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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.


February 15, 2012

Searching for love with Google

In my years on-line (wow I’m old!) I’ve searched for some really strange things but never have I used Google to find the answers to matters of the heart, that’s just kooky. It’s actually as kooky as Google’s Valentines day video/doodle:

I mean really, milk and cookies? Those two can’t stay together for more than 5 mins without ruining each other. Who is Google kidding?

The one thing that strikes me about this is that Google couldn’t even demo some search queries for finding Valentines gifts, and had to just show some random pixels on the screen?

Giving this a try on my own I suddenly see the problem, a Google search for the phrase, “a gift for the girl who has everything except me”, really doesn’t match anything. :)

So Google’s not cupid, and the video’s a bit stupid.. but there’s something about that doodle:
google-valetinesdoodle
Aha! I’ve got it! The gay couple and the astronaut aren’t playing skip rope! That’s blasphemy! Someone call Google and get someone in charge on the phone!

It’s amazing that Google managed to toss that out without more ‘conversation’, I did get a kick out of articles like this blasphemy peice on WatchPlayRead’s blog.

Okay so it was a dry day for search engine optimization, but even nerds got into the spirit of the holiday. Speaking of nerdy, we have another macro image for anyone who wants to guess.
(Remember, we’re going to give credit to the winner right here on the blog, and on our social media accounts, so it’s a good ‘mention’ for the winning guess.
Try and guess as close as possible what this is

February Macro 3 – If you think you know what this is, or where this is, send us your best guess via Twitter or G+

SEO news blog post by @ 12:50 pm


 

 

February 13, 2012

Canadians: Why are we hitting ourselves?

Remember when you were bullied as a kid with the old ‘hey why are you punching yourself?’ gag? Yeah it was sort of funny because you weren’t actually hitting yourself even if your own hands were getting sore slapping your own face.
Why are you hitting yourself

Yet here we are years later (well for most of us) and we are watching our Government pass legislation that will allow us to pay extra taxes for a black’end eye?

Without a shred of evidence to prove a need or direct correlation between monitoring and prevention, next week Canada will be facing a new law that not only requires ISPs to track subscribers, but also removes court involvement from the process giving police direct authority to seize information from ISPs.

The new Lawful Access legislation even goes further, allowing the Police to enable and monitor the tracking mechanisms built into modern cell phones for up to a year, without court involvement.

The Last Pepper Spray

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m an SEO and not a politician or a lawyer. This is my take from reading a few news articles on the pending law and the variety of details is a bit staggering, I just about spat my coffee on the screen reading this clip from the Montreal Gazette:

if the so-called Lawful Access law is passed, it would give police access to webbrowsing history and sensitive personal information, and would grant greater permission to track the cellular phones of suspects

“Webbrowsing history” seems a bit far fetched, but it’s not impossible to track this info at an ISP level and since the move itself seems a bit nuts, I can see why reporters might be going a bit overboard reacting to the details.

I know that my browsing history, especially when I am working on back-links/research for clients, is a confidential business asset. I cannot fathom how a court of law would suggest it’s fine for a police officer to have access to such info without warrant. Even if the officer obtaining the information is above suspect, are the people working with the officers above reproach to the point where court involvement is moot?

Obviously, with a week to go people are getting anxious about the possibility of this passing, so I urge folks to take some time to look it over. I know that if I was more skilled with law I’d be giving it a serious review as the prospects seem frightening and the motivation is questionable/lacking.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:31 am


 

 

February 9, 2012

Are multiple rel=authors worth it?

Recently Google+ made it a lot easier for content authors to indicate the sites they publish to. Here’s a short clip showing that new easier process:

So that’s now told Google+ that you are an author for the sites you’ve listed. It also adds a backlink on your Google+ Profile page back to your site.

At this point, once Google has parsed the changes, and updated it’s caches, you’ll start to see author credits on articles with the same name and email address. While the Google help docs ‘suggest’ you have a matching email address published with each post, it’s clearly not a requirement.

So after this update you could start to see ‘published by you’ when doing searches on Google for posts you’ve made but what’s to stop anyone from claiming they wrote something on-line?

The other half of this process is creating a ‘rel=”author”‘ or ‘rel=”publisher”‘ link on the content pages on your blog/web site.

In the case of Beanstalk’s Blog, all posts get the same rel=”publisher” link, it looks like this (you can see it in ‘view-source’):

<link href="https://plus.google.com/115481870286209043075" rel="publisher" />

That makes Google see our blog posts as ‘published’ by our Google+ Profile, which is a bit ‘lazy’, but the process to add that code was very easy (and we blogged about it here) compared to the task of tagging each post with a custom link.

The truth is that there has to be some ‘ranking signal’ for multiple authors, and there should be a quality/trust grade based on the profiles of the authors. So what is that ‘factor’ that ‘has’ to be hiding in the ranking code? Great question!

Since we’ve already spent some time with Google+ and a single author source we intend to run some tests and prove out the value or lack of it. Our plans are to report on both the difficulty of applying the right tags to the proper posts, and then value of that effort. If anyone reading along has some good suggestions for the test process please drop us a comment via the main contact form.

Where’s Bart?

Chia Bart is retired for now. I need to find a decent webcam and then I’ll re-do him with some time-lapse for added thrills and joy. In the meantime we’re looking at offering the readers a really unique chance at interacting with the blog:

Each month we will be posting some macro images. Each one will be a challenge to figure out and we’ll take guesses on stuff ‘material’ ‘location’ ‘object’ etc.. and then we will rate the guesses based on how close they are. Technically, even if we had one guess like: “The picture for week 2 looks like glass”, that could win!

The best guess will get recognition on our blog and we’ll announce the best guess each month on Twitter as well.

This is the Macro image for Week two of FebruaryFebruary Macro 2 – If you think you know what this is, or where this is, send us your best guess via Twitter or G+

SEO news blog post by @ 12:14 pm


 

 

January 11, 2012

SEO Effects of Social Search

Yesterday we covered the hot topic of Google’s social search from a very ‘news’ perspective. If you haven’t watched the tour video take a minute and hit play on the video below.

The truth is that Google is rolling this new search functionality piecemeal just in the same way as most of the recent features. So if I try to explore the option from my work account I get no offers and I’d have to cheat to go play with it right now.

However, on my personal account the option comes right up and my personal account has a smaller social circle than my work account so it seems to me that it’s just a work-in-progress at the moment.

A visit to the Google Inside Search site gives us a bit more confirmation:

If you aren’t seeing the features of Search plus Your World, don’t worry, we’re rolling them out over the next few days.

.. so if you’re not getting the option to try it out, it should come along soon!

Here’s a ‘hands on’ example of ‘Search plus Your World’ for a phrase I personally talk about a lot, ‘minecraft’:

Demonstration of Search plus Your World using the phrase 'minecraft'.

The first thing that occurs to me is that Danny talks about Minecraft WAY more than anyone else, but the second thing that gets my interest is that there’s nothing in the results that I wouldn’t have read or couldn’t get from poking my head into Google+.

Going back to that video from Google that we linked earlier, I have to admit this looks like a very over-hyped feature where 90% of the interesting parts of the video aren’t things we can do with the new search feature. This almost feels like a Microsoft product that was invented by marketers as something to market with zero user interest?

Well that’s my opinion dealt with, but what about SEO factors of this new feature?

A ton of questions come to mind that need to be answered, here’s a few :

  • Who stands to gain from these types of searches?
  • What sites will be negatively impacted?
  • What should websites be doing to take advantage of this new feature?

The first one’s easy, Google, and particularly, Google+ will gain the most from this new search behaviour. Google has always wanted you to find what you want within their domain/services, and limiting your search to a Google owned property, selling it as a great feature, works so well for Google’s overall goals. If you don’t believe that Google wants to keep you inside their services, as you use Google products challenge yourself to consider ‘What more could Google do to keep me inside their networks?’ and I think you’ll start seeing all the efforts they are making to give you what you want instantly vs. leaving Google to visit an external site.

Social media sites that were getting a lot of commercial traffic/advertising will be the hardest hit by this move. If a client came to me and said “We’re on all the big sites, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Squidoo, etc.. but we haven’t bothered with Google+.” I would be forced to assume they were Australian with such an opposite approach. The same thing would follow with campaign strategies where a company looking at time spent vs. returns would be silly to start a social media campaign anywhere but on Google+ first.

If you have a website that isn’t already following the guidelines for linking between Google+ and your site, you need to start there and then work on building up followers. Ideally you want people talking about your products/services more than your competition so I’d strongly urge someone within your company to engage in Google+ social media efforts on a weekly basis if not more. While it’s pointless to have infinite reach and zero relevance, you also want to be very ‘friendly’ doing whatever it takes to get people to take enough interest in your company pages to follow, +1, add to circles, etc..

In fact the last bit of advice will be a recurring theme for early 2012 where we will be looking at super organic ways to get your product/services out to relevant sections of the internet.

A good example would be a product that is easy to find on-line, but very technical/tricky to work with. Selling the product puts you in the same group as everyone else selling that product, but offering expertise on that product will raise your profile quickly while generating interest/informing potential clients. If you can get links from grateful recipients the effort will pay for itself, and the people you come in contact with are very likely to draw in more clients due to the way that social media is sharing business leads via friend connections.

Typical of Spring, the sooner you plant this ‘social seed’ the sooner it will grow into something that can support your on-line efforts.

Speaking of growing, Chia Bart is getting a little leafy already!

Chia Bart is sprouting nicely.Bart’s beans are sprouting!

SEO news blog post by @ 3:17 pm


 

 

January 6, 2012

Top Nine Ways to Enrich Your Business Blog in 2012

Beanstalk’s Heather Jennings published an very helpful article today on the Beanstalk site offering tips on how to best utilize your business blog in 2012.  From whitepapers to eBook creation … video to just plain posting – Heather outlines some simple and actionable items to help stay directed to making the most of your online presence.  It would seem silly to outline the full article here when it’s an easy 5 minute read on site that’s worth every minute (note: I *may* be biased). :)

Her full article is Top Nine Ways to Enrich Your Business Blog in 2012.  And when you’re done reading that … get back to enjoying your weekend !!!

SEO news blog post by @ 4:51 pm


 

 

January 3, 2012

Sprouting a New Year

Happy 2012 everyone! I hope everyone had a safe and responsible new years while still having as much fun as those who didn’t!?

I know safety and responsibility were duly addressed as this is pretty much how I celebrated 2012:

Forever alone for new years
My resolution for 2012 is to celebrate harder.

This new year of technology will bring many many things for website owners, promoters, and the users. Yes, there will more than just calendar panic, and while we’d love to tell you to hurry up and get your site to #1 on Google before the world ends, there will be insights into improvements and new options for promoting your company, products, and services on-line.

So what’s sprouting today? I have to be honest here and admit I’m still unpacking xmas gifts and sorting myself out from the holidays.

One work related gift was a ‘Chia Bart’ from a secret Santa (thanks Dave!):

Chia Bart

I was just telling a client that people love to watch things grow and improve, we’re kinda wired biologically to do that. In his case the products he sells grow and they are FASCINATING to learn about so I’m hoping they take my advice and start publishing more info.

As proof of how easy and interesting it is to watch something grow, I’ve decided to track ‘Chia Bart’ via the blog and let everyone share the fun of giving clay a hair cut.

Week One:

Week One of the life of Beanstalk SEO's Chia Bart

At this point I made the pancake syrup out of the seed mix and I applied it to the head leaving it to ‘stick’ while I was off on vacation.

Normal Chia Pets are sprouting between day 3-5, with the instructions for Bart saying 1 week to sprout.

Looking at the picture I have to wonder if the holidays or dry air didn’t ruin my first attempt?

Time will tell!

SEO news blog post by @ 4:15 pm


 

 

December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays From Beanstalk *<{}:o) }}

Merry Christmas image.

We at Beanstalk would like to thank all our clients, blog and article readers and supporters for another fantastic year.  As we head into the holidays, it’s a fantastic time to reflect back on the past year and be grateful for being part of a wonderful community and for the clients that have allowed us to continue to do the work we love, for people we love to do it for.  We wish you and yours all the very best this holiday season and hopes for a very prosperous new year.

For all our clients and those wishing to contact us, we will have special hours of operation over the holidays.  They are:

December 22nd – closing at 1PM for our staff Christmas party
December 23rd – closed
December 24th – closed
December 25th – closed
December 26th – closed
December 27th – open and ready to serve you

If you are a client and there is an urgent need to contact us over the holidays the email emergency (at) beanstalk-inc.com is where to direct your emails to insure they don’t get mixed in with others.  This email will be checked periodically over the break however during this time an emergency will be defined as a crucial event such as a site being down or other major issue.  Unfortunately we won’t be able to respond to all casual questions.  We’ll all be spending time with our families and loved ones and hope you are too. :)

So once again … from all of us at Beanstalk to all of you: Happy Holidays.  Now stop surfing the web and get to the festivities. :)

Special Thanks:  To Gemini Computers and Jim Boykin and his Internet Marketing Ninjas for the kind thoughts and appreciated holiday gifts.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:05 pm


 

 

November 7, 2011

Do iframes count for SEO?

Great question!

I swear I’ve seen iframes crawled before but even if I haven’t seen iframe data in search indexes, it’s not something that we should just count on and forget about, especially with the growing competition in the search engine market. I’m looking at you Blekko.

So how do you test such a thing without wasting time waiting eons for the results to appear in the SERPs? Here’s how!

The text below is just an iframe:

Seems like a unique phrase that very few, if any search engine optimization companies would use, so it should work well.

After a few days if we’re never seen for the above phrase but we are seen for the below phrase, the question is answered. We’ll run the query across the gamut and see if we can’t report back on who/how quickly it’s crawled. ;)

May many Russian rockets sail past the Earthling moon and delve into many Martian delights with a souvenir to show for it.

SEO news blog post by @ 3:54 pm


 

 

October 10, 2011

Beanstalk Offices Closed Today

sesame street thanksgiving
The Beanstalk offices will be closed today in celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our clients and our blog readers.  Our daily SEO news posts and services will be back to normal on Tuesday at 9am PST.

Thanks for your understanding and to our Canadian friends … Happy Thanksgiving. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:01 am

Categories:beanstalk

 

 

February 22, 2011

How important is Klout?

When Klout first came out it seemed like a decent idea with limited appeal. If you were doing business with someone online and wanted to profile them at a glance it was a handy tool to pull together both Facebook and Twitter info on one spot without any information overload.

Klout Logo Graphic

The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

How does Klout influence SEO? Well head on over to our Klout score and take a look at what an honest Klout looks like from an organic SEO: BeanstalkSEO on Klout

See how there’s some influence and natural looking results? Now say you found the twitter name of our biggest competition on Google’s search results.. Go look at their Klout, see what’s missing?

Suddenly Klout has a role in defining who really listens/talks to who, what crucial networks they belong to, and when someone is just a source of noise/self importance, it shows.

You could get on Facebook, and Twitter, friend all the people you’re curious about and compare the results from the two networks, or you can just go look them up in Klout and save a bunch of time.

The only problem I have with Klout is that it’s rather proprietary with it’s support for just Facebook and Twitter. This means if you have an excellent profile on Wikipedia that’s linked to from lots of other Wiki pages, that would never effect your Klout score, but it’s one of many sources that probably should?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:29 am


 

 

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