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FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm

Hummingbird

What’s “Hummingbird?”

It’s the name of the new search algorithm that Google is using, one that Google says should return better results.

So that “PageRank” algorithm is dead?

No. PageRank is one of over 200 major “ingredients” that go into the Hummingbird recipe. Hummingbird looks at PageRank — how important links to a page are deemed to be — along with other factors like whether Google believes a page is of good quality, the words used on it and many other things (see our Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors for a better sense of some of these).

Why is it called Hummingbird?

Google told us the name come from being “precise and fast.”

Does this mean SEO is dead?

No, SEO is not yet again dead. In fact, Google’s saying there’s nothing new or different SEOs or publishers need to worry about. Guidance remains the same, it says: have original, high-quality content. Signals that have been important in the past remain important; Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways.

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Google introduces new ‘Hummingbird’ search algorithm

(Reuters) – Google Inc has overhauled its search algorithm, the foundation of the Internet’s dominant search engine, to better cope with the longer, more complex queries it has been getting from Web users.

Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search, told reporters on Thursday that the company launched its latest “Hummingbird” algorithm about a month ago and that it currently affects 90 percent of worldwide searches via Google.

Google is trying to keep pace with the evolution of Internet usage. As search queries get more complicated, traditional “Boolean” or keyword-based systems begin deteriorating because of the need to match concepts and meanings in addition to words.

How to Use Facebook’s Open Graph Tags on a Website

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When a user likes your Website or page, a notice will appear on their and their friends wall. You can easily control the Title, Description, Image and more by adding Open Graph tags to your pages.

What Is the Open Graph Protocol?

Open Graph WebThe Open Graph Protocol enables you to integrate your Web pages into the social graph. It is currently designed for Web pages representing profiles of real-world things – things like movies, sports teams, celebrities, and restaurants. Including Open Graph tags on your Web page, makes your page equivalent to a Facebook Page.

This means when a user clicks a Like button on your page, a connection is made between your page and the user. Your page will appear in the “Likes and Interests” section of the user’s profile, and you have the ability to publish updates to the user. Your page will show up in the same places that Facebook pages show up around the site (e.g. search), and you can target ads to people who like your content. The structured data you provide via the Open Graph Protocol defines how your page will be represented on Facebook.

How Are Open Graphs Added to a Website?

Open Graph tags are added to your Website via Meta Tags. The type of tags used should represent the content of the page. For example, Your home page tags would contain content about the site as a whole, while tags on a event page or blog post would focus on the nature of the story.

There are also specific tags for pages that focus on people, business/organizations, products, movies, locations, contact information & groups. Facebook’s complete documentation can be found here.

Getting Started

Read on…

How to Implement the Rel=”Author” Tag – A Step by Step Guide

by @ben_holbrook

As Google develops and becomes increasingly “personalised”, we take a look at Google Authorship mark up. By using rel=”author” and rel=”me”, you can enhance the way the SERPs display your content and put your name and face to your work – the photo is taken from your Google+ profile.  There are, of course, plenty of “how to” guides on the topic but even the official Google guide is over-complicated. This will help you add Google authorship markup, quickly and easily.

What is Rel=”Author” and Why Should I Use it?

If you are a frequent blogger or writer, you can claim your hard work as your own and build a reputation for being an expert on your subject. Basically, by adding more information, Google can provide users with trusted authors. In turn, these authors will benefit from greater exposure and returning readership. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want their name and a cool little picture of themselves next to their work?!

Screen grabs explaining how to install rel author

 

Read on…

What is a URL?

A URL is human-readable text that was designed to replace the numbers (IP addresses) that computers use to communicate with servers. They also identify the file structure on the given website.

URLs should:
  • Use hyphens to separate words when necessary for readability. They should not use underscores, spaces, or any other characters to separate words. Overuse of hyphens in URLs can be seen as spammy, so it’s best to use caution and limit hyphen use in URLs when possible.
  • Never be longer than 2,048 characters; otherwise Internet Explorer won’t be able to load the page.
  • Avoid the use of parameters, if possible. If parameters need to be used, they should be limited to two or less.

Anatomy of a URL
From: Anatomy of a URL

SEO Best Practice

URLs describe a site or page to visitors and search engines. Keeping them relevant, compelling, and accurate is the key to ranking well.

The URL of a web document should ideally be as descriptive and brief as possible. If, for example, a site’s structure has several levels of files and navigation, the URL should reflect this with folders and subfolders. Individual pages’ URLs should also be descriptive without being overly lengthy, so that a visitor who sees only the URL could have a good idea of what to expect on the page.

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What are the Meta Tags ‘NOODP’ and ‘NOYDIR’ Used For in SEO?

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Recently I came across a client who had <meta name=”robots” content=”NOYDIR” /> and <meta name=”robots” content=”NOODP” /> tags in their meta data and I feel there is need to go in depth on the purpose of these two tags and how they can affect SEO.   A while back we wrote on this topic when the new canonical tag came out. But it’s been a few months and I feel it’s important to highlight the two tags individually.

Let’s talk about NOODP first. According to Matt Cutts blog, in some cases, if someone types in a keyword into the search, Google may use descriptions from the open directory project as the page title and meta description for you organic listing.  The NOODP tag allows you to essentially opt out of the open directory project title and description override.  Just in case you weren’t aware, the open directory project is DMOZ.  Matt mentions that it may take 3 to 4 days for your NOODP meta tag to update after your page was re-crawled.

The benefits of using this meta tag is if you do have a DMOZ listing it is possible for a site to drop in page rank for specific keywords that are present in your specified page title and meta descriptions.  Matt says you may not notice a major difference in position, but enough for you to possibly lose a couple hundred visits.  Unfortunately the DMOZ listings can often use outdated, inaccurate or not very well written.

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Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

Google offers a nice SEO Starter Guide online.

Check it out!

Table of Contents:
SEO Basics
Create unique, accurate page titles
Make use of the “description” meta tag
Improving Site Structure
Improve the structure of your URLs
Make your site easier to navigate
Optimizing Content
Offer quality content and services
Write better anchor text
Optimize your use of images
Use heading tags appropriately
Dealing with Crawlers
Make effective use of robots.txt
Be aware of rel=”nofollow” for links
SEO for Mobile Phones
Notify Google of mobile sites
Guide mobile users accurately
Promotions and Analysis
Promote your website in the right ways
Make use of free webmaster tools

Check it out!

PPC Basics: Part 1. How Paid Search Fits into Your Marketing Mix

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If you’re new to Internet marketing, it may seem like a little like alphabet soup: PPC, SEO, CPC, CPA…. What does it all mean? In this multi-part series, I’ll be talking about pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, covering the essential elements in running a successful campaign. For starters, let’s talk about what PPC is, and how it fits into the overall marketing mix.

Articles in This Series

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5 Basic Steps for High Rankings on Google

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If you have a website for your local business, you definitely want it ranking high in Google.

To do this, the most important thing to remember is Google is all about relevancy. This means if your site has little to do with what someone is searching for, your site won’t be shown to him in the search results. If your site is about dentistry but someone is searching “weight loss,” your site will not appear in the search. This is relevancy at its most basic form.

Now what about the people searching for dentistry and your site is about dentistry? Then your site is relevant to what they are searching for, right?

Yes and no.

It is certainly relevant, but Google may not know it. For Google to know, you must first have good on-page content. This means your site must be about dentistry. Descriptions and photos must be about dentistry. The subject matter of articles of your site must have something to do with dentistry.

There is a certain way to set up all your pages so Google knows that your site is about dentistry. This article will address five of the most important.

  • Domain name. Have an exact match domain on dentistry.
  • Title tags. Have a title with “dentistry” in it.
  • H1 tags. Use H1 tags referring to dentistry.
  • Keywords. Include keywords with dentistry wording on your site.
  • In-bound links. Google uses in-bound links to determine if others like your site.

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SEO Tips for Local Contractors

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Local contractors have it difficult when it comes to online marketing. They are typically sole proprietorships or small, family-owned businesses, and cost-conscious. Owners and managers of these contracting companies typically don’t have a lot of time to devote to marketing activities, which they must do themselves while keeping their promotion budgets as low as possible. Local contractors are increasingly reliant upon a combination of word-of-mouth client referrals and search engine referrals. Word-of-mouth can grow naturally, but search engine rankings won’t always happen without intentionally feeding and watering a company’s online presence.

Tips for Local Search Rankings for Contractors

  • Have a website.
  • Include basic features in your website that consumers would look for.Tell who you are on your “About Us” page. Consider including a photo of you and your employees, and mention any official certifications you have. On a “Services” page, include lists of the main things that you do and what payment options you accept. On your home page, list the names of cities and neighborhoods where you provide services.
  • Have a blog on your site.
  • Make sure your business is listed in major online business directories and yellow pages sites.
    Check: GetListed.org and Universal Business Listing
  • Take photos of your work regularly and post the best ones on your website or blog.
  • Share the photos of your work on Pinterest and Flickr.
  • Include a trust seal badge on your website home page.
  • Add the author tag to your website and blog.
  • Get more reviews and ratings.
  • Get active in social media.
  • Get professional help

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