Articles written in August, 2010

August 31 2010

Top 10 SEO Mistakes


Many junior SEOs or web developers may think they know SEO, but the truth is they actually don’t. Here are 10 rookie SEO mistakes that seem to be quite frequent:

  1. Inaccurate Keyword Targeting: This can be a big slip-up for most people that are new to SEO. They forget to do the proper research or any at all!
  2. Duplicate Content: Comes in many forms (other domains owned by website with exact content, lack of canonicalization, URL parameter changes etc.).
  3. Poor Title Tags: Title tags are the most important of the meta tags (they are weighted highly by the search engines). They are either too long, too short, duplicated or are missing completely.
  4. Navigation isn’t Crawlable: JavaScript or Flash based navigation is problematic to search engines.
  5. Robots.txt File. Simple text file placed at the root of the domain, it tells the search engine spiders which parts of the site to index and which to skip. Sometimes incorrectly implemented or omitted completely.
  6. URL Structure. Generally speaking, a good URL consists of as few parameters as possible, along with good keyword elements.
  7. Lazy Link Building: Too few backlinks from “hub” or authority sites and too many outbound links to low quality or irrelevant websites.
  8. Internal Site Map: Important for two reasons; for the spiders to find pages they wouldn’t be able to get to otherwise and for user experience.
  9. Fresh Content. This is often overlooked. New content added to a site will get the spiders to return and index more often (it’s good for user experience too!).
  10. Footer Navigation: Gives the spider another place to get to the important pages on the site and, again, is good for user experience.


August 30 2010

Yahoo Powered by Bing


Much has been written throughout the Search industry over the past few days, months, and years, relative to the “impending” Search Alliance between Bing and Yahoo and the end of Yahoo Search as we’ve known it. And now the time has finally arrived, Yahoo organic search is 100% powered by Bing (in the United States and Canada, for now). Long gone are Paid Inclusion (since the end of 2009), Search Monkey, and the “Big 3” of search. All organic results in Bing and Yahoo are powered by the same Microsoft algorithm/index. What does it mean? Here’s a run down of other changes so far….

  • Any positions your site had in Yahoo that you did not have in Bing are now gone — all rankings are dependent on your site’s ability to rank in Bing now, regardless of past performance in Yahoo.
  • Yahoo Site Explorer and the Yahoo Directory are still intact.
  • The average user of Yahoo and Bing remain separate demographics.
  • The user interface and overall “look and feel” of Yahoo and Bing have remained separate and unique and the two engines are still competing on display advertising.
  • Universal/Blended search results are displaying differently within the two engines — which means that a search in Bing may reveal image results, for example, interspersed within the Organic listings that aren’t shown for the same keyword query results in Yahoo.
  • Optimizing for Bing is, in many ways, similar as for Google, with the exception that Bing’s index, overall remains much smaller. Your best bets continue to be to produce quality, thematic, and keyword-rich content — keyword-rich urls are also helpful.
  • Paid search changes are continuing to transition and roll out separately.

What else will follow? Additions of new partners into the Search Alliance? Removal of Yahoo Site Explorer? The Yahoo Directory? Who Knows? Stay tuned for changes to the above … the Search Alliance continues to be an evolving entity in and of itself.

August 27 2010

Reaching Your Customers through Mobile Promotions


Despite the impressive growth and success of mobile device advertising, there still remain marketers who have yet to recognize the increasing importance of reaching consumers when they’re on the go. It wasn’t until the recent back to school season that retailers started to more heavily pursue customers through the device on which they spend the majority of their time.

Retailers such as Target, Kmart, JCPenny, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Sears rolled out mobile marketing initiatives in time to reach their customer prior to the busy back to school shopping season. These retailers are just a handful of those who have begun to offer mobile coupons, send text promotion alerts and promote their mobile sites all in an effort to gain more visibility and revenue.

Mobile coupons can help to increase the frequency of current customers using your product or service.   In order for customers to receive current coupons, they must first voluntarily opt-in to receiving promotions. Mobile coupons will allow you to get loyal customers to purchase from you more frequently. Rewarding current customers for their faithfulness by sending special mobile promotions gives them more of a reason to maintain a relationship with you and keep you at the forefront for future purchases.  

According to Borrell Associates, the 2010 U.S. Local Mobile Advertising & Promotions Forecast estimates that mobile coupon spending will grow from $90 million in 2009 to $6.52 billion in the next four years. It is expected that customers will buy $2.1 billion worth of goods and services using their mobile phones this year, which is a huge jump from $400 million in sales via mobile phone in 2008. Now more then ever is the time to tap into the ever emerging mobile promotion world.

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