Quality, Transparency, and Honesty: A Look at Google’s Penguin 2.0

google penguin 2.0In May, Google rolled out its newest search engine update, the infamous Penguin 2.0. Since 2011, Google has released several algorithm updates known as Google Panda and Google Penguin to ensure that the highest quality websites are ranked highest in Google’s search engine, and spammers are penalized. Continuing this trend, the goal of Penguin 2.0 has been to optimize the Google experience for searchers and ensure honesty and transparency in Search Engine Optimization.

The Google Panda and Google Penguin updates targeted “thin sites,” which have little original content and rely more on advertising and duplicate content to maintain a ranking in Google’s search engine. More specifically, the Penguin 2.0 update targets webspam, which usually occurs in the form of keyword stuffing and backlinks from disreputable websites rather than relevant and high-quality sources. Penguin 2.0 penalizes these “black hat practices” by lowering the websites’ rankings on Google and thus decreasing traffic to the sites. So far, Penguin 2.0 has had a significant impact on 2.3% of all English-language websites, and webmasters are taking notice.

Unlike the previous versions of Panda and Penguin, Penguin 2.0 changed Google’s algorithm rather than just refresh it, meaning that these are changes that are here to stay. Keyword stuffing, high volumes of spammy backlinks, and low-quality content are no longer effective methods of Search Engine Optimization and will, in fact, be punished. This means that SEO cannot take any shortcuts and must be built on quality, transparency, and honesty.

In order to follow these three principles, we recommend that you plan a long-term, rather than a short-term, approach to your Search Engine Optimization. Most importantly, make your site an authority in its area by creating and frequently updating high-quality content directed to your specific audience

To avoid sounding like webspam, don’t pad your website with the same keywords and phrases. Instead, use natural variations of words and phrases relevant to your site’s topic. If the content is original and of high quality, the keywords and audience will naturally come and the site will be higher in Google’s search results (blogs are a good way to continuously post high-quality new content and generate repeat visitors).

In regards to link-building, focus on quality rather than quantity, and ensure that the only backlinks to your site come from reputable sources, such as Google, YouTube, and social media sites.  This may require you to consistently update your anti-spam practices and follow relevant tech news.

Over time, these tools will help you build your online brand and engage with your audience in a direct and honest way. By taking this simple, transparent approach, you can increase your website’s ranking on Google, drive more traffic to your site, and avoid the wrath of Penguin 2.0.

If you are interested in creating a new website or optimizing an existing site, contact us at 1-855-PRMG-123 or email info@theprmg.com.

Twitter Ads

Twitter-Ads

As the world’s most popular micro-blogging website, Twitter has become an increasingly important tool for businesses to promote their products and services through word-of-mouth marketing and generate buzz about their brand. While businesses have used tweets, links, and hashtags since Twitter’s inception to engage with existing and potential customers, Twitter recently expanded businesses’ ability to advertise through Twitter Ads.  Previously, Twitter Ads was limited to a select group of large companies and those who were invited to participate, but with a new self-service system, any business or individual can use this feature to promote tweets or accounts and increase followers.

For those not familiar with Twitter, here’s a brief overview. Twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows its users to communicate by posting short updates known as “tweets” to their profiles and “following” each other’s tweets on their newsfeeds. Every Twitter user has a unique username, known as a Twitter Handle, which is prominently displayed on the user’s profile page and next to every tweet the user posts. Tweets are limited to 140 characters and often include links to other websites, articles, blog posts, or hashtags. Hashtags (symbolized by the # sign) allow users to search for tweets with specific subjects or phrases, such as #JobInterview or #SmallBiz. You can learn more about Twitter from PRMG’s previous post.

Before Twitter Ads, businesses focused on engaging with consumers by tweeting frequently, using popular hashtags, and sharing blogs and other links about their products, services, or industry. With these tools, businesses could build rapport with their followers, strengthen their online presence, and connect their websites and blogs to a social media forum. However, it was often harder to attract new customers, as businesses could not specifically target those they wanted to reach. Twitter updates could also be very time-consuming, and full engagement with followers could distract from other social media and marketing strategies. In addition, including too many links on a Twitter profile would seem like spam and deter Twitter users from following the business. Twitter Ads solves many of these problems and can improve the effectiveness of social media marketing.

Twitter Ads comes in two forms: Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts.  With both Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, businesses target a specific audience in order to drive traffic to their profile. Businesses choose a location—city, state, or country—to focus on, and then narrow to their target audience by filtering through specific genders, interests, and other criteria. For example, a music store can target people who like to play instruments and a golf club can target men who live in a suburban area. As a result, a business’s Twitter activity will reach those who are most likely to engage with the product or service.

After finding a target audience, the two Promoted approaches start to differ. Promoted Tweets work the same way as regular tweets, and they allow businesses to broaden their reach and inform the intended audience about special offers, press releases, and other information relevant to the business or industry. The Promoted Tweet targets the chosen audience and stays at the top of the Twitter users’ newsfeeds when they log in, whether or not the users are currently following the company. A Promoted Tweet is often better for a short-term approach, such as attracting business immediately for a one-day sale or special event, though it can also increase followers. Promoted Tweets can also be used to generate traffic to a blog post or article on another website. On the other hand, Promoted Accounts can be more beneficial for a long-term approach that focuses on building a stronger customer base or increasing brand awareness. Promoted Accounts use an algorithm to track potential followers with similar characteristics of current followers and appear on a side bar of a Twitter user’s profile in the “Who to Follow” recommendation section. Overall, Promoted Accounts are better for building and maintaining relationships. Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts can be used separately or in conjunction.

Because Twitter Ads is now self-service, businesses set a daily spending limit and can stop, start, or resume advertising at any time. This new system that Twitter uses is very similar to the Pay-Per-Click system used by Facebook Advertising and Google AdWords. Twitter only charges when a Twitter user clicks the link to follow the Promoted Account or engages with the Promoted Tweet through a retweet, follow, favorite, reply, or link. As a result, the business remains in complete control of its advertising budget and strategy.

Furthermore, with both Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, businesses can track the success of their advertising with Analytics that show the increase in the number of followers or clicks-per-link, as well as how their budget has been spent. The Analytics feature separates increased traffic and activity that occur organically from traffic and activity that result from concentrated marketing efforts, demonstrating the effectiveness of the campaign.

As Twitter continues to gain in prominence, consider your goals for social media marketing. Do you want to expand your customer base by targeting a specific market? Do you want to further engage already-existing customers or spread the word about a new product or service? Twitter Ads may be worth the time and investment.

If you are interested in Twitter Ads or have any questions about your social media strategy, contact 1-855-PRMG-123 or info@theprmg.com .

Spotlight on Advertising: Advertise in LIBN!

LIBN

On July 19, Long Island Business News will dedicate its Corporate Profiles advertising section to law firms on Long Island. LIBN is a weekly publication, and it features local law firms once a year. This is a great opportunity for your firm to not only gain exposure to the community, but also to share the firm’s history. With a Corporate Profile, you can introduce your team and your clients, describe your areas of expertise, and share your firm’s journey, whether you’ve been practicing for two years or twenty. LIBN is Long Island’s premier publication for local businesses and will present you to thousands of potential clients as one of the area’s leading firms.

All Corporate Profiles are 10” by 13.875” and full color. The story for your Corporate Profile must be between 500 and 550 words and written in third person. You can also include up to three pictures. In addition, your Corporate Profile will be prepared and sent to you in an electronic format, which can be used in more print or web marketing.

The rate for the profile is $2,482, with additional fees if you want to use professional writers or photographers. For more information, call 1-855-PRMG-123 or email info@theprmg.com  by July 3, 2013.