This weekend was the start of the 175th Oktoberfest (www.oktoberfest.de). It all starts at 12pm with the above 3 words which mean “It’s tapped” cried by Lord Mayor of Munich Christian Ude when he opens the first keg of beer. The Oktoberfest is one of the biggest parties in the world, run over 16 days. The buzz in Munich is great around this time and it reminds me why I love this place. The Oktoberfest attracts many famous people, even Wall-e made an appearance !
This is me getting ready for the Maß holding content (which I lost).
As you can see my holding technique let me down. In the end I was beaten by a girl. But I did numb the pain with a few more beers.
So it looks like there won’t be as much “work” done in the next 2 weeks here in Munich.
A question that pops up every now and again from people is “what’s the best way to get my new indexed in the search engines?“. There is no magic formula, no snake oil or special product necessary. All you need to do is take at least 1 of the steps highlighted below.
- Get a good inbound link into your site. Use your existing sites (if you have one) or beg, borrow or ask a friend. If you are nice maybe I would help you out. Remember search engines won’t find your site easily if it’s not linked. They need way of discovering your website. Thankfully there is a 2nd way, where you can tell them directly that you have a new site (see next option).
- Take advantage of the the Free FluffyLinkUlator, which has details about the submission pages for the search engines (google & yahoo!) and for DMOZ.org (a respected directory).
submit to the search engines
And for people thinking of paying someone a few hundred €’s for links from directories, don’t bother. For a fraction of the price you can submit to thousands of them yourself with Louie’s Directory Submission Service. Personally I am not the greatest fan of investing silly amounts of time generating these types of links, due to the limited benefit they bring. But for a new website, it can be an easy way to start to get some inbound links, and start to receive some traffic.
Once you have done this, and your site is appearing on Google/Yahoo ! it’s time to organise a sitemap, get access to their webmaster consoles to see check your site’s status. More on that anothertime !
One of the latest tools from Yahoo!’s Developer Network (YDN) is SearchMonkey. Basically it’s a way where you can write some code that will ‘optimise‘ how the SERPS are displayed. Things that can be done for example is say you are searching and a Wikipedia result comes out, you link directly to the citings at the end of the page (which are normally better than the article in the first place). Monkeys can work with RDF, microformats and XLST, to extrapolate extra info from the page.
Currently the process runs something like this::
- You create a Monkey, and release it into the wild.
- A Yahoo! visitor(when logged in) can add your monkey.
- When the user searches, your Monkeys attributes will be seemlessly be passed and displayed in the search.
Currently there are monkeys to enhance when you search IMDB, StumbleUpon, Facebook, etc in the gallery. So these extra features will only be shown once a result is returned for the domain you have targeted your monkey to (and the user has installed you App). From the SEO perspective this could be something where you can bump up a clients CTR by catching the attention of the user that little bit better.
SearchMonkey seems to offer many great ways to improve how search results are displayed. One good application could be for larger corporations who know their staff sometimes need to search their public internet webpage differently to a normal visitor.
Right now each new application is checked by the Yahoo! team, so things like affiliate links will probably not make it into the gallery, but of course you are free to do some yourself and share from there. Yahoo probably won’t install your monkey as a default monkey, but in the future you will be able to use the SearchMonkeys with BOSS. BOSS (Build your Own Search Service) basically is an API where you can create your own ‘version’ of search results. So it will be possible to make your own version of Yahoo search, and then enhance it to look nicer and possibly pulling in 3rd party data and adding that to the result. (fingers crossed for a BOSS event in Munich soon)
Last night in Munich there was a presentation about SearchMonkey given by Neil Crosby from Yahoo!. Which brought us through some of the steps to creating the Monkeys. In fact I was pleasantly surprised how Neil, backed up by Guy Hepworth & Chris Heilmann, were really open about answering my many questions about what a Monkey can and can’t do.
Also it was great to meet some of the nice German wed devs / SEOs like : Thomas / Uwe (thanks for finding me when I was lost) / Christian .