Image and Photography Optimisation is a huge issue for anyone who has a website that is large or is fairly old.
Let’s face it, if you are a photographer – say like Manchester Wedding Photographer, Mick Cookson – you’ll literally have page’s with anywhere from 50 to 150 images, they may range from a few hundred KB to almost 1 MB if you are unlucky, all because as a photographer you want the photos to look amazing on any computer. And with Apple pushing the boat out with Retina screens it’s no wonder that image file sizes are growing, but let’s be honest a screen still isn’t print!
For years as a builder of websites I wanted great images on sites, I turned to cool sources for images like Death to Stock (you can even get a free monthly set of photos from them to use in anything you want) or use my own photos – but filesizes were huge. I played around with plugins for WordPress but they all failed, so I’d import them to Photoshop and shrink them down to size and export them again until it came out at a reasonable size… suffice to say it wasn’t the best way to do things…
This simple to use plugin, put simply has 3 options / levels of optimisation for images and instead of using your server to optimise images sends them to the Imagify servers – optimises the images and all the thumbnails and sends them back – so no slowing your server down, no slow website whilst it happens, just a nice easy process. You can either bulk optimise everything you have on the site, great for when you site is already up and running, like Mick’s – or you can just let it do new images as they come in, perfect for new websites.
Imagify is a simple to use plugin that gives you 25mb free each month, though for big websites that won’t be enough. But its good enough to test to the waters. Once tested, we are sure you will agree it’s amazing, depending on the urgency of your need to speed up your site and optimise images, you can sign up to a one-off plan or a monthly plan (which is cheaper than one-off) and then you are ready to go.
Why Image Optimistion is Important
Great, Beautiful Images can make the difference between gaining a new lead / customer or someone pressing the back button on your computer – not because your image wasn’t amazing but because it took forever to load on their smartphone.
In the modern world, everything consumers do online is about speed and impression. Our previous posts about WordPress Cache Plugins have compared various plugins and spoke about Google Page Speed testing and various elements but specifically looking at images here are a few things too consider:
Image Size (Physical): Just because WordPress will shrink your image to 600px X 600px doesn’t mean you should be uploading an image that is 2500px X 2500px, resize images before uploading to WP to the size you really need them (maximum size).
72 DPI only: Apple devices do a great job of scaling up images, so unless you really have a great reason to use a higher DPI don’t do it, you are making the image file size bigger than it needs to be.
Image Size (File): Reduce your filesize where possible before uploading, when you export consider reducing the quality of the image where possible to 70-80% this will significantly reduce the image file size and help reduce the load burden.
Image Optimisation and generally speeding up your website will really help with increasing user retention, user interaction, increasing traffic and can help increase your conversion rates.
They say you shouldn’t write blog posts as a stream of consciousness, that they should be planned, crafted, pounded into a listicle, or a two thousand word bit of evergreen content that Neil Patel and his army of munchkin content writers crank out.
I do actually say the say thing, but sometimes you have to go old school, clear out the old noggin and do a brain dump. Forget for a minute your tribe and do one for you, which is what this post is. I snap awake at 5.59 with a head crammed full of thoughts and just need to get them out.
This of course is what blogging used to be like, and it was fun.
You got to really know the blogger as you would get warts and all, sure it’s indulgent, but it was a clunky depiction of the human condition and as there wasn’t any Twitter, Insagram, Linkedin, Facebook… Ect, in those days you had little place to go, time to gather your thoughts, play a little with the language.
Thinking along these lines I realise there is way too much content being produced right now, most of it will never even be read or consumed. I am reading a lot about content shock lately, but the problem I see is for those businesses online who are trying to reach people, to turn them into paying customers.
I hate jargon.
Or maybe not, because I do use it. But what I hate is those who use jargon to mask their like of knowledge or talk about an old, ancient thing with a new phrase which comes over like they just invented it. “Influencer marketing”, is one that seems to be replicating itself, Ebola virus like across the blogosphere (is that term even used anymore, grandad?). As if “influence” is a new thing that bloggers just came across.
Socrates I am sure would disagree.
But this is the nature of online publishing, you can complain like a cynical old git, or you can join in.
But I think there is a third way.
You see, people constantly over complicate things.
Content marketing is only about two things, communcation and persuasion.
Your content must do both to acheive its objective.
All you are doing is taking a thought that is in your brain, and allowing a piece of content to carry it to another human being’s brain.
Thus content is merely a mechanical device used to transport thoughts.
This is taking things down to the fundamentals.
Which is useful because that’s where the good stuff can happen.
Not following made up jargon like “inbound marketing”, “influencer marketing”, content marketing”, and all the others. That is what my friend, Andrew Burnett calls, bollocks. We had a good chat yesterday on the nature of marketing and the judicious use of the term “bollocks” in a presentation. I was for sparing use, if at all, as things are special, magical words only to be used to highlight the most intense of things.
But then Andrew is a tad intense, which is a good thing.
As this bit of writing is a stream of consciousness, it wont be edited. No, that’s against the rules. Plus it wont have a crafted ending with a call to action that invites you to sign me up as a creative content consultant, to help out your agency team that seems to be drying up for ideas, or if you;re a small business to get you to sign up to my social media management service.
No, blog posts like this just seem to drift away.
The deep blue sky of dawn is turning to a grey sky of daylight.
Seagulls are given a last cry before the sounds of the Megacity that is Truro drowns them out.
And children are getting up to read Bin Weavils comics before school.
Time to finish this blog post and get the porridge on.
Content Analysis and subsequent Content Optimisation is a key part of any holistic approach to SEO, or indeed website rebuild. However, recently I came to thinking about how I could explain the idea in a much simpler way, without the jargon or need for a whiteboard – let me be clear this article isn’t a step by step process of how to do content analysis of your website or how to organise your website content and optimise it, instead it’s a view of how content analysis is actually much simpler than you think – it’s not even scary once you understand the few paragraphs below.
The first thing I need you to do, even if you’ve done some “content organisation” before, is put what you think you know to one side or ignore it – seriously ignore it just for now.
Second is that I want you to think of your website in a totally new way, I want you to think of your website as a task. The reality is most websites are a task, and they only have one task in life – to get new leads, to get new customers, to showcase your work etc. Think back to when you first wanted to create your site, you had a task for most of your pages… make a list of every page on your site (unless you’ve hundreds of products obviously) and give each page a task – what is it meant to do, whats its ONE job in life.
Why We Should Think of Webpages as Tasks
Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Design, User Experience all have roots in Human Computer Interaction – which in short is the science/art looking at how humans interact with computing devices and interfaces for all kinds of needs from medical to shopping and much more. I began my career building websites but it was my interest in HCI that really led me to a love of SEO, it was a love of the user journey and interaction that I wanted to know more about.
The reason I am telling you this is because HCI is all about tasks and objectives, its not about creating content with no end – it’s not about creating a second page for a product to allow for a second colour selection when HCI experiments who users would likely prefer a single page. It’s about brining science and methodology to every page of your website, its about stopping creating content for creating content-sake.
Getting to Grips with Tasks Not Just Content
Diagram from Human Computer Interaction (3rd) by Alan Dix
We’ve all seen diagrams like the one above (from Human Computer Interaction by Alan Dix), but what you won’t have thought – I hadn’t until last week – is realised how similar this is to a website hierarchy/sitemap.
And here in is the key to why Content Organisation is about tasks as much as it as about subjects and topics.
For example, if you are a wedding photographer covering a broad region, say a Manchester Wedding Photographer, then you will want to push lead conversions for that within that section of your site – and that will be wholly separate from say if you do Commercial Photography in Manchester. Two separate parts of the website with potentially two different calls to action for different user types and use cases, not only is it good for users but its also great for SEO.
The point here is not that you need to chuck away all the work you’ve done but simply you need to twist how you think about your content and website. Put simply every page on your website should have a single and simple task to achieve, whether thats sign up to an email newsletter, complete a lead generation form or check out (or even click to view your portfolio piece) – a bit like the diagram above each task should lead from one to another until the end of the tasks leads to success for you and your business.
It’s been over two years since Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update forced SEO professionals to break their old search habits and in the time that has passed, the discussions which have percolated since then have been reaching a fever pitch; should we SEO professionals be focusing on the old school keyword targeted approach to search engine optimisation that is so deeply rooted in our minds –or should we revisit what we thought we knew about the Google Hummingbird algorithmic update and begin re-evaluating how we create content?
Quick Refresh: What is the Google Hummingbird Algorithm Update?
The Google Hummingbird algorithmic update changed the way the world’s most popular search engine approached search queries; it was the first algorithm to be able to analyse context of a search query on the fly, and route the website visitor to a set of results that actually made sense contextually.
Prior to Hummingbird, an entire generation of Google users had to be taught to use simple keywords in their search in order to find what they were looking for. I recall an entire 2 hour computer lab class where using search to find exactly what we were looking for had to be taught because all search engines at the time operated this way.
However, Hummingbird changed everything and set a new precedent for being able to not only detect context in our search for content –but to also combine the benefits of the other Google algorithm updates; Panda and Penguin—and do it as fast, or faster, than it had always returned search results prior.
What does Hummingbird Mean for SEO?
Putting it quite simply, the Google Hummingbird algorithmic update meant changes needed to be made to how we make content in order to rank on Google; SEOs needed to work in broader content topics and more long-tail keywords –a departure from the traditional keyword focus that has been the tried and true approach up until the Hummingbird algorithmic update.
So, back to the original question at hand:Keywords or Broader Topics? Which of the Two Should Online Marketing Agencies Focus On?
Before we answer that, let’s do a little more digging –I’m sure the suspense is killing you by now, but the answer is as broad as the topic itself. See what I did there?
Classic Keyword-Targeting Approach:
Selected keywords for a single page
Broader topics chopped up into multiple pages
Focus is much greater on broader topics
Higher quality articles
Long-tail keywords, and less-so on targeted, direct use of high volume keywords
Important Thought #1: Hummingbird didn’t Replace Other Algorithms like Penguin and Panda
This is an important observation because it tilts the scales toward my answer; the Google Hummingbird algorithm didn’t replace the algorithms that the classic targeting keyword SEO method rely on so much; it works with them. Hummingbird makes those other algorithms work better.
So to simplify this point, it is important to consider that directly targeting keywords in site content is still a valuable practice.
Important Thought #2: Hummingbird did Change the Game for SEO in a Big Way
Google really changed search for the better when it rolled out its Hummingbird algorithm. It answered the call it promised it would all those years ago –almost two decades ago now—that it would answer all of our questions.
Before Hummingbird we were trying to ask questions but our search results wouldn’t be very substantial unless we wrote pigeon phrases into the search bar like “buy shoes London” instead of “where can I buy loafers in a size 10 in London on Thursday after 5pm?”. A little extreme of an example, but you get the idea.Hummingbird understands context by pulling from multiple data sources and collaborating with other algorithms. And Rankbrain – Google’s newest algorithm update solidifies this ability to detect context for search on the fly.
Important Thought #3: Conversational Search is a Thing
Indeed, without Hummingbird there would be no plausible version of Siri, Cortana, or “Hey Google”. The conversational web relies on Google’s Hummingbird algorithm to make sense of how we speak, and by proxy; dictate our searches with digital assistants who live in the cloud.
With more web traffic coming from mobile devices, and being mobile often also means hands-free, we’re more likely to speak our searches instead of typing them.
Answering questions is a vital part of how your website content is ranked on Google, and in order to accomplish that, you’re going to have to answer them conversationally, too.
Important Thought #4: You Can’t Play Favourites with Google’s Algorithms
Every single algorithm that is applied to the world’s most popular search engine is going to need to be carefully considered and all SEO professionals have no choice but to adapt to them or be left behind. All of them. That means that when a new Google algorithm rolls out, one cannot simply put the blinders on and only consider that one algorithm when creating website content.
Just as Google’s Hummingbird algorithm is required to play nice with Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithms, so are each and every SEO professional out there who want to be able to keep getting their clients ranking in Google search results.
Processing What We Know
So if we have to take each algorithm into account when creating website content, cannot play favourites, and somehow split our approach –SEO and online marketing professionals have no other choice than to find a creative balance between the old classic keyword targeted approach to SEO and the “new school”, broad-topic-based Hummingbird approach to SEO.
But how can this be? How can we focus on targeted keywords without being too direct and catering to the broad topic content writing ranking factor? So here we are, back at square one. Or are we?
The Answer: Broad Topics and Keywords are Equally Important
After all that, the answer was in the question –both approaches are important, but it is in how we bridge them together that makes them combine to become a tour-de-force for search engine optimisation. Only if we as SEO professionals are able to combine our knowledge of both –as we’ve had many years to perfect the former, and over a year to perfect the latter—a little creative use of that knowledge will bring us the best success in ranking our clients.
How to Bridge Broad Topics with Keyword Targeting
The following method has been used since Google’s Hummingbird algorithm dropped by Digital Search Group, one of the best online marketing agencies in London. And it is not as complicated as one might think!
Instead of breaking up broad topics into multiple keyword targeted, bite-sized articles, it is possible to merge both approaches to search engine optimisation by effectively structuring content, and then accurately describing the content of each section of this structure with targeting keywords in the titles and sub headers.
For example; if you’re writing an article that spans a broad topic, break down that content into sections and do your targeted keyword research for each individual section –using targeted keywords in H1 and H2 headers, and then long tail keywords throughout each section.
The marriage of both approaches to search engine optimisation can be so easily implemented, it seems that almost too much thought has been given to the debate. And too much incorrect action by competing SEO firms.
All too many online marketing agencies have opted to focus on one method or another, without making the link between them.
Simply put; both approaches are wrong if done separately; it is only through combining the two can one achieve search optimisation success.
Do you have any thoughts on this? Please let us know in the comments!
Guest Article by Louise Cruise, who has been in the web development industry for more than 5 years. She has worked with different web development companies giving her enough experience to create websites that match her clients’ business needs and preferences.
Live Chat interfaces are boring, they don’t always work well and even if they do you normally get a scripted response – followed by e-mail our support team.
It’s due to my own experiences that I had never really considered using a Live Chat system here on SEOAndy. That was until our latest revamp – a revamp that means we’ll be creating new, more relevant and updated versions of content from years gone by and moving to a more streamlined offering. We’re opening up consultation services once again, but we should add we’ve got limited availability for this (at time of writing).
To go with this revamp I’ve decided that Live Chat should be part of what we are doing. That statistics stack up and having tried a few over the past few months I have rolled it out across the new site. It’s down there in the bottom right hand corner of your browser (it scrolls with you).
Here are my…
5 Reasons Business Websites should use Live Chat
1 – It’s Convenient for Users
Around 60% of e-mails received over the past year to SEOAndy have been to ask for help and advice. Something I am more than happy to give, after all SEOAndy is about helping as much as possible, so if we can clear up an confusion we will. Live Chat will enable us to help a little more quickly and mean there is less waiting around for a reply – we won’t be online 24/7 but where not live you can use the Live Chat to leave a message.
But it’s not just business sites like SEOAndy that can benefit, a study by emarketer found that “63% of respondents who chatted said they were more likely to return to the site, and 62% reported being more likely to purchase from the site again. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself.” Showing that user loyalty is likely to increase with such a system as is the probability of making a sale (on ecommerce websites).
2 – It’s Cost-Effective
Ok, it may not be “Free” like e-mail is, but Live Chat systems – like the one we use OLARK – are very cost effective. Indeed, OLARK offers a ‘free forever’ offering with certain limitations and limited integrations.
If you use WordPress there are a number of free plugins that have Live Chat functionality, however as with everything it comes at a speed cost & potential security cost.
Another reason for Live Chat being cost effective is that it’s much cheaper than perhaps ‘renting’ a phone number and it has often been found to increase staff efficiency (as there are less emails among other reasons).
3 – It Finds Pain Points
One of the best things I found about using Live Chat has been that it gives you a level of insight into your audience. For example our experience has shown that certain types of article are more likely to result in lead generation or general questions. Live Chat, with OLARK is great for this because the system allows for “co-browsing” which is a way in which you can basically a screen-sharing tool so you can really jump in and help you user there and then.
Also most live chat systems give you a transcript of each chat, meaning that you can always find more pain points shown by customer questions.
4 – It Gives You an Edge
In a world of constant improvement it is sometimes hard to stand out from the competition, but Live Chat helps to do just this.
We’ve found that Live Chat, because of it’s speedy nature, allows you to gain an advantage over your competitors – whilst you may be one of 5 companies in a shortlist, if someone is looking at your site and can get answers straight away then from a brand point you look awesome, from a customer service point you look great and from a general customer feeling point of view they know you’re around. it’s win win win.
5 – You Can Only Gain
There aren’t many tools where its a case of you can only gain from it as a website and business. Live Chat is one of those tools and piece of functionality that is so cost-effective and easy to install that its really a winning game. Users will either start to use it from day one or they won’t and if they don’t you can just remove it from the site – no big issue as its a pretty cheap way of getting contacts & you can pay monthly on most platforms.
So give it a try, Live Chat may change your business.
Finding the Right Live Chat Platform
So we’ve already told you that SEOAndy uses OLARK Live Chat, we are users for the Bronze service which is their lowest paid version. But we’ve tested a number of others, so here’s a quick run down.
Live Person – well established, starts at $18 for 1 user, nice dashboard.
Speed plays a big role in the life of any website, it can affect your search rankings but more importantly it can have a huge affect on user experience.
Last year we did a ton of experiments and saw a massive 81.7% increase in speed of this website by swapping caching plugins and adding a CDN to the site, you can read about our website speed optimisation here.
Since then we’ve built on our experiences and rolled it out across most websites we manage, and of course recommended it as a course of action for any site which is looking to improve it’s SEO.
But we are never happy with the same old results, things change – wordpress updates, plugins change etc. So this week we’ve been running a series of tests to further optimise the speed of the wordpress websites.
We are looking at these because they sit on a server designed for speed, designed for wordpress and are always being optimised. This means they are in great condition generally and so it would be hard to improve them simply by changing one or two elements of the website.
What We Tested & Our Theory
However, for the purpose of our tests we wanted to do something that any website owner could do, quickly and easily – that doesn’t involve web development.
So we settled on testing changing our Caching Plugin and the CDN we use.
Our theory was that by swapping to the plugin WP SuperCache (recommended by many wordpress expert websites) we would improve the speed.
Our second theory was that switching from CDN : MAXCDN to KeyCDN would help our page speed also.
How We Tested Our Speed
We decided on testing our theories to improve website speed using the below system… Note: we used page load time to quantify improvement.
Benchmark Test the websites in their current state, using ManageWP Performance Test (this uses GTMetrix API)
Switch the CDN to the new CDN, Test again.
Switch WordPress Caching Plugin (from WP Rocket to WP SuperCache) – new benchmark
Test with Existing CDN
Switch CDN, Test again.
This was repeated for both websites, across multiple pages. The averages are recorded below.
Results: 33% Increase in Web Page Speed
On Mick’s website during the test with WP Rocket we saw a 33.24% improvement compared with the benchmark. This improvement as shown below, with our other results, was a 2.38 second improvement on average.
As a Wedding Photographer in Manchester, Mick’s site is hugely filled with images of his work. This makes the website fairly heavy in terms of loading requirements. This 33.24% increase in speed is pretty drastic and is actually something you can feel the difference before and after.
On SEO Andy the result was a 14.19% increase in speed, 0.403 seconds of improvement. Whilst not seeming significant time wise, this small difference is really important as part of the test – it validates that even websites such as SEO Andy which are optimised a lot can be improved through use of the new CDN, KeyCDN, and use of WP Rocket together.
The other result from this test was that the best free wordpress cache plugin we know of, WP SuperCache, was outperformed in both benchmarks and CDN tests – with WP Rocket surpassing it with ease in all tests.
Following the conclusive improvements to website speed, which was replicated across sites (with results from 10% to 35% improvement), it is clear that KeyCDN has an advantage over MaxCDN and the WP Rocket beats WP SuperCache.
This said, the improvements are not in the same scale as our previous test (75%), however this is because we are not testing against a benchmark of not using a Caching plugin or CDN – which would have caused a similar result as to last year.
Another note is that whilst MaxCDN is cost effective, KeyCDN is even more so – it’s really pretty impressive.
We’ll be re-running this test and expanding it in the coming weeks and months. If you have a suggestion for a wordpress cache plugin or CDN please leave a comment below.
SEO Plugins for WordPress are something we’ve talked about previously, indeed we do so on a regular basis. Back in 2014 I wrote an article looking at the best wordpress plugins for seo, I talked about Squirrly at the time after having tried it out and being impressed. Earlier this year as I moved to update the look and feel of SEO Andy I also changed my SEO plugin to Squirrly SEO, moving away from Yoast. The results are increased visitor numbers & my falling in love (slightly) with this seo plugin.
One thing that I should make clear at the outset is that I am not sure Squirrly SEO is for everyone. I haven’t tried it out in multiple environments, just a handful, and whilst I love it I have reservations recommending every site should make the leap.
Why I Love Squirrly SEO for WordPress
Making the Move from Yoast to Squirrly Was EASY!
I have used a ton of WordPress SEO plugins. The migration routes have always been clumsy and often didn’t work at all – leaving you to re-enter all of your meta data again, for every post & page. Squirrly knows the things need to be simple and easy, their system looks for and uses Yoast’s entries for your Meta Title and Description – awesome!
The initial setup is pretty easy, the “wizard” takes you step by step for implementing everything from sitemaps to JSON-LD for your organisational details (great for Google Knowledge Graph). Pretty much everything in Yoast can be found in Squirrly, this of course includes the Open Graph and Twitter Card meta tags & implementation of webmaster tags.
Tip: If you do get stuck at any point go to your dashboard and look out for the video instructions.
Keyword Research Made Easy
Nothing says “this is going to take forever to write” like having to flip between Google searches, twitter feeds, wikipedia, news sources and your article. Squirrly SEO for WordPress has a neat keyword research plugin that pulls up things like the latest news, wikipedia articles, the latest tweets with that key phrase and more besides.
If you like what you see you can insert it directly into your article – this includes images! (it hot links for you may still need to check with the owner for permission!)
The other cool thing is that just like Yoast’s “focus keyword” the keyword you use for research is used throughout the optimisation process, giving you the green light (or not) for how SEO friendly your blog post is.
Obviously, this is unlikely to replace the bulk of keyword research for those of us who like to do our homework, but it is damn handy for a bit of snappy research on inserting relevant information from external sources. It’s a great feature.
The SEO Live Assistant, Green Light It
Squirrly SEO’s Live Assistant is a little like the “score card” system of Yoast, only much more intuitive to use and less confusing. There is no technical speak about Flesch Reading Scores or anything like that, just simple boxes that light up green when you complete the job.
As the name suggests, this updates live as you type (if it gets stuck just hit the update button to refresh it), so there is no need to save your draft again and again to check if you’ve got the green light to post your article.
Weekly Audits & Ranking for Articles
Squirrly gives you a weekly look at how your site and articles are performing. From the point you optimise an article, or even give it a keyword, Squirrly will look at how the article and website ranks for that terms. Allowing you to ensure your articles are performing in search, but also in social and looking at the article’s authority.
It’s a really neat feature and in itself would make looking at the use of Squirrly worthwhile.
Give Squirrly SEO a Try
If you’ve got a WordPress website and would like to give Squirrly a try you can do so – they have FREE and paid plans available depending on your requirements. Smaller sites that don’t post too often will get along just fine with the free plan.
Searching for the “ultimate wordpress theme” on Google results in millions of hits. Searching for “the best wordpress themes” results in pretty much the same number of sites. It’s time to narrow the field down, and being an SEO blog, we want to give you the heads up on 10 of the best SEO friendly wordpress themes – all of which you can buy from ThemeForest, except one which is from Elegant Themes.
Our criteria for this Top 10 WordPress Theme blog is pretty simple; the site should be responsively designed, it should have a nice clean code base & utilise some nice SEO features. Below the screenshot of each theme we’ve talked a little about the theme and why it’s worth a look, and also which type of site it is likely to suit best.
SEO Friendly WordPress Themes
5 – Qshop – SEO Optimized WooCommerce WordPress Theme
This search engine friendly WooCommerce WordPress theme is fully responsive, loads amazingly quickly, WPML (translation) ready and makes great use of Microformats / Schema. Qshop really is a fantastic option for anyone looking to advance their search rankings & make a great impression on potential customers. Qshop is also designed with product affiliate marketers, as well as general online shop owners.
Zero is a well designed corporate, yet creative, wordpress theme – it comes with 8 pre-designed structures, but you can of course create your own if you prefer not to be “out of the box” in design. Zero is one of the few premium themes that actually shows you some working examples of the site in their listing, this gives me some confidence in what they do, it was also where I went to look for how seo friendly the theme was. This wordpress theme is really well designed from a code point of view, there isn’t much mess caused by 100’s of plugins that some themes seem to require and the theme is deeply embeded with microformats – indeed pretty much all of the content is marked up, this is superb. The theme is ideal for those who have a short time to get a website live & there isn’t a developer to hand, this is a great partner for any DIY website creators.
The SEO optimised magazine theme is jam-packed with SEO goodness. Built from the ground up with schema/microformats in mind, the website is lightning fast, is ready for multi-lingual translation & comes with a bunch of goodies including a really nice social sharing plugin. This is another great theme developer who is happy to share the success of those using his theme by showcasing them. The other great thing about this premium wordpress theme is that it is constantly updated with the last update on Jan 26th 2016, just a few days ago.
Ruby is a joy to behold, whilst it doesn’t have schema built-in it is very cleanly coded which would allow any developer to implement schema very simply, I suspect the next update will include this. The clean code lets the content really stand out and makes the work of a search spider a little easier. The theme is also tested to pass Google’s mobile algorithm and given its a responsive theme it passes with flying colours. Ruby is also super quick to load and appears to be light on DNS calls, though if you add plugins this could obviously change.
This is the only theme not from ThemeForest and honestly it is my favorite WordPress theme, simply because it is ultra-flexible. I’ve helped to build a ton of websites with Divi, these few will give you an idea of just how flexible it is – Manchester Wedding Photography by Mick Cookson, The Angel Centre & The Oomph Portable Coffee Maker. The system is based on shortcodes, like most other premium wordpress themes, however Divi’s controls are infinitely more flexible and user friendly – add to this that you can change individual styles of a module with a few clicks and without leaving the editors and Divi nears perfection.
Most of the years we’ve been online I’ve sat and wrote a number of predictions for the years to come. This year in a twist I have gone through the hundreds of posts across the web on this topic to bring you the predictions of SEO and Digital Marketing experts from around the world.
1 – Mobile Will Surpass Desktop in Search
Huyen Truong an SEO from Australia wrote on the Jeff Bullas blog that, 2015 has been a tipping point for mobile in search & web use. This means 2016 will truly have a focus on mobile from a search point of view, and this means it should to from your marketing aspect and website progress.
This was a prediction shared fairly commonly across the web, its pretty clear mobile connected devices will grow this year & as such the interaction online will too. From my view there is a question over the speed of this tipping, I’d suggest most websites will see a change but it won’t be dramatic until the end of the year.
2 – Structured Data Continues to Grow
“In 2016 structured data will continue to grow. Google’s own newsletter (Dec 10) had a whole feature about it, highlighting its importance. With Knowledge Graph becoming more powerful, providing specific layers of data to Google to utilise can only be a good thing, even if Google doesn’t display the information.” says Sam Osborne of Vertical Leap.
This is something that has long been on my radar and something that I talked about during the Boagworld podcast posted in Feb 15. The continuing growth of semantic search and structure data (together) shows a will for search to become intelligent and to know what you are really looking for – whether that is a direct answer you need (eg what temperature is it outside) or a top set of results for SEO Predicitions this year.
3 – “OK” Content Won’t Cut It
For a long time I have said that producing great content and great resources will make a site more valuable than a ton of “ok” content, in his predictions on the Bruce Clay blog Dan Petrovic says exactly this. “I believe we’ll see a lot of digital agencies adjusting their approach to content formats and keeping in mind that more doesn’t mean better… Content production has been increasing at a phenomenal rate. The abundance of choice and easy of access of web content lead to changes in our reading habits. One specific phenomenon is the rise of skimmers.”
In essence, this simply means that you’ve a very short period of time in which someone will decide to read your content or not. This means you give them answers upfront and then you show them your working … think of it as a school exam… (they always wanted to see your working and thought process).
4 – Bing to Become a Player
For a few years Bing has been on the cusp of getting some real attention in the search world. Lately with Cortana and it’s roll out across systems like xbox and windows 10 desktop, Bing could be a serious hit this year. Not least due to it’s voice enabled abilities directly within systems – a little like how Google has a massive android advantage because of it’s userbase.
This prediction is common among SEO’s in their predictions with Lounge Lizard saying “we don’t expect them to even come close to half that traffic Google has, but we expect them to firmly take over second place from Yahoo Search and close the gap with Google primarily because of the integration factor. Bing is integrated with Cortana which is packaged with Windows for both PC and mobile. Additionally Xbox will use voice search from Cortana and Bing. What that means is that your SEO strategy should focus on more than just Google if you want the greatest reach. We also like the new engine DuckDuckGo, but even though we expect solid growth from it in 2016, we still don’t see it cracking the top 3.”
5 – The Unpredictable Will Happen
Honestly, there was so much change in 2015 from a search view and from a tech view its near impossible to guess much that hasn’t already been said to be happening. Many SEO’s predict things like a rise in SSL/HTTPS within search (Google has already said this to be so), there will be a focus on mobile within search (again announced that we will see “mobile-friendly” tags) and that Google will continue to fill search with answers from it’s knowledge graph dataset and your own data for search (this is a given). Ultimately, 2016 will be fairly unpredictable, the one this we do know is that.
It’s been two years since we updated our SEO Guide for Photographers and the use of images on websites. Today, we are launching our latest version of the guide – which is available to download for free.
NB: If you’ve already downloaded the guide before, we’ll have sent you a copy of the updated guide.
What is in this SEO Guide?
There are a large number of SEO articles on the web about optimising websites in general. Very few focus on what is important to you, Photographers & Website Owners.
This SEO Guide covers soley the optimsation of images… it includes:
File Naming Protocols & Why This Is Important
Keyword Targeting in Textual Content for Images and Photos
Click-through rate has long been considered an important part of how a website ranks in search results. If you’re not familiar with this concept yet, let us briefly explain it to you: click-through rate measures, in essence, the number of people who click a link against the total number of people who had the opportunity to do so. If your website is listed in SERPs, and only 400 out of 1,000 people view it, your click-through rate is 40 %.
But is click-through rate a ranking factor? It used to be one back in 2014, but no longer in 2015 and this 2016. In this article, we’ll be explaining how click-through rate has changed, and why Google doesn’t use it to decide the ranking of a website.
If you think about it, it makes sense for Google to rank higher those websites that have a high click-through rate. If they have a high click-through rate, it means many users visit their pages from organic search — and we know that, the more organic traffic a site gets, the higher it ranks in SERPs.
Let’s take an example: go ahead and Google “charm jewellery.” Charm Diamonds Centres ranks on the first position, followed by Pandora, Chamillia, and Tiffany. If lots and lots of people are like, “Wow, Chamillia’s charm bracelets are just lovely,” and the queries for “Chamillia charm jewellery” increase, Google may simply think, “Because more and more people are searching for this particular brand, I should move the website up in the rankings.”
The average CTR for position three is about 11 %, but Google is seeing that Chamillia has a CTR of 30 %, which is significantly higher. At this point, Google would think, “You know what? This website seems to be very interesting, more interesting than the average result on that position, so we should really move them up.
Everything sounds pretty logical — but is this what really happens?
Evidence Proves Us Wrong
Several experiments have been conducted by SEO experts as well as those from Digital search group Australiato determine if CTR really is a ranking factor. According to SearchMetrics, CTR may correlate with higher rankings, but by no means should it be considered a ranking factor.
BartoszGóralewicz, SEO expert and contributor at Search Engine Land, has recently conducted an experiment that suggests CTR is not a ranking factor. During the experiment, Góralewicz sent fake Google organic traffic to his website using bots, and shortly after this his CTR for his targeted keyword (“negative SEO”) increased 78.3 % per cent. During March 10 and March 15, Google searches (that is, fake searches) went up by 592 %.
At the end of the experiment, organic traffic reached 21,000 Google organic visits per day. The CTR was 86.39 % — but the site’s position didn’t change. It remained on the second position, just like before the experiment. Although the CTR increased substantially, there was no change in its search engine rankings.
The conclusion? Even if you can boost your site’s CTR, this won’t bring you closer to the top of SERPs.
Real Searches Change Rankings
It’s true — Rand Fishkin from Moz states: “[…] when it’s done with real searchers and enough of them to have an impact, you can kind of observe this.”
Meaning, if you don’t use any bots to boost CTR, and all the traffic comes from real people, there’s a chance Google may factor in your click-through rate. Just as in the example above with Chamillia, if enough users look up the brand and not just a generic keyword, Google may decide it’s worth ranking them higher — and that’s what they’ll do.
If you’re in need of a reliable digital marketing agency that can boost your CTR naturally, and give you guidance on how to keep your marketing strategy and company goals aligned, head to Digital Search Group’s site.
Google Confirms CTR is NOT a Ranking Factor
Perhaps the most interesting part of all is Google confirming that CTR isn’t a ranking factor. At SMX Advanced, Gary Illyes from Google stated: “Google uses clicks made in the search results in two different ways — for evaluation and for experimentation — but not for ranking.”
It’s been speculated that Google has chosen not to make click-through rate part of their algorithm to “fix” ranking factors that are easy to manipulate. With so many CTR software and services available out there, it would have been much easier for webmasters to generate fake traffic, increase their click-through rate, and get ranked at the top of search results.
What This Means…
Don’t focus on CTR to rank higher. Instead, make sure your site is optimised correctly, and that your marketing strategy is aligned with your company goals to drive more traffic and outshine competition.
Author: Louise Cruise has been in the web development industry for more than 5 years. She has worked with different web development companies giving her enough experience to create websites that match her clients’ business needs and preferences.
The fundamental building blocks of search engine optimisation haven’t changed in many years, there isn’t a single Google update which has changed them. In this article are five golden seo strategies which will not only see your rankings increase today but also going forward into 2016 and beyond. These are evergreen and easy to remember.
1) Only The Best Content
Content is King, as someone once said, and its true. For photographers displaying your work is all about showing off how fantastic your photography is, but it needs to be more than just a bunch of pictures – it is increasingly rare to just see this type of page appear in search results.
Instead search engines and users want you to do something more, to display a little personality and talk about your work. Wedding Photographer Mick Cookson is always a fantastic example of this, all of his portfolio work includes lovely textual descriptions of the day and how the event unfolded. In his recent wedding portfolio piece of Claire and Lee at the White Hart Lydgate, Mick takes you through the day and cuts through the hub-ub and focuses on something simple like Rachael Bottomley and her work, or how the couple met.
This style works really well for Mick and other photographers, but other styles work well too. The important thing to remember is that without context and insight your photos are just photos and unless you’ve some mass audience of potential clients you drag to every page of your site … that work won’t be found.
2) Basic Image Optimisation
Below are the basics of optimising your images for SEO and users, together they make a huge difference.
File Naming Convention – It is important that you find a naming structure/formula that is insightful & easy to use. This is both for your sake and search engines. For example white-hart-lydgate-oct2015-photo1.jpg is much nicer and easier to understand that WHL-1015.jpg even though the later may suit your filing needs. Google can’t see into your images and guess what they are, give them as much help as possible. It’s a good idea to use some keywords here.
ALT Text – This is a much underused tag, every (and i mean every) image should have a unique alt tag. Use this to describe the content of the image directly, is it the couples first dance or the groom waiting for the bride at the white hart. Be descriptive, there is no limit to what you can include, but concise is often better and easier. Use descriptive keywords in your alt text.
Image Size (Dimension and File Size) – Where possible you shouldn’t oversize an image for the web, the only caveat here is that some systems and CMS themes will help you and auto-regenerate images – but don’t rely on this. If you know your site won’t be using an image bigger than 700px x 700px why output something larger that needs scaling (causing issues on mobile and older desktops) and increases file size – don’t do it. The second point here is to keep your file size down, the most simple way that photographers forget is to simply make your images 72dpi on output, anything more is wasted generally.
3) Go Mobile-Friendly
Nicknamed Mobilegeddon, in April 2015 Google rolled out a mass update to it’s core algorithm that means if your website is not mobile friendly & tablet friendly then you are unlikely to show for mobile search results.
Put simply, if you don’t want to miss out on potential traffic and customers ensure your website is nice to mobile. The core features of this are:
Most websites are not built for speed, especially not those by and for photographers. Large files of 5mb to 50mb (yes really), aren’t ever conducive to fast website speeds – and certainly not being mobile friendly. Reducing file size of images (shown above) is a great way to speed up a site, but there is more you can do.
In WordPress there are plenty of plugins you can use to improve the speed of your website through caching, my top 2 are WP Rocket (paid) and WP Super Cache (free).
For photographers a must-have for website speed is a CDN, this in essence takes a copy of your files and distributes them on extremely fast servers across the world ready to serve your site users. This also reduces the impact of loading on your server directly and will speed up other aspects of your site. I suggest using MaxCDN for this, its really simple to use and cheap.
Optimising your website is not optional, it’s not a bold-on service that your web designers should be offering, it is an integral part to any business that has an online presence.
If SEO is integrated from the ground up, within your websites coding, within the plugins you utilise, within the way you output your photographs then you will do well in modern search. But if you “bolt it on” after you’ve made the site look pretty you will probably find it to be more expensive and have less of an effect.
The days of gone of producing and spinning content or buying backlinks or anything like that. It’s over and anyone who tells you otherwise is kidding you and taking you for a ride. SEO is an integral part of your website, take the above and implement it, it works for any site, of any kind and any size – these simple techniques are scalable and usable. Yes you could do more than this, look around SEO Andy for more ideas, but these are the integral building blocks you need to implement on your photography website for it to be a success.
When it comes to setting up backlinks to a website, any company or SEO Management firm that promises an overnight success with link building is yanking the proverbial chain.
All the old adages will ring true in internet marketing success. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” The same can be said of building a well connected website. “There is no free lunch.” It will be necessary to find a competent, truthful and reliable local SEO search strategy specialist. “There are no get rich quick schemes that really work.” There are many trustworthy groups like for example, Local SEO Search Inc that can create a long term, successfully backlinked, and well crafted SEO driven website strategy. Many of these services abound today. You just have to carefully explore your options and keep the following points in mind.
Some fallacies in the link building world to keep in mind and to avoid:
Initially, it is best not to use multiple strategies for backlinks.
Universal sizes do not work for all clients.
Using the endeavors that a good public relations team would use to create content is not a wise investment of resources. It is better to invest in checking up on the content that has already been written by the agency to see what links have not been generated.
Other areas to consider are niches and angles.
Cast off the notion that building links is no longer relevant.
This is a myth that has grown recently and it most likely is in the best interest of content managers, public relations, and marketing firms to sidetrack and pull business away from the very vital and successful campaigns. Google still says that relevant links on web pages are driving rankings up for those sites with them. It is still beneficial to link with quality directories, page citations, brand links and resource listing.
It is important to have a plan. It is not good to set fire to the trash pile and forget to bring a shovel and a bucket of water on a windy day. The idea that just showing up with a new content idea without making plans as to what, where, when, and who will be a part of the attack will just lead to stale content. The team must be prepared to match the new content with outreach for prospects and networking so that replies and good placement are assured in a timely fashion. This might look like a great high profile tweet from someone special rather than just an invisible email reply.
Underestimating the power of Excel and single lists for each client’s backlinking project is inefficient too. It has become a time saving tool to use the copy paste functions with Linkclump where up to 100 Google search prospects can be entered at once on a single spreadsheet page in less than a second. Keeping things relevant to a particular client in one space makes life easier for that project to be managed.
Making relevancy notes in the adjacent columns helps to keep things fresh and organized. Deleting duplicates can also quickly be managed in the Excel ‘remove duplicate,’ function.
Having no prioritization plan for prospects using metrics is also inefficient. Do not exclude or rank prospects based on minimum link thresholds. At one time, some of the most popular sites such as BuzzFeed or Vice had no ranking. Ruling sites out could cut off the nose to spite the face as these sites are now flooded with emails and can no longer read one from a prospecting SEO firm,(hint, hint). A list is best prioritized by authority metrics in a top to bottom list of site. This allows for the best to emerge as they will by merit.
Neglecting Outreach Prospect management is another wasteful practice.
Emailing promotional content in mass to various clients might seem like a good plan, but it leads to chaotic messes over the course of the coming weeks and months and even years. There will be varied responses that require varied actions or even the rejection of further contact.
A ‘save place’ or ‘place holder’ method would go much further for this cause. When growing a relationship, it would make sense to remember the particulars about a relationship rather than show up as completely awkward and in a stupor of forgetfulness. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool in email will assist in picking up where a relationship left off rather than starting over arbitrarily each time a contact is made. Simple Outlook folder organization can work or using the free Streak for Gmail tool can also provide this efficient step.
Falling prey to the notion that Email templates are spam is counterproductive.
Although it is true that email template can be read in most cases as spam, are sent to the trash, or even black listed is a reality. However, a well crafted, more customized, email template can be a time saver and will not be seen as spam if a few adjustments are made. Allow for personalized greetings and sentences with space for making one or two sentences completely individualized to the person receiving the email.
Using arbitrary contact email address is a wasteful practice for link building and internet marketing. Contact details are a key efficiency builder if they are accurate and provide accessibility to useful prospects. Managing that email list for website contact information is an effective use of time that will yield great results.
Forgetting to follow up is highly useless and self-sabotaging behavior.
The follow up is a key element in nurturing the bread and butter in local SEO search. Every contact has other things to do. However, just because the emails sent in follow up do not get a response, does not mean that there is no local interest.
There are so many inefficiencies client management and their back links. Refusing to post their content on the company’s social media sites is one of them. Sometimes mutual favors are the keys to great success. Another inefficient practice is not building a black book and organizing it in perpetuity. Any positive event between clients and web managers should be documented. Being adverse to monetizing and turning a profit is highly inefficient and sophomoric. Only fools think that money is evil in business or in life. Some people are evil but money is money. Google ratings on sites will be lower with any SEO that involves money promos. Taking advantage of the funded web forums with advertising fees paid for posting will garner no-followed links by paying a fee. It is a great way to get attention as these sites will absorb the content if it is helpful and relevant by paying for a service instead of a link up.
Taking the phone contact up with clients is well worth the struggle to reach a comfortable level with them. Confidence is a key characteristic of a solid sales person. Keeping a positive tone rather than ignoring phone contacts is a winning game plan. Also, when a client says they have no audience, it is counterproductive to believe that. There are many online discussions taking place about all types of businesses and that is an opportunity to run with. Lastly, allowing work done on outreach to fall by the wayside is a wasteful practice. After applying a process and getting no results, a simple adjustment is often all that is needed to turn it around.
Be open-minded about SEO crossover in genre, terms, and content sharing from similar areas of interest. In a more inclusive style, bring in marketing, finance, sales, pay-per-click, e-commerce and social media. In SEO, it is all about casting a wide net for more fish.
Author: Louise Cruise has been in the web development industry for more than 5 years. She has worked with different web development companies giving her enough experience to create websites that match her clients’ business needs and preferences.
It is very important to make a right buying decision at the right time. Wisely chosen content strategy can help your online business to generate more leads, conversions and ROI. Thus the tools for content marketing are extremely necessary to make the strategy efficient. These 6 tools are combination of unique features and functionality that help marketers to achieve the desired outcome.
Google Analytics. Every marketer knows this tool. Should know, at least, and use it regularly. There is no point in having a website, and moreover, creating some ad campaigns for it, and not to analyze the performance, user data and ROI afterwards. The simplest analysis includes traffic and audience overview, bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit and traffic acquisition. It gives you valuable knowledge on who visits your website, what kind of user experience they get, what they do on your website, where they come from and in what quantities. If something is wrong with the website or your promotion of it – you will see it at this stage.
Tip:set the goals. You should know what actions you expect from your visitor, and what is considered a conversion for you. By setting goals for these actions or pages, you will always have informative data on how good those goals are achieved.
SimplyMeasured you evaluate your business social media performance at the nine different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. The wide range of reports helps to find the major sources of traffic to the website, the most engaging platforms and those that drive the most sales. The impact of followers, fan page, engagement etc. on these platforms is also analyzed.
Tip:don’t look just on how you perform on different platforms. Watch and analyze your competitors, too! SimplyMeasured allows this even on a free trial.
Jing is a free tool will allow you to capture images and record videos on your system. This content can be shared to anyone through email, social media sites and several other platforms or even embed them to your blog or website. You can capture anything with just one click. It is even possible to share videos of your screen at the speed of your conversation.
Tip: when you need to emphasize some point on an image, you can add arrows, highlights, textbox right to your screenshot.
Whether you are a marketer, agency, publisher or advertiser, BrightInfo has something to offer to you. The tool is able to discover, differentiate and analyze your content, profiling a prefect visitor for you in real time. Tool offers marketers to grow online conversions thanks to user engagement with customized content (ebooks, whitepapers, webinars) and improve customer retention.
Tip:the tool transforms an anonymous web surfer into the customer you know personally with the data that customer gives you for access to unique content. If it sounds not impressive enough, you can (and should) always use analytics tool to see how effectively user interacts with your content.
TweetDeck is a powerful tool is designed for users who have to manage multiple Twitter accounts simultaneously. It can schedule tweets, track brand mentions, favorites, search results, direct messages etc. It is ideal for real-time tracking and organizing different Twitter profiles.
Tip:you can use the web, chrome and desktop app which enable to receive & send tweets, view profiles effectively.
Marketo is actually much more, than a content marketing tool. It is a complex platform to manage all marketing stages: from generating demand and driving sales to building relationships with the customers, maximizing their lifetime value.
Tip: with the Customer Engagement Tool you can manage and track the results for complex marketing efforts in all channels: social media, email marketing, mobile, ad campaigns, using the most innovative technological solutions.
>Now, more marketers are showing their interest in using such tools. No doubt that understanding the features and functions of these tools can be the challenging for many users. But, when it comes to advanced content marketing solution, such tools help to great extent in achieving the company’s marketing goals.
Author: Nicole is a content strategist for educational websites and essay writing projects. Her area of interests includes, though not limited to online marketing, writing, and educational topics.
SEO with its complicated world would necessitate you to have a good knowledge about its important aspects including the terminology “black hat SEO”. You have may heard about black hat SEO but you don’t have any idea about it. Well, to be brief, black hat SEO is term used to refer the utilizing of aggressive yet irrelevant SEO techniques that focus only on the search engine and not on the human users and usually does not obey the Webmasters Guidelines. Black hat SEO comes into a good number of types, some includes keyword stuffing, the use of invisible texts, doorway pages, adding irrelevant keywords to the page content and page swapping.
Basically, the use of black hat seo practices are common to incompetent SEO firms and those who are seeking for a speedy return on their financial investments for their websites, rather than that of a long term investment. Practically, black hat SEO could result into extreme cases like your site being banned to appear in the results of the search engine.
As the number of individuals who demand for highly relevant and quick online information increases, Google, being the pioneering search engine, continues to change and update their searching algorithm constantly. This will help them give their user a more relevant and efficient search results. Practically, many marketers are employing SEO campaign for their website to obtain a good ranking on search engines especially in Google. However, you should understand that the most successful SEO services are those that are achieved with by using right and lawful ways. Meaning, the use of illegal and unethical “black hat” practices is a big no if you want to achieve your SEO goals.
When having your SEO campaign, below is a list of the most common black hat practices that you must avoid.
Cloaking is indubitably one of the most common black hat techniques used by some online marketers these days. Cloaking is the technique that tend to deceive the search engine by showing different content to Google and take your websites users to a different page than where they though they must be going on after being able to click the search engine link. Example, your web code makes Google think that you are directing a user to a fashion blog when in fact your website offers information about latest gadgets or electronics. Practically, Google is not that dumb, as it uses its search algorithms to locate such kinds of activities, and if your website is detected, then it will be subjected to get punished. The penalty may include the lowering of your ranking in search results, or what is worse is that it will be totally banned in Google.
This kind of technique is relatively irrelevant these days. Link Exchanging is pretty much as it sounds, agreeing between sites to link from one to another and getting a similar link back – these can also form massive link networks which are also “black hat”. It doesn’t matter whether you triangulate or anything like that, link exchanges are wrong in the eyes of search engines.
Today, Google had already changed their algorithm that discourages such activity – penalties are regularly applied for such activity. Now, websites must learn to focus on natural link building rather than that of link exchanges.
Article spinning has become very popular in the recent years. Mainly, article spinning is the use of submitting an article online, and then using software to spin the articles. Most often, these articles are solely created for the search engine and not for the humans because most of the time they are not readable. “Spinning” is simply the term used to mean altering the layout of the content, order of the content and sometimes just the title. It’s clear to see you are “cheating” the system and Google is not only likely not to rank such articles but also hand out penalties potentially for this.
Copying content from another site is one of the worst black hat techniques one can ever use. Duplicate copy issues can also come from within your own website. If you truly need to have more than one copy of content (perhaps you’ve a number of blogs for a network of businesses and you share an article over two blogs) you can use a canonical tag to point to the one you class as original, this means the non-original won’t rank in search usually but you won’t be penalized for duplication.
Put simply, Search engines prefer unique content.
Spam commenting is a kind of black hat technique that uses various tools to spam comment a post and try to add backlinks. In most cases you see this done manually and it’s easy to spot, but some big players have used mechanical tools and lets just say google wasn’t too happy. The other thing to remember is that comment links tend to be ‘nofollow’ and as such carry zero weight in search ranking, spam comment wastes your time and resources but it also makes your brand look really bad.
This is a guest post by @ChooseRethink, edited by SEOAndy.