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July 21 2010

Bing to Power Yahoo Search Results

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Yahoo recently announced that, “Assuming our testing continues to yield high quality results, we anticipate that our organic search results will be powered by Bing beginning in the August/September timeframe.” This is sooner than most people expected, but what does this actually mean?

Bing and Yahoo will be functioning as two separate entities, meaning there will still be www.bing.com and www.yahoo.com, but the Yahoo organic search results will essentially be served via Bing’s algorithm. To the average user, this shift will not mean much, but to SEOs, it could potentially mean a great deal. For one thing, Bing simply do not have the same amount of data that Yahoo possesses, so the literal “amount” of results for a particular search query won’t be as robust as Yahoo’s. Also, many webmasters will notice distinctly different results in terms of ranking in both Yahoo and Bing, so webmasters who don’t get high rankings in Bing as they do in Yahoo may want to consider adopting more “Bing friendly” SEO strategies. The trouble with that is; nobody knows for sure what the real differences between Bing and Yahoo are in terms of which signals they use in their respective algorithms. As of right now, the most appropriate strategy is to study one’s current positions in Bing and see which pages are ranking better. Bing also has guidelines on how to optimize your website, such as this page for their SEO guidelines: Search Engine Optimization for Bing.

June 29 2010

Optimize Video for Your Website

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Embedding videos on your website is a great way to engage people and give them the information they need. We all know that, from a user experience point of view, videos can be both informative and fun. That being said, how do we make sure they get the maximum exposure in the search engines?

Search engines, such as Google, need to be able to interpret what the video is about to correctly include it within their search results. One way to do this is to ensure that the content of the video is marked up in the body of a web page (uses coding that is recognized by the search engines). For instance, Google is able to recognize Facebook Share and Yahoo! SearchMonkey RDFa, but still has difficulty with videos that are JavaScript or Flash enabled. Using the correct code for the search engines is imperative if you want your videos to show up in places like Google’s own YouTube. As with all content you have on your website, traditional SEO practices still apply when it comes to videos. Make sure there is some descriptive, keyword rich text below the video, make sure there are unique titles and description meta tags for each of your video landing pages and allow people to post comments and share for social media and viral marketing efforts.

Of course, once the videos have been included on the site, it’s a good idea to tell the search engines where they are, so utilizing a video sitemap can be very beneficial. Once your Sitemap is created, submit it in Google Webmaster Tools or through your robots.txt file.

Posted in: Tips & Tools

June 18 2010

Caffeine Is Here

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On June 8th, Google officially stated, “Today, we’re announcing the completion of a new web indexing system called Caffeine.” The ramifications are obviously not being felt yet, but what should marketers do from an SEO perspective to prepare for what is one of the biggest updates to the Google algorithm in a good while?

In essence, Google Caffeine will facilitate faster indexing of much more relevant information. Now, more than ever, it is important to focus on adding as much new, unique and relevant content to your site in the hopes that it will have a chance of competing with the multitude of websites out there. Webmasters, in general, are much savvier at making sure their sites load faster and provide up to date information. Keeping your ear to the ground and optimizing for real-time search is imperative.

In general though, Google is still doing what they have always done which is to provide the most relevant information for a user’s search queries. The tried and tested methods of SEO are still firmly in place
(well-written, original and relevant content and quality inbound links) but even more tweaking is required now.

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