Monday, 28 May 2012

Relationship between SEO and new businesses

For those who are thinking about starting up a new business venture there will be a lot of factors to consider if the venture is to be successful - choosing the right premises, budgeting for communications (telephone, mobiles and internet)and factoring in the cost of office equipment and any wages will be top priority - but businesses also need to think about marketing themselves from the word go if they want anyone to know they exist. SEO is a cost effective form of marketing and whilst it may not be top of the priority list for start up businesses there are plenty of reasons why it should be:
  • SEO is targeted - by determining a target market you can optimise for relevant local or generic keywords
  • SEO is cost effective - you can start ranking for keywords within a matter of months for relatively little outlay
  • SEO is flexible - you can change your strategy to adapt to market changes or the introduction of new products/services 
Learn more about SEO and start up businesses by reading this useful article on SEOMoz Posted by Frances Berry

Monday, 21 May 2012

Has Panda/Penguin affected the quality of search?

I don't know if you've searched for anything lately but if you have then you might have noticed that the quality of results being delivered is much poorer than it used to be.  Having looked over the weekend to find local retailers and events and searching last week for reviews on LED televisions prior to making a purchase I was pretty shocked to see the irrelevant and often poor quality information and websites that were being presented.

Google may be trying to penalise SEO companies and website providers for over optimisation, spamming and static back link building but I wonder if in the process of doing this they have actually harmed the most important person in the search equation?  The Consumer.

After all, it is the consumer who is using the internet to search for the products and services they need and if they can't find something relevant, useful and interesting in a short space of time they are going to get frustrated. So what does this mean for the future of search?

Will people start looking for new search engine alternatives that can offer them different results?  Will shopping around for a search engine just become part and parcel of the whole shopping around online process?  Or will people just ignore the sites that offer them nothing and keep on scrolling?

The latest Google algorithm updates have been focused on improving search but only time will tell who ultimately benefits from this.

Posted by Frances Berry

Monday, 14 May 2012

How to survive in a post-Penguin world

Penguin = cute aquatic bird ideally suited to cold temperatures; chocolate biscuit and staple of the 1980's kids lunchbox; Google algorithm update which is not at all cute or chocolatey.

Unless you have been living underneath a rock for the past few weeks you will have heard about, come across or quite literally been wiped out by the latest in Google's algorithm updates.  Panda 3.5 was rolled out a few weeks ago, followed hotly by another black and white creature the Penguin.  Between the two of them they have changed what you may now be seeing when you search online for anything from window blinds to festival tickets, so just how do you and your website survive and move forward with SEO in a post Penguin world?

Well to begin with let's just clear up the fact that we are not talking about one huge Penguin alone - rather this should be seen as the Emperor penguin having his say followed closely by a series of other smaller adult and young penguins all hell bent on having their little impact on SERPs.  And when these fluffy creatures have finished shaking up search you can bet that there will be more fiendish furries to cause further chaos.

SEO needs to evolve to meet the needs of the customer but more importantly to meet the demands of the Search Engines at the same time and in doing so I guess the end result ought to be better results for the online consumer?

There are certain things which have always been bad in terms of SEO (think keyword stuffing, spammy links and cloaking) and there are others which used to be good and are now sinful such as having a lot of backlinks or optimising static keywords to static pages.  In this post-penguin world we need to be a lot smarter if we are to survive.

Gone are the blog networks of yesteryear and moving back to the forefront is on page SEO.  I'm not just talking about meta data, though it is a good idea to keep this fresh, relevant and unique to each page, but also the onsite content.  Great wording, useful information, unique content - these are all things that could set your site apart today, plus not only are you playing into Google's lap but you are also giving your website visitors a better customer experience and that can only lead to improved sales in the long term.

One final point - penguins are the most social of all birds - perhaps this is a clue in itself to what Google is looking for in its latest algorithm shift.  Social media integration is not important now it is vital - so make sure you have your Google +, your likes, your tweets visible and integrated with your website.

So how do you survive Penguin? You think like a penguin :)

Posted by Frances Berry