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3 Ridiculous Myths That Most SEOs Believe To Be True

SEO is hard to get your head around because it’s always changing, and everybody has a different view on things.

So, who do you listen to?

You’ve got Matt Cutts, the head of web spam at Google; who deliberately misleads people with his public statements, in an attempt to throw SEOs off what is actually takes to get a site ranking…

(Remember- Google don’t want you to understand SEO, so stop listening to them for advice!)

…And you’ve got an army of SEO ‘experts’ that throw their limited understanding of the algorithms around. But, they are secretly smashing their face on the keyboard because their site just got penalised by Google’s latest animal kingdom penalty.

It’s all getting a bit crazy, and today we are going to be taking a look at 3 of the biggest myths in SEO…

1.      Writing Quality Content Will Increase Rankings

Here’s the thing. Google cannot tell the difference between content that is well-written and content that isn’t.

Sure, it can see duplicate content, and it can punish sites that have thin amounts of content on them.

But, it doesn’t have a collection of grammar spiders that notice you forgot to put an apostrophe in your content and slaps your site as result.

‘Content is king’ is one of the most ridiculously overused and misleading phrases within the SEO community.

So the next time someone tells you that your site isn’t ranking because your content isn’t good, think twice…

…Look at your inbound links… Look at your on-site optimisation… Compare that to the competition, and you will have your answer as to why you are not ranking.

2.      Social Signals Are An Incredibly Important Ranking Factor

There was a lot of talk about social signals becoming the new links, but Google quickly retraced that statement and did nothing to move social signals into the algorithm.

There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, social signals are incredibly easy to manipulate. All you have to do is go and pay some service to like your site or tweet your post every now and then. You can have all the social signals that you could ever want, cheaply.

Secondly, Google struggles to maintain consistent access to the crawling data from the social media sites. A while back Google was completely shut out of twitter over a dispute, and they don’t want to base their algorithm around something that they don’t have control over.

So for now, social signals have little impact on rankings, it’s still all about links.

3.      White-Hat SEO Won’t Ever Get You Penalised

SEOs often look down upon other SEOs that do black or grey hat SEO, like they are part of some kind of evil cult.

I’ve always been a supporter of actually looking at Google’s algorithm and building a site that won’t get penalised, that ranks highly and efficiently, and is protected from future updates.

Whether I use grey, black or white hat SEO to achieve that doesn’t really bother me.

I’ve seen sites that did nothing but white-hat SEO for the entire lifespan of the site, and they got penalised.

I’ve watched as guest blogging was once considered white-hat, only for Google to change their minds and deem it black hat.

To get SEO right, you need to pay attention to everything in Google’s algorithm and ensure you don’t raise any flags, you need to build a site that visitors will love and want to come back to, and you need to know where to go to get powerful links that make sites rank.

seo myths

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Link Building: The Importance of Relevance

Despite the growing importance of social signals and the occasional clueless nutter claiming that “SEO is dead”, links still play a massive role in rankings. In fact, Matt Cutts (head of webspam at Google) recently said this in an interview with Eric Enge:

“Links are still the best way that we’ve found to discover (how relevant or important somebody is) and maybe, over time, social or authorship or other types of markup will give us a lot more information about that.”

So there we have it. It was all about the links 10 years ago, and it’s all about the links now.

But things have changed. In fact, things have changed so much that many SEO agencies have closed down; and people that were making thousands with SEO before, are now struggling to get by.

But don’t let this fact scare you. It came about mostly because many SEOs were unable to change their tactics when the algorithm changed.

One of the things that the algorithm has changed is the importance of relevance. Rewind 10 years and one link basically equalled one vote. It didn’t matter where the link was placed.

Then Google changed things up by introducing page rank, and making it so that all links were not equal, meaning that links from certain places had dramatically different effects to your site’s rankings.

In its current state, Google can not only assign levels of authority to links from certain sites, but it can also alter the power of a link based on the theme of the site.

In short, your site about real estate is going to see ridiculously better results with a link from a site about real estate, rather than a site about web design.

So with that being said, when it comes to link building, it makes sense to make a bigger effort to acquire links from sites that are similar in theme to your site.

You will see far better results.

Just a quick one for today, let me know your thoughts below.

Link Building

Daniel

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Why Some Duplicate Content Won’t Harm Your Rankings

When Google released the Panda update back in February 2011, we all became extremely paranoid about having duplicate content on our sites. And rightfully so, countless sites saw dramatic ranking losses as a result of too much duplicate or thin content.

But what most of us don’t realise is that Google has to allow duplicate content in some cases, and we may be worrying about it a little too much.

Matt Cutts, the Head of Google’s web spam team recently released a video which can be found at the bottom of this post. But I have summed his point up below:

It’s important to realize that if you look at content on the web, something like 25 or 30 percent of all of the web’s content is duplicate content. … People will quote a paragraph of a blog and then link to the blog, that sort of thing. So it’s not the case that every single time there’s duplicate content it’s spam, and if we made that assumption the changes that happened as a result would end up probably hurting our search quality rather than helping our search quality.”

So unless you are copying and pasting all of the content from one site to another, you should be fine.

Matt then goes on to say the following:

“Google looks for duplicate content and where we can find it, we often try to group it all together and treat it as of it’s just one piece of content. So most of the time, suppose we’re starting to return a set of search results and we’ve got two pages that are actually kind of identical. Typically we would say, “OK, rather than show both of those pages since they’re duplicates, let’s just show one of those pages and we’ll crowd the other result out,” and then if you get to the bottom of the search results and you really want to do an exhaustive search, you can change the filtering so that you can say, “OK, I want to see every single page” and then you’d see that other page. But for the most part, duplicate content isn’t really treated as spam. It’s just treated as something we need to cluster appropriately and we need to make sure that it ranks correctly, but duplicate content does happen.”

This is a really interesting insight, and I had no idea that Google would cluster duplicate content like that. It seems that the most authoritative site would show up for the duplicate content though.

And Google would often give priority in the SERPS to the site that has more authority, rather than the site where the content was found originally.

He then says:

“It’s certainly the case that if you do nothing but duplicate content, and you are doing in an abusive, deceptive, malicious, or a manipulative way, we do reserve the right to take action on spam. So someone on Twitter was asking a question about “how can I do an RSS auto blog to a blog site and not have that be viewed as spam,” and the problem is that if you are automatically generating stuff that is coming from nothing but an RSS feed, you’re not adding a lot of value, so that duplicate content might be a little bit more likely to be viewed as spam.”

“But if you’re just making a regular website and you’re worried about whether you’d have something on the .com and the .co.uk, or you might have two versions of your terms and conditions, an older version and a newer version, that sort of duplicate content happens all the time on the web and I really wouldn’t get stressed out about the notion that you might have a little bit of duplicate content.”

So maybe we have been fretting about duplicate content a little too much, I know I definitely have. In a nutshell, if your content is the same as content elsewhere, but it has a good reason for being copied, it should be fine.

Here’s the original video from Matt Cutts:

Thanks for reading,

Daniel

 

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What Does 2014 Hold For SEO? A Look Into The Future Of Search Marketing

2014 is just a few days over a month away now and with this in mind I am turning my thoughts to what 2014 will have in store when it comes to search engine optimisation.

For those experienced in SEO you will know that it takes some planning and to stay on top of the game you do have to look ahead and be innovative in your strategy. Turning a blind eye to the future means that your search rankings could suffer. Stay on the ball and you’ll have a good (if not better) chance of ranking well above your competitors and staying put on the first page of Google through out 2014. SEO in 2014

2013 Taught Us…

2013 was an eventful year in SEO and the updates rolled out by Google targeted to sift the bad from the good, disallowing sites that practice dishonourable tactics to continue to rank well. Everything that was powerful in SEO is set to continue through to 2014, just on an even bigger scale.

 2013 taught us that whilst a few dodgy tactics may have continued to slip through the net in 2012 this was no longer to be the case. Link quality now needed to be high, content needed to be top notch, super helpful and proven to be popular.

Make sure you have learnt from 2013 and perform regular audits on your SEO back linking profile to keep an eye on links and remove any that look unnatural to keep things looking tip top.

Content Marketing Set To Take A Step Up

You probably thought that content marketing couldn’t gain any more importance in SEO, it’s already pretty important, but it can and it will. 2014 sees content marketing taking another step forward.

 Google actively want to back those companies that are purposely trying to be helpful through the sharing of content. This means publishing content for selfless reasons to advise and assist the user that will in turn of course help your SEO. Google are more than happy to give credit to those companies doing this and it’s well worth getting right.

 Content should above all be helpful, regular and fresh to indicate that you’re still active, you’re still trying and you’re still assisting others surrounding your industry. Keep pushing on with great content in 2014 and make sure it’s always helpful and rarely (if ever) self promotional.

Keep On With Social Media And Reap The Benefits

Of course Social Media grew for online marketing in 2013 and it won’t stop there. Since the rise of incredibly popular sites Facebook and Twitter Google have been putting an increase on the importance of social sharing. A few weeks ago I detailed through a blog how social media really helps with SEO and this is set to be ever true through out 2014.

 As mentioned above content needs to be helpful, the more social shares you receive the more people you are being seen to have ‘helped’ and the more popular your helpful content seems.

Social Media is a strong element to the online world now and things would be very different with out it. It’s primarily a popularity contest, the more popular Google sees you are on social media the more you will be seen as a genuine, reputable company who wants to assist users with in your industry.

 Up your social media strategy in 2014, keep sharing, keep active, keep it helpful and informative and you can’t go far wrong.

Google+ And Authorship Are Key

 Google are wanting to push their own social media platform even further in 2014 encouraging everyone who is a site owner to sign up with Google+. Above all for 2014 you need to be active on Google+, increasing your presence and taking full advantage of Google authorship.

 Make sure your authorship is set up, share your content and encourage +1′s as they all add up! According to Moz Google+ is going to be really big when it comes to ranking well in 2014, so it’s worth investing time in now.

Mobile Is Going To Grow

 If you’re only going to do one thing in 2014 it should be to optimise your site for mobile. Not only is this essential so as to not miss business from mobile users, Google will also be looking to see if your site is mobile ready to determine rankings.

Make sure your site works well for the mobile user and Google is starting to greatly develop mobile search and want everyone on board ready for this development.

Looking back 2013 has been a good year in SEO and positive changes have been made for the better. Keep on the game for 2014 and you shouldn’t have any issues. Be active, be helpful, prepare and stay informed and 2014 should be another good year for you when it comes to search engine optimisation.

(Image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net)

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How Does Social Media Marketing Really Help SEO? All Is Revealed…

For some time now we’ve all been well aware that social media is becoming essential to SEO and that social signals help determine where your site ranks. This is all very well, but many of us still aren’t putting this into practice. There is one reason behind this- Because we don’t really know why social media has suddenly become important in SEO and how it really helps. Stay away from Social Media and you’re companies rankings will eventually suffer, if they haven’t already. Here is how social media marketing helps with SEO and why your company should be practising it to avoid getting left behind.Social Media Helps SEO

Votes, Votes And More Votes

The easiest way to understand the reasoning behind Google choosing to make social media important to SEO is to look at sites as being part of a competition, and the way to win is by receiving votes. Once upon a time in this competition the more votes (links) you had the better, no matter where they came from. As Google then realised it was easy to cheat the system by buying links they they decided that the quality of these votes mattered and less the quantity.

 Things were working pretty nicely for some time as quality over quantity reined. Now ‘votes’ needed to be highly relevant from high domain sites. Slowly but surely though Google clocked on that some had also found a way to cheat this system too and so once again had to come up with a new way in which to rank sites accordingly.

 With social media becoming an ever more powerful marketing tool it seemed to be a natural progression for Google to start to take it into account. Above all social media is a popularity contest, who has the most likes, who’s content can gain the most shares etc. Social media fitted in perfectly with the idea of votes and as social media is much more difficult to create falsely this was the perfect move for Google to future proof SEO.

How To Carry Out Social Media Marketing To Help SEO

 Social media marketing alone is going to help your business. You can build your brand, gain loyal customers, gain word of mouth, increase traffic to your site and so on. It’s all good stuff! A well thought out strategy will greatly help with your SEO too, with all these benefits it’s a crime not to be practising it.

 Above all you need to make things easy for people to socially share anything you put online, this will encourage maximum shares if users don’t have to go out of their way to promote your content. To gain social shares with out hardly lifting a finger make sure you have social sharing buttons on every page of your website and every piece of content you create. Previously publishing a piece of content for a link equalled one vote, now that social media is so important if you are socially sharing content and encouraging others to do so that one piece of content could end up equating to 20 votes or maybe even more. So socially sharing makes sense doesn’t it?

 The next part takes a little bit of work, but for what you put in you get a lot more out. Socially share your own content! Add it too all your social media accounts and suggest it to your follows. For example if you’re on the ball with your social media you may have noticed one of your followers has a particular interest in one element of your business. You’ve written a post about that, so why not say ‘Hey, thought this might interest you’ and post the link. What ever you do encourage shares, one share from one fan could mean another share from one of their ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ and then another from theirs and so on and so forth. It all adds up.

A little bit of work on social media could mean a lot of links or ‘votes’. The more popular Google sees you are on social media the higher importance they will deem your site meaning better rankings, more traffic and in turn more social shares.

 So now you understand a little better how important social media is to SEO isn’t it about time you did some social sharing?

SEO Update: Google Says Press Releases Should Be No Follow

 Google have recently decided to update their link schemes. One of these updates is the decision that links contained in online press releases should from now on be ‘no follow’ meaning engines will not crawl these links. Any press releases containing links that do not fit these guidelines will result in punishment from Google causing negative impact on rankings.

Why Has This Decision Been Made?

There has always been some scepticism around the benefits of using press releases for SEO but those who have used them in the past could now be facing problems. Google have decided to go ahead and punish any sites using follow links in press releases, and the reason behind this- Google say that a press release is similar to an advertisement for your company and therefore should not be used for linking.

In many cases online press releases are paid for, so Google sees them as being much the same as paid links which go against their guidelines. As far as Google is concerned it isn’t particularly difficult to attain a link via a press release you have paid to have published online and because of this have deemed links from press releases unfit.

Google are continuing to crack down on the quality of the content being published for SEO purposes and just like other various methods that previously worked wonders, press releases have now also been outlined as bad links that will only cause negative results for the site.

Are Press Releases Still Of Value?

Whilst this latest update now means press releases are no longer useful or beneficial when it comes to SEO this doesn’t mean you should forget about them all together.

Although of course it is better if you can acquire a link through your content marketing efforts, press releases can still be beneficial.

Press releases are a great way of promoting your services and products. They are considered news worthy and if you can get them published in the right places it could mean a large audience of readers increasing your brand awareness and the traffic to your site. You may also find through press releases a few of those reading up on your piece may then do a write up themselves including a link to your site which of course is allowed and a link that has been attained by genuine means. For some link building through press releases may still be successful, just in a different way.

They are not worth forgetting about all together, just be aware that from now on press releases will not be beneficial when it comes to link building and if you are going against the latest guidelines from Google in publishing releases with ‘do follow’ links, you could be causing more trouble for yourself than good.

If you do chose to still publish press releases on line there is no harm as long as you ensure you do not keyword stuff and make all links no follow to keep Google happy and avoid any punishments.

Online press releases are not dead, you just might want to revise your strategy if you are currently using them for link building purposes.

A History Lesson In Search & SEO

With the recent announcement of the latest Google algorithm update; Humming bird, it’s left me thinking about how much the world of SEO has evolved since it first all began.

Whilst we have only been using search engines for the last two decades it’s very strange to think about the world with out them. So many of us rely on them every single day for answers, whether that’s a medical query, to find a service, shop online or even seek some advice, we all turn to search engines in our moment of need and it is because of SEO that we are provided answers. So where did SEO all begin?

 Early Days 1994- The first crawler is created

For anyone with a basic knowledge of SEO it might surprise you that initially search engines were edited by humans…not spiders. The first example of Google results didn’t feature images, or videos, nor did it supply PPC results and Google plus was yet to be invented.

In 1994 the first crawler was invented to index entire pages by Brain Pinkerton. This first crawler was imaginatively named ‘Web Crawler’ and was designed to show the top 25 websites.

1988- Google launches

Between 1994 and 1998 when Google launched there were lots of other examples of search engines including- Lycos, excite and Yahoo. Google was the first search engine to introduce page rank (where the engine uses incoming links to determine how a site should rank) and really this was the beginning of a long lasting relationship between SEO and link juice.

2000- Ad words is launched!

Fairly quickly after the launch of the worlds most used search engine, Google clocked on to the idea that paid search could earn them a dollar or two. Around the same time Google also released a page rank bar so that those doing SEO could figure out the best sites to gain links from.

2002- Spam, spam and more spam.

Google bombing occurs in 2002 where SEO’s used linking to make sites rank to completely irrelevant keywords meaning a mess when it came to results. Link buying and key word stuffing is being used to rank pages and over all it’s just one big cheating system. Whilst this worked for a while and was a genuine way to rank, Google didn’t like it much and soon started to crack down on it.

2005- Enter analytics

In 2005 Google introduces Google analytics to enable SEO’s and site owners to track and analyse campaigns and create better strategies. In 2005 word begins to spread that Google might launch an age filter, making it difficult for new sites to rank above those that have been around for longer.

Also in 2005 the first ‘SEO is dead’ blog was published. Since then this has been a popular topic with bloggers in mass claiming ‘SEO is dead’ after every update Google issues. Almost ten years later, SEO is still going strong, it’s just evolved and grown.

2006- No cloaking please

In 2006 Google really cracks down on misleading tactics. Sites like BMW are punished for showing search engines different information to the user, a tactic known as cloaking.

Later in 2008 Google search suggestion launches meaning as the user starts to type previous popular searches appear as ‘suggestions’. This has caused many suggestion related jokes to be published online.

2009- Google steps it up

In 2009 Google introduce a caffeine update that means it can index the web more often in order to provide more up to date results. Google starts to push highly relevant fresh results for every search.

2010- Lets get social

Experts start to procrastinate about the possibility of social signals effecting SEO. With social platforms like Twitter and Facebook providing a lot of links SEO’s begin to wonder if social sharing will have an effect on SEO and both Google and Bing confirm this in an interview with Danny Sullivan.

2011- Welcome Panda

2011 sees the launch of the first animal themed update from Google; Panda. The panda update means that SEO’s now need to start focusing on the quality of the content they are publishing, eliminating any duplicate content and most content bought cheaply would now be useless. High quality content is where it’s at from here on.

The launch of Google+ also means that SEO’s are now seeing some problems with their organic key word data as the dreaded ‘not provided’ appears on analytics.

2012- Move over Panda, Penguin is here

Penguin is the next installment of animal updates from Google. Penguin is created to punish sites that areas still building low quality links i.e. Links bought in mass. No longer is low quality allowed. Google now asks for top notch content and quality highly relevant links. No longer can article spinning be used, directories are also frowned upon and any sudden mass of links being built will certainly be sniffed out.

2013- Back to present day

2013 has so fair been fairly eventful for SEO. One of the biggest events was the re brand of the infamous SEO Moz who now go by the simple name ‘Moz’. The choice to drop the ‘SEO’ came as no surprise. To many SEO refers to the darker days of cheating the system and Moz wanted to shake this reputation. Lots of companies do still use the term ‘SEO’, SEO isn’t necessarily a bad thing and Google has made it so that only those practising accepted methods which require hard work succeed.

Finally as this article began because of the launch of Hummingbird it seems natural to end it looking at the latest update. Hummingbird means some small changes for SEO as the update puts more importance on social media and authorship. Google has also promised increased accuracy in search and better mobile search.

It’s safe to say that from the creation of the first crawler in 1994 to the various algorithm updates of the 2000′s search and SEO have both come a long way. A world with out search would certainly be very different and Google continues to make sure that it’s ever more helpful, pushing to improve year on year.

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Google’s Hummingbird Update And How It Will Affect SEO

Google have recently announced the long awaited arrival of their latest new algorithm, not surprisingly named ‘Hummingbird’ which follows ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’. Whilst currently details of what exactly this update involves are a little scarce, it’s clear that it will mean big changes for the world of search. So what is expected of the Hummingbird update and is there anything we can do to to ensure our rankings stay the same or even increase?

Mobile Is Key

Increasingly so weight has been put on the importance of optimising for mobile and Hummingbird is set to make that weight even heavier. Mobile search was mentioned a lot in the announcement of the new update and it’s clear that the use of mobile search is ever expanding, particularly when It comes to searching for local businesses such as restaurants etc. Hummingbird

Through the Hummingbird update Google have proposed to launch voice search. With smart phone features such as Siri the search engine has taken into account this new way in which we search and the convenience of it. Because of this it is essential that content is optimised for mobile search as the usage is set to increase as the search engine makes searching more and more convenient for mobile users.

Increased Accuracy

The update has been hailed to be ‘precise and fast’ and so appropriately named ‘Hummingbird’. Through this update Google are pushing for results of an increased intelligence. Results are no longer primarily keyword based, but context will now be taken into consideration too.

In order to do this Google have created the ‘Knowledge Graph’ which enables the search engine to understand that different words or searches have different meanings. This will result in the search engine presenting the user with the different context options, allowing the user to select what exactly they are looking for resulting in more accurate results.

Of course key words are still essential, but the meaning behind the keywords is now accountable for which will have to be taken into consideration for SEO strategies.

Authoritative Content

We’ve all heard a lot about Google authorship over the last year or so, and it’s always been somewhat important and certainly worth putting into practice but Hummingbird means it’s going to be essential to achieve top rankings.

Google is putting an increase on the importance of content being helpful and from a trusted source and therefore authorship is a must. As mentioned previously Hummingbird also aims to increase accuracy, this means for those using content marketing the strategy may need to be revised. Google is looking for helpful content that provides answers. For the online marketer this means addressing in more depth what your customers and the public want to know about your industry and increasing how helpful your content is.

SMO- The New SEO?

For some time now we have been aware that social signals are influential in SEO but this is the first we have heard of ‘SMO’ which stands for ‘social media optimisation’. Because of the increased importance of social sharing and social signals it is highly likely that Google will introduce a social layer to their new algorithm.

If you’re not taking advantage of social media platforms and encouraging social sharing now is the time to do so as the importance of social signals is set to increase further and SMO becomes an important part of SEO.

Cause For Concern?

Whilst Hummingbird may effect some, as the majority of the changes are to the search engine its self there is no need to worry about rankings and on site optimisation. When a new update takes place it is all too easy to jump to conclusions and change site copy and title tags in response to what we’ve heard but in this case it’s not necessary. Be social, be helpful and take into account the increased accuracy of search for the future and Hummingbird should be a positive update for yourself and your website

Google Withholds Search Data to Increase Their Ad Revenue

We used to be able to see what people searched for when our websites appeared in Google, by taking a quick look at Google analytics. This keyword data proved to be invaluable for site owners looking to increase the amount of profit that their sites generated. Smart marketers would analyse the traffic that was coming into their site; and then make adjustments to their site, to target certain keywords that were bringing in a lot of revenue.

This week, Google put an absolute and total stop to it.

Google’s reason for withholding the keyword data was to provide more privacy for users that are searching for sensitive information. So by preventing all search terms from being found in Google analytics, they erase that security problem.

Seems like a good reason to withhold the data, right?

I’m not buying it.

Here’s why:

The 3 Suspicious & Deliberate Loopholes

If Google really wanted to entirely prevent us from spying on sensitive search terms, they would make sure that there was no other way for us to see it, whatsoever.

Wouldn’t they?

But they didn’t.

The data is still being leaked in three ways:

1)      Searches that are suggested through auto complete when you type a search into Google.

2)      Searches that are provided to publishers through Google’s webmaster central service.

3)      Searches that Google continually provides to anybody that is advertising on Google AdWords.

 Google’s Plan To Take Over The World

Well maybe it won’t help them take over the world. But it will make them more money, that’s for sure.

One of the ways for us to keep accessing our site’s keyword data is to go into Google Webmaster Central. However, the keyword data is only saved for three months. We need to see data from a much longer time period before we can make accurate decisions and make site changes.

But Google has a solution! An extremely suspicious one…

They quietly released a new paid and organic report for anybody with an AdWords account. It allows us to store and analyse search terms that Google withholds or dropped out of Google webmaster central for longer than 3 months. (The time it takes for the search data to be deleted from the webmaster central entirely).

You don’t need to be a paying AdWords customer to access this, you just have to open up an AdWords account and dig through the data.

Hang on a minute. We have to access a paid ad interface to see information about our data that we aren’t paying for?

I don’t think these two changes happened within a month of each other, by coincidence. They are giving anybody that is actively marketing on the internet only one way of accurately analysing their keyword data.

So, anybody that wants to increase profit levels, just got forced into entering Google AdWords.

In case you didn’t already know, Google AdWords increases the profit levels for websites, when it is used correctly.

See the connection? Pretty smart, right?

A massive chunk of Google’s target market just got forced into the AdWords interface; many of them will do so on a daily basis.

I think Google are driving site owners towards their ad interface on purpose, to indirectly promote the idea of using AdWords.

But hey, I could we wrong. What do you think?

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3 Essential SEO Tips to Keep Google’s Animal Kingdom at Bay

We all need to be wary of the various algorithm updates that dramatically changed the way that SEO works. It doesn’t matter if your site has never been affected by the Panda or Penguin updatse. If you want to successfully raise your site’s online presence, you will need to pay close attention to these tips, to avoid being flagged by Google’s algorithm in the future. If you don’t, you risk your site disappearing from the search results completely.

It’s All About Your Branding

I recently wrote about why SEOs should be focusing on brands, not just links. The fact is, Google assigns more trust to brands that are well known and recognised. So, what safer way is there to dodge the animal kingdom than become a trusted brand yourself? You will notice that most searches for popular terms such as “car insurance” will return a list of well known brands at the top of the SERPs. That’s the way that Google is heading. If you want to keep up with the competition, you will need to work on your branding.

Focus On Your Users

Google is getting smarter every single day. Their algorithm is incorporating signals that pay close attention to the users. So, if your site is not giving your users a good experience, Google knows about it. As a result, you will see your rankings drop, and the risk of being flagged by an algorithm update rises dramatically.
So, by adjusting your site to provide the best possible experience to your users, you will see a number of benefits. You will increase the likelihood of people converting, or returning. Your rankings will increase as Google notices your site has strong user engagement signals (bounce rate, time on site etc). And, you decrease the likelihood of your site being flagged.
Focus on things such as split testing, conversion rate optimisation and research into your users. You will reap the rewards for time to come.Google animal kingdom

Real Content Is King

Gone are the days where you could submit spun articles to countless article directories and rank for anything that you want. Nowadays, it’s real, unique, compelling content that makes all the difference. Make sure your site is full of content that your users will enjoy reading, it will help your site avoid Google’s panda update, which pays close attention to thin and duplicate content on sites.
As well as this, use smart content marketing techniques to create compelling content on sites similar to yours, linking back to your site. You will acquire the type of links that Google are looking for, and fulfil Google’s desire for rich content.
With Google becoming smarter every single day, there is little point in trying to manipulate the search engines to get your site to rank. It makes much more sense to create a site that is genuinely worth ranking, using all of the tactics that Google agrees with.

How has your site been affected by Google animal kingdom? Share your thoughts below.