Tag Archives: Google

Chrome Extensions for SEO – Local Search Tool

Search results can vary considerably from town to town, often dominated by local businesses and interests. Searching for a business type or professional will most often give rise to different search results, in some cases there is not a single URL on the first page of the SERPs that is shared between locations.

 

For example, the search term: dog walking

 

Results for that query will produce local independent dog walking businesses for each search location.

 

The Chrome Extension below, allows multiple location search and displays the rank positions for each location.

 

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/search-intent-by-location/iakinikaphedeadbcddgnchjhnnjblop

 

A screenshot of the Chrome Extension is below:

 

Screenshot for Chrome Extension
Screenshot showing Chrome Extension download page

 

To use the extension once installed:

 

1. Go to Google.co.uk

 

2. Enter a search term

 

3. Start the Search Intent Tool

 

4. The status should read: “Step 1: Please change location in browser”

 

Screenshot showing Extension at startup
Screenshot showing Extension at startup

 

5. Follow the instructions by returning to Google.co.uk and using the ‘Search Tools’ menu, enter any location that is different from the current location shown. Changing the location in Google will initialise the extension and change the status shown to read ‘Ready to Search’.

 

Screenshot showing location change
Screenshot showing location change

 

6. The Chrome Extension should have updated automatically to reflect the current search term too:

 

Screenshot showing search term currently used
Screenshot showing search term currently used

 

7. At this stage, you can change the default search locations to places you wish to search. When edited, press the button beneath and results will be displayed beneath as they are gathered.

 

Screenshot showing interface as results come in for each location
Screenshot showing interface as results come in for each location

 

8. Once all the results are loaded, the URLs are shown alongside their position in the SERPs for each location. Depending upon the search term, the results can vary dramatically, the following screenshot shows major differences in SERPs for the term ‘dog walking’. Not all positions are visible in the image below.

 

Screenshot showing SERPs for dog walking in six locations
Screenshot showing SERPs for dog walking in six locations

 

Download the extension and give it a try for your preferred locations.

 

You can keep changing the locations to search again, adding to the results shown each time.

 

Let me know what you think of it !

 

 

 

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Quality Issues and Content Hijacking Messages

SEOs around the world have been following DEJANSEO’s recent hijacking experiments. Some may have been tempted to try the content scraping technique for themselves, perhaps with a meta refresh or javascript location switch, in order to send a visitor to the preferred target. Hijacking has been around for years, however this technique exposed interesting side benefits and insights available through webmaster tools:

However, it seems Google has caught up with the content scraper hijack today (Saturday 17th November 2012):

http://dejanseo.com.au/google-against-content-scrapers/

and issued DejanSEO with a warning message.

Quality issues message from Google Webmaster tools

The red circle highlights the crux of DejanSEO’s hijacking test. Content from the target was copied verbatim to a new domain, then that new domain was given an authority link (in order to give it higher page rank than the source) and thereby displace the original source in SERPs. The really interesting effect of the hijacking was that it also gave visibility (through Webmaster Tools) of the backlinks to the original source page – very handy as an additional source alongside MajesticSEO, ahrefs, Blekko et al.

Quality Issues Message in Webmaster Tools – Copied Content

On average (according to Matt Cutts), only about 10 sites a day are sent unnatural links warnings (July 27th 2012). So I’d suspect even fewer can expect to receive the low quality issue message specifically mentioning copied content. It may be that DejanSEO raised awareness to the extent that he has received a personal message from Google…

Please comment on this post if you have seen or received a message worded in exactly the same way from the Google Search Quality Team as the one shown above. It’d be interesting to gauge the extent of these messages.

Quality Messages from Google – Hidden Text

The evolution of warning messages is fascinating. When hidden text was the ranking technique of choice up until July 2007, Google’s first messages to be delivered in Wemaster Tools looked like this:

Quality issues message for hidden text in 2007
Back in 2007 – Hidden text warnings

Notice that Google is very open about the impact of using hidden text – stating removal from search results for at least 30 days. Google is less open now about the penalties applied to sites and pages found in violation of the guidelines. So SEOs must use knowledge and experience.

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Schema.org examples showing search result snippets in Google

Schema has been big news for SEO for quite a while now, yet very few people are using it. Whatever the project I’m involved in, I make sure schema forms part of the basic on-site recommendations. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of improved snippets, especially when all that is required are simple html decorations.

 

This post shows a few examples of the impact of using schema for improvements in search result snippets in Google.

Example MusicRecording Schema

Music Tracks in search results
Music Tracks in search results

The MusicRecording schema has been used to enable the rich snippet above. The code for the MusicRecording schema was as follows:

MusicRecording Schema
MusicRecording Schema

 

Example Recipe Schema

hrecipe is currently the most popular mark-up method, however the schema.org recipe can help dominate the SERPs.

This is how the common hrecipe microformat appears in SERPs:

Using hrecipe and appearance in SERPs
Using hrecipe and appearance in SERPs

In contrast, using the recipe schema can help occupy more space, the more ingredients you add…

SchemaRecipe helps dominate SERPs
SchemaRecipe helps dominate SERPs

The code used to achieve the result above is as follows:

Code for SchemaRecipe with several ingredients
Code for SchemaRecipe with several ingredients

It’s easy to see how schema could be used for tactical snippets.

Example Movie Schema

Movie Schema in SERPs
Movie Schema in SERPs

The code to create a snippet for movies as above is as follows:

Code example for the Movie Schema
Code example for the Movie Schema

The movie SERPs show the beginnings of how decorated data can be used to create readable text. ‘Directed by xxx, starring xxxx’ is the first step towards producing content created entirely automatically from an enriched data source.

Example of TV Series Schema

The TV Series schema offers ratings information:

TV Series in SERPs
TV Series in SERPs

To create the TV snippet above the following code was used:

TV Series Schema code
TV Series Schema code

If they’d included the optional TVSeries schema information above, then the snippet could have been better still.

 Example Event Schema

Events and news get special treatment in Google (fresh content), so if you want to get ahead in SERPs, then add a properly marked-up events page to your site.

Using vevent, the search results will look like this:

Using vevent in serps
Using vevent in serps

The code for vevent to create the snippet above:

The vevent html code
The vevent html code

Very few sites currently use the schema Event markup, here’s an example from the SES site:

Schema Event in SERPs
Schema Event in SERPs

and the code used to create the snippet above is the result of a minimal implementation. Schema.org offers many types of richer event markup, so this entry could have included much more information.

Code to create Event Schema
Code to create Event Schema

 

Sites are still not using schema.org to its full potential, despite the major search engines announcing that they support this format as the standard. There is substantial scope for all sites to incorporate pages with schema in order to improve appearance in SERPs and encourage the click.

Why is this taking so long to catch on?

 

 

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