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Nick Ker
SEO Consultant and Creative Technologist. That's not just fancy talk for internet marketing...
SEO Consultant and Creative Technologist. That's not just fancy talk for internet marketing...

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Free SEO tools are like tiny bicycles. Fun, but won't get you very far.
Get a real SEO audit…
Free #SEO tools are like tiny bicycles. Fun, but won't get you very far.
Get a real SEO audit…

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In SEO, change is the only constant - but some things seem to never change.
Are we there yet? No... Are we there yet? No... How about now?

  SEO consultants deal with this frequently. Everyone would like to see results as soon as possible. But SEO just does not work overnight... or overweek. 
No matter how many times it is explained, a lot of people forget or just don't accept that SEO "activities" are intertwined, dependent on each other and external factors, and that it takes weeks, months or even years to compete with or outrank other sites who have been at it for years. That blog post you write today may get you some immediate traffic and even sales, but the real search visibility value comes when the big picture in which that blog is just a part, fully develops. That awesome link you got may not even bump your rankings until a week or two from now, and maybe not in the way you expected.

I frequently tell people "you can see some improvements within a week or two just from the initial round of on-page work, but the full effects really take months or even years to take shape".  I think that often is heard as "every action we take will have that kind of impact every single time", and the bit about "years" is totally blocked out of memory. So maybe I need to be more clear when explaining timeframes.

Many website owners "know" the importance of a certain keyword or group of keywords and do not recognize anything else as success or even progress.  
When competing with thousands of other sites, moving from page 10 of the SERPs to page 2 or 3 really is progress - just not all the way there yet. Moving to that same spot when the site was penalized and did not appear for that keyword at all - that is success.

Oh yeah, then there are the penalties…
 A penalized webmaster can be like a prison inmate who doesn't know how long his sentence will be. "I've been good three months and returned what I took (read: removed spammy links). Long enough?" Judge Google says "No, you still have more to do..."
"OK I did that. I'll be back on top soon, right?"
And it is starting to look like sites penalized by Penguin may be serving an extended sentence.

If you are an SEO provider struggling with this, or are an SEO client having trouble believing your consultant when he says "not yet", here are some articles that explain just some of the reasons SEO takes a long time.

Some of these are actually quite old but still good.
Please read, remember, and share this around and help make SEO providers and clients happier:

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No, you can't do content marketing #SEO without content… or marketing. It is hard to earn links to pages nobody cares about… or knows about.

If your SEO strategy relies on renaming the business so it matches some keywords, that's not #SEO. It's stupid.

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Don't wait for Google to fix or Facebook to even acknowledge it.
If you share stuff without reading, you are part of the problem.
If you choose beliefs over facts, you ARE the problem.
What Google is doing to fight fake news

"Following the US election and Brexit, increased focus is being placed on how social networks and search engines can avoid showing “fake news” to users. However, this is a battle that search engines cannot — and more fundamentally, should not — fight alone."

Readers who share, like, or even simply believe outrageous headlines without actually reading what it links to are a huge part of the problem, too.

Critical thinking - or at least some level of thinking before spreading misinformation - is everyone's responsibility. #fakenews

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Google Penguin 4.0 update rolling out now. So much for an easy Friday. If anyone needs me, I'll be digging around in Analytics and rank trackers for a while.
Google's Latest Penguin Algorithm Update Is Live!
After nearly 2 years, the link-spam fighting algorithm has been updated. Google says it is rolling out now, runs in real time, and is more "granular". Real time supposedly means that changes to links and pages hit by the algorithm will be reconsidered sooner (previously you needed to wait for another update). Granular means, 'Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.'

#googlepenguin #penguinupdate #SEO #googlepenalty #penguin

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Links, content, user engagement… None of that means a damned thing if your site isn’t really optimized…
Just a reminder, since everyone seems to be rediscovering what the O in #SEO means these days.

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Is #SEO Really The Right Term Anymore?

"A few years back, we focused on optimizing existing landing page elements (title, meta description, headings, body content updates and so on), building links using link development tactics and conducting website audits to fix technical issues.
We still do these things today, of course — but we also do so much more..."
I have been a little conflicted about this topic since I first started my business, +Ker Communications. Back in 2009, the main goal of what I did was the same as SEO: improving visibility of websites in search engines, mostly Google. But SEO was kind of a dirty word, and not a fun one.
It also didn't fit how I worked since I did so much more than fix and optimize sites - social media was booming, and even online video played a major part in increasing the exposure of a company or organizations entire web presence (not just the main website). So I wasn't too thrilled with the negative connotation of SEO, but there was not much I could do about it. I even tried to avoid calling what I do SEO for a while, using phrases like "web presence management". But nobody was searching for that. Oh, the irony.

To make a long story short, SEO eventually evolved into what I had already been doing, and I actually moved toward doing more of the technical work that all the newly rebranded inbound and content marketers never really knew how to do to begin with. It still amazes me how poorly made or mis-optimized many websites are. And don't get me started on how much those old SEO's screwed up businesses and the entire web with sleazy link building practices.

SEO is a Science and an Art
Is SEO now just a required skill for web developers or is it a whole discipline of its own encompassing other forms of online marketing with the end goal of improving search visibility and what you get from it? I say both! Web developers should have a respectable amount of knowledge about the technical aspects of SEO - I still see site redesigns that undo years of hard work. And SEO as an all encompassing marketing discipline is alive and well too.
The trick is knowing which of the components of search marketing are appropriate to use for a particular business - and knowing how to do them well.

This article from @sengineland has me thinking a lot about this, so keep an eye on for a longer rant about it from me soon.

Finally! Yoast allows the Focus Keyword feature of the Wordpress SEO plugin to be disabled.
It is wildly inaccurate for many sites, and most "normal" (non-SEO) people use it incorrectly - wasting a lot of time on the wrong keywords, multiple keywords, expecting the plugin to magically change the rankings of a page, etc).
Otherwise, I really like the plugin.

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Something in Mickey's expression says, "those aren't really raisins". #smartpills 
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