Category Archives: Google Algorithm Updates

Has Panda 4.2 Arrived? What to Know About The New Google Algorithm Refresh

Panda 4.2 Google Algorithm Refresh

Have you noticed any changes in website traffic? No? It’s not a surprise that many webmasters have not noticed Panda 4.2 officially rolling out, because this one is a slow rollout: It could take months before it is complete. With that being said, a lot of us didn’t even notice this refresh that started rolling out on July 17, 2015.

What We Know About This Google Refresh So Far

  • Not a full algorithm update, just a Panda refresh
  • 2-3% of queries are being affected
  • A smaller refresh in comparison to older Panda refreshes; the previous refresh is affecting 3-5% of queries.
  • Unsure of how long this refresh will be rolling out for
  • The first Panda refresh in 10 months

Take a look at the MozCast data from the week Panda 4.2 began rolling out:
Mozcast - Google Panda 4.2 - Eminent SEO

You’ll notice a difference with Friday being cloudy, because that’s the day Google began rolling out the Panda refresh. It still doesn’t look like a huge spike, though, which is why a lot of people were unaware.

What Can I Do to Avoid Being Negatively Impacted by the Panda Refresh?

At this point, if you make changes to your website to reduce the repercussions of Panda, it’s not going to prevent this refresh from impacting your site. Once a refresh begins rolling out, you want to make sure your website is already equipped with high-quality content that is not duplicate or “thin.” Any time your website is not abiding by the Google Quality Guidelines, it could see a negative impact from an algorithm refresh or update, especially Panda, which specifically targets websites with thin content.

What you can do is run a quick crawl report for your website. If you notice any canonical issues causing duplicate content, get those fixed immediately.

Another step you can take is run a duplicate content test for internal site-wide content as well as a test for other sites on the web. Make sure there isn’t much common content on your site or worse, duplicate. You want your content to be mostly or entirely unique and high in quality.

The last thing you could do is make sure there isn’t any content on your website that’s lacking in invaluable user experience. If there are any doorway pages on your site, these could harm its search rankings.

How Do I Know if My Website Has Been Impacted?

If you’ve recently seen a sudden decline or incline in organic traffic, it could be that your website has been impacted by the newest refresh. Not many websites are showing much movement yet, but if you’ve noticed a drop within the last week and a half, that could be related to Panda 4.2. If you believe your site has been negatively impacted, read more here on how to recover from a Google penalty.

Looking to find out if your website has been impacted by this algorithm refresh? Our SEO experts can weigh in. Just give us a call to learn more about our website audits and pricing: 800.871.4130.

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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The Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update Is Coming April 21st

Every year Google updates their algorithm 100’s of times. Last year there were over 500 updates. Yes, many of them are simple data refreshes, but there were also quite a few significant algorithm updates. You might be familiar with some of the bigger ones over the last few years, such as Panda, Penguin and Pigeon. So, what’s next?

Google-Mobile-Friendly-Algorithm

Enter the Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update

There is no official name for this algorithm update yet, so marketers are calling it the “mobile-friendly” update. Hopefully they won’t taint the name of another cute, small animal that starts with a “P” (what could it be the Piggy update? Pheasant? Pale Fox? I digress…).  Google did announce the specific date, however, so we can confirm that it will begin rolling out on April 21st, 2015.

So, what is going to happen come April 21st?

I am not a psychic, so please know that some of this is speculation since the update is yet to roll out. However, I have done quite a bit of research on the subject, so this post is an attempt to bring you real information collected from the online marketing community.

It appears this update is going to impact:

  • Mobile App Indexablility and Rankability in Mobile Search
  • The Rankability of Websites with a Mobile App Available
  • Website Rankings on Mobile Search

Since most of the questions I get from our clients are related to their website’s ability to rank and how they will be impacted by this algorithm update, that is where I am going to focus. If you are more technical and want to read more about the subject, I highly suggest this post on the Moz Community blog from Cindy Krum: 9 Things You Need to Know About Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update.

Your Mobile Website Questions Answered

Is mobile search really that big?

Many online marketers were predicting mobile search would overtake desktop search by the year 2014 and they were right. A recent report from comScore shows mobile search actually overtook desktop within the last year:

Mobile-Search

This means that there is a good chance that a lot of your website traffic is coming from mobile search. In our client pool we see anywhere from 30%-60% of total web traffic is coming from mobile queries on average, sometimes more.

Other Mobile Stats:

  1. 80% of internet users own a smartphone
  2. Popular devices used to search the internet:
    • Desktop/Laptop: 91%
    • Smartphone: 80%
    • Tablet: 47%
    • Game Consoles: 37%
    • Smart TV’s: 34%
  3. 40% of mobile searches are local
  4. 81% of mobile conversions happen within 5 hours of the search
  5. 85% of mobile users prefer to use an app over a website

Do I need a mobile or responsive website?

YES! Did you read the statistics above? Mobile search has already taken over desktop search and the numbers will only continue to increase this year. More and more people are using their mobile devices to search and buy, so if your website isn’t mobile-friendly you are overlooking an important part of your user experience.

Also, come April 21st there is a good chance your website will lose its ability to rank well in the mobile search results. Why? Because Google wants to serve their mobile users the sites that are formatted well for mobile devices. Google is always aiming to provide it’s users with the best websites and information available. They understand that users are going to be frustrated with the results of their query if they land on pages that aren’t mobile-friendly. How frustrated are you when you search for something from your phone and the result you click on produces itty-bitty content that is impossible to read? Or navigation you can’t even click on? No thank you.

Responsive-Website

What is the difference between a mobile website and a responsive website?

When mobile search first started to become popular, many website owners and website designers/developers believed you needed a separate mobile site or landing page. This resulted in thousands of sub-domain sites (think m.yourdomain.com) and standalone mobile pages, designed specifically for use on smartphones.

Typically a mobile site is a scaled back version of the desktop website, which can include limited content, images and pages. It also is coded so that anytime a smartphone user visits your website the code will recognize the device and provide them with the mobile version automatically.

A responsive design is a website developed to scale to any size and type of device – desktop, tablet or mobile phone. Unlike mobile sites, it’s NOT a separate site, but rather a code that adjusts the design to fit the screen dimensions of the browsing device:

Responsive-Design

All things considered, a responsive site is a better solution long term than a mobile site. Why? For starters, a responsive design is better for SEO. Mobile sites are developed on sub-domains and responsive sites host mobile code on a single domain.

Another huge added value is the consistency it provides to your user experience. If I visit your website from my desktop and later I decide to visit your website from my smartphone, I want to see the same information. If you hide information from me because I am on my phone, I am going to become frustrated. A responsive design ensures that repeat visitors can access all of the content and information your site has to offer, regardless of which device they are searching from.

How do I know if my site is mobile-friendly?

There are actually quite a few free tools on the market that will check for mobile or responsive design and even show you a preview of your site, per device. I’ve used http://www.responsinator.com/ but it isn’t perfect and only gives you a preview – it doesn’t give you any real data:

Mobile-Friendly

Instead, Google rolled out a new Mobile-Friendly testing tool, which will analyze a URL and give you a report back on if that page has a mobile-friendly design:

Mobile-Friendly-Test

Keep in mind, however, this is just a tool and therefore doesn’t replace the need to manually review your site to ensure the user experience is the very best it can be. I always advise clients to also Google their site from their smartphones if they want to see what a user sees. Naturally each type of phone is slightly different, so if you want to really evaluate your site design manually, ask a friend with a different device to look it up for you – be sure to check your site on an iPhone AND an Android device.

It’s also important to note that there are other tools you should also use to determine how mobile-friendly your website is. The Google mobile-friendly tool above gives you a “yes” or “no” and a quick screenshot of your site as Google sees it on a mobile phone:

Mobile-Phone

They also give you specific recommendations for areas you should fix to make your site mobile-friendly.

But, you should also use these two other tools if you really want to know how mobile ready your site is:

Google’s PageSpeed Insights Test Tool – This tool gives you insights into your website loading times, including your mobile page speed. It also gives you other recommendations on things you should fix. You should note that unlike the mobile-friendly tool which looks at the page like a Googlebot would, the PageSpeed tool fetches the page as a user would. Very different, which is why you should use both tools.

Lastly, you should also use the Mobile Usability Report option in your Google Webmaster Tools account. Simply log in and navigate to the Mobile Usability Report. Once you run the report you will be provided with specific details on which pages are pulling a usability error. Example:

Mobile-Usability-Report

Google has also been sending out notifications through Google Webmaster Tools to sites that don’t meet the new mobile-friendly requirements. If you haven’t received an email you likely have a mobile-friendly site. However, you can confirm by checking your messages in Webmaster Tools.

Do tablets count as mobile devices?

No. Surprised? I was at first too. However, according to this post on Search Engine Round Table by Barry Schwartz: Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Will Not Impact Tablet Searches “the algorithm will only impact searches done on smartphones – only. This does not impact desktop searches and it does not impact tablet searches.”

Tablet-Searches

This is good to know, but doesn’t change the fact that a significant amount of search traffic is coming from smartphones specifically. So, the potential loss in traffic is still significant.

Will I lose traffic on April 21st if my site isn’t mobile-friendly?

Yes. Unlike other major algorithm updates, Google has actually provided the public with an advanced warning on this one, giving you plenty of time to fix your site:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

– Google

You can read the full official announcement from Google here.

To be clear – this is specific to mobile search. So, if you have great keyword rankings and traffic from desktop searches, those should NOT be impacted at this time. However, as mentioned above, if you are getting 30% or more of your traffic from mobile search queries (which is typical) than if your site is not mobile-friendly, you WILL DEFINITELY LOSE TRAFFIC.

The Nutshell

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly you will likely lose a significant amount of traffic come April 21st. Even if that number is low right now, keep in mind that mobile search is still on the rise and will only continue to grow over the next few years. If you own a website and you are planning for the future, now is the time to integrate a solid strategy for creating a great mobile experience for your site users.

If you need help developing a mobile website and marketing strategy, give us a call: 800.871.4130.

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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Why You Should Kiss Your City Landing Pages and Microsites Goodbye

doorway pages

A few days ago Search Engine Roundtable announced that Google did a silent algorithm update targeting doorway pages. Google decided to sweep their search results and remove any keyword-targeted, or city targeted microsites and landing pages that were ranking high and added no value to the end user.

First, let’s define what a doorway page really is. In Google’s Quality Guidelines, it states that these pages or websites are created solely to rank for specific keyword phrases and capture visitors with generic phrases. Examples of doorway pages may include:

  • Multiple keyword or city-focused domain names that funnel users to different pages or websites.
  • Dedicated landing pages on the site with sole purpose of capturing users with a target keyword phrase or city that may funnel them to another page on the site.

More about doorway pages here.

How to Identify These Landing Pages and Microsites

In order to prevent your website from being penalized by Google or losing a massive amount of organic traffic, you have to make sure these websites and landing pages add value to the end user. Google’s primary goal is to create a better user experience for their users, and when your website is trying manipulate that experience for their customers, they’re going to penalize you.

If you have multiple zip code pages, city pages, or broad keyword pages on your site that contain duplicate or thin content, chances are these aren’t providing a valuable experience to your users. Ask yourself this: Is this page or website valuable because my users need this information or is it only created to rank in the search results? Is the landing page only created to focus on keyword strategy or does the user need to know this information to purchase my product or service? You can easily tell if these pages or websites are valuable or if they are manipulative, grey-hat SEO techniques.

Why You Should Get Rid of Thin Content Immediately

  1. This technique is outdated. Google is constantly updating their algorithms to target websites that are “trying to get away with something”, so if it’s working now, don’t expect that last much longer.
  2. If the pages do start to rank it is only going to cause Google to manually review your site.. When Google does a manual review of your site and finds thin content pages, don’t be surprised when they penalize you and you have to remove them anyways.
  3. City or keyword stuffed domain microsites are one of the most obvious grey-hat link building tactic. Remember that huge update that happened a couple years ago called Penguin? Your site will immediately be banned when Google sees this and could be banned from their index indefinitely. This isn’t a matter of if, but when.
  4. This could cause you to lose leads. Since these pages and websites have no value to the user experience, your visitors may just click off the page or website immediately. Especially if it looks spammy and the content isn’t very good with no call to action. You will definitely lose leads this way.
  5. These websites and landing pages can cause duplicate content. When you’re writing about the same service or product across 30 pages or multiple sites, it can be difficult to not accidentally write the same exact thing. A lot of times these pages are just duplicated with the SEO swapped out per page, but the body of the content is exactly the same. Again, this is going to cause Google to manually review your website and you could lose all of that organic traffic you were so excited about getting.

Closing Thoughts

When your primary intent is to manipulate Google using thin content with these spammy websites and landing pages, there is no doubt it will catch up with you eventually. Don’t think you’re smarter than Google because you thought you won with a high ranking landing page, this is only going to cause Google to look at your site manually if it passed the algorithm update.

Our advice to business owners and other SEO companies is to always think about the user, just like Google is. You can’t go wrong when you are constantly thinking about user experience rather than how you can manipulate search engines into ranking your pages higher. SEO is meant to be a long-term investment, not a short-term win. Any short-term win will result in a penalty that costs more to fix than just investing in your website by doing things the right way the FIRST time.

Was your website negatively impacted by this algorithm update? We can help. Just give us a call. Experts are standing by: 800-871-4130

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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Vol. 38: Holiday Celebrations, 2014 Algorithm Changes, Dec. Blog Roundup

Eminent SEO Team News

Here in Arizona it’s been a little chilly… but nothing like you East Coasters! We hope you are staying nice and warm by the fire!

ESEO Team News

The end of the year is always a lot of fun, but this year December was especially exciting. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Annual Company “Ugly Sweater” Holiday Party

This year we found a super cool spot in downtown Phoenix called The Duce for our holiday party. The place is fun and eclectic – offering everything from unique drinks and food to shopping, dancing and even a boxing ring! We all enjoyed each other’s company and laughed at the ugly sweaters everyone was wearing:

Holiday party

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Of course we also had our annual Secret Santa gift exchange. Shopping for a co-worker with a $20.00 budget cap is harder than it looks! It’s a fun challenge though and between the thoughtful gifts and homemade potluck we all had a great time.

Secret Santa

A Member of Team Eminent SEO Got Married

As of November 15th our long-time team Eminent SEO member Amanda Sisk is now officially Amanda Greenwood! Congratulations Amanda and Jesse! Their wedding was beautiful and so sweet. It’s so fun to celebrate these special times with our team family!

Wedding

Good to Know in SEO (RIGHT NOW)

If you are in the industry you already know that 2014 brought a LOT of Google algorithm changes and updates. With so many updates it’s hard to keep up! So, we thought we would recap the year in updates for you. Here it is:

Confirmed Google Algorithm Updates in 2014 – A Complete List

Page Layout #3 – February 2014
A refresh to Google’s page layout algorithm, some people call it “top heavy”. Penalizes sites with too many ads above the fold.

Payday Loan 2.0 — May 2014
Targets especially spammy queries.

Panda 4.0 #26 — May 2014
The update targeted sites with low quality content.

Payday Loan 3.0 — June 2014
Official statements suggested that 2.0 targeted specific sites, while 3.0 targeted spammy queries.

Authorship Photo Drop — June 2014
Google announced they would be dropping all authorship photos from SERPs.

Pigeon — July 2014
An update that drastically changed which factors Google uses to determine local rankings.

HTTP/SSL Update – August 2014
Google announced they will now give preference to secured sites and that adding encryption will provide a “lightweight” boost.

Authorship Removed — August 2014
First Google removed authorship photos, come August 28th they announce they would also be removing authorship markup. By the next morning all authorship disappeared from the SERPs.

Panda 4.1 — September 2014
A Panda update, with an algorithmic component.

“In The News” Box – October 2014
A display change to News-box results that resulted in an expanded news site SERP presence.

Penguin 3.0 — October 2014 with continuing changes until December 6, 2014
A slow moving update came with the release of the new Penguin. This update was probably data-only.

Pirate 2.0 — October 2014
This one was to fight the media piracy. Obviously targeted and affected only a small set of sites.

WHEW! That is a lot of Google updates to keep up with! Were you impacted by any of the algorithm or SERP changes this year?

December Eminent SEO Social Media Roundup

December brings with it a bit of fun and whimsy. Enjoy our monthly social media roundup. Which post was your favorite?

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

Office

It was a rainy day today, but the rain did not take the sunshine from our team!

Rain

We might not get snow here in Mesa, Arizona, but we can pretend, right? What’s in your Winterland?

Christmas

Words do matter. Choose them wisely.

Words

Where you invest your love, you invest your life.

Invest

December Marketing Blog Roundup

What does 2015 have in store for your website and marketing strategies? These helpful blogs will guide you into a successful new year. Read on!

2015 Digital Marketing Trends

The 2015 Digital Marketing trend predictions are out. Mobile, content and technology are in! Are you prepared for the new year?

How to Become a SEO Winner in 2015

You, your business, your website, your products and services, your budget and your team are unique! Shouldn’t your website marketing strategies ALSO be unique? Here are 5 BIG reasons why your website needs a custom marketing strategy.

How To Use Google’s Display Campaigns To Build Your Brand

Need a quick way to build exposure for a new product? With Google’s Display Network, you can quickly reach your target audience and tell a story with your ads. Here’s how.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

As the New Year approaches, a lot of us are thinking of ways we can improve ourselves as individuals. As marketers, we should be thinking of ways we can improve our digital marketing campaigns for our clients. Here are some New Year’s resolution ideas for your campaigns.

See Ya Online!

It’s official, 2015 is here and we are already ROCKIN! While everyone else is laying low for the holidays we were busy developing new strategies and kicking off new campaigns. It’s not too late for you to do the same! If you’re ready for a new approach to marketing your business in 2015, just give us a ring at 800.871.4130 and let us create a killer plan for your business this year!

And… until next time, see ya online!

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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Vol. 37: 2014 is Coming to a Close, More on Google Penguin

2014 is Coming to a Close

2014 Is Coming to a Close

Max MonsterCan you believe another year has already passed us by? It’s hard to believe in less than a month it will be 2015! This year was a big one for Eminent SEO. We celebrated 5 years of business, launched a new website, expanded our client list and grew our team.

Now that December is here we are excited for the holidays. This year our team is having our annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Party again. Check out last year’s December newsletter for fun pictures of the ESEO team in our ugly sweaters here. Do you have an annual company holiday party? What do you do to celebrate with your team?

Good to Know in SEO (RIGHT NOW)

Google Penguin Updated… Again:

Just a few days ago SE Roundtable posted a blog stating that Google Penguin updated, again! Although the update is still unconfirmed by Google, many webmasters are commenting about changes to their rankings – in a good way.

From Barry Schwartz on December 5th:
“On Thanksgiving day, Google started to reverse Penguin penalties (I know Google doesn’t call them penalties). This was a good thing and Google actually confirmed this was part of the Penguin 3.0 rollout. Then on Thursday, those gains were rolled back for many. When John Mueller of Google was asked about it, he didn’t seem to know what was going on. Now this morning, the reversals seem to have been reversed and now sites hit are Penguin free, or at least some.”

What’s interesting is the webmasters are mainly talking about recoveries – saying things such as:

“Since yesterday I notice sites (more than a few) that were slapped between 10 and 20 October (rankings fall 200+) are now completely regaining their rankings… So, did Penguin devalued certain links (and thus slapped all these sites) and now it’s backtracking (or whatever it’s called) and as such releasing all these sites?”

What do you think? Have you seen fluctuations or what appear to be recoveries? Let us know in the comments!

November Eminent SEO Social Media Roundup

Here it is: your monthly roundup of some of our favorite Eminent SEO social media posts from November. Enjoy!

“Be genius!”
Be Genius

“These little reminders will add color to your life. Go for it, add them, what are you waiting for?”
Reminders

“T. E. A. M. = Together Everyone Achieves More.”
TEAM

“$100 Million: Estimated amount that Samsung spends on Facebook advertising per year, making the creator of the Galaxy phone the largest advertiser on Facebook.”
100 Million

“Your words define your actions… Be grateful!”
Be Grateful

November Marketing Blog Roundup

7 Reasons Why You Need A Website Redesign
Thinking about redesigning your website? Here are 7 reasons why you should.

2015 Digital Marketing Trends
The 2015 digital marketing trends are out. Mobile, content and technology is in. Are you prepared for next year?

Why Your Website Needs a Custom Marketing Strategy
You, your business, your website, your products and services, your budget and your team are unique! Shouldn’t your website marketing strategies ALSO be unique? Here are 5 BIG reasons why your website needs a custom marketing strategy.

Why Your SEO Campaign Needs Social Media
Social media and SEO go together kind of like peanut butter and jelly. When you you’re missing one, you’re missing out on that extra boost in reaching your target audience. Here are some reasons why your SEO campaign needs social media.

How To Use Social Media To Build Your Brand
Social media has become a primary brand building resource for businesses who want an affordable and measurable way to build their brand. Are you integrating social media into your branding strategy? Here are some tips on how to use social media to build your brand.

See Ya Online!

So long 2014… You’ve been so good to us! We are wishing you and yours a spectacular holiday season and a prosperous 2015!

Are you looking forward to 2015? What do you have planned for the new year? Share in the comments with us.

Until next time, see ya online!

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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Vol. 36: Eminent SEO Celebrates 5 Years and More on the Google Penguin Update

Eminent SEO is Celebrating 5 Years in Business!

anniversary
As 2014 comes to a close I am reflecting on yet another exciting year for Eminent SEO. It’s hard to believe that October 2014 marked 5 years since Eminent SEO started officially doing business. I won’t write another lengthy personal journey story like I did last time. This time will share with you our shining moments and exciting news.

What 2014 Brought for Eminent SEO:

New Employees:

employees
Every company loses some employee’s and this last year was no different for us. Of course we were sad to lose some of our favorite people, but not only did we hire some new team members to replace those that we lost, but we actually grew our team as well! We are super excited to be in growth mode as we go into 2015.

Meet the whole team here: //www.eminentseo.com/about/

New Website:

website

The idea of a new site was discussed long ago… but client work was always the top priority so we put off the daunting task for years. In 2014 we (finally) made it happen and we are so proud to have our new and improved site.

Read more about the changes and additions here: //www.eminentseo.com/blog/new-eminent-seo-website-live/

Max Swag:

swag

Max, our brand mascot, has been a symbol of the Eminent SEO brand since the beginning. He can be found on our website, our social platforms and even on our business cards. So many people took interest in him that we decided to turn him into his own product line we are calling “Max Swag”. You can find him on coffee mugs, t-shirts, cell phone cases and much more. As part of the new website launch we also made Max Swag available for purchase in our online stores. Who doesn’t want a cute sweatshirt with Max on it for the cold winter months?

Get your Max Swag here: //www.eminentseo.com/shop/

Eminent SEO Owners, Chris and Jenny, Have a Baby:

baby

Meet Camden Weatherall, the newest member to the Eminent SEO family. Born September 8th 2014 he is now almost 2 months old. It was a fun time, having the baby and enjoying my maternity leave with him. I am now back to work and enjoying my team again. A big thank you to all of our clients and the team for supporting us during this time. It’s not easy for the CEO AND the President to both leave for any amount of time, so we really did lean on the team a lot to make sure everything ran smoothly.

You guys ROCK!

Good to Know in SEO (RIGHT NOW)

Google Penguin 3.0 is Confirmed:

penguin

The on-going battle to rid the web of “bad links” continues. Penguin originally rolled out in April of 2012. Since the launch of the Google algorithm update there has been several updates, some smaller but some major changes. Penguin 3.0 rolled out on October 17th, 2014 and marks the next big refresh to the algorithm.

Although Google announced the roll-out in October, over 2 weeks later we are still seeing the impact the update has had on the web. It appears to be slowly rolling out which means how many sites have been or will be impacted is still to be determined. This is even more difficult to determine since Panda 4.1 is also still slowly rolling out as well as the Pirate update, creating overlapping algorithm updates.

pirate.

Thanks Google.

If you are concerned you have been hit or want to learn more, here is our last post on the subject: Penguin 3.0 Update Confirmed: Here’s What You Should Know

October Eminent SEO Social Media Roundup

If you’ve been following us you know how much we love social media. In fact, we love it so much we even have a whole site dedicated to it! (check it out here: Eminent Social Media)

Here is the latest social media roundup so you can relive October, because didn’t it go by too fast anyways?

“Every thought is a seed, if you plant crab apples, don’t plan on harvesting golden delicious.”
seed

“Content – The text, video, sound and graphics that make up a web page. Content is anything a website user can read, see or do.”
content

“Autumn the year’s last, loveliest smile. Are you enjoying the changing colors and cooler temperatures?”
autumn

“Clothes make a statement…Costumes tell a story!” Happy Halloween from Team Eminent SEO!
halloween

There were TONS of fun posts this month, too many to share. So, if you want more, check us out on your favorite social platform, or follow us on Instagram here!

October Marketing Blog Roundup

Personality Traits of a Successful Digital Marketing Expert [INFOGRAPHIC]
The Problem Solver. Creative Thinker. Listener. Learner. Leader… all marketing traits of a successful digital marketing expert. Learn why these traits are important in the digital marketing environment.

How to Prevent Getting Squashed by Penguin 3.0
Were you one of the many sites hit by the Penguin update? No? Good for you! Now, learn how to avoid getting hit in the future!

Penguin 3.0 Update Confirmed: Here’s What You Should Know
Google confirmed that Penguin 3.0 is slowly rolling out. What does this mean for website owners? Find out in our latest blog post.

8 Tips for Effective PPC Landing Pages
We know a thing or two about creating landing pages that convert! Get a few tips from the pros and reap the rewards!

How to Make a Boring Product Look Sexy
Look, let’s face it, not every product is that sexy… are you one of “those guys”? If so, don’t worry! Even a boring product can look sexy if you market it right!

See Ya Online!

Bye bye October. We are sad to see you go… but we are looking forward to the rest of the end of year holidays, decorating, parties and shopping! What does your family or business have in store for the final two months of 2014? Share with us in the comments below.

Until next time, see ya online…

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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Penguin 3.0 Update Confirmed: Here’s What You Should Know

penguin 3.0

Last Friday, Penguin 3.0 began impacting sites worldwide. Google has confirmed that this update is steadily rolling out, but has not confirmed how long it’s going to be before it’s complete. It will most likely take a few weeks to fully roll out. So far, impacting about 1% of US search queries according to SEO Roundtable.

What Does this Mean for Website Owners?

Since this update isn’t completely done rolling out yet, it’s too early to tell who all has been impacted. If your website has a history of manipulating search engines with low quality links, and you haven’t seen a drop in organic traffic now, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. We believe this is the first of many refreshes to come in the near future. Here’s some more information on how you can prevent being penalized by Penguin.

If you’re a website owner that was negatively affected by one of the previous Penguin updates and gone through the process of removing bad links, you will most likely have a positive impact from this. When a website is hit with an algorithmic penalty, the website won’t necessarily gain much organic traction until a new update or refresh of that algorithm rolls out again. Which is why a positive impact is expected for those website owners.

What We Know About Penguin 3.0 So Far

Pierre Far from Google stated on Google+ that this is not a full update, but actually a refresh. Here’s what else we know about Penguin 3.0:

  • Currently affecting less than 1% of US search queries
  • This refresh will help sites that have already cleaned up bad backlinks and web spam
  • Will negatively impact sites that contain any web spam
  • Worldwide refresh
  • Slow rollout that began Friday, October 17, 2014

What Does This Mean for Websites That Didn’t Get Helped?

Like mentioned earlier, this is believed to be the first of many refreshes of Penguin. If you have any bad links, make sure they are removed or disavowed. Then, continue to play by Google’s rules on quality link building. Always think quality. Never quantity. Instead of thinking link building, think of link earning. What are some methods you can do to earn quality links? Who are some top influencers and bloggers in your website’s niche? Reach out to them.

Closing Thoughts

As we learn more about this update, we will keep you in the loop. For now, continue to analyze your website’s organic traffic increases/decreases as well as keyword rankings to know if your website has been impacted by this. If you need help reviving your website from Penguin 3.0, give us a shout. We have experts standing by: 800-871-4130

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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How to Prevent Getting Squashed by Penguin 3.0

Penguin 3.0

When Penguin 2.0 rolled out about a year ago, it affected 2.3% of English search queries. Penguin was one of the largest updates and left many businesses at a standstill. Webmasters reported a decrease in traffic of up to 90%…. that’s enough to make any business go under if your primary conversion source is Google.

With Penguin 3.0 set to launch any time before the end of the year, it’s best to know how to you can prevent your website from being crushed by this update.

What Penguin 3.0 Will Most Likely Target

When Penguin 2.0 was released, its primary target was search spam and manipulative, low quality backlinks. With Penguin 3.0, we don’t think it’s going to be much different other than the fact that the penalties may be more severe and more noticeable.

From Matt Cutts (Head of Google’s Search Spam team): “…expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact. It’s not the case that people should just expect data refreshes for Penguin…”

Here’s what we think will be most impacted:

Optimized anchor texts of any kind: Keyword exact match anchor texts are a strategy of the past. It’s only going to hurt you moving forward if you continue to place them. Our suggestion is to stick with brand only anchor texts which would include: company name, company URL, and variations of your company URL.

Low quality backlinks: If you have any low quality backlinks, you have a high risk of being hit by this new update. Google is well aware of what a low quality link is, and Penguin will be able to trigger when a site has a massive quantity of low quality links.

Link schemes: Not only are low quality links detected, but link schemes. If you’re guilty or have been guilty in the past of purchasing backlinks, Penguin will be able to better detect this. Google’s been working hard to find all guest blogging networks and the sites associated with them. It won’t be a good outcome if your website is associated with any blogging networks.

The Potential Positive and Negative Outcomes of Penguin 3.0

Just like any algorithm update, there are going to be good and bad side effects for sites across the web.

The Good

For those who were hit by Penguin 2.0, you know exactly what needs to be done to make your backlink profile nothing less than stellar. You’ve gone and removed/disavowed links of all types. You’ve requested a reconsideration in Google. Maybe even more than once. You’ve began building relationships and receiving high authoritative links. This is what Google wants to see. But why haven’t you seen an increase in organic traffic yet?

The good news is that if you’ve done everything to make your backlink profile flawless, this update will be a good thing for you. Google will reward sites like yours with higher rankings. It’s what you’ve been waiting for! Google will have the right tools to determine if your website should be reconsidered from Penguin.

The Bad

From what we’ve learned from the past Penguin updates is that it’s not an easy algorithmic penalty to recover from. Ten months later, websites still aren’t where they used to be in terms of Google organic traffic, compared to before Penguin 2.0 was released. With Penguin 3.0, things aren’t going to be better if you’re still participating in bad practices. In fact, they will be worse than before. If you snuck passed Penguin 2.0, chances are you won’t sly passed 3.0. Your website will be penalized and who knows when your rankings and organic traffic will be back up to where they used to be. Even after you go through the hassle of removing and disavowing links. Google isn’t going to take web spam lightly.

How to Protect Your Website from Penguin 3.0

First things first, you want to check to see if you’ve already been hit with Penguin penalty. The Penguin Penalty Analysis Tool will help you to determine this.

Afterwards, you want to go through the steps of how you can recover from an algorithmic penalty. Other ways to prevent your website from being hit:

Perform an Audit of Your Backlinks

With the right tools you can determine any links that could negatively impact your website. Make sure every single backlink meets Google’s quality guidelines.

Remove Any Links That Have Exact Match Anchor Texts

Don’t risk being penalized from over-optimization. Any backlinks that have keyword optimized anchor texts will be targeted. With your audit, you will be able to determine which links contain these.

Remove Purchased Links from Blogging or Link Networks

Any links that are still linked to your website from a blogging or link network will be targeted with Penguin 3.0. Remove all links that are associated with these.

Remove Irrelevant and Low Quality Links

If you still have low quality directory links, remove them. Google knows the sole purpose of these directories is to gain backlinks. Especially if these directories aren’t even relevant to your industry. That will definitely raise a red flag.

Carefully Analyze Your Guest Blog Posts

If you were writing guest blogs for the sole purpose of search engine rankings, we recommend going back through and analyzing each one. If any seem skeptical either remove it completely, or slap a no-follow on the link. Make sure the content is high in quality and the links aren’t exact match anchor texts. Also, look at the overall quality score of the blog itself. Do the blog have consistent posts with topics in your industry? Or does it only have outbound links to other sites? You want a blog that’s going to always post high quality content with a small amount of outbound links.

Closing Thoughts

Battling any Google algorithm penalty is difficult to conquer. That’s why we always suggest a constant audit of your backlinks as well as constantly building relationships with the right webmasters. If you find anything harmful linking to you, it’s best to clean it up. It may cause a brief fluctuation in rankings, but it’s better than a long-term algorithmic penalty.

If you need help auditing your backlinks to prepare for Penguin 3.0, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ll help your website get back on track to become Penguin-friendly. 800.871.4130

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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Vol. 35: Our New Site is LIVE, Google Panda 4.1 is Now Rolling Out, Fall is Here!

What’s Happening at Eminent SEO

In case you missed it, our newly redesigned and developed site is LIVE!

What’s Happening at Eminent SEO - ESEO

Last month we broke down the changes for you – if you want a refresher, check it out here.

One of our favorite new features is our Max Swag Shop. Max, our adorable little orange monster mascot is now featured on a number of products we like to call “Max Swag”. In our new shop you can check out the various products, visit our cart, customize and buy your own swag. Who doesn’t want a cute t-shirt or funny mug with Max on it? Don’t see what you are looking for? Ask us – we’d be happy to make a custom design just for you!!

Max Swag Products - EminentSEO.com

Good to Know in SEO (RIGHT NOW)

Google Panda 4.1 is Now Rolling Out…

Normally ANY Google Algorithm update announcement strikes fear into webmasters across the world, but this one might be different!

Pierre Far of Google announced a Panda update on his Google+ page just a few days ago:

“Earlier this week, we started a slow rollout of an improved Panda algorithm, and we expect to have everything done sometime next week.

Based on user (and webmaster!) feedback, we’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice.

Depending on the locale, around 3-5% of queries are affected.”

From what we can tell this algorithm update is a pretty major one, but it’s hard to say if the estimated 3-5% of queries affected is actually accurate until the dust settles a bit more.

Notice Pier also said that this update is friendlier to smaller sites, “greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher”. If this is true than this update is great news for some of the smaller guys who have been struggling.

Keep in mind that Panda is intended to focus on targeting low quality content and this update, Panda 4.1, is said to add a “few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely.”

If you have seen a drop in rankings over the last few days, then you may have been hit by Panda 4.1. If you were hit, then you likely have a low quality content issue with your site. Some people are saying game and lyric sites might be some of the biggest losers.

Have some additional thoughts on the subject? Share in the comments below.

Need help with a content issue? Give us a ring: 800-871-4130.

September Eminent SEO Social Media Roundup

We tell every client that social is important to any on-line marketing campaign. So, why would we not practice what we preach? Well, we do! We want to make sure our social profiles offer up interesting industry information as well as topics, images, videos and articles that are personal to who we are.

Here are some of our favorite social posts from September:

We love what we do, but everyone needs a break now and then.
“It’s the weekend… this is as dressed as I get!”

It’s the Weekend This is as Dressed as I Get - Eminent SEO

How To Make Bacon Fuel
“It’s #‎TechTuesday and what did we find? A motorcycle that is powered by BACON!

How to Make Bacon Fuel - Tech Tuesday - EminentSEO.com

If at first you don’t succeed… do a power pose!
“Words from our very own: Jason SanMarco. Who is Jason? You can find out on his bio page here!”

If at First You Don't Succeed Do a Power Pose - Jason SanMarco - ESEO

The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
“Get to work… be successful!”

Dictionary is the Only Placed Where Success Comes Before Work - ESEO

Max To the Rescue!
“What does Eminent SEO Mean? The answer is on our About Page, on our NEW WEBSITE! Come check it out.”

Max to the Rescue - Superhero Max - Eminent SEO

Everyone Likes A Little Nerd Humor
“Have a playful weekend.”

Nerd Humor - Tech Humor - EminentSEO.com

Every day is a fresh start.
“Another sunrise, another new beginning.”

Another Sunrise Another New Beginning - Eminent SEO

National Coffee Day!
“The morning coffee routine is quite common. The 3D art this 26 year old barista shares, is unique. What a way to start your day! Happy National Coffee Day!”

National Coffee Day - Eminent SEO

Marketing Blog Roundup

Top Red Flags to Watch Out for When Hiring an SEO Agency
Unfortunately this industry is full of a lot of people who think they are experts, but may not have much real world experience. Don’t get burned by an amateur – read this post to find out what you should be looking out for when hiring an SEO agency.

The Importance of Having a Killer Business Blog
Blogging on behalf of your business builds brand awareness, boosts SEO and website traffic, and converts subscribers into leads. Those are just 3 primary benefits of business blogging. Learn how a business blog can benefit your business and why you need this as part of your content marketing strategy.

The New Eminent SEO Website is Live!
It was such a labor of love! From all new content and design to each image alt tag – we left nothing undone! Read this blog post to find out exactly what went in to this complete website overhaul and be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Everything You Need to Know About Google Penalties and Manual Actions
A lot of people have been hit with a penalty – but they don’t understand the difference between a manual action verses an algorithm based penalization. This post explains the difference.

How to Recover from a Google Penalty
Are you dealing with a Google Penguin or Panda website penalization? Before you give up your domain and start over, read this blog post – there is hope! If you follow these steps, your website can fully recover and even come back stronger than it was before.

Twitter Analytics Dashboard Now Available to Everyone
SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS: Twitter releases the use of Twitter Analytics dashboard to everyone. You can now track your tweet impressions, engagements, and follower demographics. Learn more about this amazing social media tool.

What Does Your Online Reputation Say About You?
Protect your brand from obtaining a negative reputation online. How? Actively participating on social media, monitoring Google alerts, and on-going inbound marketing efforts. Even if you don’t have a negative reputation, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t monitor your positive reputation. Engage with your customers by responding to both negative and positive reviews. Learn more about how to manage your reputation online.

Top 5 Socially Shared Video Ads of 2014
Commercials are being ignored with today’s DVR technology and TV streaming services like Netflix. It leaves companies trying out a new route to increase brand visibility with their ads. That’s why social media is playing a large role in brand awareness today. We wanted to share with you some of the top shared video ads for 2014. Enjoy!

Southwest Airlines Re-brands Their Logo and Overall Identity
When a well-known company chooses to rebrand it can be a huge (and scary!) undertaking! See how Southwest Airlines chose to re-brand their logo and overall identity in this blog post.

See Ya Online!

So long September! We are already into the fall months and dreaming of apple cider, warm fuzzy sweaters and carving pumpkins. Come see some of the Eminent SEO team family’s favorite fall traditions in this recent blog post… and start prepping for the festive months ahead.
Until next time, see ya online…

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Algorithm Update Alert! Google Panda 4.0: The Good and The Bad

This entry was posted in Google Algorithm Updates and tagged on by .

Google Panda 4.0

As you’ve probably heard, Google launched a new algorithm update known as Panda 4.0 on May 20th. Panda was originally released in the beginning of 2011, and has been providing data refreshes ever since impacting websites that have overall poor content quality. This new update isn’t just a refresh, it’s an algorithm change that has impacted 7.5% of queries which isn’t going unnoticed.

The Bad

Let’s start with the bad. Your website will be negatively impacted if any of the following factors occur:

Duplicate Content: Your website has content that is also visible on other websites that wasn’t published by you first. Also known as scraped content. There can also be sitewide duplicate content which means your website has internal pages that have the same or very similar content, ecommerce category pages that aren’t properly canonicalized, etc.

Low Quality Content: This term is pretty general in terms of Panda. This algorithm is going to look at the overall quality of your website in comparison to the large number of sites that are competing with you, as well as these factors:

  • Doorway Pages – internal website landing pages that are only meant for search    engines – not visitors. These are usually keyword stuffed landing pages that will rank high in the search results for a specific array of keywords, but have absolutely zero value to a visitor who lands on it. They are strictly there to manipulate search engines.
  • Thin Content – content that lacks originality. Mostly happens on affiliate sites where product descriptions are copied, and don’t add any original content to override the duplicated product descriptions. Original content should always overpower anything that is duplicated. Don’t only rely on affiliate content. Thin content can also be defined as pages that only have a couple lines of content. Make sure your content provides value and has weight on each landing page.

Over-Optimization: This is where Panda is going to look for pages that contain over usage of keywords otherwise known as keyword stuffing. Don’t stuff keywords in your meta data or within your content.

Bad news is, if your website currently has any of the items listed above, you have a chance of being negatively impacted by this update or penalized by Google. Don’t think that just because you haven’t been impacted this time, you won’t be in the future. Panda 4.0 is only the beginning of more updates where the algorithm is only going to become smarter and continue to evolve.

Here’s a few sites that have been negatively impacted due to Panda 4.0:

  • ask.com > -50%
  • ebay.com > -33%
  • retailmenot.com > -33%

The Good

The good part of this major algorithm change is the fact that websites will be rewarded with higher rankings that already contain high quality content. If you’ve seen an increase in organic traffic and rankings since this update occurred, chances are you’re already doing something right. There’s a lot of talk going around that smaller business websites will be rewarded from this update. About time!

Best Practices for Producing Quality Content

Always Write Original Content

Don’t ever think it’s okay to simply copy and paste content from other websites. Your site will be penalized for doing this! Your website should provide detailed information about your product or service while keeping conversion in mind. You don’t want to bore your potential clients with a bunch of mumbo jumbo content. Provide original content that will educate them and show the difference between your company and your competition. What makes your company so special?

Don’t Stuff Keywords into Your Content

Keyword density is an outdated SEO technique. If you’re still stuffing keywords into your content, it will trigger Google to thinking your content sounds unnatural and you can be penalized. Keep your content sounding natural with a variety of keyword variations.

Produce Fresh Content That’s High Quality

There isn’t any calculated formula as to how often you should be producing blogs, eBooks, or videos. What you want to keep in mind is the quality of the content you’re publishing. Does your content hold sentimental value or are you just producing content because you want Google to keep crawling your website? I hope the answer is that your content is producing some sort of value. To do this, create a monthly editorial calendar that have blog topics in mind. If you have enough topics to write 2 blogs per week, do it! If not, once per week is fine.

Closing Thought

Since Google is going to continue to release large updates such as Panda 4.0, it’s highly recommended to always keep your readers in mind first, then the search engines second when writing content online. Quality over quantity. Offer value in your content to readers because in the end, it will help your rankings if your readers are sharing your content naturally.

We hope this article helped you understand the basics of Panda 4.0. Have you been targeted by this update? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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