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Are You Dealing with a Partial Manual Action?

Writing by Shawna Wright in Search Engines


manual webspam actions

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 partial manual action has been taken to a specific section of the website saying "the webmaster has a problem with other people leaving spam on mattcutts.com/forum/. By fixing this common issue, the webmaster can not only help restore his forum's rankings on Google, but also improve the experience for his users.” Other sites with manual actions will see a different message, depending on why their website was hit with a penalty. Some site might get told about a thin content issue, which would help site owner identify which pages of their website need to be CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

3 Types of Posts to Share to Keep Your Blog Active

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


Blog Active

There are numerous benefits to operating a business blog. It’s an avenue to share your expertise with target audience members and be viewed as a trusted source of information. It helps SEO efforts by adding an additional page of content to the site each time a blog post is published that can be crawled and indexed and can eventually rank in the search engines for related keyword searches and keeps the site “fresh”, which is attractive to the search engines. It helps to fuel a social media strategy, as each blog post can be shared with social followers. Of course all of CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The New Hummingbird Search Algorithm from Google

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Search Engines


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 Engine Land reported that this is probably the biggest change the algorithm has undergone since 2001 Unlike Panda and Penguin, which were updates to the existing algorithm, Hummingbird is a completely new algorithm. Hummingbird still uses Panda and Penguin, as well as other “old parts” from the previous search algorithm, CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Content is the Most Important Component of B2B SEO Today

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in B2B SEO Marketing


With all of the SEO rules changing as often as they do, and SEO tactics that were once beneficial now on the “bad” list, website owners that want to improve their search engine presence are now left wondering, “what can we do?” What we always tell our clients is that the most important thing that they can do to help improve their B2B SEO efforts is to produce quality content on a regular basis. This can be in the form of blog posts, guest blog posts, articles, white papers, press releases, webinars, etc. Here are 2 key CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

SEO Won’t Guarantee Conversions

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


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The purpose of a search engine optimization campaign is to conduct activities that will capture the attention of the search engine spiders, and in turn get your website content to rank prominently in the search engines for related keyword search terms. If you are able to improve your search engine presence, you can generate more clicks over to your website, which should generate more conversions in the form of attaining contact information via a lead form, more calls to the phone number listed on the website, or a direct sale from the site if there is an ecommerce component. Yet, CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Interview with Digital & Social Media Marketing Expert Jasmine Sandler

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Expert Interviews


Jasmine Sandler

Recently I had the chance to interview B2B digital marketing veteran Jasmine Sandler. She is the founder and CEO of Agent-cy Online Marketing, an Online PR agency based in New York City. Jasmine is a frequent speaker for The Association of Strategic Marketing, The Association of Ghostwriters, Search Engine Strategies, Small Business Technology, and New York Business Expo. She is also a contributing monthly writer for ClickZ.com, Search Engine Watch, The New York Enterprise Report, and LinkedIn Original Content. Question: A small business owner or one-man marketing team can very easily get overwhelmed by all their social media CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Will Social Signals Replace Traditional Links? The Experts Weigh In.

Writing by Shawna Wright in Link Building


A few weeks ago Google updated the Webmaster Guidelines to say that links in online press releases need to be A) nofollow and B)not use any keyword-rich anchor text. While not specifically outlined in the Guidelines, Google’s John Mueller recommended that links in guest blog posts also be nofollow as those links are not editorial and “natural.” And now Matt Cutts has come out to say that widgets and infographics should also be nofollow. It’s starting to look like any content you produce offsite should include only nofollow links and natural anchor text. And if that’s the case CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Nofollow Links Will Generate Traffic

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


Links are what make up the entire architecture of the web. Users click from link to link during their browsing experience and the search engine spiders also maneuver the web by crawling from link to link in order to index pages that will appear as search results for related keyword search terms. From an SEO standpoint, there are two types of inbound links: followed links and nofollowed links. The designation between the two types of links is the “nofollow” tag that is present with nofollowed links. It’s a code that is only seen in the back end, so CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Grow Your Online Authority with Real-Time Social Interactions

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


I’ll admit that I am one of the many business owners out there who like to think that there are more than 24 hours in a day. I always hope I can get more done in a day than I really end up pushing through and unfortunately one of the easiest things to shuffle around to the back burner is social interactions. Thanks to social media management tools like HootSuite it’s incredibly easy to schedule out updates days, weeks, or even months in advance. While this is a huge relief for me because I know that something will be going CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Cutting Corners in an SEO Strategy Will Backfire

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Business owners want to see the quickest possible return on their marketing investment. However, many marketing strategies are built for the long term- to build up brand recognition over time. A sale or promotion might yield results within a given timeframe, but a search engine optimization campaign doesn’t work like that. A white hat SEO campaign is a slow moving process and it takes time to see progression. Even though website owners can be told this again and again, they are still convinced that there must be ways to cut corners to speed up the process. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Four Steps to Effective Communication for Professional Practices

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


This is a guest post by Steve Klinghoffer of WPI Communications, Inc. Communicating your message is essential to help current and potential clients understand why your professional practice is the best choice among your competitors. Learning to communicate in the most effective ways possible—from public speaking to networking to newsletter marketing—can yield rich rewards over time. Here are four ways to become a better communicator: 1. Develop a clear and consistent message. Consider the kind of message you hope to convey, and then take time to write and refine that message until it has a razor-sharp focus specifically CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The 3 New Rules of SEO

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


SEO is a very interesting industry to work in because the game is constantly evolving. The tactics we rely on heavily today could very easily be useless, or even counterproductive, three months from now. This doesn’t mean that SEO is dead or dying, only that it is changing to keep up with the times. Google is in a war against spam and, whether we like it or not, they get to make the rules of SEO. As the biggest search engine around many sites rely on organic search traffic from Google to keep their business open. If you want to CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The Benefits of Evergreen Blog Posts

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


Evergreen Content

Whenever clients ask what kind of content they should be writing to share in their blog, we always recommend that the content be evergreen, meaning that it will be just as relevant in the future as it is now. This is something that website owners sometimes struggle with. It’s much easier to write news type posts about things that are going on in the industry right at that moment. However, that post has an expiration date on it regarding how long it will be useful. Evergreen content, on the other hand, doesn’t have that expiration date which means that it CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

“Not Provided” Google Analytics Data Could Reach 100%

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Search Engines


“Not Provided” Data Could Reach 100%

Back in 2011 Google announced they would be hiding the organic keywords secure searchers (those logged into their Google account) used in order to find a website from the Google Analytics data.  This was only supposed to apply to roughly 10% of the search data so site owners could still trust the information they were learning from Google Analytics to direct their SEO campaigns. However, it became readily apparent that 10% was nothing more than a dream and in the following months sites began to see “not provided” data grow to 40+% depending on their niche. Site owners CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Why SEO Success Won’t Happen Overnight

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


If you’re looking for a marketing solution that is going to generate a quick response and result in an uptick in sales, leads, conversions, etc. in the short term- SEO isn’t it. What’s frustrating to most website owners about SEO is that it is a necessary evil. It’s necessary because people are looking for the products and services that you offer in the search engines. It’s evil because it can take quite awhile to get your website to appear prominently for related search terms. The higher ups want to see ROI for marketing activities as quickly CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Interview with Monica Wright, Director of Audience Engagement for Search Engine Land

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Expert Interviews


Monica Wright

Recently I had the chance to interview Monica Wright, the Director of Audience Engagement for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. Monica is a veteran online marketer with over 15 years of media and content marketing experience, building audiences and visibility using search, social marketing and diagnostic SEO. She is also a regular speaker at industry events such as SMX, SMX Advanced, PubCon and Social Media Breakfast Maine. Question: What are your primary responsibilities as the Director of Audience Engagement for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land? Answer from Monica Wright: It’s a new position – my job is to ensure CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What Lazy SEO Looks Like

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


There are many SEO industry professionals and it’s likely that nobody takes exactly the same approach to an SEO campaign. However, if your business website is in the market to hire an in house SEO professional, an SEO consultant, or an SEO firm the one thing that you want to make sure of is that they aren’t going to take the lazy SEO approach. Lazy SEO isn’t going to generate the types of results that management is going to want to see. A proper SEO campaign can take months to see results, so a lazy SEO campaign is certainly going CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Recognizing the Small B2B SEO Successes

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in B2B SEO Marketing


Depending on what B2B niche your company operates in there might be a ceiling when it comes to how much new organic traffic you can pull to your site for certain keywords. For instance, “live chat software” has a monthly search volume of 5,400. If your website is already pulling in 3,500 visitors a month for that particular keyword there isn’t nearly as much room to grow as compared to a site that only gets 350 visitors a month for that single keyword. Your organic growth for that one keyword may never look like a powerful surge but that doesn’t CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Marketing Folks, Check Your SEO Ego at the Door

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


There’s lots of content out there about how to go about selecting an SEO firm that is the right fit for your company. We’ve even written plenty on the topic ourselves. This is all well and good but what potential SEO clients need to understand is that it goes both ways. Just as you are checking out the SEO firm and have a list of credentials that you want fulfilled, the SEO firm is scoping you out as a potential client too. The relationship between an SEO firm and a client should be viewed as a CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How to Start SEO for Your New Website

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


If you’re a start up and you’ve just launched a business website, it’s smart of you to already be thinking about SEO. After all, SEO is a slow moving process and the earlier you get started at it, the better off your site will be. However, we don’t recommend that new website owners hire an SEO firm right out of the gate. “Why would an SEO firm not recommend hiring an SEO firm?” you might be wondering. Well, the simple answer is that one of the most important factors that determines SEO success is the search CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

3 Tips for Training Your Link Builders

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


For the most part, SEO is not nearly as complicated as civil engineering and you don’t need a PhD to do a good job. However, just because SEO isn’t as complex as building a rocket it’s not something that everyone can do straight out of the gate. In my experience, you have to do SEO to really understand the finer details and having a trusted mentor looking over your shoulder always helps keep you on track. If you are responsible for your site’s SEO campaign, which includes link building, it’s your job to make sure that everyone on your team CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Is My Social Media Campaign Working?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


Unless you have been living under a rock over the last few years, you know how important social media has become to our everyday lives. People are constantly connected to others through numerous social networks on many devices including their desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc. It’s not just friends and family members that people are connecting with either. They are connecting with businesses and industry professionals. The opportunity for a business to connect with a massive audience has never been easier. And yet, why does it seem so hard? It’s because businesses aren’t taking CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Someone Stole My LinkedIn Identity!

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


Nick Stamoulis LinkedIn

Take a look at the two screen shots below. Notice anything? Yup—you read that right. Apparently both this woman Amanda Andrew and I are the President and Founder of Brick Marketing. When one of my team members brought this to my attention my first reaction was “well that doesn’t look like me!” I login to my LinkedIn account almost every day. Not only do I use LinkedIn to network with other industry professionals, I also update the Brick Marketing company page with our more recent blog posts, as well as submit those posts to various LinkedIn Groups for discussion. I’ve also CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Inbound Links Should Deliver Traffic

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


If you want to play by Google’s rules, it’s important to focus on building links to your site that will not only help to improve your inbound link portfolio for SEO purposes, but will also generate traffic from target audience members. After all, that was the original purpose of links- to direct actual web users to another web page that they might find interesting or relevant. To check to see if your link building efforts are on track in terms of generating visitors goes, this is an area where your Analytics tracking comes in handy. It’s important CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Interview with Marios Alexandrou of STEAK’s Search Marketing

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Expert Interviews


Marios Alexandrou

Recently I had the chance to interview Marios Alexandrou, the East Coast Director of SEO for Steak's Search Marketing team. Marios has spent 20 years in technology in numerous roles including network administration, web development, and project management and got into SEO 10 years ago when he built his first business-related website. Marios writes about SEO for ClickZ, as well as focusing on the broader area of Internet marketing for Infolific. Question: What do you think of Google’s recent announcement that online press releases and guest blog posts can’t use keyword-rich anchor text? Answer from Marios Alexandrou: CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Be Selective About Guest Blog Submissions

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


An active business blog is an important component of an online marketing strategy today, specifically within the B2B sector. Prospects are doing research and looking for information on the web. Each new blog post that you create is an additional page of content that can rank on the search engine results page, be shared across social media, and generate natural links as a point of reference within content that exists on other web pages. The key to blogging success is to keep the blog active. If you are only posting a few times a month, or CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

SEO Education Matters!

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


Many site owners and marketers are pressed for time, especially when they own/work for a smaller business. Most of us don’t have the luxury of having a 10 person marketing team at our beck and call, complete with copywriter, social media community manager, and SEO expert. In most cases, the one or two man marketing team has to wear all of those hats and then some! With that much work to get done (and the days stubbornly clinging to the 24 hour time frame), many companies choose to hire a white hat SEO provider to manage their onsite SEO and CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What Good Are Nofollow Links?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


The number of sites that pass link juice to another site is counted into the search algorithm and influences where that second site ranks in the SERPs. Nofollow tags (rel="nofollow") are how a site owner can tell the search engines to NOT crawl a particular link and NOT pass link juice from Site A to Site B.  Nofollow tags can be added to an entire page, the entire site, or used on a more granular level and just added to specific links on a page. Since nofollow links don’t pass link juice many site owners wonder why they should bother CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Add Nofollow Links to Your Press Releases

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


For years online press releases have been used by site owners and marketers as a way to not only promote their products and services, but also as a way to build links back to their website. One press release could be sent out to a few dozen syndication sites, which would create a spike in inbound links and deliver a surge of traffic to your site. However, like many link building tactics, in recent years spammers took advantage of online press releases and used them to build massive amount of links with no real value. Many online distribution sites had no CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Consider the Competition in an SEO Campaign

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


An SEO campaign is like any other kind of marketing campaign in that it involves conducting research before getting started. It’s necessary to research the market online which includes target audience behavior as well as a competitive analysis. If your business and/or website is relatively new to the market or at least new to marketing the business online and implementing SEO, it’s necessary to have an understanding of what the SEO competition is doing in the space in order to find a niche or an angle that will allow you to stand out. A competitive analysis will CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The Annotations Feature in Google Analytics Is Your Best Friend

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Search Engines


The Annotations Feature in Google Analytics Is Your Best Friend

It sometimes feels like one of our SEO clients is dealing with a cursed website. Code has been accidentally deleted or changed (and no one will say they did it), the site has gone down for no apparent reason, the Google Analytics tracking code was removed, hackers have been able to sneak past their firewall, the Googlebot’s IP address was accidentally blocked and more.  Luckily we’ve managed to catch these issues in time before any lasting SEO damage was done but it does make for interesting data when reporting time rolls around. How can we accurately judge the success of CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

3 Common SEO Misconceptions

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Even though search engine optimization has been around for years, it’s still a marketing tactic that many website owners don’t quite understand. This is partially due to the fact that the industry is always changing. What was an acceptable SEO practice even just 6 months ago might no longer be valuable to an SEO program. The search engines are constantly tweaking the algorithms and are on the look out for what they consider to be ways that website owners try and game the system. Many website owners are still left with the wrong impression of what SEO does and what CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How To Conduct a Site Content Audit in 4 Steps

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


Keep in mind that depending on how large your website is a full site content audit could take several weeks…or it could take several months. The most important thing about conducting a site content audit is to stay organized and keep plugging away at it! 1. Pull and organize every single URL. That’s right, every single URL---every static page of content, every white paper, every press release, employee bio, company mission statement, download form and so forth. The easiest way to organize your URLs is to put them in an Excel spreadsheet and give each URL a label (homepage equals 1, product CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

SEO Writing Requires an Additional Skill Set

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Not everybody has the skills required to be a good writer. You need to be able to understand what people want to read and convey it in a proper manner. Of course there are different kinds of writing. Formal writing requires citations and research while less formal writing can be written just as if you were speaking to someone. Business writing can include both of these types of writing styles, and of course business writers need to understand when each is appropriate. While writing can be difficult enough as is, writing for the web requires CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Interview with Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Expert Interviews


Greg Sterling

Recently I had the chance to interview Greg Sterling, contributing editor of Search Engine Land.  You can read Greg's personal blog Screenwerk, which follows the world of media and local advertising. He also writes about the mobile internet at Internet2Go. Greg Sterling is also the founder of Sterling Market Intelligence, which researches the Internet’s impact on offline consumer behavior. Thanks to Greg for taking the time to answer my questions! Question: There is little doubt that search traffic from mobile devices is growing, but do you think tablet users search differently than they would on a PC? Answer from Greg Sterling: Tablet search CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...