Preparing for Google caffeine

Yield Software · February 12, 2010 · Short URL:

Seven steps to get your Web site caffeinated

cup of caffeineIn 2010, Google’s search results are becoming more focused on results that are fast, fresh and visual.   Now is your chance to get your Website ready to make sure you are part of Google’s first page crowd in 2010.

1) Are You Fast?

Google is going to judge you based on how fast your web pages load.  You should aim to have your page load in 3 seconds or less.

If you are clocking in at over 3 seconds you might try some of the following techniques (which your web master or website designer can help you with):  use CSS; limit the amount of Flash on the site; use image heights and widths; check for broken links; compress your JavaScript and CSS; cut back on cookies; review server or hosting provider performance; and remove unnecessary images and links.

2) Are You Fresh?

Static is just not cool anymore – no matter how many people like your site.  Demand for fresh and new content is on the rise.  Make sure your content is updated very frequently and is keeping up with the times.  Incorporate a news feed and a blog.  Not sure what to blog about?  Subscribe to industry newsletters or blogs.  Similarly, sign up for Google Alerts, or check out Yahoo Answers to get the ideas flowing.

3) Are You Photogenic?

With Caffeine comes a stronger blend of more visually appealing results.  Images are going to have a front row seat so make good use of images on your website.  Don’t go overboard here, but just enough to help get your message across to visitors.  Be sure to optimize your images for SEO by using the following techniques:

a.  Make sure your alt attribute, description and surrounding text include blends of your keywords

b.  Have your file name include your keywords; make sure keywords are separated by hyphens

c.  Use image header titles – H2s or H3s with your keywords

d.  Add an images sitemap

e.  Make sure your incoming link anchor text is relevant to keywords

4) Are You Ready for the Oscars?

Caffeine’s blended results won’t just stop at images – think video!  Engage and communicate with visitors using embedded video on your website.  Make sure your video is engaging and short so it’s easily digestible.  After you add your video, you’ll need to optimize your video for SEO:

a.  Host the video on your site rather than YouTube or other 3rd party sites

b.  Submit the video to Google using xml tools (in addition to submitting your page)

c.  Make sure your title and tags include blends your keywords.

d.  Make sure the video file name includes keywords separated by hyphen only

e.  Makes sure the surrounding text includes your keywords – think transcription highlights

f.  Add a video sitemap

g.  Ensure inbound link anchor text is relevant to keywords

5) Are You Social?

Google’s 2010 results also blend in real-time results from social networks, so it’s important to make sure you have an active and popular presence in those spots.   If you haven’t already – create a Facebook page and Twitter account for your business and get active!

a.  Make sure your social profiles here are optimized with the same keyword focus as your website

b.  Be active in the communities with frequent, relevant posts

c.  Become popular in the communities – getting lots of fans and followers from the popular people of your space

d.  Go easy on the hashtags in your Tweets

6) Are You Local?

Looks like the local results are about to get even bigger.  If you don’t already have a local business center account – get one right now.  And if you are on local – make sure to optimize your listing.

a.  Complete your profile – optimize it for your top target keywords, include blends of your keywords in categories and descriptions – but don’t include too much stuff that you dilute your true focus

b.  Make sure your local geographic areas served are clearly included on your website

c.  Make sure your website is registered to the correct address

d.  Get links from local press and have inbound link anchor text that includes your geo-target

e.  Include photo and video content

f.  Get your customers and partners to post positive reviews for your business

g.  Monitor your reputation and address negative reviews

7) Do you Leave a Trail?

Instead of that single URL, Google is now displaying breadcrumbs in the search results – giving your display a chance to be much easier to digest and providing multiple links for searchers to click on so they can easily get to the best spot on your website.  For instance: > Product Line > Product Name

If you think your SERP listing would be better served with this display, you’ll need to make sure your website has clear breadcrumb navigation.

Are you ready to start?  We recommend that your website be in good shape first before you caffeinate it.  So, before you start, make sure you’ve got the basics covered –  for instance, your page is attractive and user-friendly, or your existing page title, tags, descriptions, content and inbound links are relevant to the keywords you are focusing on.  Once you’ve got your basics covered, begin your push to a fast, fresh and visual website and we’ll see you on page one in 2010.

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