Posts Tagged ‘Google SEO’

Are you Google Mobile Friendly?

by Ryan Grassie - Mar. 27, 2015 at 4:04pm

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Google’s new mobile friendly ranking algorithm will be launching on April 21st. But how do you know if your website qualifies to benefit from the rollout?

We do know that this algorithm will be much larger in impact compared to the Panda and Penguin algorithms, webmasters and website owners are kind of anxious about this release.

Last week, Google answered a bunch of questions in a Google+ hangout on this hot topic of this new mobile friendly ranking algorithm change. The three things we learned from this hangout were:

  • The algorithm will start rolling out the last week of April and will take a few days to a week to be active around the globe.
  • You are either mobile friendly or not, there are no degrees of mobile-friendliness in this release.
  • The fastest way to see if your web pages are mobile-friendly is to see if you have the mobile-friendly label in the live mobile search results now. If not, check the mobile-friendly testing tool, which should match the live Google search results, whereas the mobile usability reports in Google Webmaster Tools can be delayed based on crawl time. – Check out the tool here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

If you are not mobile friendly in the eyes of Google, some tweaks to your website can quickly change that. Contact us to help you out.

Google Plus One and Your SEO Rankings

by Ryan Grassie - Jun. 27, 2012 at 1:21am

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At first, this tool is going to be used for approving search results – a great way for Google to continue tweaking their rankings. But, that’s not all. Check out what the narrator says about the future of the Plus One button:

“…and soon you’ll be able to Plus One more than just search results. You’ll also find Plus One buttons on sites across the web, making it easy to Plus One pages after you have visited them.”

Right now, the +1 button is used just for search. If you search for “Ottawa Website Design” and decide the fourth or fifth page in the search results is better than the first, you can +1 that ranking, basically telling Google “this search result is the best for this keyword”. That’s powerful and Google will gladly integrate those results into their search rankings.

But, that’s only the start. With +1 in search results, webmasters have very little control over who votes for their site. However, Google is going a little further and this is where things get truly interesting. Imagine what happens when someone clicks the +1 button on a page of your website. Google now knows that someone thinks your content is useful. It’s the same as getting a backlink from another site – someone says “this guy knows his stuff”.

Of course, we won’t know for a little while how much of an impact the +1 button has on search rankings, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume Google will take it into account.

In fact, the head of the Web Spam division at Google – Matt Cutts-  has said in the past that they want to integrate social interaction into determining content quality. Now that the +1 button has been rolled out, it’s only a matter of time before this very social tool becomes an important part of their algorithm. After all, they track, monitor, and gather all the results from those clicks. You can bet they’ll use the data.

Further supporting this is a quote from the Webmaster Central blog:

“We expect that these personalized annotations will help sites stand out by showing users which search results are personally relevant to them. As a result, +1’s could increase both the quality and quantity of traffic to the sites people care about.
But the +1 button isn’t just for search results. We’re working on a +1 button that you can put on your pages too, making it easy for people to recommend your content on Google search without leaving your site.”

If there’s anything we know for sure, guessing Google’s intentions is tricky. But, with so much evidence pointing toward social integration into search and the +1 button finally rolled out, I can safely say that a smart webmaster and Internet marketer will keep a close eye on these tools. Soon enough, I believe this tool will become a fantastic resource to better connect with readers while improving rankings in Google.

For more details about the +1 button and Google’s plan for it, here is a useful link:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/03/introducing-1-button.html

Google Says Content, Not Tricks Is the Key to Optimization

by Ryan Grassie - May. 4, 2012 at 2:57pm

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Just what we have been preaching to our clients for years. Google made some big moves in changing the way their algorithm ranks sites. The changes are designed to penalize “over-optimization.” What does over-optimization mean? Well, as a firm that avoid the use of tricks, favoring content to drive traffic – I can tell you that if you’ve been in marketing for more than a week, you’ve gotten a call from a firm that specializes in this – usually from India.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) firms charge big bucks for monthly services that include creating thousands of fake landing pages, creating “ping-backs” by commenting on other posts, and a number of other nefarious, but previously effective tactics.

So what is Google rewarding with the coveted top spots on searches? Content. They will be rewarding organizations that are “making great sites for users, not just algorithms.”

This trend is not new, but it is nice to get a rare peak behind the mysterious Google curtain as their comments make their recent trend into an “official” position. Article on the changes. 

This is fantastic for our clients and, quite frankly, a trend we’ve been seeing for years, albeit unofficial and never made public in the way Google did last week. It is high-quality content and smart, targeted optimization that gets results. Stay away from the tricks.

So what are the best practices? Here are just a few of ForceFive’s:

  • Creating a handful (not hundreds) of extremely relevant and targeted landing pages
  • Ensuring that your site is complete with meta tags, category tags,
  • Creating URLs with search friendly terms embedded
  • Making sure your keywords are peppered throughout the content
  • Including a Google xml sitemap so Google and other engines automatically see new pages
  • Backlinks from relevant sites – leverage your partners and help each other

Most importantly, your website is not a brochure that you print, put aside for a year and then refresh. Blogging on your site creates new, fresh content with keywords that will drive traffic. In this case, I want people looking for effective Google search tactics, websites that drive traffic, and Google search best practices.

Let us know how we can help you effectively drive traffic to your site – no tricks, just solid content. Another benefit of content over tricks? Tricks never strengthened a brand or create thought leadership the way blogs do.

Inbound Links and Google Ranking

by Ryan Grassie - Mar. 1, 2012 at 2:31am

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Inbound links are a very important part of any successful search engine optimization campaign. Inbound links are the number one factor in Google’s determination of your Page Rank, which has a major influence on your position in their search results. Since Google accounts for roughly 90% of the searches performed on the internet, inbound links are very important if you’re looking to reach the majority of internet users.

Inbound links are defined as links found elsewhere on the internet that direct users to your site only. Inbound links differ from reciprocal links, which occur when someone links to your site and your site links back to them in turn. While these do factor into Google’s Page Rank assessment and other search engine algorithms, they do not carry the same weight that one way, inbound links do. In addition to increasing your Page Rank and appealing to search engines, inbound links also work to increase traffic to your site.

There are different kinds of inbound links. In general, there are text and graphic based links. However, studies have shown that text based inbound links are more effective at both garnering more traffic and improving your Page Rank. In fact, depending on the text itself and its keywords, textual inbound links themselves can even have an effect on your rank and position.

Another important factor is the quality of your inbound links. In terms of page ranking, getting inbound links from just about anywhere can help. However, if the inbound link contains a relevant keyword to your site, Google will give it even more value. And when it comes to increasing traffic, the best inbound links come from sites with content relevant to yours. The better your traffic and the more inbound links you have, the better your search engine marketing strategy, so try to get inbound links from sites, directories and forums that are relevant to the subject matter of your own site.

Just remember – content is king! Google wants to show the most relevant sites related to the search term so having your page setup properly, and proving valuable content will get users to your site and they in turn will link to your site. Blogs can play a huge role in this.

Couple of ways to get inbound links:

  • Post comments to relevant forums with your url
  • Add your site to both paid and free directories in categories that are relevant to what you do
  • Have a blog with valuable fresh content that other can link to