A new Penguin update is on the way and it is rumored that it will make last April’s ruthless Penguin update look like child’s play. If you're gearing up and wondering how you can avert penalties, here are seven ways to protect your site, or recover if you've already been hit.
Marketers for all kinds of companies are starting to see their competitors’ faces on the Google search pages next to the results, and it’s making all the difference. Studies show that having a photo next to your search result improves clickthrough rates by, at times, up to 400 percent. It adds credibility to your personal and professional brand, and it adds something aesthetic to the search result to make it stand out from the others.
“But what kind of nebulous spells are they casting to get their photos there?” you might ask. Google has actually made this process much easier than it used to be, and now incorporates Google Plus and a few other quick tasks to get it done.
So you want your photo appearing next to your blog post and/or webpage results?
Here is the step-by-step walkthrough.
1. Create a Google Plus profile
The entire process hinges upon your having a Google Plus profile, so if you don’t have one, set one up real quick. A few things to remember:
- Your Google Plus profile photo must match the one that appears on your website bio
- When filling out your profile, add a link to your website to the “Contributor To” field
2. Create a bio page on your website
This can be a simple page that includes your photo, a brief bio and a link to your Google Plus profile.
3. For blog pages, place a byline with a link to the bio page on every post
A link over your name that points to a bio page gives Google’s crawlers more information about you, and helps provide a well-rounded batch of author information for better indexing.
4. Place the below code in the body content of the HTML (before or after the post)
<a title="Author Name" rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/example-profile"></a>
<a title="Author Name" rel="publisher" href="https://plus.google.com/example-profile"></a>
For certain CMS, like Drupal or WordPress, it’s much easier to modify the theme and inject the above code into the body content, but, if necessary, you can manually place the code into the body text whenever you create a new page.
And that should do it. Give it a few days, post a new page and see if it works. Also, there is no guarantee that every post will include author information on the rankings page.
On April 24th, Google implemented the Penguin update, a new update to the Panda algorithm. The Penguin update is an attempt to reward websites that are well-optimized and penalize sites that are over-optimized.
Officially, Google states that Penguin affected only 3.1% of queries in English. However, the sites that were hit saw large drops in their search rankings and traffic. Within hours of the implementation, “Penguined” sites saw drops in search engine traffic in excess of 70% and those with #1 rankings for major keywords no longer registered on the top 10 pages in Google.
Although our clients did not experience any drops due to the Penguin update, we have had several new clients sign up with Volacci following the April 24th algorithm change that did see large drops (these websites were not intentionally trying to manipulate the search engines). Through our analysis of these “Penguined” sites we found that there were several similarities between them. Before your site falls prey to the Penguin, note the following five “strategies” you should avoid to protect your Internet marketing investment:
- Spikes in in-bound links. Large spikes in the number of links created in a month can indicate that you are buying links or using some ”devious” methods to automate the building of links. Avoid creating spikes in your link building by being consistent about your link building techniques. Do not purchase links!
- Too many site-wide interior links. As a general rule, keep the number of links on a webpage under 100. If you need more then 100 links on a page, then it’s probably best to create more then one page.
- Unnatural numbers of links with the same anchor text. A natural link profile will have links with varied anchor text. This means that they will not all have the same keyword embedded in the link. Utilize varied anchor text and link text for all of your link building techniques. Include a few links directly to your domain as well to ensure that your link profile doesn’t look over-optimized.
- Unnatural numbers of links from only high PageRank websites. Be sure that you have links from high PR and low PR websites. Otherwise, your link profile will look unnatural. It’s okay to have links from websites that have a PR of 8 or 9 as long as you also have some links from websites that have a PR of 1 or 2.
- Keyword stuffing. Keyword density is a myth. Using a keyword on a page merely to increase the number of instances looks unnatural to your visitors and to the search engine crawlers. Make sure that your content is clean, concise, and does not overuse any given keyword.
Out with the Old, In with the New
To boil it down, Google wants you to care about your link profile and your content. Old strategies that used to be effective are now being scrutinized, and penalized.
If you were affected by Penguin or need to stay ahead of the next algorithm update, contact us at [email protected] to learn more.
Read this article: Protecting Your Marketing Investment: 5 Ways To Penguin Proof Your Website
What do you say? How do you sell him on it? How’s he going to react? These are just a few of the questions you may ask yourself when you decide you want to talk to your boss about SEO.
But wait. What is SEO?
SEO is simply the combination of on page and off page activities used to drive traffic to your website via organic listings in the search engines.
Read this article: So You Want to Talk to Your Boss About SEO
Every week I search the web for articles I think you might find interesting. This week's "Link Juice" includes links to mashable.com, engadget.com, searchengineland.com and others!
Read this article: Link Juice for the Week of 1/31-2/4
This week's "Link Juice" includes links to house.gov, shankman.com, googleblog.com and others!
Read this article: Link Juice for the Week of 1/10-1/14
Seasoned craftsmen worth a darn have a workshop of tools that help them excel at what they do best. Painters have brushes, carpenters have hammers, and mimes have invisible boxes. SEO practitioners are no difference.
While invisible boxes may be scarce, Volacci uses many helpful tools in our SEO workshop to help our clients get results with their SEO campaigns. You may or may not use the same tools. Heck, you may have better tools than are included in this post. If you do, please let me know about it in a comment.
Whether you are a seasoned webmaster, an SEO practitioner, or business owner who just needs to expand their workshop of tools, please join me for 7 SEO tools of the trade.
Read this article: A Peek into the SEO Workshop: Seven Tools of the Trade
Here is a question that Volacci gets quite often: “Why is Drupal a better choice than Joomla! or WordPress for SEO?” That question is, indeed, subjective. The answer depends upon what exactly you want your site to do. Do you simply want a blog that you can post to a few times a week? Then WordPress is probably your best bet. Joomla? Well, we are still trying to figure out when Joomla is better... Here is an answer we can give you that isn’t subjective. If you are in need of a search engine-friendly website built with an open source content management system (CMS), Drupal is your knight in shining armor. Drupal is a great platform for building your website. It is a very powerful system that can be used for large, complex sites like www.whitehouse.gov, www.mensa.org, and http://www.lefigaro.fr, the oldest and second-largest newspaper in France. Some other sites you may also have heard of include: The Discovery Channel, Warner Bros. Records, The United Nations, and General Motors. It’s widely believed that Drupal is one of the best choices if you want to rank well in the search engines. I personally believe that it’s hands-down the best possible platform for SEO. I’ve seen clients triple their traffic within a few weeks of switching from a lesser platform. How did they do it? Here are 9 reasons why Drupal is the best CMS for SEO.
Read this article: 9 Reasons Why Drupal is the Best CMS for SEO
Although not as difficult as learning Chinese or Mandarin, SEO industry terminology can send any unsuspecting mind spinning in circles. Call it ‘nerd-isms’, computer lingo, or ‘dork-ese’, but one thing’s for sure, if you are trying to search engine-optimize your website, you need to understand the following terms in the SEO Terminology for Beginners: A - Z.