Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Google Webmaster Tools Cleans Up With Dashboards, New Navigation & More

Webmasters rely on GWT to come out of problems with their website and to solve the website issues. Webmaster Tool provides you detail information about your website pages that have included in your account.
After Panda update, Google has announced clean up of GWT to make webmaster to access the account very easily and quickly. At the left menu Google has added a gear icon for quick access as well as Google added one more new appearance pop up feature. GWT helps webmasters to solve their problems in three main areas.

The three changes include:

1. Updated Dashboard
2. New Left hand Navigation
3. Home Compact View

Below one is the snapshot of revised dashboard

New Navigation:

The new GWT navigation is changed to be more representative of the content and this new feature is designed differently to make it synchronize with the levels of the Google flow.

I. Crawl Section: In crawl section, GWT discovers the crawl errors such as links (404 pages), as well as server problems, access denied crawl stats, URL parameters and also fetch as Google feature.

II. Google Index section: Here, Google keeps the track record of how many pages are indexed. In addition, you can see the index status (overall indexed counts), content keywords.

III. Search Traffic Section: This section will display you about how your pages are performing in search results such as search queries, Links to your site, incoming links from other internal pages.

IV. Search Appearance Section: However, this section marks up your web pages to help Google during indexing. It contains structured data dashboard, Site links, HTML improvements and data highlighter.

Search Appearance Overlay:

Below image describes the result page as well as UI feature.

Google has added Pop up feature to explain about search results page for webmasters who doesn't have an idea on how Google works. Click on the question mark button which exists next to the search appearance navigation menu at the left side to access the new feature.

Bing Gives Webmasters More Control Over Deep Links

The webmasters who are waiting for more flexibility over which deep links are displayed in Bing's search results. Bing has formal declaration about changes in management of deep links.

Now we can remove particular links that the Bing algorithm has resulted from Bing Webmaster Tools and selected to appear under the main search results.

Previously, Bing was selecting apparently random news stories to seem as a deep link to an online newspaper, rather than selecting a much more suitable section of the site, such as sports or obituaries.

The site owners now just require to login to their Webmaster Tools account to display own deep links in search engine results (Bing) and we can also block any URL you don't want display.

You can also block specific countries or regions deep links to prevent display with the use of this tool. This would be particularly useful for sites that serve other country audiences but are still very country or region centric for real visitors.

The blocked URLs will automatically expire after 3 months; therefore you need to log in to your account to extend, if needed. You can see reminder option in webmaster tools account that you have expiring add blocks URLs. The blocked deep links will move automatically to the new blocking tool.

By adding new Bing adding tool help webmasters manage the issue of deep links.

A Phantom & Penguin One-Two Punch Updates From Google

Phantom and Penguin were two major updates from Google in the month of May which had its consequence on webmasters, SEO professionals and business owners. Phantom was updated on May 8th and its effect was heavy where in it targeted only content but not links. While Penguin 2.0 was updated on May 22nd and it went deeper than previous Penguin updates which targets unnatural links.

 Phanteguin is most powerful one-two punch from Google:

It is very tough for business owners whose sites are hit by Panda, Penguin or Phantom algorithm updates. These are worst situations for the online businesses who do not understand exactly what had happened, what to do, how to recover and at the same time they will be losing their businesses every hour.
But it can get worse:
It is the nastiest situation to get hit by two algorithms one after other rather than only one algorithm. Last year the same happened with updations of Panda and Penguin known as Pandeguin. At present these two punch updates are known as Phanteguin, which has its consequence severely on site.

Google Penguin and Phantom: Digging into deeper

Penguin and Phantom each of these algorithms has their own set of uniqueness and targets according to which they were updated. Penguin 2.0 went in to deeper that is it took internal pages also in to account and is very finely tuned to knock all unnatural links. Penguin aims at penalizing websites having unnatural links that uses exact match anchor text from low quality sites.

   Penguin 2.0 covered unnatural links from blogs, spam directories, spam comments, link networks of public and private and so on. While Phantom focused highly on content rather than links and is much similar to Panda than Penguin. Just a day after Phantom update we were able to see a severe drop in organic traffic that was hit by the update. There was a traffic drop of 25 to 45 percent for the websites that were affected by this update. Below is one of the examples of Phantom update.

Insights of Phantom:

On May 9th we could see amazing and incredible for confirming that there was a significant algorithm update.

As the analysis goes on the sites that were affected by Phantom we could be able to see more like above. Phantom just concentrated only on content but not links. Phantom has taken into account a number of content issues which ranges from thin content, affiliate content, scraped content, low-quality content, etc. It also considered heavy cross-linking from company-owned domains that used exact match anchor text.

Panda Greased the Skids for Phantom:

It was observed that most of the sites which were hit by Phantom were previously hit by Panda update also. It also shows that these sites had struggled with quality content issues but in the mean time again they were hit by Phantom.

Indentifying Phanteguin:

Effects of any algorithmic updates on sites can be easily found out using Google webmaster tools and Google analytics as these tools help us to identify traffic drop on particular days. Now to check whether a site is affected by Phantom or Penguin updates we need to check if there is drop in traffic on May 8th or May 22nd respectively. If a site is affected by both updates then it will be Phanteguin.

We can find if there is drop only from mobile search or image search or only web etc, using filters in Analytics. It is important to note the date on which traffic is dropped so we will be able to know which update has affected the site.

To check affect of Phantom using Location Filters:

Another important aspect is that we need to check drop of traffic using location filters because if all countries are taken into account we may not be able to see drop in traffic.  If we notice drop then we can be able to compare time-period after traffic drop to time-period before traffic drop. By exporting data from Google webmaster tools as soon as a site is hit by algorithm updates we can analyze them clearly. Because in webmaster tools we will not be able to see previous data but we can see only data of 30 days.

Analyzing using Google Analytics:

Google analytics will help us to analyze using advanced segments which is an added advantage. We can start by separating Google organic search traffic and then need to view tending graph. For analyzing Phantom update we need to check drop in traffic from certain keywords and landing pages. This helps to identify possible content issues and pages to analyze further. Advanced segments will let us slice and dice traffic and helps us gain a solid view of traffic drops over time.

Analyzing Phanteguin is not an easy task:

If the site has hit by two updates then we need to analyze in both aspects. That is Phantom has to be analyzed using quality content filter while Penguin has to be examined for unnatural links. But it is better to analyze Penguin update first. To do analysis of Penguin affect we need to analyze inbound links, then flag those unnatural links, organize them and the last step is to remove them.
To analyze Phantom affect there is a need to objectively review whole content of site and identify the risks. Next step is to come up with refining or gutting site content.

What to do if you’ve been hit by Phanteguin:

  • If a site is hit by Phanteguin, here are some tips which help us to move in right direction:
  • It is important to identify which algorithm update(s) has hit the site. This is essentially important as both of these algorithm update targets different factors.
  • In case of Penguin update, we need to concentrate on analyzing link profile and flag spammy links. Then remove those links the best you can. If we are unable to remove links then we can add the links to disavow file.
  • While in Phantom update, we need to heavily analyze content, and make analysis of the pages that dropped significantly after the Phantom update. 
  • Once we completed analysis and taken action, there is a need to wait for another algorithm update (Penguin, Phantom, or Panda). Panda is now rolled out once per month over 10 days, and the next Penguin update refreshes soon.

10 Essential SEO Tips for E-Commerce Sites

   All the old methods which have been used for optimizing your e-commerce website need to be changed now. You can make your e-commerce site perform well by following some of the tips.

Below are 10 essential SEO tips for e-commerce websites:

1. Work Out a Really Exhaustive Keyword Research Report:

   You need to select certain keyword terms and phrases and test them on keyword tools depending on the type of your business, services and demography you target your customers. You can use Google keyword tool for this process. You should generate keywords list for which your competitors rank high and show in the report. If you have an idea regarding your competitors’ keywords then you can be able to choose the keywords easily.

2. Check Your Site's Structure, Make Sure it is Easy to Use:

   You need to check your site structure and make sure to have your site's structure user-friendly. It must be easily navigable for your visitors so that they must be able to find the page they are looking for.

3. Basic On-Site SEO Needs to be Handled Well:

   On page factors are more important for ranking well in the search results. You need to optimize your site considering the on page factors such as title tags, meta descriptions, URL structure, rich snippets, alt tags etc in correct way.

4. Create Blog On Your Site Which is Frequently Updated:

   Some of the sellers avoid creating a blog in their e-commerce site thinking that it is not useful. This way of thinking is absolutely incorrect. Create a blog on your site and update it frequently so that Google bot assumes new thing is happening which needs indexing.

5. Check Your Site for Proper Social Media Integration for Product Sharing:

   Sharing a product plays an important role in social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest etc. You can achieve authority to your e-commerce site by social media sharing.

6. Respond to Your Reviews For Customer Satisfaction and Reputation Management:

   In order to buy things from your site, reputation is one of the factors to be considered. You need to respond to the reviews in a positive manner as negative reviews may have an effect on the reputation of your site. So you need to respond to every review for your customers’ satisfaction.

7. Make Your Site Multi Device Optimally Designed:

   Now-a-days optimizing the mobile version of the site is being into practice. At present people are using several devices such as smart phones, laptops, tablets, desktops etc. You need to design your website such that it should be easily navigable on any devices and work on the SEO part for those different devices.

8. Get Attractive Content Marketing:

   You can offer anything new apart from selling via content marketing articles. You can do this for an e-commerce site by knowing about your product niche. For example, if you sell apparels you can make a new look to the fabric.

9. Get Authority Links Only:

   Authority links play an important role in SEO. If you have either informational site or e-commerce site you need to make sure to have only authority links to your site. You should not have links from spam sites.

10. Create Relevant Social Media Channels for Better Visibility:

   You have to create social media channels like Facebook, Twitter etc which talks about your site and the products you offer. By this your site's visibility and target customers increases thereby conversions increases.

How To Retrieve Your Site From Google Penguin Penality

Penguin 2.0 was updated during May, most of the people are very anxious about what penguin 2.0 filters and what may be the drastic changes in analytics. Firstly, most Penguin filters the spam links of thousands of links and after that they send the filtered data to SEO community.
After analysis of spam links of thousands of sites, Penguin targeted at sites that are affected highly by money keywords in anchor text and sites which have a brand anchor texts are at safe. When you look over at back links profile, you can observe the heavy usage of money keywords which affect the anchor texts.

Another most crucial point is you have to keep eye on all your ratios, check whether they are natural or unnatural. If most of them found unnatural compared to other sites in niche then they may be resulted with automatic penalty. Some sites with money keywords in anchor texts may not be penalized but some do.
It’s all because of comparison ratio of your back links profile with competitor’s site targeted by penguin 2.0. With the use of Google algorithm, the ratios and averaged can be found. This data parsed through penguin 2.0, then it will sort out the sites with too many red flags and that sites are considered as unnatural and those get penalized.
Google check over the ratios like Unique c class links in domain, Link velocity trends, Number of keywords ranking, Number of links from NA, PR0 domains, PR of back links, Click through ratio, Anchor density, Indexed pages, Traffic and Title rank.

Then how to protect your site from penalties by Penguin??

  • Link detox is the tool which facilitates the changes in your SEO process. With this you can check out the back link profile and link analysis. By checking the back links with the Google ratios, you can easily identify which are toxic and which are healthy. If you found toxic links, then create an outreach campaign request to remove those links. 
  • Disavow the toxic links with the help of your account in Google webmaster tools and check the result within two weeks.
  • Penguin penalty is not a manual thing as it is an algorithmic, so send a consideration request to filter your back links profile.
  • Maintain a strong social media marketing which will help to create social signals. 
  • Be careful about all your site ratios and maintain to build your site with high quality back links.
  • With the content marketing, you can achieve a better response with high quality article which changes the content update ratio and can receive compliments from traffic.