elcome to the latest edition of the Submit Express newsletter, where you can find the latest news about our company and the ever-changing worlds of search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. Since our last edition, Submit Express has continued to receive recognition as innovators in the field of search engine optimization. Most recently, we topped the list of Heardable.com's "21 Most Useful SEO Websites." This comes on the heels of return appearances in the INC 5,000 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and being named the Top Search Optimization Firm for 2009 by Website Magazine.
We've also been busy on the road at various trade shows, conferences and industry events. Our executives have been busy speaking at shows such as SMX West and SES New York about the changing nature of the SEO industry and what companies need to do to adapt. We'll be attending Affiliate Convention show in Denver in June -- we hope to see you there if you're attending as well.
In this issue read about:
Why SEO Alone is Not Enough Anymore
When it comes to search engine optimization, one thing is true: shift happens. The landscape is continually changing, as evidenced by recent movement in the search engine industry. Will the partnership between Microsoft Bing and Yahoo! impact search or create a long-term competitor to Google? And will the new initiatives that Google rolls out in response impact the search placement of other companies? These are all questions that have been raised in recent years.
It's instructive to look at a typical Google search result to see how much things have changed recently. For example, when you do a search for the "xbox 360" on Google, you get more than just organic results from sites that mention those words. What you see is a broad range of content including news, paid advertising, product feeds and social media results (see image below). This means that you need to concentrate on more than just increasing your organic search placement if you want your Internet marketing plan to succeed.
There is something we like to call the Golden Triangle of SEO: three key areas that must be addressed in order for any SEO campaign to succeed. The first one is On-Site Factors, which takes into account how "search engine friendly" a site's overall structure is. This involves many site architecture factors including how easily the site can be indexed, if it uses Flash vs. HTML and if shopping carts are search-engine friendly.
The second side of the Golden Triangle of SEO is site content. It's still true that content is king: it's important to have content on your site that is impactful, effective and draws the attention of search engines. This means having a proper keyword density along with making sure that the keywords are also used in titles and meta tags. It's also important to have the right keywords highlighted: striking a balance of keywords in different competitive ranges will allow you to see short-term and long-term SEO growth.
The final side of the Golden Triangle of SEO is link building. Having both in-bound and out-bound links adds strength to your site in the eyes of search engines -- it gives your site credibility and respect. However, this doesn't mean that you should concentrate on just having the highest number of links possible! It's critical to think about the quality of your links as well. In many cases, one high-level link can be more effective than several lower-level links.
There are several new factors that are changing the SEO field -- shifts that happen -- and none are more important than social media. Every day, millions of people communicate with social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. Reaching these people can be a critical component of any online marketing campaign. However, any social media strategy needs to be more sophisticated than simply starting a Twitter page and posting your company's latest specials.
Ideally, social media and SEO marketing programs can work together to strengthen each other. A high-quality social media campaign that is interactive and engages audiences can increase in-bound links and improve search engine rankings. At the same time, applying smart SEO practices to social media content will increase the reach and visibility of your social media outreach.
Another relatively new concept is Video SEO. In the example we provided earlier, there were no video results, but often times Youtube videos may show up on the first page of Google results.. Applying SEO concepts to videos not only can increase their placement in various searches but also improve the overall ranking of a site.
Search engines like Google have been looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition, and one way has been to attempt to deliver individual users with as much personalized content as possible. The new Google Personalized Search is just one example of this. Not only are search engines taking factors such as location into account when delivering results, they are also considering previous search history and other sites you have visited in the past. The reality is that in many cases, no two searches will produce exactly the same results.
The bottom line is that basic SEO concepts are still critical -- just not by themselves. In order for SEO campaigns to be truly effective, they need to be paired with smart marketing campaigns that involve every aspect of a company's online brand. As with any marketing campaign, it's very important to think about your target audience when you are doing an SEO campaign and how you can most effectively reach them with messages that resonate with them.
Heardable.com Names Submit Express
There's more proof that Submit Express leads the way in the SEO industry! Heardable.com recently ranked Submit Express at the top of their list of Most Effective SEO Websites. According to the rankings, Submit Express "blew away most of the competition" thanks to a high volume of visitors and more than one million inbound links each month.
The rankings were created using the site's Heardable Index, which measures a brand's visibility through their marketing being actionable, measureable, portable, searchable, shareable and sociable. Having such a high score on the Heardable Index is important to Submit Express: it shows that we practice what we preach to our clients about using a variety of tools to increase online visibility.
Nielsen Reports February U.S. Search Rankings
Americans conducted more than 9.17 billion searches in February 2010, according to recent data from the Nielsen Company. Google Search accounted for 65.2 percent of the market share with a total of 5.98 billion searches. Trailing far behind, Yahoo! Search came in second with 14.1 percent of the market share with a total 1.29 billion searches.
MSN/WindowsLive/Bing snagged third place with 12.5 percent, while AOL Search accounted for 2.3 percent of the market share.
Although Google Search came in as the top U.S. Search provider once again, Bing accounted for a notable 15 percent increase in market share from its January market share. In contrast, both Google Search and Yahoo! Search experienced slight drops in market share in February compared to the previous month. Google Search fell from 66.3 percent market share in January to 65.2 percent in February, while Yahoo! Search fell from 14.5 percent to 14.1 during the same time period.
Google Rolls Out "Starred Results"
Google is adding a new feature to its search results, reports PC World. As a new personalization feature, users now have the ability to give "stars" to certain search results in order to move them to the top of their personal results, along with syncing the results with a person's Google Bookmarks and Google Toolbar. The feature is currently being rolled out and is expected to be available to all Google users within the next few days.
The new "Starred Results" replaces the SearchWiki feature that was introduced by Google in 2008. According to a post on the official Google blog by Google Product Manager Cedric Dupont and Software Engineer Matthew Watson, Starred Results offer the ability to mark a Web site for future reference like SearchWiki but without the clutter and hassle.
"The great thing about stars is that you don't have to keep track of them," Dupont and Watson said. "You don't even have to remember whether or not you starred something. Simply perform a search and you'll rediscover your starred items right when you need them."
Is your site anywhere to be found in the search engines? Do you need to be in the top 10 of search engines, but don't know how? Are you tired of trying everything you possibly can and still are nowhere to be found?
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