Archive for the ‘ Social Bookmarking Tips ’ Category

We Were Right Again

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SEO Revolution

The Green Line From Hell…

Last year we reported on a growing trend … when the green line (Not Selected) overtakes the blue line (Indexed Pages) rankings tanked. Due to exhaustive testing on our part, we figured out how to make the green line drop (see images below).

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SEO Revolution

Tiering, Q&A Webinar Summary

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SEO Revolution

Hangout Summary, March 13, 2013

Here is the summary of what we discussed in the hangout today… 1) Google Panda/Penguin refresh and update occurring this weekend. Scheduled for Friday, as late as Monday, however, Black Hatters are reporting they are having a ton of sites getting completely wiped out in the SERPs. Not a ranking drop, but complete annihilation. While […]

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SEO Revolution

Penguin 2.1 Webinar Summary

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SEO Revolution

Amazing Selling Machine Test Results from Jerry West of the SEO Revolution

Let me start by saying that I am not going to waste your time with a lot of fluff and statistics on how the internet marketing industry is evolving. You follow me because I report only test results. This method of testing and honesty first hasn’t made me a lot of friends over the years, especially when it comes to product launches.

Last March, there was a course launched that generated a lot of buzz. This course centered around using Amazon to build a business by selling real products directly to your customers. Not affiliate marketing, but creating, marketing, and selling your own products. Taking control of the entire process keeps you from getting screwed by merchants who change the rules on you, most of the time without giving you any notice. If you are an affiliate marketer, like me, who was focused on the couponing market, you saw your commissions gutted with many of the sweeping changes merchants put in place.

I had many of my members of the SEO Revolution ask me about this particular course and method of doing business, so I agreed to test it. This wasn’t a normal test by any means, this was a sizable investment of my time and money.

I have personally gone through their entire system. I built a new company from scratch, bought the rights to a product, found a manufacturer, had the product produced and did the entire labeling process. I am now in complete control. There is no way I could have achieved what I did without the information from Jason and Matt. There were a lot of things that I did that wasn’t in their course, such as how I am selling my products both on Amazon and through my own site. That is just me though, I like to push things, double-dip and get absolutely everything out of everything that I do.

There are very few things that impress me, but, the Amazing Selling Machine is one of them as it is completely changing my business model.

So, here is the deal; check out their video and see if this is a model you’d like to try out. They are paying me a pretty good affiliate commission, but rather than just pocket it, I’m going to do something to increase your chances of success even more. If you buy through my link you can be a part of a group that I am going to personally mentor through this process. I’ll even explain how I set up the “second part” of this business so I get sales from Amazon and also through my own site. They both work hand in hand, if you know what you are doing and if you do it right. This is where my advice kicks ass.

I will warn you that this process, this business method, has not been easy. It has been challenging as I have made A TON of mistakes along the way, and many of them caused setbacks that I would have rather avoided. You would have the advantage for yourself and over your competition by letting me teach you exactly what to avoid and how to do this right. You would launch into setting up a real company and be able to compete with anyone head-to-head.

Here’s the best part: I will be hosting a workshop the day before their live event in Austin, Texas in January – and my private workshop will be free for you to attend, as long as you buy through my link. It’s my way of “giving back” so you can be successful in this transition to a better business model. And if you can’t make it to the event, you can still corroborate with me in my private group.

Take back control of your business with a system and support group that is proven to work. I have seen it and stand behind it. Join me over the next six months and I promise we can really build something great together.

You owe it to yourself to give this a shot. It is opening up new channels for me at a perfect time when many doors are closing. Yeah, there is a lot of hype on this launch, just ignore it and focus on the fact that I have tested it and it works and you’ll have me right through the process. Just don’t abuse that privilege. :)

See Jason & Matt’s System Now. The video is about 18 minutes long which will give you a solid overview of the course and community.

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SEO Revolution Public Blog

Don’t Follow – Lead

You are probably wondering where in the hell have I been? It’s been seven months since my last post … a lot has happened. The biggest change was I received custody of my two teenage sons in March, and while I was elated at the time, I had no idea how much of a challenge it would be. I know, stupid me, I will know better next time.

Nordstrom Epic Win for the Holidays...

Nordstrom Epic Win for the Holidays…

Okay, let’s talk business strategy and how to set yourself apart from your competitors. Too many companies follow instead of lead. It used to be that you knew Thanksgiving was close when the Christmas decorations went up. Now they are often up before Halloween hits. That’s just wrong. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and as my “protest” I would never set foot in a store that had their holiday decorations up before Thanksgiving (and yes, I kept a list). It was so bad last year that I did all of my holiday shopping online. There was no where I could go.

I can understand retailers reasoning, they do the bulk of their yearly sales during the holidays and since their competitors are getting into the Christmas season they need to as well or they will lose. That is one way to attack the market, or you can be totally awesome like Nordstrom … and take the high road.

This is a shot of the signs they have before you enter their store. These signs do a few things. First, it informs you when the holiday decorations will go up; Second, it tells you why, because they believe in celebrating one holiday at a time; Third, it is giving the bird to all the competitors for “Thanksgiving Creep”.

Look for obnoxious things your competitors do. Look at their ads, their sites, call their order numbers, do they have a phone system from hell that makes you press one to proceed in English? If so, make fun of them. “We never make you press one to proceed in English because I live person answers your phone and can help you right now. Your call is important enough for a live person to answer it.”

In this crappy economy do something that is completely outrageous, give great customer service and treat your customers as actual people instead of objects. You might be stunned to find out how awesome they really are and how much they like giving business to you. But first, you have to quit being such an idiot just because your competitor is.

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SEO Revolution Public Blog

Change at the Guard at Yahoo!

Will Scott Thompson Fix Yahoo!?

5 years. 3 CEOs. What makes Scott different? He actually codes. He was the CTO and president for PayPal. But it appears employees are excited to have him on board. One employee from Yahoo! mentioned in Wall Street Journal described having Thompson as a “relief.”

Yahoo! has a lot of stuff. Stuff that nobody really wants anymore because there are better versions of that stuff from other providers. It’s a lot of clutter and distraction, and frankly they’re playing catch up. Thompson gets this, and he doesn’t seem like a guy to slowly coast Yahoo! to its death.

He is committed to innovation. But why didn’t the last CEO? She (Carol Bartz) seemed to commit to threats and profanities. When she took over, her intention was to give Yahoo! “some friggin’ breathing room.” Of course, she failed to turn the company around and was fired over the phone.

A sign that Yahoo! might actually come back around is the Yahoo! Connected TV. The main features will be interaction between iPhone/iPad/Android and the television; but with a social twist so it’s not just another remote control app. It will be launched in early 2012.

The monetization of the Connected TV could turn out to be great for Yahoo!. The technology will identify what program is on the TV and display relevant ads and content based on that program. It could be a total game changer, like Pop Up video was for VH1 years ago, or Shazam for music tagging today.

But will Thompson change Yahoo!’s relationship with Bing, or adjust their search platform? It’s too soon to tell. His background certainly doesn’t fit Yahoo!’s growing role as a news content provider. However, some insiders expect him to take mobile very seriously.

One thing seems clear, they don’t care to own the standard desktop space anymore. This is probably a good thing, as they are too far behind Google to innovate. If you depend on off-desktop devices for your websites, don’t write off Yahoo! as a thing of the past just yet. If you use paid advertising, watch them closely.

SEO Revolution Blog

Panda Propaganda • Why One Site Lost 56% of 7.4 Million Views

PubCon – Panda/Penguin Session

Today is the last day of PubCon in Las Vegas and yesterday I was fortunate enough to be on the expert panel discussing Google Panda/Penguin and the recovery.

I took a different approach from the other panelists and showed an actual case study including steps that my team has taken to pull our sites out from the clutches of these two Google Updates.

I was last to present and what was the crowd’s reaction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the onslaught began in 2011, Panda and now Penguin have killed off many sites. There has been a lot of advice out there on how to fix things, but there isn’t a magic formula that works with all sites. Let me be clear on that: you have to figure out the problems and address each one in order for the recovery to work. There is no BIG RED BUTTON that will make your problems go away either. This takes real work.

And this is what separates me from many experts in the field. I don’t believe in bullshit. I don’t go by theory, I just look at test results. If it worked on one domain and you push the same process on dozens of domains and it works on all of them, that’s a pretty good indication that it is going to work. Even the crowd picked up on it.

Let’s get to the case study and Steve Metivier from InspirationalSpark.com. His site was cranking some pretty serious traffic. What is the definition of serious traffic? How about 7.4 million page views over the last year.

7.4 million page views is pretty impressive in and of itself. I know you will look at his bounce rate of over 70% and point to that as a main reason. No. Focus on what the purpose of the site is: to give quotes and inspirational ideas to the visitor who normally just comes in, gets the information and leaves. Usually their need is handled with just one page view. That is key to realize with bounce rate, ensuring the site is performing properly based on its intent.

So, in Google Analytics we can see that Panda struck this site on June 9th. The real mystery is why Google didn’t pound this site earlier as most of it is in bad shape; you will see how bad of shape it’s in further down.

While that slide is horrific, it didn’t stop there. Check this out…

It is a gradual slide down and then it is ALL DOWNHILL in September. If this was your site, the stress would be through the roof.

Let’s peel back the site piece by piece and do some analysis of what could have caused this.

Skinny Content and Duplicates

The content is a major issue with this site and the worst problem area is within the blog subdomain. Below is a picture-perfect example of the ridiculously thin content: a one line quote from Roosevelt. It is so short that the excerpt itself covers the entirety of the content; so not only is it thin, it is internal duplicate content. Let’s not forget these are just quotes so duplicates are elsewhere on the web. This is not good and there were so many pages like this, Google should have punted this site a long time ago.

And the actual infringer itself:

 

How strong is the site in terms of content? Well, take a look:

384 pages of similar content. That’s 45% of the site that Google thinks is essentially useless. That can be a site killer just itself, but there’s more. To the next problem…

So Slowwwwwwwww

The second largest issue has to be site speed. The load times on the domain are horrendous and likely affect the site in Google. This is a bad user experience and should be fixed even if SEO wasn’t the goal.

Here is how the top pages fare in terms of load time. You can see just how painfully slow here:

Of course part of this speed drain is from hot linking (when a site fetches an image not on its own server, but from another domain). In the next image you can see some of the hot link offenses found on this site:


Another speed killer is running multiple analytics software. With Google Analytics, there is no need to slow down the site even more with StatCounter:

Missing Elements

Some of this is just simple fixes, like a missing title tag. These things can’t be overlooked. Not with these updates, you can’t overlook ANYTHING.

URL Structure

You may have noticed in the previous image that the URL was a bit strange, /1528/1528/ – why does that exist? When Google crawls just /1528/, it finds a page with a canonical that points to /1528/1528/. The current standard is the /sample-post/ format. You have to be aware of how you are doing your URL structure as it can completely screw you with Google if you do it wrong.

Sitemap

The sitemap is one of the key components of a site to help it get indexed, stay indexed and then reindexed when changes occur. It is also a way for you to tell Google how important your pages are. The problem is, some webmasters label all their pages as important and that is as effective as labeling all your boxes in your move fragile; it just gets ignored. Don’t do that.

The weirdest thing with this sitemap is the filename. This is not a web standard sitemap.xml. The priorities within should be as follows:

1.0 – Home Page
0.7-0.8 – Very important pages/top category pages (less than 10 of your pages should carry this weight typically)
0.6 – The rest of your category pages
0.4-0.5 – Your content pages
0.3 – About Us
0.2 – Any other low-level pages.
0.1 – Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, DMCA, etc.

Fixes

So, what is our prescription for Steven to fix his site? It won’t be easy, but he will have a much better site than before and should regain all the Google-love he lost.

  1. Time to “pony up” and get a real design. The current design is a failure and if he wants to really be a serious player in the quote space then he needs to look like one. My suggestion is to make the www root (actual home) a WordPress site and use the Genesis framework for the theme. Things need to be simple, including the code. This is why I recommend a platform that is easy to edit site-wide without hassles from Dreamweaver or FTP logins. We have tested nearly every framework and Genesis passed all of our tests.
  2. Shut down the subdomain blog.inspirationalspark.com. There is no real reason for him to have a subdomain, but the reason he does is he wanted a WordPress blog and the framework of his original design would not support one. This is taken care of with the new design. The content found on the subdomain was mostly the omitted results and thin pages anyway. It would be wise to take the pages with decent content or backlinks and 301 redirect them to a new location.
  3. Fix Content. Google would just say “add value” without giving specifics. Here are some real ideas that could be added:
    • Explanation of when and where the quote was said
    • Historical context, and/or interpretation.
    • Use a standard social share button closer to the quotes and encourage comments. This will engage users on the site and can generate links. All good things.
  4. Where are all the pictures? Infographics? Videos? The site is basically dead and needs life injected into it to really stand out.
  5. Change sitemap file name to sitemap.xml (this is a web standard for bots). Most WordPress sitemap plugins do this properly.
  6. Verify the redirect from /index.html to the homepage (http://www.inspirationalspark.com/). Currently it doesn’t work. Too much internal duplicate content exists which has to be causing issues. Most internal duplicate content issue will disappear with the WordPress redesign.
  7. Write custom excerpts on each post to lessen internal content issues and encourage traffic flow throughout the site.
  8. Site speed matters. Use these tools’ recommendations:
  9. Minimize DNS Lookups. If the server is drained and the images have to be elsewhere, consider using a CDN or reverse proxy like CloudFlare.
  10. Minimize Redirects. They add an unnecessary tenth of a second each time one is loaded. Use a tool like Scrutiny, Screaming Frog SEO, or the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin.
  11. Remove StatCounter. Using Google Analytics is enough.
  12. Add blog titles to each blog post. This is a simple one. Again, using a tool like Scrutiny or Screaming Frog SEO will highlight where title tags and meta descriptions are missing.

SEO is different now than it was just a year or two ago. You can’t be lazy anymore. You can’t just post other people’s content without actually doing something to it to make it worthwhile. You can’t just sit on your hands and wait for the traffic come to you, you have to go out and get it. Be aggressive. Using programs like WP Robot, Scrapebox and other automated programs just don’t work. This is getting back to grass-roots marketing. Focusing. Delivering what your visitor wants. Giving them a solid experience.

I am sure you are saying, “Shouldn’t that have been happening since Day One when a site is launched? Yes it should, but it wasn’t happening. And the reason it wasn’t happening is webmasters were blinded by the checks. First k a month, then k, soon it was 0k and some even surpassed 0k a month. That kind of money will taint even the most respectable webmaster into doing shady things.

It is time to get to work and to be awesome again.

Note: The link for the Genesis Framework for WordPress is an affiliate link. I have the reputation of never recommending a product until it meets our strict testing criteria … and that includes us using the product. Genesis not only meets our criteria, but we are moving all of our WordPress installations over to it. It is that good.

SEO Revolution Blog

Panda Propaganda • Why One Site Lost 56% of 7.4 Million Views

PubCon – Panda/Penguin Session

Today is the last day of PubCon in Las Vegas and yesterday I was fortunate enough to be on the expert panel discussing Google Panda/Penguin and the recovery.

I took a different approach from the other panelists and showed an actual case study including steps that my team has taken to pull our sites out from the clutches of these two Google Updates.

I was last to present and what was the crowd’s reaction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the onslaught began in 2011, Panda and now Penguin have killed off many sites. There has been a lot of advice out there on how to fix things, but there isn’t a magic formula that works with all sites. Let me be clear on that: you have to figure out the problems and address each one in order for the recovery to work. There is no BIG RED BUTTON that will make your problems go away either. This takes real work.

And this is what separates me from many experts in the field. I don’t believe in bullshit. I don’t go by theory, I just look at test results. If it worked on one domain and you push the same process on dozens of domains and it works on all of them, that’s a pretty good indication that it is going to work. Even the crowd picked up on it.

Let’s get to the case study and Steve Metivier from InspirationalSpark.com. His site was cranking some pretty serious traffic. What is the definition of serious traffic? How about 7.4 million page views over the last year.

7.4 million page views is pretty impressive in and of itself. I know you will look at his bounce rate of over 70% and point to that as a main reason. No. Focus on what the purpose of the site is: to give quotes and inspirational ideas to the visitor who normally just comes in, gets the information and leaves. Usually their need is handled with just one page view. That is key to realize with bounce rate, ensuring the site is performing properly based on its intent.

So, in Google Analytics we can see that Panda struck this site on June 9th. The real mystery is why Google didn’t pound this site earlier as most of it is in bad shape; you will see how bad of shape it’s in further down.

While that slide is horrific, it didn’t stop there. Check this out…

It is a gradual slide down and then it is ALL DOWNHILL in September. If this was your site, the stress would be through the roof.

Let’s peel back the site piece by piece and do some analysis of what could have caused this.

Skinny Content and Duplicates

The content is a major issue with this site and the worst problem area is within the blog subdomain. Below is a picture-perfect example of the ridiculously thin content: a one line quote from Roosevelt. It is so short that the excerpt itself covers the entirety of the content; so not only is it thin, it is internal duplicate content. Let’s not forget these are just quotes so duplicates are elsewhere on the web. This is not good and there were so many pages like this, Google should have punted this site a long time ago.

And the actual infringer itself:

 

How strong is the site in terms of content? Well, take a look:

384 pages of similar content. That’s 45% of the site that Google thinks is essentially useless. That can be a site killer just itself, but there’s more. To the next problem…

So Slowwwwwwwww

The second largest issue has to be site speed. The load times on the domain are horrendous and likely affect the site in Google. This is a bad user experience and should be fixed even if SEO wasn’t the goal.

Here is how the top pages fare in terms of load time. You can see just how painfully slow here:

Of course part of this speed drain is from hot linking (when a site fetches an image not on its own server, but from another domain). In the next image you can see some of the hot link offenses found on this site:


Another speed killer is running multiple analytics software. With Google Analytics, there is no need to slow down the site even more with StatCounter:

Missing Elements

Some of this is just simple fixes, like a missing title tag. These things can’t be overlooked. Not with these updates, you can’t overlook ANYTHING.

URL Structure

You may have noticed in the previous image that the URL was a bit strange, /1528/1528/ – why does that exist? When Google crawls just /1528/, it finds a page with a canonical that points to /1528/1528/. The current standard is the /sample-post/ format. You have to be aware of how you are doing your URL structure as it can completely screw you with Google if you do it wrong.

Sitemap

The sitemap is one of the key components of a site to help it get indexed, stay indexed and then reindexed when changes occur. It is also a way for you to tell Google how important your pages are. The problem is, some webmasters label all their pages as important and that is as effective as labeling all your boxes in your move fragile; it just gets ignored. Don’t do that.

The weirdest thing with this sitemap is the filename. This is not a web standard sitemap.xml. The priorities within should be as follows:

1.0 – Home Page
0.7-0.8 – Very important pages/top category pages (less than 10 of your pages should carry this weight typically)
0.6 – The rest of your category pages
0.4-0.5 – Your content pages
0.3 – About Us
0.2 – Any other low-level pages.
0.1 – Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, DMCA, etc.

Fixes

So, what is our prescription for Steven to fix his site? It won’t be easy, but he will have a much better site than before and should regain all the Google-love he lost.

  1. Time to “pony up” and get a real design. The current design is a failure and if he wants to really be a serious player in the quote space then he needs to look like one. My suggestion is to make the www root (actual home) a WordPress site and use the Genesis framework for the theme. Things need to be simple, including the code. This is why I recommend a platform that is easy to edit site-wide without hassles from Dreamweaver or FTP logins. We have tested nearly every framework and Genesis passed all of our tests.
  2. Shut down the subdomain blog.inspirationalspark.com. There is no real reason for him to have a subdomain, but the reason he does is he wanted a WordPress blog and the framework of his original design would not support one. This is taken care of with the new design. The content found on the subdomain was mostly the omitted results and thin pages anyway. It would be wise to take the pages with decent content or backlinks and 301 redirect them to a new location.
  3. Fix Content. Google would just say “add value” without giving specifics. Here are some real ideas that could be added:
    • Explanation of when and where the quote was said
    • Historical context, and/or interpretation.
    • Use a standard social share button closer to the quotes and encourage comments. This will engage users on the site and can generate links. All good things.
  4. Where are all the pictures? Infographics? Videos? The site is basically dead and needs life injected into it to really stand out.
  5. Change sitemap file name to sitemap.xml (this is a web standard for bots). Most WordPress sitemap plugins do this properly.
  6. Verify the redirect from /index.html to the homepage (http://www.inspirationalspark.com/). Currently it doesn’t work. Too much internal duplicate content exists which has to be causing issues. Most internal duplicate content issue will disappear with the WordPress redesign.
  7. Write custom excerpts on each post to lessen internal content issues and encourage traffic flow throughout the site.
  8. Site speed matters. Use these tools’ recommendations:
  9. Minimize DNS Lookups. If the server is drained and the images have to be elsewhere, consider using a CDN or reverse proxy like CloudFlare.
  10. Minimize Redirects. They add an unnecessary tenth of a second each time one is loaded. Use a tool like Scrutiny, Screaming Frog SEO, or the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin.
  11. Remove StatCounter. Using Google Analytics is enough.
  12. Add blog titles to each blog post. This is a simple one. Again, using a tool like Scrutiny or Screaming Frog SEO will highlight where title tags and meta descriptions are missing.

SEO is different now than it was just a year or two ago. You can’t be lazy anymore. You can’t just post other people’s content without actually doing something to it to make it worthwhile. You can’t just sit on your hands and wait for the traffic come to you, you have to go out and get it. Be aggressive. Using programs like WP Robot, Scrapebox and other automated programs just don’t work. This is getting back to grass-roots marketing. Focusing. Delivering what your visitor wants. Giving them a solid experience.

I am sure you are saying, “Shouldn’t that have been happening since Day One when a site is launched? Yes it should, but it wasn’t happening. And the reason it wasn’t happening is webmasters were blinded by the checks. First k a month, then k, soon it was 0k and some even surpassed 0k a month. That kind of money will taint even the most respectable webmaster into doing shady things.

It is time to get to work and to be awesome again.

Note: The link for the Genesis Framework for WordPress is an affiliate link. I have the reputation of never recommending a product until it meets our strict testing criteria … and that includes us using the product. Genesis not only meets our criteria, but we are moving all of our WordPress installations over to it. It is that good.

SEO Revolution Blog