Leveraging the Google LandscapeHow Google is evolving, and what you need to do to stay on top.
Peter Sickles BA, BPRPartner at Alphasearch● 9 years of SEO experience.● Conducted workshops and seminars at the AIM Conference.● Also for the Nova Scotia Government and Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership.● Clients have included Nova Scotia Tourism, Black & Decker, Tourism Barbados, Natures Gate, Surefit, Cape Breton Resorts, Super 8, Atlantic Toyota, and many smaller clients.
Whats Google Up To?To understand SEO, you need to understandGoogle.Google is a business. They make money bybringing eyeballs to their products and services.$$$Google Adwords$$$.Reliable Search Resultsmeans they stay in business
Leverage Googles LandscapeTake advantage as much as you can!OrganicAdwords/PPCImagesVideoGoogle PlacesNewsShoppingMobile Devices
RELEVANCEGoogle has one over-ridingcriteria in determining searchrank: Relevance!Google seeks to find the best match it canbetween user, search query and search resultsGoogle uses a complex set of computeralgorithms to determine relevance
How to determine relevance?Google looks at several key elements:I call these the 5 Pillars of SEO:1. Content (relevance and quality)2. Link popularity and relevance (Includes Social Media)3. Tech Factors and Usability4. Trust Rank (Site age and credibility)5. Geo-targeting (Domain, hosting, etc.)
ContentIs content still King? No, but it is still part ofthe Royal Family.At the most basic level, a website is aboutcontent. Thats what people want.What is content?Mostly Words, but pictures, video and otherinteractive tools too.Yes, keywords are still "key"
Content:Its all relativeThere are no hard and fast rules for content.How much depends on your competition andyour market.1. Quality: Write well, and for your audience.2. Use keywords throughout, but dont SPAM.3. Latent Semantic Indexing4. Dont forget captions and tags for pics and vids5. Make sure you tell Google (and people) whats important. Headers, bolding, etc.
Link Juice: Power and PopularityLinks are like votes on how good you are.Google reasons that sites wouldnt link to you ifyou sucked.Google looks at 2 things:Link Power: How strong is the site (page)sending you the link?Link Relevance: Is the page sending the linktopically relevant? What does the page say?What does the link anchor text say?
Social Media and Link JuiceIs Social Media important? Yes, but dontoverrate it for SEO. It can be a time-sink, andonly about 5% of Googles algorithm.Main Factors: Authority, Likes& Mentions.1. How great is your authority? Howabout those talking about you?2. What are they saying? Keywordsare still relevant. Your URL is important too.
Trust RankGoogle places great value oncredibility, longevity and trust.If youve been around for a while and been agood boy or girl, Google gives you the benefit.If youve been naughty, Google slaps you down.For the new kid, theres not much you can dobut keep your nose clean. No Black-Hat SEO
Geo-TargetingDo you see what I see? Nope...Google presents different search results todifferent searches based on geography, userhistory and behaviour.Often times, you need to be seen to "be" in yourmarket to rank well.Domain registry, hosting,Google Places, Directories,on-page address.
The Impact of Blended orUniversal SearchSearch Results are more complicated today.Multiple opportunities exist.● Google Organic - Can have multiple placements● Google Places (Maps) - Use when relevant● Google Adwords - Will increase exposure for targeted keywords● Google News, Shopping, etc.Be as visible as possible!
TrackingYou cant know where youre going if you dontknow where youve been.Analytics: Use GA to track users and behavior.Conversion: The goal of any website is to getvisitors to accomplish a task. Can be anything,but you should track it.Use this info to adjust your campaign.
So... do a littledetective work...There are tons of data that can be tracked. Itcan be overwhelming. For SEO, trackingKeyword usage, bounce rate and conversionrates is crucial.How are people finding you? What do they doonce they are there? This info will help youmodify campaigns going forward.
Whats Google done lately?Three major changes:1. "Caffeine" Speed up indexing,particularly sites that get refreshed content. 2. Improve search results with "Panda". Evaluate site quality of content, usability and "stickiness". 3. "Penguin"... Hunt down and eliminate spammy links
Thanks very much!Please feel free to ask questions!