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Prioritize Your Strategy with the 'SEO Factors and Trends Midyear 2013 Report'
Author: Virginia Nussey

Bruce Clay, Inc. has released the annual report on the state of the SEO industry. Intended for the eyes of SEOs, Internet marketers and decision makers, our 20-page report will help you prioritize the tactics that make up your SEO strategy. The search engine ranking and display factors identified within can be matched to your own site’s assets and information strengths. Identified factors, trends and recommended actions covered include:

  • How to develop content that can't be usurped by a seductive Knowledge Graph carousel
  • Google's preferred technology for optimizing your site's mobile user experience
  • Ensuring your site is taking advantage of rich snippets and other on-SERP modifications to improve click-through rate

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  Back to Basics
Spam Technique Over the Years and SEO that Lasts
Author: Bruce Clay

As an SEO veteran and thought leader, Bruce Clay has witnessed the myriad failings of spam techniques since 1997. Bruce discusses the Wild West nature of optimization in the early years of SEO and Google's continued efforts to identify spam tactics and devalue associated ranking factors. The importance of utilizing lasting SEO techniques such as high-quality content is apparent as Bruce discusses:

  • The early days of search engines and the blurred line between SEO and spam tactics
  • What the next frontier of spam will be now that links have been cleaned up
  • How to keep from falling victim to the next well-sold spam tactic

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  Hot Topic
Google Local Replaced with "Explore" in Google Maps App: 8 Things You Need to Know

This month Google released new Android and iOS versions of the Google Maps app. Of all the new app features — which include enhanced navigation, tablet-specific design, and integrated Google commerce — the feature most relevant to SEOs is the removal of Google Local and the addition of a visual, categorically organized feature called "Explore."

Local category search has been offered by third-party providers such as Yellow Pages for quite some time, so it's not the invention that's important here but the implementation. Google's decision to replace the Google Local search-and-refine of yesteryear with an organization-by-type model brings verticalization to the forefront of the mobile industry and makes being the "least imperfect" local listing more important than ever.

Here are eight things you need to know about the Google Maps Explore tool. Visit the Bruce Clay blog for more in-depth information on how to optimize your business presence in the Google Maps app.

Need to Know Quick List: Google Maps Explore

  • Explore is a browsing tool that does not require the user to search. It has replaced the Google Local feature.
  • Users browse local businesses by category. The local business owner chooses the category.
  • Categories are presented as main categories and subcategories. For instance, "Eat" is the main category and "fast food" and "ice cream" are two subcategories. There are five main categories: Eat, Drink, Shop, Play and Sleep.
  • Businesses are represented with visual "cards" which makes having enticing images of a business all the more important.
  • Zagat reviews and ratings are pulled into Explore listings.
  • A “Your Circles” feature lets users see curated local business recommendations based on the likes and interests of the people they have in their Google+ circles.
  • Explore is connected with Google Offers, which means deals and coupons offered in Explore listings can help close the buying-cycle gap between discovery and purchase.
  • The anatomy of an Explore local listing includes distance from the user, a link to the business’ website, an option to call the business, multiple images of the business (both from the business and uploaded from patrons), and several pieces of information pulled in from Zagat including reviews and ratings, pricing information and “badges of excellence.”
  Education Matters
Sign up for Updates on the Content Marketing Guide by Bruce Clay and Murray Newlands

As SEO becomes increasingly "content-centric," the importance of quality, compelling content has never been higher. That's why SEO veteran Bruce Clay and digital marketer Murray Newlands have teamed up to write the authoritative book on content marketing. Bruce and Murray have been hard at work writing a guide that delves into the many aspects that make up successful content and the marketing that goes along with it.

"Quality is now a more important factor in whether or not you rank," explains Bruce. Furthermore, quality content "causes the kind of links you want to have as a website" and "improves the general perception of the quality of your website." In a video interview for Search Engine Journal, Bruce expands on the importance of quality content for SEO.

The book will guide Internet marketers, SEOs and writers through all aspects of content marketing. Stay up-to-date with all the latest news surrounding the book. You won't want to miss out when the ultimate content marketing guide hits the shelves! 


This month, Omnicom Media Group acquired Bruce Clay Australasia. Bruce Clay Australasia cofounders Des Odell and Jeremy Bolt will continue running operations, offering the same "depth of search expertise, world class tool-set and shared belief."

AltaVista shut down its services on July 8. Danny Sullivan writes that "perhaps no one will suffer as much as the inhabitants of Pawnee, Indiana," noting that the fictional town featured on NBC's Parks and Recreation makes continual reference to the now-closed search engine.

Yahoo! purchased AdMovate in an effort to deliver increasingly targeted ads. As Yahoo! continues to acquire companies like AdMovate, it is also acquiring more and more mobile engineers, as well.


HubSpot's INBOUND 2013, featuring keynote speaker Seth Godin, takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, August 19-22.

The SearchLove Conference will be held in San Diego, California, September 5-6. The focus will be on the future of search.

Cleveland will rock September 9-11 as content marketers unite at the Content Marketing World Conference.

It's time for SMX East come October 1-3, to be held in New York, New York. All-day workshops will be held prior on Monday, September 30, including the popular one-day SEO workshop presented by Bruce Clay.

PubCon takes over Las Vegas, Nevada, October 21-25. What happens in Vegas won't stay in Vegas as the social media marketers in attendance will surely be tweeting every informative detail.

The agenda for SMX Milan has just been released. Search marketers will descend upon Italy for the destination conference November 7-8. On November 6, Bruce Clay will be on the scene to provide a one-day SEO workshop for SMX Milan attendees. Bruce Clay Europe is proud to be one of SMX Milan's sponsors.


Google Maps has a new look, complete with optimized versions for desktop, iPhone and iPad. This marks the first time Google Maps has offered an iPad-tailored version (the previous version was an enlarged version of the iPhone Google Maps app). Business ratings in Google Local results have also been updated with the (re)addition of Zagat ratings.

The Change History Graph (which, as the name suggests, tracks the effects of individual changes within a user's ad campaign history) is now available to all Bing users.

YouTube has announced its first ever "Geek Week." August 4-10, Geek Week will celebrate all things "geek," and allow fans the world over to connect. The festivities will include live broadcasts, special hosts, original videos, parodies, live games and much more.

  Word on the Wire

In an effort to simplify your inbox, Google has debuted a new system of tabs for Gmail. Emails from social accounts automatically go to your social tab, emails from sites like Groupon or Living Social automatically filter into a promotions tag, and so on.

Though Google recently said it would no longer confirm updates to Panda, it has, in fact, confirmed another update. Last week saw a Panda update the "incorporates new signals so it can be more finely targeted."

If you want to use the Google Keyword Tool, you will now have to be signed into a Google AdWords account.  

This month, Google announced it will be targeting the spam technique of rendering a false SERP when users click the back button — "instead of the back button taking them to Google's search results, [the spam technique] detects the browser back button action and takes them to a page that looks similar to Google's search results but in reality are just ads."

Google Glass users would have been saying "Clap on Glass," "Glassicus," "Listen up Glass," or possibly even "Pew, Pew, Pew," if it hadn't been for Glass Product Marketing Manager Amanda Rosenberg's suggestion of "OK Glass". Learn how the "OK Glass" directive came to be.

This month, the rollout of Facebook Graph Search was completed. All users can now sift through profiles with extremely specific queries.