Show archive of May 2010

    1. Mayday, Enterprise SEO & Retail SEM

      May 26, 2010

      Sounding the distress signal, some webmasters are reporting a loss of significant long-tail traffic referred by Google and have dubbed the issue the Mayday Update. Some theories are circulating, attempting to figure out what change Google made that affected long-tail traffic. Bruce suspects the Caffeine infrastructure may have something to do with the change, and expects to see further shifts due to Caffeine in the future.

      Tony Adam
      Tony Adam, senior manager of online marketing at MySpace, then talks to Virginia about enterprise and in-house SEO and his presentation at Search & Social Spring Summit. He explains the value of creating a road map and setting goals, the importance of conversion and optimization and testing, and the opportunity of social media. Social media and search engine optimization can be used together for optimal online marketing effect, and he shares points from his SXSW presentation on social media marketing for business.

      Then Susan, Maryann and Virginia discuss search engine marketing for retail businesses. A survey by Internet Retailer reveals that retailers are attributing a large portion of online sales to search engine referrals. One interesting point is that more than 43 percent of respondents expect to increase their paid search advertising budget for Bing in the coming year. Of that group, more than 17 percent plan to shift money from the Google advertising budget to Bing. The battle of the search engines and search traffic continues.

    2. Small Business SEO

      May 19, 2010

      Small businesses are quickly getting up to speed online. Google is reaching out to the online small business community through a new page about Tools for Online Success. In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the site introduces local businesses to online tools and resources. This is just the latest in Google’s efforts to empower small businesses, recognizing the growing segment of the small business community hungry for progress and marketing innovation.

      Eric Enge
      Eric Enge, president of Stone Temple Consulting and a writer at Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land, then joins the show to talk about changes to local search and small business SEO. Eric’s recent interview with Google Local’s director of product management highlights some helpful information for small and local businesses. Google Places, the newly renamed Google center for businesses online, has launched many new features, including Place Pages. Eric explains some of the advantages of Place Pages and gives his top recommendation for small business listings.

      Virginia, Susan and Maryann continue the small business conversation with local search SEO strategies. Small businesses have an opportunity not available to larger organizations because local businesses can reach out to their community for links. Small businesses don’t necessarily have to represent themselves online as such because some can serve consumers across the nation from a small office. However, a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & The Press found that small businesses are the institutions most trusted by Americans today, so small businesses might do well to use their community orientation to their advantage.

    3. Facebook Marketing & Privacy Issues

      May 12, 2010

      Bruce, Susan and Virginia have a bone to pick with Facebook. The social network announced a number of changes at the f8 developer conference in April, including its plans to create Open Graph and a redesign of connections made throughout the service. The show hosts are concerned about the diminishing promise of privacy and user’s ability to control personal data on the service. Several security holes have been discovered since the platform changed, and some U.S. senators have even asked the social network to remove new features that may invade user privacy.

      Brand Glue Facebook Marketing logo
      David Turner, technical lead of Facebook marketing firm Brand Glue, talks to Virginia about Facebook news feed optimization and ways to engage users to become fans on the social network. In the Wall Street Journal’s The Black Art of Writing Facebook Updates, Brand Glue shares recommendations for crafting optimized Facebook updates that entice interaction and could help updates show up on more users’ news feeds. David also discusses customized Facebook landing tabs and ways to use Facebook to drive conversions on a business’s Web site.

      Then Aaron, Susan and Virginia consider the effect of W3C validation on search engine optimization. The question of how validated code plays into rankings was the source of lively debate in the chat room a few weeks ago. Aaron expresses that W3C validation likely doesn’t have a role in search engine rankings, based on his own testing and experience. However he believes there is considerable overlap between SEO best practices and validated code and that W3C validation is an important part of designing a spiderable and accessible Web site.

    4. Brands in SERPs and Search News

      May 5, 2010

      Among the many UI changes Google has tested this year, one that may really shake up traffic is the addition of links to brands at the top of the results pages. Bruce, Susan and Virginia discuss Google’s preference for brands and how the brand links at the top of the page must fit into one or more of Google’s goals: to satisfy users, generate ad buys or keep visitors on site longer. Google seems intent to reward big brands with SERP visibility, which makes the job of an SEO more challenging. One way SEOs may be able to adapt to the change is to optimize Google-favored brand names on their sites. Though, until the test is rolled out officially, it remains to be seen if such a tactic would be effective.

      If you’re interested in a platform to share your best SEO, PPC and SMM advice to a small business audience, look no further than the Small Biz Discovery Contest. Bruce Clay, Inc. will be awarding the grand prize winner of the contest with a pass to Search Engine Strategies San Francisco. Entries will be posted to the Bruce Clay, Inc. site, and will be shared via the blog and social media channels of the company, meaning high visibility and branding opportunities for all participants, along with the promise of great prizes. To enter, write an article (at least 750 word) that answers the question: What one recommendation would you give to a small business owner to improve their online presence? Article entries are being accepted throughout May. If you’re interested, read more about the contest, rules, prizes, and how the winner will be chosen at the Small Biz Discovery Contest page.

      Then Susan, Virginia and Aaron take a look at some search news. Google has launched a product reviews program. Product reviews and user ratings will be displayed in Google Product Search results and ads for participating retailers. Google has also renamed its Local Business Center to Google Places and added several new features, including photo shoots in select cities and a new advertising program. The search engine may be revamping its map and local listing service in order to better compete with the advanced offerings of Bing in that area. However, Bing continues to report losses in its online services division. Finally, the definition of a journalist is called into question with recent events in New Jersey and Silicon Valley. The question has definite repercussions in the blogging world.