Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Dev Basu’ Category

By Dev Basu

Local Search Expert and Unofficial Google Places employee Mike Blumenthal has put together a fantastic infographic that pulls in the intricate nature of local search optimization in a very digestible manner.  Mike’s infographic also offers up an overview of online marketing, and a glossary of the different terms used in local search optimization and what they mean to you as a business owner.

Here’s an embed of the infographic. See the longform version of Owning Your Local Web Presence at Mike’s blog.

Web Equity Infographic

Web Equity by Mike Blumenthal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.blumenthals.com.

Read more: http://www.poweredbysearch.com/infographic-owning-your-local-web-presence/#ixzz1Hz51Gqyh

Reposted from Powered By Search

Dev Basu is a Toronto based Search Engine Optimization, Local Search, Internet Marketing, and Social Media Expert. Dev is the founder and CEO of Powered by Search, an internet marketing agency based in Toronto. He blogs on the topic of Local Search and Small business marketing at his personal blog, Search Marketing Insights.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Dev Basu

Google recently released what is being touted as the Farmer Update, which is essentially their response to cracking down low quality search results and spam, by effectively removing sites that generate and promote content which is either duplicated, syndicated, minutely re-purposed, or which isn’t substantive.

In an effort to improve the quality of their index, Google’s battle against spammers isn’t new by any means, but it has been heating up over the last year. In part, this is due to major content farms such as Demand Media, Mahalo, and even the Huffington Post creating content en masse which barely passes Google’s duplicate content filters.

12% of US Search Results Will Be Affected

Although Google makes over 500+ changes to its algorithm or ‘secret recipe’ for ranking search results, this change will be its biggest yet, with other such changes having occurred in 2003′s Florida Update, and 2009′s Vince Update . To put this into perspective, several billion search results will be impacted and sites which do not offer up content that passes Google’s algorithmic filters stand a lot to lose.

Who’s Impacted?

Although the Farmer Update isn’t categorically targeted towards Content Farms, they do stand the most to lose in the search rankings. As per Google’s blog post the update  ”is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.” By this definition, the following types of sites will be affected:

  • Content Farms – Examples include Demand Media, eHow, Huffington Post, Mahalo, and Article Marketing sites.
  • E-Commerce Sites which do not have substantive or unique content on product descriptions. This is typical of data-feed driven e-commerce sites.
  • Scraper Websites – Websites which syndicate or scrape content and repost it.
  • Coupon Driven Websites – Like E-Commerce sites, these do not generally provide substantially unique or useful content.

Are Canadian Businesses Going to Be Affected?

Canadian businesses that sell within Canada are not affected at this point in time as the algorithmic test are only taking place on US Google.com results. However, Canadian businesses who sell through to customers in the United States may be affected if their websites are deemed to have low-quality content, as per Google’s algorithm.

Typically, there aren’t the same type of large content farms found in Canada like there are in the United States. However, businesses small and large should be aware that prior and existing search engine optimization campaigns which may have involved content marketing strategies which are not likely to pass Google’s new algorithmic filter, will be de-valued.

How to Survive Google’s Algorithmic Slap

As per Google’s blog post, high quality sites with “original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”, will tend to rank higher in the search results, and effectively be rewarded for their editorial contributions.

For almost anyone who depends on organic search traffic, this change necessitates the need for higher quality content creation with the key focus involving the creation of unique, substantive, and useful content. Interestingly, Google’s blog post confirms that it’s algorithmic change ‘smart’ and thinks like its user do. In an extract from Google engineer, Amit Singhal’s blog post, he mentions:

“It’s worth noting that this update does not rely on the feedback we’ve received from the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension, which we launched last week. However, we did compare the Blocklist data we gathered with the sites identified by our algorithm, and we were very pleased that the preferences our users expressed by using the extension are well represented. If you take the top several dozen or so most-blocked domains from the Chrome extension, then this algorithmic change addresses 84% of them, which is strong independent confirmation of the user benefits.”

Reposted from Powered By Search

Dev Basu is a Toronto based Search Engine Optimization, Local Search, Internet Marketing, and Social Media Expert. Dev is the founder and CEO of Powered by Search, an internet marketing agency based in Toronto. He blogs on the topic of Local Search and Small business marketing at his personal blog, Search Marketing Insights.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Dev Basu

Anyone in the local search space knows that Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) directories have been making a huge play in SEO over the past few years, as a two-pronged strategy to win organic search traffic and make up for shrinking print directories. But have you ever wondered which one’s had the best overall SEO visibility amongst Canadian IYPs? Over at my work blog for Powered by Search, Shagun Vatsa and I answered just that question. Here’s the methodology we used:

We ran ranking checks on 1100 heading + city keywords based on the following parameters:

  • Generic Canadian IYPs and citation sources we used based on their overall authority, web presence and traffic volume.
  • Top 11 Yellow Pages headings were chosen based on the Yellow Pages Association’s 2005-2009 YPA Local Media Tracking Study.
  • 100 largest Canadian cities by population were chosen based on the  Canada 2001 and 2006 census.
  • Keyword searches were performed on Google Canada English search engine.
  • Keyword searches were performed in the following format: <Heading>+<City> (eg: Car Dealers Toronto).
  • The final results are based on the visibility of the selected IYPs and how often they ranked in the top 10 organic search results.
  • The keyword rankings were processed through a software rank checker, which ultimately means that the data is close to 100% but may have errors due to time-outs or no results being returned.

The results were interesting to say the least, but in order to find out what they were, head over to the Powered by Search blog now.

Original Source: The 2010 Canadian IYP SEO Study

Reposted from Powered By Search

Dev Basu is a Toronto based Search Engine Optimization, Local Search, Internet Marketing, and Social Media Expert. Dev is the founder and CEO of Powered by Search, an internet marketing agency based in Toronto. He blogs on the topic of Local Search and Small business marketing at his personal blog, Search Marketing Insights.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Dev Basu

If you’re frustrated with your Adwords and need customer support, what’s an SMB to do if they can’t find that information easily? Google hasn’t won any customer service awards recently, but over the years they have improved the level of service from being non-existent to being somewhat hard to find. Here are three resources to get in touch with them, in order of the shortest response times:

Google Adwords Chat Support

Get in touch with an Adwords rep after filling in information regarding your campaign and your particular adwords issues. Service is generally very fast, and most reps are transparent and provide insightful advice on your account. Email transcripts are also available. If a rep is unable to solve your issue on the spot, they will take down your details and contact you with a specified time frame.

Here’s the link to  Google Adwords Chat Support

Google Adwords Forum

The forum is the best place to get multiple opinions on your Adwords issue from other users and Google staff alike. It’s also a good place to learn tips and tricks related to Adwords.

Here’s the link to the Google Adwords Help Forum

Google Adwords Feedback Form

Sometimes you’ll notice a competitor having ads up that are against the TOS or ad guidelines. If you’re up to complaining about these slipping through the system, you can use this feedback form.

What to Do When All Else Fails

Hire an Adwords Qualified consultant or company to review your account, suggest changes, and either restructure it to improve performance or manage it on an on-going basis. You can find a list of qualified partners through the Google Adwords Partner Search.

Reposted from Powered By Search

Dev Basu is a Toronto based Search Engine Optimization, Local Search, Internet Marketing, and Social Media Expert. Dev is the founder and CEO of Powered by Search, an internet marketing agency based in Toronto. He blogs on the topic of Local Search and Small business marketing at his personal blog, Search Marketing Insights.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Dev Basu

The folks over at Milwaukee Search Engine Optimization have put together a great infographic on SEO which I thought I would share with you. This Infographic about search engine statistics shows data from 2006-2010 (including a prediction about 2014)

Reposted from Powered By Search

Dev Basu is a Toronto based Search Engine Optimization, Local Search, Internet Marketing, and Social Media Expert. Dev is the founder and CEO of Powered by Search, an internet marketing agency based in Toronto. He blogs on the topic of Local Search and Small business marketing at his personal blog, Search Marketing Insights.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

Part 4 – This is the final installment in Dev’s extensive series on Local Search Optimization. See the links to Parts 1,2 are 3 below.

By Dev Basu

So you’ve claimed your listing and can finally find yourself on the major search engines when you search your business name and the city you’re located in. But you might be asking yourself, “Why can’t I find myself for <insert city> + <your services> yet?” One of the reasons your listing doesn’t rank is because it does not have enough citation data aggregated via your local business profile, such as your Google Place page.

In order to “get found,” you’ve got to start building citations to your listing, much like building links to your website for organic SEO rankings. At its core, citations can be of two types, structured and unstructured.  Structured citations come from third-party data providers that the search engines know and trust as business data providers. Unstructured citations would include any reference to your business’ name, phone number, or URL on any given web page recognized by a search engine.

Most citations will at the very least contain the following:

  • Your DBA Name
  • Business Phone Number
  • Business Website URL
  • Business Categorization

You may also find citation sources that allow more rich information about your business, such as the ability to include pictures, videos, extended information such as your business hours, and even reviews and customer ratings. All of this extra information will help you rank in local search, so I encourage you to complete your citation profiles to be as complete as possible.

Essentially, citations are the search engine’s way of validating the popularity and credibility of your business, especially since it is difficult to fake a business’ inclusion in a chamber of commerce, print business directory, or government website.

Web citations come in many forms, but the most common ones include:

On my site I’ve compiled a list of the 20 Best Local SEO Citation Sources for the United States for you to use. That being said, you can either choose to build these manually, use an agency or Local SEO specialist to manage your citation building process, or use a syndication service and business data management service such as Universal Business Listings or Localeze.

Before you begin building your citations, I have 6 actionable tips to offer you:

  1. Always use your Doing Business AS (DBA) name in all your citations.
  2. Avoid keyword stuffing or mis-categorization.
  3. Do not use call tracking phone numbers in your citations.
  4. Use your main website as your primary business website URL
  5. Do complete all available options related to your business information available at each citation source.
  6. Be patient, since citations take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to show up in your local business profiles

Part 1 The Rise of Local SEO and the Death of the Yellow Pages

Part 2 How to Claim and Optimize your listings on search engines

Part 3 8 Steps to Building an Optimized Local Business Listing

Dev Basu is a Toronto based Search Engine Optimization, Local Search, Internet Marketing, and Social Media Expert. Dev is the founder and CEO of Powered by Search, an internet marketing agency based in Toronto. He blogs on the topic of Local Search and Small business marketing at his personal blog, Search Marketing Insights.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

Part 3

Part 1 The Rise of Local SEO and the Death of the Yellow Pages

Part 2 How to Claim and Optimize your listings on search engines

By Dev Basu

Now that you’ve claimed your listings and verified them, it’s time to optimize them. This article will contain little fluff and lots of actionable advice, so let’s get started:

Optimizing your Google Places Page (formerly known as Google Local Business Center) listing consists of paying attention to the following steps as you fill out your business profile:

  1. Basic Business Information
  2. Email, Description, and Website
  3. Business Category Selection
  4. Service Areas
  5. Hours of Operation and Payment Options
  6. Images and Videos
  7. Additional Details
  8. Review and Submitting Your Listing

Profile completeness is a ranking factor within Google’s local listings. Profiles that are more complete have better rankings than ones that are less complete, so it’s important to fill out the entire business profile.
Nick Thomas of G5 Search Marketing submitted this to Blumenthals.com 4-Aug-2009.

Step 1: Include Basic Business Information

This includes filling out the required fields such as Country, Company/Organization, Street Address, City/Town, State, ZIP, Main Phone, and Fax numbers.

Make sure you use the actual DBA (Doing Business As) name for your company and that your address information is reflective of your actual address. Fill out the fields as accurately as possible, since Google will attempt to cross-reference them with information from other business databases that mention your company.

Step 2: E-mail, Description, and Address Display Options

  1. Use an e-mail address that is associated with your website domain such as info@yourdomain.com
  2. Use the 200-character limit in the description to accurately describe your business including product and service areas where possible. The business description should answer the following questions:
    • Who are you?
    • What do you do?
    • Where are you located? Where areas do you cover?
  3. Fill in your website details. If you do not have a website, it’s best to at least have a one page website freely available through any of the many free website builders.

Step 3: Business Category Selection

Selecting the right categories can make or break your chance at ranking prominently within Google’s 7-pack, that is, their list of seven similar businesses and organizations in your area.

Google offers one main category and four related categories to help define your services. Start typing in the main categorization of your business and you’ll find that Google Places will suggest a category for you choose. Choose the most appropriate suggestion as your main category and then proceed to fill in related categories or other services your business offers.

In the past, you may have heard that it is a good idea to stuff city or location keywords into your categories. While this was true last year, it is no longer effective and can even be detrimental to your rankings.

If the suggested keywords do not match your business services appropriately, you can you use custom categories. Employ this Blumenthal’s Google LBC Categories Preview tool to find synonyms that are recognized by Google Places. For example, identified synonyms for the suggested category “Lawyers” include:

attorney
attorneys
defense
DUI
family law
findlaw
law firm
law firms
lawyer
pro bono

Step 4: Service Areas

In recent months, Google Places has offered the option for businesses to define their service areas. This is especially useful, at least in theory, for mobile businesses such as plumbers, roofers, and other contractors, and home-based businesses. Unfortunately, Google Places still places more trust in brick and mortar based businesses than mobile businesses. Our testing has proven that selecting service areas results in a sharp drop in rankings. As per Google Place guidelines however, this is the only way for mobile or home-based business to represent itself on Google Places.

Google Places also offers the option to hide your business address completely, in case you want to keep your business address private.

Step 5: Hours of Operation and Payment Options

Filling these details out accurately will help you get closer to a 100% complete Google Places listing. You can also select split hours in case your business is open at different times during each day.

Step 6: Images and Videos

Adding images and videos not only helps your local business listing become more interactive, it also counts toward a 100% complete listing.

Make use of this option and upload some of your business related photos. They can help your customers get an idea of what to expect when they visit or call you. For example, if you are a real estate agent, you can upload pictures of some of the recent properties that you have sold. Be sure you upload 10 images to help make your profile complete.

You can also upload business videos to your local business profile. These can be promotional videos, company messages, and DIY or how-to videos for your customers. Google Places gives you an option to showcase up to five videos. While more videos provide increased interactive content for your customers, only one video contributes towards profile completeness.

Step 7: Additional Details

This section allows you to provide all additional details you wish to tell your customers about your business. You may add multiple fields, but only one is needed to count towards profile completeness. Example fields where you may add appropriate keywords include options such as parking availability, free estimates or quotes, or awards your business may have won.

A rarely known fact is that you can also add links in your local business listing to your Twitter or Facebook pages. Just add a field called “Follow us on Twitter” or “Follow us on Facebook” and copy the full URL for your Facebook or Twitter Profile into the field on the right hand side.

Step 8: Review and Submit Your Listing

Re-check your listing data to check for accuracy, then click the submit button to save your changes. In about an hour or so — and sometimes faster than that — Google Places will have picked up your listing. If you are in an non-competitive market, you may already have a place in the 7-pack of local business results. If you don’t show up on the first page don’t be discouraged, because in my next article, I’ll explain how to building citations or “links to your listings” that can strongly impact your rankings.

Monday- Part 4 – How to Promote and Syndicate Your Local Business Listings

Dev Basu is a Toronto based Search Engine Optimization, Local Search, Internet Marketing, and Social Media Expert. Dev is the founder and CEO of Powered by Search, an internet marketing agency based in Toronto. He blogs on the topic of Local Search and Small business marketing at his personal blog, Search Marketing Insights.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »