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When Google releases an update to their algorithm, the rumors start flying. In May 2013, the rumor was that SEO was dead. The moment the name “Penguin 2.0,” now updated to 2.1, was mentioned, search engine optimization experts started panicking. When Google released Hummingbird, its most significant update in 12 years, websites started seeing their rankings change. At first, optimization specialists thought this would be the end of Search Engine Optimization, but what they found was that it is a new beginning.
The new algorithm means no more blackhat tricks. Tricks like backlink image stuffing, comment spamming, keyword stuffing, and poor quality inbound links made for the purpose of trying to manipulate rankings are not going to work anymore. What the company is encouraging is for website owners to plug their websites with high quality and relevant content. Content promotes credibility and authorship, which improves rank. What this has done for the SEO specialist is convert them to Content Marketing specialists, making them more like Search Engine Marketing (SEM) professionals.
Search Engine Optimization vs. SEM
Search Engine Optimization and SEM have been used interchangeably throughout the years. This is, perhaps, because both will offer the same result and that is a better Google ranking. Now that Google has changed its algorithm, it is ideal to determine the difference between SEO and SEM.
SEO involves building pages in a way that allows them to rank high in search engine results. These results are “algorithmic” and they are based on the mathematical algorithm that the search engine uses to determine a page’s relevance for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.
Search Engine Marketing is typically related to paid advertising for sponsored links and keywords. Think more along the lines of Adwords and Facebook ads. However, the applications have extended way beyond just paid advertising. SEM is now being considered a more involved discipline with optimization elements. These elements include: Continue reading How to Handle the Shift From SEO to SEM: Part 1
Even if your website has a lot of high quality content, having low quality links can damage the search engine’s impression of your website. This forces them to take action, which can hurt your website’s ranking, thus making it harder to find it in the search engine results pages. If SEO is what you are doing, sometimes sites are not found at all if they have been deemed too “spammy.”
While the intentions behind the links are to create as many doorways as possible and increase exposure, it is not always about quantity as much as it is quality. Even when you have tried to legitimately improve the page ranking, unnatural links can make the search engine think that you were intentionally trying to manipulate it. This is why you have to be very careful with SEO, as there can be a lot of links floating around on and off your website.
In 2012, Google issued a warning to some website owners about unnatural links leading to their websites. Unnatural links can include links that are purchased or attached to your website under the radar by spammers and scrapers. By working under the radar and attaching to your site, your site could potentially end up being linked to a bad neighborhood on the Internet. Continue reading How to Deal With Unnatural Links to Your Site
Following Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media giants Goggle finally has made the customization of the Google+ URL available. It’s however not for everybody and is not as flexible as it sounds.
To qualify for personal Google+ page it needs to have 10 or more followers, be at least 30 day old and have a profile photo.
For the Local Google+ pages it only requires to be verified as a local business and for Global Google+ pages it must be linked to a website.
At this moment it’s difficult to predict whether it will affect the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of websites and a ranking of the Local Google+ pages or a websites linked to the Google+ pages. I think that it’will grade Google+ pages on verified trusted pages and not verified ones. Which in return may affect the ranking as well.
Here is a link on more details on this topic > https://support.google.com/plus/answer/2676340?hl=en&topic=2400106
It’s time to take a look at some questions head of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts answered today over on his YouTube channel. Each of these questions have to do with search engine optimization in some way or another and are designed to aid webmasters in making good decisions regarding site content and structure.
One user asked how he can guest blog without it appearing as though he paid for links. Cutts explains that there are typically surefire signs when a user has paid for links and that will send up a red flag. Those who pay for links will usually have an off-topic or irrelevant blog post that has nothing to do with the area the host blog covers. Keyword-rich anchor text is another red flag that typically tips off the webspam team that there are links for pay in play, not organic guest posting. Paid links obviously negatively impact search engine optimization efforts.
There is a wide spectrum of quality to consider as well. Some guest blogs are of much lower quality lately, which makes the webspam team have to look closely to determine whether or not content is legitimate. For the most part, guest blogging is a real way to get links back to your site. It is generally best reserved for cases where you are a real expert in an area and can provide a unique insight on the subject. Continue reading Matt Cutts Answers Questions About Guest Blogging and Search Engine Results
It’s that time once again where we look at questions posed to chief of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts, and round up his answers. It’s a SEO Q&A and hopefully it helps budding and experienced webmasters alike find greater success in their optimization efforts.
The first question Matt Cutts addressed this week has to do with PageRank. The user was wondering why their site’s PageRank hasn’t increased despite the fact that they make regular content updates and have their SEO content written by proven editors who know what they’re doing. Cutts begins his answer by explaining that the PageRank toolbar indicator is only periodically updated. So, it is possible that a site’s PageRank has increased but the indicator just hasn’t updated yet. As a side note, the PageRank toolbar is likely to fade away as a way to track this anyway since the latest version of Internet Explorer has trouble showing it and Google Chrome doesn’t support toolbars in the first place.
Cutts also advises this user to check on their backlinks. After all, it is the number of links directed toward a site (from high quality sites, of course) that determine PageRank. Having great content with perfect SEO on your site can help it rank higher in search results but it won’t necessarily boost PageRank. Continue reading SEO Questions About NoFollow Links and PageRank
Google has been busy lately! We just talked about how Hummingbird launched, marking one of the biggest algorithm changes for the search engine in ten years. Now, we’re going to talk about Penguin 2.1, a update to the webspam monitoring side of things that affects about 1% of search results and allows users to find even more streamlined results when they search for something.
The latest Penguin update affects SEO in a number of ways, so if you specialize in managing websites and optimization efforts, you need to pay attention. Current knowledge indicates that Penguin targets the same things that its predecessor did. It’s just more in depth and goes into more detail when weeding out sites that violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. In particular, this update targets low quality and spammy links primarily. It also punishes sites with paid links that aren’t marked as nofollow.
Any SEO tactic that could be considered “black hat” is also the target of this update, so no shady business! You won’t be able to get away with it. Posting on forums and blog comments excessively without contributing anything worthwhile can also get you penalized, especially if you consistently use the same keywords in your links in the signature area. These attempts at getting backlinks aren’t effective and will see your site drop in rank thanks to this update. Continue reading What is Penguin 2.1 and How to Deal With It
When trying to optimize a website for search engines, it’s important to consider whether or not you should be thinking about local ranking factors. Here’s a generally easy rule of thumb to follow: if the business is local has a physical location, you need to be focusing on local SEO. What follows are some ranking factors that the best optimizers in the business have put together. Hopefully it helps you when building out your optimization strategies.
On-Page and Place Page.
Some of the most important things you need to address when optimizing the page for local is both the on-page and the place page signals. On-page signals have to do with placing keywords in the titles, establishing high domain authority, and so forth. Place page signals include optimizing categories, including a keyword in the business title, proximity, and additional details. Both of these items are very important and will determine your site’s rank heavily. Continue reading The Most Important Factors for Ranking High for Local SEO
Well, Google has done it again. They have updated their search engine in an effort to provide more accurate results for complex search queries. The update just rolled out and it’s called Hummingbird and may dramatically affect how we approach SEO from here on out.
This latest update is actually slated to be the biggest modification to the search engine since 2010. At that point in time, they upgraded the search algorithm to something called Caffeine. Hummingbird rolled out about a month ago and it was actually announced at a press event in the house were Google was founded and got its start. That’s pretty cool. And since today is the 15th anniversary of the founding of Google, the timing of all of this feels apropos.
The changes won’t be apparent right away. Search results will look largely the same. However, this changes are designed to make it so Google can better handle complex search queries. Any think about it: people are using voice search more and more. This means they are phrasing queries not in the form of selected keywords and phrases that traditional SEO optimizes for, but rather in the form of actual, detailed questions. This is more information for Google to process and requires new mathematical formulas to keep on track.
The algorithm update focuses on increasing rank for site relevance by using their Knowledge Graph. In case you’re not familiar, Google’s Knowledge Graph is an encyclopedia containing 570 million concepts and relationships. Forbes magazine uses an example of the Eiffel Tower. According to Knowledge Graph, Google knows that the Eiffel Tower is a tower, that it’s located in Paris, that it has a specific height and dimensions, and so on. The Knowledge Graph is aware of certain facts about different subjects which makes it easier for Google to then predict and anticipate which facts you want to know about on a specific subject. It’s vital for optimum SEO, where relevancy wins the game time and time again. Continue reading Google Updates Search with Hummingbird
We’ve come to that time once again where we’re going to discuss some common SEO questions put forth to chief of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts. First up is a question about no-follow links. Specifically, the user wanted to know if no-follow links could hurt their site. Cutts answers straight away with “no,” these types of links typically can’t inflict damage on a person’s site. However, he warns that if you’re an excessive blog commenter and people report you for spam, Google might take a manual spam action against you. It would have to be huge scale abuse, however.
The second question had to do with sites that have a script that automatically generates pages based on user search queries. These pages that don’t offer any original content and often just say that the site you’ve clicked to has no search results for that subject matter surrounded by ads. The question was about what Google does in response to these sites. Cutts answered that sites with pages like these offer no value to Google search results and are actually in violation of the Webmaster Guidelines. These are very bad for SEO. He asks that anyone who comes across a site like this to report it as spam and that webmasters be careful to block pages with no results on them from being indexed. Continue reading SEO Questions About No-Follow Links, Automatically Generated Pages and the Effects of Panda