Showing posts with label SEO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SEO. Show all posts

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Google +1 Button: Instant SEO

Google's new +1 button is the information innovator's response to the fairly ubiquitous Facebook, StumbleUpon, and other icons that let you promote content you find useful. I noticed that Google incorporated this feature into my search results as well, so I decided to experiment.

A popular blog post of mine describing a DIY screen protector for the Viewsonic G Tablet appears at spot #9 among my Google search results as shown below:

Note the greyed out +1 button just to the right of the link title, which animates tantalizingly as you hover over the search result. I went ahead and clicked it, essentially voting my link up in the rankings. Here's the result:

From the #9 to the #5 spot with one click?? I'll take it! You also receive a notification just below and to the left indicating that you've +1'd a given link.

I don't know whether "+1'd" has as catchy a ring to it as "Liked", but if it brings more traffic to my site, then I'm all for it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Manage Blocked Sites? Thanks, Google!

Google recently unveiled a tremendous new feature which allows you to block sites from their search results.

A feature previously only available as an extension for Chrome, users with a Google Account can now maintain their own, personal blacklist of sites whose search results aren't useful.

The original entry about this release on the Google blog tells the story, and you can click the following link to actually access your very own Manage Blocked Sites screen (assuming you're signed in to your Google account).

I mainly use Google, Bing, and Ask for my searches, but now Google is in my top spot solely for this feature. Too often I've submitted a query to a search engine only to be bombarded by useless results consisting of anything from advertising to porn to advertising about porn to malware, and habitually I'd just click the third or fourth page of results in the hope that I'd find some worthwhile content. Now I can shape my search results by eliminating much of the fluff, which translates into much more productive searches.

Creators of fluff are on notice:
"Sites will be blocked only for you, but Google may use everyone's blocking information to improve the ranking of search results overall."

Content is king, as the saying goes, and this is one big step in helping us mere users leverage the system by enabling us to trim away the fluff as we find it.

Well played, Google!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blogger Blog Post Title Optimization

I've blogged with Blogger for a few years now, and overall it's worked pretty smoothly, but the blog post title can be a bit awkward to work with.

You'll notice that if your post title is particularly long, the resulting URL will get truncated once the post is published to a maximum length of roughly 39 characters. Spaces will be replaced with dashes, stop words like "to", "and", "of" will be filtered, and punctuation will be omitted.

Principles of SEO demand that blog posts are crafted such that search engines will return links to them as relevant hits for a given search. In addition, it is helpful to make it so that the blog post title is similar to the actual URL of the post.

In a Blogger blog, you can optimize your blog post titles by first deciding on a title which is both meaningful and concise. The title should reflect the content of the post, to make it easier for search engines (particularly Google) to categorize what you're blogging about, and decide how high up in the search results to place it. 

For example, if the title of your post is "How To Make Lots Of Money By Blogging On Random Topics" (which is 54 characters without quotes), try to distill the essence of your post into a title which meets or is under the 39 character limit, perhaps "Make Money Blogging Random Topics" (33 characters) or "HowTo Make Money Blogging Randomly" (34 characters). 

Ideally, you want the post title to meet that character limit for Blogger post titles, but sometimes it's difficult, particularly with stop words and spaces eating of valuable post title real estate. 

To mitigate this, you can try the following steps:
  1. Create a blog post with as brief a title as possible.
  2. Publish the post with the brief title.
  3. Immediately after publishing, Edit your post and modify the title to your original, more verbose version.

After doing this, you'll discover that Blogger keeps the concise title's wording in the URL, but in the post itself it will have your verbose title. 

Again, it's probably best that the title be the same in both the URL and the actual post title, but if you just can't do your post justice by pruning it below 39 characters, you can at least ensure that the post URL meets that requirement and yet retains value from an SEO standpoint.