A Guide to Google’s Penguin 4.0

A Guide to Google’s Penguin 4.0

Google has officially announced the last release of Penguin on September 23rd, 2016, almost after 2 years of long wait. Penguin 4.0 is the last update of this type as from now onwards, it becomes Real Time and is now baked with the Google’s Core Algorithm. It is launched for all countries and languages at the same time.

Before we see impact of Penguin 4.0 on search Industry, let’s take a look back.

The first Penguin update was launched by Google in April 2012 to punish the sites that were spamming the search results to rank high by spammy link building practices. Google has shooted periodic updates of Penguin throughout the year. The spammy sites were not regaining their rank even they have removed the spammy links. They have to wait for the last penguin update so that their site can be freed from the penalty. Below is the list of all Penguin Updates:

 

UPDATEDATE
Penguin 1.024 April 2012
Penguin 1.126 May 2012
Penguin 1.25 October 2012
Penguin 2.022 May 2013
Penguin 2.14 October 2013
Penguin 3.017 October 2014
Penguin 4 best diet pills for women.023 September 2016

What’s New in Penguin 4.0?

Penguin is Now Real Time

Before this update, the sites affected by Penguin remained penalized even if they were improved until the next time algorithm updates, which usually takes several months. With the latest release, Penguin now becomes Real-time i.e. penguin has become the part of the core algorithm. As the Google crawls and index pages constantly, the pages will also be assessed by Penguin.  Now the pages will be caught/freed on the regular basis and you will see the positive or negative results faster than before.

Recovery of Improved Websites

If your site is penalized and your webmaster is doing a good job in improving and removing the spammy links, then sooner your website ranking will be improved, right after Google recrawls your website. Google also recommend for using disavow file to help in the recovery of your site from Penguin.

Granularity

Google also announces that the new update is more granular i.e. it’s now page specific. It will affect some of the pages with spammy links, while other pages of the website will rank. Such kind of micro penalties would be difficult to track.
Since Penguin is now merged with the core Algorithm, we will no longer receive an official announcement regarding it. It is a constant process so we will have to monitor our backlink profile on daily basis. The Rolling process has started and will take few days to completely roll out.

An Outright Review on Google’s Awesome “Possum”

An Outright Review on Google’s Awesome “Possum”

On September 1, 2016, a huge local algorithm update has happened. Possum is the name given by the local search community to this algorithm update. The name suits the best to the update as many business owners think that their Google My Business listings are gone but actually they are not. They only get filtered, i.e. they are playing Possum.

What was the Update?

Possum is said to be the biggest update in Local after pigeon 2014. According to the evidences, this major update has only affected in 3-pack and local google map results. It is believed that the main purpose of this update was to variegate the local search results and stop spam results from ranking.

The main thing that is updated, is the Google’s filter that applies to the local results. After this update, a lot of fluctuation has been reported in local search results.

Filtration Criteria of Google are now Set to Address and Affiliation

Previously, a local filter filtered out the profiles that have similar numbers and domain. Google filters duplicate content organically to give the best relevant result for users. Showing the thousands of results from the same company is not best for users.  After this update, we are seeing a lot of businesses filtered out due to the address of the business listingS same as the other in the same category.

This point can be described by taking various situations and cases:

1. Consider you are searching for “Personal Gym Trainer in Delhi” and you get 16 results in local finder. Assume there are 5 listings using the same address “44 Lajpat Nagar, Delhi” that are all personal gym trainer in Delhi. Currently, 1 will be visible and other 4 will get filtered out. To see the filtered results, you can zoom in on the map. Now, you will see more results, including the above 4 filtered results.

2. Let’s take another example in which a business owner has 2 business listings and both have different domains, phone numbers, and addresses. The ranking of both the listings flips back and forth daily, but never appear together. The reason behind this kind of results was that although the addresses were different, but technically both the businesses were in the same building. The addresses were different based on the side of the street you come from. This shows that google is more sophisticated than just looking at the address you put in Google my Business.

3. In another case, there is a cardiologist who owns 2 different practices. Both have different addresses, buildings, NAP, doctors, and sites. The only connection is that he owns both the listings. Both the listings will be shown in 3-pack for different keyword and will not be shown together for any keyword. This shows that google now really knows about who owns multiple companies.

You should understand that Google is not removing the listing or preventing them from ranking. This filtration of search results is NOT a penalty. It’s just that google is now picking the most relevant and best listing and filters the other that are too similar.

The Physical Location of the Searcher now Becomes More Important

There is an e-learning company that has noticed that many of their locations were not ranked in 3-pack. If a keyword was searched from their head office in London, they are showing the results completely different from the one which is in Mohali.  The business is in Mohali and farther you go, more the map will be zoomed out and more the ranking will be dropped.

A Big Hike in the Ranking of Businesses that Fall Outside the Physical City Limits has been Reported

The businesses that technically fall outside the city were having hard times to rank for any particular keyword that has the city name. After Possum, these type of businesses have  huge increase in their local rankings.

Conclusion

We can see a lot of fluctuation in local search results. There are various ranking trackers that are the proof of this biggest local update. It may possible that some of the things they changed get revert back.

How to Create Great Content to get Organic Search and Social Traffic?

How to Create Great Content to get Organic Search and Social Traffic?

Content Marketing is an approach that engages customers at all levels. A solid Content-Driven battle is the most essential thing that you need to amplify your marketing. But this will only and only work when it addresses what a large number of people are searching for and sharing on social media, that your competitors are not covering.

So, how will you identify these searches, social and potential competitive gaps?

To achieve these things, you need to follow the following steps:

1. Analyse SEO factors for your topic and discover the hidden winning content ideas.
2. Confirm the content ideas with social media engagement metrics
3. Identify trending questions related your topic

Analyse SEO Factors for Topic and Discover the Hidden Winning Content Ideas

It’s true that SEO can boost your content marketing strategy. First of all create an SEO strategy for your content. Choosing right keywords for your content is very important best weight loss supplement. Keyword selection and optimization should make a high quality content that your audience needs and wants.

For example, a page about  “Avoiding Thrombocytopenia” describe ways to prevent decrement in the number of platelets. But the search engines might not rank that page highly if people are searching instead for “Increase platelets tips”. Your content must be written in the correct language, a language that is known to your users.

There are a variety of tools like Moz, keyword  planner and semrush that help you to discover the specific ways that people may be searching for your content. If you are using Moz, you must target on high Volume, low Difficulty, high Opportunity and high Potential. You can also view some OF the related suggestions.

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In order to get the most value out of this research, it’s important to build content for search. Make sure to use the targeted keywords in the URL, title and headings (h1, h2, etc.) of your content where possible.

Confirmation through Social Media Engagement Metrics

Getting traffic through organic search is only the one part of equation as social media is becoming a more important source of referral traffic. Social Media engagements can do wonders for your Business. So before using the keywords, it’s important to know that whether your final keywords attract engagement and if yes, then in what format. Each Social Media need different formats to get engagements. Do research either manually or through online tools. By focussing on Social Media Engagement, you will complete the second part of the equation.

Identify Trending Questions Related to your Topic

Forums are also a good way to cover the keywords and topics related to your targeted keywords. The Forums will tell the original area of interests on which people find challenges and do discussions. Covering these types of topics will optimise the content according to the users. Also you can answer the related questions, put your perspective and obviously brand in front of a targeted audience.

How to Create Unique Content for Multi-Location Businesses

How to Create Unique Content for Multi-Location Businesses

It is painful for businesses with multiple locations to frame unique, appealing content for each individual location page. Let’s suppose the following conditions to understand more about the issue:

  • Assume you want to create a unique and attractive content that target relevant Local Keywords for your services.
  • You are offering the same services and products in all cities.
  • You don’t understand how to combine the above points.

 

What if we don’t make Unique Local Content for each individual location page?

Either Google will Penalize you for duplication or you will end up in annoying and repelling your Potential Customers. So, what can businesses like this should do to improve SEO of their multi-location pages?

In this situation, the worst thing to do will be creating a series of webpages with all the same things except the name of cities i.e. you have changed the name of cities in all webpages keeping the other things same.

Search Engines will likely see these as duplicate content and can flag as spam.

So, what else can be done?

Here are some of the Tactics to create different content for multi-location webpages:

1.  Telling customer’s stories from different locations:

Your story will be same no matter what the city is – But definitely the story of your Customers from different locations will be different, isn’t? Add various Customer experiences. Different testimonials will be counted as unique content for different web pages.

2. What’s different about the area you are serving?:

Each area has its own qualities, explore them. Find the challenges you are facing in serving the same services in different locations. Use these challenges to create Unique content for your website. This is a great Idea to get a different and genuine content.

3. Photos and Videos:

If you don’t have pictures of your job, you can have pictures of the local landmark. You can have photographs of inside office, neighborhood, building, employees, employees serving customers, awards, events, etc. This is a very big missed opportunity, since photos allowed you to add descriptive keywords in the image filename and ALT text.  You can also add video of the work you do or the testimonial video. This will also consider as different content.

4. Hire a professional content writer:

Content Writers can write more easily for multi-location web pages. Some of the contents would be same in all your web pages. So the content writer can put these things in different ways with little modification.

5. Blog Regularly!:

Blogging is a good way to keep the content Unique. If you are struggling with unique content, writing blog about different locations, different stories in each location, challenges and solutions in each story can add advantage to your website. In this way, you can also target specific keywords.

9 Questions to Answer before Choosing a Right Marketing Agency

9 Questions to Answer before Choosing a Right Marketing Agency

Hiring a Marketing Agency is a Big Deal. Some just claims to do big things while some go on with a partnership for decades. We can consider it as a very important decision for your business, yet difficult and perplex to choose.

Why a company hires a Marketing Agency?

Although there could be n number of reasons, but ultimately all reasons are arising from the one, i.e. LOW SALES. Well, you can have an in-house Marketing team too, but you might end up giving huge salaries to a team of few people (that too, having limited resources) which will be equal to outsourcing a Marketing Agency. If you hire an Agency, your main concern will become quality and control. By outsourcing Marketing, you can have access and control over trained professionals and advanced marketing technologies.

On what grounds you should hire a Marketing Agency?

So, finally we have reached to the root topic of our blog i.e. how to choose a perfect fit for your Company. Here is the comprehensive questionnaire checklist for agency selection which will help you to form a long lasting relationship with them :

What are your Aim and Objectives?

What are you looking for? Good sales and leads? New Audience? Simply Online Presence? Or Unsatisfied by the current agency? Take time to have a good internal research of your prospects and Customer reviews. It should be a time consuming task so that you can analyse and evaluate each and every aspect of your Mission.

How much Knowledge do you have of Marketing?

Before Hiring an Agency, explore about marketing. You should at least have a basic of it otherwise you won’t be able to know whether your agency is doing well or not. Get a brief knowledge about techniques and some of the commonly used tools.

Does Conducting an RFP would be a Bad Idea?

The RFP will allow you to find a suitable agency for your company, an agency that actually understands your objectives and meet all of your Conditions. Give a short brief about your company and your work. After that list your objectives, challenges and advantages you are trying to seek. This will help you to shortlist some of the Agencies.

What Process they Follow and what Tools they use?

The Agency needs to be able to demonstrate the ROI from their Marketing Campaigns. They should be able to actually explain how actually they work. They should be able to explain the whole marketing processes, the tools they use and its importance, the work divided into different teams and finally what innovative they will do to achieve your targets. In short, they should be able to give you confidence about them. While hiring an Agency, it’s very important to know that whether they are innovative or not because Marketing is a trendy arena and algorithm changes frequently. If you wouldn’t go with the trend, you will surely lag behind.

Do they actually understand your Business Requirements?

Actually, all marketing companies work beautifully, after all you are hiring professionals. But all marketing agencies may not understand your business needs. Choose the agency that can look through your lens, explore real opportunities and can make effective, profitable decisions.

Are they All Rounder or some “Specialist” kind of?

All marketers focus on different things and are specialized in different technologies, so it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want them to have. For example, some focussed on Digital Marketing but they haven’t tried and tested direct mail campaigns that much. That doesn’t mean that they are bad at it. It’s just they prefer something more over another. Some agencies have a narrower field, can be either SEO or SMO. So, it’s you who need to decide what your business wants.

What’s their Digital Presence?

A company’s website can say a lot about it. So, explore its website and all the Social Media platforms of them. Do you like their look and feel? Are they actively blogging and tweeting? If you don’t like the way they are representing themselves, it’s unlikely you are going to like how they will represent you.

Review their case studies, testimonials and talk to their clients

By knowing about their clients, you will get to know how long they have worked together. Talk to some of their current clients, you will get to know about the results and quality of the services they provide. Review some of their testimonials and case studies. This will show whether the agency is a good fit or not. Ask them about some of the examples of successes of their campaigns.

Finally, do you Actually liking them?

The most underrated and overlooked factor of successful client- agency relationship is respect and the ability to listen well. These are some of the qualities which are hard to test. So, before finalising the agency, lean back in your chair and ask yourself, whether the person sitting across the table will be there in the tough times of your company. Can they challenge your current state and push you to see the things differently, while respecting you and your present knowledge?

5 Most Logical Reasons to have a Responsive Website Design

5 Most Logical Reasons to have a Responsive Website Design

In the time of Web Designing and Development, the use of Mobile devices is increasing at an astronomical pace. Globally, traffic from mobile has doubled between 2012 and 2013.  Hubspot report that in 2014, mobile devices accounts for 25% of global Internet traffic and by 2015 mobile use of internet has overtaken the desktop Internet usage. By 2016, revenue from mobile content is predicted to reach $65 billion. According to Hubspot, if a user lands on your website through their mobile and get frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there is a 61% chance they will leave your website immediately and go to another website.

Unfortunately, many of our websites are not optimised for Mobile devices. The prohaloweenblem is due to the display size of the mobile devices as it requires a different approach to show content on this device. Also we can’t make different websites for the iPhone or for the Android. It would be impractical thing to do. So now the question is, should we just bear the consequences of sacrificing traffic from one device for the sake of other? Or do we have any other option? Yes, we do have!

Responsive Web Design is a procedure which suggests that design and development of a website should acknowledge to users behaviour and the environment according to the device, screen size and orientation. This approach is a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and a smart use of CSS media queries. The change of layout is based on the size and capabilities of the devices. For example, a phone user would see the content in a single column while in case of Tablet, it might be shown in 2 columns.  Responsive design was originally introduced in 2010 by Ethan Marcotte through “A List Apart” article and by far the most popular and globally used method for designing a mobile website.

There is also one more method for creating mobile websites – Mobile Templates. It is completely a different thing. This requires a another mobile-only website or sub domain other than your main domain and still not made according to different sizes of your device. This will create a issue regarding user experience and behaviour.

Below are the 5 undeclinable reasons that show the need of Responsive design for your website:

1. Mobile Usage is booming:

Smartphones and mobile devices are quickly becoming the desired method to access Internet i.e. our customers are increasingly going on mobile. So creating a mobile friendly website would be a good benefit. But what if you create a mobile friendly website, but your customer’s experience and interaction (in terms of visibility and navigation) with your website is still poor? They will for sure move to the competitors website. So, this is a very big reason for changing your website from standard to responsive.

2. Recommended by Google:

Google may penalize you if you don’t have a mobile friendly website. As per the Google, the websites that are mobile friendly too will rank better because they are providing a better user experience than the other websites. So, if you think search engine optimization(SEO) is important, then your site better is responsive.

3. Social Media Exploding usage on Mobile:

People are using social media mostly on their mobiles. There is a 0.01% chance that if a mobile user comes from any social media platform to your site and his experience with you is poor, will come later on your site from a desktop. Unfortunately, obviously he will move to your dear competitor’s website! Half of your social media marketing efforts are also wasting as you are not able to grab a mobile user.

4. Adapts to multiple devices:

This means no matter what the screen size is, if a user is viewing your website, it will display properly on their screen. The Responsive web design will improve the visibility of the content and navigation inside the website for the user hence proving good user experience.

5. Cost Effective:

Don’t you think that the cost of creating a responsive website will be low as compared to creating multiple websites for multiple devices? Creating multiple websites will not only be costly but also difficult to handle. Building responsive website designs will be a smart idea.The above logics shows that there is no harm in making websites responsive rather than standard, as ultimately it is increasing our traffic to the website. There is NO doubt left in the fact that the Responsive Web Design is very crucial for today’s web design point of view.

So why not, let’s Go Responsive!