Google has finally announced that they are launching a tool to allow websites to disavow any bad links to their site that might be causing a penalty. The tool is fantastic news for sites that have been struggling to recover from a penalty using the link removal strategy. As anybody who has carried out link removals will be aware it’s a really tough process because you can end up removing 80% of the links and the final 20% are sites that are impossible to contact.
This isn’t a basic guide to the tool – go here for one of those.
The tool allows you to upload a text file of links such as http://www.site.com/linkpage.html or domains such as domain:branded3.com and it sounds quite simple to use but there are some very major things you need to consider.
What is Multi variant testing?
Multi variant testing is a process by which any number of components of a webpage may be tested. In simple terms, it allows numerous A/B tests performed on one page at the same time. Multi variant testing can theoretically allow for limitless combinations of tests.
The only limit for the number of combinations – or the number of variables – is the amount of time it will take to get a valid sample of visitors.
Digital marketers across the world will be treated to a host of performance marketing insights and discussions at the 2012 A4U Expo in London this week.
Our Director of Search, Patrick Altoft, will be speaking at the event on Wednesday and will be joined by more than 1,000 marketing delegates from across the world to discuss all things performance marketing at the Hilton London Metropole.
As the UK’s largest conference of its kind, A4U Expo promises to provide a plethora of useful industry information. More than 40 sessions and panel debates are pencilled in to discuss the nature of the performance marketing industry and how it has evolved since the exhibition was last in London in 2011.
Agencies, publishers and advertisers alike are preparing for a day of education and networking in one of the largest events on the digital calendar, covering everything from search to social, mobile to video, e-commerce to e-mail.
Patrick’s session will start at 11am in Sandringham and is aptly named Turbo-Charging your SEO & Link Building Strategy. It will address SEO in a post-Panda world by taking attendees through a full site link audit of an affiliate site to show you first-hand exactly how we carry out such a process.
If you haven’t got a ticket yet and would like to go, they can be purchased here or on the day at the venue itself.
If you’re attending the event, feel free to get in touch to arrange a meeting on the day. We hope to see you there!
Mobile SEO can seem like a daunting challenge to many companies, even those with the most established online presence.
There are a number of challenges in establishing yourself as a leader in the mobile market, but for the most part many elements of desktop and mobile SEO are very similar; providing a great user experience, a responsive site design and offering real value for your users are core values for success in both sets of results.
The physical implementation of a mobile site is relatively straightforward and is usually dictated by your own circumstances, what’s even better is that Google recently released their own best practice guidelines on the issue.
Google has made a huge number of changes this year and a lot of sites have suffered because they were aligned with the algorithm in 2011 and not the algorithm in 2012. Algorithm chasing has been profitable for years but only because it was cheap and easy – in 2012 Google has made it really clear where the algorithm is going and what to do about it but because it’s not cheap or easy to chase there are few sites doing it.
I talked at the recent Branded3 Seminar (see the slides below) about how the new algorithm was based largely around artificial intelligence designed to find sites that users love and rank them higher. The problem is that investing in a site that users love is a lot more difficult for big brands than just hiring an SEO agency to build links.
We have a sophisticated content audit process to identify which pages on a clients site need improvements but if the answer is “most of them” then it can be hugely expensive to fix, especially for a large scale ecommerce site.
Page quality can be modelled mathematically but fixing low quality pages on a big site can be a 2 year process for big companies with slow moving IT departments.
Companies that are going to see the best results over the next two years are the ones that are agile enough to create websites that users really like using and that doesn’t just mean certain parts of the site. One of the biggest mistakes people have made in recent years is putting their best content on a blog or within infographics and leaving their product, service or category level pages alone. Google is clever enough now to look at the key commercial pages and make ranking decisions based on those pages alone rather than your entire site.
The slides below pretty much sum up our thoughts on SEO strategy for the next two years and we will be focussing on this topic in a few more blog posts soon.
The rise of Leeds as a hotbed of digital talent will be celebrated on Friday with a day of insight, conversation and workshops at the Leeds Digital Conference.
Our Director of Search, Patrick Altoft will be joining a panel of SEO experts to discuss the effects of Google’s Penguin algorithm update at around 11.15am, and the schedule for the day also includes exciting talks on design, data, content and digital strategy.
Gathering great speakers and thought leaders together for events like this always makes for interesting, fruitful discussions, but the fact that this event is focussed on Leeds-based digital companies makes it all the more special for Branded3.
Our agency has been based in Leeds for the last five years and we have benefited hugely from being part of such a thriving city of digital media. There is a healthy culture of competition and knowledge-sharing between agencies in the city, and being no more than a couple of hours away from so many of the UK’s major cities is an advantageous position.
The Leeds Digital Conference promises to celebrate “innovation, creativity and online talent”. We are lucky to be in a city that boasts such an abundance of these qualities across various disciplines.
Tickets are just £30 and details of how to book are available here. Hope to see you there on Friday!
Max Shearer, a member of our talented web design team, brought a burning issue into our office this morning and it seemed quite the potent debate amongst the staff here at Branded3.
The debate was concerning social media buttons on websites, and whether or not they are worth adding. It would seem social share buttons are fairly thoroughly used by most news and big blog sites and as a result of this; big brands have been caught up in a social media arms race, adding share buttons to every item available on their sites.
The main points against the use of social media buttons are:
- They’re surplus to requirement – people use other means of sharing content; copy and pasting or browser plug-ins. Often this is in an effort into deviating from the predetermined text in the share, authored by the site.
- They clutter up the page.
- They make the site run slower – one or two seconds slower.
With these concerns in mind it seemed worth sending the question around the office and taking a poll as to how we share content online, here are the results:
The last couple of years have seen the world of online search turn upside down. Sites that once rode high in the SERPS were sent crashing down, and countless webmasters have seen their traffic slow to a crawl as their sites were dropped from their former heights.
The primary cause of this chaos, of course, has been Google. The search giant’s on-going battle against black hat techniques and low quality sites has changed the face of SEO, and if we’ve learnt just one thing from the massive Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, it’s that Google is serious about changing the way it decides which sites are worthy of promotion.
The question every webmaster is asking is simple:
How do I succeed in a post-Penguin environment?
In news which has brightened up our Monday morning, it’s been announced that we’ve been shortlisted for two UK Search Awards!
Recognising the results we’ve delivered for Vue Cinemas, we’ve been nominated for the following awards:
- Best Local Campaign
- Best Mobile Campaign
This national awards competition recognises the best SEO and digital marketing strategies from around the country.
Joining the likes of LBi and Microsoft on the elite shortlist, we’re pretty happy that not only are our clients pleased with the work we produce, but that it’s being recognised on a national scale too.
The winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony on Thursday 1st November, where digital marketing experts will come together in their finest at the Emirates Stadium to celebrate the very best this industry has to offer.
Last week saw Social Media Week arrive in London, bringing with it a fantastic timetable of insightful talks and presentations centred around the ever-changing world of social media.
A few members from our talented social media team swapped the dreary skies of Leeds for the bright lights of London last week to attend a few of the talks, here’s their summaries of the ones which stood out for them.
At Branded3, pretty much everyone uses at least one social media platform of their choice.
Personally, I don’t “like” Facebook, but since coming to Branded3, I have increasingly used Twitter both for work purposes (it’s great for keeping an eye on Google updates and other industry news) but also for personal interests.
I follow a lot of sports stars, especially in golf, and Twitter is a great way to not only get up-to-date information on scores and news, but to actually interact with the players too.
So it’s 9am and you’ve just arrived to work, you sit down, switch on, and bam! Your Twitter account explodes with news of the latest ‘killer’ algorithm change from Google which has blown sites out of the SERPS left, right and centre. Sitting waiting for Google analytics to load up so you can check your traffic is not a great feeling.
At Branded3, we’re always aware of the latest Google algorithm changes and how these can affect our clients, and although no-one can predict the future or every release Google plan to make, I’ve compiled a few tips from our experienced strategy team to show you how we keep ahead of Google updates.
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