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DMOZ 2017: How to Get Listed

DMOZ 2017: How to Get Listed

In recent years, there has been plenty of debate across the SEO world on whether getting your website listed in a web directory confers any worthwhile ranking benefits. Let us just say that it's a question of relativity. There are web directories and then there is the open directory, better known as DMOZ. DMOZ is essentially the grand-daddy of all online directories. However, getting your website listed in the DMOZ directory is neither easy nor straightforward. In this guide, we will explore some of the tips, tricks and plain common sense approaches that have proven useful in getting a website listed on DMOZ in record time.

But let's cover the nitty-gritty first:

What is DMOZ and Why is it Important?

DMOZ is considered one of the most influential web directories online since Google and other major search engines use it to determine the authority of a website. As a matter of fact, you cannot get listed on the Google Directory if your website is not listed with DMOZ.

While there are many other web directories on the web, none can lay claim to the same sort of credentials as DMOZ. For starters, it is almost as ancient as the World Wide Web itself. It is also a volunteer edited directory, with each and every listing compiled by human volunteers.

The Most Effective Tips and Tricks to Get Listed on DMOZ Fast

It is worth pointing out here that there are no surefire approaches to getting your site listed within a particular time frame. Being a cloud sourced, human controlled process there is no way you can take advantage of bugs or loopholes in the code to get your site ahead of the queue. But there are certain proven approaches which will ensure that your submission stands the best chance of getting approved without undue delays if you follow them to the letter.

Become a DMOZ Editor

DMOZ are constantly recruiting new editors to join their editorial team. While this does not give you free rein to approve any listing requests, it offers you an opportunity to ensure your site (or sites for that matter) is listed speedily.

Applying to become a DMOZ editor is straightforward. However, there is a huge demand for places in the editorial team so you may have to bid your time and keep hoping.

Begin by identifying a specific category which fits your website's content. Below the list of websites, there is a link prompting you to "Volunteer to edit this category". Click it and you will be redirected to a page with detailed instructions about how to do the editing work competently. Make sure you read and understand the guidelines and tips effectively. You can then click "Proceed" to be redirected to the actual application form.

If your application to be an editor at DMOZ is accepted, you will be given limited editorial privileges. You can only edit one category at this level and that is why you should choose the category that best fits your website. But in case you need to have a website in another category, you can always request a fellow editor with full editorial privileges to help you expedite a listing in another category.

 

Don't Try Shortcuts and Underhand Tricks

Never try to use shortcuts and underhand means to expedite the registration of your site. Some "SEO experts" for instance advice that you add some patently misleading information to make your site appear consistent with DMOZ guidelines and then reverting to your actual content once the listing is approved.

Another ineffective trick is trying to submit your website under different categories with the hope that one of them will be picked. The DMOZ editors regularly sift for such applications and label them as spam. In the worst-case scenario, your website could be permanently blacklisted.

It is also becoming common to find adverts for some "automated submission services" to expedite your DMOZ application. Don't even think about it. For starters, such an approach is strictly forbidden in the DMOZ policy statement. Secondly, no automated process can make a better application intended for a human editor than you can do by following the clear guidelines.

Be Specific in Your Selection of Category

As explained above, submitting your site to multiple categories or even sub-categories is more likely to cause harm than good. Just as well, submitting your site to the most general category possible is not helpful. The more general your categorization, the likelier it is that you will join a long queue of prospective sites leading to further delays and frustration about how your request is processed.

Independent statistics show that sites which are submitted to correct and very specific categories in DMOZ are up to four times more likely to be registered compared to those which are not. It is a sobering fact considering that only about 31% of sites listed on DMOZ are submitted to their proper categories.

Make your Description Accurate, Objective and Concise

Each DMOZ application should be accompanied by a brief description of the website. This is where most people fail or excel in making their site approved for listing. Avoid any flowery or biased information. Do not include superlatives like "best", "greatest" or adjectives like "amazing" in the description.

Just as well, avoid stuffing the description full of keywords. Remember the application will be read by a human editor. Do not be too promotional as this will only prompt the editors to edit away the flowery language to project a more neutral tone. More often than not, editor-corrected descriptions are less than impressive.

Do Not Resubmit your Entry

I understand that it can be frustrating waiting for months on end for your application to be processed. However, do not make the mistake of resubmitting your request. This will only lead to further delays as your request will be moved to the back of the queue.

Continue Improving your Website Even as you Wait

Most website owners and editors spruce up their websites prior to applying for inclusion in the DMOZ directory. However, they neglect adding more content as they await the approval to go through. This can lead to rejection as DMOZ editors are specifically tasked with the duty of identifying fresh and engaging content at the time of approving a request. Ensure that you do not have banners declaring "under construction" even if this is only in the minor pages of the site. If certain pages do not have any or adequate content, do not publish them until they are ready.

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SEO vs PPC SEO vs PPC

SEO vs PPC: The Difference Explained

With the new digital age upon us, search engine optimization is as vital as ever. From social media integration to mobile optimization, professional SEO services are designed to help ensure brand validity and higher visibility across Google and the Web. As part of any online search engine marketing or advertising campaign, clients need strong content that effectively attracts and engages new customers. Similarly, captivating and compelling website content must also be easy to scan and digest. This keeps visitors on pages longer – resulting in higher conversion rates and stronger leads and sales. As a form of SEO marketing, Pay per Click Management services can also secure recurring web traffic and business. There are, however, subtle differences between PPC and overall SEO services.

What exactly is Pay Per Click Advertising?

Pay per click (PPC) advertising utilizes strategically placed banners on websites, blogs, and especially social media pages. When these banners are clicked, brands are able to generate leads, revenue, and profit. PPC clicks also increase page rankings and ratings across Google, which can help ensure brand validity and overall awareness. Like business ads and promotional videos, PPC is designed to help brands with the following:

·         Extending brand reach – PPC management can increase traffic to websites, blogs, and social media pages. This results in greater brand exposure, along with higher visibility that makes any brand a leader in their respective industry, sector or niche.

·         Target Core Traffic – Unlike organic SEO, PPC advertisements can be launched faster and truly targets traffic. This brings qualified leads to your site or online venue.

·         Strategic Keyword and Ad Placement – Clients can easily assign different ad copies that include strategic and specific keywords. This increases the quality of the website traffic and leads received – and PPC ads can even be scheduled to run during the best sales periods in geo-specific locations.

·         Keyword and Marketing Campaign Testing – PPC is the perfect way to test keyword and copy strength across the board. In fact, clients can launch multiple PPC ads to determine which ones offer the best leads, traffic, and highest conversion rates for their brands.

·         Maximize ROI – The only time a client pays for PPC is when an ad is clicked (either in-bound or outbound). This means it is easier to manage cost structures, along with tracking conversions and determining overall return on marketing investments (ROI). Clients can also determine how well PPC runs against other traditional SEO marketing and online advertising techniques.

Differences between PPC and General SEO Services

There seems to more flexibility when it comes to PPC marketing and management. For example: social media profiles are pretty much relegated to social media marketing and pages. PPC on the other hand – can easily be integrated into any website, blog, or social media site. While considered a form of SEO, PPC can literally be an entirely separate marketing entity – concentrating purely on securing clicks via outbound or inbound likes. Like the names suggest, outbound links are essentially banners placed on websites – that when clicked – go to related pages or online stores. Inbound links are placed on social media pages, blogs, and other venues – that when clicked – lead back to your specific site or page. The key to PPC, however, is to secure optimal placement on search engines – namely Google. While it can take some time to build a strong and recurring audience or clientele, PPC has been proven to help companies increase revenue and build stronger awareness across the Internet.


 

Traditional and New SEO Services

The new digital age has seen a number of changes and enhancements in SEO and search engine marketing. No longer is SEO simply relegated to strategically placed keywords on sites – hoping to drive sales and web traffic. Today’s SEO is a comprehensive and cohesive platform with a myriad of marketing tools and techniques. The following are designed to increase overall visibility on Google, while meeting all White Hat techniques and criteria:

Social Media Integration

No marketing campaign is ever complete without social media integration. From Facebook to Twitter, there are now over a million global companies with pages on these platforms and networks. The main essence of social media is to instantaneously generate a lasting “buzz” about your products and services. This is done via strong social media profiles that help extend your brand’s reach and message across the Web. The addition of daily posts, promotional videos, and other techniques help foster “likes” by followers, while targeting new customers and clients as well. Companies are then able to market their services to core, niche or mass audiences – while establishing brand awareness and visibility to secure higher page rankings on Google.

Mobile Marketing

Google is the world’s largest and most popular search engine. As part of its recent updates and changes to algorithms, all sites must now be optimized for mobile readiness. This allows your pages, blogs, and sites to be accessed via wireless, remote and digital devices. This results in higher visibility on local search results, along with all mobile and wireless platforms. Other benefits of mobile integration in SEO campaigns include but are not limited to:

·         Responsive web design – the ability for sites to reshuffle content when accessed by mobile devices. This is imperative in meeting all Google mobile media requirements and criteria.

·         Industry-specific and relevant content – mobile content must be industry-specific and high quality in nature. This can procure stronger leads, while propelling brands to new heights in their industries.

·         Geo-specific mobilization – mobile content can easily be streamlined and centralized to reflect all current and burgeoning SEO trends. In fact, companies can tailor content to target geo-specific audiences that utilize mobile devices to access information while on the go.

Long gone are the days of traditional desktops and conventional laptops for information access. Today’s potential clients and customers want to access information while on the go. As imperative as it is to have a strong social media presence – it is equally important to secure a strong mobile presence. With over 67% of global companies now with mobile sites, it is essential for new and existing brands to optimize all their sites for mobile friendliness.

Content-Based Marketing

Content still plays a pivotal part in establishing brand professionalism and notoriety. However, long gone are the days of lengthy content that would take forever to load and access. Today’s content must be precise, concise, and designed to captivate and compel mass audiences. This includes web content, which can still include strategic keywords for linking purposes. All web content should also entail visible social media links, along with at least one promotional video for brand marketing purposes. With years of extensive industry experience, local SEO companies have the tools and experience to create high-quality content that meets or exceeds Google’s latest updates. This includes but is not limited to:

·         Blogging – daily or weekly blogs are industry relevant and can procure greater leads and recurring clientele. Content will always be engaging, fresh, and reflective of the current SEO and marketing trends.

·         Social media profiles – strong social media profiles can truly attract visitors and potential customers to any site, blog, or online venue. SEO content specialists can easily create profiles that help your business become competitively viable.

·         Website and mobile content – content that is easy to scan, digest and straight to the point. Website and mobile content will include keywords and links.

For more information on SEO and PPC marketing, simply contact your local SEO agency and get the services you deserve.

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What Does SEO Stand For?

What Does SEO Stand For?

Regardless of the the field you are in, what type of product or service you provide, or if you simply surf the web for personal use, it is tough not to notice the high instance of the three-letter acronym of SEO that perpetually pops up. Most curious minds want to learn more and wonder what does SEO stand for. 

So, What Does SEO Stand For?

As you can tell by Internet searches, the allure and mystery of SEO meaning and SEO definition is not unusual. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, but the meaning is so much greater to marketing professionals and anyone who sells products or services. SEO is the ongoing activity in which these professionals become involved to generate activity to attract attention and traffic to their business's website. 

With the basic SEO meaning and SEO definition, as well as knowing how vital it is to stay in the good graces of Google when creating and tending to a website, you might have a somewhat better picture of this critical part of online life for professionals. 

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SEO & Google’s Mobile Search Update

SEO & Google’s Mobile Search Update

Is your website mobile friendly?  If not, now’s the time to give it some serious thought.  Up until recently, having a mobile-friendly website was simply an advantage over your competition.  However, this changed last week when Google announced that it’s going to start using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

This announcement is a game changer for most webmasters and business owners.  It’s very unlike Google to provide such specifics about an update that it plans to release.  With this being the case, we anticipate this update having a huge impact on mobile search results.  Mobile friendly websites will surely be rewarded with better rankings while non-mobile sites will experience a decline in rankings. Exactly how much of an increase or decrease we don’t yet know, but if your website gets a lot of traffic from organic rankings, I don’t think you’re going to want to wait around to find out.  After all, 1/4 of all searches are now being done from mobile devices. With several billion searches being completed each day, this adds up to a whole lot of searches that you are not going to want to miss out on!

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What is the Google Pigeon Update?

What is the Google Pigeon Update?

Google Pigeon is an update to the local ranking algorithm that Google launched on July 24th, 2014.  Google stated the purpose of the update was to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results. In addition, Google said that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.  Unlike other major updates that Google has implemented over the last couple of years, this update is not a penalty based update - it’s a change to the local search ranking algorithm itself.

What has changed?

Some of the key changes noticed to date include:

  1. There are a lower number of search results that include local listings.

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  2. The new local ranking algorithm ties deeper into their web search capabilities, meaning it is now taking into account more of the traditional search ranking signals.
  3. Local business listing directories such as Yelp and Yellow Pages have seen a significant boost in rankings. For some searches, the entire list of results are made up of local directory listings.
  4. Searches done in larger cities are including more results from the center of the city vs. the outskirts.
  5. Local link building and/or content creation has a big impact on local rankings.
  6. Business reviews play an important part of the ranking process.

What should I do now?

If you own a local small business, it’s more important now than ever to have your business listed in local, authoritative directories and websites (also knows as Citation Building).  With 59% of consumers using Google every month to find local businesses1, you’ll want to be found.  Along with your local citations, you'll also want to persuade your customers into leaving reviews. As I touched on above, the more reviews your business has the more popular your business will seem to Google (and the other major search engines) and will therefore be rewarded with better local search engine rankings. And we all know better rankings leads to more business!

 

1. MDG Advertising

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Rich Snippets:  An Overview

Rich Snippets: An Overview

As Google continues to enhance their search results for a better user experience, webmasters, business owners, and the like have been scrambling to keep up with the changes.  Back in 2009 Google introduced rich snippets on their Google Webmaster Blog, which to many was just a buzzword that made little sense and was not important enough to pursue. Today, rich snippets are an important part of the search engine result pages (SERPS) and something you do not want to ignore.

What is a Rich Snippet?
A rich snippet is essentially just a small summary of the data that a user can expect to see on a web page.  Its intent is to help the user discover websites that are more relevant to their searches and aid in the decision making process before they click on a listing in the SERPS. Listings that include a rich snippet are much more likely to get the click than a standard listing without.  Here’s a good example:

When looking at these listings, are your eyes drawn to the first one?  Precisely.  This is exactly why you should be using rich snippets within your website. It’s an excellent way to set yourself apart from your competitors and gain additional clicks.

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Google Penguin 3.0 and How to Recover

Google Penguin 3.0 and How to Recover

In years past, it was very simple to rank a web site high atop Google's search results without devoting the time to creating relevant, high-quality content.

Google domination could be achieved with sneaky, underhanded tactics known as "black hat" search engine optimization.

Black hat SEO methods included stuffing keywords into the text of a web site as densely as possible, paying for hundreds (or thousands) of low-quality back links to your site from link farms, subscribing to blog networks to procure more back links, and primarily using keywords as anchor text for links.

For years, these techniques, all relatively easy to execute, paid off in a big way for marketers, as they were able to rank web sites which took little time to build and provided little informative content very highly in search results, even for highly competitive and heavily searched keywords.

High rankings for hot keywords, of course, translated to loads of visitors and heaps of profits for webmasters employing black hat SEO tactics. Like everything else in the world of technology, word spread quickly about the profitability of such methods, which encouraged even more marketers to jump on the bandwagon and start using them to boost their own sites' rankings.

The house of cards known as black hat SEO began to topple in the spring of 2012, when Google initiated the first of an ongoing series of changes to its algorithm for ranking web sites. These updates came to be known as the “Penguin” updates, and for marketers employing the above methods to achieve high rankings, their sites got hit like a Tyson haymaker to the side of the cranium.

Within a matter of days, sites that were ranked in the top three for highly searched keywords found themselves buried several pages into the search results or worse, de-indexed by Google completely. Internet marketing message boards became inundated with post after post describing five-figure-per-month incomes from web sites disappearing overnight.

Even those sites employing black hat SEO who survived Google's initial Penguin update in 2012 were not out of the woods -- not by a long shot. 

A year later, Google unveiled Penguin 2.0, a more sophisticated version of the same update which sought out the same tactics for de-indexing.

Then, just two weeks ago in October 2014, Penguin 3.0 delivered yet another blow to thousands of web sites that had achieved high rankings using tactics of which Google no longer approved.

For those webmasters who saw their rankings take a tumble following Penguin 3.0, there are steps you can take to get back into Google's good graces by ensuring that your search engine optimization tactics fall within their approved parameters.

Link Detox: Using a reputable link removal service to restore your Google ranking!

The first step toward Google penalty recovery is to eradicate all the questionable back links to your site by using a link removal service. This is known as link detox. As long as Google's spiders are able to follow links from link farms and blog networks back to your site, your rankings will never recover.

A link removal service uses similar spiders to seek out these links and remove them, nullifying the transgression in search engine optimization for which your site was penalized by Google.

Your next move should be to analyze all the text on your site to ensure that you have enough text on your important pages and that it is written to be read by human beings, not search engine spiders.

Those spiders you were trying to impress by stuffing keywords and using other similar tactics have gotten a lot more sophisticated in the last five years. They are now able to discern quality of writing, and if the text on your site doesn't flow naturally, the spiders will be able to detect it and your site will be penalized in its rankings.

Make your writing natural and readable, and insert keywords naturally where you can.

Finally, you want to do your best to replace all the questionable links that the link removal service found and removed with high-quality back links from reputable sites. eComp Marketing offers a diverse range of high caliber link building services that can help you effectively accomplish this task. 

Getting penalized by Google's Penguin 3.0 update hurts. There is nothing worse than seeing your successful web site lose the majority of its traffic thanks to Google's whim. But, that is the nature of the beast in our current climate where one behemoth -- Google -- effectively dominates the web search game.

The good news is that by employing link detox from a link removal service, you can restore your site's ranking -- along with its traffic and profits!

 

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Recovering from Google Penguin with Link Removal Service

Recovering from Google Penguin with Link Removal Service

Google, in an effort to improve search engine results, constantly evaluates websites and their ranking algorithm to ensure the results users are receiving are of the highest quality. On April 24, 2012, the search engine giant released an algorithm update known as the “Penguin” update. This update was designed to target websites violating the webmaster guidelines established by the company. More specifically, it targeted websites with over-optimized backlink profiles.  Google estimates approximately three percent of search engine queries done in English were affected by the update. Another update, referred to as Penguin 1.1, followed the original on May 25, 2012 and another on October 5, 2012. Although fewer sites were affected with the subsequent updates, any site that was impacted by one of these changes may find they need help recovering from these penalties imposed by Google.

Many businesses now find they are in need of a penguin recovery service thanks to unnatural links or over optimization. If you have received this dreaded news, you may believe you have no choice but to start a brand new website. Others are under the impression that they must rush out and find a massive amount of high quality links in a short period of time to offset the negative ones therefore spending a massive amount of money to accomplish the feat. However, this doesn't have to be the case as a genuine link removal service can be of great help.

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How Local SEO Benefits Your Small Business

How Local SEO Benefits Your Small Business

Each month there are more than one billion searches entered into the major search engines.  35% of these searches are from people looking for local merchants, so that means there are over 300 million people looking for products or services that YOU provide. Is your website being found? If not, it’s a bit of an understatement to say that you are missing out. 

Local SEO, or search engine optimization, allows you to reach potential customers in your geographical area. The majority of people searching for local businesses are ready to make a purchase.  In fact, more than 60% of local searches generate a sale. 

Local SEO

At its heart, SEO is designed to promote your website for particular search terms. By combining specific keywords with high quality SEO services, you can boost your website's rankings for search terms like "energy efficient light bulbs" or “Chicago coffee shops”.  The key is to determine the specific keywords people are using to find your business online and to optimize your website for them.

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Importance of Keyword Analysis in Online Marketing

Importance of Keyword Analysis in Online Marketing

Keywords are essential in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and therefore to your online marketing success. Keywords are the terms that searchers enter into search engines, such as Google or Bing. A search engine will return a list of search results based on its analysis of how likely the web page, PDF or other item will meet the searchers’ needs. Searchers typically look through page one of the search results to find what they are looking for; they rarely go even to page two. By using effective keywords in your web content, you’ll increase your chances of appearing on page one of the search results. Appearing on page one increases the chances the link to your site will be clicked. This, in turn, will increase your opportunity to gain prospects and sales. 

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Pay Per Click Management for Online Business

Pay Per Click Management for Online Business

Pay per click (often referred to as PPC) is an effective and popular advertising strategy that is used by the major search engines, Google, Bing Paid Advertising and Yahoo. The strategy provides instant and much targeted traffic to the online business website almost immediately. In this online marketing strategy, the website owner is obligated to pay whenever someone, whether locally or in another remote part in the world, should click on his online advertising.

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