PostJoint Confirms Google Penalty, Says Its Business Will Continue

google-flyswatter-penalty-600 PostJoint is the second guest blogging network that's been knowingly penalized by Google. We reported the penalty news Friday on our sister site, Search Engine Land, and PostJoint itself confirmed the penalty on its own blog yesterday. PostJoint currently isn't ranking on Google for its own name, a sure sign of a penalty and the same thing that initially happened to MyBlogGuest when it was penalized last month. Much like that case, Google's official warning to PostJoint mentions "unnatural inbound links" -- part of the long-running confusing messaging that Google delivers via Webmaste [...]


Native Mobile Apps May Dominate Now, But The Mobile Web Will Endure

Time spent with apps If you’re lucky enough to be a huge brand marketer with unlimited budgets, what I’m about to say probably doesn’t apply to you. You have the good fortune to focus on providing not only a phenomenal mobile website experience, but a great experience in mobile apps, as well. Not or, but and, as it should be. So, you can feel free to use the contact info below to discuss how to take your campaigns to the next level and stop reading this column. For the other 99% of us, the recent announcement by app analytics provider Flurry that users are still spending more time in apps than the mo [...]


The Fatal Mistake Content Marketers Are Making With Nofollow

shutterstock_182841941-RIPContentMktg RIP, content marketing. Thanks to Google's algorithm updates and quality guidelines that require paid links to include a nofollow tag, there's simply no value any more in online promotions for brands and agencies. After all, if a sponsored link can no longer provide a direct PageRank boost, what's the point? Everyone knows the only reason to bother promoting a brand online is for the improved search engine rankings. Did you detect a hint of sarcasm there? I hope so, because when marketers focus too much of their attention on search engine optimization (SEO), they lose sight of the big pi [...]


MyBlogGuest.com Confirms It’s Been Hit By Google Penalty

myblogguest-logo-large MyBlogGuest, a well-known service that helps pair writers and blogs for guest blogging, confirmed this morning that it's been hit by a Google penalty. Google has been aggressively going after companies that it believes are violating its SEO guidelines in recent months, particularly link networks. This is first penalty that we know of against what Google considers a "guest blog network." Matt Cutts, the head of Google's webspam team, recently warned that Google would target guest blogging, and then confirmed this penalty via Twitter early this morning. Today we took action on a large [...]


Google Got Called Out For Being A “Scraper Site” & You Won’t Believe What Happened Next

On Thursday, Google made a call for publishers to report if sites have copied or "scraped" their content and are outranking the publishers themselves. But a tweet from a marketer pointing out that Google might be doing what it's against got far more attention that Google's own request. The head of Google's web spam team issued a call for reports about scraper sites If you see a scraper URL outranking the original source of content in Google, please tell us about it: http://t.co/WohXQmI45X — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) February 27, 2014 Marketer Dan Barker came up with an example of Google [...]


10 Big Brands That Were Penalized By Google, From Rap Genius To The BBC

google-flyswatter-penalty-600 It's been a busy year already with big brands getting hit by Google penalties. First came Rap Genius, slammed so hard that you couldn't find it for its own name. Then came Expedia's suspected penalty that may have hurt its traffic. But these are also a familiar tune. Big brand violates Google's rules, gets in trouble but ultimately returns to Google's good graces with what may seem a virtual wrist-slap. Below, in reverse chronological order, is a list of major brands that have been hit by Google penalties over the years for various reasons. Some violations weren't even intentional. 10 [...]


Super Bowl 2014 Commercials: How Did Advertisers Perform in Search Engines?

tv-video-featured It's year number six of tracking how Super Bowl ads compelled us to search and just how well advertisers take advantage of all that searching. How did advertisers fare this year? Better than in earlier years, mostly because they are learning to keep it simple. But they're not necessarily doing better in search on purpose. Last year, advertisers started paying attention to social media in a big way, which they extended this year. But it's clear advertisers don't realize we're multi-taskers. Not only can we watch the game and tweet at the same time, but we can search, too. And while I get [...]


SEO Can’t Be Done Without Mobile SEO

mobile-devices-featured It's 2014, which means we are officially one year away from the year that Kelsey Group predicted mobile search will eclipse desktop search. Are you making your mobile resolutions to ensure you're ready for when that time comes? [caption id="attachment_70213" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Mobile share of overall search traffic was nearly one third in Q3 of last year according to RKG.[/caption] 2013 In Review Hopefully, you were with us last year as well, when we used this column to give tactical advice on how to do mobile SEO well, provided case studies to illustrate mobile SEO success, [...]


Your Homepage Is THE Landing Page

zendesk Your homepage is probably the most visited page on your website -- in fact, for the majority of websites, it typically receives more than 50% of all visitor traffic. In light of that, shouldn't it be converting more visitors? You may want to start thinking of your homepage more like a landing page that is uniquely designed to convince visitors that you can meet their needs or solve their problems. If your homepage isn't driving visitors to take some type of an action -- especially if it has a high bounce rate -- then it can be improved to drive more sales. Convert Like You Mean It: Goals [...]


Why Matt Cutts Is Wrong About Responsive Web Design

mobile-responsive-design-featured Like most white hat SEOs in our industry, I respect and appreciate what Matt Cutts has done for SEO. So much so that, though I've never met the man, I recently donated to help him fight Cancer in the Dana Farber Boston Marathon challenge (you should, too). More than anyone, he has been a tireless referee and champion of those who play fairly in this game of gaining visibility in the search results that we call SEO. When I first started doing SEO, there were no rules for gaining visibility in a way that was fair to clients, search engines and search engine users -- but Matt changed all that, [...]


New Google Analytics Speed Suggestions Report Designed To Help Improve Page Load Times

google-analytics-featured Google Analytics has added a new report designed to help website owners improve page load times. The new Speed Suggestions Report is part of Google's website performance reports, and displays the average page load time for the most visited pages on a website. Integrating data from the new report, Google Analytics uses its PageSpeed Insights tool to offer tips on improving page load time speeds. "Not only can you measure and visualize the performance of your website," claims Google, "But you can now also speed up the slowest pages with concrete and actionable suggestions." The PageSpeed I [...]


Is Not Provided A Good Thing?

content-marketing-featured It’s been a few weeks since Google rocked our worlds and stripped keyword-level data from the referrer, so it’s time to examine the fallout and see what’s changed in the world of search marketing. Surprisingly, not much. Keywords were beacons of insight – fantastic beacons – but keywords were a double-edged sword leading us to create content that unnecessarily repeated specific terms for an ideal keyword density. Writing for a bot rather than for the user is not optimizing for user experience, so Google did something about it. Google head spam-fighter Matt Cutts said it himself: [...]


Google’s New Fight Against Mugshots Sites Fails For Victim Profiled In New York Times

Maxwell Birnbaum - Google Search Google has a new system in place designed to prevent "mugshots" sites from ranking well. Such sites make money convincing people to "remove" their mugshots after posting them online. Only one problem. The person featured in a New York Times story yesterday as a victim of this unsavory practice still has his mugshot appearing, despite Google's supposed change. The practice of mugshot shots was profiled in the New York Times yesterday (and in our sister-site Search Engine Land earlier this year). The New York Times story leads with the story of Maxwell Birnbaum, who was upset that his mugsho [...]


No Data For You: SEO Experts Offer Opinions On Google’s Move To Withhold Even More Search Term Data

google-privacy-200 Google quietly confirmed earlier this week that it would be encrypting all search data, regardless of whether a user was signed in or not. The company offered the following statement to clarify their sudden decision to withhold the data: We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We're now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in. Marketing Land's Danny Sullivan wrote about Google's move to encrypt all non-paid searches, explaining, "The change makes it very likely that in th [...]


Is Adaptive Web Design Or RESS Better Than Responsive Design For SEO?

adaptive web design seo Kudos to all of you smart marketers for keeping me on my toes. At SES San Francisco last week, I was asked three good questions that I hadn't heard before and wasn't really prepared to answer. The title of this post is one of them: When it comes to SEO, is adaptive Web design or RESS (Responsive Web Design + Server Side Components) better than responsive Web design? If the person who asked the question had phrased it as, "Is dynamic serving better than responsive Web design for SEO?" it would have been an easy question to answer. Unfortunately, with so many new terms being used to describe [...]


Here Comes “100% Not Provided,” As Google Begins Encrypting All Non-Paid Searches

google-privacy-200 Ever since Google began encrypting searches for signed-in users two years ago, publishers have wondered if when we'd get to a "100% Not Provided" world, where all search terms are withheld by Google. It looks like that day may soon arrive, thanks to a new change at Google. Google has confirmed that it has begun work to encrypted all searches, even for those who aren't logged into Google. Our story on our sister-site Search Engine Land has more about this: Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks The change makes it very likely that [...]


Google Puts A Price On Privacy — Again

google-privacy-200 Almost two years ago, Google began withholding search "referrer" data from publishers, in the name of protecting user privacy. However, it left a loophole open for passing this data to its advertisers. Some viewed that as an attempt by Google to boost its ad sales. This impression was reinforced by the latest change Google made last month, which maintains the loophole and provides a new incentive for publishers to make use of its ad system. What's Search Term Referrer Data? Referrer data allows publishers to understand the exact terms used by people who search at Google and then click throug [...]


Page Speed Matters! Why You Need to Improve Yours Today

Pizza! My three-year-old daughter loves it -- which is why the delivery guy knows exactly where our house is. But… if it takes too long to arrive, she'll quickly move on to something else more readily accessible. Speed clearly plays an important role in her user experience -- much as it does for the digital user experience. Why Page Speed Matters Given my e-commerce and conversion background, I have always been obsessed with the usability aspect of digital. I see user experience as Job #1. After all, what's the point of achieving top search rankings if you don't provide a great user experi [...]


HomeAdvisor.com Rebrand Efforts Include Switching More Than 10 Million URLs

Branding After thoroughly researching the strength of its brand, home improvement company HomeAdvisor.com rebranded itself last year after 13 years as ServiceMagic. Narrowing the brand's focus on home improvement, repair and maintenance, the rebranding effort was a massive undertaking that included a broad set of corporate measures along with the decision to switch the company's URL to its new name. "We had 13 years of SEO equity in the ServiceMagic domain and ranked highly for organic search," said HomeAdvisor CEO Chris Terrill. But Terrill and his CTO Brandon Ridenour understood that the str [...]


2013: The Year In Google SEO So Far

seo-featured In the first half of this year, there has been a lot of SEO-related news coming out from Google. Google has pushed out many new algorithms, made many changes to the search result interfaces, penalized many websites and tactics, as well as sent out many warnings about upcoming penalties or actions. All of this was covered in depth on our sister site, Search Engine Land, but a recap is in order for our Marketing Land readers. Below, I will summarize the changes in order of Google's Panda algorithm, Penguin algorithm, and other algorithm updates and launches. I will then discuss some of the [...]


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