Tag Archives: Algorithm Update

So Many Changes to AMP Content In Google Mobile Search: Let’s Recap

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AMP Platform Your Website Join In - EminentSEO

Accelerated mobile pages – called AMPs – are one of Google’s newest projects. Google’s techies created the platform to help web publishers provide content to users that loads quickly across mobile devices.

Presently, the platform maintains a large focus on news stories. In a blog post that preceded the AMP launch, Google explained the project’s original intent: Rich content, such as video animations and graphics, should work alongside smart ads and load instantly.

With the open-source AMP platform, Google hopes to consistently deliver the best experience for its mobile search users. Our culture has been trained to look for instant gratification, and Google knows that we need lightning fast, accurate information.

How AMP Content in Google Mobile Search Works

AMP content officially debuted in Google mobile search in February 2016. These articles were easy to distinguish from other formats: They appear in a “carousel” layout, allowing users to swipe horizontally between the best results. Each entry also features a lightning bolt icon and the acronym “AMP.” Users have already enjoyed the fast results, prompting more research into the platform’s possibilities.

AMP Content In Google Mobile Search Carousel - Eminent SEO

The AMP framework coincides with existing HTML coding but allows publishers to create lightweight webpages – pages that are simpler and faster because they use fewer parts. The entire project is essentially just a set of specifications, both requirements and restrictions, powered by JavaScript (although publishers cannot write their own JavaScript). CSS3 is used for customized styling, and every page is cached on Google’s servers, working like a content delivery network.

So how much faster are AMPs? With advanced coding, the median load time is a mere 0.7 seconds, according to SearchEngineLand.com. That’s incredibly quick, especially when you compare it to all other pages on the web with non-AMP coding – which average 22 seconds.

How AMP Content Is Moving Across Industries

Although similar, AMPs are quite different from traditional webpages. If website happens to offer different versions of a particular page (such as desktop, mobile and AMP versions) for different devices, your mobile search engine will always prefer the AMP material. This could be the future of instantaneous search results, and the platform’s reach is widening.

In the beginning, AMP specifically catered to news stories. It’s already transitioning, though, opening up to new companies and industries daily. Take eBay, for example. The online auction site has deployed an AMP-powered shopping experience for mobile users since June 30. It has more than 8 million queries, known as “browse nodes,” already available or in production. AMP results can be a vital part of almost any company’s marketing strategy.

EBay AMP Content Moving To All Industries - Eminent SEO

Not only is the AMP platform opening up to new industries, but other search engines are beginning to subscribe as well. Just last month, Microsoft announced that Bing has joined the open-source effort, and that it plans to treat AMP content similar to how Google indexes and features it. This means that the platform has spread well beyond Google, and that the potential reach of AMP content is only going to continue to grow.

Google Is Pushing for AMP Growth

AMPs are a game-changer, especially considering that most internet searches are now done on a mobile device more often than on desktop and laptop computers. Always at the forefront of change, Google has been working hard to increase traffic to AMP pages.

The links to AMPs look identical to others, aside from the lightning bolt logo and “AMP” label tucked along the bottom. The carousel also remains, although it’s currently unclear whether Google has plans to remove it entirely and fully combine AMP results.

In recent news, Google has started integrating AMP content into the organic mobile search results, in addition to still offering the “Top stories” carousel of AMP-only content. The AMP logo is clearly visible now in the organic search results, right where the “Mobile-friendly” label used to be – ahead of the meta description for a particular entry.

AMP Content In Mobile Organic Results - Eminent SEO

AMP Results Now Outweigh Indexed App Content

In 2013, Google began indexing content from apps, and it generally only shows up to users who already have that particular app installed. What this means is that if you conduct a search and Google finds that you already have an app that has your answer, then you would see that content show up in your mobile search results. And if you click on that result, the search engine will take you straight to your app, rather than a webpage.

While Google is still indexing app content, its mobile search engine is now favoring AMP material over “app deep links.” Google’s head of global products partnerships, Adam Greenberg, made this revelation at the SMX East conference in New York last month.

This update shows how deeply committed Google is to the AMP platform for now and the near future.  The change might leave some app developers frustrated, but nonetheless, publishers need to adjust their focus to AMPs – rather than worrying about getting app content to rank in mobile search.

Will AMP Content Help Your Website Rank Better?

As of now, Google has no plans to make AMP material a ranking factor for websites. In other words, offering AMP content won’t necessarily give your entire website’s search rankings a boost.

However, Google almost always gives AMP content page one treatment when someone uses conducts a search via mobile. So producing AMP content may be a way to boost awareness of your website, especially if you’re having trouble cracking that first page organically.

Although it may seem a bit exclusive at the moment, the goal of the AMP project is to produce efficient and fast internet content. Richard Gingras, head of news and social products for Google, told the Nieman Journalism Lab that the AMP launch is a step forward for the technological ecosystem, with a shift toward better content performance.

Why the Search Engine Change Matters

Interestingly, AMPs are hosted on their own servers when visited from a Google search. This means using the AMP platform is a bit of a give and take. You’ll receive special treatment in the form of high search results and mass availability. However, the links point to Google, or whichever search engine someone used to find your AMP content.

This a significant change from the way Google has worked in the past. Previously, the web giant was simply an index that directed visitors to other sites. Now, AMPs can keep visitors exclusively on Google properties. Companies will need to ask themselves if they’re ready for higher visibility with little to no significant increase in actual traffic.

AMPs Are Like Instant Articles – Only Better

The AMP platform is comparable to Facebook’s Instant Articles, which gives content publishers the option to embed data onto the social network. When publishers utilize Instant Articles, followers can consume content without having to leave Facebook’s app.

Many are viewing the AMP project as a vast improvement over Instant Articles, since AMPs provide more opportunities to lead users to your full website.

What About Ads in AMP Content?

Mobile Ads In AMP Articles - Eminent SEOJavaScript is generally forbidden by AMP restrictions, but there are still ways for publishers to post ads, if they’re smart. There’s an analytics tag built into AMP content, which allows creators to send information to certain providers, such as Chartbeat, Adobe and Parse.ly. They’ve been pre-screened by Google, and the data is handled by one JavaScript file (instead of one for every analytic provider). Because this speeds up the process greatly, ads can be used in a similar way.

The AMP project vets analytic information by special criteria, including performance, privacy and security. Publishers can choose to use the AMP tag, similar to the traditional tag. Sections of JavaScript can be placed on the website, although it won’t include access to the same amount of data.

Taking Advantage of the AMP Platform

Wordpess AMP Plugin - Eminent SEOAMPs are well on their way to changing the internet (or, at least, mobile search), so why not take advantage of this platform? Some WordPress plugins are already available to help you craft a concise and functional website. WordPress’s AMP Plugin, for example, automatically translates your posts’ content to these fast-loading pages, and you don’t have to enter special settings for it to work. The software automatically inserts tags, so it’s fantastic for those with little HTML knowledge.

If your team includes a web designer (or if you have some coding background yourself), it’s easy to design a custom AMP page from scratch. The project’s homepage (see screenshot below) includes a huge selection of resources too, which will help you learn how to create the content on your own. You’ll also find a technical section to learn more about how AMP works, plus code samples, source code and documentation courtesy of GitHub.

AMP Project Website Homepage - ESEO

The AMP platform in continuously growing and changing, and it’s in the news almost weekly. At Eminent SEO, we’ve been following the AMP developments closely. It might seem like a lot to take in, but we can help. If you want to understand more about Accelerated Mobile Pages, what they can do for your business, and how to optimize them, trust our expertise to guide you. Call 800.871.4130 for help with building AMP pages today!

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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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Vol. 59: Eminent SEO’s 7th Anniversary; Google Penguin 4.0 Rolls Out, Makes Minimal Impact

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Eminent SEO 7th Anniversary - Google Penguin 4.0 NewsletterEminent SEO News: It’s Our 7th Anniversary

Go shorty, it’s our birthday …

Eminent SEO was formed in October 2009 as a three-person team, but we have consistently grown since then and we are celebrating seven years in business this month! In the past year, we stretched our legs and moved into a bigger office in Mesa, Arizona, and we’ve added key new members to our team as well as a diverse lineup of new clients.

Thank you to all of our followers, clients and partners for helping us grow over the past seven years! Here’s to many more years of serving you!

More Eminent SEO News: We’ve Added a New Help Desk Feature

Already a client of Eminent SEO? Now you can reach us any time you want with our new online help desk feature!

Now, instead of trying to track down individual tasks or figure out which person in our office to email, you can just send us your questions or requests through this new online portal that branches off our website. In most cases, we will respond to your submission within one business day.

Click on the screenshot below if you’d like to be taken to our help desk right now:

Eminent SEO Helpdesk Submit Request Screenshot

What’s New in SEO: Google Penguin 4.0 Is Here

According to many reports, the Google Penguin 4.0 update began rolling out on Sept. 23. According to Search Engine Roundtable, not many websites saw a huge difference in their search rankings that first weekend. In fact, nearly 600 people responded to a poll on Search Engine Roundtable and 73 percent of them said they saw no changes in rankings around the time the Penguin 4.0 rollout began.

According to Search Engine Land, these are the attributes of the Google Penguin 4.0 update:

  • The Penguin filter is now supposed to run in real time with the Google search algorithm, rather than updating and taking effect periodically.
  • Penguin now is more page-focused instead of site-focused. So now, if you have a page that is flagged for having too many poor or spammy backlinks, it shouldn’t pull your entire website down in the search rankings.
  • Since Penguin is now supposed to run in real time, you won’t see a Penguin 5.0, 6.0, etc. Google won’t have to confirm future Penguin updates from here on out. Penguin will just run consistently now.
  • Penguin 4.0 is potentially still rolling out. Each major update like this is usually a multi-day process. Just don’t expect Google to confirm when the rollout is complete: SEO reporters usually have to pull teeth to find out answers such as that.

Google Says ‘I Release You’ to Websites with a Penguin Penalty

Search Engine Land also reported Google started releasing websites with a Penguin 3.0 penalty the week after Penguin 4.0 began rolling out.

Google authority Gary Illyes made it sound as if Google would remove the penalties in a matter of days:

Penguin 3.0 rolled out in October 2014. That means some websites have waited nearly two years for their Penguin penalty to be removed.

As a reminder, the Penguin filter targets websites that have received a high volume of unnatural, low-quality and/or spammy backlinks. In the past, SEO specialists would try to boost the search rankings of a website by focusing on the sheer volume of backlinks it boasted. Now, thanks to Penguin, the name of the game is high-quality backlinks.

If you need some tips on how to review your backlink profile and adjust your site so it doesn’t get hit by Penguin, read this post we wrote back in January after many SEOs speculated that Penguin 4.0 was underway (which, as you can now see, was not the case).

September Social Media Roundup

If you missed our social posts in September, get caught up here. We were particularly active on Instagram last month, sharing motivational business quotes and eye-catching photos. If you haven’t followed us yet on Instagram, check out our profile. For the best of all of our September social media shares, see below.

A photo posted by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

A photo posted by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

September Blog Roundup

In September, our blog was highly focused on SEO topics, such as keyword research and organic search results. Google frequently updates and changes its search engine algorithm, so it’s important to stay up on best SEO practices if you want your website to rank well. You can head over to our whole blog by clicking here, or you can see an overview of our September posts by reading below.

Your Guide to Keyword Research in 2016 Going into the New Year

Google’s search algorithm is much smarter about keyword usage than it used to be. You no longer have to keyword stuff a page and use the exact phrase verbatim every time. Modern keyword research is all about who is searching these terms and what their intentions are once a search engine delivers their results. Here’s how to approach keyword research heading into 2017.

It’s Indisputable: Organic Search Results Are Better than Paid Spots

Did you know that organic search results deliver better, more consistent results than paid online ads, social media, email, etc.? Therefore, it’s a must that you use your website to try to aim for some page 1 results on Google and other search engines. Here’s how to approach and develop your team’s organic search results strategy.

How to Survive in the Current Organic Search Results Landscape

This post builds on the previous entry in giving you advice on how to compete in the organic search rankings world. Additionally, we particularly focused on how to shoot for high rankings in the face of all of the changes Google has made to the layout of its search engine results pages in the past year. So, enhance your organic search strategy by reading here.

Featured Service: Pay Per Click Management

Although we’re adamant about the power of high organic search rankings, as you just read, the reality is it can take a long time to achieve them. In the interim, it helps to try your hand at pay per click advertising as a way to draw users to your website.

Pay per click (PPC) is a short-term strategy that can hold you over until you start seeing your website’s organic search rankings rising. If you do decide to dip your toes into this form of online marketing, you need to be strategic about which keywords you target, lest you can blow through your marketing budget. It also helps to run several individual PPC campaigns, targeting a few different keywords that are relevant to the offer you’re promoting.
Google AdWords Instant Traffic PPC - Eminent SEO
If you enlist Eminent SEO to manage your pay per click advertising, we can set you up with several different campaigns, not only targeting multiple keywords, but on different channels as well, such as Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Once your campaigns are up and running, Eminent SEO can deeply analyze which ones are returning a high ROI and which ones we either need to address or abandon.

If there is a particular campaign that is paying dividends, we usually recommend pulling money from a struggling campaign and redirecting it toward “the winner.” And once we see your organic search rankings rising to prominence, that’s the time when we can draw down your PPC advertising and redirect more budget toward your organic search marketing and other areas.

Click to learn more about our Pay Per Click Management Services, or call us today at 800.871.4130 to get help on running strategic, ROI-driven PPC campaigns.

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How to Survive in the Current Organic Search Results Landscape

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Organic Search Results Landscape - Eminent SEO

Internet search is a field in constant motion, with Google constantly shifting and updating the landscape to provide a more sophisticated product. One significant recent amendment to the search goliath is its update to local listings and how these appear to users on the results pages. These changes, while seemingly minute, have powerful implications when it comes to how your business is represented.

Last year, Google rolled out a new local search format worldwide. The verdict is still out on whether it will be better for businesses or for consumers – or neither. It’s all so confusing! No need to fret: Here are a few changes we can be sure of:

Organic Still Crushes

Organic Results Keep Your Eye On The Ball - Eminent SEOThe SEO firm Nifty recently performed five different search studies of both desktop and mobile platforms with the new local listing setup implemented by Google. Across all studies, organic search results performed the best, receiving nearly 50 percent of all click throughs. Compare this to average click-through rates of 25 and 24 percent for paid ads and local packs, respectively.

If you caught our previous post, it should come as no surprise that it pays off for businesses to aim for high organic rankings rather than placing too much focus on paid search engine spots and other channels, such as social media.

What Does This Mean for Your Business?

Organic results remain the No. 1 way search users are likely to click through to your website. It makes sense, because when someone searches, “I’m looking for [service] in [location],” a keyword search matching the words they type seems to fulfill their search query much better than paid ads or local results, which are essentially suggestions from Google.

Nifty took the results of its study and implemented an SEO strategy that “moved away from a laser focus on maps and really focused on growing organic traffic for phrases that show map results and phrases that don’t.” Overall, the company claims to have had great increases of traffic across all clients since the shift.

Decrease in the Local Pack

Google’s local pack in the search results used to feature seven entries. Now, it’s down to three, although the resource is more visual than it used to be.

What does this mean? For starters, featuring fewer local businesses means that your business could receive less visibility. A keyword search for “plumbers in San Francisco” will yield paid advertisements, local listings and organic search results. Of the local results, your business may show up, or it may not.

The factors contributing to when and how your business show up include the internet provider of a given user and his or her relative location. For example, two people could search the exact same keywords next door to one another and receive two completely different sets of local results in their SERP (search engine results page).

Some have speculated that the new layout is simply a way to streamline the user experience, while others have argued that it’s foreshadowing a larger Google plan to monetize local packs. Searching for different keywords will yield an even wider variety of local listings.

How to Adjust to the New Organic Search Results Landscape

Positive Reviews On Yelp And Google - Eminent SEOSo, how can you keep your business and your website relevant given all the changes to Google’s search layout? Here are a couple of good places to start:

Fill Out Your Google My Business Page Properly

Even though a link to your Google My Business page is no longer available for searchers, you can still claim your Google My Business listing if you haven’t yet.

Be sure to fill out the important details on your GMB page:

  • Add a unique, properly formatted description that includes links.
  • Choose the correct categories for your business.
  • Upload as many hi-resolution photos as possible.
  • Add a local phone number to your listing.

Earn Positive Reviews Within Google Maps

Even though they’re no longer called Google+ Reviews, the reviews on your Google My Business page are still used for local pack snippets. Users generally leave reviews by finding your location in Google Maps and then clicking on “Write a review.”

Your business card will not only include your overall review rating, but your negative reviews as well. This is especially crucial for businesses in the hospitality industry to pay attention to. Why? Because Google has added an option to filter searches to include only businesses above a certain rating, such as four stars or higher.

Pay Attention to Opening and Closing Hours

Since each local listing’s snippet now includes the business’s working hours, make sure to include correct opening hours on your Google My Business page.

Keep Earning Reviews Elsewhere

Business reviews have a direct impact on local search rankings, so you need to spend some time acquiring them. And these are not only Google reviews, but also reviews on your Yelp page and other local directory pages.

Optimize Your Storefront

At the end of the day, your spot on a search engine results page is your storefront. Getting people to see your storefront was already tough, but Google continues to keep raising the stakes.

You want to do everything in your power to get users to walk through your door. Are you getting seen? How does it look when users see you? Get started on finding out the answers to those two questions.

If you’re looking for some help on optimizing your website for search engines as well as filling out your Google My Business page properly, give Eminent SEO a try. We have several new marketing packages available to help your company rise to prominence on many fronts. Just call us today to learn more about our new offerings: 800.871.4130.


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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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Vol. 58: Big Changes in Store for Eminent; Google Mobile-Friendly Label Removed

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Big Changes In Store For Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO News: Many Big Changes Coming

Many big changes have happened – and are about to happen – around the offices of Eminent SEO. For starters, we’ve recently added two more members to our staff: Ashton Stradling and Danielle Knox. We’ll tell you even more about these exciting additions in next month’s newsletter, but for now let’s get to a few other happenings.

Also worth keeping an eye on is a website revamp in the works. We have plenty of new professional photos of our team to work with – as alluded to in last month’s newsletter – so look forward to a site that will blow you away visually and user experience-wise.

In other recent news, we’ve recently closed a deal with a new premium client, and we’re offering new service packages to all current and prospective clients. If you want to learn more about these customizable offerings, just give us a call any time.

And in more general news, we’re prepping for the holidays around here. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, and we’re getting ready to kill it for our clients when it comes to holiday online traffic!

Follow us on social media to stay abreast of all the changes to come regarding all things Eminent SEO.

What’s New in SEO: Google Mobile-Friendly Label Is Retired

As we pointed out in a blog post on responsive design earlier this year, Google explicitly identifies mobile-friendly webpages when you conduct a search via smartphone.

Well, that is no longer the case, according to Search Engine Land. As of the end of August, the “Mobile-friendly” label in Google Search is M.I.A. The company gave about a week’s notice before the change, but now it is official.

To see an example, in the aforementioned blog post from January, we showed a screenshot of mobile search for “Flower Store Phoenix.” The results at the top of the organic list were all designated “Mobile-friendly,” as you’ll see in the screenshot in that post.

If we search the same term now, here’s what we see:Google Mobile-Friendly Label Missing - Eminent SEO

Wait, does that mean we have no idea if the result we click leads to a mobile-friendly site?

Im Afraid Geena Davis The Fly - ESEO

Don’t worry about it too intensely: Google is on record saying that 85 percent of all pages in the mobile search results are now deemed mobile-friendly. That number is only going to increase over time.

Just because the label has disappeared doesn’t mean websites aren’t still being judged by their mobile friendliness. Having a mobile-friendly site certainly remains a ranking signal in mobile search, according to Search Engine Land.

If you’re not sure if your website, or any other one you plan on visiting, is optimized for mobile devices, try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or even ResponsiveTest.net.

August Social Media Roundup

As part of our social media outreach in August, we were particularly vigilant about using Twitter to share many of the outstanding SEO- and tech-related articles we’ve recently come across – from all over the web. In fact, if you read everything we shared on that platform last month, then you’re halfway to becoming an SEO guru. If you haven’t followed us on Twitter yet, please give our timeline a look. Additionally, below you’ll find a recap of our most memorable social media shares in August from our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.

A photo posted by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

A photo posted by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

August Blog Roundup

We’ve got website tips here! Have you migrated your site to a secure domain? In other words, does it start with “https” now? If you’ve done so, make sure it’s not causing you SEO errors. Also, if you’re looking to draw better qualified traffic and convert your visitors into customers, our latest blog posts will give you a leg up in the race. Subscribe to our blog if you haven’t done so already, and check out recaps of our latest blog posts immediately below.

Words Will Sometimes Hurt You: How to Use the Right Words on Your Website to Drive Conversions

I’ve got the power! Did you know that there are certain groups of “power words” marketers rely on to drive engagement and conversions? The effectiveness of many of these terms was discovered well before the internet era, but now they’re essential when it comes to website marketing. If you don’t know which terms we’re talking about, get caught up here.

Keep Your Domain Game Strong: Setting Up Your HTTPS Address Improperly Can Cause SEO Issues

Roughly 34 percent of all results shown in Google Search now have an HTTPS prefix. This means many websites have been upgraded to a secure domain, and we’re only going to see more of them do so. While that will be increasingly important in the SEO race going forward, be sure not to make the transition sloppily. Avoid these missteps when migrating your website to HTTPS.

Featured Service: Website Development

Not only can Eminent SEO help you register a new domain and work with you on the design of a new website, but we can also take control of the technical and user-experience aspects of your new web property.

Perhaps you need to integrate a shopping cart or a specific web app into the site. Let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll take the reins of the project! We can take your new website from the mock-up stage to a “dev site” to the official launch. Afterward, we have webmaster retainer services to make sure the site is functioning properly and so you can request any fixes or changes at any time.
Website Function Make Or Break - Website Development - Eminent SEO
In total, our Website Development capabilities include services such as:

  • Custom Website Code Development
  • Custom WordPress CMS Development (Including Plugins)
  • Online Shopping Cart Development
  • Custom Web App Development
  • Ongoing Webmaster Retainer

Click to learn more about our Website Development services, or call us at 800.871.4130 any time to hear about the new custom service packages we’re offering to interested clients.

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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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Vol. 56: New Eminent Mission Statement; Google Kills 2 Former Ranking Factors

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Chris Weatherall Jenny Stradling - Eminent SEO OwnersEminent SEO Owners Chris Weatherall and Jenny Stradling

Eminent SEO News: New Brand Mission Statement

As we look to refresh some of our processes and collateral, we have developed a new mission statement that more accurately portrays our objectives and commitment to clients going forward.

Eminent SEO’s new mission statement is:

Eminent SEO seeks to create and promote beautiful brand collateral, expertly optimized websites and well-crafted marketing messages as a means to push the boundaries of internet marketing to help companies, corporations and government agencies be more successful. It’s our mission to deliver ethical, high-quality services while simultaneously working on creating meaningful relationships with our clients, partners, each other and those in the community around us.

More Eminent SEO News: June Birthdays, Work Anniversaries

We value each of our team members like family, so every birthday is a big deal to us. In June, the Eminent team celebrated a handful of birthdays as well as a work anniversary. The individual milestones we celebrated in June are as follows:

Birthday: Kirstin Douglas

Kirstin Douglas Small Image - Eminent SEO
Senior Account Manager Kirstin Douglas celebrated her birthday on Sunday, June 12. The following week, she went on more than a week-long vacation to Disney Land and other parts of California.

Birthday: Chris Weatherall

Chris Weatherall Icon - Eminent SEO
Eminent SEO President Chris Weatherall’s birthday came on Sunday, June 19. He celebrated by going on a staycation at a high-end hotel in Phoenix. Don’t ask him his age though!

Work Anniversary: Zach Ankeny

Zach Ankeny Icon - Eminent SEO
Fulfillment Manager Zach Ankeny celebrated his four-year anniversary on Wednesday, June 8. He treated himself to several vacation days throughout the month. Here’s to many more years with us, Zach!

What’s New in SEO: Google Kills Authorship and Top-Level Domains as Ranking Factors

Authorship and keyword-rich top-level domains: If you thought these two factors could help your website rank higher in organic search, Google says it is no longer the case.


Google used to use authorship as a rankings bump, but according to Gary Illyes, a startup trends analyst for the tech giant, it’s not even in consideration for a ranking increase or decrease.

“We fixed that problem,” Illyes recently said, as quoted by Search Engine Land.

Authorship is when a webpage is marked up in the source code and attributed to an individual writer. Content from certain writers was once given more weight than material produced by other run-of-the-mill authors. This means that content attributed to popular web authorities like Neil Patel and Rand Fishkin, for example, would have a better chance at a high search ranking, just because of the name behind the material.

Well, that all has gone away, as far as Google is concerned. Search Engine Lands says Google stopped using authorship in August 2014 as a ranking factor for most forms of content. However, in-depth articles still could receive a boost due to name recognition of the author, even as recently as October 2015.

Now, in-depth articles (aka “long reads”) are no longer judged by author authority, leaving a more even playing field in Google Search. Granted, some writers’ names still carry more weight in readers’ minds than others do, but that matters not to Google now.

Top-Level Domains

Some SEO experts have speculated that changing to a keyword-rich top-level domain (aka domain extension) could bring about a rankings boost in Google Search. However, Illyes and John Mueller of Google recently said this tactic won’t specifically help with search rankings, according to Search Engine Land.

If you’re not sure what we mean by a keyword-rich top-level domain, imagine if you’re a locksmith and you change the “.com” of your website to “.locksmith”. There was talk in the SEO world that this strategy could boost someone’s search rankings. Search Engine Land even published an article about a personal injury lawyer who had his website switched from “.com” to “.attorney”. The lawyer claimed his website received a large boost in traffic soon after the switch, although not necessarily due to higher search rankings.

It’s unclear if keyword stuffing a top-level domain was ever a ranking factor on Google, but it certainly isn’t now, according to two corporate authorities. If you’ve been thinking about making such a move, just be aware that it doesn’t directly or instantly help you with SEO.

June Social Media Roundup

With holidays like Father’s Day and Social Media Day popping up in June, we had plenty to celebrate via tweets and posts on social media. Our Instagram account particularly saw some extra traction in June. If you haven’t followed us there yet, please do so now. Then, look directly below for the highlights of our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts and content from last month:

Eminent SEO Team At Hooters Mesa AZ

More Love Less Hate Orlando - Eminent SEO

Algorithm SEO Slang - Eminent SEO
The Sweet Smell Of Morning Coffee - Eminent SEO
Social Media Day June 2016 - Eminent SEO

June Blog Roundup

On the Eminent SEO blog in June, we took a look at the future of marketing agencies like ours. We also released a plethora of tips on how to create the right social media strategy, and then we helped lead local residents to 4th of July events all over town. See a recap of our June blog posts below, and then click on any of them to dive into the full article.

Social Media Takeover: How the Wrong Social Media Strategy Can Drain Your Marketing Budget

Is your business pouring money into the wrong social media platforms? Learn how to refine your strategy and concentrate your efforts toward what actually works, or else you may drain thousands of dollars from your marketing budget.

7 Elements to Look for in an Evolving Marketing Agency – and How to Avoid Being Left Behind

The internet has drastically changed the game when it comes to marketing, making standalone agencies evolve or die. Clients expect more transparency and they’re quicker on the gun when it comes to letting loose an underperforming marketing agency. So, what does the evolution of the modern marketing agency look like? Here are seven characteristics to keep your eyes on.

4th of July Events Around the Valley: Fun in the Sun

Late in June, we unveiled our first-ever directory of upcoming local events for a specific holiday. Independence Day was on the horizon, so we compiled a list of events worth attending in the greater Phoenix area, aka where our office is. Look forward to more posts like this prior to other major holidays. Cheers!

Featured Service: Landing Page Optimization

Search engine optimization helps users find your website, but landing page optimization (LPO) is what drives them to buy a product or pick up the phone and dial your number.

At Eminent SEO, every page we “SEO” for a client gets treated like a landing page. We implement keywords and enhance the content in a way that educates the user and drives them to action.

Any page on your site can be given the LPO treatment, but we can also create standalone pages (not found anywhere in the site’s menu or navigation) that point to a specific offer you have. In some cases we may create a standalone landing page to split test the results against an existing page on your site with similar content.
Convert Your Traffic Landing Page Optimization - Eminent SEO
If you’re looking for someone who can create targeted, conversion-driven standalone landing pages, look no further than Eminent SEO. Don’t forget we also optimize existing pages on your site as if they are landing pages that will drive visitors to buy or call. Click to learn more about our Landing Page Optimization Services, or just call 800.871.4130 today!

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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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Vol. 55: Are You #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan? Plus, Yet Another Google SERP Change

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Eminent SEO News: Team Eminent Goes to the Movies!

Early in May, we took a midday break from work to go see “Captain America: Civil War” on its first day in theaters. Some of us were #TeamCap, and some were #TeamIronMan heading in.

One of us was especially inspired by the release of the new movie that he decided to don the costume of one of the film’s main characters. See if you can spot who that individual is (wink wink):

Reviews of the film were largely positive among the Eminent staff, and the entire movie outing at Cinemark in Mesa Riverview was a great team-building experience heading into that weekend.

What’s the best event you’ve attended as an official company outing? Leave your answer in the comment section below this post.

What’s New in SEO: Learn About the Latest Google SERP Change

The Google SERPs (search engine results pages) continue to be a moving target. The tech leader never stands still when it comes to developing new ways to display and deliver search results to its many users and their many devices.

After removing the sidebar pay-per-click (PPC) ads earlier this year and expanding them to as many as four at the top, Google has made yet another change: expansion of the main search results column.

According to TheSEMPost, the main search results column on Google has been expanded significantly from 500 pixels wide to 600.
Michael Jordan Space Jam Celebrate

Why Is This Change a Big Deal?

First, the expansion of the search results column should pull a result or two above the fold, whereas they were only found previously by scrolling to the bottom of the SERP. This is good news in light of all the PPC ads, local packs and carousel news articles that can show up near the top of a results page. If you owned content that showed up just below the fold before, it now could be movin’ on up to the main stage.

Also, this change has got to give you more room to fill out your meta titles and descriptions, right? TheSEMPost claims meta title displays are now able to handle up to 70 characters, and that the meta description limit is increasing by 16-20 characters.

But, let’s look further into this claim. If you search “NBA Finals” from a desktop, for example, the top of the results page will look like this:
NBA Finals Search Above Fold
That’s one PPC ad at the top followed by a Knowledge Graph that shows the Finals schedule and then three recent news articles before the first organic result.

If you scroll down the SERP, you’ll see more of the organic entries.
NBA Finals Google Search Below Fold 1
You might notice that the first two organic results show way more than two lines of meta description text and the standard 160 characters. From there, all entries appear to be restrained to roughly a line and a half of meta description text.
NBA Finals Google Search Below Fold 2
If you copy the amount of text shown in the meta description (before it gets cut off) and paste that into a word-counting tool, you get a number that’s roughly 160 characters. If you do the same with the longer meta titles on the page, you’ll see a number as high as 70 characters.

What this means for you is you can now officially go a little over 60 characters with your meta titles for a webpage, but it looks like you’re still capped at 160 characters with your meta descriptions – even though another 40 or so characters could logically show up for each entry without spilling over to another line.

So, it appears that you’re going to have to wait a bit longer to be able to have a little more breathing room when writing meta descriptions for individual pages on your website. Although, we all know Google is pulling in rich snippets for metadata anyway.

To learn more about what Google’s expansion of the main search results column means, particularly for local packs and rich snippets, see TheSEMPost’s report on the topic.

May Social Media Roundup

Besides the new “Captain America” flick, we also took in several holidays throughout the month of May, such as May the 4th (Star Wars Day), Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, National Pizza Party Day and more, as celebrated in the office and on social media.

Also worth noting is we stayed ever vigilant about sharing relevant news to our followers on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, if you follow us on those two platforms, you’ll be caught up throughout the month on the most relevant news and latest strategies in SEO, marketing and workplace productivity. For the best of our social media posts from May, see below. And if you haven’t already, stop on by our Facebook page.

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Casey Graduation Arizona - Eminent SEODid Somebody Say Friday Surprised Dog - ESEO

Today is #NationalPizzaPartyDay so our team celebrated with delicious pies! ? #Pizza #PizzaParty #TGIF

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Memorial Day Salute - Max And Meg - Eminent SEO

May Blog Roundup

On our company blog in May, we stepped out of our usual box and delivered relevant info on topics such as internet addiction, reducing stress at work, and more. As you look over the highlights of our May blog posts, you’ll see that we slightly deviated from our usual stream of SEO/marketing news and tips. But, we think you’ll find each topic highly relevant to your life as a business professional and internet user. See the latest highlights of our blog below.

Internet Addiction: How Prevalent Is It, and What Are the Consequences?
You can’t really be addicted to the internet, can you? Well, you’d be surprised at how hard it is for some to unplug from the digital world (or maybe it won’t surprise you at all). This post will tell you how to identify internet addiction, the risks that come with it, plus how to treat the problem. Also, see how seriously some countries (China especially) are addressing this emergent issue.

More Big-Box Retailers Bite the Dust: What’s to Blame? (Besides Online Shopping)
Three major big-box retailers with a once-prominent presence here in Arizona recently announced they are closing all of their stores for good. *Pause for tears here.* Take an in-depth look at all of the factors that led to their demise. Was the rise of online shopping really a major influence on these retailers’ exit from the market, or does it go much deeper?

How to Reduce Stress and Boost Productivity in the Workplace
How do you find your “om” amid all of the hustle and chaos at work? How do you keep yourself healthy and your mind clear to be at your creative best? Get a wealth of tips here that will not only help you with reducing stress at work and on your personal time, but you’ll start to see your professional productivity increase as well.

Featured Service: Website Content

Is your site littered with pages that are poorly written, thin, short, outdated, not unique or otherwise in need of an update? If you answered yes to any of those, it’s time to give your website a boost – if you want it to have any shot of ranking in the search engine results. It’s all about the content, baby!

Even well-written content will have trouble ranking if it’s not properly optimized – with headers, keywords, metadata and more. This is where Eminent SEO comes in. We have a team of experienced writers who can not only make sure every webpage and blog post on your site is thorough, well-researched and engaging, but they will optimize each and every piece to give it its best chance to rank in search.

Eminent SEO’s Website Content Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Fully Optimized Webpage Content
  • Authoritative, Frequent Blogging
  • Resource Article Creation and Optimization
  • Press Release Creation and Distribution
  • Optimized Weekly or Monthly Newsletter Content
  • Creative Social Media Content
  • Other Custom Content Requests
    Good Content Helps Build Client Relationships - Eminent SEO
    To get started with upgrading the content of your current website – or if you’re in need of high-quality content for your marketing campaigns – get in touch with Eminent SEO today! We’re standing by at 800.871.4130.
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Vol. 52: Eminent SEO Customer Update, Two Big Changes to Google SERPs

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Superman Max - Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO News: Important Customer Update

Ever since 2016 started, we at Eminent SEO have been reviewing all of our products, services, processes and report deliverables to see where we can make upgrades. There were many significant changes in the SEO and digital marketing industries in 2015 (mostly thanks to Google), and 2016 will certainly bring many more.

In light of that, one of the bigger changes we’ve made recently is redeveloping our shared client strategy and fulfillment documents. If you are a client of Eminent SEO, please feel free to open up the live Google document where we report on everything we’ve done on your behalf. If your new report is still “under construction,” don’t worry: Your old reports are still accessible and your new one will be created shortly. The next time we get on a call with you to review your report, we’ll go over all of these changes and discuss how you can contribute to the document.

For all current Eminent SEO customers, please look for a version of this update in your email inbox, as well as other updates from us in the near future.

What’s New in SEO: Google SERPs Upgrades

In February, two significant changes to the Google SERPs (search engine results pages) went in effect, one for mobile and one for desktop search.

No More Sidebar PPC Ads on Google

First, Google suddenly said bye-bye to all of sidebar pay-per-click ads on the first page of search results via desktop.

In all likelihood, as an average web surfer, you probably glossed over these every time you used a desktop or laptop to search Google, but here is what these sidebar ads looked like (in a screenshot taken last August):

Screenshot - Google Phoenix AC Search

That was a search for a “Phoenix AC company,” which elicited three PPC ads above the local pack and organic results, as well as eight PPC ads on the right sidebar (which was maximum a page would show at that time).

Now, if we search for the same term, here is what we get:

Phoenix AC Company Google Search - ESEO

That’s right: four PPC ads now at the top and no paid spots on the right side. Even on a 23-inch monitor, the entire local pack isn’t visible above the fold. That means just six spots are immediately viewable to us before scrolling down.

There are still 10 organic results below the local pack for this particular search, and there are even three more PPC ads below that.

SEO experts are predicting that the PPC competition will become even more cutthroat with only four prime spots available above the fold. Google is apparently only going to show four PPC ads at the top for “highly commercial” search terms, so you should see fewer in some instances.

This change has apparently been a long time in the making. For more background and details on Google’s decision to drop “right rail” ads, see this Search Engine Land FAQ write-up on the topic.

Google Launches AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Just a couple of days after the PPC shakeup, Google debuted another game-changer: accelerated mobile pages (AMPs). This move had been in the works for several months.

At this time, AMPs mostly concern online news organizations. To see what the AMPs look like, you basically just have to use your mobile device to search for any item that’s been in the news lately. What Google will return to you is a horizontal “carousel” of news articles related to your search query near the top of the first page of results.

Ghostbusters Google Mobile Search - ESEO

Each item in the carousel is marked with the letters “AMP” and a lightning bolt icon in the bottom of the box. Basically, these pages are supposed to load ultra-quickly, being that they are stripped down versions of their desktop equivalents.

If you’re not in the news business, you’re probably not going to be too affected by AMPs right now. However, you might be able to use your company’s blog to add your expertise or insight to a topic in the news, and then an AMP version of that blog post might be able to compete with media organizations when users search Google for that subject. Keep in mind that creating AMPs has nothing to do with ranking your website higher in search right now.

While an AMP plugin for WordPress has already emerged, getting your site to show up in the AMP carousel will involve a little bit of coding as well as maintaining two versions of the very same page/article. If you’re ready to learn more about AMPs and giving your website that functionality, read this thorough Search Engine Land tutorial. Note that you have to have a fair amount of programming skills in order to understand this write-up and put it into practice.

February Social Media Roundup

Did you make use of the extra day you had in February, aka Leap Day? Yes, there was an additional day, but it was still a short month, and it came and went in a flash for us here at the Eminent SEO office. Check out the best of our February social media shares below.
Smartphone Search Conversion Rates 15 Times Higher - ESEO
Be My Valentine Coffee - ESEO
Valentines Day Hugs - Eminent SEO

You Got This Boss - Eminent SEO

TGIF The Grind Includes Friday - ESEOWhatever It Takes Motivational - Eminent SEO

February Marketing Blog Roundup

Our blog started out February with a thorough post on website security, and then we focused on mobile marketing issues in a pair of posts. If you missed our February blog posts, see an overview of each below and get caught up. As always, we invite you to visit our blog page and click on “Subscribe” so you don’t miss any future posts.

What is an SSL Certificate and Why Should Your Website Make the Upgrade?

In this post on website security, learn about what an SSL certificate is, if they’re all the same, and the value one provides for your customers and website visitors. Once you’re convinced to make the upgrade, the post will tell you about a few different channels you can explore to obtain an SSL certificate.

To App or Not to App: Should You Put More Resources into a Mobile Site or Mobile App?

Every business seems to be trying to get into the mobile app marketplace nowadays, right? That’s not only untrue, but there are concrete reasons why many businesses should refrain. In this enlightening blog post, learn more about the current mobile app landscape and where you should consider investing your marketing dollars this year as an alternative.

Like It or Not, Vertical Video is Here to Stay: How Marketers, Brands Can Adjust

Is shooting a video with your smartphone held vertically sheer laziness, or is it actually a viable format for sending and watching video? In this post, learn about why vertical video does and does not suck, plus why the format is becoming more accepted. Also, you’ll get a few ideas on how to leverage vertical video to drive engagement for and awareness of your brand.

Featured Service: Website Hosting

Speaking of SSL certificates, have you given much thought to how your website is hosted and how a poor setup can hurt a site’s SEO?

Your website will reap many benefits when you go through Eminent SEO for where and how it’s hosted. We start by finding you a U.S.-based server, one that elicits quick loading times for whenever a user pulls up your site on a desktop computer or mobile phone. We also establish a dedicated IP address for your site, and if you own multiple sites you’d like to have us host, we can set each one up with a dedicated IP. Having a dedicated IP address makes it a little easier to obtain an SSL certificate, which, by the way, we can take charge of for your website.

A U.S.-based server, a dedicated IP address and an SSL certificate make up the right foundation to help your website succeed, especially on the search engines. Our process also allows your site to have unlimited bandwidth, even for larger sites, meaning if you see a dramatic uptick in visitors on any given day, your site won’t crash or get bogged down by the newfound traffic.

6 Billion Google Searches Each Day - Eminent SEO

With Eminent SEO as your website’s host, you also get round-the-clock technical support for anytime an issue arises with your site or you have a pressing question. To learn more, visit our Website Hosting Services page, or call 800.871.4130 today.

Until next time, see ya online!

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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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Vol. 51: ESEO New Hire, Google Makes Surprise Core Algorithm Update

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Eminent SEO News

Eminent SEO is still growing. Ain’t no stopping us now! In January, we added Bryson Giles to our staff as a Creative Content Manager.
Bryson Giles Eminent SEO
As the Creative Content Manager, Bryson is responsible for adding input to and overseeing the creative strategies of advertising, marketing materials and campaigns for Eminent SEO and its clients. Bryson also ensures the highest level of quality with all content we provide to our clients, and he’s in charge of editing web copy, videos, podcasts and more for tone, style and subject matter. Welcome to the team, Bryson!
Learn More About Bryson

What’s New in SEO: Google Makes Significant Core Algorithm Update, Adds Panda to It

In the early part of January, Google caused a stir by quietly updating its core search algorithm, which impacted traffic volume on websites across the board. Google later announced that it had added the Panda series of updates to its core ranking algorithm, although the company did not say when exactly this move was made. Panda updates generally target and downplay websites that have low-quality content — such as spam, too many ads, excessive duplicate content, and content with little-to-no added value (aka thin content).

Although they seem to be related on the surface, the early January core algorithm update and the addition of Panda to it actually appear to be two separate events. Panda may have been added to the core search algorithm in late 2015, for all we know.

SEO experts haven’t quite figured out the breadth of what Panda’s addition to the core algorithm means, but they are optimistic that Panda updates will happen more frequently, albeit not in real time. In other words, the updates will roll out slowly.

To not let your website get negatively impacted by Panda updates, focus on delivering high-quality content with significant added value on each and every page. Don’t just regurgitate what you’ve seen on other similar sites. Make sure you answer all relevant questions in a user’s mind when he or she lands on your page. To see a comprehensive run-down of all of Google’s various updates that influence your site’s search rankings and traffic, see this Search Engine land article.

January Social Media Roundup

Did you miss any of our social posts in January? Get caught up on the “best of” by checking out our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts below. As you scroll through, you’ll see some of the new items that we’ve added to our new office space over the last month. Also, if you follow our Eminent Social Media account on Twitter, please note that it is merging with our parent Eminent SEO account (an announcement you’ll see in a post below). Go and follow us there if you haven’t already!

Chris Farley Dancing - Eminent SEO Facebook

The Bobbling Star Wars Baddies #StarWars #GameRoom #EminentSEO #FunAtWork #nationalbobbleheadday

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Eminent SEO On Google - Facebook Share

January Marketing Blog Roundup

If you missed any of the blog posts on our site in January, get caught up with our most popular posts below. Last month, we placed a heavy focus on recapping our 2015 discoveries plus previewing some digital marketing and SEO developments that will take prominence in 2016. Check out our January blog highlights below, plus don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you can receive every new post right away in email form.

Looking Ahead to Google Penguin 4.0: How to Remain Penalty-Free in 2016

Over the second weekend of January, SEO experts noticed dramatic shifts in traffic volume. Some proclaimed that the much-anticipated Google Penguin 4.0 algorithm update was underway. We later found out that the change had nothing to do with Penguin, although it was a significant move by Google, nonetheless. In this blog post, learn about how to keep your website in good standing when Penguin 4.0 finally launches, which is still supposed to happen in the early part of this year.

The Cost of Doing Business Versus The Cost of Marketing

What are the main reasons businesses reach out to Eminent SEO for help? How do we measure and report results? What’s a business expense and what’s a marketing expense when it comes to our services? Whether you’re a current or prospective client of Eminent SEO, find out the answers to these all-important questions in this blog post written by our CEO, Jenny Stradling.

Top 7 SEO Tricks and Lessons We Learned as a Team in 2015

As Google continued to evolve in 2015, so did we. In this blog post, we recap the top 7 SEO tricks, lessons and skills we learned as a team last year, all of which sped up and improved our processes internally as well as gave a boost to our valued clients’ online results.

What Is Responsive Design and Why Your Website Should Have It in 2016

It’s 2016 and your website isn’t mobile-friendly yet? OK, maybe it is, but do you know the difference between responsive and adaptive web design? How about a responsive website versus a mobile site? Learn the answers to these questions in this blog post, plus how to check your website’s mobile-friendliness and then make the upgrade, if necessary.

Featured Service: Website Audits

Before we start sprucing up and adding to your website, we need to know the entirety of what we’re dealing with. This is where our website audit services come in.

Our website audit process is a multi-faceted approach. We look over your website’s structure, and we figure out if you have any 404 errors, “orphan” pages and missing metadata. We also conduct a competitive analysis to see how you measure up against your competition.

Additionally, we run a backlink audit to gauge the quality of the external sites that are linking to yours. This service is crucial in light of the aforementioned Google Penguin algorithm update. We can identify if you’ve received a penalty from Google or if you’re in danger of receiving one in the near future.
Healthy Websites - Website Audits - Eminent SEO
Finally, we test how quickly your pages load. If we discover slow loading times, we dig deeper into what’s holding your website up, so that we know where the next move needs to be made.

To see what else is encompassed in our website audit package, visit our Website Audit Services page. To get started with checking on the health of your website today and to see where improvements should be made, call Eminent SEO at 800.871.4130.

Until next time, see ya online!

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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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Looking Ahead to Google Penguin 4.0: How to Remain Penalty-Free in 2016

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Google Penguin 4.0 - Eminent SEO

A major Google algorithm update was supposed to launch in late-2015, but we’re still waiting.

Over the second weekend of January, SEO experts noticed some drastic changes in traffic volumes across many websites. Some thought it might be the much-anticipated Google Penguin 4.0 algorithm update, but we now know it wasn’t. Google officials initially indicated this particular algorithm update would roll out before the end of 2015, so it looks like the search engine is still giving webmasters and marketers a grace period before prompting them to adjust their SEO strategy.

Looking over his weekend numbers, Cyrus Shepard of Moz.com tweeted that there was significant movement in Google’s algorithm:

SEO expert Christoph C. Cemper of LinkResearchTools.com was initially convinced that it was Penguin 4.0, adding that the weekend update was almost as wide-ranging as the “massive” Penguin 2.1 update of late-2013.

What Google Penguin 4.0 Algorithm Should Look Like

Anytime Google updates its algorithm, it impacts the organic search engine rankings of millions of websites. Here are the speculated attributes of the impending Google Penguin 4.0:

  • It’s anticipated to be larger than Penguin 3.0, meaning it will effect more websites, and traffic to those sites could rise or fall dramatically at the onset.
  • It’s supposed to roll out in real time, according to Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes of Google. The other prominent algorithm update, Panda, is known for rolling out very slowly upon each update.
  • It will likely focus heavily on low-quality backlinks to a website.
  • Like every Penguin update before it, Penguin 4.0 should bring “drastic changes,” according to Cemper.
  • It will effect websites originating from several different nations, such as the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

Cemper noted that Google’s search engine results pages had been fairly active in switching up the order of websites since the start of the new year, but that the phenomenon reached a high point over the weekend. He added that the update may have continued well beyond the weekend, or that what was happening was just a pre-test for something larger.

How to Avoid Penalties When Penguin 4.0 Hits

Receiving a penalty from Google will either bury your website in the search engine results or take it off the map entirely. Getting the penalty removed is possible, but painstaking, so it’s easier to just abide by best SEO practices in the first place.

With Google Penguin 4.0 on the horizon, it’s time to review all links related to your website: external, internal and, especially, backlinks. Failure to do so could not only keep your website suppressed in the search engine rankings, but could result in a penalty from Google, in some cases.

Here’s what you need to look out for:

Exact-Match Anchor Text

If you’re trying to rank for a certain keyword, it looks spammy to Google if other websites link to your site using that exact keyword phrase. If you’ve happened to secure a link from an authoritative site, make sure it doesn’t link to yours using your targeted keyword. Anchor text (also known as link text) that leads to your website needs to look organic and diverse.

Who cares what phrase others use to link to your site, as long as 1) the link is active, 2) the anchor text doesn’t denigrate your company, and 3) it’s coming from a high-quality website?

If there’s one way you shouldn’t mind being referred to in anchor text, it’s your brand name. If other websites are linking to yours using one of your keywords, reach out to them, thank them for the link (if you haven’t already) and then ask if they can mix up their anchor text.

Low-Quality or Spammy Backlinks

Backlinks usually give you a vote of confidence and help with search rankings, but getting linked to from a low-quality or spammy website can often have an adverse effect.

Now’s the time to do a backlink audit and make sure all sites linking to yours are helping you, not hurting. This entails contacting some website owners and asking them to manually remove their link to your site.

Many times, it will be hard to reach anyone associated with such spammy or low-quality sites. If this is the case, you may have to contact Google to disavow the links – in other words, saying you want nothing to do with them and can’t get them removed. Here’s how to start the process of disavowing links.

Poor Internal Linking

Getting ready for Penguin 4.0 means you should review your internal links as well. The internal linking practices of many websites leave much to be desired.

Links from one page of your website to another shouldn’t be too frequent, and they shouldn’t use exact-match keywords. For example, if you have one internal link per paragraph of a blog post or service page, you’re overdoing it.

Only link to another page on your site when it makes total sense to do so, such as when the copy heavily alludes to or leads right into a different section of the website. Remember, search engines’ web crawlers follow all hyperlinks you feature on a page, so if you have too many links, Google will be confused about the content on the page and thus where to rank it.

Unusual Increases in Backlinks

While everybody aims to increase the number of backlinks to their own website, seeing the sheer number of referring pages suddenly and inexplicably spike can be a cause for concern.

In preparing for Penguin 4.0, you should monitor the 1) total referring domains and the 2) total referring pages to your site over the last several months. A dramatic rise over a short time period in either category will look iffy in Google’s eyes, especially when it comes to total pages.

Perhaps some website has added a link to yours on every page of their domain, known as a site-wide link. This looks like a spammy tactic to Google, so you should go about the link removal or disavowal process if it happens to your website.

Tools to Help You with Your Own Backlinks

If you don’t want to spend weeks looking over all of your backlinks and internal links to make sure you’re OK in Penguin’s book, you have a variety of online tools at your fingertips to speed up the process:

  • Screaming Frog: This tool crawls your whole site and analyzes the SEO data as Google would, helping you analyze your internal link data. Free and paid versions are available.
  • Ahrefs: This is perhaps the quickest way to look at your backlink profile and see if your site has experienced any of those previously mentioned spikes. You can use the tool for a 14-day trial before deciding if you want to upgrade to the paid version.
  • Majestic: This company features more than a dozen SEO tools, but its Site Explorer is the one that applies here. This tool is easy to use and will help you analyze the trust flow and citation flow of your backlinks to see if they are considered high-quality. The buy-in here is about $50 a month for the starter package, but you can do a test run first.
  • Check My Links: A Google Chrome extension that quickly scans any page on your site for broken links. This one is free and easy to use.
  • LinkResearchTools: We mentioned LinkResearchTools earlier, but its featured tool will let you see any spikes in your backlinks, as well as help you identify spammy links to your site. You can also see how your competitors are doing. You’re probably only going to want to use this one if you’re a medium- or large-sized business, as even the starter plan exceeds $100 per month, with the premium plan topping $1,700.

Get Backlink Help with Eminent SEO

If you need help with reviewing your backlinks – such as what to look for or simply the time it takes to do it – turn the task over to Eminent SEO. Besides our years of experience, we already have auditing tools at our disposal, so you won’t have to purchase any additionally monthly subscriptions when you enlist us.

Perhaps you’ve received a penalty from Google and don’t even know it. We can audit your backlinks and make sure your site is abiding by best SEO practices. We’ll help you get any spammy backlinks removed or disavowed, if present, and we’ll work on your behalf to make any penalties go away. Click here for more on our Website Audit Services.

Get your website in shape for Penguin 4.0 by calling Eminent SEO at 800.871.4130!


Google announced later in January that its Panda series of updates has been added to the core search algorithm. This wasn’t what officially caused all of the commotion over the second weekend of the month. Google would only confirm that it did a general core algorithm update. It definitely was not Penguin 4.0, although that update is still slated to happen in the near future.

Panda, if you don’t know, targets and either penalizes or de-ranks low-quality content. This means thin content, heavy duplicate content, spam and ad-heavy pages will get identified and moved down or out of the search engine rankings. Panda’s inclusion in the core algorithm means it will now be a part of Google’s core ranking signals when evaluating a website.

Note: This post was originally written under the assumption that the Google Penguin 4.0 update had been launched. Parts of the copy have been changed to reflect what we now know about Google’s algorithm tweaks in January.

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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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Vol. 50: Eminent SEO Upgrades to New Office, Google HTTPS News

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Eminent SEO News: New Digs, Team-Building Excursions

The move is official! In mid-December, Eminent SEO made the upgrade to a bigger and shinier office in Mesa, Arizona.
Eminent SEO New Office Mesa
Our new space gives us room to grow as a staff, and the layout is conducive for stronger communication and collaboration between team members. We also have a game room for employees, a break room with Netflix and an art wall, and we have several new TVs around the office that easily connect to our computers for videoconferencing and screen mirroring. The following photo gives another look at our new digs.
Conference Room TV - Eminent SEO Mesa
If you’d like to come by and meet the team and maybe take a lil’ tour, just let us know at hello@eminentseo.com or 1-800-871-4130. Here’s to a great 2016!

In other company news, other than adding to our client portfolio in December, our month was highlighted by a pair of company outings. First, we held our annual holiday party at TopGolf Gilbert on Friday, Dec. 19. On the following Monday, we all went and saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and then ate lunch all at the awesome FatCats Entertainment Center in Gilbert, AZ. Talk about a memorable extended weekend! To see photos of those excursions, check the Social Media Roundup section later in this newsletter.

What’s New in SEO: Google to Begin to Index HTTPS Pages First

SEO experts continue to urge webmasters to upgrade their websites to the more-secure HTTPS version of the URL. Not only does that little “s” mean everything between your browser and the respective website is encrypted, keeping third parties from looking in on communications to and from the hosting server, but it began helping with Google search rankings in 2014.

Some websites boast HTTPS and HTTP versions of the very same page. Google’s Webmaster Central Blog announced in December that the search engine will start attempting to index the HTTPS version of a webpage over its HTTP counterpart. Even if a site’s own navigation points to HTTP URLs, Google will try to see if the pages work with an HTTPS address. If so, Google will feature that version in the search results, rather than pages with a non-secure protocol.

The blog post said this initiative is an effort to encourage the web to be more secure. If your website’s navigation all leads to HTTP pages, Google recommends redirecting to the HTTPS equivalents, if available. For more on the search engine’s plan to index HTTPS pages first, check out the Google Webmaster Center Blog post.

December Social Media Roundup

Our December social media posts were highlighted by our “12 Days of Christmas” campaign, which featured one holiday-themed photo per day from Dec. 14 to Christmas Day. A few of those posts are below, along with other highlights of our social media outreach in December. To see every post from our “12 Days of Christmas” campaign, head over to either our Instagram or Facebook profile.

December Marketing Blog Roundup

Did you miss any of the December blog posts on our Eminent family of sites? Not to worry. We have the highlights below. In December, our blog posts went into depth on their respective marketing and SEO-related topics like never before. After you’ve checked out the blog highlights, be sure to visit our full blog and click on “Subscribe.”

What Is Zombie Website Traffic and How Do I Mitigate It?
Zombie traffic seems to come and go seasonally, and many websites are starting to feel its effects over the last handful of years. In this post, learn what zombie traffic is plus some theories on what’s causing it. Also, find out how you can safeguard your website against low-quality traffic in general.

Boost Your Social Media Marketing Efforts with These Online Visual Tools
In 2016, why not serve up some great visual online content, including incorporating more storytelling, which is an emerging form of engagement on the internet? This post will tell you about three outstanding online tools, two of which are free, that can give your content a boost, whether on your website or for sharing to social media.

Landing Page Optimization Fails that Make You Lose Conversions
Learn about the characteristics of a dedicated landing page, including its usefulness. Although marketers approach the landing page optimization process with their best intentions, they’re liable to overlook a few areas, and that hurts their chances of generating conversions. Here are 8 landing page mistakes that marketers need to look out for.

Pinterest for Business: Tips on How to Create Eye-Catching, Effective Pins
Take an in-depth look at what does and doesn’t work on the social bookmarking platform Pinterest, plus how you can make the channel start paying off for your business. Also, learn about how important pin descriptions and calls to action are on the content you post.

Featured Service: Video Marketing

If your company is struggling with online engagement, creating high-quality videos might be the solution. Putting your name behind a professional, compelling video can really get people’s attention on social media and on your website.

Not just any video will do. The video title and description has to be clear about what the content will be. Keeping it concise but having a distinct message and compelling call to action are crucial in making video marketing work for a business. The average online user is doubly compelled to watch an online video over reading a lengthy piece of content. Therefore, your company should try its hand at capitalizing on the popularity of online video.
Video Marketing Online - Eminent SEO
Eminent SEO specializes in shooting and producing video for clients of all varieties. We also put great diligence into optimizing each video on YouTube, which has become the second-most popular search engine. We use video as a way to boost engagement and as an SEO tool, helping clients work their way up the search rankings ladder and thus get their name out there better.

Learn more about our Video Marketing Services, or call 1-800-871-4130 today.

Happy New Year! See ya online!

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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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