Here is your FREE quarterly issue of SmallBizNews - a
brief and informative Internet Marketing Newsletter offering up to date tips and
trends for effectively marketing your Small Business on the
Internet. To manage your SmallBizNews Newsletters, ask questions
or change your subscription status simply see the
subscription details at the bottom of this email.
Be sure to check out
past issues of SmallBizNews for other Internet Marketing
well. We invite your ideas, comments and suggestions. We changed
our format to a quarterly newsletter in the Spring of
2006 due to time constraints. We hope you will continue to find SmallBizNews
an informative resource for your internet marketing efforts.
Google Lab's "Accessibility"
Accessible Web Search for the Visually Impaired
July, 21, 2006
Big news from Google
again as they revealed their beta search for the visually
impaired named Google Accessible with aims to make their search
offering more user friendly for the visually impaired.
challenged people use screen readers to navigate through the
internet. Screen readers interpret (or try to interpret) the
elements on a web page and then present the information either
through a text-to-speech audio converter or a driving a Braille
display for the user. Google's new Accessible Search service is
formatted to offer the search results best suited for people
relying on screen readers.
In my humble opinion
- this is a great advance in Google's algorithms that will help
the sight impaired find pages that are less cluttered and easier
Dr. T.V. Raman, the
blind research scientist in charge of this new project - built
the service “for purely selfish reasons” after joining Google.
Google is one of the top companies for encouraging employees to
work on independent projects using the resources of the company.
Many of these projects have become part of the mainstream
offerings, such as Google News and Google Local.
The new algorithm examines the code on the pages of sites and
favors pages with fewer visual distractions that will render
well with images turned off.
Search looks at a number of signals by examining the HTML
markup found on a web page. It tends to favor pages that
degrade gracefully – pages with few visual distractions and
pages that are likely to render well with images turned off.
Google Accessible Search is built on Google Co-op’s
technology, which improves search results based on
specialized interests. ...
We take into account several factors, including a given
page’s simplicity, how much visual imagery it carries and
whether or not it’s primary purpose is immediately viable
with keyboard navigation.
What are the implications for Web
Developers and Site Owners?
continue to be the course. Consider the following tips for fewer
animations: Use the "alt" attribute to describe the purpose
and function of each visual element.
Image maps - Use
the client-side map and text for hotspots.
perhaps it would be wise to offer alternatives such as
transcripts for video content.
Links - Use text
that makes sense when read out of context. For example,
avoid the phrase "click here."
and layout - Use headings, lists, and consistent structure.
Graphs & charts -
provide a short description or summary of the data.
& plug-ins - consider providing alternative content in case
active features are inaccessible or unsupported.
Tables - Make
line-by-line reading sensible. Summarize.
Copy - As always,
you should be writing for your target audience and not the
Don't run -
Google's new search
for the visually impaired is leap forward for the visually
impaired and should help searchers find pages that are easier to
The only downside I
can see for the searchers may be the limited results that will
be returned for a given term. For example, if you go to
type "Screen Readers" you will see Google reports 97,700,000
results in 0.12 seconds. If you go to
Google Accessible and type "Screen Readers" - Google
Accessible reports 11,300,000 results in 0.12 seconds - only
about 8% of the main search engine results for relevant pages.
My point in these
cases is that in the time it takes for website owners to adjust
(dare I say - redesign?) their sites to make them more
accessible to the sight impaired - searchers may not get the
best of the best when it comes to relevant sites in the
Just the same, for my
2˘ - Google has made a very wise
decision to increase the user experience for searchers with
visual impairments. Bravo!
Google's "Big Daddy"
This may seem like
'old news' but a recent inquiry from a prospect I'll call
"Slick" (see our Q&A section
below) in Manhattan, NY about Google's "Big Daddy" prompted me
to write about the topic.
Slick asked a baited
question (because he was slick of course), "You've heard of Big
Daddy right?" and I decided to decline the bait and said, "No.
What is it?" To which he responded, "Only the biggest algorithm
update in the history of Google and it's happening right now.
(early July '06)"
You may well remember
Google's Jagger update that had a large number of website
owners and SEO firms running scared - reaction to Google's "Big
Daddy" update was no less remarkable to me.
In December of 2005
Matt Cutts (a Google employee) alluded to a major change in the
form of a new data center for Google on his blog site.
once again, the people screamed,
sky is falling!"
Even after Mr. Cutts
disclosed in January of 2006 that, "...this is new
infrastructure. It should be much more subtle/gentle than an
sky is falling!"
Why? Perhaps it is
because people fear what they don't understand. Or, perhaps
people fear because they do understand - meaning
some web site owners and SEO firms were employing tactics that
were less than desirable - a.k.a. "Black Hat" optimization
I did understand and
yet I was unafraid - nor were my clients. It pays to play by the
Don't run - Respond.
The name, "Big Daddy" itself may have struck fear into the
hearts of those who ran screaming into the night. But the story
behind the name should have quelled rumors that the end was
Brett Tabke et al at WebMasterWorld forums have been credited
with naming some of Google's more famous updates. But Matt Cutts
shared that it was a webmaster named "Jeff M" at PubCon that
actually suggested the name over lunch because that's what his
children call him - more a term of endearment than the stuff
that nightmares are made of.
Which way did you react when you heard the news? Did you run? Or
did you respond?
My wife, our two sons and myself are all volunteer firefighters.
When others are fleeing from an emergency scene - we are moving
as quickly as possible into the emergency scene - during that
process our 911 dispatch center shows our status as
Is there adrenaline? You bet. But even in the midst of the chaos
- our response is both calculated and coordinated and we rely on
our training and our fellow firefighters to get the job
done. We work together, as a team, to effect the best possible
outcome for each unique scenario.
Let me encourage you, as website owners, to do the same... Don't
run - respond. If your web developer and SEO guru have the
proper training and good coordination skills - as a team, you
will respond to the situation and not have to run.
Using Only Approved White Hat Tactics
as I write this article Google is applying new PageRank
measurements to millions of web sites.
can't stress this enough - the same rule we used above
applies - Don't run - Respond. This is not the first
algorithm adjustment in the history of Google nor will it be
Google is currently updating the way they will measure
PageRank and they way it will be displayed on Google's
toolbar. As with Jagger and Big Daddy each subsequent update
that Google performs causes quite a stir among the 'SEO's,
website owners and webmasters in general as they clamor to
get their websites at the top of the Google Rankings.
PageRank is basically a numeric score between 1 through 10
(10 being the highest) as to Google's “value” of your site
in comparison to other websites on the Internet.
PageRank is essentially based on two determining criteria
The number of inbound links you have pointing to any
webpage on your website (PageRank can vary from page to
The "value" of the links pointing to your website.
manner in which Google determines the "value" of your
inbound links is a topic of great debate. And, while
that debate goes on it is a bit challenging to discern the
facts on how the value is calculated. Based on the my
professional experience and the best information available
from the forums I belong to and Google itself - I can say
that the Relevance AND Reputation of the page and/or site
linking to you is used in the determination of the page's
Remember, "Link Farms" and arbitrary "link swapping" can
actually have a negative impact on your PageRank.
In summary, those of us that have been around for a while
understand that PageRank fluctuates for essentially two
1. Google updated their algorithm
2. Links from external relevant/reputable sites
I've shared with you repeatedly that quality content is
king and this applies to your PageRank as well. If the
information on your site is deemed worthwhile - more
reputable sites that desire to link to relevant
content will desire to link to the content on your website.
And that's a measurable response!
If you are interested in more information on Google PageRank
you can see what Google has to say on the topic here:
If you wish to see how many sites/pages are pointing to your
site according to Google you can go to
www.Google.com and type
“link:http://www.yourdomain.com” (don’t forget the http://)
It is also important to note that Google may not show the
actual number of pages pointing to your site (and the debate
continues) but you can also type the same string into Yahoo!
and MSN to learn how many inbound links they are reporting.
Effective copy writing is the first step to
promoting your web site in your internet marketing
We have recognized an increasing trend in search engine
behavior that will one day change the way web pages are
written and developed. Pages that used to rely heavily on
keywords and metatags to lure traffic will soon become a
thing of the past.
Trust me on this one as I go on the record to say that soon,
the search engines will look at and
review the written copy of the page to determine the page
relevance and value to the search query.
When this happens - Effective SEO will become what we have
been encouraging since day one. Always write for your
clients first - Content is Crucial and Content is King.
The Kelsey research group published these statistics and
of households use the Internet as an information source when
Approximately 45% of local searches had a buying intent.
percentage of respondents who used yellow page directories
decreased from 75% to 62%. (If you have a yellow page ad, it
is time to consider buying a smaller ad and shifting your
marketing dollars to the Internet.)
local business owners you need to take action now. You need
to keep your existing customers, and gain new customers, so
you need to be found where they are searching. Local Search
Marketing is where your future clients and customers will
So where do you start?
Well, go back to the first paragraph of this article and
you'll notice that Local Searches are now over two years
old. It is still free to modify your listings with:
These complimentary features of local search and a little
initiative on your part and you'll be well on your way.
Write for Your Prospective
BusinessLaw.gov has been incorporated into Business.gov.
Before launching your business, be sure to check on specific
laws and regulations in your area.
A wealth of FREE information, regulations and forms for
Small Business Owners every where.
Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource.
"You've heard of Big Daddy right?" Slick - A
real Slick talker -
Manhattan, New York
Nope. And we've
never heard of SEO either.
Here's your sign!
All the best,
Disclaimer: Sorry folks - I caved into
my flesh when it came to dealing with "Slick" and I fired
him as a potential middleman for clients requiring organic
I won't work with "slick" people.
I have a fiduciary responsibility to
my clients and I take their trust in me and my work very
My associates - the people I work with
to bring my clients the best possible return on investment
for their internet marketing dollar are real people
with a real desire for a mutually beneficial
offer two great FREE Whitepapers for you to download and
employ as brainstorming tools. You can get your FREE Web
Site Planner and Getting Started Guide from
DavidWilliams.Biz on our
Free Whitepapers Page
And I would be
remiss if I didn't at least extend you an offer to serve as
both your Web Developer
Firm. If I've already put this much thought
into it - imagine how hard I would work for you if I was
Thanks Again for
(recent articles only - older issues have been removed)
Check out Dave's actual client
case studies to view quantifiable results achieved by David Williams
for his SEO clients.
To ask David Williams
David Williams - Affordable Web Design | Professional Web