Tuesday, August 22, 2006

July 2006 - Search Engine Market Data


Source: Dave Porter, AXcessNews.com

Google 43.7 percent share, a decline of 1 percent from the previous month.
Yahoo! 28.8 percent of U.S. searches,
Microsoft 12.8 percent share of searches
Time-Warner 5.9 percent
Ask 5.4 percent


Google off by 1 percent ending 11 months of consecutive gains in market share against all other search engines.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Google - 8 Billion Pages Spidered

Google spiders are more active than ever. But can they find you?
"Google currently is reported to have indexed 8 billion pages and counting. Google utilizes an array of bots A.K.A. spiders or crawlers.James Opiko (c) 2006 from The Importance Of Sound Website Design & Search Spiders to Internet Marketers

Sunday, August 20, 2006

**Updated** On Domain Search Engine Optimization Mistakes Hurt Your Company

By John Beagle
Businesses do silly things that actually hurt their business. The fixes are easy and the cost is small, but the penalty can be great if you violate Google's search engine rules.
If you own a business and have a website, make sure you read on or direct your web person to read this. In later blog posts, I will go into more detail on each of the 10 mistakes outlined here.


1. Lack of Keywords
This is probably one of the most critical area of site optimization for search engines.
In order to be found, you must have the keywords people will use to find you. Choose the right keywords and potential customers will find your site. Use the wrong ones and your site will see little, if any, traffic.


2. Spamming
Does your website spam? Here are 3 examples that Google's search engine spiders consider spam"


A. Word Spamming: When you use the same words over and over again (called word spamming) the search engines may downgrade or remove pages or ban the entire website.
B. Hidden Keywords: Do not try to hide your keywords or keyword phrases by making them invisible. For example, the keywords appear as the same color as the background of the web page. The text appears invisible to humans but not to search engine spiders. Do not try to hide your keywords or keyword phrases by making them tiny. Setting the text size of the keywords so small that it can barely be seen does this.
C. Bad Keywords: The keyword doesn't have anything to do with the page topic. However, since the keyword is popular, they think this will boost their visibility. This technique is considered spam by the search engines and may cause the page (or sometimes the whole site) to be removed from the search engine listing.
D. Excessive Advertising - popup ads, excessive syndicated advertising, excessive text link ads. You not only confuse the search engines, you also confuse your readers.


3. Slow loading home page
If your page is slow loading, search engine spiders may never see your links. Make sure your website loads quickly by keeping elements to a minimum.


4. No Keywords in Title or No Title at All
Each page on the website should have a unique title and the title should contain a keyword or keywords.
Review your website, make sure there is a title, check page for content, find best keywords used on the page and include in title tag.


5. No Keywords in ALT Tags, Meta Description or viewable text.
Each page should utilize meta description, meta keywords and alt tags on all images. Make sure you use your keywords throughout the site. Sites utilizing flash or all flash sites generally do not have viewable text available for search engines.


6. No Site Map
Sitemaps help search engine spiders crawl more of your site. Make sure you place a link to the sitemap in your footer or site navigation.


7. Dead Links, Broken links, Links to slow loading pages
Links that don't work or are slow loading affect how much a spider can crawl your website. Download Xenu and check your site for broken links: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html
Fix your broken links right away, before the next crawl of your website. Broken links can only hurt your website.


8. Poor Outbound to Inbound link Ratio
If you have too many links pointing outside your website domain and not enough pointing in your website search engine results will not improve. Increase inbound links and reduce outbound links.

9. Using "FREE" or "Deep Discounted" web hosting.
Cheap hosting can be disastrous if your hosting company's IP range is blacklisted. In some cases search engines spiders will completely avoid indexing content from free or deep discounted web hosts by skipping the hosts entire ip range. Make sure your website is being hosted by a US based, reliable hosting company that answers the phone. Cheap web hosting companies are fully automated and don't answer that phone. If you website is down can you get in touch with your hosting company? Find a site in the $250/yr range for hosting your business website anything cheaper is bulk. The savings are not worth the risk unless you are getting a special deal with a local firm. Custom hosting firms are a good option for US based companies.
http://www.xponex.com/hosting.asp

10. Improper Website Navigation
Important pages need overt proof for search engine spiders. Navigation links help search engines find your most important pages. Always include your most important 'top' pages in your website navigation. Note: Navigation should appear on all pages on website.

This report will continue during the next week. Stop back for daily updates. Thanks Snafu for your excellent tool for fast broken link checking.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Writing for Humans and Search Engines

Sentence structures must make sense!
by John Beagle

Copywriting for search engines is one of the two most important aspects of search engine ranking and promotion. The other is linking.

Just like in regular reading, natural language is the key. If the keywords don't fit into logical sentences, then don't use them. Here's a tip: "Read your copy out loud. If it sounds stupid or redundant to you, it will sound stupid and redundant to your site visitor and to the smarter crawlers too."


Make sure your content is relevant and with the right keyword density.
This
 is the most effective method to get the attention of search engine crawlers.


The majority of search engines value optimized content with keyword-laden text. However, if you have too much keyword density, Google and others can consider this spam, and may penalize your site.

How much keyword density percentage is too much?
Sites have been banned because they were considered spammers when they exceeded 10 keywords for every 100 words of text.  While there is no standard, but there is definitely a point where the search engines will consider too many keywords as a spam technique. Determining what constitutes as spam is where the trick lies.

Keep your web text as natural as possible.
Do not stuff keywords
into the text. Make sure your sentence flows and is readable by humans.

Don't short change the readability of your text for the sake of search engines. Today, search engines depend on spelling. In the future, search engines will analyze your site for grammar too. 

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Conveyor Belt Advertising

Conveyor Belt Advertising at Kroger, Wal-Mart
That plain-black conveyor belt at the grocery checkout line is the next stop for ad creep. Full Story
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Grocery store conveyor belts have become the latest venue for in-store advertising.