Since the launch of the Google Panda algorithm in February 2011, Google has been continuing its algorithm updates with the mission to pin down low-quality content sites deeper down on search engine page results: a second Google Panda update to the algorithm came in April 2011, and on June 21, 2011 Google announced its Panda 2.2 version to the algorithm.
Three cycles in six months sends a clear message to site owners. Matt Cutts from Google reminds that the best way to not to get negatively affected – or pandified, as some SEO experts call the penalty – by the changes in Google Panda algorithm is to continue producing quality content.
If you think that Google even after its launch or Google Caffeine and Google Panda algorithms still doesn’t provide the information and links you are looking for, then you might want to give a try to a new search engine, Blekko.
Blekko makes its case for relevancy in the competition of search engines by focusing on customized content, transparency in results, and being on the consumer’s side with its anti-spam philosophy and practice. SERP Zebra points out three key features of Blekko:1) Blekko is for custom results: Blekko strongly promotes its search trademark, the use of slashtags. Slashtag is a symbol slash followed by a key word that filters the results within the main search terms. For instance one can type in Texas /politics and thereby filter the search term Texas only with websites that focus on politics. The upside (or downside) of Blekko is that many slashtags need to be created individually since they are often not pre-indexed in the Blekko system. This requires registration to the site. Slashtags can be classified for a personal use only, and effectively Blekko can be used as a powerful bookmarking tool.2) Blekko is for SEO transparency: Blekko points out that it keeps data behind search results open for public. Blekko displays an impressive (or exhausting) amount of data for each website it crawls. The data reporting looks very much like any comprehensive SEO report or data provided by a web host. It includes data of the number of inbound links, value of links, links from specific US states, links from different countries and so on.3) Blekko is against poor content sites: Blekko is against websites which have spam-like content, and instead of showing these type of results lower in search results (Google’s style), it aims not to show websites with poor or unoriginal content at all. Have you used Blekko? Have you registered in Blekko and created your own Slashtags? Let SERP Zebra know what you think.
Today, Google Goggles app recognizes commercial brand and product images such as magazine print ads, logos and bar codes, giving its best effort to provide a consumer with “relevant” search results based on the data it receives from the images. What has your experience been with using Google Goggles? Does Google Goggles offer any value added features in your opinion? We welcome your comments.
Search engine optimization has been about creating and optimizing relevant text content, keywords, links, listings, HTML tags, and site maps. Images haven’t – until this point – been that much at the center of focus in the optimization process. The new image recognition software especially utilized in mobile media is changing things quite rapidly and shifting the search from words and phrases to a visual object recognition. Google has tapped into this software development by launching a mobile device based web search engine tool, Google Goggles. The app was launched in 2009, and significantly upgraded in March 2011 with new useful features such as a bar code reader. Google Goggles currently runs on Android smartphones (1.6+ required) and now also on iPhones (iOS 4.0 required). Today, Google Goggles app recognizes commercial brand and product images such as magazine print ads, logos and bar codes, giving its best effort to provide a consumer with “relevant” search results based on the data it receives from the images.
SERP Zebra tested the image recognition with the Google Goggles iOS app
SERP Zebra tested Google Goggle’s image recognition capabilities with a Google Goggles iOS app. In our testing, Google Goggles was able to recognize some products by their bar codes but many products got unrecognized in which case the software only scanned the code number without any related information. As warned by Google, images of people, animals, and landscapes merely resulted to related images of similar colors and shapes. For instance SERP Zebra snapped a photo of Hollister Co’s promotional postcard of a wheaten terrier which resulted to uneven results. At times, the software was trying to read the text underneath the image; and at other times the scan resulted to a bunch of miscellaneous images of similar colors and shapes:
Below are more samples of how Google Goggles app recognizes brand and product images. Each successful result can be tapped in the app for search results in the Google search engine.
1) Image recognition for objects with logos:
2) Image recognition of magazine ads:
3) Image recognition of bar codes:
How can your website be further optimized for Google Goggles?
Currently, from our testing, Google Goggles works best with:
identifying brand logos
recognizing known brand products
recognizing popular magazine ad campaigns
reading text from products and ads (so you don’t have to type the text yourself into a Google’s search engine bar)
For gaining SERP advantage here, SERP Zebra recommends to make sure that:
your company’s logo on your website is uploaded as a separate file
your company’s logo on your website is labelled properly such as yourcompanyname_logo.jpg
your company’s logo on your website contains your company name in the image’s alt tag.
you have close-up images of all related trademarks and brand logos related to your business, indexed accordingly (see above)
you have close up images of your products
you regard images on your website as part of content information, not just as brand building visuals
Check out the recent Google Goggles marketing video. Is the featured example of the use relevant enough to make a strong case?
Does Google Goggles offer any value added features in your opinion? Leave your comments below.
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