Internet leader Google has been named the number one business brand in Britain by the Superbrands Council.
The organization uses an independent selection process, seeking the opinion of a council and a representative sample of consumers, and found the Internet Advertising giant to be the foremost brand in the UK.
Google is hugely popular and its way of working – which includes “twenty per cent time” whereby company engineers are encouraged to spend 20 per cent of their work time on projects that interest them – has obviously struck a chord with the public.
In December last year, Google was by far the leading provider of videos online, with Google sites (including YouTube), underlining the popularity of the site.
Arch-rival Microsoft, which provided a mere 1.8 per cent of online videos, was placed second in the Superbrands list.
Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the Superbrands Council, pointed out that companies need to ensure their brands are credible in a more uncertain economic time.
“Reputation is a company’s greatest asset and brand building is likely to become even more crucial over the next few years than in the last decade of stability,” he said.
Search engine giant Google is focusing its energies on developing free music downloads in China, as well as struggling to maintain the online advertising industry in the west.
Google is battling with Microsoft over its potential takeover of Yahoo!, which the search engine market leader claims would unfairly affect competition.
But in China, Google is also trying to secure a deal which would allow it to offer free music downloads from some of the world’s leading music companies.
The move is part of a strategic battle with Baidu.com, the online search engine which is currently dominating the Chinese market and causing some concern for Google.
Baidu.com gets a lot of its traffic from users searching for illegal music downloads and Google is hoping a legal, free service, would be able to prise some of the huge amounts of traffic onto its own sites.
The Chinese-based engine currently holds a 60 per cent share of the search market in China, compared to Google’s 26 per cent.
Internet users in the US watched a massive ten billion videos online in December, according to new figures from comScore.
The figures bode well for Internet Advertising companies, which are keen to develop this potentially lucrative market.
As expected, Google sites (including YouTube) received the most hits, with a total of 3.3 billion videos watched, representing 32.6 per cent of the total. Google was followed by Fox Interactive Media (with a 3.5 per cent share), Yahoo sites (3.4 per cent), Viacom Digital (2.3 per cent) and Microsoft (1.8 per cent).
Google’s dominance also partly explains why Microsoft is so keen to buy Yahoo, as together they would arguably be better-placed to take on Google.
“December represented a considerably strong month for online video viewing,” said comScore’s Erin Hunter.
“With the writer’s strike keeping new TV episodes from reaching the airwaves, viewers have been seeking alternatives for fresh content. It appears that online video is stepping in to help fill that void.”
On YouTube, 77.6 million US viewers watched 3.2 billion videos in December. Google is investigating various ways of implementing online advertising on the popular video sharing website.
Does putting two losers together make a winner, or just one big loser?
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has declared that combining his company with Yahoo would make the internet marketplace more competitive by establishing a strong number two in search and search advertising.
Then again it, maybe it will just make a weak number two. Microsoft and Yahoo have both been leaders in their own fields but in search, they suck. Put them together and they will still suck, in a bigger way.
These days it’s search that matters and the customers are discerning about it. The key to success is not brand or scale but the quality of the algorithm, and Google’s is the best.
Maybe Microsoft and Yahoo together can invent a better search algorithm than Google, but it’s doubtful. They haven’t done it separately and anyway Google is now making so much money it is attracting the best programmers who are constantly refining the algorithm that Sergey Brin and Larry Page invented in 1995.
It was then called ‘BackRub’, named for the way the algorithm analysed the “back links” that point to a website. Now it’s called PageRank, after Larry Page, and although the algorithm has been refined and added to over the past ten years, at its heart the system still computes a recursive score for web pages based on the weighted sum of the other websites that link to them.
That was the insight of Brin and Page: that the number of links to a website that are generated by other human beings is a good way to measure relevance based on human concepts of importance.
The other advantage of Google was that it focused on search. That meant it has a beautifully simple website, with nothing but a good brand, a search field and – for the first few years at least – the number of web pages being indexed. That number passed a billion pages in April 2000, which made the Google search offering astounding and compelling.
In February 1994, a year before Brin and Page started creating their search algorithm, Yahoo’s founders, Jerry Yang and David Filo, working in a trailer at Stanford University California, started organising their own web surfing into links that they saved as bookmarks. As the list of links got longer, they put them into categories and then sub-categories.
It was a pretty useful bunch of links, so they created a web page to make them easier to use and available to others. It was called ‘Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web’. That soon became too long so they used an acronym: Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle – that is, Yahoo
Word spread fast around the internet and Yahoo had its first million hit day in the autumn of 1994, which translated to 100,000 unique users. In April 1995 Yang and Filo got $2 million from Sequoia Capital, which had seed-funded Apple Computers, Oracle and Cisco Systems, and they were away.
So Yahoo is a directory site that added search later, when the company bought the Inktomi search engine in 2002.
Inktomi was developed in 1995 by Eric Brewer, at the University of Berkeley, and put more emphasis on keyword density than external links. It was a sort of wholesale search, designed to power the search engines of other websites, including AOL. In 2003 Yahoo also bought Overture, another wholesale search business.
Microsoft, meanwhile, was sound asleep, lying on the soft bed of the cash it was making from its Windows operating system monopoly. It eventually used the Inktomi/Yahoo search engine in msn.com, but basically Microsoft was caught out by Google’s advance in the same way IBM was caught out by Paul Allen’s and Bill Gates’ PC revolution during the 1980s.
The only other major search engine that survived the shake-out that followed the tech wreck is Ask Jeeves, later renamed ask.com, developed by Garrett Greuner and David Warthen. They had the idea of users being able to search using plain English questions; it was pretty cool, but never really took off, although Ask is still one of the top four search engines.
So there are four major search engines, but it’s Google, daylight, and then the other three.
The reason Google dominates is that its algorithm is still the most efficient – it most quickly searches the most pages and sorts them better than the others. It’s true that its brand is powerful and the advertising model produces so much cash that the company is a juggernaut, but those things derive from the quality of the search engine.
Google now is the market. Search engine optimisation (SEO) means manipulating or subverting Google to get a better ranking, and Google spends a fortune trying to maintain the integrity of its results. For example, there’s a ‘sandbox’ that you sit in for a few months while Google’s web crawlers inspect your website to make sure it’s kosher.
Brin, Page, Yang and Filo have themselves proved that on the internet scale does not matter – they succeeded when their businesses were small.
One day someone will challenge Google, but it’s unlikely to be Steve Ballmer.
You may or may not be aware, but Google has released a list of SEO do’s and dont’s that you should follow if you want any hope of being indexed and ranked in the search engines. Most SEO information is disputed, but when it comes from the BIG G’s mouth, you know it’s probably very true!
Ok, so maybe this isn’t breaking news – and although it’s been out for a while, Google has a small guide on what to do and what not to do when it comes to getting ranked in their glorious index. Again, while these are some common sense items, you’d be surprised at the amount of people that do not read it, and end up either suffering a drop in rankings, penalized, or banned from Google’s index all together.
I want to sum up the Do’s and Don’ts of Google’s guidelines to SEO best practices (not all of them, because some are extremely basic, so just the ones that you may have forgotten)
Have other sites link to yours (quality, relevant sites).
Submit a sitemap using your Google Webmaster Tools account.
Submit your site to quality, high authority directories in the appropriate category.
Make a site with text links and a clear hierarchy, and make sure every page is reachable by at least one static text link.
Create useful, unique, and clearly written content. Relevancy is key.
Make sure your TITLE tags and ALT tags are”descriptive and accurate” (see, even Google recommends this – told you I wasn’t BS’ing!)
Maintain clean HTML code.
Keep the outgoing links on a particular page under 100.
Make it easy for search bots to crawl your site without error.
Make use of the robots.txt file to limit crawling on pages that aren’t useful to visitors.
Make pages for users, not search engines. (It’s fine to optimize your page, but don’t do nasty spammy things just to get the search engine’s to look for it)
Don’t have any broken links on your site.
Don’t use hidden text or hidden links (people, doing that is soooo 2002, and will get you heavily penalized)
Don’t cloak or use “sneaky” redirects.
Don’t load pages with keywords or keyphrases. This is spam, and Google knows it.
Don’t send automated queries to Google.
Don’t create duplicate content. (This will kill your rankings most of the time)
Don’t create pages that install bad things (trojan’s, viruses, malware, etc..) – kind of a no brainer anyway.
If you participate in an affiliate program, don’t provide duplicate, run of the mill content. Provide useful, relevant content for the user.
DON’T participate in linking schemes!!! Bloggers pay attention to that one. So many of those viral linking posts go around, and they are just not good for business.
That’s why you rarely see the bigger A-list blogs take part, because they know it’s bad for rankings. Resist the temptation to gain 30 extra links overnight (do you really think Google doesn’t know what’s up with that, c’mon….).
So, what you just read comes from the horses mouth itself, and I personally agree that you can’t go wrong by following the above advice. I take it for granted sometimes that people know all of this stuff, but I see it every single day that people will still try to keyword stuff, white text on white background, cloak, and all sorts of nasty things. Rarely, there are a few that get away with this and achieve good rankings, however, those rankings don’t last long at all.
Google is all knowing, and will catch you eventually. You can bet on that.
To read the entire paper from Google, check it out here.
Looks like we have coursed a little stir within the SEO community in Canada,especially in the Winnipeg area where I new office is to open shortly, not before time may I add as Canadians spend more time online than any other country, have more connected households than anyone else and most are still in the dark ages when it comes to online marketing for there business.
Yes a new office in Winnipeg, another soon in BC and newly trained staff are ready to bring the world of search engine optimization and online marketing to the Canuck’s.
It’s going to be tough, these guys have heard it all before, they have either been ripped off by some website design company who profess to be SEO’s, been shafted by individuals who think SEO Winnipeg is being listed on top of Google AdWords and the list goes on, we have heard some horrendous stories within the last 6 month’s in Winnipeg while setting up the new global office.
All is not lost, we have been inundated with requests from every Province, why, because we get the job done right, we get results and we get return on investment, not hard to work out really, that’s all that anyone could ask, after all is that not what they pay us for.
So if your in need of an SEO company in Canada or search engine optimization in Toronto, a SEO consultant in Vancouver, a trusted SEO company in Winnipeg, SEO services in Calgary, website optimization in Montreal or an seo expert in Quebec, please give us call, it’s free and you have nothing to lose.
We work with company’s large and small from $100k – $100 million turnover, be the best you can, make that call today. SEO Winnipeg 204 942 4200
Below is list of names of some of the perceived experts in seo and Internet marketing,
Aaron Wall, Bill Slawski, Jim Boykin, Jeremy Schoemaker, Jill Whalen, Bruce Clay Barry Schwartz, Danny Sullivan, Dave Naylor and others.
I am sure most people in the industry will have come across or heard of these people, what makes them who they are? I personally know a few of them myself and from what I have seen do great work, I would love to see some answers on this please,
but Im guessing here,
but could it be fees they charge for there work?
results they achieve for clients?
or just be that they seem to be at every SEO marketing Internet show, they get out there and like to be seen?
Question, I know one so called SEO Expert, there retainer for consultancy is $300,000 per year to each client, they have other experienced seo’s in the company who work for a lot less.
They where making $2 million a year in the early 2000’s on affiliate websites.
They worked with both Yahoo & Google on PPC in the early days helping them improve the products we know today.
Google even paid an out of court settlement in 2004 to this person after a 2 year high court battle, along with a gagging order included not to divulge information about the company, it algorithms, its workings etc before the Big G’s floatation. I know that they are now free to speak if they wish, but will they?
Today they still work with some of the best known companies worldwide.
Who is this person?
Ideas are a plenty, do you know them?
Some people may be surprised to find out, they rarely ever post on forums, keep a reasonably low profile, don’t show up at shows and don’t write books.
All will be revealed in 2008
Let me have your thoughts
Off-Site SEO refers to search engine optimization techniques that are not performed on your own website or page, and are therefore termed “off-site.”
You see, these days, optimizing the content on your pages is not enough. For effective SEO you need help from other websites in the form of incoming links, commonly referred to as backlinks.
That’s basically what off-site SEO is all about – getting quality links relevant to your topic to assist the search engines in establishing what your web page focuses on. You can think of each backlink as a vote for your page. This is what Google’s PageRank measures, albeit in a complex way, taking many factors into consideration.
There are many ways to get backlinks; unfortunately, few of them are quick and easy. Here are some options:
Creating content that makes people link to it
Doing link exchanges
Getting directory listings
Writing and syndicating articles
Making forum postings
Posting comments to theme related blogs
One link from a high quality site is worth tens from a poor site. And linking to bad sites can negatively effect your own website’s rankings.
One-way links into your website from another are of greater value than reciprocal links from carrying out link exchanges.
Links to your pages should use the relevant keywords in the anchor text. Use several variations on this text if you plan to create a high number of backlinks to a page. You’ll get better results and it looks more natural to the search engines, keeping you below the radar.
It’s generally best to avoid organized link exchanges or link farms. In the vast majority of cases they will harm, not help you. This is because the search engines see it as manipulation of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) and punish linked websites when they discover the network.
Although I’ve summarized link building in just a few sentences, don’t underestimate how important off-site SEO is. Good backlinks with targeted keyword anchor text carry so much weight these days that if it’s done well it’s entirely possible to rank a website highly for terms not even occurring on the page.
The advice on SEO in these 2 articles is all you need to start getting your pages ranking highly for traffic generating keywords. You just need to get on and do it, and be prepared to spend the time good off-site SEO requires. The more high rankings you get, the greater their influence on your overall rankings, and the easier it will become to tackle more difficult keyword phrases
I keep on getting asked by newbies so here goes
Search Engine Optimization is broken down into two segments. Aspects of onsite changes to make your site more spider friendly and Offsite keyword text backlinking.
From an on site SEO perspective, consistency and placement of your keywords are important. Spider read a page top to bottom left to right. Therefore your major keywords should be consistent from your Meta tags all the way down to your footer page. Consistency in Syntax as well a prominence. Interlinking your site with keyword text links not only helps navigation of your site but it improves your keyword density.
There is much discussion in regard to the keyword density as to what is considered a non spam factor. Each page should have about 350-500 words per page with a keyword density of no more than 7-10%. Keyword density is also considered in your graphic alt text as well as hyperlinks.
Generally speaking, if your keyword looks stuffed, it is.
Basic On site SEO Factors:
Title Tag ( with Keyword)
Meta Description ( Consistent with Title Tag)
Meta Keywords ( Consistent with Title tag and Description)
H1 Tags ( with Keyword)
Graphic Alt Text ( with Keyword)
Keyword Density in body text
Keyword in Menu Links
Footer Page with Keyword Text Links
Off site linking is generally though of as the most effective way to raise in the search engine rankings. However if your on site SEO is not complete you are battling an up hill battle.
When planning your off site linking strategy you need to keep in mind that reciprocal links are considered devalued through the latest round of algorithm updates. Textual Keyword Rich links from various C-block IP address are the best links possible.
There are many ways to receive quality links.
Some of the top linking strategies to receive quality links come from the following venues:
SEO Friendly directories
Growing your links in a consistent manor is also relevant. Creating 1000’s of links in a short period of time could set up red flags. You will receive many links via RSS Feeds from the sources described above and be successful in your linking campaign.
Getting Search Engine rankings can take time depending on your keywords, but consistency and effort both on site and off site will bring you the desired results.
Declaring that Internet search is currently broken, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is trying to fix it. And he wants your help.
After several months of development and acquisitions to assemble the infrastructure needed to build a viable search engine, Wikia Search service goes live today. Wikia Search is a product of Wikia Inc., a for-profit company wholly separate from the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that was founded in 2004 and oversees Wikipedia.
Following a brief period of private alpha testing, today’s unveiling is billed as a “public alpha release.” Wales has freely admitted that today’s launch is something of a test drive, and that the application will continue to see substantial modifications and updates.
With the community-driven, open-source search engine, Wales is hoping to transform Internet search, which he describes as currently dominated by a few large companies operating under a cloak of secrecy with virtually no accountability for how results are served up or pages are ranked.
“The philosophical background here is that I’m a very big advocate of openness and transparency,” Wales told InternetNews.com. The best parts of the Web are largely absent from the proprietary protocols of the major search engines, he said.
“My view here is that there’s an opportunity to change that.”
Starting from www.wikia.com, users can navigate to an unadorned search page that Wales compared to Google’s for its deceptive spareness — like Google, the Wikia Search launch page is just the tip of the iceberg.
Wales said that Wikia Search is both a social network and a search engine. On the site, users register, create profiles and are able to perform all the typical functions of a social networking site – messaging friends, uploading photos, etc.
The search engine serves up results as a series of links ranked in order of relevance, just as Google and Yahoo do (enter a query; receive a list of results), but the similarities end there.
Applying the collaborative editing approach that is the essence of a wiki, registered users can contribute to a mini-article that appears at the top of the results page, Wales said.
Users can click on the links and rank the relevance of the result to the search term on a scale of one to five; their evaluations are then fed back into the algorithm to improve the quality of information delivered.
Building a search engine from the ground up, with results delivered and refined the using the same approach that made Wikipedia the Web’s favorite general reference site, is not going to be an overnight process, Wales admitted. Just looking at the near future, “we’d be ecstatic if we grabbed 5 percent of the market,” Wales said.
The push toward community-driven search began in earnest in July, when Wikia announced the acquisition of Grub, the open source search project that harnesses the distributed processing power of individuals’ computers to crawl the Web.
The Grub Web crawler is just one of many technologies cobbled together to power Wikia Search, Wales said. On the back end, Apache efforts Lucene and Nutch shoulder the brunt of the search and indexing responsibilities. The front end, which handles the user interactions, such as the comments and rankings, is written in Java.
Wales said that Wikia Inc. is still exploring monetization methods for the search engine, but that, in a general sense, it would employ some form of an advertising model. No commercial partners have been announced.
Delivering search results through open source algorithms that evolve through community rankings begs the same question of user abuse that has dogged Wikipedia from time to time.
Search engine optimization is a microindustry in its own right these days. Asked about the concern that by turning the algorithms and rankings over to the community, Wikia Search could be a ripe target for gaming the search engine to artificially boost site rankings, Wales demurred.
“My view is that sunlight is the best disinfectant,” he said. “Talk with security experts and they will tell you that security through obscurity is a bad idea,” adding that the policing of Wikia Search will work in a very similar manner as it does on Wikipedia.
“We have a community that is in charge of the editorial content” that will be able to identify and block the bad apples who aren’t playing by the rules. Ultimately, SEO will be less of an issue for Wikia Search than it is currently with Google, Yahoo and the other major search engines, Wales said.
“I feel that this is going to be one of our strengths.”
Wales said he’s taking an organic approach to the development of the editorial community and that his own involvement will be extensive.
He wasn’t didn’t specifically answer whether there’ll be censorship or banning of rogue community members for trying to game the system?
“I have a general philosophy that’s served me very well: Avoid excessive a priori thinking – wait and see … we’ll see how it unfolds.”