Penalized & Sad: When To Abandon The Sinking SEO Ship

Penalized and Sad Sometimes the captain can’t afford to go down with the ship, no matter the temptation or emotional investment. Every few weeks, I receive another hopeless phone call from another desperate webmaster. Since Penguin, I've seen more ships go down than I care to count. Websites that have delved too deeply into black hat SEO and spam tactics of the past have paid a heavy fine -- for many, the ultimate price. So, how do you know when it's time to abandon the sinking ship? Well, let me walk you through it the same way I do on calls. But please, bear in mind that this is only my professi [...]


Demystifying Link Disavowals, Penalties & More

disavow-links-featured [caption id="attachment_169618" align="alignright" width="269"] Google Webmaster Hangout[/caption] Findings from a recent Google Webmaster Hangout on Air (video) demystify link disavowals, penalties and more. Read on for the official word from John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google and friend to webmasters everywhere. First, Some Background Last month, I introduced Five Steps To Clean Up Your Links like A Techie. The commenters on the post had a lot of good questions, and I wanted to begin this month with a few clarifications. First, the development of that list was meant [...]


The Concept Of Sameness & Why It Should Matter

Angry Search User! Long ago and far away, there was a world where there was no Web. Back in those early years (such as the 1960's through the mid-1990s), there were certain basic concepts that guided the world of marketing. One of the facts of life during those times was that each market space tended to support somewhere between three and five major brands, and no more. The major brands were the ones competing for general merchandise or services on a national or global scale. Regardless of where you went, they were there. There were other companies in these market spaces, too, but they operated in a niche fas [...]


Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO Explained In New Slideshow Format

Earlier this month, we announced the addition of Mobile as a new SEO element in the 2013 Edition of the Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors, following a Google announcement that mobile site optimization is a factor in search rankings. The Search Engine Land Guide to SEO explains each of the success factors in more detail over the course of nine chapters, filled with additional resource links, SEO tips and tutorials in each area. Now, we've transformed our Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors and Guide To SEO into a quick slideshow format which summarizes each of th [...]


SEOs Say Links Rule Now, Content & Authorship Will Rule Later, In Moz 2013 Ranking Survey

Image via Crestock.com  under license Matt from Moz (formerly SEOmoz) has released a preview of some of the data from their search ranking factors survey they produce every other year or so. The preview shows us that SEOs still place the most value on links and then keywords on the page. But looking toward the future, content and authorship will play a much larger roll. In this year's study, which should be fully released at the end of the summer, Moz surveyed 120 different SEOs on various ranking factors. Here are some of the highlights from the preview of the survey: SEOs Breakdown Google Ranking Algorithm As you can see fr [...]


50 Percent Of Companies Struggling With SEO Aren’t Integrating Social Media [Survey]

seo-social-media What's one key difference between companies that are successful with SEO and those that aren't? According to a new study from Ascend2, it's this: Successful companies integrate social media into SEO strategies and tactics more extensively than companies that struggle with SEO. The research agency surveyed almost 600 business and marketing professionals around the world late last month, and asked the group to rate their own companies' SEO success. The survey compares answers from the 15 percent that said they're "very successful" with SEO and the 18 percent that said they're "not successf [...]


2013 Search Awards Comes To The US With Nominations Open Through July 19

US Search Awards 2013 The 2013 US Search Awards are now accepting nominations from organizations, agencies and individuals for search campaigns conducted in the US. The awards include 22 different categories, along with a Grand Prix prize which will be awarded to the best entry among the 22 categories. The deadline for entries is July 19, with the shortlist of winners to be announced Friday, September 6, 2013. Entries will be judged by a panel of 15 search industry experts, including Mel Carson of Delightful Communications, Bruce Clay of Bruce Clay Inc., UseTheData.com publisher Bryan Eisenberg, Moz CEO Rand Fis [...]


Infographic: 2013 SEO Ranking Factors, From SearchMetrics

us_ranking_factors_2013 The folks at SearchMetrics have released their SEO ranking factors for 2013. This is their ranking correlation study they worked on for the past 3-months, right after the second-generation Penguin update was pushed out by Google. Want to understand everything that was in it? They've got an infographic for that (click to enlarge): The key takeaways from their study included: Keyword domains and keyword links have lost relevance Brands are the exception to many rules Social signals continue to correlate very well with better rankings Good content is always important: it comes down t [...]


Only 6% Of Top 100 Fortune 500 Companies Have Sites That Comply With Google’s Mobile Requirements

mobile-break-broken-featured Last month at the SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle, the head of Google's webspam team Matt Cutts briefed the audience on the importance of mobile SEO. "You really need to be thinking about mobile," said Cutts during his keynote session, "We're starting to think a lot about mobile." Not only is Google's head of webspam encouraging companies to make mobile SEO a priority, a recent post on Google's Webmaster Central Blog confirmed the upcoming changes, "We plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users." In light [...]


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 [...]


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide