Land of the lost search rankings


It’s almost summer time and although we are in California, there are definitely still seasons where it is still pretty cold (under 65!) and hot. I finally figured that out after living out this way for  two years now. Although this image is probably somewhere elsewhere, it is ‘free’ to use and captures the moment nicely…

s k i p p i n g  s t o n e
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lee Sie

It still blows my mind that from basically now until November it simply doesn’t rain at all!

OK, so now that we are all up to date with the weather here, how is the climate of organic search doing in 2009? Hmm, it is  2009, almost the second decade of the new millennium and we are still calling it ‘the new millennium’. I think this whole year 2000 thing has definitely gotten pretty old – just look at all the crappy ‘date named’ Microsoft products out there. Notice how ‘Bing’ is not timestamped like Windows 2000 Server is? Okay, Y2k got pretty quick so what can we look forward to now in the world of Search? To move away from the paid search end of things, lets look at the world of organic search and what is happening ‘today’, here and now – in June 2009.

I just returned from SMX Advanced in Seattle at the beginning of June and learned some things we already knew, some new ideas, but mainly got the bug to start implementing more ideas that are not necessarily ‘new’ by any means. We’ve just really learned more and more over the past few years that doing things in a way where you ‘create great sites’ and do things that will prompt others to link to your information is really the way to go. Utilizing social media to help out is great, but it must be done in a real, organic fasion. It is one thing to setup tons of social media profiles for several sites, another thing to have dedicated people logging into those sites daily and creating meaningful discussions and topics to help promote that particular profile.

PICT0107
Creative Commons License photo credit: iambarr

An often misused, underrated and misguided resource is the ‘Creative Commons’ license for images. Simply using a plugin such as PhotoDropper can really help a corporate blog deal with any photo licensing issues. This plugin helps WordPress bloggers choosed photos from an already licensed ‘Creative Commons’ pool of photos based on the keyword. You know you will never have to worry about any copyright infringements if you use this for blog images where needed. Also it gives credit where due.

Here are some quick tidbits as of late that I’ve picked up on:

The change in importance of H1, H2 headers.

These have little impact on search now, thanks to several A/B tests that were presented lately at the search conferences, and are basically good to use for keeping a site ‘user friendly’ and organized, as you always should. The point here is that the emphasis on search results has changed substantially.

The most important things for ‘On Page’ Ranking factors as it seems from recent studies is really in this order:

Domain Names having Keywords IN the domain, The Path having appropriate Keywords in Directory Names and Filenames, using Alt descriptions for images – it acts simply as the anchor text would.

Along these lines, it is important to try and keep a nice ‘flat architecture’ where possible. The more that a GoogleBot or other spider needs to traverse through levels of directories, the less important information will get indexed about your sites.

One interesting way to look at the GoogleBot’s pattern of indexing site pages is like this:

Lightning
Creative Commons License photo credit: B Rosen

Think of each ‘fork’ of lightning as the path Google takes in your site to index it. Its very fast and one time to information it finds. Google doesn’t click ‘Back’ then click on the next link. The bot rather comes in, takes one path and then terminates. In order to be best indexed by this ‘electrical’ storm of incoming crawlers, the site must be easily crawlable and have not so many different paths. – They say that lightning takes the shortest path, Google, in a sense, does the same thing when indexing and will index MORE of your site if it is easily crawlable and has few barriers for the Google ‘strike’ or GoogleBot hits to overcome to get your quality content indexed efficiently.

Sometimes its good to think about Googlebot as lightning, gets you outside away from the computer momentarily! till next time, keep an eye on our Webinars section.

  • http://www.wpromote.com/quicklist Chris Laub

    Electrical storm of incoming crawlers; you actually make indexing sound exciting!