Posts Tagged ‘search engine optimization’

The Future of SEO: Panelists At SemTechBiz Weigh In

SEO is dead. Long Live SEO. A panel discussion.Where is SEO going? A panel hosted by Aaron Bradley, Internet marketing manager at InfoMine, Inc. at this week’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference in NYC took on the issue at full force. The session, featuring Bing senior product manager Duane Forrester,  semantic web strategist and independent consultant Barbara H. Starr, Swellpath SEO Team Manager Mike Arnesen, and author and analyst David Amerland (see our Q&A with him here), provided some insight into why it’s an exciting time to be working in both semantic technology and search – and why that’s also a scary proposition for some in the SEO set who’ve lived by keywords and links.

On the exciting side of things, Arnesen pointed out that it was always a somewhat unnatural process to have to advise clients to craft content so that it can match to specific keywords to get traction. “Now we can tell them to just write good content, put what you need to put on the web and it will be easier find because of semantic markup and semantic search,” he said.

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UPDATE: The Semantic Web Has Killed SEO. Long Live SEO.

[UPDATE: This panel has a new panelist! Mike Arnesen, SEO Team Manager of SwellPath will participate in New York.]

seo-is-dead-long-live-seoOn October 3 at the New York Semantic Technology & Business Conference (#SemTechBiz), a panel of experts will tackle the issue of how Semantic Web technologies are rapidly changing the landscape of Search Engine Optimization. The panel, titled “The Semantic Web Has Killed SEO. Long Live SEO.,” is made up of Aaron Bradley, David Amerland, Barbara Starr, Duane Forrester, and Mike Arnesen.

The session will address numerous issues at the intersection of Semantic Web and SEO. As the description reads, “From rich snippets to the Google Knowledge Graph to Bing Snapshots semantic technology has transformed the look, feel and functionality of search engines.”

Have these changes undermined the ways in which websites are optimized for search, effectively “killing” SEO? Or are tried-and-true SEO tactics still effective? And what does the future hold for SEO in a semantic world?

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A New Take on SEO: String Entity Optimization

Paul Bruemmer of Search Engine Land recently wrote, “Imagine the future of SEO — a future in which you forget about using keywords or their synonyms multiple times on a page. In the future, this will be obsolete. Search engines of the future will provide users with answers to their queries by internally verifying validated data that link to trusted documents. To optimize websites for search in the future, SEOs will need to create relevant, machine-recognizable ‘entities’ on webpages that answer well-refined, focused or narrowed queries. To create these entities, SEOs will use semantic Web technology and structured data. This allows search engines to better understand the page content and thus display valid search results/answers for each query.” Read more

Google Debuts Data Highlighter: An Easy Way Into Structured Data

Structured data makes the Web go around. Search engines love it when webmasters mark up page content. Google’s rich snippets, for instance, leverages sites’ use of microdata (preferred format), or RDFa or microformats: It makes it possible to highlight in a few lines specific types of content in search results, to give users some insight about what’s on the page and its relationship to their queries – prep time for a recipe, for instance.

Plenty of web sites generated from structured data haven’t added HTML markup to their pages, though, so they aren’t getting the benefits that come with search engines understanding the information on those web pages.

Maybe that will change, now that Google has introduced Data Highlighter, an easy way to tell its search engine about the structured data behind their web pages. A video posted by Google product management director Jack Menzel gives the snapshot: “Data Highlighter is a point- and-click tool that allows any webmaster to show Google the patterns of structured data on their pages without modifying the pages themselves,” he says.

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Semantic Tech Checks In As The Holiday Shopping Begins

 

Photo credit: FlickR/crd!

 

With Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, and Cyber-Monday right in front of us, it is clear the holiday season is in full force. Apparently, retailers – both online and real-world – are doing pretty well as a group when it comes to sales racked up.

Reports have it that e-commerce topped the $1 billion mark for Black Friday in the U.S. for the first time this year, with Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple taking honors as the most visited online stores, according to ComScore. Consumers spent $11.2 billion at stores across the U.S. on Black Friday, said ShopperTrak, down from last year but probably impacted by more people heading out to more stores for deals that began on Thursday night. The National Retail Federation put total spending over the four-day weekend at a record $59.1 billion, up 13 percent from $52.4 billion last year.

Not surprisingly, semantic technology wants in on the shopping action. Social intelligence vendor NetBase, for instance, just launched a new online tool that analyzes the web for mentions of the 10 top retailers to show the mood of shoppers flocking to those sources. The Mood Meter, which media outlets and others can embed in their sites, ranks the 10 brands based on sentiment unearthed with the help of its natural language processing technology.  Read more

SemTech Keynotes Show The Power of the Semantic Web

The Semantic Technology & Business Conference has been underway since Sunday, with tutorials and lightning sessions catching audience interest. The conference presentations get underway today, most of them following on the heels of the opening keynotes given by Bart van Leeuwen, firefighter and architect at netage.nl; Jay Myers, web architect at Best Buy; and Steve Harris, CTO of Garlik, a part of Experian.

Best Buy, as readers of this blog know, has been diving deep into the semantic web waters under Myers’ direction for a few years now, and he shared that journey with the audience at SemTech.

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SemTechBiz’s Schema.org Panel: Which Way Will It Go?

Perhaps one of the most anticipated panels at next week’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference in San Francisco is the Wednesday morning session on Schema.org. Since the announcement of Schema.org just prior to last year’s SemTech Business Conference on the west coast, using the Schema.org shared vocabularies along with the microdata format to mark up web pages has been much debated, and created questions in the minds of webmasters and web search marketers along the lines of, “Which way should we go? Microdata or RDFa?”

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OpenMenu Serves Up Structured Data Standards For the Restaurant Industry

What’s on the markup menu for the restaurant industry?

Among the schema.org tags for marking up web pages is one for restaurants, which includes item properties for priceRange, servesCuisine, place, and menu, among others. Restaurants that use the markup language to structure their data are promised search engine optimization (SEO) benefits when hungry consumers want to see what’s on the menu at moderately-priced nearby Italian eateries, for example. They might also or alternately use the GoodRelations ontology for e-commerce to better accommodate search engines, as well as mobile and desktop apps, with service details of hours, payment options, and daily menus that are accessible in up to 50 languages.

OpenMenu has a value proposition around structured data for restaurant owners, too: Providing increased exposure to Internet, mobile and web apps, via what it aims to be a global and open standard for storing, sharing and using their menus over the Internet. The technical details are described at its OpenMenu.org site. Initially launched in 2010, it recently updated the format to Version 1.6 and currently counts about 75,000 menus as part of its landscape – 5,000 of them actively maintained and growing at a couple of thousand a week, according to CEO and founder Chris Hanscom.

Third-party developers can harness the data too, to build applications that interact with menus, like OpenMenu Search, a way for a search engine to drill down through a restaurant’s information to the menu and menu items.

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Time to Get On With Schema.Org?

Need another reason for bringing semantic smarts to your web site? Maybe you can find it in a post at Search Engine Land, which includes a piece of a podcast from an SXSW session, and a transcription of it, featuring Google’s head of webspam team Matt Cutts (over this way).

At the session, Cutts noted that Google has been working in the last few months to level the playing field so the advantage doesn’t go to those more focused on overusing search engine optimization vs. producing great content and sites. Over the next months or few weeks it plans to announce something about this, that will involve what it’s been doing to “make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”

Take that plus the past year’s developments around the schema.org Google-Microsoft-Yahoo-Yandex collaboration (see stories like these here and here and here), and the latest playing up by Google of its continuing semantic search technology efforts (see here), and it seems there’s more and more reason more closely on semantic markup as part of a solid and truly helpful SEO strategy.

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