Monday, August 26, 2013

Google Algorithm Change History

Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, every few months Google rolls out a “major” algorithmic update that affects search results in significant ways.

For search marketers, knowing the dates of these Google updates can help explain changes in rankings and organic website traffic. Below, we’ve listed the major algorithmic changes that made the biggest impacts on search. Understanding these updates can help with search engine optimization.
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

5 Online Marketing Strategies for a Tight Budget

In a world where attention is currency, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to attract the eyes and ears of your target market. Not only are you up against larger companies with nicely funded marketing departments, you're also competing with social media and a multitude of other distractions for the attention of your prospects.
But that doesn't mean your marketing efforts have to cost a ton of money or be overly dramatic in order to stand out from the crowd. Here are five creative and inexpensive ways to market your business in a digital world:
1. Get endorsed by a local celebrity.

Many business owners dream of having their product or service endorsed by a global celebrity. But instead of trying to get a superstar to support your business, try seeking out a local celebrity instead.
Who exactly are local celebrities? These are people your local paper is writing about -- perhaps an "unsung hero" such as a teacher or a resident who's doing something positive and newsworthy. Since they're in your neighborhood, these people should be relatively easy to locate and contact by phone or e-mail. Let them know you'd like to send them a gift, namely your product or service.
The only catch: you'd like to follow up with them in a few days to get their honest feedback. Their responses can make for useful blog or marketing content.
2. Create a LinkedIn group.

Not only is a LinkedIn group free to create, it can enable you to offer your professional network a vibrant, useful information resource all while driving traffic to your site and increasing sales. Just don't use the platform to hard sell anyone.
It can take time and effort to get one going, but the goal should be to help provide resources and start discussions on topics that can benefit your community. Groups should also be a place for your members to network with other professionals online.
3. Get published on niche blogs.

While it may be difficult to get on the front cover of a major magazine, you can create marketing opportunities by being featured in a popular niche blog. Identify three to five blogs that target your market then contact the creator and offer a few ideas of how you'd like to bring value to his or her readers. You can:
  • Demonstrate good will by offering the niche blog owner a small amount of your product or service for free, which they can give away to their audience as a gift. This is different than a product review, which only offers information. 
  • Send ideas for blog posts you'd like to write and explain why they would be helpful for their readers.
  • Ask if you can interview them for your site. This might entice the blog manager to promote your content since it highlights his or her business.

With more than 800 million unique visitors a month, YouTube can be a powerful platform for marketing a business online. To do so, go beyond simply posting random videos of your product or sharing your thoughts.

The marketing videos you create should include the following elements:
  • A keyword-researched headline
  • A clear editorial message (don't try to accomplish too much in one video)
  • A call to action (tell the viewer to do something, such as subscribing to your channel)
While you can spend a small fortune on cameras, lighting equipment and editing software, the camera built into your smartphone should be able to capture suitable online video. As for editing, if you're on a Mac, for instance, you should already have iMovie in your applications. Even if you don't have a Mac you can find free software online or hire a professional editor on sites such as, possibly for as little as $5 depending on the scope of the work.
5. Write an e-book about the biggest issues in your industry.

No longer do you need a publishing company or thousands of dollars to get distribution for a book. Amazon, for instance, will let you upload a digital book for free, with a 33 percent take on every sale. The goal is not to make a profit from direct book sales but to use it as a lead generation tool, encouraging readers to opt into your website for further information.
Even time-strapped entrepreneurs who aren't great writers should consider this. You can search sites like E-lance or Odesk to hire an affordable ghostwriter who can help you convert your blog posts or audio recordings into book format.
When it comes to marketing your book, set the price between $1 and $5 -- which makes it affordable -- then use social media, video marketing and e-mail list marketing to promote it. To generate more leads, keep in mind that Amazon allows prospective buyers of your book to take a sneak peek of the first few pages. Be sure to embed links into these early pages so you can capture leads from people who were interested but didn't wind up buying your book.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Google to kill "Google Adwords External Keyword Research tool", to launch Keyword Planner for webmasters soon

Google continues to kill it’s old yet popular service tools and this time it is the closure of the popular tool for webmasters, Google Adwords External Keyword Research Tool. Although the exact date for shut down is not yet confirmed but it is expected that the tech giant will replace it with a new program called Keyword Planner.

The free tool is commonly used by webmasters to check statistical data such as keyword search volume, estimated traffic volume and average cost per click for their websites and has even proved useful for determining specific keywords with which webmasters can post Search Engine Optimization and pay-per-click campaigns. The biggest difference between both the tools will be structure with the existing tool containing a number of disjoined workflows. Once the changes takes place, webmasters will be required to create advertiser accounts. Although there aren’t any details on the new Planner from Google, the Keyword Planner will definitely help advertisers to create PPC ad groups and ad campaigns as fast as possible.

With older tools closing down, Google has definitely beefed up its routine up gradation of its tools with replacements rather than just an update.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Making smartphone sites load fast

Users tell us they use smartphones to search online because it’s quick and convenient, but today’s average mobile page typically takes more than 7 seconds to load. Wouldn’t it be great if mobile pages loaded in under one second? Today we’re announcing new guidelines and an updated PageSpeed Insights tool to help webmasters optimize their mobile pages for best rendering performance.

Prioritizing above-the-fold content

Research shows that users’ flow is interrupted if pages take longer than one second to load. To deliver the best experience and keep the visitor engaged, our guidelines focus on rendering some content, known as the above-the-fold content, to users in one second (or less!) while the rest of the page continues to load and render in the background. The above-the-fold HTML, CSS, and JS is known as the critical rendering path.

We can achieve sub-second rendering of the above-the-fold content on mobile networks by applying the following best practices:
  • Server must render the response (< 200 ms)
  • Number of redirects should be minimized
  • Number of roundtrips to first render should be minimized
  • Avoid external blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
  • Reserve time for browser layout and rendering (200 ms)
  • Optimize JavaScript execution and rendering time
These are explained in more details in the mobile-specific help pages, and, when you’re ready, you can test your pages and the improvements you make using the PageSpeed Insights 

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please post in our discussion group.

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