If you have seen some strange results in your page authority and domain authority and just general search engine ranking positions over the past month then you have most likely been effected by Google latest update called Hummingbird.

A bit of a sneaky update from Google which was unusually kept quite from them until the 26th Sep 2013 when they confirmed the new search algorithm had been live for the past month.

You may have remembered that previous updates from Google ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’ changed a part of the search algorithm. Well with this update Google has replaced the old ranking algorithm with a completely new one! making it the biggest change for SEO in 3 years.

Google did announce a while ago that in the future, all searches will be secure and as such, the keyword data that people use to find out about how people got to their site will no longer be available in Google Analytics. A total nightmare considering many website owners have spent this year dealing with the effects of the Penguin update which had far reaching effects, making ‘bad’ SEO not just unsuccessful, but ensuring guilty websites were actively penalised.

Hummingbird aims to deliver results which are precise and fast

Not all details are for sure yet but Google has confirmed that Hummingbird focuses on ranking information based on more intelligent and naturalistic search requests. In short, Google is getting smarter and is now better able to understand the relationships and relevance of words and phrases, instead of just considering a bunch of individual words.

There is now less emphasis on individual keywords and more emphasis on their collective (semantic) meaning.

For some time now, the emphasis has been upon providing useful, high quality content on websites and blogs. If you are doing this correctly as part of your marketing strategy then very little is likely change with regards to your Google search position. If you do implement a bit of dodgy SEO on your website or blogs then get ready to feel the wrath of Google once they scan your site.

They have done it again! Google have released a brand new update on its search engine called Penguin 2.0

I am still monitoring and looking at the changes this update from from Google has done yesterday, but we anticipate that our websites that have been created with ‘Proper’ SEO will not be effected and should actually be rewarded AND may even gain rankings. From reports, the number of search queries affected by the Penguin updates since it’s birth have been:

– Penguin update 1 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)

– Penguin update 2 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)

– Penguin update 3 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)

– Penguin update 4 (Penguin 2.0) on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries) <- Wow!.

We will update this post again once we have more info on this and how it will effect your business on the internet.

Lesson in life… DON’T create crappy websites with poor content else you will not survive on the Internet in today’s world.

Updated September 28th 2013, with more another blog post about the most recent Google update here.

Have you ever had a call from people offering fast and quick ways to get your website to the top of Google? For maybe a few hundred pounds in theory this sounds quite tempting doesn’t it?

Here’s the fact, this will ruin your business on the Internet.

even worse if you rely on the Internet for sales of your services or products this very thing could easily put you out of business.

So why is this and how does this actually work?

The companies that offer this 9 times out of 10 use old and now banned techniques to trick Google in putting your website high up on the rankings.

They do bad SEO which can very short term work in putting your site higher up on Google. They then charge you for their services as they have done what they said they would. As an unknowingly tricked and happy customer y go off all happy with your website sitting high and you start getting business, things are great and your feeling really happy with life.

And then…

months later in an instant the phone stops ringing and your website stats show that hardly anyone is coming to your website, What’s happened?! It’s as if you have vanished from the Internet. Guess what? You have.

Google has worked out what has been done on your website (either technically or had a webmaster review your spammy looking content and verify it) and has now removed your website from its search engine. Not only that it has put a big black mark next to your website so you can never recover and reappear on Google search. In some circumstances you may be lucky and Google may reach out to you and let you know you have been punished and give you a lifeline to remove all bad links + content to your site. Now you just have the task of finding access to all the 1000’s posts and manually removing each one. An impossible task really, then you will end up paying someone to fix it all and that would not be cheap.

Sadly it’s happening more and more and we see it regularly now with customers coming to us bewildered as to how this has happened.

I’m going to try to explain what those naughty companies have actually done.

In short they run a program which creates low quality nonsense blog posts about random words and submit these articles to literally 1000’s of website blogs or forums.

Within these articles they include a link back to your website using a keyword you want to rank for.

This is perfect unless the websites they submit too are low quality sites, and they always always are.

In the examples pictures below I will show you a recent customer we have seem get ruined by this very method.

They paid a company who claimed to be able to get them loads of traffic to their website and high on Google. The company submitted posts to very low quality sites and Google found out. They have been hit hard and punished by Google for doing this luckily they don’t rely entirely on the Internet for sales but if they did then it would of been game over.

They’re is only one way to get s great position of Google and that’s by doing it properly. If something sounds too good to be true it usually is so next time someone calls and says for a very cheap price we can put you on Google page one think about if it is worth the risk, only use highly recommended SEO companies that you have heard of.

There is only one way to rank high on Google and that is to create decent quality content that people will actually want to read and then and only then apply proper SEO to the site to maximize its overall SEO position.

We get a lot of start up businesses that ask us about how they get onto the first page of Google and how they get their business shown in the various points around the search page. So to answer this I’ve put together a short 4 minute video that talks you through the first page of Google search and explains each section that is available for your business to display.

Hopefully after watching this video you will have a good understanding of the way Google splits out its search page into different sections depending if you want to rank naturally with good SEO or use paid services such as Google ad words.

Hope you enjoy watching the video below:

Remember you can hit the full screen button to view full screen and increase the quality of the video if your Internet can handle it. We have recorded in HD for you so you can use 720p HD if you want 🙂

We always go on about how important GOOD website design and structure is from a user/customer point of view but now it really is THAT important. Why? because now Google take if into account when deciding where to place your website in its search rankings.

It’s called Bounce Rate and it now has an effect on your SEO.

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce Rate as displayed in Google Analytics is defined as the the % of people who visit your website and then navigate away without visiting any other page on your website.

In short, it is the percentage of visits from your customers that arrive on your site possible through the homepage or some other landing page, but visit no other pages, and then leave.

Having a high bounce rate is very depressing, it’s like getting loads of customers just standing on your shop doorstep but never actually coming inside, and now to make your life even worse, Search engines have now started considering the bounce rates in their organic ranking algorithms.

Having a high bounce rate will affect search engine position because it implies to the search engines that your website is not relevant to the searched term used to land on your site and will consequently penalise the website which will ultimately be reflected in its search engine position.

However if your website is of a high quality, looks good and relevant to the target market, is easy to navigate and has targeted the right keywords then there should be no need for a person to bounce away from the website. Instead they should be engrossed by the content of the website, and navigate around further. This is then rewarded by search engines as good user experience and will then be noted by the search engines as their aim is to provide their users with the best quality results.

Why Does My Site Have a High Bounce Rate?

There count be a number of reasons so you will need to check:

Website Content

Your site content sucks. Could be as simple as that, your website should add value to your visitors. The flow of information should be in such a way that it should be able to carry the visitor from the page they are on to the other pages on your website. Your website is like your home, if you want your guest to see the entire house you need to take them around.

Website Design and User-friendliness

Presentation is extremely important on the internet. Don’t do silly things. How often do you like to visit a website which throws up pop up windows in your face the moment you visit? Most people just leave straight away. Unless they are very relevant and well presented, but mostly its a no no.

Site Navigation Structure

Always keep your site navigation simple and intuitive without leaving anything to your visitor’s guess work. Its very likely that most of the bounce rate is caused by poor navigation system on the websites.

Technical Errors

404 pages and other technical errors should be avoided at any cost to minimize the bounce rate.

Irrelevant Keyword Selection

Search engines consider the keywords used in your site content in their ranking algorithm. If your website shows up for “dog training” while you are selling “dog food”, chances are, the visitor will simply leave your site. The same goes with meta titles and descriptions of your site pages.

Links From External Websites

You have less control over this as anyone could link to your website so quality backlinks from relevant websites are a must but, sometimes you might get that rare backlink from an unrelated off topic website. This might pull in irrelevant visitors which in turn leads to increase in the bounce rates.

So what bounce rate should my website have?

There is no definitive answer as to what a high and low bounce rate is as it is dependent on factors such as the nature of the website and how many web pages it contains. Obviously 0% is the ideal figure but not realistic. As a general rule of thumb anything below 30% is low, whilst anything above 50% is considered to be high and therefore should be addressed in order to ascertain the reason for the high bounce rate.

How can I monitor the bounce rate?

The bounce rate of a website can be monitored using tools such as Google Analytics which can tell its users which individual web pages have the highest bounce rates over a period of time.

So there you have it, its just so important to have a well structured and designed website from the very start. Check out your bounce rate and if its over 50% cry a little and then when you’ve calmed down do something about it by reviewing your navigation and content along with other things mentioned above…