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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Backlinks = Rankings, Rankings = Traffic – Deal With It

Backlinks = Rankings, Rankings = Traffic – Deal With It

Link building, done correctly, is hard work. It's laborious and filled with lots of rejection. In many ways, it's like telemarketing – nobody likes it, but it pays off. In fact, link building still works better than anything else to boost organic rankings.

Google's Matt Cutts recently confirmed the continuing value of links here and here. The key quotes:
...backlinks…are a really, really big win in terms of quality for search results ... backlink relevance still really, really helps in making sure we return the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results.

...backlinks still have many, many years left in them ... over time backlinks will become a little less important ... we will continue to use links in order to assess the basic reputation of pages and websites.
So what are the takeaways from these videos? Most commenters picked up on natural language processing and authorship, as probable ranking factors moving forward, without acknowledging the core message of the videos – links still matter a lot. And they will continue to matter for many years.
I don't blame anyone for chalking these videos up to Google FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), but the evidence doesn't stop there. I'm sure that you're familiar with the Penguin algorithm. How about manual penalties, for unnatural links? If links didn't matter, would there be an entire industry dedicated to link audits and sanitizing backlink profiles? Would Google spend so much time and resources battling spammy links? Of course not.

Still, there is a whole contingency of "link deniers" proclaiming that "link building is dead." These folks are just as fervent in their beliefs as the "truthers" and "birthers" despite factual evidence that runs to the contrary. (There's a pretty good chance you will read their comments, below.)
So why are so many people running away from the single most important task in building organic rankings? The answer is pretty simple. Not only is link building hard, but if done improperly, it can result in a penalty and in the most extreme cases can even get you sued!
Can you blame SEO professionals for running away from that hot mess? Of course you can – and you should.

Every marketing campaign focused on building organic rankings needs a link building component. Thousands, if not millions, of pages of great content are published on the web daily – most will never be seen by human eyes. Great content alone, in a competitive niche, rarely ranks without links.
There's a big difference between link building (baiting, earning) and link spamming. The kinds of links that matter are the ones that are editorially given. Links with innate value, not necessarily SEO value. These links require human intervention for placement. A link that can be dropped automatically by anyone has little value and often leads to abuse and trouble.
So, what are some effective techniques for building links in 2014? Actually, the same strategies advised by Cutts way back on March 4, 2010 still hold up today:
·         Create controversy: Use it sparingly like spice. The occasional rant is best and if over-used, loses its effectiveness.
·         Use humor: Offered as a "softer" alternative to controversy. Can be equally effective – especially if original. (The Oatmeal has built a franchise on funny)
·         Participate in blog and forum communities: Not as a spammer, but as an interested community member who gives back to the community by answering questions that help people. This builds credibility and opens up opportunities to attract links.
·         Publish original research: Doing a little work to dig into a subject can get a lot of links.
·         Use social media: Think about where your target audience spends their time. Is it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram? You need to be there as well. Like blog and forum communities, getting to know people via social media opens up link opportunities.
·         Create a "Top X List": Like controversy, this is best used sparingly or it can get old fast
·         Blog frequently and establish yourself as an authority in your field: If authorship had been in place when this video was produced, I'm sure that would have been mentioned, as well.
·         Create how-tos and tutorials: They may not attract a ton of links, but a few good links can have a huge impact – especially on the long tail. These are also a natural for video.
·         Create a useful product and give it away for free: Firefox extensions, Chrome extensions, WordPress plugins, anything open source.

Bottom Line
Cheap, easy, automated link spamming is no longer an option for those in it for the long haul. (Notice that I didn't say that it's dead or doesn't work.)

Editorial link building is alive and well and more powerful than ever before. Getting position one for a keyword is no longer the only KPI to measure, but it's still an important metric to pay attention to as a means to drive organic traffic to your website.
Article resources :

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Improving Url Removals On Third Party At Google Webmaster

Improving Url Removals On Third Party 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 6:55 AM

Webmaster level: all

Content on the Internet changes or disappears, and occasionally it's helpful to have search results for it updated quickly. Today we launched our improved public URL removal tool to make it easier to request updates based on changes on other people's websites. You can find it at

This tool is useful for removals on other peoples' websites. You could use this tool if a page has been removed completely, or if it was just changed and you need to have the snippet & cached page removed. If you're the webmaster of the site, then using the Webmaster Tools URL removal feature is faster & easier.

How to request a page be removed from search results

If the page itself was removed completely, you can request that it's removed from Google's search results. For this, it's important that the page returns the proper HTTP result code (403, 404, or 410), has a noindex robots meta tag, or is blocked by the robots.txt (blocking via robots.txt may not prevent indexing of the URL permanently). You can check the HTTP result code with a HTTP header checker. While we attempt to recognize "soft-404" errors, having the website use a clear response code is always preferred. Here's how to submit a page for removal:
  1. Enter the URL of the page. As before, this needs to be the exact URL as indexed in our search results. Here's how to find the URL.
  2. The analysis tool will confirm that the page is gone. Confirm the request to complete the submission.
  3. There's no step three!

How to request a page's cache & snippet be removed from search results

If the page wasn't removed, you can also use this tool to let us know that a text on a page (such as a name) has been removed or changed. It'll remove the snippet & cached page in Google's search results until our systems have been able to reprocess the page completely (it won't affect title or ranking). In addition to the page's URL, you'll need at least one word that used to be on the page but is now removed. You can learn more about cache removals in our Help Center.
  1. Enter the URL of the page which has changed. This needs to be the exact URL as indexed in our search results. Here's how to find the URL.
  2. Confirm that the page has been updated or removed, and confirm that the cache & snippet are outdated (do not match the current content).
  3. Now, enter a word that no longer appears on the live page, but which is still visible in the cache or snippet. See our previous blog post on removals for more details.

You can find out more about URL removals in our Help Center, as well as in our earlier blog posts on removing URLs & directoriesremoving & updating cached contentremoving content you don't own, and tracking requests + what not to remove.

We hope these changes make it easier for you to submit removal requests! We welcome your feedback in our removals help forum category, where other users may also be able to help with more complicated removal issues.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How to Use Google Trends for SEO

How to Use Google Trends for SEO 

Chuck Price, September 3, 2013

Google Trends is one of the best and most versatile tools available for SEO. It is the marketing equivalent of the Leatherman or Swiss Army knife. If you could only use one SEO tool to develop an Internet marketing campaign, this product would be a serious contender.

Working with Google Trends

When performing a search on Google Trends, you have the option to set four variables or parameters (default shown in bold):

Web Search – Image search – News Search – Product Search – YouTube Search
Worldwide – Option to choose a specific Country
2004-Present – Past 7 Days – 30 Days – 90 Days – 12 Months- Choose a Year
All Categories – Arts & Entertainment – Autos & Vehicles – Beauty & fitness – Books & literature – Business & industrial – Computers & electronics – Finance – Food & drink – Games
You can compare up to five search terms or groupings at one time, with up to 25 search terms in each grouping.

For example:

pen + pencil + paper (grouping 1)
stapler + tape + notebook + ruler (grouping 2)
eraser + paper clip (grouping 3)

By using the + sign between your search terms you are telling Google that you want to include searches for pen or pencil or paper.

Google also displays Hot Searches and Top Charts in Google Trends, listing the top searches of the day as well as popular searches by category.

Having all of this data available is great, but knowing what to do with it is even better. Following is a guide on how to use this information for SEO.

Keyword Research
Since Google Trends doesn't give actual search numbers, it works best when used in combination with the Keyword Planner. Google Trends will show a "normalized" or relative level of interest over time for a prospective keyword phrase. It also allows you to compare the level of interest among potential target phrases.

Let's say you're selling car parts. When does interest in car parts peak? What potentially drives more traffic; the search phrase "car parts" or "auto parts"?

Product Searches have more than doubled since fall 2010. Clearly, the interest is there, but you should do a competitive analysis, before jumping into any space.


Google Trends breaks down the search data by region. As you can see below, there is some level of interest in auto parts across the entire U.S., with the greatest level coming from Georgia and Florida.

Drill down further and you will see that Atlanta is a particularly strong market:

If you're doing local SEO or geo-targeted PPC, this data is invaluable.

News Jacking

Newsjacking suddenly, is all the rage in SEO. According to David Meerman Scott, it's "the process by which you inject ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business."

If Hot Searches didn't exist, someone would create it for newsjacking. The newsjacking formula is a simple one:

Choose a trending topic.
Blog about it.
Tweet it (using the established hashtag).
Don't be a moron (e.g., don't try to capitalize on tragedy).
Here's a great example of newsjacking in Bongo Bongo land.

Content Creation

Top Charts is the perfect resource for developing content ideas that people are actually interested in. Sticking with the car parts theme, navigate to Car Companies, click on "BMW", then click on "explore" in the right column.

Looks like a blog post about the BMW i3 and / or the BMW electric car would garnish some interest. If the term "Breakout" appears under Rating, the searches for that phrase have jumped by +5,000 percent.

Link Building

Links are still a primary driver of rankings. By creating content that people are looking for and want to read, you will attract links. Links are a measure of success when reviewing the outcome of your content marketing efforts.

Video Content

Poop. That's right; poop is the top result when I do a Google Trends search for "YouTube" with the search parameter set to YouTube:

I sure wasn't expecting to find an explosion of YouTube Poop (+250 percent since '08) and that's precisely the point of using this tool for video content research. Congratulations to California, with a search volume index of 100 on this one.

To play this game at home:

Navigate to Google Trends.
Enter your keywords.
Change "Web Search" to "YouTube" search.
Is there an idea that you can use for your niche?
Is there a trend that you can capitalize on?
This data may also be used for video optimization:

Creating great titles.
Using the right tags.
Optimizing descriptions.

Brand Monitoring
This one only works for "big Brands" with sufficient search volume. In the case cited below, three of four competitors are static, but one company is clearly in the zone. AutoZone.


Google has a voracious appetite for fresh topical content. Google Trends is the single best tool available to develop content ideas that will garner traffic and links. If you haven't been using this tool for SEO purposes, you should check it out now.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Matt Cutts On 10 New SEO Changes

Matt Cutts On 10 New SEO Changes At Google In Next Few Months

Yesterday, Google's Matt Cutts did something he doesn't often do - he pre-announced changes Google will be implementing to the ranking and indexing algorithms in the next few months. Specifically, he mentioned about ten changes coming to Google's search results and algorithms over this summer - in the "next few months" he said.
Of course, Matt, Google's head of search spam, adds a disclaimer that timelines and priorities may change between now and then - but this is what is scheduled currently.
Here is the video:

Now, I go into detail on each of the ten points at Search Engine Land but here is the summary of those details:
  1. Major Penguin Update
  2. Advertorial Spam
  3. Spammy Queries Being Looked At
  4. Going Upstream At Link Spammers
  5. More Sophisticated Link Analysis
  6. Improvements On Hacked Sites
  7. Authority Boost In Algorithm
  8. Panda To Soften
  9. Domain Clusters In SERPs
  10. Improved Webmaster Communication
Since I will be offline the next two days, I may do more detailed scheduled blog posts about each one of these. For now, read Search Engine Land and watch Matt's video.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld & Hacker News.
Article reference:

Google's Major Penguin Update

Google's Major Penguin Update Coming In Weeks. It Will Be Big.....

On Friday, Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that the Penguin update we areexpecting this year, will be coming in the next few weeks.
Matt Cutts said, "we do expect to roll out Penguin 2.0 (next generation of Penguin) sometime in the next few weeks."
This has sent shockwaves through the webmaster and SEO industry over the weekend. We know the next generation Penguin update is a major revision to the existing one. Matt said the previous ones were minor updates. To take you back, we had an update on May 24, 2012 andOctober 5, 2012. Matt said on Twitter that those were more minor, he would have named them 1.1 and 1.2 and that Google is naming this new update version 2.0.
We are calling it the 4th update to Penguin, but yea, this is expected to be huge. We past the anniversary of the Penguin update and many SEOs and webmasters have yet to recover.
Now with the next generation update, many SEOs are hopeful of recovery but terrified that their efforts will end up being futile. Why? Well, even if they did manage to clean up their sites and do everything to warrant a release of the initial Penguin algorithm, with the new algorithm in place, who knows what else they may have triggered.
Danny Sullivan has an excellent write up on this Penguin release and the history around it.
Trust me, I will be all over this when I see signs in the forums about this update. So stay tuned, brace yourself and trust me - webmasters will survive and grow from this.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help, WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums.
Update: Here is a video from Matt Cutts where he talks about Penguin 2.0, and many other topics. It was released today:

Article reference: