Category Archives: Google

The End of Google Search Relevancy

Google Search Size Matters not Content

At a high level meeting of senior Google business strategists in April a crucial decision was taken to change the way Google search works in order to “encourage” people to pay for placement in search results. “From now on we only want big sites to feature at the top of SERP. We will no longer list links to highly relevant content if it’s a smaller site. Owners of big sites are more likely to pay us for Google Ads and after all profit is what we are all about, not what people want”.

No I’m not a fly on the wall at Google HQ, and this hypothetical meeting probably never took place, this decision was probably never taken! YET!

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Google Bounce Rate Value

Does Google Bounce Rate Analytic Have Any Real Value

SEO experts tell us a low bounce rate is important for site ranking in Google SERP. Bounce rate is an indicator of quality content on our blogs and websites. The lower the bounce rate, the better our sites will rank…

Google Analytics shows a bounce rate statistic for our sites. Just how accurate is this analytic statistic, how much credence should we give it?

What is Bounce Rate?

Simply put, bounce rate is the ratio between visitors arriving on our site and viewing more than one page to the number of arriving visitors who leave immediately. If we have a high percent of visitors who stay around to read more than one post we can assume they found our blog useful and interesting.

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Google Drops Real Estate MLS Listings

Will Google Stop Indexing Real Estate Website MLS Listings

is google dropping mls links iconIs Google going to stop indexing MLS listings on real estate websites? It’s a rumour we came across recently! Disturbingly, the source of the rumour came from an IDX service provider. (IDX service is an intermediary service between the raw data MLS feed and a realtors website)

The IDX service provider told our client there was no point in having indexable listings on his real estate website as Google was going to stop indexing these listings. The client should instead use the listings on their own domain, and use Google AdWords to drive traffic to their site

In a way this makes sense. Yet the idea raises more questions than it answers.

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No Loss to Penguin

Google Penguin Had Zero Impact on My Sites

google penguin iconApril 24, 2012 and Google hits out against over-optimised sites with its Penguin algorithm. Penguin penalised websites with over optimised anchor text in incoming links – backlinks in other words.

The Penguin algorithm slipped past my attention until I read a tweet from Matt Cutts. I’m nearly obsessive about watching traffic stats for the sites in my portfolio; they get checked daily for activity of all types – traffic, attacks, broken links and so on, and I hadn’t seen any unusual traffic dips on April 24 or shortly after. If anything traffic  has increased to these websites since that time.

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Latest Links to Your Site

Google Webmaster Tools Latest Links to Site

Google Webmaster Tools Latest Links to Site iconLatest Links to your site; something new from Google Webmaster Tools. It’s been a while since Google added anything new to their webmaster tools collection, but this new information tool is a “goody”. Latest Links to your site is a downloadable file, in CSV or Google Docs format, providing the site owner with a list of discovered backlinks, sorted by date and date-stamped.

Find Trackback Spam

The first practical use that comes to mind for Webmaster Tools Latest Links is to check for trackback spam. Trackback spam is a black-hat SEO technique to get you to publish trackbacks. The spammer sends a trackback to a post on your blog, hoping it will be published automatically, or approved if comments approval is required. But the black-hat doesn’t actually publish a link to the post – it’s a scam. And being friendly bloggers many of us see a trackback and think, “how nice, someone has given me a backlink, let me reciprocate”.

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Google Ranks WPOnlineStore Websites Badly

Googlebot has Problems with WPOnlineStore

There’s a few problems Googlebot (Google’s search engine spider) has with sites using the WPOnlineStore osCommerce plugin for WordPress. These problems result in WPOnlineStore website catalogue listings ranking badly in Google SERP, or not being indexed at all.

One of these only affects a few sites, the another is common to all standard self hosted WordPress sites using the WPOnlineStore plugin for e-commerce websites. Both these problems are extremely serious, but neither is a fault or bug in the plugin. The third problem Google has with WPOnlineStore e-commerce sites is the store XML sitemap – there isn’t one!

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Adwords Budget

What Results to Expect from $1000 Google Adwords

google adwords logoA client asked me the other day “which is better – a direct adword spend of $1000 per month with Google, or share in a collaborative campaign for a similar monthly fee, where total spend is 100 times that”. I had to ask for time to carefully consider this request and my response.

Both Options have Merit

My instinct tells me that for many businesses a direct campaign with a budget of that amount will normally be better. But a total budget of $100k /month sounds very inviting. My first response must be; investigate how the collaborative campaign funds are used relative to your business.

If the advertiser (the client) has a good idea of the key terms he wants to use for the Adword campaign, and only needs results from a small possible selection – let’s say 10 terms – 10 ads, then the money may be better used in a private campaign.

However, if he wants to cover as many options as possible, then the group scheme may be better.

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Google Rich Snippets Not Working

Google SERP Not Showing Rich Snippets

stars for rich snippetsAfter adding Rich Snippets Google does not show these in SERP. There are several reasons Google does not show rich snippet content in their search results. Rich snippets include Authorship Markup and Article Ratings e.g. GD Star Ratings for WordPress.

Google does not guarantee your rich snippets will be used in search results. The rich snippet program is intended to give searchers an indication they will find relevant, quality and original content on the page marked up with rich snippet content.

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Do You Update Old Posts

Updating Old Blog Posts and Web Pages

The updating of old published posts and pages is a somewhat controversial topic. Some bloggers feel it is wrong to update a published article, others do it regularly. I am one of the group who updates content in posts and pages whenever I find a reason (and the time) to do so.

Updating Old Posts is Good for SERP

Google now looks for “FRESHNESS” as one of the criteria for SERP (Search Engine Results Placement), the position a page or post will get. Fresher content gets favoured over old content. A new post may initially be placed high in their results, then overtime this will drop off, eventually fading into obscurity.

Give your older posts a new life by updating them. Sometimes when I go back to older articles I find the information is out of date, fresh knowledge or developments may need changes to the content to make the information more accurate…

Articles are often posted with unnoticed errors. I don’t mean incorrect information, just the small things like spelling mistakes and grammatical errors – both of which will lose ranking to Google’s algorithm. Even the way we have written an article can often be improved after some time has passed, and we go back and check the content we thought at the time had been so great. With a fresh look at these older posts, we can often see ways to re-write parts (or all) of the content to make it more readable for our visitors.

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Should I use Google Webmaster Tools

Should I use Google Webmaster Tools?

YES, you should! Google Webmaster Tools is a suite of useful utilities to help get your website rocketing. First of all, you can submit a sitemap – or as many sitemaps as you want, confirm Google bot is able to read the file, and there are no errors in the file, e.g. to broken links or missing content. If you don’t use any of the other webmaster tools, sitemap submission is essential.

Then there are other useful tools; You can monitor for Broken Links Google has indexed (broken links will really harm your site ranking if left unattended.) You can ask Google to delete entries from the index. Webmaster Tools can tell you how Google bot crawls your site; if there are access problems for the bot or page load speed issues. You also get Google Plus1 analysis.

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