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Search Engines Articles

The Benefits of Nofollow Links

Google Cracks Down on Exact Match Domains

Written by Nick Stamoulis

One of our clients wants to create a micro website for a new product they are launching. Because they're one of our full service B2B SEO clients, they asked our advice as to the best way to approach this. We advised them to avoid exact match domains and to choose one that closely related to the name...

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Choosing a Preferred Domain in Google Webmaster Tools

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Have you set your preferred domain in Google Webmaster Tools yet? Google defines preferred domain as "is the one that you would liked used to index your site's pages". They go on to explain that there can be two versions of the domain if you don't set the preferred domain, which means that they bot...

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Avoid Link Building Not Quite

Was My Website Penalized by Google?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

How do you know if your website was penalized by Google? In some cases, it may not be immediately obvious that the reason why your website is behaving differently is because there was a penalty, which can make penalties fairly difficult to diagnose. However, in other cases, penalties can be fairly o...

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Mobile Website

Mobile Devices Have Changed Our Search Habits

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Even though smartphone technology was around well before the iPhone came onto the scene, Apple’s invention not only changed the mobile phone industry, but it also had a widespread impact on our search habits.  (Along with Google Android of course!!) Back in 2007, websites would often load slo...

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Ditigal Online Networking Search Office Concept

Evolving Nature of Our Search Habits

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Have you ever stopped to think how much our search habits have evolved over the past decade or more? I got into a conversation about this the other day with a colleague. The Internet of ten years ago, in many ways, is not the same Internet that we have today. As a result (or because of) that, our s...

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10 Specific Google SEO Quality Guidelines

Written by Nick Stamoulis

As a white hat SEO practitioner, I take everything the search engines say about SEO very seriously. If Google or Bing declares a particular link building or onsite optimization tactic black hat, then my company tries to avoid it at all costs when executing our clients’ SEO campaigns; I never w...

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Lost URLs

Where Are My URLs?

Written by Brick Marketing

The other day I got an email from one of our clients regarding a community site they created for their customers. Google searching on things that should be returning matches to your community are coming up with no links to site.  I wonder why the Google crawlers are not picking up those pages? ...

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You-Cant-Fool-Google-So-Stop-Trying

You Can’t Fool Google So Stop Trying!

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In a recent article over on Search Engine Land, author Greg Gifford said the following: The most important point we try to hammer home to potential clients is that you can’t fool the nerds at Google. Everything you do, both on and off your site, should be working toward the end goal of making y...

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Panda and Penguin: It’s Not so Black and White

Written by Danielle Bachini

I recently read a great article by Dave Davies over on Search Engine Watch that had me thinking. Titled "Which Update?” Is The Wrong Question, he says: “Most people don’t fully understand how the algorithms themselves can impact your rankings and thus looking to a single algorithm tends...

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Google Pushed Penguin 3.0 Live

Written by Brick Marketing

On October 19th Google officially confirmed they pushed Penguin 3.0 live. Even though it's called Penguin 3.0 it's actually the 6th iteration of the link spam fighting algorithm update. This is the first time Google has updated Penguin in almost exactly a year, so many site owners have their fingers...

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The Google Force Field

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When you live and breathe SEO like we do it's easy to forget that most business people, both big and small, don't play in the SEO sandbox at all. We often get asked questions that to us seem like, "well, duh," but to a small business owner or even a VP of Marketing that never delved into SEO before,...

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Another One Bites the Dust as Google Kills Authorship

Written by Brick Marketing

John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, announced last week that Google will be discontinuing its support for authorship in search results. Back in June, author photos were dropped from search results, supposedly to help reduce clutter and create a "better mobile experience and a more cons...

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Can’t Google Just Not Count Those Bad Links?

Written by Brick Marketing

In the last few years Brick Marketing has helped several websites diagnose and work through their manual or algorithmic penalties. If you have never had to deal with a Google penalty consider yourself lucky! It's an absolutely miserable experience even when you do know exactly what went wrong. It's ...

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Did Panda 4.0 Target Individual Pages?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Back in mid-May Google rolled out Panda 4.0 and it really shook up the search results. According to Search Engine Land, "Panda 4.0 must be a major update to the actual algorithm versus just a data refresh. Meaning, Google has made changes to how Panda identifies sites and has released a new version ...

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Google Rolls Out Panda 4.0

Written by Nick Stamoulis

According to Search Engine Land, Panda 4.0 must be a major update to the actual algorithm versus just a data refresh. Meaning, Google has made changes to how Panda identifies sites and has released a new version of the algorithm today. Is this the softer and gentler Panda algorithm? From talki...

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A Theory on Google’s Not Provided

Written by Nick Stamoulis

According to (Not Provided) Count, “not provided” data in Google Analytics will hit 100% on December 16th, 2013. We’ve been watching not provided crawl from the originally reported and promised 10% to 40, 50, 60 and 70+% over the last few months. Recently, Google announced that they would be s...

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The Penguin 2.1 Punch

Written by Brick Marketing

We started working with a new client back in May/June 2013, right after Penguin 2.0 was pushed live. This client came to us knowing their website has been negatively affected by Penguin 2.0. A little digging through their link portfolio and we found that an easy 75+% of their inbound links were from...

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Penguin 5.0, aka 2.1, Is Live

Written by Brick Marketing

On Friday, October 4th Matt Cutts tweeted that Penguin 2.1 launched, affecting about 1% of search queries. For the record, some SEOs are referring to Penguin 2.1 as Penguin 5.0 so know that they are talking about the same update. Why the naming confusion? As Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land...

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Are You Dealing with a Partial Manual Action?

Written by Brick Marketing

In early August, Google announced that they would be sending messages to site owners about manual actions being taken on the site. The messages will let site owner know if they have been affected by site-wide manual actions or just partial actions. In his example below, Matt Cutts shows how a partia...

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The New Hummingbird Search Algorithm from Google

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google announced their new search algorithm at the end of September, although they have reportedly been running the new algorithm for a month or so already. The new algorithm is called “hummingbird” and was so named because it was designed to be “precise and fast.” Danny Sullivan at Search E...

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Best Practice Tips for Google’s Link Disavow Tool

Written by Brick Marketing

If your site has been flagged manually or algorithmically for unnatural links part of the recovery process will involve Google’s Link Disavow Tool. This tool, which only became available in the last year, gives sites owners the ability to request (no guarantee) that Google disavow (i.e. not count)...

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Google Doesn’t Care About Your Website

Written by Nick Stamoulis

It’s a harsh reality that a lot of businesses and site owners struggle to come to grips with. After all, we pour our hearts (and budgets) into our websites; writing content, building a social presence, focusing on the user experience and tweaking, updating, and optimizing every last detail all to ...

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Google Makes Big SEO Changes to Webmaster Guidelines

Written by Nick Stamoulis

One of the biggest complaints many site owners have with Google is that when they need real direction Google’s go-to response is to refer to the Webmaster Guidelines, which can sometimes be rather vague. Every now and then Google makes updates to the Google Webmaster Guidelines in an attempt to be...

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What is A rel=”canonical” Tag?

Written by Brick Marketing

There are a couple of reasons that a site might get flagged for duplicate content. Perhaps it was an honest mistake when the website was being built and two versions of a page (like mysite.com and mysite.com/homepage) were accidently created by the CMS. Perhaps you own an e-commerce website and you ...

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The Power of Real Author Authority

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When Google introduced PageRank it was basically the search giant’s attempt to “grade” pages on the Internet in the same manner that academic pages had been “graded” offline. Academic papers that are cited more frequently are generally considered more authoritative and prestigious; Google ...

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Don’t Rely on Just Google for Website Visitors

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Ever heard the saying, “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”? Well it’s a phrase that is applicable to the online marketing world too. A positive Google search presence is certainly important, which is why we are able to survive as an SEO business. Even so, we would never suggest tha...

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Google Penguin 2.0 Update is Live

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In case you haven’t already heard, the Google Penguin 2.0 update went live on May 22nd, 2013. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, made the official announcement on his personal blog. Here’s what he said; About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user mi...

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Understanding Google Penalties: Penguin 2.0 Is Coming

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Word on the street is that Penguin 2.0 will be coming to a Google organic search result near you very shortly. If you aren’t familiar with the Google Penguin algorithm update, it was first launched in the spring of 2012 and targeted websites that were using low quality (spammy) link building tacti...

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Search Engine Penalty: Manual or Algorithmic?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you’ve noticed a significant dip in traffic to your website that spans a substantial amount of time (more than just a few days or weeks) and you haven’t scaled back any of your marketing efforts and can’t attribute it to external factors like the seasonality of your product or service your ...

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Is Your Website In the Google Sandbox?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

SEOs spend a lot of time thinking about the Google search algorithm. After all, Google is the King of Search as everyone “Googles” what they are looking for. Unfortunately the Google algorithm remains a secretive entity and we are only left to trial and error to even begin to understand it. Howe...

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Google Tells Us “How Search Works”

Written by Nick Stamoulis

As part of its continued effort to be more transparent, Google has recently published “How Search Works” on its Inside Search site which tells the “from algorithms to answers” story. The main “How Search Works” page tells the story in image form as you scroll down and it is separated in...

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The Secret to Withstanding the Next Google Update

Written by Brick Marketing

Panda, Penguin, ads above the fold, exact match domains, Venice---it sometimes seemed like a new Google update was rolling out every other week in 2012. If you want to see exactly how many Google updates actually went live SEOMoz has a great algorithm change timeline. Panda and Penguin were undoubte...

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Ways to Claim More SERP Real Estate

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When people are looking for information today they typically turn to their favorite search engine, which is most likely Google. Not only do you want your business to appear within search results, but ideally you want your business to appear multiple times on a SERP (search engine results page). This...

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Google’s Venice Update—The Forgotten Local Update

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In the last few months I noticed that Brick Marketing was ranking in the top five search results for incredibly broad, national keywords like “SEO company.” We’ve been doing very well for localized keywords for a long time, but to see the company crack the SERPs for a national keyword (especia...

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Bing Webmaster Guidelines: Does Anyone Care?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Bing recently announced on its blog that it released the Bing Webmaster Guidelines. According to Bing: These Webmaster guidelines are broad, but provide guidance on major points such as: 1. Technical SEO 2. Social Media 3. Content 4. Links 5. Things to Avoid Changes should be infrequent as the...

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Create a Search Engine Spider Friendly Site

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The whole purpose of having a business website is to get visitors to the site that will ultimately become clients or customers. For most websites, the number one referral source of traffic is Google. For most people, Google is the first place they go when they are looking for just about anything. ...

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The Harsh Realities of a Search Engine Penalty

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In early October 2012, Google lived up to Matt Cutts’ promise of “jarring” updates. In about a week Google pushed out the exact match domain (EMD) update, a new Panda update, a page layout algorithm update AND the long awaited Penguin refresh. The EMD update happened first, and plenty of sites...

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Use Google Alerts to Improve Marketing Efforts

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google is a great resource for searching online and finding information that you need. We all know this. But Google’s product offerings expand beyond search. For anyone serious about marketing their website Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are essential because these tools provide yo...

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Google Releases a Tool to Disavow Links

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Links have always been and continue to be an extremely important part of SEO. Google ranks websites based on trust and the inbound links pointing to a website convey this trust. In the early days of Google and SEO nearly any link was considered to be a good link. That’s why so many low quality dir...

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Was Your Site Impacted by an Algorithm Update?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The search engines release updates to their algorithms all the time. Most of these updates go unnoticed because they affect such a small number of sites, and may not even make a huge difference when it comes to ranking or traffic. However, some algorithm updates are massive game changers like the Go...

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Google to Include Gmail Info in Search Results

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google recently announced that they would be taking their mission of personalizing search results one step further by including your email information from Gmail in search results. From the official Google blog: Sometimes the best answer to your question isn’t available on the public web—i...

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Use Google Tools to Monitor Your Brand Online

Written by Nick Stamoulis

A positive online brand reputation can take years to build. It’s important to do all that you can to preserve that positive reputation once it has been earned. When consumers are looking for a product or service or for information about a business, they turn to the Internet. Anybody with an Intern...

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Search Just Got Even More Social

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you’ve been paying attention to SEO trends at all in the last couple of years you should know that social media is no longer just a branding or customer service tool for business. A social media presence can improve SEO efforts. Both Google and Bing incorporate social signals into their search ...

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