Tag Archives: google

Google’s Zombie Traffic

I found this somewhere online.
I found this somewhere online.

Google recently has been sending tons of garbage traffic to company sites. They claim it’s not them, however the evidence is clearly mounting that Google IS doing this.

We’re not exactly sure why, but the traffic they send NEVER converts, always clicks around in a awkward pattern.. then vanishes. Everyone else that we receive traffic from does convert at a normal rate and clicks in a more logical pattern.

Some Signs that you are getting Google Zombie Traffic (no specific order).

They reach one page from another, though no hyperlink exists between the two.
The traffic never converts, not just low conversion, literally zero conversion.
Traffic looks like a spike initially until you notice the conversion rate is zero.

Come clean Google, why are you sending Zombie Traffic? Our sites are in English.. it comes in via spikes and it’s annoying to say the least, messes up conversion tracking and ROI.

Google changed everything in the past six months.

A few months ago everyone was talking about Phantom, then Panda and all the other search modifications Google does to themselves (RankBrain, Penguin, Etc).

However recently we’ve been seeing more and more rapid fire succession of changes, Some of them are rather huge. For example we’re seeing Google Push AMP, while pushing mobile, while pushing responsive, even without a simple way to explain why we need 2 different mobile sites. Sure AMP is less featured but faster, but is it worth the headache of running 2 mobile sites. Google based initiates have moved forward much faster recently. Some to Organic Search, others to PPC, and yet others to new formats.

The point I am trying to make is the company is taking bigger and faster modifications then they ever did in the past, and I don’t believe it’s just on search. Other initiatives such as self driving cars and drone delivery are all working on multiple fronts. The company is practically a research organization with a side business of search. Google is one of the top patent producers in the world.

We live in interesting times, but I’m telling you know, you’re going to see more of Google in the future than you do already and I don’t see Apple or Microsoft stopping them.

Google’s RankBrain – Explained for puny humans

Let’s face it, there is a bunch of information out there regarding RankBrain a machine learning (Artificial Intelligence) part of Google’s ranking system and it’s confusing. Here is the most simple explanation. One Suitable for a client to understand.

If Google has not seen that specific search before. Rankbrain goes though as much information as it can to try to figure out your intent for that search then give you those results.

That could mean your previous search history, what others searched recently, trending searches and a few (actually many) other factors. It then gives you what it feels you were looking for.

It continues to learn from you and everyone else. Overtime it will get smarter as it learns.

That’s it.

Real Time Penguin appears to have rolled out in Google

There are reports coming out of Europe that the SERPS are changing wildly.

We in the United States are waking up to some wild changes for some of our clients, and minor if any changes for others.

We have not seen wild changes in Google’s rankings in quite some time. Over the past few years Google has rolled out slowly any modifications to how it ranks websites. However today it appears that they just pushed out something considerable and this was not rolled out, this was pushed out.

It appears at first glance to be Real-time Penguin. Search Engine News reported earlier this month that all the disavow links will be filtered out in real time.

This most likely means that all those disavows that people have been submitting to webmaster tools are now implemented at the same time. Causing chaos in the SERPS for the next few days.

This is wild, but most likely will settle down in a few days.

It’s fantastic opportunity to see how the results change so quickly. We have not seen these types of fluctuations since the mid 2000’s.

SEO and how to applies to Branding

This is a question that many CMO’s think about. If you were to hear it from many traditional advertising firms you’d think that SEO is somewhere along the lines of an afterthought. If you were to hear it from a PPC firm, you would think that SEO is a bunch of tricks that can’t ensure a steady ROI as it constantly is moving up and down. However, if you were to hear it from an SEO firm, the warcry is that SEO has the ability to deliver the highest ROI of all forms of marketing. All these are true and not true at the same time. All the views are valid. But the one that never sticks out, yet is the most positive about it is that SEO is a valid branding strategy.

In all honesty there is no such thing as a digital campaign without including and prioritizing SEO as one of the keystones. SEO is a branding strategy. When someone searches for X and sees your brand, then they search for a variation on X and still sees your brand the client is being exposed to a “self inflicted” branding campaign. As far as the end user knows Google is “suggesting” your site as valid for that search query.

If the potential client is exposed to your brand in several searches, eventually the potential client remembers that your brand is associated with that search. You’ve launched a rudimentary branding campaign with only SEO as the tool.

Many marketing managers don’t think about this, but Wikipedia was nearly fully branded by SEO. Without SEO Wikipedia would never have achieved the same level of traffic and reliance as it has today.

So when someone says “SEO isn’t branding” ask them how it’s not branding every time someone searches for the generic version of your product, and your name appears.

Search Engine Land : A Real SEO would comply with Google Guidelines

Search Engine Land just published an article that basically states that real SEO’s comply with Google’s Guidelines.

Google declared war against SEO, or better said old school SEO. 10 years later Google shaped the SEO industry to the point where SEO’s now align themselves with Google rather than “against” the search engine.

Google’s victory has been so sound, in fact, that they’ve remade an entire industry and turned their former enemies into allies. Rather than working tirelessly to trick search engines, modern SEO practices more or less work for Google — fighting spam (instead of producing it) and creating great content for Google to dish up to their users.

That is the truth. Though for the record many firms stuck to the guidelines the entire “trip”. The ones that tried to “bend”, “break” or flat out go blackhat had a rough ride over the past few years. But that was in the past, today hiring a professional SEO agency means you are hiring copywriters, technical skills and individuals with the sole mission of making your website Google Guideline compliant.

This isn’t the relationship we had (we as in SEO firms in general) had with Google all though the 2000’s and early 2010’s. SEO firms had internal tricks to rank better, they refused to share those tricks with other SEO firms and tried to hide their methods from Google itself. Of course each of these tricks were discovered and penalized in the search engine when the next update occurred.

It made for wild variations whenever an update occurred. In fact they were named (and still are) similar to hurricanes. The reason they made so much noise was two fold. The first was because the way they rolled out, from datacenter to datacenter over the course of a day or two. The second was because 1/2 the highest ranking websites were specifically targeted to get demoted because they ranked well due to a trick that they were doing.

As Google came down on each of these “tricks” a large percentage of the SERPS would drop out of favor for new ones. These were massive changes. Now however the algorithms are slowly put out in a rolling format over the course of weeks and months. We don’t have rapid world shattering changes from day to day anymore. Now we notice slight changes over the course of a month or two. It’s not like it used to be, where you would do your search and your company drops from #1 to #200 in a matter of 30 seconds. That drop still will occur, but it appears to float down rather than drop like a rock. Vice versa for a site that is starting to climb in the rankings. It doesn’t shoot up like a rocket, more like a slow moving hot air balloon over the course of a few weeks.

This type of SEO is actually more interesting and fun than the rapid change SEO that use to take place.

Welcome to Modern SEO.

Election SEO ( Search Engine Optimization )

There are quite a few names for Political SEO. Election SEO, SEO for Politicians and a dozen other variations.

The end result is always the same, a politician or his operative hires an SEO firm to help build a brand that they could trade on. To actively monitor and work with Google, Facebook, Twitter and other social and search outlets to keep control of the message their client is trying to maintain and build.

This becomes a literal full time job for many people especially close to election. At that point people are searching to high levels trying to figure out who to vote for. They heard rumors of X or Y and are trying to see if that rumor is true.

This is when Political SEO becomes the central piece of any political campaign. Your client needs to be ranking for that term , that night. So not only does the SEO have to monitor what’s happening , but they also have to respond and rank in time for the rush of voters that want to know the true story.

This type of SEO isn’t normal, this is Political SEO and this type of SEO makes typical business SEO look like Checkers compared to Chess.

Most businesses don’t require to respond by election night. Though that occasionally does happen, it’s typically called Crisis Management SEO or an advanced version of reputation management.

Though this work is similar, it’s typically narrowed to one specific instance. A bad review on Yelp or an event that took place that individuals are discussing on social media and blogs. However Political SEO is this, but on many fronts, way too many fronts in recent elections.

Yooter InterActive can guide you though this minefield and help get your client elected.

Political SEO Guidelines for a campaign manager doing it on their own

A checklist of sorts for a Political SEO operative. Nothing like this exists right now in a report format, so this might help you if you are doing digital campaign for your candidate.

1 – Adopt a blogging platform, We suggest WordPress. The reason for this is that you need a rapid response tool that normally is indexed quickly in Google, has the ability to push out onto Social Media automatically such as Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools via free plugins. Technically speaking, you could voice to text to your phone, press submit and it will display in Google, Twitter, Facebook and every other social media outlet you have connected it to. With one button you can update your response in short order. WordPress can also be configured to have it automatically mail journalists if you desire. In other words the platform is nearly perfect for what you are trying to accomplish in many instances.

2 – Monitor others, you need to keep an eye on what the competition is doing. You can of course just search daily or read news reports. But a more proactive way is to get notifications from Google when certain keywords are mentioned.

3 – Setup some notification from Facebook and Twitter as well , the google one works fine for legit or somewhat legitimate news sources, but if you want to understand what is going on in the social media front you need to monitor each social media outlet. You can do this via many tools available, even WordPress has plugins that do this for you to an extent in the dashboard. But you really should check up on this yourself and don’t rely on tools.

4 – Start Blogging, you need to outline your candidates position clearly. On Fracking I believe X and Y. On Abortion I believe X and Y. On Legalization of Marijuana I believe in X and Y. Be factual don’t fluff it up to the point where another candidate can start calling you “wishy-washy”, a “flip-flopper” or any other type of distraction from the message. These posts need to be very clear on what the candidate believes.

5 – Continue blogging, your candidate wanted to run for office because he or she believes in something. In these set of posts please make sure that your candidates values are being shown in a positive light. Use stories on why your candidate takes that position. Photos and images should correspond to that message.

6 – Donations. Let’s face it any campaign is dead in the water without funding. You need to make it easy to donate. Paypal, Credit Card, all these should be options, and all these should be easily reached from any page on your site. I suggest a third party processor such as Paypal because you don’t want to store credit card numbers on your candidates site. The last thing you need is a security problem being publicized in the middle of a campaign.

7 – Contact – People that vote want to know if the candidate they contact will care about their issues. Please make it easy for them to contact you AND be good about responding.

8 – Respond – to what you believe is needed to be responded to via your Blog. It should be the defacto go to site for anything concerning your candidate. Since it is tied into your social media, one post there populates many areas, such as Facebook and Twitter. Responses, if setup in a similar fashion, quick and easy and casts a big net.

9 – Attack – If you want to go on the offensive, please note that the same tools you use for defense can be used offensively. If your adversary is trying to cover up something he or she did in the past that relates directly to the election, by all means make sure it’s there. Just remember when campaigns go negative they have a hard time going back to the high road. Be prepared to go on the defensive just as quick. Negative campaigns turn expensive with pay per click, hulu ads, youtube ads, TV ads and everything else you can afford. This is not the route one normally desires but is forced into.

10 – Go back to step one.

Political SEO – The timeline of expectations

Why do political operatives hire SEO firms?

The reason is simple. Political Elections require super fast turn around between attack ads and responses. They require 24/7 vigilance over what is being said about the candidate and a way to respond within minutes within Google’s results. If a competitor launches an attack ad saying “Joe approved a fracking project next door to the water supply” You need to rank with a truthful article for “joe fracking water supply” in Google. That article should be ranked well when the individual is searching for those terms that night.

This is not traditional SEO. This is Political SEO. A completely differing animal. Most businesses have a set of keywords they want to rank for, and they work towards that goal. In this case it’s not a set of keywords, it’s a set of responses (or attacks) on their competitor. These keywords change by the day, the hour or the minute depending on how the story is unfolding and how people are searching to get the real answer.

This type of SEO isn’t cheap, but it’s the type of SEO that politicians need. Typically attack ads are designed to hinder the ability of the opposition to respond quickly. With a Political SEO on your team that nullifies that ability.

We are taking select political SEO clients now. We only take one candidate per election, so oftentimes it is the first one that contacts us is the first one to get the advantage. We reserve the right to refuse any candidate should we deem them not a proper fit. We do not discriminate between parties, we service both Republican and Democratic tickets.

Enjoy the new reality on Political Elections moving forward. This is a developing industry that only grows every few years and only the smartest politicians with experienced SEO teams win that battle.

Guidelines for SEO – Even Google said we’re doing it right.

We work hard to comply with Google Guidelines. Though typically that means you don’t shoot up in the rankings overnight, it also means you don’t crash the next day. Our methods have always earned respect in the industry. Even from Google itself. It’s not everyday that Google gives a nod on Twitter to an SEO firm for following their guidelines for fortune 500 firms. There are several examples, but here’s one from a few years ago.

We believe that following the Google webmaster guidelines is the safest approach to SEO. You stand very little risk of being penalized for playing the rules and your clients enjoy the confidence in knowing that their internet presence isn’t tarnished. We earned a strong client base simply because we play the rules.

Using a “trick” or a “hack” to get better rankings typically means that same hack or trick will be used against you when the search engines decide to penalize any site that is using that method.

Stay clean and your clients will thank you for years.