SEO made easy...coming soon....Where does your business appear on Google when potential customers search for your chosen keywords? If you’re not at the top – or near the top – it can be frustrating. There is plenty of evidence to show that very few users venture beyond the first page of results when they do a Google search. In fact, they’re more likely to refine their search than to move on to the next page.

Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to help your website rank on the first page in 2016. Here are the top five.

#1: Worry more about authority than keywords

It’s still important to use keywords in your web content, but the days when high keyword density was the key to ranking on Google are long gone. In fact, your keyword placement is not nearly as important as the overall authority of your site. Google’s algorithms are very sophisticated, and they no longer rely on keywords in a title or H1 tag to determine if a page is worth visiting. Rather, they focus on contextual meaning and look for expected words to rank pages.

For example, it used to be that if you wanted to rank for a keyword such as “Best Legal Services” you’d have to use that keyword three or four times in strategic places to have a chance of ranking. Now, if you talk about competent legal representation, Google can tell that your page is relevant to the keyword even if you don’t use it more than a couple of times in your article.

#2: Pay attention to bounce rates and the time spent on your page

Another surprising SEO development for 2016 has to do with an evaluation of whether your page is providing visitors with what they need. In addition to crawling your page for keywords and context, Google also pays attention to what people do after they leave your page as a way of determining if your page is an authoritative one or a waste of time.

For example, if a visitor searches one of your keywords and clicks on your page, Google looks at how long they stay. A visit of several minutes might indicate that a user is engaged with the content on your page and has found what they want. However, if they spend several minutes on your site, return to their list of search results via the dreaded back button, and click on another site instead, it’s a good sign that your site did not offer what they needed.

If you have a high bounce rate, a good way to improve your search ranking in 2016 is to make sure that your site provides the answers to the questions implied by your chosen keywords.

#3: Optimize your website for mobile users

In 2015, mobile searches on Google outpaced computer searches – and that trend is likely to continue. Google has placed a great deal of importance on mobile search as evidenced by their Mobilegeddon mobile-friendly update in early 2015. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, now is the time to get on board.

Fortunately, most businesses can switch to mobile-friendly or (ideally) mobile-adaptive sites with little trouble. Sometimes it’s as simple as switching the template you use for your site. For example, if you have a WordPress site, they have a huge library of templates available, many of which are mobile-adaptive. You may have to do some fine-tuning of your site to make a new template work, but it’s worth the work to get it done.

The beauty of mobile-adaptive sites is that they work by configuring to the specific mobile device being used. Mobile customers tend to be an impatient bunch, and they are unlikely to wait for a slow-loading page or scroll horizontally to read your content. If you take the time to optimize your site for mobile users, it can do more than anything else to improve your search ranking in 2016.

#4: Stay away from content that’s too short

It wasn’t that long ago that blog posts of 250 to 500 words were considered the norm. Short and snappy was the rule of the day, and the assumption that people wanted short content led to a glut of short articles that were light on value and meaning.

That has all changed. Truthfully, the trend toward lengthy web content has been happening for a while, but this year it has really become the rule rather than the exception. Research shows that web users are far more likely to engage with content that’s in the 1,000-1,500 word range than with short articles. Why? Because they want valuable information, and – with rare exception – it’s hard to convey that in just a few hundred words. Of course you can offer a top 10 list that’s only 500 words long, but you’re not going to be able to explain why items are on the list as well as you would if you wrote a longer article or blog post.

The reason that Google is placing so much emphasis on length is that they want to make sure they are sending people to pages designed for humans, not search algorithms. If you’re worried about publishing long content, remember that you can make it more readable by breaking it up with subheadings and images.

#5: Make sure the user experience is front and center

In a way, this last point is a summary of everything that has come before it. Each one of the above points comes back to one thing: user experience. Old-school SEO focused on tricking Google’s algorithms – to the point where many websites were far friendlier to computers than they were to human beings. More and more, Google is concerned about ensuring that their search results are leading users to sites that answer their questions. They want users to feel good about the search experience, something that’s unlikely to happen if they end up on a site that’s not mobile friendly, or is packed with keywords but contains no real value.

There are many things you can do to test the user experience on your site, including split-testing individual components on your page. However, the best thing you can do is to do what you can to answer key questions that are implied by your chosen keywords, and make sure that your site is easily viewable by any user, on any device.

Conclusion

Ranking on the first page of Google is always a challenge. Regardless of your niche, you will be facing some fierce competition. It might sound odd to say this, but the best way to rank is to forget about trying to rank. Don’t worry about algorithms and SEO tricks. Instead, focus on making your site a place where potential customers can find exactly what they need. If you do that, the search rank will follow.

 

 

Changes are the only constant in life as many have mentioned; and it is true that changes are good for the progress especially with advanced technologies. Modern technologies bring on a host of advanced features that benefits consumers and businesses.

Hence, it is should not be surprising that top search engines such as Google made distinct changes to its search and rank algorithm in 2012. The popular search engine has mentioned a change of its de-indexing feature to reduce website rankings on those employing “webspam” which is known as black hat SEO.

Such changes are aligned with emerging technologies in this era to improve web activities, websites as well as to safeguard web consumers and genuine businesses on the web. But every change will rattle some nerves as man prefers continuity with the familiar. A lot of effort is required to flow with changes, regardless of quantum and complexity.

Therefore, the changes implemented in Google’s New Algorithm is likely to cause some upsets in the web world of business where online business owners and marketers must be on their toes again to understand the effects and impacts of the changes on their currently ‘well oiled’ business activities at the moment.

A positive outlook on such changes would help online business owners and marketers to stay focused on the market to overcome competition while remaining as market leaders in their industries. Enhanced changes to Google’s Algorithm would deter websites that indulge in illegal online marketing strategies that are termed black hat SEO.

White Hat versus Black Hat SEO

Google is very clear with what it defines White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO to be in its books. Business owners and marketers would do well to understand these terms properly as Google defines them to manipulate the best of online marketing SEO features for higher website rankings, more sales and bigger bottom lines.

A clear understanding of White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO helps online business owners and marketers to apply the best of marketing strategies that is accepted by Google and other popular search engines to be visible in the market. Such positions would draw more traffic to their websites for a higher sales conversion that brings in more profit. However, these marketers must execute the marketing campaigns, according to the set rules and regulations of Google to warrant the desired results in generating traffic and sales.

White Hat SEO refers to a special SEO technique employed to promote websites that employ original content. Such SEO category is healthy and ethical besides enhancing the web user experience on the Internet. Google encourages white hat SEO marketing strategies which project a more professional image of the company while promoting healthy Internet marketing.

Black Hat SEO is the opposite of White Hat SEO. Webspam methods include the use of shortcuts and loopholes in the ranking systems to secure higher page ranks quickly. Technically, Black Hat SEO techniques are illegal and unprofessional which spoils the company’s image and brand, although short term goals such as higher search engine ranks are achieved in a shorter time frame.

Flowing With the Change

As change will come, online business owners and Internet marketers must be prepared to accept Google’s changes in the algorithm. Although SEO companies fear a drop in business with Google’s algorithm changes, quick measures can be taken to avoid significant effects. A quick alert on Google’s course of action would provide ample time to understand and implement the changes to benefit their business without incurring the wrath of their customers.

Such algorithm changes would definitely impact business websites and traffic unless quick actions are undertaken to soften the change. It would be an excellent opportunity for updates or enhancements and modifications to be implemented on this occasion. This would put companies into better light with popular search engines and consumers.

This algorithm update by Google is meant to identify shady websites that employ Black Hat SEO techniques for a quick shutdown. Smart business websites would spring clean their modus operandi as soon as possible on receiving news of this sweep by Google to avoid a de-indexing of websites especially clients’ websites.

The best approach towards the impending change by Google is to embrace the change with a positive attitude and outlook. White Hat SEO techniques can be picked up easily to be implemented quickly for the best of results. This would avoid the intensive search by Google when its new algorithm is unleashed like a law enforcement officer doing the patrols.

Stabilizing Rankings

Online businesses that employ White Hat SEO techniques would have no problem maintaining their good search engine rankings. In fact, it is possible for the rankings of these websites to be pushed higher up with the new Google Algorithm as shady websites would be de-indexed or eliminated from the ranking list. Hence, the remaining websites would enjoy a more favorable page ranking when the new Google Algorithm comes into enforcement.

Businesses that have been trying to get a head start in the market with Black Hat SEO techniques should wise up and take on the straight path of SEO to be respected in the market. White Hat SEO techniques are not difficult to employ and this would set all business players on the same playing field to provide the best of offerings to consumers.

This would increase the traffic to the web business sites with an authentic approval by Google. Business processes would be simpler and straightforward for consumers, investors and associates while progressive technologies can be encouraged to generate more excellent tools and resources to benefit these business recipients.

Conclusion

A change in Google algorithm need not be a bad thing; it may be inconvenient to many parties, but the bottom line objective benefits the market tremendously. A higher standard of doing business is established with advanced technologies employed to maintain, if not spike up, the web business sites’ rankings by Google.

The onus is on the business owners and marketers who need to consider a long run objective over a short term goal with low lying fruits that would disappear quickly.

End of Google Authorship

End of Google AuthorshipThree years after its implementation, Google announced yesterday to retire Google Authorship.

No more popping up of Author pictures in Search results.

No more need for the complex setup of authorship for customers…

Google stated that the primary reasons for ending Google Authorship:

1. low adoption rates by authors and webmasters
2. very little change in “click behavior”, i.e. low value to searchers.

Google will no longer be tracking data from content using rel=author markup.

In December 2013 Google already reduced the amount of author photo snippets shown per query. Reason mentioned was that Google was moving toward standardizing the user experience between desktop and mobile search, and author photos did not work well with the limited screen space and bandwidth of mobile.

As Google moves forward in its commitment to semantic search it has developed ways to identify authors with a high degree of confidence apart from author actions to implement Google authorship which was found to be complicated with an high rate of error.

Google is rolling out their Panda 4.0 update

Google Panda 4.0 releasedDespite Google saying that nothing is going on, we’ve been seeing signs of search results changes during this month and then started to hear reports of major changes in the Google search results and rankings.

We did see some drops in search rankings on May 15 on older, less active sites. We decided to close some older sites and replace them by our latest version of our business blog.

Some webmasters were suspecting a massive Penguin update was about to hit, while others thought it might be a Panda refresh and others thought it is just Google’s normal actions on link networks.

Google announced on May 20 that key search algorithm Panda 4.0 was released! Positive results for new and updated sites with quality content was seen almost immediately in our portfolio.

Panda was introduced in early 2011 as part of Google’s never-ending quest to sell more ads ensure search results satisfy searchers’ thirst for knowledge. It’s been controversial because some web publishers and businesses have felt it reduced traffic flowing to their sites, sometimes unfairly or arbitrarily.

Dishing out a little pain is Google’s intent as is evident in the fact that Matt Cutts, author of the Tweet on May 20 announcing that Panda 4.0 is now upon us. Google has made changes to how Panda identifies sites” and that about 7.5 per cent of sites could be impacted.

This is a new Panda algorithm, not a refresh that we’ve seen almost monthly but enough for Google to name this 4.0, which means a new algorithm update to it.

Here is an history of Google Panda´s activities:
Panda 1.0 on February 24th, 2011
Panda 2.0 on April 11th
Panda 2.1 on May 9th
Panda 2.2 on June 18th
Panda 2.3 on July 22nd.
Panda 2.4 in August
Panda 2.5 on September 28th
Panda 2.5.1 on October 9th
Panda 2.5.2 on October 13th
Panda 2.5.3 on October 20th
Panda 3.1 on November 18th
Panda 3.2 on January 15th, 2012
Panda 3.3 on February 26th
Panda 3.4 on March 23rd
Panda 3.5 on April 19th
Panda 3.6 on April 27th
Panda 3.7 on June 9th
Panda 3.8 on June 25th
Panda 3.8 on June 25th
Panda 3.9 on July 24th
Panda 3.9.1 on August 20th
Panda 3.9.2 on September 18th
Panda #20 on September 27th
Panda #21 on November 5th
Panda #22 on November 21st
Panda #23 on December 21
Panda #24 on January 22, 2013
Panda #25 on March 15, 2013

Google stopped confirming Panda updates last year and then started doing rolling updates but that doesn’t mean they haven’t done work on fine tuning the algorithm. They softened it recently and there have been refreshes monthly, some larger than others but it is hard to know if it was Panda or something else.

Panda 4.0 on May 20, 2014!!

 

 

Avoid These 3 SEO Tactics That Wastes Your Time.

Getting free traffic online is one of the most in demand knowledge and one of the best SEO tactics on the internet today. Generating traffic in itself be it paid or free is always a hard work and this is especially so for those who prefers getting traffic for free. Now the best kind of free traffic online these days seems to be coming from the search engines and thus people use smart Search engine optimization strategies in hopes to get their website to rank high on the search engines to enjoy constant free and targeted traffic that can potentially make SEO users a lot of money.

The entire SEO (Search Engine Optimization) scene is full of misleading information and outdated techniques that can harm your Search engine Optimization efforts on your website. It is then very important for those who are in the business of SEO to thoroughly understand that there are tactics that are currently out there that are useless, outdated or a complete waste of your time. Let’s take a look at some of the tactics that you should avoid below.

Blog Comments No Longer Work.

In the past, one of the most important backlink methods that we all use to get more backlinks to our SEO efforts is to use Blog comments to get a backlink back to us. However, because using blog comments to get backlinks has been so abused over time, it no longer works. It is an utter waste of time, so be sure to avoid using this tactic at all cost. They have a relatively low value now and yet it takes a lot effort to get a backlink via blog comments. Most of the blog comments these days are ‘No Follow’ links anyway.

If you are using some SEO companies to help you in your search engine rankings, ask them to show you what are the main strategies that they use to get your site to the top? If they even mention about blog commenting on their task list, then it is a sure sign for you to look for another company who knows what they are doing to and move on to them instead.

Blog commenting is still a good tool to use to build some relationship or to contact and interact with the blog owners. If the blog is getting high traffic your links on the comments may get you a small drip of the traffic from it but as an SEO tactic, you are better off without it. Stop wasting your precious time and resources that just do not work anymore.

Traditional Article Marketing Is Dead?

Article marketing is one of the most important methods to get your website to rank high. This is because you can get backlinks out of the distribution of your articles and people use to use short articles to quickly get small clips of content and with a mixture of their links out there. And then there were tons of article directories out there like Ezineearticles.com that get values highly in the eyes of the search engines. However those are a thing of the past. Today, search engine giants like Google no longer place a priority for Ezine directories or Article directories.

Most importantly, you must understand that this is happening due to the fact that there were too many junk articles and content dwelling in the article directories (not to mention duplicate content as well). There is without a doubt that content is very important to help you rank your site but when it comes to content, you really need to step up your game these days and make doubly sure that your content are on par with the content of your biggest competitors and that you are using unique and well written ones that your site visitors will love.

If you get lazy with your content, then say goodbye to your good rankings. So now we know that Article Marketing via Article directories are no longer an option, which is why, you should consider Article syndication instead. Article Syndication is the new ‘Article marketing’ and what you do is you will go and produce the best articles you can (or within your budget if you are outsourcing this), and then go and find if there are any high traffic sites (or high ranking sites) that needs content to help their site grow. When you find one, offer your article to be published on their site at no charge and in return you get a link back to your site.

That link will serve to be a very valuable permanent link on a high ranking site and not only will you get the link juice out of that site, you will also get a good flow of traffic back to your landing page. It is then safe to say that the changes or the evolution of the SEO game has actually become a benefit to some of those who plays the game fair and square.

Buying Links Is A ‘No-No’.

In the past, buying links was the shortcut to success. Sadly this is no longer the case. In fact, those who did make it big back then are left with nothing to show today and most of these people are forced to move on to other projects in life or to actually adapt and start from scratch doing things the legitimate way. There are of course still a lot of shady marketers out there who offers to sell you links. Just make sure you know what you are buying and be extra careful not to buy anything that is useless to your marketing campaigns no matter how ‘cheap’ or tempting the offer is.

Gone are the days where there were virtually free lunches out there where you could spam links and buy your way to the top of the search engines. SEO tactics today is all about trying to please the audience the legit way and when you are able to do that, Google will give you a reward that most will never achieve.