So many webmasters focus on Google, but some in the SEO industry say that Bing is the underdog that should get more respect. Should it? For quite some time now, Bing has tried to oust Google as the king of search. Unfortunately, Bing has also been criticized for copying Google's search results and basically piggybacking on the success of big "G."
What Bing Really Does
Last year, Google started running something of a "sting" operation to monitor its competitors' search results. What it found shouldn't be that surprising to regular users: Bing was caught cheating. Of course, Bing doesn't deny this. One of the more notable examples of Bing copying Google is the search test "tarsorrhaphy." Searching for this phrase in Google brings up something that looks like this:
Google shows the misspelled word along with the correct spelling option. Now, look at Bing's search results for the same search...
Have you ever spend countless hours combing through Google's Adwords (keyword) tool to search for the holy grail of keywords for your niche? What happened? You ended up typing in a keyword and sifting through mounds of data, most of which you already knew was incomplete or completely misreported by Google. Then, you tried to guess at the intent of people searching for those keywords, played with exact match, phrase match, and broad match while also checking the competition for those keywords.
In the end, you kinda sorta relied on the competition level as a guide for competition in the organic results when it really only refers to competition in the paid side of things. You tried encasing your keyword in quotes like this: "keyword."
In this example, if you were targeting "dog location services," you might think you've stumbled onto a gem. Look, there's not much competition. You've chosen an arbitrary number of...
Most SEOs and amateur webmasters aren't taking the time to build effective backlinks. They're still chasing the easy links. Even after the Panda and Penguin updates, there is still a lot of link-wheeling, lame article marketing, and outright blackhat link buying going on. This stuff won't work over the long-term. In fact, webmasters are learning the hard way that Google means business. As the effectiveness of these tactics continues to decrease, you'll have to figure out new tricks. But, why not learn something with some staying power?
Too few people use this awesome keyword suggestion tool. When people go to Google, they tend to look for answers to problems they're having. That's the basic premise behind that boring white search box. You type in a question, and Google serves up an answer. We'd all like to type something into the search box and have awesome search results, and we know that it doesn't always happen. Here's...
A lot of link builders are chasing the holy grail of link bait, spinning mediocre content into somewhat readable articles, and using various web-based programs to distribute those articles to article directories (you know the ones). The other thing that's still happening is paid links, unbelievable as it might sound. Maybe there are nubile link builders out there who don't know any better, or maybe there are SEO companies that are still looking for that quick buck from an ignorant client, but it's amazing to see this tactic persist. What's worse are companies like LinkVana that masquerade as a legit whitehat operation when it obviously wears dark colors.
You don't need to go blackhat to get good backlinks to your site. All you need is a little ingenuity.
Step 1: The Content
The mantra of "content is king" has been beaten to death, but this is important if you want this strategy to work. First, create compelling content....
Once you've reached a certain level of traffic, it's time to hire an SEO company, but there are so many choices out there and so many ways to screw this up. If you hire the wrong company, it's entirely possible that your website will be buried in the SERPs, and you'll be worse off than you would be if you didn't hire an SEO company to begin with. Rand Fishkin, from SEOMoz, gives us some clues as to what we should look for before plunking down our hard-earned money:
Does your SEO expert understand the basics of SEO? Surprisingly, there are a lot of SEO firms out there who don't know how to do the basic stuff every SEO expert should know how to do. For example, does your SEO guy know what a "rel=canonical" is and what it does? No? Then it's time to consider someone else. Your SEO firm should be able to tell you what an "alt" attribute is, and what it means in regards to SEO. Do search engines use it? How much...
It's no mystery that Google loves content. What seems to be a mystery is how much quality has to go into a piece of “quality content” before Google boosts your search ranking. It would appear that many Internet marketers are still trying to take the path of least resistance by using article spinners, cheap content suppliers, and sometimes content scrapers. None of these will bear fruit in the long run.
Why Content Matters
A lot of webmasters give lip service to “quality content.” What does that really mean though? Well, from Google's perspective, it means offering content that is not only fresh but takes a unique perspective on an already existing topic or covers a topic that's never been covered before. That doesn't happen when marketers pay $5 per article, or when they create seed articles and spin them into oblivion hoping to get thousands of backlinks.
There's a lot of wasted effort out there...
A recent study by Pew Internet & American Life project shows that most Americans use social media to keep in touch, not to find celebrities or dates. This has a pretty significant impact on your business and marketing efforts if you happen to be in those niches.
Roughly 91 percent of users in the study said that they used social media sites, like Facebook, to stay in touch with family, friends, and old schoolmates. The lowest motivators were to "find a date or romantic partner." Ouch. If you run a dating website, or if you sell anything related to that niche, now you know why your fan page isn't doing so well. It's probably not going to work out for you on Facebook. At least now you know why.
Only 5 percent of the survey respondents said that following celebrities was a major reason for being on a social networking site. If you're in this niche, you're also out of luck. Even still, it's possible to fail on sites like Facebook and...
Facebook is going public soon. Right now, it's in a quiet period, but there are some hints that the social media giant will radically overhaul its onsite search engine. If it is successful, Facebook could just become the new Google. Think that's a bit far-fetched?
Consider this: Facebook may just be valued at about $100 billion. The angel investors backing Facebook want to see a return on their money. Mark Zuckerberg has to deliver. That means he has to come up with a way for the company to make more money than it does right now. Right now, Facebook is driven by ad revenue. Those little ads on the right-hand side of the page are what keeps private investors interested in the company.
When Facebook goes public, it needs to up its ad revenue to meet Wall Street valuations. The easiest way to do that seems to be increasing the visibility of ads on the site. Facebook has hired some very bright minds to take care of the details. According to...
Google is knocking all the good guys down a rung with its latest algorithm update. Recently, Google announced that it will be making changes to its search algorithm to give websites that aren't using the latest SEO tactics a chance to be seen in the search engines. The promised changes could bump "over-optimized" websites down and reward websites that are "under-optimized."
That makes everyone basically a blackhat marketer now. Why? Well for years, Google told us to optimize our website. Optimize, optimize, optimize. make it easy for users to navigate. Make it easy for Google to crawl. Fill your website with keywords (without stuffing). Use anchor text when linking back to your homepage.
If you've done all of this optimization, you may end up being kicked down to page 2 or even 3 of Google and you may find your lazy competitors pushed up to the first page of Google. Remember all of those articles you published with your anchor text?...
A recent study done by Parks Associates showed that 87 percent of iPhone users used Siri at least monthly, with roughly 1/3 of users using Siri almost daily. That's a lot of users using a voice-activated assistant. Apple has made it fashionable to use a voice-activated assistant, but most people still only use Siri for things like text messaging, making phone calls and sending email.
Even so, this is good news for you as an Internet marketer. With Siri, people will eventually be doing an increasing number of voice-activated searches. Think about it. Google is the leader in search technology, and Apple's primary rival. Big G is also developing its own voice-activated search assistant. In fact, last year Google filed a patent with the USPTO for a new type of remote or application that would use its cloud assisted voice recognition technology.
That points to Google developing its voice activated search technology for Android phones. Speaking your...