POLL: Does Google Have a Responsibility to Refresh Its Penguin Algorithm?

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POLL: Does Google Have a Responsibility to Refresh Its Penguin Algorithm? was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

And so we wait. . .

In the past 2 years we’ve had an increase in clients that come to our firm because they have been affected by an algorithmic or manual penalty. We offer many of these clients what we call Penalty Assessments, which are a series of deep-dive engineering documents that identify the type of penalty that the site is suffering from, offer a road map for recovery from the penalty as well as actionable recommendations for mitigating future risk. We work with penalized sites of all sizes, some attached to large corporations, others belonging to small to mid-sized businesses.

We’ve become really good at tasks like penalty identification and backlink profile clean up. We’ve gotten a number of clients out from under the revenue depressing weight of algorithmic and manual penalties alike. But lately, a number of our penalized clients are becoming impatient. It’s not anything we’ve done, and it’s not due to anything we can do. We, along with the rest of the SEO industry, have been waiting 10 months for the next Google Penguin update.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

As professionals in the search marketing field are aware, in order to truly recover from a Penguin penalty, Google needs to refresh the specific elements that manage that portion of their algorithm. Google has refreshed the Penguin algorithm twice yearly, approximately every 6 months:

  • Penguin 1.0 – April 24, 2012
  • Penguin 1.1 – May 26, 2012
  • Penguin 1.2 – October 5, 2012
  • Penguin 2.0 – May 22, 2013
  • Penguin 2.1 – Oct. 4, 2013

Typically Penguin refreshes have stuck to a general May/October refresh schedule. However, the last refresh occurred more than 10 months ago. Reactions from vocal contingents in the SEO industry have run the gamut, with many expressing frustration on behalf of their penalized clients, while others defend Google’s right as a private company to tweak their product as they see fit.

Add your voice to the debate through the poll above.

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

There are a number of very opinionated and strong arguments to support a position that Google owes the webmaster community a refresh, and soon. To say that Google dominates online search share is an understatement. At last check, Google’s reported search market share was near 68% but most industry pundits believe Google’s true search market share is north of 80% — 90% in some verticals.

There are also many who believe that Google aims to make cheaters pay for their crimes with an unforgettable punishment, and that this delay does just that, especially if there is no update until 2015. Google is essentially the only game in town when it comes to online marketing. Some argue that diversifying your online income funnels is the key to removing yourself from under Google’s thumb, but I see no viable second option to the visibility that Google can offer a business.

lady justice with scales

Photo by Dan4th Nicholas (CC BY 2.0), modified

Even more frustratingly, Google has seemingly passed judgment on webmasters everywhere by framing their algorithmic changes in an ethical light. While “ethics” and “morals” both relate to right and wrong, ethics are the guiding principles enforced on an individual by an external source (think religion, government or in this case, Google). For that external source to enforce an ethical standard on a community, it needs power. In this case, that power is being given to Google by its widespread use. Whether fair or intentional or not, the profitability of too many businesses and the livelihoods of too many individuals hinge on the fluctuations of Google’s search algorithms.

Google seemingly embraces this role by using language like that which appeared in Matt Cutts article announcing the original Penguin update in April 2012 entitled “Another step to reward high-quality sites.” In the article, Cutts explained that Google is interested in rewarding the “good guys” on the Internet:

“The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs. We also want the ‘good guys’ making great sites for users, not just algorithms, to see their effort rewarded.”

Clearly, here Google has framed the conversation regarding their algorithmic updates in black and white. Do good and be rewarded; try to cheat Google’s algorithm and you’ll be singled-out and punished. Google’s corporate motto “Don’t be evil” aspires to be more than a mission statement and instead serves as a moral code which they have placed at the heart of all they do. Indeed, Google even offers the penalized webmasters an avenue for confessing their sins and receiving penance, having outlined the process for recovery in their Help Forums.

However, if Google is going to offer this remedy, then don’t they have a responsibility to hold up their end of the bargain and reward the contrition of the offending websites?

How many businesses, anticipating a refresh in May, have done their due diligence in scrubbing their link profiles spotless, doing Google the huge favor of helping to clean the Internet of inorganic links in the process, only to still be under penalty after nearly a year’s time, their business’ profits decimated in the interim?

The Dark Unknown of a Refresh

I would speculate that Google’s inability to refresh its Penguin algorithm is not based on intentional malice. It is much more likely that as they incorporate the data from the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of disavow files that they’ve acquired over the past year, that trial SERPs are getting markedly worse, not better. This is an almost predictable result of the blind disavowing that many webmasters (and SEOs) engaged in after being penalized. If it’s Google’s intent to use the disavow data to identify low-value sites and improve SERPs, they have quite a task ahead of them.  Google now has the unenviable task of sorting through this mess, trying to return the best search results possible in a post-Penguin world.

It should also be noted that even worse than this current climate of frustration is the possibility of the unknown. Those who expect to see a benefit from their link pruning efforts are eager for the algorithmic refresh, but it’s possible we’ll see another unexpected outcome altogether. What if when Google hits reset on its backlink calculations it makes a number of other changes at the same time? With each Penguin iteration Google’s webspam classifier becomes more restrictive. There’s a good chance it will happen in the next refresh, with Google moving the line and lowering its tolerance for what is an acceptable backlink profile.

If this happened along with a refresh, would everyone who hopes to see gains be satisfied? And if it were to happen now, just as the holiday marketing season is set to begin, what kind of panic and chaos would we witness? Perhaps the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t know.

Predictions and speculation aside, all we can do is wait for Google, who first allowed sites to be rewarded for building links, but later penalized those same links (and sites) for being a bit too effective at influencing rankings. And we have thousands upon thousands of businesses who have had their profits decimated by Penguin penalties, either through ignorance of the guidelines or through their intentional manipulation, devoting substantial time, effort and resources to link pruning in the hopes of lifting the penalty and returning to Google’s good graces. We can only hope that when we do one day see the payoff of our link pruning work, our sites are deemed the better for it.

“Do no evil” implies the power to forgive when a website “repents” for their sins. Sites have worked hard to repent. They have learned their lessons. They want and need to be forgiven.

And so we wait. . .

August 13th 2014 Google, SEO

The Compete Weekly Pulse

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Weekly-Pulse-2014

Happy National Simplify Your Life Week! We hope that some of our favorite articles from last week will help you do just that. The following five articles are filled with information, tips, and tricks to help your digital marketing, to put it simply, win the internet.

7 Myths You Shouldn’t Believe About Email Marketing [Infographic]

We’re constantly being reminded that email marketing isn’t dead, but it makes sense that people might think it’s outdated given that email is one of the oldest digital marketing tools. Through the years we have heard so much advice about how to manage this element of marketing, some of it sage, some of it nonsense. With all the information coming your way, it’s increasingly difficult to detect the true from false. This Hubspot article, featuring an infographic by Alchemy Worx, will show you what to believe and what to dismiss. Increase your open rate by debunking these popular myths here.

7 Lies About SEO You Probably Believe

As is the case with email marketing, there’s a ton of misinformation on the internet about SEO. This article by Quick Sprout helps you weed through inaccurate information and commonly held misconceptions. Learn what to do, what to ignore, and how to navigate those pesky algorithms here.

Top Social Media Blunders of 2014 and What You Can Learn from Them

If at any time during the past year you’ve felt like your social media hit a snag, this article will make you feel a whole lot better. These massive social media catastrophes from the first half of 2014 should help to put things in perspective. Featuring incidents of an accidental NSFW image, a hashtag campaign gone awry, and an Instagram that led to international outcry, this article by Click Fire should serve as a comforting reality check as well as a collection of cautionary tales.

30% of Traffic to Insurance Sites Came from Search in June

Most people are familiar with the TV advertising campaigns of leading auto insurance companies, but the digital marketing behind the companies that bring us the gecko, mayhem, and Flo, are lesser known. This article by Search Engine Watch discusses how the competition continues on the search results pages. Learn about the rivalries here, and check out an article by our VP of Financial Services, Retail and Consumer Products Practices on the topic as well.

The Latest LinkedIn Features You Should Start Using Today

LinkedIn has some brand new upgrades! And the good people at Forbes want to teach you all about them. In this article, they highlight what the new features are, take you through how to best use them, and explain how utilizing these new features will optimize the effectiveness of your branding. Check it out to learn how to take your online professional network to the next level.

August 10th 2014 News, SEO, Social Media

Your BEST Backlink in Your Life: How Have You Earned It?

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We cannot do without links: Links are still the major part of the search algorithm; Links drive referrals and links connect our sites to the rest of the web. We are well-aware what types of backlinks we need to stay away from but how to acquire links in a way that it would benefit our rankings and NOT put us under the risk of a penalty?

Here are some of the insights from thought leaders sharing their BEST backlink they have ever earned!

Expert Interview

Jice_Lavocat (Elokenz Founder)

The best backlink I ever earned was coming from W3C (not available anymore).

I got it after interviewing a semantic web Researcher about the future of web.

In addition to a W3C backlink, I got many BL and twitter citations coming from academic institutions. So, interviewing an (academic) expert was pretty efficient.

Editor’s tip: Read this article on finding experts to interview on your blog!

Go with THE Trend!

Randy Pickard (Marketing Director)

Prom Dress Manufacturers Are Ready to Wage a War Against…Google?

Goal was to communicate how horribly infested Google is with counterfeiters and the damage it is doing to our industry and the naive buyers that are getting ripped off by the search giant’s aiding and abetting copyright infringers. This campaign led to article in a leading fashion industry blog.

This blog link seems to have generated a very significant boost in our rankings, which led to a 1,000 visitor per day boost in visitor traffic. Love the irony of bashing Google to improve rankings.

Adam Connell (Founder of Blogging Wizard)


A while back I was featured in an article on CIO.com about SEO trends. 

Up till this point most of the SEO work I was doing was behind the scenes, managing a marketing agency – this was the first major step I took to share my insights with the Internet community.

The SEO in me was stoked to get a link from a PR8 site, while overall the link didn’t really matter to me – it was purely the fact that this was a major stepping stone to establishing myself and building visibility for my brand that was important to me.

Editor’s tip: “Catching the right wave” will always be a tricky thing with lots of trial and error involved. But tracking the trends should be an integral part of any content marketing strategy.

Build Relationships

Jonathan Bentz (Marketing Manager)


One of the favorite backlinks I’ve ever earned came from simply taking the time to be friendly and act as a resource to others in the SEO industry.

Back in 2011 (while I was still at ProspectMX), Jon Payne of Ephricon was interviewed by Stephen Chapman on his ZDNet blog, “SEO Whistleblower”. In the interview, Payne was asked “What do you find to be some of the most key factors for running a successful SEO agency?” In his answer, he mentions how valuable it is to build relationships with other agencies to share advice, opinions, etc., and then mentions some of the most valuable contacts he has made.

Now, J-Payne knows a bunch of people in the industry. But for some reason on that day in 2011, he included a link builder and client campaign manager from an agency in Lancaster, PA among a list of other industry leaders and CEOs. Chapman was also cool enough to allow a backlink to ProspectMX to be included in the piece, too.

Say what you will about it not having keyword rich anchor text… but we scored an in-content backlink from a DA 96 just by being nice! I’d say that was a pretty nice win! Link to the interview

3 Rules of Relationship-Powered Link Building #pubcon from Ann Smarty

Digital Asset + a Very Targeted Pitch

Kyle Sanders (Head of Search)

We pitched an infographic to one of our clients (a home builder) focused on the Austin real estate market. They were in, we wireframed, designed, and delivered it only to find the CEO change his mind at the last minute. “We need to niche down,” he said.

So there we were, stuck with a city-centric infographic about Austin. Well, since we liked and the idea and office in Austin, we tweeted it at the Austin Business Journal and the University of Texas. It ended up spending nearly 24 hours at the top of r/Austin, drove ~25K views, and now we have a permanent link from UT’s College of Engineering (among many others), right in the middle of their copy under “You’ll live in one of the nation’s coolest cities.” Win. 

Fix Their Errors

Jacob Curtis (Digital Marketing Strategist)


While it may not be the best one I’ve ever earned, I’ll always be most proud of my first backlink. 

When just beginning my blogging journey I had read numerous articles about the benefits of guest blogging for backlinks. And while I understood the advantages, I didn’t quite know where to start and more importantly who to approach as a newbie blogger. 

And though I had a wish list of blogs I wanted to write for, my first guest blogging opportunity came quite unexpectedly. 

As I remember it, I was on Twitter and randomly clicked-through to some blog article related to social media. After reading the article, the site’s design and energetic author, Amy Schmittaur, kept me intrigued and I persuaded me to explore around a bit. Next, upon trying to use an embedded button on her site to follow Amy on Twitter, I noticed the function was not working as intended and imagined she had no idea. 

I immediately navigated to Amy’s contact form and informed her of the broken link in which she replied with her appreciation. I then used the opportunity to introduce myself and ask if I could contribute to her blog. Of course, I believe helping her first, helped in her decision to allow me to write my first guest article on her blog. 

Not only did I receive a valuable backlink without having to game, pay, or plead for it, but I also gained the confidence I needed to approach other bloggers for future contributions.

*Selective* high-Quality Guest Blogging

Matthew Anton (web designer / online marketer)

I have two “best” ones I’ve earned so far. One was completely organic, which was a Cnet article about the rise of social networks in the video game space. At the time, we were running CharacterPlanet (think Facebook for MMORPG games such as World of Warcraft). Unfortunately the project was under capitalized and lacked the coding knowledge to scale to the masses, but it was 2007 and we only wanted the link for publicity.

In 2011, after reading about guest blogging and seeing the success of Ann Smarty I decided to embark on a journey of reaching out to high quality blogs and writing posts personally. Even though I’m involved with online marketing, the one I’m most “proud” of comes in the form of an MMA/sports guest blog post:

Is it Time We Allow Teenage MMA Fights in the USA?

  • One link showed me the importance of creating something unique and having a true organic growth through press, coverage and natural backlinks.
  • The other post showed me if you provide value to someones readership, it will naturally get shared and help your core business. Both were good lessons in terms of furthering my marketing career.

SocialAlex


WD® Gives Consumers A Cloud Of Their Own @ Teksocial

I like the way the article looks on the site, and guest blogging is proof that I’m committed to being social online, not just digital. Plus, readers like the content and advice in it, and it was very easy to cooperate with the publisher Ann Smarty. The article is a cloud article and that’s where Ann published it from, the clouds –  via airline Wi-Fi! Seriously! 

Editor’s tip: Guest blogging is and will be a good tactic to obtain editorial links only if you approach it properly.

Use HARO

Nishadha (Freelance Digital Marketer)


One of the best links I’ve earned the link to my company Creately from this article in Inc Magazine. I got it by replying to a HARO query. I was replying to few HARO queries and was almost about to give up on the service when I got contacted for this link. Definitely a source worth considering for high quality authority links.

Editor’s tip: Read more on building media and PR relationships here

Post FIRST and BEST Comments

Hamlet


Okay, I think it is a backlink from problogger. It was a nofollow backlink to my blog flowingevents. I was the first commenter in that post ;)

Problogger is a famous and authority blog in this niche. So this backlink adding more value to my blog.

To get backlinks and traffic from blog commenting it is very important to comment first.

Fake it Till You Make it

CharlesFloate (God of SEO)


The best link I’ve ever achieved was when I first started reading Ryan Holiday’s “Trust Me, I’m Lying” – It teaches you how to manipulate the media online via Blogs, Anonymous Emails and various other tactics.. I wanted to promote my projects YouTube channel and so I added a few fake views, subscribers and hired a VA to put together a load of comments – Making the channel look a lot bigger than it was.

I outreached to a number of Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts that were based around the Niche (a certain Video Game) I was in about this new video that I’d seen. Quickly, the video hit the frontpage of the game’s Reddit (over half a million users on that Reddit), was posted to hundreds of Facebook pages and eventually got put on the eSports magazine Kotaku, along with a Do-Follow link back to both my channel and the project’s site. All with, only 15 minutes of fake emailing and social messaging. The video now stands at over 500,000 views and my DA went from 23 to 49 in one month.

Editor’s note: Of course SEOchat would not encourage you to go and buy fake views for mediocre content but “Fake it till you make it” may still be an effective tactic as you can see (after all, that channel would NOT spread unless it deserved it!!!)

Please share your best link or your case study!

The post Your BEST Backlink in Your Life: How Have You Earned It? appeared first on SEO Chat.

August 6th 2014 SEO

Why You Should Avoid Numbers in Your URL

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While linkbait posts aren’t as popular as they once were, top 10 lists have been popular ever since Moses came down from the mount with his top 10 list of “thou shalt nots.” Magazines like Rolling Stone will always have top 500 playlists and AFI will always publish top 100 movies lists. However, as a responsible publisher, marketer, and SEO … class="readmore">[Continue reading class="readmore" href="http://graywolfseo.com/seo/avoid-numbers-your-url/"> Why You Should Avoid Numbers in Your URL]

The post rel="nofollow" href="http://graywolfseo.com/seo/avoid-numbers-your-url/">Why You Should Avoid Numbers in Your URL appeared first on rel="nofollow" href="http://graywolfseo.com/">Graywolf's SEO Blog.

August 5th 2014 SEO

Your On-Page SEO is Missing a Few Factors

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250-scamsOh boy, here’s another example of Internet marketing spam / scam that I received as a blog comment…

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin

Let’s dissect this…

  1. Here’s the author info:
    • seo plugin
    • 0 approved
    • SeoOptimizationxxx.com/x
    • nhsfkpqf@gmail.com
    • 23.231.7.41

    GREAT name and email address for a ‘professional’ SEO service, eh?

    Those are the easiest first clues to to spam blog comments.

  2. Then, this scammer doesn’t know how to use a blog comment form to save his (or her) life, or the English language for that matter.Yes, you can read through the text and make sense of what he is saying, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the scammer isn’t actually an SEO professional… or a professional who is competent in the English language.

  3. The advice is completely bogus, i.e. ‘nice keyword density of 3-5%’. Duh. As always, my advice is to write for humans, not search engines. The search engines ‘get it’ when you blog regularly about a consistent theme. They also ‘get it’ when you try to write to an algorithm… to the point that you will be penalized for trying to manipulate your rankings.

  4. There is no such thing as a ‘simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY’.

Nope, sorry, I hate to burst your bubble, but there is not such thing as a plugin that does ‘all the on-page SEO.

REAL bloggers do their own on-page SEO by crafting titles, tags, heading tags, image alts, slugs and everything else manually to stay in Google’s good graces.

Comments, questions or suggestions? Please leave a comment below!

Cheers,

sig-ros

July 30th 2014 affiliate marketing, SEO, spam

The Top 7 SEO Web Design Methods to Increase Visibility

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by Jayson DeMers

Anyone who has Googled him- or herself understands the power and mystique of search engine results. When you run an e-commerce business, where it lands in search rankings plays a critical role in how many people are exposed to your company and its services.
When businesses land near the top of the search results page for keywords related to their industries, users are much more likely to click on their pages, view their content, and learn about their products or services. The more visitors to the site, the more opportunities the company has to make sales and achieve high marketing ROI. 
To benefit from optimal search engine rankings (increased visibility, higher traffic, and improved sales), many effective tactics exist. If you incorporate these strategies into your websites as you build and maintain them, your business stands the best chance of SEO dominance over the competition.
Read on to learn how businesses use SEO to maximize their impact in their industries and boost the bottom line.
The best SEO optimization tactics for web design
Although companies can retroactively optimize their websites, DigiTech Web Design states “the most effective way to achieve high ranking is to build a site from scratch with SEO in mind.” This enables the designer to incorporate a variety of techniques that will maximize the site’s impact.” Some of these techniques include:
1. URL structures. When creating URLs, make sure they adequately describe the subject matter of your content and contain keywords relevant to the topic. This gives search engines and visitors alike a clear idea of what the page will be about.
Also, keep URLs short and simple, using hyphens (not underscores) between words and keeping out unrelated characters or terms.
 
2. Responsive design. The most SEO-friendly sites are those that incorporate responsive design techniques to make them accessible for users of all types of devices. Building and maintaining separate mobile and desktop sites may present a complication with duplicate content, which e-commerce companies should avoid.
3. Descriptive navigation. Visitors should be able to navigate sites quickly and easily to find the information they need. With that in mind, web designers should not get too creative with the navigation bar location; place it across the top or along the left margin of the page.
Use flyout and dropdown menu bars with caution, because both robots and humans have more trouble navigating them. Text links are best, and sites should strive to use no more than 6 or 7 menu options on a page.
4. Image optimization. To make images SEO-friendly, edit them to the minimum size (often 20-100 kb) necessary for user visibility. Avoid using source code to shrink them; this has a negative impact on the length of time the page will take to load. Organic search rankings and user experience will suffer as a result.
When creating alt image text, make sure to use keywords in header images, logo images, graphics, and buttons on each page.
5. Page load times. Mobile users wait an average of 5 seconds for websites to load; desktop users only three. To keep pace with busy consumers, websites must load efficiently or risk losing businesses. 
To achieve faster page load times, companies can employ techniques such as enabling compression, browser caching, minimizing JavaScript and CSS, and sizing images correctly. Tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights and WebPagetest can help you determine your website page load times.
6. Keyword research. Which keywords, phrases, and topics have potential customers researched with relation to your industry, product, or service? Google Keyword Planner helps businesses learn how their target market locates competitors, as well as identifying sub-categories that may apply to them.
Armed with valuable keyword data, companies can use this information to name and structure navigation bars – as well as product and category pages – for the most effective websites.
7. Sitemaps. XML sitemaps (for search engines) and HTML sitemaps (for website visitors) allow these entities to locate exactly what they need. It also allows Google to index your site thoroughly and efficiently.
How to use SEO techniques to maximize the impact of your content
Once companies have created the framework of their website, establishing and maintaining search engine-optimized content becomes a crucial activity. Content marketing techniques for SEO include:
1. Fixed content. Keyword-rich content, such as articles and blogs, should present high-quality writing and contain at least 400-500 words per article. The longer content remains on a site, the better ratings it receives from search engines.
2. Encourage linking. When businesses write compelling, unique, and useful content, readers are more likely to link to their articles from social media or blogs. Addressing misunderstandings or myths, discussing newsworthy topics, or raising questions for the public encourages engagement and sharing, and that will make your page show up more in search engine results.
3. Natural keyword use. When you use keywords in articles, blog posts, or page content, place them at the beginning of the content and not in nonsensical or repeating patterns throughout the page. Search engines will detect “keyword stuffing” that doesn’t adhere to genuine language patterns.
4. Use built-in marketing messages. To ensure your company’s contact information shows up on search engine indexes, replace links that read “Contact us” with ones that read “Contact [your company name].” This maximizes the number of times individuals will come in contact with your brand.
When it comes to search engine optimization, the companies that achieve the greatest success are those that combine technological know-how with content wordsmithing. If you pursue the above strategies, in a few steps your brand will be on its way to the top of the search engine rankings, not to mention the hearts and minds of your target audience!
How have you successfully leveraged SEO to achieve higher visibility and web traffic? 

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Weekly-Pulse-2014

Have you seen the video of Charlie the dog apologizing to an infant for taking away her toy? Well, it’s awesome, and it’s gone viral. The video got massive attention on Facebook and Twitter this week, proving yet again the power of the retweet.

Last week social media didn’t get a ton of love, so today’s Weekly Pulse includes three of our favorite articles on how to develop your social media marketing plan. Pair that with new findings concerning the “digital generation gap” and some insight on the CEO-SEO dynamic, and this edition of the Weekly Pulse will have you feeling like the savviest digital marketer on the web.

Social Media…

How To Create a Social Media Marketing Plan from Scratch

If you’re just beginning the process of developing a social media marketing plan, this article is your gospel. It’s one of the most detailed and comprehensive pieces on social media that we’ve ever read. Buffer provides you with crucial information for success and doles out some tips that there’s just no way you could have come up with on your own. They break everything down into simple steps so you can overcome your anxiety and your brand can make some digital friends.

8 Essential Elements of a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social Media Examiner provides another phenomenal overview on developing your social media marketing strategy. They more so emphasize the implications that your social media presence has for your brand as a whole. Hashtag collaboration! Their article will help you understand what to include in your marketing strategy so that it is cohesive with your ideal image. If you want to make sure your branding stays consistent, check it out and get your digital ducks in a row.

25 Ideas for Your Social Media Network Strategy

Businessgrow.com wants to help you achieve marketing success in 140 or fewer characters. They argue that developing an audience should be your foremost goal and show you how to do so in the fastest way possible—on Twitter. Whether you’re just starting out on Twitter, or you’ve been hashtagging for years, this article can provide you with a plethora of ideas to step up your Twitter game and build an enviable audience.

…and more

7 Misconceptions CEOs Have About SEO

Vintage is trendy, but it’s not trending. Unfortunately, that’s likely the type of knowledge your CEO is hanging onto about SEO. He has a company to run, so chances are he’s not the most up-to-date on those algorithms. This article by Search Engine Journal shines a light on the epidemic that is the underinformed CEO. You might not transform him into a SEO guru overnight, but this article will help you understand what you need to communicate to benefit the company that he loves.

Digital Generation Gap

So obviously we’re all aware that people who are 20 use technology differently than people who are 60, but in terms of concrete, researched evidence to support this claim, there’s shockingly little. Cue TECHnalysis Research. They conducted a survey on how varying age groups use mobile vs PC. Check out their results so that you know how to appeal to both the Justin Bieber fans and Sean Connery aficionados of the world.

July 27th 2014 News, SEO, Social Media, Twitter

cjbarber/ToolsOfTheTrade

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cjbarber/ToolsOfTheTrade

Epic collection of links to tools of the trade for folks who work on the web.

July 24th 2014 SEO, Tools

Is Your Authority Site Safe From Negative SEO? A Look At PRWEB And PRNewswire

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[Disclaimer: Contributors' views are their own. They do not necessarily represent Devshed views ]

Last month I wrote an article about Google’s payday loan update which seemed to hit several sites but bypassed YouTube.

This month I have decided to go and take a look at two of the most popular press release sites and see if they have recovered from the penalty.

The 1st site I looked at was PR Newswire, who was getting an estimated 441,000 organic visits per month in May before the penalty. As you can see in the image below they are now driving an estimated 47,800 organic visits per month to the site after the penalty.

 pr newswire traffic

The 2nd site I have been monitoring is PR Web, one of the other big players in the Press Release niche. PR Web was getting a whopping 760,000+ estimated organic visits per month in May and since the penalty they are getting just over 34,000 estimated organic visits.

prweb traffic

Due to these penalties both press releases companies have made sweeping changes to what they will allow to be covered in their releases moving forward.

For instance neither agency will allow releases to be published about HCG, Green Coffee Beans, Raspberry Ketone, Garcinia Cambogia, Electronic Cigarettes or Payday Loans.

Most of these products Google will happily to advertise for profit, as seen in the image below.

 garcinia

If you think about the implication of these penalties it should also make it pretty clear that negative seo can be applied to most anyone, regardless of the size, age or reputation of the site in question.

Let’s put this in perspective, both of these sites have millions of existing links pointing to them over the course of several years in the business. The behavior of a few black hat SEO’s out there caused the sites to lose rankings and traffic for keywords which resulted on up to a 90% drop in estimated organic traffic.

While it is unlikely this was an intentional negative SEO attempt the result was the same, the sites were penalized due to behavior outside of their direct control and links they did not build themselves.

How difficult would it be to replicate this same pattern of bad behavior and victimize other, smaller sites that are standing in the way of your rankings?

Matt Cutts put out a YouTube video discussing how negative seo is easily combated through the disavow tool and how webmasters might just find it a minor inconvenience to disavow links.

Below is a snapshot of PR Web’s 26 MILLION links across nearly 200,000 domains I am not sure about you, but I would think reviewing even 1% of those links to be more than a “minor” inconvenience, even if you are lucky enough to have a full time webmaster on your staff.

prweb links

The point is no matter what you do it is in your best interest to regularly check your backlink profile in Google Webmaster tools and 3rd party tools such as Majestic Seo. Many times the penalty is not applied right away and by the time you figure out you have been a victim of negative SEO you may have to go back months to see where those links have come from.

What do you think; do you think Google has made it too easy to use negative SEO as a tactic?

The post Is Your Authority Site Safe From Negative SEO? A Look At PRWEB And PRNewswire appeared first on SEO Chat.

July 24th 2014 Google, SEO

Q and A: What are some typical daily tasks of a SEO business?

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QuestionHello Kalena

I have read a handful of your blog posts and LOVED THEM. I’ll get to the point. I was looking to see if you could write a post on daily tasks of an SEO business if you had ONE client (to keep it simple).

I have about 60 domains that I use to test SEO techniques, I own two businesses with I SEO myself, I attend many webinars, buy books etc to keep my SEO skills sharp. I pretty good with SEO and running a business.

My problem now is I’d like to run an SEO business but I don’t know what a client wants from me on a day today basis for results. Could you possibly email me or write a post about what I would do day-day for a client. Almost like a checklist. Of course I would have to do many other task that randomly come at me (problem solving).

My brain gets a little jumbled when it comes to organization. Since I’ve never run an SEO business yet, I have no idea what my days would look like. I have my web/graphic design business down perfectly!

I understand you are very busy but if you could give me a little boost I will definitely pay it forward.

Thank you!

Chris

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Hi Chris

You might be interested to know that our SEO Advanced course includes a whole bonus lesson dedicated to setting up your own SEO business, including recommended tools and checklists.

In the meantime, I actually wrote an article a couple of years ago that might help you. Although it might not be quite be written as the day in the life of a SEO, it IS written as a diary of typical SEO tasks that you need to perform over several weeks. It’s called The 10 Week SEO Diet and there is even a video version.

Hope this helps!

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July 18th 2014 SEO