What’s new in seo


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Pandas, Penguins, "Not Provided", Google+, Author Rank, The Knowledge Graph, and Mobile. I touched on these topics at the Chippewa Valley Code Camp 2012.

People have been gaming search engines for years, we all know it. One of these games was scraping and farming content. The game was great; it provided all players with money via Google Adsense or other Ad programs.

That’s good for everybody. Site owners get paid, Google gets paid, everybody’s happy. Right?


Users get screwed when this happens. Users search Google for answers and instead are met with computer-generated content created for the sole purpose of driving traffic to Google Ads.

So site owners are sitting their at their computers pumping out thin, useless content.

And Google starts realizing they need to do something, or users are going to start searching elsewhere. So they change the algorithm, and send in a Panda to fix the issue.

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  • What is Panda?People have been gaming search engines for years, we all know it. And one of the games people played was scraping and farming content. I mean the game was great, it provided all of the players with money via Google Adsense or other Ad programs.That’s good for everybody right? Site owners get paid, Google gets paid, everybody’s happy. Right? Wrong! Users get screwed when this happens. Users search Google for answers and instead are met with computer-generated content created for the sole purpose of driving traffic to Google Ads. Let’s show a video to describe what happened. So site owners are sitting their at their computers pumping out thin useless content.And Google starts realizing they need to do something or users will start searching elsewhere. So they change the algorithm and send in a Panda to fix the issue.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X21mJh6j9i4
  • What does this mean?Google Panda is the name for a series of changes Google made to the search results ranking algorithm beginning on February 23, 2011. These updates mainly had to do with on-site content and hit websites with thin content (content farms), duplicate content (scraper-sites), sites with high ad-to-content ratios, among other things.I say series of changes because Google had to revisit the Panda idea more than once. Initially there were many complaints from the good guys. So Google ended up making a few updates which are chronicled on the SEOmoz Google Algorithm Change History page:http://www.seomoz.org/google-algorithm-changeAlso, these changes are here to stay. This is part of a larger effort by Google to provide better search results.
  • What does this mean to you?Hard Work is ahead!It means the game has changed, a lot. If you had been producing great content, awesome! You were ahead of the game. Now this update was over a year ago so you should already be aware that something happened. But if you hadn’t don’t anything, AND you saw a big drop in traffic in February or April 2011, you had a lot of work to do. If you haven’t done it already, you need to revisit your content and either scrap it or fix it.And as in this picture, you can see the multiple you stand to gain from your hard work.
  • What is Penguin?The gaming of search engines didn’t stop with thin content. When gamers learned links were also a measurement of a website’s success (i.e. helped it rank in search engines), they did everything they could to get links. They created link-wheels, directories, link-farms (where hundreds or thousands of sites all linked to each other for the benefit of the farm), and other spammy links. They also stuffed keywords all over their web pages as another attempt to influence search engines.But this gaming wasn’t just a site owner’s problem. It was also an SEO problem. Some SEOs did this for their clients to get quick gains and grab low-hanging fruit (some say no one could blame them since site owners often specifically asked for these types of links, but that’s another topic entirely).Google couldn’t continue to let people influence search results just by adding more and more links or by keyword stuffing their content, could they? Of course not. So on April 24th, 2012, Google rolled out the “Penguin” update that would target a number of spam factors including keyword stuffing in both content and links.
  • What does this mean?With the Penguin update sites with lots of links from low-quality sites, lots of links with exact-match keyword anchor text, and keyword stuffing in both internal and external links immediately saw their rankings drop. While no one knows exactly what Google included in the rollout of the Penguin update, spammy links and exact match keyword anchor text seemed to be the main contributing factors.The picture here is an example of an unnatural link graph as provided in an SEOmoz blog post on May 4th, 2012 by Modesto Siotos.http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-to-survive-googles-unnatural-links-warnings-avoid-overoptimisationHis post is titled “How to Survive Google’s Unnatural Links Warnings & Avoid Over-optimisation.” While I’m using the image to demonstrate how you can identify spammy sites, it’s also good to note that are unscrupulous SEOs/people out there who have opted to use Negative SEO as a tactic. Modesto’s guide can help you if you feel you’ve been hit by Negative SEO.
  • What does this mean to you?Linking has changed. Content has changed. You can’t submit your site to directories or link-wheels and hope to see any return. You can’t buy links. You shouldn’t respond to emails from people who want to trade links. You need to write content that is for the user and NOT for the search engines.If your rankings tanked on April 24th, 2012, you have work to do and you might actually have to request that some of the links to your site be taken down! I won’t go into details on negative SEO and the like, but know that link removal has actually become a new market …sigh.Matt Cutts had this to say in response to a user question regarding what can be done to fix a site that has been hit algorithmically: "If you change your site then, after we've re-crawled and re-indexed the page, and some period after that when we re-process that in our algorithms, for the most part your site should be able to pop back up or increase in its rankings."
  • What is the issue with “Not Provided”?If you’ve been measuring traffic on your site using Google Analytics, you’ll likely have noticed that a number of the visits are for a new keyword named, “Not Provided”. What the heck is that? “Not Provided”?Well, “Not Provided”, encompasses those queries where Google has adjusted the SERPs for logged in users. Also, it affects clicks on organic results and not clicks on PPC ads in the SERPs.
  • What does this mean?Well you’re missing an important piece of the puzzle! More and more queries are being dumped into the “Not Provided” bucket and this is information you need. Google had said that for most businesses this number would not be more than 10% of their queries, but we can see in my example it’s 35%.
  • What does this mean to you?Well, first, Google doesn’t care if you’re angry or mad about missing these numbers. At least not yet!Many people have come up with interesting ways to made sense of their “Not Provided” results and you can use their tips for making sense of yours. You can also link your Google Analytics “account” to your Google Webmaster Tools “account” to make sense of most of the queries, but there are limits to the data you have access to. You can also use AdWords to get access to some of this data using the Matched Search Queries report. http://cyrusshepard.com/7-fantastic-seo-tips-for-googles-not-provided-keywords/Here are a couple more links for understanding these numbers. I’ll provide all of these with the slide deck:http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2143123/How-to-Understand-Your-Google-Not-Provided-Traffichttp://searchenginewatch.com/article/2158540/Recovering-Not-Provided-Keyword-Data
  • What is Google+?Does everyone know what this is?OK, so yes, Google+ is a Social Network.
  • What do we mean Social Network?Google let’s you create a profile, much like this one here. As you can see, we can provide details about ourselves such as, where we work, whether we are attending school, where we live, and so on…And you can share posts much like Twitter and Facebook. You can see here at the bottom, I’ve shared with my friends that I would be speaking here today on SEO.5 reasons I think Google had to make Google+: GO!1. They’ve been trying forever, Orkut, Buzz, Wave… they got serious with Google+2. They know social shares are an important signal for relevant content and being a search engine, they need this info.3. It provides an easy way to integrate all of their services that many people already use (Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, etc…)4. They can integrate it into new stuff like Android and the Chrome Browser5. It’s going to eventually provide more ways for creating revenue (Ads, promoted posts, etc…)
  • What does this mean to you?The first thing it means, is you need to create a Google+ profile. Most of you are likely already signed up through some other Google account (Gmail, Youtube, etc…). Some of you may already be familiar The next thing you need to do is link your content to your profile somehow. Which leads us into… AuthorRank! (next slide)
  • What is AuthorRank?On May 11, 2011, Google filed for a patent for an idea/invention named “Agent Rank”. In this patent, a person’s “Agent Rank”, which we’ll politely call AuthorRank or Authorship, can be used to influence search ratings. Quote from the document: “Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.”
  • So what does this mean? Well it means that if you have a reputation for providing great content, you’re going to rank higher than others who don’t. EVEN for content you’ve only recently produced! How would you like to be the first person to talk about a topic and instantly you’re on the first page of Google? Sounds great, right?
  • But really, what does this mean to you? Well it means you have some work to do. You need to start identifying yourself as an Author.Google makes it easy to do with Google+ and email verification.http://www.google.com/insidesearch/features/authorship/index.htmlAside from that, there are also many tutorials on the Web for setting up Authorship using special re=me properties on anchor tags linking from your website to your Google+ profile and back again. AJ Kohn has a great example for implementing rel=author:http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/how-to-implement-rel-authorOnce you’ve set up Authorship, you can start signing your posts and other content with links to your profile that contain a special rel=author property; this is signing your work.
  • OK, that’s a lot of stuff we’ve covered so far, does anyone need or want a break? :DNext up is the Knowledge Graph.What do these two things have in common? Well we know what they are. If someone is searching for “eiffel tower”, we know they are probably looking for the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, right? They’re also likely looking for more information such as when it was built or how tall it might be. Same for the lion. People searching for “lion” are likely interested in statistics such as how much it can weigh, how fast it can run, and so on…. This brings us to the next item on the list for What’s New in SEO. The Knowledge Graph.
  • What does that mean?OK sure, we can imagine how knowledge graph results will show up for big names like Leonardo da Vinci, or Mona Lisa, but how about the Eau Claire Plaza Hotel?See on the right here we have lots of knowledge graph information about the Plaza. We have a Google Maps location. We have some pictures that come from the Plaza Hotel & Suites Local Business Page which includes 9 Google Reviews. We even have prices, amenities, and contact information. Really, there is almost no reason to go to the Plaza Hotel Website now is there? We can get everything we need right here.So when this happened, many people had questions about the Knowledge Graph and whether it was designed to steal users away from actual websites. The answer is really Yes and No. Here’s a link to a report from SMX East where this topic was discussed at length.http://www.brafton.com/news/will-knowledge-graph-steal-seo-traffic-insights-from-smx-eastI’m not going to go into details here about the arguments either way and am instead just bringing this information to light.
  • What does the Knowledge Graph mean to you?Whether you think the graph is here to help or not, there are things you should be wary of now. One of the first things I would be worried about is the added prominence given to Google Local reviews. You need to be on top of your Local Business Page more than ever now. As a business, you need to know what is going to show up when people search for you on the web.Another thing to think about is how to use the microdata types which provide additional data to Google. When providing markup for the Knowledge Graph, Schema.org and Open Graph (http://ogp.me/) seem to be primary players with Open Graph being the “better” of the two (or at least the markup shown to most likely find its way into Knowledge Graph results so far). You’ll need to decide if you want to provide this markup or not and then if you do, then you need to implement the markup. OK, one reason why you want to use markup. Let’s say your Google review results aren’t that great or that you’ve been under attack by a disgruntled employee or customer who is abusing the review system. Now let’s say you let people review you on your website and you are a good business and people love you. Provide the right markup for your reviews and they might be included in the Knowledge Graph as relevant information. That’s an example for when I would do it.Rich Snippets: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=99170Reviews: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=146645#Aggregate_reviewsIndividual Reviews: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=146645#Individual_reviews
  • OK, final topic. What’s this picture about? That’s right - Mobile.How many here have a smart phone on them right now?How many are using Twitter or Facebook to talk to friends or check out what other people are doing?I don’t mind at all, because it only further cements my next point.Mobile is next, in fact, it’s probably “RIGHT NOW”.OK, before we move on I have a quick question for everyone here.What is the underlying message I’ve presented so far today?Google has been the big player here in regards to What’s New in SEO. First there’s Panda, then Penguin, “Not Provided”, Google+, and Author Rank. I’ve chosen 7 things to talk about today and Google has been the main player for 6 of them already. Where are the other search engines?I think this is finally where Microsoft (Bing) is trying to make its mark. Microsoft has been working hard on a mobile operating system and hopefully, for their sake, it’s because of our next topic.
  • What does that mean?What’s important about Mobile when combined with SEO and Search Marketing?Luke Summerfield from Savvy Panda recently presented on Mobile Search at MozCation in Milwaukee, WI. Early in his presentation he asked if Mobile was Growing to which everyone in the audience nodded emphatically in agreement. Luke shared how, in 2011, 1 in 7 searches came from a Mobile Device. He also provided some statistics on how mobile users prefer a Mobile Site. I think he said something like 67% of mobile users are more likely to buy or use a service if the site they are visiting is a Mobile Friendly website. I went out to his resource “howtogomo.com” and found that the number is now 75% according to Google. 75% more likely!Not only that, but mobile users are 61% more likely to move on to another site if they don’t immediately see what they are looking for. Got a site like this? You’re not going to hold anyone’s attention with that. Mobile users are gone!http://savvypanda.com/SEOmoz-Mozcation-Mobile-SEO
  • If you have a site like this though, you’re going to hold their attention and more!
  • What does that mean to you?If you don’t already have a Mobile Strategy, you’re behind. It’s not really a question of whether you need a Mobile Site or not, it’s a matter of, “Do you want to lose 50% of local search or not?”What are things you can do? You can develop a Mobile Site. You can have a Responsive website. But there’s more. Remember the Knowledge Graph information from earlier? Let people review your products and services and user the right Markup to identify those reviews on your website. If you can get Social Mention of the products you sell and services you provide into your reviews, you can master the Zooey Deschanel test: http://marketingland.com/google-search-app-steal-from-siri-25470
  • http://www.lighthousewebdesigns.com/http://www.uspto.gov/http://www.flickr.com/photos/adactio/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X21mJh6j9i4http://www.seomoz.org/google-algorithm-changehttp://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-to-survive-googles-unnatural-links-warnings-avoid-overoptimisationhttp://cyrusshepard.com/7-fantastic-seo-tips-for-googles-not-provided-keywords/http://www.google.com/insidesearch/features/authorship/index.htmlhttp://www.brafton.com/news/will-knowledge-graph-steal-seo-traffic-insights-from-smx-easthttp://ogp.me
  • What’s new in seo

    1. 1. What’s New in SEO? George Andrews Website: www.effortful.com Twitter: @_george_andrewshttp://www.effortful.com/whats-new-in-seo
    2. 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X21mJh6j9i4
    3. 3. http://www.seomoz.org/google-algorithm-change
    4. 4. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-to-survive-googles-unnatural-links-warnings-avoid-overoptimisation
    5. 5. I really hope theydon’t start throwing those Pandas andPenguins back at us!
    6. 6. Not Provided
    7. 7. Google+
    8. 8. The Knowledge Graph
    9. 9. Mobile
    10. 10. Got a site like this?You’re not going tohold anyone’sattention with that.Mobile users are gone!
    11. 11. But if you have a sitelike this, you’re goingto hold their attentionand sell more!
    12. 12. Questions?
    13. 13. Credits• http://www.lighthousewebdesigns.com/• http://www.uspto.gov/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/adactio/• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X21mJh6j9i4• http://www.seomoz.org/google-algorithm- change
    14. 14. Credits (continued)• http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-to-survive- googles-unnatural-links-warnings-avoid- overoptimisation• http://cyrusshepard.com/7-fantastic-seo-tips- for-googles-not-provided-keywords/• http://www.google.com/insidesearch/feature s/authorship/index.html
    15. 15. Credits (continued)• http://www.brafton.com/news/will- knowledge-graph-steal-seo-traffic-insights- from-smx-east• http://ogp.me