Friday, February 28, 2014

Report Google if You See Scraped Content Ranking Higher than Yours

Google has a report form to help webmasters report scraped content to. This was launched long back , see here: Google webspam head, Matt Cutts recently tweeted about this report. This report is known as "Scraper Report" which you can file to Google by accessing this URL:

You need to specify the URL to the original content present on your site, the URL of the scraped content and the search result URL that is displaying the scraped site. You also need to confirm that your site has not received any manual penalties by Google.

FAQ's related to Scraper report

1- When should I file the scraper report?

If you see any site ranking higher in the Google search results that has copied content from your site then you should immediately file this report.

2- I see my site ranked below the scraped site..should I file a report immediately?

Yes, you must do that instantly.

3- Will filing scraped content guarantee my original site will rise above in rankings?

No, it does not guarantee anything. It will only help Google optimize their search algorithm so that in future less scraped sites rank high in search results. 

4- My site is manually penalized, should I file the report?

No, if your site is manually penalized, this means your site is not in good faith with Google and it violates the Google's Webmasters guidelines. Hence, first come in good terms with Google before you must file this report.

Also See:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How Does Google Calculates Bounce Rate and Exit Rate?

Bounce rate and Exit rate calculation in Google Analytics is really confusing. Let me solve this confusion today by providing a simple example as to how Google calculates exit rate and bounce rate for any site.

Here is a simple definition of the two:

Bounce Rate: Percentage of visits that leave from the landing page itself.
Exit Rate: Percentage of exits that happen on a particular page.

Exit Rate Calculation

As for example, we are having 4 pages on our site namely A, B, C and D. The following sessions happen on the website: 

A-B-C (Visitor enters Page A, browses and move to Page B then exits from Page C)
B-A-C (Visitor enters Page B, browses and move to Page A then exits from Page C)
B-A (Visitor enters Page B, browses then exits from Page A)
D-A-B (Visitor enters Page D, browses and move to Page A then exits from Page B)

To calculate the exit rate, we need to identify the number of times any page participates in the sessions.

As per the above example, here are the numbers of page specific sessions:


A- 4 (Page A participates in 4 sessions) 

B- 4 (Page B participates in 4 sessions)

C-2 (Page C participates in 2 sessions)

D- 1 (Page D participates in 1 session)

Now, we will identify the number of times any user exits from a certain page. Here:

A- 1 (user exits in the 3rd session)
B- 1 (user exits in the 4th session)
C- 2 (user exits in both 1st and 2nd session)
D- 0 (user does not exits from this page on any sessions)

Exit rate will get calculated as per the following formula: 

(Number of Exits/Number of Participated Sessions)*100

A- 1/4*100= 25% 
B- 1/4*100= 25%
C- 2/2*100= 100%
D- 0/1*100= 0%

Bounce Rate Calculation

To calculate the bounce rate, we need to first identify number of times a page becomes the landing page.


Landing Pages

A- 1 (Page A is the landing page for 1 session)
B- 2 (Page B is the landing page for 2 sessions)
C- 0 (Page A is the landing page for 0 session)
D- 1 (Page A is the landing page for 1 session)

Bounce Rate will get calculated as per the following formula: 

(Number of Exits/Number of Landing Page Visits)*100

A- 1/1*100= 100%
B- 1/2*100= 50%
C- 2/0*100=0%
D- 0/1*100= 0%

Where To See Bounce Rate and Exit Rate?

Bounce Rate in GA

Move to "Behavior" -> "Site Content" -> "All Pages", you will see both the bounce rate and the exit rate.

To view, how Google calculated Exit Rate, move to "Behavior" -> "Site Content" -> "Exit Pages", Divide Exit by Pageviews and you get the Exit Rate displayed in the dashboard.

Here is the formula used: 

Exit Rate= Exits/PageViews*100

There is no proper way to verify bounce rate calculation directly in analytics.

Also See:

How to Create Goals in GA?
Regular Expressions on Google Analytics
List of Google Search Operators
Multi Channel Funnels in GA
Custom Variables in Google Analytics
How to Create a New Dashboard in Google Analytics?
Understanding Goal Flow in Google Analytics
Difference Between Clicks and Visits
Understanding Goal Flow in Google Analytics

Vote for American Idol 2014 Using Google - New Pilot Voting Features Launched

 Ready to vote for your favorite American Idol contestant? Well, you can do so by voting for your favorite contestants directly from Google. This is for the first time Google has launched such a voting service. Google announecd this feature on their blog

How to Vote?

Just visit from or use the search app available on Android and iOS and search for American Idol or Idol. You will see a voting window with pictures and information of all the finalists. Select your favorites and submit your picks! You can vote to times for each contestant maximum. 

Google has used this pilot voting feature for the very first time and considering the reach of the search giant, this feature is set to receive a great response from the people. Very soon a similar style voting would be seen on other countries as well. 

Also See:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to Regularly Display Your Ads on the Top Positions in Google Adwords?

Brands are always looking to increase their conversions and Adwords is a great platform to publicize your business. In order to receive more clicks on your ads and to increase your Clickthrough rate (CTR), it is important that your ad gets displayed in the top position in the first page of Google. Here are some metrics that will help you easily understand the logic that works behind for Google and lets it decide which ad to display in the top positions.

Ad Rank

Ad Rank determines the order in which the search results appear in Google. It is a combination of factors used in an algorithm which Google uses to fetch the most relevant ad from among thousands of ads competing for the ad space. Ad rank is directly related to improving the effectiveness of your adwords campaign.

The image below displays the top factors affecting the ad rank. These are maximum cost per click, the ad quality score, the ad formats and the ad extensions. All these factors along with several other factors affect the ad rank of your individual ads present in the ad campaigns. 

Image credit:

Ad Rank actually depends on two important metrics namely the bid and the quality score. The bid is the amount that you are actually willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad and the quality score is an estimate of the relevance and usefulness of your ad when someone clicks on it. Quality score depends on the landing page and presence of keywords in the title or other important areas of your ad. These two metrics are explained in detail in the coming sections.                                   

Ad Ranks are Different for Above Search Results and Beside Search Results

Ad ranks are high for getting your ad displayed above the organic search results and a little low for displaying your ads besides the organic search results. Ads that are displayed above the search results receive higher clicks and greater conversions. To receive above the search result placement for your ad you need to focus upon having the highest ad relevancy, excellent Clickthrough rate and performance over time along with close top page bid estimates. Now, let’s discuss the ad quality score and ad bidding.

Ad Quality Score

Metrics that identify the relevancy of your ad copy with respect to the search query entered by the user, the quality of the landing page along with other factors is known as the Ad quality score. This score is on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. Google always wants to display the exact search results which fulfill the customers query and ad score just does that. Ads that answers or provides the user with exactly what he/she is looking for receive a high ad score. Ads having a high quality score continuously rank higher on the search results.

An Example

Consider the example when any user is looking for “red roses”. The user would simply type “red roses” in the search box in order to find sites selling red roses. If your ad copy contains the words “red roses” in the ad title, there are chances that your ad will meet the exact query which the user is looking for provided the other metrics like ad description and site content favors the user’s query as well. If this type of situation happens, your ad quality score will increase, thereby increasing the ad positioning along with the CTR ultimately boosting the revenue.

The figure below identifies the main factors affecting the quality score of your ad. The most important ones are the Clickthrough rate, the CPC bid, the ad relevancy, the keyword relevancy, the landing page optimization, the historical performance of the ad and other relevancy factors associated with your geographic target location and target devices.

Image credit:
In order to maintain a high quality score of your ads, follow the steps provided below:

1- Identify potential exact match keywords which the users will type while looking for your business and create ads specifically for them.

2- Use the main keywords in the title of your ad.

3- Provide a great user experience when the user clicks on your ad and reaches your main website. 

4- Provide accurate information about your products and offers and do not mislead them.

5- Google only provides the most relevant ads to its users so think from a user point of view and make changes on your ad copy to make it completely relevant to what the user would be searching for.

6- Try and experiment your ad and check which ad copy is receiving the maximum Clickthrough or conversions, follow the pattern in creating similar ads with high quality score.

7- Identify keywords having a high quality score and identify the changes you did on the ad copy. Follow the same pattern for other ads.

8- Maintain the CTR of your display URL’s.

9- Target your ad in geographic locations most favorable to your business.  Ads having successful geo location ad performance receive a high quality score.

10- Check the performance of your ad in the display network and try to boost the CTR.

11- Ad quality score are different for different devices like mobile, tablets, desktops etc. Hence, prioritize the devices and keep an eye on the quality score your ad is receiving for the targeted devices.

12- Keep an eye on the historical performance of your ad campaigns. You ads are more likely to receive a high quality score if your ad campaigns have received excellent Clickthrough rates and conversions in the past.

Also, if you are having a low quality score of your ad then you may need to bid a little more than usual in order to display your ads on the top position in Google which would result in a direct revenue loss. Hence, adwords ad quality score is extremely important to consider while preparing your ad campaigns. 

How to Check the Ad Quality Score?

You can check the ad quality score of your ads by clicking on the campaigns tab then selecting the keywords tab. Here you will see the quality score in the top right hand side column as displayed in the screenshot given below. 

 High quality score leads to better ad positions and lower bids. Constantly monitoring the ad quality score and maintaining it on a high score often leads to higher CTR and greater revenue.

Ad Bidding

Bidding plays a vital role in the display of your ads in the search results. Google, by default displays the top position bid estimates after analyzing the total competition on the keywords you are targeting. Bidding close to estimated top page CPC enables your ad to receive more clicks easily by getting displayed in the top positions.

How to View the Top Page Bid?

In order to view the estimated first page bid, please follow the steps given below:

1-   Click on the campaigns tab after logging in to your adwords account and then move to the keywords tab.

2-      Click on the columns button and select customize columns.

3- Move to the attributes drop down menu and add estimated top page bid. This is the bid required for your ad to display regularly in the top positions. (Provided the other factors like ad relevancy and ad performance history favor your ad score).

4- Click save.

Setting up an intelligent bidding and constantly revising it as per the user behavior, competitor strategy and keyword trends all play an important role to strategically place your ad on the top position. It is important to mention here that quality score plays an important role in the est. top page bid that you will see in your campaign interface. A high quality score leads to low est. top page bid so always remember to keep an eye on that.

Hence, in order to display your ad constantly on the top positions, you need a high Ad rank which depends on a competitive bid and high ad quality score. 

Other Activities Which You Need to Focus Upon

Apart from keeping an eye on the quality score metrics and bidding value of your ad, it is also important for you to closely monitor your competitor’s activity. Here are some other areas which you need to focus upon: 

1- Enhance your ad copy by making it more descriptive and catchy. This should be written both from marketing perspective and search engine perspective. 

2- Include ad extensions like site links or call extensions. Google determines the performance of ad extensions while determining the ad rank. Hence, a good performance of your ad extensions can provide a high rank for your overall ad. 

3- Keep your keyword list updated. Always focus on the most relevant keywords because relevancy is the single most important metric associated with your ad.

4- Make sure to regularly monitor your competitor ad’s copy enhancements if they are ranking on top and try to implement that in your ad. 

5- If you are a seller of ecommerce products then opt for product listing ads which allows you to add individual product information in your ads. 

6- Make use of “negative keywords” section in order to wipe out irrelevant keywords from your ad campaigns. This will help you to increase the Clickthrough rates of your ads by displaying your ads to people who are genuinely interested in buying your products or services.

How to Determine the Position of Your Ad?

Now, let’s suppose you have utilized all the advice provided in this post; it’s time to exactly determine how your ad is ranking in the search results. You can easily see the position of your ads by following the steps given below: 

1- Click on the campaigns tab.

2- Determine your ad position by looking at the Avg. Pos column in the statistics table. This column displays the average position of your ad. Please see the screenshot below to better understand where you can find the average position column.

In order to properly judge the performance of your ads over a specified time period or for a particular geographic area, you need to segment the performance data of your ad.

In order to view segments of data, please follow the steps provided below:

1-      Click on the campaigns tab.

2-      Click on the data range menu and select the time period where you want to determine your ad positioning.

3-      Click on campaigns, ad groups or ads and move to the segment button displayed at the top.

4-      Select a segment from the drop down menu as per your target networks. This is displayed in the screenshot below:

A Word of Caution

It is not always necessary that a high ad display position will boost your revenue. This is because higher ad positions costs more when compared to low ad positions so unless you are making considerably more profits on per click spending, you must not opt for high ad placements.

Let the Experts Manage it for you!

Managing adwords campaign is often tricky than it seems to be. Many times businesses spend more than what they should be spending and often end up incurring losses. It is for this reason; PPC management companies and Adwords certified professionals can be a great savior for successfully boosting the performance of your brand’s ad campaigns.

Certified professionals constantly monitor the campaign performance and work towards improving the conversion rate of your ads. They can help you earn top ad positions by increasing the relevancy and quality score metrics associated with your campaigns. They are experienced enough to understand which works the best because they handle various accounts at a point of time and can easily monitor which combination works the best.

Hence, it is always recommend letting your PPC campaigns be handled by professionals who are expert and certified directly from Google. 

Also See:

Adword Quality Score
Seo Vs PPC Comparison
Determine a Keywords Overall Worth
How to Fix Disapproved Ads in PPC?
How to Calculate CTR
Basics of Google Adwords

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How Google Uses Contextual Search Term Evaluation to Rephrase Search Queries

Google uses a special technique known as "Contextual Search Term Evaluation" to rewrite search queries in order to return relevant search results. Google does this by finding "Predicate Subsequence" and "Subsequent Search Term".

Let us now understand the meaning of the above terms and determine the whole process of search query execution using 

Contextual Search Term Evaluation

Example Search Query

As an example, user enters the search query "mercedes benz petrol" and then after some time, another similar search query is entered that is "mercedes benz diesel". These search queries are entered during a particular search session that depends on a number of factors like time period, same context queries, query entered after the user logs in etc.

Finding "Predicate Subsequence" and "Subsequent Search Term"

The Predicate Subsequence will be the same set of words/terms that are used in all of the search queries entered by the user during a search session. In the above example, "mercedes benz" are used in  both the search queries making it a Predicate Subsequence. 

Any search terms used after the Predicate Subsequence will be the Subsequent Search Term. Here, "petrol" and "diesel" are identified as subsequent search terms.

Image credit: Patent linked below

Hence, two main sets of terms are required before contextual search evaluation can take place.

3 Attributes Defined by Google for Subsequent Search Terms

There are 3 main attributes that is used by Google based on the search query terms. These attributes adjust the final search query phrase and the associated weight of the terms used in the query. The final query which consists of "Predicate Subsequence" and "Subsequent Search Term" along with their scores or variants is used to fetch the final results.

1- Weight Adjustment - Based on the overall context of the search session, some terms are assigned a greater value than the others. Hence, every term has a weight that is directly related to the importance Google assigns to them while fetching the results.

2- Optionalization Adjustment - In some cases, the "Subsequent Search Term" will not be required and instead, it will be used to refine search results already processed by  the "Predicate Subsequence" terms.

3- Variant Adjustment - In some cases, a variant of the Subsequent Search Term might be used to display relevant search results. For example, in a query "american tourister bags", the term "bags" can be replaced by the term "backpacks" as it is the closest matching contextual variant of "bag".

Find more details in the patent given below:

Recommended reading:

Also See:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Following a Google Proof Strategy for Link Building in 2014

The very concept of link building has changed in 2014. Infact, the term should now be referred as "link earning" because links build pass little to no value and links earned pass the maximum value. So, what should be an ideal strategy for link building in 2014 without letting Google penalize your site for bad link buulding or unnatural links.

For folks who are new to SEO and don't know the concept of links, here is a brief overview on what is links and how does it impacts any online business:

Links are votes that people give to your site after they start trusting it. Hence, links from high authority sites earned in a natural manner pass high value as compared to links earned from low quality ones. Google maintains a core ranking algorithm that ranks websites based on the number and quality of links it has. Any resource having natural high quality links ranks higher as opposed to a resource that is having fewer links or low quality links.

5 Essential Components of Link Earning in 2014

1- Build Brand

Brand building is more essential than link building in 2014 and ahead. Google has started giving more importance to brands as they closely relate with the users and there are less chances of spam. Users trust brands and this in return help Google to wipe out results that are less trusted by the users. Brand building is of extreme importance and having a solid presence on social sites like Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter will largely help any business. 

                  Why Brand Matters in SEO?
                  Social Branding 

2- Create Link Baiting Resources

Many businesses maintain content on their site without planning for any link bait resources. An expert content planner always creates content keeping in mind the viral spread probability. A high viral spread probability means the chosen resource can serve as a good link bait.

3- Maintain Relations with PR Personnels

PR personnels should have good terms with the business. Any new brand related NEWS should get covered thoroughly, broadly and vastly. The maximum coverage a brand receives, the better are the chances of increased reputation, trust and populaity. I am not talking about distribution of press releases but instead I am talking about getting links from sites where it's hard to get any brand covered. Some NEWS reporters cover only specific topics and ground breaking events. You first need to become worthy of getting your brand covered by them (focus on user and improve the quality of services that you provide) then maintain good relationships with the person who is covering the NEWS. This bonding can surely earn valuable citations and backlinks for the main site. 

Please note: Do not purchase links by paying reporters. Buying editorial links is a violation of Google's guidelines.

4- Focus on the User and Feed Their Demands

In 2014, user is the "King". Prepare every strategy keeping user in the mind and not the search engines. Remember, search engines can update their guidelines any time leaving the webmaster in trouble but the user will remain loyal for years to come. Maintain good relationship with the users and earn their trust. Always think unique and feed the users demands with utmost sincerity and dedication. Search engines will start following your site.

                   Search Experience Optimization

5- Participate in Industry Events 

Participating in well known industry events related to your niche is a great way to increase the popularity and reach of the brand. Make it a habit of visiting the important, local, popular and not so popular events and grab as much user attention as you can for your brand. Approach the events with sponsorships and offers and keep the user engaged with your brand in some way or the other. This will surely help your business in getting into good terms with the users and Google will make notice of this.

Hence, keeping in mind the above strategies can surely help to build a Google friendly link earning strategy for 2014 and ahead. Please leave your comments and get the discussion started. 

Also See:

Google Clicking Pictures of Taj Mahal to Put it On Web?

The search giant, Google has started its mission in collaboration with Archaeological Survey of India to create several images of one of the world's wonder, the Taj Mahal along with several other historic monuments in order to create a virtual replica of the monuments. All images will be clicked by a special machine that will help Google to present a 360 degree view of the monument online.

Nishant Nair is in the Google team that is photographing around hundred monuments in India. Google has earlier planned a similar mission and successfully photographed Burj Khalifa, Eiffel Tower, Mt Everest and several other sites. In India, Google has hold several talks with the ISI and launched this project which is an attempt to put India's biggest historical sites on the web.  

Have a look at the 360 degree view here:

Also See: 

Rich Snippets in Google
How to Add Ratings and Review Stars on Google Search Results
Query Highlighting on Google Search Results
List of Google Search Operators        
Google Introduces the Knowledge Graph
How Does Google Applies Semantic Search?
Latent Semantic Indexing
Facebook Graph Search Optimization

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Identify the Top Converting Channels Using Attribution Modeling in Google Analytics?

Attribution modelling lets you identify the conversion paths that lead to successful sales and conversions. You can compare the channels of interaction using the model comparison tool and find out which channel is leading to maximum sales.

You need to have an idea of multi channel funnels before you can understand how attribution modelling works. So, here is a quick guide to multi channel funnels. After you have finished reading this tutorial and understood the concepts behind first interactions, assisted interactions and last interactions, you may read ahead in order to understand deeply about attribution modeling.

How Attribution Modeling Works?

Attribution Modeling calculates the credits given to a particular channel that assists in conversions or that has the maximum role play in generating conversions. In this type of setting, the credit given to any channel/channels of conversions depends on the type of attribution model used. By default, Google provides 8 different types of attribution models. Let us learn them one by one.

Linear Model in Analytics (Image credit: Google)

Types of Attribution Models in GA

Following 8 kinds of default attribution models are present in Google Analytics. 

Last Interaction
Last Non Direct Click
Last Adword Click
First Interaction
Time Decay
Position Based 


Let us take an example and see how each model affects the value of conversion. Suppose, I sell chocolate cakes online. I use seo, paid search, social media and email marketing as channels in my online marketing campaigns. Now, I wish to identify which channel is providing me the maximum conversions. I also understand that Direct visits is also a channel which Google tracks. People visiting my site directly may have learned about it through any of the channels present in my online marketing campaign. So, I will track that also.

A customer finds my site by using organic search. After a day the same customer clicks on my adwords ad and finds out more about my company. Another day passes and now the customer visits my site through a social media campaign and registers on my site. Remember, actual sale has not happened yet. Now, the customer already knew about my brand and services. He again visits my site through my email marketing campaign that I usually send to my registered users. But, alas conversions still not happens. After another day, the customer visits the site directly and makes a purchase. 

Yippy! I got one conversion.

As you can see, there were so many channels involved in making a conversion happen. If there are 100 conversions happening on my site each day, how can I find out which channel is helping me in increasing my ROI? The answer is, with the help of attribution modelling and the model comparison tool.

Here is how the calculation would be done:

Last Interaction: As per the example given above, Google will give 100% credit to the direct channel because it was the last interaction right before the conversion.

Last Non Direct Click:  Here, Google will give 100% credit to my email marketing campaign as this was last channel to send me non direct clicks.

Last Adword Click: In this model, my adword campaign would be given 100% credit for the conversions as it was the only adword click to happen in the entire conversion process.

First Interaction: Remember, the first time the customer visited my site was through organic search (SEO) so organic search would be given 100% credit for initiating the conversion.

Linear: In this model, each of channels involved in the conversions would be given equal credit. In the example above, 5 channels are used namely organic search, paid search, social media, email marketing and direct traffic. Hence, each of these 5 channels will be given 20% credit each. I always prefer this mode of measurement because it gives me a rough overview of the channels that are playing an important role in making a conversion happen. 

Time Decay: In this model, the channels that are closest in time to the sale will get the maximum credit. Similarly the channels that are far in time to the sale will get less credit. Here, the direct channel and the email marketing campaign will receive the maximum credit while organic search will receive the least credit. 

Position Based: The first and the last interactions are given 40% of the credit and the assisting channels are given the remaining 20%. This gets divided equally between each of the assisted channel used. Here, Organic search and email campaign will receive 40% of the credit and the remaining 3 channels namely paid search, social media and direct channel will receive around 6.6% credit each. 

The Model Comparison Tool

You can use the model comparison tool in Google Analytics in order to compare the attribution models. You can find the model comparison tool under Conversion tab in the Attribution section. Here you can choose any of the models and compare them by setting the number of days in the look back window. By default, the lookback window displays 30 days.  

It can track a maximum of 90 days.

Also See: