Many are reporting around major forums that Google is doing major update to their algorithm. It seems many are noticing significant drop in rankings and some are noticing good boost in search engine traffic. I am personally noticing big changes especially this weekend was one of the slowest days when it comes to search engine traffic.
It was literally dead in many of the sites we monitor. I think it was because of seasonal weekend. We are moving into holiday months and I am sure this will impact search rankings and traffic for major sites. All the sites we maintain are white hat SEO. So there is no way any of them get affected by major search updates. We had 2 updates in the last 2 months. Panda and Penguin. Both rocked many search results but what I am noticing now seem to be unrelated to any of those past updates.
Many webmasters in other forums too are noticing change in traffic. Webmaster world one of the leading forum for SEO is buzzing. DO you notice any major changes.
Google has changed the past trends of SEO by releasing many updates and has declared clearly that it’s the unique, quality and fresh content that makes your site rank higher.
“Author Rank “is one such latest update of Google, after the post panda and penguin updates. Just like the page rank, author rank is defined by the Google to analyze the quality of a site to rank in search results. The difference is that page rank is based on the quality of web page where as author rank is defined to identify the authority of blogger.
Factors Impacting Author Rank:
1. Engagement on G+.
2. Page rank of individual articles.
3. Comment received per posts.
4. Number of Google plus circles.
5. Content shares and +1s.
6. Connections to other authors.
7. Number of sites the authors content is published.
Steps to implement Google Author Rank:
So you might have realized the importance of author rank for your sites online presence. Let’s have a brief look about how to implement this, to grab the maximum benefit:
1. Author rank is centered on Google plus profile. So create your Google + profile if you don’t have one. Your profile should contain a valid photo and email address and your identity should be verified.
2. Create a link to your Google profile from your webpage by adding the following link:
<a href=”[Google profile_url]?rel=author”>Google</a>
3. Add a reciprocal link from your profile to the site and have your profile image visible with your content on the search results.
One of the most important things to do for webmasters is to register and verify their site on Google webmaster tools.
The Google webmaster tools provides a variety of information like the site configuration details – sitemaps, site links, crawler access etc, details about your links, keywords, search queries in the section your site on the web. The Diagnostics section provides vital information like HTML suggestions, Malware, Crawl Errors, Crawl Stats. The Labs section shares interesting details like site performance and instant reviews.
Checking Google webmaster tools at least once every day would be in the schedule of majority of the webmasters and one vital section that one would check are the crawl errors and now in Google webmaster central blog one can see a posting update about crawl errors.
The posting starts stating that enhancements have made with respect to crawl errors and now crawl errors are further divided into 2 sections
To make errors more user friendly these categories have been made. The errors like DNS resolution failures, connectivity issues, problems fetching robots.txt files, before these errors were reported as URL errors henceforth they will be reported in the section Site Errors as they are not URL related errors. If the frequency of these errors is high then alerts will be sent to you. If your site is devoid of these errors as in most sites, you will just see friendly check marks across these issues indicating your website has no such errors.
The URL Errors
If Google webmaster indicates URL errors It means ‘it was able to resolve your DNS, connect to your server, fetch and read your robots.txt file, and then request this URL, but something went wrong after that’. Separate categories will be displayed for Google news or mobile (CHTML/XHTML).
There were 100,000 errors of each type shown but there was no way to interpret which errors had more priorities. Keeping this in mind now, Webmaster tools will present the 1000 most important errors for each category. Once the webmaster has fixed them he can view details about them.
Sites having more than 1000 errors will be able to see the total errors for each category and for those who need further details, Google is considering adding an API to download all errors.
One more important update is that the Robots.txt blocked pages errors have been removed as Google webmaster tools find the pages blocked via Robots.txt to be intentionally blocked by the webmaster. Soon these errors will be updated under crawler access in site configuration.
User Friendly Error Details
Clicking on the error URL will open an additional pane with useful information like last tried crawling information, when problem first occurred and an error briefing.From the details pane you can check the URL error on clicking it. There are also options provided to mark the error as fixed, see other pages that link to this URL and more such useful details. There is an option of having Googlebot fetch the URL to double check your error whether it’s fixed.
The priority list would be such errors “fixing broken links on your own site, fixing bugs in your server software, updating your Sitemaps to prune dead URLs, or adding a 301 redirect to get users to the “real” page.” The priority would be decided based on a number of factors whether the link is added in the sitemap and the no of internal links the URL has and various other factors. If you are a user with full permission you can mark the error as fixed and it would be removed from your top-errors list unless Googlebot encounters the same errors again.
These changes hopefully will help webmasters a lot in getting their site errors corrected soon.
The advent of Google plus has influenced SEO a lot and most people in the SEO industry will be familiar that one can see search suggestions, when they start their search queries with the + sign. For instance a search query ‘+ a’ would give one suggestions like +Allstate Insurance, +Audi USA,+ ASOS and on clicking one of these you will get yourself landed on the Google plus page of the company. Even though it seems like a beneficial factor of SEO, it’s highly doubtful on how many normal web users will start their search queries with the + sign. Some would probably look into this as a Google service influencing the organic search results.
At business insider I came across an interesting write up about the influence played by Google plus from experts. The first opinion came from an employee of the company that mattered the most- it was from Google employee Daniel Dulitz
His opinion was that surfacing the best content even without SEO is the goal of Google and it was in this interest Google are focusing on 100 or more quality signals and believed that they still have a long way to go. He also stated that the Google plus button helps to build reputation online and with changing times we need to update ourselves.
Based on his statements we can see that Google plus must be put to good use by business owners by building social network pages and connecting with their fans. Also getting content with rich snippets and people recommending content via plus one are interesting strategies to be played with. There must also be focus laid upon converting customers into fans with the page badge.
Sean Carlos shares his view that once Google launched direct connect one could see search results taking you to the Google plus page of the companies and if you perform searches while you are logged into Google plus then one would be invited to add the company to their circles.
Other experts too participated and share some interesting data that 57% of fortune 100 companies have a Google + page but 98% have not enabled Google direct connect.
One can see in the support pages of Google on how to enable direct connect by adding the snippet of the code on the site. Also only 3% of fortune 100 companies have the Google plus badge and only 11% of fortune 100 companies have +1 buttons.
Even though one can’t read too much into this data, we can almost get the message that a great amount of awareness is lacking from small businesses. Brand building and reputation management online are things to be focused more upon. It’s essential that steps are taken by these businesses to get themselves on Google plus ASAP.
The need of the hour also calls for these companies to hire social media experts to promote their websites online. Facebook and twitter are great social networks to promote businesses and Google plus follows.
Social media optimization is something which could play a major role in future rankings. For now, we can see links playing a major part in rankings this can very well be influenced later on by social media presence. Promoting our websites on social networks would involve in-depth understanding of the website features. Like in Google plus we need optimized pages and profiles using the features. To start with we must have Direct Connect enabled. One must have awareness of Google plus badges, button. Share photos, videos, connect with people establish a strong connection between your Google plus page and your website, post using hash tags, cross promotion and much more.
The Google plus influence on SEO will be debated for long but what all Small business owners need to do is to pull up their socks and get their company active on Google plus. Google plus is an opportunity to promote your site through an authentic Google service and this is an opportunity you will repent a lot if you let it slip right through your hands. So Plus this post and get started with Plus ones for your company
It says they are going to collect personal information such as name, email address, telephone no or credit card. Google will also be tracking your device data such as operating system, unique device identifiers and associate these information with your Google account.Google will also be collecting search queries of logged on users, your telephone log information, your Internet protocol address. They will also be collecting cookies to identify your browser or your Google account.
Also there will be location data collected when using location enabled Google services. They will be collecting GPS signals from mobile devices and sensor data to give information about nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers.The other details mentioned they will be collecting are Local storage data like browser web storage and application data caches. Finally they mention they will be tracking cookie data from other sites using Google features.
Google further explains that the information they collect is to help them to provide better services to their users.
Any amount of explanation by them doesn’t seem to satisfy most of the countries. Most of them have requested Google to delay their privacy update. Even though Google claims that this act is for making the services better, the common man can see it as a breach of privacy.
How can someone be comfortable with their personal data like search queries involving their personal issues, sexual orientation and other confidential details being tracked. There have been a great number of countries opposing this act and recently in New York Times one could see the headline “France Says Google Privacy Plan Likely Violates European Law”. In the news article a line was quoted by the French privacy agency known as CNIL “Our preliminary investigation shows that it is extremely difficult to know exactly which data is combined between which services for which purposes, even for trained privacy professionals.”
The French privacy agency have the power to fine companies up to 400,000 $ for privacy breach.
The users of Android powered smart phones may have no other option but to ditch their phones to get away from the Google Privacy act as the policy involves mobile, OS tracking data to.
Privacy advocates have slammed Google that they are forcing users to share data which when given a choice they wouldn’t have. Also this move is being seen by many as an evil trick by Google to promote their ads to specific users based on their data tracking. While promoting their business is commendable, the promotion coming at the cost of user privacy really needs to be reconsidered again.
While the web is flowing with a range of updates requesting Google to get their privacy act delayed and Governments asking time to review them in detail. There seems to be no response from the other side.
One must also take into account the French are acting based upon the European commission instruction and they were assigned to do the initial check. So this law could go against the whole of Europe and many other countries around the world.
Big Brother watch, a British civil liberties and privacy pressure group have called for an enquiry on the Google privacy law and how it complies with the British data protection law.
At this time we would like to Guide users on how to delete their web history before Google starts tracking it
Step 1: Login to your Gmail account
Step 2: At the top right corner of your screen you can view your email id, click on it
Step 3: Once you click on it, you will be displayed a dropdown and you can click on privacy if you would like to know the details of Google privacy or click on account settings
Step 4: In account settings you will have a section called services and you will have the text “View, enable, or disable web history” parallel to it you can find the linked text Go to web history
Step 5: On clicking that link you will have the option to remove all web history
There is also another face of this privacy act with Google having data that many countries have requested user data to be handed over and also had asked Google to block services or remove data that they found to be affecting their country.
January – June 2011
Three requests to remove 121 items from services. Google removed ads in response to two of those requests.
Google received content removal requests
User data requests recorded an increase of 29% compared with the previous reporting period of Google
User data requests recorded an increase of 39% compared with the previous reporting period of Google
User data requests reached the reporting threshold at Google
User data requests recorded an increase of 36% compared with the previous reporting
Period of Google
User data requests recorded an increase of 28% compared with the previous reporting period of Google
User data requests recorded an increase of 29% compared with the previous reporting period of Google
You can find detailed reports for previous years to in the Google transparency report page.
This data seems to be arousing a lot of interesting debates as if countries oppose user data collection by Google and later on request Google for user data then the whole process would need to be talked over by individual Governments.
Even as many feel that this may hurt their online privacy, the Google official blog states that Google still remains committed to data liberation and also that they don’t sell your information, or share it externally without the user’s permission unless in dire consequences like a court order.
Given all these facts and details how Google are going to cope with privacy laws of nation and how users are going to react to it will be one of the modern day dramas to unfold online soon.
Google recently penalized lot of websites that were buying links. In this process some sites were penalized even though they don’t buy links. Google’s new algorithm that detects paid links is a miserable failure according to me. So many sites got affected and even 2 or 3 our sites got affected. We never bought links for our client sites but 2 sites were affected because it looks like the backlinks were bought. The pattern of our links are no-where the same as the paid links that others get for their sites but still we lost 5 or 10 places for some important keywords. I can understand an automated algorithm cannot be 100% accurate in detecting paid links but they should also be careful before pulling the plug. I feel more manual review should happen so that the sites affected are really buying links and not just because their backlink pattern might look similar to a site that buys links for top ranking. The worse thing here is so many sites that are buying links got away with it and the sites that never bought links got caught. I hope Google is more careful with their buying links algorithm in future.
Google and other search engines have always stressed for people to get only natural links. The whole link based algorithm depends a lot on natural links. Scientists wrote link based algorithm because links are natural and more reliable. Talking about widget embedded links this has been in debate for a long time. Search engines always have mixed opinion on this.
Embedding links in widgets has been in existing from the day widgets were introduced. Statcounter.com a world famous tracking company which provides free tracking were PR 10 because of the links embedded in their counter. Seeing this people started this natural usage of links in a commercial way. People started approaching commercial counter companies to embed their links when free counters are distributed in exchange for a payment. Lots of companies got temporary benefit from it but the search engines immediately woke up to the occasion. An SEO company which did this as part of their link building strategy was completed banned from Google’s search engine. Also Google started implementing link based penalties like the -60 penalty for sites that use widgets to embed links. Even we were affected a bit but later recovered. So is this ethical? . In my opinion I feel the user should know that the link is embedded into the widget code as long as they know it its fine. But if the links are embedded without the user’s knowledge then it’s wrong. I feel search engines too have similar view. People should have the ability to embed the link or remove it or make it no-follow. If they can do it I am confident the search engines will accept it whole heartedly.
Recently we are seeing more and more websites buying links casually to get their rankings boosted. Google who is opposing paid links openly are nowadays showing a blind eye towards mass link buying. We are a SEO company but we always stay away from buying links or recommend clients not to buy links. Its because we know that buying links are the biggest plague to hurt the search engines but the search engines seem to not realize it.
Yahoo is the only search engine which is serious about link buyers. Google seem to be never interested. They keep saying they want to fight it algorithmically and in this process they ban some innocent sites. Almost a year back our ranking got devalued because Google thought our widget links are paid links and devalued our rankings (http://www.searchenginegenie.com/widget/seo_statistics_widget.php ) .
More and more people resort to link buying these days. Almost all clients who come to us for SEO and have done SEO before have paid links to their site placed by previous SEO companies. So is automated detection working? I see it a big failure people just find innovative ways to hide links from Google’s algorithmic detection and the result it hurts Google.
I expect Google to take more action on buying links since it hurts people like us who don’t buy links. Our clients push us hard to buy links but still we stay away to stay within Google guidelines. If Google continues to show blind eye towards paid links companies like us too with resort to buying links since we don’t have an ethical option to tackle aggressive competition.
Google caffeine update datacenter was under test mode for months. Now Google has taken down the datacenter and many people feel caffeine results are now live in Google.com. I have to disagree on this I don’t see any significant movement in our sites or our client sites. We did see lot of changes in caffeine datacenter and none of them are visible in Google.com results.
We are expecting Caffeine results to be live because we had some cool ranking boost in that test datacenter
I thought i will be one of the first few people to blog about gmail being down as of now for about 45 minutes. But its all over internet now almost 75,000 webpages are covering it already.
And now we have an update from Google’s official Gmail blog
- 2013 seo trends
- author rank
- Bing search engine
- Fake popularity
- Google Adsense
- Google panda
- Google penguin
- Google Plus
- Google webmaster tools
- Hummingbird algorithm
- link building
- Mattcutts Video Transcript
- MSN Live Search
- Negative SEO
- Paid links
- Panda and penguin timeline
- Panda Update
- Panda Update #22
- Panda Update 25
- Panda update releases 2012
- Penguin Update
- Sandbox Tool
- search engines
- seo predictions
- seo techniques
- SEO tools
- social bookmarking
- Social Media
- SOPA Act
- Webmaster News