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What you need to know about Google’s new Hummingbird Update

Google Hummingbird UpdateSearch Engine Optimizers and website owners are familiar with the fact that Google changes its algorithm a bazillion times ever year and each time, they give the update a unique name. Some of the names may sound extremely funny because they are based on people, cities, states, animals or drinks. Some of their most popular updates were the Penguin, Panda, Pelican, Polar Bear and not to forget the Big Daddy update. The codename of Google’s most recent algorithm update is “Hummingbird”.

The announcement of Google’s Hummingbird update made quite a stir in the web and SEO communities. The announcement of the algorithm coincides with Google Search turning 15 years last month. From 1998 to 2013, Google Search has come a long way and so has the way information is shared on the Internet. Today, billions of people have access to the Internet daily and the web has grown exponentially in the last 2 decades.

Unlike the Panda, Penguin and other updates which were changes to parts of the old algorithm, the Hummingbird update is a major update, much like the Caffeine Update that happened in 2010, but it is still different. The Hummingbird update sorts through the information available on the web effectively rather than simply improving the way Google gathers information. According to Amit Singhal, Google’s search chief, this is a drastic change in the algorithm since he joined in 2001.

Should you be worried?

According to Google, there is nothing new or different which SEOs and website publishers need to worry about. If you have original, high-quality content on your website, you should not be worried. Original and high quality content will always be appreciated by Google; the Hummingbird update just allows Google to process that content in new and better ways.

The next good thing is that if the past Google updates have not affected you, you will come through Hummingbird unscathed too. The algorithm was already live for a month before it was publicly announced and there has not been a major outcry among publishers. There may be a query-by-query effect which helps improve specific searches, but it is not an update which will cause major traffic shifts.

In these 15 years, Google has become less of a search engine and more of a wise, all-knowing guru. Questions like “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where”, “Why” related to your daily struggles are effectively answered by Google. Internet users have also changed the way they search online, and instead of typing in a few keywords related to a topic, they enter lengthy queries regularly. Hummingbird is addressing this search trend.

With Hummingbird, Google is trying to understand the user’s intent and meaning when they type in “long tail” searches. Google announced that it is moving away from a keyword-based search to providing niche websites to the searcher. When Amit Singhal announced the Hummingbird update, he also affirmed that Hummingbird is also an infrastructural update, which governs more than 200 elements that make up Google’s algorithm.

What do you think of the Hummingbird update? Do you think your website is now getting more visitors, less visitors or you don’t see any change in web traffic?

What is SEO, SEM, SEA, SMO, SMM, SERP and SERM?

If you are new to website marketing, it may be difficult for you to keep track of the abbreviations used by marketing professionals. This post helps you understand these terms so you can use them when needed.

SEO, SEM, SEA, SMO, SMM, SERP, SERM

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps in getting the website or a web page on the top ranking in search engines. By increasing the visibility of a website in the ranking of major search engines, more and more internet users visit the website resulting in an increase in business. SEO is a great way of getting more traffic to a website. It can be done by two techniques, white hat or black hat.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a powerful advertising channel.It is a technique of diverting more traffic towards the website by increasing the rank of the website on popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is also called as Search Marketing. It can be done by two ways; by getting traffic to the website with the help of SEO and by getting traffic with the help of paid advertising (SEA).

SEA (Search Engine Advertising)

SEA or Search Engine Advertising is a technique of gaining traffic to a website through paid advertising like Google Adwords or PPC (Pay Per Click advertising). It is one of the basic areas of Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

SMO (Social Media Optimization)

Social Media Optimization or SMO is the technique of increasing a websites awareness with the use of social media communities. These social media websites include social networks like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google Plus+, Orkut and more. SMO also helps in increasing the positioning of a website on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). SMO generates publicity of a website, its products and services on social networks, resulting in increased website traffic. Social News sites, particularly Slashdot, Delicious, Digg and Social Bookmarking sites, particularly Reddit, Pinterest and StumbleUpon are also included in social media.

SMM (Social Media Marketing)

SMM or Social Media Marketing is a way of promoting a website and getting traffic to it through social media sites. The main purpose of SMM is to generate awareness of a website, the products and services that are offered through it. The process of SMM is to create attractive content to grab the attention of the social networking site users and to encourage them to share it with their friends or social networks.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

SERP or Search Engine Results Page is the list of websites which are shown by the Search engines as a result when any keyword or a set of keywords is entered into the search bar. The list shown is relevant to the keyword(s) that is searched. With the help of the list given by the Search Engine, one can optimize his/her website or a web page to get better ranking. Search Engine Optimization is done to increase the ranking of a website for specific keywords.

SERM (Search Engine Reputation Management)

SERM or Search Engine Reputation Management enhances and controls the website reputation, generates positive publicity online and destroys search engine spam. It controls the appearing of negative comments about the website before the positive ones to prevent the reputation of the website from being destroyed.

Simple SEO Steps you can take to Improve your Website Today

As a website owner or business owner you’ve likely heard of search engine optimization before, but you probably have never signed up for SEO services with a firm or taken the time to make changes to your site that would help it rank higher in search results. Search engines are the new yellow pages, they’re the place that over 80% of consumers turn to before making a purchasing decision. That’s why it’s critical to have your business or website show up on the first page of results and ideally as close to the number 1 spot as possible.

If you’re in a competitive niche or a large market, you’re likely going to need to sign up for an SEO package to get your website on top, but if you’re in a small niche or small local market then there are a few things you can do yourself to try and get your website on page one of search results:

(1) Do some Spring Cleaning on your Website

If you’re slightly technically inclined, you can go into your website and make some small changes to the coding and content. When it comes to coding, you want to make sure you have optimized title tags, meta information, and anchor text. That means using your keywords that you want to rank for strategically in these locations to tell search engines what your website is all about.

On top of this, you also want to have quality, original content on your website. That means adding content when needed and making sure that you update this content regularly. The best way to add content is through regular blog posts on your website. This will help keep your site fresh, which search engines love, and it will help generate natural links to your website from 3rd party sites.

(2) Have a Properly Coded and Structured Website

So many small businesses hire a friend, neighbor, or kid down the block to build their website, and they end up with low quality websites that aren’t properly coded. This means websites that are made in flash, websites that are missing title tags, and websites that don’t convert well. Before you can market your website, make sure it is worth marketing and represents your business well. Your website is the first impression people will have, so make sure it’s a good one.

(3) Build some Inbound Links to your Website

Link building is a critical part of search engine optimization, so don’t be afraid to build some links on your own. You can do guest blog posts, submit articles, or try to get mentioned on a local news website. All these links will count as a vote for your website and tell search engines that your site is important and deserves to rank higher.

Again these three steps won’t rank a site in a highly competitive niche, but they certainly can rank a site in a small local market or less competitive niche. It’s a great place to start and if you find that you don’t have the time or expertise to rank your site on your own, there’s always companies out there who will take the online marketing burden off your shoulders.

This is a guest post by Brendan Egan, who is the owner of Simple SEO Group, an online marketing, web design, and SEO firm that helps small businesses improve their web presence. Brendan can be reached by visiting SimpleSEOGroup.com

Tips to Optimize a Multilingual Website

When it comes to internet marketing, being creative is a prerequisite. Sticking to the conventional marketing ideas can be detrimental in the long run as it may limit the potential of your business. One of the techniques that you can use to maximize the potential of your website is to make it a multilingual one, where people from different countries can comfortably search for the information that they want. SEO services are therefore very crucial when it comes to multilingual website optimization. There are over two hundred languages in the world and targeting most of them as a site optimization strategy can really put you ahead of the pack.

Firstly, one of the most trusted strategies for optimizing a multilingual website is through geo targeting. In layman’s language this involves creating micro sites that specifically target particular visitors from another country. To make your sites friendly for your users, the micro sites should offer the prices of the goods or services that you are offering in the currency of that particular region, along with the relevant language. Chances of your main website overshadowing the micro site will therefore be minimized. You would want to do this as the main site is usually the most optimized. However, achieving this is not a mean feat and an experienced SEO services provider is required to make this strategy a success.

Mostly, website optimization, even for a multilingual one, cannot achieve its target if there is no appropriate and adequate use of the relevant keywords. For a multilingual website you need to select and use the keywords of the target language appropriately. Do not make a mistake of merely picking keywords from your main website and translating them in to other languages; this will not work. The meaning of words and phrases change depending on the context and this can mostly happen when translation is being done from one language to another. Context and language-specific use of keywords is very crucial for a multilingual website.

Apart from making micro sites which use the target regions language and currency, along with the relevant keywords searched highly in the regional search engines for that region, you should ensure that your website has attracted inbound links that are local. Regional links are the ones that are usually behind SEO success. The main idea here is to create content that is localized with an aim to attract traffic from your target country or region.

An SEO service provider should use the inbound links of their clients’ sites to create an advantage, even if they have no control over where these may be coming from. Sticking to the basics of inbound marketing can also be very crucial. However, you still need to stick to the rules of thumb in as far as optimizing a multilingual website is concerned.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing the site as per the needs of search engines. Nowadays most of the users using the search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN for search on the internet. Because of that its very important for site to rank high on the search engines. High ranking sites on search engines can generate lots of business and its one of the very powerful tool for brand promotion.

SEO optimization is mainly divided into two parts.

  1. Onpage optimization
  2. Offpage optimization

Below are the major factors of onpage optimization

  • Title / Meta Tags
  • Keyword Research & Analysis
  • Site Navigation
  • HTML Sitemap
  • Content Analysis
  • URL optimization
  • Google Analytics Implementation

Below are the major factors of offpage optimization

Link Building

Backlinks for the site can be generate by directory submissions, article submissions, press releases, social bookmarkings.

Blog Contest – Great chance to win $2,500 in prize!!!

Ashwin Khanna is holding a crazy blog contest at his blog. The whole idea is to add a post to your blog about his contest with a link to his blog, and enter your self in a chance to win $2,500 hard cash in prize!!! Winner will be sent payment by Paypal so it is necessary that you have a Paypal account for this, to avoid any complications later on ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what you have to do

Simply copy and paste the following on your blog to be considered as an entrant to the contest.

Over at Ashwin’s blog, you will find one crazy blog owner!! You can win $2500!! To enter just copy this text and paste it in your blog!! But hurry, this competition will not last long! So get posting!

So what are you waiting for?! Join now and have some fun! Who knows you might win the $2,500!

Contest Details

  • The contest started on 11 July 2007 and will end on 20 August 2007.
  • Payment will be sent via Paypal to the winner.
  • Ashwin is looking for a minimum of 50 entrants to give out the prize money.
  • He has not made it public how he will decide the winner yet, and if there will be only 1 winner or several winners.
  • A lot of people questioned him if the contest is a genuine competition, and YES! It is a genuine contest.

Some interesting facts

This contest is an excellent idea for link baiting as it has spurred a lot of excitement among bloggers and website owners.

Here’s what I found out doing a quick search and checking on Technorati:

People are entering the contest like crazy. Just a quick look at the reactions at Technorati shows some very interesting results. Just yesterday, the contest got 7 โ€“ 8 more entrants as more and more people are blogging about the contest on their blogs. The screenshot below highlights some of them.

I’ll also help promote the contest so he reaches his minimum 50 entrants limit soon, although I’m sure he must have reached that mark already ๐Ÿ˜€

The post will also be visible on my Digital Point Profile in the Recent Blog Post Feed link, so hopefully a lot of new webmasters will be able to signup from there!

Ashwin's Blog

SEO Professional and Newbie conversation Joke

Newbie: I want to get links for my website. I’ve heard links can make my site come on first page of Google.

SEO Pro: That’s very true. Links are very important for search engine rankings.

Newbie: Please teach me how to find links for my site.

SEO Pro: Ok, you can start by reading this link building guide to get familiar with what link building is.

Newbie: ok

SEO Pro: Once you read it, youโ€™ll understand the importance of incoming links for any website

Newbie: ok

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Newbie: What is AltaVista?

SEO Pro: It’s a Search Engine! Well you should be knowing that!

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Newbie: How do I open it?

SEO Pro: Open what??? Confused

Newbie: AltaVista

SEO Pro: WTF

!!!

SEO Jokes

I work as an SEO Manager at a company and often get all kinds of weird questions from people, clients, and even the office staff about SEO, Internet Marketing, Link Building and Search Engines. Most of them are pretty straightforward questions, which sometimes annoy me as they take up a lot of my time. Sometimes I feel irritated and angry at the kind of questions asked, but most of them are quite funny if narrated. So I’ve given them a twist and changed them to SEO Jokes. Hope you find them interesting and hilarious ๐Ÿ˜€

Get some SEO & Lawyers Jokes at StuntDubl.com

Free Comments on your Blog!

I usually look for good SEO/SEM and Internet and Web Related Blogs where I can leave useful comments. Relevant and Quality Blog Comments can bring you a regular amount of traffic and can also help you in building links for your website. The more comments you leave on other related blogs, the more chance you have that the blog owner will visit your site and may leave a comment or two in return, if he finds something useful on your blog also.

That’s why I started a Free Blog Comments Thread at Digital Point Forums, inviting webmasters and blog owners to post their SEO, SEM, Internet, Web and Online Marketing Related blogs where I can post comments.

This is a free service I am offering to these blog owners, and in return I will get a few links, some traffic and comments in return. This will not only help them in building content for their site, but will also help me spread the word around and leave links to my blog at several SEO related Blogs.

So far, the whole thing is going great and I’ve got a few offers also, like if I leave 8+ quality comments on a blog, they will give me a free listing on one of their PR 3 Blogs Directory! Another one has offered to add ‘Top Commentator’ Plugin to the blog so I get a link to my Blog in return. A few others have left useful comments on my blog which is great!

Website Promotion Tools – When To Use Them?

I recently came across a blog promoting SEO Elite as one of the best SEO and Website Promotion Softwares out there. Having tried the software myself, I also agree that the software has great potential of getting you up in the Search Engine Rankings and Top positions and also to get traffic to your site.

Then I visited the official site for SEO Elite and read all what they had written on their main page:

“Learn how I use this revolutionary software to consistently average over 15,000 visitors to my websites, per day – Using only FREE search engines traffic from Google, Yahoo, and MSN!”

After reading over some of the material, I realised that these softwares are worthwhile if you already have a website with some useful content on it, or you have something which you can sell to your customers to be able to actually benefit or earn from the traffic that these tools drive to your site. Such tools and promotion softwares are no good for newbies, who do not have any established sites yet.

So my tip for all the newbies out there is to focus on making a website first. If you have a website, which you regularly update daily and have been doing so for a few months, then these softwares can be very helpful.

If your site is very new and has very few useful content on it, much of the traffic you drive to it using these softwares wonโ€™t be helpful. In fact, the visitors will come and visit your site and loose interest and might not come back again.