SEO Impact of Https and Meta Descriptions

SEO Impact

SEO Impact of Https and Meta Descriptions has been questioned time and again.

SEO’s landscape dramatically changes.

Even with that phrase it still sounds like an understatement if we look deeper into how Google’s Panda, Hummingbird and Penguin updates affected so many websites.

Not to mention the blackhat SEO businesses, whose techniques suddenly became obsolete.

This post aims to discuss and look deeper on the relevance of [http://] versus [https://] protocols and how they affect search engine page ranking.

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Furthermore, let us the discuss the importance of meta descriptions and its rumored irrelevance in terms of a criteria to rank.

HTTP Vs. HTTPS

The difference is more than the addition of “s”.

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. With the addition of S, it becomes Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secured.

You probably get the idea here, HTTPS makes browsing secure. Meaning to run your website in HTTPS will make it safer by encrypting the data between the web server and the user. Savvy right?

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SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is the technology that powers the encryption.

Google announced in August 2014 that SSL will become a criterion in SEO impact to rank. This is going to be horrific if your websites are using the standard HTT Protocol.

Does it mean your ranking will suffer?

No. Google’s implementation of SSL is only affecting about 1% of the total indexed webpages. While it is clear that there is a need to move to SSL in the future, need not hurry.

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Content relevance and quality still factors in as the highest SEO impact in terms of page ranking.

Meta Descriptions Impact on Ranking

Among HTML attributes that are hot in the SEO topics in terms of usefulness to ranking is meta descriptions.

The bitter truth about meta descriptions as a factor in terms of search ranking is a myth.

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Nonetheless, those tiny preview snippets appearing in the search have a huge factor in terms of user experience.

So do not discard your meta descriptions. They play as an opportunity for you to be noticed among the list of results. A captivating meta description will increase your chances of being clicked among other indexed websites.

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Google pays so much attention and regard on a website’s click-through rate. In fact, it is Google’s #1 SEO impact being factored in to determine page rank.

Conclusion:

patbaganologobannerDo not rush on HTTPS yet if you cannot afford the security license. There is so much talk about SEO that we often forget the importance of quality and relevant content. Focus on content not for the crawling spiders, focus on content that resonate with your audience’s needs.

Not only will this benefit your ranking but ensure that your marketing goals in lead generation and conversion is achieved.

On meta descriptions, although it is not factored in as a ranking criterion, it is best to write quality compelling meta descriptions that will set you apart from your competition.

High “click-through” rates will do you good, not only for search rankings but in the whole sense of marketing itself.

2 SEO Practices That Doesn’t Matter Anymore

SEO Practices

Let us discuss 2 SEO practices that doesn’t matter anymore. SEO has not only changed; it seems like it took a different shape if you base it 5 years ago. There are new discussions and arguments on Search Engine Optimization almost daily. Ideas today will be challenged tomorrow.
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Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates destroyed a lot of strategies that most SEO people are applying causing the SEO world to shift their focus on quality of content.

Is site submission important?

In the past, webmasters submit URLs to Google Directory. While this feature is still available in Search Console, its indispensable that it is no longer important.

The idea behind it is because when we make a Google search we are not searching the entire web, in fact, we are only searching web pages that Google have sorted and indexed in its library.

How Google does this is by using software programmed to crawl web pages and follow links, or more popularly known as spiders.

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To be indexed by Google, we need to be found by Google, among SEO practices in the past, best practice was to submit your page URLs to the search console.

If you go to the Search Console submission page you will notice that even Google mentions that there is no guarantee or neither can they predict if the page will be indexed.

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Meaning your website will eventually be discovered by the spiders crawling the web for the content you publish, eventually.

So focus more on the content than Search Console Submission.

While it remains to not hurt your website as long as you do not over submit the URL. You can go ahead if you feel like wasting a little bit of your time. But this not on the list of SEO practices that will help you rank.

Links Quantity Over Links Quality

SEO has focused so much on backlinks in the past that backlinks company sprouted like mushrooms a few years ago. There are plenty of SEO companies offering bulk backlinks to websites at a cheap (or some expensive) price. While link-building was once a good and acceptable SEO, this was killed and made obsolete by Penguin 2.0 update.

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In fact, having backlinks from poor quality or non-authority sites unrelated to your industry is subject to penalties by Google more than indexing or ranking.

Meaning when building links to improve your website ranking you need to consider the following:

  1. Inbound links must come from a reputable website related to your industry.
  2. Inbound links must come from authority website, even not related to your industry buts is an authority in news and publishing. Sites like: CNN, Huffington Post, BBC and the like.
  3. Outbound links must also be relevant to the topic on page, anchored to related text.

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While links remain to be an important ranking factor, anyone who wish to rank and remain as a reputable website or blog must consider the quality of links. Investing more on quality content while link building is among the SEO practices that everyone must consider.

Conclusion about this 2 SEO practices:

Leave behind the worries that if you do not tell Google about your website through Search Console submission that you will not be found. You will be, Google spiders are programmed that way.

Focus on creating content that spiders will find relevant to your industry then you will not only be found but loved.

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Review your outbound and inbound links. The quantity of the links in your webpages will only be given weight in page ranking if it is quality. Forget quantity, Google reminds us all the time that we must be writing and creating webpages for our users and not their robots alone.

While it is important we keep in mind best SEO practices to guide the robots in finding our web pages. There is so much consideration that must be placed in the quality of content for the human users.

Successful Blogging Ingredients

Successful Blogging Ingredients

Successful blogging ingredients are quite different from article or content marketing. With the widespread ideas and terminologies across the entire web. It is quite confusing to understand the difference between a blog post and other forms of content.

Writing a blog post on a daily basis is different from other forms of written content marketing.

Not only is it difficult to find a topic that was never written related to your niche, but much energy goes to what format and elements must be added.

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I have summed up the successful blogging ingredients that creates a delicious blog. Considering this list might improve your blog’s traffic:

  1. Make your point

There are a lot of blogs that have so much to say then getting lost in the muchness until they lose their point. You may find some of the things expressed in the blog to have substance, but still there is no point. Successful blogging pays close attention to every post or entry to deliver a particular message.

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A blog post with a point will be able to create a connection with your reader. Then they feel compelled to share, react and engage.

Isn’t the mission of a blog post to communicate a point? So don’t lose it.

  1. Visuals

Among other successful blogging ingredients, visuals are something that is often unnoticed by most bloggers. While there is so much importance to the written words, both for humans and crawlers. Bloggers need to include visuals for their readers. You don’t only blog because you want Google to crawl on your post, I hope.

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The goal with visuals is not only to make your post look interesting but to help your reader to have a stronger grasp on your point. Humans process visuals faster than letters and words strung together.

  1. Framework

To express what you are trying to communicate with your readers you need to organize the ideas first.

Not having a framework will make an incoherent composition that accomplishes nothing.

When you build a structure for your blog entry, follow a layout that is similar to an inverted pyramid.

Express the most important messages at the beginning with supporting details following. In this case you are able to captivate your readers interest.

A good layout will have:

Headings

Subheadings

Paragraph breaks

Bullet points

All these elements support successful blogging in terms of layout, providing a good flow for your readers.

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A good flow for a blog post is:

  1. Introduction – Captivate your reader.
  2. Body – explain the point you are trying to make or several points. Just as long as you remain explaining one point at a time.
  3. Conclusion – Sum up your points and call-to-action.

Nonetheless, for some experienced writers, they have a way to convey their ideas in a different format. But always following a particular structure.

  1. Original Content

You need unique content. Hopefully you are not copy pasting. What is the sense of blogging if you are copy pasting?

Being original means that you have another way of saying things, maybe you have read some things online you wish to write from different perspective.

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Because there are about 2 million blog posts published daily. Sometimes it appears to most bloggers that what they are going to say has probably been said many times, many ways.

Probably, it’s true. Nonetheless your way of expressing the subject, your angle and views will definitely be unique.

  1. Length of Post

There are no rules on this. Although recently, as what have been rumored across the marketing world. Long-form content is favored in search engine rankings. According to people with some strong data to support their theory.  1,000-2,000 word count will do well for page ranking.

Nonetheless, please do not drag your points to lengths called boring just to reach 2,000 words. If you do, dragging might cause you be touching irrelevant subjects.

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Which is no good for your readers. If they often leave, that is going to cause your bounce rate to rise, which is no good for ranking. If the purpose of your blog is to tell your story, just write. Anything above 500 words will probably be okay.

  1. Spelling, Grammar and Syntax

Mistakes happen, I have a habit of posting without proofreading. But that was in the past, now it became a habit to proofread about 5 times before posting. When you copyedit and proofread, it will actually help you grow.

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You will become aware of your common mistakes, if not mistakes can become habitual which is not good of you aim successful blogging.

  1. Links

Before worrying of inbound links and outbound links to increase traffic on your website. First focus on your internal links. Internal links are those you build to link to another post or page within your website. This is also a criterion in enhancing the overall value of your website.

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I will discuss a more detailed internal linking strategy in another post. That’s a whole different point. For now, I just want to express the point that you need to link your posts to whatever is related.

For example, you are blogging about best beaches you discovered and wanted to mention Hawaii. Make a phrase that mentions it and link it to your previous related post.

  1. Encourage Action

More popularly known in the content marketing and blogging world as call-to-action, this is a magic spice that will make your post standout and serve its deeper purpose.

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When a reader has reached the end of your post means they are well engaged in your content. Now they are ready to engage more. Whether you want to build an email list, make them purchase or download your e-book. You need to have a call to action area in every post.

If you are using WordPress try Mailchimp plugin to help you capture emails and build an email marketing list.

A careful inspection of the above ingredients in successful blogging will help you achieve better tactics in the future. Once you gain more experience, you will realize that building structure, linking and adding images will be easier and done more naturally.

Truth About SEO That Business Owners Are Not Aware

Let us discuss the straightforward truth about SEO in a non-techie way.

Upon searching the web about SEO one can easily get lost among the endless contradictions. The rules of Search Engine Optimization dramatically change on a daily basis.

What is best practiced today will be challenged by another idea tomorrow.

If you are not tech savvy, you may get discouraged or easily become a victim of fraud and scams in SEO marketing.

Not only will it cost you a lot of money, but it can get your business penalized by Google to never be indexed ever again.

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Even if you are not a content marketer, it is important to keep updated on SEO related subjects if you have an online presence.

This will make sure that if you haven’t started SEO, that you will start with the right foot first.

If you are already doing a little SEO, this post is intended to set some things straight.

On Viral Content

There are about 2 million blog posts published daily. What will probably set yours apart is uniqueness.

Content that goes viral are both random and rare. To predict how a content goes viral is impossible. What captures people’s attention at a viral level is something we need to leave to chances.

If you are a business owner and you devote all your time and energy to create content to go viral, you are bound to make some serious mistake.

Nonetheless, national and global brands can make something go viral. Not only because they have a very wide existing fan base, but because they can allocate big amounts of money to promote an ad to make it viral.

For small businesses who have no budget to create viral content it is best to just focus the budget on content that can boost your brand’s performance on a local level.

SEO companies promising viral content are those you must stay away from. It is a bunch of lies they made up just to take your advertising money.

On Black Hat SEO -Bad SEO

Black Hat SEO is a term used among internet marketers to label what was once an acceptable kind of Search Engine Optimization. Over time, Google changed the rules, those who used several techniques to gain dominance on first page rankings were penalized by Google.

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It brought about the good practices and bad practices in the open.

In short, Black Hat SEO wants to game the system, trying to dominate search without much relevance to users’ intent.

Since Google strives to provide relevant, reliable and genuine information, it penalized sites using Black Hat SEO.

At best, to rank low, at worse, the domain name to never be indexed.

Keeping your SEO clean and staying away from those who offer Black Hat SEO will serve you best, this is an indispensable truth about SEO .

Much of the rules do not change, tweaking content with short-tail and long-tail keywords remain an acceptable SEO. In fact encouraged to help deliver more relevance to users.

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Maintaining good quality of inbound and outbound links and ensuring you keep updated to recent technology, Google will love you.

On Inbound Links

Incoming links are only good in boosting your page rankings if the links are coming from an authority website. Another truth about SEO that you cannot and must never dispose.

If you are linking to web of untrusted websites, then, sorry to say, you are hurting your ranking.

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You must only link to a related industry website, otherwise, a handful of links coming from non-related websites will mark you as over-optimizing, or using a Black Hat SEO scheme.

On Relevance

Everything on your website must be relevant to the audience you wish to cater to. Google rewards relevance and strength of the content.

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Pay close attention to:

  • Image descriptions
  • HTML tags
  • Title
  • Subheaders
  • Page attributes

All of the above must be aligned with your website’s purpose and your on-page topic.

On being your own SEO specialist

Outsourcing to a content marketing and SEO specialist is a good thing for people who do not have the time. But devoting a little time to be your own SEO specialist is never a bad thing.

Experts on SEO matters and Google have already laid out everything.

There is not much truth about SEO that hasn’t been delivered to the general public.

From monitoring automation to tips on keyword research.

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Knowing a little bit and starting from there can take your website’s performance from zero to hero.

It is important that you also understand a little even if someone else is doing it for you, then you can collaborate easily without having to worry that you are told rubbish.

On Mobile Optimization

It is obvious that everyone is on their mobile devices. Be it mobile phones or tablets. If your website is not mobile friendly, then you are missing out on a large number of consumers.

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Google shows different results for web and mobile. Check your mobile friendliness using Google’s tool. It will tell you everything that is wrong about it. Talk to your web designer on this matter and fix issues at once.

This is one truth about SEO that is being disregarded. Website performance across devices is an important element in ranking.

In short, those who have a website and does SEO, but not mobile friendly, are those discarding the whole essence of optimization. Why waste time and money if you are not optimized across platforms and devices?

Do Keyword Rankings Still Matter?

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Do keyword rankings still matter in 2016? I guess the bigger question is, will it still matter in 2017?

It is mid-2016, we faced great changes in keyword-based content marketing and adapted on great changes in establishing a strong digital brand.

SEO companies and known brands still remind us daily how keyword rankings are still an important metric to measure SEO success.

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Sites ranking on top for high-volume keywords proves to not gain any benefit because they do not meet consumer’s intent. Their bounce rates are higher than ever.

Bad consumer experience is a metric often disregarded because most business owners focus on the number of visitors. Bounce rates are important.

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To rank top on keywords does not equate the metrics for measuring the success of any marketing campaign. Rankings are superb if they can deliver efficiency in business value. Meaning:

  • lead generation
  • conversion
  • promotion
  • retention

Should you rank high for keywords but fail to deliver any of the above, it is the perfect time to reevaluate your content marketing plan. You are not aligned with success.

How far must you track keywords and how?

If you want to exhaust all your marketing budget and energy, go ahead and track all your keyword rankings. Honestly, for what reason? Why all?

An established site will probably own thousands upon thousands of pages. It’s just stupid to even try.

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and delivered the following:

  • lead generation
  • conversion
  • promotion
  • retention

Specific consumer intent is driven by long-tail keywords, which are often not what most businesses want to rank for.

But long-tail keywords have higher performance rate of lead generation and conversion than high volume short-tail keywords.

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Any keyword that diverted traffic at a striking distance from your branded keywords must be tracked and watched. These are the keywords that will propel you to succeed in marketing.

How are you going to do analytics when Google no longer offer it? Manual checks may be done by your SEO team, if not research using third-party tools. Moz.com and buzzsumo.com are good platforms to begin with. There are more but I would write a post about that some other time.

Are on-page keywords still necessary to achieve good page ranking?

Authority websites with high-quality inbound links can forget about on-page keywords. They will rank on keywords that might not at all be in the content they publish. Relevance of the published material is weighed by search engines, especially Google, in a different way now compared to how it was a few years back.

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Relevance of search terms are now engaged in automated query expansion. Synonymous terms are now weighed within individual search terms and are not confined to what was typed by the user.

In short, you can rank on other terms that you are not tracking. Your page may be appearing on search terms that you are not aware of.

User search history and query chains influence results

Because google now uses user search history and query chains, it can be a little tricky tracking keyword rankings.

There is so much personalization involved between the user and Google search.

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If the user often search for “orange” the telecommunications company. Google understands that the next searches using “orange” does not mean the fruit and will not instead show orange plant or fruit.

This query chains are greatly influencing search results, so if you are aiming for high volume keywords versus consumer specific keywords, your content marketing campaign this 2016 is likely to fail, even more when we advance to 2017.

The point

patbaganologobannerSearch engine rankings are information for further marketing analysis. The competition on keywords should align your marketing goals and conversion goals.

Winning the competition among keywords that do not deliver ROI is an indicator that it is of no value to your business. Keyword rankings matter only if they deliver performance in your business.