Archive for google

The Google Porpoise Update or Not?

Google Porpoise Update or Not?Panda, Penguin, who knows maybe Porpoise will be the name of the next big Google algorithm update or maybe there isn’t one coming at all!!!!

SEO forums have been buzzing the past week over changes in rankings to sites they monitor.  So much chatter has burned through the forums that Search Engine Land asked Google what was up.  Read the post here and watch your rankings here (if you believe rankings are the same for everyone and if you do I have some farmland below the Eiffel Tower I want to sell you.

Remember if you follow the rules and just provide good content on a regular basis that is properly optimized you won’t worry what animal, mammal, fish or creature is coming around the corner.

Google Goes Back In Time with Enhanced Campaigns

Google Adwords Enhanced Campaigns
In response to the ever expanding world of devices and how behavior has changed (we now use multiple devices during the day), Google has rolled out their new Enhanced Campaigns. This is their answer to delivering the right result to the right person at the right time, right? Well the first thought I had was, ok, we’ve gone back in time when every campaign was delivered to every device unless you knew that you could customize the delivery under advanced settings. However after trying to setup a new campaign that needed to send visitors to two different landing pages depending on device I found a small glitch. Google has not addressed two url’s in the new Enhanced ads. Sure you can check the mobile box during ad creation and your ads will be delivered to mobile devices only (or so they say, more on that in a bit) but you cannot then specify a different landing page for the mobile only ads. In essence you have to create a seperate set of ad groups that are mobile only. Hmm, isn’t this what you had to do in the old (Legacy) version? Yes it is.

I found all of this out during a chat with Google Help and was assured changes are on the way to address two urls in the Enhanced campaigns, my question is why wasn’t that part of the initial rollout? I mean Google has been all about mobile for several years now, heck you can hardly find a Adwords blog post or webinar that doesn’t reference mobile usage and all of the exciting new features Google is adding to address it. So how did this initial roll out not include the ability to send traffic to seperate mobile and desktop landing pages without creating seperate adgroups? Makes no sense to me.

There was another issue that arose which my Google rep could not answer with a definite yes or no. The issue was if you check the mobile box during ad creation will ALL of the traffic coming from that ad be mobile only and vice versa, if the box is unchecked will all of that traffic be desktop only? Probably best to just let you read the transcript from the chat. Please note the dance around the definitive yes or no answer.

me 5:17 PM
so when i create a mobile only adgroup do i need to check the mobile box during ad creation to ensure those ads go only to mobile traffic?
Jamie A 5:18 PM
I would – it’s always good the system more information.
me 5:18 PM
will the mobile ads still go to desktop as well?
Jamie A 5:19 PM
Not if you check the box.
So, yes, you should.
me 5:20 PM
ok, to be clear, with the mobile box checked those ads are only delivered to mobile, with the mobile box unchecked those ads are only delivered to desktop
Jamie A 5:20 PM
That’s the aim.
me 5:21 PM
aim is not a definite yes or no .. please tell me i won’t be sending desktop traffic to a mobile page
Jamie A 5:23 PM
You check the box so as to indicate to the system that those ads should be served to people on mobile, not desktop.
me 5:24 PM
ok, you don’t sound convinced the system works but I have no choice i guess
Jamie A 5:25 PM
Our system is extremely accurate. I have the utmost confidence.
I really wouldn’t worry about it.
Is there anything else I can help you out with today?

The net is this, I expect Google to work all of this out and the new Enhanced campaigns will make it easier to setup and manage Adwords campaigns.

Finally, Google Releases Link Disavow Tool!

Google Disavow Links ToolI’m sure it was the rant I went on that finally spurred Google to do the right thing and release a link disavow tool but if it wasn’t my rant well at least the tool is out! While the tool isn’t exactly a mirror of Bing’s version, the impact should be the same for those webmasters who have done everything in their power to remove links that were holding their websites down in Google’s search rankings. We have a client who was impacted by negative SEO and despite all of our work in removing those links and all of our honest communication with Google there were still hundreds of links Google still held against them. Now we can go in and hopefully once and for all tell Google, WE DID NOT GET THESE LINKS, PLEASE REMOVE THEM!!!

Be careful, if the information is 100% accurate from Google, they will take any link disavow requests very seriously and so if a mistake is made, getting that link(s) back will be a very long process. Google, you’re finally getting it when it comes to your precious linking, now work on having Webmaster Tools link database up to date.

Bing disavows links, how about it Google?

Bing Links Disavow ToolNegative SEO is the ability of a third party to influence the rankings of another website strictly through links. Typically that third party is a competitor and typically they are trying to add as many spam links as they can to trip a filter and get their competitors website penalized by the search engines. This tactic raised it’s head when a couple of SEO guys attacked a well-known keyword research guru and shared their results online. The results were staggering and really exposed a hole in the linking aspect of search engines algorithm. Coincidentally this also occurred about the same time the Penguin Update was released by Google. Out of this controversy came conversation on not only does this tactic really work but also what are website owners to do if it happens to them? More specifically how does a website owner remove links that are out of their control?

Well, Google’s initial answer was TOUGH, it’s your website and you should be more award of links that point to your site and you should also remove any links that point to your site if it violates their guidelines. This stance softened a bit when the webmaster community cried foul and so Google then said well do the best you can, document it and communicate with us. In the meantime they still penalized websites that violated their guidelines.

Now I ask, how fair is that? We have a client that was a victim of Negative SEO. They had for years had front page rankings for their main terms and those rankings were obtained by total white hat tactics. After Penguin they disappeared. Upon investigation we found several hundred links that were 100% spam and were purchased, in our opinion, strictly for the purpose of hurting them. It worked and this is how we found out about Negative SEO.

To gain the good graces of Google back we did everything to remove the links, we were met with very minimal success as a majority of the websites linking to them had no/bad contact info and those that did have good contact info just did not respond. We developed a very detailed report for Google, submitted it and were told it wasn’t good enough. We tried again to get those links removed and maybe were able to remove 1% of them, got bounced emails, one email saying we had hacked their website and no answers to any phone calls we placed. Again sent this information to Google and again were told it wasn’t good enough. So we tried once again and the results were the same, now we’re waiting to hear for the third time.

What would be an easy solution to the folks who have had Negative SEO applied to their websites? How about the ability to disavow links? You log into your Webmaster Tools (Google) or Bing Webmaster and download the links they say you have pointing to your website, find those that you did not gain yourself and tell Google or Bing to ignore or disavow them. Simple, right? Evidently it is for Bing but not for Google.

Bing rolled this feature out the end of June and Google? Nothing! They would rather you suffer the consequences of a dirty competitors actions than make their job easier. I tried the feature this morning in Bing and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was. I downloaded links to a website, found 1 that we didn’t gain and although it was a legitimate link it was of really no value, I told Bing I disavowed it by entering it into a field and clicking a button.

Google, you have been the front runner when it comes to webmasters and communication but on this you have failed miserably!

Panda? Penguin? Google Goes After Over Optimization.

Google Penguin UpdateFirst we had the Panda update which Google described as an update to address freshness among other items. Many websites were impacted negatively but those who follow white hat SEO practices really didn’t see any changes. Now the Penguin update has been rolled out and in an attempt to address over optimization among other things, Google is looking at websites that follow the “perfect” formula to gain rankings. Those steps to “perfection” would include buying a keyword rich domain, over-stuffing your copy with keywords and gaining links for a limited number of keywords. Or over-saturating your link building efforts by concentrating on one or two keywords only as well as getting those links on known spam blog networks, unrelated blogs or just having keywords placed on sites with no relevance to yours.

So if you’ve participated in these schemes and have seen your site drop in traffic from Google organic results, than you need to re-think your strategy. We can help! Contact us for an SEO evaluation of your website today.