Posted: February 1st, 2013 by Sean Ward
Search engine optimization is always changing, but the significant shifts to Google’s algorithm that we have seen lately have been amongst the most aggressive in recent years. Specifically, the “Panda” and “Penguin” changes have taken some of the focus away from keywords and links, and put them on fresh, unique content… in other words, quality over quantity.
Although this has come as a bit of a surprise to some business owners and web designers, it really shouldn’t have – searchers have always wanted more relevant results, and so the burden is on search engines to give it to them. Besides, what comes around goes around, and the “new” rules of search engine optimization are starting to give some business veterans déjà vu.
Why? Because in the days before keywords ruled all, being current, interesting, and unique weren’t just good ideas for your marketing plan, but necessary for getting any kind of attention at all. In other words, a lot of current SEO really just comes down to good old-fashioned public relations.
With that in mind, we can take a few classic ideas off the shelf and apply them to current search campaigns:
1. Either be newsworthy or talk about what is. People like articles and ideas that are current, so it’s a good idea to base your content strategy at least partly on topics that are relevant right now.
2. Set the tone yourself. It used to be that copying competitors was a good way to build content. These days, however, you want to be a market leader – invent your own ideas and concepts and then let others try to keep up with you.
3. Follow an editorial calendar. Instead of posting material randomly to the Internet, follow an editorial calendar that encourages you to come up with new content on a regular basis and forces you to organize your thoughts and topics into consistent themes.
Search engine optimization might be changing, but the basic rules of marketing, online or off-line, tend to be fairly consistent. Be a source of interesting, high-quality information, and customers will always give you more of their attention.
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Posted: March 13th, 2012 by Benjamin Spiegel
So today I logged into one of my AdSense accounts, and what did i see?
So I am a big fan of Google+ and prefer it 1.2 Million times over Facebook, but all my friends are still on Facebook… So I have to be too!
Either way while I am happy about Google+ being promoted, I am unsure how Google+ is relevant to my AdSense account or performance. And even when you click “Get Code Snippet” you still not getting anything special or tracked…
So Google, while I am happy you pushing Google+, please stay out of my AdSense unless you start paying me for sending traffic to Google+
Hmm that brings up an interesting thought, why not? I think goggle should have an affiliate program that pays for each phone verified user you generate, I think something small like 1-4 $ would be awesome, I could see this really taking of and generating the user base we need!
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Or what about getting paid for ad impressions on my own Google+ page?
Posted: November 18th, 2011 by Benjamin Spiegel
It’s been a little over a month since Google announced that it will be providing SSL searches for it’s logged in users and as Result of that we will lose some of our Organic Search Data, we covered this in a bit more detail HERE
So now that the initial craze has settles we decided to look at some sample data and look at what’s actually going on and how it is really affecting us and our Brands.
We decided to use 6 Sits from different verticals as a sample; we decide don the following verticals:
- SEO Company (since Visitors are obviously engaged in Google, we assume that they logged in)
- Home Cleaning Products Manufacturer
- Financial Service Company
- Home Electronics
- Healthcare Services
- News & Gossip Site
This gives us a good look at a very wide spectrum of sites and users.
||299 / 22.62
||11% / 45%
||1632 / 6.16
||13% / 35.36 %
|Financial Services Company
||2608 / 4.78
||25% / 47.35 %
||3.382 / 6.77
||16% / 48 %
||2679 / 13.24
||9% / 18%
|News / Gossip Site
||419 / 1.60
||34% / 42%
So what did we find?em>
The first thing just as we suspected is that SEO / Tech & Computers users are Google users, therefor logged in and will be using the SSL search. This was confirmed with 22% of searches being hidden.
Another interesting fact is that Google actually seems to be serving them smart. One of the sample sites is a healthcare site, and without giving away too much, it is not a modern medicine, it targets elderly people and we are fairly certain they do not have a Google account (80% of their members have ISP emails such as Comcast, Verizon, AOL etc). Based on the analytics sample data it seems that Google hid 13% of the keywords.
We need to keep one thing in mind, Google does this to protect users privacy and not to mess with us internet marketers ‘)
On the flip side it is fairly interesting that Google does not hide the info from a financial services site, but this might be due to the fact that most of their site is already served over https
Also we were expecting to have a higher amount of hidden KWs on the home electronics site. More hen 50% their member emails end in @gmail
So without upsetting any hardcore Internet marketers, it does seem that there is more behind the decision process on Google’s side then just are you logged in or not.
After compiling this I looked at a few more healthcare and medical related sites, and it seems that across all of them there is a really high rate of hidden keywords as well, some even up to 50% and all of those sites are targeted towards elderly people, not your usual google crowd!
Another Interesting find is the high number of Chrome share among the hidden keywords, it seems that the browser is a deciding factor as well.
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Posted: October 20th, 2011 by Benjamin Spiegel
So on Thursday October 18th the Organic Search Community had a moment of silence and then complete Panic, google announced in a blog post ( http://vfx.la/xFDD0 )that it will stop showing the Search query from users logged into Google as well as all users using the secure search option ( https://encrypted.google.com/ )
We have been answering a few panic calls from clients, so I decided to write up this quick info sheet.
So to understand the impact a bit better, let’s look at the current flow of events.
- Users a search Query using Google’s search page or toolbar
- Google Displays the results page (at this point the search term position and following action are saved in the Google Webmaster Tools – and also inserted into Google Analytics)
- Upon click google redirects the user to the final destination page
So what has changes?
On the frontend it all still looks the same, besides a cute ssl logo the average user will not notice a difference. ON a technical site the queries CTR rates and all related transactions are encrypted and more safe (not really sure why people care) but they seem to do.
So what does that mean for the organic community?
- You will no longer be able to see the SERP positions / CTR in Webmaster Tools
- In Analytics it will say (not provided) instead of the actual keyword
- You will no longer be able to track organic performance on a keyword level
- No more goal or e-commerce data on a keyword level
Who does this apply to?
- This only applies to Organic searches (paid is still getting that data)
- This for now only applies to users that are logged into their google account (so all Google+ / Gmail / Adsense / Adwords users)
Does this affect me?
- One of the hardest hits is against anybody provided services in the internet sector, such as web development agencies, SEO companies and any web service related companies. Why? It is because most of the internet development and marketing community is using one or another google tool.
- If you target for example Google+ and any other Google Product users, this applies even stronger to you
Why aren’t you worried?
- Based on our current numbers (we checked in Google Analytics) only 0.12% for the organic traffic was marked as (not provided)
- People who are logged into google, getting a custom search experience and SERPs anyway, and therefore not a good measurement of performance as it is.
- We have a strong believe in Whitehead tactics and think that google does these changes to improve quality for the SERPs and as long as we produce quality content and follow the clean guidelines
We will keep an eye on the Analytics for our web properties and keep you updated on any developments or changes.
UPDATE: After some technical feedbacks, we can confirm that when you leave a SSL site such as google Secure SERPs and go to a non SSL page, no referring data is transmitted which means its not just google being mean, it’s a technical challenge!
Update #2: Google just confirmed it in this Article ( http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/10/accessing-search-query-data-for-your.html ): In Webmaster tools and Analytics you still can:
- View the top 1000 daily search queries and top 1000 daily landing pages for the past 30 days.
- View the impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate (CTR), and average position in search results for each query, and compare this to the previous 30 day period.
- Download this data in CSV format
Are you worried? Why not get a Free SEO Audit?
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