What does Google Instant mean for SEO ?

With the launch of this new « search enhancement », SEOs all over the world are trying to guess what is to be changed for their tactics, for search engine optimisation as a whole and for the companies contracting them. But what is Google Instant anyway ?

According to Google, this is a new search feature showing results while you are still typing. Moreover, it has the ability to make smarter prediction on the long tailed keywords, so even if you are looking for a particular name for example, you might find other interesting results that fancy your search query. This is a major change for those searching online information, but how this will affect search engine optimisation companies that make a living from SEO ?
Recent tweets and blog posts show that internet marketers and SEO folks all over the world are worried about this change, some even predicting the death of search engine optimisation and online marketing, as they were until this point. However the tech from Google say although the search engine’s interface has changed, the entire algorithm that decides most relevant results is still the same.

A thing that will surely change is the impressions a site gets on paid results. As you probably know, an impression counts only if the search results are displayed for three seconds or more, therefore there will be lots of folks receiving way more impressions than before, but the problem remains on the CTR : will it lower ? This only time will tell.

Another interesting point is the importance of long tail keywords. Ranking higher for those keywords might only mean good thing while people will type in the search box until they see the results they want. So yes, this should be a major aspect any SEO should keep an eye upon.

What is interesting about this new feature is that even the developers at Google do not really know in what manner it will affect the advertisers going with paid results while “It’s possible that this feature may increase or decrease your overall impression levels.” So up or down ? No one knows and how could regular guys know this while even Google has no perfect picture about it ?

Twitter redesign – what is new in the game

Whether it’s about a social networking website like Facebook, or a search engine like Google, they all try to improve their presence and features by changing design, adding new interesting pieces in the puzzle and so on. Twitter is following this trend and they lately did a major change to their popular micro-blogging platform.

So what did they bring new for their over 160 million users? First and foremost, the new design is somehow cleaner and one of the greatest improvements is that users no longer have to click “more” for additional Tweets but they will be able to see its only by scrolling as long as they want.

Related to their design, Twitter seems to have taken in consideration new advertising methods while the re-design has special places to be filled up with ads and banners. Much more prominence is on “Sponsored Tweets” and “Who to follow”.

Twitter has became partner with popular media sites for sharing pictures and videos like DeviantART, Flickr, yfrog, YouTube and many others. Watching embedded media on Twitter has become much easier.

Shutting down the retweets is an easier task for each folk not so excited by this feature ( we will definitely face lots of “retweets shut down” ). Moreover, with a simple push of a button one can get a user’s tweets on their phone with easiness. Twitter also added an interesting feature that shows additional related content to the clicked Tweet like other Tweets from that user.

Another great feature is the possibility to see a mini profile of an user without the hassles of navigating from that very page; just click on the username and done, you can have a quick look on the user’s recent Tweets and account information.

Although many other improvements might have been brought into play we are glad to see our favourite social networking sites are changing constantly, trying to satisfy each and any of their member’s needs and somehow managing to do that, as seen by now.

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A few words about whitehat and blackhat SEO

White and black, light and dark, good and bad. We all know what these terms mean and how they are one in contrast with each other, but when it comes to whitehat SEO and blackhat SEO not everyone is familiar with these terms, so in this article we will be talking about what each does and you will probably find out if you have ever used blackhat methods to promote a website.

First and foremost, a simple definition is required for both. Put it this way : whitehat techniques are those practices that stay under radar, are legit and ethical like link building through link baiting, content worthy for links and so on. On the other hand, blakhat methods are those trying to simply trick the system. Among popular blackhat methods used we find spamming, backdoor pages, blackhat tools used to get links, link buying and so on. But can whitehat and blackhat work together in some way ?

Let’s take for example a popular blackhat tool used by thousands of webmasters lately and even online businesses owners, Scrapebox. What it can basically do it harvest the Internet for blogs related to a specific keyword/niche, lists its and mass comment on its for backlinks. This is pure spamming, you might say, how can this be used as a whitehat technique ? Well, it can be used in several ways, I will only enumerate the most popular ones. It can simply get a lot of links that your competition has gathered in time, not only blogs/forums links but also links from article marketing, paid links and so on. It becomes a simple routine to try and follow them, see what link you can acquire as well and crus hits it their own weapons. Second, it is a great keyword scrapper : put it this way, where Google Keyword Tool gives you 200 results for a specific keyword, this can literally perform three times better while it uses Yahoo’s and other keyword tools’ databases for this. Is this legit ? Of course it is, you see now how a blackhat tool can be used for whitehat SEO.

So why do some webmasters go with the darker part of search engine optimisation ? First reason would be faster results in SERPs and this reason is strictly related to the second one, fast money. They do not care if the promoted website gets banned from the engines in a month or two, until then they would have made thousands of dollars from different monetizing methods. By the time a website is banned or de-indexed, they are already working on two new ones, so it’s a cycle that never ends, for now.

However, for building a long-term online business or even creating a website for long-term incomes usually pays off better while using whitehat techniques, of course some guys might disagree, some might agree. In the end, it only depends on each person’s vision of the future and choosing between those two techniques or even mixing its will definitely bring with great results, if used according to the «books».

How to find the best keywords from the list and promote them ?

We talked in our latest post about the importance of keyword research, how to create a massive list of keywords related to someone’s business and how to establish the principal keywords that the site will be build upon. So now that we have the whole list, what is next to be done in order to get rid of keywords with high competition and actually concentrate on those easier to conquer ?

Even though this looks like a titanic work, it definitely must be completed to have a good start for the online business. And indeed, it requires some time but can be easily outsourced if the funds allow this. However, here are the steps anyone should follow after creating the list.

1. Check each and any keyword’s competition

There are many ways of doing this and each should choose what method suits him. Some internet marketers claim that under 500,000 results for a keyword or phrase ( not in quotes ) is quite an easy to conquer keyword. Others choose the method intitle : “keyword” inurl : “keyword” , again, lowest is better. For an un-quoted search you should also check the first 10-20 competitors’ PR and links, there are several ways of doing this with free tools. Of course, when the first let’s say 7 competitors have massive numbers of links and PR over 4 it is almost obvious that competing with its will be tough.

2. Group the keywords and write on its

Group the keywords based on the word/phrase they have in common. When this step is done, try to create content that fits your chosen keywords, usually more articles/content for a single keyword. This should be done constantly, try to create unique content. It is always better to create less content but with higher quality than poor content but in bunch.

3. Create website structure

Keywords must be used not only in content, but also in meta tags, meta keywords, page description, website title and so on. Stay away from keyword stuffing, this worked in the past, now will only bring problems to a new or even well-established site.

4. Promote the keywords

This is usually the hardest part of the job. Choosing the proper anchor text with the proper link and getting quality backlinks with the desired « features » is not such an easy task. Usually people promote keywords through forums signatures, blog comments, article marketing, press releases and so on. Diversity is the gold word here, try to get links from as many places you can. Do not spam, contribute to the sites you get links from and all should be fine.

These are just four steps anyone should be following as « to do » after keyword research, of course more could be added but the major idea is there. Each webmaster chooses his way from this point and work to rank as high as possible for the targeted keywords. It all depends on the amount of work one will bring into the game.

How to find proper keywords relevant to your business

Whether one is starting a new online business based on an ecommerce website or the website is already established, proper keyword research is crucial. Of course, there are a lot of methods of doing this and webmasters usually apply what worked well in the past, based on previous experience. However, chances of getting noticed on the online environment are quite low if keyword research is not a part of anyone’s strategy.

First and foremost, you should establish the principal keywords your business is related with, let’s take for example a company that sells knives. The major keywords would be knife, knives, folding knives, pocket knives, kitchen knives and so on. But again, this only depends on what the company sells while it would be unnecessary to use pocket knives when it does not have in its inventory this type of knives. So picking up keywords from own knowledge about the products would be first thing anyone doing keyword research should do. Choose keywords that best characterize the business/services/products.

Second step would be to create a large list of related keywords and this can be done in various ways. The most important one is by using the Google Adwords : Keyword Tool while it is the most updated tool and, well, you are optimising a website for Google so its database should be used first. Using it is not so difficult but there is a trick of getting way more keywords than using it in a normal matter. First of all, you may want to swich it to its previous interface ( the current interface was released a couple of months ago ). Take each word you found in step 1, add it to the box and hit « get keyword ideas ». The keyword « kitchen knives » generates 131 related keywords and another 69 keywords to consider. Add all of them to the database, and here comes the real trick. After you have added its, a list on the right part of the screen gets filled with selected keywords, next you should take each keyword listed there and do the same with it. You will get keywords listed before but also new keywords ideas you might use. Add all again, repeat the procedure until you get hundreds of keywords to consider.

A step most webmasters jump over is to use Thesaurus.com database for synonyms. Synonyms are also great for some products/services while for others are not. However, if synonyms you consider related to your business are shown, copy its and do the step above with Google Keyword Tool, that should generate another dozens of new keywords.

Yahoo Answers is a good place to find out what people are looking about your product, in our case kitchen knives. By browsing the questions you might find patterns that can help you create content that answers their questions.

Last, but not least, competition websites. These are goldmine for new keywords idea, is like you hired someone to do the job, you just pick up the fruits. Check at least first 20 competitors’ keywords, add its to the master list and if something new, you might want to take them again through the whole process described above with the Keyword Tool.For established websites with some years behind, a good method is to use Awstats and Alexa method for new keywords.

Now that we have the main keywords, secondary keywords made up of hundreds of its, how do we know which one to target, how to find gold keywords and how to properly promote its for prospects and search engines ? This is the subject on a new article, so stay tuned if you would like to find out how to use the massive list of keywords created. Care to share other methods for proper keyword research, feel free to leave a comment below, would be glad to share ideas with other webmasters.