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Going Universal: How to Leverage Universal Search to Increase ROI

The following post was written by our SEO Channel sponsor Link-Assistant.

It amazes me how many online optimizers ignore Universal Search. I’ve come across site owners who ask, “Hey, we are a flower retailer, how do we rank in the top 10?” And I’m like, “Jeez, you’re not even on Google Places”.

Years ago, whether you owned a hotel, a newspaper or an insurance company, the way you optimized your site for Google was more or less the same. Remember the good old SERPs with a homogeneous mass of search results?

Nowadays, times have changed. Today, the search results contain paid listings, specialized search results (Images, Videos, etc.), and what not. There is now more distraction for the searcher, and potential visitors may simply ignore your insignificant “normal” result and click on a flashy Shopping snippet or something similar.

3 Must-Take Steps to Brand Search Results for Your Name

Long passed the days when we had to wonder why we should care about search results for our (brand) names. Google reputation management is a well-known phrase to anyone making a living online. Hence, you are most likely to know that in order to maintain stable presence in branded search results, one should be working continuously.

If you are blogging a lot and care about your brand name and what people see when they are searching Google for your name, here are exactly three things you need to do once to improve your Google search results branding:

1. Verify the Authorship of Your Articles

A few months ago Google got really serious about giving more credit to great content authors. As a result, you can see the author’s headshot right within relevant search results.

Will 2012 Become the Year of Mobile SEO?

This post comes from our SEO channel sponsor Link Assistant.

The mobile Web has been gaining HUGE momentum in the past few years. Different statistics pertaining to the mobile Internet paint a vivid picture of the latter growing bigger each day:

In a Shocker, Google Algorithm Update Favors User Experience

The SEO community is all atwitter (that’s an actual word folks that even existed long before 2006) about the latest change to the Google algorithm. There is the usual “Name the Change” stupidity but that’s just a distraction. Apparently, so are too many ads above the fold on a website according to Google.

From the Webmaster Central blog yesterday

In our ongoing effort to help you find more high-quality websites in search results, today we’re launching an algorithmic change that looks at the layout of a webpage and the amount of content you see on the page once you click on a result.

Google’s “Search Plus Your World” to Kill Facebook and Twitter?

This post comes from our SEO channel sponsor Link Assistant.

There we go, folks. Barely had 2012 begun, when Google, the search engine that never sleeps, rolled out an unprecedentedly refreshing mode for its search results – Search Plus Your World.

Search plus Your World mixes “regular” (told you “regular” was relative) search results with various Web 2.0 pages associated with YOU, displaying different things you intended to share, say, only with your friends on Google+, right within the search results.

As creepy as it sounds, now, if you feed Google some obscure keyword and this keyword is present somewhere on your/your friends’ social media pages, those pages will most likely get included into your search results. And, the outcome can be quite surprising: for example, I performed a search for “5-star hotel” today and got this highly “relevant” share from a colleague:

Yahoo! Site Explorer Is Dead – What Are the Alternatives?

This post comes from our SEO channel sponsor Link Assistant.

In the SEO world, November 21, 2011 was quite a day for many. In case you didn’t know, this is the day Yahoo! Site Explorer, a free and awesome backlink research service, ceased to exist.

Why was Yahoo! Site Explorer so immensely popular with SEO-optimizers? Well, first, it was free. Second, it offered one of the biggest backlink data sources on the Web. And third, it was very simple to use. So, now, with this one-of-a-kind backlink research tool gone, the game has changed, and there are several things to keep in mind:

- The amount of backlink data available for SEO analysis has decreased manifold (since Yahoo! Site Explorer had about the biggest index). As of now, there is hardly a database around that matches up to the scale of Yahoo!’s abolished databank.

Google Creates Rich Resource for Rich Snippets

Everyone is looking for an edge in the search engines. We got that.

Seeking the advice of everyone and their brother who has tried to game Google’s system is one way to handle this “game”. It’s not the one we recommend by any means but that doesn’t stop a lot of people from trying.

Probably one of the most effective ways to build a sound website foundation is to follow some of the suggestions Google offers to everyone. You might say, if everyone is doing it then we all look alike so how does that help? Well, it’s simple. Not everyone does the basics well. And if Google is going to give you information in a quick 10 video series about rich snippets why not take the time and the advice and put it to good use?

Here’s the introductory video