Browsing articles in "SEO Blog"

3 new factors to consider in your approach to PPC campaign management

Aug 17, 2012   //   by Ivan Dimitrijević   //   SEO Blog  //  27 Comments

Google AdWords Quality Score is the overall grade of the efficiency and success of your ad. It can range from one to ten, one being the lowest grade and ten being the highest. Having a high Quality Score means that your ad has proved to be relevant and useful for the “clickers”. However, having a low Quality Score means that your key elements (such as keywords and landing page) are proved to be irrelevant to someone looking at your ad.

Just like it is in your personal interest to have a high Quality Score ad, it is in Google’s interest as well. Google rewards high Quality Score ads by reducing the cost of the ad and putting it in a better and more visible position (higher on the page). But how do you get higher Quality Score? Well, for that we will have to examine the factors that influence your Quality Score grade. In other words, we will have to see how Google calculates the Quality Score.

Every time someone does a search that triggers your ad, Google calculates a Quality Score by means of which Google takes several things into consideration. Here we will examine three factors that can influence Quality Score – Expected CTR, Landing Page experience and ad relevance.

Expected CTR (click-through rate) is a prediction of how likely it is for your ad to get clicked when shown for the specific keyword. There are three possible statuses you can get for your Expected CTR – average, above average and below average. To measure this Google takes into account how well that very keyword has performed in the past by comparing it to all other keywords across AdWords. Google only looks at exact matches when determining your Expected CTR. As mentioned above, Expected CTR is a prediction, so it differs from the actual CTR shown in the “CTR” column of your account.

Landing Page experience refers to the experience a viewer gets when he goes to the landing page (the page your ad sent the viewer to when he clicked on it). Just like the Expected CTR, Google AdWords doesn’t rate Landing Page experience with numbers but rather with these statuses – Average, Below Average and Above Average. But how do they determine the Landing Page experience? To determine Landing Page experience, Google AdWords go through several criteria.

First of all, your landing page (or destination URL) must be original. By offering useful and unique features or content will do the trick. Secondly, your destination URL must be directly relevant to your ad text and keywords. For example, if you are offering a discount or any kind of special offer, make sure it appears on landing page as well. Moreover, your landing page must be user friendly. It must provide all the possible information the user needs. Make it easy for them to find your contact information or any other information considering your business they might need. And finally, don’t be afraid to use strong call to action. Phrases such as Buy now or Sign up or whatever you want the user to do on your landing page, will help and inform the user of what he should do next.

The third factor that influences the Quality Score is Ad Relevance. This factor describes how well your keyword matches the message in your ads. In other words, how relevant your keyword is to what a customer searches for and how relevant your keyword is to your ad. For example, if the user searches for the very keyword and your ad shows up will your ad is directly connected with their search?

Just like two factors mentioned above,  can be graded with three possible statuses – average, below average and above average. Having an average or above average status means that you have managed and chose your keywords correctly and carefully. However, having a below average status means that your keywords are not specific enough or that your ad group is too general. Including the keywords in your ad text and creating more specific keywords will help you resolve your issue.

Google AdWords is the perfect match making system leaving everybody satisfied – advertisers, customers as well as Google. Relevant ads attract more customers thus earning you more clicks and appearing in a better position and bringing you more success.

Ivan Dimitrijević

Ivan Dimitrijevic works at Dejan SEO Australia as a Senior SEO Consultant. He contributes to many blogs including company blog Dejan SEM – Advanced Search Engine Marketing Solutions. His favorite topics are SEO, SEM and Social Media Marketing. Feel free to follow him on Twitter and Google+

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Ending the Para-Sites: Google’s War On Over Optimized SEO

Aug 13, 2012   //   by Deny Saputra   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  39 Comments

Ever tried to search something in the internet and ended up annoyed by the top search result’s poor content? Good news. Google has announced that it is making a way to fix that. It seems that in order to achieve the birth of a pleasant internet experience, we have to wish for the death of over optimized blogs and the extinction of over optimized SEO voodoo.

 

What Is an Over Optimized SEO?

over optimized seoIt is a rat race even in the internet. Web pages compete for every view and visit. When you search the net for anything, the search responds with search engine result pages (SERP). SERP ranks web pages that are likely to give you what you need. Search engine optimization (SEO) largely influences the SERP ranking. Over optimized blogs target to get to the top of SERP and not really to help the user.

Search engines devised algorithms to determine relevance to you search based on keyword matches, popularity and authority but because these cannot really review content, users often find themselves in over optimized blogs with low-quality content.

When we say over optimized SEO, websites such as over optimized blogs are using too much key words and hyperlinks to manipulate its way to the top of the SERP.

 

Google: The Quality Hunter

This March 2012, Matt Cutts, head of Google search spam team has announced in SXSW panel that they are trying to work on a new algorithm that can outwit over optimized SEO strategies and bypass over optimized blogs. Google is also planning to penalize over optimized blogs by placing them last on the SERPs, or never at all.

Cutts said during the panel that they want to “make the playing field a bit more level” between those who use over optimized SEO and those who are just trying to make useful sites.

Is This the End of SEO?

Punk and metal might be dead but not definitely SEO. The Google’s banshee cries are only about over optimized SEO techniques and over optimized sites or blogs.

 Cutts clarified that SEO techniques that marketers have been using will stay around because they are undeniably useful. He said they make the internet “crawlable” and they make the sites more accessible. So it seems that white hat wearers have to fear nothing at all.

Black Hat: Over Optimized SEO

White hat is good. Black hat is bad. And although some may complain that this sounds like stereotyping and racism, these are really the two categories of SEO. The former is the sort that employs no deception, sticks to a search engine’s rules, gives you what you need to know and refers you other helpful sites. The black hat is the opposite and it’s what over optimized blogs are wearing. Over optimized SEO is definitely a black hat. Soon enough this terrible faux pas will die once Google is through with its algorithm.

It seems Google is serious in playing the hero (which is the good thing) but there is absolutely no reason to panic unless you are running over optimized blogs. If what you have is low-ranking but legit and view worthy, it’s safe and sound.

 

How To Avoid Over Optimized SEO and Over Optimized Blogs

As mentioned earlier, SEO is an important and indispensable aspect of internet search. However, your parents are right: anything is bad when overdone. To keep out of Google’s shunning and ill-favor, here are the basic steps:

  • Do not over-stuff with keywords
    SEO relies on keyword density use. It means it can calculate the degree of your web content’s relevance to a search by how many times a keyword appears. An over optimized SEO or black hat (you know what that means now, don’t you?) will saturate its content with those keywords. You’ll pretty much be reading a lengthy article with little help. An ideal keyword density is said to be only between 1% to 3%.
  • No link toxicity
    Aside from content, search engines’ algorithms judge your web page’s rank by popularity. You are popular when you link is posted in many other web sites.Likewise, you’ll get higher in ranking when you post other links in your web site. This move is supposed to help the users over optimized SEO strategists will fill their webpage with futile, irrelevant links and hyperlinks.
  • Don’t Tolerate Over Optimized Blogs
    If you spot what seems to be an over optimized blog, get out of there! Some theorizes that the length of time you’re staying with a site affect its ranking. Don’t even add a link of an over optimized blog on your own site. It makes you seem like an accessory to the crime.
  •  Site Goodness: Mean It
    It seems safer to be genuinely kind. Don’t deceive users by appearing to be helpful when all you want are views. Ironically, the more you want visits so desperately that you use over optimized SEO, the less likely you will get it. 

Apparently, the more a web page concentrates on the quality and not on the visibility of its content, the more likely it will get more views and make it to the honor roll of Google’s SERP. Just go with what the users need, not with what the search engine wants. Very soon, over optimized blogs will be history but maybe now we can already start saying, ‘adios over optimized SEO, hello better and satisfying internet experience.’

Deny Saputra

Deny Saputra is an internet marketer and writer. Read more valuable articles by Deny and team at GetWebsiteTraffic blog that specially sharing various topics about internet marketing and targeted traffic generations follow me @denygwt

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SUBREDDITS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AND SEO

Aug 10, 2012   //   by Abel   //   internet marketing, link building, SEO, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  16 Comments

Reddit has been continually rising in popularity since first emerging on the scene back in 2006. Today, it is one of the most popular social news sites of its kind, proving to be a great alternative for those who have grown tired of competitors such as Digg and StumbleUpon. Reddit often calls itself the front page of the internet to play on its growing reputation as a digital newspaper of sorts. And just like newspapers have categories and sections, this site has something similar known as subreddits, a feature that can come in handy for the savvy social marketer.

Screenshot from reddit.com

A subreddit is essentially a category or subcategory that has a community of reddit users built around a specific topic or area of interest. These categories are finely targeted and can be set to either public or private by the creator. Examples of popular subreddits, as chosen by the user community include:

- Askreddit

- Gaming

- Pics

- World News

- WTF

These examples represent broad general interests, of course, but the subcategories on reddit go much much deeper. For instance, you can find subreddits on specific topics such as World of Warcraft, Indie Gaming, and even presidential hopeful Ron Paul. While each area of interest has its own moderator, community members are able to contribute by submitting and rating content from around the web that is related to the topic at hand. For everyday users, subreddits provide an easy way to quickly access the content that matters most. For marketers, they provide a way to generate visibility and meet business objectives.

Benefitting From Your Own subreddits

Perhaps the best thing to like about subreddits is the fact that anyone can create them. There are numerous benefits to setting up your own, starting with the community aspect. If fellow redditors share your interest, it could easily lead to a situation where users are commenting, sharing, and engaging in other ways that keep the community alive with activity. The site has millions of active users, all interested in something. What this means is that unless your area is built around an obscure topic like “overhanded Bolivian bowling techniques”, there is a great chance that you will be able to attract others who share your passion.

subreddit for seo anchor text
Anchor text is “Lil Wayne quits music” under “Music” subreddit

The big payoff to having your own subreddits is increased traffic. All that activity combined with solid content means it is highly likely that people will want to pay a visit and learn more about what you have to offer. Make sure your newly created subcategory is listed on the subreddits page, pass the word along to your connections on the site, and the possibilities are endless.

Summary

Some observers have gone as far to say that subreddits are what have enabled reddit to surpass Digg in the social bookmarking arena. This is not as farfetched as it may sound considering it is one of the platform’s most important features. Whether it is streamlining content discovery or building a community around your own, social marketers can make great strides by putting this essential element to use.

Abel

Abel is a writer, online marketing expert, and advocate for email marketing software company, Benchmark Email.

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Why Amazing Design is Great For SEO

Aug 6, 2012   //   by Matt Beswick   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  38 Comments

Innovative and creative design is a terrific way to increase user engagement and attract backlinks in the process. All too often, SEO practitioners get caught up in the more technical aspects of link building and forget about the aesthetic appeal of the pages they’re promoting. Though substance will always inevitably trump style, attractive web design can go a long way towards generating organic backlinks. Here a few of the more popular ways to leverage web design for greater link juice.

Parallax Design

The famous Nike Better World website from a few years back was largely responsible for popularising the use of parallax design. For the uninitiated, parallax scrolling entails varying the speed at which web page elements fly by as a visitor browses a page. Belting out a solid parallax scrolling web layout is quite easy and such designs can be customised quickly to add your own personal flair. You can vary the scroll speed and implement multiple CSS backgrounds to stand out.

Stellar 1-Page Websites

Modern websites have become so complex that a CMS is usually a must nowadays to keep everything straight. However, 1-page sites for portfolios, announcements and AJAX-dependent interactive web apps still have their place. While crafting a standalone 1-page website that leaves a lasting impression is a challenge, it’s well worth the effort. Minimalist web design is always tricky to pull off, but it has the advantage of focusing the reader’s attention on one specific topic. You can only cram so much information onto one page, so a quality 1-page site will have to be judicious when it comes to selecting the right images and information to present.

Infographics

As a longtime Web 2.0 favourite, the versatile infographic has been a powerful way to build backlinks. Everybody loves an infographic – I know this from personal experience – and it’s never been easier to slap together a quality composition. The best infographics tell a story with a few statistics and some subtle graphics that can be digested at a glance. Much like a collage, an infographic that’s successful relies heavily on choosing the right constituent elements. Best of all, there are tons of free tools available online such as Visual.ly and Piktochart for building infographics that’ll truly impress readers.

Interactive Infographics

Static infographics are all well and good, but interactive infographics are an even better way to draw in viewers and get backlinks. More and more, interactive elements are being incorporated into infographics for greater user interaction and value. Web apps like Vizify and Infogr.am make crafting an interactive infographic a cakewalk. Interactive data visualisation is going to be the wave of the future, so you might as well hop on the bandwagon now and get a leg up on the competition.

Competition Breeds Excellence and Backlinks

Flexing your design muscles and showing off your skills in a non-commercial venue is a great way to raise your profile and get some link love from your peers. Publishing guest posts on design sites like Noupe, Smashing Magazine and Tuts+ is the smart way to boost web design “street cred” and gain backlinks to your work. CSS competitions are another fantastic avenue for establishing yourself as an expert and obtaining links naturally for SEO purposes.

Putting It In Perspective

It should be stressed that even the most amazing web design won’t disguise lame content that’s devoid of value. Make your infographics accurate, helpful and gorgeous at the same time. When entering competitions and writing blog posts, don’t be overly promotional and transparent about your ulterior backlink-building motives. Give your time, effort and expertise freely, and you’ll reap the rewards in the long run. More often than not, eye-catching web design can end up being one of the most effective link building techniques at your disposal.

Matt Beswick

Matt Beswick is UK based SEO Consultant and founder of Pet365. Find him on Twitter - @mattbeswick.

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Why Good Content Can Sometimes Fail: How to Make Sure You Don’t Fall Into the Trap

Jul 30, 2012   //   by AmandaDi   //   SEO Blog  //  32 Comments

It’s hard to believe that good content wouldn’t always help your website grow and mature. After all, writers, blog owners, and even Google are always talking about the importance of great content. Above all else, a website must have quality content to really thrive. It’s the first piece of the puzzle, with SEO and promotion to follow. So what happens when good content doesn’t work? Is there something wrong with this good content?

In the majority of cases, the answer is yes. Although something might be well written, it may not be ideal in terms of drawing in visitors. In other words, good content means more than just a well-written article—it means choosing a great topic, choosing the right tone, and marketing that content in a specific way.

How to Look Past the “Well Written” and Focus on Content Success

The first step when analyzing content to put on your site is always whether or not that content is well written. Check for grammar errors and coherence and organization to decide whether or not that article is something you want to put on your site. Once you’ve decided that the article is easy to read and free of any errors, you need to ask yourself three questions that are so often missed:

  • Is the article bias or leaving out varying opinions?

This can sometimes be hard to miss when you’re agreeing with the opinion of an article. Even if the article is throwing out facts, they always seem to lose credibility if the article isn’t showing both sides to the story. On that same note, those who disagree with the article will likely not feel the need to share the article; thus cutting your promotion in half. The best thing you can do to solve this problem is to consider why someone might disagree or why someone may like something done the opposite way, and then addressing the issue.

  • Does it sound like you’re trying to sell something?

There is certainly content on a website that is designed to sell something, but the bulk of a good website usually has articles that aim to educate or spark a discussion. If you write a great piece of content that does nothing but sell your product, you might lose readers after a paragraph or two. The same can be said for those who focus too much on keywords. Make sure that what you’re writing is relevant, and try to avoid lots of advertisements and flash pop-ups surrounding your content.

  • Is the article easy to find on your website?

Great content doesn’t mean much if you can’t find it. You want to make sure that a link to your blog is clearly visible on your homepage, and you want to make sure that you’re sending this content out to those who can help. Make sure that you have an option for people to subscribe to your content so that each week these subscribers will get the content right in his/her inbox.

The greatest thing about good content gone wrong is the fact that you can fix this content. You don’t need to start over or completely re-write an article just because it isn’t generating a lot of clicks. If the article is already well written, it will be easy to make these few adjustments.

Have you ever found that you’ve written great content that didn’t seem to get you anywhere? What did you find to be the problem and how did you fix it? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: hubspot.com

AmandaDi

Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.

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LinkedIn Gets a Makeover: What This Means for Your Business

Jul 23, 2012   //   by AmandaDi   //   SEO Blog  //  18 Comments

Sometimes getting a fresh start is all a company needs to bounce back from a slump. In most cases, this fresh start begins with a new layout and a redesign of most webpages in order to improve the look and navigation capabilities for users and Google bots. This helps give the site a new feel and in some ways a chance at a new and better purpose. But what happens when the site is already successful? What happens when people feel comfortable with the layout? To cut to the chase—what happens if your website is LinkedIn?

Although a redesign has been in the works for quite some time, many were still surprised to hear that LinkedIn confirmed last week that they are going to be changing their layout. Fortunately, LinkedIn made it clear that the site will remain professional; it will simply be more intuitive for users.

New LinkedIn Features

According to the LinkedIn blog, both the LinkedIn Today as well as the traditional LinkedIn webpages will change. The new design is said to be easier for someone to scan and get the information he/she needs. Under the “modern design” umbrella come a few changes:

  • Relevancy – LinkedIn will now make sure that any updates or articles that are particularly relevant to you will show up at the top of your feed. LinkedIn will decide if content is relevant to you based on the connections you have, the information you are sharing, and any breaking or trending news in your industry.
  • Stream – LinkedIn will now have a stream very similar to the one you find on Facebook. You will be able to easily like or comment on a status update or an article right there on the homepage.

It is no secret that many social networks have changed their layouts in the past. Some layouts are successful—such as the Facebook timeline layout—but other layouts, like the new Digg layout, turned out to be a bad move for the networks. Only time will tell whether or not this new layout will turn people off or turn people on.

What This Means for Businesses

The new layout will no doubt be something for users to get used to, but businesses may also need to change their LinkedIn strategy. The new layout will put a much heavier emphasis on content. The old layout seemed to put a focus on the individual and the content the individual adds to his/her personal account, but the new layout will put a focus on articles put out by companies. People know how to find and how to understand the information on a personal account; LinkedIn no longer needs to make this the focal point. The idea is that LinkedIn will become a tool for education and news as well as a place to look at resumes.

Businesses should realize that now is the best time to be sharing content on LinkedIn. If your company wrote a great article that falls under the recruitment or employment sphere, you will (in theory) get more traction from this social network.

Are you excited about the new LinkedIn layout? Do you think it is wise for LinkedIn to make these changes, or do you think monthly activity will decrease? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo Credit: blog.linkedin.com

AmandaDi

Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.

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CASE STUDY: How to Attract More Blog Traffic via YouTube (Even If You’re No Good with Videos)

Searching for ways to increase the number of your loyal audience/subscribers and daily earnings for your blog? Well, I continuously get more and more targeted viewers for my blog and keep it at the top of search engine results using the power of YouTube marketing.

As a result, my earnings increased a lot. You may ask me: Isn’t it that YouTube marketing is already an Internet buzzword or one of the most common ways of promoting/advertising various products, services and stuffs like that? Definitely! However, there are other ways of doing things the other way to get the results you want, and this blog post is just all about that.

Dominate a Niche with Long Tail Pro

Using LTP, I was able to dominate a particular niche by. It helped me discover topics for my online YouTube marketing video. What I often do with LTP is enter multiple seed keywords, and soon enough, I find exact match domains with low competition yet profitable keywords.

 

 I use both domain and keywords, and as a consequence, I get more and more subscribers as well as increased page rank for my marketing video. As a more specific example, using exact domain names and long tail keywords is much better than competing with the fiercest (or most competitive) keywords for YouTube videos.

This way, my YouTube video made it to the second page of search engine results within 5 days, that is, I was able to dominate a particular niche about driving traffic to my site. I simply cannot ignore the power of LTP marketing for my YouTube video marketing.

Do Things the Right Way Using Video Marketing

I am now getting more targeted traffic, higher/massive views and a larger number of subscribers with my YouTube marketing video: entitled, Drive Traffic to Your Site by Offering Irresistible Gifts. My Youtube visitors get hooked on watching the video in order to learn more about the offers.

The video is all about driving traffic or unique visitors to blogs through social media sites, guest posting, and a lot more (as you can see later as you continue reading this post). Also, it tells people how to avoid failing Internet marketing by using the step-by-step strategies for increased targeted traffics.

In addition, it mentions about the importance of blog traffic within the first 24to72 hours for visits to be counted as unique ones. As my YouTube viewers keep on watching the video, they are able to understand better what is in store for.

With the YouTube marketing video, I was able to direct my audience to my blog. When they do visit it, I get unique pageviews. They may read the rest of the article or explore more of it. Since their primary objective is to obtain a free copy of the e-book, they are required to subscribe first.

After they sign up, they would receive a message stating that they have to confirm their subscription. When they do confirm their registration, they will have to check their email again for the actual download of the eBook to take place.

This is actually what email marketing is all about, that is, getting long term customers with their email addresses added to my list of contacts where I can then forward them with weekly SEO tips – just as it was promised to them prior to their subscription.

I then visit problogger.net as a guest blogger. It is where I would post something like, ”Build Keyword Density the Right Way.”

This is where I recommend using search engine optimization techniques and adding appropriate keywords for high-quality persuasive copywriting. There I advise the use of naturally sounding keywords for everyone’s copywriting needs.

I gave illustrations such that video marketers would be able to learn the appropriate ways of shortening, lengthening and/or using keyword phrases with the product/service copy that they are describing.

I also added that writers have to write a copy first, go back with the keywords, and place them suitably in the copy itself (which definitely would prove very useful to them). As for my part, I was able to make a copy that really flows naturally and that appeal to a larger number of viewers and search engine sites.

Furthermore, in less than three weeks, I already gained more than 20,000 views. This is because I used referral social media multipliers and emailwire.com, a SEO press release distribution site that provides guaranteed results.

For instance, with the social media freetweettube.com, there is always an influx of tweets for my Youtube marketing channel while with emailwire, my press release about SEOArticleWriteService got the chance to be published and distributed to thousands of journalists, trade magazines, newsrooms, online news sites, major newswires, RSS feeds and major news search engines. With these strategies and tools that I used, you sure can get the results you want to achieve to make your site viral in no time.

My YouTube marketing, as of this writing, proves viral although it has just been uploaded three weeks ago. It has ranked well too considering that the other videos in the ranking were uploaded less than a year or about five years ago. You can also see for yourself that my video is only about 3 minutes compared to the other two: which are approximately 15 minutes and 5 minutes, respectively. My video is a proof of getting your videos viral too.  You only have to follow the steps or by visiting the sites that I mentioned above.

Now that you know how to precisely attract more blog traffic via YouTube marketing, it is time to present a summary of the most important lessons in this post. First, the importance of using simultaneously free exact domain with long tail yet profitable keywords for your video for you to earn more.

Second, the use of strategies and tools (such as irresistible gift offers, guest blogs, email marketing, pro-bloggers, social media networks, press releases and a lot more) for you to cash in more money.

Luckily for you, with this post, you sure can turn your viewers into loyal audience/subscribers, powerful pool of online community, or simply, target market for your blog and its updates.

Bill

Bill Achola is on a mission to help small business people get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his Affordable SEO Service for Small Business that will drive targeted traffic to your website. Be sure to follow him on Twitter

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Why Infographic Links Might Soon Be a Waste of Time for SEO

Jul 14, 2012   //   by AmandaD   //   SEO Blog  //  18 Comments

It is no surprise that Infographics are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for a website to display information. It can sometimes be tough to find readers patient enough to understand a very confusing topic, and it can be even more difficult to capture a reader’s attention—especially when the subject matter is dry or boring. This is where infographics come perfectly into play. According to researchers, about 87% of people who saw an infographic read the accompanying text while only 41% read the text of a traditional page of content.

In terms of SEO, infographic links have always been given the same weight as links found in an article. And why shouldn’t they be? After all, infographics also use information that needs to be cited, and they serve a very similar purpose as traditional articles. So what’s the problem with these links in relation to SEO? The problem is that Google isn’t sure if holding these links to the same standard as other backlinks is the best idea.

What Cutts Is Saying about Infographic Links

In an interview with Eric Enge and SMX Advanced, Cutts explained that Google is thinking about discounting links that come from infographics. This threw everyone for a loop because many companies are just now beginning to ramp up their infographic tactics. Cutts didn’t say that Google is doing this now, but he had a few reasons that suggest it’s something Google will likely consider for the future:

  • Fact checking is often poor when it comes to infographics.
  • People don’t always know what they are linking to when they republish an infographic. They might not mean to endorse that link; they might just like the way the infographic looks.
  • Links are often embedded into infographics in a way that people don’t even notice. In other words, even if someone were to look at the links before republishing, they might miss it completely.

Once the facts are laid out, many experts agree that it was only a matter of time before something like this was coming. People have slowing been beginning to create spammy infographics and distributing them all across the web. Something has to be done in relation to SEO.

Are Infographics Still Worth Your Time?

Now for the real question: Are infographics still worth it for webmasters? Most industry leaders agree that infographics are still worthwhile; however it’s probably not best to put your entire SEO strategy on infographics alone. Try to use a variety of SEO tactics and be careful about the links you use in your infographics.

Infographics are still eye catching and can still express information clearly, just make sure that your information is correct. You can learn more about how to create a successful infographic here as well as some of the elements that go into a successful infographic.

Do you think Matt Cutts and Google are on the right track as they consider discounting infographic links? Will this deter you from producing infographics? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo Credit: psfk.com

AmandaD

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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How Your Business Can Take Advantage of Google+ Local

Jul 9, 2012   //   by AmandaDi   //   SEO Blog  //  24 Comments

Google’s social networking site Google+ is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for individuals and businesses trying to improve their brand.  While connecting with others and promoting content is key to taking advantage of Google+, the site offers many more advantages including search engine ranking factors, +1s, and of course Google+ Local.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google+ Local took the place of Google Places just a few weeks ago and can be found by clicking a “local” tab on a Google+ page. This new tab will allow users to easily find local listings right from the social networking site. If your company already has a Google Places page, it will be automatically switched to a Google+ Local page. In other words, it is extremely important to understand how this new page works to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the new system.

Understanding the Google+ Local Changes  

First, the Google+ Local tab as well as the listing will have a different format. Users will be able to click the tab and then type in a search query and location for easy browsing. All of the results show up with a large picture and an overall score. Below is a screenshot that shows the local tab on the left hand side and the search bar at the top:

Second, Google+ Local has included Zagat scores to help you determine the quality of the listing according to those who have experienced the local spot or service. Zagat scores are shown as actual numbers as opposed to stars and allow users to rate different aspects of the business. For example, someone may want to give a retail store a good score for customer service but a bad score for quality of clothing. The scores are calculated on a 30-point scale and then averaged for users to see. The screenshot below shows the overall score of a restaurant as well as the individual scores that users gave the business:

Third, Google+ local pages will show up whenever you’re using Google search or Google maps. Although this may not seem significant, it makes a company’s Google+ Local listing page even more important. Zagat scores will also show up when completing a search.

What Does This Mean for Businesses?

In terms of optimization, companies do not need to change much. Keywords and great pictures are even more important with the new listings, but ultimately it is a Google+ presence that will really give a company visibility. Below are a few things that a company should do to get started taking advantage of Google+ Local:

  1. Google+ Profile – Companies need to have a Google+ profile set up in order for Google+ Local to work. You can visit here to get started.
  2. Claim Listing – A company will need to claim their local listing and make sure all of the information is correct. This is free to complete and only takes a few minutes. If you don’t already have a business page to claim, this link makes it easy to set one up.
  3. Categories – Adding categories to your local page will help users narrow down your business into the correct niche.

As a whole, getting started with Google+ local is extremely simple. Although there have been mixed reviews about the Zagat ratings, most companies do agree that Google+ Local pages are intuitive and easy to read. By bringing these pages onto a platform where people feel comfortable, it only makes sense that more and more users will begin to go to Google+ local when searching. Only time will tell!

Have you used Google+ Local or found success through the new platform? Do you think Zagat reviews will help or hurt Google+ Local? Let us know in the comments!

AmandaDi

Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.

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Funny Friday: 3 Reasons Guest Blogging is Awesome for SEO

Jul 6, 2012   //   by Pete Wise   //   guest blogging, SEO Blog  //  19 Comments

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, if you want to do SEO, you’ll eventually have to come face to face with the fact that content is necessary. One of the best ways to build links to your site is through guest blogging; which is a simple process. You write an article that is published on another blog for free; the payment you receive in return for writing the article is a link back to your site.

Usually, you want to create some context for the link by writing about a related topic, which can be tedious and in all honesty, boring. Today, right now, I’ve decided something monumental; screw that noise, I’m going to write about why sometimes, if you choose to throw caution to the wind, guest blogging kicks ass.

My attempt here is to create a satire about guest blogging, but believe me that there is some useful information within the allegory. Please, do me a favor and share this; it’s on you, dear readers, to prove that an article like this can indeed do well!

Plus, sometimes we all get so caught up in the SERP chase that we forget to slow down and have a bit of fun. Hopefully you can learn a bit of something, and have a laugh this Friday, courtesy of me and SEM-Group!

 

Reason 1: Artistic License

 

Look it up if you must, but artistic license means one thing: I can make up whatever I want, call it art, and its 100% ok.

This is a fairly obvious point, because sometimes, you have to write about something that is just so monumentally draining that you have to throw in a couple of curve balls to keep people awake.  With that, lets transition to when this principal is generally used, allegory.

In 2007, the mortgage bubble collapsed because the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Basically, many mortgages that had no chance of being paid off were combined with low risk mortgages and sold as a moderate risk investment to people who buy those things. It got to the point where imaginary money was generating imaginary money, which was then used to back more mortgages that couldn’t possibly be paid off.

Eventually, all of this unsustainable spending did what it was apt to do, collapse. In 2008, Pete Wise was elected as supreme emperor-chancellor-minister-king (S-E-C-M-K) of the stock market, saw this impending doom, and was far too busy swimming in pools bursting with imaginary money to do anything about it. When it really started hitting the fan, he was prompted by his S-E-C-M-K computer to do something about it; I was given two options.

1)   Help the Situation by implementing a sound fiscal strategy

2)   Delete Everything

Sadly, whoever had appointed me to this position didn’t read the fine print of my employment contract, which clearly stated that if ever given the option to delete everything, I have to accept. So, true to form, I deleted everything, immediately headed to 7-11 to get a burrito, and went home to have a nap. That is why the stock market crashed.

That is my artistic interpretation.

See that last bit, in bold and underlined? That makes all of that totally OK, and this is one reason why guest blogging can sometimes rule. You’re welcome politics, that entire recession, is all on me now.

 

Reason 2: Having Fewer Reasons in the Article than the Title Advertises

 

When guest blogging, sometimes you find that you decided on a topic to write about before you actually sit down to write it. You basically cover everything you wanted to in a fewer number of points than you originally promised. When this happens, you are left with a couple of options; you can revise the title, or you can forge on ahead and try to find another reason to add to the article to satisfy the title you’ve already chosen. Since this article is a satire of guest blogging in general, I’m sure its clear what I’ve chosen.

The reason that you have to choose a number is pretty simple; list-type articles do quite a bit better on social media than articles of most other kinds. In an effort to drive up social markers for articles, content marketers follow trends. Websites like Cracked.com generate top-X type lists almost exclusively, and get thousands of Facebook likes within a day. If you don’t believe me, here a screenshot of an article published TODAY, by a writer on their site.

Social Metrics we Dream Of!

Content Marketers dream of creating that sort of buzz, and rarely, such as the case of Larry Kim ruining the Facebook IPO, it happens. Far more often, we do our best to scrape every Like, +1, Stumble, and Tweet we can for our clients. We love doing it because SEO is honestly one of the most interesting fields to work in. Sometimes, we have to let loose, and that’s when you get articles just like this one!

 

Reason 3: Lying About the Number of Points in Sub-Categories, and Bad Grammar

 

Simple, because I can. Also, this usually happens because you think of something pertinent while writing the article that you want to share. I also know that I’ve switched between first person and third person in this article enough times to make the grammar-sensitive among us cringe. I’m sorry, but this is my party, so deal with it.

 

Reason 4: Because Unique Content is King


At the end of the day, the bottom line is simple. With every algorithm implementation, it is becoming more and more clear that search engines want to see websites create unique content that engages the reader. Keyword stuffing, cloaking, density, and anchor-text optimization are quickly becoming things of the past.

More and more, it seems to me that SEO needs to emulate the marketing strategies of brick-and-mortar businesses. Penguin more-or-less confirmed this for me, when it became important to have a link profile balanced between branded links and anchor text links. We all saw examples of sites that had over-optimized for a particular term become penalized, and some sites that had built links for those same keywords dropped off the SERPS entirely.

The message is clear, content is what Google wants to see. Far too often over the past 5 years I’ve heard complaints from my clients about how they have an awesome site, with a ton of content that is unique, but are being outranked by more spammy sites. We longed for the days that search engines would punish those that gamed the system and rewarded those that tried to make a website that truly engaged its users.

That day has arrived, and as guest bloggers, we couldn’t be happier. Above all other reasons stated in this article, this is why guest blogging is awesome for SEO. Do what Google wants and create good content, and you will be rewarded!

Pete Wise

Pete Wise is a White-Hat SEO Jedi and SEM Analyst. An ultra-statistical SEO, he spends his days with Magento On-Site optimization, Google Places Management, Social Media Engagement, Link-Building, and Content Writing. He worked at Customer Paradigm until July 2012, whom employ the most experienced Magento Developers on the web!

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