As if the last few weeks haven’t been tumultuous enough for businesses SEO with Google changes, there is more on the way. Matt Cutts released a video (below) today announcing what to expect in the next few months from Google. It’s going to upset a lot of people but there are some wins if you think you have been hit unfairly by Panda updates. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Penguin 2.0 is coming.
I’ve been saying this since late April and we thought the changes we saw recently were related to a new Penguin. We’re still not sure. What we are sure of now is that is imminent. Matt has said it is going to be more comprehensive than Penguin 1.0 and that had a massive effect on rankings, so hold onto your collective hats.
2. Panda Gets Fixed
Matt has admitted (kind of) that the Panda update went to far. They will be adjusting it to un-punish sites that were caught up unfairly in this update. Too bad if your revenue went through the floor in the last six months because of Panda and you thought you were doing all the right things.
He also said they will be rewarding content that has “authority” . Authorship is my guess. If your site has some of the most reputable authors on your site your content is now going to rank higher. This could be the much talked about AuthorRankupdate.
4. Spammy Backlinks
Generally if you are doing spammy backlinking on sites it’s going to be bad for you. This will hit a lot of affiliate sites that engage in this practice as well as sites that have backlinks from poor content that may have previously helped their ranking.
Here’s Matt’s video.
The massive Google update we saw last week is still evolving but here’s what you need to know so far. We don’t even have a name for this update yet so I can’t try to rank for it About a month ago I said Penguin 2.0 was coming it feels different to Penguin though.
1. Broad category searches are location dependent
Google Places results still seem to be jumping all over the place and of course vary from city to city as they always have. Now we are seeing that with organic results as well. Last week it was possible for you to rank nationally for a broad category even if you only had an address in one city. This no longer seems to be the case. If you want to rank in a city for a broad category you’d better have an address in that city. Also make sure your address page is using structured data.
2. Ecommerce SEO Is Unaffected If Structured Properly
If you have your ecommerce product data structured properly you should be able to rank in any city in a country for a given product. See the structured data link above. Product related SERPs do not change much from city to city. However all the ecommerce sites we have looked at so far that rank for individual products have good structured data. The same would apply to event related sites. We are now checking all our ecommerce clients SEO and tweaking where necessary. Of course make sure your ecommerce site is not making these seo mistakes.
3. Focus on the longtail for searches outside your city
If you are an ecommerce site you should be focussing more on the longtail and not on the broad search phrases for users outside of your city.
What is your experience with this change? What are you seeing that I have missed? Love to hear your experience.
Whooa big change today. On Wednesday our Head of Development Jine, noticed that the “places” menu item had disappeared from Google. This is a capture from my video of April 16.
Places menu two weeks ago
It was there on Wednesday morning as well as we use it a lot to edit and find clients places listings quickly. Then in the afternoon. Boom! Gone.
Places menu disappears tweet
Today’s SEO Ranking Reports.
We check our clients rankings everyday. We like to know what Google is up to on a daily basis. Today is BIG. We have had some of our major clients jump into top 3 spots from outside the top 50 for single highly competitive keyword. Jine came in excitedly and explained about one client we were having trouble with had moved onto the front page.. then another. I said to her, Google has updated. There has been a change. She agreed and then we got to work on the parallels between the clients that had all jumped onto the front page for highly competitive phrases. We realised they were all already ranking for their main keyword + Melbourne. So “blue widgets Melbourne” if you like but the keyword without Melbourne was nowhere to be found. Then Nick one of our First Year SEOs, said, “They’ve replaced places for organic…” I quickly asked them to test the theory. Check clients in other states and cross reference where the addresses are. Sure enough he was right… kind of. Our clients are now ranking for single competitive keywords that Google was ignoring if they have an address in the city where the search is being done!!
More to follow.
We’re not sure who the losers are at this stage, all we know is that our clients are winners. There will be more to come on this but I would love to know what you are seeing. I said a few weeks back I thought there was a big change coming. Didn’t expect this though.
Seeing some major losers here, Beacon lighting has been hit, looks like Woolworths Money as well.
Google are usually pretty coy and vague when they talk about keyword specifics. You may remember last year I did a post and video on Michael Jones of Google and how he basically said don’t worry about your keywords. Earlier this year Google hinted at this again in the SEO Cheat Sheet where they said be “descriptive” with your filenames, headings and URLs. They forgot to tell you to use your keywords in these descriptions. Well Matt Cutts just released a video where he talks about being VERY specific about your keywords. I’ll drop it in at the end of this post. As much as Google has got better about understanding the relationships between words by looking at their context, you still need to have the keywords you want to rank for on the page. A simple concept right? You would think so but I have been talking about keyword research for a long time and I’m constantly surprised by businesses who don’t want the keywords they want to rank for on their page.
Press Releases.. really?
Mat also said, as did Michael last year, that press releases are a good way to expose users to your content. I guess they mean backlinks. Some of the press releases from SEO companies I see though are disastrously spun nonsensical twaddle. I sure hope Google is not rewarding rubbish content like this that I found in Google News.
An example of SEO Press Releases that proliferate on Google News
Sometimes it can be difficult to work a phrase into an article so it sounds natural. For instance if I wanted to rank for “Advertising Company Melbourne” it’s kind of hard to make it sound natural. For services, people will often use a geographic qualifier to get more relevant results. Gone are the days where you would have an article that read like “So if you are looking for an Advertising company Melbourne..” although I am sure there are a few on this site scattered about over the last 8 years:) However you could say “We are the best advertising company Melbourne has to offer”. Slightly messes up the meaning of the search but you get the idea.
In his video Matt also talked about using more content. For years a lot of us have been talking about publishing content as essential for SEO. That was one of the reasons I started doing these videos back in 2006 and published my first one to Youtube in 2007. Today this concept is called “Content Marketing” and we’re finding that sites are being rewarded more than ever now if they have a blog and update it regularly. In today’s video I take a look at a great opportunity that is coming up at the end of this month with Darren Rowse also known as Problogger. If you want to take the next step with your business into the world of blogging (and you should) you can’t go wrong with Darren and this masterclass he is doing as part of PESA. This man taught me a lot.
Proof of blogging & SEO
We created a report 12 months ago on power company websites and their ranking and then repeated it again this year. We found that all the companies that had added blogs in that time now ranked higher than they did last year. If I can work out how to remove the commercially sensitive data so it still makes sense I’ll publish some of the findings here.
Google continually changes the rules for their products. Back in 2005 I used to do a lot of adwords for myself. This was before I had staff or office rent. Back then I was able to sell other people’s products and not even have my own website. It was great fun. Every month I used to go to the post office and pick up my USD cheques. That’s when the USD was worth a lot more than it is now and the CPC I was paying was around 15 cents, so great profits! Every morning I used to get up and check my various affiliate accounts and of course my adwords account.
Google Adwords Rule Change
I can’t remember exactly when it was, probably 2006 I think, Google changed the rules. You could no longer have an adwords account so that it was purely setup with your clickbank link and you had to have your own site. Basically they killed a lot of income for a lot of people overnight and no doubt a good chunk of revenue for themselves. That’s when I got more heavily involved in SEO and started doing the weekly video. Well Google has changed the rules again and unlike some of their rule changes over the years, this one presents opportunities for you to make more money… after you spend a bit of course.
Trademark Bidding Benefits
Up until today you have not been able to use someone else’s trademark as a keyword in your Adwords campaigns. If you did, most likely your campaign would be automatically flagged and not be able to run. If you have a brand or an offering that is not well known you can now put it in front of people searching for the bigger household names for a fraction of the cost. For instance if someone searches for Nike, Adidas can have an ad appear. Hijacking someone’s brand in an adwords campaign is nothing new but hijacking a trademark is. What I have found with some of our ecommerce customers is that bidding on a competitors brand can result in some very high quality traffic. You have to be clever about it though. In the ad below you can see that the ANZ Bank is bidding on the CBA brand (Is that a trademark?).
ANZ Adwords bidding on CBA
I don’t recall seeing this a week ago when I checked.
3 Tips To Targeting Trademarks
1. Like all adwords campaigns you must of course be relevant. You need to stay laser focused on your choice of keywords you are bidding on, the user intent and of course your adcopy.
2. Use negative keywords. If you are targeting people looking for a home loan with “CBA interest rates” you don’t want your ad coming up when people are looking for good rates for their deposits. Use deposits and their variants so your ads don’t appear. This will also help your quality score.
3. Sound fresh & urgent. The user is already searching for a trademark. They have already made a choice. You have to jolt them from that with the key phrase you have chosen to bid on and your adcopy. For instance you may target unhappy customers using a competitors trademark in the search. Letting users know you have a sale on right now is also effective. A user might be looking for the best price on an item that is trademarked, you can now get in front of that customer quickly and for the most part, cheaply.
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As if the last few weeks haven’t been tumultuous enough for businesses SEO with Google changes, there is more on the way. Matt Cutts released a video (below) today announcing what to expect in the next few months from Google. It’s going to upset a lot of people but there are some wins if you [...]
The massive Google update we saw last week is still evolving but here’s what you need to know so far. We don’t even have a name for this update yet so I can’t try to rank for it About a month ago I said Penguin 2.0 was coming it feels different to Penguin though. 1. [...]