywords front and center. Highlighting them on your page in the main title is already a given, but now you should make sure they can be read from the preview. This could possibly give you an edge with it comes to getting that click from Google.

On a more general note, these previews also add to the time searchers will spend on Google’s results pages. Google has been steadily focusing on this factor in recent months. Why? One good reason – the longer a searcher stays on your page the more likely they are to click your paid ads. Stands to reason, if the searcher can’t find what they’re looking for in the so-called “free organic listings” (actually, truth be told, for very lucrative keyword phrases these are not free, nor organic) they will look to the paid AdWords listings.

Google Instant Previews and SEO

If you check out the average time spent on Google, according to Alexa, in 2009 it was around 7 minutes and now in 2010 that average has jumped to around 14 minutes. And that’s before both Google Instant Search and Google Instant Previews are fully rolled out and implemented. One would expect that number to go much higher. While this is nowhere near Facebook’s average time of 31 minutes, Google has still doubled the time it had only a year ago. No wonder, Google can afford to give their employees that 10% raise, they have probably earned it.

Nor should Google be criticized for doing all of this, they are a business and their goal is to bring in more revenue. Besides, these previews will no doubt improve the effectiveness of Google’s SERPs. Searchers can more quickly find what they’re searching for on Google and come away happy. A satisfied customer is the ultimate goal of any business, why should Google be judged any differently.

However, for the webmaster and online marketer, keeping Instant Previews in mind when creating web pages is a must. Here are some suggestions you can follow:

1. Improve Your Graphics

These can really grab the searcher’s attention in the preview so it’s vital to have eye-popping graphics right next to your important information.

2. Create Great Headlines

Good headlines quickly capture the searcher’s attention and draws him/her to your page; just make them bold enough to be seen in Google’s previews.

3. Write An Informative Summary

Place your important information in a short summary which also captures the viewer’s attention. Entice these viewers to visit your site or page.

4. Take A Multi-Layered Approach

Just don’t aim all your marketing towards free organic search, but try video listings, news listings, image listings… to get other ways onto Google’s first page.

5. Finally, PPC Advertising

This is probably not what you want to hear, but paid listings through Google Adwords is another option. Besides, for extremely lucrative keywords, as more and more major companies throw major funds into SEO and Keyword Link Buying, organic search is not really free or even available to everybody anymore. For the small-time webmaster or marketer, paid listings in Google may be your only option and that option is quickly becoming too costly for many.

Of course, how Instant Search and Instant Previews play out in the near future is still open to wide speculation. Will searchers even use those added features in their daily searches? Or will users opt–out and go back to a more gentle, less hurried Google? One thing that all of us can be sure of, Google will be constantly rolling out new features and innovations just to make all our lives a little more interesting.

Google Instant // SEO Internet Marketing

Google-Instant-Search-Demo

Google Instant – Implications For SEO & Internet Marketing

While reading Harry McCracken’s rather insightful article on Google Instant in PCWorld, I was reminded once again, how narrowly focused my own thinking has become in regards to Google. I keep forgetting, not everyone is into SEO or Internet Marketing (lucky dogs), and that Google search has a function outside of SEO.

I keep forgetting that the general public actually uses Google for online search, there are millions of web users out there who have been using Google Instant to find out the weather, the latest Lady Gaga outfit or which flat-screen HDTV to buy? Of course, I know this to be the real function of Google, but if you’re a full-time search engine marketer, your perspective is solidly aligned to all the SEO elements – keyword rankings, link building and content placement in the most dominant search engine in the world.

Basically, you will be more concerned with how Google Instant will impact those top keyword rankings, your click through rates and most importantly, what effect will it have on your conversion rates and sales? More specifically, how does this instant search impact the display of your listings in Google and what are the long-term ramifications this instant “real time” display will have on your online marketing?

There are even some so-called experts which say Google Instant will be the end of SEO. This is a rather foolish notion since the underlying structure of using optimized strategies to obtain top rankings in Google or any other search engine for that matter, has not changed. We still have the emphasis on quality content, high quality back-links and on-page ranking factors.

In the background nothing has changed, in the foreground everything has changed. Well, somewhat.

Google Instant is a game changer for online marketers simply because it changes “How” your listings are displayed. Not only is the faster speed a factor but Google is guessing or rather dictating what the web surfer is searching for so Google’s influence on what’s displayed has increased 10-fold. They are displaying results not only based on rankings BUT on what their data tells them you’re looking for? How big a role this other compiled data and web users’ histories play in these suggestions only Google knows, but to the online marketer all this is somewhat worrisome.

Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google has been quoted as saying, “Never underestimate the power of fast. Quick, quick, quick – we want to help you right now… we can understand things like what you really meant.”

Only time will tell what effect this “jumping the gun” or “making up your mind for you” will have on Internet marketing. The long-lasting effect of Google imposing its results on the web searcher will no doubt have some strong impacts on web marketing. Getting those first suggestions when a surfer types in just one or two letters… will become the real money-makers in terms of online traffic and sales.

Those companies and products which pop-up first will gain in market share and importance, but hasn’t this always been the case with getting those first place keyword rankings in Google? Yes, but now Google is giving the searcher options and planting seeds/suggestions, which Google has done in the past but not at this speed and to this extent. The implications for online marketing could be enormous, assuming of course, web surfers actually use this function because Google does give users the option of turning off Instant search. In our hurried fast-paced world, one would reason, web searchers would not turn off this function, although if your Internet connection is too slow, Google will automatically turn off Instant search for you.

Las Vegas On Google Instant - Example

From a marketing angle, webmasters must now note Google’s keyword suggestions which quickly pop-up and target them in their SEO efforts. Analyzing and targeting which keyword phrases Google are displaying in your niche market will be vital to capturing the majority of the traffic. Surfers will click on Google’s suggestions to find what they’re looking for on the web. Getting top rankings for those 4 or 5 suggestions will become important if an online marketer or webmaster wants to cover/corner all the search territory in their niche. Whether you actually target these keywords would really be determined by their commercial intent probability which can be discovered by using Microsoft’s Adcenter Laps (http://adlab.msn.com/Online-Commercial-Intention/) and of course, the amount of traffic each keyword gets each month. (Try here: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal).

Another area of concern has to do with the ever decreasing space for organic listings on the new Google Instant interface. With the drop-down menu and depending upon how many paid listings are shown, there may only be room for 3 listings instead of five or more above the fold. Keep in mind, we are mainly talking about lucrative keyword phrases which will also usually have three paid Adwords listings in the spots where organic search results were formerly displayed. Searchers are lazy, they will probably not scroll down, especially if they see different listings popping up as they narrow down their search. So your SEO has probably gotten much harder since you will now have to aim for the top 3 spots – thanks Google.

Of course, savvy online marketers know the real gold is in the long-tail keyword phrases which surfers use to find what they’re looking for on the web. Google Instant could possibly play havoc on this whole process because before the searcher finishes typing in the long 4 or even 5 word phrases, they would be exposed to maybe 4 or 5 pages of Google listings… chances are great that searchers will click on one of these listings before they finish typing, especially if the listing contains a part of the searched for phrase.

Marketers will have to closely analyze their own web stats and conversion rates in regards to Google Instant. I am seeing little change in my own online marketing… traffic has dropped on some sites and risen on others, subscription rates are up and sales are steady. What really concerns me is the fact that Google may not only be pre-judging their rankings but also your mind. They are playing a much bigger role in how you decide which listing you click. Granted, this is probably drawn from unbiased data but will the influence of top-brand companies be more dominant in Google’s Instant results?

Another general concern, will the display of so many listings make it harder for your site or page to be clicked? Will giving the searcher so many options so quickly, lower your chances of getting that click-thru, even if you have the top spot in Google? The laws of probability and human nature says your chances have diminished somewhat in this new instant search environment. Not good news if your livelihood depends upon getting that click.

However, many of these changes and no matter how fast Google gives you their search results, will not change the fundamental principles of good SEO practices. Keyword positioning will still get you to the number one spot in Google for your chosen phrase if you have the time and resources to create quality content, build quality one-way back-links and use good on-page optimization. Besides the smaller emphasis on organic traffic, the only other real concern is the degree to which Google will use their suggestions and how much those suggestions are based not on SEO ranking factors but on users’ histories and compiled data. Even with this concern, Google Instant, even at warp speed, does not negate the importance of getting those top rankings. For many search engine marketers, like myself, it’s business as usual. Full speed ahead.

Demo Slam: Google Instant Elements

 

Full Article: http://www.marketingtoolguide.com/

You simply must get the SEO part right

Getting Your Site’s SEO Right

Getting Your Site’s SEO Right

You simply must get the SEO part right. Mainly because proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will increase your chances of obtaining those all important top rankings in the search engines. Besides, a well optimized site or page, will go a long way in weathering any abrupt changes on the web.

Google Instant is a perfect example of how things can change overnight. While it didn’t change SEO per se, it did change how people use Google and how the results are shown. Searchers don’t get the same chance to type in their long-tail keyword phrases because they are constantly and instantly being bombarded by suggested links… so much so that getting those top positions for shorter root keywords has gotten more important and this has increased everyone’s competition because those popular shorter keywords have always been the most competitive.

Probably every webmaster or online marketer knows that in order to get top rankings in the search engines you have to have quality one-way backlinks from other high ranked keyword-related sites. This will more than likely be the main determining ranking factor for most search engines, especially the all important Google. You simply need good quality one-way links and plenty of them to rank high.

However, there are many more SEO factors which come into play, especially if you’re in a very competitive niche and targeting highly cherished lucrative keyword phrases which bring in the big bucks. Then in these competitive situations, you must get all your SEO ducks lined up proper, if you want to be a player.

Some of these SEO factors may be minor but in very tight keyword races, it could possibly mean you get ranked above your competitor. Believe me, for some very lucrative keywords, just moving up a few notches can make a significant difference in your traffic and sales. The number one spot is what you’re aiming for, but even landing or moving up to the top five positions can make a big difference.

Traffic to your website

But you probably already know the significance of getting top rankings for your site and marketing. It can simply make or break your online endeavors. So here are some SEO on-page or on-site factors which you should have in place if you truly want to compete in the ranking wars.

1. Place your main keyword phrase in your Domain Name and over time you will see higher rankings for that phrase and keywords related to it. With Google going to Instant Search, I believe you will see these keyworded domains playing a much greater role in what is listed first. You still have to get those quality back-links, but having a good keyworded domain will be half your battle.

2. Place your keyword phrase in the URL for your webpage. Place it in the title, description and in the H1 tags on your page. Also place this keyword phrase and variations of it throughout your page, including at the very bottom. As for keyword density, try to keep it under 6%, this is the limit that Ezinearticles puts on their contributed content, go above this percentage and they won’t take it. I usually aim for around 2% to 4% but don’t get too hung-up on this issue, just write helpful easy-to-read content for your visitors.

3. Place related keyworded interior links on your page. That is, keep all your content and links keyword-related to one another. This makes it easy for the search engines to index your pages and content. I like building keyword-related traffic hubs or sections on my sites, for example I could have a whole sub-directory just on all the “affiliate marketing” info pages on my site. These would be all linked together and back to the homepage.

XML Web Site Sitemap4. Make sure you have an XML Sitemap which the search engines can use to quickly index your new pages. I also like adding an HTML sitemap which goes into more detail and lists all the pages and their content. This is not only for the search engines but to help your visitors more easily navigate your site; never leave a visitor stranded.

5. Make sure all your pages load quickly. Reduce any large images that you have and break content/articles up into different pages to reduce load times.

6. Make sure your site handles 404 mistakes and your visitors are directed to your sitemap or another page on your site. If you don’t know how to correct this problem, just do a Google search for “how to set up a custom 404 file not found page” or contact your web host support to fix this issue.

7. Don’t have duplicate content on your site. Do a proper 301 redirect for the www and non-www versions of your site, since this may fool some of the search engines into believing you have two versions of your site, one with www and one without the www in the URL. For Apache servers I simply place this bit of code in the .htaccess file on my server.

Code example from non-www to www:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.example\.com$ [NC] RewriteRule .? http://www.example.com%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

8. Link out to other high quality keyword related sites. I don’t believe webmasters use this very much, but linking out to high quality sites have helped my rankings. Search engines, especially Google, want to see you’re connected to quality content and besides, pleasing your visitor is what it’s really all about.

9. Keep all your interior site navigation as simple as possible. Make it extremely easy for your visitors to find their way around your site. I usually don’t have any pages more than three clicks away from my homepage. All main categories or sub-categories of my site are not only listed on my home/index page but also on every page of my site. Again, never leave your visitors or the search engines stranded.

Analyze Your Website Traffic10. Don’t know if this is a ranking factor or not, but I like placing my YouTube videos on my content pages. Sure you will lose some visitors to YouTube, but it also connects your content with this very popular site which is owned by Google. We all know Google says it doesn’t promote its own interests, but what publicly traded company doesn’t? In that same light, I like using many Google products such as Google Analytics, Google URL Shortener, Google Profiles… and the list goes on. Completely inter-connecting all your pages and content with the countless Google programs will ensure your content won’t be missed.

There are probably many more on-page factors but these are the major ones which you should have on your site and done properly. If you want to check the SEO quality of your site or page, here is a handy site which will check some common SEO factors: www.pearanalytics.com and for checking out your keyword density try this one: www.webuildpages.com/seo-tools/keyword-density/

Full Article: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2010/nov/5prt.html

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Five tips for more stylish web content

Blog Blogging Blogger Chennai India

Style isn’t just important for your wardrobe. It’s also essential for your blog. CopyBlogger compiled five tips for developing chic web content that’ll please your readers’ eyes and minds.

See a few of them below:

  1. Conversation never goes out of style.
  2. Engagement is key.
  3. SEO is not the new black.
All five tips at CopyBlogger.

How Google Analytics just got a lot more powerful

Google Analytics got a lot more powerful. Its new features are explained here. Who cares about Google Wave—give me more GA! Here’s one video. Click through to see more.

Seven Easy Tricks to Get a Goooooooogle of Links

seo

SEO is a race.
And in any race learning from your competitors makes you a better runner. Even when you’re running first it’s sometimes good to look back and check the runner-ups. And if you’re not the yellow jersey guy, you absolutely should examine the leaders: their gear, their training, their strategy. In SEO the most interesting thing about your competition are their links.

seo-CYCLEWhether you like it or not SEO is still pretty much about links. Good link profile can make up for almost any lack of optimized content and other onpage flaws. Love or hate, the best thing you can do about it is embrace the fact and run with it.

Let’s Talk Competitive Link Research
Finding out where your competitors’ links come from is not all that hard. You just go to Yahoo! or Google and type in link:www.your-competitor.com to get a list of inbound links to the site.

Yahoo’s much better in that respect as it tends to give more extensive and accurate data. The problem here is that there’s a limit of 1,000 links per website which is often not enough as the fattest link sources get left behind the limit fence. Here’re some tips to break through to the other side.

Note: If you’re lazy like me skip to the end of the article where I’ll share a tool that does it all much quicker.

Trick 1: Search for Links to Particular Web Pages of a Competing Site

Alongside with link:www.your-competitor.com search for

link:www.your-competitor.com/products.html or
link:www.your-competitor.com/services.html

and so on.

Trick 2: Exclude Internal Links
You may examine the internal linking structure of your competition if you want to gain some insight on their navigation and marketing steps. But as we want to find more external links, let’s exclude the internal ones.

You can do this by adding -site:site.com operator to your search query. Type in:

link:http://www.your-competitor.com -site:your-competitor.com or
linkdomain:www.your-competitor.com -site:your-competitor.com

and you’ll get a list of external backlinks only.

There’s a dropdown option in Yahoo! site explorer that does the same.

Trick 3: Exclude Links Coming from Certain Domains
The -site: modifier lets you exclude links coming from specific sites. So, whenever you see a large chunk of links coming from the same domain add -site:thisdomain.com modifier to your query and the links from this site will get replaced with new ones.

You can add -site: multiple times in one query so that you have something like this:

link:http://www.cnn.com -site:cnn.com -site:en.wikipedia.org

Trick 4: Check Links Coming from Certain TLDs
This is a little known trick. The site: modifier actually lets you get a list of links coming from domains with certain TLDs: .com, .org, .edu, .co.uk and so on. Just type in

link:http://www.your-competitor.com site:.gov or
linkdomain:www.your-competitor.com site:.gov

and you’ll get a list of .gov sites linking to your rival.

Note: Do this in Yahoo! regular search, not site explorer

Trick 5: Exclude Links Coming from Certain TLDs
This is an even lesser known trick. You can exclude certain TLDs from the results with the -site:.tld modifier. Usually the biggest chunk of links comes from .com’s so add a –site.commodifier and you’ll get lots of new link data.

Trick 6: Use Different Combinations of the First 5 Tricks

Try link:http://www.your-competitor.com/page.html -site:your-competitor.com -site:.com
Or link:http://www.your-competitor.com site:.org -site:wikipedia.org

Give it a thought and I’m sure you’ll come up with lots of ideas. Feel free to share your findings in the comments.

Trick 7: Use the Above 6 Tricks in Different Search Engines
Don’t limit your searches to Yahoo! and Google, go to AltaVista, Alexa, (Bing doesn’t give you link data, so forget about it) but then there’re Exalead, Excite and tons of regional search engines. Search them, get rid of the the duplicates and you’ll have a goooooooooooooooogol of competitor’s links to study.

Note: Some search engines have a different set of operators so you’ll need to type domain:instead of link:.

seo-servicesGetting It All Done Fast
This sure seems like a lot of work and it is. Moreover, getting the links list is only the beginning and the easy part of competitive link research. Once you get the list you need to analyze each link, weed out poor quality sites and only leave the ones you can get a link from. Now THAT’s a lot of work.

I’m too lazy to do this all by hand, besides I value my time too much to waste it on such kind of work. That’s why I use SEO SpyGlass an advanced link analysis tool that employs all the tricks described in this article (plus some more advanced ones I don’t even know) to get up to 25,000 links per domain, which is much, much more than any other tool can get.

SEO SpyGlass also finds all the data I need to analyze the links:

• Google PR of the domain and linking page
• The URL and title of the linking page
• The anchor text and description
• Whether the link is still on the page (sometimes the link gets removed but search engines will think it’s there till they reindex the page).
• Whether the link is no-follow or dofollow
• How many other links are on the page
• How much link value the link passes
• And some other data like TLDs, domain age, country, etc.

If you want to do competitive link research seriously, I’d strongly recommend trying SEO SpyGlass out. And of course you can always use my tricks whenever you want to run a quick background check on that new guy on your block.

Note: This article first appeared on Site-Reference.com

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