Tag Archives: Search Rankings

What’s New For October 10, 2013 – Hummingbird, Product Descriptions, Ad Revenue

New Hummingbird Google Algorithm Update Complicates SEO

On October 1st, Google announced a rewritten algorithm called Hummingbird. The announcement stated that the new algorithm was released a month or so ago. Google is being extremely tight-lipped about the update and its exact effect on rankings, but we know that longer-tailed keyword streams that relate to searches for specific useful content, social shares, and the longer search phrases that occur in voice search, as well as Google Authorship, are key components of the change.

Google claims that these changes should not affect rankings, and we have not seen rankings affected for our clients, but the chatter online continues to focus on the changes on August 24th and September 12th related to this update.

Google Hummingbird

Product Descriptions: Not Necessarily Unique Content?

Product descriptions, which have been shared amongst numerous ecommerce sites for years and have been re-written to be unique content by many SEO firms and webmasters, may not need to be unique, according to recent comments from Google’s John Mueller during Google Webmaster Hangout. If you jump about 20 minutes into the video, you will hear the following:

“Let’s say a company uses product descriptions on their own site and at the same time provides the descriptions via a database to official retailers who might reuse them on their website. How can correct content attribution / ownership be ensured?”

John answered that in these cases, Google doesn’t look into the ownership of the content. See the comments below:

“So, for example, if there’s an online store that’s selling a book, and it’s selling it worldwide, and there’s also a local bookstore that’s selling the same book and on the site they have the same description as the big general online store, and if we can recognize that a user wants to find local content, then maybe we’ll show them the local version.

And if we can recognize that the user doesn’t want to find just local content but something maybe they can buy online, then maybe we’ll show them the global version…

So it’s not something where we’d say that if you wrote this product description your site will always be ranking for queries for that product description, but rather we’ll try to show them the appropriate version that matches what we think the user is looking for.”

This changes the focus from unique product descriptions in ecommerce to content that identifies the site as the best response for that search in the scope of what the searcher is seeking.

Internet Advertising Bureau: Digital Ad Revenues and Search Revenue Up From Last Year

Total digital ad revenue in the United States for the first six months of 2013 was just under $20.1 billion, versus $17 billion in the same period of 2012. Mobile ad spending represented 15 percent of the total. Search revenues were up to $8.7 billion, a 7% increase from last year. The full results are broken out below:

Digital Ad RevenueBottom Line: Is Google making organic search so difficult to optimize that the cost will become prohibitive for most small to medium sized businesses? Will PPC and Display ads, along with social media and other strategies, overtake SEO? This is a trend that bears watching as businesses continue to improve tracking of their metrics and the return on investment from their online ad dollars.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Development and Online Marketing Firm.

3 Things That You Can Do To Improve Your Website’s Local Placement

I often get calls from local businesses wondering what they have to do to restore their presence in local search and improve their local rankings.  The first things we review are the Google Algorithm Changes, and their impact on the search rankings for the website.   If we find these are the culprit, you most likely will require professional assistance to address these.   If your website issues are not that complex, here are 3 things that you can do to improve your local rankings, if you are willing to devote considerable time and energy to your website and search engine marketing. 

 1. NAP.   NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number.   So far, so good.   If your business has dropped off of page one in the local listings, but can still be found when a deeper search is done on Google for your business under the “Places” search, it is most likely because the exact name, address and phone number of your business that appears on your website does not match other sources of information on line like Yellow Page Directories, Social Sites, etc.  This is especially of concern if your business has moved. To find your listings, simply do a search for your name bracketed by quote symbols (“ “) in Google.   Review all of the results carefully, and you will have to correct any old or improper names.   Please remember that the match must be exact, including punctuation (watch commas), abbreviations (suite no. vs. ste. vs. #), and abbreviations of the business name (ZW vs. Zenergy Works vs. Zenergy).  This can be an incredibly time consuming process, but a professional SEO firm can be of help.

 2. Duplicate Content.  Google Panda has mandated that the content for your site is best ranked when it is original content that provides value for the web user.  If you know that you have copied website content from another site, you must rewrite that content as soon as possible so that it is unique to your business. This is another way you can improve your local rankings. You can use services like Copy Scape to review the content, or you can copy and paste your content into Google to see if the search returns an exact match.  If your content must be rewritten, please take pains to make sure that it reflects your business culture and is valuable to the web visitor.  The final concern is that it is at least 35% different than any existing content.

3. Blogging.   Creating and using a Word Press Blog at least once a week will help your local rankings and also ensure that fresh and valuable content is constantly available on your website.  Be sure to include keywords in the blog post that apply to your business, and link to parts of your website that relate to topics covered in the blog post.   Make sure that your blog posts appear on your Facebook Fan Page and also on Twitter, and use your client email list to announce that your new blog posts will be found on these social media outlets.  Don’t be afraid to not exclusively talk about business on your blog, but let your personality shine through for subjects that may not be totally business, but have a humorous take on your industry.

Bottom Line:  This is a very simple approach to these issues, but there is extensive information on all of the above subjects in various SEO blogs, tweets, and there is even a do-it-yourself video guide for Google + Local Listings.   All of the methods listed above have nuances and techniques that are outside the scope of this blog post.   For a consultation on any of the subjects above, please contact Zenergy Works and we will do our best to steer you in the right direction.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California SEO, Website Design and Online Marketing Firm.