6 Big Myths About SEO

Your understanding of the way Google works is probably three or four years out of date–and that’s an eternity in Web time.

SEO Marketing

Myth 1: Metatag Descriptions Help Your Rankings

Not anymore; in fact, metatags are no longer even indexed by Google and Bing. But don’t ignore them altogether: Your metatags form the text that is displayed along with your link in the search results–and a more compelling description will compel more users to click on your listing instead of on others.

Here’s example of ours; the metatag is everything below the URL.

co-founder

Myth 2: The More Inbound Links, the Better

False. In all the recent updates to Google’s algorithm, the search giant has made it a core priority to have quality trump quantity. Gone are the days of having thousands of superlow-quality links driving up rankings; in fact, creating those links can look spammy and get your site penalized.

SEO MarketingFocus on obtaining links from sites that are relevant to your products, services, or industry–and on having those links be surrounded by relevant text. A blog review about your “blue widget” that links to your site is far more valuable than a rogue link for “blue widget” stuck in the footer or sidebar of some site–even a highly ranked one.

Myth 3: PageRank Still Matters

Google’s infamous PageRank (named after Google co-founder and now-CEO Larry Page,mind you) is a 1-to-10 ranking of the overall authority of every website; the bigger the number, the higher the rank. In years past, this seemingly all-powerful number dominated the attention of SEO experts.

But today, Google’s algorithm has evolved well beyond any single indicator. The PageRank still exists, and if all things are equal, a higher PageRank trumps a lower one–but factors such as relevance and context matter, too.

As with inbound links: If you run a dental practice in Los Angeles, it’s better to have a link from a site that reviews doctors and dentists in L.A., even if it has a PageRank of 4, than to have a paid link with no context in a huge site with a higher PageRank of 7.

Myth 4: Google Prefers Keyword-Rich Domains

In years past, Google seemed to put a disproportionate amount of emphasis on keywords in the domain name (what you may think of as the URL). For example, vinylhousesiding.comwould almost certainly be ranked first in a search for vinyl house siding.

Not anymore, says Google. If vinylhousesiding.com is in fact the more relevant, authoritative site on the topic, it will probably still rank first–but not because of its domain name alone.

Myth 5: Websites Must Be ‘Submitted’ to Search Engines

In 2001, yes, this was the case–indeed, this was the first service that my company, Wpromote, ever provided. But in 2012? Not at all. At this point, if there is any connection from any site to yours, your site will be quickly discovered by Google.

Note that being indexed is a far cry from achieving high rankings–but that initial step of submission is no longer needed or helpful.

Myth 6: Good SEO Is Basically About Trickery

False, false, false. Although there are still some SEO experts out there who go about their business trying to “trick Google,” this is absolutely not the way to provide good, lasting SEO.

Good SEO Marketing iis about creating a relevant, informative website, with unique content and great user experience, and encouraging the sharing and distribution of great content to drive organic publicity and links back to your site.

In the end, this is exactly what Google explicitly wants to reward with high rankings–so it is anything but “tricking” the search engines.

I’m planning to dive into other online marketing topics in the future, to find the biggest myths–so if you’ve got suggestions, please weigh in below.

8 game-changing SEO trends that will dominate 2018

It looks like 2018 will be an exciting year for SEO. Let’s explore what’s on the horizon for SEOs in the coming year.

seo trends 2018With over 200 factors in Google’s algorithm, SEO is a complex science. But it’s not how much you need to know that makes it really challenging — it’s the ever-changing nature of the rules of the game.

As search engines strive to improve the quality of search results, some ranking factors shift shapes, others fall into oblivion, and completely new ones arise out of nowhere. To help you stay ahead of the game in 2018, here’s a list of the most prominent trends that are gaining momentum, with tips on how you can prepare for each.

There are number of search industry trends that we’ve seen the very beginnings of this year and last, which will come into greater prominence in 2018.  Here are seven you should be keeping an eye on in order to stay ahead of the curve.

 

Howdy SEOers! Doesn’t time fly?

It feels like only yesterday we were making our bets on what was awaiting SEO in 2016. Then boom, and it’s almost 2017 — the time for planning, budgeting, and strategizing for your SEO success in 2017 has come. And if you need some inspiration or some help setting up the priorities, I’ve got a handful of useful tips to share!

Just back from one of the largest (and most trusted) SEO events in USA, the SMX East conference, I’ve carefully documented the most important takeaways for you. Some of them are quite logical and expected, but others are true game changers!

I’ve been all eyes and ears for you, and here’s what I brought back — the top 5 SEO trends for 2017 as seen by me and the SEO PowerSuite team:

Contents
1 Google’s AMP — just another fad or the future of mobile?
2 301 redirects can prevent your pages from passing topical relevance
3 HTTPS is eating up your referral data. Any ways to fix that?
4 Still building citations for your local business? It might be just the time to stop!
5 Optimizing for voice search — your chase for featured answers

Is your web site updated? Perhaps you’re undecided, however that’s okay! Our job is to verify enterprise web sites (ours and our purchasers’) keep on the leading edge so that they proceed to perform effectively and successfully 12 months after 12 months. Extra web sites exist immediately than ever earlier than, so if you happen to’re not maintaining with the most recent developments, you’re falling behind your competitors. Now could be the time to consider subsequent 12 months, so we’ve compiled a listing of predicted internet design developments for 2017!

#1. RESPONSIVE DESIGN

You most likely know that responsive internet design, the power for a web site to mechanically adapt to totally different display sizes on totally different units, has been the development for years now. With new know-how popping out yearly, that is solely anticipated to develop. In 2017, we should always count on to see age-responsive design, the place content material will adapt to particular customers primarily based on their age and proficiency. Navigation menus, font sizes, and coloration schemes will alter in keeping with the competency of the person.

#2. VIDEO

Movies have gotten more and more widespread for web sites, seemingly as a result of improve in web pace and wider accessibility for customers. Many individuals additionally favor to be taught by watching video as against studying lots of content material. In keeping with Hyperfine Media, 96% of B2B organizations are already utilizing video in some capability of their advertising and marketing campaigns, and 87% of on-line entrepreneurs use video content material.

#3. MESSAGE

Your web site residence web page ought to have a transparent, concise message that tells who you’re and what you do in a matter of seconds. This ought to be the very first thing a customer sees on your website. If guests can’t decide what you are able to do for them rapidly after they land in your web site, they’re more likely to go away and by no means return. Seize their consideration immediately with a significant message.

#4. STORYTELLING

Your web site ought to inform your distinctive story utilizing a mixture of textual content and visuals. Storytelling has been a well-liked internet design development for a number of years now, and it nonetheless holds nice worth. Present guests who you’re, the place you got here from, what you must provide, or the rest you need them to know by video, animation, or pictures, or lead them by your internet web page or web site by getting them to scroll down or click on someplace. To ensure that your story to be portrayed efficiently, it must be rigorously and assuredly thought out and carried out.

#5. ORIGINALITY

Neglect the inventory photographs! Get out the digicam and take your individual photographs, or rent an expert photographer to take photographs to your web site. Tacky inventory imagery can venture an unauthentic vibe, which you don’t need on what you are promoting web site. You need your web site that will help you construct belief together with your guests. Be authentic and relatable by integrating enjoyable illustrations, daring typography, animations, and authentic-looking pictures.

#6. INTERACTION

The microinteraction development was enormous in 2015. A microinteraction, in keeping with microinteractions.com, is a contained product second that revolves round a single process. Examples embody setting an alarm, selecting a password, Liking one thing on Fb, and so forth. In 2017, we as customers are anticipated to interact in 1000’s of micro-mini interactions. Micro-mini interactions are principally microinteractions damaged down into steps. If an instance of a microinteraction is organising a brand new password, a micro-mini interplay could be typing your password into your pc. One other could be retyping it to substantiate, and one other could be clicking the submit button to set it. Net designers and programmers should pay shut consideration to even the smallest particulars when constructing web sites with a view to make micro and micro-mini interactions as intuitive and easy as potential.

#7. CMS

Content material administration programs like WordPress have gotten extra superior, customizable, and widespread. They make it simple so as to add or edit content material and maintain your web site updated always.

With the fast evolution of the net world, it’s vital to remain updated on the most recent internet design developments. In the event you need assistance updating your web site or constructing a model new web site from scratch, contact Blue Frog Advertising and marketing. Based mostly in Des Moines, Iowa, we serve prospects throughout the U.S.

What is a featured snippet, and how can you position your content to rank for one? Columnist Stephan Spencer explains this search feature and provides tips for optimizing your pages for it.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t make the investment, but don’t overlook the opportunity to rank in position 0 with a featured snippet. For one thing, getting a featured snippet may be less about the link metrics and more about the actual content on your page. So if you are outgunned in terms of backlinks, then featured snippets could be just the thing for your business.

Surprisingly, it is not unheard of for URLs ranking on page 2 of the Google SERPs to get a “position 0” result with a featured snippet. Of course, most featured snippets are for URLs that are in the top 10 results. As you can imagine, if you are in position 5, getting that position 0 “answer box” result can be a big boost to that page’s visibility and organic traffic.

What’s a featured snippet?

At this writing, featured snippets appear in 9.1968 percent of search queries, according to RankRanger. They appear at the top of the search results page, above the normal search results (hence the reason we call these “position 0” rankings). The snippet contains the URL and page title, along with a “snippet” of the page’s content in an attempt to answer the searcher’s query.

The way it works is that Google will “programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.” These featured snippets are designed to draw the user’s attention, and many site owners find that their CTR (click-through rate) significantly increases for the web pages that have featured snippets in the SERPs.

google

Study shows nearly 30% of the Google results have featured snippets.

Stone Temple Consulting has published a new study on the Google search results around featured snippets. Featured snippets are when Google shows answers at the top of the results — sometimes referred to as position zero. They’re also often used for Google Voice search results in Google Assistant or Google Home.

The study was based on 1.4 million queries and shows that for 50 percent or more of those queries, Google has shown a featured snippet, rich answer, direct answer or something similar in the search results. The growth of featured snippets over the years in the Google search results is significant: About 30 percent of those 1.4 million queries showed featured snippets.

Is negative SEO real? Should you be worried? Is there anything you can do to stay safe? This post is an attempt to answer these questions.

The threat of negative SEO is remote but daunting. How easy is it to for a competitor to ruin your rankings, and how do you protect your site? But before we start, let’s make sure we’re clear on what negative SEO is, and what it definitely isn’t.

Negative SEO is a set of activities aimed at lowering a competitor’s rankings in search results. These activities are more often off-page (e.g., building unnatural links to the site or scraping and reposting its content); but in some cases, they may also involve hacking the site and modifying its content.

Negative SEO isn’t the most likely explanation for a sudden ranking drop. Before you decide someone may be deliberately hurting your rankings, factor out the more common reasons for ranking drops. You’ll find a comprehensive list here.

Knowing the latest SEO 2016 tactics are essential to keep your website competitive into the new year. It’s a known fact that SEO is undergoing rapid change. In the past four years, the strategies used to rank better have evolved drastically. You probably already know that the Google Penguin update will come into full effect by fall 2015 and this time it is going to be in real-time. With this update, plenty of changes are forecasted in the SEO world.

You’ll need to prepare yourself for avoiding the multitude of SEO moves that could get you in trouble. The following are 10 traps you should avoid in SEO 2016.

1. Link building

Back in February 2015, Google’s John Mueller said that webmasters should avoid link buildingbecause it’s unnatural. However, Google has recently clarified that buying, selling, or asking for links is alright as long as you don’t violate its Google Webmaster Guidelines. Therefore, it would be best to review your current link building approach to ensure that you’re not violating the rules. Otherwise, you might end up getting penalized by Google and your website could suffer long-term.

Takeaway: For SEO 2016, follow the advanced link building tactics or use search operators to find more link building opportunities.

2. Anchor texts

Since the first Penguin update in 2012, it’s become much riskier to use exact match anchor texts in search engine optimization. Abusing (whether unintentional or otherwise) anchor text can get you penalized for over-optimization in SEO 2016. That’s why you should opt to have just five to 10 links to a wide variety of anchor texts and a few major keywords.

A case study found on Moz revealed that you can have better rankings even if you use only a few exact match anchored links from web pages that are highly relevant. Also, search metrics ranking factor 2015 shows that using branded anchor texts has positive effects.

3. Targeting single or specific pages

A better link profile can boost your SEO 2016 efforts. It’s a much better approach than targeting single or specific pages to rank on Google. A good link profile is one of the most important SEO ranking factors, according to Neil Patel and other experts. I advise that you start building your link profile by performing a link evaluation through your Google Webmasters account.

4. Unfriendly mobile design

The mobile-friendliness of a website is now among Google’s top SEO 2016 ranking factors. This means that well-designed mobile-friendly websites perform better than those that aren’t optimized for mobile users. Certain factors, such as too small texts and close together links, may result in a website being rated non-mobile-friendly.

You need to optimize your page in a way that caters to mobile users. Due to the ever-increasing number of mobile users, creating a mobile-friendly design will also improve your site performance. You could even experience better conversion rates and user experience, which can again improve your SEO ranking further.

5. Low site user engagement

It’s a huge challenge to engage visitors on your website. This can pose a significant threat to your SEO 2016 success. Low user engagement is one of the leading contributors to a lower search engine ranking. However, you could improve user engagement by gaining insight into the preferences and behavior of your targeted audience.

Try performing A/B testing so that you can optimize your site for better user engagement. This basically involves using two similar, yet slightly different, designs to determine which results in the most clicks and conversions. Find out the choices that appeal most to your target audience, whether it’s with colors, fonts, offers, or word choice. You can then apply the successful result to your website to enhance your engagement and performance.

6. Poor user experience

Google takes into consideration the experience that users have when visiting your website. A bad user experience can damage your search engine ranking dramatically. The search engine will continue analyzing how users interact with your site for SEO 2016. Any sign of bad user experience will devalue you.
If users quickly click away or move back to the search result page to explore other sites, then it’s a red flag that your website doesn’t satisfy users’ queries. This reduces dwell time and increases pogosticking, which is one factor of low search engine rankings. Optimize your website for better user experience by ensuring it fulfills a need. Keep it visually appealing, easy to navigate, and consistently updated with high-quality content.

7. Lacking content creation

Fresh, original content is one of the major factors that will affect your SEO 2016 rankings. If you think updating your website with just one or two posts a month is enough, you better get ready to move lower in the rankings. It’s time to teach your users what you’re capable of. You need to focus on catering to users in your niche with a wide variety of fresh content that addresses their queries. Try to come up with at least one or two new posts every week to keep your site up-to-date. This can help you rank higher in Google based on its fresh factor.

Steady content creation can help you rank higher in Google based on your freshness factor. In addition to ranking better, fresh content is a splendid way to build better user engagement. Think about the possibilities of engaging your audience with content addressing a hot, trending topic. Updating your site with relevant content that interests your target audience could improve your traffic flow and conversions.

8. Lesser quality content

You already know that unique content is a great way to optimize your site for search engines. However, you should also focus on creating content that’s useful and valuable to visitors. Avoiding lesser quality content will enable you to get better user experience and higher search engine rankings. Think about how users would react if they see content that answers the questions they were asking.

Thin content is a part of the Google Panda update. The pages with content that has little or no added value are also affected. Some examples of thin content are: automatically generated content, doorway pages, copied content from other sources, and thin affiliate pages. If your website’s filled with content (unique) just for the search engines and not for users, it’s time you start churning up new, unique quality content.

9. Interstitial ads 

Google recently announced that it’ll soon start punishing mobile sites that use interstitial ads. You may come across a number of sites that give you the prompt to install the site’s app, which can be downright annoying. These ads block out the relevant content for which users visit the site until they can find the tiny “close” button. Visitors are often frustrated, thus user experience is negatively impacted.
From November 1, 2015 and on, these app-install interstitials will result in your site getting downranked on Google. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use these ads, but you must be prepared to automatically lose your “mobile-friendly” status. You may even end up losing everything you’ve worked so hard to earn. If you’re still implementing interstitial ads on your mobile site, make a few changes in time for this SEO 2016 update.

10. Misusing reconsideration requests

When you violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines, you get automatically or manually penalized. Once you have made the necessary changes to your site, Google allows you to send a reconsideration request. This process helps you in revoking any manual action taken against you. However, there are several sites that misuse these reconsideration requests and start violating the guidelines again after the penalty is revoked.

For instance, a webmaster might have received a manual action because of an unnatural link redirecting to another site. They can add the link to their no-follow list, submit a reconsideration request, and then delete the link from the list again after being successfully reconsidered. Using this kind of repeated violation tactic makes it more difficult to pass the reconsideration process again in the future. This is especially true if the violation was made with the intention to spam. Simply don’t misuse the opportunity.

Final Words on SEO 2016

With every algorithm update, Google is getting smarter at tackling all the tricks that some webmasters implement for better ranking. Finding loopholes and spamming sites may have helped people in manipulating their search engine rankings before. These unethical tactics will no longer work in their favor with the upcoming updates. In fact, they might end up punished for implementing such tricks and fall in the rankings.
If you’re at a risk of getting downranked from Google due to the aforementioned SEO 2016 traps, start making important changes so that you can avoid any future issues. Still have any doubts or questions? Feel free to ask me in the comment box below.

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