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What is the status on backlinks?

GoogleLast year we discussed backlink strategy and how Corporate Conversions goes about building an online profile for its clients. Of course, change is the only constant in the online world, particularly with Google. Google wants to be the most natural and organic - the best - search engine online, so it is constantly looking at internet traffic patterns to determine if people are trying to game the system and essentially make Google a sucker. If it does discover evidence of this, woe betide the perpetrator because Google is a harsh taskmaster. A website can overcome a Google penalty, but it takes time, perseverance, and a real willingness to change link-building strategy.

Considering the above, as well as the most recent changes Google has made to its algorithm, what is the current status on backlinking and has it changed from what it was a year or so ago?

Google has put a great deal of effort into making websites conform to their vision of a future, better web and, well, behave in a civilized manner. Backlinks are thus problematic because they leave open a lot of room for SEO manipulation. Matt Cutts, Google’s Distinguished Engineer, said last year that he thought over time backlinks would become less important. They are good for assisting the algorithm in determining site reputation, but they don’t guarantee content quality in any way. Still:

"I think backlinks still have many, many years left in them," he said. "But inevitably what we're trying to do is figure out how an expert user would say this particular page matched their information needs. And sometimes backlinks matter for that."

The important thing to remember is that your backlinks need to grow organically. This doesn’t preclude using careful SEO, but the backlinks your site gets need to seem authentic, and they need to come from trusted places. A mention from a news site is great, industry specific or localdirectory entries work well, and a handful of backlinks from businesses your company works with are fine. Hundreds or thousands of spammy links from sites thrown up overnight in the Philippines are not.

What Google approves of is the kind of backlink profile that springs from success. In real life, popular people get talked about a lot because they’re interesting. Google wants the web as a whole to be interesting and is willing to do the work of making it so at the individual website level. If you want Google, and the rest of the world to notice you, be interesting and get noticed. Paying other people to talk about you isn’t being interesting.

It is hard work to be interesting, and not all businesses have the kinds of products or services that lend themselves to newspaper reporting. Still, it’s not impossible, with effort. Following a positive, quality content strategy to link building is largely a matter of realizing what Google wants from you and using that as a guideline for what you produce, content-wise. In that sense, backlinks will likely never go out of style.

5 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Productivity

social mediaSocial media can be both a blessing and a curse. From a personal standpoint, it can be very engrossing and entertaining. In fact, the average American user spends 3.2 hours per day on social media with young people and women spending even more time. That means that average American is on social media one quarter of the time she is awake. That’s a lot of time! And if the average American utilizes social media that much, imagine how much time social media managers must spend.

 

People who work with social media on behalf of themselves or their companies know what a potential time suck the internet is and how, taking just a casual approach to finding and sharing things with followers or friends, entire days can be lost to this void. Fortunately, there are better strategies not only to find interesting content to share, but to schedule and post it as well.

 

Managing social media professionally involves three steps: finding good content and posting it, engaging with followers or fans online in constructive ways, and examining which strategies work and tweaking them to work even better. Clearly, to be effective, all of this takes time. Fortunately, there are ways to make each step simpler and less time consuming.

 

  • Identify your audience - If you can’t say with certainty who your audience is, your social media voice will be far less effective. Figure out who you are addressing, and commit to having that conversation with them.

  • Determine your topics - What things is your targeted audience interested in? Will they be more engaged by informal content, pictures, or funny videos? Do they need timely information? Will bringing up certain topics, like your politics, offend them or fire them up? When you know this, make a list of things to discuss. Set Google alerts to keep up on recent news or innovations in your company’s field. You can change or alter the list at any time, but make sure you update it keeping your audience foremost in your mind.

  • Use the right online tools - Finding and posting content if you use sites like Feedly, Digg Deeper, or Hootsuite. If you plug into the right sources, content will come to you instead of you have to excavate it from obscure sources. Definitely use a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts ahead of time. It will save you time and make forgetting to update your social media less likely.

  • Respond to your audience - Take the time to tweet back to people who mention you or your products, and take any mention on social media seriously. Any customer service issues should be taken offline and quickly, however, and don’t just sit on social media chatting. The return on investment on that is low.

  • Figure out what is and is not working - Use social media input, analytics, and any other data to determine whether a particular strategy works for you. Most social media sites offer users quite a bit of data for free. Don’t let this go to waste, and don’t be afraid to tweak or refine your behavior to make your online presence more effective.

 

Social media is an important part of any company’s SEO strategy for business success, but, like anything else, it’s basically worthless if done wrong. Even done semi-effectively it can be an expensive proposition. So approach it like a battle, with a plan of action and the right weapons at hand to deploy when necessary. Keep in mind that, as in any battle, the offensive and defensive maneuvers and tools at hand are subject to change (as technology does). Good strategy is always good strategy, though, and the rules for good social media use are very similar to the ones for good customer service, so don’t be intimidated because it changes and it’s online.

 

Are You Ready for Google's Mobilegeddon?

How mobile friendly is your company’s website? Do you know? If you don’t, in short order you will find out because next Tuesday, April 21, Google is releasing its updated algorithm which is designed to place mobile-accommodating sites higher in its search rankings.

Google mobile

This may sound like it’s not much to worry about. After all, website traffic from mobile phones and tablets is hardly a new thing.  In fact, in 2014 global internet traffic from mobile devices finally overtook traffic from desktops and mobile searches currently make up approximately 30% of all searches - which means that businesses with mobile unfriendly websites were already suffering from a natural decrease in traffic. But Google’s mission here is to create a better internet for the mobile user by actively penalizing companies who do not update their websites for mobile so this algorithm update is a carrot/stick approach. There will be more carrots for companies with sites that comply, and companies with sites that do not will take a beating.

 SEO experts are so concerned about the potentially catastrophic effects of that beating on businesses that they’ve nicknamed the implementation of this new algorithm “Mobilepocalypse,” and “Mobilegeddon,” among others.  However, the effects will, of course, not be the same for everyone. This change will take about a week to implement, so if you are concerned, there is still a little time to prepare. What do you need to do?  Test your website for mobile compliance. Google has provided a site that will do this for you. Click here to check. If you website is compliant, great! No worries. If How mobile friendly is your company’s website? Do you know? If you don’t, in short order you will find out because next Tuesday, April 21, Google is releasing its updated algorithm which is designed to place mobile-accommodating sites higher in its search rankings.

it isn’t, here are some questions you need to be able to answer yes to:

 

  • Does your website load quickly?

  • Is all of the content on your website’s pages accessible by scrolling up or down?

  • Are response buttons, such as “Buy,” easy to see and touch on small screens?

 Google itself released guidelines for answering the question: “What are the top three things I should know when building a site for mobile devices?” answering them thus:

  1. Make it easier for customers.

  2. Measure the effectiveness of your website by how easily mobile customers can complete common tasks.

  3. Select a mobile template, theme, or design that’s consistent for all devices (i.e., use responsive web design).


If all of this sounds confusing or difficult, as it may for many small business owners who are often caught off guard by these sorts of changes, Corporate Conversions is available to talk to you about what we can do to help make your site better and more mobile compatible. Call us today to make sure this next algorithm change does not cost you business.

The Importance of Positioning on Google

Greater than 3 / 4 of all traffic that travels to a website through the entire known Internet universe comes through search engines. Of that over 80% comes through Google. This is why SEO companies care so much about understanding Google's algorithms.

Our SEO Consultants’ goal is to be sure that your business benefits from improved Google search engine visibility. By focusing on exhaustive keyword research and subsequently selecting the right keyword phrases, our efforts have consistently yielded in increased online lead generation and sale conversions. Achieving top positioning in Google for the keywords and key phrases that concentrate on your potential customers takes a considerable time, dedication to manual link-building, knowledge and thorough monitoring of performance. That’s where we come in.

Call us at (616) 214-8392 for a free phone consultation or let us know when you would like to be contacted by filling out the contact form here. If you are in Grand Rapids, Michigan, let's get together for coffee and discuss your goals! Learn More...

Why Does My Company Need Search Engine Optimization?

When implemented properly, search engine optimization (SEO) permits businesses of any size to compete inside their niche online, particularly from a geographic perspective. Our Grand Rapids SEO Consultants can easily help your business compete with the most formidable competitors using a proven search engine optimization process customized to your company's specific niche. In addition to being one the most powerful marketing mediums today, SEO is also essentially the most economical for the long term, offering a much higher return of investment (ROI) in comparison to many traditional mediums, such as print, yellow pages, mailings, telemarketing or hiring sales personnel.

Call us at (616) 214-8392 for a free phone consultation or let us know when you would like to be contacted by filling out the contact form here. If you are in Grand Rapids, Michigan, let's get together for coffee and discuss your goals! Learn More...

Grand Rapids SEO Company & SEO Consultants

Corporate Conversions is a Grand Rapids, Michigan based company which has built its reputation on the our ability to significantly improve natural search engine rankings. During the past Five years our team of qualified Grand Rapids SEO Consultants have developed a reputation for consistently bringing client websites to the top of search results, always while using most ethical, white hat methods.

Call us at (616) 214-8392 for a free phone consultation or let us know when you would like to be contacted by filling out the contact form here. If you are in Grand Rapids, Michigan, let's get together for coffee and discuss your goals! Learn More...