Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Google Website Optimiser

I've been fiddling around on a couple of sites with Google's Website Optimiser (or you might get "did you mean Google's website Optimizer") and thought I'd share a few findings.
Barcelona SEO - Website Optimiser
First of all, I think it's a very, very valuable tool which can save you hundreds of Euros in testing and public opinion polls, etc. The idea is that you can create very similar pages to your website and then test them. You need to add a bit of javascript code to the test pages you want to run the tests on, and the website optimiser starts to compile a report.

There are 2 types of test you can do. A Simple A/B split test and Multi-variate testing which basically just means you test various different things on the page at the same time. The great thing about website optimiser is that you can test absolutely anything.

I'll give you an example of how an A/B split test can work. If you choose the goal page as your conversion page and make some drastic changes to your landing page from a Pay Per click campaign for example, you can track not only which ads are working for you, but which version of your home page is creating more conversions, too. It doesn't always have to be your home page either - you can literally fiddle around with any page on your website - even test run a completely new design.
SEO Barcelona - Website Optimiser Percentage stats
Multi-variate tests are much more specific, and generally take a lot longer to give a good result. As with most experiments, it's important to be able to interpret the results. Google makes this very easy with a percentage of the possibility of beating the original test page. With the multi-variate testing, the interpretation of results is slightly more difficult but still great to see.

A small criticism which I've found. There must be something in the javascript that blocks the referrer stats in some of the website statistic programmes. I have a query open in Google groups and will post a fix if I get one!

For more details about SEO in Barcelona, or in-house SEO training in Barcelona please contact me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Google's New Idea for Duplicate Content

Quite a lot of SEO's were getting excited about the news of Google's new canonical attribute. As far as I can work out, it's basically a way to tell the search engines about the origin of content which could be reproduced on your website, so as not to be penalised by duplicating content.

A strip of code is placed in the head of the html document to "re-direct" any messy urls (those with session id's, tracking info, or other figures and numbers) to a clean url. I think the idea around it, is to try and tidy up the web a little and stop producing duplicate content in SERPs.
Barcelona SEO - Canonical attribute
I'm not exactly sure of the implications and long term benefits or disadvantages this might have, as it's obviously something very new, and can only be used within the same domain - you can't re-direct a page to another website. I'd be happy to hear any comments or ideas, too, regarding this move, so feel free to post.

For Website Optimisation in Barcelona and other online marketing, please contact me at Barcelona SEO

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Follow Me or Not?

As I've previously mentioned, gaining links to your website is probably the most important off-site SEO strategy you can impliment to improve your rankings on the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). However, simply adding a load of links to your site isn't the way to go.

SEO used to be simply the number of links or "votes" to your site would improve rankings, but with increased intricacies in the algorithms used by the search engines, this is now not only a possible waste of time, but also could be actually detrimental to your position.
Follow - Barcelona SEO
The rise of vertical search means that links need to be chosen carefully, and if at all possible be relevant to your site or niche - what's the point of adding that link to the Thailand guest house if your website is all about London fashion? You get the point. This is all about "link juice" and every link from your site dilutes your authority and quality within the world wide web. Basically the more links you have leaving your site, the less quality the search engines assume it has - you're passing your "link juice" to another site. And if your site doesn't have many inbound links, then it's even worse, and your site is viewed as even less of an authority and could be labelled a "link farm" and even be excluded from search results. This would have to be on a huge scale and is not meant to scare any readers, it's just a big example to explain a little thing.

Google needed a way to fight these spam attacks on their algorithm, and so their Spam team decided in 2005 to introduce the nofollow attribute. This was originally introduced as a measure against blog spam, but was embraced by the whole web within a very short time and is now common. The basic idea is that you can add the no follow attribute to a link on your website, and the search engine will ignore any possible benefit to that site from yours. It doesn't ignore the link, but just does not pass on the "link juice" from your site.

So when do need to use nofollow? Well, maybe you have important information on your site to external pages, such as a list of books on amazon, for example. Well, you can nofollow the amazon links (they don't need your publicity) and you're still providing a service for your clients visiting your web.

I can offer you Barcelona SEO services for your company and website. Also, if you prefer, I can offer in-house SEO training in Barcelona. Contact me for more details.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How Many Googlebots Does it Take to Screw in a Lightbulb?

After the recent Barcelona Search Congress in January, anyone would think that Barcelona is becoming the hub of all things Search!
WSDM 2009 at Barcelona SEO
Yesterday saw the start of WSDM 2009 - apparently we're supposed to read it "wisdom" guys - which is only the second, but hugely important ACM (Association for Computer Machinery) International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining. OK, sorry for all those acronyms, there

Although very small scale as opposed tothe search congress, and held in the Auditorium of the Imagina Building, there were some fascinating things discussed on just day one.
Barcelona SEO - Googlebot
Google's Jeff Dean kicked off the show (ok, well after the typical Spanish coffees, etc.) and literally wow-ed the audience with details of Google's infrastructure with regards search compared to 1999 and 2009.

Google now has 1000 times more search queries now than in 1999, so they also now have 1000 more computers, processors, etc. to tackle the problem. This has resulted in speedier repsonses (down to 200 miliseconds from 1000) and it's amazing to think that up to 1000 machines are consulted for a single search string!Perhaps the most important and impressive thing to note was that the new machines also crawl content much much faster (like 10,000 times faster) meaning that often SERPs change order within minutes of being shown - your position is never absolute until another full day or update, which is amazing.

For more information on website optimisation in Barcelona, please contact me at Barcelona SEO and I'll be happy to chat with you about your website.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Social Media Basics

The majority of you will already be familiar with many of the social media websites out there. Almost everyone is now a member of Facebook, or if you're a professional, LinkedIn, but these are more than likely on a personal social basis. So what about for business?

Well, in my opinion, it's becoming more and more important to create a social media presence online, and it's only going to get bigger in 2009. It's also very important to not become spammy. Social media can be very time consuming, so for beginners, it's often better to concentrate on just a few sites, rather than trying to cover all the bases and signing up for them all. Create a Facebook page for your business/website and choose another.
Barcelona SEO - Social Media
It's important to point out, that almost all of the social media sites have the nofollow attribute attached to the links, so in terms of building your PageRank, this will not do much good (don't worry too much about PageRank) - it's rather an organic way of getting people to visit your website.

One of the best ways to gain popularity or followers on sites such as Twitter or in your Facebook page is to get in contact with your existing customers or if you have a mailing list, send a mail asking your clients to join your group or become a fan/follower. Then post interesting things on your pages, and always try and reply to anyone who replies as quickly as possible. One way is to perhaps say something that will strike up a lot of attention - try challenging a widely held belief (as long as you can back it up) or announcing some free giveaway on your site or something like that. Top 10 lists are also a good hook, so think about your market and make up a couple of top 10 lists. You can also set up sites like Twitter to co-incide with your new blog posts if you have a blog for example.

For more information about Social Media and other SEO strategies in Barcelona please contact me at Barcelona SEO and we can chat about your site and

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Google Just Made it Easier to Spy on Your Friends

A cool new mobile application was launched today from Google, called Latitude.
Barcelona SEO - Google Latitude
The idea is that if you have a mobile device with Internet or wi-fi, and all your friends and family also download the application, you can see where they are! That's James Bond stuff, right?! Well, not quite. Google is obviously very privacy conscious so you can "lie" about your location if you need to be somewhere but sneak off somewhere else.
Latitude Map on Barcelona SEO Blog
The launch describes it as being able to "see if your spouse is stuck in traffic" or if the flight of a loved one got there on time, blah blah...but I love this bit

"You not only control exactly who gets to see your location, but you also decide the location that they see. For instance, let's say you are in Rome. Instead of having your approximate location detected and shared automatically, you can manually set your location for elsewhere — perhaps a visit to Niagara Falls . Since you may not want to share the same information with everyone, Latitude lets you change the settings on a friend-by-friend basis. So for each person, you can choose to share your best available location or your city-level location, or you can hide."

So you can play hide and seek with your mates, by telling them that you're in various different locations - even a different country! I can see many a rich daddy installing the device on their kids' iphones as you read this, so as to keep track of their runaway teenagers - only to never know that when they've put Las Vegas as the destination to "fool daddy" they really are there!!

Of course the real winners here are Google who will be filling your google maps screen with up-to-the-second google ads, just to remind you that Pizza Hut has got a 2 for 1 on at the moment, and...hey, look at that, it looks like one of your mates is right around the corner, too!

For SEO services in Barcelona please contact me at Barcelona SEO for a chat about your site.

Kids to Design new Google Logo

Ok, well, the post title is a little misleading, but those community-loving-├╝ber-millionaires at Google have got the kids at heart really. Hmmm....
Doodle Google  - Barcelona SEO
Whilst searching today, I came accross this link which is open to US kids as a competition offering scholarships to college, etc. The idea is to re-design the google logo - kid of - and then you get to feature on the site for a day, or something like that anyway.

You may have noticed that Google sometimes changes the logo on holidays (Saint Patrick's Day, Christmas, Easter, etc.) so this is a cool way of getting some free material from kids!

No, I'm not really being critical, and it's a great move by Google (even if they do feel the need to put cheesy videos to accompany the information!), and encouraging kids into further education is a must. I'm just a little pissed off with them today, as I had a 50 Euros Adwords voucher deemed "out of date" with no explanation. Grrrr...

Contact me for SEO Training in Barcelona or if you need your Pay Per Click campaigns tweaking, I also offer AdWords managment and training, too.