Archiv für den Autor: Andreas

Overcoming 4 black hat SEO techniques that spammers and scammers use to harm your search rankings

This might come as an utter shock, but not everyone on the web plays by the rules.

The dark side of SEO can be particularly crippling to a business if they aren’t aware of how to fight back.

All those algorithms Google and other search engines use to identify sites that demonstrate genuine value to its audience – and to reward accordingly with higher search rankings – also include mechanisms to suppress sites that do a poor job at offering relevant, useful information.

Unfortunately, competitors, scammers, and other disgruntled parties that want to digitally damage a business‘ reputation have a number of negative SEO techniques at their disposal.

Here are four negative (or black hat) SEO tactics to keep a keen eye out for, and how you can protect your site – and your business – from being a victim.

1) Link farms and spammy backlinks have framed your site as the bad guy

In this particularly infuriating technique, bad actors will use link farms to direct high volumes of spam-quality links to your site. The attacker’s goal here is making it look like your site is trying to cheat the algorithms with a horrendously executed link-building campaign. Yes, it’s a digital frame job.

The malicious party will likely repeat content associated with the backlinks across a range of sites that themselves have negative reputations. By doing so, the search algorithms are certain to flag your site as engaging in bad SEO practices, and you will be penalized accordingly.

Checking for potential spammy backlinks

Your solution: Link monitoring and reporting

Up-to-date and accurate knowledge of where your website’s traffic is coming from is critical to stopping this. Recognizing a negative SEO backlink campaign in its earliest stages will help mitigate its detrimental effects.

Allowing it to proceed unchallenged for even a few weeks can result in significant damage to your site’s reputation that will be much more difficult to repair.

Active link monitoring is also a good habit to get into to proactively combat link farms and nefarious backlinks. When bad links point to your site, submit a list of the domains through Google Search Console and disavow these backlinks. Do this regularly to ensure that any spam links from unscrupulous domains do not influence your search rankings.

2) Someone is duplicating your original content and spreading it with link farms

High-quality content takes a good deal of effort to create, so perhaps it’s no surprise that other sites might be tempted to copy it from yours and present it as their own.

This is, of course, copyright infringement, and it is bad enough when done just for the benefit of the stolen content itself.

However, black hat SEO types like to take it a step further by scraping content before search engines crawl it. They then duplicate the content across link farms so that confused search engines actually penalize your site for posting spammed blog posts, whitepapers, or whatever great content you created.

Your solution: Report copyright infringement immediately

Again, vigilance is the answer. When you find that your content is being used elsewhere, an appropriate first step is to contact the site and let them know.

Ideally at this point, a known content contributor is responsible and the website’s management was wholly unaware (and will gladly take down what is not rightfully theirs).

If that option is exhausted and you still have an issue, however, the search engines need to be made aware. Use Google’s Online Copyright Infringement form to establish yourself as the rightful owner of the content in question; doing so will protect your site from SEO penalties related to that content.

3) Your site is hacked and content has been altered

Hacking and malware attacks are growing concerns for just about any website today, but the subtle application of these methods to harm your SEO may come as a surprise to many.

This technique is especially dangerous because it may go completely unnoticed: attackers that gain access to your site may target older or less viewed pages, or they might make changes that aren’t apparent on the surface.

A malicious actor with access to your site – perhaps the lifeblood of your business – is a scary prospect. They might fill your site with duplicated, low-quality, or unwholesome content that is sure to be flagged by search engines. Links on your webpages might also be redirected to problematic external sites.

Making matters worse, your content can be altered in several kinds of ways, including at the HTML level where only a careful look at the code can reveal what has actually been done.

Your solution: Site audits and monitoring

A watchful eye on webpage performance across your site can usually expose any anomalies caused by hacked content. For example, traffic spikes on pages with normally consistent traffic, new backlinks to old pages, abnormal backlinks, or ranking increases for abnormal keywords can be telltale signs of subtle content changes that need to be investigated.

Websites should also be sure to take care in controlling access to content. It is not unheard of in these situations that the culprit is actually a former employee or contributor, intent on causing mayhem by using legitimate credentials that should have been revoked when the business (and the site) parted ways with them.

4) Fake reviews are bringing down your company’s reputation

It remains relatively easy to fill review sites such as Yelp, Google, and a host of others with false and/or negative sentiments in an effort to discredit a business. These efforts can absolutely reduce your local SEO, which will almost assuredly hamper web traffic and sales.

Fake reviews can be recognized by a few typical attributes. A sudden spike in negative reviews, with no corresponding event to explain them, should immediately be suspect. Negative reviews all posted in the same window of a few hours or days are worth investigating as well.

Fake reviews tend to be short and not very descriptive, since there’s no actual experience for them to describe. The reviewers‘ profiles offer clues as well: if a reviewer lacks a history of posting reviews, it may well be an account created specifically for this negative SEO attack.

Your solution: Report fake reviews

Any business can expect some degree of negative feedback, and most might even view it as useful criticism when appropriate. However, fake reviewers don’t require feedback or courtesy.

Review sites – including Google and Yelp, two of the most important to many businesses and their SEO – usually offer the review subject a mechanism for flagging fake reviews. Protect your site by being diligent in doing so.

The solutions above contain a clear running theme: the price of freedom from negative SEO is constant vigilance. By monitoring key metrics of your site and your digital presence (and taking swift action when necessary), you can keep your site and its standing with search engines safe no matter what black hat SEO types try.

Kim Kosaka is the Director of Marketing at alexa.com, whose tools provide insight into digital behavior that marketers use to better understand and win over their audience.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com

In a World of Diminishing Trust, Data-Driven Marketers Can Turn the Tide

Trusting Hands

Trusting HandsMy first encounter with marketing data malpractice came at a young age. I wasn’t old enough to understand what was going on at the time, but my dad loves to tell the story. As I’ve gotten older, the humor and timeless relevance of this anecdote have struck me more and more.

It was the mid-90s. We received a piece of mail at our house addressed to Lucy Nelson. It was a credit card offer from one of the industry’s heavy hitters. Nothing out of the norm so far, right?

Here’s the problem: Lucy was no longer alive.

And the bigger problem: Lucy was not a human. She was our dog.

As it turns out, my older brother had been cited by an officer at a nearby park many years earlier for walking Lucy without a leash. When asked to give a name, he stuttered out the Golden Retriever’s, along with our family surname. Somehow „Lucy Nelson“ ended up in a city database and the credit card company had plucked it out to add to its mailing list. Ultimately, this resulted in our dearly departed dog being pitched a deluxe platinum card.

Woof.

Flash-forward 20-some years. It’s a different world now. The rudimentary practice of collecting names and addresses from public databases seems so quaint in the Age of Big Data. Businesses and institutions now have the ability to gather comprehensive insights about people, both in aggregate and at an individual level.

For the general populace, this can feel unnerving. And unfortunately, almost everyone reading this has experienced some breach of trust when it comes to corporations or government and personal data.

But for marketers, the sheer volume of information now readily available presents a significant opportunity to take our profession to all new heights. By getting it right, we can help stem the tide of rising consumer wariness.

A World of Distrust

In 2017, for the first time since being introduced almost two decades ago, the Edelman Trust Barometer found a decline in consumer trust toward business, media, government, and NGOs to „do what is right.“ That’s bad. And even worse: the organization’s Trust Index didn’t rebound in the 2018 study, released in January.

2018 Edelman Trust Barometer„A World of Distrust,“ Edelman has dubbed it in 2018. And who can blame folks for losing faith? These days it can feel like the only major news story that isn’t shrouded in doubt is when Equifax leaks the personal information of 150 million people.

In such an environment, it’s hard to not to squirm when learning that your Amazon Alexa, and even your smartphone, is listening to you pretty much at all times.

While apprehension is understandable, these aren’t people spying on us; they are robotic algorithms collecting data in efforts to understand us and better serve us.

As marketers, we can play a major role in showing people the benefits of a data-focused marketplace. Customers rightfully have high expectations of our ability to offer high-quality tailored experiences, and we need to follow through. It’s an historic opportunity.

[bctt tweet=“As marketers, we can play a major role in showing people the benefits of a data-focused marketplace. – @NickNelsonMN #CX #DataDrivenMarketing“ username=“toprank“]

Connecting the Dots

Our CEO Lee Odden recently wrote this in a blog about data creating better customer experiences: “One of the universal truths that we’ve operated under at TopRank Marketing,” he explained. “Is about the power of information specific to customers that are actively searching for solutions.“

In that post, Lee wrote about his experience searching online for a portable battery charger and then being served ads for purple mattresses. That’s the kind of thing that drives me crazy. As Lee notes: „The data is there. Customers are telling you what they want. The question is, how to connect those dots of data to understand and optimize customer experiences?“

The consequences of missing the mark are very real. A few years ago LoyaltyOne conducted a survey of 2,000 U.S. and Canadian customers on the subjects of data collection and privacy. Among the findings: only 35% were accepting of retailers using cookies to track their online behavior and just 27% were cool with location-based offers.

How much less widespread resistance might we be seeing against these tactics if they were being utilized more effectively?

[bctt tweet=“The data is there. Customers are telling you what they want. The question is, how to connect those dots of data to understand & optimize customer experiences? – @leeodden #CX #DataDrivenMarketing“ username=“toprank“]

The Data-Driven Marketer’s Imperative

The stakes are high. We need to piece the puzzle together correctly. If marketers and advertisers can start consistently delivering the sort of customized content and recommendations that data empower us to provide, it’ll go a long way toward restoring customer faith.

We should be using this information to optimize, not traumatize!

Among the biggest areas for improvement I can see, from the perspective of both a marketer and customer:

  • Cut down on data fragmentation and organizational silos. This issue is abundantly common and extremely damaging. The „garbage in, garbage out“ adage will never cease to be true. Make the necessary investments to unify your data and enhance the customer journey from attract to engage to convert and every step in between.
  • Be more transparent. Location-based tracking and other oft-used practices would be much less irksome if they didn’t feel so sneaky. Inform customers when you’re gathering info and why. Commit to opt-in policies wherever possible.
  • Follow the principles of the „virtuous cycle.“ LoyaltyOne CEO Bryan Pearson suggests that building trust is tantamount to developing face-to-face relationships. „In the beginning, we share a little. Then, once we show that we can be responsible with what the customer has shared, he or she will reveal a little more. And gradually the relationship deepens. This crawl-walk-run approach to sharing information is a sensible way for us to proceed in data collection and use. After all, as long as customer information is used to enhance the customer experience, taking small steps along the way can lead to big things.“

Data has come a long way since the days of sending credit card offers to dead dogs. Marketers, let’s make sure every campaign we create is reflecting this progress.

[bctt tweet=“We should be using the data & information we have to optimize, not traumatize. – @NickNelsonMN #DataDrivenMarketing #CX“ username=“toprank“]

How can you build more trust with your audience? A more thoughtful approach to content marketing can help. Learn several ways to build credibility and trust with content.

The post In a World of Diminishing Trust, Data-Driven Marketers Can Turn the Tide appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

In a World of Diminishing Trust, Data-Driven Marketers Can Turn the Tide

Trusting Hands

Trusting HandsMy first encounter with marketing data malpractice came at a young age. I wasn’t old enough to understand what was going on at the time, but my dad loves to tell the story. As I’ve gotten older, the humor and timeless relevance of this anecdote have struck me more and more.

It was the mid-90s. We received a piece of mail at our house addressed to Lucy Nelson. It was a credit card offer from one of the industry’s heavy hitters. Nothing out of the norm so far, right?

Here’s the problem: Lucy was no longer alive.

And the bigger problem: Lucy was not a human. She was our dog.

As it turns out, my older brother had been cited by an officer at a nearby park many years earlier for walking Lucy without a leash. When asked to give a name, he stuttered out the Golden Retriever’s, along with our family surname. Somehow „Lucy Nelson“ ended up in a city database and the credit card company had plucked it out to add to its mailing list. Ultimately, this resulted in our dearly departed dog being pitched a deluxe platinum card.

Woof.

Flash-forward 20-some years. It’s a different world now. The rudimentary practice of collecting names and addresses from public databases seems so quaint in the Age of Big Data. Businesses and institutions now have the ability to gather comprehensive insights about people, both in aggregate and at an individual level.

For the general populace, this can feel unnerving. And unfortunately, almost everyone reading this has experienced some breach of trust when it comes to corporations or government and personal data.

But for marketers, the sheer volume of information now readily available presents a significant opportunity to take our profession to all new heights. By getting it right, we can help stem the tide of rising consumer wariness.

A World of Distrust

In 2017, for the first time since being introduced almost two decades ago, the Edelman Trust Barometer found a decline in consumer trust toward business, media, government, and NGOs to „do what is right.“ That’s bad. And even worse: the organization’s Trust Index didn’t rebound in the 2018 study, released in January.

2018 Edelman Trust Barometer„A World of Distrust,“ Edelman has dubbed it in 2018. And who can blame folks for losing faith? These days it can feel like the only major news story that isn’t shrouded in doubt is when Equifax leaks the personal information of 150 million people.

In such an environment, it’s hard to not to squirm when learning that your Amazon Alexa, and even your smartphone, is listening to you pretty much at all times.

While apprehension is understandable, these aren’t people spying on us; they are robotic algorithms collecting data in efforts to understand us and better serve us.

As marketers, we can play a major role in showing people the benefits of a data-focused marketplace. Customers rightfully have high expectations of our ability to offer high-quality tailored experiences, and we need to follow through. It’s an historic opportunity.

[bctt tweet=“As marketers, we can play a major role in showing people the benefits of a data-focused marketplace. – @NickNelsonMN #CX #DataDrivenMarketing“ username=“toprank“]

Connecting the Dots

Our CEO Lee Odden recently wrote this in a blog about data creating better customer experiences: “One of the universal truths that we’ve operated under at TopRank Marketing,” he explained. “Is about the power of information specific to customers that are actively searching for solutions.“

In that post, Lee wrote about his experience searching online for a portable battery charger and then being served ads for purple mattresses. That’s the kind of thing that drives me crazy. As Lee notes: „The data is there. Customers are telling you what they want. The question is, how to connect those dots of data to understand and optimize customer experiences?“

The consequences of missing the mark are very real. A few years ago LoyaltyOne conducted a survey of 2,000 U.S. and Canadian customers on the subjects of data collection and privacy. Among the findings: only 35% were accepting of retailers using cookies to track their online behavior and just 27% were cool with location-based offers.

How much less widespread resistance might we be seeing against these tactics if they were being utilized more effectively?

[bctt tweet=“The data is there. Customers are telling you what they want. The question is, how to connect those dots of data to understand & optimize customer experiences? – @leeodden #CX #DataDrivenMarketing“ username=“toprank“]

The Data-Driven Marketer’s Imperative

The stakes are high. We need to piece the puzzle together correctly. If marketers and advertisers can start consistently delivering the sort of customized content and recommendations that data empower us to provide, it’ll go a long way toward restoring customer faith.

We should be using this information to optimize, not traumatize!

Among the biggest areas for improvement I can see, from the perspective of both a marketer and customer:

  • Cut down on data fragmentation and organizational silos. This issue is abundantly common and extremely damaging. The „garbage in, garbage out“ adage will never cease to be true. Make the necessary investments to unify your data and enhance the customer journey from attract to engage to convert and every step in between.
  • Be more transparent. Location-based tracking and other oft-used practices would be much less irksome if they didn’t feel so sneaky. Inform customers when you’re gathering info and why. Commit to opt-in policies wherever possible.
  • Follow the principles of the „virtuous cycle.“ LoyaltyOne CEO Bryan Pearson suggests that building trust is tantamount to developing face-to-face relationships. „In the beginning, we share a little. Then, once we show that we can be responsible with what the customer has shared, he or she will reveal a little more. And gradually the relationship deepens. This crawl-walk-run approach to sharing information is a sensible way for us to proceed in data collection and use. After all, as long as customer information is used to enhance the customer experience, taking small steps along the way can lead to big things.“

Data has come a long way since the days of sending credit card offers to dead dogs. Marketers, let’s make sure every campaign we create is reflecting this progress.

[bctt tweet=“We should be using the data & information we have to optimize, not traumatize. – @NickNelsonMN #DataDrivenMarketing #CX“ username=“toprank“]

How can you build more trust with your audience? A more thoughtful approach to content marketing can help. Learn several ways to build credibility and trust with content.

The post In a World of Diminishing Trust, Data-Driven Marketers Can Turn the Tide appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Source:: toprankblog.com

Nomad #4

nomad1

Mehr Bilder…

„Wusstest du, dass die Modeindustrie die zweitgrößte verschmutzende Industrie der Welt ist?“ – mit dieser aufrüttelnden Frage stellt das von Bert van Son gegründete Unternehmen Mud Jeans auf der Website sein Konzept zur Herstellung recycelter Jeans vor. Mittlerweile kann Mud Jeans mehrere Auszeichnungen vorweisen, unter anderem den Sustainability Leadership Award und die Peta Vegan Awards. Die Geschichte über Mud Jeans steht beispielhaft für den aktuellen Themenfokus von Nomad, das sich in der vierten Ausgabe mit dem Thema Nachhaltigkeit beschäftigt.

Der irische Künstler John Gerrard eröffnet im Kontext seines Interviews eine traurige Wahrheit: die Biodiversität der Erde und damit die Vielfalt an Organismen, hat sich seit 1900 um 50 Prozent verringert. Nils Bader, weltweit anerkannter Nachhaltigkeitsexperte und Gründer des Green Product Award, gibt im Interview Einblicke in die Entwicklungen der Exportnation China, die massiv in eine nachhaltige Ökonomie investiert. Und Spiegel-Kolumnist Georg Diez beschäftigt sich in seinem Essay mit den Abwehrreflexen gegenüber allem Neuen, die er als „The Closing of the German Mind“ bezeichnet und gerade in Deutschland ausgeprägt vorfindet. Im Gespräch mit Charlotte Macaux Perelman und Alexis Fabry, den Kreativdirektoren von Hermès Maison, wird der Aspekt von Nachhaltigkeit in Bezug auf Material und Qualität deutlich.

Nomad ist in deutscher und englischer Sprache erhältlich. Online bestellen kann man Nomad gerne über die Webseite oder im nationalen und internationalen Fach- und Zeitschriftenhandel sowie in ausgewählten Buchläden kaufen.

Die fünfte Ausgabe von Nomad erscheint im Mai 2018.

Agentur
HW.D

Designer
Veronika Kinczli

Source:: designmadeingermany.de

4 local SEO strategies for small and medium businesses

For small and medium businesses who want to compete on the same playing-field as much larger corporations with greater resources at their disposal, having a strong local SEO strategy is crucial.

Irrespective of what industry you’re in, you’ll always have at least one competitor who has been around longer and has allocated more budget and resources to building their visibility on the web and in search engines.

It may feel futile to try and compete with them in the realm of SEO.

But local SEO plays by slightly different rules to the regular kind. You don’t need to have reams of funding at your disposal or hundreds of links pointing to your site to be visible and relevant to a local audience – you just need to understand the unique characteristics of local SEO, and apply a few simple strategies to cater to them.

In this article, we’ll explore four cost-effective strategies that small and medium businesses can use to give themselves the best chance of ranking locally.

Verify your business‘ Google Plus page

Your first step is to link your business‘ Google Plus page with Google My Business. Google My Business allows SMEs to update their information across Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Plus in one fell swoop, to ensure that a potential customer can find you wherever they are and whatever device they’re on.

Local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches, and verifying your Google Plus page makes it possible for you to monopolize the majority of the search results pages for your brand name, especially for the Local Business Card on the right.

Business owners need to realize that anyone can edit your business listing and this includes your competitors. Once you have provided Google My Business with all your details, it is very important to login to your Google My Business dashboard regularly to ensure that no one has attempted to make any unwanted changes to your listing.

Take advantage of the many interesting features available to businesses on Google My Business such as Google Posts, booking button feature, messaging, Questions & Answers, and more. The possibilities are limitless, get busy!

Pay-Per-Click advertising

Launching your website is only the first step. Implementing a marketing strategy that includes Pay-Per-Click advertising is an important part of small business success within the digital landscape.

Virtually every small business can benefit from implementing a pay-per-click marketing strategy to build its web presence. The idea is to identify targeted, relevant keywords, understand your target audience and develop a strategy that will drive the right types of leads.

Selling a product or service that is difficult for consumers to find locally makes your business a great candidate for PPC advertising campaigns. People often rely on internet searches to locate unusual or rare products.

On top of this, many local searches with high purchase intent take place on mobile, as consumers search for a business or service “near me” while they’re out and about. As PPC advertising dominates a greater proportion of screen space on mobile, having paid search ads in place will give you the best chance of appearing in front of consumers in these moments.

Learning to combine the strengths of both search and social media, pay-per-click will effectively round out any small business‘ paid advertising strategy. Understanding the difference and when to use each platform will increase visibility and decrease cost.

Host user-generated reviews

Google sees reviews as a major factor for ranking on the new carousel design; however, more than anything your reviews are for Google users who see your company on a SERP. Peer-to-peer reviews are powerful because they give your potential customers a good sense of what it’s really like to use your goods or services.

In this regard, the internet has leveled the playing field for small businesses across the globe through the power and exposure of online user-generated reviews.

Search engine spiders like content that is unique and frequently updated, and user reviews are an easy way to create more of this. Content generated by users is often unique to the user, therefore, it is different from the generic content mostly used by e-commerce sites which is the same thing as the manufacturer description.

This, combined with the fact that the words and phrases used by reviewers are often the same as those used by searchers, increases the chances of ranking well for search queries that are relevant to your product.

When you consider that 88% of shoppers consider product reviews before making any purchase, it’s a safe bet to assume that more and more consumers will be searching for the name of your product along with the word ‘review‘, or related words like ‘ratings‘.

Get your visitors started by simply putting a button on your webpage to facilitate leaving a review, prompt visitors to leave a review after purchasing something or visiting a particular landing page, or talk directly with people in your store or company about leaving a review.

Optimize your images

Optimization for local SEO is not limited to text. Due to the increasingly blended nature of search results, you can now see images on the search listings page, so it’s important to optimize your imagery for search engines.

Ensure your images are search engine-friendly. It all starts with the file name. There are a billion and one images out there, so you don’t want to use a generic image file name like ‘image12345.jpg‘ that will guarantee your business gets lost in the pile. Instead, you want to use something descriptive to make it easier for your images to compete in rankings.

Search engines can’t read images, so it is up to you to use alt tags to help describe your image to ensure it pops up during relevant queries. Write a concise, relevant description that contains the appropriate keywords. Don’t forget to write content above and below the images on your website, using keywords where appropriate; the more the text is related to the image, the better.

Most importantly, if you want your images to rank for localized keywords, make sure you add local keywords wherever you can for blended results optimized for a specific local area.

In short, there’s no elevator to rise to the top of the search engine rankings, especially when there’s a massive competitor lingering on the scene. But with a strategy that leverages your geographic location, you can selectively overcome your competitors in specific key areas.

Give yourself an advantage by narrowing your topic and keyword focus and increasing your location-specific relevance. You might not rank for as many keywords as the big players, but you will be able to surpass them in relevance for your chosen focal points.

If you want to dive further into local SEO strategies after reading these tips, the following articles will take you more in-depth:

Pius Boachie is the founder of DigitiMatic, an inbound marketing agency.

Source:: searchenginewatch.com