How to Avoid Google’s Manual Actions

Google has established general webmaster quality guidelines that serve to support Google’s efforts to find, index, and rank websites in search results listings. If you (or your web developer) perform an action on your website that Google views as negative or in violation of those guidelines – an illicit, deceptive, or manipulative practice – you will find yourself in trouble with Google sooner or later.

In cases where spam is the violation, Google’s own algorithms automatically detect the violation and demote the website in search rankings. Google also relies on humans to review web pages manually. If these reviewers find a violation of the quality guidelines, they take a manual action to address it. Depending on the circumstances, the manual action could be lowering your website’s ranking, removing specific web pages or content, or, in extreme cases, removing your website completely from Google’s search index.

Information relating to all manual actions taken can be found in your website’s Manual Actions Report. You might also receive the following message on the dashboard of your search console: “This site may not perform as well in Google results because it appears to be in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”

Google takes a manual action any time they detect that a website is attempting to trick or manipulate their search engine results and website rankings. While a manual action by Google may appear to be a negative for you or your website, it is not; manual actions are taken to ensure everyone plays by the same rules when it comes to website security, content, SEO, etc.

Manipulation of a website occurs in many forms. A few examples follow.

• Hacking of your website
• User-generated spam that appears on your site’s user profiles or guestbook or forum pages
• Artificial or deceptive external links that point to your site with the intention of manipulating your page ranking
• The content on your site is of little value, low quality, and not unique, such as occurs with content that is generated automatically or from blog posts from others
• Images and pages appearing differently on Google’s search results from those on the page or image where a user actually lands when they click on the image, an action called cloaking
• Overuse of keywords and phrases with the intent of manipulating search rankings

How to Handle a Manual Action

First and foremost, when building your website or developing content for it, understand and adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. As long as you follow the rules, do nothing that intentionally attempts to manipulate your website’s search rankings, and take steps to keep your website secure, you should not be worried about your website receiving a manual action. In fact, web developers should be doing everything they can to avoid appearing to trick Google and instead provide the best possible experience for users and visitors to the website. Of critical importance is to ensure all aspects of the technical SEO for your website are set up and working optimally so that Google can find the website and be certain it is working well and within the guidelines.

Should you receive a manual action notification, review it and take steps to address the issue. Once you have fixed the problem, you can submit a reconsideration request to Google’s webmaster team to manually review your site again.

The web developers and designers at Perfexion, Inc. take the performance of every client’s website seriously. We manage websites and regularly monitor SEO and search results. If we find something off or unusual, we check all analytics and reports to find the issue and then take immediate steps to correct the problem. When your website is properly ranked and reaching your target audience, you can trust we are following the rules.

Contact us to learn how we keep your website safe, ranked appropriately in search engines, and out of cyber jail. We want customers and visitors to your website to find your content valuable and relevant to their needs. Most of all, we want them to feel they can trust you and your website and feel secure doing business with you.

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* https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/03/nohacked-year-in-review.html

Which is Better – Organic Search or Paid Search?

Can Organic Search and Paid Search Co-exist?

Every business owner has different goals for their website. These goals could include increasing the number of web pages viewed by visitors, decreasing bounce rates, or increasing traffic from new visitors in general. Whatever your goals for your company website, the overarching goal is for your business to first be found online. How does that happen? Someone – a prospective or existing customer – has a need for a product or service and performs an online search. Where that search ends up could make or break your ability to meet your goals, depending on how well your online marketing strategy performs.

Online marketing involves the use of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) to draw traffic. While Yahoo and Bing still get some amount of search traffic, Google is the search engine used in the vast majority of online searches. Google’s two main vehicles for returning search results are paid search and organic search. But, is one better than the other? Does organic search provide better results than paid search (or vice versa)? Online marketers everywhere have been trying to find the answer to that question for some time. Let’s next review what each type of search is as well as the main differences between the two.

SEO Philadelphia

A user who performs a query based on entering specific keywords and key phrases is performing a natural, or organic, search. Proper implementation of search engine optimization is the strategy used in this type of search, as SEO must align with the words and phrases a user enters to perform their search. A business appears in organic search results based solely on the content on their website/webpage and its usefulness and value to the user. Google looks for content that users will find relevant and valuable.

According to Search Engine Watch*, more than 90% of web traffic occurs as a result of a business’s website appearing on the first page of Google search results. Using relevant key words and having quality SEO content is the best way for that content to eventually get indexed in search engines and thus ranked higher in Google’s search results. (Yes, it takes time and effort for your web pages to be indexed so that they generate traffic.) Other benefits of proper SEO include increased leads and improved close rates.

Online searching and shopping has been on a swift and steady rise in recent years – and the trend shows no signs of slowing down or decreasing. Additionally, Google is, by far, most people’s preferred internet search engine. Savvy web developers and internet marketers understand this and continue to rely on proper implementation and ongoing management of SEO to keep websites as highly ranked on search engine results pages (SERPs) as possible.

SEM Philadelphia

Search engine marketing, on the other hand, involves the use of certain keywords in paid/sponsored online ads that appear when a user performs a search using those keywords. In contrast to SEO’s organic search quality, SEM is a paid search function in which a business actually pays for visits to their website rather than earn them through an organic search. With SEM, a business bids an amount of money on specific keywords to ensure their ad appears if it matches a user’s search query. Sponsored search results are identified as ads and appear at either the top of the search engine results page (above the list of organic search results) or along the right side of the page.

Business owners and digital marketers have found that paid search strategies such as pay-per-click pay off for them – big time. Because of the prevalence of paid ads, users have come to view these listings as normal search results, in spite of them being labeled as ads. And, a business no longer needs to wait months to be indexed and appear on a SERP, as they can pay for the opportunity for their ad to appear in search results immediately and be seen by targeted users. A well run paid search strategy can yield a hefty return on the paid ad investment.

SEO, SEM, or Both?

Together, SEO and SEM as digital marketing strategies produce results; they can increase and improve your online presence and ensure targeted users receive information that is the most relevant and valuable to them. Improved conversions, increased web traffic, more qualified leads, and ultimately, business growth and profits are all realistic with SEO and SEM campaigns that are designed to work for you. When you understand the timelines for both strategies – SEO can take months to yield results and SEM can provide virtually immediate results – you are well prepared to implement the strategy (or strategies) that best meets your digital marketing needs and overall business objectives.

If you want to learn more about how to combine SEO and SEM to boost your website’s ranking on Google, contact Perfexion, Inc., Philadelphia’s web design and development company. The professionals at PERFEXION are digital marketing experts. They collaborate with business owners to design and deliver SEO and SEM strategies that are sure to improve your bottom line.

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* https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/study/2276184/no-1-position-in-google-gets-33-of-search-traffic-study

Clickthrough Research Data Reveals the Importance of 1st, 2nd or 3rd Position in Google

How Website Ranking Affects Click-through Rates

Business owners everywhere understand the importance of keywords and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as they relate to how well their website ranks on a search engine results page (SERP). Also important is understanding the relationship between click-through rates (CTR) and a website’s SERP ranking. When comparing CTR between sites with SERP rankings in the first, second, and third positions with CTR of sites that rank lower in search results, the difference is significant. In other words, the higher the ranking, the higher the click-through rate.

The data is indicative of when, where, and how a business might change or enhance their SEO which, in turn, enhances their ranking on search engine results pages and which can lead to improved click-through rates.

CTR for Branded/Navigational Keyword Search Results

How a user searches for a product or service is one factor that comes into play in the click-through results. If a user already knows the product they want, they type in the company name or product brand, for example, “Kellogg’s®” or “Froot Loops®.” This type of search is called a branded or navigational search. Their intent all along is to get to one specific website. The desired website appears at, or close to, the top of the search engine results page. Because the user has been presented with the exact information they searched for, the likelihood of the user clicking through to the website is high. In this scenario, it is easy to understand why a website or webpage would have a high CTR.

CTR for Keyword versus Long-tail Keyword Search Results

CTR statistics also differ depending on the length of the keyword used to perform the search – that is, when a user searches by using a one-to-two-word generic term versus a long-tail search term that contains four or more words. (Long-tail search terms typically narrow the search results field.) If our same user as above performs a search using the term “fruity cereal,” the results are naturally more general, and quite possibly not what the user is looking for.

The user next searches for “fruity cereal with marshmallows,” which narrows down the search results considerably. There are fewer fruity cereals with marshmallows than there are fruity cereals in general. Because the results are narrower – more exacting – when a long-tail search term is used, there is less competition among websites for the top positions in the search results and probably fewer ads that compete for the user’s business. The user is apt to find what they are looking for more quickly, and thus more likely to click on the search results presented. The bottom line for website owners who track SEO performance is understanding that click-through rates are better when a search is performed using long-tail keywords instead of a simple generic search.

CTR for Search Results Based on Keywords that Express Intent

Users often perform a search with a specific intent in mind and when there will be some form of interaction. For example, they might want to buy a product, compare hotel prices, or find directions to a particular location. In these cases, the user’s intent is commercial, informational, or based on location, respectively. A fourth intent – specific intent – combines all three intents in the keywords used. Competition for the top three search results positions is fierce, so intent-type keywords, especially those for commercial and location types, usually present more paid ads and other SERPs results features such as a map to show location. CTRs for website may be lower here, depending on the intent type for which the search is performed.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Matter!

While the data varies among digital marketing and web experts, they all agree that the top three positions on a search engine results page, in particular Google’s, garner the highest click-through rates, with the first position racking up the most click-throughs. For example, one study indicates click-through rates for results based on a natural (organic) search range from 36% for first position, to 13% for second position, to 10% for third.

The data also indicate that more than half of users are highly likely to click on the first three results presented when the searched based on a branded term. Of further note, only a very small percentage of users who performed a natural search clicked on paid ads that appeared (versus the natural results).

The takeaway for business owners who want to improve their click-through rate is to get their website ranked at or near the top of the first page of search results. How you do this will depend on a number of factors, with
SEO
and keywords just one. An online marketing professional can show you all the ways to improve your presence in search results and start earning your own portion of the click-through business.

If you want to learn more about how to boost your website’s ranking on Google as well as improve your click-through rates, contact Philadelphia web design and development company Perfexion, Inc. The professionals at PERFEXION are digital marketing experts. They provide website audit and consultation services that give clients clear information and direction on the steps they can take to enhance their online presence.

Contact us to learn more!

Contact Us Today!

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E-MAIL hello@pfxn.com
CALL 610-783-7660
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* https://moz.com/