Performing a full SEO Audit of your website on a regular basis, perhaps at least once every six months, is key to maintaining your web presence and maintaining your organic search engine rankings. It has been a while since I personally performed a highly technical SEO Audit of my own web site, which I just completed. There were several things that I checked, and each of these are detailed here. [Read more…]
This year I had a great time speaking about on-page and off-page SEO at the Rocks Digital Marketing Conference here in Dallas. I’ve spoken before at this conference, and it’s always a great to be able to present to a hometown crowd. [Read more…]
Ignite Visibility and John Lincoln produced one of the first SEO Movies, a documentary about the SEO industry. Well, since I stared doing SEO back in 1996, well before SEO was called “SEO”, I certainly was interested in seeing this SEO movie. I have a bunch of comments after seeing it. It’s certainly one of the first SEO movies, and I commend the producer for putting it together. [Read more…]
Internal linking on your own website is powerful. When you link to another relevant page on your website, your giving your readers and website visitors a chance to click on over to another page. Another page on your website that they might be interested in. Because it’s relevant to what they’re reading, what you’re talking about. Internal linking, in context, is powerful. And, so much so, that Facebook is encouraging internal linking to other Facebook pages. [Read more…]
At the Engage 2017 Portland conference on March 9th, 2017, I had the pleasure of presenting a technical SEO session with Jon Henshaw from Raven Internet Marketing Tools titled “Improving SEO and User Experience – The Technical Side”. My presentation is embedded below, along with transcribed notes, courtesy of Slideshare. [Read more…]
Google apparently can’t publicly make up their mind as to whether or not the link search operator works or not. About a year ago I noticed that the link search operator (e.g., link:billhartzer.com) wasn’t working reliably for any website. At that time, Google’s Gary Illyes said that that “short answer is no”, implying that they didn’t remove it. But now, about a year later, Google’s John Mueller said not to use it. [Read more…]
SEO, Search Engine Optimization, isn’t dead. In fact, SEO, optimizing your website for the search engines and search in general, continues to be alive and well–and has gotten a lot harder over the past few years. So maybe that’s why we’ve heard so many people declare that SEO is dead. Technical SEO, with all of the technical changes, requirements, updates, and issues like mobile friendliness, responsive design, AMP pages, and page load speed, has become a complex web that is increasingly difficult to navigate. [Read more…]
If you’ve taken advantage of Google’s Disavow Tool to disavow backlinks to a website, it’s quite possible that you may not be seeing any results. The whole idea of the disavow tool is to tell Google that there are certain links to your website that you don’t want them to count when they are calculating the Google algorithm. It’s can be helpful to use the disavow too to upload a disavow file if you can’t get rid of certain low quality links to the website. But, if you don’t do it correctly, you may not see any movement in search engine rankings. Here are several reasons why you may not see any results after uploading a disavow file. [Read more…]
Robert Fisher recently asked a question over at Moz regarding the use of CDNs to potentially hide a link network. In the past, there has been (and currently is still) an issue regarding linking websites together that are hosted on the same Class C Blocks of IPs. Essentially, if you own several websites, they’re hosted on the same server, then they will be on the same Class C Block of IP addresses. So, the search engines can easily see that you most likely own all those sites linked together by looking at the sites’ IP addresses. [Read more…]
I ran across an interesting conversation on Twitter, started by Ashley and her tweet: “Sign my petition to get all SEOs to stop using the term “link juice”.”
Do you think that the term “link juice” is gross? Does it relay un-professionalism in the SEO community? Well, let’s first take a look at a definition of “link juice” and what it means, according to Woorank: [Read more…]
Google has always been adamant about the fact that paying for Google AdWords ads will not boost your site’s organic search engine rankings. Google’s AdWords database is not shared with their organic search algorithm or any of the databases connected to it. So, I do believe Google when they say that paying for Google AdWords ads won’t boost your organic search engine rankings. But what about paying for other promotions, paying for traffic in other ways? Will that boost your organic search engine rankings? Yes, it will, you can actually pay for organic search engine rankings. [Read more…]
About one year ago, last August 2014, I moved this site from HTTP to HTTPs, and several weeks afterwards I updated the status of traffic, page views, and time on site. Several weeks after moving I some pretty good results, which I believe was a result of my moving from HTTP to HTTPs. A year later, let’s look at what I’ve accomplished over the past year, and if we can tell if it was worth it to move. [Read more…]
As a US Brand Ambassador for Majestic.com, you probably already know that I’m a big fan of their product, and use it on a daily basis. And as I use it, I am always coming up with new, innovative ways to use the Majestic data. It’s not just about seeing what links are pointing to your website. You can, for example, use Majestic to analyze your disavow file before you submit it. Here is why you would want to do that, and how to review your disavow file. [Read more…]
Wow, how times have changed. The search engine optimization industry has changed. And I bet it will continue to change and evolve as it has been over the years. Did you know that half of the search engine optimization techniques that were used only 5 years ago (maybe even 3 years ago) are now considered to be spam? Most of those SEO techniques are now listed in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines as being unacceptable. The are grounds for an algorithmic penalty or even worse: a manual penalty from Google. [Read more…]
As you probably know by now, one of the search engine optimization services that I am heavily involved in is cleaning up low quality links to websites. If your website has been hit by any of the Google Penguin algorithm updates, then most likely you have links pointing to your website from a low quality directory. One of those low quality link directories is shown below, in a screen shot.
One directory owner, though, is cashing in on link removals. That directory owner is charging $975, nearly $1,000 dollars, to remove all the links to a website in his 1800 directories. And he charges $5 a link. [Read more…]
Today, as I was browsing the web for some Super Bowl XLIX Advertising insights to post here on my blog, I came across one of the advertisers’ websites, Papa John’s. While looking at the Alexa What’s Hot page this afternoon to see what everyone on the web is viewing right now, I noticed something interesting: the entry for Papa John’s home page includes an index.html file in the URL. [Read more…]
There is nothing about Negative SEO in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Are you surprised? Well, I am, and I am not. After a review of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, from what I can tell, there are no actual references to the practice of Negative SEO. The guidelines all point to issues related to your website–but there are no references about doing something to your competitor’s websites that would cause their website to lose search engine rankings or get penalized.
I was talking last night with Brian Reagan from the Better Business Bureau in Dallas, and he asked me if there is anything in the Google Webmaster Guidelines regarding Negative SEO. If there were references to Negative SEO, then the BBB could theoretically point these out to their member companies reminding them of it. But, after a thorough review of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, I do not see any specific reference to Negative SEO, and I don’t see any references that would even remotely insinuate that there could be a manual action placed upon your website for doing something to your competitor’s website–such as Negative SEO. [Read more…]
The Google cache date on most web sites have now been updated, after having not being updated for over a month. This is a rather significant update, I think, as normally the Google cache date is typically updated on a regular basis. But in the past few weeks, it had not been updated in over a month. [Read more…]
It appears that many Google cache dates are showing that they are about a month old. This is odd behavior, as typically for most websites that are active, the Google cache date in the search results will only be a few days old. Or, it typically would be updated either the previous day or within the past few days. [Read more…]
Over the weekend, it was confirmed that Google has updated their Google Penguin algorithm. Or, at least while I write this, Google apparently is still in the process of updating it. So, if your website was previously hit by the Google Penguin algorithm, then there is a chance that your site may recover if you’ve truly cleaned up your site’s links. [Read more…]
Google Has Updated Google Penguin after a Year
According to many SEOs in the industry, who are trusted sources, the Google Penguin algorithm is being updated as I write this post. There are reports that some are seeing organic ranking increases as high as 30 to 40 places from previous rankings. As you might recall, John Mueller from Google reportedly said that there would be a Penguin refresh by the end of the year. [Read more…]
Last week, on September 26th, I presented at the Little Rock Tech Fest, held in Little Rock, Arkansas. The topic was SEO for Web Developers or simply SEO for Developers. The site UserGroup.TV was there, and recorded just about all of the presentations and put them online. If you weren’t at the conference, or were unable to see my session, then you can watch the video right here on the web. [Read more…]
Tonight is the night! This evening, at the Globe Runner offices in Addison, Texas (North Dallas area), we’re holding our first-ever advanced link training seminar. If you’re an online marketer, search engine optimization professional, business owner, marketer, or even a Public Relations professional and am responsible for websites, then you need to attend this event tonight.
At the Advanced Link Training seminar, we’ve teamed up with Majestic SEO and DFWSEM to provide the latest linking techniques, even from the very basic link issues to some advanced techniques that I’m sure you’ve never heard of. And since Google has been penalizing websites left an right these days for links, it’s important to know what you need to do in order to clean up a website’s links. [Read more…]
Ever since I’ve started using Wordfence here on my site, which has been at least for a year or so now, I have been a big fan. I use the paid option, and am very happy with it. But since I’ve been making major enhancements on the site lately, like upgrading the site from HTTP to HTTPS, and starting to use Cloudflare, I’ve seen improvements all around.
Today, though, I decided to test out the Wordfence Performance Setup option, called the Wordfence Falcon Engine, which apparently is supposed to increase the performance (load time) of your pages by 30 to 50 percent. Seriously? Up to 50 percent faster load times with this enabled? Even for an HTTPS site? I thought I’d give it a try. [Read more…]
There’s been a lot of chatter lately about whether or not sites should move their sites from HTTP to HTTPs. In fact, there apparently was a study done that said that apparently proved that you should not move from HTTP to HTTPS because there’s no benefit. Well, all I can do is continue to report my specific results for this site, on www.BillHartzer.com, and show you my data. [Read more…]
I rarely disagree with advice given by authors of articles that appear on Search Engine Land, but in this case, I wholeheartedly, and undeniably, disagree with some recent advice about HTTP and HTTPs sites. In a recent article, Daniel Cristo recommended that “if you’re running a blog, brochure site, news site, or any sort of information site where users don’t provide you with any personal information, I would recommend not using HTTPS.” He provides several reasons, which are completely false and unjustified, and generally gives advice that I disagree with. [Read more…]
My first advanced link training seminar, which I am running, will be held in Dallas on Thursday, September 25, 2014. In conjunction with Globe Runner, Majestic SEO, and DFWSEM, I will be talking about links, link acquisition, link cleanups, and even more about links. Did I mention that this is advanced link training about links? [Read more…]
In Google Webmaster Tools, there is a useful report called the Search Queries report. This report shows your website’s impressions in Google organic search, the clicks to your website, and the average position (of your ranking). Typically, I review this repor from time to time, but I don’t necessarily look at it as often as I look at Google Analytics. What should you do if your impressions and clicks go down drastically? Perhaps like this:
Exactly one week ago, I moved my site from HTTP to HTTPS, making my whole entire site serve up content securely. As you may recall, Google officially came out and said that HTTPS is a search engine ranking signal now. One week after I moved the site, here is an update. Overall, traffic from Google organic search is up 9.58 percent. And the overall quality of the traffic is much better, as well. [Read more…]
Due to Google’s recent official announcement that an https site is a search engine ranking factor, I’ve decided to move my site, BillHartzer.com, to https from http. Just to see if I can get a better rankings for the pages on my website. Currently, I do not accept any sort of payment for the content that I write here on my site, so that’s not the reason I’m moving the site from http to https.
Trust is the biggest factor in my decision to change from http to https, and that’s one major way you can get a higher visibility in web search. My web host, Hostdime, offers secure certificates at a very reasonable rate, which is $30 per year for a basic certificate. It’s good for www and non-www. [Read more…]
I am not sure if this is something that has been done on purpose or not, but Google has removed the Google Authorship stats that were previously available in Google Webmaster Tools.
The page, which was previously located here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/labs-author-stats-1 is now showing a 404 error:
Danny Goodwin, the Editor of Search Engine Watch, is leaving Incisive Media. Mr. Goodwin has been at Search Engine Watch since 2007, and is going to work for LinkDex. This was first announced on Webcology this afternoon on WebmasterRadio.FM. [Read more…]
Google Local, now known officially as Google My Business, has to deal with what they call “industry spam rings”, which are plaguing Google’s local listings like a virus. And as a result, they’ve changed their internal policies in order to deal with these industry spam rings. Google is, in some cases, manually going to a location to confirm the NAP data and make sure that they serve customers at that location.
I recently met with an unidentified source who is very familiar with the inner workings at Google Local. He explained to me that Google is ver aware of “industry spam rings”. That’s the exact words that the Google employees have called this issue. The industries involved in the industry spam rings are: [Read more…]
Google added the “Irrelevant keywords” section to the sidebar of the Google Quality Guidelines. This section, called “Irrelevant keywords“, details the practice of keyword stuffing, and gives specific types of examples of where it is being used today is worth noting.
As you can see in the previous sidebar of the Google Quality Guidelines section of Google’s support, there was no page titled “Irrelevant keywords”: [Read more…]
I just got ahold of the latest copy of Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines, with a date of March 2014. It’s an interesting read, all 160 pages of this document. There are a lot of new phrases and concepts that are included in this latest version, but honestly there’s are really not many new surprises. But, if you’re in the online marketing business, are an SEO, or own a website, then you really should take a look at the latest guidelines, if just to make sure that your website or your client’s website(s) are compliant with Google’s latest Quality Rater guidelines. There may be some things that you can improve, I’ve found a few things that I’m going to pay attention to from now on when I perform complex SEO Audits for clients. [Read more…]
In 2014, is it still okay to participate in a free link exchange? That’s what I had to ask myself today when I received an email that proposed a free link exchange amongst “our websites”. I have to admit that I found this email rather odd. Especially given the fact that people just aren’t sending out these unsolicited emails anymore. But still, I had to ask myself, “technically speaking, are free link exchanges still acceptable?”
Since there has been a lot of talk and controversy in the SEO community about guest blogging, and how guest blogging is either dead or not dead, a lot of people have been looking for other platforms where they can post their articles. Well, now there is a great new platform (site) where you can post article: LinkedIn.
US Patent US8515941 B1 granted Aug 20, 2013, is titled “System for unique automated website generation, hosting, and search engine optimization”. And their websites still rank well in Google despite Google Panda 4.0.
It’s pretty rare that I out another SEO firm or company (okay, well maybe not). But this one really has me fuming this time. So blatant that they have been awarded a patent for creating web (search engine) spam. And apparently they’re pretty proud of the fact that their automated generation of websites and “invisible content” that’s read only by search engines that they tout it in their sales literature. [Read more…]
One of several search engine optimization tasks that I am involved with is cleaning up a website’s link profile. Doing a link cleanup. With the Google Penguin algorithm update affecting so many websites, I have personally be involved in cleaning up a LOT of websites’ link profiles. So much so that I’ve quickly become the resident expert at cleaning up link profiles. This also involves cleaning up link profiles because websites have been manually penalized by Google because of unnatural and inorganic links pointing to a website. [Read more…]
One of the tasks that I help website owners with is cleaning up their website’s backlinks. If a site has been penalized by Google, or the website has been penalized by the Google Penguin algorithm update, then it’s necessary to take the time to try to get the low quality and toxic links that are pointing to your website removed. I have actually a pretty good response rate when it comes to contacting the site owners. Many are very helpful and will remove links if you ask politely. [Read more…]
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and search engine optimisation (SEO) are like two sides of the same coin. It’s all very well spending hours on SEO, but without including a sound strategy for CRO what’s it all for? Conversion goals vary from increasing click-through rates and sales to getting visitors to perform functions like calling a number, subscribing to a newsletter or downloading something in exchange for an email address. Lots of traffic doesn’t automatically equate to an increase in conversions, but by optimising the one you can and should look to improve the results of the other. Here are 5 CRO tips that will help with help with SEO and web content at the same time: [Read more…]
Guest blogging for SEO purposes started its downfall recently, especially with Google penalizing MyBlogGuest, and before that it was Google finding and penalizing advertorials. And before that, it was paid links in general. It’s not that Google’s against those advertising vehicles, it’s that they don’t want SEOs and website owners manipulating their algorithm, gaming the system so to speak, and “buying links that pass PageRank“. And now, if it’s paid, we all know that it’s not just Google’s problem: the United States FTC has also spoken up. [Read more…]
I spend a few hours each day helping site owners and business owners recover from the dreaded Google Penguin algorithm update. I thought that I had received crazy emails from site owners who don’t know how to update their website. But it’s also amazingly hilarious to me when I run into a site owner who doesn’t even know that certain pages exist on their website. [Read more…]
Wow, I now have heard it all. Seriously. There are reasons why website owners will not remove a link from their low quality website to your website when asked, but this one really takes the cake. For a little background, I routinely help website owners clean up the links to their website as part of my Google Penguin Recovery services. Not only do I identify low quality and toxic links to websites, I help remove those links from the web. [Read more…]