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Is it possible to increase search visibility without building links?
At BrightonSEO in April Semantic Search was a popular topic that featured in many talks and I also had the pleasure of taking part in a Semantic Search Roundtable discussion, sponsored by Intelligent Positioning.
It is also worth reading Krystian Szastok's follow up post 'I Became an Entity: How I'm on the Knowledge Graph' which gives further evidence of becoming an entity with some additional tips.
Andrew and Krystian's posts are both excellent reads, but they focus on individuals and the knowledge graph.
I also want to focus on businesses.
How can businesses get themselves into the knowledge graph, and also take advantage of the other features of semantic search?
First, a bit of theory about why this is so important.
We always look forward to the panel debates at BrightonSEO as the discussion is more open. It's even better when they involve ex-members of the Google Search Quality team (and a "former" spammer).
- You cannot recover from a penalty with just a disavow file, you have to do link removal
- Google is using the disavow tool to crowdsource bad links/domains
- A bad link is any link "made for SEO"
- Link building is fine, as long as you build for traffic
- Google can tell if a link is getting clicked or not
- Negative SEO is far less common that it is talked about, it is usually a spam attack or result of miscommunication
- Sites hit by negative SEO are never clean to start with
- There are hundreds of reasons that your site might drop in Google, not always a penalty, so do discovery on your own site, don't look for answers on the internet
- Google focus on users, not SEOs/webmasters, so there is always going to be collateral damage
- You can't recover from a penalty and then delete your disavow file, Google keeps track of everything and will find out
- Second penalties are much harder to recover from that first ones
Get hands on with Webmaster Tools on our brand new Advanced SEO Strategy Training course - the most up to date course on the market.
Google Webmaster Tools is an incredible tool for running health checks, monitoring your site's progress or uncovering the source of a problem. It's also an essential SEO tool.
If you're not familiar with Webmaster Tools or you haven't been keeping up with the latest changes & additions then we are here to help.
Learn about every feature of Google WMT and find out how you can use it for quick and long term SEO wins.
If you want to get hands on with Webmaster Tools then come down to Brighton for our 2-day SEO course which will give you hands on experience using WMT for SEO. We are always updating our SEO courses with the latest trends and best practices. If you're more interested in the analytics side of Webmaster Tools then we also recommend our 1 day Google Analytics or Advanced Google Analytics course.
I've thrown in a lot of tips along the way based on our experiences at Silicon Beach so you will have some good ideas to use Webmaster Tools to improve your site's performance.
Let's start from the top...
There's no denying the utility and effectiveness of Google Analytics as a means to better understanding the way users interact with your website. Among all the features that GA has though, Real-Time Reports are often a bone of contention; it's a matter of dispute as to exactly how useful they are.
I decided to ask some experts for their views on the matter to try and get some answers.
On our Google Analytics Course you'll learn exactly how to make the most of its impressive features to maximise your online efforts, including Real-Time reports.
So let's take a look at what the experts say:
Great for Testing
A key theme that seemed to crop up regularly was how many found real-time reports useful for testing technical aspects of a campaign, whether that's for code, tracking or links.
@AaronCharlie Great for testing code, 'walking the shop floor', and getting non-experts interested in analytics. Underrated reports.
— dan barker (@danbarker) July 26, 2013
very useful for checking new tracking (e.g. events, goals, etc.). Also for testing emails to make sure all tagged links work — Dara Fitzgerald (@darafitzgerald) July 26, 2013
Every new statistic confirms that Mobile search is on the rise, overtaking desktop search in some locations and niches. If you're not already looking into mobile search then you should be, especially as mobile search intent is usually very different to desktop intent - and this has strong implications for your search strategy.
Use the tips in this post to dive into your mobile search analytics to discover your existing mobile search traffic and begin to look for new opportunities moving forward. If you need help with SEO or Google Analtyics then take a look at our SEO courses which include Google Analytics training.
1/ Are Your Visitors Using Mobile Search?
The very first thing you should do is check what percentage of your visitors are using mobile, this should give you an indication of how much time you should put aside for mobile. However, don't forget that mobile is still on an upwards trend so your niche might be just about to explode onto mobile. You might also be providing a horrible mobile experience which will make returning visitors unlikely.
We set up a Mobile Search filter that allows us to dig into our data and find out more about our mobile searchers. Click the link to add the filter to your profile or set a new filter up as below. This Advanced Segment is your go-to for any mobile search related data.