Wednesday, 3 December 2014

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Mobile-Friendly Labels In Mobile Search Results – Google Is Ultimately Successful

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

After testing for a number of months, Google has finally officially launched the mobile-friendly label in mobile search results. Gone are those good old days when people used to use laptops and other mobile devices. Now is the time when everyone owns a smart phone and they use it full-fledgedly to access the internet and search anything under the sun. The shift of trend among the internet users has also forced the SEOs to change the way they formulate their strategy. Instead of only concentrating on search results on computer and desktops, now they also have to make sure that everything is perfect with the mobile users. 

In an effort to assist the mobile searchers in knowing which sites they might click on are mobile-friendly versus which ones are not, Google has added a text label under each URL in the snippet that reads “Mobile-friendly” as the initial part of the search result’s snippet. According to Google, it can be indeed frustrating for a mobile searcher to land up on a web page that is not at all mobile-friendly and this is why they’re adding the label to their mobile search results to communicate this to the searcher.

Apart from the mobile-friendly label, Google is also busy in experimenting with a new ranking algorithm for all the mobile-friendly websites. But the rising question is how you can qualify to show such a label for your particular web page? Google says that this will depend on whether or not GoogleBot detects the following criteria:
  • Averts software that is not common on any mobile devices like Flash
  • Sizes content to the screen so that the users don’t have to scroll horizontally or even zoom in the page
  • Uses text that is comprehensive without even zooming
  • Places links that are far enough apart so that the right one can be easily located
How does Google know how a user can experience your mobile website?

Well, this is yet another viable question that is being raised in the minds of the SEO analysts and the practitioners. Google has always been dropping various kinds of hints that say that they understand mobile experience better for some time now. They even recently launched mobile usability reports in order to help the webmasters find issues with their mobile sites. 

Google also recommends all its users to test their site in the new Mobile-Friendly test tool, review each and every mobile-friendly guidelines and use different third-party tools to go mobile-friendly with their websites. This new mobile-friendly label in mobile search results will soon roll out into the market within the next few weeks in the month of November, 2014.
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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

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Mobile-Friendly Site Testing Tool Launched By Google

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

It was on the 18th of November, 2014 that Google announced the launch of an extremely useful mobile-friendly test tool through which you could check if your website passes the criteria set by Google for what it can be considered to be a mobile-optimized site. Are you wondering why it is important to meet the mobile-friendly criteria set by Google? If answered yes, then it’s because they’re soon going to add a “mobile-friendly” label in its search results against the sites that pass this criteria.

Nowadays, most internet users are accessing the websites on their mobile devices and not on their laptops or desktops. People are leading a busy life and they simply don’t have time to sit with their desktops and access things. This is why they use smartphones on which they can do anything and everything that they could with their computer. This shift in the usage of internet has also forced the SEO people to change the way they think of capturing the market. Now instead of concentrating more on web SEO, they have to think more on mobile SEO. How should the webpages look when they’re opened on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets? These are the considerations that baffle the SEO analysts.

The “mobile-friendly” label is indeed a new one and there’s no way to know how it will affect your click-through rate. But after this has been introduced, it is a safe bet that all mobile searchers will visit the page labelled “mobile-friendly” before visiting a page rather than visit a page without that label.

Abiding by Google’s criteria- Will this impact your rankings?

You must be wondering why you have to strictly abide by the criteria set in by Google regarding the “mobile-friendly” label. Well, the simple reason is because it might impact your rankings. They say that they see these labels as the initial step in assisting the mobile users to have a better web experience. They’re also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal. The equation will be very simple where a site with the mobile-friendly label will rank higher in search engine results than a site without the same label. With that being the case, without this label with your website, you could potentially be turning away worthy mobile visitors. This change will be rolled out globally within the next few weeks and so you still have enough time to get your site up to the level.

What does Google consider as a “mobile-friendly” site?
Here are the criteria:

·         A site that averts the software programs that are not common on mobile devices like Flash

·         Places links far apart so that the correct one can be effortlessly tapped

·         Uses text that can be read without zooming and

·         A site that sizes content to the screen so that the users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.

So, if all of the above points apply to your website, then you will most likely get a “mobile-friendly” label. And in case you’re not sure whether or not it applies, you can take Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool for a spin.
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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Should You Ever Imitate The SEO Used By Another Top Site?

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

If you have a business website that needs to concentrate on SEO, should you copy that of the other top sites? There are big websites like Amazon.com that can teach you a lot about SEO. But does that mean that you should copy their SEO strategies in order to create the same impact as them? If you want a perfect answer to this question, you need to give a close glance at the website called amazon.com.

Amazon.com is in the business of SEO and it is true that they employ more SEO professionals that any other company in the market. This is why it is right at the top of the list. Amazon incorporates SEO into everything, both programmatically and manually. It is a site with the largest traffic and it contains hundreds of millions of indexed URLs. This way it enjoys the luxury of being capable of testing more things that most of the other websites, that too at a deeply nuanced level. If all this is true, then imitating the SEO strategies of Amazon.com is a no brainer, right? Well, not so soon!

Amazon.com as an SEO expert – A closer look

Amazon.com has a deep situational awareness and comprehension of how search engines behave, how search engines respond to the on-site optimization of Amazon.com, Amazon.com’s authority and content. In short, Amazon.com knows when to break rules like the ones in beginner and advanced SEO guides. Let’s take a close look at the homepage of Amazon.com.

  • Title element: Their title is “Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more” and it is 83 characters long. In the SERPs, Google cuts it off and Bing merely displays Amazon.com – Official site. Although 83 characters is not terribly long, it is clearly implied that Amazon.com isn’t worried about surpassing the number of characters. When visitors see their homepage, they know what Amazon.com is about and they have a world class site search. 
  • Meta-description: Check out their meta-description and you would wonder why anyone would write 304-characters in it? It is only in the SERP listings that meta-descriptions appear but this is Amazon.com. With millions of vendors, affiliates and authors, they know that the meta-description will be copied onto many websites.
  • H1 element: There’s no H1 element on the homepage. Well, the homepage of Amazon.com enjoys huge link authority. Moz ranks it #12 on its list of the web’s most important sites, it has a PA of 97 and DA of 99 and there are 3.6m followed links from 118k root domains to the page. The content of the homepage also changes constantly and is always relevant.
  • Rich snippets: Amazon.com displays a lot of star ratings and it also has a shopping cart. As an SEO, this is where you place machine readable markup in the HTML.
Going further would sound like nitpicking, so let’s stop here. But it is expected that you get the point. Just because a website performs well in search doesn’t make it a good role model for another website’s SEO. This can lead to poor decisions that may detrimentally affect your ranking and visibility.
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

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Combating The Black Hat PPC Techniques And Emerging Successful

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

When it comes to the holistic PPC campaigning, bidding on the competition’s keywords take a major part and this is a perfectly acceptable strategy. But every engagement has its own rules and even if you think that you’re playing by the rules, it doesn’t mean that you competition is also doing the same. Reports show that there are some black hat SEO techniques that are still happening and the concerns of this article will deal with how you may combat such deceptive techniques.

A close look at the foul play

Recently an advertiser was spotted who was following all the AdWords guidelines for a PPC campaign, the ads were structured perfectly and the message too. The landing page was also nicely done and had relevancy with the ad. But there was only one issue: the landing page itself dealt with all about slandering the brand of the client. In fact, it was entirely dedicated on criticizing the product of the client and discussing how theirs was better. This competitor even went to the extent of saying that the product of the client was “dead”.

Such scenarios are not unheard of and sadly, it’s tough to keep track of it. You need to invest time to monitor and track competition as this is the only way to stop such black hat PPC techniques.

2 Steps to safeguard your brand in paid search

By understanding the options that are available to you as an advertiser, you can defend your brand in the PPC channel. Have a look at how you can leverage AdWords while trying to protect your brand.

  1. Know the AdWords trademark policy: Most of the large corporations have trademark managers who set guidelines about the trademarked “thing” should be used. These guidelines should trickle down to all marketing campaigns. AdWords will investigate trademark infringement only when the trademark holder files a complaint. But sadly, Google suggests that the dispute is settled between the 2 advertisers. But moving the needle on such kinds of cases is the real challenge.
  1. Ramp up your GDN campaigns: The GDN or the Google Display Network can help you reach out to people across the web and if you could ramp up “branded” and “competitor” campaigns in more places, this could help strengthen your brand over the competition. Previously, if you ran a “competitor” campaign, your ads showed up often but in more recent times, Google has now reeled up on how much impression share a particular campaign can have on terms of a competitor. This is because Google wants to serve the most relevant ads.
While many of us play by the rules in PPC, there are always some advertisers who will play dirty. Even though AdWords has extensive advertising policies, that doesn’t always mean that you can rely on Google to fix this issue. Hence, your best bet is to monitor your competitors regularly, understand how rules work and also know when to call Google for assistance. Don’t miss utilizing all the channels within paid search for your campaigns to maximize impression share.
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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Google Penguin Update 3.0 Is No More A Rumor – It Is Coming By The End Of 2014

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

Yes, according to recent reports in the SEO industry, yet another new Google Penguin update is no longer a rumor. However, the main focus is when will this update hit the market? Recently, in Google+ Hangout, John Mueller was seen to mention that the engineers are all working on this (Penguin 3.0) update and he also admitted that it’s not far away. He also said that since we know that Penguin 3.0 is already on the horizon, it’s high time to ensure that your site is prepared to face it!

Expectations from the potential Google Penguin update

With the new Penguin update, we can anticipate Google to hold up its values to enforce relevancy of sites and penalize sites that continue to manipulate Google search results. As it apparently seems, this update will focus heavily on low quality backlink strategies and over-optimized anchor-text usage. Throughout the entire SEO community, it is being said and believed that this is going to be a fresh algorithm update and not any small change and this means that Penguin will continue to question the negative SEO tactics.

Protecting and safeguarding your site from Penguin 3.0

As we know that a major update is on its way, it’s high time that we take the right precautions and prepare our sites to face Penguin 3.0. Here are a few precautionary actions you may take.

  • Audit all inbound links: Audit your backlink profile with both paid and free tools like Ahrefs, Majestic, and also Moz’s Open Site Exploer. You should also watch out for backlinks that are coming from low-quality and non-niche directory sites, links from irrelevant websites and deceptive forums and comment links.
  • Focus on the anchor texts: It is believed that the Penguin 3.0 will examine and punish sites for over-optimized anchor text. Google has targeted sites that have anchor text options which are heavily optimized. The days of exact match and keyword-rich anchor text and gone and hence your backlink profiles should reflect this.
  • Avert paid links: Every Penguin update till date has targeted paid and sponsored links. Hence, we can assume that with the next Google update, they will still continue punishing sites that are violating their terms and getting paid links.
  • Irrelevant links: Links from high authority websites can help strengthen your backlink profile but relevancy is something that matters a lot in the eyes of Google. If a website on NYC restaurant review receives links from a site about exploration of space and universe, this can send warning signals to Google and trigger another algorithm penalty.
  • Avert foreign domains: Unless your website operates abroad, getting thousands of links from spammy countries like China and Russia can seem to be fishy in the eyes of Google. There has been a large increase of negative backlinks from Chinese scrapper sites. So, while editing, check out for the low quality backlinks.
Hence, if you don’t want to be a victim of Penguin 3.0 yet again, ensure taking the above mentioned steps to safeguard your website from the harsh consequences and strict penalties.
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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

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Deriving The Meaning Of A Good PPC Account Structure – What’s The Take?

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

Did you know that improper and inaccurate account structure is one of the main reasons that the business organizations end up concluding that pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is both unmanageable and unprofitable? Their lack of success rate stems solely from an account that is not set up for sufficient ads thereby resulting in a high quality score. A messy AdWords account structure can make for failure but if you can engineer your account structure for success, you can certainly succeed in reaping profits. Check out the ins and outs of PPC Account structure.

Improper Account structure – What problems can it create?

Yes, it is true that your AdWords account will bring you enough profits only if you can organize it properly. The overall cost-per-click of your ads will reduce and also make it easier to interpret what your AdWords reports mean. For instance, you can consider an AdWord’s account that includes more keywords in a particular ad group than what is necessary. This makes up for confusing reports that gradually get more confusing as keywords from one ad group overlap with another. This may lead to clicks that come as a result of coincidental keywords that might not match the traffic that you desired for. You therefore spend more money which leads to wasted clicks that perform poorly.

What to do if you want to make your account structure profitable?

Your Google AdWords account structure is extremely important and hence it should be divided in logical and clear steps. By dividing it into steps, this will reduce the instances of redundant keywords and allow you to focus on your ads and show them only to people whom you actually want to show. This clearly shows that the taxonomy of your account should go from the broadest sense to the most specific: AdWords account, your campaigns, your ad groups and your ads. When you define your ad groups, you need to make sure that you make your keywords as specific as possible, which means using exact matches rather than broad matches for phrases and also making excessive use of negative keywords so that all the uninterested visitor don’t accidentally click on your ads.

If you have multiple products or regions that you wish to promote through advertisements, you can create separate campaigns and then mirror the entire process with the parts that you want to change to present. You can therefore make your campaigns as efficient and specific as possible while raising your AdWords Quality Score. By employing this process, you may see that you end up with several hundred campaigns and this can be handled with the use of different applications like AdWords Editor provided by Google, as they can allow you to make large-scale changes.

Hence, we see that there are a number of critical elements that should be considered to run a lucrative Google AdWords campaign. You might team up with your PPC manager and make sure you avoid all the mistakes that can put water onto your PPC efforts. Know what a good PPC Account structure is before  you take the plunge.
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