November 2011 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate Boerne Downtown Merchants for being the winner of this month's free site hosting. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.

Citations

Citations are listings and references made to your Web site in other local directories. Google aggregates links and reviews from other local directories and places them in your Google Places listing. This also is a factor in determining your rank in local search.

Your goal is to be listed in as many other local directories as possible in order to boost your Google Place Search ranking. Also keep in mind that these directories, such as Yelp, are highly trafficked directories in their own right and people will find your business directly in these locations as well.

Here is a list of 15 local directories where you may get your business listed quickly.

We know that submitting to each of these directories and making sure your information is accurate on each is a very tedious task. But it is time worth spending if you're serious about your Web site contributing to your business' "bottom line."

Another trick is to use YouTube as a citation source. On your YouTube video description make sure you include the same name address and phone number that is on your Google Place Search Page and include local tags in the tag section and Google will pick this up as a local citation.

If your niche is highly competitive, these extra citations can mean the difference between getting a top listing, or not, in Google local search.

Google's Quality Raters

Google employs so-called quality raters. These are people who manually check Google's search results to make sure the ranking algorithm is working as expected.

A quality rater visits the sites Google returns for a query and evaluates the results based on relevance. If a Web site does not fit in the search results, Google's quality raters can mark a site as spam.

Here are the most important things to remember:

1. Google uses several levels of "relevance"

Google instructs search quality raters to rate the relevance of a Web site as "vital", "useful", "relevant", "slightly relevant" and "off topic". In addition to the relevancy, Google prefers pages that are "highly satisfying, authoritative, entertaining, and/or recent".

2. Some search results are "vital" for Google

As mentioned, Google has five relevance categories. The "vital" category is for Web sites that simply must appear in the search results. For example, apple.com is expected to be the top result for the search term "apple". The social media profiles of a company (Facebook, etc.) cannot be considered "vital" according to Google's quality rater guidelines.

3. Relevant pages must be error free

If Google thinks a query was misspelled, the relevance of the results is based on what Google considers to be the user's most likely intent. Result pages should fit the query. Specific long tail queries should deliver specific result pages. Broad queries should deliver broader results.

This might be a good time to take another look at the verbiage on your site from a relevance point of view. Is the verbiage on your homepage vital, useful, relevant, slightly relevant, or off topic in the eyes of Herr Google? We'll gladly update the verbiage on your site based on what you send us.

Old Article Worth Seeing Again

HUEY Productions Accommodation Directory List

We've been mentioning Link Popularity for years now. Link Popularity (how many site pages on the Internet link INTO your site) is the most heavily weighted element of the major search engines. They see links INTO your site as "votes" for your site. All things equal...the site with the higher Link Popularity goes on top.

We maintain a listing of accommodation directories that our lodging and accommodation clients may visit periodically and register their sites. Though the focus of this list is toward accommodations, the fact is if one were to click around a bit after getting to the directory you would find an appropriate place to register just about any site.

One shortcoming of the list (for clients checking the list often) was discerning which directories were added since their last visit. We've now added a script that will (hopefully) keep track of your visits and show a "NEW" icon next to any directory added since your last visit. Of course your first visit will most likely show all the directories as being new.

Anyone may visit our Directory List by clicking on the link in the footer of our homepage.

New Sites Joining Us Or Completed Recently

Help these folks by visiting their site. All ya'll will remember how hard it is to get those initial "hits" so the search engines notice your site. So take a minute and visit their site.

  • National Diversified Training Services, Inc. - Provides quality, professional training and ISO consultant services for improvements and quality consultant ISO leadership.
  • Provision Safety and Storm Shelters - Offers high quality steel underground units providing protection from tornados and hurricanes. They also serve as bunker storage that is resistant to moisture, fire, thieves and pests.