7 important WordPress Plugins

I want to share this video with you, because I think everybody working with WordPress should know and use these plugins!

What changed with Penguin 4.0?

In September 2016, Google finally released the long-awaited Penguin 4.0 update. This change in the search algorithm was bitterly necessary and something that many online marketers and SEO experts had been eagerly awaiting. According to Valarim SEO, Penguin’s primary purpose is to prevent offpage related spam issues and push down websites in the search results if they use such bad linking methods. It is clear there is a lot of competition on the net and many SEOs try to use all possible methods to keep their heads above water or to get to the top if possible. That’s why Penguin has been an important part of Google since its original version.

The changes

However, the previous versions had disadvantages. For example, it was possible to push a competitor down by creating inferior links to their website. In addition, it usually took a very long time to recover from a penalty. This is different now because Penguin 4.0 runs in real time and re-evaluates search results and related websites on a daily basis. Those who clean up the mistakes of the past will also be rewarded for it. In addition, bad links are no longer rated negatively, but are essentially ignored. For SEO Hamburg and other big cities like Berlin, businesses target local results that were often attacked by competitors. It was really about time people could no longer be shot down by others!

One of the most important new features is that Penguin is now granular and rates every single page of a website separately. If an inner page should receive a penalty, then it does not involve the entire website, which in the past has dragged many great sites and companies into the abyss. If one page receives a penalty, it only affects that page and not the rest of the website.

The wave in the SERPs

On the day of the update (and in the following month) much changed in the search results. Old websites that had not been well placed for years were slowly reappearing and you could clearly see that the results were changing every day. A website I visited frequently was carried up and down on the first page of Google every day: sometimes the ranking even changed every minute. It is fascinating to watch how changes in the Google algorithm gradually affect its rankings, as if Google was talking to itself and considering where each website should go.

In the meantime, the storm has subsided and the major changes are essentially over.

The morale of the SEO story

It may be that Penguin 4.0 ensures that bad links are no longer scored and that you can recover from punishments within a day, but you should still not think of turning to the somewhat shadier methods. It is and remains the best approach to run clean SEO and earn links naturally. I, too, link to meaningful sources, good content and companies. Every decent blogger should do the same and it’s easy to get normal links if you just try.

SEO – A Brief Introduction

There are billions of sites that populate the web nowadays that never get looked at by anyone but the author of said page. It’s sad, isn’t it? It has become very difficult to be found in the sea of websites. Sure, social media is a possibility to get noticed, but I know of only one way to achieve this for a long period of time. This method is, of course, search engine optimization (SEO).

The reason for this fact is simple: almost everybody uses Google to search stuff and websites that rank high in the SERPs typically get a lot of traffic. But how do you even get there?

SEO is a bit of an art, and a bit of a science, and it changes a lot, so in order to stay up to date you have to constantly check the latest SEO news. The way it works always has to do with the algorithm by which search engines decide where to display a website.

You can write really good articles, but text alone won’t help you rank high. So what actually matter? First of all, a search engine uses a bot (also known as a spider or crawler) to visit web pages and read their content. This information is gathered by the search engine, but bots can also be blocked and oftentimes, WordPress has this option set from the get go! If you run on WordPress, you should make sure to check that.

How does Google know whether a particular web site is more important then some other site? Sure, content matters, but one of the main factors are links from other places that point to yours. If a newspaper posts an online article that links to your site, Google sees this as a vote that your site is important. At this point we need to distinguish between normal links and nofollow Links. The latter are links that are in common places like comments on a blog, and they do not carry much weight in terms of SEO.

Once a web site appears in Google, it needs to be relevant for particular phrases. Good examples to learn from are the websites for SEO agencies. Check out the website ranking for SEO Hamburg or the one ranking for the similar term London SEO agency. One thing I immediately notice here is that they use the same phrase in their page titles that they are ranking for – and I’m sure these phrases are the ones that are searched for the most in their respective cities.

You need to know that links should be treated carefully. You can’t just use spam or other types of low quality links to rank well in Google. The search engine is much to well programmed for that at this point and will penalize your website if it has bad links. In 2012, the first  Google Penguin update was added to the algorithm, which penalized a looot of websites, I can tell you that. Today, it is important to use much cleaner methods to build links or earn them. All links I have in this article are earned, because they show relevant sources. Not all bloggers are that generous, though!

Another important factor shall be mentioned quickly: social media! If you get a lot of likes on Facebook, Pinterest, shares on Twitter and so on, Google also sees this as a positive sign that your site has quality and should be ranked higher. This is why you should put like buttons on your website and make sure to integrate social media well.


We are Back

Hello and welcome back! We’ve been offline for quite a while and decided to renew our blog. Since we are interested in web design and SEO, our blog is mainly about those topics.

We write about marketing in big cities, like Hamburg and New York, new ideas and techniques for web design and SEO, how to decide on, say, a web designer for a particular project, and whatever else comes to our geeeeeeky minds.

Thanks for sticking around and God bless!