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Monthly Archives: June 2012

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The Real Reason No One Wants To Link To You

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By Julie Joyce

Over the years, one of the least fun parts of my job has been nicely explaining to clients why no one is going to link to them.

Many of them think that because they offer something awesome, people will naturally know that, seek them out, and generously link to them. Few of them like it when I point out all the problems with that mindset.

I wouldn’t want to link to a poor quality site myself. In fact, just this morning as I was writing something, I needed to link to a source — and immediately rejected one because it had a broken image, a video that did not play, and a code error that appeared on the page. It ranked very well, but that initial impression wasn’t something I wanted to be associated with.

So, how come no one is linking?

1. Website Bloat

Perhaps your site is so bloated, it’s impossible to pin down which page to link to.

You might have poorly chosen link targets because you want certain pages to rank well, but there’s not much to gain by trying to rank 10 pages that say the same thing with slight variations.

Yes, we did that a decade ago and it worked well then — but today, you’re just taunting the Panda.

2. Load Time

It could be that your site takes way too long to load — and by way too long, I mean more than 3 seconds.

If you’re a huge retailer like Amazon, people will wait it out, of course. Otherwise, long load times risk losing everyone’s attention.

3. Broken Media

Maybe you have broken images, or videos that can’t be played in your posts.

To be clear, I’m not talking about one broken image/video on some random page deep within your site. I’m talking about your main home page image, or a video in a post that basically says, “Hey, here’s a video of how to do this!”

4. No Sharing Capabilities

Are you missing social sharing buttons on your posts?

If I’m linking to something, then I want it to show signs of life. Why would I want to promote a post that the author doesn’t even feel like promoting?

Obviously, this applies only to certain types of content, as most people aren’t going to be tweeting your About Us page. However, if it’s a blog post, take the two minutes to install a WordPress social buttons plugin.

5. No Fresh Content

Perhaps your blog hasn’t been updated in over a year. If you can’t update it, why do you have it? We shut down our company blog almost a year ago because we could not properly maintain it.

6. Atrocious Writing

I’m not referring to minor grammatical issues, like an inability to distinguish when to use “effect” vs. “affect.” I mean maybe you really can’t write and probably shouldn’t be writing, because you have no clue how to structure sentences, state your positions, or move the reader in any way. You may have a great checklist for something, but that’s not enough to make me link.

7. Untended Comments Section

Do you let spam comments fill up your site? Do you fail to respond to legitimate comments? Do you get any comments at all?

If you can’t take the time to moderate your comments, you’re sending a message that you don’t truly care what your site looks like. If someone asks a question and you can’t be bothered to answer… again, that’s a sign that you don’t really care. If no one is commenting, well why aren’t they? Maybe your content isn’t interesting enough?

spam spam spam

8. Too Many Ads

It’s awesome that you are making money, of course, but it’s distracting for people who actually want information. If I’m linking to information, it’s going to be something no one has to get a seizure viewing.

9. Unoriginal Content

Ask yourself honestly: “Do I have anything unique to offer?”

If all you do is rehash other people’s content, scrape their sites, publish roundups, and basically repeat everything that you can already find elsewhere… well, you may rank highly (because sadly that is the way things work at times), but you aren’t going to get great links.

We’re going to find the real source that has unique info. Have you ever looked at the number of sites that have posts on how to make salsa? I have (because I am addicted to salsa), and it’s currently 76,400 results if you search for it in quotes in Google.

How can you possibly decide which one to link to? You may check 10 of them out before you make salsa, but if you had to link to one recipe? Something would have to jump out at you.

10. There’s Better Content Elsewhere

Have you ever seen a food blog with no photos? I know I’m harping on food here, but the cookbooks that I love the most have photos in them. Food is very visual to me, and I’ve definitely tried recipes simply because the photos of the finished product looked amazing.

Let’s say you need to repair your washer and dryer, and you’re not mechanically inclined. Wouldn’t you be more likely to look at a site that had a video of someone doing it, with step-by-step instructions for you?

If I were looking to see the latest news on how Google may never update Toolbar Page Rank again, I’d rather find an article with some quotes to back this up — along with some predictions for what it could mean for some of us.

In my planning for a trip to Prague, I found tons of sites listing great restaurants to try — but only a few listed vegetarian restaurants, and I’m a vegetarian. Out of those vegetarian listings? There was one site that listed typical vegetarian dishes that you could eat in non-veg restaurants. If I was linking to something, it would be that one, no question.

11. 2001 Called And They Want Their Site Back

I’ll admit it: I was once someone who didn’t take the time to have a professionally designed site.

After making that investment and immediately seeing the benefits of it, however, I have much less patience with sites that look like antiques.

Attention spans seem to get shorter and shorter, and I’ll freely admit that I’d much rather read a blog post that has great, high-quality images, highlighted information, and formatting that lets me skim but still encourages me to read every word.

Check out to see what I mean. I read all of their posts because, well, they’re just so darned good-looking to ignore! They look fresh and modern, aren’t too long but aren’t too short either, and are very cleanly laid out and organized. They’re like a nicely organized workspace…you just want to dive right in.


Who’s To Blame?

So, before you blame your link builder, or start screaming about Google wrecking your link campaign, take a step back and look at your site.

Look at what you’re doing in comparison with what others are doing. Just as in my last post on learning from lost link opportunities, maybe the problem is actually you.

The post The Real Reason No One Wants To Link To You appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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DuckDuckGo Now Shows New Jersey Transit Schedules

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By Barry Schwartz

You can now search DuckDuckGo for New Jersey Transit schedules. This was announced quietly on Twitter via @duckduckhack.

For example, a search for [next train from secaucus to suffern] displays several options via NJ Transit:

Here is the tweet from DuckDuckGo:

You can search the New Jersey Transit schedule on @duckduckgo thanks to @mattr555

— DuckDuckHack (@duckduckhack) November 28, 2014

Google also is able to provide the same answer, as you can see over here but Bing and Yahoo do not currently support New Jersey Transit schedules.

The post DuckDuckGo Now Shows New Jersey Transit Schedules appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Videos from MozTalk: Blogger Edition

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By CharleneKate

Posted by CharleneKate

Have you ever noticed how Rand is often speaking at conferences all around the world? Well, we realized that those of us here in Seattle rarely get to see them. So we started MozTalks, a free event here at the MozPlex.

It normally runs 2-3 hours with multiple speakers, one of whom is Rand. The event is hosted at the Moz HQ and offers time for mingling, appetizers, refreshments and of course, swag. The series is still evolving as we continue to test out new ideas (maybe taking the show on the road), so be on the lookout for any updates.

Our most recent MozTalk back in September was a smashing success. Rand and his wife Geraldine, widely known as
The Everywhereist, were our featured speakers, and the event focused on blogging, driving traffic to your site, and finding your online personality.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if driving traffic and building your blog’s brand were easy? You launch your blog, you publish awesome content, your metrics go through the roof and everyone just absolutely loves you. Bada bing, bada boom! We all know, however, that the Web is a crazy beast, and the number of individuals constantly sharing their thoughts, stories, expertise, and experiences can be overwhelming. Not to mention that search engine optimization itself has become considerably more advanced and challenging over the years.

So how do you stand out from the millions of personalities, blogs, tweets, and other search results? In the presentations below, Rand and Geraldine dive in and offer tips and tricks on how to drive traffic to your site and get your readers to fall in love with you.

Rand: What Bloggers Need to Know About SEO in 2014

Geraldine: How to Make Your Audience Fall in Love with Your Blog

Top three takeaways

As someone who’s in the midst of launching my own personal blog, these particular takeaways really resonated with me:

Give SEO some love. For many marketers, SEO is a no-brainer, but often times it’s harder to convince bloggers that SEO is important. The fact is, search continues to grow massively. There are more than 6 billion searches performed every day, and guess what? 80% of clicks go to organic results. That’s where SEO comes in. Here’s a little secret: You actually don’t have to be an SEO expert to be effective; you just have to be kinda good at it.

Be authentic. Connect with your audience through familiarity and by being genuine. This will not only help you grow a loyal and dedicated following, but create a bond between you and the readers. There’s no better voice for you than your own.

Be patient. If something’s not working, don’t panic. Traffic doesn’t happen overnight but if you stick to your guns and stay true to your efforts then the results will be rewarding. Also, don’t be afraid to switch it up and try new things if you have to.

Join us for the next one

We’ve got our next MozTalk scheduled for
Tuesday, November 18th with Rand and Dr. Pete Meyers, who joins us all the way from Chicago! We’ll be sure to let folks know once we have the videos of the talks on the blog, but for now, we hope to see you there!

Join the next free MozTalk

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Share the Experience: Send Your Team to SMX West… and Save Up to 35%

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By Search Engine Land

Give your marketing team the learning and tools they need for a successful and profitable 2015. SMX West provides must-have tactics on SEO, paid search, mobile marketing and more. With 60 sessions to choose from, your team members can select presentations based upon their responsibilities, skill-level and the needs of your organization.

  • Get your new hires up to speed with search marketing boot camp, and other “freshman”-level sessions.
  • Is your team experienced? The SMX West program shines with intermediate and advanced content. Look for the blue squares and black diamonds on the agenda-at-a glance to identify those sessions.
  • Conversions are where rubber meets road. Send your analysts to dive deep on KPIs, attribution, power user data tools and measuring ROI in the conversion and analytics tracks.
  • Don’t forget the developers. They will learn how site architecture impacts search marketing results.
  • In-depth training is also available through our pre-conference workshops on SEO, advanced AdWords, international search and social PPC.

The depth and quality of SMX programming ensures you’ll maximize your investment in time and money. We guarantee it.

Here’s How Much You’ll Save When Sending Your Team

Team rates offer significant savings compared to single tickets:
– Sending three or more? You save $685 or 15%.
– Have a team of six? You save $1770 or 25%.
– Want to send the whole team? Groups of 12 save $4440! 35% off.

Super Early Bird rates expire December 19, so don’t wait. Register using our handy team registration form and e-mailing us at registration[at], or call (877) 242-5242 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm Eastern).

Flying solo? Register online now and pay only $1495 for three days of exceptional content, invaluable connections and all the essential conveniences SMX events provide.

The post Share the Experience: Send Your Team to SMX West… and Save Up to 35% appeared first on Search Engine Land.



19 Things I’ve Learned About Buying Websites by @markdaoust

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By Mark Daoust

In July, I shared the lessons I have learned selling websites with Quiet Light Brokerage since 2006, but the seller is not the only important part of the equation. Buying an online business can seem scary, but if you go in knowing how to conduct a deal you’ll improve your success rate immeasurably. I learned these lessons by observing literally thousands of smart buyers over the years, some of whom saw returns of over 1000% in their first year alone. The deals are out there, and these 19 lessons will help you get your footing (and your money’s worth) as […]

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The Definitive Guide to Podcast Intros by @albertcostill

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By Albert Costill

Several years ago – maybe longer than I’d care to admit – I was a part of the morning news show at my high school. Unfortunately, technology has made much of what I learned obsolete. However, there are a couple of things that haven’t really changed after all these years. For starters, there’s making sure you stay on the good side of the law, including obeying copyright laws. For example, when we made video introductions, we were only allowed to use around 10-seconds of a song – which we could loop until the show went live. Since we were a […]

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What’s Ahead For Paid Search?

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By Mona Elesseily

In addition to focusing on today’s issues, smart marketers keep trends and likely future developments in mind. That’s why I’ll share how I see paid search evolving in the reasonably short term.

To start, let’s cover trends that will shape the future of paid search.

Intuitive Search And The Influence Of Mobile

Searching per se will become a thing of the past as Google and others players get better at intuiting the information we’re specifically looking for.

To intuit our needs, companies will use first-party data, like what people are searching for when logged in. In addition, we’ll see companies use third-party data they have on similar users and likely use various big data sources, as well.

We see intuitive search developing like intelligent personal assistant tools like Google Now and Cortana. With such tools, it not about search so much but more about supplying contextual info and functionality for your daily tasks, providing you with needed information before you even know you need it.

For example, the assistant could remind you of an upcoming flight and ask if you need transportation like a cab to get to the airport. The suggestion of a cab would be based on past search activity (or purchase activity) before a flight.

As these devices become better companions and better able to predict our next moves, where is the monetization? There’s obviously a serious gap here.

1. Larger “Mobile” Devices

At a simple level, the issue of screen real estate scarcity on mobile is being solved with the trend toward larger “mobile” devices. Larger devices will:

  • Make It Easier For Users To Browse & Shop: Depending on what people are searching for, they could start on a mobile device and end on a desktop device because it’s easier to transact on a larger screen. Larger mobile devices could curb this trend and help people transact directly on their mobile device.
  • Make More Space For Prime Ad Real Estate: In the current environment, there are only a few paid ads per page on a smartphone-type device — typically two ads at the top of the page and two ads at the bottom of the page. (Note: Here, I am excluding tablets from the present discussion of mobile devices).

As we increasingly use our mobiles as our primary devices, Google and others will find themselves with less profit from paid search. Currently, there are quite a few bigger devices on the market.

For example: the Samsung Galaxy, the new iPhone 6+, the Blackberry Passport, etc. We’ve also seen the introduction of “phablet” devices (a device that’s a cross between phone and tablet).


2. Scrolling From Side To Side (Swiping To The Right)

We’re seeing this already with Google Shopping results on mobile devices. In this example, we see “shop on Google” results and then a Google ad at the bottom of the page.


Google’s new Gmail app, Inbox, along with Google Now, also liberally use the side-to-side swipe as an interface element.

3. More “Organic” Results Becoming Paid Ads (Listings)

In the past, Google has converted organic results into paid results by moving what once was organic info to the paid search side – a la Google Shopping. Those results used to be free, up until late 2012, when Google made it a paid product.

I could see, for example, local results on a SERPs page becoming local paid results. With enhanced campaigns, there has certainly been a big push by Google to get advertisers to bid by specific geographic location. This is some of the most significant real estate on the page (as was Google Shopping) so there is significant opportunity for Google to make a boatload of cash by making changes here.

This general trend could play out in a lot of other ways, too.

4. Paid Ads Embedded In Organic Content (AKA “Native Advertising”)

The most likely scenario is that Google will intersperse paid ads in the organic results. I think we’ll see this on mobile devices, especially.

For Facebook, the introduction of in-stream ads has been a runaway financial success, despite complaints from users and “organic-stream-squeezed” companies alike. Facebook’s record profits are a direct result of the company perfecting this model.

In its most recent earnings report (Q3 2014), Facebook reported $2.96 billion in ad revenues, a 64% increase from the third quarter last year and a 10.4% increase over last quarter’s $2.68 billion.

Facebook mobile ad revenue made up 66% of the total; last year at this time it was just 49%. Facebook said it had 1.12 billion mobile users, including 456 million mobile-only users. It has 864 million daily active users and 703 million mobile daily active users.

We could see also see the Google Shopping box remain a paid product but be moved back into the main column of the SERPs. It currently is either on the top of the page or on the upper side right rail of the paid listings.

5. War Of Functionality (The Backup Plan)

The worst case scenario for paid search marketers would be if Google, Microsoft and Apple opt to get into a less-monetized “war of functionality” and build free features and services to hook people in.

Obviously, the companies need to make money somehow, but they all make quite a bit. They can certainly afford to compete by subsidizing unmonetized elements of the user experience, as Google has done with G+.

6. Hedging With Other Types Of Ad Units

Google, Microsoft and Apple could also be hedging with other plays like video advertising, in-app advertising and display. Personally, I think advertisers are paying for mobile phone video ads that people don’t see much of.

According to a presentation from Google covering recent stats on video advertising, 79% of smartphone users watch video and 24% use video at least once a day.

Note: Facebook is moving into video ads, and comScore recently reported that the social network overtook YouTube in desktop video views. Earlier this year, Facebook launched Atlas, a tool for marketers to target people across devices, platforms and publishers, and to measure how well the ads work.

The launch of Atlas, along with the acquisition of online video ad platform LiveRail this summer, signal that an “important shift is underway at Facebook,” Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at research firm eMarketer, was quoted as saying in an AP story last month.

Final Thoughts

As search moves toward providing intuitive results and anticipating user needs, marketers might want to keep the following stats on application use in mind:

  • When people are on their mobile phones, they spend an average of 80% of their time inside apps. The launch of new in-app advertising will obviously help monetize some of this traffic.
  • The future of search will likely be a combination of all of the points above.

Which points do you think will have the biggest impact? Let us know in the comments.

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SEO 101: 18 Search Rankings & Engagement Factors You Can’t Ignore

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By Alan Schill

There are a lot of SEO guides and “How-to” blog posts available, but the truth is, many of these resources contain outdated or just incorrect (and outright bad) advice. Over the past few months I have been auditing a lot of websites for various law firms throughout the country. I decided to put together a list of 18 factors that many people simply ignore or forget to implement. 1. Proper Title Tag Optimization It is amazing how many websites are still stuffing keywords in their title tag. For example, I was auditing a law firm’s website and their previous SEO […]

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How To Market Your Podcast Online by @albertcostill

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By Albert Costill

So, you’ve decided to give this podcasting thing a try. After settling on a topic, purchasing the proper equipment, planned out your recording and even edited your podcast, it’s now time to share it with the world. But, where do you begin? Publishing Your Podcast Your podcast isn’t going anywhere until it gets published, which means you first need to find a host. While you can use the same host that you currently have for your server, it’s not recommended. After all, you don’t want to have any issues with the server crashing because they can’t handle the amount of […]

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