Keyword Blackout in Google Analytics Makes It Hard to Know Your Traffic

Over six months ago, Google announced that for users signed into their Google account using https:// at Google, would no longer have their search terms or activity shown in Google Analytics. Matt Cutts at that time mentioned that this would not be a big impact for website analysis but would however provide secure searches for users.

Fast forward now about six months, and if you are like me, in Google Analytics I cannot see upwards of 54% of my website traffic’s search keywords. That’s no small number! So, what’s a website owner to do to understand what is happening on his or her website and to try to know what keywords are popular to your web presence.

Here are three things you can to to try to get more keyword data:

1. Make sure to link your Google Analytics account with your Google Webmaster control panel account and verify your access. When you do this, Google Analytics will show more keyword information under the Search Engine Optimization links from the left side bar. Although this is simply not as much data as before, it does give you additional insight into the traffic and keywords popular for your website.

2. In Google Analytics add query parameters to you can track activity on your own site search function. This article found at SiteProNews written by Nell Terry explains how to do just that; track searches in Analytics.

3. Advertise on Google AdWords for keyword and conversion keyword discovery. Using AdWords, and if you link your AdWords account to Google Analytics the data will flow into the section called traffic and then advertising and will give you more keyword insights.

Unfortunately with keyword blackout in Google Analytics, and the “not set” descriptor, even site owners find it hard to understand what keywords are driving search traffic. However, these tips will allow you to glean a little bit more knowledge into what is driving your own traffic so you can further evaluate activity and change accordingly.


Yes That Is Facebook Stalking You Online

Now that Facebook has encouraged you to share every single detail of your life with timeline, and some of you have, and now that you have used your Facebook login to supposedly easily login to sites around the web, Facebook can now stalk you with ads online. Unfortunately, we’ve no one to blame but ourselves by over-sharing all our likes, where we go online, and what we are doing.

Whispering a secret about you!
Whispering a secret about you!

Facebook is now using every single thing that you ever shared on its platform to tailor ads to your specific needs and likes. But it isn’t just happening on the Facebook platform, now that we have shared and used our Facebook logins on other sites, Facebook knows even more and is sharing this information with other advertising platforms to target us in ways we never really intended by simply connecting with our friends and family on the Facebook website. If you’ve enabled Facebook Graph Search, and sorry to say it is a one way trip in, now you can even see more information about those in your network, including photos, that you may have never really wanted to see. This total loss of privacy is unfortunately of our own making. By trading away privacy for cool birthday apps on Facebook, or allowing games to see our settings, or by trying to uncomplicate our lives with one universal Facebook login, we’ve created an ad selling monster. Just wait until Facebook really ramps up its ad serving program, nothing will be private and in fact things about you may be revealed or shown to others in order to sell them products or services, using your own words, photos, or online activity without your express knowledge or agreement.If you didn’t know or remember, it’s all about the money.

“Facebook remains under pressure from its investors to make more money and advertising has been one of the social network’s main focuses. The firm brought in $5 billion in advertising revenue last year. Facebook also continues to push mobile advertising  — it made 23 percent of its advertising revenue from mobile in the last quarter, up from 14 percent in third quarter.” Read the full article.

The unfortunate thing is that once we’ve shared as deeply as we have, we now are being used to make advertising profit.


Introducing Rel=Publisher for Brands

Introducing rel=publisher.
Introducing rel=publisher.

Rel=Publisher is a new tag that can tie your website brand to a Google+ page and it is a hot new tactic that allows brands to expand beyond the rel=author tag.This is actually great news that Google now has expanded Google+ verification and authority beyond just a person. In fact, this was a problematic issue for large businesses on Google+ – who did you tie your business website too when you are really a brand more so than an individual.For a business like mine, using the rel=author tag makes perfect sense. I write for my own business exposure and I am my brand as the owner and founder of McCord Web Services, but how about a large company where the CEO really does not want to tie his or her name to a Google+ page which may be ghost written. In this case the new rel=publisher is a much better fit.

With rel=publisher a brand or large company can now tie their website and verify their brand tying  to a Google+ Business page and not a Google+ personal page. This allows for the Google verification process to work, to build trust and web authority but without being tied to an individual who may or may not stay with the company in years to come.

With changes that Google is making on Google+ Business Pages by allowing Business Pages to now follow people this new tag is welcome news to help with the long term implementation and use of Google+ by large businesses.


Never Buy Facebook Likes or Twitter Followers

Don't buy Facebook Likes or Twitter followers.
Don’t buy Facebook Likes or Twitter followers.

You’ll do more damage to your brand and reputation that you can realize when you buy Facebook Like or Twitter followers! It seems like a no-brainer really that there are some things that you just shouldn’t do, but I get asked over and over as to why a business should NOT buy likes.Here’s Why You Should Not Buy Followers:

1. The quality of likes and followers you will buy are poor. In some cases you are buying just number and not accounts owned by real people.

2. You may be buying spammers – likes and followers who are really spammers are of no value to you. They will want to @ message you to get exposure on YOUR wall or news feed to spew out their own service and products. They have no interest in connecting to you.

3. Many of these purchased likes and followers may be involved with pornography. You do not want to take a black eye for having followers and comments from those in a “bad neighborhood”. Take a look at the profile photos of some of these people who were bought as a like or follower. Many will be dressed in sexy or revealing outfits. Do you really want these icons appearing on your family-friendly newsfeed or wall?

Don’t be tempted with easy results, when you try to take a short cut to build your followers or fan base, you don’t want your brand to be damaged in the process. It is by far better to take it slow, build a thoughtful strategy, and work your own plan.


Getting Google to “Trust” Your Website

Build web authority and trust to place better on
Build web authority and trust to place better on

Getting placement on is affected by a number of new factors so getting Google to “trust” your website, when compared to other sites, is extremely important. This “trust” factor is also known as “web authority”. When Google considers your website an authority on a topic, it will place your site higher in the organic search results.

So, how to you get Google to “trust” your website and give it “authority”?

1. Make sure your are transparent about what you sell and your services. Explain what you do and provide informational content about your services or products in a way that does more than just “sell” your own services.

2. Make sure you have a privacy policy that covers tracking, technology, remarketing, what you do with information, and if you lend or sell information to a third part.

3. Get blogging on a regular basis to provide value to readers –  not just about your own services, but about your industry, why something is important, current news in your industry, and share your point of view. I like blogging three days a week as it keeps search engines coming back on a regular basis to find new content.

4. Start now building Google AuthorRank either through the rel=author tag or the rel=publisher tag pointing to Google+ properties. By doing this important step you legitimize your online voice tying your website, blog, off site articles all to your Google verified property. This is a very important step to Google’s “trust” factor.

5. Share off domain using social media. I personally like using Twitter, Google+, Google+ Communities, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Make sure the content you create there is share-able and information rich. Don’t use social sites just to parrot back sales and marketing content from your website. Work to engage and add value.

Although our own services aren’t a good match for every business, we may be a good match for your needs. I invite you to check our our services to see if we might be able to help you to start building “trust” with Google now.


Authorship Versus AuthorRank on Google

Authorship versus AuthorRank
Authorship versus AuthorRank

Although these two terms seem similar in fact they are very different. Here’s what to know about each.Authorship
This is not new, but linking your name, website and personal Google+ page together to have your photo appear in search results next to your content is new. Authorship is the online brand that you are establishing to let others know on the Web when something has been created by you and solves much of the problem of letting others scrape your content and passing it off as their own. It’s a way that Google is able to determine that something you wrote is really yours.

By linking your website, articles, and personal Google+ page you verify for Google that content is truly yours.

This is new. Google’s toyed around with this under different names AgentRank and AuthorRank. In a patent disclosure from Google over three years ago I first saw the use of Agent/Author Rank. I however thought at that time it would be done with a meta tag not the algorithm element that it appears to be. At that time the patent addressed questions such as who issued the content first and so was the owner.

Google has revealed just last week that AuthorRank is real. It is no longer a question mark, and does impact search results.

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.” Eric Schmidt Executive Chairman of Google

AuthorRank is more of a part of the algorithm that Google uses to rack and stack search results. It places importance on locations of content, social sharing, and authority of an author.

Both Authorship and AuthorRank are important new elements of web visibility and share-ability that will impact your organic placement now and in the future.