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The Saga Of The SEO Consultant

by Jim on September 19, 2014

Well that was fascinating. The post I wrote yesterday afternoon has resulted in in a 3 spot bump for SEO Consultant Melbourne plus a 1 spot bump for SEO consultant. Taking a closer look at the results for SEO Consultant Melbourne reveals some strange rankings. For instance there is a Linkedin profile.

SEO Consultant Melbourne Results 19/9/2014

On closer inspection it looks like Adam Kelly the SEO responsible for the listing has had a red hot go it getting the listing ranked for the phrase. His linkedin vanity URL includes the phrase SEO Specialist (Which he ranks no.2 for) as well as a backlink from an SEO related site. His name field includes;

SEO Specialist | SEO Consultant in Melbourne

And yes that was intentional. I have put it there as a H1 as that is exactly as it appears on Adam’s page. Nice work. Both of those phrases appear again on his page in at least 2 H2s. His profile is appearing there mainly because of his name field. Interesting SEO hack. A nice one to play around with but one that LinkedIn could destroy with their next update. That’s always the gamble building on someone else’s platform.

SEO Girl

The “SEO Girl” on the Mornington Peninsula is another interesting result. She only has links from 8 domains. More on page goodness only. What I am deducing from search results like this is that backlinks maybe downgraded as a signal for some categories in exchange for On page signals. Very curious.

 

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SEO Consultant Update

by Jim on September 18, 2014

You may remember about 14 months ago I wrote a series of articles about getting ranked for the phrase SEO Consultant Melbourne. I got the page to no.1 very quickly and then subsequently we went to no.1 for SEO Consultant as well. Since then I have done nothing on the phrases and just recently we have dropped to about no.5 for SEO Consultant Melbourne and about the same for SEO Consultant when doing the search from Melbourne. Nationally for the latter I think we average around tens or elevens. It’s a little hard to get an accurate fix on this.

SEO Consultant Bump

As this phrase is one I understand quite well I wanted to see the effect adding another article targeting this phrase would have on rankings. I’m giving the Googlebot a couple of ways to find this post but I’m not doing any external backlinks apart from Social shares. It’s been fascinating to watch how the SEO space for ranking has become quite volatile.  Phrases like SEO Melbourne that we ranked no.1 for for about 6 years, are jumping around all over the place these days. At the moment they seemed to be dominated by EMDs, which tells me there is probably an update coming soon in that area. Below is a screen grab of where we are ranking for SEO Consultant & SEO Consultant Melbourne.

SEO Consultant Update

SEO Consultant Update

How the mighty hath fallen eh? Stay tuned folks :)

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Digital Ready Business Kit

by Jim on September 17, 2014


First of all I just want to apologise in advance to anyone involved in the digitalready.org.au site or the organisation behind ACCAN (Australian Communications Consumer Action Network). Their site was pointed out to me by know trouble maker and journalist, Paul Wallbank. He posted the link on Facebook last night after I had already recorded this week’s show. I’m not going to delve to much into the merits of a taxpayer funded site delivering a “Digital Ready Business Kit”. I will leave that to the likes of the aforementioned scribe. I will however record another show today as I can’t stop thinking about some lessons we can learn from the seemingly total abandonment of any SEO principles.

I’m sure the people behind the site are lovely and there is always a back story of which I know nothing about and the site may have built this way for a reason. I just can’t think of good one.

Best CMS For SEO

If you are just doing content and you don’t need a big ecommerce engine then I would always recommend WordPress. If someone asked if they should build in Joomla my advice would be only if they didn’t care about ranking. It would seem Digital Ready would be in that category. I am very familar with Joomla and up until 2009 it was my CMS of choice. As the image below demonstrates though, the world jumped off it and onto WordPress at about the same time.

Joomla vs WordPress Digital Ready

Joomla vs WordPress Digital Ready

I’m not saying you can’t get ranked with a Joomla site but it a heck of lot harder than WordPress.

Do HTTPS or HTTP

Don’t do both like this site is doing. Right now you have the site visible at an http and an https version. In our experience this is a big quality issue with Google. If your launching anew site just do HTTPS.

Don’t Launch With Errors

20% of the pages are either 404s or 500 errors. This is another quality issue.

Digital Ready Errors

Joomla vs WordPress Digital Ready

Don’t Duplicate Your Home Page

The home page is duplicated, another quality issue. It is available at / as well as index.php and /?view=featured which is actually a link on the page.

Don’t Replicate Your Site At WWW

The whole site is replicated at www.digitalready.org.au To Google we now have four versions of the same site. The HTTP & HTTPS plus the WWW versions of those.

Don’t Copy, Create Original Content

Selecting a random selection of content shows that it has been repurposed on a number of other related sites. Once again a quality issue as the site is just republishing another site’s work. Why should Google rank it when it can show the site which originated the content? From the checks I have done most of the content is lifted from the parent site Accan.org.au

There is so much more I could go on with like page titles, H1s etc but you get the picture.

Be Digital Ready, Be SEO Ready

Getting these things right not only helps your users it helps you rank :) The fact that taxpayers money was wasted on this is one of the reasons that I have total disdain for ALL politicians.

 

 

 

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A Post Authorship World; 4 Takeaways

by Jim on September 10, 2014


You may have missed the announcement last week that Google killed off Authorship. They did not make a big song and dance about it, just quietly took it out the back and choked the life out of it. As many viewers will know I have been a big advocate of the IDEA of authorship because it was a great way to eliminate link buyers influence on rankings. Alas, not enough people took it up. Where to from here?

Use a byline

One of the things that authorship forced us to do was use a byline. So many business blogs have been written by “admin” or the company brand. I’m a big believer in still using real names against your content. I have a few clients that are rebelling against this and don’t want an individual associated with the content. In my opinion this restricts the blog to fluff content with no personal voice thus making it harder to connect with an audience. My advice is to use a still use a human byline even if it is an amalgam of individuals and not a real person, although obviously a real person is better.

Keep Writing

Just because rel=author is dead doesn’t mean content production is. In this week’s video I reference Laurel Papworth & Trevor Young’s comments about content. Laurel sums up my position very well with her hashtag Be The Magazine Not The Ad. Not the most practical hashtag in a 140 character medium but you get the idea :)

Laurel Papworth Trevor Young

Laurel & Trevor Waxing Lyrically

What About Plagiarism?

One of the things Authorship purported to do was stop having your content ripped off by others rank higher than your own. Well Google brought out a scraper report tool earlier this year if you want to dob in a plagiarist.

Is It Really Really Dead?

Logically I don’t think so. With anything Google does I always apply the test “Is this good for the user?”. Is it good for the user to know that a well respected author in their field wrote the article they are reading? Absolutely! That’s why I believe at some level Google will want to send it’s users to content written by authorities in their field. Keep writing and keep using a byline.  Here are a couple of other resources to read

http://searchengineland.com/goodbye-google-authorship-201975

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/technology/43565-the-death-of-google-authorship-why-social-media-and-publishing-platforms-are-not-your-friends.html

 

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How Spammy Is LinkedIn?

by Jim on September 4, 2014

In the immortal words of Monty Python’s Brian, “A Lot” and it’s getting worse. Last year one of the  Beers Blokes & Business podcasts was dedicated to LinkedIn. I came out on the side of it being a spammers/recruiters paradise which is great if you are selling stuff or looking for staff right? I also got vilified on the program by @lukemccormack & @sammartino for connecting to lots of people and then complaining about spam. My reasons for connecting with people I don’t know is that I am a big fan of random connections and expanding my network. My criteria for connecting with people on LinkedIn falls loosely into these areas.

  • If someone is Melbourne based I will probably always connect with them
  • If they write a nice personal invite to connect I will connect with them
  • If they are in a slightly related industry i.e. SEO, SEM, Digital Marketing, Digital Agency I will probably connect with them

If they fall into one of these categories I will probably not connect.

  • Recruiter
  • Indian based (lots of spammers in my exp)
  • Outsourcer

I will rarely seek out people to connect with even if I have their business card. In that respect I am not an active player on LinkedIn. If others find it useful though I am happy to connect. Recently though I am seeing a disturbing trend. Not only is it becoming the refuge of spammers, it would seem that phishers are also finding it rich pickings.

A typical spammer.

Andrea Ferguson

"Andrea Ferguson"

I connected to this account because they were Australian and in digital marketing, then they try to sell me digital marketing services. Immediately I think the account is a bot or some poor slob slaving away in a third world digital sweat shop that hasn’t bothered to understand that we also sell digital marketing services.

Google Image Search

I love this tool. It looks for similar versions of the image you upload or link to. As you can see from this result our friend Andrea is quite popular.

Andrea Ferguson

Andrea Ferguson

Then I had a look at her LinkedIn profile and she has over 500 connections plus a recommendation from “Danielle Brooke” who looks like she also models in her spare time like Andrea does. Danielle of course reciprocated the recommendation as any good imaginary friend would. Interestingly they both worked at a company called Well Done Advertising, where they presumably shared many an imaginary latte.

Andrea Ferguson Recommendation

Andrea Ferguson Recommendation

Danielle Brooke Recommendation

Danielle Brooke Recommendation

 

 

Danielle is very popular on the web as Google reveals.

Danielle Brooke

Danielle Brooke?

The company Well Done Advertising that both Danielle & Andrea worked at, has a few employees on linkedIn but no Google presence. Danielle currently works at a company in NSW called Bodsquad, which is a real business. I have reached out to them on Twitter but have not heard back yet. They go by the handle of @fitfisher. I’m trying to work out if there are agencies out there selling LinkedIn spam as a real strategy..

LinkedIn Phishing

In addition to the spam I had what I am assuming, would turn into a phishing attempt if I pursued it.

Craig Thomas

Craig Thomas Natwest Bank?

I quick search of his photo reveals the image is most likely that of a German, Martin Halusa .

Martin Halusa

Martin Halusa

On LinkedIn Craig is connected to a lot of other bankers… oh dear.

 

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SEO Google Pigeon Update Recovery

by Jim September 3, 2014

Well this one was a bit weird. Back at the end of July there was a few stories around about a Google update code named “Pigeon”. This is not to be confused with the old PigeonRank April Fools day prank from Google. In fact Google has said little about this update publicly. It was first [...]

Read more: SEO Google Pigeon Update Recovery

4 Marketing Essentials For Christmas 2014

by Jim August 27, 2014

I hate to add to the “hey it’s only 100 days until Christmas” chorus but I usually get asked these questions in October when they should have been implemented in August. 1. Get A Blog As the old saying goes, “The best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago, the second best [...]

Read more: 4 Marketing Essentials For Christmas 2014

3 Steps To Capitalise On HTTPS Google Love

by Jim August 20, 2014

Google have been banging on about https as a ranking signal for quite some time. Well it became official last week. Here’s what you need to know. 1. Get an SSL certificate for your web server. For most businesses you will get these through your hosting company. They can cost between a few dollars per [...]

Read more: 3 Steps To Capitalise On HTTPS Google Love

David Jones SEO

by Jim August 13, 2014

Following on from the so called “faulty redirects” Google is now issuing these notices for sites where they have found an old page in the index that is now redirecting smartphone users to the home page. Previously we’d only seen these notices where smart phone users had clicked on a desktop result then had been [...]

Read more: David Jones SEO

Google punishes a big brand in mobile

by Jim August 6, 2014

It was just a few weeks ago that Google started issuing notices about smartphone faulty redirects. Now we’re seeing the warnings increase and sites getting removed from mobile search if they are doing the so called “faulty redirect” . BigW recently launched a new site and now has at least three sites that I can [...]

Read more: Google punishes a big brand in mobile