Bill Hartzer Bill Hartzer is a search engine optimization expert based in the Dallas Fort Worth Texas area that provides SEO Audits and Link Audits of websites. Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:16:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Domain Suspension Notice from Google Fri, 13 Nov 2015 21:29:36 +0000 Someone is sending out email notices to domain name owners, telling them that their domain name has been suspended for “violation of the Google Inc. Abuse Policy”. The email then states that your website has been suspended. It appears to be a domain suspension notice from Google But it’s not.

Here’s a copy of one of the emails I received:

Google Domain Name Suspension

“Dear Sir/Madam,

The following domain names have been suspended for violation of the Google Inc. Abuse Policy:

Domain Name:
Registrar: Google Inc.
Registrant Name: Bill Hartzer

Multiple warnings were sent by Google Inc. Spam and Abuse Department to give you an opportunity to address the complaints we have received.

We did not receive a reply from you to these email warnings so we then attempted to contact you via telephone.

We had no choice but to suspend your domain name when you did not respond to our attempts to contact you.

Click here and download a copy of complaints we have received.

Please contact us for additional information regarding this notification.

Google Inc.
Spam and Abuse Department
Abuse Department Hotline: 480-565-2700”

If you have received one of these emails, then you should ignore it or report it as spam. If you are using Gmail, where I received the email, then you should mark it as spam. This is an attempt to get you to click a link in the email, which then will go to a website that contains ads.

It looks to me like the page could have been live at one point, but is now showing ads, it’s a parked domain name now. I also took a look at the pages that have been indexed in Google for the domain name in question:


Google is showing that it’s a hacked site.

There are several reasons why I know that this is a fake or spam type of email:

— Google doesn’t generally send notices like this to domain owners. They sent emails like this in the past to website owners, but they will generally be related to a manual action that’s been taken against the site. This email is related to “violation of the Google Inc. Abuse Policy” which I don’t really think exists (it’s not named that)?

— Google won’t tell you to go to another site like

— While Google does have a group working on web spam, they generally don’t call it the “Spam and Abuse Department”.

— Google would point you to the Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools area of, not some other site. And certainly not a debt resolution site.

The reason why these scammers are sending out these emails is that they want you to scared about your website and click the link. Then, if you click the link they’ll most likely make money from clicking ads on their site.

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Could Google Authorship Make a Comeback? Fri, 09 Oct 2015 05:57:44 +0000 This week, during the PubCon conference here in Las Vegas, Nevada, there was talk that Google Authorship could potentially make a comeback. As you might recall, back in June 2014, Google removed authorship photos from the search results. However, now, about 15 months later, Google’s Gary Illyes alluded to the fact that the rel=author tag could be used again by Google:

Gary Illyes Google Authorship

During one of my presentations this week at PubCon Las Vegas 2015, I specifically mentioned the fact that Google Authorship may come back in some sort of form after it being confirmed at SMX East that I attended last week. There was discussion that rel=author, the tag used for Google Authorship previously, could be used by Google again if more people used it on their websites.

This makes sense to me. Especially the way Gary worded his answer.

If there is a tag that a lot of websites are using, then Google will most likely use that tag in some way. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make a huge difference when it comes to search engine rankings, but if websites in general adopt something (like a tag, for example), I bet Google will use that data somehow.

It just so happens that the rel=author, previously used for Google Authorship, is used in this example when Gary Illyes talked about it last week. But, frankly it could be a rel=hartzer tag. If enough people adopt that rel=hartzer tag and use it on their websites, then it would be safe to say that Google would use it somehow.

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86 Speakers to See at Pubcon Las Vegas 2015 Fri, 02 Oct 2015 02:52:17 +0000 Las Vegas Strip

So, every time that I attend a Pubcon conference (PubCon South Florida, PubCon Austin, PubCon Las Vegas, etc.) I hand-pick a list of speakers that you absolutely must see. I know it’s quite a daunting task to figure out which sessions you should see and which speakers you should try to meet, so I have done some of the heavy-lifting for you.

I’ve been attending and speaking at the PubCon conferences for over 10 years, so I have a good handle on which speakers are the best. I can only pick a certain few select speakers, and if you didn’t make it onto the list for PubCon Las Vegas 2015, then there’s probably a reason: I haven’t heard you speak at a previous conference, and, well, I probably had another reason, as well. Make sure you find me in Las Vegas this year, and let’s chat about it!

So, without further adieu, here is my personal, hand-picked list of speakers you should see at PubCon Las Vegas 2015. These aren’t in any particular order of importance:

Michael Black
Carrie Hill
Sean Jackson
Ann Smarty
Stoney deGeyter
Loren Baker
Christi Olson
Steve Hammer
Casey Markee
Alan K’necht
Jenny Halasz
Ash Nallawalla
Michael Bonfils
Brent Csutoras
Dan Sturdivant
Lisa Buyer
Chris Boggs
Damon Gochneaur
David Wallace
Susan Winograd
Brian Combs
Todd Malicoat
Mel Carson
Mark Traphagen
Kevin Lee
Russ Jones
Greg Boser
Craig Paddock
Bruce Clay
Dennis Yu
Motor Hunt
Zeph Snapp
Tony Wright
Mona Elesseily
David Szetela
Joe Laratro
Rebecca Murtagh
Joe Hall
Larry Kim
Melissa Fach
Eric Enge
Janet Driscoll Miller
Mindy Weinstein
Jordan Kasteler
Ryan Jones
Steve Floyd
Rob Garner
Bill Hunt
Christine Churchill
Greg Gifford
Jennifer Slegg
Brad Geddes
Kevin Adams
Greg Jarboe
Kate Morris
Kenton Hutchinson
Marty Weintraub
Jim Boykin
Rand Fishkin
Joe Youngblood
William Leake
Carolyn Shelby
Scott Henderson
David Vogelpohl
Tim Wagner
Mike Grehan
Dixon Jones
Duane Forrester
Wil Reynolds
Robert Riggs
James Loomstein
Marie Haynes
Alan Bleiweiss
Stephan Spencer
Mike Stewart
Brett Tabke
Anne Kennedy
Jake Bohall
Jenneva Vargas
David Klein
Kristine Schachinger
Bill Slawski
Greg Hartnett
Warren Whitlock
Abby Johnson
Gary Illyes

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Tweet Containing Swear Word Appears on Yahoo! Homepage Wed, 23 Sep 2015 07:27:50 +0000 I’ve always considered the Yahoo! home page a place with family-friendly content. But lately it’s becoming more family un-friendly. So much so that I’m reconsidering my usage of Yahoo! as a home page for my web browser. Especially because my school age kids use my laptop from time to time to browse the web. How is it that a Tweet from Twitter, along with a pretty nasty swear word gets listed as a news story on the site’s home page?


Take a look at the screen capture above. I’ve edited out the swear word because this word is banned in my house, and will not be tolerated. Perhaps this “news story” made it onto Yahoo!’s home page because it’s a trending topic, but you’d think that it would be edited out by the Yahoo editors. But apparently not.

Certainly it could be that Yahoo simply is posting this automatically not censoring their homepage in anyway.

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12 Websites Blocked by the People’s Republic of China Wed, 23 Sep 2015 01:10:45 +0000 This week I am Beijing, China doing a keynote address about SEO and domain names. There is free internet access here at the China World Hotel in Beijing, but is it really free? Maybe I should say that it is “restricted”.

There is a card in each hotel room on the desk that looks like this:


On the card, it says:

“Please be advised that the following popular websites listed are prohibited in the peoples Republic of China and are blocked by Internet service provider.

Thank you for your kind understanding should you need any assistance please contact our service center and extension zero. ”

On the back of the card, there are 12 websites listed:


Sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Flickr, and Instagram are all blocked. Certainly there are probably other websites blocked in China but these are the ones listed on the card in my hotel room.

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A Domain Name Related Contest Fri, 04 Sep 2015 16:11:50 +0000 money diver podcast

I was just interviewed by Borja for the Money Diver podcast about domain names and choosing the right domain name. As a part of this podcast, Borja and I put together a domain name related contest.

Remember that your name tells a lot about your brand, and first impressions do matter, a good domain name with a good backlink profile but with a name that turns off visitors, something sleazy like “the rich guru”, can have a negative SEO effect until you establish some authority, because first time visitors might just click away because they don’t get a good first impression and this will increase your bounce rate and time spent on site, which are two very important SEO metrics.

There is a lot of software that can help you research and select the right domain for your company, we mentioned a couple on the show, tools that will help you do a backlink profile analysis, if the domain is at an auction or if it has a buy now price, if it has a good trust metric or if it has been “dropped” or abandoned to many times.

If you want to learn more about choosing the right domain name, take a look at this article.

Want to participate?

Now, if you want to participate for a chance to win a lifetime membership to Smartduu all you need to do is answer to this question:

What makes a good name for you?
Send us a tweet with your answer and tag @borjafat and @bhartzer we will select the best thought out answer.

Also, after you send you tweet, head on over to iTunes and leave an honest review for the show.

Thanks for participating and showing interest, what we do is for you.

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The Famous Faces of Google Analytics Thu, 03 Sep 2015 16:30:10 +0000 If you’re in the search marketing industry, or you have anything to do with websites, you’ve probably logged into Google Analytics. Well, that’s probably an understatement: you probably log into Google Analytics several times a day, like I do. And I am sure that you’ve seen these two people over and over and over again. You’ve seen them so often, and so many people have seen them by now, they’re famous.

Have you ever wondered who are the faces of Google Analytics? Who are the two famous people that are shown every time you log into Google Analytics?

google analytics people

I used my investigative skills, and I figured out who these two people are. Let’s put names on these faces.

Mia Vallo

The girl on the left is Mia Vallo. Mia is Sr. Director, Marketing Analytics and Optimization at National Geographic Society.

Corbin Haresnape

Could the guy on the right be Corbin Haresnape? Corbin Haresnape is Director of Search and SEO at National Geographic.

So, there you have it. I know you’ve been wondering who these folks are. It’s Mia, but could it be Corbin? No, it’s not Corbin. In fact, I suspect that it’s actually Chuck Carpenter, Development Team Lead at National Geographic Society. Thanks for commenting below, Chuck 😉

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Dear Google: Please Fix the Grammar in Your Search Results Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:04:32 +0000 While I was looking at the search results for the title tag of a post that I recently posted today, I noticed that Google’s grammar is less than to be desired. You’d think with all those PhDs at Google the grammar would be better. Dear Google, please fix the bad grammar in your search results to you are not suggesting something that has bad grammar. Take a look at the following screen capture, where Google is suggesting something other than what I searched for:


I searched for “What Happened When I Removed the Blogroll from My Site“, the last post where I wrote about what happened when I removed my blogroll.

Google suggested the following in a “did you mean”:

Did you mean: What Happened When I Remove the Blogroll from My Site

No, Google, I did *NOT* mean “what happened when I remove the blogroll. I meant “what happened when I removed the blogroll from my site.”

Shouldn’t Google say this instead?

Did you mean: What Will Happen When I Remove the Blogroll from My Site

I know this is probably all automated and what typically is searched for, but the grammar there just stinks. You can’t show what happened in the past when you remove something. This leads me to start investigating when and why they suggest something different, suggest something that includes “did you mean”.

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What Happened When I Removed the Blogroll from My Site Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:52:38 +0000 14 days ago, I decided to perform an interesting experiment here on my site, where I completely removed the blogroll. On August 17, 2015, I removed the sidebar blogroll links. These were sitewide links to highly trusted sites, all on-topic links. Here’s what happened 14 days after I removed the blogroll links from my blog.

First, a little background. If you view my site’s home page, you’ll notice that I use a static page for the home page, that doesn’t change. It’s about me and what I do. I decided to do it that way as a presentation of me, rather than make the home page of my site a “blog”, where I show a snippet of my latest blog posts. Currently, my latest blog posts are available on the blog’s sidebar, so they are linked from the site’s home page.

Over the years you’ve probably heard people say that who you link out to is important, and potentially something that would have an effect on search engine rankings (and ultimately traffic to your site). I typically link out to appropriate sites and even Twitter profiles and other posts when I’m writing. That’s logical, if I mention a site or someone I will link to their site or their Twitter profile. However, I think the blogroll is different. On my site, the blogroll was linked from every page, appearing in the right sidebar, but not towards the top of the sidebar. It was just a list of about 15 links. Here’s what it looked like before I removed it:

bill hartzer blogroll

In theory, I would be passing “link juice” or authority on to those sites, and then some of those would pass that authority (or whatever you want to call it) back to my site. Some of those sites link back to my site, and some do not.

So, what happened when I removed the blogroll? Let’s take a look at 14 days after I removed it from my site completely. After 14 days, I am assuming that Google has fully crawled my site and realized that those links are no longer there. But since there’s over 1,000 blog posts on my blog, it may still have some link data, so I will keep watching to see if there have been any major changes.

Let’s take a look at the Google Analytics and compare the Google organic traffic for the past 14 days versus the previous 14 days:


Google organ traffic is down 2 percent. Not much of a change at this point. But, what’s interesting is that one of my goals is up 28 percent.

In contrast, let’s look at the Bing traffic:

bing organic traffic blogroll

Now this is very interesting. Bing’s organic traffic is up 73.68 percent since I removed the blogroll from my site. It went way up, and my conversions went way up, as well. Is this an indication that Bing simply doesn’t like blogrolls, and you should generally remove them from your site’s blog? Well, there are certainly other factors at play here, and it’s just too early to tell. But I certainly will be watching the Bing organic traffic to see if it continues to increase.

So, based on this knowledge, should I put the blogroll back on the site and see what happens? Or should I just leave it off, as there aren’t any changes in Google traffic to speak of once removing the blogroll from the site (and Bing traffic is way up)?

One thing that I would mention, is that based on actual rankings, is reporting that exactly 7 days after I removed the blogroll, rankings went down:


I will continue to monitor search engine rankings, and I may just put that blogroll back up to see if the rankings go back up again 7 days after I put the blogroll back up on the site. I’ll keep you posted. I’m not that worried about actual search engine rankings at this point, as the traffic I’m seeing is actually not taking a significant hit from Google organic (and I’m seeing more conversions).

]]> 4 Removed From the Google Index: But is Back Shortly After Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:06:52 +0000 The problematic website Ripoff Report has been completely removed from the Google Index. Based on a Google search for, I can now confirm that has been removed. See the screen capture below:

ripoff report removed from google

If you look at the search result, you’ll notice that there are notices referencing Chilling Effects:

In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at
In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at
In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at

It’s these legal actions that have been responsible for the removal of Ripoff Report from the Google index. You can still get to their website directly, but just not through Google search.

H/T goes to Jerrod Wright.

This is a developing story, I will update as necessary…

Note that there are 3 notes at the end of this search result, referencing that they “have removed 1 result(s) from this page”. As Mr. Wright pointed out in the comments below, this may only be for a short time–the site may be back in the results at some point. It has happened before.

I wrote a while back about being removed from Google. I also wrote about them being hacked. But this is different, as there are Chilling Effects links in the search results. The info from Chilling Effects is not available online yet, as soon as it is I’ll update this post.

That looks like it lasted only about an hour or less. looks like it’s back in Google now. I’m not sure if I am hitting another data center, but I’m no longer getting the “no pages found” message, along with the Chilling Effects statements:


Oh well. That was fun while it lasted. They’re Baaaack!

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