Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Best Way To Assure Quality Content Is To Innovate, Excel And Work Hard In Real Time

Author : Bharati Ahuja

With the Panda Update and Google being hell-bent on working on high quality standards for search results the need to keep the web presence updated with high quality content is the need of the hour. Amit Singhal of Google shared with us the definition of Good Quality Content. But, the challenge is how to share fresh good quality content which is knowledge based and will be helpful to the user on a regular basis.

Many are jumping on the band wagon of appointing content writers and thinking of ways and means of churning out content in some form or the other but just content addition is not enough, the content has to supplement and augment the already existing authority, popularity and the ideology of the blog or any web presence that you are trying to promote on the search engines. Authority and popularity cannot be bought it has to be earned over a period of time.

IMHO “There Is No Substitute For Hardwork” and the genuine content is the content which is the reflection of what you do in real time.

Usually when I advise the clients to keep their site updated with fresh quality content , the question which is posed by them is - What else can we write more about our company , we have already written all about it.

That’s where the difference is, we do not have to write for the sake of adding content and come up with an immaculate piece of content by a writer who is politically correct and grammatically correct but share and write about the following:

  • The company happenings 
  • achievements 
  • faux pas made by your team 
  • efforts put in for making a product more innovative 
  • a solution achieved for a problem faced 
  • the industry ideologies that our company promotes 
  • Share the latest news about the products and services we deal in 
  • Videos about the new outlets opened or achievements celebrated 
  • Discuss customer reactions and review 
  • Support a cause , event or promote industry related conferences, seminars and exhibitions 
  • We all discuss our success but for a change if we discuss some failure and the lessons learnt by that also is something which gets widely read and accepted as it helps others learn from the mistakes made by us. 

This way the web presence of your business will become a true reflection of your real time business where there will be no dearth of actual valuable content and this content will be helpful in projecting the true image reflecting the authority, identity and popularity quotient of your business. Every happening, innovation and development in your office or company can become a topic for a blogpost adding valuable content if you think it will help and offer some valuable information your existing customers, potential clients, shareholders or any targeted visitor to your website in some way or the other.

Work hard in the real world to have more satisfied customers and more acheivements in business which helps your business grow and then update and upgrade your virtual business and presence with the real world facts, figures and experiences thereby being in a win-win situation in the virtual world as well as the real world.

The greatest example is Google itself , if we see the Google blog or any other web presence they have – It is always updated with their latest developments and the discussions about what their priniciples and ideologies in practice.

Paid content, like paid links  does not have any value,  if your business is not living its actual essence in real life. It will soon fizzle out like paid links . But, content generated with a view of updating the existing client with the actual product information or the content which helps the potential client take a decision or the content which makes the shareholder in your business achieve confidence in the company is all content valuable from the user and the search engine perspective.

Genuine, informative and knowledge based content does not only add value to the content aspect of the web presence but also has the potential of getting inbound links in a natural way boosting the web presence multifold .

Content added just for the sake of having more words on your website is like external makeup which gets washed away with time but content by which the company can vouch for and lives by is like inner beauty having a long lasting value for your targeted visitors, you and of course the search engines which can withstand any algoquakes from Google or that matter any search engine.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Spreading The SEO Knowledge Further Beyond Geographical Boundries

WebPro Technologies conducting an Online SEO Training Session via Skype for participants in the southern  part of India.

The session below is on the importance of working on natural inbound links for SEO.

Next we will be conducting a full time SEO Training Programme at Ahmedabad Management Association in November 2011.

Related Posts:


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Is Google's Encrypted Search, A Bane Or Boon For The SEO Industry?

Author : Bharati Ahuja

Google recently announced their strategy to make search more secure . Google says as search becomes an increasingly customized experience, we recognize the growing importance of protecting the personalized search results we deliver. As a result, we’re enhancing our default search experience for signed-in users.

This means that in the Google Analytics Report we will no longer see the referrer keyword which initiated the click if the person searching is signed in to his Google Account and this will be applicable only to organic searches. The PPC clicks will continue to see the keyword data as Google has to account for every paid click to the Adwords Account Holder.

This has raised many mixed reactions from the SEO community. In fact a very big hue and cry from the SEO blogs all over the blogosphere that this kind of discrimination of data in Google Analytics is a big step by Google to promote paid search .

Google has further mentioned on the blog post that :

When you search from, websites you visit from our organic search listings will still know that you came from Google, but won't receive information about each individual query. They can also receive an aggregated list of the top 1,000 search queries that drove traffic to their site for each of the past 30 days through Google Webmaster Tools. This information helps webmasters keep more accurate statistics about their user traffic.

Now it can be understood why before this announcement was made, Google had announced the integration of Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics and introduced the Search Engine Optimization option under the Traffic Sources in Google Analytics.

In order to monitor and analyze the keyword data in a holistic manner for an SEO campaign integrating the Google Analytics with Google Webmaster Tools will become necessary.

Though many in the SEO world have taken this development as an attack on the organic search scene, I think it is a qualitative step ahead for SEO for the following reasons:

  •  The keyword data if it comes as a result of personalized search and reflects the organic click in Google Analytics does not reflect the genuine organic click as the SERPs of personalized search vary from the search results when the personalized search is off. The main reason being the fact that when the person is logged in the ranking for that particular query may be much higher due to his preferences and past history. But due to the social media integration in search results it is not only about the history but also about what you have shared on social media using that Google account, hence all the more reason for the person to be totally logged out from his Google Account if he wants to see true and accurate organic SERPs which are not influenced by any personal preference and are a result of the SEO effort put in for that.

  •  The SEOs will have to educate their clients about this change which will make the users more smart about using search and will be able to appreciate genuine search results of SEO campaigns.

  •  This will take SEO campaigns above the metrics of keywords and rankings and the focus will be on other quality metrics like CTR , conversions, bounce rate, etc. which will improve the quality of the web overall as the websites besides being rich in content will have to focus on good landing pages, a proper call to action, page load speed and good navigation which will ensure a better UX .

I Think if Google introduces the continuous scroll for search results along with this development of making search more secure then every SEO campaign will genuinely go beyond the metrics of keywords and rankings and only those SEOs focusing on the true meaning of SEO and working on technical and quality aspects like  getting the site getting indexed properly in the search engines, improving the internal architecture, educating the client about his overall web presence will be the ones who will survive.

It is very difficult to know the main objective of Google behind this development. Even if today it may be for promoting paid search as many believe, but in the long run it will surely make the organic search scene more qualitative and carve a genuine and true niche for SEO.

Related Articles On  The SEO Blogosphere:

Google To Begin Encrypting Searches & Outbound Clicks By Default With SSL Search

Poll: What does Google dropping keyword data mean for SEOs?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Matt Cutts Answers Some Important SEO Questions

    Matt Cutts had a live Q&A session in September 2011.
    View the video below to find what Matt Cutts has say for the following questions.
  1. Do +1′s have any affect on search rankings?
  2. Will you ever count negative meta keywords? 
  3. Should I create a native application or a mobile web site to work with all of the mobile platforms? 
  4. Will Google Plus allow me to customize my profile?
  5. When can we expect Google Flights to be activated outside of the USA?
  6. How will the +1 on advertisements affect SEO?
  7. Why has the quality of technical search results has gotten poorer since the Panda update?
  8. What do you like better, Facebook or Google Plus?
  9. Will the age of a domain make a difference in how well it shows up in search engine rankings?
  10. When are the next round of Panda Updates expected? 
  11. When will Google Plus be available for Google Apps users?
  12. Why was the Panda Update called Panda? 
  13. What should be the recommended priority value when you submit your XML sitemap to Google?
  14. Why did Google rank my website without a snippet even though my Meta Description was high quality?
  15. What is the impact of Googlebot finding an extremely high number of pages at once on a site?
  16.  can you define that term “Hangouts” with an example?
  17. How should e-commerce websites handle rel=author? 
  18. Will rel=author be compatible with business Google Plus?
  19. Can you schedules these Q&A’s weekly like a Matt Cutts podcast?
  20. How can I ensure a website stealing my content won’t get away with it?
  21. Are double 301 redirects ok? 
  22. Where is the Orkut? 
  23. When is Google going to update PageRanks again?
  24. When will there be a rel=author for the news industry? Why isn’t there one offered now?
  25. How can I get an internship at Google?
  26. Does “Unavailable after” robots tag remove a page completely from the index so you don’t have a problem with a 404 error?
  27. Should I buy my company’s brand on a new top-level domain to secure it?
  28. Does Google identify automatic page redirection with JavaScript?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Google+ Real-time Search Results & Improved Hashtag Support

Author : Bharati Ahuja

Google+  has rolled out two new features :

1) real-time search results; and

2) improved hashtag support.

when you search in Google+, you'll see a message about new posts the instant they're available. If you click on this message, or select "Most recent", then relevant posts will start appearing in real-time.

We have got so used to using hashtags that it could not be ignored by Google. +Vic Gundotra from Google says You don't have to use hashtags on Google+ (search works fine without them), but when you do, we'll automatically link to search results.

Listen to what he has to say about these 2 new features.

Now with Real Time Search Results on Google+ it won’t be surprising if Google restores back the Real Time Search option on the Google Search Page. In fact looking forward for it to get back.

 But it needs to be seen if that would be dominated only by Google+ Real Time Search Results or would also have updates from other social media sites???


Friday, October 7, 2011

After Link Building Spammers, It Is The Content Spammers Trying To Make Hay While The Sun Shines

Author : Bharati Ahuja

After the PageRank became an important aspect of the Google Algorithm having a direct correlation to the ranking factors, there were many people who resorted to only link building as their main activity giving rise to a link building industry itself.

Well, at the very outset I would say that yes inbound links are important and yes there should be a meticulous effort put in to get natural inbound links and not all people focusing on link building are spammers.

But building links is like building a reputation and gaining the recognition for it . For building a reputation and popularity one needs to put in a lot of effort and links are earned as a part of the web journey of the site and I believe the only links that have value are the links that you have earned . The way you build your reputation in real life similarly you build the quality footprints on the web to gain the recognition by way of relevant inbound links. No amount of link exchanges and adding your website to umpteen directories and portals is going to bring any nutritive link juice to your PageRank .

After the Panda update we see many people claiming themselves to be content writers and offering content writing services. I am saying this as the no. of emails that I used to receive for link requests which were nothing but requests for spammy link exchanges are now decreasing and the no. of emails from companies introducing themselves as content writers is on the rise.

Again I would like to specify like all link building is not spam,  all the content writers also do not fall in the spam category . There are some very good companies offering quality content writing as per each website’s niche content and focus . But, the real challenge again here is to separate the grain from the chaff.

There are a few questions to which we should gain meaningful answers before we start investing in content marketing or adding more and more content to our site.

Q1) Why do we need more quality content ?

Google mentioned on its blogpost when they first announced (Feb. 24 2011) the Panda Update 1.0 that

“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

So, yes quality content is important , but if you read in between the lines , it is not the quantity but the quality of content that is important from the user perspective. So it is not necessary to convert your site into a plethora of articles which will just add words to your site but instead give valuable information about the products and services that you offer so that the user gets the relevant info to take a decision or gets the answer to the question that he is finding and the content on your site serves the purpose of his search which made him click on the landing page of your website.

Q2) What is quality content?

As stated on one of our previous blogposts :

What Is Quality Content?

Point-wise And In A Precise Manner The Content Reflects High standards Of Quality If the content is :
1. Trust worthy

2. Written by an expert

3. Not duplicated with other variations on the same site

4. The site can be trusted for credit card payments

5. Does not have spelling and style errors

6. The topic is in sync with what the readers want to read about

7. Is original

8. Adds value to the topic

9. Checked for quality standards to provide good UX

10. Unbiased and give both sides of the story

11. Hosted on Domain Authority

12. Is not mass produced

13. Is edited well

14. Trust worthiness related to important matters like health

15. Reflects brand authority

16. Is complete and offers an overall view about the topic

17. Stating facts or discussing the topic with insights

18. Is it worth sharing

19. Having a lot of Ads. Loses the true essence of information and knowledge

20. Is the content worth being printed

21. Is it long enough to be informative

22. Is attention given to detail

23. Is published with good UX

There is more about quality content on the following 2 links:

Q3) Can borrowed content or content written just for the sake of adding words to your site work in your favour?

If we read in between the lines of the above stated extract again then we can see Google clearly mentions that :

“…..At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

Hence Google wants to give preference and promote authority sites i.e sites which give overall information about the industry trends, offer analysis on the relevant subject of the site, etc.

All this content can only be written by a thought leader of that industry not by people who just spin out content for the sake of filling pages. Hence identifying the right person or the right company for content writing and then selecting and deciding what content and info should be published on your site is a specialized job in itself which I think should be handed over to a very responsible person of your company as this content reflects the opinion and views of your company related to that topic as this kind of correlation establishes you as a thought leader and will help the website positively.

But, what is important to note is that building links , having your site updated with quality content and establishing yourself as an individualistic thought leader are all inter-connected and correlated.

If you share your knowledge via blogposts on your site or write guest posts and share it on social media which has a potential of being shared further it helps you in gaining quality natural links and also in the bargain gives you an identity of being an authority on the topic if it is appreciated by your readers.

If we analyze this further if you have quality content then your site has the potential of getting natural inbound links and the social media platform is the dais on which this display of quality content is possible in the form of links to your site which has the potential of further increasing the inbound links and also establish your authority and reputation on the web.

Q4) How to come up with quality content regularly?

Now, adding quality content regularly can be a challenging task but if you have a strategy then it can be simplified to a certain extent.

· Share knowledge about the topics related to your products and services.

· Write about the industry trends.

· Offer your opinion and analysis about the latest industry trends.

· Display the information graphically if possible with relevant statistics.

· Explain the graphs and statistic reports via a video.

· Publish interviews with authority people of your industry.

· Write about the developments in your company which you would like to share.

· Invite guest posts for your site.

· Be ahead of the rest in sharing news about your industry

· Carry out surveys

· Research on some topic or trend in your industry and share the content

After a proper analysis of the above points one can easily plan a content strategy which will surely be a win-win-win from the user , the search engine and the social media perspective as they all are correlated to each other.