12- Sep2017
Posted By: DPadmin
154 Views

Everything You Need to Know About Hidden Text & SEO

Hidden text, with the goal of manipulating Google’s algorithm, can get you penalized. However, here are a few valid reasons to hide content.

Hidden text is one of the oldest tricks in the SEO handbook. If you’re hoping hidden text will somehow boost your SEO efforts, you’ll quickly discover this outdated tactic is ineffective.

Back in the day, when search engines were much less sophisticated, you could hide text on webpages in an attempt to gain ranking for certain keywords not visible on the page. You could also hide links on other websites linking back to the page you wanted to gain ranking.

Also known as “content cloaking,” this tactic used to be work because, even though the text is hidden to users, search engines could still crawl it. But that’s no longer the case – search engines are much more sophisticated and better at detecting spammy tactics.

Why Hide Text?

The reasons for using hidden text, and how it is implemented, can vary.

Here are a few reasons why some SEO professionals use this tactic.

Including Keywords They Can’t Show to the Public

For instance, competitor names. In the attempt to rank for competitor brand terms, these keywords can’t be added due to legal compliance, corporate marketing policies, or stealthy SEO approaches.

There are also SEOs who use incorrectly spelled keywords and cloak them because it won’t look appropriate – and to put it bluntly, just appears wrong – if you use them on a post.

Keyword Spamming the Page

Some SEO professionals believe that increasing the keyword count on a page can help rank that keyword. This may have been an effective strategy in the ancient SEO ages (late ’90s to early 2000s) but not today.

Hiding Links

Links are still strong ranking factors. Many sites used to get links from other sites that were hidden. These links were hidden because often times they were unrelated to the content on the site where they were posted.

Sometimes, the links are added on the sites that are owned by the same company, or owned by a partner that has predefined this relationship. Other times, sites are hacked to be able to add the links; this is not only bad for SEO, but is also illegal.

Google doesn’t like these methods of optimization because they aren’t focused on improving ranking based on quality content; instead SEOs are merely trying to get around the search engine’s algorithm.

Over the years, Google has improved its capability of determining if and where hidden content exists.

If, for some reason, your hidden content gets past Google’s sophisticated crawler without detection, the quality of the hidden content or hidden links are often not good enough that they may still be ranked very low. Additionally, Google has manual reviewers whose sole task is to manually check websites for these kind of things and penalize the sites accordingly.

Valid Reasons to Use Hidden Text

Google uses various methods to determine whether hidden content exists on a site, but they also allow other forms of hidden content. Here are a few valid reasons to hide content:

Part of Navigational Elements

Too many links in the screen can be overwhelming so drop down menus, multiple hierarchy menus, accordion navigation, tabbed menus, slider menus, etc. are used to keep the page from appearing cluttered.

Content is hidden from the user in the initial page load. Techniques like using a display:none property in CSS, controlled by JavaScript, can make the initial load hidden to users; hovering over or clicking on various page elements allow the hidden content to appear.

The main rule here is that it should be visually obvious to users how the hidden content should appear. An arrow, a button, a link that can be obviously found by users to display the hidden content is valid to use without any negative SEO implications. The intent to hide the content is related to the user experience and avoiding clutter on the page.

Paid Content Subscription

Google allows websites that offer paid subscription to hide content and even honors the First Click Free method of cloaking. This means that upon the initial visit from Google, you will see the content; but on the second visit to the page, the content no longer appears, instead you will need to login and often pay to view the content.

The intent here is to just give a sample preview of what a paid subscription of a publisher has to offer.

Elements of the Pages Designed for Mobile & Desktop

Responsive sites change and adjust based on the dimensions of a page. Once a certain width limit is reached, some page elements can disappear and some appear, but in the source code they were all there at the same time but are temporarily hidden. This is done for usability purposes and Google is aware of these different viewport formats and doesn’t penalize your site for it if the intent appears to really be for proper mobile and desktop user experience.

Graceful Degradation

Some developers prepare their sites for the optimal user experience with advance web browsers and old web browsers. They ensure that – if the browser doesn’t support images, JavaScript, or CSS – this content will still render properly. However, to enable this capability, sometimes the content for the old web browsers need to be hidden on the new web browsers.

This also applies to cases in which these features are disabled on a browser and when the page can’t load simply due to bandwidth constraints. Search engines may see both pieces of content but as long as the content that appears on a degraded view is exactly the same as the content on the normal view, there shouldn’t be a problem.

The common trend in these four situations: the intent to hide content was never related to trying to game the algorithm in an attempt to improve search engine ranking.

How Hidden Text is Created & Ways to Detect It

Same Colored Text and Background

White text on white background is one of the oldest methods and easiest to detect. Simply highlighting the page can expose this text with a CTRL+A or you can always check the source code.

Disabling CSS can also expose this but using old school font color attributes of the HTML 4 <font> tag will still hide the content since it doesn’t use CSS.

CSS Hidden Text

CSS can hide content in numerous ways, like using the properties display:nonevisibility:hidden, height:0width:0text-spacing:-1000, etc. These can be easily exposed by disabling CSS or simply viewing the source code.

JavaScript can control these properties so it is also advisable to disable JavaScript as well to view any hidden content. If you do not know how to disable CSS, you can use the Web Developer Toolbar by Chris Pedrick.

User Agent Detection

Server side scripting languages (like PHP, ASP/.net, JSP, Cold a Fusion, Perl, Node.JS, etc) that detect user-agents would normally be used to determine the web browser you are using. These  can also be used to detect the search engine bots. When Googlebot, or other search engines, are detected, a different version of the page is sent. When viewed in the source code, you cannot even see the hidden content. The only way to identify if this type of content exists is to change your browser’s user agent to mimic a search engine bot. There are many web browser plugins you can install to help change the web browsers user agent and pretend to be a search engine.

IP Address Detection

Similar to the user agent detection, the IP address is detected instead. Each request to a web page comes from an IP address and there are some known IP addresses of search engines where server side scripting can also be used to determine if the visitor is a search engine crawler. This can be done by using Google Translate, or looking at Google cache. The latter detection method will not work if the cloaking page uses the Meta Noarchive tag. This method also become problematic for the developer cloaking the content because it is hard to find a very complete list of IP addresses that search engines use.

Reverse and Forward DNS Detection

IP addresses can be spoofed. So the most sophisticated way to cloak content is to reverse and forward DNS detection. Ironically, Google and Bing/Yahoo will tell you how to do this. The reason why you can find this information from search engines is because of the valid reasons to cloak content, like when implementing the first click free for paid content subscriptions. Similarly, for you to check if content is hidden this way, you can use Google translate.

What to Do When a Competitor Uses Hidden Text

Google is pretty good, but still not always perfect. Once in awhile you will see a high ranking page, outranking your site and they have hidden content everywhere.

What can you do about it? Google has a page to report this, the Google spam report page.

Just because you reported it, does not mean it’s going down. This will be reviewed by their manual reviewers and if they find the page hiding the content on purpose to gain some ranking advantage, the page can get penalized in Google. If they find the same issues occur across many sites, it may lead to an algorithm update in the future.

Source: Everything You Need to Know About Hidden Text & SEO

11- Aug2017
Posted By: DPadmin
167 Views

How to Get Your Top Competitor’s Keyword Structure

Stop spending hours manually researching keywords. Check out this simple and effective automated solution to help you create a winning keyword structure.

Every successful online business begins with a strong SEO campaign. Every strong SEO campaign begins with a winning keyword structure.

SEO experts know that building a working keyword structure is always a challenge.

First, you search for keyword ideas. With automated tools and apps, proven methods, guides, and recommendations, keyword research is now a less tedious task than it was in the past.

After mastering keyword research, you need to smartly spread your collected keywords across your webpages. This part can be tricky. Even powerful keywords don’t work for you if you put them in the wrong place. SEOs spend tons of time testing and researching keyword behavior.

Finally, comes the testing phase. By trial and error, you’ll get a working keyword structure.

This takes too long.

What if you could get a tested, proven, and crystallized keyword structure before adding it to your website?

Luckily, this is possible.

Your competitors have already managed to build a keyword structure and reach the top of the search results. Nothing is stopping you from doing the same! Your SEO fate rests entirely in your hands.

Why would you spend hours manually researching their keyword structure when you could simply use an effective automated solution that turns this job into a piece of cake?

Meet the free Topvisor grouping tool.

How Does Topvisor Keyword Grouper Work?

Keyword grouping by page relevance spreads keywords across website pages exactly as they rank and display in the applied search engine and location. The algorithm is based on the relevant pages.

A relevant page is a page of a target website that appears in the search results for a specific keyword. The keyword grouper groups out a keyword pool by matching keywords with the relevant pages. As the result, you get a comprehensive keyword structure based on page relevance.

1. Getting Started with the Topvisor Platform

Topvisor

Topvisor is a multi-feature platform that includes much more than just a keyword grouper. To get started, create your first project. Enter a competitor’s URL as a project URL.

2. Keyword Research

Keyword research

If you don’t have a pool of keywords already, it’s high time you get it. You can use your favorite tools or try paid and free Topvisor tools. On the Keywords page, you may try Keyword research tool, Keyword suggestions tool, or a free Magnet tool to pool keyword ideas.

It’s highly recommended to do a bit of a manual research. Look through competitor’s web pages, analyzing text and titles. It can take some time, but it’s worth it.

3. Filter by Search Volume

Filter by search volume

One of the most efficient ways to check if a keyword will work for your website is to get its search volume. You can run a Search Volume tool on the Keywords page. In a couple of minutes, the tool will pull data for you.

Leave only powerful keywords. Move weak keywords to Trash.

4. Track Keyword Rankings

 Track keyword rankings

To provide you with a comprehensive keyword structure, Topvisor keyword grouper needs a list of relevant pages. To get them, move to the Keywords dynamics page and run an instant keyword check.

Topvisor Rank Tracker will match keywords with the competitor’s website relevant pages that show up in the search results and pull a rank for each page. It takes 5 minutes or less.

If a website doesn’t show in the search results or shows beyond the set tracking depth, the tool won’t be able to match a relevant page to a keyword. The maximum Google rank tracking depth in Topvisor is 1,000.

5. Grouping Keywords by Relevance

Grouping keywords by relevance

This is where the magic happens.

Get back to the Keywords page and run the Keyword Grouper. The tool will move the keywords that have common relevant URLs into separate groups. The process is instant. It takes a couple of seconds before you get your keyword structure.

Keywords that don’t have a matching relevant URL will be moved into a separate group named ‘No relevant URL’. Keywords excluded from the ranking report on the previous step are moved to the ‘Not tracked’ group.

6. Adopting Keyword Structure

Adopting keyword structure

With the help of keyword tools, you can get a complete keyword structure and save a lot of time. Analyze the results you received and decide which keywords are the best for your business.

Remember that keywords work well only in high-quality content. Make sure that your website is user friendly and provides practical information for your clients.

Summary

By trusting proven automated algorithms you can save both money and time.

What’s more, tools exclude a chance of human mistake. This means that you won’t have to spend hours testing your results.

The best way to get a perfect working keyword structure is to combine algorithms with your own expertise and creativity.

Source: How to Get Your Top Competitor’s Keyword Structure

26- Jul2017
Posted By: DPadmin
242 Views

How to use SEO data in your social media strategy

Everyone understands that a good social media strategy is the holy grail for businesses; it molds the perception of a brand, carries the voice, creates the appeal, and as a result, increases revenue. There are a few fundamentals that can help enhance the strategy, but SEO, or search engine optimization, is hardly ever considered. Big mistake! Here’s why.

I’ll start by stating that social media and SEO are heavily tied to each other. SEO data can help improve your social efforts, and social media can help with the search rankings.

In fact, SEO data provides a bunch of information about your visibility and target audience: who they are, how they search for things, what keywords they’re using and what sites they’re surfing, not to mention the good old profiling data found in Google AnalyticsSimilarWeb and SE Ranking.

Let’s dig in deeper.

Keywords

As a growing brand and business investing a lot into social media appearance, you need to know what people are saying about your company or products. To find that out, you can use different monitoring tools such as Mention or Google Alerts. However, to set the alerts correctly, you need to understand which search terms are being used.

This is where SEO gets into the game. It’s important to determine the most frequent search queries related to your niche. This data helps interpret the social community’s most urgent concerns.

Often, the best insights come from discussions about your niche overall, but not a specific product. In other words, you need to search for the keywords you want to target in organic and paid search and use them to track social media awareness.

As soon as you discover these keywords, you can set alerts or manually do a daily search on various social networks like Twitter, Facebook and so on. Take a look at the example of the keyword “NASA” that’s set up as an alert in Mention:

A note to remember: Your social media success often depends on what’s “right”: right tools, right audience, right keywords, right time, right place.

I spy with my little eye

Sometimes we create our brilliant strategy ourselves — and sometimes we’re not inventing the wheel but using what’s already working. The wheel could be invented by a genius blogger you’re following or your competitor. Whichever the case, you can catch this success right on time to turn the spotlight on your business.

For example, you can use a URL shortener to discover valuable stats about a site. Using goo.gl, you can find the statistics on the clicks and understand which posts that competitors are sharing via their social networks are yielding the best engagement. Just put the link ID instead of the asterisk here: goo.gl/#analytics/goo.gl/*/all_time. For instance: https://goo.gl/#analytics/goo.gl/xv3dB/all_time

And review the following data:

analyticsKnowing what’s working provides you with the competitive edge you’ve been looking for.

Competitor insights

Everyone knows that analyzing your competitors’ efforts and comparing their key performance metrics should be a “must-have” action for success. Decide who your direct competitors are, and which companies and online businesses have a similar audience with an effective content strategy. By analyzing how your product or brand ranks in your niche, you can easily set goals for your social media campaign.

The competitor research tool from SE Ranking helps you find the best competitors’ content and where it’s getting shared the most. Moreover, you can export that data and figure out which content works well on social media. This approach allows you to not only build your content strategy, but also improve your social media efforts.

serankingA note to remember: The more competitor insights you gain by learning your industry leaders, the more chances you will have to improve your customer responsiveness and online brand visibility.

Trends and predictions

Google is making a lot of its enormous cache of data available to marketers through a variety of channels: Google Trends, Google Trends for Websites, Google Insights for Search, as well as via search tools like the Wonder Wheel. Before developing your social media strategies and promo activities, make sure to check these trends to identify what topics are hot for a specific period of time and throw the spotlight on your brand.

For example, if your online store is selling custom t-shirts, you can determine how to present the designs in a more fun and attention-grabbing manner. If you check Google Trends, you’ll see which topics or queries are most popular at certain times so you can modify your social media strategy based on this information. For example, with last year’s Pokémon Go boom in July, you could have thrown Pokémon images into your shared images and postings to help you promote t-Shirts.

(Fun fact: Pokémon Go was launched in July 2016 and saw some of the most amazing growth of the video game in history. The downloads surpassed 750 million.)

pokemon goA note to remember: If you’re not staying on top of hot news, your competitors will.

Bottom line

Using SEO data gives you a good pivot point to start your social conversations. The data you get from it can help inform others. Watch out for what works well, and use that to find conversations on social media to grow your online business.

Source: How to use SEO data in your social media strategy