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Waiting for the Next, Big Penguin Update

During the SMX West panel in March, Matt Cutts announced that a major Penguin update will hit the web sometime in 2013. Penguin was designed to dock rankings for sites that violate Google’s quality guidelines or practice black hat SEO techniques; it’s also designed to reward sites with high quality content. The upcoming tweak is expected to be the biggest update to the algorithm this year. When will it roll out and what can you do to prepare?

Bing Announces Malware Re-Evaluation and Geo-Targeting Tools

Bing has unveiled two new features in Bing Webmaster Tools: Malware Re-Evaluation and Geo-Targeting. The new Malware tool makes it possible for users to detect and monitor malware, while the Geo-Targeting feature helps users provide Bing with information about their target audience.

SEO and Social Media Specialists Identified as Hot Tech Jobs for 2013

Recruitment firms Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group have released 2013 Salary Guides this month that identify SEO/SEM specialists and social media specialists as two of the hottest technology jobs for 2013. Both positions offer strong starting salaries in both the U.S. and Canada, with income ranges that have increased in the past 12 months due to continual high demand for experienced candidates. According to The Creative Group, the growth of online, mobile and social media content has created strong demand for professionals with a range of interactive skills, including user experience designers, mobile developers and online community managers. Marketing professionals with experience using social media measurement and client relationship management tools, for example, are highly sought after. Consumers’ appetite for targeted, up-to-date and easy-to-digest news, information and entertainment seems to grow every day. Organizations need professionals who can create, curate, manage, distribute and optimize content using a variety of channels, including social media. Demand is particularly high for copywriters, proofreaders and content managers with Web expertise

The Smart SEO Quest

Make the rewards of smart exposure yours — use the assistance of a competent SEO agency. It is no longer the case …

5 Ways To Protect Your Website from Future Google Updates — A SPN Exclusive Article

With the recent Penguin update that came down a few weeks ago from Google, a lot of site owners are wondering what they can do to recover from a search engine penalty. We know that Penguin was designed to target webspam tactics (Panda was more about content quality), and while glaring black hat tactics like keyword stuffing are easy to spot and fix, it’s not always as simple to find the gray hat SEO tactics that might be contributing (or will with subsequent updates) to a search engine penalty. Many DIY SEO site owners run afoul of the Google Webmaster Guidelines simply because they don’t realize they are doing anything wrong. If your site has managed to escape unscathed by a Google update so far, don’t assume that you’re free and clear forever. Each search engine update gets a little better at catching and flagging sites that are in violation of the Webmaster Guidelines. Before you find yourself in emergency mode because your organic traffic was cut in half due to a penalty, here are 5 things every site owner can do to protect their website and ensure that future updates will only help their site perform better in the search engines: 1. Forget About Keyword Density There is no “right” number of times you should use a keyword in any given piece of content. Forget every piece of advice you’ve ever heard about keyword density (2%, 6%, use each keyword at least three times!) and just focus on writing great content

Five Tips To Grow Fans And Traffic On Pinterest

Though seemingly new, Pinterest has quickly become a major source of buyers. Pinterest is not new. It has been gradually rising in popularity for the last two years. In fact, it is still in beta now despite suddenly landing in the new number 3 spot on the Social Media Network rankings (as of March 2012). It is thanks to this steadily increasing popularity that the volume of traffic both on the network, and referred from it, have led to an increase in sales for those companies able to sell their stuff in a visually compelling way. If your target audience is primarily women, aged 35 – 55, in households with an average income of $100,000 or more, then Pinterest is a social platform you want to add to your marketing mix. Here are 5 key tips to keep in mind if you do decide it’s for you: 1

Brand reputation management and the media channels

The term brand reputation management has been around for some time now and, over the past year or so, more websites have explored the possibilities of getting away from the hackneyed SEO tag and have embraced the need for brand restoration and management as forms of modern business communications are far broader and personal than reacting to negative posts on Google. A recent article on Mashable spoke with five companies, with each taking a different path to co-ordinating a company’s message on various media classes. Some media types work much better with personalised communications, such as Twitter, with personal customer interactions, suggestions, industry retweets, adventures, film and documentaries, while Facebook seems to lend itself towards more behind-the-scenes content, such as newsletters, Instagram posts, video links, magazine features, Google maps of store locations, product launches, books, customer photos, exclusive discounts for Facebook fans, news updates, etc. So when we talk about brand reputation management it surely isn’t all about mere brand restoration from an unscrupulous business rival or dissatisfied customer. It goes much further than traditional SEO and the manipulation of search engine listings; this involves looking at all the major media channels and deciding what approach should be taken and how to achieve it. In the Mashabale articles, they cited women’s apparel fashion designer Tory Burch as perhaps the best spokesperson on how to achieve this mix, when she opined that “social networks are not best used as a conduit to the brand’s marketing messages, but rather a place for “of the moment” and “off-the-cuff” comments that are “compelling”. Add to this the blog, YouTube promotional videos, Pinterest and Tumblr and you perhaps get to the point where the brand consultant brings scope and understanding of how these media types work to the table. Social communications require a voice that lends itself to feeling a connection with the brand: they want the company to be approachable. But keeping the voice consistent and broadcast in tones relevant across a disparate range of media channels is challenging

Your Most Common SEO Questions Answered

Today I browsed through the 3,500 or so SEO questions people asked at Google and chose the most common ones to answer. I figured that, if so many people were seeking out answers for these SEO questions at Google, many of you may also be wondering the same things. Unsurprisingly, many questions were along the line of “How do I get my site found in Google?” (Answer: Read everything the High Rankings website!) And sadly, there were tons of questions about Meta keywords , as if they had anything to do with SEO. But there were lots of specific questions that you may also have wondered about recently, from very basic things that we in the biz assume everyone already knows to what’s happening right now with Google’s latest algorithm changes. (I’m starting out with the more tricky technical ones. If those go over your head, please scroll down to the “On-page SEO Question” section.) Let’s dig right in… Technical Google Questions Q. Can I recover from Google’s “Penguin Update”