Key Advances in the Google Search Engine

Wired.com have recently published an interesting look at google and it’s algorithm. One of my favourite parts of the article is where it breaks down the Key Advances the company has made over the years. To read the rest of the article, click here

Backrub [September 1997]
This search engine, which had run on Stanford’s servers for almost two years, is renamed Google. Its breakthrough innovation: ranking searches based on the number and quality of incoming links.

New algorithm [August 2001]
The search algorithm is completely revamped to incorporate additional ranking criteria more easily.

Local connectivity analysis [February 2003]
Google’s first patent is granted for this feature, which gives more weight to links from authoritative sites.

Fritz [Summer 2003]
This initiative allows Google to update its index constantly, instead of in big batches.

Personalized results [June 2005]
Users can choose to let Google mine their own search behavior to provide individualized results.

Bigdaddy [December 2005]
Engine update allows for more-comprehensive Web crawling.

Universal search [May 2007]
Building on Image Search, Google News, and Book Search, the new Universal Search allows users to get links to any medium on the same results page.

Real-Time Search [December 2009]
Displays results from Twitter and blogs as they are published.

SEOmoz launch new website/tool

SEOmoz have launched their new website/tool with the Open Site Explorer. This backlink analysis tool and link popularity checker aims to continue what they started with linkscape. The team hasn’t got round to fully trying it out yet, but we will be implementing it in our February work. For information on what the tool offers take a look at the SEOmoz blog explaining it all.

open-site-explorer

Play with the New Google Interface

Google Blogoscoped has a quick way you can force google into showing you their new interface design. Here in the UK it doesn’t seem to work with google.co.uk so we need to add in the extra step.

1. Go to google.co.uk

2. Click go to Google.com down at the bottom

3. Copy and paste the following code into your address bar

javascript:void(document.cookie=”PREF=ID=20b6e4c2f44943bb:U=4bf292d46faad806:TM=1249677602:LM=1257919388:S=odm0Ys-53ZueXfZG;path=/; domain=.google.com”);

4. See the new google design in all his glory

A picture can say 1000 words? Wrong.

Unlike humans, search engines don’t see images, so the more image rich your site is the less likely a search engine will understand its content. This is a predicament for any web developer/owner because they want to have a website that stands out from its competition and is aesthetically pleasing, showing off the products/services they are selling to the best of their ability. A website without images would be to most people a rather boring site to be on but how do you achieve a site that is not only pleasing on the eye but also manages to rank well in the search engines? Fear not, there is one SEO element that can easily be implemented as well as getting the opportunity to reinforce your keyword phrases. Assigning ALT text to all the important images on your site will enable the search engine to ‘see’ the image and understand its content thus ranking it accordingly.

Add the ALTernate text to the HTML tag so this is displayed by the browser when a user scrolls the cursor over the image. This is also good practice for any web owner to aid the visually impaired who views your site. Contributing to usability and accessibility always gets a thumbs up and by implementing this strategy you are not only providing more content for the ‘spiders’ but also the users as well.

Tip: Keep ALT text descriptions as informative and closely related to the image subject as possible and keep it short and sweet.

You can read more at http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/dont-forget-to-optimize-for-images-including-pdfs

Social Media Guide

social media

Over at SEOmoz they have published a new social media guide to find the best and most useful website to help you promote your business or clients. The guide lists a massive 101 social sites that you can use, the top 25 most popular social media sites and the popularity of social media around the world (try and guess which country has the most social media users, I bet you don’t get it right!). Handily there are links to many site guides on the page to help you get the most out of your social media experience. And if all that wasn’t enough they even give you little social media badges such as the one below to use on your own site and blogs.

SEOmoz Social Media Marketing

View SEOmoz’s Social Media Marketing Guide

Google Link Building Tip

After reading on lifehacker that google have added some new search options to refine your searches I had a brain wave. One of the new features is to narrow your search by “Visited Pages” and “Not yet visited”. If you spend alot of time searching through the serps for possible websites to request a link from, narrowing your search down to “Not yet visited” will be a great help as it will only show you websites you have never visited before (and presumably already requested a link from).

Please note to get these new search options, you need to be logged into a gmail account.

googlelinkbuildingtip

SEO – Blogs

Offsite SEO is an important element of any SEO campaign. There are many ways in which this can achieved and one of which is the very thing that you are reading right now – Blog Posts.

Many companies write and distribute blog posts as a way of getting anchor text links to a site that is being optimised for a particular keyword. A blog much like this one providing regular original content is more likely to be picked up by major search engines. Blog posts about relevant topics and themes that link out to related sites all reinforce what the website is about. For example if I wanted to use the keyword brilliant SEO Blog as a link you will find that if you click that link it takes you to the homepage of this blog. So hopefully when the search engines scan this page a see a link highlighting that a ‘brilliant SEO blog’ has been found then the search engines will identify this blog as a brilliant SEO blog. Obviously the more links you have that point to the site using that anchor text then the more likely that the search engines will find and index your site and the more clout you will have.

Visit our SEO Glossary if you need more information about some of the terms used.