Search Engine Marketing - Digital Marketing Agency

An Introduction to

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By Nicolas Vargas

Google Search Reasults Using Schema is an initiative launched in 2011 by the major search engines (Bing, Google and Yahoo) to make a common language to improve the way search engines understand and display data in their search results. The idea is to use these schemas to mark up useful information within a webpage for the purpose of offering a better user experience in search results.

Now that you know what is, you’re probably wondering how you can use it to improve the way search engines understand and display your content in search results. Depending on the sort of content your website uses, you can write schema markupfor a huge list of items, from videos to events. Item Examples Screenshot

With you have a lot of options to improve the way search engines display your site in search results.

How it works

As I said before schema marks up your content helping search engines, because with HTML tags, your browser knows how to display the information but it doesn’t really understand what that content is about..That is, HTML is not enough for search engines to properly understand your content. uses a micro data format to improve the data within the HTML tags and give search engines more information about that page, so it knows whether it is about a person, a recipe, a place, a movie, etc.

Micro data is a HTML5 feature (set of tags) which aims to help computers understand what the web page content is actually talking about. Person Example

Here is an example of how you can use microdata to tell search engines that the content in this HTML is not just random text – it is a person, job title and address.

Plain HTML

Person Html Example

With Micro data

Schema Person markup Example

As you can see with micro data you can explain to search engines what your content is about, in this example for Google the words North Sydney didn’t mean anything , but with the micro data it means an address locality.

Finally you probably want to know if the use of schema micro data is going to improve your rankings. Well, as Matt Cutts has said, just using micro data won’t necessarily improve your rankings, but there are some cases when helps, so it is better to use it, just in case.

Also keep in mind that even if this markup doesn’t help your rankings it could help your click through rate if it provides images, star ratings or other information in search results alongside your site listing.

Multilingual SEO Tips – Part 1 – Geo-Targeting

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Chinese Newspaper

By Tracy Mu Sung – Director at MooMu Media


If you are managing a site for audiences who use different languages, and/or  who are in different countries, it is important to ensure your geo-targeting is as clear as possible to Google. Why? Because if Google knows who your target audience is, it is more likely to increase your rankings and visibility for that particular audience.


For example – if your site, or part of your site, is targeting French speakers in France, correct geo-targeting will give the relevant section of your site a boost in the search results of people in France.


So how do you signal to Google where and for whom your content is most relevant?  One obvious way is the language you are using in your content, but seeing as keyword selection and content optimisation is so important, we will have them as the subject of a whole other post.


This post will focus on some non-content ways to optimise your site for Google, more from a coding and administrative perspective. These are things you can do right now, or as soon as you start developing your language pages.


  1. The first is the most simple and obvious – make sure that Google can crawl all your language pages. Don’t use them in isolation, and don’t confuse Google with cookies or redirects (if possible)
  2. Make sure the language of a page is obvious. You should use only one language on a page (if possible) so as not to confuse search engines and/or users.
    • Sometimes menu structures or user generated content can be different to other content on a page. Try to minimise this.
    • If you have multiple languages in a rich media file like Flash (which are usually indexed as single pages), it would be helpful to separate the content into separate language files.
  3. Automatic translations can be bad for the user, and can also be considered automatically generated content by Google, which will label it as spam. If you do want to use automatic translation for your users, use Robots.txt to block Google from indexing it
  4. Cross link between your languages – e.g. have links or language drop downs sitewide and visible
  5. There is no preferred way to ‘name’ or structure your URLs, but for user friendliness and management, it is best to be consistent with your naming. E.g. all in a subdomain or subfolder.
  6. Internationalised domain names are ok, IF you use them correctly and remember to escape them when linking to them.
  7. If you are targeting a single country with your whole domain – consider a country code top level domain (e.g., .cn, .ca). If you are targeting multiple countries with one domain, consider a generic top level domain. (e.g. com, .eu, .asia).
  8. Use the Geo-targeting tool in Webmaster Tools to indicate to Google that your site is targeted to a specific country (unnecessary if you are using a ccTLD)
    • Do not use WMT Geo-targeting if you are targeting multiple countries
  9. Note that Google may use addresses, phone numbers, currencies and Google Places pages to determine appropriate geo-targeting for a site.
  10. Note that Google does not use meta or html tags in determining the appropriate geo-targeting for a site – so using them is not an indicator, but they won’t do you any harm.


Notice that nowhere in this list did I mention rel hreflang markup, why is that? That’s because the hreflang element is used as a connection between URLs, allowing Google to ‘swap’ the page currently shown in the search results with ones which are more relevant to the user. It doesn’t affect ranking, but it is important, so we have covered it in our second article on SEO for Multilingual Websites Part 2.


Search Engine Statistics – Who Is Searching?

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Have we mentioned recently how important search is for any online business? Well, maybe you need some reminding about just how big a part of online behaviour search is. Did you know that on any given day, 59% of internet users are using search engines?


That is so, according to Pew Internet who released some very interesting research on this topic earlier this week, (unfortunately, just for the USA).  Nevertheless, here in Australia we probably have more in common with US searchers than some other countries, and it is especially relevant if your store or business services USA based customers.


Check out this graph – showing that search is most popular among, younger, highly educated, affluent users.

search engine statistics popularity


Another very interesting graph shows the rapidly increasing use of social media over the last few years, but that it is still being trumped by search. In turn, search is being just slightly trumped by email, but then much of email is work based, I would imagine.


Internet Usage 2012 Search vs Social media

Thanks to Pew Internet for all this interesting information. It’s good to have these reminders of how massively important search is!

What Small Business People Need to Know About Search Marketing

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Today I was looking for some blog posts I had written, to help someone out who wanted ‘beginners’ information for a friend with a small business. Re-reading through the posts reminded me how good they were (brag) so I thought I should put links to them all here, so that next time someone needs this kind of information, I can just give them this one link.

Firstly, my Search Engine Marketing Glossary

Secondly, my series on online marketing for beginners

  • Lesson 1: Your Digital Marketing Plan
  • Lesson 2: Making Your Website Worth Visiting
  • Lesson 3 – Onsite SEO
  • Lesson 4 – Offsite SEO
  • Lesson 5 – Pay Per Click
  • Then this post about why it is important for small businesses to be on Google Places – which might be slightly dated because Google Places changes a lot, but the principles are still the same, Importance of Being on Google Places

    Finally a couple of basic posts on



    Keyword research



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