What the Google SEO Guide Doesn’t Tell You Read more at



The Google SEO guide, better known as the Google Webmaster Guidelines, doesn’t really tell you anything about actual Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Instead it spreads a false idealism by telling you to just write great content. Don’t get me wrong here, the guide is educational but not really about SEO.

Great content is important—and it’s the number one thing most sites don’t do—but it won’t help you get your site to the top of the rankings in a Internet where everyone else is using SEO. Remember the article I wrote called “Content is Not the Only King“, you should make the effort to read this as it makes some serious sense. I agree that content is important but that is not all you need to rule the internet world. (evil laugh in the background)

So what else did Google forgot to mention in the Google SEO guide?

Choose Your Keywords Wisely

The choices you make early in your website’s life will affect it for years to come, so choose your keywords wisely. The Google SEO guide hardly addresses keywords at all, but the basic facts are clear.

1. Short keywords do better than long keywords because they match more possible search queries.

2. Small sites must be careful about choosing keywords used by larger sites because out ranking a larger site is difficult. (But it’s not impossible.)

3. Do your keyword research using free or paid tools before choosing any keyword. Make sure the keyword receives the amount of traffic appropriate to your site and try to find any related keywords you can also use.

4. Consider the long tail—infrequently-searched keywords which you can rank for very easily for guaranteed regular traffic.

My free E book about how to build a WordPress website shares some insights into keyword research also. It is a must read! Go to this page to access the download. No signup required. (password wwb)

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A Simpler Way Forward for Web Design

After using apps and browsing Web-optimized sites on smartphones and tablets, accessing the Web on a laptop feels unnecessarily cumbersome. Getting to content is done much faster and more easily on mobile devices, as their interfaces are less cluttered. Yet, this clutter is there for a reason, which left me to wonder how Web designers approach, or should approach, design as a means of delivering content.

Capturing audience attention on the Web is now harder than ever. People are no longer delighted by overwrought graphic elements that compete with the actual content. Many site visitors use the “Reader” button on iOS devices, or apps such as Instapaper or Readability, that strip away the design to present just the text and images. In that sense, we’ve all put away childish things, and there is a yearning out there for elegant simplicity that Web designers urgently need to address if they want their messages to be seen.

Simplicity and usability are not just functional benefits, they generate satisfaction and leave a positive emotional impression in users. Our founder, David Ogilvy, would agree that effective interfaces don’t have to come at the expense of creativity. In fact, effectiveness is intrinsic to beauty and storytelling.

A few crucial Web design tenets are beginning to make their appearance. Some of them are topics that designers have been discussing for years but never totally embraced, while others really are new, and have been prompted by technological advances. However, when applied all together, these approaches can drastically change the way people experience the Web:

Ruthlessly Focused Content Strategies Leer más “A Simpler Way Forward for Web Design”

The Difference Between Building Authority and Talking About Yourself

Your content actually demonstrates your expertise, compared with a website or bio page that claimsexpertise. This is a crucial distinction, because it truly levels the playing field and allows anyone to come along and build authority that outpaces even recognized and credentialed experts in a particular niche or field.”

The truth about authority perception by humans or machines is what people say about you is much more important than what you say about yourself!

How do you get people talking? Have a point of view and let people know through content you publish on and off of your webiste. Use a blog, articles, guest blogging, commenting, videos, podcasts…the list is endless.

The key is creating content now. Imagine, you have been working your entire adult life building your business and developing a great reputation. Then, some upstart comes into your market and starts publishing content, doing webinars, and suddenly, they are the perceived expert in your niche. Not fun…

We will have a webinar on this shortly….stay tuned.



I recently read a great report called Authority Rules by Brian Clark, the founder of Copyblogger. It’s a well written easy to read piece that outlines 10 rules to building authority for your business and persona.

Building authority in the new distributed web is critical to the success of your Internet marketing efforts. Let’s look at the definition of authority for a minute to better understand why:

au-thor-i-ty noun: [1] A citation (e.g. from a book) used in defense or support; [2] the source from which the citation is drawn; [3] and individual cited or appealed to as an expert.

On the web, the way Google and other search engines see authority is through links from other sites to your site. How influential are those other sites and how many of them link to your site also play a big part in your perceived authority by search engines. So this concept of building authority is very important because while you build authority on the web, other sites will be linking to your site and your business will win search engine rankings (SEO). It becomes self perpetuating…very cool if you can do it. Leer más “The Difference Between Building Authority and Talking About Yourself”

The Inverted Pyramid Of Visual Design

The idea is that the critical information is presented immediately and then additional information is presented that expands on, explains, and reinforces the main idea.

At any point someone should be able to stop reading without missing the main message. Those who read more get more, but everyone gets the main idea you’re trying to communicate.

The main benefits of the inverted pyramid are:

* It quickly conveys key information
* It establishes a context in which to interpret subsequent information
* It’s initial chunks of information are more likely to be remembered later
* It allows for efficient scanning and searching
* It can be easily edited since least important information is presented last

The above could equally be goals of a good design. We want our designs to quickly communicate important information, be remembered, and establish context, don’t we?

The cons of the inverted pyramid are:

* Doesn’t allow flexibility of building suspense or creating surprise ending
* Can lead to perception of being uninteresting

Whenever it’s important to present information efficiently and quickly, the inverted pyramid is an excellent style to follow. Your lead (opening paragraph) becomes a concise overview of whatever it is you’re writing and you can follow the lead with more detailed chunks of information for those that want to know more.

In one second the user should understand generally where they are
—largely driven by visuals and functionality.
If we can keep people for 10 seconds, they should understand our primary message.
If they stay for two minutes, some secondary messages should be getting through.
All this feeds into a call to action.
Kristina Halvorson

Journalists use the inverted pyramid style of writing to quickly convey the most important information of a story to readers. It works because no matter how far into an article someone reads the most important information gets through.

The more you read the more detailed information you get, but no matter where you stop reading the main message has been conveyed. Can web designers do something similar visually?

The inverted pyramid of journalism Leer más “The Inverted Pyramid Of Visual Design”

Complications with content

Foolproof planning

Now, start with the content plan. For each issue found during analysis, create and implement a solution that will fix it soundly.

Let’s say findability is a major pain. Solution—check with an SEO specialist or becomes one yourself. List out all the relevant keywords and decide where they should be placed for maximum impact.

Another issue is poor presentation that makes reading difficult. To fix this, decide on reformatting of content. Create templates that show exactly what formatting would work for the specific content module.

What if there is trouble brewing in the accuracy and relevance departments? Well, then create guidelines to ensure all data is complete, accurate, and up-to-date.

Yet another problem: no consistent voice can be found across various sections in the module. If this is the case, it may be best to refer to the brand voice manual or create one with the help of brand/marketing manager.

Many more problems and their accompanying solutions could have been listed here to highlight what ails content, but I think you get the idea. Content would now need to be rewritten with all the above points in mind.


Any good online user experience is not just about well-planned design—it is also about the actual “meat of the matter”—content. Unless web content is usable, targeted, and relevant, websites will not communicate the correct messages to their purported user bases.

In general, content isn’t associated with user experience discussions. It’s “copy” and is considered a simple, last minute thing. However, in reality, content is difficult and time consuming and has a life cycle of its own. Unless this fact is recognized in every usability project, websites may continue to face failures.

Let’s consider a hypothetical conversation between a client and content strategist:

Here is a successful website. It’s doing well but there is a problem. The feedback form is lately filled with negatives.

I think I know where this is going.

The negatives mostly relate to how the photos are wrong or the data is irrelevant or the details are outdated or the copy is boring. Looks like there is something you can do here.

You mean, re-strategize the content in the website, right?

Oh no—it’s very simple. Just make a few tweaks here and there—make copy look better, add some zany language.

Yeah, so we need to look into all content areas and ensure they reflect brand voice, have appealing formatting, are complete and updated, are easy to find…

Err something like that. Shouldn’t be complicated.

Yeah—not complicated at all (sigh).

In reality, content can be very complicated. The following are cures for common issues that may arise when developing content, elucidating why content needs far more attention than it normally gets.

Google’s Caffeine Finally Live

After months (has it already been a year?) of hand-wringing and speculation in the search industry, Google finally announced Caffeine is live. It’s an appropriate name for the update, since it seems like Google’s been injected with a jolt of the good stuff to produce faster, fresher results.

After months (has it already been a year?) of hand-wringing and speculation in the search industry, Google finally announced Caffeine is live. It’s an appropriate name for the update, since it seems like Google’s been injected with a jolt of the good stuff to produce faster, fresher results.

Leer más “Google’s Caffeine Finally Live”

Where Does Google TV Fit Into Search?

By Chris Crum
Considerations if Google TV Takes Off

It’s time to start optimizing your web content for the big screen. Here at Google I/O, as I’m sure you’ve heard, Google announced the much-anticipated Google TV. Naturally, search plays a big role in the service, particularly in the form of the Quick Search Box.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

It’s time to start optimizing your web content for the big screen. Here at Google I/O, as I’m sure you’ve heard, Google announced the much-anticipated Google TV. Naturally, search plays a big role in the service, particularly in the form of the Quick Search Box. Leer más “Where Does Google TV Fit Into Search?”