Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
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Im often asked, what makes a good PPC account structure? well in truth, it varies from account to account. There is no real championaccount structure as such. Instead, what I want to share with you is theback-bone of anaccount structure which should typically bode well for any account. Following the simple steps below cuts out a largeamount of wasted time on what historically appear to be over complicated accounts.


Alpha/Beta PPC AccountStructure


Firstly, if you have a good website structure, use this as a template (N.B. If you dont have a good website structure/navigation then perhaps looks at that first; there is nothing more frustrating to a potential customer than an badly navigable website!). There are many reasons for doing this; the two main ones are that it aligns campaigns/ad groups to landing pages, as well as for ease of reporting.


The main purpose of the Alpha/Beta PPCaccountstructure is to maximise quality score andconversion rate. As quality scores are also calculated at campaign level, it deems valuable that the campaign structure reflects and takes advantage of this. The price of a click depends on a metric known as quality score,which we know denotes how relevant Google thinks your combination of ad copy, keyword and landing page are to a searchers search query. Increasing quality score would reduce the price of clicks (and therefore the price of conversions) or improve ad rank (that is, the position the ad appears on the search results page). As we know, maximising quality score translates to higher ad positions and lower cost per clicks. By separating keywords with the highest quality score into a separate cloned Beta ad groups, the campaigns quality score will be further maximised and a higher ROI will be observed.



In A Nutshell


Lets call the bare-bone ad groups our Alpha ad groups. To implement this strategy, we would build out Beta ad groups, containing the most successful keywords alongside the most successful ads and landing pages. The ad group should be a complete clone of the original Alpha ad group but it should only contain the winning criterion. With this likely single-keyword ad group, we can tailor the ad creative to be hyper relevant to the search term and user, and additionally can test new hyper relevant variations of these best performing ads.


Read my my blog post on Considering Ad Copy As A Group Of Swappable Elements on how to variant test ad copy.


The exact match keyword should then be added as a negative to the corresponding Alpha Ad group to ensure that that exact search query triggers the ad in the Beta Ad group only.


Heres A Visual Of What This Structure Looks Like


ppc account structure


This such Alpha-Beta PPCaccount structure will allow us to focus on the most valuable keywords that provide the most ROI. It will allow us to carefully monitor and manage the budgets where the spend is going to give the biggest ROI. Additionally, it will provide a sound platform on which we can carefully create and test hyper relevant ad creatives, to further optimise the campaigns and overall account.


Use A Practical Naming Convention


Naming your campaigns and ad groups in a practical way from the startwill mean ease of navigation down the line. I see so many accounts where the campaigns are campaign 1 or Sarahcampaign they do not mean anything to anyone (OK, well maybe to Sarah) but you get my point, they do not instantly identify the theme. If you want to assign campaigns to certain staff then consider using labels.


Consider a naming convention that includes the targeted network, theme of the ad groups and the keyword match type:



Search Theme 1 BMM


Search Theme 1 Exact


Search Theme 2 BMM


Search Them 2 Exact


Display Theme 1 Image


Display Theme 1 Text


Re-targeting Theme 1 RLSA


Re-targeting Theme 2 RLSA



The size of the account can get a bit out of hand with the addition of further campaigns, ad groups, intent etc., especially when you factor in all the different types of campaigns you may want to be running:


  • Shopping

  • Search Text Ads

  • Display (Topics, Interests, Placements, etc)

  • Remarketing

  • Dynamic Remarketing

  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

  • Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)

  • Remarketing for Dynamic Search Ads (RDSA)

The trick here is with naming conventions and to label everything. The more clearly defined and separated the above campaign types are, the easier the account will be to navigate and manage.


So, weve looked at the structure, but I want to just jump back slightly here and touch on what the difference is between a keyword and a search query, and what match types are available along with their uses.


Keywords vs. Search Queries


We hear a lot of talk around keywords and search queries, but these are sometimes either misunderstood or misrepresented. So lets clear this up:


  • Keywords are words or phrases that a marketer buys on Google

  • Search Queries are words or phrases that a user (potential customer) types into the Google search bar

Match Type


Next I want to run through what match-types are available, and what they entail:



Broad Match


This match type allows us to control how aggressively Google matches keywords to queries.
e.g. Formal Shoes also matches to Formal Footwear, Evening Footwear, and Mens Dress Wingtips etc.
This form or match type gives Google almost total discretion.



Broad Match Modified


This match type allows us to specify words that must appear in a search, while capturing misspellings and different orderings of the words.
e.g. +Formal +Shoes also matches Formal Shoes, Formal Evening Shoes, Formal Black Dress Shoes.
BMM match type prevents synonyms.



Phrase Match


This match type allows us to control how aggressively Google matches keywords to queries.
e.g. Formal Shoes also matches to Black Formal Shoes, Formal Shoes for Men, Formal Shoes for Women.
Phrase match type requires the complete phrase to appear in the query.



Exact Match


This match type allows us to stop Google matching our keywords to certain queries.


e.g. [Formal Shoes] matches to Formal Shoes only.
Exact match type will only show the exact phrase.



Negative Match


This match type allows us to stop Google matching our keywords to certain queries
e.g. -Formal -Shoes matches to Mens Trainers, Mens Flip-Flops, Ladies High-Heels
Negative match type excludes any word or phrase.



I recommend using Broad March Modified (BMM) to discover new and potentially profitable search queries, Exact Match to isolate the top performing queries and bids accordingly and Negative Match to exclude the unprofitable queries. Generally I do not recommend the use of Broad Match or Phrase Match: Broad Match gives the least control and so potentially allows ads to appear on irrelevant searches (especially if you do not have a tightly optimised negative keyword list applied); Phrase Match would capture fewer searches than BMM as it requires precise spelling and so is less useful for exploration.


I have seen many an account where the PPC manager has used the same keyword on Broad, Phrase and Exact match, and I think to myself, youve wasted so much of your time by doing that. Also, Ive see a lot of ad groups with long-tail (5+ keywords per line) with little to no data attributed, why? Because they had jumped the gun and second guessed what the customer would be searching rather than ru


Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
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Amazon has launched a new marketplace for local service providers that will rival search competitors like Google and Yelp.


The new addition, Amazon Home Services, will help users find services ranging from housekeeping to home maintenance. Amazon plans to vet service providers by making Amazon Home an invite-only marketplace and the company plans to check each providers' background before extending an invitation. Unlike Yelp or Google, Amazon will also offer users a "happiness guarantee" and verify reviews to make sure that they are from real customers.


amazon-home-map


Home Services currently offers 2 million services from 700 service providers, including grazing goats for lawn maintenance. Home Services is currently only available in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, but will likely roll out to other areas soon.


Related articles



Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
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Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.


From Search Engine Land:


Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:


Search News From Around The Web:


Industry


Local & Maps


Link Building


Searching


SEO


  • Apps: The New SEO Frontier?, BruceClay.com

  • 13 awesome keywords tools you for Yandex SEO success, russiansearchtips.com

  • Challenges SEO Tools Can Solve Announcing SEOToolSet 6, BruceClay.com

  • Google Sending More Invites This Week to Webmaster Tools Search Impact Alpha, The SEM Post

  • Google Will Slow Crawling Your Site When Page Load Is Around Two-Seconds Or Longer, Search Engine Roundtable

  • How to prioritse and prepare for the mobilegeddon, State of Digital

  • How To Take A Digital Break And Not Destroy Your SEO Career, SEMrush Blog

  • Music SEO 7 Lessons in Brand Optimization for 2015, Moz

  • The 3 Most Important Website User Experience Issues to Fix NOW, SEMrush Blog

  • The Hidden SEO Danger of Returning 404 Header Response Codes [Case Study], hmtweb.com

  • The Ultimate Guide to Domain Name Extensions for SEO, ignitevisibility.com

  • Why are NoIndex Tags Not Always the Best Quick Fix? Heres Why with Mark & Eric, Stone Temple

SEM / Paid Search


SearchCap: Yahoo & Microsoft, Blekko Now At IBM & Link Spam Analysis

SMX Advanced is the only conference designed exclusively for experienced paid search advertisers and SEOs. You'll participate in experts-only sessions and network with fellow internet marketing thought leaders. Check out the tactic-packed agenda!




About The Author



SearchCap: Yahoo & Microsoft, Blekko Now At IBM & Link Spam Analysis




(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)


Get the best search news, tips and resources, delivered each day.



Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
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tools-toolbox-ss-1920


Moz announced a new feature around their Open Site Explorer link analysis tool where paid subscribers can view a new section called spam analysis.


Spam Analysis within Open Site Explorer aims at documenting and uncovering the more risky and penalty prone links pointing to your web site. It goes as far as helping you build a disavow file to upload to Google.


The tool is similar to many link tools but the spam analysis resembles LinkResearchTools.com the most.


Here are some screen shots shared by the Moz blog showing the reports:


moz-spam-score


moz-spam-score1


The tool uses 17 different flag spam classifications and the more flags associated with a site, the more Moz will classify the risk. What are the flags? Here are some as they are defined now by Moz:


  • Low mozTrust to mozRank ratio: Sites with low mozTrust compared to mozRank are likely to be spam.

  • Large site with few links: Large sites with many pages tend to also have many links and large sites without a corresponding large number of links are likely to be spam.

  • Site link diversity is low: If a large percentage of links to a site are from a few domains it is likely to be spam.

  • Ratio of followed to nofollowed subdomains/domains (two separate flags): Sites with a large number of followed links relative to nofollowed are likely to be spam.

  • Small proportion of branded links (anchor text): Organically occurring links tend to contain a disproportionate amount of banded keywords. If a site does not have a lot of branded anchor text, its a signal the links are not organic.

  • Thin content: If a site has a relatively small ratio of content to navigation chrome its likely to be spam.

  • Site mark-up is abnormally small: Non-spam sites tend to invest in rich user experiences with CSS, javascript and extensive mark-up. Accordingly, a large ratio of text to mark-up is a spam signal.

  • Large number of external links: A site with a large number of external links may look spammy.

  • Low number of internal links: Real sites tend to link heavily to themselves via internal navigation and a relative lack of internal links is a spam signal.

  • Anchor text-heavy page: Sites with a lot of anchor text are more likely to be spam then those with more content and less links.

  • External links in navigation: Spam sites may hide external links in the sidebar or footer.

  • No contact info: Real sites prominently display their social and other contact information.

  • Low number of pages found: A site with only one or a few pages is more likely to be spam than one with many pages.

  • TLD correlated with spam domains: Certain TLDs are more spammy than others (e.g. pw).

  • Domain name length: A long subdomain name like bycheapviagra.freeshipping.onlinepharmacy.com may indicate keyword stuffing.

  • Domain name contains numerals: domain names with numerals may be automatically generated and therefore spam.

Here is the scale on how many flags it takes to get risky:


54ff08eb594fe1.56851153


Moz Open Site Explorer Adds Spam Analysis For Risky Links

SMX Advanced is the only conference designed exclusively for experienced paid search advertisers and SEOs. You'll participate in experts-only sessions and network with fellow internet marketing thought leaders. Check out the tactic-packed agenda!




About The Author



Moz Open Site Explorer Adds Spam Analysis For Risky Links




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Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
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local-city-with-pins-ss-1920


Jeans company True Religion needed to promote events and new products at its retail stores.Using geo-targeted emails focused on areas in which the brand had a high concentration of stores, True Religion was able to serve up dynamic emails unique to each audience to drive in-store traffic.


65,000 geo-targeted emails were opened with a 2.5% click through rate and a 1% in-store conversion, a huge impact for one campaign with a small data set, per True Religions Director of Global e-Commerce, Gary Penn.


Examples like the above support metrics that find geotargeting doubles the performance of all kinds of marketing methods, from email campaigns to paid search. Per data from the Local Search Associations LSA Insights database, it also doesnt matter what vertical your business is in. The click-through rate for geotargeted mobile display ads was higher than the industry benchmark for all verticals.


Insights chart


The effectiveness of geo-targeting is only going to further improve as mobile use grows and location data becomes more accurate and available. The Local Search Association (LSA) just released data that found that, for the first time, mobile devices surpassed PC use in search for local businesses and services. As I reported last month, the majority of searches (52%) for local information on mobile devices occur either in the car or away from home or work.


Furthermore, 70% of consumers are willing to share their location information if they believe they are getting something of value in return like coupons or loyalty points, according to LSAs Local Mobile Search Study. This dynamically moving consumer base is only going to be more receptive to search results and ads that are specific to their location.


Geotargeting is the practice of delivering content to a consumer via mobile or web using geographic location information about that individual. At a basic level, a business can restrict its reach to consumers only located in a defined geographic area such as a state or a city. But location often provides much deeper, more meaningful and identifiable traits that tell you what a person wants, needs or is interested in.


Here are 10 practical tips for using geo-location information to reach your target audience.


1. Find AVenue Where Your Target Audience Will Have Specific Wants Or Needs


Stadiums, airports, universities, and malls are examples of specific venues that can be targeted in order to reach specific interest groups. Stadiums provide a great opportunity to focus on specific short engagement events with an audience defined by that event. They often host fans from two specific cities or schools or fans of a specific music genre that is heavy in one demographic. A band like One Direction, for example, is likely to attract school-age female fans.


Use these consumer characteristics to time and target your marketing. For example, airports on weekdays are a great source of business travelers looking for high-end restaurants, while weekends and Spring Break bring more leisure visitors and families looking for more casual dining options. Likewise, dance clubs and bars can benefit by promoting 18 and over events targeted at universities whose student bodies are largely between the ages of 18-21. These are just a few examples of how venues define audiences that can be effectively targeted.


2. Exclude Locations Where Your Target Audience Will Not Be


Not only can you define an area you wish to reach, you can carve out an area you wish to exclude. Exclusion can be done by venue or one side of the street or any area that could have been specifically targeted.


For example, clubs and bars that might otherwise want to target university students may exclude that same area during breaks or the summer when most students are away.


Excluding locations may also be a more cost-effective way to avoid the higher ad rates of high demand target areas. Digital marketing agency Mediative explains in this SlideShare how lower-cost, broader area ad campaigns can accomplish the same targeting goals by opting out of all areas but your desired target location.


LSA map3. Define ARadius By Distance Or Time Around Your Store Or An Area Of Interest


Geo-fencing allows marketers to set a perimeter around a physical location inwhich ads can be delivered. For geo-fencing ads, they may include creative messages acknowledging the users location or may include location-based features such as a store locator.


For example, a coffee shop can set a 1-mile perimeter around its store and reach any user within that radius. Or, it could set a 3-mile perimeter around a nearby office complex to reach users that may be looking for somewhere to grab coffee before going into work. You can also try geo-conquesting, which targets customers around a competitors location.


Another way to define a perimeter is not by distance, but by time. A company named iGeolise developed a platform they call TravelTime, an API that allows mobile apps and sites to search by time rather than distance. This could be useful for a condo unit near downtown looking to attract workers with very long commutes, or a restaurant targeting hotel patrons within a 10-minute walking distance.


igeloise

Courtesy: iGeolise



4. Adjust Your Bid On Ads To Prioritize Better Locations


One concern with specific targeting is the loss in volume of audience. Even if you have an otherworldly 10% click-through rate, thats just 10 click-throughs if only 100 people see your ad.


In low performing locations, the business developed from those areas may be outweighed by the campaign cost. By raising your bid for more desirable target locations, you increase your exposure in that area, while lowering your bid in other areas keeps your reach broad at a justifiable cost. These adjustments are a way of optimizing ad performance.


An event planning company or marketer for a musician that is hosting a concert in Chicago may use bid adjustments to prioritize Chicago, but also reach, at a lower cost, Milwaukee, WI and Grand Rapids, MI, both of which are driving distance


5. Use Location-Specific Keywords For Paid Search Ads


Geotargeting doesnt always mean you have to capture where someone is physically located. Consumer intent is conveyed all the time by search queries, and location is a commonly included term. Consumers often narrow their own searches by adding in the name of a city or district.


For example, Austin gyms or coffee shops near Dupont Circleor uptown restaurants provide location intent that you can target. Include location terms such as area code, ZIP code, neighborhood, community name, nearby landmarks, popular venues, tourist destinations, well known street names, local jargon and other keywords that will help you get found when a consumer is searching for businesses around you.


6. Predict Your Audience By Geography


Geography can also be used to predict desirable demographics and information about users in that area. Neighborhoods can often be delineated by residents income bracket, age, ethnicity, education, and many other demographics or interests. Politicians often draw district boundaries into areas of common political constituencies that also predict demographics or common values.


Knowing your business target audience and matching it up with where they live or work helps you find those who might be most interested in your product or service. For example, a ticket broker might want to advertise NCAA basketball tickets in the state of Kentucky and might think of using Kentucky basketball in its messaging. However, Louisville basketball would be preferable for any advertising within 50 miles of the city on the Kentucky side of the border and 70 miles into Indiana due to the strength of Louisvilles fan base in those areas.


7. Discover Location Intent By Search History


Targeting ads using search history allows marketers to deliver location specific ads to consumers, even if the consumers tracked location doesnt match the physical location of where he or she was searching.


For example, a user searching for information on the Empire State Building, Central Park, and Broadway tickets predicts a trip to New York. A hotel in the area could use that search history data to deliver a relevant and timely search related ad or message.


8. Analyze Consumer Behavior And Preference From Past Locations Visited


Location history of a consumer provides a lot of information specific to that person: where they like to shop, what they like to buy, how often they make the trip, and even how they get there. Obtaining this information gives great insight to marketers that enhances the ability to target consumers and deliver relevant, responsive location specific ads and information, even if the consumer is not currently in that area.


For example, a bagel shop might serve up a free coffee coupon to anyone whos visited a Starbucks location more than once within 10 blocks of its shop. The customers may be from anywhere in the city but their location history allows the bagel shop to target those who are likely to be in the area in the future.


9. UseLocation-Specific Landing Pages To Provide Relevant Content


Its important not only to target the right consumers, but to provide the most relevant information to them. If you find the right user who clicks on your ad, but the landing page for that ad isnt customized, that conversion could be lost. Offer different website landing pages for each targeted ad that match the reason that user was targeted.


Another way to get the right people to the right landing page is through geo-aware targeting. Your site or landing page can detect where the user is when they click on a banner or visit your website.


For example, if a user from a high income neighborhood visits a car dealers site or clicks on a paid search display ad, that consumer may be directed to a landing page displaying a luxury vehicle, while consumers located in a lower income area may be targeted with a deal on an economy vehicle. The higher income consumers may be more interested in deals such as cash off or lower interest rates whereas those in lower income brackets may be more receptive to lower monthly payments.


10. Take Advantage Of Geographic Specific Events


Lastly, geographic specific events, such as the weather or traditional local holiday celebrations, can be used to target consumers. Some events are known in advance, like St. Patricks Day in Boston. Others are unexpected, like snow storms in Dallas.


Upon forecast of a blizzard, a hardware store may target consumers with content promoting snow shovels or snow blowers. The week before St. Patricks Day, a clothing store may promote its green colored or festive attire. Either way, these events will spike demand for particular items and are a great opportunity to boost sales.


In summary, these are but a few of the examples of how geography plays such an important part in creating customized and targeted marketing campaigns. Consumers respond better to relevant marketing which means that ROI of targeted campaigns will increase. Mobile consumers make geography one of the best ways to target while technology and data make doing so a real advantage to those who use it. Sometimes it takes a little creativity, but it is worth the effort. Especially for the business of local.


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


10 Practical Tips For Using Geo-Location To Reach Your Target Audience

SMX Advanced is the only conference designed exclusively for experienced paid search advertisers and SEOs. You'll participate in experts-only sessions and network with fellow internet marketing thought leaders. Check out the tactic-packed agenda!




About The Author



10 Practical Tips For Using Geo-Location To Reach Your Target Audience




Wesley Young is the Local Search Associations vice president of Public Policy. He blogs about the industry on the Local Search Insider blog.



(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)

Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
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yahoo-bing1-fade-1920


According to a Reuters report, Yahoo and Microsoft have extended a negotiating deadline as they try to determinethe form their search partnership may take over the next five years. The original deal wascrafted during a different time by different CEOs.


Even though the original agreementwas for a period of ten years, apparently after five years the contract allowsfor a renegotiation or exit. This original contract was signed by the companies in 2010. According to Reuters, which reviewed aSecurities and Exchange Commission filing, the deadline has been extended from February 23 to roughly the end of April.


The Search-Alliance, as the Yahoo-Microsoft relationship iscalled, has underperformed expectations especially for Yahoo. The two companiescombined share of the US search market has remained basically flatfor the past five years, hovering between 29 and 31 percent. However Bing has grown itsshare, mostly at Yahoos expense.


Current Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who inherited the Search-Alliance deal from former CEO Carol Bartz, has been openlycritical of it. She has tried with some success to reinvigorate search and paid-search advertising at Yahoooutside of the Search Alliance framework. Most recently Yahoocaptured the US default search slot from Google on the Firefox browser and saw a bump in marketshare, some of which has now been given back.


Despite Mayers criticism of the Search Alliance,I would besurprised if the company completely abandonedof the deal. Doing so would probably require many millions of dollars of additional investments to recreate what existed before Yahoo turned search over to Microsoft. Yahoos institutional investors would also probably balk at themove.


For its part,Microsoftissomewhat less dependent on Yahoo traffic today than it was in 2010 when Bing was in third place. Both parties may thus have incentives to alter the terms of the deal.


Its not clear what the deadline extension says about the state of negotiations.However I suspect we will see some differentterms emerge and changes in the relationship.


Renegotiating Search Deal, Yahoo And Microsoft Extend Deadline

SMX Advanced is the only conference designed exclusively for experienced paid search advertisers and SEOs. You'll participate in experts-only sessions and network with fellow internet marketing thought leaders. Check out the tactic-packed agenda!




About The Author



Renegotiating Search Deal, Yahoo And Microsoft Extend Deadline




Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.



(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)


Discover what's up in the business of marketing each Friday.



Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
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The missing link building tip for Local SEO


At last months SMX West conference, it was clear that the Pigeon Update has caused a huge shift in the local search world. There were hardly any questions about citations this year most of the questions related to site content and links. This makes sense, because according to the 2014 Local Search Ranking Factor study by Moz, the two most important local ranking factors are on-site signals and links.


Content marketing is so prevalent nowadays, but it seems that many business owners are still confused when they actually try it.Remember:Creating content is notcontent marketing. The content is only the first step you have to go market that content for it to be effective. While this should be clear from the name of the tactic, far too many businesses forget the second half of the equation.


So, whats the secret sauce?


Youve got to get links to your content. The entire purpose of content marketing is to get your content noticed. When this happens,your content gets links which makes it more visible which gets it more links which makes it more visible and so on.


We know that links are more important post-Pigeon, but if thats the case, why are so many businesses using the same link building tactics theyve been using for years?


The Missing Link (Building Tip)


Traditional link builders will tell you to target high authority sites. Theyll even go so far as to tell you to avoid any sites with low domain authority. Go after low authority sites for links, they say, and youll get a Penguin penalty.


Thats flat out wrong if youre doing local SEO.


If youre trying to build local relevance, sometimes those low authority local sites can carry a tonof relevance. We love those crappy little church websites, or those local organization sites. A traditional link builder would avoid them like the plague, but theyre exactly the type of site that we local search optimization folksseek out.


Sure, theyre low authority. Theyre probably kinda ugly and maybe even a bit difficult to navigate. BUT, because theyre laser-focused on the local area, a link to your site is incredibly powerful in proving your local relevance.


Even better, since most enterprise sites employ traditional link building tactics, theyre going to ignore these small local sites so SMBs can absolutely dominate the search engine results pagesin their cities by grabbing a few of these links.


Local links help you to future-proof your link profile, too. Local links help you avoid the trap of targeting the same sites that businesses in your niche all over the country are targeting. Instead, youve got unique links from other sites in your unique city theres a real reason for those sites to link to you. Youre not building links from those sites, youre earning links because your business is a part of the local community, and youve got useful information.


Assuming youve already got great, locally optimized content on your siteincluding awesome local blog content finding opportunities to earn links to that content is a simple three-step process:


1.Analyze Your Competitors


Letyour competitors do the work for you! Pull your link profile, then pull your competitors. Toss everything into Excel and look for patterns and opportunities. If theyre ranking higher than you are, check for any local sites that they might have links from. Dont forget to check sites that you outrank as well sometimes you can find some great opportunities from the smaller guys.


Check outside of your competitive area as well. If youre in a big city, check other cities in your state, or even out of your state. If youre in a small town, check other small towns. There might be a huge opportunity for a golden local link that no one in your area has taken advantage of yet.


2. Analyze Your Relationships


Take advantage of the work youve already done! If youre involved in your community, youve already got opportunities for local links youre just not taking advantage of them yet.


Take some time to think about the relationships youve built with other local businesses over the years. Do you frequently use local services? Are you involved with your church or a local charity? Are you friends with other business owners?


Not only can you take advantage of those relationships to earn links to your site, if youre creating useful content, your connections will often help share that content. Take advantage of your connections connections.


3. EarnLocal Links


Now that you have a list of possibilities from steps 1 and 2, get out there and earn those links! Yes, its really that simple. Continue tocreate useful, relevant content, share it with yourrelationships andyour target sites, and youll start to earn local links. Rinse, repeat, and watch your site claim a spot at the top of the local rankings.


Throughout the process, remember the missing link those low-authority local sites are pure gold for local relevance.


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


The Missing Link Building Tip For Local SEO

SMX Advanced is the only conference designed exclusively for experienced paid search advertisers and SEOs. You'll participate in experts-only sessions and network with fellow internet marketing thought leaders. Check out the tactic-packed agenda!




About The Author



The Missing Link Building Tip For Local SEO




Greg Gifford is the Director of Search and Social at AutoRevo, a software company that provides websites and online marketing to used car dealers all over the country. Check out their awesome blog for Gregs local search posts and videos.



(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)


Get the latest news in local search marketing each week.



Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
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Author Authority Still Matters


On August 28, 2014, Google ended support for authorship markup (aka rel=author) and announced that they were no longer going to look at that data. Mark Traphagen and I helped break the news right here on Search Engine Land. This marked the end of a three-year experiment that Google announced in June 2011.


Does this mean that author authority no longer matters? Not at all! In todays post, I will explainwhy you should still be actively cultivating that authority and discuss the benefits you can get from it.


Why Did Google Kill Support For Rel=Author?


At Stone Temple Consulting, we did a detailed study showing the lack of adoption of authorship tagging by both authors and publishers. The short story is that the adoption rate was abysmally low:


Publisher and Author Adoption of rel=author


If Google was hoping for mass scale implementation of rel=author tags all over the web, it did not come even close to happening. Not only did the great majority of authors and sites not participate, but even among those who tried to implement the tags, a significant percentage did so incorrectly.


As a consequence, the scope of the impact of the authorship tags ended up being quite limited. This is important, as Google had to implement special algorithms to support scanning for these tags and implementing special search features, such as author photos. The benefit they were getting from the program was not enough to cover the expense of supporting it.


But is that all there was to it? Or did Google use the three years of authorship tagging data to help tune its own algorithms for recognizing and tracking authors? Then, once those algos were tuned, they simply shut the feature off?


To explain that in more detail, Google could have used authorship tagging as a way to train algorithms for identifying authors. This could work by running two algos in parallel: one that read the rel=author tagging, and a second that tried to identify the authors without use of the tagging. Then they could compare the results of the two algorithms and use the rel=author based one to tune the other.


My guess is that this is not what happened, for the following reason: If Google really wanted to train such an algorithm, it would not be a difficult project for them to go through and manually identify thousands of authors and then use that data to test and train their algo to better recognize authors automatically. This would save them from having to launch a public program around Authorship, and it would provide more accurate info than relying on third parties to implement rel=author correctly.


Bottom line for me on this debate is that I think that Google wanted author tagging to work, and thought it would benefit users, but it did not succeed on either score.


So Why Build Your Author Authority?


There are many reasons for doing so, they just may not be Google related. Here are my top eight:


1. Its an awesome way to build reputation and visibility: As my colleagueMark Traphagen likes to say, A Personal Brand is Very Powerful. Indeed it is. People like to connect with other people, and a personal brand opens the door to many unique opportunities.


2. Your Content Will Attract More Links: Yes, when people see someone with a personal brand publishes something, some of the links are automatic. In addition, other higher profile people are more likely to take the time to read what you have written.


3. Your Content Will Attract More Social Shares: This helps get the content in front of more eyeballs and helps you further accelerate the growth of your brand.


4. It Will Help Accelerate Your Content Marketing Program: High-end content marketing programs are all about getting exposure in the right places, much like traditional marketing and PR campaigns.


5. Its Easy to Pitch Known Authors: Media and bloggers will be faster to accept pitches from known authors. Its an instant credibility builder when you can point someone to articles on other prominent sites, or that have high volumes of legit social shares.


6. Fan Base Growth Accelerates as Your Following Gets Larger: This is easy to see in the social media world. People with larger social followings tend to add more new followers per day (provided they are active). Why? See points 2 and 3 above. People are more likely to share their stuff and get them exposure to new people.


7. New Opportunities Present Themselves More Often: People will be more likely to ask you to speak at conferences, or accept your speaking pitches. Media/bloggers may contact you and ask to interview you. They may ask you for quotes on news, and so forth.


8. Personalization Via Social Media Connections: Currently, this only works via Google+, but if someone is connected with you there, content you write about is more likely to show up higher in the Google SERPs than otherwise. Will the new Google-Twitter deal extend personalization to Twitter as well? Nothing has been said about this by either party, but in my view, its a possibility.


The 8 Benefits of Author Authority


Thats eight rock solid reasons right there, but


What About Author Authority As ARanking Factor?


Well, I dont know, and I can only speculate. I am not convinced that Google would ever support the concept of Author Authority as a generic ranking factor except in the following scenarios:


  1. The top two or three authors in a given market space may get a generic ranking boost for their content. In the search marketing space, examples would be Danny Sullivan and Rand Fishkin.

  2. They could implement an extended form of personalization. For example, if I regularly visit articles by Bill Slawski and AJ Kohn, perhaps they will start to show other articles from those authors higher in the results for me.

The reason for my thinking here is that its very hard to classify authority based solely on identifying authors. For example. in the political arena, one person might think that Stephen Colbert is an authority, and someone else may think its Rush Limbaugh. Those are pretty different people, and the way each would get accepted by someone as an authority is quite subjective.


Summary


There are tons of reasons to think about building Author Authority. Google and Bing do not have to be on the list. The direct impact on your business is already quite powerful. In addition, the indirect impact on your SEO strategy is awesome too. Here is an example of what happened to our site traffic last fall:


Content Marketing Drives SEO


Traffic has stayed up ever since, and much of that traffic is going to pages unrelated to the content that we published that caused those two spikes on the chart.


Much of the SEO game is now about building content and a user experience thats so good that people will get upset if Google no longer shows it in the SERPs. At the same time, you should build your online presence to a point where Google is not your sole significant source of traffic. Ironically, if you do these two things, it will probably do wonders for your SEO at the same time.


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


Authorship Is Dead; Long Live Authorship

SMX Advanced is the only conference designed exclusively for experienced paid search advertisers and SEOs. You'll participate in experts-only sessions and network with fellow internet marketing thought leaders. Check out the tactic-packed agenda!




About The Author



Authorship Is Dead; Long Live Authorship




Just an online marketing guy.



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Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
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blekko-ibm-800


Add Blekko to the list of startup search engines that has come and now gone.


A message on the Blekko home page, shown above, says that The blekko technology and team have joined IBM Watson! The page redirects to a post on IBMs Smarter Planet blog, where things get a bit confusing. Blekkos home page message gives the impression of a complete acquisition, but IBMs post mentions the acquisition of certain technology.



In our work to enhance the performance of cognitive computing systems, were constantly exploring new ways to identify, understand and make use of information from both public and private sources. Toward this end, we are excited about the acquisition of certain technology from Blekko, Inc, which closed this afternoon. This will provide access to additional content that can be infused in Watson-based products and services delivered by IBM and its partners.



Weve reached out to Blekko CEO Rich Skrenta (who tweeted the news) for clarification on what IBM is acquiring, and well update this if we learn more.


Blekko came out of stealth in 2008 with Skrenta promising to create a search engine with algorithmic editorial differentiation compared to Google. Its public search engine finally opened in 2010, launching with what the site called slashtags a personalization and filtering tool that gave users control over the sites they saw in Blekkos search results.


In 2011, Blekko went on the offensive against Google over spam, launching a spam clock website at spamclock.com that counted up the one million spammy web pages that Blekko claimed were being published online every hour. This was just as the debate on content farms and Google was really heating up, and in early 2011 Blekko even announced that it was banning content farms from its index. About three weeks later, Google announced the Panda algorithm update, its own effort to combat spam in search results by no means a response to Blekkos announcement, but certainly indirect validation that Blekko, and others who had been complaining about the amount of spam in Googles search index, were on to something.


Blekko has remained out of the news for almost two years, though, with some of its last mentions being a search app for tablets and a joint funding round/layoffs.


(Tip via VentureBeat.)


Goodbye Blekko: Search Engine Joins IBMs Watson Team

SMX Advanced is the only conference designed exclusively for experienced paid search advertisers and SEOs. You'll participate in experts-only sessions and network with fellow internet marketing thought leaders. Check out the tactic-packed agenda!




About The Author



Goodbye Blekko: Search Engine Joins IBMs Watson Team




Matt McGee is the Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. After leaving traditional media in the mid-1990s, he began developing and marketing websites and continued to provide consulting services for more than 15 years. His SEO and social media clients ranged from mom-and-pop small businesses to one of the Top 5 online retailers. Matt is a longtime speaker at marketing events around the U.S., including keynote and panelist roles. He can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog. You can reach Matt via email using our Contact page.



(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)


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Author: web_coder |
31 2015 |
Views: 0 |
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