Search Engines

Lowell Project: SEO Analysis

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The Lowell.com site is currently going through a thorough search engine optimization analysis. I wanted to catch all the low hanging fruit before I officially launch the site, and everything hould still be on target for a launch in a couple of weeks. I blogged about the SEO analysis on the Lowell.com blog, although I didn’t really get into too many details on the topic.   I am far from an expert, and it would only be humorous for me to write or preach like I was one.
I do think that search engine optimization is almost as important as the unique content I had written. I used the example of my website being like a home in the forest that needs a road and electricity. It could be the most beautiful home in the world, but if you can’t get to it, the home won’t be enjoyed by others. Search engines need a way to find Lowell.com (and other websites), and optimizing it for the search engines is the best way to get noticed.
If you have some time and interest in developing, feel free to check out the Lowell.com development blog for more details. I also added a few resources I used in addition to my friend.

NY Times: Direct Navigation Traffic is Best

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An article in the New York Times confirms what most domain investors have said for years – direct navigation type-in traffic yields the most valuable website visitors. Based on a study performed by Internet marketing company Engine Ready, the article compares direct navigation traffic to search engine traffic, both paid and organic. While comparing the value between organic search versus paid search, the article mentions that neither is has the edge when it comes to valuing traffic:

That honor goes to the people who arrive at a site by typing its Web address directly into their browsers or clicking on a bookmark. Such visitors, who tend to be repeat customers, linger the longest, spend the most money, and are the most likely to “convert” to buyers, doing so on 3.3 percent of their visits.

Read the rest of the article on the New York Times website.

Importance of Keyword Searches for Domain Buying

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When buying a keyword domain name, it is important to know how many people search daily for the keywords that make up the domain name. You might have the most targeted website for the keywords, rank number one in the search engines and have the best website design, but if nobody is searching for those keywords on a frequent basis, it will be difficult to earn a return on your investment.
Many people reference Google’s search results to cite how much information exists for certain keywords. While Google will show how many times the keyword is mentioned on the Internet, it fails to show how many people are actually searching for it. Using Google for this can be misleading, because there can be much more information about a topic than people searching for it.
The Overture search tool   was a good indicator of the number of searches that were performed monthly but Yahoo has eliminated that tool.   I’ve used Wordtracker and KeywordDiscovery before and both offer good indications of what keywords people search. If you own the domain name of these keywords, you have a strong search engine optimization advantage over everyone else. Once you upload relevant content and have someone optimize your site, you could see an increase in revenue.

Pump your Gas and Google

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Ever find yourself at a gas station looking for directions?   When I was younger, my family pulled into a gas station in the Bronx, New York looking for directions out of the Bronx.   My dad asked the station clerk for directions, and she replied, “fill up your tank and I can help you.”   My dad filled up the tank and went back for the instructions, to which the woman replied “sorry, no hablo English.”

Soon, you won’t have to rely on the gas station service clerks for directions.   According to a CNN article  and the Gilbarco Veeder-Root website, Google has formed a partnership with gas station pump maker Gilbarco Veeder-Root, which just introduced their Applause Media System.    Gilbarco’s  pumps will  now include an Internet connection displaying Google’s mapping service on a small screen.

At first, pumpers will be asked to find their location by scrolling through many popular categories, including hotels, restaurants and hospitals selected by the gas station’s owner.   Once a destination is selected, the pump will print out directions.

This is another way Google is becoming involved in the search business.   Some of the other non-traditional search engine searching you can do include:

  • Dialing 1-800-GOOG-411  for free phone number services.
  • Texting “GOOGL” along with a business and city, and Google will send you the address and phone number.
  • Searching using  a Blackberry or other handheld device – Google.mobi

Someone asked me what I thought the % of people who would use the Google  pump maps  vs. in-car GPS systems.   That got me thinking, why doesn’t Google  develop an inexpensive  Google Maps branded GPS system?   Better yet, why not develop an in-car computer system to allow motorists to connect to the Internet using Google’s technologies?

Who Googles What?

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Sex, Nazi, burrito and Viagra: Who Googles what?

Reuters had an article today identifying the top 3 countries of searchers for some common Google searches including “sex,” “Tom Cruise,” and “Iraq” among other things. I did my own search regarding a few domain-related terms and here are some surprising results I found courtesy of Google’s Trend Tool:

“Domain Names”
1. New Zealand
2. United Kingdom
3. Australia

“Domain Sales”
1. Australia
2. India
3. United Kingdom

“Domain Parking”
1. Indonesia
2. Australia
3. Malaysia

“Web Development”
1. Pakistan
2. India
3. South Africa

Incidentally, it appears that all of these searches are trending down since inception.

American Airlines seeks damages against Google

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American Airlines seeks damages against Google
American Airlines filed a lawsuit against Google for selling Adwords related to its trademarks (including “American Airlines”. Personally, I think the claim is ludicrous. In my opinion, the term “American Airlines” is about as generic as they come. Why can’t US Airways, another “American airline,” purchase the keyword “American airlines?” Why shouldn’t anyone who sells anything associated with American airlines buy this particular keyword? Perhaps searchers are looking for the airline, but maybe they are just looking for information about an American airline.

I hope Google fights this and wins, because this claim seems over the top to me.

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