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The Business of SEO / Source Attribution

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For State of Search I wrote a blog post in which I explore the different ways in which SEOs can quantify and report on what they do. This is becoming increasingly difficult for our profession and we need to find solid, widely accepted methods for measuring the success of an SEO project.

State of Search: The Business of SEO

What we as SEOs do is very quantifiable: we generate lists of relevant keywords, we perform on-site optimisation that we can easily show to clients, and we generate new links that (generally speaking) we’re also able to report. However, none of those things are easily attributable to a return on investment. Between what an SEO does and what SEO delivers are intermediate steps over which we have very little, if any, control.

Google has introduced two new meta tags for use on news sites that allow news publishers to indicate what the original source of a news story is, and whether a story that is published on their site is original content or syndicated from a feed. I explain these new tags in a post for Search News Central:

Search News Central: Source Attribution meta tags

Previously Google made deals with the likes of AP to host AP’s news stories and link to those instead of the same stories on other news sites. But that is a bit of a patchy solution, depending too much on what kind of deals it is able to make with content syndicators. Last Tuesday, November 16th, Google announced what might be a proper and definitive solution to this issue: source attribution meta tags. These meta tags should enable Google to see which is original content and which is duplicated content from syndication feeds. There are two types of meta tags: original-source and syndication-source.

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