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SEO Penguin Is Updating Soon Again – Get Your Blog Ready Today
Will your blog be ready for the next SEO Penguin update? According to Matt Cutts Penguin 2.0 is coming soon! How can you get your website or blog ready today before the penguin 2.0 marches into your site soon? Learn all you can about the upcoming changes and latest updates needed to comply for Google rank in search and Pagerank.
SEO Penguin 2.0 – 6 Steps You Can Take Today
- Delete Spam - Get Rid of All Spam Now! Spam can hurt your blog or website. If you have spammy comments and you put them in spam, be sure to delete the spam files regularly. The new SEO Penguin 2.0 will not tolerate spam.
- Prevent Hacking - Prevent your website or blog from being hacked. Be sure to change passwords regularly and use hard to detect passwords. No AdMin for your username please! Also use WordFence (a plugin) to help protect your WordPress site. (Thanks Tim Bonner for that plugin tip!)
- Delete Paid Links – No buy or selling of links will be tolerated. So if you have any delete, delete, delete. Even paid ads will not pull pagerank. You can have ads but be sure to have disclosure, etc. Your site and the other website will BOTH get penalized by Google.
- Get Social - If you are not social yet, social signals will heat up your site’s being found in search. You can see it clear in this chart by SEO moz. Crank up your social signals today! Google+ will be a must.
- Be Lovable – Your site or blog should be lovable to users and readers. This comes right from Matt Cutts as you can see in the video below. Sounds easy right? But what does be lovable really mean? It may mean different things to different people, users and readers. This could be a hard one. One must do research from their Google Analytics and surveys to learn more. Or get your site reviewed like the one I just did for Dukeo.
- Webmaster Tools – Be sure to use them! If you haven’t yet sign up today and start to use these FREE Google tools. Matt hints that they will be giving more information especially helpful to small businesses. LOVE IT! Don’t forget Bing webmaster tools too. There are differences between the two tools and using both do help. I have found errors from Bing that I did not find from the Google webmaster tools.
Other Penguin 2.0 Changes
- The last Panda update will udpate itself – and it may soften some past results and not penalize an entire website as it has in the past. This will be refreshing for many webmasters.
- A different link system is being analyzed and will be different from the past. We have seen that already with some sites being hit in the last updates. I sure hope they give us more information on this update as it rolls out.
The Video from Matt Cutts
Have you taken the 6 steps above to ready yourself for the next SEO Penguin 2.0 coming to your blog’s door soon?
Page Speed – An Important SEO Factor
I’ve been reading a lot lately what affects SEO especially in Google searches with their latest changes. It appears that page speed is an important factor. I’ve been running reports on various websites and blogs and can you guess which format comes up the fastest?
If you guessed Blogger websites and /or blogs you are correct! It all started when I searched Mayura4Ever since he is the king of tech and Blogger type websites. His page speed was 100! A perfect score. Not even Matt Cutts blogger blog is 100. (Matt’s Blogger blog is a 92 – I stand corrected it’s a WP blog). I started to look at my own blogger sites and saw them in the 90′s. My WordPress was in the 70′s and other websites were in the 80′s. I started to look at many other websites and found the same thing. Very interesting, isn’t it?
What was interesting about WordPress was the FREE WordPress sites were faster than most of the self-hosted websites. I’ve been noticng more retailers using the FREE version and coming up better on Google search. Will WordPress take down their blog sites since they are linking to big retail sites and show products, etc? Remember my site that just disappeared? I’m testing it with our new retail website and only will have one link to the retail site from the WordPress blog. Even my own personal wordpress blog that is a resume comes up on page one of Google when my name is searched. (Have you Googled yourself lately? Or Binged Yourself? (You will see different results via each search engine) That really surprised me and made me think more about the FREE WordPress sites. I also noticed in researching for this blog post was the the Genesis themed self-hosted WordPress websites ranked a little faster in the high 80′s. Few reached the 90′s with WordPress.
Other Format Websites
I checked out other big websites like Amazon which ranked at 92 on page speed and The New York Times which came in very slow at 56. Very few retailers made it to the 90′s with their websites. Other sites like Microsoft and Apple came in the 80′s. I’d love to know if you find websites in the high 90′s or at 100 like Mayura.
Ways to Test Your Page Speed
For this post I used the Google page speed tool. It is a browser extension that you can use with Chrome or Firefox. It scores sites from 0-100 with 100 being the best. It also gives you recommendations on what can be done. Of course they are very technical. I could not fully understand all the recommendations. You can also test via GTMetrix. The basic issues of speed were:
- Optimize Images – I’ve been doing this more lately with a free service on the web called JPEG-Optmizer. You can also find one for png images too. You don’t have to change the size of the images – you can just check off compress image.
- You can also use Yahoo Smush.it to optimize your images. Another FREE service. Don’t you love the name SMUSH IT ?
- Serve Scaled Images. Don’t always use the biggest images you can find. Scale them down.
- Leverage Browser Cache – This is one that I need to learn more about. There are plug-ins you can use for this. I’ve read Rob’s blog which was helpful too. Of course I’m trying to eliminate as many plug-ins as possible and go with coding. How many plug-ins do you have?
What Else Can You DoTo Increase Your Page Speed?
- Use less plug-ins. Plug-ins take a lot of space. I just got rid of 3 myself. No more image of my eBook on the widget. No more slideshare plug-in, they can just be embedded now.
- Use less widgets. They too can take a lot of space.
- Use your control panel – there is an optimize button – Easy!
- Use compressed images either in jpeg or png formats.
- If you are more technical, there is a great post from Hostgator on the subject that I was directed to this morning on tech support. Of course some of it made my head spin but if you understand much of the tech talk there it will help.
- Be sure to clear your cache and retest after changing things. This blog’s page speed went from 73 to 86.
I’d love to hear about your page speed and how you are increasing yours.
Car image - Image courtesy of Jon Whiles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
HTML Code to Success
HTML code could cost your blog or website organic traffic. Do you think that could be true with the latest Google updates? You may have heard one of my retail sites took a Google beating from the last Panda update almost 2 weeks ago. I do not use any black hat methods or even know what some of the terms they use are. I would not know how to cloak a link or hide text. I did receive a hint from my friends over at WebMeUp when I inquired. My HTML coding was a little messy.
Messy HTML code
How do you write your posts and make the headlines stand out? Do you just scroll over the text? See below.
Sometimes when you do it this way and make several changes it can cause your coding to be messy. I had to totally redo my home page and change the coding from scratch. It’s been almost 2 weeks and traffic is starting to come back.
The Right Way to Code Your HTML
- You should use your text editor to check your posts. Make sure they are not duplicate HTML codes. I had for example used <p><span style=”font-size:22px;”><span style=”font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;”> If the font is just arial (it was helvetica prior) just use arial <p><span style=”font-size:22px;”><span style=”font-family: arial;”>
See the difference?
- Always use h1 before h2 and h2 before h3 – There is a hierachy to the title tags. I had some h2 before h1. That is a no-no.
Other Possible Panda Hits
What else could have caused a drop in traffic?
- Links. I have a resource page and I did find some links that were pointing to sites that changed and not for the good. I got rid of them. It made me think. Are resource pages a thing of the past? Should I ditch it entirely?
- Heavy Pages – What are heavy pages? Heavy HTML coding – a product page with over 100 products. I learned this from my Bing Webmaster tools. yes, BING webmaster tools. I was afraid to seperate the page into several for products – say 30 products per page. I was afraid Google would think they were duplicate pages/content. I checked out some big retail sites and that’s how they do and they are on page 1.
So you know why I haven’t been to your blog lately to comment, I’ve been very busy fixing the retail sites to meet Google’s latest needs. The ironic thing is the site is ranking better on Bing even page 1 for some terms. I’ve also build a new retail site that is much lighter. You can take a peek at my latest retail chefwear website here. It’s about 80% done. More products and a blog will be added soon.
Another lesson: Never depend just on Google for your traffic. Thankfully we still had some sales from Pinterest, a relevant directory and Yahoo. I also learned you can request from Google why your site could be de-ranked. It’s called their reconsideration form.
What else do you think could case a drop in our blog or website search rankings today?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This Alexa Ranking Is Coming In For A Landing Like a Meteorite To Earth!
This blog’s Alexa ranking has been dropping fast like a meteroite down to earth. Does a low Alexa ranking really mean much? Over the years I’ve looked at it. I’ve also done research on Alexa. I love using their website for the hottest news and trends of the day. But does the Alexa ranking do much for us bloggers?
4 Things An Alexa Ranking Can Do For You:
- Gives Your Site Authority. Perception becomes reality – If your score is high or low, others may perceive your blog or websites popularity based on this ranking.
- Gives You Visibility to Other Bloggers / Companies – Some bloggers and companies look at this particular ranking. They do it to see if they want to advertise on your site. Bloggers may look at it to see if they want to do a guest post there or link to your blog.
- May Drive You More Traffic – If your Alexa ranking is low it may drive more traffic for you. It’s all about that perception. More traffic drives more traffic. Ironic, isn’t it?
- Increase Page Rank – Will a lower ranking on Alexa increase your Google pagerank? That appears to be true in most cases but not all.
Top 5 Ranking Websites by Alexa Ranking:
- Google – No surprise there. Who doesn’t visit Google at least once per day?
- Facebook – Amazing for 5 years time on the web and they are #2.
- YouTube – No surprise either that this video website ranks low.
- Yahoo – Surprising they remain in the top 5. They have had many changes there at Yahoo over the years. Changes in content, ads and top brass.
- Baidu – China is getting on the bandwagon online.
Top Ranking Blogs by Alexa Ranking:
Blogspot #11 – Does this mean more blogs are made on blogspot?
WordPress #22 – WordPress sure has moved up in the rankings this past year. It’s popularity seems to continue to grow.
Tumblr #29 – Another blog platform that has become very popular. Tumbler now has over 50 million blogs!
Blogger #43 – Not sure the difference from blogspot – would you know?
Mashable #321 – They have a team of bloggers that update on the Social Media and Seo daily, no surprise they are so low in ranking. They are the #1 blog to come up in the top 500.
SeoMoz Blog #401 – Another team of bloggers that update daily and the #2 blog in the top 500.
Hubspot #861 – One of my favorites when I first started. They too have a team of bloggers that update almost daily.
ProBlogger #3,751 – Darren Rowse is a full time blogger and author. His blog is on the Genesis theme. (Thanks to Fabrizio for this one)
Matt Cutts #6,956 - Surprised Matt is not lower in this ranking.
John Chow #8,260 - Not surprised that John ranks this low. Who doesn’t know John in the blogging world? He has been blogging for at least 6 years. Read more on how he means business. (A great piece by Sapna at H4hitech blog)
Seth Godin - #9,153. Do we even count the master Seth Godin here? Seth is an author of 12 bestseller books that are translated into 33 different languages. He is a public speaker. He uses Typepad as his blog format. Nothing ususal about Seth. He is also the founder of Squidoo.
Basic Blog Tips #10,114 – Another team of bloggers blogging for Ms Ileane, a phenomenal site that I’ve seen grow in the 2 years I’ve been following them.
Traffic Generation Cafe by Ana Hoffman – #12,827 – Amazing for a one person blog. Ana can really drive traffic!
Don Caprio – #20,896 – The Geek’s Journal by Don Caprio. Don also has several guest posts and contributors on his blog.
All Tech Buzz – #24,819 – Owned by Imran Uddin with contributors and an editor. This tech blog ranks low too.
Inspire to Thrive - 98,801. When I first started on blogger my alexa numbers were lower and then went back up to over 1 million on WordPress. Changing formats for your blog may change your Alexa ranking. If you have time the wayback machine can be fun. Especially if you have made changes to your blog in the past. I’m curious if the average load time would be the same on other applications for page speed.
Most of the blogs that rank low have dual authors /contributors. The exceptions are John Chow, Seth Godin and Ana Hoffman whose ranking is really amazing for a one person blog!
What Does Alexa Look For To Rank Your Blog Or Website?
Alexa started back in 1996. They wanted to share timely and relevant information about websites across the web. They have built a database about websites, site statistics, related links and more. They use all of this data to come up with ranking numbers. You can check your Alexa rank via country or worldwide. The numbers above I used are for worldwide. You can also find all of your backlinks via Alexa. Some people have disputed their numbers over the years. I have found them to be relative, maybe not always perfect but pretty much on target. They use the past 3 months of data to formulate their numbers.
7 Ways You Can Lower Your Alexa Ranking Yourself:
- Install the toolbar in your browser – Simple!
- Claim your site on Alexa – Another simple step.
- Review other sites or blogs on Alexa. Some may return the favor. Don’t expect it!
- Get listed in DMOZ Directory – Not easy at all. I’ve been trying for years with websites to no avail. Love to learn a trick on this one!
- Update content regularly – If you are blogging this should be a no-brainer.
- Be sure your site has SEO incorporated into it. The right keywords can go a long way for you.
- Backlinks – The more quality backlinks you have the lower your rank should be. Those backlinks should come naturally via quality content.
Alexa Site Audits
You can also have Alexa do a site audit for you. There is a one time charge of $199 or a monthly fee of $149. The monthly will give you 2 reports per month. You can cancel at any time. The one time audit gives you one report now and another report in 30 days. Their report will give you tips how to optimize your SEO and increase traffic. It will also let you know if you are providing a good experience for your readers. You can track your progress via the audits. I have not done one of these to date. I’d love to hear from someone who has.
Have you done anything to decrease your Alexa ranking for your blog or website?
Do you think Alexa rank is an important factor in overall traffic and rankings of your blog?