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April 8, 2017

Google: it is unlikely mobile-first index will launch by the end of the year

phone in hands with business tags

Article written by : Internet Marketing Showtime

In November 2016 Google launched their first experiment with a mobile-first index. While there was no announcement, comments from Googler’s on the mobile-first index team indicated that they expect the launch to be towards the tail end of 2017. However, that does seem unlikely to happen now. At the Next10x conference, Garry Illyes from Google said: “that’s unlikely to happen, at least fully.”

The mobile-first index is the same Google index optimized entirely for mobile devices. With this index, Google will only index content for mobile devices and rank them accordingly. This way, a search on a mobile device is likely to be more context relevant. This index is supposedly going to use mobile metrics more heavily. Mobile design, responsiveness, page load speeds and navigation will all play a part. Sites that do not have a mobile site will see their desktop site ranked the same as before. However, there is a chance that sites with mobile content will rank higher.

This change had a lot of companies, webmasters and optimizers worried. Fortunately, with this delay, anyone who has not setup a mobile version of the website or has a re-design in the works has more time to complete the implementation.

With the majority of search traffic coming from mobile devices, a change in the index that so heavily favors mobile content could mean big changes to rankings.

Filed under digital marketing, SEO by on .

January 13, 2014

Measuring success in SEO in 2014

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Google has definitely made it much harder to rank naturally via SEO. Not only their algorithms have become much better at detecting unnatural links and SEO tactics, but also the layout of their search results have changed so that there are more components resulting in natural results to go lower. For example, if you type general business category and a city name, you would most likely see a mix of 7 results from Google Local. You may also see other components such as shopping feeds and news that further push down the natural results.

The success for an SEO campaign should not be measured by having #1’s but should be measured on overall visibility and traffic to the website. SEO should be done not only for the website, but also for your social media sites and youtube videos.  The more content you can get in the search engines the better your results will be. Sometimes youtube videos or social media content may rank highly for your keywords, which may result in traffic to your site.

The goal should be to get traffic to your site anyway you can via any channel, not just SEO. Google is not looking at social activity as a factor, so not only social activity may result in traffic by itself, but also it may result in better natural rankings.

If you are a local business, you have to also optimize your Google Local profile and get as many reviews as possible. Local SEO has its own techniques, so make sure to higher someone that knows how to do this or do further research if you are going to do it yourself.

Filed under SEO by on .

June 28, 2012

Penguin Update: An Interview with Pierre Zarokian of Submit Express

Pierre Zarokian is the CEO of Submit Express, a search engine marketing company. I have met him several times in industry trade shows and they also sponsor our blog. His company serves over 200 SEO clients, so I thought it would be a good idea to get his input on the Penguin update. Below is an interview I did with him about this subject.

Many people have already heard about the latest Google update Penguin. I wanted to see what you have learned so far about it.
Google actually had 2 updates. One was on April 17th, called Panda 3.5 and the other was on April 24th called the Penguin update.
The Panda update is more of a content related update, targeting sites with duplicate content and targeting spammers who scrape content. The first one was over a year ago and Google has had several updates to it since then.
The Penguin update was actually announced by Google about a month prior to its launch and they labeled it as an over optimization update. From the looks of it, it appears to be looking at many factors such as low quality links.

What specifically do you think is the Penguin update targeting?
It is too early to tell. I have been analyzing a few of our clients that were effected and also reading online blogs and forums about it. No one has a concrete answer and obviously Google does not disclose exactly what they did.
From what I can see, I think that this algo is looking at the overall back links and if it finds the majority of your back links are low quality or spam looking you might be effected.
I say this because we had some clients at the low end that had only directory type and link exchange type back links which were effected and then we had some clients at the high end who also practiced link buying, who were affected.
However, it seems that there are many sites that have these kinds of low quality links that are not affected. So Google must be looking at your overall percentage of low quality links as a factor. If you have many natural looking links in the mix and a few low quality links, then you are probably not affected.
Another thing they may be looking at is the link anchor text and if the specific keyword in the link anchor text is being used to many times vs. other keywords on your website or your company name.

What have you seen in specific to your clients that you think might be a factor in Penguin?
We had about 6 clients that were affected so far out of over 200 that we serve. This is not that bad for us given the scale of this update. I am glad that the SEO techniques that we use have not been considered spam.
One of our clients had too many doorway pages with city/state pages that got affected. These were done prior to them signing with us. We think these doorway pages may have affected his ranking. They never wanted to remove them before, because they were bringing a lot of traffic to them, until now. We have not recommended to them to place NOINDEX tags on them.
Another client was selling links on his own website on the footer. We think this may have caused his site to be affected.
A different client had some duplicate content issues from his affiliates who copied his content.
The rest of the clients had a variety of different type of back links, which need to be analyzed so we can figure out if the backlinks are the problem or not.
As I said it is still too early to tell the exact causes.

What specific factors do you think Google is looking at to find low quality links?
– Too many exact match keyword links in anchor texts
– Any footer links
– Any links from unrelated sites
– Any sponsored links that have the words “sponsored” or “advertisers” or something similar posted before it. Note that if this is stated in an image, Google will not be able to detect it.
– Any consecutive sponsored links, with no text descriptions in between the different links
– Site wide links
– Links coming from same IP’s or similar C class IP’s
– The ratio of what appear to be low quality links vs. what appear to be natural links. I.e. if you have more low quality links than natural links, then you may be in trouble

What do you suggest people that have been affected do?
If people are doing their own SEO, then they probably have an idea of what links are low quality, so they can proceed with removing a few at a time and wait a few days to see if rankings come back.
They should also review their keyword links in anchor texts and see if they have too many links for any specific keyword. Normally a company name or the domain should have the most links pointing back to their site, so if there are keywords that are pointing back more than the company name, this needs to be changed. I would recommend not to use any keyword more than 10 to 20% of your overall keyword links.
If the site effected has hired an SEO firm to do this, they should make sure to ask for a detailed link report to see what exactly the SEO firm has done. There are many SEO companies that keep their clients in the dark and never send link reports. You need to make sure the companies you are hiring discloses what they do and that they do not engage in tactics that Google may not like.

If anyone would like to contact you, how would they get in touch with you?
They can visit our site at http://www.submitexpress.com/ (which is our search marketing site) or http://www.iclimber.com/ (which is our social marketing site). They can contact me at my Linkedin profile www.linkedin.com/in/submitexpress

Filed under Google, Search Engine Marketing by on .

March 29, 2012

3 SEO Content Writing Tips

Improving your search engine ranking is probably a common objective for anyone who publishes content over the web. So, in order to do this, you will have to understand and apply the elements of SEO that go into your content reaching a wide audience.

So, here are 3 SEO content writing tips:

#1: Quality Content Matters

While SEO is indeed important what you must focus on when it comes to preparing content is that it should relevant, interesting and should be free of plagiarism. Only if your content can meet these standards will you be able to use the full potential of the internet, and reach a wide base of customers. As always, cop-and-paste work is almost surely damaging to your search engine ranking – so avoid it like the plague!

#2: Article Length & Keyword Density

Web copy and directory submissions allow articles to be anywhere from 300 to 1000 words in length. Blogs and social media posts can be shorter. As for the keyword length, it’s a good idea not to cram keywords into a post but to keep it to one keyword per 50 to 100 words. For this, the best thing to remember is that you should spread your keywords evenly throughout the post.

#3: Add Meta-descriptions

Meta-descriptions are a 150-word description that introduces your article in the search engine rankings, and is another way by which you can optimize your article or post. Remember to add your keywords into the meta description but also avoid keyword stuffing here as well.

Filed under SEO Elsewhere by on .

February 20, 2012

The Right SEO Agency will Increase Your Business

Having a web presence is almost an absolute necessity for any business. Having a web presence that your potential customers can find is the important part of that web presence. Having an seo agency work on your web content is the best way to make sure that your website will be found when someone searches for something you sell. You may have content that is so well written it should get a literary prize but unless people see it, who cares.

SEO is the acronym for search engine optimization. What this means is making sure that the things written for your website will be done in such a way to have your website listed on the first page or two of the results when someone searches for something you sell. As an example, pretend your business is pool cleaning. It does no good to have a website for the business if when someone types in pool cleaning on a search bar your company is on page 3,978 of the results.

An SEO company understands how the placement of the results are determined by the search engine. They write content so that your website will come up higher in the results so people may actually see it. The more people that see your site, the more business you will have.  Unless you have done a lot of research on the subject, figuring out how a search engine decides where to put you on the list is not something you will understand. If you really want to write your own content, at least have professionals go over it and touch it up some.

Filed under SEO Elsewhere by on .

September 15, 2011

How to Find the Right SEO Agency

Now that you have a website, you will need to develop an effective internet marketing campaign in order to get people to your site — after all, even the best-designed and most visually-attractive website is useless if it does not incorporate the proper techniques of search engine optimization (SEO). Without a customized SEO campaign implementation, your website will be unseen to search engines as well as web surfers. This means your site won’t have traffic. And we all know that no traffic means zero sales.

While you have the choice to learn internet marketing and SEO, you may not have the time or energy to manage your campaign on your own. So how do you find the right SEO agency to do the job for you? These days, many website owners turn to independent research companies to help evaluate and compare the best internet marketing agencies and tools on the market. When searching for SEO companies, for example, an independent research agency can provide you with an easy-to-read list of facts about the company, such as how long it has been in business, how many active clients it has, and what is its client retention rate. An independent agency can also provide information about services and pricing.

Filed under SEO Elsewhere by on .

September 3, 2011

Three outdated SEO Tactics, and how you can change them

Search Engines have around for a while now, and are getting smarter and better at knowing the ranking that each and every website truly deserves.

So, in order to stay on top of your game, here are three outdated SEO tactics, and alternatives that suggest what you should do instead.

#1: Purchasing Links
Most people tend to buy links from other websites to boost their ranking without realizing that this is a violation of Google’s Webmaster guidelines. If Google finds out, not only can the consequences include you dropping in the rankings but being removed from the search results.
The only way by which you can avoid this is to generate content in the form of podcasts, articles and videos that will attract traffic, and back links.

#2: Internet Press Releases
As there are a lot of companies that will release your press releases for you so that your company get some online attention and back links, this strategy does not work because getting links from unknown sites will not improve your rankings, and you end up spending a lot of money for nothing.
Instead, try and find websites where you can get in touch with journalists who need sources for their stories.

#3: Adding your website link to blog comments
When posting comments, some people add their links as well, and this is not only annoying for blog owners but it doesn’t add any value SEO-wise. It’s always best to leave helpful and encouraging comments.
Only promote your website when the content posted on the blog is relevant to what you have on offer.

Filed under Search Engine Marketing by on .