Things You Should Know Right Now …

Epic Fail Coming...

Well … duh …

Often when you gain “experience” in business, you realize, “Duh, why didn’t I know that…” Much like this picture of this high quality construction for wheelchair access. Unless Tony Hawk gets paralyzed, I don’t think this is going to get much use.

That’s one thing about experience, is you often gain it a few seconds before you really needed it … as in, you just majorly screwed up. Fortunately, there are some real giants in this industry that have been down the path you are either about to go down or are traveling down right now. And one of those giants in Rae Hoffman, known in the community as SugarRae. Rae kicks ass. She doesn’t hold back and will tell you exactly how she feels and will probably lace it with a few f-bombs.

Deal with it.

This business was not created with the faint of heart in mind and in this mine field, Rae put together a killer list of 48 things she knows now that she wished she knew before.

In this post I am going to expand on five of Rae’s list of 48 that had the deepest impact on me … as I swear she wrote a few of them especially for me.

1) “Don’t mistake people you hang out with at conferences as your friends.”

Don’t confide in them. The majority of people at conferences are extremely selfish and will do anything to get an advantage and that includes pretending to be your friend.

2) Never be satisfied. The bar always gets raised. If what you’re doing is working, do more of it, as fast as you can, as much as you can.

And if what you built was easy to build, then there will be competitors in your market sooner than you think. You must go hard and fast before it dries up and it will.

3) You are going to get fucked over – at some point – by someone you trust. The best revenge is being the biggest success you can fucking be. Let karma handle the rest.

No matter how you try and avoid this, it is going to happen, and it is going to happen to someone close to you. Maybe your spouse, significant other, sibling, life-long friend, it doesn’t matter, it will happen. You have to focus on you, and being a success and moving forward. And yes, karma will be a bitch.

4) Don’t buy a new business book if that last one you purchased is still sitting on your shelf unread. Pick up the unread book and read it.

Look at your bookshelf. You know you are guilty of this. Stop it now. Focus. Take the book with you. Any spare moment read and read some more. You will be shocked at how much you can take in using the small moments of your day.

5) If they don’t sit around your Thanksgiving table, then their opinion of you, your latest post or your latest presentation doesn’t mean JACK SHIT in the grand scheme of things.

This was my favorite one. Too often I would let negative opinions of those I didn’t really know affect me … down to my core, while those who sat at my Thanksgiving table, loved me and respected me unconditionally. Those are the relationships you focus on and those are the people you listen to. Forget the rest.

Now, head over and read SugarRae’s 48 and start kicking ass with your business!

SEO Revolution Blog

Matt Cutts Announces The Long Awaited Disavow Tool

Las Vegas – Pubcon 2012, Matt Cutts announces the link disavow tool:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

It is a chainsaw of a tool and is not recommended in many cases. This works by uploading a text file within webmaster tools. Line by line, you can add links that you want to disavow. You can also disavow links that are domain wide by using domain:www.domain.com.

Here’s an example:
# Contacted owner of spamdomain1.com on 7/1/2012 to
# ask for link removal but got no response
domain:spamdomain1.com
# Owner of spamdomain2.com removed most links, but missed these

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentA.html

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentB.html

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentC.html

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentD.html

You essentially cannot negatively hurt a site by disavowing it. It is 99% like a nofollow.

The official video from Google:

The official help section for disavow can be found here.

Matt opened his presentation with a picture of him getting kicked in the balls by a certain someone:

Okay, not really…

 

We’ll have a video up soon of the luncheon talk with Matt.

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

Matt Cutts Announces The Long Awaited Disavow Tool

Las Vegas – Pubcon 2012, Matt Cutts announces the link disavow tool:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

It is a chainsaw of a tool and is not recommended in many cases. This works by uploading a text file within webmaster tools. Line by line, you can add links that you want to disavow. You can also disavow links that are domain wide by using domain:www.domain.com.

Here’s an example:
# Contacted owner of spamdomain1.com on 7/1/2012 to
# ask for link removal but got no response
domain:spamdomain1.com
# Owner of spamdomain2.com removed most links, but missed these

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentA.html

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentB.html

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentC.html

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentD.html

You essentially cannot negatively hurt a site by disavowing it. It is 99% like a nofollow.

The official video from Google:

The official help section for disavow can be found here.

Matt opened his presentation with a picture of him getting kicked in the balls by a certain someone:

Okay, not really…

 

We’ll have a video up soon of the luncheon talk with Matt.

SEO Revolution Blog

Things You Should Know Right Now …

Epic Fail Coming...

Well … duh …

Often when you gain “experience” in business, you realize, “Duh, why didn’t I know that…” Much like this picture of this high quality construction for wheelchair access. Unless Tony Hawk gets paralyzed, I don’t think this is going to get much use.

That’s one thing about experience, is you often gain it a few seconds before you really needed it … as in, you just majorly screwed up. Fortunately, there are some real giants in this industry that have been down the path you are either about to go down or are traveling down right now. And one of those giants in Rae Hoffman, known in the community as SugarRae. Rae kicks ass. She doesn’t hold back and will tell you exactly how she feels and will probably lace it with a few f-bombs.

Deal with it.

This business was not created with the faint of heart in mind and in this mine field, Rae put together a killer list of 48 things she knows now that she wished she knew before.

In this post I am going to expand on five of Rae’s list of 48 that had the deepest impact on me … as I swear she wrote a few of them especially for me.

1) “Don’t mistake people you hang out with at conferences as your friends.”

Don’t confide in them. The majority of people at conferences are extremely selfish and will do anything to get an advantage and that includes pretending to be your friend.

2) Never be satisfied. The bar always gets raised. If what you’re doing is working, do more of it, as fast as you can, as much as you can.

And if what you built was easy to build, then there will be competitors in your market sooner than you think. You must go hard and fast before it dries up and it will.

3) You are going to get fucked over – at some point – by someone you trust. The best revenge is being the biggest success you can fucking be. Let karma handle the rest.

No matter how you try and avoid this, it is going to happen, and it is going to happen to someone close to you. Maybe your spouse, significant other, sibling, life-long friend, it doesn’t matter, it will happen. You have to focus on you, and being a success and moving forward. And yes, karma will be a bitch.

4) Don’t buy a new business book if that last one you purchased is still sitting on your shelf unread. Pick up the unread book and read it.

Look at your bookshelf. You know you are guilty of this. Stop it now. Focus. Take the book with you. Any spare moment read and read some more. You will be shocked at how much you can take in using the small moments of your day.

5) If they don’t sit around your Thanksgiving table, then their opinion of you, your latest post or your latest presentation doesn’t mean JACK SHIT in the grand scheme of things.

This was my favorite one. Too often I would let negative opinions of those I didn’t really know affect me … down to my core, while those who sat at my Thanksgiving table, loved me and respected me unconditionally. Those are the relationships you focus on and those are the people you listen to. Forget the rest.

Now, head over and read SugarRae’s 48 and start kicking ass with your business!

SEO Revolution Blog

The Battle with Penguin: Content Solution

You Can Do Anything, But Not Everything

… and that is especially true with content writing.

As you know in this post Panda/Penguin world, content is everything. But the
biggest problem with content has been the expense and the quality. In my testing of over 20 companies, I have found a strong team of content writers and we’ve been really pleased.

The solution? http://www.GetArticlesDone.com/

That’s a straight referral link. No affiliate code and no cookie. These guys are good. They can deliver large amounts of original, CopyScape checked articles with quick turn-around time. In the last 10 days they did over 9,000 articles, for example. They also do article submissions.

They have UAW and AMA style articles which fully support article spinning if that’s what you need. They even provide writing of extra articles titles and extra resource boxes and also offer an integrated article spinner with their platform or ready for cut and paste into third party spinning software.

Don’t sit on this, your sites need more content and this is a great solution right now and an offer which expires in a week. Tackle it right now. Injection of fresh content with solid marketing is showing great recovery from drops in the Google SERPs.

A few things you want to tackle …

1) Unique Titles are a must. Don’t forget this step. Audit your site. Look at the Titles through a program like Screaming Frog SEO. Any titles that are duplicate or near duplicate, you want to change those.
2) When is the last time you have run a complete CopyScape analysis of your entire site? I thought so. Get that done this week. You just maybe shocked at what you find.
3) How are your headlines? Are they targeting what you want the user to do or does it get your point across?
4) Review your Call to Action. Improve it.
5) New information to inject? If the article is “stale” or just isn’t cutting it, look to improve the lead in, the narrative, the closing. Add pictures, graphs, quotes, etc. Drive your point home, sell it, convince them. Lead them down the path they need to follow.

Most web masters who are having the most success overcoming Penguin are saying the same thing … they are getting back to SEO/Marketing 101 and doing the little things right. I cannot emphasize this enough. Doing the basic things right will lead to a faster and more complete recovery.

SEO Revolution Blog

Getting Your Ass Kicked by Google? You Aren’t Alone…

Matt Millen of the Raiders punches Patriot GM Pat Sullivan on Jan. 5, 1986.

Matt Millen of the Raiders punches Patriot GM Pat Sullivan on Jan. 5, 1986.

Nothing stings more than waking up and seeing a massive drop in SEO rankings or worse, your site(s) banned by Google. I’m not sure what would hurt worse, as the sucker punch from Raider Matt Millen looks painful.

In any event, the update that occurred with Google on Tuesday was a major sucker punch for many SEOs and Webmasters around the world. How bad is it? A lot of SEOs are actually quitting the business. Yes, quitting.

That’s shameful as this is just like any other career you choose … you have to work at it.

Last week’s blog post dealt with Step One in recovery from Panda and we’ll shift gears slightly and discuss what just happened and what you need to concentrate on right now.

Google fried a lot of sites and while a lot of people are talking about the empty blog ranking for “make money online”, I think the more important one is how Pfizer no longer ranks for their flagship product, Viagra … HowStuffWorks does. Wow.

Doing some simple analysis on some of these top sites that were crushed in this latest update, some consistencies pop up:

- far too high on-page keyword density
- uneven anchor text distribution
- low quality links
- internal duplicate content
- duplicate title tags
- slow site speed
- high number of internal 404s

I am not saying the above is the reason for the fall, I am saying these five issues are consistent with sites that dropped. (cough, cough) You might be best served to look at your site and improve these areas.

Remember, Google owes you nothing. They will always make changes to their algorithm and it is up to you to roll with the changes, make adjustments and keep rolling. The worst thing you can do is go into a panic and just start killing off links and dumping domains. Relax, take a breath and look at the SERPs, they are still a mess so more changes are coming.

Check in next week as I dive further into Panda and changes that you can do to improve your sites and campaigns.

SEO Revolution Blog

Knocked Down By Panda? Get Back Up!

There is a great line in the movie “The Adjustment Bureau” where Matt Damon’s character, a politician, is giving a speech …

“We had a rule in my neighborhood. When you got into a fight, it wasn’t whether or not you got knocked down. It is what you do when you get back up.”

Can you get back up? Yes you can, as we did it.

Below is a screen shot from Google Analytics and it is real. The site is an affiliate site and is a PageRank 7 site. Very authoritative in the market and was generating solid traffic and fantastic conversions. Then Panda came and you can see the huge drop-off and even a period where the traffic literally “flat-lined”.

Panda Before and After

Panda Before & After

It sucked.

But you see in the screen shot that the traffic not only came back, it came back stronger than ever. What did we do? Well, we did a laundry list of things, but not just on this domain, on dozens of others. Of the 800+ domains we manage, we had about 40 get hit hard with Panda. And in the test we did, we grouped them and tested some same methods and some different to see the reaction.

And every site that came back from Panda had one common theme…and this was the only consistent factor amongst our testing group.

A listing in the Best of the Web directory.

If you have been following me over the last decade, this is THE directory to be listed in to get your site the biggest push. Yes, better than the Yahoo! directory in terms of juice given to you. And now is a great time to get listed in BOTW as their 18th birthday is here and they are offering a 50% off coupon, just click the link and you’ll be redirected with the coupon code at the top, so when you checkout, you have the coupon code right there instead of trying to remember it, writing it down, or worse, copying and pasting it, as we all know what happens when you do that … something comes up which forces another copy and you have to go back and get the code again which is a royal pain.

Do yourself and your site a big favor, get a listing in Best of the Web right now…and make sure you get the lifetime listing…and with the savings, I would get every major site in your portfolio a listing. It will do your site a world of service.

Get Your Site Listed Now!

SEO Revolution 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