Monthly Archives: January 2009

SearchWiki – the future of search?

Back in November 08, Google released SearchWiki where you can customise your own search, by adding, deleting, re-rank or comment on search results. You can write notes to a particular site and these results will be shown every time you re-do the search. This is only available for signed in Google account users.

Long term, if Google is storing the data on people’s custom ranking, will it use this data to determine search listings? Microsoft also launched a similar beta project last year where people could post their ratings on a site.

So what does this mean for web masters?
In October Google launched their search engine optimisation starter guide and on page 22 which talks about opening dialogue with the commnuity that you service. This would take it to another level – so based on customer ratings your site could rank higher than those who haven’t engaged with their customers / community and haven’t got good ratings………Certainly food for thought for where the future of search could be going!

Guerrilla Social Media Marketing – short term win, long term gains

I came across this blog on social media marketing on one of the Linked In groups that I participate in. I have used similar techniques before but never really thought about the terminology for what to call it.

This technique is probably used already by some companies launching a new product or service as a method of promotion. The challenges of using guerrilla social media marketing is to engage with customers for the long term rather than for a short term win. People will see through the initial ‘discount voucher’ or initial effort.

It is about building an online profile on the various different sites. Once other users recognise you as a valuable resource for information you become more powerful in that community. Your bookmarks, articles, submissions etc take on greater value than any anonymous contributions. The ultimate goal is the power of influence. Once you have a voice in the community marketing becomes a soft sell rather than a hard one. Which is why companies need to be in for the long haul on social media marketing than for a quick win!

Content is King – how could you forget!

Over Christmas and New Year I was reading various email newsletters and blogs that I follow. The Google blog is one I follow closely as they frequently give great information on search engines and new product they are launching / upgrading.

Going back to basics on search engine marketing is probably one of the key aspects I have implemented this year. It is really easy to get caught up in link building campaigns or social media marketing. Adding good relevant content on a site is the key to engaging with your site users and potenitally building great inbound links. There was a posting in October on the Google blog about how to generate inbound links into your site through site content.

I am a firm believer that ‘merit based inbound links’ in the future will have a greater weighting in the algorithms than directory or purchased links. So web site owners need to be investing in adding content to their site to make the most of this opportunity.

Adding content is key to growing rankings for any website. Forget trying to re-optimise existing content or tweaking key word denisities on a page.

So how can you grow content on your site:

  1. Set up a blog and integrate it into your website – and give commentary and insights into your industry. Ensure you blog on a regular basis, so your passion and commitment grows your credibility.
  • Participate in forums in your industry – as this will drive traffic to your site – and will drive traffic to your new content.
  • Think laterally about the content that you can upload to the site– it might be your take on an article in an industry publication or that you have launched a new product. What ever you decide is appropriate for your website, I recommend that you look at creating a content plan for the year. So you have a plan of how your site content will grow, rather than haphazardly adding content. That way you can be more focused around the key phrases you want to target.
  • Be committed – some clients think that once they have got their site live, it’s the end of the project and they can sit back and wait for the rankings. How wrong can they be? It is the start of the journey, and the clients need to be committed in terms of time and cost (to either invest in a content management system or for a maintenance contract) to grow their presence in the search engine listings.

On The Web

Your online credibility is an increasingly important way of showcasing your specialised knowledge and expertise which will build your online credibility. As more people engage with the social web differentiating yourself become imperative

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