Archive for January, 2009
We know that video content has far better prominence in search engine listings, and a couple of good quality videos (with innovative content), if promoted well, can generate traffic and affect your websites ranking for your keywords.
The main reason for this is the wide popularity of video sites like YouTube, Meta Café and the likes, and search engines showing preference to video content rather than textual content. And yet, there are some important points to consider before you can go ahead and optimize your videos for search engines and promote them.
Since universal search started favoring video content, many SEO experts started using videos as a strategy to get quicker rankings for keywords (some even with strong competition) that otherwise would have taken months to achieve, not to mention the hard work involved in optimizing the site, and building links. Now this is not an alternative to building your regular content and links, but rather an additional boost to the existing seo efforts.
A simple method SEO’s use is to publish the video on their client’s websites and then upload it to sites like YouTube. When a search engine would find the same Meta tags in YouTube, as that of a video hosted on the client’s site, it would pass on some link juice immediately, impressing the client to no end to see his video ranked top for his keyword.
But keep in mind, video content is treated like any other content as far as search engines go, and things like having your keyword in the Meta tags, Title and the Synopsis is equally important. Since the search engines cannot understand the content of the person speaking in the video, they look into the title, the Meta tags, and synopsis of your video to take clues as to what the video is about. One good idea is to create a text transcript of the conversation of the video on that page as well.
The title of the video needs to be given a lot of prominence! Other than ensuring that your keyword/ keyword phrase is included in the title, you have to create a title that is captivating enough so that users come watch it (and recommend it).
Now that you have your videos optimized, the next big question is “where to host your videos”? Well that would depend on what do you want to achieve. If you are looking at increasing the traffic to your website, then it’s better to host the video on your website first before submitting to the big video sites. But if your objective is to spread brand awareness and want to create a viral, then you can safely host it on sites like YouTube.
Once the optimized video is live, then the next step is to build some links to your video content. You must think the video content you have created is very useful to the users, so why not announce this across social bookmarking sites, and even sites like Twitter. The more users like your video, the more traffic will reach your website.
One word of caution; you could find yourself in a situation where you are battling with your own content. What this means is that if you host a video on your site, and then submit the same video on sites like YouTube with the same title, and Meta tags, you could find yourself competing with YouTube for your keyword. Since YouTube has much more credibility than your site, it could happen that your content gets lost somewhere in search listings. To avoid this you can upload the video with the title and Meta tags around your primary keyword on your site, and then tweak the title and Meta tags of the video around another secondary keyword you want to target before you submit to sites like YouTube.
A lot of automatic video submission software’s are becoming popular, and sites like Tube Mughal can submit your video to hundreds of video sites instantaneously. This can be very useful in some campaigns where a viral effect is what your desire. The main problem with automatic submissions is that you cannot control the title, and Meta tags of your submissions, and if you are looking at using video as a tool to boost and increase search rankings, then a more careful strategy needs to be adopted.
Well I hope you have enjoyed this post on optimizing your video content.
In an exclusive interview with G. Rajesh, Blog Editor of http://www.siliconindia.com/ who talks about the state of SEO in India, and the impact of recession on online businesses.
What is the state of SEO / SEM in India?
In India, a very few people know about SEO/SEM in comparison to other countries. The reason being is that SEO is still perceived as a technological devise of tweaking some keywords and meta tags, and not like a marketing devise that needs a long term strategy. A seo expert needs to be skilled in online marketing techniques, seo techniques, project management, content management, strategy management, as well as understand the search engines changing algorithms. The emergence of various local e-commerce, social and professional networking sites has helped in the evolution of online business in India. I feel that SEO still has a long way to go in India because its potential is yet to be tapped by people and organizations here.
2. How is SEO / SEM helping organizations tide over recession?
Recession has lead to intense competition amongst companies. Only the fittest will be able to emerge out as winners. With the decreasing marketing budgets on traditional media channels (like television, outdoor, radio and print), companies are looking for better and cheaper alternatives like online marketing. In these difficult times, a SEO expert can assist these companies in getting their keywords on the top in search listings, thus driving additional traffic and business.
3. What is the future of SEO / SEM (in India / globally)?
SEO’s future is very bright provided it is used appropriately. I personally feel lack of awareness amongst companies about SEO is basic reason as to why it’s limited to few. For the better future of SEO in companies worldwide, employers needs to realise it’s benefit in the long term. Refinement in search to get desired result is one thing which will definitely have an impact on the future of SEO.
4. What do you look for in an SEO expert / SEO consultancy before hiring?
Given an opportunity to hire an SEO expert I will look at how well they have done in ranking for their keywords (e.g. if I want to hire a seo expert from mumbai, and I type ‘seo expert mumbai‘ in the search box, the seo expert or seo company I plan to hire should rank in the top 5 in major engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN), and for their clients websites as well. Other things like good knowledge of social bookmarking, article writing, and link building will be an added plus.
5. What is the core expertise of Silicon India?
Core expertise of http://www.siliconindia.com/ lies in providing its users what they look forward to in a professional networking site. We update professionals with recent happening in technological and professional both in terms of quality and quantity.
7. What features are available and what new features do you plan to add to the site to improve its USP and provide better values to your userbase ?
We are India’s largest professional networking website, we aim at giving right direction to power of networking. Popular feature include:
News ( Latest update of both technological and professional front)
Blogs ( Enabling professionals to share their expertise for the benefit of the readers)
Communities ( Linking like minded professionals under one head)
Q& A ( A platform to get all your queries answered by professionals)
Training Videos ( Get accessed to collection of video by Industry Experts)
Education (Giving MBA aspirants a platform to find all relevant information pertaining to MBA)
Job & Careers (Get the information of Jobs not listed any where else)
Create your website by keeping your user or customer in mind. Do not create a website by keeping the search engine in mind. Search engine says more keywords give better weightage to your page. However, if you put more keywords and your content is not accurate or not readable then the customer will go away unsatisfied. In this case, even a good ranking by the search engine does not help your business.
Successful companies mostly rely on SEO experts to increase traffic to their sites. The company’s SEO expert first understand the search engines. They study how successful companies manage their listings. They figure out how search algorithms work by studying the sites listed in top 5 thoroughly.
SEO / SEM has a single objective. Their purpose is to provide more visibility to your website on the net. This can be achieved by getting higher ranking on the search engines by executing smart SEO activities for a long period of time.
Blogging can be a very useful SEO tool if used effectively. Blogs help business stake holders talk about their area of interest or areas of interest beneficial to the business. Blogs are a subtle attempt to influence the readers by convincing them about your point of view instead of directly telling them to come and buy your product.
Social networking too is a formidable SEO device. It helps you rally a group of people around a common idea. Now instead of you talking about your product, you have a large group of people talking about your product and expand the visibility of your product and your organization on the net.
Affiliate marketing is a pure SEM device. It uses a straight approach of telling the customer to come to your site and buy your product. However, in this case, not only you but all your affiliate partners are selling the product for you and sharing the profit. This is an effective way to increase your online sale.
Using genuine devices like blogging and social networking to increase traffic to your site helps you beat search algorithm changes in the long run since the basic criteria for top ranking remains the same. Algorithms change not to keep out genuine sites from the top but to filter out sites using unethical means to reach the top.About the Author:Vijay Dalwani is the Director (Operations) of a UK based healthcare and wellness organization.
In his previous assignments he has been working as:
- VP Operations with TVC Sky Shop Ltd
- Head of Operations with Wonderfulbuys.com (US Based Internet company)
- Director Operations with Cyberdyne Solutions IndiaLimited (A software company with a US tie up).
Vijay has been working on SEO / SEM for the last 7 years. He is a people’s person who likes to develop people as they are the assets of today and tomorrow. Vijay conducts training programs in SEO / SEM and other topics for budding profesionals. Vijay has a passion for learning new things and can go to any extent to get even 5 minutes of new learning.
There are hundreds of social & professional networking websites. The most popular ones also happen to be the ones that are most effective in terms of building a real network on a local and global level. Professional networking sites appeal not only to the budding professional but also to those having years of experience in their respective field of expertise.
Good professional networks provide many features which help professionals fine-tune or update their skills and stay in synchrony with the current market demands. India’s Bangalore-based www.silionindia.com is one such website I frequently visit. Now there are many reason for this and I would like to share them with the readers.
Career growth means different things to different people. For some professionals, it means reading about the latest developments in their industry or sector in the form of news. For some, it means finding out the current expertise or skill sets in demand and developing them for better prospects. This information can be obtained through job and career as well as educational content.
For yet another group of people, career growth means connecting with peers as well as industry experts. This is made possible by communities, blogs or Q & As on specific or niche topics.
SiliconIndia not only allows budding professionals to get tips about how to get manage their career better but also helps them assess their knowledge in different areas from programming to communication skills by taking well tailored online tests.
Another feature of SiliconIndia is the mentorship programme. Here a fresh graduate from any field or new employees of an organization can enroll themselves as apprentice. CXOs of various fields working in reputed organizations register as mentors to help out the apprentice online and shape their career. This method allows for querying and resolutions of very specific issues. SiliconIndia communities too are of a wide range from computers and internet to business and finance as well as entrepreneurship . The featured communities in each section too cater to niche or specialized sectors.
The overall model of siliconIndia looks sound. It caters to the mass in the form of online magazines, blogs and newsfeeds. It caters to individual and specialized needs through communities and Q & As. Professional education and skill sets are imparted with well designed educational articles and training videos. All this as they have earned the trust of hundreds of CXOs who have registered themselves on the site.
It is a well known fact that the entire IT industry including the web / portal business is heavily affected by recession. However, we can take inspiration from industry leaders like Hulu and Veoh which are making a profit inspite of such turbulent times.A closer look at these sites reveals that their content is truly the king. It ensures that their customer come out satisfied in terms of content, quality and freshness. They use cutting edge technology to provide a rich multimedia experience. And of course they weave all this around well designed and intelligent SEO / SEM activities.
Recession will introduce and many good practices in SEO / SEM business domain and force businesses to aggressively adapt them. Online businesses already realize that occasional SEO / SEM activities do not give immediate or long lasting results. Businesses today are look within themselves in order to develop SEO expertise or are form strategic partnerships with good SEO / SEM firms or consultants. This helps them design and implement prolonged SEO / SEM activities which can be measured.
To reduce cost organizations today are readily accepting “Do it yourself” SEO toolkits. This trend is making professional software companies look for ways to build more intelligent and efficient automated SEO / SEM solutions.
Web portals are already integrating SEO friendly logic in their system architecture itself. The moment the content goes online, SEO related information is automatically generated. The SEO specific information gets auto updated every time the content of the page changes. This totally removes the need of SEO / SEM expert and automatically monitors and measures the results in real time.
New exciting fields are emerging in SEO / SEM domain. They help the business identify and understand its customer, products and services in a better way. They also help the business gain a better insight as to what is the best way to convert the customer visit to sale. The emerging fields includes keyword researching, conversion rate optimization, handling of international and multi-language issues from SEO / SEM perspective, link building social media and identifying emerging traffic sources.
Innovation in SEO / SEM will not only help organizations and business tide over recession but also help them develop sustained growth for years to come.
About the Author:
Shashank Sathe is the VP – IT and CTO of Rajshri and is currently dveloping DAM, Ad Server, Mobile + Web + IPTV + PVR, STB compiant web, API’s to interact seamlessly with all the top video delivery domain leaders. He is known as “Mister Solutions” as he firmly believes in the motto “If you can think it – I can make it”. He also holds patents on face finding, recognition, matching algorithms.
Shashank has 15+ years of experience in core information technology management. He has been a pioneer in the development and deployment of internet and e-banking applications in India. He possesses extensive specialized knowledge of core e-banking, finance, e-trading, ERP, E-CRM, CAD, CAM and cross platform technology architecture planning and deployment.
In addition he has hosted corporate workshops and discussion forums on a number of cutting edge technology issues. Shashank holds multiple masters degrees in computer applications, information systems, management, statistics and operations research and business management from IIM – Ahmedabad, Wellingkars, Narsee Monjee Institue of Management Studies and NCC – UK. He also holds a degree in Para-Psychology and Human Psychology.
He is currently pursuing Ph.D. in Advanced Holographic Storage technologies from LSFB and is a visiting Technology lecturer at a few of India’s renowned education institutes.
Other Related Articles:
1. Deepak Chauhan, CIO
2. Shashank Sathe, VP IT & CFO
>> How to become a SEO expert
3. Vijay Dalwani, Director (Operations)
>> SEO/SEM is more Marketing less Technology
From a SEO’s perspective once you have identified winning keywords, and your content strategy is in place to target those keywords (while ensuring that the optimized content is easily accessible to search crawlers with no error pages, broken links, redirect and 404 errors), the next and most important step to higher rankings is building quality links to that content.
Link building is probably the most time consuming and difficult task at hand for the seo expert. Little wonder there is so much attention, hype, mystery and stigmata that is surrounding link building strategies.
Now there are many link building companies who make promises of 1000 links in 1 hour, or link exchange programs that assert to miraculously pass link juice to your website. We also know that search engines frown at such behavior, and yet they may not be actually penalizing such manipulative sites for now.
I have seen many sites that blatantly ignore search engines on-page guidelines, and having links from sites that are obviously manipulating for links, but we are not here to evaluate these exception cases or judge the search engines.
In addition, search algorithms have a lot more variables in place now to evaluate a link from being worthy of passing on the link juice or not.
All this adds to the general confusion for companies planning their link building strategy, budgets and what constitutes a bad link, a good link and a great link.
A bad link, is bad link building …
Now we don’t know if the search engines actually wean out certain links as bad links or if they penalize a site which is getting a link back from such a website, but we do know that search engines value those links that come from popular and credible sources.
The advice I give to clients who are in a hurry to get linked-up is – why play hide and seek with the search engines when sooner or later you will be found. Why take a chance to be penalized, or worse, banned from a search engine?
So what is a bad link? A bad link can be defined as a link that comes from a source that has little or no content, is not popular, is involved in black hat seo, link exchanges, and is basically trying to deceive the search engines and the users into believing it to be of some value.
Good link building can take time and patience …
Good links can come from social, web and user communities the seo expert targets by specifically submitting the website/ content to these websites manually. If a website which are popular (have a good page rank) and a good link reputation gives a link to your website/content pages then it can be counted as a good link.
One can submit to web directories (make sure they are managed by human editors and not automated), article submissions sites, social bookmarking sites, Google knoll, Yahoo answers, Wikipedia (in some cases), and relevant blogs (and by commenting on the blogs) that have a high page rank.
Good links can also be earned by taking the effort to find other sites that have relevant content to yours and painstakingly requesting them to link back to your website. Try not to participate in reciprocal linking (one way links are the best, as search engines assume that you have gotten the link purely on credit and not favor).
You can also see your competitions links, and then try and attract some of those good ones for yourself. The bad news is that you are playing “follow the leader” with your competition.
Many impatient link builders prefer buying links from websites by offering the owners some money in exchange for a link. I leave this one to you!
Give me Great link building anytime…
So what makes a link great?
Is it the fact that the link comes from a website that’s popular, has a high page rank and an active user community? This could very well be categorized in the good links section so what constitutes a “great link” to a search engine.
A link is counted as a great link if a website (even with a decent page rank) links back to your content because they found your content on their own, and found it valuable enough (for their users) to link back to it. This is also called as link baiting i.e. your great content is the bait to get other websites to link back.
While a lot of time, effort and money can go into creating good links, once you stop your link building campaign, your links stop too! This does not mean that you don’t need to focus on getting those good links, but rather build a link matrix that balances both the worlds.
The thing about great links is that it needs great content! And if you can focus on delivering and promoting your unique, compelling and engaging content you are already on your way to higher rankings.
— Reference Guide for Building Good Links —
A few web directories to submit your site to:
www.dmoz.org (Google Directory, Free)
http://dir.yahoo.com (Yahoo Directory, Paid)
(There are hundreds of free and paid web directories to choose from; submit to web directories with high page rank)
A few social community sites to get you started:
A few important others:
http://maps.google.com (Google Maps)
http://local.google.com (Google Local)
www.youtube.com (Video Content)
www.metacafe.com (Video Content)
I had a dream…
Suppose the search engines change their entire algorithms overnight, how would that affect the future of your website and online business?
While some seo experts have mastered the art to avoid this topic like a plague, some think of it as a myth, or an X-files episode, but many know of us know that the possibility of this happening is more real today than ever before.
The truth is out there
With personalized user search preferences are the search engines giving in their powers to the users? If this were to happen then search rankings would soon be obsolete, as each user would get a different personalized view of the search page depending on preferences and history etc.
All the smart gimmicks, link exchanges, and magic seo strategies from Gurus could eventually fail! So why do we still keep optimizing?
For ONE, the seo or search marketing is not about applying the magical arts to appease search gods who will start flooding your website with high value traffic.
I will survive … in a world with no search engines
I am not being egoistical out here, nor do I have some secret knowledge. Allow me to explain why…
1. I want to run a successful online business
2. I will keep building unique, resourceful and informative content
3. I will make this content accessible to the users
4. I will promote this content across web, user and social communities
5. I will syndicate my content to article or video submissions sites
Well this may very well be a dream I am having, but when I awake, the search engines still rule the online world. Either way I will survive
Well I hope you have enjoyed reading what the experts have to say about SEO/ SEM in India.
For those who have missed the series of expert interviews, here goes…
1. Deepak Chauhan, CIO
>> SEO is your best friend in recession by Deepak Chauhan
>> Paradox of SEO / SEM in India
2. Shashank Sathe, Visiting Technology Lecturer
3. Vijay Dalwani, Director (Operations)
Did you get a chance to have a look at the free seo training guide? If not, do so, as there is valuable information in there based on my personal experiences working with seo strategies for my websites, my blog, and for other clients, and will help you in understanding what factors influence your online business. Best of all it’s for free!
The mere mention of the words SEO / SEM makes people think about technology and the complex processes involved in implementing it. However, this is a misconception. Technology is only the last mile and plays only 10 percent role in the actual SEO / SEM activities.
By using SEO / SEM on your website, you are acting as a guide or a friend to your customer. You are actually helping the customer find their desired information, product or service. You are doing this by understanding the customer’s search pattern as well as onsite behavior. In the next step, you are educating the customer and informing them that you have what they want, how they want and that too at a reasonable rate.
SEM activities results in direct response by the customer to your business or website. There is immediate traffic. But care must be taken to ensure that you are able to satisfy the user expectation that is built by your SEO / SEM activity. Acquiring a customer or even a visitor to your website is costly. Reacquiring a disillusioned customer is even more costly because they not only do not come back easily, but may even have negative influence on many more prospective customers.
SEO is a long term strategy and is mainly used for building the brand and increasing user / customer confidence in the product or service.
SEO activities can include everything from identifying and using the right keywords to building up social networking, blogs as well as other community based activities. It is a subtle way of creating positive brand image and having an entire niche community on your side doing your PR and marketing at no cost.
Whether you hire third party SEO /SEM experts or develop inhouse expertise, the most important thing is to be true to your business and to your customer. Provide all the necessary features and information needed by the customer for a pleasant web experience. Structure the website for better usability. Identify your target audience properly. Define the right keywords which will help the user / customer find necessary information on your website. Carry out SEO activities on a long-term basis and regularly monitor its progress.
Genuine websites are invariably rewarded even by search engines because they too are fighting for relevancy and they too do not want to list something irrelevant and antagonize their users.
About the Author:
Deepak Chauhan is the CIO of DMCL, an Essel Group of Company which focuses on Internet and Mobile Entertainment solutions. He has more than 14 years experience in Internet domain, especially related to Entertainment. eCommerce and Online Brand consulting.
He has worked with B4U Television before joining Essel Group. He is better known for motivating his peers and his team and taking them to productive heights. Deepak is instrumental in the successful implementation of DMCL’s flagship entertainment portal http://www.mypopkorn.com/ and prestigious http://www.veria.com/.
SEO / SEM plays the role of a bread winner for portals and websites. It is even more crucial for organizations that do not have brick and mortar presence in the real world. The performance and visibility of your site is totally dependent on the hard work done on the SEO front.
A good SEO / SEM professional has an in-depth knowledge of both, marketing and technology. On technology front, one has to understand how to make friends with the search engine crawlers. The crawler is the heart of the search engine. It is always on the lookout for good quality content. It identifies and isolates such content and then ranks it for accuracy and readability. It also identifies the context or USP of a particular portal at page level and also determines the repute of the source of the content as well as its freshness. A good SEO activity helps the crawler get positive information from all your web pages.
An SEO expert is well conversant with at least one programming language not because he is expected to code, but because it helps him understand how the search engine handles programming code and logic. Knowledge of SEO /SEM industry is also a must.
Helping the webcrawlers takes care of more than 80 percent of your SEO activity. The remaining tasks like SEM, blogging, social networking and other activities can be undertaken at alongside to make your site 100 percent SEO friendly.
Do not forget to submit your website to prominent directories because it guarantees sure links to those directories. It is always prudent to submit your website to niche directories as they carry more weightage and help you get better ranking on the basis of content relevancy.
Increase the number of back links to your competitor websites and also try to get your link on their site. This, too, helps improve the ranking on search engines.
From marketing perspective, the SEO expert is expected to have the ability to draft search friendly and creative website content which appeals to both the user and the webcrawler. It is preferable if a SEO person develops advertising or mass communication skill sets. He also needs to understand where the customer is coming from and what he will be looking for on the website.
In troubled times, an SEO expert is the person most equipped to justify the work he’s doing by providing measurable results that may make all the difference between running a successful business and bankruptcy.About the Author:He is currently pursuing Ph.D. in Advanced Holographic Storage technologies from LSFB and is a visiting Technology lecturer at a few of India’s renowned education institutes.
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