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Google Penguin Update

After the Panda update last year; Google’s recent update has been named as the Penguine update. This came into effect on the 24th April 2012; Another step to reward high-quality sites.

 

Although Google updated it’s algorithm many times in a year; those updates that affect the Google search results drastically get named like Florida Update, Panda and now Penguine update. These updates affect the search rankings in general and spammy or un-ethical websites get affected during such updates. Hence, it is very crucial to make sure that the SEO Strategy is very ethical and any such updates do not affect the client search ranking positions.

 

Google’s search results are based on 2 factors Relevancy and Authority. Relevancy related to keyword targeting and the on-page strategy side of things and can be refined, improved and tweaked as possible following the ethical techniques. Websites Authority is calculated by the quality and number of incoming links point back into the website. Hence it is very important to have the right balance of Relevancy and Authority for a website to perform higher up in search results.

 

Blackhat SEO techniques should be completely avoided as it’s against the Google guidelines and the search algorithm is pretty smart enough to catch this effectively. It’s the grey hat techniques that Google is looking to refine its algorithm to avoid un-ethical technique as there is a very thin line between it being ethical or un-ethical. Eg: the current Penguin update has been very strict with SEO’s over-targeting one specific search term within the link building campaign. Also websites that have too many ads above the fold have also faced heavy loos in search rankings. Articles websites using replicated content also faced heavy penalty loses during the Panda Update. Forbes websites also faced heavy drop in rankings last year for selling links.

 

All of these techniques had been improving search results for years now, but Google has counteracted them finally. Hence, SEO has become more and more pro-active and new techniques have been adopted and spoken at seminars. Although there is some basic exact science techniques which need to be adopted to start moving higher up in search results. To achieve the top 3 positions we need to have a very pro-active and ethical strategy which would maintain the search rankings for a long periods of time.

SEOmoz have launched the 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors suvery and data. View rand’s video before reading the suvery as this would give you an overview of what to expect.

The first part of the data covers each and every element for building an SEO friendly website. There is important information from choosing the right domain name right upto on-page, link building and link baiting.

The other half covers correlation data which has been taken from viewing over 10,000 search results from Google. You can also downaload the raw data and do your own survey if need be.

Have a look at the suvery and let me know your comments.

Google has been testing their changes to their SERP again. The changes are quite small and not too noticable to its users. Google has made the following changes;

  1. Google has moved the location of where it displayed the website URL. It has been now moved below the title tag
  2. Google has also removed the Cached and Similar links against each of the links.

I’m not too happy with Google removing the Cached and Similar links as they have been a very useful source for reviewing websites on a glance.

Recently I needed to get some work done for my front yard and started looking for service providers within my area; but truely speaking it was trouble finding relevant results; as most of the service providers were from out of town. So I had to go the traditional way of finding the service provider. I just wanted to shout out to all service providers to get their business listed on Google; which could have made my life easier.

Google local business has recently been renamed as Google Places is a great place for finding local business and services online. As search engines have become a big resource for any any type of information as opposed to the old traditional way of finding local business on Yell Directories and other business directories. Google local business is a great way for local business/service providers/professionals to get in touch with their customers for free. Yes Free; there is absolutely no cost for getting your business/service added to Google Places. Go to Google Places and start creating your business/service profile; you will need to get an email registered with Google before you can start creating your profile.

As most of the local business/service providers have lots and lots of competitors, there are quite a few tips and tricks that you can apply to your listing to appear above your competitor. You can get more info on local search optimisation at;

Google Local Business Optimization – How to Increase your Google Local Business Results / Listings

One Dead Simple Tactic for Better Rankings in Google Local

Watch Rand Fishkin & David Mihm discuss Get listed in Google’s Local Search Results

Watch Rand Fishkin & David Mihm discuss the root of SEO for local search.

So go ahead and start adding your listing to Google Local Business Center. Remember your customers are looking for you online.

Hi All. I have finally created a Facebook profile from my blog where I will be posting useful online marketing updates. Become a fan today by clicking here: SEO Consultant Blackburn on Facebook.

Earlier this month Google launched personalized results by default for all users. Searchers will however have the ability to opt-out completely, and there are various protections designed to safeguard privacy. Check out Google’s personalized search result announcement of how this will affect you future search.

Personalizing search results has worried the SEO community as it seems to be the end for SEO according to some SEO’s. Danny Sullivan mentions; this would not be the case as there will still be normal search results for many queries. The Personalized search result would only come into affect if users visit the same website again and again. This is however useful from a user experience but not for SEO. However, people would still want to visit/research other websites and would be typing in different key terms to find the results. Danny goes onto add “SEO remains important to ensure that you’ve got that first shot at being considered. And the best tip in this new world of personalization remains the same. Make a good impression.”

I totally agree with Danny’s comments and that it is more important that before to make sure you get to your users before your competitors. Along with making sure that the website is optimally optimised to users and search engine standards, it would be very useful to analyse the often neglected long tail search terms and optimising website to rank highly for such search terms. Avinash kaushik covers the topic quite well with analytics data.

Also along with SEO, websites should look closely into usability factor by improving the design, structure and making website more user friendly to keep driving the interest of their users. Remember, more often that not, it’s the first impression that is the last. Engaging in Social Media should also be very useful tool for driving user interest as on an average people spend 25 minutes on Facebook everyday.

Rand Fish from SEOmoz covers the topic quite well as well; How Personalized Search Changes SEO (and Doesn’t)

So cheer up SEO’s and start planing new strategies for the New Year! Merry Christmas to everyone!

Is investment in SEO on-going?

A question asked by many website owners and marketing mangers, Is investment in SEO on-going?

Yes, with the changes in search engine algorithms now becoming quite regular, it is very important to keep your website up to date from search point of view to maintain search positions. Search engines have evolved quite drastically and the algorithm has improved over the period of time to produce excellent search results. Although it hard to explain what work goes into on-going optimisation as it’s mostly off-page optimisation and more often than not invisible to the client. The results from on-going optimisation however need to be reported correctly to justify the investment.

Rand Fish from seomoz has created a great video explaining the importance of on-going SEO investment. He has broken down the SEO life cycle into three sections. You can watch the video here:

SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday – Future-Proofing Your SEO

Real Time tweets in search results

Bing & Google have signed deals with Twitter to display real time tweets in search results. Bing signed up with Twitter before Google and have also posted snapshot of the implementation and test searches. Bing blog post “The explosive popularity of Twitter is the best example of this opportunity. Twitter is producing millions of tweets every minute on every subject you can imagine. The power of those tweets as a form of data that can be surfaced in search is enormous. Innovative services like Twitter give us access to public opinion and thoughts in a way that has not before been possible. From important social and political issues to keeping friends up to date on the minute-by-minute of our daily lives, the web is getting more and more real time.”

Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience posted a quick post on the Google official blog commenting that “We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favorite ski resort, you’ll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information.”

With the large popularity of search engines, this could exposure twitter to spamming and black hat techniques.

With the successful launch of Window 7 and continuous improvements to it’s search engine, Microsoft is looking to take the leap over Google in search over a period of time. However, I still believe that Bing has a long way with search as Google has become second nature for search as Microsoft is for desktops.

Promote videos in Adwords

With the popularity of video search over the last couple of years, Google has been looking into opportunities to make money from Youtube. Earlier this year Google introduced ads within the videos, which is very annoying to me. Google blog announces that the Promoted Videos can now be advertised via Google adowrds as opposed to seperate search advertising program. Google Blog: “in the past year Promoted Videos has evolved into a much broader discovery vehicle, appearing on search, the YouTube homepage, video watch pages and recently across the AdSense network. We’ve also built better conversion opportunities via Call-to-Action overlays. As a result, Promoted Videos is now driving millions of video views per week, with clicks having increased 500% since January. In a world where 20 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, Promoted Videos has become a critical way for creators to get their content in front of viewers across the web.”

Interview with Google’s Maile Ohye

This weeks SEOmoz whtieboard friday was interesting. Google’s Senior Developer Programmer Maile Ohye’s was interviewed and was asked some interesting questions for the SEO industry. Check out the video!!!

Interview with Google’s Maile Ohye

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