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Google’s Matt Cutts: Don’t Duplicate Your Meta Descriptions

keywords-meta-tags-featured Google's Matt Cutts, the head of search spam, released a video today providing an SEO tip on meta descriptions. Matt said, do not have duplicate meta descriptions on your site. Matt said it is better to have unique meta descriptions and even no meta descriptions at all, then to show duplicate meta descriptions across pages. In fact, Matt said for his own blog, he doesn't bother to make meta descriptions for his own site. In short, it is better to let Google auto-create snippets for your pages versus having duplicate meta descriptions. Related Stories: Google’s Matt Cutts: D [...]

In Quality Raters’ Handbook, Google Adds Higher Standards For “Your Money Or Your Life” Websites

google-search-quality-featured Google's continuing push toward identifying expertise and authority on the web takes another step in the form of a new type of website/landing page classification: "Your Money or Your Life." It's explained in detail in a new version of Google's "Search Quality Ratings Guidelines" -- the document that's used by the company's cadre of human Search Quality Raters. Version 4.2 (dated June 7, 2013) of that private document recently leaked online via a private SEO community and a Search Engine Land reader shared it with us. A Google spokesperson has confirmed for us that the document is legitima [...]

How To Overcome Your Client’s Expectations Of Impossible Results

expect results There isn't much I dislike about Web marketing, but dealing with clients whose expectations don't align with reality has to top the list. While many might gripe and complain that the client "just doesn't get it" (often a true statement), the client's absence of reality often has more to do with the marketing team than it does with the client themselves. Translation: It's you (the marketer/agency) not them (the client). There are three types of expectations that clients often have when they engage in Web marketing services: Rankings: "We'll be on the first page by [insert date here]." G [...]

Uncloaking Keyword-Specific Organic Traffic To Your Site In The Not Provided Era

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Google recently released news that it is now moving to encrypt all organic search activity. This means that analytics programs will no longer be able to report on keyword terms that drive organic traffic from Google, instead noting the data as being "not provided." This could be devastating to marketing managers and webmasters who rely heavily on this search data to determine ROI on their organic campaigns. With the data obfuscated from analytics programs, many feel that the organic search marketing channel has been stricken from the record as a legitimate marketing channel. This data o [...]

3 Ways Competitive Analysis Can Help You Boost Rankings & Get Great Content Ideas

site gallery bathroom I've noticed that many digital marketers tend to keep their heads down, laser-focused on their own site's position in the SERPs. Some do so more by necessity than by choice, because budgets and headcount are limited, and there is more than enough to do in moving their own websites up the search rankings. Others do so willingly because, as the thinking goes, the best bet is to focus on my own progress, and worrying about what my competitors are (or are not) doing serves only to distract. 3 Simple & Beneficial Competitive Analysis Strategies As an approach, focusing exclusively on one's [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts: When Commenting On Blog Posts, Try To Use Your Real Name

Matt Cutts Video Screen capture In a recent video published by Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts talks about are blog comments with links spam? In short, most of the time, commenting and leaving links to your site or resources is not directly spam but like anything, it can be abused. Matt offers some tips on how to make sure your comments are not considered spam by Google or the site you are leaving it on: (1) Use your real name when commenting. When you use a company name or anchor text you want to rank for, it makes it look like you are leaving the comment for commercial marketing purposes and thus may look [...]

SPONSOR MESSAGE: Organic Links from Page One Power – The Link Builders You’ve Been Looking For

Page One Power is a link building firm dedicated to relevancy and transparency. Though our mission is to catapult you to the top of the SERPs, we’re more than just links. We’re real people. Our professional writers and researchers create high quality content for humans -- not just for robots and web spiders. We’re the link builders you’ve been looking for. [...]

Google Offering Online Site Reviews This Monday, November 18th

google-seo-featured Google's John Mueller announced that on this Monday's Google office-hours, Google will be offering "short website reviews" for webmasters who are looking for advice. To participate, you must add your website to this Google Moderator page. Then, if Google has time and wants to review your site, Google will review it live, this Monday, November 18th at 10am EDT via Google+ Hangouts. If you want to be live on the hangout yourself, you can add the event to your calendar and then wait for Google to launch the Google+ Hangout on air. The site reviews will last one-hour and seems like it wil [...]

Link Building At The Speed Of Natural

shutterstock-2179251 "Natural link building" has long been a sore spot (some would call it an oxymoron) among many in the online marketing community. The general argument goes something like this: "Any link that comes about because you pursued it cannot be considered natural." or "The very act of seeking links makes any link you obtain unnatural." or "A link is supposed to be validation that your content is of some value." The above arguments are all flawed, and I'll include several examples to illustrate why later in this column. The "natural/not natural" argument is the link builders' vers [...]

Down With Toolbar PageRank And Up With… What?

google-toolbar-pagerank I've never been a big fan of Google's Toolbar PageRank (TBPR) because, as you may know, it's a metric that isn't updated very often. It's also been thrown around too much as a metric that gauges quality -- and I've been doing this long enough to know that many lower-TBPR sites/pages (and new sites with no TBPR) can be incredibly beneficial for sending you traffic that converts. Relying on TBPR to determine suitable link partners eliminates loads of good stuff. Let's say that there's a great new post that's unranked, and it would be a perfect fit for your site, but since it has no TBPR yet, [...]

Future SEO: Linked Open Data (LOD)

touchscreen As mentioned in my column on string entity optimization, the use of structured data allows search engines like Google to understand your page content so it can display better search results, or answers, to user queries. This month, I'll focus on Linked Open Data (LOD), which will allow you to publish structured data so it can be interlinked to establish relationships. This is important, as the relationship between words allows a clear understanding of site content by search bots. In my column about understanding entity search, I explained how semantic search uses an ontology (or l [...]

What Everybody Missed About Hummingbird: Social Signals

google-plusone-featured Danny Sullivan joined me for a live broadcast event via a Hangout on Air (HOA) this past Halloween, and this included a major revelation about Hummingbird and Social signals. Scott Scowcroft has done an awesome job of extracting this part of the broadcast into a short, 5-minute HOA Nugget video (aka "The Scott Treatment") for me, and you can watch it here: [youtube][/youtube] To summarize, it appears that Google previously had major technical limitations with regard to the use of social signals as a ranking factor. With Hummingbird, Google now ha [...]

There’s Still Time To Take The 2013 Moz Industry Survey

moz Search marketing software provider Moz is asking SEO professionals to complete its 2013 Moz Industry Survey. According to the announcement on Moz's blog, the survey should take only five to ten minutes and the data will be shared publicly once it's published. This year's survey is intended to gain insights on industry trends, including SEO tactics, tools, technology and budgets, as well as demographics of the people practicing SEO. Anyone wanting to participate in the Moz Industry Survey can do so here. Participants will be included in a contest for a number of prizes, from a fully pa [...]

Infographic: How To Troubleshoot Google Authorship Issues, A Step-By-Step Flowchart

google-authorship-featured In October, I spoke at SMX East about some of the opportunities and challenges when implementing Google Authorship. At about the same time, a good friend of mine reached out to me with her authorship issue. While she appeared to have authorship markup set up correctly on her blog and linked correctly from Google+, her author image wasn't appearing in SERPs -- but did show for others writing on her blog. She's not the first person to reach out to me with an issue like this. Authorship setup can be confusing at best, and even when you think you have everything set up correctly, you still may [...]

Creative Link Building Ideas For Really Boring Websites

link-building-student-chalkboard-featured Let's face it: you might have a business or product that is simply not sexy, and it will always be difficult to "build links." In fact, it might be downright impossible, or just cost prohibitive. For many sites, it's hard to build links from clients and prospects. And there may be few or no industry blogs to speak of. So, where does one get links? Can every site, regardless of niche or industry, find quality link building opportunities? I'm sure there are some that are truly stuck, but I have seen pretty unexciting sites do some really exciting things that earned links and drove the right tr [...]

SPONSOR MESSAGE: SEO Opportunities From Hispanic Searches

Digital Marketing Depot Webcast: December 10th 1:00EDT/10:PDT - With 80% of Spanish-language searches in the US done in Google’s English-language interface, there lies a new opportunity for digital marketers. Join us as SEO experts from Covario demonstrate why having an effective Hispanic SEO strategy is a critical part of your digital marketing efforts. You will also learn why Google’s Hummingbird update will improve how brands connect with Spanish speakers around the world. Register Now » [...]

5 Ways To Unlock The Benefits Of Semantic Search

Understanding is Key to leveraging Search Search is changing. It is now more personal, more engaging, more interactive and more predictive. SERPs no longer display just 10 blue links -- they have become more useful and more visually appealing across all device types. Semantic search is at the forefront of these changes, as evidenced most recently by the launch of Google's new Hummingbird algorithm. Beginning with user intent and interpretation of the query itself, semantic technology is used to refine the query, extract entities as answers, personalize search results, predict search queries and more -- providing a more interactive, [...]

2014 SEO Playbook: Google Hummingbird, Content & Authority

seo-plan-featured It's November, which means it's time for my annual SEO Playbook for the coming year. Thanks to Google's Hummingbird, Internet marketers and search engine optimization professionals are thinking a lot about content and authority, as well as what this new algorithm means for keyword relevance and link building. At the same time, SEOs seem to have a difficult time figuring out what works for Bing. This year, I'm making my playbook a three-parter. Today, I'll discuss Hummingbird and content strategy. Next month, I'll dive into on-page and off-page SEO ranking factors. Let's dig in. The Algo [...]

Image Mismatch: The Latest Google Webmaster Tools Manual Action Penalty

google-penalty-square Google has a new manual action penalty within their guidelines named image mismatch. Image mismatch is when the images on your website do not match what is shown in the Google search results. Google words it as "your site’s images may be displaying differently on Google’s search results pages than they are when viewed on your site." It is when you are serving Google one image and the user another image, also known as a form of cloaking - but Google doesn't call it cloaking in their document. This morning, I covered the first manual action publicly received for this image mismatch not [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts: Don’t Worry About An SEO Down Side To Responsive Design, There Is None

responsive design alone not mobile seo In a video released today by Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, he said you don't have to worry about there being a down side, related to SEO, when using a responsive design approach for mobile web sites. The question posed to him was: Is there an SEO disadvantage to using responsive design instead of separate mobile URLs? The answer is no, in fact, there is no duplication of efforts when it comes to linking and PageRank, which does have a benefit when compared to using separate mobile URLs. Here is the video: For more on mobile SEO topics, see the stories below: Goog [...]

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