Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A to Z Guide for Holiday Ecommerce SEO

The holiday season is upon us, which means that your ecommerce site needs to be prepared to "deck the halls" of search engines with their products.
My early gift to you is an (almost) A to Z guide of SEO tips and tricks designed to optimize ecommerce sites to prevent them from landing on the search engines' naughty lists.
Auto fill forms where possible (when you have the information), and provide drop downs and selection fields to make it as easy as possible to fill out.
Build text for users into every page, where it makes sense, to support a well-defined content strategy.
Create custom dashboards in Google Analytics for ecommerce-specific metrics' reporting.
Don't have unique pages for small product variations. Instead, list small variations within main the product page.
Ensure titles and meta data are unique, descriptive, and to improve both user understanding and search results' page engagement.
Focus on URL structures that are readable and logical for both users and search engines.
Give reviews visibility and prominence on the site.
Have product sun setting and out of stock strategies in place to reduce 'page not found' errors.
Integrate social sharing options (not just social profile icons) into your site, especially on products, categories, buying guides, and content pages that host shareable content.
Kill thin pages that have little value to users and, instead, redirect to relevant pages that do provide value.
Link to popular products from your home page. Rotate bestsellers and random products in homepage linking modules too.

Markup on-page entities and product attributes using, or other ontology guidance.

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A Little Usage of Duplicate Content Won't Hurt Rankings

Duplicate content is always a concern for webmasters. Whether it's a website stealing content from another site, or perhaps a website that hasn't taken an active role in ensuring they get great unique quality content on their site, being duplicated out of the Google index is a problem.
In the latest webmaster help video from Google's Matt Cutts, he addresses how Google handles duplicate content, and when it can negatively impact your search rankings.
Cutts started by explaining what duplicate content is and why duplicate content isn't always a problem, especially when it comes to quoting parts of other web pages.

It's important to realize that if you look at content on the web, something like 25 or 30 percent of all of the web's content is duplicate content. … People will quote a paragraph of a blog and then link to the blog, that sort of thing. So it's not the case that every single time there's duplicate content it's spam, and if we made that assumption the changes that happened as a result would end up probably hurting our search quality rather than helping our search quality.

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How to build your Internal Content Marketing Strategy?

You know that story about the cobbler's children not having shoes and walking barefoot uphill in the snow? It's a heartbreaker and it's one we can all relate to. We all know what it feels like to kill ourselves for someone else, only to let our own needs go unmet.
Whether you work in an agency setting writing content for others all day while your own blog sits dry, or you're in-house writing content for every department but yours, it can be difficult to keep your own content marketing goals on track when competing with other business goals. But having a strategy helps.
Your content strategy will get your car back on the road and power you toward where you need to go. But only if you build it.

Determine Your Goals

Align the content you're creating with the goals of your business, whether the goals are to:

  • Generate leads.
  • Shorten the sales cycle.
  • Retain customers.
  • Build your brand.
  • Show off your voice.
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Matt Cutt on Search Spammers

In episode number 227 of This Week in Google on the TWiT network, Google’s head of search spam Matt Cutts answered some questions from the hosts Leo Laporte and Jeff Jarvis. In one question, Matt explained that Google aims to “break the spirits” of spammers in order to encourage them to change their course of action.
The question was posed to Matt from Jeff Jarvis, a well-known journalist and professor, asking him what he learned about the psychology behind spam and spammers. Matt responded that to reduce spam, it is not just about denying the primary goal of earning money but frustrating them to a point, where you break their will and desire to spam.
I transcribed the exact words and how Matt said it:

If you want to stop spam, the most straight forward way to do it is to deny people money because they care about the money and that should be their end goal. But if you really want to stop spam, it is a little bit mean, but what you want to do, is sort of break their spirits. There are lots of Google algorithms specifically designed to frustrate spammers. Some of the things we do is give people a hint their site will drop and then a week or two later, their site actually does drop. So they get a little bit more frustrated. So hopefully, and we’ve seen this happen, people step away from the dark side and say, you know what, that was so much pain and anguish and frustration, let’s just stay on the high road from now on.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Google initiative for women empowerment in India

  To empower women even further, Google India has launched an initiative called 'Helping women get online' that will encourage women in the country to use the online medium more effectively.

At present, only one third of users who use the Internet are women.Google realises that lack of easy access to Internet, lack of knowledge on how to use the Internet and its relevance in their daily lives are some of the biggest barriers for women to get online.

The initiative aims to help 50 million additional women get online by end of 2014 by undertaking a variety of initiatives across India.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Google 11/11 T&S update

Using our Services

You must follow any policies made available to you within the Services.
Don’t misuse our Services. For example, don’t interfere with our Services or try to access them using a method other than the interface and the instructions that we provide. You may use our Services only as permitted by law, including applicable export and re-export control laws and regulations. We may suspend or stop providing our Services to you if you do not comply with our terms or policies or if we are investigating suspected misconduct.
Using our Services does not give you ownership of any intellectual property rights in our Services or the content you access. You may not use content from our Services unless you obtain permission from its owner or are otherwise permitted by law. These terms do not grant you the right to use any branding or logos used in our Services. Don’t remove, obscure, or alter any legal notices displayed in or along with our Services.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Now it's Google AdWords Ad Rank Algorithm Update

In a quiet but not entirely unexpected move, Google has announced they are updating and improving the Google AdWords Ad Rank algorithm to take into account some of the new features they have rolled out this year, primarily their new ad extensions.

Ad extensions and formats can now affect the positioning of your ads on the Google search results page. Google uses the example: If two otherwise identical ads were to appear with the same bid and quality score, the ad with the ad extensions most likely to perform would appear in the higher ad position.

Ad Rank will also play a factor in whether or not extensions appear for your ads; Google notes that a higher Quality Score or bid (or a combination thereof) increases the likelihood of extensions appearing.

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Why No Pagerank update?

We already knew Google wasn’t likely to update the PageRank meter in the Google Toolbar this year. The head of Google’s web spam team, Matt Cutts, reiterated today that this will stay the case and explained why. Google’s ability to update the toolbar is broken, and it’s not a priority to fix it.

Speaking at Pubcon today, Cutts explained that the “pipeline” to send PageRank updates to the toolbar is broken. Google, feeling that too many people obsess over PageRank, doesn’t see it as important to fix that. Cutts said this probably won’t happen by the end of the year. It repeats his message from earlier this month.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Google Penguin 2.1 or Penguin 5 update

Penguin 2.0 was the biggest tweak to Penguin since the update initially launched in April of last year, which was why it was called 2.0 despite the update getting several refreshes in between.

Cutts said this about Penguin 2.0 back when it rolled out: “So this one is a little more comprehensive than Penguin 1.0, and we expect it to go a little bit deeper, and have a little bit more of an impact than the original version of Penguin.”

Penguin 2.0 was said to affect 2.3% of queries with previous data refreshes only impacting 0.1% and 0.3%. The initial Penguin update affected 3.1%. While this latest version (2.1) may not be as big as 2.0 or the original, the 1% of queries affected still represents a significantly larger query set than the other past minor refreshes.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Whats happening? now it's webmaster tools...

Encrypted search has been hard on SEO professionals and marketers. For two years, we've been hit with keywords "(not provided)" in Google Analytics. While the keyword data was still available in Google Webmaster Tools with impressions and click-throughs, it wasn't able to be tied directly to landing pages.

Now, it appears that Google Webmaster Tools is missing the keywords data, as well. At least, it doesn't appear query data has been recorded since last Monday, September 23.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Hummingbird algorithm by Google

Google has a new search algorithm, the system it uses to sort through all the information it has when you search and come back with answers. It’s called “Hummingbird” and below, what we know about it so far.

What’s a “search algorithm?”
That’s a technical term for what you can think of as a recipe that Google uses to sort through the billions of web pages and other information it has, in order to return what it believes are the best answers.

What’s “Hummingbird?”
It’s the name of the new search algorithm that Google is using, one that Google says should return better results.

So that “PageRank” algorithm is dead?
No. PageRank is one of over 200 major “ingredients” that go into the Hummingbird recipe. Hummingbird looks at PageRank — how important links to a page are deemed to be — along with other factors like whether Google believes a page is of good quality, the words used on it and many other things (see our Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors for a better sense of some of these).

Why is it called Hummingbird?
Google told us the name come from being “precise and fast.”

When did Hummingbird start? Today?

Google started using Hummingbird about a month ago, it said. Google only announced the change today.

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What does a great Landing Page needs?

No matter how great of a designer, marketer, or copywriter you are, your website is never going to convert as well as it could. Why? It’s because you are trying to create a generic site that is supposed to convert well for all types of visitors.

The issue with that is not all visitors are the same. Visitors who come to your site from Google are going to be different from the visitors that come to your site from Twitter.

So, how do you maximize your conversion rates? You will have to create landing pages that are tailored towards each of your marketing campaigns. But before you head off and start creating your first landing page, there are 7 things you need to know:

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Top Search Engines and Directories

Search engines – webmasters and search engine optimization (SEO) professionals follow their guidelines for the highest possible rankings on them; paid search marketers pay to be featured on them; and users turn to them when they're searching for answers, information, or entertainment.

Search Engine Watch has been covering search engines since June 1997 and has watched the industry evolve to its current state. Over time, many search engines have come and gone, as users have spoken with their keyboards (and literally with their voices – thanks to voice search technology).

In recent years, search market share has remained mostly unchanged – for much of the world, it's Google followed by every other search engine (in the U.S. the "Big 5" search engines consist of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and AOL, which combine for hundreds of billions of searches every month). Meanwhile, many of the players have consolidated or have become footnotes in history.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

New interface for searches on mobile phones by Google

Ben Gomes, the India-bred techie who oversees Google's handling of 100 billion searches a month, believes a new voice-based interface is needed for the next frontier of search centred round mobile phones and tablet computers.
"Now search is becoming mobile - on phones and tablets. The challenge is that it is on a small screen, so it's hard to type. The opportunity is that it's got a really good microphone and a touch screen," he said.
"It can enable a new kind of interface. So we realised we want to build an interface that was much like the way you talk to some person and ask a question," Gomes said.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

New Top Navigation: White Top & Box Bar by Google

This morning, Google is rolling out a new top bar navigation style worldwide. They have not yet announced it, but they have been testing various experiments with it. It seems very likely that Google will roll out this new navigation to all Google users over the next few days.

The picture above shows Google has dropped the black bar navigation and replaced it with a minimalistic white top, with fewer links but a box like button, which expands to show you additional Google services.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Google's Keyword Tool Replaced

As you may remember, Google announced they are replacing the external keyword tool with the Google Keyword Planner tool.
Well, it took some time, but now the legacy external keyword tool is gone. If you try to access it at you will see an error page that reads:

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

No Google Toolbar PageRank Update from last 6 months

It has now been over six months since the last widespread Google PageRank update. The last update was in early February, where users spotted changes to the Google Toolbar PageRank data.
Since then, I have not seen a major Toolbar PageRank update from Google. Which honestly, is not the norm.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Google adds support for skip redirect to handle rel-alternate-media annotations

Google's Pierre Far, their mobile SEO man, announced on Google+ that Google has quietly added support for skip redirect to handle rel-alternate-media annotations.
Pierre calls this a "sweet little update." He explains that using the rel-alternate-media annotiation gives you more flexibility in how you handle users versus robots. He explains:

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to promote your company or business via Twitter in 2013?

- Choose the account name wisely, i mean the one which will be helpful in promoting your business, as it will be searchable on search engines by the same name.

- Add website url - add your company's url correctly which you want to be promoted.

- Importance of Bio - Add the keywords wisely in the bio, a catchy bio may help lure more people to follow you.

- Twitter a/c visibility -Add twitter account details on everything which is related to your business this may result in more visibility and popularity on web.

- Tweet regularly - Regular, sensible and informative tweets may help you to increase your followers and hence popularity gain.

- Use url shortners often - This may help to insert longer urls easily due to character limit.

- Add hashtags.

In-Depth Articles Goes Live on Google

A month ago, we reported tests of in-depth search snippets from Google - well that test is now a reality. Google announced last night that they will show these in-depth articles in the search results when the query is about understanding a broader topic. Google said this will help 10% of the queries that are seeking more than just a quick answer, really dive deeper into broader topics.

This is launching on in English to start but Google promises to expand this feature to other regions and languages.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Delete Map Listings with new Google Places

The new Google Places dashboard was missing an important feature, the ability to delete or remove a business listing from your dashboard. But as of last night, Google has enabled that feature in the new places dashboard.
Jade Wang from Google announced it on Google+ saying, "remove a listing now available for new Places dashboard users."

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Google says NoFollow for text links on Press Releases

Friday we broke the news that Google updated their link schemes webmaster guidelines. Now that the dust has settled, I aimed at getting more clarification on what Google meant by the new example around keyword-rich anchor text links within articles or press releases.
The specific line in the link schemes document is:
Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.
John Mueller, one of Google’s lead Webmaster Trends Analyst, was kind enough to answer some of my questions around this documentation change in a video hangout. The questions from SEOs and myself around the new link schemes documentation change are in the first ten minutes, the outcome was to nofollow links within press releases.

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Start Searching India By Google

Google India on Tuesday introduced its 'Start Searching India' campaign here to help internet users get the most out of the web with its search tool.
"Internet is no longer restricted to the domain of working professionals and is fast emerging as a life enriching tool catering to the varied needs of the people from all walks of life," Google India's Director Marketing, Sandeep Menon said on the occasion.
The objective of the campaign is to help Indian users save time, by showing how they can get instant and to-the-point answers to their most common queries, he said.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Google's disavow tool

Can using Google’s link disavow tool help remove penalties? Yes, the company says. But when it comes to manual penalties, disavowing links alone isn’t enough. With algorithmic penalties, there may be a time delay involved. Below, more about how both methods work.
Over the past few days, I’ve encountered a couple of cases where people are confused about how the link disavow tool works to remove penalties. So, I figured a clarification post was in order. Here’s the situation, all of which I reverified with Google yesterday.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Google+ circles privacy

Hi Google Plus team,

Kindly add a feature where the unknown people add us to their circles can't do it without our permission, people are using it to peep into the profiles.


Get animated GIFs in google search

Google has announce on Google+ that from now they will let you search for animated images, as well as transparent images, using the advanced search feature.

Go through for more details  :

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Logging onto Facebook can make you feel happier

Facebook could be used to treat depression as 90% of users log on to the social networking site to remember happier times, experts have said.
According to the research by University of Portsmouth, nostalgic photos and even old comments are used to "self-soothe".
Scientists already know that reminiscent therapy is helpful for older people with memory loss.
Now the University wants to do a bigger study to confirm its findings, which could suggest Facebook can help treat mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, the Daily Mirror reports.

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Google slammed over suicide videos

Russian consumer rights watchdog has hit out at search engine Google and YouTube over what it called online suicide instruction videos.
“Google Russia and YouTube LLC express their position based solely on a threat to the freedom of access to information on the Internet,” the Rospotrebnadzor watchdog said in a statement.
The watchdog’s statement came after YouTube, Google’s video sharing unit, filed a lawsuit against Rospotrebnadzor over a decision to block a video containing alleged “harmful” material. A preliminary hearing into the case began onFriday.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Google Reader shut down

Google is killing off Reader, its web-based RSS reading service, as part of its latest round of culling little-used or unprofitable products. A spring clean, if you will.
The service will disappear on July 1st, 2013.
Google’s reason for the termination, revealed in a blog post, follows:

“There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”

Software Engineer Alan Green penned the post and added that “We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.”
Happily, users can extract their RSS subscriptions and use them in another reader using Google Takeout.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2013 Penguin, Panda & Link Networks Updates

Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts announced new updates with Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithms and new link network targets in 2013. Matt announced this during the SMX West panel, The Search Police.

Significant Penguin Update

Matt said that there will be a large Penguin update in 2013 that he thinks will be one of the more talked about Google algorithm updates this year. Google’s search quality team is working on a major update to the Penguin algorithm, which Cutts called very significant.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why Google Penalize sites?

In the latest video from Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, he addresses Google’s standards for manually removing spam from the Google index.
Matt Cutts first said and repeated it a couple times within the video that Google will not penalize or ban a site that is being critical of Google. Matt said:
“One thing that we don’t do it is just say or someone has been critical of Google, therefore take action. We’re big believers in the Voltaire saying of I might not agree with what you say but I’ll defend to death your ability to say it. So just because you’re critical of Google that’s not the sort of thing where we’re gonna mark your site as spam.”

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How Search Works ?

On Friday afternoon, Google announced a neat new interactive infographic named How Search Works.
It is an excellent way for a newbie to learn the basics on how Google crawls, indexes, ranks and shows their search results. But how is this useful for an SEO junky like yourself? I'll outline the parts I find useful to more savvy SEOs and webmasters.
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Monday, March 4, 2013

Google search quality rating guidelines

As part of today’s big “How Search Works” reveal, Google also took the big step of sharing its Search Quality Rating Guidelines for the first time.
This is the document that Google’s human search quality raters use when grading Google’s search results.
But the new, public document is actually an edited version of the old one that circulated quietly several times amongst webmasters and SEOs. In fact, “gutted” is more accurate than “edited” — where the most recent non-public version of the document was 161 pages, the public document released today is only 43 pages.

What’s Changed

The biggest change, in my opinion, is the complete removal of Parts 3 and 4 — “Page Quality Rating Guidelines” and “Rating Examples.” These sections offered extremely detailed guidance on how to rate pages, how to rate sections of pages, how to judge the reputation of a website, and specific examples of public web pages and how they should be rated. I’ll share more on this below.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Myth: 301 redirects don't pass the pagerank

Just under three years ago, we reported that 301 redirects don’t pass full PageRank and that you should try to link through a normal link versus using 301 redirects.
The truth is, a 301 redirect and a link pass the same amount of PageRank. There is no more dilution of PageRank with a 301 redirect when compared to using a normal link.

Matt Cutt said in his video : The amount of PageRank that dissipates through a 301 is currently identical to the amount of PageRank that dissipates through a link.
So the myth that you should not use 301 redirects because it will dissipate more PageRank than using a normal link is not valid.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

SEO quote by me

"SEO is for creative, patient and experimental people... for rest, leave it..." thought by me...