Monthly Archives: April 2012

Here We Go Again: More Google Algorithm Changes

Recently there have been some interesting updates from Google which are affecting thousands of websites. Some sites have disappeared while other sites ranking well have very little or even no content at all. The entire internet is “freeking out”, over the most recent changes which Google’s Matt Cutts says should affect just 3% of search. The best thing to do is not panic – at least, not yet. Now, that doesn’t mean the answer is to simply do nothing, however, it does mean it’s necessary to ensure you have all the pertinent information before making any drastic changes to your site. Here are  the basics of what is going on: On 4/3/12, Google announced fifty (50) changes to their algorithm, another round of significant and very public updates Google has made. Google’s blog stated: “We’re starting to get into a groove with these posts, so we’re getting more and more comprehensive as the months go by.” The prior month they announced forty (40) changes, and the month before, just seventeen (17). This will probably begin to level off some as far as the “quantity” of changes, but the frequency should persist. Google calls these recent changes efforts to “level the playing field”, where sites with little or no optimization begin to pop up. This seems to be Google’s attempt to prevent a “capitalist like system” where the Internet becomes a “pay-to-play” environment, where only those with the most money win. While things are certainly mixing up and moving around, the changes will continue.

Search Engine Optimization: SEO

After putting much effort into your new site, it’s natural to assume that people will begin flocking to it. Unfortunately, that’s generally not the case. Even the most interesting, well-designed sites start off in relative obscurity. Until a website appears within the first page or two of major search engine results pages, it is pretty much invisible. To get your site a decent ranking on Google and the other major search engines, you need to implement an effective Internet marketing strategy. Advertising through search engine optimization is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to begin seeing visitors stumble upon your message. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a form of Internet marketing that revolves around optimizing a site so that it achieves a more prominent ranking on major search engines like Google in a natural way, and by way of paid search or pay-per-click advertising. There are many ways to optimize your site, but keyword optimization is among the most important methods which should be first explored as targeting the wrong keywords could just – well, be a mess. In the beginning of any SEO campaign, generating a list of keywords and phrases that would typically be used to find your site is critical. For example, if you own a site that sells backpacks, your keywords might include “backpack,” “bag”, “knapsack bags”, or even some obscure words like “hiking” or “school supplies”, whichever more closely represents the niche you’re going after. Unlike many other forms of Internet advertising,

Are You Missing The Boat on Social Media Marketing?

Social media sites like Facebook.com and Twitter.com, and now Google+ have never been more popular, drawing millions of hits each day, and smart businesses are tapping into this popularity and increasing brand awareness by creating social media marketing campaigns to ensure their business’ message is carefully and wisely positioned to attract social media subscribers to their own sites. There are many different ways to create a social media marketing campaign, from creating a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business to offering regular blog posts that keep customers and potential clients up-to-date and interested in your product or service. Usually, a combination of two or more of these venues ensures the greatest engagement among your potential customer base, and nearly every social media venue offers an option to incorporate it into your company’s website: virtual buttons provide your site visitors with a convenient way to connect with your Facebook page or Twitter account, and blog posts can be located right on your business website, offering potential customers the perception of immediate value when they visit (this blog is a case in point). Getting customers to “like” you on Facebook, “retweet” you on Twitter or comment on a blog post is a great way to ensure greater levels of engagement while also building your base of contacts for email or other marketing campaigns. But devising a campaign strategy is just the first step in effective social media marketing. You also need to be able to measure how well your campaign

Google Algorithm Changes Received with Mixed Reviews

As the largest search engine, when Google makes major changes the ramifications seriously influence the way that search marketers are able to do business. HTP Company keeps a close eye on the way that Google updates their search methodology. Recent changes to scoring methods are sure to change the way that some articles are published on the Internet. One of the more interesting aspects of change involves the way in which sibling synonyms are avoided. Google sometimes accidentally considers words to be synonyms that actually aren’t. For instance, Google might consider names of different animals to be the same thing based on the fact that they appear in searches that feature the word animal. However, these words are not actually synonymous with one another. These sorts of changes are necessary to continue providing relevant searches as the Internet grows at an increasing rate. While search engine marketers don’t love every change to Google’s search algorithm, this one could potentially help individuals find more relevant results. Relevant results translate into customers remaining on individual domains for a longer period of time (lower bounce rate). However, some loud voices are unhappy with recent changes that could punish websites that have invested too heavily in search engine optimization techniques. Some suggest that Google’s interest in paid links means they attempt to penalize sites for over optimization or buying links on bad sites, while making it very easy to sabotage an innocent webmaster who may know nothing of link building. Meaning it would be relatively