A fellow SEO just noticed some major keywords are showing up on the first page of Google. I wonder if you use a hashtags on your tweets for your company or a local brand (company name) of it would do the same thing?
Here are two quick examples of Twitter Hashtags showing up from searches in Denver: Searched : Earthquake
Here is a search for Denver
I think I will start Tweeting with the Company as a hashtag and see what happens. I will use #Myonecall.
Any one else want to help just to see if it shows up?
2013 Local SEO Predictions. Content Marketing is Phooey.
I am going against the general concord in SEO circles this year (what a shock right?) on what will work for SEO firms in 2013, and make a big statement. Links matter more than ever, and are in fact (after your on site work) the absolute most important aspect to any successful SEO program.
There is a ton of content marketing, and social signal pundits in SEO since Panda and Penguin marched into town burning and destroying all search rankings developed with sophomoric and thoughtless tactics, that will tell you the only path to high Internet traffic is through a massive content marketing strategy. The mass hysteria that followed has been epic.
I have read a great volume of blogs’ and posts on “how to “implement SEO now that every thing has changed. The truth is, very few “things” have changed, and authors are simple feeding a hungry and worried Internet Marketeering community.
I recently posted on a very popular blog (about local SEO issues) that the loss of keyword information from Google was not a really big deal for local services. I mean, if you need a keyword tool to tell you how people find a local Plumber, you may want to get another gig. SEO is not for you in 2013. Most will use the word Plumber. Maybe add service, company, a city, I mean there just are not all that many combo’s to figure out. In my experience, what is important in local internet visibility is not the combination of keywords a prospect uses, but how they use those combinations in search. Most SEO firms won’t even report (because there is no automated tool to do so) how a site ranks in important local zip codes with no local intent term used. And this is becoming the MAJOR search type for local services.
This race to content now being promoted as the SEO tactic de jour may be exactly what we think it is when it comes to non local sites. For local sites, and local SEO, which is where the vast majority of us plow the ground, it is in many cases complete phooey. Not that great content is phooey, just that this obsession with great content as the number one all in one SEO device is phooey. Google wants a site to communicate the information a person goes to that site for (I am guessing). A local plumber doesn’t need to be the Robert Frost of the copper pipe crowd, to rank well. They just need to have a well designed 4 or 5 page site, giving people what they want to read and see when they get there.
Example: In the last 4 months we have ranked a site with one page of actually content (two pages total) for a local intent keyword, by adding a few local back links, using an emd, and ummm that was it. Does it have much competition? Yes, some. Would it ever have a chance of ranking on a national search? No. And that’s the point; Local SEO is to National SEO what Physics is to the M theory. They both deal with universe in completely different ways.
So for Local SEO in 2013:
Backlinks to your site will continue to be the number one (off site) ranking factor.
On Site SEO will continue to be important.
PS A backlink doesn’t mean a listing on a horrible directory that no one ever visits. It means a mention of your site on a site that real people who might be interested in your service visit, and may actually click through to your site based on that visit. It may also mean an advertisement on a highly promoted site, or a mention on a popular face book or linked in page. This hasn’t change in the last 2 years. Spammy directories and link wheels where never good for SEO. If you were using those and keyword stuffing and all of that, then I will agree with you, your SEO has changed a lot.
How A Blog Can Help Your Google Rankings (again, and again):
Blogging is a buzz word in the small and medium business community. Almost every client we talk with (or potential client) wants to know how to do a blog because they have “heard” it will help their search engine rankings. This falls into the tradition of small business owners being about 8 years behind on new marketing tactics. That’s not a criticism, it’s a reality. Most small business owners don’t have the hours in a day needed to stay on top of anything besides what they do.
The Bad News. Although there is clearly some truth left in that assumption that a blog will help your sites rankings, but, and it’s a big but, if you are to see an increase in your sites popularity based on a blog, it must have valuable content that other sites and social media will pick up on and mention. If your blog is just another 700 + words of regurgitated news, facts, rumors, or opinion already published or blogged about on the Internet by 100 or 1000 other sites your chances of a web master or influential social media picking up on the blog are very low. And if your Blog isn’t mentioned on other web sites, it gets no help in rankings.
Additional Value of a Blog bedside’s Rankings. Now, if your blog gives your prospective clients or current customers some unique insight into your business or industry, even if they are not going to mention it or link to it, it’s still of value, just not for your search engine visibility. It will help you become more of a trusted source for whatever it is you do.
Internet Marketers Are Blog Obsessed. That’s a problem, because many (and I mean many) Internet Marketers have had some success with getting their blog or content mentioned and linked to, (and all that SEO stuff), by writing a blog,. They write blogs about blogs that are based on another blog in the hopes that someone they don’t know, and who is trying to get followers on twitter will retweet their content to an audience that has little or no interest in what they are saying, and have already seen the information 5 times in other higher authority blogs or sites.
The reason they have any success is it’s far more likely to get Internet Marketing content linked or mentioned on the INTERNET because Internet Marketers spend half their life reading this stuff. If you are a Plumber, or a Dentist, the likelihood of having your content picked up is very small. Plumbers and Dentists, and normal people don’t spend their life on-line reading every blog written, even when its content is the same as the last 5 they read.
It’s important for an Internet Marketer to be up to date on all the new stuff on the Interweb, if for no other reason, so they can sound really knowledgeable and use uncommon words when they speak to Plumbers and Dentists. I call it selling through a vernacular fear factor. More on that some other time.
Blogging For Visibility. So how does a small business utilize a blog for better Internet visibility? It’s all about the subject and content.
Blog about a question a customer asked you.
Blog about a unique problem you solved.
Blog about how a person can prepare for your service.
Blog about your kids.
Blog about your employees.
Blog about your favorite customers
All of the above will at a minimum be unique, and unique is the first principle of good content. Any content you write and publish should have these attributes.
Interesting for your prospects
And if you can make it about the internet you’re really doing well.
By Mike Bayes, My One Call LLC, www.salesjumpstart.net
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.
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.
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.
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.
We have noticed a clear change in local rankings (not just Google Places but blended and organic rankings) based on Title Tag usage. Because I am in a hurry (Thanksgiving tomorrow and all) let me just say your title tags may have diminished in value, and in fact may be hurting a sites ranking if they are spammy. They need to be looked at in concert with your URL descriptions and page copy. To much is to much. Those with ears will hear.
Now, Rand makes the point that c0-citation is a new and important ranking factor, somewhat like what title tags were. I agree. After looking at over 100 high ranking sites and the terms ( which have been bouncing around in the last 30 days a lot) I am convinced that co-citation is part of the now, and future.
So how can you start implementing co-citation in your web promotion. The good news is its a very natural occurrence. In a simple explanation, a co-citation lists a company’s name, and a service next to it. So, My One Call LLC is a Denver SEO, written in text on a decent authority web site can become a co citation. No need for a link, or spammy Anchor text. ( You can see my personal feelings about Anchor Text being a silly SEO tactic in other blogs on this site).
So using a co-citation in your bio’s and descriptions on forums, blogs, and high value directories is a much better tactic than using Anchor text.
Feel free to email me if you see these correlations in any of your rankings email@example.com…. and thanks to the SEOmoz group for doing a superior job.
For those of you who don’t know, SEOmoz develops SEO Software, and provides a robust link intelligence API. I wonder if that is a tri-citation?
Google’s Top Down Search Navigation Is A Big problem For Local Businesses. Google, tell me you’re joking!
Most Local SEO’s know the challenges that can come from Google serving up the wrong location results on local searches. In MANY cases Google is showing the searcher results (Maps and other) from towns or cities several cities away from the searchers town. The solution has been for the searcher to find the “location” box and type in their city or zip. In my very informal survey about 35% of the people I asked had no idea how to do this, even before the new Google search options bar changes.
Here is what the new Search Options (on top) bar looks like. Notice any thing missing? In this case Google Thinks I am in Erie . Some times Google thinks I am in Thornton CO. and sometimes other suburbs I rarely visit. I am in Lafayette CO.
So, where is the location box? You have to click on the “search tools” Tab to find it. How many searches will actually find the location tab, I haven’t a clue. I suspect, that if Google doesn’t move the tab to the first line on the main bar were it is visible we will continue to see local results (especially in suburbs) served up incorrectly. Seems like an easy fix, just have a little statement on top for searches that Google perceives a local intent, saying “We think you are in _____ < location. If not type your zip code here.
Here is what it looks like once you click on Search Tools.
So, what’s the solution if your business or client is in a city that has this issue? Use organic optimization and visibility programs, and Ad Words. Yes, I said Ad words. It’s increasingly becoming (for a local company) an important piece of catching all the traffic for your client.
Of the 4 ways a person can make a local search (keyword no local intent, keyword with major city, Keyword with actually city, keyword with zip) The new Google Search Tool Bar has an effect on 50% of those.
Tell us what you see in your area. If your clients or business (and their prospects) are based in a major metropolitan area (example Chicago, or Phoenix) then this isn’t going to be a big deal. If your business needs to be visible to prospects primarily within the city you serve (example Broomfield CO.) this is a big deal, and you will need a strategy to work with each of the local search types we defined above.
Finding high quality back links for local search engine optimization after the Google algorithm changes this year can be a very big challenge. Here are some tips on not only finding good links, but also avoiding the bad links that can hurt your site rankings.
First go search for your businesses key words. Now find the sites that in one way or another would allow you to add your site and go through the check list.
Tip One:If you would use the link if Google didn’t exist. This is huge. Good links stand on their own merit. Is this a site or page you would want your customers to see you on, and, is this a site or page that your customers might even see?
Tip Two: Does the page show up in searches for your keywords? Hey, if your customers are going to find you on the page they are going to use keywords for your service. Use multiple search engines for this.
Tip Three: Does the page have a Google Page Rank? If the Page rank is zero, move along. It’s a good sign it was penalized. SEOmoz recently did an excellent article on how many web directories that had been listed in their recommended list, as well as the Directory Maximizer (a separate site and entity) where banned or penalized by Google this year. You might be surprised how many on the later list were banned and penalized, as well as a hand fold from the SEOmoz list.
Tip Four: If your site has a blog, list it in the better blog directories. Search Blog Directories to find them. Or add your city in the search.
Tip Five: When you look at as many back links as we do (or any Internet Marketing company does) there is no question that a Dex listing will help your site. BUT DO NOT USE any of their services that require a tracking number. This can kill any ranking progress.
Tip Six: Go quality not quantity. Listing your site in every local directory you can find won’t hurt you (perhaps), but it won’t help you much either. Go with the Local directories where people will actually see you. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Angie’s List are the main directories. Best of the web and a bunch of others won’t hurt, but we rarely if ever see traffic to a client’s site through those.
Tip Seven: Independent review sites can be excellent sources of traffic and good for your sites ranking. I will say no more.
Tip Eight: The harder the link is to acquire the more likely it’s a good link. Forums fall under this, and even a few blog comments.
Tip Nine: Use Google Plus both personally and for your business. Google plus is far more search engine friendly than any other Social media site.
Tip ten: Make sure your site has had an SEO review by a good SEO company. You can go through all of the above and spend hours a day for a year doing web site promotion, but if your site isn’t SEO friendly, its all for nothing.
Quick list of good sites a Local Site should be on:
Better Business Bureau
DEXknows ( With qualifier stated above)
Blog listings Sites:
I could go into detail about how to identify a good link from a bad, but that’s been written about extensively. If you want to learn more or go deeper into “How To Do SEO” I recommend :
SEOmoz.org (has a free and paid membership)
If we can be of any help feel free to call. 303 500 3053
Why Google’s Geo Targeting in Local SEO is a Mess.
A research paper recently stated that search terms using a local intent keyword (the city, or zip, or major metropolitan area as examples) where decreasing by 10% over the last year. Part of this trend may have to do with the search engines doing a better job over the last few years of displaying local information based on where they assume the searcher is located. In that, a large problem exists.
Today Google thinks I am searching from Northglenn Colorado, while Bing thinks I am in Arvada Colorado. I am actually sitting in my home office in Lafayette Colorado. This can have a horrendous affect on my local searches, and I do a lot of local searches.
Here is the screen shot of my browser showing Northglenn as my location in Google. To save time I am not showing the Bing Screen shot, but trust me it says and shows Arvada as my location. Note the location on the left side of the screen half way down.
Here is a Map of the Denver Metro area. Note that Lafayette (far north) is a long way (in local terms) from either Northglenn or Arvada. So, if I am searching for a local Plumber, or Chiropractic or Italian restaurant, Google and Bing will both show me results that are pretty worthless, unless I do add the local intent keyword (Lafayette).
I haven’t been able to find any great statistics (consistent) on the number of local searches with a local intent keyword, and those that just use the keyword alone. But the experts and my experience seems to call it about 50% of keyword searches for a local service will have a city in it. What that tells you is 50% (or a large amount at any estimate) of searches for local services get poor results when it comes to the search engines local listings. Perhaps that’s why Google started using blended results so much more frequently over the last 18 months. They realized that many of the local searches where getting bad results.
Google guesses at your location by thinking you are where your ISP local router, wire box or POP (old telecom term) is. That’s why they think I am sitting in Northglenn. A city I never go to or through. A few months ago they thought I was in Thornton Colorado. So not only are they wrong, but they even change how wrong they are every now and then.
As a company that does a significant amount of Local SEO, and a piece of that being listings in Google Places (Or Google Plus for Business) Bing and Yahoo Local this can cause a real problem.
If my local client in Lafayette Colorado wants to be visible in Maps for their area, then in reality, we need to somehow get the site ranking in Maps for cities 12 miles away. But that’s just for Comcast cable customers. If you’re with another ISP they may have you in another city. Pulling your hair out yet?
So if Google is demanding accurate NPA information (as they should) for business listings don’t they then have a responsibility to provide accurate search information when someone searches for a local business? Seems simple enough to do, they can have a statement on any search with local intent saying “We show your location as ______ (city). If this is not correct click here to change your location settings.
Until then, both Local SEO companies and their clients need to be aware that a top Maps listing in their area, may only be getting served by the search engines in locations far- far away, and have very little value. And we don’t even need to go into the Pay Per Click Ramifications, or at least save that for the next blog.
So, if you would do me a favor, feel free to add a comment below, and list the city you are sitting in, and then the city Google shows you in based on your browser. This might be very interesting.
If we can help you as a business with your web visibility, or if you are an SEO as a sales consultant, please call me at 303 500 3053.
Top 10 reasons Why You Should Pay a Good SEO Company
Your prospects use the internet to find your services.
Your Revenues come from one or two primary sources, and the Internet isn’t one of them.
You have tried to get your site more visible on your own, but it’s not.
You have tried Pay Per Click and it didn’t work.
You have used a SEO company and never saw real results.
You would like new prospects to call you every day.
Your site was built by a friend of your sister who now has gone into real estate and doesn’t have time to make changes, but you think it’s a pretty good site.
You don’t have 16 hours a week to keep up on the latest SEO news, research, and changes.
You hate to work on a computer.
Because you didn’t build your own house or car right?
Reasons your shouldn’t hire a SEO Company
They promise you first position rankings
They are very inexpensive
They sent you a very impressive email sales pitch
Your sisters company used them for “Locksmith for your home in Garden City” and they are now in the 5th position under that keyword.
Your prospects do not find your services on line.
They talk about really complicated Internet stuff and seem to understand the Interweb really well.
They know secret Google information because they worked there 5 years ago as an Intern.
They know secret SEO tricks they won’t tell you. (There are no SEO tricks BTW)
They have no references in your industry.
They can not produce 5 references from the last 12 months.
They won’t tell you who they have worked for based on client privacy. (Huh?)
What you are paying for when you hire an SEO.
Years of experience.
Constant research into changes in SEO.
A clear and proven understanding of White Hat SEO.
A long track record which recent success in generating revenue through the Internet.
Transparency and reporting.
A complete understanding of on site SEO, Social media as it relates to promoting your site, conversion tactics on your site, content generation, your link profile, and high authority site attraction.
What you shouldn’t pay for when you hire an SEO
Submitting your site to a bunch of directories every month.
Writing poorly written articles and spinning them on a bunch of Article sites.
A secret sauce.
Search Engine Optimization has changed more in the last year than in the history of the service. The proof that a SEO is worth its fee is if their clients have not suffered in the last year, and if it was local SEO, since April 2012.
Ask them for references from 3 similar industry clients who have used them for several years, and 3 that have started with them since April. Call those references and look for them on line.
Our company, My One Call llc provides internet visibility marketing for Attorneys, CPA’s, Residential Contractors, Home Improvement Companies, Publishing Company’s, On Line E Commerce sites, Professional services, and many more. We often get called in after a business has spent far too much money on sub standard SEO services. Using the above guidelines will save you money, and get you to the right Internet Marketing company quicker.
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?
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.