Preparing for Penguin 2.0

Posted by | SEO | No Comments

We have been through 5 major Google algorithm updates in the last 6 years and dozens of minor updates. Google recently stated that “We make over 500 changes to our algorithms a year, so there will always be fluctuations in our rankings in addition to normal crawling and indexing.” Additionally, SEOMoz reports that there have been 76 notable algorithm updates since 2007. Most of the minor updates go largely unnoticed by everyday users of Google and may feel more like typical fluctuations due to the content changes in the index.

Major updates are more like 50 year storms, and during major updates, it’s not uncommon for sites that enjoyed dominant first page positions to drop out of the top 10 pages.

Currently, the industry is buzzing with talk of a major update that Matt Cutts has labeled Penguin 2.0. Given the buzz, we thought we would share our 10 cents on how to handle the next “big one,” whether it happens this week or in 10 weeks:

  1. Cultivate a healthy paranoia. Most in the SEO community know what this means, because in the aftermath of a major update, the chaos and confusion is thick. During this time it’s important to question everything you read. Make sure you ask yourself if the information is coming from a “talking head” who is talking about what happened or from a web master with skin in the game. Be skeptical of statements of fact and leery of predictions. Early statements may very well be true, but to know for certain, tests need to be run to validate and verify them.
  2. Don’t over-react. Let the dust settle before you draw conclusions. It is tempting to be shortsighted and draw knee-jerk conclusions during a major algorithm update, but try not to. Conclusions should be formed, but not in the opening days, or weeks following an update. If past updates are good indicators of what will play out (they may not be), it will take a few months for the SEO community to know what happened and how to proceed.
  3. Be Proactive. Since we know that in the past, the Penguin update generally affects a website based on its backlink profile, it is easy to audit websites routinely to make sure that your site is consistently meeting the quality standards set to keep it from being penalized.
  4. Have an alternative traffic plan in place. The fastest way to replace lost traffic short-term (if your site has lost organic placement) is via Google Adwords and other CPC platforms (Yahoo/Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn). Consider industry directories and industry specific email/phone and lead-generation platforms.
  5. Give it some time, but not an indefinite amount of time. Every time a major update occurs, the SEO community goes into “all hands on deck” mode for months. There is stress, panic, uncertainty, theories, frustration, and resignation. However, about 6 weeks out, the new system begins to be more clear. It’s important for clients to be in communication with vendors during this time, but not daily or even weekly. Every 10-15 business days is about right for the dots to start connecting.
  6. Be willing to adapt. Accepting that what was true yesterday may be false tomorrow is painful. Be data driven, not “hunch” driven. Just because you think Google might have done X, remember that it’s only a theory until you test it multiple times and verify it. This has always been the reality of how Google ranks websites. For whatever reason, though, people have a hard time accepting this fact. It takes humility to accept that Google holds the keys.

Ultimately, when the algorithm is updated, the best course of action is to take a deep breath and evaluate everything that changes. Compare what the sites that were penalized have in common and what the websites that held strong have in common. Take action appropriately and with time, the results will return.

Here is a helpful video from Matt Cutts on Penguin 2.0 and what changes to expect in the coming months.

 

Auctor consectetur ligula gravida

Posted by | Dining | No Comments

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi vitae dui et nunc ornare vulputate non fringilla massa. Praesent sit amet erat sapien, auctor consectetur ligula. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed non ligula augue. Praesent imperdiet magna at risus lobortis ac accumsan lorem ornare. In aliquam, sapien ac vehicula vestibulum, arcu magna aliquet velit,

Amazing post with all the goodies

Posted by | Food for thought | No Comments

In varius varius justo, eget ultrices mauris rhoncus non. Morbi tristique, mauris eu imperdiet bibendum, velit diam iaculis velit, in ornare massa enim at lorem. Etiam risus diam, porttitor vitae ultrices quis, dapibus id dolor. Morbi venenatis lacinia rhoncus. Vestibulum tincidunt ullamcorper eros eget luctus. Nulla eget porttitor libero. Read More

Google Chairman’s Predictions Hint at AuthorRank

Posted by | Google, SEM, SEO, Uncategorized | No Comments

Excerpts from an upcoming book by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt were published by The Wall Street Journal last week. In the article, Schmidt laid out his seven predictions for the future of the digital age, but for marketers one sentence stood out from the rest:

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in more users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results.”

To many, this seemed less like a prediction and more like a veiled confirmation of what marketers had long suspected: AuthorRank is coming.

Great AuthorRank graphic by Mode Digital.

Great AuthorRank graphic by Mode Digital

The AuthorRank saga began in 2005 when Google filed a patent for something called “Agent Rank.” The document described how the search engine could use a number of metrics to determine an “agent’s” position within a subject area. By outlining a way to consider an agent’s popularity and authority within a given subject area, marketers inferred that Google was looking to supplement the cold statistics of search with human factors.

Traditionally, Google had not had access to enough data to warrant using social interactions as a direct ranking factor. The company found a way to solve this problem in 2011 with the introduction of Google+. With its social network providing access to a trove of qualitative data, the logical next step was to incorporate it into search. Thus, AuthorRank became a reality.

Simply put, the goal of AuthorRank is to determine the credibility and popularity of an individual and the content they publish. Many factors that will likely have an impact on AuthorRank are old-hat for SEOs, such as: the number of followers on social networks and the frequency of shares, as well as the number of links, Likes, tweets, etc. The difference, however, is that Author Rank ties these metrics to the individual who publishes the content – not the website that hosts it.

This change has huge implications in the SEO world, but the first step for anyone marketing online is to claim authorship of their content. Any content a marketer has created should be tied to a verified Google+ profile. This means an author’s Google+ profile must have a link to the pages that host their content, and vice versa. Once this is done, the long climb to dominant Author Rank begins.

Everyone in the SEO industry is anxiously awaiting Google’s Panda Update 25. It is not yet known if this specific update will further the push from Page Rank to AuthorRank, but Google is clearly headed in that direction. The web strategists at The Search Engine Guys have been preparing for the move to AuthorRank for some time. If you have questions about SEO, AuthorRank, and how to prepare your website, please contact us today.

A Smarter Way To Manage Content

Posted by | Content Development, Web Design, WordPress | No Comments

hubYears ago, we made a conscious choice to transition our sites away from ASP/ .NET and embrace  WordPress as a standard across all of our client sites.  The ease of use and flexibility that are inherent with that CMS made the decision a no-brainer.  Now, our content team is able to update sites in a matter of minutes when a request comes in from a client.

Even with the convenience factors that have made this platform the world’s dominant content management system, big problems still arise when managing hundreds of WordPress sites across a plethora of hosts and IPs.  Simply from a content uploading perspective, having to open up and pick through a spreadsheet with hundreds of user names and passwords every time you want to get into a site becomes quite the chore.  Want to test a module over all of your sites?  Get ready for an all night marathon and carpal tunnel syndrome.

We needed a solution that would give us the ability to do a lot of things from one central hub and it seems we have found one that fills our requirements and much more.  After a lot of research, we came to the conclusion that InfiniteWP is the answer we’ve been looking for.  Not only can we upload to and edit any of our sites from one place, we are able to check analytics;  globally install, configure and test modules; check analytics;  schedule backups and a lot more, from one place.

If you’re managing more than one WordPress site and want to make the most of your time and efforts, it’s time to sit up and take notice of this revolutionizing product.

From Page Rank to Author Rank: the Changing Landscape of SEO

Posted by | Google, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Uncategorized | One Comment

author-rank2At the annual Search Engine Strategies conference in London last week, Searchmetrics founder Marcus Tober lead a session on “Meaningful SEO Metrics.” In the presentation, Tober tackled a variety of topics including the move from page rank to author rank in the future of SEO.

The presentation began with Tober explaining the importance of the “SEO visibility” metric. He said that the cumulative number of all relevant keyword rankings for a market reveal important trends. The ranking on single keywords is worth less, according to Tober, because of personalization, localization, and search history. Analyzing SEO strategies with this broader scope will allow businesses to see trends that are independent from seasonal effects or traffic spikes based on independent events.

One of the most notable moments in the presentation was when Tober directly disputed a statement made by Google Engineer Matt Cutts. When asked if Google +1′s affect a website’s ranking, Cutts answered “Not really.” Cutts claimed there was no “direct effect” on rankings from +1′s, but said Google does “have an authorship proposal.”

According to Tober, Cutts was not telling the whole truth. Tober excitedly told the audience that +1′s do indeed influence search. He explained that several experiments conducted over the last year in Searchmetrics Labs found that Google+ triggers instant indexation. He claimed that based on analysis with different unique postings, “URLs with a +1 are being indexed instantly and rank for the title as well as some longtail queries.”

These findings, Tober said, illustrate the move from Page Rank to Author Rank in SEO. He quoted Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt saying “Within search results, information tied to a verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results.” Tober continued to say “the true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

Tober concluded the presentation by reminding SEOs to focus on the big picture and not get bogged down studying one metric. He recommended that marketers measure activity and outcomes saying, “understand how the business makes money, build a simple model, and remember that the best metrics guide behavior.”

Internally at the search engine guys we have been watching this closely… since May of 2012 Google+ profiles, circles and +1 (as well as other social media profiles which may factor into the author-rank equation) have become increasingly important to our SEO strategies. Please contact us to schedule a call with a web strategist if you have questions about SEO, author rank and how to prepare your website to “weather the storm” as Google continues to shift from page rank to author-rank.

Nulla fringilla magna

Posted by | Dining, Food for thought, Gaming, Music | No Comments

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi vitae dui et nunc ornare vulputate non fringilla massa. Praesent sit amet erat sapien, auctor consectetur ligula. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed non ligula augue. Integer justo arcu, tempor eu venenatis non, sagittis nec lacus.

Magna fringilla quis condimentum

Posted by | Gaming | No Comments

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent ullamcorper suscipit mi, id convallis risus ullamcorper eget. Curabitur ultricies elit lacinia arcu ullamcorper adipiscing. Integer velit dui, gravida semper commodo vel, accumsan ac orci. Phasellus venenatis venenatis velit ut ultricies. Cras porta dignissim malesuada. Etiam auctor, justo et facilisis ultrices, justo mauris imperdiet ligula, vitae tincidunt justo quam fermentum nulla. Read More

Learn more about how exclusivity allows us to get you results. Let's Talk Now