Tag Archives: Search Engines

The New SEO Citations

The New Citations for SEO.  Or how SEO is changing

We think the new rankings algorithm is based on Supervised Learning and raw statistical analysis that Google uses. The change is probably simple, and frankly very logical.  I have two blogs listed at the end of this article you can read for more and better detailed information.

Google Chrome
Google Chrome (Photo credit: thms.nl)

Before the panda and penguin updates at Google It was too easy to use on site tactics ( Keywords and H1 Tags and meta titles) to influence rankings.

Google is now moving too, and undoubtedly is using more off site context, and content to determine what your site should rank for.  To do that they probably  look at all the “citations” (mentions) for your site, in what ever format they appear, and have a raw statistical analysis of the relevancy, and then the context.

The results would be very much in line with what we have seen with the Panda and Penguin updates and algorithm changes.  If your site
has been listed in a bunch of directories that have SEO or Rankings in the titles then Google starts with this:

You say your site is about Insurance.

Sites about or related to Insurance that you are listed on or mentioned:  3
Sites not about Insurance or related topics you are listed on:  200

You get credit for the three, and how much credit would depend on the Authority of the page and site you are listed on.

One of the interesting consequences of all this is the no follow or follow link value disappears.  As many “citations” may not have a link to your site.

Statistical analysis of the COM:QIC archives
So, in summary:

  • A Citation or link is only going to help you if it comes from a site or page that Google see’s as relevant to your site.That’s one reason your rankings dropped off the face of the earth if you where primarily using non relevant sites.

Words matter. Google probably (using raw statistical analysis) looks at what a relevant page citation says about your site, or the content about your site on that page.  ( Co-citation’s and such)

  • Follow or not, a high authority site citation with a link or without is still good for your sites Authority, and ranking.

 

  • On site signals continue to be important, but they only point  Google in a direction to determine your sites Authority theywon’t help your ranking on their own.

Interesting example.

We recently built a 2 page site about a specific remodeling type project. We wanted to test the exact match domain changes. The site
url is (Project Type) in (City).
We added it to 4 or 5 sites that were related directly to Remodeling.  We may have tweeted it, and added it to a facebook comment.

Two months later it was ranked number 1 for that very specific keyword, and on the first page for that keyword phrase in different form. It was (and is) ranking higher than several sites that have been around for a long time and had SEO companies working on for years (at least to an extent).

We originally thought the the exact match domain for local sites was still a very important ranking factor and it was that simple. Now, I think  if we had back linked the same 2 page site to 4 or 5 unrelated directories… or sites, that it would have never been ranked. Well, only one way to find out. Check back in a few months. We will give you an up date.

All of this is admittedly a very simplistic view of the new Google ranking changes. There are many other important factors. Our point is to communicate that many of the old SEO tactics don’t work any more, and why. For us, it’s all good news, as we have followed the
“act as if Google doesn’t exist” principle in SEO for years (to the extent any Internet marketing company like My One Call LLC can).
Our clients didn’t see any rankings drop over the last 6 months based on these new changes.

For far more detail read Joshua Giardino’s excellent blog here :http://blog.iacquire.com/2012/11/28/its-not-co-citation-but-its-still-awesome/

I also mentioned the SEOmoz blog on Co-citations on an early blog.  http://www.seomoz.org/blog/prediction-anchor-text-is-dying-and-will-be-replaced-by-cocitation-whiteboard-friday .

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By Mike Bayes

Is Google Penalizing Sites for Profile Behavior

Is Google Penalizing Sites for Profile Behavior?

I think it’s true, Google is a profiler. Your back link profile, and timing of it all.

  • It appears to me that Google is now Penalizing sites based on Back Links showing up in unnatural “Batches”.
  • It seems logical that Google is grading your entire Back Link profile based on new logic that includes when and how often Links are acquired, not only the source of those back links.

If your web sites back link Profile looks like this: with the line representing a week or a month interval with very little new back links in between those intervals, you look pretty unnatural don’t you?

_____30 links__________27 Link___________30 Links ___________27 links

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 06: Brian McClendon, ...
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 06: Brian McClendon, Google VP of Engineering for Google Maps, speaks during a news conference about Google Maps o

Let’s say you’re Google. You really dislike any attempt to manipulate your algorithm.  So you want to build in a bunch of signals that will tell you when a site is trying to unnaturally manipulate its rankings in your search results.

So you bring together your very talented spam group, and some of the best engineers in the world and come up with what you would consider sure fire signs and signals that a web site is trying to game the system, and you  make some pretty big (and good) changes to how you rank sites.  Many of you know these changes as “Panda”, and “Penguin” up dates.  You can search either to find an abundance of SEO information about this. It rocked some of the SEO world.

But something that hasn’t been discussed recently showed up in a blog post at http://blumenthals.com/blog/ and written by one of the Internets best “local SEO’ guys, Mike Blumenthal.

It relates, in this instance to “Local SEO” and how Google perceives reviews posted in bunches. Basically there have been all sorts of problems recently where a business has several clients’ review them and it never shows up on their Google Places Listing. The Blog I linked to above, and response from Google explains that when they see a bunch of reviews come in at once, or over a short period of time, it can flag them as spam reviews because they assume the business has sent out a request for those reviews. Google wants reviews to be a natural occurrence. So reviews are good, requesting reviews are bad, and that’s how they assume you have requested reviews from your customers. And that is (in my opinion) exactly how Google feels about back links to a web site.

Now, those of us how have been in Internet Marketing and Web Promotion for long time understand that if you just throw 1000 links at a page over a short period of time, that you may get a nice ranking for a day or week, but the “bounce” effect will pull that ranking down pretty fast,  nothing new there,  but what does seem new to me is not only will throwing a bunch of links at one time hurt your rankings, but building links in “batches” may hurt your rankings as well. Isn’t that the same premise as getting a bunch of reviews at once… it’s just not natural.

Now clearly this will depend on the type of back links.  It is natural, one would assume that if your blog gets picked up by a national site, or distributed by them to their national audience, that you will get a “Batch” of back links. Seems natural right?  Happens to our site now and then, and we never see much happen in the negative way. Those back links all come from Internet Marketing type sites, and all quote the same blog or information.

But….. (drum Roll)….If those “batches” of back links are from less than high quality sites, (like free directories), or low value blog’s, or low value blog comments, or completely unrelated sites, or social bookmarks, I would assume Goggle may ignore them, or actually penalize your site rankings.  Yes, I think they are now penalizing for Profile Behavior, as much as for the Back Links to your site.

And it seems to me that a profile penalty is about the hardest predicament to overcome. It’s kind of like having to walk around town with a convicted felon sticker on your head and Google is the Police.

So it all goes back to doing web visibility and  PR as if Google Didn’t exist. In many ways the last year of changes to how Google ranks sites have changed how an SEO or a web master should view rankings forever. If your SEO is using 2011 tactics, you may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

 

 

 

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Local Search Ranking Results and Factors 2012

If you run reports for Local search engine rankings you may be in for a big surprise.

For every keyword you are looking at you need to run four different queries, because Google will serve the results in three different ways with different results for each. Local searches may use one of the following type searches. Let’s use Basement Finishing as an example.

1.)  Just the term Basement Finishing

This will bring up results Google thinks are relevant to what location you are searching from. I assume they use the IP from your Internet provider, which may or may not be in the actual town/city/zip you are sitting in as you search. This result (and I will add pictures later) will have the strongest organic listings for the major metro area you are (of you are ) part of.  Followed by the Maps listings.(Generally)

2.) You may search with your city name in the query, like “basement Finishing Broomfield”

This brings up the Maps first.  A big difference than a search with no city.

 

3.) You may use the zip code, like “basement Finishing 80020”

This brings up different organic results in the first two positions than the non city term search and then the maps.

 

4.) You may just use the generic metro city name, like “Basement Finishing Denver”.

Completely different results from all of the above.

Four commonly used search structures for local, one keyword. This is one reason that using a non local SEO for a local business can be a mistake. Few understand, or work on the entire set of query types, and may be sending you reports with just one type query, when you are missing 75%  of the opportunities.

Here is a quick copy of examples:

 

Basement Finishing Browser set to 80020

Basement Finishing:

Basement Finishing Broomfield

Give us a call any time for a free assessment of how your site ranks in all of these local query types. 303 500 3053 ext 1.

 

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Google Places Reviews and Rankings

There is far more to Local SEO in for Google places than just the ranking of your web site. The reality is, even if your site is in the first or second position for three of four keywords, you will still end up in the 3rd or 4th position for other relevant keywords.

 

Take our Friends At Vivax Pro Painting. Their site is ranked in the first or second position for just about every search you can imagine related to house painting ______ < add a city around Denver. But for a few searches they fall to 4th or so.

They still will get a high percentage of the clicks for one reason They have 6 reviews  and therefore have the “Stars”  on the SER places listing. This will draw people to click. If they had 2 reviews, or none, they wouldn’t stand out, and would lose about 75% of the possible clicks to their site because they are in the 4th position. The first three listings will get about 85% of clicks in a all things being equal situation. But by providing the searches with something that clearly makes your listing stand out, you can pick up a larger share of clicks, and therefore customers.

LOCAL SEO’s who focus only on rankings are not doing the best job they can… and their clients may be losing out on revenue.

That’s way we provide a turn key system to clients to get their customers to go to and review their services on Google and other important sites. It’s not SEO, it’s PR  and conversion tactics.

 

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Googles new Billion Dollar Opportunity

Google Appliance as shown at RSA Expo 2008 in ...
Image via Wikipedia

Recently Google ran an advertisement for a sales manager and sales team in Seattle. In it they talk about their new billion dollar opportunity, selling services to the small and medium business community.  Having run a national sales force doing exactly that, with over 600 outside sales reps, I think they may find it more difficult than they think…  I have a better idea, and I am pretty sure Google would find this a much better and faster way to generate the next billion they need.

Ready? Here it is

Provide Customer Service, and charge a small fee to do so. It fits into their model, (don’t be evil).  I assume, that the reason they don’t do it now is multifarious, but one is basic. Costs to much money to service the peasant companies of the world. This being businesses that spend less that $600,000.  a year in advertising. That was the bench mark last time I looked, could have changed.

Google has no idea the time and energy small and medium businesses put into trying to figure out simple things like, how to get a business location listed in Places.  Or, how to set up and manage an ad words account.

In the SEO community one of the greatest frustrations for Local SEO’s (you see this in the forums all the time) is Google places. Listings pending, listings that are wrong. Right now one of my own company listing on Google places  is showing testimonials from a major competitor.  Sent a help request months ago.  Will do so again.

So, Google…  a $1.00 a  minute?  $20.00  per help ticket request?  Name your price!  We know what you are, now we just are negotiating the price 😉

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SEO Tips Denver CO.

SEO Tips in Denver

SEO tips for Denver Colorado web master s and business owners.

Recently Matt Cutts, the voice of Google for SEO , has been talking a bunch about the recent Panda changes at Google.  Here is what all this comes down to for SEO  and business owners.  Google says if someone will “book m,rk” your site, your in good shape for better rankings,  and then they add a hundred other things.  But, to me,  if we can focus on just that one aspect, the rest will fall in line quickly.

Here are some tips to get you thinking about why someone would book mark your site:

  • Calculators.  Useful information. How much will they save, spend, or what ever, for your service
  • Cartoons.  I know, odd, but a well done funny cartoon can get a lot of attention
  • Pictures of customers.  Good pictures will bring your customers back and they will tell there friends
  • Forums. Information with good interaction on your industry can bring lots of attention
  • Q  and A.  A well thought out Q.A. about important items in your industry
  • Videos  of ________.  How are process works, who are customers are, how we got started.
  • Tips.  Good tips they can not find somewhere else
  • DIY. Why not!  This can be very helpful
  • Contests. A good old fashion contest!

You don’t have to spend a ton of time linking other sites to yours if your site naturally attracts visitors through interesting and unique content.

Let us know what ideas work for you.

 

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Is Google the Universal Mind?

The first iteration of Google production serve...
Image via Wikipedia

So if all things material (even the digital empire) are reflections of the true and one intelligence, and our development of these material manifestations of spiritual truths continue to advance as our collective understanding advances, then could it be that Google is in fact… the material manifestation of the universe mind? The keeper and communicator of all knowledge?

Or is all that technology, just something they use to promote ad words.

Yes, these are the thoughts that dance through my little mind from time to time.

 

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Google Places Citations

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 14:   Director of ...

Google Places Citations

An important piece to getting your local site ranked on Google is the citations for your site in your Google places listing (and some that may not show up in Google Places)

Here are some surprising citations we have seen in Google Places listings, and some that are not surprising but worth the trouble of obtaining.

  • Linked in Company profile
  • BBB membership
  • Craig’s list (classified advertising)
  • Allbusines.com
  • Yelp.com (business listing
  • Servicemagic.com (Customer)
  • Angie’s list ( Business Listing
  • Yellowbot.com
  • Local.yahoo.com
  • www.denverpreferred.us
  • www.hotfrog.com
  • www.123people.com
  • www.usaexplorer.com

And, from our work it does appear you will get more citations from your own site if your pages are well indexed in Google. Use Google web master tools (free)  and submit your site map. This of course is good for normal SEO, but appears to help in your Google places ranking as well.

There is some reason to assume that Google has diminished the value of your citations, and Google places optimization in General as it relates to your sites ranking.  My feeling is Google has lost some faith in its Google places ranking system due to the MANY programs it has encountered, and may be taking a bit of a breather, or a step back and figure it it period.

Some of this assumption is based on watching new listings over the last 6 months, and how they do not reflect the same information as listings from 12 or 18 months ago, even though they should.

But the one thing we know is your rankings are impacted by both the Citations your site has and it’s links, and that Google does take your Google places listing into account for your over all rankings for local intent keywords.

Don’t make the mistake of only focusing on Link’s.  A well balanced portfolio of Links, Content, citations, and more content will go a long way.  Do remember,  Getting your site visible is about promoting your site as if Google didn’t exist.  If you are doing anything just because you think Google likes it, it probably will not be a very good long term tactic.

 

 

 

 


If Google Was an Air Traffic Controller

A small passenger plane lands in Toronto at Pe...
Image via Wikipedia

If Google was an airline traffic controller, and your site was a plane trying to land, the communication might start like and sound like this.

Stactic…..

(Your Site) Good day  Google master controller, this is site IP 123,76.900  requesting landing on your front page under vector keyword category of “travel to Europe”  over

LONG PAUSE……

(GC) Static:  ummm IP 123,76.900, this is Google master controller……. Static….  umm we can not understand your request, can you change your meta data so we can understand you? . IP 123,76.900  recontact after changes if you like.  Good day over   static

Long pause

Static….  Okay dokie Google master controller,  have corrected the data, and all should be well. Request landing on your front page,  vector keyword “travel”  Over.

Long  Long pause

(GC) Static…….  Umm IP 123,76.900  please stay in holding pattern, we will get back to you as soon as possible.  In the mean time you may want to view our help forums, Over

Static…  Google master control, this is IP 123,76.900,  have check the other frequency and found some help.  Am making additional data changes to the site,  and will be requesting landing once completed.  …  should note  that I am running slightly low on traffic to the site and will need some visibility soon.  Good day  Over.

Static…

(Your site) Google master control, this is me, IP 123,76.900.  Data changes made, can you check for clearance onto your front page under Travel?  over.

Long silence…..

Static  .

(Your site): Google master control.  this is IP 123,76.900. I am begging.  Over

(GC):  Static…….. IP 123,76.900,  we have reviewed your data, and are having difficulties approval landing.  Have a nice day.  Over .

static

(YS) Google master controller for the love of gawd, we are dieing here. I told my boss we would have good traffic weeks ago….just give me a hint.!   good day  Over.

Silence

Your Site:  umm Google master Controller, boss just mentioned PPC would be cheaper than me.  I have check with more of your “help” forums, run a report and adjusted what I believe may have been the problem with abundant stuffing of certain words  ( 19% was a little high?). Please check and approve my request to land on your front page… vector… ummmm  traveling to Europe from Chicago?….  over.

(GC) IP 123,76.900,  We are now reading your data.  But because no one else is, we can not approve your landing at this time.  Thank you, and PPC is always a good option…. over.

Static

(Your Site): Google master controller, this is the new pilot of IP 123,76.900.  Please accept my apologizes oh great and mighty Indexer of all knowledge. We have started a PPC campaign, and are now sending your family $7000. a month.  I have also added significant content to the site, hoping to attract attention.  Requesting clearance to land on your front page under vector,     ummmm  ….   Static… Travel to Europe from…ummm… Paducah Kentucky? ? Over.

(GC):  Static …IP 123,76.900.  Sorry,  Your load times are to high to give permission at this time..  Over
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Is this how it feels to some of us?  Feel free to add to the landing dialog in the comments!

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Importance of Google Places Reviews

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Google Places Reviews:

If I could only give one piece of advice for a local business owner about getting good exposure on Google, it would be:

Get as many reviews as possible for your Google places listing. It does so much good in so many ways.

First it’s going to help your rankings. Second its going to help your reputation, and those two things will lead to more sales.

Send each client or customer an email which includes your Google places URL. Give basic instructions on how they write a review once they get to your Google listing. Thins like where to click, and how to set up a Google account if they don’t have one.

You can also suggest they review you on other sites using the same methodology. Yahoo, Insider Pages, and yelp are all great sites to get reviews on, and Google places may pick them up.

Make a plane today. Ask for one review a day. Get ranked!

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