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@mmetzler Great catch. Thanks for the input, Monica. It's not surprising that you liked this post. You guys are all about science... www.illinoisscience.org
2 weeks, 4 days ago on 6 Web Design Tips Based on Brain Science
@ginidietrich I submitted one yesterday! Ask Lindsay if you'd like a sneak preview.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on New SEO Rules: How to Keep Google Happy
Great post, Tara. I just had a conversation with someone about the SEO value of social media links. It's hard for me to believe that Google would care much about a link in a tweet. If they did, wouldn't Twitter instantly fill up with spam? (that's what happened to blog comments back in the day) But obviously, social activity has benefits for actual humans! ...and that's the test. If it doesn't help a visitor, it's probably not super valuable to search engines, right?
I'm a compulsive guest blogger. I love that it's relevant to both search and social. Guest blogging is super fun, especially when the site has an engaged community... like this one!
@PayAus @DanKaplan I do think it's a big concern. If we could see all that data, we'd have a better chance of discovering effective keywords that we hadn't thought to target. These little gems might not get much traffic, but they might be highly relevant phrases I hadn't thought of. I really do wish I had more keyword data...
1 month ago on Google Analytics: 21 Inaccurate Traffic Sources, Setup Mistakes ...and Fixes
@palimadra I'm not sure I understand. Are you asking about quotes? If so, yes, it's good to use quotes ...if the word order is important. For example, if you're optimizing for a phrase like "Chicago Squirrels" don't use quotes, since the word order isn't important. Some people might search for "chicago squirrels" and others might search for "squirrels chicago." But if word order is important for the phrase you're researching, then use quotes. For example, if you're considering the phrase "how to make friends with squirrels," then use quotes so you can see search results and competition for the entire phrase of words in that order. Make sense?
1 month ago on How to Research Keywords: Tips, Competition and Squirrels
@lindseyjodts Brian would say (correctly) that all websites have all kinds of visitors. But if you know that you have lots of Mario or Pac Man-type visitors, this post should help you know what to offer them.
It's very difficult to get Mario visitors to slow down, but not impossible. If you've been blogging for a while, look at the average time on page for past blog posts (or even web pages), you may be able to tell which posts are successful at slowing people down. These are likely the more informational "deeper content" posts with how-to content. In my experience, it's the content that teaches people something or provides a valuable resource that leads to longer visits.
Brochures are quick to read. Reference guides take longer. Brochure-ware websites are quick to visit. Websites with reference materials get longer visits. Make sense? Go deep! :)
1 month ago on Visitor Personas and Video Games
@bmassey Thanks so much, Brian. You're the inspiration! But I'll take a look at the book by@TheGrok @JeffreyGroks Brian, if you have any input that would make this more useful to reader, feel free to share.
...and for those who haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out Brian's book on conversion science. It's great info, well written.
@davelucas Hi, Dave. If the tool you're using to measure your PageRank doesn't show a value, then there must be something wrong with the tool. The problem isn't related to links or SEO!
1 month ago on Google Website Rank: How Do Links Work In Google?
@jasonkonopinski Absolutely. I've seen people write 1000 word comments on blogs that would be great posts in their own right! But my favorite source of hidden content is in the repurposing. Or as Ann Handley would say, "re-imagining"
1 month ago on How to Find Content for Your Website: 5 Tips for Finding Buried Treasure
Fun post! But now I have "More Than Words" by Extreme in my head...
Believe it or not, @RebeccaTodd and I met for a drink last night. Yes, another connection made here in the comments of Spin Sucks! Also in attendance: James Ellis, Kyle Akerman, Mana Ionescu and Tony Gebely. It might be time for Spin Sucks to produce an event and really get everyone together...
1 month, 1 week ago on Gin and Topics: Dedication Edition
@lisamayer Thank you for the positive feedback, Lisa! Traffic from PDF files will be mixed in with all the other direct traffic unless you add campaign tracking code using the URL Builder. I suggest you set the Source to "PDF," the Medium to "offline" and the Name to be whatever the PDF is all about. Now traffic from links in PDF files will be available in Traffic Sources > Campaigns.
We do teach at events here at Orbit. It's a monthly event called "Wine & Web" The invite is in the newsletter. I also recommend the book, which has a lot more information on these topics...
Hope this is all helpful!
1 month, 1 week ago on Google Analytics: 21 Inaccurate Traffic Sources, Setup Mistakes ...and Fixes
@blfarris I'm surprised at how little SEOs care about "on page" and how little website owners care about links. They should both be a bit more balanced, don't you think?
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Google Website Rank: How Do Links Work In Google?
@lindseyjodts Hello, Lindsey. Yes, "social signals" are widely believed to positively affect rank. But this is separate from links. The idea is this: all things being equal, a page with stronger social signals (more likes, +1s, comments, shares, etc.) will rank higher than a quiet, lonely page without friends. But this ranking factor is completely separate from links.
Links from Twitter or Facebook don't have anything to do with link popularity. If they did, the SEOs would tweet and post meaningless content with lots of links. Soon the social networks would be completely polluted. Choked with link spam! Thankfully, those links don't have value...
If the link is easy to get (like a tweet) it probably doesn't have SEO value. ...And that's a good thing!
@lhugel Hi, Lauren. Good question. I don't have a lot of data on this, but I believe that yes, Trackbacks and Pingbacks are legitimate links that do indeed have SEO value. But keep in mind that blogs that post these links will inevitably have more outgoing links per post, decreasing the value of the link...
I just got a question over email and I thought I'd share my answer here...
QUESTION: You mentioned online press releases don’t impact search results. As a sales rep for a news distribution provider, many of my conversations with clients/prospects focus on SEO strategy with hyperlinking in a release. What would you say is the difference between hyperlinks coming from automated news reposting and unique posts coming from influential bloggers/websites?
ANSWER: Thanks for your question! I suggest you think of it this way: if links in press releases were given full-value in Google, it would be very easy to cheat the system and every SEO would simply submit press releases all day ...and Google search results would stink.
Google can see that it's a press release. It gets picked up many places, all at the same time, always in the same form and always with the same links. Every online press release a miniature explosion of duplicate content, which is obvious to Google.
There is an inverse relationship between the value of the link and the effort it took to win it. If it's easy (or automated) it's not going to be worth as much. The links that are hardest to get are generally the most valuable.
On the other hand, there may be an indirect SEO value to press releases. They drive attention and that attention can lead to links.
@tdupuis Awesome! I'm a big fan of Seth's. I take piano lessons at his school here in Chicago. Every now and then, I give him a few keyword tips. Anything to help a friend!
1 month, 3 weeks ago on How to Research Keywords: Tips, Competition and Squirrels
@tdupuis Those are local monthly searches. In this case, "local" means the US. I'm glad you find this useful! Feel free to share. :)
@rosenver I'm looking more closely now and I see other problems. Regardless of whether or not the image appeared before, this page does not have a link to your G+ profile. Without that link, Authorship won't work! You have not followed the instructions in the video above. Follow those steps, and if you still have other issues, please contact me on Twitter. Thanks!
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Google Authorship and Author Stats (How-to Video)
@rosenver Ah! I think I may have found the problem. Have you changed your profile picture lately? Google is using facial recognition software to make sure that profile pics are actual faces. On your picture, the building behind you is clearly visible, but your face is small. Try uploading a better image of your face, wait a few days and see if that helps. I've seen this work before...
@adammbsmith Agreed! The more specific the phrase, the less competition and the more targeted the visitor. I'd rather rank high for 10 longer, lower-volume phrases that one general, popular phrase. More targeted phrases bring in visitors farther down in the conversion funnel...
1 month, 3 weeks ago on There’s More to Life than Google Rankings