search engines trying to index everything under the sun these days: images, videos, Flash, text, word docs, PDF’s, etc. how best do you optimize your videos for natural search? seeing as that there are no “standards” in place (yet) that all engines follow to read embedded copy in the creation process of a video or Flash file.

a few things can be done to help the engines better understand your video content (let’s assume you have ten videos posted on your site).

first off, it would be ideal if each of your videos is located on (displayed) on a unique web page dedicated to that particular video.

this gives you the opportunity to customize the messaging and copy associated with that file. this also gives the search engine spiders a better chance of correlating the text on the page with the video located on that page.

with this unique page approach, be sure to hand optimize the Title tag and Meta Description tag to speak to the content of the video.

then make sure the body content of the page describes what the video is all about as well. maybe use an H1 tag (header tag) to call out a nice descriptive title for the video as well.

next, you’ll want to name the video file something very specific. for example, instead of something like:

video01.mpg

name the file something descriptive that pertains to the video content and the body content on the page built around the video:

dog-chasing-cat-video.mpg

the search engine spiders will read the file name and associate those words with the given file so don’t be shy about being descriptive.

one more thing that could help…

if you do have a library of videos on your site, have a video index or video site map page that the end-user (and spiders) can visit that is the doorway to your individual video pages. and be sure to make the hyperlinks from this page to the individual pages something descriptive as well. for example, don’t have hyperlinks that read:

Video Clip 1
Video Clip 2
Video Clip 3

make the hyperlinks descriptive such as:

Dog Chasing Cat Video
Cat Chasing Dog Video
Baby Eating Cake Video

assuming your site gets indexed and visited regularly by the spiders, this is a great start to optimizing

so i’ve been checking out the beta of the Spock search engine and i’m not sure i like it.

it seems to be a hybrid social network/search engine as far as i can tell.

and it’s just one more way for creeps to try and find out more information about someone.

i don’t know if i think this is just a horrible idea or a valid search “tool” for end-users looking for information.

anybody have any comments about this new engine?

in the world of large, database-driven ecommerce websites, implementing quality seo tactics can be somewhat difficult. especially with restrictions inherent to many content management systems.

on top of that, the internal bureaucracy of large corporations prevent them from updating their own websites. Marketing and IT resource constraints wreak havoc on timely implementations.

what is a Fortune 500 company to do?

one remedy to these SEO woes is the implementation of a proxy technology solution.

what the heck is that?

it is basically a way for a site to be optimized remotely by a third party. leaving the optimization work to the experts while not touching the native site.

the proxy environment basically creates a mirror image of the native site but appends the native pages with keyword optimized content such as Title tags, meta description tags and body content.

without requiring the resources of the company’s IT or Marketing departments.

there are a few different providers of proxy solutions providing varying degrees of optimization.

what experiences have you had with proxy technologies? would you recommend it for large ecommerce websites?

in the world of large, database-driven ecommerce websites, implementing quality seo tactics can be somewhat difficult. especially with restrictions inherent to many content management systems.

on top of that, the internal bureaucracy of large corporations prevent them from updating their own websites. Marketing and IT resource constraints wreak havoc on timely implementations.

what is a Fortune 500 company to do?

one remedy to these SEO woes is the implementation of a proxy technology solution.

what the heck is that?

it is basically a way for a site to be optimized remotely by a third party. leaving the optimization work to the experts while not touching the native site.

the proxy environment basically creates a mirror image of the native site but appends the native pages with keyword optimized content such as Title tags, meta description tags and body content.

without requiring the resources of the company’s IT or Marketing departments.

there are a few different providers of proxy solutions providing varying degrees of optimization.

what experiences have you had with proxy technologies? would you recommend it for large ecommerce websites?

i have a hard time with the concept of buying links for the purpose of ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERP) or increasing a site’s PageRank.

but i’m not so sure why or what aspect of it bothers me.

on the one hand, Google frowns upon the idea so my White Hat SEO side tells me that i shouldn’t entertain the concept.

but on the other foot i start to think of the following:

preface Google’s job, as with all search engines, is to try and organize the chaos that is “information” available on the web. trying to determine (mostly through crazy computer calculations) what results you want to see when you enter a search term/phrase. but as we all know, many times we DON’T get the results we want. it is a flawed system. but the end-game in Google’s mind is to give you the right content. end preface

to that end, if you are a site owner with quality (read worthwile) content that pertains to specific keywords but you don’t rank high for these keywords for any of a number of reasons, should you not be allowed the chance to do so? i mean, that is what Google wants, right? so why should so many non-relevant sites come up high for keyword searches just because a quality site/page may not have much link popularity or PageRank or whatever.

granted, i’m definitely opposed to link farms or crazy linking schemes that employ black hat seo tactics to create links en masse. don’t get me wrong.

but, if you have the ability to buy select links from quality, relevant, related sites in order to boost your rankings and you have quality content on your site, is that necessarily bad?

there are many large websites out there that pimp out their PageRank and viewership to advertisers every day (banner ads, etc.) for big dollars. why should this practice be considered okay but having these high PR sites sell text links to quality, relevant sites be frowned upon?

in one sense it’s the same thing, the large site is selling itself to generate a nice revenue stream. who cares if it is banner ads or Google ads or paid links?

obviously this could be abused and people could outbid each other and it could/would become an insane cost model like any supply and demand scenario. but it’s definitely something to think about.

again, this could be an abused practice, but the flip side is that is could be just what the doctor ordered with regard to getting more quality content to rank higher in the SERPs.

i’d love to know the thoughts of other SEO’s with regard to this.

i have a hard time with the concept of buying links for the purpose of ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERP) or increasing a site’s PageRank.

but i’m not so sure why or what aspect of it bothers me.

on the one hand, Google frowns upon the idea so my White Hat SEO side tells me that i shouldn’t entertain the concept.

but on the other foot i start to think of the following:

preface Google’s job, as with all search engines, is to try and organize the chaos that is “information” available on the web. trying to determine (mostly through crazy computer calculations) what results you want to see when you enter a search term/phrase. but as we all know, many times we DON’T get the results we want. it is a flawed system. but the end-game in Google’s mind is to give you the right content. end preface

to that end, if you are a site owner with quality (read worthwile) content that pertains to specific keywords but you don’t rank high for these keywords for any of a number of reasons, should you not be allowed the chance to do so? i mean, that is what Google wants, right? so why should so many non-relevant sites come up high for keyword searches just because a quality site/page may not have much link popularity or PageRank or whatever.

granted, i’m definitely opposed to link farms or crazy linking schemes that employ black hat seotactics to create links en masse. don’t get me wrong.

but, if you have the ability to buy select links from quality, relevant, related sites in order to boost your rankings and you have quality content on your site, is that necessarily bad?

there are many large websites out there that pimp out their PageRank and viewership to advertisers every day (banner ads, etc.) for big dollars. why should this practice be considered okay but having these high PR sites sell text links to quality, relevant sites be frowned upon?

in one sense it’s the same thing, the large site is selling itself to generate a nice revenue stream. who cares if it is banner ads or Google ads or paid links?

obviously this could be abused and people could outbid each other and it could/would become an insane cost model like any supply and demand scenario. but it’s definitely something to think about.

again, this could be an abused practice, but the flip side is that is could be just what the doctor ordered with regard to getting more quality content to rank higher in the SERPs.

i’d love to know the thoughts of other SEO’s with regard to this.

so you’re interested in better optimizing your site for search engines and want to know where to start.

the first thing (well, second thing, after doing keyword research…) is to optimize the Title tags of all your website’s web pages if at all possible.

the title tag is the single most important textual element of a web page and is the identified by the search engine spiders as the key to determine what the given web page is about.

if the title tag is not descriptive or does not speak to the page’s content, you are missing the boat entirely.

the title tag also happens to be the hyperlink that shows up in the search engine results pages of Google/Yahoo!/MSN, etc. so having a title that makes sense and speaks to the web page is also important from a usability standpoint.

make sure that your titles are well thought out and explain your page’s content. center around no more than 2-3 keywords and/or keyword phrases.

then, make sure your page actually speaks to these keywords. having the body content reflect the title text brings the user experience and the bot experience full-circle.

now go out their and optimize your title tags. you, your end-users and the spiders will be glad you did.

this is for the ad agencies, creative web designers and marketing heads of the world…

i’ve had the misfortune of dealing with clients who spend large sums of money developing microsites for their customers (entirely in Flash) and then shortly before making them live, ask us to help them with search engine optimization.

duh.

if this wasn’t 2007 i wouldn’t comment as such but many of these individuals have heard of and are well aware of SEO. to the point of knowing that they have to do it for their sites.

and yet over and over again i deal with customers who think that building a single url, all-flash website is somehow going to rank well on top, extremely generic keywords.

these are highly paid individuals.

i say shame on them, but i also think: shame on the ad agencies and development/design firms for not thinking outside of the box.

am i just being too critical? does anybody else think this is pretty rediculous in this day and age?

i am all for a nice flash element on a website but please keep it to a minimum. hybrid html/flash sites can look amazing (for the designers out there) and yet still be functional and seo-friendly.

how is it that these shops just don’t get it?

who is missing the boat here?

sorry for the rant. but i guess everybody is entitled to their own opinions.

let me know your thoughts.

this is for the ad agencies, creative web designers and marketing heads of the world…

i’ve had the misfortune of dealing with clients who spend large sums of money developing microsites for their customers (entirely in Flash) and then shortly before making them live, ask us to help them with search engine optimization.

duh.

if this wasn’t 2007 i wouldn’t comment as such but many of these individuals have heard of and are well aware of SEO. to the point of knowing that they have to do it for their sites.

and yet over and over again i deal with customers who think that building a single url, all-flash website is somehow going to rank well on top, extremely generic keywords.

these are highly paid individuals.

i say shame on them, but i also think: shame on the ad agencies and development/design firms for not thinking outside of the box.

am i just being too critical? does anybody else think this is pretty rediculous in this day and age?

i am all for a nice flash element on a website but please keep it to a minimum. hybrid html/flash sites can look amazing (for the designers out there) and yet still be functional and seo-friendly.

how is it that these shops just don’t get it?

who is missing the boat here?

sorry for the rant. but i guess everybody is entitled to their own opinions.

let me know your thoughts.

some of you are aware of this technical implement known as the 301 Permanent Redirect. and those of you outside the world of search engine optimization may have no idea what i’m talking about (read on if you wish).

over time a website, hopefully, will build up or increase in what is known as Google PageRank.

this increased ranking or weight feeds that site or page’s relevance in the search world and as a result, gives that site or page a better chance of coming up in the search results for keywords (this is over-simplified of course).

now, PageRank is a pretty important thing in the search world and you don’t want to lose it (which is easy to do).

let’s say you decide to get rid of a web page or change the URL structure of your site. if you decide to do so and don’t take the right precautions, you could lose your built up PageRank. in addition, if someone is linking directly to a given page on your site and the URL has changed, that link is now broken.

but, if you change your URL structure or drop/move pages on your site, you can maintain or pass on that built up ranking by implementing a 301 permanent redirect.

it’s a simple thing to implement and is sanctioned by Google to officially pass along that PageRank.

keep this in mind if you have a site with some quality ranking built up. don’t lose it.

here’s a link to a listing of ways to implement 301’s if you need help:

How to Redirect a Web Page

cheers!