Can a search engine answer a simple question? It depends. This blog examines the current standing of semantic search and artificial intelligence, and breaks down how marketers can make their websites as clear as possible for Google's new Hummingbird algorithm.
Digital marketers are overwhelmingly at the mercy of Google's algorithm updates. The 2011 Panda update and 2012 Penguin update created widespread changes in the way that digital marketers do their jobs. Though the future is murky, put down the magic 8 ball. Here are some issues and predictions to be aware of when you're planning your 2013 digital marketing strategies.
Andre Weyher, an ex-member of Matt Cutts’ webspam team, was recently interviewed by Jayson DeMers on Search Engine Journal. Here’s what he had to say about Penguin, SEO, and spam.
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
Google is rolling out its new '+1' feature, an immediate relative to the Facebook 'Like' button, which was met with resounding popularity when it was launched last April. Google users will soon be able to click the +1 button to recommend search results to friends and connections. When users 'Like' something on Facebook, the action immediately enters into the News Feed so users can see what their friends are 'Like'ing. When users '+1' a search result, their action is indexed -- placed on a back burner -- and viewed only when their social connections perform the same or a similar search.
Read this article: Google +1 to rival Facebook "Like"
The Internet is constantly evolving, and as the Internet goes so must its biggest presence, Google. Google’s latest search engine algorithm revision, codenamed Caffeine, will soon be released and will affect search results and search engine optimization. The expected changes that Caffeine will bring involves faster indexing, a greater overall amount of pages indexed, and more detailed and informative SERPs. These changes will undoubtedly benefit SEO and people who are utilizing the service in their overall marketing initiatives. Let’s look at the three main areas of improvement that Google’s Caffeine brings to your website’s SEO:
Read this article: How Google's Caffeine Benefits SEO
I recently stumbled upon a very insightful and intelligent analysis by Randfish on SEOmozBlog. It was a blog post of his opinion on how Google’s key factors in rankings algorithm have evolved throughout the years. Randfish discusses four different ranking criteria that has been a key factor in SEO since the dawning of the Google: Domain Trust/Authority, Anchor Text in External Links, On-Page Keyword Usage, and Raw PageRank/Link Juice.
Read this article: Evolution of Google’s SEO Algorithm
A favorite topic among SEO professionals is the inevitable change we will see in Google's algorithm. A slight shift in the way Google determines PageRank could turn an entire SEO campaign on its head. Guess what?