Odesk Contractor Appreciation Day!

Top Filipino Contractors gathered today as we celebrate the Odesk Appreciation Day at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Only the top contractors were invited, and I am proud to be one of them. Our very own Matt Cooper – Vice President of Operations at Odesk Inc., Mollie Carter, and Ally Russell were there. Google’s very own Technical Manager – Mike Shwe is also present at the occasion lecturing about Google.

Here’s the pics from the event:

 

What is the all-time most important ranking factor in SEO?

There are many different schools of thought in the SEO community regarding this issue. Some would say that link metrics is the most important factor, some say your page value to users, etc…

In my several years of experience in the field, there is only one factor that has not been devalued. That is content. All others like the anchor text, number of backlinks, keyword usage, etc. have all fluctuated.  When I said content, I don’t just mean your website’s own content. I also mean the content of the linking site, the content of the linking page. Why? Because the value of the link juice passed is directly proportional to the value of the linking site or linking page. If the linking page/site have SE authority, then the value for link juice passed to your site is also of high. Now, how did the linking site/page got an SE authority? Yes, you got it right. Quality content and backlinks from sites with relevant quality content. Now, how about page value to users? How can a page be valuable to users? Quality content.

“Content is King” still stands…

Google Algorithm Updates 2011

In 2010, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the google search algorithm. Most mainstream SEO strategies and conventional approaches to search engine optimization has been rendered ineffective and obsolete. We’ve seen a lot of top websites plunged into the deep and lost a lot of search engine positions. This could mean doomsday for the mediocare SEO practitioner, but for the highly experienced SEO professionals, this could mean an oasis of opportunity. The key is analysis and adaptation. Let’s summarize the updates that occurred in the google search algorithm:

Dec 7, 2009 - Real time search results feature has been incorporated into the google SERP.  Updates from popular sites that occurred seconds ago can already be seen in the SERP.

Jan 22, 2010 - Answer highlighting in search results. A minor update that does not affect much the ranking algorithm but smart SEO practitioners find this update very useful.

April 2010 - Google introduced “Places”. Place page is originally a part of google map which was rolled out in Sept of 2009.

May 2010 - The May Day update – an algorithm change that highly impacted “long-tailed” search.

June 2010 - The “Caffeine” update was rolled out which speeded up how google crawl and index websites.

September 2010 - Google instant. The update which made it possible for google to display the results as the search query is being typed.

November 2010 - Google instant preview – allows the preview of the landing page directly from the search results page.

December 2010 - Social signals – google announced they are working on integrating “social signals” from facebook, twitter and other social media on it’s ranking algorithm

January 28, 2011 - Attribution Update. Google rolled out an algorithm update targeting web-scraping in response to high profile spam attacks.

February 23, 2011 - Farmer/Panda update – a major ranking algorithm update targeting content spamming. Hit a lot of low quality article publishing websites.

March 30, 2011 - Google +1. – the first step to incorporating “human” factor in the ranking algorithm.

April 11, 2011 - Panda Update 2.0 – finished rolling out the panda update to all English search queries worldwide.

May 9, 2011 - Panda Update 2.1 – minor change in the panda update.

June 21, 2011 - Panda Update 2.2

June 28, 2011 - Introduced Google + – social media designed to compete with twitter and facebook. Another step in integrating “human” factor in the ranking algorithm.

Google Targets Fake SEO’s & Webmarketers

Every genuine SEO Professional hate spam, may it be link spam, content spam or article/forum spam. Fake seo’s and web-marketers have been tarnishing the reputation of honest, hardworking and real SEO Experts for years. They have degraded the profession that I am so proud of. Because of this, prospective clients who were less informed sometimes equate SEO with link-spam – the notion that I am really so disappointed to hear. We, as SEO Consultants are supposed to work with google and other search engines to ensure that only the properly optimized, high quality and most relevant websites are presented in the search results.

One of the current problems with regards to SEO Spam is “Content Farming”. This is the current method that fake seo’s and web-marketers use in conducting “fake off-site SEO”. They basically write large numbers of low quality articles, blog and forum posts hoping to influence the search results. It is sad to say that these methods sometimes work. Luckily for us, it will surely be a thing of the past. The google guys were able to develop a smart algorithm to counter the effects of content farming (in January, they promised to take action against fake seo’s, web-marketers and content farmers). Google has just launched the “Farmer” algorithm update – a massive change to it’s ranking algorithm.

The “Farmer” algorithm was specifically designed to combat the effects of content farming. The update has now hit not only the US results but also the UK and other countries as well. Some of the sites that content farmers usually post their spam has already lost a lot of it’s search engine exposure. Hubpages has lost 85.72% of their visibility in google. Squidoo lost 35.89%, ezinearticles.com lost 93.69%, associatedcontent.com lost 94.93%, articlesbase.com lost 88.68%, and hundreds more.

Here are some of the top websites that lost a lot of SE visibility:

Domain Visibility Index Loss Percentage Loss
wisegeek.com 93.3622 -77%
ezinearticles.com 58.4273 -90%
suite101.com 50.755 -94%
hubpages.com 47.7632 -87%
yourdictionary.com 39.5044 -74%
brothersoft.com 37.6418 -66%
buzzle.com 36.7005 -85%
associatedcontent.com 35.7198 -93%
freedownloadscenter.com 27.2522 -90%
essortment.com 23.4146 -91%
fixya.com 22.9456 -80%
americantowns.com 22.6942 -91%
lovetoknow.com 21.4714 -83%
articlesbase.com 18.7999 -94%
howtodothings.com 17.8122 -84%
mahalo.com 17.2586 -84%
automotive.com 16.9008 -71%
business.com 16.104 -93%
doityourself.com 15.9952 -77%
merchantcircle.com 15.7573 -85%
thefind.com 15.6825 -83%
wrongdiagnosis.com 15.5617 -73%
findarticles.com 15.2418 -90%
faqs.org 15.0573 -91%
tradekey.com 15.0415 -89%
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