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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.


December 31, 2013

How Rap Genius Pulled a Dumb Move

I’m a radio host on the weekends, and one of the genres that fascinates me most is the rap coming out of the underground, social justice, and queer circles—people like Angel Haze, Le1f, and Blue Scholars. These artists use rap as the medium for some incredibly well-written messages. The best rap is filled with double entendres, setups and punchlines, and phrases with multiple meanings; Blue Scholars’ “North by Northwest,” for instance, features the lyric “It’s two types of crack, one legal, one felonious/
The lumpenprole push keys like Thelonious.” Lumpenprole is a term coined by Karl Marx to describe the lowest stratum of the proletariat—criminals, vagrants, and tramps. Pushing keys is a reference to jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, but also to the common slang term for ‘kilogram’ used by drug dealers.
dunce cap
How do I know all of this? Because I looked it up once on RapGenius.com, a lyric site which includes an innovative annotation system which allows artists and fans to analyze the content of rap lyrics to explain the references and reveal the deeper meaning behind the song. But if you search for ‘rap genius’ in Google, you won’t find it; the closest you’ll see, at the time of this writing, is their French site, rapgeniusfrance, buried on Page 5. On Christmas Day, Google hit Rap Genius with a massive penalty, after they were caught trying to recruit bloggers with spam SEO tactics; the company, which recently received a massive $15 million investment from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has effectively been wiped from the map.

Web entrepreneur John Marbach exposed Rap Genius’ growth hacking attempts shortly before Christmas. In a blog post, he details how he responded to a call for affiliate bloggers that went out on the Rap Genius Facebook fan page; when he sent an email to inquire about the opportunity, site cofounder Mahbod Moghadam responded with instructions that Marbach should include a set of HTML a href links on the bottom of one of his blog posts. The links were for each of the songs on Justin Bieber’s new album; Moghadam promised to tweet out any blog post which included the HTML, assuring massive traffic increases for both sites.

Anyone with even a slight idea of how SEO works (and how it shouldn’t) will shudder at the thought. Rap Genius was caught red-handed attempting to engineer a huge link scheme with tactics so old-school that they might as well come with corporal punishment and inkwells. After Google zapped them from the SERPs, Quantcast estimates show that Rap Genius’ traffic plunged by 60% the first day after the penalty, and another 52% the day after that. The fact that Rap Genius asked for anchor text links from a blogger is almost quaint, and everyone from Barry Schwartz to Eric Ward has weighed in on the site’s penalty and why things unraveled the way they did. Ward’s analysis was particularly poignant; he expresses sympathy for the site, which wanted what every site wants: more traffic based on links from high-ranked blogs. But, he says, the mistake wasn’t in trying to get bloggers to link to Rap Genius, but rather demanding anchor text from them rather than just letting the content creators create the links more naturally.

Rap Genius has been controversial before; its founders have been in the news for foul-mouthed and explicit behaviors, but the site was rising in the ranks for a long time. Recently they were featured in a New York Times article for their participation in a unique education program designed to teach science through hip-hop. For a while, it seemed like they were destined to reach the top quickly despite being a relatively young site; but the fact is, no one knows exactly what Google wants out of a site, and no one can game the system without risking penalty. While Rap Genius has confessed their mistake and promised to fix it, and the penalty may be fixed sometime down the road, this case is yet another clear reminder that quick schemes will land you in hot water more often than not.

SEO news blog post by @ 3:13 pm


 

 

September 20, 2013

Let’s talk about Spam!

Salt n Pepa

 
Don’t get me wrong.. Email was one of the cornerstones of the internet, some might even argue that replacing postal mail might have driven the early growth of the internet?

 
So email is a fundamental part of the internet, and yet.. Just because YOU can do something, like emailing wonderful offers, does it make it right? If everyone sat around all day doing that would it be sustainable?

So we come to the topic of email spam, it’s actual cost in terms of how it taxes our time/effort to dislodge from our inboxes, and what people can do about it.

- Never buy a service that’s spam-vertized.

This is a simple one. You wouldn’t donate money to someone who’s proposing to stand outside your house and scream offers at you through the window, so why would you invest your earnings in a product advertised to you via unsolicited means?

- Identify spam without wasting time.

We’re an SEO, so if you send across an offer to help the Beanstalk SEO website rank better, I’m pretty sure I can toss your email into the spam bin and forget about it. In fact anyone who just sends you an SEO email out of the blue must be pretty desperate and incapable of ranking their own sites in order to get the traffic they need to stay in business.

I personally keep a list of these domains, mostly to block them from using our contact forms, but also as a reference of companies to avoid when clients need referrals.

Heck even “www.google.com” gets similar offers to improve their ‘conversions’ and ‘organic search results’!

Over on Matt Cutt’s blog he’s talking about a lot of email issues and he’s taken the time to laugh at SEO e-mail spam:

I was on your website www.google.com and wanted to shoot you a quick note. I think I can make a few changes (aesthetically and/or SEO – wise) to make your site convert more visitors into leads and to get it placed higher in the organic search results, for a few of the select terms.

This is NOT like one of those foreign emails you probably get in your inbox every day. Just to be upfront I have 3 agents that work with me for development /SEO.

I would just need to know which (if not both) services you’re open to checking out information about, either web design or SEO. Would you be open to seeing more brief info / quote for what I would like to accomplish?

As Matt Cutts summarized on his blog:

“this person is offering help to convert Google.com visitors into leads.
Or, you know, to improve Google.com’s rankings in organic search results. Sigh.”

 

- Use Opt-In lists that are re-checked regularly.

When you give people a chance to ‘opt-in’ to a mail campaign you win all around…

  • reach people who are interested
  • annoy less potential clients
  • avoid getting flagged as a spammer
  • spend less time trying to sell your validity
  • make the online world a better place

Keep in mind that one of the largest (if not the largest) anti-spam providers is Postini, which is now run by Google and used by many organizations from GMail to WordPress.

If you run afoul of Postini then you can expect a VERY LARGE group of listeners, including GMail users/blog readers, to be filtering out your messages, spam or not.

So even if you have a great opt-in audience now, make sure to re-check that list before it gets stale and potentially starts to annoy folks that were previously interested.

I would NEVER forward spam to friends/associates, but if someone I know is interested in something well-maintained that I’ve opted into, I’ll recommend it to them for sure.

Food for thought.. to go along with that Salt n Pepa!

SEO news blog post by @ 1:38 pm


 

 

August 28, 2013

Link Reduction for Nerds

Let’s face it, even with our best efforts to make navigation clear and accessible, many websites are not as easy to navigate as they could be.

It doesn’t matter if you are first page super star, or a mom n pop blog with low traffic, most efforts really are no match for the diversity of our visitors.

When I first started blogging on SEO topics for Beanstalk I took a lot of effort to make my posts as accessible as I could with a bunch of different tricks like <acronym> tags (now they are <abbr> tags) and hyperlinks to any content that could be explored further.

Like a good SEO I added the rel="nofollow" to any external links, because that totally fixes all problems, right?

“No.. Not really.”

External links, when they actually are relevant to your topic, and point to a trusted resource, should not be marked as no-follow. Especially in the case of discussions or dynamic resources where you could be referencing a page that was recently updated with information on your topic. In that case you ‘need’ the crawlers to see that the remote page is relevant now.

Internal links are also a concern when they become redundant or excessive. If all your pages link to all your pages, you’re going to have a bad time.

If you went to a big new building downtown, and you asked the person at the visitors desk for directions and the fellow stopped at every few words to explain what he means by each word, you may never get to understanding the directions, at least not before you’re late for whatever destination you had.

Crawlers, even smart ones like Google Bot, don’t really appreciate 12 different URLs on one page that all go the same place. It’s a waste of resources to keep adding the same URL to the spiders as a bot crawls each of your pages.

In fact in some cases, if your pages have tons of repeated links to more pages with the same internal link structures, all the bots will see are the same few pages/URLs until they take the time push past the repeated links and get deeper into your site.

The boy who cried wolf.

The boy who cried wolf would probably be jumping up and down with another analogy, if the wolves hadn’t eaten him, just as your competition will gladly eat your position in the SERPs if your site is sending the crawlers to all the same pages.

Dave Davies has actually spoken about this many times, both on our blog, and on Search Engine Watch: Internal Linking to Promote Keyword Clusters.

“You really only NEED 1 link per page.”

Technically, you don’t actually need any links on your pages, you could just use Javascript that changes the window.location variable when desired and your pages would still work, but how would the robots get around without a sitemap? How would they understand which pages connect to which? Madness!

But don’t toss Javascript out the window just yet, there’s a middle ground where everyone can win!

If you use Javascript to send clicks to actual links on the page, you can markup more elements of your page without making a spaghetti mess of your navigation and without sending crawlers on repeated visits to duplicate URLs.

“In fact jQuery can do most of the work for you!”

Say I wanted to suggest you look at our Articles section, because we have so many articles, in the Articles section, but I didn’t want our articles page linked too many times?

Just tell jQuery to first find a matching <anchor>:
jQuery("a[href='/articles/']")

Then tell it to add an ID to that URL:
.attr( 'id', '/articles/');

And then tell it to send a click to that ID:
document.getElementById('/articles/').click();

Finally, make sure that your element style clearly matched the site’s style for real hyperlinks (ie: cursor: pointer; text-decoration: underline;)

UPDATE: For Chrome browsers you need to either refresh the page or you have to include the following in your page header: header("X-XSS-Protection: 0");

SEO news blog post by @ 6:07 pm


 

 

August 16, 2013

SEO concerns for Mobile Websites

You want to serve your clients needs regardless of what device they visit your site with, but how do you do it easily without upsetting your SEO?

Lets look at the various options for tackling Mobile sites and what each means in terms of SEO:

Responsive Design :
 
Visual demonstration of responsive web design

  • Responsive design is growing in popularity, especially as communications technology evolves, and bandwidth/memory use is less of a concern.
  • This method also gives us a single URL to work with which helps to keep the sitemap/structure as simple as possible without redirection nightmares.
  • On top of that, Googlebot won’t need to visit multiple URLs to index your content updates.
  • Less to crawl means Googlebot will have a better chance to index more of your pages/get deeper inside your site.
“Why is/was there a concern about mobile page size?”

Low-end mobiles, like a Nokia C6 from 4+ years ago (which was still an offering from major telcos last year), typically require that total page data be less than 1mb in order for the phone to handle the memory needs of rendering/displaying the site.

If you go over that memory limit/tipping point you risk causing the browser to crash with an error that the device memory has been exceeded. Re-loading the browser drops you on the device’s default home-page with all your history lost. I think we could all agree that this is not a good remote experience for potential clients.

Higher-end devices are still victims of their real-world connectivity. Most 3rd generation devices can hit really nice peak speeds, but rarely get into a physical location where those speeds are consistent for a reasonable length of time.

Therefore, even with the latest gee-wiz handsets, your ratio of successfully delivering your entire page to mobile users will be impacted by the amount of data you require them to fetch.

In a responsive web design scenario the main HTML content is typically sent along with CSS markup that caters to the layout/screen limitations of a mobile web browser. While this can mean omission of image data and other resources, many sites simply attempt to ‘resize’ and ‘rearrange’ the content leading to very similar bandwidth/memory needs for mobile sites using responsive design approaches.

The SEO concern with responsive designs is that since the written HTML content is included in the mobile styling it’s very crucial that external search engines/crawlers understand that the mobile styled content is not cloaking or other black-hat techniques. Google does a great job of detecting this and we discuss how a bit later on with some links to Google’s own pages on the topic.

Mobile Pages :

Visual demonstration of mobile web page design

 
If you’ve ever visited ‘mobile.site.com’ or something like that, you’ve already seen what mobile versions of a site can look like. Typically these versions skip reformatting the main site content and they get right down to the business of catering to the unique needs of mobile visitors.

Not only can it be a LOT easier to build a mobile version of your site/pages, you can expect these versions to have more features and be more compatible with a wider range of devices.

Tools like jQuery Mobile will have you making pages in a jiffy and uses modern techniques/HTML5. It’s so easy you could even make a demo image purely for the sake of a blog post! ;)

This also frees up your main site design so you can make changes without worrying what impact it has on mobile.

“What about my content?”

Excellent question!

Mobile versions of sites with lots of useful content (AKA: great websites) can feel like a major hurdle to tackle, but in most cases there’s some awesome solutions to making your content work with mobile versions.

The last thing you’d want to do is block content from mobile visitors, and Google’s ranking algorithm updates in June/2013 agree.

Even something as simple as a faulty redirect where your mobile site is serving up:
mobile.site.com/
..when the visitor requested:
www.site.com/articles/how_to_rank.html

.. is a really bad situation, and in Google’s own words:

“If the content doesn’t exist in a smartphone-friendly format, showing the desktop content is better than redirecting to an irrelevant page.”

 
You might think the solution to ‘light content’ or ‘duplicate content’ in mobile versions is to block crawlers from indexing the mobile versions of a page, but you’d be a bit off the mark because you actually want to make sure crawlers know you have mobile versions to evaluate and rank.

In fact if you hop on over to Google Analytics, you will see that Google is tracking how well your site is doing for mobile, desktop, and tablet visitors:
Example of Google Analytics for a site with mobile SEO issues.

(Nearly double the bounce rate for Mobile? Low page counts/duration as well!?)

 
Google Analytics will show you even more details, so if you want to know how well you do on Android vs. BlackBerry, they can tell you.

“How do the crawlers/search engines sort it out?”

A canonical URL is always a good idea, but using a canonical between a mobile page and the desktop version just makes sense.

A canonical can cancel out any fears of showing duplicate content and help the crawlers understand the relationship between your URLs with just one line of markup.

On the flip-side a rel=”alternate” link in the desktop version of the page will help ensure the connection between them is understood completely.

The following is straight from the Google Developers help docs:

On the desktop page, add:

<link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="http://m.example.com/page-1" >

and on the mobile page, the required annotation should be:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/page-1" >

This rel=”canonical” tag on the mobile URL pointing to the desktop page is required.

Even with responsive design, Googlebot is pretty smart, and if you aren’t blocking access to resources intended for a mobile browser, Google can/should detect responsive design from the content itself.

Google’s own help pages confirm this and provide the following example of responsive CSS markup:

    @media only screen and (max-width: 640px) {...}

In this example they are showing us a CSS rule that applies when the screen max-width is 640px; A clear sign that the rules would apply to a mobile device vs. desktop.

Google Webmaster Central takes the information even further, providing tips and examples for implementing responsive design.

Ever wondered how to control what happens when a mobile device rotates and the screen width changes? Click the link above. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 3:51 pm


 

 

April 19, 2013

International SEO

We’re all interested in expanding our marketshare.  For a lot of businesses with a solid SEO strategy and success that means either expanding into new marketing efforts or expanding your reach outside of your core market.  Yesterday on my weekly radio show Webcology on WebmasterRadio.fm by co-host Jim Hedger and I decided to host a 2 hour special episode with some great guests on techniques for expanding your reach internationally.The show was divides into 2 episodes.  The first hour was spent discussing international SEO from the perspective of marketers located outside the US and the second hour we brought in some new guests to discuss the challenges from the perspective of marketers inside the US.  You can listen to both episodes below with a summary of the guests.

Episode One (SEO’s outside the US chat international SEO):

Guests – David Harry and Terry Van Horne from SEO Dojo, Mikkel DeMib Svendsen, Chris Adams from gShift Labs and Tony Hutchcroft from 1st On The List

Episode One

Episode Two (SEO’s within the US chat international SEO):

Guests – Aaron Aders from Relevance, Frank Watson from Kangamurra Media, Dave Snyder from Coypress and David Portney from Portent Interactive

Episode Two

It was a great show with some great guests and a couple heated debates (special thanks to Terry and Mikkel for that).  Enjoy.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:31 pm

Categories:link building,SEO Tips

 

 

January 31, 2013

Are you Modern? Take the test!

modern.IE Logo

Two pro-Microsoft posts in one week? I know, Right?!

Clearly we are not masters of fate or IT news, so today’s headline is covering the new modern:IE Test Site setup to assist web developers with creating IE compatible site content.

Wasn’t it like, two days ago that I just pointed out that the big flaw with IE is that the old versions create a web design nightmare? *tap tap* .. Apparently this thing is turned on?

What does it test?

Actually the tool is a suite of tests with some specific test cases for IE browser specific issues.

Here’s a list of categories it will test and report on without setting up a ‘Site Owner’ account:

  • Fix common problems from supporting old versions of IE:
  • Known compatibility issues
  • Compatibility Mode
  • Frameworks & libraries
  • Web standards docmode
  • Help this webpage work well across browsers, across devices:
  • CSS prefixes
  • Browser plug-ins
  • Responsive web design
  • Browser detection
  • Consider building with some new features in Windows 8:
  • Touch browsing default
  • Start screen site tile

If you plug your URL in the page will test all these areas and report back to you where improvements could be made.

Additionally there is a direct link to the ‘Pinned Site Tile’ testing/design tool.

This tool lets you select an image (144×144 pixel PNG) and text for your website when a Windows 8 user wants to ‘Pin’ the site to their start menu.

My experience with the tool wasn’t great, likely due to some caching, but if you test your code against sites that do work properly you can still sort out the needed meta tags quickly enough.

Other Goodies?

Included in the suite is a link to the Internet Explorer Test Drive site to compare HTML5 features and performance with other browsers..

 
Technically, I ended up short on time to cover more, so if you dive in and start to wonder why we didn’t point out something new/interesting, feel free to let us know, we’re always open to feedback. :)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:20 pm


 

 

January 24, 2013

Free Ranking Reports on Google!

I keep seeing people ask for their rank, asking what the best free ranking tools are, etc., like it’s so darn hard to ask Google where your website is in terms of it’s keywords.

First of all, Google Analytics has an ‘Average Position’ column for popular search queries that tells you a lot of great info about your site’s keywords.

Google WMT Search Queries chart
This is an example of Search Queries sorted by Average Position

 
The link to this area is:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/top-search-queries?hl=en&siteUrl=
+ your URL.

Our website link would look like this:
…earch-queries?hl=en&siteUrl=http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/

You can also click at the top of the position column to sort it, or tack this onto the end of the URL:
&grid.sortBy=8&grid.currentOrder=2d

If you aren’t getting enough data from this, first try out the download options, and load them up in a spreadsheet so you can sort/filter the data.

Most folks are surprised what a little bit of filtering and grouping can accomplish to provide you with a fresh perspective on data.

Still not enough? Well there’s a zillion free tools that will gladly trade your URL and keyword targets for a limited ranking report.

This is valuable data, so why not trade something free for it? Google does!

Indeed there’s enough free tools, that I won’t even bother mentioning one. Why don’t we just make one?

It’s not ‘hard’ to get your rank really, lets break it down:

  • Make a list of phrases you are trying to rank for
  • Do a Google search for your first phrase
  • Keep searching until you find your site
  • Take note of the position
  • Repeat

So how does the average person do this? It’s gets pretty technical, but all the resources are out there, and free!

To break that down in simple terms:

  • Setup a server or install XAMPP
  • Setup a database/table to store your rankings by date
  • Make a page that CURLs for your keywords
  • Setup a schedule to execute the php page regularly

Bingo, you now have your own ranking reports tool, and nobody is the wiser, besides Google, and they are usually too busy to care that you’re extra curious about your rankings.

Nerd reading a book

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of fine details to explain and not everyone is comfortable installing programs like this or scripting, but I am going to look at getting permission to make this a step-by-step how-to guide with full downloads so even novices can give this a try.

A final point to make is that excessive/automated queries on Google is a breach of their TOS, and could result in annoying blocks/complaints from Google if you were to attempt to use this method for a large set of keyword phrases, or wanted the reports updated constantly.

If you are a ‘power user’ who needs a lot of data, you’ll end up paying someone, and either you pay to use someone’s API key at a premium, or you get your own API key from Google and only pay for what you use.

Seems like an easy decision to me!

SEO news blog post by @ 1:03 pm


 

 

January 10, 2013

Missing Authorship Photos?

If you’ve become accustomed to seeing your charming mug in the SERPs when you are Google’ing your keywords, it might be rather unsettling to see those images suddenly disappear.

Rich Snippet SERP example

Fear not! This isn’t something you have done, or not done, this is actually kicking up a bit of fuss on the SEO forums/discussion areas today and clearly looks to be an issue on Google’s end.

In fact if you were in need of reassurance, all you have to do is hop into your Webmaster Tools account, and visit the ‘Rich Snippets Tool‘ to get a preview of what your SERPs would normally look like.

If you are sure that you’re not part of the current issue, or you’re just curious what we’re talking about, the Troubleshooting Rich Snippets page is a great resource to tackle possible problems.

Google invests another $200,000,000.00 in renewable energy..

I could have written .2 billion, or 200 million, or even 200 thousand thousands, but why play with such a large sum of money?

Google certainly isn’t playing around; With this latest investment Google’s grand total in renewable/clean energy is over $1 billion US and growing.

This isn’t just charity either, some of these investments are just smart business because the returns are very fixed and low risk.

Illustration of power saved by using GMail vs. Postal Mail

Being honest about pollution is brave, and bragging about your low footprint is begging for trouble, but Google marches on stating:

“100 searches on Google has about the same footprint as drying your hands with a standard electric dryer, ironing a shirt, or producing 1.5 tablespoons of orange juice.”

You can read more about Google’s efforts to reduce, eliminate, and assist others with power consumption/carbon footprints, over on the Google Green Pages.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:57 am


 

 

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

There seems to be a lot of spam vs. turkey this year, but we still have plenty to be thankful for!

In fact just today I was reading about how Google is thanking Maps contributors with ‘Badges‘!

If you login to Google and head on over to the Map Maker section of Google Maps you can get started on either reviewing changes that need to be approved/disapproved, or make your own.

The badges are apparently awarded as follows (stolen from IBF):

List of Google MapMaker badges

So Thanks Google, for being Thankful! This is going to work very well for trust factors on your G+ profile, which as we pointed out many times now, should also be the author link for your site content.

In Other News..

DuckDuckGo was trying to prove they could deliver better search results without learning anything about the user.

It would have been neat if it were possible, but I wouldn’t send a stranger out to buy me new shoes, and I don’t want a web search that doesn’t know me either.

At this point DuckDuckGo have been reduced to complaining about Google not selling them cool domain names like “duck.com”, and how many extra clicks it takes to change the search engine in Chrome vs. Firefox.

While I agree that making use of duck.com as a 301 to google.com is a bit ‘cruel’, my guess is that nobody offered Google a fair price for the domain, and it’s not bad business to improve the value by holding onto the name until a valid offer comes along.

If DuckDuckGo wants to disclose how much they offered Google, I may change my opinion, but for now this is just ‘big business’ vs. anything ‘anti-competitive’, and if this is the absolute worst mud that DDG can sling at Google then they have little to complain about.

Google Music Translate

While I have been eager to see someone like Wierd Al tackle the song Gangnam Style with some English lyrics, I am not sure I’m eager to see this ‘project’ come to life:


Heck this was meant to be a joke, but Google is so spooky with it’s tech that this is totally plausible?

Indeed some news sites this morning are actually getting flamed for discussing this as if it were a real service offered by Google.

Well ‘played‘ sirs.. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:53 pm


 

 

November 13, 2012

Two detours for traffic on the info superhighway

DETOUR

Every once in awhile it would be nice if there was some construction on the information superhighway.

Some road work that caused folks oblivious to our websites to detour?

We all want some traffic to take a pass through our pages, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Ideally we’d want the detour sign to read:

“Turn here for great deals on XYZ!”

…but more often than not folks go for something a bit more catchy like:

“If you like kittens and free bacon turn now before it’s too late!”

The problem with the former is that people don’t respect honesty as much as they should, after all, everyone has something for sale, tell us something we didn’t know.

The problem with the latter is that while totally successful, the traffic driven to the site won’t be on target at all, will likely bounce, and the best anyone can hope for is brand recognition. Unless the site actually has kittens and free bacon, but who would be reading this if they had all that? (Note to self, make a site with endless kitten pictures where the uploader is paid in bacon.)

Ideally we wish to find a ‘Goldilocks’ approach where we aren’t too off-putting with boring honesty, nor are we luring in people who have zero interest in the site.

So lets take a moment to look at two common approaches for traffic generation that I don’t see discussed often, one is very timely.

Unusual Approaches That Really Work!

ARGs or ( Alternate Reality Games ) are getting pretty popular online.

Google's Niantic ARG Logo

Google just launched a massive ARG called the Niantic Project and I am already 7 13 days behind on the clues/feeds..

The idea is that you become very curious about the game and subscribe to the daily clues. With luck this catches the eye of your friends, they get curious and sign on too. By the end of the game Google should have a large subscriber group waiting anxiously for their announcement.

Speaking of clues, one thing I seem to have discovered ahead of the crowd is the Interactive global Niantic XM (Exotic Matter) POI map that Google built:

If this game is an introduction to the recently released Google Field Trip app, then is it possible that Google associates have taken the time to embed ‘clues’ into major landmarks around the world that need local residents to ‘discover’ using an Android device and the Google Field Trip application.

With any luck Google will use Niantic to reach more people than they normally would, and the more people who know about field trip, the better/more interesting it will be.

Think Outside the Box

PDF Icon

In this case, the box, is the web/online and thinking outside means creating web content that people will want to print/download and share.

All of our team is doing on-page optimization training so that all of us have some skills with on-page SEO. Even if we can’t have each member doing live A B tests and such, they should know why you would run one and be familiar with the current standards.

This means that each of us has an SEO cheat sheet pinned to our cork boards and each of these has branding on them that we’re fine with. In fact I’m very tempted to promote these as something all of you should print for your daily SEO but I need to check and see if they are still available to the public.

If your company has info pages that are getting a lot of traffic, I’d look at pulling together a PDF of the content for download with a quick-reference for printing.

Getting your brand out there and helping potential clients is a win win for you if the market you are in is something that you want to be recognized for.

Giving it Away

Lending hand image

If you felt like making a resource and simply giving it away was too much for your time/budget, then you’ll be shocked by the next suggestion:

Give something substantial to a charity, preferably an example of your trade.

As an example: If you sell shoes and there’s a drive for winter shoes for the homeless, putting free footwear on people that cannot afford your product won’t cut into potential customers/sales, and it will remind people where to get shoes, and that winter is coming.

If there’s nothing you can do for charity that lines up with your company, you can always just give some money away, many sites thank donors with an ad or a link, and even micro loans are a nice way to help out with friendly options to get you started.

There’s a ton of ways to get unexpected traffic to your site in a manner that will have the visitors eager to explore, and potentially buy your product. Anything else and you risk the traffic bouncing off your site and telling Google that you aren’t offering interesting content.

Today’s Google Doodle

It’s with pride that I re-share the daily doodle for the Canadarm!

Google Doodle celebrates the 31st year of Canadarm operation

Google is celebrating 31 years of Canadarm use today with the above doodle.

After 90 missions the Discovery and Atlantis Canadarm installations will be retired with the shuttles for museum display. The Canadarm that was fitted to the Endeavour was given back to the Canadian Space Agency and it is currently on display in the Quebec headquarters.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:54 am


 

 

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