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.
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.
1. I Can Get You The #1 Position On Google.
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.
Google’s New AdWords Editor Version Offers Shopping Campaigns Support, More Display Targeting Options
Roughly a month ahead of the rollover to Shopping Campaigns, Google has released a new version of AdWords Editor that supports the new campaign type. Google announced the old style of PLA campaigns will be shut down at some point in late August.
Note that support is limited to editing Shopping Campaigns that are already set up, so you’ll still need to create your new campaigns and product groups via the AdWords web interface.
Other updates for display advertisers include support for more audience targeting. Interest categories and in-market audiences are now available from the “Assign Audience” drop-down.
The “Targeting optimization” drop-down now includes “Aggressive”, “Conservative” and “Disabled” options for auto-targeting on Display Network campaigns.
The new version is now available for download, though the upgrade alert is not yet showing for everybody who already has Editor installed. Keep an eye out for that in the next day or so if you don’t see it yet. Update: Scratch that, Google says there will be no alert in AWE. You’ll need to download the new version this time.
If you are still working on setting up your Shopping Campaigns, check out these these articles for tips:
1 Content is original – copyscape checked?
2 Content is first published on your website?
3 Content has enough descriptive text?
4 Content is well researched with references?
5 Do you have a clear publishing strategy?
Pages Titles, description and formatting
6 Page titles are unique for each page?
7 Descriptions are unique and up to 150 characters?
8 Text is properly formatted using H1, H2, Bold, Italics?
9 Text is split into small paragraphs?
10 Font size is easy to read on small screens (tablets) as well?
11 Image size is optimized using smushit?
12 All images have alt tags defined?
13 Image filename is descriptive?
14 Permanent links use ‘-’ as separator ?
15 Website pages/posts are grouped into categories?
16 There is breadcrumb on all posts/pages?
17 There is an HTML User Sitemap?
18 Pages have internal links?
19 There is a ‘Related posts’ section at the end of each page?
20 Internal links use both keyword and non-keyword anchor text?
Speed and Authorship
21 Website scores more than 90% when checked by Google page speed insights?
22 Google Authorship is implemented for each and every post/page available on the website?
For website owners that are new to SEO or simply do not have the time to deal with web site optimization, you can always hire a trusted SEO firm to do the work for you. Have a look at our great range of SEO packages, suitable for every online business, customized to your own needs and requirements and at competitive prices.
1. Content comes first
A website with brilliant content can do great with or without SEO, a website with bad content will not survive with or without SEO, a website with good content can become even better with SEO!
So, what is considered good content?
Original Content (articles, text, images, videos, presentations, infographics, comments etc.) – No copies or re-writes of existing articles
Content published on your website first – Even if it’s your own content, if you have already published it on another website then it’s not good for your site.
Content that includes text as well – Try to have text to accompany your non-text content. For example if you post videos on your website try to add a text description as well. If you add images try to describe in words what the image is all about.
Content that is useful – Don’t publish content for the sake of publishing. Before hitting the publish button make sure that what goes live adds value to your website.
Content that is well researched – Users don’t want to read quickly prepared posts and neither does search engines. If you are writing about a certain topic or answering a question make sure that what you write is justified and covers both sites of a story. Long articles are proven to rank better than short articles.
Posting frequency – 2 things are important when it comes to posting frequency. First is to have fresh content on your website and second to establish a publishing strategy and stick to it.