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Search Engine Optimization :: Lyndsay Walker :: Toronto, Ontario

Google Social Search

If you’re like me and do most of your industry specific research online, you probably have a set of blogs and web sites that you trust and rely on more than any others. For a long time, I wished that I could do a Google search within just those trusted sites because I knew that all the results would be reliable.

That ability is now available with Google’s Social Search feature. Right now it’s only available by activating it in Google Labs and of course you must be signed into your Google account for it to work.

Google Social Search in Google Labs

Once it is enabled, it becomes another feature under “Show Options” in your web search. There are some very interesting parts of Google Social Search.

The first question to address is WHERE does the list of trusted sites come from? Right now, we know for sure that the following services influence this list:

  • Google Chat/Contacts
  • Twitter
  • Google Reader
  • Google Profile

The listings will also tell you HOW that person got onto your list. In the example below, I can see that Joseph Morin is on my list because he is a Gmail contact. The second listing, kid disco is a contact on Twitter. You can know for sure how these folks are ending up in your social search because Google tells you straight out.

Google Social Search Results

The options continue, with a list of the people in your social circle that contributed to the results for your search query. If you want to see the results from just one person, just click on that person’s name.

This is such a fantastic addition to Google’s Web Search and one I know I’ll use often. Head on over to Google Labs and give it a try.

My Review of STRUTS

Originally submitted at SKECHERS

Tall and terrific style comes in the SKECHERS Struts boot. Soft suede upper in a mid calf height cool weather dress boot with rounded toe, stitching accents and soft faux fur trim.


Beautiful and comfortable!

By Lyndsay from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on 10/28/2009

 

5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Width: Feels true to width

Pros: Stylish, Comfortable, Warm and comfortable, Attractive Design

Best Uses: Winter, Wear To Work

Describe Yourself: Comfort Driven

View On Shoes: I’m Into Shoes

Skechers are the most comfortable shoes out there and I’m pleased to add winter boots to my growing collection of Skechers footwear.

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(legalese)

Lyndsay Walker’s Winter Speaking Schedule

It’s been a busy past week or so as I’ve been scheduled for more speaking opportunities. It will be a nice busy winter as I get to do some traveling and meeting new people. What could be better?

If you’re interested in hearing me speak, come attend any of the fabulous conferences/seminars below.

PubCon Las Vegas – November 10-13, 2009
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
www.pubcon.com
SEO Design & Organic Site Structure – November 11, 2009

Affiliate Summit West – January 17-19, 2010
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
www.affiliatesummit.com
Site Clinic by the Women of SEO – January 19, 2010

Advertising Association of Winnipeg – February 11, 2010
TBA, Winnipeg, Manitoba
www.aaw.org
Topic TBA

Hope to see you there!

Social Segregation Online

Social Segregation OnlineI think I’m becoming a social media snob.

Thanks to the power of Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites, I feel pretty confident that I’m hearing about the latest world news and pop culture.

Take yesterday for example. From the moment I started watching the live stream of #balloonboy. I watched the live stream, I watched people talking on Twitter about it, I looked into the links talking about the “science-obsessed family” who had recently appeared on the TV show Wife Swap. I didn’t watch Larry King, but I was on Twitter to watch thousands of people start tweeting “OMG did you hear balloon boy say it was all for the show”. This morning I watched the discussion and videos of #balloonboy vomiting twice during live interviews.

So by time lunchtime rolled around and someone said “did you hear about the kid and the balloon yesterday” I wanted to roll my eyes because, not even 24 hours after the incident started, I’m already sick to death of hearing about it.

The world moves fast, and the online world even more so. The ability to have a “small talk” conversation with anyone is changing because of the availability of real-time information. What is new news to one person is old news to another.

This may result in a whole new type of social segregation. Not based on race or gender – it’ll come down to who is socially aware online and who is not.

Poor Online Reputation Management

If you read my earlier post about the implications of not having done search engine optimization, you’re familiar with my anecdote about looking for an auto body shop to fix my car.

I did want to look into the franchise shop I mentioned, Boyd Autobody. So, I did a search in Google and here’s what came up.

Body Autobody Search Results

Wait, what?

Boyd AutobodyYikes!!

Well it is obvious to me that the people behind Boyd Autobody and Glass Sucks have a much better handle on search engine optimization and online reputation management than the real Boyd Group does. I mean, wow, look at the domain they have!! That’s the domain I would expect the real Boyd Group to be using primarily, given the lovely keywords within it. In fact, when I first did the search, I actually looked at the URL before the title or description. I almost clicked on that link when I noticed the word “sucks”.

So, a few points.

  1. Boyd Group, how can you let a domain like boydautobody.com go? Flex your trademark rights and go get it.
  2. What is the likelihood that the Boyd Group even knows this site exists? Probably pretty good. However, they either don’t care or don’t know what to do to fix it.
  3. The date in the title tag? Really? What a waste (okay that isn’t really on topic but it bugs me)

A little online reputation management goes a long way. Boyd has a ton of options if they want to remedy this situation. They can get the domain from these people or they can hire a company to handle their online reputation management and work their SEO to get that site pushed down.

Either way, acknowledge what’s happening. It reflects very poorly, with an air of “I don’t care.”

Implications of No Search Engine Optimization

Warning: I’m about to ramble which means this could turn into a rant.

Sometimes I think that being a search engine optimization specialist works against me. Sometimes I wish I was ignorant about how indexing and ranking happens.

Let’s take an example.

IMG_0891I hurt my car (pause for tears – anyone who knows me knows how much I love my car). It’s going to require some body work. Now, I know a few places in the city from driving around and seeing them. Especially the franchise shops like Boyd Autobody (who, by the way, could stand a new web site and some marketing and online reputation management help – but I’ll save that for another post).

I’m sure Boyd does a great job. But I’m also sure that there are LOTS of other great autobody shops that could do the work for a fraction of the cost.

How does one find them?

Most people would go to the search engines and enter a query like “autobody winnipeg”. They’ll probably look at the first few results, make a few calls, get a few quotes and make their decisions.

Me? I get frustrated. I *know* that the people who are ranking are the shops that are probably a little more well off, which means they’re the bigger shops and maybe don’t have the personal touch of the smaller shop. (Total generalization here by the way.)

In my experience, tradesmen who are also business owners do what they do because they love it and they want to genuinely help the customer. They keep their prices low and aren’t necessarily web or marketing savvy. These are the family-type shops and many times, the exact kind of person you want working on your car. Unfortunately, they’re not spending a lot of time thinking about web sites, online marketing and search engine optimization.

So, going back to my original point, when I do a search for “autobody winnipeg” I realize that I am likely missing out on many, many fabulous autobody experts who would probably do a fabulous, detail-oriented job fixing my car for probably a good price. Unfortunately, because I’m also an online snob who tends to not look at other advertising places (ie. yellow pages) I’m not likely to find these people at all.

Moral of my story? Well, first of all woe is me for knowing SEO (haha, okay I’m kidding). Really, my advice for all businesses, big and small, is to have a web site (even if it is very basic with just a couple pages) and do some simple SEO on it. It is an extremely important and vital marketing tool for your business.

Okay I’ll spell it out. In my not-so-humble and completely biased opinion it is by far and away THE most important marketing tool for your business.

Bottom line: GET ONLINE.