New Gmail Tabs – Love ’em or Hate ’em?

If you don’t use gmail to read your email, you might be forgiven missing the latest uproar over gmail’s new tabbed inbox. One day I logged into my gmail account to find that my email was sorted into three tabs “Primary”, “Social”, and “Promotions”. We humans don’t like change and I am no different. My first reaction was: “How do I put it back the way it was?”

Gmail's New Tabs

Gmail now uses tabs to organize your inbox

Now that I’ve given it a few days, I find that I like it. Having emails from my social activity (especially now that I recently have become more active on Google+) go into a tab rather than into my primary email stream is wonderful and helps me keep on track with my goal to interact with my social networks at set periods during the day, rather than let social updates interrupt my work (which often includes email tasks).

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Should I Create a Google+ Business Page?

Google+If you have a business, the short answer is yes. However a less clear decision is how much you should invest into a Google+ Business page. Businesses struggling with the demands of Twitter and Facebook, may not relish the idea of engaging with yet another social network. However Google+ has some clear SEO benefits that you shouldn’t ignore.

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Why am I not ranking on Bing like I am on Google?

bingMany SEOs will tell you to focus on optimizing your site for Google and that will be sufficient to rank well in other search engines such as Bing. But there are times where it’s useful to look at how your web pages are ranking in Bing, as there are times that pages rank differently in Bing than in Google.

Recently I took a look at a case of a site that was ranking in position #1 for a search term on Bing – but was not even on the first page in Google. The question from my client (who consistently had the number one spot on Google but ranked third or fifth on Bing) was “why is this site beating me out?” I did a comparison of the two pages to see if I could figure out the answer.

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Is Double Opt-in Worth It?

Is Double Opt-in worth it?

Is Double Opt-in worth it?

I’ve given serious thought to abandoning my web mail account. Because I’ve had it for a long time, I have an address that is exceptionally easy to remember which is convenient, but this ease comes at a price. More and more my email address is routinely used as a “fake” email by other people. Although I do have a way to filter these “spam” emails it’s a chore to periodically go and unsubscribe from all these lists that I never signed up for. When I am less cranky about it, I tell myself that it’s an interesting peek into what people do online.

I’ve received invitations to a BBQ party in Wisconsin, a trail of notifications of Christmas shopping purchases in Florida, an admonishment to close the gate from a UK suburb association, numerous car insurance quotes, invoices, periodic pleas from a gaming site to please please come back, and even a notification from a tax software company that the IRS rejected my return.

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Build Rich and Awesome Search Snippets

Three years is an awfully long time ago in the internet age. Let’s take a trip in the Internet way back machine to see what SEO used to be. That’s when we used to think of SEO of as a two pronged discipline, namely on-page optimization and off page optimization. Off page optimization, or linkbuilding has been replaced by inbound marketing as I just wrote recently. On page optimization is still very valid, but it’s boundaries have gotten rather fuzzy.

It used to be all about keywords, keywords, keywords. Keywords in your title tag, keywords in your header tags, keyword density. Keywords are still really important, but so is engagement and user behavior as signals the search engine algorithms pay attention to. It’s not just about getting the traffic, it’s winning the hearts and minds of the user once they are on your site.

You want to take that optimization and conversion mindset and apply it to the little welcome mat that Google builds for your page when it ranks for a search query. Known as a snippet, this is the listing that appears in Google’s search results pages, called SERPs for short.

Rich Video Snippet

Rich Video Search Snippet from

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SEO Friendly WordPress Category Pages

friendly search engine botWordPress is a great CMS and sitebuilder, but one area it can fall a little short is its interstitial pages that are designed to help you navigate a site’s posts via category, author or even date. WordPress automatically generates archive pages for each of these grouping mechanisms, but from the SEO perspective these pages fall a little short in providing unique content that the search engines love.

Search engines such as Google want to see pages that have content that can’t be found anywhere else on the site (or in fact elsewhere on the internet). But WordPress’s default archive pages just show a list of posts for that given category (or author). If the blogger has used the “more” tag, then the post’s content is shown on the archive page up to the tag, otherwise the post is shown in it’s entirety. Either way there is no new content on the page that isn’t already on on the individual post pages. Today we are going to look at ways to modify your WordPress category page to be more SEO friendly.

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5 Ways to Work Around Not Provided Keywords

UPDATE: January 13, 2014. On December 31, 2013 Google updated GWMT search query data to be “less rounded”. If you visit GWMT you’ll see a line marking where the change took place.

UPDATE: September 30, 2013. Last week we found out that Google is extending SSL protection to users that are not signed in. This means that for ALL organic search traffic that Google sends to your site, the keywords will be removed and replaced with “not provided”. At this point in time, Bing is continuing to provide webmaster keywords in the referrer string.

Starting in October 2011, keywords used in secure searches are now hidden from webmasters by Google. This means that in Google Analytics (or in any other analytics tool), keywords from these searches show up as not provided. A secure search could mean the user is logged into a Google account, is using Firefox 14 or is just explicitly using secure search. A lot has been written about this controversial move, which was done ostensibly to protect privacy but did not extend to Adwords.

not provided in Google Analytics

More than 60% of the keywords used to find my site are hidden from me

Although Google initially stated that the change would affect 10% of queries, there are many sites where the percentage is much higher. In WebEnso’s case, keywords for 62% of searches fall under not provided, and the percentage is still climbing. 62% is a huge percentage. This means that more than two out of three keywords used to find my site is hidden from me. So what to do?

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Trying on the Inbound Marketing Hat

inbound marketing hat

Hmm, not sure it fits ..

Like a lot of SEOs I get the SEOMoz Top 10 email newsletter, which shares ten links from around the web that would be of interest to those of us in the SEO industry. Among discussions of Google+ and rel=canonical was two references to inbound marketing which really jumped out at me. SEO has always had a relationship with marketing. The truth is, some aspects of SEO ARE marketing and have always been. But when you are mired deep in technical SEO issues, such as figuring out the right way to do pagination, inbound marketing might seem like a strange hat to wear. But with the new Penguin fueled emphasis on content marketing as the “new way to do SEO” and the shunning of the old spammy linkbuilding ways, it is a hat that us SEOs must get comfortable wearing. As they say “innovate or die” (a quote attributed to both Charles Darwin and Bill Gates).

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5 Ways to Blow Your Guest Post Pitch

Communication via guest postsGuest posting can broaden your blog’s reach and build quality backlinks to your site. But as with any popular technique, abuse is on the rise. I manage guest posting campaigns for clients and have written a few guest posts myself. And even though I don’t provide a contact us form on this blog and I don’t solicit them, I get a number emails pitching me on guest posts for WebEnso, which I usually don’t accept.

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Cool insights from Google Analytics Referrals

I’ve just started reading Avinash Kaushik’s book: Web Analytics 2.0. Avinash is well known for his insights into the complex world of Web Analytics and his ability to distill complex topics into simple concepts. At the end of Chapter 3 of his book, Avinash lists a couple of questions that all businesses should be able to answer about their web site. The first question “How many visitors are coming to my website?” is pretty straightforward so I won’t spend much time on that one. Investigation into the second question “Where are your visitors coming from?” yielded some cool insights that I will share below.

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