Category Archives: Social Media

Cringe Inducing SEO Phrases That Need To Go

I figured this kind of article was worth writing about. I was in a bad mood one day and I can’t remember which phrase it was that drove me over the edge, but it was certainly one of these below. There are some SEO Phrases that just make me want to go bezerk on people who use them. Sure, we all get annoyed with buzzwords but I just can’t let these go anymore. I’m incredibly tired of hearing about them and wish they’d just be put to bed. Here’s a list of my favorite worst SEO Phrases that need to stop being repeated.

“SEO is/isn’t dead”

Ah yes, the phrase that absolutely drives me to the brink of insanity on a daily basis. The shame of it all, is that I wrote actually about SEO not being dead in rebuttal to an argument that said it was a few weeks ago. Even I’m guilty of it and it was based on being tired of hearing about it.

I’m here to say that I doubt I’ll mention this phrase again on this website. This single phrase is littered throughout posts everyday all saying the same nonsensical things that SEO is dead for reason x and y. It just doesn’t need to be said and if you believe that SEO is dead, you can just go ahead and leave your SEO card at the door. SEO simply evolves and the people who adapt to the understanding of what that is, find success.

Sure, it was once solely about rankings and spamming backlinks to get to the top. However the fundamental thinking of SEO has adapted into multiple facets of web design, UI/UX, content, conversions, social, and strategy. You simply can’t master one thing and forget about the rest. Everything must be taken into account to really create everlasting success for a website.

“Content is king”

Oh boy, one phrase to rule them all. This SEO phrase gets repeated to nausea inducing levels. We get it, creating good content is good for your website. However there’s a strong misconception that creating good content can get your website seen and ranked.

I would say creating excellent content is opening the door to being seen, but it’s not the driver in getting ranked. For the time being, links still triumph over good content in my opinion. If you produce two articles with the exact same length one leaps and bounds content wise better than the other, if it doesn’t get linked and doesn’t establish authority, that good content essentially doesn’t matter quietly gets indexed into the sunset among all the other articles out there.

The SEO world doesn’t solely drive on one factor and utilizing multiple factors can create an impact all the same. So in reality, content, link earning/building, social media outreach, and marketing are all royalty. Having good content makes the process slightly easier, but if you’re starting at a base level range, it really doesn’t matter because you have to do the work to be found through other outlets anyways.

“We have a partnership with Google”

Anyone can have a partnership with Google if they spend enough money through AdWords, and that shouldn’t justify why you should work with a particular SEO Firm in the long run. When it comes to SEO, the only relationship you have with Google is that you create websites/content and have it indexed. You’re at Google’s mercy from their indexing process all the way through to the actual ranking process of your website.

You don’t tell Google where to rank your site, Google decides by various factors where to place your site.

So if anyone pulls that phrase on you, simply ask exactly what their relationship is and how they plan to leverage it for the search engine optimization side of things. If they tell you that it’s too complicated to discuss, they’re feeding you a line of “run away as fast as you can” jargon.

“We can get you position x in x amount of time”

Of course you can. Most of the time I’ve seen this doozie is when it’s coming from some kind of ridiculous spam email that I’ve received from one of my websites. I’ve been taught and literally pounded to never guarantee anything. I can estimate and I can create a solid plan that “could” get you to that ranking if everything goes well, but guarantee is simply not part of my vocabulary when it comes to SEO.

As an SEO Consultant, I’m very tired of hearing about them, talking about them, or much less reading about them in the dozens of articles that come out every day in regards to SEO. What are some of your cringe inducing phrases that drive you crazy?

Quick Updates on Social Media Efforts

A few weeks ago I decided to work on pushing out my blog content to social media sites via a publishing plugin for WordPress. For the most part it’s been great, and I’ve even had some interaction come from the use of it. One weird thing that I’ve seen, is that my tweets get favorited a lot, more so than retweets.

It’s frustrating, because I’ve seen little traction from both in that regard. That being said, I’d much rather have a retweet than a favorite when it comes down to it. A favorite is simply a nod and a bookmark to me, and that’s not a guarantee that the person that marked my tweet as a favorite will go back and look through my site (haven’t seen any indication of that anyways).

A retweet however, can do wonders. I enjoy it much more when I see that a tweet gets blasted out to another 400+ followers of that person’s account. Of course, that’s the logical thing to say anyways. I’d prefer the eyes of many over one, unless that one person had a 100% conversion rate.

Another thing that I’ve been trying to get into the habit of, using Google Plus and making sure I interact on a daily basis with things that interest me. It’s been a help with referral traffic and being placed within other people’s circles. It’s been great for networking and establishing a voice on that site as well. The converstations there are way more rewarding than they have been anywhere else in the social media sphere.

Facebook, is something that I haven’t done too much of. I really need to build a quality group or something and just can’t get into it. Maybe I’ll accomplish that in a few weeks and start promoting it as much as possible.

Speaking of, Facebook introduced larger images for link share posts. That’s a bonus, because I felt that if someone felt it was worth sharing, it should display a larger prominence within their timeline as a show of support to the given link.

Google Plus Response From Matt Cutts

The Cyrus Shepard Google Plus post that sparked a wild fire of strong opinions across the SEO world yesterday even trigged a Matt Cutts response . The thesis of the post was that Google Plus +1’s and shares had the ability to alter rankings for search results depending on the popularity of post/page on Google Plus.

Matt Cutts provided a response and that in turn sparked even more debate on what was actually discussed by Matt and if it helped dispel the rumor that these findings were in fact true.

Just trying to decide the politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings. Let’s start with correlation != causation:
But it would probably be better to point to this 2011 post (also from SEOMoz/Moz) from two years ago in which a similar claim was made about Facebook shares:… . From that blog post from two years ago: “One of the most interesting findings from our 2011 Ranking Factors analysis was the high correlation between Facebook shares and Google US search position.”

This all came to a head at the SMX Advanced search conference in 2011 where Rand Fishkin presented his claims. I did a polite debunk of the idea that Google used Facebook shares in our web ranking at the conference, leading to this section in the 2011 blog post: “Rand pointed out that Google does have some access to Facebook data overall and set up a small-scale test to determine if Google would index content that was solely shared on Facebook. To date, that page has not been indexed, despite having quite a few shares (64 according to the OpenGraph).” If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc. But that doesn’t mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking. Rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content.

I do agree with what Cutts says on the use of using a +1. He doesn’t however speak to the sharing aspect of Google Plus, or even a single post aspect. Cyrus Shepard calls that too attention and we’ve yet to see anything substantial from Cutts.

Cyrus here (the author)
Thanks Matt, I think we both agree that Google doesn’t use +1’s directly in your algorithm. But are you implying there are no SEO benefits to posting popular content on Google+? Google does use PageRank and anchor text, 2 things present in Google+ posts that aren’t passed as easily in Facebook and Twitter. It seems to me that a popular post on Google+, shared and linked to by well known authorities, is just like earning a high authority editorial link – and this is a bit different than most other social media platforms.

Now, if you tell me you treat Google+ differently in a way that blocks link juice, blocks anchor text and doesn’t pass link equity, then I think I would have to rethink my thesis. Regardless, I think we’re both on the same page here. The goal is not to accumulate a massive amounts of +1’s (and I’ll amend my post to make that clear) but to share high quality content on Google+ and build your influence through this channel, and this can lead to real world success. My argument is that Google+ as a platform passes actual SEO value, and I don’t think this is a bad thing or something that needs to be debunked. Feel free to disagree if I’m way off base here.

This is the comment I’m most interested in hearing a rebuttal for. I believe that shares or real posts from Google Plus do alter the rankings and are considered a strong signal in the ranking aspect while Google +1’s have the ability to get your site indexed crawled faster if a new page created.

Either way, it’s going to be a fun few days until this fleshes out or Cutts doesn’t provide us any more insight and we’re all left to assume that sharing helps and +1’s get things indexed.

Matt Cutts Rebuttal

Good Content…Does It Really Trump SEO Efforts?

I’ve been thinking about this for the past few weeks when it comes to content creation, and the constant preaching that Matt Cutts does when he discusses the value of creating good content. Cutts main concept is that good content trumps SEO efforts.

“Even if you do brain-dead stupid things and shoot yourself in the foot, but have good content, we still want to return it,” says Cutts. In fact, Cutts says that Google tries to make it so that sites “don’t have to do SEO.” – Cutts discussing how even the best HTML website still gets beat out by having good code.

At this point, the more I read and the more I look into websites, it seems that social signals have the ability to trump SEO for a limited time. However, that immediate impact is then replaced over time with the value of good SEO.

If having well written content was the end all case of being seen, then backlinks would be less important and we wouldn’t have to worry about having those important links pointing back to our site to stay number one or even on the first page for that matter. That being said, we know backlinks are still very important in the eyes of Google. While most of the discussion points come from Cutts saying that having good content can still be better than having an accurately coded and clean SEO site structure, to me that’s yet to be seen.

Body ContentIf having good content were the case, I wouldn’t have seen a site that had limited spun content rank number one for a certain keyword just by having back links and a ton of fake social media accounts give likes and shares. In the past few weeks, that site has dropped in the rankings but it trumped the thought that content was king.

What that site had however, was a boost in backlinks to the page it was ranking for, and all kinds of social signals pointing to that page. Regardless of the content that was on it, it still ranked number 1 for the span of a month based on the virility of the website using external factors. Depending on the keyword ranking, that one month could bring in more leads than anything else they do and it far outweighs the penalty that’s going to come. Especially if the site owners follow the route of buying a new domain and doing the same thing the next time to organically rank number one.

Content, SEO, and Social Media must work together

Now I’m not saying that content isn’t king, because it most certainly is. What I’m saying, is that even as much as Cutts wants to ignore it, SEO is still the queen, and social media is the prince. Without good content, it doesn’t go far in social media. However, with mediocre to bad content, you can still rank number one or even within the top five important spots on the first page by power of SEO.

The part where good content shines with SEO is if that content is helping you convert, which is something that mediocre content won’t do, even on its best day. The point of all of this is that it’s not just one or the other; they all have to be on point to create a long last effect in the rankings. Good content only gets you so far, just like good SEO does. Having both SEO and content working together along with the involvement of Social Media, can take you and your website to the next level.

Building a Google Plus Community

Google Plus has grown exponentially in the past year or so. The funny thing, is that I don’t feel it’s seriously used outside of people in the tech fields, specifically even the SEO field. The hard part, is that Google has made Google Plus an important factor in social signals and ranking growth. I’ve made it a personal goal to learn more about Google Plus, the best way to use it, and the most efficient way to get the most eyes on something quickly. What that means, is that a majority of my time has been spent on learning how to correctly build, promote, and use a Google Plus Community.

I’ve joined a few Google Plus Community groups over the past few weeks. I can safely say I’ve seen an increase in my website visits, interaction, and social reach as I become more responsive with Google Plus. Sure there’s a lot of random SEO fluff from some joke company that wants to promote its services online. Getting past all of that and reaching out to help people who have serious questions is incredibly beneficial, to myself, my website, and them.

Join my Google Plus Community!
Google Plus Community

Shameless plug for my created Google Plus Community – “Local SEO and Small Business SEO” Click the image to join! – Local SEO and Small Business SEO

I know, I know. It’s a shameless plug bug it needed to be done. I’m looking to create a community while growing my outreach while providing a place for users new to local SEO or people in the industry to post their information, ideas, and questions. Google Plus is something that took a hit at the start, and seeing that it’s becoming something completely different than what Facebook/Twitter is, really is a good thing. There should be distinct differences between social media platforms. It was only common sense that Google would make anything Plus related influence rankings and site visibility.

Hashtag Support enabled by Facebook

As of June 6th 2013, Facebook officially became a hashtag friendly website. Facebook will now allow users to post and search by “#keyword.” The good thing about this, is that Facebook is also making hashtags searchable, even if they’re on different social media platforms like Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.

Facebook Hashtag SupportIf you’re new to the social media and inbound marketing game and wondering how it can work with your business, I’ll provide you a few tips to help you get started with this hashtag function.

Creating a hashtag – A ‘hashtag’ can be created by simply putting a # in front of a word, or acronym with no spaces. For example “#keyword,” or “#keyphrase.” The good thing, is that Facebook and the other social media websites all follow the uniform standard when it comes to creating hashtags.

If you’re looking to use hashtags for your business, keep the same ideals when you’re looking for keywords as well. Don’t use anything ridiculous like #cheapshoesnobodyremembers. Nobody will remember or type in a hashtag that long, so refrain from using it. Keep it simple, stupid!

Click on hashtags – By clicking on the hashtag that you posted, or clicking on another one that is relevant to you or your business, you’re then able to find everyone else posting about things like you. Doing this not only gives you more ideas to write about, but also gives you the ability to become the authority on a keyword if it aligns with your business correctly.

Personally, I’ll say to never pass up on being able to answer a question if you know it. You never know what could happen with that post and it could potentially be shared or seen by more than one person.

Check for hashtag trends – Finding trends, or being able to see trends to hashtags can help you create content and continue on with communication. Sure, hashtags don’t always translate to your business. If they do match though, you already know it’s being talked about, so you might as well hop on board and see how much traction you can create with content created for that hashtag. To learn more about what tags are trending, visit

Hashtags and the use of them are meant to be simple. Social Media is mostly unexplored with small business owners, or even used incorrectly. The use of hashtags and social media can benefit your business and help you expand out further than you imagined.

Social Media and Your Small Business

In the small business marketing world, starting anything on the web/social media is a daunting task. Often times, the thought of social media for your small business can scare a person away even before starting to promote their business. I’m here to tell you that today, the use of social media and your small business is not as crazy it seems. The use for social media and your business should be an easy transition. I mean let’s face it, you know your customer base, you know your products, and you’re willingly talking to them and about them day in and day out? Why not take what has already made you successful and move it to the online world?

Social Media Icons

social media can propel your small business to the next level!

The ease of Social Media is the thing that gets me the most. I hear on a daily basis that the small business owner doesn’t have as much time to become engaging with their customer base, or doesn’t think it’s beneficial to their particular set of product or service. Unfortunately that’s just not the case. We’re living in a world now where even the most ridiculous transaction is sold online. It’s as easy as signing up, creating a page/account, and reaching out. Building a consistent pattern with your customers, or priding yourself on being able to answer various questions can set yourself apart from the competitor. Not to mention it’s as close to free advertising that you’re going to get, and you have full access to say what you want about anything you offer.

Increase engagement with social media

Spending your time on social media can also provide growth to your business or service. The engagement with users can spread like wildfire if you’re doing it just right and providing excellent online service to people specifically looking to hear from you. You may think you’re only speaking to “potential customer a,” but when you start the interaction, everyone that’s following them has the ability to see your name, or even jump in on the conversation. At the end of the day, the amount of people you can reach out to is staggering when you think about it.

Use social media to build relationships

Building those relationships is essential in keeping your business in the mind’s of people looking for a specific service. It helps on so many levels that social media shouldn’t be off of your radar. Even if you spend 15-20 minutes a day working to build relationships with customers, you have the ability to be searched for and be seen. Creating those lasting impressions can be seen even months after you have the original interaction. that first step to providing a solid reputation and being seen is the ever important first impression. Having the ability to create their first impression with your business without them even having to step foot in your door can be invaluable when making a quick sale.

Sure, there’s going to be times where a customer might be unhappy, and they’ll likely take to the web to spread the word. Having the ability to give a response, explain your side of the situation, and then offer a result to rectify the situation has all of those external people viewing that you’re an owner who’s ready to stand for his/her business.

All in all, while the first fear of not knowing where to start might be the case, and you might think it’s harder than it really is. Once you’re involved with social media for your small business and see how easy it can be, you’re going to be excited at all the opportunities you can create between your products and the customers looking for them.