ezSEO newsletter #351 9

In this issue:

  1. Google Panda 4.1 released
  2. Google Penalty Checker Tool
  3. Yahoo Directory Closes
  4. Want reasonably priced “Dedicated WordPress Hosting”?

I have become increasingly aware that I’ve neglected my SEO newsletter, and those newsletters I have sent over the last year or so have been slim on real SEO news.  Therefore, I hope to change all that.  My intention (although “best laid plans” and all that), is to publish more SEO industry type news and tutorials as and when I have a spare moment.  I won’t stop writing about Kindle publishing and other online opportunities that I feel merit inclusion, but I will try to reintroduce more SEO stuff again.  Ok, with that said, let me tell you what this newsletter is all about.

1. Google Panda 4.1 released

At the end of September 2014, Google started releasing Panda 4.1.  In this short article, I’ll go over what we know about the update.  Read Panda 4.1  -Google’s 27th Panda Update is with us.

2. Google Penalty Checker Tool

I am often asked how we can tell which Google algorithm update caused a site a problem.  Was is Panda or Penguin, and if so which one?  Was it Hummingbird or another update?  Knowing which algorithm update hit a site is crucial in understanding why the site was hit, and consequently how to fix the site.

In this post, I recorded a video showing you how to use a free tool to fully understand the impact of every major Google update on your site traffic.  Read / watch Google Penalty Checker Tool.

3. Yahoo Directory Closes

I know some webmasters will be sad and even shocked at this news, but for me, it was about time Yahoo killed off this beast.  As a search tool it became just about useless several years ago, and as a way to boost search engine rankings, it lost a lot of its power over the recent years of Google updates.

How Yahoo announced the closure was surprising.  Read more on Yahoo Directory Closing.

4. Want reasonably priced “Dedicated WordPress Hosting”?

I’ve always wondered about dedicated WordPress hosting but never tried it with any of my sites, mainly because of cost.  However, I just found out that my old friend Adrian Ling (programmer extraordinaire and genuinely nice chap) runs his own web hosting company, and they only host WordPress sites.  Their servers are configured and optimized for WordPress, and the tests I ran show how fast WordPress can run.

Best of all, this hosting comes at a fraction of the price of more established dedicated WordPress hosts.  For anyone that doesn’t know Adrian, he has been online for as long as I remember, and is just about the nicest guy I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years.  Check out my mini-review of his Dedicated WordPress Hosting.

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9 thoughts on “ezSEO newsletter #351

  • Norm

    Hello Dr. Andy,

    How in the world have you been? Long time no see. Gosh.

    Your note about Yahoo did indeed catch me by surprise. My stuff has always done quite well there, not that it had much of an impact. Oh well. Like you, I go all the way back to Alta Vista.

    I’m letting my empire of SEO dribble away as you know I have turned to writing. Still, for whatever reason many of my sites still fare well on Google even though they haven’t been worked in ages and break gray hat rules. I don’t know if it’s luck or that I managed to do something right in the design phase.

    One of my sites got hacked recently. I found out about it with a note from Google Webmaster. I got rid of the extra files and a month later Google sends me another note. This time I went to support and they found that the rogue hacker rascal had managed to get into the server through another website on there. Since I had not visited the site in months it was a natural place to do badness. Sort of like a trichogramma wasp dropping eggs onto an unwary caterpillar. The funnest part of it was that since the site was designed with FrontPage I destroyed what must have took a week of work by the nefarious hacker in about three clicks! Ha!

    Recently I got a flurry of mails from tricky internet entrepreneurs about Google cracking down on blog networks. That sort of surprised me since in my experience that issue had been dealt with years ago. I’d love to see a graph of how much new material is being presented on the Warrior Forum versus how much is just regurgitated crap from years past. Regardless I’m glad to be out of that rat race.

    Lastly, I have operated an organization website for years now that I am a part of. The volunteers give classes in firearms safety for free. Over the last three years or so an online biz got permission to do the same thing online for a fee and had just about put the our several hundred volunteers and the free course out of business. The main reason is that when you’re looking for info on the subject they own the first four or five listings. Thus, folks seeking the class never know about the free course. So…I’m gonna challenge these guys with an article on our PR4 site, and guess what program I’m going to use to write it? I’ll bet it will hit at least page one, by golly! Though I’m out of the IM biz, SEO is still FUN, especially when you do it the Andy way!

    Your mainest fan in Alabama,

  • Julia

    Hi Andy, also glad to see your newsletter. I will check out your kindle books.

    I was just thinking who to ask about a recent incident on my site. A few things happened that I believe are all connected as they occurred in the space of a week.

    –First, starting on October 1, 2014, my traffic tripled for a week, then went back to normal.
    –Then I checked in with analytics to see what was happening and found that one particular page had received most of this extra traffic. I rose up in the SERP because others had been dropped (it’s happened before).
    –I went to the page and found I had 5k face-book likes that I didn’t buy and didn’t receive organically.

    Is this a method of attacking someone else’s page? Because having 5k Likes on a page without a lot of traffic is an obvious sign to google of buying Likes. I didn’t buy them!! All I could think to do was get rid of the FB Likes button on all of my pages.

    Will that make a difference now? Can I get rid of the Likes?

    Any thoughts? Thanks, Julia

    • Andy Williams Post author

      It’s difficult to know what is happening from the details you’ve given me.
      What you describe could be completely normal if you had a page/image/document go viral.
      Have your rankings dropped since this incidence?

  • Norm

    Hi Dr. Andy,

    Thanks. It will be a fun chase. In the meantime, candidly, my first series is a bomb. The reviews are overwhelmingly good and what I was looking for so I know it is well written. And the exposure is there ( I can see it working in site stats), but mebbe the world isn’t ready for Cowchip yet? Or the promoter is missing something the size of a semi truck in a teapcup. I dunno. I could pursue Cowchip comedy forever more, but it’s sidelined for now. My main promo outlet is Twitter via your recommend, TweetSpice.

    Moving on I am in close to finishing the third book of four before dropping my Survival Apocalypse series onto the market. Maybe a dozen books in all if the debut shows promise. Starting 80 years after the sun flare EMP it’s pioneer time again. I researched America circa 1540-1830 for two years before starting it. I have had and am having ALL the fun. Did I ever mention where saltpeter, the third item in gunpowder comes from when you don’t have a bat cave handy?

    Now to you. I figgered since you haven’t been around in awhile that you likewise have been having all the fun with your books…and making good and reliable sales as well. It’s always a joy seeing you in my inbox!

    Your fan,

  • Julia

    Hi thanks for your reply. I’m reading Creating Fat Content now btw, it’s really well written, I can’t put it down!

    I dont’ follow my rankings, because this is not a big money making page or site yet : ) I do follow my traffic, though. the page was just getting 10 – 20 visitors a day until September 20. Then it arced way up to 1200 or so in early October, then back down to same traffic since last weekend. I assumed my increase in traffic was a result of the latest large goo-gle shake-up, but then saw the F B likes . . . I did not notice when those 5000 likes appeared.

    I have put some of the photos from this particular page on Pinterest but that was time ago. There was no flurry of sharing. It was the perfectly round figure of 5000 that made me suspicious.

    Does this help you make an assessment? I just wondering if I should get rid of the likes somehow, if that is possible, or keep the f b icon off the site completely, or just leave it there, although probably it is negative seo.

    Thanks a lot, hope you are having a nice weekend, Julia

    • Andy Williams Post author

      I’m not sure the Facebook likes will impact your site rankings enough to cause the swing in Traffic. It might cause your FB page to be closed down though. Do you use Google Analytics? If so, where was the extra traffic in October coming from?

  • Julia

    Hi Andy, I do use g analytics yes, but I can’t find where they tell you where your visitors came from. There is landing page, exit page, etc. very complicated : |

    I checked my site’s facebook page and there are no problems there. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about it, but just thinking if I should return the FB icon to my site pages or not. Since it’s wordpress with a Clickbump theme I can’t take the icon off just one page, it comes off all the pages.

    Thanks for you help, maybe I am making a mountain our of molehill, as they say.

    • Andy Williams Post author

      I don’t think the Facebook icon is a problem. I did try Clickbump themes a while ago and don’t remember whether they include a link back to their Clickbump site. If they do, I recommend you remove it.