Rand(om) SEO Insights into Panda

Moz Monthly Header Screenshot

The “Monthly Moz-Letter” almost got deleted today on my crusade to clean out my Gmail inbox. Glad I decided to open it – I almost missed this gold nugget from the Rand(om) Question section:

One last thing I’ll say about Panda in particular – you need to be willing to take dramatic action to respond. The sites I’ve seen recover are those who’ve done a complete redesign and a refresh of their content, making things so wonderfully amazing that they stand out as the best result for the query. Those who’ve made iterative attempts to reduce ads a little or throw some extra paragraphs on a page so as to hopefully get over the Panda algo generally haven’t.

Best of luck!
Rand

My take away? The huge light bulb moment SEO insight? If you want to rank first in Google in a post-Panda world, you’ve got to be a resource the best resource on the topic you’re targeting. Lead-aggregation sites (one of our biggest local rankings enemies in the moving industry) can’t just add tons of bogus content with a few keyword mentions, and increase their link buying budget and hope to outrank legit, helpful sites. But this also means that the websites of legit, authoritative businesses might not rank well if those biz owners don’t share their knowledge , and instead get caught up in the “Everyone needs to be on every social network to talk about themselves as much as possible” scamvice. Self promotion across social networks is not the same as being a helpful resource contributing to the betterment of your industry. I’m worried for the thousands of mom & pop businesses across the country that might miss that.

Mom & pop, if you’re reading this, here’s the best SEO advice I’ve got – be the best, most authoritative, most comprehensive, most helpful resource in the world on the topic you’re selling. Give all that helpful information away for free so that it spreads easily (Seth Godin shout-out). Then people will want to visit your site, want to find it in Google, Bing, Yahoo, Blekko, etc and, in turn, those search engines will want to deliver your site to the people using their search engines.

Google Places with Hotpot – New Google Local Maps Interface

As I went to login to my Google Places account this morning, I arrived at a very different place than I normally do. A completely redesigned landing page with a big bold graphic and an invitation to “Discover Yours – Local recommendations powered by you and your friends” and a button asking me to Start Rating now with Hotpot. So Google has entered their offering into the local-check-in-review-social-community-ratings race.  Took them longer than the others, but here’s to hoping it’s better than the others (not like the Nexus One Google phone).

Screenshot of Google Places with HotpotWill Google Hot Pot (or Hotpot) incorporate Google’s mobile check-in app SCVNGR?  Probably.

And is the choice of the name really just a coincidence given the recent California legislature voted down, to legalize marijuana? Or is Google keyword stuffing?

You be the judge, but one thing is certain – Google maps has changed.

SEO Pirates Attack in Miami?

According to a recent post on SEM Sunday, someone’s idea of SEO has turned into piracy and business identity theft. In a search on Google Maps for Miami Hotels they came across a top result of Miami Moving and Movers.

Pirate Ship

(Begin Sarcasm Font) That doens’t seem odd to me because I know that when I do a search for Hotels what I really meant to search for was movers.  (End Sarcasm Font) Oh no wait, that’s not true at all.

Apparently, somebody from the Miami Moving and Movers company claimed the Hyatt Regency’s Miami listing on Google Continue reading “SEO Pirates Attack in Miami?”