Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

SEO Blog

Don’t Optimize for Google

Huh???

Sure, Google gets twice as many searches as Yahoo and Bing combined, but you shouldn’t optimize for Google. You shouldn’t optimize for Yahoo and Bing either.

It’s the User. It’s always the User.

A poor UX will get you nowhere with Google.Identifying the right keywords and doing on-page keyword optimization is arguably the easy part. The hard part is developing a compelling UX (User Experience). In a competitive niche, that’s what separates the high flyers on Google from the also-rans.

Let’s think about that for a second. It’s always been Google’s goal to present the best sources of information for any given search. That’s why you won’t find multiple listings on the first page of results that all have the same content. They’re out there  — just look at websites developed by vertical market website vendors; they often have pages with lots of information, but pages that are the same on many other websites. Google never wants to show you more than one of those: the rest are all redundant.

But it’s more than just having unique content on your site (although that is an irreducible essential). Your site needs to be easy to use, easy for users to find what they want, full of information not easily found elsewhere … it needs a good UX. That’s always been a #1 priority for Google and in their statement of philosophy headlined “Ten things we know to be true”, three of them relate directly to UX:

  • Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  • Fast is better than slow.
  • You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.

I’ve written about all of those things in this blog before, but it wouldn’t hurt you to review some of them.

Focusing on the user is Google’s #1 value. We’ve gathered all the stuff we’ve posted on that subject in our User Experience category.

The speed issue is always a concern when we prepare optimization recommendations for our clients, and all of our posts on that subject are neatly combined into our Page Speed tag.

Recognition that people are increasingly accessing the web on their phones is inescapable. But many websites that look great on a desktop or laptop, or even on a tablet may be close to unusable on a phone. We’ve written about that, too.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

Like this post? Please say so with the Like button above or the +1 button below. Or tweet it with the button up top. Thanks for sharing.

How does your UX stack up against your competitors? Need some help beating them out in the rankings? If so, Rank Magic can help

,

Are Your Facebook Posts Getting Fewer Views?

It sure seems like Facebook posts are getting seen by fewer people.

Bad FacebookWe’ve had reports from clients that as soon as they paid to promote a post on Facebook, all the rest of their posts achieved fewer views than before. By a lot – a drop of more than 50% in the number of people who saw them.

The problem seems even more pervasive than that. Facebook has to filter what you see because there’s so much content there you can never keep up. But the way they’re filtering really restricts what you see.

Facebook Ads: A Bad Idea?

Derek Muller of Vertitasium has produced two effective videos explaining why it’s a bad idea to advertise on Facebook.

Here’s the first one

And here’s their followup.

What’s been your experience with Facebook paid promotion? Positive? Negative? Please let us know in the comments below.

Like this post? Please say so with the Like button above or the +1 button below. Or tweet it with the button up top. Thanks for sharing.

Product You – What You’re Worth to Facebook, Google & Twitter

Product You
Source: BizBrain.org

Search Engine Market Share

Search engine market share- Google then Bing and then YahooWe haven’t reported on the respective market share among the three top search engines for more than a year and a half, and we see most trends continuing. About three years ago Google had 64% of all US searches, Yahoo had 16% and Bing had 14%. That changed n 2012 when Google’s share improved to 66%, Bing improved  to 15% and Yahoo dropped to 13%, their lowest share of the market yet. That moved Bing into second place for the first time.

Google & Bing Up, Yahoo Down  — Again

Now Google’s share has improved to almost 67%, Bing is up to 18% and Yahoo is down to 11%, their lowest share of the market yet. Ask has about 2½ % of the search market and AOL continues to come in at about 1½%. So the big three still monopolize search and their share has increased over the past year and a half, from 94% to 96%. That’s why in our reporting, we don’t bother with rankings other than at Google, Yahoo & Bing.

Need help getting found in Google, Bing & Yahoo? Request our Overview & Pricing Guide via the button on the right.

Are Social Media Links Devalued?

social mediaThis is a frequently asked question.

We’re often asked if links from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter count less than other kinds of links. We’ve found an interview conducted awhile back by Stephan Spencer of Netconcepts with Matt Cutts (widely known as “The Google Guy”) where that question was pointedly asked.

Here’s Google’s response

Typically, our policy is: a link is a link, is a link; wherever that link’s worth is, that is the worth that we give it. Some people ask about links from DMOZ, links from .edu or links from .gov, and they say: “Isn’t there some sort of boost? Isn’t a link better if it comes from a .edu?” The short answer is: no, it is not. It is just .edu links tend to have higher PageRank, because more people link to .edu’s or .gov’s.

To the best of my knowledge, I do not think we have anything that says social bookmark links are given less weight. Certainly, some sites like del.icio.us (now delicious.com) and other people, may choose to put individual “nofollows” in and they may choose to take actions to try to prevent spam, but we do not typically say anything like: social bookmarking by itself – give less weight.

So there you have it. If this emboldens you to become more active on social sites, go for it. And if you need help with that or other SEO issues, just give us a call.

Like this post? Please say so with the Like button above or the +1 button below. Or tweet it with the button up top. Thanks for sharing.