Sunday, May 15, 2011

SEO vs SMO – An Overview

Few years back no one was able to locate your business on Google if the site was not optimized properly. So the idea of choosing between a search engine optimization (SEO) process, or doing social media optimization (SMO) for a website, was very easy – that was SEO. But the introduction of social media has changed the concept of online marketing and promotion.

Social media evolution is effecting SEO, and this problem is going on for many business strategists. While Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, blogging, flickr and SEO press releases give companies a huge advantage to drive website traffic as well as targeted clients or customers with increased awareness in short time span, then people are thinking twice to optimize (off-page) their websites for the search engines.

Now these days, social media is enhancing SEO scope, and according to the review reports businesses can get free evaluation and derive goal immediately. Due to this advantage, now business owners, chief marketing officers and brand strategists can work with online resources to evaluate what keywords will drive their businesses.

Social Media Optimization

It is important for the business owners to maintain a Twitter account, set up a company Facebook page and a LinkedIn profile. Through respective application, interconnectivity among these sites is very important. If these sites are set up properly and managed well, it will prevent competitors from attempting to hijack a company’s brand.

• To me LinkedIn is outstanding for building a professional network. The site is very much user friendly, and it connects you with a wide range of business professionals, thematic groups, jobs, companies, facilitates recommendations and also assists to increase SEO advantage with brand identity.

• Twitter is also beneficial and very effective medium when you are trying to spread hot topics. There must be connectivity with other social media sites.

• A company should use Facebook for branding. Brand page creation, adding videos, tutorials, graphics, and post news to wall and optimization with a well maintained profile can accelerate the awareness of a business.

• Videos presentation with SEO headlines, tags, descriptions, demonstration and interviews facilitate the company name, brand and conveys message to the targeted audience. YouTube, MetaCafe and other online video sites are very helpful.

Search Engine Optimization

In SEO, On-page optimization has its own strong position to stand a website in the front line of search engine’s results. According to 2011 Google algorithm On-page needs unique content support.

But off-page optimization rather link building trend is towards the optimization of social media. To get above mentioned social media’s advantages in short time, link building process have been incorporated in SMO. Traditional link building process helps to increase back links of a particular site, but it takes time to reach targeted customer. And it has been monitored (Google Analytics) that website traffic is coming from all of the social networking sites, the SEO press releases, videos and podcasts.  So, link building through social media is a better option.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Google Changes New Panda Algorithm – SEO Viewpoint

Google made an update to their algorithm late February 2011 that has greatly affected many sites and caused a decrease in traffic. The update was called the “Panda” update (aka the “Farmer” update). Google normally does major updates to their algorithm once every 1-2 years. The Panda update is a major update. This is all in an effort for Google to produce the best search results and foil black hat SEO techniques. In general Google always has the searcher in mind and they change their algorithm so as to ensure black hat SEO techniques are not effecting the relevance and high quality of the results on their search engine.

So how do you know if the Panda update effected your website? Quickly check your website analytics from January 2011 until today. Check if you see a sudden decrease in traffic from the end of February until now. Also check on Google Webmaster Tools what words you are currently ranking for and compare that to the keywords you were ranking for before.

Who did the Panda update effect? Generally if you are a website that has high quality content and it is not duplicated elsewhere, Panda would not affect you. Google’s algorithm is notorious for focusing on off page factors like in-links, but this update actually focused on on-page factors.

How do you ensure your website is not negatively affected? Make sure you are not using any black hat techniques on-page like keyword repetition too many times (keywords should be repeated below 5% of total words on page to be safe). Make sure keywords are not repeated next to each other and the copy of the page and meta tags are not ‘spammy’. Also check if there are sites out there that are copying your content like article sites, other industry blogs etc. If they are, ensure your duplicated content is removed post haste. Content should be 100% unique on each of your websites and within the website.

If you play by these rules you will find that this latest Google update actually helps your website rank higher and drops your competitors websites off the first page results as a penalty for using spammy SEO techniques. I have discovered the majority of our websites going up since the algorithm update are due to:

1.    Having a respected and historically ‘clean’ domain,
2.    Having relevant on-page content,
3.    The website is built in a standard and clean way (no extra flash or java to slow it down)
4.    No black hat SEO techniques were employed on-page or off-page