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What are keywords and why do I need them?

Search engines use keywords when they include your website in their search results. Keywords can make or break your search engine ranking. Adding keywords to the content of your website can improve its ranking, but overusing them can cause your site to be banned for spamming.

Pay Per Click Management

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Welcome to Google Places Business

97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Be there when they're looking for you with Google Places for business - a free local platform from Google..

Google Panda Update vs. Google Penguin

Google Penguin is a code name for a Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012 .The update is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines[2] by using now declared black-hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing,[3] cloaking,[4] participating in link schemes,[5] deliberate creation of duplicate content,[6] and others.

Understanding Google and the role of SEO

Search Engines are businesses. Like any business, they want to deliver the best product they can to their consumer – in the case of the search engines, that means the best search results to searchers.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Google AdWords Says You Can Be Charged For Invalid Clicks When...

Google AdWords Says You Can Be Charged For Invalid Clicks When..


invalid clicksAn advertiser posted in the Google AdWords Help forum a discussion he had with a Google AdWords representative about invalid clicks he was being charged for.
He said, he excluded IPs from generating traffic to his site but they were still coming in. Google said it is possible only if the IP changes from the query to the click.
The advertiser sent Google an email to credit him for clicks he received that came from his campaign IP exclusion list. He wanted to know why these IPs are able to see and click his ads and why he was being charged upon these clicks?
Google responded to him saying:
1. There are cases where a search is made with with IP 'A' (which was not excluded) and then the click is made with IP 'B', which is excluded but Google has no control over it.
2. You are charged upon these clicks unless we detect these clicks as fraudulent. The fact that you have blocked an IP and that a click is made with this IP is irrelevant because the search that led to this click is done with a different IP.
Google's Coco chimed in the thread adding:
So it is technically possible for this scenario to happen. IP exclusion is query-based, and IPs can actually change as a user browses, so it could happen that a user searches with an IP that isn't excluded, they see the ad, their IP changes to an excluded IP, then they click on the ad.
I don't expect this scenario to happen a lot. More often than not, there are issues with how your weblogs are reporting clicks if they're showing clicks from a lot of excluded IP addresses. All that said, are you see a lot of clicks from these excluded IPs?
So I guess it is possible but rare?
Forum discussion at Google AdWords Help.
Image credit to ShutterStock for the fuzzy click.

Google Webmaster/SEO Rank: Like Author Rank Or Site Authority

Google Webmaster/SEO Rank: Like Author Rank Or Site Authority


webmasterGreg, aka goodROI, asked in a WebmasterWorldthread if Google assigns an "SEO credit scores" to a webmaster or SEO.
Think of it as the author rank concept, where Google knows who writes content and no matter where it is, that author ranking factor is used on site A or site B, but is associated with the author, not the site.
Of course, sites have factors as well. Is the site an authority, trusted, respected, etc.
But what about the webmaster or SEO who builds or markets the site. Do they get assigned ranking factors? Can Google even decipher who made the site or who is promoting the site for it to actually work?
I have never heard of Google using a webmaster or SEO rank formula.
Greg asked, "Do you think Google is assigning website owners a SEO credit score that impacts how current and future websites perform?"
I don't think so, but what do you think?
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.
Image credit to BigStockPhoto for webmaster

Going HTTPS/SSL Will Now Give You A Ranking Benefit In Google

Going HTTPS/SSL Will Now Give You A Ranking Benefit In Google


Google SSLGoogle announced early this morning that they are now using SSL/HTTPS as a ranking signal in their Google search algorithm.
The signal is incredibly weak and webmasters should not go crazy about it, but it is indeed a signal now. Google said they are "starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal." Google did add it is "only a very lightweight signal" and that it only had an impact on "fewer than 1% of global queries." Google equated the SSL ranking signal with the Panda signal and said it carries "less weight." Google did say they may "decide to strengthen" the HTTPS ranking signal "over time" to "give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS."
In March, Google's Matt Cutts said he'd like for HTTPS to be a ranking signal and I guess, even though he is on leave, he got his wish. Matt did decide to tweet about it even while on leave:

I Have SSL Already, Do I Need To Do Anything?

I am seeing this question a lot, from e-commerce sites that have SSL on their checkout forms. The answer is, yes, you need to still do something. This ranking boost is applied to only the pages that have SSL on them. Typically, SSL is only on those checkout pages and not on your product pages, content pages, etc. So you need to make your whole domain name, all the URLs, all the files, all the includes, all of it, go over HTTPS. So yes, you need to do something.
This obviously will take some time, you need to test and then test, to make sure the HTTPS certificate doesn't show errors to your users. There can be images, videos, and third-party includes that need to be adapted on the pages to ensure that it doesn't give the user a security warning.

Is There A Negative Side To Going SSL

Google has told us time and time again, that if you switch your site over properly, there is no downside. Google has said before there was an SSL boost there there is no ranking change in a negative way for going SSL. Even back in 2012, Matt Cutts encouraged users to go SSL with their sites. Google even improved Google Webmaster Tools to support HTTPS vs HTTP reporting.
But the key is you need to do it right. Google gave this advice:
  • Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
  • Use 2048-bit key certificates
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • Check out our Site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.
Google also recommends you use Qualys Lab tool to test your SSL certificates and pages.
Let's not forget the HTTPS everywhere video presentation, watch that.
My only concern right now is with sites included in Google News. Google News has your URLs plugged in so I think it is more than just a 301 that will communicate the change to Google News. Google said they will get back to me on that question, but once we hear back, we know Google News can index and rank HTTPS content.

Webmaster/SEO Reaction:

So what is the reaction of the SEO and webmaster community to this news? Personally, I think there is little downside to going SSL, but it does take time and testing to do right. SSL certificates are really not that expensive, of course there are expensive ones, but you can buy cheap ones that work the same.
We have forum threads at WebmasterWorldHacker NewsGoogle+Google Webmaster Help and Twitter. I even asked people what they felt, if there was a negative side to this, on Twitter, I'll include a screen shot of those responses below.
Here are some lines of reaction:
And a lot of cash for certificate authorities. This'll be another craze like site speed. It's manipulation of the webmaster community, and I don't believe it's fair to judge every site based on HTTP vs HTTPS. People will be buying certificates just because it might help a teeny-tiny bit, when in fact their site does not warrant a secure connection.
My site is informative only, no login or personal/sensitive information, so why the hell do I need to use SSL?
It makes sense for some sites, but is completely unnecessary for others, and as long as WIndows XP is around it will exacerbate the shortage of IP4 addresses.
This will add extra costs for certificates and administration, which will hinder small business owners...
Social share count problems (nr. of tweets, shares, etc) will come as a surprise for many marketers and bloggers.
what about reduced pagespeed from extra payload?
Google SSL Tweets Reaction
But overall, the feedback is not negative and mostly positive.
Truth is, any new site I launched since March, was launched using HTTPS. We are about to switch our company web site to HTTPS later today. This site, since it is in Google News, I want more clarification before I make the switch. But it is something all site owners should look into now versus later.
Pierre Far answered some questions on HackerNews:
Q: Google treat the http and https versions of a domain as SEPARATE PROPERTIES.
A: That's not quite accurate. It's on a per-URL basis, not properties. Webmaster Tools asks you to verify the different _sites_ (HTTP/HTTPS, www/non-www) separately because they can be very different. And yes I've personally seen a few cases - one somewhat strange example bluntly chides their users when they visit the HTTP site and tells them to visit the site again as HTTPS.
Q: This means that even if you 301 every http page to https when you transition, all of your current rankings and pagerank will be irrelevant.
A) That's not true. If you correctly redirect and do other details correctly (no mixed content, no inconsistent rel=canonical links, and everything else mentioned in the I/O video I referenced), then our algos will consolidate the indexing properties onto the HTTPS URLs. This is just another example of correctly setting up canonicalization.
John Mueller of Google is answering questions about this on Google+. Google also added a new resource this morning on securing your site.
Update: New stories on this you may want to check out:

Google Fetch As Google Adds Colored Syntax

Google Fetch As Google Adds Colored Syntax


Google Webmaster ToolsGoogle has now added colored syntax to their fetch as Googlebot tool within Google Webmaster Tools.
If you try it out by going to Google Webmaster Toolsand then fetch a URL on your site, Google's results will now show you the HTML code in colored syntax, which makes it easier to read and debug.
Here is a screen shot:
click for full size
Menashe Avramov was one of the first to spot this and he posted it on Google+.
Before, it was just plain black text but now it is very colorful.
Forum discussion at Google+.

Google: The Change Of Address Tool Speed Things Up

Google: The Change Of Address Tool Speed Things Up


Google Webmaster ToolsAs I reported earlier, the change of address tool does not support HTTP to HTTPS migrations and John Mueller of Google said "just use normal 301s."
But how important is the change of address tool when migrating to a new domain name?
John Mueller responded to a Stack Exchange thread about a site migration and said:
I'd use the setting right away -- but make sure you have the 301 redirects in place ASAP too (especially for the most important pages). This setting helps us to confirm that you really want to transfer everything (all signals that we've collected over the years) over to the new domain. It just speeds things up a tiny bit, essentially.
So John said in terms of using the change of address tool:
(1) Use it "right away"
(2) The tool helps "confirm" that you want to transfer everything.
(3) It speeds things up a tiny bit
So those who migrate from HTTP to HTTPS do not benefit from the change of address tool.
Google Change Of Address Tool
Forum discussion at Stack Exchange.