Sunday, 29 September 2013

The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm Update:

Not content with taking away the little keyword data we had left this week, Google has again surprised the online marketing industry with a brand new algorithm.
Google marked its fifteenth anniversary on Thursday with a revision its search engine algorithm called "Hummingbird.

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What is Hummingbird?

It’s the name of the new search algorithm that Google is using, one that Google says should return better results.

The Google Hummingbird algorithm is essentially the “back end” or “engine” of Google’s organic search results. It understands our queries better than ever before. It has an effect on the knowledge graph and advanced search queries (especially when we ask Google questions). And it’s already in place, so we really don’t have to worry to much about upcoming algorithm or ranking changes. They’ve already happened.
Even if Hummingbird does fundamentally change search in the long term, its introduction went by relatively un-noticed as little more than a slight improvement in search results. And, though Google notes that the update covers about 90% of search queries worldwide, it will feel incremental from a user perspective. Marketers, however, should be cautious because the update brings a greater implication from both an operational and technical standpoint. Google continues to push towards a world where “Content is King,” and understanding user search intent is the end goal.

How will this affect your website’s organic search engine ranking?

The update will mean an improved user experience and a loss for law firm websites that do not have relevant content for users. Now, up to 40% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Google’s Hummingbird update seeks to help users with voice-based search by providing them the most relevant results. If someone asks Google from their mobile phone, “Where can I find a criminal defense lawyer”, Google’s update should provide a local, relevant result.

Friday, 27 September 2013

The Importance of W3C Validation

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W3C validation is the process of checking a websites code follows the formatting standards put up by the World Wide Web Consortium otherwise known as W3C, the main international web monitoring standards organization for the Internet. If you are planning to put up a professional website, you should know all the reasons why W3C validation is important and why your website should be W3C validated. If you fail to validate the pages of your website based on W3C standards, your website will most likely suffer from errors or poor traffic owing to poor formatting and readability. With more and more people using the internet each year, W3C validation should always be a top priority among website owners and website designers alike.

W3C validation not only functions as a code debugging tool to check for coding errors, it also makes sure that websites are formatted using international and professional W3C standards. The validation process involves checking the HTML, XHTML, and CSS code used in web pages to make sure they are well-formatted and well-structured. A validated website reflects the technical quality of all pages of the website. Aside from reflecting a professional designed and structured website, there are also many other reasons why your website should undergo web page validation including.

So, In A Nutshell, Here Are Some Basic Tips:

Use W3C to make sure your site is viewable in major browsers, especially Firefox & Safari
Test your site on mobile browsers
Check for all errors in HTML coding and fix them when possible
Pay attention to your programming errors and be aware of them when programming your next site
If you pay for a designer, put something in the contract that the site must pass W3C validation.

The Verdict Regarding W3C Validation and SEO:

At the end of the day, W3C validation doesn’t have a major impact on whether a website will rank.
There are other aspects of SEO that should be put at the forefront of a website’s strategy—content creation, link building, etc.—before worrying about W3C validation.
If you’re interested in seeing how your website validates with W3C, visit the Markup Validator.

Do you have an opinion about W3C validation and SEO?

Friday, 6 September 2013

5 Panda Recovery Tips to Regain Your Website Traffic

Google Panda is an algorithm to change Google search rankings and was first released in 2011. The basic idea behind the change is to lower the ranking of low quality sites and mark the high quality sites in the top search results. It affects the ranking of an entire site rather than just the individual pages on a site.

There are several small business, e-commerce and big company websites that have faced Panda’s heat in the last few Panda Recovery Tips. However, it’s possible to recover a website smacked by Google’s Panda and regain the lost search engine rankings and traffic. But do you know the recovery tips?

If not, given below are five key tips that you can use to recover your website (in case it was hit) from Panda and regain organic traffic.
How To Recover From Panda, Panda Recovery

1. Quality Content: 
Quality content is a most important factor of a website or blog, not only for the panda but also to get quality traffic. Don't write simply one or two paragraphs with 50-100 words. This will mark your site in low quality list of Google search phenomenon.

In the post-Panda era of Google, top quality content is the backbone of your website. So, build it strong.

2. Site Speed:
Another great factor to recover from Google Panda is to speed up the site. Site speed is also most important to make visitors coming back to your site. There are many ways to speed up your site, some of them are:

Get rid of large images from your web pages
Try to put CSS in a single page, don't split up into many pages. Also the Javascript. Split the page into two, if your article is too long
3. Say Goodbye to Keyword Stuffing:

 The good old days are over! Keyword stuffing will not rank your website at the top in the new era of Google search. In fact, it will get your website caught by Google’s search algorithm and get penalized over and over again. To protect your website from future Panda attacks and recover from the last one, you should quit stuffing your web pages with keywords. And you should learn how to optimize a website in a way that your SEO falls into the white-hat category.

4. Go Social:

Today’s SEO is never complete without social signaling. If you want speedy recovery from Panda update and regain the lost traffic quickly, you should also pay serious attention to create as many social signals for your website content as possible. Start to use popular social networking websites like Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you promote your content really well so they get a good number of social shares on social media sites.

5. Design matters:

We should not judge the sites just by its cover, Google has stated openly that websites will be judged even by their looks. So, even when your website is non-commercial, ensure that it looks professional, well run and clean as a commercial site. Advertisements on the site seem just like the perfect way to make the site profitable however they are the double edge sword as well. In case you try to sell your products on that site, advertising will in turn cheapen commercial look of the site.


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Google Penalty Checker – See How You’re Affected

This new tool from Fruition will quantify and visualize the impact of various Google Algorithm updates against any profile in your Google Analytics account.

Free, requires registration:

Check Your Site in Just Two Minutes: A How-To Guide

How it works: First, you have to create an account and connect your Google Analytics with this tool, which takes about a minute. Next, you’re guided to a diagram (below) which is a visual representation of how Google updates could affect your site.
This site allows you to determine whether a Google penalty has been applied to your Website. It’s called Fruition.

They offer a free basic plan which allows you to check two websites. Take a look at the result from my blog below.

seo friends - Free Google Penalty Checker Tool

  • Fruition analyses your Google Analytics data and checks your site for each Google update since the end of 2011.
  • It then shows the probable impact on your blog, be it positive, negative or otherwise.
  • By clicking on the Details link in the Description column, you can also find out what each Google update was for.
  • So you can get an idea of the types of things you need to do on your site to remedy each Google penalty.
  • In all probability, I got hit pretty hard by a couple of the updates but at least I have a better idea of what I need to work on!