Is your website over-optimized? Watch out because Google is cracking down on sites that are over-optimized and penalizing them.
The penalty is presumed to be introduced within the month and is aimed at sites that are cheating the search system. Sites that are penalized will be removed from Google’s index and will not be crawled by search engines, ultimately becoming non-existent to search engines.
“Google is looking at sites by ‘people who sort of abuse it whether they throw too many keywords on the page, or whether they exchange way too many links, or whatever they’re doing to sort of go beyond what a normal person would expect in a particular area,” said Google SEO engineer Matt Cutts.
The purpose of the penalty is to give each website a fair shot at ranking well in the SERPs. There are websites that contain unique content but low rankings. And then there are sites with heavy SEO focus and low quality content, but rank well in the SERPs. Google’s focus is to allow websites with low rankings but quality content to gain a better search engine ranking position.
Cutts added that Google already looks at actions such as keyword stuffing and link exchanges as spam signals in Google’s algorithm.
“It’s widely believed that keyword stuffing and link exchanges are already spam signals in Google’s algorithm, so either Google intends to ratchet up the amount of penalty or dampening that those spam signals merit algorithmically or they have new over-optimization signals in mind as well.”
So, while you want your website to appear higher in the SERPs to gain more traffic, search engines have their eyes out for those who go above and beyond, surpassing organic tactics and following black hat techniques. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you’re not using any backdoor practices to beat the search system.
Here are a few tips to help your site avoid being penalized by Google:
- Create titles that describe the page best with keywords in mind
- Watch your keyword density
- Write creative and fresh content, don’t take content from another source and don’t place duplicate content on pages
- Use guest blogs for backlinks
- Don’t create inbound links that come from your own site
- Create high quality links
- Write creative anchor texts
- Take note of your page loading time as this is a major sign that your page is over-optimized
Are you a real estate professional looking to gain more customers? If so, then you better get started on joining social media sites.
With real estate professionals on a constant search to find the best method of reaching potential home buyers or sellers, social networking has become the new outlet for reaching audiences with 84% of real estate agents utilizing social media. The real estate industry is actually taking the lead in the category of small businesses that use social media.
When asked which social media site they are using, 79% responded with Facebook. It’s no wonder, though, since this social media site is favored among all and provides various features for businesses to take advantage of. Twitter stood as the second most used social media site with 48% of real estate professionals using it. LinkedIn came in third with 29% of real estate professionals using the professional network. Other social media sites included WordPress (15%), YouTube (12%), Blogger (5%) and Flickr (4%).
If you’re not of the 12% with a YouTube account to provide customers with a video, now is the time to create one since 73% of homeowners are more likely to list with a realtor who providers a video. Results also showed that after viewing a home online, 45% of online audiences walked through a home, 29% located a local agent and 21% drove by or viewed the home.
For those who stay current with the latest in mobile phones and apps, the Realtor.com app, which allows those looking to buy to view home listings, has users spending an estimated 16 minutes on the app and over 20,000 property listings are viewed each hour.
While some professionals may find using social media to be far from what they are used to when reaching audiences, 55% of real estate professionals said they feel comfortable, 26% said somewhat comfortable, and only 10% said uncomfortable.
Now is the time for real estate professionals to get involved in social media and reach their audience.
Attention, health care providers. If you’re looking to attract an online audience, then it’s essential that you start providing information about health care and your practice through social media.
While social media has become the primary news source for many, it has especially become a main news source for online audiences to obtain health care related information.
Results from a PwC Health Research Institute survey found that 33% of U.S. consumers use social media to obtain and share health care information. Social media outlets used to find medical information included YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The survey also found that 90% of the respondents, ages 18 to 24, said they would trust medical information shared by others on social media networks.
And social media isn’t just a source for web audiences to learn and share information as results found that roughly 41% of respondents use social media help determine which doctor or hospital to use. In addition, 34% said that the information provided on social media sites impacts their decision as to whether or not to take a certain medication.
Also, while respondents stated that they use social media sites to share their own health story including symptoms, treatments and doctors, the survey found that an individual’s health status played a role in sharing information. Those in better health were more likely to share information on social media sites.
If you’re a health care provider looking to engage more with customers, social media networks are the perfect outlet for you to find out what customers are eager to know and provide them with the latest information regarding health statuses, symptoms, treatments and medications.
Also, social media sites are a great promotional tool as you can provide information about your own practice and your experience working in health care, and share the latest news regarding the particular health care field you work in. Social media sites are free, easy to use, and highly popular. Also, information on social media sites spreads quickly allowing you to reach an audience fast.
The internet has not only become a tool for people to conveniently search for products or services online, but a dominant source to learn about businesses. With the various online review sites available, customers can read reviews about businesses as well as provide their own review. And ‘word on the internet’ spreads like wildfire. But, does everyone really trust online reviews?
According to results from the Local Consumer Review Survey (2012), roughly 72% of the consumers surveyed trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. Of those who read online reviews, 65% of consumers read 2-10 reviews. Of course reputation management is essential in operating a business, in which 58% of consumers stated that they trust a business with positive online reviews.
It’s no doubt that positive reviews about a business will turn a visitor into a consumer. If a business has a negative review, how likely is it that you would trust them?
Also, more people are utilizing the internet to obtain information about a business because of the convenience. Whether from a laptop or cell phone, people can quickly search online for reviews about a business. And because so many people are turning to online reviews, they are becoming more valuable.
Let’s also not forget that online reviews make their way into the social media world. Whenever I receive excellent service from a business, my positive experience with that business makes its way onto my Facebook page for my friends to read and I send a tweet as well for my followers. Positive reviews are especially beneficial for businesses involved in social media as they help a business gain more online attention.
Nothing means success to a business like a positive review from a customer.
The latest mobile app, Draw Something, created by gaming developer OMGPop, has captivated the interest and time of cell phone users everywhere. Since its release on February 6, the game has attracted over 35 million users.
Similar to Pictionary, one player selects a word from a list of three and draws a picture on their phone using their finger which the other player has to guess the selected word. Each word is worth a certain number of coins, in which the hardest word to draw is worth the most. The words include places, characters, objects and even celebrities.
When players first begin playing, they are given a limited number of colors to use to draw their picture. Players earn coins when their picture is guessed correctly and they can “buy” more colors. As compared to other mobile games such as Words with Friends, the purpose of the game is not to beat the other player. Rather, players want to draw an image that the other player can guess. While the game is so simple and so easy, it’s also so addicting.
So, how can a mobile drawing game teach us more about SEO training? Surprisingly enough, it can teach us a lot.
Words are key
As mentioned above, players can select from three words and each word is worth a certain amount of coins depending upon its difficulty to draw. Players can take the easy route and draw something simple or take the challenging route and draw something that requires strategic thinking. But, players should always keep the other player in mind and think if this is a word the other player will think to guess, or a word they are familiar with.
The same scenario occurs when choosing keywords. When selecting the best keywords, it’s important to pick words that are competitive and words that people are searching for. Selecting words that people aren’t searching for will not yield the results you’re looking for.
Waiting is not fun
While Draw Something doesn’t put a time limit when drawing a picture, it’s commonly understood by all players that waiting for a player to finish a picture is bothersome. Players want to see the picture as soon as possible in order to guess the word.
The same goes for loading a website. Web audiences don’t like having to wait for a page to load that they’re interested in viewing. Rather, it turns away an audience, thus your traffic.
Although players are to draw pictures, some bend the rules and simply write words. This takes away the fun of the game and bores the other player. Players are impressed by uniquely drawn pictures since they are using their fingers.
While content is king in SEO, pictures highly attract the interest of web audiences. Their creativity and design speak to an audience just as words do, but in less time, and sometimes space.
Reach the social network
When players are looking for others to play the game with, they can scan their social network contacts to find another player. Or, players may simply turn to their social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and ask their friends and followers to play.
Social networking has demonstrated itself a successful way to reach a large audience. Businesses can utilize social media sites to not only sell their products or services, but also engage and interact with customers. Social networks allow users to share valuable information, upload pictures and videos and obtain feedback.
Thanks to the mobile app, Draw Something, we can learn how to better our SEO skills to attract customers.