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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Weekend Wrap 5 – Google Leaks, Link Building Fears And Kicking Ass Online!

We kick off the Weekend Wrap with some secret insider information leaked from Google followed by how SEO hasn’t really changed much in 16 years (sort of), post Penguin webmaster fears of natural links, moments of truth on how shoppers buy, heavyweight blogs to bookmark and follow and a whole lot more from the week gone by.

Enjoy the posts…

This weeks’ photo – between putting the Weekend Wrap together we found a bit of time to get some dead trees taken down (between rain showers). Many thanks to our nephew Marcus! (that’s Marcus in the photo)

 

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Google Search Quality Raters Instructions Gain New “Page Quality” Guidelines

Rarer than hen’s teeth! A leaked internal Google instruction manual for their human page quality reviewers.  Wow!  You don’t often get this sort of inside information.

The Only SEO Strategy That Works (Cutting Through The Bullsh*t)

The Google algorithm created back in 1996 is still basically the same as the algorithm that functions today! (kind of!)  So have the SEO experts just complicated things?  An excellent post showing how SEO works, no tricks, no subterfuge, but a clear no-nonsense breakdown of how to do it – don’t miss this one.

The Hidden Cost Of Cheap SEO & Social Media Labor

Second post from Search Engine Land this week however this one is too good to leave out.  How often have you heard the saying “you get what you pay for?”  This is a great summary of what can happen if you are miserly with your SEO and social media budget.  What really happens if you say yes to one of the daily cheap SEO offers that avoid the spam folder in your email?

Fear Of Google Ironically Has People Considering Making Natural Links Unnatural

Google has caused ‘fear and loathing’ among webmasters with its messages about links.  This panic has led to many webmasters requesting to have links removed from sites that they would otherwise find valuable, fearing that Google will not like them and hurt their rankings. This post looks at another symptom of Post Penguin Panic Syndrome! (PPPS)
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Weekend Wrap 4 – SEO Myths, WordPress Guide, Link Building Resources

This week we’ve got a real mixed bag… some fantastic link building resources, going evergreen with your content, the myths around Google hating or loving your website, the most amazing WordPress guide for small businesses and how to deal with procrastination!

Enjoy the posts…

This weeks’ photo – finished off the week with a Friday Wrap and a crisp white wine – Marsanne/Viognier/Chardonnay from the Languedoc region.

 

SEO/Search Engine Optimisation

79 Link Building Resources for 2012

As most of you will know there have been a lot of changes in the link building world and this very informative post is right up to date and contains all the link building strategies you could ever get your hands on.  Read on to see… what works and what doesn’t in the ever changing world of links.

How to Maximize your Evergreen Content to Fuel Business Sales and Marketing

Evergreen content doesn’t rely on current trends but is an informational or reference material that never goes out of date.  In this very comprehensive post you can learn to create robust evergreen content to influence your online marketing campaign and drive consistent web traffic for a long time.

SEO Basics: When Your Domain & Homepage Are Not The Same

Are you forwarding visitors from your domain name to your homepage using 302 Temporary Redirects?  If so, you are throwing away valuable link authority!  This post takes you through the process of best practices when domains and homepages are not the same.

6 SEO Myths that Stop You from Ranking in Google (Hint: There’s No Magic Involved)

Contrary to what some people believe, Google doesn’t know or care what colour your eyes are!  The only thing they really care about is providing quality content for their users and if Google likes you, you will get traffic and rankings – simple as that!  Or is it…
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Weekend Wrap 2 – Penguin fears, meta tags, Twitter tips and more

There has been a lot going on this past week and with everyone waiting for the latest updates from Google we bring you a sneak preview from some of the most influential thought leaders in the industry, plus more about what Google wants from your link building efforts, how to create fantastic ‘explainer videos’ and why telling stories is now so important.

We welcome you to call in on a weekly basis and see the valuable goodies the week brings.

First up though – a picture taken during the week of the wild daffodils in our paddock that burst through every year – Spring is on it way!

 

Enjoy the posts below…

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Meta Description Magic: Think Less about SEO & More about Click-Throughs

Hilarious! Google overshoots meta-description length for their own results! Absolute wisdom on the frequently debated meta description tag and its importance to website results.

Google: Further Penguin Update “Jolts” To Come; Panda Is Smoother & Monthly

A lot of people are getting rather anxious as they anticipate  the impending Penguin Update!  Matt Cutts even went as far as to say that the next Penguin will have some jarring effects until Google gets it right…

Why Search, Social Media and Content are Vital For Your Company’s Success

Excellent overview showing how SEO, social media and content strategy are now critical to online success.  Jeff Bullas discusses the three core pillars of digital marketing with Technology Fast 550 expert Andy Jamieson and covers some of the reasons why an integrated strategy works… “Is your company stiff, static and slow or is it dynamic, social and real?”

The Unbearable Torture Of Linking

Is 2012 the time when the scales finally tipped the other way and Google officially became the enemy?  There is a lot of panic out there and this post assures if you provide Google with what they want –  quality website, quality content, engagement…

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Is Social Media The Next Big Bang?

I am currently engrossed in the most amazing book by Bill Bryson, some of you will probably have read it already – “A Short History of Nearly Everything” for which he won the prestigious Aventis Prize in 2004 for best general science book. It’s a remarkable book and I believe the world would be a better place if it was mandatory in every school library.

I know I would certainly have taken an interest in science if this book was around in my day and had been readily available to break down the mysteries of atoms and photons.

Bill Bryson is a gifted story-teller and he presents the study of science through this book in an articulate, friendly and light-hearted way and more importantly, in a language everyone can understand.

The most curious thing happened when I was reading this book that had a profound effect on me.  Now I’ve only read the first few chapters so far but no matter what page I turned I couldn’t stop thinking about the incredible similarities between The Big Bang Theory and the arrival of Social Media… it’s quite extraordinary.

Night lights of US West Coast

What about this analogy?

The Big Bang Theory and social media both appeared as uncontrollable events, a force majeure, something that took hold at a moment in time and has been spreading ever since.

“It took three minutes for 98 per cent of all the matter there is or ever will be to be produced and voila! The Universe was born.”

I’m not saying that the “coming” of social media technology was conceived and completed in three minutes, but we do know that this phenomena exploded onto mainstream consciousness in a similar fashion and expanded with a parallel intensity … and is still spreading.

Both events appeared with a “hiss and a roar” on a magnitude of universal proportions.

Social media keeps on expanding…

“In less than a minute the Universe is a million miles across and growing fast.”

In less than six years social media has made a major impact on our lives… and continues to mature and grow on a daily basis.

And what about this from the Book?

“In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were troubled by a persistent background noise, a steady stream of hiss that was relentless and unfocused. It came from every point in the sky, day and night, through every season”.

(Does this remind you of  a small flightless blue bird that has its lodgings in every corner of the world?)

It was eventually discovered that this “persistent background noise” was in fact the edge of the Universe – some 90 trillion miles away!
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Social Media Marketing Experts Or Amateurs?

Why should you care about social media?

The rapid rise in social media over the last few years has given business owners some pretty exciting tools to connect with their customers.  Social media presents huge opportunities for dialogue in a global market where discussion, sharing information and exchanging ideas contributes to building better and longer lasting relationships with customers.

Who can you trust?

It has also produced a whole new wave of ‘social media marketing experts’ (SMME) or ‘social media managers’ (SMM) willing to be the voice of your business and take control of your social media strategy.

Social media manager with gag

While some SMM’s will prove themselves adept in managing your business campaigns with social cohesion, it still remains intangible for them to become the ‘voice’ of your business.  There has been a lot of debate over this as business owners scream long and loud “You’re crazy if you think I have time to twitter all day”.

With changes in the Internet happening at the speed of light, finding a SMM today is an interesting proposition. There is no code to follow so you need to be sure when casting your eye around to fill this role that you ask the right questions to ensure you get the right answers.  It is essential you confirm they are fully up to date with the increasing speed of changes in the social media landscape…

Beware the amateurs and the damage they can do!

Take a look at how this ‘voice’ of the business went seriously wrong:

You may be willing to hand over the “voice” and reputation of your business to a SMM company who knows nothing about your business.  Within a matter of hours your business is  let loose in the hands of some rookie sitting somewhere in a room full of thirty or forty people in their early 20’s working on commission and claiming to be versed and trained in the art of social media – its bollocks!

Is it a good idea to outsource social media?

How they can even start to get a handle on how your business or any other business operates is beyond me when you are one of hundreds of companies being offered a monthly package with a ‘one size fits all plan.’   You don’t have to look far on any of the social media platforms to recognise some of the accounts they handle and what a dismal job they are doing.

It may seem like an easy option to hand over the tricky job of understanding and using social media to a SMM company.  However, at best you will be ignored, at worst you will effectively damage your online brand and reputation by looking inept!

So… back to square one then?

You can’t afford to ignore the mighty social media giants because you don’t understand how social media works or because you won’t invest the time to learn this stuff.
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The Social Media Benefits Of Telling Tall Tales!

What are some of your most cherished childhood memories?

…your most loved activities as a child you have grown up with and continued to love as an adult?

Most of the activities and pleasures we love as children change as we mature and become immersed in adulthood and all the trappings of maturity – career, travel, marriage and families of our own to start the cycle over again.

There does however seem to be one aspect of our childhood that never loses it’s appeal – and that is storytelling.

Tall tales bring social media benefits

 

Just think about it for a minute, at any given time you are either listening to a story being told, you are regaling one to a friend or audience, you are reading someone a story or reading one yourself.

Some smart educators and trainers use storytelling to teach new programmes, managers use them in resolving conflicts, addressing issues and facing challenges and many games are based around stories often in an outrageous form with hyperbole gaining the highest points!

Even your best kept secrets destined only for the most private ears – are stories!

Our existence is one big story made up of thousands of tales that weave together the fabric of our lives, chapters that inspire, sadden, excite, rejuvenate, sparkle, enthuse, bring a delightful end to a long day, evoke buried memories and bring joy and laughter into our lives.

Stories can also frighten, agitate, cause discomfort, scare to death, unnerve, disappoint and make you sad.

You will at some time have come across brilliant raconteurs who can recount their anecdotes and experiences with a talent that leaves you feeling the pain or pleasure of their tale, as if it were your own!

You are probably wondering how this relates to the title of this article: ‘The Social Media Benefits Of Telling Tall Tales’ but before I get to this point I want to indulge you just a little bit more.
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Social Networking Etiquette Hits Rock Bottom!

Picture this!

You are at a social gathering at a friend’s place – people are dressed for an occasion, large platters of delicate finger food are being passed around, a very nice groove is playing on the sound system and there are lots of interesting people to look at and meet.

Your hostess introduces you to a small group of people you have been itching to get to know all evening (just because they look interesting to you) and now, you have the opportunity to initiate conversation and find out more about them.

Social Media EtiquetteWhat would your conversation be about?

Well if it was me, I may begin by extending a compliment, or perhaps I would share something of interest that happened to me recently that I think might be entertaining, or I may mention how the hosts have a knack for throwing a really great party…

…or some other social banter.

And I would certainly ask them about themselves in an attempt to know more about these interesting people that caught my eye…

But I would never, never, never, thrust my business card at them, criticise them or make a comment that would offend or upset them, delve into their personal lives or ask a whole lot of boring questions that would certainly make them want to leave our conversation and move on somewhere else.

My intention here (remember I find these people interesting and want to get to know them) is to befriend them, have some light conversation and see if we have anything in common.

Isn’t that the way friendships start?

It may be news to you, but this is exactly the same way you want to approach anyone in your social networking circles.

After all, don’t you want to present yourself in your best possible light – friendly, warm, entertaining and gracious?

Attributes that will make others want to engage with you and together offer small insights as to the kind of people you are and see what each other has to offer? Remember, the objective here is to engage in conversation (not dominate) in the hope they will come back for more.

I am continually amazed by some of the conversations I see on the various social media platforms, particularly on Twitter.
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Lists on Twitter – Experienced Marketers Use This Small Trick To Get Big Results!

I am a lists person, I love making lists – some would say it was an obsession…

It’s  a common trait that a fellow Aries will instantly recognize.  So I can’t wait to share with you my new favourite list for 2012 – it’s Lists on Twitter – and it has become the crème de la crème of my social media tools.

There are so many reasons why I love this – it keeps all my favourite Twitter users in one place, gives me easy access, saves time, cuts out out all the noise on Twitter I don’t want and it gets me to where I want to be – instantly.

Using lists on Twitter to save time

Lists on Twitter is the most incredibly helpful tool in many ways and once you start using it – you will wonder how you ever got on without it.

As we all know Twitter is a microblogging service and it has become a social media phenomenon with more than 250 million users.

Twitter is changing the way we communicate!  It has rocketed into the mainstream and has vastly modernized the way customers view products and brands, so there is no need to reiterate here the power of this social media giant.

To get to know your way around Twitter and leverage it’s power for your business is not only smart, but to be quite honest – imperative! There is no doubt about it, Twitter is here to stay.  By implementing great Twitter techniques like Lists you can really start to recognize and measure Twitter’s impact and value.

Let’s talk about Twitter lists – you will see how easy this feature is to use.

Twitter gives you the capacity to create up to 20 lists and to follow as many lists as you want that others have created. As an example, you could put your friends in one list, your closest collaborators in another, your social media favourites in another, your gardening friends in one, your best bloggers in another and so on…

The Lists feature enables you to compile a list featuring all your favourite Twitter users. The really cool thing is once you have got your lists established it will provide you with a huge amount of information right at your fingertips for you to read and share.  Just by creating lists you have freed up the time you would have spent hunting around for valuable information from blogs and publications online.

It’s this easy:
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