Category Archives: Google

Google Authorship for Authority, Traffic & SEO

Google Authorship verifies the author of content pages on your website -- information that influences how these content pages show up in search results.

Google Authorship verifies the author of content pages on your website — information that influences how these content pages show up in search results.

When you publish blog posts and articles on your website, it’s a good idea to include a byline that attributes the content to a particular author. This not only personalizes your message, but also signals to readers (i.e., customers or clients) that you have on staff an expert in the industry. And the more you can help people associate your business with a real person, the more comfortable they’ll feel trusting you with their business.

Beyond that, there is the additional benefit of a byline enabling you to take advantage of Google Authorship.

What is Google Authorship?

Google Authorship verifies the author of content pages on your website — information that influences how these content pages show up in search results. Not automatically, though. Google Authorship is something you have to sign up for, and it’s something that requires bylines included on your content pages.

What’s the point?

When you sign up for Google Authorship:

1) Your picture appears beside your content links in search results. This is huge, as people are more likely to click on links with photos beside them.

2) You become a recognizable expert in your field. The more your content turns up in search results, readers who regularly search on your topic are able to immediately associate a link with a face — someone who they remember as someone they can trust for good content.

3) Your content gets indexed faster. This can be especially helpful if you are publishing content on a current event or timely topic. If you have Google Authorship, but your competitors don’t, Google will index your content faster, thus improving your position in search results.

4) You can protect yourself from plagiarism. With Google Authorship, there is no question that the content belongs to you. So in the event of plagiarism, it’s your content that Google will rank first, plus it will be that much easier to make sure the plagiarized content is removed.

5) Your byline will show up in image search results. When you include images in your content, which you by all means should, they may show up in image search results. When someone clicks on the image in these results, your byline appears, crediting you with the content associated with the image, including links to the blog post, your website, and your author bio page.

6) You’ll get a jumpstart on the much-talked-about but yet-to-be-formally-announced Google Author Rank, which it’s believed will further influence search results.

How do you sign up?

To sign up for Google Authorship, go to plus.google.com/authorship. As outlined there, things you’ll need include:

  • Bylines in your website blog posts and articles.
  • A verifiable email associated with your website domain.
  • A Google Plus account under the same name you publish under on your website.
  • A recognizable headshot as your Google Plus profile picture.

Do you need support for your content marketing and search engine optimization? CyberMark International can help. Contact Us for more information.

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The Benefits of Adding Google Author Snippet

shutterstock_115796821The terms Author Snippet and Author Rank are terms that are becoming more and more popular as Google continues to crack down on their search engine algorithms. This is because Google has given several hints that these tools can contribute to your authority and help your rankings in the search engines by showing that the contributors are content creators that can be trusted, not simply passersby.

So what do these terms mean? Well, an author snippet is a snippet of code that is added to your blog that is connected to a personal Google+ profile. When you write blogs and they appear in the search engines, your profile picture and name will accompany the blog post, and cause it to rank higher because it is associated with a Google+ profile. Every Author Rank is associated with a unique digital signature that can help boost every post you make to your blog, making it count even more.

So what are the benefits? Being a contributing author that has recurring content posted on a site simply has more value than just what it will bring in terms of search engine optimization. The readers of your blog are more likely to trust the content you are putting out, and more likely to learn about your products and services, which in turn, will drive traffic and increase sales.

Think about it this way, what are you more likely to trust: content that isn’t associated with anyone’s name or photo, or content that is backed up by someone’s name and headshot. While the idea of this is certainly new and does make some uncomfortable, it’s important to understand that just like you wouldn’t wear a mask to do business in real life, you shouldn’t wear one while doing business on the internet. It is really a side bonus that the author snippet can dramatically help your search engine rankings.

If you’re interested in installing a Google Author Snippet on your blog, CyberMark International can help you get started! For more information, call us today at 623-889-3380.

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Will Google Glass Change Internet Marketing?

google-glass-modelRecently, there has been a lot of hype surrounding Google Glass, but not much has been said about how it will change internet marketing. Since the product has not yet been released, right now we are only able to speculate about how things might change. Not only has Google, the world’s largest search engine, never done anything like this before, neither has anyone else. There is so much potential for Google Glass that it is hard to even imagine all of the possibilities.

What do we currently know about Google Glass? Here are just some of the features that may affect rankings:

  • At-a-Glance Search Results

This feature will respond to voice commands and queries so that users can get results for questions about nearby establishments. This will provide a different interface for results and perhaps more instantaneous search on the go.

  • More Social Interactivity

We know that Google Glass will play directly into social media sites, allowing you to take pictures and videos, and share them. Social reviews will play a bigger role in search results and give users a better perspective on whether they want to visit a specific establishment.

  • Location Specific Searches

Google Glass’s technology will make it possible to view establishments according to where the user is located, as well as view the rankings, reviews and more information.

What do these features mean for internet marketers? Here are some safe tips on how to make sure your SEO strategy is in primed for the release of Google Glass:

  • Keep your Google+ profile active

An active Google+ profile will impact all things search related on Google, as will authorship and Author Rank. Staying plugged in to Google+ can only work to your advantage.

  • Pay attention to Google

Keep your ear to the ground about Google trends and developments. Keep in mind that what happens with Google is crucial to your marketing future.

  • Think local

If you’re a local company, focus largely on local search results and social media. Google Glass will be a geospecific marketing tool, so it will be important to capitalize on what value you have locally.

If you’re looking for help with search engine optimization or social media marketing, call the experts at CyberMark International. For a free website evaluation, call us today at 623-889-3380.

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Google Emerges Unscathed from Search Bias Investigation

googleAfter nearly two years of investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission, search engine giant Google has emerged with a clear reputation, and a clean bill of health.

At a press conference announcing the results, FTC Director Jon Liebowitz said “We have exhaustively investigated whether [Google] uses search bias to push its own products higher and rivals’ down the search results. The commission has voted to close this investigation. Although some evidence suggested it was trying to remove the competition, the primary reason was to improve user experience.”

The investigation started when rivals like Microsoft stated that Google promoted its own services over equal, or better qualified competitors.

In a statement responding to the results, David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal officer for Google said they were prepared to voluntarily implement several changes which the FTC had laid out for them, adding “As we made clear when the FTC started its investigation, we’ve always been open to improvements that would create a better experience.”

Though these changes were voluntary, a spokesperson from the FTC made it clear they wouldn’t have closed their investigation if they weren’t made. Aside from these changes though, Google seems pleased with the result of the investigation.

“We’ve always accepted that with success comes regulatory scrutiny,” said Drummond in the same statement. “But we’re pleased that the FTC and the other authorities that have looked at Google’s Business practices – including the US Department of Justice, the US courts, and the Brazilian courts—have concluded that we should be free to combine direct answers with Web results. So we head into 2013 excited about our ability to innovate for the benefit of users everywhere.”

Leibowitz though, said that the FTC found that Google did take part in “unfair conduct” by continuing to sue competitors over patents on mobile device technology Google acquired when they purchased Motorola in 2012.

Basically, the agreement Google and the FTC reached on this count was that Google cannot block other companies – including Apple – using important Motorola patents, but can still charge those competitors a hefty fee for their use.

Though there is a fine if Google breaks any part of this agreement, the penalty – up to $16,000 a day – seems paltry for a company that made over $14 billion in the 3rd quarter of 2012 alone.

Both the FTC and Google consider the arrangement a win, but Google certainly seems to have gotten the better end of the deal, and aren’t shy about showing it.

“The conclusion is clear,” said Drummond in a blog post, “Google’s services are good for users and good for competition.

All this just makes it clear that you need to play to Google’s search strengths if you want to increase web traffic to your site. Google is constantly changing their ranking algorithms, here at Cybermark International, it’s our job to stay on top of things and keep your site where it should be – at the top of search engine lists. Check out or website at www.Cybermarkintl.com for more information about how we can help you get to the top, and stay there.

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New Google Panda Algorithm Update

Google has recently announced that a new data refresh of Panda has rolled out. Google routinely announces such algorithm refreshes, though the amount of time between each one tends to vary. Google Panda initially went live in February 2011, aiming to reward sites with high quality content with better search engine rankings.

Google defines high quality content as valuable, original, well-written work that has been presented by a trusted source, an expert or enthusiast and lacks duplicate, overlapping or redundant content.

This update should only noticeably affect about 1% of queries worldwide. Typically, Google pushes out fresh algorithm updates for Panda and Penguin every month or so in an attempt to target out webspam. Google considers webspam to be pages that attempt to attain better rankings through efforts such as keyword stuffing, linking schemes, sneaky redirects and purposeful duplicate content.

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team has clarified that Google is targeting spam, not “over-optimization.” “I think ‘over-optimization’ wasn’t the best description, because it blurred the distinction between white hat SEO and webspam. This change is targeted at webspam, not SEO,” says Cutts.

“White hat SEO,” also referred to as “ethical SEO,” is a set of SEO strategies and techniques that focus on a human audience as opposed to search engines. White hat SEO is more commonly used by those who intend to make a long-term investment on their website with quality content that meets the needs of their readers or customers.

At CyberMark International, we specialize in writing the highest quality, ethical SEO. To learn more about the products and services we offer, call us today at 623-889-3380.

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Mobile SEO: Optimizing for Smartphones and Feature Phones

mobile seo

Recently, Google released a set of guidelines for mobile SEO, including details on how to optimize for feature phones in addition to smartphones. With the skyrocketing popularity of smartphones, many may think, “Why would anyone need feature phone traffic now that everyone has a smartphone?” While smartphone ownership is at an all-time high, still only about half of all mobile users in the United States own smartphones, while the other half are feature phone users.

With 50% of the mobile phone market still using feature phones, it’s important to remember this when designing and writing SEO for your mobile sites. For example, the world’s most popular mobile browser is the Opera Mini. With more than 166 million Opera mini users, it makes up over 20% of the total global market. What makes Opera Mini different is that while it does have support for media queries in its current version, it doesn’t have the same support in previous versions. Therefore, if you are looking to optimize your mobile site for most feature phone users, it’s important to not use responsive Web design, opting instead for mobile content that uses either dynamic serving or separate URLs.

While it is enticing to optimize your mobile site for smartphones with responsive Web design, at this point in time, it doesn’t make much sense if it won’t work for half of your potential users. By using dynamic serving or separate URLs you can ensure that your site is optimized for both smartphone and feature phone users. Google has released a set of guidelines that give great tips on how you can begin optimizing feature phone traffic to your site.

If you need help building and optimizing your mobile site, CyberMark International has web designers and SEO experts that can help your site get the traffic it deserves. It all starts with a Free Website Evaluation where we can review your current website and evaluate its strengths, weaknesses and possibilities. Call CyberMark International today for more information at 623-889-3380 or contact us online at www.cybermarkintl.com/request-seo-quote.php.

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Google Places Switches to Google+ Local

As you might have noticed, Google Places is now Google+ Local. On May 30, more than 80 million listings were switched over to the new local listing format. Now that Google has integrated local listings with Google+, there are a few changes to be aware of for your local SEO:

New look and interface – Google local listings now have a similar look and feel to a Google+ page.

Google+ Local tab – On top of regular search results, Google Maps and Google mobile apps, local listings will also appear on a Local tab within Google+.

Zagat rating scale and integration – Google+ Local listings now feature a Zagat-inspired rating from 0-30, with 30 being excellent. In addition, listings will also feature any reviews that business has received from Zagat.com.

Greater social integration – Google+ Local features a circle filter, allowing users to see reviews and recommendations from their friends, family and colleagues.

It should be mentioned that Google+ Local is still a separate entity from Google+, meaning you can have both a Google+ Local listing and Google+ page for your business. However, Google has said it might allow businesses to combine the two in the future.

The Google Places-Google+ Local changeover offers interesting new local marketing opportunities for businesses, and CyberMark is dedicated to assisting businesses with the transition. If you have any questions or issues regarding your Google+ Local listing, please feel free to contact us at http://www.cybermarkintl.com/general-contact.php.

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Google +1 Button: It’s Here!

google +1 buttonIn the past few years, you may have noticed that social plugins such as the Facebook like button are becoming all the rage, and with good reason. Studies show that consumers are significantly more likely to check out content shared by their social connections. Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others, Google has officially launched the +1 button, which allows users to recommend web content to other users.

When users +1’d content, it can show up in the search results of a wide variety of social connections, including the following:

  • Users in their Gmail (or Google Talk) chat list
  • Users in their My Contacts group in their Google contacts
  • Users they’re publicly connected to through social sites, such as Twitter and FriendFeed, that are also connected to your Google Account or Google profile
  • Users they’re following in Google Reader and Google Buzz
  • Users who are public connections of their immediate, public social connections. (i.e. If you follow a friend on Twitter, his or her connections could be included in your social connections)

Moreover, +1’d content recommended by social connections can figure more prominently in search results.

So, why should you consider adding Google +1 and/or other social plugins to your products, blogs, photos, videos and other sharable web content? Think about these figures provided by Facebook (source: Social Media Today):

  • On average, media sites integrated with Facebook social media plugins have seen a 300% increase in referral traffic.
  • Daily revenue for children’s clothing retailer Tea Collection increased tenfold after adding the Like button to its products.
  • ABCNews.com, Washington Post and The Huffington Post are said to have more than doubled their referral traffic from Facebook since adding social plugins.

Essentially, websites integrated with social plugins have noticed increases in web traffic, conversion rates and sales.

If you would like to add a Google +1 button, or any other social plugin, to your website, we would like to help. Contact us for a free estimate.

Keep up with the latest Internet marketing trends, tips and strategies by following CyberMark on:

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What Google Loves (And Hates) About Your Website

Did you know that Google reportedly uses more than 200 factors in its ranking algorithm to determine search engine placement? Although Google hasn’t furnished a complete list of these ranking factors (Google closely guards this proprietary information), SEO experts who have studied Google rankings have found that certain SEO practices tend to help (or hurt) rankings more than others. The following are agreed-upon factors in determining whether a website soars or sinks in Google.

Top Generally Accepted Positive Ranking Factors

External Link Popularity

Basically, the more websites that point to your website, the better, right? Well, yes and no. Before going out and getting millions of links willy-nilly, consider that Google also factors in whether or not the links are coming from reputable, relevant sources. Are the links to your website using keyword-focused anchor text that matches the content of your website? Are your links from a few or many different reputable sources? With Google, it’s not just about quantity; it’s also about quality.

Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag

The purpose of a page’s title tag, which appears in the browser, in SERPs and on external websites, is to succinctly and accurately describe the contents of your website. Including primary keywords in the title tag (preferably as closer to the beginning as the possible) lets human and non-human visitors know exactly what this web page is about. However, keep in mind that adding too many keywords to the title tag can dilute its focus. For best results, keep title tags short and to the point.

Domain Trustworthiness

The credibility of a website weighs heavily in Google rankings. One way to determine a website’s trustworthiness is its linking distance from established, trusted websites. The closer to these trusted sites, the better your website is likely to rank.

Top Generally Accepted Negative Ranking Factors

Cloaking

Cloaking is the practice of presenting search engine spiders and robots with a fake SEO-optimized HTML page to crawl and index while displaying another page to human users in order to manipulate rankings. Content can be cloaked by using different IP addresses or User-Agent HTTP headers. Google considers cloaking a major violation of its guidelines and bans sites that engage in this black hat technique.

Bad Linking Structure

Although achieving external linking popularity is important to ranking high in Google, gaining tons of inbound links at any cost without evaluating their quality can result in big-time penalties. Buying paid links or linking to spammy or otherwise low-quality websites can affect rankings very negatively.

Site Inaccessibility

Essentially, if your website is down often and therefore unreachable, Google’s search engine bots can’t crawl and index content and human visitors can’t view your website. For best results, make sure your site is hosted reliably on a server that provides plenty of bandwidth in order to prevent downtime and other accessibility issues.

Keep up with the latest Internet marketing trends, tips and strategies by following CyberMark on:

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Bing Gets Personal with Its Search Results

Bing has officially joined Google in the personalized search game. As announced on its blog last week, Bing has tweaked its search to display more personal results based on location and past search history.

Until last Thursday, U.S. Bing users generally received the same results when conducting searches. Now, search results will depend on the user’s location. For example, when searching in Bing for a museum in Phoenix, you receive results for Phoenix area museums with their locations marked in Bing Maps. When searching in Bing for a museum in Los Angeles, L.A. area museums come up.

Also, Bing is starting to factor in search history to determine the most relevant search results for each user. For instance, a search for “ACS” may pull up American Cancer Society or American Chemical Society depending on your search history. For searches that have been affected by search history, Bing displays a short message at the bottom of the first page of results to let you know that your search history has affected the ranking of search results. Users who don’t want their search history to factor into their search results can clear and even turn off their search history. You can find out more about search history’s role in Bing searches here.

Google has been personalizing search results in some way, shape or form since 2007. Starting in February 2007, anyone who signed up for a Google account automatically enabled their search history to help develop personalized homepages and search results. By 2009, Google users didn’t even have to be signed into their Google accounts to view personalized results. Google also began displaying localized search results as determined by IP address location in 2009 and significantly ramped up the localization in 2010 with a major rehaul of its Google Places, its local search program.

Bing’s entrance into search result personalization marks a significant milestone in the decline of “normal,” meaning non-personalized, search results, as about 90 percent of the world’s Internet searches are powered by Google or Bing.

Keep up with the latest Internet marketing trends, tips and strategies by following CyberMark on:

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