Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What’s New in 2013 (Google) SEO Updates…

I have not heard or seen any significant changes in this year’s  Google algorithms . Unlike last year where we saw significant changes that dropped  a lot of websites PageRank. They were just banished from the front pages.

Let's recap what did happen last year and how those updates in 2012 really shook up some websites that had enjoyed a prominent  spot on Google’s search engine for so long.

Even though Google’s Panda algorithm was originally released in 2011, it went through numerous updates in 2012 kicking many low quality websites out of their dominant positions on Google; tens of thousands of websites were affected. It also took aim at duplicate content and content that seemed to be stolen from other websites/blogs.

What is the Panda Algorithm:  Panda aimed to lower the rank of “low-quality” websites and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results. Google Panda was built through an algorithm update that used artificial intelligence. Human quality testers rated thousands of websites based on measures of quality, including design, trustworthiness, speed and whether or not they would return to the website. For more on this topic  click here.

I also found a useful article Google Panda Update Survival guide.

Google released its Penguin Algorithm in 2012. Many more companies that engaged in unfriendly Penguin SEO tactics were dropped from the search entirely and companies that continued to break the rules saw their ranking disappear, often without warning.

What is the Penguin Algorithm;  This updates purpose was to catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, by buying links or obtaining links through networks designed primarily to boost Google Rankings. This does not include legitimate quality links. It also penalizes websites that have too many ads above the fold.   

For more information on Google Penguin  click here.

So as you can see “Value” is  an important factor – one that will dictate how Google perceives websites.

Looking Forward to 2013

This year the most significant factor for 2013 is creating value for the reader. Google has been very explicit this year about good-quality content. What does that mean?
  • Great Information and Resource Richness
  • Unique Content and Topics
Google’s  AuthorRank is a new system Google uses to cut down the spam content that litters the Internet.  This system determines the quality content based on the credibility of its author.  AuthorRank is not a replacement for PageRank. It is a separate system that instructs Google PageRank to weigh content more appropriately. To learn more about AuthorRank and how to build your online reputation, I have found a wonderful article click here.

Content marketing is the next big thing that is being talked about. Content marketing attracts back links, and adds value for the reader. Because you have to generate higher-quality  content, circulate it, and make sure your content get published widely through social media, article marketing, etc. this will generate substantial SEO value.

Social Media now plays a big factor in getting valid ranking. As the year goes on and probably for years to come – shares, mentions, re-tweets and most importantly  +1s are trophies all online business needs to cultivate.

Media in general;  video and images are becoming very important on the Internet.  Websites such as Youtube and Pinterest have really given an important element to getting noticed. It is becoming essential to add relevant non-textual media to text content, this adds value and brings visitors to your websites.

Local website information,  has really pumped up my rankings. Applying local SEO enjoys higher rankings and visibility. I have seen it myself when I started using Local Keywords, maps, and reviews on local information sites.

Hopefully, this will help you navigate through 2013 as well as give you a  good refresher  course on what to do to promote your website.  I have also updated my SEO checklist  you can download it for free Click Here.

Pamela Jacob is the owner of Artista Design. If you need a website developed or redesigned, project manager, consultant or graphic designer - you have found one. Pamela's specialty is taking an idea and making it come to fruition.

If you want to own an online business that thrives, if you have a passion for something you want to share, if you have an idea that you want to come to life contact me. My initial consultations are FREE.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How To Reach Your Goals

The New Year brings about thoughts of change – making resolutions and challenging ourselves to reach for things that we feel will make a real difference in our lives.

But more often than not, no matter how determined we are life gets in the way. Our resolutions are put on the back shelve, and we are in the same position month after month, year after year.

You have all heard the saying “keep doing what you’re doing and keep getting what you are getting”. This is such a true statement – how many people do you know who are stuck in the same rut – unhappy – spinning their wheels and still doing the same thing over and over.

It is not easy to reach your goals – if it were everyone would be successful. It takes determination, a specific plan, and doing what it takes everyday. If you want a change you are going to need to change.

The little things in life make the biggest difference – if you manage your day you can change your life.
You need to set specific goals – the more specific the better. Goal setting is a powerful process when done right. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve and breaking it down into bit size chunks your ideal future will become a reality.

I am a firm believer that nothing is impossible – if you change your thoughts, beliefs and how you talk to yourself, you will be amazed at how different life will become. When you truly believe you can achieve that goal and take these specific steps – you will achieve what you really want in this life.

Goal setting made easy…

First you need to look at the big picture – what is truly important in your life – where do you see yourself in 5 years. By really thinking about this and writing it down on paper you will be able to create a plan that will take you where you want to go.

Be very specific the more detail the better.

Then you need to break it down – into smaller and smaller targets. Create a one year plan, six month plan, and one month plan of progressively smaller goals.

What are the things you can do today and tomorrow that will lead you in that direction?

 What actions do you need to take to make this a reality? Each of these steps should be based on the previous plan.

When you have broken it down – you need to make a daily “To Do List” of things you will do to make your vision a reality.

You may be saying to yourself – whew to much work for me or when will I have the time? This is your life and you can make anything happen unless you make excuses. You have the time if you will make it a priority.

Envision your goals, see yourself where you want to be – what will your life be like – how will you feel.

It is not easy – but it is simple when you follow your master plan. Don’t let your head get in the way – negative thoughts are your worst enemy. Don’t share you goals with people who will not support you in your dream. When you share your vision with people who are negative or don’t believe it can be done, you are opening yourself up for self defeating thoughts.

Write down what you say to yourself – and change the negative into a positive.

Everyone will have times when they run into obstacles, it is what you do with them that counts. This is the time when tenacity and belief in yourself will make a difference.

Put together a vision board you can hang up – this may seem silly but it will really help cement your vision. When you start getting discouraged look at it and remember you can do what ever you are determined to do with a strong vision and a good plan you can become unstoppable….

For Tips & Tricks contact me! 

For help in getting your dream off the ground - email me

Pamela Jacob - Owner of Artista Design

Providing Creative Solutions & Amazing Results