Archive for the ‘ SEO ’ Category

Sortfix Or A Next Generation Search Tool

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Although SortFix has been around for a while, I hadn’t heard of it until recently. I also didn’t really have a reason to give it a try because the vast majority of my Google searches were providing me with the results I was looking for.

The idea here is that you can do a normal search for something and then you will be presented with a screen that will allow you to narrow down your search using a graphical user interface (GUI). This will produce a search similar to something that a power searcher would do in Google. After doing this a few times, it becomes fairly evident how its done and one could start “power searching” on their own.
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Social Search's Effect on SEO

Friday, February 12th, 2010

There always seems to be something affecting your SEO rankings. Most recently, people have had issues with personalized search. Another kink in the chain may be social search.

The first thing is that Social Search can’t replace Hyptertext search (such as Google/Yahoo!/Bing/etc). Social search has 3 inherent drawbacks, time to receive information, credibility of the source, and subject/objectivity. Technically subjectivity is an issue with hypertext searches as well, but since the information is considered more permanent, people tend to be a little less opinionated and a little more objective (if the information is factual).
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SEO and Cross-Domain Content Syndication

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

When dealing with content syndication, one is occasionally in the situation where you are not the higher ranking site in search engines. You might rank #4 for an article and in that same search, your syndicated content may be ranked #1. What’s the best way to deal with this?

After much reading and discussion, I believe that you have a few options.
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Sitemaps On Rails

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

SEO being an interest of mine, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around releasing a webapp without a sitemap. The problem is that there aren’t any really great sitemap plugins for Rails. Now I will grant that creating a sitemap in Rails is a challenging proposition and one that I would not like to undertake on my own unless absolutely necessary. But I was hoping that there would be a rails sitemap “killer app” like there is with almost everything else in Rails.

So I dove in and tried a few options until I found one that worked. First I wrote some code to generate an XML file and then created a sitemap_index.xml.gz file by hand. This was very kludgy and definitely not a permanent solution. I had also read suggestions about doing it in a sitemap_controller.rb file, but that seemed just as kludgy as using a view to generate the XML. It was then time to explore the plugin world.
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Remembering that Content Is King

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Recently, Matt Cutts answered the question “Will SEO still exist in five years?” His answer is available here. To paraphrase, he said, “There will likely be SEO because there will always be people wanting to put the icing on the cake to get themselves found.”

I think that’s an obvious statement (not that I am taking anything away from everything Matt Cutts has said/done). I say this because the more search engines evolve combined with faster computers and more available computing power, the more they will have at their disposal to weed out the garbage. Eventually it will all boil down to content. How often do users actually search for advertisements?

The meme “Content Is King” refers to the idea that there should be unique or original text supporting whatever product or idea that you are trying to put forth. I believe that some of the biggest offenders of this are corporations (small or large). They are so intent on getting people on the phone that they (for the most part) do not put enough information on their web site about their products. Restaurants have their entire web site (including menus) in flash. This is a migration away from having original content sufficient to convey your intentions and ideas.

So as people create web sites, I believe that the following items need to be kept in mind:

  • People come to you for your ideas. That means that your content is what separates you from the other guy. Once you engage your readers, they will continue to come back for more. If you just tease them with partial content, then they probably won’t come back more than once or twice.
  • Context adds to the content. If you are consistently writing solid content about a subject, then people (and therefore search engines) will see all your ideas within the context of your content. For example, if you have a blog about cars and you write about a show that you went to at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City in April, then by context, the search engine and your readers will expect that to be about a car show. The more content you have, the more context is built up around your content.
  • Don’t write towards the search engines. Write your content the way you want your ideas conveyed to people. The search engines will do the rest.

Although the content of a site is not the only thing that accounts for a quality site, it is certainly incredibly important. If one does not consistently have relevant content, then people will not continue to visit or link to their site. Content is not a concept to be overlooked in designing a web site, especially in the long term.