All calm on the Mozcast today

All calm on the Mozcast today

Blog Google Algo Update SEO

After our last blog which we report some very strange goings on in google.co.uk search Mozcast today is showing much less turbulence.

So why has their been so many fluctuations in SERPS in January?

Although not confirmed it’s most likely down to either some testing or those core algorithm updates that rolled out earlier in the month in the US. Quite often Google.co.uk will see roll outs of it’s core algorithm after google.com

Gary Illyes at Google replies but doesn’t confirm anything

Merging Datasets in Google search

The easiest way to explain it is imagine you have 2 computers all with some data syncing software like Google Drive or Dropbox.

Google Dataset Merging Explained Simply

You upload your favourite pictures from your smartphone, or music but the data is massive thousands of Gigabytes or known as Terabytes. It’s going to take time for both machines to replicate all this data. So whilst you search on your computer for your favourite song you can’t always see it straight away.

Same goes with Google and its algorithm updates, it just takes time to roll out the data merge. So we sometimes see strange results that fluctuate.

Things seemed to have settled down now and things were as they were.

But if you’re seeing inconsistent results let us know so we can share it.

Massive Ranking Fluctuations in Google.co.uk

Massive Ranking Fluctuations in Google.co.uk

Blog Google Algo Update Google Penguin

We didn’t see much going on over December, well in the scale that everyone in the US was reporting on Twitter for volatile ranking changes. But this week has been a brain melter for SERPs in google.co.uk

Huge fluctuations in Google.co.uk this week

  • We’ve seen everything from websites taking 7 of the first page results.
  • .com.au, .ca websites being displayed in Google.co.uk
  • Hourly ranking fluctuations by as many as 5 positions

Why are my website rankings fluctuating so much?

The truth is no one really knows but those at Google HQ. But if I were to have a stab in the dark i’d say it’s the 3 core algorithmic updates the US saw a few weeks back finally rolling out in the UK.

Could Google Penguin rolling out in the UK?

Sure! But I don’t think it is. It’s too random, we’re not seeing consistent results in some cases it’s just plain weird. We always tell clients that during an Algo update that things can get a bit crazy and it’s kind of normal now to see some dancing in the SERPs. But they usually settle down after a few days or a week in most cases. At one point i saw virtually no .co.yuk websites for a localised search at all and even saw retailers like argos.co.uk – and believe me there is no reason for that search i did to show Argos.

Yes! I deleted my cache and web history and wasn’t signed in to Google either.

Why I don’t think it is Google penguin rolling out or being tested

The reason I’m less likely to believe it’s Google penguin is because some of the sites shouldn’t have even shown.

I also tweeted Barry Schwartz who said he wasn’t seeing any chatter.

I guess only time will tell if it’s permanent or maybe Google is just having a melt down because someone spilled coffee on a server somewhere 😉

Check out Mozcast for the Google weather forecast

 

Knowing when to stop link building

Knowing when to stop link building

Blog News SEO Website Optimization

Due to the amount of questions we get from people who email or phone us about Google Penalties and problems with poor or spammy link building from their current SEO company we thought we’d put a blog together which will hopefully answer all these questions.

So first up if your SEO isn’t working and your rankings aren’t improving when do you say STOP!

  1. If your SEO isn’t providing you with details and data of the work they are supposed to be carrying out then it’s time to ask the question what are you actually doing for me?
  2. Rankings doing down not up
  3. Strange looking back links. This means from non-contextual sites, poor quality content, keyword rich anchor text overuse or abuse.
  4. Too long with no real results. SEO doesn’t guarantee results in fact the biggest variable is the site and the people working on it. But if after 6-12 months you’re not really seeing results then we suggest speaking to your SEO expert and finding out what’s going on and when you can expect to see some movement in the right direction.
  5. ROI ‘It just ain’t happening’ – If you’re spending more than you are making as a business and you’ve been plowing hundreds if not thousands of pounds per month for a considerable amount of time and you’re not seeing signs of a return on investment then it may be time to evaluate your campaign. Like I said before SEO isn’t an easy win overnight success it takes time and skill to achieve organic results. But 1-2 years and no movement or nothing to shout about then you should be talking to the people responsible and finding out why.

Adding the wrong kind of back links

Let’s talk about back links and how they should be used in your SEO campaign and the types of links you should try and avoid adding.

Web 2.0 Back Link Building

Some believe web 2.0 links should be used to promote and build brand link references where as we suggest you just avoid them altogether. It’s better to play it safe than risking your site to a penalty for too many low quality or building links to just improve rankings from a single source or link type.

Don’t build links on Web 2.0 with keyword rich anchor text you’re just asking for trouble with manual site penalties from Google.

Forum Profile Link Building

At one point forum profile links used to be a main source for SEO’s to acquire back links from high quality and trusted domains.

Then Google mass penalised many websites for overusing this method and pushing anchor text overuse as well. There are still some great sites such as www.ideastap.com where you can create a profile link, sometimes you even get a DO FOLLOW link which is great right? BUT! Don’t use anything than your Brand or Naked URL or Name.

Our advice is just avoid using forum profile links as your source of link building.

SAPE Link Networks

Oh dear where to start with this one. SAPE if you are not familiar with this terminology is simply a load of robot built websites on a huge list of domains. Usually have spun poor quality content and are owned by a single individual. Originating from sape.ru a Russian network where you pay for a link on site for very little. It is easy to acquire thousands and thousands of back links very quickly for not a lot of money. I recently saw a company in the UK bragging that their SEO had acquired rankings using SAPE links and when I checked in Ahrefs.com you can see the amount of link abuse going on. I think this kind of link building should just be instantly penalised by any site knowing to build SAPE links to manipulate organic rankings.

This obviously isn’t a complete list of types of link building techniques used but they are some of the worse in our opinion.

For more information contact SEO21 today!

Google Penguin 4.0 Update is here!

Google Penguin 4.0 Update is here!

Blog Google Algo Update SEO SERPS

Hey guys as we suspected last week it seems that Google is rolling out it’s long awaiting Penguin 4.0 algorithm update. I was going to write a post last week that we suspected it was live as we were seeing lots of ranking shifts in the UK but it was Friday and Star Wars was calling so sorry I didn’t get chance.

Is Google Penguin 4.0 live?

Lots of twitter activity would say that Google has launched or is testing the latest incarnation of the Arctic eagle’s link attack algorithm.

Cognitive SEO said ‘Google Penguin 4.0 ( the real-time update) might have been started!’

What does Google Penguin 4.0 mean for webmasters & SEOs?

Finally if you’ve been waiting for a Penguin refresh to update all the hard work you’ve put in to remove poor quality links that attractive negative attention from the Penguin 3.0 update then you’re hopefully going to see your efforts paying off and any link based penalties being lifted.

If you’ve ignore what Google has been telling you for years about not spamming and continued to spam then get ready as you’re probably about to see shifts in your organic rankings.

Help my site was affected by Google Penguin 4.0 update

The good news is even if you have seen a downward ranking in the latest Google Penguin update then you should in theory be able to recover from this just as quickly as you got the penalty.

Google Penguin 4.0 will be real time

As confirmed by many official sources at Google the latest Penguin 4.0 update will be realtime. Barry Swartz at search engine land has a great post on it here.

Google Penguin changes good and bad SEO forever!

I am curious to see what will happen with sites that continue to abuse link building over the next year and use the churn em and burn em method to SEO. Will this mean as long as they don’t get a manual action then can simple disavow or remove spammy links and then recover? It’s an interesting thought however.

 

 

Anyone seeing ranking fluctuations? Is it Google Penguin finally?

Anyone seeing ranking fluctuations? Is it Google Penguin finally?

Blog Google Algo Update Google Penguin SEO SERPS

Happy New Year to everyone, we hope you’ve all had a wonderfully relaxing Christmas and ready for some exciting stuff to come in the world of search engine marketing in 2016.

Bit of a recap to tail off 2015 with Google’s mysterious algorithm updates in December.

There was a lot of chatter on twitter and the forums over December with a lot of people reporting ranking fluctuations. Mainly good from what we could see.

But no Penguin update before Christmas Google said

Google shakes things up in Jan 2016

If you’re even half as anally retentive as we are about SEO then you’ve probably seen lots of movement in search rankings this month already.

We are seeing previously penalised website hitting page 1 again, and we are talking from not in the first 10 pages to page 1.

If it’s not penguin rolling out something seems to be happening with the Algo.

Share your thoughts with us!

 

How do some sites recover from a Google penalty faster than others?

How do some sites recover from a Google penalty faster than others?

Blog SEO

How do some sites which have had a manual or algorithmic penalty seem to be able to recovery quicker than others?

serenata flowers google penalty recovery

So about 2 weeks ago there was some twitter activity that serenataflowers.com had been hit by a manual or algorithmic penalty. Even searching their domain or brand brought up no results in the first 5 pages. Ouch!

This of course wasn’t the first time a large well known online florist had been hit by a Google penalty, back in 2013 David Naylor reported inter flora had been whacked by Google and had lost the majority of their organic results.

It’s now the 4th December 2015 and at least for their brand search terms which I have checked serenataflowers.com is back!!!!

Now I have dealt with many manual action penalty recoveries along with Penguin and Panda penalty recoveries but 2 weeks is fast. So unless the SEO company in question knew exactly what they’d done to get the penalty and removed all links in that time and managed to get their reconsideration request processed in less than 2 weeks I think there maybe another contributing factor.

So how does a site recover so quickly from a Google manual action penalty whilst others struggling for months and even years?

  • Domain authority
  • Trust Rating

All hands on deck to undo the spammy link building in record time

Social media, was Google paying attention to all the twitter chat?

A site that recovers not just its brand searches but primary and secure target keyword phrases in Google in 2 weeks is remarkable. The fastest we’ve done it for any site is 2 weeks but that was for a small partial action not a site wide disaster recovery like what serenataflowers.com are dealing with.

It’s clear to see their SEO bods were on the case immediately as it was reported by Sistrix that they were removing links at an astonishing rate.

This is how you clean up spammy links, 50,000 links removed in 4 days

serenata flowers removing links

In my experience of over 30 google penalty recoveries in the last 2 years a site wide manual action is not something to be taken lightly. Even if you do cut away all the dead rot and make your link profile sparkly and clean and the manual action is removed it is usual for the rankings for all keywords to recovery as quickly. I worked on one site that had a site wide manual action penalty and filed the reconsideration request in the same week and was successful and even though some rankings started to reappear shortly after the site overall took about 12 months until it was back where it once was. So 2 weeks something doesn’t add up here.

Could it be something other than a link based penalty?

Yeah sure I guess why not. Maybe the site had some malicious code injected which caused another type of penalty, or maybe it was outbound links that were the issue.

But all signs point to a link based penalty for serenataflowers.com

But because we know they started to clean up their back links in such a hurry it was more than likely a link based manual action as you generally don’t started dropping 50,000 links unless you are sure that is the issue.

What does Serenataflowers.com link profile look like today?

Interestingly the number of referring pages pointing to serenataflowers.com has dropped in the last 30 days but the number of referring domains has increased. WTF?!

How did serenataflowers clean up their links so fast to remove a manual action penalty?

I haven’t looked in to this in any further detail yet, because frankly i have a life but i would bet they either participated in a PBN, Sape link scheme or owed/controlled a lot of websites which they had access to site wide links.

Getting links removed is a tiresome job and it doesn’t matter how many emails you send getting links removed isn’t an overnight job. This is why I would guess good money they owned these sites linking back to serenataflowers.com

But why has the number of referring domains increased so much?

It’s a good question really, normally once you get a penalty of this magnitude the last thing you would do is build even more links. Although we have tested this theory once before and we did revoke a manual action penalty albeit a partial one just by adding more links and diluting the number of less organic non-branded, naked url anchor links. So it can work but doesn’t necessarily mean you should do this.

Summary of Serenataflowers manual action recovery

Their team responsible for their SEO or manual action recovery were on the case immediately and began removing links, we can see evidence of that. But to have a full recovery in under 2 weeks is something else. So was Google taking a special note of their website and efforts on Twitter? Who knows for sure.

How to get thousands of FREE clicks from Google Shopping results! [Revealed]

How to get thousands of FREE clicks from Google Shopping results! [Revealed]

Blog

How you business can generate more new sales using Google’s shopping feed without having to pay for Google Adwords.

This blog is going to share how I get thousands of free clicks from Google Shopping and pay virtually nothing! and what’s more I am going to share this secret with you. In this blog you will learn how to BOOST your website sales in 3 easy steps.

 

google merchant result optimisation

 

2 Ways To Get More Online Sales with Google

For most online businesses there are two main channels to increase the number of online sales via your website and both involve Google.

  1. Pay Per Click (PPC) Set up an adwords account, choose your monthly or campaign budget and off you go. Pretty simple but not always the most effective and we’ll discuss why in a bit.
  2. Google Shopping or now known as Google Merchant Centre – A few years ago this was a free service on Google and it would position your product listings on the first page of the SERPs (search engine ranking positions). This had the potential to massively boost the number of your online sales very quickly and because it was free it meant you didn’t have to pay out per click.But then in 2013 Google pulled the plug on free advertising and decided if you wanted you business to benefit from this prime positioning you’d have to pay for the privilege.

But there is a still a way to get thousands of free clicks from Google Shopping and we are going to share it with you!

Keep reading and I promise I will share how to get free product listings on Google shopping and save your business thousands of dollars or pounds, but first a bit more detail.

Is Google Merchant all paid traffic or can you still optimise your product listings on Google shopping?

Let’s look at what Google now tells us in our Google Merchant account. When you click on your account summary or product feed you will see it says ‘paid clicks’. No longer do we see ‘FREE CLICKS’ as we one did prior to June 2013

google shopping results paid only clicks

Okay so there are no such things as free clicks from Google shopping results then? Actually contrary to the data Google publishes in your account settings I believe there are still plenty of opportunities for free clicks.

How you might be able to get free clicks from Google shopping

I am going to share with you recent data(taken in the last 7 days) from live campaigns I am working on. For two separate clients who are spending very little on paid clicks via their Google merchant/Adwords account but seeing a lot more click thus than what Google is reporting.

The screenshot below is from my clients site, I am not going to share their name but I promise this is live data and not edited in anyway.

how to get listed in google shopping results and not pay for clicks

You can clearly see here the number of paid clicks in each month is around 16 clicks. Even if this was all the traffic they were getting the average CPC (cost per click) is far less than a regular text ad. So even if there wasn’t any more traffic their CTR is much higher and more importantly their sales conversions per click is way up. In fact so much so they no longer even run a conventional Google ads account with text ads.

 

Now let’s look at their website traffic and how it’s improved the same time they ran their Google Shopping campaign. 

[I have removed the URL as I really can’t share this as it makes the site pretty identifiable but i have no reason to lie, edit, embellish or make this up.] 

google shopping optimization how to rank your product listings for free

Want to get your products ranking at the top and not pay for every click? Keep reading it will be revealed further down!

As mentioned above we are looking for about 16 clicks per day from ‘paid clicks’ but as you can clearly see their organic traffic has increase by much much more than that. In fact they are getting over 200 clicks per month since we started running this campaign. And this is to just 1 out of 45 live products.

Could the increase in traffic be SEO related and nothing to do with Google Shopping?

Yes of course it could but I have been running their SEO campaign for about a year and have a lot of data on where their organic rankings are, how they’ve improved and where the traffic is coming from. It’s really not that difficult to monitor where your traffic is coming from.

Their SERPs have been improving but the boost in traffic recently coincidentally matches the time we activated their shopping campaign.

So does this mean Google Shopping is still open to SEO and getting your products listed for FREE?

I want to be clear on 1 thing, you have to pay Google to run a Google shopping campaign otherwise your account will not be activated and no ads will be triggered in the search results. See there’s FREE and there’s FREE(ish). But wait don’t give up just yet we are only talking about a very small monthly budget to activate your account.

I’ll buy that for a dollar!

The minimum budget is $1 or £1 if you’re located in the UK. This means your product feed is eligible to be seen in the sponsored Google shopping results. BOOM!

So quit being a cheap skate and invest your £1 or $1 and start taking over Google search.

How Google Shopping Feeds work and how to make sure you get approved 1st time

What i’ve seen you have to be pretty proactive with your Google shopping feed, don’t think you can upload it and never check on it. NO NO! Accounts that are left and not checked may get paused, cancelled or terminated by Google if you don’t keep everything up to date.

Why your Google Shopping Feed was disapproved or suspended

For example:

One of your products has a price increase and your shopping feed XML is not updated as well. This will trigger a warning in your Google Merchant account which means that product is no longer eligible to be shown in the search results.

google merchant account suspended or disapproved

Why your Google shopping feed was disapproved or suspended

 

You can see in the screenshot above this campaign/feed was updated from active to disapproved for all of the products in the feed. In this case it was down to a shipping rate change which was not updated in the actual shopping feed in the merchant centre account.

‘DISAPPROVED’ MEANS NO SALES

It really is that simple if it’s disapproved then Google won’t be promoting your products no matter how much you are will to pay per click.

How to make sure your Google Shopping Feed never gets disapproved or suspended again

Follow these simple rules:

  1. Make sure you have notifications turned on in your account and never miss an important account notification or warning message again
  2. Log in to your account as often as possible. I don;t care if you have 1 product for sale and don;t sell that many. If you want to make sure you are seen as often as possible then login in regularly. I recommend logging in at least once a day. For larger accounts 3 or 4 times at day at least.
  3. Keep your product feed up to date. If you know you have some changes being made on your website such as price or change of URLs then update your Google shopping feed at the same time.

How to optimise your Google Shopping feed to get FREE clicks – REVEALED BELOW!!!!

So now you have your merchant account activated and you’re paying for some traffic it’s time to take it to the next level and show you how to get more traffic from Google Shopping results without paying for it.

For non-believers or skeptics which I am sure there will be, then just do yourself a huge favour and try this. It won’t take very long if but it will make a big difference in how much traffic you get and how many sales you see.

If you are going to do this all we ask is that you like and share this post with as many people as you can. We’ve spent years developing this stuff and seeing as we are just giving it away it would be nice to get some credit from it. When this works send a screenshot or let us know as we’d like to share it.

This is it here we go and it’s going to blow your mind how simple it really is.

Google Shopping Feed works just the same was as entry level SEO does on a website or web page. Relevant keywords, content, optimised images and landing page user experience and on page SEO.

SEO Friendly Product Listing Examples

Product Name: Super Important so get it right 1st time.

Instead of having ‘Omega VSJ 843’ put ‘Omega VSJ 843 Slow Juicer’

Product Description: Again just like a web page META description make your product description super relevant, I don;t mean just spam either but i’ll be honest Google’s spam team doesn’t seem to be checking this right now and SPAM/keyword stuffing works. I’m not suggesting spam by any means i’m just pointing out what seems to work.

Product Image: Make sure the URL of your product image is optimised on the your website. This means relevant ALT text for example ‘Cold Press Juicer’ and SEO friendly image names such as ‘cold-press-juicer.jpg

Surely getting your products listed at the top of Google shopping can’t be that easy

Might seem very obvious all this stuff, that’s because it is but it works! Just try it and watch how much more traffic you get. In many cases but I am not going to share a screenshot as it will be a dead giveaway who my client is but we have 3 or 4 of the shopping ad positions for 1 search term.

I love Google shopping it’s always been a fantastic place to promote products online and if you spend a bit of time optimising your product shopping feed you’ll see a lot more organic traffic and sales too.

Why Google Shopping is Cheaper to run than Adwords

One other thing to mention is lower CPC (cost per click) for Google shopping customers

Regardless of whether you try this or not Google shopping offers a much lower average CPC over the standard text ads. Probably because right now not everyone is familiar with running a Google shopping campaign so their is much less competition. On average we have found the average CPC to be about 1/5 to 1/10th of the cost.

Try it and you’ll see for yourself!

I hope this has been useful and you can benefit from this advice. It’s really not all the difficult to do and if you’re an SEO company you’ll really impress your clients with this if you try it out. If you’re a business looking to save money on advertising or more importantly see a better return on investment then it’s a no brainer.

I’ve said it already but if you liked this don’t forget to mention us! If you have any more questions on Google Shopping optimisation email me at info@seo21.co.uk

Looks like penguin 3.0/3.1 has finally refreshed

Looks like penguin 3.0/3.1 has finally refreshed

Blog

We’ve blogged about it already this week and after seeing the jumping frog craziness of  this week it looks like at 10.30pm December 4th 2014 Google has finally rolled out its latest penguin refresh.

We are seeing massive positive surges in rankings for sites previously affected and even sites that weren’t, are improving.

Was this the full penguin 3.0  update we all expected to see way back in October? Or is this just a continued roll out? Who knows right now but you heard it here first folks.

We’ve decided to rename this update

Jumping Frog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E