Periodic table of SEO Ranking factors: 2013 Edition straight from SMX Advanced Seattle

Good morning fellows, I am Siddharth and I am at SMX Advanced Seattle, 2013. I am just going to tell you about one of the sessions covered at SMX Advanced – The Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors: 2013 Edition. The session was moderated by Danny Sullivan and it had people like Matthew Peters from SEOmoz, Jenny Halasz from Archology, Marcus Tober from Searchmetrics and Eric Enge from Stone Temple. It was an excellent session.

One of the things they talk about is how do search engines rank a page. It is actually done in 2 steps. Step 1: the search engine looks for relevance, that is your on page content. At this point the search engine is trying to determine if your web site has the content which supports the keyword query. It is only after the search engine determines that your website satisfies the keyword query that it moves to step 2. In step 2 the search engine looks for authority and this is determined by the quality and quantity of links. How many other websites are linking to you, the quality of those links etc. They also talked about tokenization & normalization (stemming) which is the chopping of the endings to come up with the root word. For example, when someone is searching for reviewing, review, reviews, they all come down to the same root word – review.

Jenny talked about the technical factors. For one of her clients. She says they were able to achieve an 800% increase in client revenue just by doing backend factors. By backhands factors we mean technical factors such as looking for consistence crawl patterns, proper implementation of canonical, cleaning up the code (html, JavaScript etc), duplicate content, page load times etc.

If Google has a problem crawling your site then you can check this in Google Webmaster Tools. You need to look for consistent crawl patterns, increased crawling when you make changes, lower crawling when you are not doing much in terms of updates.

She particularly dislikes duplicate content because it distributes the link value, leads to wasted crawl budget, poor user experience, Google might choose the wrong page to rank and possibly even lead to thin content penalties.

Marcus Tober talked about the web is getting fatter & he shows an interesting image of a really fat human being. By fatter he means there is a lot of garbage that is being filled nn the net and we need to make sure we do not fill the internet with garbage.

He talks about some very interesting research that his firm conducted. The research shows that the anchor text has lost relevance. He says the website must have lots of normal links like “click here”. The other point he mentioned was the correlation of the factors, number of backlinks, 34% of the time are no followed.

Finally he says that Google Plus is becoming very important and website owners must take notice of this point.

Eric does a very interesting experiment where he took a controlled set of web pages and some other web pages and he took a completely new web page which has not been indexed. He then tried different things, imagine this is a completely orphan page, Google has never seen it before. He tried to see what triggers Google to index this page. He did a Facebook like, Google plus like, visited the web page through chrome, added Google analytics code to the web page. All these actions were done separately to see what action causes the web page to be indexed the fastest.

The findings were astonishing, he found if you Google plus a page it will get page indexed the fastest. It took 4 days to get the page indexed v/s even going and submitting a link and trying to get the page indexed it took longer. While with a Facebook like it took about 8 days. So folks now you know one of the most powerful ways to get content discovered quickly is to Google Plus the web page. My own thought to this would be to build a really strong Google Plus profile as I bet that Google would certainly give that some weight.

So that was one of the first sessions from SMX Advanced Seattle, 2013.

Mobile Internet Usage

Forget desktops and laptops, a new wave is sweeping India. According to Mobile statistics available, there will be 130 million mobile phone internet users in India by 2013! This number is expected to breach the 165 million mark by 2015! Here are some more amazing statistics. Some 83% of mobile phone internet users are using it to access their email, 77% to log on to social media sites, while 65% are using it for chatting purposes. About 29% of the users are using it to watch videos, 28% for the news, while 24% use it for gathering cricketing info. All these speak volumes for India on the move.
Some 17% are using it for e ticketing purposes, 16% for e banking, this means that a huge amount of people are realizing the power and convenience of using their mobile phones internet connectivity. The small screen is turning big!
As for expenses, persons who are paying an average Rs. 460 per month on mobile phone bills are paying Rs. 198 for Internet charges. 50% of these users are paying an average internet bill between Rs101 to Rs 500 while 8% are paying up to Rs.1000. These numbers are rising steadily.
In mobile advertising, browser based advertisements grabbed the lions share with 75% of the revenue, while In- Apps advertising gets 20%. These rest 5% came from SMS advertisements.
Mobile Ad spend is also expected to grow at 40%, giving marketers a field day and the economy of India a big boost. Ad spend on mobile internet is supposed to touch Rs 230 crores in 2013. As for Ad revenue, 53% came from classifieds while only 4% came from online ads in 2012. Previously, Mobile ad revenue had jumped from Rs 90 crore in 2011, to Rs 105 crore in 2012 showing an increase of 17%.
Since 2010, searches on the internet from mobile phones have increased four fold already which means online shopping (and offline due to research online) is set to rise phenomenally; giving value for money to mobile ad spends.
The number of active mobile connections in India has already crossed 914 million, and rising steadily. Most new purchasers of connections are already aware of the value of internet connectivity on mobile handsets. This is in league with the fact that Google has shown a 280% growth, year on year, on mobile search on the internet.
Mobile phones are indeed making internet connectivity reach a new high due to their small size and ease of use. And, their numbers are growing at lightning pace!
Feel free to download this infographic. I just ask that you link back to as the source.

Click to enlarge

Embed Code

Internet Usage Statistics of India

I have always found that search for numbers about the Indian digital industry is a hard task. Especially because there are so many different versions (some outdated) and sometimes you need to go to a few different sources to dig out the numbers you are after. As such I thought it would be a good idea to create a simple to understand infographic which could give users a complete snapshot in one place. I have compiled these figures based on a number of digital marketing forums that I have attended and also on the basis of reports I have read about this industry. I will try to update this infographic on a bi-annual basis so that we can use this as a ready reckoner. Feel free to download this infographic. I just ask that you link back to as the source.

Click to enlarge

Embed Code

Click here to see our archived version of the 2012 Internet Usage Statistics in India

Bollywood Movie Magic – Rockstar vs Ra One

Well we keep on doing posts on stuff about SEO, Digital Marketing, Infographics as well as Mobile Optimization. This time we thought of doing our latest infographic on something fun and probably a little off topic.  With Bollywood movies being a big industry (estimated to be USD 4 billion), it’s a hard thing to ignore, right?

Rockstar vs Ra.One

Embed Code

All this got us thinking about comparing two movies to find out which trumps which. We have taken the Ranbir Kapoor starrer Rockstar and compared to Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra One infographic style.  Although we have visually represented some pretty interesting factoids, we have summarized below some interesting tidbits about how similar and how different Rockstar and Ra One really are.

Social and Digital Media

The age of the internet is truly upon us with India pushing 100 million internet users. Seems like bollywood has woken up to this fact and both movies have used social and digital media extensively to promote the films.


  • In terms of “people liking” the Rockstar Fan Page, they have 263,238 fans . Ra.One on the other hand has 350, 420 “people liking” the Fan Page
  • In terms of “people talking” about Rockstar, there are 80,198.
    Ra.One surprisingly falls behind with only 11,783 “people talking” about it
  • In terms of people “Liking” Ranbir Kapoor we have 2,510,555. SRK on the other hand falls behind again surprisingly with only 2,240,707 people “Liking” him.

So who wins this round?

The underdog Rockstar trumps Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One in the Facebook battle walking away with more people talking about the movie as well as Ranbir Kapoor.  Of course we would love to hear what the king Khan would say about that. We think it would still be something on lines of “facebook doesn’t matter, I am King Khan”.


No bollywood movie is complete without a standout music track or some catchy foot tapping songs. In the case of Rockstar, being something of a musical, it featured the popular youth anthem “Saadda Haq” as its main Rocking song composed by the maestro A.R. Rehman.  Ra.One however, went the way of “Chammak Challo” sung by international singer Akon and composed by the duo Vishal & Shekhar.

So who wins this round?
Well, it seems like King Khan Sweeps this round pretty comprehensively with “Chammak Challo” getting 4,379,907 views as opposed to “Saadda Haq” managing only 1,402,378 views.  We think that Kareena Kapoor’s sizzling dance and Akon’s powerful singing was the secret weapon.

Budget & Collection

This is important because a movie should make money too, right?  The Rockstar movie was made on a budget of 60 crore and managed to recover its making cost within just 2 weeks collecting 63.50 crore. Ra.One was made at a colossal budget of 135 crores and in a run of more than 4 weeks at the box office, collected 200 crores.

So who wins this round?
It’s hard to compare Rockstar Vs Ra.One in this segment since the time periods are unequal.. However, assuming that Rockstar continues to pull-in business at the same rate, after 4 weeks it should have about 112 crores of box office collections.  That would still fall short of Ra.One in terms of revenue, so Ra.One clinches this round as well.

Fun Facts about Rockstar (Things you didn’t know)

  • Rockstar had the second largest opening after Sallu starrer “Ready” with first day collections of US$ 2.03 million.
  • Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Bangalore contributed the most to the 2 week collections of US$12.88 million
  • Rockstar was released across 2,500 screens and ran around 14 to 15 shows in a day

Fun Facts about Ra.One (Things you didn’t know)

  • Ra One’s team created  an Official customized YouTube channel which was the first for an Indian film
  • Shah Rukh Khan unveiled the first look of the film Ra.One on twitter
  • Red Chillies Entertainment (SRK’s Film Production Company) did a viral marketing campaign to promote the Ra One film online.
  • Ra One set a record marketing budget of US$10.55 million of which US$3.04 million was used for online promotion.

Conclusion of the Rockstar vs Ra One Battle

It’s been a tightly fought battle between Ranbir Kapoor’s Rockstar and Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One, but after Rockstar only wins the Facebook category loosing the YouTube and the Box Office category. Our take is that Rockstar is for niche audiences with its unconventional storyline and sterling acting performances.  Shah Rukh Khan’s superhero movie Ra.One tries to please the masses and to a certain extent does it pretty well. With the massive record budget Ra.One was produced with, it paves the way for more ambitious movie projects being made in Bollywood.

We hope you enjoyed reading our Infographic on Rockstar vs. Ra.One. If you did, show your love though comments or sounding off on our Facebook page or even share this Rockstar vs. Ra.One Infographic on the web.

Mobile Website Design Optimization Rules of Thumb!

The smart phone revolution is truly upon us, and for those companies that haven’t engaged in planning their mobile website, this is a wake-up call. Today, smart phones have become an extension of the desktop experience. Let me present some interesting trivia via the graphic below, to get you thinking about your mobile business strategy.

eBay Mobile Sales Graphic

Also, consider this announcement Google recently made:

“In the coming weeks, we will be introducing the mobile optimization of a website as a new factor of ads quality for AdWords campaigns that are driving mobile search traffic. As a result of this change, ads that have mobile optimized landing pages will perform better in AdWords — they will generally drive more mobile traffic at a lower cost.”

Mobile Website Development and Design Checklist

The following are some issues that need to be considered when creating a dedicated mobile website.

Screen size: Most websites are designed for users with a minimum screen width of 1024 pixels and render well on laptops/desktop. However the real estate available on smart mobile phones  is about 320 pixels or greater, which will render well on screens as small as 3 inches.

Flash: Does your website have some parts developed in Flash? A huge number of mobile phones are unable to render Flash (think iPhone, iPad and older Android mobile phones). Further, Adobe recently announced that they will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations.

Recommendation: In order to make sure your website can be viewed on phones such as the iPhone, use JavaScript and HTML5 in place of Flash.

Mobile Search Image The rule of thumb:
Unlike desktop/laptop users, mobile internet users do not have a mouse to help them interact with the site. Generally they are holding the device with one hand and navigating with the index finger or in case of one handed usage then navigation by default is by the ubiquitous thumb.

Recommendation: Remember in mobile website design, you should keep the “Rule of thumb” in mind. Simplify navigation to include top landing pages in the mobile site as large buttons that can be easily pressed by the thumb.

Heavy images and JavaScript
: Check your website to see if it has heavy images or JavaScript, you will need to optimize these to reduce the load time of the website on the mobile devices.

Recommendation: Purge all the unnecessary JavaScript that may not be required and using CSS3 for basic transitions and animations instead. Reduce the size of images as mobile phones have a lower resolution than desktops. Save the images in PNG 8bit, JPEG, GIF.

Content: Remember the real estate available on mobile phones is minimal, therefore you need to keep this in mind during mobile website development and  re-calibrate your content accordingly. Replace verbose text with bullet points. It might also be necessary to divide the page so that the user is not required to infinitely scroll vertically. Consider breaking up the content naturally into multiple pages. Another option is to try not to replicate your entire website, instead putting up content that is the most important to a mobile user.

Responsive design: This is an important thing to keep in mind when creating a mobile website. Use fluid grid responsive design and media queries to allow the mobile website to render aesthetically on all mobile devices irrespective of resolution. Doing that will make sure that the mobile version of your site will look good across all types of mobile phones and hence be more mobile friendly.

Navigation: Make sure you include a clearly visible home and back button on the top and bottom of the page. You may also want to include a “scroll to top” button at the bottom of each page. Make sure the website is designed in a manner that doesn’t require the user to scroll in both directions (horizontal and vertical), restricting it to vertical alone.

Detecting and redirecting mobile users: another important point when you create a mobile website, is to detect mobile devices requesting the website and redirect them to the correct mobile website. This can be accomplished by detecting the user-agent in the server header sent by the end user’s browser. If the user-agent resembles a mobile phone browser, then the user is redirected to the closest matching page on the mobile version of the website. It is absolutely acceptable to give the user a mobile friendly experience tailored to his device and is not considered cloaking by Google.

Cloaking and Googlebot-Mobile: You will need to make sure that Googlebot-Mobile is redirected to the mobile website, whereas it is not necessary to redirect Googlebot to the desktop version. For instance, Google doesn’t automatically redirect desktop users from their mobile site to their desktop site, instead they include a link on the mobile friendly version of the  page to the desktop version. These links are especially helpful when a mobile site doesn’t provide the full functionality of the desktop version — users can easily navigate to the desktop-version if they prefer. This will help your website avoid cloaking issues. More info about this mobile website development issue can be found here:

Search to Store Image

Mobile sitemaps: It is important to submit a mobile sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools. This will allow Google to index all the URLs in the mobile website properly. For a sample mobile sitemap visit

Does the URL matter? Some of you might want to serve content to both mobile and desktop users from the same URL ( whereas others might use a dedicated URL for mobile users ( For Googlebot and Googlebot-Mobile it does not matter what the URL structure is as long as it returns exactly what a user sees. Regardless of URL structure, you must correctly detect the user-agent as given by your users and Googlebot-Mobile and serve both the same content.

Native app or dedicated mobile site? Should your company design a dedicated mobile website or design a native application? Native apps are very popular these days, however I prefer the experience of dedicated website. Previously, apps offered better technology; however HTML5 offers a good alternative these days, and you don’t need to go through the hassle of getting your changes approved in the Android/Apple marketplace each time there is an update on your website.

You will often have to build the app for each platform (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone) from scratch. Therefore the cost of doing this exercise can be prohibitive. You will need to find a developer who specializes in building apps for each of these platforms, and this restricts your reach unless you plan on going the whole hog.

Further you will need to go through an approval process and each time you make a change you will go through the process again. The main advantage of going with a dedicated mobile website is that it is compatible across all platforms and devices. This gives you more reach at a cheaper cost and you can use your developers’ existing skill set to develop the site. The site can be updated in real time.

Mobile site before and after

Compare the above website before mobile design optimization on the left and after mobile design optimization on the right. By not having a dedicated mobile website you are leaving money on the table. So folks, it is time to jump on the mobile Internet bandwagon.

Important Mobile Website Development Resources

All this chit chat about mobile website design & development might have you jumping around asking the obvious question “how to make a mobile website”? During writing this article on creating a mobile website, I did come across some really handy mobile development resources that you should find pretty helpful in making the mobile version of your website a reality.  They are listed as follows