Google Search Console Introduces ‘Property Sets’

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Google has launched ‘Property Sets’ within their Search Console allowing webmasters to combine apps and sites within a single group in order to monitor overall clicks and impressions within a single report. It will be rolling out to all users over the next couple of days. This is a great feature for those that have many subdomains as well.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 8.22.51 AM

Google provides these instructions to get started:

1. Create a property set
2. Add the properties you’re interested in
3. The data will start being collected within a few days
4. Profit from the new insights in Search Analytics!

Google adds:

Property Sets will treat all URIs from the properties included as a single presence in the Search Analytics feature. This means that Search Analytics metrics aggregated by host will be aggregated across all properties included in the set. For example, at a glance you’ll get the clicks and impressions of any of the sites in the set for all queries.

This feature will work for any kind of property in Search Console. Use it to gain an overview of your international websites, of mixed HTTP / HTTPS sites, of different departments or brands that run separate websites, or monitor the Search Analytics of all your apps together: all of that’s possible with this feature.

The post Google Search Console Introduces ‘Property Sets’ appeared first on WebProNews.

May 23rd 2016 Analytics, Google, Search, SEO

New Keyword Competition Tool From Moz

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Keyword Explorer Launched For SEO Experts

Moz has launched a new tool called Keyword Explorer which is designed to simplify and improve the method of researching keywords for a successful SEO campaign.

Great news for the world of SEO as Moz has launched a new keyword research tool known as Keyword Explorer or KWE. Keywords are the foundation stones that the SEO industry is built upon so it is exciting to have a new comprehensive overview of the best keywords to use to enhance the position of a site in SERPs.

Although there are other keyword services being utilised within the industry, the new offering from Moz is already standing out as a particularly superior style of tool. It contains many unique features such as metrics and advanced functionality which exist to add value to the keyword gathering process whilst saving precious time for SEO consultants.

Spans The Entire Keyword Research Process

Keyword research is one of the most important phases in any SEO campiagn. Explorer has been designed to assist you throughout your entire keyword journey. It begins with the discovery stage of offering keyword ideas and then takes you through various steps such as getting metrics, building a list, keyword filtering and easy prioritisation of keywords you wish to target.

Reliable Volume Score

The inbuilt volume score is one of KWE’s greatest features and goes beyond what Adwords currently reports. By using a volume bucket methodology, Moz receives anonymised clickstream data from around 1 million real searches in the US and then manages to predict the search volume of a particular keyword. This approach provides keyword reports with a 95% accuracy rate. Google’s own keyword planner has attracted much criticism for being inaccurate as it is based on rounded averages.

Opportunity, Importance And Potential Metrics

On top of the typical volume and difficulty metrics that are featured in other keyword tools, KWE also provides information on three other essential pieces of information in keyword metrics – opportunity, importance and potential. ‘Opportunity’ delivers an estimate on the click-through-rate (CTR) of the organic results in search. ‘Importance’ is a variable which allows users to mark how vital a particular keyword is to the strength of their own campaign. The ability to track a combination of all the metrics in order to create a keyword prioritisation list is known as ‘Potential’.  

Single Platform

In the past, SEOs relied on the manual recruitment of keywords from a wide variety of sources including Keyword Planner data, Google Suggest and Related Searches. KWE makes all of these available in its tool as well as topic-modelling ideas, keywords from the clickstream data and alternative keywords related to existing ranking pages.

Ease Of Import And Export

KWE is built with SEOs in mind. It realises that people have their own research methods and therefore supports easy import and export functionality. If an SEO consultant already has a keyword list, then they can upload it into Keyword Explorer to obtain metrics. Alternatively power users can use the KWE metrics process but then export the data to Excel if they have specific niche analysis that they want to perform outside of the platform.

Keyword Explorer is currently available as a freemium model – you can execute two free searches per day without logging in, up to five if you have a community account with Moz and unlimited if you hold a Pro Subscriber account.

KWE will give SEOs the edge in gaining an advantage over the competition in SERPs. Make sure you hire an SEO firm who always utilises the best and most innovative tools on the market to ensure incredible results for your brand.

The post New Keyword Competition Tool From Moz appeared first on SEO Chat.

May 18th 2016 Keywords, SEO

3 Awesome Tools to Streamline Content Creation

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When you are running an online business of any kind – be it a blog, an ecommerce store or just a marketing campaign for a tangible, offline company – you have multiple sources of content distribution at your disposal.

YouTube, blog platforms, Twitter, Facebooksocial media has become the way of the future in online business. Failing to properly utilize such a resource will severely damage your online visibility, which is crucial in today’s world. Social media is changing the way we are doing keyword research, produce and market content.

According to Australia-based agency Impressive, content marketing is only going to get more varied and complicated. How do you keep up?

Identifying Weak Areas

When trying to analyze the effectiveness of your content strategy on the web, you should take some time to review and understand what it is you are currently doing right. This will also show you where you need to improve. You can do this through a content audit, which is essentially putting together spreadsheets of all social media campaigns to find where you are lacking.

Once you have taken a fair look at what you have been doing, start looking at how much you are really posting, and the relevance of the content. For example, are you meeting your desired quota for blog posts per week? Are they generating the right response? Are tweets being replied to or retweeted? Have you been communicating with your Facebook fans on a personal level? Are you published a good balance of links, original updates and comments or replies to readers?

If you are clear about what you have and have not been providing, you can improve your social media marketing and so your overall content strategy. These three apps can further help you along the way:

1. DivvyHQ

DivvyHQ

An editorial calendar is a must have item for anyone who is posting online but especially for those who are want to run a multimedia campaign using social sites and methods. It is just too easy to lose track of what you are going to post without one… Not to mention it lessens the quality of your content to fail to plan ahead.

Technically, a spreadsheet works fine to plan posts. But if you want to really take advantage, an app like DivvyHQ can be what you need. It is a scheduling application that allows multiple users, reviewers and help in better targeting your posts.

They have plans from $25 to $195 a month, as well as custom pricing for larger companies of more than 20 people and a 30-day free trial. They even have in-person or online training for implementing social media strategies.

2. Skyword

skyword

This platform works by putting together a report on what your audience is searching, reading and otherwise showing interest in at every stage of the content creation process. This allows you to better target your own campaign and post writing, as well as provides a direction for links and status updates.

Skyword works by making sure your SEO, usability and content quality guidelines are being taken serious.

What makes it different from a basic SEO app is that it actually was created to factor the data into the writing process itself. Currently, it is in the beta stage and so asking only for feedback from those that choose to use it. It is free to create an account.

3. Gather Content

Gather Content

A simplification app for content creators and managers, this works by creating a “site map” that involves all media content you have to get done. You set in the parameters and turn it into single page collections that can be shared and edited by invited parties.

The platform costs $66 minimum and for that you can maintain 10 active projects and add an unlimited number of users.

Conclusion

Working out a way to increase the efficiency and workability of a content strategy takes time, effort and a bit of know how. These apps will help you to get it done much more quickly, and without the stress.

Add in the fact that two of them are free and the other more affordable than any similar service I have personally found, and you have every reason to try them out.

The post 3 Awesome Tools to Streamline Content Creation appeared first on SEO Chat.

May 13th 2016 Facebook, SEO

Google’s Report on SEO Conduct & Webspam: Ethical SEO Help for Businesses

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Google’s Report on SEO Conduct & Webspam: Ethical SEO Help for Businesses was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Your business is on the field of one of the most competitive games of all: organic search rankings. If you play by the rules, you have a chance of making your website visible to searchers and winning site visitors. If you don’t follow the rules, you have no chance of scoring those goals if there’s a referee on the field.

Search engines play the role of referee in the search engine optimization game. For business owners, this means that ethical SEO conduct can pay off. Google has a manual actions team whose job is to help keep the search results clean. They back up the algorithms (which do most of the work filtering out webspam) and review individual cases by hand. These people have the power to blow a whistle to stop misbehavior and even to bench a player who refuses to play by the rules. I like to picture them in black and white striped shirts (though I’m sure jeans and t-shirts would be closer to the truth).

While referees can be very unpopular, their words carry a lot of weight. This week Google published a report titled “How we fought webspam in 2015” chronicling what they discovered and accomplished last year. Impressively, the manual actions team sent more than 4.3 million messages to webmasters last year. That means webmasters were notified personally not only of a yellow flag being thrown, but also about what caused the penalty action.

Refereeing the game of SEO

Google referees may not be popular, but they help keep sites playing by the rules of SEO conduct.

From a searcher’s perspective, all of this refereeing is fantastic news. It means that if I search for “referee clothing,” I will actually see striped shirts and not spammy, unwanted junk. Touchdown!

From a business’s perspective, however, Google penalties can be livelihood-threatening realities. Since the introduction of the Panda Update in 2011 and the subsequent waves of algorithmic and manual action Google penalties, we’ve seen a rise in SEO services clients requiring penalty assessments and removals. This latest report from Google is important for online businesses to be aware of because it points to trends in webspam and identifies red-flag digital marketing tactics to avoid.


In BCI’s 20-year history, our digital marketing company has been a pioneering voice for ethical search engine optimization. Due to our methodology founded on SEO ethics, we’ve helped countless clients recover from manual and algorithmic penalties, and now eagerly await the next Penguin update to see additional penalty recovery resolutions. (Read a testimonial.)

To partner with a top-tier technical SEO agency and grow your website’s revenue-driving potential, fill out our request form or call us today.


Below I’ll explain more about how webmasters can deal with Google penalty situations. But first, here is the state of webspam, according to Google’s report.

Webspam-Fighting Highlights

It bears repeating that Google’s manual actions team sent more than 4.3 million messages to webmasters last year. Many “penalties” occur algorithmically and can blindside webmasters with a sudden, unexplained loss of search traffic to their sites. You’ve got to appreciate the fact that the search engine takes the time to notify this many people directly to communicate that a problem and/or penalty has occurred.

SEO Tip: You’ll find any messages sent by the manual actions team if you look in your Google Search Console account messages. So if you haven’t set up Google Search Console yet, do it now!

Hacked Sites Up by 180 Percent

Compared to the previous year, the number of sites being hacked was up by 180 percent! Google’s report identified site hacking as a top webspam trend of 2015. Here’s what being hacked means: One day, you wake up to find your nice, clean website covered with the graffiti of someone else’s spammy content. (Jump down for what to do about hacked sites.)

Thin Content Is Trending Up

Google’s manual actions team reports that “sites with thin, low quality content” are the second most commonly increasing form of webspam.

“We saw an increase in the number of sites with thin, low quality content. Such content contains little or no added value and is often scraped from other sites.”

Businesses should know that we’ve been living in the age of Google’s Panda algorithm update for several years now. What is Google Panda? Panda eats low-quality content for lunch. And Google told us earlier this year that Panda is now part of its core ranking algorithm.

Google referees SEO conduct

SEO Advice for Businesses Facing Google Penalties

A Google manual action notice is usually terrible news for business owners. A penalized site drops in the search engine rankings, losing untold revenue from website traffic that’s no longer coming from search.

If this happens, site owners may not understand how to recover. Sometimes the issues are straightforward and, after a bit of housecleaning, the site owner can submit a Reconsideration Request to Google and be restored to good standing.

However, many sites have long-standing issues or layered penalties that require more expertise. We’ve had a number of clients come to us after struggling for a year or more to fix their own sites without regaining much ground in the SERPs. (If that’s your situation, read about our SEO penalty assessment service and let’s talk.)

But can a notification by the manual actions team be GOOD NEWS? It can be if it alerts you to a problem.

If you receive a manual action message, stay calm. It might be a penalty, but it might just be a warning. When you read the notification, here’s what you’re going to want to understand ASAP:

  • What problem caused the manual action?
  • What will it mean for my site (i.e., in terms of ranking and revenue)?
  • How can I fix the problem as fast as possible?

Recognizing a Hacked Site

If your website is hacked, Google’s manual actions team may be the first to notice it. Google’s webspam fighters have gotten pretty good at identifying when a site is the victim of hacking, rather than purposely trying to spam through deceptive SEO conduct. And that’s great news for webmasters.

Juan Felipe Rincon, a lead of Google’s Webmaster Outreach team, spoke on manual actions at SMX West. He explained: “Content that wasn’t put there by the legitimate site owner and website hacks account for 45 percent of manual actions.” Forty-five percent of 4.3 million manual action notices represents a HUGE number of sites victimized by hacked content.

SEO tip: If your site has been hacked and you get the news directly from Google, be thankful. It’s a diagnosis you need to hear so you can work on curing the problem. For all webmasters, Google’s recommended preventative measures can help you protect your content and keep your site safe from hackers.

Solving for Thin Content

Sites scraping content from other sites to fill their own pages is apparently happening more and more.

This is a bad practice from an ethical perspective (because it’s stealing) and also from a business perspective. The search engines can identify where content comes from, including its original source, because they know the date and location they first discovered that content. So the reward just isn’t there for the crime of scraping! But since I’m pretty sure scrapers are not reading the Bruce Clay, Inc. Blog, I’ll end my rant. ”</p

May 6th 2016 SEO

How to Use SEO When You Need to Hire Someone Now

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by Jayson DeMers

When most people think about online marketing, they think about the straightforward side–the one that makes them money directly. They think about earning more traffic from their target demographics, and earning more conversions from the pool of that traffic. This leads to more sales (or leads), which then translates to bottom-line dollars for the company.
But there’s another way that online marketing can help your organization–by promoting an open position and attracting more qualified candidates to apply.

SEO for Human Resources

SEO (search engine optimization) is a marketing strategy, plain and simple. By leveraging it, you’ll get more visibility for the pages that matter most on your site. The delusion that most optimizers have fallen into, however, is that the pages you promote should be directly tied to your bottom line. It’s equally possible (and sometimes better) to promote pages that have a chance of benefiting your brand instead, such as human resources pages or individual open positions.

Strategies for Success

Knowing that, you’ll need a handful of specific strategies if you want to use SEO effectively for your hiring campaign:

1. Include a general human resources page.

This should be a main navigation “housing” for your subsequent open position pages. Here, you’ll detail your company’s human resources department, optimizing for keywords related to your business as a place to work rather than a place to do business with. For example, a SaaS company may use a phrase like “a leader in software engineering,” as opposed to a phrase like “a leader in task management software” to cater to software developers over paying subscribers.

2. Create a dedicated page for each position.

Creating a dedicated page for each open position you have provides the opportunity to optimize a page for each of those keyword phrases. Title the page with the job title near the front, and include at least one or two synonyms for that job title in the description. In the body content, describe job responsibilities in detail, and be sure to include at least a handful of instances of the job title.

3. Target individual locations.

Even if your company is a national level organization, and even if you’re hiring multiple people at multiple locations, it’s a good idea to segment your open positions by location. This will allow you to optimize for geographic keywords in your titles, descriptions, and of course, your body content.

4. Use referral links to drive more traffic.

The more links you have pointing to your individual position pages, the stronger those page authorities will be (and the more likely you’ll be to rank for keyword terms relating to that position). Build links on as many different sources as you can, and don’t forget the power that referral traffic can lend to your site. Choose content and publishers that have the highest likelihood of passing qualified candidates your way.  For example, you may want to produce content or make your position available for outside content detailing open positions for job hunters. This is especially effective when localized to one area, such as open jobs in New York City.

Key Challenges

Despite the advantages that SEO for an open position can offer, there are some key challenges you’ll need to bear in mind:

• Competition from job boards.

There are tons of online job boards, and they pretty much have a lockdown on general searches like “jobs in Chicago.” If you want a chance at ranking for any search queries, you’re going to have to find a niche. That means seeking highly specific candidates, or using specific variants of job searches as your target.

• Split resources.

As you optimize for a human resources campaign, you’ll probably be splitting your SEO resources between that and your marketing campaign. For most organizations, this is only a temporary investment (until the position is filled), but if you’re planning on running this as a long-term campaign, you’ll need to carefully strategize so you don’t end up neglecting either side of your campaign.

• Keyword targeting

Obviously, you’ll need to target keywords for your open positions, but finding the right keywords is tougher than you might think. There are dozens of synonyms for your job title, and the job title you give may carry different connotations than you intend. At the same time, there are only so many “alternative” job titles you can include in your body content. The best approach here is to pick a direction and stick with it as best you can; if you try to optimize for too many different keywords, you’ll end up splitting your efforts and ranking for none of them.

If you can incorporate these strategies and overcome these challenges, you’ll be able to attract far more traffic to your open positions, and wind up with far more qualified candidates to choose from when you’re ready to follow through with hiring. That means your organization will run smoother, and you’ll become more profitable.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

April 29th 2016 Search Engine Optimization, SEO

Googler Tweets About Comments’ Impact On Search Ranking

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In case you’re interested in the latest on how Google views the comments on your content, Google’s Gary Illyes (a webmaster trends analyst) provided some insight in a conversation on Twitter.

Hat tip to Search Engine Roundtable for highlighting the conversation between Illyes and Jennifer Slegg of The SEM Post fame:

Of course a “healthy” and “thriving” community in comments means good moderation. Too often, spammers and trolls ruin this, so if you can’t keep things “healthy,” there’s a chance your comments could actually hurt your pages in Google’s eyes.

Like Illeys said, it “feeds into general quality”.

The post Googler Tweets About Comments’ Impact On Search Ranking appeared first on WebProNews.

April 27th 2016 Google, Search, SEO

Google Webmaster Guy On The One Thing He’d Ask From SEOs

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Gary Illyes, one of the faces of Google webmaster relations in the post-Matt Cutts era, gave an interview to Search Engine Journal discussing Accelerated Mobile Pages, the Mobile-Friendly update, and more.

When mobile-friendliness came up in the conversation, he noted that things have gotten a lot better over the past year. Just to give you an idea of how much importance Google places on mobile-friendliness, consider this quote from Illyes:

If I could ask one thing from the SEOs, it would be to decrease page load times on the sites they manage. It makes a huge difference for the users!

AMP of course plays into this. It does stand for Accelerated Mobile Pages after all. Google has indicated in the past that using AMP will make your site mobile-friendly, so you’ll be able to pass Google’s test for that.

Unfortunately, there are apparently a lot of so-called SEOs that aren’t even aware of AMP, let alone using it.

Image via iStock

The post Google Webmaster Guy On The One Thing He’d Ask From SEOs appeared first on WebProNews.

April 27th 2016 Google, Search, SEO

Survey: Less Than A Quarter of SEOs Have Implemented AMP

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SEO PowerSuite released results from a survey of SEOs, finding that only 23% have begun to implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on their mobile sites, though a third plan to do so within the next six months.

Google began showing AMP content in search results in February, and announced an extension of this last week, with content appearing in a carousel at the top of search result pages.

“While half of SEOs surveyed expect AMP to have a significant impact, only 23 percent have begun to implement it on their mobile sites; 29 percent plan to implement AMP in the next six months, and 42 percent say they plan to research it further,” SEO PowerSuite’s report says. “Only 5% say they have no plans to support it.”

Only 75% of SEOs said they were aware of AMP, which is pretty troubling considering it has been one of the biggest SEO narratives since Google announced it. Just 18% said they had researched it extensively. Yikes.

50% said they expect AMP to significantly affect rankings in mobile search results, and 45% said they believe it will have some effect on them.

“SEO marketers really need to act fast and seize the first-mover opportunity ahead of their competition,” said SEO PowerSuite CEO Aleh Barysevich. “We expect Google to unveil more algorithm updates in the future to reward sites that maximize their mobile user experience.”

The survey was conducted among roughly 400 in-house SEOs and agency SEOs in North America and Europe. You can find the full report here.

Image via iStock

The post Survey: Less Than A Quarter of SEOs Have Implemented AMP appeared first on WebProNews.

April 27th 2016 Google, Search, SEO

Google’s Outbound Link Penalties: How to React without Overreacting

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Google’s Outbound Link Penalties: How to React without Overreacting was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Penalties for links usually focus on the inbound kind. So Google’s recent spate of manual actions against websites for having “unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative outbound links” was a surprise to many. (If this is news to you, go ahead and read about it here.)

The quick version: This time, the search engine targeted sites linking out because the links looked like an attempt to boost the destination sites’ rankings in search results. Google took action by devaluing all of the linking site’s links as untrustworthy.

Granted, we saw this coming as an SEO services company that’s successfully mitigated countless penalties for clients. But here’s why this outbound link penalty shouldn’t have surprised anyone paying attention.

Warning Signs That Penalties Loomed

Just a few weeks before the penalties came down, Google noted that those receiving compensation for things such as product reviews needed to take steps to call out any links from their site to the product site, page or supplier.

In a Webmaster Blog post, Google spelled out exactly how to disclose such a relationship, when to use a nofollow tag, and so on — items that are already clearly explained in the guidelines. That was a clear warning sign that a crackdown was coming.

At a more basic level, disclosure is also covered by federal law. In the U.S., Federal Trade Commission guidelines require businesses and individuals to identify when they have been compensated for a review, whether that’s through payment or just free products, for example.

All in all, this outbound link penalty shouldn’t have caught anyone unawares.

Overreacting Can Hurt Your Website

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There is simply no logic behind cutting off all link equity flowing out of your site, and we highly recommend avoiding this action.

Here’s what is surprising: the reaction of some websites to simply nofollow ALL links across their website. (For those not up on SEO lingo, “nofollowing” a link means applying a “nofollow” attribute to the link tag.)

Such a drastic move is an attempt to avoid any problem with Google in the quickest way possible.

Unfortunate reality check: By nofollowing all outbound links, webmasters simply create other issues for themselves.

In fact, when he saw this happening last week, Google’s John Mueller posted this urgent advice in a Webmaster Help Forum: “There’s absolutely no need to nofollow every link on your site!” (source: The SEM Post).

The Appropriate Reaction to a Penalty

First, check your messages in Google Search Console to find out if your site received a manual action for outbound linking. If you were penalized, the best solution is to call out things naturally. For example, wherever you’ve linked to a product you’re reviewing, you should:

  • Explain in the article the relationship with the company supplying the item to be reviewed.
  • State the circumstances (full disclosure).
  • Add rel=”nofollow” to links to the product supplier within the article itself. Many plugins exist for the popular CMSs to enable on-the-fly editing of nofollow on links at the article/publishing level.

Search engines see the internet as a connected entity. If you suddenly nofollow all of your outbound links, it makes your site appear reclusive. It also hurts the sites you’re linking to that are natural links, relevant to your subject matter and qualified to receive your vote of confidence.

There is simply no logic behind cutting off all link equity flowing out of your site, and we highly recommend avoiding this action.

Instead, you need to take legitimate actions to clean up the problem. There are no shortcuts here.

It will pay dividends for any website to be clear about why they are linking to other pages across the web.

Taking time to review your outbound links is good business. Over time, things change, so a page you linked to several years ago may be entirely different in its focus today.

Domains are bought, sold and expire, only to be purchased, parked and plastered with ads.

While these normal activities and link-location changes have always been factored into the search engine algorithms, it’s never too late to ensure you’re linking to — and thus sending your patrons to — quality web pages at relevant, related websites.

After you review your outbound links and nofollow the ones that are unnatural, you can submit a reconsideration request to get back into Google’s good graces.

A Sign of Penguin?

A final point to keep in mind. In the past, we’ve seen minor moves like this ahead of more major updates by Google.

Remember that Penguin we’re all waiting to be updated? We’re not willing to say definitively that this outbound link penalty action is the precursor to a Penguin refresh (as many have predicted already).

However, the fact remains that when the teams are working on one portion of the algorithm, the rest is often close at hand. There can be economies of timing when making algo updates, from the search engines’ perspective. So don’t be surprised if the refresh we’ve been waiting for is near.

find out about SEO Penalty Assessments

April 23rd 2016 Google, SEO

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It’s been a long time (long time), we shouldn’t of left you (left you),
Without a dope beat to step to
It’s been a long time (long time) we shouldn’t of left you (left you),
Without a dope beat to step to.

April 18th 2016 SEO