04/27/12
Google’s Latest Update Gives the Power Back to the Whitehats

In the last few days, Google has rolled out yet another update to their search algorithm, and it’s one that promises to reward ‘high quality’ websites. The change will reportedly affect just 3% of English language web searches (as opposed to the 10% that the Panda update hit a year or ago), and is designed expressly to weed out so-called ‘spammy’ websites and those that exist to take Black Hat SEO V White Hat SEOadvantage of Google’s ranking system.

Who is affected by the change?

This is great news for honest hard-working webmasters and terrible news for practitioners of blackhat SEO. Even in their post announcing the update, Google’s Matt Cutts gives examples of the types of websites that will be negatively affected – including sites that are stuffed with keywords and others that offer no real value to visitors. The ‘made for Adsense’ sites that you see dotted around the web are the types of websites that will no longer be making an appearance in Google’s index – and that’s great news not only for honest website owners, but also for the people searching – because quality content will once again rise to the top. The new algorithm update applies to all websites regardless of niche or industry, so whether that be a truck insurance company running a logistics site or a fashion blog, the same rules will be in place from now on.

How whitehats will benefit from the update

Google has said time and time again that the very best way to achieve search engine success is to add quality, unique content that people will actually want to read. Every change that Google makes to their algorithm is another step towards this objective, and this update is no exception. Because of the way that Google ranks sites, there has been a large focus on generating huge volumes of backlinks for sites. In fact, all you have to do is hop onto a site like Fiverr to see how many people are selling thousands of backlinks for just a few dollars. The problem lies in the fact that these are almost always spammy backlinks that do nothing but make a site look much worse in Google’s eyes. These lazy and cheap blackhat solutions very often result in being penalised by Google and losing rankings. Whitehat SEO practitioners on the other hand, who work hard to generate real backlinks from other relevant sites, will benefit from a boost in the rankings now that all (or at least some) of the spam has been filtered out.

What does this mean for ongoing SEO efforts?

The message that Google is giving out couldn’t be clearer: if you want to rank highly in their search engine, you need to play by the rules. That means that any SEO effort that has cut corners, either by generating spammy backlinks or using private blog networks (like the now de-indexed BuildMyRank), will be punished (fairly, some would say), whereas ‘genuine’ tactics will be rewarded. All of the sites out there that pay their writers a fair wage to generate quality unique

slash wears a black hat

Slash might be a brilliant guitarist but don't let him near your website with a hat like that!

content should see a benefit from this update. This doesn’t mean that articles can’t still be optimised for search engines; of course they can. It simply means that obviously blackhat tactics like keyword stuffing and spamming backlinks will result in de-indexing. Articles can still be written with a keyword or phrase in mind, and still have the same levels of keyword densities – you just need to be careful to keep within Google’s guidelines and focus on quality, not quantity.

How to avoid being penalised by future algorithm updates

If you’re worried about this update, or about any that Google may implement in the future, you could well benefit from a quality SEO service like the one we offer here at LandingNet. The service is all about employing legitimate SEO tactics that stay firmly in the ‘whitehat’ camp while still achieving the search rankings boost you’re looking for. We’ll make sure that your site stays on Google’s good side. The world of SEO has always been one that changes on a dime, so being on board with a service like ours can help give you the confidence and peace of mind you need to climb the rankings without risking the longevity of your web presence.

02/15/12
The Difference Between Inbound Marketing & Search Engine Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a phrase that is becoming increasingly popular but what exactly is it and how does it differ from phrases such as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC).

The world of Digital Marketing is always changing with buzzwords coming and going all the time. Inbound Marketing in it’s more traditional sense is a marketing strategy based on being found by your prospects as opposed to outbound marketing which is a lot more intrusive – had any cold calls today?!? A definition can be found on Wikipedia.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a method of internet marketing to drive traffic to websites by increasing their visibility in search engines. But even here there are differing opinions on the definition and many people see SEM as being purely concerned with paid advertising such as Google Adwords (PPC) and view it as a separate entity to SEO which is concerned with increasing the organic (free) search engine results. Others see SEM as an umbrella for many forms of marketing relating to search engine visibility including SEO and if we take this stance then SEM can be seen as a subset of Inbound Marketing.

The majority of companies still focus the most attention on outbound marketing but it is becoming less and less effective and you should be switching the balance over to inbound marketing and embrace blogging, social media, videos, webinars and a whole host of other inbound marketing tools.

If you would like to discuss how inbound working can be applied to your business then get in touch for your free inbound marketing consultation.

04/14/10
Improve Your Google Position By Speeding Up Your Site

Google are constantly changing their search algorithm ensuring that sites providing the best user experience appear at the top of the organic listings. Good content is key, backed up by relevant and authoritative inbound links. Obviously this is an over simplification and in fact there are at least two hundred boxes that need ticking to give your site every chance of appearing at the top of Google, but up until now site speed has not been one of them.

Google made us aware about a year ago that this metric would be added into their algorithm which was further backed up by them adding site performance into webmaster tools whichspeed up your website shows how fast your site is compared to other sites. But they have recently made an official announcement on the Google Webmaster Central Blog that they are now including it in their search ranking algorithm.

There is a link within the site performance section of the webmaster tools to a Mozilla Firefox Plugin called Page Speed. Of course this isn’t the only tool available to measure site speed but it is the one that google are recommending and if you click on the help button it takes you to Googles help page so it would be fair to assume that this has been developed by them and as they are the ones that control the algorithm that this is a good tool for the job.

The loading speed of a site has always been important. In the days of dial up connections it was particularly relevant but with the advent of broadband it has been overlooked to a certain extent. But it should be remembered the speed of connections vary enormously especially between cities and the countryside and as more people are using mobile devices to access the web it is once again of the utmost relevance as anyone will know who has tried to access a slow site in an area without a 3G connection. If you combine this with the fact that the speed of your site may well cause you to drop down the search engine rankings then now is the time to optimise the speed of your website.

So don’t wait until your rankings drop because it will take you months to regain them if at all! If you would like any help with increasing the speed of your site then just contact us and we will be happy to help.