The DIY Guide to Being an SEO Expert

Imagine … generating hundred and thousands of hits to your website a day. Those hits turn into email subscribers, and people buying your products.

This consistent traffic gives you the financial freedom you need to spend time living a life that brings joy and abundance to the world. This is the reality for many business owners and entrepreneurs just like you.

It doesn’t happen over night, and it isn’t easy — but it can be a reality for you.

If you are a “do-it-yourself” kind of person, then this is the definitive guide to being an SEO expert.

Before I show you how to be the master DIY SEO expert, I want to lay some ground rules.

First, understand there are over 200 different “signals” that Google uses to determine ranking in the Google search engine.

It’s not necessary to pay attention keenly to all 200 (unless this is your 24/7 occupation). There are some key signals and criteria to focus on and that we can easily control.

Second, understand that you MUST write and produce content for humans (not the Google bots). If you focus on producing content that humans enjoy you will win in the “eyes” of Google.

Lastly, nothing beats hiring a “real” SEO expert: someone like a WordPress developer who is versed in SEO. He or she can help increase your ranking within your website for optimal results.

Hosting

Before you start your website, the proper hosting service determines your website. Smaller hosting platforms that are niched may be more appropriate for you depending on your goals.

That being said I look at the hosting platform that the major players are using. One of them beats out the rest in the hosting world. Bluehost … It is the same hosting service Patt Flynn uses on most of his sites.

Bluehost has cheap hosting, great service, reliability, and awesome SEO components taken care of.

Obviously there are other hosting platforms to choose from. No matter the platform, you’ll need to secure a rock-solid host.

Website Theme

Finding a website theme for your business that has the design functionality you want (without a bunch of junk code) can be challenging.

There are many places to get themes for your website including Themeforest, MojoThemes, and Genesis.

For SEO purposes — Genesis is the winner. Their code is very clean (not a bunch of sloppy code). It is not image heavy, and it is maintained incredibly well.

The downside to Genesis is that it is a higher price point to customize. Plus you’ll need a coder to customize an themes. However if you can handle the out-of-the-box solution this may be great for you!

Otherwise, feel free to grab a clean looking template from Themeforest, and install the demo content onto your new domain name in WordPress (after installing WordPress.org of course!).

Site Speed

How fast your site loads is one of the key factors in determining your SEO ranking.

Plus for every second your website takes to load, your chance of a user abandoning your website increases.

The bottom line is faster = better.

Google has an amazing tool that is 100 percent free to test your site speed. Just go to Googles Site Speed Insights Page and type in your URL to test. It will let you know how fast it is on a ranking of 0-100 on mobile and desktop.

Plus it will also let you know what you need to fix and update to make the SEO rank higher.

The following plugins are geared to increase site speed as much as possible while minimizing unnecessary code.

Plugins for WordPress (to Increase Site Speed)

WorPress plugins are going to be the bread and butter of your DIY guide to being an SEO expert.

More plugins doesn’t mean better. Your site can slow down with too many plugins (so be selective).

Focus on the most productive plugins for your stellar SEO driven website.

First download the Yoast SEO plugin.

Yoast SEO takes care of most of the SEO things you need done and they have an amazing blog article to walk you step by step through the key components of their tool and SEO in general.

Yoast SEO integrates perfectly with website tools like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. And it has an amazing section for social SEO, where you can turn on “meta tags” for open graph searches and much more.

You’ll be pumped about the Yoast SEO plugin. Time saver, seriously.

W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache

These plugins are kind of complicated to explain but simply it goes like this … HTML code is less resource intensive than PHP code.

If a website has to repeatedly call PHP code for a user, it slows down the load speed.

Caching plugins like these “generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog.

“After an html file is generated, your web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expansive WordPress php scripts.” – WP super cache plugin description

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

Why Quarterback Is Again An Offseason Priority For The Cowboys

The biggest story of 2016 for the Dallas Cowboys was how they wound up with their new franchise quarterback through a combination of good evaluation and just plain luck. Dak Prescott proved to be far more capable than anyone dreamed. Arguably, he represents the greatest first-year return on draft investment ever, not just for Dallas, but for any team.

As good as that is for the Cowboys, it came with the unfortunate downside of ending the career of Tony Romo in Dallas with much more of a whimper than a bang. And it also means that there is a very familiar question facing the Cowboys again this year: Just what do they do about the backup quarterback situation?

In a recent mock draft, SBN draft maven Dan Kadar not only looked at who he projected for teams to take in the first round this year, he also addressed the question of whether each team should draft a quarterback. His answer for Dallas was succinct.

Should they draft a quarterback? Lol

That is funny, as well. It also is pretty much the wrong answer.

With Romo on his way out (and the whole story of where he might end up growing daily), the Cowboys now have exactly zero backup quarterbacks under contract. Kellen Moore and Mark Sanchez are both free agents. Even if the team should re-sign one of them, they still need at least two more camp arms. But camp arms and possible future backups are two different beasts, and the Cowboys have to be looking for the latter. Obviously they are not going to be looking to draft a quarterback early, but on day three, it becomes not just a possibility. It should be something of a priority.

It is certain that the team will want at least one experienced backup going into training camp, and that search would logically begin with Moore and Sanchez. Of the two, Moore would be the more likely option (signing both seems highly improbable). In the first installment of his breakdown of the roster, our own Mark Aggarwal laid out the logic.

Kellen Moore: Second String – As a favorite of Scott Linehan, there is a good possibility the Cowboys will re-sign him to backup Prescott. He knows the Cowboys system, has the trust of the coaches and should come relatively cheap.

That would result in more deja vu all over again, as having Moore as the incumbent backup to the established starter is exactly where the Cowboys were a year ago. Of course, Prescott does not have the injury and age concerns Romo had. But the team was clearly looking to upgrade at the position when they took Prescott in the draft, and that also still applies. The problem with Moore is that his ceiling just looks limited.

What the drafting of Prescott did show was that the staff, especially the coaches, were able to see something that others clearly missed (or at least were unwilling to move on before Dallas got its chance at the end of the fourth round last year). The odds are staggering against finding another Dak this year – but that wasn’t what they thought they had when they took him. They believed at the time they had a developmental quarterback with a lot of upside and good intangibles. This year, they should be combing the available quarterbacks for the same thing. They won’t find a second Dak – but maybe they can find Dak Lite.

The Cowboys have not had a history of taking quarterbacks in the draft in the years before Prescott was selected, but they also had a similar aversion to taking offensive linemen early before a certain Tyron Smith was drafted. His success led to a complete revision of the approach which led to adding Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, and indirectly to La’el Collins as well. Now that they hit the mother lode with Prescott, it would not be surprising to see them go back to that well.

However, this is seen as a relatively weak quarterback class, with no Jared Goff or Carson Wentz creating a sellers’ market for top draft spots to take perceived blue chips. The Cowboys do not want to force things here. They need to stick to their board, which they have been doing fairly well of late. If the value is not there, they will have to go the UDFA route (which, admittedly, they have also had some remarkable success at doing in the not too distant past). They can also consider signing another veteran backup, such as Josh McCown, but that is not a long-term solution. The goal for Dallas is to find a young arm with good football intelligence and processing speed to groom.

The ideal model here is the New England Patriots, who have a long history of drafting quarterbacks, making them look good, flipping them for draft picks, rinse, and repeat. Jimmy Garoppolo is the latest, and we all know about Matt Cassel as well. As much as we love to hate the hoodie, Bill Belichick is a master at this game. And there is nothing wrong with stealing an idea from the best.

What the Cowboys should be hoping for is a QB they have a third- or fourth-round grade on to slip into the sixth or seventh round, the way cornerback Anthony Brown did last year. Brown was the other real draft coup from last year, able to start capably when Morris Claiborne was injured, and now one of the cornerstones for rebuilding the secondary with so many key payers from last year also free agents.

If that happens, the Cowboys need to be ready to pull the trigger. There is no guarantee that they will solve the QB2 issue this time around, but it may take more than one shot at the target. They can’t be shy about making the pick if their scouting backs the move. Like it or not, it is a real need to address this year – as long as everything lines up properly.

[Source:-Blogging The Boys]

‘Selling Baby Parts Like Widgets on an Assembly Line’: Pro-Lifers

WASHINGTON — Prominent pro-life speakers took on various issues concerning Planned Parenthood during this weekend’s #ProtestPP rallies. Demonstrators gathered at some 200 locations across the nation to protest forced taxpayer funding of the abortion giant.

At a rally in front of a clinic in Orange, California, undercover investigator David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress blasted Planned Parenthood for its alleged trade in body parts of the unborn.

“This Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino County is one of the places – this exact clinic right behind me, this exact mega-center where they do abortions up to six months – this clinic is one of the places where for years and years they have been harvesting and selling the body parts of our unborn brothers and sisters, like so many widgets on an assembly line,” Daleiden stated.

Daleiden was part of the undercover investigative team that released shocking videos of Planned Parenthood employees talking about this gruesome practice of harvesting those body parts.

“We now know for almost eight years this Planned Parenthood clinic was partnered with DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics up in Yorba Linda, where every week, multiple times a week, their technicians would come into the center and harvest the body parts of late-term aborted children and then re-sell them to make half-a-million dollars every year,” Daleiden charged.

He added, “Planned Parenthood knew that this was going on for eight years.  They received kickback contributions from DaVinci in exchange for the relationship.  And for eight years they used a fraudulent inaccurate consent form to try to coerce their patients to give consent for their body parts to be harvested and sold for profit against the law.”

“They are an integral part of the criminal trade in the body parts of our unborn brothers and sisters and they must be held accountable to the law for their barbarism,” Daleiden said.

Speaking at a rally in Aurora, Illinois, Jill Stanek of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List talked about how Planned Parenthood dominates the abortion scene.

She spoke of Planned Parenthood’s record of “killing one in three babies in the United States from abortion.  Their percentage of abortion increased from 20 percent to 34 percent in just six years.”

Stanek also noted that the amount of taxpayer funding going to the abortion giant has soared in recent years.

“I’m sure that this is in line with President Obama being in charge: Planned Parenthood’s proceeds from our tax dollars increased by 50 percent since 2007,” she said.

At the same rally in Aurora, Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League blasted Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women Foundation, for her recent written critique of pro-life health care advocates.

“One of the things she complained about in her article was the website GetYourCare.org,” Scheidler told CBN News.

“When someone says, ‘Well, how are women going to get their health care?’ – they’re going to go to GetYourCare.org and they’re going to find health care that they need in their community.  O’Neill was complaining that that list of health care providers included dentists,” he said.

“Some of them are dentists!” Scheidler gasped in a tone of mock outrage, then asked, “Show of hands: Whoever’s been to the dentist?”

Every hand at the rally went up.

Then the pro-life leader asked, “Can you go to Planned Parenthood for dental care?  No.  Can you go to Planned Parenthood for the flu?  No.  Can you go to Planned Parenthood if you’ve got a broken leg?  No.”

He continued, “Can you go to Planned Parenthood if you’ve got behavioral issues, depression, heart disease, if you’ve got a problem with sleep, if you’ve got back pain?  One of the most common problems Americans have: back pain.   Planned Parenthood?  Can’t help you.”

Referring again to the pro-abortion NOW Foundation president, Scheidler concluded, “Terry O’Neill thinks the only thing a woman needs to see a doctor for is an abortion or maybe some contraceptive pills.  Doesn’t that show you their mentality?”

“That they would complain we’re trying to connect women to dentists along with other kinds of health care,” he continued. “We believe in comprehensive health care for Americans.   We want to provide that any way we can.”

“And that’s what GetYourCare.org is about,” he concluded. “And that’s the difference between the pro-life movement and the pro-death movement.”

While you are here…

We’d like to ask for your help. At CBN News, we strive to bring you the most current, pertinent and reliable news possible. We are able to bring you this important news from a Christian perspective because of the help of friends like you who know how vital it is to have an alternative to the news you hear from major media outlets. Would you help ensure that we can continue to provide this important service to you and our country by considering a special gift today? Or would you become a monthly partner so we know we can count on the resources we need to bring you the best news possible?

Thanks for being a part of the dynamic future of CBN News, as well as helping The Christian Broadcasting Network share the love of Jesus with hurting people everywhere.

[Source:-CBN news]

Are We Overdue For An SEO Revolution?

seo revolution

For the last couple of decades, SEO has been a primary focus of digital marketers all over the world. With more than 3.5 billion searches performed every day, the potential for visibility is practically limitless, and even a few years of experience in the industry is enough to master the basics.

Here’s the thing, though—the basics have remained more or less the same for several years now, with almost no fundamental changes to the way we approach search engine optimization, except perhaps for the increasing focus on optimizing for mobile devices.

There have been major algorithm updates and paradigm shifts, of course, but most of the basic tenets are the same as they were in 2012. The world of search (and technology in general) is one with origins in massive, unpredicted leaps forward—so are we overdue for seeing a revolution in SEO?

SEO to Date: Bits and Pieces

Google isn’t the only search engine that matters for SEO, but it is the most popular and the one responsible for driving most trends and strategic shifts, so it’s the one I’m going to pay most attention to. Since its launch in 1997, Google has gone through a handful of major changes, including major leaps forward in how it calculates “PageRank,” how it evaluates link quality, and how it determines the trustworthiness of content on a page.

Other than those fundamental overhauls, most of the “major” updates that have attracted attention in the SEO community—such as Panda’s overhaul to content quality evaluation and the “mobilegeddon” update designed to favor mobile-friendly sites—haven’t torn down our main strategic pillars.

Tactics like producing high-quality content, optimizing your page titles, descriptions, and content for specific keywords, and building high-quality links still form the core practices of earning exceptional results. For the most part, Google has kept its formula intact, with moderate modifications to occasionally improve elements of that formula.

SEO Updates Today

Today, SEO is more stable and streamlined than ever. It’s been years since we’ve seen an update big enough to send search marketers into a frenzy, and most of the major “branch” updates (like Panda and Penguin) have been incorporated into Google’s “core” algorithm. Essentially, that means they run in real time, constantly updating information based on new developments and tweaking search rankings accordingly.

Newer updates, like RankBrain, are even capable of updating themselves, which means they can gradually improve over time. This framework would suggest Google has a plan for the distant future, and one that only requires tweaks and balances to a system that’s already in place. But is there a possibility for a bigger, deeper overhaul?

[Source:-Forbes]

How to add cloud functionality to your WordPress site with an easy to use plugin

One reason I always recommend WordPress for more than just blogs is its flexibility. With WordPress you can create sites centered around blogging, services, e-commerce, community, and so much more. Plus, with the help of a massive repository of plugins, WordPress can be expanded into almost any type of site.

If you use WordPress as either a community or a client-based website, you’ll be interested to know about a cloud-centric plugin called WP Cloud that enables users to:

  • Upload and view files
  • View assigned cloud space
  • View cloud space used

Must-Read Cloud

  • Take advantage of training and certification discounts for Microsoft Azure
  • Video: The 5 trends that form the future of cloud computing
  • Video: The hybrid cloud ‘condition,’ and what Amazon is doing to address it
  • Subscribe to TechRepublic’s Cloud Insights newsletter

At the moment, the plugin is limited in what it can do, and it doesn’t have an associated mobile plugin yet, but what it does offer goes a long way to extend the built-in features for users.

A word of warning about WP Cloud: The development has come to a standstill over the last two years. Even with that in mind, it’s a solid solution if you want to allow your users a bit of cloud space on your WordPress site. Hopefully, with a bit of prodding, the developer will resume working on it again, or open source the code so it can be continued by another developer.

Let’s install and use WP Cloud. I am assuming you have access to the admin section of your WordPress site.

SEE: Working with WordPress: Control your site support, prevent zombie apocalypse (ZDNet)

Installing WP Cloud

The installation of WP Cloud is as simple as installing any other WordPress plugin.

  1. Log into your WordPress site as the administrator or as a user that has admin permissions.
  2. Click Plugins | Add New from the left navigation.
  3. In the Search Plugins box, type WP Cloud and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  4. Click the Install Now button associated with the WP Cloud plugin.
  5. Once the installation completes, click the Activate button.

    Using WP Cloud

    The WP Cloud plugin is now available for your users. Each user has to point their browser to http://SITE_URL/cloud (SITE_URL is the actual domain or IP address of your WordPress site). Each logged in user will be presented with their cloud space on the site. Note: Users have to be registered and logged into the site to use the WP Cloud plugin.

    Before opening the floodgates to users, you might want to take care of a little housekeeping first. If you go to Cloud | Settings, you can set a user quota for the plugin—this is especially important when you’re limited on server storage space. This is an all-or-none quota, which means you cannot set different quotas for different users. There are really only two options:

    • 0 = cloud hosting disabled
    • X = any positive number (in megabytes) will enable hosting and set the quota to that number

    There is also a setting called “overlaps” (which is described as Overload in the documentation) that allows you to set a percentage that will—once it’s reached—prevent a user from uploading a file. The description, according to the developer, is:

    • 9 of 10 MB used. Overload 10%. File to upload: 2MB. -> YES
    • 9 of 10 MB used. Overload 0%. File to upload: 2MB. -> NO
    • 10 of 10MB used. Overload 10%. File to upload: 1MB. -> NO
    • 9.99 of 10MB used. Overload 10%. File to upload: 1MB. -> YES

    This allows you to prevent users from uploading files when they are close to their quota. You set the overlaps in percentage from 0-100.

    When you have the quota and overlaps settings ready, you can point users to the cloud link for your site. When a registered/logged in user goes to the cloud URL, they will be greeted by a simple page that allows them to upload, view, and delete their files (Figure B). The user will also see the percentage of space used in their cloud storage.

    Shortcodes

    The developer has enabled shortcodes so you can add custom pages that include WP Cloud options. The available shortcodes are:

    • [cloud] prints a list of files for the current user
    • [cloud_show id=”0″] prints a list of files of the given user id
    • [cloud_upload] prints a simple upload form that allows the current user to upload a file in his/her directory
    • [cloud_send] prints a simple upload form that allows the current user to upload a file to another user directory by specifying login_name or email

    Here’s hoping for more

    WP Cloud is a handy plugin to add to various types of WordPress sites. Although WP Cloud is limited in features, it makes up for it in ease of use.

    My hope is that the developer will either return to work on the plugin or allow someone to fork it so that it can expand its feature set. Even as it is now, WP Cloud is a worthwhile addition to WordPress.

[Source:-Tech Reepublic]

11 Black Hat Techniques That Can Kill an SEO Campaign

11 Black Hat Techniques That Can Kill an SEO Campaign

Whether you do SEO for a living or consider yourself a newbie, most people involved in search engine marketing know that there are two ways to go about it.

White hat and black hat.

White hat SEOs are the Jedi. We have tons of midi-chlorians in our bloodstreams and work for the forces of good in the universe.

This means promoting high-value content, engaging in deep keyword research to win in SERPS, and in general, promoting our websites or the websites of our clients using the methods that follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Black hat SEOs are the Sith. They are afraid that doing high-quality work to boost rankings takes too much time, so they take shortcuts that aren’t exactly laid out in Google’s best practices.

And we all know that fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering…

sad dog

Some of these black hat techniques can be attractive to people who are new in the SEO space! Ranking well in search engines takes a lot of time and effort, and finding ways to hack the system is understandably appealing for those new to search engine marketing.

When I was starting out, I used a few of the techniques detailed below and guess what? I got no results! My websites were all indexed correctly, but I wasn’t able to get anything to rank for meaningful searches until I learned the ways of the White Hat Jedis.

So what happens when you try to implement black hat SEO strategies? You may make slow progress for some time, but you’ll eventually get hit with a Google Penalty.

If you’ve already been hit with a penalty, it’s time to read The Definitive Guide to Recovering From a Manual Search Penalty.

What Are Google Penalties?

Penguin

The original Penguin update was launched in 2012. Google relies heavily on links from one domain to another to determine a website’s authority. The penguin update crawled the web for any website attempting to game the number of links pointing to their site.

Over 10% of search results were affected, some of which were removed from Google search results entirely.

Since then, website owners and professional SEOs have been keeping a pulse on Google’s search algorithm updates.

Panda

The Panda update is a bit different. Its goal is to filter search results to prevent “low quality” sites’ content from ranking. While the definition of “low quality” is subjective, Google has their own course on creating valuable content, so it’s easy to see what they consider to be high-quality when it comes to digital content.

What Do Google’s Penalties Do?

If your website gets hit with either a Penguin or Panda penalty from Google, the results are the same: the loss of your current ranking position in search results and a huge dip in your organic traffic. All because of a few black hat methods you used to try to promote your website.

And if your website relies heavily on organic traffic from Google, a penalty could result in a downward spiral that could put you down for good.

Black Hat Strategies to Avoid

While there are many strategies black hat SEOs use to try to game Google and rank well in search results, these are the most highly used and the most likely to get your website penalized by Google.

Links

Getting in trouble with the internal links in your website or external websites linking to you could result in a penguin penalty. Here’s what you want to avoid when it comes to links.

Buying Links

Why most people do it: Arguably the most important ranking factor is the quality and quantity of links back to a website. It’s logical to think that buying links from websites with high Domain Authorities is the easiest way to get backlinks without putting in a lot of work.

Why you shouldn’t do it: Buying links is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. It’s an easy way to get on Google’s bad side and receive an automatic or manual penalty. It’s unlikely you’ll get away with buying links without leaving a trail. Google tracks links that are likely purchased and those which are likely natural, so gaming Google is more difficult than you’d think.

Reciprocal Links

Why most people do it: When Website A offers to link to Website B, Website A might think it’s a good idea to ask Website B to link back to them as well. That way, they get a bit of link juice in return.

Why you shouldn’t do it: If there’s a purpose for both websites to link to each other, such as a partnership, then reciprocal links make sense. But if the entire purpose of the two-way link is “link juice,” you run the risk of getting penalized.

Footer Links

Why most people do it: A backlink from the footer of another website is seen as valuable because it’s a link back from every page on their website. Because all pages contain a footer, when you add the link just once, it’s like adding a backlink from every page on that site.

Why you shouldn’t do it: Similar to reciprocal links, if there’s a purpose, like telling readers who built the site, then it makes sense to include it. If the link is purely included to gain authority, is from a completely disconnected website or contains non-branded anchor text, the risk of a penalty is real.

Hidden Links

Why most people do it: By hiding text or links, some people think that you can include lots of links back to your site without Google even knowing about it.

Why you shouldn’t do it: Googlebots are smart and know when your website has any hidden text or links. Having hidden links is bad, but the double whammy comes in the fact that Google crawlers can see a different website than your visitors. That’s a big no-no and is one of the easiest ways to get penalized and drop in the rankings.

Comment Spam

Why most people do it: Some websites allow users to add a comment below a post, and sometimes those comment sections allow links. This is an easy way to link back to your site, right?

Why you shouldn’t do it: Wrong. Linking back to your site in the comment forms of other websites is spammy and something Google doesn’t want to see. In Google’s eyes, links should be earned through quality and valuable content, not posted in a comment form in just a few seconds. If you can add something to the conversation and a link back to your site in a comment is relevant and brings value to the readers, then it’s probably OK to include it. If not, try something a little less black hat.

Anchor Text Overuse

Why most people do it: Most SEO beginners are susceptible to this. When trying to rank a page or post for a specific search phrase, they try to link back to their websites using related anchor text. For example, someone trying to rank “brand new sailboats for sale” would link back to their website with 100 links, all with the anchor text, “brand new sailboats for sale.”

Why you shouldn’t do it: Again, Google sees what you’re trying to do. You’re attempting to rank well for a specific search phrase by using contextual anchor text. In the past, this worked pretty well! But not so much today. Google prefers branded anchor text instead of keyword anchor text — it’s more natural to link back using the anchor text, “Marty’s Boat Emporium,”because it’s more natural and suggests the link validates trust.

Malicious Backlinks

Why most people do it: To be clear, nobody does this to themselves on purpose. Nobody attempts to get links back to their website from malicious websites. Unfortunately, there are many black hat SEOs, spammers, and hackers out there who embrace the dark side and will try to damage another site by linking to it from a site that is spammy or even unindexed.

Why you shouldn’t do it: When a site that Google deems is spammy links to your site, it can hurt your ranking. If you see links from precarious websites coming to your website, it’s most likely they didn’t pick your site specifically, and they link to everyone. If you do find that there are suspicious websites linking to your website, use the Google Search Console Disavow Tool to ask Google to ignore the link.

Content

Publishing content that doesn’t provide any real value to your website visitors is grounds for a panda penalty. Here’s what to avoid when it comes to content.

Duplicate Content / Content Theft

Why most people do it: Producing high-quality, valuable content takes a lot of time and effort. For that reason, some people think they can take content published on another website and reuse / repurpose it on their own. Now your website can have great content without the pain of producing original content, right?

Why you shouldn’t do it: Not quite. Google is very particular about duplicate content and, in general, doesn’t like to see the exact same content spread across multiple domains. If you find a piece of content that you think your audience would find really valuable, it is possible to republish that article on your website as long as you have the permission of the original author and fully disclose the fact that it’s being republished. But if you’re thinking about blatantly copying content from another site, you’ll run the risk of a Google penalty.

Over-Optimization / Keyword Stuffing

Why most people do it: This is another common error for those new to the SEO world. Some people think that the more they optimize a page, the better their page will rank, so they include ten H1 tags and repeat the keyword phrase they’re trying to rank for over and over again.

Why you shouldn’t do it: This actually used to work. In 2000, if you wanted to rank for “purple elephant,” all you had to do was include the phrase “purple elephant” a few times in your title, a few times in your H1 tags, and ad nauseam in your content. But in 2017, Google is looking for the content that provides the most value to searchers. That means over-optimizing is out and focusing on giving the most comprehensive answer to a user’s queries is in.

Hidden Content

Why most people do it: Similar to hidden links, some people think they can include content that’s the same color as the background of the site. They do this to include textual keyword phrases in the website without affecting their users’ experience.

Why you shouldn’t do it: Again, Googlebots know when your website has any hidden text or links. Google’s priority is the users, and hidden content definitely counts as a bad user experience because it’s something bots can see but your visitors can’t. This is a big no-no and is one of the easiest ways to get penalized.

Security

While having an unsecured website can’t technically get you a Penguin or Panda penalty, it could result in the loss of your valuable rankings.

Hacked Website

If your website gets attacked or injected with malicious code and Google finds out, they can block your website for people using their search engine.

Not only will this cause you to lose the trust of anybody who visits your site from organic search, but it will cause your website to drop in the rankings just like a Penguin or Panda penalty would.

While it’s true you may receive a notification through Google Analytics that your site has been hacked, it still could mean a real penalty for your website in search results if Google knows your site contains malicious code.

To Wrap It Up

It should seem obvious that when it comes to black hat SEO, the numbers just don’t add up. Produce high-value content, follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and most importantly, don’t be in a rush.

Do yourself a favor and become a Jedi, not a Sith. It will pay off in the long run.

[SOURCE:-SEJ]

3 Reasons Why Your Website Needs an SEO Audit

3 Reasons Why Your Website Needs an SEO Audit

Most of the time when we hear the word “audit,” our minds immediately picture run-ins with the IRS, unsavory tax attorneys and boxes of old business receipts. But, don’t panic! Because not all audits are the same.

Related: These 9 SEO Tips Are All You’ll Ever Need to Rank in Google

In fact, an SEO audit is a good thing. It’s an absolutely essential process that will empower your business with real, actionable insights. When done correctly, an SEO audit will tell you what’s working on your current website, what’s falling short and how you can improve your site to rank higher and generate more leads.

What type of site audit does your business need?

With a website audit, you pay a company to forensically examine your site and apply its expertise to identify problems and offer solutions. Most comprehensive audits contain the follow elements:

Overall health: How does your current traffic compare against industry benchmarks? Are there any initial red flags, like a recent change in bounce rate, referrals or time on the site that are reasons for investigation? This general health assessment will identify potential problems your SEO team should further investigate.

Overall health edits include a holistic analysis of your site, internal linking structures, site map, anchor text, citations and social media profiles. Depending on the scope of your audit, the assessment may also include technical elements, like hosting, server metrics, caching and down time. Remember, site load time is a key SEO performance metric.

Red flag/penalties: Are there any SEO practices in use on your site that are known to generate a red flag or penalty from Google that could hurt your site rank? SEO best practices change rapidly and what made sense from a ranking statement just a few years ago could be landing you in hot water today. It can be hard to keep up with all the algorithm changes, so I recommend bringing in the experts on this one.

Related Book: Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website by Jon Rognerud

Competitive audits: How does your website stack up against the competition? While an overall health assessment will certainly touch on general industry benchmarks, a competition audit will be much more in-depth. What are competitors doing that your website is not? For example, the competition may have a better site map and search system in place. Maybe they’ve optimized product listings with long-tail keywords, and you have not.

Or, better yet, maybe the competition is failing to implement industry best practices and, should your site implement them, you’ll gain a clear competitive advantage. The key here is to identify otherwise overlooked opportunities for enhancements on your site.

Penalties and negative attacks: Could a downturn in site traffic be due to an SEO violation or penalty? An experienced agency can determine whether your site has been algorithmically or manually penalized or been the victim of an attack by negative SEO methods.

In-house or agency: Which is best?

So, you’re ready to undertake a proper SEO website audit. Should you go with an agency or handle this in-house? It’s possible to manage the entire process internally. Both Moz and Search Engine Land have published comprehensive guides to performing basic audits, internally. However, keep in mind that your ability to identify and correct problems is limited by your team’s expertise.

If your internal SEO team happens to be the best and brightest, this won’t be a problem. But if your SEO “team” is one overworked staffer in your marketing department (who is also juggling social media updates, blog articles and inbound lead generation), you’re better off outsourcing.

A comprehensive audit is a major undertaking. That’s because an audit should not stop with a list of what’s working and what’s not. It’s not enough to identify problems. You need to take immediate, actionable steps to implement changes. And agency teams are typically better positioned to help you make these changes.

Teams also bring a wealth of best-practice experience. The team at Digital Rescue, for example, has reviewed more than 4,000 websites and saved clients thousands when it comes to costly SEO mistakes. Many agencies also offer free or low-cost basic site audits, which can be useful for determining whether the agency is the right fit for your business’ long-term SEO needs.

Related: How to Do an SEO Audit of Your Website

Bottom line:

A site audit is a must for any growing business and is essential for a robust SEO strategy. Even if you believe your web traffic is pretty strong, there’s always room for improvement. By identifying potential problems and taking actionable steps now, you can position your business for long-term growth and avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.

[Source:-Entrepreneur]

Domain Registration Length Not an SEO Factor

Domain Registration Length Not an SEO Factor

John Mueller confirmed that Domain Registration Length Not an SEO Factor.

So, if you are worried about it, then relax. Domain registration length will not help you in SEO.

Domain registration length was a ranking factor, earlier than 2009. But later Google stopped using it as ranking signal. I found a popular discussion on Google webmaster forum, where John Mueller responds to the same question, in 2009.So, next time you renew your domain, don’t think too much about the Domain registration length. Focus on SEO.

[Source:-Mesh Republic]

Machine Learning & Its Impact on SEO: An Interview With Eric Enge

Machine Learning & Its Impact on SEO: An Interview With Eric Enge

At Pubcon 2016 in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to speak with Eric Enge, CEO and Founder of Stone Temple Consulting, about machine learning and its impact on SEO.

If hearing the phrase “machine learning” has you worried, because it’s about to become one more thing to think about in SEO, please watch the video below. Eric Enge explains how machine learning will impact SEO and digital marketing. You can also listen to the interview in podcast form here.

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Machine learning hasn’t developed to the point where it can fundamentally disrupt SEO or digital marketing. It’s not about to turn the world of SEO upside down anytime soon.
  • Enge describes the concept of machine learning as using data to solve complex problems that the human mind isn’t capable of solving on its own. While it’s evolving rapidly, machine learning is still a long way off from being sophisticated enough to impact ranking signals.
  • Machine learning is already being used by Google in some ways. For example, the Google News section serves related articles using machine learning.
  • Google’s overall intent with machine learning is to serve better content to users. Satisfied searchers equal more revenue for Google, so you can trust the company will always be looking for new ways to improve.
  • Focusing on creating valuable content and providing the best user experience has always been a way to stay in Google’s good graces no matter how the algorithms have evolved.

Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews. For more information about visual storytelling, please see the following resources:

[Source:-sEJ]

Friday 5: Fantastical’s awesome calendar widget, an iOS 10-ready clipboard manager, and more [Video]

After being disappointed with the implementation of widgets in earlier versions of iOS, I wasn’t sure how useful I’d find iOS 10-centric widgets. But after using iOS 10 for the last few months, I can say for sure that widgets are now more useful than they’ve ever been. Here’s a brief look at five widget-bearing apps worth considering this weekend.

FANTASTICAL

In its compact view, Fantastical’s iOS 10 widget displays the most recent upcoming event on your calendar. After expanding the widget using the ‘Show More’ button in the upper right-hand corner, users are greeted with a full month view with selectable days and events. Tapping an event will open the full app directly to the event’s details page.

fantastical-ios-10-widget

  • iPhone & iPad (separate purchases)
  • $4.99

2-MINUTE VIDEO WALKTHROUGH

YTCOUNT

If you run your own YouTube channel, then you’re probably used to frequently checking your current subscriber count. YTCount lends users access to the most up-to-date subscriber counts right from an iOS 10-ready widget.

ytcount-ios-10-widget

  • iPhone & iPad
  • Free

COPIED

If you’re looking for an iOS 10-ready clipboard manager, then Copied is well up to handling the task. The Copied widget allows you to quickly identify and store clipboard contents. And when you happen to need access to a saved snippet, it only takes a tap.

copied-ios-10-widget

  • iPhone & iPad
  • Free

SHAZAM

Shazam’s iOS 10 widget is basically just a link to its full app, but tapping the widget will start the app’s song identification process as soon as it opens. I often find myself wanting to identify music playing in my vicinity, so having this widget near the top of my list is a no-brainer.

shazam-ios-10-widget

  • iPhone & iPad
  • Free

PCALC LITE

It’s kind of crazy that PCalc’s Lite version is as full featured as it is, but developer, James Thompson, is confident that those who try it will want to upgrade to the full version of the app, or at least take advantage of some of the Lite version’s in-app purchases.

The PCalc Lite widget is everything you’d expect a PCalc widget to be. Its compact view stuffs in all of the basic calculator essentials, while the expanded view ushers in a more traditional-looking calculator.

pcalc-lite-ios-10-widget

  • iPhone & iPad
  • Free Lite version / Paid $9.99 version

WHAT APPS DO YOU RECOMMEND?

This is my second Friday 5 post, and I’m actively browsing the comments of these posts to learn about your favorite apps for inclusion in future entries. With this in mind, please don’t hesitate to share your recommendations down below in the comment section.

If you weren’t able to catch last week’s Friday 5 post, you can view it here and/or watch its video below.

[Source:-9 to 5 Mac]