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How Panda and Penguin Changed SEO Forever

Posted By on : May 18th, 2015

Whenever Google algorithm updates are rumored to roll out, people would speculate how it could be the end of SEO. Algorithm updates can definitely and quite significantly impact optimization, but unlike many people believe, these updates are not necessarily killing off best practices. Rather, they alter established ones in order to better serve users. Algorithm updates, as a matter of fact, are designed to improve the efficiency and value of search results. The question remains: how did the latest Panda and Penguin updates impact SEO forever? Here are some valuable insights:

  • Overly-optimized sites have always been targets of Google updates. Google updates are always geared towards stopping sites that deliberately try to manipulate organic search results so their pages will rank well. Google’s Penguin update works to punish over-optimization, penalizing sites that show indications of manipulation and over-employing techniques that artificially boost rankings.
  • Visitor engagement matters now, more than ever. One factor is that, Google’s Panda update focuses greatly on social interaction. The ranking update puts great emphasis on visitor engagement and social signals, rewarding sites that offer high level of social interaction and visitor engagement with higher points in these regards.

panda

Based on these major alterations, websites should therefore, be more vigilant in selecting the appropriate optimization techniques to use, so as not to be labeled as an overly optimized site. Greater effort should be put in strengthening consumer engagement through social interactions via consumer reviews, social networking, blogs, forums, and other platforms. Just the same, established search engine optimization practices such as generating relevant and good quality content remain to be an important part of optimization. A good rule of thumb would be to always follow current best practices and learning how to adjust to the changing nature of web optimization.

 

How Effective Keywords Landing Page Mapping Strategy Can Benefit in the Long Term

Posted By on : May 14th, 2015

If you’ve been into web marketing for quite some time, you probably know the value of landing pages when it comes to acquiring visitors and encouraging sales. You perhaps understand that a clear concise landing page that creates conversion funnel paths works better than one that is nothing but an unappealing information overload. Landing pages are indispensible and definitely beneficial, but the question is: Are you creating enough of them to better scale your lead generation efforts? The following are major reasons for adopting a keywords landing page mapping strategy:

  • More landing pages equals more conversion opportunities – The more of these you have on your site, the more opportunities available to convert your visitors into leads. Having more landing pages also offers huge SEO benefits, as search engines have more pages to index your site in searches. This means less fiddling with navigation and a smoother pathway from discovery to conversion.
  • More landing pages equals more variety – Variety is the spice of life, it is also applicable to marketing. Creating multiple landing pages allows you to target a wider variety of visitors in the way that will encourage them to convert. Varying content and marketing messages between landing pages allows you to appeal more to certain types of visitors, which means more marketing collateral—more landing pages to house offers, and ultimately more effective inbound marketing.
  • More landing pages equals more targeting opportunities – Segmentation is just as important in SEO as it is in email marketing. Identifying the different segments and buyer personas within audiences means having the opportunity to appeal to their interests, needs, and whims using more relevant and better targeted offers. The more landing pages you have, the more opportunities you have to create segment-specific content that appeals to specific audience segments and demographics.

 

Everything You Need to Know about Subdomains and Subfolders

Posted By on : May 12th, 2015

The great debate about the value of subdomains and subfolders in setting up websites and blogs has long baffled website owners and the differing views of "experts" are not helping much. While there is still much ambiguity where subdomain versus subfolder debates are concerned, a good way to judge between the two is to test their effects on your own site—with all these differences in opinions from SEO practitioners, it is apparent that subfolders and subdomains can have varying effects on sites, depending on how you do SEO in the first place.

One of the most important things you should know about subfolders and subdomains is that search engines treat subfolders as if they were part of a second level domain, while subdomains are treated as a different site (with less authority to boot), altogether. To understand these concepts further, you need to remember that your domain is the main folder that contains your site files, while a subdirectory or folder is a folder within this main folder. A subdomain, on the other hand, is essentially an alias—an address that can be created for any one of your subfolders/subdirectories, which an internet user can enter in a browser in order to view the subfolder or subdirectory that it is associated with.

about Subdomains and Subfolders
Whether a subdomain is worth your extra effort, especially with the constantly changing nature of optimization, or not is completely dependent on what your website needs. The following are instances when a subdomain might be worth the extra work:

  • Your website needs to exist in several languages, but require the same content in each.
  • You belong to a large organization that has multiple goals under the same umbrella—selling a popular product and developing a multifaceted community that is still tied to your URL or creating franchises/regional operations that offer the same products but require more suited content.

 

Why It’s Important for PPC and SEO to Work in Harmony

Posted By on : April 8th, 2015

Almost all business owners who have ventured to start their digital campaigns ask whether they should pursue PPC advertising or search engine optimization or if they should implement both. Some may argue that one or the other might be a waste of time if they already have a strong and working campaign, as both often target the same keyword sets. Others feel that they shouldn’t be paying (via PPC) for organic traffic established through SEO.

PPC and SEO to Work in Harmony

Every online marketing strategy has its pros and cons, which only means that the advantages that one practice has can potentially cover for the disadvantages of the other.  This said, it is safe to say that the subtle differences between the tactics and techniques used in PPC and SEO campaigns can complement the strengths and shortcomings of the other. However, online marketers are still divided when it comes to SEO and PPC integration, with some adamant in sticking to a single campaign at a given time, and others more open to PPC and SEO integration. Wherever you fall in this scale, the benefits of complementing SEO and PPC campaigns should not be ignored.

While SEO still rules traffic generation, (at least 70 to 80% of website traffic are generated through natural or organic search), there is no denying that the 20 to 30 percent that can come from paid listings is still a significant statistic that should be targeted through PPC efforts. This only shows that complementing your usual SEO strategies with PPC ads can help you produce even more tangible results, significantly increasing total clicks, page views, time on site, visitors, action, orders, and in turn, conversion rates, revenue, and profitability ,as you maximize your website’s traffic-generating potential. If you are skeptical about the cost of PPC, there are ways by which you can establish a more efficient PPC campaign with less expense, if you seek help from professional web marketers.

 

Modern SEO Best Practices that Were Non-Existent 5 Years Ago

Posted By on : April 6th, 2015

With new search engine, algorithm updates new truths in search optimization. SEO has changed dramatically in the past 5 years.  An overhaul in ranking factors is evident, not only by throwing old practices to obsolescence, but also turning some old staples into taboos that might actually hurt your rankings. Changes in SEO generally points to a greater focus on shared content, thus, requiring website owners and online marketers to be more creative in optimizing content so it can be worth sharing.

Modern SEO

A quick look at Google’s algorithm changes reveals the trend in SEO best practices. In 2010′s Social Signals update, a social engagement was added as an algorithm element. The Panda update in 2011 turned its focus on content quality, penalizing spammy sites that are plagued with duplicate content and redundant ads. 2012′s Penguin update improved focus on link quality, penalizing websites that have low-quality links. The latest update dubbed as the Hummingbird rolled out in 2013, emphasizing the importance of mobile-friendly sites and quality content. The Hummingbird update also offered continued emphasis on quality links and shareable content, while also giving importance to Google+. The updates leading up to today’s SEO trends reveal new truths as well as new taboos when it comes to SEO best practices:

  • Meta keywords and Meta descriptions are no longer considered in an algorithm, although meta descriptions still hold importance in CTR.
  • New updates outdate PageRank as it only considers a single factor—links.
  • Too many keywords on your anchor texts might hurt your SEO. Create anchor text in a way that builds links and builds up your brand.
  • Keyword-only domain names are taboo. Instead, domain names should be created based on your brand and your users’ experiences.
  • No page should have similar title tags so that you can help search engines understand the unique content of each page.
  • Duplicate content can cause major penalties
  • Social signals are important.

 

7 Must Have Tools for Any SEO Professional

Posted By on : April 5th, 2015

SEO is such a complex industry that involves a wide range of processes. This has led many software developers to produce an entire range of tools to help online marketers, website owners, and SEO professionals make the task a bit lighter. SEO tools can be classified into two broad categories—the ones that try to do everything (all-in-one tools) and ones that focus on a single discipline. Nevertheless, your choice of tool or set of tools should be based on what your website needs as well as the basic cornerstones of search optimization. These basic research and data requirements include rankings, link prospecting, SERP difficulty analysis, competitive link research, and analytics, among others. The following are some of the most important tools you should have for efficient SEO:

  • Analytics tools
  • Link Building tools
  • Keyword Research tools
  • Keyword Rankings tools
  • Reporting tools
  • CMS tools
  • Other online marketing tools.

These tools cover all the basic elements of search engine optimization. They come in a wide variety of configurations. Most are available online for free; others will charge you on a per use basis. Some business owners choose to outsource SEO and hire professional SEO firms to handle search optimization and other important online marketing tasks. This is a more practical approach, especially when you don’t have in house talents to do the grunt work often required by SEO.

Tools for Any SEO Professional

Many SEO tools are available for free like Google’s Analytics tools, which provide you a good insight on how your website is generally performing. Others are available for very minimal charges. The key to finding good tools to use is examining exactly what your business needs at the moment and for the long term. All-in-one SEO platforms are also a good idea if you have a good handle on basic SEO processes.

 

5 Old School SEO Tactics that Still Work

Posted By on : April 3rd, 2015

Search engine updates spread a great deal of fear and uncertainty among website owners and administrators. Often, these updates and improvements mean a slip on their rankings or the need to overhaul their SEO strategies to cope with the changes. However, there are certain SEO tactics and processes that are still applicable today, despite the many changes in SEO algorithms and best practices. Many old SEO practices—when done right—can help you hold your place in SERPs. These old school tactics are not expected to lose value for a very long time:

SEO Tactics

  • Forum backlinks. Automating link building is a surefire way to get penalties from major search engines. Instead of using tools and services that practice link farming, do old school link building by finding forums with closely related topics and subjects that pertain to what you do. Linking to these forums will help create a positive impact on your search engine positions.
  • Directories. Like link farming, bulk submission to different website directories won’t do your rankings good. If anything, it could get your site in trouble with web authorities. Get your website listed only in high-quality directories that are known to deliver targeted visitors. Links coming from authoritative directories along with niche directories that impose strict submission guidelines are much more valuable links.
  • Guest blogging. Guest blogging should be done with a variety of content, instead of a single, same article syndicated to several blogs. If you want to attract targeted visitors, write distinctively for every blog you wish to contribute.
  • Link pages. Maintaining themed link pages containing links to relevant websites instead of ones that contain links to every website you come in contact with is important. In any case, these tactics point to one thing—avoiding spam techniques that will only get you in trouble with search engines.
  • Geographic location pages. Search engines favor specific results that provide visitors with the exact match for their own location.

 

Why Mobile SEO is the Next Big Thing

Posted By on : April 1st, 2015

The mobile web should be one of your target online arenas when it comes to optimization. With over 4 billion (and counting) connected smartphones in the mobile sphere, it wouldn’t be surprising if mobile use takes over desktop traffic in next couple of years. This only means that regardless of the type of business you run, the majority of your target audience will be on the mobile web and it is where you should make the effort to reach them. This said, mobile SEO also has its unique challenges, but so does any other type of marketing strategy. The key is finding the right people whom you can work with to maximize your business’ potential.  If you are willing to put your time into it you will reap great harvest as your website’s profitability rises. Mobile search marketing is only expected to grow in the next few years, changing the online business landscape as mobile searchers dominate audiences.

Mobile SEO

At least 90 percent of mobile searches today results in some form of action, whether it be visiting the business location or buying a product online. Also, the majorities of consumers are becoming more accustomed and are feeling comfortable to use their mobile devices to shop for products and services. According to statistics, 60 percent of smartphone shoppers search products that they need on their mobile before ultimately making a purchase decision. These numbers only say one thing—a business wishing to succeed requires a mobile search strategy or risk losing audiences to those who already have one.

Mobile search engine optimization is a lot like standard SEO in its most basic sense, although there are unique best practices and challenges to keep in mind. It is because of this that you should seek the help of professional SEO and online marketing service providers to help you get started as you tap into the mobile market.

 

Google Webmaster Update: Blocking JavaScript & CSS Can Affect Indexing

Posted By on : February 23rd, 2015

Google Webmaster Update: Blocking JavaScript & CSS Can Affect Indexing

A new update in Google’s webmaster guidelines has website administrators reaching for the unblock commands on CSS and JavaScript indexing. According to the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google’s latest indexing system update helps it function better as a modern browser that includes active JavaScript and CSS. Their advice on allowing their Googlebots to access the CSS, JavaScript and image files of a website is explicit, saying that activating them will provide optimal indexing and rendering of websites. Conversely, disallowing crawling of CSS or JavaScript files in your site can harm how well their new algorithms index and render content, which can in turn result in suboptimal placements and rankings.

The upgraded system will require procedural changes for webmasters and website administrators. According to Google, users should no longer regard their indexing algorithm as a test-only system. As Google enters a new phase of development, webmasters should be advised that their rendering engine may not support all technologies and that website designs must adhere to stated progressive enhancement principles, thus ensuring engines can scan usable and supported content. Google also reminds webmasters that the speed to load a page is important for indexing and for users. Webmasters should also be reminded that servers must enable support that serves CSS and JavaScript files to Googlebots.

Furthermore, Google has also updated its Fetch diagnostic tool, which enables webmasters to simulate how the search engine crawls URLs on a website. In the past, Google’s Fetch mode only crawled URLs that correspond to a specific path requested. When successful, the crawled URL can be reviewed to check for and debug connectivity and security issues. The update to this feature is known as the Fetch and Render mode, which tells Googlebots to crawl and display pages as browsers would to your audiences.

 

Link Removal Request Techniques that Actually Work

Posted By on : February 18th, 2015

Bad links endanger your web ranking, especially in search engine results pages. One bad link can lower your search placements down the ladder, which can further lead to lost clients, reduced rankings and low conversion rates. Anyone with some knowledge on SEO, will be aware of the importance of backlinks. However, with the spread of the usefulness of search engines, strive to provide better service to their users have certainly changed. The process involves the way to evaluate links and updating web search are also shifting, putting lesser value on certain types of links, and even flagging some as irrelevant and toxic.

The broadening use of internet has improved the quality of link. It is turned out to be more important than ever, thus many businesses have been focusing on removing bad links that may cause trouble with search engines and on creating high quality link partnerships relevant to their niche. If your website has recently experienced a sudden decrease in rankings and in visitor numbers, see if you can trace the problem to your backlinks. Toxic links can pull your search engine ranking down and make you invisible, therefore there is inaccessible to your target audience. If you have discovered several harmful links during your SEO audit, best request for a link removal from the offending partner. Here are effective ways to send removal requests:

  • Use a legitimate and reliable email address to send out your removal requests if you don’t want your initiative to be ignored. Use an email address that includes the right domain so your recipients will know what they are dealing with immediately.
  • Find a reliable link disavow tool. Take Google’s advice and ask the search engine directly not to take low-quality links into account as they assess your site. However, you should still make the effort to clean your link profile and rid it of unnatural links that point to your site. Simple disavowal might not be enough to regain your standing.
  • Send requests that state the specifics of what’s going on, but remember to keep your explanation short and concise so they will understand why you are making the request.
  • Don’t be threatening as you request for link removal, as this can only make things worse for your site.