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Article Archive by Mike Siers


July 5 2011

See Mobile Run

by Mike Siers

Google has seen mobile search grow at an exponential rate, increasing five-fold worldwide in just the past two years. This is a rate comparable to the early days of Google’s desktop search. Because of this, Google has released new updates to their mobile search page, which now makes mobile searching faster, easier, and more intuitive. Google has introduced features like autocomplete, Voice Search, Google Goggles, Google Instant and Instant Previews.

With continuous updates being rolled out, this is just the beginning of what is to come. You can gain a more in depth look into Google’s mobile focus by visiting Inside Search. As you will see, the mobile world offers new marketing possibilities that combine the physical and virtual worlds, enable webmasters to streamline processes, and allow businesses to become more interactive with their customers.

A good example of how Google is adapting their search platform to the mobile world is by their new icon features. On Google’s mobile search page, visitors are now offered the option to simply click a respective icon to get instant, local results. In the image below, you’ll see an example of using the restaurant search icon:  

See Mobile Run

On the results page, users will see a map with markers for local establishments in conjunction with their current location. Scrolling through the results, the map remains at the top of the page and adjusts automatically to the listings.

Such improvements to mobile search are sure to mean that even more people will turn to their phones to discover solutions to their queries. For businesses that have been wavering on initiating a mobile marketing strategy, now is the time. The opportunity is wide open to take the lessons from the desktop age and combine them with the creative marketing potential that lies ahead.

I, for one, am very excited about this new frontier and look forward to helping businesses develop a strategy to hit the ground running. We will keep you posted on future developments of the mobile arena.

June 10 2011

Picture the Art and Science of SEO

by Mike Siers

I love it when art and science come together. Maybe that is why I am so enthusiastic about SEO and the possibilities of the internet in general. Case in point, the other day I found the periodic table of SEO, courtesy of Search Engine Land. What this little piece of scientific art is showing is a formula for SEO success, based on ranking factors that search engines look for when crawling your website.

The table highlights fundamental ranking factors for on-site and off-site optimization strategies. Likewise, the document sheds light into search engine violations and any blocking by users, via Google’s newly released hiding feature.

The table offers a numerical breakdown of the factors in the upper right-hand corner of each element — a spinoff of the traditional Periodic Table. The numbers (1-3) are meant to indicate the level of importance of each element with “1” being least important and “3” representing the highest.

Picture the Art and Science of SEO

Some of the listed elements are as follows:

On-Page SEO Ranking Factors:

–  Content Quality and Research — are your pages well written and has keyword research been done?
–  HTML Tiles, Description, and Keywords (Meta Data) — does your meta data contain the keywords and do they describe the page?

Off-Page SEO Ranking Factors:

–  Link Quality — are your links from trusted and reputable websites?
–  Trust/Authority — do your links and shares make your site trustworthy?

Violations:

–  Thin Content — is you content more generic and lacking substance?
–  Keyword Stuffing — are you excessively stuffing keywords in your content?

This document is both extremely informative and creative. The challenge is following it and optimizing your website to the letter. That, like the SEO document, is both an art and a science.

June 8 2011

The Big 3 Come Together

by Mike Siers

Announced on June 2nd, Google, Bing, and Yahoo introduced schema.org — a structured data markup language for web pages. Similar to the trio’s pervious 2006 sitemaps.org release, schema.org is their next collaborative effort to bring a more universal process of communicating with search engines.

Schema.org is meant to further support the push for a universal approach to communicating with search engines, as it will allow Google, Bing and Yahoo to create a common vocabulary for structured data markup on web pages – hence the term schema. “Schema” derives from the Greek language and means “to shape.”

The schema.org site will act as a one-stop resource for webmasters looking to add markup to their pages, to help search engines better understand their websites. Likewise, the markup types may be used for future improvements to help people find your content more easily when searching.

In essence, the markup language contains little data tidbits for web elements, such as restaurant ratings and reviews, movies and locations, and even cooking times for recipes.

The Big 3 Come Together

Both Google and Yahoo have supported structured markup for a couple years now and schema.org has elements both Yahoo’s longtime Search Monkey project and Google’s rich snippets. However, schema.org contains a lot of new markup types from the pervious data projects.

The site offers more than 100 new types of structured data. It also ported over all of the existing rich snippets types. Here are a few of the more popular types:

According to Google, they expect to see an influx in adoption with this latest co-sponsored release:

“Adoption by the webmaster community has grown rapidly, and today we’re able to show rich snippets in search results more than ten times as often as when we started two years ago.” http://goo.gl/gXt9M

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