Google Warns Against Artificial Links

This year Google has become more vocal in regards to warnings against artificial or unnatural links pointing to your website. While in the past these bad links have been silently distrusted, the company is increasing its messaging via Google Webmaster Tools, sending out over 700,000 messages in January and February 2012 (more than all of 2011 combined.) A portion of these messages are concerned with link violations.

The warnings from the Google Search Quality Team suggest, “Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes. We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.” All companies should be weary of artificial links that do not improve ranking or indexing. On March 19 Google took down blog/link network BuildMyRank.com on account of artificially manipulating its search results. Google has always warned against paid links, and continues its longstanding battle against companies that sell them. Continue reading “Google Warns Against Artificial Links” »


Google Analytics Offers Real-Time & Premium Tier

It goes without saying that Google Analytics is the undisputed king of web analytics. Yesterday, Google announced in a blog post that it has launched a Real-Time analytics tool that will make it easy for Web site owners to see what content their audience is clicking on as it happens, and use that data accordingly. In addition to Real-Time, Google has also finally entered the world of paid analytics with its new premium tier offering.

In addition to being completely FREE, Google Analytics is easy to use, is integrated with AdWords and delivers as a service. Forbes blogger Joe Stanhope credits Google’s success over better Web analytics services to the billon-dollar company’s large, active community, ease of use and enterprise penetration. With the new Real-Time tool, you can measure the immediate impact of social media, ensure campaign tracking is correctly implemented and much more.

Google Analytics Premium already enlists a number of clients, while its free version will continue to be available in its current form. So what are the benefits of purchasing Google Analytics Premium? The paid edition offers several enhancements above and beyond the free version in several noteworthy categories:

Support: One of the chief complaints about the free version is that it didn’t offer direct support. Premium members receive a dedicated account manager, training, access to Google implementation, technical specialists and round-the-clock support via phone and email for critical issues.

Service Level Agreement: The Premium agreement guarantees – with penalties – for data collection, processing and reporting.

Processing and features: Higher limits on data collection and custom variables, unsampled reporting and enhanced attribution modeling.

Fees: The Premium tier is offered for a single, flat annual fee of $150,000.

Partners: In an expansion of the GA Certified Partners program, Google now includes a specific certification for Premium. “These partners are authorized to resell, implement and support GA Premium n line with the standards set by Google’s direct support capabilities. Several partners, both in the UK and US, are now certified for GA Premium,” says Stanhope.

If you’re interested in measuring the effectiveness of your online campaigns, but aren’t familiar with Web analytics tools, contact Blue Interactive Agency. Blue utilizes Google Products to enhance your online reach, including Google Apps, Google Feedburner, Google Webmaster Tools and more. Contact Blue today to form your ROI Conversion Strategy with Web analytics and more.


Google Chrome & The Johnny Cash Project

On Monday, Google Chrome revived its crowdsourced Johnny Cash art project/ad to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the legendary singer’s death. The final, fan-made music video is for Cash’s posthumously released song, “Ain’t No Grave.”

Aside from the promotional aspects of the tribute, “The Johnny Cash Project” is a truly remarkable piece of work, drawn together from talented Cash fans from Long Beach to London. Each individual frame of the fascinating video was drawn by a single fan, and the project continues to grow as more people across the globe add on more and more layers. The video can be paused at any time to learn about each frame and the artist and fan behind it.

On The Johnny Cash Project website, frames are also sorted into categories, including:

  • Highest Rated Frames
  • Director Curated Frames
  • Most Brushstrokes Per Frame
  • Most Recent Frames
  • Random Frames
  • Pointillism Frames
  • Realistic Frames
  • Sketchy Frames
  • Abstract Frames

The “Living Portrait of the Man in Black” invites you to share your vision of Johnny Cash, “as he lives on in your mind’s eye,” to become a part of the global collective art project. A CBS news blog called the project “A truly amazing fan-made tribute to one of the late and great all-time legends of music!”

The Johnny Cash Project is the latest clever project from Google, and is proving to be a ringing endorsement for Chrome. Google has released a slew of innovative products in recent years, including a variety of highly effective web analytics, including Google Apps, Google Feedburner, Google Webmaster Tools and more. If you would like to utilize these Google products in your business but are unfamiliar with them, contact Blue Interactive Agency for expert services and advice on getting started with these web tracking tools and more.


“National Geographic Has Gone Google”

Last week, we reported on how cloud computing has become all the rage in the world of IT. Cloud solutions like Google Apps free your company of the time, money and hassles of managing IT internally. As Google Apps’ active customer base grows to over 30 million, many of the 3 million businesses that utilize the service are proud to share their stories. National Geographic sat down with Google in a YouTube interview to explain why they made the switch to Google Apps.

“User can be demanding; they’re working on deadline, they’re working on really unusual projects, they’re pushing the envelope in terms of technology,” said Russ Little, Director for Software as a Service. For a company like National Geographic with employees working in all parts of the world, a cloud computing solution just makes sense – “We were really looking for a cloud solution, and Google had the most mature offering, [had] the best price performance value and the security was adequate and appropriate,” said Little.

Several NatGeo employees shared their excitement over Google Apps’ ease of use, how it’s streamlined the way they work and how convenient it is for data to be backed up in real-time around the world.  Mark Thiessen, a Staff Photographer, said, “No matter what happens on my laptop, if I drop it and it breaks when I’m in the field, as long as I can get to a computer, I can access my email and all my important documents.”

If you’re considering using Google Apps, consult Blue Interactive Agency today for industry insight into making the switch to cloud computing for your company. We also utilize other Google products and web analytics, including Google FeedBurner, Google Webmaster Tools and Google Local Business Center to enhance the overall reach and effectiveness of your online presence. Follow NatGeo’s lead and take advantage of Google Apps today – “It’s seamless, it’s fast, it’s functional…it just works.”


SEO Tip of the Day: How to Speed Up Your Website’s Page Load Time

Google has officially declared a new factor into their search ranking: site speed. According to Google, site speed “reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests”. Speeding up your website is more important than ever. Google’s internal studies have shown that when a site responds slowly, visitors tend to spend less time there.

For these reasons, Google has taken speed into account for determining search rankings. For site owners and webmasters out there, Google provides a few tools to help you use website analytics to effectively test your site’s page loading time.

Page Speed is an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.

YSlow is a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.

WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus a website optimization checklist.

In Google Webmaster Tools under Labs, Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world. The Performance Overview charts your website’s speed over the past year.  

As part of the effort to continually improve user experience on the web, these tools will help to speed up your website and ultimately increase web traffic. Keep in mind that Google’s new implementation only affects searches done in English on Google.com for now – but as far as reputation management, Google highly recommends speeding up websites for you to enhance your ranking and to improve everyone’s overall experience on the web. Protect your online reputation and increase web traffic by providing the fastest site possible for your users.


SEO Tools: Google Webmaster Tools

In the last blog we focused on Google’s free analytics package. Now we are going to move on to some of the tools that Google has developed specifically to help you optimize your website for search engines as well as conversion.

Google Webmaster Tools

If you have already set up a google analytics account you can also access the webmaster tools through that same account. In the overview section of the Webmaster Tools you can access the following information:

Diagnostics

Web crawl – allows you to view errors or problems encountered by Googlebot when accessing your website

Metadata – shows you problems with your title and meta description information

Statistics

Homepage Crawl – Google will tell you the last time that Googlebot last successfully accessed your home page (Hint: the more frequently Googlebot is accessing your homepage, the better)

Index Stats – information in this section includes how many of your website pages have been found by Google, how many websites have been found to link to your website, how many websites have information available about your website and much more

Top search queries – this is a list of the keywords people type into search engines by popularity and your ranking as compared to other websites

What Googlebot sees – this section provides a breakdown of how Google’s search engine spider more affectionately known as Googlebot

Links

External links – view which other sites are pointing to your website

Sitelinks – view which pages on your site appear directly in Google search results

Sitemaps

Allows you to upload an XML sitemap of your website giving Google a map of how to navigate your website

For more information on how you can achieve your SEO Goals and use webmaster tools to view your results contact Blue Interactive Agency today at www.blueinteractiveagency.com.