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.
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.
But there were warning signs from Google that penalties loomed …
In this post by our VP of organic search operations and former search engine rep Duane Forrester, you’ll find out:
- What Google posted a few weeks before the penalties came down.
- How not to overreact to the Google penalties
- What to do to clean up links in your product reviews and other pages, and
- What this move might foretell
Click to read the article.
April 15, 2016
Search Engine Journal hosted an exclusive event limited to 150 digital marketers. The second annual SEJ Summit featured eight industry leaders from companies including Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Disney.
Several key themes that emerged from the exclusive day-long event in Santa Monica:
- Think of your users as humans. You’re not an SEO optimizing for a user, but a person optimizing for another human.
- We live in a multiscreen world. You never know where someone will be interacting with your content. #ResponsiveDesign
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is gaining momentum and regardless of your industry you need to be ready to implement.
Read the full report!
April 7, 2016
Last Thursday on Reddit, David Szetela offered an AMA to the r/PPC community. An AMA, or “Ask Me Anything,” is just that — an anything goes Q&A with someone of some interest, whether a celebrity, an expert, or someone with a unique role or experience set. David, our VP of Search Marketing Operations and the director of our PPC services, kept it short and sweet, opening the floor to questions for an hour.
Then we talked about highlights on our podcast SEM Synergy this week. Give it a listen or read a transcript-recap here. As David described, it was a conversation marked by diverse PPC topics. Read the question and answers in Paid Search Ask Me Anything — An Hour of Q&A with David Szetela.
March 31, 2016
If you’ve ever tried to hire a social media manager for your business, you might have experienced the challenge of trying to separate the applicants interested in playing on Facebook and Twitter all day without any battle-tested experience building a brand and encouraging engagement.
If you want to hire a social media manager but want some guidance on vetting candidates, you’ve come to the right place. This article will guide you through our criteria and interview questions you need to ask!
March 25, 2016
You probably know that page speed is a search engine ranking factor. (Hello, Google AMP initiative?) Not only will the users of your site have a better experience, but a faster loading page gets plus points when Google or Bing are ranking it. So SEOs use tools that help them find ways to optimize the page load time, like GTMetrix, Google PageSpeed Insights and YSlow.
And actually, now that you mention it, there is value in taking a step back and describing the process of page loading, whether by a browser or a search engine, and what the page speed improvement recommendations address. Read “Page Speed Issues Overview for SEO.”
March 17, 2016
Generally speaking, Google’s April 2015 mobile-friendly algorithm update (dubbed “Mobilegeddon” by the SEO industry) was sort of a bust. Months of talk about an organic ranking boost to mobile-friendly, aka mobile SEO compliant, websites turned out to be mostly hype.
While it did spur many sites to make their sites better for smartphone users, there was not a lot of movement across mobile search engine results pages, especially at the top of SERPs. And the mobile-friendly “boost” was ultimately implemented as a tiebreaker among sites that were deemed to have equal ranking strength — a condition that rarely occurs.
Another mobile ranking boost announcement has just come out of Google. The announcement says that they will be increasing the effect of the mobile friendly ranking signal in May of this year.
March 11, 2016
This guest post by Aaron Bart, VP of Creative Services at our friends 3Q Digital, describes a concept that can be hard to put in tangible terms, but which we all strive for as marketers: becoming a loved brand. Loved brands don’t get that designation overnight. They earn that place in their customers’ hearts because of trust, innovation and technological advances proven over time.
Let’s take a look at some of the concrete examples of successful brand building done by REI and Zappos, and end by answering the critical question: how can we as digital marketers use the tools at our disposal — audience targeting and user experience design — to build our own loved brands. Take it away, Aaron.
Read To Be a Loved Brand.
March 9, 2016
No one likes to be deceived. So when search engines see that you’re showing a different version of the same URL to spiders than you are to users, it’s a red flag considered as red or deceptive as scraped content, doorway pages, and link schemes. Whether it’s done on purpose or without your knowledge, cloaking can result in lower rankings or a manual action notification. So how do you know if your site is cloaking? The SEO Cloaking Checker will tell you.
The SEO Cloaking Checker is a free, simple and fast tool that shows you whether your site is cloaking. Learn how to use this handy tool, when to use it, and what to do after you get the results.
March 4, 2016
Get our liveblog coverage of this SMX West session all about shopping campaign management and optimizations.
Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk) outlines an ideal campaign setup that relies on four essential filters: campaign priority, negative keywords, shared budget and product bids.
Purna Virji (@purnavirji) covers a Paris Hilton inspired trio of shopping campaign optimization: feed optimization, creative optimization and defensive strategy.
Susan Wenograd (@susanedub) offers her tips for controlling the fire hose that is the shopping campaign, via query mapping, negative keywords and custom labels, and evaluating mobile user performance based on distance from physical storefronts.
March 3, 2016
In SEO we focus a lot on Google, but app developers have a special need to get their app content to show up in Apple Search as well as Google.
Take a crash course on Apple Search and Universal Links, the latter of which are used to get your iOS and Android apps to show up in Google search.