Why Do Big Brands Struggle With Local SEO?

Despite the fact that local search is widely regarded as such an important part of SEO, there are still many big brands who struggle to get to grips with it.

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Local SEO Is VERY Important

The importance of local SEO hasn’t gone unnoticed but it seems that, due to the significant benefits of regional exposure and brand recognition, local SEO has been pushed to the back of the priority list in the past.

Big brands tend to have more money and should probably outrank others because of this but their struggles don’t seem to be going away, so what are the mistakes that big brands are making when it comes to local SEO?

Badly Managed Data

The first big mistake that big brands make is that they don’t manage data well enough. Let’s take retail enterprises for instance. During the co-ordination of names, addresses and phone numbers, they also have to process and confirm images, website URL’s, menus, services, store hours and much more which can severely compound the data management process.

How to Fix the Problem:

The best way to cope with this problem is to put the data management process first and think of better ways to organise it. Store all the information you gather in a secure database, such as a cloud and provide administrators, managers or specialist personnel with the authority they need to update the stored information regularly.

Inaccuracies 

Another big problem is not keeping up-to-date with listings and profiles that you make. It’s important to remember that big brands are widely noticed on a digital basis, so having profiles that are out of date on third-party sites such as Google, Yahoo, Foursquare and Bing can cause serious problems in the long haul.

An important local ranking factor is the normalisation and cross verification of local information. This process helps Google to know what (in relation to retail enterprises) stores to show first in search results.

How to Fix the Problem:

If you’re keen to sort out inaccurate profiles and listings, you need to verify all your locations again. If you’re not quite sure where to start with this, try using Google My Business and simply manually import all the listings. This might seem like quite a tedious process but it is certainly well worth it in the long haul.

There are a few other aspects to consider besides the examples provided above in order to be successful with local SEO. These include:

  • Clicks from search results – requires a good meta description or, for franchise brands, structured data mark-up

  • Site speed – loading times and positive user experiences are also essential

  • Mobile-friendly pages for every location – every page for mobiles should be detailed and again provide a positive user experience

There are many different ways big brands can change to dominate local search listings and some of the most important things to consider are poor data management and inaccurate or older profiles.

Other solutions include fast loading sites, good meta descriptions, accuracy and up-to-date profile listings.


Another Happy Client!

We were greeted by some very pleasing news this week as yet another client expressed their gratitude at the work we’d done for their online business. SG Tanks have been an exceptional client to work with and we’re thrilled that our dedicated services have helped them to achieve wonderful results over the last year and a half.

Here’s what Sean Grainger from SG Tanks had to say:

I was recommended to Mike and Artemis through a web programmer and I’ve dealt with them for 1.5 years now. I’m not the most computer or web savvy person but what they’ve achieved with the work they’ve done has been very effective at getting me more phone calls and sales from my site which is what I wanted. 

They have now just built a new ecommerce website for me as the last one I had was not very user friendly as Mike pointed out. I’m really happy as within 2 days of new site launching I’ve got orders already.

Mike and all the team are always very quick to answer my frequent questions and I’m very happy to recommend them to any business owner looking for an honest SEO company.

Sean Grainger – SG Tanks, Littlehampton

If you feel your online business isn’t quite achieving its potential, contact Artemis Marketing today and take advantage of our free consultation service. We’d love to hear from you.


Google’s Eric Schmidt – Amazon Our Biggest Competitor

The chairman of Google has revealed that their biggest rival when it comes to search is the e-commerce giant Amazon.

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This came after Eric Schmidt was asked about having to ensure rival services received equal standing in their search results, which was forced upon them as they looked to avoid paying billions in fines back in February.

Mr Schmidt disagreed with many who claimed that Google were given little in the way of competition when it came to the online search market.

“at their roots, they are answering users’ questions and searches, just as we are”

“Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo. But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon” he said during a speech in Berlin.

“People don’t think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon”.

“They are obviously more focused on the commerce side of the equation, but, at their roots, they are answering users’ questions and searches, just as we are”.

Are Amazon Really Google’s Main Competitors?

It’s slightly more difficult to comprehend the meaning behind Schmidt’s claims that Amazon are answering questions in a similar style to Google, but there is certainly enough feasibility in his prior statements to understand where he’s coming from.

Amazon may not be designed to provide search results in a similar way to Google, but the growth of the online commercial market has led to more of us seeking out what we want to purchase using search engines.

Branching Out

Let’s not forget that Amazon have started to branch out from their e-commerce business, using their online reputation as the world largest online retailer as a selling point.

The live-streaming gaming network Twitch Interactive was bought by the e-commerce giant in August for a fee of £603m. It was said that Google had also been in discussions regarding the purchase of Twitch.

Will Anyone Topple Google?

Eric Schmidt added he was “wary of the next Google” and supported this by stating that “change comes from where you least expect”.

This could mean that any company looking to claim back some of Google’s 90% dominance in the online search market could literally start out in someone’s garage.

 


Penguin 6 – Incoming Algorithm Update

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Penguin 6 Rumblings among the SEO community have been ongoing for a fair few months & I for one will be grateful to see the latest refresh, if only so I can stop saying “it’s due anytime” (I have been saying that since at least February). I have spent hundreds of hours looking at tens of thousands of websites within the backlink profiles of many clients. Some of the things I have seen I can never unsee.

Why Penguin?

Google in their infinite wisdom may well have decided it is easier to shape this add on to their link graph tweaks using humans instead of machines & were nice enough to place the responsibility of who links to us to a larger or smaller degree right within our laps, SEOs the world over have been compiling disavow file after disavow file. Even in the wake of this algorithm adjustment we all eagerly await with baited breath, a whole new cottage industry has popped up to scare the hell out of biz owners large and small and to be fair a few of them do a rather good job on cleaning up your link profile, but in equal measure the darker side has risen to the challenge of putting all that crap back in again. For a price, of course.

When Penguin?

It has been a while since we last saw our little Penguin friend, over a year in fact. But what we do know now is that it is in the final stages of testing.

 

If you are fluent in German beyond ordering a beer you can listen in to John’s Webmasters HoA;

Our Client Data

While we can’t pinpoint an exact name on the update as Google launches hundreds every year, what we do know from our own internal data here is that October 5th, 6th & 7th is what I am calling the “Penguin Tickle Test”, a mix of our own pro-activity along with whatever changes the guys over the pond are pushing out to various data centres. We tend to step very carefully so we know exactly what needle we are shifting.

SEO Client 1

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SEO Client 2

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SEO Client 3

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I could give another 20 examples I am seeing this on but you get the idea.

So What Next?

*crap analogy alert* Simple really, if you have gone to all the trouble of taking away the straw scaffolding, I hope you have been replacing it with steel. The refresh looks to be imminent and in keeping with search engineers sense of humour it will either be a weekend release or during the night to keep us all on our toes.

Should you be worried about your link profile?

“Not too much no” is my honest answer, these kind of updates of this size are months in the testing not just weeks as they tend to gather data for quite a while. Unless you have been a really naughty boy/girl/bot then you should generally be fine.

Ein bier dankes meiner gut frau


Penguin Re-Write Rumoured To Be In The Works – Release Imminent According to Google’s Gary Illyes

As Panda 4.1 continues to roll out this week, another algorithm update has reached the ears of webmasters and users alike. During Search Marketing Expo East, Google’s Gary Illyes revealed that a new Penguin Algorithm could be released at some point THIS WEEK.

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The Webmaster Trends Analyst and Search Quality Engineer gave little away, although it’s believed that this particular algorithm update could benefit both webmasters and users in some way.

Penguin was the result of an entire year of work by Google and the update, which is now expected imminently, has been dubbed as a “large re-write”.

What Do We Know So Far?

What we know is that every new algorithm update requires a test phase, so if this doesn’t go to plan we may not see it for some time yet.

It doesn’t take much for Google to pull the plug on an algorithm update, although there’s no reason why, if everything runs smoothly, we could see it being released in the coming days.

What’s It Looking To Achieve?

So who’s likely to benefit the most from this Penguin re-write? According to SearchEngineLand, webmasters are likely to benefit “a bit” from the update, while for everyone else it could turn out to be a “delight”.

Google were keen on helping webmasters and users alike which is why so much work has gone into this projected update, although the previous quotes might not have webmasters on the edge of their seats for the time being.

Illyes added that any links that have been disavowed in recent weeks might be too late for the latest Penguin refresh, although any future refreshes are likely to be much more prevalent as the new algorithm is released.

Will It Happen?

At the moment it’s entirely up in the air but there’s a good chance that what Gary Illyes revealed about Penguin is genuine and we could have a new update before the end of the week.

It’s something you’re likely to hear about a lot more here on the Artemis blog should it go through.

How We Can Help

For more information regarding SEO and online marketing techniques, contact Artemis today and get a free consultation service.

We can provide you with all the advice and assistance you need to get the most out of your online business, from reaching the top of search results to building a positive social media campaign.


Panda 4.1 – The Biggest Winners and Losers of Google’s Latest Algorithm Update

The Panda 4.1 update that continues to roll out this week has affected sites in different ways since it was released, with some sites witnessing better results than others. Last week Google confirmed Panda 4.1 would utilise the feedback received from users and webmasters alike to further improve the process of identifying low quality content.

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What Is It Targeting?

So what is the Panda update looking at specifically? What we know is that these changes to the Panda algorithm will affect between three and five percent of search queries depending on the location of the user.

We’re also aware that Google are focusing on assisting the competitiveness of some of the smaller businesses who are looking to rival bigger, more established companies.

Who’s Been Affected?

Shortly after the update, SearchMetrics released some of the data collected as a result of a survey that focused on the overall effects of Panda 4.1. The earliest reports indicate that news, content and download sites have been the biggest winners, whilst those that have suffered include the lyrics, games and medical realms.

For example, medterms.com has been hit severely by the latest Panda update, with 40% of their SEO visibility being lost. Other sites that have been negatively affected by Panda 4.1 include ehow.com and hallmark.com.

According to SearchEngineLand, office365.com and hubpages.com have also lost out, although both have switched to new URLs and this could also be related to an SEO drop.

It’s also good news for those who have worked hard on their site since Panda 4.0 was released, with Google looking to reward those who were previously affected. Once again, it’s down to those who witness a fall in search ranking after Panda 4.1 to alter their site and discover where it is they are going wrong.

Future Panda Updates

The Panda updates have always been widely reported, mainly because they surprise and appear without an official prior announcement from Google.

However, despite stating in the past that any future Panda update wouldn’t be confirmed, Google have (for the second time this year) decided to tell users about the changes to their algorithm and contradict their previous statement.

Despite there being a reported set of winners and losers as a result of Panda 4.1, it goes without saying that this is not as significant an update as Panda 4.0, which reportedly affected around 7.5% of search queries.

However, Analysts have said that the emerging pattern of updates seems to point towards a quarterly update schedule for Panda, which is a change to the monthly updates we saw back in 2012.

How Could It Affect You?

If you are one of many who were penalised as a result of Panda 4.0, you should be able to find out whether or not your efforts to change your site for the better have been worthwhile in the near future, regardless of the specific topic or realm your online business is associated with.

To learn more about Google algorithms and how the Panda 4.1 update could affect your ranking capabilities, talk to the experts here at Artemis Marketing. We can help your site achieve the best possible rankings through expert online marketing techniques and a vast amount of SEO knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 


SearchMetrics Annual SEO Ranking Study – Content Tops the Tree of Essential Ranking Factors

SearchMetrics have released their annual SEO ranking factors and it’s one of the most detailed yet, with a number of additional factors now included such as fresh links, bounce rate and the time spent on a site.

“Content Is King”

Last year SearchMetrics used their study to highlight the importance of good content as well as on-page optimisation, so it’s no surprise to learn that content has once again dominated the ranking factors this time around. So to start things off, how does the process of analysing SEO ranking factors actually work?

SearchMetrics visit 300,000 URLS that appear in top search results and carry out a detailed examination of their specific properties. In order to get the results, they have to look at how these factors correlate with Google rankings. Here’s what the results came up with this year:

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Content

Content has proved to be one of the major factors associated with top rankings, as high quality, relevant content seems to rank better on average. Good content is identified through the regular occurrence of related terms, a higher word count and an abundance of integrated media amongst other things.

What Was Found?

  • Length of content is still on the rise
  • Internal linking has become an important factor
  • Two new features included in analysis: Proof and Relevant Terms

Backlinks

Backlinks are described as ‘crucial’ by SearchMetrics due to the amount of new, revised features that are now providing even better results. You simply can’t get enough of them, especially those of the highest quality.

What Was Found?

  • Number of keyword backlinks going down
  • Quantity AND Quality now very important

User Signals

It was expected that there’d be a relationship between click-through rates, bounce rates and time spent on a site and this was confirmed after user signal rates were measured for the first time.

What Was Found?

  • Bounce rate lower for top ranking sites
  • Click-through rate and time on site much higher for top ranking sites

Social Signals

There have been a few noticeable changes to how social signals has had an effect on rankings over the last year, with slightly less correlation for top ranking sites and a slight rise in average values.

What Was Found?

  • Correlation values regarding coefficients out of the social sector decrease
  • A slight growth in the average total number of signals per position

Technology

It’s evident that a well optimised page will certainly contribute to a good ranking. This could be anything from short loading times on a page to outstanding site architecture and an optimal internal linking structure.

What Was Found?

  • Site architecture, internal linking, loading times and meta tags are all hugely important
  • Too many keywords can have negative effects on onpage technical SEO

 

 

 

 

 


Google Obtain Patent for Using TV Shows to Influence Search Results

There are a number of different ways Google manages search results so that they rank in accordance with what we want to see, such as examining the trails we leave on the web, finding our geographic location and looking through our search history. There could now be a further addition to these examples, with what we watch on TV set to become a new factor in Google’s search ranking methods.

 

It was revealed earlier this week that Google had been given a patent that referred to the concept of using our TV’s to manipulate search results. This would incorporate making a judgement on what we were watching at that specific time on TV prior to providing search results. This major influential development was given further detail in the following patent:

‘A computer implemented method for using search queries related to television programs. A server receives a user’s search query from an electronic device. The server then determines, in accordance with the search query and television program related information for television programs available at a location associated with the electronic device during a specific time window, a television program currently being displayed in proximity to the electronic device, wherein the television program related information includes program descriptions for a plurality of television programs being broadcast for the associated location’.

So let’s say we’re watching a show about something related to World Number 1 Golfer Rory McIlroy and we decide to find out about the latest occurrences in Golf’s Ryder Cup.  Google would use a server to identify the location of the program through the electronic device making the search and subsequently provide information that has something to do with both the programme and the search query, so in this case we’re likely to be greeted with search results stating something along the lines of “Rory McIlroy leading the European Ryder Cup charge after the first round”.

What you should probably know is that Google already use this form of search technology with Google Now, so it’s not something they’ve only just started to get to grips with. In addition, there’s no guaranteeing Google will decide to use TV’s as a means of specifying search results just because they’ve acquired a patent.

If you’re curious to know about Google Now, it’s basically Google’s personal intelligence assistant that provides information about TV series and upcoming shows through the use of a TV Card. Whilst it’s available to try it now, it’s fair to say this latest development in Google’s search ranking techniques could have a significant effect on how we use online search in future.

To discover more about the importance of ranking in Google and what it could mean for the future of your online business, contact Artemis Internet Marketing today and get a free consultation.


Rivals Working Together? – Google Assist Apple Product Launch With Custom Knowledge Graphs

It’s fair to say we have been engulfed by the unveiling of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch this week but if you’re keen to learn more about the devices, you can rely on one of Apple’s biggest rivals to fill you in.

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That’s right, it’s Google and they’ve reacted in a somewhat surprising fashion by providing Apple with an exclusive Knowledge Graph that features detailed information about the three devices, including an in-depth description and all the necessary specifications.

All you have to do is search for any of the three gadgets unveiled by Google on Tuesday and head to the right of the search page, where you’ll be greeted by a new Knowledge Graph design that’s specifically designed to provide you with an introduction to the devices.

So why are Google helping out such a phenomenal rival? It turns out that Apple and Google have worked together to build these exclusive Knowledge Graphs, which are usually the result of information taken from a number of different sources, including Wikipedia.

It’s certainly something out of the ordinary as far as Google are concerned, as they rarely compile information in this manner and often rely on automation for all search products. However, it does seem to have coincided with a huge spike in searches for terms related to the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

Google have stated that no payment between themselves and Apple was included in the agreement to display this information and have also claimed that this was one of a few exclusive Knowledge Graphs provided during product launches.

What do Google have in store for the future? Can they match the huge success Apple are likely to achieve as a result of these new devices? You’d think they may have something up their sleeve if they’re prepared to assist the developments of a direct rival!

If you’re keen to gain more from Google in terms of search through highly efficient, detailed online marketing techniques, get in touch with Artemis today and we’ll provide you with all the information you need surrounding SEO. We look forward to hearing from you!


DuckDuckGo strike deal with Apple – Will feature as a default search provider on iOS 8

We’re not too far away from the release of Apples new mobile operating system iOS 8, which has a few new additions including a surprise default search engine.

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Remember DuckDuckGo? It was a search engine we blogged about a few months back, bringing to light its user-friendly setup which includes a focus on enhanced user privacy, something Google has been targeted about for some time now.

Well it turns out that DuckDuckGo will feature as one of a select few default search engines in iOS 8, so you can now reap the benefits which include “smarter answers, less clutter and real privacy” according to the search engine itself.

With the latest iPhone instalment being mooted as part of an Apple press conference that takes place a day before the release of iOS 8, there’s a chance many more people will be hooked onto the idea of making DuckDuckGo their default search provider.

DuckDuckGo is still massively out of its depth when it comes to running alongside the likes of Google and Bing but is there any chance it could overhaul its competitors in the future?

As it stands, the main appeal of DuckDuckGo has to be its guarantee of user privacy, especially with online privacy becoming a major story over the last few years. A survey conducted by SearchEngineLand found that over 90% of people were concerned about online privacy.

It’s realistic then to assume that, with the help of iOS 8 and the latest iPhone, DuckDuckGo could gradually push its way towards the top and overhaul a competitor such as Bing entirely.

It might not be a bad idea to check out how your site is doing on DuckDuckGo. In fact, Artemis can offer you unrivalled SEO services and advice to help you rank effectively in Google. Get in touch today to find out more.