The world of Search Engine Optimisation has changed dramatically over the last few years as search engines like Google continue to refine their algorithms in order to deliver the most relevant results to users. This has led to an explosion in content as websites focus on increasing and improving what they have to offer to visitors. Hand in hand with this is the development of content marketing to promote this new content. However, as this article from B2B Marketing discusses, SEO is still just as important as it ever was, although I do believe that social media is fast becoming an essential part of the digital marketing mix.
As we finally enter the month of February and leave the January blues behind us, it's fair to say that the SEO industry has started 2014 with a rather bumpy start.
Just before the Christmas festivities kicked into full swing the news broke that Rap Genius, the company that details lyrics to hundreds of songs on their website, were treading on very thin ice when it came to adhering to Google's quality guidelines. John Marbach, a fan of Rap Genius and an SEO specialist broke the news on his website when he saw that Rap Genius were asking their fans to do something he knew would violate Google's guidelines. Writing a blog post on the matter rapidly drew widespread attention to the case and within just a few days Matt Cutts, the head of Web Spam at Google, was seen on Twitter saying he was looking into the matter.
Just a few days later Rap Genius was given a penalty by Google and they were no longer ranking for their own brand name within Google's Index.
What did Rap Genius do to get removed from Google's Index and how do you keep your brand safe?
Rap Genius was seen to ask their fans on social media if they had a blog. Those that did were then asked if they wanted to become brand affiliates for the company and link to Rap Genius within a blog post. In return, Rap Genius would Tweet the blog post out to their thousands of followers. It seemed that this would be win-win for both Rap Genius building hundreds of links as well as for the fans getting Tweeted by a large company.Google, however, did not see it in the same light and removed the website from their index. Following some pretty hefty apologies and a massive link clean-up, Rap Genius are now safely ranking again within Google's index.
This Christmas, 48% of all online traffic was from mobile phones and tablets – an increase of over 28% on last year. Breaking that down further, the split between phones and tablets was 28% and 18% respectively.
The figures, obtained from IBM's Digital Analytics Benchmark which tracks online sales, make interesting reading. Further analysis shows that whilst smartphones may have the upper hand when consumers are shopping online, they're still shying away from them when it comes to making their final purchase. Only 9% of purchases were made by smartphone, against 19% by tablet – more than double.
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