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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.
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:

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

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.


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.



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.




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


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. 




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.





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



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? 





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. 




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





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. 




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




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. 






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:






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





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





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.





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.




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 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.




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 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



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




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.

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.    




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.

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.


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.

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).




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="" />


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="" />



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="" />


has to be


<link rel="canonical" href="" />


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$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="" 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="" 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.

12 Unique Content Amplification Techniques That Earn 327% More Links

We all had that moment when we gave our soul into a post and made it so shiny, with thorough research, relevant visuals but nobody read it. And then you start wondering what went wrong. What in the name of God happened? Or why did it happen to you? And the questions could go on. But there is something that you missed. And that “something” could be content amplification. 


Content amplification is a powerful method to reach a wider audience and multiply your links by hundreds.  Or so it should be, if used effectively. Amplifying your content should be mandatory if you want people to know about it and increase your website traffic. You can look at the amplification process as a way of strengthening the signals of your post.


Content Amplification to Win Links cognitiveSEO

The journey shouldn’t stop when the article goes live. On the contrary, you should carry on with the process of boosting your content. You need to understand that content amplification isn’t a single technique or a one-time thing. It incorporates an umbrella of multiple unique techniques you need to follow in order to amplify content and get better results. And since it is a long process that needs a lot of attention and passion, we’ve built a highly documented list with 12 unique content amplification techniques that will help you earn links.  


  1. Work Out the Art of Link Giving to Generate Authoritative Backlinks
  2. Reach New Audiences Through Native Advertising
  3. Get More Likes, Shares and Follows with Smart Social Buttons
  4. Give Shoutouts to Amplify Your Content
  5. Outperform Your Content Through Paid Social Amplification
  6. Use Storytelling to Receive a Social Boost
  7. Try Email Outreach to Build a Solid Community Within Your Brand
  8. Use Content Syndication on Medium to Build Your Blog Audience
  9. Collaborate with Influencers to Earn Links
  10. Post on StumbleUpon and Absorb Targeted Traffic
  11. Develop Advocates Through GaggleAMP
  12. Integrate Promotion Messages or Buttons in Your Website

1. Work Out the Art of Link Giving to Generate Authoritative Backlinks

Link giving is the next big thing! Described as a way of requesting a link from authority websites in return for a more powerful link to their website, link giving is a smart way of amplifying your content and building links without violating Google’s guidelines. Let’s see how it works. Imagine you would like to write about bad habits that kill your creativity. You should apply as a contributor on an authority website such as Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Boomerang or something similar and you have the possibility to write your article and link to a blog you’d like to collaborate with. After you attain authority on that website, you can reach out to them for a quote to let them know that their names appear on a website with thousands of visitors. Your post must be a linkable asset. The next step you should do is to ask for a citation of another piece of content (for example your blog) where they are cited. That’s basically how the link giving technique works.


It is a long process, but if it is planned carefully, you have a higher chance of success. You need to be a remarkable writer to become a valuable member of the contributors’ community and give to the visitors that “AHA” moment when they read your content.


Another solution would be to start working for a contributor as a ghost writer. It means to write in other people’s name. If you decide to do that, you’ll skip the phase when you have to make a name for yourself as a contributor.



2. Reach New Audiences Through Native Advertising

Native advertising is a unique technique to amplify your content and get featured on a network of publishers. The nice part about this type of advertising is that it is not so easily ignored compared to a banner ad. The native ad takes form into an interesting blog post or infographic.

Native ad vs banner ad


The advantage of native advertising is that it can absorb new audiences and gain a higher number of impressions than a banner ad. Outbrain, Taboola, Zemanta, are just a few examples that can help you create native advertising.


IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough conducted a study on 4,770 participants to study behaviors and perceptions towards native ads using both eye tracking technology and surveys and saw that consumers looked at native ads 52% more frequently than banner ads. 

Native advertisements saw an average of 10% higher purchase intent and brand affinity than traditional display ads.


3. Get More Likes, Shares and Follows with Smart Social Buttons

Having social buttons on your website shows how many likes, shares on each social media channel you have for a post. It’s a social proof. It’s a vanity metric, offering validation that your piece of content is valuable. We are not talking about paid tweets or facebook ads but about the real time owned media. The effects of social buttons show an increase of the credibility for your brand. These buttons will help the visitors amplify your content.


Yotpo conducted a study showing that sharing a review for a brand will boost traffic, engagement, and conversions.

Social share numbers



Having smart social buttons isn’t the recipe for success. If your content is vapid and doesn’t express any feeling, it’s unlikely someone will share it even though you have the most interesting social buttons. To have shareable content means much more than that. You need to have engaging content to be spread like fire in the online media and bring those “tasty” links.


4. Give Shoutouts to Amplify Your Content

When you’re writing an article, and you’re citing well-known experts in the industry, would you like them to know? That’s why shoutouts exist. You need to append “featuring @nickname” before launching your article on the social media platforms to amplify your post. It is a good chance to hook a few to read it. And although the influencer outreach is not new under the sky,  shoutouts are a good way to connect your brand with relevant and important names.


On top of that, it is an easy and useful way to thank people for their brainpower and even build a relationship. You can use it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. This is just an example:

Twitter shoutouts


5. Outperform Your Content Through Paid Social Amplification

Amplify your content with paid social amplification. Easy to say, hard to do, you might say. Well, not really. Paid social amplification could be an easy way to promote your post on multiple channels. Almost all social media platforms have paid content amplification options. The traditional paid social amplification methods include Twitter ads, Google + post ads, Facebook ads. To change the traditional course a little bit, you can import your email list into Facebook’s Audience to market people who are interested in your brand, install the remarketing pixel, create dynamic display ads on Adwords.

Using paid social amplification is like building a social media megaphone.

Adam Root, a founding partner at Tricent Capital, says that the social platforms should be used based on the purpose.

“Use Twitter to gain new users, Facebook to build a community and LinkedIn to generate leads for the sales team” – Adam Root.

He argues that Twitter is a good social media platform to determine your audience to take action, Facebook is social networking website where you can engage your readers and create relationships on the long-term and Linkedin is a business network that connects high-profile agencies and professionals you’d want as clients.  


In every situation, you should have the message associated with the visual. Creating a synergy is important. Humor has worked wonder since forever. Along the years a lot of studies have been conducted to see the results of an ad that uses humorous messages. Advertising books say that humor is more likely to capture and hold audience attention. Take for example the next display ad:



It sticks to your mind, doesn’t it?


6. Use Storytelling to Receive a Social Boost

Stories sell. That’s a demonstrated fact. Not all of us grew up listening to stories but I don’t think there is a single person in this world who didn’t tell a story. We tell stories around the campfire, in the class, at a beach party, at our job, we take photographs, we tweet and so on.  But there is a difference between a good story and a great one. You need to put a personal touch in everything you write to connect with your readers.


The people from Pixar movies say that every story should connect to people on an emotional level. 



Using storytelling to receive social boost is a beneficial amplification strategy. Storify lets you create timeless stories using various forms of multimedia that you can share online afterward. It is a unique combination of writing, video, audio and visual content put in a timeline order to engage the readers and let them see a chronological progress about a topic. If used properly, the story can go viral.


The Denver Post’s Storify page won a Pulitzer Award in 2013 for its coverage of the Aurora theater shooting from Colorado. The Storify page became viral, and the site received more links than usual. We cannot put our money on it, but we think the Storify page is one of the reasons why this happened. You can see a screenshot below with the growth of the site’s link profile:  


Growth of a site's link profile


A great feature of this tool is the notify area where you can select this option and send a notification on Twitter to the people mentioned in the story.


7. Try Email Outreach to Build a Solid Community Within Your Brand

Email outreach is a white hat search engine optimization technique you should master. Besides its many beneficial purposes, one of the most valuable is increasing content amplification.


A successful experience using email outreach to amplify content comes from a case study by Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko. The subject of this case study is Emil Shour, content manager at SnackNation. He used the skyscraper technique for email outreach to generate 41,992 pageviews.



The strategy started with finding an excellent keyword after a thorough research, then looking at the competition for that keyword. That meant taking a look at the content Google shows on the results page, the type of content found there, understanding the trends, seeing the lack of information and taking advantage of that. Make a list/structure with the facts you want to debate in your post. Don’t leave out any savory details! Enrich your content with spicy pictures. Now is when the idea of email outreach comes in. You can ask experts to contribute with ideas to rank number one and overflow of links and traffic.


Before you publish your piece, you can email influencers to get the word out and ask them whether they would be interested to read (without asking for a link) a piece of paper relevant to their niche. Emil Shour sent a pre-outreach email looking something like this:



Then, after he received an answer from them, he sent an email with the link to the published article. In the end, the outcome was very good, receiving contextual links, traffic, revenue. Proceeding this way, you have a better rate of success.


8. Use Content Syndication on Medium to Build Your Blog Audience

An excellent way to maximize the effectiveness of your content amplification is through content syndication. It is important to include this strategy in your content marketing plan. 


It can help you reach other niches and promote your content on different media and websites. Basically, it means pushing your content on third party websites to a full article, snippet, link, or thumbnail. There is not a one-size-fits-all way for content syndication, but rather multiple approaches. Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Watch are a good example to get featured among experts and offer news and trends.

Content syndication


Medium is another way to promote your content and provide audience. On the site, you can publish the whole post or just a snippet. You can create an account for free and then import your article. After you finish, you’ll see the next message at the end of your story:


Content syndication on medium



9. Collaborate with Influencers to Earn Links

Your influencer marketing campaign should focus on building advocacy around your brand and amplifying your content to earn links, not shares and mentions. Tweets and shares get lost amongst other tweets and shares, but links enrich your backlink profile and help you rank higher.   


A benefit from collaborating with influencers is the fact that they send relevancy signals to the content, showing it offers valuable information.


Influencers are picky, and they choose to work with you if they see it is relevant, content worthy and they have a benefit from it.


Make sure you’ve thought of everything before you launch your collaboration project.  


You can ask influencers to answer some of your questions to get them featured on your blog, or you could ask them to get your brand featured on their blog. For example, we asked 13 link building experts a few questions about the Penguin update and the results followed. Social or content amplification is the process where you need to go that extra mile. Yet, it’s all worth it. 


Link building experts interview


10. Post on StumbleUpon and Absorb Targeted Traffic

StumbleUpon is really an interesting platform to use to spread your site on the web. It is easy to see how the platform works. You need to create an account if you don’t have one yet and wait 24 hours before you submit your first page. To submit your link, you need to fill in a form similar with the one below:

Stumbleupon add link

It is important to set the interest for the link to get featured in the right category and target the right users.  


There are a few things that need to be taken into consideration. You can’t submit commercial webpage on StumbleUpon, only a few links from the same domain are accepted, and if your account is used for promotional activity, you’ll risk getting your account suspended or terminated.  


To get the full experience you could use StumbleUpon and Paid discovery feature together. For example, Kim Roach from Buzzblogger got 201,126 visitors using those two. She wrote an article about Top 30 inspirational picture quotes to rock your day; to make her content visible she started with an investment of $100, which brought her 1,000 visitors. Then she let her piece of content become viral, and that’s how she received almost 200,000 organic visitors.


11. Develop Advocates Through GaggleAMP

GaggleAMP is a tool that helps you reach amplification and social media engagement. It has the power to strengthen the distribution of your content through different networks, to align your employees in the digital engagement strategy, build actionable reports to show trends and measure performance. The platform has the power to create, implement content driven marketing campaigns by tapping into employee, partner and customer advocates.


Gaggle refers to employees, potential customers or current customers, and partners or other stakeholders who receive a notification when a new piece of content is published and they are encouraged to share it. The people included in the gaggle group can choose which content to share.


Start with a smaller group of people who are active on social media and already share your content.


Then you will adapt to the way before you grow it. Begin by engaging your advocates, talk with them, acknowledge their effort by sharing information about your brand and content. Keep them up-to-date with the changes from every social media platform. Encourage them by offering them support. You can think of a reward and recognition campaign for sharing the message.


It is an effective platform to create advocates and amplify content.


12 . Integrate Promotion Messages or Buttons in Your Website

A free pass for link earning through amplifying your content is having a promotion message or button on your site. So make sure you’ve integrated it into your website. A promotion message can take the form of a website pop-up showing a clear incentive with a strong CTA, a slider for a juicy offer or a headline bar with clever headline matching your content. A promotion message can increase the traffic and amplify your content by choosing the proper type. AddThis offers different tools for its users by implementing simple ways to share and promote their content. No matter what you decide to do, it is highly important to have social buttons. So make sure you include them on your site regardless of any digital marketing strategy you choose to implement.


If you your pop-up message is creative enough, you could be mentioned on other sites and therefore earn a link. For example, Justuno wrote a post on their blog about 10 Inspiring Examples of Email Pop Up Designs and Why They Work, and a few brands got mentioned. Below you can see a screenshot from their blog:

Earn link from creative pop up message

The Wee Squeak received a link mention due to a smart pop-up message.


There are a few things you need to remember in order to nail your pop up message:

  • have a strong CTA;
  • show personality;
  • use qualitative images that match your message;
  • offer a valuable benefit to the user to make him take action;
  • fit the design of the pop up with your brand colors and website style;
  • don’t be intrusive


Getting more and more people to read your piece of content remains a high priority for many marketers. It is still a long debated subject. Marketers love media monitoring. We all know it. We are always asking after publishing a blog post “how many people saw it?”. Are there any conversion rates generated? And if yes, how many out of paid media and how many out of organic traffic? On top of the social media marketing strategy come links. You need to think of the long term. If your content is an outstanding piece, people will link to it, but you need to give it a push just to get it rolling on the ground. There are many content amplification services and tools out there that can help you out with this. But no matter what content amplifier you are using, your content needs to be exceptional.


There is no content amplification definition or formula, be it lead generation or sponsored content, that will make you automatically win links. It is effective content, content distribution, media monitoring, content strategy and earned media that will take you there.  No matter what you do, keep in mind your main purpose, target and aim: the user. 


Get the help of content amplification tools mentioned above, but most importantly follow the previous 12 techniques to amplify your content, earn links and improve your online marketing. There are inbound marketers and niche communities who say that quality content is enough. And indeed, if you put great content in front of your marketing strategy, it can be driving traffic and users. Yet, it might not be enough.  Content writing is great but you need to amplify it in order for it to be effective.  You can start earning links using the actionable content amplification strategies listed above in the article. 


As mentioned earlier, there is no guaranteed content marketing strategy that will take you on the edge of success. But the previous 12 unique techniques for content amplification are a damn good starting point. 

The post 12 Unique Content Amplification Techniques That Earn 327% More Links appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Is the New Google “Fred” Update Rolling Out Now? Massive Ranking Fluctuations

Google has, time and time again avoided – or even flat out refused – to give any indication of when it rolled out an update. Their way of doing this has been always to assert that they make updates to their algorithms on a continuous basis, rather than having distinct launch dates for particular releases. It’s not difficult to see why that’s probably a good idea. It keeps everyone guessing and acting on a desire to actually improve their SEO techniques rather than a temptation to eschew the latest changes. It’s the equivalent of saying that Santa Claus exists and watches you all the time and any time you’re naughty you might get the stick instead of the high rating. Except you don’t know when Christmas is and it might happen every other day or so.


Assumptions on a fresh Google update were immediate. And, like it previously happened, the alleged new algorithm has already a name and a face. Google Fred seems to be the name and, preserving the tradition where cute animal figures represent Google’s updates, this time a fish seems to have won the mascot contest. Much uproar stirred up lately with lots of webmasters and SEO pros noticing massive ranking drops. And as “coincidence” doesn’t seem plausible at all when we are looking at Google algorithm changes, the Google Fred Update seems to be responsible for the dropped ranks and organic traffic.  


Google Fred Update cognitiveSEO



Once Is Happenstance. Twice Is Coincidence. Three Times Is Google Fred Update?


Whenever someone thinks they’ve discovered a new algorithm update, it always feels a bit like you’re in an X-Files episode. You’ve stumbled upon something that really doesn’t seem right, but If you suggest it’s the hand of the “powers that be,” people might look at you funny. All the while Google slyly smiles and reaffirms its uneventful day-to-day existence. But as the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. And so it turns out that there may (or may not) be a new update and if there is, its name is Fred. In fact, all future updates might be called Fred from now on if we were to look after Gary Illlyes’ affirmation. So we might need to say goodbye to the Pandas and the Penguins of the world because algorithm updates have gotten even just a little bit less cute (no offense to the Freds of this world).

It’s a cat and mouse game where both Google and its paying customers are trying to get ahead of each other.


Gary Illyes Google Fred Update


How do you identify a potentially significant algorithm update?


There’s no single metric that will tell you it happened, but if you gather enough significant indicators, you might just be onto something (if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck… it might be a Fred).


Barry Schwartz, of Search Engine Roundtable, may have just stumbled on some quacks. While his interaction with Google’s Gary Illyes (and john Mueller) on social media has yielded business as usual in terms of confirming suspicions (with a traditional “Yes, we make changes almost every day”), his data analysis seems to suggest there could be something significant at work. The most significant signals come from different measurements of search engine ranking position (SERP) fluctuations.


As we took a look at some specialized tools, we can see some fluctuations in the last days, variations that can or not be correlated with a new Google update. 


algoroo tool

Screenshot taken from

accuranker tool

Screenshot taken from


Although none of the measurements are significant on their own, when taken together they make a worthwhile argument that a new Fred is on the loose. 


WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World were among the ones who noticed some weird activity in the last week or so as well. And although Google is always dancing around, it seems that dramatic shifting has happened in the past couple of days. Or at least this is what people from forums and on Twitter keep on debating. 


Possible Google Fred Update “Victims”


It becomes easy to forget that looking up something on Google is not just a search, but a search performed on a particular type of search engine, according to particular algorithms and with particular implications in terms of customer experience and data privacy. And because Google as a search engine is ultimately a product which interacts with other products, other companies try to continuously adapt to Google’s way of working so that they profit from its popularity. In order for Google to retain that popularity, it must ensure that other companies don’t profit too much of its product, so that it remains trustworthy to its consumers (and a popular synonym for “search online” in the same time).


As hopefully, you have already noticed, we, at cognitiveSEO like to research a lot. And this is because at the end of the day research is creating new knowledge. Cutting-edge is our main core, and we want to stick to it. In the last hours, we’ve overworked our databases and the coffee machine in the quest of investigating the possible newest Google Fred Update.


As much as we’ve searched, we didn’t find a direct correlation between the dropped ranks and a possible algorithm change.


The SERP’s volatility is, as you know, as high as it gets and it would be tough and unrealistic to put our finger on a Google Update. We’ve found some examples of ranking drops which we are going to paste it below. Keep in mind that, for the moment, we cannot make a strong correlation between a possible Google Fred and the current situation of the ranks.


possible google fred update drop


As we take a look at the image above, it seems that a major drop has occurred on lately. The site is an online head shop based in the US that has a quite big number of links reported to the total of referring domain. Not to mention that most of their links are low or no authority.


Screenshot taken for:

Screenshot taken for:


 They seem to have gathered a lot of new links in the period 26 February – 5th of March. You can check out its analysis here.  Even taking all of these into consideration, we cannot yet correlate this drop with a possible Google algorithm update. 


possible google fred update drop example, is an addiction treatment center from Florida which seems to have experienced a major drop as well lately. Except a bit of unusual Link Velocity, it seems that the site has nothing unusual in their link profile. 


Is It Really a New Google Update? 


When a product or a service becomes really popular, the company usually sets the sight for market leadership, a magical place of self-fulfilling (and self-replenishing) power. But there is an even more mythical place beyond that, where the product’s name becomes so ubiquitous and easily-identifiable with the product class itself, that a name for a product replaces the name for the product category. In many countries, for instance, the word “xerox” has become a verb which stands for the process of photocopying a document. In some countries “adidas” is the same as sport shoes, while in others “kleenex” is the same as tissue. But perhaps the most ubiquitous nowadays is the use of the word “google” as a verb, to mean “to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web.” That’s the Merriam-Webster definition, but in everyday use, there’s an even simpler definition: to google means, quite simply, to search online. 


Therefore, with Google becoming more than a search engine, it’s almost natural that a lot of ranking updates to appear on a regulate basis. We are already familiar with Google Updates, call it the Panda, Penguin or Fred update, and we tend to associate these algorithm changes with link quality or content’s value.


For the moment we cannot be sure that Google Fred Update even exists, let alone to correlate it to a link or content issue.


Ups and downs happen on a daily basis on Google’s SERP. Sometimes they are related to an algorithm change and sometimes they just happen as a part of Google’s volatility. As mentioned before, using our tracking tools we’ve made a serious, in-depth research in the past 24 hours, trying to find out any correlation between an alleged Google update and rankings’drop. We found some irregularities, yet, nothing out of the ordinary or nothing that can be correlated directly to a new update or algorithm change.

The post Is the New Google “Fred” Update Rolling Out Now? Massive Ranking Fluctuations appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

16 Causes Why Your Organic Traffic has Dropped … It’s Not Google’s Fault!

The SEO landscape has changed enormously in the last years. Organic traffic comes and go, the websites’ performance seems to be as volatile as it gets and at the end of the day, you might ask yourself: why did my organic traffic drop? Did Google change its algorithm again? Was a sort of SEO attack on my site or was it something that I did? And while you keep on searching for the reasons your hard-worked ranks and traffic went down the drain, your frustration gets bigger as the solution to your problem seems increasingly far.


We are in the SEO industry for a while now, wearing many hats: digital marketers, tool developers, advisers, researchers, copywriters, etc. But first of all, we are, just like you, site owners. And we’ve been through ups and downs regarding organic traffic, and we were in the situation of trying to understand why the Google traffic dropped dramatically at some point as well. Having all these in mind, we’ve thought of easing your work, and we’ve put together a list with the top 16 reasons that can cause sudden traffic drop, unrelated to Google algorithm changes or penalties.


16 Causes Why Your Organic Traffic has Dropped ... It's Not Google's Fault!


With no further introduction, below you can find the top 16 causes that can lead to massive organic traffic drop: 


  1. Changing Your Domain Name and Not Telling Google
  2. Indexing Everything Without Pruning Your Content
  3. Getting Your Pages De-indexed by Google Through robots.txt
  4. Redesigning Your Website & Not Doing 301 Redirects to Old Pages
  5. Moving From a Subdirectory to a Subdomain
  6. Giving Up Creating Great Content or Creating Content at All
  7. Counting Your Links and Not Your Referring Domains
  8. Ignoring Mobile First Indexing
  9. Moving Your Site to a Slow Host
  10. Ignoring Your Broken Pages and Links
  11. Hiring a SEO Company That Will Guarantee You Instant Traffic
  12. Dropping Lots of Shady Links on Other Sites
  13. Not Using Alt and Title Tags
  14. Duplicating Your Content – Internally & Externally
  15. Ignoring Canonical Tags
  16. Using the Same Commercial Anchor Text






1. Changing Your Domain Name and Not Telling Google


You might remember “Face Off” , a movie from ‘97 where Nicolas Cage is a terrorist and John Travolta is an FBI agent. And, as it happens in movies, they became obsessed with one another. Travolta needs information from Cage’s brother, so he undergoes an operation in which he gets Cage’s face; a few plot twists later and Cage has Travolta’s. They continue to pursue each other with new identities, the bad guy the good guy, the good guy the bad guy and so on and (almost) no one knew who is who. Dizzy yet?


Well, the situation is similar if you decide to change your domain name and not tell anyone about it, especially the search engines. Just with less drama and action scenes.


Whatever reasons you might have for changing your domain name, if you want to be sure that your organic traffic drops, do not tell anyone about the change. Especially Google.


Not even a word. This way, you’ll make sure that your new name, as well as your search engine traffic, will be like they don’t even exist in the digital world.


Yet, if you do want to keep your organic search traffic and ranks, once you make a domain name change, let Google now by using a specially designed tool in your Search Console.


change of address tool Google


2. Indexing Everything Without Pruning Your Content


One good way of causing a drop in your organic search traffic, just as the title of the chapter says, is to index each and every single page from your website and not prune your content. 


Google makes constant efforts to improve the search algorithm and detect quality content and that is why it rolled out the Google Panda 4.0 update.  What is this update really doing? It deranks low quality content and boosts the high quality one, according to Google’s idea of valuable content. In the screenshot below you can see what kind of content you shouldn’t be looking into if you are really determined in making a mess out of your organic traffic. 


quality content guidelines


Every site has its evergreen content, which attracts organic traffic, and some pages that are deadwood.


If you don’t want your search traffic dropped, in the Google Index you should only have pages that you’re interested in ranking.


Otherwise you might end up polluting your website’s traffic. The pages filled with obsolete or low quality content aren’t useful or interesting to the visitor. Thus, they should be pruned for the sake of your website’s health. Low quality pages may affect the performance of the whole site. Even if the website itself plays by the rules, low-quality indexed content may ruin the organic traffic of the whole batch.


If you don’t want your Google traffic dropped dramatically due to indexing and content pruning, we are going to list below the steps you need to take in order to successfully prune your own content. We’ve developed this subject in a previous blog post.  Yet, before doing so, we want to stress on the fact that it’s not easy to take the decision of removing indexed pages from the Google Index and, if handled improperly, it may go very wrong. Yet, at the end of the day,  you should keep the Google Index fresh with info that is worthwhile to be ranked and which helps your users. 


Step 1. Identify Your Site’s Google Indexed Pages


There are various methods to identify your indexed pages. You can find several methods here, and choose the one which is most suitable for your website. 


One way to do this is through your Search Console account, just like in the screenshot below. There you’ll find the total number of your indexed pages along with a graphic display of its evolution in the Index Status.


search console google index


In order to get the whole bundle of internal links for your website, in the same Search Console, you need to go to the Search Traffic > Internal Links category. This way you’ll have a list with all the pages from your website (indexed or not) and also the number of links pointing to each. This can be a great incentive for discovering which pages should be subject to content pruning.


search index on google example


Step 2. Identify Your Site’s Low Traffic and Underperforming Pages


Of course all your pages matter but some matter more than others. That is why, in the pruning process it’s highly important to identify data regarding the number of impressions, clicks, click-through-rate and average position.


Google Analytics example



Step 3. No-Index the Underperforming Pages


Once you know the pages that pull you down, as painful as it might be sometimes,  you need to start to no-index those pages.  As hard as it was to create them, and make them well seen by Google, when it comes to getting them off the search engine’s radar, things are a bit less complicated. Below you can find two ways to 


  • Disallow those pages in the robots.txt file to tell Google not to crawl that part of your website. Remember that you need to do the stuff right as you do not want to hurt your search rankings
  • Apply the meta no-index tag to the underperforming pages. Add the <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, FOLLOW”> tag. That will tell Google not to index the page but at the same time to crawl other pages that are linked from it.



3. Getting Your Pages De-indexed by Google Through robots.txt


A great way to break your web traffic without even noticing is through robots.txt. Indeed, the robots.txt file has long been debated among webmasters and it can be a strong tool when it is well written. Yet, the same robots.txt can really be a tool you can shoot yourself in the foot with. We’ve written an in-depth article on the critical mistakes that can ruin your traffic in another post




Before developing this subject further, indulge me to remind you that according to Google a robots.txt file is a file at the root of your site that indicates those parts of your site you don’t want accessed by search engine crawlers. And although there is plenty of documentation on this subject, there are still many ways you can suffer an organic search traffic drop. Below we are going to list two common yet critical mistakes when it comes to robots.txt. 


1. Blocking CSS or Image Files from Google Crawling


Google’s algorithm gets better and better and is now able to read your website’s CSS and JS code and draw conclusions about how useful the content is for the user. As Google itself stated, disallowing CSS, Javascript and even images counts towards your website’s overall search traffic.


allow google to crawl images and javascript


2.Wrong Use of Wildcards


A wildcard is a symbol used to replace or represent one or more characters. Wildcards are typically either an asterisk (*), which represents one or more characters or question mark (?), which represents a single character.

By now, you must be asking yourself how can an * can cause a sudden drop in organic traffic. 

Well, when it comes to robots.txt, it can.


Let’s say you wish to block all URLs that have the PDF. extension. If you write in your robots.txt a line that looks like this: User-agent: googlebot Disallow: /*.pdf$. The sign “$” from the end basically tells bots that only URLs ending in PDF should’t be crawled while any other URL containing “PDF” should be. I know it might sound complicated, yet the moral of this story is that a simple misused symbol can break your marketing strategy along with your organic traffic. Below you can find a list with the correct robotx.txt wildcard matches and, as long as you keep count of it, you should be on the safe side of website’s traffic.




4. Redesigning Your Website & Not Doing 301 Redirects to Old Pages


When migrating your website from one domain to another, if you want to make sure you instantly lose any traffic to your website that you are  currently enjoying and all your new visitors will be greeted with a 404 page, do not implement proper redirects.


Any good organic search traffic you experience at the moment can be just a memory if you fail to do 301 redirects.


Let’s say you just did a rebranding of your business and among others, you’ve changed your site’s address. Will your Google traffic drop dramatically ? Only if you choose to do so.


With only a few lines of code you can transfer all the organic search traffic from one domain to another.


What the 301 permanent redirects do is to redirect any visitor, including search engines, to your new site. Along with the direct traffic, the age, authority and reputation of your old website in Google is transferred to the new web address.

How long should you keep your 301s? Like most of the love songs lyrics say, forever and ever.


Will it help you get rid of a Google Penalty? Well, this is debatable but we have a previous interesting blog post written on this matter. 
You can find more info on how to implement redirects correctly, directly from the Google representatives themselves.


SEO Visibility Increase due to 301 redirects


5. Moving from a Subdirectory to a Subdomain

In case you think that you can move a part of your website from a subdirectory to a subdomain without having your search traffic dropped, think again.

Let’s say that you want to move your blog from a subdirectory URL ( to a subdomain ( Altghough Matt Cutts, former Google engineer, said that “they are roughly equivalent and you should basically go with whichever one is easier for you in terms of configuration, your CMSs, all that sort of stuff”, it seems that things are a bit more complicated than that. 


There are some interesting case studies on this issue solely that show exactly the opposite. Below you can see a screenshot from the case of switching between subdirectory and subdomain. After a while of traffic dropping, they decided to revert the changes. 

rank drop due to switching to subdomain from subfolder

Screenshot taken from

Yet, what is the problem, actually?


Is not Google clever enough to know that the newly created subdomain is part of the same domain? 

Well, Google has made strides in this direction and got much better at identifying and associating content that’s on a subdomain with the main domain. The problem is they’re not good enough to rely on that factor yet and major organic traffic drop can come from this direction.


With the hope that this SEO technicality will change in time, the recommendation for the moment is to keep your content on one single sub and root domain, preferably in subfolders.



6. Giving Up Creating Great Content or Creating Content at All


The best movies don’t always win the best prizes. A similar thing happens in the digital marketing world.


The best content doesn’t always have the best organic search traffic, yet search engines are really trying to rank sites in accordance to their content.


Just by looking at the latest Google updates we can tell that the search engine is constantly refining and improving its algorithm that automatically  scores pages based on content quality. There are even quality rating guidelines  and Google penalties content based.


Other metrics and factors count as well but content is among those top ranking factors; and you should not let your content get dusty unless you are decided to leave the digital world for good.


Going back to the analogy with the movies, having a great script is not enough; you need great acting, awesome music, good directing, etc. in order to win the prize for the best picture.


You should not keep count of content only if you are planning to have a sudden drop in organic traffic. And if you are already having a good web traffic, do not count on it very much. The SERP is volatile, tons of content is being written as you are reading this and you need to keep up.


Let’s take a look at the screenshot below. We’ve analyzed two websites, and


Site Explorer example on number of links


And although has way more links than its competitor, it seems that is performing better for a lot of important keywords. Why, you might wonder. Well, the answer is simple: content. And although they are both offering good content, is a site offering general information about a lot of things while offers articles highly related to the topics, leaving the impression that this site really offers reliable content. We are not saying that the 5 mil links has do not matter, yet it seems that in some cases content weighs more.


7. Counting Your Links and Not Your Referring Domains

Do you know the saying: don’t count the days but make the days count? Well, this somehow applies in the SEO world as well.

Or, at least, in the link building industry. Just by looking at the number of links and having an ongoing concern of multiplying the links won’t take you to first page on Google. On the contrary; it will probably make you disappear for SERP.


I invite you to take a look at the screenshot below.

cognitiveSEO site explorer example on number of links


If we are looking at the number of links and that number only, things look great: 3 mil links. That’s quite something; great performance. Yet, when looking at the number of referring domain, all your appreciation disappears, right? Only 30 referring domains that generated 3 million links.


What would you prefer: 30 journalists writing about you in 3 mil articles or 100 journalists writing about you in 1.000 articles ?


In which situation do you think you’ll gain more credibility and authority? (Really hoping you’ll chose the second case). 


8. Ignoring Mobile First Indexing


It might not be news to you that Google looks primarily at mobile content, rather than desktop, when deciding how to rank results.


A “my business is concentrated on desktop, I don’t care about mobile” attitude might lead you straight to the end of page 99 in Google.


It’s called mobile first indexing and, as Google stated,  it means that algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to score pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.


Ignore mobile first indexing if you want Google to ignore your website.


9. Moving Your Site to a Slow Host


Are you familiar with the saying: it doesn’t matter how slow you move as long as you don’t stop? Great one, right? Well, forget about it when it comes to your website performance.


Things look quite different when it comes to hosting. 


A good hosting isn’t going to guarantee you a spot at the top. But a slow host will surely lead to a drop in organic search traffic. 


Google kept on saying how page speed is affecting the websites’ performance. They even created a tool for this.  There are several website speed performance tools out there that come in handy when trying to figure out the performance of your website. 

Web performance tool example

Screenshot taken from


Cheap hosting might sound tempting and we cannot blame you for this. Yet, in terms of costs-benefits, it might “cost” you the traffic of your website, the revenue of your business.
Shared servers are a common solution and they do work well for most of the sites.


Sometimes sharing is scaring.


If you are on a shared server, as convenient as it might be for you, one resource-hungry neighbour can kill your site’s speed and therefore your organic search traffic. Better solutions when it comes to servers can be VPS (virtual private servers) or dedicated servers. They are indeed more expensive but they pay off.



10. Ignoring Your Broken Pages and Links


Ignorance is a bliss…sometimes. But never when it comes to digital marketing. Unless you want to experience some really nasty traffic dropped dramatically. 

It might happen to have some lost links from now and then or a broken page due to some crawling issue or something similar. Yet, when your broken pages and links form up a figure just as big as your phone number, then you might be facing a problem; in terms of site user experience and organic traffic as well. Your bounce rate will increase, your overall usability, you will be loosing links and therefore you will be start asking yourself “why did my organic traffic drop”?

Take a look at the image below. The number of broken pages is enormous, not to mention the link juice lost. Does traffic suffer due to this issue? You bet it does. Is there a fix for this? The answer is again yes. 


broken pages example on Site Explorer


The irony is that along with all the issues broken pages bring, there are some forseen opportunities as well. If you are interested in getting back your lost traffic and that link juice from your broken pages, two easy workouts can be done:


  • 301 redirects – this way, the link juice will pass to the redirected page.
  • “Repair” those pages – you can create a landing page with dedicated content.


A similar thing happens when it comes to lost links. As mentioned before, having a couple of lost links is not such a big problem. Yet, when you are losing hundreds of links on a daily basis, that should be an alarm signal for you.  


daily lost links chart


As we are your organic search traffic number one fan, below we’ve listed two steps that can help you out in the event you are experiencing a massive lost link drop:

  • Find those lost links. There are SEO tools that can help you here. We recommend you to use the Site Explorer as it gives you instant results and it’s easy to use.
  • Contact the webmaster who has the broken link. Indeed, a bit of outreaching and networking is involved here but your traffic and keywords’ranking are worth all the effort.

11. Hiring an SEO Company That Will Guarantee You Instant Traffic


Having lots of traffic is an entirely desirable outcome and there’s nothing wrong in keeping that goal in mind whatever strategy you chose to implement.


Keep your head in the clouds but your feet on the ground.


But what happens when your desire goes beyond any realistic expectation? You hire a SEO company that will guarantee you the first position on the most competitive keywords ever. 

Indeed, the first thing you should ask any digital marketing company is:


Will my site rank #1? But if the answer is yes, start looking for somebody else, don’t hire them!


SEO company rank #1

This, of course if you do care about your organic traffic and your overall inbound marketing strategy and you don’t want to make a mess out of them. The truth is that Google has so many rules and algorithms for scoring a website and that the SERP is so volatile that it’s nearly impossible to predict which site will have the best organic traffic and from what exact reasons.


If you want to drop from your hard worked #14 position to #79, you can start looking for companies that advertise themselves like the one in the image below. We don’t even know what to believe when it comes to companies that promise guaranteed instant traffic : that they are folly (in which case you don’t need them) or charlatans (in which case you don’t want them). If you want to find out more about SEO agencies and how they can ruin your website’s traffic, we wrote a previous blog post on this. 



12. Dropping Lots of Shady Links on Other Sites


You might know by now that unnatural links can get you into trouble and can cause sudden drop in organic traffic.  Google has developed a whole series of algorithm changes and penalties named after cute animals that make unnatural links the persona non grata of the internet. 


Yet, if you are really determined in screwing up your Google organic traffic, having a lot of unnatural links might not be enough.


Having lots of unnatural links connected to one page only, well that is true dedicated work for losing massive traffic. 


Just take a look at the screenshot below. Indeed, there is an unnatural link issue there; but more than that, the majority of unnatural links lead to just one page. 


link to one unnatural page example


If you are in a situation similar to the one presented in the screenshot below, we recommend you to fix it because if it hasn’t affected you until now, it will for sure on the long term. The easiest way to do identify your unnatural links and get rid of them is by using specialized tools.



13. Not Using Alt and Title Tags

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. This seems to be Google’s motto. Because yes, Google can “read” your image and this can be a ranking factor. We documented this in a previous article. With this already happening, the use of alt and title tags is commonplace.  Therefore, no alt tags and title tags = no traffic. 

Google places a relatively high value on alt texts to determine what is on the image but also to determine the topic of surrounding text.

alt text example

First things first, you should use alt text not just for SEO purposes but also because blind and visually impaired people won’t know what the image is about.  Second, yes, the title and alt tags influence your traffic as mentioned by the search engine themselves. 

If you want to keep your organic traffic safe and sound, include subject in the title tag and in the image alt text. 

We’re not saying you should spam with your focus keywords into every alt tag or title. But you need a good, related image for your posts in which it makes sense to have the keywords you are interested in there. 


14. Duplicating Your Content – Internally & Externally

Putting it simple, duplicate content is content that appears on the world wide web in more than one place. Is this such a big problem for the readers? Maybe not. But it is a very big problem for you if you are having duplicate content (internally or externally) as the search engines don’t know which version of the content is the original one and which one they should be ranking.


Can duplicate content get your website into trouble? The answer is yes. 


Although it is stated that there is no such thing as duplicate content penalty, the fact you have no unique content will prevent you from getting organic search traffic from Google.  The truth is that search engines reward uniqueness and added value and filter duplicate content; be it externally or internally.

Having duplicate content will not necessarily penalize your website but they will not help with your traffic at all. 



15. Ignoring Canonical Tags

The time might have come when you want to secure your website and switch from http to https. Easier said than done. A lot of issues might appear along the way that can screw up your hard-worked organic traffic. However, there is one thing that can really mess up things for your website while moving your site to https; and that is the canonical tag. 


The truth is that a major problem for search engines is to determine the original source for content that is available on multiple URLs. Therefore, if you are having the same content on http as well as https you will “confuse” the search engine which will punish you and you will suffer a traffic loss. This is why it’s highly important to use rel=canonical tags. What exactly is this?

A canonical link is an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues by specifying the “canonical” or “preferred” version of a web page

Just to be sure you are doing things in a search engine friendly way,  on the Google support page you can find more info on this matter

cannonical URL correct use example

If  you indulge me an analogy, if  you’re moving from one place to another, you would like the postman to send all the love letters to your new address and you wouldn’t want them lost in an old mailbox that no one uses, right? (I am guessing you would want the bills to be sent to the old address instead). A similar thing happens when it comes to moving your site’s address.

If you don’t want your organic traffic dropped for good, you need to use the re=canonical tags. 


16. Using the Same Commercial Anchor Text


The days of keyword stuffing are gone; or at least this is what we want to believe. Yet, when it comes to anchor texts, not only using them too much can break your traffic but also using the same anchor text for most of your links can be an issue. 


Let’s say that you are selling dog food. And most likely you will want the best traffic possible on the keyword “dog food”. Creating/building/earning all of your links with the same anchor text will get you in trouble. If you are having 600 links from which 400 use the anchor “dog food”, you might be facing a problem; it will surely raise a red flag to the search engines. And we all know what search engines do when they are getting these kinds of alarms: they begin applying penalties and move your websites so far from reach of the user that you will not be even listed in top 100. 


anchor text bad usage example


A variety of anchor texts, branded and commercial keywords all together, is a sign of naturalness and health of your link profile. 




Instead of the conclusion, indulge me for a couple of minutes to share a story with you.


Once upon a time, there was an old farmer. One day his horse ran away. When hearing this news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said, but the farmer replied: “We’ll see.”

The next morning the horse returned to the farmer, also bringing with it two other horses.

“Just great” the neighbors exclaimed! Again, the farmer answered: “We’ll see.”

The following day, his son broke his leg and therefore we could not help his father with his farming. “That’s terrible,” the neighbor said. “We’ll see,” replied the old farmer.

A couple of days later, the army came to the village to draft new recruits. As the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they did not recruit him. Everyone said, “What a fortunate situation.”

The farmer smiled again – and said: “We’ll see.”


The moral of this story is that everything is contextual. And this applies to everyday happenings and to your online marketing, traffic sources, and conversion rates as well. It happens that what looks like an opportunity to be actually a setback and vice-versa. We all make changes within our sites with the purpose of having tons of traffic. We are in a continuous race for inbound links, domain authority, technical SEO, diagnosing traffic drops, search volume, keyword research and we forget to take a few steps back and see how all of these influence our overall site’s performance. We’ve documented the ranking drop issue in an earlier post as well and you can take a look at it as well to better understand this phenomena.


Being dropped in rankings is not anyone’s desire, but it happens to be a reality. And as much as we’d like to put the blame on algorithmic penalties, manual actions or any other common reasons, sometimes we just need to take a closer look at the actions done by ourselves. 

The post 16 Causes Why Your Organic Traffic has Dropped … It’s Not Google’s Fault! appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Link Earning – A Tale of 21 Unique Strategies to Creatively Build Links

Link earning is highly connected with trustworthy content and creative digital marketing strategies. It’s all about that type of content that has so much value that bloggers, publishers or specialists in the field can’t stop but link to it.  Your piece of content must be not only newsworthy, but also connected to your brand so it can tell a story and, therefore, earn links.


Link Earning - a Tale of 21 Unique Strategies to Creatively Build Links


Link acquiring tactics doesn’t mean writing great pieces of content and then crossing your fingers hoping people will come to your site. It doesn’t work like that. Also, it doesn’t imply the death of link building. And although there are many articles written on the theme of link earning vs. link building, I think that the two of them should be managed together and not torn apart. 


We’ve thought of some unique strategies to build or get links and help you along the process in a creative way. We do not guarantee that if you follow the strategies developed below your ranks will reach the skies. However, you will be learning how getting links tactics work, how you can “revive” your linking strategies and even how to go from link building to link acquiring. And, by having some great strategies at your disposal, you will earn links, great online presence and why not better traffic and ranks.


In order to generate traffic and earn links you need to think in multiple directions: organic search, quality content, emailing, algorithm updates, local SEO,  social media, influencers, content syndication, time and money and so on. But remember that strategies come first. Follow the next 21 unique strategies and earn links on the go:


  1. Write Data-Backed, Long-Form Resources and Get Better Ranks
  2. Create Engagement Within the Community Through Contests and Giveaways
  3. Ask Experts Questions Through an Interview to Stand Out and to Win Links
  4. Drive Growth and Strong Online Presence Through Personalized Web Experiences
  5. Establish Your Awesome Content as the Go-To Resource
  6. Give for Free Resources to Get Loyal Followers Who Will Link to Your Site
  7. Use Data Visualization to Improve Readability
  8. Get Inspired from Other Industries to Display Quality Content in a Unique Format
  9. Create How-To Guides with Creative & Amazing Content
  10. Conduct Case Studies About Well Known Brands
  11. Get Influencers Involved to Drive Awareness and to Obtain Links
  12. Create Tools and Give Them for Free
  13. Debate a Long Time Controversial Topic
  14. Outreach for Reviews and Early Looks
  15. Build Social Amplification for Building and Link Earning
  16. Newsjack a Story to Create Buzz & Links to Your Website
  17. Reward Loyalty & Make Your Devoted Customers Talk About You
  18. Engage Your Audiences with Real Time Information Through Live Blogging
  19. Get Quoted by a Journalist or an Editor to Build Authority
  20. Build a Recognizable Personal Brand & Use It as a Link Building Technique
  21. Provide Insights for Your Industry and Win Organic Links



1. Write Data-Backed, Long-Form Resources to Have Better Ranks

A couple of months ago we conducted a study on 300k randomly chosen pieces of content to see which type of content length ranks better. After we analyzed the results we saw that, as a rule, long-form content is more often associated with better ranks. We all know that content is king, yet, long-form content is not for everyone. For some businesses it might not work. In the end, everything you write should be useful content not to mention that each piece of content should match your audience’s needs and interests.


Yet, how can long-form content be a link earning tactic? Awesome content also brings awesome traffic and ranks. A longer piece of content might better target audiences, will rank better for many keywords and, if highly documented, it will surely be seen as an authoritative work.  Therefore, people will be more tempted to link to it.  Let’s take for example the article 53 untapped ways to boost your email open rates, written on our blog. It is a long piece of content (over 10.000 words), it is ranking for many keywords and has great traffic in comparison with other pieces of content written on the same theme but with fewer words. The content needs to be exceptional as well and the length of an article will not replace its quality; yet, it’s important to know that long form resources can help you earn valuable links. 


long article graphic



2. Create Engagement Within the Community Through Contests and Giveaways

A unique link earning strategy is to create contests and giveaways. Create a contest plan and then implement it. Publish it on your site and then promote it online on social channels or social networking sites to reach your audience. Staying in touch with your community and cherishing their interest can offer you a great advantage in front of your competition. You can ask them to share the information with your targeted audience and it’s a matter of time until it boosts your online presence. 


You can ask other websites that host contests to share yours as part of their online marketing strategy. It’s a good strategy to boost your contest and reach other audiences to gain engagement and reach a larger market.


It is important to have a reason for every contest or giveaway you start. Here are some examples you could follow:

  • a limited edition product;
  • a product/collection launch;
  • gift cards;
  • store opening or website launch;
  • travel offers;
  • a once in a lifetime opportunity.

A great example of a contest, named the DNA journey, was designed by Momondo, a free global travel search site with the help of AncestryDNA. You could participate by ordering a DNA kit. After you received it, you had to take a saliva test and then mail it back to the laboratory. Once you saw your results, you had to shoot a short video, which was the ticket to winning a journey. The results allowed you to compare your DNA against populations from different cultures and backgrounds to see which part of the world is the closest match to your DNA. The winner of the contest was taken on a journey based on his DNA. Below, you can see a presentation video:



The project had such a strong impact on people. Two of them who took part in the video discovered they were cousins and didn’t even know about it. It got a lot of publicity and good press around it. The news was taken by a lot of sites such as, Tnooz,, The Copenhagen Post, NYCTalking and many more.


The idea behind the contest was to show to the world that each person is a part of many stories. The DNA tells the truth behind ourselves and let us know that we might be a part of other cultures more than we think.  


3. Ask Experts Questions Through an Interview to Stand Out and to Win Links

Having interviews with experts is a good strategy to earn links. You can create an impactful interview by choosing pertinent questions and talking with specialists. Besides that, it is an easy way to build relationships and do networking. An open question can help you lead the discussion and find interesting facts. For an interview to be effective, you must have open questions that will allow the interviewer respond in a more elaborate way rather than a simple yes & no.


Here is an example of an interview of this kind.


4. Drive Growth and Strong Online Presence Through Personalized Web Experiences

Another unique strategy to earn links in a creative way is to create personalized content. Studies showed that personalized content drives results.  For instance, Forbes conducted a study of 380 chief marketing officers and discovered that marketers who deliver personalized web experiences see a 100% return in marketing performance and response. Sharing personalized examples of success or failure can bring you closer to your audience. See an example of a blog post about a personal experience below where one of our users shared his experience on a highly controversy subject, Google Penguin Penalties. This case study stirred the spirits but also received a lot of attention from our readers.


Personal example

Through personalized web experiences you can show the strengths of your product or service, success stories about your customers and other important features. In the end, you get mentions on other websites. And with mentions come organic links as well.


Sometimes it’s hard to define organic links or manual link building strategies that will do you more good that harm.  The truth is that when it comes to inbound links and sites’ ranks, we are facing the (re)birth of link earning. And we are saying “rebirth” as SEO industry faced so many deaths by now.  


5. Establish Your Awesome Content as the Go-To Resource

Writing in-depth blog posts is an excellent way to be defined as the go-to resource because your website has all the information in one place and the reader doesn’t feel the need to go and look somewhere else. You can capture attention for a longer period of time and entice the visitor to read other posts and maybe, turn him into a customer.


Having the best information in one place makes it far easier for people to cite your website and earn a link. That piece of content can cover more on a subject and gather more traffic. And you should always use the most valuable resource  (such content vs links, link earning vs link building) to stick to it for the long run.


An example of a go-to resource is Moz, that has created an exclusive page about Google Algorithm updates since 2000. It is the most comprehensive list of Google’s algorithmic update.  See a screenshot below:

Moz go to resource



6. Give for Free Resources to Get Loyal Followers WhoWill Link to Your Site

Giving for free resources will offer users a taste of what to expect when they’ll work with you. A free sample can show to people that you value them. You need to have something that will attract them. Specialists say a free resource is a lead magnet. As the name says it, the lead magnet is a lead generation idea and could take form into an ebook, course, checklist or something similar.


A free resource is also a statement, and it can offer you authority in the domain if it’s well documented and has a clean design. If visitors see you have content overflowing with valuable information, they will consider you an expert. Here is a list of resources categorized on the domain of interest.


7. Use Data Visualization to Improve Readability

Using data visualization to make a scientific topic be easily understood is a way to improve readability. Visuals are a great way to create links bait for a piece of content that is hard to grasp. For example, take a look at Xkcd’s Radiation Dose Chart below:

Xkcd's Radiation Dose Chart


Through this visual presentation, it is easier to understand and to visualize how much radiation a person can absorb from different sources. The chart uses units for absorbed dose named “sieverts” and measures the effect of the radiation on the cells of our body. The targeted audience might be tempted to share this kind of info. 

Information is beautiful. You just got to know how to present it.


Another example of visual data you can see on the site Vision of Humanity by Institute for Economics and Peace.

Vision of humanity

For each index (Global Peace Index, Terrorism Index) and each factor, you will see an interactive map. You can click on the country you want to see the facts for, and there will appear a new window on the left side of the screen with the info you need.


Always make sure you adapt your content to your readers. If you have content for designers, make sure you use visual data and real examples/photos from the tool. Take for example the next photo:

Annotated Screenshot


Don’t you think the second picture is clearer and more concise? Besides that, it is easier to share it and to link to it. With a little effort, you can earn links.


You must create content that people will read, content that is not easy to quit. Having this type of visual data on your site will increase readability, and it will be easy to share and to earn a link if it’s catchy.


8. Get Inspired from Other Industries to Display Quality Content in a Unique Format

Getting inspired from other industries to display content in a unique format is another great link earning strategy. I’m not talking about infographics, although it might be a good way to write the content. It is an overused topic. Of course, there are exceptions. Look at the following infographic for example:

A tale of two cows


This infographic is an example of visual storytelling you could get inspired from. It is easy to understand the explanations, and it illustrates a joke from the 1940s.


You can use the periodic table for other domains such as content writing, SEO, marketing signals, web design process, typefaces. For example, see the picture below:

The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors


For plans or a content structure, you can use MindMeister. Below you can see an example of a structure for the content marketing process.

Content Marketing Process

Find the whole mapping idea here.


9. Create How-To Guides with Creative & Amazing Content

When you decide to write something, you shouldn’t always play by the rules. Be creative, try new ideas, formats, but always test them before launch. A new idea could come in the shape of flow charts for how-to guides. Hubspot created a flow chart based on a question that has been debated for a long time.



The flow chart can be displayed in a portrait format, as well. Check the next screenshot about The No Hype, Buzzword-Free Guide To Creating Good Content For Your Business:

Flow chart


Presenting the info in a user friendly way can make all the difference; not to mention the links you might be earning. 


10. Conduct Case Studies About Well Known Brands

Case studies are a valuable asset, but finding the best examples with well known brands is hard. Through case studies, you can establish proof that you offer value. Chose well-known brands so you could have a great effect. On the other hand, you could be more personal and chose impactful examples from brands that aren’t so popular. People react to familiarity. You should have a dedicated case studies page (see the next picture).


Case Studies Well Known Brands


Get inspired by Google. Below you can see a screenshot from a very well structured case study from Think with Google.

Think with google case study


11. Get Influencers Involved to Drive Awareness and to Obtain Links

Influencers control niches. They are the best friend of link bait. If you involve influencers in the process of promoting your content, you will see a lift in your article’s traffic, ranking and bring you quality, organic links. Most of the times, using influencers is a success.


You don’t need special talent to convince an influencer to do an interview, but you require an extra effort to make them notice your request. There are various ways to talk with an influencer. Send an email, contact them through different events, on social media, on webinars or podcasts and so on.


12. Create Tools and Give Them for Free

A freemium tool is a great idea to create something valuable and earn links. A free tool has a lot of potential, and you can get a lot of attention with it. It’s also a great opportunity for you to appear among the first in the search results. Not only that,  it will be a good start to make a tool you can monetize, afterward. Keyword Tool, a keyword research tool or the free alternative to Google keyword planner as they marketize themselves,  is an example of a powerful free tool. Not only that, but they have around 555,821 links coming from 6,348 referring domains. Great tool, great marketing and great link earning strategy. 

Keyword Tool example


13. Debate a Long Time Controversial Topic

If you want to make a statement, you need to come up with a new approach. A controversial or uncommon topic is a unique link earning tactic. If you want to break the noise, you need to think differently and raise your head up from the crowd. Make people wonder. If you succeed, you’ll see them talk on your blog, share reactions (hopefully they are the ones you desired) and then earn links.


Jonah Berger and Zoey Chen debated the controversy topic in the research When, Why, and How Controversy Causes Conversation, and they discovered that:

[Data] shows that controversy increases likelihood of discussion at low levels, but beyond a moderate level of controversy, additional controversy actually decreases likelihood of discussion.

More controversial topics are more interesting to talk about. Remarkable things are named uncommon or unusual. Here comes the Toilet Paper Strategy. See the next picture and stick it in your mind.

The toilet paper strategy

Which is the right way? This is a hotly debated topic on the globe. There’s even a post on Wikipedia about the “toilet paper orientation”. It worked so well because everyone can relate to the topic. For a thing to be controversial it doesn’t have to be silly, but rather to present facts in comparison or to include other share-worthy elements such as geographic angles, timeliness, shocking insights.


14. Outreach for Reviews and Early Looks

Putting a little effort and starting contacting people to talk with them and build relationships is priceless. Not to mention that outreach for reviews and early looks is an effective link earning strategy.


Online you can find outreach management software to help you establish relationships that allow you to manage and grow a large volume of campaigns. Buzzstream is an example of such tool. Besides that, through these types of tools, you could give influencers an early look, a preview of new features. This strategy works very well to engage with experts and build links creatively. Not to mention that is always important to have an opinion from a user, to know if you need to make improvements or if your product delivers the results you wanted. Afterward, good reviews will follow, and this will bring you popularity in your industry.


However, although the “fight” for link earning and link building it’s tough, whenever you create a new piece of content or an inbound link, you should ask yourself how you would feel if you knew that Google’s former head of web spam team, Matt Cutts was looking at your site. If you’re feeling totally relaxed about it, then you have nothing to worry about. If you’re having second thoughts then you should reconsider your link building or link earning strategies. 


15. Build Social Amplification for Building and Link Earning

Creating social amplification is a great strategy that leads to on-going returns. In the online world, there is a concept of creating media storm based on a highly captivating marketing idea. It is named social link bait. We know that link bait is not a recommended technique, but that is not the case here. In this case, we are talking about viral and social amplification. This strategy will bring social shares, mentions and links will follow, building a natural link profile.


You must think ahead and promote those pages that will catch the eye of the public. An excellent example will be to involve the audience in taking part in your campaign to drive awareness and get more exposure. Social amplification, by its definition, refers to the viewer’s behavior of taking a positive action towards a post and sharing it far wide. The #icebucketchallenge is an example of a successful social amplification idea.



There is also the option of paid social media amplification, which means creating sponsored stories/posts on Facebook, promoted tweets and trends, Google Plus post ads and many other. See the next screenshot from the infographic from Gryffin with the complete list:

Paid Social Amplification



16. Newsjack a Story to Create Buzz & Links to Your Website

If you want to newsjack the right way, you need to know the lifecycle of a news story, before you start. If you start at the right point, you’ll generate buzz. Then let the links come to you.



On top of that, you need to track relevant news by:

  • monitoring Google Trends;
  • tracking keywords and mentions through Brandmentions;
  • following journalists and specialists in your industry;
  • follow trending hashtags on Twitter.


As the internet is continuously developing, we change the way we consume news. You can create a special section on your blog with news. The blog posts can be short. Make sure you express the whole idea to became newsworthy. Search Engine Land offers this type of content.  


After you newsjack a story and you publish it on the blog there are a few things you need to do:

  • tweet the blog post and use trending hashtags;
  • share on other social media platforms;
  • contact a journalist or help a reporter out;
  • hold short live videos;
  • hold a webinar to talk about big changes and big news;

17. Reward Loyalty & Make Your Devoted Customers Talk About You

Brand loyalty is something that every business owner wants. It is a strong feeling to incite. Loyalty comes naturally and as long as you preserve this powerful feeling you’ll have a long-term relationship with your customers. The hard part is maintaining your loyal customers. Rewarding loyalty and making your devoted customers talk about you is one of the successful link earning strategies.


MailChimp nailed this through their Christmas gift. They rewarded their users, giving each a pair of red socks and a Christmas card.

Mailchimp socks reward loyalty


 This reward system got them mentions, social shares, and links, earned links. Below you can see a screenshot from a blog with a link to Mailchimp about the reward.

Mailchimp link earning


18. Engage Your Audiences with Real Time Information Through Live Blogging

Grab the attention by engaging your audience with real-time information through live blogging. Participate in live talks to build your business and personal brand. Offering live content gives you a significant advantage because it offers you the possibility to interact in real time with followers. To make things interesting, you can respond in real time to questions from participants and get massive coverage if your topic is long debated. Afterward, you can and get links and mentions. There is an option to build a blog post around the live video.


When your brand is “on air” your followers will know where you are. Your brand will be associated with relevancy, and they will see you as a reliable source of information.


19. Get Quoted by a Journalist or an Editor to Build Authority

It is a strategy proved to have success and earn links, as Caleb McElveen, inbound marketer and SEO Manager for Listing Power Tools, says in one of his articles. If you don’t have a HARO account, you should. Help a Reporter Out is an online service to help add value and deliver quality information to a publisher. The service was created for journalists to connect with people that have the expertise to provide relevant information. If you help, you might be surprised by the powerful force of the internet. You’ll get the chance to get quoted, and this means you’ll earn links.


20. Build a Recognizable Personal Brand & Use It as a Link Building Technique

Make a name for yourself. You’ll thank me later. A personal brand creates buzz, in case you’ve done your job right. A personal brand means that people know who you are, you have authority in your industry. A personal brand will help you grow your business and enhance your reputation.


Be original, always look to offer quality and relevant content. For example, Kevin Lee is named “the godfather of SEM” as spot on Search Engine People, ShayCarl is pioneer of “vlog videos”. Take a look at people who will always be associated with a brand, like Steve Jobs. When you hear his name, you think Apple. Or when you hear Mark Zuckerberg you think Facebook, for Larry Kim is WordStream and so on. It will be easy for people to connect your name with your brand, and earn links on the long run.


Another important aspect to keep in mind is to have a mantra. Like a brand mantra, it is something that defines you, is a descriptive modifier. Like glasses, John Lennon had a unique type of round glasses, different from those that Elton John wears. Audrey Hepburn has another type of glasses. Take a look at the next picture:

Famous iconic glasses


If we talk about mustaches, the iconic Charlie Chaplin has a toothbrush mustache, Salvador Dali has his unique mustache. Rand Fishkin has an Italian mustache, as you can see in the picture below:



People tend to remember visual elements better and associate them with a name. Having something that sets you apart is important nowadays, to stick it in people’s minds.


21. Provide Insights for Your Industry and Win Organic Links

Highlight competitors and capture the attention. Offer insights and secrets in your industry to become a leader and increase trust. Followers will come because they’ll know your content embodies value. Providing insights is not only an effective link building strategy but also an organic traffic generator. 


Think laterally, which practically means to think of a way to resolve problems through a creative approach. This means to let your imagination look at a problem in an unusual light.

You cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created it. – Albert Einstein

A content of this kind might bring you numerous social shares, mentions on sites within your industry, other blogs, and news publications.




Creating ah-mazing content isn’t everything if you don’t nurture the relationship with your readers, so they share your quality content and make them return to your website. Respect is earned, right? Well, just like respect you need to do something good in order to earn links. The strategies we’ve pointed in the list discussed above can help you with this. Of course, there is not a single “pure” strategy; link earning strategies can combine social media marketing, SEO link strategies, the proper use of anchor texts, guest posts, content strategies, and much more. Regardless if it’s you how’s doing all the work or you let some SEO companies do this for you, you need to keep in mind that the SEO industry can be ruthless when it comes to SEO link building or link earning. 


To wrap out you should stop looking for gimmicks. You should look for the outcome and not catch “tricks” to build links through link schemes or low quality content ideas that don’t keep count of the Google algorithm update. Look for value in everything you do. Follow the advice from SEO experts and go for the best in class content. And remember that a good content strategy (like evergreen content or qualitative guest blogging) is always a solution.


This is not a beginners guide, yet anyone can start getting links by taking into consideration these link earning tactics. We totally agree that a single strategy won’t increases traffic overnight; yet, combined and creatively used, even with the help of some SEO tools or a small but dedicated SEO team, might help you start getting links.


Let us know what you think about these linking strategies and tactics. 



The post Link Earning – A Tale of 21 Unique Strategies to Creatively Build Links appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.