Where on Earth is your Website?Written by Robert McCourty
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Let's look at it from other end of spectrum. The end user approach. Let's say you're vacationing in a new city for first time. Once you get settled into your Hotel room, what's first thing you want to find? Restaurants? Bank machines? Stores? So you pull out your hand-held, wireless, device, log onto web and search for "Italian Food in San Francisco." Five Hundred results come back so you click new "location" feature on your hand-held (which knows exactly where you are) and ten Italian restaurants, who were smart enough to code their web sites with GIS data, light up on screen. Guess which restaurants didn't get selected? The other four hundred and ninety. Starting to get picture?
How does this affect you and your web site marketing? GIS Latitude and Longitude co-ordinates will soon be a must have on every web site operators and web developer's list and an absolute necessity for anyone wishing to trade good and services via Internet. This data may relate to physical location of web site or where site is being served from (if applicable) or where actual business represented by site is physically located. There may be multiple web site locations and coding involved, if for example, you have a franchise with multiple locations, each location will probably need a page of it's own with correct corresponding location data. If you run a home-based business, I doubt if co-ordinates to your living room are going to be necessary, but you should provide latitude and longitude of closest city or town. Large corporations such as banks may want to code exact location of every automated teller machine across country. Industry standards and methods of serving out this data are still in development phases but it's a safe bet to assume there are plenty of people working on solutions right now and given speed of technology, implementation will probably be much sooner than later. Give yourself an edge. Find out where in world your web site is...before your web site is nowhere to be found.
Robert McCourty is a founding partner and the Marketing Director of Metamend Software and Design Ltd., a cutting edge search engine optimization (SEO) and web site promotion and marketing company. Scores of Metamend Client web sites rank near or on top of the search engines for their respective search terms. http://www.metamend.com/
Google’s Shake Up: A View From the Beginning - Part OneWritten by Jim Hedger
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I suspect that folks at Google know they have a major problem on their hands and are working to fix it. We have seen MAJOR spider activity from Google-Bot in past 48-hours and see evidence that another Google-Dance is currently underway. We have seen updates to algorithm in past. The most recent happened earlier this summer and one before that was in October 2002. Each time Google augmented its algorithm with a new feature or filter, massive dislocation was temporarily felt across commercial web. Both times, however, Google began producing relevant results within a matter of weeks. The new filters added to this update were too comprehensive and penalized sites that Google couldn't have been targeting on purpose. Again, I suggest that Google's engineering staff knows this, and if they don't, their customer relations and PR departments are most certainly telling them. I expect to see parts of this filter retained and applied to formula that eventually evolves into their new algorithm but I simply can't see Google keeping this algorithm, continuing to serving up spam, and throwing its hard-earned reputation out window. Regardless of number of MBAs they have on staff, Google's brain trust is simply too smart for that. Google is not in business of driving websites out of business. Google exists to make money by providing most relevant listings possible, a goal they are clearly not achieving. As Lee Roberts stated above, Google was built on (and, implicitly can be brought down by), word-of-mouth advertising, a fact that cannot be lost on management at Google. Google is not in extortion business and has in fact, built its reputation on being above reproach in separation of paid advertising (AdWords), and general free listings. I have a difficult time accepting theory that Google is simply trying to increase AdWords revenues, or increase its own perceived value before issuing expected IPO next quarter. In reality, what I think we are seeing is Google trying to reclaim its power when it comes to choosing how it will rank websites. Think about this update as a pendulum. Before update happened, pendulum had swung to one extreme where, with enough hard work, some could make Google do almost anything they wanted it to. Now, with application of Florida Update, Google has pushed pendulum back to other extreme. Eventually, and based on past observation, pendulum will find its way back to middle. As for those of us adversely affected by Florida Update, StepForth's best advice is to continue making minor changes to your site as normal. We do not advise a full reoptimizaton at this point, a task that would not likely produce strong results before end of purchasing season anyway, until SEO sector has an honest handle on what is happening at Google. As a wise and wonderful person recently told me, "... you can't push a rope."
Jim Hedger is the SEO Manager of StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc. Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth is the result of the consolidation of BraveArt Website Management, Promotion Experts, and Phoenix Creative Works, and has provided professional search engine placement and management services since 1997. http://www.stepforth.com/ Tel - 250-385-1190 Toll Free - 877-385-5526 Fax - 250-385-1198