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WSI Marketing4theWeb Blog

Duplicate Content and its Impact on Search Engine Rankings

Theresa Murphy - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Duplicate Content and its impact on Search Engine Rankings
Mike Kuryla

Recently, we analyzed a site for a company that was referred to us by one of our customers. They couldn’t understand why their site had over 300 pages and suddenly they couldn’t get found anywhere  on Google.  “What happened” they asked.

The Google Panda releaseWhat happened was the March, 2011 “Panda” release of the Google algorithm!

 This new version of Google results in a major change to the best practices for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  These changes are a by-product of Google efforts to dramatically improve its own efficiency by addressing “machine learning scalability”.

Briefly, Google engineers identified the metrics that are highly correlated with how humans view a web site in terms of trust, credibility and appeal. They are presently taking steps to upgrade and downgrade websites accordingly. Before Panda, SEO objectives were to (1.) deliver good content that was (2.) easy for search engines to read, combined with (3.) effective keyword research and (4.) quality inbound links. 

Post-Panda, these practices will not be good enough unless they are combined with attractive design and a great user experience that drive competition beating site performance metrics.  Now design and user experience (beautiful, easy to use, not cluttered, entertaining, fun, funny, great photos and videos) have first order effects on your Google position. Delivering stuff that people want to share is the goal. Google can tell if you do.

Panda is here to stay and likely to get more aggressive. Success will breed success. The first sites that are revised to conform to Panda will have an advantage because this is a long-term game where cumulative efforts pay off.  A strategy that incorporates new video content, and the associated text and pictures, designed and optimized for a particular key word phrase, is a great start. At the same time, however, site design and usability have to be at least as good as the competition to win a material share of the 10,000 monthly visitors searching for the stuff you are selling. It’s clear that the winners will have to closely monitor their metrics (click through rate, direct visits, sharing of links, browsing time, etc.) and take steps to get and keep them up to snuff. In the end, it’s still all about content, content, content! That’s what Google’s users demand and that's what Google is serious about delivering.

As more and more business migrates to the web, it’s publish or peril. 

Online Reputation Management - What every business should know!

Theresa Murphy - Monday, January 31, 2011
I just had this client-from-hell bad mouth me online. Do people read these reviews? Is there anything I can do?

That’s an e-mail I just received from a client. As we’re sponsoring a free webinar titled “ Online Reputation” on Wednesday, February 2nd, I thought it very timely. If you read my last Blog you’d know that people really do read those reviews. People are constantly talking about you whether you realize it of not. So, what should this client do?

First of all, he is doing one very important element of Reputation management – namely monitoring to see what people are saying about his company. However doing manual check on Google Places is not enough.  There are a number of tools you can use depending on your level of technical and marketing expertise, however the very least everyone should use is Google and Yahoo alerts. They’re straight forward, easy to set up and they e-mail you every time someone mentions the keywords you’re tracking.

Step Two: Listen and analyze. It’s important to people that you’re listening. If there was something legitimate in their complaint, acknowledge it and talk about what you’re going to do to fix it. Recently we were visiting family in Seattle and they insisted on taking us out to a restaurant they loved and had found due to an excellent review on Yelp. (The Purple Café and Wine Bar in Kirkland) Unfortunately for a number of reasons, the dinner was disappointing.  So, my sister did what a lot of people now do, she wrote a review in Yelp about her disappointment. Within 12 hours, she had received a telephone call from the manager inquiring further into the incident and within the week she had received a $35.00 gift certificate with his apologies.  She is now, and continues to be, a huge, vocal fan of the restaurant.  Look at situations like this as an opportunity to improve customer communication and customer service and often the person is so impressed they will write another review telling everyone about it. 

Step Three: Influence. If you must respond directly, never, never bad mouth the person back! Do  respond dispassionately with the facts. If the problem was legitimate, admit it and talk about what you did to rectify it. Everybody has a bad day and most people respect that, they just want to know they are dealing with a reasonable person.  If you know you are not capable of doing that, ask your marketing department or online marketing firm to write it for you. We do this for many of our customers. It’s a great way to avert a crisis.

If you’d like to learn more about Online Reputation Management and Crisis Management then
register for our webinar on Wednesday Feb 2, 2011 at  11:00 AM - 12:00 AM (MTN) / 10:00 AM – 11:00 (Pacific)

Managing Your Online Reputation

Theresa Murphy - Monday, January 10, 2011

online reviews Anyone that's involved with marketing or owns their own business will know the delight of seeing a positive review of their business or the pain and upset of a bad review!  Positive reviews have always been important but has become even more important now that Google is displaying these  reviews right under your URL in Google Places. Imagine, going through all the work to get your site featured in Google Places - only to have that one bad review stick out like a sore thumb. Here are a few statistics you should know:  according to Bigresearch - an online intelligence company - 92% of your potential customers research you online, Reviews are the #1 factor when they consider your company  (eMarketer  2010) and 58% of searchers visit a competitor’s site after reading a negative review  (eMarketer  2010. This is why our next webinar on February 2, 2011 focuses on Reputation Management. If you're interested in staying on top of this critical aspect of your online marketing plan, then go to click here to register.

How Google's New "Place Search" Feature Impacts Your Business

Theresa Murphy - Friday, November 19, 2010
As discussed in my last couple of posts, Google has changed the local search game again with the launch of “Place Search”. This has changed the way PPC ads and organic listings are displayed and has made online reviews more prominent, increasing the importance of onlin reputation and  credibility. Because of the importance of these changes we are presenting a special Free webinar where WSI experts will discuss the Google changes and how businesses can leverage the opportunities available.
Learn and Stay Competitive!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
9:00 AM – 10:00 PM MST

Internet marketing becomes more important for local business

Theresa Murphy - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
If you read my post a couple of weeks ago - you'll know that Google has changed how it presents it search results to place more emphasis on local results and business. As further evidence to that, yesterday, it announced a new product:  Hotpot.  Prior to this announcement Google Places, featured right after the Paid listings, aggregated reviews from  a number of other online  directories such as Yelp, Insider Pages etc. Now, with the HotPot announcement, Google is ratcheting up the emphasis on local reviews by encouraging users to rate and review local businesses directly with Google through a Google profile.

Interestingly it also features a social element. Google uses Gmail accounts and linked Google profiles so that users can connect with their friends. This way their friends' reviews and ratings will be visible and they can also get recommendations based on what their friends like as well.

I cannot emphasize enough that if you are a business that depends on being well known, and known well, locally - you must claim your local listing and start communicating with your clients. Your business depends in it!

How Google changes local search

Theresa Murphy - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
By now, I'm sure most of you have seen the HUGE change to Google search results. In my opinion - this is a game changer for all those companies that were wondering how to catch up with companies that had years of optimization behind them. Now it's all about the reviews and citations. It will be particularly interesting to see what happens to the cost of PPC ads! The following is an excellent blog post that provides an outstanding overview:

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