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Google’s Matt Cutts Explains How Google Search Handles 404 & 410 Status Codes

matt-cutts-google-404-410 Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted a video today explaining the difference in how Google handles 404 and 410 error status codes. Both 404 and 410s are errors for a web page or document not being available, however a 410 is defined as "gone" forever. So 410s are more of an explicit response from the server telling you a page is really gone. Google handles them slightly differently. With a 404, and some of the other 4xx status codes, Google will "protect" the page and not mark it as removed for about 24 hours. With a 410 status code, Google will mark the page as gone as soon [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts Lobbying To Reward Secure Sites With Better Rankings

google-ssl-logo-1319029457 Rolfe Winkler on the Wall Street Journal blog reports on "private conversations" that Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts has within Google about rewarding sites with higher rankings in the search results that have better security. This is news that has come out of SMX West, as we covered just about a month ago with our story Ranking Benefit To Making Your Site SSL? Not Yet But Google’s Cutts Would Like To Make It Happen. But apparently, Cutts has been talking about this internally even more now, likely even more so since the OpenSSL exploit, Heartbleed. Heartbleed was a huge secu [...]


The War On Links

shutterstock_104739881-fear-of-links In case you didn't notice, we are waging a war over links. Some would say that SEOs are at war with search engines, but I disagree. Search engines and SEOs have a symbiotic relationship; and without meaning to, we've killed the value of the link. The link, once a simple connector from one site to another, has become the subject of intense scrutiny by SEOs, Google, and even the US Copyright Office.  Do you remember what it was like to really "surf" the Internet? The way you could bounce from site to site simply by following blogrolls and webrings? The rush of energy and excitement that [...]


A Complete Guide To The Essentials Of Post-Hummingbird SEO

Google-Wall Google has made stark changes over the past couple years in the way it ranks websites. When one of its most recent algorithm incarnations, Hummingbird, was released in August of 2013, it created a whirlwind in the search landscape and has since continued to have far reaching impact. In its wake, businesses have been forced to modify their web marketing strategies and SEO efforts to regain favor with Google to reclaim their former search rankings. Read on for the insights we've gained and what you need to do to thrive in this new environment. What We’ve Learned So Far In keeping pace [...]


Link Building Fundamentals To Future-Proof Your Online Business

shutterstock_178290377-chain-link-old-text Google launched in 1998 and has grown steadily to become the most popular search engine in the world. Over 2,161 billion searches were run on their engines in 2013, and the company corners a 67% share of the global search market. As it grows and evolves, Google search is well and truly on its way to becoming humanity's most treasured "personal assistant," helping users find answers to their questions, discover solutions to their problems, carry out research and even get feedback, recommendations and suggestions from friends and trusted advisors. As consumers increasingly use search e [...]


Google Tests Video Search Results Without Thumbnail Images

google-homepage-search-600 For the longest time, videos found within Google's search results contained thumbnail images of a frame within the video. That is how Google has displayed richer search results, ever since the days of Universal Search. It seems like Google is testing making those video results a bit less rich by removing the video thumbnail image and replacing it with a small, gray, play button followed by the time of the video. Craig Gilhooly posted a screen shot of the new user interface test on Twitter. Here is a picture: Here is what it currently looks like to the average searcher: [...]


Google Responds To Misattributed Content Saying They May Show The Canonicalized URL

Google-Wall A few weeks ago, we reported on cases where Google was misattributing content for select news publishers. We showed examples of Google showing URLs of large news publishers but those URLs listed were not the source URLs and thus, redirecting from Google's search results to a completely different URL. Yesterday, a few weeks after we reported the issue, Google's Matt Cutts responded to us saying: In response to URL or site: queries, we occasionally show URLs that would otherwise be canonicalized to a different URL. What Matt is explaining is that at one point, the URLs in the example set [...]


How Much Content Do You Need For B2B SEO Success?

Netline CMO Report While B2B SEOs understand the value in content marketing initiatives, we sometimes fail to understand the level of content commitment required to demonstrate success. In the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council's recent study, "The Content Connection to Vendor Selection," researchers uncovered six distinct personas that all consume different types of content and share that content with other levels within the company. According to the report, these various buyers consume a spectrum of content marketing assets in an effort to keep current on new technologies, glean insight and shape purc [...]


Google: News Sites May Have Seen A Decline In GoogleBot Crawling In March

google-news-600 Google's Matt Cutts tweeted that news related sites, such as this one, may have noticed a drop in the crawl statistics within Google Webmaster Tools. If you did notice that drop, Matt says you do not need to worry. Google News added if-modified-since support in March, which would be the reason for the crawl changes. Matt added that "Google News doing smarter crawling now" and thus being more efficient. I've checked the crawl stats for seroundtable.com, a Google News publisher, and indeed, the crawl stats have declined significantly in March 2014: To learn more about how GoogleBot [...]


Google’s Penguin Algorithm Comes In Different Levels Of Degrees?

google-penguin-featured It may be the case that some sites impacted by Google's Penguin update may not be as impacted as the next. Meaning, Google's algorithms may apply a different degree of the Penguin update (which may feel like a penalty) to one site over another. Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, posted on Twitter a message that implies that Google's Penguin algorithm comes in different levels of degrees. His tweet was related to someone who was impacted by the algorithm and Matt Cutts responded to him saying "you still have a very mild case of Penguin." Here is Matt's tweet: @chipnicodemus I'd re [...]


How To Massively Scale Ethical Link Building FTW

shutterstock_105475358-chain-links

The linkbuilding toolkit is broader than most commentary suggests, and once the concept of quality and appropriateness (AKA relevancy) is truly embraced (and not just paid lip service to), then the dynamic, cutting edge solution to linkbuilding in 2014 is obvious: scale your processes that generate high quality targets and content opportunities for linkbuilding across the spectrum of all types of linkbuilding.


Google Takes Action On Seven Link Networks In Japan

google-japan-featured Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced on Twitter this morning that Google has "taken action" on seven different link networks in Japan. Over the past several months, Google has not only been manual taking action against link networks or link schemes in the US, but they have been widening their efforts across the world. Google's Cutts said the action they took on the seven Japanese link networks happened over the past "few months." How would you know if your site was impacted? Well, it likely only impacts Japanese related sites that participated in link networks within that [...]


Google Schema Adds Support For Business Telephone Numbers & Hours Of Operation

Google-Wall Google announced they now support improved schema markup, rich snippets, for location pages. Business Phone Support Schema Google said they now support showing business telephone numbers for customer service, technical support, billing support, and bill payment. For each phone number you markup, you can specify if it is toll-free, suitable for the hearing-impaired, and whether the number is global or serves specific countries. Technically, you can specify more than those four categories but Google only will display those in the rich snippets. Google has added more details over here. Hours O [...]


How Long Can RetailMeNot’s “SEO Empire” Survive?

credit: Priceonomics RetailMeNot is having remarkable SEO success. According to an analysis by Priceonomics, RetailMeNot is first for numerous coupon-related and "promo code" searches -- an amazing 71 percent of the time. This is what the company said based on an analysis of nearly 300 coupon-related keywords: RetailMeNot ranks first in Google search results for an astounding 187 out of the 263 keywords we track. Dealcatcher.com, the next closest company, only ranks first for 7 keywords. Coupons.com, another recent IPO in this space, only has the number one spot in the Google rankings a single time. RetailMeN [...]


Secrets Of Successful Enterprise SEO Part III: Build A Business Case

SEL-2 A decade ago, I had an incredible opportunity to work at an amazing organization called The Bradford Exchange. Most people have never heard of it, but it is the world’s leading direct marketer of limited-edition collectibles and jewelry. What made my experience at Bradford so incredible was their meticulous attention to detail and single-minded focus on driving their business by numbers -- something that has been ingrained into me ever since my time there. The part that wasn't so fun at Bradford was being the only search marketer in a half-billion-dollar organization trying to build up [...]


Google App Indexing Adds 24 Android Apps & Expands To All English Content Worldwide

google-apps-featured On October 31st, Google announced they are now supporting a new feature named app indexing, which allows publishers to create links from Google's search results directly into the deep content within their Android apps. So if you search for something on your Android device and happen to see a result from a publisher where you also have their app on your device, clicking on that link will open the app and take you right to the content within the app that is related to your query. In December, the first apps started appearing to support app indexing, including the IMDb Android app. Google a [...]


Google Fixing Reverse DNS GoogleBot Verification

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google has confirmed that there are some GoogleBot useragent spiders not properly passing verification protocol. Savvy webmasters noticed that GoogleBot over the .249.70.0 /24 IP range was not returning the proper reverse DNS verification details. The response given was "no such host is known," but the activity webmasters noticed was that it did appear to be a legit Google crawler. Google's John Mueller confirmed on my Google+ post that this was indeed an issue on Google's end. Temporarily they have stopped GoogleBot activity in those IP ranges and will fix the issue before they continue [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: We Can Improve Our Algorithms For Authorities On Topics

Matt Cutts screen shot March 2014 In an interesting video released by Matt Cutts, Google's head of webspam, Matt answers the question on how Google separates the concept of popularity from authority. The truth is, he answered that question quickly by saying popularity and authority are two different things. The example he gave was that porn sites are often way more popular than government or organization sites but government sites are often more authoritative than porn sites. So the two concepts are different. Matt then explained in more detail the concept of being popular within a topic, or maybe being more authoritativ [...]


Google Tests Product Images Within Organic Listings

google-organic-product-images-1396354303 It seems Google is testing showing product images in the organic, free search result listings, for certain e-commerce sites. This was first spotted in a Moz thread for a site that sells ski equipment named evo.com. Here is a picture of the organic listing that shows not just rich snippet data for pricing and stock but also a product image: I personally cannot reproduce this but some others can. We asked Google for a comment but have not heard back from them about this within 24 hours. We see these product images often in Google Product Listing Ads but never within the free listing [...]


Long-Term SEO: Sustainable Tactics, Strategies & Solutions

Sustainable SEO Last month, I attended the Long-Term SEO: How To Win For Years, Not Days session at SMX West. I have worked in the search industry since 1995. I have seen search engine optimization (SEO) trends and tactics come and go... and I've also seen fundamental, universal concepts get stronger and stronger over time. So what I wanted to learn was: what are flavor-of-the-month strategies, and what strategies are going to stand the test of time? Would I hear anything about information scent and the aboutness of digital documents? Should you invest in link development, a sustainable SEO strategy, or ha [...]


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