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22 Unique SEO Tips Backed by 22 Renowned SEO Experts

How great would it be if we could gather all the awesome SEO experts in just one room to talk about search engines ranks with a focus on the best SEO tips available out there? It would be glorious! Since we don’t have a room big enough to gather all the best experts in one place, we took advantage of the online “meetings” and gathered all the up to date SEO tips into an awesome expert roundup post. That is how we got the idea of interviewing 22 renowned SEO experts and how we found out 22 awesome and unique search engine optimization tips … the best of them.

 

22 Unique SEO Tips Backed by 22 Renowned SEO Experts

We’ve got answers from some of the brightest minds about the most actionable tips from the digital marketing world. We’ve found interesting news, insights and really helpful tips and guidelines about mobile optimization, metrics, qualitative content marketing, testing, technical SEO and customer centric websites. These 22 tips are some of the best for small businesses or large enterprises. Make sure you get the best of them.

 

Grab a coffee, sit comfortably and start reading the next list with 22 unique SEO tips backed by 22 renowned SEO experts that will make your search traffic bloom. 

 

  1. Understand That SEO Is Not Just About Rankings by Phil Frost
  2. Optimize Your Content for You Customers and Not for the Search Engines by Omi Sido
  3. Understand How Your Site Is Actually Performing Away From Vanity Metrics by Danny Denhard
  4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Creative Technical SEO by Paul Shapiro
  5. Have Content Deliberately Written to Be Highly Linkable by Sujan Patel
  6. Do Not Underestimate How Important “Branding” Is to SEO by Dixon Jones
  7. Build Your Website on a Solid Foundation of Data and Keyword Research by Trond Lyngbø
  8. Spend the Time and Money to Have Your Site Analyzed in Terms of Its Existing SEO by Julie Joyce
  9. Make the Best Page on the Internet for Your Topic by Andy Crestodina
  10. When It Comes to Link Acquisition You Need to Be Looking for Trust by Tim Grice
  11. Invest Time and Effort into Developing a Link Earning Strategy by Caleb McElveen
  12. If Everyone Else Is Zigging, Then Zagging Is a Strategic Opportunity by Greg Jarboe
  13. Invest More in Content by Eric Enge
  14. Run Your Own SEO Tests Across Different Search Categories by Carl Hendy
  15. Perform an In-Depth SEO SWOT Analysis by Marcus Miller
  16. Understand What Your Targeted Audience Might Be Looking For by Bill Slawski
  17. Test Longer Strategies over Tactics and Measure Each Step of the Way by Bill Sebald
  18. Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly by Andy Drinkwater
  19. Create Your Own Websites and Experiment Things Risk-Free by Mark Porter
  20. Focus on Content Quality by Rishi Lakhani
  21. Find a Way to Create Attention by Patrick Hathaway
  22. Hone Your Technical SEO Skills as Much as Possible by Dan Leibson 

 

We need to mention that all our cool experts had to answer just one-question interview:

 

If you were to recommend just one SEO tip, what would that be?

 

1. Understand That SEO Is Not Just About Rankings

If I could only recommend one tip, then it would be to make sure you understand how SEO fits into the bigger picture of your marketing strategy.
Phil Frost PHIL FROST
Founder & COO of Main Street ROI

I’ve talked with many business owners that think ranking high in Google is all you need to be successful.  The reality is that SEO is just one of many tactics to drive prospective customers to your website. Sure, ranking high in Google is great, but it’s also worthless if you don’t have a website that is set up properly to convert that traffic into leads and sales.  Plus, you won’t rank high for long unless you have proper tracking in place and a process to monitor and analyze your SEO efforts.  As you can see, SEO is not just about rankings; it’s also about website conversion rate optimization and website analytics and tracking.  That’s important to understand before you start to invest in SEO.

 

 

2. Optimize Your Content for You Customers and Not for the Search Engines

 

Producing content that’s irrelevant and insignificant to your audience’s wants and needs leads to only one thing – people stop taking you seriously. People click on your links in the SERPs but they do not interact with your website and leave quickly – wasted opportunity to turn visitors into customers.

 

Optimize your content for you customers and not for the search engines. What do I mean by that? It’s so easy to find some high volume keywords around your product and turn them into blog posts. I get it – everybody needs more visits. 
Omi Sido Omi Sido
SEO Manager of Daily Mail

 

So how do I find what my buyer persona (not to be confused with ‘buyer profile’) is looking for?

 

Glad you’ve asked, so let me give you some actionable tips. Finding questions that people are asking about your products or services.

 

A very good place to start is Quora. I just went there and typed something very uninspiring like “carrots” (Writing content for a boring industry? No Problem).

 

Some of the questions I get:

  • Why are carrots good for your eyes? Does eating carrots improve your eyesight? How?
  • How many carrots should I eat a day?
  • What else besides carrots can help your vision?

Another favorite place to go would be Answer The Public.

Answer the public

Last but not least, take data from your internal Site Search. All you have to do now is to align a question with a keyword that would bring traffic to your website. To do that just drop a question in the Google keyword planner and you will be presented with an opportunity.

Keyword Planner

Note: Stay focused and only choose the keywords that answer your original buyer’s persona question.

 

I am sure you already know where I am going. You’ve got the question and you’ve got the targeted keyword. All you have to do now is give an answer in the form of a blog article or video.

 

We’ve started with the customer in mind and ended up with a content that’s relevant to YOUR audience and, at the same time, well optimized for the search engines.

 

 

3. Understand How Your Site Is Actually Performing Away From Vanity Metrics

 

My one tip would be always be auditing. Auditing is essential for SEO success. Understand how your site is actually performing away from vanity metrics.
Danny Denhard Danny Denhard
 Founder of Denhard Media

If you track for the right KPIs, auditing will supply you with ongoing changes and help you focus on making the highest priority changes for you to hit KPIs and plan for the future.

 

4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Creative Technical SEO

People often neglect testing in SEO, mostly because it’s not easy, but optimizing CTR is a way to get some huge wins. Check out how Etsy is doing it or this recent look at approaches from Wayfair and their learnings.

Don’t underestimate the power of creative technical SEO. Now by technical SEO, I’m not talking about fixing 404 errors or ensuring your JavaScript website is crawlable (although that’s important). 
Paul Shapiro Paul Shapiro
Director of Strategy & Innovation of CatalystSEM

 I’m talking about coming up with novel ideas and analyses that help move the needle but are less about copywriting and more about technical proficiency. A couple examples: digging deep into semantic keyword research and data mining or dynamically populating title tags using the Google Search Analytics API.

 

5. Have Content Deliberately Written to Be Highly Linkable

My one main SEO tip would be to make sure that amongst all the specific, actionable content you’re creating, you have a few pieces of content deliberately written to be highly linkable.
Sujan Patel Sujan Patel
Co-founder of WebProfits

Highly linkable content is content written on a broad enough topic that you can work it into guest posts and other link opportunities naturally, without the article having to be directly related to the content you’re linking to.

 

For example, I wrote a big piece on customer delight – a thorough guide on how to make your customers happy at every point in your relationship. I’ve been able to link to this piece within articles on topics ranging from marketing and sales to operations and employee management. Having a few of these kinds of pieces means you’ll never miss an opportunity to link to your content.

 

6. Do Not Underestimate How Important “Branding” Is to SEO

Do not underestimate how important “branding” is to SEO.

There’s no point being number 1 for “Taxi” if your customer types in “Uber”.
Dixon Jones Dixon Jones
Marketing Director at Majestic
 

7. Build Your Website on a Solid Foundation of Data and Keyword Research

I’d recommend that you build your website’s information architecture, URL structure and plan the way content is organized on the domain, on a solid foundation of keyword research and detailed analysis of your search data.
Trond Lyngbø Trond Lyngbø
Founder at Search Planet

Your goal should be to build a customer-centric destination that works 24/7 at attracting fresh business.

 

My company, Search Planet, specializes in E-commerce SEO. I often see even large e-commerce Web shops leak revenue and profit because they’ll mirror their own needs and organizational structure online, instead of focusing on their customers’ needs. So the best prospects don’t find them in search results. Or when they do, they won’t buy from them – but go to their competitors instead.

 

By transforming your online presence to be entirely customer-focused, you’ll cut through the clutter, dominate search engines, draw a flood of targeted traffic to your website, and make more sales.

 

8. Spend the Time and Money to Have Your Site Analyzed in Terms of Its Existing SEO

 

My one SEO tip would be to actually spend the time and money to have your site analyzed in terms of its existing SEO. So many times people aren’t willing to spend the money to have a professional dig in and figure out a good plan of action.
Julie Joyce Julie Joyce
Owner of Link Fish Media

 You could have all kinds of issues that you aren’t aware of and rather than just trying to throw links at the site or find someone to write better content for your home page, put some focus on doing a thorough SEO audit.

 

9. Make the Best Page on the Internet for Your Topic

The best tip is the hardest to follow: make the best page on the internet for your topic. Google famously has 2000+ Mathematics PhDs on staff. I assume they are smarter than me. And I want them on my team.
Andy Crestodina Andy Crestodina
Co-Founder / Strategic Director of Orbit Media

 So here’s how I think about SEO:

  • If you made the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to HELP you;
  • If you didn’t make the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to STOP you.

 

Of course, it’s not enough just to make a great page. But it’s step one. Combine this effort with a clear understanding of off-site SEO, links and basic understanding of how to increase your domain authority and everything is going to work out well for you.

 

10. When It Comes to Link Acquisition You Need to Be Looking for Trust

The landscape has changed so much, we’re seeing a lot more weight shifting towards user experience, and link building has become a game of trust.

My main tip would be around links, specifically link metrics. When it comes to link acquisition you need to be looking for trust, and you can only do this through a manual review.
Tim Grice Tim Grice
CEO of Branded3

SEOs need to forget about them; there isn’t a metric out there that gives a true reflection of the value of a link, we have come across so many links with good domain authority or domain trust that we would class as toxic websites. When it comes to link acquisition, you need to be looking for trust, and you can only do this through a manual review; is this website the kind of website Google would trust and want to pass value through, is it a trusted source of information? You should then focus on how your links appear on that site, links that look like ads, in the footer or sidebars are going to be less likely to pass value in the long term.

 

We’re seeing a huge increase in the influence site speed has on rankings. We have run a few tests now with clients and are seeing a direct and almost immediate correlation with speed improvements and an uplift in rankings. Make it a priority, work with the development team and ensure your website is as fast as possible.

 

11. Invest Time and Effort into Developing a Link Earning Strategy

 

Link building is not dead, it just as a new name – link earning. Invest the time and effort into developing and executing a link earning strategy for your business.
Caleb McElveen Caleb McElveen
Director of SEO of Reservations

Do not take any shortcuts to buy or build low-quality links. While links are still a ranking factor, that is no longer their sole purpose. An effective link will provide the opportunity to improve three things; your traffic, your brand, and build trust. These are the links that should be your focal point. These types of links are found in building relationships with relevant websites and companies, creating valuable (not just quality) content, and a consistently having a giving mentality. Though it takes times, the reward will be worth it.

 

12. If Everyone Else Is Zigging, Then Zagging Is a Strategic Opportunity

 

 

If you just want one SEO tip, then let me share the insight that led me to co-found SEO-PR back in 2003. Hundreds of SEOs optimize web pages hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google search results. And many of them do a great job. But only a small handful optimize news stories, blog posts, or press releases hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google News search results.

The links in press releases are no-follow, so there is no “link juice” in them. But, they can still drive visitors to a page with more information – if it’s relevant and important. We used unique tracking links in four press releases for Southwest Airlines to generate $2.5 million in ticket sales.
Greg Jarboe Greg Jarboe
President & co-founder of SEO-PR

Now, the Google News algorithm is similar but different than the Google algorithm. Why? Because inbound links aren’t as strong a signal of the importance of a story. This puts a premium on relevance. But, the big mistake that many SEOs make is assuming that the popularity of keywords used on Google is the same on Google News. They often aren’t. You can see this for yourself by using the Google Trends Explore tool. The default result for any keyword will be web search interest. But you can use the drop down menu to see news search interest. And the trends are often different.

 

In addition, Google says that 16% of searches that it sees every day are new. Well, ask yourself: “Where do baby search terms come from?” And you’ll discover that the stork doesn’t bring them. They are generated by the “news.” So, these are search terms that your competitors haven’t been optimizing their web pages to get high rankings for 15 years. So, you have a better shot of getting your news stories or blog posts (if you’re a news source) and even your press releases to get high rankings for than you would for yet another web page.

When everybody zigs, zag-min

Source: Source: lamenteesmaravillosa.com

Now, admittedly, your ranking in Google News may only last a day or two. But, for near term news and events, this is the opportunity to drive traffic to a relevant landing page on your website. Now, the links in press releases are no-follow, so there is no “link juice” in them. But, they can still drive visitors to a page with more information — if it’s relevant and important. We used unique tracking links in four press releases for Southwest Airlines to generate $2.5 million in ticket sales. And when the CFO asked how we knew that they came from the press releases, we showed him that the tracking parameters on the links weren’t used by any other element of the company’s marketing. And when he suggested that we were merely harvesting interest that had been generated by the company’s excellent TV advertising, we showed him that the releases were for new service to cities where Southwest Airlines had never run an ad. He asked what else we knew. Well, we’d analyzed the database of people who had purchased tickets and found that two-thirds had never flown Southwest Airlines before and that they were generally purchasing round-trip tickets for two people.

 

Now, here’s the punch line: Part of why we got such strong response was the use of the term “low airfare” in the headline and lead paragraph of the press release. But the other part was the actual price of a one-way ticket in the headline — which actually was a “low airfare.” So, it isn’t just about putting a keyword in the headline and lead paragraph.

 

13. Invest More in Content

Invest more in content. This is without a doubt the thing that people underinvest in the most, yet, doing so almost always brings great yields, both in terms of conversion and SEO.
Eric Enge Eric Enge
CEO of Stone Temple

 Here at Stone Temple, we have built up numerous case studies of work we’ve done where we have more than doubled traffic to the pages we work on, simply by making improvements to the content on those pages.

 

14. Run Your Own SEO Tests Across Different Search Categories

 

Don’t believe everything you read and watch on the internet about SEO. Most of the best SEO’s I know don’t even have a Twitter account. Run your own SEO tests across different search categories.
Carl Hendy Carl Hendy
Ecommerce Consultant of carlhendy.com
 

15. Perform an In-Depth SEO SWOT Analysis

It is always tough to provide a generic yet actionable SEO tip that folks have not seen a million times before. What is right for a local business is not right for a national business. What works for a B2B company won’t work for a B2C eCommerce store.

My best SEO tip is to do an SEO SWOT analysis. What are your SEO Strengths? What are your SEO Weaknesses? What are your SEO Opportunities? What are your SEO Threats?
Marcus Miller Marcus Miller
Manager director of Bowler Hat

If you create a basic SWOT grid and start to detail your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you can start to get a better idea what kind of SEO you need. This is exactly how we work at Bowler Hat and even our SEO service page details how you need to identify what kind of SEO is right for you.

 

As an example. If a weakness was domain authority, then you can focus on that area. Often businesses will have competence in one area or another. They may be great on page SEO but lack keyword research skills. You may have all the content you need but lack authority. It is very easy to focus on your strengths – this approach forces you to confront your weaknesses.

 

So my tip – identify your current situation and focus on your weaknesses.

 

16. Understand What Your Targeted Audience Might Be Looking For

A lesson I learned from one of the highest level corporate law judges in Delaware was to “be responsive” – Make it as easy as possible for people to answer you and to say yes to something that you are asking. This lesson translates well into SEO also. 

Make sure you understand what your targeted audience might be looking for when they might search for a site that you are optimizing.
Bill Slawski Bill Slawski
President and founder of SEO by the Sea

What words they might use when they search for it, how they might construct their query and what words they will expect to see on your pages. Also what questions they might have about the goods or services offered on that website; and the answers to those questions, so that you can provide answers, and begin the journey towards having them become customers of your site.

 

Being responsive means building a website for your audience that makes it easy for them to learn about what you are offering, and easy for them to purchase from you. Being successful at SEO means building websites for your client’s audience.

 

17. Test Longer Strategies over Tactics and Measure Each Step of the Way

If I were pressed to give just one SEO tip, it’s to not expect a quick return today (generally speaking).  

 

 

Is it possible that a single implementation could make a big difference?  Yes.  Is it likely?  Not really.  If you’re investing in SEO, you’re accepting a long game. 
Bill Sebald Bill Sebald
Owner of Greenlane Search Marketing

Try testing longer strategies over tactics, and measure each step of the way.

 

Google has made huge changes that altered the way SEOs do their work.  Many of the historic, quick-hitting tactics we wrote into our playbooks have either been devalued by Google or have little weight today.  SEO isn’t for the weak-hearted – expect that it could take a while to move into a position that starts to hit your goals.  It takes diligence, trial and error, and patience.  

 

Google wants to rank the sites that earn their users’ satisfaction. Google isn’t as easily influenced, thanks to new search models and AI that are designed to truly understand the value of a page the way a user would.

 

18. Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly

There are many things you can do to your website to improve SEO, but I would say right now that you should focus on making sure your site is mobile-friendly.
Andy Drinkwater Andy Drinkwater
SEO Consultant of IQ SEO

Google is testing a new algorithm called Mobile First and as long as tests go well, expect this to be rolled out. The reason it is so important is that it will change how Google ranks websites.

Source: cdn2.hubspot.net

At the moment, Google uses your desktop site to rank you on desktop searches – Mobile First turns this on its head because it will base your desktop rankings on your mobile site.

 

So if your mobile site is very poor, or even if you don’t have one, expect mobile first to cause you problems.

 

19. Create Your Own Websites and Experiment Things Risk-Free

The one SEO tip I would offer, that applies to both those who are new or more experienced, would be to start your own websites as soon as possible.
Mark Porter Mark Porter
Senior SEO Manager of Screaming Frog

When I started out in the industry I was obsessed with consuming every SEO article that was published, but ultimately things really took off when I started launching websites. None of them are particularly successful, but they allowed me to try things risk-free without jeopardizing a client’s campaign. I was able to freely dive into onsite SEO, and I also dabbled in the ‘dark arts’ of link building which of course led to one of my sites being penalized..all fun and games!

 

In order to truly understand how a website works I think it’s important to have some hands on experience, and getting that is easier than you might think. WordPress websites are simple to set up, and building up a bit of traffic can also allow you to experiment with advertising, log file analysis and more!

 

20. Focus on Content Quality

The single biggest tip I can give SEOs for 2017 is focusing on content quality. Over the last year, I have extensively been running experiments on how much the swing of search results has moved to the quality of the content.
Rishi Lakhani Rishi Lakhani
SEO Consultant of Fast Fwd Multimedia

 It seems that the Google also is getting better and better at pulling out content and really starting to understand how that content answers a query.

 

Traditionally we used to talk about “content” and used to hammer in content in areas where really there was no structure, for example on product category landing pages in eCommerce websites. That used to be good enough to dominate the short, mid and long tail of queries as long as you had a decent volume of links.

 

My experiments have shown that although you may be able to dominate these queries by link volume alone, you can actually rank better with fewer links if your content quality is decent. And quality means ease of reading, supplying specific answers, breaking it down into digestible pieces, and even semantically layering it. Some of my small affiliate sites are dominating spaces where traditionally massive e-commerce sites used to occupy.

 

21. Find a Way to Create Attention

 

Attention creates awareness, which in turn creates (brand) traffic and links, which will improve your SEO. You need to find a way to create attention (to your product/service/brand/company/website).
Patrick Hathaway Patrick Hathaway
Director for URL Profiler
 

22. Hone Your Technical SEO Skills as Much as Possible

If I had to give one SEO tip it would be to hone your technical SEO skills as much as possible.
Dan Leibson Dan Leibson
VP Local & Product at Local SEO Guide

While SEO is a relatively broad discipline, the technical aspects of it are relatively opaque to many, and there is no shortcut for. On top of that, it is a skill that will likely always be in demand.

 

Conclusion

On the long run, search engine optimization will always work, it is just metamorphosed into different forms and approaches. The SEO experts involved  in this article said that every business owner should focus on the customer, valuable (not just quality or unique ) content, testing, in-depth analysis, link earning, mobile responsiveness, creative technical SEO while keeping an eye on the ranking signals and the quality backlinks. There are a lot of Youtube videos or “ultimate guides” to improve your SEO.  The truth is that some grass-root pieces of advice directly from the professionals in the field are always the SEO tactics you can learn from. 

 

The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results. Because nobody might go to the second page in SERP when they look for something. That’s why, from time to time,  you need take into account these kind of actionable SEO tips (directly from SEO experts) and rank higher in Google. Lots of people want to receive organic traffic, write relevant fresh content, have fast loading speed, earn quality links, have authority sites and no Google penalties. Having an SEO strategy, get registered with Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and other digital marketing tools might help you outrank your competitors and become number one. But it depends on you to do the things right; if you follow these SEO techniques backed up by experts you might have bigger chances of success. 

 

Make sure you pay attention to these more advanced SEO tactics but don’t forget about the basic SEO tips for your website, such as an internal link strategy, increasing social shares for brand awareness, building relevant links for your website optimizing anchor text, crawling your site to fix broken links, get keyword ideas, create valuable and relevant content on your site, easy to read blogs with popular content, onpage SEO optimization for long tail keywords, image alt text, compelling meta descriptions and unique titles and descriptions. Also bear in mind to integrate social media into the whole SEO strategy, because it is an important piece of the pie. This blog post is a collection of actionable SEO tips for beginners but also for professionals and we hope you will take full advantage of them. 

 

 

The post 22 Unique SEO Tips Backed by 22 Renowned SEO Experts appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

10 Shocking SEO Facts You Never Knew About

SEO still keeps a lot of secrets for a lot of beginners out there, but even advanced users need to be constantly up to date with what happens in the online marketing world.  We’ve put a together a list of ten SEO facts you’ve probably never heard of before; however, even if you have, this is a friendly reminder.  

 

There are a lot of SEO facts and stats out there, with more or less known matters. What we’ve tried to do is to put together a list of surprising SEO facts that make you look at the search engine market from a new perspective. This is not a collection of SEO statistics; this is a list of SEO facts that will help you improve your SEO and your overall online marketing strategy. 

 

10 Shocking SEO Facts You Never Knew About

 

That is why we have prepared for you a series of ten shocking facts that we believe you never knew about, until today.

 

  1. Duplicate Content Won’t Get You Penalized
  2. Not All Search Engines Use Links as a Ranking Factor 
  3. Google+ Is the Highest Correlated Social Factor for Rankings
  4. Rich Snippets Have No Direct Impact on Your Rankings
  5. Only 2 of the Top 10 Most Popular Sites  Are Content Sites
  6. Object Detection in Images is a Strong Ranking Signal
  7. Google Has Search Evaluators to Determine the Quality of Results
  8. A Video on Your Homepage Will Double the Chances to Show up on Page 1 of Google
  9. Travel Time Is a Metric for Google’s Ranking
  10. Google Ranks Events Based upon Popularity

 

 

1. Duplicate Content Won’t Get You Penalized

 

 Will you be penalized for duplicate content? No. Is duplicate content hurting your site? Well, it depends. Allow us to elaborate more on this matter. 

 

To start with, we will cite the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines from March 2017 :

 

The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC (main content) on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source. 

 

Did you see duplicate content mentioned anywhere? No. It’s all about copied content. And Google has a different treatment for copied content than for duplicate content. Duplicate content won’t get you penalized, while copied content will. If you don’t believe us, take a look at the video below where Andrey Lipattsev from Google claimed that: 

 

There is no Google duplicate content penalty.

 

 

 

Duplicate content is not always hurting SEO as most of the people think. Of course, duplicate content is not an optimal set-up for pages. Nevertheless, most of the time duplicate content is not manipulative. If you use canonical tags to let search engines know the preferred content, you should be safe. What we want to stress on is that there are many users who have never gazed over what Google says about the duplicate content.

 

It is not called a penalty if Google notices that your content is not unique.

 

As Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland describes in the video mentioned above, you can notice that:

  • Google does not have a duplicate penalty
  • What it does is to reward unique content and correlate it with added value  
  • The duplicate content is filtered
  • Google wants to find new content and duplicates slows the search engine down
  • If you want Google to quickly discover your new content, you should send XML sitemaps
  • What the big G wants us to do is to concentrate signals in canonical documents, and optimize those canonical pages so they are better for users.
  • If we think about SEI, it is not duplicate content that is hurting our ranking, but the lack of unique content.

 

Remember that if there is a website duplicating your content and you do not have any agreement, you can fill in a request to have it removed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Another thing that you can easily do is to use canonical tags. This is a simple way of telling the search engine that this is where the official version first appeared. You should keep count of the duplicate content issues, anytime you start shaping your content marketing strategies or you want to analyze your SEO rankings. 

 

 

 

2. Not All Search Engines Use Links as a Ranking Factor

 

Is it possible to rank without links? The answer is yes.

 

Yandex, the biggest search engine in Russia is no longer taking into consideration links as a ranking factor. Before saying that what happens in Russia, stays in Russia, you need to know that Google might be heading in the same direction. The Russian commercial SERPs in Yandex and Google are some of the most spammed keywords, where black hat SEO techniques are used to quickly rank shady sites. Given the situation, Yandex said that their algorithm will be a “link-free” one. Will the other search engines follow?

Will Google remove links from their algorithm? It seems like Google wishes to rank websites based on facts instead of links. They even discussed on the idea of excluding backlinks from the Google algorithm. 

 

We don’t have a version like that that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally […] we’ve played around with the idea of turning off backlink relevance and, at least for now, backlink relevance still really helps in terms of making sure that we return the best, most relevant, most topical search results. – Matt Cutts, former Google representative

 

It seems like Google wishes to rank websites based on facts instead of links. This means that the trustworthiness of a domain might help it rise up rankings if Google measures quality by facts, instead of links, according to New Scientist

 

 

3. Google+ Is the Highest Correlated Social Factor for Rankings

 

There is a lot of mystery and buzz regarding the influence of shares, comments, likes, etc. on SEO in general. A question keeps popping out:

 

Are social signals a ranking factor?

 

The answer is not as simple as a “yes” or “no”. What we can tell you for sure as a result of  an in-depth study published in a previous blog post on this matter is this: 

 

The average Google + shares for the first rank are significantly higher.

 

There were some other correlations we’ve made between Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn and ranks; yet, the strongest correlation was between a high number of Google+ shares and better ranks.

 

Google-Plus-Correlation-Ranks--1024x576

 

Before overlooking Google+ within your social media marketing strategy, take a look at the screenshot above. It’s true that correlation doesn’t mean causality but such a high correlation cannot be easily ignored. 

 

It seems that Google+ interactions affect Google search rankings. Therefore, Google+ provides engagement with your audience, but it also affects measurable outcomes beyond engagement, including higher search results ranking. You don’t have to be an SEO expert to know that organic listing doesn’t come up easily, regardless of the SEO tactics or social media strategy you’ve used. Yet, any little help that will improve your search traffic  definitely helps.  

 

 

4. Rich Snippets Have No Direct Impact on Your Rankings

 

Rich snippets have been a sneak preview on the SERP page since they first appeared in 2009. The question is: Do they have a direct impact on your ranks? Well, not really. 

Rich snippets have the role of adding extra information to a search listing but, according to Google, they do not influence rankings. Google has stated several times that rich snippets have no direct impact on site rankings at the moment. You can even find answers on the Web Master Help Forum:

Q: Does using rich snippets affect my site’s ranking?

A: No.

Rich Snippets Example

Source: www.seopressor.com

So Google said it all. Apparently, rich snippets do not affect our rankings in a direct way. This does not mean that it cannot generate indirect SEO benefits though, like helping a page to be easily indexable or showing useful data for the reader. Rich snippets will help you in an indirect way to get more people to visit your website, and that in turn might further help you with your rankings; yet rich snippets have no direct impact on your ranks. 

 

 

 

5. Only 2 of the Top 10 Most Popular Sites on the Web Are Content Sites

In order to completely understand this let’s take a look at the 10 most popular sites according to Ebizma. It seems that the top most popular sites in March 2017 are: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo!, Amazon, Wikipedia, Twitter, Bing, eBay and MSN. No suprise here, I know. Yet, if we think of them for a moment we notice that only Wikipedia and YouTube are truly content-oriented websites. The other are “content gates” if we can say that but they are not offering direct content in a way a usual website does. 

 

This leads to an important question:

 

Does usefulness matter more than content?

 

Eight of those sites give the core users something to do, not only to consume. As Carter Bowles from Northcutt claims, they do not stop at passive reading or video watching, but they give people tools and places that they can use to do something. These websites are popular because the action required from the core user does not stop at consuming content.

 

Google is a tool that gives users the chance of quickly searching the whole web in order to find something that they want. They are not popular due to content or fantastic link bait, but as a result of interaction. So, we might ask ourselves:

Is content still king?

We are not implying that content marketing is not working.  Quality content is great because it provides an amazing way to grow. What we are stressing on is the fact that interaction seems to be working wonders. If we try to understand why these websites are popular,  we will notice that up to a point, content marketing is also part of their strategy. But what facts prove to us is that the most outstanding sites out there place communities, tools and interactive platforms before content. Even more, those two content sites that are at the top of popularity, YouTube and Wikipedia, are still making use of interactive platforms. 

 

6. Object Detection in Images Is a Strong Ranking Signal

You may know that Google is smart enough to recognize objects in images but what you might not know is that object recognition is now a ranking signal that can affect any business out there. 

 

Not long ago we wrote an article about the way Google will read & rank images in the near future. Well, it seems like the future is now. It’s true that there have been lots of studies with complex equations and algorithms about image recognition since the ‘90s, so we can say that the subject has appealed to researchers ever since search engines appeared. What should be appealing for users is the idea of image optimization, and not in the classic way of adding title tags and alternate text. 

 

automatic-object-detection-images-google

 

Since the moment the big G made the Cloud Vision API public, a lot of people started raving about the technology. Without any doubt, Cloud Vision API can be used to analyze and determine what is inside an image. This quickly classifies images into thousands of categories (e.g., “sailboat”, “lion”, “Eiffel Tower”), detects individual objects and faces within images, and finds and reads printed words contained within images. You can build metadata on your image catalog, moderate offensive content, or enable new marketing scenarios through image sentiment analysis.

Object Detection in Images Example

This feature allows search engines to detect what content is inside the images that you post on your websites and rank it accordingly.

 

Object Detection in Images adds an extra layer of ranking signals that cannot be easily altered.

 

However, this is really big for the SEO industry as the object recognition: 

 

  1. Will help by helping Google to show a lower number of false positives when searching for a particular keyword.
  2. Can strengthen the ranking of a page 

 

 

 

7. Google Has Search Evaluators to Determine the Quality of Results 

 

You might know by now that a lot of algorithms are used by Google in order to rank websites. You might be surprised to find out that to evaluate the quality of search results Google hired people who make around 40,000 precision evaluations. These search evaluators have to establish the quality of results for various searches. The guidelines that they use to rate the results are explained in a rather dense document that can be found here.

 

Although the document seems to address more those who wish to become evaluators, a gaze through the guidelines can help developers and marketers as well, because they help you understand how quality is perceived by Google.

 

Source: www.seobythesea.com

Source: www.seobythesea.com

 

Google uses search evaluators from different countries and with different languages. This means that Google is trying to understand content written in more languages.  

 

Following this, we might think that the engine will be able to apply penalties to content coming in not so common languages as well.  For the moment, by Google’s estimates, the Penguin algorithm affects approximately 3.1% of search queries in English, about 3% of queries in languages like German, Chinese, and Arabic.  These trained experts might be able to catch spam in more languages and therefore affect the overall ranks.

 

 

8. A Video on Your Homepage Will Double the Chances to Show up on Page 1 of Google

 

All that YouTube has achieved in the last years made it the world’s second largest search engine and also the go-to choice for online video marketing and advertising. Let’s think of it for a moment. Everybody likes videos, right? They are instantly more attractive than text for lots of people and it seems that the big G holds a special place for Youtube in its heart. We should also take into account that, after all, it is owned by Google.

 

According to a study conducted by Tubular Insights, videos have a 41% higher CTR than text. 

 

According to a study made by Aimclear, it seems that the platform we choose to upload our videos impacts the ability to rank. What platform is preferred? You guessed. YouTube dominates Google’s SERP, but there are other platforms that have some influence as well, as you can see in the image bellow:

Google SERP Platform Allocation

Source: www.aimclearblog.com

 

But what about having videos on homepages? Will they help us rank better? The same study from Aimclear mentioned above  says that nearly 100% of the videos returned in universal SERPs also ranked on the first page on their native platform. It’s true that a high ranking on YouTube results doesn’t guarantees a universal search placement; yet it seems to be a prerequisite. Also, direct or indirect, videos will boost your rankings.  Aside from keeping your visitors engaged, it will give them something they can easily share.

 

A video can help by keeping your visitors more on your website and this will be seen as a ranking factor by the search engines. We should also consider the possibility of visitors sharing the page containing the video on social media and this will increase the possibility of receiving inbound links from users that notice it. This will certainly add value to your SEO.

 

 

 

9. Travel Time Is a Metric for Google’s Ranking

 

No, we are not talking about time traveling and time machines, but about the physical time it takes for someone to get from a location to an event/place/business he/she is interested in, and as a consequence, about local search and local optimization.  

 

The amount of travel time someone goes through in order to reach a place is a ranking factor.

 

Travel time is a recently granted patent from Google that seems to be connected with the local SEO and is defined as the “time investment a person may be willing to make to visit a specific location.” Therefore, proximity comes first not just in our day to day lives but in SERPs as well.  Sites that are not as optimized as yours will rank ahead of you if they are closer to the user. Therefore, if you have a local business you should be highly interested of this search market feature if you are interested in a high close rate as well. 

 

Just look at the image below. The “plumbers” search listed a few businesses relevant for this search. Yet, why are these websites listed first? 

 

Source: moz.com

Source: moz.com

 

Do they have quality content? Well, some of them don’t even have a website, as we found out from a research conducted by Darren Shaw. Not to mention that some of them have 0 links and 0 reviews. Therefore, why are they ranking in top 3? You’ve guessed it: proximity. 

 

plumbers2

 

It seems like Google also wants to know if a person visits a place after seeing it in Google Maps, either by following a recommendation or after seeing it in the search results. As Bill Slawski mentioned, the term ”time investment” used in this Google patent refers to the actual time that it takes to visit a place that was seen in the search results. 

 

 

 

10. Google Ranks Events Based upon Popularity

According to another patent granted for Google, it seems that the search engine will soon rank events depending on popularity instead of considering the number of inbound links pointed at the event’s pages. The idea behind this patent is that because many events can happen in the same region or around the same time, people that are interested in them might consider it difficult to choose the event to attend.

This will help users choose the most interesting event when multiple events take place at the same time.

The big G will be receiving data about the events that take place during a certain time period along with the computing signal scores for those events. 

 

Other signals for ranking events according to the patent might be:

 

  1. generating an initial ranking of events based on the popularity scores;
  2. computing a modified popularity score for each of the events based on the initial ranking;
  3. generating the ranking of events occurring in the physical location by ranking the events according to the modified popularity scores.

 

Example Ranking Events

Source: www.seobythesea.com

 

Conclusion

 

Above we’ve exposed some of the facts from the search engine optimization market we believe will help you out with your organic search and your overall digital marketing strategy.  The search engine market is an ever transforming platform where effective SEO still pays the bills and keeps on driving traffic.  Even if you invest in paid search or in link building, what we want at the end of the day is to have all of the internet users, if possible, generating organic clicks on our site. Increasing sales is what we all aim to. And as 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, being aware of the Google SEO statistics that can influence your website’s performance (regardless if they are SEO facts 2017 or older SEO statistics from 2016  )it’s of paramount importance. 

 

There is no single most effective SEO statistic, tip or fact, a lead generation formula that will drive to guaranteed marketing success. Yet, the SEO facts we’ve debated along this article might help you with your onpage SEO, your integrated marketing or content strategies. Conversion rates don’t come easily and some SEO tips, paid ads or marketing stats won’t bring million users all of the sudden. But being aware of the SEO stats and facts and shaping your online marketing according to it, will definitely improve your global web presence. Stay up to date to the marketing trends, be concerned of content creation, check out where your users click on, invest in inbound marketing and the organic results will eventually follow. 

We look forward to seeing how Google’s search engine will evolve with all the new technology and we also look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

The post 10 Shocking SEO Facts You Never Knew About appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

The Complete Google Easter Eggs List That Will Make You Go Wow

The amount of information that Google holds is, beyond any doubt, amazing and this is maybe one of the reasons we are so connected with this search engine. All the functions and functionalities keep evolving, and even though you might know and admire the really creative Google Doodles and you might have already amused yourself with some of the big G’s April Fools Day jokes, some of you might not be aware of the different secrets that it holds: the Google Easter Eggs. 

 

Blame it on the season, blame it on our curiosity but we’ve prepared for you the most comprehensive list of Google Easter Eggs that I am sure it will intrigue you just as much it intrigued us. We might mention that we are not offering you the decorated or chocolate eggs that are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter or springtime celebration. We’re offering you something just as “delicious” from a recreational point of view:  the hidden messages, intentional inside jokes, or secret features, in other words the complete list of Google Easter Eggs. 

 

The_Complete_Google_Easter_Eggs_List_That_Will_Make_You_Go_Wow_v2

 

We’ve tried to gather all the Easter Eggs that are available at the moment. Keep in mind that if you want all of them to work, it will be useful to have the latest version of Google Chrome browser. With no further introduction, we declare the traditional (Google) Easter egg hunt opened. 

 

  1. The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything
  2. Baker’s Dozen
  3. Bletchley Park
  4. Conway’s Game of Life
  5. Play Atari Breakout in Google Images 
  6. Askew  
  7. Flip a Coin
  8. Fun Facts
  9. Feeling Curious
  10. Roll a Die
  11. Play Solitaire
  12. Server Status 418. I’m a Teapot
  13. Tic Tac Toe or Terni Lapilli
  14. Spinner
  15. Play Dreidel
  16. Once in a Blue Moon
  17. The Number of Horns on a Unicorn
  18. Loneliest Number
  19. Search For “Anagram” Or “Define Anagram”
  20. Blink HTML
  21. Marquee HTML
  22. Do a Barrel Roll
  23. Festivus
  24. Google in 1998
  25. Is Google Down?
  26. Zerg Rush
  27. Search for Recursion
  28. Sonic Easter Egg
  29. Super Mario Bros
  30. Kerning
  31. Pac-Man
  32. 3D Easter Egg
  33. Bacon Number 
  34. Valentine’s Day Easter Egg
  35. LGBT
  36. Bubble Level
  37. Pirate Language
  38. Loch Ness Monster 
  39. Google Mars
  40. Google Moon
  41. Dinosaur Game
  42. What Sound Does a Dog make?
  43. Metronome
  44. Nutrition Info
  45. Converter
  46. The Funniest Joke in the World
  47. Timer
  48. Lego Lovers Build with Chrome
  49. Spelling Numbers
  50. Explore Space with Google Sky
  51. Find Webpage Fonts
  52. Google Gravity
  53. Let Me Google That for You 
  54. But Where is Chuck Norris?
  55. Google Space
  56. Google Sphere

 

1. The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

 

This is a really one of the coolest Google Search Easter Eggs, especially for those who read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. In his book he wrote that “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.” A lot of fans tried to decipher what was the secret meaning of the number, but Douglas Adams himself said: “The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base 13, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat on my desk, stared in to the garden and thought 42 will do. I typed it out. End of story.” Even though the author said the number was made up, millions of Hitchhiker’s fans still think of multiple secret motivations.

 

the answer to life the universe and everything

 

 

2. Baker’s Dozen

 

If you go to the search bar and look for “baker’s dozen”, you will see the number 13 on the calculator. A baker’s dozen, a long dozen or a devil’s dozen is 13 and this comes from the practice of medieval English bakers giving an extra loaf when selling a dozen. This represented an insurance against the items being lower than the statutory weight, or of lower than usual quality, which could cause the baker to be fined. The thirteen loaves where never called by the number and were described as a “baker’s dozen” because of the “unlucky 13”. 

 Bakers dozen

 

 

3. Bletchley Park

 

Look for “Bletchley Park” and on the search results page you will notice that Google’s Knowledge Panel will decode the name of Bletchley Park and will show it beneath the location on Google Maps. In the World War II, Bletchley Park was the central site for British codebreakers and it housed the Government Code and Cypher School. According to Wikipedia, it regularly unveiled the secret communications of the Axis Powers, the most important German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. 

 Bletchley Park easter egg

 

4. Conway’s Game of Life

 

This is also among the nice Google Search Easter Eggs. Simply Google for “Conway’s Game of Life”, and you will see a few small blue boxes that move through different patterns and spread over the page. According to Wikipedia, The Game of Life is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway, in 1970. The “game” is a zero-player game, meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. One interacts with the Game of Life by creating an initial configuration and observing how it evolves or, for advanced “players”, by creating patterns with particular properties.

 

 Conways game of life Easter Egg

 

 

5. Play Atari Breakout in Google Images

 

Do you want to kill boredom? Well, you’ve finally reached the right place. Go to Google and do an image search for ”Atari Breakout” and start playing. This will be a breeze for anybody who loves the “oldies but goldies” type of video games and it will certainly bring back some memories. You will be able to navigate the paddle by using your mouse or arrow keys on your keyboard in order to destroy all images.

 3. Atari Breakout

 

6. Askew 

 

Search for ”askew” and the search engine will tilt the screen for you. This is one of the display Easter eggs that Google has. Everything else still works as it should and if you look for anything else the search results page will go back to normal.

 

askew easter egg

 

 

7. Flip a Coin

 

We have all flipped a coin in order to decide something with another person. The folks at Google seem to do this so much that they had to include a card with an animated coin flip. This time at least, you will know that it is a fair deal.

 

4. Flip a coin

 

 

8. Fun Facts

 

Do you know when ears and nose stop growing? If you feel like you want to learn something new, go to the Google search bar and write down “fun facts” and be amazed.

 

5. Fun Facts easter egg

 

 

9. Feeling Curious

 

This one is pretty similar to fun facts. If you like trivia questions or you get bored, this is really useful. Google “I’m feeling curious” and the search engine will show you a random question and an answer that will teach you something new every single day. If you click on Ask Another Question, this will never stop. Did you know that the olympic flag was first flown at the Antwerp games in 1920?

 

Feeling curious easter egg

 

 

10. Roll a Die

 

This is one that Google made for all the gamblers out there. All you have to do is search ”roll a die” and the big G will roll a die for you, one out of six.

 

google-roll-dice easter egg

Source: www.seroundtable.com

 

 

11. Play Solitaire

 

The history of the card game named Solitaire dates back to the mid-18th century. Solitaire gained different names along the time, but what really matters is that now you can simply Google ”solitaire” and you will be able to play the card classics Solitaire in any desktop browser in an instant.

 

Solitaire easter egg

 

 

12. Server Status 418. I’m a Teapot

 

You can easily access the page by clicking here. This is an easter egg which was designed for server and SEO geeks. The teapot page is a 418 response code, which was initially an April Fools Joke from 1998 that was not intended for implementation, even though Google did it anyway.

 

Teapot easter egg

 

 

13. Tic Tac Toe or Terni Lapilli

 

It does not matter if you call it Tic Tac Toe or Terni Lapilli, as the ancient Romans used to call it, simply Google “tic tac toe” or even “terni lapilli” and discover a game you can play with the computer or with a friend. For a challenge we recommend the impossible difficulty.

 

Tic Tac Toe easter egg

 

 

14. Spinner

 

You can go to the Google hompage and search for the word “spinner” and you will see an interactive spinning wheel appearing. You will also be able to choose numbers from 2 to 20. 

 

google-spinner-easter-egg

Source: www.searchengineland.com

 

 

15. Play Dreidel

Talking about games and easter eggs, you can type “play dreidel” in the search bar and enjoy. For those who do not know, dreidel is a Jewish variant of the teetotum, a gambling toy found in many European cultures. Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ‎ (Nun), ג‎ (Gimel), ה‎ (He), ש‎ (Shin), which together form the acronym for “נס גדול היה שם‎” (Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – “a great miracle happened there”). It is great that it is now one of the Google games. 

 

Play Dreidel

 

 

16. Once in a Blue Moon

 

This is one of the amazing Google easter eggs. If you search “once in a Blue Moon”, Google will guide you to the mathematical equation for the occurrence of a blue moon. The calculator will show the result of “once in a blue moon = 1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz”. Once in a blue moon is something that happens rarely.

 

Once in a blue moon

 

 

17. The Number of Horns on a Unicorn

Similar to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy joke, look for “the number of horns on a unicorn” and the search engine will show you the calculator with the answer “1”.

 

Unicorn easter egg

 

 

18. Loneliest Number

Look for the “loneliest number” in the search box and the Google calculator will show you the answer “1”.

 

Loneliest number easter egg

 

 

19. Search For “Anagram” Or “Define Anagram”

This is a must in the definitive list of easter eggs. Write “anagram” in the search box, Google will ask you “did you mean: nag a ram?”. For more fun you can type in “define anagram” and it will ask you again “did you mean: nerd fame again?”

 

Anagram easter egg

 

Define Anagram easter egg

  

 

20. Blink HTML

 

The easter egg hidden here is quite interesting. Type “blink html” or “<blink>” in the search box in order to activate it. You will notice that the words “blink” and “html” will actually blink on the SERP. You can see an animated GIF with this action:

 

blink-html-google-easter-egg

Source: www.searchengineland.com

 

 

21. Marquee HTML

 

Another interesting secret hidden withing your Google page can be seen when looking for “marquee html”. You will notice that the results count will slowly move from right to left on the page. Check it yourself and see.

 

marquee html easter egg

 

 

22. Google Barrel Roll

 

Look for “do a barrel roll” and the SERP page will quickly execute a roll. The barrel roll is known as an airplane maneuver in which the pilot performs a 360 degree roll while flying forward at a consistent altitude. It seems like Google wanted to help people understand what this maneuver is by simply showing it.

 

do a barrel roll easter egg

 

 

23. Festivus

 

It seems that Seinfeld fans will get a nice treat by typing “Festivus”: an undecorated aluminum Festivus pole. Festivus represents a parody and also a secular holiday that is celebrated on December 23. It represents an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season. 

 

festivus easter egg

 

festivus

 

 

24. Google in 1998

 

For those who want to roll the years back and have a short reminder of how Google looked at the beginnings of time itself, search for “google in 1998” and you will get one of those classy SERP pages.

 

google in 1998

 

 

25. Is Google Down?

 

Quickly look for “is google down” and you will get the answer in an instant…or not?

 

Is Google down easter egg

 

 

26. Zerg Rush

Search “zerg rush” and fight to protect the results on the SERP! If you have ever played a Starcraft game you will know that a “zerg rush” is a tactic which implies gathering a low-level or poorly equipped group against an opposing group in the hope that big numbers will crush the adversary. The search will activate a simplified example of a zerg rush using an army of O’s. When you finish the game, the O’s will gather up in the form of “GG”, which all of the gamers out there will know that it means “good game”. 

 

zerg rush

 

Zerg Rush 2

 

 

27. Search for Recursion

 

The recursion Google joke seems to be a classic. Look up for the word “recursion”, which means a repeated application of a recursive procedure, and the engine will ask you “did you mean: recursion?”. No matter how many times you click it, you will end up on the same page.

 

recursion easter egg

 

 

28. Sonic Easter Egg

 

This is a nice Easter egg for all the Sonic fans out there. Search “sonic the hedgehog” and you will see an animated .gif with Sonic waiting in the info card located on the right side of the SERP page.

 

Sonic easter egg

 

 

29. Super Mario Bros

Write “Super Mario Bros” in the search bar and you will notice an animated .gif question mark box on the knowledge panel which is located on the right side of the screen.

 

Super Mario Bros easter egg

 

 

30. Kerning

 

Search “kerning” on Google and every time you will see the word “kerning” on the SERP page, you will notice that it has the spacing between the letters applied.

 

kerning easter egg

 

 

31. Pac-Man

 

Ready for more of the Google Easter eggs games? Search “pac-man” and use the arrow keys to play the video game.

 

Pac-man easter egg

 

 

32. 3D Easter Egg

 

This is one of the amazing Google easter eggs. Click here and along with a mind blowing calculus you will see a spinning egg in 3D.

 

36. Easter egg-min

 

 

33. Bacon Number

 

This is another fun Google secret. Type “bacon number” followed by any actor’s name and you will get the bacon number. This represents the number of degrees of separation they have from actor Kevin Bacon, as defined by the game known as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The numbers go from 1 to 6 because there is the theory of six degrees of separation which says that all living things and everything else in the world is six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.

 

Bacon number google easter egg

 

 

34.Valentine’s Day Easter Egg

 

Do you feel the need of giving your heart to someone? Google made it easier than ever. You can click here and see an Easter egg that might work good for valentine’s day. And if it doesn’t work good for Valentine, at least you will impress the other with a complicated mathematical calculus. 

 

 Valentine easter egg heart

 

 

35. LGBT

 

During the Gay Pride Parades, users that search for keywords like “gay pride,” “marriage equality” and other LGBT rights terms will see a rainbow themed SERP. The colourful results will differ and sometimes even the Google logo will change, as a sign of support for the LGBT community.

 

gay pride lgbt easter egg

 

 

36. Bubble Level

 

Simply search for “bubble level” on your smartphone and you will instantly have an interactive leveler on your mobile phone. 

 

Bubble level

 

 

37. Pirate Language

 

If you want to check out Google’s pirate interface go to the language setting and you will be feeling lucky sailing the web with Google’s pirate language in no time. Good luck with your searrrrrch!

 

Pirate Language easter egg

 

 

38. Loch Ness Monster

 

It is time for a Google Maps Easter Egg. After intensive searches and a lot of really hard work, our team here at cognitiveSEO has finally found the Loch Ness Monster. All you have to do is to search for “Loch Ness” and you will see the Google Maps Pegman button change in the bottom right corner.

 

 Loch Ness easter egg

 

 

39. Google Mars

 

If you got tired of Google Earth and you want to take a short trip to Mars, it is now easier than ever and you can even take a Google street view. The folks from Google declared not long before April Fools Day:

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is committed to meeting our customers needs—no matter where they are. Amidst our growing list of new regions, today we’re pleased to announce our expansion to Mars. In addition to supporting some of the most demanding disaster recovery and data sovereignty needs of our Earth-based customers, we’re looking to the future cloud infrastructure needed for the exploration and ultimate colonization of the Red Planet. Our first interplanetary data center—affectionately nicknamed “Ziggy Stardust”—will open in 2018. Our Mars exploration started as a 20% project with the Google Planets team, which mapped Mars and other bodies in space and found a suitable location in Gale Crater, near the landing site of NASA’s Curiosity rover.

 

Google Mars easter egg

 

Mars

 

 

40. Google Moon

 

Are you curious about the Apollo missions? Do you want to have a closer look at the moon? You can now easily do this with the aid of Google by following this link.

 

 Google Moon

 

 

41. Dinosaur Game

 

Some of you Google Chrome users might already know about the dinosaur game. Every time your internet connection falls down you will be able to press the space bar and the arrow keys to play it. 

 

dinosaur game

 

 

42. What Sound Does a Dog make?

 

It does not apply only to dogs, but all you have to do is search for “what sound does a dog make” and you will be able to hear it and even choose multiple animals. 

 

Sound animals easter egg

 

 

43. Metronome

This is a really useful secret feature for musicians. Anytime you want your instrument just look for “metronome” and you will have one in a heartbeat.

 

metronome

 

 

44. Nutrition Info

You can quickly do a google search of “nutrition…” and add any food and find out all the details you need to take care of health.

 

nutrition

 

45. Converter

 

Whether you want to quickly convert Euro to USD or kilograms to pounds, you can quickly search it and find out the result.

 

converter

converter 2

 

46. The Funniest Joke in the World

 

This is a small Google hacker result. Look for “Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput! to English” and see what Google Translate has to say.  If you are curious about the german phrase, you need to know that it’s often referred to as “The Funniest Joke in the World” .This is the title most frequently used for written references to a Monty Python’s Flying Circus comedy sketch. 

 

Fatal error

 

47. Timer

 

Let’s say that you easily want to keep track of time and you want a handy tool in your web browser. There is a hidden timer directly in Google’s Search.

 

Timer

 

48. Lego Lovers Build with Chrome

 

This is something that Lego lovers will certainly spend lots of time with. You get a Google Earth view with this website and you get to build what you want where you want. Go to the website and enjoy it!

 

build with chrome

 

49. Spelling Numbers

 

If you ever have trouble with spelling or reading a big number in english, you can ask the big G to help you out. All you have to do it look for “number=english”

 

Number speaker

 

50. Explore Space with Google Sky

 

Did you get bored of the Google Earth flight simulator? Go to this page and enjoy your space voyage.

 

Sky easter egg

 

 

51. Find Webpage Fonts

 

If you are in need of finding a really nice font for something you can go to Google.com/fonts and see what fits you. What is the cool thing is that you can compare fonts based on the exact phrase that interest you. 

 

fonts feature

 

Third-Party Easter Eggs

 

52. Google Gravity

This lets you feel the power of gravity while searching for a Google result. Check it yourself by clicking here.

 

google gravity

Source: www.bosstechy.com

 

53. Let Me Google That for You

 

A really cool trick, you can see what it does by clicking here. It basically shows you how to search for something on the web and it can be really useful for those friends of ours who ask a lot of questions. But what we really found interesting and fun is that Google also had some fun regarding the subject. Search for “let me google that for you” and see what the knowledge box says. We have surely amused ourselves by reading the Q&As.

 

LMGFY easter egg

 

 

54. But Where is Chuck Norris?

 

For those who love Chuck Norris jokes, you can click here.

 

Google chuck norris

 

 

55. Google Space

 

This website shows you how Google would look like if it were in the zero gravity mode. You can check it out yourself.

 

Google space

 

 

56. Google Sphere

 

Another Mr. Doob experiment, this shows you Google in the form of a sphere.

 

Google Sphere

 

Conclusion

 

It can be difficult to notice the difference between regular Easter eggs, a very well hidden in-joke and other special features that work on particular events such as Easter or Christmas holidays. From in-browser games, to hidden jokes and features, inspired by the season,  we have decided to start a hunt and post the most complete Google Easter Eggs list that you can find out there.  Google is highly dynamic and it’s hard to create a definitive list of Google Easter Eggs.  Features hidden within your Google browser will keep on popping out as the big G’s engineers try to maintain a sense of humor through surprises like these. 

 

Considering all the in-jokes, in-browser video games and the hidden features that we have found, we believe that our quest ended here and we believe that this is the list with most of the interesting eggs out there. Have you found any other Google Easter egg? Let us know!

The post The Complete Google Easter Eggs List That Will Make You Go Wow appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

You Don’t Have to Write About Marketing to Be a Marketer

Meaning

The other day, I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who I first met via social media, but has become a close confidante and teacher.

We were talking about the various changes we’ve seen in the time we’ve known each other (close to 10 years now) and how these changes have impacted both our careers and the content we publish on our respective blogs.

While she continues to blog about marketing – but more slanted towards tech and how AI will impact business – I moved away from that a few years ago, to focus on more personal stuff.

I shared my thoughts on that decision in this post from April 2014, and I guess that’s culminated in the recent launch of my Turn Off the Overwhelm project.

As we talked, she asked whether I felt the move away from marketing-specific content had harmed me when it came to career choices, or “putting myself on the map more”.

After all, if I’m a marketer but I don’t blog about marketing, why would anyone hire me for a marketing role in their business?

While this wasn’t her point of view per se – she was simply asking as if from a hiring company viewpoint – it was a fair question, yet one I’ve never worried about.

Words, Like Clothes, Don’t Make the Person

One of the topics I consistently push back on is the “dress code argument”, where you can only be taken seriously in business if you dress for the part.

While I’m not advocating for cargo pants, tee, and sneakers for every job, to me it’s irrelevant what someone wears to do their job – the results come from the action(s) of that person, not their sartorial choice.

I’ve worked at some companies where the smartest dressed and – by association – smartest thinkers have been woefully underqualified, whereas the jeans and shirt wearer has brought home stellar results.

This isn’t the old boy and school tie network economy anymore. That died out a long time ago (except in some industries that seem destined to be stuck in the past).

Much like the presentation of an employee shouldn’t have a huge bearing on their ability to do the work, the words on a marketer’s blog shouldn’t dictate their ability to be a marketer.

I’ve been in marketing for over 20 years now, after gaining my marketing degree back in the UK.

During that time, I’ve been lucky enough to lead marketing initiatives for some of the most well-known B2C and B2B companies around, and privately consulted others on modernizing their marketing strategy and culture.

All this came from what I did for the company versus what I did for my blog. Not once in that time was I hired for writing something on my blog – while it may have helped in awareness of me, it meant squat when it came to the ability to do the job I was being scouted for.

Because, let’s face it, at the end of the day anyone can go Google strategy and tactics and use these results to publish something that makes them sound uber-smart.

Implementation and execution, though? Now that’s a different beast.

Marketing Isn’t Everything, But Everything is Marketing

And this is why, to my friend’s point, I don’t worry about my “prospects” when it comes to mot writing about marketing here on the blog.

My current role didn’t come as a result of the marketing content I was publishing here. If I was to leave that role at some point in the future, my next one wouldn’t be because of the marketing content I write here (probably because there is none these days!).

Instead, it’ll come from results I brought to my current role. It’ll come from references on past results at previous companies. And it’ll come because of the strategic ideas I share for the future of any new role and its place in the hiring company.

Marketing is a means to an end. It’s an important means, and you need to know your shit to be successful at it and bring the results you’re paid to bring.

But it’s just one facet of a far bigger picture.

The people stories that drive marketing, and the behaviours, interests, and intents of these people when it comes to services and products, are the dots that really start to connect everything.

Everything we do is marketing, whether we realize it or not.

The stories we share on our blogs. The behaviours we exhibit when sharing content, or consuming content. The simple act of what we stand for and what we fight against is us “marketing our preferences”.

All of these actions helps connect us with people that have the same outlook, or vision, or belief. Some of these people will be decision makers who want to bring our beliefs and viewpoints to their companies and help market it to their customers.

And none – or at least, very little – of that will come from blogging specifically about marketing.

Which, truth be told, is exactly how it should be.

How to Build a Robust SEO Strategy on a Limited Budget?

SEO can be a scary thing for a small business. You always have to compete with the big guys. Not to mention you have to squeeze your whole SEO strategy on a limited budget.

 

Before you start reading this eye-opening guide on building an SEO strategy on a friendly budget, get your coffee or tea. Then you can sit back at your desk and start your day properly with this blog post. It will help you get through the hard days as it will help you answer the big question: How to build an SEO strategy on a limited budget? It’s hard but not impossible. On this article, you will find some great tips for small businesses on how to shape online marketing campaigns with limited financial SEO efforts. 

 

How to build a robust SEO strategy on a limited budget

 

We’ve got you covered with a guide on how to build a robust SEO strategy on a shoestring marketing budget. Although the next steps worked for other companies, we can’t guarantee a  100% success, because it depends on the industry, on how small your budget is and on the approach. However, these are a few steps to get you going and start growing your ranking. And even if it won’t boost your traffic to the skies, but it will give your SEO campaign a clear advantage.

 

Remember that no matter what, it is important to do things on a white hat level, so you don’t get wiped off the face of the organic searches.

 

Now ask yourself: how can you build a robust SEO strategy on a small budget? First, you need to check for errors, then plan a local SEO strategy, optimize for long tail keywords and so on. Check out these steps to build a strong SEO plan and … see you on top (of search results)!

 

  1. Steps for Building a Robust SEO Strategy on a Limited Budget
  2. Focus on Local SEO Optimization to Dominate Local Search
  3. Look for Content Opportunities and Fill in the Gaps in Your Competitors’ Website
  4. Try Guest Blogging to Work Wonders for Your SEO Strategy
  5. Optimize for Long Tail Keywords and Phrases
  6. Improve Page Speed with Minimum Efforts
  7. Check and Fix Errors in the Search Console to Clean up Your Website
  8. Get Involved with Local Networking & Meetups
  9. Fetch Your Content with Google to Make It Easy for Search Engines to Show Your Content
  10. Become a Recognized Content Publisher to Increase Awareness and Authority in Your Industry
  11. Use Reverse Engineering to Follow What Worked for Your Competitors or Experts
  12. Get Your Hands on the Winning SEO Strategy
 

Steps for Building a Robust SEO Strategy on Limited Budget

If you feel overwhelmed by the work you need to do and the money you need to spend when you hear the word SEO, don’t sweat it, we’ve got your back. Whether you are the head of the marketing team, in charge of the management of the webmaster tools,  the social media manager or the one responsible for creating quality content, your aim is probably the same: show up among the first on the organic searches, with as little invested money as possible. This is why we’ve built up a few ideas for creating an SEO strategy on a tight budget. Some of these marketing tips would be a great fit for mobile SEO, also. 

 

All the SEO tips gather on today’s article are a great match for a startup, local business, small company or maybe a new independent subsidiary. You can do wonders with a little guidance for onpage optimization and offpage SEO. We’ve thought about everything on SEO strategies to keep you in line with the big guys in the online marketing world. You’ll find a few link building strategies, search engine optimizations lessons, hands-on recommendations and opportunities to increase ranking.

 

Below we’ve put together a smart guide to help you get the winning SEO strategy on limited budget.

 

Step 1.  Focus on Local SEO Optimization to Dominate Local Search

Website presence is a must and so is the local SEO optimization. Before you even start running, take small steps first. Think locally and maybe when you’ve got some experience you’ll start acting globally. Start small, think big and then work your way up on a shoestring budget. 

 

Local SEO has got a lot of attention lately, and that’s because it’s a good way to grow your company, especially if you have a limited budget. If you offer a local service, then you need to focus your energy and money into ranking among the first positions. A good starting point to do that is to register your firm into Google My Business. It is quite simple to do that and in just 2 clicks or so you can set up your business account. You have to log in with an email address into Google and then fill in a form with your company’s contact information, such as name, address, phone number (NAP).

 

The good part of this process is that your face, I actually mean your company, will show up on the map and SERP. To get a sense of what I’m implying, take a look at the next search query on Google.

 

Local SEO

You can see that first results were from Maps and then appeared the organic results. It depends very much on whether the locations map appears based on your type of industry, products, business and so on. 

 

 Here are the steps you need to follow in order to make sure you’ll be among the first in the search results:

  • place the city/location of your business in the title tag;
  • the NAP information is correct;
  • try to get reviews naturally;
  • write local content (optimize your content for the local customers);
 

Step 2.  Look for Content Opportunities and Fill in the Gaps in Your Competitors’ Website

Another good idea to build an SEO strategy on a limited budget is to look for content gaps at your competitors. Watch their social media activity to search for their social media marketing strategies, read their blogs, see what they are missing, read the comments and find out what other people’s needs are and start making fresh new content or improve the one you already have. If you found the gaps, you can use the new content and share it to generate a new clientele.

 

Keep an eye on content gaps in conversations in relevant forums, blogs, online publications.

 

Then write new content based on what those people were asking for, post links with answers and reach out to webmasters who wrote similar content to create a debate. It could be a great chance for you to get links because you fulfilled a need and helped fill in an important gap.

 

Step 3. Try Guest Blogging to Work Wonders for Your SEO Strategy

If you’re a savvy blogger, you know what guest blogging means: the idea is that a copywriter creates content for a blog that is not his. It is a good opportunity to develop awareness and prove that you’re an expert in your industry. Make sure to choose relevant blogs, that they have engagement on the blog. Also, seek that those blogs are trustworthy and have relevant content. When you decide to take this idea into consideration, follow the next goals:

 

  • target blogs with a whole new audience;
  • present yourself as a thought leader;
  • engage yourself in conversations with well-known bloggers in your industry from the blogosphere.

 

Because of the bad turn that the word guest blogging took in the past, it is good to understand that you need to keep your name clean, your content accurate and your links nofollow. That is if don’t want to have a spammy look, draw bad attention from Google and get “honored” with a red flag instead of a blue ribbon.   

 

If you do guest blogging, it is a good chance to increase website traffic to both participants (the owner of the blog and the guest bloggers’ website).

 

Step 4. Optimizing for Long Tail Keywords and Phrases

Another idea to build a robust SEO strategy on a limited budget is to go for long tail keywords or phrases. Also, you can use this tip if you are in a competitive niche, try to make yourself noticed among the big guys and want to show your face in the top results.

 

It is really necessary to do a keyword research, first. It is better to optimize for a long tail keyword if you have a small budget because you don’t have the necessary assets to compete with large enterprises. So make sure you’ve got the right keywords, not too specific, though because in that situation nobody might look for them.

 

Use Google Automation Suggestion in combination with Google Keyword Planner, Search Console or other (free or paid) tools to make the best choices.

 

Some of the best benefits of the long tail keywords include:

  • low competition compared with short tail keywords;
  • more relevant and in some cases more targeted searches;
  • a larger number of conversions due to the fact that they bring qualitative traffic.
 

Step 5. Improve Page Speed with Minimum Efforts

To do that you’ll have to check the page load speed first and then take actions. It has been widely debated that the speed of a website can influence the user experience. So your speed page means increasing the overall user experience. Longer load times showed that it negatively affect conversions.

 

Google indicated that page speed is used for its search ranking algorithm, among other factors.

 

If you use PageSpeed Insights, it is easier to see what improvements you have to make. Some of the factors you have to take into consideration about the load time are:

  • optimize images;
  • minify CSS;
  • minify HTML;
  • minify JavaScript;
  • avoid landing pages redirects;
  • reduce server response time;
  • enable compression;
  • eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content;
  • leverage browser caching.

 

With minimum efforts, you can use the tool and see what you should fix and what is already fixed.  

 

Step 6. Check and Fix Errors in the Search Console to Clean up Your Website

As the first step in every digital marketing strategy, you have to make an SEO audit to see if you have bugs, errors, broken pages, slow page load time and so on. To do that, you can use (free or paid) online tools and platforms to analyze your site, or you can outsource this job and collaborate with a specialist (freelancer or business).

 

One of the most used platforms is Google Console (Google Webmaster Tools). You can sign in cost-free and analyze your site. Make an in-depth analysis, so you know exactly where you stand you have to check your message board and then verify each section on your Google console menu. Maybe one of the most important things you need to investigate are the crawl errors that Google Console shows you. You can see a screenshot below with the list of crawl errors that a site may have.    

google-crawl-errors-screenshot-from-search-console

Source: productforums.google.com

 

The good thing about the platform is that you can track your website before and after any change you decide to make. This way you can decide what digital marketing strategies are best for you. 

 

Step 7. Get Involved with Local Networking & Meetups

Getting involved in local networking and meetups is another smart idea to build a robust SEO strategy on a limited budget. Despite the fact that business events are a good way to network, you can create a relationship with different influencers and experts in the industry. It is a good opportunity to increase brand awareness. Although it may not cost you a dime, it would take a considerable amount of time to build a business relationship.

 

When you’ve gathered a little bit of experience, and you aren’t so new to the business you can host meetups or similar events to reach new customers or build new partnerships in the community. Another great idea you could try is to organize workshops or give presentations on a specific topic in local hubs to get awareness and get people talk about you. Then you could improve traffic on your site and get higher ranking on Google.

 

You could do either one of these approaches with almost no monetary investment. For example, if you have a flower shop, you can partner with an events location to keep a presentation about a particular type of event and create content to earn a few links in the future.

 

Step 8. Fetch Your Content with Google to Make It Easy for Search Engines to Show Your Content

Then you can go to the next step. For that, you’ll have to go into the Search Console (if you have your site registered you’re ok, if not make sure you take some time to register it) and look for robots.txt Tester into the “Crawl” section. It is recommended you have the robots.txt file on your server, so you won’t block the crawlers to read your site’s data. Check for orphan pages (pages with no internal links pointing at them) because search engines might have a hard time finding them and your homepage might not pass the authority to those specific pages. You could lose some qualitative traffic. 

 

One thing you could do is using the Fetch as Google feature from Search Console.

Fetch as Google tool

 

Once you wrote the link you want to fetch as Google, you can choose to take this action on both desktop and mobile. After you manually sent the link to Google to index it, you’ll have to wait for the information to be processed.

 

Step 9. Become a Recognized Content Publisher to Increase Awareness and Authority in Your Industry

Another tip that will save you serious amounts of money is to become a recognized content publisher. We know, easier to say than done but totally worth the effort.  On top of that you can increase trust and show to Google, you are a reliable source of information by publishing content that is fresh and relevant to your niche on a regular basis. It is highly recommended to have a blog within your website. Blogging affects ranking, and on top of that, studies showed that comments from a blog can help it rank higher in SERP. The reason for this is the fact that comments contribute to the length of an article and, the longer the article, the higher the chances to increase your ranking.

 

You should always focus your SEO strategy on quality and consistency. If you become a recognized content publisher, you’ll have a better chance to increase awareness and authority in your industry.

You can easily become a content marketing rock star by following experts and well-known content marketers that do it for a living. Get involved with them, ask and get answers to see how to get better.  

 

Step 10. Use Reverse Engineering to Follow What Worked for Your Competitors or Experts

Another budget-friendly tip to build your SEO on a limited budget is to use reverse engineering to follow what worked for the competitors. See what worked for others and try it for yourself. Spend a little time on your competitors’ website and analyze them, see how the information is displayed, look for bugs, make comparisons. If they have a blog, take a look and see what are they writing about, how are they writing (is it a friendly mode or in any other way), look carefully at their blog/website structure.

 

If you want to make that as easy as possible, use tools to help you out. Site Explorer can offer you a hand if you want something free and helpful. The icing on the cake is the fact that it can save you a bunch of time. You can visualize the report quickly, and it lets you save the file so you can look at it whenever you want. A time saver indeed!

 

site explorer competitor spy

 

 

Get Your Hands on the Winning SEO Strategy

There’s no shortcut to a winning SEO on limited budget, regardless if you are a startup SEO or a well know brand with a robust strategy. But you should follow the previous ideas and tailor them to your needs and your pocket.

 

If you have limited time and want something ready to get you going up, let us say this in a friendly mode: you might never find it. SEO needs time, but there are things you can do pretty quick that in a relative short period of time will help you rank higher in the SERP. Some of the tips mentioned above will help you do that. It depends on you to keep an eye on your competitors to be a step ahead of them and outrank them.  

The post How to Build a Robust SEO Strategy on a Limited Budget? appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

If You Truly Value Blog Comments, You Have to Show Up

Vision

One of the topics that continues to do the rounds is that of blog comments.

Do they still count? Should blogs just switch off comments and become a content publication instead? Are comments even valued as they once were?

This follows the decision by many bloggers and content creators to close down their comments section, citing all the conversation is on social media now, there’s too much spam, and it takes time to moderate the community.

For me, though, it’s less external issues that have caused these sites to close down comments, and more internal ones – namely, the blogger (or blog owner) stopped showing up and caring.

I used to follow a lot of the blogs that closed their comments section(s) down, and something that became clear as they were getting close to that decision was the blogger was seen less and less in the comments.

Whereas before they’d been very active in helping build community and hold active conversations with commenters, now they were only replying to comments that praised them or their post.

That’s if they even showed up at all.

Instead of a thriving, interactive comment section, there was simply comment after comment without a reply, either from the blogger or other commenters.

In that kind of environment, of course blog comments are going to suffer – after all, how long would you stay talking to someone on the phone, or in-person, if there was no reply coming back?

Not long.

Then there’s the “I’m too busy to do all the back-end stuff” argument, which – in fairness – has some validity. But to what degree?

You’re Busy, I’m Busy. And..?

I get it. We’re all busy, and we all have finite time in our days.

There’s only so much we can allocate to our blogs versus elsewhere, and remain effective on both sides of the coin.

But then isn’t that true for everything in life?

Don’t we make decisions based on what we want and how to get there, as opposed to giving up because the work to get there is a little more than what we want to put in?

  • Yes, conversations are happening on social. But guess what? People are complaining that there are less opportunities for conversations on social now the marketers and brands have taken over.
  • Yes, blog comments need moderation. But guess what? Do the legwork early on (blog comment policy, banning offenders, making the comments a fun place to be, etc.) and you’ll actually get a better community.
  • Yes, community growth needs interaction. But guess what? Interact and build that community, and you have a wonderful “base” to build from when you do have something to sell, or need to get your message out to a wider audience.

It’s easy to blame social media for blogging’s woes. Much like blaming others for our own failings in life, scapegoats are more attractive than self-analysis.

But it’s not as clear-cut as “all the conversations are happening on social media”. They may well be happening a lot – but guess where that traffic will come when they want to see the source of that discussion?

Once that traffic arrives, if they find a comments area that looks as fun and inviting as a McDonald’s restaurant does to a food snob, of course they’ll leave immediately.

If, on the other hand, they see a blog that opens up to others, and – imagine this! – actively converses with them, they’ll stay. Comment. Reply. Subscribe.

Social media won’t “kill” blog comments – bloggers will.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Unless you let it be.

Finding Moments of Deliberateness in an Ever-Connected World

A version of this post first appeared on the Turn Off the Overwhelm blog.

We live such busy lives. We run from meeting to meeting, sales call to sales call, school event to school event, all without question.

Instead of questioning the validity of these sprints, we simply brush reasons aside, because it’s just what we do, right?

While it may be part of our everyday life, it doesn’t mean it has to be part of our everyday acceptance of busyness over silence and time to regroup.

In fact, not taking the time to regroup can have serious health repercussions on your body, mind, and soul. Stress, anxiety, lethargy, etc. All warning signs that our bodies need to recharge and our minds need to refocus.

But in a world where silence and moments of quiet seem to be placed at the back of a very long queue, how do we find these moments?

Simple – find them when you’d normally expect them to be hiding from your view.

The Alternative Commute

To get to where I work, I spend about four hours per day commuting – one bus ride and two train trips each way.

I used to spend this time catching up on emails, setting up projects for the day, answering questions on a blog post, scanning photos for perfect Instagram updates later, or just playing games on my phone

And while I was productive then, it had an impact on how productive I was later, as the inevitable crash came and tiredness negated effectiveness.

Now, while I still catch up on the tasks mentioned above, now I take at least half the journey to close my eyes and concentrate on nothing but whatever thoughts and images appear in my mind at that time.

Or, I look at the rising sun, and enjoy the way the light touches the clouds and illuminates a different picture each day.

  • For you, think of ways you can mix up your commute. Can you take public transport instead of driving, that allows you to switch off and just enjoy the journey? Or can you park up early and walk some of the way, and enjoy the newer sights and sounds?

Moments of Silence in a Sea of Noise

On any given day, we’re surrounded by noise and commotion. Kids, the workplace, traffic, pets, city life, TV, and radio, etc.

We get distracted from what we’re doing by the lure of what others are doing or saying, and our minds jump from one point of attention to another.

By the end of the day, our minds can be so frazzled that we remain hyper, even when we know we need to rest and recharge.

One of the things I started to do was to take my noise-canceling headphones wherever I go and use them whenever I could based on seeing both the need and opportunity for silence

This allowed me to be “in the moment” of the place I needed to be, but still have the ability to switch off, catch my breath, and recharge for the moments ahead.

  • For you, identify the parts of your day when silence can be switched on. Invest in a good quality pair of noise-canceling headphones, and curate a collection of your favourite songs or soundtracks that take you to a memory that makes you happy or appreciative of life.

Let Technology Help Instead of Distract

It’s easy to look at how quickly technology has evolved to be an ever-present in our lives, and those of the people we interact with on a daily basis.

And it’s fair to say our mobile-first approach to most things today means we’re connected longer and with more frequency than we’ve ever been, and that’s not going to go away anytime soon.

But that doesn’t mean we have to let technology rule our lives the busy way all the time.

While mobile access means our busyness can be added to at any time of the day, use that same technology to remind you to be aware of your need for downtime for both body and mind.

  • For you, think of how you want to refresh yourself, and access apps that can make that happen. The Headspace program is a great way to do this and offers daily meditation exercises through mobile, tablet or desktop.

Making Time When You Don’t Have Time

We get swept up into believing lives of busyness are the norm, and we’re clearly doing something wrong if we have too many moments to pause, breathe, live.

The sad fact is, busyness is not the norm, or shouldn’t be.

  • Yes, we have deadlines.
  • Yes, we have projects that need completing.
  • Yes, we have commitments to keep.

But none of these will be met while you’re fighting to keep healthy because you refuse to step away and recharge the batteries.

None of these will be completed if your health suffers to the degree that you’re lying in a hospital bed wondering how you got there, as your body gives you the answer to your question.

We all struggle with the work-life balance. Where does one end and the other begin?

There are many different answers depending on who you talk to – but there’s only one answer that really matters, and that’s the one only you can provide.

Listen to your advice, know that you need to switch off, and learn when to take the time even when you think you can’t.

Then you can really start to live a deliberate life and enjoy all it has to offer.

Originally published on Turn Off the Overwhelm, my new project on leading a deliberate life. If you’re looking to refocus on what matters most, I invite you to check the project out and subscribe for the latest updates.

How to Use PPC Data to Get More SEO Traffic

PPC data is not the new kid on the block; it’s an old acquaintance, someone you’ve known for a long time but you never say hi. It’s time for a change. Get to know it and make it your best buddy.

 

It’s no secret that you think metrics aren’t appealing. Most of the people think just the same. But they are of paramount importance for your business. And you’ll find out how to make the most of it using the PPC data in your SEO strategy to get that high ranking you’ve always been keen on having. Are you thirsty? Follow the steps and get the link juice.

 

How to use PPC Data to Get More SEO Traffic

 

We’ve put together a full guide to help you find out how to use PPC data to get more SEO traffic. As PPC campaigns can impact SEO very much, you shouldn’t think in terms of SEO vs PPC but you should look at SEO and PPC altogether, as combined they can be traffic and conversions generators.  Below you’ll lay your hand on the meaning of each element, PCC data, and SEO traffic, then you find out the connection for a winning SEO strategy and, in the end, about the most valuable SEO metrics and data.

 

  1. In the Days of Yore: What Are PPC Data and SEO Traffic?
  2. How to Use PPC Data to Guide You Towards a Winning SEO Strategy
  3. Step 1: Pull out PPC Data to Find out Your Best Performing Landing Pages
  4. Step 2: Compare Google Console Data to PPC Data
  5. Step 3: Plan and Implement Your SEO Strategy
  6. How to Pull out Valuable PPC Data From Google AdWords
  7. Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
  8. Conversions
  9. Impressions
  10. Bounce rate
 

1. In the Days of Yore: What Are PPC Data and SEO Traffic?

The term PPC data may be hard to understand, and it may be hard to get an exact definition in a digital marketing perspective because it embraces a broader knowledge. Before we start to cut the information into pieces and dig into it, we must bring to light the PPC acronym.

 

A quick search on the Internet will not give you all the details you need to know about PPC. Try it for yourself; just google PPC and you will be delivered with all sort of data from PPC medical abbreviations (Physician Practice Connections, Prescription Prepayment Certificate, Plasma Protein Concentration, Posterior Parietal Cortex) to PPC accounting data (Practitioners Publishing Company). Not to mention that PPC is the acronym for various companies in the world. If the company is famous, it can offer authority to a specific term. That’s how PPC stock got to be a popular search query in the Google search engine. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (PPC) is currently the largest chicken producer in the United States Puerto Rico. There are many more PPC acronyms meanings, but we will not go deeper into that now.

 

Yet, neither chickens nor medical supplies are our field of interest for the moment. 

 

If we talk about PPC marketing, we think of pay per click, which is a model of paid advertising and does what the name says. The advertisers pay a fee for each time their ad is clicked.

 

Going back to our question: “What is PPC data?”

 

PPC data is pay-per-click data, and it refers to the information extracted from a paid search marketing campaign.

 

And yet, how can you connect PPC data with SEO traffic in order to get a winning strategy for your organic traffic?

 

As we need to clarify terminology first, we start with a question: What is SEO traffic?

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization), per se, is a process of getting traffic in an organic manner. SEO brings together an umbrella of terms that are important for ranking higher and higher in SERPs (links, content marketing, social media, etc.)  In order to be a real PPC hero you need to be a master of data analysis but also to use all this data for SEO traffic increase. At the end of the day,  this is the main objective. 

 

We all know the saying “content is king”. It has been rolling out for quite some time now, that it started to get annoying, but there is something that comes after that. It needs a completion for the time being.

If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe. – Cyrus Shepard

With the right mindset, people, strategy, tools and other resources, you can receive inbound links and grow your website. You will then improve your ranking, see hikes in traffic site and increase revenue. Mastering the PPC data, on the other hand, can give you an enormous competitive advantage when it comes to SEO traffic. 

 

SEO traffic is a long debated subject, a hot topic. The fact is that search is a blood sport. Search has changed a lot, so has paid search advertising, cost per click or pay per click. Remember that not long ago we had ads from Google AdWords on the right side of desktop search results? We have Google’s knowledge boxes nowadays. You must play smart.

 

There are multiple ways and successful stories you can follow to bring the results you want and increase SEO traffic, but today we’ll talk about the power of PPC data for that.

 

 

2. How to Use PPC Data to Guide You Towards a Winning SEO Strategy

We must bring into question the types of search, which can be divided into paid and organic so we can fully understand the connection of SEO traffic and PPC data. We use these two in online marketing because on a higher level the aim is to generate sales.

 

Organic search marketing stays under the umbrella of SEO and paid search marketing is his twin brother, named SEM. While SEO means, in short, quality content and quality links, SEM includes on a wider perspective of PPC marketing, which is the smartest paid search marketing campaigns. There are various campaigns/activities included, such as:

 

  • paid search ads;
  • display search ads;
  • shopping ads;
  • video ads;
  • ads for mobile app.

 

One of the most used online advertising platform to create PPC campaigns is Google Adwords. The tool is complex and offers the possibility to create the campaigns mentioned above.

 

On a general meaning, Google AdWords offers advertisers the setting to bid on certain keywords in order for their ad to appear on Google’s search result page. An advertiser (agency) or business can make an account on AdWords and start campaigns, create ads and upload a list of keywords.

 

On a granular level, there are different steps for each type of campaign mentioned above.

 

Let’s get down to business and find out how to use PPC data to get more SEO traffic. Now or never! There are a few steps you need to follow. Now comes the interesting part.

 

You can’t use only Google Adwords, you should use it together with Google Analytics to get the full picture. That’s how a smart SEO strategy works. And let’s see how to use PPC data to increase SEO traffic.

 

Step 1: Pull out PPC Data to Find out Your Best Performing Landing Pages

 

You have to log into your Adwords account. Click on the campaign you want to analyze and then go to the keywords tab. Here you have the possibility to customize your tab to see the keyword data before you download the report and compare PCC data with organic queries. For that, you need to click on the Columns button and select final URL from Attributes list. You can see all the steps below:

 

How to customize Adwords tab

 

After you click Apply, you will have the next table with your Adwords data. Now you can download the report.

 

Adwords custom table

 

You can easily download this report from your Analytics account, too. You have to log in and then from the Dashboard click Acquisition > Adwords > Destination URLs. Then set your second dimension Keyword to see the best performing landing pages and keywords. You can choose to sort the list by any metric you want. After that, you can export the list and see the best 30 landing pages.

Destination URLs example

It is important to know that this works best for enterprises and big agencies because they have larger campaigns and lots of landing pages. If you have a small company, you might see a smaller amount of landing pages, and this approach might not lead to notifiable results.  

 

In this case, you should analyze the best 30 performing keywords for the landing pages you added on Adwords and then go to the next step.

 

Step 2: Compare Google Console Data to PPC Data

 

For this step you have to go in Analytics to Dashboard and Acquisition > Search Console (Google Webmaster Tool) > Queries and download the search data. Queries are the organic search keywords that get users on your website. Make sure you select the largest range (for example 90 days) to get the full picture. You can see the picture below to get the report.

 

Analytics queries example

Use a single Excel by combining the data from both your reports into different sheets. Then use the VLOOKUP function in Excel to pull in ranking data into the spreadsheet containing the top PPC landing page/keyword combinations. Look for each of your keywords in the queries table for an approximate match.

 

Step 3: Plan and Implement Your SEO Strategy

 

Now you see where your site shows up in organic for the top PPC keyword/landing URL combinations. Now that you have the metrics, you need to make the analysis. When you’re ready, plan and implement your SEO strategy.

 

One strategy will be to check if PPC and organic landing pages are the same. Another one would be to filter the data by Average Position to see only the first rankings. You can also use PPC terms based on conversion and create new content around them. Make sure you place the keyword in the title tags, headline tags, meta description, content, image descriptions and so on.

 

4. How to Pull out Valuable PPC Data From Google AdWords

PPC data is a valuable asset for setting your KPIs. There are numerous metrics that you should take into consideration, but we’ll talk about the ones you couldn’t live without.  

 

4.1 Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

 

CTR is an important metric to track in all of your PPC advertising campaigns. The click through rate measures how many of the people who saw your ad click on it. In Google AdWords, you can find it on the campaign, ad and keyword level as you can see in the next screenshot.

CTR Adwords

In an ideal world, you’d want a high CTR because it is a sign of authority and shows your ad is performing well.  But it is important to analyze this metric together with the conversion rate. The conversion rate shows the number of conversions per click (ad interactions). This metric gives you the chance to maximize every cent of your PPC by finding the best performing ads.

 

Having a high CTR and low Conversion Rate means your ad might have a problem. The CTR shows your copy is creating interactions, but the landing page might not fulfill the needs of your prospects or it doesn’t deliver the promise from the ad copy.

 

Having a low CTR and high Conversion Rate means that your ad might not be appealing enough. If you have low CTR and low Conversion Rate, there is a serious problem. Looking for these metrics can guide you into finding ads that see high results and discover keywords that could help you rank higher in the organic search.

 

4.2 Conversions

 

If you have PPC ads, it is recommended to keep an eye on the number of conversions. A conversion in Adwords is known to happen when a user clicks on the ad and takes action on the site. The type of the action depends on the type of conversion you’ve set up, placing products in the shopping cart, submitting a request for more information, clicking a call extension, sending a query, booking something and so on.

Beside this clean conversion, where you know the path, there are other two types of conversion. View-Through Conversion occurs when the user sees your ad, doesn’t click on it, but later on finds your website organically and converts. Assisted Conversions happen when the user interacts with the ad, enters your site, then leaves and comes back organically on the site and converts.

 

4.3 Impressions

 

An impression is counted each time your ad is being seen. It is desired to have keywords with lots of impressions, because they are likely to trigger other favorable results, at least in theory. Having lots of impressions doesn’t cost you a penny.

 

4.4 Bounce Rate

 

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. It is good to track this metric because you can find out if there’s something broken on your site:

  • 25% or lower: Something is probably broken;
  • 26-40%: Excellent;
  • 41-55%: Average;
  • 56-70%: Higher than normal, but could make sense depending on the website;
  • 70% or higher: Bad and/or something is probably broken.

Beside the metrics mentioned above, there is another one worth mentioning – the quality score, which exists exclusively in Google Adwords.  A score out of 10 is shown for each keyword. The higher the number, the higher the chance to lead to lower prices and better ad positions.

 

The cherry on the top is the Keyword Planner Tool that you’ll find in Adwords. It is a keyword research tool that offers a real guidance into finding the most suited keyword for a new piece of content. You can use it by looking at the average monthly searches and the competition. Copywriters used often in their content marketing strategies to get the best-suited keyword and phrase before submitting into writing a new piece of content. It is really used in the digital marketing area. Not to mention it can be really helpful to use this PPC tool to increase SEO traffic.

 

Now more than ever, it would be great to have an AdWords account because this tool has proven to be an excellent support along the time. Particularly, I’m saying that because, since June 2016, you can’t access the Keyword Planner tool if you don’t have an active AdWords campaign running.

 

For example, look at a print screen for a search on “newsletter template” using an account with no active campaign:

Keyword Planner free account

 

And this is a print screen for the same term using an account with an active campaign:

 

Keyword Planner paid account

 

You can see that the data is more accurate for those who pay.

Conclusion

Nowadays, you must know that page-level tracking is more important than ever. You haven’t heard the discussion about SEO on a granular level just once. Here it comes again. Now dragging SEM after it. PPC data is on the map, and you must be smart in order to get a strategy that is effective. Combining data and finding the right formula is hard, it may take you some time if you’re a stranger to AdWords, but this way you can find out some opportunities you didn’t take into consideration. And that’s loss in ranking higher. 

 

Search Engine Optimisation should be the simple activity of ensuring a website can be easily found in search engines for specific words and phrases relevant to what the site is offering.  Pay-per-click (PPC), also known as cost per click (CPC), is an advertising model used to direct traffic to websites. Therefore both SEO and PPC have the same purpose: driving traffic while making your website known to the user. 

 

Whether they are paid search results or organic results, when you log into your Google Analytics account what you want to see is your business growing. You want to see that all your SEO efforts, weren’t in vain, regardless if it’s  keyword research you are working on, inbound marketing, social media, link building or paid ads. Use the PPC data along with the organic queries and create an efficient SEO strategy. 

The post How to Use PPC Data to Get More SEO Traffic appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

When You’re 7 Years Old and Your World Dies Around You

Child

In the early summer of 1976, my life was as any 7-year-old kid’s life should be – fun, making new adventures, and looking forward to a long, glorious school holiday.

Then, in the space of nine weeks, that world came tumbling down.

I lost both my grandfathers and my step-dad – one grandfather and my step-dad to cancer, my other grandfather to natural causes.

While that was undoubtedly traumatic, it was the loss of my schoolfriend, Corinne, that hit me the hardest.

She died of an asthma attack during the summer holidays. One minute she was outside playing with her friends, the next she was gone. When I found out, it broke me.

I’d later compartmentalize that her death hit me hardest because I knew my grandad and step-dad were dying, and my other grandad died simply of old age, so I was “expecting” their deaths.

Corinne, though, was the same age as me – a child, enjoying the summer holiday. Kids don’t die (or, at least I didn’t think they did).

The summer of ’76 was a cruel awakening for me on that front.

The Loss of Innocence and the Recognition of Mortality

I was reminded of that summer by recent conversations with my son, Ewan, who turns seven in May.

Both he and his 5-year-old sister, Salem, are beginning to see little pieces of “the death puzzle”, either through shows or movies we watch, or characters in video games we play together (Brothers being a prime example).

One evening, a couple of weeks ago, Ewan and I were sitting at the table colouring, and he came straight out and asked,

Daddy, what’s going to happen to me and Salem when you and mommy die?

This caught me completely off-guard, and for a moment I really didn’t know what to say. Then, I put my pencil down and looked at Ewan, and we started talking.

I asked him if he thought we were going to die soon, to which he replied he didn’t think so.

I then asked him why he thought both mommy and I would die at the same time, leaving him and his sister all alone. He replied he didn’t think we would, but we might.

After a few more questions, during which he thought I’d die first because I’m older, I kind of had an idea on what to say and replied with this.

We know people die. We know some die before others, while some live longer than others. But I promise you, while I’m alive I’ll do my best to stay alive a long time, so that when I do die, you’ll have your own children to keep you company and happy.

This seemed to placate him, and we went back to colouring, and the death question hasn’t come up since.

As we coloured together, I was happy that we seemed to have passed that particular question okay, but I was also sad.

Ewan’s growing acknowledgment of death was, to me, a sign of his innocent outlook on the world beginning to change, and that he knew that the life he has now won’t always be the same life ahead.

Accepting the Future, Living the Now

However, as much as the conversation left me somewhat sad, it also made me recommit to leading a deliberate life where every moment counts.

Today, I feel healthy (if not quite the fighting weight of my younger days) and I feel good about life and where we’re at in it. I have a home full of love and a circle of friends for whom I truly care.

But that wasn’t always the case, and it could slip away at any moment.

Hearing my son worry about his mother and father dying, and leaving him and his sister all alone was a jarring experience. But it’s one that can’t – and shouldn’t – be brushed aside as something away in the future.

My promise to Ewan, about living for as long as I can, is one I intend to keep. If I do, wonderful – if I don’t… well, hopefully, I get the chance to prepare Ewan and Salem for that inevitability, and remove some of the fear and unknown.

While I am here, though, the goal is simple and can be summed up in three words – love, life, live.

  • Show those around you how much they mean to you, and love without conditions,
  • Appreciate life is a borrowed time, and spend that time well,
  • Live intentionally, and live it with those that make it count.

If those three words can be experienced as much as possible, then hopefully that will make for a lifetime of memories that more than outlive the passing of the physical when it arrives.

Which, at the end of the day, is all any of us can ever ask for.

How to Recover Your Facebook Shares after Moving from HTTP to HTTPS

Google is pushing for a shift from http to https, there is no secret in this. This strategy would probably be effective anyway, but with Google behind, the shift starts to resemble a done deal. The question is no longer whether sites will follow, but when. After all, who in their right minds would give up geolocation, encrypted media extensions or application cache?

 

But aside from the technical complications of this move, there are other considerations as well. One such unforeseen side effect is that switching from http to https would cause the loss of the social share counts on Facebook and Google+ pages. To be fair, this disadvantage is not specifically linked to the https switch, but to any URL change in general (which might be why Google has not put forward an official fix for this, so far).

 

How_to_Recover_Your_Facebook_Shares_after_Moving_from_HTTP_to_HTTPS

 

We ourselves faced share counts loss when we migrated our site from http to https. It was a punch in the stomach for us; yet, we had no other chance than finding an efficient method to recover the social shares after moving from http to https. Finding the right solution of getting the Facebook shares back wasn’t an easy ride. But a solution was needed and we are really happy that we found it. As we are your number one fans, we couldn’t keep the fix of getting your shares back for ourselves. Below you will find the exact steps that you need to take if you experience a similar problem and you want your hard-worked social shares displayed on your web pages.  

 

With the cognitive’s reunited superpowers we came across a solution to recover the social shares after moving from HTTP to HTTPS.

 

Tested Steps to Maintain Your Social Shares after a Site Migration from HTTP to HTTPS

 

The truth is that moving from HTTP to HTTPS doesn’t come up easily. It can be a real pain, not to mention that if you’re not 100% vigilant, you can suddenly lose your ranks. We’ve written a blog post not long ago on how not to lose your ranks when doing a website redesign. Moving from HTTP to HTTPS is not a walk in the park. Maintaining your shares while doing so can be even harder.  And we know that from our own experience.

 

Long story short, when moving from HTTP to HTTPS you lose all your hard worked social share counts from Facebook and Google+. It is not a pleasant situation at all, especially when you’ve worked so hard for each and every social share. It’s a vanity metric some may say, and that’s true. Yet, it’s a highly important social proof that can give you tons of insight about your overall social media strategy. 

 

For Facebook and Google+ there are two different methods to get your social share counts back when moving from http to https. Along with those, there are a couple of generic changes you need to perform. Below, I am going to list you the generic updates which are common for recovering the social shares for both Facebook and Google + and afterwards some specific actions that you need to take for each social network separately. 

 

cognitiveSEO example facebook shares after moving to https

 

Generic Changes to Get Your Social Share Counts Back

 

1. Create a 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS

 

This is probably the first and the most important step you need to make when migrating your site. What the 301 permanent redirects do is to redirect any visitor, including search engines, to your new version of the site, the one with https. Along with the direct traffic, the age, authority and reputation of your old website in search engines is transferred to the new web address. If you don’t implement 301 redirects correctly, not only will your social shares be forever lost, but also your ranks and traffic. 

 

You can find more details on how to perform 301 redirects on Google’s support page. Also, the world of internet is pretty generous when it comes to giving pieces of advice on how to move your site to https.  Putting it simply, with only a few lines of code you can transfer all the organic search traffic from one domain to another.

 

2. Add  <link rel=”canonical”> to the new HTTPs page

 

The rel=canonical is an HTML element that helps you prevent duplicate content issues. Basically, what it does is to tell the search engines which one is the preferred version of your web page. When you switch to https, what will happen is that you will have two websites with identical content: your http and your https version. In order to avoid duplicate content and all the related problems, you need to let search engines know which version they should show up in their results. 

 

To make sure that your current URL  (the one with https) shows up in search results,  you need to add <link rel=”canonical”> on your new HTTPS version of your site.  As through exemplification is the easiest way of understanding things, let me show you how this works by using a URL of our own. As I want this blog post , the https version,  to be the one that will show up when people will be looking for ways of repurposing content, this is how the URL should look like: 

 

<link rel="canonical" href="https://cognitiveseo.com/blog/11813/ways-of-repurposing-content/" />

 

3. Change <meta property=”og:url”> 

 

To begin with, you need to know that the purpose of “og:url” is to set the preferred URL for the page you are sharing. If you are thinking for a second that this isn’t so important, let me know tell you that through “og:url” you define the page that all your shares will go to.  Therefore it’s highly – decidedly – deeply – eminently to set the <meta property=”og:url”> to point to your newly HTTPS version.  Therefore, here is how a URL should look like:

 

<meta property="og:url" content="https://cognitiveseo.com/blog/11813/ways-of-repurposing-content" />

 

 

How to Get Your Social Shares Back on Facebook after Moving from HTTP to HTTPS

 

We all create a lot of content. We try to make it the best, the most documented; that kind of content that goes straight to your inbox and makes you read it. Content is king; but what is a king without followers? Along with being a social proof instrument,  the social medium is a fantastic traffic driver and it can even influence your ranks (we’ve previously written a blog post on this).  Therefore, losing your Facebook social  shares is a tremendous problem. And, unfortunately, it happens when you switch to https. We encountered the same situation ourselves when we migrated our site and after long researches we figured out a way on how to move to https without losing Facebook shares.  Below we are going to show you a workaround, tested and implemented by ourselves. 

 

It’s important to know that these changes should be done only for pages that already existed on your site when you made the switch. For newer pages these modifications should not be applied.

 

1. Find out how many Facebook shares you have for a URL

 

To see how many social shares Facebook has for a URL, you need to use Facebook’s developer debug interface. You need to get to a page similar with the one from the screenshot below. You have the possibility of entering any URL to see how many shares it has. You will add here the http pages you are interested in getting your shares back for. Of course, you can use this interface for other issues as well, yet, from the present purpose you need to use the Sharing Debugger category.

 

Facebook Debug Interface

 

2. Set both your HTTP and HTTPs social shares to zero

 

After adding the URLs you are interested in Facebook’s debug interface, you will have the possibility to “Scrape Again” (you will have a button with this exact message). Once you do this, all your Facebook shares will be zero, for both HTTP and HTTPS. Don’t panic, as the next step will fix this situation. 

 

3. Update rel=”canonical”

 

The previous step left you with all your shares to zero. By now you might be thinking how these steps are really helping you in getting your shares back. Bear with me as you are closer and closer to getting your social shares count. 

 

The next step in solving the social share loss situation is to alter the content you are showing to Facebook’s crawler. What you need to do, for Facebook only, is to make sure that the rel= canonical tag is placed, but not the way you would think of. It’s exactly the other way around: you need to make the http version the preferred one, just like in the example below: 

 

<link rel="canonical" href="https://cognitiveseo.com/blog/11813/ways-of-repurposing-content/" />

 

has to be

 

<link rel="canonical" href="http://cognitiveseo.com/blog/11813/ways-of-repurposing-content/" />

 

4. Identify Facebook’s Crawler

 

If you think that the problem is already solved and your share counts are already updated, I must ask you to have a little more patience, as you are just one step closer already. 

 

We’ve previously told you that you need to alter your content’s page for Facebook’s crawlers. Yes, this is very similar to cloaking, an old school search engine optimization technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. However, this situation is different than the one in which you want to grossly manipulate Google’s ranks. Using this will not impact your ranks and will not affect your site negatively. What you are going to do is not altering the exact content of the page, but only the protocol and with the sole purpose of keeping or getting back the social shares. 

 

An important step is correctly identifying Facebook’s crawler. You can do this identification by user agent or IP.

 

The Facebook’ guys are straightforward when it comes to this matter and they explain you how to identify their crawler

 

In the screenshot below you can see how things should look like in the Facebook debug interface after altering the content for the crawler. As you can see, the fetched URL is the one with https while the canonical URL is with http. Remember that this should be apply for the old pages that you had on http. 

 

sharing debugger cognitiveseo example http

 

For the new pages, the one that you’ve created on https already, things should look like in the screenshot below. HTTPS for both fetched and canonical URL.  In the screenshot below there is a blog post that we’ve created after the https migration. As mentioned before, for newer pages the modifications presented in this chapter should not be applied.

 

sharing debugger cognitiveseo example new https

 

You can get inspired from the code examples below, for three different instances, for PHP, forNginx and for Apache. 

 

PHP Code Example for Identifying Facebook’s Crawler

 

if(preg_match('/facebookexternalhit/i',$_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])) { echo '<link rel="canonical" href="http://______YOUR_URL_WITH _HTTP__">';
} else { echo '<link rel="canonical" href="https://______YOUR_URL_WITH _HTTPS__">';
}

 

Nginx Code Example for Identifying Facebook’s Crawler

 

if ($HTTP_USER_AGENT ~ "^((?!facebookexternalhit).)*$") { return 301 https://cognitiveseo.com$request_uri;
}

 

Apache Code for Identifying Facebook’s Crawler

 

For Apache, you can create a code similar to the one above, depending on the web Apache server syntax. 

 

Bonus: How to Get Your Social Shares Back on Google+ after Moving from HTTP to HTTPS

 

As in the previous case, you need to know that the following changes need to be done only for pages that already existed on your site when you made the switch to https. For newer pages these modifications should not be applied.

 

Wen it comes to getting your social shares back from Google Plus, things are a bit easier than in the case of Facebook. No crawler identification or content alteration is needed. The only thing you need to modify are the Google+ sharing buttons so that you will share the URL on http and not on https.  To do so, for your old pages you can get inspired from the code example below: 

 

<!-- Place this tag in your head or just before your close body tag. -->
<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/platform.js" async defer></script>
<!-- Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render. -->
<div class="g-plusone" data-size="tall" data-href="http://______YOUR_OLD_URL______"></div>

 

You need to keep in mind that, for the new pages, the code will contain the https version, just like in the code below: 

 

<!-- Place this tag in your head or just before your close body tag. -->
<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/platform.js" async defer></script>
<!-- Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render. -->
<div class="g-plusone" data-size="tall" data-href="https://______YOUR_NEW_PAGE______"></div>

 

As you can see, when it comes to Google Plus only the social share button suffers changes; no content fixer or https URL alterations. You can switch to SSL and still keep your shares just with a workaround on the sharing button.  

 

The Struggle of Getting Your Facebook Shares Back 

 

Facebook likes are linked to the URL, meaning that even a single character change (like the extra “s” that gets added when you switch from “http” to “https”) will cause you to lose your likes.

 

As Facebook itself explains on the social plugins part of their FAQs, “you can’t move the likes, shares or comments directly to the new URL but you can use the old URL as the canonical source for the number of likes or shares at the new URL”. 

 

However, the feedback on the effectiveness of this solution and others is mixed, at best, with some users suggesting that even fixes like those proposed by Facebook are incomplete or ineffective.

 

Other solutions suggest to manually put the old share count into the custom fields of a plugin but those share counts will not increase until the new share count for that link equals the share count you pasted into the custom field. Therefore, not quite a solution if you really need your old shares back; not to mention that if you have lots of pages with different share counts it’s very unlikely that you know those numbers by heart. 

 

It’s true that the social media networks might suffer from manipulation if they blindly moved social signals across redirects.

 

You could, for instance, buy an old domain and transfer all the social signals to another landing page that interests you. But what webmasters usually want is to get their shares back, the social shares that they already have with no other deceiving intent. 

 

You don’t want your site to be considered as having insecure content but you also want your http and https urls to have their social count recoveries as fast as possible. The problem comes when Google considers that the SSL certificate is a must but not Facebook likes not so much. Any webmaster would probably think different, that both are important and both are a part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Along with the changes required in Google Analytics when you make the switch from https to https, you should consider the workarounds presented above in order to maintain your Facebook likes safe and sound. 

The post How to Recover Your Facebook Shares after Moving from HTTP to HTTPS appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.