Tag Archives: seo

Search Ranking Factors on Google Local

It’s hard to mention SEO on social media these days without being bombarded by spammers and snake-oil salesman. As such, relatively unbiased, insightful content on the topic is often surprisingly (and perhaps ironically) difficult to source.

Not only this, but – as in the following instance – apparently ‘scientific’ data on the subject often boils down to basically assigning numeric values to opinions that people classed as ‘experts’ provide, as opposed to using any quantifiable data or analytic tools.

Setting those caveats aside however, this blog post on Moz, and the below graph has some useful data on factors that might influence your Google Local search ranking:

Primarily the post’s research refers to Google Search ranking for users searching for local  services, although it’s a useful intro for those looking to develop good, everyday SEO practice within an organisation.

In addition, as universities continually seek to ‘engage’ and develop services for local employers, communities, audiences, etc., it’s increasingly important for those local services to actually be found online, by the right people. One for further research perhaps?

Using Blogging for SEO

Good piece on the importance of search engine optimisation and a snapshot of the basics on the Channel 4 News Blogs:

A former journalist colleague of mine worked for an SEO firm; her job was to write about anything. Literally any subject she fancied covering. Her copy would be used on one of the firm’s network of websites, and because it was well-written, journalistic text, Google would assess the site as more authentic and give it a higher rank.

The fact that my former colleague was paid hundreds of pounds a day gives an insight into how much value companies place on having a good Google rank.

via Getting to the top of Google – it’s a matter of survival | Geoff White on Technology.

It often seems counter-intuitive to explain to academic colleagues that blogging frequently – even if it’s not about academic topics, can tangentially result in higher rates of applications to their courses, greater public interest in their research or larger conference attendances.

Yet, that’s the way it is, at least until Google’s next change of algorithm anyway.

No. 1 Position in Google Gets 33% of Search Traffic

Not much of a surprise I guess, but it’s always useful to have hard numbers when talking to non-technies about such things:

New findings from online ad network Chitika confirm it’s anything but lonely at the top. According to the study, the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position, and the traffic only degrades from there.

via No. 1 Position in Google Gets 33% of Search Traffic [Study] – Search Engine Watch (#SEW).

Early SEO Tips For Facebook Graph Search

Although the geo-location angle of Facebook’s new Graph Search may not be brilliantly suited to the needs of advertising a university course as much as the retail sector (‘it’s 8pm and I’m in central Birmingham, where’s the nearest MA course?’), it’s still worth optimising your Facebook pages to ensure they get found once the search is fully rolled out.

Here’s some early SEO tips from Facebook:

The business Page is what a small/local business can control the most, and Facebook’s three specific tips for business owners, then, are focused on optimizing a Page for the new search (and this is straight from their post):

  • The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the “About” section all help people find your business and should be shared on Facebook.
  • If you have a location or a local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when someone is searching for a specific location.
  • Focus on attracting the right fans to your Page and on giving your fans a reason to interact with your content on an ongoing basis.

via SEO For Facebook Graph Search? Facebook Has Some Tips.

Fight! WordPress vs Tumblr

Sadly the below link isn’t an animated battle royale between two blogging platforms.

It is however, a useful comparison between the two popular blogging platforms; WordPress and Tumblr:

BlogInstall | WordPress vs Tumblr – which blogging platform to choose ?

As much as I love the instantaneous, media-friendliness of Tumblr, there doesn’t seem to be a way of installing it on your own domain (unlike WordPress) – thus losing out on much SEO goodness.

So, for now at least, a self-hosted WordPress seems like the best option for those with the access, ability and know-how to publish an academic or course blog.