SoFla Web Studio Blog

AdWords not working.... Even for Google.

If Adwords has not worked for you, don't fret, you are not alone. Apparently not even Google can promote enough business through Adwords to salvage certain projects.

Google announced today that they will no longer be supporting real estate listings on their Google maps. Google states the reasons for this are:

In part due to low usage, the proliferation of excellent property-search tools on real estate websites, and the infrastructure challenge posed by the impending retirement of the Google Base API (used by listing providers to submit listings), we’ve decided to discontinue the real estate feature within Google Maps on February 10, 2011.

They are excited about the way their services have been used but feel that the industry overall can be better served with a different feature set.

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Google uses social signals and links in ranking algorithm

It is official, Google has confirmed what was suspected for sometime now; Links from social networks like Facebook and Twitter do act as one of the many signals used in ranking pages within their search engine.

A recent video over at Google Webmaster Central Channel shows Matt Cutts from Google explaining the reason for using these social signals and why it is import to the relevance of a webpage.

A post over at Search Engine Land explains how the new authoritative tools that can rank a twitter profile, for example can be used to create a value of a link from one twitter account vs. a link from another. This means that social links will most likely play a larger role in the future of SEO

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Google Making Changes to AdWords Agency Support

Google AdWords sent out emails to select agency customers explaining that a change will be happening to their AdWords service and support. The email detailed an “Enhanced Agency Service Model” which will be happening, effective January 1, 2010.

Google will restructuring their AdWords support for agencies. Some agencies will be losing their dedicated representatives. And for those not losing their dedicated reps, the communication with the managers will be changing.

We have read that possible scenarios may be; An agency may have a dedicated agency lead and specific accounts within those organizations will have dedicated account management teams, who will be able to offer specific industry expertise. Another set of agencies will not have an assigned agency team per se, but will still be able to receive support via phone.

Sounds to me like additional scaling based on budget. Seeing how hard it is already to come by any real form of support from AdWords already (unless you have the budgets to justify it), this may just be another measure to save $$$.

We had heard rumors that agency support may be farmed out to India. However Google did not specify where this support will come from. Maybe the first level support will come from India and additional levels would be from US offices?

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10 Link Building tips for Blogs

SEOmoz rogerbot Link building tips for bloggersOK, so it is actually 14 (ten just sounds so nice).

Actually, our friends over at SEOmoz have complied a list of tips for link building for personal bloggers. These guys know their stuff and I strongly recommend their SEO tools for anyone seriously considering working in the wonderful world of SEO. This applies to in-house SEO or as an agency or consultant.

On with the list then.

I am going to give all 14 points here, if you would like a more elaborate definition, Rand has done a fine job on his website to clarify and answer most any concern you may have on any of these. As is usual with SEO, this list is informative yet the work can be very labor intensive. Be forewarned... Bloggin aint easy!

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A Brief Presentation on Drupal Install Profiles

I recently gave a presentation about "Install Profiles" in Drupal 6 and 7 at the monthly Broward County, FL Drupal Users Group. Here at SoFla Web Studio, we use Install Profiles along with Drush Make to assist in speeding up development times, and also to automate as many repeatable steps as we can. This allows us to focus the majority of our time on the custom work that each website requires.

There are quite a few steps that need to be repeated for a base Drupal install that can be easily automated with the use of Install Profiles, however most people do not bother to create their own. Install Profiles are actually realatively simple to make. My presentation is an introduction into the anatomy of a Drupal Install Profile, the differences between Drupal 6 and Drupal 7, and a few basic code examples to get you started.

The presentation does not have any audio right now, however, once that's released, I'll post a link. We had a healthy discussion during the meeting and most of it is captured in the audio. To summarize Install Profiles versus Features it is best stated that Features works better for defined tasks and sections, while Install Profiles are great for general configuration that can be accomplished during an installation of Drupal. Such configurations include; creating input formats, creating an administrator role, and setting a default admin theme.

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