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Content is king!

Before I get into the Google panda stuff, I wanna ask you something….ever hear the expression “Content is King” before?

I’m willing to bet an In-N-Out double cheeseburger with animal style fries that you have (yes, I am pretty hungry as I write this…)

But do you know what that really means?

Cause I was kind of confused when I first heard this somewhat overused IM axiom.

So what actually qualifies as good content?

Revealing a secret that most people don’t know about? Nope.

Over-delivering like heck?  Nope.

Formatting everything so it’s super organized and really actionable? Nope.

Creating good content, or “killer content” as I like to call it is simply…

Giving Your Visitor Exactly What They Want!

This is the difference between creating stuff that people love reading and will share with their buddies… versus… pouring hours of your time into creating content that quietly sits there while tumbleweeds roll across.

And ultimately, the difference between pulling in loads of cash versus wasting your time… to put it bluntly.

Before I get into easiest way to read your audience’s mind and give them what they want, I want to share a quick example of why good content is absolutely crucial for any internet marketer nowadays.

So a few years back, you could have a site filled with informational articles on health insurance that you bought from an article writing service and rank on the first page of Google. Just add adsense and you’d make a killing (the insurance niche has a very high Adsense payout).

But Google got smarter.

They know (as you and I know) that if someone is searching for the term “health insurance”, they couldn’t CARE LESS about reading a 500 world article on the benefits of health insurance.

They want to BUY health insurance online. Or at least review different plans before making a decision.

So now, in order to rank for a term like “health insurance” you need to be an actual service provider, or can direct people to one, because that’s what visitors want. Not a B.S. 500 word article. I’m sure you’ve felt the frustration of really wanting to find something online, but only landing on crap websites.

Yes, Google’s AI human-learning thingamajig is smart enough to know when you’re giving good content and crap content (one indicator of this is your website’s bounce rate, but there are many others).

And by the way, Google is not done. It’s constantly changing. There were actually several Google Panda updates in 2018 and there will be more in 2019.

Panda Updates Can Literally Ruin Your Online Business Overnight!

So how do we safeguard against this?

Simple: Give visitors what they want aka provide killer content.

Remember that marketing is simply giving people exactly what they want.

So let’s talk about a cool little tactic you can use to find out what your website visitors truly want.

No, it’s not surveying them, although that works too.

It’s actually pretty ninja. I call it, “reading your visitor’s mind”

Here’s the tactic:

You’re going to create a contact form, disguised as a search engine box. So when your visitors type in a question they want answers to, you’ll receive that exact query as an email. Review these emails an you’ll know exactly what type of content to create!

This is golden if you don’t know much about your niche.

One of my websites is in the pregnancy niche. Believe it or not, I’m not an expectant mother and don’t know much about pregnancy.

…despite what you may think after seeing my post-holiday dinner belly…

So in order to find out what expectant mothers wanted to know concerning their HCG levels during pregnancy, I set up this little form:

That’s just a picture with a simple contact form underneath. I use the plugin, Contact Form 7.

I let this run for about a week. And received hundreds of emails with what people were typing in. Not surprisingly, most people were asking the same questions. And I knew I needed to give the answers to these questions somewhere on my site… to give my visitors exactly what they’re looking for, but also to prove to Google that I deserve the top ranking for the keyword (currently 6th, but just wait a few weeks).

Whatever I create will be considered “great content” because it’s exactly what the visitors are looking for!

Do not make the mistake of merely guessing your audience wants.

Use this or some other research method to find out for sure. And no your picture doesn’t have to be as corny as mine

Try this out and let me know how it works!

PS- what kind of sorry excuse for a marketer would I be if I didn’t ask you guys what type of stuff you want me to write about!

Leave a reply in the comments below and let me know things you’re struggling with, topics you want to know more about, or anything you want to see on this blog.

In terms of updates and innovation, SEO is one of the leaders on the web. Through regular algorithm changes, Google makes SEO a much more rewarding experience for those who own blogs and websites, and makes it much easier to deal with others who practice Black Hat SEO techniques. What it all means is that the SEO world was a very different one just a few years ago.

Let us look at the different ways in which SEO has been transformed during the past few years.

Emphasis on content

It was not so long ago when spammy content and keyword stuffing dominated the SEO world. There wasn’t much Google could do about it initially but it all changed with the introduction of the Panda updates. They allowed the search engine to dissuade people from keyword stuffing and gave way to a more meaningful and quality content.

By imposing penalty on keyword stuffing, Panda made the Internet a better place for all. It put emphasis on content quality over content quantity which led to a better user experience and rewarded the webmasters who paid more attention on the quality of their content. SEO was transformed into a quality content game and those who could produce the best pieces of writing became those who reaped the most benefits.

Local searches redefined

When 5 years ago the Pigeon update was first introduced, it completely changed the way in which local searches were conducted. What the update basically did is transfer authority from bad to well-optimized sites for local searches.

No more link scheming

Google no longer tolerates the use of links for manipulating search results. The reason for this is that link building, which was so strong some years ago, is now viewed as yet another Black Hat SEO technique. What link building was basically reduced to was natural link attraction and guest posting, making the last two the most viable options to increase your site’s authority.

Mobile first approach

One of the key points in Google’s innovation was the mobile first approach. The search engine basically enforced the site optimization for mobile devices. It now rewards those who have mobile-friendly websites at the expense of the rest.

A never-ending torrent of updates

The recent years have seen Google releasing a “river” of Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird updates. All those attracted great attention from optimizers as they were worried about how and to what extend these updates will affect their sites. Even a small update could affect a website or even potentially break one. It led to a degree of paranoia among site optimizers, which is not necessary a bad thing. For one, everyone is not paying more attention on site optimization.

Google has grown so much during the last few years that it is nearly unrecognizable from what it once was. In my opinion all these changes were for the good. They weren’t perfect but nonetheless have created a solid base on which more improvements could be introduced.

Backlinks are an important piece in modern day search engine optimization (SEO).

Bloggers and webmasters who fail to understand the value of backlinks and the value it provides remain in a perpetual state of oblivion. No successful website was or can ever be built without optimal usage of backlinks. This article examines what a backlink is and how to go about realizing its full potential.

What Are Backlinks?

A backlink is a web link pointing to a page or website under reference. Backlink is a digital age term created by combining ‘back’ and ‘link’. So, in simple words it’s a link pointing back to a website under discussion. As you might guess from a technical standpoint a ‘backlink’ is still a link.

Once upon a time when search engines were not smarter than humans backlinks were even more important than they are now. The number of backlinks pointing to a website was considered as a metric of how many people/institutions consider a particular page as important. The more the number of backlinks, the higher was the deemed value of a page. The smart bloggers and webmasters started using this flaw to their advantage by creating ‘artificial backlinks‘. An artificial backlink, as opposed to organic backlink, is one that is created through some sort of coercion.

As the evolutionary war between search engines and content producers progressed the search engines got smart enough to figure out an artificial/coerced/fake backlink. Nowadays the search engines impose severe penalties on fake backlinks. For example, if you are blogging about politics it will be a terrible idea to have your backlink on a programming blog. After all, reasons Google, why should programming and politics mix? Therefore, a site with lots of artificial backlinks is automatically demoted in the rankings, defeating the purpose of the whole artificial link creation exercise. In a nutshell, in today’s world a blogger trying to create artificial backlinks is nothing short of suicidal.

Some search engines have now taken this evolutionary race to next level by cataloging all websites that are known to indulge in backlink malpractices. You would be doomed if your website were to figure on one of these websites.

Decoding SEO Jargon: Must Know Terms

Link Juice

When a website A contains a link to another website B, A is said to pass ‘link juice’ to B. In the eyes of Google, the great, this is akin to A sharing its goodwill with B. Therefore, if website A is a hot favorite of the search engine, the ratings of B rises as well.

No-Follow Link

Many a times a webpage contains links to another website but the author doesn’t want to pass on the link juice. This is achieved by embedding the no-follow tag (rel=”no-follow”) in the html code of the link.

With the rapid rise of social media, a new kind of implicit no-follow link has emerged. This is a backlink which does not have the code rel=”no-follow” in the html source but still search engines don’t consider it relevant for ranking pages. A nice example of this kind of implicit no-follow links is the links to a website from its Facebook page or its Twitter handle. Whereas search engines attach a lot of value to people sharing the links on your social media page, the links on the page by themselves don’t count. So, if nobody is sharing your links they are as bad as dead.

Do-Follow Link

A do-follow link is a ‘regular’ link that passes link juice. There are no special tags there. A modern day webmaster should use do-follow links very very judiciously.

Linked Root Domain Count

Linked Root Domain Count is a count of unique websites as opposed to unique webpages backlinking to another website. If a website A has 100 pages backlinking to website B, A will still count as 1 linked root domain.

Internal Link

A link to some other location (page or section of a page) within the same website is called an internal link. Internal links help reduce the bounce rate and increase the time visitors spend on a website.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the phrase that is used for a link. It is primarily used for keyword targeting. If there are a large number of backlinks to a particular page with a particular keyword, the backlinked page will rank better for that particular keyword.

Managing Your Backlinks

Managing your backlinks continues to be one of the main cornerstones of modern day SEO strategy. Here are five most important points about backlink management  –

  1. Never try to artificially create backlinks. This is especially true for backlinks created on websites in unrelated area.
  2. Try to create high-quality content that meets real needs of real people. This will help you create organic traffic and increase your traffic manifold.
  3. If you are just starting out with your blog or site and you are not hosting on Google, it’s all the more important for you to get high quality organic backlinks. These backlinks inform search engines that a new kid has arrived on the blog. New websites that fail to generate backlinks may take up to a month to get discovered by Google. This discovery is faster if you are hosting your website on a Google platform such as Blogger (Blgospot, to be more precise).
  4. If you are an eCommerce store or shop you should focus harder on backlinks. In an eCommerce setting typically many vendors are selling the same product. Moreover, product descriptions, prices and reviews also tend to be similar, if not identical. So, as far as a search engine is concerned it’s the same content that is repeated on multiple eCommerce stores. The point of difference than boils down to backlinks. An eCommerce store having high quality backlinks will definitely fare better (at least in terms of traffic) than the competitors.
  5. In modern day SEO the quantity of backlinks is far less important than the quality. A single high quality backlink can be a thousand times better than thousand low quality backlinks. In fact, if the backlinks are of real poor quality they can damage the reputation of your website, sometimes irreparably. So focus on high quality backlinks rather than lots of backlinks.

Generating High Quality Backlinks

A lot of webmasters constantly keep asking – How do I get high quality backlinks for my blog or website?

Here are five proven ways  of generating backlinks for your websites –

  1. Produce quality content that solves real problems of real people
  2. Participate in discussion forums or on Q & A websites related to your domain
  3. Harness the power of social media
  4. Think beyond Google
  5. (Don’t) Submit your URLs to web directories

1. Produce quality content

This is the most important aspect of organic backlink building. As search engines continue to evolve and grow more intelligent, the importance of quality content will keep growing. It’s quite conceivable that eventually nothing else will matter in backlink building except high quality content.
Since high quality content is the backbone of all successful online ventures, we will spend some more trying to define it. High quality content doesn’t necessarily that it’s scholarly content. Nor does it mean that the content you post be breakthrough inventions. Before preparing and posting content take a moment to think about your potential audience. What do they need, what format suits them best and what would impress them enough to come back to your website again.

2. Participate in discussion forums and on Q & A websites

Posting useful backlinks to your websites in a relevant context is perhaps the only other way apart from quality content to gain powerful backlinks. This methodology of creating backlinks relies on posting links to your webpages in response to questions posted by other users. Note that modern day Q & A websites such as Quora.com & StackOverflow.com are smart enough to distinguish good responses from bad ones. Therefore, don’t even think about spamming. To get a long lasting powerful backlink your link must be a coherent part of response that answers a query.

3. Harness the power of social media

With most users on internet joining the social media bandwagon, the search engines have changed their algorithms to attach more weight-age to social media. Links on your social media homepage don’t count as backlinks, but if they go viral search engines start attaching a lot of value to those backlinks. Also note that not all social media are equal. Facebook & Twitter are first among equals. Many researchers believe that Twitter is more future-proof. Therefore, if you just enough resources to manage one social medium, make it Twitter. Some research points to a hypothesis that Facebook is more effective in generating traffic than Twitter. Some of other popular social media that you can consider include Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram.

4. Think beyond Google

Google is the dominant search engine. It has been so for as long memory serves us and is likely to remain the dominant force for a long time in future. Other search engines are also-rans and fail to pose any major challenge to Google. Nevertheless, 2 to 3 % of search engine traffic comes from these search engines such as Bing. If you are the David facing Goliath, this can be easy picking for you. Most large and successful websites focus on Google to the extent that they stop caring about other search engines. You can boost your traffic by getting traffic from smaller search engines. For example, a backlink for wordpress.com website might be deemed more valuable by Bing search engine than by Google.

5. (Don’t) Submit your URLs to web directories

Once upon a time submitting your webpages to web directories used to be part and parcel of every effective SEO strategy. Nowadays it’s suicidal to submit your URLs to any web directory. In fact, if your URLs appear in some of the bad web directories, Google may club you with spammy websites and severely hurt your rankings. In a nutshell, in the era of Google Penguin algorithm it makes no sense whatsoever to submit your URLs anywhere.

It must be pointed out here that there is exactly one place where you MUST submit your URLs. That ‘web directory’ is Google Webmasters. This is the reason why Don’t has be placed in parenthesis in the title above. Submitting your web pages to any other directory is most likely going to do more harm than good to your business.

Conclusion

Backlinks are an important piece in SEO. In this article I have tried to highlight the most basic essential elements of backlink management. Managing backlinks properly is the key distinguishing factor between a thriving and failing online venture.  Failure to adhere to the principles is likely to be catastrophic to websites. Hopefully the ways of generating quality backlinks described here will help your online venture get more organic traffic.

SEO vs SEM

It is true that practically all websites should do SEO, but it is also true that it has some disadvantages that are noticeable in the short term, and not everyone can wait. Next we will see some of the key points that a SEM campaign offers to get more benefit from our company:

Advantages of doing a SEM campaign

1.- The first and most notable advantage offered by a SEM campaign is that it is instantaneous. From the moment you pay, your website will be in the top positions until you run out of the budget that you have spent on the payments per click of your keywords.

2.- The second advantage is obviously the position you occupy in Google while you are doing the SEM campaign. It is much easier to buy yourself being in first position, to buy your competition, being them on the second page.

3.- Possibility to segment the market. What does this mean? It’s very simple. At the moment I open a SEM campaign, I must know what my target audience is and contact them, as the money spent on the campaign will only be on a potential client. (Remember that the money that is invested in a campaign is only consumed when the ad is clicked).

4.- Possibility that the potential client reaches the page you want. You choose where you want to direct traffic.

5.- As many keywords as we want. It is convenient that the keywords are studied and we know that we are really offering the product that the people who put those keywords are looking for.

6.- It is possible to estimate the results before starting the SEM campaign. Depending on the investment we make in the campaign itself we can know more or less the clicks and the reach they have.

7.- One of the things that I would like to highlight, is that even if your website is outdated, it does not matter, since while you pay Google, he will be positioning you.

8.- We are the one who created the ad, and we can give free rein to our creativity, to attract more customers to our website.

As a conclusion, and also a brief advice, is that if you are going to carry out an SEM campaign, do it with a professional, since it is true that it has many advantages, but if you do not do it well, you can be throwing your money away, and in this sector in the end the cheap, it is expensive.

Do you have time and want to end up saving? SEO

Do you want results already? Do not you mind making an investment from the start? SEM.
I hope you liked the article, and especially that it has helped you to make a good decision.