Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Can a Site Rank Better by Having Lots of Webpages?

Many webmasters are of an opinion that a site can automatically rank better just by having a lots of pages. But, this is not the case with Google. A site cannot rank better just by having a lot of webpages, instead it may rank well if more pages leads to more links and a higher page rank. This is what Matt Cutts is suggesting in the video given below:-



More webpages may lead to more opportunities of getting links and different webpages may also serve different set of queries that may help it to rank. But simply because your site has a lot of pages does not automatically provides a boost in ranking.

Also See:-

How to Calculate KEI?
Seo Tools
Keyword Density
Seo Tutorial
What are Doorway Pages?
Keyword Stemming
How to Find Out Which Keywords You Rank For
Using Google Trends to Find the Popularity of Keyword

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Google's Moonshot Changes Shared by Matt Cutts in Pubcon 2013

Matt Cutts, head of Google's web spam team, shared some of the most valuable insights regarding what Google is planning for the future. These insights are immensely useful for webmasters and inbound marketers who want to enhance the visibility of their websites in Google.


The Moonshot Changes


Here are the moonshot changes that Matt Cutts discussed in Pubcon 2013:-

The Knowledge Graph

Google has introduced the Knowledge Graph in 16th May 2012 and further kept on enhancing it. This was a move to change from the old concept of finding strings of words to finding things or entities. Knowledge Graph did exactly what Google was missing in the older days as a string finding search engine. Amit Singhal, head of Google's core ranking algorithm describes it as a move where Google finds "Things not strings". As for example Google can now distinguish between New York Times, New York City, Times Square as different entities and return accurate results based on information gathered from Knowledge Graph.
knowledge graph
The Knowledge Graph


Voice Search

For those of you who have not experienced the voice search capability of Google, can do so by clicking on the microphone icon in the search area.

Conversational Search

Conversational search empowers Google the ability to perform queries over a session. As an example like "Who is is the President of USA", "How Old is He?" etc.

Google Now

All the information you need throughout the day are delivered at just the right time. Learn more about Google Now here.

Deep Learning by Applying Vectors

This is one of the biggest changes that Google did. It enhances the search model by analysing deeply and finding out the relationship between words. Google does this by applying some vectors. You can think of this deep learning as a set of learning modules that empowers Google to know how to read and write in the same manner as a human would do in its early stages. Google is 15 year old and now it has started to learning how to communicate and answering clearly what the user is searching. It is improving day after day.

As an example, if Google can encode "Beijing is the capital of China" then following a similar pattern of vectors, it can find the relationship between New Delhi and India, Washington DC and USA, Canberra and Australia etc. This is what is known as "deep learning" and Google is learning for the better!

Voice Search

The conversational search pattern is more powerfully implemented by the voice search. Think of Google as a smart friend who knows answers to your queries and you can actually engage in fruitful conversations with Google. The Knowledge Graph is the basic database working behind the scenes for identifying the entities used in voice search.

The Hummingbird Algorithm Update




This change which is one of the biggest to happen after Caffeine helps to process the natural language queries in a much better manner than it did before. A query like "What is the capital of Texas my dear" can be interpreted solely as "What is the capital of Texas" and words like "my dear" can safely be ignored. Hummingbird affects 90% of search queries but only to a small degree. It would make results better for long tail queries. Read more about Hummingbird here.

Panda Softening

Panda was a new signal which was launched in 2011 and acted as a signal for judging the quality of the site especially its content. You can find some information about rolling Panda updates here.

Authority Sites will Get a Boost in Rankings

Sites that are having lots of authority like those related to the medical niche will receive a boost in the rankings.

Smartphone Ranking

If your phone is not intended for flash, you are less likely to see results containing flash. If pages on the site redirects to the home page then rankings of those sites would be decreased.

Web Spam Changes


Penguin 2.0

Penguin 2.0 received a soft landing and had a less effect which was not noticeable. But Penguin 2.1 was a booster update for reducing web spam and had a noticeable effect.

Google Penguin
Penguin can catch spam

Payday Loans

Queries related to payday loans which see less spam.There are couple of different algorithms which will also work towards reducing web spam on specific niche.

Paid Advertorial Content

Some news sites and other authority sites that are selling paid advertorial content passing Page Rank is a clear violation of Google guidelines and these sites would get affected soon.

Poll for Taking Down Spam Networks

Matt Cutts also hinted at conducting polls for taking down spam networks. However, currently they have a pretty good list of spam networks, they will try and reduce the effectiveness of those networks.

Helping People with Malware

The web spam team is also working towards educating the webmasters regarding malware and how to tackle them. Maile Ohye, Developer Programs tech lead has uploaded several videos regarding this.

"How Search Works"

Google has also launched a resource called "How Search Works". Excellent information related to crawling and indexing, algorithms and fighting spam can be found here.

Big Future Trends

Google is getting smarter and smarter in interpreting queries and extracting all kinds of useful information. Here are the biggest future trends:-

Mobile is Huge

The percentage of YouTube traffic from mobile devices followed a tremendous increase in trend with 6% in 2011, 25% in 2012 and a whopping 40% in 2013. This truly suggests the way mobile traffic is booming and sites that are not optimizing itself for mobile users would be missing on some huge numbers. In some countries, the mobile traffic has already surpassed the desktop traffic.

Read some articles related to Mobile Seo:-

Mobile SEO
Mobile Seo Checklist

Social Identity Authorship

Google authorship along with social identity authorship are going to be biggest factors for ranking. If the web spam team knows who are the people having real and authoritative social identity then it would be easier to keep spam away.

Retweets, Likes and Plus Ones

Social signals like retweets, likes and plus ones would be useful under personalized results in the short term. However, in the longer term, having good social signals would help Google analyse that you are the authority and people listen to you. This would act as a strong signal to rank higher.

Some Secret

Matt also hinted out that Google would be working on things that most people won't see.

Next Generation Hacking Detection

Hacking is something that Google is seriously considering to wipe out. They would be working on the next generation of hacking detection technology. Matt also admitted that queries like "Buy Viagra" has some spammy results due to hacking. So, Google would be improving this technology in order to remove spam from the search results.

No Child Porn

Google will also be working to ensure that its harder for people to search results related to child porn.

No Hurry in Toolbar Page Rank Update

Matt also suggested that Google is not in a hurry to update the toolbar Page Rank. Actually the Page Rank gets updated almost on a daily basis but for the toolbar it gets updated in every 3-6 months. He also suggested, do not get obsessed with Page Rank but instead focus on improving the quality of your site and brand value.

Things To Do on Your Website

Now, comes to the interesting part of what should you do to make your website Google friendly:-

1- If your site is using Flash, you are not going to be seen on a large number of mobile devices. Hence, if you are using flash, you might losing on many audiences. The suggestion is not to use excessive Flash.

2- "Request Auto Complete" is a new feature being added on Google Chrome and sites that have special mark up for request auto complete can enable users to fill up the forms in just a single click. People actually hate filling forms and this can affect your conversion rate. So, just by adding simple markup in your site which will take around 3-4 hours, you can enable the functionality of request auto complete for Chrome users on your site. This will allow the users to fill up the forms in just one click and help to increase the conversion rate. It is therefore better to use auto complete markup on your site.

3- Google is also working on a new version of algorithm targeted for ad heavy pages. The next generation algorithm will take action on ad heavy pages. If your site is using too much ad then it would be better to remove them and follow an appropriate ratio of ad to content.

4- In the coming months, only high quality authors will be shown. Currently each and every site owner has the option to display authorship in the search results but very soon Google will decide which author to display in the search results. Hence, it is suggested to improve your author rank and become reputable in your niche to let Google analyze the value of author and display it in the search results.

5- In the similar manner as authorship, Google will decide on the quality of the site before displaying the rich snippets associated with them. If you are having a low quality spam site and if you have implemented rich snippets on your site then its less likely that Google will display rich snippets associated with your site. The point is, you should improve the quality of your site so that Google approves the display the rich snippets associated with your site.

Apart from the above suggestions, it is also recommended to follow Google Webmaster Central Tweets and Google blogs in order to keep yourself updated.



Also See:-

Hard Time Ahead for Black Hat Seo's
Seo Factors That Have the Biggest Impact on Rankings
Utilizing Tf-Idf Score to Increase Site Rankings

Friday, October 25, 2013

No Rich Snippets for Low Quality Sites in the Coming Months!

Google will soon take away the power to display rich snippets in the search results from low quality sites. Rich snippets are special kind of snippets that are displayed in the search results in order to display relevant information apart from the regular text description. These can be in the form of microdata, microformat, RDFa and data highlighter.



At the time of writing this post, every site has the option to display any form of rich snippets for its site. However at the recent Pubcon conference, Matt Cutts, Google head of web spam has revealed that in the coming months or year, rich snippets would be allowed for quality sites only. This means, sites that are abusing the power of rich snippets will have to face a difficult time in future.

In the coming days, displaying rich snippets and increasing CTR would be more challenging than today. So, the crux is, increase the quality of your site and add brand value to it.

Also See:-

Panda Update and What Matt Suggests
Google Pushes for User Sharing of Sites
Where to link to the original source in the article?
Links from article marketing sites
Importance of Backlinks in Seo
How to Create Backlinks That Google Loves
How to Rank in Google
Google Search Quality Updates

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What is the Difference Between High Quality and Low Quality Guest Posts?

Many of the webmasters have started building backlinks using guest blogging as one of their main strategies. But, do all the guest blogging links counted as same by Google? The simple answer is NO. Google is smart enough to distinguish between high quality and low quality guest posts. If you are paying for your guest posts or carrying out a large scale guest posting campaign in order to generate some quick links to the site then surely its going to hurt in the long run.

It is better not to take such risks and invest your time and money in creating something useful for your audience so that your natural link count increases.

guest blogger
How to Guest Post by Increasing Your Author Value? (Image credit- Igau.org)

High Quality Guest Post


Guest posting done by experts are considered valuable. If you a distinguished expert in your industry and someone has invited you to write a guest post for their site then that is considered as a high quality guest post.

Low Quality Guest Post


Guest posting done under fake profiles or by unrecognised authors are not given the same value by Google. Low quality guest posts often have many keyword stuffed links pointing to  the same website and the content adds little to no value to the user. Sites publishing these posts are not of high quality and often the posts gets published without any moderation. Many webmasters even charge for publishing guest posts with anchor text links which is a clear violation of Google's webmasters guidelines.

Having said that, the best way to distinguish between these two is that, high quality guest posts are written by industry experts while low quality guest posts are published by general authors who do not hold any specific recognition within the industry.

The Twist


Now, comes the twist, you can convert a low quality guest post into a high one by increasing your author rank and industry recognition. Do not overuse guest posting as a method for creating links but instead, use it as a channel for networking and increase your industry exposure. Share useful posts, earn appreciation within your industry, forget about backlinks, increase your author value and these will go a long way to compliement your business.

See what Matt Cutts has to say when people pay for guest posts:-



Also See:-

Linkbuilding for 2013
Advertorial Link Building Spam
SEO Factors Having the Biggest Effect on Rankings
Utilizing Tf-Idf Score to Increase Site Rankings

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cleaning Up Your Link Profile- Tools and Personal Advice

I have seen many of the webmasters still struggling to clean up the link profile of their website. The recent Penguin updates have forced the webmasters to revise their link strategy and remove all the bad backlinks pointing to their site. This post will show you the best way to clean up your site profile using tools and techniques best recommended by industry experts.

Break Down the Bad Links with the Disavow Tool (Image credit: submitedge)

The 3 Essentials of a Clean Link Profile


A genuine and authoritative site should have a clean link profile that is free from all forms of spamming. Here are the 3 essentials of having a google friendly backlink profile.

No Spam Links

The definition of spam is often misunderstood by many webmasters and strangely enough, many of them end up removing the good links along with the bad links. Spam is something that irritates the user and this is something that the search engine hates completely. Links from low quality directories, low quality bookmarking sites, sites having high ad to content ratio, sites having 0 PR (leaving some exceptions like a new domain), sites having too many OBL's, sites pointing to spammy niches etc.

No Too Many Similar Anchor Text Links

Natural links do not always have the same anchor text used again and again. Hence, in order to have a natural link profile, webmasters must restrict the use of primary keywords in the anchor text again and again.

No Too Many Links from FFA Sites

FFA stands for Free For All sites. Sites that can easily be manipulated for linking back to any site holds a lesser value for the search engines and having too many links from sites that can be easily manipulated is a strong signal for Google that the site is creating backlinks for itself instead of earning them. This is the difference between natural links and relevant links, it is harder to create natural links (you have to earn them) as opposed to relevant links which you can create easily. Techniques like article syndication contribute towards the creation of relevant links instead of natural links (YES, there can be natural links too pointing to your site this way but that depends on the overall link profile of your site).


Tools and Techniques


Step 1- Analyze Your Backlinks Using GWT, Ahrefs and Link Detox

The first step would be to download and analyze all of your sites links using tools like Google Webmasters Tools and Ahrefs. Another useful tool like link detox makes the job of finding bad links even more easier. It shows all the toxic links and provides an easy chance for you to remove those references.

Some of the best tools for link analysis are shared below:-

Link Detox
Ahrefs
Removeem
Rmoov

Step 2- Separate Low Quality Links on a Separate Excel Sheet

Once you have gathered all the bad links, prepare an excel sheet mentioning the exact references, PR, DA and webmasters email id.

Step 3- Start The Removal Process

Now start the removal process by individually contacting the webmasters.

Step 4- Use Google Disavow Tool As the Last Resort

Prepare a txt file for all the links for which you have not succeded in removing and log in to your webmasters tools account. Use the disavow tool to disavow all the remaining low quality links. This tool will allow Google to detect the domains passing links which you do want Google to count.

Step 5- Wait With Patience

After submitting the txt file, wait with patience and let Google process each and every low quality link.

Some Questions

Where can I Find the Disavow Tool?

Login to your GWT account and visit the URL - https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

Can I Resubmit the Disavow File?

Yes, you can resubmit the disavow file in case you have missed some processing of bad links.

How Long Will it Take for Google to Process the Links?

There is no guarantee but it might take between 3-6 months or more.

Also See:-

Google Will Provide Unnatural Link Examples
Google Diavow Links Tool
Top Ways To Get Natural Backlinks To Your Site
Are You Making Your Website Vulnerable To Future Google Updates
Battle of Ranking Continues
How to Keep Your Site Safe from Negative Seo?
Google Patent Named Ranking Documents to Penalize Spammers
How Does Google Identifies Which Links are Paid?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hard Time Ahead for Black Hat SEO's?

Google is constantly changing the search algorithm and will continue to change in future and this is not good news for black hat SEO's. In a recent video uploaded by Matt Cutts, the head of Google search spam team, he talks about even more updates in future. These updates would slowly and gradually eradicate all the spam results from Google. These may well include all the sites which are still ranking high due to the presence of unnatural backlinks in them. Creating a brand and a site for the user will work in future. So, stop spamming Google and start focussing on the user. Also, Matt points out that instead of focusing just on Google as a channel of generating organic leads, concentrate on other channels like social media, yellow pages etc.

This is what Matt Cutts says:-



Also See:- 

Site Affected by Panda Update?
Advertorial Link Building Spam
New Google Search Quality Updates
Importance of Content for Seo in a Post Panda World
What is Good Content?
Seo Content Copywriting Basics
3 Seo Fundamentals Every Webmaster Should Follow
Seo Secrets

4 Tips for Creating an SEO Budget for Your Business

If you're a business owner, you have a website. If you have a website, you want people to be able to find it if they're in the market for the things you sell. When they enter a string of words into a search engine to find relevant websites, if yours isn't the first, second, or maybe third one listed, chances are, no one will ever click the link that leads to your business.

There is nothing that has the power to catapult your website to the top of search engines quite like SEO. If you want to back up your awesome business with the search engine rankings it deserves, you're going to need to put money aside for SEO.


Budgeting for SEO is a lot like budgeting for everything else: It requires good planning, consistent saving, and smart software.


About SEO

SEO is the practice of using keywords, metadata, links, and formatting to convince search engines that a specific website is credible, authoritative, and worthy of being located at the top of the list.

There are three ways to do this. Hire a firm to do it for you, do it yourself, or some combination of the two. You'll need to know how much you can realistically spend by crafting a budget.

Know Your SEO

The best thing you can do for your new SEO budget is to reduce the size it needs to be by learning enough to do a lot of your own SEO without paying someone else. SEO is complex and constantly changing, but the vast majority of people can learn enough about the basics to write their own metadata and keywords and understand that quality is better than quantity when it comes to both links and content. Fine-tuning aspects such as your local strategy might have to be outsourced, but you can take a huge bite out of your budget by educating yourself with free tutorials such as this one.

Software

In order to establish your SEO budget, you have to start by figuring out how much SEO you need and how much money you have. Basic budgeting software such as that from Mint.com is your first and best weapon to getting on track to setting your SEO budget. Mint helps you get organized by centralizing all of your financial data in a single place. It also automatically makes the calculations of expenditures and profits when you make or spend money, and can automatically send a fixed (or variable) amount to your SEO budget category every month, week, or day.

Trim the Fat

As a business owner, you should periodically audit your operation to find ways to save money. Whether it's reevaluating your fleet of vehicles, sitting down with your invoices and comparing vendor prices, or looking for better deals on office supplies, pinching pennies is the difference between good businesspeople and great ones.

When you do these audits, dedicate a certain amount of recovered money to your SEO budget. Whether it's five or 50 percent is up to your needs, but don't forget to always add to your new SEO piggy bank.

Finding money for SEO could boost your business to the top of the search engines.


Working out an SEO budget is similar to any other budget. Smart planning, consistent saving, and a dedicated goal are necessary. The good thing about this, however, is that you can do a great deal of it by yourself just by learning about SEO basics.

Also See:-

How Can Seo Help My Business?
Do Bigger Brands Don't Need Seo?
Why Brand Matters in Seo?
Seo Tips
Seo Secrets to Success
Facebook Marketing Strategy
Twitter Marketing Strategy
YouTube Marketing Strategy
Pinterest Marketing Strategy
Google Local Carousel

Monday, October 14, 2013

Acquisition, Behavior, Conversions and Channels in Google Analytics

Google recently added a new tab in Google analytics with the name "Acquisition". For those of you who have difficulty in understanding the meaning of acquisition, here is a simple definition as per the web metrics area is concerned:-

"Acquisition in Google analytics refers to the act of acquiring traffic from channels which may include traffic from sources like organic search, direct, referral, social or any other medium. "

This new tab covers two new sections namely "Overview" and "Channels" along with the old sections like all traffic, campaigns, keywords, cost analysis (beta), adwords, social and search engine optimization.

The NEW Acquisition tab in Google Analytics


Overview


The overview section displays the acquisition, behavior and conversions data. Under the acquisition column, you can see the various channels from which your site is able to acquire traffic. Under the behavior column, you can see the metrics associated with the customer behavior like bounce rate, pages per visit and average visit duration. Lastly, under the conversions column you can see your converted goals.

Acquisition, behavior and conversion columns 


By default, the overview tab includes data coming from the channels section given below but you have options for including data from source/medium both or separately.

Channels


The channel section displays all the metrics included in the overview tab along with the options for filtering the content with respect to source, medium, content, technology, traffic sources and visitors.

Default channel grouping under acquisition
Google has made the above changes in order to easily identify the sources that are sending the maximum traffic or are leading to maximum conversions. These two extremely valuable metrics are included under the new acquisition tab.

Also See:- 

Exit Rate vs Bounce Rate
Understanding Goal Flow in Google Analytics
Google Tag Manager
How to Decrease Bounce Rate?
Multi Channel Funnel
Regular Expressions
Search Queries in Webmasters Tools
Google Data Highlighter
Seo for E-commerce Websites
Seo Tutorial
Stop words in Seo

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Geolocation Targeting is not Spam!

Some webmasters often feel the need to redirect  the users based on the countries to different pages of their site. This means customized web pages are served for different users. If you are serving your users in this manner and redirecting them to some other page or geo specific domain of your site based on their ip address then that is totally fine as long as you are also redirecting the googlebots in the same manner. Google itself redirects users based on different signals (most important one is the users IP address) so that is not considered as spam. But, if you are showing different information to the search engines than what you are showing to the user, this would be considered cloaking and would count against the Google webmasters guidelines.

Have a look at this video from Matt Cutts for more clarification:-



Also See:- 

Location Relevancy System and Relevancy Score
Types of URL Redirections
Mistakes to Avoid Using Rel="Canonical"
Easy Seo Tips
Learn Seo - Easy Seo Tutorial
Navigation in Seo
How to Set a Geographic Target for Your Site?
Search Queries in Webmasters Tools
How to Find Out the Total Number of Pages Blocked by Robots.txt
Google Tag Manager
Google Adwords Bidding
Multi Channel Funnel in Google Analytics

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Toolbar Page Rank Updates Gradually Fading Down

The golden period of toolbar Page Rank is gradually fading away and losing its frequency. Nowadays, the toolbar Page Rank is updated less often than it was done some years before. In fact, one of the best metrics to judge the quality of the web page used to be Page Rank. But, nowadays, Domain Authority and Page Authority has taken over as a new metric for judging the importance of a page. This does not means that Page Rank is not being computed by Google. It still remains, the backbone of search algorithm and is computed by Google regularly. The difference is that Google declares it publicly with the help of toolbar Page Rank but due to the fading value and less support of the browsers, it does not updates it on the toolbar on a regular basis.

The SEO Value

You must put in each and every effort to earn backlinks from high PR web pages as these can pass a lot of trust, authority and link juice on the targeted site. Forget about the toolbar PageRank, Google will still count those links and increase the Page Rank even if you are not able to see it under the toolbar.

Have a look at this video shared recently by Matt Cutts.



Also See:- 

Google Will Continue to Support Toolbar Page Rank
Author Rank is the New Page Rank
Rel = "Author" - An Important Ranking Signal for Google
Seo for 2013
What Exactly is a High Quality Backlink
New Google Ranking Factors
Page Rank Dissipation

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Are You Following the 4th Basic Principle of Google's Quality Guidelines?

For anyone in the world looking to explore the internet space as a marketing channel, getting visibility on Google is the first essential. With over 67% total market share, Google continues to be the dominant search engine of this world. There are two ways through which you can make your brand do well in Google. First, is by making use of organic search results which requires your site to compete with the Google's ranking algorithm (that covers over 200 factors and has tweaks almost on a daily basis) and second is by paying money to Google and getting listed without worrying too much about your site's popularity and backlinks.
But, both these inclusions requires your site to follow certain guidelines and principles in order to do well in the search results either organically or inorganically. For a majority of reasons, making use of search engine optimization and listing your site organically is a tougher task than just paying for your listing on Google.

Webmaster guidelines for quality results in seo
Follow webmasters guidelines for quality result (Image credit:- alseoblog)

To make SEO work well for your site, it is required that you follow the Google's Webmaster guidelines to every point. There are 4 basic principles that Google lists in its Quality guidelines and those are:-

"1- Make pages primarily for the users and not the search engines.

2- Don't deceive your users.

3- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.

4- Think what makes your website unique, valuable and engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.    "

(Retrieved from https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en#3)

Out of these 4 basic quality guidelines, most of the webmasters and inbound marketers follow the first 3 by heart but forget to follow the 4th one i.e. to make your website unique from your competitors.

One of the best ways you can achieve good visibility on Google is by making your site stand apart from your competitors. There are various ways through which you can achieve this. The best ones are given below:-


How to Make Your Site Unique, Valuable and Engaging?


Step 1- Add Brand Value to Your Site 

(Branding Makes Your Site Unique)

Google loves brands because brands are unique entities and can be easily recognized from a cluster of pages. If your site is having a lot of brand value of its own then trust rank and domain authority automatically flows in. Brands receives natural links and they do not need to worry about their presence on Google. Also, most of the filters and spam algorithms like Panda and Penguin do not affect the brands as much as they affect the smaller sites which have not portrayed itself as a brand. So, following the brand approach and optimizing your site in a similar manner as building your brand adds a lot of stability to your rankings and makes your site unique. (Please read :- Why Brand Matters in SEO? )

Compelling brand values evaluation criteria
Compelling Brand Value Evaluation Criteria (Image credit:- Tempkin Group)

Step 2- Gain Customer Trust and Loyalty by Serving Your Customers Well

(Serve your users and provide them exactly what they want, your site must be valuable for them)

Forget about the search engine rankings and start serving your customers. I have always said in the past that if your customers are happy and visit your site often then Google would be forced to pay attention to your site. Gaining the loyalty and trust of your customers is what makes your brand valuable. Some of the best metrics to judge this are direct traffic to your site, bounce rate, brand citations received per week, social media shares etc.

Customer satisfaction measure criteria
Gaining customer satisfaction (Image credit:- b2binternational)

Step 3- Interact With The Users- Gain Feedbacks, Add Testimonies, Receive Comments...


(Let users comment on your site, add proper testimonies, take help of rich snippets, remain active on social media as all these activities helps to keep your brand remain engaged with your desired audience)

The third step is to allow your valuable customers remain engaged with your brand. Some of the best ways you can do so are given below:-

5 Golden Rules of Keeping Your Audience Engaged


1- Add a section of receiving comments and feedbacks from your customers. Implement changes on your services based on the received feedbacks.

tweets and brand name
Mentioning your brand name across all your social channels is important (Image credit:- vidIQ)
2- Make use of rich snippets and let the users rate what's the best for them.

3- Take the help of ORM (Online Reputation Management) services to find out the negative comments that users may have added on discussion forums and hire a dedicated team to resolve those issues on priority.
This way you can win trust of your customers and they will surely reward you well for this.

4- Keep your brand active across all the important social channels and interact with your audience. Following a humble and serving approach is important. Always remember "your first motto is to serve your customers not to dominate them."Also, add social sharing buttons and widgets across your site to initiate easy interactions and sharing.

5- Let the press cover your brand, remain in the news by sponsoring some events and improving the quality of services. 

Concentrate more on the 4th basic principle of optimizing your site and see the results yourself.

Also See:- 

3 SEO Fundamentals Every Webmaster Should Follow
Seo Copywriting
Why Patience is an important part of Seo
Benefits of Seo
How to make your website more user friendly
Following the Kiss approach in Seo
Social Media Etiquette
Social Media Widgets for Sites
Facebook Marketing Strategy
Top Social networking sites by country
Social Media tracking tools
How to start a social media campaign

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Google Penguin Update 2.1 or Penguin 5 is Out

Matt Cutts tweeted on Oct 4th, 2013 , the Penguin refresh 2.1 affecting ~1% searches. Many webmasters have started to witness some changes on their site's rankings and traffic.

Penguin is an update that affects sites that are having a spammy link profile. Remember, Google always looks for natural links and not just relevant links. If you feel your site is affected by this update, then have a look at this Penguin 2.0 recovery guide.

Also See:-

Google Penguin Update
Google Penguin 1.1 released on 26th May 2012 
Google releases Penguin Update 3
Low Quality Link Profile Asking for Sure Trouble?
How to Use Google Disavow Tool?
What Exactly is a High Quality Backlink?
Google Working on Providing Samples of Unnatural Backlinks
How to Create Backlinks that Google Loves
Seo Secrets
How to rank in Google
Are You Making Your Website Vulnerable To Future Google Updates
Battle of Ranking Continues

Friday, October 4, 2013

SEO Factors That Have The Biggest Impact on Rankings

Getting higher Google rankings for your industry related keywords works extremely well in passing on quality targeted traffic to your site, thereby increasing leads and revenue. Getting listed on the first page of Google is not easy and involves keeping in mind various factors that Google uses while ranking web pages. There are more than 200 ranking signals ( for SEO's these are the success factors) affecting your site and if you are smart enough to build your site as well as your customer loyalty for your business in the way Google predicts it, the search rankings pie is waiting for you!

web traffic moving up
High rankings = high traffic! (Image credit- beforeitsnews)

In this post, I will discuss the top SEO ranking factors that are having the biggest impact on rankings-

Backlinks and Anchor Text Usage


Keep aside all the fuzz that is going around in the SEO community. Backlinks was, is and will continue to be the single biggest ranking factor for Google and other search engines. However, quality of backlinks matter more than their quantity. Here are some insights:-

Natural backlinks have the highest value. (Read the top ten ways to get natural backlinks)
Links from highly trusted and authoritative domains are like a gold rush for your site.
Links from trusted directories like Yahoo and Business.com still matters.
Citations are an alternative for links and holds a lot of importance. (See- Whitespark local citation finder)
Anchor text usage in the earned links matters.
Having brand names in the anchor text or having naked URL's is the best approach.
Google likes predicting and hates what can be directly told. This means, earn links within your industry verticals, from trusted and loyal customers, from authors having high trust rank and do not worry about the anchor text. Google will itself predict which queries are related to your brand. (Hope you have them on your site in the main areas like title and H1 tag) (See- Meta tags)


Site Content and Keyword Usage


Content is the real essence of your site and the sole purpose that users are visiting your site is because of content. The more useful it is for the users, the better are the chances of ranking. The use of keywords in the main areas of the page is a necessity. This does not means, stuffing the page with keywords. Google can predict and identify the keyword even if it has been used only once in the page. Here are a few points to keep in mind:-

Use keywords in the title in a natural way.
Use keywords in H1 tag in a natural way.
Use some unique words in the content. The ones that are not being used by your competitors will give the maximum advantage.
Focus on the quality of content and include images, infographics and videos.
Enhance your page content by increasing the audience engagement factor.
Have alt tags.
Divide content into headings and subheadings and also keep an eye on the speed of the site.

(See- Seo content copywriting basics)

Google Plus Ones alongwith Other Social Shares


Google Plus ones may have the biggest social impact on the search rankings (although Google has ignored it completely). Content that receives maximum social shares helps in the indirect accumulation of links, citations and traffic. This indirectly helps in increasing the rankings. The exact effect depends on the existing trust and authority of the domain.

(See- Secret behind the power of Plus ones)

Authorship, Rich Snippets and Schemas


Among the new Google ranking factors, the important ones are authorship, rich snippets and schemas. These compliment your existing content and helps Google to accurately judge the relevancy.

Fresh Content


Most of the webmasters ignore it as a ranking factor but freshness is one of the hidden secrets of rankings. Constantly adding fresh content on the site and updating the old pages will add a new reason for the Google crawlers to keep visiting your site and also allow them to rank highly provided the other factors and signals work in your site's favor.

Also See:-

Utilizing Tf-Idf Score to Increase Site Rankings

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Does Valid HTML and Error Free Codes on Your Site Help to Increase Rankings?

If you are of the opinion that having the cleanest web site on this world can get your site ranked high on Google then please drop this thought at least at this moment. Having valid HTML and error free codes really helps to enhance the user experience but does not count as a ranking factor for Google. Although, it is suggested to have valid HTML on your site and in future it may get counted by Google.

Have a look at the video by Matt Cutts in which he discusses does Googlebot cares about valid HTML?



Also See:-

Advertorial Link Building Spam
Syndication is a Valid Way to Get Links
Google Pushes for User Sharing of Sites
Where to link to the original source in the article?
Links from article marketing sites
Importance of Backlinks in Seo
How to Create Backlinks That Google Loves
How to Rank in Google
Google Search Quality Updates

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rel="nofollow" for Internal Links? No, You Should Not Do It!

If you are really confused as to whether you should nofollow some of your internal links, then you should not do that. Matt Cutts recently posted a video which says that links to internal pages like those of login pages should not be made nofollow. However, if your site provides any scope of link abuse like those in comments section or the user profile section, then those links should surely be marked as nofollow.

The crux is "If you are linking to your own site, make it dofollow, if you are providing opportunity for other users to link to their own sites or to other sites (those links that are not editorially approved) should be marked as nofollow"

Now, have a look at the video of Matt Cutts



Also See:-

Rel=nofollow Links for Widgets and Infographics
Syndication is a Valid Way to Get Links
Google Pushes for User Sharing of Sites
Where to link to the original source in the article?
Links from article marketing sites
Importance of Backlinks in Seo
How to Create Backlinks That Google Loves
How to Rank in Google
Google Search Quality Updates
Social Media Widgets for Websites
Nofollow Vs Dofollow

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Graph Search Allows Searching for Posts and Status Updates

Facebook Graph Search will now allow searching for posts, status updates, photo captions, check ins, comments etc. You can do so by including the word "Posts" and adding your desired search phrase in it accordingly.

Some examples are shared below- 

Posts about my birthday party with my friends
Posts about dancing with the stars by my friends

 
Posts about my pet playing with my dad
Posts I Commented On
My Posts from Last Year

Graph search is available only on the US English version so users from other country will have to wait until they can see this feature working for them.

Also See:-