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April 22, 2016

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

padlocked gate - stay calm message

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

Digital Marketing Keynotes from Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn & Disney #SEJSummit

SEJ Summit SM 1

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!




March 17, 2016

Mobile Friendly SEO Ranking Boost Gets Boosted in May

mobile seo ranking boost may 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.

Read more about the coming change …




March 3, 2016

How Google Works: A Google Ranking Engineer’s Story #SMX

Google's Gary Illyes, Paul Haahr

Google Software Engineer Paul Haahr has been at Google for more than 14 years. For two of them, he shared an office with Matt Cutts. He’s taking the SMX West 2016 stage to share how Google works from a Google engineer’s perspective – or, at least, share as much as he can in 30 minutes. After, Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes will join him onstage and the two will field questions from the SMX audience with Search Engine Land Editor Danny Sullivan moderating. Read the liveblog of this can’t-miss session!




Google Analytics Power Reporting for SEO & SEM – #SMX Liveblog

Andrew Garberson session on Google Analytics

You’re using Google Analytics, but, as the SMX West audience just learned from speaker Andrew Garberson, you’re merely scratching the surface of the tool’s usefulness in your work life.

First, a story. Your 80-year-old neighbor gives you a call and says that he wants to buy an electric car. He mostly just drives to the grocery store and around town, and everyone agrees he should probably stop riding around town on his bike.

You think of a list criteria for a good car for him: safe, efficient, a good warranty. He drives home in a Tesla, and yes, this meets all the criteria, but it’s a little more than that. It goes 0-60 in 2.8 seconds.

Google Analytics is like the Tesla. It’s a sports car and we’re driving it like we’ve got the emergency brake on. Let’s drive it like the high performance machine it is.

Read more




March 2, 2016

RankBrain: What Do We Know About Google’s Machine-Learning System? #SMX

Marcus Tober, Eric Enge, Danny Sullivan

SEO is very tactical. We always try to look behind the curtain of Google’s algorithms. So, it’s no surprise that we all want to know more about RankBrain, Google’s machine learning system that they confirmed out of the blue in October 2015 was “the third most important ranking signal” in their algorithm.

In this SMX West session, we’ll learn about RankBrain based on studies done by the speakers: Marcus Tober of Searchmetrics and Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting. They’ll present findings as well as the implications for SEO.

Read the liveblog to find out about RankBrain.




March 1, 2016

Doing What Matters for SEO & Google in 2016 – Googler Maile Ohye at #SMX

Maile Ohye on stage at SMX West 2016

A favorite Googler and SMX presenter, Maile Ohye, senior developer programs engineer at Google Inc. (@maileohye), explains that in 2004 and 2005, Matt Cutts used to say that search engines are chasing the user. In other words, the engine wants to serve the user first and then everything else (rankings, results pages) follow. A problem occurs when when websites then chase the search engines.

An alternative view is when search engines and websites both chase the user, but this is oversimplified. Today she suggests a cultural shift to serving the customer, not the user.

Read about how that all plays out in real life in this liveblog SMX West coverage of Doing What Matters for SEO & Google in 2016.




Googler Speaks Out about Manual Actions at #SMX

google danny sullivan juan felipe rincon

There are two kinds of actions that can come from Google — an automatic “action” where the algorithm makes a decision on how a page should rank, and a manual action. With a manual action, a human being at Google has come across a page and decided it needs to be addressed.

Juan Felipe Rincon from Google’s manual actions team answers the SMX West 2016 audience’s burning questions on manual actions in a live talk with Marketing Land and Search Engine Land Editor Danny Sullivan. Discover Rincon’s answers!




Keynote: The Future Of Search #SMX

What's the future of search_

You’re tuned in to the BCI blog where we’re liveblogging SMX West all week. This is the show’s opening keynote, a demo-heavy presentation by Behshad Behzadi, Principal Engineer, Google Zurich.

Behzadi is the director of conversational search. Danny Sullivan says that Behzadi previously did this presentation at SMX London, and it was a mind-blowing presentation into what’s possible with conversational search. Behzadi has been at Google for 10 years, the first 7 years working on ranking, and the last 3 years working on future tech including Now on Tap.

For what Behshad Behzadi explains is the future of search, including voice search and Now on Tap, read this opening keynote of SMX West.




February 26, 2016

VIDEO: Googlers Take Us Behind the Scenes of the Google Dance #SMX

Gary Illyes Google

Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West 2016 is happening next week, and we’re anticipating the return of the first Google Dance since 2008! SMX West is a digital marketing conference held each year in San Jose, and the dance is a party held on Google’s Mountain View campus for the conference’s attendees.

We invited Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes — one of the most-anticipated speakers slated to take the SMX stage — to join us for a special Hangout on Air. Illyes and Search Quality Analyst Nathan Johns were integral in bringing back the Google Dance, and both took a few minutes to tell us what to expect from the fete in a light-hearted Hangout.

Go behind the scenes of the Google Dance in this video!




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