Website Promotion Blog:
News and information about Google, Yahoo and Bing, as well as the lowdown on search engines and SEO.
Google Merchant Center
If your website is a retail space that sells actual products, then it is a good idea to create a Google Merchant Center account.
Google has made the Merchant Center more accessible and open for most.
This allows you to post all your products, either paid listings or FREE LISTINGS, on various Google platforms including:
Don't miss out on taking advantage of this opportunity to be listed all over Google.
Read more » Google Merchant Center
Title Tag Length
Gary Illyes, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, has stated that there is no limit to title tag lengths with Google.
Finally, this old and speculative notion can be put to rest.
All along, the SEO industry has incorrectly recommended using no more than 70 characters in a title tag.
This recommendation came about because 70 characters in the title is basically all Google will show in its SERPS (Search Engine Results Page).
In other words, if one uses more than 70 characters (actually, it's all about pixels - but that's another discussion) in a title tag, then whatever comes after 70 will not be shown in Google.
True enough, but that's not the point.
As an SEO, I can tell you from experience that Google will utilize characters beyond 70 when it tabulates the ranking of a page.
In other words, the characters after 70 do matter!
I've seen this proven time and again, and I use more than 70 in my titles frequently.
However, that doesn't mean you should start using unwieldy and over-long title tags.
Don't go crazy. Google recommends being both descriptive and concise, and use the least amount of characters to describe a webpage.
The closer a word is to the front of the tag, the more weight it has. But using words after 70 still counts.
So, use more than 70 characters if you need to, in order to help with ranking for that extra keyword or keyword phrase. It will help with ranking, even though it doesn't show in the Google title in the SERPS.
Read more » Google Says There’s No Limit on Title Tag Length
Core Web Vitals - Google Ranking Factor
Google is using Core Web Vitals to determine how well a webpage performs, and the effect on people that visit them in regards to page loading speed and other data. If you have a website, you should be utilizing the Core Web Vitals report to enhance and improve your pages. Google will reward you with better rankings.
Read more » Core Web Vitals
Big Google Update Expected in May 2021
A new update from the Google search engine is expected this spring/summer. Presently named 'Google Page Experience', this update will focus on bringing better rankings to websites that enhance the user experience. Google will be looking for signals that show intrusive interstitials, how fast a webpage loads, if a page is https instead of http, and if it is mobile friendly.
Google My Business Description has no Impact on Rankings
A lot of testing has been done by many in the SEO community, and it seems that the decription that is used for the Google My Business listing has no effect on ranking locally in Google. This is in reference to the description that the owner writes for their Google My Business listing.
Read more » Google My Business Description has no Impact on Rankings
Google Says H1 Headings Good to Use on Web Pages
Google does not require H1 tags, but they are a major ranking factor, so your website should have them
-Using multiple H1's on one page (google says - no limit!)
-H1, H2, H3, H4 can and should be used to make an 'outline' of the web page
-Helps inform visitors to your page what the page is about
-Heading tags should not be used to fill with keywords but rather to disseminate the differences and commonalities of each section a web page
-In other words - no keyword stuffing - use H1, H2 etc. to convey information in a cohesive and connected manner
Read more » Google Says H1 Headings Are Useful but Not Critical
Warning Signs of a Bad SEO
This article contains some good tips and warning signs when hiring an SEO or internet marketing company. Most improtant - don't hire an SEO or company who gaurentees rankings. Don't let them take total charge of your website. They may hold you hostage when you want out. Read on for more good info.
Read more » 5 Huge Warning Signs of a Bad SEO or Digital Marketing Agency
Google Safety and Security
It always pays to be safer and more secure on the web.
Here's a helpful article from CNET on 'How to set up Google's two-step verification'.
Read more » Setting up Google's two-step verification
New Google Map Features
The widely used and prominent Google Maps is adding some new features:
A new tab called 'Commute' will allow real time connection to traffic information in order to help users reach their destination.
Google Maps will also provide information to those who use public transport via bus, subway, trains etc. It gives the user particulars including departure times, arrival times, and the current location of buses, trains, and subways.
Another cool feature is a group planning component so you can collaborate with relatives, friends etc. to plan an event.
Read more » Google Maps gets new features for commuters
Google and Artificial Intelligence
As AI becomes more prevalent and technology keeps moving forward, many people are expressing concern over the direction of AI. Google especially is at the forefront of the future of AI, and how it will affect our lives as time goes on. Concern over what could happen if AI technology falls into the wrong hands is just one example of the many questions that are being raised. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has released a statement of principles that Google will adhere to in their development of AI: "We recognize that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use. How AI is developed and used will have a significant impact on society for many years to come."
Read more » Google AI Principles
Read more » Google Tries Being Slightly Less Evil
Google and Https (Secure Websites)
Google is giving more credence to websites that are secure. This means that websites that are using https instead of (or along with) http in their url will have an improved ranking over those that are using http alone. Even though you may not have any reason to make your site secure, you still will want your site to be so. Having https means that any information passed along by a visitor to your site (such as through contact forms, shopping carts etc.) will be encrypted, making for a safer internet for individual users and the internet overall. Reasons to migrate to https include encryption and improved authentication and data integrity. Google's move to favor secure websites is a good idea, and all website owners should migrate over to https. Most hosting companies are now making this process quite easy. Take a gander at your hosting control panel, and you will most likely see an option for it. Make sure you click the option for the 'Permanent SEO-safe 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS'. If you don't want to mess with it, then contact your hosting company and they will do it for you.
Read more » Google - Secure your site with HTTPS
Read more » How-to guide on securing a website
Read more » Let’s Encrypt - A free open-sourced encryption certificate.
Google AdWords Services
Google AdWords is an excellent way to immediately drive qualified traffic to your website. We optimize campaigns using your keywords effectively, and manage your ads for optimum performance and best use of your budget.
Read more » Google Advertising Services - AdWords
See Your Tweets on Google
Google shows tweets when people search for certain subjects. If I write Sioux Falls weather (type the name of city you live in), and maybe also Sioux Falls weather- snow today and tomorrow, my tweet will show in Google for 'weather'. Try it and look for your tweet! Hi mom!! :)
Read more » How to Get Your Tweets on Google Search
Google and Mobile-first Indexing
Google is slowly implementing a change in how it indexes a website. Google will soon (around July 2018) be rolling out a new feature that puts more weight and relevance on the mobile version of a website. If your website currently is 'responsive', then your mobile page is the same as the desktop version, so you don't need to change anything. If your site has separate or individual mobile pages (the desktop page is rediected to a mobile page for people with smart phones), then you should be sure that your mobile page contains the same info and text as the desktop page, or at least contain more information. The point is that Google will be putting more emphasis on the mobile version of your website.
Read more » How Does Mobile-First Indexing Work?
New Bing Features
The search engine Bing is hoping to knock Google off as the number 1 destination for internet inquires.
Bing has announced some new features for their search engine to combat Google's dominance. The new features help Bing to become a 'smarter' search engine, and will now include results that Bing will display at the top of the page in feedback to a question or query. Bing will take information from a variety of sources and places, instead of only using the previous one source. This will include opposing and different answers, so the user can pick the one they are after. Another feature is Bing giving the user a definition for any query that asks for one, instead of just listing articles related to it. You will also be able to identify items in a photo that show up in a Bing image search, so users can shop for the item found in the picture itself.
Read more » Microsoft Wants to Take on Google by Making its Search Engine Smarter
Celebrities to Answer Questions on New Google Feature
Google has a new element being launched for its mobile search that will give celebrities an opportunity to answer questions posed to them.
Read more » Your Favorite Celebrities Will Answer Your Google Searches
Google to Auto-play Videos?
Google is testing a new feature that will auto-play a video, depending on the search terms you search for.
In other words, if you search for 'replacing a faucet washer', a video will start playing on the right side of the search results, showing how to replace a faucet washer.
Read more » Google tests autoplay videos in search
Optimizing for Voice
SEO's need to consider something they may not have thought about.....optimizing for voice.
Read more » Optimizing for Voice
Artificial Intelligence & Google
Have you seen the commercials on TV for the new 'Google Home'? This is the device that sits in your living room (or any room) and you ask it questions such as "What sound does a whale make?" or "Is it going to rain tomorrow?". You activate it by preceding your question or command with "OK Google".
Pretty cool right? Amazon also has a similar product on the market.
Google Home uses the web to answer any question you may have. This is another aspect of how internet marketing and good old SEO will help you gain customers. Since Google is basically using the same algorithm to find any answer to any question, just as its regular search engine does.
So, where is Google going with A.I.?
Google already uses it for its android smart phone software on voice activation features, as well as the self-driving Google automobile.
Combine Google A.I. with robotics and you get a personal assistant robot for your home that can answer questions, do commands, and also chores.
Read more » Google and A.I.
Title Tag Length Guidelines
Since Google has done away with the ads on the right side of their search engine results, they have also increased the width of the left side (main) results (from 512 pixels to 600). This gives us more room to work with. So how many characters is 'best use' for a title now? Are there other factors to consider when writing a title tag? Of course there is!
Read more » Title Tag Length Guidelines - 2016
Accelerated Mobile Pages Project
The 'Accelerated Mobile Pages Project' (AMP) is starting to gain more traction. This project (developed by Google) is an open source programming language designed to streamline the loading of mobile pages on smart phones. At present, it is used mostly for publishing related web pages (such as news, blogs, articles). The idea is to make websites more accessible for smart phones.
Read more » Accelerated Mobile Pages Project
Evaluating Link Quality
Those of us in the SEO community know that a link campaign isn't about getting the largest number of links possible. Instead, link building has become an exercise in evaluating a link, and whether or not that link is a good one, a so-so one, or a bad one. Obtaining a bad link can get you penalized in Google, so it makes sense to make a concerted effort to do your research. Your clients will benefit. This article tells you what to look for including the relevance, human value, authority and trust, and the technical elements of link building.
Read more » Evaluating Link Quality For SEO Campaigns
Google Ranking Factors
New article on Google Ranking Factors. Best source I've seen yet that explains the components needed for getting a website ranked higher in Google, and explanation of said components.
Read more » Google Ranking Factors
SEO Guide For Google, Bing and Yahoo
Want your website to rank well in Google, Bing, and Yahoo? It's really quite simple. Just a few easy steps will get your site more quality hits than you are likely getting at the present.
Read more » Website Promotion Guide
Update Your Content
With Google, the updating of a website, or 'freshness' of content, goes a long way to establishing better rankings. While this has always played a big role, it looks as if Google is taking another look.
Read more » Website Content Updating
Google Penalizing Non-Mobile Friendly Websites
Google will start adjusting rankings for websites that are not mobile friendly. Your site must now be able to accommodate smart phones, or your Google rankings may fall, perhaps even plummet to depths unknown.
Read more » Find Out If Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
Thinking of Redesigning Your Website? Think again!
A site redesign is a great idea, but there is an important factor you might not have thought of - the loss of your search engine rankings.
If your site has been optimized, then you want to keep your on-page content, and also the source code title's of your site, as they are currently. Otherwise, you will likely slip in rankings. This may include every page of your site!
Also, think about this....there may be other websites that are presently linking to some of your pages, and you will lose those links, if those pages no longer exist.
So, be sure to keep your content and page names (web address) the same, just redesign your new site around them.
Read more » A Step-by-Step Guide to Updating Your Website Without Destroying Your SEO
Improve Your Local Rankings
This article offers up 10 steps to improve your website rankings in the search engines, and elsewhere.
Although not comprehensive, the article does give some quick, well written, and important tips. Topics include website optimization, social networking, the importance of visual content (video, images etc.) blogging, mobile traffic, navigation, and call-to-action. Good stuff for the beginner.
Follow these 10 steps and you will be well on the road to getting more traffic to your site.
Read more » 10 Steps to Help Improve Your Local SEO
Google Penalty Removal
Think your site has been penalized by Google? First, you should ask yourself if you may have done anything wrong....after all, if you're not doing anything untoward, you really haven't much to worry about from Google. Just because your site isn't being found under your keywords doesn't mean you have been penalized. It probably means you just need some good, honest, expert SEO. However, if you think you have been penalized, here is a guide that will help you back on the road to getting your site found in Google again.
Read more » Google Penalty Removal Guide
On-Page SEO Basics
This article gives some good advice and practical SEO tips for your wwebsite. Follow these basic rules and you will go far in making your site more search engine friendly. If you are new to SEO, and want to try and optimize your site yourself, then start with reading this artice. This article is about SEO and changing your website itself, not about outside factors such as links, social media etc. Good, solid tips!
Read more » Getting The On-Page SEO Basics
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