2012
08.17

With Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, you are less likely to get good rankings by using search engine trickery or highly optimized methodologies. Google has changed it’s algorithms to focus on social engagement, and as always, good unique content is always preferred. Panda launched in February or 2011 and is used to enforce “best practices” when optimizing your site for searchability. Penguin launched last April, and it’s aim was to penalize websites using black hat search engine optimization techniques. This update also emphasizes the importance of quality content. A company or brand can’t rely on having just a well-optimized site anymore to rank highly on Google. Marketers should focus more on how the website appeals to people, and their experiences on the site. Smart brands are now beginning to realize they need to leverage social media outlets to engage users in dynamic conversations, and use these outlets to gain a social presence on the web.

2010
12.15

Simply, a 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one web address, or URL to the other. Basically, if your previous website was “www.MyCoolSite.com” and you wanted to change it to “www.AMuchCoolerSite.com”, or you want to change some page names, you would implement a 301 redirect from the old address to the new one. Now whoever types in your old URL, or clicked on a link from an indexed page through a search,  they would be re-directed to the new URL.

Here’s something that may surprise you. Did you know that “www.MyCoolsite.com” and “MyCoolsite.com” are NOT the same address. One contains the “www” and one does not. These are considered 2 different URL’s and you won’t get credit for all the SEO you’ve been doing for both. Also inbound links pointing to “www.MyCoolsite.com” may not give you the same weight if some are also pointing to “MyCoolsite.com” and vice versa. With the 301 redirect applied correctly, your address will always go to “MyCoolsite.com” no matter if the user types in the “www’s” or not.

2010
08.28

1. Keyword Optimized Anchor Text. Anchor Text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. In modern browsers, it is usually blue and underlined.

2. External Link Popularity. These are hyperlinks that point at (target) any domain other than the domain the link exists on (source). Make sure the websites that you link to are 100% relevant to your business and industry

3. H1 Titles. Optimizing your titles with keywords.

4. Good Content. Make sure you have text on all your important pages, then make sure it is good text consisting of your targeted keywords spread throughout naturally.

5. Trust: Do you at least have a mailing address listed on your website? You should if you don’t. Google likes to see trust factors on websites so anything you can add that could help build trust for your audience will benefit your rankings.

2010
05.28

A missed opportunity for us video pros?
The iPad is a great device, we’ll probably have them around the studio at some point. I typically wait for the second generation when buying new technology. One thing I would like from an iPad is the ability to use it as an external monitor for my video camera in the field. It’s size and resolution are ideal for this application, but as of right now, the iPad does not support a/v inputs. On average, a professional lcd monitor would cost about the same, but with the iPad you get additional computing power, making it a fantastic device to bring to any shoot.

2010
02.10

Google, of course, is the web-search alpha dog. But all the others, including Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, and Lycos are seeking out the same stuff.

What gets their attention? Good, fresh, focused content. Adding a blog, like this one, is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to bulk up on content. If you sell photography equipment, for example, start a blog that explores all aspects of photography, product reviews, product tutorials, lighting, support systems, expert advice and so on. Over time, your site will accrue searchable weight.

The trick is to be conscious of your keywords. For example, if you want web surfers to stumble on your site to find info about Apple’s photo enhancing software “Aperture 3″, you must organically work the exact phrase Aperture 3 into each blog post (maybe multiple times), and use it on all static pages related to Aperture 3. Repeat with every term and phrase you want to rank for.

Before you start writing content, though, research and plan your keyword attack. Is geography important to finding your customers? Then maybe “Connecticut Photography Equipment” is the phrase you want to home in on.

(Excerpts taken from an article by Erin Weinger, Entrepreneur Magazine)

2010
02.06
Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques designed to take a website to the top of a search can be the make-or-break factor for many new businesses.
It is also the web’s unfolding, and unregulated frontier. There are countless SEO strategists, consultants and self-professed experts who will claim they can zap your site to Google’s top 10 search results, for a price of course. Consultants commonly charge upward of $200 an hour, and most will pressure you to sign a contract that keeps them on retainer for months. Unscrupulous SEO firms not only make promises they can’t keep, the worst of them also use shady practices that might produce no traffic, deliver the wrong traffic or even get you banned from Google.
“The SEO business is 80 percent scam,” says Peter Kent, an internet marketing strategist and author of Search Engine Optimization for Dummies. “It’s very, very difficult to find a good firm.”
For the startup owner who isn’t well versed in webspeak, hiring an SEO consultant is one of the more vulnerable moments in launching a new business. So before shelling out thousands of dollars, it’s essential to understand what they do, when you need one (and when you don’t), how much you should pay, what you should you expect–and when you should fire them. Stay tuned for more.
(Excerpts taken from an article by Erin Weinger, Entrepreneur Magazine)
2009
12.23

Users tend to scan webpages rather than taking the time to read everything. Use short sentences, bullet points and bold text to highlight key points. Images grab attention as well. Tracking data on my own website shows users tend to click on images with links more than links that are just text. And remember, when you have a long page where users need to scroll to get more info, use good design to lead them to the content.

2009
12.21

Downloads were taking forever. I though it was because my router was about 150 feet away from my computer. But on further investigation, I came to the conclusion that the distance was only part of the reason why the internet connection was lagging. The answer came to me when I compared the aluminum Macbook Pro to the plastic encased MacBook. The MacBook Pro was not getting a good signal, but the MacBook was? If distance was an issue, why could one computer get a strong signal and the other get such a weak one?  It turns out that the aluminum body of the MacBook Pro was interfering with the already diluted wireless signal. That’s why the plastic MacBook didn’t have any connection problems. The solution: I purchased an external usb antenna from newertechnology, called MaxPower. Only $40 from MacSales. It basically replaces the internal airport card, far from any interference from the aluminum casing. You can position the antenna for the best reception, which visually changes in a display with the included wireless utility software. I did some internet speed tests and the results were amazing. Over 5x better reception! If you have an aluminum MacBook Pro, and are getting a poor signal, you really can’t beat this device.

2009
12.13

Many are unfamiliar with the variety of ways you can use Google to search for what you’re looking for. Here are a some advanced ways you can use Google.

  • Website Specific Search – by including a site’s URL, content can be searched within a specific site. Ex: (“video” site:www.treasuredmomentsvideo.com)
  • Area Code Lookup – Enter an area code, and Google will list the area for that code
  • Word Definitions – Need to look up a word or phrase? Try using define: (define:videography)
  • Calculator – Another useful tip, try searching a mathematical expression (100*2/4)

There are many more ways you can use Google’s search capabilities. I hope these will help.

2009
12.11

Here at Evolved Studio we do most of our computing on MacBook Pro’s. It’s a power house fast enough to replace traditional desktop workstations, and it provides flexibility to take our work with us when traveling to a production location. It also becomes an external monitor  and portable disc recorder when Adobe’s On Location running, as mentioned in the previous post. However, I’ve kept mine plugged in most of the time. I’m not good at checking the battery levels throughout the day. A year has gone by, and now my laptop just shuts down after a few minutes of use when it’s not plugged in. It turns out it’s a good idea to routinely “exercise” your battery, draining & charging it, so that this doesn’t happen to you. Hopefully I can get my battery back into shape.