Thursday, November 27, 2008

Scamming Page Rank

It's fairly widely accepted by most SEO's that your page rank may have no bearing whatsoever on your actual position in organic SERPS. In other words, the top 10 results on any SERP will not necessarily be in descending Page Rank order - it's quite easy for a PR3 to beat a PR5 or PR6 site, for example.

However, some SEO's are convinced that their time is best spent trying to get a higher PR (I'm not one of them). So much so, that they are using some fairly sneaky techniques.
Barcelona SEO - Googlebot
Readers of Google's Webmaster Blog will have seen how recently, the Google Bot has been going on a few dates with some amusing results. This light hearted look at some of the best ways to "please" Googlebot and help with Internet crawling, looked at 301 & 302 (307) redirects amongst other topics. For those of you who are not familiar with the codes, they are codes for human users and search bots alike - re-directing the user/search bot to another page, presumably as the existing page doesn't exist anymore. 301 is a permanent redirect, and 302 is temporary.

Certain webmsaters or SEO's are exploiting the idea of the redirect, by using 302's to point their site to a higher PR site. This can all be very confusing, and there are ways to check. For example, in Google, you can type and then check the number of links to that site, for example. If it's ranking as a PR5 but has only 200 links, chances are it's a fake.

Another much quicker way is this handy check page rank tool which delivers a real result for domain name (with or without www), in just a few seconds, and is very relaibale.

These, and many other Black Hat techniques should be avoided to acheive sustainable results in the search engine results pages. Training can be given on thse topics by Barcelona SEO company.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Google's New Keyword Tool

Selecting Keywords for your SEO strategy or Pay Per Click campaign is getting easier. The Keyword tool within Webmaster Tools and the AdWords set up was fairly basic beforehand, but then they introduced (supposedly) real time search results into the equation in an effect to make your keyword choices more accurate. What it actually did was to include the braodest search terms for your choices, often promting you to add these keywords, and pay more money on a campaign. Sometimes people are blinded by the authority Google holds and take everything as a great tip.
Barcelona SEO - Search results Keyword tool

Google's Search Based Keyword Tool has recently surfaced, and to be completely honest, I haven't had the chance to thoroughly work my way through it and see the potential benefits. The great difference with this new tool is that you can introduce any url from your website, and then Google throws up the most recent search terms that have given your url for that month. Click on any keyword term and then Google Insights pops up. Although you're hardly going to see any miracles here (kind of like Google trends in terms of vague curves etc.), it still gives you a good idea as to the numbers of SERPS being displayed and has a handy filter which, if there is enough information, can give you great demographic ideas to base your techniques on.

Barcelona SEO - Google Insights

If you have time, check it out, and let me know how you get on.

SEO Training in Barcelona

We're gonna have to go to the public vote....

As I have previously mentioned, Google's main aim is always to make the experience of using their page as perfect as possible and the end user is always the winner. It's a fact that whilst many people's internet usage starts with Google, it's very often spent on many other pages that the Google SERPs throw up (Search Engine Results Pages). Google even solves questions that no-one knows the answer to - don't know, ask around, no-one else knows, ask Google. New SERPs also have started to include a personalised list of results, based on your search history (something which can be turned off, but I'm sure many don't).

Google's new Search Wiki is now enabling you to completely control your own SERPs. Currently unavailable on, but available on .com and and assuming you're logged in to your google account, the search results come with some new graphics by the side of each result. These include up and down arrows, a cross and a speech bubble. Google has basically turned it's SERPs into an interactive page where you can promote, demote, leave comments/valuations and even erase a result on the pages you have visited.

Barcelona SEO - Google Wiki
Let's look at the above example in the image. I used the search term Apartments for Rent Barcelona and was able to bump the page from page 2 to page 1. Let's say I had browsed brefily the first 20 results, and then decided to rate them in order of importance - this would be reflected each time I re-visited the same SERP. Whilst Google claims that this new tool is to improve the individual search experience, we can't ignore the fact that this may influence organic results in the future.

Other bloggers have commented that this would effectively render AdWords ineffective, but I disagree. The AdWords ads would still appear as they do now in the example I've shown, along side the real organic results or the Wiki results. You could still choose to click on the ads or not, just that these can't be moved.

I have another possible theory. If we assume that real people performing real searches do actually take the time to promote and demote even just the first 5 results on a SERP, and that little by little Google relfects this movement of the people into the real organic results, then the public very much is deciding on the rankings and results.

As always, people will be thinking of ways to cheat the system. So here's my niche market:

A software programme that gives you a constant dynamic IP, changing location all the time all over the world. This way SEO's can sit all day on their computers and "bump up" their own pages to the top supposedly from different individual IP's in the hope that this will have some kind of effect on the organic results. Sounds stupid? I bet you it would sell like hot cakes. I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Google Site Links.

You may have noticed in search results displayed by Google that certain websites have the usual Google text (Title, Header and then the meta description and URL) but they also have sub-headings which are supposedly to help with the navigation of "bigger sites".

Well, tests have shown that these 8 results that follow are simply those which receive the most Click Through Rates (CTR) from Google's point of view.

This re-enforces the view that if you have good site navigation, and send your users naturally to where you want them to go, and not where they think they need to go, then your results on Google Site links will come up trumps.

Only Google decides on whether they think your site needs extra navigation or not, and there is no way to manipulate this system in order to have a larger listing, however, it is all important to ensure good site navigation in case this does one day happen. I am happy to consult with regards site design, and make any suggestions as part of an SEO package.

Search Engine Optimisation Barcelona with Barcelona SEO. Pleae enquire for a no obligation quote.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Google Universal Search

Google has a hard job as it is. Sifting through millions of webistes on a daily basis is a tough enough job, without trying to include other sources. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a Google Geek, but I wanted to try and explain about Google's idea of a Unversal search.

Everybody knows that Google bought YouTube and that shortly afterwards, Video results were incorporated into Google's search results. Apparently Google wants to become as broad as possible, and when the user types in a search phrase, wants to give as many options as possible, be it maps, books, video, images, websites, blogs, etc.

So how does Googlebot decide how to rank the results? As I have already mentioned in previous posts, inbound links to your site highly influence the rankings of your search terms. However, Google is all about the end user, and wants to try and make the experience of using their search engine the definitive one.

A great example of this can be seen if you type "Barcelona Metro" into The first 3 results are maps of the Barcelona metro - but the words "map" "plan" or "layout" have not been included in your original search string (or "plano", "mapa", etc.). So why did Google rank these results above other textual based results? The answer is that the end user will have clicked more on the plans and maps of the Barcelona metro whilst using the same search string therefore Googlebot sees this as the most relevant and bumps it up to first place.

The first news about Universal Search was way back in 2007, and SEO's worldwide, I'm sure were worried as to the impact on those hard earned 1st page results. However, sticking to Google's guidelines, and refraining from Black hat SEO can still be a successful method towards gaining the results you want.

I offer courses covering all topics on this Barcelona SEO Blog, including Universal Search and how to maximise your website to exploit the algorithms involved. Please contact me for details or eqnuire about SEO Training in Barcelona.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Google pulls plug on Yahoo! merger

I had commented recently on the possible merger of Yahoo! and Google for search and Ad results. This was announced back in June, and had a mixed reception. I think people's main fears were over the monopoly over Internet Ads that Google (or new Google-Yahoo!) would have. They could effectively charge any amount they wanted for Ads and the advertisers would have no other option than to cough up.

Well, people, fear not. Google has anounced that the deal isn't going to go ahead. Read the post, it's not too long. I think they have basically listened to the many worried bloggers and companies already using their services, and realised that it wasn't going to benefit them as it could lead to boycots, etc. Who knows.

I offer training and managment for Google AdWords accounts for your company. Also Link Building Services in Barcelona. Please contact me for details.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Google Chrome - Monopoly of the Web

As I previously mentioned in this post, Google's chrome as a first web browser is a great change from the usual tab-enhanced browsers available thus far. Depending on the success of Chrome (and then subsequent versions), it would be no surprise to one day see Google's products being installed into computers at factory level as an Operating System.

Of course, Google is extremely clever in releasing Chrome - it also means that Google is collecting Data from all of the users of Chrome and adding it into their search algorithms. I have previously mentioned that Google is all about the end user, and with "Universal Search", started in 2007, results are far more based on user CTR rather than SEO stratergies (as was the case, say, 8/9 years ago).

This massive source of information makes Google even more powerful in understanding the profile of the everyday user in search as a concept. There has been talk over recent years of a possible Yahoo! - Google merger - with mixed results. The primary concerns are that Yahoo!'s results would be seen as somewhat "diluted" due to the massive market share that Google has at the moment. Also, this would leave the third most popular search engine - MSN - at a serious disadvantage, as the new merger of Yahoo! Google would hold more than a majority stake in search, if not the web.

Translate this to the current advertisers (where Google makes the most money), and one could be forgiven to beleieve that the merger could then simply hike up the prices of PPC, etc. and the advertisers would have no other choice but to accept.

So what's the solution? I think that Google would somehow have to "share" the information which it collects and distribute on a fair basis so as not to have an unfair market share. What cannot be controlled is the popularity and confidence Google has earned amongst internauters, and their popularity would never diminish if this information was shared. However, I don't see Google sharing such information as an event happening in the near future - maybe you guys can correct me?! I'm leaving this one open to suggestions and comments, so please feel free to correct me or add your comments. Thanks.

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