I’ve written previously about GoogleCustom Search Engines. These vertical Googlettes let anyone create a searchengine with results based on Google’s index, with an added layer of humaneditorial selection. Put more simply, you create a Google CSE; you select thesites you want in it, and then you let anyone search your CSE from your site.New Google CSEs appear almost daily. You cansee examples at Googlehere, and there’s even a directory of them being maintained here. Google CSEs offer a couple linkbuilding opportunities, one of which might be described as affinity linking. What is affinity linking and how do Google CSEs impact it? As always, itbest to illustrate by example. How’s this for verticality (no pun intended):Soaring Search.This search engine is oriented towards glider pilots, students, and instructors.This search engine gives higher rankings on glider-related results than othersimilar sky sports such as hang glider, para glider, RC glider, etc. The … [Read more...] about Getting Link Love From Google Custom Search Engines
Make google my search engine
As we covered last week, Google’s search results for a search on “santorum” have gotten a lot cleaner recently. The change was featured on The Rachel Maddow Show last night, and Search Engine Land’s coverage got a big shout-out. The clip is below, as well as an update on all things Santorum and Google. Santorum himself is finally number one, and that SafeSearch change Google made turns out not to be so safe. Maddow Covers The Santorum Shuffle “Spreading Santorum” Drops At Google is our story from last week and provides all the background about how the “Speading Santorum” site — created as a protest years ago against Rick Santorum’s anti-homosexual views — was dropped from the top results at Google in a search for “santorum,” after being listed that way for years. Maddow covered the change (thanks for the tip, John!) in this segment on her show: Search Engine Land Gets A Cameo About two minutes in, Search … [Read more...] about Santorum’s Changing “Google Problem” — & Search Engine Land — Make The Rachel Maddow Show
Google’s latest search algorithm change designed to fight spam and improve its search results went live yesterday. Plenty of people are seeing its impact already. Better or worse? It’s easy to find some examples of things being bad; it’s hard to say overall if there’s been a net improvement or not. Judging Relevancy Is Tricky I’ll go through some examples, but let me start with some caveats. If you dive into some forums, you’ll find plenty of people screaming. People tend to scream after any update that things have gotten worse because they’ve lost rankings. Few scream about how things have improved, much less provide examples. In short, relying just on forums can give you a skewed view. That doesn’t mean you ignore what you might discover through forums, however. Few know the quality of any search engine’s search results as well as SEOs. They might not be happy if something outranks them, but good ones know if something better or … [Read more...] about Did Penguin Make Google’s Search Results Better Or Worse?
Next month, I will speak at SMX Advanced as a member of the authority panel, so it makes sense to discuss authority in my column this month. Authority is a term that has been around as long as I can remember, probably longer than the term search engine optimization itself. That is because classic SEO divides itself into four quadrants based on on-site vs. off-site and relevance vs. authority. Before Google, most search engines could find relevant documents, but they struggled with ranking them in an order that surfaced the best matches. This led to SEO tricks like extreme keyword stuffing, hidden keyword text, and writing title tags like AAA Keyword Keyword Keyword. Google recognized the conundrum so it separated relevance from authority by counting links. Every link became a vote. Off-site links brought authority onto your site while on-site links flowed that authority through your website. Links signaled popularity and trust. PageRank was born. This is a simplified description. If … [Read more...] about What Is Search Engine Ranking Authority?
is getting a new name, Google Shopping, and a new business model where only merchants that pay will be listed. It’s the first time Google will decommission a search product that previously listed companies for free. The company says the change will improve the searcher experience, but it will also likely raise new worries that Google may further cut free listings elsewhere. “This is about delivering the best answers for people searching for products and helping connect merchants with the right customers,” said Sameer Samat, vice president of product management for Google Shopping, when explaining that by moving to an all-paid model, Google believes it will have better and more trustworthy data that will improve the shopping search experience for its users. Perhaps this will be so; perhaps not. We’ll only have a better idea when the transformation is complete. The process begins now with experiments, launches more fully in the summer and will take through the … [Read more...] about Google Product Search To Become Google Shopping, Use Pay-To-Play Model
Another source of Google search referrer data appears lost. Searches through Google that happen in Apple’s Safari browser search box in iOS 6, Apple’s latest mobile operating system, no longer pass along search terms to publishers. For those unfamiliar, “referrer” data is information a browser passes along to a publisher about the last page you were on. When you do a search on a search engine, this means what you searched for — the exact words — are passed along as part of the referrer. The change, as we’ve learned as this story has developed, is because Apple apparently — as part of iOS 6 — now routes searches to Google made through the Safari search box to an encrypted version of Google search. Google told us: The web browser on iOS 6 switched to use SSL by default and our web servers don’t yet take that fact into account. Searching still works fine, but in some situations the HTTP referer header isn’t passed on to the … [Read more...] about Safari Shifts To Google Secure Search in iOS 6, Causing Search Referrer Data To Disappear
If your reputation hasn’t been damaged in some way online, then you may never have thought about whether search engines could be responsible. After all, they seem pretty neutral in many ways — other people create Web pages, images, videos and social media posts, and search engines merely display the content for associated keyword searches. But there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. Google, Bing and other search engines could bear part of the responsibility if those search results are harming you. First, if someone intentionally creates and publishes material specifically intended to lie about or misrepresent you, and thus damages your reputation — whether it be your business or you personally — then it’s obvious that this person is directly responsible. Under generally accepted business laws in the United States and Europe, that person may be considered liable for the damage they’ve done, and they might be compelled to assist you in … [Read more...] about Are Search Engines Responsible For Reputation? Yes, Virginia, They Are. Big Time!
Does Google now view search engine optimization as bad, as spam, as something you could get banned for? Almost certainly not, but that’s the takeaway you could now get based on a legal fight between Google and a publisher that was banned from its search results. The case involves e-ventures Worldwide, which had many of its sites banned by Google and is fighting in court for damages as a result. As we covered earlier, Google lost a battle to have the case dismissed, so the fight continues. This week, an article in Entrepreneur highlighted an interesting part of Google’s legal arguments, that “search engine manipulation” is something the company fights against, might ban anyone for and, importantly, is defined about the way many people might define SEO. Google: SEO is not spam So, “Is Google Trying To Kill SEO,” as the headline of the Entrepreneur article asks? Almost certainly not, as I’ll explain. But let’s start with Google’s … [Read more...] about No, SEO isn’t “search engine manipulation” that Google will ban you for
It’s little known that Google was never meant to be a company. In fact, in 1998 Vinod Khosla (one of the first investors in Google) managed to convince Larry Page and Sergey Brin to sell their technology to Lycos, Excite, or Yahoo, the leading search engines of the time, for a paltry million dollars so that they could go back to focusing on their research at Stanford University. While each company took the time to review Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin’s work, they passed on the opportunity of purchasing it. The companies were simply not that concerned with search quality; they figured their results were good enough and that they needed to differentiate themselves from the competition by other means. When the two friends decided to pursue their search engine anyway, they made focusing on search quality their top priority. They even put it in their mission statement: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google … [Read more...] about How Google Collects Search Quality Date
The more I use WordPress, the more I love it as a platform for building beautiful and robust websites. But it probably wasn’t until I was invited to speak at WordCamp in 2014 that I began to truly appreciate the awesomeness that is WordPress. Being with so many knowledgeable people whose sole goal is to help others use WordPress to earn a living, broadcast their message, or fulfill their passions, and it’s difficult not to learn of all the things that make WordPress such a powerful content management system. Because WordPress is open source, there are plenty of plugins you can use to help make your website more search engine friendly and web marketing ready. While I don’t want to focus too much on specific plugins in this post, I do want to highlight a lot of native WordPress and plugin settings that you can–and should–be implementing on your WordPress site. This guide covers three main areas: How to Optimize Your WordPress Site for Search How to Optimize … [Read more...] about How to Make Your Site Search Engine Ready