On January 20, 2013 Matt Cutts released an article stated “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO”. This post is another loud warning from Google to stay away from Guest Blogging if you are using it for link building purpose as it is completely devaluing the practice as a whole.
Here’s what Matt Cutts stated:
“If you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice…In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”
Here’s the most recent video Matt Cutts has done covering this topic:
Soon after this article was released, hundreds of comments rolled in forcing Matt Cutts to edit the article to add this paragraph:
“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’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”
Here are some snippets of the comments made against this act from Google.
Even industry expert Danny Sullivan criticized this change from Google, Here’s what he posted in reply.
So, does this mean we should stop doing guest blogging for SEO?
The answer is No. Guest Blogging isn’t dead if you are doing it intelligently. As SEO experts, we want to make sure that you are protected from such changes. While doing guest blogging:
- We keep your guest postings relevant to your industry and offer unique, high-quality content written from professional writers.
- We get links for naked anchor texts, company / business names and variations of the same and sometimes citations as well.
- We make sure to get links at a gradual level. Link velocity matters.
- If you accept guest posts, only the best content should be accepted by authors and sites that are reputable. Anything less could end up hurting you in the end.
Our take on this change
Guest blogging still has its place in the online marketing ecosystem, and likely always will. But it has shifted from being a source of link generation for boosting your organic rankings to simply being a resource for getting citations, branding, traffic, and ultimately exposure.
Yahoo.com has also decided to join Google and default to secured search. Here is the official post by Marissa Mayer.
In short, if you do a search at Yahoo.com or search.yahoo.com, the results will direct to https://search.yahoo.com/. When a user clicks from the search results to your site, you won’t be getting the referrer data, nor the query data. Well, that is if your site is not secure itself. However, if your site is secured, Yahoo will continue to pass on referrer data for now. Since majority of the sites are not secured, it means that the annoying “(not provided)” number will further increase adding to webmasters woes.
Here’s a quick explanation of how each search engines handle Secure Search and what that means for your analytics:
- Google – SSL is the default for every search. Searches pass referrer data with stripped keywords leading to (not provided) in your Analytics. Full referrer data is provided to advertisers (Adwords users) though.
- Bing – Unsecured search is default. Secured search doesn’t pass keyword or referrer data.
- Yahoo – SSL is default. No referrer data is passed to unsecure sites which means site visitors from Yahoo appear to come directly to the site. Advertisers receive full referrer data.
What we can do moving ahead?
With top search engines adopting Secure Search and the resulting loss of keyword referral data, the metrics and the methodology that SEO practitioners have been using have dramatically changed. Adopting a content and page centric approach to SEO is the new direction for success.
Adapting to new search strategies that focus on what happens and converts on your web pages (rather than just keyword traffic) in relation to content, search, and social sets you up for Secure Search success in the near future.
Google has just added 3 new features to Webmaster Tools to make your life a little bit easier.
Redirect Errors – The first is an update to the Crawl Error reporting so that it now includes details on exactly where the error is found – even if on a redirected URL. According to the post:
“While it used to be that we would report the error on the original – redirecting – URL, we’ll now show the error on the final URL – the one that actually returns the error code… We hope this change makes it a bit easier to track down crawl errors, and to clean up the accidental ones that you weren’t aware of!”
Improved Keyword Reporting – Search Query data will now show the exact number of impressions and clicks on keywords for up to 90 days – no more “approximate” numbers. Here is the update. Seeing exact numbers vs. estimated numbers can make a big difference especially when it comes to making important decisions.
Improved Mobile Only Site Reporting – If you manage mobile only sites for example: m.domain.com,Google is now separating the stats for mobile only sites from their desktop counter parts for a clearer picture of what’s happening. Image courtesy – Search Engine News.
Google released a warning to affiliate sites with thin or scraped content, that their site better add value or they could receive a penalty. The blog post mentioned that Google has seen an increase in video sites (adult sites in particular) which get content through an affiliate program resulting in hundreds or thousands of sites with the same content. This is the case with Ecommerce sites as well which often have the same product descriptions across many websites resulting in duplicate content. Another example could be GEO specific content in which just the name of the location is changed and rest remains the same. As an example, you can look at these two URLs:
Here’s what Google has to say:
“If your site syndicates content that’s available elsewhere, a good question to ask is: “Does this site provide significant added benefits that would make a user want to visit this site in search results instead of the original source of the content?” If the answer is “No,” the site may frustrate searchers and violate our quality guidelines.”
If you fall into this category you may be violating Google’s quality guidelines which could lead to a definite penalty. We have already seen some sites getting slapped by the Panda update due to this content. Hence it’s always advisable to have a site featuring high quality content without any clutter and at the same time of some value to the end user.
In order to better meet the unique needs of your business, Google are making important improvements to conversion reporting in AdWords. They are writing to share details about these upcoming changes so you are ready to take advantage of them when they are available in your account.
– More flexibility in counting conversions. Beginning in February 2014, you will be able to specify how to count different conversion actions.
For example, you can choose to count all instances of certain conversion actions (such as sales) while counting only unique instances of other conversion actions (such as leads).
– Easier to understand conversion column names.
‘Conversions (1-per-click)’ will be renamed ‘Converted clicks’. This new column name is a more accurate representation of what this column actually counts: clicks that result in at least one conversion. In most cases, you’ll want to measure conversions, not just converted clicks.
‘Conversions (many-per-click)’ will be replaced by a new ‘Conversions’ column that has additional functionality. This column will count conversions, based on how you want each conversion action to be counted.
An example of how this works
Acme Corp uses AdWords to drive two important conversions: sales of their online tax software and leads for their in-person consultation service. They notice that people often make multiple purchases of their tax software-perhaps separate purchases for state and federal taxes. However, people also fill multiple lead forms. While Acme would like to count every sale as a conversion, they would like to count only unique leads.
If a click on their AdWords ad led to two sales and two leads, the previous conversions (many-per-click) would count four conversions whereas conversions (1-per-click) would only count one. Acme would like to see three conversions: one for each sale, and one for the unique lead. Now with flexible conversion counting, Acme can see the right number of conversions for each conversion action they measure in AdWords.
How flexible conversion counting affects your account
If you don’t change anything, your ‘Conversions’ column will look identical to the Conversions (many-per-click) you see today. ‘Conversions (1-per-click)’ will be renamed ‘Converted clicks’ although there is no change in functionality.
Now that you can choose how to count your conversions in AdWords, the Conversions column will be the best place to find your conversions. The ‘Converted clicks’ column only counts clicks that led to conversions-not total conversions.
Flexible conversion counting will be available in your account in the month of February, 2014.
With over 40 million registered users, Vine is fast catching up with the notable league of Social Media networks. As era of internet marketing changes rapidly, one cannot just skip a network which allows you to embed a 6 seconds video. Being at par with Instagram, Vine app can be accessed through the web world as well. You can now log onto https://vine.co to experience this app through a whole new way, making it richer & user friendly.
Browse through the Newsfeed, like, comment & share videos just as you do through the mobile phone. As Vine profiles are being accessed through web, one can switch to TV mode, a newly introduced feature available on the upper right corner of the feed. It will allow you to view compilations of videos in sequence on full screen. Though you still cannot record videos through webcam, you can make this journey more enjoyable by watching the published vines in a row.
A brand can use this attractive feature more creatively in future to showcase their journey/product. Beating the stereotype of TV advertisements which is nearly for 20-30 seconds, an advertiser can tell the story in just 6seconds. In fact, a lot of times, viewers ignore the lengthy ads & hence using Vine will prove to be an asset.