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    An Overview of the Major Google Algorithm Updates of 2014

    By Lindsay Kolowich


    Inbound marketers are constantly on alert for changes in Google's ever-evolving algorithm ... but that doesn't mean we don't miss one every now and then. The combination of frequent algorithm updates and a busy workload means that sometimes a critical update gets lost in the sauce.

    To make sure you're fully up to date on the latest major changes in SEO, we've compiled a full list of the most important Google algorithm updates from 2014. This year, we saw changes from pirates and penguins and pandas and pigeons; the removal of authorship, and other notable updates. Let's take a closer look at what those updates were.

    The Animals: A Quick Refresher

    For your reference, here are the names given to Google's algorithm updates that were relevant for 2014 and a brief description of each.

    • Pirate: A search filter designed to prevent sites that have a lot of copyright infringement reports ... Read More
    How to Syndicate Content Without Getting Dinged in Search

    By Kathleen Celmins

    Blogs are like tattoos: you can’t stop at one. You think you can, but there’s an irresistible pull toward yet another one. So you hire someone whose primary job is to focus on content. Then you start adding blogs. It’s easy to do, really. Once you have the systems in place to create high-quality content for one blog, it’s really just a matter of design and scheduling to create another.

    Each of our three company blogs has a different target persona, so we’re writing to different audiences. But we’re a sales strategy company, and all our target personas need to read some of the sales strategy we discuss, so what do we do?

    Read More
    One-Hit Holiday Wonders: Popular Products That Totally Tanked in the 2000s

    By Erik Devaney

    The Holiday Season. It’s a season of giving. A season of eating, drinking, and being merry. And, most importantly of all, it’s a season of buying biomorphic robots, sleeved blankets, and sexually suggestive fitness equipment.

    Don’t worry, all of those references will make sense soon … I think. But the main point here is that each and every holiday season, we’re presented with a fresh array of “must-have” products, from toys and trinkets to consumer electronics.

    Read More
    17 SEO Myths to Leave Behind in 2015 [Free Ebook]

    By Erik Devaney

    SEO is an evolving science. While some of the core principles will presumably stick around forever (e.g. creating high-quality content), the nuanced aspects of it are subject to continuous change. And as a result, many of the "proven" tactics people have used in the past (keyword stuffing, link schemes) are now stuff of legend.

    Unless your organization benefits from having a dedicated SEO person who can work on this stuff day-in, day-out, keeping up with the latest changes in the world of SEO can be a struggle.

    Read More
    The Evolution of SEO [Infographic]

    By Lindsay Kolowich

    Great marketers are always on their toes, keeping up with the news, anticipating and adapting changes as they happen. 

    SEO is no exception: According to Moz, Google changes its algorithm 500-600 times per year. With so many updates happening so often, even the most diligent marketers can miss an important release or two.

    Read More
    Where Keywords Fit Into the Future of SEO

    By Erik Devaney

    "What's in a keyword? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

    – William Shakespeare (Famed playwright, poet, actor, and SEO Guru/Expert/Ninja/Wizard)

    You might remember analyzing that oft-quoted Romeo & Juliet line in high school English

    Read More
    How to Create a Content Strategy That Actually Drives Organic Traffic

    By Neil Patel

    Content marketing alone won’t deliver organic traffic. Content marketing employed strategically will deliver the organic traffic you want and need.

    But how do you create that refined content strategy? If your goal is to drive organic traffic, what specific, strategic methods should you employ to build the right amount of organic traffic?

    Read More
    The Essential Guide to Creating an SEO-Friendly Customer Journey

    By Neil Patel

    Think about the last time you made a major purchase online. Was it a plane ticket? An espresso machine? A pair of sneakers?

    Now, think about where in your buying process the company you bought from made themselves digitally present. If you bought a pair of sneakers, perhaps you found them by searching "best sneakers for marathons" or "sale

    Read More
    How Authoritative Is Your Content? 7 Tools to Help You Find Out

    By Lisa Kasanicky

    If there’s one thing I love about yoga besides the catnap at the end, it’s that instructors will often remind you that the practice is not a competition. “Don’t let what others are doing affect your practice,” they’ll say. Or, “No one is grading you on your performance.” Lovely sentiments.

    But not in the content marketing world.

    Read More
    The Biggest SEO Shakeups of All Time

    By Erik Devaney

    I sometimes imagine Google’s search engine as this massive, steam-powered, Jules Verne-esque machine. The machine is constantly guarded, and resides in a secret, subterranean bunker beneath Google’s Mountain View headquarters. As millions upon millions of search queries come in, Google employees feverishly shovel more and more coal into the firebox, and the engine roars and cranks out

    Read More
    Is Author Rank Really Relevant?

    By Barry Feldman

    Here ye, here ye. Worshipers of the penguin, panda, and hummingbird, gather ‘round. We have a new one to dissect, only this one’s not an animal; it’s a ship. Authorship.

    By now, you’ve read about the latest Google-induced confusion-fest. This was one of the accounts of the carnage:

    Read More
    SEO Evolved: Why Quality Content Is Instrumental to Off-Page SEO

    By Erik Devaney

    Ugh. Off-page SEO. How the heck are we supposed to do that stuff?

    Remember back in the day, when you could work out those sweet link exchange deals with your buddies? “Hey man, I have a site, and you have a site … how about I link to your site a bajillion times, and you link to my site a bajillion times?!” Boom. Off-page SEO = Done.

    Read More
    Google Removes Authorship Photos and Google+ Circle Counts From Search Results

    By Ginny Soskey

    Editor's Note: Since this post was published, Google has removed Authorship functionality entirely. Read more here.

    Yesterday, Google's John Muller made an announcement that broke marketers' hearts: Google Authorship's about to get a makeover. And it's not the type of makeover that makes you say "ooo" and "ahh" and "how wonderful" -- it's the kind that could impact your search traffic. 

    Google's getting rid of author profile pictures and Google+ circle counts on desktop and mobile search. So search results that used to look like this:

    Read More
    The Marketing Industry According to Google Autocomplete

    By Sam Kusinitz

    You know when you’re so close to another person that they literally finish your sentences for you? Well, Google's kinda like that person for all of us. When we have a question or are searching for information, Google tries to guess what we’re searching for before we even finish typing out our query.

    Read More
    The Definition of Organic Search Results [In Under 100 Words]

    By Sam Kusinitz

    Organic search results are unpaid, natural listings on search engine results pages (SERPs) that are surfaced and ranked based on their relevance to a user's query.

    Although it takes time and effort to optimize your web pages for organic search, once you rank high in SERPs, you'll typically see lucrative long term returns on your investment. 

    Read More
    Why Search Volume Doesn't Matter as Much as You Think

    By Rachel Sprung

    Search volume calculates the numbers of times a keyword is searched for in a particular search engine. Previously, it was the marketer's go-to metric to figure out what keywords would be the best to optimize around.

    However, as we (and search engines) have become smarter about how we optimize for

    Read More
    One Way to Future-Proof Your SEO

    By Shawn Segundo

    We reside in a digital world of 301s, 404s, anchor text, link building, and keyword metrics. Search engines continue to evolve and become smarter and more efficient at deterring would be SEO-bandits, and the people keeping up with this knowledge are doing everything they can to stay relevant, and keep up with the changes.

    Read More
    How to Monitor and Improve Your Site's Load Time

    By Lisa Toner

    Have you ever done a Google search?

    Silly question, of course you have! Picture this scene for a moment -- you type in your search term, Google spits back a gazillion results for you, you sift through the first page or two of results, and if you don't find what you’re looking for, you'll probably try changing up your search terms and go again.

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    How to Identify and Remedy Duplicate Content Issues on Your Website

    By Kieran Flanagan

    It's easy to be fooled into thinking SEO is just about link building. There are so many posts covering the latest developments on what links are good or bad, that we sometimes forget about the huge gains we can make by simply fixing problems with our own site. 

    One of the biggest culprits for lost traffic and rankings is duplicate content. Luckily, you have

    Read More
    How to Add Google Authorship for Multiple Websites to Google+ [Quick Tip]

    By Alec Biedrzycki

    Editor's Note: Since this post was published, Google has removed Authorship functionality entirely. Read more here.

    Google authorship is a hugely beneficial integration for prolific online content creators that can help boost SERP clickthrough rates, author and site visibility, and page views.

    But what happens if you write for multiple sites? Or if you leave a company, and start writing elsewhere?

    Read More
    What Is SEO? [FAQs]

    By Rachel Sprung

    SEO seems pretty straightforward. You pick a few keywords, and voilà! Your page is optimized for SEO. Right?


    Many people understand the basic principles of SEO, but a lot has changed in the last decade.

    Read More
    How to Optimize Your Page Titles for Mobile Search [Quick Tip]

    By Rebecca Churt

    Mobile continues to change the way that we search, explore, and shop, and as consumer behavior comes further into focus, there are clear opportunities for marketers to take advantage. Mobile is always on for consumers, so marketers need to make sure their mobile search strategies are reaching people in these different search contexts.

    Read More
    How to Make Your Blog Posts SEO-Friendly [Checklist]

    By Rachel Sprung

    Search engine optimization is so important for marketers, but it can be a pretty tricky tactic to master with Google's copious algorithm updates. What matters, and what doesn't? What's best practice, and what's old-school? How can I remember it all, anyway?

    We understand this is a common issue facing inbound marketers -- and we want to help.

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    How to Write an Effective Meta Description (Yes, They Still Matter)

    By Ramesh Ranjan

    I can't tell you the number of search results for companies I've come across that lack the one thing that might bring me to their websites: an effective meta description.

    The meta description is one of your last hopes on search engine results pages (SERPs) to attract a searcher to come to your site. This is something that digital marketers constantly neglect to focus on -- perhaps because they think it just doesn't matter anymore. But if you're not putting effort into your meta descriptions, you could be missing out on good website traffic that can bring in lots of new leads and customers. 

    Read More

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