The Dirty World of SEO

Search Engine Optimization has been around for what feels like forever. However, it is also fair to say that it has had its fair share of ups and downs and we are not just talking about the methods and techniques that have to be used in order to make any difference to your ranking on the search results pages.

Instead, we are talking about the dirty side of SEO which is actually partly to blame for the way in which Google has to constantly change how they rank websites to make sure that those that are doing things in the correct manner are not being pushed aside by those that are rather unscrupulous in their approach.

Yes, we are talking about the dirty world of SEO.

People may not be aware but there are two approaches known as white hat and black hat and there is a big, big difference between them. White hat involves using methods that fit in with the rules and regulations whereas black hat breaks those very same rules by using methods that are initially highly effective and yet they actually result in websites being punished eventually and them falling down the search results pages.

The problem here is that even though people are aware that Google clamps down on these approaches there are still a number of companies and individuals that are only too willing to risk it all for short term gain with their SEO. They are willing to stuff keywords all over the place, build huge numbers of links, and do a whole host of other illegal and frowned upon things just to get up those rankings and gain huge traffic. It really is a never ending battle and you can even see how tough it is with the number of times that Google changes its approach and the algorithm in order to counteract what these black hat people are doing.

Here is another thing.

As these methods can actually make a difference, (remember we are talking about short term gains and then you get whacked by Google) the people that supply the ‘technology or technological know-how) will often charge big bucks to take control of your SEO approach. They are also very good at selling it to you by stating how they can get you on the first page of Google in next to no time and that this will then bring all of these riches to you that are far and above your wildest dreams.

To be honest, it all sounds impressive but you should just completely ignore all of their sales pitch.

Sure, they might actually get you on the first page of Google but more often than not it is a mixture of these illegal techniques mixed in with lucky timing or they aim for keywords that you could actually rank for quite easily doing things in the correct way. However, you end up being impressed when you do indeed appear on that page and you see an increase in the traffic to your website, but it does not end there.

Eventually, and you have no idea how long this is going to take, Google is going to realize what is going on, change things around, and literally overnight you can go from the first page of Google into absolute oblivion as Google strips out all of the SEO work that has been done on your website by changing that algorithm.

In other words, the money you have spent has been wasted and yet the person offering the service to you will not care. For them, they will argue that it was not their methods that caused this but rather it was Google changing the way they do things and that it was all out of their hands.

However, this is not true.

White hat SEO uses methods that fit comfortably in the rules and by staying on the correct side of the law it does mean that you have nothing to fear. It might take slightly longer to get up those results pages, but you are going to stay there for longer and that is where you really do benefit from it.

Also, using white hat techniques means that Google will actually push you up those rankings when it attacks those websites that use black hat methods. As those website owners wake up and see that they have vanished, you will wake up and see that you have climbed the rankings without anything extra being done. How cool is that?

Basically, the point we are making in this blog post is to always make sure that the company you hire to do your SEO uses only white hat methods and do your research into their methods before you go ahead and spend any money. You may be drawn to them by the short term gains, but think of the bigger picture and the damage it would do to your website if your link vanished into oblivion.

Remember, the long term picture is always going to win.

The Impact of Social Media and SEO in Light of Google

socialiconsIt was believed for some considerable period of time that social signals played a major role in the algorithm that Google uses in order to determine how different websites rank. Well, it turns out that Google do not use these social signals in their calculations, but that is not to say that you should completely ignore social media when it comes to your SEO.

Instead, there are several ways in which it can still boost things in your favor and you should ignore social media at your peril. To stress how important this can be, we will look at just two ways in which it is going to make a difference.

1. It is easier to build your brand.

Now, building your brand is not going to have a direct impact on your SEO, but at the same time it is hardly going to be a negative thing, is it? However, building your brand does end up having its own indirect impact on your SEO and how effective it is going to be and the reasons behind that are easy to understand.

For example, we know that links are important with SEO, but people are going to be more likely to link to someone that has a strong and powerful brand. Furthermore, if you are more active on social media and build a presence, then people are going to be more likely to share your tweets and links boosting your SEO in the process.

There are of course various facets to building a brand online via social media but it always comes back to that same old thing time and time again, the bigger and more trustworthy the brand then the more likely people are to then go ahead and share things connected to you which, to a certain extent, helps you to go viral and this is always going to be useful for your SEO purposes.

Remember, your brand can include your logo, tagline, marketing materials, advertising, anything that is tied in with your business. Building the power that your brand then has, which means getting to grips with how people perceive you, is of course more important than the way in which it has an impact on your SEO. However, if you thought that there was no real link between the two then think again as your brand builds your SEO but SEO increases awareness of your brand.

2. Working on relationships via content.

The second point that we need to focus on is the need for you to look at the way in which you work those relationships and there is one thing in particular that is important, the use of quality content. It is accepted that content that offers value and important information is something that Google loves when it comes to SEO as their main thing is about quality over quantity.

The beauty about social media is that it is just primed for you to share content and to also get links and feedback on it. This is going to open you up to a huge market and that is never going to be a bad thing in any situation. However, this is only going to really help you when you have taken other steps to make sure that you can benefit from all of this SEO juice that you should be getting from it.

You see, the game has changed when it comes to SEO and indeed some would argue that it is constantly on the move due to the likes of Google deciding to alter the rules at various times. When it comes to social media, then you have to always make sure that there are links to your website, your contact details, information about you, and anything else that is directly related to whatever it is that you are doing. In other words, you must have a full profile and then you need to make sure that it is always active although we do admit that this is more for marketing purposes.

There is undoubtedly a link between SEO and social media even if the latest news from Google does change things ever so slightly. But, what do you do?

Well, to be honest this should only ever form a small part of your entire approach to SEO as the only way in which you will rank highly is to take a multi-faceted approach and to employ various methods and techniques to your advantage. However, this is not as easy as it seems and even though you can perhaps handle the social media aspect of your SEO campaign all on your own, there is no doubt that you should actually use the services of experts that will then be able to take things to an entirely new level for you.

So, social signals are not as important as we thought. However, SEO in general remains a force to be reckoned with so ignore it all and you will certainly suffer the consequences.

How Changes to Google Ads Could Affect You

google-4-blogGoogle have revealed, and indeed they have started to roll out, some changes to the way in which adverts are going to be displayed on the search engine results pages. Now, those ads have been a staple of their income since time began so any change to them is going to have at least some kind of an impact on how effective they are and, from a website owner point of view, it is important that you understand the differences it could make to you.

As you will undoubtedly be familiar with the layout up until now then you will already know that adverts appear at not only the top of the page, but also down the right hand side. However, the big difference is that Google are planning on scrapping those adverts down the side and increasing the number of adverts that appear on the top of the page.

To many this sounds like it is going to make life even harder to be noticed if you use Adwords as part of your marketing campaign, but fear not because that is actually not the case.

Instead, Google have been more intelligent about it all than you may initially have thought. Indeed, they have conducted extensive research with their own information and have come to the conclusion that people using desktop devices to go online are just not really too concerned about the adverts down the side of the page.

Now, mentioning desktop is important because this change to the layout is only going to affect people in that situation and nowhere else. Indeed, there are several types of marketers that are going to benefit from these changes and from an Internet marketing point of view it is extremely useful to look at them to understand if you are included.

1. Pay Per Click Marketers.

If you are using pay per click, which basically means Adwords in the way it is intended, then you are going to benefit from these changes. Why? This is because according to statistics only 14.6% of all clicks on adverts on these search engine pages involve people clicking on adverts either at the side or the bottom of the page.

Furthermore, it is accepted that those adverts at the top of the page get 14x the number of clicks than the exact same advert that appears on the side.

If you are still concerned about this, then you also have to take into consideration the fact that it does only include desktop searches and that now accounts for only approximately half of all Internet searches. In other words, you are looking at a click-thru rate closer to 7% of all searches being linked to those side adverts, so it is hardly going to be a big loss to Google

2. Local Adverts.

Another group that will benefit are those individuals that are seeking to advertise locally because it appears that the changes have been designed to better reflect local companies with adverts that are going to be far more useful to the average searcher.

As an Internet marketer this is something that you will be able to take advantage of since you can really pinpoint your market and you are much more likely to then have your advert displayed to the correct people. By all accounts, this should mean that you will see a better ROI on your adverts and there should not be too many changes with the overall cost of getting this better ad placement.

3. Being in Position 3 is Best.

This is a rather interesting point, as well as being further evidence of how this change is going to be so beneficial to so many people. According to studies carried out on the click-thru rate in trials, the advert in position three out of four saw the biggest increase in number of clicks received. This appears to have increased by roughly 15% with it beating the fourth position quite handsomely which came as a surprise to analysts.

However, if position three is also a shopping advert, then it has been further shown that these adverts have also had a substantial increase in the number of clicks with it increasing by some 4% in the month of February alone.

All of this sounds great, but everything that Google does regarding changes will always mean that there is, in some way, somebody that wins from it and somebody that loses out. In this instance, it has been shown that general SEO of a website can be affected and that is a problem.

What this means is that it is important that you have your own website SEO checked by an expert team that is fully aware of the changes to the paid search results pages and can make the appropriate changes to prevent your website from being hit in a negative manner. Leave it too long and not only will you perhaps find it difficult to get your advert noticed, but when your website starts to fall down the rankings it means your organic clicks will suffer as well.

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