By Rob James
A few years ago, it was common practice for businesses and Search Engine Optimisation marketers to use automated link building to increase links to their sites, with the aim of boosting a websiteâ€™s PageRank in Google. However, with Google clamping down on â€˜black hatâ€™ SEO strategies in their Penguin and Panda algorithm updates, automated link building isnâ€™t going to do your business many favours; instead, itâ€™s better to focus on â€˜white hatâ€™ and organic SEO to get the most out of search.
Primarily, automated link building is all about quantity, whereby you run software and join directories to multiply the number of backlinks to your page – blog comments, and filling blogs with low quality repeated content could also enable a single website to generate large numbers of links. However, while this might be an effective method for building up a pageâ€™s ranking, automated link building is less invested in getting good quality links from relevant sites, and has been increasingly punished by Google.
The main problem that Google has with automated link building is that it can effectively represent a form of spam – multiple links from low quality sites, or spamming comments boards with links, and posting content with awkwardly placed content distorts the actual relevancy of a page for users. In this context, your business may have a high search ranking, but not one thatâ€™s necessarily made up of the right kinds of associations.
Googleâ€™s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates were consequently designed to prevent PageRank, the main Google algorithm, from being manipulated. Panda has received 24 updates since February 2011, and crawls pages for low quality features and links to duplicate content – the emphasis with Panda is on duplicated and â€˜thinâ€™ content, where the use of links isnâ€™t contextually motivated, and closer to spam.
By comparison, Google Penguin, introduced in April 2012, comes down even harder on automated link building through directories – if you have a portfolio of links that are mostly from link farms and other low quality sites, then Penguin will ignore or rank these links as less relevant. Itâ€™s not perfect, but it means that Penguin is going to punish your ranking if you have too many links from low quality pages.
So, what kind of actions can you take to improve your SEO without automated link building? The most straightforward method is to focus on creating original content, and on getting high quality guest posts on blogs and pages that arenâ€™t going to get singled out by Penguin – while there are ongoing questions about how effective Google can be at identifying the right pages to disregard, itâ€™s clear that businesses will have to spend more time on creating great content.
Itâ€™s also important to optimise existing content and pages, and to ensure that your HTML and CSS on pages is clearly set up to ensure that they can be picked up by search engines; moreover, businesses can do their SEO a big favour by investing in social media content, which can be easily shared and recommended via social toolbars and buttons. The more organic links that you get from high ranking, trusted sites, the higher the chance will be that Google will increase the value of your own website.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Right?
Except when someone has done a wholesale ripoff of your creative idea or blog post.
For anyone who produces online content, it’s crucial to protect your assets.
Make Life Difficult for the Thieves
Alert the readers
It’s good practice to do spot checks on your best blog posts, to make sure they haven’t fallen victim to the “content scrapers” who ruthlessly roam the web looking for content to steal. Just go to Google’s Advanced Search and type the title (or a sentence) from your post in the “exact phrase match” box.
The silver lining for these automated scrapers is that they often take the whole post without a human reading it, so you can add a note to the end of the post that will notify readers of the original source (you’ll want to include a link to your actual site):
This post originally appeared on Rosemary’s Best Blog Site. If you’re not reading this via email or RSS feed from Rosemary’s Best Blog Site, it may have been stolen.
Check referring links
In your Google Analytics, look at your referred traffic periodically (you probably already do this). If you see anything suspicious, check the source.
Any visual content you post, including photos and videos, should have your site name or logo watermarked on it. That way, even if it’s stolen, you’re getting credit. One option is an application like VisualWatermark.com.
Try changing your RSS feed to excerpts only. The scrapers often like to use RSS feeds as a funnel for content; if you’re only sending excerpts, you’ve made their job much more difficult. The Advanced Excerpt plugin for WordPress is one way to do this.
How to Do a DMCA Takedown Request
Use a “whois” lookup to find out who the web host is for the site with your stolen content.
Most web hosts will have a DMCA form on their site for you to submit your claim. Click here to see Google’s copyright infringement form (if the content happens to be on a Google-hosted site like a Blogger blog).
Unfortunately, tracking down those who have stolen your content can be like a big game of “Whack-a-Mole.” But if you take precautions that make it harder for the scrapers to get your posts, maybe they’ll pass you by.
How have you dealt with the content thieves? Please share any special tips with us.
By Deepak Gupta
Recently, Google took it upon itself to be the bastion of quality in the world of internet marketing. Every website promotion company is well aware of the recent search algorithm updates. However, itâ€™s not only organic search that is being assessed by Google in terms of quality. Pay per click advertising or paid searches are subjected to quality checkpoints as well and in the end, a Quality Score is assigned to every keyword of your ad campaign.
ï¿¼According to the definition provided by Google itself: Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad. Having a high Quality Score means that our systems think your ad, keyword, and landing page are all relevant and useful to someone looking at your ad.
This definition may appear to be crystal clear, but very few marketers know how to deal with Quality Score. Here is a straightforward and simple guide that you can use in understanding Quality Score.
Understanding (not set) and (not provided) Keywords
Google Analytics (GA) is a tool that provides rich insights to a website promotion company as to how its paid search campaigns are doing. However, there are times that you cannot assess the quality of your campaigns because Google Analytics return (not set) or (not provided) keyword data when you extract a GA report. For a rookie website promotion company, this may be confusing and may even be used interchangeably although they are two very different concepts.
A (not set) keyword data occurs when something is missing between the GA tracking and the AdWords click. Typically, this happens with auto-tagging or when repetitive codes are found on pages or there are multiple GA accounts connected to your AdWords campaign.
Length of Display URL and CTR
An experienced website promotion company would know that a URL is not just a web address. In terms of PPC Quality Score, display URLs play a significant role, since one of the criteria used by Google to calculate for your Quality Score is the click through rates of your display URLs. Length and presentation of display URLs are critical factors as to whether searchers will click on your ad or not.
For one, Google will automatically add www to display URLs with fewer than 35 characters. Historical data will show that URLs without the www prefix get more clicks than those with the www prefix. Another not so known fact is that if you exceed the 35-character limit by two (37 characters) it is perfectly fine. Last, if you really canâ€™t contain your URL within 35 characters, insert a few keywords so that when Google shortens it, your keywords are highlighted in the display URL. However, exercise extreme care as Google will decide how to shorten your URL. Basically, the rule of thumb is to target 35 characters without www.
The Surprise Perfect 10 and Pre-assigned Quality Scores
Getting a score of perfect 10 is every web promotion companyâ€™s dream. The excitement is equal to going viral in social media marketing services. But before you jump up and down, check for which keywords those perfect scores were given and most likely, youâ€™ll find out that these keywords have zero impressions and zero clicks. Experts are now toying with and testing whether including â€œemptyâ€ keywords gets a perfect score of 10. Your ads wonâ€™t show up for these keywords. The goal is to increase the overall score for the entire campaign and raise an ad groupâ€™s eligibility for auctions.
Another crucial concept worth pointing out is that your ad groups and keywords have pre-assigned scores before you even launch your campaign and many experts have observed that most of these starting scores would be the end scores by the time a campaign is done. This particular information led PPC marketers to believe that you can actually modify your campaignâ€™s architecture to boost your Google Quality Score even before you launch your ad campaign.
Multiple Groups for Keyword Match Type and Delaying the Use of Bid Management
Along with the campaignâ€™s architecture, matching keyword types within ad groups can increase quality scores. To get the most impressions, it is encouraged that you use a number ad groups for all keyword match types that you want to target.
Finally, if your ad campaign is fresh and new, donâ€™t use the automated bid management yet. Statistics will show that campaigns that were manually optimized during their early stages were more successful versus those that were introduced with the automated bid management system.
Googleâ€™s Definition of Quality Evolved
The Quality Score that every web promotion company is using today may not be the same a couple of years down the road. In fact, what Google considers as quality ad campaigns may not stand true in the near future. Who knows? Maybe social media marketing services will be closely tied into the PPC Quality Score. A lot of things can happen and the key is to always be on the lookout and satisfy whatever quality indicators there are.keep looking »