Recent Court Ruling Could Impact Search Strategies

Yesterday in Paris, a court tribunal ordered EBay to pay Louis Vuitton over $310,000 in legal costs and damages for using search terms that “misled consumers,” by driving consumers to the EBay website. The court also supported Louis Vuitton’s claim that EBay’s actions damaged the Louis Vuitton brand.

What I find most interesting about this case is that the terms EBay were bidding on were not “Louis Vuitton.” In fact, EBay bid on misspellings of the brand’s name; Specifically, EBay bid on the words, “Viton,” “Vitton,” and, “Wuiton.”

While I don’t condone online drafting of a brand’s competitors by using the competing companies’ names as a search terms, I am not 100% comfortable with this court decision. Where does one draw the line? What happened to Caveat Emptor? I am REALLY interested in hearing how others feel about this.

Please voice your opinions!

-@ajgerritson

5 Easy Things you can do to Increase your Online Visibility Today

Making your website friendly to search engines is absolutely critical to improving your website’s online visibility. By increasing your natural rankings in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Bing you will increase the visibility of your website, while simultaneously increasing the quality of your web traffic. Natural rankings are the results search engines generate by using their various algorithms, without taking into account any paid search (PPC) efforts.

seo

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best marketing techniques when it comes to increasing the online visibility of a website, and is critical to any company that wants their website to be seen and found by their target audience. The actual process of optimizing a website is long and involved, but here are 5 quick and easy ways to start improving your online visibility today:

Use strategic keywords to find your audience – This is easily the most important step in any SEO campaign. When someone wants to find something they will search for it in Google, or another search engine, by using keywords to describe what they are looking for. You will want to pick strategic and relevant keywords for every page on your site that describe what your services are all about and how they provide solutions to your clients challenges. But that’s not it; you need to make sure that the keywords or phrases you select are words that your target audience will actually search for. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What are their needs, challenges and pain points? What specific terms would they search for to help them find solutions. You can even ask your neighbors, co-workers and friends what they would search for too; you’ll be surprised what they will come up with!

Use your title tags – I constantly come across websites that are not using their title tags to their advantage. Title tags are what appear in the title bar of your browser, and are one of the many pieces of data that search engines scroll when determining what the content on the page is all about. Use the strategic keywords you selected and give each page a unique title. Try to limit your titles to only include one or two key phrases to avoid keyword saturation.

Don’t forget about your Meta information – Every page on a website should be treated individually and should have it’s own unique description and Meta tags. Write a sentence or two that best captures the content of that page, and try to include your keyword in it. Try to limit your descriptions to 180 characters or less— the shorter the better!

Quality Content – Ensure that constant generation of fresh, interesting and relevant content one of your top priorities. Get your keywords into your content wherever and whenever it makes sense. The key here is to keep your user experience in mind; do not flood your content with keywords that do not fit logically. This looks messy, confusing and lends to a very poor user experience on your website. Your user is always your top priority, so only use keywords in your content that make sense.

Links, links, links…and more links – This is one I can not stress enough. Think of a link as a vote of confidence or quality that search engines use to determine the relevance, and therefore page rank, of a page on your website. The more votes, the higher the rank. Good places for links are article and news sharing sites, directories, and other similar sites. Links are critical to the success of building your online visibility, you can never have enough!

Anything else to add? Have some great success stories? Share your comments here!

-Louisa Plank