Archive | May, 2012

Ways to use Twitter

Twitter Website Marketing

Ways to use Twitter

It’s free to create a Twitter Account business or personal
but how to take advantage of this amazing tool still eludes many people.

Twitter Cheat Sheet

Basic Terminology:

TWEET – Any message 140 characters long sent out to everyone.
Unless you send a direct message (DM), everything on Twitter is
viewable to the public. ( as some famous people have found out) :)

DM – Direct Message. These messages are private and only between
people who DM each other.

RT – Retweet. Twitter has created a re-tweeting tool that makes
it easier, but the standard convention is to put a RT, cite the
source of the message, and then retweet. Internet ettiuqtte

Example, if I wrote: “I write, but not always right.” You would
RT @websiteguys “I write, but not always right.”
The goal is to encourage others to retweet your message thus
expanding your reach and business.

# – Hashtag. These are used in front of a word or set of letters
to allow easy communication on a specific topic. For example, if
you tweet about internet marketing with other net marketing lovers, you could use the
hashtag #internetmarketing. This becomes a clickable link in your message
and when clicked will display all the tweets using that hashtag.

#FF – Follow Friday. It’s a nice way to show support of other
tweeters. On Friday.

Tips to Optimize Your Use of Twitter:

1. Use Your Real Name, If Possible
Make it easy for people who know you to find you on Twitter.

2. Add a Profile Picture
This should be a picture of you. People connect better with
other people, not cartoons, book covers, logos, etc.

3. Link to Your Website
Hopefully you have a blog or website you can link to. If you
don’t, create one now.

4. Write Your Bio
Make it memorable. Make it relevant to who you are. You don’t
have to be funny or cute, but if you can, and still be relevant,
then do it.

5. Tweet Regularly
This is the biggest obstacle for authors. But it is key to
promotion. It doesn’t matter if you only have two followers and
one is your mom, you still need to tweet daily, to be effective.

If you don’t have something to write, then RT something funny
or useful. Another way is to connect your blog to your twitter
account, then every “post” you write is automatically “tweeted”
on Twitter.

6. Tweet Relevant Information
Don’t tweet every moment of your life, such as “I am at mcdonalds
or “I should have ate a salad.” These tweets are not
interesting or relevant. However, if you were eating a hamburger
with a famous person sitting at the next table, then by all means,
tweet. “I just ate the best hamburger sitting next to paris.

7. Link and Don’t Link
It’s good to link to other places and share your discoveries;
however, if all you do is link, people may think you are just
trying to sell to them and won’t give much regard to your posts.

8. Have a Personality
This is easy. Be yourself. You don’t have to be overly, funny
or smart. Twitter is all about connecting with people – so be
a real person.

9. Follow Those Worth Following
Some people are all into the quantity. But I recommend looking
for quality. Just because you are being followed by someone you
do not have to return the follow. Only follow people that are
relevant and beneficial to you or your audience.

10. Communicate with Others
Twitter is all about communication. If people talk to you or RT
your message, then talk back and/or thank them. (SECRET: People
like to feel involved and acknowledged. I like it, you like it,
everybody likes it.)

http://twitter.com/#!/websiteguys
Set up your free ‘Twitter Account’ (http://twitter.com/)

Breaking News: Small Business Loses Money and Gives Up on Facebook

Small Business gives up Facebook

Small Business gives up Facebook

Imagine you spent hundreds of dollars on Facebook advertising and it resulted in only two more visitors to your website.

Does this sound familiar? It is not uncommon, especially for Peter Faulkner, chairman and owner of the small family business, Faulkner packaging.

Faulkner Packaging is a family business in the B2B industrial sector. It has been around since 1860 and passed down through generations.

Peter’s business was hit hard by the recession so he decided to start ramping up his online presence and sell his products online to reach a new set of customers. Though he knew nothing about online marketing he figured he would take the advice of the millions of people touting Facebook’s benefits and give it a try.

At nearly 60 years old, he claims he is not technologically savvy, but he jumped in anyways in response to the social media hoopla.

Peter journaled his progress while he developed his company’s online presence. He was thankful that setting up a Facebook page was not that difficult and he was up and running within days.

Here is how Peter described what happened to him:

 “I could not secure the Facebook page with the brand name until I had secured 30 likes. I sent around emails with links to the pages to my children, younger staff members and anyone else I could think of, asking them to ‘like’ my new pages. I got my likes for both and was able to secure the Facebook addresses.

Once my helpers stopped liking, I had expected the viral phenomenon of Facebook to generate more and more likes as the contagion of their likes spread to their friends and colleagues via their own Facebook pages.”

Much to Peter’s surprise he received no new likes and nothing happened.

I can hear my readers chomping at the bit with this one—but keep reading…

Peter decided to pay for Facebook ads and saw his “likes” increase, but after looking at his analytics, he realizedonly two of those fans actually clicked to visit his website.

Shutting Down the Facebook Campaign

What did he do in response? He gave up! He feels Facebook and its ads are a waste of time. But is that the consensus for every company?

General Motors seems to think so. The automaker recently pulled $10 million from its Facebook marketing budget. We don’t know if it was the failure of the campaign or a re-allocation of funds.

Does this spell the end to Facebook marketing strategies? I hardly think so.

What do you think Peter’s problem was? Was it Facebook in general or something he was doing wrong?

Here are my thoughts. I would also love to hear yours in the comments below.

Traditional vs. Inbound Marketing

Traditional marketers like Peter may have a hard time understanding the principles of inbound marketing vs. the quick return of traditional in-your-face advertising techniques. The two strategies are completely different and produce entirely separate outcomes.

Traditional marketing or outbound marketing involves banner ads, print ads, cold calling, junk mail, TV advertising, etc. These methods are more in-your-face and their publishers expect quick returns. Outbound marketing techniques still work especially for the large companies with multi-million and billion dollar advertising budgets. Yes, they are intrusive but they usually do the job if executed correctly.

Even though outbound marketing techniques are still alive and well, inbound marketing is becoming increasingly more important as business reputation and engagement is crucial to the modern consumer and their shopping habits.

Inbound marketers get found by their customers instead of jamming their business in customers’ faces. They build company cultures of trust and develop long-lasting relationships. They become so attractive that customers/prospects arrive at their OWN decision to work with them without being coerced.

Social media marketing is an inbound marketing technique. If you are a traditional marketer, much like good ol’ Peter, you will expect instant results, which does not happen in social media. Peter expected his Facebook page to explode with “Likes” once he published his page.

How long does it take to build a loyal following on Facebook? I will let you answer that question. We all know it doesn’t happen in a matter of days!

Looking Sexy on Facebook

Do you think Peter’s packaging company can look sexy on Facebook and attract leads? Possibly, but it’s not exactly the quintessential Facebook success story. After all, how sexy are boxes, bubble wrap, bags and tape?

B2B marketers can be successful on Facebook, especially if they are targeting the small business owner. But, I believe some B2B businesses may be better suited for sites such as LinkedIn. Although with Peter’s traditional marketing mindset, he probably won’t give the site enough time to see any return on investment.

Bottom line: If your customers are not on Facebook, you won’t find success there.

Peter concluded his article by saying he was sticking with the results he is getting from Google PPC. After reading an article entitled, “Google is the Internet”, Peter decided he would stay with the search engine indefinitely. Ninety-two percent of his traffic comes from his Adwords campaign so why fix what isn’t broken?

For Peter, that may be the best course of action. But for others, Facebook has become a solid marketing strategy to help them attract leads and build a great reputation online.

Are your customers/prospects/clients on Facebook?
Are you ready to dedicate time and resources to building a long-term reputation on Facebook?

If you answered “yes” to both of those questions, Facebook can bring you the quality leads you want and help you to grow your business.

Do you think Peter should have stayed on Facebook for the long haul? Are your website customers/clients on Facebook?

Mobile internet growth has just tapped the surface

Mobile Internet Growth make things a bit tougher for Facebook

Mobile Internet Growth make things a bit tougher for Facebook

A prospectus lodged in the US is a very dry affair these days but Facebook’s paperwork for the float did highlight some great data points relating to what is going on online.

Facebook says the internet still represents only a modest portion of total advertising spending, even though its audience reach is greater than television, and the ability to harness the internet for targeted or interactive marketing is unparalleled.

Citing the researcher IDC, Facebook notes total worldwide advertising spending in 2010 was about $US588 billion, of which television, print and radio accounted for $US363 billion, or 62 per cent.

Advertisement: Story continues below

Yet the company makes the point that in December last year an advertiser could reach an estimated audience of more than 65 million US users in a typical day on Facebook, compared with the 29 million viewers who watched last year’s season finale of American Idol.

Once upon a time, delivering your message to consumers was simple – you had your pick of TV, radio and print, or outdoor advertising. Now you have SEO (search engine optimisation) and SEM (search engine marketing), internet banners, social networking, YouTube videos, mobile apps and so on. It’s a confusing world where different mediums require different approaches.

An online media executive speaking last week at an investment conference said traditional retailers were run by executives with views ranging from “I retire in a few years, I don’t need to deal with this”, to “What am I going to do about this?”, and “We need to work this out”.

By 2015, the worldwide online advertising market, excluding mobile advertising, is projected to increase to $US120 billion from $US68 billion in 2010, according to IDC data.

Data from the industry body Interactive Advertising Bureau Australia shows the nation’s online advertising market grew 17 per cent last year to $2.66 billion, setting it up to hit the $3 billion mark this year.

Businesses taking the “I don’t need this” approach look like they are missing the boat, but those that wish to confront the changes also face problems.

It isn’t necessarily easy to hire people with the skills to build an effective online platform, and a lot of the work – including marketing on Facebook – is still in an experimental phase with no blueprint on how to tackle the online world.

Returning to the Facebook prospectus, the global mobile advertising market is expected to surge to $US17.6 billion in 2015, from a mere $US1.5 billion in 2010.

Facebook expects the growth in mobile usage of its site will grow at a faster rate than ”desktop” usage. It is devoting substantial resources to this segment and says ”we believe that mobile usage of Facebook is critical to maintaining user

growth and engagement over the long term”.

In Australia, mobile wireless accounts for nearly half of all internet subscriptions. There are also another 11 million mobile handsets with internet access.

The mobile internet explosion has actually made things a little tougher for the likes of Facebook and Google. Facebook had to amend its prospectus before listing to note that it did not generate any meaningful revenue from the use of mobile products. In other words, it has not worked out a way to serve the same amount of advertising to a smartphone that it does to a desktop internet browser.

The global adoption of apps for mobile devices also makes it more difficult for Google and those who market through search engines to grab the attention of internet users. Officials from the US online restaurant review site Yelp recently told analysts that mobile was a distribution channel ”where we have a much more intimate relationship with consumers because they’ve chosen to download the app. They’re much more engaged, we’re now a button on their screen.”

So rather than search for restaurant ratings via Google, those who have downloaded the Yelp app will simply press on the Yelp icon, bypass Google and its ads, and access their intended destination directly. The same holds true for apps across a range of industries – travel, gaming, media content and so on.

I do not see investing in Facebook at its IPO pricing of about 77 times earnings as particularly attractive. But there are several online businesses listed on the Australian Stock Exchange that, while not having the scale of opportunity to grow as Facebook, have solid prospects at far more reasonable price-earnings ratios.

ASX-listed online businesses can be divided into two broad camps: those that have already had their turn and achieved strong market positions in what are now relatively mature industries; and those that are pursuing such positions in industries where the online penetration story is still playing out.

I recently found the former REA Group chief Simon Baker in Peru (and on Skype) as he pursued growth opportunities for online classifieds in markets that are still evolving (he also has an ASX-listed vehicle, iProperty Group, that operates online real estate classifieds in Asia). The company that he took to market leadership is battling it out with its main competitor for percentage points in market share and relies on pushing through price increases to generate growth (REA reported only 4 per cent growth in property listings in the previous half and a 3.8 per cent decline in the number of real estate agents paying for listings, despite 18 per cent revenue growth).

 

Wesfarmers Unit To Begin Shipping Goods Direct To Customers-Report

Shipping Goods directly from China

Shipping Goods directly from China

Wesfarmers Ltd.’s (WES.AU) discount department store Target will begin shipping goods directly from China to Australian internet shoppers by September, allowing them to avoid paying Australia’s goods and services tax, The Australian newspaper reported Friday.

The newspaper quotes Target Managing Director Dene Rogers saying the company was setting up facilities in China to ship its merchandise to Australian customers. The goods and services tax is exempt from imported products costing less than 1000 Australian dollars (US$989).
China is the new giant with mcdonalds popping up on every corner and if Google can get away with minimizing tax in Australia then why not target- i wish the smaller company’s could be so brazen about flaunting the rules – hey its just an opinion

Google buys Motorola Mobility Holdings

Google buys Motorola Mobility Holdings

Google buys Motorola Mobility Holdings

Google said on Saturday that Chinese authorities have approved its $12.5 billion (7.9 billion pounds) purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings, the last regulatory hurdle to a deal that would allow the world’s No. 1 largest Internet search engine to develop its own line of smart phones.

Google, which will be the newest entrant to the handset market, announced plans for the acquisition last year in a bid to secure Motorola’s valuable patents and pave the way for a pairing of Google’s Android mobile software and Motorola’s handset business.

U.S. and European regulators approved the deal in February, leaving only the Chinese regulators as potential spoilers.

“Our stance since we agreed to acquire Motorola has not changed, and we look forward to closing the deal,” Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick said, confirming that the Chinese had approved the deal.

Google, whose Android software is the top operating system for Internet-enabled smart phones, wants phone-maker Motorola for its 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications, as it looks to compete with rivals such as Apple Inc. and defend itself and Android phone manufacturers in patent litigation.

A main condition of the deal is that the Android system remain free and open for five years, said a source who is familiar with the Chinese approval but not authorized to discuss it.

“We are pleased that the deal has received approval in all jurisdictions and we expect to close early next week,” Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson said.

Google study claims 52 per cent of Australians have a smartphone

According to a new study conducted by Google and Ipsos Media CT, Australia’s smartphone penetration is now at 52 per cent, which represents over 40 per cent growth year on year (up from 37% last year).

Due to the growing popularity of the medium, consumers are now using their smartphones to shop more than ever. The study demonstrated that 65 per cent of smartphone owners access the web from their phone on a daily basis, and 94 per cent have researched a product or service on their device and 28 per cent have bought a product via their smartphone.

This poses a problem for many businesses because a whopping 79 per cent of Australian businesses don’t have a website optimised for mobile devices. This is despite 61 per cent of mobile consumers stating they would unlikely return to a site they had trouble accessing on their phone.

“The mobile revolution isn’t ‘coming’ – it’s already happened. Mobile is no longer optional. Businesses need to develop a mobile strategy now, or risk getting left behind,” said Google Australia

 

click here to download the sudy – 2011_TheMobileMovement-stats.pdf

How to be on top of Google – SEO- SEM

Google  Optimization – Write Extraordinary Content

Online Marketing Agency Sydney

Online Marketing Agency Sydney

You are not going to be able to get away with that same old regurgitated drivel if you want to be an expert. You are going to have to come up with extraordinary content on a regular basis. It’s tough. Not everything you write is going to be a Pulitzer Prize wínner. We’re all guilty of writers block or phoning it in every now and then, including me – I mean, have you seen this post? The important thing is that you can regularly get some wood on the ball and write a really valuable blog post, e-book, white paper, or case study that you can post on your website at least once or twice a week.

No 1 on google – Give It Away

Stop acting as though you are solely responsible for splitting the atom and that you can’t share your secrets with anyone. You should be giving away as much content as you can through blog posts, e-books, webinars, videos, podcasts, seminars and workshops. Get your message out there so people will know who you are but more importantly so Google will know who you are. If you have hundreds or even thousands of pages of QUALITY content with your name all over it, isn’t it safe to assume that you are going to be seen as a valuable resource by human and robot alike? Don’t just take my word for it, in his post entitled “Where Should You Put Your Content,” Chris Brogan puts it best in saying “I tend to put my content out here as a faith walk, I give away 90% and charge for 10% – it’s the Open & Free Business Model I preach & teach.”

Organic SEO- Social Media

Get out that flute and start practicing your pied piper routine. You need to be leading the charge towards a better tomorrow and social media is a great tool to get you in front of the proverbial room and preach your gospel. That doesn’t mean to oversell, harass, annoy or “friend collect.” It means to build a substantial community. Then be an outstanding member of that community. Be the one giving away tons of good information. Be the one that helps others get what they want. Be the one that is always accessible. Be consistent in your message. Eventually, they will hold you up as their expert.

Search engine tips- Build Quality Links for the Right Reason

Like it or not you still need other sites linking to yours. It’s one of those things that still stands at the core of the Google algorithm. That doesn’t mean that you have to hire a link farm to create a bunch of spammy links. I know that’s the easy way out, but experts don’t take the easy way out just because it’s easy. Start visiting blogs in and around your industry and start commenting on their posts. But here is the key – sound intelligent, create value and add to the conversations in all of your comments! This accomplishes a few things. It creates a link to your website on a like minded blog with a lot of valuable content. It also introduces you to a new audience that wouldn’t normally have found you had you not said something that triggered them to want to check you out further.

How can i get my site to no 1 on Google? –  Write for Human Beings on Your Site

The content on your static pages like home, about us, services and products needs to be compelling and written for a human being. Don’t over SEO these pages by stuffing them with keywords, making them longer than they should be or linking every other word or phrase to another page on your site. Google won’t like it and your visitors won’t understand it. Google is smart enough to understand what the page is about if you write it well without having to drill it into their heads.

Google – more tips to get to 1st page of Google Australia –  Keep Going

Look, this whole expert thing is not the easy route, I get that. In fact, I’m sure there is a short cut in the Penguin Update just waiting to be found and exploited. Don’t fall for it. What happens when that hole gets filled by the next update and you’re back to fighting for your life again? There is one thing that short cuts, gray areas, and questionable techniques won’t ever have that being an expert will always. Sustainability. In the end, there won’t ever be an algorithm update that removes websites for being too valuable. That’s your goal.
TWMG is an Internet Marketing company in Sydney specializing in search engine optimization, social media and digital design agency sydney.

Gumroad – Products and Services and… Traffic?

Gumroad – Products and Services and… Traffic?

Gumroad – Products and Services and… Traffic?

Gumroad is hot new startup that’s taking the tech world by storm. The way Gumroad works, in a nutshell: It enables members to sell digital items on social networks. This is a fantastically simple idea, but a brilliant one. If you’re a webmaster with a product – an eBook or an online course, for example – then you know just how hard it is to sell your masterpiece on your site.

You don’t have to worry about payment processors or secure delivery anymore – Gumroad handles all of that for you. Simply integrate your Twitter or Facebook account with Gumroad and share a link to your product with your network. That’s it. Gumroad does all the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting, and then the site handles payments and issues once-monthly payments to product creators. All you must do is fill out a short form with your product information in order to generate a link:

This concept is so simplistic, but it’s gearing up to cause quite the stir among the big players on the ‘net. It’s not just for eBooks and courses. Think laterally: You could sell a link to a private post with great information in it about your niche, a set of exclusive photographs on your site, a preview of a program you’re designing, or pretty much any other digital product you can dream up.

Why is this important for traffic? Simple – If you are selling a link to a digital product and it is good enough to be sold and shared, and you’ve branded the product with your site, you’re creating visitors. The more people share your work, the more chance you have of attracting fresh, targeted visitors to your site.

Traffic generation is primarily about great content and returning visitors, and underhanded tactics don’t work anymore. Above-board activities such as forum marketing, blog commenting and guest posting are starting to come under fire now, too. They’re still effective, yes, but making a habit of trying new things to generate traffic will help you immensely in long-run.

Facebook’s Upcoming Highlighted Post Feature

Facebook's Upcoming Paid Highlighted Post

Facebook's Upcoming Highlighted Post

Facebook is hard at work testing ways to generate income in the wake of next week’s highly anticipated IPO. The good news about this for webmasters is that many of the monetization techniques that the social networking giant is trying are brand new, so they have two advantages. First, they’re bound to be noticed by users, at least for a while – which translates to greater exposure for those who utilize them.

The second reason that Facebook’s new marketing features are so advantageous for webmasters? They’re still new enough to be effective because spammers don’t have their hands on them yet. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for social trends as soon as they emerge.

A couple of days ago, Facebook announced that it may be rolling out a spanking new pay-to-use feature in which users can pay up to $2 to “Highlight” their status updates and bump the posts to the top of friends’ news feeds. If it becomes a regular part of the Facebook experience, the Highlight post feature would look a little something like this:

Crazy, right? The upcoming feature was first unearthed in a post on Stuff, a blog in New Zealand. According to the post, this Facebook feature is currently in the testing phase with a small number of users. A representative from Facebook stated that people who want to do things such as sell a car or promote an event could use the feature.

This sounds great in theory, but social media blogs around the ‘net have pointed out that this new feature would move Facebook dangerously close to Craigslist’s neighborhood. This is uncharted territory for Facebook, but given the fact that the online classified business did around $2.6 billion in revenue in 2011 alone, this may be a great way for the social network to up its game. Whether users like it will be another matter altogether.

For webmasters, here’s the rub: The Highlighted Post addition is just in testing, but if it’s launched, the feature would be a great inexpensive way to generate traffic to your site or blog and expand your brand. That is, if you have a large list of friends. If you don’t, you’d better get on that – you may not have much time before the new feature goes live. Remember that Facebook users become “ad blind” very quickly – so jump on this train before it leaves the station.

It’s worth noting that Facebook’s Brand Pages for businesses are designed to be indistinguishable from regular user pages. Facebook designed them like this on purpose. The site wants good content to rise to the top of news feeds regardless of its origin, which is good for those promoting websites – as long as the content on their sites is stellar enough for people to notice.

Google Releases over 50 Search Quality Changes for April

Google Search Quality Changes

Google Search Quality Changes

April was a busy month for the minions over at Google. With Panda updates, the introduction of a Penguin, and a parked domain classifier error (I guess even Google makes mistakes), one would think the search engine would take a small break.

But, alas, Google is still changing, tweaking, and plotting, and in an effort to continue its support of transparency it released 52 more changes and updates.

We don’t know exactly when Google implemented these changes, though, or if they coincided with Panda or Penguin. Does anyone else get sick of talking in zoo animal code?

Freshness Updates

Every month, Google makes changes to its Freshness update. I can’t say I am sad about it. I am not a fan of the first page of search results spitting out five-year-old articles about how reciprocal linking is a great linking strategy.

Google introduced three freshness updates involving search results and ranking signals. Breaking news topics along with other new content may see a boost as well as “fresh documents.”

We aren’t entirely sure what this means, but Google did mention it excluded websites identified as “low quality” content from the classifier it uses to promote fresh content.

No freshness boost for low-quality content. [launch codename “NoRot”, project codename “Freshness”] We have modified a classifier we use to promote fresh content to exclude fresh content identified as particularly low-quality.

Rankings

The first update discusses authoritative content:

More authoritative results. We’ve tweaked a signal we use to surface more authoritative content.

Can anyone say “ambiguous?” Every webmaster thinks their content is authoritative, so what does this really mean?

The web geeks over at SearchEngineWatch seem to think Google will improve the ranking of older domains that have strong link profiles and those that have refrained from questionable (spammy) techniques.

The next update may coincide with the Penguin update:

Keyword stuffing classifier improvement. [project codename “Spam”] We have classifiers designed to detect when a website is keyword stuffing. This change made the keyword stuffing classifier better.

Penguin centered on keyword stuffing so we may have already seen the results of this one.

How many keywords are considered stuffing? We will never know. As a rule of thumb, write your content with no thought about keywords. After it is complete, go back and take a count. If the content is focused on the keyword topic, most likely you will have used your keywords appropriately.

Tip: This is completely unscientific, so take it for what it is worth. When my mind starts to wonder if there are too many keywords, I know I have added too many.

The next update:

Improvements to how search terms are scored in ranking. [launch codename “Bi02sw41”] One of the most fundamental signals used in search is whether and how your search terms appear on the pages you’re searching. This change improves the way those terms are scored.

Matt McGee over at SearchEngineLand guesses that this along with the keyword stuffing update is related to “spun” content, although it could refer to a number of things. It definitely alludes to the misuse of keywords. Spinning content and adding keyword-specific links that have nothing to do with the content would most likely fall under that blanket. Any thoughts?

If you know what “spinning” content is, I would re-consider your linking strategies if you are doing it. If you don’t know what it is, don’t worry about it. It’s not worth the risk.

More updates include changes to how Google categorizes paginated documents so they don’t take over the pages of search results. The search engine also announced it would focus on publishing more diverse results by removing excess results from the same domain.

Local Search

Local search may get a boost even for websites that are not as optimized. Here is Google’s first update:

Improvements to local navigational searches. [launch codename “onebar-l”] For searches that include location terms, e.g. [garage door repairs sydney] or [website marketing 2153], we are more likely to rank the local navigational homepages in the top position, even in cases where the navigational page does not mention the location.

Google is trying to improve its spider to detect a local business’ location even if the home page does not mention a specific locale. The next update followed in the same vein though it involves countries:

Country identification for webpages. [launch codename “sudoku”] Location is an important signal we use to surface content more relevant to a particular country. For a while we’ve had systems designed to detect when a website, subdomain, or directory is relevant to a set of countries. This change extends the granularity of those systems to the page level for sites that host user generated content, meaning that some pages on a particular site can be considered relevant to France, while others might be considered relevant to Spain.

Google is digging down deeper into a site to detect additional locations from user generated content since certain pages may be relevant to users in one country while other pages may focus on a different country.

Page Titles

Last year, the SEO industry was “up in arms” over Google’s announcement to change title tags in the search results as it sees fit:

Google’s John Mueller also says:

In general, when we run across titles that appear to be sub-optimal, we may choose to rewrite them in the search results. This could happen when the titles are particularly short, shared across large parts of your site or appear to be mostly a collection of keywords. One thing you can do to help prevent this is to make sure that your titles and descriptions are relevant, unique and compelling, without being “stuffed” with too much boilerplate text across your site.

And Google says:

“Make sure that each page on your site has a useful and descriptive page title (contained within the title tags). If a title tag is missing, or if the same title tag is used for many different pages, Google may use other text we find on the page. The HTML suggestions page in Webmaster Tools lists pages where Google has detected missing or problematic title tags. (To see this page, click Diagnostics in the left-hand menu of the site Dashboard. Then click HTML suggestions.)”

The newest April update improved Google’s ability to change page titles. According to the search giant, “you’ll find more informative titles and/or more concise titles with the same information.”

Many SEOs are irate over this. What do you think?

Sitelinks

Google announced four changes to sitelinks and “megasitelinks,” the links that display below a website’s listing that link to deeper parts of the website. Sub-sitelinks will now replace text snippets and Google improved the ranking of megasitelinks by “providing a minimum score for the sitelink based on a score for the same URL used in general ranking.”

Additional changes:

  • Indexing – Google increased the number of documents served by its main index by 15%. It also launched a new index “tier.”
  • Instant preview changes
  • Changes to how Google interprets the intention behind search queries by using users’ “last few searches.”
  • Improved user interface for searches related to breaking news topics.
  • Anchors bug fix