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Canonicalization and Your Website’s Search Engine Optimization

Anyone who performs search engine optimization and/or owns a website should know what the term “canonicalization” means. Believe it or not, this is an actual term created by Google. The easy explanation is that canonicalization is the process of selecting one URL from a group to represent that group....

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Google Core Algorithm Update: How It Affected Websites and Tips to Recover

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic | Posted on 19-09-2018

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Every SEO expert and webmaster understands the importance of Google updates. This is because the algorithm is responsible for changing the filters, data refreshes, and other alterations that can cause websites to drop in SEO visibility or ranking. How does Google core algorithm affect your websites?

Introduction to Core Update

Google update is the term used for describing the changes that affect how rankings are calculated by the search engine. Updates can be minor or major depending on its impact to the users. The goal is to improve both the relevance and quality of the results returned from user searches.

This is done by focusing on specific features like the ability to counteract spam or identify duplicate contents. Majority of the updates are manually initiated while others form part of the core algorithm of the search engine. The Google core update is part of the search engine itself and is now continuously and automatically rolled out.

There are roughly 600 updates to the algorithm every year with majority of these being done unnoticed by the user. Most of the time these are unannounced as well even in the search engine industry. The most significant by far does not include new features to the core algorithm but only updates the data it uses.

The Effect on Website Owners

Careful calculation is done with every update to the core algorithm to come up with the best ranking possible for search results. Each update tackles specific issues that are related to the way search results are handled.

The Panda update on February 2011 for example was designed to focus on low quality content in websites. The goal is to improve the quality of the search results by the ability to distinguish between what is low quality websites and what is not.

Since January 2016, Google began ranking low quality websites as part of its core algorithm. The huge change in the rankings seen by specialists were linked to the minor updates done on the core algorithm.

 

Comments from webmasters/siteowners, or Google representatives

According to Matt Cutts of Google, “The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs.”

Based on a small independent survey conducted by Barry Schwartz who covers SEO space, the most dramatically affected websites are those related to health.

Tyler Bishop who is a certified publishing partner of Google says, “In my subjective observations, the sites that saw decreases seemed to have relied on several URLs for a large percentage of their traffic and these URLs had not been updated in a while. This may say something about the importance of updating content overtime — even if it is “evergreen”.”

Tips or Efforts to Recover from Dropped Rankings & Traffic

Here are some tips on how to handle drops in rankings and traffic caused by the Google core algorithm update.

  • Penalty Rank Drop
    This is characterized by a huge drop in rankings that usually happens overnight. Penalty drops often demote you 10 to 20 positions. You must realize that algorithmic penalties automatically happen and commonly occurs with rolled out updates.

    Check the Webmaster Tools account to get a clearer picture and better understanding of the rank drop. There should be some type of notifications in the Site Messages to alert you of GoogleBot detected issues.

    Most of the time you can prevent penalty rank drops by continuously tracking links and use special tools that alert you of changes in your link profile.

  • Outranked by Competitor
    If a competitor outranks you, there will only be a slight drop in your rankings. You can even see which competitor has outranked you because other websites will be in the same position as they were before.

    You need to constantly monitor and analyze all competitor sites including social profiles to be updated on what they are doing. When you continuously track main competitors, it will be easier to understand link building strategies they employ giving you a heads up on their next possible moves. Adapt your own strategies accordingly.

  • On-Page Issue
    Drops in rankings and traffic can also be caused by on-page issues. The result is either a noticeable drop in the rankings or there is no growth of your site. This is despite your efforts to consistently create content and build your links.

    The Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) can give you some insights to understand the cause of the problem. HTML Improvements can help in detecting problems associated with tags. The PageSpeed Insights also delivers valuable data on potential problems with your site and suggests way to fix them.

    Prevent this type of issues by extensively using GWT to keep track of your site. Make use of the notifications as well to be updated on everything that is happening with your website.

Now you have a better understanding of how Google core algorithm updates can affect your websites.

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!

 

5 Common Mistakes Small Businesses Make with SEO and How to Use it the Right Way

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic | Posted on 19-07-2018

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In today’s business scene, it is no longer true that only big businesses can make it. How can small businesses level the playing field or even dominate it? The answer lies in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By using the proper techniques, small businesses have the ability to dominate local search and turn it into gold.

Avoid Mistakes

Knowing what to do is as valuable as knowing what not to do. So to make the most of your SEO efforts, make sure that you stay away from these common mistakes.

1. Improper SEO Planning

Truth is that SEO should be considered across the board regardless whether you are redesigning or relaunching a website. This emphasizes the importance of having an experienced SEO professional on board from the onset.

2. Short-term Development

It is a common mistake to think that SEO cannot be used as a reliable long-term business strategy. The reality is that it helps to improve traffic, rankings, and conversions, provided that you are in tune with the rules of search engines. This is where SEO expertise and management becomes valuable.

3. Web Developer Takes Over

For small businesses to dominate, it needs high level SEO experts because of the amount of information to track as well as the variables to consider. Web developers have a different specialization and do not have the necessary tools, skills, and experience to maximize SEO benefits.

4. Buying a Dream

Remember the saying that when something is too good to be true, it probably is? Well, that applies to SEO as well. Avoid buying SEO offerings that make incredible promises.

5. Using Wrong Metrics

To make sure that SEO activities are working, you need detailed tracking procedures. Just because tracked conversions, organic traffic, and website visibility is increasing does not mean SEO is working.

Making SEO Work

To run a successful SEO campaign, small businesses should be aware of its relationship with content marketing. Why? Because any SEO without content marketing can be like a body without a soul; meaning there is no substance. Success is ensured when both come together with a singular purpose.

How can small businesses make it work the right way? Here are some things to consider.

1. Keywords

Relevant keywords and putting them into action in the content will create higher search engine result ranking. The keywords must be used appropriately and strategically to achieve a balance of SEO and content.

Using analysis tools to seek out the most popular keywords for your target market and embedding them will result in higher ranking and a boost in traffic. Distribute the keywords reasonably in the title and body section.

2. Quality

What do we mean by quality? This means creative, unique, fresh, and consistent. You cannot have one quality content followed by a dozen useless ones. Keep in mind that content will convert people into clients primarily because it helps to solve specific issues they have.

Quality content also refers to the influence that it can exert on the targeted visitors. This is extremely important in determining page relevance.

3. SEO Experience

Some think that the whole SEO experience centers on articles, keywords, backlinks, and blogs. On the contrary, it also has to do with enhancing metadata, appropriate use of tags, and optimization of robots.txt.

It is the technical optimization of the website that makes it appealing not only to search engines, but also to visitors. URL optimization and making the slug is equally important to ensure that all the pages remain relevant and properly categorized. With a properly plotted sitemap, users should have no problem going through your website.

4. Linking

The surest way to build traffic for your website would be to make use of inbound linking. This is a major factor in many successful SEO campaigns. By connecting with high-domain authority sites, the increase in traffic will be unbelievably drastic. How do you develop the links? The best way is to have expert content, get a link back, and boost traffic.

How do you make SEO work right for small businesses? By ensuring that appropriate SEO is paired with the right content marketing. Then you can watch your business go through the roof.

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!

How to Take Advantage of Voice Optimization SEO for the Mobile Market

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic | Posted on 20-03-2018

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In the battle to control the Internet, website owners have remained focused on the task of optimization for a good number of years now. Majority of their activities have been geared towards site optimization for the desktop. However, the birth and surge in popularity of the mobile market have left many website owners flat-footed. Why is voice search optimization important?

Smartphones

If you have not recognized what a gold mine the smartphone market is, then you are losing a lot! The rise in the number of mobile users is one of the factors that pushed search engine giant Google to switch to mobile-first indexing in the first place.

Majority of the voice searches are done by mobile users and has created an exponential growth in this sector. Why? The simple reason is speed. In a world where people live fast-paced lives, speed takes precedence over almost everything there is. Let’s be realistic, many people cannot type 40 words per minute, but, many can speak faster than that.

The ability of being able to buy, find, and get almost anything with the power of your voice and mobile device has created the phrase micro-moments. Considering that 65% of mobile users turn to the most relevant information when making searches means that this is the new market to conquer. The speed, convenience, and growing reliability makes the technology even more attractive to mobile users.

Why Optimize Voice Searches?

The question now is, are you optimized for voice searches? The first thing you need to realize is that doing a voice search is not similar to a traditional search using a desktop. Traditional searches require exact keyword to get accurate results.

Using voice search on the other hand is like conversing with a smartphone. This means long-tail keywords are often relied upon. The focus should be on thinking about real communication between people rather than being concerned about keyword variations.

One of the pillars that has propelled voice search is the convenience that it brings to the user. Obviously, it is easier to speak than type, especially if you are on your smartphone. Because of this technology, people are treating their smartphones as assistants rather than mobile devices.

Are you aware that there are around 33 million voice-first devices currently in circulation? This means that optimized voice search is vital in achieving SEO success.

Are You Ready to Optimize?

Now that we have established that voice search optimization is more than just a passing technology, the next question is how ready are you to optimize? A better question would be, do you know what to do to achieve voice optimization? Here are a few tips.

  • Search Console – definitely one of the best sources of information. It helps you find out what people actually search for in your site. Once you know what people are looking for, you can move forward from there.
  • Natural Language – think about how people talk. The more natural the interaction and communication of the user with the device, the better.
  • Googlebot – by using microdata, you make it easier to understand what your site is all about and increase the change of being ranked higher is search engine results from voice queries.
  • Speed – for mobile users, faster is always better. Since voice searches are often done on the go, make sure that your mobile site is not just fast, but really fast.
  • Readability – with relatively smaller screens to work with, the content must be readily accessed and understood.
  • Navigation – make it easier to navigate your site by putting elements properly spaced. This increases efficiency and better support for mobility.

Riding the Trend

Did you know that in a survey of SEO technological trends for 2017 and beyond, voice search steadily held third place? This is a trend that will continue to rise, and as Google CEO Sundar Pichai reveals, about 20% of searches made on Google use voice search technology.

The growing number of tech savvy teenage users is seen as one reason for this trend. However, this does not mean that it is isolated to their age group. Come to think of it, the convenience of saying what you want to search compared to typing it out on a small screen also serves those in older age brackets substantially.

If Google is riding the trend, why shouldn’t you? There are already hints of a shift in the search engine’s algorithm so unless website owners adapt to these changes, they will see their current rankings slip further away. This should be taken seriously as you try to polish your online strategy. Instead of the usual keyword populated articles, look into improving user experience by capitalizing on interests, behavior, and even voice texture of your target audience.

The good news is that voice search optimization is quite simple and non-robotic. If you start to seriously take advantage of the technology now, the future can be quite promising indeed.

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!