Category: Search Engines


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At the top of a list of articles that I’m pleased with, are the ones that made it to the first page of Google.

Top Articles are on the First Page of Google

One thing that I’ve learned recently is that when it comes to ranking on search engines, you really had best be on the front page.  Google users have changed their search patterns. For them, the top articles they’re likely to click-through and read are going to be on the front page of Google.

Top (Traffic) Articles are not on Deeper Pages of Google

No longer do they drill down to the second, third, fourth and fifth pages of results (which for everything there are usually millions of some kind of results).  Though this may happen occasionally, what is incredibly more likely to happen is for them to simply go back to the search box and refine their search.  (I know that’s what I do.)

My “Top” Articles on Google

Yes, this leaves me excited!  That’s how I felt to discover some of my posts were on the top page of Google.  These articles were ones I’d just put out there, with no real intention (usually) that they’d end up on the front page of Google. Many bloggers have number one positions, and a lot more traffic, but for me, this is a fun start.

At any rate, I’m happy to share that a number of articles from  NewTechnologyGeek.com have actually become “top articles on Google” (at least being on the front page of search).

 

Today’s Top Articles on Google (Mar.06/2011)

As of the time of the writing of this article, (and these always change) the following articles were ranked on the first page of Google for relevant search terms!  Here are some, separated by categories.

Keyword optimization (making sure I was conscious about finding a niche with openness to certain keywords — i.e. no strong competing sites with keyword-based traction; containing those words in that specific arrangement) was my only real tool of optimization.  That and outbound links, though I consider that a subset of the larger tactic, since being aware of the visible text of your links is fairly significant, I understand.

With each article/webpage, I note whether or not I spent time doing that kind of optimization, or just wrote it “off the cuff” and let it fly, I note at the end of each entry.

 

Sectional Pages on the Front Page of Google

  1. New Technology Geek.com:  The home-page of this website—which you should expect to rank on the first (top) page for its own name.  Now, granted, this is not technically an article, but I’m happy it’s on the first page of Google.  Search Terms:new technology geek, “new technology geek” [Yes, this is a “first result” top listing, though this shouldn’t really count as a “top article on Google.”]  (Not optimized at all.)
  2. Recent Trends Category Page which, though it’s not really an article, still comes out on the top/front page of Google for this search.  The reason being is that near the top of this page is the following article:  Splainers.com: Let Us Stick Figure Your Story which is a short review/explanation of what the Splainers site is, was a surprising hit over top of other links out there.  Search terms: splainers.com

Notable Sites and/or Recommendations on the Front Page of Google

  1. Splainers.com: (see above)   Search terms: splainers.com (Not optimized.)
  2. Qwerty to Dvorak Converter: If you got your keyboard stuck in a different keyset input mode, and you already typed a bunch of text, how can you save yourself the time of retyping it?  (Recommending an online converter/translator site.)  Search terms: qwerty to dvorak, qwerty to dvorak converter, dvorak to qwerty converter, etc.  (Maybe optimized?)
  3. Several Sources for Free apps for the Mac: The app store and a number of freeware and shareware lists and sources online.  I’m really geeked about making this a “top” (front page) article on Google since, despite a lack of research on my part, I suspect this is a fairly commonly searched term.  We’ll see.  Search terms: free apps for the mac (Optimized)

How-To Articles on the First Page of Google

  1. How to Freeze Panes in Excel 2008: This is a really simple article describing how to fix a particular Excel problem with “freezing panes”  (maintaining visibility on the first one or more rows and/or columns).  Search terms: freeze panes in excel, excel freeze panes, etc. (Optimized?  Probably not optimized—one good note is that I made sure to include in the title and meta-keyword [tags] the version and operating environment so that people would be more likely to find this if it was exactly what they were looking for.)
  2. How to Set Your YouTube Thumbnail: The basic quarters (25%, 50%, 75%) rule, as described elsewhere, with insight on the wiggle-variability of where thumbnail frames actually show up. Search terms: how to set your youtube thumbnail, youtube thumbnail video how, etc. (Optimized, I think.)

Stories and Articles (Informational) on the First Page of Google

  1. JC Penny’s Google Black Hat Tryst: At the recommendation of Girbe E. from the Film Farm, I checked out the story of how JC Penny appears to have used some “black hat” techniques to get all sorts of their products to be top articles on Google’s front page(s) of search results.  Though a number of professional news outlets covered this, apparently it wasn’t all that many, and this one got to be on the front page too.  Search terms: JC Penny and Google, (Optimized unintentionally.)  Perhaps losing traction.
  2. Who’s Afraid of Duplicate Content?: Wow. This short anecdote which mentions Google’s algorithm change and how a bad example might’ve hurt someone else’s rankings….Well, this one blew my socks off getting on the first page of Google (which it seems to be slowly edging off.)  Search terms: duplicate content [Maybe it was just freshness—but it’s neat to have landed on the front page of Google for a two-word search string. (Not exactly long tail!)], Google algorithm change and Duplicate Content, etc.

 

First Page Traffic Breakdown

What I’ve heard is that the distribution between traffic from Google search results gives the web-page that ranks at the top in natural search about 35% of the total web-traffic available on that search.  The rest goes to the remainder of the articles found on the first page of search, and subsequent Google pages do not rank at all.

 

My Next Goal

Now, if only I get the top search result for articles written here.  That’ll be my next goal—getting some articles in the top result on relevant front pages for a particular subject or search keywords.

I saw this yesterday: Matt Bailey talks about web traffic analysis.

YouTube – Marketing Talks at Google presents Matt Bailey.

He suggests moving up the ladder from data to information to knowledge, by using segmentation and human understanding, along with a good dose of further raw data.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

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A few months ago, I noticed a surge in articles about how Google was cutting down on its special benefits for employees. Even though the level of employee benefits was astronomically out of proportion to working at any other job, it definitely had something going for it.

To these articles (Belt tightening articles about Google) I say:  Cutting perks, how sad.”  I always thought it was cool (as I understood it) that Google took the stance that:

We take care of the employees first and the employees will take care of the customers.

I definitely can see the logic there, and if you have the money to it, then great!  Sounds like they don’t have the money to do it anymore.  But there’s nothing like employee loyalty to really make things work, because having to fight uphill against people who don’t want to be there will always be bad in the end.

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Google Appliance as shown at RSA Expo 2008 in ...

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Duplicate content.  What is it?

Your site should have works that are original to the online environment.  If not, you’ll be penalized by Google (in terms of your ranking) — don’t worry, no nun is going to come to your house wearing brightly colored letter-badges and slap you with a “Search now” ruler — but you don’t want to lose your ranking in Google if you can help it.

This is part of being a contributor who shares things with the online world!

A recent change to Google’s algorithm sticks it to duplicate content harder than Google did before.

There were a couple of articles about all this—and one that ironically quotes the other (duplicate content?) here: Google Algorithm Change, Greenlight: Small Business – Technology , and here: Google update cracks down on duplicate content.

I’m bringing this up to remind everyone that the main thing you want to contribute online is good, high quality, unique/original content.  …and I also want to solve a problem I may have inadvertently caused.

A little while ago, I showed a mock-up of a World War II veteran stories website, that was supposed to be a demonstrator to the good folks at the Film Farm, but I neglected to explain duplicate content penalties, and how a real website shouldn’t have content just copied and pasted from Wikipedia.

They recently put out a new post (as I’d urged them to become more regular about content being posted to their site) and they’d followed through with gusto.  However, their latest post, featuring a new type of update that they were going to share—namely videos from their archives.

However, I noticed that a big (more than half) part of their post was a chunk of quoted material from Wikipedia, and I realized that might get them sent in the wrong direction on their search rankings.

Oops!  So, I wrote them an explanatory comment…and then in searching around for more information on this topic, I wrote this article to compile it all here.

J.C. Penney

Image by Michael R. Allen via Flickr

JC Penny’s situation is fairly common—black hat techniques are used to exploit a loophole in Google, but Google eventually finds the loophole, patches it, and applies a (search) penalty to the exploiter, usually knocking them well down in search rank so that they don’t get as much traffic.  What was remarkable is how well JC Penny was able to pull of this stunt, and how widespread and effective they were able to make it.
The story of all this, I heard about from a friend, and then was able to find reference to in an online news source… It looks like they had a huge number of incoming links from other sites.  Remember how I mentioned link-building?   But, it wasn’t a genuine natural process…it was something fake/forced, which though not illegal benefits only JC Penny, and not the larger crowd that Google is trying to service (in other words JC Penny wasn’t actually being good high quality contributors to get those results, they were just finding a shortcut)…now they disavowed their involvement in this process…but I’m not so sure.  There was a slightly scandalous viral video that was circulating (and got a lot of exposure) with their name on it, and they disavowed it too.
We don’t know, but it’s possible that this was a carefully orchestrated gambit—knowing how much traffic was out there in the holiday season, and weighing that against how little traffic there is available after the holiday season.  Maybe they just knew that if they could even get a fraction of a percentage increase in traffic during the holidays for their online sales, it would far outweigh any penalty Google could impose in the post-holiday season when there’s so little traffic to be had anyways.  That’s the wager you have to make when doing black-hat stuff—usually short term gains vs. long term stability.

Marissa Mayer

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Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience at Google — interviewed by TechCrunch.com about the Google Instant new feature:

There’s been a lot of discussion about what will happen to the world of search-engine optimization when Google’s Instant search function fully takes effect, or at least, when it has its impact fully felt.

Check out this at-length article that discusses some of the search-engine optimization impacts that Google’s Instant search results may have.

Statistical meaning of The Long Tail

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Tell us what you think below!

Google Instant No Click Illustration

Google Instant - No Clicks Required

While I hadn’t thought about this advantage, apparently the new Google Instant platform of promotion has a pillar based on the interface delivers results for you to see while you type (assuming you can “touch type” and don’t have to look at the keyboard).

Here’s a video example using “Bob Dylan.”

Legal Executive

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As per our last blog post on Google Instant, the new trial feature on Google that gives right-away results predictively while you type does seem to be lending us some new curve-balls in the field of search-engine optimization.

So this will have some interesting ramifications for search engine optimization (s.e.o.) when you consider that results for partial searches (short tail results) will show up before those for complete searches (long tail results). Here’s an article about the impact Google instant will have on the lawyer and legal community.

Google Instant is the new wave for typing and not-typing as you search.  Apparently, according to Google’s official blog post on Google Instant, there will be no more need to complete queries (hopefully), or, at least you’ll want to keep things cool with this little result… In other words you’ll need to do less typing—and Google will automatically adjust the results as you go along.  Not that you’d search for partial queries (e.g. “baseball m”), you’d search for predictive queries (e.g. “baseball mitt”) while you go along, adjusting the whole screen of result-delivery.

What will this mean for search engine optimization? If partial queries are predicted into full on results, will people abandon longer searches—what will this mean for the market in general?

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

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