Google May Penalize Your Site for Having Too Many Ads

Google is looking at penalizing ad heavy sites that make it difficult for people to find good content on web pages, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, said yesterday at PubCon during his keynote session.
”What are the things that really matter, how much content is above the fold,” Cutts said. “If you have ads obscuring your content, you might want to think about it,” inferring that a if a user is having a hard time viewing content that the site may be flagged as spam.
Google has been updating its algorithms over the past couple months in their different Panda updates. After looking at the various sites Panda penalized during the initial rollout, one of the working theories became that Google was dropping the rankings of sites with too many ads “above the fold.”
This is an odd stance, considering Google AdSense Help essentially tells website publishers to place ads above the fold by noting, “All other things being equal, ads located above the fold tend to perform better than those below the fold.”
Cutts also encouraged all websites that have been marked as spam and feel they should not have been marked as spam to report their sites to Cutts and his team. Cutts stated that he has a team of web spam experts looking into problem sites and that the Google algorithm still misses a site or two in its changes.

Source: www.searchenginewatch.com
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7 SEO Friendly Site Features for Developers

Web developers are great: without them, we wouldn’t have, well… the web! But unfortunately, a lot of developers can have a bit of a blind-spot when it comes to SEO. While some on-site SEO features almost always come as standard now (ability to edit meta tags, image alt properties, etc.), there are some important areas under the hood that often get missed. Let’s have a look…

Analytics (Google or Otherwise)

A decent analytics package is essential for any web marketing effort, both for measuring results and gaining insight into how your site is being found and used. Plus, as any marketeer knows, access to historical data from a site at the beginning of a campaign is almost priceless. And yet, it’s amazing how many sites, big and small, are launched without analytics. Get it on there from the get go and get it set up properly!

Semantic URLs

A semantic URL is essentially an address for a page that is human-readable and conveys useful information. An example for a page on “blue widgets” would be:
  • www.example.com/blue-widgets/
However, all too often we see pages with addresses such as this:
  • www.example.com/index.php?page_id=46
The reason we see this latter version so often is that it is much easier to implement. The trouble is that it’s a disaster for SEO! Although on-page factors are not that important compared to link building, by and large, having keywords in the URL is the single most important part of on-page optimization.
Make sure your developer implements semantic URLs on your site and gives you control over each page’s URL – no excuses! Although you don’t get penalized for using a non-semantic URL structure, you’re missing out on a big opportunity… and changing it after the site has gone live can be a big headache.

XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps don’t have a great impact unless your site is on the large side, but they’re easy to set up and cost nothing, so are always worth using. It’s not a problem to generate these manually (there are several free tools for doing this), but if your site is dynamic or updated often, this can become a real pain pretty quickly.
It’s much better for the site’s CMS to update the site map automatically whenever the site changes. A lot of packages will do this natively or with the aid of a plugin, but if you’re having a custom CMS written, make sure the developer includes this facility.

Controlling Indexation

If you have a large site, Google will almost never index your entire site: they have a percentage cap of the number of your pages that they will keep in the index. Now, discussing how much of the site they decide to index and upon which pages they bestow the honor of indexation is a post for another time, but suffice to say for now that although you definitely can’t tell Google which pages to index, you cantell them which pages you definitely don’t want indexed. You do this with this meta tag in the head of the page:
  • [meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow” /]
Again, if you’ve got a small or static site, this isn’t a problem to set up manually, but for larger sites you’ll need to be able to control this through the CMS. You may even want to develop a strategy for noindexing pages automatically – if they’re not getting search traffic anyway, for example. Ideally, yes, we’d like never to have to do this kind of thing, but if Google are only going to index a part of your site anyway, you’d better make sure it’s the part that counts.

301 Redirects

Honestly, could this be more important? Unfortunately, a lot of developers don’t think so.
If you’re migrating from an old site, making sure that pages from the old version are redirected to the new is vital (assuming that the page names or URL structure has changed), but it’s also important that your new CMS creates 301s automatically if you remove or change the URL of any page – something that you’ll inevitably end up doing if you work actively on your site.
Again, some CMSs do this natively or through plugins, but many don’t. If you’re having something custom written or your developer is using something off the shelf, make sure it handles 301s for changed pages properly.


Sorting out canonicalization of URLs from the start is another must – you don’t want Google to see duplicate content on your site even for an instant, or it’ll be reminding you of it through Webmaster Tools for evermore.
The first step is www versus non-www canonicalization. From an SEO perspective, it doesn’t matter which you choose, but you have to choose one and stick to it. Implementing it involves just a simple 301 redirect rule and is easy for your developer to do.
The second step is making sure that your CMS, e-commerce package or other platform isn’t generating multiple URLs for each page, and isn’t adding a lot of extraneous data to URLs. This might sound like a no-brainer, but Magento, for example, makes each page available by three different URLs by default. Checking to see if you have this problem is relatively straightforward – use a tool such as Xenu’s Link Sleuth(yes, it’s a crazy site) to check the number of pages on your site. If it’s way higher than you were expecting, you’ve got a problem. If you’ve not fixed this problem before the site goes live, that means a lot of 301 redirects to set up as you rationalise the URL structure.
Lastly, implement the canonical tag itself. At it’s most basic level, this tag tells Google what the definitive URL of a page should be. If your CMS definitely isn’t generating multiple URLs per page, it is still worth implementing, as it will help prevent potential problems caused by incoming links with extra URL data in them (e.g., tracking tags from mailing list software, etc.). The canonical tag is dead easy to implement and should appear on every page. It looks like this:
  • [link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.example.com/page.html” /]
Google is expanding the remit of this humble tag over time as well, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what you can and should be doing with it – it all helps with Google’s indexation of your site.

Site Speed

Hardcore coders are often obsessed with speed. This is a good thing, as site speed is now a part of Google’s ranking algorithm (although perhaps not a large part… yet). The problem is that the main issues to do with a site’s performance are not to do with the code itself (at least not for most smaller sites), but rather to do with things such as HTTP request optimization, combining and compressing external files, loading JavaScript asynchronously, using cookie-less domains, etc.
If all that sounds pretty technical… well, it is. Luckily, you don’t need to understand how to do it – you just need to ask your developer to look after it for you. If they’re not already on the ball with site speed, a number of free tools will audit a site’s performance and make recommendations for improvement, such as the Google’s Page Speed suite. You may also want to ask your developer about using a content delivery network such as CloudFlare. Going to town on your site’s speed really can make a surprisingly big difference!

Summing Up

Making sure that your developer gets these basics sorted right from the beginning will get your on-site SEO running like clockwork, leaving you free to concentrate on building links and great content. None of them are optional!

Source: Searchenginewatch.com
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7 Tips to Get Job in Online Marketing Sector

Here are seven tips on how to land a job in the online space.

1. Dress to Impress

The online space is notorious for dressing down, but hiring managers and prospective employers take interviews seriously. You’ll rarely be criticized for over-dressing (although it has happened to me), so make sure to make a good first impression. You can dress down on a follow-up interview, if you make it that far.

2. Be Social

The crowd in the online space is naturally social, so put yourself out there on Twitter, LinkedIn or start your own blog. For best results, try to keep personal content and drunken disorderly pictures on Facebook behind strict access permissions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve extended invitations to people that I’ve met socially at tradeshows or mixers or industry nights that have been vetted through peers in the industry long before reaching out for a first interview.

3. Show an Interest in the Industry and Organization You Want to Join

Working in an online channel is one of the most interesting places to be right now, so bring that shared enthusiasm to your interview. You’ll likely be asked the question, “what sparked your interest in this role?” and if you have no spark, it is painstakingly obvious. Some of the best candidates I’ve met were able to go off on tangents discussing new gadgets, social networking, recent blog posts from industry leaders, and books they’ve been reading.

4. Take Advantage of Soft Skills That Fit Online Roles

Don’t be embarrassed to admit you don’t have all of the technical skills listed on a job description. Some of the best interviewees I have met admit up-front the things they can and can’t do, and it goes a long way to increasing your credibility. Individuals that tend to rank higher in emotional intelligence are very sought-after because soft skills are often shared amongst strong leaders and lost on extremely technical people.

5. Market to Your Strengths and Prepare to Discuss Concrete Examples of Your Past Success

Let’s face it; people tend to blow a lot of smoke, especially in online circles. Anyone can claim to have done all kinds of things in a previous life, but few have the numbers, reports, diagrams, and process flows to back it up. Don’t be afraid to blank out the names of the innocent (your previous employer) and bring that evidence to your next interview. If you can show that your past experience directly impacts your interviewer’s prospective role, you are as good as gold. In addition, marketing your past success may help you to avoid a follow-up homework assignment that pit candidates against each other.

6. Ask Exploratory Questions

You have to ask at least three exploratory questions of the interviewer, because they are likely holding back some useful tidbits of advice, information, or insight into your prospective role. In addition, it lets your interviewer know that you aren’t just going through the motions; that you actually want to determine your own fate, especially if you’re looking to abandon your current position with another company. It’s risky to change jobs, so make sure the grass is truly greener on the other side.

7. Be Early, Be Patient, and Stay Professional

Really three tips in one, but all equally important to make a good first, second, third and nth impression.
Arrive early to your interview, but not so early that your interviewer doesn’t get a chance to grab their morning coffee or finish their lunch. Be patient in the process, especially with larger organizations that require prospective interviewees to meet several stakeholders in the process.
Expect to interview between 4-10 times with just as many unique interviewees. Each time, you will be expected to exhibit a good fit with the culture, as well as a familiarity with your interviewees function and how it relates to the prospective role (sales, marketing, operations, I.T., communications, human resources, product development, etc).
In technology giants such as Google, interview questions are often off-the-wall, highly technical, or ludicrously complicated. Don’t get discouraged by tough questions; think on your feet and break down the problem, verbalizing your rationale, and make fair assumptions. Interviewers often want to learn how you learn and problem solve.
Whatever you do, don’t ask your prospective hiring manager how long it would take to have their job. Sadly, it has happened.
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Google Now Shows Ads Below Search Results

Ads that were previously shown to the side of the results may in some cases appear below the search results, Google announced via Inside AdWords. Google reports that ad click-throughs are higher when the ads are integrated into the search results instead of being displayed on the side.
Google will now be classifying the ads as “Other” in your AdWords account. These are also known as experimental impressions, but should easily seen at the bottom of the page. Google should rename this from Top vs Side to “Top vs Other” in the coming weeks as not to confuse people.
Google has confirmed that ads will only be displayed on the side or at the bottom, at least for now. When ads appear on the right, no ads will appear on the bottom; when ads appear on the bottom, no ads will appear on the right.
Will this will work out for advertisers in the long run? I’ve found that 90 percent of clicks come the top three ad positions. The other 10 percent of all AdWords clicks come from rest of the ad positions. Now, 10 percent of the clicks can be a lot but when you’re looking for the best clients and easiest to sell, those people are the ones that are clicking on the top of the page.
Over the past couple months Google has been updating many different features in AdWords,search, and the way they work with local advertisers. Google even now allows us to block ads from advertisers.
Source: www.searchenginewatch.com
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