Red Envelope’s Website Critique

August 1st, 2007

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Originally published in Multichannel Merchant

In Chinese society, â??red envelopeâ?? refers to a monetary gift placed in a red packet because the color symbolizes good luck. That’s where Red Envelope got its name. Was the San Francisco-based gifts merchant lucky with the results of its Website critique? Well, while critiquers Amy Africa, president of Helena, VT-based Web consultancy Eight by Eight, and Stephan Spencer, founder/president of Madison, WI-based SEO-specialist agency Netconcepts, tried to handle Red Envelope’s site with care, they both found areas that need serious improvement. Africa reviewed the site’s content and functionality, and Spencer tested its search capability. Here’s what they had to say.

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If Harry Potter Did SEO

August 1st, 2007

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Originally published in ClickZ

All good fairy tales begin with the words, “Once upon a time…” In this fantasy-meets-reality tale, Patricia Fusco weaves a story about SEO from the perspective of Harry Potter. This is a high-level, historical overview of SEO that brings us up to the present. Whether you’re an SEO wizard or not, this article helps bring us to a new understanding of SEO by relating it to a part of “pop culture.”

To read, “If Harry Potter Did SEO,” click here.

Google Maps adds Microformat support to results

July 31st, 2007

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Originally published in Natural Search Blog

Chris writes that, “Google Maps team announced support of the hCard microformat today in map search results.” How will microformats benefit local search? Find out in this interesting article posted on the Natural Search Blog. You can read the full article here.

Scalable On-Page SEO Strategies

July 26th, 2007

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

Optimizing a website that has tens of thousandsâ??or even hundreds of thousandsâ??of dynamically generated pages, requires thinking differently. Old school SEO, where you assign each page a keyword theme based on keyword research and hand-craft a title tag, H1 tag and intro copy, then figure out the best internal links to send to the page, just doesn’t scale with big sites. Particularly when you’re talking about the magnitude that our Netconcepts clients are operating atâ??typically over 10,000 SKUs and over 100,000 indexed pages.

It’s essential that you focus your SEO efforts in such a way that the effects will cascade through your site.

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The Simpsons & Great Participatory-Viral Marketing

July 23rd, 2007

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Originally published in Natural Search Blog

“The Dallas Kwik-E-Mart is one of the eleven created nationwide out of 7-Eleven stores, and itâ??s a simply fantastic piece of viral marketing, participatory marketing â?? and yes, linkbait,” writes Chris Smith in this article on the Natural Search Blog. Viral marketing and link bait are today’s buzzwords in search, and what better way to glean ideas for your business than to see a successful campaign in action? Find out what happens when TV-meets-reality in this interesting experiment, and what it could mean for you. You can read the article here.

Using Images for Local SEO

July 23rd, 2007

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

“Google’s recent deployment of Universal Search resulted in the inclusion of content drawn in from their other search verticals into the main web search results. As this integration trend continues, and as Google further expands upon the 200+ signals they use for ranking, it becomes increasingly important to diversify a site’s presence on the web, and to work on ranking well in each of the various areas of vertical search,” writes Chris Smith in his “Locals Only” column.

To learn more about how you should integrate images into your Local Search, read the full article.

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Personalized, Universal and Optimized

July 18th, 2007

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Originally published in ClickZ

In this article from ClickZ, P.J. Fusco comments on the words “Personalized Search” and how they relate to “Universal Search.” P.J. writes a powerful message by saying, “With an ever-evolving pattern of relevant search results, the long-standing futurist mantra has changed. It’s no longer enough to think locally and act globally.” Find out more about how you can stay on top of personalized search for your company. Click here to read the article.

Deconstructing Grouped Google Results

July 5th, 2007

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

Last month Stephan Spencer, Founder and President of NetConcepts, spoke at the “Give It Up” panel at SMX Advanced, where panelists shared some of their best-kept secrets. For those of you who didn’t attend, there was a 30 day moratorium on blogging/writing about the session. Today marks the end of that embargo period, so be sure to read Stephan’s article and get an inside look on how to deconstruct grouped Google results.

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Domaining and Subdomaining in the Local Space – Part 2

July 2nd, 2007

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Originally published in Search Engine Land

In Part One of Domaining and Subdomaining in the Local Space, Chris Smith, lead GravityStream strategist for Netconcepts, delved deep into the difference between domaining and subdomaining, and focused his expert attention on the benefits and drawbacks to the practice of subdomaining.

For the conclusion of this two-part article, Chris writes about how “Domaining has been growing up as an industry, and is now focusing on designing sites for SEO and with real content for good usability.”

From traffic and profitability to local space, read about domaining here so you can make a better assessment if this practice is good for your business.

SEO in the World of Web 2.0

July 1st, 2007

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Originally published in Catalog Success

Wouldnâ??t it be great if all the whiz-bang Web 2.0 interactive elements like Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), widgets, Flash, RSS feeds, podcasts, video blogs and so forth were all search engine optimized?

Unfortunately, thatâ??s not the case. In fact, many of these technologies are inherently unfriendly to search engine spiders. So, if you intend to harness Web 2.0 technologies for increased conversion, improved usability and greater customer engagement, youâ??d better read on or youâ??ll end up missing the boat when it comes to better search engine rankings.

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