Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Is Google Killing the Keyword?

Organic SEO has hinged on the quality of keywords and related searches since inception. It’s a simple formula: determine how users are searching for your content or services, adjust your keyword strategy, and reap the benefits. But for over two years now, those efforts have become increasingly more challenging to accurately execute.

Why? Because the more business owners are able to determine their own best keyword strategies, the less they need to fork over cash to Google’s paid keyword advertising. That’s a gross generalization, but it seems to be at the heart of a movement Google launched in October of 2011. To understand what’s causing the demise of the keyword – and how to fight back – we have to face some cold hard facts.

Keyword Data is Almost All Encrypted (more…)

How A Successful Social Media Competition Can Boost Your SEO Rating

Engaging followers on social media can significantly improve your search engine rankings. Since Google changed its Penguin and Panda algorithms earlier this year, it has become clear that the search engine is putting more emphasis on social media metrics. The more shares and likes your online business receives, the more favourably Google will rank your website. Therefore, running a competition as part of your social media strategy will give your ratings a boost.

The key to running a successful social media marketing campaign is to engage your audience. Whatever competition you run must be appealing enough for people to get involved. It must appeal to their interests, desires or needs. Competitions should offer participants a prize or reward and be fun to play but, most importantly, it must be something your followers will share with their friends.

Search engines use “social signals,” to assess a website for quality content. They do this by counting the number of likes, shares and tweets etc. each page of a website receives. The idea behind this strategy is that if you are publishing content that people want to read, you will be given a higher rank. Google’s aim is to provide Internet users with a richer experience, therefore, your website has to meet the same ideals Google is looking to promote. (more…)

Is PageRank on Its Way Out? Focus on These Tools Instead

Since early 2013, Google’s PageRank tool seemed to be on a downward spiral. The data is no longer being funneled through the Google toolbar on a daily basis, and there haven’t been any PageRank updates recently. There are rumors that PageRank may not ever be updated again, and this means webmasters and marketers will no longer be able to view that data – the data that was an integral component to SEO and link building practices.

Because PageRank data has been missing for months now, I think many of us could agree that we value PageRank data less than we used to; although, it’s something we may still inadvertently check when making SEO decisions.

PageRank may still be important to the overarching SEO algorithm, but there are many other SEO tools that can help our efforts, even when PageRank is no longer providing us with data.

The Importance of PageRank (more…)

How the Google Zoo Has Forever Changed SEO Copywriting

As far back as I can remember (circa 1999), search engine copywriters have been told to use keywords as often as possible.  According to most, proper optimization of a page involved things like writing for keyword density ratios, including keyphrases in every file name, every page name and every tag… at least once.

The common way of thinking for a decade or longer was the more keywords you could work into a page, the better your rankings would be.  Early on in the life of Google, that was pretty much true.  But, since the release of all the animals in the Google zoo (Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird), SEO copywriting has made a 180-degree shift.

How Did We Get Here?

It’s no accident that website owners and copywriters were taught to incorporate keyphrases into their text frequently.  Search engines are text machines. They can’t see pictures or listen to podcasts.  In effect, search engines are deaf and blind.  The only thing that guides them is text, and that includes the words in file names, page names, image tags, meta tags and page copy. (more…)

Google or Facebook? The Future of Search

What on earth am I talking about? What is the relevance between a Social Media Giant and a Search Giant? Aren’t they just both enormous behemoths operating in a different digital universe? No, they are not. They are much closer competitors than most of us care to acknowledge. Certainly Google won’t acknowledge any similarities in the two platforms, that’s for sure. Although most people on the inside of the digital space have held the view I am about to share with you for some time now, it will be news to most.

Let me start by just highlighting one thing before you tune me out and put this rant into the realms of total gibberish! A short while ago Google shut down its 21st failed project! Why is this relevant? Well, just to highlight the fact that Google doesn’t get it right all the time. Like all businesses, and individuals for that matter (Richard Branson, is a great example), Google is not infallible, so please do not take the view that everything is and always will be Google search. At least not until you hear me out. (more…)

SEO Changes: Google Post-PRISM

SEO is in a constant state of flux. In fact, change is one of the only consistencies to search. Most often, the algorithm changes that affect search results have no true bearing on searchers. Or, at the very least, searchers do not notice the changes. The changes, however, are made for the searcher in an effort to serve up the most relevant results that engage searchers and keep them coming back to that specific engine.

The search engine wars were highlighted in a series of commercials beginning in 2009. Bing, a search engine created by Microsoft, entered the market by force with a mission to prove to searchers that they were more intuitive and “searcher-oriented” than Google or Yahoo. This proved to be one of the first times that searchers became interested in the way search works and the actual results that were appearing on their screens. It led to comparisons between the search engines, and the way they use SEO began to really come into play. A 2012 set of Bing commercials further brought search engines to the forefront with the “Bing it On” challenge. Their argument was that Google was a habit, but that Bing was actually a more useful search engine. It might have muddied the waters a bit, but Google still reigned supreme. (more…)

How to Track the Success or Failure of Your SEO

As you make changes to your organic SEO strategy via keywords or on-site updates, it can be challenging to know whether you efforts are actually generating positive results. Because organic SEO can take weeks and months to show tangible movement in your search engine rankings, it is essential to know how to accurately track successes and failures as early as possible. Educating yourself about the key metrics that point to the overall health of your SEO efforts can save tremendous time, money, and headaches.

Accurate measurement of any SEO campaign varies significantly based on the actual business focus and its key objectives. There are, however, a few key performance indicators (KPIs) that quickly reveal the effectiveness of any SEO strategy. Read on for detailed tips on how to become an expert at reading your SEO analytics.

The KPI Trifecta

Within hours or days of an SEO campaign launch, start paying attention to the following KPI’s: (more…)

How to Acquire Links by Leveraging Web Mentions

Making the most of the tools available for link building can sometimes seem like a long and thankless task, but when you put just a few fundamental skills to work for you, you’re likely to find that it’s not quite as difficult as you might think; in fact, there are quite a few opportunities for easy link building at your disposal, if you know where to look and you’ve got the tools to make the most of them.

One of the first things you’ll want to look into is seeking out existing mentions of your brand, website, or product lineup. They’re out there right now, waiting for you to take advantage of them. Remember: every mention you don’t jump on is a wasted opportunity.

So How Do You Find the Mentions in the First Place?

The first step toward ethical link building practices is to find the instances where a website has mentioned you or your product. So how do do that? You can’t really expect to run into them by accident, which means you’re probably going to need to make use of some tools that are available. Let’s take a look at a few of them. (more…)

Five SEO Beliefs that Simply Are Not True

Today, search engine optimization (SEO) involves many different strategies used across multiple channels including your website, social profiles, mobile campaigns and other digital properties. But as the search engines continue to upgrade and improve their algorithms, businesses must quickly adapt and make the changes necessary to stay relevant (and ranking) in the search engine results.  Search engine algorithms change constantly, and it can be hard to tell fact from fiction.  Here are five SEO beliefs that may have been true in the past, but are simply not true anymore:
The number of inbound links to your website is the most important factor in high search engine rankings.
Not true. Although that used to be the case several years ago, search engines have become quite sophisticated in their abilities to read and index content from all over the Web and determine quality based on a variety of factors. Inbound links are still important, of course, but quality counts more than quantity with inbound links.  Make sure your inbound links come from other websites that have good quality scores and credibility in your industry. (more…)

Google and the Death of “Do No Evil”

After 16 years of helping other businesses achieve a greater prominence for their websites, the past 2 years of insanity has given me pause to contemplate the future.

Clearly, Google is intent on rendering my chosen vocation irrelevant. The previous ability to attain decent rankings has been eroded as Google eats away at the foundations of SEO and progressively eliminates legitimate opportunities to be a “tall poppy” on the www.

Over the years, I’ve nurtured a great many websites for a number of wonderful clients in a broad cross-section of genres. Of those, none seem unaffected by Google’s erratic rampage since 2012. Like most serious SEO practitioners, I believed that Google’s underlying intentions were for the greater good. Like many others, I have worked hard towards understanding and promoting the gospel of St. Google, striving to meet the guideline revisions and the amended terms of service.

I am deeply and bitterly disappointed by the outcome of the past 2 years of changes. (more…)