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SEO News Roundup for December 24, 2010

December 24th, 2010 | | SEO News Roundup

Are you one of those people who could not function without Excel? I spend most of my day using it to organize and analyze data, so I was excited to find out there are tools that allow you to export Twitter search results to Excel. Ann Smarty of Search Engine Journal has written about three tools you can use to export Twitter data: The Archivist, Searchtastic, and TwapperKeeper. She also provides examples of possible applications for each. With Tweets now showing up in Google search results, it’s time to start using these tools to optimize SEO.

A recent experiment suggests that the page placement change of Google’s “Change Location” tool has likely helped us SEOs out. Dr. Pete wrote an insightful post for the SEOmoz blog about an experiment he conducted to see how well Google’s newly moved tool works. He and three other SEOs, all in different locations across the US, entered in the same four “local” keywords and compared their results. Dr. Pete and his team of researchers did find an oddity with the “Change Location” tool results, however he thinks the tool is a valuable addition for local SEOs.

According to Andy Adams of the YOUmoz blog, there are three things you should do as a local business to capitalize on local search. First, you have to build a client base offline, especially if you are a smaller business. Without this, nobody will search for you (or not as many people) and local SEO will be pointless. Second, you have to optimize and own local search results. Activate a place page on Google, and don’t skimp on the details! Fill everything out—the more info the more legit you will look. And finally, market to your audience type. For instance, for a small-town market, show that you are a family-owned-and-operated business. It sounds simple enough, but many businesses overlook these steps and miss out on a lot of potential business.

The only thing anyone knows for sure about search engine ranking is that it’s important. Yet there are some useful speculations out there, including Randfish’s post on SEOMoz. This list of potential ranking factors puts a nice spin on familiar ranking topics, such as Nofolllow links and domain name mentions, while also bringing out new ideas such as rich media influences, mobile visits and Gmail references. And best of all, this article has already prompted a lengthy discussion with bonus tips, stories and hypotheses by the SEM community.

Abby is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.

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