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When The Best SEO Move Is To Kill The Site

computer-destroy-smash-600 The contents of the following column are based on real circumstances. Certain elements have been changed to respect the privacy of each site. Imagine there are two websites. Here are their basic profiles: Site One is an e-commerce company and website launched in 2013 that sells nutritional supplements, based in Atlanta, Georgia. They sell to anyone in the US and are heavily dependent on PPC and organic search traffic for their revenue. Due to their insanely high monthly PPC spend, they have also been link building since the day the site launched. They hired a local SEO firm to d [...]


10 Local Marketing Myths Hamstringing Your Business

Local Online Marketing Myths - Local SEO Myths As an internet marketer, I frequently encounter local business owners (and large chain store companies with many local outlets) that haven't had time to really understand online marketing. Many of them have latched onto some myth that's completely false -- and which can keep their businesses from soaring as high as they otherwise might. It's not surprising that local business operators can lack knowledge about online marketing, or that they can get exposed to misapprehensions about how local marketing should be conducted. Google's CEO has been quoted as saying that the world is now generati [...]


How To Rebrand Without Losing Your Hard-Earned Rankings

rebranding_new_old As an SEO, I've worked with many clients during rebranding initiatives to ensure that their sites retain rankings -- and, over the past few months, my own firm has been undergoing a brand transition. Thus, I thought I'd use my column this month to share some advice on how to handle a rebrand from an SEO perspective. What Is Spurring The Rebrand? To adequately address the rebrand, it's important to understand the reason the rebrand is occurring. Is there a merger of two companies, creating an altogether new brand? Is one company (brand) being acquired and absorbed into another company (brand) [...]


Delivering On Search: Behind The Scenes With An Ad Agency SEO Manager

Hillary Glaser headshot2 Today's full service ad agency services go far beyond building out creative and determining media placement. As Lowe Campbell Ewald's SEO manager, Hillary Glaser is responsible for managing client search efforts, as well as training agency staff and educating clients on the realities of SEO. At the beginning of every project, Glaser said she meets with other internal team members to get a better grasp of their client's objectives: The first thing we do is talk it out – we start brainstorming and collaborating with the analytics teams, account people, and other digital and traditional [...]


Open Letter: Why Search Engine Land Will & Won’t Cover Someone Being Penalized By Google

google-flyswatter-penalty-600 It's been big news recently about major brands and Google penalties, and the floodgates feel open on people spotting even more brands possibly hit out there. Some new crackdown by Google? No. It's the rise of hyperactive attention in this area, and that's turning into a problem. Hence this open letter, on how we're planning to address "public penalty reports" here at Search Engine Land. In Summary: Penalties Aren't Always Newsworthy The TL;DR is this. We're not going to be writing about every brand that is suspected to be hit by a Google penalty. Unless there's some exceptional news value, t [...]


Google Offers Advice On Faceted Navigation & Infinite Scroll Web Pages

SEO Google has offered up two very technical blog posts on SEO topics covering infinite scroll and faceted navigation search engine friendly techniques. Infinite Scroll Web Pages Infinite scroll is what you see on a lot of newer style web sites such as Pinterest, Google Image search results, many landing pages with a lot of products on a single page and other methods. Google's John Mueller, Maile Ohye, and Joachim Kupke wrote a blog post explaining various techniques to make those types of pages more search engine friendly. The issue with infinite scroll pages is that web crawlers cannot alwa [...]


5 Times Google Penalized Itself For Breaking Its Own SEO Rules

google-jail-600 Make no mistake. Plenty of sites -- big brands included -- willingly do things in an attempt to rank better on Google that go past SEO tactics that Google itself considers acceptable. However, there's also no better poster child for how complicated and confusing Google's rules can be than the fact that Google has had to punish itself with penalties over and over again. Below, a look back on times when Google took action against itself. FYI, this is a companion piece to our related story on Marketing Land today: 10 Big Brands That Were Penalized By Google. Be sure to also check that out [...]


Advanced SEO Analysis – Part 1: SEO Research & Wisdom Of The Crowd

Wisdom_of_the_Crowd A couple of years ago, I was invited to speak at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle on the topic of SEO and competitive intelligence. It is an area of SEO I'm passionate about, not only because it is one of the most difficult things in SEO to scale and do right,  but also because it is one of the foundations of a good SEO program. Before I dive into outlining one of the advanced approaches to SEO analysis that I shared at the conference, it's important to understand the genesis of the approach. Before I was building the machine-learning algorithms behind our Enterprise SEO platform, [...]


5 Tips To Kill The Competition In Local Search

local-search-map-featured If your business has a local presence -- anywhere -- you must take advantage of Google+ Local. Creating and optimizing Google+ Local profiles is a critical marketing practice for local small businesses, multi-location enterprises, national franchises and companies with a single physical location. It will help you reach the 97% of consumers who search for local businesses online. Google+ Local not only helps web searchers find and share local business information, it can also help your business get displayed near the top of Google SERPs. When a search is made with local intent, Google typi [...]


Google’s Latest Manual Action Penalty: Spammy Structured Markup

google-web-spam Google recently began sending a new manual action spam notification to webmasters for "spammy structured markup" also known as rich snippet spam. This comes after Google dropped 15% of the rich snippets, setting the bar higher for what sites are able to display rich snippets in the search results. The new manual action message from Google reads as follows: Spammy structured markup Markup on some pages on this site appears to use techniques such as marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, and/or other manipulative behavior that violat [...]


Single Page Websites & SEO

One Page Website SEO Single page websites are quite popular right now; I see more and more each week on sites like The Latest and Product Hunt. No doubt they look cool when filled with great fonts, graphics and transitions. But can you SEO a single-page site and rank? Google's Matt Cutts had this to say: (video autoplay) It's going to depend on what your particular area is, what the topic is, and what kind of layout you come out with. But if it works for you and for users to have that all on one page, for the most part, it should work for Google as well. I took a look at what others have to say about SEO opti [...]


Moz 2014 Industry Survey Results: Google Webmaster Tools Ranked Top SEO Tool

moz With more than 3,700 survey respondents, this year's industry survey from search marketing analytics provider Moz discovered the No. 1 SEO tool used by internet marketing professionals is Google Webmaster Tools. The majority of the survey focused on marketing issues, but Moz did ask participants a few SEO-related questions, including which SEO tools they currently use and how they are "coping" with not provided. According to the survey results, 68.8 percent of survey participants plan to focus on conversion rates and performance metrics in response to Google's elimination of keyword data [...]


Keyword Research After The Keyword Tool, (Not Provided) & Hummingbird Apocalypse

keyword-research-apocalypse (1) It wasn't all that long ago that our world came crashing down around us. In a very short span of time, Google took keyword research and ripped out its heart and shoved it down its throat. Then, it put all our keywords through a meat grinder. Then cooked them up, ate the dish with a spoon and barfed it up on my computer screen as a new algorithm called Hummingbird. (HT to the great Bill McNeill for the use of that [slightly altered] quote.) The dust is still settling on the new algorithm, but there is no shortage of SEOs talking about the death of keywords. We are told Google changed ever [...]


Keep Writing Quality Content: SEO Bloggers React To Matt Cutts’ Claim “Guest Blogging Is Dead”

matt cutts Google's head of webspam, Matt Cutts, caused an uproar in the SEO community yesterday when he published a blog post on his personal blog claiming guest blogging for SEO purposes is dead. In his post, Cutts offered a history of how guest blogging has moved from being a reliable source of high-quality content to now being overrun with spam. "Guest blogging is done; it's just gotten too spammy," wrote Cutts. "In general I wouldn't recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well." As Cutts' words spread across the web, many SE [...]


Local SEO Scam Of The Month: Craigslist SEO

scam-featured Most SEO consultants I have met are pretty decent, hard-working folks. But there are plenty of SEO con artists out there, and it kills me every time I see a small business (or a big business) get taken. Recently, I had the privilege to witness a true Picasso of SEO con artists. I am sharing this with you, dear reader, so that the next time you are jonesing for that cheap, quick SEO fix, you might calm yourself down and add some great content to your site instead. I was consulting for an agency that builds websites for local businesses. One of their clients had lost patience waiting for the [...]


There’s No SEO Without Mobile SEO

Mobile-share-of-organic-search-RKG-2013-600x391 It's 2014, which means we are officially one year away from the year that Kelsey Group predicted mobile search will eclipse desktop search. Are you making your mobile resolutions to ensure you're ready for when that time comes? [caption id="attachment_70213" align="alignright" width="360"] Mobile share of overall search traffic was nearly one third in Q3 of last year according to RKG.[/caption] I'd like to start the new year with a short reflection of how far mobile SEO as a discipline has come in less than five years. When I started researching mobile SEO back in 2005, Motorola Razr [...]


Yelp Turns Up The Heat: 285 Consumer Alerts Issued Over Fake Reviews

yelp-alerts-featured It's been almost a year and a half since Yelp began issuing Consumer Alerts when a business on its site has been caught trying to get fake reviews; but after a cautious start, that program appears to be turning up the heat. According to an interview with CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in The Telegraph, Yelp has now slapped 285 businesses on its website with Consumer Alerts. When Yelp issued its first set of Consumer Alerts in October 2012, only eight local businesses were hit. Then last August, Yelp revealed that it had issued its second round of alerts. No specific numbers were shared, but the c [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts On Publishers With Duplicate Content: Use The Canonical Tag

google-matt-cutts-duplicate-content In a video released by Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, Matt said publishers who publish similar or duplicative stories on different URLs may use the rel=canonical tag to help consolidate the PageRank of the stories and avoid any issues with Google. Matt Cutts did say that duplicate content won't hurt you unless you are doing it for spam-related reasons. Cutts also did say that 25% of the web is duplicative, so you really don't have to worry about it. But I guess in this case, to help with rankings, you may, as a publisher, want to use the rel=canonical tag to help Google know whic [...]


Just Say No To SEO (Sometimes)

Just Say No to Keyword Rich Titles! There are some SEO rules that you should break. While conventional SEO wisdom advises certain types of behavior, there are times when that advice should be ignored. SEO must be viewed as part of a larger overall marketing picture, and sometimes other considerations must rule the day. Below are three situations where the standard SEO advice is not always the best course of action. Titles & Headlines You are used to being told that you need to load these with keywords. More progressive SEO firms may tell you not to overdo it; and, there are even cases where you might not think about "SEO t [...]


Succeeding With Content In A Mobile World

Unlock the Potential of the Mobile Web In 2013, mobile traffic in the US almost doubled. Cyber Monday of 2013 was the year that cyber Monday went mobile. And, according to Gartner, Q2 of 2013 was the first time that sales of smartphones surpassed sales of feature phones, with the former accounting for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales worldwide. That last fact in particular shows the unlocked potential of the mobile web. The mobile web is on fire, and a mobile content strategy is a must for 2014. [caption id="attachment_180886" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Unlock the Potential of the Mobile Web[/caption] Evan Britton [...]


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