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  1. Yesterday
  2. Mike's Tuesday Tips: I have been amazed over the past few years how many nonprofits I have encountered that were not aware of the Google Ads Grant Program. https://www.google.com/grants/index.html What could a nonprofit do with $10,000 per month in advertising on Google Ads? Could they get the word out about their cause to more people who might be in need of their services? Could they recruit more volunteers? Could they bring in more donations? The Google Ads Grant Program provides nonprofits with the opportunity to advertise on Google Ads for free. The program gives qualified organizations up to $10,000 per month to promote their initiatives on Google. This can be a great source for extra traffic to your website to share your cause with your community or the world. It’s an opportunity that every nonprofit should be taking advantage of. In order to qualify for the Google Ads Grant Program, nonprofits must meet the following criteria: -Hold current and valid 501(c)(3) status. -Acknowledge and agree to Google Grant’s required certifications. -Have a website that defines your nonprofit and its mission. -Hospitals, medical groups, academic institutions, childcare centers, -and government organizations are not eligible. -(Google does provide a similar program specifically for educational institutions.) In 2018, Google made changes to the Google Ad Grant Program and there are new guidelines that nonprofits must follow to remain eligible: -Maintain a minimum 5% CTR account-wide. Accounts that dip below 5% for 2 consecutive months will be suspended. -Maintain a minimum keyword quality score of 2. -Have a minimum of 2 ad groups per campaign. -Have a minimum of 2 ads per ad group. -Utilize at least 2 sitelink ad extensions. The primary one that nonprofits struggle with is maintaining the 5% CTR. It is account-wide, so it is always advisable to have a brand campaign running for the nonprofit as those will usually have a pretty high CTR.
  3. Last week
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  5. Think about your outreach targets. This one may seem very obvious to many of you, but I still see people making this mistake pretty regularly. Outreach for links is one of the most popular forms of link building out there. It’s also one of the most difficult, time consuming, and frustrating. I did a consulting call with another SEO in early May with the main thing they wanted to talk about being link building. They really wanted to talk about their outreach approach because they were getting horrible results. We are talking about close to zero percent response rates. I was not shocked at the results when we started talking about what they were doing, and they are far from the only people I have seen do this over the years. I asked them how they were finding their targets for their outreach. They were making a pretty big mistake. They were using different combinations of search terms and search operators, but all of them included their primary keywords. In other words, if they were trying to rank a page on a recipe site for “dessert recipes”, they were reaching out to other sites that already ranked for “dessert recipes.” Just think about that for a moment. I’m trying to rank my own page about dessert recipes and someone is reaching out to me asking if I will link to their dessert recipe page. Even if I was clueless about SEO, that sounds like a bad idea. Why would I want to lead my traffic to a similar page on another site? If the website owner does understand a little bit about SEO, they are going to know that doing so could potentially help you to outrank them. Why would they want to do that? Your outreach should not be to direct competitors. Many times it shouldn’t even be to sites that are directly in the same niche if you want to have a good success rate. Let’s use an example to illustrate what I am talking about. Say you are doing outreach for a local mortgage lending company in Philadelphia. The last thing you want to do to find outreach targets is to search for things like “mortgage lenders in Philadelphia” or “FHA loans Philadelphia”. Instead, look at businesses that are related to and in many cases rely on mortgage lenders to operate. Title companies and real estate agents would be good examples. Construction companies that focus on home building would be another good one. Content on their site that educates their web visitors about topics such as FHA loans, improving credit scores to qualify for a mortgage, what to prepare in order to get a pre-approval, or why they should get a pre-approval before home shopping, can help to position them as knowledgeable within the field and someone a prospect would want to work with. At the same time, neither title companies, real estate agents, or construction companies are going to be heavily focused on trying to rank for mortgage-related keywords. Going back to the recipe example, and specifically the “dessert recipes” example, there are plenty of branches within this market you can look at. For example, there are a bunch of websites (and YouTube channels) devoted entirely to recipes for pressure cookers. These are site owners that probably care about ranking for search terms like “dessert recipes for pressure cookers” but not as much about just “dessert recipes”. You can also find sites that do reviews and tutorials of cooking gadgets like pressure cookers, air fryers, slow cookers, etc. They could be good targets to reach out to. There are also all kinds of bloggers covering topics like eating healthy, being a stay-at-home mom (or dad), etc. All great outreach targets. You can get even more creative than this. Think a little outside the box. Remember that the entire website you are reaching out to does not have to be relevant to your site in order for the link to be useful. There are lots of sites popping up that are devoted to providing information about becoming an online streamer. Most of the content on these sites revolves around what equipment to use, how to set up that equipment, setting up a schedule, engaging your audience, finding an audience, etc. Many streamers will stream for 8-12 hours at a time. You could reach out to some of these sites and pitch them the idea of publishing a piece of content about some great bite-size, healthy snacks you can make to eat while streaming. Be creative. Think outside of the box. You will have a lot more success in your outreach.
  6. Sticking with PPC this week, specifically Google and Bing Ads. This is a technique I have been using for a long time. I came up with a catchy acronym for it when I teach it to people. A.I.M.: Analyze, Identify, Move Then several years ago I was reading Perry Marshall’s book on Google Ads. He uses the same method, but calls it Peel & Stick. Admittedly, his name is much more catchy. Call it whatever you want. The concept is the same. The way you implement this is simple. (STEP 1) You first Analyze the keywords of an ad group. What you are looking for is any keyword that sticks out. We are primarily looking at CTRs here. Note, most people who I have encountered that do use this method only do this for the top performers. However, you should also use this for keywords that are not performing well. (STEP 2) You want to Identify keywords that are outperforming the rest of the group or underperforming the rest of the group. (STEP 3) The third step is to Move these keywords into their own single keyword ad groups (SKAG). In the case of over performing keywords, you are doing this hoping that if you write an ad targeted specifically for this keyword you will be able to boost its performance even higher. In the case of underperforming keywords, you are moving them into their own ad groups hoping that by putting the keyword by itself with ads specifically suited for that keyword, that you can boost its CTR to something more respectable. Depending on the situation, I will go a step further and create a unique landing page for each of these as well. The thinking being that I can improve the Quality Score, which means potentially higher positions in the ad listings, which can then lead to higher CTRs. You do not want your ad groups cannibalizing one another. This is even more common with Google’s expanding definition of exact match. Make sure when you pull a keyword out of an ad group, you add its exact match as a negative keyword to that ad group.
  7. "Create Your Own Perfect Data Entry!" For as little as $5.00 per month, Fortune 500 companies can now take advantage of telecommuting professionals who can instantly send, manage, and track various forms of lead information https://belkins.io/sales-tools/top-data-enrichment-services/prospect-direct. With VoiceLogy, sales teams no longer need to spend hours filling out data forms, punching in numbers, or waiting for fax machines to spit out results https://folderly.com/blog/email-deliverability/email-deliverability-tests-to-watch-in-2022. With a simple telephone call, data management professionals can input sales leads and project status immediately, sending out personalized communications to their sales forces at the touch of a button.
  8. Mike’s Tuesday Tips: These are just a couple of common mistakes I see when auditing Google Ads accounts. This is going to be strictly for search based text ads. I’m not going to get into shopping ads or display ads here. All of this would apply to BingAds campaigns as well. #1 Campaigns are Where You Control What You Spend One of the most common mistakes I see is in the way that an account is organized. Always remember that it is at the campaign level where you control the budget. If you are advertising multiple products or services, each one of them should have their own campaign. The reason for that is simple. Let’s say you are selling men’s clothing: shirts, pants, socks, and shoes. You would have each of those in their own campaign. In fact, you may even divide it up further. One campaign for dress shirts. One campaign for tshirts. One campaign for running shirts. And so on. Same thing for pants. A campaign for dress pants. A campaign for jeans. A campaign for sweatpants. A campaign for exercise pants. The mistake I see people frequently make is they make one campaign for shirts, and then divide things up at the ad group level. They create an ad group for dress shirts, another for tshirts, and another for running shirts. The problem with that organization is simple. What if your highest converting or most profitable shirts that you sell are dress shirts and you want to increase your ad spend on them? If you increase the money on your shirts campaign, it is going to be spent on all the ad groups. You have no ability to funnel the money towards a specific ad group. Depending on your inventory, you may even get more granular than what I suggested above. Instead of just dress shirts, you might want separate campaigns for short-sleeve dress shirts, long-sleeve dress shirts, dress shirts for boys, and campaigns for button-down collars and non-button-down collars. However you do it, always keep in mind that you control the budget at the campaign level and any products or services that you want to have complete control over the ad spend on need to have their own campaign. But Mike, I can just move products into their own campaign if I need to in the future. Sure, you can, but you lose the historical data (Quality Scores, conversion data, automated bidding data, ad performance, etc.). You are basically starting from scratch with a new campaign when you do that. #2 Keep Your Ad Groups Small The second most common mistake I see is ad groups with tons of keywords. Over the years, I have lost count of how many accounts I have seen where they just had one ad group in a campaign and all their keywords were thrown into it. Generally, your ad groups should not be more than 3-5 keywords each. I don’t go over 10 max. The reason for this is Quality Scores and Ad Rank. Your Quality Scores are impacted by several factors. The most common and important ones: Click-through rate of your ads. The relevance of each keyword to its ad group and to its ad text. The relevance and quality of your landing page. Historical Google Ads account performance. It is easier to control those relevance factors with tightly constructed ad groups and landing pages. The more broad your keywords get, the harder it is to make the ads and landing pages hyper-relevant. This is also good for conversions. It’s easier to convey a consistent message from search to ad to landing page this way. Today with the expanding definition of exact match search queries in Google Ads, it becomes even less necessary to have lots of different keywords in the same ad group. Why should you be worried about Quality Scores? Well, that’s the next one. #3 Not Worrying About Quality Scores This is a huge mistake costing advertisers a ton of money. I have often audited ad accounts and found lots of search terms with Quality Scores of 3 and less. The exact method for calculating Ad Rank is not shared publicly by Google, but Quality Score is a factor. In fact, they use a real-time Quality Score that does not get shared with you and takes into account things like proximity of the searcher, the time of day, nature of the search term, etc. What we get to see and work with is a general Quality Score. Why this matters is because it helps to determine how much you will pay per click. Higher QS’s get discounted positions in the advertising auctions. Lower QS’s have to pay more than other advertisers in order to show in the same position. Lower QS’s also means that oftentimes your ad just won’t be shown at all.
  9. These are a few common mistakes I see people make in doing keyword research for SEO. Mistake 1: Only targeting keywords with X number of searches per month. I commonly see people say to look for at least 1000 searches per month. Whatever the number is, this thinking ignores two very important factors: buyer intent and what are you selling. I don’t think I need to explain buyer intent to anyone here. What I mean by what you are selling is simple. What if the lifetime value of one customer/conversion is $10,000? Do you really care about search volume then? I’m going after any keyword where the buyer intent is high. I don’t care if it gets 10 searches per month. I just need one conversion each month and that will generate a 6 figure revenue stream. Now on the other hand, if you are building a made-for-AdSense type site, then yes, search volume is going to matter a whole lot more. In fact, I would probably ignore anything less than 10,000 searches per month as a primary keyword. Mistake 2: Looking at the number of results in the search index. I covered this one before in another Tuesday Tip, but it is worth mentioning again. The number of results in the search index has absolutely nothing to do with the level of competition for a keyword. It does not matter if there are 100,000 results or 100,000,000 results. All that matters is the strength of the top 3 pages (or in really high search volume keywords maybe top 5). If you can beat #3, then #4 through 100,000,000 do not matter. I don’t care what search operators you use either. Inurl:, Intitle:, etc. It tells you nothing about the level of competition. The KGR is BS. Mistake 3: Using competition level from Google Keyword Planner. Over the years, this might be the mistake I see most often repeated. The competition column in the Google Keyword Planner has nothing to do with the level of competition in organic search. The Keyword Planner is a tool for Google Ads, not SEO. It is telling you the level of competition among Google advertisers. If you ever see a third-party tool with a “Competition” column and it ranks them as Low, Medium, or High, they are most likely pulling this data from Google. Same thing applies. If anything, and I would still be careful about this, that data can be used to gauge buyer intent. The thinking being that if advertisers are willing to pay for ads, then that probably means they are making money off their ads. In other words, people doing that search are looking to buy something. Mistake 4: Not checking the plural or non-plural version of a keyword. Sometimes, when you change a search term to its plural version, the search intent changes in Google’s eyes and so do the results. Based on this you might want to create different content on another page to target the plural version or you may want to not target it at all. For example, when I search ‘insurance agent’ I do get the local search box, but in the organic searches I get things like job listings, job descriptions, how to become one, and some local search results mixed in. When I search for ‘insurance agents’, I see nothing but local results on page one. If you just glanced at the search terms, they may seem closely related, but based on what Google is showing I would not create the same content to target both of those searches.
  10. Probably, but the updates would cripple it eventually.
  11. No, never built a PC, only updated a few. I would never engage in such a task. My last triumph was to give my friend my old PC a year or so ago, hers was failing, and cloned her Windows installation, after a cleanup (Windows 10), from her old HD to an SSD plugged in to a USB port on hers with an off the shelf special cable. Then I put the SSD in my old one, crossed my fingers. It worked right out of the box! She was able to continue where she left off. So given that it was a 4th Gen Intel, she will have to get a new one in October 2025 unless Microsoft change there tune. Oh well, at least she will get 6 years out of it.. Can you run an old version of Photoshop an a new Mac?
  12. You build your own PC,s admit it, (l built two, one under supervision and one at home). But putting in a Pentium 4, is always scary. Yep, my Apple purist brother convinced her it was better than Windows. But he tends to pray to Apple, so... Like learn to manage a lack of available memory, (256) and l would say, screw that, and go for something with at least a terabyte, or Windows, since Apple is typically 5k, for a comparable system, (and sure it is SSD, instead of disk, but still) a lot more expensive. The newbies are drooling and more seasoned are not, but for me windows 10 and 11, is like deciding between, Maderna or Pfizer. They are really just giving w10 for their dedicated laptops, adding some more bells and spyware and releasing it on all platforms as 11. And l agree it looks nicer. https://www.mwave.com.au/product/toshiba-dynabook-satellite-pro-c40h-14-laptop-i71065g7-16gb-512gb-win10-pro-ac44700?gclid=CjwKCAjwlYCHBhAQEiwA4K21m8zEV6sQPDZbI93naAOD0lbCq0q6ZDBf2G3LG9diQieNxrXPg9Db0xoCmN8QAvD_BwE Just ran a quick check and there are plenty of new ones still available from a few years ago, but with 500gigs instead of 1tb, so to answer your question l would buy the most up to date one, pay some professionals to put in a 1tb SSD, and 7 Pro again. And maybe get several, or go over to Apple and put up with its annoyances.
  13. The antiques O/S Roadshow. I was able to make my way around my ex-wives (when still married) 2010 Mac-book Pro. It was ok. I was even able to upgrade it once I got the specialist screwdrivers. Copied/Cloned the HDD to an SSD via USB, swopped it out and doubled the ram, 4 to 8 gigs. (max for that model), even flushed the Pram so it booted up in 15 seconds instead of 2.5 minutes (coupled with the SSD). As to the O/S, had been updated to the most recent compatible with it. All made a difference. It's what your used to but you can adapt. So your mother bought the new M1 Macbook Air? Currently looking at the Windows 11 Debacle and the possibility that it will not work on machines less than 8th gen Intel or equivalent. I found a third party tool to check compatibility, (Microsoft removed theirs temporarily for upgrades) my machine passed but it is a recent i9, all checked out ok. Four more years of Windows 10 until support stops in 2025, October and if lower than i8, allegedly that then you will have to chuck your machine away going by what's being said at the moment. Funnily enough, the Windows 11 O/S that Microsoft is giving to developers have no real restrictions. Microsoft are currently being lambasted for the alleged restrictions they will put in place when the final version comes out later this year on all new machines sold. The free upgrade to Windows 10 users will not be available till 2022 So Shane, that makes it nearly 3 newer versions of Windows you are now behind. I hope your Laptop never fails, for the preservation of the old Photoshop usage. What will you do, buy a second hand one?
  14. Outside of their phones, I just cannot get into the Apple ecosystem. Tried it. Didn't like it.
  15. This is an easy one, but one I get asked about a lot. How many links should you build per day? There is only one correct answer. As many good links as you can possibly get each day. Period. There are no exceptions. No buts. I don't care if the site is brand new or 20 years old. Google does not care about link velocity. Notice that I said good links. If you are using spam like blog comments, profile links, social bookmarks, etc., then yes link velocity matters because the faster you build them the faster you are likely to tip over the Penguin threshold. On the other hand, if you go slow, you will likely never rank anyhow. On top of the fact that Google doesn't care how many links you build per day, they also are not going to find all of your links at once anyhow. Some they might find the same day they go live. Others it might take them 3-4 weeks to discover. You can't control when links will be discovered, so trying to stick to some arbitrary number per day is silly anyhow.
  16. I have had to mess with my Mothers apple air, recently to get things set up, and l don't like it much. https://www.apple.com/au/macbook-air/ If you don't use it enough, the code, resets, and then you need to input a code that doesn't work, in order to reset it. Or you need another Apple device to reset the code. Then Safari, groan, l cannot get my head around that cryptic nightmare, of windows in windows and the screen shifting. And had to install Firefox, for some sanity. But Firefox won't allow "Tools" and such up the top" and deleting a bookmark, groan, took me half an hour to figure that out, (Windows, left click, and delete). I know that the purists, will be all lovey-dovvy about it, but l am going off Apple for browsing online. Sifting through photos, may be more of the same, easy on Windows 7, and Apple, no arrows and you have to sift through or click on each one.
  17. A few people have approached me over the past 1-2 years about starting a private group on Facebook. I'm in enough groups on Facebook, and frankly I don't love their discussions or the flow of the conversations. I don't like that conversations cannot be grouped by topics. However, I know that not everyone loves forum formats either. So as a compromise, I created a Slack group. I know a lot of people are using Slack or something similar daily, so figured it would be easy to use. If you have never used Slack, it's free and easy to use. I'm in a few private Slack groups on different topics and for the most part they are great. This one right now is open to discussions about SEO, local SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, branding, and tools. This one may expand in the future or if there is interest branch off into other Slack groups on other topics. The goal of the group is to be kind of a mastermind group for people to share ideas, insights, and get help from one another. It's not necessarily going to be the ideal place for people new to digital marketing. That doesn't mean they won't be welcomed, but it's more ideal for people who want to have some higher level discussions and get away from the "How to increase my DA?" type of questions. If you are interested in checking it out, you can drop your email address here: https://clickedmarketing.com/join
  18. Here is probably an unpopular opinion: I think SEOs are full of shit when it comes to pagespeed and conversion rates. I noticed something recently. I'm in a lot of groups and forums around the web dedicated to conversion rate optimization. That's all they talk about. You know what never gets mentioned when someone asks for help in improving their conversion rates? Pagespeed. I do not mean rarely. I mean pretty much never. All these industry experts on conversion rates almost never bring up pagespeed. And when they do, they usually just say something like, "Keep your pages loading in under 4 seconds..." They never quote that, "For every .5 seconds you decrease your pagespeed you will see an increase in conversions by XXX%," nonsense. I thought maybe it was just my own confirmation bias, so I just did a search for tips for improving conversion rates. Took a look at the top 10 results. Only 3 of them mentioned page speed. One was Kinsta, which I hardly see as a expert on the topic. Kinsta is also probably hugely biased. They want you to believe pagespeed is vital to everything and that they offer fast hosting. One was Hubspot, which listed it as 14th among 19 tips. The other was VMO which is a service for A/B testing, so conversion rates are kind of in their wheelhouse. They listed it 10th out of 11 tips. Hardly a ringing endorsement for the importance of pagespeed in conversion rates. To me it seems it is only SEOs that believe it is so vital, and I think that is largely because they are looking to cling to anything to justify all the time many of them are spending to speed up pages. They certainly aren't seeing any benefit in the SERPs. I'm not saying it is bad to decrease load times on your site. It certainly is not going to have a negative impact on your conversions. I just think its impact on conversion rates is grossly exaggerated.
  19. On that note, I'm thinking about starting a private Slack group for anyone interested. Sort of a place for people to help one another and share ideas. I'm thinking the topics will be SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and branding. Have not decided for sure yet. It will be very limited membership to start and then potentially grow from there if there is enough interest. Forums, imo, are dying, and I kind of hate Facebook groups.
  20. This is great. I love when you tear apart some of the nonsense floating around in the SEO industry.
  21. I wonder what the sales price was. I imagine iContact is looking at this 100% as a software and user base purchase. Moz's tools are generally trash, but it's probably a solid infrastructure to build on. Over the years they have collected a pretty large user base most likely. Not sure how many are paying customers. Obviously, not enough or they wouldn't have needed to sell.
  22. Today isn't so much a tip as it is sharing a little known tool that is one of my absolute favorite time-saving tools. I have no idea how more people do not know about this thing. Unfortunately, this tool is set up to only work in the U.S., so for those of you outside the U.S., I apologize. Maybe someone will create one that works internationally (*cough* Semrush *cough*). This tool is great for anyone doing local SEO, Google Ads, or Bing Ads campaigns. You can probably find other uses for it too. http://5minutesite.com/local_keywords.php Have you ever had a big list of keywords you generated and then you needed to add all the local towns or cities to that list? First, you have to find all of the towns and cities. Then you either have to do some copy and paste work for each town/city and your list of keywords or use something like Excel to attach it to them. Or worse... you spend an hour typing all this crap out. The local keyword tool at 5 Minute Site does all of that for you in a flash. Simply enter in the zip code you want to start with, select a radius around that zip code in miles, enter in all your keywords, choose if you want just cities, cities + state abbreviations, cities + state names, zip cods (outdated, but people used to search that way), do you want your keywords followed by the location and the locations followed by the keyword (ex: italian restaurants gettysburg and gettysburg italian restaurants), and then hit the submit button. Some people will say that they do something like this in Excel already, but the difference is that if you are using Excel, you have to find all the towns yourself. This will swipe all the local towns in that radius and add them to each keyword for you. A huge timesaver both in finding the towns but also in generating the list. You can use this to build lists to feed into your favorite keyword tool (Semrush) to get search volumes or for ad campaigns. There is also some other functionality to this tool. At the bottom you can select to have all the keywords wrapped in quotes or brackets if you are going to be feeding them into PPC campaigns as phrase or exact match options. You can use this to quickly add brackets to an existing list of terms to make them formatted as exact match by setting the radius to zero, using the prefix and suffix fields, and entering [ and ] respectively to those. You could do the same thing with quotes for phrase match.
  23. Mike's Tuesday Tips: This week, best practices for URL Structure First, make URLs descriptive and include keywords. Many CMS systems like Wordpress by default will spit out URLs that look like this…. hxxps://domainname.tld/?p=123 Or this hxxps://domainname.tld/2021/03/30/sample-post/ These are no help to search engines or to your visitors. Make them descriptive Like this hxxps://domainname.tld/on-page-seo/how-to-identify-core-web-vitals-on-your-webpages/ A visitor or search engine should be able to take one look at your URL and have a good idea of what the page is about. hxxps://domainname.tld/how-to-win-back-my-girlfriend-that-left-me-for-that-better-looking-guy-at-the-gym-who-is-in-amazing-shape-funny-and-is-highly-successful Okay, maybe not that descriptive… It’s over man. She’s not coming back. Second, don’t be afraid of using categories and subcategories. I know there is a belief out there that shorter URLs are somehow better. This belief came from nonsense correlation studies with zero actual evidence. Search engines have no problem processing longer URLs and you will find long URLs at the top of SERPs regularly. Categories and subcategories can work like breadcrumbs to search engines giving them even more clues as to what your page is about. As you can see in the images, search engines will display them in search results giving potential visitors even more reason to click on your listing. Lastly, use hyphens to separate words. Do not use underscores. Underscores actually join words together. Do not leave it up to search engines to determine what your page is supposed to be about. hxxp://domainname.tld/alanismorissetteshits Is that Alanis Morissette’s hits or Alanis Morissette… something else. One is a long list of award-winning music. The other… is not.
  24. Missed this bit of news last week. So if you were actually any good at ranking pages and the stuff you had been preaching for nearly 20 years worked, this probably should not happen, right? This wasn't a build it big and cash out for a big payday type of situation. Although, I hope all of those people who invested in Moz over the years finally saw a return on their investment. https://searchengineland.com/moz-acquired-by-icontact-subsidiary-of-j2-global-349273
  25. This is going to be a long one. Let's talk about some best practices for anchor text in your link building. Some of this is probably going to go against what you may have heard from some of the "gurus" out there, but stick with me. First, I'm going to start with my own personal golden rule of anchor text. I have been following this for 12-15 years. If you get nothing else out of this post, but this one thing, you will be fine. Your anchor text should either describe why you are linking to a page or it should describe what the page you are linking to is about. That's it. It's as simple as that. This goes for both internal and external links. In this way, your anchor text is both SEO-optimized and serves web visitors well. Never intentionally use naked URLs as anchors. It is one of the absolute dumbest ideas I have ever heard. No, it is not "natural". Not one bit. I think we can all agree that some of the most "natural" links you will find are links within the content of an article. Nobody links with naked URLs in articles. That was not at all common until SEOs started doing it. If you were writing an article about how to build a PC, you wouldn't say something like: Looking at their selection and prices, I would not recommend shopping for PC components at hxxp://bestbuy.com. You would use something like: Looking at their selection and prices, I would not recommend shopping for "PC components at Best Buy." (Where the words in quotes are the anchor text) That is much more "natural" and makes way more sense. You do not need to use naked URL links to make your link profile look natural. I have been doing SEO since 2003 or 2004. In all of that time, I can tell you exactly how many times I have intentionally built a link with a naked URL as the anchor text. Zero. Exactly zero. The only time I have done it is when I have been forced to in things like press releases or directory listings that had no other option. I know many people will look at big brands and see that they have a lot of links with naked URLs as anchor text and believe that is proof that you need them, but what you have to remember about big brands is they do actual PR. A lot of that PR work includes things like press releases which only have an option for naked URL links. If you really believe that you need links with naked URL anchors and I cannot convince you otherwise, there are plenty of directories out there that only allow those types of links. Save them for those. Do not waste good link opportunities with naked URLs, and especially never do it with internal links. I did a consulting call yesterday with a business owner and their "SEO" who were looking for some extra help. Many of their internal links were using naked URLs for anchors. One of the dumbest things I have ever seen on a site. When I asked why, the SEO stated it was to make their link profile look natural. If I could have reached through the Zoom call and throat-punched the SEO, I would have. Should you worry about anchor text ratios? This might be an unpopular opinion, but I'm going to say no. Yes, I know you have probably heard how important anchor text ratios are, again, in making your link profile look "natural". I personally have never found any solid evidence of this. This notion all came about right after Penguin was released. I know many in this group were not involved in SEO back then, so a little history lesson then... When Penguin first released and many people saw websites tanking all over the place, mostly spammers, there was quite a bit of panic in the community. Nobody knew for sure what they had targeted (although the 750,000+ spam warnings that went out just a few months before in Search Console, Webmaster Tools at that time, gave us a pretty good hint). Within a few days there was an article published on a site declaring that they had figured it out and one of the main things Penguin was targeting was sites using high ratios of the same anchor text. If I remember correctly, it was a group called Microsite Masters, but don't quote me on that. And I don't think it was the same owners of that site today. This article spread like wildfire. People were so panicked and desperate for answers at that time, most never bothered to question it. What this article failed to account for was common practices of most spammers. Back then there were a lot more people using tools like Xrumer, SENuke, Bookmarking Demon, Sick Submitter, etc. to build massive amounts of low quality links. You could shoot out a few hundred thousand links in a matter of days with these tools if you knew what you were doing and had the right setup. What spammers would do is if they wanted to rank for "lowest rate mortgages" that is what they would use for the anchor text for pretty much all of their links. If not that, then very close variations. It was not uncommon to see pages ranked with spam that had 75-90% of the same anchors in their link profile. But was it really the anchor text that got them caught in the Penguin filter or was it the low quality links they were using? There were tons of sites hit by Penguin with much more varied anchors in their link profiles. I still maintain it was the low quality links Penguin picked up on. The anchor ratios were just a byproduct of how spammers did things back then. I tested it many times using more varied anchor text and Penguin would still catch the sites eventually. Let's think of it another way. What if you created the world's best online mortgage calculator and it went viral? What anchors do you think people are going to use to link back to that page? I would bet that 90% or more of the anchors are going to be either "online mortgage calculator" or "best online mortgage calculator". Is Google really going to punish a page for that? It would not make any sense. Now all of that being said (like I said at the beginning stick with me), I would recommend varying up your anchors. I have always done this (it goes back to my anchor text golden rule above), but not because of some worry about anchor text ratios getting my pages in trouble with Google. I do it because I'm never trying to rank a page for just a single keyword. There are usually quite a few variations I am targeting. The other reason I recommend varying up your anchors is that by doing so you are giving search engines more clues as to what the page is about. But I will never tell anyone that they should shoot for X% of naked URLs, X% of brand name anchors, etc. That just makes zero sense. In fact, doesn't shooting for some artificial percentages actually go against everything about your link profile looking "natural" in the first place? Again, if you get nothing out of this admittedly long rant, just remember my rule for anchor text. Your anchor text should either describe why you are linking to a page or it should describe what the page you are linking to is about. That's it. If you just do that, you will be fine.
  26. I don't think that will be the excuse to do that. Any admission that UFO's are real and alien in origin would be a huge step to take and their is also no evidence of any attacks. Interesting in the latest development in this story, they say : We don't know what they are, but they are seen often and definitely not of US origin and can perform maneuvers and speeds far in advance of current technology. Similarly, China has said pretty much the same thing. That in itself is quite an admission, but not an admission of origin which to be fair, is unknown.
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