Saturday, October 10, 2015

Google Reduces The Number of Spam Results Shown in Search Results

Google will not be displaying hacked websites in the search results for roughly 5% of search queries. This means sites that are vulnerable to hacked spam such as malware download, promotion of traffic to low quality sites, porn, and marketing of counterfeit goods or illegal pharmaceutical drugs, etc. will lose their percentage of share. 


What Should the Webmasters Do?

The webmasters should not leave their site vulnerable to hacking. If the hackers feel free to pass through the site then Google might drop the website from getting displayed in the search results and all the hard work done to get good rankings on Google should get wasted.

For more help for hacked sites, please have a look at the below video:




Further Reading: Webmasters help for hacked sites
Source: Update on how Google tackles web spam

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

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Google Updates FCF Limit to 3 Articles a Day

Google recently announced an update to the FCF (First Click Free) model for subscription sites by decreasing the limit from 5 articles per day to 3 articles per day. 

FCF is a model that works well for paid content sites who wish to receive traffic from Google but at the same time restrict the users from viewing too many pages of FREE content. Also, as this model is approved by Google so there are no chances of Cloaking which is a practice of showing different content to user and search engines. 




Back in 2009 when mobile devices were not so widely available, the FCF model of letting a user access 5 articles in a day worked well but today, in the age of mobile devices, the threshold limit aka metering was reduced to 3 articles per day. 

FAQ

1- What is FCF?

First Click Free is an approach for paid sites where the first article seen by a Google News user doesn't require a subscription. A user can access a maximum of 3 articles of the same site via different search queries. If the user clicks on any link on the paid site then he/she is prompted for paid  subscription.




2- What is Metering?

The practice of restricting the user access to 3 articles per day is known as metering.

3- What If I Don't Want FCF On My Site?

Yes, you can do so but in that case Googlebot will not be able to crawl your entire site and also a subscription label will be shown next to the publication label of all news sources. 

4- Do, The Old Guidelines Still Apply?

Yes, the old guidelines still apply. View, full guidelines here

5- Does This Apply For Google News Only?

No, this applies both for Google News and Google search.

6- Do I Need to Sign up for FCF?

No need to inform for Google Web Search but for Google News, you need to inform Google. Please see more information here


Also See:
Search Experience Optimization
Optimize for Hotel on Google Hotel Finder
Domain authority and Google results
How does Google applies Semantic Search
Use Tf-Idf Score to Increase Google Rankings

Thursday, August 27, 2015

GetResponse vs. MailChimp - What’s The Smart Communicator’s Choice?

Both GetResponse and MailChimp are amazing email service providers which manage your online email list. From scheduled emailing service to newsletter templates, everything is available with these mailing services. However, where should you put your trust when it comes to managing all your email communication? We’ve got the answer; however, before we find out find out as to what separated the good from the great, let’s have a quick look at the awesome benefits that these services deliver-

You can design and use newsletter templates containing photos, brand logos and custom graphics.

Assign automated responses to subscribers on your mailing list.

Use web forms to import and create mailing lists for your followers and subscribers.

Now, here is a comparative analysis to help you find the better of the two-

MailChimp



To start off with let us take a closer look at the main features of MailChimp.

1. Manage your subscriber profiles- This is a free mailing service which allows you to create a profile for each and every subscriber in your list; you can keep a tab on their interactions with your campaigns and newsletters.

2. Use templates for newsletters- MailChimp offers pre-made newsletter templates that are suitable for your campaign. Have fun with the drag and drop template builder, if you’d want to design a custom template.



3. OS support- MailChimp has evolved to become compatible with iOS as well as all latest Android OSx. There are one touch apps which let you control your mail list through MailChimp.

4. Free services- With MailChimp you can manage up to 12000 emails to 2000 subscribers for free after which you can take up a $25 per month plan which lets you manage from 1501 to 2000 subscribers only.

GetResponse



Here’s the long and short of the deal you get with GetResponse-

1. Pre-made templates- Include graphic designs, brand logos, campaign pics and much more to your auto-generated newsletters. GetResponse has taken the extra step to make your mails mobile phone friendly for all your subscribers, by offering responsive templates. 



2. 24x7 live Support- Responsive support is something absolutely mandatory for any mailing service. You can get support and answers to your queries during any time of the day. This is something that keeps GetResponse a few steps ahead of MailChimp.

3. An easy, friendly interface- You can trust GetResponse’s interface for operational ease with functional appeal. The UI design is actually much more user centric as compared to MailChimp’s.

4. The all-in-one template catalog - GetResponse proves to be a differentiator for design savvy web businesses, primarily because of its awesome range of forms, landing pages, and mailers. Choose from 500+ forms, 100+ landing pages, and dozens of design elements such as shake boxes, exit pop ups, and list builder apps - all designed to solve business problems for your web based enterprise.

5. Pricing and trial versions- With GetResponse you avail premium service at a minimum price. So although MailChimp is a free service (up to 2000 subscribers), GetResponse stands ahead of it because of the quality of its newsletters, scheduled email updates, UI and responsive newsletter designs. In addition to all these services you also get a free 30-day trial period beyond which you can keep enjoying their services for $25 a month for managing about 2500 subscribers, whereas a $25 plan for MailChimp allows you to manage only about 2000 subscribers. And in a competitive market, 500 subscribers can stand between you and your success.



So What’s The Verdict?

By virtue of the smarter UI, variety in the catalog of mobile-ready newsletter designs and the $25 per month plan, GetResponse distinctly edges past MailChip. Do not forget the amazing knowledge base that GetResponse has to offer for all the new email marketers out there. Plus, GetResponse is all about building intelligence into email marketing, driving a continual improvement based approach towards meeting business communication goals. GetResponse has some really interesting and informative tutorials helping you manage your own mailing list and much more. If you are looking to make your subscriber base grow, trust GetResponse’s premium plan for seamless email management. 

Also See:

Your Ideal Facebook Marketing Strategy
Types of Email Marketing
How to Get Traffic from Pinterest
Plagiarism
Twitter Marketing Strategy for Your Business
How to Seo for YouTube?
Algorithm to Predict Twitter Trends
Twitter Cards to Tweet in More Than 2000 Ways
Free Twitter Backgrounds
Twitter Tools
How to Get More Twitter Followers
Twitter Marketing Strategy
Geo Targeted Ads From Twitter


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Now Advertisers Can Display Search Ads on Google Play to Drive App Installs

Google Play reaches more than 1 billion people on Android devices in more than 190 countries. Now, advertisers will have the opportunity to reach such an array of app centric audience by advertising via search ads on Google Play. It will provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed and help developers drive more awareness of their apps.

FAQ - Search Ads on Google Play

Who Can Run These Ads?

All advertisers who are running Search app install campaigns on AdWords to advertise their apps within Google Play’s search results can run these ads.




Are Companies Already Running These Ads?

Some companies like Booking.com and Nordeus have been running these ads for testing purposes. Have a look at the below screenshot for reference:




Can I Start Running These Ads Globally?

Yes, you can start running these ads globally.

Can I use it for both Android and iphone?

No, this is available only for Android users. iPhone apps are powered by Apple who do not provide such ads functionality on its iPhone store.

What is the benefit of using such ads?

These ads are extremely beneficial for driving app installs.

Leverage the power of Google Play search ads and boost the visibility of your app.

Also See:

Screen Tracking



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mobile Searches are Growing - 4 Infographics To Keep You Updated

Brands invest a lot of time and money in studying consumer behavior. Mobile and Smartphones is the next biggest platform that the businesses need in order to keep an eye on the demands of the consumers. In many countries, including the U.S., more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers.

At the end of the day, everything depends on the intent of the user. We turn to our phones with intent and expect brands to deliver immediate answers. We can broadly classify the intent of the user into 4 categories as follows:

I-want-to-know



I-want-to-go



I-want-to-do



I-want-to-buy



These are those moments where the people are actually expecting something from their brands. If the brands are able to understand this behavior of the consumers, they will hit jackpot everytime!

Also See:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Increase Traffic to Blog, Get More Leads - No More Excuses! Find Strategies That Works!

"I want to increase traffic to my blog or website"- The very same question keeps on haunting all the business owners. It has kept me on my toes for a long while. Now, I thought to jot down all the very best strategies for increasing not only traffic but also qualified leads. Read them, share them, implement them and let me know in your comments how they affected your site traffic. 




1- Publish right content on a regular basis - 2 long posts around 2000 words is what I suggest per week. Many blogs are having great content but engagement are received for right content only. Share practical knowledge that is useful for the audience right now! (See- QAP-TED-LUV factor for creating quality content & Topic Modeling

2- Edit the older content present on your site especially blog posts. Stale content will change into fresh content if we keep on updating them. This is what Wikipedia does and see the engagement they receive. 

3- Don't forget to add email subscriber section as it is immensely beneficial for generating even more qualified traffic. (See: Email marketing No-no's

4- Use a darker font on the blog and make it easier for the user to read and grasp the entire essence of your blog posts. 

5- The CTA element on the site (the contact form) should be placed at an appropriate position. You can freeze it at the right hand column so that it remains visible throughout the scrolling. (See CRRO strategies for 2016 and beyond

6- Make sure to reduce the number of fields present in the form, the more fields, the lesser the chances of users filling it up. How about going with Phone number and drop down of your services where the potential customer can easily choose the service you are offering. So, just 2 fields are enough.

7- The size of the image used in the posts should not be too large. The only concern is that the site speed should not be compromised. You can make them smaller and add a Pinterest sharing button to them. Also keep in mind the choice of colors. (See: Images, Psychology & Conversion Rates




8- Fact based images are more shared as compared to plain images. So, try adding some facts to your images to increase their readability and shareability. 

9- Increase your online industry presence and try becoming contributors on well known sites like Forbes, SEL, SEJ, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz etc. You can build many business relationships from there.

10- Take the help of the in-page analytics section in GA in order to check which areas on your site are generating the maximum clicks. If your main CTA elements aren't getting enough clicks then change their position until they start to get the required attention.

11- Host webinars and share information in your social channels. This way you will be able to meet industry people and enhance your outreach. Relationship building will start happening and business will grow.

12- Interview local business owners and ask them to share their problems they are facing in their online visibility.They will agree and you will get a chance to consult them. This is an excellent strategy to get more business.

13- Use Facebook Promoted Posts campaigns to host industry related events (webinars) and invite business owners to participate in them. Tell them what they are doing wrong or what is the current market potential of digital media and dollars will start flowing in :)




14- Make it easier for anyone to contact you through all the webinars you will be hosting. Display contact details from every possible section.

15- Use ClicktoTweet in your blog content to increase content shareability on Twitter. It helps!

16- Take help of influencers (only genuine people having lot of followers, not everyone) and invite them to publish content on your blog. Influencers will share their written content on their social profiles and this way you will generate lot of social shares for your domain. This strategy is hard to implement as most of the well known influencers are already busy so make it easier for them to contribute content and also offer FREE goodies to them. Influencer marketing this way might generate a lot of publicity for your brand.

17- Use the same style for displaying the top posts as displayed by SEL - . This is an excellent way to reduce the bounce rate of any site.

18- The key to receive awesome social promotion and divert traffic to your site it get as many influencers share your site content as possible. The best strategy will be to make influencers subscribe to your blog content. Once that happens, you will only have to publish content and all the promotion will be received automatically. (See: Increase Brand's social value using Influencer marketing, What exactly are you missing in your content marketing strategy?

19- I would also recommend to earn backlinks from Wikipedia. It is hard but FREE. Believe it or not but backlinks from Wikipedia works like a charm in increasing the trust value of any site. I am not asking you to SPAM Wikipedia but instead I am asking you to increase your business value so that your brand gets picked up by NEWS sites and it becomes easier for you to earn backlinks from Wikipedia. 

20- There are tons of people available on Facebook groups and communities - take the help of that. 

21- Some good sources of traffic are Yahoo answers and local citations present on sites where your competitors are already present. White Spark Local Citation Finder & Local RankWatch are good tools to use.

22- Try to get blog content featured under in-depth articles section. If you are able to achieve this then tons of traffic will flow into your site. (For more help, see: In-depth article optimization

23- I would also recommend you to focus on long tail business oriented keywords for your posts. There are tremendous opportunities lying there. If you are promoting an SEO company then consider these suggestions:

seo for real estate agents
seo for small and medium businesses
seo for doctors
ppc campaign for tech support
seo for my restaurant etc.

24- Another trick to trap influencers is to mention influencers in your tweets. It works!

25- Try Linkedin Premium - Find right prospects for your brand promotion. It's a great value for money. 


26- You can translate your blog content into different languages. This will bring in lots of new visitors from new countries and from new international search queries. Initially, the traffic you receive might not convert well but after a few weeks this traffic will start giving positive output. This strategy can get you some international clients. :)

27- It would be best for you to link your similar posts to each other. This will help to decrease bounce rate, increase page views and give you more chances of conversions. Have a look at the recommended for you section provided by TechCrunch. May be something like this can give you some good results.

28- You can make use of tools like SEMRush and RankWatch that will help you to find what your main competitor's online presence has been like and suggest you keywords that will give you an edge over them. 

29- Take help of content curation tools like Scoop.it and Pinterest to curate content and suggest content to other publishers. This way we can get some additional referral traffic. (See: 50+ Content Curation Tools

30- Try getting a post featured on the front page of reddit. It is worth thousands of visitors. I know it is hard to get but the trick here is - write an awesome title, submit it on a relevant subreddit and get a dozen of votes for it. Even if the post gets featured on the top 5 posts of the subreddit, you can get a lot of traffic.

31- Start a Google Plus community and get as many followers as possible. The number of referral traffic from Google Plus will increase as the number of followers will increase.

32- Try to get more traffic from YouTube - the trick is to increase subscribers. Some tips:

Produce more videos
Categories the videos by Q&A, Interview based, animations, personalized and story based.
Use annotations in your videos to get more subscribers

34-  Produce Guides as a bait to collect leads. For example, produce a post titled "SEO For Small & Medium Businesses - Download FREE Guide" then use a form to collect email id's/phone numbers of visitors before they can download this guide. Make sure the form has a separate field for "are you a business owner?" YES/NO." section in order to filter out the non relevant leads. This single post can provide you some fresh leads on a daily basis once this post gets some visibility in Google.




35- Produce posts to target CEO's. For example a post entitled "Twitter Marketing Strategy For CEO's Looking To Improve Their Branding on Twitter" can be helpful to target CEO's. Once this post is published, send this post combined with a nice email to some CEO's. Some of them might read the post and get back to you asking for your services. You will need a email database of local CEO's and a solid email that can do the trick. Also, the post should be written in a such a way so that it persuades the CEO's to take some action immediately and not to mention that every provoking word must be accompanied with a CTA element so that you start receiving leads.

36- Consider creating flagship content for your blog. This will stand the test of time and help you gain more traffic in the coming months. Here is a great resource to understand what flagship content is all about. 

37- A survey reveals that - Facebook posts with less than 40 characters receives 80% more engagement than longer posts. Try adopting this approach and see the increase in engagement happen automatically.

38- Trendemon is a great tool to identify which sources, pages and paths on your site are most effective. This is great from traffic and conversion point of view. 

39- Inbound.org can send us some excellent traffic that converts. Try submitting content there and see the level of engagement you receive.

40- Use GWT to find blog posts that are not doing good. Scroll down the page to find posts less than 10 impressions past 30 days. They are posts that Google don’t want to send traffic. Try updating these and you can easily increase some decent amount of extra traffic to your site without a great deal of work. (See: Search Analytics Report in GWT

41- Check the mobile usability issue section in GWT and try to fix errors if any. Fixing those will help us in 2 ways - keep the site safe from any future filters that Google applies. 

42- Tie up with similar niche sites that can send you covertible referral traffic. Buy ad banners from them in as little as $100 per month and you can get an extra 5-10K visits diverted to your site. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Another Google Core Search Algorithm Update

June 16th saw a huge spike in terms of ranking changes and Google at last confirmed it that it was a core ranking algorithm change. It was not Panda, nor Penguin and not even related to any HTTPS change. This was a regular algorithm change and is one of the 100+ changes that Google makes every year to its core search algorithm.

This is what Google said to SEL:

"This is not a Panda update. As you know, we’re always making improvements to our search algorithms and the web is constantly evolving. We’re going to continue to work on improvements across the board."

Many webmasters have experienced traffic changes on their websites during the period (June 16 - June 19th) and some of them are still experiencing it.

Did you noticed any changes in your website's traffic? Please share with us in the comments below.

You can have a look at this English Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout where John Mueller sheds some light that this update was not Panda:



Also See:

Google Algorithm Change History

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Google's PLA Ads Will Now Feature a Buy Button

Google is planning to launch a buy button in it's shopping ads. This news was given by Google's chief business officer Omid Kordestani.

The new Buy Button has been planned to help the users buy more things online. Some 90 percent of commerce is still offline. Also, users find it difficult to process order online because either the steps involved are too many or the design lacks proper usage of CTA elements. To reduce this friction and to enable users to purchase more, Google will directly display the buy button. This button will allow the users to quickly purchase the items and help the advertisers effectively analyze their ROI from Google shopping ads. 



With these buy buttons, Google is giving a direct threat to its major shopping rivals, Amazon and Ebay. Under this system, shoppers who click on the ads on their phones will be directed to a Google webpage to make a purchase of that single item. This will provide a seamless and uniform shopping experience for the shoppers.

The point to be noted here is that “Buy” buttons will get displayed on mobile ads, which will turn Google into a cross between a search engine and Amazon.

As per Jerry Dischler, the VP of Google AdWords, the Buy Now button will help to improve conversions on mobile and will enable the advertisers to earn more money across mobile devices. 

Also See:

Friday, May 22, 2015

"QUAP-TED-LUV" Factor For Creating Quality Content

Talk about the Panda update or the recent Phantom update, all are focussed towards identifiying quality content. The "QUAP-TED-LUV" factor is the only guideline you will ever need to create quality content for your website. Whether it's Google or Bing, quality content is one of the most important factor for ranking any website on Google. Let's explore this factor and see how you can improve your rankings based on content quality.


The "QUAP" Factor


Quality - The content should be unique and high quality. It should be created to provide a good user experience. It should serve the intent of the user. It should not be mass produced and must not be based solely on keywords geared towards improving the rankings of the website. It should not have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations.

Useful - Think about how you can make your content more useful for your own custom audience. If you are a restaurant owner then including the operating hours can be beneficial. Similarly, if you are an eCommerce site owner then including genuine reviews of your audience can be useful.

Authoritative - The content should have original research, citations, links, reviews and testimonials. Like for a health related query, will the users trust the information present on the site? Will the users recognize your site's content author as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?

Purposeful - Web pages that serve a purpose, providng information, answering queries, entertaining audiences, save a business some money or make a spending recommendation, represent high-quality content. The users should not complain after seeing pages from your site.


The "TED" Factor



Trustworthy - Do your users trust the content on your site? Would they be comfortable giving their credit card information to your site? Do the users trust the advice shared on your site? Do they share the content with others on their social profiles? 

Engaging - Make the user experience great by including images, videos, infographics etc. Make the content free from all forms of grammatical errors. An excessive amount of ads can also distract your audiences. Post regular updates, invite comments and promote social visibility by using social media widgets.

Detailed - The content should be well-edited and detailed. Does the page provide ample information on the given topic? Is it at the appropriate level of depth for the intended audience? Search engines prefer pages with relevant supporting multimedia content.


The "LUV" Factor



Less Distractive - Have you filled your pages with ads? Are you missing proper navigation on the pages? Are the CTA buttons unnecessarily making the users click on them unknowingly? Is your site serving as a gateway to affiliate products? Are they unnecessary popup's on the site? All the elements that tend to distract the audience should be avoided. Make the users love your site not hate it.

User Driven Topic - Are you creating many pages on the site focussed around the same topics but differed by keywords? Are the contents create solely for ranking well on the search engines? You should stop it. Instead, focus more on creating content based on user persona. Find out what the user wants and write your content accordingly.

Valuable - Make your content more noticeable. If you write about how to train a German Shepherd, make sure your article provides more value or a different perspective than the numerous articles on the web on dog training.

Great! Another lesson is over and you have moved a step ahead in making better content for your site and most importantly making web a better place. 

Also See:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Google Phantom 2 Update Strikes - WARNING - Major Issues That Might Penalize Your Website

Phantom 2 update is a sitewide update that affects the entire domain as compared to only affecting the low quality pages. This means, sites getting affected by this update might loose a bulk of traffic overnight causing decline in conversions and profits.

Why It's Called the Phantom Update?

This update is called the Phantom update because it launches itself silently and punishes the websites heavily making them lose bulk of traffic & conversions overnight.

When Did it Happened?

The Phantom update happened on April, 29th, 2015 but no official announcement has been given by Google.

Major Players Who Lost Rankings in the Phantom 2.0 Update

About.com

Lost traffic by around 2,133,386.


Hubpages.com

Lost traffic by around 54,020.

Answers.com

Lost traffic by around 67,907


Ehow.com

Lost traffic by around 38,748


Major Players Who Gained Rankings in the Phantom 2.0 Update

Wikia.com

Gained traffic by around 2,952,174


Quora.com

Gained traffic by around 246,777



Top Issues That Might Penalize Your Site 

1- Phantom affects sites having low quality, poorly written content, rewritten content that adds little to no value and how to style content which presents the same information with a little twist and misses uniqueness. 

2- Sites that have been affected by the Panda update in the past have greater chances of getting affected by the Phantom update.

3- Sites having lot of ads on the page that affects the user engagement and behavior. Stuffs like large list of links on the page or infinite scroll adding little to no value and pointing the user to a new site or a page for getting further information are at a greater risk.

4- Poor user engagement is a key component of the Phantom algorithm. You can assume Phantom to be stricter than Panda. 

5- Pop-up's that distract the audience won't do any good either. If the user didn't likes it, Google didn't likes it, it's that simple!

6- Thin quality content that have a lot of supplementary content and ads or affiliate links are a thing to worry.

7- Lots of stacked videos also hurts the user negatively and impacts the rankings of the site.

8- Lots of sponsored links and site wide banners forcing users to click on them might hurt the site.

9- If the site has thin content and it links out to other inner page links on the site or if it has a lot of 
boilerplate content.

10- Site design is also an issue. Poor quality and less user friendly design which impacts easier user navigation.

11- This update seems to affect even the subdomains. So, mind the quality of each of your subdomains.

12- Lots of low quality user generated content on the site.

13- Having spam comments on the page. Many webmasters seems to ignore the comments on their site and they grow old and make the overall content look bad or ineffective. It is important to keep an eye of user generated spam comments or old comments and edit the affected pages accordingly so that it does not affects the user experience negatively.

14- Deceiving the users by displaying ad and content in the same color and font in order to make them click on the ads. 

15- Having lots of duplicate pages like the search resuts pages without the proper use of canonical link element.

16- Having low quality unnatural links pointing to the pages or site.

17- High frequency link (generating many links within a short span of time) as opposed to stable link profiles. 

Make sure to have quality content on your site. Get rid of thin content at the earliest because even if Panda misses, Phantom will surely strike. Ensure optimum user experience on your site and dont display ads that distract the users. Was you site affected by the Phantom update? Please share with us in the comments below.

Also See: