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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 [...]


The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Baidu SEO

Chinese search engine market share diagram Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, which makes it a very powerful channel for B2B marketers in the global market. As of November 2013, Baidu held 63.55% of the search engine market share in China. The other two big players in the market are 360 with 21.84% of the market and Sogou at 10.53%. For any B2B company with a Chinese website, optimizing for Baidu is a necessity. While it's important to keep 360 and Sogou in mind as well, both are very new search engines that only recently emerged in the China market, so there's not much documentation out yet on SEO guidelines. [captio [...]


2014 SEO Playbook: Off-Page Factors

2014-seo-playbook Are you ready for 2014? Today's column marks the third and final entry in my annual SEO Playbook. Part 1 primarily focused on what Hummingbird will mean for marketers in 2014, especially as it relates to content and authority. Part 2 took an updated look at on-page SEO factors, including content, HTML and architecture. In Part 3, I'll discuss off-page factors that SEOs will need to consider as we enter the new year. Enjoy! Links: Quality There is a lot to be said about links. Google is going to continue its trend of getting more discerning and aggressive with penalties in 2014. Quite f [...]


How SEO Greed Can Ruin A Perfectly Good Linking Strategy

rapgenius-logo By now, you are likely aware of the Rap Genius "Tweet In Exchange For Anchor Text" link scheme, hencefore to be known as TieFating. Barry Schwartz reported last week on John Marbach's exposé of the popular music site, Rap Genius, which had started an "affiliate" program in order to get links pointing to their website. After it was exposed, Matt Cutts, head of Google's Webspam team, said, "we’re aware and looking into it." The site was then officially penalized for link schemes. [caption id="attachment_180758" align="alignright" width="300"] Links can do many things, but don't get [...]


Google Has Officially Penalized Rap Genius For Link Schemes

google-cop-busted-featured Google has penalized Rap Genius for link schemes this morning. If you go to Google and search for [rap genius], rapgenius.com will not be found on the first page. Instead you will find links to their Twitter account, Facebook page, Wikipedia profile and stories like this about them being penalized by Google. But you won't find rapgenius.com on the first page. Here is a picture: As we covered the other day, Rap Genius was using link schemes to manipulate Google's rankings. It was brought to Google's attention, where the head of search spam, Matt Cutts, said we’re aware and looking i [...]


Google Is Looking Into Rap Genius Linking Scheme Masked As Affiliate Program

google-cop-police-featured Yesterday, John Marbach exposed the popular music side, Rap Genuis, for starting an "affiliate" program in order to get unnatural links pointing to their web site. After it was exposed, Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, said, "we're aware and looking into it." Here is the Facebook post, which is still live, on their Facebook page: When John Marbach emailed them, they asked that he link to their site with keyword rich anchor text. In exchange for the links, Rap Genius will tweet out a link to their post and that will result in him getting "massive traffic." Here is a copy of t [...]


Use Google Keyword Research To Target The Long Tail In Local Search

seokeywordresearchpic There's something of a void where local business marketing is concerned. Local marketers understand they need to target keyword queries in SEO and PPC campaigns, but they assume they know what people search for, and they miss out on valuable referrals because of it. Here's a brief guide on local keyword research to close the gap. Companies tend to get somewhat myopic about understanding how consumers try to discover their type of business. It's natural to find out how some people find your business and then focus your efforts on building and reinforcing that successful vector -- even to the [...]


Matt Cutts Implies Google Is Aware Of SEOs Bribing Bloggers

matt-cutts-links On Friday night, Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts tweeted a link to a Gawker story named Shady Marketing Firms Are Still Quietly Bribing Bloggers. Matt said, "we're taking action on hundreds of buyers, dozens of sites, & dozens of spammy writers," in reference to that story. It is hard to say if Google has taken action or is looking to take action in the near future against sites using this technique but it is clear, Google knows about it. The technique is not about going to the site owner and selling links through the owner of the site. Instead, it is going directly to the repo [...]


The Importance Of Responsive Web Design For B2B Sites

Desktop Tablet Mobile Devices The mobile takeover of web surfing activities is growing rapidly each year, so it's imperative for B2B businesses to conform to the trend. Yet, a large number of B2B sites are still not doing anything for tablet or mobile device users. At the same time, traffic from mobile and tablet tends to be much lower than on B2C sites. Out of 20 B2B websites I surveyed, all of them had somewhere between 8-15% traffic from mobile devices. Although these aren't high percentages, that's still a lot of users that are receiving a poor user experience. It also represents a missed opportunity for search traf [...]


The Intersection Of SEO & Web Design

SEO Web Design Javascript As technology advances and web usage evolves, so do SEO best practices. Web designers now have more choices and technologies available than ever before. As we enter 2014, I expect we will continue to see advances in web design that bring even more options. I thought it would be helpful to revisit the top SEO considerations relating to some of the latest website design trends, which include parallax, responsive, and HTML5 design. Although I am a huge fan of incorporating all three design choices when appropriate; in all cases, site architecture and accessibility remain the primary SEO con [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts On Search Spammers: “We Want To Break Their Spirits”

matt-cutts-featured In episode number 227 of This Week in Google on the TWiT network, Google's head of search spam Matt Cutts answered some questions from the hosts Leo Laporte and Jeff Jarvis. In one question, Matt explained that Google aims to "break the spirits" of spammers in order to encourage them to change their course of action. The question was posed to Matt from Jeff Jarvis, a well-known journalist and professor, asking him what he learned about the psychology behind spam and spammers. Matt responded that to reduce spam, it is not just about denying the primary goal of earning money but frustrating t [...]


5 Increasingly Commodified SEO Solutions That Confuse B2B Marketers

Conveyor Systems While discussing the changes in the search industry with a B2B marketing colleague earlier this month, he mentioned that many marketing professionals may be confused about SEO, particularly when it comes to advising clients on search initiatives. Jargon, conflicting "expert" opinion, and technological changes (like search algorithm updates) all add to the confusion. B2B marketers know how important organic search can be to their online marketing initiatives, but often get confused as to what they truly need. All they know is that they "need SEO." The commoditization of various SEO servi [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: 25-30% Of The Web’s Content Is Duplicate Content & That’s Okay

matt-cutts-links Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, posted a video today about duplicate content and the repercussions of it within Google's search results. Matt said that somewhere between 25% to 30% of the content on the web is duplicative. Of all the web pages and content across the internet, over one-quarter of it is repetitive or duplicative. But Cutts says you don't have to worry about it. Google doesn't treat duplicate content as spam. It is true that Google only wants to show one of those pages in their search results, which may feel like a penalty if your content is not chosen -- but it i [...]


62% Of Marketers Say Local Search Is Getting Harder

local-search-map-featured During the recent InsideLocal webinar series, I've had the chance to gather the opinions and feelings of the hundreds of search agencies, consultants, "in-bound" marketers and business owners who logged in to listen. We ran a number of on-the-spot surveys (or polls) during each webinar, which helped to complement the expert views provided by our speakers. In these polls, we addressed a number of issues ranging from "Is SEO getting harder?" through to specifics of "Review Strategy" and "Optimization for Service Area Businesses." The following charts represent the results of these polls an [...]


Secrets Of Successful Enterprise SEO Part 1: Operational Planning For SEO

pie chart 2 Believe it or not, one of the most challenging aspects of taking on the responsibility of an enterprise site is not determining what needs to be done. There is usually no dearth of opportunities to improve things and no end to the long list of tasks that need to get done -- yes, even at those "hallowed" sites that you may think completely dominate SEO and can do no wrong! Rather, the challenge is to identify, prioritize and execute on these tasks, all the while ensuring that you are prepared and able to get the internal buy-in from all the stakeholders -- from the bosses to the development [...]


4 Recent Changes To SEO That Are Vital To Holiday Retail Strategy

holiday-shopping-featured It's the holiday season again, and while certain sectors may be winding down for a relaxing month of festivities, online sellers are revving up their retail strategy. It's a crucial, make-or-break time of year for retailers to excel in customer service, gift-wrapping services, and, of course, search. A lot has happened in digital marketing in the last year, and if retailers go about business as usual this holiday season, they may miss out on revenue and customer retention opportunities. To help online retailers navigate SEO challenges and spot new opportunities, this post lists four signifi [...]


2014 SEO Playbook: On-Page Factors

2014 SEO Playbook Welcome to part 2 of my annual SEO playbook. (Click here for part 1.) I have to thank Danny Sullivan and the Search Engine Land team for giving me the perfect outline for the 2014 playbook, the Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. Part 2 will cover on-page factors, including content, HTML and architecture. You'll find more than enough food for thought and some very actionable steps. This is not a step-by-step SEO guide, and it's pretty informal. Before embarking on a search engine optimization campaign, do your research or consult with an expert. Content: Quality Quality was a big d [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Adds Smartphone Specific Crawl Errors

google-webmaster-tools-featured Pierre Far, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, announced a new feature within Google Webmaster Tools that shows webmasters crawl errors specific to smartphone devices. The issue is: it is often hard for webmasters to detect and thus fix errors that happen on smartphone devices. Google decided to add a section to the crawl errors report that shows some of the more common errors Google sees webmasters make when smartphone users access the site. Google said that some of these errors may "significantly hurt your website's user experience and are the basis of some of our recently-announced rank [...]


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