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November 2014

  In a recent piece from Search Engine Land, columnist Trond Lyngbø explained how organic search has changed business from a “selling cycle” of trying to reach consumers to a “buying cycle” of letting consumers reach you. Trond is right, and the new Internet economy means that consumers have the power to do more research, vet more options, and actively avoid being sold to. But when it comes to advice for how to succeed in that environment, Trond is surprisingly vague. He offers general suggestions like “assisting clients with buying decisions” and “sharing information about products and services.” His big revelation: “Stop ‘selling,’ and

Being a Jerk Can Create Buzz, but It’s Horrible for Your Brand Bryson Meunier penned an op-ed over at Search Engine Land about the power of being a jerk online. Bryson suggests that Google’s algorithm—which is supposed to favor valuable, useful content—is actually skewed to reward rude behavior. In other words, Bryson says, if you want a lot of backlinks in a hurry, just be a jerk. To be clear, Bryson isn’t suggesting this as a valid link-building strategy. Quite the opposite: he views it as a flaw inherent in Google’s method to ranking websites, one that he considers quite serious. And if his analysis

Recently, one of our writers cycled into Saltillo, Mexico, a town known for its museums, cowboys, gorditas and pan de pulque, a sweet bread made with fermented agave cactus. He wanted to get to a restaurant he had seen earlier in the day, but in the bustling historic downtown he had no idea where to find it. He entered the restaurant’s exact name into Apple Maps and waited for it to show up. Apple referred him to a cafe in San Francisco. Later, in the town of Cedral, he tried a simpler search: “hotels in Cedral.” Despite detecting his exact location in Cedral, Mexico, Apple

  Microsoft and Yahoo both use search results provided by Bing. Together, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. searches is handled by Bing—and a new contract with Firefox  could put that number even higher. Yet “Google” and “search” remain synonyms for many of us, and most SEO guides speak only of “ranking with Google” as if that’s all that matters. Is it? The answer is definitely no. While some SEO tactics will work well with either search engine, the results that make the top page on the two are different, often with less than half of the same domains achieving the top spots. That’s because Google

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and conjures images of decorated store windows, packed shopping malls, and families raiding department stores for one-day specials. But Black Friday doesn’t take place only in the world of physical retail. Internet marketing both supports storefront specials and offers an alternative for those who would rather avoid the crowds. Here are five ways you can make sure your online presence fuels your holiday sales—and doesn’t leave you floundering behind your competitors.   It’s time for a social media blitz: Whether you have 5,000 fans or 500,000, this week is the time to keep

How often do you type a search into that little bar on the top of your browser? For most of us, the answer is “often”—and probably at least once within the past 15 minutes. In the age of instant gratification, users are less and less likely to navigate to a search website, and more likely to use the built-in functionality of their browser. That means that a contract won by Yahoo this week is a big deal. Under the contract, Yahoo will become the default search engine for Mozilla Firefox in the U.S. starting in December. Firefox is the third-biggest web browser by market share. This

Google’s has finally retired its “carousel” of hotel listings in search results, and the feature that replaces it has implications for businesses of all kinds, not just the hospitality industry. For some time now, searching for accommodations—like “Atlanta hotels”—would bring not just the normal search results, but a horizontal slider of listings showing pictures, reviews and ratings (the carousel). Clicking on any of these would bring up an expanded listing in the knowledge panel on the right-hand side of the screen, including an option to instantly book a room at that property. But this has all changed. Google has finally rolled out its replacement for

Today’s post was inspired by a question from our friend Paul Goldstone over at co.com. Paul asked which is better: to set your preferred domain to www.yourdomain.com, or just yourdomain.com? This is a question we hear a lot from business owners. On most sites, the www and non-www versions both go to the same page, so people wonder: what’s the difference? Which should you use? Is one better for SEO purposes than the other? Worldwide Worries Strictly speaking, neither www nor non-www addresses are any “better” than the other. But you do need to choose one and use it consistently—and depending on how people link to

Recently, I presented at the Wedding MBA conference in Las Vegas. In my talk, I gave a sneak peek of my book entitled My SEO Blueprint, a workbook jam-packed with 50 straight-talking tips that will reliably, effectively improve your ranking on Google—and demystify how SEO works. I gave away 10 of those tips in my talk, but you can get the goods even if you weren’t there. Sick of wondering why your SEO efforts aren’t paying off? Then read on, because these 10 insider tips will help turn your rankings around. Here is the full deck: 1. Improve Your Page Speed Google takes page speed very

Today’s video was inspired by a comment on our guide to Penguin. In that piece, we discussed how Google detects and penalizes unnatural links—links that seem manipulative or spammy. Our commenter, Amy Voss, asked, “What exactly counts as a ‘bad’ link? And is it ever OK to use a competitive keyword as anchor text for a link, or is it always considered suspicious?” @rampage_dugan @EversparkOnline Sweet rundown. I'm interested in hearing your definition of a "bad" link. Exact match anchor, for ex? — Amy Voss (@AmyV0ss) October 7, 2014 To answer this question, we pulled up examples of good links and bad links, digging deep to