All posts in Search Engine

The plus side to working in the ever changing internet marketing business is the ability to try new things. Sure, there are tried and true methods and strategies in SEO. Finding valuable links, submitting press releases, keeping up with your blog; these are just a few proven tactics. But there are other, more unorthodox methods of attracting the search engines, which can attract the masses (and isn’t that the real goal?)

Whether you are an SEO or a small business owner going the DIY route, you shouldn’t be afraid to try new methods. With some experience, you should be a good enough judge as to whether a tactic would be white or black hat, and frowned upon by the engines. Plus, I’m not talking about going out and buying up a whole bunch of links. I’m talking about brainstorming new ideas that go beyond the concept of traditional internet marketing.

For example, Evolving Interactive wanted to get the word out about our successes as a leading Chicago SEO firm. We wanted our friends, their friends, and more to hear about our services, and how we help small businesses get to the top of the search engine rankings. After writing the informational blog post, sending out a press release, and commenting on some trending stories; we decided to try something new. One of our multi-talented SEO analysts thought it would be cool to make a stop-motion video highlighting what we do. Here is the result:

This video didn’t go viral and reach the world-wide masses, but it got a handful of Facebook shares, links, and mentions. So maybe a few people unfamiliar with our company are now familiar. We found a new way to market ourselves on the internet, and did it in a way we hoped would catch on because of its fun nature and cool look.

Making an online commercial isn’t re-inventing the wheel, but it’s something we hadn’t tried before. This should be your goal in SEO. Once you know a method works, keep at it, but try new things. If it doesn’t work, drop it and find what does.

Once you have worked on the traditional SEO methods, try to brainstorm some new ideas, and see what that does for your online presence. Think about your customer base and your potential customers. What can you do to catch their eye beyond killer keyword placement?

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We are almost at the two year anniversary of our SEO Blog on the Evolving Interactive website. In the search marketing industry, a lot can change in a period of weeks, let alone two whole years. (Check back with us on January 14 2012 for a special blog post.) However, even in this ever changing industry, there is a golden rule that everyone, SEO’s and small businesses alike, should follow. Optimize your website for your customers first, and the search engines second.

In the early days of search, the black hat tactics that made a website look juicy to a search engine seem archaic and obvious now. Keyword stuffing, putting colored keywords on a same color background, spamming comment boards (this still happens, sadly and comically); and the list goes on. All of these tactics were used to help boost the strength of a website that really had nothing to offer to people / potential customers once they got to the site. As search engines caught on to these “strategies

Of all of the various SEO strategies, link building shares time between being the most tedious and frustrating, or the most effective and rewarding. In most cases, it is all of the above.  Link building is the on-going process of reaching out to other sites that share interests or subject matter with yours, and having them link back to your site. I liken it to having one of these sites “Like

In the last two posts of SEO You Should Know: Local Edition, we’ve discussed how you can begin to establish and manage your presence in the increasingly important world of local search. In just a few hours, you can locate, claim, build, and maintain your company’s profiles on Google, Yelp and Bing.

Those are only three of hundreds of online directories, search engines, and review sites that could have your company’s info. If you have the time (and patience), you can find these directories and complete the similar processes of getting your company listed. The more references and links to your site, the better. You could also hire an experienced SEO firm to focus on developing this local presence for you. And with the obligatory pitch out of the way, on to this week’s post.

A problem you will probably come across as you scour the web for these (mostly free) local directories is the issue of duplicate listings. It can happen on the lesser known directories and even on the heavy hitters like Google, Yelp, and Bing. You would think having more references and pages talking about and directing to your site would be a good thing right? It is, but not in this case.

Duplicate listings can occur when the search engine’s bots crawl the web after each query is submitted and they bring back all of the information they find to the searcher.  In the vastness of the internet, there are bound to be some discrepancies. These could occur when a customer cites the wrong address or phone number on a review site. Or maybe your company moved years ago, but some engines still have the old address and number. Possibly your URL or email address have changed. The reason we claim these business listings to remove discrepancies and manage your local profiles is the same reason we remove duplicate listings.

First, we don’t want incorrect information about your business feeding the search engine bots. In the last two posts, we talked about NAP. It is very important from a local standpoint that your NAP is accurate and matching the NAP that could be found at any corner of the internet in regards to your company.

Second, it is important that you leave the competition to your actual competition. You don’t want to be competing with yourself. Some of our clients have had duplicate Yelp or Google profiles with slight variations. Your potential customers won’t put too much thought into uncovering the correct listing or the incorrect one. Your gamble will be hoping they pick the one you’ve spent the time carefully selecting pictures, writing great descriptions, and developing your image. So we want to remove these duplicates to make sure when they click on your business name, they are getting the best first impression.

The tricky part is the actual removal of these listings. Some directories and engines are better than others. As we’ve mentioned before, Google has very little (if anything) in the way of customer service. If you come across multiple listings on Google for the same location, you will have to go through the claiming process again. Once you verify that you are the owner, update the information in the profile and then suspend the listing. (Note: Don’t delete it from your places, just the Google Results…you’ll still want to be able to manage it). Every once in a while, do a Google Places search for your company and make sure no other duplicates pop up. Popular or larger companies have this happen often.

Most of the other directories are easier, but are not uniform. For the most part, it is a matter of tracking down the customer support section of the directory, and sending an email to the support team to help you by manually removing the listing. Other times there will be an FAQ section, and in many cases you can find support there by selecting “Duplicate Listing Error

Last week we started a segment called SEO You Should Know. Sticking with Local Optimization, we’re going to talk about getting your business listed on a major search engine (Bing) and a major review site (Yelp).  In Volume 1, we talked about getting listed, verified, and seen on Google, which is the most popular and used search engine. But let’s not count out Bing (Google’s largest competitor) and Yelp (a review site where Google receives a lot of its reviews and info).

Again, these posts are here to help get you started. If you have questions about local optimization or other SEO marketing strategies, email

1. Get Listed on

Similar to how you found and claimed your business on Google, you should start by doing a Bing search for your business name and city or town. This should pull up your business as the first result. Bing’s 1st result page isn’t too far off from Google when it returns your specific result. There will be a sectioned off Map and listing for your business if Bing has the information. If you don’t see the Map section right away, you will need to go to the “More