417 Marketing Blog

Are One-Page Websites a Good Idea?

Most websites grow like trees: there is the trunk (the homepage) that extends into several branches (subpages), and those branches veer off into smaller branches and leaves (even more subpages). Climbing these tree-like websites can be difficult, as users must navigate their way through pages and pages of information to get to their chosen destination . . . In more recent years, however, designers have begun creating gorgeous single-page designs that feature innovative transitions and beautiful graphics. Parallax designs are a common example. If a traditional multi-page website is a tree, a modern one-page website is a flower blossom: one large, beautiful, and comprehensive page. By simply scrolling, users can navigate the content of the website. Some websites even “bloom” with new content and graphics as the user scrolls down.

However, despite these websites’ popularity and ease of use, some question the viability of SEO on a one-page site. Are one-page websites a good idea? Or are they simply trendy?

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What Are Alt Tags?

If your friend couldn’t see a beautiful image, what would you do? You would describe it to her, of course. Using words, precise and potent words, you would describe the subjects, the setting, the colors, the mood . . . This is why the alt attribute (more commonly known as the “alt tag”) exists. For without alt tags, without words and descriptions, how would we tell someone who is blind about an image on a website? Similarly, how would we communicate the contents of our online images to search engines? It would be impossible without words. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start by answering a very basic question: what are alt tags? 

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Panda Update 4.1

Since the original Panda algorithm was introduced in 2011, Google has updated it twenty-seven times. The most recent, arriving four months after the previous iteration, is known as Panda update 4.1. It arrived on the scene nearly a week ago (September 25), so I think it’s about time that we give this Panda a once-over. How is it different from the past twenty-six updates? What are the effects thus far? Who’s enjoying the bear’s company and who’s been chomped up like bamboo? Scroll down to find out!

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Google Author Rank Lives On!

Still mourning the recent death of Google Authorship? Wipe away those tears and remember that Google Author Rank lives on!

The late Authorship program was formed so that authors could connect their content to their identity. It was a strong concept, but it failed to live up to expectations. Similarly, Author Rank is an SEO theory that maintains that Google’s perception of an author’s authority and trustworthiness can boost (or hinder) the ranking of that author’s online content. Both programs revolve around the importance of connecting authors to their work, but Authorship was a formal program and Author Rank is a (somewhat) unconfirmed idea. And while Authorship is now in its grave, Author Rank appears to live on.

Even though you can no longer use Google Authorship to connect your name to your content, maintaining an online presence is still important. As appealing as anonymity is in the online world, a verified online profile gives you credibility and authority, which make Google more likely to trust you, which could in turn improve your content’s ranking, assuming Author Rank exists at all, that is . . .

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The End of Google Authorship

Fini. The end. That’s all, folks! After just three years, Google has announced the end of Google Authorship. According to an announcement made by John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools, the search engine will no longer be showing Authorship results in Google Search, and it will stop tracking data from content using rel=”author” markup. Why? It simply wasn’t as useful as Google thought it would be. If you’re interested in learning more about Google Authorship’s life and death, please scroll down.

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What Is Cloaking and Should I Be Using It?

Everyone knows that the Internet is full of deception: blatant lies, manipulated photos, plagiarism, stolen identities . . . As you learn more about search engine optimization (SEO), you may come across another type of online deception: cloaking. “What is cloaking?” you ask? Cloaking is an SEO technique in which different content is presented to human users and search engine spiders. When the website identifies a user as a spider, it sends them an alternate version of the webpage. Some people do this with innocent, “white hat” intentions, but others intentionally mislead search engines like Google so that they can display inappropriate content (like porn) at a higher ranking.

Keep reading to understand how cloaking works, the risks involved, and how it differs from personalization.

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Google Pigeon Update

We all know how much Google loves its zoo of algorithm updatesPanda, Penguin, Hummingbirdso when the search engine decided to leave its latest update nameless, the folks at Search Engine Land stepped in and christened the update Pigeon. With so many interesting animals to choose from (the lemur, the mongoose, the alpaca . . .), why did they go with Pigeon? Because pigeons fly home and this latest algorithm update is improving upon local search results. So exactly what can we expect from the Google Pigeon update? Scroll down to find out.

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The Launch of Google My Business

Earlier this summer, on June 11, 2014, the king of search engines launched its latest project: Google My Business. My Business, a much-needed upgrade to Google Places and Google Plus, helps address the needs of small businesses online. Merging Places and Plus, My Business is a unified portal and a strong foundation for future developments. Its streamlined, unified dashboard makes it easy for business owners to quickly access their dashboard and navigate between business applications. My Business can also help small business owners directly connect with customers and be found within the vast online ocean that is the Internet. Continue reading to learn more about Google’s latest update.

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Google Authorship Photos Removed

Humans tend to trust other humans. Not all the time, of course, but when given a choice between a human-backed product and an anonymous product, most people will choose the former. This concept came in handy with Google authorship photos, which placed a profile picture of the author beside the search result. Seeing a photo of the human behind the website or article, searchers were more likely to trust that the article would be helpful, well-crafted, and reliable. Unfortunately, the era of Google authorship photos on search results pages has ended. Very recently, John Mueller (a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google) announced that Google is saying adieu to authorship photos and circle counts. Scroll down to learn more about this major SERP change.

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Panda Update 2014

Extra, extra! Read all about it! Panda update 2014 is here! That’s right, folksGoogle has officially updated its Panda algorithm. For about a year now Google hasn’t been announcing their Panda updates because the changes have been relatively minor and the updates are performed monthly. So for Matt Cutts (head of Google’s web spam team) to decide that this update was worthy of an announcement and a new name (Panda 4.0) . . . you know this panda is a big shot. The Panda update 2014 will thwart the efforts of websites that have poor quality content, preventing them from ranking at the top of Google’s search results. So what’s this new panda bringing to the SEO game? Scroll down to find out.

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