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PageMax Blog

Giving insight into search engine optimisation

International and Local SEO: What They Have in Common

Local SEO is very much different from international SEO. With international SEO you are targeting a much wider audience. With local SEO you are targeting perhaps only the people in your city or maybe in your country. Although they have a lot of differences, they also have a lot of things in common. Keyword content Regardless if you are writing for local or international customers, one thing is true and that is keyword content is essential. Google has long been using keyword patterns to determine the locality of the search. This is not limited to the inclusion of geographic terms in the search query but also the positioning of the geographic term in the search query. In international SEO, geographic terms have the power to confuse, as well as clarify the search terms. However, the principle remains true. The search query has useful indicators for both local and international locations. Using an IP address One good solution which helps determine local and international SEO correctly and easily is with the use of an IP address. IP location is different than it was ten years ago. It has become very accurate however it benefits local SEO more than it does international SEO. Mobile search Mobile search is now becoming more and more popular as these handy devices have also become more indispensable every day. It is important for any site owner to consider the needs of the mobile user or else the business will be losing out big time. Nowadays it is mandatory for websites all over the world to have a mobile version if they aim to reach a... read more

Images and Social Media

One of the most popular forms of content in social media are photographs or pictures.  Pictures are easily consumed, helps tell stories without consuming too much space and requires less reading. Not everyone who goes on the Internet likes to read. As a matter of fact, a huge percentage of people dislike reading long articles and paragraphs. They would rather look at pictures which tell stories. Everyone is busy nowadays and do not have the luxury to sit down and read pages and pages of text. It is easy to make pictures work for you and your site. However, if you want to be truly successful when it comes to using pictures, we have some tips for you which will give you the results you have long wanted. Helpful Tips Use large images For any social media news, the largest images must be used.  Nobody likes to look low resolution images or images which are small. Confused about what people call “largest” images, your default size for largest should be 800px wide. Mark original pictures How many times have we seen original pictures being used by someone else and being claimed by other as their own? This is a crime which is not new. A lot of people and sites are guilty of it. If you are using your original pictures, mark them so as to prevent others from stealing them and using them without any attribution to you.  However, you should also remember that excessive watermarking and labeling can be detrimental to the success of your social media site. Use the same size of images Never make the... read more

Google’s Take on Piracy

Piracy has always been a big issue online and quite a lot of sites have been accused of committing it. Instead of sitting down and waiting for action, Google is taking it upon themselves to weed out sites accused of piracy. Google has introduced what it calls its Pirate Update and since it was launched there has been quite a number of DMCA requests. According to TorrentFreak.com, Google has already taken down more than 50 million sites for violating DMCA in the year 2012 alone. Google has removed more than 51 million links from their search engines and more than 7 million of those links were issued by the RIAA or the Recording Industry Association of America. There has been a sharp increase in takedown requests per week and the numbers have dramatically climbed up since the Piracy Update was released. Fraudulent DMCA Requests There was also an ill effect to the Piracy Update and that is the fact that there have also been lots of fraudulent DMCA requests. It seems that a lot of people have been abusing the algorithm. According to TorrentFreak.com, a site called “Yes It Is!-No Piracy!” has been issuing DMCA requests even for content which are perfectly legal. The company issues takedown requests in behalf of movie companies such as Century Fox, Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment to name a few. Included on the list of pages requested to be taken down are legal copies on Itunes and Amazon.  Even pages on Wikipedia were requested to be taken down. In most cases, Google refused to take down or remove the URLs requested which only underscores... read more

Merchant Reviews and Rankings

It has been highlighted in the past how a merchant with terrible reviews was still able to rank high on Google.  This has baffled a lot of people because they have this belief that a site with terrible reviews would also rank terribly. Recently, Google has announced some changes to its ranking systems which will prevent similar things from happening again. Google aims to correct this by rolling out updates which will help businesses get the rankings they deserve. Collecting reviews and using them Google collects reviews from all over the Internet to help them rank sites. These aggregate reviews are collected from all over the Internet. Google Product Search gives merchants an overall page for their reviews and Google is now using these reviews in their ranking algorithm although they never explicitly said that. Google reported on their last blog post that the algorithmic solution developed can detect merchants which provided poor experience to their users. The algorithm has been incorporated in their search rankings so that all users will have a better experience. Google, however, refuses to reveal the details of their so-called solution. They do not want to divulge their data sources and how the data have been combined to improve the rankings. Google is Using Reviews Google has denied using reviews for rankings. However, a lot of people are feeling that Google is not telling them the truth. If Google does not use reviews, they are left with very few options to help them determine if a merchant has good or bad reputation.  Although Google uses rankings, it does not mean that reviews override all... read more

Click Through Rate Study on Google Organic Results

Advanced Web Ranking put out some new analysis on click through rates in Google organic search results. It’s been some time since we got our hands on fresh organic CTR data and with all the changes in Google’s search results it’s an insight into how these changes are affecting organic click through rates. The information below is solely based on Google organic search results. The study shows that on average: 71.33% of searches result in a page one click Page two and three receive 5.59% of clicks The first 5 results on page one account for 67.60% of all clicks Results from 6 to 10 only get 3.73% of all clicks   These statistics remind us of how important organic search is and that trust is placed in the top few positions on Google. Download report here.    ... read more

Relevance Will Help you Succeed

SEO or search engine optimization is work which I deeply rooted in relevance. Although there is always something new every day and the terms searched for by people are not always the same, one thing remains true, and if you are not relevant you will likely be forgotten. There is always the chance to win every day. Just like in games, there are days when the odds are in your favour and there are days when it just is not. Competition is just like that. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. However, if you have been losing a lot lately, you might want to rethink strategy. It might be time for something new. The competition in the SEO industry with all the updates and changes from Google is like a game of cat and mouse. It is important for everyone who produces content to always look at their articles and blog post. Exciting and frustrating All the changes today is both exciting and frustrating at the same time. Everyone is in pursuit of making their rankings better and winning over the competition.  One way of doing this is to always think about what you are posting. Is it relevant? Will people be getting information from it? Will it be helping them? Will it get their attention? Relevance has become the new PR tool today and without it, what you do will be for a lost cause. Essence of Modern SEO It is high time to focus on the content being produced instead of backlinks and getting more traffic in ways which are frowned upon or considered improper. The... read more

Personalized Search by Google

People are wondering just how personalized a personalized search is. Google alters your search results based on you and your personality and others in aggregate or just how other people previously searched for the same things. Personalization based on geography Google has long personalized searches depending on several factors in order to come up with search results which are tailor made to suit the needs of the user.  One of the most popular factors for personalized search is geography or location. These days search results are not just based on country; it is mostly based on your locality. For example, if you search for zoos, you will be likely to get results about zoos in your local area and in nearby areas. Personalization based on search history Another factor used in personalizing search results is the search history.  If you are signed in to Google and have enabled web history feature, Google will remember everything that you have searched about before. Even if you are already signed-out, Google will still personalize your results because they keep a record for one hundred and eighty days. Google will also give you a message letting you know that you have visited certain sites how many times and the last time you did so. If you keep going back to a certain site, you are giving Google an idea that you might like that site very much and this will lead Google to give the site a boost. This is the oldest form of personalization which Google does on a daily basis. Personalization based on personal sharing Social signals can also have a... read more

Preparing Content for Social Media

Internet users are known to be quick browsers and they tend to just scan content rather than read entire blogs and articles. People are quite busy, they do not have all the time in the world to sit down and read lengthy content.  They do not read articles online word-for-word. When users browse through content on social media sites, their behavior change. They will be scanning to determine which they want to read and which they do not want to. There is a wide variety of content available online and the massive amount can be very overwhelming. It is normal to find a lot of interesting content online and not have enough time to read all of them. Most often people are eager to finish what they are reading and move on to the next. This is why it is very important for website owners to create compelling content, something which will catch the attention of readers. The competition is stiff and if you do not do anything about your content, you will be left out of the game. It is imperative for website owners to examine their content and determine if their content is high quality or not. You content should have good structure and style and it must also be readable. How to structure your content Use short sentences People get easily bored when they read long sentences and they also tend to lose focus.  Writing shorter sentences will give the readers the chance to relax. Write shorter paragraphs Large blocks of text can easily get readers lost. So, make sure that your paragraphs have at most... read more

Social Media and Your Rankings in Search Results

Social media has become such a powerful tool today and it has contributed to social awareness, an avenue for people to say what they feel, a great source of real time news and a great leap forward for search engines. Most people or businesses with websites use off page links to boost their rankings on search engines. However, over time the links have lost some of their value for a wide variety of reasons.  There are sites which are quite stingy when it comes to linking out while there are other website owners who refuse to get links in order to block spam. Links are also most often bought and sold and this makes them less trustworthy. This is where social media enters and becomes very useful for businesses. Social signals such as liking pages or sharing links are becoming factors that help search engines determine rankings. Social Reputation Search engines do not count all links equally and they also do not view social accounts in the same way.  This makes a lot of sense since it has become very easy for just anybody to create accounts on social media platforms.  One person can easily make a hundred accounts and talk about a single event, topic or company to create a fake buzz. Although fake accounts are easy to spot, there are still other legitimate accounts which only have a handful of quality friends and then pass along materials to others in the hope of creating a fake buzz. Ideally for business owners, they want references that come from accounts with very good reputations. It is important to also... read more

Thinking About What to Write for a Blog Post? Read This

Writing sometimes comes easily and naturally but there are also times when we just don’t know what to write about. There are times when writing a page or two of content can be a very difficult task to accomplish. It can be very tough to come up with material at times. Everything can be so mundane and boring at times. So, what do you do if you do not know what to write about? How do you come up with material which is entertaining and informative? Product specifications Are you selling something? What type of product are selling? You product could be just exactly what you need if you are looking for something to write about. Write about your product specification and then link to the specifications from a relevant product page. When you write about your product, you must not forget about SEO value.  Specifications must in HTML format but it is also possible to link to a printable PDF version of your product specifications. Ensure that your page is unique by rewriting paragraph text. Transcribe videos Text is not the only way to get your message across to people. Videos have become staples for people who own websites too. It helps them relay to customers what their product or service is all about. It can also teach customers a thing or two about how to use your product. Transcribing a video or podcast is definitely new material. Just make sure that you put the transcription on the same page as the video. Make sure that your transcription is readable. Sometimes the spoken word can be slang or... read more

What You Can See from Google Search Results

One of the most important lessons every website owner must know is the anatomy of the search result, which can help with SEO. What is there in the search result? What can you expect to get from it? What does it do? As a website owner in Ireland, what lessons can you learn from it? The Google search result has many parts and each part serves a purpose. Knowing these parts and their purposes will help you make the best use of them. With knowledge and good practices, you will be able to succeed. Title The title comes from the title tag on the page. If you want your title to be easily found by robots, you must make sure that you include one or two keywords on your title. Ensure that both the title tag and the page are crawlable so that Google will not use anchor texts as the title. Snippet The snippet, as the name implies, is a brief description of the page and it is located just right beneath the title.  It is from this area where Google pulls the page’s meta description tag. However, sometimes they do pull contextually from the page based on the query words. It is not a secret that sometimes Google just grabs the most relevant sentence and includes it on the snippet to make it easier for searchers to find what they are looking for. Take a good look at the snippet for your page so you can determine if it is from the meta description on your site or if the words are from your page. Google’s webmaster... read more

SEO Lessons on your Domain and Homepage

An audit of websites from the music industry revealed an appalling result. Almost 30% of these sites or sixteen sites forward people from their own domain to their homepage with the use of temporary redirect. Suffice it to say that these sites are throwing away authority. If you happen to be unfortunate enough to have a different homepage and domain, it is imperative that you determine how the domains forward your visitors to your actual homepage.  There is only one correct way of forwarding visitors to your homepage and that is by a 301 permanent redirect. What does a permanent redirect do? It tells search engines to take the authority from off-site links, point it to your domain and apply it to your real homepage. One of the most used inaccurate ways of forwarding your domain to your homepage is via a 302 temporary redirect. What does a temporary redirect do? It tells search engines to not forward any authority from your link. It makes all your efforts go in vain. Be in the know Writers, bloggers and producers of online content want one thing and that is to link to their brands.  When they do not link to a specific content, they often link to the root domain. It is in everyone’s best interest to make good use of the search engine ranking authority which off-site links send your way. For example, if your website forwards visitors to the correct country versions and language of your website based on their location, then it is a very good thing. The only other thing which you need to do is... read more

How to Use The Disavow Tool to Remove Google Penalties

Many websites have been affected by various updates released by Google. If you have also been affected, it might be time to go ahead and take a look at Google’s disavow tool. It might just be able to help remove penalties. Although there might be some delay involved, it is a method which can work for you. Not a lot of people know how the disavow tool works and how it can help websites which have been penalized. Because of all the confusion, an explanation is necessary so here is a bit of insight to the disavow tool and how it works. Go to the disavow links tool page to submit the disavow file. What is Disavow? When a person submits a disavow request, Google will automatically process the request and tag links pointing to your website in the same procedure as a nofollow tag. It is as if they are not pointing to your site for link counting but only for the purpose of analysis. If you believe that your website’s rankings are being compromised by low-quality links which are out of your control, it is possible to ask Google to not to take these low-quality links into account when they assess your site. If links are votes, you are merely asking Google not to count these votes when they are being tallied for your rankings. According to Google, it will take a few months for disavow requests to be processed. Algorithmic Penalties and How to Remove Them The Penguin update is different from other updates. Algorithmic penalties which are related to links mean automatic penalties. There is... read more

Google Panda – What to Do if You are Affected by the Update

Have you seen some changes in your rankings since the Panda roll out? Did your ranking plummet? Well, you are not alone. A lot of websites have been affected by the changes. As a matter of fact nearly 12% of all queries have been affected by the changes. Sites big and small are reeling from the after effects and are looking at their reports to check what they can do better. Panda is indeed a major concern for web owners. How can it not be? If you want to restore your site’s traffic, you will be glad to know that there are things which you can do to recover. However, you need to put in time and effort to be able to make the necessary changes which will help you get your traffic back. Focus on effective strategies It’s important that you focus on things that matter so that you don’t end up wasting your time, energy and the company’s resources. So it really is critical that you know the things you should and should not do. Pleading sympathy from Google will not bring your traffic back. Google is in the business of giving users what they need without asking for too much of their time. Google regularly tests their algorithms to check if it helps improve search quality or not. Unless the tests show improvements, Google will not roll out changes. Google, after all, is data driven. They want hard data and not just anecdotal reports to back up claims. Don’t Waste Your Time on Google For most web owners who were impacted by the changes, their initial... read more

Free SEO Offer for Businesses in Ireland

Free SEO. Yes that’s right… FREE SEO! No financial obligations. We’re not joking. To be honest this is something we felt needed to be done for quite some time –  to offer free homepage optimisation to businesses that need it. We stumble across so many websites each day that just don’t have the basics done right. Not letting search engines know about your products or services is a bad thing, to say the least. Even a small tweak to a homepage has the potential to make a huge difference to a websites rankings. At PageMax we are helping Irish companies to win new business, even during these difficult times, and if your website has not been optimised we want to help your company too. Simply give us a call on 091-421400 or send us a message through our contact page and we will get the ball rolling as soon as we can. Bear in mind this is a limited offer, ending August 23rd. We are pretty sure we won’t be able to do this for everybody so be sure to contact us to avoid disappointment. As stated above, there is no obligation to spend a cent on our service. Here’s what’s in it for your website Keyword research Initial ranking report Homepage Content development Homepage optimisation of titles and meta descriptions Homepage image optimisation Free SEO advice Final ranking report So do your business a favour and get in touch with us... read more

You Get Cheap if You Pay Cheap

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is necessary if you want to attract the attention of customers and boost your traffic. Day in and day out you will always hear people commenting that they can get SEO for just €100 a month or maybe even less. If you have been in the industry for a long time I am certain that you are aware of firms and people outsourcing their SEO and linkbuilding. Most people believe that they are getting a deal but the truth is they are not saving any money at all. If you pay cheap for SEO, you have to be prepared and you have to resign yourself to the fact that you will only be getting poor SEO. You get what you pay for, after all. No such thing as cheap What everyone should remember is there is no such thing as cheap. You will hopefully already have learned that if you have been in the business for a long time. If you have been outsourcing your SEO needs but have not been getting the results promised, you should walk away.  You will only be spending more money having to pass the work to someone else and having to redo it. For those of you who have not realised this, it will cost you more in the long run. There is a huge difference with being smart and being a tightwad. It is better to spend more money on quality SEO than have to face a lot of headaches with a cheap one. Freelancers We are not saying these things to imply that freelancers are not... read more

Should You Worry about Google Panda and Penguin?

All this talk about updates in Google has sent many entrepreneurs using the internet running scared. With the many changes, they no longer know how to keep up. With all the talk surrounding updates, they are having a hard time determining fact from fiction. Everyone is worried because everyone is affected, from those who implement strategies to those who provide optimisation services to clients. Google don’t share their SEO secrets so it can be quite confusing figuring out where to begin. If you are one of the many who have been affected by the updates and have seen your ranking sliding down, as well as your audience size getting small, it is time for a change in the right direction. Why the changes? Many people are wondering why Google had to make changes and why they had to release updates. In order for Google to remain the top search engine today they must make sure that there is an excellent user experience.  They want to give users nothing but the most reliable and relevant information. They do not want spam or low quality content. So, how can you rank high despite all the changes? How can you achieve success? Think outside the box If a subject has been approached in quite the same way many times, it loses its appeal and frankly it becomes too boring. Although there are topics which have been discussed a hundred times, you can still put a fresh spin on it by approaching it from another angle. Always be creative and whenever possible put nothing out but fresh content. Doing so will give you an... read more

Think Link Building will Help You? Think Again

There has been so much talk about SEO fading out and finally dying. The truth is SEO is still here and it will stay. However, it is no longer practiced as people used to. There are many changes which must be taken into account if you want your SEO efforts to be rewarded well. Google, arguably the best and most popular search engine today has implemented a lot of changes which will affect SEO as we know and practice it. The changes in search engines are meant to make things a lot easier for users. This is why old habits have to go and new ones have to be practiced. Link building is one of the many things which everyone used years before but it seems that it is no longer helpful today. Link building Although link building is still an important aspect of SEO, its relationship to other strategies has changed dramatically. We tend to cling to what is familiar and we tend to do things the way we always used to. This may be a good thing but there are times when this just won’t do. SEO is all about learning and adapting to changes. One bad habit which everyone seems to be guilty of is the focus on links. It seems that everyone has this assumption that when they focus on links, they will be able to build more quality links and when they have quality links they do not have to worry much about content, technical information and site architecture. This is not the case and this could not be farther from the truth. Having... read more