Archive for June, 2011

Social Media Tips and Best Practices From PR Pro @PRSarahEvans [@Inbound Now #27]

sarahevans2Sarah Evans joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s social media and inbound marketing podcast!

Sarah, @PRSarahEvans on Twitter, is the owner of Sevans Strategy, a public relations and new media firm. She’s been mentioned in Forbes magazine as one of the top 14 women to follow on Twitter, she has a great blog over at PRSarahEvans.com, and she’s really the go-to girl in the online PR game.

In this episode, we chat about:

  • Creating a cohesive social media strategy
  • Making your company stand out online
  • Social media best practices for companies
  • Customizing the social ask
  • Twitter chats
  • Press release tips
  • Building in a promotional work flow

See the full transcript of the episode here: Press Release Best Practices and PR Pitching advice with Sarah Evans

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Creating a Cohesive Social Media Strategy

“You can look to see what already exists, and if nothing exists, then put something together before you start working because there are a million and one tactics, a million and one resources. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed. You need something that you’re driving toward.”

The first step in creating a social media strategy is to make sure you have an overarching goal in place. You have to have something you’re aiming for.

Making Your Company Stand Out Online

“Sometimes it’s not about standing out, it’s just about connecting or making an impact with where you’re trying to reach, where your consumers are, where your customers are.”

Companies can stand out online by doing a variety of things — being innovative, launching a new tool, releasing a whitepaper, creating an infographic, etc. But the most important thing is to get connected with your customers.

As a side note, if you’re looking to hire someone to be in an engagement role (like an online community manager), make sure you hire someone who is naturally engaging. They engage with people all the time already, and they just use the computer or a mobile phone as an extension of what they already do.

Social Media Best Practices for Companies

“We’re in the trenches, and when I get to talk about these things, they’re usually because of things that I’ve learned from either making the mistake already or things that people hire me to tell them because we’re not afraid to jump in and learn them.”

The first thing you should do is create a media list. The media list should contain three groups of people: traditional media, bloggers (people with an online space where they share their thoughts), and influencers/enthusiasts (active online conversationalists). Cision is a good resource to check out when you’re building this list.

Also, research and see where else people live online. Does a journalist have a personal or hobby blog? Do the bloggers have Twitter accounts or Facebook Fan Pages? If one blogger has a blogroll, check that out for other targeted blogs in the same niche.

Then you want to interact with and follow the person. Tweet with them on Twitter. Read their blog posts and comment on them. Get to know their style and their interests. When it comes time to pitch something, you can draw upon your knowledge and past encounters to customize the pitch.

Customizing the Social Ask

“‘Follow me on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook.’ It’s okay to let your consumers know you’re there, but why do they need to go there to interact with you? What are you offering them that’s different or unique?”

Instead of flat-out asking for a “follow” or a “like,” make it clear as to what you’re offering on those different platforms, whether it be early access information, special coupons, or something else.

Don’t forget to capture your customers’ information via your home base (website or blog), too. Get them on your email list.

Twitter Chats

#Journchat has inspired something like 300+ (maybe more now) live industry Twitter chats since its inception. I’ve done a lot of work talking to the people who run the chats or are being interviewed about what works for #journchat.”

Creating a Twitter chat is a relatively easy thing to do. You’ll need to use a third-party application (like TweetChat or TweetGrid), as Twitter wasn’t created for chats. The most important thing is to make sure there’s a need for the chat topic. Do some research, and see if people would be interested in participating.

Press Release Tips

“We’re making things more multimedia friendly. In my company, we’re thinking of ourselves as a resource, almost as a producer for the media that we’re targeting. So when we’re crafting a release, it’s something that would benefit the journalist or blogger or influencer who wants to write about this, but it’s also being written for the forward facing consumer.”

When you’re creating press releases with the intention of reaching out to bloggers, the press release shouldn’t be as lengthy or filled with industry jargon as old-school press releases. Make sure that the first 250 words of the press release are optimized for the web with relevant links and keywords.

Another thing to do is create 140-character soundbites from the press release text. Make it something that customers and bloggers would want to share, and make it easy to share.

Sarah recommends PitchEngine (she’s on the advisory board) for press releases. Another good tool for recognizing PR opportunities is HARO (Help A Reporter Out).

Building in a Promotional Work Flow

“It takes, on average, five different tactics to drive people to your website or blog. So you write that blog post, you want to get people there to see it. So that’s one portion of your promotional work plan.”

Make sure to create a promotional work flow for after a blog post goes live. How will you get people to the new content? How will you repurpose the content? How can you link back to or pitch the content? This also includes having a plan for what you’ll do if the content is picked up elsewhere.

Connect With Sarah Online

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @PRSarahEvans, on Facebook, and on her blog. Also check out Sevans Strategy, and a cool resource for PR folks called Commentz.

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The New Google Social Network – Google+

Posted by caseyhen

Last night I got my first look at Google+, I spent just over 3 hours diving in a playing with all the features they have to offer. For those of you who already have access, please share you thoughts in the comments and those without access, enjoy this preview and share your thoughts on what this new social network could mean for SEO.

First Look

Below is the "Home" screen, which seems vaguely familiar to a different social network I use but seems to be somewhat more streamlined.  You can simply sort your friend groups, called Circles, by clicking on the "Streams" in the left sidebar. This give you a chance to only see things shared from your family or other Circles, for example I can select "Family" and see only their content. This looks like it makes it really easy to combined all your work and personal connects into one network.

Circles

The first thing I got right into was creating Circles, which are much like Facebook groups where you can categories people.  This is helpful for people like myself who don’t like to share my SEO related stories/posts with my friends/family members. The process of adding people to these Circles was relativity easy, granted I only had 8 people in my list, but this process seems very streamlined.

Hangouts

An interesting feature that myself, Rand, Space and Mike got to try last night was Google Hangouts. It’s a feature that allows you to chat and video chat with up to 10 friends.  We found the feature to work, thought it wasn’t as great as I thought it was going to be. The cool thing is that when you start a Hangout, it alerts other people in your Circles that you have started a Hangout so they can join. You can limit who sees that you have started a Hangout, this prevents you from starting a business Hangout and having your Mom show up.

Sparks

Next up was something that Google calls Sparks and describes Sparks is “an online sharing engine.” To me, Sparks seems to be a way to add a "live" SERP into your social network.  I added SEO and Cycling as my first two Sparks to see what happens.  Basically I got a list of webpages, press releases, and videos that relate to the term I entered and they seemed to update over the few hours I watched them.  The content listed in each Spark has a Share link, which allows you to easily share that content with your Circles.

Photos

As with any social network, having the ability to share photos with your friends is key! Google+ has a few different ways of displaying and sharing photos with your friends. Below is the first way to see the photos that your friends have shared, it is quite a user friendly way of seeing what images are included in each album your friend shared.

If you click on one of the options above, it opens a slideshow of all the images your Circles have uploaded.  It allows you to quickly flip through your friend’s images and add comments quickly, along with seeing all other comments. Like other networks you can tag your friends in photos that you upload.

Next is what it looks like when you share a picture within an album that you created. When you roll over the image it increases in size and displays the whole images, which is helpful for some images. I found the ability to upload photos very easy and the uploads happened very quickly.

Overall I found that the ability to share photos was not as streamlined as I would have liked it to be but I’ll leave the final judgement up to others.

Security

Below are some of the security options that you can set when sharing things with your circles.  It allows you to stop people from commenting on the thing you shared and you can stop them from resharing it with their circles.  Also when you first share something it allows you to pick what Circles you want to see the thing you shared. So if you don’t want your Mom to see the picture of Carlos from Agillian below, then you should make sure you share it only with your SEO friends.

My Takeaways

In closing, I have to say I was impressed with some thing but overall I think they have some work to do before this really catches on with the main stream public. Google+ seems to have a large learning curve which could deter many new users. I spent just over 3 hours on it and don’t feel like I really touched the surface of what it can do, nor do I fully understand what the purpose of some of their new features. Rand may have said it best with what he shared on Google+ last night:


How Does This Effect SEO

How do you think Google is going to integrate Google+ with your search results? We did some quick tests last night to see how sharing things on Google+ will effect the SERPs of the friends in your social Circles.  So far we couldn’t see any noticeable difference when your friends share something or +1 it within Google+. Now this doesn’t mean anything as Google often rolls out products early and works them into the SERPs later.

We will be doing more testing to see how this new release from Google will effect the way we do our jobs, so stay tuned.  Also if you have seen anything that I may have missed, please do share it in the comments below.

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How Do You Build a Successful Podcast? Treat it Like a Business.

Keith and the GirlDavid Garland’s Rise to the Top interview with Keith and Chemda of “Keith and The Girl” might as well be a follow-up to The Pros and Profits of Podcasting. Ranked as one of the top comedy podcasts online, the show has created over 1,400 episodes and receives millions of downloads. The duo covers celebrity gossip, current news, pop culture, and simply funny life things daily since 2005 on their live comedy podcast. In their own interview, they dish out some advice for building a successful podcast (and it’s not just geared toward comedy shows!).

Podcasting is fun because the truth comes out. According to Keith and Chemda…

  • No boss = nobody tells you what to do = freedom to say whatever you want to say
  • It is empowering to say what’s on your mind.
  • If you put a mic in somebody’s face for long enough, they will eventually be completely honest.

Advice: How to Develop a Passionate Audience

1. Keep your current audience up-to-date. Let everyone know where you are via social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

2. Attract new audience members. Word of mouth is key. People make it a point to get their friends into what they are excited about. And when people are loving what you do, you’re motivated to keep your content fresh so they keep talking and drawing in others.

3. Keep everyone involved. An app [for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry] is an easy way to do so by allowing users to listen, send feedback, and call in.

Advice: Treat Your Podcast Like a Business

1. Put in the work; you can’t leave it up to someone else. A podcast is not an easy thing to create. Just because the duration of the show is only one hour per day doesn’t mean the work involved is just an hour per day as well.

2. Take the time to figure out how to attract more listeners/viewers. As mentioned previously, focus on keeping your current audience interested while still pulling in new people.

3. Look into advertising. Some companies are podcast advertisers and will come to you. You can also sell ads directly on your show and/or set up a donate button (these guys do so with a monthly subscription fee).

4. Set up a store to generate revenue. Keith and Chemda sell things like DVDs, T-shirts, stand up and prank call downloads. Hint: Downloads are more immediate, which is why many people prefer to download something than to wait for a physical CD or DVD to arrive in the mail.

Podcasting is like blogging in the sense that you need to stand out. If you really care about entertaining people with what you do, you have a chance at success.

Wistia

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Answers to 4 Excellent SEO Questions

Posted by randfish

Last week, I visited San Francisco for a number of meetings and got a chance to film some video content for Market Motive with an old friend, Todd Malicoat (aka Stuntdubl). Todd also collected and curated a number of questions from Market Motive folks across Twitter, and, rather than answer in the unacceptably short, 140-character format, I figured I’d do so here on the blog.

Question 1

I’d always bias to taking the website over the social media presence. It’s not that a great Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare or LinkedIn account aren’t great, it’s just that the flexibility, power, branding and measurability of a website has yet to be matched on any platform. With a website, you can custom build virtually any form of analytics, leverage any type of web technology to display/deliver content and control your own destiny. Even if Facebook or some other new, wholly flexible platform allowed for all of these features, you would still never truly own your home on the web.

I’m a huge supporter of and advocate for social media marketing, but I don’t think I could ever endorse having your primary base of marketing and acquisition happen anywhere but on a site you fully own and control.

Question 2

Unfortunately, this is an issue that’s fluctuated so much over the past 5 years that I don’t feel entirely comfortable giving a solid answer and feeling secure it will be the right one long term.

The current situation is that for Google, most of the time this isn’t a problem. You can set up a site in Spanish targeting Spain, another in Mexico and a third in Peru, many with overlapping content pages and so long as the country TLDs are unique (e.g. .es, .com.mx, .pe, etc.) and/or you’ve separately targeted the sites through Google Webmaster Tools ( more on that topic here), you’re relatively safe from duplicate content filtering.

That said, Bing is not nearly as sophisticated on this front (usually), though they are getting better. I don’t know how search engines like Baidu, Yandex or Naver might handle this situation, currently – if anyone in the comments has expertise here, please do chip in. Given this, it’s often wise to choose either a globally-targeted site OR biuld very customized sites to specific regions (even if there is language overlap). You can always use the cross domain rel=canonical if you want to "share" content between/across sites and self-select which one Google returns.

Question 3

It depends whether you mean directly or indirectly?

Directly, it will likely be Twitter. Google’s ongoing animosity with all things Facebook shows no sign of shifting and thus I’d say it’s unlikely Google will start using Facebook signals directly in the results. However… as we showed with correlation data, things that do well on Facebook tend to do quite well on Google, too. Indirectly, the ability to influence a wide network on Facebook, earn lots of shares, comments, likes and activity may indeed lead to very positive and influential second-order effects (links, tweets, positive content analysis signals, etc).

With Twitter, it remains to be seen whether they achieve ubiquity in a wider world. The service is a clear leader in many fields – marketing, politics, technology, investing, media and more – but it’s not yet a service everyone’s using (~100 million actives vs. Facebook’s 750 million). If it sees growth spikes, engagement increases and they become more ingrained in the fabric of "normal" society, then they may indeed be competitive with Facebook for influencing the results, on both first and second-order levels.

Question 4

The honest answer is that no one really knows. However, I’d strongly suspect the .whatever TLDs(see Mashable’s article on the subject for more) will have far more impact on the branding landscape of the web than it will directly in search results, for searchers or for organic marketers. I do have some guesses:

  • The new TLDs will become commoditized quickly – $180K is not a big financial hurdle for many medium+ businesses
  • The "cool" factor is likely to exist in the tech startup and web-savvy worlds (like a Quora or NameSake), but your cousin in Michigan won’t have heard of them and will have trouble using them or believing they work (if they see them in offline advertising)
  • They may actually increase the desirability of .com domains as the gold standard everyone’s used to and comfortable with
  • A few might earn enough brand recognition (as .ly and .us have in the web 2.0 runup) to get some escape velocity and be on par with .info or even .net… But, I wouldn’t put money on that :-)

Normally, I’m a huge fan of early adoption in new marketing tactics, but this doesn’t feel ROI positive for enough folks to make it a strong recommendation from me, personally. Like everyone else, though, I’ll be watching with anticipation to see how it’s adopted and used.


Looking forward to your opinions as well, particularly if you have more information to add or feel my answers are mistaken in some way!

p.s. I keep tweeting that I’ll put up my blog post on SEO 101 for Travel Bloggers. That post is intense, big and requires a lot of time, so I’ve had to delay a few times. My new target is next weekend – sorry about that!

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5 Methods for Connecting Online and Offline Marketing

offline and online marketingInbound marketing is awesome, but let’s be honest: many marketers are still doing a mix of inbound and outbound marketing. The challenge in using both online and offline marketing tactics is integrating them in an effort to generate even better results than just one tactic would have experienced on its own.

At first, this idea might seem contradictory. How do online and offline marketing work together? One key factor is analytics, among others. Check this list for some of the best ways to connect online and offline marketing.

5 Methods for Connecting Online and Offline Marketing

1. Tracking URLs – The web is great for analytics. When using offline tactics like print advertising or outdoor advertising, be sure to use unique tracking URLS for the URLs you add within each separate advertisement and placement. These URLs will serve as redirects that your web analytics would track, but send the visitors all to one core page with your central offer. This method allows you to understand which segment of your conversions are from your offline tactics.

2. Social Media Driving Offline Traffic – Do you exhibit at tradeshows? How do you get traffic to your booth? Sure, giveaways and spending lots of money is one way, but why not supplement that with some online promotion using social media and your corporate blog to promote your presence at the tradeshow? Use your online reach to educate people why they should stop by and connect with your team in an offline situation. Consider offering something exclusive to social media followers who stop by your booth.

3. QR Codes – Mobile technology is huge. One aspect of mobile that is gaining traction with marketers is QR codes. These 2 dimensional barcodes allow someone in an offline situation to use their mobile phone to scan a code that automatically performs a specific action such as taking them to a website, showing them a video, sending them a text message, etc. QR codes can be a powerful tool to link offline and online efforts. Read more about what you should know about QR codes in a recent article we published.

4. Offline Reach Building – Do you include URLs for your social media accounts in your offline marketing materials? You should. When working to build online reach, including your account information in offline materials can help inform potential social media connections who may have never known about your online content. The next time you are printing brochures or designing an ad, make sure to include your social media profile URLS (e.g. http://twitter.com/hubspot or http://facebook.com/hubspot) to encourage people who find you offline to follow you online, too. Avoid simply including logos for Twitter and Facebook without providing your URLs. This doesn’t help your business; rather, it’s free advertising for those social networks.

5. Social Media Lead Intelligence – Unfortunately, buying leads and cold calling still happens. If you are still purchasing leads for your sales team, at least help them improve their close rate by teaching them or providing them with online data and background information about the lead. Even if it’s just teaching your sales team how to do search on LinkedIn to identify the lead’s background and interests, these details can be instrumental in helping to build trust with new prospects.

What methods have you used for successfully connecting your offline and online marketing?

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How Google’s Panda Update Changed SEO Best Practices Forever – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

It’s here! Google has released Panda update 2.2, just as Matt Cutts said they would at SMX Advanced here in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. This time around, Google has – among other things – improved their ability to detect scraper sites and banish them from the SERPs. Of course, the Panda updates are changes to Google’s algorithm and are not merely manual reviews of sites in the index, so there is room for error (causing devastation for many legitimate webmasters and SEOs).

A lot of people ask what parts of their existing SEO practice they can modify and emphasize to recover from the blow, but alas, it’s not that simple. In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses how the Panda updates work and, more importantly, how Panda has fundamentally changed the best practices for SEO. Have you been Panda-abused? Do you have any tips for recuperating? Let us know in the comments!

 

Video Transcription

Howdy, SEOmoz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week, we’re talking about the very exciting, very interesting, very controversial Google Panda update.

Panda, also known as Farmer, was this update that Google came out with in March of this year, of 2011, that rejiggered a bunch of search results and pushed a lot of websites down in the rankings, pushed some websites up in the rankings, and people have been concerned about it ever since. It has actually had several updates and new versions of that implementation and algorithm come out. A lot of people have all these questions like, "Ah, what’s going on around Panda?" There have been some great blog posts on SEOmoz talking about some of the technical aspects. But I want to discuss in this Whiteboard Friday some of the philosophical and theoretical aspects and how Google Panda really changes the way a lot of us need to approach SEO.

So let’s start with a little bit of Panda history. Google employs an engineer named Navneet Panda. The guy has done some awesome work. In fact, he was part of a patent application that Bill Slawski looked into where he found a great way to scale some machine learning algorithms. Now, machine learning algorithms, as you might be aware, are very computationally expensive and they take a long time to run, particularly if you have extremely large data sets, both of inputs and of outputs. If you want, you can research machine learning. It is an interesting fun tactic that computer scientists use and programmers use to find solutions to problems. But basically before Panda, machine learning scalability at Google was at level X, and after it was at the much higher level Y. So that was quite nice. Thanks to Navneet, right now they can scale up this machine learning.

What Google can do based on that is take a bunch of sites that people like more and a bunch of sites that people like less, and when I say like, what I mean is essentially what the quality raters, Google’s quality raters, tell them this site is very enjoyable. This is a good site. I’d like to see this high in the search results. Versus things where the quality raters say, "I don’t like to see this." Google can say, "Hey, you know what? We can take the intelligence of this quality rating panel and scale it using this machine learning process."

Here’s how it works. Basically, the idea is that the quality raters tell Googlers what they like. They answer all these questions, and you can see Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts were interviewed by Wired Magazine. They talked about some of the things that were asked of these quality raters, like, "Would you trust this site with your credit card? Would you trust the medical information that this site gives you with your children? Do you think the design of this site is good?" All sorts of questions around the site’s trustworthiness, credibility, quality, how much they would like to see it in the search results. Then they compare the difference.

The sites that people like more, they put in one group. The sites that people like less, they put in another group. Then they look at tons of metrics. All these different metrics, numbers, signals, all sorts of search signals that many SEOs suspect come from user and usage data metrics, which Google has not historically used as heavily. But they think that they use those in a machine learning process to essentially separate the wheat from the chaff. Find the ones that people like more and the ones that people like less. Downgrade the ones they like less. Upgrade the ones they like more. Bingo, you have the Panda update.

So, Panda kind of means something new and different for SEO. As SEOs, for a long time you’ve been doing the same kind of classic things. You’ve been building good content, making it accessible to search engines, doing good keyword research, putting those keywords in there, and then trying to get some links to it. But you have not, as SEOs, we never really had to think as much or as broadly about, "What is the experience of this website? Is it creating a brand that people are going to love and share and reward and trust?" Now we kind of have to think about that.

It is almost like the job of SEO has been upgraded from SEO to web strategist. Virtually everything you do on the Internet with your website can impact SEO today. That is especially true following Panda. The things that they are measuring is not, oh, these sites have better links than these sites. Some of these sites, in fact, have much better links than these sites. Some of these sites have what you and I might regard, as SEOs, as better content, more unique, robust, quality content, and yet, people, quality raters in particular, like them less or the things, the signals that predict that quality raters like those sites less are present in those types of sites.

Let’s talk about a few of the specific things that we can be doing as SEOs to help with this new sort of SEO, this broader web content/web strategy portion of SEO.

First off, design and user experience. I know, good SEOs have been preaching design user experience for years because it tends to generate more links, people contribute more content to it, it gets more social signal shares and tweets and all this other sort of good second order effect. Now, it has a first order effect impact, a primary impact. If you can make your design absolutely beautiful, versus something like this where content is buffeted by advertising and you have to click next, next, next a lot. The content isn’t all in one page. You cannot view it in that single page format. Boy, the content blocks themselves aren’t that fun to read, even if it is not advertising that’s surrounding them, even if it is just internal messaging or the graphics don’t look very good. The site design feels like it was way back in the 1990s. All that stuff will impact the ability of this page, this site to perform. And don’t forget, Google has actually said publicly that even if you have a great site, if you have a bunch of pages that are low quality on that site, they can drag down the rankings of the rest of the site. So you should try and block those for us or take them down. Wow. Crazy, right? That’s what a machine learning algorithm, like Panda, will do. It will predicatively say, "Hey, you know what? We’re seeing these features here, these elements, push this guy down."

Content quality matters a lot. So a lot of time, in the SEO world, people will say, "Well, you have to have good, unique, useful content." Not enough. Sorry. It’s just not enough. There are too many people making too much amazing stuff on the Internet for good and unique and grammatically correct and spelled properly and describes the topic adequately to be enough when it comes to content. If you say, "Oh, I have 50,000 pages about 50,000 different motorcycle parts and I am just going to go to Mechanical Turk or I am going to go outsource, and I want a 100 word, two paragraphs about each one of them, just describe what this part is." You think to yourself, "Hey, I have good unique content." No, you have content that is going to be penalized by Panda. That is exactly what Panda is designed to do. It is designed to say this is content that someone wrote for SEO purposes just to have good unique content on the page, not content that makes everyone who sees it want to share it and say wow. Right?

If I get to a page about a motorcycle part and I am like, "God, not only is this well written, it’s kind of funny. It’s humorous. It includes some anecdotes. It’s got some history of this part. It has great photos. Man, I don’t care at all about motorcycle parts, and yet, this is just a darn good page. What a great page. If I were interested, I’d be tweeting about this, I’d share it. I’d send it to my uncle who buys motorcycles. I would love this page." That’s what you have to optimize for. It is a totally different thing than optimizing for did I use the keyword at least three times? Did I put it in the title tag? Is it included in there? Is the rest of the content relevant to the keywords? Panda changes this. Changes it quite a bit.

Finally, you are going to be optimizing around user and usage metrics. Things like, when people come to your site, generally speaking compared to other sites in your niche or ranking for your keywords, do they spend a good amount of time on your site, or do they go away immediately? Do they spend a good amount of time? Are they bouncing or are they browsing? If you have a good browse rate, people are browsing 2, 3, 4 pages on average on a content site, that’s decent. That’s pretty good. If they’re browsing 1.5 pages on some sites, like maybe specific kinds of news sites, that might actually be pretty good. That might be better than average. But if they are browsing like 1.001 pages, like virtually no one clicks on a second page, that might be weird. That might hurt you. Your click-through rate from the search results. When people see your title and your snippet and your domain name, and they go, "Ew, I don’t know if I want to get myself involved in that. They’ve got like three hyphens in their domain name, and it looks totally spammy. I’m not going to get involved." Then that click-through rate is probably going to suffer and so are your rankings.

They are going to be looking at things like the diversity and quantity of traffic that comes to your site. Do lots of people from all around the world or all around your local region, your country, visit your website directly? They can measure this through Chrome. They can measure it through Android. They can measure it through the Google toolbar. They have all this user and usage metrics. They know where people are going on the Internet, where they spend time, how much time they spend, and what they do on those pages. They know about what happens from the search results too. Do people click from a result and then go right back to the search results and perform another search? Clearly, they were unhappy with that. They can take all these metrics and put them into the machine learning algorithm and then have Panda essentially recalculate. This why you see essentially Google doesn’t issue updates every day or every week. It is about every 30 or 40 days that a new Panda update will come out because they are rejiggering all this stuff.

One of the things that people who get hit by Panda come up to me and say, "God, how are we ever going to get out of Panda? We’ve made all these changes. We haven’t gotten out yet." I’m like, "Well, first off, you’re not going to get out of it until they rejigger the results, and then there is no way that you are going to get out of it unless you change the metrics around your site." So if you go into your Analytics and you see that people are not spending longer on your pages, they are not enjoying them more, they are not sharing them more, they are not naturally linking to them more, your branded search traffic is not up, your direct type in traffic is not up, you see that none of these metrics are going up and yet you think you have somehow fixed the problems that Panda tries to solve for, you probably haven’t.

I know this is frustrating. I know it’s a tough issue. In fact, I think that there are sites that have been really unfairly hit. That sucks and they shouldn’t be and Google needs to work on this. But I also know that I don’t think Google is going to be making many changes. I think they are very happy with the way that Panda has gone from a search quality perspective and from a user happiness perspective. Their searchers are happier, and they are not seeing as much junk in the results. Google likes the way this is going. I think we are going to see more and more of this over time. It could even get more aggressive. I would urge you to work on this stuff, to optimize around these things, and to be ready for this new form of SEO.

Thanks everyone for watching. Look forward to some great comments, questions, feedback in the post. I will see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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