Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Help Name the Eminent SEO Monster Mascot

In case you missed it, my company, Eminent SEO, has a cute little Monster, I like to call him our Marketing Mascot < --  Click for a pic from a previous post.

Anyways, we thought it would be fun to let the staff pick some names for him and then let you, the public, vote on what name you think is best. It’s fun, free and only takes a min.

Here is a video if you are still not sure:



Now that you’ve watched that, how can you possibly resist!??!

GO NOW! Eminent SEO Monster Vote < -- Click here and JUST DO IT!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Google Place Pages - How to Market your Business Locally Online

A lot of clients have been asking about Local Marketing and how to get better placement with their Google Places pages (AKA Google Maps), so I thought I'd share a few thoughts.

In case you didn't already know, Google will pull in some businesses and create a map to the business address naturally, in order to provide searches with physical directions to the business. However, many times when we check, a client either doesn't have a map page at all - or it's the generic page Google created and isn't optimized for better search placement. 

Because Google Place pages are so vital for local businesses online, we have developed packages that include map creation, optimization and further development. 

Want to see what an optimized Google Places page looks like? Check out: Eminent SEO Google Places Page

If you are interested in getting your own optimized map, drop us a line: sales@eminentseo.com or 800-871-4130 

Meanwhile, here are some other tips to help you rank your Google Places pages higher.

We would fully optimize your listing, but in addition to just creating the map, there are things you can do on your website to increase your Google map rankings, including:

  • Make sure your address and phone number are on the website, preferably every web page, if possible. This will help ensure Google and the other search engines find you no matter what page they are crawling.
  • Make sure your city, state, and local (geo targeted) keywords, are in the title tags and meta data. 
  • Make sure your local keywords, for example, "Phoenix Arizona Lawyer", are in your website URL if at all possible. 
"How can you optimize for local traffic in other ways?"

From other areas of the web, it’s important to make sure you have plenty of incoming links. These links should be quality links from relevant websites, and should link to you using your niche, local keywords. This shows Google you’re a valid business and adds credibility for not only your domain, but the local keywords you have now optimized your site for.    

Want this done for you?


  • Do the keyword discovery and research to determine the best local target keywords
  • On-page Website Optimization to ensure your keywords are represented in your content, URLs and other meta data
  • Google, Bing and Yahoo Map Creation and Optimization
  • Map/Places Pages Organic Search Engine Marketing – we can boost your maps and ensure they get search engine traffic, using special techniques
  • Link Building to your website, using your local target keywords – now you will have local search engine traffic to your map AND your website
  • For a full list of our services – check out our site here: Eminent SEO Services

Or just give us a call! 800-871-4130

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How Google Instant Is Changing Search

I just found myself waiting for the Google Instant to show up in my search results before typing because I knew it was coming. Do you use Google for your search queries (AKA looking for an address, a map, a website with quick information?) What are you searching for? Is Google using emotional response from humans in order to create an algorithm that is ultimately adjusted based off of human response?

Today I wanted to look up the top Fortune 100 and the top Fortune 500 companies. Doing some research and curious to see who these guys are and what they are doing.
I was going to search for “Top Fortune 500 vs 100 companies” but instead of searching for that key phrase and clicking on that first result, I waited for Google Instant to tell me what I should choose from. I didn’t even attempt to keep typing, I actually waited to see the results before I typed in exactly what I was thinking… Are we now allowing Google to narrow our natural selection to a “more suitable” selection? If so, based off of what criteria? Are we so common, so similar, that instead of an unlimited amount of things I could be searching for when typing “Top Fortune…” I am now given 10 choices to choose from and that’s sufficient for my search?

I was served the following options from Google Instant:

top fortune 500 companies
top fortune 100 companies
top fortune 500
top fortune 500 companies to work for
top fortune 500 companies list
top fortune 500 top fortune cities
top fortune cookie quotes
top fortune 500 companies in florida
top fortune 510 list
top fortune 50 companies

I chose “top fortune 500 companies” – now remember, I was going to search for “Top Fortune 500 vs 100 companies” which was not even on the “list”.

Are the 10 above that Google offered up the best search queries or top search terms when a human types in “top fortune” according to their data. Hrm. Do you think this dramatically changes search? We do.

Does the search volume of the “keywords” you are targeting reflect what people USED to be searching for, or what they are NOW because of what Google is serving up? When is the last time you checked?

For $200.00 we (Eminent SEO) can do a keyword discovery and research project for your website to determine the overall keyword strategy and make sure your approach matches the changes Google’s algorithm and the implementation of Google Instant reflect in the natural results.

Are you targeting the “right keywords”?
Who is your audience?
When is the last time you checked?
Could you use a fresh perspective?
Does your website need a health check?

Find out now, your $200.00 could MAKE you thousands. 

Just contact me:

Jenny Stradling
Managing Partner/SEO Strategist
C: 480-338-8848
O: 800-871-4130 (ext 1)
F: 866.501.3296

Friday, May 20, 2011

Have You Met the Eminent SEO Monster?

Have you met the Eminent SEO Monster?


Where in the world is the Eminent SEO Monster?

Look for a contest coming up soon on the Eminent SEO FaceBook to help us name him!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Google Tweaks Algorithm

I don't have time to write a big old blog post right now, but FYI...

BoingBoing says: 

Google tweaks algorithm; content farms and splogs wail and rend their spammy garments

"Google this week launched a significant change in search algorithm intended to push down low-quality, SEO'd-out-the-ass content farms in favor of less spammy sites with more useful information."

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html   

"Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on."

So, the QUICK nutshell?

Buy in content links
Add fresh, UNIQUE content to your sites often.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Are “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search” Really That Dirty?

Whenever anything interesting is buzzing in the SEO community, I’m sure to find out about it right away by way of the SEO Twitter community (I follow a lot of nerds, follow me to join the discussion: dayofjen), my SEO FaceBook connections or the numerous SEO blogs I follow. Recently Twitter was all abuzz with “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search”, a New York Times piece in Business Day, just published on Feb. 12th, 2011… and it created quite a stir, at least in my small corner of the world.

Now, I do a LOT of reading, so although the Twitter banter on the article topic caught my eye and encouraged me to click to read more, when I landed on the site and saw it as a 5 page piece, I seriously reconsidered reading the entire thing. I mean, who has the time? But as the buzz increased and my intrigue grew, I decided to read it, in its 5 page entirety… and this is what I think:

First, I kinda have to say I’m feelin a little sorry for JC Penny right now. I mean, jeez, there they are, organically ranking for all these target keywords “Bedding”, “Dresses”, “Area Rugs”… and BOOM – this little “study” comes along and KILLS their organics.

So what happened anyways? So what if JC Penny’s ranks for “Bedding”, “Dresses”, “Area Rugs” and such, I mean, they do offer these products on their website, so why can’t they rank for them all? Well, apparently high rankings for such a large amount of really hard to rank for, competitive phrases (such as bedding) strewn across such a vast amount of products and terms raised some suspicions over there at The NY Times and caused them to seek out an expert in Search Engine Marketing. So, they bring in Doug Pierce of Blue Fountain Media. Never heard of him, but I wasn’t surprised at what he said. Did I agree with it? Not really.

According to Doug Pierce, the JC Penny link portfolio contained dozens of links using the same keywords and often the links were found on sites deemed irrelevant by the “expert”… specifically saying “There are links to JCPenney.com’s dresses page on sites about diseases, cameras, cars, dogs, aluminum sheets, travel, snoring, diamond drills, bathroom tiles, hotel furniture, online games, commodities, fishing, Adobe Flash, glass shower doors, jokes and dentists — and the list goes on.”

So?

So far I have heard:

If multiple sites link to you using the same keyword, it’s bad?

If random sites link to you and they aren’t related to your direct topic of relevancy, it’s also bad?

If these two statements were true and if they also were deemed “black hat” and actually caused a penalization in Google’s algorithm, couldn’t we all just go out and buy a bunch of spammy, black hat links using the same keyword phrase(s) over and over to our competition and cause them to receive a penalization? I mean come on, think about it. In fact, if the above were true, they wouldn’t even have to find real black hat websites, they could simply buy links on sites that are about jewelry or something else legitimate – as long as it was deemed “irrelevant”. TOO EASY. The spammers would have us all banned in a heartbeat.

Instead, consider this. Google CAN NOT build a penalization into the algorithm and say a site (especially a large site with 1000’s of content pages, 100’s of products and household branded name like JC Penny’s) should automatically lose organic rankings for keyword terms relevant to their content and products because certain pages linking to them appear to be off topic. I personally own 100’s of sites and manage dozens of social media profiles and micro blogs. I could chose to link to JC Penny or anyone else I so chose at any given time for any reason from any of my sites, relevant or not. Who is Google or anyone else to say the audience of the site/blog I posted that link on might not also be interested in the subject I am linking to? It’s not relevant because I talked about prom dresses or bedding on my jewelry site? Why? Who decides this? It just doesn’t scientifically make sense. I mean sure, Google can say if a link doesn’t appear to be a strong match by certain criteria then perhaps the link doesn’t pass as much value as a stronger match, but to say you’ll get penalized is quite a stretch.

So why did JC Penny lose their rankings?

The truth is, Google is a walking, talking contradiction. Links are a necessary and vital part of the algorithm. Without them, Google would have to rely on things like content and clean code – not really a sure fire way to serve up the best, most reliable websites and information, right? So, links are the perfect solution to that algorithm problem. By building in links, Google allows the public to vote for the best sites – it’s the perfect solution… kinda.

Years ago, after Google updated their algo to include the in-coming links as votes for organic placement, they had no idea how the SEO community would evolve, how technology would change and how vital a role links actually play. But, with these changes, these evolutions, Google found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. Once the SEO’s caught on to the effects of linking, it was only a matter of time before the spammers, and basically the whole world knew the secret. So why not just devalue links?

Devalued links = devalued search results = unhappy users = less engine usage = ruined ad opportunities.

Not a smart move when you make your money from your ads.

So the answer? Just tell everyone paid links are bad. Write it into the Terms, have Matt Cutts talk about it on his blog… spread the word – LINKS are good! PAID links are bad. Scare the public. And when a high profile company gets called out, penalize them – use them as a martyr. But, for the most part, let people do what they want, as long as they play by the rules.

But wait a minute. How does Google even know the difference? And why do they care? 

Now I can go on and on (and on and on) about links, the difference between black hat, grey hat, white hat… the multiple variables in which to gauge the quality of any given link location and whether your site will actually increase organically from having a link there. I can talk about 1000’s of case studies and years of experience with link building and the trends I’ve seen within the major search engine algorithms, but why? Isn’t this just the same old fear and propaganda?

Is the real problem here the links, or the fact that JC Penny didn’t play the game correctly?

If JC Penny didn’t get called out so very publically, and by the SEO community at that, and then pretty much fess up to the fact they “bought links”, they could have been ranking for their target terms forever. I didn’t evaluate their entire link portfolio and I certainly don’t have information on the exact links they were purchasing, however, I can say this:

Links are a necessary part of any successful organic SEO campaign. Google knows everyone is buying links. Come on, it is THAT obvious. You think JC Penny is the only company out there actively building links? Of course not. Take a look at the top 10 for just about anything – they are buying links. Google knows, but they turn their cheek. Why? Because your paid links help them serve up relevant information. That information keeps the Google users happy. Happy users are happy to come back, happy to click on paid links, and even happy to host ads on their own sites…

What do you think Google is really concerned about here?


Convinced you still need links… But now what?

Buy links from a trusted provider who understands the risks and can put together a strategic approach to link building that is SEO friendly and can fly under the radar a bit more. If you are worried about risk, there are creative link strategies out there that can still get the job done, while still remaining virtually undetectable.

Need to know more? Well, you’ll have to ask me: jenny@eminentseo.com
 
A few tips:

  • KEYWORD RESEARCH: Every great organic link campaign starts with expert keyword research. If you are guessing, or simply going after the “top” keywords in your vertical, you are not only missing a great opportunity to target low hanging fruit – but you are seriously telling Google the links coming in are potentially artificial – remember, people who chose to link to you naturally will pick a term that makes sense to them, which is not necessarily the top keyword for your website. Know your top keywords and work on supporting them with similar secondary phrases for a more organic looking campaign.
  • ON-PAGE SEO and CONTENT: Links certainly play a big role in your organic SERP, but your links better be pointing to optimized pages with unique and relevant copy. Great content should justify a lot of in-coming links. If you are out there buying links and pointing them to a crappy site, it may raise a red flag with Google. Why would people link to a terrible site with outdated content? Not a good strategy.
  • LINK DIVERSITY: So, you know your target keywords, you have an optimized site and you are adding fresh content, now what? Go get those links! But, be advised, Google is looking for a link trend they can trust. Trust comes in many forms and levels, but what you NEED to know:
• Links should be from unique sources across the web – avoid networks where the sites are all hosted on the same Class C IP’s. If you think you are getting a deal by buying links in bulk from a network, you better ask them if their IPs are unique, if not, you might as well tell Google you just bought into a network – and the credibility the individual sites could pass if they were on unique IPs is completely diminished.

• Links should be natural looking, instead of buying hundreds of the “perfect” links, consider that only higher PR, higher quality inbound links actually looks more suspicious then a diverse array of sites. Why would everyone who chooses to link to you naturally all have an authority site? Instead, some people will socially bookmark your site, some will share on their blog, some will write an article and link back to you as a reference, etc. etc.

• Avoid ACTUAL black hat practice. Without getting too technical, there is a fine line between black and grey. Black hat techniques WILL get you banned and aren’t worth the risk. Practices such as Gateway/Doorway pages white text on a white background – no bueno! And although it can’t hurt you (remember – Google cant penalize you just because a site links to you! That is out of your control) BUT bad neighborhood links do not help, so don’t bother – if you aren’t an adult site yourself, don’t buy links on one (stay away from gambling and pharmaceutical too).

• Relevancy is important, but not imperative. Yeah, I said it. Links can come from any family friendly website and still pass value. It’s less about topic relevancy and more about site audience relevancy. Name one site that doesn’t represent multiple categories of relevancy anyways. If you are worried about relevancy, buy links that come with content unique to you. Get creative. There are ways to make a link relevant almost anywhere.


The Nutshell:

Links are GOOD, when done correctly. Don’t get too caught up in the propaganda. If you know you need links, make sure you have a quality site to justify those links and then find an expert to help you.

Social Media Revolution

I didn't make this video, nor am I affiliated with the makers... but someone asked me today why they need Social Media.

Well, here's why:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Response from Erica Bailey: Manager vs. Leader

In my last post named "Calling Out Erica Bailey" I asked Erica, to give me a little somethin somethin... Well, here you have it:

Jenny, I have written and re-written my response to your challenge and nothing has felt like an adequate response until now. The business side of the SEO business keeps me awake at night. This is actually due to excitement, like a child on Christmas Eve; I am filled with ideas and dreams that this business model creates! Take a quick look at a few of the most successful companies, according to Hoovers FT Global Fortune 500 List, Apple ranks at #5 and Google #30, and both organizations are well known for being original both in their products, but their business model in reference to employee relations.

ESEO, like Apple and Google, embrace that side which is apparent through their leadership team and even more with the staff that have been hand selected to make this company where clients WANT to go when they need results. What I found while doing research for my graduate degree was that the successful organizations that have remained powerful during the recession, have leaders in senior management, not just managers. In my professional opinion, a company is bound to succeed if they follow a few simple steps, starting with having the right people.

In my paper entitled “Great Leaders are like Mothers”  I explain the difference between a manger and a leader:
Manager vs. Leader
Typically a manager and a leader are considered one in the same, but they are not. Certainly a good manager should be able to lead, and a great leader should be able to manage within a company, but it is difficult to find an individual who can do such in cooperation.
“Both leadership and management are important in an organization. The key difference between the two is that management is about processes and leadership is about people. You manage accounts payable, but you lead an accounts-payable administrator” (Schulz, G., 2008, p. 1).
                Unfortunately the business world does not see a great deal of leaders within the management positions and that is because people are promoted within a company for the wrong reasons. Most of the time an individual is promoted due to tenure when in fact they may or may not have any leadership skills, or the ability to seek out the technical problems within a company, and how to lead the staff, teach them to resolve issues themselves. This most likely stems from our early childhood development as we are told what to do by our parents, siblings, guardians and mentors when rarely we are taught what to do, or to think for ourselves and seek out the answers to the questions on our own. Instead of teaching little Johnny to think about why he should not stick a fork in a light socket, or why he should wear a helmet while riding his bike in the street, we just tell him. Of course, as parents, we are concerned about his safety, but as he grows will he be able to be come to his own conclusions regarding such issues? This is probably why we see leadership traits get passed down from generation to generation, because true leaders are taught how to be such through their mentors, who were also great leaders themselves.
Going back to management through advancement, as Warren Bennis says in On Becoming a Leader, “the manager administers; the leader innovates. The manager imitates; the leader initiates. The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it” (Buss, D., 2001, p. 45). These traits are difficult to find as the breed seems to be declining every generation, so what characteristics should one be looking for when trying to fill a management position? Gregory Nelson, vice president of Development Dimensions International in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania explains, “There’s a difference between a leader by title and a leader by profile. Leaders by profile are the people who are the biggest influence in the organization – the people who get things done. Very often, that doesn’t follow the organizational chart” (Buss, D., 2001, p. 45). Thus, unfortunately businesses do not find themselves putting an individual with a leadership mentality into the role of management as they most often just select the next person in line, or they hire someone outside the current staff who has management experience, however they should be looking for someone who has the behaviorisms of a leader if they really want to succeed in the future.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Calling Out Erica Bailey

Dear Erica,

As I sit here pondering what to write on this darn SEO blog. I find myself thinking more and more about the conversation we had today. It's been such an interesting year, running my own business (with Chris of course) and learning how to manage all of the facets of not only the SEO world but the business world as well. I think we both agree that SEO is about more than just links and title tags... it's about running a business, working together as a team, learning, loving and growing... Which leads me to my point:

Mrs. MBA, would you be so kind as to write my SEO followers a little somethin somethin?

Thanks Hon, can't wait to read it.

Love,

Me