Posts Tagged Google

Countering Negative SEO? It’s Google’s Job!

After the recent spate of events there is a widespread talk about Negative SEO. The premise is if Google is penalizing websites for unnatural links like it did in the recent Penguin update then it means that anyone can create a link profile consisting of large number of unnatural links for his competitor in hope of Google noticing and then penalizing it. Sounds simple? Well, if Google is punishing sites for having unnatural or paid links then yes, it’s that SIMPLE!

The easier solution to counter negative SEO could have been Google not taking in to consideration unnatural or paid links (if Google thinks so) in its ranking algorithm. Sites indulging in black hat SEO or link buying would have simply got no advantage of creating unnatural link profile and Negative SEO practitioners would not be able to harm any site. But Google is obviously not going down that road.

But why? No one really knows the answer. But one is for sure. Google wants webmasters to do its job. Highly inefficient if you ask me. Google  has billions of dollars of hardware and human resources which can be harnessed in much better ways to provide much better results.

Some SEO experts are already playing to Google’s hands. Instead of calling out to Google for its decisions, they are suggesting ways which will make website owners’ job even more difficult.

This article suggests that website owners and webmaster be more proactive and list out bad links to their sites in a XML file.

Well, it may sound fine but misses out on one thing. Not everyone has expensive software to extract out all the links. There maybe some free tools but they may not give the complete list. So how do we find out all the bad links to our sites?

One can imagine from the article that Aaron Friedman on knees and groveling in front of a huge statue of Matt cuts.

Why don’t these SEO experts realize that it’s Google’s job to fix their algorithm. If they are fine enough with sending us cryptic standard mails then why the onus is on webmasters to do all the dirty work for Google.

Can’t Google with so much power at its disposal simple make out which sites are truly indulging in shady link building? Google is after all developing driverless cars. If they can create super complex algorithms for their cars then surely they can create better search algorithms.

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Is This the End of Paid Links?

It was great while it lasted. Since, Google wanted websites to have a great link profile, for any webmaster, links from blogs came in handy. Webmasters paid few dollars to the blog owner for link with a specific keyword rich anchor text and everyone was happy.  The webmaster’s site got link juice, the blog owner made some income and Google got what it asked from websites.

The Beginning

It continued for many years before it all went downhill. The system started getting exploited. I am not even sure if it can be called that. I will touch upon this subject later. Millions of blogs sprouted which had just one goal – To pass link juice to other websites. These blog were fed on spun articles and junk content. These blogs were often a part of huge blog networks and were meant only for Google. Google may say that it cares for good content but the problem was that it didn’t simply follow that or was not capable of. Its search algorithm just cared for content on these blogs and rewarded them with good Google PageRank. This PR was then used to judge the value of a link from that webpage.

Soon, this method was followed by every SEO company – big or small. SEO companies started acquiring links for their clients in hundreds and thousands depending on the paying capacity and the competition. The situation deteriorated when websites started dominating the Google search results on the basis of just paid blog links. This kind of SEO became the de facto standard for almost entire SEO industry. Clients wanted quick results and paid links ensured that. Google did nothing except deindexing few sites which it thought violated its webmaster guidelines.

Last year, Google received bad publicity by the sheer amount of spammy sites in their search results. Google acted by rapping J.C. Penney on knuckles and introducing a series of Panda updates to weed out content farms and spammy sites. But it did little to curb the influence of paid links.

How Google Responded

In 2012, situation started changing or at least looks so. Google started deindexing sites which sell paid links with a great fervor. Axe fell on major blog public networks such as BMR. If this was not enough, it started sending messages on Google webmaster accounts regarding unnatural links.

Dear site owner or webmaster of ….

We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.

If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

Sincerely,
Google Search Quality Team

And thus, panic ensued. Google has been saying that websites are not been manually penalized. As per Google’s instructions webmasters have started removing all paid links.

Is this the End of paid Links?

So the question is – Is this the end of paid links? Will the webmasters stop acquiring paid links?

I think not. What will end for sure is indiscriminate and obvious buying of links with specific keywords as anchor texts. Maybe, webmasters will have to use a variety of anchor text which look more natural and in context.

SEO companies will not stop buying links altogether. For now, many will stop on their tracks and evaluate the situation. But as soon as the hysteria and mass panic will die down, link buying in a different avatar will start. After all, the essence of internet is sharing of links. If there are no links then internet will die. Rel attribute is still not used by all and won’t be ever be. Link buyers will get smarter. To differentiate a normal link from a paid link is almost impossible if patterns are avoided. Other ways are when either the buyer or selling openly proclaims that they are indulging in it or if Google actually conducts a sting operation to out the blog networks.

Websites with only paid links in their link profile will obviously suffer and there will be a temporary cleanup of Google SERPs. I say temporary because all SEO efforts essentially needs lot of manpower and money to run. While earlier also, big companies spent big bucks on link buying they will divert their efforts on other SEO tactics. All we all know that just because a website belongs to a billion dollar corporation it doesn’t naturally follow that it’s most relevant or even useful for a searcher.

Essentially what has happened is that Google is responding to the allegations that people can manipulate their SERPs so easily.

Will Google Succeed?

Will they succeed? The answer is No. Because, by bringing in Google + and social signals in to SERPs, Google has introduced new elements which can just as easily be exploited and much harder to detect.

To summarize, paid links are not going anywhere too soon. Mindless link buying will stop and in its place will start smarter ways to include paid links. 

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Google reveals curiosity about Sonia Gandhi’s health

Indian politicians & politics are discussed with great passion on Internet. So, i wondered what does Indian public wants to know about its politicians. I thought it will be fun to just see what keyword suggestions Google.com throws up. Maybe it will give us an insight in to the most popular searches.

I started off with Sonia Gandhi and here are the screenshots

Google search reveals curiosity about Sonia Gandhi's health

Google search reveals curiosity about Sonia Gandhi's health

Obviously people are concerned & curious about Sonia’s mysterious surgery which was conducted away from the media glare in USA.  There was quite a buzz about it in political circles too.

I will also conduct similar unscientific research on other politicians & events to find what Indian public searches

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Google Slips, Bing Up : A sign of things to come?

Compete.com has released US search engine market share statistics. The figures reveal what has been observed over recent months. Bing is slowlybut surely chipping away at Google’s market share.

According to Compete’s research, Google-powered search (which includes both Google and AOL) had 68.3% of the US market in August, down from 69% in July. Bing-powered search — Bing and Yahoo combined — held 31.7% of the market in August, up from 31% in July.

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Google+ searchers younger & richer than Facebook searchers

ComScore’s recent study has shown some interesting facts regarding demography of Google + and Facebook searchers.

Facebook had a larger percentage of searchers over the age of 35 than Google+ which had a lower age profile. 34.2% of searchers looking for Google+ were under the age of 35 y and only 24% of Facebook searchers were under 35.

Google+ searchers younger & richer than Facebook searchers

Google+ searchers younger & richer than Facebook searchers

That’s not all. Google+ searchers also had higher incomes. Facebook had 22.8% of searchers with an income of above $100,000 a year, while Google+ had a 32.1% makeup.

Here is the link to ComScores’s report

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Giants fight over Hulu: Will Google win the war?

Giants fight over Hulu: Will Google win the war?

Giants fight over Hulu: Will Google win the war?

The battle for Hulu among the giants like Google, Yahoo, Amazon and DirecTV is heating up. This won’t be just another regular acquisition but one which has the potential to change the online advertising landscape in years to come. The deadline for initial bids in the auction for Hulu was extended from Wednesday (24th August, 2011) until the end of the week to give some more time to interested companies to examine the online video site’s financial information.

According to analysts, Hulu expects to fetch at least $2 billion. Since, it will be a keenly contested battle, initial estimated sales tag of $500 million is now distant possibility

Companies like Yahoo! stands lot to gain by acquiring Hulu as it will help it counter Google’s YouTube and shore up its revenues.

Google already a leader in this industry will get even bigger piece of the pie and will become the most dominant player in online video market. A prospect, which not many advertisers may not be in favor of.

Another giant, Amazon is also evincing interest as it see as a natural addition to its growing online video offerings and for the tablet it is rumored to be bring out soon.

DirecTV on the other hand will get a huge online digital footprint.

Enovabiz Solutions is a web design company India which provides website design, development and promotion services. “Websites that bring business”

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Why is Google buying Motorola?

Why is Google buying Motorola?

Why is Google buying Motorola?

By now most tech enthusiasts must have heard the earth shattering news of Google buying up the consumer electronics division of Motorola. The $12.5 billion deal has raised questions of almost everyone. Google has agreed to pay $40 per share in cash, over 60 percent more than the stock’s value at the time.

Though, very few experts have criticized the deal, what everyone is asking is – Why? There are many plausible reasons behind this buyout. But what prompted Google to make this huge purchase. Is there something that we don’t know?

The reason behind this deal is patents. Motorola mobility has over 14,000 patents and another nearly 7,000 pending. By acquiring these, Google can help ward off lawsuits filed by Apple, Microsoft, and others who have claim Google has infringed on their patents.

There 18 specific patents Motorola Mobility owns that can help Google in their latest of legal battles. These patents were previously used by Motorola Mobility when it had a legal tangle with Apple. These lawsuits not only targeted iPhone but also roped in iPad, AppleTV, and MacBook Air. Four of those 18 patents were also used against Research in Motion, which resulted in the BlackBerry manufacturer to pay royalties.

Perhaps, Google wants to payback other companies with the same coin.

One sore point in this whole deal is how Smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and HTC will react to this deal. Will Google still remain committed to these manufacturers and the openness of popular mobile platform Android?

Enovabiz Solutions is a web design company India which provides website design, development and promotion services. “Websites that bring business”

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Is Google benevolent on Link buyers?

Many webmasters complain that no action is been taken against websites that blatantly use paid link to boost their SERPs and page rank. It is common knowledge that a whole link selling/buying industry is flourishing.

Links from blogs and websites are sold and bought in large numbers. In a high profile incident, J.C. Penney was found to be indulging in buying of links on a massive scale to boost its search rankings on Google. Once the news came out in open, Google did penalize it briefly. After few months, J.C. Penney’s search rankings were restored to great extent.

Webmasters and SEO consultants have been wondering if buying links is a good strategy considering absence of any concrete action from Google. Though, webmasters have received notices regarding unnatural links, it is not that widespread as of now. These notices have surely not made much impact on link buyers and sellers.

Will we be seeing any further activity on this front? Will Google be able to curb this menace and that too without inflicting any collateral damage like we saw with Panda update?

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Google Introduces Trial of Page Speed Service

Google has announced trial of its Page Speed service. It will be an online service that automatically speeds up loading of web pages. In order to use this service, webmasters have to sign up and point their site’s DNS entry to Google. According to Google’s blog post

Page Speed Service fetches content from your servers, rewrites your pages by applying web performance best practices, and serves them to end users via Google’s servers across the globe. Your users will continue to access your site just as they did before, only with faster load times. Now you don’t have to worry about concatenating CSS, compressing images, caching, gzipping resources or other web performance best practices.

As of now, Page Speed Service is being offered to a limited set of webmasters free of charge.

Google promises that pricing will be competitive and details will be made available later.

We tried it with one of our test blogs and noticed negligible improvements. Google claims to have observed speed improvements of 25%-60% on several sites.

 

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Online Ad Spending set to double to $50 Billion by 2015

Industry analysts have estimated that online ad spending will reach an astounding figure of $50 billion by 2015. This will be almost the double of online ad spending in 2010 which $26 billion.

This is largely due to increase in banner ad marketing. These figures highlight the fact that internet marketing is growing at a frantic rate as well as increased usage of internet all over the world.

For any business making its presence felt on internet has now become a very crucial step. It has reached such proportions in some advanced economies that companies without any web presence are in danger of becoming irrelevant soon.

Online shopping is surging, more people are on internet thanks to Smartphones & tablets, Facebook and social media sites have made people addicted to internet. With such huge usage of internet, companies have figured out that reaching their customers where they spend most of their time make more sense. And hence, huge increase in online ad spending is being predicted.

Apart from online ad spending another type of marketing is also being adopted by most companies. Search engine marketing or SEO aims at promoting a site on search engine such as Google & Bing. Almost everyone must have used search engines to find some services or products. Most likely, you must have clicked at top listings of the search results.  SEO company use various tactics to rank websites higher up in search listings.

In the last few years, Social Media Marketing (SMO) has also emerged very strongly due to increased popularity of sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. While exact figures for SEO and Social Media marketing are hard to get, it can be safely assumed that they match Online Ad spending and will only go north in next few years.

It is very vital that any organization keeps a part of their marketing budget for online whether it’s banner, PPC, SEO or SMO. Because if you don’t now then you may soon perish!

Enovabiz Solutions provides website design, development and promotion services. “Websites that bring business”

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