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Google +1 Button for Websites Set to Go Live

In a matter of weeks, website owners will be able to insert the all new Google +1 Button to their websites, according to an announcement at the most recent Google I/O conference in San Francisco, California. During the event, Google gave a sneak peak at what the +1 button misoprostol abortion will look like, and provided examples of functionality and data analytics webmasters will have access to. The +1 button will look very similar to the current Facebook 'Like' Button, and will provide a greater amount of behind the scenes information to webmasters that Facebook/Twitter currently do not. In terms of functionality, +1 will allow website visitors to endorse either a web page or an article, ultimately giving Google the signal of quality content that is being voted on by others. The installation of the actual +1 button will be quite easy and as simple as adding a piece of HTML code provided by Google to the page of your choice. The button will be available in different types and sizes, depending on your preference. During the I/O Conference, Google mentioned the following statistics will be available to webmasters using Google Webmaster Tools after incorporating the +1 button on their website: Demographic Information (by age and sex) Number of +1 votes, broken down page by page User location Language Article impressions and click-thru metrics The data will be available in a graphical interface and offer visual charts to help website owners interpret the information and activity around the content that is being voted on. With the +1 Button set to go live, and likely become available in late May/early June, this could potentially be a major step by Google to make an effort to continue to incorporate social media metrics into their standard search ranking algorithm.  Google's goal is to better understand what content is being shared to help determine quality, and possibly include social factors into their standard organic search algorithm. Additionally, the Bing/Yahoo alliance and Facebook partnership makes Bing a bigger threat to Google as it continues to gradually gain market share, therefore Google is definitely feeling the pressure. It is up for debate whether the new +1 feature will open the door for aggressive SEO tactics and manipulation to try to game the system. Ultimately though, quality content remains KING. Ongoing development of buzz-worthy content for your website is about to become more important than ever with the introduction of +1. Get notified when the Google +1 Button becomes available. Sign-up here

Thoughts from the Search Desk: Google +1

Social media scored big points yet again last week as Google announced the new +1 feature to its search listings. Essentially, this is their response to Facebook's 'Like'? as it integrates social signals into their search results.  Searchers will be able to select a +1 button listed next to paid and organic search results (and in the future can be placed by webmasters next to content a la Facebook connect) for listings deserving of positive feedback. Why is this important? It indicates Google's continued transition toward weighting personalization and actual user feedback into their results beyond algorithm based indicators such as inbound links.  It is also a direct counter move to Microsoft's Facebook integration into their Bing search results.  Yet it moves one step further in enabling +1 on both paid and organic search listings. At this point distribution of +1 is extremely limited (less than 1% of searches) but will expand over the coming weeks. Initially, my thoughts surround a few topics. How should advertisers respond? The bottom line remains the same. It's rather simple actually - create value for the customer. Provide relevant, fresh content and a quality user experience and you will be liked, +1nd, retweeted, friended, shared and rewarded. Paid search: For advertisers we've relied on CTR as a measure of relevance, adding the +1 feature will help provide insight into consumer perceptions of messaging. Advertisers will be able to leverage this data in their search copywriting. As for other measures, according to Google, Quality Score will not be impacted. Campaigns should therefore be monitored for performance variations as the +1 buttons are distributed more widely. Organic Search: Google's evolution toward personalization is a good thing in my opinion and should be encouraged. Yet, whenever they make changes to their algorithm there are always those that are going to try to beat the system. We can expect a whole new suite of black hat SEO tactics to surface. While I certainly do not condone these antics, they should be acknowledged and monitored. Some general items to note: Google +1 is currently available only by the opt-in method by using the Google Experimental link: http://www.google.com/experimental/index.html A Google profile must be activated. Full +1 functionality will be available when a user is logged into a Google account; When logged out ' users will be able to see the total of +1 votes without the user names Search Results: Paid Search:  All Adwords listings will get +1 buttons. Advertisers will not be able to shut them off; quality score will not be affected.  Advertisers should monitor impact on CTR. Organic: +1 feature will influence search engine rankings based on activity within an individual's social network Reporting: Google Webmaster Tools will be able to provide stats behind both organic & non-paid listings For Webmasters: +1 buttons (similar to Facebook 'Like'? Buttons) next to content are expected to roll out within months and should be added to content Privacy: By enabling the +1 feature, Google will take note of the following: Gmail/Google chat contact lists, Google Contacts, and people you follow on Google Buzz/Google Reader

Putting Some Love into SEO

As someone who has spent the majority of my life around music, I recently wondered what it would be like if artists sacrificed their artistic integrity to make their songs more searchable within search engines.  Call me a dork, but yes, this thought actually entered my brain and it intrigued me enough to write a blog about it. This idea would be terrible for musical integrity, but it would be great for sales and artist related search traffic. So I thought about what some of the more popular music related search terms might be, and the first thing that came to mind was 'love song.'?  Maybe it's because I just got married, maybe it's because Valentine's Day just passed,  or maybe it's because I recently sang a karaoke version of 'Endless Love'? with our office manager Patty. Regardless of the reason, after researching the search volume of the term 'love song,'? I discovered that there are 2,240,000 monthly searches for that exact term across the world. When you think of artists who made their living off love, who comes to mind? Luther Vandross? Lionel  Ritchie? While I'm sure many of today's 20-30 year olds were probably conceived to the music of these two men, neither Luther or Lionel were ever smart (or simple) enough to have a hit single called 'Love Song.'? So naturally I asked, "who HAS had a single called 'Love Song'"? The only 3 artists that came to mind were The Cure, Sara Bareilles, and 80's rockers Tesla. After doing a quick Google search for the term 'love song,'? videos and lyrics for all 3 of these songs showed up on the first page of Google. That is pretty amazing considering the high search volume, and the number of popular love songs that exist. Tesla also had an album called 'Bust a Nut,'? but that's a different search for a different day,  on a different computer. Give them some slack'?¦it was the 80's. Tesla just might have predicted SEO would be huge while they were just learning Prodigy! Sara Bareilles may have struck SEO gold with 'Love Song,'? but she sure didn't gain any SEO points by keeping that last name. How many people do you really think can spell Bareilles? I know I had to look it up! Note to Sara: There's probably a reason why Lady Gaga doesn't go by Stefani Germanotta. How about going by Sara Ellis? Just a thought'?¦

Thoughts from the Search Desk: Google Instant

Yesterday Google announced the release of Google Instant an enhancement that serves results as you type. In classic Google fashion this is a subtle tweak that may have substantial implications for brands across both paid and organic search. Before getting two excited though the reality is it's all theory until the data can support it. So, as we enter into the new world of Google Instant here are a few initial thoughts for advertisers to consider: We should expect this will be good for overall search volume ' Being a public company with rigorous testing we can assume what's good for users is also good for Google shareholders. To quote Google VP Search Marissa Mayer in her interview with Ad Age ' '"Overall, this will be a much better experience for our users, so they will actually be searching more. Google Instant will grow the size and scope of search in general." Since relevant search referrals is a scarce resource for most brands, this increased volume should be good for advertisers as well. This does not change SEO principles - In fact, Google Instant only reinforces that search is a constantly evolving and dynamic environment. Sound SEO principles remain fundamental in managing to the rules rather than the exceptions. Behavior questions ' Will header terms or brands with more generic names benefit? Here's an example ' in starting to search for 'health insurance California'? I made it as far as 'heal'? when the insurer HealthNet is served as the 2nd result in my drop down box. Does this mean that this brand may see increased search volume (piggy backing off of high volume 'health insurance'? searches) vs. a brand such as Anthem Blue Cross that does not include 'health'? in its brand name? TBD How will this impact the long tail? Will searchers get lazy and choose header terms more frequently OR will long tail suggestions later in the query process actually improve long tail volume? TBD Most importantly, understand what this means for you -  implications may be industry or brand specific, focus on the data to understand the meaning for your business. It is far too early to understand how the balance between paid and organic usage or keyword search behavior patterns will change. Brands should therefore work with their agencies to monitor and interpret any potential changes specific to their objectives.

These SEO Results are Delicious

Not long ago I was at having an enlightening and topical discussion about Meat Loaf (the singer, not grandma's favorite dinner staple). As this riveting discussion was coming to a close, I was reminded of an article I read where someone recorded Meat Loaf giving SEO advice over the phone. This article was memorable for two reasons: Meat Loaf was giving SEO advice over the phone. The blurb about Meat Loaf appeared in TV Guide, and I don't think I've ever seen SEO mentioned in a mainstream media outlet. SEO usually goes unnoticed. It flies under the radar like a good cameraman, a good baseball umpire, or the bass player in a band. Like the professions I've described, the need for SEO is only noticed if the existing product is less than satisfactory. At the very least, a website should have abundant keyword rich text and well optimized Meta tags before search engines will consider displaying its URL prominently in search engine results pages. Obviously there is more to it, but we aren't trying to put anyone to sleep here. Let's say you own the only bakery in a town called Springfield. When someone searches "bakery Springfield," you better at least appear on the 1st page. Let's get back to the reason you're reading this...Meat Loaf! Senor Loaf was doing an interview with a site called www.thedeadbolt.com. He mentioned the first thing that came up when he Googled the site was a URL for a budget locksmith. Makes sense right? Since then it seems as though the site has implemented the necessary SEO steps, because the budget locksmith no longer appears first. Naturally I was curious to see what happened when I did a search for "meat loaf" in Google. The man knows his stuff, because he out ranked the food itself. At this point I was fantasizing about Meat Loaf being my co-worker and my SEO partner in crime. I wasn't even thinking of the public relations gift AMP Agency would receive in hiring Meat Loaf as an SEO Specialist. The press release alone would probably go viral. Knowing what I know now, if a guy named Pork Dumpling was going to consult me on SEO strategies, I would probably demand a background check and a drug test, but if he told me his name was Meat Loaf I'd be all ears. In closing, I would like to leave a message for Mr. Loaf... Dear Mr. Loaf,   While I am not a fan of your music by any means, I am a fan of your fondness for food, especially meat loaf. I find it to be delicious and unfairly scrutinized against, especially when it's in the company of "sexier" dishes. I am also a fan of your ability to stay relevant, even though you haven't had a hit since before the majority of people had internet in their homes. In fact you are more relevant than the food itself (according to Google anyway), and that truly is something to be admired. Given your love for search engine optimization, I would love for you to be my co-worker. In fact, I would do anything for you to be my co-worker, but I won't do that.   Sincerely,   Greg Faucher

AMP's POV on Facebook Like

In April, Facebook released the latest widgets to further extend the reach of Facebook by allowing site owners the ability to easily integrate the 'Like' button, which is so popular within its native environment, into any webpage. This is an enhancement to the ubiquitous 'Share' button, as it requires only a single click and also passes back personalized information about other friends that like the same content when a Facebook user is signed in. Given the reach and continuous growth of Facebook and the increasing importance that social media conversations play in organic search visibility, site owners should strongly consider taking advantage of this new offering. Implementation of the Like button is relatively simple, using either an iFrame: Or Facebook's proprietary markup language, XFBML: The size and appearance of the button can be customized to align with the look and feel of the site. In addition, there are some additional custom meta tags that can be used to define the way that the 'Liked' content is present in the user's Facebook profile. While the net result of the 'Like' button is not dramatically different from its predecessor, the 'Share' button, the new feature represents an expansion of the borderless web. Sites like Facebook and Twitter continue to grey the lines between their social networks and the Internet around them and all signs indicate that users approve of these changes. As demonstrated by the explosive growth in active Social Media usage and RSS feed consumption, Internet users are making it clear that they want a more fluid and consolidated web experience. This change will require a shift in the way that site owners think about their content and also how they measure the performance of their site. Sites will need to be developed with a focus on content portability by providing the necessary sharing widgets and expanded RSS feed offerings. In addition, site owners will need to actively push content out to the masses. Finally, clean, analytics-driven site measurement models will need to adapt to take into account the consumption of content outside the confines of the website. While social media monitoring tools can help fill this tracking void, this is an area that still leaves a lot of room for improvement. From an SEO perspective, content sharing tools play a critically important role. It is no secret that Google and Microsoft are in a mad dash to figure out how to effectively integrate the millions of conversations that are going on within social networks each day into their organic ranking algorithms. Some initial attempts include mixing social conversations in to the organic search results for time-sensitive searches. While interesting, there is a long way to go. What we don't see is the fact the search engines are updating their algorithms to consider these conversations as a way to filter public sentiment about a brand or event. In recent history, the SEO world has relied on the inbound link as its currency for site authority, but it is plausible that day to day ramblings from the universe of social networking users may take over this role. The ways that companies actively engage and how well they facilitate content sharing in social media will be integral in shaping the way that search engines assess their authority in the years to come.

  • 3 min read
  • May 5, 2010

AMP's POV on Facebook Like

In April, Facebook released the latest widgets to further extend the reach of Facebook by allowing site owners the ability to easily integrate the 'Like' button, which is so popular within its native environment, into any webpage. This is an enhancement to the ubiquitous 'Share' button, as it requires only a single click and also passes back personalized information about other friends that like the same content when a Facebook user is signed in. Given the reach and continuous growth of Facebook and the increasing importance that social media conversations play in organic search visibility, site owners should strongly consider taking advantage of this new offering. Implementation of the Like button is relatively simple, using either an iFrame: Or Facebook's proprietary markup language, XFBML: The size and appearance of the button can be customized to align with the look and feel of the site. In addition, there are some additional custom meta tags that can be used to define the way that the 'Liked' content is present in the user's Facebook profile. While the net result of the 'Like' button is not dramatically different from its predecessor, the 'Share' button, the new feature represents an expansion of the borderless web. Sites like Facebook and Twitter continue to grey the lines between their social networks and the Internet around them and all signs indicate that users approve of these changes. As demonstrated by the explosive growth in active Social Media usage and RSS feed consumption, Internet users are making it clear that they want a more fluid and consolidated web experience. This change will require a shift in the way that site owners think about their content and also how they measure the performance of their site. Sites will need to be developed with a focus on content portability by providing the necessary sharing widgets and expanded RSS feed offerings. In addition, site owners will need to actively push content out to the masses. Finally, clean, analytics-driven site measurement models will need to adapt to take into account the consumption of content outside the confines of the website. While social media monitoring tools can help fill this tracking void, this is an area that still leaves a lot of room for improvement. From an SEO perspective, content sharing tools play a critically important role. It is no secret that Google and Microsoft are in a mad dash to figure out how to effectively integrate the millions of conversations that are going on within social networks each day into their organic ranking algorithms. Some initial attempts include mixing social conversations in to the organic search results for time-sensitive searches. While interesting, there is a long way to go. What we don't see is the fact the search engines are updating their algorithms to consider these conversations as a way to filter public sentiment about a brand or event. In recent history, the SEO world has relied on the inbound link as its currency for site authority, but it is plausible that day to day ramblings from the universe of social networking users may take over this role. The ways that companies actively engage and how well they facilitate content sharing in social media will be integral in shaping the way that search engines assess their authority in the years to come.

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