eBay: Google SEO Changes Hurt Core Business And Revenues

new ebay logo Yesterday, eBay announced second quarter earnings which just beat analysts' expectations. However, revenue fell short of projections. The company earned $0.69 per share (vs. $0.68 expected) against revenue of $4.37 billion (vs. $4.38 billion expected). During the quarter, eBay suffered a major security breach and global password reset. In addition, it faces intensifying competition from Google, Amazon and a host of smaller rivals. The company acknowledged that Google algorithm changes had adversely affected its growth in the quarter. On the earnings call yesterday eBay CFO Bob Swan said [...]


Thanks To “Right To Be Forgotten,” Google Now Censors The Press In The EU

right-forgotten-erase-past-600 The EU's Right To Be Forgotten removals have been happening for about a week on Google, and now news publications are discovering the fallout. For some searches, you can't find their news stories relating to certain people. In particular, both the BBC and the Guardian have shared examples of content that's now been "forgotten" in Google. The stories remain on the sites of both publications. You just can't locate them for certain searches related to the names of individuals they are about. (Postscript 5:50pm ET: Add the Daily Mail to the list, which has posted about removal notices it [...]


Google: We’ll Be Giving More Feedback For Reconsideration Request & Other Search Changes

matt-cutts-throwing-hummingbirds-1402575217 Last Wednesday at the SMX Advanced show, Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, shared some news and announcements with us during his keynote session. Here are some of the highlights from Matt's talk: Payday Loan 3.0 Launches Matt Cutts announced Wednesday night that Google would launch version 3.0 of the Payday loan algorithm. 3.0 actually began rolling out the following day and specifically was aimed at spammy queries, whereas 2.0, which launched a couple weeks earlier, targeted more spammy sites. Payday 3.0 specifically targets spammy queries, versus spammy sites. What exactly t [...]


How Google’s Panda Filter May Have Hurt Ask, eBay & Google-Backed RetailMeNot

google-panda-generic-featured On Tuesday, Google released a rewrite to their Panda filter algorithm and both large and small sites took notice. Some sites gained in traffic and some sites dove in traffic, we have the Winners & Losers chart for Panda 4.0 already published. But as of this morning, Searchmetrics has updated their weekly US charts, showing the real impact for the top sites that lost traffic. In our previous reports, Searchmetrics told us that Ask.com was hurt most, losing about 75% or more of their search visibility (not traffic) from Google. It seems like eBay and Google's venture-backed RetailMeNot al [...]


Google Updates “Panda” Filter, Impacts 7.5% Of Search Results

google-panda-generic-featured Yesterday, Google has made a significant change to their Panda filter, named Panda 4.0. This is the biggest update to the Panda algorithm in ages and may be the cause of some ranking changes you may be noticing in Google today and throughout the week. Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that the update Panda filter began rolling out yesterday. Here is Matt's tweet: Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today. — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014   Google told us "Panda 4.0 affects different languages to different degrees." Adding that [...]


MoCo: Mobile, Content & Advanced SEO. How To Prepare

mobile-websites-smartphones-featured What does it mean to be "mobile ready"? You might say having a mobile responsive site -- and that's certainly part of it. But there's much more that goes into ultimately creating an excellent website experience for your ever-expanding and ever-discerning mobile user base. It's a fact that people are starting to use smartphones as the go-to device. According to Google's 2013 Mobile Search Moments study, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or work, even when a PC is likely nearby. We know that smartphones are often used as a multitasking accessory to other devices as well, with 82% using [...]


10 People Who Want To Be Forgotten By Google, From An Attempted Murderer To A Cyberstalker

privacy-anonymous-hacker-600 Who wants things removed from Google under the newly declared "right to be forgotten" in the European Union? A convicted cyberstalker, an attempted murderer, a politician, a business with bad reviews and a pedophile are among those making such requests to Google. Yesterday, the BBC noted the first three of the cases listed below. Marketing Land has also learned of them directly from a source, along with seven other requests that Google has received. The Politician Who Behaved Badly A former politician seeks to have links removed about his behavior while in office -- presumably unfla [...]


What Can Keyword Planner Tell Us About Mobile Search Behavior?

mobile-devices-screens-featured If you were to ask the question posed by the title of this article a month ago, the answer would be: nothing. Unfortunately, when Google sunsetted the Keyword Tool and replaced it with Keyword Planner in July of last year, one of the things marketers lost was the ability to see traffic by device. But mobile keywords are back! Well, sort of, as it's not exactly what we had before. If you haven't heard, Google recently added nine new features to Keyword Planner, including the ability to see percentage of search volume by device. This allows us to do some pretty cool things to optimize for [...]


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 mob [...]


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: [...]


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