Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Google Search Tricks You Need To Remember

The Google 'Around' Function Search Trick

I wrote the Google Search Tricks blog post on my website and thought I'd share here as well - read on for some fantastic insights into Google search tips:

One very powerful, but undocumented, search tool, is the AROUND function. If you wanted to research Barack Obama's interactions with Australia, you could simply include both terms in a search, but you'd find thousands of articles in which these two terms may appear many paragraphs apart, and bear no relation to one another.

But if instead you search "obama" AROUND(10) "australia" then the first results will be one in which Obama appears within ten words of Australia. NOTE: for this to work, both search terms must be in quotes, AROUND must be capitalized, and the number must be in parentheses.

Ebay and Google - Using the negative sign to exclude results

(-) Knowing how and when to use the minus sign in a search query. i.e. search George Washington This also work with eBay e.g. iphone case -gel (to exclude all iphone cases made of gel)

Using Other Characters in Search

~ before a word to search simultaneously for the synonyms of that word.
.. to search for a range of numbers. For example, 1..10
(*) as a wildcard in quoted search strings to stand for one or many unknown words. "The * cat" will return things like The angry cat, the big brown cat...
(+) will ensure that a word is included in every search result. (per u/izerth, google got rid of the + operator, so now you have to put " around single words or use search tools->results->verbatim)

Quotes surrounding a phrase will ensure that exact phrase turns up.
Triple quotes """word""" will get you 'actual verbatim' and leave out what google thinks is relevant.

filetype: .whatever will make sure URLs have that extension at the end.
inurl: some.words_here will make sure whatever follows shows up in the URL. Good for refining your search by domain name.

intitle:word returns sites with 'word' in the title bar - also useful for index or mp4, mp3 / intitle:whatever will look for whatever to appear in the title bar of the page - for example try intitle:mp4 will return only results from that site

Add 'forum' to the search to find others with the same question
Use Google Scholar- to find only relevant articles from academics, case studies, etc. Great for medical as well.

Thanks to Reddit for these awesome tips!

Monday, 30 January 2017

How SEO Has Evolved

When SEO Went Smart

Back in 2007 Search Engine Optimisation was never a major issue for websites, it was easy to rank on the first page of Google simply by repeating key words on the website and also in the meta tags to climb up in rankings. 

Business also used other tactics of keyword repetition to shoot up in Google - simply by adding white text on a white background so the human eye couldn't see the junk text, but Google could. 

Now in 2017 Google and other search engines are getting smarter – and businesses need to do the same. 

Let's explore the methods in my guide to SEO using an example law firm in Brighton: What are the Search Engines really looking for?
  1. Page URL structure - great for geographically tageted businesses. For example, a law firm in Brighton should create a blog post or an internal page with the URL ending in /law-firm-brighton.
  2. Maximise your H1 header - Avoid saying "Welcome to my website" in big bold letters, tell Google that you are a Law Firm in Brighton (and your specialist areas too).
  3. Textual Content - Each page should have at least 300 words. Search Engines are like humans, they read a website like a newspaper. No one wants to buy a newspaper with nothing to read.
  4. Images - Rename your images from "My logo" or "DC0034" to your chosen key phrase, so "Law Firm Brighton Family Lawyers Logo_1" instead.
  5. Ensure other people are linking back to your site - Google likes backlinks from relevant and trusted websites like Yell, Thompson Local and even Google+ and YouTube. Google owns YouTube and also the site Create extra traffic by ensuring your website is mentioned online with business profiles.
What are Search Engines NOT looking for?
  1. Spammy blog comments from outside of the UK.
  2. Hundreds / thousands of low level backlinks that have been bulk added by an overseas SEO company for a few $dollars.
  3. Linking from 'Bad neighbourhood' websites such as adult or gambling.
  4. A pretty website with lots of photos and zero text.
  5. A website built on a free platform such as Wix, Hibu/Yell or Weebly.
Try it for yourself - Google search for your geographical area and your services - what page in Google is your website? Can you see your competitors above you? Often wonder how they dominate Google search results? They have employed an SEO company, or invested in SEO training to learn DIY SEO.