UPDATE 10/19: Google has confirmed the rollout of Penguin 3.0
I’ve only got one anecdote to support my suspicion, but a client who was a victim of Negative SEO lost all of their top 10 rankings, and as of today they are all back 100%!
Backstory: This client hired us in December 2013 to figure out why their rankings and organic traffic had dropped overnight on Oct 5, 2013 (date of the last Penguin update). We analyzed their back links using a variety of tools and didn’t take us long to discover they had been a victim of negative SEO. We found over a period of 3 months there were random spammy links added to their site to the tune of about 20,000 links a month! They had never done their own link building nor hired an SEO. Other than these links they had a very small link profile, with just natural links and only a few.
Because the rankings and traffic did drop right in line with the Penguin update, and there were no warnings in Webmaster Tools of a manual penalty, we knew this was an algorithmic penalty associated with these links.
It took us about 3 months to discover and disavow these links, and the reason why is interesting. The links were not showing up on the page every time – they would only occasionally show up upon a refresh. Each refresh of these spam pages was filled with about 100 random links, and each refresh showed a new 100 links. So any link checker would find the links some times, but not other times. We had no choice but to continue to run a link checker, 3 different link checkers as a matter of fact, about 1x a week. Each time we would discover new links that we hadn’t disavowed yet. It was a brilliant sneaky black hat SEO attack.
By around February, we were confident we had disavowed about 90% of the spam links. But no recovery.
As we have all learned since then, a site must wait on Google to update the Penguin algorithm before any changes in rankings or recovery can take place. Unfair? Absolutely. Especially in the case of Negative SEO, which is real and does work. And in this case it took Google over a year to update Penguin. Imagine us reassuring this client that as soon as Google runs their update, their rankings will be back. “When will that be?” “Uh, Google won’t tell anyone, should be within 3 more months”.
In the meantime, we worked hard on content marketing, blogging for the client, getting high quality content published on their site and blog, building out Google Local pages, hoping that when the update hit, their site would be stronger than ever.
SUCCESS! ALL of their previous important keywords are back to the top 10, as of today October 18, 2014. Some of them even higher!
We are torn between being thrilled and being sickened that Google can allow something like this to happen.
AWS makes it easy to take snapshots of your EBS volumes. However, if you have many volumes, a way to automate and rotate snapshots becomes essential. There are many solutions out there to handle automated snapshots. One such excellent solution is the ec2-automate-backup script. Setting this script on a cron job, you can snapshot all your volumes in a specific region. Below is how I’ve set this up.
I have multiple EBS volumes attached to multiple EC2 instances. I needed a way to take a daily snapshot of all volumes. In addition, I needed the snapshots to rotate, such that only the last 7 days worth of snapshots would be kept.
I chose to create a small EC2 instance specifically for running ec2-automate-backup from a cron job that will backup the volumes of all my production instances.
WordPress can make for a great CMS, but sometimes it’s not always feasible or practical to use it for your entire site. One common scenario is to use WordPress for a blog that runs along side a site built with a completely different technology. However, a problem arises in this situation: What if you want to display blog posts on your non-WordPress site?
SEO has evolved so much during the past 5 years that we even renamed our company to Web Moves. I absolutely love some of the brilliance I read from experts in our industry— and this guy could have been speaking words straight from my mouth.
The present trend is that of mobility and the same applies to computers as well and that is the reason why more and more people are opting for internet enabled smartphones as they help them stay connected even while on the move. However, this has posed a certain type of problem for websites and website developers as many of them are not mobile friendly and hence not accessible through the mobile. The inability of websites to connect with the customers through mobiles could mean a loss of customers, which no business can afford. Therefore, website owners and developers have to work towards creation of websites that are available for the mobiles as well.
However, the task of creating or building a mobile version of the website is not very difficult as there are several tools that ease the process of creating mobile versions of websites. Some of these tools are discussed below:
With Google and other search engines increasingly trying to ‘humanize’ their algorithms so that their preference of websites reflects that of their physical users, there has never been a more important time than now for website owners to make sure that the content they use is fully up-to-scratch.
It is no secret to anybody that Google is a bit of a bookworm, with its head of webspam Matt Cutts frequently using his Webmaster Central vlog to point out that, while intelligent use of images, infographics, videos, and audio files helps a website’s ranking, the search engine is still hungriest of all for text.
Content should be viewed as the bricks and mortar of your site. If you view your website in the same way as your house, of course you want it to look pretty and stand out on your street, but there’s no point doing that if it’s made of sponge bricks and uses porridge as mortar. Nobody would want to visit such a house more than once, and it would fail in its purpose. Aesthetic features on your site should be there to accentuate its solid foundation of content – not in place of it.
On the Ecommerce Outtakes blog, we talk a lot about what not to do online. In fact, our main focus is to point out where websites go wrong—with the intent, of course, to help improve the e-commerce experience across the web. One trend we’ve been noticing a lot lately is a lack of good filtering and sorting options. It’s a widespread e-commerce epidemic, and it’s high time we cured it.
Adwords by Google is a proven way to generate traffic, leads, and sales. It is a tool that some marketers are using on a regular basis to drive business goals. While there are a few using this tool to great effect, several more are striking out and in the process, throwing a lot of money out the window. Having success with Adwords calls for you to take the same approach you take to generating visibility for your organic content — optimize. However, the actual steps to optimization are a bit different in this arena.
1. Learn to Bid and Budget
Understanding how to bid and budget your funds is crucial to Adwords success. Spending $20 a day may appear to be the way to go for cost-conscious advertisers, but a budget that low will also limit your ability to profit. Likewise, bidding low initially can save you some money, but it might not get you very many clicks. While you don’t want to spend beyond the budget, you also don’t want to limit your potential, so learning how to manage your funds in accordance to the ad platform is key.
January 2013 – Last spring Google posted about Responsive Web Design on their official webmaster central blog and though the flavor of their article was fairly mild, they made it very clear that their “commitment to accessibility” includes a very important message to web designers – “Mark up one set of content, making it viewable on any device.”
I’m sure by now everyone has seen that Google allows you to set up authorship credit for the content that you create. Credit is given by a picture of the author along with a link to the author’s Google Plus page as well as a link that allows you to read more posts by the author.
Setting this up for a blog with only one author that is posting content is pretty straight forward and there is a lot of good information available on how to do it. The problem comes when you have a website or blog that has multiple or more than one authors posting content. Unfortunately the steps that would allow this to work in a single author instance do not work when there are multiple authors and you would end up with the wrong author receiving credit for the content.
After a fair amount of searching I was still not satisfied with any of the answers I had found on how to create the authorship credit when there is more than one author. A lot of the posts that I found contained old and outdated information or steps that are honestly not necessary to this process. Finally after piecing together a bunch of information, I was able to find a solution to my problem that was surprisingly even easier than I had expected! In these next couple sections I will cover how to configure the author credit for both of these scenarios (single author or multiple authors) in WordPress.