Webmasters spend a lot of time worrying about duplicate content. But for many domains, onsite search engine marketing can resolve this problem easily. All you have to do is add canonical URLs.
Although sometimes created to manipulate the results of search engines, duplicate content often occurs when a website’s CMS creates multiple URLs for the same project.
For example, a site might have pages called: /product.php?object=toaster, /product.php?object=toaster&cat=appliances — both featuring identical or nearly identical content. There might even be additional pages with tracking and session IDs tacked on.
Although Google does its best to consolidate these muliple URLs into a single result, it might miss some, thus diluting your website’s presence. That’s where canonical URLs come in.
Using canonical URLs, webmasters can now specify which URL Google should list in the event of duplicate content. It’s as easy as one line of code, placed within the <head> section of the duplicate pages:
Online marketing mavens, take note, the word is out that Bing and Facebook are negotiating a major game change. If all goes according to plan, Facebook will grant Bing access to their coveted “Like” data, allowing the search engine to incorporate said info on results pages.
It’s unclear as of yet whether Google might also be privy to such an arrangement. Right now, both Bing and Google have access to Facebook public status updates, but the latter might be moving in a different direction.
Google’s been keeping busy with in-the-works project Google Me, intended to socialize the engine’s preexisting features. This probably won’t involve any new services (like a Facebook competitor, as has been rumored) but rather feature targeted integration the likes of Google Buzz.
Only time will tell how this news will affect the business of business marketing. But hey, at least it’s interesting.
If you’re at all involved in the search engine marketing biz, chances are you’ve heard about the newly launched Google Instant, which provides live query predictions and results as users are typing.
SEO-ers reacted to this news in usual way — we sounded our “Change is bad!” alarms and braced ourselves for the inevitable collapse of our industry. But now that Google Instant is old news (read: one week old), most have come to realize that, although this technology may alter certain online marketing techniques, the changes will not be earth-shattering. They might even be good.
To us, Google Instant gets a big thumbs up, if only because it inspired this awesome video by Urlesque.
Every good SEO company has a few tricks up its sleeve to help businesses with their online marketing. Learning these trade tips can be a valuable way to increase traffic to your site. However, while every company wants an optimized site, there are some naughty tricks that cheat the system that you should avoid at all costs. Don’t be a cheapskate, earn your rank the good ol’ fashioned way! Stay away from:
1. Webpage Flooding – Using script that instantly creates 100s of pages with keyword stuffed content. Google will find you and punish you.
2. Invisible Text – Placing white keyword loaded text on a white background. Your visitors can’t see it, but search engines can. Bad!
3. Cloaking – Showing one page to your visitors and another to the Googlebot…classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
4. Keyword Stuffing – Come on, you’ve gotta earn it! Google wants to read a natural page and rank it according to its own merits, not one with overloaded keyword gibberish.
Don’t be the bad guy, play fair and earn your ranking with real content and honesty. It’s worth it to practice ethical online marketing!
Search engine marketing has evolved beyond conventional blogging and on-site linking to include social networking on services like Facebook and Twitter. Let’s take a look at some tips for creating a successful Facebook page for your business:
1. Design: Your Facebook page might not look like much when you first create it, but trust us — it can. Major companies like Starbucks and Skittles have set a standard among businesses by creating visually stunning designs. To truly excell here, you’ll probably need the help of professional graphic designer, but here are a few tips to get you started:
Use the FBML Facebook app to design new tabs using a combination of images, text, and links. Remember, this is also an opportunity for SEO!
Change your page’s default tab to one of your new tabs, as these will look better than the default wall tab.
2. Interaction: It’s called social networking for a reason, so start being social! Host contests, ask questions, friend new users — do whatever it takes to get people interested in your page.
Follow this advice, and you’ll be well on your way to business marketing with a Facebook page for your company.
Bing! The search engine’s trademark sound never sounded so sweet — not to the internet marketing community, anyway. Yesterday saw the debut of the revamped Bing Webmaster Tools, revealing a three-pronged focus on crawling, indexing, and traffic.
New features include:
The super-cool Index Explorer, which let’s you check out the Bing Index to confirm that the search engine has included all of your pages and directories.
Submit URLS, a feature allowing users to manually suggest URLs for indexing.
Another neat tool, Crawl Issues, which documents potential problems such as malware, redirects, and exclusions.
Last, Block URLs, a way to submit the pages and directories you DON’T want to see in Bing search results.
Also, Bing is going to roll-out additional tools all the time. Watch your back, Google!
Now for the bad news: The main downside to Bing’s new set of tools is that they require you to first download Microsoft’s Silverlight 4, a development platform most of us would rather get to… in our own time. You can’t even watch the new Bing Webmaster Tools’ introductory video without getting Silverlight.
Overall, though, Bing Webmaster Tools is an exciting addition to the world of business marketing. We look forward to seeing new features, and otherwise reaping the benefits of the ongoing Google-Bing rivalry.
When it comes to planning your business website, it’s important to remember one thing: everything. Every single detail — from font to slogan to color pallet — can help your business stand out from the crowd. Because internet marketing is about more than just SEO or PPC (or, OMG, any of the other acronyms we use). It’s about branding your site to match your business.
Today, we’re here to talk about logos. Not yours, necessarily, but the logos you can place on your blog and website to link to your Facebook or Twitter pages, or encourage readers to bookmark your content on Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Reddit, etc.
The standard approach here is to include each service’s standard icon, as in the group of pictures shown above. This presents your business as in-the-know, well connected, sleek, and modern, but it is not the most creative approach. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite specialty sets — all of which are available free from their creators:
Woven Fabric icons by Dawghouse Design Studio — Perfect for clothing and fabric shops, organic food stores, maybe even garden supply retailers.
Hand Drawn Doodle icons by Spoon Graphics — Any sort of office supply company would be write right at home with these, don’t you think?
Old Bottle Crowns icons (also) by Dawghouse Design Studio — Vending machine manufacturers? Soda distributors? The business marketing possibilities are endless!
What is Ajax? A figure in Greek mythology? A household cleaner? A programming technique? Yes, yes, and yes. But at the Ajax Union marketing company, we’re mostly concerned with the latter definition.
Google Maps is a good example. Thanks to Ajax, Google’s mapping software can update its information without constant reloading. Users toggle between various routes and forms of transportation (driving, biking, walking, public transit) and see live updates on the page as the highlighted route and accompanying directions change the match the new settings.
Can you imagine how tedious Google Maps would be if you had to wait for the page to reload every time you made an adjustment? There’d be a lot more aimless drivers and walkers roaming around, that’s for sure.
A potent force in business marketing and online development, Ajax is likewise a great reminder of the internet’s vast capabilities, and how far we’ve seen it grow since the days of dialup.
One of the great things about the internet is that it makes it possible for a blogger in Cleveland to swap links with a e-commerce maverick in Tokyo. It’s global. It’s uniting.
But despite the web’s ride reach, it’s often better to target a smaller radius of customers, using a process called local internet marketing. Local marketing can help companies of all shapes and sizes, but it is particularly useful for small business advertising.
Let’s take a look at some quick steps for a successful local internet marketing campaign:
Define your audience. While some businesses target entire states, others restrict their focus to specific cities and suburbs, and still others concentrate their efforts on select neighborhoods. Figure out how far you want to “zoom in” with your SEO campaign.
Submit to local directories. Just like your business is listed in your local phone book, it’s important to create listings on directories online, such as Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, Superpages.com, and Bing Local.
Create a mobile presence. As smart phones become more and more popular, it’s important to focus on internet marketing techniques that translate to those tiny mobile screens. Foursquare.com is a good place to start.
Google Caffeine, the search engine’s revamped indexing system, launched a little over a week ago — and in that time, the internet marketing community has gone from so worried to “So what?”
Instead of layers — the foundation of Google’s previous indexing technique — Google Caffeine indexes a bunch of small chunks of the web simultaneously. Before, certain layers were being updated more frequently than others. But now content will be indexed much more frequently (and evenly), allowing for results “50 percent fresher” (according to Google).
In an industry like SEO, change is usually bad. All of our methods are built around The Way Things Are, not The Way Things Might Be After Google Updates Something.
But since Google Caffeine was created to deliver “fresh” search results, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. After all, it’s one of the tenants of internet marketing — and the web in general — that pages, blogs, profiles, Twitters, and so on should be frequently updated. If we wanted static content, we’d read a book.
The bottom line — business marketing companies haven’t reported any change in rankings since the launch of Google Caffeine. It hasn’t hurt us yet, and eventually, it might even help.