Rob Ousbey's Posts

Social Signals: This Changes Everything

Before every Distilled conference, we hold a dinner for all the speakers and some ‘VIP’ conference attendees. During the dinner at 2011’s Searchlove New York, someone asked the question “What do you think will be the biggest change to search ranking factors over the next couple of years?”

It’s a great question, and I didn’t hesitate to give an answer: the integration of social signals will be more impactful than we could have anticipated.

Back in the Day

When Google launched (around 15 years ago) it was clearly streets-ahead of other search engines at the time. Whereas other people trusted the content of a page to determine topic-relevancy, Google used the links between pages to assess the relative ‘authority’ of pages and sites.

For the intervening few years, this was the way things were; building links to a site helped it rank.

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Google Updates, 19th April 2012

Over the last week, Google has been testing what appear to be some significant algorithm changes, which have cause significant changes in ranking for a variety of sites.

There are some facts and opinion below, but first I want to make sure you have some tangible actions.

Check to see if you’re affected, and by how much. Do a quick search on Google for your brand name, domain name and for any high-volume head terms. If you find that you are not ranking on the first page for your brand name, or if other terms have significantly slipped in rankings, then it’s a likely sign that you’re suffering. Looking at your analytics will give you more insight into how your total organic traffic is looking. This will also help you find out when your site first suffered. Don’t panic, and don’t make any sudden movements. It might feel like the sky is falling around you right now - particularly if your traffic for a particularly valuable term has just slumped to zero - but an immediate response isn’t likely to be helpful.

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Creating an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing

Distilled strongly believes in content marketing, and that the time for content marketing is now.

We’ve written recently about some specific types of content that brands can produce and publish, and I now want to share thoughts about the topics that you can cover on your blog or elsewhere on your website. It’s important to think about when you’ll be publishing specific content, as well as what you’re publishing.

Why Plan your Content Calendar?

Creating content that is very relevant to your reader at that very moment has disproportionately high benefits.

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Seven things to do at the weekend, to help your SEO

For many people we’re now into the holiday season. As well as lots of turkey, this probably means time away from work and at least a couple of long weekends.

For people who do SEO in-house at a company, or for people who run their own websites/businesses, this can actually be a valuable time to do some work out of the office. You can focus on tasks (big and small) that you just don’t tend to find the time to do when you’re in the office, and you might even find that your creative juices are flowing particularly well after stepping away from the ‘snow-blindness’ that a 9-5 routine can deliver.

With that in mind, I’ve suggested a few different tasks below. If you have a few minutes or a few hours over a weekend or the holidays to do something work-related, and would like to achieve something more productive than just checking your email, then one or two of the following might provide a useful diversion.

1: Double Check Your Sitemaps

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Dot Brand TLDs: My Predictions

ICANN are getting ever closer to allowing companies to register their own Top Level Domains. They have been planning this, literally, for years and years and at this stage I’m actually a little surprised to see it going ahead.

When the news of ICANN’s latest decision was announced last month [see more in articles from Reuters and Advertising Age] we discussed this internally at Distilled, and I made some predictions about what would happen as this goes through.  I thought that I’d share these predictions with you, to see which you agree / disagree with, and to hear your own predictions. Plus, in two years time we can come back to this post, and see how wrong I was.

My Predictions:

There will be at least one more wobble before custom TLDs goes live, which will lead people to believe that it’s not going to happen.

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