Google’s “Fred” Update Has Been Confirmed: Now What?

Image Source On March 8, 2017, Google released a new update called Fred. As is often the case, Google has been vague about revealing exactly what the new algorithm entails. However, early evidence suggests that it’s a fairly significant update, as quite a few sites have reported changes in their rankings. If you have a website, you have to keep close watch of any Google update. Many sites were hit hard by earlier updates.   What We Know About Fred Abandoning its recent habit of naming updates after animals such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, the latest update has a rather ordinary and mundane sounding name. As innocuous as the name sounds, however, Google seems to be serious about, once again, clamping down on low-quality content. Indeed, Google’s own Gary Illyes has confirmed the update, which is primarily concerned with content quality.   Google Quality Guidelines When pressed for information about Fred, Google suggested that people reference its Webmaster Guidelines. In other words, Fred isn’t introducing any new policies. Rather, […]



Google Penguin 4.0 Update Rolling Out

For everyone who’s been waiting for Google to update Penguin, the time has finally arrived. Google announced that Penguin is now part of the search engine’s core algorithm. Google has been promising this update for some time. A whole year ago, people were already contemplating what Penguin 4.0 would look like. On September 23, 2016, the wait was over. This release, which is unofficially known as Penguin 4.0 is running in real time and will be the final major update of this algorithm. This development will have serious impact on the worlds of content marketing and SEO. While it’s still too early to report any widespread impact of this release, leading observers are speculating that the results will be visible very soon. Dr. Peter Meyers, for example, says “My gut feeling is that the bulk of the impact will happen in days, not weeks.” Google’s announcement that Penguin 4.0 is in real time supports the contention that the impact will be felt very quickly. This is actually good news for […]



Twitter Opens Up Account Verification To All

One of the ways that Twitter recognizes its most influential users is by verifying them. This process isn’t new, but the social media company recently announced that it would be opening up verification to the public. Users whose accounts have been verified by Twitter are easy to recognize by the blue badge next to the profile. Verified users have always been a small and very select group. This may be changing as the social media site has announced that it’s now allowing more accounts to become verified. However, it’s still far from an open-door policy.   Requirements for Verification Twitter has historically given preference to accounts that are considered to be of high value to the community. In the past, verification was something that Twitter bestowed upon certain lucky users. There was no application process. Accounts that were most likely to be verified were those run by high profile people and companies. Exactly how much this has changed remains to be seen. What is different is that now anyone can […]



Stop Making These Top Local SEO Mistakes

If you have a local business or if you perform SEO services for local businesses, you know how important local SEO has become. Ranking locally in Google, Yahoo and Bing is essential for attracting customers who are seeking everything from pizza to oil changes to dentists. Even if you’re knowledgeable about the basics, however, there are some common mistakes that may be affecting your results. Below are nine of the top local SEO mistakes you need to avoid.   1. Leaving Out Relevant Location-based Keywords Many businesses or the SEO firms they employ only focus on matching the business type with the city, as in “Dallas auto repair.” You should also use keywords for your neighborhood, region or other location-based terms people are likely to use when searching. This is especially true in larger cities with many distinct neighborhoods. For example, if you’re trying to rank a law firm in Brooklyn, New York, you should know that the borough of Brooklyn is located within New York City and is divided […]



Google Reveals Local Ranking Factors & Signals

Local rankings have been an important consideration – at least for local businesses and SEO companies – for several years now. When you want to rank a website for a particular city or region, you need a whole different set of rules than when you’re trying to rank nationally or globally. As it does with just about all its services, Google has periodically changed its algorithms for local rankings. In fact, it’s even changed the name of its local listings. You could previously manage your local listing under Google Places for Business or Google+ Pages Dashboard. Anyone who signed up under one of these services has been automatically moved over to Google My Business. But what exactly do you have to do to rank your business, or your client’s business, for local listings? Google itself has recently published a page, Improve Your Local Ranking on Google, that will hopefully make this clearer.   Mobile Search, Desktop Search and Maps Google first points out that there are several distinct ways that […]



Google Toolbar PageRank Finally Being Retired

Search Engine Land recently ran an article by Danny Sullivan, RIP Google PageRank Score: A Retrospective on how it ruined the web. In this article, Sullivan essentially rejoices over the fact that Google is going to hide PageRank scores from the public. In other words, you’ll no longer be able to find the PageRank of your own or anyone else’s website by using a toolbar. This is not news to anyone who keeps up with Google’s policies and announcements. PageRank, in fact, has been a declining factor in SEO for quite a few years. As Sullivan reports, “PageRank as a visible score has been dying a slow death since around 2010…” Firefox support for PR toolbar was dropped in 2011. An article back in 2012 by Dave Davies gives reasons Why PageRank Doesn’t Matter. In this article, Davies makes it clear that Google’s internal ranking system does indeed matter; it’s only the publicly visible green bar that we shouldn’t worry about. He argues that PR was never a reliable way […]



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