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What’s New In The World of Google Meetup Recap – June 25th, 2014

Whats New In The World of Google 6-25-2014Everyone knows that getting your SEO plan in order is hugely important for your website — but how do you implement it correctly to get the most attention from Google and other search engines? With the ever-shifting waves in the world of search engine optimization, it can feel intimidating to even those in the know, and keeping on top of the latest developments is an essential element for what you do on the web. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge base on Google’s latest practices and increase your SEO bag of tricks, then EverSpark Interactive’s weekly What’s New In The World of Google meetup is definitely for you. The meeting is free and open to all.

Please join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 from 8am – 9:30am. Please confirm your attendance by using the RSVP on the link below.  Even if you’re not positive you can make the meeting, you can always play a little catch up with our blog recap posts. This is also a great way to review previous meetups you may have attended, and investigate some of the issues covered further.

The meetup takes place at EverSpark Interactive’s offices located at:

6 Concourse Parkway
Suite 900
Atlanta, GA 30328
T: 770-481-1766

RSVP here:

What’s New This Week:

The Yo App: Stupidly Hilarious or Subtly Genius?

Over the past week or two, a little application simply called Yo has wormed it’s way like a virus into offices and friendship communities everywhere. What does it do? Well, it simply says “Yo.” That’s it. Though it was originally launched on April Fool’s Day 2014, it began to take off when tech guru Robert Scoble called it “the stupidest but most addicting app ever.” Apple even initially rejected the app, thinking it wasn’t finished. Sounds ridiculous, right? Not to investors associated with Moshe Hogeg, who’ve recently sunk $1 million into the app which originally only took 8 hours for the developer to build. Could this app indicate the future for apps to go a more simple route? Read more on what this might mean for the future of apps on Thinkprogress‘ excellent blog.

The SMX Advanced Conference: What You Need To Know

smx advanced logo Whats New In The World of Google Meetup Recap June 18th, 2014

At EverSpark Interactive’s last meetup, there was a great discussion about some of the key findings from SMX Advanced Conference’s You & A Keynote discussion with Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team, lead by SearchEngineLand’s Danny Sullivan. You can read the recap from that on the blog here.  Though one of the hottest tickets in town, a video from the discussion has now been released by the conference, and the wealth of information is fantastic and well-worth a watch.

Here are some of the key points discussed:

Google is now providing better notifications and replies reconsideration requests.

Google Reconsideration Request A Note from your reviewer

  • The appeals process has become more robust, where instead of simply issuing a penalty, they may instead select you for “touch processing” where they explain to you some of the problems so you’re able to fix them on your site.
  • There is a new notes section on the reply templates for the analysts to provide helpful information and feedback to the webmasters. You can see an example of one of these here.
  • Improved functionality for the webmasters, to help highlight problems and issues.
  • Response time has been slashed, and webmasters are now getting replies directly from the Google analysts in as little as a week.

There are some developments on what Google is marking as spam.

  • SPAMThere will be a Payday Loan Update released shortly, which Matt Cutts referred to as Payday Loan 2.0, to help fight against spammy sites and search results.
  • Google is now looking at sites that scrape press release sites as spam. Though this may be the case, EverSpark Principle, Jason Hennessey, commented that press releases are still important. One of the best ways to combat this is not to use exact match anchor text and instead use natural links like brand names. Additionally, he suggested that you’re better off using more than one PR service as that will put you in front of the most readers.
  • Old profiles on forums are now starting to be seen and selected as spam.

What’s going on with link removals?

Link Walk of Shame Danny Sullivan
With all the hoops that need to be jumped through, it can sometimes feel like the publishers are being punished right along with the spammers. One example could include a spammy comment in their forum. Danny Sullivan referred to this as “The Link Walk of Shame.” Is there reasoning why the SEO’s cant just disavow the links and keep the publishers out of the whole thing? Unfortunately, publishers need to be involved simply because black hat SEO’s could easily continue their bad practices and then just simply do a massive disavow only when caught. A list could easily be kept and then re-listed as soon as the disavow had cleared.

Linkbuilding: What exactly should we be doing?

Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land

Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land

With all the new rules and regulations coming on to Google, particularly involving linkbuilding, Danny Sullivan wanted to know if perhaps it would be easier of Google simply told people what was okay rather than what’s not. Would it really be better if websites just nofollowed everything? According to Matt Cutts, linkbuilding certainly isn’t dead, and there is still a lot of mileage left in links. However, how does this apply to reaching out for new links using linkbuilding techniques? While that’s certainly a tactic, the better bet is to produce excellent content and your links will take care of themselves. “Provide useful things that people want to look at,” said Cutts. “It’s easier to be real than to fake being real. Don’t be afraid to have those authentic conversations.”

What’s the deal with manual actions?

Expiration Date of a Google PenaltyOne of the most difficult things to deal with in the world of Google is receiving a manual action against your site. When you do receive one, you’re notified through your Google Webmaster Tools — yet another reason to regularly engage with Webmaster Tools on a regular basis if you’re a site owner. However, do manual actions have a timeline? Can they actually expire? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. According to Cutts, if Google does a manual action on your site, you will get a notification and that will have an expiration tag attached to it. The length of that expiration depends on numerous factors. For example, if it’s a clear violation and using black hat practices, it could go on for years. However, if it looks more like a small error or mistake, it could be as little as a week. Either or, they still carry an expiration time with them.

What about the “Re-avow” process?

Google Reavow

Though most are already familiar with Google’s disavow process and the reasoning behind it, many might be surprised to learn that you can also reavow a link should you need to. For example, if you have accidentally added a link to your disavow file in error or change your mind on the actual link, you can remove that from your file and re-upload it so Google can count that link towards your page rank again. While this may sound great, Cutts warns that the process is lengthy and can take quite a bit of time. The long timelines are to discourage spammers.
Some other useful points from the discussion…
  • Mobile is extremely important for all websites, but which route should you chose: responsive or adaptive? Considering that he feels that mobile traffic will exceed desktop in the very near future, Cutts went on to say that he tends to like the responsive approach. He also went on to suggest that additional features for mobile users, such as autocomplete, is helpful for your users and can not only improve your site’s response time, but also that people are more likely to use your site if it’s easy.
  • Google now has the right to remove you from mobile search if your mobile score is too low. This is to ensure that searchers get the best user experience possible.
  • Cutts’ favorite webmaster tool is Fetch As Googlebot.
  • Google DomainsOne of the things that Matt Cutts said that Google needs to do a better job on is reaching out to small businesses. They’re working on this with the launch of Google My Business and Google Domains, both still in beta.

Google Certified Photographers: The Best Citation For Business

Google Trusted Photographer Everspark InteractiveIf you’re looking for ways to improve your business listing on Google Local and gather up those all-important citations, one of the best ways is by using a Google Certified Photographer. These photographers are independent professionals that have gone through a rigorous screening process by Google, and are now approved to provide 360 degree, panoramic images for local businesses that will feature on both the search results of Google and on the business’ Google+ account. The recommended amount of panoramic images to provide is 8, and the price range can vary from anywhere from $45 to $100 per image. These types of images could prove to be particularly useful for establishing trust with your potential clients and customers, particularly when it comes to restaurants, salons and the housing market. However, opening up your business this way can definitely have an impact on your user’s overall experience. For some great examples, take a look at the India Chef listing, or Crabapple Hair Studio, both provided by the newly certified EverSpark Interactive.

In Other News…

Facebook has adjusted it’s news feed algorithm to serve users more relevant video. Apparently it’s not just about likes and popularity anymore, but how long users actually watch. Read all about the latest developments on MarketingLand.

Looking up a business on Google? The search engine will now show a phone number in your Knowledge Graph so you can easily connect with them at the click of a button from Hangouts on your phone or straight from your desktop. Find out more with SearchEngineLand‘s latest post.

Google I/O Developer Conference Is On!

Google IO 2014The summer is in full swing and with it comes one of the biggest nerd parties of the year: The Google I/O Developer Conference.  Rumors have been flying around from everywhere on what to expect, but there’s sure to be some major hardware and software announcements and developments. One of the biggest events is the conferences keynote speaker, Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android and Chrome.  If you missed the keynote on Wednesday, you can catch it by clicking here. There are some great roundups of what to look out for on MarketingLand and TheVerge, but some of the things you can expect are big announcements for Google and Android wear, Google TV, visual changes to Android and more about Nest, Google’s smart home system. It’s sure to be a major topic of discussion at our Google Meetup on Wednesday, July 2nd, so don’t miss it.

Google Opt-Out: The Final Option

With all the talks recently on the EU’s mandate on the “right to be forgotten” by Google and growing concerns about the search engine giant’s accessibility to personal and sensitive information, it’s little wonder that people are trying to come up with new ideas to protect themselves. If you’re one of the many people concerned about your internet exposure, perhaps its time to take a look at the Onion News Network’s report on Opt-Out Village.