Author: Joseph Schaefer, PhD

In early 2012, Google launched its first Penguin update for the company’s search engine. This update was launched in order to prevent sites from spamming the search results and using link schemes to manipulate the site’s rankings in Google’s page rank system. Since the initial launch, several updates to the Penguin algorithm have been released. In early September of this year, Google launched the Penguin 4.0 algorithm update. Penguin 4.0 is the latest update to the algorithm and has slowly become better at finding this spam. This update is now an integral part of how Google chooses page rankings based on page content. What changes have been made in Penguin 4.0? Two important changes have been made to the algorithm with the Penguin 4.0 update, including real time refreshing and the devaluation of spam by penalizing pages rather than the entire site. In the...

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When it comes to online marketing, SEM, or “Search Engine Marketing”, is a basic concept that everyone needs to understand. If you are a beginner interested in paid search, learning about SEM is a good place to start. Although SEM was once used to refer to both SEO (search engine optimization) and paid search activities, the industry now generally uses SEM to refer to paid listings. Search marketing is the term used to refer to both SEM and SEO. PPC (pay-per-click or pay-per-call), CPC (cost-per-click), paid search advertising/ads, and CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) are all terms that people commonly use to refer to SEM activities. Although each of these are not exactly the same, the similar purpose and result make them all fall under the same category. It is in your best interest to do further research so that you can properly...

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Video content, pre-roll ads, and related media are becoming enormously popular in the world of digital marketing. If you haven’t started creating visual content for your company, you need to start as soon as possible. There are countless positive effects this method of advertising can have. However- there are possible negative effects as well, if you’re not careful with how and where you promote your company. Maintaining and keeping a consistent brand is important and will gain you a loyal following. But there are places that your brand could be damaged, if you are not completely thorough. For one thing, don’t find yourself creating any content that contains anything offensive, controversial, too mature, and etc. This may be common sense to you- your ads should reflect the kind of demographic you want to attract. But in addition to being careful with...

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Internet marketing, while a very efficient way of gaining popularity and recognition, can be very easy to get wrong. Many people starting out in internet marketing make the same simple mistakes and end up failing because they aren’t able to get past them. But by fixing these mistakes, you can create a website that helps your business instead of hindering it. One of the first and most damaging mistakes that you can make when designing a website is not spending enough time perfecting the content. Because content is the main portion of a website, it needs to be interesting and relevant in a way that draws in potential customers. Flashy web design, persuasive calls to action, and appealing external links can only work to gain popularity if the content itself is worth reading. Your visitors don’t have the time to read...

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If you are marketing through social media, online advertising, or SEO optimization, you are making an attempt to establish your brand, your product, or your service. Your web marketing efforts should clearly reflect your own personality and should make your company stand out from the crowd. When you interact with famous companies, their specific brand and their personal distinctions result in consistent loyalty. Political campaigners attract voters largely through their personalities. Putting your personality into your company and web marketing efforts will yield similar loyalty. Most customers do not want to be “sold to” and do not want to simply interact with a company. Instead, they want to interact with and be cared for by other humans. That is why your web marketing strategy should include an effort to “humanize” your company. Include an “about us” section on your website and...

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Because the internet has become such an ingrained and important part of our society, many business owners have decided to move their work online. Websites are a big part of marketing, and a properly maintained and designed website can make a huge impact on your sales. In order to understand what makes a website work well for your business, you must first understand external links. Because search engines have become so intelligent and specific about how they rank websites, it’s crucial that the design of your site reflects that same level of experience. Unless your content is rich and your external links are thoroughly planned, your website won’t catch the attention it needs. Another way that you can raise the popularity of your website is by creating connections. Linking your website to other quality websites that have similar services gives your website...

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In such a fast-moving, constantly changing marketing world, you can easily get left behind if you don’t keep up with trends. New technology and ways to use it are being developed all the time. As a result of this, your potential consumers’ expectations are changing. They look for businesses that keep up with current trends, that can appeal to modern day marketing. There are a lot of new methods to use on your digital campaigns; it’s just a matter of trying them out and seeing what works for you. For instance, if your company does not already invest time in creating media and visual content, start doing so now. Videos that are relevant to your business, like explainer videos, or graphics that can be easily shared have major impact on your visibility. Not to mention, these things are usually cheap and...

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A few new trends have been shifting online advertisement as of late, and are predicted to have a high impact on the future of paid search. Regardless of the specific search engine, these changes will definitely be the start of newer and bigger trends. One noticeable difference in the way that ads are viewed is the use of mobile browsing. On top of the growth of sites like Google Shopping, which are filled with advertisements and third-party sites, the overall presence of ads on all search engines has increased. PLAs account for 38 percent of retailers and often show up first when a user searches for anything in a search engine. It is easier now than ever for search engines to pinpoint exactly which results will interest and draw in visitors. This allows for more relevant and numerous PLAs for visitors...

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You may see several articles, seminars, marketing books and etc that try to tell you that all your business needs is to have quality content. Have good online content, and you don’t have to worry about anything else. And while it’s true that having good content helps, the truth is: good content will do nothing for you unless you promote it.   Once you create something- say it’s a video, or an article- there’s no guarantee that people will see it. It may be an incredible piece of content, but that won’t matter unless it’s easily accessible and has hundreds of views from your target audience. Google, Youtube, and etc. are extremely crowded websites. A video or article you’ve published can get lost within seconds, buried under hundreds of new ones every minute. In order for your content to work for you,...

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SEO and online marketing in general is a lot more important to small, local businesses than they usually realize. Citations- any online mentions of your business- have a major impact on your local rankings, as well as your visibility across the web. There are a lot of ways to get your name out there, and a lot of strategies to follow- you just have to figure out what to focus on.   Of course, Google search results are crucial to your marketing. But before you start working on your rankings, adwords, and etc- be sure that all of your information is consistent on Yahoo, Bing, Mapquest, and any other search engines. Once that’s worked out, you can start to work on your local citations on Google. As mentioned before, citations are any mention of your business, whether that includes a link or...

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