November 15, 2013

SEO's Changed Forever

Thank you Olivia for this pic
Google announced the Hummingbird Algorithm in mid-September on their 15th birthday in the same garage where Google was born.  Search Engine Land had a live blog following that event.  Other notable blogs that discuss the new algorithm are...

The list above will give you a good idea of what Hummingbird is about and what changes to expect in Search for the rest of 2013.  I seriously don't think we will have another Algorithm update for the rest of the year, or atleast thats what I'm hoping. 


August 14, 2013

SEO is now Social

I can't believe its already August of 2013.  On January of this year, I remember worrying about the newly released Penguin algorithm (aka Panda Update on January 22, 2013) and how it would affect my sites.  And now, its already August and I'm worrying about another Penguin release (aka Panda Recover released last July 18, 2013).  Ah, such is the cycle of an SEO's life.  Sleep is for the weak!

If you are an SEO professional then you already know of these updates.  If you are a client and would like to know what you can do to increase your rankings in the new era of SEO here are a few things to remember...

  1. Social Media - you better be doing this regularly because its now a central part of Optimization. Without Social Media tickers, Search Engine robots are not going to trust your website as much.
  2. Blogging - not yet blogging?  Ok, thats why you are not getting any inquiries.  Stop asking your developer to make changes to your website and start asking him to integrate a blog so you can update your customers and clients regularly.
  3. Google+ - still don't have a profile?  That's too bad because how is Google going to get to know you better without one?
  4. Mobile Site - What is this you ask?  Look at your cellphone!  How many times do you use it per day to search or to facebook?  Guess what? Your customers are using it to look for you!  Please make sure your website is Mobile Friendly and no that doesn't mean it shows up the same way... having a Mobile site is definitely a big plus for Tourism based businesses.
  5. Content Writing - don't be like me, too lazy to write the content needed for pages.  Yes. I'm busy too and never have the time but I try and make the time. Content is King and Queen, Jack, Ace and Joker of Search Engine Optimization.  The more content you have, the more Search Engines will love your site. Just make sure your Users are entertained and informed as well.  
  6. Website Architecture - don't know what this is?  I've created a link to my personal site, click it, read it and follow. 

If you do nothing else but these 6 items above (and we built your website) you should be fine for 2013.  As long as you are not buying links or copying content from other websites, you should actually be ranking well.

May 7, 2013

Small Business Expo of the Department of Commerce and Investment

Fevi's Seminar for the Small Business Expo

The Small Business Expo by the Cayman Islands Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI) was a very successful event and I am so happy to have been part of it.  Big thanks go out to the people behind it especially Donnovan Kellyman and Charmaine Moss who invited me to speak at the event.

The title of my talk was, "Social Media Plus" and if you click on that you will see my slide show.  I had a very interesting talk as the range of people who attended went from beginners to advance.  Please check out my slides and if you have any questions, pls don't hesitate to contact me @feviyu on Twitter.

March 27, 2013

Small Business Expo by the Dept. of Commerce and Investment

I love the initiative of the Cayman Islands Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI) on having a Small Business Expo.  More than ever, I strongly believe that Small Business owners need Governments assistance in getting through these difficult times.

We are classified as a Small Business so networking with other small businesses is a great opportunity.  Plus because we dont have a "department" for everything and that one person does a lot (most) of the work, a lot of times, we rely on our background knowledge on how to do things like hire people, do financials, trying to get investors,  figuring out the best insurance, business staffing, social media, etc. and most of the time, its not always 100% but we make do with it because there are pressing matters at hand.  The reality is not all business owners (Including me) know 100% of everything so this is an awesome opportunity.

Like most Small Business owners, our focus lies in meeting Client expectations and ensuring our customer service is tops - thats why our businesses are still existing!  Most small businesses that have existed for over 3 years have a remarkable edge of customer service and quality service.  Our small business of Web Design and SEO has been around for 5 years so its great to see the DCI supporting us.

DCI Small Business WorkShop Schedule 

Anyway, I have been invited to speak about Social Media on April 11at 4pm.
Cayman DCI Workshop Schedule 2013 (Click to Enlarge)
Full schedule of Events for Cayman Entrepreneurship Day | Small Business Expo

Schedule of Events for the 2013 Small Business Expo (Click to Enlarge)

January 23, 2013

Happy New Year and Hello Google Panda!

Every January I never hold my breath because Google always does something huge.  This 2013 I'm glad I was prepared for the big 'thing' because Google has just updated their Panda Algorithm.  I can almost hear the moans and the questions, 'say wha?, wasn't the latest one called Penguin?'

The Penguin Algorithm
Yes the latest algorithm launched in early 2012 is called Penguin and this algorithm checked websites for quality content.  What is quality content?  Let's put it this way, if you are too lazy to provide well written and well thought out content for your website, it is highly unlikely that your website is on the first page of anything.  But if you took the time to really think about how you want your products/services and company presented then your website is probably effective and earning its keep.

Because we develop websites against algorithms I was actually able to see just how effective a quality content site ranked compared to a website with no content.  We had two clients who asked us to build websites almost around the same exact time.  Working with one client was very easy as they were keen to understand the logic behind Search Engines and what kind of traffic they should be attracting.  It took us almost a month to put together the navigation of their website, but it was definitely worth it.  As soon as we launched the website, it was on the first page of its keywords and then after a couple of months it was already had a top three ranking.  The other client was very busy running their business and did not bother to provide us content for three months.  After an additional six months they finally provided us with content, but it was very thin.  When we launched their website it hardly made a difference on their search engine rank.  They asked me what they should do and I simply said, "write more content."  Its been almost 6 months and they haven't yet.  Suffice it to say, I don't think they even check their website.  It is a good thing their business does not rely on tourists!  Then again, who is to say Users on the island are not looking for them?  Oh well... that is another story altogether.

The Penguin Algorithm also involved more than just quality content, but I will leave you this link to read more about it.

Back to the Panda Algorithm Update
So a few days ago, Google tweeted, "New Panda data refresh rolling out today"  - in my SEO mind I was glad for the notice, but I was too busy to actually check it out; instead wishing I didn't know about it yet.  I only checked it out this afternoon, in between waiting for our server support to get back to me. Here are a few things that Google says:

  • Google wants you to stop caring about what "they" say and start focusing on your Users! 
  • Google has put together a list of questions that you need to answer to determine if your website has high quality content.  Find it here
  • Join Webmaster Central and find answers to your questions from qualified Web developers
There is no gaming Google.  Lots of websites have tried to game Google, but sooner or later, Google catches up with you and your website.  At that point, there is nothing left to do, but to contact an SEO Company based in Grand Cayman (Ehem). While this is always good for business, we can't help you if all you want to do is game your rankings.  We can only help you if you have a product or a service that is of value to your online users and you are willing to provide quality content to support that value.