Out With the Old and In With the New: SEO vs SEM

seo sem 300x223 Out With the Old and In With the New: SEO vs SEMSEO (Serch engine optimization) has been something of a popular topic when it comes to technological talks, and the reason this is so is because of the features and efficiency that come alongside the use of search engines. No matter what you’re in need of on the internet a search engine is going to make things much easier, whether you’re looking to find a great new restaurant or simply somewhere new to shop. SEO is always looked at as being a “best of the best” type game, which is where the person who makes prevalent use of technical SEO tactics and relevant content wins in the end. Although SEO is an acronym that many people have grown to know SEM seems like it’s making its way to the top, and we’re going to go through why this is happening. SEO has innovated in ways we never would have thought possible, back in the day when the term “SEO” came up you would just think of keywords in metatags and such. Google took it upon themselves to improve their algorithm, and as a result the SEO game was turned into an ever-changing cornucopia of frustration.

We suppose that’s how it’s supposed to be in the end, because everything that’s worth fighting for never comes easy. Google has dedicated themselves to ranking the best sites in the best positions, this means that high-quality and engaging content reigns king these days. Growing organically isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely one of the harder things you can try to accomplish online. SEM is a different term, but it’s essentially the same thing in the end. Search Engine Marketing is a term that represents the marketing portion of SEO, and it’s pretty much the new term that’s being coined for the time being. Innovation is pretty much inevitable these days, and that goes for just about everything (including search engine optimization).

Seeing as the whole algorithm thing has been throwing people off of their game there has been rumours spreading that state SEO is “dying”, but this is far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that SEO is going to stick around for a long, long time, it’s just going to be referred to as SEM sooner rather than later. Nobody is trying to rank their sites for the pure fun of it, and in the end it’s marketing no matter which angle you choose to work with. It’s an incredibly large industry, and when you’re working within such a large industry people are going to try and develop things that will help them stand out. This is why the entire process is so intriguing, as well as why it has so many incredible developments in such a short timeframe. This is the era of technology and there’s no way to get past that without talking about SEO, thinking otherwise would just be a quick way to push yourself towards the rule “out with the old and in with the new” you’re going to be blessed with more than one positive trait (no matter what the project at hand happens to be).

Don’t leave yourself uninformed of the events transpiring today, keeping yourself in the loop is crucial if you want to stay relevant in the SEM world. Marketers are coming to fruition just about every single day of the week, and it’s up to you to determine where you’ll sit on the online marketing patriarchy. You might not think the term SEM is that important right now, but give it a bit of time and you’ll see the error of your ways.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Specialist

Questions for se specialist 123rf 300x225 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO SpecialistThe world of search engine optimization is one that is often muddied in confusion. There are so many rumors flying about regarding what works and what doesn’t that one can find one’s head swimming from all the false and misleading data. That’s why knowing what to ask a SEO specialist is of vital importance so you get the best service from the most ethical professional.

1)  What is their SEO experience?

The first thing you want to know is what do they know. How long have they been at SEO and can they show you statistical results to validate their claims. This is tricky because there are so many ways a scammer can beguile you and you’ll need to be on your toes to make sure you get them to tell the truth and back it up. Check on how long they’ve been in business. Ask for testimonials and then search for testimonials on your own. Somewhere there’s going to be someone praising their skills or lambasting them. You’ll have to use the right measure of judgment here because competitors can often bad mouth a company and get away with it legally. You want facts, transparency and good communication from the SEO specialist  you’re hiring. If they struggle or hesitate one iota you’ll know you’re in for trouble.

2)  Show me the stats

Statistics are the figures that back up what a person says such as in the SEO industry. They’ll have their own statistics but the websites they state they’ve catered to will have their own as well. This is where you can separate the chaff from the wheat. Ask them about their stats regarding a website they’ve worked on. Contact the owner of that site or use any of the available website monitoring statistical programs. You’ll be able to piece together when the SEO expert actually got on board and how effective they were. It takes weeks and months to show results so go through a good amount of data and you’ll have a good measuring stick to estimate your probable success with them.

3)  Don’t trust the hype

SEO experts of ill repute will make all kinds of claims to get your business. One of them is that they’ll get you to the top of Google and the rest of the search engines in a day or a week. That’s a big lie and a sure sign that they’re out for that quick buck. SEO is an area of such need that it attracts the worst of the worst. When an SEO company makes such claims you need to run the other way. Ask your prospective SEO specialist how long it take to get positive results. They should tell you it will take weeks or months as that’s the way it works. In rare occasions you can hit the jackpot and fly to the top of the results. Once that happens you’ll know you’re with the right expert.

4)  Watch out if they claim an inside track to Google

Google is the search engine of target but you’ll have SEO companies claiming to know some inside track to Google’s algorithms, their cousin works for Google or they have some psychic link to Goggle’s top SEO staff. All this again is hype and no responsible business SEO expert is going to make those claims. They’ll tell you that they do know the fundamentals of Google’s algorithms but those algorithms change and thus makes SEO a more precise type of engineering and not some magic bullet.

Overall, a real SEO specialist will walk you through the process and not try to mislead you. They’ll provide pertinent data you can understand, statistics to back it up and long term service not some fly-by-night operation.

Image credit: kbuntu / 123RF Stock Photo

What The Experts See In The New SEO Periodic Table Elements

SEO components 140714 300x225 What The Experts See In The New SEO Periodic Table ElementsAt this year’s SMX meeting in June, bigshots of the SEO kingdom got together and discussed the latest in SEO, the big search engines, the algorithms, strategies, and the surprising results they’ve gathered over the past year.

This year’s triad of knowledge included Marianne Sweeny of Portent, Matthew Brown of Moz, and Marcus Tober of Searchmetrics inc.

The analysis of what ranks and doesn’t came as a surprise in many cases and the old standards kept their ground as well according to the report at Search Engine Land.

One of the things that popped up and is a rising talk of the town is the power of brand names.  This is all abuzz amongst internet marketers because achieving brand name status means an easier road to marketing and capital.  People either know who you are, respect you, or they don’t.  Rankings seemed higher for certain brands even new ones.  It’s also part of not a singular thing that makes the rankings higher with brand names. That includes links, backlinks, social media, etc..  The bottom line here is it’s better to have a brand than not.

Internal links and good content still win the day although one must be cautious about how many and how good those internal links are.  Good content continues to win the day and writers who specialize in great copy can mean the difference between success and failure.  Remember, people will visit a site and if they can’t understand what is going on they won’t search, bookmark, or share.  It’s imperative that internal links go to relevant pages and those pages have content that is far better than good.

Other such common sense factors as site speed are important as well.  If your site loads too slow you’re losing out big time.  Those timeouts mean no surfers, spiders, crawlers, etc..  You need to be on top of what your hosting company is doing and make sure they are up to speed.

Other tidbits in the search metrics focused on fine tuned things such as mentioned earlier but in-depth regarding the connection to well done optimization and poorly done.  Keywords strategically and well placed enhance things for the better.  Good content, speed, the works.

If all this seems common sense it is because it is. The days of sloppy, cheap content coming from hack mills are coming to a close and soon billions of websites will drop off the radar as a greater emphasis on quality emerges.

It’s ironic how the experts are finding that Google and other top social sites can drop in ranking and then upon analysis find out that it’s all about quality.  People know quality and the emerging domination of mobile is showing that.  People just don’t have time for schlock content.  It’s their valuable time and money at stake and if a site reaches top rankings but delivers sucker content only because they know the tricks of black hat SEO then the end up taking a beating they’ll never recover from.

SEO Mistakes Not To Make

SEO Mistakes 300x225 SEO Mistakes Not To MakeHaving SEO or Search Engine Optimization done correctly means one’s website will be in the game at a top and efficient position. It takes skill based on the science and technology available as well as some good common sense and insight. That being said there are a list of serious mistakes that webmasters and site owners do that kill any good attempts with SEO.

Poor quality content

No one wants to visit a site where the content is poor. Hire professional copywriters and not those nickle and dime ones. Make sure the pictures an videos are clear and well done. Don’t slap any bells and whistles on the site to look pop culture or cool. Get to the point. Your content should be about what makes your site unique and how it services your surfers. If you’ve got a business and your business is about pet care don’t slap some big picture of you and your kids or girlfriend all over the site. Surfers aren’t interested in your personal opinion of yourself, they’re interested in what you provide. Quality content means putting on the site works you created or hired someone to do. Professionalism is easy to spot. Sloppy work is sloppy work, no contest there. This is where a pro level SEO service is needed.

Keyword stuffing

Some people doing SEO have no clue as to how to populate a webpage or website with the right keywords the proper way. They stuff the same keyword anywhere they can and then wonder why the search engines penalize them. There’s a science, a technology to how to use keywords and a little bit of study will bring about surprising results. Keywords don’t bring a page to the top of a search engine alone nor overnight. It takes time and is done in coordination with other factors of website construction and management.

Inefficient use of social media

Since social media is one of the biggest traffic sources and growing, having SEO done right that incorporates it would be advisable. Not using social media properly is missing out on a major source of standing and growing traffic as well as boosting your presence on the search engines. When people share your website content that data is now available to the search engines. The more links to your site from organic traffic sources, the higher you’ll rank and the more credible you’ll appear. This isn’t a difficult thing to do. There are plugins that have icons and links to all the major social media around the world! A simple bit of cut and paste code and people visiting your site can click any number of these icons and suddenly your content is all over the place and these plugins are free! Do not underestimate the power of social media and SEO and don’t try to re-invent the wheel. Be competent and your SEO will benefit from it.

In addition

In addition to the above mentioned procedures make sure your link building is sane and not slapped together with links coming to and from irrelevant websites. Search engines see this and know your site is amateurish or a spam farm. Keep things smart, use a plan to make sure you’ve got a guideline of efficient and effective SEO techniques. It’s all about fine tuning things and using common sense that will help you avoid these SEO mistakes.

The Marriage Of Social Media Marketing And SEO

seosm 300x300 The Marriage Of Social Media Marketing And SEO

Far too often entrepreneurs make the mistake of not realizing the importance of combining SEO and social media marketing. They’ll focus on one or the other and soon find themselves in a quagmire of low stats and lower performance.

The reason is that both these platforms compliment to one another and only the savvy and alert will know how to utilize them efficiently. The game has changed and is changing fast. As more people get online and more commerce is done, a company doing business on the web is going to be hard pressed to get attention much less revenue. With all the hackers and spammers out there working night and day to get to the top of the search engine results, the average marketer or website owner is up against the wall. It has gotten to the point that competing against these ne’er-do-wells is pointless, however, Google and other search engines aren’t going down without a fight.

The key here is to get back to studying the data that SEO and social media marketing provide. That meta data is very important not just to see how many hits one gets but where they come from, time, date, region and more. What content do they like and are they sharing, liking, reposting what you have provided. Are the public talking about your services in good tidings and are those reviews spreading virally around the web. All this data and more are necessary for success and that means doing the homework, testing, studying and keeping it going. Without such you’ll find yourself falling behind or paying a good sum of money to get someone else to do it for you and that means overhead you shouldn’t afford.

It calls for looking at the procedures and tactics the big shots use and remembering that following the fundamentals is just as important as following those golden nuggets of wisdom along the way. That’s a major trap right there, the golden nugget online marketing courses promising to solve every problem you’ll have with SEO and social media marketing. They can’t. You can get gurued to death listening and buying such products. It’s best to get the free information often accompanying a website like Facebook provides and the free tutorials that others put up on sites like YouTube. You will be astonished at what you can find on your own. You can chat with fellow marketers, entrepreneurs and such at many blogs and forums and you’ll know from the start if the venue is honorable or not. Anyone trying to get you to buy everything they have means you’ve run into a spam minefield.

So the bottom line here is getting the data and doing the due diligence. You have to realize this is a marriage between SEO techniques and social media marketing and that calls for studying a massive amount of information that is ever changing. Not only that but the trends involved can be overwhelming. Every day something unexpected goes viral and changes the landscape of what is trendy and popular. A website or business has to be on the ball to take advantage of these things with keyword rich text, excellent content and ever ready response to surfers. When people are liking your site, comments, etc., you have to get in there and reply back, give and take information and then structure your websites, social media profiles and pages accordingly.

This calls for being on the ball 24/7 and it calls for staying on top of SEO and social media marketing trends.

What’s The Story On Google’s Pay Day Loan Algorithm?

640px Payday loan shop window1 135x300 What’s The Story On Google’s Pay Day Loan Algorithm?With much anticipation in their war on spammy websites, Google’s heralded Payday Loan Algorithm hasn’t lived up to what it was cracked up to be.

Website owners, spam watchers, and SEO optimization experts have all been chomping at the bit regarding seeing this software do its job in getting the spam off the search engine and allowing legitimate sites to see their day in the higher rankings.  After the announcement that the software was up and running, aficionados watched intently to see the results.  So far they’re not satisfied even from the responses of Google’s SEO expert Matt Cutts who enlightens the public on everything Google and SEO related issues.

It was on June 12, 2014 that Cutts made the announcement that the software was up and running but so far the satisfaction level just isn’t there for the public.  Lots of speculation is emerging from experts in SEO and those on the sidelines.  The Payday Loan software was touted as a something like a dream come true.  Something the hard working website owner or webmaster could count on to give them a fighting chance against the black hat spammers who often thwart the search engines and dominate the top rankings.  They populate Google with low end quality content written by hack writers from third world countries.  The average and above average website owner and webmaster doesn’t have a chance nowadays.

That being said, it’s going to take serious vigilance to see where this SEO algorithm is going and whether the spammers can compromise it.  It’s like as soon as Google gets ahead these people are right on their tail and they’ve got to start all over again.

The Payday Loan 3.0 algorithm follows the Panda 4 software that Google initiated recently to do somewhat of the same thing.  One might think that with this one two punch that Google would be well down the road to beating back the spammers but so far no flags or fireworks of celebration have been seen.  It may be that due to the sheer volume, perhaps billions and billions of spammy websites are too much for the algorithms to handle in a speedy manner and may well take weeks or months to show results to a satisfactory degree.  If that’s the case then it could be a double edged sword for Google in that by the time the software takes hold and shows results, the spammers and black hatters will have back engineered things and Google will be back where they started.

It’s all about the math here.  With billions of people on the web and millions of spammers and those who would undermine things for greed, it may call upon Google to really pour on the heat and find a way to combat it all.  It may take something drastic that will upend the SEO world but something has to be done before someone else comes up with a search engine that can’t be compromised and Google will go the way of Yahoo.

Picture credit: Wikipedia

A Business Needs The Best SEO Service

SEO Great Reputation 300x199 A Business Needs The Best SEO ServiceIf one has a business presence on the web then it is paramount that it uses the best SEO service available.  That being said, here are some things to look out for when searching for one.

A great SEO service is one that stands by you every step of the way.  They won’t cut and run once the job is done.  Making sure they apply the smartest and most efficient SEO service depends a lot on what you do in concert with them.

First of all an SEO service is going to ask you a lot of questions and vice versa.  This is part of the evaluation process both sides should take enthusiasm in. Reason being is because no two company websites should be alike and one’s unique business signature should resonate on the site and the SEO service should recognize it or emphasize its importance.  An SEO service will analyze what you alredy have or will walk with you as you develop your site giving tips and such along the way.  This is vital in that it lays the foundation of work well done and nothing left unfinished yet enough room for future improvement.

A website shouldn’t be a static thing.  Optimizing it along with its changes is what a good SEO service should do.  They know that the number of staff members of your business may increase as well as services you provide and that your market may expand or diversify.  New technologies and techniques may emerge and you’ll want that information on your site and the search engines to know about it.  The seo experts are fully aware of these issues and will strategize with you to ensure you capitalize on each contingency.  They may introduce you to methods and terms you’re unfamiliar with so you’ll have to do your own due diligence to maintain your education and responsibilities.

Simple things done to a website can drastically improve your search engine results and these may include:

Simple design.  Keep It Simple is a catch phrase that embodies what experts on the web use all the time it seems.  It has its benefits as your clientele want information not wildly elaborate websites with all the bells and whistles and no valuable content.

Easy navigation.  Finding one’s way around the website allows for the customers to see what you have, where to contact you and other vital information.  Not having a well navigable website means you offer confusion and frustration not service and education.

Get organic.  Etting organic traffic is the best.  It means the people finding your site are interested directly in what you have and the SEO service you choose should be well aware of the importance of organic traffic and how to gather it.  Anything less is money and time wasted.

Again, an SEO service isn’t one that will cut and run after a day or two.  They won’t make grandiose claims of getting your site to the top spot on Google in an hour or any other such nonsense.  SEO takes time and planning and has to grow.  Anyone or service that claims otherwise is lying through their teeth and are only out to make a fast buck and leave you dangling on the web.  Remember, fine SEO service takes expertise, strategy, planning, great communication and responsibility.

Check customer satisfaction and don’t fall for fake reviews.  You’ll know from the start if the company offering SEO service is legit or not by the way they conduct themselves.  Pushy, arrogant, grandiose behavior are all indicators of a scammer.  Keep on your toes and you’ll find the right SEO service for your business.

Google’s Panda 4.0 Changes The Game

panda4 255x300 Google’s Panda 4.0 Changes The GameHere’s the game changer coming as Google has announced that their next version of their search engine will use their Panda 4.0 algorithm.

Google is doing this for one primary reason.  Results that bring more quality sites to the fore and not those spammy, hack sites that SEO marketers have put out by the millions.  Those pages with low quality content and crammed with keywords and keyphrases gum up the search engines and result in poor quality returns on search queries by the public.

This upgrade of their Panda SEO software algorithm is sending shockwaves throughout the internet.  Google being the largest of the search engines means people who are into the web for money making use it to promote their goods and services.  From websites to blogs and more, Google is the place to be if you want that global exposure.  That being said, underhanded and unscrupulous types have been taking advantage of the old algorithms by using an y number of devious methods that Google has had to battle from the ground floor up.  With Panda 4.0, Google hopes to put the bad guys in check and get the quality content to the fore.

The amount of concern about SEO and Panda 4.0 has webmasters the world over scrambling to catch up but it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to for quite a while.  Google is getting better at staying ahead of the rotten webmasters who use every tactic they can to get to the top of the search engine pages.  There aren’t just a few hundred working on beating Google, we’re talking about millions.  Their livelihoods depend on them propping their websites in the top SE results where they mostly divert searchers to less than reputable results such as spamware, malware, and adware. These webmasters know SEO inside out and have been a plague to Google and other search engines for years.  Changing their algorithms with Panda 4.0 allows for Google to thwart these underhanded attempts and allow the average web surfer to get the search engine results they deserve.

Panda 4.0 was developed just for this contingency.  Google’s tech specialists looked at every tactic and technique they could get their computers on and strategized with their programmers to come up with a solution that they feel will be the game changer regarding SEO.  Google has to have the best relevant SE results or surfers will get frustrated and turn away.  We’ve all been victim of these websites that have been SEO’d to within an inch of their lives and rise to the top of the SE results and come to find out that nothing worth of value is on the pages.  We end up going deep into the pages for the real results burning up valuable time and effort.  Google realized this and went to work developing Panda 4.0 to put a damper on these tactics and thereby bring about the kind of search engine results that surfers deserve and honest, competent websites do too.

Things You Need To Know About Social Marketing

social media marketing seo 300x277 Things You Need To Know About Social MarketingBusiness nowadays is relying more and more on the advances of social media.  The social media websites and venues are growing at an alarming rate and marketers are often challenged on how to utilize them best in their business.  There are emerging solid routes to better efficiency but it takes a good deal of common sense and ingenuity to fully exploit what social media marketing has to offer.

The biggest danger in learning social media marketing is to avoid the know-it-all gurus who put out ads and courses of such expense you could buy a car instead.  You’ve seen these ads where some guy in a t-shirt and jeans is posing in some tropical region with a pina colada drink in one hand, a hot sports car and mansion in the back and a good looking woman in a bikini on his lap.  This is all bull and that so called guru is making money by selling guru stuff not expertise in social media marketing. The best route is to use common sense and study on your own and be innovative when it’s smart to do so.

First of all don’t be a know-it-all yourself.  Realize that you have a learning curve that is made up of smaller learning curves and organizing your study time is important so that you don’t miss a step.  Knowing the tools and terminology of social media marketing is the first step.  The language changes every week as new technologies and techniques emerge but knowing the basics will allow you to have something to stand on.  Then as new terms and software, techniques emerge, your learning curves will be less of a challenge.  Again, knowing what you’re doing is the first step.

Once you’ve got your training in it’s time to go to work.  You have a brand that you’re trying to raise trust in so that you can sell and raise capital.  You don’t just jump into a social media group and start blabbing about yourself or plastering spammy ads and messages all over or you’ll be asking for trouble.

This is where the most important part of your social media marketing comes in, trust.  Without people trusting your brand you are not going anywhere.  You’ll be sitting there with people dropping you from their contact and friends lists and reporting you for being an annoyance and spammy.  You would literally have to start over from scratch and that’s not easy.  Trust is built up over time and with smart communication and follow through.  Joining a social media site you should play things soft, don’t ever get involved in arguments regarding politics and religion and don’t let anyone get you angry.  Let your conversations lead to your skills and services.

In addition to knowing what you’re doing and carrying yourself professionally using social media marketing, don’t forget or underestimate the tried and true offline methods.  Always have business cards with your websites, blogs, etc. on them.  Make cards for different people you would meet.  Newspaper ads, circulars, and the like as well as just chatting it up at social events and business gatherings can add to the success of  your social media marketing goals.

Image source: twindesign / 123RF Stock Photo

Battling For That SEO Victory

 

Matt Cutts Google SEO Tips 20140518 300x190 Battling For That SEO VictoryMatt Cutts from Google has added his expertise again and again regarding SEO.  Anyone trying to get good placement on Google had better listen to what he says and do your due diligence so you can beat the competition.

It’s all a matter of following certain basic principles that go along with SEO.  The small time site that might have superior content might not at first get that high placement but there are things that a website can do to rank higher in the short and long term.  Nothing happens overnight so patience and diligence are required here and that’s as basic as it gets.

Big sites have had two advantages, they’ve either been around longer with more links and interaction than yours and they’ve had SEO done to keep them on top.  Some started out small and worked their way up with large fanbases, in and outbound links, press, media, and social networking.  If your site has none of these it’s time to get busy and do it sensibly.

Your site might have far better content than the top ones.  You’ll need to get your site’s visibility out there so that the public can see this, bookmark you, share you, and more.  A well organized site is of utmost importance too.  Absurd graphics and wild bells and whistles won’t do it.  Sometimes with luck something on your site may go viral and you’ll suddenly find yourself at the top but it will be you that keeps you there.  Often a subject of controversy in your field of interest will emerge in the news.  Let’s say you covered this area of interest before the media put it in the spotlight, well it’s good to reason that when people are searching for relevant data your site will emerge suddenly as the premiere website regarding the subject.

Maybe a picture of let’s say a band you know of that isn’t popular but you’ve covered them on your site from their early beginnings.  Suddenly they have a hit song or one of the members has made headlines another way.  You suddenly see your stats rise and that’s when you strike.  Add more relevant content, interact via social media and pour it on.

Those are the startling fast ways but the old tried and true hold up as well.  The well paced webmaster will examine the site and update data and tweak the site so it doesn’t remain stale.  Adding a forum or some form of interaction boosts visibility and link exchanges.  As time goes on you’ll see your stats rise slowly but surely and will be based on a solid foundation of reliability instead of quickie techniques that only last a short time.

Slow as you go is the philosophy here because you can better gauge your success via the statistics showing hits, views, etc..  Once you see what’s successful you don’t futz around with it, you rinse and repeat that successful action or actions until you get to a point of recognition and statistical reliability.

Don’t go for the quick routes that call for shady companies that say they can get you to the top of Google after charging you an arm or a leg.  Google is always looking at ways to improve relevance and one day might just drop the importance of linking altogether as they know there are link farms and scams go ing on.

So remember, slow and steady wins the course here.  Keep on asking the official Google pros and other pros at the other search engines and keep your course straight.  Don’t fall for scams and never engage in unethical practices no matter what others say.  Google will catch on and slam you.

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