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Tag Archives: SEO

RIP GOOGLE’S EXTERNAL TOOLBAR PAGERANK OPTION

google-pagerank

Google has reportedly decided to do away with the PageRank scores option in the Google Toolbar. That means, the next time you’re browsing the internet using a tool or your favorite browser that previously allowed you to track PageRank data from Google, you won’t be able to do that anymore. This is because Google has finally cut the link that allowed a browser to fetch data from Google.

About its decision to do away with the PageRank option, Google said that the company still uses the feature internally within the ranking algorithm, but the external support is going away completely.

Post this decision, there are several media reports claiming that web users are complaining about the unavailability of PageRank score, which previously appeared as an option on their browser’s toolbar.

pagerank-score

Talking about PageRank score, it had been quite a while since Google updated the PageRank scores. This is because Google had been trying to downgrade the importance of PageRank score which also added up to your Google search ranking.

A month ago, Google had officially confirmed reports that it’s going to scrap the first ten ranking scores from Google Toolbar feed and that in the weeks to follow the option would go dark. Last Friday, on April 15, 2016 PageRank was scrapped completely.

GOOGLE’S NOW SERVING A BIG RED WARNING TO PROHIBIT SEARCHERS FROM VISITING DECEPTIVE SITES

spam

Last November, Google took up Safe Browsing initiative to protect its users from deceptive online tactics. These tactics trick a user into doing something unintended, such as downloading unwanted software or exposing private and confidential information. Google recently announced that it’ll be prohibiting searchers from accessing sites that contain deceptive content. Google will warn its click through users by showing a page containing a big red warning signal that will warn the users about the presence of a “deceptive site ahead.”

Here’s a snap of the warning signal that Google will be serving its click through users.

deceptive-site-ahead-warning

About this latest development, Google was quoted as saying,

We’re expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads.”

Google’s definition of a deceptive ad is as below:

  • Fools a user to act, or gives the impression of a trusted online entity- just like your own gadget or browser or your official website
  • tricks a user into carrying out the unintended tasks by creating an impression of a trusted domain – just like sharing your password or calling tech support.

Shown below are some instances of deceptive online tactics.

install-flv

download-play

media-player-update

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com

GOOGLE FINALLY DECLARES IT’S TOP 3 SEARCH RANKING FACTORS

google-rankings

So, Google has finally revealed its top 3 ranking factors. Wanna know what are they? Read on…….

A week ago, Google’s John Mueller revealed why search ranking shortcuts may not help businesses in the long run. In that Google Hangout video, John Mueller was at his diplomatic best, skipping a lot of queries related to ranking high in Google searches. In that very same Google Hangout session, he went on to reveal that businesses, on a temporary basis, can do a few things to lift their search rankings but it may not last longer. Here is the entire video.

Post that session and after much speculation in media circles, Google finally revealed the top three ranking signals that can help businesses surge ahead in Google’s search ranking algorithm! Any guesses???

Well, as per Google’s Andrey Lipattsev, links, content and RankBrain feature in the list of Google’s Top Search Ranking Factors, but not necessarily in the same order.

It’s not surprising to see Google’s RankBrain Algorithm making it to that list, since Google’s webmaster, in his previous outings made it known of it’s existence as one of the ranking factors.

Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist, Google made it known to us in his recent Question hour video session.

“I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.”

While contributing this information about the top three ranking factors, he didn’t follow any specific order as such, but just added on to the list.

1 & 2: Links & Content
3: RankBrain

As of now, we’ve got Links, Content and RankBrain as Google’s top three ranking factors; now officially confirmed by Google.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE TO COMPLETELY REMOVE TOOLBAR PAGERANK FEATURE FROM THE BROWSER

google-pagerank

Google reportedly confirmed to some media channels that it has decided to remove the Toolbar PageRank feature from its browser. This, however, means that in the near future you may not be able to see Google’s PageRank feature in the browser you use for surfing the internet.

Talking about this latest development, Google clarified that the PageRank data is still being used by the company for some internal purposes within the ranking algorithm, but it’s withdrawing the external support from the browser’s Toolbar.

pagerank-meter

Image Source: http://searchengineland.com/what-is-google-pagerank-a-guide-for-searchers-webmasters-11068

Over the years, Google had stopped updating the external PageRank score. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they are now scrapping the feature completely from the Toolbar and the browser in next couple of weeks.

Having said that, if you want more information about Google’s PageRank feature, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SECOND-TIER LINKS

links-social-communities

Second-Tier Link Building: The Basic Premise

As you must be aware, building links to your website constitutes your first tier links. Your second tier links are those formed by building links to pages that link to your website.

To build second tier links, all you need to do is link to something new that returns your favor by linking to your site. You can achieve that by leveraging your social media presence to advertise content that links to your official website. Similar results can achieved by asking other publishers to link their article to one of your creations.

This process will do a world of good not only to for your search rankings, but also to the overall traffic to your site. National businesses often make use of second tier links to achieve superior search rankings. They usually “nofollow” those links after achieving desired results.

Given below is how you initiate the second tier link building process to your website.

second-tier-link

Let’s take a look at the number of referring domains to the page.

second-tier-link-ref-domains

As you can see there are 20 domains linking to that particular article. This means that there are 20 potential opportunities for someone to locate the page, plus the possible click-throughs to the site. Now that is worth a try, ain’t it?

Another such instance is a site called slideshare.net, which displays an author’s profile page linking to his website, as shown below.

second-tier-link-slideshare

Now see the number of referring domains pointing to that author’s Slideshare presence.

second-tier-link-ref-domains-slideshare

The number of referring domains, as you can see, are 90. This simply means that the author can look forward to 90 potential opportunities for someone to locate their main website. This is how you attract quality traffic to your site. It’s worth a look, right?

But like everything else, there are some dos and don’ts that you need to follow.

Dos

  • Increase your site engagement levels by socializing with the domain that links you in the first place.
  • Invest some of your precious time to build links to those domains much in the way you do for your main website. If someone had referred to your content previously through your main website, write more relevant content and let them know about it.
  • Follow the same quality guidelines to develop some valuable second-tier links to your site.
  • Realize that the site that links to you must be commanding more online authority than your official web presence. In case, you get a chance to write for a major publication, you’ll get more linking opportunities to generate links to your site through your brand new blog article.

Don’ts

  • Be careful not to link your site with domains that are low on authority
  • Don’t go overboard when asking for links. It gets a bit cheesy when you include more than one URL in your email communication and stand a chance to be labeled, by the webmaster, as the one using emailers for promoting their website. That doesn’t look good and doesn’t serve your purpose either.
  • Stop building links to a domain which is low on authority and has previous links pointing to your site.
  • Leverage automated robots to build second-tier links.

Your Final Takeaways

Build second-tier links not just for better search rankings; do it for attracting some quality traffic to your site. A multiple link strategy can be used for spamming purposes, but when used legitimately can work wonders for your content through the site that links back to you.

Have questions? Write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE INTRODUCES CLICK-TO-CALL FEATURE IN MOBILE’S ORGANIC SERPS

click-to-call

After successfully testing the Click-to-Call feature for ads and local business listings, Google’s now testing it out for its organic mobile SERPs.

Over the years, the Click-to-Call feature has helped Google in expanding its advertising base and it would now be hoping to replicate the success with mobile’s organic search rankings as well. This new development at Google’s end was first noticed by @ryschill. This is the picture he shared on his Twitter profile.


Google, through its previous endeavors, allowed searchers to call businesses directly through their Business Ad Listing and from their local listing NAP citations. But this is the first time that Google is trying to leverage the organic platform.

Seems like Google’s in an experimental mode these days, which it needs to maintain its position as the number one ranking search engine.

Have you seen it yet? Please report it to us by writing at sales@ebrandz.com.

What B2B Businesses Need to Know about Having a Mobile-friendly Platform

mobile-marketing

Post April 21, 2015 the world of internet marketing took a drastic turn. With mobile searches outnumbering desktop crawls, the mobile friendliness of a website was seen as a major ranking factor by Google’s algorithm updates. Last year, Google acknowledged the fact that the desktop crawls are no where near the ever increasing mobile searches, as nearly 75% of US population consisted of smartphone users.

In an ever so increasing mobile world, businesses can simply not ignore the use of mobile technology when chalking out their marketing strategies. While B2C companies are quick to explore the medium to reach out to their end consumers, B2B companies are still trying to figure out the effectiveness of mobile based marketing. To make it easier, we’ve listed out three reasons why B2B marketers need to take up mobile marketing as soon as possible.

1. To positively impact the authority of your website

Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update may not have had a negative impact on businesses, as some ill-informed SMEs had predicted. But in hindsight, you might just spoil your smartphone visitors’ experience by not creating a mobile-friendly website for yourself.

And going by CWS’s last year’s report, businesses that don’t provide users with great mobile experience can expect the unexpected, such as

  • Poor Organic Ranking
  • Lesser mobile traffic to the site
  • High Bounce Rate

There are many B2B businesses who are not even aware of the fact that by not upgrading their site to provide optimum mobile experience, they are not only hindering their site’s online visibility, but also losing out on active mobile traffic.

2. Leveraged for customer engagement

Besides enhancing your brand’s visibility and the traffic to your website, having a mobile-friendly site helps in driving more on-site engagement, leading to more conversion and customer loyalty. And if you need more stimulus, then this Google report on online behaviour of the smartphone user may help you.

  • Over 70% of smartphone users are more likely to revisit a mobile friendly website in the future.
  • Over 45% smart searchers get annoyed and frustrated when they end up on a website that doesn’t fit the requirements of the small screen size.
  • More than half of your smartphone visitors wouldn’t engage with a company that doesn’t support small screen size requirements.

Well, the stakes are high and B2B businesses can ignore them at their own peril by annoying prospective click through users, who may have entered the sales funnel.

3. Increasing use of mobile devices for making B2B decisions

Besides witnessing a lot of B2C online purchases, an increasing number of the smartphone users are using the medium for B2B business as well. In fact, a lot of B2B decision makers are increasingly making use of the mobile domain throughout the buying cycle. 

A Google survey on the changing face of B2B decision makers reveals their latest research and purchase habits. It states

  • Smartphone researchers contribute to over 40% of online B2B buyers.
  • Smartphone search activity is witnessing a 3X growth in Google search queries.
  • Over 45% of B2B researchers use mobile devices, even during official working hours. 

In fact, there’s an increase in presence of mobile B2B marketers who are trying to provide a solution to their customers, on the go and making some critical business decisions during and outside official hours. 

Some mobile-friendly website tips for you to get started

As B2B marketers, if you’re considering upgrading your website to fit the small size requirements then below are two very simple steps to get you started

  1. Analyze and enhance your site’s Mobile PageSpeed
  2. Find out and execute an appropriate mobile design for your site

Besides improving your website’s PageSpeed Score, Google recommends specific measures to improve your site’s mobile friendly experience. For better results, you can even hire a professional third party service, as HELP is just a click away! 

How to Effectively Use Location-based Mobile Marketing

business-location

It’s hardly a surprise that in this day and age a lot of business deals are happening on the go. That is why almost80% marketers are targeting the ever-so increasing mobile users with their location-based advertising campaigns. Many marketers are looking at location-based mobile targeting as an alternative tactic to segment their intended audiences. 

With so many mobile marketers using the small screen effectively, it won’t be long before this new trend catches up with other businesses as well. If you’re finding this new form of marketing a bit cumbersome, then here are some tips on how you can initiate the process.

1. Be innovative with your approach

One of the major drawbacks of location-based mobile marketing is that marketers are using the same user based information to go with all their location based mobile marketing beliefs. 

For instance, a popular misconception that’s doing rounds among new mobile marketers is that you need to serve a mobile coupon to consumers when a) they’re using the right app at the right time near your store, b) they’ll acknowledge your ad when they’re feeling good about it and c) when the ad is broadcast just right. 

Well, smart marketers are aware of the fact that most smartphone users operate from home or from their workplace via Wi-Fi or through their mobile internet. They also know that the right time and right place to target their customers with discount offers and relevant messaging can be any time or any place, including their residences and their workplaces. 

2. Don’t go overboard with your messaging

Do everything within limits. This applies to almost everything, including location-based mobile marketing. I know, as a marketer you need to be aggressive to overhaul your marketing goals. But that doesn’t mean that you fire your messaging on a massive scale to reach your intended customers. In fact, the opposite is true for geo-targeting and demographic targeting, which in a way cuts down the audience size considerably. 

But if you’re hard pressed on doing it on a massive scale, then not only are you eat into a significant part of your daily spend, but you’re also going to be in dilemma when it comes to getting the right response. 

3. Use Your Platform well

You need to set some realistic marketing goals based on the platform that you’re leveraging for your campaigns. For instance, when leveraging an Instagram campaign, you can split your target audience on the basis of their age and gender, whereas Facebook campaigns allow you to be more creative while optimizing user information.

Since we are well aware of the fact that two platforms may not behave similarly, all you need to do is test another layer of targeting or segment your data further. But don’t limit yourself thinking that the data may not work out that well with a particular platform.

4. Double check your messaging 

Marketers knew for a fact, well before the emergence of the digital platform, that locations respond unpredictably to messaging. This means one geolocation may produce completely different results as compared to the other. Hence, you need to double check your messaging before testing it out for a new location. Also, consider testing it through the ad network and not just with a geolocation.

5. Be accommodating with results

The fact that location based targeting is effective, doesn’t mean that you will not get impressions from outside your targeting zone. The sooner you come to accept this fact, the better it will be for you and your future marketing endeavors.

6. Discard location targeting for volume-based campaigns

Sometimes you need to think differently to reach specific targets and that requires different marketing approach. For instance if you’re looking to boost the App Store ranking and position of your app then consider removing the location based targeting as that will help you reach your targets more efficiently while decreasing the cost and increasing the volume of your campaign.

At the end of the day, what you do is not that important as compared to how you go about doing it? If you need more help on the subject then just write to us at sales@ebrandz.com and our reps will be in touch with you within 24 business hours.

HOW “MOVED” BUSINESSES CAN CLOSE THEIR OLD BUSINESS LISTING MARKED AS “PERMANENTLY CLOSED”

In last couple of years, there have been some reports doing rounds in media circles, that there are quite a few businesses who have issues with their Google Search listings being shown in searches as “Permanently Closed”.

This indicates that a business has either closed down or moved their business location to a new place.  In case, relocating businesses fail to update their NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) citations in the Google My Business search listings then the relevant Google searches serve a big, red “Permanently Closed” notice to the searchers; instead of showing their new business address.

The existing issue concerns many such businesses and Google acknowledges this fact. It is, in fact, trying to fix the issue through Google My Business support.

Hardly reported in media circles, the solution to the existing issue that concerns most businesses lies in the Google Map based feature called “Moved”.

Why does the problem arise in the first place?

The problem arises when a business relocates to a new place without updating the new business address to its Google My Business Page. Google on its part, instructs the moving business to update its new business location as that will enable it to be in touch with its business contacts, photos, reviews, followers and other business related information.

More often than not, businesses are hardly aware or forget to update their business listings on Google’s My Business dashboard. As a result, many such relocated businesses forget to claim their business listings and often end up being listed as Closed, since they don’t following the Map Maker’s rule that informs businesses to close listings before relocating.

How you can fix it

As a business owner, if you’re thinking of relocating or have relocated and are facing the same problem, then just follow these simple steps to successfully update Google with your new search listings. First and foremost, contact Google My Business Team through their Twitter handle rather than contacting them over the phone. After connecting with them via Twitter, ask them to mark your old business listing status as “Moved” which is not the same as “Permanently Closed” business status.

There are many such businesses that have little or no information about this existing business status, which doesn’t have any reference either in Google My Business support center. It is available only on Google Maps and not on the Map Maker help page.

google-permanently-closed-listing

 

Changes that occur while Google updates your listing as Moved

So, now, you know how to mark your business listing as “Moved”. After a couple of days, you’ll notice the below changes once Google updates your business listing.

  1. This will erase your Google Search and Google Maps listings completely, making it impossible to find it in the searches.
  2. The removal of your listing will also terminate the “Permanently Closed” message, making it completely disappear from Google searches.
  3. Google uses a 302 HTTP status code to set up Google Maps URL to display your old business location. Your online visitor will be redirected to the new business location when he stumbles upon the Maps URL related to the old business location.
  4. As a part of the moving process, your old business reviews from the closed business listings are redirected to your new business listings. Just double check the entire process if that doesn’t happen.
  5. It is impossible to track your previous Map Maker business listings without making use of the direct URL that uses your business related CID number. Hence, your previous business listing will sport a “Permanently Closed” status instead of displaying the “Moved” status on the Map Maker.

This is where Google is trying to fix the issue that will enable a business to edit through Google Maps. If that happens, then it will save businesses a lot of time which gets used up while trying to reach Google My Business support center to get things done.

As seen in the screenshot below, Google Maps sports a “Moved” button that comes under “Suggest an Edit” section, which enables the user to update their new business information.

report-data-problem

 
As mentioned above, you may not accomplish your task by simply hitting the “Moved elsewhere” button, since that may trigger the “Permanently closed” label to completely disappear from the searches. And if you do press the button, then it will only display the little red banner with the “Relocated” message as seen in the image below.

Here you can see, your Google Maps and search result listings now sport a massive red label marked as “Closed”.

google-relocated-listing

 
This is how you need to initiate the process which will hopefully help a lot of struggling businesses that are finding it difficult to make ends meet.

If you still need any help, we can be of assistance. Just write to us at sales@ebrandz.com and our reps will be in touch with you within 24 business hours.

FIVE QUICK SEO TRICKS FOR INSTANT SHORT TERM GAINS

seo

In this fast paced digitized world, we want everything delivered quickly, at the press of a button. While it is practically possible for getting instant materialistic satisfaction, the same thing cannot be said for some of the major events in your life such as education, career, medication, marriage, progeny, etc. They demand your dedicated time and patience. Like these major events in your life, SEO too needs to be seen as a long-term investment for getting better results. But as part of human tendency, we always search for some quick short term results. Even though SEO services yield better results with time, there are some easy wins that you can look forward to while realizing your long-term SEO goals. Here are some quick, result oriented SEO tricks that you can use to not only get ahead of your SEO rivals, but most importantly to sign-up new clients.

1. Make Use of Featured Snippets

If you want to attract more organic traffic to your site, you need to work out a strategy to get a featured snippet spot under your belt. While it’s still a task to feature in the quick answer box, there is an SEO trick that you can use to optimize your content.

Just go to your Google Search Console to find out how many queries ending with a question mark are ranked highly in the searches. You can filter the queries that contains “how,” “what” and “why.”

Now, prioritize your list of keyword phrases on basis of their search volume. Filter your list for keywords with higher search volume. In case, your question-related keywords don’t rank higher in searches, just weave your content to answer a simple question that you can think of.

Some quick and easy tips to increase your chances of getting featured in the answer box by doing some on-page modifications as mentioned below:

  1. Make use of bullets or number format while answering search queries that contain a question.
  2. Include a video to the page that answers a query, along with an image.
  3. Fill your page with informative content that adds value to the reader.

Now, submit your content to be indexed by Google and share it on your Google plus page so that the changes are noticed by the search engine. Visit here to know more about how to get featured snippets.

2. Optimize Existing Content

Getting your new web page higher up in the search rankings takes a lot more effort than improving the ranking of an existing page.

While keeping the number one search ranking goal in sight, target your content to rank anywhere between 3rd to 10th search ranking positions. Working on your bounce rate and building new page links can be great assets for securing short-term gains.

There are many methods to identify the page that you need to focus on.

  1. Go to the Google Search Console and look for keywords that rank anywhere between the 3rd – 10th search position.
  2. Run Google Analytics and find pages that have high bounce rate but attract decent traffic to the site.
  3. Now, look out for pages with higher conversion rates through your Google Analytics account. Search for keywords that are attracting traffic to the site and optimize your content around those keywords.

Here are some tricks that you can use to quickly improve the search metrics of these pages:

On-page optimization

  • Adjust the basic page ranking factors to improve search engine optimization of your page.
  • Create new internal links from the related pages to your target pages.
  • Share your content on Google Plus and allow Google to index your pages

Invite a well-known influencer for some quick links

Invite an influencer to contribute towards the improvement of your page’s content. In bargain, you stand a chance to gain some great links.

For instance, you can invite a well-known soccer player to do some guest blogging for your page based on soccer, by asking him some relevant questions.

Do share links with the influencers via email or Twitter asking for their opinion on your blog update, which you can also use on your social media profile. Use the same method while designing brand new pages.

Search intent optimization

You may have come across pages that rank higher for queries that don’t seem to fit the page content. For instance, a search query related to “SEO services in NY” gives results on how to reach out to an SEO agent in the New York City. Working on this core issue will automatically improve your search ranking and lower your bounce rate.

  1. If your page is not ranking for a particular set of keywords, then consider rewriting the article around keywords that are currently attracting traffic to your site.
  2. Include a section to answer the query that your article already ranks for. This will enable you to maintain the visibility of your article.
  3. Consider writing a new page if on-page information doesn’t match the search intent and then link it with the higher ranking post on your website; that includes the keywords rich anchor text.

3. Improve Visibility of Your Converting Pages

Search for pages, via Google Analytics, that help in conversion. Capitalize on the keywords that are currently attracting traffic to your site. Besides that, you can even make use of paid campaigns that feature the high ranking keywords.

To improve your on-page SEO value, focus on the trending keywords and pages to get quick results in a short period of time.

4. Look for Competing Content

Combine the pages that you find have content with similar topics. In order to unite these pages as, do ensure that you redirect their URLs.

5. Get Rid of 404 Errors

To fix 404 error pages, you can make use of several available, online SEO tools. Also, reach out to site owners that have broken links or redirect the URL to a live page to fix the broken link related issue.

Your Final Takeaway

Even though you need to consider your SEO strategy with a long term perspective in mind, there are a few SEO tricks that you can use to get quick, short term results.

Need help with implementing these tricks? We can be of assistance. Just email us at sales@ebrandz.com or call 1-888-545-0616 and we’ll do the rest.