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Do Not Use Article Directories: According to Matt Cutts

If you’ve worked in the SEO industry for more than a couple of years, you probably remember the days when article directories were all the rage. You could write a quickie article, submit it to literally hundreds of article directories, link it to your site, in hopes others will publish it on their own sites to add content.

However, with duplicate content filters and link penalties, article directories definitely fell out of favor for many webmasters. That said, there are many article directories that are still actively soliciting articles and publishers who continue to republish that content.

What is Google’s official stance on article directories such as Ezine in 2014 – good or bad? This is the topic of Matt Cutts’ latest webmaster help video, which begins with a history lesson on the rise of article directories:

Over time article directories have gotten a little bit of a worse name. So just refresh everybody’s memory, an article directory is basically where you write 3-, 4-, 500 words of content and then you’ll include a little bio or some information about you at the bottom of the article, and you might have three links with keyword rich anchor text at the bottom of that article. And then you’d submit that to a bunch of what are known as article directories, and then anyone can download them or perhaps pay to download them, and they’ll use them on their own website.

While the video specifically mentions ezine.com, there are hundreds of similar article directories that all accept articles from site owners and publishers. While the sites often make money from advertising of the articles or even from spyware and malware, writers hope that others will syndicate it and they will get links out of it, or at least a bit of traffic.

The theory behind that is if somebody finds it useful and puts it on their webpage, then you might get a few links. Now in practice what we’ve seen is this often tends to be a little bit of lower quality stuff. And in fact we’ve seen more and more instances where you end up with really kind of spammy content getting sprayed and syndicated all over the entire web. So in my particular opinion article directories and just trying to write one article and just syndicating it wildly or just uploading it to every site in the world and hoping that everyone else will download and use it on their website, I wouldn’t necessarily count on that being effective.

SEOs largely abandoned article directories many years ago, but there are still new webmasters who see the opportunity, think it’s a great idea, but don’t realize the implications of it. The reality is that article directories have become overwritten with low-quality, stolen or spammy content but many just don’t realize it.

Cutts also hinted that their search algorithm is filtering, or perhaps even penalizing, mass article directory spam.

“We certainly have some algorithmic things that would mean is probably a little less likely to be successful now compared to a few years ago, for example,” Cutts said. “So my personal recommendation would be probably to not upload article like that.”

While many SEO practitioners haven’t touched article directories for several years, clearly some webmasters still don’t realize it’s a bad idea. Right now, the most useful things a webmaster can use an article directory site for is to simply get topic ideas and then rewrite in their own words for their own sites, because there is no ranking perk from submitting to them.

Source: Searchenginewatch.com

Posted in: Google Updates, Latest News, Matt Cutts

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Get Your Content Indexed Faster by Google

Utilizing the various functions that Google Webmaster Tools has to offer is a surefire way to help keep your website running like a well-oiled machine. Two tools our SEO team uses on a regular basis and finds to be extremely beneficial are the Crawl Errors report and Sitemap submission tool.

Amongst the toolkit is the Fetch as Google option, which also gives users an opportunity to submit their URL to the index. Surprisingly, this tool is often under-utilized by bloggers, webmasters, and SEO strategists. This is a convenient way to speed things up considerably if you have new content that you’d like to be discovered and found in the SERPs.

Website owners and marketers often publish new web pages or blog posts on their website, sit back, and wait for them to show up in the Google search results. But that can take weeks or even months to happen! The more savvy marketers will ensure that any new content is included in theirXML sitemap and then resubmit their sitemap to Google and Bing.

Source: SearchEngineWatch.com

Posted in: Latest News, Search Engine Optimisation

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Advertisers See Increase in ROI Using PPC

Advertisers must be seeing a good return on investment from paid search advertising, because Q4 2013 ended up as the biggest quarter for paid search ever worldwide, according to a January 2014 study of ad spending.

Asia-Pacific, meanwhile, had a 35.2% jump in CPC over the same time period attended by an increase in clicks which can be taken as a sign that paid search advertising is simply becoming more efficient.

Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Paid-Search-Clicks-Climb-End-of-2013-Do-CPCs/1010553#OsryTqMcjfC8Sly8.99

Posted in: Latest News, PPC Advertising

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Google on Mobile Search Results

Matt Cutts at the PubCon Las Vegas, he discussed the role of smartphones and their impact on search results. This is definitely an area SEOs need to continue to focus on, as it is clear that sites that are not mobile-friendly will see a negative impact on their rankings in the mobile search results.
Smartphone ranking will take several things into account, he explained:

  • If your phone doesn’t display Flash, Google will not show flash sites in your results.
  • If your website is Flash heavy, you need to consider its use, or ensure the mobile version of your site does not use it.
  • If your website routes all mobile traffic to the homepage rather than the internal page the user was attempting to visit, it will be ranked lower.
  • If your site is slow on mobile phones, Google is less likely to rank it.

Cutts was pretty clear that with the significant increase in mobile traffic, not having a mobile-friendly site will seriously impact the amount of mobile traffic Google will send you. Webmasters should begin prioritizing their mobile strategy immediately.

Source: SearchEngineWatch.com

Posted in: Latest News, Matt Cutts, Mobile, Website Design & Optimisation

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Hummingbird: Google’s Biggest Change in 12 Years Launched Today

It’s probably going to be more important than ever to give Google as much information about your site as possible, so that it “understands” it. I would imagine that Google will continue to give webmasters new tools to help with this over time. For now, according to Google (per Sullivan’s report), you don’t need to worry about anything, and Google’s normal SEO guidance remains the same.

It’s clear that keywords are becoming less and less important to search engine ranking success as Google gets smarter at figuring out what things mean, both on the query side of things and on the webpage side of things. Luckily, Hummingbird presumably still consists of over 200 different signals that webmasters can potentially take advantage of to gain a competitive edge.

In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.

Does this mean SEO is dead?

No, SEO is not yet again dead. In fact, Google’s saying there’s nothing new or different SEOs or publishers need to worry about. Guidance remains the same, it says: have original, high-quality content. Signals that have been important in the past remain important; Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways.

Here is the latest information on Hummingbird by Danny Sullivan

Posted in: Google Updates, Latest News, Search Engine Optimisation

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Google Launches Hashtag Searches, Shows Google+ Posts On Search Results Page

According to Matt McGee

“The integration of Google+ across Google properties continues in a big way today with the launch of hashtag search.

Simply put, if you search Google for a hashtag, you might see Google+ posts using that hashtag to the right of the regular search results.” However this is currently only available on Google.com and Google.ca although it is expected to be rolled out globally following testing.”

http://searchengineland.com/google-launches-hashtag-search-shows-google-posts-on-search-results-page-172725

Posted in: Blog, Google Updates, Latest News, Search Engine Optimisation

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Online Surpasses TV Consumption

digital surpasses tvThe surge in digital consumption has predictably been driven by mobile. U.S. adults now spend an average of two hours and 21 minutes per day using their mobile devices for activities other than phone calls, up 46 minutes from last year.

Time spent on smartphones, tablets and feature phones now also exceeds time spent on PCs, which clocked in at two hours and 19 minutes. The figure for PC use may seem low to any office worker who spends most days in front a computer screen, but eMarketer is taking all U.S. adults into account, some 20% of which still don’t use the internet, according to Clark Fredrickson, VP-communications at the research firm eMarketer.

Posted in: Blog, Latest News

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