Monday Marketing Mashup: All About Google Hummingbird and SEO

Are you still wondering why everyone is talking about Hummingbird suddenly? Read on and these links will answer all your questions.

What is Hummingbird?

Google Hummingbird and SEOHummingbird is the name of Google’s new search algorithm. Google claims it will provide better search results. Hummingbird is one of the biggest updates ever to how Google interprets user’s search queries and how it evaluates indexed webpages for a better match. Search Engine Land has a nice FAQ post that will give you more details. If you prefer a more visual approach, try this infographic.

Why is this important?

Wired has a good explanation on the impact and importance of Hummingbird, and to give you a glimpse:

“The biggest improvements involve longer search queries. Rather than just examining each individual word in a search, Google is now examining the searcher’s query as a whole and processing the meaning behind it.”

What will be the impact of Hummingbird on my site’s SEO?

Exact details are yet unclear and Google likes to keep people guessing when it comes to search algorithams. But Don Dodds has given a good summary of what is known as of now.

“Site owners that rely on the provision of high-quality content, that steer clear of black hat techniques, and that look to build multiple traffic streams using a universal marketing approach are those that will enjoy better long term results.”

Not much has really changed if you are a small business and are relying on good content, social referrals and customer feedback. HubSpot summarizes important factors nicely in their post.

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Monday Marketing Mash-up: Google Won’t Show Search Terms

It’s bad news.

The day many SEO professionals hoped would never come, but feared eventually would, apparently has arrived today. It appears that Google has cut off keyword data altogether.

Nearly two years after making one of the biggest changes to secure search that resulted in a steady rise in “(not provided)” data, Google has switched all searches over to encrypted searches using HTTPS. This means no more keyword data will be passed to site owners.

 What does this mean? Search Engine Land explains:

When searches are encrypted, search terms that are normally passed along to publishers after someone clicks on their links at Google get withheld. In Google Analytics, the actual term is replaced with a “Not Provided” notation.

Why does this matter? Search terms are a great measure of user intent, and we won’t have that anymore. We’ll still see how many visits we’re getting through Google search, but not what those visitors were searching for. So it’s going to be difficult, to put it mildly, to optimize your pages for search if you don’t know what terms you’re ranking for. We’ll all be left shooting in the dark.

So what do we do? Ruud Hein explains five ways to get around this, including keyword data from other search engines and using Google Webmaster Tools.

Edited to add this excellent post that went up after I published this: Neil Patel explains how this move by Google might actually make you a better marketer. He also provides some great tips for managing the change.

Ultimately, none of these other tools will make up for the visibility we’re losing with this change, but we’ve got to work with what we have. The silver lining I see is maybe we’ll stop obsessing over keyword rankings and search results and algorithm changes and focus instead on delivering the best content for our audience.

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Link-Building Tips

What’s link-building? It’s the term used in SEO for getting good links to your site, so that your search visibility goes up.

But is link-building a good term to use?  

Earning links is about creating things that people want to link to, so rather than asking people for a link, you’re just placing excellent quality content in front of influencers, and letting them do the rest.

I especially like this part of the post, since so many people ignore offline activities as a factor in online marketing:

Think offline. Sometimes online marketing has to start offline. Just think about how many websites must review, write about, and link to events and news. Well marketers, it’s time to create that news, and plan those events. Get out there and get involved with your target market, create a flash mob, launch a publicity stunt, and do what it takes to make people talk about your brand. What happens online is often reactive to what happens offline, so maybe it’s even more effective to be the creator, not the commentator.

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Monday Marketing Mash-up: Learning SEO

I recently got a question about how to learn SEO, and thought that is a great topic for a weekly round-up! Here are some of my favorite blogs and resources.

Moz (previously SEOmoz) is where I go to most often when I need an answer. They have great explanatory guides on anything from title tags to canonicalization. Their blog also has in-depth articles on a range of SEO topics, including this recent one on redirects and their effect on your website.

And if you’re new to SEO, their beginners’ guide might be a good place to start.

The KISSmetrics blog is another great source of SEO and analytics advice. The blog posts are usually easy to understand for us non-tech people, and have a lot of advice you can try out. I like this recent post about being penalized by Google, or just go to the SEO category and start reading.

Another old go-to for SEO news and advice is Search Engine Land. To start, check out the links on this page, or go here directly and dive in.

And don’t forget Google Analytics help pages.

Is there any favorite resource you turn to for SEO advice?

To see more of what we read, follow us on Twitter!

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Just Launched

Yesterday Google officially launched its new tool, AdWords Keyword Planner, to help create better AdWords campaigns. Keyword Planner will replace our favorite Google Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator.

You should learn to use this tool even if you never used Keyword Tool or Traffic Estimator and do not plan to use Google ads. Understanding search terms is important because that tells you what words your potential customers use to describe yours and similar businesses so that you can tweak your marketing and sales content accordingly.

Adwords Keyword Planner

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: All About Websites

The nuts and bolts of your websiteToday, we’re going to talk about your website and SEO and all that fun stuff (that makes you want to pull your hair out if you — like me — aren’t much of a techie). This is going to be rough, so fasten your seatbelts!

First: improve your website. This article has 16 tips you can start with. Is 16 too many? Here are the five things you absolutely should have in your website.

Second: are you using meta tags correctly? Do you have good descriptive tags for your content, that will help users understand what your site is about (and hopefully, push you higher up search results as well)?

If you blog, claim your authorship on Google. I don’t hang out much on Google Plus, but this is one reason why you should absolutely be using it if you’re a blogger.

If you need to move your domain, here’s how to go about it. As you know, we moved a month ago from BetterMarketing.in to Markitty.com. In this post on Search Engine People, I explain every step of how we did it with minimal impact to our site or search results.

And lastly, if you’re also using WordPress, avoid these five mistakes.

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Sales and SEO

Little girl with make-up and rollers

This is about how fake I feel if I try to sell

Vijay Anand, the founder of the Startup Center and a well-known name in the Indian startup space, answers the question, “What will it take to build 1.000 Startups in a year?”

Tech columnist Farhad Manjoo writes about Facebook’s Graph Search (which Nilesh wrote about here).

You’ll immediately notice Facebook search’s amazing user interface and flexibility. You’ll also spot one glaring problem: The search results aren’t that good.

After just a few queries, I started asking the engine for more and more complicated things, just to see if it could keep up… It didn’t have any trouble.

I can’t wait to try it myself, though apparently Facebook is rolling it out “very slowly.”

Are you making these 9 mistakes on LinkedIn?

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What Does Facebook’s Graph Search Mean for Your Business?

Facebook announced its new feature, Graph Search, on January 15.  But what does this mean for your business? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Just read on.

Graph Search is…

Facebook’s new search feature that allows you to search for information based on what you or your friends have liked, and what local businesses near you are offering. This social search feature is powered by Facebook’s partnership with Microsoft Bing.

Graph Search is not…

It’s not a replacement for Google search, as the primary objective of Graph Search is to provide personalized search results based on your and your friend’s interests and recent activities.

What does it mean for Facebook users?

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Software Products and Content Marketing

Four colored floppy disksThe first two of this week’s bunch of articles are especially relevant if you have or are building a software product.

If you have a SaaS product, be sure to read this long post on what to measure and why.

Joel Gascoigne of Buffer explains how bugs and downtime can be a good thing.

Do you know how to use apostrophes correctly?

What makes content go viral? Leo Widrich of Buffer dissects a blog post that got over 500,000 likes.

And from Neil Patel, here are 5 SEO mistakes even experts make — but you shouldn’t.

Have a great weekend, and see you on the other side!

Marketing for Tech Products: Interview with Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz

Rand FishkinRand Fishkin is the CEO and Co-founder of SEOmoz, one of the most well-known and respected internet marketing companies. He’s been in Businessweek’s 30 under 30, and has got tons of press coverage for himself and SEOmoz.

He talked to us about community-building, products vs. services, and more! Read on.

SEOmoz got started after you joined your mom’s (Gillian Muessig, Co-founder of SEOmoz) marketing business… How did you decide to focus on SEO?

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13 Marketing and Small-Business Blogs for 2013

Lights

Instead of our regular Weekend Reading post, today we have for you a round-up of the marketing sites and blogs you should read, recommended by the marketing experts and entrepreneurs we have interviewed in 2012.

Read on for the 13 blogs you should follow in 2013.

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How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool

Update: Google launched the Keyword Planner which will replace the Keyword Tool. Read about it here.

Have you ever used the Google Keyword Tool? No? Then go on reading and make sure you use it today. You can use this easy (and free!) tool for a number of things:

  • As part of your market research to understand how many people search for a certain product or service online.
  • When they search for the product or service you offer, what words do they use?
  • What keywords are you using most prominently in your website?
  • What keywords your competitor (or any other company) is using most prominently on its website?

How do you do all that? Let’s take a quick look.

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SEO and Blogging: Interview with Ruud Hein of Search Engine People

Ruud Hein of Search Engine PeopleRuud Hein is one of the faces of Search Engine People and editor of their popular blog. Ruud talks to us about blogging, SEO, and entrepreneurship.

Let’s get to it! My questions and comments are in bold.

There’s this story on your website about how Search Engine People got started. Tell us the story — how did you get involved?

Besides teaching English as a Second Language at the French Centre de Langues Internationales Charpentier (CLIC), I had taken up building and promoting websites. Much of my informal SEO education came from discussions on the Cre8asite Forums (recently bought by Jim Boykin) with brilliant people like Ammon Johns, Kim Krause, and Stockbridge Truslow – to name but a few.

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Remote Work and SEO

Happy Friday! This week, we have tips on using content for your business, making your posts more search-friendly and having your author information show up, starting out with Twitter ads, and working remotely. Let’s dive in!

How can you make your blog posts Google-friendly? This post at Business from the Kitchen Table provides nice easy steps for you to follow to get your blog post found online.

How can you have author information show up in search results for your posts? Google tells you.

ExploreB2B details seven ways to get content to work for your business, with practical examples of how they worked for the author or her colleagues.

If you’ve been curious about Twitter ads but not sure how to start, here’s a handy guide to getting started with Promoted Accounts or Tweets.

One investment firm found that their remote workers are more engaged than those who work in the same office: and this blogger at HBR suggests why. If you’re a remote worker, you might want to read these six tips for working remotely that I’d written earlier.

Have a great weekend, and wish you better marketing!