It’s had it’s time in the sun, and with the merger on the horizon for Yahoo with Microsoft/Bing, ComScore has let some numbers show from the past year. And while the numbers are mildly surprising, they’re not shocking at all. Introducing the up and comer, the new kid on the block; Facebook.
Facebook is well on its way to taking Yahoo’s spot as the third largest Web property in the world. Last summer Facebook took the No. 4 spot globally, displacing AOL. In December, 2009, Facebook attracted 469 million unique visitors, up an incredible 31 million visitors from the month before.
For perspective, in a single month Facebook gained as many new visitors as Yahoo did all year.
For the year (2009), Facebook grew by nearly 250 million uniques. A repeat will be difficult in 2010, but even at half that pace, and Yahoo remaining stagnant, Facebook could overpass Yahoo within a year to become the third largest site in the world. Passing Microsoft (No. 2) or Google (No. 1) in unique visitors will take a little longer.
By other measures, Facebook is already larger than both Yahoo and Microsoft. Its pageviews grew 141 percent last year, nearly double Yahoo’s (down 2 percent) and Microsoft’s (up 54 percent). Google is still the largest pageview generator on the web. With Facebook growing monthly by such leaps and bounds, it is only a matter of time before it catches Googles numbers in pageviews though.
Being the start of the year, it’s always a good idea to remember what you’ve done, what you’ve accomplished, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s also a good idea to remember and brush up on the basics, because if your foundation has no strength, what ever you build upon it will fall.
Search engine optimization, an industry born from neccesity, is as much an art, as it is a mathematical science. But just because you get the perfect ratio of keyword to text and what not, it doesn’t mean you’ll rank well in the SERPs. Google, the king of the multi-billion dollar mountain of search, basically birthed SEO and has brought it’s evolution to it’s current state. So who better to review the basics with?
We’ll go over the basics very briefly initially, and pay closer attention to some of the key points as they merit.
1) Create unique, accurate page titles
“A title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is.”
2) Make use of the “description” meta tag
“A page’s description meta tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about.”
3) Improve the structure of your URLs – Basically make your URLs easy to read.
“This can not only help you keep your site better organized, but it could also lead to better crawling of your documents by search engines. Also, it can create easier, “friendlier” URLs for those that want to link to your content.”
Try your best when designing your site, to avoid URL structure like www.testsite.com/72a00065a.htm It’s non-descriptive, makes no sense to a visitor who may choose to link to your content, and can make it difficult to keep your site and pages organized.
4) Make your site easier to navigate
“The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important.”
5) Offer quality content and services – this is really in their guide, it surprised me honestly.
“Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here.”
6) Write better anchor text – Avoid using anchor text like click here and the like
“Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link, and is placed within the anchor tag. This text tells users and Google something about the page you’re linking to.”
7) Use heading tags appropriately – Six types, ranging from H1 to H6, H1 being the most important.
“Heading tags are used to present structure on the page to users.”
8) Optimize your use of images – Search engine spiders can’t see pictures the same way we do
“Images may seem like a straightforward component of your site, but you can optimize your use of them. All images can have a distinct filename and “alt” attribute, both of which you should take advantage of.”
9) Make effective use of robots.txt – Note: You need to exercise care with your robots file. You could accidentally prevent your site from being indexed properly if you’re unsure of how to configure it.
“A “robots.txt” file tells search engines whether they can access and therefore crawl parts of your site.”
10) Be aware of rel=”nofollow” for links – Note: As with the robots file, if you’re unsure as to proper use of nofollow, use caution.
“Setting the value of the “rel” attribute of a link to “nofollow” will tell Google that certain links on your site shouldn’t be followed or pass your page’s reputation to the pages linked to.”
All of the above are essentially the good, solid practices that any SEO should be following. Additionally, every one of the points I’ve touched upon, is found in Google’s own search engine optimization handbook; their “starter guide”. If you happen to catch, or notice, an SEO Expert, not following one or more of the above, then how much of an expert could he really be if he can’t even follow the beginners rules?
Google has published some additional demographic data on their search numbers, and they serve to prove that Google still going very strong, as the king in search. A few of their results are as such:
Google users in the US making more than one query per day: 7 out of 10
Google users in the US making more than 10 queries per day: 1 out of 7
Average amount of time it takes a user to finish entering a query: 9 seconds
Average amount of time it takes Google to answer a query: Less than 1/4 second
Number of search quality improvements made by Google in 2009: 540, ~1.5 each day
Google result pages that show a map in search results: 1 in 13
70% of US Googlers are making searches, and of those users 14% (1 in 7) of them are making more than 10 searches a day. Taking into account the size of the US population, that’s a lot of pages being crawled per day.
Throw into the mix that within 10 seconds (average) searchers get their results, you can start to appreciate the amount of work and stress that the Google data servers go through on a day to day, minute to minute basis. The proof of all of that work, is provided as well; quality improvments made per day. 1.5 improvements per day were made to make your results come up faster, and more relevant.
Local search has always been a key point for any business wanting to seriously implement SEO into their advertising and marketing plans. Taking all of the users searching in mind (70% of US searchers), generating and receiving a search every 10 seconds or so, out of all of those searches, 8% of them (1 in 13) have a Google Map location listed. So if you have a street address, and don’t have a Google map location, just get in touch with the Freshtraffic team to help you capture this lost audience.
It’s known through out the industry, organic search engine optimization is the best return on investment (ROI) form of online advertising out there today. But it takes time for your investment to mature and generate the traffic and interest you deserve to your website. The new year has only just begun, it is time to stop being lost beind poorly optimized, poorly coded websites and for Google to introduce you to the world. Let Fresh show you the way.
At the beginning of each new year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held in Las Vegas, where companies can show off their newest product. Whether it be hardware, software, home use, auto use, and etc, the newest and brightest can be found under their roof.
One of the early presenters, Ford, announced discussions that the company has had with Google, in regards to using it’s Android mobile operating system, for use in their new vehicles as it’s entertainment and communication platform, Sync, is compatible with it. It’s a very, very interesting idea, as Ford has lead the charge in customizing the digital techonology available in automobiles today. Their vision, drivers can customize their vehicle via apps saved on smartphones which plug *directly into their car*, run onboard systems (ie:Sync), offer turn by turn GPS, and hands free phone calls for starters.
Also considering being built into their vehicles, Ford pointed out their on board Wi-Fi system which provides wireless internet access to the passengers in the vehicle on 3G broadband products, like smartphones. Building a “Park only” available web browser into the vehicles software, just adds to the possibilities of convenience.
Imagine, being at home conducting a search on a product you’d like to buy. Upon reading reviews, and making your choice of which to buy, you learn of a local business which sells your desired merchandise. Plugging your smartphone into your computer, you download the map/gps directions to the store, as well as the phone number, just in case. Hopping into your car, you plug in your smartphone, and begin your trek, following the directions saved by the GPS app on your phone, you reach your destination, make your purchase happily, and go home to enjoy it.
A car, powered by a Google OS, assisted by apps on a smartphone, can direct you precisely where you need to go, everytime. And, the car, can call the destination hands free, if you need assistance. And how about adding another twist to the mix, with Google unveiling their own smartphone at CES this year.
More and more.. it’s a Google world.
There are two ways to NOT see Google’s Personalized Search results:
(1) Log out of Google
(2) Append &pws=0 to the end of your search URL in the search bar.
Hope this helps
So Google is getting ready to unleash the caffeine onto the world of search,sometime after the Holidays Google Caffeine, their newest Search Engine Algorithm, is going to be fully operational on all of their massive servers. For confirmation you can read a Blog entry (dated 11/10) by Google Engineer Matt Cutts:
“Caffeine will go live at one data center so that we can continue to collect data and improve the technology, but I don’t expect Caffeine to go live at additional data centers until after the holidays are over.”
Read entire Blog by Matt Cutts here:
The following partial list of concerns were discovered while randomly evaluating these SEO Internet Marketing practices:
Lack of emphasis on fresh and updated website content.
Downplaying importance of Social Media where applicable.
Not addressing issues with website page download times.
Ignoring poorly constructed Meta Title & Description Tags.
Advocating Link Farming and insisting on keyword stuffing.
Not emphasizing quality outbound links that are relevant to the websites theme.
Download speeds of website.
For updated detailed information on the anticipated impact of Caffeine on SEO Internet Marketing efforts visit: www.freshtraffic.ca
Check out the video
Doom and gloom! SEO is dead! Google won’t care about your effective optimization anymore!
Noise is being made by the little guys about Googles new display tendancy which is incoming. Google announced recently that they’re going to start displaying search results based upon each individual users history, irregardless of being logged into a Google account or not.
A basic rundown of how it’ll work:
User searches for “blue suede shoes” and gets their results, for arguments sakes we’ll just call them A, B, C, D, E, representing the top 5. In that showing of top 5, based upon the descriptions given, they decide that C, is most relevant to their purposes, and click on that link and browse that site. Now, should that person search for “blue suede shoes” again, the rankings may look more like this: A, C, B, D, E. Google will assign a tad more authority to the previously clicked link, specifically for that user.
Does this mean all of a sudden that all SEO is worthless? Quite the opposite really, if anything it’s more important now than ever before. If your site isn’t engaging enough, or relevant enough to be listed initially, why should a user click through to your site?
Having the quality, building up your authority, being relevant, now more than ever proper optimization; both on and off site, is exceedingly important. There’s no time like the present for a Fresh start.
2009 was a big year in the technology industry. Live search was rebranded and marketed, Wolfram Alpha (remember them?) came online with it’s “answer engine”, and social media went another step up what with Facebooking and Twittering, blogging and real time results starting to make their way into your searches.
But seeing as Google is the big fish in the waters of the web, here’s a quickly compiled list of some of their advancements through out the year.
* Offline Gmail gets released with Google Gears
* Picasa for Mac released
* Google Latitude and search by voice for Android launch
* Google Sync for your mobile phone launches
* Google Calendar goes offline with Google Gears
* Google Profiles show up at the bottom of search results
* Updated mobile Gmail and Google Calendar webapps for iPhone and Android launch
* Google Maps mashup tracks swine flu
* GV Mobile makes Google Voice the default for your iPhone (later, Apple pulled this app from the iTunes Store for reasons that are still unclear)
* Engineers demo Google Wave at the Google I/O conference, give developers access to the Wave “sandbox”
* Google Apps Sync syncs Microsoft Outlook with Gmail, Google Contacts, and Calendars (updates with push Gmail in September)
* Google Squared puts your search results into a spreadsheet
* Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, and Talk leave beta
* FeedDemon, NetNewsWire sync exclusively with Google Reader
* Google announces Chromium OS (but doesn’t release any code, doctored screenshots and fan-made versions start popping up)
* Apple rejects all Google Voice applications from the iTunes Store
* Gmail Tasks graduates from Google Labs (where it first appeared in December of 2008)
* Gmail makes importing mail and contacts from old email accounts easy
* PubSubHubbub gets baked into Google Reader
* Google Wave Preview opens to 100,000 users
* GrandCentral closes its doors, transitions entirely to Google Voice
* Google Sidewiki launches
* Google offers voicemail storage and transcriptions for your existing phone number (part of Google Voice)
* Google Maps Navigation adds turn-by-turn GPS to Android
* Google Voice gives existing users invitations to send to their friends
* Chrome OS announced, Chromium build demo’ed and source code released (here’s how you can try out a Chromium build yourself)
* Google Chrome adds bookmark sync
* Google releases Go, a new programming language
* Chrome browser hits Mac/Linux with extensions enabled (Chrome for Windows left beta in December of 2008)
* Google’s new real-Time search includes Twitter streams
* Google Public DNS launches
* Google “lets the sun set” on Gears, moving to HTML5
* Google Goggles for Android searches the web by photo
* Google Favorite Places puts a barcode on restaurants and shops you can scan with your mobile phone
Look here, to read more of any of the above.
Google Inc. is determined to gain more influence over how the Web is used on mobile phones, even if the next step in the quest tramples some of the relationships forged during its two-year expansion into the wireless industry.
The focus on Google’s mobile ambitions is sharpening now that the Internet search leader is working on a new phone called “Nexus One.” The handset is being tested by Google’s 20,000 employees, who received the device just before the weekend.
Google declined to comment on the reason for the Nexus One’s development.
Mobile is clearly the next big business opportunity and (Google) wants to do everything possible to control its own destiny.