Importance of Search Engine Marketing

An important aspect of Search Engine Optimization is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand. Although search engines have become increasingly sophisticated, in many ways they still can't see and understand a web page the same way a human does. SEO helps the engines figure out what each page is about, and how it may be useful for users.


This is not a new topic, in 2015 we covered that Google implied external links are not a ranking factor and in 2016 we covered that Google said external links are NOT a ranking factor and then a third-party study said external links ARE a ranking factor. Got to love it, right?

In any event, in the Friday Google hangout at the 27:34 minute mark on Google+, John Mueller addressed it again, but didn't say out right that it was not a ranking factor. Although he implied it again.


Do links within the page to other pages influence quality of that page? How can you tell that the user found what he was looking for when he landed from the search results of the page containing links to other pages?


Sometimes links on the page can improve the quality of a page, but I think that's something where you wouldn't want to see that as kind of an artificial factor. Just because there are links on a page doesn't mean it's necessarily good.
We saw that, I don't know, way in the beginning, when people would put links to Google, or Wikipedia, or CNN on their website, and assume that search engines would be naive and think, oh, they're linking to these well-known websites, therefore, the content itself must be good.
 And that's definitely not the case. 
So you can add value to your website by having links on those pages, but it's not the case that just because you have links then we'll suddenly see your website as being higher quality.

Watch it yourself:



Yesterday I reported on webmaster chatter around a lot of shuffles in the Google search results and named it Google Search Algorithm Juno Blizzard.

It isn't a massive update, like you'd see with a Penguin refresh but some speculated it might have been a small Panda refresh.

Google's John Mueller and friends, in a Google Webmaster Hangout on Google+ said at 5 minutes and 46 seconds in that the update we reported here was not related to Penguin or Panda as far as they know.

John Mueller said, "I don’t think it is related to Penguin or Panda at the moment," adding that Google makes tons of changes each day so it is hard to say.

Just like the east coast weather reporters were anticipating a huge storm in New York, it turned out to be much less. Here too, the update I thought would be turning into something bigger, seems a lot less. But yes, there are noticeable shifts both in snow accumulations in New York and in the Google search algorithm - but not blizzard type.

“Hummingbird” is the name of the new search platform that Google is using as of September 2013, the name comes from being “precise and fast” and is designed to better focus on the meaning behind the words. Read our Google Hummingbird FAQ here.
Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.
Google Hummingbird is designed to apply the meaning technology to billions of pages from across the web, in addition to Knowledge Graph facts, which may bring back better results


Panda 4.0 release is rolling out today and we've been seeing signs of major changes and reports of major changes in the Google search results and rankings.

Some are suspecting a massive Penguin update is about to hit, while others think it might be a Panda refresh and others think it is just Google's normal actions on link networks. It is almost impossible to tell without a confirmation from Google, for all we know, it can be all three or more.But Matt Cutt clear in his tweet that Panda 4.0 rolling out today.


1. Cloaking

You can design your website to be efficiently catalogued by Google, and you can specify which sites should be cached or ignored by Googlebots. Designing your Web site so that search engines see one thing and visitors see totally different content is called cloaking. This can be done with redirects or with programming, and it's strictly verboten.

Nobody likes to be tricked this way. If they're looking for a website on knitting, they'll be very ticked to end up on a website about horses. Or ads. Let's face it, the redirected site is never about anything fun.

Cloaking your Web site is a sure-fire way to get banned from Google and probably the worst thing you could do for Google.

2. Duplicate Content

Spam sites sometimes try to collect page views by duplicating the same content on multiple pages.

Don't copy and paste large amounts of text from your own pages, and certainly don't violate copyright by copying content from elsewhere. Google has been known to ban sites that duplicate too much content or at least severely penalize their ranking in search results.

This can occasionally cause problems, because some spamming Web site might be duplicating your content. If you find someone violating your copyright this way, you can let Google know.

3. Have a Robot Write Your Web Site

Just as it's a bad idea to duplicate content, it's a worse idea to get a machine to write your content for you. There are programs out there that duplicate the same content but make a few changes here and there. If Google catches you, and they're pretty good at catching this, you can kiss your page views goodbye.

Write your own content. That's as simple as it gets. Don't buy "instant AdSense" Web sites. If this really made lots of passive money, they wouldn't be selling them.

4. Add Keywords that Don't Relate to Your Content

Meta keywords aren't that important to Google anymore. However, when you list keywords, do list keywords that directly relate to your site, and don't repeat the same keyword multiple times. Spamming keywords by listing every word in the dictionary is a great way to have your ranking lowered in Google.

Likewise, don't use the trademarked names of products made by your competitors as keywords. At best it's a bad user experience, at worse it can get you sued by those competitors.

5. Link Exchanges and Bad Neighborhoods

Linking ordinarily would make you a good neighbor and a good citizen of the Internet. However, just because someone links to you does not obligate you to link back to them. Sometimes you do get judged on the quality of the friends you keep. Google calls spamming sites bad neighborhoods, and linking to them could lower your PageRank.

Link exchanging programs, paid link placement, and other schemes to manipulate PageRank are far worse sins. You may get away with it for a while, but eventually Google will catch onto the sceme, and your search results will drop like an anchor.  This is essentially what happened in the JC Penny's incident. The SEO firm they hired (and subsequently fired) created an artificial web of links.

6. Hide Text

Don't try to hide keywords by making the background color the same as the font color. This is called keyword stuffing or font matching. Google and other search engines are increasingly sophisticated at catching this, and they'll likely remove any offending Web sites from their search engine index.

Likewise, watch how small you make the text. In a variation of keyword stuffing, some people try to put teeny tiny text at the bottom of a page. It doesn't work.

7. Title Stacking

The old way people used to cheat on this was to add extra <title> tags to try and add more keywords into the very important <title> field. The new way people try to do this is by adding titles with dashes "Pie Crust Recipes - Cherry Pies - Apple Pies - Peach Pies."

That sort of titling system was highly recommended by SEOs for a while, now it's very out of favor and will probably lower your search engine ranking.

These days you're better off figuring out a clever title for social media sharing instead of using it as a way to stuff in extra keywords.

8. Doorway Pages

Doorway pages or Gateway pages are pages that are optimized for one key term but are really designed to be gateways to lead you to different content. For instance the "blueberry," "strawberry," and "orange" gateways might all be designed to get you to go to "fruit punch."

Doorway pages usually have very little in the way of original content and often cloak or redirect users to the intended Web site. Be aware of affiliate programs, because some of these may look like doorway pages to Google.

9. Automated Inquiries

Google doesn't appreciate robots writing your content, and they're even less appreciative of robots checking your ranking. Automated Google queries and automated link submission are both against Google's terms of service, and both of them can get your site banned. They tie up computing resources for everyone.



Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced that Google has released a refresh of its Page Layout Algorithm. The filter, also known as the Top Heavy algorithm, downgrades the ranking of a web page with too many ads at the top or if the ads are deemed too distracting for users.

Google heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away.


Just after Google announced that its new search algorithm, Hummingbird, had taken flight, SEO professionals began trying to figure out what it meant for them and their clients. Hummingbird marks the biggest overhaul of the algorithm since Caffeine in 2010, affecting 90 percent of searches.

The latest update is able to better interact with the user, as it can now more accurately understand the subtleties of human language to produce relevant results. As Google can now interpret users’ long-tail search queries better than before, SEO professionals should focus on creating content that satisfies those queries. Here are some ways to adapt to the changes:

1. Analyze users’ intent to create better content. Any piece of content can be written well, but it must first serve a purpose as Hummingbird will only retrieve pages that offer the most tailored information. First, consider the types of search queries users search for. Having content that satisfies specific questions with conversational keywords -- as well as their synonyms, as Hummingbird focuses on semantic search -- sprinkled throughout the page where applicable is a better bet. Consider these types of content:

How-to’s: Users looking for step-by-step instructions would find this type of content educational and easy to follow. How-to guides can be adapted to numerous industries.

“Top…” lists: Lists, such as “Top 10 SEO Tips” or “5 Best Ways to Write an Article,” are easily shareable on social media. They are often popular due to their brevity, clarity and usefulness.

Frequently Asked Questions: If a website has a properly formatted FAQ -- which includes broad industry questions linking out to specific pages with the question itself as the anchor text -- it can lead to greater relevancy for users trying to find general industry information.
 In-depth articles: Google groups these types of articles, designated as in-depth articles, together to show that they are detailed analyses of certain subjects. Add markup to your data-rich, informative content to appear in these listings; implementing Google+ authorship will further boost its credibility.

Related: How to Seamlessly Include Keywords in Your Web Content

2. Set the type for better conversion rates. Users searching for answers want to find it fast. If a website’s pages have content with a font that’s too hard to read, users won’t take the time to try and decipher it. Hummingbird has tried to simplify the search process; its focus on tailored search results speaks to internet users’ need for speed. If users don’t want to spend time looking through multiple result pages, they certainly don’t want to spend time trying to read illegible font.

Before resetting all your type, take a look at a few different components of typography:

Typeface: A particular design of type that include letters, numbers and symbols. Typefaces are often part of a type family of corresponding designs, for example, Times Roman, Helvetica and Courier.

Font: One style of typeface that has a specific weight, width and size.
Kerning:  The adjustment of space between individual characters. This makes text more proportional and pleasing to the eye.

Tracking: Also called letter-spacing, this adjusts the space uniformly in a block of text.

Line length: The width of a block or line of text, measured between its right and left margins.

Leading: The space between lines of text. Closer leading fits more text on one page, but lowers readability.

Related: 5 Dead-Simple SEO Hacks to Save You Time

Paying attention to these six facets of typography within your online content will help keep users on your website. Although there are many typefaces available, pick the one that’s easy to read over the one that has pretty, intricate designs.

3. Find alternatives to guest blogging. Google's spam expert Matt Cutts recently made waves by proclaiming that guest blogging was dead. Once a legitimate way to backlinks, spammers have made it harder for users -- and Google -- to find great content. The tactic can still be used, however, provided it is an authoritative blog (authorship helps!) with useful and original content. Instead of pumping out guest blog after guest blog, be selective about having one published or, alternatively, focus on other avenues for link building, such as:

Reverse guest blogging: Hire an established writer that is well-versed in the industry to write a post for your own blog.

Provide some expertise: Post an interview with an expert in your business, or give an interview as the expert.

Be social: Ask YouTube (or Vine, for a mobile audience) “celebrities” to collaborate on a video, such as a “how-to” or other educational guide.

The end game. With Hummingbird, a lot has changed for users in the way Google supplies its results. For SEO professionals and content marketers, the end game is the same: create high-quality, original and focused content.

Related: Yes, Guest Blog Posting is Still a Viable SEO Tactic for Growing Your Business


Google Author Rank is a hot topic in both the content and search marketing industry. What is Author Rank exactly? While Google hasn’t officially said anything about it, Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt said this in his new book, “The New Digital Age”.

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

How can you prepare for Author Rank? Claim Google+ Authorship for yourself and Publisher for your brand.

Google+ Authorship vs. Publisher Markup

So what is the difference between adding Authorship and Publisher markup on your website? It’s simple.
  • Google+ Authorship links a person with a Google+ profile to pieces of content they have written. Content can be spread across multiple websites. 
  •  Google+ Publisher markup links a business/brand with a Google+ page with content on their own website. It can only link one Google+ page with one website.
Benefits of Claiming Google+ Authorship

1. [FACT] Your Google+ profile picture is displayed next to content you have written on any website, making it stand out in search results.

2. [FACT] People can click on the More by… link to find more posts written by you. This means if they find a link to a piece of content you have written for another site, it could lead them to the content you have written on your own website.

3. [SPECULATION] Google will recognize you as an authority in your niche based on the content you have claimed and how each piece of linked content has performed on social media networks (tweets, likes, +1’s, etc.).

4. [FACT] You can track analytics on content you have written for any website in Google Webmaster Tools using the Author Stats area under Labs.

How to Claim Google+ Authorship for Your Content

There are two ways to claim Google+ Authorship for your content. First off, if you have an email address that matches your domain ( and each piece of content you have written on your website is clearly marked as by you, you can log in to your Google+ account, visit the Google+ Authorship page, and enter your email address.

If you don’t have an email address on each site you write content for, you can claim authorship by adding a link to your Google+ profile to your author bios on each site you write for using the following format.

<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google</a>

Then add each site’s link to your Google+ profile under the Contributor To section.
You can read more details about how to claim Google+ Authorship in Webmaster Tools Help. You can also use the Structured Data Testing Tool to see if Google has linked your Google+ profile to your content.

Benefits of Claiming Google+ Publisher

1. [FACT] Your Google+ page’s information is displayed next to your website, making it stand out in search results.

2. [SPECULATION] Google will recognize your website as a publisher of quality content. This can go far in preventing your website from being affected by a Google Panda update.

3. [SPECULATION] Google will link your business/brand with the authors who are linked to the content published on your website. The more authoritative authors you have creating content for your website, the stronger you will be as a publisher.

How to Add Google+ Publisher Markup

To add the Google+ Publisher markup to your website, simply add the Direct Connect link between the HEAD tags in your website’s header.

<link href="{plusPageUrl}" rel="publisher" />

You can also do it by linking to your Google+ page and adding a rel=”publisher” to the link or adding one of the Google+ badges to your page. Adding the small or standard size badges will also help you grow your page’s Google+ audience.

Have you seen positive search benefits from adding Google+ Authorship or Publisher markup to your website? Please share in the comments!

Google has rolled out several changes to how it shows results to a web user on its search page. The changes are subtle but noticeable. The two big changes are removal of lines from the clickable search results and introduction of a yellow label called "Ad/Ads" in front of the sponsored results.

Last year Google launched some pretty big design improvements for Search on mobile and tablet devices. Today they carried over several of those changes to the desktop experience. Google increased the size of result titles, removed the underlines, and evened out all the line heights. This improves readability and creates an overall cleaner look. Google also brought over our new ad labels from mobile, making the multi-device experience more consistent.


1. Social Networking Sites

Social Networking is bigger than ever these days! Sometimes known as “Online Reputation Management”, getting involved with social media sites is the fundamental step with which you begin to advertise, market and build your online reputation within your niche.

You need to sign up to the most popular social networking sites, such as; Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc., and create yourself a profile of your own. This allows you to extend your online network of contacts, to connect and interact with your friends, to share things with each other, and most importantly promote your website/blog and help build your online reputation.

2. Blogging

Blogging is one of the best ways to promote your website online! By writing a blog for your website, you give a reason for visitors to keep returning to your site and keep up to date with your latest posts. It also helps search engines to crawl your site more frequently, as they have to update your latest blog post entries, which ultimately helps you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

You need to produce and include lots of unique content for your blog, such as; Infographics, Top Lists, How To…Tutorials, Viral Videos, etc. Try to remember to be clear and concise in what you are trying to convey to your readers within your blog posts, don’t waffle.

To help you promote your blog, submit it to niche blog directories and blog search engines. (See below)
If you’re not very good at writing content for your blog, then you could always hire a guest blogger for your blog and ask him/her to write precise and unique content so that your blog can gain more credit from a search engine point of view.

3. Blog Marketing

Post comments on other blogs within the same niche as yours, which allow you to add a link in the comments section. These links can then be crawled by search engines, helping to point them towards your site.  These blogs are commonly referred to as “Do-Follow” Blogs (Just like ours, where you can comment below!).

4. Forum Marketing

Find forums online that are related to your sites niche and get involved within that community. Reply to threads, answer peoples questions, offer advice, etc. This all helps to build up your reputation as someone who is an expert within that niche. Try to use “Do-Follow” Forums so that you can include a link to your site within your signature, which helps search engines crawl your site.

5. Search Engine Submission

Search engines will eventually find your site online, but that can take a while. To speed everything up, you should submit your website to the most popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

6. Directory Submission

Many people may say that directory submission is dead! I believe that it isn’t as you are increasing the likely hood of people seeing your website. It is purely based on how effectively we are selecting those directories and how efficiently we are choosing the category for submission. You could submit to general directories, but for maximum effect, you are better off submitting to niche directories. Of course, I agree that it gives quite delayed results, but it is worth doing it.

7. Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking is another great way of promoting your website. Submit your latest blog posts and pages to the most popular bookmarking sites, like StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, Reddit, etc. Search engines really like these types of sites because the content on these sites is updated very frequently.
You should be very careful while doing this and you must properly handle the tags which are very essential to broadcast your news on a wide area network. This may increase your website traffic based on how effectively you have participated.

8. Link Baiting

Link baiting is another popular way of promoting your site. If you produce a really popular unique post for your site, then other people may want to link to it. Perhaps you have copied/published another website’s content on your site, don’t forget to place their website link as a reference. Do it for others and, if your content is trustworthy, let others do it for you. This is another way to increase your link popularity.

9. Photo Sharing

If you have used any of your own photos or images on your site, then you can share then on many of the major photo sharing websites like Flickr, Picasa, Photo Bucket, etc. Other people will be able to see them and comment on them, hopefully following a link to your site.

10. Video Marketing

Just like photo sharing, if you have any videos that you have used on your site, then you can submit them to sites like; YouTube, Vimeo, etc. allowing people to find your content in other ways.

11. Business Reviews

Write reviews about others businesses or ask your friends/clients to write a review of your business in major business review sites like RateitAll, Shvoong, Kaboodle, Stylefeeder, etc.

12. Local Listings

Depending on your site’s niche, you might find that listing in local directories may be useful. You may have a website promoting your local business, therefore instead of going global and facing huge competition, listing your website locally, so that search engines can easily view your website and fetch the content, will be much better. This will help you to reach a targeted audience. Submit your website to sites like; Google Local, Maps, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, etc.

13. Article Submission

If you write your articles yourself, then you can submit them to popular article directory sites like; Ezine, Go Articles, Now Public, etc. This can help drive traffic to your site, whilst you can also gain some links to your site from other people (though it’s usually a slower process).

14. Social Shopping Network

If you run an e-commerce website, then a good strategy for advertising and branding your products for free is to submit then to online shopping networks. By submitting your products to sites like; Google Product Search, Yahoo Online Shopping, MSN Online Shopping, and other major social shopping network sites like Kaboodle, Style Feeder, etc. then you increase the likelihood of people finding the products that you are selling.

15. Answer Questions

You can actively participate in answering questions on sites like Yahoo Answers. By answering and asking relevant questions on your site niche, you help to build up your reputation as someone that is an expert in your chosen field. You can place a link to your website in the source section if necessary so that people can easily find your site. If you don’t spam, this is another great way to increase your link popularity.

16. Infographics

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.