October 14, 2013

Buttress your brand with content creation & community

community

To get discovered in search, be true to yourself, not to SEO tricks

Target audience: Marketing professionals, PR professionals, businesses, brand strategists, educators, journalists, general public.

Chris AbrahamYou can’t control your brand perception. You can’t force your will or your perception of yourself onto Google no matter how big your advertising budget — sorry. And, now, you can’t do it through writing big checks to black hat link farms, either.

So, if you want to make sure you can shape perception of your business in search as much as possible, you’ll need to write about yourself and your company as thoroughly as humanly possible — and, part of that is doing the equivalent of a 360-degree feedback of your own brand, your own corporation. For those of you who don’t know, a 360 review represents feedback that comes from members of an employee’s immediate work circle. And, like the 360, you should ask people outside of just yourself and your board how they perceive you. Continue reading

September 26, 2013

7 strategies for succeeding in the new Google Search

search
Image by Fairfax County on Flickr

Changes in search results require changes in content & marketing strategies

This is the second of a two-part series on Google Search. Also see:
Content strategies to deal with Google Panda & Google Penguin

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR professionals, mobile strategists, businesses, nonprofits, Google Plus users.

Chris AbrahamAcouple years ago, search engine optimization (SEO) held a lot of secrets. But that’s not quite as true today.

To a large extent, SEO today has become a war between Google’s vision of what quality and valuable search results should look like — and the rewards conferred to anyone who can just produce content that meets those stringent standards — and an entire industry that is committed to finding every shortcut and loophole possible and systematically exploiting those loopholes for as long as possible until they’re closed. The entire SEO industry has been almost entirely fueled by exploiting shortcuts, loopholes, link syndicates, link conspiracies, strategic linking, shadow linking, and shadow content. And it’s mostly worked, too, until recently. Until Google really started rolling out Panda and Penguin algorithms, as I wrote about Monday. Continue reading

August 29, 2012

Remove those regrettable online reputation tattoos

Chris AbrahamThe way you feel now about all those photos of you at the beach, in your suit, body-proud, tanned and drinking — liberation and joy — may end up making you feel completely different in your near future — trapped and ashamed. No matter how young you may be, reading these words, you need to start thinking long-game when it comes to your online reputation.

You’re at the mercy of the Panopticon: networked cameras are almost ubiquitous

Your online reputation on Google Search is a culmination of all your separate, discrete (or indiscreet) choices — sort of like tattoos — and it’s always easier to not get inked in the first place than it is live with the consequences or go through the pain and expense of having all of your tribal, prison, lower-back, ankle, neck, and face tattoos removed. Continue reading

August 16, 2012

Is Google turning from a search engine into a publisher?


From left, Incisive Media Global VP Mike Grehan, Matt Cutts of Google, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land and Brett Tabke, who runs PubCon (Photo by Search Engine Land).

Webmasters push back against recent changes at Google

Target audience: Businesses, brands, marketers, search specialists, SEO experts, Web publishers — anyone with a business website.

JD LasicaBy and large over the years on number of fronts — search, mobile, open source, public policy — Google has generally worn the white hat. They’ve played the good guys in this still unfolding Internet saga right from the start. Back when search was still young, as I wrote in 2001, Google decreed that there must be a clear demarcation between search results and sponsored links, and it has been thus ever since.

So it was somewhat jarring to see the cool reception that Google’s Matt Cutts — probably Google’s biggest superstar behind Larry, Sergey and Eric — received yesterday at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Francisco. Cutts laid out a rosy portrait of the company’s Knowledge Graph, unveiled last week. Search on “chiefs” on Kansas City and you’ll get a different result than if you searched out the Chiefs rugby team in Australia or New Zealand. (For the possible downsides of this, see my interview with Eli Pariser, author of “The Filter Bubble.”)

But Google is doing more than just personalization, and audience members took to the microphone to push back. Their objection came down to this: By all appearances, Google’s recent moves seem to be moving the company away from its search roots and more into the role of an online publisher, a one-stop shop, a commercial Wikipedia. Continue reading

November 9, 2011

Max SEO with 8 simple Google+ steps

Chris AbrahamLet me boil my last post, Here’s why it make sense to use Google Plus, down to practical pieces. Part of what makes a technology premature is that you have to be careful how you use it, because it isn’t mature enough to just work no matter what you do with it. To help you carefully handle Google+ for maximum advantage, I’ve assembled eight steps that help you get the best search visibility from your Google+ posts. These tips are simple, but some are easy to overlook. I hacked this awful-looking graphic as an example:

Optimizing Google+ for optimal SEO

Here’s a list of things that you need to consider before you invest your time and energy in Google+:

  • Make sure all your posts are Public. You can add more circles in order to spur interest among your friends, but be sure you explicitly tell Google, through your willingness to share publicly, that they can index your content in their public search engine. Check this every time because sometimes Public isn’t always selected, depending on the situation. Here’s my Google+ public profile.
  • Use a clean URL when you add your content to Google+. Google+ hasn’t been translating URL shorteners well, so use a link from the source. This will not only allow Google to better populate the content as you see above, including the Title, Blog Name, Description, and an Image from the post, but it will also allow that content to be cross-referenced to any Google +1 “likes” from others within Google+ and the rest of the Googlephere. Site URLs are translated the way they are on Facebook. You need to paste the URL into the “Share what’s new…” text box.
  • Prefixing names with a plus sign links that name to the person’s profile on Google+. You can include your friends and people you’re connected to on G+ in a similar way you do in Facebook, but Google+ has a gimmick that you may know or not. In the graphic above, you’ll see a light gray-blue rectangular box around the names Arsh S and Jenna Levy — I did that by adding a plus symbol (+) before each name while I am writing the article. G+ then populates a pull-down, offering pre-populated names of people I am connected to. I just need to select and go. Sometimes the profile’s privacy setting prohibits the link reference to persist after posting. Linking to people is a good way to engage, inform, and initiate conversation.

Continue reading