Penguin Update: A Disaster for SEO in Hotel and Tourism Marketing

Trouble with Tourism Search and SEO for Hotel Marketing

See YouTube profile for more on how small hotels and tourism marketing is failing with latest Google penguin updates

We have not tested all markets but here is what we found with hospitality. We were looking for listings accommodation in a specific market. A year ago they were many small local hotels listed in the search results. Today they have all gone, only large brands and OTA are listed.  Penguin it seems is looked for authority brands.

 

The video is one of a series we are doing on our Free Video Series on tourism and destination marketing .

The videos are in depth analysis of marketing and cover SEO, Press Releases, content marketing and all of the latest trends. Subscription is free.

Check out the Youtube profile and blog (below) for more information on search-evolution.

 

Related blogs

Evolution of Search by Danny Sullivan | Review and analysis of SEO evolution on Blogger

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Writing Website Content to Build Your Business Online

Your Website Content: Tips to Build your Business Online

Building your business online is the combination of all that you you do to create a website and position your brand with online marketing. To get the full flavour you may read the book “How to Build Your Business online” which you can buy on Amazon. In these blog we try to supplement what is in the book with an expansion of the themes and concepts covered in the book. We also add details and news about changes that are important. The blogs stand on their own but you should read the book to see how it all fits together. Much of what is in the book is not repeated in the blogs.

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Content is King
When you are trying to establish an online presence for your business, one of the most important ways to build your business online is through providing high-quality website content. To be successful online, content is king. Even if you have optimized your content successfully so that your audience can find you, if you have nothing interesting to say then they will quickly leave your website and go elsewhere. You want to be sure to capture their interest immediately. To do this, there are several tips that can help you create compelling copy.

Be Concise
When consumers are reading online copy, there have shorter attention spans than when they are sitting down to read a piece of journalism or a novel. It’s always in your best interest as a content writer to get to the point as quickly as possible. Online readers are more likely to scan than to actually read. Using small sentences and paragraphs will help them digest more information in a shorter amount of time. Other ways to help break down your text to help online readers include:
• Use bullet points
• Use sub-headings to break up your content
• Limit one through per paragraph
• Use bold and italics to stylize your content and add emphasis
These basic tips will make your content immediately more compelling, and can help build your business online by retaining the reader’s attention while they scan your piece.

Don’t Overdo Promotional Language
Nothing is a bigger turn-off than writing website content that reads like a big advertisement for your business. Don’t overdo exclamation points or make grandiose claims about your product, or your readers will quickly go elsewhere. Instead, you can build your business online in a more subtle fashion by using unbiased language and providing useful facts that will show, rather than tell, them how your product will improve their lives. Today’s readers are savvy and skeptical, so you will have to win them over. Specific details will help prove that you do have something worthwhile to show them.

Spice up your Content
Using links and images will help make your website content more entertaining and visually appealing. Links will help your readers scan the content and find what they are looking for more quickly as well, whether they go to your product pages or simply to other useful sites on the web that your readers might enjoy.

Pay attention to your tone as you are writing content.
It should be personal enough that the reader can feel that they relate to you, and want to learn more about what you’re selling. To build your business online, you don’t want to overdo a sales pitch or provide dry facts. Instead, you will need to keep your content lively, engaging, and to-the-point.

Video Tutorial SEO

Video Publishing To Build Your Brand Online

Video Publishing – Using Video for SEO
There is a lot to say on this subject – It is dealt with quiet extensively in our SocialIndexEngine.com website and reviewed in the my book which is available in kindle and paperback on Amazon.

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In this article we look at how video is used for Search Engine optimization specifically.

There are now more tools than ever before to help businesses start getting off the ground. If you are looking for ways to grow your business through online marketing, you’ll want to look carefully at all of these various avenues. One of the most exciting is video publishing. By creating informative videos about your business, you can start marketing your business to a far wider audience. There are numerous consumers who may be hesitant to read an article, but would happily sit through a video, and you can create the video with this audience in mind. Yet once you have created your video, the next step is to figure out how to publish it in a way that it will be picked up by the search engines, using SEO techniques.
Best Places to Publish Videos
To increase the SEO of your video and help drive traffic to your business’s website, you will first need to think about where to publish it. Some of the top websites that publish videos include:
• Vimeo
• Blip.tv
• Metacafe
• YouTube
These are all free to use, by simply setting up an account for your business. You don’t have to build or host any video player of your own, and their server will carry the bandwidth so that you don’t have to.

How to Use SEO when Publishing Videos
Finding the right outlets to publish your videos is one thing, but it’s important to remember that there is a high level of competition out there for videos. Millions of videos are published every day, and most of these will not become viral sensations. Yet there are tricks that you can use to increase the chances of consumers finding your video. You should use a clear, descriptive title, and make use of as many tags as possible that will help your audience find you. These tags can describe your video in terms of content and genre. Another way to boost SEO value is to post the video’s transcript in its description, so that all the keywords in the transcript will be picked up by the search engines.

These are ways to increase traffic to the actual video posted on a separate hosting site. However, many business owners will want to drive traffic to their own main website with the help of videos. Another way to use video publishing to boost SEO of your main website is to publish them directly on your site. You can then submit a video sitemap to search engines, which will help boost your page rankings. Be sure that if your video is embedded on another site, that it links back to your main website rather than back to YouTube, or you won’t build any page rank.

>>> More http://socialindexengine.com

Mobile Marketing: The New Internet

Mobile Marketing – A Vital Tool in Online Marketing
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In today’s fast-paced world, more consumers now have mobile phones than landlines. Most of us carry around our mobile phones everywhere we go, particularly with the comprehensive online capabilities of smart phones. This opens up a wide resource for online marketing. More and more businesses are making use of mobile marketing to reach a new audience and capture their interest. Text messaging, product alerts, sales devices, and tie-in promotions are all capabilities that fall under this umbrella.

Mobile Advertising Strategies
One of the primary ways to use mobile marketing is by using it for advertising purposes. When you build up a network of subscribers to your text alerts, you can send out information right to their front door. This could include advertisements about new products, promotional events, sales, or other note-worthy news that you think your audience might be interested in. One thing to keep in mind is that your audience will definitely not want to be bombarded with daily messages or spammed with advertisements. If you overdo this form of online marketing, it can backfire and leave you with a lot of unsubscribed messages. Keep your content lively, fresh, and offer your customers great deals. This will ensure that they look forward to receiving texts from your business.

To get customers to sign up for your text alerts, you can put the offer to join your mailing list on your website or in your email newsletters. Many businesses choose to tie in extra promotions or incentives to signing up with this alert service. Clarify to your customer base what benefits they will receive, so that you can entice them to sign up for your mobile service.

Further Promotional Tools
There are many ways that you can get more interactive with your mobile online marketing efforts. If you have a physical brick and mortar shop, for example, you could offer your customers a special barcode message through text that will give them a special deal in your shop. You could also offer markdowns on services for customers that refer friends to the text messaging service. Having a catchy slogan can help bring in new business.

With these types of special promotional tools, it’s a good idea to have a clear expiration date. For example, if you offer a special barcode that gives your customer a discount, you should make it valid for only a week or so, which will require them to make a purchase or come into your shop during this time period. This is an easy way to boost sales through the promotional tools available through mobile marketing. More and more consumers are growing to expect having these special types of mobile online marketing tie-ins, and will appreciate getting more interactive with your business.

For the full Mobile & brand Marketing campaign see http://SocialIndexEngine.com

For the complete integrated strategy overview Buy the Book atAmazon

Social Media Strategies To Market your Business

Social Media Strategies – Using Social Media for Online Marketing

We have covered this in the book. You may purchase the book at Amazon Paperback | Kindle |

In this blog and in other we simple add to that knowledge and keep you up to date as things change. Please buy the book to be sure you have VIP access to this members area.

Tips to help you use Social Media
The rise of social media has been a great boon for business owners who wish to reach out to their audience and grow their client base organically. If you want to make the most out of what these online marketing tools can provide for you, there are a few tips to keep in mind. With the right social media strategies, you can drive traffic to your website, grow your client base, and provide higher quality services for your customers.

Communication Techniques
To most effectively use social media for online marketing purposes, you have to use your profiles as a two-way street. The most successful accounts will be those that listen to the feedback that their audience is giving them. You can respond to comments, join discussions, and use this information to spark your own conversations that you know your audience will be interested in, which can also grow their interest in your brand as a result. The best messages will be those which are highly focused. Rather than trying to implement all strategies at once, be sure to pick one or two strategies and focus on providing high quality content.

Two Way Street
Many people use social media as a way to communicate with businesses or brands that they admire. If someone in your audience leaves you a comment or asks a question, be sure to respond. Monitor the comments and discussions on your blog and social media profiles, so that you can contribute in return. Check in at least once a day to stay on top of your profiles and follow up with your audience.

High Quality Content
The content that you produce is another facet of successful online marketing through social media. It’s better to spend your time writing a blog post to share through social media that you think your connections will want to read and share with others, rather than putting out frequent content that is generic. The upside of this high quality content is that it’s more likely to be shared by your audience on their own Twitter or Facebook accounts, which can drive a whole new audience to your business in return. With more people talking about your business or website, you will also be picked up by Google and may see a boost in your page rankings.

Don’t Give Up
With any of these social marketing strategies, it’s important to remember that it will take time to start seeing a boost in sales or connections. Too many small business owners think that once they have joined social networks they will have instant online marketing success. However, it takes time to grow your connections, so it’s important not to give up and to persevere with your marketing efforts.

For the complete Done For you Social Media Management and Brand Marketing that drives business directly to your website Go to http://SocialindexEngine.com

How to Write a Press Release To Build Your Business

How to Write a Press Release – Brand Marketing Secrets

When you are looking for ways to get the word out about your brand, one of the most effective marketing strategies is to write a press release for the media. This is a good way to go about brand marketing, and increase the chances of further distribution while gaining press. However, newsrooms are flooded on a daily basis with press releases, so if you want to ensure that yours stands out from the crowd, you will need to make it sparkle. This includes paying attention to format and content.

It’s important to remember that your press release is your way of making a first impression, so you will want to make it count. Another factor to keep in mind is that today’s press releases are distributed online through wire services and over websites, so your potential customers will be reading it as well as members of the press. The following are a few tips to make sure your first impression is a good one.

1. Look at Samples
If you’ve never written a press release before, it’s a good idea to start the process by reading samples and looking at templates to get a feel for what your finished product should look like.

2. Stay on Topic
Before you write down a word of your press release, sit down and have a good brainstorming session. Think about what your message is, and what you want everyone to know about your business. This will help you with brand marketing. The news in your press release should be obvious, rather than just a generic bio of your brand. You will need a good headline that captures the reader’s attention immediately. Examples could include how your new product will improve the reader’s life, or how it might relate to current events.

3. Pay Attention to Structure
The structure of a good press release for brand marketing purposes will follow a certain format. To begin with, you will want to keep it under one page.
• Put “for immediate release” at the very top of the page. This can be followed by the headline in the center, and a subhead that further clarifies the headline. These are good places to work in keywords to optimize your content.
• The first paragraph is the most important part of your press release, because many readers will not go any further. Be sure that your message is summarized in this paragraph.
• Use at least one quote if you can from someone knowledgeable about the news you are releasing. This will add credibility to your press release and help you with brand marketing.
• In the last paragraph, include information about your company, including when it was founded, the mission statement, and any achievements you would like to share.
• Don’t forget contact information at the top or bottom of the page.

4. Tips for PRWEB

PRWEB is the Press Release service by VOCUS . It has the reputation of being the best, and it is the most expensive. With PRWEB you can and should distribute the release and embed a Video, a Report (PDF), a picture and a Quote. You can also target specific media and journalist. If you are a VOCUS member you can also get alerts on journalist who are looking for articles you might want to write. There is an online search facility that allows members to find journalist and story request by topic of interest.

PRWEB requires a summary and suggests that you put a link to your landing page right in the summary. They also have a SEO analysis tool that will let you know how your release ranks for keywords, links, and content etc.

Here are some examples of press releases that have worked well

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/07-Barbados-Unesco/prweb9695506.htm – 72,000 impressions


http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/06HolidayCars/prweb9606827.htm
40,000 impressions

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/06TiamiSailing/prweb9558895.htm


http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/05-adventuretrours/prweb9540490.htm
59,000 impressions

Party Holidays 63,000 impressions


How to Build Yoiur Business Online – The Book:
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Google + & Google Places For Business

Google + and Google Places – How to Use Google for Internet Marketing and Branding

Google is more than just a search engine, providing numerous services for individuals and online businesses alike. By using Google + and Google Places, you can reach out to potential clients based on interests and location. For internet marketing purposes, these tools can be a great way to get the word out and allow more people to find your website. To get started, it’s a good idea to have a clear brand in mind. Think about what message, lifestyle, and image you want your brand to convey, so that you can use this as the basis for creating social profiles that make a strong impact.

Using Google + on Multiple Levels

It’s a good idea to create a business page for your Google + profile, to serve as the landing page for your product or services. This can be great for branding, as it can contain all the vital information that customers need to know about your business. However, many small businesses will also want to create a personal page, to reach out to potential contacts on a more personal level. Social media is more about people than businesses, so if you can create a personal profile linked with your brand, this may drive up traffic to the business page.

Updating your Google + accounts with new and interesting information will keep your circles of contacts interested in the brand. You can cross-link posts from your business blog onto your account, and link to interesting stories that pertain to your industry. Naturally, when you are having a sale in your online store or have any other news that you would like your clients to know, you can use your social media profiles as a way to spread the news through internet marketing.

Google Places Can Help you Target Local Clients

It’s estimated that nearly all consumers use the internet to search for local businesses online at some point. You can use this fact to your advantage with the help of Google Places. This service is free, so there is no reason not to use it for internet marketing purposes when trying to promote your business. There are a few steps to take to ensure that this tool can help your business grow.

• Set up an Account – Setting up an account with Google Places is easy. All you must do is submit your information, such as your phone number, email address, and physical address. You will then need to verify your listing so that Google knows you are a real business, and then wait a short period of time for the listing to appear.

• Optimize your Rankings –The more information that you can provide, the higher your business will appear in the rankings. Photos, videos, and keyword-friendly descriptions and tags will help get you there.

Page Rank & link Building Post Panda

These two charts take a moment to understand. They are really cool in displaying concepts that few understand. I borrowed these from Ryan Diess’ Digital Marketing Membership which is great resource for marketers.

what makes page rank

The first chart tells us what goes into making page rank and what each component is worth. rust and authority of the site is the key. Nest is link popularity, then anchor text followed by on page SEO and keyword analysis. After that hosting, traffic and social indexing follow. Now G is always tweaking these and the Penguin update shifted anchor text a good bit. Lately the bounce rate of the site and how long people stay on it is given more relative importance and we expect this to continue to be a defining feature of ranking a site.

link building tactics post panda

link building tactics - effectiveness post panda

In the second graph the pre-panda and post-panda effectiveness are evaluated. Here we clearly see that authority is a top priority and that has not changed with the updates. Content sharing and guest blogging have increased in effectiveness after the update.  Social bookmarking remains the same and article distribution took a dive. Press release distribution too has been less effective in terms search ranking. Link farms and directory listing are basically ineffective for  search ranking.

 

 

Perspective

We know that directory links are still valid for page rank, so long as they are quality links with natural anchor text. Original Press release do drive traffic but use a authority site like PRWEB and don’t re-distribute the same PR on multiple platforms. If you are going to outsource any of this be sure that the contractor knows what they are doing. Contrived links, wheel and such will hurt you. Build out your foundation with good original content that is natural.

also see
backlinks/
update-on-tutorials-panda/
update-on-tutorials-penguin/

Backlinks

Backlinks in the age of Panda and Penguin

 

Backlinks are links from a site that link back to your site. We don’t count reciprocal links as they are no longer ranked by search engines. The more backlinks your site has, the better it can rank in search results. Backlinks are an important measure used in Google’s Page Rank (PR); a score of how popular and authoritative a site is. Page Rank for Barbados.org is 6, Expedia it is 8, Wikipedia.org is 9. The top score you can get is 10.

The one thing Search Engines want is natural backlinks. What they do not want you to do is pay-for backlinks and use automated systems that just pump out links.

In addition the quality of the links, where they are coming from and the type of link are all taken into account.

Velocity of link building is also vital. If you suddenly build 1000 links, chances are that it will look very unnatural.

Then there is diversity:  If all your links come from the same sort of site or a just a few sites that will look derived. You also need to have a mix of Follow and No-Follow links (i).

You should have links from all types of media: social media, links from videos, articles, blogs and other websites. Links from directories, forums, comments and from both high authority and low authority sites. You should pepper your links with some gov accounts, some edu accounts and some Wikipedia accounts.

Keywords in links

Google has determined that links occur naturally in a random fashion. They are not all optimized for specific keywords. In its Penguin update Google started to penalize links that were over optimized. As we noted in our Penguin blog: If you are building out links to your own site, be sure that you don’t optimize the anchor text with your keywords. Use Click Here, naked links and random keywords.

Finally build a network of  links.   In the natural world information gets picked up and repackaged and linked amongst users. It looks like a wheel or a pyramid.

Link Wheels

Links naturally get developed around key articles, blogs and content. People like content and write about it. This is how the Internet develops its link network.  People share and pass on information which they reposition for their own followers and market.

Using Social Media for outer links

Link Wheels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the diagram above, the blogger account has several sites like Twitter, Delicious and Buzz, linking to it. This has the benefit of making the blogger account stand out and get more traffic which filters into your site.  As the blogger gets more authority (more good links) it starts to rank in search results and will pass on links as well as authority to help get your site ranked.

 

Pyramids

Pyramid linking

Pyramid Linking

 

In the pyramid  you concentrate on building your top tier of links which point directly to your site.  These top tier sites then attract  attention and get links pointing to them. The more links pointing to them the higher they rank. And so it goes down the line. Each tier passes link and authority up the pyramid bringing new visitors and more authority to your site.

IMPORTANT – LINKS MUST BE NATURAL

Balance and diversity is the key to building a sound linking strategy.

You can’t play at this or orchestrate it. Back links must occur naturally by people who have an interest in your topic and share it. You can create system that help this to happen, but it is a mistake to contrive backlinks, link-wheels and pyramids.

If you are going to outsource any of this be sure that the contractor knows what they are doing.

Contrived backlinks, pyramids and wheel will hurt you.
Build out your foundation with good original content and links that are natural.

Natural linking is a random chaotic process that will  not leave a  a footprint. It leaves a natural network  built by independent, unrelated users as they search and share content.  It creates links that run across multiple properties including different web 2.0 sites, article directories, Doc Share sites, Micro Blogs, social networks and social bookmarking sites.

also see Penguine and Panda

If you find this helpful, you will enjoy reading my book: Available in Paperback and Kindle on Amazon

 

http://amazon.BuildyourBusinessOnlineBook.com

 

 

 

Update on Tutorials – Panda

PANDA & CONTENT MARKETING

Panda was Google’s update of February 2011. It was all about duplicate content. Prior to this, Google just tried to weed out duplicate pages but it was not very rigorous and looked at websites by pages. If you had duplicate pages, it would only index one.

This time, Google attempted to determine the quality of the content on a site and that of course included detecting duplicate content and penalizing the site with spammy duplicate content.  It particularly looked for spam sites that simply copied its content from other websites using web scraping.

Of course it is hard to be 100% accurate and a lot of legitimate sites got caught. Sites that distributed products for a single supplier and used the suppliers own wording got hit hard.  For travel reseller sites, that was a problem as distributors and agents tended to use the same supplier content. The big change was that suppliers became more conscious of maintaining their own unique content and restricting its use. Distributors started to create their own version of content.

The latest version of the Panda system is 3.4. Its objective is to find low quality sites and remove them from search results. We believe that Panda 3.4 uses Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to evaluate a page.

LSI, which was also  referenced in our Penguin article, gives weight to words of similar meaning based on their position in the document. An article on family holidays may be weighted higher if it uses the term family holiday along with reference to children, kids, child clubs, youngsters, teens and activities for the family etc, than an article which only references family holidays and vacations.

Since its first iteration Panada has changed and continues to change. In some respects it get more restrictive but with both Panada and Penguin we see some things that were depreciated regaining authority in time.  The latest Penguin Update actually revives some links  including; links from directories, press releases networks, social networks, web 2.0 sites, images, profiles, comments and others, that were not effective for some time.

See Penguin

 

Recommendations

If you are writing blogs and articles for the sole purpose of gaining rank, you probably have the wrong approach. Write to add value to the user. Offer your own point of view and insights that are not common across the net. Write 100% original content. It’s a good idea to focus your article on specific users and write with them in mind. If you are working with a particular business, orient your articles to that business. If you are working with hotels and  tourism companies for example, write and rewrite articles to help hotels and travel companies understand how technology helps them. Look at trends and systems that affect marketing and translate that into something that can help hotels and tourism companies.

When writing, be sure to cover the subject well and bring in related subjects that create a more complete, rewarding and natural user experience. Be equally careful not to make a pea soup into a mixed pottage that can’t be any longer ranked as pea soup.

Always spread your links across many types of media. The more you use different types of links the more effective your  link building process will be.

  • Use  Forum links, high PR links, Link wheels, directory links, profile links, blog links ect
  • Use different types of anchor text for your links. As an example, If you want to get top 10 for keyword “romantic holidays”, include links with the other anchor texts: “holiday romance” ” romantic vacations” “Romantic getaways” “hideaways for couples” “Caribbean romantic trips” and even “click here” “>>>” and just link with your URL instead of anchor text
  • Regularly enrich your site with unique content. If you do not have blog on your site you must have article section where at least 2 times per week you will post new articles ;

Here are the 2012 Panda updates:

Panda 3.4 – March 23, 2012

Targets the low quality websites with the aim of wiping them out completely from the search engine rankings.

Panda 3.5 – April 19, 2012

Penguin 1.0 – April 24, 2012

Panda 3.6 – April 27, 2012

Penguin 1.1 – May 25, 2012

Panda 3.7 – June 8, 2012

 

 

Resources

Backlinks | Build Natural Links

http://irclay.hubpages.com/hub/conteant-farms-bring-down-the-web

 More about Penguin

http://amazon.BuildyourBusinessOnlineBook.com