Weekend Wrap 15 – Google Insider Secrets, Evil Link Building, Epic Content

Some real goodies this week from our search for the best around the Web!

See what Google are  really doing (!!) in this in-depth interview with an ex-member of the elite search quality team, the current state of SEO from those who know and where to from here… how to rid your e-commerce website of those errors that hinder your ranking, a humorous, refreshing post on evil link building methods, a look at the views of 35 powerhouse social media personalities on how to be influential on Facebook, a great post on how epic content or long-form posts in content marketing get big rewards and much, much more – plenty here for your week’s reading to keep you up to date.

A little bucolic scene this week – visiting family enjoying feeding the alpacas

Alpacas eating from buckets

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

What better way to get insights on what Google is really doing than to interview an ex-member of Matt Cutts’ search quality team. The first interview caused a bit of a storm with Google saying that this ex-Googler didn’t really work for them and disputed some of his claims. This follow-up is just as interesting and contradicts some of Google’s public inferences.

Top SEO Tips Straight From the Industry Experts [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some of the biggest names in SEO share on Hubspot their insights and opinions on what is the current state of search engine optimisation as well as giving advice on the best approaches to take. Insights from Rand Fishkin, Darmesh Shah, Stephanie Chang and Greg Shuey.

This post on Kissmetrics is a must-read for anyone working with an ecommerce website. These errors are almost the default setting for many ecommerce sites when they are first built and they will seriously hinder your chances of ranking well on Google.

And here is one just for fun. Peter Attia has put together a follow-up of 9 nasty ways to build links (and recommends you don’t do any of them). Good to see someone having a bit of a laugh when so much SEO commentary is dead serious.

Weekend Wrap 14 – Creative Link Building, Web Copy Mastery, Social Signals

This Weekend Wrap brings more on building links from some incredibly creative people down to the foolhardy who still think buying links is a good thing…

This ties in nicely with the SEOMoz post on how to drive more visitors and more links through social media, and the heights people will go to for the most sought after link – along with some good advice on SEO practices to keep you on the right side of Google.

Everyone wants to write great copy and this week we have an excellent post which will definitely show you how – fantastic examples on getting it right and getting it wrong – a must read…

A very interesting read that digs down into the psychology of online behaviour and how it relates to blog comments, plus the mother of all posts – a whopping 7,000 words  that you should definitely make time to read and learn from this masterpiece that demonstrates effective web copy.

Lots more excellent material to broaden your marketing portfolio and learn all that is new in the online space.

Another glorious day at Muriwai Beach today – shot taken looking north towards Kaipara Heads.
Muriwai Beach looking North

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Fantastic post chock full of creative ways to get links – “I sailed a boat, ran a half-marathon and climbed a mountain all on the same day for a link”. Innovative ideas from many of the best SEOs in the world.

 

Love this! It would be very funny except it is, unfortunately, quite true. “Why don’t we just buy some more links?” on the image is pretty good but the actual 7 phrases are worth a look.

 

SEOmoz piece that gets down to the nitty gritty of how social media affects SEO outcomes with analysis of social signals as well as insights on how social media can drive more visitors, more time on site and of course more links.

 

In the post Panda, post Penguin world it is ironic that SEOs have to look like they are not doing any SEO. This is a really insightful post on the important SEO elements that will keep you the right side of Google’s guidelines while still improving search performance.

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Weekend Wrap 13 – Content Secret Sauce, Link Building Golden Rules, Killer SEO Insights

This week we have plenty of great content marketing posts to share from some of the top authorities in this niche, more on link building and the golden rules post Penguin,  some fantastic insights from many of the big names in SEO that presented at  the recent SearchLove event in London, and your chance to learn from the Company that gets most everything right with some tips from the Apple copywriters, and the blurred lines of social media where white, grey and black hats show the good, the bad and the ugly.

We had so many beautiful sunsets over Muriwai Beach this week it was hard to decide on the best one!
West Coast New Zealand Sunset

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

This one gives a comprehensive evaluation of what makes great content. It slips into the SEO section instead of the content marketing one because it covers some of the technical needs to keep your content good for search engines (and it’s from Search Engine Land) Nice informative post!

 

Link building is certainly generating a lot of debate in the wake of the Penguin update. Google has sent a very clear message that it does not want to see any manipulation of its results. Most pieces you read take the moral high ground as if the writer has never tested other strategies in the past. This post actually tells it how it is. Everyone wants better results but what are the risks involved?

 

What sort of insights would you expect from analysis of a billion dollars worth of Adwords spend? This insightful post looks at who is spending the big bucks and what sort of return they are getting. It also looks at the role of SEO vs paid search. Good stuff!

 

Search industry conferences always deliver a massive amount of useful information. Thanks to Wordtracker for this blow by blow summary of the key learnings from the recent SearchLove event in London. Many of the really big names in SEO presented here so put aside a few minutes to absorb some of the insights.

Weekend Wrap 11 – Google Disavow Tool, Penguin Proof, Genius Marketing!

In the Weekend Wrap this week the big buzz in SEO is about Google’s new Link Disavow tool. We have a great step by step guide but questions remain about Google’s motives for offering this feature and whether you should risk using it. Other featured posts include 10 innovative ideas that have changed marketing forever from Hubspot, Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, takes a whiteboard session explaining why link building is becoming link earning, an epic post from Ana Hoffman that teaches you how to promote your blog posts like there is no tomorrow and much more.

This week’s photo – a beautiful Clivia Grandiflora in our garden.

Clivia flower

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Google Link Disavow Tool: The Complete Guide

The big news in SEO circles this week was the release of the Google Disavow tool. The debate rages about whether the tool is simply a “super snitch” technique so Google can identify and punish spammy sites or whether it really will be used to combat negative SEO. We will watch early data with interest.

Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz takes this Whiteboard Friday and explains why link building for SEO has shifted more toward link earning. As a thought leader in SEO there are not very many people as influential as Rand so it pays to listen to what he has to say.

5 Monthly Website Maintenance Tips for Small Businesses

This post is a great starting point for keeping your website healthy and fresh. I am always surprised (shocked) to see how many people invest a ton of time and money into their site then leave out of date, irrelevant content live on their site. Keep it updated, keep it interesting and keep it technically sound – good tips here.
Really like this post from Jeremy Morgan (no relation? Mike?). He talks about how to make sure your online strategies are not hurting your online business and adds some smart ideas around not being a jerk, not having a potty mouth, admitting that you don’t know everything and a few others that you don’t usually see in SEO advice posts.

Weekend Wrap 10 – The Google Dance, Content Mistakes, SEO Checklist

In the Weekend Wrap this week we look at one of the big recent Google updates which dictates what content should go where on your pages, a look at the return of the infamous “Google Dance” and what it means to your website, common mistakes people make with their content marketing, some of the most successful companies on Twitter and how they do it and a great post which shows common grammatical and spelling errors online (bet you can find some you make!) .

This week’s photo – had a weekend away at beautiful Ohope Beach and the image comes from the town of  Whakatane which is ten minutes away.  The Lady on the Rock – located at the mouth of  Whakatane’s harbour holds cultural significance as the statue represents Wairaka, the woman who inspired the name Whakatane.

The Lady On The Rock

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Google Page Layout Algorithm Update Should Be Easier To Recover From

Google makes it very clear that websites with quality text based content above the fold will pick up extra Google love. So if your designer wants to fill the top of the page with a slideshow you know what to say. What Google wants, Google gets…

Deployment SEO Strategy and Checklist

There are so many potential problem areas in SEO. All someone needs to do is change one piece of code and you find out only when impressions or visitor numbers begin to fall. (we have seen cases where developers have accidentally deleted all metadata from a site!) Here is a useful checklist for ongoing auditing of SEO processes.

From Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land this post looks at the return of the Google Dance. Because Google has been so active this year with Pandas, Penguins, EMDs, Page Layouts, Blog Networks and much more there has been a noticeable return of the sort of monthly search volatility that gained the nickname “the Google Dance”.

 

4 Unmatched Sources To Track Google Algorithm Updates

And while we are all doing the Google Dance it pays to know what tune we are dancing to and what the BPM of the song is. Here are some of the top sources of info on the many changes Google makes on a monthly basis. Check it out.

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Weekend Wrap 9 – Is SEO Dead? Penguin & Panda Updates, Landing Page Infographic

In the Weekend Wrap this week we see how some SEOs grapple with Google’s big recent updates, a humorous infographic that expands on the old cliche that SEO is dead (and what the agenda is for those that are saying this), treating your landing page like a recipe for smart results and some new techniques that show you how to get retweeted more often.

This week’s photo – our two woolly boys – Willie Bobo and Paco waiting to be sheared (shared).

Two male alpacas

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Google Penguin Refresh Completes Trilogy of Search Terror for SEOs

Well, what a couple of weeks it has been for Google! First they rolled out the new Exact Match Domain update then a few days later they announced “Oh yeah we ran a major Panda update at the same time…”, then just when everyone was scrambling they rolled out Penguin 3! Hold onto your hats everyone!

Is SEO Dead?  Yes, But Only to Some People…

Love this infographic! Is SEO dead? Has Google’s aggressive update schedule made SEO impossible? Some would have you believe this and this funny post identifies the key protagonists and their errors and agendas. Check it out!

Search quality highlights: 65 changes for August and September

Here is Google’s official version of what changes they have made in the last 2 months – 65 changes mentioned here. It is interesting to note some SEO commentators are finding some quite obvious omissions from this list. Now why would Google not give us the full story? What happened to transparency?

What’s New & Important With Google’s New Webmaster Guidelines

This quick overview of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines changes points out some very interesting additions. One that really stands out is that it is now considered a guidelines breach if you send someone a free product hoping to get a review and a link back to your site. Hang on, isn’t that how PR has worked forever in the offline world?
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Weekend Wrap 8 – Google Slams EMDs, CTA Wisdom, LinkedIn Infographic

In this Weekend Wrap we’ve got more Google changes guaranteed to upset some Webmasters, valued link building  information on how to recover from Panda and Penguin updates, how to run an SEO audit using Google Webmaster Tools and a cool infographic that shows why content marketing is the new branding… and lots more!

Enjoy the posts…

This week’s photo – the magnficient very showy Hippeastrum that graces us with it’s beauty year after year.

Midge's Hippeastrum

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Google’s EMD Algo Update – Early Data

Finally… Google addresses the common search engine hack of buying an Exact Match Domain and using it to rank a poor quality website. There will be some pretty angry SEOs and affiliates out there who have been relying on this dubious technique.

How to Make Your Ecommerce Site Link Worthy

How do you get links to an ecommerce site if your products aren’t very exciting? This comprehensive post outlines some mistakes sites are making and gives tips on how to attract those valued links.

Finally: An Easy-to-Understand Link Building Plan to Help You Recover from Penguin and Panda 

Was your website hit by Google’s Panda or Penguin updates? Neil Patel from Kissmetrics and QuickSprout outlines a few valuable strategies to help you recover your ranking and your website traffic..

Technical SEO Audit with Google Webmaster Tools

Very useful post on how to run an SEO site audit using Google Webmaster Tools. This step by step tutorial is worth tucking away for future reference. Comprehensive stuff!
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Weekend Wrap 6 – Google Fails Test, Technical SEO and Bob Marley

We kick off the Weekend Wrap with Google in the limelight again, the ongoing process of optimisation, a great post on solving SEO technical issues, what we can learn about marketing from Bob Marley and a lot more to stimulate and educate from the week that was!

Enjoy the posts…

This week’s photo – a Spring storm brought big swells at Muriwai Beach last week – only the gulls seem unfazed!

Spring storm at Muriwai Beach

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Would Google Fail Its Own Quality Test?

Following hot on the heels of last week’s leaked Google guidelines on page quality this post runs Google’s own site through the test. How do you think Google fared? (this is pretty funny)

The Importance of Ongoing Optimization – Tips Included

When can you say your site is optimised?  The truth is that you should never stop optimising your content – it’s an ongoing process as explained here.

Common Technical SEO Problems and How to Solve Them

I usually shy aware from ‘techy’ posts but this one is worth its weight in gold!   Excellent technical SEO tips, understanding accidental homepage duplication, 301 redirects, soft 404 errors and much more. File this one away for future reference – you never know when you might need it or know someone else who does!

How to create a lightning fast website

As you are probably aware, site speed is one of the many valuable ranking factors Google looks at.   Wordtracker gives a really useful tutorial on how to improve your site page load speed for that small but subtle lift in search results.
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