Updated Google Alerts and Guest Blog Directories Penalty

Now you can use two more filters to refine your Google Alerts by language or region. You can select all regions or languages or you can be specific and specify one language or region. You cannot currently select a specific array of regions or languages; it is either all or one. This new feature is what all local SEOs need!

google-alerts

Ann Smarty, the owner of guest blog integration service MyBlogGuest.com, confirmed recently that her site has received a penalty. The main question that disturbs Internet marketers is whether the publishers who participate in MyBlogGuest.com would also be penalized. It seems they could. Matt Cutts tweeted that it is likely. Ann Smarty also says she will continue to develop MyBlogGuest.com. She will give publishers more flexibility to nofollow byline links. If you are going to take part in MyBlogGuest, label your site as “using nofollow attribution links” for authors to know what to expect.
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The Most Important Google Updates of the Year and How They Changed SEO

Google changes its algorithm almost every day. However, search results were affected greatly by some major updates this past year. When you know the dates of the most important updates, you can understand changes in your rankings and organic website traffic and ultimately improve search engine optimization. Let’s see how Google changed SEO in 2013:

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Panda

The year started with the animal that frightened every search marketer. The Google Panda update was meant to stop sites with low quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. Websites that used scraped content were penalized by Google and disappeared from the Google search results pages. Google says it only takes a few pages of poor quality or duplicate content to hold down traffic on an otherwise solid site, and recommends such pages be removed, blocked from being indexed by the search engine, or rewritten.
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SEO News: Russian Linkless SEO and More

Leading Russian search engine Yandex announced they are going to cease attributing any ranking factor value to links for commercial queries in its Moscow regional results. Alexander Sadovsky, the Head of Web Search at Yandex, explains that they see a lot of paid links where there is no human actually involved. These links are often off-topic and are cheating users.

This change will come into effect during 2014 in Moscow and potentially other regions in Russia thereafter. Links have been a crucial factor in search. Now Yandex says they will use human behavior and interaction with sites. Link building may not die after all, but the metrics will be very different and only links that drive real user traffic will have any value at all.
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Matt Cutts Says You Can Use the Disavow Tool Anytime You Need

In a recent video Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, said that you can use the disavow tool even if you do not see that Google team members have given you a “manual action” in your Google Webmaster Tools.

When to Use the Google Disavow Tool

  1. You, in the past, conducted bad SEO or hired a bad SEO who built bad links to your site and you can’t get those links removed.
  2. Your rankings dropped and you think the Google Penguin algorithm caused this drop.
  3. You noticed a link bomb attack and are afraid it might hurt your site.
  4. There are links to your site that you do not want to be associated with.
  5. Your site seems to have been hit by negative SEO.

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One More Google Penalty to Avoid: Image Mismatch

Google has added a new Manual Action penalty – image mismatch. You can receive an image mismatch penalty when the images on your site do not match what is shown in the Google search results. This happens when you are serving Google one image and the user another image. This form of spamming is called “cloaking”.

If Google notices that your site has mismatched images, they may apply a manual action to the affected portions of your site, which will affect how your site’s images are displayed in Google. Actions that affect your whole site are listed under Site-wide matches in the Manual Actions section of your Google Webmaster Tools. Actions that affect only part of your site are listed under Partial matches.
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