SEO Isn’t Dead, It’s Just More Competitive as The Paying Field Shrinks The Organic Playing Field

Last year Priceline.com CEO Paul Hennessy raised several eyebrows when at the end of a speech he said that in terms of Google, it is a “paid world.” In other words, in the Google searches, the results that appear first are paid advertisements, or those advertisers who pay Google. Organic content is being shoved down in the search results. However, Hennessey did not agree that Google is a monopoly; instead, he announced, “As far as SEO [Search Engine Optimization] is, my view on that is it’s more of a desktop thought because as the devices get smaller and smaller and smaller, the number of choices from an SEO perspective on mobile decline dramatically.”

Meanwhile, Hennessy’s fellow cohorts share a similar sentiment with the CEO of Gogobot saying that “SEO is dying” and the managing director at Trivago claiming that the importance of SEO is diminishing. Trivago is well known in the industry to have built its model on SEO. So where does that leave SEO in general?

Francis McGovern, CEO of Qseeker, agrees and contends that SEO is becoming more competitive. To ensure that quality, organic content reaches the top page of Google, a business must employ a strategic and lasting SEO campaign. SEO is an art that requires endurance, knowhow and strategy. And in regard to niche markets, such as in travel, SEO is more competitive but flourishing especially when the “paying field” shrinks the organic playing field.

For example, if a small business owner runs safari trips to Kenya, that is a niche travel market. The owner has a good chance of being on the first page of Google…if he employs the correct SEO practices. Then he can dominate this niche. Also, in regard to travel products, if a business owner markets a backpacker’s backpack that is lightweight and perfect for traveling in Western Europe in particular, that is also a niche. Travelers searching for this type of backpack could easily find the company in a Google search, but you really need to be targeting very specific terms across a niche and be out producing competitors to position at the top.

As Travis Katz, founder and CEO of Gogobot, reports on Skift.com, “Google knows what they are doing constitutes a bad user experience. Their own data tell them so. In fact, in 2012, they rolled out a penalty to punish sites with too many ads above the fold…So what do they do on their own site? Tons of ads, no visible content.” What Katz discusses is true: users want quality, organic search results. That is why SEO is so vital still to niche markets.

At Qseeker.com, we enjoy helping niche businesses with SEO strategy and implementation. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to incorporate SEO practices into your niche business, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

 

Your Website Architecture, Is it Good?

Have you ever asked yourself this question: Is my website architecture good? Let’s back up. Firstly, what is “website architecture”? It refers to an approach to the design and planning of websites that involves technical, aesthetic, and functional criteria. Like traditional architecture, the focus is on the user and on user requirements. If you don’t have good architecture, then the next step of web marketing may be a major fail.

Here’s the problem: if your architecture is lacking, then once you get to the web marketing phase, you may have to completely redo your website. Why? Because the website won’t be able to support SEO, web marketing, and all the exciting things you plan to do. That’s why it’s recommended, much like a house, to build the framework of your website correctly from the ground up. The elements of building a great framework are simple: what is ideal for both the search engines and visitors to the site. That’s it. For example, if Google can’t identify your site’s most important pages, that’s an issue that will affect your search ranking position in Google.

Keywording plays a factor in your site’s architecture. Google still views keywords as important, and they identify the content of your site and how users search. For instance, think about exactly how a user searches. If a shopper is looking heeled shoes with smaller heels, does she search “shoes with kitten heels” or “low-heeled shoes” or “two-inch heels”? You want to make sure you’ve researched and used the keyword or keywords that are most used for this search.

Another factor is social media. Are you, as a business owner and website owner, engaging in social media? If not, it’s something to rethink. Google looks at how you engage with your customers via Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and a host of other sites. When good content goes viral on social media, and it comes from your site, that will also help with your search engine rankings.

At Qseeker.com, we are happy to discuss the options of improving your website’s architecture, and the best part is, we will do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to improve your website architecture, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

Why Google Is All About App Indexing?

Google announced in late February that “we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed‐in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search.” Let’s talk about app indexing and break it down in layman’s terms. App indexing allows webmasters to connect pages from your websites with specific content within your Android app. How does this help you? App indexing allows Android smart‐phone users, who have your app installed, to open it directly from relevant mobile search results on Google. This, in turn, connects all aspects of your business.

In the past, if someone searched for your business, but you had an app, all that would come up in Google search results is the link and the searcher could only open the link on the search results page and that was it. Now, with App Indexing, if the searcher has your app already installed, the search will open in your app. For instance, if you have a toy business and a user searches for a particular toy you have reviewed, the user will be able to open that result in the already‐installed application, instead of the main website. That way, the middle man is cut and the user is utilizing the already‐installed app. This helps in regard to specific searches in particular.

However, you as the business owner, must enable app linking on both your website and your Android app. This is a technical procedure that either you or your developer can figure out. Once done, app linking allows Google to crawl and process both the website and app and helps Google understand the relationship between them. Basically, you are making your business more discoverable by accessing both the website and app and linking them together.

To find out more about the technical specifics behind App Indexing and how to enable it for your business website and app, please see: https://developers.google.com/app‐indexing/webmasters/details.

This blog was inspired by an article from Google Developers

Mobile‐Friendly Search Results, Gotta Have ‘Em

Google made a big announcement to how it is changing its search. It said as of April 21, 2015, it will be using mobile‐friendliness as a ranking signal. Google says, “this change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” How does this affect you and your business?

The first thing to do is look at your website or websites and find out if Google considers it/them mobile friendly. If not, that will be a problem come April 21. You want to start by taking Google’s Mobile‐Friendly Test. If you find out your website or blog doesn’t pass, you have three options. 1) You can usethird‐party software to make your site mobile‐friendly. For instance, if your blog is on a WordPress platform, you can go directly to that and download the user guide. It will take you step by step on how to make your site mobile‐friendly. 2) You can make your site mobile‐friendly and then dive into the technical details. Here, you’re basically taking on the job of a developer. If you can do it, great. If this is over your head…you may need to move on to step three. 3) You can hire someone to make your site mobile‐friendly. Yep, hire a developer to help you.

If none of these options are great, the last one is to build a completely new website that uses a mobile‐friendly platform, such as Tumblr, Google Sites, etc. Do your research first before you jump into building or hiring someone to build another site. Make sure it uses or has the ability to use a mobile‐friendly platform. For instance, with WordPress, the mobile‐friendliness depends on the theme, so it’s best to choose the right theme to align with search rankings.

This blog was inspired by an article on Google Webmaster Central Blog

 

 

SEO for Private Schools and Universities

If you are the head of school at a private school or the director of communications at a private school or college, you are faced with many challenges. Not only do you have to help maintain the quality of the educational experience of your students, but you are also watching over their welfare, communicating to parents, managing and directing a complex Website that has to be updated with both public information and complex private information behind a firewall. Not to mention you are managing a network of sites – can you say social media? You also have to make sure that these Websites communicates the mission of the school to multiple constituencies inside the school and outside the school at the same time. Read more about SEO for Schools…

Lawyers for the One Fund

onefundbostonMembers of the legal and business communities are coming together to assist the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on September 20th. A lively night of Jazzmusic by renowned Jazz singer Lauren White will take place after a networking event with cocktails and fabulous food. QLegal is a proud sponsor of the event hosted at the offices of Parker Scheer LLP in Charlestown. For tickets and more information about the award-winning program with a cause, visit  the Lawyers for One Fund event page!

Bing is in, Google is out for Siri

At its developer conference Monday,  Apple said that Microsoft’s search engine Bing will be replacing as Google for Siri, iPhone and iPad’s search voice assistant.  The next version of iOS will reflect this change when it is released to consumers in the fall.

Apple has been working to become less reliant on Google’s services recently.  In addition to defaulting to Bing for Siri, Apple has also been working on a digital map service.  As reported by the Wall Street Journal in April, Apple was also looking to further its relationship with Yahoo! Read More