Top Five Search Industry Blog Posts of the Week

Blog imageIt has been pretty quiet in the blogosphere during the festive season, but there have been some great posts about link building lately, that I thought worthy of sharing.

Since the Panda and Penguin updates, webmasters are having to rethink the way link profiles are used to determine Google’s search results. Google is determined to weed out sites with spammy non-relevant links and make search results more intuitive and personal.

What does all this mean for link builders? Well, I gathered the following articles from the last few weeks to help answer that question – Happy Reading!

Semantic Search and Link Building Without Links -The Future for SEO? by Simon Penson

In this article Simon talks about how anchor text is no longer the primary factor when it comes to determining the relevancy of links. Other things like social signals, link age and personalized search query history are now equally – if not more important.

Simon says Semantic Association is the new catch phrase and determining the context of search queries is the new holy grail for search engineers. Google no longer wants to find out exactly what we are searching for, they also want to know why, so they can deliver search results personalized to our unique needs.

Simon lists several innovative tools he has used to adapt to these Semantic Search changes and encourages webmasters to even ‘post without links’ in order to take advantage of co-occurrence, “(co-occurrence) is a way of ranking websites and pages not on inbound links but by how many times they are MENTIONED in close proximity to key phrases.”

Interesting stuff!

3 Areas That Get Overlooked When Building Links in a Bubble by Julie Joyce

I engaged with this post straight away because I could relate to Julie’s suggestion that most link builders are operating in a vacuum. Having worked on many link building campaigns for clients, I know this is often true.

SEM is such a complex and ongoing process that one company may have the contract for link building, while another has the PPC contract and so on. The problem is how to align the various strategies.

Julie’s article describes ways to align link building strategies with PPC; Social Media Campaigns; and Technical SEO – for an efficient and effective overall marketing campaign that is sure to reach your target audience.

Your Best Link Building Tool in 2013: Community Manager by Kate Morris

This post follows on perfectly from the one above. Kate describes link building as a process of relationship building and outlines how to integrate in-house link building strategies across an organization.

More than ever before link building is about developing key relationships. Most companies already have staff which perform this function in various ways including: executives, marketing and customer service representatives. Kate says that what may be missing is a Community Manager who can oversee internal and external company relationships.

Kate lists the top personal traits for link builders/community managers in this interesting ‘human resources’ slanted article.

Don’t Build Links, Build Bubbles By Craig Bradford

While many organizations are underwhelmed by the marketing power of Google Plus, this post could change all that.

Craig describes how engaging with Google Plus can radically change the results of your customer’s search queries – in a way that Facebook and other platforms can’t match.

If we are signed into our Google Plus account when web browsing – our online connections influence the search results we receive. Craig describes this ‘filter bubble’ capacity of Google Plus – as more important than building traditional links and will revolutionize the way companies build and maintain relationships with their customers.

A must read for all marketing professionals!

A new tool to disavow links – Google Webmaster Central Blog

Although this post appeared back in November 2012, I felt I couldn’t do a ‘top five’ post on link building, without including it.

The new Google Disavow Links Tool is Google’s answer to taking control of your backlink profile post-Penguin, by removing all spammy in-bound links from your site – without needing to gain the permission of the site which is linking to you.

That’s all for this week, happy post-Penguin link building everyone!

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SEO, Social Media and Other Hot Tech Jobs for 2013

Happy New Year readers!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break and relaxing vacation, if you were lucky enough to get one. If you’re in a technology career, I have some fabulous news to kick off 2013.

Tech Job Search

2013 Jobs in Tech

Two major US recruitment firms have released Salary Guides that reveal the hottest technology jobs for 2013 and their approximate starting salaries. The salary ranges show that tech jobs are bucking the trend when compared to other industries and are offering extremely high starting salaries for persons with the right skills.

They’ve even identified SEO/SEM specialists and Social Media Specialists as two of the best paid and hottest technology jobs for 2013. I was so excited by this news that I wrote an article about it: SEO and Social Media Specialists Identified as Hot Tech Jobs for 2013.

You can download the PDF salary guides here:

Robert Half Technology – Salary Guide 2013

The Creative Group – Salary Guide 2013

Print them out and go ask for that payrise! Or, if you are keen to get some training under your belt before knocking on the bosses door, consider taking one of our online marketing courses first.

 

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Google Gives the Gift of Panda for Xmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the web, people noticed their site traffic was at a low ebb.’

Yes, just in time for Christmas, Google has decided to rollout another Panda algorithm update, this one affecting 1.3% of search queries. According to Search Engine Land, this is the 23rd Panda update since the original Panda rolled out in February 2011.

You can see a handy timeline of all Panda updates on the Search Engine Land site.

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Twitter Wins the US Election By a Landslide

Despite the final vote tally, Twitter was the clear winner of the 2012 US Presidential election.

No matter what your political bias, the Twitter feed for the past 24 hours has captured the highest and lowest points, the heckling, the gags, the tantrums and the vote count. Once again, Twitter was the place to be to get the most up to date vote tally as State by State fell to each of the candidates. With news agencies reporting inconsistent or biased results, confused voters turned to Twitter to get faster updates via the hashtags #Election2012, #USElection and #USAElection.

According to Twitter staff, election conversation saw Twitter reach a peak of 327,452 Tweets per minute this evening, with not a single Fail Whale in sight – something Twitter staff were extremely proud of.  The company has clearly improved on their server load contingency plan since the last election.

And just as well too, because newly re-elected President Obama (@BarackObama) chose Twitter as the medium for his first acknowledgements of victory:

President Obama claims victory on Twitter

More than half a million people retweeted President Obama’s victorious “Four More Years” photo tweet.

Four More Years for Obama

However, not everyone was happy with the election outcome. Outspoken Republican Donald Trump (@realdonaldtrump) surprised everyone with his vitriolic, bizarre and seemingly unpatriotic stream of tweets immediately following Obama’s victory:

Trump Tantrum

Possibly the most amusing point about this epic tantrum was Trump’s incorrect assumption that Romney had won the popular vote and that the world was laughing at America because of a miscarriage of democracy caused by the electoral college system.

The tweets highlighted with the green pepper were actually deleted from Trump’s feed within an hour of them being posted, suggesting that Trump’s minders may have stepped in to prevent him from further embarrassment.

Trump’s tantrum prompted a wave of hilarious responses from the Twitterverse, some of which are highlighted in the images below.

Trumps Tantrum Trumps All
But for those of us who stayed on Twitter during President Obama’s victory speech, the hilarity continued. About halfway during his speech, someone on Twitter pointed out that the woman in the crowd directly over the President’s left shoulder had decided to stick her US flag into her hair and was waving it about with great enthusiasm.

hairflag FTW

The gesture generated an instant Twitter meme, similar to the one NASA employee @tweetsoutloud prompted when his space-influenced mohawk was spotted on camera during the recent Mars Rover landing.

Within a minute or two, the hashtag #hairflag was born, with witty tweets temporarily hijacking responses to the President’s moving and heartfelt speech.

Hairflag wins best meme

I couldn’t resist a #hairflag tweet of my own! By the time President Obama walked offstage, the #hairflag meme was in full swing, with inspirational posters, Facebook pages and parody Twitter accounts.

So Election Day closes with 31 million tweets posted and Twitter a clear winner, once again. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

 

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Q and A: Do women bring a different perspective to SEO?

QuestionHello Kalena

I’ve recently learned very quickly that SEO is a very male dominated industry.

As a female who has just begun in the SEO industry I was wondering if you would be able to tell me how you have dealt with working in a male dominated industry so well for all these years and what kind of challenges/obstacles have come your way? This would be great to know so that other female seo can prepare themselves if they should ever come to terms with them. More importantly how have you dealt with them?

Another question I was wondering – in your expert opinion – what do you feel that women bring to the SEO table? Anything new? Perhaps a different perspective?

Any advice that you could offer on this topic would be awesome and extremely appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Monica

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Hi Monica

To answer your question, I no longer work in a traditional *office* so I’m no longer exposed to the same male/female office politics that I once was. However, when I was starting out, there was a very obvious male bias in the industry, particularly at search-related conferences I would attend.

We used to see around 5-10% female attendees at such conferences, whereas now it tends to be 35-40% or higher. Not sure if this spread is because SEO is kind of a geeky/programmer industry which has traditionally attracted more males, but it has definitely evolved to become more mainstream and marketing-focused. With that shift has come more females interested in the industry and thriving in the field.

In terms of the female perspective on SEO, I definitely think there are points of difference that females can bring to SEO roles. One in particular is our insight into emotional purchasing and shopping trends. It is well documented that females respond differently to advertisements and also search differently from men in general – with emotional response being key in the decision-making process. Plus women tend to be the key gift purchasers in a large majority of households. These factors can give female SEOs added insight when it comes to keyword research and copywriting for web sites aimed at females in particular.

Same goes for pay per click advertising – ad copy, headlines and images/videos used can influence purchasing decisions so using both male and female SEOs/SEMs in the ad creation process is going to ensure a more successful campaign.

Hope this helps!

Kalena

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