“We’ll stop building links when they stop adding value”. This seems to be the motto around at the moment and it’s probably due to the high value that gaining links still offers to sites.
Within the industry we are always striving to keep one step ahead of the curve, to ensure that our client’s rankings continue to progress whilst keeping ourselves afloat within the search engine results pages (SERP’s), and link building is still a very powerful tool.
I believe that this is changing and that Google will devalue the power of links over the next few years, defending against the manipulative optimisation trends and habitual forms of online marketing taking place.
Bearing this in mind, I believe that now is the best time to start adapting your search engine optimisation (SEO) for this change if not already.
In February 2011 the first Panda Google algorithm update affected search results and changed the way SEO professionals and webmasters needed to think about optimizing websites.
The goal of Google Panda was to lower the rank of 'low-quality' websites that had thin content and increase rankings of higher quality and more authoritative websites. It was the beginning of the end of 'SEO content'.
Since then, and after more than a dozen updates to the Google Panda algorithm, websites have exponentially had to improve the quality of their content. There are various ways people speculate Google deems a website quality including the depth of the content, engagement metrics on pages, social sharing and the quality of websites linking.
You already know things are changing in SEO, old tactics that worked perfectly in the past before don't work now and more of the same old blah blah blah...
Yes, we all know all that. But now what?! How do I rank my keywords? How will I make the website better? How will I get the traffic and bring leads to my website?
If you want to rank your website on 'one word' and 'two word' (highly competitive) keywords, ask yourself a simple question, "Does your website deserve to hold the top rankings?"
If you said yes, then double check all the points highlighted below and you could be missing out on something. If you said no, well don't just sit there, read the checklist! Apply the recommendations I have laid out below...
(P.S. A handy PDF checklist of the points below and our SEO Best Practice Guide are available to download for Econsultancy subscribers!)
Last year Econsultancy published an article claiming that some businesses doubt the value of personalisation.
Although 94% of companies agree that personalisation ‘is critical to current and future success’ less than half of companies are personalising their website experience.
This isn’t because they think personalisation is unimportant, but because they don’t actually know how to make the most of it.
However, even the smallest of companies can target their consumers directly using personalised content.
Many retailers and pure-plays have expanded into Russia despite some difficulties stemming from changes to import laws. I’ve previously shared some detail on Russian ecommerce, and the Econsultancy Russia Digital Market Landscape report is well worth a look.
In this post I thought I’d offer some thoughts on search in Russia, shared with me by Hannes Ben, EVP International at Forward3D and founder of Locaria.
Fashion is growing quickly in Russia, with a 42% year on year increase in revenue across clothing, shoes and accessories. In turn, the SEM strategies of these retailers have to be adapted.
So what are the challenges and opportunities of search in Russia?
Here are February's very best branded Vines, including efforts celebrating the month's biggest events: Valentine's Day, the Winter Olympics, Super Bowl and that time when I found my car keys.
Much like January's 14 best branded Vines, I feel it's only right to add some context before the following 72 seconds of entertainment commences, in the form of relaying the latest news about Vine.
Here it is: Vine still hasn't added a search field to its desktop site. Thanks Vine. Thanks a lot.
Anyway, on with the smallest show on Earth:
The low-cost clothing brand has entered the top five of the 100 UK retailers on social media for the first time.
According to eDigitalResearch’s Retail Social Media Benchmark, Primark now has almost 2.4m followers on Facebook alone, a steep rise from its reported 700,000 followers just six months ago.
It can be very easy for a high street brand to accrue a high number of followers on any social media platform just through brand identity alone.
However, in order to be an effective driver of traffic to online and offline commerce, brands need to use social media to directly engage with customers through conversation, quality entertaining content and through personalised, always-on customer service.
Therefore a high follower count isn’t necessarily the best metric to gauge whether a brand is ‘doing social media right’. Although the sharp rise in Primark’s social profile is indicative of Primark upping its game considerably.
Let’s take a look at Primark’s Facebook page to see if there’s anything to be learnt from its strategy.
Occasionally you see an incredulous question posted to reddit, along these lines: “What job do you have that allows you to browse reddit?”
I happen to think that all kinds of professionals should keep a close eye on reddit, as it is an ever-changing repository of the best content and discussion on the internet. Yes, there are too many cat gifs, but scratch below the surface and it is a fantastic place to find inspiration, examples, insight and expertise.
I thought I’d provide an overview of some of the categories (aka ‘subreddits’) that are worth subscribing to. Each of these subreddits has plenty to offer, especially for those of you - like me - who work in the digital industry. Creative and marketing folk would do well to tune in.
For the uninitiated, The Observer's Tom Lamont recently published an insightful feature on reddit, which covers a lot of ground. Be sure to install the Reddit Enhancement Suite and download Alien Blue for your smartphone. Both are world class examples of apps that help extend and improve on the overall experience of a website (in terms of usability, and content access / discovery / bookmarking).
Right then, where shall we start?
What is Twitter’s favourite button for, exactly? What does it mean when somebody ‘favourites’ one of your tweets? When and why do you press the button?
There are a variety of reasons why people choose to ‘favourite’ tweets. In fact, I’ve identified 20 different reasons for doing so. If you’re anything like me you’ll use the button in a bunch of ways.
You can be sure that I’ve missed a few things out, so be sure to leave a comment if you use the button in yet another way.
So then, why do people press the favourite button?
It can sometimes get a bit murky in the digital marketing world, with slander, extortion and Google penalties all potential weapons for practitioners of negative SEO.
This article aims to look at the current state of negative SEO, its place in the industry, how search engines are reacting/might react and significantly, ways to proactively detect negative SEO.