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CaffeineMatt Cutts announced on 10 November 2009 that full Caffeine update will roll out after the holidays. If you read between the lines in his blog post, you would suspect that Caffeine has already been rolled out in stages!

Does that means we will get drastically Google search results soon?

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Still not convinced that ranking is not everything? At PubCon 2008, Bruce Clay made a claim that “ranking is dead.” And Matt Cutts said ranking is not as important as it used to be.

Cutts said, “I’m not sure I would say ranking is dead but it’s not as important as it used to be. The fact is the smart SEOs are not just necessarily looking at the rankings. They are looking at conversion, they are looking at their server log. It’s great if you’re ranking for a phrase but unless that leads to sales that doesn’t help you very much.”

“The challenge is not to pay so much attention to ranking, pay attention to traffic, pay attention to conversions and keep building good content and don’t worry about ‘can I show people that I rank number one for my trophy phrase.'”

Ranking is Dead

Ranking is dead… because of personalization and intent-based search. Spiders are getting smarter. Now, you may want to have video and Flash on your web page.

Smart SEO is more than just ranking and traffic; it’s about your customers and conversion!

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The title of the article should be “Keyword Case Study: Online Flower Delivery in Singapore” but I think that would be too long for a blog post title. This article is about keyword selection and fast ranking for longer keyphrase. Yes, I got a 2nd page, #17 listing for online flower delivery in singapore in about 3 hours!

Online Flower Delivery Singapore ranked #17

Flowers and florists are very competitive terms for both organic and paid listing. So I want to use a longer keyphrase that is related to both flower and florist.

Why not Flower, Flower Shop, Florist or Online Florist?

Longer keyphrases are easier to SEO and rank in the first 2 pages of the search engine result listing. Main reason being there are lesser competitions. Most site owners will target the very competitive one-word terms and two-word phrases such as flowers, florist, flower shop, online florist and so on.

Also people who entered longer keyphrases tend to be in the advanced stage of the buying cycle so the chance of her/him making a purchase is higher.

In the case study: Online Flower Delivery in Singapore, I wrote that according to OneUpWeb.com keyword study in 2005, 3-word and 4-word terms were more profitable. Owners of new site will have faster result when targeting such longer keyphrases.

Update [16 Nov 2008]: The blog post title “Online Flower Delivery in Singapore” is now ranked #6 in the 1st page of Google search result for the search terms online flower delivery in singapore and #9 for online flower delivery singapore.

#6 google online flower delivery in singapore

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VPS hosting in Singapore is definitely not cheap when compared to similar US-based plans. From my recent research, Singapore VPS hosting costed at least twice as much as the high-end VPS hosting offered by Servint.net and WiredTree – both of which are highly recommended in WebHostingTalk.com forum.

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I was invited to speak at the inaugural SMX Singapore on 13 & 14 October 2008 at Suntec City. Frankly, I didn’t know what to expect. I was told majority of the audience were SEM 101 and my presentation was to talk about the fundamentals of Copywriting for Search Engines.

SMX Singapore

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Why did Wordtracker.com, a Google PageRank PR7 website, use CSS to hide text such as: Primary navigation, Help navigation and Secondary navigation? And why Google did not penalize such untrustworthy act?

Free Keyword Tool - Wordtracker

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I received several email responses to the previous post on Google Apps – Free Business Email Hosting. Some readers were wondering how to know if their e-commerce site is fast enough. Here, I will outline a simple method to benchmark the performance of your web server.

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Free Google email hosting may seem to have little to do with SEO. However, what I am going to share with you is more than SEO, it will help improve your website performance.

We are not only talking about optimizing your website for search engine robots; we are talking about making better for real human visitors – your potential customers.

For the technically inclined, you will understand that the mail server is taking up valuable resources on the machine which you also use to serve Web pages. Such sharing of CPU resources may slow down your website performance.

Website Optimization

Dynamic website using content management systems and blogs will suffer in terms of performance, i.e. how quickly the page is displayed on your visitors’ computer.

Now let say you stop using the mail servers and dedicate all the computing power to your CMS and blogs, then their performance will definitely improve.

Likewise, if you are running a busy e-commerce website with shopping-cart then you definitely want to use all the computing power for a smooth check-out process and give the best customer’s experience.

Stop using your Web server for email hosting, instead use Google Apps for all your business email accounts.

Google Apps Email Features

Google AppsThe biggest advantage is the SPAM and virus filtering.

Can you imagine those emails with virus infected attachment sitting next to your gorgeous Web pages!?

Even with anti-virus software installed, the mail server which comes with your Web hosting account cannot compare to the level of security and the computing which Google can offer.

If you are interested to know more about the fantastic features which Google hosted email for business can offer, visit

http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/security/index.html

And Google gives you 100 free email accounts with 6GB of storage each.

POP3/SMTP for Outlook and Outlook Express

You can access your business email using the familiar GMail webmail interface and/or download your email messages to Outlook or Outlook Express.

Your email address will remain the same, i.e.

yourname@yourcompany.com

And not some esoteric mynamenotavailable@gmail.com

However, in order to use the free Google Apps and your own domain name, you need to edit the DNS/MX settings. For those who have an existing Web hosting, you can get your hosting provider to enter the MX records provided by Google.

Set Up A Domain Just for Google Email Account

If you have an idling domain name or thinking of registering a new one just to take advantage of the email service of Google Apps and not to host a website, then you have to make sure your domain registrar also offers DNS hosting or DNS management.

GoDaddy and many other domain registrars do not offer this option because I guess they want you to also buy hosting from them.

Try Name.com, you can use Google Apps with their domains.

Otherwise you’ll need to register for the free DNS management service at ZoneEdit.com

Set Up SPR Record for Your Google Email Addresses

Last point, you will want to set up a SPF record. At your DNS management, add the following TXT record:

“v=spf1 include:aspmx.googlemail.com ~all”

Google Apps  for Business

[Updates] Google stopped offering free email hosting for business on 6 Dec 2012. For more information, please visit http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2855120

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I conducted the SEO Blogging Workshop on 31 May 2008. There were 8 participants, most of them have already attended the SEO Workshop. Here’s a slide show of photos taken at the SEO Blogging Workshop.


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