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A Great Article …

There’s a very interesting article posted on the PBS website on where Google is going with their technology purchased and product development. While I wouldn’t necessarily agree with all the conclusions the author, Robert X. Cringely did I believe it gives a great analysis of what Google’s up to and if nothing else, it certainly plants the seeds of what could be.

So why is this gossip about Google important to the SEO? As I’ve written many times, understanding where Google’s headed will give us SEO’s, webmasters, and business people looking to optimize their own sites the advantage of understanding or at least questioning where Google will be months and years from now. Understanding this will give us the ability to more accurately predict how we will be able to market sites online through natural search and otherwise when that time comes.

This article falls into our “recommended reading” category for all but the black-hat SEO’s. It won’t teach you the tricks but it will make you think about what’s coming. You can read the article on the PBS website at

SEO news blog post by @ 7:24 pm on November 21, 2005



Google Analytics Analysis

Veteran SEO Jim Hedger has published another great article, this time on Google Analytics and the usefulness of understanding what website visitors are doing on your site. He discusses conversions and how to increase them using this free tool and covers what Google will accomplish by offering this service free.

While I obviously believe SEO to be a highly valuable service for website owners, at the same time one cannot ignore the extraordinary importance of understanding what your visitors are doing when they get to your site. After all, SEO is not about the bragging rights of having high rankings, it’s about ROI. I don’t know about you but I’d personally rather be on page 2 with revenues in excess of $1,000,000/mth than on page one with revenues at $25,000/mth. What the visitors does when they get to your site is highly relevant.

This article fits into our “highly recommended reading” list and can be viewed on the ISEDB website here.

SEO news blog post by @ 7:28 pm on November 17, 2005



Google Base

Google today announced the launch of Google Base, a free online resource for the selling of products and services online (and a whole lot more).

While the service itself is provided to increase the types of information the can be made available through Google including information that is otherwise not available online it also stands potentially to take a big bite out of eBay over time. Combine this with the largely anticipated launch of Google Wallet and voila – eBay & PayPal vs. Google Base & Google Wallet. Hmmmm …. I wonder who’ll be left standing 3 years from now. ;)

There’s not much in there yet but I’d highly recommend checking out Google Base at and become familiar with how it all works. If you sell a product or service then this free tool stands to be a fantasitc addition to your marketing arsenal. It currently has many limitations (see the article by Danny Sullivan referenced below) but it’s sure to be improved over time.

You can read their press release on the launch on the Google website at

There’s also a great article on Google Base by Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan at in which he discusses some of the limitations of the system (remember that it’s still in Beta).

SEO news blog post by @ 1:37 pm on November 16, 2005



More Updates?

Well the SEO community is “abuzz” with what appears to be more fluctuations on Google. The Jagger Update it appears is over but there’s definitely tweaking going on to the algorithm over at the Googleplex with sites moving up and down with more frequency than would naturally occur in the eb and flow of the web and websites.

Yahoo! too it appears has been working on their algorithm and has applied and update. While there is reasonable argument on both sides I personally believe that Yahoo! too has a sandbox (read: aging delay) and it appears that for some sites it has been lightened.

If your site was one of those the suffered under the Jagger Update and you’re using ethical SEO tactics my advice is to not panic and to stay the course. There are sure to be more tweaks to come. The only Beanstalk client to notice any real losses in Jagger 3 is recovering during these tweaks and there’s certainly more to come as the sp@m that is showing up in the results is filtered out. While Jagger 3 did a good job to provide relevant results for a large array of phrases there appears to be an increase in poor results in other areas. They are sure to address this in the near future.

As always, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the Beanstalk blog and/or use our RSS Feed (link at the top of the right-hand navigation) to keep updated on Google, updates, and SEO in general.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:16 pm on



Free Urchin Web Analytics

Google announced this morning that their web analytics tool (formerly Urchin) is now being offered free to all website owners. While I have to admit that Urchin is not my favorite of the web analytics tools, it’s certainly better than the vast majority (including the one you probably got with your hosting package) and at $0 you definitely can’t beat the price. :)

If you can’t afford the hundreds of dollars for ClickTracks then this is definitely worth using.

As I’m fairly paranoid when it comes to dropping code into websites just for tracking and the affect that it may have on a site’s ranking I’ve always be hesitant to do so however this code is owned by Google and thus one can safely assume that Google isn’t about to have any issues with it’s use. :)

For more information on Google’s free web analytics you can read more on their site at You can also signup free there. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 1:29 pm on November 14, 2005



Lest We Forget

Today is Remembrance Day here in Canada. We at Beanstalk would like to take the opportunity to thank those who sacrificed their lives that we may live in a country where we can start businesses, live free and (to borrow from the Declaration of Independance of our friends to the south) to hold tight the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is in fact these friends that gave us the tradition of wearing a poppy out of rememberance. Reminding us of what was sacraficed.

Too often left out of these thanks are those who, in more recent times, have risked and too often lost their lives to maintain peace abroad during Canada’s peacekeeping efforts. Today is a day for them as well for without them Canada would not be the country that it is.

It is difficult to expess the level of thanks one must feel towards those who lost lives, limbs, and loved ones in sacrafice for us; yet Heather Robertson captured beautifully our collective feelings:

We must remember. If we do not, the sacrifice of those one hundred thousand Canadian lives will be meaningless. They died for us, for their homes and families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in; they died for Canada. The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our collective national consciousness; our future is their monument.

~Heather Robertson, A Terrible Beauty, The Art of Canada at War, Toronto, Lorimer, 1977

And thus, it is our duty to remember and our responsibility to appreciate and enjoy the freedoms that we have so that all that was sacraficed was not in vain.

Thank you.

SEO news blog post by @ 3:56 pm on November 11, 2005



Welcome To The Googleconomy

There’s an interesting article published by WebProNews writer Jason Lee Miller on how Google has changed and continues to push the idea of how our economy works and how these changes are affecting companies that previously believed they were outside of the effects of the search world.

Microsoft, Walmart and many others now watch Google with a mix of awe and angst as this giant continues to define how we find information and purchase products in the “New World Order”.

As noted in the article “SEO For The New Google” by yours truly I note in reference to their latest update that, “… equally important, we’ll see what Google is trying to accomplish …” Understanding where the engines are headed will tell us what’s coming up in their algorithms and can help us perdict what marketing trend will be available down the road.

This article fit in the “recommended but not critical” category of information. Be sure to give it a read if you have a few minutes. You can find the article here.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:42 pm on November 8, 2005



SEO For The New Google

For those who’s businesses rely on the Internet to produce revenue the latest Google update, nicknamed Jagger, was one of the biggest events in the past couple years (probably since the Florida Update of 2003). With this 3-part update Google has essentially changed many of the rules and have thrown the SEO community for a loop.

In this update there are a few key areas that have impacted the way sites rank and how an SEO (or a business owner optimizing their own site) needs to approach and address the various components. The key areas that have been affected with this update are:

  • The history of your web pages
  • The way backlinks are counted
  • Site content & structure

In short, the way everything about your site is calculated has changed however if we pay attention to what has changed in each area we’ll quickly see how to optimize a site and equally important, we’ll see what Google is trying to accomplish with this update. I state that this as equally important in that understanding what Google is hoping to accomplish will help us take measures now to protect our rankings during future updates. We will cover this further below in the conclusion.

The History Of Your Web Pages

The history of your website and in fact, the individual pages within it are playing an increasingly important role in your site’s ability to rank well. The longer your site has been online the better your chances of ranking highly. Further, the longer a specific internal page has been live the better it will rank for additional phrases.

What this means to you is that you will have to take into account the length of time your domain has been around when you set your expectations regarding which phrases you should be ranking for. In the beginning of a promotion you will not want to target an intensely competitive phrase with hopes of attaining it on Google; rather you will want to select less competitive secondary phrases that contain the primary phrase (“seo services” vs. “guaranteed seo services” for example) and optimize for that. What you will accomplish is rankings on Google for at least a relevant phrase while at the same time building links with relevancy for your primary phrase which you will rank well for once your website has gained history.

The less competitive the phrase, the more weight the other factors will have on your ability to rank highly. History is only one factor among many. For highly competitive phrases where you are competing with sites that have history and have also addressed the other factors noted below you will find it extremely difficult to outrank them, however for less competitive phrases the other factors will hold more weight in that the other sites will likely not be optimized as strongly for them and thus, your site stands a much better chance of beating them out.

The Way Backlinks Are Counted

Similar to the history of your site, the history of the links to your site have gained importance. As was noted in Google’s patent application #20050071741 titled, “Information retrieval based on historical data,” links, like sites, gain weight over time. This point was further clarified in the latest update as sites with longstanding links gained strength while sites with many new links did not see significant ground gained. The “sandbox” on links is functioning in fractions in that after a period of time a link will gain part of it’s weight, after a bit longer, it will gain more, etc. (the exact length of time is of course a closely guarded secret by Google and likely changes as their algorithm does). This means your link building today won’t create any substantial effect on your Google rankings until months down the road.

Additionally, the relevancy of links to your site is still important however Google’s ability to determine relevancy appears to have improved. Pages no longer have to containing the exact keyword phrases to be relevant but rather have to be from related industries. For example, a link to an SEO site from a web design site would be considered relevant even though the keywords on the page are not specifically related to SEO.

Natural links have gained weight over unnatural links. Links that are contained within content areas of a page will be weighted more strongly that links that appear alone or in a directory-style (like reciprocal links pages) as they are considered more natural. When you are having links built to your site try to get them placed within the content (within the description portion of your reciprocal link for example). Also, in link building you will want to insure you’re varying the terms of your anchor text. Creating hundreds of links with identical anchor text will quickly be detected as a link building effort (i.e. not natural) and thus will carry little weight. Different anchor text for your links will appear more natural and thus will have a more positive impact on your rankings.

Site Content & Structure

The optimal keyword density doesn’t appear to have changed but rather appears to have declined in value altogether. Sites with low keyword densities are starting to appear more often for phrases based more on their links than their content and also overall site relevancy.

While the importance of a specific keyword density on a page has declined, this has been countered by an increasing importance of relevancy throughout the site. Google is opting to assign relevancy based more on the overall content of the site rather than a single page. General directories will be showing up less and less in exchange for topic-specific directories. Additionally, sites with a central theme carried throughout the majority of pages will tend to rank over sites with a specific page or even section on a topic.

Internal links are carrying a solid weight in attaching relevancy to specific internal pages. Properly worded internal links, preferably built into the content of your site (see note on natural links above) will add weight to those internal pages and increase the likelihood of those pages ranking for specific secondary phrases.


While this update has caused a panic among some SEO’s it is clear to see what Google is looking to accomplish with it. By placing significant weight on the age of domains and links they have reduced the effectiveness of buying multiple domains to links together (easier to buy one and spend your time promoting it) and it has also reduced the value of paid links in that the buyer will have to pay for the link for months before the full weight is assigned. In some cases this may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars simply waiting for the link to gain any real value.

Additionally, by considering the overall relevancy of a site vs. the relevancy of a specific page they are allowing relevant sites to rank highly even if the content is created to be appealing to the human visitor over the search engine spider. This move helps to weed out less relevant pages from appearing and increasing the likelihood that a searcher will find what they’re looking for in the results. A site with more pages of content on a specific topic is more likely to provide the information being sought than a site with a single page on the topic or a page of links.

While not perfect this update has done a lot to address a number of serious issues with Google’s results. To be certain, there is still room for improvement in cleaning out sp@m results however they are definitely moving in the right direction. But what does this mean for us?

For those seeking high rankings on Google this update and the direction it predicts for future updates indicates that clean tactics will be necessary. Sp@m is becoming less-and-less effective and it’s detection is becoming stronger and stronger (though certainly not perfect at this point). Building solid, natural links and creating a site with a lot of useful, relevant information will win out in the end though the aging delays on both domains and links mean you will have to be dedicated to the task. And this is the environment Google is hoping to attain, dedicated webmasters creating larger, more relevant sites with natural links. Mission accomplished.

SEO news blog post by @ 2:21 pm on November 7, 2005



SEO For The New Google

We have finally had time to analyze the various aspect of the Jagger update and have published an article outlining the changes to Google’s algorithm, what they mean to you, and even a few pointers on tactics you can implement to help safe-guard your rankings again future updates by looking into what Google is trying to do with this, their most significant update since Florida back in 2003.

You can read the article on the Beanstalk website here.

If you have any questions or would like any additional information on the update or our services please don’t hesitate to contact us.

SEO news blog post by @ 7:45 pm on November 6, 2005



Jagger 3 Update Goes Live

The new and highly anticipated third stage of the Jagger 3 update from Google appears to be going live with the new algorithm appearing in the results.

As with most of Google’s updates they’ve kindly initiated it in the evening on a Friday just to further insure that those of us in the SEO industry are forced to work through the weekend. :)

Check your rankings now but don’t rush off in a panic if you see some drops, there may very well be some tweaks still to come in the near future as Google reacts to sp@m showing up and flaws in the system.

Of course, with Beanstalk’s rise into the top 10 for a highly competitive phrase we started targeting only a few months ago, I’m secretly hoping that there aren’t tooooooo many tweaks to follow. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 9:41 pm on November 4, 2005



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