Fast Five in Search – Week 15, 2014

fast-five

 

Google’s head of spam fighting – Matt Cutts – posts regular videos on the Google Webmasters YouTube channel. His posts can make waves in the SEO industry like no other because they often preview upcoming changes to the Google algorithm. So this week’s Fast Five is a collection of Matt Cutt’s most popular webmaster videos of all time.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) How Does Google Search Work? – In this video, Matt explains how Google’s ranking and website evaluation process works from the crawling and analysis of a site, crawling time-lines, frequencies, priorities and filtering processes within the databases. With over 380,000 views, this is Matt’s most popular video in the Google Webmaster channel.

2) Does Google Use the Keyword Meta Tag? – After years of webmaster confusion over whether Google does or doesn’t index the content of the Meta Keywords tag, Matt put the rumor firmly to rest with this post by confirming that Google does NOT index the tag.

3) What Should We Expect in the Next Few Months in Terms of SEO for Google? – After months of Panda and Penguin algorithm tweaks, Matt thought it was time to set a few things straight and reveal a little more about what we might expect from future algorithm updates.

4) Canonical Link Element – When Google launched support for the Canonical Link Element, Matt took to video to introduce the element and the way it should be used for SEO benefit.

and finally…

5) What Are Some Effective Techniques for Building Links? – The fifth most popular Matt Cutts webmaster video involves the consistently difficult subject of link building. In this video post, Matt discusses several effective ways of building organic links that many webmasters overlook.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Where to Find the Best SEO and SEM Training Videos on YouTube

SEO and SEM as seen on TVIn my recent search for relevant videos to accompany our training material at Search Engine College, I trawled through my Evernote bookmarks and stockpiled a number of helpful YouTube channels that hold huge collections of training videos on the subjects of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing).

As I was collating these, my first thought was “I wonder how many webmasters even know all these exist?”. My second thought was “That would make a great blog post!”. So here they are. You’re welcome.

Google Webmasters YouTube Channel

Bing Webmaster Tools YouTube Channel

Moz YouTube Channel

Google AdWords Channel

Bing Ads YouTube Channel

SiteProNews YouTube Channel

WebProNews YouTube Channel

Search Engine Land YouTube Channel

SES Conference and Expo YouTube Channel

Search Engine Watch YouTube Channel

Google Analytics YouTube Channel

Raven Tools YouTube Channel

Rusty Brick YouTube Channel

Search Engine Journal YouTube Channel

I’ve probably missed some important ones, but these are the ones I had saved to Evernote. If you want to add some of your favorites in the comments, I’ll be sure to add them to the list.

Post Script – I remembered last night that apart from their YouTube channel, SiteProNews publishes a large collection of marketing videos from across the web, collated into 40 different topic channels. Be sure to check it out.

 

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New Milestones for Search Engine College

SEC-smiley-150x178We’ve been busy bees at Search Engine College HQ this month, with lots of exciting milestones and a few developments in the pipeline.

First up – in line with our our push towards integrating more multi-media content and interactive learning materials, we have added over 30 new YouTube videos to our various training modules in the past few days. Existing students and subscribers can view the videos from within the course areas.

If that isn’t exciting enough already, we are also putting the finishing touches on our brand new Link Building Starter course which is getting ready to launch next week. The course contains the latest advice and guidance on link building in light of Google’s recent Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithm changes and crack down on link networks. New and existing subscribers will be given access to this course for no additional charge. That’s right – access comes standard with all subscriptions.

If you’re not already a subscriber – what are you waiting for? You can sign up here.

In other news, we had our first ever student from Jamaica sign up yesterday, which means we now have Search Engine College students in 62 countries. How cool is that? See you in the virtual halls.

 

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Google Analytics in Real Life (Videos)

These days I’m doing quite a bit of online and in-person training in Google Analytics. The tool has become so sophisticated that people are struggling with the idea of where to start with Analytics and what meaningful metrics to look at on a regular basis.

In my training sessions, I like to mix things up a bit with case studies, whiteboard exercises and videos. It prevents *death by PowerPoint* and stops people from becoming overwhelmed with information in a short space of time.

My favorite 3) videos to show in the Google Analytics workshops are the Google Analytics in Real Life series, developed by Google as a humorous way to understand the frustrations experienced by visitors to your web site and how these would play out in real life. These always trigger laughter around the room, but they are also a fantastic way of bridging the gap between using Analytics to monitor customer activity on a web site and knowing what to tweak to improve the customer experience.

Ready to chuckle?

1) The Online Checkout

This video highlights common problems people have with the online checkout process – from trouble logging in, to being forced to enter ridiculous CAPTCHAs and being charged confusing shipping rates:

Analytics-online-checkout-video-sml

2) Landing Page Optimization

This video demonstrates what can happen if you interrupt the conversion process by placing distractions for visitors on your sales landing pages:

Analytics-landing-page-video-sml

3) Internal Site Search

This last funny video shows how frustrating it can be for your site visitors when your internal site search functionality is counter-intuitive or just plain broken:

Analytics-in-site-search-video-sml

Enjoy!

 

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SMX Sydney 2012 – Robert Moorman – Developing a video content marketing campaign

This is a summary of Robert Moorman’s presentation at Search Marketing Expo / Online Marketer Conference held in Sydney 1-2 May 2012.Robert Moorman at SMX Sydney 2012

Robert Moorman is a Video Strategist at Hunting With Pixels, a company that specializes in strategic social video campaigns. Robert has over 20 years of experience working as a video producer for media organisations like Fremantle Media and MTV in the UK, Australia and Europe.

Content is king but distribution is queen, says Robert. Content is now about ideas, not tech. For example, 8 year olds who use iPads don’t need to know interface design in order to use it. Video content must be engaging, authentic, simple and memorable.

Robert kicked off showing a corporate video that emphasizes the relationships formed by a business rather than the product they sell.

 

Video Content Optimization

There are a couple of major things to remember when optimizing your video content, says Robert:

  • Highlight your branding early so people associate it with the visual message.
  • Include your call to action early, in case people don’t view the entire video.
  • Don’t forget audio quality. Poor audio will automatically reflect poorly on your brand. TEST it!
  • Short videos generally perform better. If possible, keep your videos to 2-3 minutes.
  • Use graphics and captions in your videos to highlight key points.
  • Be engaging and relevant.

Robert then showed a Nintendo 3DS promotional video that acknowledges the audience is smart. Clever approach, it worked well with the target market and had a viral impact because it was funny.

Video Distribution Channels

There are quite a few video distribution channels available – YouTube is not everything. So here are the options:

  • YouTube – the obvious choice.
  • Vimeo Pro – is an excellent HD quality hosting option.
  • Vid.ly - is great for video transcoding and checking if your video is viewable on multiple platforms.

Video Content Syndication Tips

  • Get your videos embedded by others. If you haven’t already read it, read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It will give you some ideas for how to make your videos memorable and sharable.
  • Make sure your videos are fully searchable. Fill out all the fields when uploading them to YouTube and other content placeholders. Put the http URL in the video title and/or video description so it becomes a clickable link.
  • Use playlists to your advantage.
  • When viewing YouTube, choose the right thumbnail, do keyword research to find popular related keywords.
  • Turn on transcription / subtitles when uploading your videos to create an automatic text version of your content.
  • Context matters – be wary of where your vid appears.
  • Use seeding and video advertising platforms – eg. TubeMogul or YouTube advertising to auto distribute your video content via similar content.

Video Marketing Tips

  • Be sharable – use video plugins that make it easy.
  • Be easy to use.
  • Make your video content easily navigable.
  • Don’t use shortcuts – quality is key with video content.
  • Use YouTube analytics to keep up with viewer statistics and tweak your videos based on viewer activity.
  • If you need to create a video-based site, try Vidcaster – instant micro websites made for videos.
  • For tips on how to SEO your videos, read Reelseo.com regularly.

Robert then talked about a new marketing trend – interactive video content. He showed the Choose a Different Ending video that paused and gave viewers two storyline options to choose from eg. “take the knife”, or “don’t take the knife”, like the alternative ending books you used to read as a kid. Ultimately, you choose whether to live or die. The video was created by DropTheWeapons.org as an awareness tool to break the circle of youth violence and weapons crime.

Robert then showed a video that was a Flash video that entirely mimicked a YouTube page – A Hunter Shoots a Bear – with the word *shoots* able to be replaced by user chosen via keyboard [fun tip - type in *dances with*]. It was a clever ad for Tipp-Ex correction fluid. Apparently they shot over 100 different keyword scenarios. Robert showed another where the company had created an entire website just using video.

In summary, video marketing doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Just give it a go. Look into buying a mid range video camera, a cheapish background screen and a spotlight in order to DIY videos for your site. You can get an entire package for under $1,200.

 

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