Posts Categorized: SEO

SEO Strategies

How To Add A Personal Touch To Your Technical SEO Strategy

Inbound Marketing is so much more than keyword research, data and spreadsheets. To truly be effective, it needs to connect with humans on a level that automated tactics can never reach.

In this #SEOCHAT, Greg Shuey hosts an informative discussion around integrating personable methods into a technical digital marketing strategy.

Content Marketing And SEO Tips

17 Expert Tips For Better Competitive Analysis

Each week, a lively discussion around a variety of Inbound Marketing techniques takes place on Twitter, and it’s called #SEOChat. You can follow and participate in the conversation each Thursday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, as various digital marketing experts weigh in on the topics.

This week, the chosen topic was competitive analysis for link development and content marketing, and was hosted by Greg Shuey of Stryde (who also happens to be the cofounder of #SEOChat). After each chat, make sure you check out the transcript on

SEO And Content Marketing Competitive Analysis Tips

Here are some of the highlights from the discussion:


“How has competitive analysis helped you formulate a backlink and/or content marketing strategy?”

1. “Competitive audits & SWOT analyses really help to show opportunities and hazards to detour, particularly in link building.” – Eric Lander

2. “It helps pinpoint strategies/tactics competitors have used to get links. [Also gives] new ideas for clients. – Alex Peerenboom

3. “For SEO and content, a competitive analysis really shows what I can and should be doing better than my competitors.” – Andrew James


“Which tools are most helpful?”

4. “ahrefs for backlinks, SEMRush for KW research, Buzzsumo for content. Combine the data for insights.” – Jesse Semchuck

5. “I always start with a good ol’ crawl from Moz Open Site Explorer.” – Caitlin Boroden

6. “You can’t beat Google SERPs as the jumping off point for competitive analysis. Search long-tail variations.” – Laura Sultan

7. “PR software like Cision, Vocus and Meltwater is great for finding sites read by a given audience.” – Samuel Scott


“What are the metrics that help you identify quality competitive link opportunities?”

8. “Moz metrics, engagement metrics, then the ‘eye test’. Gotta be relevant.” – Tanner Petroff

9. “In conjunction with domain/page authority, we look at citation flow to determine quality links.” – ThinkSEM

10. “New/Lost link analysis on ahrefs is very helpful. From there, check domain records (and key users) in BuzzSumo. You can learn a lot on who to interact with, what to share, what to write and WHEN to pounce. Also, what to ignore.” – Eric Lander


“What are the metrics that help you determine if a content topic is worth pursuing?”

11. “If it’s going to bring the right traffic to your site, then it’s worth pursuing. Knowing your audience!” – Ty Kilgore

12. “Obvious answer is search volume. Also, is the #1 ranking page good, and can I do better? Is similar content being shared on social?” – Paul Shapiro

13. “Search volume, relevance, number of posts on topic getting links. Where links are coming from, and number of sites getting links on topic.” – Tanner Petroff


“What are the best written resources for rookies in competitive link development?”

14. “Ultimate Guide to Link Building by Eric Ward and Garrett French is great…” – Alex Peerenboom

15. “Buzzstream is really good. Also, this post by Paddy Moogan is pretty amazing.

16. “3 Pillars of SEO Competitive Analysis” by Joshua McCoy. Also monitor their content production.” – Andrew James

17. “[Here’s a] great resource for competitive link development by Neil Patel. – Bruce Clay, Inc.


What are Scraper sites?

Ever since the introduction of affiliate and Pay Per Click advertising, there have been web sites on the Internet that are trying to produce an income from displaying commercials without adding real value for the user or to the Internet in general. Web sites that have no unique content, or in some cases no content at all, have been on the rise for the last couple of years. Some of these attempts at creating a virtually unique advertising surface are from web sites that automatically produce pages on a certain topic, by crawling the web, copying and blending information on the theme to make it less easy to identify as plagiarism, but organizing the data for web crawling bots, and not visitors. Some of these web sites have gone to a level in accumulating unique-looking but actually scraped and then combined content, that they would simply query different search engines, and use the titles, links and descriptions of the pages from the results as their content.Scraper pages may be disguised as many things, most are giving off the feel of a search result page, some are posing as blogs, news feeds, some are exact copies of content found elsewhere on the web. The common feature is the pay per click advertising links featured on the pages, for which the content was scraped for. Scraping itself is not a negative thing, however when automatically gathered information is reorganized without the knowledge, will or benefit of the original authors/publishers, furthermore the thus created web site is compiled in a way that it clearly is of no use to the visitors either, that web site is to be considered spam. A surface created to rank high in search engines, implementing an unnecessary step for users between queries and the actual web sites, benefiting from the disguised Pay Per Click advertisements.

Known issues

Since these pages are created automatically, and some can only be manually evaluated as spam, Google will eventually index some of the many. Thus links and content on such pages may sometimes point to, or be taken from another, legit and valid web site. In such cases the better established and longer history page is nearly never affected in any way, the links from such scraper sites are rarely taken into account for judging trust or relevance. Also most of such sites are soon filtered out or reported to the Google Web Spam team, and if not automatically, then manually removed from the index. In certain cases scraper sites may however cause a lower importance page within a web site to be considered for examination as duplicate content. Another rare issue is when a massive amount of 3rd party scraper site pages link to a web site, and thus generate an incoming link pattern for it, that is similar to massive link scheming methods.

+ Resolution: Should you become aware of your content being used on such a web site, or being linked to from such pages, you should report the URL in question to the Google Web Spam team through the Google Webmaster tools panel. For some technical precautions and security tips read more on Hijacking as well.


Scraper site – Made for AdSense ( MFA ) ( Wikipedia )

How can I report a site that’s spamming your search results? ( Google Webmaster Help Center )

Scraper sites ( Webmasterworld )


Increase your SEO by optimizing video for search

Turns out, getting to page one on Google search is significantly easier with video than with a web page. Few people are optimizing or even using video for SEO, making competition lower, and reputedly 50 times easier to reach high rankings.

So, if you’re up for the challenge of creating some high-quality relevant videos, you’re SEO will love you for it. Here are some tips before getting started:

  1. Make sure you have a YouTube account that you can dedicate to your company videos. Doing it from your personal account might throw people off and it certainly won’t help your branding.
  2. Come up with high quality ideas. If your videos are sub-par and boring, Google will know. Somehow, they always know. Just like good content gets high ranking and traffic, good videos will come out on top.
  3. Know your audience. This one should be pretty obvious. Understand your audience so you know what tone to take with your videos. Should they be humorous? Educational? Rigid? Straight to the point? Knowing your audience will help you craft videos that are a perfect fit to help you climb the ranks.

Once you start creating videos and uploading them for the world to see, there are a few things you should be doing to help with the SEO.

  1. Post the video on different mediums. To increase the visibility, upload your video onto YouTube and embed it on your company website.
  2. Maximize your metadata. The description, tags, and video title will all play a role in the SEO of the video. Make sure to spend time filling out each of these categories, it will be worth the extra time.
  3. The first 48 hours will make or break you. It’s a known fact that new videos are more likely to climb the video rankings than older videos. So, in those first 48 hours, use all of your social media power to get as many views, comments, and likes as possible.

We hope these tips give you a good starting point for videos and video optimization. Videos are a less tapped-into resource for SEO and can be a huge source of success for businesses. While it’s a bit more time consuming, we’ve seen it work, so next time you’re looking for an exciting way to beef up your SEO strategy, don’t leave video out of the equation.




Don’t Get Left Behind in Google’s Move Towards Big Brands

For the last 2 years, SEOs have been finding Google giving priority weight to brands, and edging out the little guys. In fact, at the BlueglassX conference going on this week, Greg Boser said, “Google’s organic search has become so localized that companies who don’t have brick & mortars struggle.”

About this time, internet marketers start to divide into two camps. Those who say:

1. Big brands are the ones who deserve to be on top! (These inevitably work for companies with an existing brand already built).

2. C’mon, give the little guy a chance! (SEOs representing smaller brands)

The dichotomy here is interesting, and it’s easy to put the conspiracy hat on and say that Google is giving preference to those who are more able to pay for their ads. Unfortunately, this isn’t a move that Google is going back on, so it’s time to learn how to build a brand.

Recently Wil Reynolds coined the term RCS (Real Company Stuff[edited for content]) when talking about how companies should attempt to brand themselves. Next time you catch yourself wondering what the next step is to move your SEO strategy forward, the answer should be, “Do real-company stuff!”

What Do Real Companies Do?

That’s a good question. Here are some overt things that big companies do, and you should start considering doing:

  • Press releases
  • Sponsorships
  • Ads
  • Social
  • Blog
  • Newsletter
  • Get relationship links

Press Releases

Real companies have milestones, celebrations, and relationships with the media. Press releases are your best way to start that process. For your first few, it may feel like you’re shouting into a dark room, and they cost money. Don’t give up – this should be one of the staples to your media strategy.


Real companies sponsor or co-sponsor events and teams. They have relationships with, and get mentioned by other brands. If you don’t have this, put some budget aside for it. Make sure that the sponsorship will be recorded online because it’s not going to pay dividends in online presence unless Google can find it.


Google has sworn for years that their paid results don’t influence their placements for search results, but now that’s seriously in question. Real companies engage in display advertising on various networks. Remember, if you put all your spend on AdWords, they know exactly how big you are.


Real companies have real fans and real engagement. Those fans tend to interact with the brand on Facebook & Twitter, and a bit on Google+. You’ll never convince Google you’re a brand with no social interaction.


Real companies have something to say. They employ subject matter experts, thought leaders, and they write interesting things that get mentioned, cited, and quoted. Content marketing isn’t only the new buzzword; it also works. Your blog is the center of that strategy, so assign posts or write them yourself – either way, you need blog content.


Surprise! Real companies have people who are interested in what they have to say. Start a newsletter and encourage people to sign up to receive it. Abide by the regulations in the Canned Spam Act and make it really easy to unsubscribe. These things protect your brand, so they’re what real brands do.

Relationship Links

Real brands have real relationships with other companies both off and online. Those relationships manifest themselves in social chatter, links, and many other ways. Start making connections as your brand at networking functions instead of yourself. Manifest those relationships online.

Fake It ‘Till You Make It

And of course, while all this RCS benefits you on Google, remember that each carries its own benefit. When you act like a real company, doing real company stuff, it’s amazing how fast you’ll become a real company. Don’t shoot these tactics down because the ROI isn’t as high as other channels – becoming a real company isn’t an option anymore.

About AJ

AJ Wilcox is the online marketing manager for Domo, a business intelligence software as a service company. He’s an avid runner and automotive fanatic. When he’s not reading about SEO, he’s probably hanging with his 2 kids, or working on his go-kart. He currently resides in Utah, and dreams of one day competing in a destruction derby.


Is Google getting greedier?

Over the past few months I’ve noticed Google becoming more and more greedy with data. A few examples:

  • October 18, 2011: (not provided) – Google announces that users logged in to their Google account will be defaulted to the SSL version. This was done for the sake of “user privacy” and Google said it would affect While this initially affected less than 10% of searches, it has been escalating. Recently Mike Blumenthal reported that 60% of his keywords are now not provided.
  • SERPs with only 7 organic results – This week I read posts from Larry Kim of Wordstream and Dr. Pete of SEOmoz about the increasing number of SERPs that only display 7 organic results on the first page. While most users may never notice, there are 3 sites that can’t be happy about getting knocked to page 2. But Google is happy because that’s 3 less chances of a click not generating revenue.
  • September 5, 2012: DoubleClick Ad Planner loses data – Per the email Google sent me, this is what the change means for me “You can no longer research domains or ad placements that are not part of the Google Display Network and some demographic data will not be available including Keywords Searched For, Videos Also Watched, HouseHold Income and Education.” Of course that information wasn’t helpful Google. Argh.


Why This Bothers Me

Google is famous for the motto “Do No Evil”.
Avarice (greed) is one of the 7 deadly sins.
In my mind sin involves a certain level of evil, therefore Google getting greedy represents a breach of their company motto.

Would Google Violate Their Motto?

Usually I would have said no, but the reasons are just too simple here to ignore. You just have to follow the money:

  • Obfuscating search query data through (not provided) means that site owners can no longer leverage their analytics for keyword data. How CAN they get keyword data? AdWords.
  • Reducing the organic listings on page 1 of the SERPs means 3 less opportunities for a click to leave the page without Google making money on it.
  • Taking information out of the DoubleClick Ad Planner is the same idea as (not provided). Instead of giving the data away for free, you tuck it away and provide it, through advertising reps, to paying AdWords customers.

There. I said it. Google is being greedy and evil. What do you think?


Google Personalization or Mind Reading?

The trend in search is moving towards personalization–it has been for a while. But it also seems like it’s trying to move towards  clairvoyance at the same time. Google specifically is putting steps in place to attempt to read your mind. Under the claim of personalization in search, the Freshness update last November was a large step forward. The update impacted approximately 35% of searches (almost 3x the impact of Panda).  The update was all about fresh content–they mask the attempt at clairvoyance by claiming that you are interested in more recent events and care less about history. While this is largely true it is another step by the search giant to attempt to read your mind. Is this a positive trend, or are there concerns about this? For a search marketer, it makes it increasingly difficult to operate in the industry–but this trend isn’t new. Long gone are the days where meta keywords could catapult your site to the first page for random keywords. Now search and social are moving closer together and your task as an online marketer is moving towards increasing visibility through relationships. Links are still important–and will be for a long time. But now you also have to make Google think that your site is what everyone thinks they want.  Google Plus launched “Find My Face” in December which allows Google to use facial recognition to auto-tag photos. Is this simply convenient for users that they can learn to recognize the faces of over 50 million  current users (with an estimated 400 million users by the end of 2012) or is it additional information that Google can use to identify information about people and what they think and what they want. Probably both. Another

Google's Attempt to Read Your Mind

step was taken towards this trend last week with the “Search Plus Your World” update by Google.  Again, increase in personalization by offering . . . you guessed it . . . personalized results. Perhaps, to accomplish this personalization Google simply needs to attempt to read your mind in an algorithmic way.  They are still trying to guess what you want to see–in this case they are trying to decide if your friends know what you want more than traditional search results.

So in order to provide all of the personalization, Google has to get more and more information about you and your family and friends. Then they need to be able to process the information within their search algorithm and spit it back out in a meaningful way.  But the important factor for users is the amount of data necessary to be able to provide any meaningful results.

In the end, when people start to think that Google is invading their privacy, most people will probably scream foul just like they did with Facebook over and over, but will ultimately accept it, move on and thoroughly enjoy the completely customized search results because Google did such a great job identifying exactly what they were thinking. Nobody really wants to think about all the information that Google has access to, and while it might be scary to think about, few people are willing to give up the benefits of allowing them to have it.


Comparison of the Top Three Search Engines [INFOGRAPHIC]

We all know Google owns the search market, but how are the other engines stacking up and what are the trends to watch for?  Depending on your industry, it may be time to pay attention to Bing and Yahoo!’s combined share.  The duo grabbed 37% of retail searches and 40% of financial services searches.  Our friends at Search Engine Journal put together this graphic to illustrate the current search market dynamics:

Comparison of the Top Three Search Engines: Bing+Yahoo > Google? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Source: Comparison of the Top Three Search Engines: Bing+Yahoo > Google? [INFOGRAPHIC]