Photo of Matt Cutts - head of web spam prevention at GoogleGoogle’s Matt Cutts recently announced enhancements to its spam reduction methods that have already taken place and are impacting search engine results.

NOTE: First I will recount some of what he said but if you want to get to the meat of it all skip below to “So What Does this Mean for Your Website?”.

And now, without further adieu let us start with a snapshot on the gravy Matt Cutt’s dished:

… we recently launched a redesigned document-level classifier that makes it harder for spammy on-page content to rank highly. The new classifier is better at detecting spam on individual web pages, e.g., repeated spammy words—the sort of phrases you tend to see in junky, automated, self-promoting blog comments.

This is great news for many of us but there is a wide swath of decent businesses with legitimate products and services who have top rankings partly due to overly optimized content; in many cases they were forced to use the techniques competitors were winning with. It is these businesses that could feel the wrath of this update along with the additional updates to come in 2011 according to Matt Cutts: Read more…

Gravatar
Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Steps Down

From left: Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, and Sergey BrinJust 31 minutes ago Google CEO Eric Schmidt posted that he will be stepping down as CEO on April 4th, 2011 in favour of giving Larry Page the reins. This news came in conjunction with positive fourth quarter 2010 financial results released at the same time: “Google reported revenues of $8.44 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, representing a 26% increase over fourth quarter 2009 revenues of $6.67 billion” (4th quarter results).

Here is the pertinent quote from his news release:

Larry will now lead product development and technology strategy, his greatest strengths, and starting from April 4 he will take charge of our day-to-day operations as Google’s Chief Executive Officer. In this new role I know he will merge Google’s technology and business vision brilliantly. I am enormously proud of my last decade as CEO, and I am certain that the next 10 years under Larry will be even better! Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead.

Read more…

This news is a little dated now as Matt Cutts reported on it in mid-December, but I felt it was worth sharing for those who have not yet seen it.

It seems that now, it is official that Google does use Twitter and Facebook links as a ranking signal for organic results. Read more…

Gravatar
Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Well, this post is a little late for “Happy Holidays” but here at StepForth we hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Holiday Season!

Also, we would like to wish everyone a fantastic New Years! All the best for 2011. May the new year bring you much prosperity!

Gravatar
Monday, December 6th, 2010

Ross Off to Florida, Affcon 2010

In case you haven’t heard the news, Ross Dunn is on his way to Florida to speak at AffCon 2010. He’ll be broadcasting live on Webmaster Radio on Dec 10th at 11am EST.

At first I was quite jealous. Here he is, off to escape sub-zero temperatures of a Canadian winter to go bask in the sun and put on a nice tan bring back home, while I sit here in my slippers trying to keep warm.

I have to say his timing is perfect. Moments ago he IM’d me from SeaTac airport waiting for his flight. He just got some news. Turns out Florida will be seeing record setting low temperatures this week – temperatures just barely above freezing!!!

This really helps to dampen the jealousy. Have a great trip Ross, hope you packed your long-johns.

Gravatar
Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Meet Ross Dunn at AffCon 2010

If you find your self attending AffCon 2010 in Miami Florida next week be sure to stop by and say hello to our very own Ross Dunn (here is Ross’s LinkedIn profile).

AffCon 2010

Don’t Miss the LIVE Show of SEO 101 at WebmasterRadio.FM

You can catch Ross and his SEO 101 Co-Host John Carcutt at 11:00 am on Friday Dec 10 in the Grand Ballroom 3 for the SEO 101 Search Roundtable.

Listen to the Show Live on Your Computer!

This episode of SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM will be broadcast LIVE at 8am PST, 11am EST on December 10th: just go to www.WebmasterRadio.FM and listen in!
The show will be available
for downloading on iTunes by the next day. Read more…

Gravatar
Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Meta Keyword Tag is Dead for SEO

Okay, this is very old news. The meta keyword tag has been dead in terms of SEO for some time. Some speculate that it was never alive in the first place, but regardless of if it was ever anything, these days it is definitely dead.

Why am I writing about this ancient topic? Doesn’t everyone know this tag is useless? Well, apparently not. I still get asked by clients, and even random people who as me what I do for a living, about the keyword meta tag. My goal with this post is to reach just one person who thinks it will still help and set him/her straight. Read more…

In the course of my day at StepForth I come across a ton of interesting stuff which I Tweet, Facebook, Stumble etc. on a regular basis. That said, the following are two pieces of media which I simply could not pass up sharing with you.

#1: Video: “A Life on Facebook”

This video was created by Maxime Léure and it is so brilliant I think it deserves Emmy consideration. What do you think?

YouTube Preview Image
Here is a direct link to “A Life on FacebookRead more…

The writing has been in the sand for a while now but today Google rolled out a truly game-changing format for local search results. By totally eliminating the Onebox and removing most non-Google maps results from the first page, Google has made it more important than ever before to have a strong Google Places profile.

Onebox – Huh?: In case you are unfamiliar with all this hoopla you should know what local search results looked like before the transition. In this older Google search results screenshot you can see the Onebox in it’s original glory with 10 local business listings aligned directly next to a Google map of the related area. When the original Onebox was released it caused a major stir because it pushed down organic search results which would have normally been the first results seen on the page; a lucrative spot which was now gone due to this changeover. The next major change came when Google reduced the local results to 7 instead of 10, made each listing double-lined, and allowed business owners to purchase a Google Places Tag which enhanced listings in search results for $25 per month. Up until this point the local search results were considered a lucrative place to be for local-targeting businesses but no where near as lucrative as it will be as of today. Read more…

In my preparation for a search engine optimization (SEO) course I am teaching at a local college (Camosun College) I came across this awesome video by Google’s Matt Cutts. This video does the best job I have seen yet of explaining how Google works and, I think, it may even displace some misconceptions I run into every day when talking to prospective clients. So, if you are curious about search engine optimization or you just want to see your BFF, Matt Cutts, in a very slick video you can watch it below!

YouTube Preview Image

Source: How Search Works by Matt Cutts

I found this on the Google Corporate Information Page where other great videos are as well.