Phew! Matt Cutts Corrected Himself!

Guest Blogging Is DeadMaybe you read Matt Cutts’ blog article about the decay and fall of guest blogging posted earlier this afternoon. I’m not going to repeat or summarize what he had to say, but I did want to point out that he backtracked a bit from his “guest blogging is done” point of view.

Beep, beep, beep… Back it up!

It’s a good thing too. When I first read his article, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. As Conrad O’Connell put it with the first comment, I think he painted too broad of a stroke.

In clarification, Matt added the following paragraph some time after the original post:

“It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”

The key?

Matt’s talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization purposes.

If you take his words literally (like my five-year old takes mine), you would assume that up until this point it was okay to guest blog for SEO purposes.

Of course not! It never has and never will be. And that goes for any type of content created for the internet… videos, articles, images.

It’s my belief that any and all content should be created for the end user FIRST. Then if Google likes it, all the better.

Truth be told

A couple of years ago, I would have worried about this “news” and how I was going to mitigate the change. These days, it doesn’t bother me at all because I care less and less about what Google thinks as time goes on.

Ironically, the less I worry about Google, the more Google likes my stuff. How ’bout that?

~Brodie

Posted in Main

Do I need a website when I can just have a Facebook page?

Website Or Facebook PageResearch shows overwhelmingly that smaller businesses are not maximizing the benefit of their internet presence.

While it may be surprising to some (not me), and even disappointing to some (definitely me), it should be noted that those who are taking advantage of their internet presence are experiencing significant gains.

A recent study — called Benefits And Barriers Of Bringing A Small Business Online: Perspectives From Global Small Businesses — helped to shed some light. The study was conducted earlier this year (late May though early June) and measured the responses of 1,050 businesses with 1 to 49 employees.

The results turned out to be pretty interesting. While most understood the importance of an appealing website, many simply opted for social media instead.

The general consensus from the respondents was that small businesses, most of which don’t have IT people on staff, think that using a social media page to host a web presence is easier than doing it themselves.

Why? Primarily because these sites offer a simple template that simply has to be populated. And, among those who were involved in e-commerce sites like Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, or eBay seemed to most as good a place as any to set up shop online.

Unfortunately, those who choose such direction may be missing out on the true value of having one’s own, well-defined space on the web.

Basically, it’s the difference between renting a web presence and owning one!

Posted in Social Media

Fake Online Reviews?!?!

Fake Online ReviewsObviously, some online reviews are fake.

According to a 2012 report from Gartner Research, “between two and six percent of online reviews are fake or deceptive.”

Jenny Sussin, a Gartner analyst and co-author of the report, found that, “In the hospitality industry, you are more likely to see bookings go up when you have better ratings. For restaurants, a half-star increase in the review average can cause 7:00 pm bookings to go up 30 to 49 percent.”

Based on that research, why doesn’t every business post fake reviews? Because it’s unethical and…illegal! Yes, it is actually monitored by the Federal Trade Commission.

Posted in Local Optimization

Are You Over Relying On Keywords?

Keyword EncryptionGoogle has implemented keyword encryption! What does this mean? Basically, Google isn’t going to reveal the keywords visitors use when arriving at your website from it’s search engine. By the end of this year, Google has planned to encrypt ALL keyword data, with the exception of clicks on Adwords pay-per-click ads (ironic, huh?).

These days much of the reporting for search optimization campaigns is still based on Google’s keyword traffic data. Depending on which survey you look at, Google has approximately 2/3 of the search engine market share. As a result, there really isn’t a great alternative to the data that Google used to provide.

Ironically, the changes coming from Encrypted Search actually have little to do with the effectiveness of inbound marketing campaigns. Inbound markeitng is still THE essential service for entrepreneurs and businesses that want to get more traffic to their website from Google.

Much of this change is being brought about by Google’s new search algorithm called Hummingbird which focuses on “conversational search.” Think of looking up directions on a mobile device while driving. You ask it to tell you where to go. A conversation.

This is the biggest overhaul Google has had in a very long time and we are excited to see what it brings!

Posted in SEO

What’s the difference between mobile responsive & mobile friendly?

Mobile Responsive WebsitesAs more consumers gravitate towards mobile devices, desktop screen sizes can no longer be the only design standard for website visitors. Sales in PCs are drastically set to decline with increases in sales for tablets and mobile phones. So, it’s important to know the difference between these two terms.

A responsive website does exactly what it sounds like it does – it responds to the screen dimensions of the device or browser that it is being viewed on. Whether accessed on a 13” laptop or an iPhone, a responsive website scales to fit any screen size.

A mobile website is a second version of a website that is revealed only when a website is visited through a mobile device. Sensing a mobile browser, a mobile version of a website will appear automatically if a user is attempting to access a site on their mobile device.

Google’s main priority is to provide quality and relevant content to their users. Google rewards sites with more traffic if they offer valuable content and are intuitive and easy to use.

What does Google prefer?

Google recommends using a responsive website instead of a separate dedicated mobile page because it is a built-in feature that is then native to that website.

Posted in Main