Comment on Is Social the New Google? by Vinay Kashyap

Hey sorry this one is out of topic but how did everyone else here got a profile pic and I din’t?

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Advanced SEO For Ecommerce: Maximizing Keyword Spread

Advanced SEO For Ecommerce: Maximizing Keyword Spread

Maximizing the search engine visibility of your eCommerce website, for qualified queries, is perhaps the most important role SEO has to play in selling products online.

The idea of keyword spread is similar to an approach taken by stock options traders called a condor option; you are essentially increasing your keyword opportunities while lowering your overall risk.
Condor stock optionBy spreading your search engine rankings for as many qualified keywords as possible you are exponentially increasing the probability that your site will be seen and hopefully visited.

And to be fair (and clear) this strategy is not just for eCommerce, but for the purposes of this post I am going to focus on selling online, looking at websites that are effectively ranking for eCommerce intent keywords from head to long tail.

The nuts and bolts of this concept is about making sure you position the right content, for the right time, for the right person. If you’re taking a strategic approach to keyword spread, then your visitors are getting the right page at the right point in the conversion funnel, based on their search behavior and intent.

Don't Pitch Me Bro!

Think of this as more of a keyword funnel where the top of the funnel is informational and navigational-based content; content that helps to inform the visitor, present them with facts, data, and options but does NOT pitch them.

You are then ranking content at the commercial investigation phase, helping users to quickly gain insights into how your product stacks up against your competitors, the pro’s and con’s (yes! The con’s too, I’ll come back to this later in the post), pricing information and availability.

The end game here is to take the Google approach to information experience; provide as much as possible as quick as possible so users don’t have to look anywhere else.

I realize this is counter-intuitive from an eCommerce perspective, why would you ever want to provide competitive information to a prospective customer?

Simple, if you provide them with all the information they need, not only are you building trust through transparency, but they have no reason to go looking elsewhere for it.

All the gimmicks in the world won’t force someone to buy who is not ready to make the purchase. I’m not going to pretend that the checkout countdown used by major online retailers like Ticketmaster™ (shown below) and Fab.com doesn’t positively impact checkout conversions, however, I will say that for someone who is not ready to make the purchase – it is not going to force the purchase and stands a better chance of feeling pushy.

ticketmaster_Checkout-countdown

Sustainable brands are built on trust and customer loyalty. Think about it. Why settle for a 1-time purchase when you have the opportunity to sell to the same customer every time they want a product you sell?

These types of relationships are built through transparency:

  • If you are not the cheapest, say so, then explain why.
  • If you don’t have fancy stripes, buttons, or a slick new design, talk about it.

Contrary to what many people seem to still believe; consumers aren’t stupid. If the information is important to them, they are going to find it.

Keyword Spread Opportunity

Taking a lesson from my days in Finance, you can lower your risk for negative returns from search by making sure to spread your rankings across more purchase-intent SERP’s. Similar to a condor option, the wider your spread on target traffic, and the higher your average position, the less risk you have on not making your target return.

You need to be building awareness and mind-share throughout the buying cycle.

Searcher behavior starts with initial interest and information gathering. As shoppers begin to browse more specific queries they move through the conversion funnel.

keyword-intent_query-type

Time For Some Ecommerce Examples

revzilla-logo

RevZilla is a Philly-based eCommerce company that sells a crap load of motorcycle gear.

They have done a fantastic job with their keyword spread, ranking for many of their target categories all the way from head to tail. They leverage this head term keyword authority to power rankings all the way down to the product level.

Best of all, they supplement their AdWords bids and campaigns to get your attention when their organic rankings are not as high. I imagine this is based on conversion rate; keywords that don’t have a high historical conversion rate are not a focus for organic, which is human capital intensive, and instead are just bid on in paid search.

Head Keyword: motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

motorcycle-jackets_Google

Body Keyword: mens motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

mens-motorcycle-jackets_Google

Body Keyword: leather motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

leather-motorcycle-jackets_Google

Body Keyword: mens leather motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

mens-leather-motorcycle-jackets_Google-AdWords

Body Keyword: brown leather motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

brown-leather-motorcycle-jackets_Google-SERP

Wanna See What’s Really Cool?

The head term keyword authority that RevZilla has been able to build has allowed them to position themselves very highly for contextually related brand terms.

Brand Keyword: Alpinestars (click to enlarge)

alpinestars_BRAND_Google

Yes. You’re seeing that right.

Alpinestars is a major brand retailer, with a pretty large social following including;

Over 1.7 Million Facebook Fans

Alpinestars-Facebook

Over 66,000 Twitter Followers

Alpinestars-twitter

Yet their social profiles are being out-ranked in their brand SERP by a reseller, so for those who think SEO is dead, you need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Furthermore, this keyword authority transcends to more specific product category and product-specific search results:

Brand Body Keyword: alpinestars leather motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

alpinestars-leather-motorcycle-jackets_Google

Brand Long-Tail Keyword: Alpinestars GP-R Leather Jacket (click to enlarge)

Alpinestars-GP-R-Leather-Jacket_Google

Thank you to Peter Attia and John-Henry Scherck for sending along this great example.

asos-logo

ASOS is a UK-based online retailer of men and women’s clothes, they are also an SEO powerhouse.

ASOS is dominating organic, and has what I like to call a complimentary AdWords presence. What’s most impressive about there keyword spread is that they successfully hold top results for ton of brand keywords:

Brand Head Keyword: ray ban sunglasses (click to enlarge)

ray-ban-sunglasses

Brand Head Keyword: nike trainers (click to enlarge)

nike-trainers

Brand Body Keyword: esprit chino shorts (click to enlarge)

esprit-chino-shorts

And it’s not just the individual head terms, look here are their keyword spread for American Apparel queries:

Brand Head Keyword: american apparel tshirts

american-apparel-tshirts_Google_Brand

Brand head Keyword: mens american apparel

mens-american-apparel_Google

Brand Body Keyword: mens american apparel tshirts

mens-american-apparel-tshirts_Google

Brand Long-Tail Keyword: mens american apparel vneck shirt

mens-american-apparel-vneck-shirt_Google

Wait, Notice Anything Strange?

Look closely at the Google shopping results for mens american apparel…

Yeah, no men. I can’t help but wonder if this is on purpose. And I know what you’re thinking – why on earth would they intentionally be displaying results for women for a mens query?

It may have something to do with this…

Google Display Planner mens american apparel

According to Google’s wonderful new Display Planner, it seems nearly just as many women may be searching for mens american apparel as men. Why not seize the opportunity to get some impressions for womens american apparel in case they decide they would rather be shopping for themselves instead :)

Thank you to Patrick Hathaway for the great example.

argos_logo

Last but certainly not least in my examples is Argos, another UK-based online retailer with a focus on home furnishings and toys (among many other verticals).

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the URL architecture, as it’s pretty long and messy, however, their keyword spread is pretty amazing; take for example:

Head Keyword: pan set (click to enlarge)

pan set_Google_UK

Body Keyword: non stick pan set (click to enlarge)

non-stick-pan-set_Google_UK

Brand Body Keyword: Tefal non stick pan set (click to enlarge)

tefal-non-stick-pan-set_Google_UK

Do you SEE that last SERP? Argos is outranking the brand for it’s own product, which is pretty impressive to say the least.

Thank you to Wayne Barker for the great example.

How To Maximize Your Keyword Spread

This goes without saying, but in order to approach increasing the spread of your organic keywords, you first need to have completed your in-depth keyword research and a deep dive SEO competitive analysis.

This data is needed to help you figure out which pages will be the best candidates for which keywords, as well as which keywords are your highest priorities.

Once you know who your competitors are, what types of content is ranking for your high value keywords, and level of signaling that you’re competing with; i.e. on page factors, back link profile, social signals, etc. – you are ready to take this further:

1. Expand Your Semantic and Contextual Reach

Google has begun to look not only for keywords on the page, but also for groups of contextually relevant words. To such an extent that there is a patent recently reviewed by Bill Slawski that looks at the potential for parameterless search.

What does that mean? Imagine if you will being out and simply holding down a button on your phone and simply speaking “search now,” and based on your personal preferences and geo-location, Google returns a set of results.

Going back to Google’s keyword planner, we are going to look at what other words Google believes to be closely related at the category and product adjective level.

To get started, choose your category from the drop down menu and add just your head keyword, for example here’s a look at the keyword ‘ecommerce‘ within the ‘business and industrial‘ category (click to enlarge):

keyword-planner_ecommerce

You can see pretty quickly from the image above that Google associates the keyword ‘ecommerce‘ primarily with software; every top-level term listed is related to software, solutions, a code base (such as PHP), etc.

If we add the word ‘optimization,’ this focus shifts to design and developers and completely away from software, with terms related to SEO and marketing starting to show up.

Let’s take a look at a query landscape that we have already become familiar with; motorcycle jackets – this time removing the category (click to enlarge).

keyword-planner_motorcycle-jackets

Not surprising, Google associates these with motorcycles, leather, and jackets. What is surprising is that Google also see’s this as closely contextually related to varsity jackets, bomber jackets (hey that’s a good term), and the keyword ‘biker jacket’ – which receives over 12,000 exact searches per month.

Let’s take this a step further and take a look at what is rapidly becoming one of my favorite keyword research tools, the Display Planner, and for the purposes of this exercise make sure you set it to ‘Ad group ideas’ and then select ‘Keywords,’ it should look like this (click to enlarge):

Display-Planner_motorcycle-jackets

Ready for the cool part? Hover your mouse over the right side of the ‘Ad group’ and a blue arrow will appear:

DIsplay-Planner-Expand-arrow

Now click on the yellow-highlighted keyword on the right-side under ‘Ad groups’:

disply-planner-keyword-expand

And you will be be shown this list of contextually related keywords:

DIsplay-Planner-keyword-suggestions

Scroll through for a list of body and long-tail suggestions, right from Google, based on it’s search network inventory (driven by actual searches).

2. Conduct a Keyword Performance Audit

Go into Google Analytics and look at the historical data for organic traffic keywords for the past 6 months.

Look for pages with high engagement and low organic search traffic by sorting in descending order for both pages per visit and average time on site.

For a detailed look at this process please check out conducting a keyword performance audit >

3. Use Hierarchy to Pass Relevance From Parent to Child Directories

I know I talk about this a lot, but it continues to become more important. This essentially means that if your information architecture is properly supported by your URL’s directory structure, than you may be able to create relevance for certain topic keywords, allowing for authority to be established faster for new sub-directories in the future.

What’s important to consider here is that the higher-level pages stand to receive more PageRank and flow less PageRank to the lower-level directories. The good news is utilizing this approach gives you an opportunity to potentially establish more authority for the parent directories, thus increasing their potential to rank for more competitive terms.

AirBnB does this fantastically, where they actually use just microdata mark-up to show which root-level directories are both up-stream and downstream, leading to optimized search engine listings such as:

vacation-rentals-philadelphia-SERP_screencap

which is literally being propagated just from the microdata formatting in the HTML, and NOT from an internal link structure.

micro-data-mark-up_Localization

4. Optimize Pages for Specific Product-Attribute Keywords

Nothing frustrates me more than seeing websites where multiple pages are carrying the same page-level keywords in the page title.

Similar to the problem with duplicate content, if your title tags contain the same focus keywords, Google is going to have a harder time determining which of those pages should be ranking for the keyword, and you may be cannibalizing your own rankings.

I’m not saying to throw out keywords that should be used across several titles, such as your brand or the brand of the products – I’m simply talking about not optimizing titles for the same category and product-level keywords.

One of the best ways to spread your titles across your target keywords is to leverage the ability of many modern eCommerce platforms to create new views, for example RevZilla carries a number of brown motorcycle jackets, which you can get to by going to motorcycle jackets and then using the left-side navigation to filter by color, giving you this anchor URL:

http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle-jackets#v2-facets%5B%5D=339&page
=1&page_size=96&sort=featured&tab=all

What I would recommend to them instead, would be to use these color filters and create top-level directories for each of these colors.

Stop and think for a second about the naming conventions you have seen around other popular eCommerce websites, there tend to be a lot of opportunities to expand the reach of the products simply by creating new pages focused on 1 or 2 specific product attributes.

Lastly, remember when I said you should include as much content on your pages as is relevant to the searcher’s potential purpose, including competitor data? I bet you thought I was crazy.

But think about this for a second: If you include what your product does well, what your competitor’s product does well, and draw a line between the differences, you are not only getting more contextually relevant content onto your pages, you are preventing the user from having to go out and mine for that information.

You become the resource, and you build trust, so chances are even if they go to your competitor’s website to verify your information (which better be accurate) you have established a piece of mindshare that is likely to reflect positively on your brand.

5. Use Related Content in Place of Products

This is a very common problem in niche eCommerce. You are selling products that people want, but there is absolutely no aggregated search volume (or very low aggregate search volume) and you can’t justify building pages and links for a query that receives let’s less than 100 searches per month.

What do you do?

You build content for queries that surround the product but aren’t the product.

What does that mean?

Perhaps my favorite example is ReadyForZero’s page on budgeting tips. This is a fantastic example of an in-depth piece of content that is positioned to capture searchers at the top of the conversion funnel, focusing on informational intent queries, and educating visitors who obviously have a need for ReadyForZero’s money management products.

Wrapping It Up

The end game here is rank as highly as possible for as many qualified keywords as possible.

Look for opportunities to build new pages, better optimize titles and meta attributes to target language around the specific attributes of your products, and leverage your available technology to create new category and sub-category pages where appropriate.

Pay close attention the language Google uses not only in tools talked about in this post, but also look at the language that is on the pages that are currently in the top 10 results. What other words are helping these URL’s signal to Google that they are a good result for the query.

To take this a step further, you need to make sure that you are optimizing the right pages for the right queries. If the query is informational (like the ReadyForZero example, budgeting tips) make sure you are ranking a page that provides informational content. And likewise, if the query is transactional – you need to make sure that you are optimizing product detail pages.

Lastly, what are some of your favorite eCommerce websites that are killing it in terms of search rankings for head through long-tail keywords?

The post Advanced SEO For Ecommerce: Maximizing Keyword Spread appeared first on SEO Nick.

SEO Nick » SEO Blog

Comment on Yoast ebook: Optimize your WordPress site by Auke

Woooowwwww… Bought it, never received it…
Like the most of the people here on this page.
Dutch so even payed VAT so a total of $ 22,99

Hope you will solve this quickly!

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Ask.com Introduces Bloglines Top 1000 List

Bloglines Beta has launched the
Bloglines Top 1000 list.
Didn’t Bloglines have a top blog list already? Yes, they had a
top 200 list, but users wanted
to see a larger picture of what feeds people subscribe to, so Bloglines has
released an expanded top 1000 list. A formal announcement is planned to go live
on the Bloglines News page
later today, but here’s a closer look at what you can see now and some
explanation.

Bloglines compiles the top 1000 list by looking at the number of "active"
subscribers for a particular feed. Bloglines told us that they know people may
try to game the system, so they have decided not to detail exactly how the list
is computed and ranked. You can also see that Bloglines has added a graph
showing subscriber trends, a top movers chart and "New to Bloglines Top 1000."

Here is a screen capture showing the trends for specific blogs:


Bloglines New Top 1000

The number seems to indicate the position a particular blog or feed
previously held in the Bloglines 1000, which appears to be updated on a weekly
basis. We say this because when talking about the Top Movers (below), Bloglines
said that Sew, Mama, Sew came
into the Bloglines 1000 this week for the first time, moving up 790 rank spaces.
Here’s the chart, and you can see the 790 figure indicating the rank rise:


Bloglines New Top 1000

We assume the chart shows rank changes over time, but how long it’s plotted isn’t clear. We’re checking on that.

The Top Movers chart can be found on the right-hand side of the Top 1000
page. Below it is a "New to Bloglines Top 1000" list:


Bloglines New Top 1000

Bloglines rival Google Reader recently
added subscriber counts for feeds handled by its service, but Google Reader
said they have no
plans to do an official top list of their own (several
unofficial lists have been compiled). For more about the Google Reader
stats, see this past coverage from us:

  • Google Reader Now
    Reporting Subscriber Figures
  • Are Google Reader
    Stats Correct? Can We Trust Feed Stats in General?
  • Google Reader Says
    It Does "Dailyish" Update Of Subscriber Counts

Don’t forget, aside from the new Top 1000 list, Bloglines is also still
running a new Bloglines Beta, which is
covered more in our
Bloglines Beta To Challenge Google Reader post.

Finally, we’re thrilled to make the top 1,000 list. We’re currently ranked
310 — want to help us move higher? Then subscribe to our feed in Bloglines
using this button:


Subscribe with Bloglines

And/or, subscribe to our feed using any of the services listed below this
post or on our search news feeds
page.

Postscript: News from Bloglines now up here. Bloglines also tells us in response to questions:

  • The numbers reflect the number of ranks gained from the previous week. For example, if I’m number 10 and had a ranking of 60. My ranks gained would be 50.
  • the list is updated weekly.
  • The charts show increase or decreases over a set time period. Not sure about the ability to drill down on them in the future.
  • The post Ask.com Introduces Bloglines Top 1000 List appeared first on Search Engine Land.

    Search Engine Land » SEO: Blogs & Feeds

    How Feedburner Adds Up Subscriber Numbers

    Last Saturday, there was a gasp of collective horror in the blogosphere as FeedBurner subscriber stats plunged for many sites. Today, it’s happened again. Don’t panic! Your subscribers are probably all still there, with Google Reader to blame for the missing numbers. Below, our comprehensive guide to how FeedBurner compiles subscriber stats explains all, today’s glitch, and why those occasional plunges happen.

    Last weekend’s drop of Feedburner subscriber numbers by as much as half was a temporary glitch. Google Reader didn’t report figures, and all was back to normal the next day. Today’s drop appears to be the same issue. Joost de Valk for example, notes how Google FeedFetcher stats (which report combined Google Reader/iGoogle subscribers) are missing. I see the same.


    The panic when stats go awry underscore how Feedburner is a vital tool for many bloggers, as it’s one of the only ways for them to know how many readers subscribe to their blogs. Indeed, it serves as a type of preferred currency to assemble some top blog lists. But what underpins that currency?

    Readers subscribe to blog feeds using a number of feed readers (some of which visibly report numbers; some of which don’t), and it would be impossible for a blogger to keep track of the number of subscribers for each feed in each system manually. Few, if any, comparable services exist, and according to the Feedburner home page, over 631,000 publishers have burned over 1.1 million feeds so far.

    Even after the explanation after the first drop, many blamed the glitch on Feedburner itself, rather than realizing Feedburner simply reports numbers that it’s given. Last week, I talked to Rick Klau of Feedburner to get the scoop on exactly where the numbers come from and why fluctuations (both the panic-inducing ones like Sunday’s and today’s, and more minor ones such as regular weekends) come about.

    Burning a feed
    What does it mean to burn a feed? First, let’s back up and talk about what a feed is. A feed is a delivery method for your content (generally blog posts). Most blogs have a feed available by default, and in fact, many blogs have multiple feeds. WordPress, for instance, provides at least three feeds with a default installation. Why so many feeds? Several feed formats have emerged over the years (notably Atom and RSS), and much like the Betamax/VHS conflict (or, if you’re not old like me, the HD/Blu-Ray debate), no one was sure which would emerge as the leader. Unlike the tape/DVD wars, however, feed readers have decided to accept them all. You really only need to provide one version of your feed because no matter what format you use or what feed reader your visitors use, all will be well.

    A visitor to your site can “subscribe” to your blog by adding the feed to a feed reader. Two major types of feed readers exist:

    • Web-based services, accessed via a web page (such as Bloglines, Google Reader, and My Yahoo)
    • Standalone aggregators, accessed from a desktop application (such as Outlook or iTunes)

    Your content is delivered by “subscription” to the feed reader, which serves it up to users. You can choose to make either full feeds (that contain your entire post) or partial feeds (that contain only a portion of your post and require the user to visit your site to read the rest) available.

    When you “burn a feed” with Feedburner, you create an account and provide the URL of your blog. Feedburner then gives you a feedburner feed URL, like http://feeds.feedburner.com/YOUR-FEED-NAME-HERE. (See Stay Master Of Your Feed Domain for information on how to create a feed through Feedburner that uses your domain instead.) You should then provide this URL as your feed location for visitors and should redirect all other feeds to this one. (As noted earlier, your blog may come with several feeds by default. With WordPress, you can use a plugin such as Feedburner Feedsmith to ensure all variations of the feed are redirected correctly.)

    From that point, Feedburner reports daily on the number of subscribers to any variation of your blog’s feed. This number fluctuates and in particular tends to be lower on weekends. And then, there are times like today, when the numbers are cut in half.

    How does Feedburner come up with the numbers?
    All of the major feed reading services report subscriber numbers. When most web-based services request the latest content from a feed that’s been burned through Feedburner, that request goes through Feedburner. The request includes a report of the total number of users who have subscribed to that feed. (The exact way each feed reader counts total subscribers varies by service.) Feedburner keeps track of the number reported by each web-based service for each version of the feed and totals them up.

    Standalone aggregators do things a little differently. They don’t have overall subscriber numbers. Instead, they use a number of factors to determine how many people are requesting a given feed in a day. For instance, these services can determine if 10 people have requested a feed or one person has requested a feed 10 times. Feedburner has chosen to tally up the number of requests reported by standalone aggregators once every 24 hours (which is why Feedburner stats are updated once a day).

    Why do the numbers fluctuate?
    Standalone aggregators are the primary reason you generally see lower numbers on weekends. Lots of people don’t turn their computers on over the weekend (although neither Rick nor I knew who these people could possibly be), so desktop clients such as Outlook on those dark computers aren’t requesting feeds.

    Other reasons exist for variations. For instance, a service may not report numbers one day for some reason internal to that service. Today is great example of this. Google Reader, for whatever reason, didn’t report subscriber numbers for Thursday, which meant Feedburner couldn’t include them in the nightly tally. On first glance, it appeared that something was wrong with Feedburner, but Feedburner was reporting exactly the same as always — summing up the numbers reported from all services. If you see a big drop, you can look at break out by service (click “Subscribers” under Feed Stats”) to see if any are missing.

    Feedburner Stats Friday

    Finding subscriber numbers for blogs other than your own
    Can you find out how many subscribers blogs other than your own have? You can only see Feedburner numbers if that blog has chosen to publish them (typically using the Feedburner chicklet). Many blogs have. Otherwise, you can only see subscriber numbers for some of the individual feed readers. Recently, Google Reader started reporting subscriber numbers. iGoogle started reporting gadget use earlier this year, and Bloglines has published subscriber numbers for some time.

    How accurate are the numbers?
    Does the subscribed number really reflect the number of people reading your blog? Probably not. Rather, that number indicates how many people have ever subscribed to your feed. On the surface, that may sound like the same thing, but it’s actually very different. For instance, if your feed is included in a default bundle, anyone who adds that bundle is counted in your subscriber numbers even if they never read your feed. And people who subscribe to a feed rarely unsubscribe from it even if they stop reading. Older blogs may tend to have overinflated counts because when users switch feed readers (for instance, from Bloglines to Google Reader), they don’t unsubscribe from the feeds in the first reader, so the original subscriptions still count (as do the new subscriptions in the new feed reader).

    How can you tell how many people are actually reading your posts via subscription? The best number to go by is “reach.” Reach is the number of users who viewed or clicked on your feed. These are the people who engaged with your content on a given day. Rick likened the subscriber number to the number of people who have ever bookmarked your site and the reach number to the number who visited today.

    You can get more granular information by enabling “item use”. Once you enable this, Feedburner embeds a 1×1 pixel into the feed so it can track individual posts. Some readers (such as iTunes and Tivo) don’t render HTML, so this count isn’t 100% accurate, but it provides fairly good information about how often each post was viewed. You can separately enable “clicks,” which let you know how many people clicked on the links in your posts.

    Feedburner Item Use

    Note that no personally identifiable information is captured in the view of click data, so while you can look at your server logs or use an analytics program to see information about visitors to your site such as their IP addresses, you can’t get this information from feed stats. You can only see what feed readers your subscribers used to read your posts.

    If your want stats on visitors to your site, you can enable Site Stats, which provides analytics-type information about your site visitors. This is entirely different from your subscriber stats and should closely align with analytics programs such as Google Analytics.

    Tips for Managing Your Feed

    • Make only one version of your feed available. There’s no reason to provide a feed for every feed format.
    • Ensure that if you have multiple versions of your feed, you redirect them all to the Feedburner version so you get an accurate view of your subscribers.
    • Use Feedburner’s MyBrand to publish a feed on your domain so that if you want to switch from Feedburner later you don’t lose all of your subscribers.

    Rick recommends that bloggers look at trends over time rather than fluctuations on individual days, since those fluctuations tend to be due to how feed readers are reporting more than reflecting actual subscription changes. And even more than that, he recommends looking at reach more than subscribers, since the reach number more accurately reflects the number of actual readers. I told him that was unlikely to happen. After all, the subscriber number is almost always bigger.

    The post How Feedburner Adds Up Subscriber Numbers appeared first on Search Engine Land.

    Search Engine Land » SEO: Blogs & Feeds

    Comment on Yoast ebook: Optimize your WordPress site by Thijs de Valk

    Could you send an email to support@yoast.com? Then we’ll figure it out for you! :)

    Comments for Yoast

    What would you like to see from Webmaster Tools in 2014?

    A few years ago, I asked on my blog what people would like from Google’s free webmaster tools. It’s pretty cool to re-read that post now, because we’ve delivered on a lot of peoples’ requests.

    At this point, our webmaster console will alert you to manual webspam actions that will directly affect your site. We’ve recently rolled out better visibility on website security issues, including radically improved resources for hacked site help. We’ve also improved the backlinks that we show to publishers and site owners. Along the way, we’ve also created a website that explains how search works, and Google has done dozens of “office hours” hangouts for websites. And we’re just about to hit 15 million views on ~500 different webmaster videos.

    So here’s my question: what would you like to see from Webmaster Tools (or the larger team) in 2014? I’ll throw out a few ideas below, but please leave suggestions in the comments. Bear in mind that I’m not promising we’ll do any of these–this is just to get your mental juices going.

    Some things that I could imagine people wanting:

    • Make it easier/faster to claim authorship or do authorship markup.
    • Improved reporting of spam, bugs, errors, or issues. Maybe people who do very good spam reports could be “deputized” so their future spam reports would be fast-tracked. Or perhaps a karma, cred, or peer-based system could bubble up the most important issues, bad search results, etc.
    • Option to download the web pages that Google has seen from your site, in case a catastrophe like a hard drive failure or a virus takes down your entire website.
    • Checklists or help for new businesses that are just starting out.
    • Periodic reports with advice on improving areas like mobile or page speed.
    • Send Google “fat pings” of content before publishing it on the web, to make it easier for Google to tell where content appeared first on the web.
    • Better tools for detecting or reporting duplicate content or scrapers.
    • Show pages that don’t validate.
    • Show the source pages that link to your 404 pages, so you can contact other sites and ask if they want to fix their broken links.
    • Or almost as nice: tell the pages on your website that lead to 404s or broken links, so that site owners can fix their own broken links.
    • Better or faster bulk url removal (maybe pages that match a specific phrase?).
    • Refreshing the existing data in Webmaster Tools faster or better.
    • Improve robots.txt checker to handle even longer files.
    • Ways for site owners to tell us more about their site: anything from country-level data to language to authorship to what content management system (CMS) you use on different parts of the site. That might help Google improve how it crawls different parts of a domain.

    To be clear, this is just some personal brainstorming–I’m not saying that the Webmaster Tools team will work on any of these. What I’d really like to hear is what you would like to see in 2014, either in Webmaster Tools or from the larger team that works with webmasters and site owners.

    Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

    Dropwizard and Groovy talk from GGX

    Slides

    Talk & video available here

    http://skillsmatter.com/podcast/home/building-lightning-fast-rest-services-with-dropwizard-and-groovy


    Tomás Lin’s Programming Brain Dump

    Google Removes RSS Feeds From Search Results

    The Google Webmaster Central Blog announced that Google will no longer include RSS feeds in their search results, with the exception of podcast feeds.

    The reasoning behind Google dropping RSS feeds from the results is that it is very likely that the RSS feed is a text duplication of an html document, and when users view RSS feeds, they may not be able to render the XML format in their browsers.


    A quick way to tell if RSS feeds are out of the index is to do a site command on a popular RSS feed producer, FeedBurner. Google shows zero results for the site:feeds.feedburner.com command, while Yahoo shows me 8,461,464 results.

    I know Google has been working on removing raw RSS content from the main web results at least since mid-September.

    The post Google Removes RSS Feeds From Search Results appeared first on Search Engine Land.

    Search Engine Land » SEO: Blogs & Feeds

    Extending Geb Navigators to work with Third Party Javascript Libraries

    In Asgard, we use the select2 jQuery library to make combo boxes on our pages more user friendly.

    This causes a problem when writing functional tests, however, since you cannot use the default drop down selection mechanisms provided by Geb.

    A pretty powerful technique mentioned in Marcin Edrmann’s Advanced Geb talk is to extend the default navigators to provide your own methods to acommodate third party libraries.

    In this post, I will show you how we use this to provide our own dropdown selection method.

    Creating your own navigator classes.

    In Geb, there are two navigator classes. If your selector $ (‘.myclass’) returns an element, it will be bound to a NonEmptyNavigator. If your selector returns empty, it will use an EmptyNavigator, which will return reasonable defaults ( 0 for .size(), for example ).

    You need to create two new classes, a NonEmptyNavigator class and an EmptyNavigator class, the NonEmptyNavigator looks as follows:

    package com.netflix.asgard.navigator
    
    import geb.Browser
    import org.openqa.selenium.WebElement
    
    class NonEmptyNavigator extends geb.navigator.NonEmptyNavigator {
        NonEmptyNavigator(Browser browser, Collection<? extends WebElement> contextElements) {
            super(browser, contextElements)
        }
    }
    

    And the EmptyNavigator looks like this:

    package com.netflix.asgard.navigator
    import geb.Browser
    
    class EmptyNavigator extends geb.navigator.EmptyNavigator {
        EmptyNavigator(Browser browser) {
            super(browser)
        }
    }
    

    Hooking up your own navigators

    After you have created your navigators, modify GebConfig.groovy to use your custom navigators:

    import com.netflix.asgard.navigator.EmptyNavigator
    import com.netflix.asgard.navigator.NonEmptyNavigator
    
    innerNavigatorFactory = { Browser browser, List<WebElement> elements ->
        elements ? new NonEmptyNavigator(browser, elements) : new EmptyNavigator(browser)
    }
    

    Adding your own methods

    With select2, we can programmatically change the dropdown selection via the following javascript:

    jQuery('#myElement').select2("val", "selectedValue");
    

    We can convert this to a Geb friendly expression using the built-in javascript executor. The method I add to my NonEmptyNavigator looks like this:

    void select(String value){
        browser.js.exec(firstElement(), value, 'jQuery(arguments[0]).select2("val", arguments[1]);')
    }
    

    We are using the navigator’s firstElement() helper so our method can be applied to the first result of our selector. These values are passed into javascript via the arguments array.

    In our Geb tests, we can now call the new method we have added to choose our drop down menus that use select2:

        $  ('#myDropdown').select('cookies')
        $  ('form').deploymentType().select('multiCluster')
    

    As you can see, this mechanism allows you to quickly and elegantly extend Geb Elements to work with your custom libraries.

    Other uses

    You can use this technique to add your own custom methods to check element state in AngularJS:

        boolean hasChanged() {
            !hasClass 'ng-pristine'
        }
    

    Add your own utility methods:

        String rawHtml() {
            browser.js.exec(firstElement(), "return arguments[0].innerHTML;")
        }
    

    or even do more elaborate things like waiting for CSS transitions to finish up:

        void waitForCssTransition(Closure trigger) {
            def element = firstElement()
            browser.js.exec(element, '''
                var o = jQuery(arguments[0]);
                window.setTransitionFinishedClass = function() {
                    $  (this).addClass('transitionFinished');
                }
                o.bind('webkitTransitionEnd', window.setTransitionFinishedClass);
            ''')
            try {
                trigger.call()
                browser.waitFor {
                    hasClass('transitionFinished')
                }
            } finally {
                browser.js.exec(element, '''
                    var o = jQuery(arguments[0]);
                    o.removeClass('transitionFinished')
                    o.unbind('webkitTransitionEnd', window.setTransitionFinishedClass);
                    window.setTransitionFinishedClass = undefined;
                ''')
            }
        }
    


    Tomás Lin’s Programming Brain Dump

    Smart Way of Doing SEO

    With penalties and algorithm changes almost every month or a fortnight, SEO is becoming a major headache for most webmasters. Lately Google has been making a whole lot of changes to their algorithm or how we do SEO. Most people who have a website and want to reap the benefits of having a website online are looking for visibility of their sites. Promoting your website through various strategies includes SEO, SEM, content writing and social media. In this article, we talk about a smart way of doing search engine optimization. It you want to promote your website, it is important that you make your online presence through promotion of your website.

    People should be aware of your website and what it has to offer. One of the best ways to doing SEO is through article writing for SEO. Many people find article writing a very positive way to make your presence felt. Doing it right will also get you better rankings for your website. Here are some tips to writing great content for SEO.

    1. Make a list of your keywords. Start by finding the best keywords that you want to use in your articles. Although things like this does not happen, the mostly searched keywords in your niche will change. You should always keep yourself posted with the recent changes in SEO or article writing. You must do so in order to keep ranking floating on top. Do not target the wrong keywords. Thus having a strong keyword research is very important. Once your list is ready of the most popular phrases and terms, do a competitor analysis. If too many competitors are targeting this keyword for a top spot, you should try a different keyword.
    2. Using secondary keywords. Using the latent semantic indexing technique is one of the best ways to make your article search engine friendly. Apart from using a primary keyword, you must also have two secondary keywords that are close to your primary keyword. Use them on your articles that will help in convincing search spiders that your content is relevant also to the primary keyword that you are targeting. Keywords should be relevant to the website you are optimizing for. This will help in achieving better rankings. Spread your keywords evenly. Refrain from putting them all in one paragraph. They should appear once in at least 100 words.
    3. Deliver unique content that is 100% fresh and helpful. Quality and uniqueness of an article is yet another way to letting spiders know you are doing things their way. This will also determine the ranking of your website. Make sure no part is duplicate or copied. This is one reason why your articles might get rejected by search engines.
    4. Your articles should be flawless. It is not just about impressing any search engines. It is doing something that people like. Keep it free from all kinds of errors and make it readable for your readers.
    5. Finally, track the performance of your articles. Once they have been submitted, you can go back and check if they are appearing on your rankings. If that is not the case, you should try a re-optimize and make sure it shows up on the search listings.

    Follow all the rules and adopt a white hat strategy to get better rankings for your website and ultimately return on investment. Before hiring an SEO company, make sure they are aware and know how to avoid penalties. They should be well versed with all the SEO methods.