Tag Archives: Google

Keyword Research: Google Wonder Wheel

Google have released a fantastic new feature as an option in their search engine. The Wonder Wheel will surely give Google yet more information as to how searchers think. But, for those who want to target search engine traffic it is a pretty fantastic keyword research tool, that not only gives you an endless supply of related search terms to look at, but also allows you to study competition. As the tool functions inside your Google search results, and as you explore new terms the results update, it is a great way to quickly evaluate competition for terms also.

How does it work

  1. Search for a term that you are interested in
  2. Select show options


  3. Select Wonder Wheel


  4. Explore your term and it’s related searches.


  5. It goes deeper…


This is a fantastic new edition to Google search that will help you decide which keywords to target, and probably help you think of new ideas to create posts for your blogs about.


Santa Search Tips from Google

I received the strangest email from the Google Adsense team an hour ago…Santa Search Tips. Basically it is a simple game designed by Google to help you understand some of Google’s search basics SEO Tips. The site is a .co.nz, so it is possible that the email only went out to New Zealand Adsense publishers. It is all good stuff. I have gone through the pain of finding all 15 of the tips for you:

Tip #1 If you’re unsure…

if all your pages are being seen by Google, search for your site’s address after the command “site”, ie site:yourwebsite.com. When you see your pages in the results, check your snippet content and page titles. Include information that matches the product or category of products on a particular page. If anything is missing or you want more details, you can also use the Content Analysis Tool in Webmaster Tools.

Tip #2 Did you know?

if you upload new products faster then Google crawls your site, you should submit a Google Sitemap to include a refresh rate.

Tip #3 Remember to…

label your images appropriately. Don’t miss out on potential customers because of [001.jpg] instead of [NintendoWii.jpg] Images Search is one of the largest search properties out there, so take advantage of it.

Tip #4 Make sure you…

manage your Sitelinks. Your most valuable links may not be the ones that Google chooses as Sitelinks, so remember to remove any that you don’t think will benefit your users.

Tip #5 Don’t forget to…

check for error and keyword traffic in Webmaster Tools.

Tip #6 It’s important to…

serve accurate HTTP status codes. If you’re permanently out of a product, serve a 404. I you have permanently moved a product to a new page, serve a 301. The more we know about your old pages, the better.

Tip #7 Consistency is key…

if your website directs customers to a brick and mortar store, make sure you double check you business listing in Google Local.

Tip #8 Take a few minutes…

to test the usability of your checkout process. Ask yourself if a user can get from product page to checkout without assistance? Is your checkout button easy to find?

Tip #9 There’s no doubt about it…

users and search engines like fresh content. We recommend original product descriptions or a product review section on your site.

Tip #10 Have you thought of?

reading our recently released SEO Starter Guide?

Tip #11 Would you like an overview of our top tips?

Watch our Tutorials for Webmasters.

Tip  #12 You can always…

find out what information Google has about your website in Webmaster Tools.

Tip #13 For even more tips…

get the latest updates from the Webmaster Central Blog.

Tip #14 You can always…

answer your other questions in our Webmaster Help Center.

Tip #15 It’s never too late to…

ask your last-minute questions in the Webmaster Help.


5 Ways To Control How Google Displays Your Content

Google Meta Tags

As a blog owner or webmaster, traffic from Google search is likely one of your largest sources. Google traffic to Pingable ranks 2nd only behind StumbleUpon traffic. So how can you control what content Google indexes, or how it displays your content search engine result pages (SERPs)?

Using the following Meta Tags you can control how Google displays your content, and what it displays. You use a meta tag by placing them in the head section of your HTML code.

  1. No Cache<meta name=”googlebot” Content=”noarchive”> – Will stop Google caching your content. Google keeps a cache of your content, and a link to it is available in Google SERPs.
  2. No snippet<meta name=”googlebot” Content=”nosnippet”> – Will stop Google displaying the short snippet of text beneath the title in SERPs.
  3. No index<meta name=”googlebot” Content=”noindex”>– Will stop Google from displaying the page you include the tag on in their SERPs.
  4. No index Image<meta name=”googlebot-image” Content=”noindex”> – Will stop Google form indexing an image.
  5. Setting an expiry date on your content.<meta name=”googlebot” Content=”unavailable_after: 25-Dec-2007 12:00:00 EST”> – Will create an expiry date for your content, so it is not displayed after a certain date. Useful for excluding content in a paid members area.

Why stop Google showing some of your content?

Apart from the obvious scenario where you have commercial / or paid content that you don’t want shown, there is the important issue of duplicate content. A site is penalised filtered for having the same content on different pages, using the above meta tags you can control which pages are indexed and which are not and avoid displaying duplicate content.

Visibility of content

The visibility of your content, and how it’s displayed in Google SERPs is a key part of SEO that is often overlooked. Using the following meta tag you can tell Google what to display in the snippet for each page.

<meta name=”description” content=”informative description here”>

Controlling Meta tags in WordPress

Headspace is a fantastic WordPress plugin which makes life much easier dealing for different meta tags, keywords and descriptions in WordPress. It enables you to have individual meta descriptions and keywords and much more for each page on your site.


The Top 15 Web APIs For Your Site

Machine-based interaction is a common feature of Web 2.0 sites like Digg, Facebook and Dilicious, and these days it goes well beyond simple web feeds. An application programming interface(API) is what allows programmers to write applications and widgets that interact with services on these sites. The API gives them web-based access to data and functions from such sites. For example using the GoogleMaps API one could pull data and mapping information from Google that enables users of a site to view an embedded map of the location of a business.

Although typically using an API does require some expertise in programming, many of the APIs which are being released by sites are well documented with good examples on how to implement them, WebAPI. This article also details many of the user created scripts which have been generated using the various API’s which will give end users something to play with too.

15 – MediaWiki API

With over 2 million articles Wikipedia is a valuable resource, the Mediawiki API allows access to this content. Sites based on the MediaWiki API include Wikitravel, Wiktionary, and WikiNews.

14 – Upcoming

The Upcoming API allows you to take data from the Yahoo site upcoming.org. It’s useful if you want current events information on your site.

Yahoo Upcoming

13 – Audio Scrobbler API

Last FM uses the Audio Scrobbler API to gather information about music you listen to. It is also the source of many various “is currently listening to” plug-ins for various applications.

12 – Ebay API

Ebay’s API is very comprehensive, and supports almost all major web scripting options, including flash and Ajax. It has a sandbox for testing scripts, and offers you sample script blocks which it calls widgets to help you getting started. Visit Widget Blog Ebay for some examples.

11 – Facebook API

Everyone knows about Facebook, it’s a hugely successful social networking site, that my girl friend assures me is very addictive. The site has loads of code samples, application creation guides and libraries for developers to play with. As Facebook is completely driven by user generated content it has a huge market of users just waiting to get their hands on fresh content, so for those that have the skill the Facebook API is a goldmine. Visit Mashable to read 10 awesome things built on the Facebook API.

10 – Feedburner API

As you may already know Feedburner is an RSS feed creation tool. The API gives developers a few toys to play with, the best of which is the Feedflare API which allows you to add new functionality onto Feedburner feeds.

9 – Google Search API

The Google Search API Is a AJAX Search API that lets you put Google Search in your web pages with JavaScript. Google gives you some very useful examples of sample code to use.

8 – Yahoo Search API

You may not believe it , but the Yahoo search API is actually more popular than the Google alternative. You can use it to create a simple spell checking tool or site wide search widget… useful stuff

7 – Windows Live API

The API for Microsoft’s portal contains a whole heap of different APIs for different MS services. Here is some of the applications that have been created using the API,  Windows Live API list, which includes content ranging from Halo 3 user guides to major league baseball videos.

6 – Google Ajax Feed API

With the AJAX Feed API, you can download any public Atom or RSS feed using only JavaScript, and easily mash up feeds with your content, and each other. It is super fast and is the quickest way to display real time RSS content on your site. Dynamic Drive’s gAjax RSS Feeds Displayer is a great example of a script created from this API.

5 – Digg API

Using the Digg API you can access individual stories, comments, or data on particular user activities. For some examples of the Digg API is action check out: 7 awesome things built on the digg API, Who’s digging You and Digg Comment Spy.

Digg API Flickr API

4 – Delicious API

Although the Delicious API is not as complex or comprehensive as most of the other APIs featured, it is so simple, you can see results just by typing a URL into your browser. You can also write data to Delicious such as adding bookmarks or renaming tags. for example:


..would add Pingable as a bookmark in to your delicious account after a username and password challenge.

3 – Google Maps

The Google Maps API is probably the most implemented API on the net. It is used in applications such as Google flight simulator.

2 – Flickr API

The Flickr API gives two way access to the site and some of its features and photos. Tasks that can be completed using the API include creating new sets, editing comments, changing photo notes, as well as pulling existing data from the site. Here is some examples of the Flickr API in action.

1 – <a
href=”http://www.youtube.com/dev”>YouTube API

A very popular Number 1, because the YouTube API is both simple, and purely limited only by your imagination. Data which can be pulled from YouTube includes: Video titles, rating, length, tags, url, your favorites, your friend list and the thumbnail location. For an example of the YouTube API in action check out : CoverPop, and you may also want to check out: A YouTube and Google Map Mashup.

Other API resources: GotAPI , API finder, Mashery and a full list of Google APIs.

Digg and flickr icons from: ilemoned.com Web 2.0 Services Icons

Some of the content in this article was inspired by “The Top 20 APIs for your site” article in issue 167 of .net magazine.


What Google Tools Can You Use To Manage Your Blog?

Google is receiving a lot of negative publicity in the blogosphere recently, mostly relating to the god-like status which it holds in the search market, and in particular for its hypocritical attitude towards paid links. I agree that much of this criticism is justified, but I also feel that Google make some great applications that are well worth using. Here are all of the Google tools which are useful to bloggers:

  • Google RSS Reader is a very good tool for following the feeds of your favorite blogs. It’s fast, and because feeds are cached on Google servers you can assess the content even if the a blog’s server is down. It does take a while for content to appear on Google reader after it is posted for smaller blogs, but overall it is a great app for organizing your feeds.

  • Google Analytics is a tool for tracking statistics on your blog. How many unique visitors, what they are looking at, what browser are they using, how long do they stay on your site. All of this and much more can be tracked using Google Analytics.

  • Gmail is an email application by Google. It provides many advantages for receiving large amounts of email, which make it a very useful tool for bloggers. It groups email messages by subject, so comment notifications emails for your latest post will all be organized into one threaded easily readable message. It also allows you to filter and organize messages so you can label notification messages, and archive them. Gmail is fast, and it’s a time saver.

  • Google Webmaster Tools allows you to upload a site map, making it more efficient for Google to crawl your site content. You can also: view any errors that have occurred while your site was crawled, define your www preference, remove dead links in Google records, and much more. A useful tool for any serious web master or blogger.

  • Google Trends allows you to research keywords, and view current trends in your niche. A very useful tool for the serious blogger.

  • Google Apps allows you to brand some of Google services with a domain. You can get domain specific email addresses using the Gmail interface. It also comes will tools for organizing a small team if you have more than one poster on your blog, which include sharing docs and a shared calendar.

  • Google Adsense is an advertising scheme which you can use to make money from your blog. It allows you to place text and image ads which relate to the content of your site. Adsense pays you for each click made on an advertisement displayed on your site.

  • Feedburner, is now owned by Google, so I am calling it a Google tool. Feedburner is used to manage subscribers to your blog’s RSS feed. It can be used to track activity on a feed, and make it much easier for users to subscribe to your feed.

  • Google Blog Search is a useful blog search engine for researching articles, and finding new blogs to read.

The Google logo used in the this article is property of Google. This site is in no way affiliated with Google.


Social Media + Google to Find Free Blog Resources Easily

Using Google with some basic knowledge on advanced searching techniques you can find some high quality free resources which have typically been set up as digg bait on social media sites. The results of using Google over searching through the sites individually are much better, try for yourself by typing some of the following terms.

To search popular posts on digg type the following into Google:

  • site:Digg.com Free Icons
  • site:Digg.com Free Vectors
  • site:Digg.com Free Clipart
  • site:Digg.com Free graphics

This also works for other social media sites:

  • site:stumbleupon.com Free graphics
  • site:del.icio.us free icons
  • site:reddit.com free icons

The “site:” part of the search term specifies the site that you are asking Google to search and the rest is the specific search you want it to look for. Good Luck.


Google Adsense – Optimize your earnings

Reading through some of the posts on Pro Blogger about 31 days to building a better Blog I am stumbling on some very interesting content. Salman Siddiqui writes about: Earn “6 Times” More With Your AdSense Very Easily. This articles raises a key point to success using Adsense.

The article explains some of the process involved with Adsense:

The publishers bid in Google AdWords to get to the top in your blog pages where Ad Units are displayed. The theory is simple. The one who pays out more has more chances to be displayed at the top in the pages running ads. So the first Ad unit in your blog page will display the advertisers which pay the highest for clicks, the second Ad unit pays out lesser than the first and so on.

Salman suggests that using some logic based on the information above, the first ad displayed on your page will have the ads that pay out the most. So if you only display one ad unit the clicks that you get through Adsense will pay out more. I am guessing that you will want to place the one ad unit very carefully, but the logic sounds solid to me.

I am currently not running Adsense on this blog, but I would be interested to hear what other people think about this theory.


5 Tips to improve the SEO of your blog

Getting traffic from popular search engines like Google can really help increase your readership as a blogger. The following are some tips to help improve the SEO of your blog.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization

1) Have a site map

A site map makes it easier for search engines to index your content and find the relevant goodies that they’re looking for.If you are using WordPress use Google sitemap.

2) Write unique or pillar articles

You may have seen the term “Pillar Article” used a bit around blogging. Essentially a pillar article is an article that is good enough or significant enough to encourage other blogger’s to link to it. Write something that is that great enough that your readers will want to link to it on their own blog. An article with a lot of external links aiming at it is search engine gold.

3) Links to others

Linking is a key part to gaining a good rank from search engines. People like John Chow take advantage of this by encouraging readers to write reviews of his blog and link to it using specific anchor text (for example: “Make Money Online”) to improve their ranking. So if getting links from others is your goal, linking to other is essential. Some people will offer link exchanges, typically offering a link in an article or on their blog roll in exchange for the same from you.

4) Comment on blogs with “Do follow”

Comment on blogs with “Do follow” like this blog. Most blogging software by default will set a do not follow tag to comments left on the blog. This means that the link to your blog that is left when you post a comment will not be followed by the search engines like Google. Some blogger’s like myself remove this tag to encourage readers to post comments, as commenting has the added reward of getting the commenter a link back. Feel free to leave a relevant comment on this blog.

5) Direct link to your articles

Google likes to link directly to relevant content rather than to home pages or index pages of your blog. So a link directly to a relevant article will get more love than a generic link to your homepage. A strategy to take advantage of this knowledge is to leave comments on blogs using as the address of your web site an article link rather than a homepage link. This will be particularly useful if you are posting on Do follow blogs.

Following these tips is a good start to increasing the SEO of your blog, and they are also very good rules to follow as a blogger. Good luck with your site.


Google Adsense…or is that Ad cents?

A harsh reality for anyone starting out at the online game is that in most cases the money will come in, in cents rather than the big bucks you are dreaming about. Regardless of the idea, or model you are getting into, unless you have a preexisting audience, you are probably going to have to do things the hard way. Now I am hardly any sort of authority on the topic, there are plenty of people who have made quick bucks from Adsense, but you can bet your ass that there are plenty of people who have tried and not as much as made the first hurdle…for Google Adsense that is making your first $100 check.  

Turning those cents into your first buck.

1) When is too much too much. You may know what I am getting here, but if you don’t…think of a Website that covers it’s side bars, its banner, and has a massive block of ads before you actually get to any content. I know how much it annoys me when I am looking for content, and all I see is a block full of adds, or even worse a dreaded pop-up advertisement. I think it is important to place ads strategically on a page, but I thinks there’s a line that you shouldn’t cross. Sure splattering your page with every ad you can fit may get the odd extra click from accidental or lazy mouse masher, but the main issue here is you are annoying your users. If they are annoyed, they are less likely to come back. I don’t think it’s a good idea anyway…if you think otherwise feel free to leave a comment.

2) Let it flow. Adsense text links are content related ads, so I think it’s a good idea if they are colored like the rest of the content on your site. Most people will realise that they are ads, but at least it lets the page flow. You want to send the message that, yes, you are advertising but it’s not too offensive. It’s very easy to color Adsense ads using the Google ad creation wizard or various plug-ins if you are formatting it at the other end.

3) Google ads can actually be useful to your users. It’s amazing how good Google ads are at targeting your content. So in many cases the ads are in fact very relevant and uses may in deed want to click your ads, so there’s not really any need to ram them in the face of your users, see first point.

4) Content. Good content is very important. Firstly, you want return users, it will increase your page impressions and click rates. Secondly,the ads are based on the content, so if don’t have anything worth reading, or using, the ads that relate to it may not be great either. Thirdly, no one will link to rubbish. And getting links from other sites is very important for you to build a page rank and user base. This is just common sense isn’t it. Why is anyone going to go to Website that doesn’t have anything good on it.

5) Careful placement of ad units is worth the thought. Think where your eye leads you when you first open a Webpage. Try and place your ads effectively to avoid ad blindness. Ad blindness is where users often don’t see your ads because their mind is so trained into seeing ads in certain spots, they no longer absorb ads in certain locations. Close to content, with out being offensive is a plenty good rule of thumb.

6) Read, read, read. There are some great resources out there. Read and observe what other successful sites are doing. Darren who runs the blog Pro Blogger has some very good articles on Adsense. I really enjoy reading what he has to say, and you do feel like you are being educated in the process.

So that’s all I have to say on the topic. File it, the one millionth Adsense article on the net, I hope it at least makes a little sense.