MOUNT LAUREL, NJ– (MAY 7, 2012)– Kenneth Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, a leading search engine optimization firm, announced today that the company launched PenguinWatch.com, a Google search engine update resource center.

Google launched a major update to their search engine algorithm, titled the Penguin update on April 24th.  The Penguin update targets websites and businesses that Google has identified as over-optimized and penalizes them for trying to trick their search algorithm and increase rankings.  This update is predicted to impact 3% of all search queries.

“While 3% may not sound like a lot, the reality is that represents over 365,000 websites including those of small- to medium-sized businesses and even Fortune 100 companies,” states Wisnefski.  “WebiMax launched PenguinWatch as a full-scale resource center offering free website analysis, strategic recommendations, tips, news and updates.”

Google officially announced the Penguin update is one of over 500 annual updates to their search algorithm, however the problem is the amount of sites that were wrongfully flagged.  Last year when the company released their Panda Update, over 40% of websites were wrongfully penalized.

“Google’s recent efforts to reshape its results listings have come under fire within the SEO and webmaster community,” states Todd Bailey, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Strategy for WebiMax.  “This effort has been viewed as a harsh update with underlying intent under the protection of the company’s standard mantra of clearing out web-spam and providing better results for the user.”

Last year when Google released the Panda update, major U.S. based retailer J.C. Penney was penalized for spam because their SEO firm was using black-hat optimization tactics to inflate their search rankings.  An official spokesperson from J.C. Penney revealed that they quickly fired their search marketing company and worked to remove the ill-advised paid links that were in violation of Google’s SEO guidelines.  After 90 days, the ban was lifted and J.C. Penney returned to normal rankings.

“The Penguin update is an industry game-changer,” discusses Chris Countey, Director of SEO Strategy at WebiMax.  “Link schemes, keyword stuffing and automated SEO tools have always been frowned upon by the SEO community, but now they are dangerous, too.  Companies who have not yet realized that real inbound marketing is the only sustainable way of improving traffic and conversions are likely to be impacted by Penguin. This could potentially destroy businesses that do not change how they market online and it’s apparent the effects are already being felt,” concludes Countey.

While the update is expected to impact 3% of search queries, Todd Bailey states webmasters already know who they are.

“Nearly 2 days after the Penguin update was rolled out, WebiMax received a ton of calls from prospective clients asking for help,” states Bailey.  “Given that, we decided to have our internal team of developers and senior SEO strategists create PenguinWatch to serve as a reliable platform to provide complete website analyses and deliver additional resources so webmasters can hedge against a detrimental change to their search rankings,” concludes Bailey.

 

How much time do you have today to think about online marketing strategies?  I think about it all day.  It’s my passion and career.  I’ll assume there are a lot of similar souls out there who are passionate about engaging their respective fields.  I bet it warrants a lot of attention.  My daily duties do.  Would I have time to breach the threshold of another vertical while addressing online marketing?  It’s not very likely; or, I wouldn’t be able to cover much ground that way.

I endeavor at keeping a healthy body.  I know some tidbits about anatomy, health, diet, etc; yet, there are limitations to my knowledge.  I defer to specialists when needed.  Last year, I was feeling exceptionally sluggish and didn’t know why.  I tried to modify behavior and get to the heart of the matter myself but was unsuccessful; I pinpointed the lethargy to a deficiency in iron thanks to blood tests and my doctor.  Otherwise, I would’ve been growing more desperate and confused about my health.  I sought help instead.

You see where I’m going with this (I hope.)  Online marketing specialists look after the health of your online business.  It’s our pledge just as doctors pledge to look after the health of patients.

Why Consultants?
I think you can begin to see my point above.  I’m not saying I couldn’t have been a doctor (Does that involve math?  I hope not.)  I’m not saying you can’t be a great online marketer.  But I’m not a doctor; if you’re not a marketer, I prescribe your deference to those who spend a lot of time and energy in the field.  I don’t wear a stethoscope; but, I know how to check the pulse of your online business.  I know how to check to see if your online initiatives are working well, providing healthy revenue streams.

Approaching an online consultant is not an absolute necessity; but, just as I visit the doctor, gaining insight into my health, wouldn’t you want to treat your business well too?  Isn’t your business ‘your temple’?

Taming Google
Online marketers don’t completely understand Google.  I’m not sure Google would prefer complete transparency.  However, consultants do closely work with best practices and Google updates.  Just like doctors, we can’t completely know or predict the future; but, we can use our knowledge to facilitate the health of your online business.

Google has an idea of how it would like its search engine to work.  As marketers, we spend time understanding Google and how tweaks influence and change SERs.  Unfortunately, some modifications make sites ‘sick,’ causing them to drop in rank (and subsequently lose money and exposure).  The sickness is usually self-inflicted whether Web masters knew they were ‘messing’ with potentially hazardous initiatives or not.

If your site is sick, then you need help.  You could try to revive your online property alone; yet, you may make things worse, becoming more frustrated like I was regarding my lethargy last year.

Headstrong or Web Savvy?
I can be a stubborn person.  I admit that.  I often have to be wary of when my stubbornness backs opportunities in a corner.  Are you doing such with your online business?  Have you recently been affected by Panda and Penguin updates?  Don’t spin wheels blindly searching or exhausting intuition, attempting to ‘get better.’

When I need my car fixed I go to a mechanic.  When I don’t feel well I go to a doctor.  If I want to learn skiing I search for someone who spent a lot of time on the slopes.  When you want to improve your online marketing performance you need to seek professional consultants.

No one will force me to go to the mechanic, doctor, or ski instructor.  I could attempt to address my needs alone though seriously lacking in understanding of those topics.  You could attempt to address your search engine health alone; but, do you have the time, passion, and level of understanding equal to an online marketing consultant?  Don’t allow more time to pass; your business’ ‘condition’ could get worse.  Additionally, a lack of understanding of what’s causing ‘the sickness’ is a potential time bomb.

WebiMax recently launched PenguinWatch.com – a consultancy site, dedicated to helping Web masters understand the Google Penguin update as well as gain a better hold on search engine best practices and strategy.  Please take a look at the site and don’t hesitate to seek assistance regarding a number of initiatives.  Most importantly, don’t dismiss the importance of asking questions.  Do you have questions?  We would like to help improve your understanding.  The first move is yours.

 

May is just around the corner as we begin catapulting further into warmer weather systems.  Things have been cooking at the WebiMax brand.  We’re all excited by the momentum and successes ahead.  A lot of helpful content has been coming out of the SEOservices and WebiMax websites.  Did you get a chance to read all of it?

Be sure to notice some of the highlights from last week below:

Execs around the Web

CEO, Ken Wisnefski offered his insights to major publications recently.  He discussed the upcoming Facebook IPO at Kiplinger and Google Drive at Market Watch.

Todd Bailey has written some posts for Search Engine Journal, a popular SEO blog.  SEJ posted The Game of Business this week; but, don’t forget to revisit older marketing articles from him on the platform.

Additionally, WebiMax was recognized as one of 2012′s Fastest Growing Companies as well as launched a London Internet Marketing initiative.

Jason Wersits

Jason writes on a variety of SEO and online marketing topics.  Last week, Jason addressed SMB blogging,  how to select keywords, the Penguin update, and more.

Get to know Jason and his writing better by frequently visiting the WebiMax and SEOservices platforms.

Ryan Buddenhagen

Ryan enjoys giving business owners insight on international search engine optimization as well as tackles a variety of business topics involving online marketing.  Last week, Ryan wrote about the ethics of tech firms, local search, social engagement, and others.

Ryan tweets and writes regularly during the week.  Don’t miss his new posts; or, risk losing out on ISEO insights.

Jillian Johnson

Jillian has been a writer with WebiMax for some time and recently joined the internal marketing team.  We are lucky to have her.  Jillian has a penchant for social media understanding; but, writes on a variety of SEO topics.  Last week, Jillian addressed using social media for real estate, social media and healthcare, online review trust, and more.

Jillian is busily at work on the WebiMax and SEOservices platforms during the week.  Check in regularly to get her help.

Anthony Pensabene

Anthony enjoys writing on a number of business strategies including branding and reputation management.  Last week, Anthony wrote on professional networking, boring branding, and self social media usage.  Anthony writes regularly and passionately; be sure to check him out.

Last Thursday, the Mt. Laurel, NJ office hosted its ‘Bring Your Daughter/Son to Work Day.’  Many aspiring SEO and online marketing professionals were in attendance and glad to spend time with family and friends.

Google has been making many updates.  Have you heard?  Don’t worry; the search engine optimization world closely tracks the search giant’s moves.  We must.  There’s too much invested in the process.  Our consumers depend on us to do a good job for them.  Your consumers depend on you too.

One of my jobs as an online marketer is suggesting best practices.  Obviously, I follow the evolution of Google closely; it’s both interesting and warranted to intelligently address cohorts and readers.  One of the best suggestions I can give (after being in marketing for a while) is minding your target…which is not Google rankings (rank is a means to an end).  Rank is only one piece of the puzzle.  As far as revenue, nothing’s happening unless consumers do something.  The Google rank is just an ad after all.

It’s Sunday; hopefully you have some time to think of the forest through the trees before the busy workweek begins tomorrow.  I would like business owners to invest the time in thinking about the following.

About Us
Imagine you just met a potential business partner.  You would want to know more about them, wouldn’t you?  I would.  I do.  Can consumers get all desired information from your about us page?  I’ve seen a number of business sites with sad about us pages, offering no information about executives, brand missions, and employees.  That’s a big red flag for me.  Why is your brand hiding?  Do you have something to hide?  Competition is fierce.  Why should consumers partner with your brand when you don’t indicate ‘who’ your brand is?

Take time with your about us page.  People like to know about executives, employees, and their thoughts on business practices.  Consumers want to know more about the brand.  More transparency by businesses facilitates feelings of comfort and familiarity for consumers.

Examples of good about us pages:

http://www.blueglass.com/about/

http://www.distilled.net/about/

Notice the About Us experience is multi-faceted.  There are pictures, personality exhibited, people smiling and described, etc.  You get a clear picture of the business and team members.  Get your about us page there.

Page Bounce Rates
It’s quite simple to throw up Web pages.  However, each page should have a definitive purpose.  I understand all businesses want to make money from the Web; yet, understand the purpose of Web sites.  A good Web site is a resource for interested parties.  It should be a place of information and ongoing interaction.  What are the bounce rates of your pages?  Check pages where people spend little time.  Why could this be?  What orchestration decisions were made that could be bettered, perpetuating a visit?  What site pages are most sticky?  Why?  Would it be wise to engineer pages like that more often?

High bounce rates tell me that a Web property is highly optimized for engines but offer little value or embrace for consumers, as if browsers were captivated by rank or meta tags, heading toward a Web property only to find it ineffectively ‘walking the talk,’ not ‘living up to its preliminary advertisement.’

This bounce rate post offers a ton of resources on the topic.

Please be mindful of best practices.  Aligning your search engine optimization campaign with best practices eliminates the worry of Google updates.  Do be concerned (always) with customer updates; constantly think about improving your Web site and digital communications for your customers.

 

Are you interested in starting a search engine optimization campaign?  It requires diligence and experience paves the way for efficient diligence.  Download our SEO white paper and start thinking about choosing the right SEO provider for your purposes right now.