But Penguins and Pandas Are So Cute! – The SEO Files

If you pay attention to whats happening in the SEO world, you know that there has been a lot of hustle and bustle in the last couple of weeks.  You may recall that just over a year ago, Google made a change to its algorithm called the Panda Update.  Here we’re going to talk a bit about Panda and the new update that rolled out just this week, Penguin.

So, first and foremost, the Google algorithm – you know about it right?  If you’re looking around confused and wondering if you’re the only one, you’re not.  Trust me.  The Google algorithm is the core of what makes Google Search work.  An algorithm is a step-by-step problem solving procedure.  The Google algorithm is what is used to scour the internet whenever anyone performs a search and bring back relevant results.

One of the most exciting or tiresome parts of SEO, depending on your outlook, is that the Google algorithm is always changing.

I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl, so to me, this is fun stuff.

Anyhow, changes in the Google algorithm means that what worked in SEO last year or last week, may not be effective now.  The foundations of SEO are quality, unique, fresh content and back links– those elements will always be good.  There is however, what is called “black hat SEO” – this utilizes tactics that Google sees as cheats.  For instance, back a few years ago people would “keyword stuff” their websites by adding keywords in white text on a white background.  Website visitors couldn’t see this trick but the search engines would recognize a keyword-rich page and reward it accordingly.  Of course, cheap tricks will only get you so far.  Google wised up to this sort of practice and through algorithm changes, was able to penalize sites that employed these kinds of tactics.

So whats all this talk about cute little animals? – It is standard practice for Google to name their official algorithm changes.  The 2 changes or updates that were recently released are Panda 3.4 and Penguin.

If you remember, earlier I mentioned that the Panda update is over a year old now.  The Panda update is an algorithm change that targets what Google deems as “low-quality pages”.  The Penguin update is more strenuous and targets web spam.  If you’ve seen your website traffic dip considerably in the last 2 weeks, you may have been hit by either update.  If that’s the case, its time to re-think your SEO strategy.  Google viewed your content and website as spam or low-quality.  That hurts but you can change it.

If you need help in getting your site back to where it was pre-algorithm changes or if your site has had no SEO work at all, we can help.  Give me a call at 1-877-99-ERGOS or email me at seo@ergos.com!

What To Look For in an SEO Company – The SEO Files

It has been FAR too long since I’ve written here and for that I apologize. I’m glad to be back! There are A LOT of SEO companies out there and each one has its own process, standards, results, etc. If you’re thinking of hiring an SEO company or consultant, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

    • Beware of Promises: There is not an SEO company in the world that can promise you “the number one spot on Google in 10 days!” SEO takes time. It takes time to build up keyword-focused content, backlinks, a social media presence, etc. Sure, with hard work and good content, you may very well be the #1 search result on Google. But your position in the search engines will invariably fluxuate depending on your output, your competition’s SEO efforts, Google’s algorithm changes, etc.

 

    • Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! SEOs are nice and we certainly don’t bite, in fact, we love when people are interested and want to understand what we do. When hiring an SEO consultant, you need to make sure that you’re comfortable with them, as they’ll have access to your website, hosting info., etc. If you’re unable to ask questions or don’t like the way they are answered, keep looking.

 

    • Ask for Results: Again, no SEO company can guarantee you the top spot in the search engines but that doesn’t mean you won’t get there if they know what they’re doing. Before hiring any SEO consultants, ask to see results from some of their current clients. Ask for client references, as well. The good guys will be more than happy to supply you with satisfied client referrals. You can see one of our client’s results with the graph below – this graph measures the website visitor’s per week.

 

SEO Client 2 Data

The above are just a few pointers to keep in mind when you’re shopping about for an SEO consultant. If you have questions about SEO or ERGOS IT Solutions’ SEO services, give us a call at 1-877-99-ERGOS. It’s time to put your website to work for your business! Feel free to shoot us an email too.

Blogs for Everyone! – The SEO Files

We’ve been writing a lot lately about search engine optimization/ SEO and we figured, why not keep the good times rollin’?

Blogs are a huge part of today’s internet culture and everyone has their favorite, whether its a gossip blog, photo blog, professional blog, you’re best friend’s online journal, etc.  Blogs are not only a great avenue for procrastination at work (don’t worry, I won’t tell your boss…) but they can also be utilized in your search engine optimization, SEO efforts.

The great thing about blogs is their democratic nature – all businesses, no matter their industry, can have a  blog.  Whether you’re a marketing firm, titanium bar manufacturer, IT services company or law firm there is an audience interested in your area of business. You might be saying “Ok, I’ll buy that, but how is my manufacturing blog going to help my SEO efforts and my business?” – Well, since you asked!  Blogs can help in your SEO efforts because they are a great source of new, fresh content. Additionally, your blog is another source of back links to your website – when you blog about something interesting that relates to your website, add a link back to it!

Another thing to keep in mind is the social nature of blogs and the blogging community.  When you produce unique and interesting content, the chances that another blogger will read it and share it with their followers is pretty good.  Blogging, like all social media, is about building relationships with your followers, customers and the blogging community.  By employing search engine optimization, SEO principles within your blog posts (keyword-focus, fresh content, back links), you’ll help your SEO efforts while building up a following.

Aside from all the SEO goodness of blogs, blogging is just plain fun.  So go on, give it a try!  If you have questions about blogging and SEO, check out our Blogging and SEO information or give us a call at 1-877-99-ERGOS.  Don’t forget you can always shoot us an email, as well.

Let’s Link Up Sometime – The SEO Files

A few weeks ago we started talking about the pieces of the SEO puzzle.  We talked about the Keyword and content building – keyword-focused and keyword-rich website content is sort of the “bread and butter” of search engine optimization, SEO.  By building content that is interesting, factual, keyword-focused and keyword-relevant, you’re giving the search engines exactly what they want! (Bonus – interesting, unique content is highly share-able, thus the power of social media.  It all comes together!)

Another very important piece of the search engine optimization puzzle is the back link.  A “back link” is when another website has a link on their website that points back to yours.  A good way to think about back links is as “votes” – search engines see back links to your site as “votes” for your site.  Say, for example, that you are a manufacturing company.  Suppose that you’ve written an article about a new manufacturing process that is more efficient, better for the environment and cost effective.  Now suppose that the Manufacturers Club of America (fictional club, at least I just made it up) sees your article and uses it as a reference source with a link back to your website.  This is a back link , and a QUALITY one at that.  An organization like the MCA would be seen as something of an expert on manufacturing – if they linked back to your site, the search engines would say “Oh hey, this MCA knows what they’re talking about, if MCA links back to your website, this other website must be something special.”

While associations, clubs, organization, governing bodies, etc. make for great back links,  a back link can really come from anywhere.  From blog posting, blog commenting, articles you’ve written, social media shares, etc.  There are back links that are better than others but they can all work together to help in your search engine optimization, SEO efforts. 

On tap for next time – We’ll talk a little bit more about the different kinds and sources of back links.  If you want to learn a bit more about back links and how to use back linking as part of your search engine optimization, SEO, game plan head over to ERGOS Technology and give our page Link Building & SEO a read.  Also, you can  give us a call at 1-877-ERGOS, our SEO team is always excited and ready to answer any questions you may have!  Don’t want to call us but still have questions – that’s OK too!  Just shoot us an email.

The Power of Social – The SEO Files

Social media is everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, Google +, etc.  If you own a small business, you’re constantly hearing about how you should be using social media to expand your business – gain friends and followers and likes and plus-ones and you’ll be at the top of the heap and what are you waiting for?! Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Lets all just take a step back, take a deep breath and think about this rationally. 

It is true that social media has saturated the internet culture and that social media can be used to help grow your business – BUT social media is most effective when thought of as part of your overall website marketing and search engine optimization, SEO, strategy.    Here at Houston’s EBS IT Solutions, we like to use social media for our SEO clients because it is interactive.  Social media is all about, you guessed it, being social.  Social media allows you to build relationships with your customers in a very real way.  Sure, you can use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. to marketing and sell your business but that is not it’s main function. 

If you’re not supposed to sell, sell, sell through social media – why bother?  In terms of search engine optimization, SEO, social media platforms are a great source of back links (a back link is when another site has a link back to your site).  If you have really great, interesting, share-able content on your website – Link to it through your social media platforms!  If your customers, followers, likes find it interesting they’ll pass it on – thus the power of social media. 

Learn more about how you can use social media to help in your search engine optimization efforts –

Questions about search engine optimization, SEO, in general or about ERGOS SEO services specifically?  Call us! 877-99-ERGOS or shoot us an email at seo@ergos.com.com – We’d love to hear from you!

Pieces of the SEO Puzzle

It has been awhile since we’ve covered anything SEO related here at IT Technology and Services, so I thought I would take back the reins this week and go over some of the pieces to the SEO puzzle.  Search engine optimization, search engine marketing, SEO, SEM – it can seem like a bit much sometimes.  You know you should be employing search engine optimization tactics, but where do you start?

At ERGOS IT Solutions, we start with the keyword.  We do an extensive keyword analysis to find out what exactly people are searching for.  After the initial keyword analysis, arguably the most important piece of the SEO puzzle is website content and content building. The goal for the search engines is to find and return in your search results the websites that are the most relevant and most informative on any given keyword.  Having factual, accurate, engaging, unique content that is keyword-focused goes a long way with the search engines. 

Consistently building new content for your website is important because search engines will take into consideration the “density” of your website.  A website with 20 keyword-focused pages will likely rank better than one with 5 keyword-focused pages.  When building content pages, you want to produce pages that mean something – to your customer, your business.  Fluff isn’t enough.  Building content isn’t about tricking the search engines with a fluff piece that is stuffed with keywords.  Remember, the search engines want to return the best sites available – by building pages with informative, interesting, valuable content you’ll be giving the search engines exactly what they want.

The search engine optimization picture is getting clearer by the minute! If you want to learn more and you want to learn it NOW, check out our information on SEO and Content Building.

Hosted Exchange & The Cloud (Ooooh)

“The Cloud”.  The newest buzzword with all the hype in the computer and IT world.  In the next couple of posts we’ll be discussing The Cloud – what is it?  Should you use it?  Is it here to stay?  We’ll tell you everything you need to know to be an expert Cloudling – but for now, Hosted Exchange!

We have fewer clients all the time who are using Microsoft Exchange hosted on their own servers. More and more clients are using hosted Exchange with “cloud computing”. A number of our clients are using AppRiver which has been an excellent provider of hosted Exchange services. Now Microsoft is offering hosted Exchange for a lower price than AppRiver.  Also Microsoft is about to release Office 365 a hosted Outlook Exchange, Office and SharePoint cloud computing service bundle.

For a low rate per user per month you can get these full services. We will be monitoring these Microsoft services for recommendations to our clients. Windows cloud is a reality.

Social Networking – Facebook

“According to research from database firm Drake Direct, Facebook now accounts for 25 percent of Internet page views in the United States.” I stumbled on this reference and it certainly caught my attention! I know my two teenagers spend a ton of time on Facebook and stay in touch with friends and family. I have looked over their shoulders and seen the general drift of it, but I never logged in myself and I don’t have a page. I am thus officially a dinosaur.

Our company, ERGOS, does have an embryonic Facebook page and inspired by the page view statistic I decided to log in and check it all out. I am doing that as I write.   If you are also a dinosaur you find someone’s profile and you see their “wall” – a public listing of comments, feedback, messages. I am looking at the Facebook profile for Amazon.com for example – the comments on their wall are bashing them for carrying a Halloween costume that seems to be inappropriate.  One message: “Pull this costume off your website for good!!! Needless to say, I will NEVER again use my Amazon account and will no longer support such an idiotic corporation.”

Ok, for my first toe in the water that is a little unnerving -as a business person!  Ok let’s try Starbucks, we find:“ ooooh, mocha…yummy”  and “starbucks is the best!! im going their tomorrow.”  Well that is more encouraging.

Our ERGOS profile is just our logo and a little information about the company so far. We have made a few Houston business links. I am going to push that we build the profile up some –get more content and links and I will report on what happens we go along. How can the social networking phenomena be utilized for marketing?  That is the business question we will discuss some more.