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October 2, 2014

SMX East Liveblog: At Meet the Search Engines Session, Google Says Penguin May Come Next Week

danny sullivan, vincent wehren, janet driscoll miller, bruce clay, ellen white, gary illyes

BREAKING NEWS: Google says Penguin Update could come next week.

When Danny Sullivan and an audience of search marketers have a public forum to ask questions of Bing and Google reps and search marketing industry veterans, you can learn something. Here’s a snippet from the session that just happened at SMX East:

Danny Sullivan: “When can we expect that overdue Penguin update, Gary?”

Gary Illyes (Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google): “Soon. Very soon. Maybe next week.”

Read the rest of this frank, PowerPoint-free Q&A session to learn why Gary Illyes called the next Penguin a “delightful update.” Moderated by Danny Sullivan, this highly-engaged discussion, fielded a range of questions, from SMX first-timers to seasoned search veterans.

Read SMX East Liveblog: At Meet the Search Engines Session, Google Says Penguin May Come Next Week




September 30, 2014

SMX East Evening Forum with Danny Sullivan

danny sullivan

Search Engine Land Founding Editor Danny Sullivan fields questions from the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East 2014 audience in the final session of the day. Find out what he had to say about authorship, markup, local SEO, how to teach SEO in college, and much more in this liveblog.

Read more in SMX Evening Forum with Danny Sullivan




September 25, 2014

Summing Up a Summer of Search Engine Shuffling for SMBs & DIY Marketers

SEM DIY spectrum for SMB

Odds are good that maintenance and promotion of your website fall somewhere in the middle of your skill set, from expert to overseer. Even if you’re hands off, it would do you good to know what’s new and next in SEO. That way, you can make sure your web presence is capitalizing on opportunities. To that end, you’ll find the latest SEO info from the last few months, and the search engine optimization tips it necessitates, in this article that covers:

  • The Google Quality Rating Guidelines, a brilliant resource that illuminates Google’s quality assurance program for its search results. Written for human QA reviewers, the document explains how to judge quality, on-page elements and reputation of websites in a variety of categories. Here we shed light on new ways to understand how Google determines expertness, authority and trust.
  • Google’s abandonment of Authorship markup. Author photos and bylines next to search results are gone, and the 35% click-through rate increase those photos seemed to generate. Do you have authorship markup on your site? Will you remove it? Maintain it? Nofollow links? Find out what to do about authorship markup here.
  • A new minor ranking signal in HTTPS (secure encryption). When Google confirms anything to be a factor in their ranking algorithm, businesses seeking a competitive edge take note. But before you demand your webmaster secure your entire site, learn the costs and requirements of HTTPS.
  • An adjustment to the local ranking algorithm known as the Pigeon Update. Google says the new local algorithm has improved distance and location ranking parameters and that the new local algorithm now more closely resembles the standard web algorithm. So, what does that mean for getting your business ranked in Google’s local search results?

Read more in Summing Up a Summer of Search Engine Shuffling for SMBs & DIY Marketers.




Getting Started with Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) and Google Analytics

Google Search Analytics report

How well do you understand how your own site is performing? Many website owners know when their online business is up or down, but have only a vague sense of why. But it is possible to know specifics, the kind of analytics and facts you need to make informed decisions that will improve your site’s SEO and marketing strategy.

If knowing specific data seems impossible, take heart. It’s not science fiction, nor is it a sales pitch. The tools you need are available — for free — from Google. Click to find out how to get started with Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) and Google Analytics.




September 16, 2014

How to Set Up Google Analytics

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Having a website without any analytics is like playing darts with your eyes closed. The odds of hitting your target are stacked against you. Online marketing and SEO is no exception. You need to be able to see how your website is performing so the odds of reaching your target goals are all in your favor.

It never ceases to amaze me how often I come across business owners who have websites, but no analytics installed on them. While they may understand the value of research and data in their decision making process, they don’t know how to collect that data. I love that I can solve that problem for them through the modern magic of Google Analytics. They’re excited to learn that after they add some simple code to their site they’ll be able to:

  • Track and measure the results of their efforts
  • See how many visits their website is getting and where visitors are coming from
  • Access a clear vision of the role their website plays in the grand scheme of their business

Without this type of data to inform your business decisions, you are potentially wasting valuable time and resources on strategies and activities that do nothing to increase your bottom line. So, without further ado, here’s how to bring on the data!

Read more of How to Set Up Google Analytics.




August 29, 2014

Complete PPC PLA Shopping Campaign Crash Course ─ Conversion Deadline Sunday!

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Before you start packing up and traveling with family, remember that August 31, this Sunday, is the last day to upgrade your Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns.

Don’t panic!

In efforts to make this weekend much more enjoyable for you, here are some tips on upgrading to Shopping Campaigns I think will shine light on the “phases” that take effect in September if you do not upgrade your PLA campaigns.

Read all our tips and resources for AdWords Shopping Campaign conversion and find out what happens if you don’t manually transition your PLA campaigns in our Complete PPC PLA Shopping Campaign Crash Course.




August 18, 2014

Nowhere Left to Hide: Blocking Content from Search Engine Spiders

when to block search engine spiders

A major facet of SEO is convincing search engines that your website is reputable and provides real value to searchers. And for search engines to determine the value and relevance of your content, they have to put themselves in the shoes of a user.

Now, the software that looks at your site has certain limitations which SEOs have traditionally exploited to keep certain resources hidden from the search engines. The bots continue to develop, however, and are continuously getting more sophisticated in their efforts to see your web page like a human user would on a browser. It’s time to re-examine the content on your site that’s unavailable to search engine bots, as well as the reasons why it’s unavailable. There are still limitations in the bots and webmasters have legitimate reasons for blocking or externalizing certain pieces of content. Since the search engines are looking for sites that give quality content to users, let the user experience guide your projects and the rest will fall into place.

Read why you might want to block content from search engine bots and the SEO recommended way to do so in Nowhere Left to Hide: Blocking Content from Search Engine Spiders.




August 12, 2014

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

lady justice with scales

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 for 10 months for Google to refresh its Penguin algorithm.

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.

Read more of Does Google Have a Responsibility to Refresh Its Penguin Algorithm?




July 16, 2014

Could Disappearing Author Photos in Google SERPs Signal Coming Author Rank?

Google Author Rank

When John Mueller announced Google was “simplifying the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results, removing the profile photo and circle count,” he asserted that this change was simply an effort to de-clutter the SERP. Prominent Internet marketers, however, had their own theories on Google’s latest bold move.

Here we evaluate some of the theories posed by industry thought leaders about why Google has cut author photos from SERPs. We also explore how the removal of author photos in SERPs may actually signal Google’s interest in adding author reputation as an algorithmic ranking factor.

Read Could Disappearing Author Photos in Google SERPs Signal Coming Author Rank?




July 11, 2014

Best Practices for NEW Google Shopping Campaigns

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Yesterday morning the Google Shopping Team, including Partner Education Manager, Nicole Premo, and Product Specialist, Chris Azalde, held their second Google+ Hangout where they discussed best practices for Shopping campaigns and AdWords Editor support.

During the informational session, the Shopping Team reviewed a few items to keep in mind when managing the new replacement of PLAs and Shopping Campaign benefits. Whether you’re new to Product Listing Ads or a PLA master, the following takeaways and recommendations will help you with the Shopping campaign transition taking full effect in late August.

Here you’ll find takeaways from the Google+ Hangout including:

  • Best practices for implementing a Google Shopping campaign feed
  • A heads-up on updated data feed attributes
  • Shiny new features coming to the AdWords Editor (version 10.5!)

Read Best Practices for NEW Google Shopping Campaigns.




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