Best SEO Tools & Resources You’ll Need in 2014
Jan01

Best SEO Tools & Resources You’ll Need in 2014

39SHARESFacebookTwitter UPDATE: See my new post on the best SEO tools in 2015. I’ve found lists with SEO tools that either aren’t very good or that are outdated, so I thought I’d make my own list of SEO tools that I’m currently using – whether they be extensions for Chrome/Firefox or independent software/programs to help with your search engine optimisation needs. Here are my top 14 SEO tools for 2014: 1. Feed The Bot (On-page recommendations engine) Feed the bot is a website by Patrick Sexton. The website is essentially a tool whereby you enter a URL for page on a site you want to check to verify if it meets Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Another feature allows you to see whether your mobile SEO is up to scratch and will crawl the page and check for the following issues: User experience problems via mobile Mobile performance problems Googlebot access / robots.txt Site load speeds & enhancement recommendations It’s very useful for a quick snapshot to find potential issues. And because ‘mobile SEO’ is becoming a bigger and bigger issue, this tool will be essential for those that are not getting mobile right. I for sure need to look at the mobile UX on this website! 🙂 Website: Feed The Bot 2. URL Profiler URL Profiler is an amazing tool that is suitable for anyone that runs a website. You can use this tool in conjunction with Screaming Frog. I’ve used Screaming Frog to crawl a competitors website and then I’ve run those URLs through URL Profiler to get social metrics such as Facebook and Twitter shares – along with backlink data for those respective pages. It’s also able to give you the data that you’d get from the PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly tool, to check if your website is mobile-friendly and to give you the score out of 100 that Google gives you when assessing your site’s mobile usability. It’s a great tool and comes at a really cheap cost. There’s a 14 day trial that you can sign up for if you want to take give it a go without having to pay. Website: URL Profiler 3. Screaming Frog I praise this program like no other and it’s definitely a multi-purpose tool that will help you with your SEO needs. The program is primarily for on-site optimisation requirements. If you’re migrating your site (changing URL structures & planning 301 redirects), finding duplicate content, creating meta descriptions, giving an overview of a particular site, and creating technical SEO audits then this tool is definitely for you. There is a paid and a free version of this tool; however, the free version will...

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Google Authorship Still Not Working
Dec31

Google Authorship Still Not Working

9SHARESFacebookTwitter I’ve been trying to setup Google Authorship on my websites and yet it seems I’ve failed to do so. Instead of the nice picture of my head next to my pages’ URLs I am only getting my name appear with a link to my Google+ page. Please see the “by Jonathan Jones” anchor text link in the following screenshot: As you can see there is no sight of my ugly mug anywhere in this search result, which is a little disheartening. So, I’ve looked into it and I’ve seen other cases that are similar to mine where only the “By [insert name here]” is showing up in the search results. It’s either a common problem or a lot of people are doing something wrong. The only thing I can point this to is the fact that the profile image I’m using is not up to scratch. However, my profile image does appear in the search results when returned with a result from Google+ itself, as you can see in the following image: Though through further testing it seems that it doesn’t matter what image you have when a result returns a Google+ post. I wouldn’t even say that is concrete evidence of the fact that you’re allowed to use any image when it comes to Google+, but in this instance that seems to be the case. Whether it’s because this is shared privately or because it’s my own account could play a part into why I’m seeing my image in these Google+ posts. When in fact for my website, in the case of the authorship snippet, it’s a little more complicated and does indeed require a clearer frontal shot of one’s face. This is something that I’ve adhered to and yet my face is nowhere to be seen! I’m currently doing some testing to see what the problem might actually be. I’ve changed my Google+ profile picture, as it seems that could be the only logical explanation as to why my picture isn’t showing up. I’m hopeful that this will do the trick and you’ll be seeing this in the search results: That’s actually the only decent picture that I could find. Hopefully that actually works. 🙂 Oh, and I thought I’d also drop in here my new years resolutions for 2014: I’d like to be a little more committed when updating my blogs. I do enjoy writing about my experiences whether that be about search engine optimisation or about life — on my life blog. I’ll be able to add give a little more attention to my web templates website, which I’ve neglected for sometime. And yet,...

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Should You Pay Webmasters To Remove Links?
Dec29

Should You Pay Webmasters To Remove Links?

12SHARESFacebookTwitter Today’s discussion comes from a forum that I used to frequent called Admin-Talk. In the discussion, one webmaster stated that he charged those who spammed the comments section of his website to have those links removed later if they requested — likely helped by the fact their site had been penalised by Google. He stated that if they’ll pay people to spam his blog, then they’ll have to pay him to fix it by removing the links. And so I’d like to give my opinion on this. First and foremost, I’d like to address this by saying that these links that he is allowing to appear on his website could be affecting his website. If you have a ton of spammy links that have not been editorially cleared by a human being then that’s just asking for trouble. Google may penalise you and mistakenly identify your site as a link farm or as part of a network. Google have been cracking down on networks, and link farms — you certainly don’t want to get caught in the crossfire. Secondly, they don’t have to pay you anything. They can add your website to a disavow list. That just highlights the fact that you’re allowing any link to appear on your site and your site will either come under an algorithmic penalty or a manual penalty if you’re linking out to too many spammy webites. And hey, you might say that your site is still ranking well in Google, but why would you jeopardise this fact? I like to think of Google as a never ending minefield, and that you have to be extremely careful not to tread on any mines. Don’t let this be a mine that will blowup in your face. Thirdly, you’re extorting those who have made the mistake of hiring a cheap SEO service that has likely promised the poor business owner to rank them #1 in the search engine result pages for every keyword you can think of. It’s plain and simple extortion, which I believe most of the SEO world would say is unethical.  The simple answer to this is no. You should not pay a dime to have your link removed from a certain website, and Google agrees with this. In a September 2013 video, John Mueller, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google stated: But, essentially from our point of view when it comes to unnatural links to your website we want to see that you’ve taken significant steps to actually remove it from the web but if there are some links that you can’t remove yourself or there are some that require payment to be...

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Did Rap Genius Fool Us All?
Dec28

Did Rap Genius Fool Us All?

12SHARESFacebookTwitter If you type Rap Genius into Google you’ll find that Rap Genius is being mentioned quite a lot with their website being linked to on some very high authority websites including sites such as the LA Times, IB Times, Gawker, Billboard.com and a plethora of other sites linking to the either the homepage or apology blog post on RapGenius.com. I thought I’d put together a list of sites that are now linking to Rap Genius as a result of their de-listing on Google. Search Engine Land Billboard.com Gawker IB Times All Things D The Verge Tech Crunch Rolling Stone Spin.com LA Times Washington Post Mashable PC Magazine Huffington Post Tech Radar ABC News Wall Street Journal The Wire A lot of these sites have linked to RapGenius.com in the past, so the impact is likely to a lesser importance than new sites that have never linked to Rap Genius. For example, PC Mag, TechRadar, ABC News, and Search Engine Land are first timers when it comes to even mentioning Rap Genius — let alone linking to their website. This makes their links of higher value, as they are simply links that never existed on those sites before. Will these high authority sites benefit Rap Genius? Whilst these high authority links to Rap Genius won’t benefit rankings now, will they once Rap Genius are out of Google’s sandbox? It’s quite interesting as these are links that would not have been easy to get, but they now have these links because of this entire link scheme debacle. If irony could be described in the link building world, then this would be the perfect example of it. In fact, these links are worth more to the future of Rap Genius than the supposed “affiliate” or ‘Links for a Tweet’ scheme they employed — had they not been caught. It will be interesting to monitor their comeback once they’ve disavowed or contacted the bloggers they enrolled on this link building adventure of theirs. Why was Rap Genius Penalised? Why are links important for websites? An elaborate scheme that has played into the hands of Rap Genius The question remains, did Rap Genius fool us all? Did they plan this even bigger and more elaborate event of obtaining linkbacks to their own site? They sure did churn out that large apology letter (with annotations) on their own site rather quickly, which is where all these big sites have been linking. I also have to say bravo to John Marbach, who has now gained more links to his own site and exposure to his email service than he could have ever dreamed. I doubt John...

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Review of SE Ranking – Keyword Rank Tracking
Dec27

Review of SE Ranking – Keyword Rank Tracking

13SHARESFacebookTwitter I came across this fairly new service called SE Ranking, which is a search engine keyword rank tracking tool and thought that I’d use and review the service. I’ve signed up for the 14 day trial to get a feel of it and to import a few of the keywords that my military website is ranking for. So far I like the tool and think that it does its job, even if the interface is extremely simple and straight to the point. The SEO agency I work for uses BrightEdge, and I’ve had to use it quite abrasively — with adding hundreds of keywords and monitoring how clients are ranking in Google. I thought to myself, why not see what the competition are doing and if there is a better alternative? Or if there is a feature that BrightEdge is missing. More so, not everyone can afford the huge monthly price tags that BrightEdge offers, so let’s try and find an affordable alternative that the average Joe can use. So as I said, SE Ranking, is a no frills keyword rank tracking tool. I actually came across this tool on Digital Point in a thread where the tool is being promoted. There is a discount code that will give you 15% off of this product, but you’ll have to be quick as it expires on the 7th of January, 2014. Furthermore, you’ll be able to see the cost breakdowns, here: I’m currently on the 50 keywords, 5 websites, and 5 search engines package. This works well for me as I really only need to track up to 20 keywords for every website I own. I suspect for other websites that are a little larger than mine that the “Premium” package would be far more suitable. But for $9 per month this is by far the cheapest keyword tracking tool that I’ve come across. What I like best about SE Ranking What I like about this keyword tracking tool is the fact that it updates keyword rankings on a daily basis, and it gives you this data in a very straight forward way. I’ve only been using this tool for two days and found out that my site went up in rankings when I exposed certain articles to the homepage of my site. Take a look:   It’s this sort of data that’s given to you in this format that makes it easy to see the results of any changes you make, whether off-site or on-site. Another interesting fact is that I actually rank higher in Google UK than in Google USA, and didn’t see any movement, as I rank third for...

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