The Google Webmaster Central blog has a recent post linking to a new guide they created that lists some of the best practices to improve their sites’ crawlability and indexing. The guide covers topics such as page titles, meta tags, anchor text, site navigation, URL structure among others.
I gave the guide a brief once over and found it to be a very useful starting point for those who want to make their own website and maybe can’t afford the services of a professional web designer and/or search engine optimizer. Even if you can afford the services of an SEO pro, it’s still nice to understand some of the basics of in-site optimization.
You can find a copy of the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide here.
Google recently purchased a company called GrandCentral - A company I had previously never heard of … after taking a look at their website I was somewhat impressed. As a closed invitation only service I wasnt able to test out their technology but basically they are a voip provider with a nice looking suite of web-based features. It’s exciting to think of how Google’s presence will affect the voip market. This is definately something to follow for small business owners.
Google is modifying the way they define keyword quality by considering the ‘commerciality’ of the keyword. In a recent interview a Google product manager suggested that Google will deliver more impressions for queries for which ads are useful and fewer ads on queries for which users might prefer not to see them.
The interview cited an example where queries such as ‘dog friendly parks in Mountain View’ would show fewer ads as Google feels users typing in these queries are most likely not interested in a product or service.
Last Tuesday we checked out the exhibitors at SES (Search Engine Strategies) 2006 Toronto. We made the decision early on to skip the conference and just check out the ‘expo’. Next year, however, I think we will attend the whole thing.
SES pits itself as the ‘premier event for search engine marketing and optimization’ and while that might be true it still doesnt mean that they attract alot of exhibitors (around 20 by our count). The exhibitors included heavyweights Google and MSN and then an assortment of sem related companies (both local and international).
We spent about an hour and half there on Tuesday morning (arriving during a conference session – so very few people were at the expo). We spent most of our time chatting it up with the Google and MSN people who all seemed very interested in our experiences as sem professional using their products. Unfortunately, half the time they had no idea what we were talking about with regards to Google Adwords and MSN Adcenter. Case in point was the fact that none of the Adwords Googlers knew anything about Google’s recent announcement to charge for the Adwords API (I had to use their laptop to show them the Google PR).
Well at least I got a Google yo-yo!
btw MSN had the weirdest giveaway – MSN Adcenter Napkins (no the napkins aren’t branded – only the package that they came in is)
<p>In a move that has angered many developers and search engine marketing firms, Google has announced that as of July 1st it will <a href=”http://groups.google.com/group/adwords-api/browse_thread/thread/1344697a36f8607c”>start charging for the use of its Adwords API</a>. Pricing for the Adwords API will be based on a usage fee structure where $0.25 USD buys 1,000 units.</p>
<p>The Google Adwords API allows adwords users with a My Client Center to create their own programs to interface with the Adwords system. Using the Adwords API, developers and SEM Firms have created custom and commercial reporting, automation, bidding anc cross-PPC platform comparison tool that greatly improve efficiency and scalability of the Adwords platform.</p>
<p>From its initial launch, the Adwords API has been free to use and based on a quota system that was calculated for the most part based on the number of accounts one administered within their My Client Center</p>
Google has expanded their empire a little bit more with the introduction of Google Calendar. The calendar is still in beta, but it’s early features show that it is quite a good system. Sharing your Google Calendar is a snap, either as a public or group calendar, and adding on holidays, both religious and regional is just as simple.
The calendar can be configured to be integrated right into your Gmail account, for easy viewing of your events and upcoming holidays.
To test out the new Google Calendar system, find it here.
Yahoo Search Marketing has been testing a new Ad Model, code name ‘Project Panama’, that includes “ad relevance” components that are similar to Google’s.
The initial article reporting Yahoo’s new Search-Engine ad model appears in Forbes Magazine.
Yahoo hopes a new ad model will result in an overall greater click through rate and therefore greater revenues. It will be interesting to see what Google’s response will be in terms of potential patent infringement.
Things definitely don’t move slowly at Google. There are rumblings in the online SEM community about Google Adwords adding additional “bid management tools”. This news, no doubt, has bid management software makers shaking a bit.
It seems this new feature will help you determine the position of specific keywords in your Adwords account. You will be able to activate each campaign and decide for each keyword, where you would like it to be placed. This feature brings Google’s operating methods closer to that of Yahoo.
The cost for bidding on a specific position will be based, as with Google’s typical structure, on the keyword, the position you choose, your maximum bid and, the all-important, Quality Score (more on that later).
Why is this feature necessary? Well, it’s not, but it is useful to those who are interested in holding their position. For instance, if a company wants to hold the 3rd position for their keyword, and are willing to pay for that privelege. If your bid is higher than required to get your ad in 3rd place, Google will lower your bid automatically…which will put you in 3rd position and save you money. In the opposite case, where your maximum bid does not qualify you for the position you desire, your ad will not show, because Adwords rules still apply and thus the Quality Score is of utmost importance.
In addition to specifying a single position, you can specify a range of preferred positions. Again, each keyword is monitored separately.
Our advice is to be careful when using this new feature. Google’s representatives warn that setting your position preferences errantly can contribute to a sharp decrease in your impressions, as your ad might not show in many circumstances. If you find your impressions have drastically reduced using this option, try to broaden your preferred position range and consider making changes to your keyword and your ad, to improve your quality score.
As many of you may have seen, Google Adwords has very recently added a new Adwords ad format – sponsored local business ads within Google Local. These local business ads appear in google local as a highlighted ad in the results column as well as an enhanced map marker that expands to display your business’s details.Google displays up to three sponsored local business ads per search result page. The highlighted listing contains the business name, address and URL as well as two user-inputted description lines. The map marker denotes the location of the business using an icon that can be chosen (from 11 possibilities) during ad creation. The info window that expands from the map can display the business information in the listing as well as a phone number and 125×125 pixel image/logo.
Having your ads appear on Google Local when a browser enters a relevant query is one way to reach even more customers look for your product or service in your geographic location. Ekamtech has begun to incorporate Adwords Local campaigns into its clients SEM portfolios with excellent success. If you would like more information about how Adwords Local can benefit your business please contact us.