titles not showing on yahoo and bing

Web Page Title Not Showing on Bing/Yahoo or Says “Official Site”

titles not showing on yahoo and bingSeveral clients have asked me about their web page titles not showing up properly on Bing and Yahoo.

Frequently, instead of the web page title, Bing and Yahoo will say “Company Name – Official Site as you see depicted in the image to the right.

These images are taken from a Yahoo and Bing search for the company Intel.  However, instead of saying  “Intel | Data Center Solutions, IOT, and PC Innovation” which is what their HTML title element (technically, the title is an element and not a meta tag) says, the title of the web page simply says “Intel – Official Site”.

You may take solace in the fact that, if it’s happening to Intel, you probably cannot do anything about it.

But you’d be wrong.

So, let’s take a look at why this is important, why it’s happening, and what you can do about it.

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Richard CummingsWeb Page Title Not Showing on Bing/Yahoo or Says “Official Site”

Google AdWords Now Limits Average Monthly Searches for “Low Spenders”

adwords-average-montly-searches-changesIf you’ve recently logged into Google AdWords to get keyword data, you may notice that the “Average Monthly Searches” column is now not nearly as useful.

The Average Monthly Search column in AdWords may now show something like the photo below:

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Richard CummingsGoogle AdWords Now Limits Average Monthly Searches for “Low Spenders”
SEO for small business - the statistics

SEO Small Business Statistics 2016: Do-It-Yourself vs Outsource?

SEO for small business - the statistics

Source: Clutch.co

Small businesses, you have a difficult decision to make regarding SEO. Do you do SEO in-house or should you outsource?

As you consider this decision, it’s always beneficial to know what your peers are doing and to find out if they are satisfied with their decision.

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Richard CummingsSEO Small Business Statistics 2016: Do-It-Yourself vs Outsource?
SEO Mistake

The One Giant SEO Mistake That You Are Making

SEO MistakeIf you were to name the one giant SEO mistake that you are making, what would it be?

Who me?  I’m not making any mistakes”.

You and I know that we all make mistakes and you are probably making this one giant SEO mistake.

My inspiration for this post comes from my SEO article of the week by Stephan Spencer:  5 super-common SEO mistakes content marketers make.

In his article, Stephan lists these 5 SEO mistakes that everyone is making:

  1. Hustling for likes instead of links
  2. Misplacing the content
  3. Targeting the wrong audience
  4. Being activity-focused
  5. No help from a power user

I highly recommend Stephan’s article as he articulates each position thoroughly.Read More

Richard CummingsThe One Giant SEO Mistake That You Are Making
local seo tool 2016

7 Tools to Improve Local SEO in 2016

local seo tool 2016When it comes to generating more business from the web, small business owners often forget to ask themselves why local SEO is important to their company’s success. DIY SEOers are so concerned with keeping marketing budgets to a minimum, so they slap some keywords in the appropriate meta keyword section of their SEO plugin and call it a day.

Off-site local SEO optimizations are left out in the cold and business owners sit in their office wondering why the phone isn’t ringing.

Here are seven tools designed for small business owners to improve local SEO (off-site and on-site) and to start generating more leads and sales from your website.

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Guest Author7 Tools to Improve Local SEO in 2016
value of inbound anchor text

SEO & Inbound Link Anchor Text: Does inbound anchor text still matter?

value of inbound anchor textThe question that we are going to look at today is this: Is inbound anchor text still relevant when it comes to SEO best practices?

We know that it used to be. As you’ll see below, the volume of inbound links using specific anchor text was such an influencer, and yet so easily manipulated, that it threatened Google’s entire business.
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Richard CummingsSEO & Inbound Link Anchor Text: Does inbound anchor text still matter?
local search marketing seo

Google Places SEO: 8 Proven Ways to Dominate Google Local in 2018

local search marketing seoDo you want to dominate your Google local places search results in 2018? Then follow the 8 SEO steps listed below and you will beat your local competition!

Many businesses, especially small businesses, think that achieving first-page organic search results (as opposed to paid-for AdWords type results) is a near impossibility.

But the truth is, for local businesses, success in the organic results is now more achievable than ever. With a little SEO ingenuity and knowledge of how Google places SEO works, you’ll always have the upper hand on the competition.

Businesses simply need to understand how the local search results work and that is what I am going to explain in this article:

How to win in the local search results by understanding how the local search results work. Click To Tweet

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Richard CummingsGoogle Places SEO: 8 Proven Ways to Dominate Google Local in 2018
virtual offices search engine results

Warning: Virtual Offices in Google My Business to Succeed in Google Local Places

virtual offices search engine resultsIf you intend to create a virtual office to include in your Google My Business profile to maximize your Google Places SEO positioning, you may want to reconsider.

A client of The SEO System in St. Louis recently asked me if he could succeed in Google local places in other cities by establishing virtual offices in those cities.

The question surfaced because he had noticed his competition having some success by establishing a virtual office in that location and then, rather quickly, getting a Google local listing for that location.

But, what may seem like a good idea at first, is not.

While establishing a virtual office and including that in your Google My Business profile to game the search engines may provide some short term gain, it will produce dire consequences for your business in the long run.

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Richard CummingsWarning: Virtual Offices in Google My Business to Succeed in Google Local Places
small business brand building

Small Business SEO: How to Build Website “Authority” & Brand Awareness

small business brand building

Small Business: How To Build Your Online Brand

Let’s not mince words:  Small business SEO got a lot harder in the last few years.  Google updated their algorithms to favor authoritative brands and you have very little immediate chance of competing in any competitive niche.

Want a prime example of this?  Simply do a Google search for “Small business SEO”.   Ideally, who should compete for this term?  A small business, right?

Nope. The first result, 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Compete With Giants in SEO, comes from Entrepreneur media.  Check out their LinkedIn profile, which currently lists 1,832 employees.  And this does not even factor in the hundreds of guest authors that write for them, one of whom is Jayson DeMers, who wrote the article.Read More

Richard CummingsSmall Business SEO: How to Build Website “Authority” & Brand Awareness

Press Releases and SEO: Still Brothers in Arms?

press-release-seoBefore the many Google algorithmic changes, press releases were a great tool in your SEO arsenal to publicize your web content. 

Now, with duplicate content and unearned inbound links incurring high penalties, it’s time to reevaluate this once-proven strategy and ask:  Are press releases and SEO still brothers in arms?

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Richard CummingsPress Releases and SEO: Still Brothers in Arms?

A Secure (HTTPS) Website in 2018: 10 Facts & Myths (and lots of great resources)

In this article, I have placed all the HTTPS/SSL tidbits into a pot and distilled them into these “10 Facts & Myths” about creating secure websites.

What inspired me to do this?

Recent conversations with both peers and client have taught me two things about creating secure (HTTPS) websites:

  1. Many companies still haven’t moved their websites to HTTPS (Learn how to do an HTTPS/SSL WordPress upgrade quickly).
  2. There are a great many misconceptions about the benefits and drawbacks of moving to a secure website.

Also, for more information about these HTTPS fact and myths, be sure to see the resources section below where I present the best articles that I have found on the process and ramifications of creating a secure website.

#1 – Fact: Google sees a secure website as a different website.

A client called me last month and said: “I got our SSL certificate from Hostgator and decided to switch our site over to HTTPS tomorrow.”

“Wait,” I said. “Have you made plans to redirect your pages, images, and all else so that Google knows about this?”

“Oh,” responded the client, “I didn’t know that I needed to do anything like that.”

Many people are unaware of the ramifications of switching their environment to HTTPS — Google see it as an entirely different site. This is ok…if you do it right. See Myth # 6 below.

#2 – Fact: Makes your website appear more professional and trustworthy.

When you visit a secure website, you will see an icon in your browser bar indicating that a website is secure (often with the company name) and when it is not secure, as you see in the photo below. Many visitors feel that this increases the professional look of a site and they certainly feel that their information is more secure. If you’re considering the move to a secure website, both of these facts may be a consideration.

secure unsecure https website messages

#3 – Fact: A Secure HTTPS website encrypts all traffic.

Most people do not know this but with some basic networking tools you can “sniff” out the information being passed between a non-HTTPS website and a client. Here’s a simple video that explains how to do it:

As you see suggested in the video, HTTPS encrypts all traffic to prevent this sniffing.

#4 – Fact: An HTTPS enabled website allows you to see Bing keyword data.

Bing has officially enabled HTTPS for all logged in users. Thus, if you have an HTTPS website, you will be able to see the Bing keyword data of these logged in users. The problem is…not too many people use Bing as a logged in user so this reason alone does not really make a compelling case for switching to a secure environment.

#5 – Myth: A secure website allows you to see Google keyword data.

google provides not keyword data with HTTPSUnlike with Bing, the ability to see Google keyword data would make a valuable case for switching to HTTPS. When Google switched all searches to HTTPS, many in the SEO community were over the moon thinking that they could now see keyword data from the big “G” if they switched their sites to HTTPS. Sadly, this is not the case. Google does not allow you to see keyword data even if you have an HTTPS site. Why not? Well, Google does a re-direct which eliminates keyword data before they take you to the destination site.

#6 – Myth: Setting up a secure website is a snap.

As explained in fact #1 above, many people mistakenly feel that moving their website to HTTPS is a snap. This is not the case. Moving your website to HTTPS takes time and planning. In the article listed below entitled “Moving your website to https / SSL: tips & tricks”, Joost de Valk lists many things you need to be aware of including: “All of your internal links should start to use https, not just to pages, but for images, JavaScript, CSS, etc. This means going through your theme with a fine comb and cleaning all of those up.”

#7 – Myth: It will destroy all of the SEO work that you have done.

While it is true that your HTTPS website will be seen as a different website by Google, your long-term rankings will be maintained if you do everything right.

Interestingly, articles on making the switch to HTTPS that are dated (say before 2012) list many potential problems and heavily advise against switching to HTTPS. However, articles that have been written more recently do not come with as much caution suggesting that Google is now dealing with these HTTPS conversions more efficiently.

#8 – Fact: You may lose rankings for a short time during the conversion.

Because converting to HTTPS is like moving to a whole new website name in the eyes of Google, you may see a temporary drop in your search rankings while the “Google Dance” is being performed. However, provided that you did your conversion to HTTPS correctly with canonical URLs and/or redirects, your rankings should rebound quickly.

#9 – Myth: Converting to HTTPS will slow down your website.

secure-website-https-slowThis is one of the primary concerns of most web administrators. It is known that HTTPS requires slightly more overhead than HTTP because it has to encrypt all of the information before sending it along. So then, why isn’t this a fact rather than a myth? Because, when setup correctly, some people have actually realized faster speeds with HTTPS. In his article “Moving your website to https / SSL: tips & tricks” (see below), Joost de Valk, after implementing a Google protocol called SPDY, writes: ” It makes your website faster and funnily enough that means that your fully SSLed site could actually be faster for those people who visit your site with modern browsers than your plain http site.”

#10 – Fact: In the future, HTTPS will allow you to rank better.

https SEO futureThis may be a contentious fact but I’m keeping it in the fact column nonetheless. Sometimes, you have to go with intuition…and what Matt Cutts says. In reading an abundance of articles on this topic, one thing is clear: The user experience is better with HTTPS. Users feel more secure and, in fact, are more secure in the way that their data is being transmitted. We all know that Google favors a better user experience. Then, on top of that, we learn that “Matt Cutts said at SMX West that he would personally love to make it (an HTTPS website) part of the ranking algorithm.” We all know that when Matt Cutts says something, we see it factored into the future algorithm. When will it happen? That is anybody’s guess but I would say that within one to two years that an HTTPS website will give you a boost in the SERPs.

Creating a Secure Website: Summary

Well, that’s it for the “10 Facts & Myths” about securing your website. Be sure to view the great articles that I have listed below on this topic. And, as always, you are invited to add your two cents in the comments section below.

Secure (HTTPS) Websites: Great Articles and Resources From Around the Web

Should we move to an all HTTPS web? Great article by Joost de Valk about HTTPS, keyword data, and the future of HTTPS. You will also enjoy Moving your website to https / SSL: tips & tricks which is essentially a post-mortem on the Yoast conversion to HTTPs and offers many valuable tricks that you may not have otherwise considered.

We Analyzed the HTTPS Settings of 10,000 Domains and How It Affects Their SEO – Here’s What We Learned: Christoph Engelhardt writes an informative data-driven post about the current state of HTTPS implementation and found that over 90% of domains had a sub-optimal HTTPS implementation.

SSL Web Sites Don’t Get Ranking Boost In Google : Barry Schwartz at SEO Roundtable shares his thoughts on switching to HTTPS and provides key considerations before converting to a secure site. He offers further commentary in an article entitled Google: Want To Switch To HTTPS? Go Ahead!

SEO Aspects of Moving from http to https: In this article circa 2012, you will notice that the author points out the negatives of converting to a secure website and suggests you may want to consider long and hard before doing so.

Changing complete website from http to https: This is a Google forum which provides a case study in which a user saw his SERP rankings disappear (but then reappear a day later) after converting to HTTPS.

Impact of migrating whole site from HTTP to HTTPS: In this case study, an “SEO expert” informs a client that he must start from scratch after the HTTPS migration. Thankfully, someone informs the poster of the correct steps to take so that their transition can go smoothly.

Understanding Always On SSL and SEO: Jimmy Edge at Symantec talks about the many benefits to visitors by having a full SSL-enabled website.

Stackoverflow.com: the road to SSL: Nick Craver of Stack Overflow often gets asked by users why they do not yet have an SSL connection. He points out that it is simply not a matter of flipping a switch. Moving to a fully secure website takes time, planning, and effort.

If you have any other great resources that you would like us to reference below, send them along.

Richard CummingsA Secure (HTTPS) Website in 2018: 10 Facts & Myths (and lots of great resources)
remove bad backlinks

How to Spot Bad Links and Weed Them Out of Your Website

remove bad backlinks

Remove Bad Links From Your Site

Now that Hummingbird is on the scene, search on Google has officially changed. And because of its emphasis on high quality links, it’s imperative that you find and remove shady, spam-like links from your site.

Not all links are dangerous, of course, but bad ones could be detrimental to how well you rank in a search. Google Webmaster Tools differentiates between links that are natural (inbound ones that have developed organically) and links that aren’t natural. In most cases, these are the links that came from older link development campaigns. 

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Guest AuthorHow to Spot Bad Links and Weed Them Out of Your Website

SEO Strategies: The Best White Hat Link Building Techniques for 2014

Google’s algorithm updates (Penguin, released on May 22, 2013 and Panda, confirmed on July 18, 2013) have compelled many to reconsider their SEO strategies. Both updates have adversely affected search queries in search results.

Matt Cutts, Head of Web Spam for Google confirmed that the search engine giant will be rolling out more updates to prevent web spamming and more importantly, to enhance user experiences.

Of the handful of SEO schemes that actually works, Link Building is something to look out for. It’s ever changing and is always full of surprises forcing many SEO agencies and online marketers to constantly rummage for updates in order to keep up.

Link Building

You’ll eventually have to realize you cannot outsmart Google so you might as well play by the rules. It’s a fact that none of today’s link building strategies will last forever. What you can do though, is build links of the highest quality and hope they last long enough before the next algorithm updates roll out.

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Guest AuthorSEO Strategies: The Best White Hat Link Building Techniques for 2014

SEO and Blogging: 5 Must-Do SEO Tips for Every Blog Post!

seo-tips-for-bloggers-blog-postIf you are thinking of creating a blog, you have to understand how important it is to have search engine optimized content. It is essential to know everything you possibly can about how to create it. Although there are plenty of different bloggers and content writers, only a fraction of them understand how to create content that is properly optimized. So to make sure that you are creating quality web content, we are going to go over 5 excellent SEO tips for every blog post.Read More

Guest AuthorSEO and Blogging: 5 Must-Do SEO Tips for Every Blog Post!

SEO and Web Design: Responsive vs Mobile


Responsive Design or Mobile Site?

As more businesses make the move to responsive web design and other options to address the growing demands of mobile users, many questions have cropped up. Namely, businesses want to know what the advantages are to responsive design and what the potential pitfalls of one design are. Here, you’ll find the answers to those questions and much more.Read More

Guest AuthorSEO and Web Design: Responsive vs Mobile