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Organic Traffic

Organic Tips For Search Engines

Organic traffic refers to the users who come to a website through a search engine’s main listings, rather than through ads, links from other sites or by typing in a URL. Organic traffic can come from any search engine: type any term into Google and you’ll like see results split into three sections, ads on the right, ads at the top and organic results. The organic results can be found in the middle of the page, below any paid ads that appear in a shaded box at the top.

Organic traffic comes from these results and, in the vast majority of cases, is the main source of visitors, although ads and social media links are also valuable sources of traffics.

Buying AdWords can be hugely beneficial for sites as you can get targeted traffic easily and, if your pockets are deep enough, you can appear top of the ads for almost any keyword. However, more users click on organic results, so it’s best to appear here as well as.

Unlike paid ads, there’s no direct cost linked to organic rankings, although for many words and phrases, companies who appear at the top pay for SEO agencies to get them there. To get sites to rank well organically with seo, many factors need to be considered, such as backlinks, on page copy and content relevancy.

How to Increase Traffic

picture of search organic traffic logo

Organic Traffic Techniques

There are two main ways to increase organic traffic: to focus on a few main keywords and boost them to the top of the rankings or to spread the net across many phrases and get them all to rank well. The majority of users go to the first result on a search page, so it’s beneficial to be top and focusing on this can pay huge dividends. On the flip side, it’s much easier to get to the top for less competitive, although often less searched for, terms.

Organic results need to match what’s on the site: if you want to rank for iPhones, you need to have content relevant to this product. Of course, there’s no point trying to rank for this term if you don’t sell iPhones, as all traffic to your site will be short-lived as users look for a site better suited to their needs.

The point of any site is to get traffic – whether it’s to share information, grow a membership or to sell a product. Traffic needs to be relevant to your services if this is to be of any use, so making sure your usability is of a high standard is as important as getting people to your site in the first place.

How Search Determine Relevancy

The algorithms that dictate the way search engines display their results change regularly, so it’s important to stay up to date with SEO trends, making sure your search marketing strategies are ongoing and constantly changing. Some site owners and agencies tend to stick with one main SEO technique – such as article marketing or building an external blog to constantly link to a site’s homepage – but by putting all your eggs in one basket you could see all your efforts gone to waste with one Google update.

Likewise, it’s sensible not to rely wholly on Google for your traffic. Although this could easily be a huge pull for you, having other sources of traffic such as video sharing sites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and links on relevant sites, all have a huge effect on the number of visitors to your site.

Organic traffic is important to many sites – vital in some cases – and it’s a way to get high numbers of users to your site for little or no money. However, there are other ways to get people to your site, which shouldn’t be ignored.

Google Scraper

Google Scraper Update Takes on Content Stealing

If you have ever taken the time to finely craft an article or blog post for your site, only to find it stolen and posted on a scraper site within 24 hours of having posted it, you know first hand how violated you feel. After Google’s original Panda algorithm implementation, you were very likely one of the many site owners left feeling doubly violated when you found that not only had your website rankings plummeted but suddenly the thieving sites were ranking ahead of yours in search engine results.  This unfortunate side effect of the Google Panda algorithm should never have been allowed to happen in the first place, but thanks to the impending Google Scraper update, the hope is that soon scraper sites will be sent to the back of the bus where they belong.

There is no definite date set for the updated Google Scraper algorithm to be rolled out, but it is already being referred to across the internet as Panda 2.2. For many site owners that felt that they were unfairly targeted by the original Panda algorithm implementation in February 2011, Panda 2.2 feels like a little flicker of light on the horizon. While the focus of this update “tweak” is supposed to be to its ability to stop scraper sites from outranking the originating sites, there is rampant speculation that it very well may help website owners that found themselves unfairly targeted by the original Panda pounce. This may turn out to be just a case of wishful thinking, but if all that 2.2 does is to send the scraper sites packing this will be at least some small consolation for website owners.

Realistic cynicism logically tells us that scraper sites will not be completely banished from life on the internet, but the hope is that the Panda 2.2 scraper update will at least send them far enough back in the search engine results that the profitability of these thieving sites will be greatly diminished. With any luck the lack of profitability will be enough to send many of them packing for good, but only time will tell if this hope becomes a reality.

Webmasters with Unique and Original Content Win

The logic behind scraper sites leaves many rational thinking individuals scratching their heads. Whether you are a writer posting articles online for revenue share sites, or a website owner trying to get your original content to rank well and attract customers, the fact that your potential revenue sources are being diverted to splogger sites is enough to make you want to seek revenge on these leeching lurkers. Some scraper sites strictly steal as a means to capitalize on advertising revenue from monetizing their scraper sites. Other scrapers steal content and then sell it to black hat webmasters that utilize it for their own benefit. Regardless of their motivations, the resulting loss of revenue to legitimate websites is drastic and incredibly unfair. Scraper sites have no conscience though; they are strictly in it for the revenue. Copyright laws mean nothing to them. Attribution to original sources is non-existent. Many website owners would be more understanding if the scraper sites at least attributed the content to its original source or included a link back to the original source, but the chances of this happening on most scraper sites is slim to none.

With any luck the Google Scraper update, Panda 2.2, will give website owners and content creators at least some small sense of satisfaction if it does its job, but the proof will definitely be in the pudding. When original content owners and creators start to rank above the scraper sites in the search engine rankings, there may well indeed be a small glimmer of light on the horizon for those that were so severely impacted by Google’s Panda algorithm. It may not have created scraper sites, but it sure did help them rise in the rankings.

Google Panda Update

The Google Panda Update 2.2 Is On the Way

Whether you are an affiliate marketer or an online writer, chances are pretty good that you are well aware of Google’s Panda algorithm change that rolled out in various stages between February and March 2011. While the initial algorithm shift may have achieved the desired results in Google’s eyes (reducing the visibility of what Google considers low quality websites) it appeared to have an unwanted side effect in that it allowed scraper sites to outrank legitimate websites. Regular website contributors and website owners were finding that scraper sites were consistently outranking them on any given topic within minutes of their content going live on the internet. In what appears to be Google’s response to this inadvertent side effect, the Google Farmer update 2.2 algorithm update should hopefully put an end to this ranking issue. While it may not put an end to scraping, it is hoped that it will allow website owners and authors of original quality content to at least rank higher than the scraper sites.

During a keynote question and answer period at the recent SMX conference, Google’s Matt Cutts did not give an actual roll out date for the new Panda 2.2 update but did confirm that the algorithm update has already been approved. Other than confirming that the roll out will be “soon” there was no target date given or confirmation as to when the algorithm update will extend beyond English only searches. The Panda algorithm has continued to be “tweaked” by Google, but 2.2 is considered to be the next major incarnation of Google’s attempt to clean up the internet.

Google Panda Update 2.2

Google Panda Update

One of the major keys to giving readers what Google says they want is to give them original quality content. A regurgitation and rehashing of previously published online content appears to be a no-no in the eyes of the Panda algorithm. Readers do not want the same story or information retold to them in a newly spun way. According to Google they want content that is fresh and delivers something of value. If you can manage to deliver content to your reader that is interesting and sharable with their social network, you have hit the nail on the head. As Google makes another attempt to get social with their +1 Button, the concept of sharable content found via Google’s search is expected to increase in importance. From writers to marketers, asking yourself whether your content delivers something of value and is sharable is going to be increasingly vital as more and more online viewers continue to share content of quality within their social networks. From Twitter to StumbleUpon to Facebook or LinkedIn, one of the keys to having well ranked websites is going to be the extent to which the content on that site is shared socially.

Check out the Q&A session at SMX for Matt Cutts | Google Panda Update 2.2.

Matt Cutts Confirms No Preferential Treatment

Matt Cutts did confirm that there have been no manual exceptions made to sites that felt that they were inadvertently targeted by the original Panda algorithm. For website owners that saw their sites drop in search results and have made changes to their site and content accordingly, the impending roll out of Panda 2.2 will likely be their first opportunity to see if those efforts were successful or not. While the update itself seems to be targeting scraper sites and forcing them out of the top ranking spots, many site owners and contributors are looking to 2.2 in the hopes that it will also help them to recover some lost ground. Only time will tell if those hopes turn into a reality. After the initial roll out of the original Panda, there was a great deal of internet chatter regarding Google’s stranglehold on the internet. If 2.2 does not get it right and reduce the rankings of the scraper sites, that internet chatter is likely to become deafening.

Post Panda Tips

Post Panda Tips

If you have decided that it is time to reassess your article marketing strategy since the arrival of the Google panda algorithm changes, there are a number of tips that can help steer you in the right direction. Article marketing is still very much a viable option; it just needs a few tweaks to ensure continued success in a post-panda age. Whereas once upon a time you needed to target your efforts towards search engine visibility, your new focus now needs to be on your readers and fulfilling their needs. The following tips will help you to readjust your strategy and get you headed in a profitable direction that is sustainable over the long term.

Think of your article marketing strategy like a ship that has sailed off course. The prevailing winds at the time led you in the direction of ample keyword utilization, page views at all costs, and any link will do types of theories. That is absolutely positively most definitely no longer the case. If you want to right your ship and get it back sailing on course towards profitability you are going to have to make some significant adjustments in the way you do things. Follow these tips and you just might find calmer waters ahead.

Content is King

One of the biggest factors that caused a serious panda smack down for many websites was the existence of duplicate content. It used to be the norm to purchase articles and then post those articles on a variety of article directories. This is now a definite no-no. You need to determine which directories are your profitable ones (chances are you already know this) and then focus your efforts on those specific directories with fresh content on each one. Purchasing articles for usage only rights should no longer be part of your strategy. You want fresh content and you want that content to be well optimized. This leads directly to a second tip:

You Get What You Pay For

If you want articles that are going to drive profitable traffic to your website, you are going to need to make an investment. Pre-panda it was enough to drive any type of traffic to your site; this is so yesterday’s news. If you are going to be putting in extra effort to bring readers to your website you want to make sure that the effort is worth it. In a post-panda age where you have to fight for every reader you get, you want to make sure that the readers you do get find what they are looking for. The only way to do this is by delivering on your promise. If your articles are full of information that your readers find useful, chances are that they are going to return to you time and time again. If all they find is fluff and filler, they will instantly discount you as an unreliable source for useful information and will hesitate to listen to anything you have to say. If you want readers that are going to sit up and take notice, you need to provide them with content that delivers on its promise. The old bait and switch routine will not work; you want content that is full of useful information and you are only going to get that by investing in it. If a basic link is all that you are after, then you can still afford to pay for just a basic back linking article. However if you want readers that are going to find your articles engaging and that will heed a call to action, you need to invest in those articles. It is simple economics; you get what you pay for. Think of your investment in terms of a cost/benefit ratio. If you want higher quality readers, you are going to have to give them higher quality articles that provide intelligent information in a reader focused way.

Focus on Reader Needs not Search Engine Needs

If you want to drive readers to your website based on your article marketing efforts, those articles need to be reader focused. They need to be optimized with content that is intelligent, keywords that are dynamic, and a new addition to the strategy, sharable. In the exploding age of social media and mobile technology, you want your content to be sharable. If one reader finds your content interesting/amusing/thought provoking, you want them to be tempted to share your information with others. They tell two friends, and then those friends tell two friends, and so on. Let your articles do the work for you. Give your reader what they come looking for (and a bit more) and they are more likely to tune in again. It is no longer wise to market your articles strictly based on what a search engine is looking for; your articles need to give your readers what they are looking for. After all, that is the whole point of article marketing; you want to drive traffic to your website.

Post Panda Tips Summarized

If your article marketing strategy needs a little post-panda attention, remember the five D’s and your ship will be righted and sailing on course in no time:

  • Duplicate content is dead.
  • Deliver content that is sharable.
  • Depend on articles that deliver.
  • Develop relationships with your readers.
  • “Do unto your readers as you would have done to you ” give them what they are looking for.

 

Top Google Searches

Every January of each year, the top Google searches are revealed through the company’s Zeitgeist tool. As well as showing the most popular search terms, it displays where in the world people were searching for them and the times of the year which saw the heaviest interest.

Zeitgeist also shows the fastest rising searches, both in a general terms and in specific categories such as news, health and humanitarian aid.

In 2010, the most commonly searched for terms were split between sport and disasters. Top of the pile was the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, followed by the Vancouver Winter Olympics. In more serious topics were the Haiti earthquake, the BP oil spill and the ash cloud covering Europe after the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

The top three rising searches were for Chatroulette, iPad and Justin Bieber. Chatroulette’s success came early in the year when the web-based chat program came to the attention of the media. Although often criticised for the highly adult content displayed by some users, the website got a lot of help when a video of singer Ben Folds using it at a concert went viral. In the opening months of 2011, this trend has stayed high and constant, with updates and common knowledge of the service keeping people searching for it.

The iPad’s major peak was in January 2010 as the news of its arrival was announced and potential customers went looking for information. Searches peaked again in April and May as it went on sale in the States and internationally, before rising again towards the end of the year. The popularity stayed high in early 2011 with the release of the iPad 2 and comparisons of the products eagerly sought after.

The popularity of searches for Justin Bieber shows just how much time the youth of today spends online. From April 2010, the Canadian pop singer has been top of many searches and has proved to be the most popular person in the world. Popular moments in Bieber’s year include the announcement that he was to write his memoirs, 4chan’s attempts to send the singer on tour to North Korea and the recent failure to win any of his Grammy nominations.

Other top rising searches including social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, singers Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry (although Zeitgeist doesn’t state whether these are web or images searches), ringtone site Myxer and two sites for games, Friv and Gamezer.

While Zeitgeist gives a good overview of what’s happening in a year, as well as who’s popular and what events have taken hold of the world, it doesn’t give much help to bloggers or webmasters looking to take advantage of what’s happening online. Instead, Google Trends and Hot Trends can show topics that are popular this week or during this day (with regular updates), while Google Insights can show the change in popularity of a term over several years as well as mapping its popularity during certain months.

As well as finding out about the top Google searches, other search engines reveal the anonymously collected data about what people have been searching for. Yahoo’s searches are similar, with the BP oil spill coming first, followed by the FIFA World Cup. However, on Yahoo, the iPhone was more searched for than the iPad and Justin Bieber was only the fifth most popular celebrity, behind Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and winner Miley Cyrus. Again, no comment on whether users were looking for images or not. Barack Obama made an appearance on Bing’s top searches list, coming in fifth just above ‘hairstyles’. Sandra Bullock, Tiger Woods and Kate Gosselin all made featured highly in Bing searches, which were topped by Kim Kardashian.