Google Penalises Rap Genius – Offsite SEO Gone Wrong
Dec26

Google Penalises Rap Genius – Offsite SEO Gone Wrong

14SHARESFacebookTwitter On Christmas day, Google penalised a large US-based lyrics website and removed its presence from the SERPs. John Marbach, the guy that exposed Rap Genius wrote an article on his blog entitled “RapGenius Growth Hack Exposed” detailing how Rap Genius had improved its search rankings by enticing bloggers to add linkbacks to Rap Genius’ website that contained heavily targeted anchor text — in exchange for a Tweet to said page. (A link for a Tweet) This is what the search results look like when you search for “Rap Genius” at the moment: As you can see RapGenius.com can’t be seen other than on other websites mentioning the now penalised website. This is the sort of link building that RapGenius.com has been doing: That’s just asking for trouble. That’s 16 links to the same site with targeted keyword anchor text to specific pages on the RapGenius.com website. The reason they got caught? They weren’t careful enough. This sort of link building activity likely sent alarm bells ringing, and the fact that they were publicly exposed and publicly reaching out to bloggers like this on Facebook was just another nail in the coffin or even the final nail in the coffin. What’s the course of action? Rap Genius can definitely bounce back from this, as we’ve seen this sort of penalty with brands like Interflora and BMW. They need to contact all of the sites that they’ve reached out to delete the linkbacks to RapGenius.com or either disavow them. Now Rap Genius’ entire backlink profile will be under scrutiny. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and whether they recover from this. I don’t see why they shouldn’t recover from this if they act quickly. Another point is the fact they’ve likely gained a lot of attraction, as major sites like TechCrunch are now linking to RapGenius.com, which should count for them when they get back on their feet. It’s really quite interesting how a negative can also be a positive. Obviously the negativity of this is at a much higher percentage, but sometimes you just have to look at the positives — even if minimal. Matt Cutt’s “When penguins attack” post on Twitter When penguins attack! Merry Christmas! pic.twitter.com/iEs9yKBVXC — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) December 25, 2013   What’s your take on...

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Google gives preference to Google+ (Duh!)
Dec22

Google gives preference to Google+ (Duh!)

10SHARESFacebookTwitter It appears that I’ve managed to get my authorship working, but just not on this site. I presume this is because Google are essentially trying to push their product, Google Plus. Unfortunately this is not what I was expecting, but nonetheless I’ll still take it. I posted yesterday on Twitter that I’d be looking into implementing authorship on two of my sites. Just setup Google Authorship on two of my sites — should have done that a while ago. Will be fun to see my face in the SERPs. #GooglePlus — Jonathan Jones (@Jonny_J_) December 20, 2013 I’ve done this by verifying my websites using emails that are connected to the domains I own to verify my authorship status. I’ve also added a much more suitable picture as I’ve read that Google are quite stringent on the types of pictures you can use. You obviously can’t use pictures of cats, dogs or anything else other than a human face; otherwise, that would give you the benefit of higher click-through rates (CTR). This is obviously something Google are against, and you should only really be having rich snippets on listings that you’ve actually written yourself. It’s quite unfortunate as I did already have Google Plus authorship setup (also known as “rich snippets”) — I believe in that occurrence, however, I didn’t have an image uploaded that Google would be willing to accept. It was a side shot of my head. From Google’s own words: “Make sure that you have a profile photo with a recognisable headshot” Otherwise, you’ll find that your mug might not ever appear in the results. You’ll likely get the following issue where your only your Google Plus account will be linked to with no image in sight. See “by Jonathan Jones“. (Only text; boo!) Where Google+ was given preference over my own site And, this is the part where Google+ was given preference over my own website. I actually don’t really think this to be the case, and would moreover conclude that this is due to Google+ being crawled then indexed quicker than my site. I’ve heard it could take a minimum of  a week to start seeing my lovely face in the search results — after implementing the rel=”author”, adding your site to G+ and verifying your website using the same domain as your content (not necessary). Why does Google’s Authorship for Google Plus matter? According to a case study by Catalyst Search Marketing, click-through rates (CTR) increased by 150% when the authorship image showed up on their listings. It’s also quite obvious that if you have an image next to a bunch of...

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Title & Meta Optimisation using Screaming Frog
Dec21

Title & Meta Optimisation using Screaming Frog

12SHARESFacebookTwitter It’s important to optimise your meta descriptions and titles so that they stand out in the search engine results pages (SERPS) and if you’ve got a particularly large website then the process can be quite daunting. However, with the help of programs like Screaming Frog, you should be able to speed this process up a little. And, I really do mean a little, as you’ll still be spending most of your time writing page titles & meta descriptions. Here, I’ll show you how I’m going to optimise my titles and meta descriptions for Vlexo.Net. I’ve been meaning to do this for a couple months now, but I’ve just not had the time to do this. I guess I don’t have that excuse anymore, as I’m on annual leave. 🙂 What is Screaming Frog? Screaming Frog is a crawler and it’s something you should be aware of if you have ever delved in the world of SEO. It’s an awesome tool, in my opinion, which helps you to identify areas of your website/blog that need improvement. For example, you can see where on your site you’re missing H1 & H2 tags or if there are duplicate H1 & H2 tags – with a number to go alongside it. It’s essentially a tool that analyses your website from an SEO perspective. I won’t go into too much description on this, as you can find out what the tool does on the Screaming Frog website. Play around with it and get used to it. In fact, don’t even read about what it does, just run the program and see what you can find out after you enter your site in the URL field. How do you go about optimising your site’s titles and meta descriptions? It’s simple. Using Screaming Frog I simply typed in my domain in the URL field and hit “Start”. What this does is crawl your entire site — pages, images, css, javascript and probably more — then you can use this information accordingly by exporting this data into an Excel spreadsheet and adding into a table to filter it. This is what it should look like in Screaming Frog: The time consuming task is actually coming up with high quality meta descriptions and titles. It’s probably worth doing keyword research behind the pages you’re trying to optimise. For now, you can optimise each page for keywords that you think people will be searching for to find your lovely website, which is essentially what I’m going to be doing with this site. Hit the export button and download the file. Open it up in Microsoft Excel:   It’s a little disjointed,...

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What new features does WordPress 3.8 give us?
Dec19

What new features does WordPress 3.8 give us?

13SHARESFacebookTwitter Crowned as the “most beautiful WordPress yet”, what exactly does this new version give us aside from a new fancy user interface? From first glance, and from not even reading the full list of feature updates, I can already see that they’ve made this version of WordPress very tablet friendly. You only to have to login to WordPress via tablet or minimise your browser to see that it will respond (responsive design) to whatever resolution you’re working in. See this as an example: As you can see, the text is replaced by those larger icons – so that it fits quite comfortably when you’re browsing the WordPress 3.8 admin control centre. You’ll also notice that from a design perspective, things have become much darker on the menu side of things. The default colours have changed from white to black. I personally love this change, as it gives the WordPress 3.8 admin area that sleek feel and the white text behind a black ground makes it easy on the eyes. On that note, you can change the colour schemes in the admin control centre with a colour picker that WordPress have incorporated into the latest build: You’ll notice that most of this review has been focused on the design aspects of WordPress 3.8. This is because the 3.8 is all about updating the user interface to give it that sleek and sexy look. To addon to this sentiment, WordPress have also released a new theme called “Twenty Fourteen”. It’s a magazine based theme and it looks quite sleek, although I’ve found that it would require a lot of tweaking to make it look like the image WordPress has given us:   There’s not too much that I can delve into when it comes to features, as this 3.8 update seems to have been all about design. As always, the WordPress team have delivered a fantastic result and I feel they’ve added enough features, that another feature update would be somewhat...

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New Nexus 4 Review
Oct27

New Nexus 4 Review

5SHARESFacebookTwitter I thought I’d do a review of the Nexus 4 considering it’s a purchase I recently made. It’s not actually the phone that I intended to get, but hey, here we are and now I have a Nexus 4. I originally intended to purchase a HTC One, but that didn’t go exactly as planned. Let’s just say, I got scammed on GumTree and that’s that. Back to the Nexus 4. It’s a phone that is manufactured by LG and was a phone sold by Google. Google still have a product page up for this phone, but if you attempt to purchase from the Google Play store, you’ll find that all the Nexus 4 smartphones are sold out. This is a shame considering Google lowered the price of their 8GB model to just £159 (a steal) and their 16GB model to £199. I, unfortunately, had to purchase the phone through eBay and bought an 8GB model for £185. It’s still a cheap price, considering the fact that this phone is brilliant and you won’t get another phone like this for a comparable price. Specification 4.7″ diagonal (Display) 1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi) WXGA IPS Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2 Weight: 139g 2100 mAH battery (15.30 hours talk time; 16.2 days stand-by time) Camera Front: 1.3 MP Back (Main): 8MP (with flash) Wireless charging Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) 2GB of RAM; Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 (Quad core, 1500 MHz) Variants: 8GB or 16GB (storage) Design With a 4.7 inch display and rounded edges to give the phone a modern look – this phone is certainly something to marvel – especially taking into account the price of the phone. Perhaps it just me being biased, as I haven’t purchased a phone in the past 2 years, but this phone is simply beautiful in my eyes. The smartphone has a rich feeling of cold glass encompassing the back with edges that are rubbery, which helps with gripping onto the smartphone.   Pictures I’ve taken with the Nexus 4 These are pictures that I’ve taken to hopefully give an idea to those reading this article a feel of what the camera is like on a Nexus 4. In my honest opinion, I think it’s pretty damn good for an 8MP camera. Obviously, if you compare it to say a DLSR or a dedicated digital camera then those cameras are always going to win. However, if you are aiming for that type of quality, then I suggest purchasing a HTC One.   Take Aways It’s seriously a great phone that will likely last me another 2 years before I have to upgrade. The price of the phone is...

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