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EMD Update: EMD test website hit

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There have been a vast amount of changes to Google’s algorithm in the past month and a half and one of the key changes was the target EMD (exact match domains) within the SERPs. I totally 100% agree that if the website isn’t relevant to the search term and is filled with useless content and ads, then it should be dropped. I have a testing website (EMD) that was hit on September 28th 2012 and I have a couple of of theories as to why.

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Google trends & insights merge

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Keyword research is pivotal to any online strategy. SEOs around the world know the importance of obtaining useful data on specific terminology that will covert traffic through organic search. There are many ways in obtaining this information, I usually start by interviewing an expert in the field – sometimes this is independent of the client so that you obtain an unbiased view of the product/service.

Any serious SEO should also obtain data from additional channels (such as PPC or social) that highlight current interaction with your audience. Then there is the discovery and keyword refining phase, which is where some of Google’s free tools come in. This morning I noticed that Google Trends has had a facelift, whilst Google Insights is no more.

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Google News now has a META keyword tag

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Any SEO worth his or her salt knows how useless the META keyword tag is. It has been for years. Having said that, Google released the news yesterday that they will now support a META keywords tag for Google News. The obvious benefit is that you can have some additional freedom in creating headlines, although it is obviously still advised that you mention important keywords with the title, <h1>, caption (if you have one) and opening paragraph.

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Google News submission & follow up

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Google News. I should have done it a long time ago with my football blog but you know how is is. Writing the content, maintaining the forum, uploading statistics – it all takes time. Having updated the skin of the blog last summer (general downtime in football blogging unless you want to write pointless transfer rumour stories!), I felt it was time for me to get my blog into Google News.

Here is how I did it and the results the website has gained since it was accepted.

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Google knowledge graph now active in UK

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Google fully rolled out their knowledge graph in the UK today for people and events. I had noticed the knowledge graph returning, when logged in, for a few searches that I conducted – but never as prominent as in the US, which was launched back in May. I for one welcome such a feature, although I’m sure many will oppose yet another Google tool that promotes Google products and keeps you within their space. Take a look at some of the examples this morning.

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Best Google News WordPress plugin

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To be honest, I really should be experimenting with more WordPress plugins than I currently do. I focus (as you would expect, considering it is my job) most of my efforts on SEO, but there are some really cool plugins that can make your job a hell of a lot easier. Over the weekend I experimented with a number of different Google News plugins, but the best one was by 4visions.nl.

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Google sends out GWT penalty notices

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The dreaded Google link penalty message made its way to a number of terrified webmasters yesterday, as Google ramps up – again – its quest to clean up ‘unethical’ linking techniques.

Buying links or participating in link schemes with the sole purpose of passing PageRank from one website to another is against Google’s guidelines – every SEO knows this and is probably the first point you were told when you started working in the field.

None of my current client websites received such a wanring, but a website I used to work with (that I am still verified for) did indeed get one.

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Google+ SERPs manipulation

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Looking in the SERPs today, I was quite baffled when searching for ‘Wayne Rooney’ information, to find that two of the UK’s leading newspapers appears to have had their Google+ strategy (or lack of strategy!) influenced by a hacker of some sorts OR is this an automated result from Google? I’m still unclear as to how this was achieved but I am going to try and investigate, whilst notifying Google of the issue. Could Google even be forcing both websites into implementing a Google+ strategy to stop these “automated” results returning?

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Google stepping up with DMCA

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I’ve been quite outspoken about Google’s half hearted attempts in the past to create an environment that offers the best quality results – that of course are legal for the general public. Google wouldn’t allow a website to sell class A drugs over the Internet, so why allow websites to offer pirated material? It is a big debate, which I address in the Google, piracy and SOPA blog a couple of months back – but I generally think if Google had not have taken the “It has nothing to do with us!” policy, then the need for SOPA would have materialised.

Having said that, in the last few months, I’ve noticed a vast amount of URLs being removed due to DMCA complaints. I’ve even received one, wrongly, myself!
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rel=alternate tag cross domain study

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Having created an original rel=alternate study that focused on internal content, I wanted to test whether or not you could setup this on a cross-domain basis. I’m very pleased to announce that you can indeed set this up on a cross domain basis and I’ve included my results below.

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