Panda 4.1 Googles 27th Panda Update Is Rolling Out

Google has announced that the latest version of its Panda Update — a filter designed to penalize “thin” or poor content from ranking well — has been released.

Google said in a post on Google+ that a “slow rollout” began earlier this week and will continue into next week, before being complete. Google said that depending on location, about 3%-to-5% of search queries will be affected.

Anything different about this latest release?
Google says it’s supposed to be more precise and will allow more high-quality small and medium-sized sites to rank better.

From the post:

Based on user (and webmaster!) feedback, we’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice.

New Chance For Some; New Penalty For Others

The rollout means anyone who was penalized by Panda in the last update has a chance to emerge, if they made the right changes. So if you were hit by Panda, made alterations to your site, you’ll know by the end of next week if those were good enough, if you see an increase in traffic.

The rollout also means that new sites not previously hit by Panda might get impacted. If you’ve seen a sudden traffic drop from Google this week, or note one in the coming days, then this latest Panda Update is likely to blame.

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Google Pigeon Update

Worried About Pigeon?

Pigeon has rocked the local SEO world. How should we respond to Google's new local search algorithm update?

If you’ve missed the news somehow, or were lucky enough to be spared from its effects, Google rolled out a new update to the local algorithm on July 24th.

Google didn’t release many details about the update — just that it was supposed to tie in to the more traditional organic search ranking signals. They claimed it would provide more relevant and accurate results, and that the update applied to both web search and map search.

For many verticals, the rankings went completely haywire. The Local SEO experts dropped everything and started to study the new results, but no one could make any sense of the changes. Rankings and even page layouts were changing daily with no apparent rhyme or reason. Even a few weeks later, the SERPs are still in major flux; clearly, Google is still futzing around with the algorithm.

What Did You Do After Pigeon Hit?

The phone calls started to roll in, both from our clients and from businesses that had seen me speak or read one of my blog posts.

Everyone wanted to know what to do next — how to fight back against Pigeon and get back their rankings. They were ready to drop everything and pivot to attack Pigeon, and they were calling all the experts to build a plan of attack.

The problem is — no one really knows what the next step is yet. We’re all studying the SERPs, but they’re fluctuating so wildly that no one can really figure out what’s going on. A SERP might have a map pack one day and nothing but standard organic results the next. A location might rank #1 one day and be gone the next.

What We Know So Far

More than anything, we know that we don’t know much… But here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of what we’ve all figured out so far:

  • Pigeon only affects local queries in English in the United States
  • It’s not penalty-based, it’s a core change to the algorithm
  • There’s been a reduction in the number of 7-packs that show in local queries (23.4% according to MozCast)
  • There’s been an increase in 3-packs
  • There’s been a reduction of “duplicate” results; businesses are less likely to show in organic results and map pack on the same SERP
  • The search radius has been reduced for most local queries
  • Pigeon favors directory sites (most likely because those sites have more authority)
  • In most cases for SERPs that show the Local Carousel, the Carousel results show local businesses and organic results are mostly directories
  • In the Carousel and map pack, local businesses seem to be favored over local brands (the common example is that Domino’s no longer shows in the pack for “pizza” queries)
  • Even a few weeks in, the results are still changing daily

So What Do You Do? You Keep On Truckin’

Yes, Pigeon drastically changed (and is still changing) SERPs for many verticals. Supposedly, the update is more in line with traditional organic ranking signals – but since the order of organic results doesn’t match the order in the map pack, we know there’s more to it.

Instead of flying off the handle and changing everything you’re doing, you should just keep on using the tactics you should have been employing all along. Here’s what we’re telling all of our clients that call in about Pigeon:

  • As always, you should be concentrating on creating amazing content and making your site the best it can be for your users
  • You should be optimizing your site content for your important keywords
  • You should be optimizing your content for your local area (include city/state in title tags, H1s, content, alt tags, etc.)
  • You should have an claimed, optimized Google My Business listing
  • You should be engaging with customers and fans on social media
  • You should be working to collect positive reviews from customers

These are the core principles of Local SEO — and while the weight of some factors within the local search algorithm might have changed, the ideas are still the same.

Yes, there are some wacky outliers with local rankings that make zero sense. Yes, the map pack has disappeared from several SERPs. Regardless of the changes, you should still be concentrating on creating the best user experience possible.

The Answers Are Coming…

All of the experts are studying Pigeon daily. Eventually, the algorithm will level out, and we’ll get a handle on exactly what has changed. If you’re still working the core principles, you’ll have a solid foundation already built, and you’ll just have to make a few tweaks to change your mix for Pigeon.

If you were hit hard, it’s going to be a stressful wait — but there’s not much else to do. Keep an eye on Search Engine Land and other Local SEO blogs, and as soon as someone gets the algo figured out, the news will spread. Until then, just keep on truckin’.

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Freelance Web Design in NY

You want a Web site for your business, but you know you cannot afford a Web design company like that cool one in New York that wins Webby Awards every year.  That is ok. Your site doesn't need to be award-winning to meet your business objectives. It does however; need to be professional and functional. So how do you find a good Web designer who can do all that without spending a fortune?

Determine Your Budget

If you do not have a budget set aside for a Web site, then you are not ready for a Web site. Stop right now and work on a Web budget. Why? Because a Web site is the modern day storefront. You would expect to pay rent for space in a strip mall or building, so be prepared to pay for your Web space. You will need to pay for a domain name, hosting, design and ongoing site updates. If you do not currently have a large budget for your Web site, remember the mutability of Web design; Get a nice clean site within your budget and then add on to it as your business grows and you get your financial footing. Nevertheless, be sure to let your Web designer know your goals, so he or she can build flexibility for growth into the design. No matter how large or small your budget is, it is important to go into it with a clear idea of what you plan to spend.

Find a Good Web Designer

Now that you have determined what you can afford to spend on your site start searching around for a Web designer. Ask people you know, look at your favorite sites, see who designed the site (a company name and link usually displayed at the bottom of the home page) and do a search on your favorite search engine.

As you have talked with friends and family about needing a Web site for your business, you have likely come across a neighbor or other young person who would be willing to do your site. Maybe even do it free! However, beware of the boy next-door mistake.
Do not fool yourself into thinking that the boy next door, who is a bit of a computer whiz, would just love to create a site for you free and that this will help you establish a long-term Web presence without having to spend a dime. You may hope that what you can get free will be as good as what you pay for. Does it ever really work that way?

The boy next door may be fine, but he must meet certain criteria: Is he experienced or just messing around? Trained or self-taught? In the 11 years I've been in the Web design business I've been gainfully employed unraveling and rebuilding the work of wannabe Web designers; those folks with a copy of FrontPage and a desire to tinker around. Do you want a tinkerer or a professional? Remember that for many of your customers your website may be their first impression of you - if not their only impression of you. Are you willing to trust young Brandon or Billy with your company's reputation?

Get Quotations

What will a real Web Designer cost? It depends on what you want your site to do and how you want it to look. Will it have basic pages with a logo or do you want moving images and sound? Will the content be mostly text or do you need to capture and store customer information?

Do you need a shopping cart? Do you want to allow visitors to search a store catalog?
The more features your site has the more it will cost. Think of it like adding options to a car. The more options added to the base model, the higher the sticker price.

Every web designer is different, has different skills and specialties and therefore has a different price list. Some may quote by project, others by features and some by the hour. So shop around and get some quotes (hint: it can be easier if you will know what you want).

Independent or freelance Web designers will be more affordable than a design firm will. They have less overhead because they usually work from home. That savings passed on to their clients. You may pay as low as $1200 for an entire site but set aside at least several thousand dollars for the project. Try to get a range of quotes, one high, one low and one in the middle. From there it is a balance of which design has the right skills, availability and a cost that meets your budget.

The Contract

Ask for a contract; some form of written agreement about what you want and what you will pay. This will protect you and the designer. If the designer is unwilling to do this, look for someone who does.

A true professional will be comfortable writing and singing contracts with clients. A true professional will insist on it.
By defining your budget, carefully looking for a competent, qualified designer, shopping for a fair price for what it is you want to accomplish with your site, and then making sure to get it all in writing, you can find a good Web designer that will create a strong, professional Web presence without having to spend a fortune.

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Small Business SEO

 

The process of SEO gets complicated as soon as Google comes up with Panda and Penguin updates. This makes the task of small enterprises difficult since they lack the resources to stay attuned with the guidelines provided by Google. However, there are some small business SEO tips to help you get business through organic and legitimate optimization. Let's read to learn more.

Content is King

We all know that, 'content is king'. Then, what does the phrase actually mean? Well, your website content must be inimitable and engaging for visitors. The significance of quality and persuasive content cannot be ignored. That's because it will impact conversion, time-on-site, and search engine optimization. When articles, website text, and blog posts are written from a new and unique perspective, it is more likely to be linked to and shared. Content is also significant because it makes small enterprise webmaster offer something valuable. Remember poor quality content is penalized by Google and leaves an adverse impact on your online business.

Hire Professionals to Run the Analytics

It is true that keeping website design user-friendly, optimizing title tags and improving page load time is crucial when it comes to SEO for small business. Experiments and research have proved that such elements exist in Google algorithm. Then, it's not prudent to get carried away. Assistance of professional SEO executives is necessary to evaluate your site, run analytics tool, and tune up your site. Only then you can move on. Else, you will get stuck the moment you begin.

Do Not Purchase Links, Instead Offer Something of Value

As far as small enterprise marketers are concerned, they are required to earn links. This does not mean that you will start buying links. After the Panda update, link buying strategy is penalized by Google. Instead, opt for content marketing strategies and offer something valuable to end users. Content that has useful information, humor, learning materials, and controversy will bring you backlinks. And, it will certainly help in your SEO.

Quality Matters, Not Quantity

It might be tempting to opt for email solicitations for earning huge volume of affordable links. Remember that the internet business is not akin to the automotive industry. As far as automation is concerned, it is bad in the eyes of Google. That's because it will give an unsatisfactory user experience. Many businesses might not accept this happily, but then they are required to respect what Google has to say to improve page rankings.

Evaluate Reports Meticulously

There is no doubt that small enterprise owners are busy with a lot of things. Then, that does not mean they will not learn what optimizers are doing. For successful small business SEO, it is imperative that you understand and evaluate the monthly reports. Why? Well, here are the reasons.

The monthly reports should validate that the optimization firm that you have hired is implementing white hat SEO strategies, and conforming to Panda and Penguin guidelines. Small organizations should not experiment as there are enough challenges for them already.

The outcome of keyword research, analysis, article and press release submission, blog posting, and social media optimization should move in a positive direction. Do not expect results overnight, but monthly improvement in rankings is expected when you are paying for the services.

 

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Local Marketing

 

Creating a solid customer pool from locals is the best thing for any small business. Marketing small businesses and getting them out there and noticed is easy when targeting a local market. Besides the local environment and the online environment also needs to be bombarded with marketing strategies for your business. By making connections in both the real world and the online world, you can get more prospective clients and customers. You need to mix traditional public relations, such as meeting new people, talking to your loyal customers and giving out contacts with digital marketing techniques like websites, blogs and online reviews.

Approach the local chamber of commerce

Organizations like these are commonly found in most towns. They support any kind of business especially the small businesses. There may be a fee for membership but think of it as an investment. It's a place for you to start looking for future investors and it's a good support group for new entrepreneurs who do not know what to do. These organizations often organize events where entrepreneurs mingle and make contacts; sometimes they set up big statewide events where business can showcase their products and services. Getting people to talk about your business in the community can get it far, so create a positive buzz in the area and jumpstart your potential earnings.

Get noticed on the Internet

Did you know that most of the people today looking for local businesses online would most likely go to the businesses they have found to buy their products or use their services? 
Having information about your business online makes it easier for prospective customers to find you and even open up to a bigger market. You can have a website made for you by RockDesign.net Professional team and you can use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to spread news about your business. It also makes you closer to your customers since you can just update your status to inform them about a sale or a special promo that you are currently having.

Articles Online

Of course, you can go further than social media. The blogging community can also be a way for you to market your business. This works like word of mouth, get people to write about you and their readers will become interested in you. Look for a blogger that fits your business. Let's just say you have a small café or a small backpackers lounge as a business, get a travel and lifestyle blogger to write about you. You can call the blogger over and show him or her around your business.

 

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