For SEO, Don’t Fear the Google Penguin

The SEO industry is buzzing again about Google’s latest algorithm hype – the Penguin webspam update.

Everyone, remain calm.

google seoI’m sure some good sites suffered with the new adjustment. But it’s aimed at the unscrupulous crowd that goes overboard with SEO – innocently or on purpose. Google is cracking down more and more on web sites that get irrelevant links with the expectation that they can game search engines actually do reward good inbound links. And Google also isn’t big on keyword stuffing in your content either.

Earlier this year, Google also attacked web sites that do a poor job of including text content up high – “above the fold” as the saying goes.

Last year, Google came down hard on web sites that had a lot of duplicate content. Hint: originality helps.

What does this mean for you?

1. Don’t mess with search engines.
2. Clean up your mess if you’ve gone overboard.

So far, we’re doing just fine.

We also don’t lose sight of he fact that Google makes all sorts of smaller algorithm changes throughout the year.

We’re always making adjustments on our end to protect or improve our clients’ rankings.

One of our medical clients has a keyword phrase that’s #2 on Google right now among 11.8 million results. According to Google, there are an estimated 1 million searches a year for that phrase. Another client sells industrial equipment and is #3 for a phrase that people search for 145,000 times a year.

And guess what, the web sites are peppered with those keyword phrases. But we’ve taken great care to include them only when it sounds natural.

I’m not too worried about the Google Penguin update. Rankings rise and fall. We strive for the overall improvements with keywords and rankings. It’s all about relevance.

Hopefully your business is built on more than how well you rank on Google (industry leader Danny Sullivan has a great piece about businesses that rely too much on Google). We love it when we get leads and sales from Google. But that’s only part of an effective strategy that factors in web design, calls to action, news releases, link building, permission e-mail marketing, social media and paid search when it makes sense.

If you’re going to focus on SEO (and you should to a degree), go after the keywords that your web site can support. If you’ve tried to get on the first page of Google and fallen short, make sure you are working with the right online marketing expert. If that person or team has a good reputation, it may be time to try some different keyword phrases or work on new content or build up your social media presence or pursue links from outstanding directories, publications, blogs and other sources.

If you’re doing the right things, put the Google Penguin out of your mind and work where you can excel. Write an article for a popular industry publication. Create some compelling content on your web site that others will talk about and pass along. You have many options.

25 Tips for Social Media Success

25 Tips for Social Media Success

Social media marketing can be an effective way for your business to increase web site traffic, target prospective clients, listen to real-time feedback from a community and convert activity to sales.  Unfortunately, for many businesses implementing a strategy to produce results can be challenging and time consuming.

Our new guide, “25 Tips for Social Media Success,” delivers twenty-five simple, but often overlooked, techniques to effectively manage a social media strategy for your business.

Get your FREE copy of “25 Tips for Social Media Success” and start learning how to:

  • Take advantage of the Google Plus “Recommended links” from your G+ profile.
  • Save time by integrating your social media platforms.
  • Attract followers by incorporating keywords in specific profiles.
  • Use hashtags to send Twitter traffic to your web site.
  • And convert web site activity to web site sales!

At World Synergy, our internet marketing team can help you develop a social media strategy to help your business succeed online. Would you like to know more?  Contact us today or call 440.349.4940.

 

 

Google+ Business “Pages” Soon to Come

Google’s new social network, Google+, can be overwhelming.

It’s easy to get lost in all of the new features, but an important one businesses and online marketing firms should keep an eye out for is Google+ business “pages.”

The Google+ company “pages” will be similar to the Facebook’s “Fan Pages.” But the question is, “When will this all happen?”

In a recent article on Search Engine Land, Google group product manager Christian Oestlien shared:

In the future we may want to enable Google+ to support businesses and brands, but we want to make sure we do that in the right way. The things that matter for an individual user aren’t the same things that matter for businesses and we want to make sure both have a great experience in Google+.

For now we are actively discouraging businesses to adopt consumer profiles, but we have heard the feedback and will obviously do what we can down the line to build optimal experiences for all of the entities (human or otherwise) that make up our social and interest graphs. Like we’ve said from the start (3 days ago) this is just the beginning of a very long journey towards making Google, our properties and products more social.

Stay updated with seo marketing tools and news with Online Marketing Firm, World Synergy.

Contact us for your online marketing solutions and request a free web audit.

Website Marketing Strategy — Goodbye to AdWords Position Preference Bidding

Recently, Google announced it will be retiring the position preference bidding in AdWords.

Starting in early May, Google will be disabling the position preference for any campaigns still using it. To ensure a smooth transition for your bids, Google recommends changing any campaigns using the position preference.

Google’s reasoning behind this change is to discourage advertisers’ focus on the position of their ads on a page.

Chief Economist at Google Hal Varian found in a position metric analysis that the position of ads has no impact on conversion rates.

Those still concerned with the position of certain ads can use the automated rules for the same results. The automated rule will change your bid if your average position differs from your target position.

Contact World Synergy to help with your online marketing and website marketing strategy efforts.

Web Marketing Solutions — Localized and Personalized Bing Results

Everyone searching at Bing within the U.S. use to see the same results, but as of today depending on the city you’re searching from makes a difference in search results.

Contact World Synergy for your local web marketing solutions.

For instance, Search Engine Land provides an example of 2 search results in 2 different locations. One search setting was set in Los Angeles and another in New York. The results showed the Los Angeles Zoo ranking higher on the settings for Los Angeles than the one for New York.

Google has been using localized results since April 2009 and plans on expanding and strengthening its local efforts.

Bing is also incorporating personalized results. Bing is using past searches to reshape results for about 30% of queries where a searcher is trying to find a specific website. You will notice if your searches are personalized because a notification will appear at the bottom of your search results.

What are your thoughts of Bing jumping on the localized and personalized bandwagon?

Let World Synergy help with your web marketing solutions.

Search Engine Marketing Battle Between Bing and Google

The big news in the search engine world has been about the tension and accusations between Bing and Google this week. In the past, Google has said that Bing is its main competitor in the online search marketing world, and the two continue to for dominance in paid search marketing

This week’s fight started with a post by Danny Sullivan on Search Engine Land. Apparently Google ran a “sting operation” to prove that Bing was monitoring Google results to improve its own results.  Google posted forced search results to test to see if Bing would pick up the same results, which Bing did. Google claimed that Bing was copying their algorithm and compared it to a student copying off another student’s exam.

Bing responded with an official blog post in which they said:

To be clear, we learn from all of our customers. What we saw in today’s story was a spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in tail query ranking. It was a creative tactic by a competitor, and we’ll take it as a back-handed compliment. But it doesn’t accurately portray how we use opt-in customer data as one of many inputs to help improve our user experience.

Google then responded with this blog post, titled “Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it.” The post explains in detail the experiment Google used.

As we see it, this experiment confirms our suspicion that Bing is using some combination of:

or possibly some other means to send data to Bing on what people search for on Google and the Google search results they click. Those results from Google are then more likely to show up on Bing. Put another way, some Bing results increasingly look like an incomplete, stale version of Google results—a cheap imitation.

At Google we strongly believe in innovation and are proud of our search quality. We’ve invested thousands of person-years into developing our search algorithms because we want our users to get the right answer every time they search, and that’s not easy. We look forward to competing with genuinely new search algorithms out there—algorithms built on core innovation, and not on recycled search results from a competitor. So to all the users out there looking for the most authentic, relevant search results, we encourage you to come directly to Google. And to those who have asked what we want out of all this, the answer is simple: we’d like for this practice to stop.

The drama continued with a new post by Bing, called “Setting the Record Straight,” in which Bing denied copying anything from Google.

We do not copy results from any of our competitors. Period. Full stop. We have some of the best minds in the world at work on search quality and relevance, and for a competitor to accuse any one of these people of such activity is just insulting.

Bing even went a step further by accusing Google of “click fraud.”

Google engaged in a “honeypot” attack to trick Bing. In simple terms, Google’s “experiment” was rigged to manipulate Bing search results through a type of attack also known as “click fraud.” That’s right, the same type of attack employed by spammers on the web to trick consumers and produce bogus search results.  What does all this cloak and dagger click fraud prove? Nothing anyone in the industry doesn’t already know. As we have said before and again in this post, we use click stream optionally provided by consumers in an anonymous fashion as one of 1,000 signals to try and determine whether a site might make sense to be in our index.

The battle rages on between Bing and Google with no clear winner.

SEO Ranking Tools — Tips on Evaluating Rankings

The ambiguous world of ranking analysis tools can be overwhelming and a struggle for some online marketing consultants.

There are endless SEO ranking tools and SEO keyword tools that are available and constantly overlooked.

Here are 5 tips to help you effectively evaluate your rankings:

  1. The infinite search engines.
    Ranking No. 5 on Google has a different impact than ranking No. 2 on MSN, so don’t get too excited when you see a higher ranking on a search engine that doesn’t attract many viewers. That doesn’t mean ignore the other search engines, but if you once ranked No. 10 on Google for a keyword then you move to No.1, then that’s something to boast about!
  2. Determine a baseline.
    It’s important you don’t ignore the keywords that drop off the Top 30 list. Even though a web user’s interest drops after the first several search results, you need to keep track of the other words to determine which ones are improving. Yes, even the ones that rank 50! A baseline will help with refining words and strategies.
  3. Testing 1, 2, 3.
    When you go to test keywords on a page, be sure the page is indexed by the search engines. You don’t want to displace terms that are already ranking well for a page.
  4. Q&A with High Rankings.
    You need to keep record and think about all the different tactics and strategies you did in order to accomplish a top ranking on Google. Did you use one or two keyword phrases in the title? Should the META description be revised to include a call to action? Will adding the company name before or after a search term be more effective? Or will it cause the ranking to fall?
  5. Look for Opportunities.
    Always keep your options open and think of other keyword opportunities. Additional strong keywords can help drive traffic to your site and increase rankings. Use web analytics to your advantage when searching for new possible keywords. Look for any unusual phrases people may be using.

For more information, contact World Synergy for your online marketing solutions.

Online Marketing Consultants Debate: Is Facebook a Google Killer?

A recent article in Clickz suggested the Google may be “toast” and that its “days of dominance may be numbered.”

To online marketing consultants who recently wished Google a happy 12th birthday, this idea may seem ridiculous.

But Facebook recently passed Google as the top source for traffic to sites like MSN, Yahoo and others. The easy sharing and like features allow users to quickly and easily (Read more about how the facebook like button is a powerful social media tool for web traffic.)

Still, Google has always had supremacy in search engines, even if Facebook is driving more visitors to sites its ease of content sharing. However, a recent partnership with Microsoft could challenge Google’s reign as king of the search engines.

The partnernship, which took place mid-October, allows Bing to “take data posted on Facebook — such as users’ “likes” or preferences — and use that information to provide more relevant search results,” according to an article in Reatuers.

This partnership will allow Bing to deliver interesting search results based on keywords and what users like. Analysts speculate that Bing’s market share will be immediately boosted as a result.

It’s an interesting battle for control over online search marketing and will be something to keep an eye on in the future.

Learn more about how to optimize your Facebook page with SEO Marketing Tools.

Online Search Engine Marketing: Happy Birthday Google!

Google celebrated its 12th birthday today and made its homepage image a birthday cake.

Last year, the search engine giant added an extra “L” to its logo for the day to celebrate its birthday.

Recently, Google’s CEO sat down for an interview with the Wall Street Journal where he declared that Bing, not Facebook or Apple, is their main competitor. Read the related blog post.

Google’s revenue in 2009 was estimated at 23.651 billion. Founded by Sergey M. Brin and
Lawrence E. Page in 1994, the company’s headquarters are in Mountain View, California.

Check out Google’s real-time search feature and how it will impact online search engine marketing.

Online Search Marketing: Google Says Bing is Main Competitor

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt says Bing is his main competitor in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. He said Facebook and Apple are not competitive threats.

“What’s interesting is we think of neither [Facebook or Apple] as a competitive threat…our competitor is Bing. And it’s interesting, for years, people have asked about Microsoft and everyone has forgot about Bing.”

Watch and embedded video of the interview.

Schmidt did not comment on Google’s recent partnership with Yahoo, but certainly the merger makes Bing a stronger competitor.

Search Engine Watch reported that Google takes in about 62% of the market share for search engine use. Bing and Yahoo combined made up 28% in July 2010, a slight drop from June 2010 when the two totaled nearly 33%. Ask receives a little under 4% of the market share and AOL received about 2%.