Search Quality Highlights
There’s been so much Google news lately, that it’s hard to pick a starting point. First off, Google released search quality highlights for June and July. Out of the 86 updates, here are some changes that caught our attention:
– “ng2. [project codename “Other Ranking Components”] Better ordering of top results using a new and improved ranking function for combining several key ranking features.” Could it be any more vague?
– “Lime. [project codename “Freshness”] This change improves the interaction between various search components to improve search results for searches looking for fresh content.” Highlighting the importance of consistent updates!
– “Challenger. [project codename “Snippets”] This is another change that will help get rid of generic boilerplate text in Web results’ titles, particularly for sitelinks.” Just another example of how Google hates spammy sitewide links and boilerplate anything.
Next Penguin Update
In a keynote at SES San Francisco, gave SEOs everywhere quite a scare when he mentioned that the next Penguin update will be big. Online, Matt went on to later clarify that he meant that Penguin updates will take longer (as opposed to the almost monthly Panda updates) because it will incorporate “additional” signals. As we mentioned the vagueness of these additional signals, the overall goal is to create a more noticeable impact that will improve user experience.
7 vs 10 Results
Have you noticed less results in your searches? Google has been testing 7 results per page, as opposed to 10. On these certain searches, you’ll probably see more sitelinks for branded terms. Less results on a page means more clicking and more opportunity for paid ads… interesting. On the other hand, some proponents believe that Google is sending them higher quality results for their queries so that they’ll have to do less digging around for what they want. Any thoughts on either argument?
Panda 3.9.1 Refresh
The latest Panda refresh was unleashed this past Sunday. Again, Google has been criticized for releasing these updates on the weekends as webmasters have a hard time analyzing data that usually naturally trends downwards because of cyclical search behavior. This update supposedly only affected less than 1 percent of queries and it will take a few days before all the dust settles so that webmasters can properly analyze their rankings.
For now, that’s it for Google but don’t expect things to slow down after summer! What are you worried about and what would you like to see addressed?
Now more than ever, good content is a critical part of effective search engine optimization. Having a content management system (CMS) will help make this process easier – meaning that you can update your site more often with relevant content.
From a user standpoint, a CMS is very user-friendly and easy to use. But it’s time to look behind the scenes and see just how you can find the right SEO friendly CMS to help your search efforts.
Custom URLS – It’s important that you choose a CMS that gives you the option to create your own URL. SEO friendly URLs are tailored towards users and are more likely to have a higher click through rate. Sometimes, dynamic URLs can look spammy or relevant and lead to more problems in the future, especially if you are dealing with a website redesign.
Custom meta elements – An effective CMS should give you easy fields where you can fill out fields for title, description and keyword tags. Each page should have a unique Title tag that accurately reflects the content on that page. Did you know that aside from the content itself, page titles are (arguably) considered the most important element? Beware of a CMS that duplicates meta elements on each new page if you don’t customize it. I’ve come across sites that have hundreds of pages with of duplicate meta elements – not a good thing in Google’s eyes!
Speed and Usability – The main reason for using a CMS is that it is easy to use and that you can do it yourself if you need to. Older content management systems aren’t as user-friendly or practical to use. I recently had to use a CMS that took at least 5 minutes to save before you could view your edits. And of course, if you need to make more changes, that’s another 5 minutes just to preview! A CMS is meant to save you time and hassle, not make a bigger mess for you to deal with!
Affordability – When you have a website, there are multiple aspects that you have to consider including: web design, web copywriting, paid and organic search. Choosing the right CMS also means that you should see how it fits into your budget. If you “splurge” on a fancy/expensive CMS that you never have time to use, what’s the point? It could also take up the majority of your resources so that you don’t have anything left over to devote to a truly effective campaign.
A SEO CMS can help make website management an easier process and your organic search campaign more effective. Feel free to comment or give us a call (323) 340-4010 if you have any questions on a CMS for your small business.
If you’re looking for another fancy social media button to add to your site, it’s time to consider if the Google +1 button is right. More buttons is not necessarily better and it’s helpful to take a look at whether adding a +1 button will actually help your site or hurt it.
Looking for some good reasons to add the +1 button to your site?
Customer interest – Since Google+’s exclusive introduction this summer, people have been scavenging for invites to see what all the fuss is about. Today, the wait is over as Google+ is officially open to all who want in. If your site has a new +1 button, more customers are likely to use it and share with their friends and put their new profile to use.
Extremely social - Google+ has extremely social features including video group chats and more elaborate ways to group all your connections. Some hope that by integrating the +1 button, people are more likely to use it and share with their network. Like Facebook, it also has a tab where you can view all the +1s that a person has liked/endorsed. Social visibility, don’t you love it?
Search engine visibility – All these +1s aren’t for nothing! Social interaction with your site is becoming a more important role in your search engine rankings. Meaning – the more Likes, Tweets, +1s, and social shares your site has, the better it will rank for relevant terms in organic search. Search engines see this as a sign that your site is helpful and relevant to customers (real life people) and will generously take that into consideration.
Tracking and Analytics – The benefit of using Google products is that you can track your progress. When you embed the button onto your site, there’s a code that will give you detailed information about the demographics of the people who are +1-ing (is that a phrase?) your site.
What else do you see the +1 button being used for and how do you think businesses can benefit?
Make sure to check out our related blog posts and stay tuned for our upcoming post about the potential not-so good aspects of adding a +1 button to your site:
How Will You Be Using Google Plus?
Coming Soon: Google + for Businesses