Friday, April 1, 2011

Title Tag Importance in Local Search

We all know how important title tags are when it comes to SEO. Not only for ranking but it will also be the first piece of information a searcher will see about your site. I like to think of a title tag as a first date. You want to look better than you really are, and hope you can impress just enough to cover up future blemishes that someone might get to know.

So, the question is how do title tags translate on the local playing field? I am sure by now you have seen that when the integrated local results show up (aka the O-Pack) there are usually quite a few organic listings tied to a places pin like the followed…

 Title Tag Importance

When the O-Pack came out, it was a big enough change to the locosphere that I decided that I needed to do some extensive research into what makes the pack tick. So, I put together a study of the following over the past few months…

28 Google Places listings that are ranking 1-7

28 Google Places listings that are ranking 50-56

Listings were examined from the following keywords:

1. Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
2. New York Divorce Lawyer
3. San Diego Dentist
4. Dallas Dentist

In all I took 56 listings in 4 cities across the country in the law and dental categories. I generally find that these are well optimized categories in local search that have very little “luck” involved in rankings. While the research covered 27 separate factors, one of the things I found most interesting has been the use of title tags.

Where Does Google Places Get the Title Tag From?


Generally speaking, the first 5 results in the O-Pack pull from the title tag of the website page that Google thinks is most relevant, and the remaining listings pull from the Business Name given in the Places account.

Title Tag & Local Result

This was the case for all results that were examined in my research. I have seen a few exceptions to this, but only a few. So, bottom line, gone are the days where you could get by without a good website for a Google Places listing. You used to be able to rank a company who didn’t have a website, and you could work wonders with companies that had a website (Even if it was built with website tonight). Now, not only does your title from your site populate on your Places listing, but it holds effect on rankings.

How Many Websites Had The Keyword Search Phrase In The Title Tag?


22 of the 28 High Ranking Places listings (79%) had the keywords in the website title tag. Whereas 12 of the 28 Low Ranking Places listings (43%) had the keywords in the website title tag.

16 of the 28 High Ranking Places listings (57%) had the keywords first in the Title Tag. 8 of the 28 High Ranking Places listings (29%) had the keywords first in the Title Tag.

How many Listings have the Business Name in the Title Tag?


17 of the 28 High Ranking listings (61%) have the Business Name in the website Title Tag. 15 of the 28 Low Ranking Places listings (53%) have the Business Name in the website Title Tag.



A few interesting observations…


When the O-Pack came out in late October, it didn’t take very long to realize that normal SEO ranking factors were now a very large part of local search. My studies have verified that to me. But, I also felt that there were some factors that were being overlooked.

Local Search is all about proving your local prominence through your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number. I couldn’t help but think that businesses would do well to include all of this information in a title tag. Only 1 business had their phone number in the Title Tag. None had their address. But, as I looked deep into the listings (past the top 7 in each category) I didn’t see any listings that had this information. It simply hasn’t been done on a large scale.

So, I ran a few tests and they seemed to look a lot like this….



My Thoughts On A Title Tag For Local Search


For rankings, I think it is very apparent that having the keyword phrase listed is extremely important and probably at the first. This is new in local but simply a transfer from our normal good ol’ SEO factors.

For Recognition, I think that it is very important to include your business name on your home page title tag. Many people try to stuff a title with only keywords. But from a local search perspective, you should be advertising your business on a lot more places that just online and if they search, see your business name and recognize it from either friends, billboards, print, phone books, or anything else, then the chance of you getting the click/call will go up dramatically. Does a business name effect rankings? I don’t know, but it doesn’t hurt them and I definitely think it will help your click through rate if it is included in your Title.

For Best Results, if you are in the top 7 then you better get to the top 5. I would much rather have control over what a user sees as the title to my listing than letting Google show only the business name.

There is a lot more information that I have found interesting during my research of the O-Pack results from Link Profiles to Reviews, and Citations to Category choices. I will be publishing more in the coming weeks, and will probably release the data sheet for anyone to see what they can find as well.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Make Mobile Friendly Website

We’ve noticed a rise in the number of questions from webmasters about how best to structure a website for mobile phones and how websites can best interact with Googlebot-Mobile. In this post we’ll explain the current situation and give you specific recommendations you can implement now.

Some Background

Let’s start with a simple question: what do we mean by “mobile phone” when talking about mobile-friendly websites?

A good way to answer this question is to think about the capabilities of the mobile phone’s web browser, especially in relation to the capabilities of modern desktop browsers. To simplify matters, we can break mobile phones into a few classifications:

1. Traditional mobile phones: Phones with browsers that cannot render normal desktop webpages. This includes browsers for cHTML (iMode), WML, WAP, and the like.
2. Smartphones: Phones with browsers that render normal desktop pages, at least to some extent. This category includes a diversity of devices, such Windows Phone 7, Blackberry devices, iPhones, and Android phones, and also tablets and eBook readers.

We can further break down this category by support for HTML5:
* Devices with browsers that do not support HTML5
* Devices with browsers that support HTML5

Once upon a time, mobile phones connected to the Internet using browsers with limited rendering capabilities; but this is clearly a changing situation with the fast rise of smartphones which have browsers that rival the full desktop experience. As such, it’s important to note that the distinction we are making here is based on the current situation as we see it and might change in the future.

Googlebot and Mobile Content

Google has two crawlers relevant to this topic: Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile. Googlebot crawls desktop-browser type of webpages and content embedded in them and Googlebot-Mobile crawls mobile content. The questions we’re seeing more of can be summed up as follows:

Given the diversity of capabilities of mobile web browsers, what kind of content should I serve to Googlebot-Mobile?

The answer lies in the User-agent that Googlebot-Mobile supplies when crawling. There are several User-agent strings in use by Googlebot-Mobile, all of which use this format:

[Phone name(s)] (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

To decide which content to serve, assess which content your website has that best serves the phone(s) in the User-agent string. A full list of Googlebot-Mobile User-agents can be found here.

Notice that we currently do not crawl with Googlebot-Mobile using a smartphone User-agent string. Thus at the current time, a correctly-configured content serving system will serve Googlebot-Mobile content only for the traditional phones described above, because that’s what the User-agent strings in use today dictate. This may change in the future, and if so, it may mean there would be a new Googlebot-Mobile User-agent string.

For now, we expect smartphones to handle desktop experience content so there is no real need for mobile-specific effort from webmasters. However, for many websites it may still make sense for the content to be formatted differently for smartphones, and the decision to do so should be based on how you can best serve your users.

URL Structure for Mobile Content

The next set of questions ask about the URLs mobile content should be served from. Let’s look in detail at some common use cases.
Websites with only Desktop Experience Content

Most websites currently have only one version of their content, namely in HTML that is designed for desktop web browsers. This means all browsers access the content from the same URL.

These websites may not be serving traditional mobile phone users. The quality experienced by their smartphone users depends on the mobile browser they are using and it could be as good as browsing from the desktop.

If you serve only desktop experience content for all User Agents, you should do so for Googlebot-Mobile too; that is, treat Googlebot-Mobile as you treat all other or unknown User Agents. In these cases, Google may modify your webpages for an improved mobile experience.

Websites with Dedicated Mobile Content

Many websites have content specifically optimized for mobile users. The content could be simply reformatted for the typically smaller mobile displays, or it could be in a different format (e.g., served using WAP, etc.).

A very common question we see is: Does it matter if the different types of content are served from the same URL or from different URLs? For example, some websites have www.example.com as the URL desktop browsers are meant to access and have m.example.com or wap.example.com for the different mobile devices. Other websites serve all types of content from just one URL structure like www.example.com.

For Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile, it does not matter what the URL structure is as long as it returns exactly what a user sees too. For example, if you redirect mobile users from www.example.com to m.example.com, that will be recognized by Googlebot-Mobile and both websites will be crawled and added to the correct index. In this case, use a 301 redirect for both users and Googlebot-Mobile.

If you serve all types of content from www.example.com, i.e. serving desktop-optimized content or mobile-optimized content from the same URL depending on the User-agent, this will also lead to correct crawling by Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile. This is not considered cloaking by Google.

It is worth repeating that regardless of URL structure, you must correctly detect the User-agent as given by your users and Googlebot-Mobile, and serve both the same content. Don’t forget to keep the default content, the desktop-optimized content, for when an unknown User-agent requests it.

Mobile Sitemaps in Webmaster Tools

Finally, we receive many questions about what URLs to put in Mobile Sitemaps. As explained in our Mobile Sitemaps Help Center articles, you should include only mobile content URLs in Mobile Sitemaps, even if these URLs also return non-mobile content when accessed by a non-mobile User-agent.

Article Source: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/02/making-websites-mobile-friendly.html

Monday, January 10, 2011

No More Facebook after March 15 - Weekly World News another False Update

This is another wrong update from World Weekly News, its same when the website reported previously Alien spaceships will attack earth in 2011. Read what the weekly news spreading about Facebook Shut Down story;

PALO ALTO, CA –Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be shut down in March. Managing the site has become too stressful.

“Facebook has gotten out of control,” said Zuckerberg in a press conference outside his Palo Alto office, “and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness.”

Zuckerberg went on to explain that starting March 15th, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts.

“After March 15th the whole website shuts down,” said Avrat Humarthi, Vice President of Technical Affairs at Facebook. “So if you ever want to see your pictures again, I recommend you take them off the internet. You won’t be able to get them back once Facebook goes out of business.”

Zuckerberg said that the decision to shut down Facebook was difficult, but that he does not think people will be upset.

“I personally don’t think it’s a big deal,” he said in a private phone interview. “And to be honest, I think it’s for the better. Without Facebook, people will have to go outside and make real friends. That’s always a good thing.”

Some Facebook users were furious upon hearing the shocking news.

“What am I going to do without Facebook?” said Denise Bradshaw, a high school student from Indiana. “My life revolves around it. I’m on Facebook at least 10 hours a day. Now what am I going to do with all that free time?”

However, parents across the country have been experiencing a long anticipated sense of relief.

“I’m glad the Facebook nightmare is over,” said Jon Guttari, a single parent from Detroit. “Now my teenager’s face won’t be glued to a computer screen all day. Maybe I can even have a conversation with her.”

Those in the financial circuit are criticizing Zuckerberg for walking away from a multibillion dollar franchise. Facebook is currently ranked as one of the wealthiest businesses in the world, with economists estimating its value at around 7.9 billion.

But Zuckerberg remains unruffled by these accusations. He says he will stand by his decision to give Facebook the axe.

“I don’t care about the money,” said Zuckerberg. “I just want my old life back.”

The Facebook Corporation suggests that users remove all of their personal information from the website before March 15th. After that date, all photos, notes, links, and videos will be permanently erased.

Article Source: http://weeklyworldnews.com/headlines/27321/facebook-will-end-on-march-15th/