The Distinct SEO Web Marketing Blog

Discuss the latest topics on web marketing, SEO, branding, and organizational development.

How to Approach International Sites, Subdomains, and Subfolders

As the title suggests, there is a way to inform Google about different sections on your website/brand that are targeted to different parts of the world. You can inform Google to treat different sections within a website based on what you declare in the Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) console (if you don’t have one then get it, use your Google ID, it’s free).

Google currently automatically targets region based on TLD (top level domain). But did you know you can inform Google if you have a subdomain for a particular country and that country only. But what’s even better for some is you can make the same declaration for a sub-folder. This is useful for those who can’t get, say, a Arabic domain but have content relevant to a market that speaks Arabic. You can register a subdomain for that part of your website and target Arabic speaking countries in GWT.

read more…

Be Clear and Concise with Your Title Element or Face Consequences

I’ve been observing a particular search result and noticed that something wasn’t right. The title element said one thing, but Google displayed another. What may have caused this to occur? Well, I checked to see if the text displayed in the search results was found anywhere else, both on the website itself, and also on other websites that may have been linking to that particular page.

I didn’t find anything. So then I looked for any instance where the phrase itself in the entire Google index. Still nothing.

That left only one conclusion: Google had created their own web page title based on what they thought the page was about. Implications for your website? read more…

Yahoo! Site Explorer Closes for Good

RIP YSE. Web marketers, for the most part, have lost a tool for link discovery, mostly for competitors. What Goolge Webmaster Tools puts behind closed doors, the YSE was publicly available to all. This year it was announced with the merge of Bing! Microsoft and Yahoo! search engines, YSE would be phased out.

Today is official closing day.

Some didn’t rely heavily on YSE so they have alternatives, but we can’t argue, YSE provided the easiest, and free, method to find link information about websites. That process is now a bit harder.

Here are some alternatives to help you through YSE withdrawal. read more…

Web Directories Still Valid SEO Tactic…Sort of

As one of the moderators of SEOChat forums I see daily spam from entry level ‘SEOs’ who think they can make a buck online by undercutting legitimate consultants by 80-95% off price points. The primary tactics used by inexperienced SEOs (not I’m not even referring to them as marketers in any sense) include directory submissions much to the chagrin to the industry. Unbeknownst to many clients, directory submissions are an archaic strategy to acquire incoming web links.

Or are they?

read more…

Two Ways to Cripple Your Business: Use Group Coupons and Yellowpages

This blog post could have taken the form of an anecdotal reference on the horror stories from businesses using/used group coupons and/or YellowPages as part of their online marketing strategy.

But what’s the point of anecdotes when you have evidence?

Tough stories are emerging from businesses who are literally being crippled by bad decisions on marketing opportunities particularly with the group coupon craze. Here’s why. read more…

When Does Branding Go Too Far? Apple Picking on the Little Guy

It’s nothing new, juggernaut company protecting their identity against local mom and pop outfit. I for one am no surprised when the likes of Apple runs roughshod over hapless small businesses. For all the ‘good’ Apple has brought to the tech industry, they cripple many others in the process.

Here’s a quick test on branding (although it’s not a perfect test given the fact I’ve already mentioned Apple). Take a look at this picture after the jump. read more…

SCC Rules on Whether Hyperlinking is Defamation

An interesting ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada that could’ve impacted the way you blog. The case was between Wayne Crookes, President and sole shareholder of West Coast Title Search and former Green Party Campaign manager, and blogger Jon Newton. The suit challenged that hyperlinks from Newton’s blog about the Green’s to another website with actual content that allegedly defamed the Party. Crookes argued that articles online with links to the content represented a “smear campaign” against him and other members of the Green Party of Canada.

How does the ruling impact your blogging?

read more…

What OWS Teaches Us About Organizations

There’s an interesting story about eBay (or is it Skype?) that details an organization that has the best of both worlds: decentralized and centralized organizational structure. Not too many companies operate in this fashion. Decentralized leadership permits the opportunity for more people (workers) to yield more power in decision making. Centralized models are your typical top down CEO to manager to manager to manager to manager to you.

Some of the best lead organizations try not to settle in a particular structure for too long, and adapt to their need and size rapidly (or as fast as they can handle change). Generally speaking top down forms of organizational structure tend to be more inefficient. Conversely, purely decentralized models don’t get anything done.

Case in point: OWS. read more…

Google to Use ‘Standout’ Metadata Tag

Google has used the bulk of 2011 to roll out targeted efforts to reward high quality content on websites, but not only content, acknowledgment for original authors as well. Before the changes it was easy for everybody and their grandma could rip off content and reap some form of benefit without fear of Google reprisal (i.e. Huffington Post).

The algorithmic adjustment dubbed the ‘Panda update’ severely penalized websites that were considered ‘thin’ content websites. Some new tools to help identify high quality websites include new metadata tags. In conjunction with their rel=canonical metadata tag, Google is now recognizing the new ‘standout‘ metadata tag. Here’s what you need to know.

read more…

Twitter Analytics Nears

An integrated analytics tool will roll out for Twitter users in the coming weeks. The Twitter Web Analytics will permit users:

- Understand how much your website content is being shared across the Twitter network
– See the amount of traffic Twitter sends to your site
– Measure the effectiveness of your Tweet Button integration

read more…

Linkedin Surpasses MySpace – Facebook Hits 750 Million

After their initial IPO some more good news from Linkedin as they surpassed the quickly fading debacle that is now MySpace. Linkedin is now a distant second when it comes to social websites with just under 34 million June visitors.

Twitter is sitting fourth but is still pulling in monthly gains, they also sit second in terms of total search traffic.

read more…