Hey Email Spammer – Google Search Drives a Lot of Traffic

Love these email solicitations I receive. Just don’t listen to them or check out the facts. Here’s one from this morning:

It’s a fact:  more people find out about your business on Facebook or Twitter than on search engines.  Making these sites work maybe tricky for you, but it’s business as usual for us.  Let us improve your visibility and enhance your image.  It’s part of our complete  Internet Marketing package.  We’ll be more than your friends — we’ll be your partners.

Sent from a gmail account of course! See my previous post.

Here are the statistics on a couple of accounts I manage that are well positioned on Facebook and Twitter.

E commerce Site:

  • 60% of traffic comes from Google
  • <2% of all traffic to the site comes from Facebook and Twitter

Law Site:

  • 50% of traffic comes from Google
  • 5% from Facebook

What this tells me is that I need to build up more traffic from other sources but for now Google is the big dog when it comes to site traffic. We are constantly working on building our Facebook, and other social media, presence. It’s a good idea! But, it is not where the bulk of your site traffic will come from today.

Website Malware Removal

Written by my partner John Allen.

Website security has become a big issue lately. Several of my clients’ WordPress and Joomla 1.5 sites have recently become targets.

One website was infected with what appeared to be pixel sized dots at the top of its pages. These dots were actually iframes to random websites that were doing bad things. Another clients’ website was repeatedly taken offline for no apparent reason, and after much work and everything appeared to be back to normal, we found that mobile users were being redirected to a porn site! So if you were on a desktop, you would never know there was an issue.

Read more

Duck Duck Go

I was recently asked my opinion about Duck Duck Go. There was another opinion that SEO is “good for people who use search engines to advertise, but not so good for people who want their search results to be based on accuracy over whoever paid the most for SEO.”

My response:

They have a decent algorithm that shows pretty good search results. They currently, emphasis on currently, don’t have advertising. All of these companies follow a similar script; build a following based on some hook like no advertising, privacy, etc., then they start adding advertising to pay the bills and investors, then they go public and add a lot more advertising to pay the shareholders. I’d venture to say this will be no different. There is nothing for free and advertising is not a bad thing. Something has to pay the cost unless we are all willing to pay for each search. It’s not a bad thing for companies to make money, pay shareholders, and make big bucks on their risk.

Almost all companies on page one and two of competitive searches are paying something for SEO. There is nothing wrong with SEO as it can level the playing field.  It’s like David and Goliath for most of my clients; trying to get some space on page one of a Google search when up against Amazon, Walmart, and Ebay.

After a few searches I can see the results of DuckDuckGo are not much different from other search engines; well I kind of like them better because all my clients rank higher in DuckDuckGo. They have been influence by SEO; all search engines will be. They have to use a program/algorithm to figure out where to rank a website and at the end of the day SEO people will figure it out enough to help their clients rank on page one and two or lose their jobs.

Link Building 101

I was working with a client this week to explain links and link building. I thought this ended up being a simple but effective link building explanation for a law firm.

Link building builds votes and endorsements for your site. When we build links, we contact other websites to gain links back to your website. Sometimes this is accomplished by making comments to law related content on other websites, sometimes by offering content to other websites in exchange for links back, other times it is creating and posting content among properties we own to build conversations about your services.

An example in the non-internet world would be: When we are looking for a good attorney we look in the phone book, we look at billboard, commercials, and we ask people their opinion. From that research, the attorney that appears most relevant to our needs is the one that goes to the top of our list. These are the attorneys we are going to call.

In the internet world, better relevancy to the searchers search query means higher ranking on the search page.

One of the ways that search engines determine the relevancy of a web page is through link analysis. The search engine examines other sites that link to your site,  the text of the link , the content of both your page and the site linking to your site, and they look at other sites linking to the one linking to yours; all to determine relevancy. So the site with many relevant links that meet the criteria the search engine determines is best for high ranking will show up higher in the search results. + Read More

No More Site Links from Yahoo

It’s a sad day indeed. Yahoo closing down Site Explorer. No longer can one go to Yahoo and get a quick idea of how many links point to a site. This has been a great tool for years when I needed to do a very quick anlaysis of the competiveness of a site. I have otehr paid tools that will be fine but the Yahoo tool was very easy, fast, and free.

Tiss The Season for Search Algorithm Updates

Google Search Algorithm Change for Freshness to Impact 35% Of Searches

Google announced they are rolling out a new search algorithm change that helps make the search results “fresher.” The big news here is that besides for the results being fresher, the results will change for about 35% of all searches. MORE

Panda Updates Got You Down

Do they have your site sown in the rankings? Google has rolled out several search algorithm changes over the last year that are designed to improve search results.  These changes, named Panda, are designed to help people find high-quality sites. The problem for many sites, and their owners, has been that they had no clue why their search rankings dropped like a rock. It all boils down to quality.

Google makes money by people coming back and using their search product. If they use it there is a good chance they will click on ads. Google make billions of dollars from their search ads. It stands to reason that they want to give their searchers the best results possible so they keep coming back. Google search results mean good quality results. How many times have you searched for some term and ended up sifting through several less than stellar sites? I do it day in and day out. What is quality?

You can read a hundred posts on what to do about Panda. I can boil it down to this: eliminate duplicate content and thin content. If you have pages that are exactly the same as twenty other sites on the web then you have a problem. I guarantee if you have a e-commerce site that sells the same thin as other sites, you have duplicate content. That is, unless you took the time to change the descriptions and make them unique to your site. Thin content is all the crummy pages out there that have about 100 words on them and they tell you nothing. They are normally laden with ads and tons of links pointing away from the page.

Make sure you are delivering a quality site. Google says that Panda is just one of five hundred search “improvements” they plan to roll out. I loved these word from Google. I’ve been telling people for a long time to think the way Google thinks.

if you want to step into Google’s mindset, the questions below provide some guidance on how we’ve been looking at the issue:

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?

See more here.

If you have search terms that have lost a lot of ground in Google and you have no idea why, talk to a professional search engine optimizer. They can help.

Google Tests Site Name in Search Results

Google is testing using the site name instead of the complete url of the search results page. http://www.seroundtable.com/google-site-name-snippet-13557.html

The good and bad in my opinion: It takes the keyword issues out of play in the url display and focuses more on the brand. At the same time, it removes a potential filter for the searcher to find what they are looking for. I’m sure there will be much more in depth discussion form other sources in the days to come.

Claim Your Business in Google Places

There are already many posts on claiming your Google Places account so I’ll just give you a link to one of many. http://www.goso.com/blog/2011/02/google-places-how-to-claim-your-venue-create-an-offer-and-respond-to-reviews/ The main point here is to first claim your place. It seems elementary to those of us that are in the industry but I talk to small business owners every week that have no clue this even exists. Claim your listing. Eliminate duplicate listings. Make sure you are using a unique address and phone number.

Google Search Operators

If you’ve ever wanted or need to do a power search on Google you need to understand the advanced search operators that are available. These will allow you to refine your searches and possible find the needle-in-a-haystack you’ve been looking for. I don’t use there often but when I need them they work wonders.