Search Engine Marketing

Your New Website – Have you failed at the last hurdle?

search engine marketing

So your website has been built and properly optimised for the search engines, directories and local search tools – Job Done!

No, more like Journey Started to greater ROI.

During the build of your site, you’d have commissioned a design that was in line with your brand and visual identity, you’d have research the most effective keywords used for your market and then worked with the SEO team and the copywriter to maximise the search engine results, then you’ll have launched the site, normally to a fanfare and great accolades.

The final hurdle is seeing how it fares out in the big wide world as despite doing everything according to the rule book there are still pot holes to avoid. Avoid these and turn your great website into a star performer.

“You really don’t want to be scratching your heads in six months from the website launch
wondering why it’s not performing and regretting the investment.”

Consider:

  • Spotting and disavowing toxic backlinks that will damage your site’s reputation
  • Mapping missing landing pages from valuable legacy backlinks to new pages
  • Spotting and correcting tags and titles with insufficient or poor content
  • Correcting blacklisting by association with a tainted server
  • Correcting missing or incorrect site maps
  • Removing false Google reporting due to bots
  • Advising Google of remedial work on items completed that it flagged up as needing attention
  • Spotting trends in:
    • Falling Smartphone audiences
    • Poor social media engagements once on the site is published
    • Backlinking sites
    • Internal cross linking on new pages
  • Search terms that are performing well and those missing the mark so you can apply more suitable content and pages
  • Security issues
  • Changes in Google’s SERP’s algorithm – playing fair and by the rules is important!

“playing fair and by the rules is important!”

There’s a raft of checks and feedback to be done periodically to make sure you’re getting the best from your investment. This analytical work is not normally the domain of your marketing company, they normally do a great job with content provision, and inbound marketing with blog articles and social media strategy, but do not major on the mechanics that underpin the entire site.

Google Analytics example

Universal Analytics example

The above are just a few of the many review items website owners who are earnest about being the best that they can be online should be actively monitoring and acting upon. Post launch of your website, just one or two of these items can seriously impair a website’s performance. It’s such a shame to see website failure or significant underperformance when such blocking errors are not spotted and the owners are unaware of how much they could get from their investment.

“be the best that you can be online”

The business message here is find someone to look after the health of your website and manage its performance.


About the Author

Simon Thomas is the lead partner at Toucan Internet LLP who have provided progressive web development and online marketing resources to clients since 1997. Simon also has 20 years direct marketing experience pre-internet and provides a unique blend of innovative advice based on experience and an informed understanding of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
01279 871 694
www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

 

Search Engine Marketing

Fundamental health check and opportunity spotting for your website

Introduction

Keywords

So your website has been built and properly optimised for the search engines, directories and local search tools; it is now ready to be promoted.

This doesn’t necessarily mean engaging a dedicated search engine optimisation and marketing team, though the results from such programs are normally very effective. It does mean making certain that the world is accepting your new web site as you expected and making sure that nothing that could impede its success remains undiscovered.

“We really don’t want to be scratching our heads in six months from the launch wondering why it’s not performing and regretting the investment.”

You want to be celebrating the website meeting the objectives you set for it.

Don’t for one minute think that building a great website with quality content will work on its own. Your website is part of a bigger marketing ecosystem and needs to be linked in accordingly; linking typically with Social Media programs, the wider marketing activities of the enterprise, the blog, the traditional marketing, your legacy backlinks etc.

It’s at this stage where so many websites of great potential fail as there is a need to watch how a website is accepted or not by the search engines and optimise accordingly.

The Search Engine Marketing (SEM) performed by Toucan Internet is a mix of promotion, monitoring and feedback. The feedback is provided to you with the sole objective of improving your website performance and is focussed on specific outbound and inbound improvements in line with your performance goals.

We provide feedback in the form of basic reports and a commentary that you can act upon as you feel appropriate. It does give you the professional test and monitoring essential to any business activity where performance is critical. Search Engine Optimisation and SEM are essential and inseparable partners, each one feeding the other in a loop of continuous improvement.

Promote, Monitor and Feedback

www.ebusiness-cards.co.uk

Our mission is to see our clients get greater results and we promote to the search engines (SE) and directories in a number of ways. Since Google is the prime referrer nationally and internationally for b2b and b2c, this search engine is the prime focus of activity as it will return the highest rewards once successful. Google performance and feedback is reviewed manually every session in some depth. You will be asked to include a Google verification code in your website so we can gain access to Google’s valuable activity and performance data held for your website in their webmaster section. We will also need you to add a Google tracking code so we can access the visitor data captured by them and therefore provide qualified feedback.

We promote to the prime SE’s manually and the rest using automatic submission software.  We manually verify your listing on Google, Yahoo UK, Bing and DMOZ – The Open Directory Project.

We manually submit the site to local and individual referrers such as UFindUs and Hotfrog and subsequently check for a positive listing.

Once the promotion is complete, reports are compiled including one for all the automatic submissions and a more detailed one for the manual SE including a comprehensive analysis of Google’s take on your site.

We analyse these results in line with your goals and will feed back our recommendations. The recommendations should be considered for your SEO activities and will likely involve updates to the website so the site will play a stronger hand to the search engines, particularly Google.

The Typical Routine
For most clients we perform this comprehensive SEM routine on a cyclical basis with most clients having such a review every three months

After the first registration session the next recommended session is at the six-week point and then three monthly thereafter. This programme can be tailored to specific needs.

After each session you will receive submission and analysis reports. After the second session the results will normally start to appear and we can see clear indicators as to how to improve the results, if need be.

Whilst there is no firm guarantee of a search engine position without paying for it by a Pay Per Click campaign (PPC), Toucan does gain good results for its clients who understand that we have to work together to get the results over a period of time. We will of course also help you establish PPC campaigns if required.

Our Promise

  • We agree the goals for the website in the form of key terms & phrases under which the site is to be found in line with your website optimisation
  • We manually promote to the key search engines and monitor accordingly
  • We manually monitor in-depth Google activity
  • We manually promote to emerging directories and local search type websites
  • We provide a report of manual monitoring and promotional activity
  • We provide an online report of automatic submissions with history
  • We provide you an online Ranking report for Key engines and with history and graphs for multiple key terms
  • We provide you a list of recommendations in summary for future SEO of the site

As Toucan needs to keep up to date with the ever changing requirements of SEO and SEM this programme is subject to change as new practices, search tools and requirements evolve.

If you have any special requirements or would like to discuss these programmes in more detail, please contact us at:

Toucan Internet LLP

t: 01279 871 694

e: info@toucanweb.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Has your web developer covered all the SEO bases?

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation

We’re all trying to make sure our web pages are best placed in the search results on the key search engines such as Google or Bing and these days it is much more of a meritocracy than ever before; the genuinely good websites rising to the top for their sphere of authority.

That’s not to say that they can’t be influenced. Please dispel any ideas of the black hat techniques of the past and concentrate on writing quality websites that are genuinely better than their compatriots, better content, better written, better composed, better liked, better coded, basically fundamentally better by any real measure.

Today we’ll consider ten key on-page items that make websites perform better in the search results. In other editions we’ll go deeper into this as well as looking at other off page factors. Follow us @Toucan_Group for later editions of the SEO Checklist.

Let’s now look at the on-page items that we consider mandatory for good SEO in this session. There are hundreds of items to consider but here is a snap shot of ten very important on-page items. Don’t shoot the web developer if these are not implemented exactly as prescribed here in your site as it can depend on the brief you’ve given them and the mission for the site.

To check many of these you’ll need to see the code that makes up your pages. This is browser dependent but is normally under a term such as “view page source”. In Chrome on PC, right click and you get that option.

  1. Keywords in the Title Tag
    The title tag is the webpage’s second most important piece of SEO content and it therefore provides the search engine a high SEO ranking.
  2. Title Tag Starts with Keyword
    Title tags that start with a keyword invariably perform better than title tags with the keyword elsewhere in the word order.
  3. Keywords in Description Tag
    This is a less relevant tag than in the past however these still make a difference to ranking with some search engines.
  4. Keyword Appears in H1 Tag
    H1 tags are the next most important item to get right after the title tag. These send another relevancy signal to Google as they reinforce the title tag.
  5. Word Count
    The extent of the content on your page with more words expanding on the relevant topic is a ranking signal and will affect the Search Engine Results Position. A bare minimum of 100 words is a fair rule however 300 words of more will give better results.
  6. Cross linking within the site using Keywords
    In the text within the site use links on the keywords to navigate to other sections of the site. Google picks up on these as items that are of high relevance within the site.
  7. Page Loading Speed in a browser
    Google and Bing monitor page loading speed as a ranking factor. Poorly built sites with no code minification, bloated code, badly compressed images and alike all increase page load time. For an impartial test of your site go to https://tools.pingdom.com/
  8. Duplicate Content
    Never use identical content anywhere in a site, it will be spotted and the site penalised in the search results as it is a negative indicator of quality. This includes all tags, meta and image except the keyword tag.
  9. Image Optimisation
    Images with a page provide search engines relevancy signals and usability factors. Use the file name to be descriptive, use alt text to describe the image so that text readers for partially sighted get an explanation and consider adding title, description and caption.
  10. Page html errors
    Poorly coded web pages are indicative of a poor website. If the code doesn’t comply with standards then there’s a chance the search engine spiders may even baulk at indexing it altogether and not all browsers will render it properly. The standards book is W3C and they provide a validation tool at https://validator.w3.org/. Once again don’t cane your web developer too much if there is the odd Warning however if there are many Errors, then you should delve further.

Further publications will deliver further manageable bit-sized advice on this enormous topic. All announced @toucan_group.


 

This information has been written and collated by Simon Thomas, active in commercial web development and online marketing since 1996, who understands the need to stay current with standards and methods almost week by week.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
@toucan_group
01279 871 694T Bird 72ppi

Are quality keywords alone sufficient for good search engine placement?

Search engine performance has always been a predominant part of the specification of most website projects, even before Google had reached the consciousness of the masses; a time when Yahoo was the ascendant search engine.

 

Is good keyword selection important? Absolutely yes, however it’s the start of your optimisation journey, not the end. We frequently come across website owners who have commissioned an excellent website for their business; all the keywords are in place, the navigation is intuitive and the calls to action expertly implemented, but it just not drawing either the traffic or the business despite the serious cash injection. Sitting around for the return on investment could be a long wait.

 

Assuming you have professionally researched the keywords and they are correct for your marketing message then you’re ready to start the search engine marketing and monitoring. This is a basket of activities that will turn your website from a cobweb to a proactive marketing tool; a sales team ready to close new business.

 

The online marketing part of the process is primarily aimed at increasing your inbound referrers – the external links to your site. Apart from other search engines and directories, the world of social media offers a vast number of channels where this can be done to great effect with minimal cost and a small amount of dedicated time applied regularly on a weekly schedule.  Assuming your overall objective is to build business and drive people to the calls to action in your website, then the focus needs to be to deliver new people to the website. The social media will allow them to get to know you and see peer recommendations. Ultimately it will deliver them to your website where the convincers and calls to action should deliver you the new business you wanted.

 

The great thing about this is these potential customers arrive at your website voluntarily from peer recommendations, all orchestrated without the loth’able sales emails or other pushy sales techniques.

The monitoring part of the process is to ensure that you keep your nose clean and obey all the rules that make for a quality web presence rather than something that just looks good, but is effectively lame. Spotting build code errors is important as the Google spider may baulk at code it doesn’t understand and therefore stops indexing your site. You don’t want that as you’ll be largely invisible in Google searches. There are a raft of other crucial items to monitor and an ongoing marketing and monitoring program will do this, ensuring a site is truly “fully search engine optimised”.

 

Once other people like your site and link to it using relevant keywords then your site will start to gain prominence. Better still if they are very relevant referrers in the same field as yours; then the Google “love” increases ever more.

 

It’s far from rocket science; develop a good website that is relevant to your message and appealing to both people and Google, get liked by other quality online referrers, feed the referral channels to keep the whole marketing machine oiled with new posts that link back to the website and encourage relevant others to link to you.

 

If you do it well your market will respond, but just play with it and you’ll be joining the masses who tried and failed to maximise their potential and return on investment.

 

In answer to the question “Are quality keywords alone sufficient for good search engine placement“, the answer is a resounding “no”. They are however the crucial start to the foundation of your website and online marketing.

 


About the Author

Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP has been involved in the development hosting and marketing of websites since 1995. He is passionate about his client’s online success and will welcome any approach for web development or consultative engagements.

t: 01279 871 694

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2014©. All rights reserved.

Home of the world’s smallest PC has a new Website

When WSPC the “home of the world’s smallest pc” needed a new website they had no hesitation in putting this important project to the incumbent web development company Toucan Internet.

WSPC build small, robust PCs that have the power and performance of desktop computers but take up minimal space making them ideal where space is at a premium and perfect for marine, automobile and other niche applications. Details at worldssmallestpc.com

Toucan Internet has looked after WSPC for many years and by consistent online marketing have secured good footfall to the site of relevant visitors looking to purchase, be they individuals or, more the norm, organisations looking for multiple purchases.

The website creative design immediately shows the visitor applications for the small PC’s so putting the product in context visually as soon as it’s glimpsed. This is very powerful for convincing relevant visitors to stay on site when they arrive from a search result.

Understanding buyers’ needs, we grouped the products into subcategories so that only the correct products are shown that meet the customers’ needs. This therefore makes it easy to select the most appropriate PC before buying through the onsite checkout.

The whole site is managed by WSPC using the Toucan Control Panel that makes complex updates to content and the shop a simple task.

Heavily optimised for continued search engine success, coding is in place to trap anyone following a link to the old site so they are seamlessly delivered to the new site; it’s all too easy to forget the quality links old sites have when developing new.

Toucan Internet is pleased to continue to contribute to the success of this long-established and well-regarded specialist pc supplier.

 


To find out more about how Toucan Internet LLP can improve your online success, please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below.

t: 01279 871 694

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

New coach hire website finds top Google success within weeks

Coach Hire Hertshttp://www.coachhirehertfordshire.co.uk/

Toucan Internet was delighted to collaborate once again with local coach hire company St Margarets.  St Margarets provide affordable and luxury coach hire for group travel.

In order to publicise this travel service, St Margarets commissioned Toucan Internet to construct a commercially successful website that increased their web exposure and assisted them with their business goals.

The key objectives for St Margarets coach hire website – along with intuitive aesthetics and functionality – was that the website was well optimised and Toucan’s approach has certainly borne fruit; after only a few weeks the website now appears on the first page of Google following typical and generic local searches.

Toucan Internet is pleased to be able to contribute positively to success of this long-established and well-regarded professional coach hire company.

To find out more about how Toucan Internet LLP can improve your online success, please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below.

t: 01279 871 694

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

How much web page text is required to please Google?

Having been optimising websites for greater search engine performance, whilst giving a quality visitor experience since the turn of the millennium, Toucan Internet has always favoured including text of reasonable quality and in modest quantity.

Reasonable quality in that it must be well written English, relevant to the subject, contain the researched keywords to an adequate frequency and be cross-linked within the whole website, or websites should the enterprise operate multiple websites.

Quantity is always an interesting balance between satisfying two masters:

  • the human master needs to be provided sufficient text so that the reader gets adequate information but without presenting them with a wall of words and without flooding the creative design underpinning the visual attractiveness of your site.
  • the search engines and Internet directories master that will drive large numbers of relevant visitors and customers to your site if it’s done properly. When developing websites that need good search engine returns we’ve always considered minimal text content to be a poor choice; after all Google and the other search engines read the words to classify your site so that they can recommend it to others and if you provide either too little content, or content with insufficient focus for that matter, the search engines will not be able to adequately index your site. As a consequence it will not rate or perform highly.

The big question is “what is the right amount of content”. The simple answer is that from page to page in your website there really is no hard and fast rule as some pages will require masses of content and others quite a minimal amount to be fit for purpose. However we’ve found from many years of online marketing experience that the bare minimum to get noticed to any sensible degree is 100 words, however if it’s practical get this above 300 words.

This recently published article lends weight to the argument that it’s good practice to give Google as much relevant content as you can practically include – http://www.sitepronews.com/2012/12/09/googles-stance-on-content-length/

 


About the Author.

This article was written by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP who has been active on the Internet since 1995 and runs a number of commercially successful Internet projects. Toucan supports client’s web build to the correct standards, not just SEO, and maintains on-going search engine marketing for clients that value high performing websites.

For more information.

t: 01279 871 694
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk
w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2013©. All rights reserved.

 

 

What is the difference between budget web hosting and business class web hosting?

Many of the points detailed below are on a scale rather than being black or white when comparing one provider with another.

Support
For websites to work properly they have to have an adequate level of technical support at the time when it is needed by the developer and the business. Delays will hinder development and inevitably increase other operational costs.
Toucan Internet’s quality standard is that you will be able to contact a human being who can understand and correct the issue you have or be just one step back from that person. You will always get a human being to talk to during normal UK office hours. We do not use automated call handling, just real people who care and invariable know you as a customer. We also have the patience to take the time to explain the details you need in plain English.

This best summed up by one council who transferred all their hosting to Toucan Internet LLP from a budget web host provider because of the lost hours spent waiting in call queues and alike when technical support was required. They now simply call us and the matter is in hand.

Out of hours we have a Support Request system in place http://toucanweb.co.uk/ti_status_request.php and a notification service for bigger issues at http://toucanweb.co.uk/ti_status.php.

Website Performance
For businesses that require the best possible advantage with Google it is worth bearing in mind that one of the many criteria that Google uses to rank a website is speed of delivery of the web pages and their content. There are two parts to the speed of delivery, one is the quality of the website code and the second is the speed of the server and the supporting network. Our servers are right on the UK’s Internet backbone in a datacentre in London’s Docklands, affording our clients excellent connectivity.

A number of our websites are in the top 5% of the world’s fastest websites as independently reported by Google.

Economy hosting gives the provider a lower revenue and as such they have to max the servers to generate adequate return by putting as many customers websites on a server as possible. At Toucan Internet LLP our competitive business class rate means that we can balance the loads on our servers and keep significant resources in reserve. This is turn gives impeccable reliability and up time plus fast delivery of websites.

 

Email Services
Invariably the web host provider will be the email provider. With the same level of care and customer support, Toucan Internet LLP provides email services for practically all requirements:

·         POP3

·         IMAP

·         Cloud – Hosted Microsoft Exchange

·         SMTP

Plus Toucan Internet LLP supports this with world class email security that screens inbound mail for Spam and viruses including providing an online quarantine box, white & black listing and a daily digest of your quarantine box.
The need to configure your email accounts on your local business servers and devices is accommodated as Toucan Internet LLP has good working relationships with many local IT support companies and liaises with any IT professionals you may already have in support.

 

Bespoke Services
If your web developer requires additional services, modules or configurations specific to a special requirement, then we accommodate this too, subject to a security audit of the solution.

 

 

Comprehensive business class services with personal support

We care about your business.

About the Author

Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP has 18 years direct marketing experience prior to embracing the new Internet marketing channels that emerged in 1995. He heads the multiple disciplinary team of professionals at Toucan Internet LLP supporting clients of all sizes and markets where the client is looking for a professional Internet marketing partner with a long proven track record.

To find out more about Toucan Internet LLP please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points
below.

t: +44 1279 871 694
e:
simon@toucanweb.co.uk
w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

Things to consider when redeveloping your website.

There comes a time when the corporate website that once met all your criteria starts looking a little like yesterday’s offerings design-wise and is now missing the mark from a marketing perspective. Tell-tale signs may be subtle such as the visitors bounce* rate increasing as the website fails to convince visitors that you are a worthy offering or the signs may be more obvious in that the website is just not up to date with expected content such as social media integration, compliance with popular browsers and standards or being ready for the mobile market place.

From experience the following is a consolidation of some of the points you may need to consider when undertaking the rework of your website.

Your Objectives

Define the objectives of having a website as once you’ve done this all the subsequent decisions you have to make fall in place as they are either in line with these objectives or they are not.

Your Blueprint

On large projects there can be much detail that really must be concluded before the project starts. Once concluded the entire web development team will understand exactly what has to be delivered and when, and as the website owner you will also know that it will meet your defined objectives.

The blueprinting process often opens up the minds to further specification improvements and content as it encourages all involved to review the finer detail of the website facilities.

Websites that are properly blueprinted have always turned out to be good performers and the relationship between the development team and the customer has been excellent.

Cost-wise; as the project runs to a mutually agreed plan there is far less scope for budget irregularities.

Your Current Website

When you put together your initial website, there would likely have been great thought and deliberation as to what was included and how. Despite the old website now looking dismal beside the competition’s new feature rich website, so many companies will totally disregard the good that is present in their old website. Be very careful not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Apart from quality content that may need to transfer to the new website after reworking, the search engines and other referrers will have linked to the pages in your website.

Your Development Team.

In the past your website may well have required the basic skills of a developer and maybe a designer. Consider the content and your aspirations and ask yourself if your current incumbent team is complete and can offer you:

  • Web development that brings commercial return
  • A team of people with whom you are comfortable working
  • The resources you’ll need to grow your website including:
    • Web coding so the fundamental HTML code is right
    • Programming so the website facilities function to your specifications including Mobile standards and general fall back solutions where Flash and other resources are not supported on the visitor’s browser
    • Copywriting that both fits your industry style and finds favour with the search engines
    • Photography so you avoid poor images that so often degrade what could be a quality website; afford professional or quality photography
    • Video as a powerful and effective way to engage the visitor and also finds favour with the search engines
    • Search engine optimisation
    • Search engine marketing
    • Social media

The Internet marketing team you choose for the next part of your journey needs to have a lot more bases covered than was the case a few years ago if you are to rise above the bland mediocrity of basic websites and have a true commercial success.

The Creative Design

This is the most subjective of all the components. Having a professional creative team that understands both design for web and the norms of your market places will undoubtedly make for a professional result that wins business. So many creatives are stuck in the “design for print world” and do not engage with the dynamic medium of a website. With dynamic new technologies such as jQuery and AJAX, webpages are written to dynamically change according to input giving more efficient pages and a much improved customer experience.

The creative team will work with you and your developers to conclude the navigation tree so that your information is presented in the most effective fashion and in such a way that we lead the visitor through the punchy introduction via the convincers to the call to action. If that simple process is not instinctively engrained in the team’s approach then find someone else.

The Platform and Programming

Do not be wooed by a web development team that wants to build your website with some obscure technology. Stay mainstream with all your resources unless there is a very good reason why not to. If you go “off piste” then you’ll find that there are fewer developers prepared to take your website on with a technology that they do not support and fewer pre-developed resources online so you’ll be paying for bespoke development from scratch for new modules. Examples of mainstream solutions include Linux with PHP & MySQL or Microsoft with ASP & SQL.

Your Online Marketing

The possible routes to market online are now extensive and affordable to all. Have a sound plan in mind that will accommodate all channels including social media, newsletters/mailings, website news, blogging, article publication and other avenues that fit comfortably in your marketing mix. Importantly remember that your website and online marketing are not to be done in isolation and absolutely must seamlessly integrate with your internal systems and traditional marketing. Choose a web development team that understands the benefits of combining multiple channels of communication and better still offers them.

The opt-in newsletter/mailings can be extended further by adding an autoresponder series so that your worthy pre-prepared messages are delivered periodically to your schedule.

Once a website is launched the online marketing offered by your web development team should monitor performance in line with the client’s objectives and the Internet norms and in turn make website changes according to the feedback received. Continuous improvement and following marketing opportunities are key to keeping your website commercially successful for years to come. Keep testing, measuring and improving.

Your Website Hosting

Budget hosting should be avoided; slow servers that are maxed out for profit will cost you dearly. Slow delivery of website content not only turns visitors away but also has an effect on your Google ranking. Your web development marketing company should be monitoring this as one part of your search engine marketing they do for you.

These are just some of the key elements from 16 years of experience and worth considering when redeveloping your website.

 

 

 

About the Author

Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP has 18 years direct marketing experience prior to embracing the new Internet marketing channels that emerged in 1995. He heads the multiple disciplinary team of professionals at Toucan Internet LLP supporting clients of all sizes and markets where the client is looking for a professional Internet marketing partner with a long proven track record.

To find out more about Toucan Internet LLP please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points

below.

t: +44 1279 871 694

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

What is Google Panda and what does it mean to your business.

For business keen to stay in Google’s favour have been asking questions about the introduction of Google’s Panda / farmer update to the UK on April 11th

“What does Google Panda / farmer mean for my website?”

or importantly,

“What does Google Panada mean for my business?”
In this post I intend to give you a quick overview of what the Google Panda / Farmer update is and how it could affect your online marketing and SEO.
 

 

What is the Google Panda Update?

The first thing you should know is that Google has a set of rules called an algorithm for returning search results. You can split it into two parts. The first part returns all of the pages that are relevant to your search term and the next part ranks them in order of relevance to your term. This is intended to return web pages that you will be interested in on the page one.

The Google Panda update is a change to the way the second stage works. Google has implemented Panda to try and make the way that web pages are ranked more relevant and so delivery better results to you when searching.

Why have Google implemented Panda?

Google was under criticism recently regarding the quality of its search results. The cause of this was Spam content in many forms and guises, most notably:

  • Duplicate content. For example, thousands of Spam pages summarising and linking to an article to boost its ranking.
  • Spam content. For example, web-pages containing a meaningless combination of words that has been specifically tailored to rank highly on search results but that is unreadable; often with the goal of making money through advert clicks.

Google is always changing their algorithm to try and make search results more relevant. The reason that Panda has had such media attention is due to its level of impact. Google suggests that the change will impact “11.8% of our queries” (a query refers to a single Google search), which is quite significant considering that Google suggested in 2008 that there were 1 Trillion unique web page URL’s. No doubt this has increased since then. I reference URL’s instead of pages because it is part of Google’s algorithm to evaluate which URLs point to relevant new content vs. repeat content.

How does Google Panda work?

Google will never tell the general public the exact working of its algorithms. All they will tell us is the effect that the algorithm is trying to achieve.

In sort the algorithm change aims to identify Spammy duplicate content. The ultimate goal is to penalise content farms and Spammed back links. Do you have an online SEO strategy that involves Spam’like or automated processes to generate back links and content? Chances are that this is the type of thing that will be penalised.

Google wants you to be creating content for humans to read, not search engines.

In some situations Google will also use information regarding the sites that users block to influence how it ranks pages.

How can I make sure my website works with change?

Don’t create Spam content to try and hit search results. Write high quality tailored content that will be relevant to what a user would want if they arrived on your page from a search engine.

If you are building back links then try to build them from quality sources that are relevant to the content of the pages that they are linking to.

Remove Spam content from your website. If you have lots of Spam content on your website then there is a chance that Google could flag the whole site as a content farm. If you have multiple landing pages with tailored content then try and make sure that each page is relevant to the user that is likely to visit it; and if possible write something small and customised for every page so that Google can see that it has unique content.

I would recommend that you take the time to read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They are very open about the standard of websites and the sort of content that they are looking to rank highly.

Is this change a good one?

This change is definitely one that I think is for the general good of the internet. It is going to drastically change the Spam building strategy that a lot of “SEO Specialists” employ and it will put a positive slant towards the SEO marketers who are gaining high rankings through quality copywriting.

I would suggest investing time into writing high quality content is the most important thing here. If you would like advice in this area then contact us at any of the points below and we will get our professional web copywriter who specialises in writing content to achieve search engine performance to contact you.

Appendices:

The Official Google blog post on “Finding more high-quality sites in search”

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html

Web index size:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/we-knew-web-was-big.html

Questions on quality of Google results and spam:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/28/AR2011012807515_2.html

Websites that Google block:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/hide-sites-to-find-more-of-what-you.html

Google Webmaster Guidelines:

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769

 

 Article by Andy Ward and Simon Thomas @ Toucan Internet LLP

To find out more about how Toucan Internet LLP can influence your online success please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below.

Toucan Internet LLPt: 01279 871 694

e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk

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