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

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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Google Hack- Search “**” for local search results

Google Hack- Search “**” for local search results

A hidden Google hack was just “discovered” on Reddit.com, or what is referred to as a ‘subreddit’. The subreddit r/Google showed the local search hack that entering ** into Google.com will yield a search results page populated with local businesses, assuming Google knows your current location which it usually does. What does any of this actually mean? Not really sure, but it could potentially offer a clue into local SEO, and search rankings for local businesses. We did the ** search on both a desktop computer and on an iPhone. The first 5 results were identical on both, but the bottom 5 results were different altogether.

Google hack **
                         Desktop Seach Results Page, 10 results
Local seo results
                  Top Mobile Search Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

local seo
                   Bottom 4 Mobile search results

 

Local SEO has been a hot topic for many years, and Google has offered hints as to what factors influence local search rankings. This could potentially be a way to see how your business and its website, rank in local SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). By simply typing ** and viewing the results then scrolling through the results trying to find where your business shows up in the local search results, you could potentially find out if your local SEO efforts have fallen flat. If your business website shows up way back on page 3, you probably need some additional “juice” to your local SEO efforts. Potential local SEO factors include having a responsive (or mobile friendly) website, backlinks on other websites linking back to your website, relevant and unique content on your website, and even positive reviews of your business in places like Yelp. The list of local SEO factors goes on and on, but these are a few that you can influence in relative short order.

To see how many other sites are linking back to yours, you can use a free link checker tool such as ahrefs.com. Another easy way is simply to do what we call a branded search of your business, which is simply searching the name of your business and see how many of your business’ listings show up on the Google search results pages before one of your competitors does. If you don’t own at least the first two pages or 20 listings on Google, then you probably better get to work. Get your business listed in more places, update the content of your website, or start asking for more reviews from your clients.

While entering ** into Google can be a fun local exercise, it might also shed some light on your local SEO efforts. It’s an interesting exercise to try out from work or home. You might even discover a local business you didn’t know existed. Have fun with this, possibly learn something, and let us know if you have a favorite Google hack. Happy local search!

If you need help with SEO, or even local SEO for your business, give us a call and we can help get your business on to page 1 of Google with our top rated SEO Services plan. Call us at 720.880.5492, email us at info@iwesocial.com, or Contact Us HERE

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Should my company and brand be on social media? Should we invest in digital marketing? What kind of social media services does my company need?”

That’s the million-dollar question that many companies, from multiple different industries, have asked themselves the past five years. “Should my company invest in social media?” Online marketing for many brands has not only became a critical piece of their overarching marketing strategy, but it has now evolved into a marketing necessity.

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