Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Google Updates Webmasters Guidelines for Sneaky Redirects

Google has updated the webmasters guidelines for sneaky redirects (cloaking) and now redirects intended for mobile audience are also included. Cloaking is a practice where search engines cache a different copy of the web page than what is shown to the visitors. With the increase in the number of users using mobile devices, some webmasters have started redirecting mobile users to a different page resulting in cloaking. The desktop version of the site remains the same. The previous Google webmasters guidelines didn't included such stuff and examples for cloaking. This is the reason, Google updated their sneaky redirects guidelines today.


Image credit: Feedthebot.com



The example section for sneaky redirects states:

"Some examples of sneaky redirects include:

Search engines shown one type of content while users are redirected to something significantly different.

Desktop users receive a normal page, while mobile users are redirected to a completely different spam domain."


Also See:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Google's Self Driving Car- Very Close to Become a Part of The Busiest City Streets

Larry Page shared on his Google Plus profile that he is really excited about the progress that is made on the area of self driving cars. The project that began in 2009 is close to become a reality. The car has been running on the streets of Mountain View for several years now. Some rigorous testing is being done under the leadership of Chris Urmson, head of Google's self-driving car project.


The project has successfully completed two major assignments in the past 18 months. The first one is to drive 100,000 miles on public roads and the second one to complete ten 100-mile courses on challenging routes throughout California. The self driving car is capable of doing many things like recognizing hurdles, maintaining a constant speed etc. but unless its confident about anything, it always goes on the conservative side.



The Google car is programmed to be defensive in order to avoid accidents. It has its own preset speed limits and avoids driving in a blind spot. It can shift in its lane, providing ways to larger trucks. This process is called "nudging".It won't cross railroad tracks until the car ahead is clears them and it's extremely cautious crossing double yellows. 

The car is still in testing mode but we can expect a major release soon. 



Monday, April 28, 2014

Pinterest Introduces Guided Search to Compete with Google on Intent Based Search

Pinterest is constantly looking to tap new opportunities. Hui Xu, Head of Discovery Team at Pinterest recently shared on the blog a new set of guided discovery in order to help users choose between several available options. search engines are better at finding an answer when the answer is one but when it become difficult when there are several choices available to a question. In such a scenario, Pinterest guided search can come to the rescue.

Have a look at the video in order to learn more about the guided search. This is really impressive.



Let's see how well Pinterest guided search goes with the audience but competing with Google is not that easy and the developer need to be creative enough to keep the user engaged. Nevertheless, it's a nice new enhancement for Pinterest. So, Happy Pinning!

Also See:

Pinterest Marketing Guide
Pinterest Marketing Tools
Pinployees Makeathon
Secret Boards
Social Media Tracking Tools
How to Measure Social Media ROI
How to Measure Your Social Media Influence
How to Start a Social Media Campaign
Now Get Business Accounts on Pinterest
How to Get More Traffic From Pinterest
Board Name Examples on Pinterest

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Producing Superior Content is One of the Best Ways to Rank Higher on Google - Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts in a recent webmaster video has pointed out that producing higher quality and superior content is one of the best ways to rank higher on Google if you think of the long term. Well, that's an easy advice but often it turns out to be tough for the small business owners.

Small Businesses Need to Become a Brand in Order to Succeed - Facebook, even Google Did the Same!

Interestingly, he never said, bigger brands do not have an advantage to rank high because of higher traffic and popularity they already have. This means brands have an advantage of ranking higher. This is true because they deserve to be at that place and Google can do nothing about that. Following the user and creating a brand will help you in the longer run. Don't follow dodgy tactics and don't think of the short term gains. It is difficult to become a brand and that is the reason it pays so well!

Have a look at the video:



Convinced?

Have a look at the following tutorials for understanding the importance of content and how to create quality and user friendly content.

Importance of Content for SEO
How to Make Your Website More User Friendly
Step by Step Seo Copywriting Guide
Seo Tutorial
5 Tools to Make Your Site Content Hummingbird Friendly
Seo Guide for Schema Vocabulary
Rich Snippets in Google

Also, read the following posts that explains about the importance of brand.

Why Brand Matters in SEO?
Coca Cola, Disney and Red Bull Case Study 
Increase User Engagement by Using Data Hub Activity Report in GA
How to Make People Tweet About Your Brand
Reputation and Branding for SEO
5 Ways to Boost SEO by Leveraging Google Brandvantage
Ways to Increase TrustRank

In order to revamp your current SEO strategy, you need to do consider re-evaluating your USP and focus all your attention on the user. This is the recipe for long term SEO success.

Also See:

Secrets to Rank Higher on Google
New Google Ranking Factors
Positive Comments in Content- A Ranking Factor?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Join the Official Google Plus Page for Webmasters

Google has recently launched its official webmasters page on Google Plus. This was announced on the webmasters blog. I recommend you to join this page in order to stay updated with the recent news and announcement related to Google search and to find tips on making your site search engine friendly. More than 17 thousand people have already joined this page in such a short period of time. Don't lag behind, if your job is related to internet marketing then do follow Google.

Here is the link to the page.

https://plus.google.com/+GoogleWebmasters



Also See:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Increasing Relevance of Co-Citations and Co-Occurrence

The SEO industry constantly tries to predict the way Google works. Apart from Black Hat SEO's who try to find loopholes into the actual algorithm system, genuine SEO's try and understand the reason behind why a specific website ranks higher than another one and instead of trying to manipulate the search results, they follow the Google's guidelines and plan their strategies in order to help the user.

Two of the biggest ranking factors that have been debated from a long time without any actual proof are Co-Occurence and Co-Citations. Backlinks as we all know are dominated by the presence of relevant anchor text which is open to spam. On the other hand, metrics like Co-Citations and Co-Occurrence are harder to manipulate. But, will they return accurate search results if implemented properly is still unkown.

This is the reason, Google still relies heavily on anchor text and backlinks. But, certainly these metrics are set to play a greater role in future and we cannot say either that they are completely ignored by Google.

Let us now understand, the meaning of these 2 terms.

Co-Citation Meaning with Example

Co-Citation- In short, these are your neighbourhood links.

You must have seen those references while reading any Wikipedia article on the web. These are nothing but Co-Citations, relationship between 2 documents.

Have a look at the example below:


In this example, the 11 resources cited by Wikipedia are all related to the topic "Co-Citation". Hence, this metric decides your neighbourhood links or your company. Now, its upto you to decide whether you wish to be cited in a relevant company or a spammy company.

Some webmasters tend to buy links from irrelevant sites that cites different sources together which bear no similarity to each other.

Considering a site linking to "buy inkjet printer" along with a link to "play online casino". These links cited by the source do not share a common similarity and thus play a devastating role in making Google believe that your site is spammy. Hence, the site providing the link and the site getting the link, all need to be careful in order to get a high relationship score.

Co-Occurrence Meaning with Example

Co-Occurrence- In short, these are brand or product name mentions in relation to a keyword.

Suppose, my name is often associated with my blog's name seosandwitch.com. This means that Joydeep Bhattacharya (my name) has a high relationship score with the keyword "seosandwitch". This is what co-occurrence does.

Google Semantic Search Algorithm and The Role of Co-Citations and Co-Occurrence

The hummingbird algorithm started a fresh new beginning for Google which started to return answers instead of web references. This algorithm was based on searcher's intent and not keywords. Semantic search analysis involved understanding the intent of the user before presenting the search results. The metrics Co-Citations and Co-Occurrence play an exciting role here. Google can easily determine the relationship between Barack Obama and America using Co-Occurrence metric. This is what semantic analysis does.

Please note that there is still no proof that Google is using these factors in its main algorithm but they must certainly be given a second thought.

Also See:

Deeper Understanding of Knowledge Graph
How Does Google Applies Semantic Search?
Latent Semantic Indexing
Facebook Graph Search Optimization
Universal Analytics
Learn Seo Step by Step
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
Why Brand Matters in Seo
How to Clean Your Link Profile?

Monday, April 21, 2014

6 Tricks You Never Thought Was Possible With Google Plus

Here are some awesome tricks that you can do with Google Plus.

1- Create Ripples for Your Post

Ripples do not happen for every post but instead they happen for posts that attain a decent level of publicity through reshares. Suppose if your post gets shared and then reshared by several people then that post will create what is known as Ripples. A post that generates Ripples is of a high quality and generally receives much visibility.




2- Animated Gif's As Your Profile Pic

Love animation? You can use a moving image as your profile pic to grab more eyeballs.



3- Search Pictures Using the Advanced Search Feature

Yes, you can easily search pictures shared on your Google Plus profiles by using the advanced search feature.



4- Send a Private Post to Anyone

You can share your post privately to any one just by entering the email address of that person even if the person is not a member of Google Plus. By default all the shares are done public but you may choose your own private sharing options as per your needs. Make sure to diable reshare of the post.



5-Take Backup of Your Pictures with 5 GB FREE Space

Google Plus offers a 5 GB FREE space to keep all your pictures on Google Plus (a threat to Flickr and Pinterest). You can upload your favorite pictures using any mobile devices. It's really easy dude.

6- Use a Vanity URL for Your Own profile

Google Plus allows you to create a vanity URL for your own profile. Instead of displaying unmeaningful text and numbers, you may allow Googlle Plus to display your name as your profile URL.




Also See:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Biggest SEO Myths Debunked by Matt Cutts

There are several SEO myths that are a talked about topic among the seo industry. Some of the biggest seo industry myths are highlighted in this exciting webmasters video with Google web spam team head, Matt Cutts.

Myth 1: Buying Ads Can Increase Your Organic Rankings or The Opposite is True?

Explanation: Both are false. Buying ads or not buying them do not play any role in increasing the organic rankings of any website. Google always wants to present the best search results to the users so that they keep coming back. All the changes that Google makes towards its algorithm or the SERP presentation is related to this mental model only.

Myth 2: Building Backlinks (by way of articles, guest blogging, link wheels etc.) Simply By Believing a Group of People is a Bad Idea

Explanation: Building backlinks by way of article syndication, guest blogging or link wheels is not a good idea for the longer run. Many people use automated link building softwares which are not that efficient and must not be considered as a white hat seo method. Many people say they made a lot of money using these methods but the fact is if somebody makes money using any particular method then they won't share the idea with everyone.




Also See:

5 Ways to Boost SEO by Leveraging Google Brandvantage
ASO Guide With Tools
SEO Secrets
51 Secrets of Google
New Google Ranking Factors
Using  Google Plus Ones for Seo
3 Seo Tactics that Can Work Instantly!
50+ Seo Tips
Rich Snippets in Google
How to Add Ratings and Review Stars on Google Search Results

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Challenges Facing the World of Big Data

It seems like everyone is talking about big data these days. With businesses of all sizes starting to turn to the world of big data for information and guidance, even utilizing it to pick out future trends in their business, the onus is on businesses of all sizes to start getting ready for big data, or risk losing out on a competitive advantage.

So just what is so important about big data? What challenges do businesses face in implementing it? And how can they face those challenges to not only make themselves ready for big data, but make the most of it too?

Image Credit: Forbes

Big Data Has Big Benefits

The first question most businesses want answered is simply, what is big data? There's an adage that anything you can't handle using an Excel spreadsheet counts as big data, and there is certainly some truth to that.
Big data is data in huge quantities, gleaned from all kinds of sources, including:

Website metrics;
·     Social media;
·     Data from CRM systems;
·     Emails;
·     Payment history.
And much more….

There are many sources of big data and at first glance it can seem like a lot of noise that's not really worth the hassle.

So what's the big deal about big data?

The big deal is that big data can be used to give any company a competitive edge. By trawling the information and mining what is useful, a business can gain insights into the likes, behavior and characteristics of its customers.

This can then be used to do more of what works and fix what doesn't, giving businesses a chance to streamline their services. 

Take for example a company who wants to figure out which of their Facebook posts are performing best. Using big data - in this case information gathered from their Facebook account - they could analyze their content to get useful answers.

For example:
  • ·         Which kind of posts perform best: Offers? Pictures? Humor? Useful Tips?
  • ·         Which posts were more likely to lead to a sale or further dealings with the customer?
  • ·         Is there a particular time or day when posts perform best?
  • ·         Who is clicking on the posts? What can the business learn about their customers?


When it comes down to it, big data contains within it a wealth of useful information that can not only look deeper at customer behavior and business performance, but show up possible future trends too.
The difficulty for many businesses is how to overcome the challenges and implement big data.

Big Data Challenge #1: Skills

The first challenge facing companies who want to use big data is a lack of skills among their current team.
Big data involves a big learning curve - from learning the technology needed to process it to analyzing it and sorting the wheat from the chaff.

For businesses that need to start combatingbig data skills concerns, training is key.Businesses may well find they can draw the skills they need from their existing team without the need to employ a data specialist. Whether in-house or through an external provider, good training can help the whole team make sense of big data, and their place in their employer's big data plan.

Big Data Challenge #2: Planning

Talking of planning, figuring out what to do and how to do it is one of the biggest big data challenges facing businesses today.With so much data available it can be all too easy to rush in and start gathering data without much of an idea what it's all for. Now that really is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

To combat the tendency to gather it all and then find an unwieldy and disparate set of figures facing them at the end, businesses need a good plan.This needs to clearly answer the question: What data are we collecting and why? The data needed to increase sales to a specific segment will differ from the data needed to predict interest in an upcoming product, for example. Knowing the destination makes it easier to draw up a plan and avoid unnecessary diversions.

Big Data Challenge #3: Collection

If big data is fairly new in a business, getting it collected can be a hurdle. That's why planning matters - businesses need to lay out clearly what is to be collected, and who will collect it how, from where, and when. Getting good quality data should come as standard at this stage - low quality data now can lead to low quality results down the road.Along with collection comes the question of storage.The options for collection and storage vary and setting aside time to research options and figure out which are the best fit for the businesses current big data needs and future big data plans is key to success.

Big Data Challenge #4: Analysis

All the big data in the world won't help a business to grow or be worth the time spent on it if the analysis isn't smart, clear and very usable.As well as needing the technology to analyze it (more on that in a moment), skills also come back into play here.Whether a business hires a data expert or draws from their existing talent pool, the capability to analyze the data and get clear, true results are vital.

Big Data Challenge #5: Technology

One of the biggest worries for businesses adopting big data is the learning curve associated with the technology.One of the most common choices is Apache Hadoop, an open source software designed to handle large data sets. There are other options - IBM's InfoSphere is designed for real-time processing, and Twitter has even gotten into big data with its Storm application.

Investing in big data can have a big payoff, but for those not able to take that step yet, it's perfectly acceptable to start smaller with existing technology so long as there is a real and workable plan to go bigger.
As with any new technology, the key really is training and allowing enough time to learn new skills, along with clear motivation about why this matter, to the company as a whole and the trainees personally.

Getting ready for big data can seem like a daunting task, but it's one that businesses must nevertheless face if they want to stay competitive in their field. The keys to big data success are planning, a clear aim, and enough time for training. The results are well worth it. 

Also See:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Google Updates Analytics- Replaces Visits with Sessions and Adds Graphs

Google Analytics has updated for the better and today I noticed a few changes being made on the analytics interface. Visits have been replaced by sessions (which technically means the same thing) and unique visitor metric has been replaced with users (which also means the same). Here is a screenshot that displays the new metrics namely sessions and users.

What are Sessions and Visits?

Sessions and visits are synonymous. When any visitor visits the site, a session gets created and this session remains active for 30 minutes or less if the site is closed by the visitor. Hence, visitors create sessions and 1 visit is equal to 1 session minimum.

What are Unique Visitors and Users?

It may happen that a single user can create multiple sessions over a period of time like for the past 30 months. In that case, the user metric displays the number of unique visitors who have created unique sessions.

Hence, I hope the confusion is clear. Google has gone a little technical from being layman.




Graphs Under the Acquisition Overview

Google has also added some useful graphs under the Acquisition overview. These are Top Channels, Sessions and Conversions. 




Also See:

How Does Google Calculates Bounce Rate and Exit Rate
How to Create Goals in GA?
Google Analytics Interview Questions and Answers
Regular Expressions on Google Analytics
List of Google Search Operators
Multi Channel Funnels in GA
100 FREE Tutorials for Learning Analytics

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

5 Ways To Boost SEO by Leveraging Google Brandvantage

Are you worrying the next Panda or Penguin update? Is the fear of losing traffic and revenue from your website not letting you sleep? Here are top 5 ways that will force Google to take your Website seriously.

1- Forget "Website" and Think of "Brand"

I have been saying this too often and now the time is ripe enough to start taking your website as a brand. The product or service you sell should not be anonymous (lesser known brands are same as anonymous because nobody has ever heard about them), instead it must be related to a well known brand. If you are able to do this then Google will start taking your website seriously. I know this is not easy but ultimately you will have to adopt to this strategy. 

Image Credit: Audiencebloom.com


Read the posts given below to learn how to start taking advantage of Google's brandvantage:



2- Invest in Earning Trusted Seed Links - Yes, Investment Would be High

Yes, I wrote that in the title itself that investment would be high but hold on that investment is not for buying links but instead spending in offline promotion to earn trusted seed links. Ever thought of providing a crispy story to trusted and authority sites, think of what your brand can do, enable your mind to deep dive in order to fetch ideas for publicizing your brand and you will hit the jackpot! Trusted seed links = Google love! (as of now)



Have a read at the below posts to learn more as to how you can earn high trusted links:



3- Grab User Attention- Serve Them and Not Google

At the end of the day, who are you waiting for in order to get a successful conversion? Google or the user? You got that correct! Serve the users and get conversions. Designing a site primarily for the search engines will not help in conversions. Every decision whether designing a website or adding content should be focussed towards the user and not the search engine. Think for the humans and Google will reward you.

Image Credit: Tryerr.com

Some brain feeders:


4- Remain in NEWS, Be Social

What does a child does in order to grab the attention of parents?? Hmm...he cries!! If an infant understands what is the right strategy to get user attention then why can't you? Always try to remain in the NEWS, let people recognize your brand instantly and gather as much social love as you can.

Image Credit: Q4websystems.com


The below tutorials will help you to learn more:



5- LOVE the User- Yes, Do Everything to Impress Them

Grab the attention of the user and solidify the belief that your brand is authentic and genuine. Focus your marketing efforts in a manner that it makes the user return to you again and again. Respect and love the user so that your brand benefits from "word of mouth". 

These are some ways (I know they don't talk about SEO but rather marketing) to fuel your conversions and let Google to take your website (BRAND) seriously.

Also See:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Top 25 SEO Tools and Extensions for Chrome

I simply love Google Chrome extensions because it eases up my tasks related to SEO. This post lists some of the best SEO tools and extensions for Chrome.

1- Mozbar


Lets you check Domain Authority and Page Authority and highlight links and keywords. It helps in a quick site audit with a detailed page level analysis.

2- Majestic SEO Backlink Analyzer



Provides a summary of the top backlinks along with their anchor text and information related to TrustFlow and CitationFlow.

3- SEOquake




Keep a track of essential SEO parameters like Alexa Rank, Google Index status, Page Rank, Semrush rank, Nofollow links etc.

4- Woorank SEO and Website Analysis



Provides a detailed SEO report consisting of metrics like traffic estimations including adwords traffic, on page metrics, link metrics, mobile seo metrics etc.

5- SEO Global for Google Search


Allows you to see Google search results for different countries. An amazing plugin and I use it to distinguish between the search result pattern in different countries.

6- SERP Preview Tool



It helps to visualize how your website in the search results. You can add meta tags and see how your site will appear in the search results.

7- In-Page Seo Analysis


It lets you analyze the essential on page elements of any webpage. The main metrics include on page, social, link and security analysis.

8- Website On Page Analyzer



The key features of this tool includes URL level analysis, on page analysis, page rank, alexa rank, social media status, GEO information and WHOIS information.

9- Raven Toolbar



A great tool that makes seo analysis, link analysis and social sharing easy.

10- Social Tracker


Useful tool to track any website's social presence. It tracks Facebook likes, Tweets and Google Plus Ones.

11- PR Checker


A simple tool to check the Page Rank of any web page.

12- HTTP Header and Redirect Checker


This extension is useful for checking proper redirects and HTTP paths.

13- Whois History Checker


Lets you check the WHOIS data for any website with just a click. Metrics include domain name, IP address, Who is data, nameservers etc.

14- Data Miner HTML to Excel Scraper


This plugin can surely ease up your tasks because it allows you to scrape data from web pages into excel sheets. Sound easy right?

15- Facebook Meta Inspector


This is one of the newest tools which allows you to check the Facebook meta tags contained on particular web pages.

16- Link Revealer


This tools allows you to reveal URL's on webpages without actually visiting them. It shows the URL you are going to click.

17- Site Trail


An awesome extension for finding information about websites site rank, value, location of the server, basis seo stats etc.


18- Page Speed Insights


A shortcut to the main tool. Really useful to get detailed suggestions for improving the speed of the page.

19- User Agent Switcher


A mischief tool that allows you to fake other browser or tools by tricking the Chrome's default user agent.

20- Ghostery


This tool allows you to protect your privacy by letting you to see who is tracking your web browser.

21- Wappalyzer


This tool reveals the technologies used on websites. However, there are a selected list of applications that this extension may reveal.

22- Screen Capture


It allows you to capture the visible content of any web page.


23- Web Quantified


A complete tool to analyze the basic seo metrics of any website.

24- Link Clump


This extension lets you open, copy and bookmark multiple links at the same time.

25- Goog.gl Url Shortener


It allows you to shorten the current website URL. Forget about visiting the website goog.gl, instead install this extension and easily shorten the necessary URL's.

Hope this list helps you in your seo efforts. Please share your favorite Chrome extensions in the comments below.

Also See:

Mobile Seo Tools
Which SEO Tools Do You Prefer?
5 Tools To Make Your Site Hummingbird Friendly
4 Tools You Can Use For Link Earning
Top List of Free SEO Tools
Social Media Tracking Tools
Top 5 Social Media Tools
Site Analysis Tools