Google announces search algorithm change promoting fresh content

The incredibly fast pace at which information is propagated across the world today constantly increases demand for receiving most up to date search results.

Google engineers constantly strive to keep up with that constantly changing environment and have now introduced new changes to search algorithm.

Google has announced that their algorithm with “freshness” update is designed to provide us with the most up-to-date results able to determine fresh results for searches around recent events, latest topics, recurring event and frequent updates.

The Caffeine update last year was a major infrastructure fix to web indexing system last year, which enables Google to crawl and quickly index the web for the freshly discovered content. Google indicates that new and improved algorithm impacts now around 35 percent of searches.

We are still to see how Google prove their algorithm to work correctly and prevent spam at the same time says SEO Google Expert.

Guest Blogging, Sponsored Posts and Becoming a Blogger

I’m pretty sure you’re absolutely sick of hearing about guest blogs now – heralded as the figurative bamboo to the Panda patrolling the Google pen, they are quickly building in popularity and everyone knows it. Especially the blog owners.

I’ve been doing guest blogging for a while now (since early ’10) and I’ve noticed a disconcerting rising trend in the number of times I am swerved to a sponsored post. Amongst the people I’ve been speaking to, there is a split opinion on the value of sponsored posts. Obviously, it’s nice to actually have a link on a strong blog and, in many cases, you don’t even have to write it – yet, in the grand scheme of things, this is a bought link. Blog owners don’t just want good content now; they (understandably) want an income.

Now, not every blogger will demand cold hard cash for a post – but if they suspect that you’re a grubby SEO just looking for a link, you’d best grab your wallet. SEOMoz contributor, Michael King, did a fantastic and extensive post on relationship management and how to stay sweet with your contacts.

So what instills that trust in the blog owner that you’re not just going to send ‘The Top 5 reasons why you should visit [COUNTRY]’?

Simply put, it’s owning your own blog.

It’s common knowledge that most companies should have their own regularly-updated in-house blog, but simply due to the extra time it takes (or just due to plain naivety), many don’t, immediately putting them on a weaker footing. So if you’re searching for a good blog to guest post on, you have to think like they do. By which I mean, stop being lazy and start a blog.

Fair enough, it’s not easy, it’s going to take time, writing skill and may cause you to lose another -.25 of your eyesight, but the end result would be worth it. One tip – stay general, but realistic – blog about things you know about and enjoy and remember that you can’t be CEO of a shoe firm one day and then the Deputy Manager of Laptop Repairs the next. You are not Mr Benn. You should also refer to Cracked.com’s ‘The 8 Worst Types of Blog on the Internet’ (NSFW).

If you already have a blog and are doing this then congratulations and I apologise for wasting your time and bandwidth, but if you haven’t, then seriously, get on it! Of course, this is a long-term strategy and you’re not going to become a celebrity within the blogosphere with a PA 1, DA 1, but give it some time, put in an hour a day and you’ll be commanding your own authority, boosted by your own quality content and name within the community.

Heck with Google’s rel=”author” tag, now is a better time than ever to have your own blog – you’ll even get to stick your mugshot next to your posts. This will undoubtedly increase trust in blogger relationships, as they’ll be confident you’re not an evil robot just scraping it from another blog.

There will be a few people to disagree with me here and state that a mention of their ‘team of content writers’ in an e-mail to a blog owner has never failed to get them a posting, or client domain e-mail addresses commanding far more authority than a blog, but I just don’t feel it. I think it’s all about being on a level playing field and proving you’re not just a faceless company after a link – to entirely misquote Batman Begins – “To befriend the blogger, you must become the blogger”.

So there we go, thanks for reading and please share with me your opinions on sponsored posts, guest blogging and how you’d go about it.

Thomas Clark is a member of the SEO department of Manchester SEO agency, Lakestar Media.

Google Encrypts Organic Search Data

Google has announced on the 18th October that in order to protect personalised search results of users signed into Google.com decided to encrypt any visitors’ related data with SSL protocol stripping any useful data including keywords which has driven them to a website.

That means that any searches can only be seen by Google and the web browser itself but any third party including any tracking solution you may know can’t intercept the search and know what’s being searched on.
http://analytics.blogspot.com/2011/10/making-search-more-secure-accessing.html

The change to SSL is in place now and will be fully released to everyone over the coming weeks.

What is means to SEOs?
The change to SSL search means that any visitors’ data coming sites people visit after clicking on results at Google will no longer receive “referrer” data that reveals what those people searched for, except in the case of paid ads (interesting, isn’t it?).

Google ensures that we’ll still be able to measure SEO traffic and to see conversion rates, segmentations and that a token has been created to help better identify the signed in users coming via organic search visits, which states “(not provided)” within organic search traffic keyword reporting.

From my point of view it’s very clear that we won’t be able to access a portion of intelligence data at the keywords level impacting our ability to better understand SEO non brand traffic and conversion patterns.

Beware as there is also another challenge in sight – mobile users. If you use android phone and want to browse “market” or use any Google owned app you’ll be required to sign in via your Google account. Mobile users tend to forget about being logged in so imagine what sort of impact on mobile data it may have?

We’ve already seen large tracking solution providers, including Omniture, issuing communication to its client base on the predicted impact of recent Google changes.

Google software engineer Matt Cutts states that even at full roll-out, this would still be in the only a single-digit percentages of all searcher’s data on Google.com will be affected.
Well, we will see…..says SEO Google Expert

Lakestar Media Wins Best SEO PPC Agency Award

On the evening of May 26th, in the single biggest gathering of media and marketing services people in the North West, prestigious How-Do Awards 2011 were announced in various categories.
Over 500 people packed into The Point at Old Trafford Cricket Ground came to celebrate the achievements of various media, creative and digital agencies.
Lakestar Media came out on top in the SEO and PPC Agency category to claim their first ever award for the unbiased dynamic growth and customer services excellence.

About the Google Expert;

Google Expert is the highly experienced Google Adwords Expert and
SEO Expert delivering ROI driven campaigns for the range of his clients.

Bengt Wedemalm Ministry International

SEO Google Expert is delighted to introduce new Bengt Wedemalm Ministry International website. Bengt Wedemalm is a dynamic preacher and pioneer. Born in 1961 and in ministry for 30 years, he is travelling extensively and has ministered in 60+ nations. Already in the beginning of the 80s he went into the former Eastern Bloc as one of the first pioneers proclaiming the good news of Jesus. God used Bengt in miraculous ways to open up closed nations (like Albania) and he was involved in planting churches in all the former communist countries. Also Bengt has been reaching out extensively to the Islamic nations; he loves and enjoys the challenge of a closed door. For a good number of years he worked as mission director and was one of the spearheads in Ulf Ekman Ministries. As a sought after conference speaker Bengt is known for carrying a spirit of faith and moving strongly in the supernatural. His illustrated and lively sermons are helping people to master their everyday lives by the power of God.Swedish by nationality Bengt is presently based in London and involved in church networks in England and internationally.

Online Businesses Damaged by Googles Farmer Update

Founder of Mahalo, Jason Calacanis announced today that he has cut about 10% of its staff due to traffic and revenue losses from the Farmer update. If there’s any recovery for Mahalo it will come too late for some employees.

Google has become aware that some genuine websites have been hurt by the recent algorithm update and is working to fix the problem already. Amit Singhal from Google, comments that the new algorithm’s effects are positive, but unfortunately “no algorithm is 100% accurate.” That obviously presents new challenge to all SEO experts.

Another victim the Cult of Mac, an Apple-centric blog supposedly lost 80% of its keyword rankings shortly after Google announced that the new algorithm had been launched.
In response to above Google has indicated that its engineers are building a new layer on top of the present algorithm to make it even more accurate than it is.

It’s possible that Google’s changes are already rolling out.

About the Google Expert;
Google Expert is the highly experienced Google Adwords Expert and
SEO Expert delivering ROI driven campaigns for the range of his clients.

Google algorithm change – winners and losers

Last week Google has announced changes to its search engine algorithm. According to many internet sources, the change it is going to affect more sites in a shorter time than normal.
Google wants provide original content of interest to readers and spamming pages would put up pages with content scraped (stolen) from other sites and present it as its own.
The change is designed to remove low-quality content from its top search results. That means that content farms may be the primary target here.

To figure out who was hit and who gained it’s worthwhile to read a great recent article by Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land

SearchReviews has just launched a search engine with more than 40 million reviews

SearchReviews has just launched a search engine with more than 40 million reviews in its system. Company plans to increase that number to 100 million reviews by the end of 2011.

SearchReviews currently cover about four million products and come from more than a thousand sites including of course likes such as TripAdvisor, Amazon, Zappos and etc.
Will SEM and SEO Experts benefit from SearchReviews? Let’s look at some facts below.

SearchReviews appears to have the largest searchable database of strictly review content anywhere.

Main competitors are; Buzzillions and Bazaarvoice. There’s also Google Places, which has an enormous collections of reviews and sources.

SearchReviews launches with apps that are available for both the iPhone and Android devices.

SearchReviews crawls more than thousand websites to obtain review content and aggregates them into its database, supposedly adding about two million reviews every week.
One of the impressive aspects of SearchReviews is that it indexes review content, not just business and product names. So, someone looking for “meatball pizza Vancouver” can find reviews that very specifically mention those words. That provides new opportunities for optimising product reviews.
SearchReviews with some further development should become a valuable source for consumers seeking out review information.

About the Google Expert;

Google Expert is the highly experienced Google Adwords Expert and
SEO Expert delivering ROI driven campaigns for the range of his clients.

J.C. Penney penalised by Google

Fight for the top positions in the Google’s organic search results can turn nasty for the companies which use unethical black-hat SEO techniques .

In the cut throat retail environment it’s no surprise that some companies are tempted to abuse the system. Securing a position at the top of the first page of Google’s SERPs for any specific business or product related term may mean huge spike in revenue from online sales for the business.

Google takes its search rankings very seriously and when companies violate or abuse the rules, it isn’t long before they suffer the consequences.

In a recent search engine showdown, Google buried several J.C. Penney links in its search rankings after discovering that the company was accused of employing unethical link buying techniques to push their pages higher in SERPs.

According to the investigation performed by the New York Times, J.C. Penny allegedly paid to have thousands of links added to hundreds of websites across the Web in order to dominate rankings for search terms like “black dress,” “bedding,” “area rugs” and other consumer searches.

Paid links to J.C. Penney pages boosted the retailer’s presence on the Internet because Google’s algorithms consider a site more search-worthy if it’s “voted” more popular online by the amount of links pointing to it. But paying for links is a definitive Google no-go zone.

Google has confirmed that the tactics employed by J.CC Penny clearly violate their guidelines and that “corrective action” has been undertaken.

J.C. Penney commented that they were unaware of the unethical paid links pointing to their website and currently works on taking irrelevant links down.

Google Android market worth $10 billion

Google Expert indicates that Mobile is the key in present Google’s 2011 market strategy. With core search growth maintaining a 15-20% annual growth, mobile (and converged devices like tablets) bring Google revenue growth over 20% next year. With total net revenues estimates of $27 billion in 2011 and $32 billion in 2012, a $ 10 billion gross revenue estimate for Android would represent a very significant business for Google.
PCs will continue to sell but the centre of gravity has shifted to mobile devices. And Google has smartly — and remarkably — positioned itself in the centre of that new universe. Arguably only Apple stands between Google and global mobile domination. Even on the iPhone most web searches are Google searches. So while the iPhone doesn’t drive as much revenue for Google as Android devices, it still fuels Google’s mobile growth.
What started as a vision of Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt looks now more and more like a reality.
Today Google’s mobile ad business is worth roughly $1 billion on an annualized basis. But it’s growing rapidly.
According to a discussion of the forecast in eWeek:
Using Google’s self-stated figure that its mobile ad business was operating at a $1 billion run rate through 2010, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Google generated $850 million in mobile ads for the year. Android, Munster said, accounted for $130 million of this total, good for $5.90 average revenue per user (ARPU). For perspective, Google’s advertising totalled $25.77 ARPU, while its Web search engine accounted for $18.85 a head. . . Looking forward, the analyst said Google could have an average of 133 million Android users by 2012, each generating $9.85 per year on advertising, meaning Android would kick in $1.3 billion to the company’s ad revenues.
Regardless of whether the precise figures are correct it’s clear that mobile has quickly become a material contributor to Google’s bottom line. And it will only continue to grow.

Longer headlines for select ads on Google

Google has recently announced changes to the format in which top PPC Ads are being displayed.
For some ads the first description line will be moved to the headline and separated by a hyphen.
As a result, some top placement ads will have longer headlines.
Google admits correlation between length of the ad title and higher click through rates and also emphasises a better experience for users by highlighting more information in the ad.
I would expect that we’ll see some nice increase in CTRs on PPC campaign whilst the top organic search results may be slightly cannibalised by the PPC ads imitating the organic search results.
That change will definitely increase revenue for Google.

Improving Your Page Rankings

A search engine result consists of a title, description and URL. The URL that shows up is chosen by the search engines but can be influenced by how you link to your site. The other two pieces of information are also chosen by the search engines, but they can be influenced by using several different methods. Yahoo and MSN will usually use the meta description and title for your listing in the search result. Google is more arbitrary with how they display search results and will sometimes use your meta description, but will often pull a snippet of text from elsewhere on your page, depending on the search keywords. When writing the meta descriptions and titles for your site, keep in mind that your site will be judged by these in the SERPS. The better your listing looks, the better chance you have of getting people to click through.
When I search for a topic in a search engine, I don’t always click on the top listing. I scan the titles and results for what seems relevant and interesting. If you want people to come to your site AFTER you are ranking well in the SERPS (search engine results pages), you need relevant and interesting content in the SERPS.

Writing good titles;
1. No longer than 70 characters
2. Relevant to the page and compel the reader to find out more
3. Comfortable in their keyword usage

Writing good meta descriptions:
1. No longer than 160 characters
2. Contain a call to action
3. Entice the reader to find out more

Concise titles and meta descriptions will keep your fine work from getting truncated by the search engines. Don’t underestimate the value of a well-written title and description and always take the time to write good titles and descriptions. Never leave your titles or descriptions blank.
If your site has a link in DMOZ or the Yahoo Directory, the title of that listing is sometimes used as the title in the SERPS. If you would rather have your normal title show up all the time rather than the DMOZ or Yahoo directory title, you should include the following meta tag on your site.

“Noodp” refers to the DMOZ and “noydir” refers to the Yahoo Directory. This code applies to all search engine bots that use DMOZ or Yahoo directory listing data.
Finally, there is the topic of sitelinks. Sitelinks typically appear when someone performs a navigational search for your company or site name. Google determines what shows up in those links by looking at how the site links internally. Google tries to show the most prominent pages of the site to make it easier for the searcher to find the specific page of the site they are looking for. Although you don’t have complete control over your site’s sitelinks, if there is a page showing up in the sitelinks that you don’t want to show up, you can remove it through your Webmaster tools account.
So if you want people to click through to your site you need to have something good on the SERPS pages. If you don’t have something good then get in the game and make some changes to make your listing more clickable.

SEO has changed – Google Buzz has arrived

Google now automatically personalises search results. By default; people get different search results! One aspect of the personalisation algorithms is to look at where people go online and another is to study what people do online. Google Buzz affects both those things.

A really clear example of how Google Buzz impacts SEO is how it will integrate with the real-time streams that Google now produces for trending keywords. It’s all too likely that in the future these real-time streams will link to Google Buzz pages. This is a content play from Google. Searches take searchers back to Google.

Over the past decade we have seen the ways that search engines refine information – if the 1990s was about search engines sorting our Relevancy algorithms and 2000s were about search engines sorting out Trust algorithms then the 2010s are about Authority. When faced with two equally Relevant sites; both of which are trusted by Google, which one does the search engine pick to rank? Google will pick the most authoritive site. Google Buzz helps Google determine which sites have the authority as Google Buzz gives the engine an insight into what people are talking about, which sites real people recommend to one another, which news events inspire the most interest in people, how people tend to describe things, e.t.c

In addition, it is also worth noting how heavily Google Buzz leans on geographic data. Google does alter the search results to match different locations around the world and even around the UK. Google Buzz will help them with this geographic tailoring.
google buzz