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7 SEO Myths of Today

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Apr 162014

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One of the challenges that the world of SEO presents us with is its lack of clarity. The search engines obscure their algorithms, and as a result, SEO is really a best practices game. You can learn more about what works best by constantly testing ideas on your site, but ultimately your overall SEO strategy will be part art and part science.

Layer on top of that the fact that the search engines continuously tune their algorithms, and the result is an unstable landscape. Worse still, there is tons of misinformation published, often as the result of the ignorance of the author. Some SEO myths have been with us forever, but today I plan to focus on the newer myths that have been emerged only in the past few years.

1. All Guest Posting is Bad: This myth is the newest of them all, and it was spawned by Matt Cutts blog post of January 20th, 2014 called: The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO. In this post Cutts details the many ways that people have abused the concept of pursuing guest posts to obtain links to your site. In fact, he goes so far as to say: stick a fork in it.

However, it is foolish to translate this into the notion that all guest posting is inherently evil or bad. The article you are reading right now is effectively a guest post. However, I dont publish articles here to obtain links for SEO, I do it because I value the Forbes audience, and because of the reputation and visibility benefits it brings.

If you are pursuing guest posting make reputation and visibility your primary goals, and you should be just fine. Might there be some SEO benefit? Possibly, but you will make poor choices if SEO is your main goal. Let any SEO impact be a side effect rather than the primary goal and you will be far better off.

2. Social Media Signals Drive SEO: This one has been popular for the past few years, and you will see articles that argue that social media is the new SEO. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many reasons for engaging in social media, and your business almost certainly should have a social media strategy, but dont do it because you think it will drive your rankings in the search engines. For some backup of this, you can reference these two articles:

Pursue social media as a way to build your own visibility online. Find out what social media sites have your target audience on them and develop presences on them as a way of connecting with them. Google has repeatedly denied any use of social signals as a ranking factor (other than personalized search using Google Plus) and Bing has abandoned even the personalization aspects of social signals and has instead decided to show social media information in their right sidebar.

3. Link Signals Are On Their Way Out: There are many who believe that link based signals are no longer a good ranking signal, and that Google must find an alternative. The Russian search engine Yandex recently abandoned links as a signals, and that only adds fuel to that fire.

The fact is that inbound links to a web site remains a very strong ranking signal, and it will remain that way for some time to come. The search engines wont move away from using links as a ranking signal until the have a better signal source, and they dont have that yet. In fact, Googles Matt Cutts recently confirmed that they have tested a version of Google that does not use links as a ranking factor, and they abandoned it.

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7 SEO Myths of Today

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Conspiracy theories: A Russian newspaper has claimed MH370 has been hijacked and flown to AfghanistanReuters

As the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane continues in the southern Indian Ocean, speculation on its whereabouts become increasingly wild.

The aircraft disappeared on 8 March and despite the extensive search effort, no definite wreckage has been recovered.

Flight MH370 went missing with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Malaysian officials believe, based on satellite data, that the plane crashed thousands of kilometres off course, in seas west of the Australian city of Perth.

From an Afghan hijacking to suspicious lyrics in pop songs, theories surrounding the mystery of Malaysia Airlines MH370 have been multiplying.

Pitbull and Shakira’s Get It Started

According to some YouTube commenters, the lyrics in Pitbull and Shakira’s 2012 hit Get It Started are suspiciously close to some of the facts surrounding the Malaysia plane. The lines include: “Now it’s off to Malaysia” and “Two passports, three cities, two countries”.

Conspirators have said the lines are related to the stolen Austrian Italian passports used by two Iranians to board the missing aircraft, while the three cities refer to the Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Hanoi. The two countries in the song, according to the commenters, refer to Malaysia and Vietnam.

One commenter wrote: “This song is related to the mh370 incident.. OMG!!!”

Excerpt from:
MH370: Afghan Terrorist Hijack, Illuminati, Snowden and Other Conspiracy Theories

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Since 2000 Matt Cutts has been working with Google. After a brief stint with the SafeSearch team, where he earned the nickname “porn cookie guy” (thanks Wikipedia… hey, if Google can “borrow” from you I can too, right?) he moved over to the search quality team.

Cutts has pretty much been the voice, face, and brain we tend to associate with search. In fact, it’s quite interesting to look back on some of his blog posts, videos, and thoughts to get a better understanding of where Google’s been, which in turn can be a great way to get a feel for where Google is going next.

What follows is sort of a timeline of Cutts’ most notable moments.

We’ll go year by year, highlighting two or three of the biggest splashes he made. This post has been split into three time periods:

Our story begins with his earliest years at Google. It’s a little light, as things didn’t really get rolling until 2003.

And if you have some favorites that aren’t included here, well, that’s what the comment section is for!

Having just joined the Google team in January there wasn’t much of note coming from him. Sorry folks, all we have for this 365 day run is that he started working there.

Another pretty light year for our friend. Despite the infancy of SEO at the time, it was clear that negative SEO was on the radar, personalization and user behavior metrics were taking their first steps, and Cutts was ascending the ladder.

The only public statement I’ve ever read from Cutts from 2001 was in regard to a feature of the Google Toolbar that he was overseeing. The feature would allow users to click either a happy face or an unhappy face based on whether they liked the page. In discussing the feature he noted:

As noted, the most interesting thing about this feature is that it’s the earliest use of user input to impact rankings I know of and that they were aware of the ability of this feature to be used “incorrectly.” This is also the first reference I know of to Google being aware of negative SEO (and perhaps the first mechanism to do it).

Read this article:
Google's Matt Cutts on SEO: A Retrospective (2000-2005)

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A study last year found that collectively $44 billion was spent by brands on content marketing this works out as around 39 percent of an overall marketing, advertising, and communications budget.

Over the past year, headlines have been flying around telling the story of content marketing is replacing SEO or SEO is dead, content marketing has taken over. In many situations, the two are made out to be total rivals who will win: content marketing or SEO?

The reality is, there should be no showdown between the two, they should be working together seamlessly to boost your search marketing efforts and no business should be choosing one over the other.

If you choose to just create regular content without doing any SEO, you may have an incredible read that no one can actually find to share and engage with. Alternatively, if you have some great technical SEO but no content, then your audience isnt going to be able to build a relationship with you.

As search marketers, it is important to bring the two together and blend them as part of an ongoing search marketing strategy.

Wikipedia is incredibly powerful when it comes to generating traffic and, unsurprisingly, it ranks for almost any search term on Google. Comedy Central once gave a presentation on their marketing, which showed that they receive over 100,000 visitors from Wikipedia every single month.

Wikipedia often suffers from broken links due to the amount of pages and references it has. This is a fantastic opportunity to create content for a great SEO opportunity. It is easy enough to find dead links on Wikipedia just using Google, [keyword] dead link into the search function and check out the results you get.

Once you have found the dead link on a Wikipedia page, copy the URL and put it in to find out what it was about. Create your own page on the same topic and go back to the Wikipedia page to edit the link and paste in your own.

Excerpt from:
How to Combine Your SEO and Content Marketing for Explosive Results

Best practices rapidly change within SEO as technologies (and Google’s guidelines) evolve. But one thing hasn’t changed: the importance of links.

Obviously there are other fundamental concerns (e.g., indexation, crawlability, duplicate content, site architecture), but link acquisition needs to be an active consideration.

Links are still the strongest signal we can give to Google about the importance of our content and site. So, if you’re working to increase search visibility, links need to be a primary consideration.

The water is muddy right now though with Google’s war on spam links, and from what I’ve observed attending recent conferences I think a few messages need to be addressed within SEO:

Links are still immensely powerful.

This is confirmed by:

1. Moz’s 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors.

2. Matt Cutts, Google’s distinguished engineer, in two different webmaster videos:

3. Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search.

But we’re all aware of Google’s recent crackdown on link building activities. We’re aware that MyBlogGuest didn’t really deserve the penalty, and that more realistically it was a PR move.

Read more:
The Future of Link Building: 5 Important Messages

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Boulder SEO Marketing, a Colorado-based SEO agency specializing in search engine optimization, social media marketing and content marketing training and consulting services, announced today that its upcoming April 8, 2014 SEO training workshop in Boulder, Colorado has reached capacity. Space is still available at the April 29, 2014 workshop in Denver. Additional information and registration are available at

Chris Raulf, founder and SEO training expert at the Boulder-based SEO marketing agency notes, Our hands-on digital marketing workshops are designed to teach attendees how SEO, social media marketing and content marketing are done in an agency environment. He adds, Our methodology is based on five core pillars and usually increases organic search traffic from Google by 50-200% within 4-6 months for our clients; this is an amazing opportunity for attendees to learn our proven and tested methodology.

Designed to help attendees gain an advantage over their competition, the full-day digital marketing workshops feature guest presenters, including LinkedIn training and consulting company Integrated Alliances, POP! media studio and Walker-Stanley Communications.

Focusing entirely on Google, Bing and Yahoo! approved white hat search engine optimization principles, the workshops include on- and off-page SEO, social media and content marketing best practices group exercises as well as customer case studies. The workshops target entrepreneurs, marketing consultants, business owners, marketing managers and anyone wanting to learn the power of online marketing, SEO, social media and content marketing.

Register for the Denver workshop at: Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Location: Westminster Timing: 8:30am – 5:00pm

About Boulder SEO Marketing ( Boulder SEO Marketing assists businesses around the globe with all of their search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media and content marketing training and consulting needs. Our goal is to empower small and medium sized businesses to be able to plan and execute a scaled, successful, online marketing campaign that will increase a companys visibility in search engine listings, increase organic search traffic to a website and convert site visitors to leads.

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A group of activists are hoping to appeal a U.S. judges ruling that treated the censorship on Chinese search engine Baidu as free speech.

In making the ruling, District Judge Jesse Furman equated the censorship to a newspaper exercising its editorial right to publish what it wants. But Stephen Preziosi, lawyer for the eight pro-democracy activists, said in an email Saturday that the comparison was wrong, and that the court had a fundamental misunderstanding of how search engines work.

The appeal is planned to be filed later this week, Preziosi wrote.

In 2011, the eight activists filed a lawsuit, claiming that Baidu violates U.S. free speech laws by censoring pro-democracy works on its search engine for users in New York.

But last Thursday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the lawsuit, and ruled that Baidu had the right to create a search engine that favors certain political speech over another.

Newspapers have to manage costs and spacing on the paper in selecting what they publish, but search engines operate by indexing all content on the Web, Preziosi said. In Baidus case, the company worked to proactively exclude the pro-democracy works from its search engine, he added.

This constitutes the denial of the right to freedom of speech, Preziosi said.

Baidu has declined to comment. But as a company operating in China, Baidu must follow the nations strict rules on censorship, including the blocking of content deemed inflammatory or anti-government.

As Baidu can also be accessed outside its home country, Preziosi said the search engine is helping to bring Chinese censorship to the U.S. Those anti-democratic policies are being foisted upon people within the United States, he added.

But lawyers representing Baidu have called Thursdays ruling a victory for free speech rights.

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Activists to appeal US judge's ruling on Baidu's censorship

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