Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Can Social Bookmarking Sites Provide Better Results Than the Search Engines?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Let’s head back to the SEO days of the late 90’s. META tags were all the rage, most notably META keywords. Now back to 2007… The use of such ‘indicators’ is coming full-swing. Although the ‘META keywords’ phrase is now shunned upon, tagging tends to be a concept that many accept with open arms. At the core, they are essentially the same thing. A user or publisher is providing a word or phrase (i.e. metadata or context) to a given page in this case. However, the amount people that provide this data is the difference.

Some are saying that this type system may provide more accurate and relevant results than other search algorithms, most notably Google’s.

Social bookmarking sites essentially allow a large audience to tag individual pages all over the web. It is similar to providing META keywords, but on a much larger scale. I call it ‘tagging by the masses’. Hopefully the wisdom of the crowds is more pertinent than a computer-based algorithm.

One downfall of such a system is the possibility of gaming or cheating. Mismatched tags and spam can ultimately lead to personal financial gain (for some), as well as inferior results for the user. Though this is easier to accomplish using a tag-based system, gaming is still widespread within traditional, algorithm-based search engines as well. Search engine optimized, AdWords-smothered pages still continue to appear in the results, although an effort has been made to eliminate them.

Perhaps one of the traditional, ‘lagging’ search engine should look at incorporating tag-based results in their own algorithm or results. A risk such as this could provide a spark or catalyst that Ask or MSN so desperately needs.

Yahoo Finally Hits a PageRank of 10!

Monday, May 7th, 2007

Yahoo logoWow… it should took awhile, but Yahoo finally hit the magic mark. Ironically, only a month ago I wrote a blog post asking when Yahoo would reach a PageRank of 10. I guess the PageRank gods were listening.

Yahoo joins an elite, exclusive group which includes the likes of Google, Adobe, Real, Macromedia, Apple, and the New York Times to name a few. It was obvious that the search engine giant would eventually hit the mark. it was just a matter of time - and, well, back-links.

So what does this mean? Nothing really. It just means that Yahoo is a PageRank 10. Well, and that Google doesn’t have complete bragging rights. Although Google does dominate the search engine arena in terms of market share.

I can’t wait til Google hits 11… if indeed it is possible. Once again, Yahoo would be playing catch up.

So when will MappingTheWeb hit a PageRank of 10? Who knows… but if you link to me, I will be one step closer. This is my obvious attempt at link-bait. Please give in to the urge. Much appreciated.

PS. Yahoo still holds the #1 Alexa rank. Take that Google! Urrgghhh…

Internet Marketing

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Internet marketing means different things to different people. I like to use my own simple definition: the purpose of Internet marketing is to increase brand exposure and drive traffic to a given web property. Wikipedia takes on a different angle and defines Internet marketing as “the use of the Internet to advertise and sell goods and services”. I’m not sure I agree with this, but there is one thing I think we can all agree on. There isn’t ONE way to market or sell a service online. A comprehensive, well-planned campaign is necessary for success.

Why do I say that?

Well, as an Internet marketing & strategy consultant, I come across clients who want to specifically leverage one type of Internet marketing vehicle to promote their site. Whether it be SEO, pay-per-click, or e-mail marketing, the client is set on one method and their vision is narrow. Surprisingly enough to them, the strategy they are set on using is not always the best choice. Furthermore, a true campaign encompasses different strategies.

At the end of the day, increasing brand exposure and driving qualified traffic are the main goals. It doesn’t matter how this is accomplished. SEO, link building, affiliate marketing, e-mail campaigns, PPC, and advertising are all great, but the goals and milestones of the company must be outlined. From there, an online strategy can be set forth.

Add to that the fact that some techniques, such as link building, have two-fold effects. Not only does link building provide much needed SEO juice, but it also drives direct traffic via the link itself. Killing two birds with one stone is always a plus.

Companies and clients alike need to be open-minded when it comes to marketing on the web. There isn’t a single solution. Innovation, creativity, a well-developed plan, and solid execution are the key points to a successful campaign online.

SEO Tip #5 - Acquiring Back-Links

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

At the end of the day, the best way to acquire a lot of good quality, relevant back-links is to simply provide good content. Whether it be a blog post, a funny video, or a spectacular photo, users will link to your site if they deem the content to be unique and valuable.

Having said that, users need to somehow discover your site in the first place before they are able to back-link. In addition, the ability to constantly attract new visitors is always a plus. For these reasons, acquiring some back-links is necessary. As we all know, back-links are at the heart of Google’s search algorithm - and Yahoo’s and MSN’s now too… Finally, not only do these links provide SEO juice, but they also drive direct traffic as well, creating a two-fold effect.

So where does one find these coveted one-way back-links?

I wish I had a simple answer, but each website must be examined on a case-by-case basis. However, all web properties can be submitted to directories, including specialty ones. This is free, one-way linking and usually provides a reasonable PR link.

Directories aside, creative thinking must be emphasized for any linking campaign. Let’s take Eat Across Canada for example. The site is a guide to local restaurants across Canada. Where can it obtain back-links?

  • General directories (obviously)
  • Specialty directories (focused around Canada, food, dining, and restaurants)
  • Targeted, niche blogs
  • Industry organizations and members
  • Affiliated companies and partners

… to name a few…

Another good way to discover potential linking sites is by doing a backward link check of your competitors. Who is linking to them? Might they also be interested in linking to you? There is a good chance. could also create a blog or post articles related to dining, food, cuisine, and culture. If the content is well-written, these articles could be a catalyst for back-links from readers. Content is king. The cliche lives on…

In any case, if some creative thought can be put around strategizing a linking campaign, chances are that this initial grassroots push may be the spark that ignites the linking fire.

When Will Yahoo Achieve a PageRank of 10?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Yahoo logoWhen you think of the top Internet brands, Yahoo is almost certainly one of the first to pop into your mind. After all, this search engine giant has withstood the test of time and prospered. Furthermore, it is ranked #1 in the world by Alexa in terms of traffic. So why hasn’t this web goliath been able to achieve a Google PageRank of 10 yet?

Now, I love conspiracy theories. And although I do not believe this is a conspiracy, let’s explore the possibility that Google is blocking Yahoo from achieving a PageRank 10. What does Google have to gain from this potential move? Perhaps, more credibility as a search engine and the perception of a more useful search tool (based on the number of back-links). Nah, I don’t buy this…

So let’s move on… Why do Macromedia, Adobe, and Real all have PageRank 10, but not Yahoo? I pondered this question for a long time. Then it hit me - plug-ins. A lot of website link to these three giants for plug-in downloads and updates (i.e. Macromedia Flash, Adobe Acrobat, and Real Player). The story behind Google’s PageRank of 10 is also similar. A lot of website publishers embed the Google search tool within their site. For this reason, back-links are extensive. Yahoo is not known for this.

Yahoo needs to create some amazingly revolutionary widget so that everyone embeds it on their site and Yahoo can finally reach this final platform. JUST KIDDING. To be honest, PageRank doesn’t mean a whole lot. It is a subjective number created by Google that many swear by. Others yawn at its presence. My guess is that Yahoo will hit this mark soon enough. Moreover, I don’t think anyone has paid this much attention to such a small thing as I. But that’s just me.

What’s really interesting is the PageRank scale itself. Though most people assume it ranges from 1 to 10, I’ve heard that it may extend beyond the upper limit. However, due to its logarithmic nature, no site has come close to achieving the next level as of yet. But who knows? Maybe Google will get to 11 before Yahoo gets to 10.

Every time I visit the Yahoo homepage, I check my Alexa toolbar. Maybe one day that infamous rectangle will be full of green…

Note: Hopefully my Yahoo links above will push it over the top… unlikely.