Archive for the ‘Search Engine Algorithms’ Category

Paid Search Pollen for SEO Petals

Paid Search Pollen for SEO Flowers

The very natures of Paid Search and Organic Search may seem different,  but they are actually substantially similar.  Most folks specialize in one or the other, but comparatively few excel in both.  This has resulted in a severe lack of cross-pollination between the two fields, other than in the area of keyword research.

Where overlap exists, we can leverage learnings in one field to understand the other, provided we’re mindful of their differences.  One of the landmark papers on Paid Search was a Google paper called Predicting Bounce Rates in Sponsored Search Advertisements; here we’ll ruminate on the similarities and differences between the two fields and see how we can apply the key finding of that paper to the field of Organic Search. Read on »

SEO Enlightenment

SEO Enlightenment

Create lots of optimized, keyword-targeted content on your website, make sure it can be spidered, and get numerous high-quality links to it.

oh frack!

OHHH, FRACK!

Over the last few years in the oil industry, a popular theory has arisen that all of the world’s easily obtainable oil is running out.  The problem of increasingly difficult-to-extract oil is also compounded by the fact that oil producing countries are in many cases third-world nations that are industrializing and are now consuming more oil themselves, making them a less likely source of exports in the future.  The theory (called “Peak Oil“), although controversial, makes sense, as the supply of oil underground is relatively fixed.  Although natural processes doubtless create more oil, it’s apparently happening slowly over geologic time, while we’re extracting it relatively quickly;  it’s not really a renewable resource from the perspective of beings that live for only 70-100 years.

This theory is now being applied by others to the Gold mining market (i.e. the theory of “Peak Gold”), and when you look at graphs of production over time, the consistent rise in how much capital it takes to extract an ounce of gold from the ground and so on, it’s a very compelling theory as well.

I have been thinking about similar problems in the search world for some time now and would like to introduce the concept of “Peak SEO” – in other words, the concept that the supply of available keywords and SERP positions is essentially fixed, and increasingly the low-hanging fruit is being eliminated and reducing the ROI of SEO more and more every year Read on »

Let's Look That Up in The Reference Section

iPhone SEO and iPad SEO? Let's try the reference section.

Search Engine Optimization for Apple’s mobile platforms is a little confusing in that, by “SEO” some people mean, variously: “writing your app to work well on the platform”, “ranking high on the iTunes app store”, and “ranking high on Google and other search engines”.
Here we’ll attempt to address all of these, and we’ll also touch on all the aspects of app marketing, since SEO affects and is affected by all of them.

*** Step 1 - Developing for the Platform ***

There are a number of resources and best practices available for making sure you aren’t doing anything stupid, like having an application that doesn’t look correct on the iPhone.  Don’t forget to also make sure Read on »

Cluck Cluck...I Hope The "Entrail" Reference is Just a Fowl Joke!

Cluck Cluck...I Hope the"Entrail" Reference is Just a Fowl Joke!

In Part 1, we came up with a standard decay curve by position that can be used to estimate Click-Through Rate, provided you know how many clicks  are available.  In this posting we’ll extend that to provide two ways of estimating organic search traffic potential, complete with a downloadable spreadsheet.  One approach is for keywords with no history, and the second one can be used for keywords with a history of performing, to project the effects of moving up various amounts.

Before we start, a number of commenters on Part 1 pointed out that the CTR decay curve will vary Read on »

Jockeying for Position

Jockeying for Position. *click to enlarge*

As an SEO practicioner, you will often find yourself in the position of having to estimate traffic potential.  If you’re like me, you’ve probably used the AdWords Keyword Research Tool to do this.  Most people do this with “Exact Match” turned on and use the “Local Searches” number, then make assumptions about what position they might be able to obtain on average, then they assume an average click-through rate based on various studies that have been done on click-through rate versus position.  For individual keywords, the click-through rate in reality will vary widely from the average, but if you’re doing estimates for hundreds or thousands of keywords this should “all come out in the wash”.

I’ve done this exercise numerous times but have always had the sense that I’m probably overestimating, because the traffic amounts predicted didn’t materialize, even when positions were achieved.

These two postings will identify the reasons for this, and we’ll construct Read on »

Google Places Entry for the Business "123kjkjad9 -"

Location of a Business Called "123kjkjad9 -" * click to enlarge*

“Local search” is a term used for searching on websites that let you find different types of businesses in a geographic area.  These can be map sites, search engines, yellow pages sites, or local directories.  Unlike traditional organic search optimization, there are numerous places you must go to create, correct, and optimize your business’ listing, and this can be a daunting task.  Also, this portion of the SEO industry uses intimidating terms like “7-pack” “NAP”, and “Citations” that can be a little off-putting.

This posting will de-mystify all of this and simplify the process by breaking it down into eleven steps Read on »

Rankings Explained

Rankings Explained. Any Questions? *click to enlarge*

Last year, some people from the academic community who hadn’t been snatched up yet by Google or Bing did a really interesting study.   Rather than simply researching factor correlations to rankings, as SEOMoz does a great job of doing every so often, they used machine learning techniques to create their own search engine, and trained it to reproduce results similar to Google.  After the training process, they extracted the ranking factors from their trained engine and published them and presented on them at an industry conference.  They were able, for the queries they trained on, to correctly predict Read on »

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Website *click to enlarge*

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Website *click to enlarge*

Google and Bing are in an arms race.  The two weapons they are deploying are datacenters and Ph.D.’s, which are substitutable for each other.  If a Ph.D. comes out with a way to store or index data that is 5% more efficient,  this can result in hundreds of *millions* of dollars of savings in datacenter costs.

Often these companies will file patents if they have some really good ideas, or they will file them just to have some patents in a particular area they are worried they may eventually face a lawsuit in.  For instance Read on »

1-2-3, That's How Elementary It's Gonna Be

Last week we covered the basics of SEO for YouTube – this week we will run through some of the more advanced techniques I came across when researching this topic Read on »