Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Changes in rankings of smartphone search results

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Changes in rankings of smartphone search results: Webmaster level: Intermediate Smartphone users are a significant and fast growing segment of Internet users, and at Google we want them to e...

Friday, October 05, 2012

Link Detox - An Easy Way to Find Bad Links

Link Detox, a tool I discovered when commenting on Google Webmaster Forums as it was one of the largest posts I think I have been involved with since posting within the forum.

I first want to say that at first “YES” I was sceptical at first as these types of companies had been popping up like flies after Google released it’s hounds or should I say penguins on everyone’s websites across the world.

Just to set the record, I am not opposed to the update from Google as I have seen a ton of great things in the index from it... Including “LESS SPAM” a cleaner index means visitors can find exactly what they are looking for right away without having to digg deep past all of the junk sites.

As I have been posting within the forums, I assist in the crawling-indexing-ranking/ section of the forum and see many of these sites complaining about lost traffic and loss rankings. As you look further into their issue and start reviewing many aspects of their site, it became obvious that they had been hit by a recent update from Penguin or Panda... Most of the sites I have reviewed had been more casualties of Penguin vs. Panda and when you look at the link profile you can almost immediately see a reason for concern.

No on the flip side of the coin, I have seen other sites that are small businesses just trying to get by and employee a handful of employees. Most of these business owners are trying to keep paychecks in their employees hands and come to find out they may have contracted the wrong Marketing Team to accomplish the job. It is hard to see when a business has put their trust into a company expecting them to do the right thing and follow all the rules of the search engines. Sometimes the company get’s the bad end of the stick in turn falling short of losing everything they had worked so many year to build.

Again to be clear, “NOT” all Marketing Companies are bad.... However a company first do their research and no a little about Internet Marketing 101 before entrusting their business to someone they don’t really know. It has been said in many articles if someone offers you the world and says they can guarantee you top rankings “ WALK AWAY” or at least find out other clients that they have helped.

Online Marketing is very similar to the traditional ways of marketing... Attract, Educate, Communicate, and Close the Deal. In this case it is a web visitor looking for information on a product or service you may provide. If a company is to be successful online they must first understand the visitors needs, review your analytics to see if you are fulfilling these needs. If not then work towards the direction of modifying your approach with changing bit’s and peces of your content.. Test, Test and revisit your results.

So how does Link Detox come into the picture is what you are probably asking now, as I stated above understanding what a marketer is going to do for you is key. I hear so many people saying all you need is links and Google will love you. This used to be the case before the algorithm matured through the years. However what people seem to forget is just as the quality of your content is crucial so is your link profile. If you have a ton of junk links or links you have paid for because you just finished watching a great webinar on how to get more traffic for free, then you need to pay attention.

Going back to sites I have reviewed on Google Webmaster Forums, when I look for bad links I am looking for Comment Spam, Anchor Text Spam, and Link Networks. Sometimes if a site is aged for many years you have to sift through tons of links and this takes time and resources to do, until now I have been using Link Detox for some time and have reviewed many sites with it. The question people always post the accuracy of the software, and to that I normally respond with... Not everything is perfect however it comes really close and provides some great scoring based on many different outlooks. So when it says that you have Toxic Links I have found more often the site is infected with malware or other harmful reasons.. When links come up as suspicious those are something to consider and doing a manual check you can tell if that is someone you want in your link profile.

Now this is only one of many things that Google considers when ranking a website and only Google knows exactly what it likes. For example I would assume if a visitor was to search for a product or service and click on your listing and immediately left the site, normally that could be considered a bad search result for that visitor however you cannot judge if that query is bad for everyone so we have to take a larger sample and if Google finds a large amount of people leaving that site without staying on the page or clicking to the next page that could mean it was a bad search... However the side note to this is if a visitor is just looking for a quick answer and gets that answer then the visitor normally leaves the site anyhow, so I would imagine that Google can detect the difference between the search and intent.

Example of what the report looks like:

Friday, April 20, 2012

QR Code - How To Create Them

Ok, so you are looking to take your company marketing to the next step and someone has told you about QR Codes. 

Before you go crazy on making a ton of QR codes you still need to figure out a few things, such as where are you going to place them on and how are you going to track the effectiveness of these new marketing tools.

Example Usage:

  1. On the back of Business Cards = Say you have a trade-show you are going to with multiple reps. Each Rep could have their own QR code sticker they place on the back of the business card that allows a user to scan the code and go to the direct page. In this case you would want to know in your Google Analytics who referred this visitor and did they convert into a sale or lead so that person can get credit for that transaction.
  2. Booth Displays = Now to get fancy we have seen more of these popping up on display booths every time we go to a show. Say you have a big crowd of people and you and the others trying to get information just cannot get to you. They now can scan your booth where you can place a large QR Code on the signage close to the isle and Bam you now have another possible client that you also can track with using a different ?UTM tracking code easily customization from Google's URL Builder listed below.
  3. And that is only 2 Ways you can just think of what else is possible with these guys, take for example in Politics you see a big bus and it has a QR Code that is giant, you can still hold your phone up like taking a picture and scan the code directly from the bus even if you are a long distance away and get to the URL to help the campaign.

Instructions on how to build your QR Code Step by Step:

Get the URL on the site you want to direct users to and add it to the URL Builder tool below

Google URL Tracking Code:

Settings: (You Don't need to add all the fields)
  • Website URL 
  • Campaign Source: - Example =  (referrer: google, citysearch, newsletter4)
  • Campaign Medium - Example =  (marketing medium: cpc, banner, email)
  • Campaign Name* - Example =  (product, promo code, or slogan)
PLEASE NOTE: Do not use any special characters otherwise it can break the URL Link 

Once you have all of these settings then click generate URL

You will be given a link that looks like this:

This will allow the URL to embed information within Google Analytics for further tracking info

Then Go to the QR code site  http://qrcode.kaywa.com/  and put the new URL

  • URL
  • and change Size from L to XL

Add the link you generated from the Google Tool into the page and then hit generate

Copy the link and then go to the QR Generator Site

You will be given an image

Example of how to name it:

Now you are ready to go, if you have any questions or need help feel free to contact me at http://www.williamrock.com