Tag Archives: Google

Google taking over the world?

The Hungry Beast on the ABC has put together a quick snapshot about how Google maybe aiming to "own you"!

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Google search snippets

Google has announced that they will now be making use of anchor tags and section headings in their search snippets, displaying them where it makes sense in their search results.

For most search results, Google shows you a few lines of text to give you an idea of what the page is about — we call this a “search snippet.” Recently, we’ve enhanced the search snippet with two new features that make it easier to find information buried deep within a page.

Normally, a search snippet shows how a page, as a whole, relates to a your query by excerpting content that appears near and around where your query terms show on the page. But what if only one section of the page is relevant to your search?

That’s where these new features can help, by providing links within the snippet to relevant sections of the page, making it faster and easier to find what you’re looking for.

To make this happen you need to ensure:

1. you use descriptive headings for your sections, especially in long multi-topic html documents. Use for example, Victorian Government web 2.0 initiatives, NOT Section 1.3.

2. you use a table of contents at the top of the page which uses anchor text to link to your section headings.

3. you don’t forget the anchor text for your section headings.

A Search Engine Land article by Barry Schwartz shows examples of how descriptive headings can be used in search snippets.

More reasons to use appropriate keywords that your searchers are using in the text of your documents, rather than bureaucratic policy speak.

Enjoy!

Matt Cutts from Google on SEO

Matt Cutts, the guru from Google, has given a great presentation on the ins, outs and best practices for search engine optimization at Word Camp in San Francisco on May 30, 2009.

Free tools you can use to do Keyword Research – Part 1 – Google Tools

There are a number of free tools you can use to do keyword research for your websites. In part 1 of this series, I am going to look at free tools which Google offers. I recommend you add these to your favourites and use them regularly.

1. Google Insights for Search – I have published something earlier on this one – its a great service! The tool lets you compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, and time frames. Google provides some good examples of how you can use this tool in their Insights for Search Help section. It is really easy to use.

2. Google Trends – lets you compare multiple terms and graph their usage in Google over time. Google returns broad search patterns. You can search for the last 30 days, 12 months, a particular year or month within a year.

Google Trends graph showing the differences in search volume for public holidays and school holidays over a 4 year period.

3. Google Trends for Websites – provides you with information about the traffic and geographical location of visitors to websites. It allows you to compare traffic for between one and five websites. It also gives you what other sites they visited and what they terms they search for. This tool appears to role all of the websites with a vic.gov.au domain into the one bucket – so it is a little difficult to compare eg., health.vic.gov.au with betterhealth.vic.gov.au. However, you can use it at the aggregate level to compare state domains and the keywords visitors are using to get there.

Google Trends for Websites graph showing usage of Australian state government portals.

4. Google AdWords Keyword Tool – Use the Keyword Tool to get new keyword ideas. You can tailor the results present to the language and country of your choosing. Because I am accessing this tool from Australia, when I first access the tool it defaults to the English language and Australia as the country. If you change this to United States as your country – you get a very different results set. It all depends on who your target market is as to what keywords you research. You are provided with match types to choose from which are broad, phrase, exact, and negative. Keywords shown will also give you search volume trends for the past 12 months – the month with the highest volume of traffic is listed in the next column.

5. Google AdWords Traffic Estimator – This tool will provide you with an indication of keyword search traffic and cost estimates for your chosen keywords/phrases. For each keyword you are provided with a maximum cost per click, search volume, estimated average cost per click, estimated ad positions, as well as an indication of the clicks your ad may receive for this keyword, and the average cost per day for this keyword. The estimates Google provides are based on how much you have bid and your geographical areas you are looking to target. You don’t need to use Google AdWords to use this tool. Use the keywords for your organic search engine optimization.

6. Google Analytics – your Google Analytics account will tell you the keywords and phrases which are driving traffic to your site from search engines. Also if you have Site Search enabled you will be able to see easily what keywords your visitors are are searching for in your internal search engine. Google Analytics provides help on configuring your profile to enable Site Search to appear in your reports.

Next time I will look at tools which are not provided by Google!

Enjoy!

Google offers 5 tips to get traffic to your web site

Matt Cutts from Google was interviewed by Jefferson Graham from USA Today the other day. Matt offered 5 suggestions for optimising your website for search engines:

1. Make sure the keywords you want to be found for are located in the visible text on the page.

2. Your title and description tags must have meaningful content

3. Get other sites to link to you

4. Create a blog and post often

5. Use Google’s free tools.

The full article as available at USA Today. It makes a good read!