Category Archives: seo

Steady Growth

After being in the website business as long as anybody has been in this business, there is one attribute we have decided that helps is more than any other, patience. It has become much easier to be a patient because we have money, and a strong belief in the future of what we do.

Look at these two charts comparing January 2011 to January 2012. If you make the mistake of measuring your growth from the beginning of each month till the end, it’s hard to see any increase. However, if you’re patient for a year the growth becomes quite apparent.

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Cremation-USA

Web-Op started this cremation site in November of this year www.cremation-USA.com. You can see the growth in the chart above. We have opened a service office in Ogden, Utah and have been enjoying a pretty good amount of success after just a few months. We are ranking first page for hundreds of US cities already. Check out this one. We’ll keep you updated.

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2 Reputation Management Tips

Web-Op has dealt with countless companies – large and small – that have found themselves on the receiving end of negative press. It only takes a few comments on pissedconsumer.com or ripoffreport.com to have a negative effect on your business’s online reputation. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to push this negative press off the first page of Google.

(1)   Create profiles for your company on websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace. Remember that it is important to show activity on these websites to get them to rank. Just creating them isn’t enough. Post something regularly, build a few links to them, and watch each profile page rise in the search engines. Below are a number of websites you can create profiles on. Each one of these rank extremely well.

  1. Twitter.com
  2. Linkedin.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Digg.com
  5. WordPress.com
  6. Google.com/profiles
  7. Quora.com
  8. About.me
  9. Formspring.me

(2)  Buy other domains such as websitenamereviews.com, websitenametestimonials.com, and websitenamecomplaints.com. We recommend looking at Google suggestions to start. These days keyword rich domains rank extremely well. Your $8 purchase will be well worth it.

Remember that negative comments added to powerful domains like pissedconsumer.com can rank for your business name extremely fast. Being proactive about your online reputation can minimize the impact of one unhappy client’s comment.

Beware SEO Email Scams

Trevor got this interesting email today regarding a domain we purchased a few months ago. The email is shockingly deceptive:

Attn Bailey, Trevor

This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your search engine registration for COSMETICSURGEONNORTHCAROLINA.COM.

Failure to complete your search engine registration by Jan 26, 2011 may result in the cancellation of this offer (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).

Your registration includes search engine submission for COSMETICSURGEONNORTHCAROLINA.COM for 1 year. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer by Jan 26, 2011. This notice is not an invoice. It is a courtesy reminder to register COSMETICSURGEONNORTHCAROLINA.COM for search engine listing so that your customers can locate you on the web.

The email points to this link – which is clearly an invoice.

The domain is registered to:

Mark Denaro
RG
200 Park Avenue South
New York
NY
10003
US
Phone: +1.13474605327

Which I’m guessing is a faked registration as the number format appears to be invalid. Fortunately Google provides some good advice on how to steer clear of these scams. From the Official Google Blog:

How to identify scams and other schemes

In general, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some pointers on what to look out for:

  • Before you fill out a form or give someone a credit card, do a web search to see what other people are saying about the company and its practices.
  • Be wary of companies that ask for upfront charges for services that Google actually offers for free. Check out our business solutions page before writing a check.
  • Always read the fine print. Watch out for get-rich-quick schemes that charge a very low initial fee before sneaking in large reoccurring charges on your credit card or bank account.
  • Google never guarantees top placement in search results or AdWords — beware of companies that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a special relationship with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or through the Sitemaps program — you can do these tasks yourself at no cost whatsoever.

Ranking Considerations: Order of Keywords.

For years, the common SEO logic was that the order of keywords didn’t matter. “Widget purple” and “Purple widget” will perform roughly the same in terms of results.

While this has been good for promoting more awkwardly-phrased domains, it appears it no longer holds water.

Compare, for example “arizona seo” and “seo arizona”. While we conquered them both, notice how the lower listings are completely in different orders.

This is significant for two reasons:
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Domains are the Weaker Investment

I’ve been following the domaining industry for a few months now. You know these people. They’re the ones who invented ‘what you need, when you need it’. The low value “parked page” site stuffed with low-quality pay-per-click links, or the “mini-site” with three pages of cursorily-researched content and a whole lot of AdSense.

While it’s often seen as a grand investment strategy– building a portfolio of names and holding them for sale, it’s actually a very weak strategy.
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Local SEO Dos and Don’ts:

Do write copy with local language. You know the sort of things I mean- is it “pop” or “soda”? Matching their word choice ensures you match their search terms.

Don’t stuff pages with zip codes and city names. It’s spammy and frequently chasing no-volume searches. A rank for a popular -search term- in Mesa beats ten low-volume -search term- in 85215 rankings.

Do use secondary means to imply your locality. Make sure the phone number, especially a local one, appears in text. Licence numbers are a good excuse to mention local authorities. Reference local codes, or charities you support in the area. It helps with semantic analysis– these words go with your address, reinforcing your relevance for the area.

Don’t get too wrapped up in trying to handle out-of-area leads. Some firms believe they can turn into a firm that sells business to others- if they rank for every city. Good luck unless it’s a full commitment thing. Finding shops out of town can be a hassle, and you can end up spending all your time running the side business.

Do claim your business in local sites. Aside from adding link value, it ensures they’re under your control to see reviews and spam.

Don’t buy any services from local sites. Most of them are just selling Google traffic, and you can outrank ’em and get users directly.

Do promote cross-media. Search is big, but some businesses still benefit from brick-and-mortar messages or social-network activity to put the service in front of a visitor at their need. The more emergency your service is, the less non-search brand you have to build, but there’s still merit in being the brand a visitor recalls from other media.

Don’t go for excessively labor-intensive promotions. Give the visitor a coupon; don’t expect him to Like you on Facebook before you’ll cut him a promotion. It becomes analogous to the shops which demand 20 page forms for their discount-club card.

New Google Patent Monitors Your Mouse On SERPs

A few days ago, this google patent application was awarded a patent that details a

“System and method for modulating search relevancy using pointer activity monitoring “

according to the patent title and abstract. If you read on, it explains that the data the patent suggests collecting is the mouse location on page and hover duration. What could this mean for SEO?

The simple answer is that there’s a new factor influencing rankings. The patent calls it the “client attention coefficient.” That wording suggests that it will have a direct effect on how “relevancy” is calculated for all Google searches. Any time a search engine makes a change in how they rank sites it’s reflected in the rankings. That may sound obvious, but it’s something every good SEO thinks about when changes start happening. Should Google incorporate this mouse tracking idea into their search engine it could produce some interesting results both good and bad. One thing we know is that we’d have to start paying more attention to how our indexed pages appear on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages.)

When Google builds a SERP for a search query it takes the titles and descriptions of the results and serves them up as a vertically aligned list with higher ranking pages at the top. The typical searcher begins scanning with their eyes at the page and sometimes follow with a mouse pointer. Referring back to the patent, this shouldn’t have a direct effect because the patent proposes a timer or “threshold value” that would filter out times when a cursor “temporarily passes through [these] regions.” However, this doesn’t change the fact that the results at the top are more likely to get mouse pointer attention. Depending on how much weight Google assigns to this new metric this could strengthen the barrier-to-entry for new rankings even more.
    The “client attention coefficient” might also accidentally favor indexed pages with longer titles and descriptions. The two search results below illustrate an example case.

google search result that takes up a small space

google search result that takes up a large space

A result that shows up on a serp (search engine results page) looking like the first result might not hold a visitor’s attention as long as the second. Another advantage the second has over the first is that it simply occupies more space on the page. It will grab more mouse time because of this but, Google’s engineers aren’t dumb. I bet they’ve already thought up a solution but there’s no best way around it. There will be some artificial-ness leaking into the organic rankings.

We won’t know how effective it is in improving results until Google actually implements it if they ever do. They may never implement this hopefully out of respect for our privacy. Hopefully we can prevent Google from looking through visitor’s webcams and tracking eye movement across the page. Anyone want to file that one now before Google does?