It turns out that consumers rely on images in search engine result pages more than Google and Microsoft execs thought. Knowing this can help SEO professionals better optimize sites, according to executives from both companies who spoke at the Search Engine Strategies conference last week in San Jose, Calif.
It also turns out that image search is very important. Todd Schwartz, group product manager of online services division for Bing at Microsoft, shed light on the types of queries that consumers search for on Bing, he says. Following “Web search” categorized as a “vertical,” images took the No. 2 spot.
Not surprisingly, R.J. Pitman, director of product management for global search properties at Google, believes that image search as a vertical sits at No. 1, rather than No. 2. The growth comes from the “more than 1 billion” camera phones being sold yearly, and the ability to share pictures. Google sees “hundreds of millions of searches daily across billions and billions of images,” he says. Images are no longer a “nice to have, but a must have” piece to promote businesses online.
Pitman says Google has begun to rank images based on the quality of the image. People need to stop thinking about the photos as images and look at them as digital bits of information, where pixels in the frame actually mean something. Google considers more than the sitemap feeds, title tags and attached metadata when ranking images. The search engine now looks at what’s in the image. It helps Google find and serve up similar images through object and facial recognition, according to Pitman, who says to consider these facts to better optimize “when building next-generation Web sites.”
International news agency The Associated Press (AP) has adopted search engine optimisation (SEO) as a means to revamp its online readership, according to a report from brafton.com.
A report from the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University revealed that AP is placing its faith in SEO to restore its readership to the massive levels enjoyed during the golden age of print. The research centre said that it had got hold of a seven-page AP consultation document setting out the group’s plan to better adapt their global coverage to the online world of viral marketing and social networking.
The document, entitled Protect, Point, Pay – An Associated Press Plan for Reclaiming News Content Online, discusses how best to protect the agency’s universal output – used in syndication by news providers around the world – while maintaining its own income stream from unique content. The problem is, as the Nieman Lab points out, that syndicated copy is not particularly useful when it comes to SEO. To deal with this, AP is planning to deny its client news organisations some of its content and keep it instead on a single, centralised AP website.
AP general counsel Srinandan Kasi told Nieman Lab: “We have unique pieces of data, maybe, or we have a unique visual narrative, a graphic. We have unique photos, a photo gallery, and so on.”
“How can you use some pieces of content to drive traffic to other pieces of content? That’s really what’s being addressed here.”
WebProNews recently reported that international news agency Reuters has enjoyed a 500per cent increase in online traffic since 2004 thanks to SEO.
As customers turn to the Internet more and more to research their business needs, marketers are using online technologies to manage marketing through multiple channels, make changes on the fly and measure results.
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To make the most of out your SEO linking strategy, make sure that the rest of your marketing team understands what keywords and pages you’re targeting.
Some of the best natural links come from work you’re already doing elsewhere, from press releases to social media.
To build an efficient and successful marketing campaign, be sure to cross reference your marketing efforts with every other member of your team.
Today I received the new marketplace magazine, in it they talk about website do’s and dont’s, tweets, social media and why the kid down the street should not build your website.
Glenn Tinley CEO of marketplace magazine mentioned on his blog that we live in a city and province that I believe has a business inferiority complex.
I agree with Glenn to a certain extent, but having been here 2 years now after relocating my offices from the US & England I think it goes a little further than that.
Inferiority complex? maybe, knowledge gap? absolutely, certainly were the Internet is concerned, It was like stepping back 10 years when I first arrived.
Winnipeg has a lot of great developers, but more amateur builders working from the basement than most and I’m sorry I have yet to meet a techie, web designer or developer who is any good at Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and I am speaking from 15 years experience.
Chris Brown wrote a good piece in there, mainly good practices to follow, but I will bet my bottom dollar someone will read that and all of a sudden they will be another expert in Winnipeg.
I fully back Glenn on his dream with the Chamber and the Asper School of Business of putting our thriving business community on the map both regionally and globally, BUT until these people realise there is life after Brandon, I’m pretty sure it will go the way of all the other ideas before it.
When Winnipeg finally decides to fully harness the power of the Internet to progress business, tourists and the City, I hope they call in the right people, traditional media just does’nt cut it anymore.
If you hear your agency, consultant or service provider make any of these five statements, consider running.
1.) Hi, I’m Mike from XXX National Directory/Search/Ad Network Company, and I am a Marketing Consultant with the company. I am here to help you build your marketing plan.
RUN! FAST! Nothing against these folks (really), but selling Yellow Pages or even a “boxed” pay-per-click solution does not make you a marketing consultant. It makes you someone that is trying to sell Yellow Pages or a “boxed” pay-per-click solution. There’s nothing wrong with selling. God knows we all do it in some form or fashion, but please don’t try to mislead people by calling yourself a marketing consultant.
Clarification: If you are in fact interesting in purchasing what essentially amounts to an advertising package, by all means engage with these folks. Just don’t expect to get any marketing strategy advice out of them.
2.) If you choose us for your SEO project, we can guarantee multiple top 10 rankings on your targeted keywords.
I thought these people had gone away, but it appears they’re back in full force. And I can’t blame clients for listening. When someone tells you they can guarantee results, it’s hard to ignore.
That being said, let’s all say this together: SEO is not a quick fix, set it and forget it solution for driving traffic . The best SEO strategies I’ve seen involve a long-term commitment to the creation of relevant content, building that content in multiple formats, and finding multiple distribution channels for that content.
I am guessing there are companies that make an SEO guarantee and do follow through on it. I am also guessing that those guarantees are made on keywords like “patent attorneys that also handle divorce cases in reston virginia”.
3.) You really can’t afford to wait on addressing social media. We should build out your presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter right away.
Stop. Please. We all realize that social media is important, even though it’s getting a bit crowded. Like anything else though, you shouldn’t build anything if it doesn’t fit into a more strategic plan.
Some of these groups will bait you with the promise of thousands of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, or LinkedIn connections overnight. Great. Go ahead and recruit thousands of followers, all of whom could care less about your message. They’re following you because they’re trolling for followers as well. And the followers/friends/connections you do want? You’ll turn them off quick with the hundreds of meaningless updates you’ll have to post to accumulate all the meaningless followers.
Build a social media strategy. Make sure it ties back to your overall marketing strategy. Then join, listen, learn, and eventually execute. It’s that simple.
And one more thing, and I know this will be painful for some “social media gurus” to hear. Social media is NOT a necessity, nor is it necessarily effective, for every business and business category.
4.) We know you think of us as a print design shop, but just last week we added capabilities in web design and development, search engine optimization, pay-per-click management, email marketing, social media…oh, and we can also handle your dry cleaning if necessary.
Wow, just last week huh? So you must have hired an entire new team right? Nope. Acquired a company that specializes in those areas? Nope. Formed a joint venture with a web marketing agency? Not so much.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trusting a marketing service provider that has done you right over the years and who is now claiming to offer new services. Just make sure you probe a bit or execute a small trial project before diving in head first.
5.) You shouldn’t cut back on your marketing/advertising spend in a recession. As a matter of fact, I was reading in Business Week (or insert another referenced publication) that the companies that spend MORE during a recession end up as the top brands years later.
So your client just laid off half his/her staff, notified remaining staff that salaries and bonus levels have been frozen for the time being, cancelled plans to open the new office in the commuter-friendly downtown location…and you’re going to bring the “increase your marketing spend” message?
Don’t get me wrong. Increasing marketing spending may be right for certain companies; we’ve even seen a few of those up close and personal in the last few months. But the first move – as an agency, consultant or service provider – should be to figure out how to spend your client’s marketing dollars more efficiently.
The end of the world (of SEO) is coming! Or at least, that’s what some recent articles might tell you. Just a couple of erroneous statements I’ve read over the last few days:
“Social media (Twitter/Facebook etc) will soon be *the only* viable marketing medium”
There’s been loads of social mediums before Facebook and Twitter, and they’ve had their time and moved on. The net is an ever evolving, morphing, living thing, and just like everything living, it needs it’s heart and circulation. If you start following pages and links, all roads lead back to (you guessed it) Google (and other associated SE’s).
And one of the more confusing comments I’ve read to date;
“Google will stop using backlinks in the very near future”
Google’s (and other SE’s) index is built, in part, by the the way the web is interconnected; ie: backlinks. For them to stop using that method to crawl the web, and determine some level of relevance, they would have to “re-invent the wheel”. Seeing as that hasn’t happened yet, I won’t be holding my breath for this to happen either.
Search engine optimization and marketing strategies are an ever changing, and growing field. Full of pitfalls, short cuts, good ideas and bad. But it’s not going away, it will merely begin to fly instead of run; adapt and survive.
The primary aim of getting your business online is to increase its visibility. A web presence helps in getting your business a global success but only if you make your website visible out of countless number of them flowing on the internet. Various processes and tactics are practiced by the website owners for getting more notability. SEM and SEO are the key components through which online success can be ensured and there are couples of steps and process attached with SEO. Geotagging is one such method of the SEM that can help immensely in increasing the popularity of your website in local result.
Geotagging is a process under which the specific geo-coordinates are linked with the web pages or other relevant content on the website. This has become a popular process especially with the onset of rise in the photo sharing websites. It is a process that enables the webmaster to insert the geographic coordinates in the web pages, images, or such similar media. This tool is helpful as it enables you to pinpoint the location of your business exactly on the maps.
Geotags are supported by google, yahoo and other search engines for delivering local content with microformats. The visibility of the coordinates on the page can augment the convenience to the people looking for the same services and they can easily copy it directly into their GPS devices.
Hence, geotagging is a useful method in optimizing the website and must be used for gaining success in the online world
Struggling internet company AOL is pleading for patience from investors, insisting that online advertising revenues will pick up in the next two years.
Time Warner laboured over the decision to untangle themselves from the lead weight of AOL, but finally decided to jettison the company in February. Nine years ago, the two companies made the “deal of the century” with a merger that saw AOL takeover Time Warner for $160 billion.
It didn’t take long for the deal to go sour. The “transformed landscape” of digital media quickly turned into a quagmire, with AOL failing to move with the changing trends, crucially missing out on the broadband explosion and early movers who made the most out of the emerging internet advertising movement.
As subscribers dropped by two thirds, AOL shrivelled into virtual insignificance. The company changed its business model to focus on digital marketing but by then they had lost the edge of being on the frontier, and were playing catch up with the likes of Google and Yahoo. In the last three quarters, AOL’s revenue took a 20 per cent nose dive, hastening Time Warner’s decision to ditch its partner.
AOL’s chief executive Tim Armstrong told investors that AOL will make a comeback in the advertising market as the industry bounces back from the recession. “Advertisers are going to be driving to Internet Road and AOL is a major property on Internet Road,” Mr Armstrong told Reuters. The new look AOL will be pure display advertising, but with the frontier moving again to SEO, AOL could once again be caught one step behind its competitors.
Digital media analysts Outsell Inc. have projected in their annual advertising study for 2009 that some $65 billion (£39 billion) is due to be skimmed off the top of traditional advertising budgets and reallocated online.
Major brands are going through some hefty corporate liposuction, sucking the fat media budgets out of TV and newspaper and plumping up online spending. The trend towards digital has been talked about for quite some time, but according to Outsell, the money will not be transferred directly to an online advertising equivalent of the traditional ads.
Instead of investing in internet advertising, companies are increasingly looking to spend money improving their own websites, with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), web analytics and good quality relevant content.
Chief executive at Outsell, Anthea Stratigos spoke in an interview with Forbes: “The marketing dollars companies now spend on their own sites is equivalent to all TV ad revenue for the year. Eight years ago we said that the Global 2000 would be the dot-coms of tomorrow. That’s what is playing out.”