Homepage Sliders: Bad For SEO, Bad For Usability

One of the most prevalent design flaws in B2B websites is the use of carousels (or sliders) on the homepage. Carousels are an ineffective way to target user personas, which ends up hurting the site's SEO and usability. In fact, at the recent Conversion Conference in Chicago, about 25% of the speakers mentioned carousels -- of those, 100% condemned them. Over the last three months, I have conducted extensive research to suggest that carousels are a bad option for B2B websites. Research Methodology I looked at 30 different B2B websites across various industries. Of those 30 sites, a shockin [...]


The Content Catalyst: How Content Drives Search & Social Synergy

The Content Catalyst- How Content Drives Search and Social Synergy Today, many a search marketer lives in a world driven by Pandas and Penguins. SEO as we used to know it has changed forever. As Google shifts its focus to quality and relevancy, content marketing adoption has soared. It is no coincidence that the increasing focus on content marketing closely follows the significant Google algorithmic changes aiming to give users a better search experience. [caption id="attachment_161028" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Google Trends chart for the key phrase [Content Marketing] -- interest has taken off since February 2011, when the Panda update was roll [...]


The Top Five SEO Mistakes According To Google’s Matt Cutts

matt-cutts-2012 In a recently published video, Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, listed off the top five SEO mistakes webmasters make. Matt said these are not the most devastating mistakes, but rather, the most common mistakes. (1) Not having a website or having a website that is not crawlable is the biggest mistake he sees. (2) Not including the right words on the page. The example Matt gave is: don't just write, "Mt. Everest Height" but write, "How high is Mt. Everest?" because that is how people search. (3) Don't think about link building, think about compelling content and marketing. [...]


The Keyword Discovery Process For Enterprise Sites

The keyword discovery process is critical for managing enterprise projects, as it forms the bedrock of brand messaging in search and social for large-scale websites or multiple brand sites under one corporate umbrella. This process is similar to keyword discovery for smaller sites; however, the difference in scale makes the process more complex. There are three main steps you need to take when preparing for Enterprise Keyword Discovery: Incorporate the social voice of the customer into your keyword and content research. This ensures that your page content is relevant and timely for us [...]


The Short Cutts: Matt Cutts SEO Videos With Quick Questions & Answers

theshortcutts Google has published over 500 videos on the Webmaster Help YouTube Channel, most of those videos features Matt Cutts answering quick SEO related questions. Sometimes you want the quick answer from Matt Cutts and sorting through hundreds of videos with the average length of two to five minutes can take a while. That is where The Short Cutts comes in! TheShortCutts.com is a searchable directory of all videos Matt Cutts produced, with quick question and answers printed right under the video. You can search or browse the question and answer videos right on that page. For example, this vid [...]


AdWords “Ineffective” Says eBay, Google “Meta-Pause Analysis” Contradicts Those Findings

google-adwords-numbers-featured A story generating buzz and controversy earlier this week amounts to a stinging indictment of the paid search industry as a whole. It was based on new research from eBay that argues SEM is all but worthless and has little or no impact on traffic and sales -- except in marginal cases. However, Google studies argue SEM delivers clear and tangible benefits to advertisers and publishers. In a paper published last week eBay describes its study (.pdf) and related results. The company says it sought to determine the impact of pausing paid-search ads on its organic traffic and sales. eBay: SEM "In [...]


Have Keywords Stopped Being A Proxy To The Customer?

keywords-fog-featured It’s said that keywords are a proxy for a customer, right? So let’s talk about the customer. Schema this, canonical that, and black and white zoo animals… if you don’t have a search expert on payroll, you’re already behind the Joneses. I get emails like the one below all the time, this one being from the talented owner of Castleview 3D Architectural Renderings: “I need your help.  I realy don't get the whole keywords/SEO/web marketing thing -- but I know enough to know that I shouldn't and don't want to tackle it myself. I'm a small business (small = just me) and maybe I can't [...]


Ex-Googler: “To Please Google With Your SEO, Forget About SEO”

seo-featured It's not everyday you get to hear from someone that's worked on Google's Search Quality/Webspam team and isn't named Matt Cutts. But Andre Weyher, whose LinkedIn profile lists a two-year stint as a member of the search quality team, recently spoke with James Norquay, a search/digital marketer based in Australia, and shared some interesting comments that may -- and I'll say more about this below -- help search marketers and webmasters understand a little better how Google views certain SEO strategies and tactics. NOTE: Before publishing, we asked Google for a comment on this story. It decli [...]


Infographic: The Death Of SEO, Failed Predictions Over The Years

Death Of SEO Infographic SEO has been declared "dead" almost from when it first began, as our post from a few years ago, Is SEO Dead? 1997 Prediction, Meet 2009 Reality, covers. Now, a new infographic is out looking at how SEO has been "dying" over the years. The infographic is from SEO Book and is interesting in that rather than taking a timeline approach, it instead shows examples of various types of people who've declared that SEO is dead and why they are, as the infographic puts it, "deluded." The infographic is below; click to enlarge it: If you want the infographic for yourself, you'll find it here: Info [...]


11 Things To Ask Yourself When Optimizing Content

A client asked me the other day why we were optimizing his software for Los Angeles, when he’s located in Raleigh, NC. In explaining the reason to him, I realized that a basic guideline for optimizing pages is long overdue. I’ve developed the following flow chart and explanation in response. Theming Content The first question you need to ask yourself when optimizing a page is, What is the Page About? If you can’t answer this or your answer is a keyword, then maybe you shouldn’t be building the page. Seriously. You need the page to be about something in order for it to have value [...]


Back To The Future: Google Announces A Meta Keywords Tag Just For News Articles

meta-keywords-tags-featured Grab your flux capacitor and fire up the Delorean, folks. We're going back to the future: Meta keywords are back. Well, technically, it's not the same meta keywords tag that died years ago for traditional SEO purposes. No, it's a new news_keywords metatag that Google just announced today and only works for news publishers that are sources in Google News. The new metatag essentially gives publishers some freedom to be more creative in their headlines and article copy, and not have to worry about cramming keywords in everything they publish. Here's a quick explanation from Google News P [...]


Google Search Quality Raters Instructions Gain New “Page Quality” Guidelines

google-search-quality-featured In the wake of Google's Panda algorithm update, its cadre of human search quality raters has a new task: giving Google specific quality ratings for individual landing pages. The new "Page Quality Rating Guidelines" section adds a whopping 32 pages to the handbook that Google provides to those human raters (via contractors like Lionbridge and Leapforce). An existing section on "URL Rating Tasks with User Locations" has been expanded from 12 to 16 pages, so that what was a 125-page document in early 2011 is now 161 pages long. Version 3.27 of Google's guidelines for search quality raters - [...]


Yes, Bing Has Human Search Quality Raters & Here’s How They Judge Web Pages

bing-search-people-raters-featured A web page that definitively satisfies a searcher's intent is "Perfect," and should appear at the top of Bing's search results. On the other end of the scale, spammy web pages and pages that almost no searcher would find useful are deemed "Bad." That's a bit of how Bing instructs the people in its Human Relevance System (HRS) project to grade web pages. It's explained in a 52-page document that Bing calls the "HRS Judging Guidelines." The HRS project is similar to the Quality Rater program that Google uses. Microsoft's version has been around in some form since shortly after MSN Search b [...]


No, Microsoft Didn’t “Disappear” Kogan From Bing Over The “IE7 Tax”

Kogan Shopping site Kogan imposes an "Internet Explorer 7" tax. Kogan then mysteriously disappears from Microsoft's Bing search engine. Revenge? No, just a technical goof, says Microsoft, one that it is correcting. Kogan grabbed headlines last month when it began adding an additional 6.8% charge to purchases for those using Internet Explorer 7. Calling it the "Internet Explorer 7" tax, the fee was designed to encourage people to upgrade. This week, Kogan was blogging again about Microsoft, this time to say that its Kogan.com site was dropped from Microsoft's Bing search engine. That's still t [...]


In Wake Of Penguin, Could You Be Sued For Linking To Others?

links-danger-risk-featured Many webmasters have been desperately trying to fix poor SEO work done to a site thanks to the recent Penguin update targeting webspam and the bad link warnings sent from Google.  The only current way to discredit a link is to have it removed as reverse nofollow functionality for webmasters simply doesn't exist.  One recent example of a link removal request was particularly concerning as it claimed that the webmaster was partaking in illegal action against the company. A recent example from IT blog pskl.us brought to light a harsh tactic for a link removal.  A company had cont [...]


Infographic: Goldilocks SEO, Getting Search Engine Optimization “Just Right”

goldilocks With worries of "over-optimization" on the minds of many SEOs right now, it's a good time to remember that it's long been good advice in search engine optimization never to do anything to an extreme. Cue the concept of "Goldilocks SEO," which SEO Book introduced in the form of a good infographic fairly recently. Want the infographic for yourself? You'll find it here: Goldilocks SEO. Related Articles Too Much SEO? Google’s Working On An "Over-Optimization" Penalty For That Is Google’s "Over Optimization Penalty" Its "Jump The Shark" Moment In Web Search? Dropped In Rankings? [...]


The SEO Breakdown: Bank Information Center Site Audit

SEO-Audits-Case-Studies-Site-Examples As part of a site audit special series, we're going to review an interesting website, Bank Information Center (BIC). BIC is a non-profit organization that does some very cool things but, like most non-profits, hasn’t updated their website for many years. Needless to say, they have almost no Internet marketing or SEO strategy which led them to ask for help by submitting their site for this series. In this post, I’m going to break down: Who the business is and what they do First Impressions: Overall analysis of website look, feel, targeting and usability Second Impressions: [...]


For Social Media Marketers, SEO Is Much More Popular Than PPC

seo-time-clock-featured Social media marketers are much more likely to also use SEO in their marketing efforts than PPC, according to a new survey out today. Social Media Examiner announced the results of its fourth annual survey, which this year had replies from more than 3,800 social media marketers around the world. When asked what other marketing channels they use, search engine optimization (SEO) was the No. 2 response behind e-mail marketing. Paid search -- or "online ads" as the survey called it -- was far down the list at number six. Sixty-five percent of social media marketers say they use SEO, compare [...]


Report: More Complex Attribution Model Shows Organic Search Significantly Undervalued By Marketers

search-featured Marketing firm Slingshot SEO is picking up where Microsoft left off. Five years ago Microsoft/Atlas began trying to educate marketers and the marketplace about the fact that more online sources than the "last click" were responsible for conversions. This was partly an effort to undermine the centrality of Google, which gets lots of credit for driving the final click, and partly an effort to make conversion modeling more sophisticated and reflective of the multiple influences on consumer purchases. This morning Slingshot SEO is releasing a fascinating report (registration required) that also [...]


Tips For Growing Keyword Seeds With Excel Formulas

Have your seeds germinated yet? Last time, we talked about keywords as "seeds" of ideas; a single keyword to represent an entire keyword cluster. Now it’s time to make our seeds grow. [caption id="attachment_114848" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Germinating your Keyword Seeds"][/caption] Using the example of Artisan Construction Services again (thanks!), we’ll walk through the process that I use to grow a single seed. In this case, let’s use "deck". To begin with, I want to think of the types of decks my client might build: Composite Wood PVC Hardwood Ceda [...]


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