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    Search Engine Optimization Hit Hard By Penguin

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Webmasters and business owners who engage in search engine optimization understand that they need to maximize the visibility of their website. SEO gives them the opportunity to target specific keywords for organic rankings and ensure that their sites are formatted appropriately. Sadly, many webmasters tend to focus on only one search engine in their SEO efforts. The object of their efforts is without a doubt Google. Google is the leading search engine on the Internet today and the company manages one of the most successful and profitable Internet advertising opportunities in existence. As such, the corporation needs to continuously refine its services and offerings in order to produce the desired results for its customers.

    Google uses an algorithm to determine the appropriate webpages to be displayed when an individual uses the site to search a specific keyword. Through this algorithm the company has had to make several updates over the years to ensure that it is operating effectively. Through search engine optimization, some webmasters have found techniques and practices that will enable them to quickly increase in rank and ultimately beat out more legitimate websites through search. In an effort to combat this, Google will continually update the way it ranks websites and the criteria in which it does so. Recently Google updated its search algorithm to reflect a number of changes. This update was given the name Penguin. Prior to the Penguin update, Google’s previous algorithm revision was called Panda. The focus of the Penguin update was to specifically target any spammy back link techniques in addition to delisting any sites that utilize known exploitive blog networks.

    Sadly, through the Penguin update many legitimate bloggers and site owners were affected negatively by this change in the algorithm. Some of the hardest hit were companies that provide search engine optimization services. Often times some of these services utilize what are known as black hat techniques in an effort to quickly rank sites to the top position in Google. Companies who do not utilize these methods and focus on the more positive or white hat techniques and quality content creation saw increase in their rankings. Google is proving that it is serious about spam and will not tolerate any techniques that are meant to exploit its ranking system. The company is focusing on quality content that proves useful to the intended audience. Content must be relevant to the site topic and provide value to the reader. This will ensure that they are looked upon favorably as Google’s aim is to provide its search customers with the most useful and relevant search results.

    The Google algorithm changes will continue into the future, as individuals will find a way to circumvent these controls. Sites who continue to follow Google’s core recommendations will not see any negative impact from these changes. However, individuals who utilize a SEO firm that engage in black hat techniques without their knowledge run the risk of losing precious search rankings and may possibly even be delisted from the search engines altogether. If you are a site owner, ensure that your SEO consultant is not putting your site at risk.

    What sort of successes and failures have you had finding the right SEO firm to manage your organic rankings?

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $2,100,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.webpronews.com/google-penguin-update-punishes-wordpress-theme-creators-2012-05

    Online Reputation Can Make Or Break You

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Online reputation management is an area of marketing that exists to maintain a company’s positive image on the Internet. In today’s increasingly interconnected world and through the enhanced engagement through communication channels such as Twitter and Facebook, many individuals now have the ability to comment directly on brands and companies pages. In addition to these channels, many traditional brick-and-mortar businesses now have to contend with individuals utilizing applications like Yelp and Foursquare to voice their opinion about products and services. This is where online reputation management becomes highly effective. The service focuses around blocking or effectively removing negative reviews and comments from prospective customers. The last thing any organization wants to deal with is a barrage of negative comments that negatively influence customers’ decision-making. Through the use of various tools and platforms, companies now have the ability to take control of their online reputation and steer into a more positive light.

    Some of the more common methods of managing an online reputation are fairly simple to implement. For starters, it’s important to get a feeling for what customers have to say about the business. If you cannot take the pulse of your clientele it will be impossible to address your services or products to meet their needs. For example, TripAdvisor is a website that is used heavily by individuals seeking information on resorts, hotels, and other travel related services. If an organization is not active on this emerging social media channel, they will not be able to manage the fallout from a cascade of negative reviews. More importantly, they won’t be alerted to possible lapses in service or quality. Blogs can be a fantastic way to allow customers to engage further in online discussions with company representatives. This will help foster a more positive environment and elevate your brand. Through this promotion mechanism you can highlight recent achievements or new product features. Many organizations engage in blogging as a way to keep their customers updated as to new developments or service changes.

    Far and away the most utilized platform for disgruntled customers is social media. Online reputation management is put to the test when social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are utilized to provide a sounding board to upset customers. Thankfully there are many software applications available online today that provide monitoring services specifically targeted to these networks. A business can employ these tools to keep track of any time their service or product is mentioned. From there, they will be able to take action and responds to these individuals accordingly. Organizations must not look to social media as a pain point but as an area that will allow them to further engage with their clientele and boost their online reputation. A firm understanding of how these services impact the company is an essential component to any business operation in today’s economy. Nothing influences buyer decision making more than encouraging and positive customer reviews about a product or service. Businesses must understand the importance of online reputation management and take action to ensure that they are managing and maintaining a positive brand image.

    Does managing your companies online reputation keep you up at night?  What tools are you using to monitoring and manage your reputation?

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $2,100,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.webpronews.com/yelp-rolls-out-check-in-comments-2012-05

    Baltimore Search Engine Optimization

    Last updated 5 years ago

    In today's online marketplace, search engine optimization is an absolute necessity for any business or individual who is seeking to increase the visibility of their online presence through the use of search engines. In order to do so, companies and individuals alike place a heavy emphasis on the use of SEO techniques in an effort to gain the highest possible rankings on these sites. The statistics surrounding search engine optimization are quite staggering. Everyday, Google processes over 2 billion searches. Surprisingly, 85% of the individuals who are making these searches do not venture past the first page. With these kinds of statistics in mind, it is no wonder that companies understand the necessity of proper search engine optimization in conjunction with other marketing techniques in an effort to combine efforts and achieve the highest ranking possible. There is a tremendous variation in traffic amounts between the first and second link on Google's search page. This often translates into the difference between thousands of website visitors over the course of weeks and months.

    When seeking to engage in search engine optimization, many times this important function is left to trained professionals who are willing and able to devote the appropriate time and resources to completing the tasks. Often times, individuals and small and medium-sized businesses do not have the resources to devote to a highly specified search engine optimization campaign. Those who attempt to take on the processes by themselves face a grueling workload in an effort to generate back links and increase site authority. In addition to these factors, every entity engaged in search engine optimization must deal with the constantly changing search algorithms utilized by Google and other sites. For example, the recently updated Google algorithm "Penguin" impacted a number of sites as it aims to discredit any links emanating from article farms. This had a devastating impact on many individuals who had used this methodology as a cornerstone in their SEO campaign.

    As search engine optimization continues to develop and search engines refine their grading metrics, we will continue to see a more focused approach to how webmasters engage in search engine optimization activities. One such area of increasing influence is that of social media. Google's recent algorithm updates have increased the value weighting that social media networks receive when being assessed for popularity. Google's primary focus during this stage is to identify those web properties that are going to provide the most benefit to their readership. Thinly developed sites or micro-niche sites in particular are now less emphasized as they provide limited utility to their readership. Any webmasters seeking to create a comprehensive search engine optimization campaign can focus on the basics and understand how social media plays into their overall strategy. Through the utilization of proper SEO techniques, individuals and businesses will be able to stay in line with changes and not be so heavily affected by any adjustments. Search engine optimization remains more of an art than a science and top rankings will be achieved by those websites who provide maximum functionality and utility to their visitors. This will relate to an increase in organic search traffic and ultimately greater popularity for the web property.

    Are you using a SEO firm to manage your organic rankings?  Why or why not?

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $2,100,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.marketingprofs.com/short-articles/2553/three-seo-donts-straight-from-google

    The Basics of Pay Per Click Advertising

    Last updated 5 years ago

    There’s no denying that AdWords, Google’s advertising platform, is a powerful method to enable your business to achieve high levels of visibility online. It is vital to get in front of consumers, online, who are searching for your products or services. One of the most proven methods to allow companies and advertisers to ensure that their message is being distributed as effectively as possible is to utilize pay per click advertising. Pay per click advertising, or PPC as it is commonly referred to, allows search engines to provide listings on a per click basis. These listings are displayed above organic search results. The driving force behind this strategy is the use of keywords. Google sells this advertising mechanism through an auction platform called AdWords. Marketers, webmasters and companies bid for what is paid per consumer visit (READ: CLICK). This has proven to be an incredibly beneficial mechanism for advertisers who are seeking to generate more traffic to their websites and made Google the financials powerhouse that it has become. Bidding on popular keywords and phrases has been known to get extremely competitive, as many site owners seek to ensure that they are being represented effectively. It is not uncommon for a lion’s share of advertising dollars to be invested heavily into pay per click campaigns and for good reason - It works!

    Search engine advertising and the utilization of pay per click channels can be almost immediately effective. The results can often times be very dramatic for sites who are targeting popular keywords. PPC is a quick and effective method that allows the advertisement to be adjusted on the fly if necessary. More traditional advertising require much more lead time to develop and deploy a campaign. Mix this with Google’s robust analytical package and you have the controls of a comprehensive marketing strategy with a rich analytic backend.

    There’s no doubt that pay per click advertising can offer a business tremendous benefits. Ads can have a global, or LOCAL reach.  Ensuring your chosen keywords are listed first can be extremely beneficial to your traffic data. PPC also affords owners the benefit of allowing them to geographically target their campaigns. In doing so companies and e-business owners can more accurately target their customers regardless of geographic location. PPC is a financially accessible medium that can get expensive when hunting for popular key words and phrases. New advertisers who may be hesitant or unfamiliar with pay per click advertising need not be worried. Small businesses and online marketers continually see success through this program and Google offers a tremendous amount of learning material that will enable you to make the most use of your advertising dollar. When creating a campaign such as this it’s important to think like a customer. Your site visitors and prospective customers will be searching online to find you. It’s important that you cater to their needs and target your advertisements to maximize visibility. If this all seems too daunting, there are always Google certified advertising professionals who will be happy to assist you in your PPC ventures. THATS ME!  Keep these items in mind when making your decision whether or not to pursue a PPC advertising campaign.

    Are you managing a Pay Per Click campaign for your business right now?  Why or why not?

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $2,

    100,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies an

    d the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://searchengineland.com/google-provides-competitive-information-in-new-auction-insights-report-122140

    Local Internet Advertising Continues To Work

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Local Internet advertising is a rapidly growing advertising methodology for local companies as offline and more traditional procedures of utilizing newspapers, direct mail and television are rapidly losing their efficacy. No longer can these traditional mediums provide a competitive advantage in the speed of today’s online marketplace. More and more individuals are bombarded by advertising messages for various products and services regardless of where they may be. For geographically specific companies, it is imperative that they take advantage of marketing strategies that allow them to leverage a local Internet advertising approach.

    Local Internet advertising is exactly how it sounds. This mechanism gives businesses the ability to target their advertisements to the geographically specific market in which they operate. The importance of catering to local customers through these methods is becoming more and more of a necessity in any brick-and-mortar companies advertising plan. When customers search for products and services they no longer reach for television or the yellow books. Nowadays the Internet and various mobile applications provide the information that consumers are seeking.  As this trend continues to develop, businesses have come to understand that it is imperative that they establish a foothold in this ever-growing market. Companies need to understand that even though consumers may not be planning to purchase directly through the Internet, they utilize it as a resource to gather information and get an idea about price and other decision-making factors before they call or stop in your location. Local Internet advertising provides the reach that brick-and-mortar organizations need to capture their online consumer and provide information for those seeking their services.

    Many companies have turned to pay per click advertising as their chosen method of local Internet advertising. This approach can be targeted towards a specific area and Google also provides a rich platform to allow for addition targeting refinements. The business owner does not absorb any cost until consumers click on and are subsequently delivered to the advertiser’s website. Another media that has seen a growth in its utilization is that of blogs and e-mail marketing. Companies that run e-mail promotions tend to utilize squeeze pages that direct their customers to an e-mail form.  Once the e-mail addresses are obtained from their clients, the company can then establish its e-mail campaign with subscribers. This is effective for local businesses as they can offer specific deals to walk-in clients while allowing their online clientele to benefit from online specific promotions.

    One of the most basic and often overlooked areas in this developing online landscape is the utilization of social networking sites to promote local business. Sites like Twitter and Facebook are incredibly powerful communication tools that companies can utilize to push geographic specific advertising. Business owners can develop a rich family base of new and returning customers through these mechanisms while enhancing their engagement with their customers. Not only will they also be able to capture e-mail addresses and deliver their supplemental marketing campaigns but also the social networking arm of the marketing strategy has a much greater reach than that of a geo-specific campaign.  While local Internet advertising may not be the best solution for all forms of businesses, many have seen tremendous results by utilizing these tools and techniques.

    How much of a percent of your companies advertising/marketing budget is allocated towards online?  If you are all in or all out, please share as to your reasons why.

    About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $2,100,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

    To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009070




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