09 Aug

Google Tells You About Manual Penalties

Finally, after years of asking for it, Google now let site owners know about manually applied penalties.This information is easily available now through the Google Webmaster Tools site at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools under ‘Search Traffic->Manual Actions’.  Apparently 2% of sites have a manual action against them.

For background Google has two types of penalties, algorithmic penalties are in their ranking algorithm and are automatically applied and removed as necessary – this includes the Panda and Penguin updates along with a whole host of other penalties. Manual penalties are applied by someone in Google after they have reviewed your site, and can only be removed by someone at Google.… Read the rest

19 Jul

The Future of SEO?

The latest Google update has come and gone. That must mean that it is time to start debating the future of SEO — or rather, what new thing is going to mean the death of SEO this year. Anyone who has been in the industry for more than a year can recall the cyclical arguments of how SEO is dying and in the process of being replaced by something else. What that something else is changes from directories to portals to mobile to social media to some other factor.

For those out of the loop, SEO stands for search engine optimization.… Read the rest

06 Jul

Penguin 4 – What to Expect

penguinWhile there is confusion about whether the upcoming update to Penguin is 4 or 2.0, there is no doubt that a major update is around the corner.  Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, announced that it was coming back in March and, if rumors are to believed, it is still on schedule to go live any day.

Penguin 1 rolled out on April 24, 2012 and affected 3.1% of search queries. By any measure this had a significant impact on various websites and specific industries.  Cutts has gone on record saying that this update to Penguin (which they refer to internally as Penguin 2.0… Read the rest

23 Mar

Is it possible to kill a competitors website?

Yes. As seen with the recent Build My Rank fiasco you can buy BMR links and point them to your competitors sites and you will kill their site, and as they didn’t pay for them will not be able to remove the links, and won’t be able to file for reinclusion. Good bye competition, hello higher rankings!

Your mileage may vary. Don’t expect this to work for Wikipedia but it will for some smaller outfits.

Google has to address this as they have now created a huge loophole in their algorithms. There are several linking networks out there, BMR is just one.… Read the rest

01 Mar

How to Work Out Share of Voice

Disclaimer – I wrote the Sycara Share of Voice system so there will be obvious bias.

One of the seemingly obvious questions in SEO is ‘who are my competition’. As the video says it should be obvious but it’s not always obvious. It also changes, for one set of terms your site might be in competition with companies a, b and c, for another set it might be x, y and z.

So how do you work out share of voice? For each keyword you grab the top 10 sites ranking and assign each position a certain number. You can assign linear numbers (position 1 = 10 points, position 2 = 9 points, etc) or based on click through rates (position 1 = 42 points (42% click through rate), position 2 = 16 points (16% CTR).… Read the rest

06 Oct

Steps to Move eCommerce Store to New Domain Name

Before you move the store:

  • Check that the cart will handle the change in domain names, nothing is hard coded to the current domain, no license restrictions, etc.
  • Check your host allows parked domains.
  • You will need to obtain a SSL certificate for the new store so your checkout continues to work.
  • Does your site enforce one domain? If so can you change to the new domain name?
  • Check none of the coded pages refers directly to the old domain name– the only time it should be hard coded is the jump to the secure checkout. If there are pages with the domain in them you will need to edit to remove the domain name or list them for change after the conversion.
Read the rest
15 Jun

1 Hour To Great Results with Sycara

The Sycara SEO tool is great for quick site audits and the results for the time invested are outstanding. The steps for a quick one hour audit are:

  1. Login to your Sycara account.
  2. Add your site to the Sycara system using the ‘Add Site’ menu option – supply the site name and site URL and hit save.
  3. When the ‘Next Steps’ options appear click ‘Visit Site Dashboard’
  4. Gather your list of top keywords and turn them in a CSV format on one line i.e. diamond watch, gold ring.
  5. Under ‘Site Settings’ -> ‘Map Keywords’ click the down arrow on the blue bar and select ‘Add Keywords’ – cut and paste your CSV keyword string here.
Read the rest
24 May

Who Can Benefit from SEO?

The information super highway. The World Wide Web. Cyberspace. While there are many different names, it all boils down to one thing — the Internet. It is through all of these names that we begin to realize what a large part the Internet plays in our lives. Most of us in Western culture use it on a daily basis for correspondence, information, and entertainment. We would be disoriented and disconnected if the Internet were suddenly unavailable.

One of the key components of the Internet is search engines. Search engines can provide answers to nearly every question in a matter of seconds, from fashion and trivia to weather and services.… Read the rest

26 Jan

Making a Career of Online Reputation Management

If you enjoy computers and want to be part of the fast-paced internet-based world, perhaps a career in online reputation management and SEO would be just the job for you. There are several benefits to starting out on your own. One, you can work from home and have complete flexibility of your time and hours. And two, there is no special degree or certification required. And for many who are facing uncertainty in the job area, they are benefits you may not want to pass on.
But before you go and quit your day job, be warned there are many challenges should you decide enter this field.… Read the rest