In a world where free organic rankings results can easily make or break most online businesses webmasters everywhere strive to get in the good graces of the big Google. It always surprises me when you hear of companies doing things that are almost guaranteed to sabotage their organic existence.

Some things I understand. While they come with huge risks, black hat techniques, spamming, link buying and other shady methods can sometimes, albeit temporary, come with big rewards. These risks are usually calculated and educated. But when a big company makes a very clear cut error in judgement without doing any research it is a bit of a shock. Read more…

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Site Load Speed and Your Competitors

Site load speed has been a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm for a while now. I had suspected it was a factor for some time, and then back in April 2010, Google confirmed it.

I was surprised the other day when I learned that Google had removed the site performance data from the Labs section of Google Webmaster Tools. I had fully suspected this would be made into a full-fledged feature, but instead it was removed entirely.

While the site load times shown under site performance were somewhat flawed, it was still useful for getting an overall impression of how fast Google perceived your site to be. If they showed your site as exceptionally slow, then at the very least, it was an indication that something needed to be done. Read more…

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Google EMD Update

For those of you who haven’t heard, on Sept 28, Google unrolled what is being called the Google EMD Update. EMD stands for Exact Match Domain. This update focuses on “low-quality” exact match domains. Matt Cutts tweeted about this as it was happening.Google EMD Update (Sept 28, 2012)

For most, this update will go unnoticed, but for 0.6% of searches, we have seen a change. This sounds like a small number but when you consider that as of August 2012 Google was serving results on average for around 100 billion queries a month – as a result this measly 0.6% impacts about 600 million monthly queries. Read more…

Meta Keyword ZombieHide your websites, lock up your source code, stay safely in your servers behind your firewalls – The Meta apocalypse is here!

Only a matter of hours after we posted the official obituary for Meta Keyword, he is back and with a vengeance. Mr. Keyword has risen from the dead and is rampant, threatening SEO campaigns and marketer checklists on news sites everywhere!!

It seems that some evil plotting by this SEO demon has allowed him to slip into Google Headquarters and infect their entire organization once again. Is Matt Cutts safe? No word yet, but I suspect that considering his position on the Web Spam team, old Mr. Black Hat Keyword will be heading straight for him Read more…

Meta Keyword Tag

Photo of Meta taken from the Documentary “Meta Keyword, The Dark Years, 2004”

I am surprised how frequently I am asked by clients about the keyword Meta tag. I guess this tag has been useless for so long that I assume that everyone must know by now, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Meta Keyword was born in the 1990’s, and later adopted by his loving parents Infoseek and Altavista in 1995. They had decided that Meta’s unique skills could help them organize the world’s information.

Meta Keyword made friends very quickly and became quite popular with the webmaster and SEO crowd. An astute businessman, he assisted many internet ventures in increasing their online profits by aiding in driving traffic to their sites. As his popularity grew, he started to join the new clubs hosted by Google and Yahoo. Before long his reach had stretched out to nearly all of the search engines the world knew. Read more…

We recently realized that Google has the wrong postal Code for StepForth on our Google Professionals profile page. Thinking this would be an easy task to correct the address, I looked into Google to make the trivial 1 minute change.

Apparently I should have put aside the whole day to do this.

Google had our postal code as “V8W 1J1”, but it is actually “V8W 1H9”. Thinking this would be simple, I opend up the box to edit the company office locations, it seems one can not change the address. I have to add a new one and remove the old.  Read more…

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, 2011 is just about over. Thank you to all our clients, colleagues, and friends for making it one fantastic year!

Our offices will be closed on Monday January 2nd, and we will be back into the full swing of things on Tuesday Jan 03 to kick off another great year.

We at StepForth want to wish everyone a very safe and happy New Year!

I don’t usually write about scams, but had a fun phone call this morning and thought I would just put out a warning for the 1 or 2 readers out there who may fall victim to such a scam.

I got a phone call from an unknown-name, unknown number. Well, actually my wife answered the call, and when I overheard the conversation I quickly asked for the phone before she hung up – I knew immediately what the call was about and I wanted to have some fun.

The caller starts off by identifying himself as working for Microsoft, and that the reason he is calling is that he wants to protect my computer from viruses. You see, apparently my computer has been sending him error messages, kind of an SOS message, and his job is to respond to these messages and help fix the problem. Its awfully nice of Microsoft to be looking out for me like this without having to even ask. Read more…

If your site collects data from your site visitors and you do not have a privacy policy then you definitely want to read this post.

It doesn’t matter what the data is that you collect. If you simply have a basic form for a mailing list subscription, contact us form, forum, or a comprehensive shopping system, if you collect ANY data, be sure your privacy policy is fully up to date with FULL details about how you plan to use this data.

Here at StepForth Web Marketing we have suspected for a long time that having a valid privacy policy on your site can influence organic rankings, but now it is also a definite that it can influence if your paid ads are even able to run at all! Read more…

In parts 1 & 2 I have already discussed much of the onsite SEO factors, as well as some off site stuff such as inbound links and algorithmic updates. Here are some factors that are only slightly contributing today, but show a very strong probability of being major aspects tomorrow. If Google rankings are important to you, these are a few items you will want to consider seriously. Read more…