Digital Marketing: What is Black Hat, What is White Hat?

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Digital marketing is a very competitive industry, and when a SEOs’ pay and pride are dependent on the performance of their sites search rank, drastic measures will be taken. What is meant by drastic measures is that SEO’s will attempt tactics and maneuvers in attempts to get their page higher within search results. These frowned upon activities are known to be Black Hat. The inverse to Black Hat activities is titled White Hat, where White Hat consists of the methods of SEO that are endorsed by the search engines. Because the readers’ best interests are at heart, some of the major Black Hat tactics will be discussed in efforts to prevent the taboo tactics from being used on your respective pages.

The most common Black Hat tactic is Keyword Stuffing. It is well known in the SEO community that the use of specific keywords is critical to the rank of your page, but what has happened is users are stuffing their pages with a desired keyword. Users have been creative enough to hide the stuffed keywords in hidden HTML text to only be read by the Google bots. Another dirty tactic used is referred to as doorway pages. This is simply creating a page that will only be seen by the Google bots in efforts to get the pages rank up. Other tactics include

-        Interlinking

-        Duplicate content

-        And Cloaking

There are many White Hat tactics like honest link building that will raise your rank, but it’s important to remember that interesting original content is and always will be king. So avoid the aforementioned Black Hat tactics. Even though they may provide a boost to your rank in the short term, the unethical behavior will be caught on to and your page will be dropped or even banned form the search engine.

Digital Marketing: What Not To Do

There are many methods and theories that will move you up pages in the search engine results, but what is rarely covered are what bloggers and SEO’s alike do that make their page rank fall. First thing’s first, if you are doing or have done any of these things accidently or purposefully, stop and seek corrective action immediately. A few things that can really damage your reputation with the search engines are duplicate content, writing a blog very similar to another’s, or simply copying and pasting content from another page. These things can get your page falling in a hurry. Next on the list is not as obvious; you don’t want to remove content from your page or significantly change it for that matter. When your page is crawled by the search engines it builds a reputation based on that content, so if that great post isn’t there or is hardly the same, the bots see the site as losing a leg and thus less valuable for the users.

For larger corporations or serious hit generating bloggers, a tricky issue is moving content between domains. Developing a long-standing reputation is difficult to do while copying and pasting is very simple. So when a new domain pops up with your large corporation’s content on it, the bots won’t know the difference. It’s either duplicate content or a brand new one that will need to sit in the google sandbox.

Looking at potential problems on a long-term scale, the best practice is to pay attention to trends in google algorithms. As was discussed in the previous post, Google Humming bird was released in August 2013 and with it came changes to the way users receive content form the engine and how the engines present that content. This is a reoccurring trend. Google is very proactive, and as an SEO it would behoove you to be the same. Get ahead of the trend and match your content to the new algorithm by hitting the “How-to” bandwagon and making your content user friendly with the answers to questions. Because on the contrary, if you’re stuck in the past you can be wasting valuable SEO time by no longer giving the bots what they’re looking for.

Digital marketing courses will assuredly aid you in keeping your rank up, or if you are in an established organization, I suggest consulting other SEO’s and IT professionals about how to move your content and keep up with the trends of the times

How To Interpret Google Hummingbird?

Google has launched a new search algorithm in August 2013. This launch has some digital marketers worried, but first let’s discuss what’s different about Google Hummingbird. The new algorithm is tailored to fit Google’s mission: best serve the users with the results that they desire. But what caused the change in strategy is the fact that users of Google are not searching for specific keywords, they are asking questions. The accessibility of the internet is changing the way the users search, for example when someone has an unanswered question or conflict, what do they do? Out comes the cellphone or tablet, waiting for a voice command or long tailed search question to be entered.

Google, now having this information, has adapted to give the users what they want. Google previous to Hummingbird would look at a long tailed search input such as, “What is Steve Yzerman’s birthday?” and give you search results to “Steve Yzerman” but not necessarily a connection of the question as asked. So Hummingbird was built to do just that: answer questions. Now if you were to type the same question a search window will appear with the answer atop the page.Image

This is excellent for the users because you no longer have to browse pages for the content you desire. But how does this affect SEO’s? Hummingbird giving the answers to questions that SEO’s sites provide can be a click reducer. Users are no longer clicking on the page that SEO’s worked hard to rank up. Swallow the sour milk and move on. This will not be detrimental to the SEO’s. The common good practices will still work and the sites will still move accordingly. The sites will simply have to “adapt or die” as Billy Beane states in Moneyball. Tailor future posts to fit the “how-to” nature of the common user and reap the benefits of the new algorithm. If not, someone surely will, Google or not.

Worried about the Google Partners Exam?

 

You’re not alone. Thousands of aspiring digital marketers and SEO’s are prepping for the Google Partners exam. This brings about an opportunity to share a link for a practice exam that is a helpful tool in preparations for the exam.

A few of the major topics on the exam consist of Google Adwords and the various facets within, including: Google search & display, Keyword planner, and deeper tools like Google remarketing. Remarketing hasn’t been touched on so far by this page but that’s not due to a lack of importance. Remarketing is the concept of reaching out to the customers that have already been to your page.

To dig a bit deeper, lets go over an example of remarketing. Say you’re running a website for a ticket exchange. Customers will come and go as they please but not always find what they are seeking. What remarketing will allow us to do is target a more specific ad to customers that have already been to the page. So in the ticket exchange example, we can serve a specific ad for a great ticket deal for team X that the customer has already been documented as browsing.

This remarketing feature both serves the customer with what they are interested in, in a specific manner as well as improving the conversion rates for a campaign within Adwords. Your common digital marketing courses will cover remarketing as well as the other Google tools in depth. So if you’re still nervous for the Adwords exam check out some of the tools within Adwords. Practicing is the best way to acclimate yourself with the levels and terminology.

Digital Marketing Courses: What would I learn from them?

In some of the top digital marketing schools you can expect to learn a bevy of digital marketing strategies and tactics for search engine optimization and search engine marketing. So far we have looked at what schools provide the training, what some of the major topics are and scratching the surface on how the tools work. For example, Google Adwords. Moving deeper we can plunge into some of the depths of Adwords and touch on the Google partners program.

The top digital marketing courses, if they’re of any validity, will prepare you to be a Google Partner, formerly known as the google certification exam. Being a Google Partner gives you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of within Adwords by testing you on the various levels within Adwords. In addition to the knowledge gained from the exams and reading material, having the partnership sits well with potential employers. It almost serves as a badge of validity. Being a google partner will ensure that you can navigate through the various levels of Adwords. For example: know that the campaign level is where you would be to look over the accounts that you have running for multiple businesses as well as browsing the billing information. Further than that, you would move to your ad groups where you would break down what you would be advertising for a specific campaign.  The image below will provide an example of how you might break down your campaign for online electronics shopping.

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This is only a brief synopsis of the Adwords structure, to be able to move further and potentially become a google partner reading the Google partners training text ,as well as staying tuned because the depths of Adwords will be discussed in future blogs.

Tools to become a successful Digital Marketer/SEO.

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Well as I’m sure everyone has heard, Google is a powerful tool. This holds true for digital marketers as well. Google currently offers an application called Google Adwords. This tool is useful to marketers and business owners alike. The tool can be used to compile data on the keywords being searched through Google search. This is useful to marketers because it provides us with the data on the topics with which they’re trying to market. So, utilizing the keyword planner we can find the optimal location to place advertisements.

The Keyword planner goes a few layers deep. Not only will it enable marketers to find keywords to advertise upon, it will also help them narrow their scope for the advertisements. For example, an auto dealership in Ann Arbor, Michigan has a pretty slim chance of pulling sales from customers in Toledo. The tool will enable you to narrow the scope to the specific areas that you feel your target market resides.

In addition to the features of scope already discussed, Ad words lets the customization run deeper. Marketers can designate a specific time period for certain ads. For example, if a local bar had a low budget they could only run their ads from 7 to 11 pm, the optimal times for bar goers to be checking the feeds and heading out. Optimization at its finest.