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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


October 17, 2005

More Updating Down … More Sure To Come

The forum’s are abuzz with the lastest Google update. Early indicators (as noted in the forums by some generally respected posters) are that this update puts a lot more weight on the number of links vs. the actual anchor text.

This move is being blasted on the forums as a move towards rewarding big budgets and big companies. While this does certainly positivly affect the ability for larger companies with larger budgets to attain top rankings it also follows the overall philosophy of links. The more links you have to your site the more vites, the more votes the more popular and thus, the higher you should rank.

Could it be, I would ask those who are complaining, that Google has caught on that as SEo’s we’re running out and building a ton of well optimized text links SOLELY to get higher ranking thus undermining the value of the democracy of links? Links with varying anchor text undoubtedly appear more natural to Google and thus, sites with varying anchor text pointing to their site are being rewarded.

I have not at this time had the opportunity to fully analyze the current algorithm however, I would speculate that this is not the last we’re going to be seeing of Google shifts this month. We’ve still yet to see the PageRank and backlink updates so there’s surely more to come.

Be sure to visit Beanstalk’ SEO blog to keep updated on these events as they occur.

If you’d like more inoformation on this update and just can’t wait until we post again you may want to check out the thread on the WebProWorld forum on the topic at http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=54379 (Note: link removed as the page no longer exists).

SEO news blog post by @ 6:34 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

October 14, 2005

Some Great Tools

I recently found a post on the WebProWorld forums from Chris Richardson, and excellent writer for the same site. In his post he lists off a sleugh of excellent SEO tools and resources. As we’re always ones to not just seek out new clients but to also educate and help do-it-yourselfers (and thus this SEO news blog was born), I felt that this was a great resource to point out to our valued visitors.

There are too many tools given there to list them all of here so you’ll have to check it out yourself. You can visit the forum post at http://webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=54254.

For more great tool you may also want to check out Beanstalk’s SEO Tools page at http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/resources/tools.htm.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:48 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

October 13, 2005

Microsoft Softening Attacks On Competitors?

Microsoft and Yahoo! yesterday announced a landmark agreement that will help consumers by making the two major IM systems (MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger) interoperable.

This marks the first real cooperation Microsoft has undergone with a major search competitor since launching MSN search. But are they softening their stance on competitors?

In this SEO’s opinion the answer is a resounding “no”. There is an old Arabian proverb that reads, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” And Google is definitely the one to beat on by both involved here.

To be sure, the agreement simply allows for users of the different IM systems to communicate, the real loser is services like Trillian that were created to allow connectivity to the various systems through a single interface.

Will we see more of these types of agrements in the future? Undoubtedly. As long as Google is developing relationships with major corporations to advance thier reach such as the one with Sun Microsystems you can count on Microsoft doing the same.

You can read the press release of this announcement on the Microsoft site here.

SEO news blog post by @ 4:01 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

Report On OpenOffice

Back on October 4th we announced on our blog the alliance formed between Google and Sun Microsystems. If you’d like to look back for this post it’s titled, “Like Google Earth? How About Google Sun …

In that post I mentioned that I was installing and testing OpenOffice and noted that I would report back as to whether I found it a viable replacement for Microsoft Office. Admittedly it took me a while to get used to it and the way that it functions. Similar to my switch to the superior Firefox browser from IE I found myself trying to do things the hard way out of habit and quickly realized that OpenOffice is built in a much more instinctive fashion.

Once I’d worked through all of that I did find that there were many features absent in OpenOffice that are available in the Microsoft version. I realized this through the absence of as many drop down option however I still have yet to need a feature that isn’t there. :)

It easily dealt with the documents I had produced in Microsoft Office and allowed me to create and work with templates, edit past documents and provides for all the formatting considerations I need.

The spreadsheet (their version of Excel) appears equally strong and again, I have yet to find a function that I need access to that isn’t available.

In short, I will be continuing to use the OpenOffice suite. To replace Outlook (my past email client) I have switched to Mozilla’s Thunderbird and found it to be on par with their browser. An excellent tool. Again, it took a while to get used to doing things the easy way but once I got over that hurdle it’s been smooth sailing. I did find the absence of a calendar in Thunderbird detrimental however I was reminded by Allan here at Beanstalk that Thunderbird is open source and there are tons of extensions developed for it much like Firefox. A quick search and I found a great calendar extension and I haven’t looked back.

If you would like to download and test the OpenOffice suite you can do so here.
If you need to replace Outlook (as I did) and would like to give Thunderbird a try you can download it here. If you need the calendar extension you can find it here.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:58 am

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

October 12, 2005

Search Engines More Credible Than TV Ads

Our friends over at Yahoo! have recently conducted a study that shows that people place an extraordinarily high level of trust and value into results from search engines:

When it came to trustworthiness, search came in second to family and friends–but by a small margin.

The study, written up over at MediaPost Publications, is enlightening and details some intriguing statistics on what people are searching for online and how they value the results.
More proof that information is power :)

SEO news blog post by @ 6:36 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

October 11, 2005

Unfortunately I Don’t Have The Time …

Having been caught up in incoming family, etc. for what was in Canada, the Thanksgiving long weekend, I don’t have the exact time of the most recent Google update on hand but it appears that I was at least pretty close with the Friday evening estimate. The earliest mention I could find of the update was from Sunday however being the geek that I am I felt it necessary to check and confirmed changes begining on Saturday.

There has been no backlink or PageRank update however that should be expected to occur in the near future, I would predict it to happen some time later in the week. Since I really like giving a day to watch I’ll predict Thursday evening (the same day/time the last PR update occured). Of course, this is just an educated guess at this point and to insure that you know as soon as it occurs you’ll want to keep watching our SEO news blog. ;)

This latest update has been relatively significant. I will be writing an article in the next few days, once I have had a chance to fully analyze the new/changed factors. Another reason to watch our SEO news blog: you’ll be kept informed the second this article is published.

SEO news blog post by @ 6:26 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

October 10, 2005

Google Reader Launched

Google has recently launched a new service called Google Reader. This service, available at http://reader.google.com/ allows users to search for and easily manage RSS feeds, giving quick and easy access to the most current information and news on the topics that interest you most.

For those of you unfamiliar with RSS feeds, they are simply itemized lists in an RSS file that can be pick up and displayed on other websites and or read through the use of RSS readers. Bloggers typically us RSS to syndicate their blog posts. For example, people wishing to keep updated on what’s going on at Google may use a reader to display their RSS feed (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/atom.xml) thus allowing them instant access to any new posts in their blog.

As most are aware, the popularity of blogs and RSS with it has increased and undoubtedly will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. One has to admit, instant access to up-to-date information on topics of interest has it’s appeal. The launch of Google Reader is a giant step for the average surfer. It provides an easy and powerful tool for visitors to find and manage the feeds they are interested in.

How To Use Google Reader?

For many who are less familiar with RSS, the notion of downloading an RSS reader, configuring it, etc. seems a daunting task when one can simply visit their favorite news site or use the new search feature of their favorite search engine. Understandably there are many who would rather not undertake the task of trying to understand something new when the information they are looking for is otherwise available through other means. While this is true, RSS allows a user to keep updated on the news they might not even be aware of to look for. Google knows this and thus, Google Reader was born.

To use Google Reader (and I high recommend at least giving it a quick try) you will need to take the following steps:

  1. Visit the Google Reader site at http://reader.google.com/.
  2. Use the search box for a topic of interest (“google” for example)
  3. Look through the results for a feed of interest (I personally chose “Google News”)
  4. Click “Subscribe”

That’s all there is to signing up for a feed. You can sign up for one or many of them.

At this point you’re probably wondering what you just got for this 20 seconds of effort. If we now click back to the reader homepage (add it to your Favorites for easy access in the future) you see on the left-hand side a list of the feeds you’ve subscribed to. If you choose a feed, on the right hand side you’ll see all the new posts to that feed.

This is perhaps one of the best products to come from Google in quite a while. I’ll admit that the folks at Google are seldom short of interesting and innovative ideas however from a usability and “making your life easier” standpoint the system they have developed here allows even the less technical to easily gain access to current information and keep updated effortlessly.

Who Should Use It?

Quite honestly Google Reader, due to its power and easy of use, is a helpful tool for virtually anybody who wants to keep themselves updated on information from world news to hockey scores. That said, there are definitely people who will be prone to become “power users” of this service. People who need quick access to the most current information, from reporters and researchers to business people and consultants will find this service invaluable. I know as an SEO that I’ll be using it often as keeping on top of even the smallest changes, services and search engine updates can be crucial to the success of a campaign.

Advanced Features

While all of the benefits noted above are good for the average user, they have also added some advanced features. The advanced features include:

GMail this – Never ones’ to miss an opportunity to promote their own services and drop some ads in it, they have added a link to “GMail this” to others. Of course you have to have a GMail account to use the service which means you either have to be invited by and existing GMail user of have a mobile phone and be living in the US.

Blog This! – This is definitely my favorite of the advanced features. If you’re using Blogger (again, a Google property) you can click the “Blog This!” link and it will open a window to your Blogger account and insert a link to the blog you want to reference.

What Does This Mean For SEO’s?

The launch of Google Reader stands to make blogs and RSS an even more important componant in a thorough Internet Marketing strategy. With content syndication now made so much easier for the average user, it’s popularity is sure to climb significantly. People will begin reading and using feeds more regularly and it won’t just be the more technical that can benefit from this highly effective communications method.

Resources

While it’s definitely a simple system to setup and use, there may still be many of you wondering exactly what RSS is, how to use it on your own site, how to set it up, and perhaps a few even wondering what a blog is and how you can add one to your site. For you, here are some links to some helpful resources on the topic:

RSS (file format) – One the Wikipedia site you’ll find great information on this technology and links to other useful resources on the subject.

Client Communications As Ranking Tools – An article on the use of blogs by veteran SEO Jim Hedger. Covers the use of blogs for SEO as well as in client communications.

Blogger – There are many different tools and software packages for developing a blog on your website. Blogger is one of the easiest to use, includes a simple way to add an RSS feed of your blog, and do I need to mentioned that it’s owned by Google? This won’t get you a higher ranking on the blog search but it’ll certainly help insure that your blog and feed are developed using a technology they can easily read.

SEO news blog post by @ 4:51 pm

Categories:SEO Articles

 

 

October 7, 2005

Google Reader Launched – An Article

The most recent article by Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning was just published on the launch of Google Reader. This excellent service now offered by Google stands to make content syndication a much more widely used and popular form of information retrieval and marketing source.

Read the full article on the Beanstalk site at http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/articles/se-news/google-reader.htm.

SEO news blog post by @ 2:20 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

October 6, 2005

It’s Just Rumor … But It’s A Fun Rumor. :)

While surfing SlashDot today I discovered that Google has officially declared war on Microsoft by allowing users of the Google toolbar to access Sun’s OpenOffice. This move would put a huge hit on Microsoft as users quickly discovered that while OpenOffice doesn’t have all the bells-and-whistles that Microsoft Office does, it does have the features that the vast majority of us use and … well … it’s free. :)

Well you can imagine, as an SEO this was pretty big news to read first thing in the morning (once again proving to myself that I’ve passed over to the dark-side of geekdom). Before posting the news on our blog however I realized that it was definitely news that had to be verified. We couldn’t find mention of it on Google’s own blog which pretty much cleared up whether this was an official announcement or not.

In my travels I did find an article by Jason Stamper, the editor of Computer Business Review Online, regarding all the misinformation that has been going around regarding the Sun-Google alliance. It’s a good article if you’re interested in the topic and can be viewed on this blog at http://www.cbronline.com/blog.asp?show=cbr/2005/10/inaccuracies_ab.html (Note: hyperlink removed as the page no longer exists).

Forber considers the announcement of the alliance “much ado about nothing” whereas an analysis by InfoWorld disagrees. I tend to side with InfoWorld on this one.

While the “announcement” of a formal declaration of war on Microsoft is a rumor and only that, the alliance between Google and Sun Microsystems certainly involves more than simply developing a new source for downloads of the Google Toolbar and the Java Runtime Environment. The inclusion of OpenOffice in the alliance and some additional developments meant to take word processing and spreadsheets online is sure to follow.

Based on what we’ve seen with GMail and Google’s desire to not just index everything but also to place advertising on it is sure to at least spark their interest in developing this technology. Additionally, Google (and all the other major engines I should note) are seeking new ways to tailor their search results to the individual. The ability to “see” what an individual is writing in their word processors and spreadsheet is sure to add an additional level of information to base this targeting on.

How long will this all take? Who knows, but in the end it is sure to occur though whether it ever leaves Beta is the real question. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:18 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

October 5, 2005

Google Update?

Every SEO who’s been watching Google’s results over the past few days (which can hopefully be read, “every SEO”) is undoubtedly looking, wondering what’s Google’s doing that’s resulting in more sp@m at the top of the results and some drops felt by totally relevant and properly optimized sites.

To those who are wondering I would suggest not to panic just yet. Base on the current flux and past Google trends this is not the end of it. Undoubtedly Google is simply applying and testing some algorithm tweaks to see how it goes on specific datacenters and sometimes even with specific industries.

I will stick with my initial prediction of the full update this Friday evening. Unfortunately I may be (oh how I hate to say it) wrong on this count. It may come a bit later than my initial projection depending on the amount of retweaking they’ll have to do after this round of testing.

In short, don’t panic just yet. Keeping watching the Beanstalk SEO News Blog and we’ll keep you posted as to when the full update occurs. Then you can panic. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 1:38 pm

Categories:Uncategorized

 

 

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