For the last twelve months, Google’s relationship with online businesses has been rather complicated. Regular readers of the WebiMax blog are no doubt familiar with the effects that the company’s various search algorithms (Google Penguin and Google Panda) have had on the SEO community and their clients. Although the company maintains that the development and implementation of these updates all serves to better the SERPs for the end user, countless businesses have been negatively impacted by the recent alterations made to the search engine. The result of this has been a lot of hurt feelings between online companies, marketing firms, and Google.
But as Google has said countless times, it has the best of intentions at heart and just wants the best possible experience for all its users. Now, to return a little bit of kindness back to us in the SEO industry, the company has released a new toolset that should assist in raising page ranking. This new program, called the Google Disavow Tool, is still in its infancy but should help we in the SEO business to get some of our more errant campaigns back on track.
What Can Disavow Do for You?
The Google Disavow Tool does precisely what one would think it would – it disavows connections made between a company’s domain or PPC campaign with sites deemed unwanted. These can include websites that are considered spam by Google, relate to adult materials or unflattering services, or link to paid link databases. The biggest deal of these is clearly the paid link database.
In the past, numerous SEO companies made the mistake – be it from poor judgment or unscrupulous behavior – of relying on artificial and paid link databases for improving page traffic and ranking. Once Penguin hit, these once supportive links became liabilities that not only lost their purpose but also became black marks that condemned client domains. Now Google is trying to help out these businesses by allowing them to disavow links that may point to their online properties and hurt their ranking.
As helpful as this all is, Google has stated for the record that this is a new feature that even their teams are not 100% prepared to tackle quite yet. As of now, those links SEO companies and their clients would like to disavow need to be submitted to Google in a text document for review. Since this will take time to complete, it is usually best to contact offending link sites first and see if they can’t remove the page on their end. If this does not work, Google will do its best to get to the reviewing process as quickly as possible.
The Chance for a Clean Slate
At the end of the day, top SEO companies realize that Google is neither friend nor foe to SEO but rather just a company trying to do right by its own users. The release of the Google Disavow program may seem like a sort of gift to those online marketing firms that have in the past used illicit methods to reach their goals, but the fact is that the toolset is really engineered to help Google further clean up its SERPs. This does not mean, however, that we as an industry can’t use these tools to do a little bit of spring cleaning (or in this case, autumn cleaning) ourselves. If anything, now is a perfect time to step back, sort out our old backlinks, and get things back on track.
It’s an error in judgment that is often made by many business owners over the course of their careers. All too often a person is quick to dismiss a lack of results from a new initiative as being representative of a no-win battle. Before new strategies can be proven one way or the other, these operations end up being dropped in favor of tried-and-true tactics that yield consistent but altogether few results. Although there is certainly something to be said for cutting losses before they go spiraling out of control, most people poorly assess the potential strength of their advertising and miss out on the rewards they could reap with the right approach.
The same can easily be said about many businesses trying to tackle organic SEO marketing. After the recent developments with Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms, increasingly more companies are coming to the realization that the same old tactics that were once used to climb up search engine result pages (SERPs) have become antiquated or even completely useless. Now some companies are turning almost exclusively to pay-per-click and other forms of inorganic for the bulk of their internet advertising efforts. However, by eschewing full SEO campaigns, they too end up significant SERP presence.
Having the Right Response to the New Environment
While we’ve already covered how to work within the new constraints set by Google over at Penguin Watch, what is really going to matter most for companies looking to maintain or improve their standings is the approach itself. Yes, duplicate content, hidden links, and other unethical SEO development methods have fallen by the wayside (rightly so), but it’s the mentality that’s being applied to the new content that will ultimately determine how the future unfolds.
When in doubt, business owners should be producing websites that follow a strict set of guidelines:
- All new content made, be they blogs or additional webpages, should be interesting and useful to readers. This will encourage shares on social media and help give the content real web presence.
- All content should be original in both copy and purpose. This keeps pages from getting de-ranked by Google and also improves the likelihood of certain keyword groups leading to immediate search results.
- The end user is your focus, not a site crawler. When all is said and done, Google’s algorithms are intended to get its users to get to pages they want in as little time as possible. If you can get these users to find your page and then stay on it, you’ve succeeded in your efforts.
Finally, it’s important that companies new to the world of SEO and online marketing turn to experts in the field instead of going it alone. While there is a wealth of advice and general tips out there for how to run your own organic campaigns, the best methods and techniques change constantly. Always seek out the aid of a SEO company with years of experience for the results you want.
MOUNT LAUREL, NJ – Kenneth Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, the leading search engine optimization firm, announced an impressive first-half of 2012, and further indicated that “WebiMax is strengthening its processes and strategically revitalizing our products to better serve clients and continue to gain precious market share in the online marketing sector.”
According to a research study conducted by eMarketer, online advertising spending will surpass print advertising for the first time in 2012, and is projected to reach $40 billion. Furthermore, online advertising spending is expected to reach $62 billion by 2016.
Wisnefski announced “2012 is a pivotal year for online marketers because advertisers have had some time to digest the results of other online marketing initiatives they have seen, and are starting to understand its real impact on brand visibility, and ultimately their revenue.”
WebiMax is certainly feeling the impact of a growing industry as evidenced by their success in the first half of 2012. Revenue is up more than 5,600 percent from 2008, and the company is strengthening its balance sheet and income statement in order to further expand operations and continue to reinvest in the company including key areas of personnel and technology / innovation. In addition, the company is on-pace to surpass 2011 revenues by a projected 150 percent.
In June, WebiMax announced the addition of Bill Slawski. Slawski is the owner and operator of SEO by the Sea, a leading online resource for industry news, announcements, and statistics. Mr. Slawski covers Google, Inc. and other related industry movers. In addition, he successfully predicted the launch of Google Plus, a social networking site launched by Google in November of 2011.
In a recent company email, Wisnefski announced “Ultimately, in today’s ever competitive global market, it is very easy for businesses to fail from poor performance. Fortunately, WebiMax has been able to leverage a growing industry and refine our processes with the changes to the global market to compete with larger and well-funded organizations. The second half of 2012 looks promising for WebiMax, as the company continues to reinvest in their core products and services and personnel. In addition, the company has experience a 200 percent increase in new client acquisition in 2012.
Led by serial web entrepreneur Kenneth Wisnefski, WebiMax has become the leader in online marketing services, including a focus on Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Paid Search and PPC, Website Design and Development, Reputation Management, and more. The company was selected as one of America’s Most Promising Companies (2011) by Forbes Magazine and recently awarded one of Philadelphia’s Fastest Growing Companies (2012 and 2011) by the Philadelphia Business Journal. WebiMax employs over 100 personnel in 12 offices including 8 U.S. based, and 4 International. Visit http://www.webimax.com/ for more information.
A few days ago, Google unveiled its newest search feature, Knowledge Graph, to network users. For those readers who are unfamiliar with the announced program, Knowledge Graph is being launched as a sidebar addition to the company’s search engine results. While the company’s SERPs will stay the way they’ve always been, the new feature will serve up interesting facts, details and relevant information for popular keywords entered in queries. Google has stated that it has plans to bring the function to mobile platforms in the future as well.
Although Knowledge Graph has yet to become available to all Google users, numerous SEO companies already have their own stance on how the feature may affect the current state of online marketing. In the recent months, Google has been responsible for some of the biggest and most impactful changes in internet advertising. As a result, everyone in the SEO community is keeping a watchful eye on the company and will be for some time to come. While marketing agencies will let their clients know about important news, business owners should still keep aware of these latest happenings in order to actively improve their web prevalence.
What Should SMB Owners Take Away from Knowledge Graph?
Aside from the supplemental nature of Knowledge Graph, Google’s newest network feature also gives us some insight into the sort of trending page elements that the company regards in high importance. Between the information-based focus of Knowledge Graph and the strength of Wikipedia in the company’s SERPs, one can see that Google wants more informative sites these days. Yet while this realization is made readily apparent through Google’s recent efforts, not everyone is taking advantage of this fact.
Creating Quality that Search Engines Want
Many of the WebiMax blog readers are small or startup business owners who are looking to get their online properties well-represented on every engine’s search results. Although Google’s ranking trends are not entirely indicative of what other search engines are looking for these days, the company does tend to set the pace for what is seen on most SERPs. If anything, it’s a safe bet that the same sort of informative content that Google’s search algorithm finds desirable will rank well on competing engines.
In order to have better traction in the SERPs, more businesses need to work on creating content for their online properties that is not only informative to readers but also interesting. While not every page of a company’s website may have space for this type of content, a business should always devote some time to creating it where it can. Often times, company blogs and user-maintained pages act as hubs for news and information that readers will find engaging. Other venues for this type of content may include employee sites that focus on related topics and are linked to the aforementioned blog.
While it’s still uncertain where Knowledge Graph will eventually lie in Google’s overall business plan, there are still several useful conclusions that can be drawn from the new network feature. Should readers have any particular questions, I can be contacted at email@example.com.
While it’s important to hire an SEO company that’s committed to working for you, since the release of Google’s new algorithm, Penguin, it’s crucial more than ever that you select an SEO company that is following organic SEO practices.
Since the webspam algorithm launched, businesses should be cautious that the SEO company they choose doesn’t perform black hat techniques as this will result in a penalty from Google. Sites that are penalized will be removed from Google’s index, thus becoming invisible to search engines.
No business wants to invest money, time and trust into an SEO company only for their business to be ruined. Receiving a penalty from Google not only results in your site being removed from Google’s index but will significantly hurt your business’s reputation.
The best way to avoid receiving a penalty from Google is to hire a quality SEO company that isn’t going to cheat the search system. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when searching for an SEO company that’s committed towards working for you and won’t leave your business damaged:
You can start by researching the background of the company. Learn about when the company started, their mission and philosophy, how many clients they’ve worked for, the types of campaigns they perform, their achievements and awards, and the management team. You can do this by checking out the company website and researching the company on search engines. This will help you get a feel for SEO the company.
What do you want to achieve?
When you turn to an SEO company to work for you, of course they will jump at the opportunity to gain a new client. But, don’t let their words alone lure you in. You should determine ahead of time what you want to achieve. Think about your objectives and what you want to gain from the SEO company. Whether you’re looking to increase traffic to your site or want your website appear higher in the SERPs, you should have an objective.
What’s their take on what you’re looking for?
After you discuss your objective, let the SEO company impress you with their knowledge of SEO and what measures or tactics they believe should or shouldn’t be used to help you reach your results. A company that’s truly dedicated towards helping you won’t just give you what you want, but what you need. They will explain to you the best practices and best approach to help you achieve what you’re aiming to reach.
What strategies do they follow?
While the SEO company may not be able to give you a nail on the head explanation of how they would approach your campaign, you can ask them about their common strategies and tactics. You should ask about the keyword selection process, how they measure competition, how content is created onsite and offsite, how backlinks are formed, and every strategy they’d follow in an SEO campaign.
Also, this is the perfect opportunity to discuss the Penguin update. Ask them what they know of the Penguin update and how their company avoided being affected by the new algorithm. The more knowledge they have of the Penguin update and of Google’s algorithms is clearly a good sign.
Do they know the latest in SEO and have an obsession for analytical data?
The SEO company you choose should know the latest tactics in SEO and what work must be performed in order to help a site rank well. They should understand your target market, know how to reach your market, have a creative side to attract online audiences and know how to switch up an SEO strategy quickly if the current strategy isn’t yielding the results you’re looking for.
Also, the company should be literally obsessed with analytic data and measuring your campaign progress. You should be able to turn to them whenever and ask them of your progress and current rankings. Staying up-to-date with the latest in SEO should essentially be a lifestyle for an SEO company.
Do they communicate regularly?
You want a company that communicates with you regularly and informs you of your campaign progress. While the company may be working to service you, this is your company’s reputation on the line. Also, don’t be hesitant to question the steps they take or ask them to explain something. SEO companies understand that business owners aren’t SEO experts.
So, while you’re on the search for an SEO company to work for you, keep these guidelines in mind and help your business succeed.
I grew up in the Northeast, where a request for a “hoagie” elicits a number of sandwich choices. If you make a similar request in parts of the American-west hemisphere, people stop for a moment, allowing their brains to pump fists for a few seconds, then ultimately admitting they have no idea what that is. “You mean a submarine sandwich?” When in Rome…
How do you, as a current or potential online marketing /SEO client, search for needs? Do you believe SEO properly represents online needs? When desiring social media optimization, do you search for SEO services? Online marketing? SMO?
Recently, the online marketing industry has gone through evolutions; yet, has it gotten to the point of introducing new terms? Rand Fishkin introduced a debate last week regarding the term, “SEO.” In short, I believe Rand notices the industry evolution, yet how SEO still represents same, former actions; he observes industry tacticians addressing “SEO” as well as other client needs, believing the process warrants new terms which properly represent (new) actions (beyond traditional SEO) taking place (inbound marketing is one term he uses to describe some modern-day actions).
I think the debate is important; in-industry language dictates how online marketing practitioners, and (current) and new clients, refer to needs. A recent WSJ article discusses the birth and death of language. A new field of study, “Culturomics,” dissects language within cultures, tracking how it is used, its popularity, and ultimately, its decline and death. Culture and language definitely influence marketing; view Ryan Buddehagen’s video on culture and ISEO.
Some interesting insights extracted from WSJ article:
- Guesstimate of available English words is more than one million though the 2002 edition of Webster’s only included 348,000
- In English and across other cultures, the death rate of words has increased while the coinage of new terms has slowed down
- It’s estimated, 8,500 new words are introduced into the English language per year
- New words get more popular (because they likely describe something actually new rather than a deviated meaning of an older term)
- Death rates of words are related to similar spellings (ex: Sioux/Sieoux)
More interesting is the notion of editors (bloggers?), spell-check systems, and those who celebrate particular words over others, have a hand in word evolution. How a respected source or community identifies and relates concepts or actions, influences the language of those with less rich experience (influencing the evolution and ‘natural selection’ of words, acronyms, and phrases).
Consider the word, “Roentgenogram.” Have you ever used the term in your life? I haven’t. I’ve used “X-ray” hundreds of times; I was born after 1960, when the shift took place. Are any clients out there trying to rank for the term, “loanmoneys”? If so, I would dismiss the client as a foreigner who doesn’t understand their target market; yet, the term, dying around the 1950′s, regularly represented what we now have come to recognize as “loans.”
In conclusion, I side with Rand. New actions and client-related concerns are arising from the evolution of the Web and digital information. New actions and services need proper lexical representation, especially considering SEO, the practice of leveraging ‘keywords and phrases,’ which represent offered goods and services.
SEO service seekers, are you having difficulty properly describing your needs to service suppliers? Are you having trouble with industry acronyms, unable to wrap your understanding around physical representation? Please provide concerns and comments below.
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