Archive for May, 2008
I am happy to mention that I am now ranking number one for ‘Toronto SEO Agency’, competition is similar to ‘Toronto SEO Firm’ around 90k.
I was also checking the ranking of ‘Toronto SEO Firm’ and I noticed a nice little bonus, that my pricing page is also ranking on the first page of results for that term!
For those of you following my progress you would know that I have been doing SEO for about 3 years but only for in-house clients and my own websites. I recently decided to take on a few new projects, hence the development of this site. www.torontoSEOfirm.com first went live on May 9, 2008, just over a week ago and already I am ranking on the first page of Google results for one of my targeted terms (see image below) – We even have a site-link for our newest post! - This term does not have a lot of competition so it is not exactly a monumental accomplishment but it does give a good indication of how ‘doing things right’ can have a very positive effect, even with a new site.
Not to say Ask.com is anything like a pimple but we are talking relative size here. The question is, can a search engine that is 1/17th the size of the industry leader run a profitable business model? The answer is, YES!
Forbes is reporting that Jim Safka, head of Ask.com announced his company will acquire Lexico, the owner of sites including Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com and Reference.com. The deal has an estimated acquisition value of over $100 million dollars.
Back in March Ask laid off just under 10% of it’s workforce and decided to focus on women above 30 and web searchers looking for answers to questions about health, fitness and entertainment because it appears this niche made up a majority of their user base. With only a shrinking 4% share of searches Ask seems to be holding on by a thread. There has even been speculation that they would soon be dropping its own search algorithm in favor of licensing Google’s search technology.
Safka denies this claim and say that the new Lexico acquisition is to take advantage of current Ask.com users that tend use full-sentence questions three times as often as users of other search engines. So for now it looks like Ask.com will keep up the fight and just try not to go head on with Google but instead to attempt some innovative side-steps in hope of capturing a bit more market share and perhaps some more loyal customers.
Google Friend Connect was showcased at a Campfire One gathering of 3rd-party software developers at the company’s “Googleplex” campus in Mountain View, California a couple of days ago. The plan comes just days after top social networking websites MySpace and Facebook broke down barriers of their online communities to let members share profile information at other websites.
Friend Connect lets website owner’s add social-networking features such as registration, member galleries, message boards, and fun or useful third-party applications called “widgets” by simply adding snippets of free computer code.
People visiting websites using Friend Connect will be able to interact with contacts they know from online communities such as Facebook, Google Talk, orkut, Plaxo or hi5.
To demonstrate, an iLike application was incorporated into an official website of musician Ingrid Michaelson so that visitors don’t have to leave to connect with friends at their social networking profiles. All website operators using Friend Connect see are user nicknames and images, if any, posted along with them.
Concerns about protecting people’s profile data prompted Google to decide to work individually with website operators interested in Friend Connect, according to Glazer. Website owners are invited to put their names in a “white list” queue online at www/google.com/friendconnect.
Google wants to be at the heart of the Internet trend of people building online identities that play, share, and conduct business in virtual environments, according to one Silicon Valley analyst. Google plans to phase in more websites and social networks in the months to come, with the Open Social software platform as a basis for interoperability. This is good news for the forward development of social networks but it also will make webmasters more dependent on Google as it searches for more revenue opportunities.
There has been a ton of speculation around the industry of -20, -50, -60, -100 penalties (for those laypersons this is a SERP penalty that subtracts ranks you should be awarded, so if you normally should rank number 9 for a specific keyword or phrase, with a -60 penalty you would rank number 69 instead). Someone found a site listed in number 61 position with sitelinks, usually sitelinks show only for the first result in a Google search. Rumor has it that these penalties are being applied because of the suspected purchase of paid links.
I have said it before and I will say it again, until I see proof that Google can read a webmaster’s mind I don’t think these type of penalties are fair, or a good businesses practise for that matter. If Google is going to punish websites so serverely because they ‘think’ the owners have bought links then it is going to be really easy to sink the competition. Simply go on a little spending spree buying up site-wide links on some crappy unrelated pharma sites and watch your competition sink in the SERPs.
I better get busy and check my Paypal account so see how many competitors I can afford to get penalized.
I am always keeping an eye out for what my competition charges (click to enlarge the image) and here is the price page for an SEO in New York. I won’t comment on whether his prices are too high because I don’t know a lot about the quality of his work. One thing I do know is good SEO/SEM is very valuable and can pad the bottom line of a company more often and at a better value than almost any type of advertising and promotional campaigns
Our SEO/SEM monthly packages are on sale now for 50% off (this offer may end without notice) and start at an affordable $300, take a look at our pricing page for more details. Click here for a free, no obligation custom quote