Featured Article SEO

How These Cute Little Guys Are Effecting Your SEO

Yes, penguins and pandas sure are cute, but in search marketing, they are cute little animals you want nothing to do with.

Panda and Penquin are two of the larger algorithm changes that Google has applied to their search results.

In essence, Panda is penalizing websites that display too many advertisements above the fold and duplicating content across multiple domains. The algorithm uses artificial intelligence, learned form human behavior, to monitor high quality and low quality websites that build trust with visitors.

The Penguin update is penalizing websites for over-optimization, or keyword stuffing and cloaking, amongst others. Many sites have benefitted from over-optimization by fooling the search algorithm with multiple usage of keywords and cloaking. Cloaking is fooling a search engine spider with content that would not be served up to the user in their browser.

Remember you are Google’s customer and they want to provide you with the best experience possible and provide what you’re looking for. Always create great content that people will return and recommend through social sharing.

These algorithm updates have made pay-per-click more beneficial than organic listings.

Can you see where this is going????

Enjoy this…


Published with permission from the WordStream Blog.


What effect will this have on your search marketing? Please leave your comment below…



How to Drive Traffic: Paid and Organic Search Working Together

Quick Preface: The following is a guest post from Brenna Karbel. Brenna is a search professional and shares her vision on the benefits of conducting successful paid and organic search campaigns together.

Enter Brenna Karbel

There are many benefits that an advertiser would see when they combine both paid and organic search.

Three ways PPC (pay per click) helps your organic search results, according to our friends at searchengineland:

  • You can easily test landing pages, headlines, and templates
  • You can get rapid feedback
  • You can get immediate traffic on specific keywords


Google SERP showing paid and organic search results
Here is an example of effective organic and paid search results used together. Notice the green search result also listed in the Ads. This serves as a second ‘Vote’ to the visitor and increases click-through rates (CTR). Click to enlarge.


Testing Landing Pages, Headlines, and Templates

PPC (pay per click) makes it possible to test landing pages, headlines and templates without hurting your organic traffic. When an advertiser can learn what is most effective and achieves better CTR (click through rate) and more conversions everyone wins. An advertiser not using PPC would be reluctant to using these types of tests in fear that they would damage the hard earned organic ratings.


Advertisers using PPC can get immediate results on how keywords are performing. When an advertiser makes changes to ad text though analytics we can see exactly how the changes are performing.

Gaining Immediate Traffic

One frustration that many advertisers share is they want increased traffic for specific keywords. With PPC, advertisers are bidding for specific terms. The ability to appear in the search results in the top three positions is quicker to achieve using PPC.


Why Bid On My Branded Terms?


1) Brand Infringement/Protecting Your Space

If you don’t bid on your terms – your competitors will. Look at 1-800-Flowers. If they weren’t bidding on their own brand, then two other ads would have taken up that ad space, according to our friends at searchenginewatch.

2) User Behavior

Though many people may never click on paid search ads and only click organic, other people are the opposite, or situation based. The evolution of universal search is changing the SERP (search engine results page) into more of a menu. There are videos, tweets, paid search, organic search, local business ads, images, news, etc. With all these options, it’s critical that your brand is an option on this menu. Paid search is a guaranteed way to get placement.

3) Impact on Brand Awareness

Many studies have demonstrated an increase in brand awareness when both paid and organic search listings appear together in top spots. Consumers think highly of brands that they see more frequently. They identify with traditional advertising methodology, the more times a consumer is exposed to the brand the better in any form, or medium.

Google Conducted A Rigorous Study and Reported Some Surprising Results:

A new Google study examining the impact of organic listings on ad click incrementality finds that the click-through rates (CTR) of ads with associated organic search results are higher and that the CTR increased the higher the organic result was positioned. (See image above)

Specifically they found that 66 percent of ad clicks occurred without an associated organic result on the page, it is worth turning that on its head; this means 34 percent of paid search clicks happen with an organic result by the same advertiser on page. If ranking on the first page organically in these instances can help ad performance as well, that’s something to consider.

Have you experimented with an Organic and Paid Search campaign? Please leave a comment below…



Why You Need Google Search Results (SEO) Now

SEO results of organic versus paid search results in Google
Organic search results appear on the left side of Google, while paid results appear in the right column. Click to enlarge.

We are just at the tip of the iceberg of what Google can do for your business; are you in the game?

The marketing paradigm is changing right before are eyes. The old way of doing business is changing FAST. The Internet has changed the business world. Marketers have used ‘interruption-based’ techniques (advertising, cold-calls, trade shows, and direct mail) to push out their message far and wide in hopes that it will attract a few qualified leads.

This approach is becoming less and less effective.

Stop throwing cash at these methods because your perspective clients have thrown up barriers to block these methods.

Clients are getting better at filtering out interruption based messages: caller ID, SPAM filters, DVR-TV, satellite radio, and do-not-call registries. Think about how your conventional/interruption based sales method is costing you money: travel expenses, phone expenses, entertainment expenses and most importantly, time.

The Internet presents a quick and easy way for clients to do their homework, conduct research and make buying decisions online.

Marketing is moving away from an interruption based approach into a permission based approached. Think about it, we are bombarded with marketers throughout the day and we go to great lengths to thwart their efforts.

How often do you pick-up your phone when it rings?

Today your clients are going online to start their purchasing process. Studies show that 83% of B2B (business to business) buyers start in Google, while another 15% say they sometimes Google potential vendors. These are staggering numbers if you do not have a presence on the Internet. In order to remain competitive, businesses need to utilize permission based marketing techniques to get found by prospective clients when they are searching for your services.

SEO (search engine optimization) is the answer.

How Google Search Results Work

There are two kinds of search results in Google: paid (PPC) results and organic (free) results.

Search results are based on keywords the user is searching for. Paid results appear on the right-hand side column of search results and listings are in order of how much is bid for a particular keyword. These are known as pay-per-click (PPC), where you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement. The PPC click rate is determined by the competitiveness of the keyword. Examples of keywords would be: asphalt paving, kitchen cabinets, brick pavers, etc…

Organic search results appear on the left-hand side of search results. Organic results are ranked by search engines according to relevance to keywords. Relevance is calculated by criteria such as: density of keyword match, how the website was built, and the number of websites that link into that website, amongst many other factors that play a role. The Google search algorithm uses over 200 different criteria to rank organic search results. Getting ranked high in organic search results is much better because it is FREE and studies show that users click organic results 75% of the time. Studies also show that users who click on organic results are most likely to have higher levels of education.

Organic Search is Best

How do you get found in the Organic Search Results? The techniques that help your website get higher rankings in organic search results is known as “search engine optimization” or SEO. When SEO is done effectively, the people who are looking for your service or product, will find you more often. SEO is a very complicated and technical process that we will save for another day, but I will tell you that 25% of SEO results from on-page factors and 75% from off-page factors.

What is the key take-away from all this? Permission based marketing is very easy to measure, meaning it allows you to see your return on investment (ROI). Traditional marketing methods are much harder to measure effectiveness and therefore harder to tell whether the money you spend is actually turning into sales. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

You may be thinking, ‘Why do I need to do this if my current marketing methods are working?’ You will notice that your clients are now asking more questions because they are getting more informed about what they want to do. You will notice more competition and eventually this will cost you profits.

Get in now and drive prospects through permission based marketing and feed your sales organization with qualified leads!

Consider combining organic and paid search together for dramatic results!

What are your search marketing strategies? Please leave your comment below…




10 Google Search Tips You May Not Know

There is no question Google has changed our lives and especially how business is conducted today. Every business has a goal to be listed on the first page of a Google search. Granted every company can not obtain these results, but choosing the appropriate keywords, more importantly long-tail keywords, can level the playing field for smaller companies to compete with the big boys. With the explosion of mobile marketing about to happen, the ability to utilize Google is paramount to success.

Unless you are a tech-head, you may be using Google in its simplest form. You may make a query with a few words and keep searching until you find exactly what you’re looking for. I will share with you these tips to save you time and narrow down exactly what you want.


  1. Be Specific: use double quotes [“UV soft touch coating“] to narrow down results
  2. Exclude Words: use minus sign directly in front of keyword you want removed from search results [soft touch coating -plastic]
  3. Avoid “stop” words: do not use the words ‘the,’ ‘a,’ ‘for,’ ‘it,’ and ‘on’ and other articles. They will throw off search results as they are found within longer words and have little relevance to keywords. Enlarge picture above for demonstration.
  4. Search within a specific site: use the ‘site:’ to search a specific site. [brochures]
  5. Specific File Formats: use ‘filetype:’ to search for documents with a specific file format. [“online printing” filetype:pdf]
  6. Phone Listing: don’t recognize incoming phone call? Use ‘phonebook:’ to look up phone number. [phonebook:800-555-1212]
  7. Numeric Ranges: use ‘..’ between two numbers to get range of data between the two numbers. [United States President 1920..1930]
  8. Word Definition: use ‘define:’ to get definition of words. [define:paradox]
  9. Synonyms and Similar Words: use ‘~’ directly in front of words that you want similar results for.
  10. This OR That: use the ‘OR’ operator to match one or more terms. The ‘OR’ operator must be capitalized. [online printing OR lithography]


With the seamless transition of phones, tablets and computers, the significance of successful searching will be a key ingredient in building your business. Smartphones are computers opening up a significant opportunity to marketers to get found online. Mobile marketing is a perfect opportunity to develop leads by providing quick, precise information on what they’re searching.

Understanding how search engines work is paramount to getting found in search results.

What are your favorite Google search tips?