No doubt you’ve seen rich snippets appearing on Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs), including review stars, product pricing information, inventory status, events and other attributes to call attention to a company’s products or services and stand out on the crowded SERPs.

Google generates these rich snippets with a type of information encoding known as structured data and Web professionals would be wise to know what it is, how it works and how to implement it today.


Structured data is a type of Meta data held by your website’s pages describing what is on that page – such as product information, pricing, review count, ratings and so on. To create structured data on your Web pages, you’ll need to take advantage of Schema, a structured data markup language that helps search engines understand exactly what your page is about. As a reward for your efforts, search engines like Google will give your search listings extra attention and detail through the inclusion of review stars, additional pricing text and more.


There are a few different ways of encoding Schema data on your Web pages, but the accepted standard in theword is the use of JSON-LD. JSON-LD stands for JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data. In other words, it’s a type of markup language like HTML that Web crawlers like Googlebot can consume and parse.

That probably looks a little confusing if you’ve never seen it before. But, you can probably get the general gist of it. This code identifies specific information about the page; in this case, the information being defined is a Person profile and data such as address, job title, name and website URL. You might expect to see this kind of JSON-LD on a college graduate researcher profile page.


Let’s take a look at something more concrete and real-world. On a typical e-commerce site, you would expect to see two primary types of pages: PLPs – product listing pages – and PDPs – product description pages. At present, there are no defined standards for PLPs, so we’re going to look at a JSON-LD example for a PDP of a product called “OrangeBook Pro” (original, I know):

Let’s break this Schema JSON-LD example down line by line so that you can better understand what is going on here. First, we define the @type attribute as Product, meaning that we are describing a product page. Next, we add an AggregateRating property with a ratingValue of 4.5 and reviewCount of 11. This data comes from your Web application’s database or from the content management system. It’s a summary of the actual reviews on this product’s page. Then, we define the description, name, availability, price and currency.

With all of these variables defined, here is a screenshot of what you would expect to see on Google:

As you can see, our JSON-LD implementation has resulted in the creation of a rich snippet for this product page. When people search, they are often drawn to listings with rich snippets, increasing your click through rate and sending more qualified traffic to your website.


To convince Google and other search engines that your website is worthy of having rich snippets appended to its search listings, you’re going to need to accomplish the following two tasks:

1. First, you need to ensure that you actually get the JSON-LD snippets onto the page. If those aren’t there, Google won’t be able to generate rich snippets for your listings.

2. Your site will need sufficient authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines in order to be afforded these rich snippets. An experienced SEO consultant will help you to build this authority through stellar content, high-authority link development and page load speed optimizations.

If you’re able to accomplish these two goals, then the probability for your search engine listings to be endowed with rich snippets skyrockets dramatically. Missing either of these two attributes will not allow those rich snippets to appear.


Another issue you can run into when taking advantage of Schema JSON-LD has to do with syntax. A syntax error is just a fancy way of saying that the markup isn’t written properly. Fortunately, Google provides a Structured Data Testing Tool (to see what it’s all about, ). With this tool, you can test your JSON-LD markup to make sure that Google can successfully read and parse it. If this program gives you the green light, then you know that your Schema markup is in good shape and will help to generate those coveted rich snippets on the search engine results pages.


By using JSON-LD Schema markup, you’ll gain rich snippets. These rich snippets, in turn, can drive higher click-through rates (CTRs). In other words, JSON-LD can help you capture more search engine traffic without necessarily increasing the volume of average monthly searches. You’ll 嘉盛外汇 be making your SEO program more efficient, thereby leading to the possibility for increased revenue, average order value, and more. Without a doubt, JSON-LD and Schema markup is a powerful tool in your SEO arsenal, and an experienced consultant can help you to wield these tools for maximum effect.


Now that you have a solid grounding in JSON-LD and how it can turbocharge your SEO efforts, it’s time to take action. If you are not comfortable tackling JSON-LD on your own, we recommend reaching out to a knowledgeable SEO firm for help with proper implementation.



There are two areas of focus within traditional search engine optimization: off-site and on-site. And they are very, very different.

In a general sense, off-site search engine optimization focuses on the actual marketing and promotion of a website. The tactics employed include getting a site discovered by an end-user by acquiring links/citations from portals and directories, as well as other websites (particularly those sites considered an authority in their niche).

While the tactics and techniques differ for on-site SEO, links are still what matter most and greatly influence a brand’s ability to place in a competitive position on the search result pages of popular engines for the keywords end-users plug in to find a website and its products, services or solutions.

The quantity of the links acquired, believe it or not, may ultimately rely on the quality of a brand’s website SEO. Would you be willing to link to a website that couldn’t be found with a simple Google search? Unlikely.

To ensure you create the best possible conditions when others are considering linking to you, it is necessary to evaluate the quality of the SEO experience by regularly auditing Web pages/websites to understand if particular elements or properties are positively/negatively influencing how search engines (or others considering a link to your digital property) evaluate a digital property.

When conducting an and analysis of a website, focus on four key areas that positively impact SEO performance:

1. Technical Issues

It’s no secret that search engines like fast and functional websites as it creates a better experience for the user. The means understanding load times, analyzing domain canonicalization factors if any exist, and studying XML sitemaps in order to create the optimal environment for crawling.

Read, “The Top 10 Technical SEO Problems Seen by SEO Pros Today”

2. Design/Development Issues

After technical barriers are identified, enterprises must look at the design and the user experience during an SEO audit. The focus should be on elements that may impact a search engine’s ability to crawl pages. This includes identifying broken links if any exist, ensuring conversion elements are crawlable, and confirming that navigation is clear and organized. Another area to pay attention to is the construction of elements such as header tags, which indicate to search engines the prominence of particular page elements.

Read, “Web Design for SEO”

3. Content Issues

There is still a group of search engine optimization professionals whose sole focus is the development of content. Behind the practice of link building, I believe content (and the quality and quantity of it) is the next most important factor in SEO success (it is, after 嘉盛 all, how many links are acquired). Search engines have become sophisticated aggregators, analyzers and providers of information, but they still rely greatly on websites to provide information, education and entertainment. Without content, visibility isn’t possible.

Read, “52 Content Marketing Tips for SEO”

4. Link Issues

The final step is to audit the quantity and quality of links that a website is including to external destinations (other websites). Essentially, who are you linking to? Believe it or not, it sends a strong signal to search engines about what an enterprise considers important and valuable for those visiting and using its website.

Read, “Identifying Overlooked SEO Prospects on Your Website”

SEO used to be a lot easier. There was once a time when search engines would reward any website that could show them a relevance signal. Today, it requires a whole lot more. It requires high performance off-site and on-site, from a technical and marketing perspective. Let these areas of focus guide you to greater search engine optimization success.

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Local Link Building


Prospecting is critical to the success of any local link building campaign because it lays the groundwork for everything else that follows; outreach, relationship building, mentions, and ultimately that link. As an SEO or a DIY business owner you absolutely need to have a solid process for uncovering and vetting potential opportunities when working on a local link building campaign. Here are some of the strategies we use to find link opportunities for our LocalSpark clients.

Guiding Principles When Prospecting

Not all links are created equally. But in local, a link that may seem “worthless” in a traditional link building campaign, can add considerable value to a link profile in a local campaign. Authority plays a different role when it comes to the local sphere, Domain Authority and Page Rank shouldn’t be your top metrics for qualifying a prospect either. When looking for opportunities keep in mind these important questions:

  • Is the link relevant to my locality, industry or niche?
  • Would a link make sense on the website?
  • How can my link provide value to their audience? 

Is the link relevant to my locality/industry/niche?

The beauty of local link building is that when it comes to relevancy you are looking for link opportunities from a location perspective as well as an industry perspective. Links that are relevant to your neighbourhood, city, county, and state/province are relevant and valuable.

In addition to your locale you are also looking for links that are correlated to your business, industry, niche, and product. These types of links further enhance your link profile. With local link building you can approach it from a micro to macro (narrow to broad) level and benefit across the scale. It’s really quite brilliant and there is a ton of room for creativity. In fact, the more creative you can get the better.

Would a link make sense on the website?

This is a question that should be top of mind while prospecting. Sometimes the allure of a prospect can cloud your judgement and you can end up wasting valuable time on a prospect that just isn’t the right fit. Don’t get caught up in numbers or the desire for a ton of links. Things to consider when determining if a prospect makes sense:Trolls streaming

Do they link to third party sites in any content pieces or do they only link to other posts or articles on their own site. If they never link out to third party sites that could be a good indicator it will be an aggressive uphill battle.

Follow vs no-follow: Follow is cool, but you know what’s even cooler? Any sort of large exposure to your customers, so don’t fret about follow and no-follow like it’s gospel. If it makes sense for both parties to have a link to your site, take it either way.

Are they currently contributing actively to their own site and is the quality good? If the site is stagnant when it comes to content and only posting three times a year, it may not be the right fit… Note – With regards to the above point, be sure to check out their Social channels. It is possible the site owners decided that their blog was too much work and they weren’t getting the pageviews/engagement they wanted. A lot of former bloggers go to social media and succeed there. Maybe a social campaign is more appropriate for your client than getting a link on their site?

How can my link provide value to their audience?

Knowing how your link can provide value to a website’s audience not only helps you curate a list of qualified prospects but it should ideally help with your outreach; which let’s get real, is hands down the most challenging aspect of a link building campaign.

If you can identity why your link would be an asset on a specific website, you already have an angle when outreaching. This isn’t just a, “I know my website is awesome” or “this content I wrote is so amazing, who wouldn’t want to link to it?,” kind of deal. This is genuinely identifying what value you can add.

For instance:

  • The link is to a resource that takes a more in-depth look at a specific topic.
  • The link backs up a statement or claim.
  • The link expands on a related topic or point.
  • The link connects the audience to a product/service of interest.
  • The link helps you better understand the post/article. 

So Where Do You Start?

We start by asking our clients questions, and we highly recommend that you do the same. Whether you’re the business owner or local consultant, asking relevant questions will help you uncover existing opportunities, discover which strategies are the best fit for you (or the client), and give you laser focus when prospecting.

Questions to ask:

  • What current business partnerships do you have?
  • Are you an active Alumni, board of director anywhere, etc.
  • Are you currently involved in the community?
  • Do you donate to a specific charity?
  • Does your company/team volunteer anywhere?
  • What do you want to be involved with?

Having a standard set of questions to ask yourself or your client is important. We recommend you use Phil Rozek’s, Best [BLEEP]’in Local Link Questionnaire.

Our next go to is good old fashion Google searches. When getting started, completing a few searches of top keywords will help give you a better sense of what the industry/niche offers. It’s good to start broad and then refine your searches to more specific areas. Especially if you are in a very specialized industry or even smaller city or town.

Your end game is to source opportunities that are the most relevant and ideally generate the best results. This helps make the qualifying process go smoother as well. How you prospect will differ based on the type of outreach you are doing, but here are some common local link building examples and our prospecting tips/advice to help get you started. 

Unlinked Brand Mentions

Take advantage of opportunities that may already exist. Have you had any press in the past? Perhaps you were interviewed by a local magazine or blog, maybe someone has published a product review, but none of these sites linked to your site. 

This is a great strategy to implement at the beginning of a campaign, it can often land you some quick wins. Ideally, you are looking for the most recent and relevant opportunities. Be sure to review the website to see if they are likely to link. If you come across a post from years ago on a highly influential site, make note of it and start tracking the potential influencer(s). It’s possible that since they featured you in the past, they could be willing to do it again.

Complete branded Google searches of the company name and exclude the company website:

  • “company name”
  • “company name” AND Top Keyword
  • “company owner/founder”
  • “company owner/founder” AND “company name” -site:

*If the company has used press releases in the past, be sure to remove these type of results from the searches by adding -press -release to any of the above searches. 

Looking for unlinked brand mentions via Google searches works best for small businesses. This type of search would be a nightmare for a Big Brand with a TON of mentions and highly time consuming to sift through all the results. 

Scale Your Unlinked Brand Mentions

If you’re a larger business or a small business that may have a lot of mentions or you just want to save yourself the time of sifting through the SERPs for opportunities you can utilize the Local Citation Finder (LCF) and Link Prospector (LP) tools to ease the process.

For many small businesses a large majority of their mentions and links are going to be structured citations, which are not opportunities in this case and end up congesting the SERPs when looking for link prospects.

 Via: Local Link

There are numerous reasons for websites to start using HTTPS over HTTP.

Not only does using HTTPS improve and increase security for consumers during the course of their digital experience, but the presence of a secure connection is also considered by Google as a ranking signal (although there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of this yet). Let’s take a look at HTTPS and how it differs from HTTP.


HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the foundation for communicating over the Web – a distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information system. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.

HTTP is called a stateless protocol because each command is executed independently, without any knowledge of the commands that came before it. This is the main reason that it is difficult to implement websites that react intelligently to user input. This shortcoming of HTTP is being addressed in a number of new technologies, including ActiveX, Java, JavaScript and cookies.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure.’ It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.

Now that you know the difference between the two, and see the benefit of moving a website to HTTPS, how do you get started? 


Moving On Up With SSL

The first step is to acquire an SSL Certificate, small data files that bind (digitally) a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed and activated on a Web server, the HTTPS protocol allows for secure connections between a Web server and a browser.

There are numerous providers of SSL certificates and a quick search on Google or Bing will bring up current offers and pricing from the likes of well-known brands including GoDaddy, Network Solutions, DigiCert, RapidSSL and others.

It is very important however to select the right SSL, because they are most definitely not all created equal. There are three different types of SSL (in general) an enterprise can consider:

Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates: where the Certificate Authority (CA) checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name PLUS it conducts a thorough and detailed vetting of the organization. The issuance process of EV SSL Certificates is strictly defined in the EV Guidelines, as formally ratified by the CA/Browser forum in 2007, that specify all the steps required for a CA before issuing a certificate.

Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates: where the CA checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name PLUS it conducts some vetting of the organization. Additional vetted company information is displayed to customers when clicking on the Secure Site Seal, giving enhanced visibility of who is behind the site and associated with it – to enhance trust.

Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates: where the CA checks the right of the applicant to use a specific domain name. No company identity information is vetted and no information is displayed other than encryption information within the Secure Site Seal.

Prices will vary depending on the type of SSL certificate requested, as well as how it will be used. For example, is the SSL intended for a single domain, multiple sub-domains or several domains concurrently? Understanding how an SSL will be used in the future will ensure you choose the right option for your enterprise.

Once the right type of SSL certificate is chosen, and you’re ready to move forward securing a website, the CA (certificate authority) will need what is called a Certificate Signing Request (CSR).

A CSR is a block of encrypted text that is generated on the server that the certificate will be used on. It contains information that will be included in your certificate such as your organization name, common name (domain name), locality and country. It also contains the public key that will be included in your certificate. A private key is usually created at the same time that you create the CSR.

If you’re unsure where to get your CSR, check with your current hosting provider or with your IT staff. Those using CPanel can actually generate their own CSR by going to the SSL/TTL Manager and generating a new request. 

Once the CA (certificate authority) uses the CSR to create the SSL certificate, the next step is to activate the SSL. Providers will give what is known as a .CRT file and a string key. This information must then be sent to the Web host or installed manually. In the case of Capen, head back to the penis enlargement SSL Manager and click on the “Generate, view, upload or delete SSL certificates” option. You will be able to upload the .CRT file or paste the actual certificate key in the available text box. Once that is done, everything is ready for the most crucial part – redirecting HTTP to HTTPS.

One of the reasons more websites aren’t using the HTTPS protocol is likely the fear associated with making such a major change in relation to their search rankings, warned repeatedly by search engines about the dangers associated with content duplication between protocols. Fortunately, making the actual switch is not nearly as challenging as it once was. Those running on Apache can simply modify their .HTACCESS file while those on IIS/Windows servers can use the < httpredirect > element in their configuration.

Monitor Transition Carefully

Count on a few things breaking during the switch from HTTP to HTTPS. One of the most common mistakes is using the wrong protocol with URLs, linking to the HTTP version instead of the HTTPS option. That results, as you might imagine, in some pretty terrifying error messages and browser warnings about loading unsecured resources. 

Using SSL isn’t terribly expensive for most digital enterprises. While the benefits are well documented (search rankings and a more secure user experience) there is a risk if an SSL certificate is set up hastily. Check with your IT and development teams as well as hosting providers to ensure a smooth transition. will take care of all your marketing needs.

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Have you ever wondered what makes searches look the way they do on your desktop or mobile device?

Whether searching Google from a phone, tablet, third-party service, or desktop, Google has its eye on your searches.

Structured data is the key to making a website visible to searches across all these connected devices, search engines, and lifestyles as we move into a more integrated Internet of Things.

What Is Structured Data?

Per Google’s definition of structured data, it is …

“a standard way to annotate your content so machines can understand it. When your web pages include structured data markup, Google (and other search engines) can use that data to index your content better, present it more prominently in search results, and surface it in new experiences like voice answers, maps, and Google Now.”

Implementing this data into your website can be difficult to understand at first, but understanding your site’s position and function makes getting started easier.

What Does Structured Data Make My Website Look Like in SERPs?

When Google and other search engines discover the structured data markup on the website, it will start to read the tags and display unique items in the SERPs. There are 3 main things that can happen to your website when you properly use structured data…

(1) Rich Snippets

By including structured data that is appropriate for the content on your , you can enhance the appearance of your site in search results. Rich snippets can include information for the following data types: products, recipes, reviews, events, software applications, videos, local businesses, and more. Here is an example of rich snippets for a recipe above a result with no rich snippets…

These rich snippets aren’t anything new, but their universal application is making them practically mandatory for building a competitive website. Plus, using structured data helps boost click-through-rate (CTR) which also boosts the competitiveness of your website.

(2) Google Knowledge Graph & Quick Answers

The Google Knowledge Graph is Google’s way of organizing information about well-known entities: people, places, organizations. In this area, Google merges information from many data sources such as websites, Wikipedia, social media, and more. Below is a screenshot of what a Google search engine results page for the term “amazon” looks like on a desktop browser.


The section on the right-hand side is what is known as the Knowledge Graph. This can be customized by utilizing and adding structured data markup to your website.

As can also be seen in this image, Amazon runs a paid AdWords CPC campaign, and you can see the yellow “Ad” button next to the “top” search result, and people are generally aware this is a sponsored post.

Similarly, if your website has a page with the definition of your product or an item that users frequently seek an answer for, structure that page for Quick Answers. In other words, these tend to be direct answers to a user’s question. Here is an example of a Google Quick Answer…

Example of Google Quick Answer from structured data - V9 Blog

Using Quick Answers, Google is attempting to provide most generally agreed-upon answers within search results in order to provide quick answers on the page for users. Though this may not help a site’s  CTR for certain searches, it does help a site and brand become known as a trusted resource, a much more valuable branding tool in the long run.

You increase your chances of having Google create Knowledge Graph and Quick Answers for your site’s content if you mark it up with structured data.

(3) Social Media and Structured Data

Social media is making a big push to compete with SERPs structured data, and bothTwitter Cards and Facebook Open Graphs are helping these sites become content portals as relevant as any search engine.

Although still limited to 140 characters, tweets can be embedded with rich snippets and media content to make them more appealing. Many developers are racing do exactly that using Twitter Cards, which combine with Vine to make Twitter feeds as appealing as YouTube and Facebook.

Facebook Open Graphs help people and brands tell stories through mini-digital-pin boards that bring content to life. Each of these is meant to keep users engaged with social portals, and your website can gain equal traction through either online medium and should be prepared for all of them. This maintains maximum visibility for your brand.

Applying Structured Data on Your Site

  1. JSON-LD data schema organizes information. This tells search engines what’s relevant on your site – people, places, things, dates, locations, and more. JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation – Linked Data) is a way of expressing rich penis enlargement markup through the use of a script file containing key value pairs that describe elements of your Web page. It keeps the rich markup separate from the HTML code and is an alternative to using attribute-based markup embedded within in HTML.
    • For example, if your band is on a festival tour or you are looking for movie times near you, this can be seen outside a website and directly in the SERPs.
  2. RDFa and Microdata. Both of these are the syntax for adding extra markup to HTML that allows search engines to more clearly understand the meaning of specific pieces of on-page content. The Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa) site has a wealth of information to help understand linked data and how to implement the HTML coding on your site to make microdata available to search engines.

How to Implement Structured Data

Google has its own proprietary structured data markup helper that can assist you (or your webmaster) determine how and where to add markup to a page on your website. Using this tool, you can figure out how to update your site so that Google and other search engines can understand the data it contains.

WordPress users can download plugins — such as a JSON API plugin — which help you set up structured data for pages on your website. They also help restructure existing sites and provide a consistent look across landing pages, and Google Analytics is a great tool to find which landing pages are bringing browsers to your site.

Once you have determined the best structured data categorizations for unique pages and your overall site, you can implement the code; but, be careful! Google is quick to drop the hammer on spammers, so don’t overuse this new power.

Testing Your Work

Both Google and Yandex provide structured data testing tools that can crawl your site to ensure it was done correctly. You can also utilize the structured data dashboard in your Google Search Console. Be sure to save a copy of your site before making any changes so you can always revert to the starting point if necessary.

Once these tools say your site is ready to go, it will start showing up within a few days in searches around the globe as a more relevant and visible web property.

Drumroll… and now the infographic you’ve been waiting for!

Rich snippets and structured data infographic


* Infographic edited on 1/18 – thanks to Aaron at for pointing out a few errors in the code/HTML examples of the original post.


Virtual Focused Marketing, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, has announced that they have been chosen to participate in the new Amazon Services Seller Beta Program. The program is available by invitation only, and Virtual Focused Marketing is the only to participate in the program. A number of other industries are also being represented in the program.

Rusty McMillen of Virtual Focused Marketing says, “Of course, we’re thrilled that Amazon has reached out to us for this program. Being the only agency of our kind to be asked makes it quite the honor.”

The program is designed to allow businesses to offer professional services on the Amazon marketplace. Everything from diagnostics to installations can be offered, and businesses will be able to set pricing estimates, receive requests from customers, and basically sell their services to customers through Amazon.

“The program will enable us to set our prices for pre-packaged services, such as , and sell that service through Amazon,” McMillen says.

The purpose of the program is to make services available so that customers browsing and shopping on Amazon will see them. When customers purchase products related to a particular service, that service will show up as a related or recommended purchase. Amazon will handle the payment for services and deal with payment issues from customers, so that businesses can focus on providing their services.

Virtual Focused Marketing offers a range of services such as , that they say will be very well advertised on the Amazon marketplace. Currently, they are the only company offering these services to be invited into the program.

The above-mentioned services program is now live and available to customers on the Amazon marketplace. Meanwhile, Virtual Focused Marketing continues to offer their services online to local and nationwide customers through their official 搬瓦工 website. Those interested can learn more about the new Amazon Seller program on the Amazon site or visit Virtual Focused Marketing on their website to get more information about the suite of reputation and marketing services they provide.


Contact Virtual Focused Marketing:

Rusty McMillen
1785 East Sahara Ave Suite 490 Las Vegas, NV 89104

 Social media should be a part of your overall marketing plan. The social channel can send a torrent of targeted, engaged traffic to your site. It can give your brand more exposure to new audiences. And it can improve your existing customers’ brand loyalty.

The result? More leads, more conversions and more sales. Let’s say, however, that you’re dead set against enjoying the benefits of integrating social media into your site. You don’t want the referrals from Facebook and Twitter. And you couldn’t care less about audience engagement on Instagram and Pinterest.

I’m going to show you how to turn off these valuable traffic spigots. Below, you’ll learn a set of tactics that all but ensure you’ll receive a drop of love from the social channel.


You’ve written a great piece of content. You know your audience will love it. In fact, it’s so good they’ll likely tell their friends about it.

To make sure no one hears about your content on Facebook or Twitter, refrain from putting social share buttons near its end.

You can’t trust visitors to not share your content. It’s just that good, but you can remove the temptation by neglecting to give them share buttons that make sharing easy.


The last thing you want is for your customers and prospects to find you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. After all, that would just lead to more social media referrals, the exact outcome you’re trying to avoid.

Make it tough for folks to find you by refusing to put social media profile icons on your site.

If you must include them – for example, your board of directors demands it – place them where visitors are unlikely to see them. Definitely don’t place them in your footer near your phone number and email address. That’s the first place your visitors will look.


Suppose you’re active on , but don’t want your profiles connected to your company’s site. After all, that would allow your worlds to collide. It wouldn’t be long before fans in the social channel strolled over to your website. And that, as we’ve noted, is unacceptable.

Make sure there’s no indication that your website is in any way linked to your social media profiles. Definitely don’t embed your Twitter feed, Pinterest feed and Instagram gallery in your BandwagonHost site’s right sidebar. And whatever you do, don’t put a Facebook Like Box there. People might get the idea that others trust your company, are loyal to your brand and love doing business with you.


If you must integrate social media into your site – again, if your board of directors is calling the shots – you can at least take a hands-off approach to dilute its effect.

How do you do that? First, don’t set up a Web analytics package. That would just allow you to track how social media referrals behave when they arrive on your site. That knowledge might inadvertently lead to improved conversions. And we don’t want that.

Second, don’t monitor which social media sites are sending you the most traffic. Doing so would only tempt you to focus your efforts on maximizing your footprint on those sites. It’s far better to act like an ostrich and keep your head buried in the sand.


In the event you’ve been given a mandate to leverage the social channel for your company, there’s one more tactic you can use to dampen referral volume. Create profiles on every social media site you can find.

Don’t focus on the largest sites. That would just bring more traffic. Instead, throw a wide net that snags even the smallest sites, including those unlikely to send you any referrals at all.


Clearly, I wrote this blog with tongue firmly planted in cheek. You already know how important social media can be for generating awareness for your brand, encouraging customer loyalty and improving brand engagement. It can – and should – play a key role in your inbound marketing strategy.

The social channel is going to be more important than ever in 2016. Make sure your site is optimized for it to give yourself an advantage over your less-prepared competition.

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Google Says You Need Experts for Quality Content Writing



As we all know, Google is tight-lipped about their algorithm and ranking factors. They do this to avoid past SEO abuse, which has ranged anywhere from keyword stuffing to the more recent spamming semantic markup.

But since Google has started announcing updates and additions to their core algorithm, it’s about time they start sharing their criteria for quality content. This is why Google’s Search Quality Guidelines was finally released on November 2015 on their webmaster blog. (These guidelines were initially leaked, and eventually released by Google since most of the SEO community had already seen it.)

Looking at the guidelines, it’s clear what matters to Google. First, Google wants to give priority to content that is written with a certain level of expertise. If the content has to do with health or finances, Google requires its Content Quality Graders to take extra care in making sure they are high quality pages.

Second, Google wants to provide the best user experience possible for the people searching on their search engine — which means, they want to direct their users to the websites that will provide them with the best answers.

Use the E-A-T Standard

E-A-T, an acronym for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, is what Google looks for in high quality content. This is especially the case for pages that have advice on the following topics:Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

  • Medical
  • Financial
  • Well-being/Health
  • Hobbies (Like Sports, the Arts, and Outdoor Activities)

All of these topics require expert writers. If pages with these topics don’t have a certain level of complexity or expertise, Google’s evaluators will deem it low-quality.

An expert writer is not necessarily someone that has studied or worked in a field. It varies based on topic and context. For example, Google considers product/restaurant reviews to be expert content as long as it’s in-depth and helpful. Similarly, they consider certain community forums as high-quality. Quality forums generally have content from users with first hand experience. To make it clear: advice on a specific topic should come from an actual professional, but advice on life experiences can come from someone who has gone through it.

Here are some high-quality content examples Google provides:


Providing the Best User Experience

As we mentioned before, Google wants the best experience for its users. Since we’ve already been given tons of on-page feedback on content size and page speed specifications, we will need to start focusing on other nuances of the user’s experience.

1. Optimize For Device Types

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Google released Mobilegeddon last year, and hit us with a reality check — we had to make sure our websites were up-to-par with different screen sizes, different devices, and connection speeds. Google’s Mobilegeddon removed low-quality mobile results from its search engine. Keep this in mind with new devices that will be released in the future.

2. Avoid Spammy Advertising

Besides the general best practices of making your website load quickly and easy to use, quality raters are also on the hunt for spammy advertising. This includes but is not limited to: popover ads that shift a user’s page down, popup ads that restrict a user’s ability to switch screens, and having more than three ads on any given page.

3. Get Creative with Doorway Pages

If you’re an affiliate marketer, Google will not want to rank your product review unless a user searches for its specific attributes. Instead, they want to rank the product itself — that way, a customer can go straight to checkout or learn more information about the brand.

How Will Google’s Quality Guidelines Change in The Future?

Google’s quality guidelines will evolve with new technology and devices. We’ll just have to wait and see if Google’s Quality Graders will actually be as harsh as they seem in these guidelines.

Make sure to get the nitty-gritty details on Google’s Quality Guidelines in the full 160 page document… which, just so happens to be a PDF document with a terrible mobile experience. We’ll let it slide this time, Google.


SEO Industry News: Google’s Core Algorithm Update, Google Panda, My Business


In our January 2016 edition of Conductor 30|30 (which is 30 minutes on the last 30 days in search, social, and content), Pat Reinhart starts off the year discussing big changes in marketing. Click a topic below to jump down:

    • Google’s Core Algorithm Update
    • Google Panda Assimilation
    • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
    • Google My Business API
    • Facebook Professional Services

    We also had a ton of unanswered Q&A questions during the webinar. Click a question below to jump down:

      • Can you define “real-time”? What is the main difference between a “Real Time Algorithm” and Google’s current algorithm today?
      • What are some things to focus on as we get closer to a potentialGoogle Penguin assimilation to the core algorithm?
      • What should I do tomorrow to optimize my content with these new algorithm changes?
      • You stated in the webinar that My Business won’t affect rankings. But will Google My Business affect the local search results at the top of the SERP?
      • With the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) becoming the new standard, will there be a need for a specific kind of optimization for these pages? How will AMPs be prioritized?
      • Is AMP eventually meant for mobile advertising in your opinion?
      • Will the return of Matt Cutts signal RankBrain going rogue and bring the rise of a robot resistance?

      Screenshot 2016-01-19 10.57.24


      Want more details? Get into the nitty-gritty by watching the full webinar recording for January’s edition.



      1. Core Algorithm Updated Over the Weekend

      Google has actually announced that there was a major core algorithm update over the second weekend of January 2016, similar to the quality update they released in May 2015). Usually they update their algorithm quietly but since Google knows their algorithm is getting better, they may be avoiding their typical phantom updates (release without public confirmation).

      This algorithm change is not to be confused with the Panda assimilation below. This is a completely independent update to their core algorithm to improve its real-time efficiency.

      2. Google Panda Assimilation

      The second major algorithm announcement is that Google Panda is now part of the core algorithm. So to reiterate, Panda was not updated, it was simply assimilated into the main algorithm. This is what Google’s PR Team had to say about it:

      “Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.”

      What does this mean for you? Google is happy with its Panda implementation enough to make it permanent. If you were positively affected by Panda in your rankings, keep up the great work. If negatively affected, you should bring your website up to par with the Google Website Guidelines to start mending the damage.

      3. Google Rolling Out Accelerated Mobile Pages To Everyone Next Month

      After a successful testing period, Google has announced that they are going to be rolling out their accelerated mobile pages to everyone in February of 2016. AMP pages, as discussed in our November 30|30 recap, were previously exclusive to certain publishers. Now AMP pages will be available to everyone. Find out how here.

      4. Google My Business API Has Launched

      Google had officially launched the API for Google My Business. This is great way to manage branches and locations for businesses so that “customers can find you, no matter what device they’re using.”


      This API will be a much easier way for companies to create and edit their listings’ information, especially for companies with thousands of locations.

      Google My Business API includes:

      • Create business locations with information such as name, address, phone number, category, business hours, and more
      • Manage special hours
      • Mark a business location as permanently closed
      • Manage business photos
      • List, invite and remove managers on locations and business accounts
      • Read listing state to identify Google updated, duplicate and suspended locations
      • Search/Filter locations by name, category and label
      • Set the service area for a business either by specifying a point and radius or Place IDs

      You can find the full API documentation here.

      5. Facebook Professional Services

      Facebook now has an area on their site dedicated to professional services. This feature is very similar to Yelp where it helps you find the highest rated business in a given area.


      There are currently 85 business categories you can choose from when you create your listing. The business will show up in Facebook’s business search results based on the five-star rating system that is currently implemented.


      But, it looks like there are other metrics that have influence in rankings. It will be very interesting to see how much Facebook promotes this, if at all, and tries to aggressively move into this space.


      Pat Reinhart Answers Your Webinar Questions

      Q1. Can you define “real-time”? What is the main difference between a “Real Time Algorithm” and Google’s current algorithm today?

      The main difference is that a real-time algorithm would not need manual data pushes to update, but rather, they would updated automatically second to second, minute to minute, hour to hour.  Currently all algorithm updates require manual data pushes.  While Google’s core algorithm technically does work and process data in real time, to update it they still need to push manual data.

      Q2. What are some things to focus on as we get closer to a potential Penguin assimilation to the core algorithm?

      You should always keep an eye on your link profile and audit it quarterly to ensure there is nothing harmful going on.  For larger brands this is more of a challenge, but also less of a concern as they tend to have a higher volume of quality links than smaller brands.  Regardless of the size of your business, you should make the investment to monitor your backlink profile on a regular basis.

      Q3. What should I do tomorrow to optimize my content with these new algorithm changes?

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      You wouldn’t necessarily “do” anything to optimize your site different for this specific change, but rather, you should be looking at your SEO program as a whole and see where the holes are that caused the site to remain flat, or worse, fall in the rankings.  Create great content, do it often, optimize it, work with partners to share content and build quality links.  These are all things that you can do tomorrow, and should always be doing. 


      Continue to evolve with the algorithm and make sure your program doesn’t get stagnant.  Make your paid team speak with your SEO team, integrate campaigns and share ideas.  That’s what the most successful campaigns usually draw their strength from.

      Q4. You stated in the webinar that My Business won’t affect rankings. But will Google My Business affect the local search results at the top of the SERP?

      Google My Business listings don’t necessarily affect your overall site rankings (I don’t think at all, but there are hundreds of unknown ranking factors so I guess it’s possible), but are the properties that you need to update and maintain to show up higher in local search. 


      Best practices here are to ensure your NAP information (Name, Address, Phone Number) is consistent across as many local aggregators as possible, not just GMB.  Don’t try to optimize your listing, just put the correct phentermine information, and then work on making that information correct across the web.  MozLocal is a great way to see how you are doing across multiple properties, but there are other companies that help you do this such as WhiteSpark and Yext.

      Q5. With Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) becoming the new standard, will there be a need for a specific kind of optimization for these pages? How will AMPs be prioritized?

      I want to be clear here that AMP pages becoming standard is a prediction of mine, and not necessarily what the state of the web is at this time. 


      There is a very specific way you need to code these types of pages, which is described at, but the main thing to know is that these are completely separate pages that should be created and then canonicaled back to the live page, and are not meant to be indexed.  This isn’t a ranking play, it’s a visibility play within the AMP carousel that will appear for certain terms.  Learn more at the URL provided.

      Q6. Is AMP eventually meant for mobile advertising in your opinion?

      This is a truly great question and I believe there are two ways to look at it. AMP, at the moment, is going to be mostly used by publishers to get their content to their users faster and without any load times.  From an advertising perspective, my guess is that dynamic ads, such as Google AdSense, will not function properly within this framework and most likely will cause tracking issues with many platforms that measure the eyeballs viewing an ad. 


      With that said, Google is a sales organization and I can’t imagine their plan is to do this out of the goodness of their own hearts and eventually will work out a way that the advertising will be available and trackable.  This could already be in place, as I said, this is a very new technology that only a few companies have been given access to, so time will tell.

      Check in at for more info.

      Q7. Will the return of Matt Cutts signal RankBrain going rogue and bring the rise of a robot resistance?

      It’s truly too soon to tell what the re-emergence of Cuttsman would bring back to the table, for all we know he IS Rankbrain and we could be on the cusp of a full-on Lawnmower man situation.  I guess all we can do is wait and see if our phones all ring in unison.


      Web design and development are necessary components of creating online success, and certainly aesthetic appearance plays a major role in how it all plays out.

      But is design an art? The experts say no – and, further, they argue that conflating art and design is detrimental to success.


      The biggest distinction between art and design is that art comes from something internal, and design comes from something external. In short, art is about creative expression, while design is created in response to a functional need.

      While a site should look visually pleasing, its purpose is to perform a function. The designer needs someone to use what he or she creates; it cannot serve its purpose if there’s no one to use it. Certainly, art exists that is useful, but design creates something to be incorporated into our everyday lives.

      This isn’t an insult to designers. Certainly, it’s possible to appreciate and respect design as you could a work of art. And, indeed, many designers are also artists. But the project of art is not to solve an everyday problem. In a nutshell, art is itself a project, while design is a product.

      Kissmetrics sums it up this way: Pretty doesn’t count. When you look at a well-executed , “That looks nice” is less important than “That works well.”


      If anything, the art world could learn a thing or two from designers – especially online. If current successes are anything to measure by, it takes an engineer and entrepreneurial approach to make a real splash to sell art and make it accessible to a wide audience. In a recent interview, Albert Scaglione, the founder and CEO of the world’s largest art dealer, Park West Gallery, explains how he came to the art world.

      While he studied to be an engineer and spent the first portion of his post-graduate adulthood teaching, art kept pulling him back. His technical history is certainly a contributor to his success.


      It’s not just about semantics; it’s about attitude. Design is a business-related venture, and it needs to be treated as such. The treatment of designers as artists undermines and undervalues the work they do. While this is an unfortunate and unwarranted reflection on art itself, it’s a problem for designers who produce a design – a product.

      HubSpot points to one frustrating but common request designers receive from non-designer clients: “Could you send me a couple different versions of that?” This is like asking a nutritionist, after she recommends a nutrient-rich diet for better health, “Okay, but what else ya got?”


      In short, while an artist can create a number of different works of art – sometimes within a very short timeframe – a designer’s creation is meant to solve a problem. Asking for a different “version” of the designer’s solution assumes that the designer hasn’t phentermine already invested careful, thoughtful work and ideas. It’s one thing if you’re unhappy with how the website functions, but if you’d like to see the entire thing redone “just because,” expect to pay the designer to build the design up from the ground all over again.

      – See more at: 

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