Tag Archives: Google

Google: Algorithm Update To Tackle Hacked Spam

Google announced on Monday, October 5th that they began rolling out a series of algorithm changes to reduce the amount of hacked spam in the Google SERPs (Search Result Pages).

Google says that the algorithmic updates will eventually impact around 5% of queries depending on the language. What this actually means for your site and current visibility? Not much, if you’re not hacked; or if other sites aren’t hacked above you in the rankings.

Hacked sites aren’t always easy to identify, and it may cause immediate issues or questions if a site is hacked, due to limited knowledge on how to actually fix and identify the site.

Google thankfully has also planned to add a notification (like the mobile friendly update) to the SERP listing if they believe a site has been hacked/spammed as well as a notification in the GWT message center for your website.
Hacked Domain SERP Listing

Google’s Web Spam Release:

Recently we have started rolling out a series of algorithmic changes that aim to tackle hacked spam in our search results. A huge amount of legitimate sites are hacked by spammers and used to engage in abusive behavior, such as malware download, promotion of traffic to low quality sites, porn, and marketing of counterfeit goods or illegal pharmaceutical drugs, etc.

Website owners that don’t implement standard best practices for security can leave their websites vulnerable to being easily hacked. This can include government sites, universities, small business, company websites, restaurants, hobby organizations, conferences, etc. Spammers and cyber-criminals purposely seek out those sites and inject pages with malicious content in an attempt to gain rank and traffic in search engines.

We are aggressively targeting hacked spam in order to protect users and webmasters.


Google’s Matt Cutts: No More PageRank Updates In 2013

Something that I stopped following a long time ago seems to be making news in the SEO world. Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts said on Matt Cutts Twitter Response that Google won’t be pushing out a new Google Toolbar PageRank update this year.

Neils Bosh posed the question on Twitter if we should expect an update to PageRank before 2014. Matt Cutts responded, “I would be surprised if that happened.”

To be honest, I stopped looking at PageRank almost two years ago. It became a tool that was used to gimmick linkers into thinking that a website was worth linking to. It was never to be considered the end all be all to a site’s worth, and unfortuantely a lot of people made it that way because Google valued heavily on that statistic. Although a few years ago that changed, and people still believed that it continued to show strength/trust of a site even though Google made it a much smaller factor over time.

So is this the end of Google PageRank? I think so, if they’re going to stop updating it, by nature it becomes less reliable with how your site’s trust factor is perceived with Google. The one thing that I do disagree with is that if they’re not going to update it, it should be wiped from all sites on within their index. Especially if a PR5 website is spamming while a PR0 site is doing everything Cutts asks for, yet a person who relies on PageRank will simply overlook it based on value.

It all again goes back to putting the focus on your site, it’s quality, and how well users interact with the information that you have to display. I suppose that’s always going to be the typical response and we might as well get used to it.

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.

Knowledge Graph Carousel For Local Search Announced By Google

The Google Knowledge Graph Carousel has been announced Google, and has started appearing for local user searches for “restaurants, bars and other local places.” The knowledge graph carousel was announced in a Google+ post billed as it’s official release.

The knowledge graph carousel simply removes the map listing from searches, and places them above the organic results displaying images, reviews, how expensive it is, and what category it falls under. All in all, local SEO became a whole lot busier in these upcoming months. Luckily, I’ve been able to preach the necessity of getting your Google+ Business page verified and updated prior to this release, because we’re moving past the realm of just showing up in the map section of organic results. Local is now front and center, and will easily take all of the eyes away from the organic structure and place it directly on to the carousel.

This is what you see when you search “italian restaurants Pittsburgh”

google knowledge graph carousel

Another thing that’s clear, is that these Google business pages and map listings are created with or without your consent, giving the user the ability to post reviews/comments for everyone to see. The importance of claiming these listings so you can respond and react to these situations will also be magnified now that more people will surely be clicking throughout those listings.

How to claim your Google+ business page and the Knowledge Graph Carousel
  • Logged into your Google account visit this link: http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/business/
  • Add all the applicable info and save the page
  • Select the option to verify by postcard(if option for phone isn’t available)
  • Once the post card arrives, type the link on the card and enter in the pin number, your business should then be verified.

This verification process should then merge your local map listing as well as verified Google+ business page listing. Once that’s complete, you’re then able to update information, change the business name, add blog posts, images, and anything else you can think of to help promote your business. Having this page verified is essential to providing a very good step forward in attaining customers throughout Google local search.

The knowledge graph carousel may be new, but it’s a much-needed step in the right direction for Google. Sure, it makes doing SEO that much harder, and it’s another thing to troubleshoot and figure out, but it brings the process of finding a local business away from a website, and directly into Google for the direct result.

Google Penguin 2.0 Thoughts…

In today’s world, simply being just an SEO isn’t enough. I’ve been able to teach myself the necessary requirements to understand both the adaptation of SEO, and the websites that are fueled by it. On top of SEO, as Google Penguin 2.0 was just released, we’ve gone even deeper down the rabbit hole with the use of social media and Google Plus as the driving reason behind getting ourselves seen in different markets.

Google Penguin 2.0Google Authorship(get verified for authorship now) , is now more important than ever. Google has seemingly pushed the use of Google Plus upon us, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I think Google Plus has gotten loads better since it’s original release. Not to mention that now when you’re verified for Google authorship, it has had the ability to rank your pages faster, and even give them top priority in some cases. Making my goal on the SEM side of things to become more known in Google Plus and make my way throughout more friend’s circles.

Another fantastic thing that has come with Google Penguin 2.0 is that the keyword trend graph from Google has some more traction, and appears to work more than half the time when I use it. I still prefer doing things the older school way and going by referred and comparable searches, but the trends map has a purpose now, and it gives us that extra juice for being able to find rising keywords and getting the jump on our competitors out there.

Changing the way we think with Google Penguin 2.0…

Probably my favorite throughout the entire Google Penguin 2.0 release is that we don’t have to be so reliable to spam keyword phrases anymore. We’re rewarded(always were, just more-so now I feel) for actually cultivating content that can rely on phrasing of the subject instead of relying heavily on “Keyword Keyword City.” I’ve come to really detest that line of thinking anymore. Seeing articles that are forced with that kind of keyword phrasing really turn me off, and show me that the progression of their SEO hasn’t changed. Now of course, it’s not all going to change at once and even in some instances won’t ever change(we’re still going to use the phrases), but maybe we’ll all do it a bit less out there!

I’m excited and ready to see what else Google Penguin 2.0 has to offer the SEO community. I think it’s a great thing with some of these fundamental changes in the way we produce content. Totally necessary and exciting!

Link Building Through Relationships

Every SEO has the ability to create tons of content for the people searching for it, and the search engines who need to rank it. In fact, I think that’s the easiest part of doing Search Engine Optimization…link building? Not so much.

The hardest part, is finding credible links to get back links from, and getting those credible sites to even give you a mention. This is the struggle that I’ve decided to work with over the next few weeks/months/forever. I’ve really got to do a better job for myself in becoming more social on sites like Twitter/Google+/LinkedIn to really try and set up a solid connection between SEO’s and myself. Link building is about being social, credible, and willing to reach out and connect with people who share the same values as you do.

More or less, I’d love to create professional relationships with people near me in the industry and then through those created relationships follow through with an agreed upon link building program. Let’s face it, and it’s something that’s debated time and time again, that backlinks still very much matter for SEO and link building is essential. No matter how much people want to get away from them, they’re going to be with us for a while longer, and while content is “king,” Google is still looking for credible sites to display that information from.

The method most used, is looking for directories and just putting your link there and being done with. I have no interest in creating this kind of action. I want to solely use relationships and Social Media to build links with friends, while working to create necessary content worth linking with them.

Also, as a quick tip in for new products. Open Site Explorer just released their “newly-discovered” back links section using the Twitter index. It’s fantastically awesome and a good way to see your Social Media link building exercise come to life.

Upcoming Google Penguin and Panda Updates…Oh Boy!

Every SEO’s annoying nightmare is about to come true yet again. Matt Cutts of Google recently announced that there will be another large Penguin update this year, as well as a Panda update. Another thing that I’m interested in is that Cutt’s announced that Google is also going after a few link networks in 2013.

Matt Cutts of GoogleWe’ve seen various directories take a hit, but I’m ultimately curious about what they would consider a link network. Personally, these aren’t things that I’m worried about, as most of the stuff I do won’t be penalized. Plain and simple, SEO won’t ever go away. It just mutates into other things involving internet marketing and the like.

This article excerpt was taken from SearchEngineLand’s website in regards to Matt Cutts comments:

Matt said that there will be a large Penguin update in 2013 that he thinks will be one of the more talked about Google algorithm updates this year. Google’s search quality team is working on a major update to the Penguin algorithm, which Cutts called very significant.

That’s all well and good. I’m interested in seeing just how many websites are affected during this potential update to the Google Penguin algorithm.

Matt also announced there will be a Panda algorithm update this coming Friday (March 15th) or Monday (March 18th). The last Panda update was version 24 on January 22nd, which is one of the longer spans of time between Panda refreshes we’ve seen in a long time.

More than likely another 1% of Google searches will be affected and it’s nothing to go up in arms about.  Either way, myself and the millions of other SEO’s are certainly anticipating these changes.