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Google Pigeon Rollout

 google pigeon imageGoogle’s Pigeon update rolled out on the 24th of July. As always, Google seeks to increase search?accuracy, producing more relevant results, with the update. This time around, the focus was on local?search results and queries. The name ‘Pigeon’ came about because of the fact that pigeons are known to?fly home; a fact relevant to local searches. Many of the smaller businesses are reliant on Google’s local?listings to compete better in their market. Currently, the update is only available to the US English search results. With the help of this algorithm, ?local directory listings and sites are now better ranked and more visible in Google’s search results. This?would mean that these listings would be in the limelight and businesses can to benefit from increased?visibility of local directories and listings. What Does It Mean For Businesses? The update is definitely a great boon for various directories. Therefore, businesses need to make sure?that their listings are consistent and up to date. However, one thing that is still the same in the Google?update is the fact that they are still encouraging businesses to get positive feedback from their?customers. Another factor that businesses should keep in mind is the fact that they should keep their websites as?active as possible. While it might be hard to promote your webpage on Google with the Pigeon update?in place, the whole shindig is not completely obsolete. With directory sites hogging the limelight once again, businesses can make their pages on prominent?directories, like Yelp for instance, and then keep optimizing them wherever required. Businesses, which have since focused all their efforts on SEO to increase visibility, need to change their?strategy and get in line with this latest algorithm if they want to see themselves benefitting in anyway.

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Panda 4.0 Roll Out 5-20

googl panda penguin imageAs most Internet professionals have heard by now,?Google?started rolling out Panda 4.0 on May 20.

Although Panda is refreshed monthly, this is a major update meaning an algorithmic change has been made. For those of you confused about the difference between Penguin and Panda, here is a brief overview of both, followed by a look at how to identify whether or not your site was actually hit by Panda.

GOOGLE PENGUIN

Google?Penguin was first announced in April 2012 and it is an algorithm developed to detect and lower the rankings of sites that have manipulative back link profiles. Having a back link profile with a high percentage of exact match anchor texts, having a lot of low-quality links, and having links from article directories and rich anchor text press releases were just a few of the things in the Penguins’ sights. This update shook up the industry because prior to, rich anchor text links where the primary practice for targeting and ranking keywords.

GOOGLE PANDA

Google?Panda was rolled out in Feb. 2011. The days following the roll out were shocking to many sites as more than 12 percent of all search results were reported to have been affected by this algorithm. Unlike Penguin, the Panda algorithm was designed to detect websites that have thin or low-quality content and reduce their rankings in the SERPs. While this sounded like good news for quality websites and Googlers alike, the initial version of Panda failed to remove scraper sites from the SERPs and even ranked them above the original sites and to some extent, this is still true today.

In 2012, Google announced that they would also be adding an over-optimization penalty to Panda. This was supposed to help sites with great content rank higher than sites with average content and better?SEO, which gave birth to the content marketing craze. Unfortunately like the initial roll out, this update made some improvements but failed to deliver as intended.

Fast forward to May 20, 2014 and Panda 4.0 was released. According to Search Engine Watch, Google stated that about 7.5 percent of English queries may see an impact from this update.

While it is unclear the exact changes made, some industry leaders are speculating that this is the “Softer Panda” update aimed at helping small businesses rank higher that Matt Cutts mentioned back in March of 2014. I have seen data from my own clients that would leave me to believe this is at least part of the update.

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Page Authority=Page Rank

Relevancy, authority and user experience are the fundamentals of being found on the search engines today.

In order for customers to connect with your brand, it needs to be relevant to what users are searching for, both the customers and the search engines need to trust that your brand is an authority on the subject and its digital properties need to provide a seamless user experience. Relevancy and user experience tend to be the easiest for business owners to comprehend, but authority is one area that is ripe with misconceptions. That said, here are three real-world authority-building examples to hang your digital hat on (now and in the future).

Guest Blog (Stay with Me)

By now you’ve likely heard that Matt Cutts of Google’s Webspam team has?expressed his grievances with the practice of guest blogging?saying, “…if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”

Many in the?SEO?community have said that Cutts’s stance is unforgivably too broad and too harsh. After all, most reputable newspapers, magazines and Web blogs rely on qualified contributors to provide niche insights their in-house writers may not have, while guest writers (and consequently their companies) are exposed to new audiences and are able to build authority or credibility within their niche.

LET’S LOOK AT GUEST BLOGGING EXAMPLE.

The Birchbox blog published a guest post by a professional blogger (who also appears to be a Birchbox affiliate judging by an ad on her site) and a few things stood out as takeaways for other brands. One, the guest blogger linked to Birchbox products within her article. It’s important to remember that website owners are vain, so link to their products or supporting articles, not yours or their competitors’ info. Second, Birchbox gave the guest blogger a bio with two links (definitely a best practice). Third, the blogger contributed a relevant, unique piece of content that Birchbox customers will enjoy. Similarly, the blog will help its author build her authority as a beauty expert. There is, hands down, nothing spammy about this guest blog. Rather, it adds value and shouldn’t be lumped into a “spammy” group.

Create Shareable Content Google has said its social network Google+ doesn’t play a role in how brands are ranked on the search engines and that Google puts a premium on quality content and when you put out quality content, your audience will respond to it and like your content on Facebook, give you a +1 on Google+ and engage with you in some other manner. And when you provide quality content that users want to engage with, you are showing Google that you are an authority on a matter and that users trust you as a relevant source on a topic.

 

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How Healthy Is Your Online Reputation?

Frequently I am asked by clients how do I fix the negative reviews that I am receiving. Many businesses feel hostage to Yelp and other social media review platforms. ?First and foremost always listen to your clients and try to fix the problem, don’t get defensive and make sure you train your staff to do the same.

Now that your customers have the power of publishing you really need to work on satisfying their needs, even if you believe they are in the wrong. ?Training on this subject is key, your staff needs to go the extra mile to prevent bad reviews.

You are probably well aware at this point clients are more likely to write a negative review than a positive review, so get pro-active in the review process and ask you happy clients to write a review of your business.

Sites such as Yelp and Insider Pages are becoming more popular by the day…and for good reason!? A listing in a social site is free publicity for your small business. (And, obviously, in my shoestring marketing mind, there’s nothing better than free!)

In addition, you begin the important process of managing and promoting your online reputation. (Don’t worry too much about that dreaded “negative review”; most of the sites have tools in place to fight obvious spam or undocumented rage.)

In addition to your business name, location and picture, include an enticing marketing message that allows your prospects to ascertain exactly how you will solve their problems.

Many small business owners are noticing that a positive reviews on the social search sites often gives them better rankings and more visibility.
As the love (in the form of positive reviews) begins to flow in, you can place these reviews on your website, blog, ezine or newsletter. The point is to let the world know what your customers and clients are saying about you. You can talk about yourself until you’re blue in the face, but your bragging won’t make much of an impact in the minds of your prospects. It’s what OTHERS say about you that’s worth its weight in gold!
Obviously, these social sites are just another form of social media marketing…and it’s important for you to be involved in the process as well!

So, go ahead and get involved in a few social search sites for added visibility, increased trust and hopefully, more leads and sales.

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Responsive Web Design Arrives

The Next Revolution in Mobile Sites is Here!

You probably have heard all the chatter that your website needs to be mobile friendly.? I’m assuming you have had hundreds of sales pitches about building a mobile site for your business.? Mobile websites are already outdated, the latest technology to emerge that will give your customers a great mobile experience is responsive web design.

The problem that many tablet users have experienced with mobile sites is they simply look terrible. ?In most cases tablet users would exit mobile sites and go to classic site and scroll back and forth to read site.? Responsive web design takes care of all mediums by adjusting your site to suit the users computer, tablet or mobile phone (see image below).

This year we have seen a shift in the types of computer devices consumers are purchasing. ?This will be the first year that consumers are buying less computers than the year before. ?So what are consumers buying, you guessed it, tablet sales are exploding.

This year tablet sales are expected to ?top 100 million devices sold. ?Sales are expected to exceed notebook sales. ?The other hot device is smartphones, Nielson is reporting that the majority of mobile users have smartphones.

So as a business owner what direction should you go?

We understand the rate of change happening is a bit overwhelming. ?For most businesses the responsive design will eliminate the need for mobile apps and mobile sites. ?Most consumers prefer the look and feel of responsive design to mobile apps and sites. ?If you are a big media company like NY Times a mobile app is something you should have. ?But for the local business owner the only type of site you need is a responsive web site, it will take care of all your customers devices in one platform.

 

To see an example of how responsive designs work, take a look at a couple of our responsive sites at www.sugarlandeyes.com or ?www.thefoundationexpert.com?take a look at it on your desktop, cell phone, and tablet if you have one.

At Internet Marketing Guyz we are proud to offer this new site design. ?You will be surprised at just how affordable responsive design can be, call us or email us today for a quote.

 

 

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