Category: SEO Services

What Is Web Development?

Web Development

Web development is a broad field that encompasses technical elements like coding and programming as well as more creative aspects like design and user experience. It also involves planning and testing.Web Development

Websites are stored on servers, which connect to a giant network called the Internet. Browsers are programs that load websites from these servers. The front end of a website is made using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Visit to learn more.

HTML is the foundation of every website. Its code consists of tags that indicate how web browsers should display page elements, such as text and hyperlinks. It also makes it possible to create and structure paragraphs and sections in a document.

HTML was first developed in the 1990s. It is the bare minimum of what is needed to make a website. It is possible to make a complete website using just HTML, but it would not be very attractive. It is best used as a base to add style and functionality using other programming languages, such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript.

Websites are stored on servers, which are computers connected to a giant network called the Internet. To view a website, a user needs a special computer program called a browser. This program translates the files of a website into a format that the user’s computer can understand. The browser then sends this information to the server, where it is displayed to the user.

A well-designed website can be a game-changer for any business. A site that loads quickly and looks modern can reel in new customers, while a site that is difficult to navigate or has outdated content can cause businesses to lose sales. For this reason, web development is a growing field with many career opportunities. It can seem daunting to jump into the world of web development, but a little bit of knowledge can help you get started. Web developers are broken down into two groups: front-end and back-end. The front-end developers are responsible for design and layout, while the back-end developers take care of functionality and interactivity.


CSS is a web development language that allows developers to create and customize the look of their websites. It is also a key component of responsive design, which ensures that websites are mobile-friendly and accessible on any device.

Prior to the introduction of CSS, formatting HTML text was a long and labor-intensive process. CSS has enabled web designers to add distinct layouts, animations, and typography designs to their websites, which have made them more appealing and user-friendly. This has reduced the overall time and cost of web development, making it a valuable tool for businesses.

In addition to providing a more appealing aesthetic, CSS is also useful for making websites more functional and user-friendly. For example, it can be used to create a grid-based layout that adjusts to different screen sizes. It can also be used to specify the size of the text and its fonts, as well as the colors and backgrounds that will be displayed on the page.

As a web developer, it is important to be familiar with the latest trends in technology. New languages and tools are constantly being developed, and it is important to stay up-to-date on these changes. This will allow you to develop websites that are current and appealing to your target audience. It is also a good idea to attend webinars and conferences to keep abreast of the latest developments in web development.

Web development is an interesting and rewarding career path, but it requires a lot of hard work and time. To start out, you’ll need to master the basics of HTML and CSS. From there, you can work your way up to more advanced concepts such as front-end frameworks and libraries. There are plenty of online resources that can help you learn these concepts, such as the free 5-day coding course from CareerFoundry.


JS is one of the most powerful tools in a web developer’s toolbelt. It allows developers to create interactive and dynamic websites that make the internet more enjoyable. It is used for a wide range of applications, including mobile development and gaming. JS also has a number of ready-to-go frameworks and libraries that can save a lot of time and money for a developer.

Basically, JS is the engine that makes the web work. It is the client-side scripting language that powers all major browsers. Web pages are written in HTML, which the JavaScript engine translates into a visual display on the screen. It also has the ability to interact with the Document Object Model API, or DOM, of an HTML page.

JavaScript was invented in 1995 by Netscape programmer Brendan Eich and was originally named LiveScript. It was renamed in 1996 to capitalize on the popularity of the Java programming language. Unlike other programming languages, JavaScript is interpreted, which means it doesn’t need to be compiled before it can run.

It is a general-purpose programming language that includes multiple features, such as variables, operators, comments, and events. It can be used to perform calculations, network requests, concurrent tasks, and more. It can even be used to create digital art.

Web application development is another popular use for JS. It can be used to create complex web applications that run in a user’s browser, which is more efficient than running an entire server-side application. It is also used to create games on the web, such as Tower Building, CrossCode, and HexGL. The combination of JS and HTML5 has allowed the creation of complex games without the need for additional plugins like Flash.


PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is an open-source programming language used to create dynamic web pages and applications. It is easy to integrate with CMS programs and is highly compatible with most Web servers. It also offers fast load times for websites, making it a great choice for businesses looking to create a modern, feature-rich experience for their customers.

While new programming languages have emerged, PHP remains the most popular and flexible web development tool. It is a server-side scripting language that can be embedded in HTML and can connect to databases, allowing web developers to make interactive content. It is known for its scalability and speed, which makes it ideal for creating websites that require database connections.

Compared to other scripting languages, PHP is relatively easy to learn and use. It is also platform-independent, meaning that it can be used on any operating system. In addition, it is compatible with all major Web servers. Furthermore, PHP code is short and easy to read, and it comes with many tools that help you understand your website’s performance and make improvements.

In a digital world where users have an attention span of just 6–8 seconds, website speed is crucial to your business’s success. A slow website will drive visitors away and cause them to search elsewhere, so it’s important that your site is built on a strong foundation. PHP offers a wide array of frameworks that allow you to build solutions in less time than traditional coding. These frameworks are ready-made templates that provide different types of functionalities for your website or application. They include features such as security, form handling, data processing, and more.


MySQL is one of the most popular database software platforms. It is used on countless consumer-facing websites as well as business-critical B2B services. Its open-source nature, stability, and rich feature set, paired with ongoing development from Oracle, have made it the choice of many web developers and organizations.

MySQL provides users with a powerful and secure database that can handle large amounts of data and is easy to use. It has a wide range of features, including SQL querying, replication, partitioning, and multi-site support. It also supports Java databases through a JDBC driver, which enables web applications to communicate directly with a MySQL server using Java code understood by the database server.

The power and versatility of MySQL make it an ideal choice for any web application. However, it is important to consider the needs of your web application before deciding which type of database is best suited for it. Depending on the complexity and amount of data required, different types of databases may be better suited to specific tasks.

MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that runs on Linux, UNIX, and Windows. It uses Structured Query Language (SQL) as its primary query language. Its popularity is mainly due to its availability on many platforms, its high performance and scalability, and its security features. In addition, it is compatible with a variety of programming languages and systems, making it a highly versatile option. This makes it a good choice for businesses looking for an affordable way to develop their Web applications. It is also a great option for individuals who want to create e-commerce sites and other database-driven websites. It is important to remember that the database must be closed when you are done using it to free up resources.

How Link Building Can Help Your Website Rank Higher in the Search Engine Results

Link Building

Link building is a process that is designed to help a website rank higher in search engine results. The aim of link building is to get as many inbound links to a webpage as possible and to increase the quality of those inbound links.Link Building

Guest blogging for link building is a great strategy to generate organic backlinks, boost SEO, and increase brand awareness. In order to successfully engage in guest blogging, however, you’ll need to follow a few guidelines. 

First, be sure to research the host’s website and guest blogging policy. Some sites will require you to edit or delete your post, and others will ask you to remove your link.

Second, make sure your article has valuable content. This is crucial, as your readers are likely to only click links that they find useful. Also, consider the type of audience you’re targeting. If you’re writing for health bloggers, for example, you’ll want to create only relevant backlinks.

Third, be aware of the rules of Google’s backlink policy. These rules can be broken down into four major categories. Each of these categories has specific criteria for guest blog posts.

Fourth, be sure to target websites that have high Domain Authority. You can do this by using a tool such as Pro Rank Tracker. This allows you to analyze your competition and see how your competitors’ search rankings are improving.

Finally, don’t forget to reach out to the website owner. This is a great way to build relationships and create authority. While you don’t have to explicitly ask for a link, you should offer to advertise the host’s website on social media and other platforms.

Lastly, be sure to write a strong guest post. Don’t let yourself get stuck in the trap of rehashing information. Instead, be able to create something new and informative. It’s important to be able to show your readers that you’re knowledgeable.

As a result, you’ll be able to increase traffic to your site, gain brand exposure, and boost your SEO ranking. Plus, it can shorten your sales cycle.

A list of posts to build links to is a useful way to boost your rankings on Google’s search engine. It is a good idea to focus your efforts on popular and authoritative directories. This will get you on the right side of the PageRank ladder, as well as boost your online brand image. You might want to consider using a link prospecting tool to help you with the research.

In addition to linking to a few other blogs, you might want to use a web monitoring tool to alert you when a new article is published on your site. If you don’t do this, you may find yourself missing out on new content on your blog. The best bet is to set up a daily email notification.

You can also use a link prospecting tool to find links on your competition’s blogs. There are many tools on the market, but one that is designed for use by individuals is the easiest to implement. Using this software will save you hours of research time, and you will be able to get a jump on the competition.

Another way to boost your rankings is to create a sitemap. Doing this will ensure you are indexed by Google, which will make it easier to build links in the future. Lastly, consider manually linking to your favorite articles as well as adding links to relevant internal pages. For instance, if you have a page about the best places to buy a used car, you might want to include a link to a site that reviews a car’s history. Hopefully, this will get people to take your advice and visit your website in the future.

Resource pages are a great way to build your backlink profile. They are often a compilation of the best sites in a particular niche. Getting your name and website on these resource pages can lead to a boost in your search engine rankings and targeted traffic.

To find these pages, you can use Google. You can also search with a site explorer like Ahrefs. This tool will search the web for you and provide you with hundreds of relevant pages that have been vetted for SEO metrics.

In addition to the usual link-building methods, you can improve your visibility by submitting your work to reputable link sites. These services can help you gain more links, as well as establish your brand and generate valuable referrals.

How to optimize keywords and SEO titles with popular keywords

30-second summary:

Title optimization of articles, blogs, or webpages is critical to get traffic and earn money from Adsense and affiliatesThe standard advice is to stick to one keyword phrase per page to maintain strict relevance and avoid getting penalized for keyword stuffingAdding extra related keywords, however, apart from the modifiers and words to create a sensible title has the potential to get more traffic to websitesHere are some good insights and tips on how you can optimize your keywords titles

Optimizing titles of articles, blogs or webpages is critical for getting traffic and earning money from Adsense and affiliates. The standard advice is to stick to one keyword phrase per page to maintain strict relevance and avoid getting penalized for keyword stuffing. But adding extra, related keywords, apart from the modifiers and words to create a sensible title, has the potential to get more traffic to your site.

In this article, I’ll review, my own experience in crafting carefully multiple keyword titles.

Keep the title short – one keyword phrase to a page

As a golden tip, start targeting individual keywords on separate pages and use multiple pages for related words. General landing pages for mixed or general topics generally will not work because you will not be able to compete for popular single keywords without adding phrases for longtail titles. The general advice is that you should keep the title short (less than 70 characters) and only target perhaps two or three primary keywords that are highly relevant to the content of the page and its objective. You can of course develop long-tail keywords that include your primary keywords plus a series of modifiers to make a ‘sensible’ title that makes sense to humans and the test the bots use to evaluate your sites.

void keyword stuffing

There is a lot of information on the dangers of keyword stuffing, which means over-use of your keyword or keywords in the title, description, and the body copy. Google invokes a penalty for keyword stuffing, though the threshold keyword density is not exactly known. There are various tools for counting keyword use frequencies. Keyword Density is simply measured as the relative number of times your search term (Keyword or Keyword phrase) occurs as a percentage of the total number of words on a given page. The ideal Keyword Density must not be greater than 5.5 percent. But various search engines have different thresholds before they apply penalties. Reasonably, high Keyword Densities can help boost page rankings but you don’t have to overdo it.

Keyword Density can be boosted by using your keywords repeatedly in the:

Title tagHeader tagComment tagBody tagAnchor tagImage tagAlt tagDomain name, andParagraph tag

Another general piece of advice for titles is not to exceed using the identical keyword in the title more than twice.

How Google and other search engines crawl and rank your keywords in the title

It is not widely understood, but Google and other search engines register and rank every individual keyword in your title and every combination – including various orders and positions for the keywords. Although there is a priority for phrases with the keywords in the order they are in the Title, and for words that appear first, Google will register all the keywords and phrases and derive a ranking for them.

Dilution of the weight of the keywords in the title

Google also appears to regard long titles as more likely to be Spammy (especially very long titles). Longer titles may also appear keyword-stuffed. Research has shown that the first keyword in the title has the highest weight; the second keyword has somewhat less weight and so on. By adding more words you may dilute the weight applied to each of them. For targeting two-word searches and phrases, it is important to keep keywords close to each other and in their ‘natural’ order. Try to match the likely order of the terms in the search phrase, to the order in the title.

Use multiple keyword phrases multiply your traffic

If Google derives a rank for all the words in the title, surely, by including two or three keywords rather than one will be more likely to get more traffic. The traffic for each word should add up and multiply. Understanding when this is appropriate and when it is not is the crux of optimizing titles. As explained previously the weight or value of the keyword appears to fall rapidly as you move from the first word to the last. More keywords appear to dilute the weight given for each word. Also, there is the important issue of relevance. Your page may be penalized if the words you use are not highly relevant to the content of the page.

The key aspect is competition – only use a single phrase if the competition is high

If there is a lot of competition for a keyword then it is best to only use a single keyword or phrase. Stick to the keyword phrase you have found using the Google Keyword Planner for use in the title. You know the statistic and competition for that exact phrase and it is unwise to fiddle with it. Various tools can be used to estimate competition for the phrase and the likely traffic. The Keyword Research tool shows how even minor changes in the phrase can dramatically affect traffic and competition.

If the competition is high you have to maintain the strength of your page and title to compete. Adding extra phrases will dilute the weight applied to the keyword. You will be competing against pages that are likely to be strongly targeted on that keyword phrase as well. You could lose the battle if you don’t have that singular, highly focused title for the keyword.

If there is moderate competition enrich your title with more keywords

For moderate competition, there are several ways you can go to use multiple keywords in the title.

1. Use two or more Modifiers

The solution to not duplicating the keyword is to add one or two extra modifiers or action words. If you look at the competitive keyword phrases shown by the Google Keyword Tool you will often find that two phrases look promising that both contain the primary keyword or phrase.

[action word 1 keyword] + [keyword action word 2] = [action word 1 keyword action word 2]

Let’s say, for instance, you are after a keyword title for your article about Green Tea health benefits and you want to use a longtail keyword narrowing the search to extracts. The obvious solution is:

Health Benefits of Green Tea Extracts

This provides a title for four phrases

Benefits of GreenHealth Benefits of Green TeaGreen Tea ExtractsHealth Benefits of Green Tea Extracts

Another example is a title about Professional Make-up Artists

Reviews of Professional Make-up Artists + Make-up Artist Portfolios = Reviews of Professional Make-up Artist Portfolios

This makes the title target four phrases in one:

Reviews of Professional Make-up ArtistsMake-up Artist PortfoliosProfessional make-up artist portfoliosReviews of Professional Make-up Artist Portfolios

In both cases, this very simple tactic makes it possible to create a short concise title that is enriched by optimizing it for more than one key term and narrowing down your target audience. Perhaps your article is about creating portfolios and how to find and review make-up artists and this title targets these keywords. Of course, it is often hard to find word combinations similar to these and it emphasizes that title design is a real art. These examples also show how the use of action keywords and modifier phrases to target buyers who are ready to buy, which will fulfill the aim of your website.

2. Long tail action based keyword choices

Long-tail titles using action words are generally more effective, as action-based queries usually attract users that have already got their credit card out and are hungry to find what they want and to buy it. Targeting your audience will lose part of the potential audience but the ones you have filtered for will be more likely to buy.

The role of SEO title optimization is to enrich the keywords in the title that potential buyers might use when conducting a search to target the group that is interested in your product or services.

The best strategy is to build the longtail keyword title, not by using poorly selected action words as modifiers, but by researching the action words and phrases as well for maximum benefit.

Combine competitive keyword phrases to enrich the title

The Google Keyword Planner Tool might show two promising keyword phrases essentially related to the same topic. Let say, for instance, that you are trying to market green tea extracts using their health benefits, particularly to help people having issues with losing weight. The Google Keyword Planner Tool shows three competitive phrases

green tea health benefitsgreen tea extractgreen tea health benefits for weight loss

These phrases can be combined in ways that retain the order of the words (with green tea as the first phrase) but allow all these phrases to work in your title.

For example

Green Tea Extract: Health Benefits for Weight Loss

This longtail keyword is optimized for all three competitive phrases.

The ideal separator for two phrases

What is the ideal separator when using multiple keyword phrases? It does not really matter. You can use a pipe (|), a colon (:) a dash (-), or a comma (,)

However, don’t use the underscore ( _ ) as search engines don’t recognize it as a separator. These characters have no ranking benefit, but they help make your title readable.

Dealing with plurals and synonyms

In some cases, you may want to expand the keywords in the title to include plurals, synonyms, and other expressions for your topic. For example “architect supply”, “architectural supplies” and “technical drawing equipment” essentially deal with the same topic. You will need to craft the title to include these variants if you can.

For example: “Architectural supplies: Technical Drawing Equipment for Architects”

One of the potential dangers with targeting a single term in your title is that it creates a tendency for over-optimization, even when it’s not intended. You may use that single keyword everywhere on your page. If you include variants this is less likely to happen.

Don’t overdo it!

You need to be careful because adding more keywords can mean that each of them will have less and less impact. The more you try to stuff extra keywords into the less natural it is going to sound. For example, if you use the following title it will appear in the search results as –

Cheap Coffee | Gourmet Coffee | Ground Gourmet Coffee

Google won’t like it as it will be interpreted as keyword stuffing. Your potential customers won’t like it because they will see it as unnatural and likely to provide useless promotional material

Much better would be:

Low Price Ground Gourmet Coffee and Fresh Roasted Bean Suppliers

Which version looks better in the search results? Which one is less likely to be seen as keyword stuffing and deception?

If you have a keyword ‘Recycling Information – How And Where To Recycle

What if you want to optimize an article for the keyword “Recycling Tips” as well?

You could build a title such as

Recycling Information – Recycling Tips – How and Why Recycling is Better

But this is clearly keyword stuffing and Google will probably penalize it.

A better option is

Recycling Information – Tips, Tricks and How to Recycle

You can see that your second keyword recycling tips is in the title, but with the keyword word information in between. This will be slightly less effective but Google will still list you page for the keyword Recycling Information – Tips. If you look at the search results where the matching keywords are shown in ‘bold’, you will notice that this often occurs even for pages that appear high up in the search results.

Final thoughts

Building traffic is important, but it is conversion rates that really matterThe keyword “tail” should not “wag” your dog (marketing strategy). Keep the focus on the major keyword and keep it at the front of your title.Use association and keyword matching to group keywords. Rank your potential phrases for search popularity, but make sure you can compete for them and cascade down by adding modifiers to build a longtail title that will work.Never forget that a human user will determine your conversion rates, not the search enginesYour titles must be readable and appealing

If you do all this along with writing high-quality content intended for people and optimized for Google, your articles, blog, or webpages will suddenly be ranking for multiple keywords with high conversion rates. You may even end up being in the first spot for a keyword that was never your main focus.

Jacob M. is a copywriter, marketing blogger, inbound marketing consultant, and founder of Write Minds. He can be found on Twitter @jmcmillen89.

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The post How to optimize keywords and SEO titles with popular keywords appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

2021 Google updates round up: everything businesses need to win at search

30-second summary:

There have been three core updates in 2021, released in June, July, and November, while another was rumored but unconfirmed in OctoberFeatured snippets that fell under the YMYL algorithm were unexpectedly removed in February, then restored in MarchProduct reviews came under the microscope in April, with marketing and sales-centric language penalized in favor of expertise on review-centric websitesMultiple spam updates unfolded throughout the year, though these updates should not impact any website that follows Google’s guidelines

Successful SEO strategy is akin to dancing the tango with Google updates. Unfortunately for copywriters, the Big G can be an unpredictable partner at times. In addition to daily algorithm tweaks that go unnoticed, we all brace ourselves for core updates that have a sizeable impact on page ranking and performance. Throughout 2021, Google has confirmed a handful of updates.

Further updates have also been speculated by experienced web-based professionals, reporting these to aid others in remaining on the right side of an adjustment. Throughout this guide, we’ll discuss the updates rolled out by Google in 2021 to date.

Complete list of 2021 Google updates

As promised, let’s review all the algorithm updates issued by Google during 2021, major and minor alike. Some of these are official, confirmed by Alphabet themselves. The core updates are an obvious example of this. Others were noticed by webmasters of influential brands and discussed online. These unconfirmed updates are marked in red below.

1. Passage indexing (February)

The passage indexing update, announced in October 2020, is probably better described as passage ranking. The purpose behind the update is simple and noble. It will pick out one particular sentence or paragraph from a long-form article, aiding a niche web query and avoiding irrelevance.

Essentially, this update seeks out keywords and terminology in an entire article rather than focusing primarily on titles and subheadings. At the time of writing, Google projects that this will impact around 7 percent of search queries. At this point, the passage indexing update also only applies to copy written in US English, though this will eventually become global and translingual policy.

Now, you may be wondering how this differs from a featured snippet. The short answer is that a snippet is chosen based on the whole web page, seeking relevance to the subject at hand in all aspects of the query. The passage indexing update can pick up on a small element of a broader discussion that would otherwise be banished to the mid-page and beyond. Speaking of featured snippets, however…

2. Featured snippet drop/featured snippet recovery (February and March)

In mid-February, MozCast noticed that featured snippets vanished from countless SERPs on Google. This involved a decline of some 40 percent, the largest in over six years. Snippets that revolved around medical or financial advice were particularly impacted. Some of the keywords and terms that experienced this plummet included:

AcneAutismDiabetesFibromyalgiaInvestmentIRALupusMutual fundsPensionRisk management

As you’ll see, the YMYL broad algorithm appeared to be a particular bone of contention. We’ll never know for sure, as this update – if indeed there was an update – has never been confirmed or denied by Google. What’s more, around a month later, these snippets returned as though they had never been away.

Without any explanation behind the mystery, it’s impossible to offer advice to webmasters on how to avoid a future unwarned absence of featured snippets. The fact that YMYL was hit so hard suggests that it was a deliberate action, though. Whenever working within this niche, proceed with caution – especially if relying on SERPs for ecommerce opportunities.

3. Product review update (April)

April’s product review update was also critical to ecommerce sites and those that collate product insights. Google is adamant that this has not been a core update. However, the approach that content marketers must now take mirrors the core updates that arose later in the year.

Following the review update, it’s more important than ever that product reviews remain strictly factual. That means discussing a product’s qualities (or lack thereof) without clear and obvious attempts to push for a sale from an affiliate. Sites that used their copy to talk up the qualities of a product using popular keywords and directing consumers toward Amazon were typically penalized.

Thin copy, as always, captured Google’s attention too, and not in a positive manner. Meaningless, fluffy words designed to pad out a page, along with repetition, will see a page slide down the rankings. A product review site that hopes to remain in good stead with Google must remember the fundamental rules of E-A-T. You can still attempt to make a sale, but not at the expense of demonstrating expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

4. Multitask Unified Model aka MUM (June)

June was a busy month for Google, starting with the Multitask Unified Model update, better known as MUM. This update could be considered a logical extension of the previously discussed passage indexing update. MUM also used AI to improve the search experience for users, replacing BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers).

It’s claimed that MUM is at least 1,000 times more powerful than its predecessor. In addition to providing greater, much more insightful data for users, MUM works to eradicate language barriers, including misspellings, leaning upon nuance to meet the expectations of a search.

Perhaps more importantly, MUM means that irrelevant content, picked up through a questionable use of keywords to game the SEO system, will soon disappear from the top of the page in favor of more appropriate content. The core update that came later in the month garnered most of the headlines, but don’t sleep on the impact of MUM.

5. Spam updates (June)

Next in June came a spam update, which took place over two weeks. In theory, this update should not have impacted any website operating under white hat SEO rules. It was designed purely to keep content relevant and appropriate, battling against sinister tactics.

As always, though, there was room for error with this update. It’s always advisable to keep on top of the latest webmaster guidelines laid out by Google. This way, a site is considerably less likely to fall foul to a misunderstanding and accusations of black hat traffic-hoarding.

Updates to Google’s Predator algorithm could also be considered a crucial part of this update. Google has been taking lengths to protect people from harassment online, and a big part of this is downgrading sites that seemingly exist purely to denigrate a reputation.

6. Page experience update (June)

Page experience update sounds like a grand event, comparable even to a core update. In reality, this was a pretty low-key affair. It was also a slow procession, kicking off in June and rumbling on until August. All the same, there will be a degree of ebb and flow as a result. Discuss the update with your UX designer and ensure it remains at the forefront of your thinking.

One of the biggest takeaways from this update is that AMP is no longer essential to rank as a top new story. That could make a sizeable difference to any reporting site. The usual caveats still apply, though – sticking to the established policies of Google News is non-negotiable. Although AMP is no longer critical, ensure your news articles remain mobile-friendly, hosted on a fast and secure server, and unfold devoid of interruptions such as intrusive advertising.

7. Core update (June and July)

Here’s the big kahuna that has every web admin across the globe on tenterhooks – Google’s major summer core update. In 2021, Google announced two updates over June and July, both of which would be connected.

As always, there were winners and losers from this update. In a recurring theme, YMYL sites appeared to lose a great deal of traffic throughout the update – especially in June, when the changes were most volatile. Thin content in any niche also seemed to be a particular focus of this update, with such sites pruned cautiously.

However, some sites that were previously heavily penalized may have experienced a little bounce back. It has been claimed that the biggest priorities of the June and July updates, other than thin copy, have been domain age and the use of backlinks.

Review the traffic of any old sites that you wrote off after the game-changing updates of 2019. These sites may have experienced a revival in page ranking and could be worth reinvestment. Just be mindful that Google may consider this an oversight and reverse the decision at any moment.

8. Link spam update (July)

Another spam-detecting algorithm rolled out in July, this time focusing on backlinks. What’s interesting here is that Google referred to this update as ‘nullifying’ spam links, not penalizing them.

Essentially, Google will just stop counting inappropriate links toward a page ranking and quality score. Naturally, though, it would feel like a punishment if a site relied upon these links previously – this is an important Google update for link-building professionals to pay attention to.

Keep an eye on the links on your site if you have seen a drop in traffic, ensuring that they meet Google’s link scheme standards. It could be all too easy to fall foul to this update based on outdated copy that has not been updated in some time and now links to an altered and irrelevant online location.

9. Page title rewrites (August)

Here’s an interesting update from August. Google started to adjust carefully selected page titles, leading to different ‘headlines’ in search results. This may have SEO consultants across the world wailing and gnashing their teeth, seeing meticulously curated messaging adjusted according to Google’s whims.

Rest assured, the page titles are not undertaking complete rewrites. We are talking about adjustments, not wholesale changes, to title tags. All the same, it could be enough to leave a webmaster frustrated with the outcome. Nobody wants to be accused of click-baiting, especially when the news industry has a questionable reputation with a cynical population segment.

There is little anybody can do to prevent this. To retain some measure of control, though, keep your H1 headings short and readable, and be mindful of your H2 headings. These may be used, in part or whole, to adjust the title of a search result.

10. Speculated core update (October)

We previously discussed how, back in February, MozCast acknowledged some strange patterns pertaining to featured snippets that Google never acknowledged. Something similar unfolded in October when various significant webmasters noted sizeable changes in traffic and performance. This led to claims that Google had engaged in another core update.

Much like February, these changes remain unconfirmed. However, as we’ll discuss in a moment, there was a reasonably seismic core update in November. Given that the previous update unfolded over two months, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Google adopted the same practice this time around.

11. Spam update (November)

Another spam update occurred in November 2021, once again targeting infractions that break Google’s general content guidelines. A website that does not contravene basic regulations or cut SEO corners should remain unaffected. Do keep an eye on your traffic and performance, though. If you notice any fluctuations, it could be time for a refresh of your content.

12. Confirmed core update (November)

Finally, we had another core algorithm update in November. At the time of writing, this was still a very recent development. As a result, the impact of the update will become more apparent over time. Some early responses and acknowledgments have been noted, though.

The most significant adjustment appears to be mobile searches, which were declared 23 percent more volatile than the previous update. Again, much like earlier in the year, featured snippets and ‘quick answers’ in the YMYL niche seem the most heavily impacted. Health and real estate, in particular, have seen a big change in performance.

Now, it’s worth noting here that Google felt compelled to address the timing of this update. Danny Sullivan took to Twitter and accepted that an update just before Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season is not ideal for ecommerce sites – especially those that already adjusted their copy based on previous updates.

Source: Twitter

It will be interesting to see if this will change how Google approaches algorithm updates in 2022 and beyond.

This concludes our trip through the Google algorithm updates of 2021. Just remember, more tweaks and changes are made each day. Most of these adjustments have little to no impact on the performance of your website. If you have spotted a change in fortunes, though, review when this occurred. You may find the answer lies above.

Joe Dawson is Director of strategic growth agency, based in the UK. He can be found on Twitter @jdwn

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The post 2021 Google updates round up: everything businesses need to win at search appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Four Google SERP features for ecommerce SEO

30-second summary:

Holiday season shopping is on and your ecommerce store whether a local shop or an international ecommerce brand needs visibility for salesHow do you jump right in front of your potential customers and drive sales in a highly competitive space?SEO pioneer, former Pepperjam founder, and serial entrepreneur, Kris Jones shares a practical ecommerce SEO guide

There is perhaps no type of business that is more primed for SEO than ecommerce companies. Think about it: where a local law firm can put up a billboard or buy ad space in a regional newspaper in addition to doing SEO, ecommerce businesses essentially have one resource available to them, the internet.

That’s where they do 100 percent of their business, and it’s where they’re going to reach the customers they want. So, ecommerce companies should spend a lot of time getting their SEO just right. One crucial way of doing that is to optimize your site to appear in Google’s various SERP features.

There are so many ways you can tell users about your business just from the SERP even before they get onto your website. And the information you present could mean all the difference between capturing your ideal traffic and losing it to competition.

Therefore, to market yourself in the best light to all potential customers searching for your products, you have to optimize your website specifically for the SERP features that drive conversions.

How do you do it? Here are four of the most vital Google SERP features for which you should be optimizing your ecommerce business’ SEO

1. Rich cards

Back in 2016, Google introduced a new mobile SERP feature called rich cards. By using structured data, SEOs could make a business’s results “richer,” that is, more visually appealing, clickable, and therefore more likely to generate an organic click.

If you search for a certain type of product, results marked up with the proper language tell Google to show the product along with an image that can help users know if they want to explore more. Users simply swipe to see more items.

Now, why am I recommending a SERP feature from 2016?

It’s because in the first quarter of 2021, mobile traffic accounted for almost 55 percent of online traffic worldwide, and that number is only going to increase. Basically, mobile search results are even more relevant today than they were in 2016.

With that in mind, how can you optimize your ecommerce products for rich cards?

You need to use the JSON-LD method of marking up your products. You can then test your work with the various free rich results tools on offer from Google.

2. Google Images results

Somewhat related to rich cards is the need for ecommerce businesses to optimize their content for Google Images results. Relevant images will appear at the top of a SERP, before any organic results.

A good product description does indeed go a long way, but don’t forget to think simply, as well: if customers can see clear, high-quality images of your products, that will help your credibility along, and hence drive conversions.

How do optimize for Google Images results? Well, Google doesn’t read images like it reads text, so it’s all going to come down to how you prepare your images on the back end.

First of all, ensure your images are originally yours. You don’t stand much of a chance trying to rank for stock photos.

Next, give your photos descriptive file names that tie into the pages where they will be placed. In the case of ecommerce, since you’ll probably have a series of photos for each product, give the image files titles that reflect the product, with words separated by hyphens.

Here’s an example: unisex-sneakers-blue-brandname-yoursitename

And don’t forget to provide descriptive alt text to each image in case it can’t load and be seen.

Finally, be sure you’re not uploading huge image files that will weigh down a website. Compress them down as small as you can to give your site enough breathing room while still ensuring the images show what you need them to show. Check out this comprehensive guide on image optimization.

3. Rich snippets

Wait a minute, you might say, why are you talking about both rich cards and rich snippets?

With ecommerce products, rich cards will stop you at the images. You can choose to go a step further for appropriate products by optimizing for rich snippets

Rich snippets add in extra details about your products. These get placed inside your search results, under the meta title, and above the meta description.

To get rich snippets on your product results, you’ll use structured data just like you did for rich cards. You can choose which information to enter based on what specifically can grab your potential customer’s attention and satisfy their search query.

For ecommerce companies, it makes the most sense to optimize your rich-snippet products for prices, in-stock status, sales, different brands, customer reviews, and star ratings.

Think about each of these features. Doesn’t it make sense that a customer searching for this type of product would want to see this information from your online store?

Rich snippets are one great way of reaching users with extra information without the need for the users actually to click on your result. You’re taking the most concentrated bits of data about your product offerings and jumping right out onto the SERPs at the user.

Sure, you can choose not to do this for your products. But if your competitors are, who do you think stands the better chance of getting a click and making a sale?

Rich snippets are just good ecommerce SEO, plain and simple.

4. Sitelinks

Finally, you should attempt to optimize your site for SERP sitelinks.

I say “attempt” to optimize because this isn’t a SERP feature you can just click on and off, like alt text or structured data.

So we’re all on the same page here, sitelinks are the clickable buttons below your result’s metadata on a SERP. They typically offer opportunities for users to navigate directly to sections of your website.

In the case of ecommerce, the most logical sitelinks you would want to get listed in your result would be for your most popular product categories.

But again, I’m saying “would want” because sitelinks are chosen by Google’s algorithm. That doesn’t mean you can’t influence which sitelinks Google places there. Which pages Google links in your results is based primarily on your site’s navigation.

As SEOs, we always recommend having a direct and easy-to-navigate website structure. It helps the user experience, supports navigation, and prompts Google to crawl your pages.

Other things that help Google crawl your site include keyword-optimized content, smart internal linking, and simple, intuitive menus.

It is through these elements that you stand your best chance of defining what your SERP sitelinks will be. When you tell Google which pages are most important to you and your customers, the search engine will respond in kind by generating helpful sitelinks.

This is yet another example of having your SEO jump right to the SERP at users without them having to do anything.

And when you’re in the competitive ecommerce space, that really matters.

Go forth and optimize

Businesses always have it tough when going up against the competition. Whether you’re a local shop or an international ecommerce brand, there’s always someone else trying to beat you at your own game.

While SEO can never make anyone do anything, we put ourselves on the best possible footing when we take the above steps to optimize our websites for the SERP features.

If you’re not doing these things already, you’ll want to get started as soon as you can! And then sit back and watch what happens.

Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Four Google SERP features for ecommerce SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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7 Critical Questions to Ask When Creating a Website for Your Business

Creating a website for your business should be much more than a glorified digital business card.
Therefore, don’t underestimate the potential of a well-designed website and marketing strategy to be the main driver of your business – no matter the industry!
Here are 7 things to consider when building one for your business.
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Keyword difficulty: What it is and why it’s important in SEO

Everybody knows that the search volume of a keyword is an essential SEO metric. But it’s equally important to know what it takes to rank for that keyword. That’s…

The post Keyword difficulty: What it is and why it’s important in SEO appeared first on Mangools.

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Google Starts Cheering Anti-Spam Edits in Google Maps

Just about every day I send in edits on Google My Business pages that have committed one party foul or another, but this is the first I’ve seen Google go out of its way to encourage those edits:

It was a partial edit of a business’s name, in which I removed a single stuffed-in keyword.  I find two things interesting, at least in this case.  The first is that I made that edit back in 2018.  The second is that that edit has stuck for almost 3 years, even though it would have been easy for the business to add back in the keyword.  Often when you make a Google Maps edit on the name of GMB page and Google agrees with your edit and makes the change, the business just changes the name back to whatever it was, and Google doesn’t do anything about it.  Often it becomes a tug of war.

I wasn’t the first to notice this; it’s reported in this tweet from last month.

Got an email update from @googlemaps. It says “Your reported problem is making a difference”

“You changed the name of Spicy Ramna Restaurant, which has now been seen over 2,000,000 times. Thanks for making such a valuable edit to the map.” #localguides #googlemaps

— Saiful Islam Sohel (@saifulissohel) June 16, 2021

But that’s it.  I haven’t seen anyone else mention it yet, nor have I gotten similar nudges from Google on other edits.

So far, Google doesn’t seem to cheer recently-submitted, recently-approved edits.  You’d think if that Google really wanted to encourage more Mapspam policing you would get emails on fresh edits, the same way Google emails you all the time about photos and reviews you posted.

Of course, only some kinds of Google Maps anti-spam edits can even get 80,000 views.  A completely bogus GMB page that you get removed no longer gets any views, of course.  I suppose those sorts of edits would be harder to encourage, even though fake GMB pages are the most damaging type of Google Maps spam by far.

Presumably you could get the same kind of email if you make a “popular” edit unrelated to spam, like on a business’s hours, but notice the subject line of the email: “Your reported problem is making a difference.”  Seems to have a spam-control flavor to it.

Have you seen this before?  If so, when, and for what kind of Google Maps edit?

What do you think Google is aiming for here, exactly?

Leave a comment!

Shoehorning Cities into the Address Field of a Google My Business Page

I may have seen this before, but it must not have registered with me until I saw it more than once on the same page of Google Maps results.   In any event, it’s new to me.  Below is an example.  Do you see what’s out of place?

Is it the plump business name?  Nope.  Keyword-stuffing like that is omnipresent.  What else looks odd?

That “service area” – Holy Moses!  Has Google started displaying in Google Maps all the cities in your GMB service area?  That’s what I thought at first, but notice: the cities are in the “address” field.

The street address is in the address field, but so are 12 cities (known as “suburbs” in Australia) and communities the business serves.

That isn’t a fluke, because on the very same page of Google Maps results is another GMB page with the same rigging, though both pages appear to belong to the same company.


That city-stuffed “address” field only shows up in Google Maps, as in at  It does not show up if you just type the query into Google and click on the map, or click on the “View all” link under the map, to pull up the local finder.

So, as with so many other things Google lets slide, it appears you can cram your service area into the address field of your GMB page.  Does it help rankings or help the business rank in a wider area?  I don’t know, though I would guess it doesn’t.  Those particular GMB pages don’t rank at the top of the heap for that query, but they’re far from the bottom: they’re #4 and 9, respectively, as of this writing.  Not bad.  They’re in the mix.  I could see how that stuffed address field might get more clicks, because the misplaced “service areas” blob is eye-catching.  But is that possible benefit worth increasing the chances of a suspension?  Probably not.

I wouldn’t suggest stuffing the address field with city names (or anything else), but I’ll admit I admire the fancy footwork required to do what that business did.

Speaking of which, how did they do that?


My educated guess is they verified the GMB page at the appropriate address, waited a while (and maybe worked on their citations), and then later went to work on the 1st “address” field in the GMB dashboard.  It’s possible that didn’t even trigger re-verification by postcard.  If it did trigger reverification, then the business owner must have been able to get the postcard sent to the first, correct version of the address (the one without all the city names), possibly in the way Joy Hawkins described here.

I might tinker around with this on my own GMB page (not a client’s) – just out of curiosity, and to see what’s involved.

How many times have you seen a GMB address field like that?

Has someone else written about it before?  (If so, I’d like to give that person credit.)

Any part of it you’re curious about?

Leave a comment!

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