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Google Panda 4.0 Update: A Briefing for the SEO Community

Google Panda 4.0Since the first launch of Google Panda in February 2011, the name of this algorithm update became a nightmare for many SEO's and website owners, including huge names in the industry.

The new Google Panda 4.0 update was no different then the first. The main objective is to support websites that have high quality content while penalizing sites that have duplicate, meaningless, and spammy content.

Website owners who only optimize their content for ranking high in search engine results without providing something valuable to visitors will lose, because the update aims to prioritize the usefulness of high quality websites for readers.

The new update had some negative consequences on reputed businesses, such as eBay, History.com, Ask.com, biography.com and many others.

On the other hand, some popular websites had a lot to gain from this and good examples can be buzzfeed.com, glassdoor.com, medterms.com, etc.

These websites are known for their high quality, original, unique and useful articles. According to what SEO's are saying, it is quite difficult to know if your site has been penalized or not. But, you can still be successful if you do things right.

The Future Moving Forward

It is not known when this series of updates for Google Panda will end, but until it will, many websites will continue to be destroyed. Content that has already been posted thousands of times will not be considered unique even if it is written a bit differently, so you will have to create really original articles for Google to consider them reliable.

It can be hard to do that, but with enough practice and work, it can be achieved. This is for a greater good, as in the long term sites with awesome content that really deserve to be well ranked will have a lot to gain. If your websites have that originality, there is nothing to fear of, because Google will notice your work and rank it accordingly.

To stay abreast the latest on Google Panda, visist SearchEngineLand.com's Panda News section and keep up to speed.

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5 Content Marketing Ideas to Support Your SEO Strategy

Content marketingSEO has drastically changed after the last update of the Google's search algorithm. And nowadays, it is not enough to build a few links and expect good ranking results.

Today, a good SEO strategy is based more than ever on good quality content that comes with useful information and solves peoples’ problems. Great blog posts, articles, videos, and PDF's can generate quality social signals, inbound links, and traffic.

These days, content marketing is the most effective and the cheapest way to implement a SEO strategy. Writing quality content or creating quality infographics, videos, and podcasts can naturally generate links at a faster pace than manually building them and your content will also get naturally shared on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

So to help get you inspired and motivated, here are five content marketing ideas to support your SEO strategy.

1. Educational Content

Educational content, either videos or in-depth articles that offer meaning and insight to targeted audiences can support your SEO strategy and even play off of current memes and generate viral content. You need to provide for your readers some content that is genuinely useful. Your readers would enjoy beginner’s guides or articles that tell them how to do things. You can keep your educational content as simple or as comprehensive as you need.

When posted on social media networks, these links can attract even more visitors and help your website get noticed by the search engines. That will likely improve your site’s ranking on the search results.

2. Time-Sensitive Content

Time sensitive content that covers news and current events may also help increase your website traffic. Time sensitive content should be posted close to that event in order to maintain its temporal relevance. Search engines will place more relevance to an article or blog post if you post it soon after a current event happens. Time sensitive content can be incorporated on a blog with frequently updated posts.

3. Infographics (or Visual Engaging Content)

Infographics and visual engaging content can attract more visitors than text based articles and blog posts. A good infographic should be simple and easy to understand. It should also be visual appealing and interactive. Making a good infographic is a real art that you can learn and master.

Done right, an infographic can present a large amount of information in a visually appealing format. Infographics should be fun and entertaining too. An infographic may contain different types of visual aids such as informational videos, flow charts, graphs, or interactive maps.

4. Videos

Studies have shown that videos are the most engaging way to connect with your audience because they are much more memorable and easier to digest than text. The best type of videos used to support your SEO strategy are explainer videos that can be screen recorded or animated. Think about what your website visitors and potential customers need. Create some explainer videos that provide useful information on how to solve the problems they face. You can also showcase the best features of your products in an explainer video. This tactic is especially effective when doing SEO for ecommerce websites.

5. Hybrid content

Hybrid content covers more approaches in the same article. For example, you can create a list of 20 things that are used in every medicine cabinet and organize your list in order of importance. You can get very creative with hybrid content, but the overall concept is to entice your target audience with quick and punchy bits of value. The objective, which can also help with SEO, is motivated engaged readers to share it without hesitation.

If you're interested in learning more content marketing strategies to help fuel your SEO efforts, then visit Click Centric SEO, an enterprise level web marketing firm that specializes in the craft of content-driven SEO.

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9 Essential HTML Tags That Contribute to Better SEO

HTML for SEOA successful SEO campaign is always described as a project that revolves around keyword optimization and building quality links. While these two serve as crucial components of successful SEO strategies, HTML coding is something that makes everything possible in the first place. HTML coding helps webmasters develop SEO optimized webpages organically.

While it is impossible to list out all the tags used to create a successful and organic SEO, here are 10 most comprehensively used ones. The below given tags have direct impact on your website when creating SEO success organically.

Meta Title Tag

This is one of the most important tags used on any webpage. It is like a cover of a book that tells the users and search engines about the subject and content of the webpage. This is the reason it is important to use targeted keywords and phrases to create impactful site. In short, it is a very crucial tag and any word or phrases you put within these tags will directly impact your search engine ranking.

Meta Description Tag

Meta Description Tag has no direct impact on the ranking of your website, but it is still very important HTML tag to ensure SEO success. This is because it can convince users to click on a particular link and click through the webpages.

Header 1 (H1) Tag

The H1 tag or heading tag 1 is the very first HTML tag that directly relates to on-page content structure. H1 tag is basically like a headline of a newspaper or any blog article you see on a day to day basis.

Since the search engine crawlers understand H1 tag as the most important part of the content, it is recommended to use the keyword within this tag. It gives the site better rank on search engines. Using this tag once in every page will give you better ranking organically.

Header 2 (H2) Tag

The H2 tag defines subsections or subheadings on the targeted webpages. Subheadings help organize the content well, assisting both readers and search engines to determine the significance of each section. Using targeted keywords incorporated in long-tail phrases within this tag is also a good practice to drive more traffic to the site.

Rel="Canonical" Tag

The Rel=Canonical tag is one of the most significant tag for search engines. It helps search engine crawlers determine which webpages are relevant to the search term and which should be ignored from a complete website. This is helpful in case of duplicate content.

Rel="Author" Tag

With the view that Author Rank is likely to be incorporated in the future, most new websites have started using Rel-Author tag. Assigning an author name to the content being posted on your website can take your webpages from being anonymously written to something more valuable and trustworthy. Attaching author’s name with Google+ account will instantly guarantee success to your website on search engines making it a more reliable source for your readers and search engine.

Rel="Publisher"

While the author tag can give relevance to the content being posted on the webpages through personal perspective, the publisher tag can do something similar for your entire business. If you have a Google+ page in the name of your company, then using publisher tag will create a good connection between your website and Google+ page. As a result, you’ll enjoy preferential treatment that will positively impact your SEO campaign.

Link Rel="Nofollow"

Using rel=nofollow can help preventing your website from looking spammy. This was developed to help webmasters prevent blog posts from becoming link farms for marketers looking to pass the PageRank to websites. But with Google’s new update, bloggers are require to use this HTML tag more thoughtfully, especially the ones who are blogging on other’s sites.

Image Alt Text Attribute

By using targeted keywords with Image Alt HTML attribute, you can easily increase the keyword value of webpages on your site. Image Alt attributes is also a good tool to promote higher rankings for images in Google’s image, as well as blended web search results.

When it comes to ecommerce SEO, check out this great article at Click Centric SEO which shows five HTML tags that are ideal for product page SEO. Some of the latter HTML tags are included, but there are also a few unique SEO-friendly HTML tags to check out.

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Google Ranking Factors: Will Links Diminish in Value?

It is normal that any individual signal to lose over time its value in the search engine algorithm, as more variables are added into the mix. This is also the situation for links, which have been losing value for about five years now, due to the increasing manual and algorithmic penalties and adding in of other metrics.

Some of the Google queries have paid vertical adds, some are localized, some have lots of usage data, some are using Google’s new knowledge graph, some are mobile centric. All these variations of queries impact different areas of SEO, to different degrees. SEO might still be profitable for another five years or a decade, for small businesses.

There are other search engines, such as Russian search engine Yandex, that work without links. Google can also use some vertical bases metrics to replace links, such as Google+ activity, search history, location, YouTube usage data, and others means.

Crackdown on Low-quality Links

Low-quality links are slowly replacing links-in-general in the Google search algorithm. There are already in place policies for massive manual and algorithmic penalties that have the effect of having the links not count for some websites. The Google’s Webspam policy filters out the link value through spam filtration systems or algorithms like Penguin, that remove low-quality links or spam.

Matt Cutts, the Google’s head of search spam, declared that, over time, backlinks will lose their value but they still have many years left in the Google ranking algorithm. See video here.

Google is focusing now especially on finding ways to evaluate whether or not a web page meets an expert user’s expectations. This is currently performed by evaluating the page’s links, the quality of the content provided, and the overall reputation of the website and pages.

Google made progress in understanding the natural language, which you can notice in their conversational search. In the near future Google will improve its understanding the queries made by expert users and will be able to provide better answers to those queries.

In order to achieve that, Google tries to evaluate whether or not the content on a page is written by an expert in a certain niche. Google is also working to boost the rankings of expert authors. Until new progress is to be made in improving Google’s search algorithm, they are using natural languages on a page by page basis in order to determine if the author is an expert on the subject query.

The conclusion is that it might be wise for webmasters and online business owners to focus their efforts in creating quality content and building just a few links that really matters rather than building all kind of links in great numbers.

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