Google is rolling out Penguin 4.0 algorithm update

Penguin 4.0 update

Google is rolling out Penguin 4.0 algorithm update

Google just announced on their webmaster blog that a major update to the Penguin algorithm has just been completed, and it should be mostly welcome news to businesses and webmasters everywhere. Penguin was originally rolled out in 2012 with its main purpose of creating a filter in Google search results for websites that were deemed “spammy”. Penguin essentially penalized websites that were buying and/or utilizing links of no value for the purpose of artificially inflating search rankings. Or even penalizing websites that were nothing more than pages of links pointing off that site. It has mostly worked, but with the caveat that the algorithm didn’t offer timely ways to remove your website from the penalty. In some cases, it would take multiple years for Google to recrawl and reindex these penalized websites to see that they made the necessary changes to be penalty-free.

Penguin 4.0 update is now Real-Time

Penguin 4.0 changes all that, plus a little more. Instead of waiting for Penguin to refresh for an indeterminate amount of time, Penguin 4.0 now refreshes in real-time so changes will, theoretically, be found instantaneously. And that also means that Google is “not going to comment on future refreshes.” And that makes sense.

Penguin is also more granular in its’ penalties

The other change is that “Penguin is more granular.” Meaning Penguin will devalue spam on pages of websites rather than the entire website. Does this necessarily mean that only those pages will be affected? Not necessarily. Granularity can mean different things to different people, and search engines for that matter. It could mean specific pages on a website, or it could mean categories or sections of a website as well. Only time will tell.

Still many other factors that affect SEO

Google was quick to point out that Penguin is still only one of an estimated 200 SEO factors that determine ranking for a particular website. So our best advice will continue to be to put out good content, build great and responsive websites, work hard and never stop, or hire someone to do it for you.
If you have questions about SEO, or how we can help your search rankings, give us a call at 720.880.5492 or email us at info@iwesocial.com

Twitter update made…media attachments in tweets don’t count towards 140 character limit!!

It’s been months in the making, and months in discussion, but it appears Twitter is not counting media attchments in tweets towards the 140 character limit. This should give people and businesses everywhere no reason at all not to be posting more images and videos in their tweets. See it in action below:

This is a fairly big step for Twitter as it tries hard to stay relevant with it’s current audience, and hopefully draw back old and new users. User growth has all but stalled in recent months, and while this is a small step that many might not care about, it’s a pretty big deal. It essentially allows for more content in a tweet which is also good news for companies like ours that pull insightful information and data from discussions and topics happening on Twitter in real-time.

But while this a big step for Twitter, will it be enough to keep up with other major social players who are adding new features that people want every single day it seems like?  Watching NFL games on Twitter on Thursdays is something Twitter has heavily invested in to bring in more advertisers, and ideally more Twitter users. It’s only been a week, but judging by the 2 million people who tuned on the Twitter app last Tursday to watch football and the surrounding positive sentiment, maybe they have found something. Time will tell if they can continue the momentum, but we like these changes Twitter is making to slightly differentiate themselves in a crowded social media scene.

 

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Has Twitter allowed to add media to tweets without subtracting character count?

As first reported last week by The Verge, “…Twitter is about to make a big change to the way that tweets work, The Verge can independently confirm. Beginning September 19th, the company will cut down on exactly which types of content count toward the platform’s 140-character limit. Media attachments (images, GIFs, videos, polls, etc.) and quoted tweets will no longer reduce the count. The extra room for text will give users more flexibility in composing their messages.”

So we decided to check that report today being September 19. As of 12:45pm EST, we created a quick video on a Twitter post to see if this was in fact ready to go today as promised. Drum roll please….

 

As you can see, this feature that has been talked about for months, has not yet occurred. We are disappointed, but in no way surprised. We will check it again closer to the end of the day so we can at least give Twitter the benefit of the doubt. Stay tuned and check back. Are you seeing the same we are? If you got this feature to work let us know.

Eric Graham, Digital Marketing

Use DMOZ.org for a powerful backlink to your website

The world of SEO, especially organic SEO, has gotten a little more complicated in that it continues to evolve and the focus on what things effect SEO and your search rankings has changed even more. What used to be considered “white hat” SEO (or acceptable SEO), in many cases is now “Black hat” SEO (or not acceptable SEO). A perfect example of this is creating backlinks to your website.

In the old days of say 2-3 years ago you could essentially buy links by the thousands to get your site listed on, and consequently you could increase your search rankings of your website. With the release of the Penguin algorithm by Google in 2012, this practice was all but shut down. Penguin could essentially delist websites that were buying shady links from all over the world. While back linking, or creating links that point back to your website, is still a valuable SEO tactic, you now have to work to attain quality links that point to your website. How this is accomplished is left for another day. But there are some sites that are powerful in that they have high authority with the search engines such as Google and Bing.

One such site is dmoz.org. Dmoz.org is in its simplest terms is “…the most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web.” Essentially a directory of websites that the search engines index. It’s free to get your website listed here, but it is not instantaneous, nor is it guaranteed to get listed. According to dmoz.org when trying to determine how long it will take to get your website listed, “This varies based on the activity level of the editors in your area.” Common thought is that it will take from weeks to months. But still worth the effort and time to go through the process. Organic SEO work is all about doing today to reap rewards tomorrow anyway.

Dmoz.org has page of instructions for recommending your website to be listed. But here we will help you through the process. But the first step is to make sure your site isn’t already listed by searching for your business name in the search box. Then you make sure your site fits the guidelines of a proper site. No illegal content, no redirects, no affiliate sites, etc. Next, you need to determine a proper category to have your site listed under. This can be confusing, and many times the category you were hoping to be listed in is not accepting any new submissions, so you continue onward. But once you do find the right category, and you find this icon highlighted at the top next the category breadcrumbs, you are in business:

dmoz icon

Once you find your category, you will know that dmoz is accepting new submissions in your chosen category because the icon will be highlighted in bold and will be clickable as seen in the screenshot below:

Link to DMOZ.org

  Once this laborious task is completed, and you click the category icon, you will be taken to a page to fill out the information about your company. Be sure to use 3-4 keyword phrases that someone might potentially use to search and find your business in Google search results when filling in the description of your business. You might want to do some keyword research beforehand to see how people are searching for businesses like yours. Then use those keyword phrases in the description of your business. Here is a screenshot of that page:

Backlinking on DMOZ

Once you have completed this task, you are well on your way to getting your site listed on dmoz.org. In weeks, or months, your site will hopefully be approved and be listed. Then you should start seeing a small uptick in your search rankings for a few of the keywords you listed. But you can always check your Google Search Console account to see how you rank for those keywords today, and compare to them after you get listed on dmoz to see what the impact is on your search rankings.

While this is far from an end all be all SEO tactic, it is something that is free and doesn’t take a whole lot of your time. It has proven to be valuable to many businesses. And it will most likely benefit your search rankings, along with the 200 or so other things you can do to elevate your organic SEO. Every little bit adds up over time, and listing your website on dmoz.org is often overlooked or unknown to most businesses. Good luck!

If you have further questions about your organic SEO and search rankings, or just need some help getting found online, contact our best in class SEO team at 720.880.5492, or email us at info@iwesocial.com. We love to talk SEO and social media strategy.

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