Over the past year, Matt Cutts (head of Google’s Webspam team) has been fielding questions about guest blogging and whether or not it hurts or helps with SEO. Well, it’s January 2014 and yesterday Matt Cutts made it very clear (on his blog) that if you’re guest blogging to gain links stop.
Some SEO experts are recommending that we seriously consider using both Google and Bing Webmaster Tools to gain valuable insight into the factors that are contributing to our SEO success (or failure.) Both sets of tools include diagnostics such as indexing and crawling. Recently, (November 2013), Bing introduced “Connected Pages” to help you glean valuable information from your social media pages as well. (Will this be something that Google will follow suit with?)
Were you impacted by Google Hummingbird (the most recent algorithm changes)? What exactly is Hummingbird and how do you know for sure if any of Google’s SEO updates affected you? Check out this week’s #FridayFinds for a short synopsis and links to more in-depth articles that can help you better understand the most recent Google updates. Also, read a fun Halloween inspired article on what not to do on social media and check out 30 ideas for running contests on Facebook.
In part 1 of this article, I covered paid search and comparison shopping engines. Now that we’ve conquered the pay-per-click universe, let’s move on to the owned or earned forms of marketing an eCommerce site: SEO and social media!
Did you hear about the recent motion that Google filed in the U.S. District Court regarding the privacy (or lack thereof) of Gmail? Have you noticed links in your Facebook News Feed that are accompanied by a “like” button? Are you interested in a handy glossary that explains some of the most widely used SEO terminology or learning about some of the best SEO tools and resources that are available? To learn more, check out this week’s post in my #FridayFinds series and be sure to share your views in the comment section.
This post is part of the weekly series, Friday Finds, featuring news that deserves a closer look. Today’s finds focus on installing the Google+ Commenting system on your WordPress blog. Some well-known bloggers have been addressing this issue recently and it’s a topic that deserves our attention. Let’s take a look at 3 articles that will give you some insight on some of the pros and cons that have been raised and a little background info that I’ve gleaned after taking a closer look.
Some Simple Background on the Google+ Commenting System
FYI – you’ll find greater details by reading the articles that I’m highlighting this week but a brief recap of the Google+ Commenting system is:
- Your visitors must have a Google Plus account to leave a comment.
- There is no direct SEO value to using this system. (Although, there could be benefits from social signals.)
- Comments that are left are stored on Google and are not part of your SQL database. (Google owns those comments not you. If you turn the system off, the comments no longer appear on your blog.)
- If you switch to this system from CommentLuv, some of your readers may be disheartened by no longer having the do-follow backlink to their blog.
- You can run the Google+ Commenting system alongside your current commenting system. (It definitely works with the CommentLuv plugin. If you have read that there are compatibility issues with another system, please let me know.)
Ms. Ileane Smith’s Announcement on Basic Blog Tips
Ileane Smith (a well-respected blogger and early advocate of the CommentLuv commenting system) recently caused some ripples in the blogosphere when she announced that she was (at least temporarily) moving to the Google+ Commenting system and disabling the CommentLuv features of the CommentLuv Premium plugin on her site.
In her post, Ileane makes it clear that CommentLuv is still a worthy option and she mentions that it’s a “fantastic” plugin but she also mentions that a lot of her peers have been switching their commenting systems. Ileane’s post makes for some interesting reading along with a lively dialogue in the comments.
Kim Castleberry’s How-To Article on Adding Google+ Comments to WordPress
Most of you probably know Kim Castleberry as a respected resource. Kim specialties include WordPress and Facebook as well as a wealth of other talents. In this post, Kim provides instructions for adding the Google+ commenting system:
- Using code
- Using the Thesis theme
- Using the Genesis theme
- Using a WordPress plugin
Kimberly also addreses the question about whether or not the Google+ Commenting system has any SEO value. (Because it runs in an iframe, it does not. Although, there could be some benefit indirectly through social signals.)
Kim Castleberry’s SEO Explanation on Ileane Smith’s Blog
You may have already seen the detailed explanation that Kim left regarding the potential SEO benefit (or lack of benefit) from using Google+ comments. One conversation occurred on Ileane’s blog and it goes as such:
7 Reasons for Not Replacing CommentLuv with the Google+ Commenting System
Suresh Khanal’s post Why Google+ Comment System Can’t Replace CommentLuv? builds a well thought out case for not switching from the CommentLuv plugin (which runs on the native WordPress commenting system). He takes a closer look at the database, SEO and spam issues that are being raised.
In Suresh’s reply to the comment I left regarding SEO, he mentions how there may be some SEO benefits from Google’s system because their algorithm counts social signals:
Suresh closes his post stating:
I may replace native comment system with Google+ commenting system when these issues are addressed. May be there will be plugins available in near future that enters comment to the blog database in addition to submitting to Google+. Until then, I think, it will be like jumping off a cliff into the great unknown!
Over to You:
What do you think? Have you installed the Google Plus commenting system on your blog? Do you plan to? Do you think it’s a good idea to keep the system that you’re using now and add Google+ to it? Personally, at this point, I agree with Suresh. At least for now, I’m sticking with CommentLuv Premium and I’ll continue following the discussions.
Today’s article in the weekly series #FridayFinds brings you multi-media Twitter cards, some social networking sites that you may be unaware of, an informative infographic on SEO and an introduction to reblogging on Triberr. It will be interesting to hear how many of you are on these sites, use Twitter cards and reblog on Triberr.
According to Google Webmaster Tools, keyword stuffing is defined as “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results”. They go on to say that it “results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking”. So, how can we write good content that our blog readers will enjoy while not getting penalized by the search engines?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can seem complicated and it can be overwhelming. If you don’t have the resources to hire a technical SEO specialist, do you have any chance of your website being returned in the organic search results? Should you even try to optimize your site for SEO or should you rely on providing quality content and promoting your website through social media?
Tracking and measuring is very important to running a successful business. If you don’t know what you’ve done and when you’ve done it, how else do you know what’s working and not working? For example, if you suddenly see an increase or decrease in sales or leads, will you know what the cause of it is? Was it a particular promotion or a new source of traffic to your website? Was it a traditional marketing strategy or an online strategy? Arming yourself with data can provide the insight that you need to make strategic decisions as well as provide help with normal daily operations.