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Ah September. The month of Labor Day, delicious pumpkin-flavored things (lattes, ice cream and beer) and pre-season NHL hockey. All great things!

Let’s get into September news in the world of search engine optimization:

Google Owned 64.8% of Search Queries Conducted in the US in August 2011

http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2011/5939/search-rankings-google-grabs-648-in-august

Google’s search engine share continues to slide ever so slightly downward, as they grabbed 64.8% of search queries conducted in the U.S. in August 2011. Yahoo was second with 16.3% and Bing was third with 14.7%. This percentage iterates the point that we make with our clients that while Google has the highest share of users, don’t forget about the audience on Yahoo & Bing (31%).

Successful SEO Tactics: Off-Site Optimization

http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2107974/Successful-SEO-Tactics-Off-Site-Optimization

This was a great post by Ryan Woolley in which he detailed strategies that surround link building. My main takeaway (and one that I actually referenced in the SEMpdx Hot Seat event I was a part of on September 13th) – anchor text rule of thumb:

  • 50 percent containing the exact match keyword you’re trying to get a ranking for
  • 30 to 40 percent containing the keyword derivatives for the keyword you’re trying to get a ranking for
  • 10 to 20 percent containing brand term or URL of website

We’ve seen this kind of anchor text formula shake out with success as well.

Bing Opens Up About organic Ranking Factors

http://www.amplify-interactive.com/blog/seo/bing-opens-up-about-organic-ranking-factors/

This was a piece I covered on September 8th on this very blog! Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager for Bing’s Webmaster Program, opened up a bit about what Bing is placing importance on when it comes to organic rankings on their search engine. His ranking of priorities a publisher should look at when it comes to ranking better in Bing:

  1. Content
  2. Social media
  3. Links

We search marketers know Bing & Facebook have worked together more-so than other search engines… but what Duane is hinting at is that a page’s social media engagement might have more weight on where it ranks in Bing. Very interesting.

Google Buys Zagat

http://searchengineland.com/google-buys-zagat-ratings-rocks-local-92190

This is an important news item because Zagat has historically been a player in the local space for quite some time. This shows that Google is all about trying to continue to improve their local service and nabbing Zagat should really help.

10 Ugly SEO Tools That Rock

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/seo-tools-that-rock

Cyrus Shepard, SEO & Web Strategist at SEOmoz (and also did a great job emceeing MozCon), highlighted 10 ugly SEO tools that, while unattractive and ugly, actually really do a great job. You all should give Xenu’s Link Sleuth a shot; I remember using that tool many years ago and while it certainly wasn’t pretty (nor is the actual product page), it did give you a wealth of information.

My own personal Christian reads…

Since I’m getting closer to the birth of my first child, I’m headlong into study material for some birthing classes my wife and I are taking. I’m also watching Game of Thrones, so I’m tempted to read the book… but I haven’t started yet. Do any of you have recommendations on something I should read?

What did I miss?

I only covered five great news stories / resources for the month but there were plenty others. What did I miss in this list? Make sure to let me and the readers of this blog know in the comments! And as always, if you are seeking guidance or help with your SEO efforts, Amplify has search engine marketing services that can help from performing a one-time audit and producing recommendations or becoming a part of your overall marketing team in an ongoing arrangement. Contact us if you are interested or perhaps read one of our whitepapers to learn more about how we do what we do.

About Christian Bullock

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