More on search trend optimization and using blogs for crisis

Haha.. I was checking my stats yesterday (or was it two days ago), and I found that I’m getting some traffic for the keyword “Singapore NDP” and “NDP Singapore”.

In fact, I’m ranked 4th in Google for these keywords – in just 6 days!

Singapore NDP Bloggers

I talked about Search Trend Optimization some time ago – predicting upcoming keywords, and then positioning well for them. Well this goes to show again, that it really works!

Now, consider this strategy for use in a crisis.

Imagine something unfortunate has happened about your company and you need to clear the air. At that moment, you might really need a good position in the search engine ranking, so that people are directed to an article on your company website for the message direct from your company, rather than reading possibly twisted arguments and opinions from the other participants in social media.

That’s the power which a well optmized blog or website can bring you. How much is your company reputation worth?

Is Blog Marketing and SEO for all companies?

Talking to a few friends about blog marketing and SEO these days, I realised that many people (and small companies) would opt to take the easy route out in Internet marketing, driving traffic to their sites using pay per click traffic like Google Adwords.

While I am not surprised that people want to see immediate results when they are paying money up front for Internet advertising (and pay per click does just that!), I think there are also benefits of optimization for organic search. Here are three reasons why.

#1 SEO and Blog Marketing puts you on the organic listings

While many may not yet tell the difference between the organic listings and sponsored PPC links, there is a small percentage of people (like me) that do, and these people who are aware really rarely click these links. So in a sense, a PPC marketing strategy might work for a less Internet savvy audience.

#2 You don’t Pay Per Click

Yes, optimization for organic search listings do cost a lot more than PPC upfront, since optmization is most of the time, a tedious process. However, it might make you more for your buck in the long run. Consider this.

If you are NOT optimizing for a very competitive keyword, PPC ads are cheaper, but it would also only take 2 – 3 months for a good SEO Expert to get you to the top of your listings.

If you ARE competing for competitive keywords, then all the more you should use SEO, because PPC ads can really take the money out of your pocket “in a click!” :mrgreen: Imagine paying over a dollar for each visitor to your site! For more competitive keywords, SEO will probably take 6 months or more, but would you imagine how powerful it would be if you had top placement for an organic listing? You will be getting so much free traffic after that initial hard work!

#3 You will probably rank well for most search engines if done well

A good SEO Expert will probably help you to optimize your site for more than one search engine, so you don’t have to worry about monitoring your ad campaigns across Google, Yahoo and MSN, or the smaller PPC search engines. While Google has over 60% of the market share when it comes to search traffic, there is still the other 40% which I think should not be neglected!

Well, I guess if a firm wants to really see immediate benefits for the money they pay, they should go for PPC advertising, but I feel they they should give organic SEO a go for the longer term effects.

Delivering syndicated content for localized searches – still duplicate content?

Today’s WebProNews article dropped in with a section highlighting a topic brewing in their forums. If you are syndicating your own content for the sake “serving the localized searches”, is that still considered duplicated content in terms of Google’s eyes?

While it really makes sense that we should work to serve our customers and “not change the business just because of Google”, the big G has also been not very forgiving about duplicated content.

From my point of view, I still feel it is a no-no to have the same content on two or more sites – if you want both to perform well… unless you are already an authority site like most online newspapers, which are known to be the business of reporting syndicated stories from all around.

Update: I was thinking about this one. Since Google already has things like rel=nofollow tags and the section targeting stuff for Adsense publishers to demarcate which content to base on for their contextual ads, shouldn’t they create one similar to section targeting, but specifically for duplicated content? i.e. For people to demarcate a section saying “This is syndicated content and I know it, I don’t expect to get listed in your rankings with this page, because I’m doing this to serve my customers, but don’t penalise me for it?”

Update 2: Sheesh… I maybe answering my own question, but perhaps a directive in the Robots.txt file might do the trick, albeit not at a scale as fine as section targeting.

What are your thoughts?

SEO Workshop in Singapore

SEO Workshop in SingaporeI just realised what proper search engine optimization (SEO) has done for my blog. Its crazy. I’m really happy with the results I am getting!

For a quick update – my traffic for the month of November was 17 times my traffic for September! That is a whopping 1700%! And I am getting listed 36 times more in keywords phrase searched in November than in September. This is awesome isn’t it? (Okay… I admit its quite shameless to call myself awesome, but I deserve it after the hard work don’t I) :mrgreen:

Some Internet marketers may argue that SEO is not important when you have an email list, and search algorithms can change overnight, so while you can spend a full year optimizing your site, Google can “for no reason” pull you down and you will lose all your traffic. This is partially true, and in fact, Problogger Darren Rowse was even posting about what should you do if your Google Ranking falls and you lose all your traffic.

Darren’s advice in 7 steps are

  1. Don’t panic
  2. Wait
  3. Analyze/research
  4. Improve your site
  5. Diversify
  6. Contact Google
  7. Re-evaluate

I want to emphasize his statement:

This advice is written for people who have not being trying to game Google. If you engage in black hat SEO then it might be that you’ve been banned or penalized for doing so – I’m not aware of what you should do in this case.

However, I want to also point this out – There is no reason why Google should kick you out unless you are doing something wrong, isn’t it? The role of search engines is the bring the most related websites for a particular search term. If you fulfil that criteria, I really don’t see why Google, or any search engine for that matter, to downgrade your rankings.

Anyway, for today, what I want to do is to share with you this opportunity to do the same.

No! No! I’m not ready to teach you yet! I’m recommending my mentor’s SEO web design workshop. I tell you, this is by far the best SEO training you will ever get in Singapore. Guaranteed!

He will be organising a hands-on workshop in January.

I spoke to him a couple of days back, and I told him that he is really charging too little for his course, considering the quality of the information, and he affirmed that he will be working towards raising the fee for subsequent workshops.

His SEO works! To put it simply, if you are willing to follow the principles taught in the workshop, I can guarantee that you will be able to rank well in search engines for the keyword you target! Check out the best SEO course in Singapore, and sign up now!

To testify that his SEO works big time, let me take on this challenge – that the permalink for this post, yes, this one I am writing right now will rank in the first page of Google for the term “SEO Workshop in Singapore” before Christmas 2006!

Update: This post is now ranked 4th in Google, with my blog ranking 3rd, and my mentors’ pages ranking first and second. In mere 28 hours! So yeah, it works. 🙂


The site map to the Internet GYM

Site Map Spider WebHave you submitted your sitemap to Google? If not, its time to do so now!

The Google Blog just announced that their sitemap protocol has been adopted by the other two big search engines, Yahoo and MSN. So the whole big 3 (GYM) wants your sitemap!

WHAT what what? What sitemap are you talking about?

I don’t know nuts now either, but I know where to head to find out. The place to create and submit them is your Google Webmaster Tools, and the place for the documentation of the XML protocol is here! At least, that’s what the Google guys said. :mrgreen:

Actually, for the normal person (i.e. non-geek :mrgreen:), I’d just suggest you head to Google Webmaster Tools. Over there, you can add your site, and submit a sitemap.

Here are some instructions on creating a sitemap file. Adding the sitemap for bloggers is really chicken feed, because we are have feeds! And Google accepts both RSS (Real Simple Syndication) 2.0 and Atom 0.3 formats! 😀 However, for blogs with a big archive, you might want to submit the Sitemap Generator-ed file and leave it there for a while first for your old posts to get crawled. 🙂

For the lazy me, I’m just going to publish a 99 post feed for a couple of days, and let the spiders crawl. :mrgreen: WordPress users, simply point Google to It should work since its a RSS 0.2 feed.

Update: Wow! It seems that the Yahoo Search blog and the Live Search blog also have updates, and so this is for real! When was the last time you seen such a coordinated front from the big 3? :mrgreen: