Search plus your world

Big news from Google, a way to search both private and public content – Search Plus Your World! For now, content only coming from Google+.

Google and Bing pull back on data

In case you missed it, here is a great article on how Google and Bing pulled back on keyword and link data that they were providing to SEOs and publishers. Not long after, we discovered why Google did this with the introduction of “Search Plus Your World.

Rich snippets

Rich Snippets are special markup that can be included in your page code to let search engines know what parts of your page are about. This allows search engines to display further information with each listing at the search results pages. For example, the authors photo and name may be included with the authorship markup or images and star reviews may be included with the recipe markup.

This extra information with each listing at the search results pages has the potential of increasing traffic and improving the quality of traffic to your site since searchers have more information before clicking through to your page.

Here is a quick introduction on Rich Snippets.

View further Rich Snippets videos produced by Google Webmaster Help.

You may also want to visit the following references for further information on implementing Rich Snippets for your site.

Rich Snippets Test Tool: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
Available Markup Tags: http://schema.org/docs/gs.html

Take credit for your content using rel=author

Have you connected your content to your Google profile yet? This can easily be done using the authorship markup. Here is a nice video with Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson discussing how to connect authors with their content using authorship markup.

SEO is the marketing choice for small and medium business

Interesting US survey. The question asked was: “If you had to put all your marketing time and budget into only one channel, what would it be?” The list of choices included SEO, paid search, mobile, social and traditional media. As you can see, SEO beats everything else by a mile.

For professional and affordable small business SEO, visit SEO for Small Business.

Canonical tag on every page?

Two of the main search engines giving contradictory advice on the use of the canonical tag. How are you using the canonical tag? Do you have the tag on pages that point to themselves?

New multilingual content markup

Google has announced new markup that can help avoid duplicate issues when implementing multiregional and multilingual websites.

Integration of social media into search results

Nice slide on the integration of social media into search results.

Twitter most popular, LinkedIn more leads!

This study shows that LinkedIn is the #1 lead generator for B2B although more B2B marketers are using Twitter!

Making the Website a Marketing Priority

The marketing department can have a great influence over the success of a site in many different ways. With off-page factors, such as link popularity, Google PageRank and link reputation, the marketing department can have an influence over the success of a site in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), often beyond that of any other department of a business.

Beyond this direct influence on how a site ranks, the marketing department should play an active role in all aspects of a sites development, coding, implementation and direction. Too often a site’s design, coding and purpose are left to an over worked and under resourced IT department, for whom simply getting it all to work is a greater priority than the impact decisions will have on sales and marketing goals.

Web sites usually have several separate and distinct goals and responsibilities. A site may need to be an online brochure or the first port of call for existing customers. It can be a place to find manuals, product information and support, as well as a tool to drive and deliver new business. In serving all these goals, the net result is often that a site ends up serving none of them particularly effectively. Many times a company’s site is simply forgotten as a marketing tool and other elements take precedence.

Responsibility for the site often falls between the gaps. Is it the IT department’s responsibility, the copywriting team or sales and marketing? This decision will have a massive influence over the inevitable result achieved, as each department will bring their own interests and preferences to the table, resulting in a site geared to these preferences.

There is plenty of scope within the framework of a site for the inclusion of all manner of functionality, from user tools to FAQ’s and online help. Unless this is a service that generates revenue, these things should not be the focus of a site.

Instead, a site should focus on generating sales and leads. Marketing should take an active role in all phases of the development of a site, and should make marketing targets not only a part of the mix, but the fundamental Key Performance Indicator (KPI) used to measure a site’s success. If compromises need to be made, they should be made with the understanding that marketing goals come first, other issues a very distant second.

Written by Bill Vasiliadis

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