more SEO support from Google

Today on Google’s Web­mas­ter Cen­tral blog they announced more search engine sup­port for busi­ness / orga­ni­za­tion logos.  Specif­i­cally they men­tioned dis­play­ing suit­able logos in search results.  Hav­ing your logo included in a search engine results page (SERP) is a huge com­pet­i­tive advan­tage — or dis­ad­van­tage if you don’t fol­low their suggestion!

You can read more about Rich Snip­pets and as they relate to orga­ni­za­tion addresses in my pre­vi­ous blog post local SEO: first steps to bet­ter Van­cou­ver results.

Read the rest at Google



SEO tips: trouble with Google algorithm updates

Google Panda and Penguin algorithms

Google reg­u­larly updates how they arrive at the search results pro­vided to users.  The process is part of the ever chang­ing search land­scape; SEOs tweak for best Google posi­tion­ing and Google tweaks for best search results.  You can view a list of Google’s algo­rithm updates at SEO­Moz, a SEO tools provider.  Two recent Google algo­rithm updates have had a par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant effect: code named Panda and Pen­guin.

For Google’s search results to be rel­e­vant it has to cor­rectly iden­tify the best answers to user searches.  Google works hard in this regard, some­times with trans­parency and some­times not. To it’s credit Google has pub­lished Google Web­mas­ter Guide­lines for design­ers and SEOs out­lin­ing best prac­tices.  To quote Google (empha­sis mine):

Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rank­ings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel com­fort­able explain­ing what you’ve done to a web­site that com­petes with you, or to a Google employee. Another use­ful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines did­n’t exist?”

Avoid the fol­low­ing tech­niques: Auto­mat­i­cally gen­er­ated con­tent, Par­tic­i­pat­ing in link schemes, Cloak­ing, Sneaky redi­rects, Hid­den text or links, Door­way pages, Scraped con­tent, Par­tic­i­pat­ing in affil­i­ate pro­grams with­out adding suf­fi­cient value, Load­ing pages with irrel­e­vant keywords

All of the tech­niques Google men­tions have at one time or another been com­mon prac­tice to either pro­mote web­sites or cre­ate web­site con­tent. (more…)

security alert: Twitter hacked

Twit­ter announced on Fri­day Feb­ru­ary 1st they had been hacked in a sophis­ti­cated attack.  Twit­ter said 250k accounts may be affected and have emailed those users.  The stolen data included accounts, emails, addresses, and pass­words. Whether or not Twit­ter con­tacted you it is prob­a­bly a good idea to change your pass­word, both for your Twit­ter account and for any other login that uses the same pass­word. It is not a dif­fi­cult mat­ter to find more logins asso­ci­ated with the same email address, espe­cially for pop­u­lar ser­vices like Google, Face­book, etc.

Wired — Twit­ter Hacked

Web Browser Usage Statistics

Web­site Ars Tech­nica has com­piled vis­i­tor browser use sta­tis­tics updated for March.  Inter­net Explorer con­tin­ues to be the most pop­u­lar browser with roughly 50% of users.  The next two most pop­u­lar are Fire­fox and Chrome.  The two graph­ics here show over usage includ­ing mobile, and desk­top only.  Note that Safari use dou­bles as you move from desk­top to over­all vis­i­tors — this reflects iPhone and iPad.

Track­ing vis­i­tor browser usage is impor­tant as each browser and plat­form has its own par­tic­u­lar con­sid­er­a­tions.  Mobile browsers have tiny screens, iPads and touch based, desk­tops have large screens.  All of these must be con­sid­ered in web­site design.

Guide to Website Optimization

Web Design Ledger (WDL) has posted a thor­ough SEO guide with sec­tions focus­ing on Web­site Fac­tors & Site Archi­tec­ture Fac­tors and Con­tent Factors

This guide is intended to be a cheat sheet that allows you as a designer or devel­oper to really bake SEO into the projects you are work­ing on – sav­ing your clients time and money in the long run as well as mak­ing the process much more seam­less for them and your life a heck of a lot less stress­ful, well at least no more SEOs bug­ging you to make changes!

The Ulti­mate Guide to On-Page Opti­miza­tion (WDL)

Web Design Info Graphic from WDL

Web Design Ledger (WDL) has put together an info graphic fea­tur­ing essen­tial com­po­nents of a web­site design and the peo­ple who make them.  visit WDL