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September 24, 2013

Google removed Keyword data from Analytics – 101 ways to get it anyhow!

Keyword data seems to be disappearing from Google Analytics. So. How do we know what to optimize our websites towards? How will we be able to know what supporting keywords to use in our texts? How will we be able to run keyword targeted conversion optimization on the organic traffic we have earned.

No worries. We’ll get to that. Obviously Google says they want you to work with your website, to increase your quality and better serve users with better content. However, you will now have to resort to paying some in order to get the juicy stuff.

Below is a set of tools that you can use in order to know.

1. Wordstream is the best keyword tool out there – use it

  1. Wordstream is a tool that helps you to create Adwords keyword groups for your content. They help you find the most profitable niches and are available in many different languages.
  2. I suggest you create a subscription account on Wordstream. It will cost you some money, but it is surely worth it.

2. How to bid on Adwords to get keyword data

  1. Use Keyword tool – generate dynamic tracking URLs
  2. Do not bid broad as you will lose a lot of data doing so as your exact match will not be displayed in your account
  3. If you are simply interested in search volumes – use Google Keyword tool AND bid with minimum bids on all keywords you can possibly think of
  4. Bid narrow and use negatives.

3. Activate internal search tracking in your Google Analytics

  1. I find it awful that so few companies have activated their internal search tracking. MORE than 20% of the people on a website use search onsite. You will get the exact match on the keywords to optimize for PLUS deliver a brand building experience to your users if you work on your internal search.
  2. To activate it. Open the profile you want to track > Click Admin in top right corner > Click View Settings > Enable Site Search to be tracked at the bottom of the General settings page > The parameter that you need to enter is the search query generate in the URL when someone searches for this blog – if you search for “search” – http://jesperastrom.com/?s=search – the parameter you would enter would be ?s=

4. Download the “Not Provided” kit

  1. This was a kit – actually an analysis framework – that one of my former students Markus Frick gave me a tip about on Facebook. Download it from here.

Ok. So that’s 3 ways. I know you got one to add. Comment away!!!

//Jesper

October 23, 2012

Google’s Real time Reading Abilities

As I was about to send an e-mail to a client, I got the prompt “We can see that you wrote “I enclose” in your message, but there are no files attached to your message. Want to send it anyway?”.

At first I thought: “Wow, thanxkxxks Google for helping me remember”. Then came the Big Brother sensation. WTF. Google, what are you doing reading my e-mail before I send them. Seriously. I can sort of accept that the e-mails go through your servers and that you read them when I post them. But before I post them… seriously…?

I won’t be a hater though. This sort of plays in to the already known facts that Google can understand a lot more of what we write and do. Not only read it an process it in their indexes, but also understand the context of what we are writing and its purpose.

Should be interesting to see if I could use this for SEO purposes somehow. But more on that later 😉

September 10, 2010

Google Instant – a Reminder that Google is not equal to SEO

Those of you out there who put an equal sign between SEO and Google should really try to reconsider. Google is only one of many popular search engines out there and if you aspire to be a good international SEO you have to consider all of them when considering how to bring your clients or your company success.

Lets’ start with a little video about what Google Instant is all about so that we know we’re talking about the same thing here. It is really nothing more than an advanced Google suggest with an annoying ajax search result page.

Google Instant – what it means

There are a lot of the same old buzzmakers trying to make a buck out of the next thing out there. I don’t know when Steve Rubel started making his name as an SEO. I’ve always seen him as a PR-consultant. He writes in his blog that Google Instant will kill SEO. Without even taking the other search engines into consideration, my take on the story is that it won’t even kill SEO in Google.

Google Instant actually improves search, and thus also optimization, delivering new content to the surface of the searchers. It does decrease the importance of bulk links somewhat as search will be increasingly long tail as the numbers used in search queries is likely to increase. This also puts the demand on publishers to increase their lot of relevant content.

If you as an SEO want to optimize for the web, only a few of these long tail searches will be relevant as you will only put effort into what brings you cash back. The demand that you as an SEO understand analytics as well as conversion will increase as you probably wont be able to bulk traffic in a full vertical any longer. You will have to specialize and know what kind of searches bring you the dough. You will quite fast see what search queries appear as referrals in your analytics and thus make the needed changes in order to rank for those keywords that convert.

In many ways, this kind of search will become even more predictable. Not less predictable. It is obvious that Mr. Rubel doesn’t put much thought into the combination of analytics and on-page/off-page optmization. If you don’t focus on the analytics when working with SEO you are just about as relevant as a politician answering a question they don’t know the answer too.

Google Instant is an adaptation to the social web – and so should SEO’s

Many SEO’s don’t like social media as anything else than a place to complain about that they don’t like social media. An SEO who wants to be successful in the long tail really should read up on some of the old spam tactics created by auto-generating content from the hidden web. Then translate those theories onto what you can do when you have actual people producing content on your platform. That’s user generated content, I’m talking about. That’s social media.

Users will always be able to generate long tail discussions you wouldn’t ever be able to come up with. A good SEO knows how to take advantage of this. Not only by using the content generated, but also using the internal links created with user generated tags and themes created by what ever system you’re using. If you’re a WordPress user then play around with SEO smart links and your category pages and you’ll see what I’m after.

Bad SEO’s won’t stand a chance – that’s correct

Google Instant will make SEO more of a science, a more exact science. It will require thought, analysis and what ever good SEO’s have been doing for many years. It won’t however kill SEO as a practice. It MIGHT disqualify some wannabe’s, but I am sure that they will have a market as well as it is quite easy to remove Google Instant as your display mode.

Google is NOT equal to SEO

I should end this post with a reminder that Google is NOT equal to SEO. WE still have YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, intranets, On site search, catalogs and all the other very popular search engines to take into consideration. Those are equally important as they can bring you extremely relevant traffic and improve the way you communicate with your website visitors.

SEO is about improving web communication. Get information searchers the information they need. Get buyers the stuff they need. AS FAST AS THEY WANT IT. Good SEO is not about getting a lot of traffic, but getting the traffic that wants your stuff. All else is a waste of both’s time.

Now. Google Instant will be very interesting to study from a user behavior perspective. As the data will (hopefully) be more standardized, as the number of different long search queries will decrease, we will probably also have to adjust our tactics towards a web where we get less relevant traffic than we’re used to on some previously highly converting keywords. However, I am sure users will adapt and learn…. or a competitor to Google will really push for a change back to what the users like. Only time can tell.

February 11, 2010

The Buzz is all About Connecting Places (and a new Verb)

I am breaking eMail Week for an important message. Google Buzz was released a couple of days ago. This will not be a post describing what Google Buzz is. This post is way more important than that. This post will be about what Google Buzz means. I assure those of you engaged in the Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Buzz discussion that you will NOT get arguments for or against.

To understand Anything of what I am about to say in this post you must see this video that is more and more becoming sicker and sicker for every new thing that pops up on the “new web”.

Google Buzz is not about killing Facebook or Twitter. Google Buzz is about Google claiming another Verb for search in the next web. A new web that does not only connect content with content, or people with people, but a web that connects content with people with places.

Google Buzz is not meant for the Internet or the static computer. Google Buzz is produced for the hand held, the mobile and the small screens we hold in our hands.

Buzz is a Hand Held interaction platform

I hadn’t tried Google Buzz until I went home on the Metro today. I am happy that was the case. Because, it is when you use Google Buzz in the mobile for the first time that you really start to grasp where Google is taking this. It is quite obvious that Google hasn’t created Buzz for you to use from your computer, but for you to use when you are on your cellphone.

If Google Buzz was created for the web, then why would Google produce a pop up that asks you to add a shortcut to it on your iPhone desktop? I know… vague.. but still an argument.. (sorry about the crappy quality photos.) Secondly, why would they REQUIRE that you share your location with them if you are to use Google Buzz from your hand held device.

I know this sounds like conspiracy talk. But bare with me for a few minutes.

Google aims to take its business offline

I have previously written about Google’s favorite places. As then I was excited was taking a step towards a new usage of the web. Connecting the online to the offline when we are offline but online.

Along with Google’s favorite places, we all know how dominant the local business search results have become in the search engine result pages.

So what does this mean.

  1. Google’s dominant visibility for local businesses gives them a great incentive to register
  2. Google’s favorite places makes different places rank based on experience
  3. Google Buzz makes people tell Google where they are and use the cellphone to find locations
  4. Google can then get you to rank a place whilst at home in front of your computer
  5. Google can then make a profit from PPL (will talk about that in a few..)

Now all Google needs to do is to do what they are best at, namely, making money 🙂

Google Buzz makes offline Profitable for Google

I suggest you read my previous posts carefully as you need to know the full story to get the full picture. Now to the most exciting part of it all. Google will soon start making money on connecting places with people.

As you can see from this photo below, when requested to tell your location to Google Buzz, you are prompted to choose between a variety of listed businesses located close to where you are at the moment. I probably wouldn’t have thought of this unless I was in a place not listed – namely the Metro.

Now, if Google know where we are, and we update our friends about it in real time, they will be able to connect the places through the web and actions to soooo many REAL places that are currently offline. Bringing the offline to life in online life.

The social aspect is what will make Buzz go big, and it is the final piece of the puzzle to make so many other services make sense that Google have put to market the past few years.

Google’s Business Model

Considering Google has had a PPC business model for the web, then I am sure they will have a PPL (Pay per location) business model coming right up. This is how it might work (or, this is how it would work if I worked at Google).

Let’s say I am hungry. I open my cell and I Buzz (see, it is already a verb) my friends where to go to get food or I look who’s close by so that I can come join. When I get the results, Google will also suggest a place where I can go based on 1) the recommendations from Google’s Favorite places and 2) sponsored listings.

If I then click the option that is the sponsored listing and go to that location. Then Google will get payed per location. Perhaps they will get payed for the click as well.

You can see how this is as much social model for business, as it is a business model based on search and on offline.

So what is the next step

Well naturally the next step is connecting the web to the cash register so that Google or anyone can earn money from what you actually ordered. This is the “web of things”. The web will then know that you ate what you ate, in what chair you sat and in approximately how many hours you will eat again based on your previous activities.

Oh yeah… you think I am Sci-Fi, Geekalicious and Crazy… well, so do I… but hopefully this gives me the opportunity to tell you in four years (when this will be the case) that “I TOLD YOU SO”… and if it doesn’t happen then no one will remember this post and thus, I’m in the clear 😀

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February 7, 2010

12 Hours of Matt Cutts can Make you see stuff

Ok, I’ll have to break e-mail week for this… I like watching clips on YouTube. A couple of weeks ago I spent watching 12 hours of video from the Google Webmaster Help channel. Yes, that means all of it. (yes… I am sick…)

I truly feel like I am onto something here… hmm…. but before I draw any conclusions I probably must watch the videos one more time. NOT…

This post is solely written, because I take pride in making fun of people who think Google and Matt Cutts are up to no good, I decided to find my own three Google conspiracies/secrets to fuel the discussions for the coming week, perhaps they will give you the “secret insight” on how to rank on top of Google’s search results?? :S :

1. The Related Movies tell the story about Google’s future plans

First off, the related videos to his are no less than interesting if you believe in conspiracy theories about Google taking over the world.

I mean… Google owns YouTube… and this MUST mean that Google Webmaster Help is REALLY related to… who ever obaidkarki is… right??

2. According to Matt Cutts a Link is about an inch

Yeah… and the best estimate of how much a link is worth is quite obvious when you study Matt’s movement in the Webmaster Help Videos… ONE INCH for each link you get… Yeah… you heard me!! Cause when ever Matt talks about links he has this compulsory thing of doing this:

See for yourself at Google Webmaster Help Videos.

3. Did I catch a Tell on Matt Cutts?

Another thing I saw in Matt’s body movement was that of when he tells a lie. In the below video, watch how I have decoded Matt Cutts to give you the ability to spot him in a lie:

[Disclaimer: For those of you reading this, thinking I have gone insane. Well, might not be too far off the truth, but considering people are discussing these types of things out there made it impossible for me to resist… haha..]

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February 2, 2010

Turn Waste of Time into Online Books through reCAPTCHA

Google has launched reCAPTCHA in order to help digitize books. Oh, yeah, this came as a surprise to you as well? It did to me at least. Actually, this is one of the reasons I love Google. They calculated that we write about 200 million CAPTCHAs on the web every day. Each CAPTCHA takes about 10 seconds to write and thus we waste about 500.000 hours every day writing CAPTCHAs.

To make a long story short. Google decided that they wanted to do something with this otherwise wasteful use of time. As they are working on digitizing all the books in the world, they decided that they should put the two problems together and make them work for each other.

What they do is that they take one word their computer doesn’t understand and they put it in their reCAPTCHA next to a word they know what it reads. They trust that if you know one of the words, then you are a human. They also trust that if enough people guess the other word right, the aggregate should highly likely turn out to be the actual word their computer cannot understand yet. The aggregate helps them translate the second word.

Thus, Google is turning a waste of time into Online Books through a process meant to counter spam. I think it is quite ingenious and way of working that I believe other companies should copy. If you have a problem, try to bundle it with other problems and see if you can make one of them worth the solution of the other.

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January 21, 2010

@MattCutts must Read my blog – Predictions from Matt on 2010

If you recall my post on Google challenges for search in 2010 a couple of weeks back, I mentioned my irritation with real time and personalized search. Matt Cutts gives some answers to my post in this, the latest, YouTube video released on the Google Webmasters channel.

As you all know, that is a big fat lie on my behalf. Although I can see some traffic coming from Google Inc. to my blog, I suppose that is moreover some bot trying to check whether or not my posts on link acquisition are of any concern or not. The post on building links through social media had a whopping 13 visitors from Google Inc. Must be the whole Anti Spam team.. haha.. NOT…

Stop the crap Jesper, let’s just watch the vid… ok?

Either way it is interesting to listen to what Matt has to say in this video. Only 300 has watched it at this time (of writing) and so you can be the first with some unique insights on what Google themselves see as predictions/challenges for 2010.

January 2, 2010

Google AdWords Hick up this Weekend?

As my friend Christian Rudolf notices in his blog post Google PPC-Scams (read through Google Translate as the post is in Swedish) there seems to be a hick up in Google AdWords since a couple of days ago. Google usually doesn’t allow you to buy PPC for gambling related ads. During the holiday break it seems some fortunate PPC producer has had his hands full in exploiting some hole in the AdWords system. I wonder if this works for several markets.

I don’t think Google is in its right mind banning gambling from AdWords even on markets where gambling is a privilege of the government. I look forward to see what has happened as there is some serious htaccess/user agent stuff going on here.

When I click the ads, I get directed to another website than if my friend clicks the ads. The landing page where I end up seems to be auto generated in some way or another. I haven’t seen stuff like this since … I don’t know… a long time 😀

Google and Gambling PPC

For several markets, Google has been very restrictive in allowing you to add gambling related terms such as “poker” or “casino online” or “texas holdem” to your Adwords campaign. Basically you have to have a operator license to be able to work with these types of keywords in your campaigns for selected markets.

Sometimes you can get away with it for a day or two, but you generally get caught quite fast. On the Swedish market, basically Svenska Spel has been the only one allowed to produce AdWords ads for gambling related terms.

The bug now present enables other websites such as affiliates and independent poker operators to advertise through Google.

Now, my main question. Is this a bug or is this a permanent change? Will Google allow this type of advertising from now on?

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