Getting pages corrected and reindexed in Google


We’ve all done it. You upload a new page or new content to your site and there is a mistake in it. The headline includes a terrible typo, or you missed a zero of the promotional price banner. In the past, all you could do was wait for Google to respider and then reindex the page. Depending on the the site and how deep into it the page was, it could take some time. All very difficult.

Google’s Webmaster Tools has now added a natty new tool feature overcomes this. You’ll find it under ‘Diganostics’ and then ‘Fetch as Googlebot’.

Fetch as Googlebot has been around for a while. It allows you to ask Googlebot to come and spider a page. Enter the URL, click fetch and the page will be listed. Simply click ‘success’ when the page has been spidered and you will see the code that Google has read. The tool was initially intended to allow webmasters to check to see if their sites had been hacked, but it is also useful as it shows the header status code (showing any redirects etc) and the download time, an increasingly important factor used to determine rankings.

The new feature is that you can now submit the page to Google meaning that the new page or content beats the queue for getting spidered.

You can go further and ask Google to respider and reindex all the pages that the corrected page links to you.

There is a limit on the use of Fetch as Googlebot. Matts Cutts in his video on this says you have 50 fetches per week and 10 linked pages submissions. But I have a WMT account with about 30 domains on it and that is allowing me 500 fetches, but across all the domains of course. I am still limited to 10 linked page submissions though.

This tool has been around for about six months, but if you missed it’s very useful to know about for when next drama happens.

Google’s Matt Cutts describes the process in more detail


 

SEO and competitive analysis


SERPS redux is a useful quick way of looking at the top results from Google to use for competitive SEO analysis Read the rest of this entry »
 

Finding contacts


A wonderful resource for finding contacts – Listorious.  It is a Twitter search engine enabling you to find people by topic, region or profession.  Really useful!


 

The power of content in online marketing


Push has given way to pull in online marketing and content holds the key Read the rest of this entry »
 

Optimising videos for search


Video is an increasingly important medium and being found in the video search can be an extremely way of driving traffic to your site.  This applies to almost every market and sector.

SEO musings in the park


 

Creating a custom search engine


Creating a custom search engine provides a invaluable information management tool Read the rest of this entry »
 

Researching your link profile


I was presenting a course on how to optimise on page content last week in Eastleigh and the subject of link profiles came up – not surprisingly perhaps in any SEO presentation.

The tool I recommend is Majestic SEO’s site explorer.  It offers quite a lot for free – all you need to do is register – and if you want to look at more sites or go into greater depth then subscriptions start at £9.99 per month.

Wordtracker also provides an excellent tool called Linkbuilder.  This is more expensive and its interface is easier to use and analyses the links a bit more for you – but the data is taken from Majestic SEO, Wordtracker then make it a little more accessible.


 

Social media – over hyped as an SEO strategy?


It doesn’t matter where you go or who you speak to the buzz word is ‘social media’. At networking meetings the chances are the guest speaker will have some slant on ‘social media’. Almost every client is asking about it. But is it all it is cracked up to be? I start to wonder if I am missing the plot or the only sane marketer out there.

I can see the value of social media, of course I can, but it is in my view being over hyped. Yesterday I read the article by Peter Shankman . And found a likeminded soul, at least nearly so.i Now I do think he must been having a particularly bad day because that was a bit of a rant but I do agree with the fundamental thesis, which is that there are no golden bullets in web traffic generation. All the different channels, social media included, have their role to play and different websites targeting different markets will find different channels of particular value.

So get to get back to basics, social media is anything that gets your brand or domain mentioned (and ideally linked from) another site in the context of commentary or discussion. So a listing on a suppliers list isn’t social media but almost anything else is.

So if you are working principally in the B2B market as I am, how should you deal with the social media question? You need a strategy. First lets look at the main types of social media opportunity.

Blogs

Blogs are definitely good. Getting your brand name out there on respected blogs relevant to your product or service must be a good thing. This means blogs about your product but the really big advantage of blogs is it lets you get visibility in related areas. So if you are selling accounts software for the SME then accountancy blogs are an obvious target. But the blogs serving the whole of the SME market, blogs for start ups, blogs for entrepreneurs, also offer a way of getting your message across to an audience who may not even know you offer a solution to their problem – or even that they have a problem!

Online PR

Again very valuable. Distributing regular press releases using a service such as prweb is a valuable arm in any traffic generation arsenal.

LinkedIn

I think LinkedIn is a great site but an increasingly annoying one. The idea behind LinkedIn is that individual professionals network with each other to their mutual benefit. Excellent. Then company profile pages were added, fine. But then inevitably these company profile pages become a web marketing tool and a lot of companies, simply do not have the time and/or inhouse resources to set up and manage the company profile. The trouble is that LinkedIn does not have any strategy for allowing third parties, ie SEOs, to manage their profles on their behalf. The reasoning is, as I understand it, that everything must be done by the people on the ground. In my view LinkedIN is trying to have it both ways, a professional networking site with integrity plus the commercialism of company promotion.

Facebook

I am very very wary of Facebook from the business angle. I know that many companies swear by it and if you are serving the B2C market then I would certainly recommend clients consider it. It’s also good for peer to peer communication, I know several creative agencies that have found excellent staff using Facebook. But for organisations that are aiming for larger clients, the corporate market, government contracts etc, there are big dangers. The main one is that it is all to easy for the personal to cross over to the business so that a prospect pulls up a photo of a company employee on a night out instead of one of him diligently working away. I know that there are privacy settings to prevent this from happening but the danger is there, and once on the internet, everything is there for ever. My view is that the way to keep a professional image is to keep Facebook for leisure and LinkedIn for business – unless as I say your market is B2C.

Twitter

Twitter is definitely a fad that has found its niche, its raison d’etre. I still find the information overload irritating, why anyone feels the need to update the world on an hourly basis (continuously) is beyond me, but perhaps they just lead much more interesting lives than I do. But for communicating interesting ideas and updating on a rapidly changing situation, it is wonderful. Its power in influencing the Arab Spring is testament to that. So my new month’s resolution for June (why just resolve in January?) is to use Twitter better. There is an  excellent ebook on how to to use Twitter for Business at Hubspot, not new but still a very good from the basics up guide.

Reviews

Reeviews are a whole other can of worms but one which I think is going to become increasingly important, I’d even go as far as to say it is going to be one of the main areas in which search engine algorithms develop. This means get your Google Places listing well configured, encourage LinkedIn reviews etc. Of course if you are serving the public directly there are a host of review sites that, in my view, if they are good and credible will carry increasing weight.

So develop a strategy using the various options above and prioritise based on your market and the resources, both time and personnel available to you. There isn’t time to do it all – unless you invest a lot of money and employ full time staff to churn out social media messages (which some large retailers do to great effect) so select the medium that will work best for you, plan out a strategy to implement it, being realistic about what is achievable.

And finally, a few rules of thumb that I believe apply to all SEO strategies.

Quality – far better to put out half the number of blog posts of high value than twice the number of low quality ones – the same applies to tweets, press releases and everything else.

Consistency – aim for regular communication rather than a periods of manic activity followed by silence. This has to be tempered by what news etc you have to offer. If your company does suddenly find itself at the centre of a major news (industry, national or even international) story then communicate, communicate, communicate it.

Update

Even before I got this published another very interesting social media article landed in my inbox.  Hoosa Hermani presents a really well written and interesting interview with Julie Joyce.  Mainly on link building, Joyce she has some very sensible things to say about the use of social media in a link building context.


 

Google and the taxman


The world of anyone working in SEO is dominated by Google, perhaps to an unhealthy degree it is, what we eat and breath.  Google has come in for a lot of stick in recent years especially in relation to privacy issues and is also increasingly Master of the Online Universe which is worrying.  I am thinking of the way in which it dominates the online
space, even to the point of requiring direction from US Justice Department to limit its control of the online travel space following its acquitision of ITA.

But we all know Google’s motto, ‘Don’t be Evil’ and to some extent it has managed to retain for itself some of the internet’s original ethos of generosity and openness, the
brand of Larry Page and Sergey Brin developing this massive wonderful technology to open information up to the whole world.

Well that’s one idea.  A very different view of what Google has become is outlined in the Sunday Times article (May 29th) on Google’s brilliance at tax avoidance.  The amount
of US, UK, and Irish tax that Google has managed not to pay is eye watering.  But then before we are too critical and moralistic about it, who of us pays more tax than we
legally have to and given the opportunity to rearrange out affairs to reduce our tax liability, which of us would say ‘but it is my civic duty to pay tax’?

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that a company capable of developing such an awesome tool as the Google search engine is more than capable of developing a ‘tax efficient’
financial and corporate structure.  Is this the  internet losing its innocence and growing up into a corporate adult?


 

Exclude competitors from clicking on your Adwords


Excluding competitors from seeing and then clicking on Adwords is a valuable way of targeting your Adwords budget. Read the rest of this entry »