Posted by: Hannah
Posted on: May 8, 2013 9:20 am
Google has made more small changes to its search results by removing the ‘more results near’ feature in the local search results. The feature gave the searcher the opportunity to view more results in the local area as well as natural and organic results. For example, if a user was to search for pizza in Chelmsford, the search results would display pizza outlets and sellers in Chelmsford as well as addresses, telephone numbers and maps. In addition when Google showed local listings in the organic and natural search results, Google would also display a link that the user could click to show ‘more results near…’ which would display results found directly in Google Maps and Google Local.
Yesterday, this feature had disappeared.
Jade Wang, Community Manager for Google + posted the following comment:
‘We have seen some questions about the small update to local search user interface on Google (removal of ‘More results near…’ link –
Thanks for your feedback about the small update to the local search user interface on Google. This is one of several updates we are working on to improve the local search experience, with the goal of more seamless exploration of places and more integration of local data. Stay tuned for more updates soon.’
The new change comes after several other recent amendments that Google has been reluctant to advertise including related searches filter, previews and cache. It seems as though the search engine giant is making some small regular tweaks to explore the best ways for consumers to find local searches as well as keep results as thorough and detailed as possible. In terms of search engine optimisation, the effect on results is still unknown – after just 24 hours it is hard to tell but if Google continues to make small and unannounced changes it will inevitably have an effect of search engine optimisation listings – detrimental or beneficial.
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: July 15, 2011 10:02 am
Although it’s a really effective way to boost your exposure online, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to search engine optimisation. Search engines such as Google often take over 200 factors into account when it comes to ranking individual web pages so it’s essential to understand which adjustments you need to make to your site to make it more search engine-friendly. Any reputable SEO company will be able to explain why this process is crucial to the development of your website – going back to basics and making sure the building blocks of your website are correctly optimised paves the way for an easier SEO campaign and maximises your chances for success.
Thankfully, conducting the on-page SEO is a fairly simple process, and once you’ve made all the necessary changes you’ll start seeing great results straightaway. Below you will find an easy-to-follow guide to the basics of onsite SEO.
Optimise your URLs.
First of all, choosing a domain name that’s short and concise and includes one or more of your primary targeted keywords is recommended. Make sure that subpage URLs contain a similar description to the content it represents; for example, url.com/product-list looks a lot more relevant than url.com/product.php?cat=122 and therefore the search engines will find it easier to index the page. Where possible, try to use hyphens and not underscores.
Re-think your meta data.
- First and foremost, think of how your title will be seen from a user’s perspective and use it as a short introduction to your page. For the benefit of the search engines, make sure that your meta title also includes your most important keywords (preferably towards the beginning of the title itself), and bear in mind that search engines don’t normally recognise any information past the first 70 characters of the title, including spaces.
- Your meta description, often used as the ‘snippet’ that appears underneath your URL in search engines, should be limited to 160 characters and of course contain your keywords where possible. There has been much debate as to the relevancy of the meta description outside of the need to ‘sell’ your site to the browser. View this data as your chance to grab the attention of the user and create well-written, engaging copy that stands out.
- Your meta keywords need to be listed. Adding too many keywords can water down your campaign so stick to about 3 – 7 relevant search terms. Bear in mind that every keyword listed here must be used somewhere in the body of the text.
Use header tags to your advantage.
The use of header tags throughout your page (eg <h1>, <h2> all the way down to <h6>) acts as a ‘table of contents’ for the search engines to crawl. It’s best practice to only use one <h1> tag per page, as this is seen as a defining reference for the bots indexing your site, but the other smaller tags can be used more frequently. Using brand or company names in your headers isn’t the best idea as the search engines are unlikely to gauge the relevancy of your business’ name, so just put your keywords into the header tags instead. Avoid using header tags to simply make the text stand out from the page – there are plenty of other ways to format the titles that should grab the user’s attention.
Linking between pages inside your site is essential.
Use anchor text links to your advantage and set up contextual links for your chosen keywords.
Alt attributes are important for search engines.
Make sure that all the images on your site have been assigned alt attributes (sometimes also known as alt tags). Because search engines can’t ‘read’ images, by inserting a short description of the image you’re making sure that the bots understand the relevancy of the photo. This will also benefit the browsers using operating systems that can’t display images.
Write quality, unique content for each web page.
We can’t stress the importance of high-quality content enough– it’s no longer practical to just focus on what the search engines see on your site, the user’s experience and perception of your website is just as essential and if they’re bombarded with unreadable, ‘spammy’ looking text it’s likely to put them off your products or services. It’s interesting to note that Google recognises bold and italic fonts and reads these similarly to humans – to represent importance or emphasis. Make sure that your text to HTML ratio stands at over 15%, too.
Consider the debate around keyword density.
Over the years there have been many discussions about the relevancy of keyword density. Currently the emphasis is placed on the quality of your content rather than the occurrence of your keywords, as part of the crackdown on the rise of spam sites and website owners abusing the concept of keyword density. We recommend that the density of each particular keyword stands at somewhere between 2 – 4% but rather than getting hung up about the maths behind SEO, your time is better spent constructing content that’s readable and engaging for the user.
Construct a good sitemap.
Working as a ‘contents’ page for the crawler bots, a well thought-out sitemap is essential if you’re looking to gain the trust of the search engines. It’s also handy for users looking for specific information.
Of course, there are many other elements involved in on-page SEO, and your SEO company or SEO consultant will be happy to explain the relevancy of the changes they make to your site. Essentially, on-page SEO involves establishing the theme of your site, confirming the relevancy of your chosen search terms to your site, and smoothing out the look and feel of your web pages to appeal to both search engine crawlers and real-life users.
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: January 22, 2009 6:34 pm
Over the last few years more and more people are looking to SEO their sites to ensure that they are on the first page of the major search engines for their keyphrases so that they are able to draw in more business from their website. It can be very hard for most people to make their website show ahead of the competition, even with an SEO company helping them out.
More and more people are adding blogs to their site to help them with search engine optimisation. But how will a blog help you with your search engine optimisation? One of the factors that the major search engines look for when deciding where to rank it in their listings is content, the other is links. A blog that is integrated into your site can help with both of these points.
When writing a blog post on your website, you need to ensure that you keep the content relevant to your websites them, and most importantly keeping it as informative and useful for your visitors as you can, to ensure that your visitors come back for more. Google will look for relevant content that is fresh and up to date when crawling your site. If you are adding content to your blog on a regular basis, then this will tell the search engines that your site is being updated reguarly and is offering relevant information to its visitors, this will in turn help the rankings over a period of time.
How Often Will I Have To Post?
The simple answer for this is, how competative is your industry or the keywords that you are targeting? The more competative your industry is the more you need to post. For example, if you were targeting “mens black shoes” there is not much competition for that key phrase, so you will be able to rank highly with only one or two posts per week. However we are in a competative industry, so we will need to make an average of one to two posts per day to keep our content fresh, and encourage the “bot crawlers” to visit our site more often.
How can blogging help you build links to your website? First of all if your blog is intersting, and helpful to people, then you will naturally gain links to your blog or even other pages on your website from other website owners who think that their visitors will find what you have to offer interesting. Another way that you would gain links from having a blog on your website is by linking each post that you write to a page on your website that the post is relevant to for example this post is related to an SEO Blog, and SEO so there are links to them pages from this post. This will increase your internal links which is also a factor of search engine optimisation.
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: January 21, 2009 12:15 am
When speaking to potential clients, many people seem to think that search engine optimisation is all about magic, or a unique on-page sequence that can be changed to ensure that their site features on the first page of Google within a matter of hours or days. I wish it was that easy, and if it were I would be out of a job. Search engine optimisation is an ongoing tiresome process that needs much time, care, attention and knowledge. Its not easy, but its not magic either. Its getting the right mix of many different factors onpage and offpage that makes a site rank on the first page of the search engines. But it does take time.
Once we have gone through the process of adding new unique content, changing the header tags, and the meta description, we then need to clean up the coding and remove the unnecessary script etc… Then we need to upload the site back to the search engines for the new pages to be indexed and updated.
The ongoing process is building links to the site, but not just any old links, we dont just go and find links from any old site and get them to point the the site that we are optimising. The websites that we gain links from are chosen carfully, and need to be relevant to the subject of our customer. Furthermore we then need to ensure that the selected site will pass strength through for the selected keyterms that have been chosen. Once a site is chosen, we then need to place the link with the keyword as the Anchor Text (anchor text is the word that is in the link (your keyword). This process will need to be repeated hundreds if not thousands of times to ensure that you gain a page 1 position on the search engines.
Although link building is a major factor in search engine optimisation, you won’t hit the top pages of the search engines without correct implementation of onpage work too. Get the right mix, and you should see yourself ahead of your competition.
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: January 20, 2009 9:10 am
There are hundreds of SEO tools that can be found on the web that will help any webmaster maintain, troubleshoot, and optimise his website. One of these tools is called “Spider Simulator Tool” which will allow you to see what the search engine spiders will see when collectiong data from your website.
With this tool you will be able to see the content of your website without all the fancy design work that is in the way of the real crux of the build. The parts that you will be able to see with this tool will be vital to the optimisation of your website. This features are as follows:
Page Title: This is a very important part of optimisation, and should have your keywords within it.
Description: This is what shows up on the search engines when performing a search, and gives a breif outline to the content of your site. Again you should try to add some keywords within this part, but be careful not to stuff it with your keywords as you could get penalised by Google.
Keywords: This is the list of keywords that you wish to target. Some say it is not important to list them here anymore, but I say “it doesn’t hurt”.
Body Text: This is the main content of your site. Google will be looking at the keyword density of the page text to help them determin how relevant your page is for its selected keywords. You can use the Keyword Density Tool for more information on Keyword Density.
By using this tool, and some of the other tools that we have available you should be able to see what needs to be done on-page, and off-page to make your search engine optimisation campaign a success.
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: January 19, 2009 5:25 pm
Internal Links are links from one page on your website to another page on your website, so they are links from within your website to another page on your site. Internal links play a very important part in any search engine optimisation campaign. This is because Google and the other search engines will treat every page as a single page that is seperate to the rest of the site. This is a very important factor to take into consideration when you are first building your website. If your site is already built then the process of changing internal links does become a little more complicated, however can still be easily changed by an experienced SEO company.
This will also tie in with the amount of pages your site has (including blog pages / posts). The more pages that you have on your website that link to other pages on your website will help you in search engine optimisation in two ways:
First of all you are adding content to your site, thus updating your site all the time for search engine spiders to index, update, and refresh through Googles datacenters.
Secondly, and most importantly, even though a page on your site is receiving links from other pages of your site, they are still links from a seperate page, this will help build your link popularity of the pages that the links are pointing to, and with a good external link building campaign will help increase link popularity, and positions in the search engines.
An important thing to remember is the anchor text of you internal links. You need to ensure that you use your keywords as the link text, but be sure that the text of the link is still relevant to the page that the link is comming from, otherwise it will be a wasted effort.
Dont forget that ultimatly your website is meant to be build for humans rather than the search engines, so please remember that when you are building links not to over optimise your website, and just as important, dont compromise your website design when building internal links, you dont want every few words to be a link off to another page. Try to keep one link to every hundred words at the very most.
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: January 19, 2009 10:38 am
When we talk to people about putting content on their website we always tell them that the content need to be unique content, that can be updated daily. But why is this important?
When we say that you should update content on your website on a regular basis, we dont mean once a month, twice a month, or even once a week, we mean once a day if possible. But why should you update your content on such a regular basis? Isn’t this taking it too far?
Well the first reason is that the Google spiders will visit your site more often if you keep updating your website, as they are programmed to go and find new updates. Now if your website is forever changing, then they will remember that every time they come to your site, there has been updates, so then they will come to visit mroe often, then more often than that to keep up with the updates that are happening on your website.
If you make a small change here and there won’t be enough to ensure that they come back again, and again. You need to either add pages to your website, or you need to keep adding more unique content to your website. A very easy, and quick way of doing this is to add a blog to your website. However if you do add a blog to your site, you do need to be strict with yourself and update it often, as a blog that is out of date, just looks bad.
Another reason why you should keep adding content to your website is for your visitors. If someone visits your site, and finds it interesting, then 3 weeks later they visit your website again, if nothing has changed, what is going to make them want to come back for a 3rd time? If you keep your website updated with a blog, or a forum, or live updates, they may want to come back again, and even add you in to their favourites for easy access to useful information.
When adding content to your site there are many things within the content of the text that will help you optimise your site for SEO purposes, however that is for another post…
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: January 16, 2009 9:30 pm
Keyword research is a crucial factor when looking to optimise your site through natural search engine optimisation, however it is often not taken seriously enough, nor do most people put enough focus into it when starting a search engine optimisation campaign. The main purpose of SEO is to generate as many visits to your site as possible from relevant searches, however if you have not done your research into what enquiries will bring the most relevant traffic then you are fighting a losing battle from the start.
It is comon knowledge that you should optimise your keywords to the main page (homepage) of your website as that is the most powerful page, and that is where most people like to go on a site. The homepage should be seen as the hub of the website. When analysing your keywords you need to choose words that will bring in traffic that is going to be relevant to your website, however you also need to be realistic when optimising your website for your chosen keywords. It is better to be on page 1 of the major search engines for a key term that receives 500 searches a month, than to be on page 3 or 4 for a key term that get 7000 searches per month as most people do not go past page 1 or page 2.
Even though finding the correct keywords for your site may seem very boring and it is a job that you just want over and done with so you can just get on with the link building and optimisation, it is a very important step in the optimisation process and should not be taken lightly.
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: January 1, 2009 8:44 pm
So we have come to the end of 2008, and the last PageRank update of 2008 has just finished. You can assume that Google has now crawled your site for a PageRank update, and if it has not changed yet, then it wont change this time.
I have already had many people contacting me (over the holidays) to celebrate their new PageRank update (a little more than the New Year I think)!
As my previous post says, PageRank is not everything, but it sure is nice to have.
Although PageRank is a nice to have, the SERPs are the main thing to keep your eye on going in to 2009. Thats what SEO is all about.
Posted by: SEO Positive
Posted on: December 19, 2008 8:53 pm
I am writing this post as I have had many people over the last month or so asking me about SearchWiki, and what it will mean to their positions in the search engines. “What if someone votes me down”? “How do I get people to vote me up”? Well… There is no real loss with rankings with SearchWiki, and this is why.
When you do a Google search you will notice next the the results a box with an arrow, this arrow allows you to vote the site up in the Google search listings, it also lets you vote the site down the listings. This means that if you do a search for “Motorbike Courses” and you come across a few results that are not of any use to you, then you can push them down in the listings on your search browser, however this also applies if you find a site low down on the rankings, you can pull it to the top on your browser.
SearchWiki also allows you to make comments about each individual listing too, so if you find a site with useful information, you can write a small description for yourself incase you need to use the same search again.
The reason why this should not bother people who are optimising their websites is because, if you are voted down by a browser, it will only count on their own browser, so if I was to vote your site down, nobody else would get them results (its all part of Google making personalised search, more personal). Look at it on the flip side, a person browsing your topic may even vote you up, or even better, vote your competition down lower than you.
SearchWiki does not effect search engine optimisation on a persons site, it just allows people to customise their own results.
For this to all come into effect, you need to be logged in to your Google account, how many people search without being logged in? Millions…..