Category Archives: Google

Checklist For SEO Friendly Blog Posts

Checklist For SEO Friendly Blog Posts

You know that your need to use search engine optimisation or SEO skills as much as possible but with Google updating their algorithms on a regular basis, it can be difficult to know what is best practice and what used to be useful but should now be avoided.
Here is a checklist to ensure that you create blog posts that are SEO friendly.

Place your focus on 1-2 long-tail keywords

One of the worst things you can do with a blog is stuff it full of keywords. You should look to use one or two long-tail keywords in every post. If you use too many keywords, search engines will penalise you and if you use too many keywords, you will lose focus. There is nothing wrong with having more than one keyword in use in a blog but using one or two to create the focus of your blog post will help you to create a concise and tailored blog post.

Research indicates that long-tail keywords are more effective and efficient in drawing website visitors as these are more qualified. In short, this means that these words bring the right sort of visitors in. When it comes to ranking well, there are four parts of your post that matter so focus on:

A) Title –  The title should have your keyword but it should also be under 70 characters. This is the first place where the search engines and look to see what you are offering, so it needs to be relevant.

B) Body – Your keyword(s) should be used in a natural and reader-focused way throughout your post. If a search engine believes that you are using keyword mentions purely to rank, as opposed to inform the user, they will likely penalise your site in the rankings.

C) URL – The URL of your page should reflect the title so having a keyword in the URL can be of benefit. Even if you have to trim your title down to a shorter length, do what you can to retain the keyword.

For Example:

D) Meta Description – The meta description provides readers and search engines with information about the content of your blog so you definitely need a long-tail keyword term but it must also be engaging.

Use a responsive design

In the modern era with people accessing websites from all manner of devices, you need to be confident that your site can be viewed, read and enjoyed by everyone. This means you should be looking to build your site with a responsive design as this will provide a unified experience for all of your users. It can boost your SEO rankings but the real benefit comes with helping users enjoy what you have to offer.

A study undertaken by Google showed that 61% of mobile users returned to Google if they found a site to be unreadable or difficult to view. You will also benefit from the fact that a responsive design will ensure you have one URL which means that all inbound links will be going to the one domain.

Optimise meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are importance because they provide important information to users and search engines. You need to have the long-tail keyword involved here because they will appear in bold if a user uses these terms when searching.

Canonical Tags are important

It has long been stated that you shouldn’t have duplicate content on your site but there will be times when you use duplicate content to assist users in navigating around the site. If you have duplicate content but you are keen to keep both of the pages live, canonical tags can be of great benefit.

These tags allow you to communicate with search engines, informing them what pages should be indexed and what shouldn’t. This information will ensure that you are not punished for duplicate content and it will help the search engine link to the dominant or main resource.

To use canonical tags:

  1. Select the page that needs to be indexed and then record the URL
  2. Go to the pages that are duplicates and shouldn’t be indexed and place this code into the section: <link rel=”canonical” href=”INSERT INDEXED PAGE URL”/>
  3.  If you need anymore help, here’s what Google say..

Make sure your images are optimised

While text is vital for SEO purposes on a blog or your site, you should also look to use images to boost your SEO rankings. Search engines aren’t looking at images, not yet anyway, but they are looking at the alt text of your images.

You can see the alt text for an image by placing your cursor on an image and you will see a small box on your screen that provides you with a description of the image. This description assists the search engine in interpreting what the image is. If you think of alt-text as an interpreter that provides a service for a search engine, you will quickly understand the importance of adding alt-text to your images.

Do not use an excessive amount of topic tags

While topic tags can play a big role in helping to organise blog content and allowing people to find what you offer, too many topic tags can harm your site with respect to search engine rankings.

Similar to using too many keywords on a site, if you stuff your topic tags with variations on a theme, a search engine will assume you are trying to stuff keywords. If you use too many topic tags that are not linked or themed, your post will lose focus and search engines will become confused on what you are offering with the post.

If you have misused topic tags in the past, you can still clean them up now or in the future. It can be helpful to think of around 15 to 20 topic tags that are right for your business and then use then sparingly at a time for relevant content.

A good URL structure will help your guests and search engines

Your website should have an URL structure that simplifies the process of helping them navigate your site and finding the content that they are looking for. With respect to SEO, search engines prefer URLs that simplify the process of knowing what is on a page. Like most steps, you’ll find that making life easier for the user also makes life easier for search engines, which means you will benefit in two ways.

Use internal links where you can

If you can legitimately link to previous content on your site, do so, because this will help guide users to content they may be interested in, but it also strengthens your image or identity for a search engine. If you want to be considered as being the natural choice for a certain topic or focus, showing that you have numerous posts on that topic will make it easier for search engines to recommend you.

Use Google Webmaster Tools

If you are keen to learn more about SEO and how to use it properly, be sure to check out the Webmaster Tools that Google provides you. You can find out great ways to optimise your site so be sure to check back on a regular basis for more tips and ideas.

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Facebook about to Crush Google online with Atlas?

facebook atlas platform

Although both are technological giants in their own right Facebook is not a patch on Google when it comes to its advertising platform and revenue from it. However that might be set to change with the revamp of Atlas, the advertising suite they bought from Microsoft last year.

Facebook has re-engineered the product so that its capabilities are far greater than when it was available for Microsoft customers. Where this product may have Google worrying is through its greater degree of targeting and the accuracy with which it can do it. Currently, Google Display Network (GDN) offers broader targeting demographics whereas Atlas will be able to refine person type much further.

They will be able to do this through information gathered from when Facebook users are logged in to the account; browsing data will be available to advertisers rather than relying on cookies through search. This is what Google currently offer their GDN customers, a method which isn’t always accurate on mobile devices.

Because so many Facebook users are permanently logged in, either on their desktop or a mobile device such as their phone, the technology will be able to track and monitor much more comprehensive online activity. This information will be used to help advertisers target specific customer bases for their ads.

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Greater penetration of customer information

It’s not simply users’ search behaviour, either. Google are able to offer browsing information to its advertising customers however Facebook will be able to go further than that – the profiles of their users are full of valuable information themselves. Being able to target by gender, marital status, geographical location and much more will mean targeting will be able to penetrate far deeper than happens currently.

Privacy issues for Facebook?

The problem that Facebook might face is in the objections of its users. If it becomes clear (it will need to be incorporated in to its terms and conditions of use) that Facebook are making not just users’ profile information available but their entire online activity history while logged in to Facebook they may face an uproar on their hands.

Google Joins the Smart Watch Foray with Android Wear

Google has thrown its hat in the ring with Samsung and Sony in an attempt to grab a share of the emerging market for smart watches.  If you are like so many other young men you will be intrigued by the possibility of wearing something that James Bond could have worn, so you will want to pay close attention to these new devices which look like bulkier versions of traditional watches, but have the ability to interface with the internet.

Samsung has already rolled out its Galaxy Gear, while Sony has introduced its SmartWatch.  A number of new startups like Pebble have also tried to make their mark in this incipient technological niche as well.  While these devices have made an impression on the public—and are a hot property within the high tech industry—they have not been as popular in sales.  The major complaints about these devices are that they appear to be too large and cumbersome to be considered fashionable. Criticism has also been directed at the short battery life. Although not strictly intended to replace smart phones, these devices do provide access internet but with limited functionality.  These reasons have contributed to the popular consensus that the next generation of smart watches will be more suitable.

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Android Wear will be powered by a modified mobile Android operating system.  This new OS will include voice recognition technology and has been developed specifically for smart watches in mind. Google developed the new OS with partnerships with LG, Motorola, Asus, HTC and Samsung. The chips for the new smart watches were designed and produced with the assistance of Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, Imagination, and MediaTek.

The first of these new mobile Android OS powered smart watches will be released by LG.  The smart watches released by Sony and Samsung also utilized Android operating systems—although Samsung has switched to Tizen recently—but Google is attempting to improve and standardize the Android performance, similarly to what it has done in the smart phone market.

Among the new features found in the new Android smart watches will be the Google Now functionality which is also found on its Google Glass.  This functionality is prompted by a voice command, “Okay, Google.”  Google Now permits the wearer to send a text message, receive social media alerts, use sms services and utilize a variety of apps.  The new OS should also enable integration with health and fitness related applications, similar to Nike Fuelband.

Android wear should also interface with other Google powered devices like Chromebooks and Google TV’s.  While there is no word on the battery life of these new devices, from the promotional videos that were released, it appears that Google has responded to the criticism that smart watches were too bulky.  The new watches appear to be similar in size to a conventional watch.

I have long been an Apple fan, but I am seriously impressed with this new smart watch and I expect them to grow in popularity very rapidly.  So, if you have been waiting for a smart watch that is sleek, elegant and highly functional, the new Android Wear is likely your dream come true.

Google Plus Adds More Detail to Link Posts

If you are an avid Google Plus like I am—and you should be—then you have probably been wondering when Google Plus would follow Facebook’s lead and make link posts more appealing and compelling.  No worries mate, Google Plus has just made link posts similar to Facebook’s with larger images, bold titles and a link to the source’s Google Plus page. These more detailed links should allow Google Plus users to obtain a better understanding of what a link page is like before switching over.

Google Plus experts predict that this should boost the number of click through and follows, while limiting the need to upload an image, since the new link posts will showcase an image already. This enhanced activity is expected because it should beautify the pages on Google Plus, inviting more users to explore, similar to pages on another major social media site Pinterest.

While these new link posts are in the roll out stage, they may not function for everyone at all times.  In fact, Google Plus recently announced the new feature, then pulled it before re-releasing it.  In my experience so far, it is not in widespread use.  However, as users begin to engage with the new functionality, I predict that Google Plus will make richer link posts a standard feature on its pages.

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With more than 550 million users, Google Plus is the second largest social network in the world.  In the United Kingdom, there are almost 2.8 million registered Google Plus users.  However, these numbers can be misleading because many of the users rarely log on to Google Plus despite using a variety of other Google applications like the search engine, Gmail or photo apps.

This new feature to enhance the Google Plus experience is likely intended to attract more active, daily traffic on the social media platform.  With link posts and link related traffic, Google Plus is likely to become more akin to a bustling town market.  This should also boost commercial traffic for businesses seeking to generate more visits to their landing page from Google Plus.

In the context of Google Plus generated traffic, you should be designing a landing page with an impressive image which appeals to your key market segments.  Because these new link posts will now unfurl a large visual of the link site, you want to grab the attention of potential customers with an intriguing, aesthetically pleasing image.  You may also wish to integrate your company title into the landing page so that Google Plus acts as a secondary store front.

Some people have found that these link posts operate best in conjunction with WordPress and other Content Management Systems. While I don’t recommend that you revamp your website for CMS yet—after all, Google Plus may improve this functionality—it may be worth considering down the road.  WordPress offers a number of additional features that can not only improve you business’ functionality with Google Plus, but also improves a number of other website operations.

Google and Facebook Partner with American Idol

As American Idol enters its fourteenth season, its producers have implemented some technological changes which should enhance the viewer experience. The singing talent show has been a ratings leader, typically ranking as the most or second most watched network program for the majority of the years it has aired. The show has faltered somewhat in the past couple of seasons as judges have been replaced and the singing talent has been less inspiring. This emphasis on regaining the top spot may have been a strong motivation for the shows producers to revamp the format and add technological platforms.

These platforms are being provided by two of the biggest organisations in the high tech sector: Google and Facebook. Google announced in anticipation of the fourteenth season premier in February of 2014, that it would serve as an official voting platform for the show. Prior to this season, voting was primarily by phone—voice or text message—in the hours during and immediately following the show. Phone votes reached a peak of 750 million by season ten, and text votes peaked at 178 million in season eight. The phone services for American Idol were primarily provided by AT&T, but this partnership ended in 2012. Online voting was introduced in season ten.

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Google hopes to broaden the online voting activity by introducing a variety of features which should appeal to American Idol viewers. The world’s foremost search engine will help internet users who wish to interact with the American Idol program through a more dynamic and responsive format. Each viewer will have the option to cast up to 50 votes for their Idol favourite. This is comparable to the number of votes that could be cast through phone and text. The online voting option is accompanied by a wider voting window; voting can begin from the start of the show, rather than its finale. They can also join other American Idol viewers on the social media site Google Plus, where they can participate in online discussions and video conversations designated as Hangouts.

The other major partner that American Idol has brought on board is Facebook. Facebook will be the primary vote counter for the show. In addition to showing tallies of each contestant’s votes, the social media giant will display a variety of analytic s including demographic voting information and relative contestant rankings throughout the show and the hours following. This minute-to-minute coverage is intended to provide more in-depth information for viewers which will inspire additional devotion to the show.

American Idol has long been a prime time network champion for Fox, but its slipping ratings have suggested that retooling is necessary to maintain public interest. New producers were installed at the close of season 13, while new judges were set to take the place of last year’s celebrity reviewers. This new collaboration with Google and Facebook are likely are a product of the recognition that this ageing show needs to integrate the technological channels that younger viewers are most comfortable using.