Archive for April, 2011

Are Tag Clouds dangerous to your blog?

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Here is a fascinating little video from Matt Cutts over at Google talking about how Tag Clouds can be dangerous to your blog. For those of you wondering just how efficient Google is at determining where on the page your keywords are, and this video is informative. In short, it suggests that tag clouds can hurt your blog. There are several reasons why they can cause problems and you should be aware of this:

This can have obviously implications for local SEO. My own research backs up what Matt is saying about Tag Clouds.

SEO update: Google adds +1 recommendations in search results

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The folks at Google continue to make recommendations important to SEO. Today they’ve rolled out a new function increasing that aspect that you should be aware of as you focus on building and promoting your webpage.

Google’s goal is to get you the most relevant results as quickly as possible. But relevance is about relationships as well as words on webpages. That’s why they recently started to include more information from people you know—stuff they’ve shared on Twitter, Flickr and other sites—in Google search results.

Today they’re taking that a step further by enabling you to share recommendations with the world right in Google’s search results. It’s called +1—the digital shorthand for “this is pretty cool.” To recommend something, all you have to do is click +1 on a webpage or ad you find useful. Soon these +1’s will then start appearing in Google’s search results.

The +1 button will appear next to each search result

After pressing the +1 button, you have the option to undo the action immediately

Say, for example, you’re planning a winter trip to Tahoe, Calif. When you do a search, you may now see a +1 from your slalom-skiing aunt next to the result for a lodge in the area. Or if you’re looking for a new pasta recipe, we’ll show you +1’s from your culinary genius college roommate. And even if none of your friends are baristas or caffeine addicts, we may still show you how many people across the web have +1’d your local coffee shop.

The beauty of +1’s is their relevance—you get the right recommendations (because they come from people who matter to you), at the right time (when you are actually looking for information about that topic) and in the right format (your search results). For more information about +1, watch this video:

So how do they know which +1’s to show you? Like social search, Google uses many signals to identify the most useful recommendations, including things like the people you are already connected to through Google (your chat buddies and contacts, for example). Soon they may also incorporate other signals, such as your connections on sites like Twitter, to ensure your recommendations are as relevant as possible. If you want to know who you’re connected to, and how, visit the “Social Circle and Content” section of the Google Dashboard.

To get started +1’ing the stuff you like, you’ll need to create a Google profile—or if you already have one, upgrade it. You can use your profile to see all of your +1’s in one place, and delete those you no longer want to recommend. To see +1’s in your Google search results you’ll need to be logged into your Google Account.

Google will be be slowly rolling out +1’s, starting in English on If you can’t wait to start seeing +1’s, they’ll soon let you opt-in to the launch by visiting the experimental search site. Initially, +1’s will appear alongside search results and ads, but in the weeks ahead they’ll appear in many more places (including other Google products and sites across the web). If you’re an advertiser and want to learn more about how the +1 button works on search ads and websites, visit Goggle’s AdWords blog.

The new +1 feature, combined with all of the social content Google  is now including in search, will mean even better, more relevant results than you get today. It’s effect on SEO and local SEO will be huge as you will want people to +1 you as much as possible, raising your page rank on Google searches.