Google has rolled out Penguin 2.0 algorithm update overnight so if you not prepared then you may find that your rankings have dropped overnight.
Matt Cutts warned of updates coming to the algorithm in his post “What to expect in SEO in the coming months” on 13th May 2013. However the speed at which this update has come may of caught some people by surprise.
How to Recover From Penguin 2.0
If your website has been affected then you need to implement a strategy quickly to help restore your rankings. The first thing you need to do is conduct a thorough analysis of your back-links. Identify the links which are harming your website and contact the sites to get them removed. If you cannot get them removed you can look at submitting a disavow report via webmaster tools. This process should only be undertaken by an SEO professional otherwise you risk removing the wrong links.
If you site has been affected and you would like an expert analysis of your backlink profile then please call 0208 1444 289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note we will also review your onpage optimisation to make sure it follows current guidelines. Some sites have been penalised due to “over optimisation” this is something we check for as part of the initial review.
This is an extract of the first stage of link analysis we conduct.
Please support Isabel Hospice and come along and take part in their 2013 charity bike ride on Sunday 19th May. The ride starts and finishes at Bishops Stortford Rugby Club ,Silver Leys, Hadham Road, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 2QE
This year there are 3 distances to choose from 16 miles (25 km), 31 miles (50 km) and the new 60 mile (100km) route.
Any questions or queries please contact email@example.com or call 01707 382500
This will be a fun day out and I have it on good authority that the weather will be lovely!
You can find out more information and download the application form here.
Here’s a quick round up of some things that caught my interest lately;
Google Glasse - I read an article about these a while ago and I was trying to explain to my dad what they did when I found the new Google Glasse website and video which explained everything perfectly. Hands free photography, movies, search and navigation. Sweet. Here’s another video showing what it would be like shopping with Google Glasse http://mashable.com/2013/03/11/grocery-shopping-google-glass/
Mashable’s 50 Digital Media Resources you may have missed is worth a look for a rundown on what’s been happening in the industry lately
Coming to a city near you soon…
Most marketers on the web know how Google feels about local search, and if they don’t, they should. Next to mobile, it is probably one of the search engine giant’s biggest focuses at the moment, and is likely to be for the foreseeable future.
Less than a year ago, Google changed the face of search results by giving businesses with Places pages and Maps listings preferential treatment in any search query that included local intent. Towards the end of 2010 they launched Hotpot, to work in conjunction with Maps and Google profiles, and help users find all sorts of local business reviewed and recommended by their friends.
It may only be a few months since the Hotpot recommendation engine was launched, but Google is always developing new ideas. The company’s next step towards a more locally-focused internet is just around the corner and coming to a city near you soon.
Google city pages
In the last couple of months more and more people have been coming across some of Google’s new city pages. There aren’t many of them, just ones for the US cities of Portland, Austin, San Diego and Madison at the moment, and they are not being actively promoted by the search engine, but they are out there.
These pages provide a lists of local bars, restaurants, health spas etc., all ranked by customers’ online reviews, with a range of filters to help the local searcher find exactly what it is they are looking for. They have also integrated Google Offers, another new service that keeps local customers up to date with all the daily deals from businesses in their area. The pages will also have information about upcoming local events and a community blog too.
Think of it a bit like Tripadvisor plus Groupon, with a little bit of Twitter thrown in too. All in one place, on a great looking page that’s very easy to use.
Why Google loves local
It’s estimated that around 42% of internet searches have some kind of local intent, and for mobile users that figure could be even higher, with a recent survey showing that 90% of them are searching locally. This is perhaps not too unexpected, but what provides an even more compelling demonstration of the importance of local searches, particularly for businesses, is that 87% of these mobile users then take action based on the results of their local search.
Are there more city pages to follow? Will these pages start appearing in the search results and if so, what does that mean for the local Places listings? It’s still too early to say. But now the internet is delivering the results and detailed information people have always been looking for in a faster and better way, the number of customers who are going to be turning to the search engines when they want to know a good local bar or restaurant is only going to increase. And Google obviously feels that their new city pages will provide everything they’re looking for.
Google has officially launched the +1 (“plus one”) button for websites; a tool could have future implications for search engine optimisation services, as it may change the way in which Google ranks its websites. This is the latest step in a series of actions which are helping Google to jump onto the social media bandwagon.
The +1 button will work in much the same way as a Facebook ‘like” does. Website visitors will be able to give a “+1” rating to content they find interesting or useful. This will ultimately give everyday users the power to influence what content appears in the search results. As of 1 June, any business now has the ability to add this feature to their web pages.
There are many positive reasons for introducing the +1 button. With personal recommendations, it’s likely that search results will become more helpful and trustworthy for readers. And publishers can also benefit, with better targeted traffic coming via Google.
Adding +1 buttons to your pages will also help your content to stand out in a Google search. By giving your visitors more chances to +1 your pages, your search results and search ads could show up more frequently with +1 accreditations.
How to get started
+1 is, at present, an experimental feature that requires “opt-in” by Google users. You’ll only start to see your friends’ recommendations next to search results once you’ve agreed to opt in and are signed into your Google account. What’s more, it’s currently only working with English-language search results.
What does this all mean for Search Engine Optimisation?
We don’t yet know if this new feature from Google is really going to take off or not. As such, it’s business as usual as far as search engine optimisation services are concerned. However, we’ll be monitoring the situation and advising clients where relevant, if this is something they should be considering.
One key benefit we expect to see is that websites will more than ever be focusing their efforts on providing quality content, something which any UK SEO company will be very happy to support.
When it comes to search engine optimisation, there are some common misconceptions surrounding what does and does not work. If you are considering hiring a professional search engine optimisation service, or even if you are going to tackle it yourself, then read on to uncover the truth behind some of the most common SEO myths.
Myth # 1: It’s all about the Meta tags
This may have once been true, but search engines now place a far greater emphasis on the actual website content, and not on what the tags are saying. The main tags to focus your efforts on are the Meta title tag and the description tags.
Myth # 2: You should regularly submit your site to search engines
One time is all it really takes. Search engines are sophisticated beasts these days and they’ll find you all by themselves. You can sometimes speed up the process of getting your site indexed by linking it to a high traffic site. The search engines will pick up your URL and index it automatically.
Myth # 3: SEO is expensive
Search engine optimisation is possibly the most cost-effective form of online marketing. Once you’ve paid for the initial set-up work, the ongoing maintenance costs are low (or you can of course choose to do this yourself). Unlike PPC or banner advertising, all clicks to your site are free in the world of SEO.
Myth # 4: Only the homepage can be optimised
You can and should optimise every page on your site. Each page should be centered on its own keyword phrases that you have already pre-determined with your keyword research.
Myth # 5: If I get the keyword density right, I will rank well
Unfortunately, it is not this simple. You will need off-site SEO as well as on-site SEO. Keyword density does contribute towards your rankings, but you need to do a lot more than this alone. Also beware of “keyword stuffing”. Over-use of a keyword phrase can actually lead to you being penalised by search engines, so you’ve got to get that balance just right.
Myth # 6: I should avoid the most competitive keyword phrases
It’s best to cover all bases and include some high, medium and low competition words and phrases. Don’t shy away from top key terms just because they are competitive. If you hire a professional SEO company, then you stand a great chance of ranking highly for them – after all, someone’s got to be at the top and why shouldn’t it be you?
Myth # 7: SEO takes a long time to work
Naturally, SEO should be a long-term strategy and you probably won’t see overnight results. If that’s what you want, then Pay Per Click is probably what you need in the first instance. However, if you have quality content and great backlinks, then within a couple of months of launch, you should see a massive leap forward. SEO should be something which you constantly monitor and strive to improve, and like everything, you only get out what you put in.
As a UK SEO company, our mission is to ensure our clients’ website traffic is maximised and continually on the rise. However, there are a number of SEO techniques out there; some are more ethical than others, and only a handful of them really do work. Paid links have been a controversial SEO method for several years now, but with more and more companies being “outed”, including a major UK broadcasting company, is it now somehow becoming more acceptable?
Backlinks are arguably the number one tool for driving search engine traffic to your website. The number and quality of links directing people to your website will play a crucial part in determining how you will rank on the search engine results. What’s more, high quality inbound links not only improve SEO, they will of course help to drive more traffic directly to your website.
Because backlinks are such a successful form of online marketing, many businesses are willing to go so far as to pay for links in from other pages. While natural link building is both cost effective and reliable, some businesses want to see immediate results, so they buy their links from other online sources.
So why exactly is this method considered so controversial? Firstly, it is considered a “black hat” technique. In other words, it’s not about building a solid online reputation, it’s verging on spamming – and duping users. Paid links are usually empty links coming from popular online sources that are not even related to the website’s subject matter.
While a link from a related website holds more weight than a link from an irrelevant source, unfortunately for all the natural link building advocates, Google will still consider links from those irrelevant websites when calculating a search engine ranking.
If you are considering paid links as part of your strategy, it is recommended that you consider the following:
- Buy links from relevant websites
- Avoid links on pages with too many other outbound links
- Avoid links from “bad neighbourhoods”
- Get links from a wide variety of IP ranges
- Get links from sites with a wide range of page ranks
- Avoid site wide links particularly on unrelated pages
- Vary your link text
- Don’t forget to link to important sub-pages in addition to the homepage
Be warned however, that Google encourages the reporting of paid links. If you do it and get caught out, then you could end up being penalised.
In summary, paid links can indeed work – but at what cost? You put your online reputation at risk for some short-term results. As any professional SEO company will tell you, it is better to invest your time in a long term strategy of natural link building and quality content – and keep your head held high!
Social media marketing is becoming a crowded space. If you want to really maximise your potential and stand out from that crowd, then you need to think about how to really draw your audiences in. In essence, you should follow three basic rules of being responsive, transparent and likeable.
Following are a few hints to help ensure that you make the most of your Facebook presence, achieve more “likes” than your competitors and guarantee that your customers or audience will help to spread the word about you.
1. Always listen and respond.
This is the single most important rule for creating engagement in your business or brand: the ability to listen to what is being said about you, your competitors and your target audience’s requirements. The worst thing you can do is ignore comments; this way you are making social media work against, rather than for you.
From time to time, you will get negative comments. Customers now like to use social networks to vent their frustrations, rather than approaching a company directly, and negative sentiment can spread like wildfire on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Therefore, you need to have your wits about you and be able to respond both quickly and eloquently.
The best practice is to respond publicly, while indicating that you’re addressing the issue privately. The customer will feel be delighted that they are being listened to, while the general public will view you as being responsive, which will garner respect. “I’m sorry” is possibly the most powerful phrase for brands in social media.
On the other hand, it is equally worth responding well to positive comments. This is something which all too few businesses have cottoned on to. If you’ve won a customer’s approval, then be sure to keep it. “Thank you” is perhaps the second most powerful phrase for brands in social media!
2. Keep it real and be transparent
The internet generation is pretty savvy on the whole and can see through marketing gimmicks and spiel. If you want to get more followers and “likes”, then let your brand’s personality be laid bare.
Here’s an example. The actor Vin Diesel is the most-liked on Facebook, with a whopping 21 million fans. It’s not because he is the most talented, best looking or most popular, but more than likely it is because he’s the most real. He posts personal photos and videos and shares his inner thoughts – unlike so many celebrity profiles which are full of PR puffery. Businesses can learn from Vin: share stuff from behind-the-scenes and let people see the more human side of your business, and you’ll gain respect.
3. Add Value
You need to give people a tangible reason to sign up to your page.
Brands that add extra value through their social media will build trust and credibility and grow contagious excitement – all of which have long term benefits. Think about something you can give away for free, which will excite consumers but be of little cost to you. Business-to-business brands may consider sharing white papers or offering free webinars. Business-to-consumer brands can give away products or discounts to their Facebook fans, or run regular competitions.
Bearing all of these in mind, there is one final rule you should follow. For a moment, think like a consumer, rather than a marketer. What would make you hit that “like” button?
If you are new to the online world or to the social media space, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the recent explosion in social media marketing. While it is now easier than ever to promote your brand or business through the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, the process of juggling various accounts across different networks can get a tad confusing, not to mention time-consuming. Thankfully, there is a tool out there which can make updating your status a whole lot easier.
HootSuite essentially automates your social networking – and frees up some valuable time for you to focus on other aspects of internet marketing. And the best news is, there is a basic plan which is very robust and totally free to use. The tool is user-friendly and is accessed directly through your web browser.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook (profiles or pages), Foursquare, Ping.fm, MySpace and WordPress are all taken care of in HootSuite. You can make status updates on as many of these sites as you wish, in one hit.
Another cool little feature is that you can schedule updates for days, months and even years ahead of time. This can be particularly valuable if you are primarily interested in providing relevant content to customers that is not time-critical. All you would need to do is invest some time in uploading one file with your updates – then HootSuite can take care of the rest.
There are a host of other benefits, which are particularly useful for marketers.
1. Security – There have been a few marketing gaffes in the social media world; for example when marketers representing big brands like Chrysler and the Red Cross accidentally clicked on the wrong account. To prevent similar mishaps, HootSuite developed a feature which prompts users to confirm or cancel tweets before sending them.
2. Tracking campaigns – In HootSuite’s dashboard, you can set up streams for the types of content you want to monitor, including news feeds and mentions. These can be organised by account, network or content, which comes in handy for tracking campaign-specific hashtags.
3. Measure Success – There is a handy analytics feature which includes the ability to create custom reports — a key tool for marketers who need to show their clients some campaign statistics. Measurable items include follower statistics and mentions on Twitter. Also integrated are Facebook Insights and Google Analytics data, which means HootSuite users can also track how many website visitors they are getting from specific links shared through HootSuite.
While some of these advanced features are perfect for marketers, anyone who is looking to maximise their social media exposure in an efficient way could benefit from using HootSuite.
To ensure you have the best possible chance of achieving top rankings we carry out extensive analysis. We analyse your website performance and establish what changes are required.