05/03/12
Optimizing Search Engine Marketing For Small Businesses

Swathe of Changes

The recent swathe of changes and developments in the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Industry has left many of the most vulnerable businesses teetering on the brink. Owners of small businesses, who often exist in the smallest of margins, can ill afford to have weeks or months of uncertainty with how their businesses or products are being promoted through web giants like Google. Unfortunately that is precisely what has happened recently and left many diminutive companies looking at their vacuous joint account balances and wondering how they can stabilize their income in what is often a mesmerizing tide of misinformation.

Re-indexing and BuildMyRankgoogle penguin

The recent algorithm readjustments and re-indexing which occurred across the entire Google database has caused much confusion. Particularly disconcerting for many were the changes which occurred for the BuildMyRank Blog, which stimulated in excess of a million ‘unnatural’ link alerts for websites.

Matt Cutts Comments

Coupled with this was the wave of speculation which occurred as a result of comments made by the head of Google’s Webspam team, Matt Cutts, about the issue of over-optimization on business websites. On the back of these comments Google published information about their new algorithm designed to handle webspam. They believe this new feature will combat promotional tactics like spun content and keyword stuffing. The results are yet to be seen but for many small businesses, that do not have the flexibility in their business models, waiting for these results may spell disaster, and in the interim period their businesses might disappear altogether.

What Exactly Do The New Rules Mean For Companies?

Certainly things have moved on significantly this year and are a considerable step up from the Panda update of 2011, where the target for removal was low quality content that had been machine generated and altered. The question now is ‘Is it still possible for small businesses to access the traffic provided by the web giant?’ The answer is yes, but there are some key features which must be built in to your web presence before this can happen.

The First step is Diversification

For an effective approach to SEM small businesses need to look seriously at how they can fragment their approach. Those that have had to learn theseo penalty hard way from the recent changes have pointed to an over emphasis on link building within one blog network. There is no guarantee that these are not vulnerable and might result in your website being completely removed from Google searches. In order to ensure your business is Google proof in this respect an alternate array of marketing strategies is key. In addition to having a website which is not likely to fall foul of search engine optimization there are other aspects to promotion which should be developed. It is important to ensure you have a strategy to develop business even if Google axes your links. Using customer reviews, email marketing and development of social media links can provide a strong range of alternative sourcing for your business.

Getting Involved

There are many solid examples of where getting involved seriously enhances the prospects for maintaining and expanding a business portfolio. For many small businesses social media is regarded as a sideshow distraction from the real source of business on the web. The recent shift in how people use their social media means that this area can now generate significant traffic and in the case of small businesses may be sufficient to sustain or grow the company.

There are some tactics which can be employed to ensure that social media is effectively used. Collecting customer reviews is an excellent feature of social media marketing which is often neglected by small businesses. In addition talking in forums and writing guest posts on blogs shows a clear sense of involvement. These involvements leave back link footprints and are widely recognised as an effective part of a successful SEM strategy.

Focus on the End-User

This is a tactic which can help ensure your pages are bookmarked and ensure the return of traffic not just for products but for in

google penguin and panda

formation. It is essential that you create a web presence which has your client in mind and not just as a marketing vehicle. The perceived wisdom here is to use something that your customers will find educational, informative or entertaining. All businesses have wisdom to share; a builder can upload a DIY video, accountancy firms can include tax code information. This sort of marketing will leave your website on the positive side of the search engine optimization line.

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.

02/28/12
Difference Between SEO For Google And SEO For Bing

Google and Bing: The Background

For many years now, Google has been the most popular search engine for people around the world. Bing is one of the most used search engines after Google and is considered to be a rival especially with their partnership with Facebook. Though the popularity of Google is so much that the noun has become synonymous with the verb ‘search’, there is still hope left for Bing. Since the algorithm is different, the techniques used for search engine optimization also vary for Google and Bing.Google Vs Bing SEO

Demographics

The first thing we consider while differentiating between Google and Bing is demographics. Bing is not popular everywhere in the world but its user base is mainly from the USA. Also, Bing users are usually Microsoft customers that use Internet Explorer as their browser with the default search engine as Bing.

Traffic Sources

Both search engines get traffic to their home page in differing ways. Google is a household name and gets a lot of direct traffic that comes from simply typing the website name into the browser address bar. Bing on the other hand, gets as much as 21% of it’s traffic from MSN as opposed to Google traffic which comes from a lot more sources and websites compared to Bing and it doesn’t have dependency on any particular website for its traffic.

The Algorithms

Bing search results are influenced by whether the page is linked to MSN pages or not. If not, it may not show as high on Bing’s SERPs, even if it is more relevant to the search phrase. Google on the other hand has an incredibly complex and advanced algorithm and Google users expect to find impartial information on the site. They like the intelligent Google search engine and are not looking for reference to other sites while using it.

Monetization and Site Credibility

However, if you are looking for paid ads Users using Bing and Yahoo are more likely to click on advertisements and hence if you are looking to implement a paid search campaign, Bing may be a good choice for you. Google tends to collate information from a wider variety of sites like forums and blogs better than Bing, is more intelligent and identifies the relevancy a lot better than Bing which brings back matches that are primarily based on word matching.

These are just a few general observations about the differences between optimisation for Google and Bing and since the search algorithms are constantly being updated you need to spend many hours a week just to keep up with the industry or employ the services of online marketing specialists who are constantly monitoring the trends and changing world of search marketing.

About the author: Alyssa Clarke is a blogger who also happens to be a tech buff. She is always on a look out for latest tech stuff and is currently hunting for some cool Macbook air accessories and an Android PDF reader.