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Charlie Williams

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5 Questions to Ask About Your Product Page Content
by +Charlie Williams 

Read the full article here >>> 

#contentmarketing   #cmtip   #content  

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I'll be speaking in this week's Midweek Zap!
Free to come and join in, all questions and thoughts welcome
Authority matters and +Charlie Williams  of knows why. As search engines further emphasise brand-related metrics to deliver better search results, how can we integrate building brand authority into our SEO campaigns? More to the point, how can we do this if we are not working with a large, well-established brand in the offline market? And why should we care?

Charlie looks at how you can build stronger brand signals through simple and sophisticated SEO techniques. We’ll learn how emphasising your expertise, trustworthiness and market authority helps build a great website experience, why future SEO campaigns should have branding baked into their foundations, and how brand signals naturally mix with your content and link earning tactics.

Responding Yes or Maybe will set a reminder so you can catch the replay.)

Watch live at Actation Now!
*Hashtag: #MWZlive * Please use for your tweets and when sharing out the show.

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About Charlie:

Technical SEO, link building, on-page SEO, content marketing, content strategy
Consultant, present

I heard Charlie speak back in February and knew he was perfect for Zapsters who care about their web presence.

If you came to the show and commented in the events page, you will be put in a notification circle to be invited to future shows.
Host +Zara Altair  created *The Midweek Zap*to help you develop an online strategy that works for you and your business. You are here!
Go to Actation Now! website to view all original events plus articles to help you create and sustain your web presence.

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So, for those of you confused about using canonical & hreflang tags on page, here's some clarification from +John Mueller ...
For those of you using hreflang for international pages: Make sure any rel=canonical you specify matches one of the URLs you use for the hreflang pairs. If the specified canonical URL is not a part of the hreflang pairs, then the hreflang markup will be ignored. 

In this case, if you want to use the "?op=1" URLs as canonicals, then the hreflang URLs should refer to those URLs. Alternately, if you want to use just "/page", then the rel=canonical should refer to that too. 

Finally, don't use a rel=canonical across languages/countries, only use it on a per-country/language basis (don't specify the "de" page as the canonical for the "en" version, otherwise we won't index the "en" version). 

There's much more about using hreflang on homepages at & a lot of information in our help center at

Edit: Some people asked about ways to recognize these issues on their site -- you can do that by using the hreflang tool as described in

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Despite it sometimes being a pig to explain to clients thanks to the obtuse language used, I'm actually going to miss authorship. 

Thought it was a noble idea, and a fantastic way for great writers to build a reputation and mark their content. Definitely got spammed to heaven, and the implementation of tags could have been easier, but still believe the ethos was right - sad to see it go. Anyone else?
I’ve been involved since we first started testing authorship markup and displaying it in search results. We've gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we've tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, we've also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we've made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results. 

(If you’re curious -- in our tests, removing authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites. Nor does it increase clicks on ads. We make these kinds of changes to improve our users’ experience.)

On a personal note, it's been fun and interesting travelling the road of authorship with all of you. There have been weird quirks, bugs, some spam to fight, but the most rewarding thing has been (and will continue to be) interacting with webmasters themselves. We realize authorship wasn't always easy to implement, and we greatly appreciate the effort you put into continually improving your sites for your users.  Thank you!

Going forward, we're strongly committed to continuing and expanding our support of structured markup (such as This markup helps all search engines better understand the content and context of pages on the web, and we'll continue to use it to show rich snippets in search results.

It’s also worth mentioning that Search users will still see Google+ posts from friends and pages when they’re relevant to the query — both in the main results, and on the right-hand side. Today’s authorship change doesn’t impact these social features.

As always, we’ll keep expanding and improving the set of free tools we provide to make it easier for you to optimize your sites. Thank you again, and please keep the feedback coming.

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This is a nice little addition to GA - have often been asked the question of how many hits are from bots, now can answer with a little more certainty.
Introducing Bot and Spider Filtering

Many of you have shared with us that it’s hard to identify the real traffic that comes to your pages. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that we’re adding bot and spider filtering. 

You can simply select a new checkbox option which would be included in the view level of the management user interface. This option would be labeled "Exclude traffic from known bots and spiders". Selecting this option will exclude all hits that come from bots and spiders on the IAB know bots and spiders list. The backend will exclude hits matching the User Agents named in the list as though they were subject to a profile filter. This will allow you to identify the real number of visitors that are coming to your site. 

Nestlé has been testing it and has found great benefit:  

“The Bot filter solution is essential for getting deeper insights. View level availability let us stay fully aligned with Best Practices provided to all site owners. Very easy to use, understand and communicate across thousands of Google Analytics users.”
-  Katarzyna Malik, Nestlé Google Analytics Specialist

Happy Analyzing!

Posted by Matthew Anderson, Google Analytics Team

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An interesting look by +Alexandra Johnson at how five different online chocolatiers are selling their goods; Nice breakdown of the content each is using.

ADDED BONUS: he post also features the finest chocolate themed graph I've seen as well.

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Freshly baked on the blog, +Katie Bennett delivers some fresh ideas for perking up your +LinkedIn  efforts; Good read!

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This is some fascinating insight from +Ross Hudgens - how Copyblogger has exploded it's G+ following by having discussions about it's articles hosted here rather than having comments on articles.

Interesting article - increases reach on a platform that matters to their readership (online writers), and reduces need for comment moderation. Have a read folks. 
How Copyblogger Increased Their Google Plus Growth Rate by 157%

I noticed +Copyblogger's Google Plus growth rate took off after they removed blog comments on March 24th.

They went from an average of 15.72 new followers per day to 40.42 new followers per day based on data from +CircleCount. They did this by including some subtle CTAs in the copy to "join the discussion on Google Plus" after removing comments, and also including a bigger blue CTA at the very end of the page.

Example posts:

At first I was totally blown away by this. Google Plus has comment pages well optimized to get you to follow accounts (check out this link:, and it seems like Copyblogger will see some great growth with this strategy over time.

I actually drafted up a blog post entirely on the subject, then started to feel weird about removing comments even still. It doesn't feel on-brand for us and despite its potential as a growth engine for Google Plus accounts, it might still not make sense for people in the tech space based on what it does to community and also, what it might say about the brand overall.

For that reason, I won't be hitting publish, but I still wanted to share our findings, as this might still make sense for your brand, and Copyblogger's new growth on the channel is still impressive.  

You can see the data here if you login to CircleCount:, which is also pictured below. As you can see on March 24th, the day they removed comments, their growth trajectory saw a substantial uptick. 

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Based on the popularity of this data/thread I decided to post the expanded version I originally drafted but at first decided not to publish. It can be found here: ]

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I'm loving how open Portent are about their penalty; they've nothing to hide, and it makes a fascinating case study we can follow along with (we can grab link data for ourselves to take a look).
Why I Was So Transparent About Our Penalty

A lot of folks thought Portent's transparency about the Google penalty was remarkable. To me, it was our only option. Here's why:

1. As +Sara Lingafelter says, "transparency is insurance." By telling 100% (well, 90%) of the story to the world, we controlled the story, instead of getting run over by it.

2. I knew bloody well it'd get out anyway.

3. Might as well try to get something positive out of it, teach the community a bit and get us a little favorable chatter.

4. We needed more links to replace all the ones we're losing :)

5. Keeping it quiet ran completely against Portent's personality as a company. 

6. I suck at keeping secrets.

It was still risky. But to me the risks of keeping quiet were far worse. Someone outing us, or even lying about how we got penalized, could've done a great deal of harm. 

Hope that makes sense,


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Really good thoughts by @SamanthaKHall here. Need some ideas on what to produce if you're worried about guest posting? Have a read.
At a loss what to do now guest blogging is over? Sam Hall has some ways you can improve your (and your client’s) website and boost rankings without guest posting or spammy link-building tactics.

#SEO #ContentMarketing #ContentStrategy
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