Anthony Onaf Small Business SEO Blog Search Marketing and Consulting Fri, 24 Jan 2014 14:23:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Google Acquires Nest Labs for $3.2B Wed, 15 Jan 2014 09:35:43 +0000 Nest Labs Smoke Detector

Google has done it again, they’ve acquired yet another company, Nest Labs, which takes unloved products in the home and make simple, beautiful, thoughtful things.  Specifically, they’ve reinvented the home thermostats and smoke alarms.

This will push Google into the homes of millions and give them the opportunity to expand on smart home developments.  Internet connected homes are very much the wave of the future and Google is trying to lead the way.  Their Internet of things concept is to allow you to control lighting, heating, water, security, AC, etc. from anywhere using your smartphone or smart device.

Nest Labs was founded by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers in 2010, after they both left Apple.  Google has acquired the company for an estimated $3.2 billion.  The founders and the team will stay on board with the company to run daily operations, with the financial backing of Google this business is expected to grow substantially.

Read more about the acquisition, here.

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Protect Yourself From SEO Profit-Sharing Partnership Scams Mon, 13 Jan 2014 16:16:50 +0000 As SEO professionals we get approached by many needing our help. In some cases a person will approach me with a profit-sharing offer. This is when I don’t get paid any money upfront, but instead I’ll get paid on the backend, when a profit is made, we share the profit. These are also commonly referred to as business partnerships.

Basically, I do all the work to get the website to the top of search engines and drive targeted traffic while my so-called “PARTNER” sits back, collects the checks and share the profits with me. Many times this is a face value trust relationship, because as the SEO partner I don’t have access to the personal PayPal/bank account of the business owner.

I’m sure you can see all the trouble in that. That’s why when I’m approached with these type of offers I first have to like the business idea and concept. Then if I decide to partner with someone there needs to be a way to confirm website sales, even if I don’t have account access or control. I just want to know how many sales were placed and how much money was made.

I also have another requirement that I deem important. The one main requirement for any website partnership is that I MUST have domain ownership. This is how I stay protected in cases like this and gain some control as a partner. If my partner every gets shady then I have the power in my hands to shut the business down by shutting down the domain or have the ability to sell the domain to recoup any loss monies.

If someone seems hesitant or unwilling to relinquish domain ownership to me, then it makes me question their motives about wanting someone to do SEO as a partner. If they truly are seeking a partner then domain ownership is the least thing they could do to show they are serious about having a true partnership.

I’m a business man first, so I would never abruptly shut a business down or kill a domain, unless there is an absolute good reason. If a partner trust you to market their website and build their online presence then there’s no reason not to trust them with domain ownership.

If you’re an SEO and find yourself in a situation like mine, then I suggest you too ask for domain ownership. Draw up a contractual agreement if you have to, just make sure you protect yourself. You don’t want to get caught with your pants down. You do all the hard work to grow a business then at the end you have nothing to show for it. You just wasted time and money, with no reward. Be careful, can’t trust everyone!!! Hopefully you have a partner who is on the up and up. Good luck!

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Matt Cutts Advises Use of The Canonical Tag for Duplicate Content Issues Wed, 08 Jan 2014 23:54:52 +0000

Matt Cutts discusses duplicate content and advises webmasters to use the rel=canonical tag to address issues with duplicate content on multiple URL’s.  This would aid in reducing spam signals which may get your pages flagged or banned.

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Google Instant is Instantly Cool With Me Sat, 18 Sep 2010 17:32:57 +0000 The instant pros of Google Instant is that you’ll likely gain more visitors to your website, that is if your website is already ranked high in the search results for popular keyword phrases. Google Instant provides the web user with suggestions according to volume data.

Last week, Google introduced Google Instant to the general public. It’s described as a new enhancement which shows results as you type. This new enhancement can bring dramatic change to the search game as we know it today. It is becoming even more important to be a top contender in the search engine space.

Let’s say for instance this month “George Steinbrenner” is the most searched person pertaining George’s. As soon as you begin typing “George” the results for “George Steinbrenner” is displayed and the term “George Steinbrenner” is your suggested phrase. Essentially this will bring more visitors to your website as it seems to the untrained eye that your website simply ranks high for “George”. Next month the most popular name containing “George” could be “George Bush” and any website which ranks #1 for “George Bush” would also rank #1 for “George” in the Google Instant results. It’s like getting two for the price of one.

Targeting popular keyword phrases always had the potential of yielding you more traffic, but now it can cause a viral effect and reach the masses beyond just the “targeted phrase”. Google Instant is definitely cool with me.

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Buffet Themed Websites Are Destined to Fail Mon, 26 Jul 2010 12:09:53 +0000 Buffet Style eCommerce WebsitesLast night, I went to a buffet restaurant which offers an assortment of cuisines including Chinese, Italian, Seafood, American, Greek, and Caribbean. This is a catch-all type buffet restaurant. The food was fair, but no where as good as somewhere which specialize and focus on only a particular cuisine.

Many web beginners make the mistake of trying to be a catch-all buffet website oppose to focusing on one main dish. Instead of being unique and niche targeted, they attempt to be a Wal-Mart or Amazon, thinking this is their competition and offering or selling everything under the sun. By spreading yourself thin and being a generalist, it lessens the value of a website.

It’s difficult to compete as a generalist against Wal-Mart, Amazon, and the alikes. Unless you have an unlimited amount of resources it is nearly impossible to outrank and compete with these big businesses. However, being niche based can pay off big.

Taking the buffet restaurant example think about your own experiences. Eating at a buffet is fast, cheap, and convenient, but the food quality is not the same as eating at a restaurant which specialize in a specific cuisine. Most specialized restaurants take a certain sense of pride in each dish they prepare, while buffets are most concerned about mass, large quantities, and fast preparations while keeping food warm under heated lamps.

Buffets may get a herd of customers, but specialized restaurants get loyal customers which builds a following with name recognition. When was the last time you’ve heard of a buffet getting major buzz, beyond its local area? Think about that the next time you build a website, would you rather be a buffet or target a specific market?

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The Yahoo! and Microsoft adCenter Transition What to Expect? Tue, 11 May 2010 21:17:23 +0000 Yahoo! has updated it’s blog to reflect the Yahoo! and Microsoft adCenter search alliance a.k.a. partnership. Basically, for the next 10 years Bing will be the host for Yahoo! search results. Yahoo! will continue to appear the same on the front-end, but on the back-end it will be powered by Microsoft.

The benefit Microsoft gains is apparent. They become a larger search provider (and the second largest in the same breathe), plus they receive a commission on ad serves for Yahoo! I wonder what the trends are going to look like in coming months, will Microsoft be on top? But let’s be honest, a lot of Yahoo! visits come from non-search, but so does Microsoft.

Yahoo! and Microsoft Rankings on Google Trends

It might seem Yahoo! is a clear loser in the deal, because their search technology will ultimately be outsourced making them nothing more than a second-tier search engine, but truthfully Yahoo! has managed to stay in the game without needing to cover overhead and therefore add more dollars to research. Imagine if for the next 10 years Yahoo! focus on research and building the best engine on the planet, they’ve freed up the money to do just that! It easily cost millions (if not billions) a year to own and operate multiple data centers. Since, Yahoo! will not be the operation host for their search engine servers and hardware they can have much less data centers saving plenty of dough! I think Yahoo! was smart in this deal and may be a company to watch in the future.

Other than organic search, paid search will be affected and therefore all paid marketing accounts will need to be ported over to Microsoft adCenter. Yahoo! claims to make this process smooth since they developed tools to assist. The three main takeaways from this transitional update are:

  • It’s time to port your Yahoo! Search Marketing campaigns to Microsoft adCenter. I wouldn’t suggest creating new ad campaigns at Yahoo!
  • Transition overhaul will be attempted before 2010 holiday season
  • The process is stated to be smooth. Tools have been developed to automate the transition

For additional information visit the Yahoo! Transition Center which will guide you through the transition process.

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Breakfast in Hillside, NJ Mon, 10 May 2010 22:33:19 +0000 Hillside New Jersey breakfast story

Yesterday, (Mother’s Day) I decided to give my wife breakfast in bed, but since she’s not a fan of my cooking style I thought it’ll be best to go get take out. Shortly, I realized how difficult it is to find good breakfast take out, short of the chains like iHop or typical diners. But, I wanted something special and more homely-like.

I knew two restaurants which were soul food places, great food — but much further than I wanted to travel. I was looking for something nearby. I even tried the navigation system with no luck!

I live in Hillside, NJ a small town of 21,000 people but is the gateway for major cities in New Jersey. Hillside touches Union, Elizabeth, Irvington, and Newark, its almost like a hub for these big cities. You would expect to find some good breakfast spots easily. I’m sure there is some breakfast places around the area, but I didn’t venture out much, I stayed local in Hillside, but I couldn’t find a good place to get omelets, pancakes, grits, and beef/turkey bacon or sausages.

As I was about to give up on my search, a beam of hope swept in to rescue me. I stopped at what seemed like a simple convenience store to get a bottle of water. When I entered I saw a full grill with stacks of empty egg cartons. I was in awe! Outside there wasn’t a sign on the door or anything indicating that this place was anything more than a one-stop grocer.

As I made my order I asked the guy at the register how long this place been in business, to my surprise he said “nearly 20 years!” I’ve lived in Hillside NJ for over 25 years, minus the 8 years I moved to North Carolina. I never in my life stopped at this place because I never thought it was anything more than a small moms/pops grocery store. I never had the need to go to this side of town for a general store.

To top things off the food is delicious! This is a diamond in the rough. It shocked me that they lacked the promotional side of their business. If they tended to promotions they could pickup sales. The shabbiness of the place on the outside would make most people keep driving right pass it, but once inside it is quite homely and have a excellent menu.

It seems the nature of this place is deep rooted with the community on that side of town. Those who live near that area frequent the spot and know how delicious it is, but the rest of the world doesn’t even know it exist.

Many website owners operate in the same manner. They get stuck on the idea of a small website or local community site, that they neglect to put full effort into a true marketing plan.

Even a local community place like this food mart can expand by expanding its promotion reach. Every city which touch this small Hillside New Jersey food mart should be included in it’s target geographical areas. No stone left unturn, make sure everyone knows about their luncheonette. Could you imagine how much profit such a place could take in each year? I’ll bet if they promoted their business with at least 40% of their current earnings they’ll see a 100% return on their investment in no time. It’s literally almost guaranteed — that’s how fabulous this place is.

The same promotion woes occur online and if some webmasters truly considered promoting their websites outside its current markets then they can expand their reach and help others learn about their website. Does your website potential reach go as far as it could or are you leaving some markets untapped?

In case you are in Hillside or just wondering about the location of the Quick Food Mart its @ 60 Hillside Avenue, Hillside, NJ 07205. Really great food, don’t let the shabby look scare you away!

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Optimizing User Generated Content for Better Search Rankings Fri, 07 May 2010 23:46:12 +0000 In case you never heard of user generated content a.k.a. UGC then you should know it is simply content which is created by visitors of your website such as product reviews, blog comments, social profiles, etc. This user content may seem small and unimportant in the spectrum of SEO, but on the contrary it could be a beneficial element of search engine optimization for your website. Essentially, visitors to your website can be treated as content providers or contributors, thus like having your own team of copywriters.

Taking it further if properly optimized this content can be used to increase rankings for your pages. You can take lead of optimizing user created content on your website. I don’t recommend taking control of users private accounts, modifying blog comments, or reviews without explicit consent or notification to the members of your website. However, with permission and consent then it’s all game. I would recommend adding a simple checkbox or radio button to your registration pages for users to opt-into your website’s content optimization program, allowing you (the webmaster) the right to change or modify content as seen fit for the purpose of better search rankings. This type of control over your website will be very beneficial.

You don’t want to change the context of your visitors content. Don;t change what they say, but instead you want to change the way they say it — change the words they choose. A website which lacks user generated content could potentially be missing out on tremendous opportunities for more traffic. A website which integrates user generated content is more likely to do well within the search engines, because it creates fresh and unique content which feeds search engines. It’s even beneficial to allow user generated media or user generated videos.

Tom C. over at SEOMoz discusses ways to use user generated content for SEO, he does a great job at explaining ways you can use UGC to effectively drive up in the ranks. Visitors to your website are like SEO consultants or content producers, if you have a way for them to register for an account which includes a profile page then you know have a new page created for your website. Furthermore, requiring users to fill out complete profiles including a description will create fresh content for each profile page created. It’s a brilliant way to put your website on SEO auto-pilot.

If you have an informational website or website with no user generated content then you should think of ways you can integrate user created content. It can be as simple as adding product reviews to your ecommerce website or allowing comments on your article pages. However, I suggest using full profile pages if it fits your website as this is the greatest benefit.

Share your comments, how do you use user generated content for SEO on your website or what fresh ideas do you have?

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SEO Is Not Rocket Science, But It’s Grunt Work Wed, 03 Mar 2010 00:54:45 +0000 We all hate grunt work, it’s the work no one wants to do, but if neglected can be a devastating blow to your company. Most of SEO is grunt work, it’s low level task which usually can’t be automated, at least not with efficiency, and its labor intense, but for a website to succeed, there must be some level of grunt work.

SEO consist of optimization, analysis, reporting, research, data mining, link building, content writing, social marketing, etc. All which is grunt work. Regardless if you enjoy it or not it is still grunt work.

How much are you willing to pay someone to handle your grunt work? Would you pay more for efficiency or better reporting?

SEO isn’t going to get you into space or solve a quantum physics equation, but it bridges the gap between success and failure when it comes to online marketing. How important is SEO to your business? Does more visitors to your website affect your bottomline?

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Google Search Launches Twitter Real-Time Search Results Thu, 10 Dec 2009 13:09:18 +0000 Google embeds twitter real-time search results into their search result pages (5th rank down).

This new search tier has got to be a welcomed source of income for Twitter. I am sure there is a deal between the two which will fatten Twitter pockets. This new type of search will make it even more important to keep a social presence especially in Twitter, because the more you tweet then the more likely you’ll get in their real time search results.

Not all searches will produce real-time search results, at this time it seems to be selective but as time progresses I am sure it will open up more. The real-time search results are auto-updated in its own frame, you have the option of pausing the auto-updates.

Twitter and Google Launches Real Time Search Results in Google Search

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