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Google Panda 4.2 Rollout is Slow

Google Panda 4.2 began rolling out on the 19th of July and it is going to be SLOOOOOOW!

Due to an undisclosed Google internal technical issue, this one will be a slow rollout.

John Mueller explains in the video below:

Many of the sites I am working with have showed some fluctuations in rankings since the 19th, but no massive gains, indicating that they are probably not being affected by a Panda algorithm penalty from the previous rollouts, or the rollout is still slowly progressing on these sites.

So how is Panda 4.2 treating your rankings?

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Testing_Tool_—_Google_Developers 3

Hacking WordPress SEO to add Site Name Schema

Google announced today that they would be supporting the display of site names for websites in search results via Schema markup. (https://developers.google.com/structured-data/site-name)

This site is using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, which does not currently support the name and alternateName elements in the markup code.

So lets do a quick and dirty hack to get this running. I don’t usually like to hardcode into a plugin function but hopefully the next update of the Yoast SEO Plugin will add this in for us anyway.

giphy

The file we need to edit is class-frontend.php which is hiding here:
/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-seo/frontend

Open that file in your favourite editor (via cPanel or FTP) and search for “wpseo_json_ld_search_output”, this will take you straight to the function that outputs the JSON markup code into the header in the following format:

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
{  “@context” : “http://schema.org”,
“@type” : “WebSite”,
“name” : “Your WebSite Name“,
“alternateName” : “An alternative name for your WebSite“,
“url” : “http://www.your-site.com
}
</script>

So the code itself should look something like this:

“@type”: “WebSite”,
“url”: “‘ . $home_url . ‘”,

I am hardcoding in the name and alternateName elements in between those 2 lines like so:
“@type”: “WebSite”,
“name”: “Alan Astley”,
“alternateName”: “Alan D Astley”,
“url”: “‘ . $home_url . ‘”,

(I am using my middle initial in the alternateName field so I can see where Google is using that element instead of name. )

And that should be it. Test your markup code with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/

If you see “All good” you are all good!

Testing_Tool_—_Google_Developers

 

*Update – Gary Illyes has confirmed .. “Breadcrumbs is worldwide, but site name is only US in English. We do hope we can extend our support for site name to other regions and languages, too.”

 

hqdefault

Happy Black Friday Everyone!

rebecca_black___friday___by_wolf137946825-d3fc5bf

Yay it’s Friday the 13th and all is good. Best of luck and happy Black Friday everyone!

Lets celebrate with a Rebecca Black / Rick Astley mash up!

 

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I Don’t Rank for my Own Name! Day 2 = Position 2

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Day 2 of my journey back to position #1 and I am already back up to position #2!

With the scientific accuracy of a Mythbusters experiment, this little test has been a fail.

I did not expect such a difference so quickly and because I did not isolate adding additional content and social sharing from the small site changes I made, like fixing the robots.txt file and resubmitting the sitemap, I can’t attribute the improvement to a single change.

alan_astley_-_Google_Search

Some interesting things to consider though:

  • Exact match domains still have some power. I maintained position #5 on Google and position #3 on Bing and the last post I made was in May 2013.
  • I have no backlinks and no authority. Yes, I know my name is not a highly competitive keyword but the lack of backlinks in this case isolates the cause of ranking changes to just onsite changes.
  • SEO still works, whether it is fixing technical issues on a website or just adding content, it is all part of the game.

I still need one more position to get back to #1 so the content must continue. I am refraining from making any more site changes for now to see if I can get to position #1 without a meta description on my homepage and all the other issues I still need to fix.

Stay tuned…

 

jump-the-shark

I Don’t Rank for my Own Name!

jump-the-shark
I actually started this blog many years ago because I googled my own name (people still do that don’t they?) and I did not appear. Since I am in SEO that is a bit embarrassing!

So I bought alanastley.com, an exact match domain. BAM position #1. EMDs are awesome! Since the launch of my awesome website with 1 post I have since dropped down to position #5. Well that’s lame. EMDs no longer dominate like they used to.

alan_astley_-_Google_Search_-__Private_Browsing_

Now the journey back to position #1 by riding the content train. For the next few weeks I will be posting new fresh content and monitoring the effect.

I also updated my plugins and re-submitted my sitemap to Google and bing today because I changed my default domain to the non-www URL and it looks boss.

Lets see how this Content is King thing goes! I will be posting new content and sharing through social networks every day until I regain position #1.

 

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Google Penguin 2.0 Has Arrived

pingu

Matt Cutts has confirmed via his blog that Penguin 2.0 was rolled out today. This 4th update to the Penguin algorithm (being called Penguin 2.0) is targeted at further identifying and decreasing the value of spammy and paid backlinking to improve search results.

SEOs that have been conducting dodgy or grey hat backlinking practices should be kicking up allot of fuss in the coming weeks!

Watch Matt Cutts video about the latest Google updates below:

 

normal_red_stapler

Define SEO KPIs – Keep Your Red Stapler

Top rankings used to mean big traffic and happy clients but in the new world of SEO achieving top rankings in a sustainable way is not so easy.

The Google Panda and Penguin updates caused some online businesses to take huge losses in traffic and revenue due to shady SEO practices. These businesses, addicted to the money organic traffic provided, wanted easy wins and they invested heavily in only SEO (bad SEO) expecting the Google goose to keep laying golden eggs.

Post Panda and Penguin, achieving sustainable SEO results is slow and more costly but vital to keep websites future-safe from penalties or algorithm updates that could result in a loss of revenue.

Even though SEO may not be an easy win as it used to be, it should still be a part of a holistic online strategy and combined with other activities such as Paid Search, Social Media, and Email Marketing, to take advantage of all online opportunities that are available. If you want to run you need more than one leg!

In this post, the first in my series on sustainable SEO called “Keep Your Red Stapler”, I will discuss SEO Key Performance Indicators and starting an SEO campaign on the right foot.

The Success of a Campaign is Defined by What You Measure

Red Stapler

In order to show the value your SEO activity provides it is important to report on the right KPIs for each client.

Starting a campaign without agreeing on a set of KPIs with your client is like building a house with two sets of plans; it wont matter what your team builds, if the client’s expectations are set on something else which may be unreasonable or un-achievable, they will not be happy with the result.

Defining the most appropriate KPIs for each client allows you to develop a strategy that achieves the results that are most important for each client’s business.

Step 1 – Identify Key Stakeholders

Identify the key stakeholders and meet with them in person. The people in this meeting should be everybody who will be involved in the campaign in any way, the IT guy, web developers, the marketing manager, the CEO. Getting everyone involved into the same room at one time might be difficult but it is important to have input from all parties, ensuring the KPI list is comprehensive and agreed by all.

Step 2 – Create a KPI List

Get your whiteboard markers out and start brainstorming. This should be an exercise thats results in a short list of Key Performance Indicators that matter most to the client’s business. This can take some time so bring sandwiches and donuts!  At the end of the session you should have a set of agreed KPIs and everybody involved is on the same page.

Step 3 – Give Back the KPIs

Create an online copy of the KPIs in a tool like Google Docs and share this document with all the stakeholders. During the campaign, if anyone questions why you are reporting on certain data, or if expectations or scope starts creeping, you can refer them back to the shared KPI document to remind them of what they agreed on.

Now that you have the right SEO KPIs for your client, you can start the campaign on the right foot and develop a strategy that achieves the right results. Your reporting will be easier and faster, as you only need to report on the activity that matters to the client and the time you save on reporting can be used to work on the campaign and achieve better results.

I recommend rolling this out for all your new clients, and if you have older clients without clearly defined KPIs, you should meet with them ASAP and map these out with them too.

Part 2 of “Keep Your Red Stapler” will look at reporting KPIs with an online dashboard.

 

Google Engage Pass

First Visit to Google Engage

Google Engage TraffikaHad a very enjoyable day at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Center attending the Google Engage event with Manesh Ram (Traffika SEM Team Leader) yesterday, I even learned a few things about Google AdWords.

The key take away for me, besides the awesome food in my belly, was the client KPI and dashboard presentations. Having worked on various dashboards over the past year I can’t believe I missed the Klipfolio reporting dashboard system, I’m keen to try this tool out and see what it can do for my clients.

Raspberry Pi

I Got Some Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

My Raspberry Pi arrived today. I ordered it to see what a $35 Linux computer can do.

This is from Element 14 if you want one, check their website for models and available accessories.

So here is what this thing is made of: 

(specs from www.raspberrypi.org)

This is a Model B so it has 512MB RAM, 2 USB ports and an Ethernet port. The Model A has 256MB RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet (network connection). It is 85.60mm x 56mm x 21mm in size and weighs only 45 grams.

RaspiModelB-1024x902

The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode.

The GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute and features a bunch of texture filtering and DMA infrastructure.

That is, graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to Xbox 1 level of performance.

Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics.

So just enough power to run Quake 3 🙂

What does it come with?

What you see is what you get, before I can get it running I will need to acquire a few more parts:

-USB power supply.

-SD card.

-HDMI cable and display.

-Network cable (for internet access and remote access).

Once I get all the required parts I will write a post about setting up the operating system on the SD card and how it runs.