Firefox 34 New Features
SEO & SEM

Firefox Says “Goodbye Google, Hello Yahoo”… and Bing Is The Big Winner!

On December 1st Mozilla began rolling out Firefox 34 and the very first change highlighted on their new feature list was a doozy…

Firefox 34 New Features

Yes, you read that right. In a bold move, Firefox dropped Google as the default search engine after striking a 5 year deal with Yahoo! to become the default search engine in the North American market.

Now Firefox is far from the biggest browser but its marketshare is nothing to sneeze at…

Desktop Browser Marketshare In US 2014

Also keep in mind, the above graph only represents desktop browsers and although Firefox is pushing into the mobile marketplace with an iOS version on the near horizon, its mobile presence is negligible.

In fact, if you included mobile, Firefox’s marketshare drops to a relatively distant 4th place…

Top Mobile And Desktop Browsers

So Who’s The Real Winner In This Deal?

The real winner in this deal? Bing.

A few years ago, Yahoo! gave up on trying to build a search engine to compete with Google and signed a partnership with Microsoft that now has Bing providing the search results for Yahoo!.

So really, this deal has given Bing’s marketshare in North America a massive boost literally overnight:

US Search Engine Marketshare December 2014

As you can see from the graph above, after Mozilla began rolling out Firefox 34 on December 1st, Yahoo’s share of the search market in North America jumped 19.76% while Google saw an immediate decrease of 18.68% and since Bing powers Yahoo’s search engine, it is safe to say Bing is the real winner here.

What Does This Mean For Your Website?

To put it bluntly: Bing actually matters now.

As of November, with Google owning over 80% of the search market, Bing was really an afterthought when it came to search engine marketing… but not anymore.

With Yahoo! and Bing’s share of the search market jumping from a combined 16.18% to 35.21% overnight, this should double the potential traffic they could send your website.

So if all of your search engine marketing efforts have been focused on Google it’s probably time to start paying a little more attention to Bing.

In saying that though, I would like to include a few disclaimers:

First disclaimer: It’s still early days and as Firefox continues to roll out version 34 its marketshare could continue to grow OR this may be a temporary blip and the marketshare could just as easily drop back down as Firefox users manually switch the default browser back to Google.

In another 60-90 days we will have a much better idea of what the final numbers are going to look like but I think it’s safe to say that Bing & Yahoo’s share of the North American search market will end up well above where it was before December 1st, 2014.

Second disclaimer: This only affects the North American search market at this point. So if your target market is outside of North America this will not have much of an impact on you. That said I would expect to see Firefox roll out their improved search bar with Yahoo! as the default search engine in additional English speaking markets over the coming year.

In summary, I see this as a positive change.

Competition is healthy and Google has controlled too much of the search market for too long. I just hope this sudden marketshare reallocation is sustainable in the long run.

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below…

To your success…

Derek Gehl

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Driving Traffic, SEO & SEM

4 Tactics To Fast Track Your Way To Top 10 Rankings In Google

Lesson Transcription:

Today I am going to show you 4 tactics you can use to accelerate the rankings in Google of a new website.

Of course, the words “Google” and “fast” typically don’t get used in the same sentence very often, but the reality is that there are a few ways that you can accelerate your rankings.

Now, these strategies will all cost at least some money – and some more so than others.

Tactic #1: Buy an Existing Website

This is often (although not always) the most expensive way to accelerate your site up the rankings.  If you buy a website that already has rankings, you can save yourself a lot of time and money.

People often assume that this is way out of their price range to do, but that’s not necessarily true.

Here’s what you do…

Pick a couple of keywords you’re looking for and do a search. Ignore the first page and check out the sites around pages 3 and 4. Look for a site that seems to have been neglected for a while and maybe isn’t actively selling anything.

Then approach the webmaster and ask if they’re interested in selling.

I’ve used this method to acquire websites relatively cheaply that aren’t really highly ranked but that do have some history.

With a little bit of link building, optimization and elbow grease, it’s way faster to get an existing website to page one than it is to get a new one there.

Tactic #2: Buy an Expiring Domain That Already Has Page Rank

This is a strategy that a lot of smart marketers and super-affiliates are using these days to tap into sources of traffic.

This is buying a domain that someone has already built and spent time developing. It’s been around for a while and has page rank, but for whatever reason (sometimes people just lose interest) it’s about to come available on the market.

If you can pick it up just as it expires and bring it back up (even with the current pages on it) and get it hosted, you can keep the page rank of that site.

Again, you’ll be able to move it up the rankings very quickly.

This is a cost effective way to speed up rankings because if the domain is expiring and no one else wants it then you can pick it up for as little as $10!

There are all sorts of gems out there if you’re watching.

Tactic #3: Buy an Aged Domain

If you can’t find a suitable domain that has page rank, you can buy an aged domain.

This is a domain that doesn’t have any pages set up, but that has been registered for a long time.

In my experience, a domain that has been registered for a longer period of time will rank much faster than a domain name that was just registered.

Tactic #4: Get an EMD

An EMD domain is an Exact Match Domain.  This means it is an exact match for the specific keyword you are looking to rank for (provided you put quality content on it).

Now this theory has some controversy around it – even Google has announced that they are devaluing exact match domains.  But my testing experience has shown that even after the devaluation, you will still rank much faster for that keyword.

So while exact match domains may not have as much value as they did in the past, they definitely still have value.

Use a Combination of Strategies

So of course if you can find a combination of those 4 strategies, such as an aged domain with page rank that is an exact match, your rankings in Google will shoot up way faster.

These are great strategies if you want to get ranked in Google quickly without having to go through the process of developing a new website and establishing its reputation and authority.

The downside to these strategies is that you can’t always find a domain name that’s suitable for your product.

If this is the case, you can still make use of these strategies.

If you’re starting a business that you know you’re going to keep and develop over time, you don’t want to let the existing available domains drive the decision.  You want to search for a domain name that suits the business.

Then, you can find existing domains that are within your niche, even if they aren’t ideal for use as your main domain.   You can then build these domains to be “feeder” sites driving traffic to your main site, which is your money site.

How to Find These Existing Domains

The strategies for finding existing, available domains is a whole lesson unto itself. But what I want to do is give you a couple of good sources:

These are great resources to go out and find good, cheap domain names.

The trick is to make sure they have decent page rank. GoDaddy won’t show you the page rank, but the other sources will.  As well, some of these sites will tell you whether the page rank is fake or not.

If you’re buying expired domains, make sure its Pagerank hasn’t been faked.

So bottom line is if you want to get ranked fast in Google, the way to go is to buy an existing domain that ideally has page rank, history and backlinks.

Or you buy an existing site that is already on page 3 or 4 and you push it up.

If you can’t find something that works for your money site, then find feeder sites to help boost your money site.

That will get you there a lot faster than doing it on your own from scratch.

Hope you learned something!

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Driving Traffic, SEO & SEM, Tools

#1 Keyword Research Tool Just Got Better…

I am a huge fan of Market Samurai.

Over the past decade I have used numerous different keyword research tools and for many years WordTracker was my ‘go to’ choice for keyword research.

But when I started using Market Samurai a few years ago I never looked back.

Market Samurai is an incredible tool for keyword research and I honestly don’t think any other product can match the value it provides.

But I am not here to ‘sell’ Market Samurai.

(You can click here to download their free trial to see for yourself)

Instead, I want to let you in on a few new features they just added…

Now the primary metrics you want to measure when analyzing a keyword’s potential are:

  • Demand (Search Volume For A Keyword)
  • Competition (Sites Actively Competing For A Keyword)

Demand, for the most part, is a pretty simple metric to measure and although it can be sliced and diced a few different ways it really comes down to search volume. You need to know whether there are 100 or 100,000 people searching for a given keyword and then you may want to take that a step further and break it down by match type (broad, phrase, or exact) and geographic location.

Competition, on the other hand, is far more difficult to measure. To successfully measure the competition for a specific keyword it is NOT enough to simply search the keyword and look at the total sites in the index.

For example, I just searched the term “Internet marketing” and Google says there is a total of 913,000,000 sites in its index for that keyword, but are all of those sites actively competing to rank for this keyword?

No.

So instead we need to figure out which of those 913,00,000 websites are actively targeting those keywords in their campaigns. This means figuring out which of those millions of websites are actively optimizing their pages and in-bound links for said keywords.

Historically, Market Samurai would pull this data from Google, but earlier this year Google pulled the rug out from under Market Samurai and blocked their access to much of the data they needed for the competition analysis, forcing Market Samurai to start pulling their competition data from Bing’s index.

Bing’s index is getting better every single day but it did feel like a bit of compromise… until now!

Market Samurai just released an update to their software which includes key competition data from one of my favorite SEO tools, Majestic SEO.

Majestic SEO

If you are unfamiliar with them, Majestic SEO is the largest link intelligence database in the world and the basic price to use their service is about $50 per month so having this data pulled into Market Samurai for no additional cost is a HUGE bonus.

Of course, we are not getting unlimited access to Majestic SEO’s data, but there are a few key pieces of data that offer huge value to the competition analysis component of Market Samurai including:

  • 1 – Majestic Title Competition (Sites containing keyword in title tag)
  • 2 – Majestic URL Competition (Sites containing keyword in URL)
  • 3 – Majestic Domain Competition (Sites containing keyword in the domain)
  • 4 – Majestic Anchor Competition (Sites containing keyword in in-bound link)
  • 5 – Majestic Title & Anchor Competition (Sites containing keyword in title & in-bound link)

Market Samurai Majestic SEO

The first three were available using the data Market Samurai pulled from Bing so this is not really new data but it does gives us something to compare the Bing data to.

It is 4 and 5 that get me really excited…

Being able to see the total number of in-bound links that actually contain the keyword in the anchor text is great. But then breaking it down further and showing how many sites actually contain the keyword in the anchor text of and inbound link AND the title tag is incredibly valuable.

If someone has the keyword in their title tag AND their inbound links they are most likely a real competitor who is actively optimizing for this specific term.

And I know that using the keyword in your anchor text has less of an influence on your rankings since Google released the Penguin update, it is still a great indicator of true competition.

So if you are looking for a good tool for both keyword research and niche market research, you gotta check out Market Samurai.

Click here to download the free trial and make sure you checkout their training dojo which is packed with great training videos.

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Driving Traffic, SEO & SEM

Natural Link Profiles…

You Need To Know This If You Want
To Avoid A Google Smackdown!

Natural Link Profile Lesson Transcription:

In this lesson we’re going to talk about something called “natural link profiles.”

But before we jump into that, I want to talk a bit about “Google psychology:”

  • How they “think” about search engine rankings
  • How they determine where your website should rank

It’s important to keep in mind that Google does not want us, as marketers, to actively build links.  Their philosophy, if you listen to Matt Cutts, is that if you create good quality content, people will link to you.

And, as I’ve said many times, that is true once your website hits the “tipping point”…

  • Once it becomes an authority within your niche
  • Once people are coming to it
  • Once people are sharing it with other people
  • Once your content is being syndicated naturally

…then, the theory of “if you build it, they will come” actually applies.

But with new websites, you have to get out there and build some links yourself.

So What is a Natural Link Profile?

Google has indexed billions of websites and from that, they have profiled what a good quality website (a website that is growing organically) with a natural link profile should look like.

So, the question I have for you is this:

If a website is growing organically, are all of its
backlinks going to come from one single source? 

For example, if I put up a website and all of the links that I built to it were from article directories, would that look natural to Google?

Of course not!

Any website that is growing naturally is going to have a natural link profile with backlinks from a diverse range of sources, including:

  • Video sites
  • Web 2.0 sites
  • Social signals
  • Guest posts on other blogs
  • Social bookmarking
  • Article marketing

A good quality organically growing website will have a natural link profile that encompasses many different backlink strategies.

I recently had lunch with a friend who confided that after Penguin he lost his rankings.  I asked what he had been doing and he told me he had been using one single strategy that he’d been using for quite a while and it had been working really well.

So what happened?

Google figured out that that was not a natural link profile –  it simply wasn’t diverse enough.

This concept really does apply to our entire link building campaign.  What I mean by that is, not only should our links be coming from numerous different sources, they should also:

  • Have random anchor text
  • Some links should be do-follow and some should be no-follow
  • Some links should be bare links (without anchor text)

I can guarantee that if you pick one strategy and don’t do anything else, you might get a bump initially but Google will catch on pretty quick and your rankings will start to drop.

So if you want to be successful as a search engine marketer, pushing your website up in the search engines, then you need to have a natural link profile.

  • You need to go out and get links from numerous different high quality sources.
  • You need to make sure that the links don’t all look exactly the same.
  • Always remember that too much of one thing is not good for your website.
  • You are better off having backlinks to your website from various sources.

If you do this, you will create long term stability.  Because if Google suddenly devalues one of your link building strategies, you will still have all of the others to fall back on.

So you may take a small dip in rankings, but believe me, coming back from a small drop is WAY easier than coming back from a huge nosedive!

The bottom line is this:

A Natural Link Profile is Very Important.

If you are embarking on a link building campaign, you want to make sure that your link profile is natural and you’re building multiple different sources of links to your website.

If you do that, you will get good results.

If you don’t, you won’t be able to hold on to any get results you get.

Hope you learned something!

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Driving Traffic, SEO & SEM

SEO 101…

3 Things You MUST Do If You Want
To Get Free Traffic From Google…

SEO 101 – Lesson Transcription:

Today I want to give you a quick lesson on what I call “The Three Pillars of a Successful Search Engine Marketing Campaign.” 

This really is Search Engine Marketing 101… but if you don’t know this you will never get good rankings and free traffic.

The reason I’m doing this is because over the next few months I’ll be releasing videos and lessons on the different elements of search engine marketing.

In order for you to get the most out of these lessons, it’s important that you have a bit of a foundation in search engine marketing which is what I want to give you right now.

This way, you can use the strategies I’m going to give you in the future to get the best results for your website.

So here goes…

Google, hands down, is the best source of high converting traffic.  Social media is good, but not as good as Google yet.  Affiliate marketing is also good, but not as consistent and is too volatile.

Now people may argue that Google is volatile as well and it is to some degree.

But, if you are…

  • Using proper strategies
  • Maintaining good quality content
  • Engaging people on your website
  • Continuing to build high quality links

…then it is a consistent medium!

It is only inconsistent if you are using low quality search engine marketing tactics and low quality content.

The bottom line is this: Google is a massive source of high quality buyers!  People are actually going to Google to look for stuff they want, and if you happen to be the “stuff” they’re looking for, then there’s a good chance they’re going to buy.

So let’s look at the Three Pillars of a Successful Search Engine Marketing Campaign:

Search Engine Marketing Pillar #1:
On-Site Optimization

This is also known as on-page optimization.

On-site optimization is basically ensuring that the structure of your page is set up in such a way that:

  • Google can easily find all of the content
  • It is linked together properly
  • It is well structured
  • It is organized
  • It is using SEO friendly links

Then, on a per-page basis, making sure that each individual page that you have on your website is optimized properly for the specific key word that you want to rank for.

That includes things like:

  • Using your key words in your title tags
  • Using your key words in your meta tags
  • Using your key words in your heading tags
  • Having proper key word density
  • Using proper internal and external links
  • Using proper alt tags in your images

So all of these elements within your page need to be fine-tuned as well.

Basically, on-site optimization should make it easy for Google to analyze your page and index it for the key word you want.

Once you’ve built your website and optimized it, you can’t just walk away and leave it!

You need to continually add new, quality content.  This brings us to our second pillar.

Search Engine Marketing Pillar #2:
Dripping Content

The fact is, Google does not want boring, stale sites that are never updated.  They want dynamic websites with fresh content that people want to come back and read, interact with and share.

So if you throw up a page and never add to it, that’s not going to happen.

“Dripping content” means that every week you add new stuff to your website.  The most common question I hear from my Internet Business Accelerator students is “How much content do I need to add and how often do I need to add it?”

There’s no right answer to that question because it depends on your niche and what your competitors are doing.  If you’re in an uber-competitive niche and your competitors are dripping content every single day then you need to keep up with them.

If you’re in more of a micro-niche and your competitors aren’t updating as fast, then you can scale back on your frequency.

The short answer is that you need to look at your competitors to see where the bar is set for how often you need to drip content.

You need to make sure you’re dripping good quality content and optimizing it properly.

If you really don’t want to create your own content, there are lots of good writers out there and lots of sources of good quality cheap content in lots of different niches.

The one thing I would recommend for search engine marketing is that you make sure your content is good quality and unique.

One of the big mistakes I see people make is they go out and grab content from sites like ezinearticles.com that they are allowed to syndicate and they use that to drip on to their website.

But all that is doing is creating duplicate content!  Republishing the occasional article isn’t a big deal, but if all you’re ever going to do is drip content that is already published on other websites, that won’t help you at all.

So make sure you drip quality, unique content on a regular basis.

Let’s move on to our third pillar.

Search Engine Marketing Pillar #3:
High Quality Backlinks

What are backlinks?

It’s simple!

They’re links back to your website from other websites.

If you want to have your website move up in the search engines, you need to concentrate on creating these backlinks.

High quality backlinks include social signals like getting people to Like, Pin and Tweet.

(Note: Tweeting doesn’t actually create a backlink, it’s simply a social signal but I include it in the list because it’s still important to search engine marketing.)

A “Pin” on Pinterest, on the other hand, creates “do follow” links back to your website if someone Pins an image.

Other methods of getting backlinks include creating good quality feeder pages on Web 2.0 sites like Squidoo, Hubpages.

You can also use social bookmarking like Digg, del.icio.us, and Reddit.

Another great source is guest posting on other blogs.  Find people who want to publish unique content you have written that contains links back to your site.

Go out and actively contribute to forums within your niche that will allow you to have the occasional backlink to your site.

These are all good strategies to get high quality backlinks.

Search Engine Marketing Summary

The bottom line is, these three strategies make up the pillars of a good search engine marketing campaign.

You CAN NOT rank well if you are missing any one of these three:

  • If your site is poorly optimized – forget it!
  • If your site doesn’t have new content – it might shoot up at first, but it will drop back down.
  • High quality backlinks will push your website up in the search engines.

If you make a concerted effort and develop a plan to pursue each one of these search engine marketing pillars you will have success getting ranked in Google and securing consistent streams of high quality, target traffic (which means buyers!) to your website.

It’s NOT rocket science, although many people out there want you to believe it is.  BUT, it does take work and a lot of “elbow grease.”

After all, everything worth doing does!

So be patient, implement these strategies, and over time you will see your website move up and up.

And because you’ve built it on the solid foundation of the three pillars of search engine marketing, your rankings will stay there!

Now when we jump into more specific tactics and strategies you’ll have the foundation you need to apply them properly.

Hope you learned something and if you have something to say go ahead and leave a comment below!

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Driving Traffic, SEO & SEM, WordPress

WordPress SEO Tune-Up – Lesson 3

Increasing Site Speed,
Fixing Crawl Errors,
& No Follow Comments

WordPress SEO Tune-Up
Lesson 3 Transcription

Welcome to the Lesson 3 in our WordPress SEO tune-up series.

In Lesson 1 we talked about duplicate content, how WordPress creates duplicate content and we also talked about the Yoast plugin and how to use it to plug all of the duplicate content holes.

In Lesson 2 we talked about how to use Yoast’s page analysis feature for on-page optimization which is as good as so many of the premium paid tools out there… except it’s free!

In this video I want to give you a couple more tips to make sure your WordPress website is fine tuned and ready to kick some SEO butt.

SEO Tip: Increase Your Site Speed

The first thing I want to talk about is speed because a slow loading website can have a negative impact on your search engine rankings.

WordPress it is a pretty quick CMS but since it’s database driven there’s no static pages which means that every time someone visits your website and requests a page WordPress has to load that page and all the related images and files from a database which can slow things down.

The good news is that you can make it much faster using a free WordPress caching plugins.

The two most popular caching plugins are plug-ins are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache and the can both be found in the WordPress plugin directory.

In simplest terms these plugins create a static, cached copy of all of the pages on your WordPress website so that every time someone visits your website the pages and files do not need to be loaded from the database in turn  increasing the speed of your WordPress site.

And since Google prefers fast loading sites AND you may decrease your bounce rate if people don’t have to wait for your site to load then installing one of these plugins is really a no-brainer. My personal favourite is the W3 Total Cache plugin but it is a little more complicated and I do use both (not on the same site of course).

SEO Tip: Tools To Identify Crawl Errors

After your site is set up and you have completed the on-page optimization with Yoast it is time to make sure there are no issues hidden in your website that could be causing crawl errors and there are couple of free tools to do this..

The first place to check for crawl errors is in your Google Webmaster Tools account. Under the “Health” section you will find a sub-section called “Crawl Errors” which will show you any errors Google has found when crawling your website.

SEO Tip - Google Crawl Erro Report

And if Google sees something broken on your site it is definitely in your best interest to fix it ASAP.

Another cool FREE tool for helping optimize your site and identify potential problems is called Screaming Frog (I love the name) which you can download at www.screamingfrog.co.uk.

This free SEO tool is going to spider through your website and show you the key SEO elements of every single page including things like your heading tags, your meta title tags, your description tags, links, etc. This allows you to quickly see if anything is missing or not right.

So between Google Webmaster Tools and Screaming Frog, both free, you can quickly fine tune your website.

They may not give you the same level of detail as something like  SEOmoz or Internet Business Promoter which really get into the nitty gritty details but at the end of the day they’re free and do a pretty damn good job.

SEO Tip: Setup NoFollow Links

Now that you’ve made your page faster and made sure there are no errors the final thing I want to talk about is creating nofollow links for your comments.

Fortunately, there’s more free plugins to help us with this. One of the more popular ones is called the Ultimate NoFollow plugin which I use and it is going to give finite control over which outbound links on your site are set to NoFollow.

The very first thing you should do is install the Ultimate NoFollow plugin and set your comments to be nofollow links.

The reason you want to do that is because, although you’ve probably got lots of great people commenting on your blog, you can have somebody comment on your blog and leave a backlink to a site that may be low quality and although linking out to high quality sites is good and can help your rankings, linking out to really low quality, untrusted sites can actually have a negative impact on your rankings.

So, I never want any dofollow outbound links created on my site that I don’t control and I don’t always control where comments may link to.

So there ya go… three more things just to tighten up your WordPress SEO.

Now you just need to start adding good quality, unique content on a regular basis, build high quality backlinks and watch your rankings go up.

I hope you learned something in this series and if you missed the last two you can find them on my blog.

And finally if you have any favorite WordPress SEO tools I would love to hear about them… just leave a comment below.

– Derek

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