BlogWatch - A taste of the dark side, link building survey and PPC tricks

 Tom Blackshire

 

MODERN WEBSITES FOR MODERN DEVICES

For English results in the US, Google is now displaying notifications on whether or not sites will work well with the device the user is currently browsing with.

 

HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION MADE EASIER

Google has taken steps to make hreflang implementation easier by adding a 'Language Targeting' section in Webmaster Tools, which helps identify possible issues with hreflang tagging.

 

A LOOK AT THE DARK SIDE

I'm prepared to bet that a link to the viper chill blog has never been shared on blogwatch. I guess there is a first time for everything! Glen is someone that I have followed for a long time and although he specialises more in the darker shades of SEO - his posts are always worth a read.

In this post he is continuing his investigation into brands & CMS providers using 404 page links to target highly competitive keywords. Literally building thousands of links on other websites. Then he finishes up by discussing his use of blog networks and why he uses such a frowned upon tactic.

 

 Daniel Willis

 

THE NEW LINK BUILDING SURVEY 2014

As a follow-up to the 2013 Link Building Survey which was published on Moz last year, Moz have again teamed up with Skyrocket to provide an updated version of the infographic with fresh survey results.

The survey was largely taken by SEO agency consultants and client-side SEO managers (with some additional input from business owners and freelancers). It provides a good insight into how approaches to link building have changed over the last year (particularly when compared with the 2013 results) and shows how this is increasingly reflected in business strategies and budgeting.

Common reason for link-building budget increases:

• Increased costs related to the time it takes to produce natural links: more strategy and creative time than simply buying links.

• Wider awareness of need to build more good quality, natural links.

Common reasons for decreases:

• Moving link building budget into content marketing projects (although this budget will likely still impact on outreach and link earning campaigns).

• We wanted to scale back and assess the impact that Google's manual actions etc. have on our website.

Biggest challenges:

• Getting natural links to product pages.

• Creating scalable link-building strategies.

• Avoiding Google penalties. 

The full infographic is certainly worth a look and can be read here:

 

BUSTING THE TOP 15 SEO MYTHS OF 2014

This is one of "those" SEO articles which does more to confirm what you already know than deliver anything drastically new. However, from an outreach and content perspective it raises some interesting points, particularly around building a strategy that has additional benefits to simply driving "link juice" to your website.

Key points:

• Link building is NOT dead: smart and tactical link building from reputable websites is still the most effective way of improving your rankings.

• Social media signals DO NOT directly impact search rankings but DO have benefits: "In reality, Google weighs content that has a strong social interaction heavier than content that does not have any social presence."

• Google DIDN'T kill the press release: the days of writing press releases for link juice are over, but they still need to be built into a content and PR plan to let current or prospective customers keep up with the news from your business.

• No follow links DO have value.

 

Syed Hussain

 

YAHOO SEARCH SHARE FALLS BELOW 10% FOR "ALL-TIME-LOW"

It's not looking too great for the Yahoo-Bing search alliance which officially took place last year, with a deal involving Microsoft search technology powering Yahoo search results. Yahoo's share has now fallen below 10% as desktop search declined for the fifth consecutive month.

The only lead Yahoo has over Bing is within the realm of mobile search with 4 percentage points difference. However with Mobile now accounting for over 30% of total US internet traffic, their combined 14.8% share on this device is somewhat dwarfed by Google's 85% market share.

Here are the figures for June:

• Google - 67.6%

• Bing - 19.2%

• Yahoo - 9.8%

• Others - 3.4%

Meanwhile Google revenues are looking rosier than ever with clicks up 25% YoY despite a marginal drop in CPCs across the board. The new war however, is on Mobile and on this landscape it gets very territorial with the advent of Facebook's mobile initiatives. Watch this space, it's going to get ugly!

 

MOBILE PPC TIPS & TRICKS - WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T

If you're ignoring mobile, you're going to fall behind… fast! All the growth in Google search queries are now actually coming from mobile devices. So if you haven't already optimised for mobile and started to build a robust mobile strategy, now is the time to do so. Here are some tips and tricks you can deploy in your mobile optimisations:

Mobile Adcopy - creating mobile-specific adcopy with shorter description lines and with wording and call to actions that convey immediacy. Even mentioning "mobile" in adcopy can increase CTRs by upto 2x.
Mobile Ad Extensions - ensure you're created ad extensions that are highly valued by mobile searchers such as location extensions, call extensions, sitelinks and even seller ratings to really stand out.
Mobile Landing Pages - mobile specific pages should be brief and legible, have super-fast load speeds, be click-friendly, have simple and short forms if applicable and have a straight-forward call-to-action.
Mobile Scheduling Strategies - there is generally high search activity on mobile during mornings (before work hours) and evening (after work hours). So it would be wise to allocate more of a campaign's budget during those demanding hours.
Attribution - mobile is not given nearly enough credit for the role it plays in a customer's conversion path. Attribution tends to break when there's more than one device involved in the customer journey and even more so when calls and offline purchases are involved.

So there you have it guys - If you want to truly leverage mobile, create a more tailored approach to the user experience and don't be afraid to deploy a more bespoke attribution model, which can get ugly!

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