February 12, 2007

Google Employees Patent SEO techniques

A group of Google employees have filed a patent application (#20050071741) on how to optimize a site for increased rankings within Googles SERP

Based on the new Google patent here are the top 5 suggestions to better optimization for Google:

1- Build links slowly to your website. Websites that put up a bunch links quickly send up a red flag that links are being added in order to boost rankings. According to Google, natural links happen slowly over time, so one’s link-building strategy also needs to include link-building slowly over time.

2- The anchor text in the back links to a website also need to be natural as well. If a website has lots of great content of interest to visitors, other Webmasters will naturally link to the website. Content is still king when it comes to building natural links.
In fact, having great content is the best natural linking strategy.

3- If content is king, then fresh content is prince. Google thrives on websites that are constantly adding fresh content. Websites with stale content erode in value over time.

4- When adding fresh content, make sure it is substantial. According to the patent, Google measures substantial versus insubstantial content that is being added to a website.
Don’t try to trick the search engines with lots of minor content updates.

5- Outbound links to trusted, authority sites help in the rankings. As a reputable online business, it makes good business sense to refer customers to other reputable businesses as well. Referring customers to disreputable websites only hurt a business’s reputation and credibility and Google takes this into account when deciding how to rank websites.

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When Google's Algorithm Changes

I have recently observed some changes within Googles Search Engine Results Page, indicating some sort of shift to it's algorithm. Searching for some validation and foresight, i came across a couple great observations:

"It has been known in search engine optimization (SEO) circles for quite some time that one could successfully implement what is referred to as a GoogleBomb. The best example was a search on the phrase "miserable failure". A search on those words within Google would show George W. Bush's biography at the White House website, in the top three or four results of the search results. This would occur, despite the fact that neither word in the search criteria resides on the White House website. At one time, Bush's biography had been in the Number 1 spot, but counter-bombing campaigns moved Bush's listing down the page a bit....

... my point was to show the importance of anchor text in a link to build the value of a web page in the Google search engine result pages (SERPS)."

"The "miserable failure" GoogleBomb came to exist within a loophole within the Google algorithms. Google puts a lot of value on the anchor text that points to a particular web page. It is part of their "one link – one vote" philosophy as to the value of a web page." -Bill Platt

So Google is constantly updating to close these loopholes, unfortunately the moment one closes the opportunity for another opens!! Keep yourself up-to-date or your web site has the potential to just disappear.

We can help.....Email Me.....Eric S.

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February 08, 2007

How should you build your business online?

A great little clip from the QuickBooks Community web site, reinforcing the value and intricacies of Internet marketing for small businesses-

How do you know when to take your business to the Internet and how much should you put on? Should you start your own website or purchase a store from eBay or other sites like that? Your opinion would be greatly appreciated!
- Sioux1

Every business should have an Internet component - you just really can't be in business without it. That doesn't mean that the Internet is your only form of marketing, but it's a great way to integrate many forms of marketing. With regards to your store question. Depending upon your long range goals, your own site may be the best bet. You can look at option like a Yahoo Store and then add an eBay presence as well. The one thing about marketing, including marketing on the Internet, is that you are best served by using all of the various tools out there like store fronts, web sites, RSS feeds and blogs to build and support your own brand.
- John Jantsch

Contact us to discuss building your online presence

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February 05, 2007

Local Browsing online in order to purchase Offline

A new search directory has just recently popped up, joining the likes of Froogle and ShopLocal.com. With a focus on research facts online and locations for a potential offline purchase, this search engine allows users to take less of a sales pitch and more of an informative awareness to the table when it comes time to make the buy.


February 02, 2007

Does Local Search Need a Facelift or Is It Just You?

With local search becoming increasingly popular, shifted mainly by web surfers need to find more relevant results, most search directories actually fail to provide the consistent, relevantly organized data most searchers assume they should be seeing. This can severely damage a local businesses community status as for those searches they don't even exist.

Out of sight, out of mind really rings true in the local search realm, as many of your competitors have the opportunity of showing up in the results page and taking away a client willing to partner with your business if you were to appear.

In order to rectify this issue your best bet is to allocate 4-10 hours a week on research and development of your current web presence. If you or your business is new to search engine marketing then a little more time will be needed to initially develop a strategy, build your content and distribute your core data.

Finding a company to provide a one stop shop solution can be exhausting as many firms in the space have focused on providing very niche offerings that fill in just one piece of your online advertising puzzle. I know of one that can help.........

Who else spends at least 40 hrs a week online?

-Eric S.
Email Me

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Local SEM 101, for Business Owners

We're adding to our Learn Online page of our website, and building a pretty good primer for business managers and business owners using, or considering, search marketing for their local businesses. We're adding to the content every few weeks. Check back or subscribe to our blog.

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January 10, 2007

Value of Turnkey Local Merchant Bundles?

Anecdotal evidence, at least, suggests some local merchats are fearful of piecemeal approaches to their online marketing strategies. Case in point, a services professional we work with has a lingering headache about the need to "get online"..."but not sure what comes first...the Internet address, capturing emails, a website, ads on Ggl" (my paraphrase). Thus, they have done nothing...til now, now that our team is getting the url, building a profile page that will soon capture new emails to add to his stack of business cards (that we will probably data enter) and promoting them with a bit of fixed placement and beginning the organic effort. PPC over time, perhaps. Good news is the industry has a new customer who finally has some relief, for a while at least.

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December 28, 2006

Ready to Search Near?

Our development continues on an innovative approach to local search nav and results rendering. We'll release a rev1 site in the first quarter of 2007...to address the increasing fragementation and intermediation making search results, especially local results that still confuse literal location data with merchant service areas, less relevent than ever in many search scenarios.

Adding to the challenges, data inconsistencies are on the rise as indiv sites gather and protect their base data sets...under the presumption that better base data (ie. better content) will make them standout. Doubtful, as not even the mediocre/poor results provieded to the many searchers of unmatched-scale Ggl still have a relatively high percentage of users spreading "best results" sentiment.

Hmm...seen Clusty, lately?

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December 12, 2006

"Profile" Pages Abound!

Profile pages abound, as does the clutter and confusion. Local merchants are being inundated with all sorts of microsites, profile pages, detailed pages, listings, enhanced listings, featured listings, sponsor listings, etc, etc....and worse yet, each of these listing types has multiple affiliated brands, many requiring a Go/No Go decision by the merchant. The fear is the average merchant who recognizes the need to promote their business online just simply does not have that many "Yeses" in them and we risk frustrating and alienating those merchants who will "wait for it all to be sorted out or simplified". Cornerstone bundles many brands and listing types into its "meta-local" value paks and has seen good receptivity from local merchants who are busy running their businesses. We've found that whereas the lead brands certainly matter...Yahoo and Google...in many cases the gravy (and peace of mind) to the local merchant is the inclusion in organic and base inclusion across many brands.

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December 05, 2006

Yahoo! Yellow Pages Success
Info snippet from the street: just heard from a real estate-related merchant that Yahoo Yellow Pages continues to deliver results, even when other online tactics are very much underperforming. Their offline tactics are lagging far behind expectations. I certainly can't draw too many conclusions from this anecdotal evidence...but can say in this merchant's mind, Yahoo is a brand that continues to deliver results in a very difficult real estate-related market. We've heard a number of other good customer takes on Y! Yellow Pages, too.

November 30, 2006

Cornerstone Local Stands Alone
Cornerstone posted some news today...the recent spinoff of Cornerstone Local as a separate business entity from our "parent" company, Cornerstone Marketing.

It's an exciting time for CLocal as we have hundreds of existing customers and our monthly economics are favorable. However, the landscape is littered with the remains of other local SME service firms that struggled. Just today, it was reported that InsiderPages reduced their staff from 30 to 10 employees....and Judy's Book may be seeing "national local" as their route in local.
Well, Cornerstone is a pure "local local" company...so stay tuned. Thanks, Jeff

November 13, 2006

Too Local?
How Local is too Local? We never thought we'd say it...you can be too local! We've had a real challenge delivering enough traffic to certain clients that want to target single counties or less in scope and reach...especially for tier 2 and tier 3 categories. Thus, we are refreshing KWs, adding depth via new search brands and venues and testing higher-priced KWs. Your insights are appreciated...CL

October 05, 2006

Welcome to the Cornerstone Local Search Marketing blog. We intend this blog to be a resource and sounding board for businesses trying to target new customers in specific localities like cities, counties, metropolitan regions or states. Whether you're a small, medium or large business, or a marketing industry professional, we invite your comments, questions and examples related to "local search marketing". Thanks in advance for your contributions of insight and information.

Please contact us toll-free at 1-866-334-0974 with any feedback or questions. Again, "Welcome" to our blog, and "Thank You" for participating, contributing and linking.

Jeff Tadie, President
Cornerstone Local Marketing