New Google Search Features Present New Opportunities For SEOs

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Google announced at its Searchology event yesterday new search options that can significantly impact your search result and traffic.

Users can now easily refine their search by choosing a search result category such as reviews, videos and forums. In addition, searchers can  also toggle between displaying images from result page to displaying more text, or choose to view the most recent content indexed within the last 24 hours.

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So what does this mean? Ideally, it means that any searcher will find what they need with less work. Of course Google can’t read minds (yet), but with different – and more – search result potential, SEO is important as ever.

1. Optimize your digital assets.
If universal search is not enough of a reason to optimize digital assets such as images and video, now is the time. The search result competition is looking a lot differently on the page, providing easier entry points for user-generated content and social media.

2. Keep content fresh.
Granted this is a no-brainer for any SEO. But with time now as a segmentation factor (hello? Twitter search?), it plays a bigger role.

3. Manage your online reputation.
That means getting a good grasp of reviews and news items getting thrown around about you and your company, and respond and mange it positively. It was much easier to push down negative results in a “flatter” result, however the new features can dig up some old news you would rather have left alone.

4. Changing search content consumption.
This is not necessarily new since Google News is already in play. But segmenting by time frame will get you the latest scores, news, comments, you name it.

5. More Adwords opportunities.
Yep, you got it girls and boys. More search options means searchers spending more time on Google, which means more clicks for Google and as a result more ad opportunities. I’m just sayin’.

6. Yank that long tail.
I haven’t gone into describing the new Wonder Wheel feature, but the idea is to visually generate deeper search results by providing “wheels” with keyword “spokes” that may bring the searcher deeper results than just the main query. So not only are videos, images, fresher content and reviews getting higher on the search result, but those long tail keywords too.

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So what’s next? I’m still waiting to see how deeper personalization, Google profiles and FriendConnect start impacting search result. Imagine seeing whay my FriendConnect “recommends” directly when conducting a search. It’s almost like reading minds. Almost.

“Don’t Vote” Tag 5 Friends Video Meme

I was recently tagged by Todd Friesen (who just recently moved to the U.S. from Canada) in Google’s “Don’t Vote” meme to get people to register to vote. Matt Cutts got the ball rolling initially – the idea is to tag 5 people to get them to register, and then pass it along. So I’m tagging 5 people, and they better do the same.

Shannon Bryan: because he likes the word “meme”, has a crush on Obama, and moved to Portland recently so not sure if she’s registered.

Tim Wright: because he should really post this on the Coast site. And start Twittering already.

Vicki Frost: because she’s related to a good portion of Ohio.

Eric Lander: because, well, he seems popular. And likes waffles. And Zima (possibly).

Casey Yandle: because the guy is always on Twitter, and will get the word out (if he hasn’t already).

I can think of dozens of more people, and it’s not that I don’t love you. I just need to follow directions and go with 5.

So don’t be a moron. Go vote, this is our chance to make the world a better place. With the chaos that’s happening these days, you really cannot afford to lose this opportunity. And it is an opportunity, there are thousands of people in this country who can’t vote. Everyone has an opinion and a stake in this election, so get informed, and go vote.

Quick and Dirty Tactics for Video Optimization and SEO

Blending listings from news, images, video, local listings and book search engines, Universal Search from Google will be delivering video more often to the top spots. There are steps to take when thinking about marketing video online, which extends a lot further than just creating a channel on YouTube.

Basic SEO tactics still apply – video optimization really uses mainstream search optimization

Write a relevant, but catchy, video title: Use related key phrases that is relevant to your product, service or brand.

Optimize with tags: Tag your video with key phrases that people are likely to use or based on keyword research. No need to hold back on tags.

Don’t forget your video file name and meta description: Use keywords in your video file name. And don’t forget your thumbnails too.

Develop inbound and cross links: Use keywords as anchor text to link to your video from other areas of your site.

Provide transcripts: This may be difficult to put right on the page, but you could provide an outline of the transcript with the option to download the full version. This helps optimize the copy on the page.

Video best practices help with marketing and SEO

Keep videos short: Rule of thumb is five minutes max online. 1-3 minute segments is better. If it’s a longer segment, break it out into multiple clips. Use good titles and tags, and provide thumbnails for each segment with descriptive highlights. It’s easier for users to pick up where they left off without having to go back to the beginning. Also it offers the opportunity to use more keywords, and helps when users are viewing video on mobile devices.

Use video as an entry point to your other content: Post videos on YouTube, vMix, FaceBook, etc. to provide links back to your site and other content.

YouTube it: YouTube own more than half of all video traffic online. If you post to any user-generated video site make it YouTube. Video search engines are already there, including Google.

Try the Google Video Upload Program: it’s a great tool to upload batch video.

Provide a video sitemap.

Syndicate your video with RSS: Use a publishing tool that supports a Media RSS output, and the optional Media RSS enclosures related to SEO. The most important fields for optimizing video data are the title, description, and keywords.

Offer social bookmarking tools: Provide icons and options to digg, StumbleUpon, delicious, technorati (for blogs), Facebook, etc.

Be viral: Provide the option for users to embed the video code onto their own site.

Brand your video: You’re going through the trouble of creating the video and syndicating it, make it yours and put your logo on it.

Allow comments AND ratings: Videos that receive higher ratings from users are the ones that users tend to favorite and save.

Measurement – who is watching your video and how often?

Now that your video is well-optimized, it’s time to do some tracking. Segments you want to measure for video activity include:

– Overall and individual time spent
– Most watched videos
– Videos with both the highest conversion rate (call-to-action) and the highest abandonment rate
– Failure rates (number of people who could not open the video in their browser)
– If you capture ratings and comments, include the most popular videos with the most feedback.

If you can, create a special section for your video content (subdomain, video site map, video archive on your site, etc.), in order to track how many people are watching your videos. Any web analytics software package can measure this, including Google Analytics. And ifyou use FeedBurner for RSS, it offers trackable items the free package, including measuring total subscribers and total downloads.

Need more? Check out other these sources:

SearchEngineWatch.com

BruceClay.com

SEO-Space.com

SearchEngineLand.com

There are many more, please share.