Weekly SEO news: 21 June 2016
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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

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1. SEO: when cheap is not so cheap (and even risky)

Hiring a cheap SEO service provider can be very tempting. Many cash-strapped businesses have to cut costs and a cheap SEO service seems to be a good solution. What could go wrong? Unfortunately, a lot!

to good to be true?

Although most people have understood that search engine optimization is an integral part of a successful online business, many businesses still make wrong decisions.

Here are three popular SEO offers that aren't as good as they seem:

1. Your hosting company or the CMS vendor offers SEO services

Some hosting companies and content management system vendors include 'SEO' services in their packages.

In general, these offers usually include automated tools that insert keywords and other code on your web pages and then they submit your site to Google and other search engines.

Your risk: The fully automated solutions offered by many hosting companies and CMS vendors are usually outdated. Nowadays, these methods don't work anymore. In general, automatic optimization and link building is considered spam by Google.

2. A relative who is great with computers optimizes your site

Maybe you know someone who knows someone who is really great with computers. They can 'fix the SEO' on your website and you will save a lot of money because they do not charge much.

Your risk: Your relative might know how to code an HTML web page but that doesn't mean the he or she has any SEO knowledge. Not everyone who is good with numbers can do your accounting. Bad optimization can do more harm than good.

3. An offshore company will do everything for a low price

These companies often send unsolicited emails with great-sounding offers. They promise to build backlinks, optimize your web pages and a lot more for a low monthly fee. You just have to sit back while they do the work.

Your risk: Many of the offshore companies use automated spam tools to 'promote' your website. Hiring these companies is often a sure way to get your website banned from Google in the long run. Some of these services even tweak the meta keywords tag of your web pages, which is a sure sign that they do not know what they're doing.

Better choose a reliable solution that leads to lasting results

If you want to build a successful online business, it is much better to develop a long-term search engine optimization strategy. You will save a lot of money because you will get much better results.

If you use the right tools, you can get things done as efficiently as possible. You still have to do some work but tools like SEOprofiler will guide you through the process and they will help you save time by automating things like regular SEO audits:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google: here’s how to optimize for Google’s RankBrain

"Optimizing for RankBrain is actually super easy, and it is something we’ve probably been saying for fifteen years now, is – and the recommendation is – to write in natural language. Try to write content that sounds human. If you try to write like a machine then RankBrain will just get confused and probably just pushes you back.

 But if you have a content site, try to read out some of your articles or whatever you wrote, and ask people whether it sounds natural. If it sounds conversational, if it sounds like natural language that we would use in your day to day life, then sure, you are optimized for RankBrain.  If it doesn’t, then you are 'un-optimized'."

John MuellerGoogle: New TLDs won't improve your rankings 

On his Google Plus page, Google's John Mueller commented on claims, that a keyword-TLD will improve your rankings:

"Every now and then I see a new post (sometimes sponsored posts!) suggesting that migrating a site to a keyword-TLD will improve search rankings: that's not the case.
 Changing domain names isn't trivial, there's a lot of work involved. I don't recommend doing that for vague promises."

Google algorithm update brewing? We got early some chatter

"I spotted several threads in the Google Webmaster Help forums with complaints about ranking drops - which is not unusual to see but there were more complaints than normal over the past couple days. I also see that the WebmasterWorld thread has unusually more chatter over the past two days."

GoogleGoogle’s Panda algo still rolling out slowly

"Google has been extremely quiet about Google Panda ever since they released information and quotes [...] Google last said that Panda was doing a slow rolling update, which means SEOs would no longer be able to see a definitive date for when rankings either dropped or increased thanks to Panda. [...]

There has not been much chatter about Panda since the last 'known' launch, but this is likely due to the fact it is harder to pinpoint Panda issues with the lack of dates."

Mobile SEO matters more than it used to

"An e-commerce site with responsive design and fast load times on mobile will rank higher in Google search results. [...]
 Balsam recommends retailers spend time on their own sites just to make sure things are running as they should."
Search engine newslets

  • Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn.
  • The Microsoft-LinkedIn deal: What it means for advertisers.
  • Google has a new UI for suggesting place attributes in Maps.
 3. Recommended resources


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