Category Archives: Panda

Five Quick Tips for Optimizing Mobile Content

by My Web Writers

Mobile continues the fast track in growth, as US virtual goods revenue pushes toward $2.5 billion in 2012.  What can you do as a content marketer to write more effectively for mobile?

1.  Narrow Your Mobile Keyword Research

Use your keyword analytics to present the single strongest term per mobile screen page.  Bryson Meunier suggests,

“As search marketers, we should already understand the power of keyword research in letting your users tell you what they want and how they want it said on your website, and keyword research can help prioritize what content goes on a mobile site as well.”

Indeed a carefully planned keyword strategy for mobile site navigation is important to your overall mobile site success.

2.  Mobile Content is Not Duplicate Content- At Least Not Yet

Your mobile sites can share the same desktop content without penalty.  Matt Cutts addressed duplicate mobile content back in January and then again recently.  No worries- just yet.

However, would your customer like to see a unique page?  Could having complementing desktop and mobile content increase sales?  Sure and not necessarily.  These are questions to discuss with your marketing team.

3.  Write Like A Mobile Content Journalist

Just like a reporter, offer the most important information within the first few sentences or bullet points.  Answer the consumer’s most basic questions:

 Who?  What?  Where?  When?  How?  How much? 

Hold off on answering “why?” until you effectively answer those first six.

4.  With Mobile- Action Before Beauty

Your mobile content might be the last few words consumers ponder before making purchases- your final opportunity to make sales.  Which words will make the difference?  Call the consumer to action with action verbs.

Then, offer lovely descriptions and additional information by linking to your desktop content.

5.  Embrace Mobile Fun & Originality

You are still writing a bronco in the Wild West.  Be the originator- the curator of unique on your mobile gold rush journey and users will come back to visit your brand through mobile just because it’s cool or offers something valuable.  Securing user experiences through a variety of channels- mobile, desktop, social media, etc will give your brand more face time and revenues.

Looking for additional help to write or edit your mobile content?  Professional content providers can turn hair-raising copy into work horse pages.

~Jean

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Filed under Algorithms, Content, Content Marketing, Keywords, Mobile, Panda, Research Tips, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Website Linking, ZMOT

Brief Conclusions from the 2011 Google Quality Raters’ Handbook

by My Web Writers

Thank you, Jennifer Ledbetter at Pot Pie Girl for uncovering the 125-page, Google Quality Rater’s Handbook right on the Google website.  This manual outlines Google’s specific guidelines for rating websites when queries need human review of content quality.  Google required the removal of the link to this insightful, proprietary manual.

If you went on vacation or took a break from the computer to care for your sick mother because you thought the Google Panda 2.5 Update was the last of the big news this month –  sorry.  You’ll have to look under stones to find the Rater’s Manual, now.  Google appears to have scrubbed their site of it.

The details regarding the release of this manual to Google’s website are sketchy; but, given the company’s reaction, I suspect someone’s in hot water.  All judgment or trust issues aside, Google ought to consider reworking it and re-releasing it.  This document provides numerous, helpful examples of what Google considers Vital, Useful, Relevant, Slightly Relevant, and Off-Topic or Useless urls.  Give your students the rubric upfront and they’ll understand exactly what’s expected.  In What is Quality Content Part 1, I analyze Google’s content quality standards; but, this rater’s manual puts the content writer in the rater’s shoes.  By page 100, you feel ready to sign up at Google to rate websites.

Some Google Ranking Manual Conclusions

The following bullets include a few of my conclusions from this manual.

  • Mal-ware can ruin ratings.  Raters are told to assign “Unratable: didn’t load” status to urls with certain warning messages.
  • Consider the user’s intent.  What is the user looking for when he or she enters a Google query? Does your content deliver your url’s promised keywords?
  • Content should include applicable knowledge, courses of action, and navigation.
  • Raters are “expected to have some understanding of commonly used languages for your task location.”  While raters are asked to research the keywords they are rating, they might not be experts or highly proficient in your industry’s terminology.  Consider the customers and raters who have minimal proficiency and knowledge when you’re producing your site’s content.
  • Not speaking from authority, writing with credibility, or reviewing with expertise can hurt rankings.  Outdated, incomplete, and shallow content loses.
  • Content is rated on “how helpful” it is to users.  Is your content helpful?
  • Low quality content contains many ads and links that lead to ads.
  • When a rater is in doubt about the quality of a website’s content, they are supposed to give a lower rating to the url in question.
  • Raters are asked to rate urls in Firefox.  Check your urls in the Firefox browser.
  • How many keywords constitute keyword stuffing?  Google raters use their own judgment to decide.
  • Urls stuffed with keywords could indicate spam.
  • Meta tags with keywords don’t necessarily indicate spam at Google.

Posts about the 2011 Google Quality Raters Handbook from Other Bloggers

 To date, you’ll find additional reviews and conclusions about the 2011 Google Quality Raters’ Handbook from the following bloggers:

Blizzard Internet Marketing

Leaked Google Search Guidelines Give an Insight into Ranking Criteria

White Hat Crew

Webmaster World Forum Discussion

Search Engine Roundtable

Search Engine Watch

~Jean

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Filed under Algorithms, Content, Content Marketing, Keywords, Panda, SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Google’s Panda 2.5 Update; Deliver the Content Promised in the Meta

by My Web Writers

Panda 2.5 – Observations from the Peanut Gallery

Since the majority of SEO’s don’t regularly dine with Google’s executives, our thoughts about the end of September 2011, Panda 2.5, algorithm updates may or may not be accurate at this time.  When Google makes an official announcement about the nuts ‘n bolts of their latest Panda 2.5 update, the haze will clear.  (If you’d like to invite us to dinner, Google, we’ll promise to order salads with our chocolate cake.)

Panda 2.5 and Video

After Danny Sullivan first shared his post about the biggest winners and losers of the Panda 2.5 update, “it’s about video” came to mind.  With YouTube being a big winner, it’s only natural to conclude that video is entirely a web must-have these days.  All arguments about Google owning YouTube aside, the fact that the Today Show lost rankings probably indicates that Panda 2.5 is not all about video.  The Today Show is a television network with video on their site.  We all know that video content is valuable, but is it the deciding Panda 2.5 factor?  How could small businesses ever hope to compete with the budget needed for quality videos?

Deliver the Content Promised in the Meta

The Today Show’s current landing page meta titles are “Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Al Roker, Natalie Morales- Today Show video, news, recipes,
health, pets”.  Does its front page content deliver results for all of those meta titles?  No.  While it offers sub-category links to pages about these titles, this particular landing page’s content is much more about “News, Headline News”, then about each of those other broad meta titles.  Remember writing those college thesis statements? Don’t over promise and under-deliver with meta titles, either.

CafeMom.com is also on the list of Panda 2.5 rank losers.  Currently, they too are working with a laundry list of descriptors on their home page.  As of today, one of the meta titles even includes “more beta”, which indicates they’re scrambling to figure out what hit them.   Cafemom.com might want to cut down their list and focus on one phrase that sums up the entire page to deliver what they’re promising on that page. Conversely, they could offer exacting content on the front page about each of the current meta titles.  Their direction depends on their goals.

Compare the two Panda 2.5 losers to Panda 2.5 winners like TV.com., Zappos.com,  or WashingtonPost.com.  Their landing pages deliver what their meta titles promise.  For example, the Post promises “National, World, and D.C. Area News”. Sure enough, it delivers landing page content for those keywords with bolded keyword sections and synonyms.

Potential Panda 2.5 Factors

Additional speculation about Panda 2.5 suggests the update favors bigger brands, but The Today Show is a big brand and it took a hit.   Are those Google Pluses and other social “likes” making a difference?

One particularly interesting article is Google 2.5 How to Recover? The author suggests that Panda 2.5 embraces actual traffic indicators from Analytics and other sources.  Time on site metrics and bounce rates measure your site’s true influence. Good point.

Potpiegirl suggests affiliates are feeling the squeeze.  In her well-written post, she concludes that Google can do what Google wants with their site.  It’s their site.

On October 5, 2011 in a tweet, Matt Cutts warned sites “to expect some Panda-related flux in the next two weeks, but will have less impact than
previous updates (~2%).”

In the meantime, ask your content writers to double check that your post Panda 2.5 content continues to deliver what your meta titles promise.

~Jean

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Filed under Algorithms, Content, Content Marketing, Google Plus, Keywords, Panda, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Web Writers