417 Marketing Blog

A Study of Google Local Ranking Factors

When is the last time you opened a phone book? Small businesses (and their curious customers) no longer rely on those old-fashioned tomes. Instead, they use the Internet and search engines like Google to quickly and easily communicate with each other. To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your online marketing efforts, check out the 2016 Quantitative Local Search Ranking Factors Study created by Mark Kabana (of Places Scout), Andrew Shotland (of Local SEO Guide), and Dan Lebison (of Local SEO Guide) in collaboration with Megan Smith and Marija Pejcinovska, statisticians from the University of California, Irvine. This rigorous, eye-opening study of Google Local ranking factors may make you see Local SEO in a whole new light.
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Seven Must-Have WordPress Plugins

In the jam-packed directory of WordPress plugins, you certainly won’t be starved for choice. At first you might enjoy scrolling through the selection and browsing your options, but eventually you will find yourself craving a simple list of cream-of-the-crop plugins – that’s where we come in! At 417 Marketing, we have a reputation for building top-notch, reliable websites, and today we’re sharing our seven must-have WordPress plugins. These are plugins that we love and use often, so we’re confident that you will love them too.

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Google Boosting Mobile-Friendly Algorithm in May

We’ve heard it straight from the horse’s mouth: Google will be boosting its mobile-friendly algorithm in May. The search engine began using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on mobile searches last year, but they’ve decide that it is time to fully embrace the formula by increasing its effects. If all goes well, the update should improve the user experience by bringing forward webpages that are mobile friendly and relevant to the query. Although this is a relatively small change expected to have an insignificant impact on search results, it never hurts to keep on top of Google’s comings and goings. So let’s explore this latest algorithm update . . .
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Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): What You Need to Know

There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for a sluggish webpage to load. Not forgetting where you parked your car, dropping your phone in the toilet, stepping in dog poop . . . Okay, some things are more frustrating than waiting for a webpage to load, but you can’t deny that being patient is difficult when your Internet is as slow as a three-toed sloth. And when webpages take too long to load, their readers become restless and annoyed – some may even abandon ship! Google hopes to speed up our online world with the advent of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). They’re lightweight, pared down, and exceedingly fast.
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How to Maintain a Successful Blog

I don’t want to knock anyone off their high horse, but let’s be honest: starting a blog is a piece of cake these days. In an hour or less, you can establish your own little “corner of the Internet” and publish your first post. Although I doubt that this breakneck blog will be the best blog in existence, you will succeed nevertheless in pioneering a personal website. The more important question is: do you know how to maintain a successful blog? Quite quickly, you will realize that keeping a blog alive requires a lot more than the ability to write coherent posts and upload pretty pictures. In fact, if you want to know how to maintain a successful blog, you will need to consider many other factors: brainstorming topics, preventing repeat content, creating consistent posts, and perhaps even coordinating posts with other writers.

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Web Design Trends for 2016

When it comes to the internet, one thing you can count on is that everything is changing—almost always. Working to stay current is just a part of the package if you want your site to thrive (and we’re sure you do). Whether you’re a business owner or webmaster, it’ll be important to keep up with the web design trends for 2016. We’ll explore what we’re leaving behind in the new year, what we’re replacing it with, and what will stick around.

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Google’s New Penalty Keeps Sketchy Mobile Redirects at Bay

If you’re keeping up with the world of SEO, you may know that Google has been warning against using sneaky mobile redirects for some time. Now, they’ve gone from talking the talk to walking the walk—that is, they’re working on a new penalty that will reprimand webmasters who have these redirects in place. So, what is Google’s new penalty? Will it affect you? Or, perhaps we should ask: how can you prevent it from affecting your site?

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What Is Google RankBrain?

If I only had a brain! Like the Scarecrow in the The Wizard of Oz, Google’s bot has finally received a brain! A brain of sorts, anyway. On October 26th, Google announced the newest piece of their influential algorithm: RankBrain. Although the system has been right under our noses for months now, fully live and global, its existence was hidden until last week. Like all signals used by Google’s algorithm, RankBrain will influence how the search engine determines where a webpage should rank on a results page. Utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning, RankBrain appears to give Google yet another leg up on the competition. So, what is Google RankBrain? More importantly, how will it affect the world of SEO?
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New Penguin Algorithm Will Be in Real Time

Cross your fingers, folks—Santa might be giving us a new Penguin algorithm for Christmas! Yesterday at SMX East, a search marketing conference and expo, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes stated that the next Penguin refresh will be released in the “foreseeable future.” He added that he hopes it will arrive by the end of the year and that the algorithm will be in real time. So can we expect a new Penguin perched beneath the Christmas tree or stuffed into our stockings? It’s hard to say, but we do know that a real-time Penguin algorithm could have a major impact on the world of SEO.

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Removing Referral Spam in Google Analytics

Twelve times a year, once a month, like clockwork, we send our clients SEO reports. Each of these reports serves a different purpose, and one of them is devoted to showing clients trends for different traffic metrics, such as sessions, page views, average session duration, bounce rate, referrals from search engines, and more. However, in order to send accurate data, we have to filter out referral spam (also known as referrer spam). This useless data can cloud your site analytics, making it difficult for you to spot the truth amongst so much pseudo traffic. If accurate reporting is important to you (and I think it’s safe to assume it is!), removing referral spam in Google Analytics is absolutely essential.
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