When it comes to navigating the world of SEO and the latest mandates from Google, keeping up with all the changes and updates can feel like an uphill battle. If you’ve ever wished you could get a leg up on what’s new with the search engine giant, then EverSpark Interactive’s What’s New In The World of Google Meetup is for you. Held every Wednesday morning, you’re guaranteed to walk away with some new SEO tricks up your sleeve, as well as the latest information on any Google updates and changes. The meetup is full of professionals from across a range of industries and skill levels, and is open and free to all.
Please join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 from 8am – 9:30am. You can confirm your attendance by using the RSVP on the Meetup.com link below. Not sure you can make this week’s meeting? You can always catch up on all of our lively discussions 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
Atlanta, GA 30328
RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/Whats-New-In-the-World-of-Google-Everspark-Interactive/
What’s New This Week:
How Google Knows What Sites You Control (And Why It Matters)
One of the handiest online meetings on the web, MOZ’s Whiteboard Friday videos are great for learning about current issues going on with the web. Recently, they tackled the issue of how Google figures out how many sites you control or run. While this might seem like a minor issue or something that shouldn’t impact you in the slightest, discovering relationships between sites means that Google could possibly discount links between them. Essentially, links between sites that are controlled by the same person or entity should, in essence, be given less weight than more organic links.
Though there are some ways to add measures to hide your ownership of multiple sites, such as using privacy when registering, there are other things that Google can see that they use to determine ownership. For example, if they reside on the same server, have simliar style or layout, don’t have unique IP addresses, were registered on the same day or even using the same AdSense account, Google will assume that these sites somehow link up. If you’re curious to see if two of your sites share the exact same IP address, you can run them both through Spyonweb.com.
On the other hand, having Google learn that you own the same sites isn’t necessarily a bad thing all the time. For example, let’s say you’re the Ecuadoran eBay site. Obviously, as a company, you will want Google to know that they have a relationship with the powerful American version of the site. The same can be said for subdomains, or even pages that are in alternative languages. In order for them to have the same authority, it’s essential that Google knows that they have a relationship.
Northwestern University Now Offering Free Classes On Google
Have you ever dreamed of heading back to campus to further your education, but cost, family responsibilities or time wouldn’t let you? One of the top universities in the United States, Chicago’s Northwestern University, is now offering some of their classes for free online through Coursera.com. Of particular interest to web marketers and Google-philes would be their recent class entitled, Understanding Media By Understanding Google. Taught by Owen Youngman, Knight Professor of Digital Media Strategy, you can now get a high quality education for free on your own schedule.
Local SEO: A Quick Checklist
You already know how important local SEO is to your overall strategy from some of our other meetings in the past. However, what specifically do you need to be doing to make sure you’re getting the absolute most out of your plan? Thanks to LocalSEOChecklist.org, you can ensure you haven’t missed a single step. Simply click on what you already have done, and make a to-do list out of the rest. Not sure how to complete certain elements? Click on the blue triangle to the right of each checklist item for a link to a “how to.” Easy!
The Clean Up Process of Removing Penalties: Easier Than It Looks?
If you’ve attended some of EverSpark’s other meetups, particularly those discussing the removal of penalties, you probably already know that it’s a time-consuming and laborious process. Not only do you need to demonstrate to Google that you understand why you’re being penalized, but you also need to provide proof that you’ve taken steps to correct the situation. Much of this falls under the disavow process. Through this, you need to prove to Google that you have made an effort to reach out to site holders and webmasters to get links removed. This can end up as thousands of entries on a Google spreadsheet, as well as many hours chained to your computer. However, there’s currently a couple of new tools, both available now and in the works, that will help enormously, taking the pain out of the process.
The good news is that lots of disavow requests are being processed in 7-14 days now, where previously fixing the situation could take months. While Google still does not give any indication of the timeline they’re working with, many webmasters are reporting this quicker turnaround time. One of the best ways to ensure you end up with a speedy recovery time the very first time you submit your disavow links is to show Google that you’ve been involved in a thorough process of actively trying to remove links that may be causing your penalty. An example of house to do this is as follows:
- Download links using online tools such as Google Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, Open Site Explorer or Webmeup.
- Run everything through URLProfiler.com to get all the stats and/or anchor-text on the domains.
- Categorize each link accordingly into three sections: remove, keep or unsure. Research the “unsure” category to determine where they actually belong.
- Run all the “removes” though URLProfiler to scrape the contact details for each site. This will allow you to contact the sites to see if they can manually be taken down before approaching Google with a disavow request.
At this point, reaching out to the individual websites would become a manual process. However, there is a new tool in the works that will be able to do that for you. This “cheeky” tool would essentially send an email to every site and take a screenshot of the email before it sends. If there is no email for the site, it would instead crawl the site for you and find the contact page, filling in the fields and also filing a screenshot. If the site has no contact information or form at all, the tool would then make a note of it and take a screenshot as evidence. All of the evidence is then compiled into a csv file along with dates of submission. Once you’ve run this about 3 times over 2 weeks, you should have enough evidence to approach Google with a disavow request. Better than that? The evidence is so detailed that Google will usually processes it on the first try. While this tool is not available publicly, you can expect to see something released in a few months time.
Google, Privacy & The Right To Be Forgotten
Only a matter of weeks ago, the European Union (EU) Court made a landmark ruling that confirmed that citizens had the “right to be forgotten” in outdated or irrelevant information on Google’s search. After the ruling, Google received upwards of 12,000 removal requests from EU citizens who wanted to have information about themselves removed from search, and secure their right to privacy. According to BBC News, Google has now provided EU citizens with a “right to be forgotten” form to file these requests. Though it’s only available to citizens of the European Union at present, you can view the form here. While this is a huge step towards changing Google’s search, it would appear that other countries are also making a move against the search engine giant and the right of their citizens’ privacy.
Argentine model María Belén Rodríguez sued Google alleging the search engine had linked her name with terms like “sex” and “pornography.” Though the model has never appeared in adult films, her image would often appear in x-rated searches which she felt could potentially damage her reputation. Though she sued Google back in 2006, 8 years later the case finally worked its way to Argentina’s Supreme Court. According to the New York Daily News, the court heard the case last week and is expected to make a decision soon.
It’s a Springtime Acquisition-Fest!
It would appear that spring is the time to rev up a company portfolio, with several large companies such as IBM and Twitter making some interesting purchases. Here’s a run down of this week’s latest:
- Twitter acquired social data partner Gnip
- Freelancer.com acquired Warrior Forum for $3.2 million
- IBM acquired cloud marketing personalization tool Silverpop
- Vocus was acquired by GTCR Valor for roughly $447 million