Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gear up for Google Panda 3.3 update and many more

Search Marketers better pay heed. Google has rolled out Panda 3.3 update to its search algorithm, along with 39 additional search updates. 

According to a post on Google’s official blogspot page, introduction of Panda 3.3 update will ‘refresh data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web’.

Panda algorithm, ever since it first came about, has been force to reckon with. And with every update to this algorithm, the search engine has been able to shore up its efforts towards creating a more accurate and authentic search environment. This update, like the previous one, is directed at data refresh and not so much at creating new or changing ranking signals. Nevertheless, with every tweak in Panda algorithm, search and thereby search marketing will only get smarter and wiser. 

Of the 39 other search related updates, some significant changes that one ought to lookout for are:

1. Improved local results and improvements to rankings in local search results: Google has launched a new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. This will help detect, more accurately, queries and documents that are local to a user. With respect to rankings in local search, an improvement in the triggering of ‘Local Universal’ results has been introduced by relying more on the ranking on Google’s main search results as a signal.

2. Improvements to freshness: ‘Freshness’ has been an important subject matter for Google for a long time. To be able to surface results that are ‘fresh’ and thereby more relevant to the time has been an aspiration for the search engine and with respect to the same, it has applied new signals which will help surface fresher content in the results more quickly than before.

3. Link evaluation: Google has decided to do away with its link evaluation/analysis signal. Google has for long relied on characteristics of a link to help figure out the topic of a linked page. But having turned off a method of link analysis that was being used for several years, one can expect Google to come up with (or in Google’s terms -‘re-architect’) an upgraded link evaluation tool or something which will carry out the function with more scrutinized eye in the near future. 

An inference which can be best drawn from these suggested tweaks and upgrades is that Google is going all out in its efforts to spruce up the local and accurate-ize the more generic way of search. For SEOs, these upgrades are only but a call to tighten their reins of search marketing initiatives and make them more concentrated, if anything. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Optimize for local search for better business results

Local search is one of the most promising areas when it comes to search engine marketing. Particularly if you have a locally based business, the prospect of optimizing for local search may just be the difference between the success and failure of our business altogether.
Consider the following facts. Local search has grown manifold over the last few years and it is expected that more than 30 per cent for all searches, by 2015, will be regarding locally-based businesses. Moreover, more than 80 per cent of all searches conducted via an internet-enabled device like a smartphone or a tablet PC is for a local business. Worldwide, the number of smartphone users is increasing day by day and this increase is largely facilitated by the fact that access to internet (, and thereby search) is relatively hassle-free with a mobile communication device like a smartphone. These trends, if anything, are an indication of the fact that people are taking to local search more enthusiastically than ever before. Leading internet marketing firm Webmarketing123 reviews this trend as one which will stick around and possibly revolutionize search activity all together.
So what is it about Local search that should appeal to locally-based businesses and persuade them to proactively work towards establishing and maintaining a favourable search presence for local/geo location based queries. It is that local search presence makes a business look ‘pursuable’. Explaining this better, consider you are a florist located in the city of Denver, looking to improve footfalls and sales of your business. Now, if your business comes up on the top spots for a local query ‘florists in Denver’, your business automatically becomes the one to opt for or ‘pursue’. This sentiment goes a long way in encouraging a person to opt for and try your business over others.
To build a strong local search portfolio all you need is a little bit of SEO and consolidation of your business’s web information. SEO calls on incorporating relevant keywords in your website’s content, including long-tail, geo-specific and even language-specific ones, so that a website ranks favourably for such queries. Also, include and promote videos and images about your business so that people can perceive it better. Next step is to make sure all the information about a business across various web-based platforms (local directories, forums and review sites) are consistent with one another. This is so that you do not end up confusing a searcher when he looks a business up. Lastly, be proactive in your efforts. If you stumble upon any negative information about your business take the initiative to correct it. People trust opinions and experiences of others and so it is important that every review about your business (on Yelp or any other similar site) is taken into account and worked upon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Importance Of Content For Search Engine Optimization

In the process of search engine optimization, content plays a very important role. Let us understand why content is important for SEO. Well, let us first answer what web provides us. The web provides us with information, which is content. Every page on the web is a document of information or content on numerous topics. Search engines crawl and index web pages to find the one which provides the most unique and relevant information. The pages which cater unique content are ranked higher on the search engine result page. Therefore, the quality of the content on your website contributes to your ranking on the SERP.

There are several types of content such as text, audio, video, images and a few other formats. Considering the technological advances, the types of content keep changing. The important point is to create content in a format that best serves the users and fulfills their expectations. If you are providing instructions on how to use a product, you can reach your audience in a PDF format. Music videos can be delivered in a video format. Search Engine Result Pages display all types of content. This includes links to other web pages, videos, blog posts, PDF files, images, news results, online shopping and many more types.

Content is produced and delivered for the following reasons: introducing new concepts and communicating with customers to build a strong bond with them. So, if you own an apparel brand, the content that your deliver should describe your products briefly. This will help increase your brand visibility and improve your ranking on a SERP.

The best part about producing content is that it is completely within your control. You are the master of what you deliver. You know your product and target audience. Hence, when you create your content, ensure that you are delivering what your audience expects. You can produce content in the form of blogs or information on other web pages, publish white papers or offer e-books for download. For promoting your product, you can even launch contests wherein you can award your product to the winner. No matter in which format are you delivering your content, it is highly influential for your website’s ranking. 

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advent of Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization underwent major changes in 2011 and has adapted more dignified methods than before. SEO has changed its focus from using tricks to using content and audience development for improving websites’ rankings. Optimizers have learned to avoid tricks such as using CSS image replacement, injecting keyword text, hiding links from search engines to control the flow of PageRank, etc. With search engines getting better at crawling and indexing, SEOs are expected to advance too. You need to follow the search engine’s terms of service if you want your ranking to improve.

Previously, websites used poor quality content and generic articles for long-tail keyword optimization. However, since the Google Panda Update, websites have majorly stopped using content which will not serve to be purposeful for users. Three important points for effective search engine optimization are: code, design and content.

Though Google claims to understand imperfect codes, it is advisable to keep codes as simple as possible. A simple and minimal use of code is easy for analyzing. If you use more codes, there are higher chances of not getting your page indexed or browser incompatibility. You should validate HTML and CSS to prevent crawl errors. Avoid ambiguous naming structures and use the most obvious CSS class and ID names.

Websites designing is very important for SEO. Websites should have clean vertical internal linking meaning every page should not link to all pages on the website. Do not put unnecessary links which people do not use. Look at your website’s analytics report to find out the least used links and eradicate such links. You should try and merge various sections whenever possible. Take a look at all the categories and sub-categories on your website and eliminate whole categories by merging or reassigning content. This is useful to eliminate distraction and to increase the internal flow of authority.

You should create content which people want to read and share. You should use it as a medium to communicate with potential clients and customers. You should have a continuous flow of link worthy content and build strong relationships with people who create links. Update content frequently and completely get rid of low-quality content. If the Panda update has already affected you, start rebuilding high quality and link worthy content. Have a look at the image below to learn how people use content to generate links.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Webmasters Opinion on Google’s Preferential Treatment to Big Brands

Google’s latest change in its algorithm is expected to favor videos and big brands. Many doubts were raised in this context and several people have voiced out their say about how to be identified as a big brand by the Google Panda.  Everyone has the same opinion that to convert your small brand into a big brand, gaining exposure is a must. However, how to gain exposure to become a big brand in the preferential environment created by Google poses a great problem.

Some webmasters feel that good logos and colors on the website will do the trick. However, others have argued by saying that Google’s algorithm does not look for fancy logos. Webmasters feel that websites are supposed to be built for humans and not algorithms, but Google is creating a hurdle in this process.
If you want to send the right on-page signals to Google, you should design your website with strong expert content, include graphics, and get high end backlinks. The content on the website should not be ‘good’ but it should be expert level content. Quality design and quality content put together will help you better your chances of being a big brand.

To create a big brand, it is important to build trust and give clear trust signals to users and search engines. Ensure that all the information that you are giving out is true. Building a big brand can take years, but you need to start somewhere. To start with, you should target keywords strategically and then move on to getting quality links from trusted websites. If you get an option to of choosing anchor text, use your company name or URL. You ought to be creative with every step that you take.

You can increase low level of attention to a higher level by effectively using social media marketing, especially Facebook and Twitter. Some webmasters consider that trying to become a ‘big brand’ is a fool’s errand. It is wiser to invest in trust building and authority signals.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Analytics and Reporting: Powerful Pillars of SEO

Measurement, reporting and analytics are the most powerful pillars of SEO tactics. The long-term success of an organic program completely relies on these factors. If you have ever managed a paid search campaign, you will understand the importance and impact of measurement and analysis. This article highlights how insight, action and certain other metrics can help you enhance your performance.

It is important to track conversions to demonstrate the business impact you are making. Apart from tracking rankings, you should also track revenue, leads and margin while trying to engage a company.
Usually, you will contribute a lot of time and energy to make an impact on your program, but do not forget to analyze data while focusing on your program. Study each change that you make, and check if it pushes you towards your goal, or pulls you away from it. Execute, monitor, measure and then make a note of the tactics which have a positive impact.

Keywords which drive high traffic need not necessarily be the same as keywords which help to convert leads into sales. You should prioritize your focus on keywords that will increase your revenue by lead conversion.
Apart from analytics, external factors such as seasonality also affect the traffic volume. For example, if your website sells skiing equipment, the maximum traffic will be generated during the cold months. So, you need to revolve your program around the months which drive peak traffic volumes.

It is essential to capture a benchmark of the rankings of keywords which are important for you. There are certain applications which will help you in benchmarking to check the impact of your program. These tools display the growth in keywords that start ranking over time.

Whether you wish to generate leads or conversions, you should concentrate on organic searches that lead to the call center. If your business relies on call centers for conversions, tracking these results will give you the most accurate data about the results you have acquired. These were few of the analytics that you need to trace and focus on, to pave way for successful optimization.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Google Generates Dynamic Search Ads, Using Website Content

Google has added a new feature to AdWords, called Dynamic Search Ads, which replaces the need for keywords. This new interesting search ad type will index your website frequently for changes, and choose keywords from the content on your website to generate a highly dynamic search ad based on search queries in Google. The body of the ad has to be written by you, and Google only inserts the headline of the ad.
Google generates a headline based on the search terms used, and it thinks are a good match. This will be put apart from your other campaigns, and if the search term was a keyword that you are already bidding for, it would not be eligible for Dynamic Search Ads. It will be competing with other bidders in AdWords.
Dynamic Search Ads intend to supplement existing keyword ads and not replace them. They are put into action only when you do not have a keyword ad relevant to a query. You can promote pages within your website which contain certain important words. Google uses regular search indexing technology to scan websites. Advertisers have the liberty to choose the pages or sections they want Google to scan to generate dynamic ads.

Google claims that Dynamic Search Ads will give a broader exposure to capture target audience. Google reports that advertisers in the pilot batch of this program are seeing a 5 to 10 percent increase in clicks and conversions, and the overall ROI is positive. Lawrence Cotter, General Manager at said, "Using Dynamic Search Ads increased conversions by almost 50% with an average cost-per-conversion that's 73% less than our traditional search ads.”

Baris Gultekin, Director of AdWords Product Management at Google, said, "We're launching Dynamic Search Ads, a new way to target relevant searches with dynamic ads generated right from your website. Dynamic Search Ads complement your existing keyword-targeted ads to help you sell more with less effort”.
Dynamic Search Ads are available in the limited beta program, in all countries and languages supported by Google search advertising. However, Google has not provided the release date when Dynamic Search Ads will be open for everyone.

Thoughts provided by Webmarketing123.