Microsoft’s Bing Caught Copying From Rival Google

The picture says it all, but if you didn’t here the news. Google caught Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, scraping results from their site for their results pages. When they became suspicious they used a series of falsified entries in their entries and sure enough, they showed up on Bing too! Read More to see how they tested it.

bing-powered by google

Central PA Staffing Firm, TriStarr Staffing Experiences Success Through SEO

We first started working with TriStarr Staffing about 3 years ago, when they contracted us to collaborate with the web design firm that was building their new site. We used our knowledge to ensure that the site was built for SEO success from the ground up. Since then we’ve helped them with Social Media, Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising, Website Analytics; basically they’ve taken advantage of whole line of services.

Last week I received a simple email from the VP, Scott Fiore:

“Bryan – just to let you know – another new client yesterday – found us through a Google search.”

Then a follow up from the President, Joan Paxton:

“Bryan – I am so pleased with the results that we are getting from Google!”

The new client was searching for a staffing company that could provide them with administrative staffing solutions.

This is certainly not the first time Joan and Scott have shared their excitement about the success of their website through SEO. In fact the site performs so well, that they have told me they look at the website as having another salesperson on their sales team. Except this one works 24 hours, 7 days a week!

I love when our clients are successful because of the work we do!

5 Things you need to know about SEO for 2011

seo search engine optimization

2011 is sure to bring many changes to the SEO industry and the internet in general. Here are some things to get you started in the new year.

  1. SEO is not dead.
    This is maybe the most important thing to know as we head into 2011. SEO is not dead. In 2010 there were many discussions about how social media is an SEO killer. May people stated that people will go to Facebook or Twitter to find things now and not use search. Actually, year after year we see more searches performed by more searchers. Below is an interesting graph from Google trends that shows the trend for searches performed that include Facebook.
  2. facebook search index

  3. Search and social are complementary.
    This one relates to number one. If done correctly search and social media are complementary marketing tools not competing. One of the things that the search engines put heavy emphasis on when ranking pages, is their incoming links. So, links from other sites. They count each link as a vote for the quality of the site it is linking to. Guess what one of the things is that you get from social media.. yep you guessed it, links. On the flip side, many people may go to their social networks to get opinions about products, services or topics, they then use search engines to find out more information or to find places to purchase the product or service. It’s also possible, with the advent of ‘real-time’ search, to influence what keywords a site will be found under by using keywords in discussions on social platforms.
  4. Even the big guys see themselves as complementary.
    Their have recently been some changes in both the social and search industries that support this.

    • Both Google and Microsoft have a stake in Facebook.
    • Bing is now using results driven by Facebook.
    • Google launched real-time search.
    • Google Universal search includes social media platforms.
    • Real-time search engines have become popular with startups.
  5. Get local to get found.
    In 2010 location apps received a lot of publicity, plus Google made it clear that they are very interested in local with the bid on Yelp (last year), then the attempt to buy Groupon and finally the launch of Places. Google is also directly contacting businesses to get them setup and using the Places. So, what can we learn from this? Getting your business listed locally can be a great way to bring traffic to your website as well as your door, or at least raise awareness of the company.
  6. SEO is more than just text.
    Google’s Universal Search has been around for some time now and Bing is also showing results from multiple types of media. Using videos and images can be a great way to show up multiple times in search results. Just make sure you use Alt tags so the search engines know what the image/video is about.

3 Real-Time Search Engines You Should Know About

Real time search clockThere has been a lot of talk recently about Real-Time Search. Both Bing and Google are integrating it into their search results as well as creating their own real-time search engines: Google Realtime Search and Bing Social. To do this they have both made deals with Facebook and Twitter to get access to their data.

The big guys are not the only ones in the real-time search arena. There are a number of smaller niche startups that have jumped into the fray. Below is a list of 5 of the top players:

OneRiot
OneRiot’s take on things is they believe that we are suffering from information overload, and they are probably right too. To combat this they have created their own page-rank algorithm called PulseRank that rates the “social energy” or buzz of content rather than when it was created. OneRiot gets it’s data from sites like Twitter, Digg MySpace and Facebook. Their mantra is “Google’s Adsense for the real-time web.” OneRiot no longer has a consumer facing real-time search. (see comments)

Topsy
Topsy is purely a search engine for Twitter. It ranks it’s results by how influential the creator of the content. It will give a higher ranking to the content from the most influential Twitter accounts about the subject. It is probably the best way to find the movers and the shakers in particular industries and topics. OneRiot sent it’s search to Topsy when they shut down their real-time search.

Collecta
Probably the most robust real-time search engine on the list, as it gathers data from the big sites like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, but also from blog post, blog comments and news feeds from around the internet. Users can choose what types of content they would like to search: Stories, Comments, Updates, Photos and Videos. Collecta’s backend is powered by the same technology as Google’s Wave.

Social Mention
I’ve added this seach engine to replace OneRiot. Social Mention is also considered a brand management tool which allows you to track conversations about your product or company as well as any keywords you choose to search for. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media platforms including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google and many more.

There are other startups out there. Let us know if you have any to add to this list.

Right From the Horses Mouth: No One Can Guarantee a #1 Ranking on Google

Ok first, Matt I’m not calling you a horse. But Google.. well, how about we say “right from Google”.

Anyway, many people that don’t understand SEO often want a guarantee that they will be ranked #1 before they spend the money. That would be great if we could, but then everyone would be have a number 1 ranking. And where would that get us. On the flip side if an SEO company tells you they can guarantee you a number one ranking, you should either run away, or get them to explain exactly how and for what keywords they do this. It’s most likely not what you want.

Alright I’ll turn the rest of the explanation over to Matt.

Google Makes Local Search More Transparent. A Big Change? Not Really.

Yesterday on the Google’s Public Policy Blog, Google announced that they were moving their settings for local search to a much more prominent place on the left hand panel of the search results page.

This is not a huge policy change. Which is even stated in their post:

With this new display you’re still getting the same locally relevant results as before, but now it’s much easier for you to see your location setting and make changes to it.

Google LogoGoogle has been using location to help search for years, but even when you search “Pizza” not all the results are local. There is a section with big national names and a section with local stuff. This change just brings the location feature to the surface and many believe it says that Google is putting more relevance on local search. I’ll give you that it does make a statement that Google is interested in promoting that they use your location to determine what is important for you when you search.

What the move and their explanation in the blog post tell me is that they believe that their technology is ready for the spotlight and well… There might just be a Foursquare factor here too. Right now location based technology is hot, so Google needs to make sure their search results are part this trend. What better way than to let everyone know that they have been using location long before the location apps were invented. And be honest. How many of you actually knew that they were tracking your location??:

“Location is one important factor we’ve used for many years to customize the information that you find.”

Developing a Search Friendly Site (video)

Yesterday I posted about Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. If you learn better by reading check out the guide. If you learn better with videos check out this video to learn the basics of search friendly development beginning to end, including:

  • Using Flash and JavaScript
  • Headings and adding content
  • Using Robot.txt files and sitemaps
  • Engaging the community
  • Plus more!

Learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization from Maile Ohye. The video is from last year but still very relevant.

SEO Tip: Always Use Unique Titles for Each Page on Your Website

So often I come across websites that use the same page title for all their pages. This is usually either the fault of a lazy designer or someone that just doesn’t understand the importance of unique page titles.

Without unique titles the search engine spiders that crawl your website will have less of a chance of understanding what the page is about as well as how to distinguish it from the rest of your site. Therefor your listing in search engine results pages (SERPS) will suffer.

In fact it’s more than just an SEO tip. When using sharing a link on many social media platforms the show the title of the page that the link goes to. If the title has nothing to do with what’s on the page, people will not know what the page is about and will be less likely to click on your link. Another example is for pay per click advertising. If you use Google Adwords Google may penalize you because it thinks your page doesn’t match the keywords you’ve selected and as a result your bids will be artificially increased.

So, Always use unique titles for each page on your website. It’s not just an SEO tip it’s a basic usability tip.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization – Are Consumers Becoming More Savy?

I was doing some SEO research today when I started thinking about the state of the SEO Industry. With social media becoming more popular and the merging of social media and SEO, what were people searching on when they want to bring more traffic to their site. Using Google Insights for Search I did a quick test. I compared three terms: SEO , search engine optimization, social media.

I wasn’t surprised by the climb in interest for social media. Mid 2008 is when it really started to explode. What I did find interesting is the trend between SEO and search engine optimization. Back in 2004 both terms were searched on about the same amount. However, in the end of 2004 and 2005 search engine optimization dropped off and SEO continued to climb.

The question is does this mean that more people understand that SEO means search engine optimization and therefor search for SEO or is it just that SEO is a buzz word that has really hit the mainstream. What do you think?

Yahoo Japan Dropping Own Search for Google Search Engine Technology

As Yahoo tries to redefine itself around the world Yahoo Japan has decided to drop its own search engine technology for Google.

“Yahoo Japan Corp. said Tuesday that it will use Google technology to run its search engine and search ad delivery system, after a similar deal in the U.S. was derailed by regulators concerned about a monopoly.”

Did you know that Yahoo search in the USA is dead?

A similar deal was attempted in the USA, but regulators threatened to block it because of fears the move would create a monopoly in search. Instead Yahoo in the USA is now run on Microsoft’s search engine Bing.

Planning on optimizing for the Japanese market?

Google isn’t the main player in the Japanese market. Unlike the USA Yahoo Japan receives about 50% of search engine traffic. Combined they draw 80%. The Japanese regulators seem to be less concerned with a search engine monopoly than US regulators. Although, a comparatively small market if the deal goes through Bing could really lose out in Japan.

More news about the Search Engine Industry