Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | December 10, 2012

SEO, Boy!

time
SEO, Boy!

Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | December 10, 2012

<a href=’https://mavenlink-infographics.s3.amazonaws.com/12-1.10.16_MavenLink_SEO_Boy%203.png -’ title=’SEO, Boy!’ ><img src=’https://mavenlink-infographics.s3.amazonaws.com/12-1.10.16_MavenLink_SEO_Boy%203.png&#8217; alt=’time’ title=’SEO, Boy!’ width=’600′ height=’2400′/></a><br/><a href=’https://mavenlink-infographics.s3.amazonaws.com/12-1.10.16_MavenLink_SEO_Boy%203.png -’>SEO, Boy!</a>

Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | June 6, 2011

Google Plus One

There’s a chart that SEOmoz published a while back that breaks down the contributory factors behind Google’s algorithm – the impact of the various that lead to your search placement.

Here it is;

Google Ranking Algorithm - SEOmoz

As dated as the chart now undoubtedly is it offers a clear a useful overview or the relative impact of various search signals as well as providing a clear point of reference against which to map any subsequent developments. For example they say that trust/authority of the host domain contributes 23.87% of the overall algorithm. Link popularity of a specific page accounts for 22.03%. On-page keyword usage is 15.4% of the algo. According to SEOmoz only 5.30% of the overall algorithm is made up of social graph metrics. It’s this social measurement that is perhaps the most interesting (and the most prone to adjustment) as Google has sought to integrate a range of social signals into it’s algorithm to reflect the increasing importance it places on social media as a guide to relevance and delivering high quality search returns.

New SEO Analysis

Here’s a new analysis, again offered by SEOmoz that shows a clear acknowledgement of the importance of social search into SEO. Just take a look at the Facebook Shares bar! Little wonder that Google have got in on the ‘Like’ button recommendation act with the new Google +1 social metric.

Whilst it’s important to appreciate that the chart shows correlation and NOT causation – the returns may simply reflect the existing relevance of pages that deliver consequential social signals and not the social signals themselves causing relevance. That said,  the correlation is so strong that really it’s hard to escape the conclusion that yes, social matters, and it seems to matters a great deal. To the point in fact that some SEOs, including Tom Critchlow VP Operations for Distilled in New York believe that: “inbound marketing is going to overtake SEO as the primary function of SEO professionals.” In his analysis of the new Google +1 roll out he continues: “Engaging across social channels to get links, shares, likes, comments and +1s is going to be the future for generating organic traffic to your site. Not just from Google but these channels are increasingly driving significant volumes of traffic in their own right.”

Powerful stuff and a swift and decisive evolution of SEO that unless you are willing and able to embrace will leave you out in the cold.

As Google says on its blog – “The +1 button is shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out.”

Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1′s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.

It’s not a question of whether +1 will impact on your SEO. It’s a question of how much. Best get on board.

If you’re looking for a detailed and technical insight and explanation of the Google +1 concept check out Ruud Hein’s analysis How Google +1 Works For Ranking (SEO Theory) over at Searchenginepeople.com

The Better Your Site the Better Google +1 Is For You

In many ways though, if you are already building your SEO and your online profile upon strong, high quality content this shift to more social signals is great news. Google +1 is simply another route to endorsement, another opportunity for quality content to be acknowledged and rewarded. As a component of Google’s overall signal ecosystem Google +1 or any of the other users-generated signals will be much more hassle than it’s worth to try and game. You might as well focus your energy and resources on putting together a decent destination in the first place! By abstracting the genuine user-generated value of sites relevance will be easier to identify. Sure, some sectors and some sites, by their nature are incompatible with high degrees of social sharing but as Critchlow points out: “For these industries I think (hope) Google will normalise the impact and won’t let the “fun” site outrank the “useful” site – they can easily tell which niches have a lot of social activity and those that don’t. For the more mundane/commercial industries Google will fall back on the regular signals of links.”
With Google +1 buttons now available to add to any site chance are you will start to see them pretty much wherever you go enabling you to recommend content to your friends and contacts directly. Have you checked out Google +1 yet and how it can help your SEO? Need more information? Want so expert advice? Contact me today to find how how you can integrate Google +1 into your site and how it can help you SEO.


Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | November 5, 2010

Google includes ‘Local’ into their SERPs

Is it Good News for Your Business?
Do you sell locally? Frustrated that big business marketing budgets have stopped your website getting to the top of Google? Tired of seeing national chains elbowing you off page one? Well new changes to the Google Places SERP could be exactly what you need to energise your online marketing. Read on….

SEO and online marketing may never be the same again after Google last week started to roll out changes to their universal search page display. Changes that radically impact on the way that results are delivered. Simply referred to as Place Search, (Google Business Centre having evolved into Google Places in April), for any search that Google deems local it now grabs the information stored against your Google Place listing, factors in your organic search relevance and returns your listing packaged and positioned above the rest of the normal organic listings at the top of of the first page.

Great news for businesses that operate on a local level.

Why are Google focusing on local search? With more than 20% of Google searches already geo-related it seems the new Google Places SERP algorithm has been put in place to meet this location based demand.

“Our goal is to help you feel like a local everywhere you go!”

Says Jackie Bavaro of the Google Blog, adding:

“Place Search results will begin appearing automatically on Google when we predict you’re looking for local information.”


“With Place Search, we’re dynamically connecting hundreds of millions of websites with more than 50 million real-world locations. We automatically identify when sites are talking about physical places and cluster links even when they don’t provide addresses and use different names.”

Gone is the 7 pack list of local businesses accompanied by a simple map. The map has now been transferred to the far top right of the page and the 7 pack replaced by local listings created out of Google Places extending almost all the way down the page and replacing the bulk of page one organic results. As well as containing the page title, description and contact information, the new packaged local search returns also include reviews relating to the site – in effect a compressed local business listing.

Google Places losers
Bad news for non local sites optimised well enough to mid first page placements but without a local business listing. The travel industry must be going completely mental at the moment with highly optimised and until recently high profile pages crashing out of view. An SEO nightmare. For example, how can travel or room booking companies expect to successfully market hotel vacancies when their rankings are being demoted below individual hotels that have local listings? Surely too, those searching for hotels might also be suffering a dis-service. Isn’t it preferable to go to a site with a range of hotel options based on a geographical location (an aggregator for want of a better word) and refine the search themselves, rather than have to trawl through every single option individually. Travellers – be prepared to be presented with a frustrating and time consuming slog when it comes to comparing accommodation options

Google search for ‘Hotels London’ before the change

Google places before they were included in the SERPs

Hotels London before

Google search for ‘Hotels London’ after local inclusion to Google serps

Google local after the inclusion into SERPs

Hotels London after

The jury’s still out when comes to business that covers a variety of areas and have optimised dedicated landing pages aimed at achieving strong area by area returns. A plumber based in Cheltenham with a well put together Google Places listing (we’ll come to that later), whilst potentially enjoying the boost of increased local profile with his Google Places pack listed above the organic returns of non Cheltenham based plumbers won’t win coverage in other areas optimised for. Gloucester, Stroud or Cirencester for example.

Paul Keller of Search Influence says:

“In the past businesses in suburbs who wanted to rank for ‘the big city’ had a hard time getting on the map. This may continue to challenge suburban based businesses with this new Google update. Those with strong organic rankings who previously ranked organically for their targeted “big city” could count on traffic from the searchers who ignored the map and went straight to find what they wanted in organic rankings. This update, though, adds an additional factor to what Google considers relevant in regards to geography, which may pose a problem for suburban-located businesses.”

To what extent widening the Services Area in your Google Places addresses the situation remains to be seen. Andy Williams of Impact Media comments:

“your physical location is always going to be the deciding factor when you are ranked. Companies physically closer to a searched for location will more often than not appear ahead of a company that simply covers the area.”

As with any SERP changes or Google layout evolution these new challenges also present great opportunities too. In this case, lots of opportunity for local business.

Google Place winners – why Google Places is great news for your business

Google Places is actually very good news indeed for local sites that are well optimised and enjoy good reviews and coverage in local directories such as Qtype and Yelp. Companies with multiple physical locations will also benefit by creating a Google Places profile for each separate area.

As Andrew Shortland of Search Engine Land says:

“For local businesses that focus on both organic and local SEO, at first blush, this change appears to offer even more opportunity to acquire qualified traffic. If I were a business focused on local customers, I would be truly excited about the possibilities.”

Ding Dong.
Ding – get your organic SEO ship shape and SEO fashion.

“the chance is there to leap back up into the running for companies with strong websites,”says Miriam Ellis of Search Engine Guide.

  • Ensure that your titles is key phrase focused and your description compelling.

  • That your tags and code are clean, lean and committed to the SEO cause.
  • Add fresh, well written content that informs, entertains and persuades.
  • Blog.
  • Submit regular articles and press releases to inspire links.
  • Build relationships in your vertical based on content and reciprocity that inspire a network of strong inbound links – remember collaboration will almost always trump competition.
  • Apply a local focus to link building. Gaining links from relevant local sites will revel a local relevance.
  • Local copy content – include information relating to areas you cover.

    Dong – focus on local search

  • Are you even listed on Google Places?
  • Is your listing optimised?
  • What about submissions to local directories?
  • Reviews? Google is really pushing it’s sentiment analysis – play to win. Over one in eight Americans say online customer evaluations influence their decision making, Use reviews to help your rankings, click-through-rates and conversions.

    Executing an Effective Local SEO Campaign

    What are you waiting for? If you don’t have a Google Place listing, lack reviews or already struggle with local search optimisation you could soon be invisible. Talk to a local search specialist straight away to take advantage of the new Google geo-search. Don’t delay though – claim your listings before the competition grabs all the top spots.

    It’s not just Google Places either that is focusing on the importance of Local Search. Cover your local bases and support your site with listings on other sites such as:

  • Yahoo Local
  • Qtype
  • Bing Local
  • Best of the Web Local
  • Superpages
  • Citysearch
  • InsiderPages
  • Localeze
  • Yelp
  • Local.com
  • Yellowpages
  • Hotfrog

    Lets take a look at some more comments and opinion on the Google Places local search revolution -

    Eric Ward on Search Engine Land says:

    “I personally love this change and it makes sense. Why should Google direct the searcher to a third party directory that charges for inclusion, has marginal content but a huge SEO budget, when Google can simply direct the searcher to where they were headed anyway. Now go ahead and call me a Google kool-aid guzzler, as you always do and I almost always am, but explain to me how this is a bad thing? This is brilliant.”

    “Now is the time to take a long, clear look at your website to see if it’s as awesome as you can possibly make it. Is it optimized? Is it usable? Is it rich in solutions to users’ problems and answers to their questions?”
    Miriam Ellis.

    “Work on the local pages, work on the review pages, work on the site SEO, leave the ppc to those who have $ to burn or don’t know better. It’s been a great strategy and from what I see so far with new layout, little guy local still has a great shot at page one.”
    Michael Dorausch

    That’s what the SEO experts say. What do you say? Are you up for the Google Places challenge?

    Want to know more about how a killer combination of natural SEO, local optimisation and Google Places can send your online business sky-rocketing?
    Talk to your SEO for more information on how you can turn Google Local to your competitive advantage.

    Call Top Page NOW on +44 (0)845 052 9467 and talk to Chris Horner

    Posted by Chris Horner SEO
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    Hotel Booking

  • Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | September 14, 2010

    Is LDA an SEO game changer?

    SEOmoz, masters of SEO guidance and pro SEO insight have got themselves into something of a lather this week with the release of a new lab tool that measures your LDA (Latent Dirichlet Allocation). Put together by SEOmoz senior scientist Ben Hendrickson and announced as part of his SEO presentation at the SEOmoz Pro Seminar in Seattle, LDA as a concept, as well as the new LDA tool have certainly got the SEO community buzzing. Though there’s already been a stack of speculation on how Google integrates LDA technology into it’s algorithm the new SEOmoz focus on LDA seems to have really sent people over the edge.

    For those SEO friends out there unfamiliar with the concept here’s a brief overview and what it might mean for the future of SEO.

    A brief history of LDA

    Despite being referred to by some as a ‘Game Changer’ there’s actually nothing particularly new about LDA. Developed by David Blei of Princeton University, as far back as 2002, 2003 IR(information retrieval) specialists were working with LDA as a way of querying databases for relevant information. By 2004 Microsoft Research was looking at ways of integrating LDA into it’s search model.

    What seems to have brought LDA to the fore recently is the suggestion that search engines seek to determine relevance by using LDA to identify contextual relevance through topic modelling. Hendricksen’s research which involved assessing 8 million documents through over 1000 queries showed clearly that typically highest Google returns have more topical content. Put another way it would seem that there is now little doubt that search engines apply topic based semantic analysis when indexing a page and are now able to determine the contextual relevance and intent of the copy content.

    LDA isn’t LSI

    It’s important to differentiate between LDA and LS where LSI approaches relevance from a semantically shallower keyword density perspective LDA uses a deeper semantic pool that applies contextual relevance through the creation and study of related topics using modifies, adjectives and synonyms.

    Google have long talked of their attempts to identify topicality through context, Amit Syngal writing on the Google blog in 2008 said:: “Synonyms are the foundation of our query understanding work. This is one of the hardest problems we are solving at Google. Though sometimes obvious to humans, it is an unsolved problem in automatic language processing. As a user, I don’t want to think too much about what words I should use in my queries. Often I don’t even know what the right words are. This is where our synonyms system comes into action. Our synonyms system can do sophisticated query modifications, e.g., it knows that the word ‘Dr’ in the query [Dr Zhivago] stands for Doctor whereas in [Rodeo Dr] it means Drive. A user looking for [back bumper repair] gets results about rear bumper repair. For [Ramstein ab], we automatically look for Ramstein Air Base; for the query query [b&b ab] we search for Bed and Breakfasts in Alberta, Canada. We have developed this level of query understanding for almost one hundred different languages, which is what I am truly proud of.“

    Hendrickson analysis used Lady Gaga Poker examples as well as highlighting the importance of referring to Keith Richards, Goat’s Head Soup or Exile on Main Street when writing about the Rolling Stones and to avoid talking about rocks, pebbles or gemstones in order to maintain a semantic integrity when someone searches for ‘The Stones’.

    There are plenty of tools out there to assist developing contextual content. Google Wonderwheel and Google Sets are powerful weapons in any SEO’s armoury when it comes to identifying themes and associations.

    The importance of LDA to SEO

    With all eyes currently focused off-page in the pursuit of juicy inbound links a shift back towards on-page factors in determining search relevance and subsequent search positioning may substantially alter the way that SEO’s go about their business by placing even great emphasis on the importance of rich copy content and lessening the importance of links. There are plenty who would argue though that it’s exactly this sort of well constructed, high quality and information rich content – the type of content that visitors find so useful that inspires a healthy range of of high quality links in the first place. In many ways any additional focus on LDA is yet another search engine attempt to encourage search destinations of value and interest.

    Talk to your SEO for more information on how you can turn the use of LDA to your competitive advantage.

    Call Top Page NOW on +44 (0)845 052 9467 and talk to Chris Horner

    Posted by Chris Horner SEO
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    Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | June 18, 2010

    SEO video & Google Caffeine

    Well it’s official, after months of speculation in the SEO and Internet Marketing world Google Caffeine is now finally here. Unlike the May Day algorithm change Caffeine represents more of a technical indexing adjustment to improve the speed and efficiency with which pages are indexed and served. It a system change at the Google end of the search relationship largely in respect of how data is collected, not what data is collected. As Vanessa Fox at Search Engine Land say: “Caffeine itself is not a ranking algorithm change. It’s an indexing infrastructure change.” She does concede however that: “That doesn’t mean that it won’t impact rankings.”

    Perhaps the two main questions raised through the introduction of Caffeine are:

    a. What exactly is Caffeine?

    b. How can you use the Caffeine update to your advantage?

    What is Caffeine?

    The internet is far bigger than anyone, even Google, could have predicted. The sheer volume of information and the rate at which new information is now added online is deafening. With the rapid addition of video, images, news, blogs and other forms of quick-fire content the internet is quickly becoming a vast repository of data. All data that needs to be indexed.

    In the early days Google would update its index approximately every 4 months. From 2000 this reduced to a 1 month re-indexing.

    In 2003 Google switched to an incremental indexing system crawling approximately 10% of the web nightly, indexing it and then and pushing that segment live. Caffeine is the first major change to Google’s indexing since then.

    Caffeine now analyses small portions of the web on a continuous basis sending it live as soon as it is indexed rather than in batches. A rolling, real-time indexing serving fresh, timely search returns. Matt Cutts draws an analogy where he describes the pre-Caffeine system as the bus that collects you at the airport. The new Caffeine update represents a shiny new limo ready and waiting to which you away to fresh search results. Nice.

    According to Google Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than their previous index, so whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now link to fresh, relevant content much quicker than has ever been possible.

    Caffeine also massively increases Google’s ability to scale up the size of its index. as well as adding more information parameters such as anchor text, meta data, keywords, regional, link information or other signals to help define a page’s relevance.

    How can you use Caffeine to your advantage?

    Google is in a hurry and Caffeine is all about speed. The internet is growing exponentially and to cut through the noise you need to move quickly. Align your offering with Google’s ambitions and you will benefit.

    Don’t waste Google’s time with duplicate content. Make it easy by offering your unique content and URLS on a plate through HTML site maps, XML site maps, RSS feeds, Google product feeds. Note the increasing importance of video in modern SEO. Feed the Cafferine index a Video Sitemap with information about your video content. Be sure to flag up video content on your site Google might not otherwise discover. The same applies to Apps. Caffeine makes them visible. A mobile Google Apps search on an Android or iPhone and will quickly and easily return Apps. For more info visit Google Video Blog

    The frequency of updating new content is also important. Use social media to keep your content fresh and your site in Google’s eye-line. Do yourself a favour too and ensure that your content is original, considered and adds value to the user experience.

    Site and hosting speed will also start to factor more as Google looks to scythe through the internet to quickly reach relevant search returns. If you aren’t delivering well engineered sites using robust, speedy architecture then expect to lag behind the competition.

    Take a look at Holiday Lettings results for their hosted video. Foe a good example search, try this in google ‘Riambel holiday villa‘. First position in the Google’s organic listing results.

    Talk to your SEO for more information on how you can turn the Caffeine update to your competitive advantage.

    Call Top Page NOW on +44 (0)845 052 9467 and talk to Chris Horner

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    Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | June 1, 2010

    Losing traffic? How to turn the Google Mayday changes to your advantage

    SEOs and business owners around the world are studying the fall out of what’s been labelled the Google May Day update. So far, so unhappy, with many web masters and SEO professionals reporting falls in traffic, especially long tail traffic, sometimes by as much as 50%. Clearly when visitor numbers drop in these sorts of volumes the implications when it come to sales and profits can be significant.

    So what’s going on? What is the May Day Google algorithm change? Why are websites suffering and more importantly what can they do to fix things?

    Now while there’s nothing new about Google tweaking their algorithm, in 2009 Google made non less than 350 to 400 changes, says Google SEO guru Matt Cutts, this one seems to have taken people by surprise. Happening at and about the same time as the Google search interface changes people have been struggling to to explain

    both the reasoning and implications of the changes. The good and the great including Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz, Frank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim and Vanessa Fox at SearchEngineLand have all commented on the changes and shared analysis.

    Could it be an indexing change designed to support the speed of Caffeine? Could it be a link valuation shift where even good sites are being punished from bad links? Has there been an increased bias given to authority/brand sites. Tedster at Webmaster World suggested a phrase match shift where Google has introduced new technology that regards particular types of long tail as less relevant.

    Google themselves haven’t been too forthcoming about the specifics of the change though Vanessa Fox quotes Matt Cutts as saying: ”this is an algorithmic change in Google, looking for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries. It went through vigorous testing and isn’t going to be rolled back.”

    Google went on to confirm that May Day constituted a rankings change, not a crawling or indexing change, so even though pages are still being crawled they are now considered as less relevant..As Fox noted: “Based on Matt’s comment, this change impacts “long tail” traffic, which generally is from longer queries that few people search for individually, but in aggregate can provide a large percentage of traffic.”

    So what can you do if your site – say a large e-commerce site is failing to claim the rankings, and more importantly the traffic that it used to? First things first make sure you check out the pages that are ranking above you. What factors can you identify that might help them? Anchor text, rich content, strong internal linking, strong external linking? Google’s definition of long tail relevance has changed and you need to find out specifically what they are looking for. Remember too that Google craves compelling content. It’s rich, high quality content content that will always be rewarded with links and high ranking – not fusty old corporate catalogue.

    It’s worth also asking yourself whether it’s such a wise move putting all your long tail traffic eggs in the one Google basket. If a relatively minor change like this can wipe out such a large proportion of your traffic then isn’t that a rather fragile strategy upon which to build your online marketing?

    Hopefully this will teach some of the newer web marketers that Google is only one of MANY ways to get traffic, and focusing even closer on a single algorithm is only asking for trouble.

    A strong SEO plan must encompass a range of marketing; strong social presence including Twitter and Facebook and especially blogs. You need to engage your audience too with great content and as well as getting out there and building links. Create that virtuous circle.

    With an SEO strategy covering multiple ‘touch points you’ll never lose 50% of your traffic just because one aspect of your marketing fails you..

    For many organisation the algorithm changes may in fact present opportunities. As Frank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim says: “The long tail has always been a target of any good SEO campaign especially by the smaller players. Now there’s a chance to make even further inroads against the big boys. Study up!“

    By Chris Horner
    SEO at TOP PAGE Ltd

    In the video below Matt Cutts explains the May Day algorithm in more detail and explains that it primarily affects long tail searches.

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    Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | May 14, 2010

    Building Domain Trust / Domain Authority (DA)

    The 4 essentials of Building Domain Trust & Domain Authority (DA)

    Domain trust is an expression that’s commonly used these days in SEO circles. Widely recognised as being of significant importance few people are able to offer a clear definition of domain trust and how it can influence search placements.

    Here’s an explanation of domain trust, what it means and what you can do to build it.

    TRUST

    The search engines work tirelessly in the pursuit of relevance. The name of their game is to match queries with the most suitable returns. The better they are at it, giving people simple stress free online search experiences that deliver the goods, then the more people will use them. In other words, the more value search adds to users’ lives the more value they add to their market price.

    Google runs hundreds of tests against websites and checks numerous signals in order to establish relevance. One of the most important qualities that a web site can exhibit is domain trust.

    The more domain trust you have the better you rank.

    Domain Trust – Who links to you?

    To a large extent domain trust is down to proximity. Google loves high quality websites. Well designed, well structured web sites bursting with great content and blessed with large numbers of satisfied visitors – these are Google’s trusted domains.

    The closer you live to trusted domains, in other words the more direct links your site has from trusted domains, the more trust you gain.

    Sites one link removed from the trusted domain network will generate 0.01% web spam. Two or more clicks from the trusted domain network and you are moving in circles that deal in unacceptable levels of spam – levels of 1.2% or more.

    Domain Trust – Who you link to

    It also matters who you link to. If you link to low trust sites, expect this to damage your domain trust. You’re in bad company. Link to trusted sites to boost your own domain trust.

    Reciprocal links directories? Don’t do it. Why would any credible website link to a site that spams? It wouldn’t. Google is wise to this.

    Domain Trust – Registration information

    Google has been official registrar since 2003. Why? So that it can look under the web bonnet and access important web registration information. Being able to identify the owners of websites  means Google can spot themes. If you own 100 sites and Google spots that 75 of them are spam sites then expect this to be reflected in search placements  through

    Domain Trust – User Data Signals

    Google collects huge amounts of information about what users do on the web – through Analytics, through the tool bar, free wi-fi and through third party relationships. Signals reveal how naturally a domain is behaving. If the data signals are unusual the domain might well be penalised. Normal behaviour indicates a trust.

    Follow Google guidelines, prioritise quality design and quality content and allow domain trust to grow naturally.

    By Chris Horner
    SEO

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    Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | January 15, 2010

    Amazon to STOP paying affiliate fees from PPC campaigns

    Please vote for me Linkedin ‘Rising Star’ award – Thanks
    http://www.linkedinbusinessawards.com/Nomination/Details/374

    Amazon.co.uk will STOP paying referral fees

    February 1, 2010, they will no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to Amazon.co.uk  through keyword bidding or other paid search on Google, Bing, Yahoo!

    Here is a copy of the email 15th Jan 2010

    Dear Associate,

    We’re writing to let you know about some changes to the Amazon.co.uk Associates Programme.

    After careful review of our Associates programme, we have made the decision that as of February 1, 2010, we will no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to www.amazon.co.uk, http://astore.amazon.co.uk or www.javari.co.uk through keyword bidding or other paid search on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, or any other search engine, or their extended search networks. In connection with this change, as of February 1, 2010, we will no longer provide Associates who engage in such paid search activities with access to our Product Advertising API or datafeeds. If you are currently enrolled in the Associates Programme as a Paid Search Placement Associate and wish to continue to participate in the Programme after February 1, 2010, you must choose a new category that most accurately describes the method you will use to send users to the Amazon.co.uk or Javari.co.uk site. Of course, just choosing a new category is not sufficient – you will also need to stop sending traffic via paid search links, as you will no longer be paid for such traffic starting on February 1, regardless of what category you choose. You may change your category by writing to us using the Contact Us form available on Associates Central or by following this link:

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk/gp/associates/contact

    If you are enrolled in the Associates Programme as a Paid Search Placement Associate and you do not contact us to modify your category on or prior to March 1 2010 your Associates account will automatically be closed.

    In addition, as of February 1, 2010 we will no longer pay referral fees on purchases made by customers who are referred to www.amazon.co.uk or www.javari.co.uk via Free Search Results. Free Search Results are links containing an Associate’s tag displayed in a search engine’s free, natural, or organic search results in response to a search query which send customers directly to an Amazon site without the customer first being sent to an Associate’s site and the customer clicking on a link to arrive at the Amazon site.

    These changes do not prohibit you from purchasing paid search advertisements or submitting links to search engines so long as the links that appear on the search engines send customers to your site. If customers arrive at the Amazon.co.uk or Javari.co.uk site by clicking on Special Links displayed on your site (ie, links on your site pointing to Amazon.co.uk or Javari.co.uk with Amazon Associates tags), you will continue to earn referral fees in accordance with the Associates Programme Operating Agreement. There are a number of tools available through Associates Central to assist you with integrating Special Links into your sites, such as aStore by Amazon, various customisable widgets, and the Product Advertising API.

    These changes apply only to the Associates Programme in the UK. If you are conducting paid or free search activities in connection with one of Amazon’s Associates Programmes outside of the UK, please refer to the applicable country’s Associates Programme Operating Agreement for relevant terms and conditions.

    For a summary of these changes please visit this page See what’s changed, and to review the Operating Agreement please visit this page Operating Agreement. If you’re not sure if these changes affect you, please visit this page for FAQs.

    If you have questions or concerns, please write to us by using the Contact Us form available on Associates Central or by following this link:

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk/gp/associates/contact

    Best regards,

    Your Amazon.co.uk Associates Team

    Dear Associate,

    We’re writing to let you know about some changes to the Amazon.co.uk Associates Programme.

    After careful review of our Associates programme, we have made the decision that as of February 1, 2010, we will no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to www.amazon.co.uk, http://astore.amazon.co.uk or www.javari.co.uk through keyword bidding or other paid search on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, or any other search engine, or their extended search networks. In connection with this change, as of February 1, 2010, we will no longer provide Associates who engage in such paid search activities with access to our Product Advertising API or datafeeds. If you are currently enrolled in the Associates Programme as a Paid Search Placement Associate and wish to continue to participate in the Programme after February 1, 2010, you must choose a new category that most accurately describes the method you will use to send users to the Amazon.co.uk or Javari.co.uk site. Of course, just choosing a new category is not sufficient – you will also need to stop sending traffic via paid search links, as you will no longer be paid for such traffic starting on February 1, regardless of what category you choose. You may change your category by writing to us using the Contact Us form available on Associates Central or by following this link:

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk/gp/associates/contact

    If you are enrolled in the Associates Programme as a Paid Search Placement Associate and you do not contact us to modify your category on or prior to March 1 2010 your Associates account will automatically be closed.

    In addition, as of February 1, 2010 we will no longer pay referral fees on purchases made by customers who are referred to www.amazon.co.uk or www.javari.co.uk via Free Search Results. Free Search Results are links containing an Associate’s tag displayed in a search engine’s free, natural, or organic search results in response to a search query which send customers directly to an Amazon site without the customer first being sent to an Associate’s site and the customer clicking on a link to arrive at the Amazon site.

    These changes do not prohibit you from purchasing paid search advertisements or submitting links to search engines so long as the links that appear on the search engines send customers to your site. If customers arrive at the Amazon.co.uk or Javari.co.uk site by clicking on Special Links displayed on your site (ie, links on your site pointing to Amazon.co.uk or Javari.co.uk with Amazon Associates tags), you will continue to earn referral fees in accordance with the Associates Programme Operating Agreement. There are a number of tools available through Associates Central to assist you with integrating Special Links into your sites, such as aStore by Amazon, various customisable widgets, and the Product Advertising API.

    These changes apply only to the Associates Programme in the UK. If you are conducting paid or free search activities in connection with one of Amazon’s Associates Programmes outside of the UK, please refer to the applicable country’s Associates Programme Operating Agreement for relevant terms and conditions.

    For a summary of these changes please visit this page See what’s changed, and to review the Operating Agreement please visit this page Operating Agreement. If you’re not sure if these changes affect you, please visit this page for FAQs.

    If you have questions or concerns, please write to us by using the Contact Us form available on Associates Central or by following this link:

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk/gp/associates/contact

    Best regards,

    Your Amazon.co.uk Associates Team

    Posted by SEO TOP PAGE

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    Posted by: Chris Horner SEO Expert | December 1, 2009

    Organic / Natural SEO

    Organic / Natural SEO

    According to a range of analysis from Search Engine Watch, Jupiter Media and others over of 70% of search engine users prefer organic search returns compared to sponsored listings or PPC.

    Organic SEO

    Organic SEO

    Though Pay Per Click is extremely effective and popular among marketers for it’s measurability, targeting, and rapid returns, still 80% of clicks at Google occur on the organic listing and not on the PPC ads. Internet users just seem to trust in the authenticity of natural listings ahead of paid for returns. It’s only natural and with the major search engines investing millions in their pursuit of relevance and the evolution of the ‘semantic web’ who can blame them? People rarely like feeling sold to. Discovery is far more rewarding.

    The Direct Marketing Association also report that 66% of marketers see search engine positioning as the most effective way to win visitors with email marketing coming in second at 54%.

    With nearly 50 % of advertisers re-deploying their marketing budgets away from other programs in favour of organic SEO it would appear that awareness of the importance of top page search engine positioning is increasingly widely appreciated.

    That 80% of web users abandon their search beyond the first 3 pages and approximately 30% won’t scrolling past the 2nd page of results is evidence indeed that naturally listed visibility is key to successful and cost effective Internet marketing.

    Effective organic SEO requires a variety of skills. A combination of SEO copywriting, web design, web development, marketing, advertising and analysis applied on and off page.

    Contact Top Page TODAY to discuss how you can quickly and cost effectively grow your business by achieving high profile natural search listings.

    More reading

    Archie, created in 1990 by Alan Emtage, a student at McGill University in Montreal was the world’s first search engine The commercial search engines that we see today began to appear in the mid 90′s – Yahoo Directory in ’94, LookSmart in ’95, Aak Jeeves in ’97, Alta Vista ’95, Google was launched in 1998.

    Website owners soon saw the value of having their sites ranked highly. The more visible the site the more people clicked through – clicks tuned into cash through advertising revenues, e-commerce and other commercial opportunities. Site owners looking for ways to get their sites at the top of search returns inadvertently created what has since become the multi million-dollar Search Engine Optimisation – SEO industry.

    Over the recent years SEO techniques have changed repeatedly as have the search engines and the ways in which they determine which website is relevant to any given query. It’s a case of poachers and gamekeepers with the search companies working hard to keep ahead of innovative webmasters and SEO marketers. Organic SEO originally consisted of using descriptive file names, page titles, and Meta descriptions. As search algorithms increased in sophistication page factors such as keyword densities grew more important. Page Ranking based upon the number and strength of inbound links became then the all important factor. As each of these search criteria stared to become abused so the algorithms were adjusted to weight other factors more. Search engines now use sophisticated and complicated algorithms. Google incorporates over 200 criteria to determine site ranking and recent developments in relation to the Semantic Web indicate that the search companies are working hard to deliver relevance.

    The top 10 determining factors in search engine ranking according to SEOmoz.org are:

    Keyword in title tags
    Anchor text of inbound Links
    Global popularity of the site
    Age of the site
    Link popularity within the site’s internal link structure
    Topical relevance of Inbound links to site
    Link popularity of site in topical community
    Keyword use in body text
    Global popularity of Linking Site
    Topical relationship of Linking Page

    Organic SEO impacts across the board for any organisation and is a holistic approach covering website design, development, content, technology, management, input from sales, marketing, design and technicians. Organic SEO is both complex and challenging to implement. Applied well though, Organic SEO can prove an incredibly powerful way to grow your business.

    Search Engine Preparation: After clarification of the business objectives, analysis and search engine preparation can begin. For example duplicate content that might cause search engines to apply ranking penalties is removed. Clean, current standard compliant HTML code is applied. We encourage a high ratio of content to code and a fast-loading, accessible search engine friendly structure. Particular attention is paid to core web programming principles. For example: the PAGE TITLE – the DESCRIPTION META TAG and internal HTML links.

    Search engines very much appreciate text content. The modern semantic web rewards related content – topical islands. LSI, Latent Semantic Indexing reveals relevance with all this presented to the search engines in the form of well-written, informative, authoritative and interesting content. Sticky content of real value to visitors.

    The engines also like structure, with each site page offering high quality copy using important structural elements – heading, paragraph and other HTML tags – to indicate a relevance hierarchy.

    Global Link Popularity is one of the most important SEO criteria. Google, Yahoo and the other major search engines adore sites that have quality incoming links from other relevant sites. This inferred authority rub off on your profile and is something that we strive to develop through relevant linking opportunities.

    Natural or organic search engine optimisation improves your profile, and site ranking it benefits your overall Internet marketing campaign and grows your reputation and business. Site value increases, improved HTML code increase usability and conversions. High quality content informs you target about product and increased link popularity evolves the site authority – Natural SEO – a virtuous SEO circle.

    Contact Top Page to find out how we can grow your business by raising your web profile and your site to the top of the search engines.
    SEO by TOP PAGE

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