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Monday, 17 June 2013

How to add stars to your lisiting

I dont know why but most of the people still don't know about the structured meta data & the awesomeness it can add to your site's listing in SERP ! Adding structured data to your site has been proven to be a successful way to  increase click though rate, however for the first time when I saw a star rating in SERP for a specific query then the very first thing that hit my mind that the site must be a really good one for which it had been rated with 5 stars! This is exactly how a common user thinks, they dont know that this can be manipulated  as well. Not only star ratings though...structured data can also be used to show navigation bread crumb links below the original site listing, for a long time Google had accepted three types of structured data to include in their search result & those are 1. Micro data 2. Microformats 3.RDFa . However to avoid the contradiction between datas , Google now currently advices to use microdata only. Lets get into the part for which you have been waiting so far..adding stars to your listing..yay!

First make sure what type of rating you want to use for your site, for example is it going to be aggregated review or a individual one? If it's about a aggregated review then the html should look somewhat like this...

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product"> <span style="display:none; padding:2px 0 0 10px;" itemprop="name">Website Design</span>
<div itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating"> 
<meta content="1" itemprop="worstRating">
<meta content="5" itemprop="bestRating">
<p style=" font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight:bold; color:#fbcf3a; margin-left:15px;"><span itemprop="ratingValue">4.5</span> STARS OUT OF  <span itemprop="reviewCount">7</span> REVIEWS</p>

 If it's about s individual product review then it should be like this..

<div itemscope itemtype="http://data-vocabulary.org/Review">
    <span itemprop="itemreviewed">White shirt</span>
    Reviewed by <span itemprop="reviewer">Adrian thomas</span> on
    <time itemprop="dtreviewed" datetime="2009-01-06">Jan 6</time>.
    <span itemprop="summary">A great one for a night out</span>
    <span itemprop="description">A great shirt for all purpose use, flaunt your style</span>
    Rating: <span itemprop="rating">4.5</span>

Now once you are done with the adding part, dont forget to check out if you have done it perfectly, use Google structure data testing tool & see the search result preview, are the stars there? Awesome isn't it? 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Canonicalization & related issues

In the year 2009, Google & yahoo both announced about their support for the use of rel=canonical, yet till this date there is a lot of misconception about this simple one line html among the webmasters & Seo’s. However in this article we will try to discuss in brief about this & find out the solution to our common misconception.

1.Using rel=canonical cross domain

rel=canonical is just a simple way to tell Google about a page that is duplicate to another one,  but it doesn’t entitle you to use  rel=canonical cross domain if it appears to be manipulative. However you can use it in cases where multiple sites are owned by the same webmaster & the content of those sites are helpful to the users, but you need to make sure that they don’t share duplicate content as this would be seen as a serious violation of Google’s guidelines.

2. Using rel=canonical on entire site

You see excessive use of canonical tag is never encouraged, though any clear evidence of Google penalizing this practice has not been found but still we should avoid it as much as possible.

3.  301 redirects or rel=canonical ?

It depends…from an  seo standpoint of view they both serves a similar purpose, but there is a difference between this two…a 301 redirection takes the visitor to your desired canonical page where as the rel=canonical doesn’t, therefore if you want to keep both the pages available to the visitors then use rel=canonical tag, otherwise you may want to use a 301 redirect only.

4.Can you prevent indexing by using rel=canonical ?

Yes, Google does honor this practice therefore avoid indexing pages with rel=canonical

5. Does rel=canonical hampers page authority?

No if you do it properly then you should not be having any problem regarding the page authority issue, it acts exactly like a 301 redirect & passes the page value to the non-canonical page

6. Should I use chain 301 or rel=canonical?

Although chain redirection can pass page authority but still the practice is not recommended as it looks sloppy, & sometimes might even cost you in the form of reduced page rank.

7. Can I use 301 redirection for solving duplicate content issue?

If you have a choice to control the duplicate contents on your site, why would you let Google do it for you? You are using rel=canonical on duplicate pages to let google know about the original page, then google deciding which is the actual page, & then... only then perhaps Google might exempt it from  duplicate content penalty , I ask you…why would you risk it when you have an option to deal with the  issue yourself?

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Google Now- Amazingly smart search service


Today I was searching randomly for some seo BS, however what I found out is more than amazing & I can’t help myself  from sharing this with you guys! Google is our god, and what it says..we just need to follow it. Once it said to stuff keywords in the pages for better indexing  & we did, then it said don’t do it & we stopped. Google itself  once instructed webmasters to do submission stuff for link building & now it says not to do it…I too feel bad about this at times, but I guess this is what you have to deal with when you work for a company that doesn’t pay you! Although what I found out is simply not good for my job, but I guess it’s too great to be sad just because it could hurt your puny SEO.

 It’s coming…..

There is a lot of BS about death of SEO people talk about  all around the web, I had even seen something like this http://isseodead.info/ ( the most wtf page I have ever seen), is Google killing SEO? Yes. Is it going to last for another 10 years? Probably not. Why? Because Google is getting smart enough to know exactly what a user is looking for… I don’t know how many of you know about  “Google now”…I’m going to share what search engine guru  Danny Sullivan has experienced with this new predictive search service-

“I best encountered this a few weeks ago, when leaving an event at Facebook. I’d remembered my flight time wrong and suddenly got panicked that I wouldn’t get to the airport in time.

Dashing through the parking lot to my car, I turned-on my Galaxy Nexus phone and opened up the Google Now screen, to speak that I wanted it to navigate me from Facebook to the airport in San Jose. I needed both the directions plus an estimate of how long it was going to take.

Before I spoke, Google Now already had the trip up, with the estimated travel time, along with a link to start navigation. It had quite literally anticipated what I needed to know before I thought to search.

Another example of Google Now amazing me was earlier this month, when I was in Munich. I already had euros from a previous trip, so I hadn’t had to convert any dollars. That left me unsure of the exchange rate. I kept meaning to look it up, but when I went into Google Now, there was no need. It already showed me the exchange rate, as well as how to say “hello” in German and local photo spots.

That was another “wow” moment to me, where Google Now went well beyond what I expected, where I got a glimpse of what the future of “predictive” or “anticipatory” search might bring.

Google Now also does well for me in other ways in that, if they don’t make me go “wow” still are very useful.

For example, I regularly look for movie listings, usually on Fridays and Saturdays. Google Now sometimes has them ready for me, before I search. Google Now has learned sports teams that I like and automatically shows me the latest scores. It’s seen breaking news stories that I’ve read and keeps me updated on those:” – Danny Sullivan    

Though the service is still not perfect but it surely amazes me when I imagine how Google is going to change the concept of search, imagine when you would not need to type much & Google would be able to get you exactly what you need by monitoring your search pattern & trend.  I say it’ only about 3-4 more years & we will be seeing a completely changed internet world


Monday, 22 April 2013

Six design mistakes that you would never like to repeat

Quality & credibility- Does quality content give an excuse for poor website design? Of course not, but if your site has got something useful for the users, they may comprise with the design & the advertisements. It’s a proven fact as there are a number of not so well designed sites which are gaining a lot of traffic because they have quality content to offer their users.

They are impatient- Users are fairly impatient & if they don’t find the things they are looking for at the moment they visit your site, they would leave the site & will never come back. Therefore it’s the responsibility of the designer to make the site attractive enough so that a user takes a minute before he/she decides to leave

Let them have control- Users don’t like anything being imposed on them, for instance they don’t like new windows being popped up suddenly, therefore I would never suggest using ‘open links in new window’ or ‘sign up to add items to your cart’ etc

Keep it simple- Put it like this...if it takes less effort from the users to try a service, then most of the random users  would definitely want to try it out, hence there will be more engagement  on your site.

Too much information- Listing contents about why a customer should take your service seems to be a good idea until it gets too lengthy, it would less likely to get any read from the visitors. It should always be kept simple & attractive at the same time. Concentrate on more than two or few points & mention them in a place where they could be seen by the visitors.
Contact info- Some business owners don’t prefer mentioning their contact info in their web site, you must remember that  there would be visitors who are simply searching for your offline contact info & when they don’t find what they are looking for they might never return to your site ever

Thursday, 11 April 2013

How to buy a good domain?

Are you thinking about buying a domain that has a lot of spam links targeting towards it & still ranking well? Maybe it’s time when you should think about this again & this time with a little more ‘sense’! The head of search spam Matt Cutts has recently made it clear to those having a question on mind if they should buy a spammy domain or not… he has explained that there can be two penalties in this case , either on manual side or on the algorithmic side. 

If your site gets penalized manually  then you would get a chance for speedy recovery by sending a reconsideration request once the spam has been cleared, however it differs if the case is of algorithmic penalty where you need to wait till the next algorithmic changes take place. If the spam has been aggressive in nature then the recovery would be hard to achieve, for a better result you should write down each step you are taking to remove the spam & then specify it when sending the reconsideration request. Alternatively you can simply avoid this & buy a clean domain that has never been contaminated with spam. Now how could you know that the domain you are planning to buy is not a spammy one?
  •  There are a number of frauds out there in the business to bleed you’re a/c  with expired & spammy domains. Usually this type of domains possess  a good pagerank  because these frauds know that people  normally look for domains with high pr to save time, so they use a trick known as ‘vapor domain’ where the domain shows a fake page rank which it actually doesn’t have! You can simply save yourself by using this site http://www.seologs.com/pr-check/pagerank.html , type your domain name & check if it returns the page rank which you have been shown by the seller
  •      Try the backlink checker tool to find out if it has a thousands of spammy backlinks        

  • You should also use archive.org to see if the domain previously  belonged to an illegal site or not, say if the domain is a normal site at present but if it was a porn site 5 years back would you risk your money buying it? 
  •     A lot of people don’t know about the PageRank that  the pr toolbar normally shows…here is the fact! The page rank you are seeing right now is not the current PR that your site holds but it’s the PR that your site had three months agos! Google use this delayed PR so that it’s algorithm doesn’t have to deal with the  competitors & black hat seo s. So  don’t  get  addicted to the green bar!
Hopefully these guidelines will save you a lot of time & money as well. Don’t forget to share this post & if you have more questions kindly post it in the comment’s section or mail me directly.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Facebook phone- Finally it’s here!

Okay! So Facebook is now shaking hands with android & guess why? The most anticipated Facebook phone is finally here,  so get ready to discover it’s new features through android platform for the very first time! Facebook itself describing this as their “new home on Android” & the official announcement could be expected sometime this week.  

Although the social media giant has no intention to build their own smartphone but it’s expected that it is more likely to make an approach to integrate  social network deeply  into the smartphone operating systems ! A number of tech gurus think that Facebook may have made this decision after receiving the study report from IDC, a market research firm… showing that how smartphones have become a part of the daily life of USA citizens. According to the report, the US smart phone users stay connected through out the day starting from the very moment they rise until they go to bed. The study was conducted on more than 7000 people & revealed a stunning statistics that every 4 out of 5 smart phone users tend to check their phones within 15 minutes or so! The top three priorities that led the users  to this excessive phone usage are messaging, browsing & Facebook . The rumors about Facebook phone finally ended with Mark Zuckerberg’s comment about smartphones “It is really clear from the stats and my own personal intuition that a lot of energy in the ecosystem is going to mobile, not desktop (computers)” - TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

He even killed all the rumors about Facebook making their own mobile when he said “Apple, Google, everyone builds phones we are going in the opposite direction, We want to build a system deeply integrated in every device people want to use.”

Subhadip is currently working for Infosolz Consultancy Services Pvt ltd , a seo company in kolkata offering wide range of services including web design & development,software development etc.