February 18, 2011

URL Shoteners and Link juice loss

Filed under: Google — webtechbc @ 9:11 am

When it comes to URL shorteners for services like twitter and facebook there is a lot of confusing information out there.

URL shoterns use something called a 301 redirect and not all information, like the full url is passed on in a re-direct.

About the 301 redirect
A 301 redirection in essence is a technique used to change a link address. The problem with changing link address is you lose any existing page rank or link juice. In general it is better to not use redirection as a means of building links.

Goo.gl uses a 301 re-direct that does pass on the full url. What this means is that link juice and page rank are maintained in the url when it passes through the redirection.

What are link juice and page rank?
Link juice describes the power of an inbound link using factors like page rank. Page rank is a numerical value given to a page based on the number of links it has to it as one of the factors.

The advantage to Goo.gl

Get detailed click through rates. Get a QR code for the shotened link. QR codes are a bar code like what you see on retail packaging. If you place a QR code with a link to your website on a business card for example; Someone can scan the code on their smart phone and go directly to your website. You then receive the data on that visit as well.

Other information tracked includes, referrer source, country of origion, web browser used and platforms.

There are many url shortening services available, but the advantage to using goo.gl is quite clear.

Google URL Shortener

Google URL Shortener

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September 15, 2010

Google Instant

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 6:56 pm

How much is Google Instant going to change SEO?

My initial reaction? Not a whole lot. Google has already stated on the google instant page that it does not affect existing rankings.

Q: Does this change impact the ranking of search results?
A: No, this change does not impact the ranking of search results.

Google Instant is more about the user interaction between the user and the search engine. The existing rankings are still there.

The key to predicting how Google Instant will affect your website is to track data and search queries over time. Google Instant will change the way people search because it tries to predict what they are searching for. My guess is most people will find this annoying and not intuitive enough and turn it off. Turning google instant off is an option for google users.

You may have to change your keyword targeting, but other then a few tweaks there is no reason to believe that it will affect search engine rankings.

Good reads on the subject of Matt Cutts Google Engineer.

Google Blog

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September 2, 2010

Google & Keywords

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 11:55 am

Keywords

Google says they don’t use them. I’m trying an experiment on my site and am taking them out completely.

The key ingredients you do need for SEO are:

Great Content: Content Always Wins. Make it unique, readable to the human eye, and keep it coming.

Meta Description: Describe your website. Make a unique Description on every page. (this is important!). It’s one of the key ingredients that Google uses when ranking a website.

H1 Tags: Repeat your description with the use of H1 Tags. Search engines scan pages for H1 and use it as a means of ranking.

Here’s what google has to say on the use of keywords:

If you do decide to use keywords, don’t over-stuff them. Keep it simple, with-out repeating keywords. When using them, less is more.

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August 31, 2010

Google Analytics & Filters

Filed under: Analytics — webtechbc @ 12:42 pm

How to Set-up Filters in Google Analytics

What is a filter? A filter is a way of excluding or including traffic as desired. You may want to exclude internal traffic from a specific IP address. Or maybe you have a a page that you don’t need to track statistics for, filters help control the data in a report.

You can create two types of filters:

Pre-defined: Which are filters commonly used by everyone and easily available inside Google Analytics.

Custom Filter: As it implies custom filters allow you to manipulate the data in your reports using custom settings.

On your accounts overview page in Google Analytics go to Edit. It should be on the far right of the account in question.

When you have clicked on Edit you will be taken to the Profile Settings Page. By default filters will appear in the order you publish them. If you wanted to change that you could also do that here under the assign filter order link.

First we want to create a filter. If your job was that of a Web Analyst, and you visit the company website multiple times in the day, you might want to use a pre-defined custom filter to exclude your data from the report. Obtain your IP address, if you are a web analyst you should already know how to do this. If not you can use a service like whatsmyip.org

Under Filters Applied to Profile Should be the Third table on the Profile Settings page. Click +Add Filter on the right side of the table.

We are going to Add a New Filter…

Google Analytics Filters Tutorial

Google Analytics Filters Tutorial

For this example I am going to exclude all traffic on my reports from my IP Address. (dummy ip address).

Analytics Filter, Exclude IP Address

Analytics Filter, Exclude IP Address

Save changes, and you have created your first filter. You may want to exclude a specific URL or IP Address Range. You can do this with a pre-defined filter.

My next tutorial will be Custom Filters.

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August 17, 2010

Track Twitter with Advanced Segments

Filed under: Twitter — webtechbc @ 11:40 am

Do you want to measure website referrals from social media mediums like twitter? There are several ways of doing this, but one of the fastest is using Advanced Segments.

On your main reports page click on advanced segments under My Customizations. Then Click on Create a new custom segment top right of screen.

You will be directed to the page … Manage Advanced Segments ยป Edit Advanced Segment. It looks something like this.

Setting Up Advanced Segements for Social Media

Setting Up Advanced Segements for Social Media

Under the Dimensions Tab on the left drag Source to dimension or metric square. There are several arguements to choose from. The best for our purpose is probably "Contains". In the text field enter twitter or the social media medium that you want to track.

If you wanted to track more then one medium you could click add or statement and repeat the process. Lets say that I wanted to track all of my social media streams. It would look something like this.

Tracking Social Media with Google Analytics

Tracking Social Media with Google Analytics

You are almost done. At the bottom of the page it has a text area with Name Segment. For my purpose I am calling this Social Media. Click Save Segment. You will be taken to a list of reports, where you will find the advanced segment you just created. Unless your analytic account is brand new, you should already see referral data in the report.

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August 15, 2010

Analytics Setting Goals

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 8:43 pm

There’s plenty of tutorials out there on how to set up google analytics goals. A couple people I know recently asked me so I thought I would write one for them.

Log-into Google Analytics and Click on Custom Reporting in the menu. You should see something that says… No custom reports created for this profile; click here to create one. <– Click on this.

Setting Up Goals in Google Analytics

Setting Up Goals in Google Analytics

The next screen you will be greeted with is a report generator. This looks kind of like an excel spreadsheet, which by the way you can export reports to. Very handy.

Metrics Setting up Goals in Analytics

Metrics Setting up Goals in Analytics

So under Metrics on the Menu click on Goals. There are a number of predefined goals already in place. All You have to do is click on them and ad them to the report. Or you can define your own goal which is what I’m going to do.

What is a goal? Simply put it is something you use to track, sales, measure your site performance, and create reports on them.

Below the Metrics Tab Under Site usage you have a number of choices. Lets say your a photographer like me and you want to see what content people are viewing. I might want to click on Unique Page Views, and drag it to the first metric spot. It should look like this after you have dragged it.

Goal Metrics, Unique Page Views

Goal Metrics, Unique Page Views

Now that I have Unique page views set up as a metric, lets say I want to measure how deep they are going into the site. Useful information for content viewing, because it tells you which posts are popular.

Search Depth Metrics

Search Depth Metrics

You might also want to include, total goal completions to this, to tell you how many people are competing the goal I just set up. I’m also going to ad total goal abandonment to tell me how many people are not having anything to do with my goal.

I’m almost done with this goal. Now I need a dimension to include with it.

A dimension is a characteristic of a visitor or a page on your website that you can use to organize your metrics. Dimensions are almost always text, such as “new” vs “returning” visitor type.

Under the dimensions tab, I’m going to go down to content and for this report include page title. In my case I want to know what pages people are clicking on.

Goals, Dimensions

Goals, Dimensions

My report is pretty much done. Click on create report and google will save it as a custom report with the date created. I already have data in my report, but you may have to wait a few days, to adjust it as needed. Here is what my report looks like.

Custom Goal Report

Click Image to View Larger - Goal Report

Google has a good resource website set up with more information on this. If you want to go deeper into google reports I suggest you start here.

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