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Blog by Tim

Urgent! Secure Your Google Places Now

 Today's post is less about educating, and more about being a digital marketing public service announcement. You need to log in to your Google Places account and make sure everything is up do date and submitted to Google. In case you haven't heard about this yet, here's the reason why it's vitally important: Google has been sending out emails with the following subject line: “Action Required: You have 3 weeks to save your Google Places Listing.”  This is what the body of the email has to say: Hello, Due to changes in Google Maps, we’d like to inform you that unless you review and confirm the information in your Google Places account, we will no longer be able to keep and show it to Google users after February 21, 2014. If you wish to keep your listing active, follow these three easy steps: 1.        Log in to your Google Places account 2.       &... Read Post

Google Brings Big Video Results to Search

Google is always changing, we say that darn near every day on this blog. The thing is, usually those changes are so small, or so buried on the backend of the whole shebang that the world at large doesn’t notice. It’s not often they bust out the big, forward facing guns (the carousel being the last example I can think of offhand) but when they do, it’s usually pretty interesting to digital marketers who bother to pay attention (IE good marketers). This week, Google rolled out their new super huge video results. That’s probably not the technical name for what they are, but it gets the point across as well as anything else. Basically, the update involves delivering page dominating sized videos as the top result when Google thinks you’re looking for a video. It’s not ubiquitous yet, but you can find the big video results showing up for most searches for music videos. As an example, I searched one of the best (and strangest) videos I have eve... Read Post

20 Trends for 2014

When I was a younger man I used to dismiss statistics in the marketing world. It’s easy to have an arrogance when you are young, isn’t it? I would find myself resenting the experts and thinking that I knew best, even when I had very little to base that off of. As I grew older and more experienced in the industry, I found myself shaking my head at my young confidence. A true expert is never done learning and can always stand to take in a little more wisdom. It’s true what they say, after all. The more you know you know you don’t know sh*t. Anyway, that was my long winded way of introducing the infographic I have for you today. It’s 20 Captivating Marketing Statistics that will drive 2014. It contains industry trends and hard facts even an arrogant youth would find hard to ignore (not that they won’t try). Some of it is old news but a lot of it is actually pretty interesting. Especially the “What to Consider for Your Digital Audience&rdqu... Read Post

Keeping Old Sites Fresh

  A lot of people wonder how long it takes to get a new site indexed and ranked, but people do not often consider the flip side. Namely, how do you keep an old site fresh in Google's eyes. Of course, lots of old sites rank just fine. In fact, some old sites are low quality and still rank well through sheer number of backlinks pointed at them. However, some old sites are watching in agony as brand new sites come along and usurp their decades long ranking throne in just a few short months. How do you keep this from happening to your old site that's been around the block a few times? Matt Cutts answers the question in this week's Google Webmaster Tools video. Essentially, the answer is not to coast or rest on your laurels, however nice and cushy they may be. This is especially true if you are in an industry that is always evolving (like search engine optimization for example) or even an industry that overhauls itself every few years. If you are number one in the ranki... Read Post

2014 SEO Industry Survey

Do you love search engine optimization? How about data? Maybe even surveys? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are in luck. This week, Moz has released the results of their 2014 SEO Industry Survey. The survey covers everything from search engine optimization and search engine marketing to social media and even average salaries. This year, it even has a special section that focuses on how people are dealing with the dreaded and much talked about keyword (not provided). The data was compiled by Dr. Pete Meyers, who has put together several of these surveys in the past as well, back when Moz was known as SEO Moz. You can read the whole survey here, but we wanted to break down a couple interesting sections below as well. TOP 5 ACTIVITIES Here you can see the top 5 activities that SEOs and digital marketers spent their time on in 2013: This list is pretty straightforward, with one major point of interest to me: keyword research. Of course, keyword research... Read Post

Google Buys DeepMind

    Sometimes it feels like Google is omnipotent, doesn’t it? With their huge percentage of the search engine share, they ARE omnipotent in a way. They scan the entire web, handing out rewards and brutal punishments alike, but they have always had a weakness: limited man power and an always imperfect algorithm. Sure, the algorithms get better every year, but the best algorithms in the world still can’t tell spam from quality content the same way as a human being…or can they? Google has decided that they’d like to try to push their algorithms to the next level, and has acquired the artificial intelligence company DeepMind to help them accomplish that goal. Yesterday, they dropped over 400 million dollars on the London-centered AI company, and according to anonymous sources from within the company, DeepMind is going to be working on search. Here is what they had to say: Or as search is known at Google today, the “Knowledge” ... Read Post

Clever Ajax Social Marketing

  When you think social media genius, what’s the first brand that comes to mind? A lot of people praise Taco Bell for their snarky Twitter comments, others laud the versatility and lifestyle branding of the energy drink company Red Bull. Very few people, if any, think of the cleaning solution company Ajax when they think of social success, but that’s all about to change. Ajax just launched an awesome new social campaign, and it’s getting their name into new venues all across the web. This week, Ajax launched a virtual offering called Ajax Social Wipes. Much like Ajax’s real products clean up your home (little buzz marketing there), the Ajax Social Wipes clean up your social networks. You simple install the apps onto your Facebook or Twitter account, and you are given a simple interface to manage (meaning obliterate completely) all those pesky fans, followers and likes you no longer need. “Loving a brand doesn’t mean you love it foreve... Read Post

3 New Pinterest Updates

Guess who is already back in the headlines making waves in the social media marketing world? It’s Pinterest! (You don’t get any credit if you read the title, that’s cheating.) That’s right, the social pinboard site is expanding again, this time bringing three pretty interesting user experience offers to the table. Let’s take a look at what they are and what they mean for your social media marketing efforts. 1. Personalized Home Pages This feature is slowly rolling out to everyone. Essentially, you’ll see a “personalized for you” link appear in the top navigation, that’s the bars at the top left of your screen. Some users are reporting not seeing this link but still seeing the change. If you have the updated homepage, what you’ll see if a collection of words and topics on pins that are essentially categories. The categories are all different sizes, relating to either how many pins are inside or how relevant t... Read Post

Facebook Adds Trending Section

Facebook is on the bleeding edge, the hippest of the hip and the newest of the new, that's why this week they decided to officially roll out a new feature that has only been on Twitter for oh, about...forever? We are, of course, talking about the new trending function. Some of you may have seen this phase in and out over the past few months, if so, congratulations! You were test subjects! If you haven't seen a trending section and still don't know, just be patient. Facebook is officially rolling it out globally over the next few weeks. What will it mean for your digital marketing efforts? Not a lot right away, but lets take a look at how it functions so you can get ahead of the game! Essentially, it works the same as Twitter's trending hashtags. As you can see in the image below, you'll see a list of topics and clicking those topics will bring you to pages of people talking about the news and the news itself. Not everyone's trending box will be the ... Read Post

Google Fighting Bad Ads

  Google is constantly battling back the tide of shoddy ads and outright scams being posted as ads on their network every hour of every day. According to Google itself, they pulled over 350 million bad ads from their service in 2013, a significant amount more than the 224 million they pulled down in 2012. Are more bad ads being uploaded? Probably, but the main cause of the increase of that number is Google getting better at spotting and separating the bad from the good. In fact, there were actually less bad advertisers trying to get through this year. In 2012, they estimated 850,000 spam, counterfeit product sellers, and other bad advertisers tried to use their service. In 2013, that number dropped down to 270,000, which is a pretty significant drop. Mike Hochberg, Director, Ads Engineering explains, “In part, we attribute this decline to scammers — counterfeiters, for example — being thwarted by our safety screens and searching for less-secure targets... Read Post

ComScores for December 2013

 We’re halfway through the month so you know what means, the ComScore data for the previous month is finally available! What search engines finished out 2013 strong and who continued their inevitable but tragic clown car skip into obscurity? Let’s take a look and find out. The major winner was, of course of course, Google. The search engine juggernaut finished out the 2013 year with near record numbers. Google’s all time search engine share high is 67.5 percent and they managed to hit 66.7 in November and closed out with 67.3 in December, nearly tying their own record. Bing also grew last month, but they definitely aren’t seeing the growth rate that they’ve been hoping for. They moved from 18.1 percent of the search share to 18.2. However, the same time last year they were only at 16.3 so overall, it was a decent year to Bing it On (trademark symbol). Yahoo is continuing their tragic fall. Really, it’s like they stepped on a banan... Read Post

3 Reasons Why You Should Fire Your Website Provider Today

I'm writing today because a serious fraud is being perpetrated on virtually all car dealers, the scope of which seems to be far greater than any I've encountered before. What seemed at first to be merely a bad SEO practice, now seems to amount to copyright infringement, a willful attempt to harm dealers while profiting from them, and perhaps even collusion by OEMs and vendors to control market performance between franchise owners. Read Post

5 Bold Digital Marketing Predictions for 2014 (Using the Doritos Locos Tacos Boldness Index)

2014 is here, and I wanted to join in with the leagues of digital marketing writers offering their predictions for the new year. To give things a little perspective, I’m ranking my bold predictions using the Doritos Locos Tacos Boldness Index (Doritos Locos Tacos being known for their bold flavor). Bold Prediction 1: Google Analytics Data will move to 99% (not provided)  Google is trying to respect privacy (at least until the NSA comes knocking) and in the past 6 months alone we’ve seen keyword (not provided) creep up to over 90% of our data. I think that the natural end result is a complete keyword blackout, where the keyword is not provided in almost every case. Boldness Rating: Just a little bold here. Two Doritos Locos Tacos out of Five.    Bold Prediction 2: Digital Marketers will need to be well versed in everything from SEO to PPC, code, writing and beyond to get jobs. I’m seeing this more every day. People are looking for job... Read Post

Pinterest Grows Search

  Pinterest has been growing in popularity month over month, but that hasn’t stopped them from expanding their product. Much like Facebook, the pin-board social network keeps making changes large and small as it grows, trying to deliver the best product possible to both its users and advertisers. Today, they have made a large step forward by acquiring the search-focused company VisualGraph. What does this mean for Pinterest marketing moving forward? Let’s take a look. Essentially, VisualGraph’s technology will make Pinterest users better able to search through the ever increasing mass of pins on the site. VisualGraph is a small company, with owners Kevin Jing and David Liu being the only employees, but their tech is powerful. Pinterest says the acquisition “will help us build technology to better understand what people are Pinning. By doing so, we hope to make it easier for people to find the things they love.” The reason Pinterest want... Read Post

Eyes on Websites Infographic

Have you ever thought about the way people might view your website? I’m not talking about how they’ll feel about it, but how they will physically view it, like how their eyes will move from place to place as it loads. It’s an area of real interest for a lot of the digital marketing world, and it should be something you aware of as you design your own site, blog, and landing pages. If your design doesn’t flow, people may click away. Ideally, it needs to not just flow, but guide the eye directly to the area that is most important for conversions. Let’s take an infographic that illustrates what that many look like. The infographic comes courtesy of Crazy Egg and SingleGrain, and it’s their first of the new year. It gives you the basic 101 course on eye tracking and illustrates the average way that eyes move across a page and how you can best capitalize on this. It may seem simple, but it’s one of my favorite parts of digital marketing. The fact... Read Post

EMDs: an Anecdotal Study

If you’ve been paying attention to the world of search engine optimization this past year, you know that Google brought the hammer down on exact match domains. No longer can someone trying to rank for dog toys simply buy “dogtoys.com” and enjoy front page results…or at least that’s what people are saying. I hear it from people all the time actually, they’re afraid to get a domain that has their targeted keyword in it because they think Google penalizes exact match keywords now. That’s just not true, so I’m going to take a minute here and dispel some of the rumors.   To start, Google DID NOT penalize exact match domains, they jut stopped rewarding them. Sure, losing a reward can FEEL like a penalty when an existing site starts doing worse in the rankings, but it’s not the same thing. If you were to start a website today that used an exact match domain, you would have just as good a shot at ranking as any other dom... Read Post

Yoast for SEO

I've written before about the benefits of using a plugin to boost your SEO on Wordpress. It's simply a game changer as far as SEO is concerned. It can take a decent blogger with a modicum of SEO knowledge and bring them to the next level. It is one of the first things we here at Wikimotive install when we're starting a new blog (either personal or professional) and it simply covers all of the SEO basics you could think of. Before you accuse me of being some kind of shill for Wordpress SEO by Yoast, you should consider the best part: it's absolutely free. Getting Yoast only takes a few minutes, just follow these simple steps: 1. Login to your Wordpress dashboard. 2. Locate the Plugins nav menu option on the left-hand side of your screen. It should be between the Appearance menu and the Users menu, though this may be different depending on the theme you have installed. 3. Click "Add New" to bring up the Plugin search box. 4. Search for "Yoast... Read Post

Niche Authority Boost

There's an interesting development brewing in the world of SEO. Of course by this point you've heard about Authorship (that's with a capital A thank you very much) and exactly what it means to Google, but it turns out it is going to go deeper than just slapping your name onto posts. Authorship is going to tie in with PageRank and overall site authority to create a very deliberate and exacting picture of who knows what on the web. Let's take a look at how this is going to be implemented and what it means for your digital marketing strategy moving forwards. According to the illustrious Matt Cutts, Google is currently working on the way that authoritative Authors can talk to other Authoritative authors and pass maximum PageRank to other sites. Basically, if someone that Google has decided is an expert on a topic (like Rand Fishkin on SEO) links to another Author's work within the same realm (SEO or digital marketing) that link will be worth a lot more than othe... Read Post

Matt Cutts Wants to Break Spammers Spirits

All of us in the SEO industry have always had the feeling that Matt Cutts took offense to spam on a personal level. Sure, he always comes across as a cool and level headed sort of guy, but you just know that deep down in his heart of hearts, there burns a not-so-secret hatred for all of the SEO spam artists in the world. He managed to keep this hatred a secret for a long time, but like any dark secret, it eventually came bubbling to the surface. Let's take a look at what Mr. Cuts had to say about spammers when he stopped being polite and started being real. On the newest episode of the popular series This Week in google on the TWiT network, Matt Cutts was answering questions from the hosts Jeff Jarvis and Leo Laporte when the topic of spam came about. In an unusually candid reply, Matt Cutts said that he aims to not just defeat them at every turn, but to break their very spirits. I know it sounds extreme, but it's the God's honest truth. The folks at SEO Roun... Read Post

Infographic for On Page SEO

You hear search engine optimization being described as an iceberg sometimes, with the on page elements as the tip and then the rest of the business underneath the surface. Honestly, it's a good way  to illustrate the trade, because there is so much more to it than you see on the surface, but it's also easy too get too caught up in the metaphor. People focus so much on learning the hidden depths of the industry that they neglect that surface layer. Sure, it's a small part of a successful strategy as a percentage of the whole, but it's a vitally important part, and one that you can't afford to ignore. To help you remember all of the things that frost your SEO cake, we have an infographic that covers all of the basics of on page SEO. It breaks it down into ten easy steps, and we recommend you try to to hit all ten especially why you're learning. As you grow you may be able to take a few more liberties with the basics of on page SEO, such as length a... Read Post

SEO Repeat Offenders

At this point, everyone understands that Google will penalize sites that are using spammy techniques. If you're buying links, creating strange and unnatural link profiles, or gaming the system in other ways, you'll get the mighty Google hammer brought down upon you. In most of these cases, it's possible to reverse the damage. With a lot of hard work and even more patience, you can get a penalty lifted and carry on your business as a rehabilitated one-time offender in the SEO world. If the dark side calls to you again though, you may not be so lucky. In one of the most recent Webmaster Help videos, Matt Cutts mentions that not only do different infractions carry different penalties, repeat offenders will be hit harder than first-timers, regardless of the specific infraction. Here is the example he gives: "Google tends to look at buying and selling links that pass PageRank as a violation of our guidelines and if we see that happening multiple times, repeated... Read Post

SEO by Goldilocks

SEO is a game of increments. If you take any one technique to the extreme, you can ruin the effectiveness. Not just the effectiveness of that one technique either, but your entire campaign. You need to play it smart and move slowly, accepting that—while their are certain aspects of SEO you can move fast and loud on—the majority of quality SEO takes time, patience, and careful recalibration after careful recalibration. How do you know how much is enough and how far is too far? We have an infographic that will help you with the basics of your digital marketing planning. It's in the Goldilocks style of too hot, too cold, or just right. Except in this case it's too spammy, not enough effort, or profitable. As always, take the information in this infographic with a grain of salt, but we actually agree with most of what this one has to say, especially when it comes to diversifying your links and producing a mix of content types. Check out the infographic and let ... Read Post

Google Updates PageRank

  It seemed that Google had all but given up on keeping PageRank up to date. In the past year, it had only been updated a single time, back in February of 2013. Well, the long PageRank drought it now over, because as an early Christmas present, Google has updated PageRank across the web. Let's take a look at how the new PageRank landscape looks and what it means for your SEO. Earlier this year at Pubcon is Las Vegas, Matt Cutts said that the PageRank system was broken and there were no plans to fix it in 2013. Apparently Google decided that it was worth investing in after all, because it's going strong with no more issued apparent. As far as the updates go, the news isn't exactly stellar. Newer sites are being upgraded to a PR1 or PR2, but very few new sites are higher than that. Unfortunately, higher ranked sites in the PR4-PR6 range have dropped all the way back down to PR1 as a result of poor content and bad linking practices. Some people are saying tha... Read Post

(infographic) The Future of Linking

Have you ever heard of Nostradamus? He’s a crazy guy who wrote a bunch of super vague poems and know he gets credit for predicting all kinds of major world events. Was he clairvoyant? We have to say no, because if he was, he probably would have written something that’s actually useful, like the sports almanac from Back to the Future II. Remember that? With old Biff? That was good stuff (worst movie of the trilogy though). Anyway, the point I was originally trying to make with all of that is that no one truly knows what the future holds. The best we can do is think critically about the present and make educated guesses about what’s to come. With that in mind, we want to share an interesting infographic with you today. It’s titled “The Future of Link Building” but really it’s the present of link building. The techniques recommended in this piece are already best practice, so there’s nothing particularly precognizant, but they very well m... Read Post

Bing Moving to Not Provided

There's been a lot of talk recently about the keyword (not provided) ordeal that has been increasingly plaguing users of Google Analytics. Pretty much every single blog that talks about digital marketing (including this one) has had multiple articles about not provided and what it may mean. Of all the suggested workarounds, one of the more popular was to start relying on Bing Webmaster Tools for the data. Sure, the search volume was less than Google, but you could take what volume there was and extrapolate it to get a pretty clear picture of what keywords were working for you. Well, it was nice while it lasted, but now Microsoft and Bing are joining Google in the keyword (not provided) world. This is all coming down as a result of all the recent NSA scandals. People care more than ever about their privacy online, and Bing is feeling the pressure to move to encrypted search. Bing isn't the only one either, Yahoo is considering taking similar actions. That's r... Read Post

Top 4 Classic SEO Blunders

Today I want to share with you another list from the SEO GOAT, Matt Cutts. In a classic webmaster help video on Google's channel, he tackles a very interesting question: "what are the top 4 mistakes that SEOs make?" If you read this blog every day, chances are you aren't making these mistakes, but if you're new to the SEO game, these could very well be causing you some real trouble. We've looked at this list before, but we think it's worth revisiting because all of the advice is still relevant with minor changes. Without further ado, let's take a look at what Matt Cutts considers to be the top 5 mistakes and how you can avoid making them. 1.Your website isn't easy to crawl. This one hasn't changed too much, but people are still making the mistake. If Google can't find all of your pages, you're in trouble from the word GO. Use your webmaster tools and have a quality sitemap submitted. If you're unsure how to do t... Read Post

100 Link Limit Penalty Removed!

It’s here, it’s finally here! After years of waiting, counting each and every link like a search engine optimizationteetotaler, the chains of Google have been broken and we can finally spread our wings and link to our hearts content! Right? Right…? Well, not exactly.   This week’s installment of Matt Cutt’s Google Webmaster Help video series has him answering a question about the Webmaster guidelines. As you may now, until recently the guidelines said that anything more than 100 links per page would lead to an automatic penalty. This week, some astute SEO noticed that that stipulation was gone from the document, and asked Cutts what exactly was going on. Cutts responded by saying that they’ve been easing off the 100 links per page Webmaster guidelines since way back in 2008, and it was officially removed just recently. Does this mean we have carte blanche to link as many times as we want with no repercussions? Unfortunately, it does no... Read Post

Conversions and Site Speed

  We’ve talked about site speed is an important factor in SEO, and we’re going to reiterate it now. Are you ready? SITE SPEED IS IMPORTANT! Anyone who tells you otherwise is either selling you something you don’t need or just flat out wrong. Google and other search engines measure how fast you load, and if you’re slow, you won’t rank as well as someone comparable who is faster. We’re bringing this back up because we have some interesting new data. Not only does it confirm that fast load speeds are important, it quantifies exactly how important they are. Let’s check it out.   Originally the site speed info came to us from Amazon, but this updated data is from Velocity 2013. They did a second by second study, changing nothing but their load speeds, and analyzed how it affected both their rankings and their conversions. It turns out, there is a direct relationship, and it’s more substantial than you might guess: +3% ... Read Post

New LinkedIn Feature!

  LinkedIn has been in a strange position for awhile now. They're trying to be the Facebook of the professional world, but they've been constantly stymied by the fact that Facebook is also trying to be the Facebook of the professional world. Luckily for LinkedIn, they managed to firmly entrench themselves in the professional profile niche, and Facebook has had no luck in unseating them from that particular throne. If you've been paying attention, you may have noticed that LinkedIn has been slowly adding and improving features over the last couple years (not to say they weren't before, but the last couple years were particularly aggressive) and today they've unveiled another huge feature: the Showcase Page. Let's take a look at what it is and what it means for your business. Showcase Pages are designed to compliment Company Pages, with the main difference being that followers of a brand of business can interact directly through What do the pages look ... Read Post

YouTube Comments Gone Wild

  It’s Monday morning, do you know where your mother is? If you’ve spent any time on YouTube before November, you’ve probably heard several different answers to that question, all of them less than savory. The YouTube comment section has long been known as a terrible place, and for good reason. If you go to pretty much any video on there and read down far enough, you’ll find nearly every belief you hold sacred insulted. If you post a comment in reply, you’ll only add fuel to the fire and find yourself personallyinsulted. It’s a no-win situation, and it’s the reason behind Google and YouTube’s recent change, a change that has many people up in (virtual) arms, calling for either a change back or all-out abandonment of the platform. Let’s take a look at what’s going on and how it may affect your marketing.   The big change came earlier this month when YouTube switched the way they handled their comment s... Read Post