SEO or Search Engine Optimization Articles, dealing with the vast array of topics found within. No Black Hat here. Only good White Hat SEO topics.

SamePoint Social Media Search

SMO for SEO - SAMEPOINT

Update regarding SamePoint

Unfortunately, the SamePoint website is D-E-A-D. 🙁

As you may have figured out by now, using SMO (Social Media Optimization), tied in with SEO in your Online Marketing efforts, is fast becoming a must-have.

But with all the Networking sites (professional, social, and somewhere in-between) APIs (Application Programming Interface), tools and more out there, where do you start and how do you manage it all?

Well, there’s a lot of good ones out there, but let me tell you about one of them along your SEO road.

I just recently found out about this wonderful tool, and I personally find it to be pretty decent. Go on over to SamePoint and check it out.

With a Google-like interface, you simply enter in a search query and what is returned are listings from various Social sites listing your query, like Twitter, Wikipedia, Blogger, WordPress.com, friendfeed and many, many others.

For example, I did a search on "Northern Shaolin", as that is the style of Chinese Martial arts or more commonly known as Kung Fu, over at PATHS Atlanta Northern Shaolin Kung Fu section.

Check out what the results page looks like – very intuitive, user-friendly, and more importantly, valuable!

Search by filetype

Google Search Filetype SEO

In my SEO consulting, I can’t tell you how many times I hear this flawed phrase "I want my site on the top of the search results. Please optimize my website and make it number one in Google." Firstly, you optimize pages, not sites. Secondly, and almost as important is the idea that anything can be optimized!

True, back in the day, it was about sites. And mainly due to the limitations of the times and technology. Earlier on, search engine crawlers, or spiders, the least visible component of search engines’ workings, discovered and indexed only the titles of web pages, and common themes among them would rank well. However today, that is far from complete.

Enter a query, a keyword, key phrase, or just your basic "Search" on any Search Engine, and you are bound to see quite a few different types of files in your SERPs (search engine results pages). Everything from Adobe Acrobat PDFs and Microsoft Office documents, to videos, Flash movies or applications, news stories, blog posts, maps and more.

Further still, you can actually limit your search results to specific types of files that you want! This is extremely powerful, and if you’re a power-searcher, you probably know all of this already. By adding in various search commands, aside from the actual words or query terms, into the search box, you can achieve this.

Also, clicking on the "Advanced Search" on almost any major engine will give you options to narrow down your choices as well.

The Secret Search Command

Okay, Okay, I will give you this powerful search command. Put your search terms into the Google search box, then put in a space, and then type "filetype:" and then put (with no spaces between the colon and this) the 3-letter abbreviation for the file type.

For example, if I want to find only PDF documents about um…let’s say cat food…then I would enter this into a Google search box exactly "cat food" filetype:pdf.

Now if I wanted Microsoft PowerPoint slides instead, I would replace the pdf with ppt (the PowerPoint filetype extension).

Got it? Good.

File-type Searching and SEO

Now, how does this affect SEO and the optimization consultant? In a big way. Think about it. If anything can be searched…Anything can be optimized.

That’s right!

This is finally the time to go into that area of documents that none but secretaries usually use; File -> Properties. Here, you can add…wait for it…Meta information. Description, keywords, dates, and more.

We all know of the Alt attribute for images in regards to SEO, but what about this other aspect of other file types?

Look into it. Get into it. And Optimize. Everything. But just don’t get caught Over-Optimizing and getting all Black-Hatty.

Google Zeitgeist

Zeitgeist - Searching SEO

I’m into SEO and it helps to know what people are "searching" for. People everywhere are looking for stuff; business stuff, relationship stuff, news stuff, fun stuff, illegal stuff – all kinds of stuff.

So for different reasons at different times, I like to ask the question "What are people Searching for?"

Of course, depending on the reason – say for an SEO campaign, for example – how I’d go about answering that question, and the weight of the answer, will vary.


Zeitgeist

Zeitgeist is the spirit, or the ambiance of a time. (Starting to see how this might be important?) It can relate to the cultural, spiritual, ethical, intellectual, political and economical climates of an area.

From the Wikis…

In 1769 Johann Gottfried Herder wrote a critique of the work Genius Seculi by the philologist Christian Adolph Klotz and introduced the word "Zeitgeist" into German as a translation of genius seculi (Latin: genius – "guardian spirit" and saeculi – "of the age").

The German Romanticists habitually attempted to reduce the past to essences and treated the Zeitgeist as a historical character in its own right, rather than a generalized description for an era.

"Searchers" of answers, of the truth, of ideas…This powerfully enigmatic concept of Zeitgeist has given birth to many endeavors of creative minds. For example:

Although a bit "over the top", some of these projects help to shed light on how the Spirit of the Time might influence certain behaviors, ways of thinking, and more.

Understanding what might be a hot topic for a certain area, in a certain niche, for a certain group of people, at a certain point of time – could be very beneficial for Marketers.

Enter Google.

Google Zeitgeist

You may have already formed an idea of how all this comes together, but I’ll let Google sum up their endeavor (that began 2001) for themselves, from :What is the Google zeitgeist?

"Zeitgeist" means "the spirit of the times", and Google reveals this spirit through the aggregation of millions of search queries we receive every day. We have several tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. These tools are available for you to play with, explore, and learn from. Use them for everything from business research to trivia answers.

See what Google says people have been searching for…Google Zeitgeist:

What people have been Searching for – Google Zeitgeist

What are you searching for?

Content Syndication, SEO and You

Content Syndication and SEO

Thinking of SEO and looking at two quotes from the founder of the Internet Archive, I again run into the common debate over content.

I remember in an interview with search giant, John Battelle, Brewster Kahle, entrepreneur and founder of the Internet Archive was quoted as saying:

The library of Alexandria was the first time humanity attempted to bring the sum total of human knowledge together in one place at one time. Our latest attempt? Google.

Now that’s a heavy and deep search-oriented statement for sure. Lots of goodies to make one think. But now, think of this second quote, in an interview in 2004 between Stu Feldman and Kahle:

If you look at the history of libraries, you see that they tend to be burned. The new guys don’t want the old stuff around. So the lesson of the first Library of Alexandria is &quot.don’t have just one copy."

So then we have an idea of the internet, with Google as the powerhouse, and the wise ones following Google’s recommendations of unique content. We all know it to be a true SEO rule and have hit stumbling blocks in the road; RSS – content syndication, for example. Google countered later, however, saying that the original or oldest content would be the one given credit.

And then we have Kahle’s second piece, that talks of having more than one copy. Hmmmm…Social media, bookmarking, 2.0, rss, and other marketing and syndication methods are sure following this advice, and sometimes I go to the extreme of wondering what happens if & when my host goes under…I should be keeping copies of all my content on various disks. That should be obvious I guess. But it does make me wonder…

What are your thoughts on this balance of unique content vs syndication, etc. and the future effects as well?

Google Image Search

Google Image Search

In today’s web, a good site needs imagery; design, colors, and yes, even photos. Finding them (for free) on the internet for re-use can be difficult, if not downright dangerous. Here, I’ll give you a tip or two on doing just that.

UPDATE 10/12/2011
I’ve added a few new image sources at the bottom of the list.

A week or so ago I received a letter from Getty Images‘ Legal Department, claiming my unauthorized use of a licensed image here on my site. (YIKES!!!)

Reading further into the documentation, I realized that they had made a mistake, and a phone call later it was cleared up. However, the mental panic of being targeted for $1000 before it was solved was a bit unnerving. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

Firstly, as you should already know, you can’t just grab any image off the net and use it. There are copyrights and licenses in place to protect the photographer, artist, designer, etc. If you do, and you get caught, running won’t help you.

So what to do? Well here are few tips for finding free online images for your web use:

  1. Google
    Go to Google & enter the search term. Look on the left side-bar & click "Images". Here you’ll see lots of images, and many filtering options in the left sidebar. You’re not finished yet. Look under the Search box on the right & click on "Advanced Search". The filtering option almost at the bottom of the page is what we’re looking for – Usage Rights. Needless to say, Google’s Image Search rocks.
  2. Flickr
    One of the cool things about Flickr, is that it allows you to search and filter by Licensing. They even allow for uploads to be tagged with their Creative Commons licensing.
  3. CompFight
    A 3rd party interface into Flickr, this tool provides even more advanced search features.
  4. Flickr Storm
    A simple interface that not only pulls in flickr images relevant to your search, but it also pulls in what it believes to be related images as well. And of course, they have options for searching via licensing.
  5. EveryStockPhoto
    A free license-specific photo search engine with some cool parameters.
  6. Stock.Xchng
    Free image search with relaxed licensing, not requiring attribution. However, be careful of the higher quality, not free iStockphoto thumbnails right next to the free results.
  7. 123 RF
    This place offers both paid and free stock images. The free selection are of smaller sized images.
  8. Nachofoto
    Although really niche, this site is pretty darn cool. Semantic Search!

So that’s that in a nutshell. I hope you now have a launching pad to do some of your searching for design inspiration, images, etc. and never receive one of those letters!

Yahoo - LinkedIn

Yahoo – LinkedIn

So I was working on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Progress reports for the site and checking CSKnet’s stats on Yahoo… (Website now dead)

And found that Yahoo is getting Linked In…In more ways than one.

I wanted to see who Yahoo thought was linking to "craigkiessling.com," and to remove consideration of links from "craigkiessling.com." (Links to a site from the same site are internal links, not inbound nor incoming links)

So off to www.yahoo.com I went with my Search Engine queries. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, I hit gold and my query was this: "linkdomain:craigkiessling.com -site:craigkiessling.com"

Voila! Yahoo! pulled up my profile from LinkedIn.com, extracted the relevant data, and displayed it within its SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

This search engine actually "searched".

Rarely I say this, so…Nice job, Yahoo!

Simple commands in Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask, will return all you need for your movie viewing pleasure.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

You want to go see a movie. You pick a movie. You do a search on what theaters are in your area. You see if any of them are playing the movie you want to see. You view the show times, pick one, and either purchase tickets online or search map directions and purchase at the door.

As with many other tasks, proper power search techniques makes this laundry list of steps a thing of the past. So how do we use the Search Engines to show us this wonderful movie information?

Search Movies in Google

Searching Movies in Google

Google Movie Search

Entering the search term movies into Google will give you the little gem on the right.

Now check this out – if you are not sure of the full title of a movie, but have a detail & need more info., use the special search term movie: special detail and you will pull up immediate reviews, ratings, and links to movies with your special detail in the title.

Search Movies in Yahoo

Of course, searching Yahoo has similar commands. Want to see a movie preview or trailer? Just enter the movie title and the word trailer or trailers, and voila! You’ve got trailers and a search box to list your local times, like the image.

Yahoo Movie Search

Yahoo Movie Search

An alternative is to simply search the title of the movie and your city, state, to see listings and times.

Search Movies in Ask

In my opinion, Ask’s Search Engine kicks the rest to shame in this category… Just simply enter in the title of the movie you are searching and hit Enter. Then you get all of the above, and much more, in a rocking format. No joke! Try this: Search for Indiana Jones on Ask. Well…It did.

Or maybe you want to see a movie, but need some suggestions…Just search for movies and it brings up very handy options, to say the least.

Search Movies in MSN / Live

And yes, Microsoft does their thing as well. Although not quite as cool as Ask, they do make an assumption – just search for the title of the movie, and your first listing will be showtimes in your area. You can go move on from there, and although I think the assumption of If I search for "Indiana Jones," I want to see the movie and would be most interested in knowing local show times, it is still an assumption…And we know what they say about those, don’t we?

Quick Alternative

Keep in mind, that most of these Search Engines also have directories, and sub-sites, dedicated to various things, for example, movies. Only Yahoo! is the easiest to locate this area: you can get there from their main page, or just go to https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/movies/. MSN also has a https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies. But doing the movies.SearchEngineName.com does not work anymore like it once did for several of the search engines.

So we have pros and cons for each Search Engine, but overall, I think these commands will not only help your movie search but also give you a bit more depth of understanding Search Engines.