Efficient Search Engine Optimization: How to Help Your SEO Expert

By Jessica Bates , in Articles, SEO Tips, on April 11, 2012 | 16 comments

NASHVILLE, TN – Search engine optimization is an ever-changing field, and SEO experts work tirelessly to roll with the punches. If you want to search Google and find your business at the top, SEO is essential to your success. At Master Google, we are constantly researching online SEO patterns and putting those findings into practice.

Courtesy of Suratwebsitedesigning.com

While SEO companies know the ins and outs of SEO, search engine optimizers are probably not experts in your specific field. For the most efficient search engine optimization, you can clue your SEO provider in to the latest trends in your industry, providing a great resource for content.

Here’s how to help your SEO expert help you:

Do Your Homework

Before selecting an SEO company, do some research. Different companies have different specialties, and you’re encouraged to shop around. Make sure your SEO company is honest and diligent. Be wary of firms that promise unrealistic outcomes. As we’ve said before, SEO takes time, and companies that guarantee overnight results are too good to be true or sometimes using black-hat techniques.

In a previous post, Master Google’s CEO Ali Husayni gives readers 10 common mistakes to avoid when choosing an SEO company, including not looking at ranking reports or examining proven results. Since you’re doing the hiring, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for references.

“Each SEO company should be able to show you at least ten local and international clients they have helped rank at the top of Google with the permission for you to contact them,” Husayni says. “The keywords they show you must be the most competitive for such clients (and not merely long-tailed keywords).”

Be Available

At Master Google, we care about your success, as your success is also our success. Life can be hectic, and if you’ve hired an SEO company, it means that you don’t have time to do your own optimization – it means you’re busy. At Master Google, we’re lucky to have clients who take the time to talk to us despite their full work schedules. Try to be prompt replying to phone calls or emails. In contrast, if you feel your SEO company is hard to touch base with, that’s a conversation you should have with your SEO expert.

Share Your Knowledge

Many Master Google clients are experts in their fields, and as lifetime scholars of their subjects, they’re continually learning. Sharing breaking industry news can save your search engine optimizer time in research, meaning you’ll have an extremely relevant topic while giving your optimizer more time to craft meaningful pieces.

Also keep your SEO company up to date with any changes happening within your company. If you’re introducing a new product line or hiring a new executive, your SEO firm may be interested in writing a press release on these changes.

Give Feedback

Your SEO company has a plan in place, and it’s important to take notice of the changes you see as a result of that plan. Has your business gained exposure? Have you had more inquiries than normal? Fewer than normal? Providing your SEO firm with your experienced results can be helpful for both parties.

Providing real results can help you evaluate the right SEO company for your needs. Also feel free to ask any questions you might have, no matter how trivial they might seem.

The right SEO company will work hard to deliver results, but your small efforts to keep your SEO company informed about your industry will be beneficial to everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about how Master Google delivers results, contact us today.

Tricks SEO Salespeople Use & How To Avoid Them

By Vonya Griffin , in Articles, SEO Tips, on April 9, 2012 | 8 comments

ORLANDO, FLORIDA—Businesses want to know what red flags to look for during the initial consultation and sales pitch with an SEO agency, and who better to learn from than a professional SEO?

Vice President of Sales at Master Google Dan Manahan is revealing four common things that SEO salespeople will say and what those statements really mean.

Dan Manahan of Master Google

1.  “We Offer Convenient, One-Stop Shopping”

Some companies try to net clients by offering a plethora of services, claiming expertise in all of them, and spinning it as convenience, but Manahan says beware of a jack-of-all-trades. There are hundreds of companies that tout expertise in services ranging from site design, search engine marketing and email marketing to social media marketing, conversion and pay per click.

While all those services fall under the umbrella of online marketing, the truth is that pay per click advertising is completely different from social media marketing which is completely different from search engine marketing. No one person or business is likely to be able to deliver quality results for all of them. Many companies do have experts on staff for multiple areas, so look into their claims before writing them off.

2. “We Can Cut Costs Once We Get To The Top”

Beating out competitors to get to the top of Google rankings is no easy task, and it takes time and a well-honed strategy with ongoing resources. Yet some SEO companies try to sell a potential client with the theory that once they get them to the desired ranking they can cut back on what their SEO costs.

Manahan says that a company telling a potential client that is not taking competitive backlash into account, making that SEO company’s line of thinking either short-sighted and ignorant or intentionally deceptive.

“An SEO company that doesn’t plan for a competitive backlash either hasn’t experienced it because they haven’t ranked anyone high enough or simply don’t care to exercise the foresight that is incumbent upon a company that hopes to retain clients for the long term,” Manahan says.

Displaced competition will make an assault to reclaim the lost position, and cutting costs right when the competition will come back swinging is just going to make it easier for them to do it.

“The cost reduces in the context that the site is generating more revenue relative to the SEO services price tag, but a flat price reduction is ludicrous,” the SEO expert says.

3. “We Have Set Pricing Plans”

This “set pricing plan” line is taking advantage of clients’ preference for fixed-rate pricing structure and ignoring the fact that fixed prices are not ideal for SEO. Manahan says there are too many variables in markets and websites to make it realistic.

“Real SEO targets the displacement of the competitors’ websites,” says Manahan. “Only after an analysis of a prospective client’s competitors’ websites can an SEO company calculate the resources required to beat them.”

The pricing structure works for certain online marketing services. For example, it works for email marketing because the demand on the company resources to facilitate a 10,000 per month email campaign versus a 1,000 per month email campaign can be anticipated.

However, an SEO campaign is full of variables like site size, starting rank, market factors, competitiveness and number of keywords that make that type of pricing impractical. Or it means the SEO company has compensated for it somehow, such as inflating prices or cutting corners on more time-intensive accounts.

4. “Let’s Draw Up A Contract, Then Put Down Objectives”

According to Manahan, an SEO company that is reluctant to commit to an objective, such as in the top five positions of Google within nine months, without a locked-in contract should raise a red flag.

They are probably more concerned about guaranteeing their income than delivering results for their clients. Quality SEO techniques do take time to work but that timeframe can easily be explained, discussed and agreed to on the front end without requiring a long term contract.

Master Google does not require long-term contracts, although they strongly recommend ongoing SEO campaigns for success. The difference between a long-term contract with other companies and a contract with Husayni is that he offers his clients a guarantee.

“We share the risk. If we don’t deliver, you get your money back—very simple,” says Manahan.

The Takeaway

If a business shopping for an SEO company notices the salesperson using one of these tactics during a consultation or negotiations, they should take a step back to ask some more questions or walk away.

© 2012 Master Google. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Master Google is credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this press release is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

How To Use Google Analytics To Monitor Traffic: The Master Google Edition

By , in Analysis, Articles, SEO Tips, on March 29, 2012 | 8 comments

SANTA MONICA, CA — Recently we gave you an introduction to Google Analytics. We have also mentioned analytics as part of other free online SEO technique tips in the blog series of our CEO, Ali Husayni’s blog series: Google SEO Simplified Parts One, Two, and Three. But what does using this information mean for your business?

All About SEO: Understanding Where Google Analytics Fits In

When implementing all-inclusive SEO strategies and including social media, Google Analytics is the perfect tool to show you how your efforts are paying off with real results, according to Husayni. While Husanyni believes that you must be full-time with your SEO efforts, free online SEO tips like the ones on our blog encourage companies to be proactive, regardless of using our services.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for understanding how traffic is driven to a site, which is really all about understanding how vital SEO is to a business. If no one is visiting your site, no one will link to you, and more importantly, no one will care about your site’s efforts, whether it be for koi fish advertising or for dental patient marketing (yes, we have quite the variety of clients who see results) – the audience must be driven there.

“You cannot just sit and wait for others to link their sites to yours,” Husayni says. “That simply won’t happen. In a world where there are thousands of new sites built every day, your prospective site visitors have no way of finding you to read your content.”

Simplifying Analytics: Which Reports Matter To You

BuzzMaster’s Mastermind, John Hope-Johnstone (Courtesy of BuzzMaster.Wordpress.com).

In analyzing which content drives traffic, it is important to know how to generate a report that means something to you, as explained in a recent post by John Hope-Johnstone of BuzzMaster.Wordpress.com. Google Analytics is as maddening as it is amazing because of the amount of material. It is noted by Hope-Johnstone that Google Analytics can generate up to 85 different reports, so it is important to know which to use, as how you look at it is more important than what it contains.

“The bottom line is that you are going to have to create your own dashboard that has meaning to you and from which you can take meaningful actions,” Hope-Johnstone said. “It is daunting in the amount of data that can be obtained. I love to use the expression in our seminars that we’re ‘drowning in data and starving for knowledge.’”

To improve business steadily over time, a company must be willing to steadily work toward improving itself, including its shortcomings, and Master Google is no different. In a recent post, Husayni analyzed what it would take to become the best SEO Company. Husayni puts it best when he compares results to customer satisfaction:

“Any business is given value based upon its profitability as well as revenue, but I want to add customer loyalty, satisfaction and beating our competition in any market as factors into the equation of what it means to be the best,” he said.

Part of being the best comes from understanding where to find your strengths (and flaws), and in this case, we’re using Google Analytics to find these things. One of the ways to best use Google Analytics is to combine some of their reports and make a new number that makes sense to your business, according to Hope-Johnstone.

“An example might be, rather than just measure Unique Visitors, I combine the number of ‘Unique Visitors’ plus ‘Page Views’ into a new combined metric,” Hope-Johnstone said. “When something goes wrong with the website, I will look at each metric individually, but to create our own dashboard, I use combined metrics that tell me more.”

Since optimization is only about 5-10 percent of the total SEO work, according to Husayni, the rest lies with content development and popularity, vital pieces to the puzzle that cannot be ignored. Hope-Johnstone puts all of the parts of SEO together to give an analogy to making a website fly, the same way a plane would. In this analogy, Hope-Johnstone explains that you, the website owner or optimizer, are comparable to airline pilots in control of an aircraft. Airline pilots have ‘key’ instrumentation needed to soar into the air. They rely on these instruments to tell them that all is going well. According to Johnstone, the inspection checklist of those vital instruments looks like this:

  1. Check the artificial horizon.
  2. Check the air speed indicator.
  3. Check the rate of climb or descent. (Now there are many more instruments on the cockpit’s dashboard, but those are the first a pilot will look at if something odd is going on with the aircraft.)
  4. Check another row of instruments until the dashboard is exhausted.
  5. After all of the instruments are exhausted, make a manual checklist of action items.

Google Analytics is an excellent automatic tool for telling you where you traffic is coming from. To make an accurate Google Analytics checklist for your own records, though, it is important to note what is not there as much as what is.

Filling in The Blanks of ‘Not Provided Data’ in Google Analytics

Courtesy of PayoffMarketing.com

At the end of last year, we couldn’t help but note that there was an item labeled “Not Provided” on Google Analytics traffic reports under the “Traffic Sources/Google Organic” section. We found that this section was “protecting” Google users who were using their account when conducting the search, as Google wants to further protect their users’ privacy by encrypting their search results pages. Google seems to have support from the general public, according to the Pew Research Center. Seventy-three percent of people said they would “NOT BE OKAY with a search engine keeping track of your searches and using that information to personalize your future search results because you feel it is an invasion of privacy.”

While we appreciate the privacy, we have thus far missed thousands of organic Google search keyword insights, and it accounted for 19.6% of our total Google organic search traffic last November. Husayni has not been happy with this function of Analytics:

“My opinion is that Google needs to find a way to fully show the keywords people use in finding sites,” he said. “Otherwise, we may have to use other software to monitor our clients’ traffic.”

Still, the changes are a challenge that Husayni has risen to, and the Master Google team has remained successful at optimizing websites. Husayni encourages other businesses to use the same strategy to stay on top of SEO.

“The only thing not changing with SEO is that it’s always changing,” Husayni said. “Be diligent in keeping up with those changes as [you handle your] site’s SEO, or partner with a qualified SEO provider to handle that task.”

To increase the likelihood that Google Analytics will work for your website the way it should, Contact Us to see if we can provide SEO services for your website.

Google Talks Up Semantic Search: Does This Affect SEO?

By Jessica Bates , in Articles, on March 27, 2012 | 4 comments

NASHVILLE, TN – Until recently, Google users typed in search queries, and a neat list of blue links popped up. Within these links, users hoped to find answers to their questions.

But what if the information they’re searching for is fact? What if they’re searching for the capital of Spain? Google now wants to tell people these factual answers without needing to click away to another website.

On March 15, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google would phase its search results into more semantic modes. If you’ve ever used Wolphram Alpha, you have an idea of what this means. For Google users, when you type “2+2” into the query bar, you’ll now get the answer “4” instead of a link to a webpage that can help you find that answer. If you type certain words into the query bar, the definition will pop up even before you finish the word. When I typed “tumultuous” and “lethargic,” Google gave me definitions. However, no definitions appeared when I tried “general” and “advice.”

“Google isn’t replacing its current keyword-search system, which determines the importance of a website based on the words it contains, how often other sites link to it, and dozens of other measures,” WSJ reporter Amir Efrati writes. “Rather, the company is aiming to provide more relevant results by incorporating technology called ‘semantic search,’ which refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words.”

Is this new?

When I told my computer programmer husband of this change, he replied that Google’s been doing that for a while. Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan agrees. Sullivan’s March 15 post goes through the WSJ article, wondering why it’s news.

“As for ‘spitting out’ those ‘facts and direct answers’ that the WSJ story talks about, Google’s been doing that for so long that it’s hard for me to even know exactly when it all began,” Sullivan says.

Sullivan believes that Google is trying to offset criticisms to Search Plus Your World, as many people were worried that search results would lose quality from this personalized search change. “It’s helpful to counter that type of bad PR with interviews talking up forward-looking technologies,” says Sullivan.

Will Google’s ‘semantic search’ mean anything for SEO?

Semantic Diagram

Image Courtesy of TNooz.com.

Whether Google’s semantic search is new, old, or still evolving, effective optimization will still be important as ever. Learn simple SEO tips to keep your website relevant to users and optimized for search engines.

Efrati writes, “the move could spur millions of websites to retool their Web page—by changing what’s called a ‘markup language’—so the search engine could more easily locate them under the new system,” said Larry Cornett, a former Web-search executive at Yahoo Inc.

Boiled down, Google’s going to be answering more things on its own, meaning that websites may experience fewer visits. Websites such as Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia may take hits, but relevant, focused content will still bring in visits.

At Master Google, our SEO team provides results, guaranteed. We empower our clients with quality content and expert Google SEO consulting to give businesses a boost.

Don’t Let Your Bounce Rate Rise: How To Keep (SEO) Traffic on Your Site

By , in Articles, on March 26, 2012 | 2 comments

SANTA MONICA, CA – The most common question that I have received from my friends and from prospective clients has been about how to best use SEO. Traffic to a website is usually the goal that they have in mind. But getting the initial website traffic boost is only half the battle. How do you continuously keep the traffic coming to your site, month after month?

Getting and staying at a top spot on Google is as simple as following some tried and true steps to success, as explained by Master Google CEO Ali Husayni, who said that success comes with understanding SEO, determination and hard work.

How To Lose Traffic

To get more traffic, it is important to be equally as clear about what not to do. Husayni listed his pet peeves and a few of the sure-fire ways to get a high bounce-back rate. Do any of these things and it will detrimental to your amount of traffic. Ranking loss will inevitably follow.

  1. Unrelated to my search query (this includes misleading black-hat seo techniques).
  2. Too egoistical. No one wants to read a site full of self-directed press releases.
  3. Unorganized content. When it’s too frustrating to find what you’re looking for.
  4. Bad colors and design.
  5. Sexually explicit content.
  6. Money-making driven, where the obvious and sole purpose of the site is to make you pay for something with a minimal amount of effort on their part.

Getting to a Top Spot on Google

At Master Google, we have most recently enjoyed seeing our clients get to the Top Spot in Google Places.Success on Google

“SEO takes the following three things: expertise, hard work, and patience,” Husayni said. “On average, our clients see the best results within six months to a year after we start a project. When we see results, it proves to us the fact that what we do actually works.”

What works right now must be white-hat SEO, or the rankings will fall quickly, according to a recent article written in a small business article resource, Intuit.com.

The article cites that a bounce rate of 30-50 percent is good, while anything above 60-70 percent is a big red flag, indicating that you need to change your SEO ways immediately to keep your targeted audience. After all, no matter your business, targeted writing is key to get you to the top, and Husayni recently talked about the importance of knowing your competition.

“It is important to remember that audiences change, depending on factors ranging from your competition to your field of business,” Husayni said.

Retaining Readership Rate Successfully

In the discussion of long-term success, I can’t help but connect Husayni’s formula for success to that held by Dale Carnegie, a well-known businessman in his time and author of the famous book “How To Win Friends and Influence People.”

“Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success,” Carnegie famously said.

Success in a returning-traffic sense is quite the challenge. Engaging content does not write itself as there are no shortcuts to driving traffic in a quality way. According to Husayni, hiring a quality SEO team is the best way to ensure that you take your business to the next level.

“You may not have the budget for a full-scale SEO campaign if you’re just starting out, but some time with an SEO consultant to get you started may be within your budget and well worth the expense,” Husayni said. “Call the office for a free consultation to find out.” Click here to contact us about our services.

Pew Internet Study Reveals Two-Thirds of Internet Users Want Search History Private

By Jessica Bates , in Analysis, Articles, SEO Tips, on March 22, 2012 | 4 comments

NASHVILLE, TN – It’s no secret that Internet usage has increased dramatically in the past decade. In 2004, 30 percent of Internet users conducted search engine queries on a normal day.

In the present, that number has shot to 59 percent, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. When Google released Search Plus Your World, we reported that Web searches would start getting personal. A study released on March 9 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows the results of a very interesting test. Pew wanted to know how Internet users feel about search engines gathering and saving their past histories to use as a guide for future search results. The survey asked approximately 2,000 participants questions about their Internet use, their feelings on targeting advertising, and their knowledge on how to keep their information private. The survey was conducted from Jan. 20 to Feb. 19. Overall, participants did not want search engines to gather that information.

A whopping 73 percent of people said they would “NOT BE OKAY with a search engine keeping track of your searches and using that information to personalize your future search results because you feel it is an invasion of privacy.” The Internet users that accept search engines tracking their searches feel that the material gathered allows search engines to customize their results, better guessing what they’re searching for.

A chart from Pew’s research shows a breakdown of how Internet users feel (either “good” or “bad”) about personalized searches based on users’ age and income level. The study found that the older one is and the more income he receives, the more he disagrees with this method of gaining tailored results.

Negative Search History Survey

Personalized searches are certainly controversial, but sometimes they aren’t all bad. If you search for “Indian food takeout,” your past search results could mean that you don’t have to enter your location in each search. If you’re searching for “oil change,” it might annoy some people to get results in other states or regions.

What This Means for SEO

It can get cutthroat in the SEO world, but try to keep your client in mind. If your client values privacy, and most people do value privacy, refrain from deceptive practices. Don’t share their email addresses. Don’t clog up their inboxes with irrelevant content.

There may be a backlash from Internet users due to the way search engines and websites like Facebook treat their personal data. Keep your customers and readers happy by treating them with the respect they desire.

The best way to get readers to trust you is to give them valuable content on a regular schedule. Master Google’s CEO Ali Husayni believes that focusing on the customer’s needs is the way to achieve success.

“Ultimately, humans are more important than the search engine because they are the ones who buy, the ones who will share the content, and the ones who will get you the backlinks to the content, so always strive for a natural tone and relevant topics,” Husayni says.

Contact the Master Google search engine optimizing team to see how we push to get you results while staying true to your customers.

Google Analytics Adds Social Reports to Measure Your Social Media Efforts

By Jessica Bates , in Articles, SEO Tips, on March 21, 2012 | 4 comments

NASHVILLE, TN – So many factors go into Web ranking, and once you’ve set up a solid foundation of clear navigation and relevant content, sharing your information helps people find you.

There are many ways to share, but they’re all basically the same: advertising. You must tell your customers you have a website. You’ll have a Facebook page, maybe a Twitter account. You might pay for a radio ad or a printed coupon in a magazine. All of these are advertising.

Social networks are some weird blend of word-of-mouth advertising and clear self-promotion. The best way to have potential customers find you and trust your content is to act organically. Be educated in your field. Find a connection with your customers between your product and something else they care about.

I was browsing on Google+ when I saw a public post from Google on March 20, 2011. The post, linked to their Google Analytics blog, announced a new way to measure your social media efforts through Google Analytics. These new measurements show up as social reports.

“The Overview report allows you to see at a glance how much conversion value is generated from your social channels,” Google’s Group Project Manager Phil Miu writes. “The Social Value visualization compares the number and monetary value of all your goal completions against those that resulted from social referrals – both as last interaction, and assisted.”

Last Interaction Social Conversion means that through a social media channel, a customer has found your website and converted without straying from your site. Assisted Social Conversion means that someone converts who had visited your website earlier through a social channel.

This will mean that businesses will know where their most loyal (and highest purchasing) customers are coming from. Social media results will be clearer, and your efforts can be spent on the mediums that drive the highest results.

Social Media Conversation BubblesOne interesting thing I read discussed the Activities Stream, which lets us know how our content is being shared and discussed on other social websites. The downside of this is that four of the biggest players – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest – aren’t part of the Analytics Social Data Hub, but you can see how frequently users on sites like Google+, Meetup, Digg, Reddit, TypePad, AllVoices, Blogger and Delicious are sharing and discussing your content.

Why Optimizing Your Business’s Website is More Important than Ever

Google Analytics project marketing manager Adam Singer writes a post on the Future Buzz about the latest social analytics features. Singer believes that these statistics will show how important your individual website really is compared to saturated social networks.

“We’ve been arguing at the Future Buzz that your owned presence (like your website or blog) should be where you focus activities for years,” says Singer. “External social communities aren’t where conversions happen anyway. It should be pretty obvious, but we have to say it again because some people are still confused or looking in all the wrong places: your website or blog (a place where you control the templates, Calls To Action, etc.) is where the most possible users convert and where your business is best poised to capture value.”

You may have 50,000 likes on Facebook or 20,000 Twitter shares, but those numbers don’t show how many fans or likes lead to actual conversions. And in the end, it’s all about results.

SEO specialists like the ones here at Master Google can optimize your business’s website for search engines, increasing exposure and driving potential clients to your doorstep. Master Google’s CEO, Ali Husayni, believes that companies should be proactive in their SEO efforts.

“You cannot just sit and wait for others to link their sites to yours,” Husayni says. “That simply won’t happen. In a world where there are thousands of new sites built everyday, your prospective site visitors have no way of finding you to read your content.”

With an all-inclusive SEO strategy and inclusion of social media, Google Analytics will show you how your efforts are paying off with real results. Contact Master Google today to see what our SEO team can do for your business.

Matt Cutts Announces SEO Changes at SXSW

TAMPA, FLORIDA — It was this statement from Matt Cutts that instantly made me perk up and take note: “Normally we don’t…pre-announce changes, but there is something that we’ve been working on…to try to level the playing ground a little bit.”

I heard this during a podcast from SXSW in March, and Cutts, the head of Google’s Web spam team, was talking about SEO techniques that Google views as “over-optimization.” You can listen to the podcast at Search Engine Roundtable.

Earlier in the session, it was explained that all SEO experts weren’t bad; that a good SEO expert was like a coach who helps you figure out how to present yourself better via your website. That’s when Cutts, whose job is to hunt cheaters, showed his hand.

In the coming weeks, Google plans to start identifying sites that are overdoing it when it comes to SEO, compared to the people who are just creating great content and trying to make a fantastic site. This is a particular area to which Cutts’ team continues to pay attention.

“It’s an active area where we’ve got several engineers on my team working right now,” he said. “We want to sort of make that playing field a little bit more level. And so that’s the sort of thing where we try to make the Googlebot smarter, we try to make our relevance more adaptive.”

That way, people who don’t use SEO techniques won’t suffer from having their sites buried in search results by people who abuse SEO- whether they throw too many keywords on the page, they exchange too many links, or whatever else they may do to “go beyond what a normal person would expect,” Cutts said.

There are lots of people who seem to think that Google hates SEO, but that’s not the case, he said. It can be helpful by making a site more easily crawled, which increases the site’s user-friendliness.

Still, there are people who take it too far; black hat SEO techniques that do too well.

“We’ve been working on changes where if you’re a white hat or you’ve been doing very little SEO, that you’re going to not be affected by this change,” Cutts says. “But if you’ve been going beyond the pale, your site may not rank as highly as it did before.”

Matt Cutts Picture

Matt Cutts warns over optimizers: changes are coming.

Google isn’t the only search engine that recognizes the need to address the SEO-on-steroids techniques that some people use. Duane Forrester, senior product manager with Bing’s Webmaster Program, also took part in the SXSW session and reiterated “over-SEO is always a problem.”

Ali Husayni, Master Google’s CEO, welcomes the change to Google.

“When Matt described an ethical SEO professional who makes sites user-friendly and more crawlable, he could have been describing us,” Husayni said. “We use only white-hat techniques because we understand that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.”

“What’s interesting in Matt’s approach is that he mentioned two of the most common black-hat SEO techniques: keyword stuffing and link-exchange,” Husayni said. “So by over optimization, he means black-hat SEO. Unfortunately, Google has recently lost its handle of such practices as I explained in our recent post. So, Matt is on the right track here.”

Husayni predicted that this next Google change will further weed out bad SEO providers and enhance our clients’ rankings on Google.

“When you’re doing everything above-board, you don’t have anything to worry about,” he said. “But when you’re trying to cheat the system, Matt’s team at Google has shown time and again that they will catch onto you eventually.”

Black Hat SEO Still Works with Google

EVERGREEN, CO — I’ve been a fan of white-hat SEO for many years. After all, Google likes white-hat SEO, and from its early years, I have promoted Google for its accurate search results. In my opinion, the main reason for Google’s success has been that its team of engineers in the anti-spam department, headed by Matt Cutts, has worked tirelessly for many years to prevent spammers from exploiting SEO techniques in order to rank themselves above the competition, when those types of tactics don’t deserve Google’s approval.

Matt and his team’s work has been no small task as new black-hat techniques are created on a daily basis by websites looking to shortcut their way to the top – at the expense of quality websites on the Internet.

However, it surprises me that Google is still unable to detect old black-hat SEO techniques. For example, a few days ago, I was shocked to see one of our peers’ sites securing a #5 rank on Google organic results for “Best SEO” using (for the most part) black-hat SEO techniques. Interestingly, Google has known most of these techniques for years. So, I’m wondering how they get away with tricking Google.

Black Hat SEO

Image Courtesy of SeoBook.com.

Matt… if you’re reading this, please write a post and let us know how this website slipped through the cracks of your genius team – especially that they’re affiliated with SEOmoz.org, which I’m really proud of for their great SEO software development.

The site in question is: www.localseocompany.net.

The keyword I searched for is: Best SEO

The page that comes up #5 is: http://www.localseocompany.net/best-seo-company/

And now the main black-hat techniques they’ve used:

  1.  Keyword Stuffing: the site mentions “SEO” exactly 40 times. The term “best SEO” has been repeated 20 times.
  2. Excess use of H1 tags: there are seven H1 tags throughout the code of this page.
  3. Self-linking anchored texts: there are 21 links on this page using anchored texts that are linking to the page itself – thus sending Googlebot in circles.

Interestingly enough, this page has ZERO inbound links (however, the root domain is very popular getting links from sites such as Adobe and SEOMoz.org).

Leave your thoughts and comments; I’m interested to know what you think of this.

Please note: I’m not going to report this page to Google for SEO malpractice – because I honestly think Google should have been able to detect it by itself.

Our notes have been made only because we love Google and we want it to stay at the top of the game in regards to being the best search engine out there.

Client Gets A Huge Boost In Traffic After Hiring Master Google

SANTA MONICA, CA — It’s refreshing to alleviate dread when it comes to the beginning of the work week, especially where our clients are concerned. For our clients who formerly had ineffective SEO strategies in place, the week often looked bleak when assessing the week’s SEO goals with a company that just wasn’t working for them the way they had hoped. For Shawn Sandifer and Timothy Booth, this was their experience until they came to Master Google wanting more than unfilled promises for their website, TenList.com. TenList.com is aiming to be the go-to source for home improvement and construction-related services, and they are well on their way.

Shawn Sandifer anad Timothy Booth of TenList

Shawn Sandifer and Timothy Booth of TenList.com.

Last week, TenList reached a daily record that had not been crossed since Aug. 15, 2011: organic search results that brought in 5,690 visitors. This week, the site has already reached another record high for 2012 of 6,048 visitors, a number that the website last experienced on Aug. 1, 2011. Sandifer shared his relief that Mondays mornings are no longer going to be a major source of dread.

“Mondays were dark days for sometime and it’s nice to start the week off once again on a bright note,” Sandifer said. “We could always determine how the rest of the weeks’ leads and traffic would be depending on the Monday’s numbers.”

Living on the TenList roller coaster ride was not the track that the website wanted to stay on, and that’s where Master Google came in.

Why Google Rankings Fall With the Wrong SEO Company

While Mondays used to be one of the TenList.com team’s favorite days of the week, as SEO efforts with other companies always started out well, the inevitable drop was hard to take. After all, trusting the wrong SEO company can leave you feeling more lost in the shuffle than found at the top of Google. What makes a good SEO company is often misunderstood, according to a post by Master Google CEO Ali Husayni. Husayni said that most of the SEO companies claim to be SEO experts, when the truth is that they only know a few small aspects of SEO.

“They read a few articles, make some changes to the site’s meta tags and claim that your site is ready for Google,” Husayni said. “Then, a few months later, when you are frustrated at the lack of progress, your so called SEO expert tells you that you have to wait as it takes longer for Google to rank your site.” And the wait is all in vain.

Don’t Be Afraid to Switch Up Your Normal SEO Efforts

At first, Husayni’s ‘clean-house’ approach to TenList’s SEO strategies felt like a big overhaul, but by taking on the broken parts of their current system, TenList was really able to make drastic improvement that they appreciate now, according to Booth.

“By challenging our current culture, they have helped us develop a greater understanding of our business and help us map out our goals and take steps to achieve them,” Booth said.

Sandifer seconds the relief that Booth shared about TenList being headed in the right direction this time, happy that Master Google is on board and exceeding their expectations.

“With the drop we had in traffic due to bad direction by consulting companies it is nice to finally see a growing trend,” Sandifer said. “This means we can finally begin to plan for the future and growth of our company and stop trying to figure out how to dig ourselves out of the hole we were in.”

Always Look Toward the Future and At Your Ranking Reports

Master Google Editor-in-chief Lorrie Walker looks forward to seeing what the next writing campaign will do for the success of the site, and knows that the site will grow as its quality content does.

“We’re embarking on a three-month content writing campaign to really get the word out about the relevant, useful information the site provides to those who need the services,” Walker said.

“It is rare to find a company in the SEO space that will go month to month, in their business relationship with you and to continually prove their value to your site,” Booth said. “Our traffic is growing at a quicker pace than their original estimate. Their value to our company at this stage cannot be overstated.”