Google Crawls Facebook Comments

Comments on Facebook are crawled by Google

Google Announces That They Can Now Index Facebook Comments

Surprise, surprise, Google can now crawl JavaScript and AJAX based Facebook comments straight out of a <iFRAME> on your website. This means that finally comments being made using plugins like Disqus and Facebook Comments for WordPress are being crawled and indexed! The implications for this are massive. Not just for the ability to refresh your pages with user generated content, (which, Google loves, by the way.) but also because AJAX, JavaScript and <IFRAMES> have long been considered the dark abyss for Googlebots as it was unable to index the content within. The battle between search engines and SEOs will never be the same!

What Does Google’s Ability to Crawl FB Comments Mean for SEO?

Google inches even closer to running more of a Social Search Engine where SEO techniques should favor freshness, social media, Web2.0 and user generated content. Not only is it time to get more serious about social media integration with your own site but if you haven’t already, it’s high-time to get more aggressive practicing social media optimization techniques. SMO was always considered SEOs little sister but I have a feeling she might pack an increasingly strong punch as our search engines evolve to a hyper-social web. Most of the top optimizers in the industry already agree that social media optimization is a MUST in a post panda world. To sum it up in one sentence, Like is the new link.

The implications go far beyond social search. Being able to index AJAX, JavaScript and <IFRAMES> means that APIs and rich media integration across different websites just became search engine friendly. This could usher in a new era. What will we call it? Web2.1 lol.

SMO Outsourcing

social media optimization outsourcingSocial Media Optimization Outsourcing a.k.a. SMO Outsourcing makes the world of sense. The reason for this is because it’s just not feasible to pay American salaries to have an employee stumble around on his or her Facebook account all day but if the employee is based in Romania, India or the Philippines you can pay pennies on the dollar and actually make a nice return on your investment!

Everyone agrees that social media is where it’s at. You can thank Mark Zuckerburg, the world’s youngest billionaire because the average internet user spends most of their time on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, Blackplanet and yes even Myspace, which still brings some good link juice. That being said, it shouldn’t be hard to imagine how this can benefit your company.

Offshore SMO Outsourcing

While Google still gets more unique visitors per day, statistics show that people actually spend more time on Facebook than any other website on the web, overtaking Google for the first time in 2010. Now it’s time to put this into perspective. With social media comes social targeting and it’s just this way of thinking that got VCs to front hundreds of millions of dollars to help develop social media sites worldwide. See with social targeting you can easily identify and deliver content to a highly targeted audience and it even works for ultra specific niches.

Of course, if you are just selling online games then almost everyone is a target and Farmville is proof of that with over $300 million in annual revenues their first year. Another wide open target is muscle building products because you can target any male between the ages of 18 to 45 and see great results but how about something much more specific like b2b selling in an industry like insurance? That should be much harder, right?

WRONG, think again, SMO Outsourcing works for that too!

I have recently put this to the test by searching social media platforms to find professionals associated with the insurance industry. I easily found tens of thousands of professionals and ended up selling them insurance leads. No matter what your product or service is, SMO outsourcing can increase your revenues.

How to Outsource SMO Work

It’s a lot easier than you think. The reason is because in developing countries like India, Philippines, and Romania the younger, college-aged generation tends to be complete internet junkies, trying to reach out to the rest of the world via social media. You can go to any of these countries and it will be hard to find anyone between the ages of 18 to 25 that doesn’t already have a Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, or Hi5 account. This makes recruiting and training an SMO outsourcing team super easy because they are already familiar with the sites so all you have to do is channel their social media activities in the right direction.

I have been assembling and managing SMO outsourcing teams in Romania, India and the Philippines for years now and with great results. Some of my most recent social media campaigns resulted in hundreds of thousands of clicks to my customers’ sites and huge increases in revenues. To find out more about Social Media Marketing services or for a free consultation on SMO outsourcing, contact me directly by visiting my contact page.

The Worlds First Adult Search Engine

The First Porn Search Engine

It’s time we address the effectiveness of Google, Bing, and Yahoo’s effort to deliver high-quality adult search results. With the ever increasing pressures from internet censorship and the new .xxx domains, the future of adult content on the net is under attack! In this article I will discuss the following.

  • Adult contents online supply and demand
  • Internet censorship against adult sites
  • Adult Search Engine Reviews

Just How Popular is Adult Content on the Web?

There is an overwhelming demand for adult material on the internet. In fact, the world actually owes the porn industry for inventing E-commerce as the very first online credit card transaction was for pornographic content in the year 1995. In less than 1 month the same website was making over $200,000 per day and ended up processing around $1.5 billion dollars per year in their prime! Their story was beautifully illustrated in the Hollywood movie Middle Men.

The First Online Credit Card Transaction

This huge influx of business fueled one of the biggest gold rush of the information age. As a result, adult content still takes up an overwhelming majority of all content published on the internet today. Here are a few stats to check out:

  • More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month
  • Google’s Keyword Tool reports 618,213,105 searches per month for the word porn
  • Adult content takes in around $57 billion annually
  • Almost 1/3 of all search queries are for adult content
  • Over 1/3 of all internet downloads are for adult material
  • $3,075.64 per second is spent on online porn

Escort Search Engines

Companies like BackPage.com, Rotci.com, and Eros earn millions of dollars each year on escort traffic. But they have made it very easy to Find escorts in your city no matter where in the world you may be.

Penguin Recovery Case Study I

How to Recover from Google's Penguin update

dead-penguinPost-Penguin Update Case Study I: Is a spammy site outranking you while your site has been moved to page 5 or 6? Think it’s a Google error? Think it’s not fair? Well, the truth is that it may not seem fair but there turns out to be very valid reasons for Google to do this. There are no ghosts in the machine nor human error, instead, this annoying Penguin update seems to be functioning just as Google intended.

In an effort to better explain the new Penguin update, I am posting the results of my first Penguin Recovery Analysis from a colleague that lost almost 90% of his traffic. Two of his sites that were affected the most were pickuplinestouseongirls.info and cutepickuplines.info both of these sites were ranked #1 in Google and were receiving over 1000 clicks per day. Now they have been all but completely removed from Google and get around 100 clicks per day.

The Diagnosis, Panda or Penguin?

panda-or-penguinThe first step was to look at the traffic stats to see if the decline in traffic correlated with the Panda 3.5 update which was released on April 19th and 20th or if the decline happened on or around the April 25th release date of the Penguin update. In his case, the traffic actually increased between April 19th and April 24th and then on the 24th, it when from over 1000 clicks per day to around 10 clicks per day. This was obviously an effect of the Penguin update, an easy case to diagnose, however, complicated cases can easily be misdiagnosed and could require looking at other metrics.

Now that all the signs point to the Penguin being the culprit, I started looking at the backlinks that are pointing to these sites. This is because the Google Penguin update only targeted webspam which boils down to off-page SEO and link building practices, while the Panda 3.5 focuses more on the on-page SEO attributes of one’s site. I first did a Google search for “pick up lines to use on girls” and found www.pickuplinesgalore.com/cheesy.html ranked number one!

Initially, I was appalled to see this spammy site outranking my colleague’s site. I did a CopyScape check and I found that most of his content was copied and even poorly spun and identified on several other sites, the code is very unfriendly to the SEs like it was coded with Microsoft Frontpage back in the mid 90s, the site has too many ads above the fold, on top of that, it had only a handful of low quality backlinks. This site should be on the 10th page of Google or just de-indexed altogether. Just like what so many people are reporting, Google Penguin failed because now spammy sites outrank mine but on further inspection of the backlinks, via my favorite Backlink Explorer Tool, I started siding with Google on this one.

The Prognosis

penguin-prognosisPickuplinesgalore.com has very few links but they seem to be aged and for the most part look natural. My colleagues sites have thousands of backlinks. Unfortunately, I found many problems in his backlinks.

  • Multiple links from the same few sites. Too many links from one domain can look spammy and unnatural.
  • Site-wide links from other sites he owns. Links within the body of a page look more natural. When link building, especially stay away from blogroll and footer links.
  • Many links were reciprocal. It used to be that reciprocal links just canceled each other out but post Penguin, these are a clear sign of what Google considers to be a linking scheme and can hurt your site’s ability to rank.
  • Lacking anchor text diversity in the backlinks. 90% of the anchor text contained the exact same phrase and this makes it look like the result of an automated posting software or some other form of unnatural link building.

The Cure

Unfortunately, recovering from a Penguin slap down is not easy. Sometimes the best thing to do surprisingly is absolutely nothing; Just carry on with your regular publishing and make sure you don’t participate in any link schemes. Furthermore, do not participate in any communication with Google through a reconsideration request or their meaningless Penguin feedback form. They will not reply unless manual actions were taken and instead, Google just uses the data they collect to further damn you and other SEOs.

Always wait at least 1 week for Google’s algorithms to recalibrate before taking any drastic measures but after this grace period, the algos would have set in and will not correct themselves automatically. Of course in due time you may naturally recover by doing nothing but this could take a year or more for the algorithms to reset. This only works if you have time on your side and you do not rely on a steady cash-flow to keep your business going.

Otherwise, you try these actions to correct the errors and recover from the Penguin attack:

  • First, remove the spammy links.
  • If they came from 2.0 sites then log in and edit them or if it was from spun content, just delete the posts/articles and close the accounts.
  • If they were bought or traded, then contact the webmaster and ask for the link(s) to be move inside the <body> tag instead of in the header, sidebar, footer or blogroll.
  • Make sure to use a wide variety of keywords and employ synonyms in your anchor text.
  • If you cannot remove all your spammy links then you may need to change your URL structure without using 301 redirects to the new pages. This will effectively break all the links pointing to every page of your site except for the homepage and should only be used as a last measure.

If removing the spammy links doesn’t cause your site to bounce back then you may need to take more drastic measures to reset the algorithm or to completely re-index your site. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • First, try moving to a new host server or change your IP address.
  • If you didn’t already change your URL structure in the previous steps then try doing that now and this time you can use 301 redirects as long as the spammy backlinks were removed.
  • Change registration of the domain name and change the IP again to emulate the site being bought and sold.
  • Move your content to a new sub-directory or several sub-directories based on category, author or content matter.
  • Erase or rewrite all of the content on the site.
  • Hopefully, you won’t get this far but as a last ditch attempt, park the domain for a month of two and start all over from the drawing board. We’ve tested this and the site actually bounced back to regain most of its first page rankings. Domain history and authority was not lost.

In the end, this case study provides the opportunity to test and identify actual causes and effects of the new Penguin update. I will be posting the results of the recovery as soon as the corrections are made.

 

Beware of The Penguin, The Google Penguin That is

Penguin-Update-GoogleAffected by the Penguin? You need to definitely check out this Penguin Recovery Case Study and this one features other Panda and Penguin Recovery Strategies.

On April 24th, 2012 Google unleashed the troublesome Penguin update and posted the unofficial Penguin announcement on Google’s Webmaster Central blog before they even named it Penguin. Then Matt Cutts tweets a link where you can report Post-Penguin webspam which directs to the Official Penguin Webspam Report Form located within Google Webmaster tools. If you were negatively affected by the Panda or the Penguin update, definitely read my post on Penguin Recovery.

If You Are Innocent

If you feel you were unjustly affected by the update it just doesn’t matter because Google will never hear your argument. As an alternative to pleading with Google, you can sign the kill the Penguin petition at Change.org. In addition, Google provided this Penguin feedback form where you can state your case and you can also ask for a reconsideration request here but I STRONGLY recommend that you do not contact Google in any way as it could just put you on a flagged list along with spammers. Google has been accused of pulling similar phishing scams.

The FTC Gets Involved

The ironic thing is that this update which took out many innocent bystanders was released on the same day that the FTC escalated their case against Google and hired Beth A. Wilkinson to help prosecute the case. If you were one of those bystanders, I also suggest you file an official FTC complaint here. Former Federal Trade Commission official David Wales was quoted saying, “This shows Google that if it doesn’t give you the remedy you want, you’re going to litigate.”

What is the Penguin All About?

penguin-link-building-crusherThis update was originally called the Webspam Update until two days later when Matt Cutts officially renamed it Penguin. This update strictly targets off-page attributes and unnatural link building as defined in this Webmaster Guideline on Link schemes including buying links. To save you some time, I’ll go ahead and list what type of links this covers.

  • Paid links
  • Reciprocal link exchanges
  • Links from spun articles
  • Links from low-quality articles
  • Links from comment spam
  • Links from networks
  • Links containing a large number of exact anchor text matches
  • Links from splogs (auto created spam blogs)
  • Links from irrelevant sites
  • Forum spam links

Please feel free to add to my list of bad links below in the comments

Google Loves Synonyms

Why you should use synonyms for SEO

synonyms-keyword-seoI’ve mentioned the use of synonyms in previous posts like 2012 Keyword Research and Post Panda SEO Tips but in this post, I want to elaborate more and talk about why Google loves synonyms. Using synonyms has been beneficial for SEO for a few years now but they are even more important after the Panda and Penguin have rolled out.

Why Synonyms are so Important

According to Matt Cutts, Google’s measurements show that synonyms affect 70 percent of all user searches. An example they use in their post Helping Computers Understand Language is if someone searches for [pictures] they should get the same results if they search for [photos].  The task of identifying the relationship between synonyms and other words is a core function of any search engine. This is why Google has a massive synonyms database and complex algorithms that allow them to intuitively understand your query.

Another reason synonyms are so important to Google is because this same technology can also be used to identify spun content. I stopped spinning back in 2010 as a precautionary measure because I realized that if TheBestSpinner.com can have a database of 82,000 synonyms, then Google must have a substantial amount more. Google’s Webspam Team should be smart enough to use this database and algorithms unspin and identify black-hat articles.

Using Synonyms

2% keyword density is super old school and can even lower your rankings. Plus it just looks spammy and doesn’t read well. This is why I suggest using the main keyword only once or twice while filling up the rest of the 2% with synonyms. You can also stick synonyms in title tags, alt tags, meta content, file names and etc. It’s become second nature for me to just use the keyword once or twice and insert synonyms throughout the page instead.

Some Cool Stuff to Check Out

 

 

Post Panda SEO Tips

 

matt-cutts-google-panda-tipsIf your site was negatively affected by Panda, I suggest also checking out my article titled, How to Recover from a Panda Slap Down.

1. Greater Emphasis on On-page Optimization Post Panda

  • Google Webmaster Tools is a great place to start, you should spend hours in there following the suggestions and fixing reported errors.
  • Clean code, use W3C.orgs free online tools to validate your CSS and HTML.
  • Decrease load time, Web Page Analyzer is another free SEO tool that will help you do that.
  • Crawlability: To many people’s surprise, I no longer suggest the use of sitemaps for post Panda SEO. Instead, make sure that the bots can naturally reach every page on your site without having to force Google to index it with a sitemap.

2. Written Content must be high quality

  • Spinning appears to be dead. Your written content must be truly unique.
  • Article length 500 words+, no fluff just facts and valuable information.
  • Requires independent investigation to post content that cannot be found on other sites.
  • Written by expert or enthusiast.
  • Post Panda, Google is much more critical on misspelling and grammatical errors.
  • 2% keyword density is now too much, instead use synonyms.
  • Definitely visit High-Quality Content to see Googles guidelines.

3. Use less ads and affiliate links

  • Less ads is more and can actually increase your page RPM (formally ECPM)
  • Cloak or hide affiliate links by using Action Script, Java, link shorteners or my favorite, redirects.

4. Use Graphical Content

  • High quality, large images should be used, no longer are small files that load quicker better. sacrifice load time for image quality.
  • Google now reads the text in images so don’t steal images with text or edit them if you do.
  • Use keyword variations in image file names, titles, alt tag and descriptions.
  • Give all images unique, SEO friendly URLs. This provides more unique, relevant and optimized pages to be indexed.

5. Like is the new link: Post Panda SMO

  • Get as many friends and followers as you can.
  • Show regular activity on all networks, post updates, comments, add pictures etc.
  • Use social media integration on your website with Facebook connect, Plus one, Twitter, Digg, Stumbleupon and more.
  • Use APIs that will syndicate and auto post content across social networks.

6. Post Panda SEO Link building

  • Use high-quality content to get links, blog post, article submissions, guest posts, contributions to journalistic or educational sites.
  • Black hat can still be used for indexing, don’t expect it to pass Page Rank.

7. Keep Content Fresh

  • Rewrite or append to existing content.
  • Allow user generated content like comments.

8. Study User Behavior

Googlebot being the robot that it is, can’t actually form an opinion as to the quality of your content so after Panda, Google is putting a stronger emphasis on the visitor’s activity to help them determine if your content is really worth a damn. Spend more time looking at your Google Analytics.

  • CTR.
  • Bounce rate.
  • Time on site.
  • Do anything you can to make people click and stick.
  • use flash, video appealing graphics like this little video of Professor Puppet talking about Post Panda SEO

Feel free to ask questions in the comments below :-)

How to Recover from a Panda or Penguin Slap Down

google-penguin-updateUnfortunately, trying to get back on your feet after getting slapped down by the Panda or the more recent Penguin update, is not an easy task and almost always requires a complete remodeling of your entire website! This is mostly because the actions were taken were not manual, instead, they were caused when something triggered an algorithm alarm to devalue or remove your rankings and once that happens your site could get sucked into a black hole for a very long time or until you do something drastic to reset the algorithm. Ever since Google started rolling out their infamous Panda updates in February of 2011, site after site has been penalized and sometimes unjustly. SEOs and webmasters alike have been scrambling for answers.  In this article, I will be outlining instructions on how to recover from a Panda penalty along with actual case studies from other panda recovery stories.

First things first, before you can fix the problem you must identify the problem and this means you must diagnose the attributes that got you penalized in the first place. In doing so, you’ll need to find out if it was on-page or off-page. The earlier Panda updates only affected your site’s on-page attributes like content, internal link structure, and coding. That was until the Panda 3.5 update on April 19th, 2012 and the Penguin update on April 24th, 2012 that targeted off-page attributes like off-page content and external links. Identifying the culprit will require a deep investigation of your site’s content, code and your server configuration well as an in-depth look at the links that point to your site. Lastly, you will need to look at all the actions taken by all members of your team. This should have been tracked in a project management software and by making notes in your Google Analytics account. Identifying the problem is always the hardest part of the Panda recovery process and second opinions can be very helpful, this is why I offer a 150 point Panda Slap Analysis which takes 5 days to complete.

Now that you know what triggered Google’s algorithms to punish you, these are some of the most common practices used to recover from the Panda:

If Your Site Was Penalized for Having Copied or Low-Quality Content

Remove the content from your site or move it to another sub-directory with 301 redirects. On April 24th, the same day of the Penguin update, Google posted this guide on how to move your content. This is a very popular technique that I mentioned back in Oct. of 2011 in a post about the Panda 2.5 update. Alternative methods are changing your URL structure to force a re-indexing of the whole site at least to the URLs that lost ranking, not to the URLs that are still listed high in the SERPs.

If Your Site Was Penalized for Having Spammy Backlinks

Cancel your subscriptions to any and all link networks or link brokering sites. This especially applies to adult sites and Porn SEO.  Then work feverishly to try to build a solid foundation of white hat links to fill that empty void of links that were de-indexed. These must content based links which are considered Panda Friendly and can be very time-consuming.

Other Panda Recovery Tactics

The two Panda penalties I listed above are the most common but your site could have been slapped down for a number of different reasons so make sure you check through this list of other very helpful Panda rescue tactics.

  • Scale down on your ads
  • Hide affiliate links by using redirects in your .htaccess file
  • Integrate with social media YouTube, Plus and Blogspot, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest
  • Do more internal linking just like you see on Wikipedia.com
  • Clean up your code and optimize page load speed
  • Redesign your whole site
  • Enhance the user experience to increase stickiness and page views
  • Integrate rich snippets and microdata
  • Post regular content to the site

What Not to Do!

Do not file a reconsideration request! Firstly because Google only replies to manual penalties, not the penalties that result from an algo change. Secondly, because you most likely just be telling on yourself and fall victim to Googles Phishing Scam.

Do not use Matt Cutts Penguin tattle tale tool that he posted on Twitter or their Penguin Feedback form.

You can also use this list of past Panda updates to try to help you troubleshoot cause and effect of when your SERPs dropped.

Panda 3.5 on April 19th, 2012
Panda 3.4 on March 23rd, 2012
Panda 3.3 on about February 26th, 2012
Panda 3.2 on about January 15th, 2012
Panda 3.1 on November 18th, 2011
Panda 2.5.3 on October 19th, 2011
Panda 2.5.2 on October 13th, 2011
Panda 2.5.1 on October 9th, 2011
Panda 2.5 on September 28th, 2011
Panda 2.4 on August 15, 2011
Panda 2.3 on July 22nd, 2011
Panda 2.2 on June 18th or so.
Panda 2.1 on May 9th or so.
Panda 2.0 on April 11th or so.
Panda 1.0 on February 24th
In the end, if you are not 100% sure about your diagnosis or recovery, consult a real professional because you can easily make the problem worse.

Expert Keyword Research (2012 Revisited)

Expert Search Engine Optimization Keyword Research

As the ever changing algorithms evolve, so must your SEO techniques. People often ask me, what’s your favorite SEO tactic? And my answer is always KEYWORD RESEARCH. It’s the foundation of any SEO campaign and therefore, the most important aspect. Here I will talk about keyword tools, longtail keywords, 2012 post Panda changes and various keyword analysis strategies.

1. First Things First What are Longtail Keywords?

Longtail keywords are those that are found toward the long tail of the bell curve. These keywords bring in less traffic and are less competitive. In the graph below I have mapped out two keywords, [free porn] and [free Asian milf porn] to demonstrate how long tail keywords work.

expert-keyword-research

2. Studying Keyword Competition

The Google Keyword Tool gives you two pieces of data, monthly searches and competition level. The problem is that their competition ranking system is almost always inaccurate when determining the competitiveness of longtail keywords. The reason is because the true competitiveness of a keyword depends on more variables than the ones that Google uses.

Since I used to work in the Porn SEO arena, I’ll give this example [sex chat] gets 4,090,000 searches per month and Google gives it a medium competitiveness ranking while [Romanian Sex Chat] gets 490 searches per month yet it has the same competitiveness ranking. According to this metric, they have an equal amount of competition but common sense tells us this is not true. Instead of counting on their tool, I use my own little method to more accurately measure this. Using the number of monthly searches vs the number of results found when actually searching for the keyword (e.g About 4,220,000 results (0.19 seconds)) vs the amount of inbound links to the domains within the first 10 results vs the level of on-page optimization of those first 10 results. Lastly, you throw in a little bit of common sense. With these metrics, one can get a better idea of the competition level of the keyword and a better understanding of what type of content will be needed as well as how much link building will be needed to achieve 1st-page rankings.

3. The Best Expert Keyword Tools

While there are many keyword tools that require registration or even payment, the most trusted tool for adept keyword research is the human brain. Start by thinking of all the search terms that you would type in if you were looking for your product or service. The reason I suggest this is because you will always be able to think of search queries that would not and could not have been returned by automated tools. An example of this the fact then when I use keyword tools for the query strip clubs they should have also suggested girly bars or lap dance bars which also get tons of traffic but they didn’t so I had to use human intuition instead. My second most favorite is the Google Keyword Tool and it happens to be free and requires no signup as well. Once I use my own intuition to compile a list and I then plug those KWs into Googles keyword tool to expand on the list and to get the stats for each one. I still haven’t found a keyword tool or service worth paying for so save your money!

4. Use Knowledgeable Keyword Synonyms!

Prior to the year 2001, an expert keyword researcher could have simply placed the keywords on the web page hundreds of times and even hid the keywords in the background to trick Google. Then Google implemented an algorithm of around 2% keyword density as the suggested practice for proficient keyword placement within your text. Nowadays, even 2% is too much in this Post-Panda SEO era, as it disrupts the natural flow of writing and tends to look spammy. To become a true Keyword expert, use keyword synonyms or semantically related keywords because Google now loves synonyms. An example for this article could be expert keyword research, adroit search query research, keyword analysis expert or keyword inquisition. Using this strategy you can really get your keyword density up to 2% or higher without catching the attention of Google’s webspam team. Use an online thesaurus if you need help finding good synonyms.

5. What Keywords are Your Competitors Using?

Saving the best suggestion for last It doesn’t take an expert keyword researcher to find out what keywords your competitors are going after. Let someone else do all the work for you. You can easily see what keywords your competition is trying to rank for by looking at the keywords they use in their titles, meta tags, and other on-page attributes. You can also find information about what keywords your competition is ranking for by looking at SEMrush, Alexa, and Compete.com.

How to Write Panda-Friendly Articles

Is Article Marketing Dead?

The question isn’t whether or not article marketing is dead; The real question is how to adapt your article marketing to a post Panda SEO era. After watching the top article directories lose anywhere from 50% to 80% of their traffic, it’s clear that a new strategy is well overdue. Matt Cutts publicly announced the increasing ineffectiveness that article marketing will have on your search engine rankings. Usually, you have to read close between the lines with Matt but this time he just came out and said it

1. Social Article Marketing

Take Matt Cutts’ advice and stay away from article directories and instead focus more on Web2.0 and social media sites. That being said, the best channels for social article marketing are platforms that integrate Web2.0 with social media communities. A few examples of these are Hubpages, Squidoo and Tumblr. These sites not only offer a platform to distribute your articles but they also offer social communities by allowing you to do things like comment, bookmark, share, follow and attract other followers. This allows the Google Panda to judge the quality of your content not by the keyword density or the word count but by the user activity surrounding it. No longer is just posting an article good enough. Now that article must get commented on, shared, tweeted, dugg, stumbled, liked and +1 before Google will consider it worth a damn.

2. Article Marketing for the Masses

Take the time to do some guest posting. Find relevant, quality sites and offer them your high-quality content in exchange for a link. News sites, forums, white papers are all good ways to get your article out to the masses. It’s easy to see how this is making better use of your content in comparison to letting it get buried in some failing article directory.

3. High-Quality Rich Media Articles

Sorry folks, its time to put the spinner to rest! Take your content’s quality to the next level not just by improving your writing skills and following the Google Webmaster High-Quality Guidelines but also by including better images, audio, video or interactive flash. Google used to not like large images that load slow but now it’s actually worth sacrificing the load time for rich media.

panda-seo-articlesWriting Panda-Friendly articles is the foundation of any modern day SEO campaign. Googlebot armed with the new Panda algorithms is scouring the internet looking for poorly written content and punishing anyone that doesn’t comply. This is why changing up your article writing style may be one of the most valuable Post-Panda SEO tips I have to offer.

4. Small Informational Bites

Keep the paragraphs short; Between 3 to 6 sentences long and separate them with headers. Online writing is different than normal print publications in the sense that the average online reader is less engaged and therefore, wants to read small bites of information. Rather than having large blocks of text that might make a reader click away, keep your paragraphs short and packed full of information. No fluff!

5. Semantic Keyword Density

2% keyword density is too much in the Post-Panda era as a 1000 word article would have to mention the keyword at least 20 times and this totally looks spammy. Instead, use keyword synonyms or semantically related keywords because according to Matt Cutts, Google loves synonyms. An example could be replica watches, imitation watches, counterfeit watches or fake Rolexes. Using this strategy you can really get your keyword density up to 3% or even 4% without raising red flags with Googles webspam team. I also suggest reading my more in-depth article titled Expert Keyword Research.

6. Create Bulleted or Numbered Lists

Readers like to see bulleted and numbered lists because it helps them find useful information when skimming or scanning your article. In addition, search engines read the HTML attributes that create these list and give more weight to the article. You can put the whole article into a numbered format as I have done here or just create a number or bullet list summarizing, outlining or indexing the subject matter.

7. Use More Than Just Text

Other forms of online content increase the quality of your SEO-friendly articles. Include high-quality images, polls, relevant videos, quizzes, graphs, tables, charts or flash. A great example of this would be Squidoo or Hubpages; These guys won’t even publish your article unless they include a few of these bells and whistles.

8. Panda Approved Article Length

Some topics require more words than others however, longer is almost always better so try to aim for a minimum of 750 words. While this article may only be around 750 words it is packed with information, reads as a step-by-step guide and fully covers the topic. If I was writing about nuclear fusion, I would expect to write a couple of thousand words to accurately discuss the topic.

9. Give Outbound Links

This sounds crazy right?!? Why in the world would you want to give away links and lose your link juice? Link to your sources, not only because its proper journalism but also because Google likes to crawl as much as possible so if you can provide a relevant link to a helpful resource and the user clicks-through and sticks, it shows Google that your content was informative and high quality. Here are the dos and don’ts, do not link to any page or site that competes for the same type of traffic. Link only to high authority sites like .edu, .gov or any high PR site.

10. If Outsourcing Your SEO Articles

Outsourcing your article writing is tricky because few companies out there understand these Panda-friendly article guidelines or if they do understand them, they don’t want to follow them because the time and costs associated. That being said, if you will be outsourcing your SEO articles to other countries like India, Philippines and Romania make sure the copywriters write English like Americans write it. Common mistakes are punctuation, incorrect singulars and plurals, future, past and present tenses and poor sentence construction. Even little things like “I am interested to cars” when a true English speaking person would say, I am interested in cars. If an 8-year-old child can tell the difference, then you better believe a multibillion dollar company like Google can tell the difference too.

11. Create User Activity

seo-articles-panda1Easier said than done but the basis is to try to get the reader to engage by asking questions or evoking them to comment below. Google loves to see user generated content and user activity. The best way to give an example of this is by asking you a few questions here.

  • Was this article helpful?
  • Are there a few things that you might have disagreed with?
  • Is there anything I left out?