Friday, January 31, 2014

Wolfram Alpha Provides Semantically Richer Results than Google?

Many people may not have heard about Wolfram Alpha but it is a computational search engine which provides answers and results to users queries by computing values. Interestingly, Wolfram Alpha provides accurate results even better than Google for user queries involving computation of any kind.

As for example, If I enter the query "digital cameras less than $80" on Wolfram Alpha, I get a list of all the products along with their brand names and prices. You can click on the products and visit the website where the product is sold. 


When I enter the same query on Google, I receive references to website where discussions or lists are present. What's strange is that, I also see an ad selling camera for over $100 for my query that specifically asks for cameras under $80. 




















How Does Wolfram Alpha computes the answers?

Some of the important modules are linguistic analysis, curated data, dynamic computation and dynamic presentation.It also recently launched a connected devices project that will enable Wolfram Alpha to provide computational results for all sorts of device. Wolfram Alpha manitains a huge database of objects and runs several specialized algorithms for computing the results.








Also See:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

All Forms of Link Building are Wiped Out by Google

Google probably achieved in making the Black Hat SEO's realize the importance of natural links. One after the other it penalized or devalued most of the link building strategies that were generating spam in the search results. Spam is something which Google fights 24*7 and updates like Penguin is a direct response from Google to combat web spam.

Recently Google penalized link networks like Buzznea, Ghost Rank 2.0, Backlinks.com, Sape Links etc. All these networks established relationships between advertisers and site owners in order to provide text links by paying bloggers and site owners money in return for a keyword rich do follow text link. Buying and selling Page Rank is an activity that is against Google's guidelines. These link networks made a lot of money and had remain in existence for years together before they were spotted and taken action upon. 

Link Building Strategies that Have Become Stale


Article Syndication

Link building using article marketing has long been a useful link building tactic for link builders but rise in spammy articles forced Google to penalize sites having a higher percentage of low quality links from article content farms. 



The situation that stands now is that this link building technique is of little to no value now.

Guest Posting for Backlinks

Guest Posting if used as a lone strategy for building backlinks can activate Google's spam filters. Guest posting should not be done for gaining backlinks. Matt Cutts recently confirmed this in a blog post



Blog Commenting

Most of the comments have been marked as no follow and leaving comments just for the sake of getting backlinks will increase spam on the web and nothing else.

Social Bookmarking

Bookmarking on popular sites was a good strategy for building links in older times but the current semantic search scenario demands more than just backlinks. Hence, bookmarking should not be used as a link building strategy.

Bye-Bye Link Building, Welcome Link Earning


As said in this post, all forms of link building strategy is considered unnatural by Google. This is absoutely TRUE. 

If you don't believe me today, you will regret later. 

There is no strategy which can be said as "White Hat Link Building Strategy" because if you are building links for yourself then that link is of little value. What remains now is link earning and citation earning. So, how do we do that?

Please read the below posts in order to learn more about link earning and citation building. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to Update Old Site to Maintain Google Rankings? Take the Advise from Matt Cutts

Webmasters of older domains sometimes find it hard to maintain their Google rankings due to the updates Google does on a regular basis. Here is some piece of advice from Matt Cutts regarding how you should maintain Google rankings if you have an older domain:

New sites that provide a better user experience have every chance of taking over the older domains. The older domain should continue to evolve and adapt every time. Just because you are a domain that has been established and has been from quite a long time does not mean you will automatically keep ranking.

For older domains it is necessary to take a fresh look in your layout in order to provide the best user experience. Something that is fresh and is of value to the end user matters more to Google as compared to the one that has grown stale and has not been updated from a long period of time.

Some of the new domains have fantastic designs, people might prefer migrating to the newer domains leaving the older domains.

Have a look at the video below:




Also See:

Google Moonshot Changes
Anchor Text Variation and Seo
5 Points Every Seo Must Follow
Importance of Backlinks in Seo
Site Wide Links
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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Follow the Manner in Which Google Itself Accepts Guest Posts

I have recently witnessed a major outcry among the webmaster community regarding guest posting. Suddenly, guest posting is considered as a banned activity and webmasters are even afraid of accepting guest posts on their site. Hold on....all this happened after Matt Cutts posted Google's views on guest blogging on his blog (a great link bait for Matt Cutts :) . This post scared the black hat SEO's which was good but alas, it also scared legit webmasters who suddenly thought every form of guest posting is banned by Google.

This is not true at all. The biggest proof is that Google itself accepts guest posting in its analytics blog. Have a look at the screenshot below:



Convinced? When Google can accept guest posts in its blog, why can't we?

Guest Blogging Activity that's Completely Legit


Guest blogging is for experts. If you are an expert in your niche and contribute regularly for industry related 
magazines and websites then you are most welcome to do so. Guest blogging should be done with the sole purpose of sharing your expertise with the end user. It should not be done with the sole purpose of generating a backlink.

Guest Blogging that's Banned


If you are using guest blogging as the only strategy for building backlinks for your site, then you are in big trouble. Guest blogging has come in Google's radar as a spammy link building activity. If the overall link profile indicates that your site is getting backlinks only by way of guest posting then the next Penguin update might include special algorithms for detecting spammy guest blogging activities that will penalize your site.


What to Do Now?


You can surely continue guest blogging but in a spam free manner. Take an example how Google accepts guest posts in its analytics blog. Confused? Let me provide you with some guidelines given below:

Guidelines for Organic Guest Blogging


1- Guest blogging are always done by experts so ask yourself, are you an expert in your domain?
2- Sites that openly accepts all forms of guest blogging should be avoided. Those are no less than article directories.
3- Use guest posting to increase your followers and not your website's backlinks.
4- Increase your author rank and reputability by guest blogging. Engage with people who share the same passion as you and not with the one who has a high Page Rank or DA :)
5- Make sure your contribution helps the end user. Check out the comments and social shares your written content is receiving. This will provide an idea of how well you are able to attach with your audience.

Guest posting is a means for increasing your social popularity and not the only way of building backlinks. This does not means don't take backlinks from your guest posts. Users should be informed about the person who has written the guest post and backlinks should therefore be provided (Remember, the Google example I shared above!) but don't make it a necessity. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Now, You Can Add GIF Pins on Pinterest

Pinterest has recently announced in one of the blog posts about the support of GIF pins. Now, you can start adding GIF pins on your favorite boards. Gif pins are great as they add a touch of motion on static images. Pinterest was long waiting to add such functionality for its users but somehow they got a little late on this. Better late than never! Have a look at an example given below:







Also See:
How Top Brands are Using Pinterest
Pinterest Marketing Guide
Pinterest Marketing Tools
Now Get Business Accounts on Pinterest
How to Get More Traffic From Pinterest

Sunday, January 26, 2014

5 Must Read Resources Related to Semantic Web

Seo is changing and Google is getting updated to semantic web. How well are you prepared for it? In order to get yourself prepared and take on the new SEO challenges related to semantic search, it is necessary that you keep yourself updated by visiting the resources specially related to semantic web.

This post shares the 5 best resources that you must read in order to keep yourself updated related to the technicalities of semantic web.



W3C Data Activity - The W3C home page for discussing about the data activity and building the web of data.

Semanticweb.com - An ideal website sharing news and events related to semantic search.

Semanticweb.org - A Wiki containing all the information related to semantic web. You can contribute to this Wiki and make it even more comprehensive.

Semantic Web Journal - A journal that shares excellent ways to share information in meaningful ways.

Semanticfocus - A blog dedicated to the community of semantic web enthusiasts.

Also See:

How Does Google Applies Semantic Search
5 Tools to Make Your Site Hummingbird Friendly
Google Query Processing by Identifying Entities
What is LSI?
How Google Identifies Substitute Terms of a Query?
Google Patent to Identify Erroneous Business Listings
How Google Identifies Spam in Information Collected From a Source?
Google Patent Named Ranking Documents to Penalize Spammers

Friday, January 24, 2014

5 Ways to Boost up Your SEO Strategy in 2014

The year 2013 saw many developments in the Google’s core ranking algorithm.  Major updates like Hummingbird along with Panda and Penguin refreshes took place in 2013. These updates forced the internet marketers to think differently and creatively. The old school seo marketing strategies were packed up giving way for new and better ones in order to boost up the marketing efforts in 2014.

Here are 5 effective strategies on which you need to lay the foundation of your overall SEO strategy in 2014. 

1-      Think Topics, Not Keywords

Comprehensive content focussed around  topics is required (Image credit: bloodpower.com)


Keyword based seo strategy is growing old. The new way to market your content is by thinking about the topics on which your customers would be interested. Google has made changes in the way it processes the search queries. The recent Hummingbird update backed with the power of “KnowledgeGraph” has made Google think semantically. This means Google will now try and understand the context of the query before presenting the final results to the users.

A thorough knowledge of semantic analysis would be required in the same manner as Google has. Creating content focused around topics instead of keywords will provide the maximum benefit. Also, writing content in a conversational manner will become essential.

2-      Create OKR’s the Way Google Does

Fig. showing bloggers OKR.  (Image credit: businessinsider)


OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. I have seen a majority of seo companies only focusing on getting rankings without working on identifying major objectives and results that will help to fulfill those objectives. I would strongly suggest all the internet marketers to create their OKR sheet in order to identify their objectives along with the key results that would enable those objectives to get fulfilled.

OKR is not a new term for the Silicon Valley majors. Companies like Intel and Google have already implemented OKR’s in their work strategy. OKR’s are great because work becomes easier and more user focused when you know your objectives.

All Google employees need to maintain their own personal OKR sheet to better judge themselves. It was first introduced by Rick Klau for improving the reputation of blogger.com. All the key results mentioned on his OKR sheet hinted at improving the overall user experience and publizing the platform by taking part in seminars and promoting PR activities.

3-      Analyze and Test what’s working

Anything which is not tested should not be implemented on a larger group of people. Google offers so many FREE testing tools in Analytics and Webmasters like the AB Testing, Multivariate Testing, Page Speed Insights tool, Universal Analytics etc which can be used for testing and better serving the users.  

SEO’s and inbound marketers need to understand the purpose for which the users are visiting the website. WebPages should be tested and analyzed before the final launch. This would help to enhance the user experience and gather user love. 

4-      Make Your Brand a Social Superstar

User engagement is the key! (Image credit: boldandfierce.com)


Social media is set to play an inseparable role in every SEO marketing strategy. Brands should have an excellent social media presence especially on sites like Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Google always puts greater focus on its users and stuffs loved by users are always loved by Google. Being active on social media platforms is one of easiest and most preferred ways of getting social love. Although Google has not publicly accepted that Google Plus helps in ranking but they are certainly a great way to judge the quality of content that are loved and shared by people.

5-      Improve the Quality and Presentation of Content

One thing that has remained constant all through the path of the career of an SEO is the focus on content. Content has been King in the past and will remain to be in the future. But, Google has allowed several ways to enhance the presentation of content to its users. Webmasters who are making use of several techniques made available to Google for better presentation of their site’s content have already experienced high rankings and traffic to their site.

As far as the quality of content goes, it needs to be comprehensive and conversational. The LSI (latest semantic indexing) and TF-IDF(Term frequency and Inverse Document Frequency) score should not be ignored. These are great metrics that are still utilized by Google in order to determine the relevancy of a web page.

The presentation of content is as important as having quality content. Here are some of the elements you can implement in order to present your content in a user friendly manner.

Google Authorship – Google has greater plans to move from anonymous web to known web and for that it has made the use of author snippets in its search results. The search snippets returned by Google now contains author information. Webmasters have already witnessed a greater Clickthrough rate by displaying their author information in the search results. However, due to increased spamming and misuse of the authorship markup, Google now plans to display only genuine and reputed author information in the search results. Author rank which is based on metrics like the quality of content, the number of plus ones and social media shares the content receives, the number of positive comments the content receives along with the DA (Domain Authority) of the domain where the article is published all plays an important role in making an author genuine and trustworthy in the eyes of Google.

In 2014, having author information as a snippet will make your website look trustworthy and will help to increase the number of clicks your site receives. Hence, work towards implementing authorship and increasing your author rank.

Rich Snippets – Google has been increasing the importance of rich snippets to make the search snippets more user friendly. There are many forms of rich snippets that can help the user to understand the contents of your web page. Some of them are recipe snippets, reviews and ratings snippets, event snippet, products snippets etc. The display of rich snippets also rests with the decision of Google. You need to add the snippet markup and work to increase the domain popularity of your site in order to enable the display of rich snippets associated with your site in the search results.

Schema Vocabulary- Addition of Schema vocabulary like microformats, microdata and RDF helps the search engines to better understand the contents of a web page. Rich snippets are also a part of Schema Meta data. You can increase the relevancy of your site and better serve your users by adding Schema data associated with every element of your web page. Schemas can be added related to books, movies, person, organization, place, local business, review, recipe etc. The Facebook OpenGraph Protocol is also a part of Schema vocabulary.

Page Speed- The world is going mobile and one of the major issues which most of webmasters struggle to maintain is the speed of their site. Ever wondered why the world’s best IT companies prefer to have a simple website? The reason is the site speed and the browser compatibility. Opting for responsive design and maintain an excellent site speed are some of the essentials of getting good rankings. It is for this reason that Google offers a special Page Speed checker tool called the PageSpeed Insights that displays the current loading time of the page and also gives some recommendations for improving the overall page speed.

Thus, there were some of the major factors that need to be taken care of before planning any SEO strategy in 2014 and ahead. 

Also See:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Guest Blogging Over for Spammers!

Spammers beware as guest blogging as a way of link building is under scrutiny by Google. Low quality and unnatural guest posting activities carried on a large scale by spammers or forms of unnatural, unthematic, paid guest posting are set to get penalize soon. As Matt Cutts pointed out in a recent guest post about the decay and fall of guest posting.

Matt Cutts has cautioned over the use of guest blogging as a link building strategy. It may happen that some link builders may approach sites high in page rank and abuse them by sending free content with links to the webmasters. Many webmasters often fall in the trap of free content and post the low quality articles on their site.

Do all Guest Posts Count as Low Quality?

No, all guest posts do not count as low quality. If you are an expert in your field and post articles related to your niche without the sole purpose of building links to your site, then you are completely safe.

Now, for more clarification, have a look at the videos shared below:





Also See:

Difference Between High Quality and Low Quality Guest Posts
SEO Factors Having the Biggest Effect on Rankings
Utilizing Tf-Idf Score to Increase Site Rankings
Query Highlighting in Google- SEO RESEARCH SERIES - Part 3
Advertorial Link Building Spam
Guest Blogging For Links
Top Ways to Get Natural Backlinks to Your Site
How to Create Backlinks That Google Loves
Seo Secrets 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Google Uses the Same Algorithm to Rank 1-10 Results

Google's spam chief, Matt Cutts faced a question from one of the webmasters where it was asked that whether Google uses different algorithms for ranking webpages at different positions? These can be signals like freshness, backlinks or social popularity. Matt Cutts clearly answered this question with a straight NO. Google uses only a single algorithm in order to sort the hundreds or probably thousands of search results as per the "relevancy" and "reputability".

Have a look at this video:



Also See:

3 Methods for Easier Management of Site Verifications
Search Queries in Webmasters Tools
How to Find Out the Total Number of Pages Blocked by Robots.txt
Google Tag Manager

Saturday, January 18, 2014

How Coca Cola, Disney and Red Bull Made the Most of their Social Media Marketing Efforts?

In this post, I will highlight the marketing activities which the top brands like Coca Cola, Disney and Red Bull are using in order to give a boost to their social media channels. Let's discuss about the brand performance on top 3 channels which are Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. 

Coca Cola




Facebook- With over 78 million fans, Coca Cola is indeed one of the most prominent brands that has connected so well with the Facebook audience. The secret that they received so many fans on Facebook are just pure marketing and branding efforts. Some of the biggest reasons for Coca Cola's success on Facebook are given below:

1- Note the description of the page. It says "The Coca Cola Facebook page is a collection of your stories." This is creative marketing at its best form. If people think they are posting and sharing for a brand they will share less but if they think they are sharing for their own selves, they will probably share more. Coca Cola has made an awesome relationship with their fans that gets reflected on their Facebook page.

2- The profile picture (which keeps on changing) creates a positive impression for the brand and helps to increase even more likes. 

3- The photos section is full of high quality images that makes people connect with the brand. Images play a great role in Facebook and helps to increase social share and post share life. 

4- Coca Cola also maintains an app for every trending events. People like to engage and apps are an awesome way to increase this engagement. 

5- Freshness of post is also an important factor in increasing engagement. Interestingly, fans of Coca Cola post on the page on a daily basis instead of the page editor. This is what can be called as "brand love".

Twitter- The Twitter profile of Coca Cola has over 2 million followers. Some of the biggest reasons for its success are:

1- Coca Cola regularly shares photos and videos in order to grab the attention of the audience. 

2- The freshness factor is amazing with Coca Cola sharing tweets almost on a daily basis. 

3- The engagement factor is great and the tweets are being retweeted and commented by the people.


Pinterest- Coca Cola has over 3000 followers on Pinterest. considering the reach of the brand, this should have been greater. The marketing team at Coca Cola should consider increasing their reach on Pinterest. But nevertheless, we can achieve some key measurable by analysing the Pinterest profile of Coca Cola. Some of the positives are given below:

1- All the board created by Coca Cola reflects the brand values and not the keywords.
2- The shared images are unique, catchy and of high quality.
3- Every image receives a lot of user attention with repins and likes being a regular affair.

Disney


Facebook- Walt Disney has around 46,081,069 likes in Facebook. That is huge so let's analyze the secrets behind such a massive social media popularity for Disney?

Why Disney is so popular on Facebook?

1- Posts shared by Disney receive a great visibility. The Facebook EdgeRank which Disney's posts receives is awesome. 

A single post has over 40000 people liking and more than 300 people commenting. Now, that is something really commendable. You can't buy likes, you have to get it through mutual trust and understanding.

2- Disney uses images for every post it shares and often adds quotes to its shares like “It is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts.” -Merchant, Aladdin.

3- It also utilizes the curiosity of its fans by asking straightforward questions like "Which door would you choose?" by displaying an image of the popular character "Alice in the Wonderland". The result- Fans answer it, like it and share it. 

Twitter- Disney have around 3462301 followers on Twitter. Here are the key takeaways:

1- The profile page has been creatively decorated. 
2- Disney tweets around 2 times in a day on an average. Some of the tweets contains pictures but not all of them.

Disney needs to work a bit more to enhance the engagement on its Twitter profile. 

Pinterest- Disney has over 79000 followers on Pinterest. Disney has achieved this feat by having around 30 boards and over 2599 pins. Let's see what are the positives:

1- Shared images receives over 100 repins and over 20 likes on an average.
2- Disney publishes some off topic content like "Delicious Disney" where creative recipes are shared apart from their favorites "Disney Quotes" and "Mickey and Friends".


Red Bull



Facebook- Red Bull has around 42,357,200 likes on Facebook. Have a look at some of the best strategies adopted by Red Bull:

1- Red Bull extensively uses hashtags in order to promote its posts.
2- The shared posts receives comments and likes.  
3- Has an awesome collection of mobile apps including the popular Red Bull formula race app. These apps helps to increase engagement with the brand.  

Twitter- Red Bull has around 1337009 followers on Twitter. 

1- Red Bull uses hashtags and images for all of its shares.
2- The images relates to the brand motto. Daring and adventorous images are shared which receives retweets and comments.

Pinterest- Red Bull has around 12718 followers on Pinterest. It maintains around 38 boards with 1865 pins.  Here are the points to note:

1- Red Bull has created daring boards which serves the passion of the people following the brand. Some of them are "Cars and Motorcycles", "Action Flicks", "In the Air", "Give Wiings to your Body" etc. 

2- The shared images receives around 10 repins and 5 comments on an average.

What's your social media marketing strategy? Share in your comments below.

Also See: 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Yandex to Display Facebook Posts and Comments in Search Results

Russian search giant, Yandex has signed an agreement with Facebook that will enable it to get access to Facebook's public user data and posts. However, it will get access to public data of users from countries including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan only.



Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia with over 60% search market share and earns its revenue from text based advertising same as Google does. In order to increase its market share, Yandex has struck a deal with social media giant Facebook for displaying public user data along with user comments in its search results.



This agreement is done on a mutual partnership with Facebook willing to provide access to its public user data in return for traffic it will receive from Yandex. In return, Yandex will improve the quality of its search results with Facebook posts.

Let's see how well it goes for both Yandex and Facebook.

Also See:

Top 10 Facebook Apps
Twitter Introducing Instagram Like Photo Filters
Algorithm to Predict Twitter Trends
Twitter Cards to Tweet in More Than 2000 Ways
Facebook Launches Graph Search
Social Signals and Seo
Measure Your Social Media Influence

Monday, January 13, 2014

Top 10 Ways to Get More Traffic from Google

Traffic is the currency of the web and is directly proportional to the money you make on the web. The greater the traffic on your site, the more is the potential for you to generate leads and earn money. The best way to get lots of FREE traffic to your website is by ranking well on Google. In order to rank well on Google, you need to make your website user friendly and engaging. Forget about tricking Google, instead focus on your user needs and utilize legit ways to make your site show up on top of Google.

1-      Create Conversation Based Content Pages

Google had recently launched the Hummingbird update which made it behave more like a QA engine rather than a traditional search engine. This does not mean you cannot perform traditional search on Google but instead Google has become smarter enough to identify the real context of the user’s query before presenting the final results.

Having lots of conversational based content on your site will allow you to rank for many long term key phrases as per this recent updation by Google. Creating a blog and adding regular stuff on it will allow Google to index your site on a regular basis and increase your site’s potential to rank high based on the pattern on conversational style queries you are creating.

Make sure the pages you create sever your users well. Do not create pages just for the sole purpose of ranking. First identify the user needs and then satisfy them. Also, the domain authority and content relevancy are two important factors which Google considers before ranking a web page so do not forget to capitalize those.

2-      Utilize the QDF Factor

QDF stands for “Query Deserves Freshness” which is metric used by Google to identify those queries which suddenly display an increased pattern in Google Trends. Quickly identifying the high graph patterns for queries using Google Trends and creating pages based on the topic will help you to rank instantly for those phrases as long as the content remains fresh.

Freshness is one of the ranking signals used by Google in its core ranking algorithm. If you are creating pages on your site on a regular basis and the domain authority of your site is fairly good then you can increase the potential of ranking well in Google and get lots of traffic to your site.

3-      Have a High Domain Authority

Domain Authority is one of the most important link based metrics which helps to identify the ranking potential of your site. The higher the DA of your site, the higher would be your chances of ranking well in Google. DA is directly related to the quality of links you gather for your site. The more trusted sites links back to your site, the greater trust you will earn back.

4-      Identify Low Competition but High Traffic Keywords

One of the most vital aspects of earning lots of traffic is identification of low competition but high traffic keywords. Perform a thorough keyword analysis related to the theme of your business and customer needs. Then make your site rank well for these queries. If you are able to achieve rankings on these potentially useful keywords for your business then you can send in some good traffic to your site.

5-      Increase Your Site Speed

Site speed is an essential factor which Google considers favoring the searching habits of their user. It is for this reason that Google has recently launched Page Speed Insights tool in order to allow the webmasters look into the problems associated to their site speed and improve it. The faster your site loads, the better are its chances of ranking.

6-      Rank for Image Searches

Many webmasters ignore the image search queries that are passing traffic to the site. If your business favors the use of images then making them optimized can raise the chances of ranking well for image search queries associated with your site.

Image optimization is a critical factor and you need to optimize the image size, add alt text, add title tag and a proper caption in order to enable Google to read the contents of your image and rank it well.

7-      Rank for Video Searches

Video search results are increasing day by day and most interestingly people tend to click more on video search snippets as opposed to the non video search results. The increase in internet speed has contributed to this factor. A video search snippet increases the Clickthrough rate of the queries and helps to increase the site traffic.

8-      Count the Social Shares

SEO without social is like shooting without a bullet. Google has completely moved from its traditional ways of judging the relevancy of a site to more modern ways like judging the site popularity and people engagement while ranking any website.  A site that has enormous social shares from sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus etc as well as a lot of comments are tend to be favored by the search engine algorithms.

9-      Create More Pages

It is a well known fact that the more pages you will have on your site, the greater would be your chances of ranking higher in the search results. This goes well with the overall reputational scores a site gathers. For instance, a site having fewer pages may generate even more traffic than a site having several hundred pages. The reason being, Google considers several other factors like the trust factor of the site before ranking them, hence the first and foremost step you must take is to increase the trust count of your site, Thereafter, if you create several pages on your site then you will be having every chances of getting an awesome traffic to your site.

10-   Make Your Site Rank Number 1

Last but not the least, ranking on the first page of your Google and on the number one position will increase the chances of getting traffic to your site by more than 30%. These are great numbers and if you are able to achieve this feat then you can get a lot of traffic.

These were the top 10 ways through which you can raise the amount of traffic to your site. Do not forget to follow the Google Webmasters guidelines before making any chances on your website.

Also See:

New Google Search Quality Updates: Page Quality, Location, Proximity most important
Understanding Google's Page Layout Algorithm

Saturday, January 11, 2014

10 New Year Resolutions That SEO's Must Take in 2014

The field of SEO and internet marketing has witnessed a tremendous change in 2013. Google has come out a long way in eliminating most forms of web spam. The Black hat SEO industry has been blown away. This was good for genuine inbound marketers and white hat SEO's. There is an increased demand of knowledgeable, creative, passionate, results driving SEO's and inbound marketers in 2014. Moreover, an increased pay is awaiting the SEO industry due to the increase in the quality of work. So, what are the special skills that SEO's will need to sustain in 2014. Here are the top 10 resolutions SEO's and inbound marketers need to take in 2014. 

1-      Promote Brands, Not keywords

Google has become smart enough to understand exactly what the user is searching for? The “Hummingbird” update coupled with the Knowledge Graph has provided brains to Google for identifying exact identities which the user is searching for or talking about. 

Hummingbird and semantic search are the key players


In 2014, playing with “keywords” will simply won’t give us the desired results. Google is looking for identities which it can trust and rely upon. Brands are set to rule the SERP’s. Promoting websites as brands will play a key role in increasing the visibility of a business on Google. 

2-      Become Mobile Ready

Mobile will slowly take over the desktop search. Predictions are that the mobile market will overtake the PC market soon. Strangely enough, many of the SEO’s are still relying on the desktop data and making changes on their website accordingly. Mobile is the future and the SEO’s need to think on it seriously. Google has already started making big adjustments for catering the needs of its growing mobile audience which rely on “voice search”. Changes like Hummingbird update, App indexing, Smartphone crawl errors etc. are key indicators that Mobile SEO is set to take over the booming internet marketing field. 

Mobile is the new platform for SEO (Image credit: websearchseo.co.uk)


3-      Work on Schemas

Schema is a set of vocabulary that helps the search engines to understand the contents of a web page in a far better manner than without the presence of Schemavocabulary. Adding Schema data using RDFa or rich snippets enables Google to interpret the contents of a web page in a similar manner as a human mind will. It is because of this reason that Google has started to increase the importance of adding Schema Meta data on the web pages in order to better serve the users. 

Implementing Schema.org vocabulary lets you mark up the pages in a format well understood and preferred by the search engines. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing rely on the Schema data to read and understand the contents of the web page. Schema and rich snippets easily allows representing data in a well defined format for a variety of types like Event, Organization, Person, Place, Product, Reviews etc.

As shown in the example below, about.com uses recipe Schema snippets to display recipe related information on the Google search results. Google can easily display this search result for people looking for salad recipes with cooking time 20 minutes. This is the power of semantic web powered by Schema. 

4-      Earn Backlinks

Backlink was and will be the single most important factor for ranking in Google. Year 2014 is set to witness more creative link baiting strategies than what it has seen in 2013. The old strategies of creating backlinks will not work more. Instead, all the focus should be shifted to enhance the user experience and to gain as many natural backlinks as possible. Earning backlinks is an art and it’s not so simple. You need highly creative people who think out of the box to do this task for you. It is for this reason that SEO services cost is set to rise in 2014 as more knowledge and highly creative staff is needed to understand the working of the search engines.

The era of creating backlinks is over. Strategies for earning backlinks will stay here for longer periods of time. Some of the highly creative link baiting strategies like infographic, sponsorships, engaging content, PR sources etc will play a greater role in 2014. 

5-      Create Content that Generates Buzz

Content marketing has long become an inseparable part of any SEO strategy. “Content” is still the King. However, creating content which satisfies the demands of both the users and the search engines will be needed. Content focused around keywords will not do any good. Instead, semantically created content, keeping in mind the TF-IDF score and use of Schema vocabulary are set to perform far better in the search results as compared to normal content. User friendly content which generates a lot of genuine social shares and comments are more likely to be visible in the search results. 

6-      Become More Socially Active than Before

Social will be on a boom in 2014. Search engines will include social signals even in minute ranking sub factors. Hence, leaving out social media in your SEO strategy will be a big mistake. More enhanced and brand focused social media plans are required to grab the attention of people as well as the search engines.

Google has plans to focus on the identity relationships and social is the perfect platform to identify and compare the factors associated with relationships. High social share metrics like those of Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus will have an increased importance.

7-      Stop Predicting, Start Testing

Technically more skilled SEO’s are needed in 2014. Gone are the days when only prediction can impress the clients. With the client’s becoming technically more knowledgeable, SEO’s need to stop predicting and start testing what works the best for a brand. Efficient and advanced use of Google Analytics is needed.

Instead of going with the word of your seniors, why not track data and do exactly what is required? You can do this by following two simple experiments namely A/B Testing and Multivariate testing which allows to identifying the pattern of engagement that are leading to conversions. You can run both these experiments using Google Analytics. More information regarding these 2 types of tests are given below:

A/B Testing - In this type of testing, we create one or more variations of our original targeted page and run an experiment displaying the original page as well as the variants to a certain specified percentage of audience. This helps to identify which page (the original or the variant) is leading to more conversions. After the successful completion of the experiment, a winner is decided and we make changes on the site accordingly.

Multivariate Testing- This type of testing is similar to A/B Testing, the only difference is, multivariate testing allows to track the individual elements on a web page that are leading to conversions. For example, a  button, a piece of text, a video, an image, all these can be tracked to identify which element on the page is leading to more engagement and conversions. 

Instead of just checking the traffic and doing nothing, SEO's should start running experiments that will help them to receive even more conversions than before. 

8-      Think Semantically

SEO’s need to start thinking more semantically in 2014. The big G has already started thinking semantically and the SEO community is smart enough to predict where Google is moving in future. Semantic Web SEO should start the habit of thinking semantically in the same manner as Google might be thinking while processing the user queries. Semantics is the branch of linguistics that is concerned with meaning. It can be of any type like lexical, statistical, structural, prototype etc. The semantic web makes use of components like the Resource Description framework and the RDF Schema for revealing the meaning of the data mentioned on the web pages. Schema stands for data about data and schema vocabulary like the microdata, microformats and RDFa are all parts of the larger Schema. The Facebook Open Graph Protocol also comes under semantics helping to link the contents of a website with the social media world. 

                           
9-      Gain More Insights on Next SERP Rulers

Google SERP is continuously changing. It has changed tremendously than what it was 2 years from now. Further change is expected in 2014. SEO’s must understand how to leverage the existing elements or factors used by Google while displaying SERP. Some of the biggest SERP rulers that SEO’s need to be leverage upon is shared below:

Rich Snippets- As opposed to the normal text snippets that we normally see while searching in Google, richsnippets allows businesses to present the webpage snippet in a more informative way like adding ratings/ reviews’ cooking time, event date etc in the search snippet itself. Interestingly, brands that have started displaying “rich snippets” in the search results have witnessed an increased Clickthrough rate (CTR). SERP future is rich snippets and these can be implemented by making use of any of the 3 types of mark up formats namely Microdata, Microformats and RDFa.

An example of a rich snippet in the search results is displayed below:

 

Authorship- Google Authorship was amove by Google to move from anonymous web to named web. This was done to reduce spam on the search results. Websites need to add authorship mark up and specify an author of the entire website or individual webpage. This will help Google to identify the person behind the web page and rank that web page as per the “Author Rank” or “Agent Rank” of the author. This is one of the ranking factors that Google has already started using and will continue to test more in 2014.

Consider the example displayed below. Authorship actually helps to increase CTR’s.




Brands missing authorship must implement it as soon as they can. However, it’s worth mentioning that Authorship is one if the ranking factors and not the only factor that Google counts, so do not expect to see increase in ranking just by adding authorship markup. Also, recently, Google has decided to display only a few authorship results thereby indicating that spammy author mark ups will be ignored in 2014 and ahead.

In-Depth Articles- Google introduced thefeature of in-depth articles in 2013 where it started displaying comprehensive articles for broader meaning queries like “love”. An example of an in-depth article search result is shown below for the query “love”:

Web pages that had high quality comprehensive content in them, including high social signals and positive user comments are displayed often in this new section. SEO’s must analyze their strategy in order to display any website under this section.

QDF Factor- Ever thought of getting extra hits to your website by utilizing the QDF factor. QDF stands for “Query Deserves Freshness” and is one of the biggest factors for ranking websites with respect to fresh queries which gains trends in a single day or a week. SEO’s can make use of these short trend high traffic queries to transfer some extra traffic to their site. This factor is still underutilized by the SEO industry and the coming year can witness more experiments and changes so the marketers need to be prepared for that.

Knowledge Graph- The main brain behind the working of Hummingbird is the Knowledge Graph. It is a collection of real world identities and their relationships. Queries which involve identities of any kind are processed by Google with the help of Knowledge Graph. A deeper understanding of Knowledge Graph is essential in order to identify how identity level processing is done by Google and utilize it for the effectiveness of brands.



Local Carousel- The Google localcarousel is the replacement for traditional local listings. Carousel display local listings including customer reviews and ratings in a horizontal bar showing up to 20 results. For local queries, dominating carousels is what is required for an SEO. The factors which Google counts for displaying results under local carousel should be well understood by an SEO in order to get the maximum local exposure for the businesses.

Box Local Results- This is a new kind of local result display by Google where it shows the local details of the business as added on the Google local listings. Not all local businesses get a local box display. It is dependent on many factors like presence of local business on local listing sites, customer reviews, accurate address, accurate phone number, business image etc. Making a local box result come out effective and positive in front of the customers should be the responsibility of the SEO. So folks, gear yourself up and start taking steps.

Image Results- Google made several changes to its image search results display. SEO’s working on image search optimization need to upgrade their existing skill set in order to rank their targeted images on Google.

Video Results- Google has already started to display video in the search snippet. Factors like relevancy of video, video sitemap, video rich snippets, social signals, comments etc all will play an important factor in the rankings of videos. 

10-  Start Working on Universal Analytics

Although Universal Analytics is still an advanced concept but it will get more common in the coming years. With Universal Analytics, you can start tracking almost anything and because of this ability, businesses will find Universal Analytics a great tool to measure the behavior of their customers on all fronts. SEO’s need to track and identify the customer needs and make changes on the website accordingly. Universal Analytics needs an upgrade which is a two step process but considering the customized benefits it can offer to any business, it’s worth implementing.

Many of the SEO's need to upgrade to the Universal Analytics property in order to use the resources associated it. This new method of tracking data allows you to use the analytics by 3 different ways: 

1- Using the .js JavaScript library for tracking websites.
2- Using the Mobile SDKs v2.x and higher for tracking Android and iOS.
3- Using the Measurement Protocol for tracking digital devices.

Universal Analytics is the future, the sooner you try your hands on it, and the better it is for your career.
This is a wakeup call for all the folks associated with the internet and digital marketing industry to take these new resolutions in 2014. This will ensure a greater prospect for their career in the future years.

Also See:

How Google Identifies Spam in Information Collected From a Source?
Google Patent Named Ranking Documents to Penalize Spammers
Taxonomic Classification While Finding Context of Search Query
Google Granted Patent for Detecting Hidden Texts and Hidden Links
Domain authority and Google results
How does Google applies Semantic Search
Emanuel Update
Google Sandbox effect
Top 5 Social Media tools
List of free Seo tools
List of Social Media sites