SEO

Differences between Users, Sessions, and Pageviews (and a Google Analytics Update)

Posted on


Last week, Google rolled out an update to their Analytics platform that impacts virtually all users.

You can now see all of your data for a profile (both app and web views) from within the same display at the same time. If you happen to have both app and web data in the same profile and would like to continue to see it separately, you can create a filter to show only the relevant data.

They also renamed many dimensions and metrics so they are the same across web and app view. For those of us who use GA on the web, Visits is now Sessions, Unique Visitors is now Users, and Pageviews are…well still Pageviews.

To help clarify any confusion, let’s talk about the difference between Sessions, Users, and Pageviews…just to make sure we’re all on the same page. Or pageview. Or whatever. 🙂

 

pageviews

THE STORY OF USERS, SESSIONS, AND PAGEVIEWS

Say I come visit your site on March 1. While I’m there, I visit your homepage, your about page, and your contact page. If I’m the only one to your site, here’s how your analytics profile is going to read:

Sessions: 1
Users: 1
Pageviews: 3
So I’m one user, I’ve created one session, and I’ve viewed three pages.

Now let’s pretend I come back to your site (using the same machine) on March 2. Again, I visit your homepage, about page, and contact page. Now here’s how your total will read (assuming no other activity on the site):

Sessions: 2
Users: 1
Pageviews: 6

A session “resets” by default after 30 minutes of inactivity or at the end of the calendar day. Because I came back to your site twice on different days, it’s going to register as two sessions. However, as long as I haven’t cleared my browser cookies and come back from the same device, it will still see me as one user. If however I look at your site on my desktop and then from my mobile, Google Analytics will likely show two users since (generally) it doesn’t do well tracking across devices.

Finally, pageviews just counts the number of webpages actually loaded. Every time someone loads a page on your site, it will show a pageview.

Advertisements

Latest Google SEO Updates & Algorithm Changes in 2017

Posted on Updated on


The digital world is now more hyped-up, dynamic and influential than ever before. It is more focused and competitive as well. With the end goal for you to achieve high search engine rankings and to maintain them, you have to take after the latest SEO updates. This is the initial move towards staying aware of the latest SEO trends and remaining focused.

The SEO updates are directly proportional to the search algorithm updates that search engines receive. Since Google is the pioneer in the search marketing, new changes in Google’s search algorithms are vital to enhance optimization of your website. Website admins need to have phenomenal understanding of all the latest search algorithm updates and related procedures, as only this can let them know latest SEO updates essential to optimize websites, ensure better DA and high rankings in SERPs.

Largely, Google is centered around enhancing its web search administrations for online users, and by keeping a track of changes in the Google Search Algorithm updates, marketers can increase ranking of their sites. Google has a long history of famous search algorithm updates that channelize ranking mechanism of SERPs.

To find latest Google SEO updates, marketers need to check latest updates of the following search algorithms-

 

9 Google SEO Updates & Algorithm Changes in 2017

  1. )Google Hummingbird Update

Introduced around August 2013, Google Hummingbird Update is Google’s new search algorithm that plays a significant role in deciding ranking of websites. It is made up of 200+ factors that can affect search results and website ranking. The biggest changes made in Hummingbird were capability to have a sharp eye on mobile marketing, which is not surprising at all given the explosion of the smart phones in recent years. The name ‘Hummingbird’ comes from its ability of being “precise and fast” and it is mainly designed to better focus on meaning of a phrase or keyword rather than individual keywords. Hummingbird looks at the entire phrase to decipher the meaning of that phrase. Google Hummingbird SEO updates aid pages matching the meaning do better in search results.

 

SEO new updates related to Hummingbird

  • Application of meaning technology to billions of pages from across the web
  • Use of Knowledge Graph facts to ensure better search results
  • Easy recognition of Keyword stuffing
  • Effectiveness of Long-tail keywords

2.)  Google Penguin Update

 

Google propelled the Penguin Update in April 2012 to catch the websites that are spamming Google’s search results. This update is mainly aimed at decreasing search rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and use black-hat SEO techniques to artificially increase ranking of their websites, by obtaining or buying links through some wrong practices. The primary reason behind this update was to penalize websites that use manipulative techniques for achieving high rankings.  As per Google’s estimates, Penguin influences approximately 3.1% of search queries in English, and approximately 3% of queries in languages like German, Arabic and Chinese, and an even much bigger percentage of them in “highly spammed” language categories. Pre-Penguin sites normally utilized some negative external link building tactics to rank good in SERPs and boost their traffics. However, once Penguin was introduced it implied that content was vital and those with incredible content would be recognized and those with little or spammy content would be punished.

Some confirmed Google Penguin SEO updates are

  • Penguin 1-on April 24, 2012 (impacting around 3.1% of queries)
  • Penguin 2-on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
  • Penguin 3-on October 5, 2012 (impacting around 0.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 4(a.k.a. Penguin 2.0)- on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 5(a.k.a. Penguin 2.1)- on October 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
  • Penguin 6(a.k.a. Penguin 3.0-) on October 17, 2014 (impacting less than 1% English queries). On December 1, 2014, Google
  • confirmed that the update was still rolling out with webmasters continuing to report significant fluctuations.
  • Penguin 7(a.k.a. Penguin 4.0)- on September 23, 2016

3.) Google Panda Update

 

Google’s Panda Update is acquainted in February 2011 and it is known as the powerful search filter implied to stop sites with low quality content from making their way into top search results of Google. Panda is updated every once in a while. At the point when this happens, sites already hit; may get away, if then they have rolled out the correct improvements according to Panda updates. Through its different updates, Panda can likewise catch sites that got away some time recently. Google Panda was quite effective in affecting ranking of entire sites or a specific section rather than individual pages on a site.

 

Some important SEO updates according to Google Panda Update are

  • No Multiple Pages with the Same Keyword
  • Get Rid of Auto-generated Content and Roundup/Comparison Type of Pages
  • No Pages with 1-2 Paragraphs of Text Only
  • No Scraped Content
  • Panda Likes New Content
  • Be Careful with Affiliate Links and Ads
  • Too Many Outbound Links with Keywords are bad

4.) Google Pigeon Update

 

Propelled on July 24, 2014 for U.S. English results, Google Pigeon Update” is another search algorithm update introduced to give more valuable, significant and exact local search results that are attached more closely to conventional web search ranking factors. Google said that this new search algorithm enhances their distance and location tracking parameters in more result-oriented manner. The changes made through Google Pigeon Update will also affect search results shown in Google Maps as this update lets Google provide search results based on the user location and listing at hand in the local directory. The main purpose behind introducing Google Pigeon Update is to provide preferences to local search results in SERPs and that is why this is extremely beneficial for local businesses.

Latest updates in SEO based on Google Pigeon Updates are

  • Location Matters More Than Ever
  • Don’t Over-Optimize Your Website
  • Strong Domains Matter more

5.) Google Mobile-Friendly Update

 

Introduced On April 21, 2015, Google introduced its Mobile-Friendly search algorithm that is intended to give a lift to mobile friendly sites pages in Google’s mobile search results. The change is significant to the point that the date it happened is being alluded by a variety of names such as Mobilegeddon, Mobilepocalyse, Mopocalypse or Mobocalypse. One of the ideal approaches to get ready is to test that Google considers your site pages to be mobile friendly by utilizing its Mobile-Friendly Test tool. It is very effective in including approaches that bring more mobile-friendliness in SEO campaigns.

Latest Google Mobile-Friendly SEO updates are

  • Google mobile-friendly testing tool now has API access
  • Google may pick desktop over AMP page for the mobile-first index
  • Google begins mobile-first indexing, using mobile content for all search rankings
  • Google will show AMP URLs before App deep link URLs in mobile results
  • Google says page speed ranking factor to use mobile page speed for mobile sites

6.) Google: Payday Update

 

Propelled on June 11, 2013, Google Payday Update was a new Google search algorithm focused at cleaning up list items related to “spammy queries” such as payday loans or pornographic or some other kinds of heavily spammed queries. It can be understood as a set of algorithm updates for the Google search engine results initiated to identify and penalize web sites that use different kinds of search engine spam techniques (also known as  Black Hat SEO or spamdexing) for improving their rankings for particular search queries that are actually “spammy”.

 

 

Recent Google Payday updates are

  • Google Payday Loan 1.0
  • Google Payday Loan 2.0
  • Google Payday Loan 3.0

7.) Google: Pirate Update

 

Introduced in August 2012, Google’s Pirate Update is a filter that prevents sites that have many copyright infringement reports, as documented through Google’s DMCA system. It is periodically updated and at the point when updates happen, websites beforehand affected may get away, if they have made the correct changes. It may likewise catch new websites that circumvented being caught recently; in addition, it may also release ‘false positives’ about those who were caught.

 

Some of the latest Google Pirate SEO updates-

  • The Pirate Update Penalized Websites That Received A High Volume Of Copyright Violation Reports
  • The Pirate Update Is A Win For Media And Artists
  • Getting A Page Removed From The Index Requires Valid Documentation

8.) Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update

 

Launched in September 2012, The EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update is a filter used by Google to impede low quality sites from positioning admirably just on the grounds that they had words that match search terms in their domains. At the point when a crisp EMD Update happens, sites that have enhanced their content may recover great rankings. New sites that comprise poor content or all those that were previously missed by Google EMD updates may get caught. Likewise, “false positives” may also get discharged.

According to Matt Cutts, “EMD is set to reduce low-quality ‘exact-match’ domains in search results.

 9.) Google: Top Heavy Update

 

 

Google Top Heavy update was propelled in January 2012 as a way to avoid sites that were “top heavy” with advertisements from positioning well in Google search listings. Top Heavy is updated repeatedly, and at the point when a Top Heavy Update occurs, websites that have evacuated extreme advertisements may recapture their lost rankings. New sites considered as “top heavy” may get caught again with new Top-heavy update.

 

 

Some of the Google Top Heavy SEO Updates

  • Google Updates Its Page Layout Algorithm To Go After Sites “Top Heavy” With Ads
  • Have The Same Ad-To-Organic Ratio As Google Search? Then You Might Be Safe From The Top Heavy Penalty
  • The Top Heavy Update: Pages With Too Many Ads Above The Fold Now Penalized By Google’s “Page Layout” Algorithm

 

Pigeon: Search Engine Land’s Name For The New Google Local Search Update

Posted on Updated on


Last night, Google released a pretty significant local search algorithm update. Google told us there was no internal name for the update, but now that we see that it was fairly significant, we decided to give it a name: Pigeon.

maps-pigeon-600

Pigeon is the name we decided on because this is a local search update and pigeons tend to fly back home.

When the Google Panda update launched, there was no official name from Google, so we named it the “Farmer” update. A few days later, Google told us they internally named it thePanda update. So we switched names from Farmer to Panda to avoid that confusion.

Since this update was nameless at Google, we named it the Pigeon update so that we have a name to reference in the future.

For more details on this update, see our story from last night.

10 Lies You Should Never Believe From SEO “Gurus”

Posted on Updated on


1. I Can Get You The #1 Position On Google.

onsite-seo-hotel

Why this lie continues to perpetuate, I’ll never understand. Hear this, and hear it well: no one can guarantee rankings on search engines. Except maybe Google, but you’re not Google, and neither is that guy you hired to work on your SEO.

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines state very clearly that you should be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. Be very skeptical of anyone who promises you top positioning.

2. Every Industry Is The Same In The SEO World. I Don’t Need Specific Experience In Your Field.

This is in response to your question, “Do you have experience helping companies in my industry?”

Ideally, the SEO professional you work with will have expertise in your field. The truth is that all industries are not equal in the SEO world. Some, like business services, are much more competitive for top keywords — others, like manufacturing, are less competitive and therefore easier to dominate.

Unless you’re in a very small niche that no one will have experience in, keep looking until you find an SEO expert who has a proven track record in your field.

3. Duplicated Content Is Fine.

The person or firm you hire to help with SEO may or may not also be a content marketing expert. It helps if they’ve got skills in both areas, because content is essential to your SEO strategy.

No matter how awesome or well-written it may have been, re-posting an article you published elsewhere on your own blog is not a good idea. This is due to duplicate content filtering and the effects of the Panda 4.0 algorithm which launched a few weeks ago.

4. The More Links, The Better.

Just a few years ago, SEO “experts” would use many spammy tactics for acquiring links to their clients’ websites, and Google largely permitted it. Though it wasn’t officially allowed by Google, Google did nothing to penalize those who were doing it. And the sad truth is that those tactics worked extremely well. As such, SEO was mostly a popularity contest driven by the number of inbound links you had to your website.

Those days are gone, so don’t let anyone tell you differently. While the acquisition of inbound links is still an important part of any SEO strategy, Google has shifted their emphasis from quantity to quality. Large quantities of spammy inbound links can now harm your rankings — or even get you slapped with a manual penalty.

5. The More Keywords, The Better.

While keyword density (what percentage of the total copy of a page your keywords comprised) was a major buzzword a few years ago, the focus now is on using a variety of keywords and their variations (known as long-tail keywords) sprinkled naturally throughout the body copy.

“Naturally,” you will note, does not mean that every third word is that keyword. Don’t work with anyone who tells you differently.

6. I’ll Submit Your Site To Hundreds Of Search Engine Directories.

And you’ll be wasting my time. Yes, while you can submit your site to the major search engines, this will yield absolutely zero benefit. There are not hundreds of legitimate directories you want to be found on. Honestly, there never were. This tactic can actually trigger an unnatural link warning or penalty from Google, so stay far away from anyone who says they’ll do any link building or “submissions” on such a large scale.

7. My Techniques Are Too Complicated To Explain.

You may not be a tech head, but you are perfectly capable of understanding how someone you’re paying money to can improve the rankings of your site. In all honesty, it’s not complicated at all. Good SEO campaigns are the result of the successful melding of what I call the Three Pillars of SEO: Content, Links, and Social Media. Each pillar is not complicated nor difficult; it’s just a matter of having the resources to implement each, and the expertise to implement each according to best practices.

8. You Don’t Need To Worry About Google Algorithm Updates.

The truth is, we all need to at least be aware of them and how they change the industry. In general, if you’re practicing above-board SEO strategies that involve producing useful and relevant content in order to build your brand organically and naturally, you should be fine. But still keep your ear to the ground on what Google’s up to.

Here’s a handy resource for keeping track of each Google algorithm update, when it occurred, and what it changed: Google Algorithm Change History.

9. All You Need Is SEO.

No marketing plan will succeed if it’s focused on a single marketing discipline. Your website rankings can improve through your active presence on social media, consistent blog posts, and even your offline marketing efforts. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but ensure that each piece of your marketing strategy maximizes your SEO benefits.

10. I‘ll Get Your SEO Fixed In A Month For A Flat Rate.

SEO is not a “set it and forget it” strategy; it needs ongoing attention. Remember that SEO does not happen in a vacuum. Your competitors are constantly working to improve their SEO, so if you stop doing so, you’ll fall behind. Certain one-time projects can be extremely beneficial, such as initial SEO website audits, link profile audits, and professional keyword research. But these should be treated as foundations and starting points of successful ongoing SEO campaigns.

Ultimately, you need someone who’s willing to work with your company for the foreseeable future and make recommendations for improvement as you go along.