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The New +1 Button from Google

No…this is not a nerdy Dungeons & Dragons reference. Google announced on Wednesday that they are introducing a new feature called "+1 Button." This new feature from Google is still in the experimental phase, but it is most definitely going to have an impact on SEO and rankings. So far this new feature has only been release in English searches in the USA and Canada.

Google +1

Use +1 to give something your public stamp of approval, so friends, contacts, and others can find the best stuff when they search. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results.

Your +1′s are public. They can appear in Google search results, on ads, and sites across the web. You’ll always be able to see your own +1′s in a new tab on your Google Profile, and if you want, you can share this tab with the world.

Google states clearly that:

The +1 button is shorthand for "this is pretty cool" or "you should check this out."

Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1′s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.

Google is being very clear that this will have a significant impact on sites and will be part of the new Google Social Ranking signals. It seems that this is another step in reducing the emphasis on links as a ranking signal as well.

It is well documented that social signals are already a determining factor in determining rank. Facebook "shares", for instance have long been established as having a significant impact on rank.

This is another move towards the "Social Web" by Google. Inbound marketing is definitely the future for all SEO efforts and will soon be one of the few ways to garner truly organic traffic to your site. It is increasingly necessary to engage users across as many social mediums as possible.

From an SEO standpoint, some people feel that the new social metrics will be easy to game. However, I would have to disagree. Google collects a lot of information on users in order to determine that profiles are in fact tied to real people and are authentic. Taking a look at your Google Dashboard will give you a good indication of some of the main factors that Google uses to determine if you are “rea” [erson with authority. Some of the factors Google will look at are: Gmail account, Analytics, Blogger, Buzz, Calendar, Contacts, Google Docs, Picassa, Reader, and perhaps most importantly: Social Circle and Content.

Both Bing and Google have been very clear that links shared through Twitter and Facebook have a direct impact on rankings and as SEOs we need to make this major part of our SEO strategies.

Google is already working on implementing a +1 feedback button for you to embed on your website. This will be similar to the Facebook "Like" button, or the Twitter "Tweet" button, or an upvote. Once you enable +1 you’re also opted in to show this information on 3rd party sites in exactly the same was as Facebook buttons.

I think the biggest concern that arises from the implementation of this new feature, is what about sites that are not necessarily “cool” or “popular,” but are more useful in nature. We can only hope and assume that the more traditional ranking signals will still hold water for these sites.

SEO news blog post by @ 6:35 pm on March 31, 2011


Organic SEO Warlock

Charlie Sheen has been ‘winning’ a lot lately, even if you’re having a hard time figuring out what exactly has been going through his mind. The message hasn’t been very clear, but the results are phenomenal.

Charlies recent “Winning Recipes” video on FoD begins with a few notable quotes:

“I am living the life of a rock-star Vatican assassin” and “..if you hadn’t noticed I’m ‘winning’ television right now..”

Followed by his desire to be the “first person to make an appearance on every television network”!

To cement the intro Charlie reveals that he was the first to “build my own rocket-ship to Cassiopeia using only my mind-tools” and “first person to get one million twitter followers in 24hrs!”.

The last quote is backed by the Guinness Book of World Records, and is no small achievement to be very honest.

How does a person step ‘out’ of the limelight and leverage web-casts and short interviews to double their star power? Magic? Tiger blood? Who knows; The tests for narcotics are coming up false, so we’re all scratching our heads on this one.

It’s almost like Charlie sat down, read a marketing handbook for SEOs, and said, “I just need to be honest, reach out, make some accessible videos, and stop taking everything so seriously.”.. Is Charlie Sheen some comical messiah marking the flop of TV and the dominance of the Internet?

Speaking of which, how much do you think an SEO would charge, and what sort of time line would they place, on a campaign for a keyword like “winning”? Charlie is linked to first page results on Google for “winning”, half the video results link to him, and if you leave the general search and hit News, Discussions, etc.., you have to be a recently successful pro sports team to rank for “winning” along side Charlie.

One thing is clear, he’s having a great time, and any man who closes with the warning, “the taste of Charlie Sheen has the potential to cause your soul to weep”, clearly isn’t taking himself too seriously. Which would be hard to do when his “body is a Lockbox of Diamonds, Uranium and Assassin Nobility”.

Remember what Charlie says, if you’re not in the Korner(sic) winning, you’re a troll; “Sizzle. Losing. Bye.”

SEO news blog post by @ 12:02 am on March 19, 2011 and Geo-targeting

Recently I was reading a debate about link shortening with non local country code domain extensions. If you use .co you are telling Google you’re Colombian, likewise if you use Tuvalu’s .tv or Liberia’s .ly extensions.

This issue was fixed last year and now you can remedy the location issues by using the geo-targeting options in Google’s webmaster tools; At this point even Greenland’s .gl extension is fair game.

When Google’s own URL shortening system,, was released in 2010 producing URLs like it didn’t make a big splash in the eyes of most users. In fact most web users already had a preferred shortening method and Google’s offering looked like a “me too” service nobody needed. Early bird gets the worm?

A couple weeks ago I was reading a really neat post on the simple tracking features of the link shortening service and how you can use it to quickly see who is getting to links you’re putting out. If you had the time to make a unique link to some information, you could link the info vs. including it in an email, and a visit to the tracking page for the shortened link would give you a confirmation that someone has seen the link and read your email.

Shortened URL tracking

As you can see, it gives just enough information to be handy for confirmation of receipt. Plus there’s a link use-over-time graph that would really help someone with no other quick way to record popularity of a shared link. All you need is a working Gmail account/login.

When I see Google offering any method to submit a URL my SEO hat goes on right away and I have to speculate that if I was Google, I’d do well to crawl the destination URL of a popular shortened link, even if it isn’t found anywhere else online. This is something to really consider if you shorten a lot of URLs and have interests in Google caching the target URLs. Why use if there’s a chance will get you crawled faster?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:14 am on March 11, 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 on February 22, 2011


Google Updates Social Search Algorithm

Google announced February 17, 2011 on their blog that they were upgrading its social search algorithm to include posts from popular social networking sites of a user’s social network friends into its Internet search results.

The new experiment on Google Labs called Google Social Search is an effort by Google to help a searchers find more relevant public content from your social contacts and feeds. This is an ongoing effort by Google to improve the relevance of search results with Google’s personalized search features.

The idea is that if you do a local, personalized search for great restaurants, you should start seeing friends posts and tweets that are in your social circle. That is assuming of course they are posting somewhere that Google has access to. Google currently included content created by your friends on Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, Quora, Flickr, Google Reader and more.

The new social search feature is currently only available in English. Google will not be displaying any social search results from Facebook, who has previously declined to share information with Google.

Google began indexing links and social connections as part of their Google Labs program In October of 2009. Google then began making social search available in January 2010 to its users. They then added their social feed Buzz a few months afterwards.

Google product management director Mike Cassidy and product manager Matthew Kulick said in a recent blog post:

“Relevance is not just about pages; it is also about relationships”.

“Today we are moving a step forward; empowering you to get even more information from the people that matter to you, whether they are publishing on YouTube, Flickr or their own blog or website” they said.

Click here for more information about Google’s Social Search features

SEO news blog post by @ 6:53 pm on February 18, 2011


Potential Twitter Buyout

It seems that Twitter may be in early talks with potential buyers Facebook and Google, according to an article published by the Guardian.

Twitter, the micro-blogging site has approximately 175m registered users worldwide, who send 95m tweets a day. As a private company, Twitter does not reveal its financial records, but they are estimated to have revenues of $45m. This year, Twitter is expecting to double their profits and to have revenues of approximately $100-110m.

Initial talks are said to not have progressed very far but the Wall Street Journal states that a potential buyout could value the company up to $8-10bn.
Both Google and Facebook are believed to have discussed bids for Twitter in the past. Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is believed to have unsuccessfully offered Twitter’s founders $500m in Facebook stock for the company in 2008.

Buyouts seem to be all the rage these days. Earlier this week AOL paid $315m to purchase the Huffington Post at about 10 times the media company’s 2010 revenues.
Earlier this year we learnt that Groupon, the online discount coupon-a-day company, was in talks with Google for a buyout in the order of $6bn.
At the last minute, Groupon declined the offer. As was speculated when we reported the story, when the deal fell through, Groupon is also planning an initial public offering.
LinkedIn is also planning an IPO that could place the value of the company at the $2bn mark. Cedric Zygna, maker of the phenomenally popular Farmville online game, also aims to issue shares.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:04 am on February 12, 2011


Beanstalk’s New Twitter Page

Well I’ve finally joined the 21st century.  As many of my friend’s have mocked me for – I didn’t get involved with social media until only recently.  I have been a heavy user of Facebook for a while but I only have friends on my friends list (what a novel concept) and I’ve only been using Twitter for a few months.  I’ll admit that after many months of basically exclaiming that Twitter was nothing more than another time-sucking waste I’ve been partly converted.  It is a time-sucking waste but a useful one. :)

I’ve had a Beanstalk page up on twitter for a few months.  We have 390 followers due in large part to the fact that I’m only following 330 people.  Why?  Well, because I still hang on to the belief that if I’m going to use Twitter I should keep it useful and to keep it useful I can’t have 8000 people all screaming their ads at me, cluttering up the comments from people I’m interested in.  I have many friends that I don’t follow simply because I’m not interested in their Twitter topic (not a “cat person” for example) and because I’m not overly concerned about increasing my follower numbers just for a sake of it.  If I want my information getting out there then it makes sense to follow people who are interested in my topic (SEO) that way the people who follow me are more likely to Retweet, etc.  Basically – I use it more as a communications tool so if I don’t follow you – don’t feel bad, you should only follow me if you’re actually interested in my Tweets too.

So that’s been going on for a few months with over 1000 Tweets to my name – so why talk about his now?  Well, my good friend Kristine has just designed for us a fantastic Twitter background.  This replaces the tiles of pics of my kids that the page used to contain.  Need to express my sincere thanks to Kristine and highly recommend her if you need a new and professional Twitter background or some hand-coded site design work (note: highly talented there as well and that’s actually more how I know her).

And of course – you’re welcome to follow us on Twitter (or just view our awesome new background at

SEO news blog post by @ 9:20 pm on May 25, 2010



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