Last week Expedia was hit with a 25% drop in search results for some of their most prominent keywords on Google. This was because of what Google deemed unnatural links. Similar to what happened to Rap Genius in December of 2013.
Unnatural links are artificial links such as purchased links or links in a bad neighborhood of the internet that point to your site. Examples of bad neighborhood sites include scraper sites (sites that copy all of its content from other websites), link farms (a group of sites that all link to one another) , sites with large amounts of spam, malware or illegal or pornographic material.
I noticed this event being reported in my news feed just as I finished a conversation with a client that said he was contacted by Google about his search results. Wait – what?
When people find out I am a web developer, one of the first things website owners will ask me is if I have some time to look at their site and see if it's any good. My follow up question to them is usually, "What do you mean?".
Most of the time when someone asks me to look at their site it's because it's not performing as well as they had hoped, for one reason or another and are trying to find a solution.
Looks comes up a lot. But the way a site looks really has nothing to do with how it performs. I have seen some rather poorly designed and unsavory sites do great things for their owners. I have also seen some really well designed sites perform very poorly.
There are some factors that determine whether a website is "good" or not. Let's go over them.
Blogging is one the greatest ways to gain links, page rank, and relevancy in search engine results. Google and Bing, heck, all search engines, like sites that have fresh content. And as an added bonus by creating consistent content for your site you also have a reason for the search engines to revisit as will as more pages to crawl which leads to more keywords that your site could show up for.
So in the spirit of content marketing we're going to go over some basics of how to get your content out in front of as many people as possible.
It used to be that if a business wanted to find out what people thought about them, they would sent out a paper survey in the mail and ask. These days you can still do that but what you may not realize is your survey is being conducted in homes, businesses and city streets around the world without even you asking for it.
Congratulations. You've been active in your marketing, posting news stories, press releases, and interesting information on social media, email, and online advertisements. But how well are these efforts working for your overall site goals. It may be a little extra work but tracking these campaigns in Google Analytics is pretty easy.
Since we are nearing the release of our content management system, Blossom CMS, I thought now would be a good time to go over what duplicate content is and how to either fix it or keep it from happening in the first place. The generated links in our system are all uniform and proper measures are in place so pages don't get indexed incorrectly. But by allowing our clients to manage their own linking system I thought I would go over a few tips to keep things neat and tidy.