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Google’s Stance on Content Length

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Social Media News, test

Quite the hot little debate has been going down in a recent Google Webmaster Help forum thread.
The member who started the thread asked whether Google views shorter content as shallow. He wrote from experience – he’d recently changed the format of his website from longer-form articles to brief articles covering a wider range of topics.

According to the member, his site’s rankings took a hit when he changed over to the new abbreviated style – even though readers loved being served bite-sized pieces of info instead of large walls of text.

So where’s the disconnect? Google talks about thorough content, but can shorter articles do the job just as well? Let’s look at Google’s stance and real users’ experiences so you can draw your own conclusions about which length is best for your website.

One Member’s Experience

The forum member, who goes by the handle “TheBigK,” runs a popular news blog and bases the content for its stories on various news sources. According to his post, the authors on the site began writing longer articles with lengthy opinions and descriptions after the algo changes.

After receiving feedback from website visitors, however, TheBigK deduced that members desired shorter content instead of these lengthy pieces. They seemed to favor brief articles with bite-sized chunks of all the most relevant info packed tightly into each one.

So what’s a webmaster to do?

If you guessed “please his visitors” then you’re right on the money. The webmaster moved to 150 – 200 word articles covering a much broader range of topics, and visitors were once again thrilled. However, Google was not impressed. The member noted that most of these mini-pieces ranked poorly even though they were receiving more loyal traffic than were their longer counterparts.

TheBigK wondered whether Google considers shorter articles to be thinner content. He says that the data and testing performed by his crew more or less confirmed this assumption. Conversely, he pondered whether it would be worth losing loyal visitors to rank better in the SERPs.

Google’s Take on Content Length

It seems that Google’s reiterated the mantra, “content should focus on users, not search engines” about a bazillion times over the years. Countless Webmaster Help videos exist that tout the importance of creating completely original content as opposed to regurgitated “me too” posts that users can find copies of on hundreds of different sites. Further, Google expresses the importance of adding your own voice to the discussion and adding a unique perspective readers cannot find elsewhere.

Big G has never released anything mentioning exact word count guidelines, but the tips above lead most to believe that longer is indeed better. After all, when users search for something, they’re more apt to favor results with more on the answers they seek. This requires one thing above all: words.

Google’s pushing webmasters to offer up more comprehensive posts because it’s trying to provide a more robust search experience for users. Is it possible to furnish that in 200 words or less? That’s doubtful. But in TheBigK’s case, it was all about providing what his users wanted – not what pleased Google… and that worked for him.

Testing On Your Own & The Way Forward

If you’re experiencing traffic fluctuations and you’ve begun to wonder whether the length of your content is playing a role in the changes, try doing what TheBigK did. Add some content of different lengths and analyze which ranks better – as well as the number of terms for which the content is ranking. Don’t just depend on Google for your feedback, however. Encourage feedback from your users as well.

If retaining your loyal visitors is more of an incentive for you to keep doing what you’re doing, don’t change for Google’s sake. Instead, adopt a full-scale link acquisition program that hinges upon building your network. Reach out to peers in your niche and market through guest posting and social networking. It is possible to build a large following without depending on Google to get there.

However, if ranking is important for generating the traffic you desire, then getting your site in Google’s good graces should be priority numero uno for you. If you feel your website is lagging in the SERPs, you still have options. Figure out which posts rank well and analyze why they’re gaining traction. Consider links to the page in question and carefully review the nuts and bolts of the content itself. Then, use that information to construct more of the same kinds of posts. Gauge their success. Rinse and repeat.

I personally believe that longer is better when it comes to content on the ‘net. That said, 1000 words of drivel will still sink your site like a stone if you let it, so make sure your posts pack some heat and controversy at every twist and turn. Get in front of breaking stories in your niche and deliver something users can’t find elsewhere. It’s bigger than pleasing Google – it’s about creating loyal visitors who are sure to return time and again.

Nell Terry is a tech news junkie, fledgling Internet marketer and staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She thrives on social media, web design, and uncovering the truth about all the newest marketing fads that pop up all over the ‘net. Find out more about Nell by visiting her online portfolio at Content by Nell.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Google’s Stance on Content Length

Google’s Matt Cutts Shares Experience of Being Hacked

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, test

Hacking — it can happen to anyone; even Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google.

Cutts took to Google+ this week to share his experience of his Skype account being hacked.

Cutts, who does not often use Skype, received four e-mails, written in Russian, through the application.

Due to the volume of e-mail Cutts receives daily, he opted not to translate the messages.

Then he received this e-mail:

“I am a researcher in the field of security. Unfortunately Skype support does not respond to a message about the vulnerability of their systems. You quadrupeds person and may be able to influence the situation. I apologize … Your password from skype account – [removed].  I also examine the security of your systems. If you’re interested, I can send you the results.
“With best regards….”

The next morning, it was reported by the hackers themselves that Skype had a security hole.

A Nov. 14 blog post — Hack any Skype account in six easy steps — offered detailed directions on hacking Skype user accounts. The blog pointed out a major flaw with the previous password reset system — users were able to reset a password without having access to the e-mail account in question.

Skype quickly remedied the situation, however.

“This issue affected some users where multiple Skype accounts were registered to the same e-mail address,” wrote Skype’s Leonas Sendrauskas in a Nov. 14 blog post. “We suspended the password reset feature temporarily this morning as a precaution and have made updates to the password reset process today so that it is now working properly.”

Skype also issued a statement saying, “We are reaching out to a small number of users who may have been impacted to assist as necessary.”

Cutts said he only uses Skype when he is a guest on This Week in Google.

“So it wasn’t until today (Dec. 5) that I tried to log in. Sure enough, my original password didn’t work,” he said. “As always, it sucks to get hacked. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have had their website hacked, and it really feels like a violation.

“In this case, I had a month of distance and the attacker sent me the new password, so it wasn’t really that stressful. It does suck that it was Skype’s fault though — the best security practices in the world don’t help if the vulnerability is on the provider’s side. If I had any money stored with Skype, I’d feel more angry and disappointed.”

Cutts said he is “doubly disappointed” that Skype did not contact him about being hacked.

“They said that they’d reach out to users who were impacted, but they never reached out to me. Are there other Skype users who were hacked that Skype hasn’t notified or helped?”

Surprisingly, Cutts is not overly annoyed with the hacker.

“I’m not that angry at the ‘security researcher’ who hacked my account. He e-mailed me to let me know the new password, which is about as polite and good-mannered as you can expect from someone hijacking your account.”

Cutts said while the hack was out of users’ hands in this particular case, account security is still wise.

He recommends using a two-step authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to one’s account. Google offers such a service. In addition to the user’s username and password, he or she must also enter a code that Google sends via text or voice message upon the user signing in.

This makes it more difficult for hackers to access one’s account because he or she would have to discover not only the password and username, but the code as well. Read more about the service here.

Cutts also suggests using a PIN or unlock pattern on one’s cellphone.


Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Google’s Matt Cutts Shares Experience of Being Hacked

McAfee Founder Arrested in Guatemala, Continues Blogging from Cell

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, test

The creator of the McAfee antivirus program suffered two mild heart attacks in a Guatemala City jail after being arrested for entering the country illegally.

John McAfee was rushed to a hospital Dec. 6.

McAfee’s arrest brought to an end his fugitive status, during which time he claimed through blogs the authorities in Belize are persecuting him. The police were seeking McAfee, 67, for questioning in relation to the murder of a fellow ex-pat.

Before suffering the heart attacks, McAfee managed to continue blogging from his cell.

“Only time will tell what will happen,” he wrote. “No one has a crystal ball.  I believe, by the way, that blogging from a jail cell might be a groundbreaking activity. Let’s see if it catches on.”

McAfee said early Dec. 5 he had formally requested asylum in Guatemala after entering the country from Belize. He was denied his request Dec. 6 despite his assertions his life would be in danger if he were returned to Belize.

“He entered the country illegally and we are going to seek his expulsion for this crime,” Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla told Reuters.

McAfee on his blog is asking supporters to e-mail Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and “beg him to allow the court system to proceed, to determine my status in Guatemala, and please support the political asylum that I am asking for.”

According to The Associated Press, McAfee fears for his life because he is in possession of sensitive information about official corruption and refuses to give money to local politicians.

His lawyer in Guatemala, Telesforo Guerra, told The Associated Press McAfee’s life would be in danger if he were returned to Belize.

“He will be in danger if he is returned to Belize, where he has denounced authorities,” Guerra said.

Before coming to Guatemala, McAfee had been hiding from the authorities, blogging about his movements and calling reporters.

Meanwhile, Belize police say they are not persecuting McAfee, adding there is no warrant for his arrest. According to the AP report, the country’s prime minister has doubts about McAfee’s mental stability.

McAfee went into hiding in November after police attempted to question him about the shooting death of Gregory Viant Faull. The murder took place early last month on the Belize island where the men were neighbors.

McAfee reportedly was involved in various quarrels with neighbors and the police regarding complaints his dogs were aggressive and he kept illegal weapons and drug paraphernalia in his home. McAfee admitted his dogs were troublesome and that Faull had complained about them, but has said he did not shoot Faull who lived a few houses down from him.

McAfee’s month on the run with his girlfriend Sam has garnered global attention due to his contact with reporters and frequent blog posts detailing his escapades, which included donning disguises.

A Nov. 26 blog post, which can be read here, details the events since the murder from McAfee’s point of view.

“The government begins a disinformation program painting me as paranoid,” a portion of the post reads.  “I respond in the press unsuccessfully. In this blog I post my first evidence of the absurdity of their stance, by divulging a plot to extort $150,000 from me – with photos of the event.”

His many blog posts can be viewed here.





Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

McAfee Founder Arrested in Guatemala, Continues Blogging from Cell

Services Vs. Goods — Mary Meeker Report Indicates Shift in Consumer Focus

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Social Media News, test

It all comes down to services versus possessions.

Services such as Spotify, ZipCar and Netflix have affected the way people view ownership, says venture capitalist Mary Meeker of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.

Using such services is a trend led by what Meeker calls the “asset-light” generation — consumers who are more focused on services than physical possessions.

In her 2012 Internet Trends report, Meeker includes several slides showing how times have changed to allow consumers to access services via technology. The most obvious examples include DVD and BluRay purchases being replaced by services such as Netflix, books being replaced by eReaders, biographies and diaries being replaced by social media and scrapbooking being replaced by sites such as Pinterest.

“It’s easier for people to get what they want when they want it by buying access to a vast range of goods and services — such as all the movies on Netflix — rather than buying to own a particular object or title,” Meeker was quoted by the Washington Post.

The popularity of mobile apps continues to rise as well, Meeker noted, as people look for ways to make life easier whether by syncing devices or searching for services.

Her report also indicated the continued growth of mobile traffic. In fact, mobile usage has increased so much around the globe, it has surpassed desktop traffic.

Thirteen percent of all Internet traffic is now through mobile devices, jumping from four percent in 2010.

Monetization of the mobile sector is also on the rise with a compounded annual growth rate of 129 percent since 2008.  Much of this growth is due to mobile apps. In fact, mobile apps is expected to rake in 67 percent of the $19 billion the sector will generate in 2012.

Given the rising popularity of mobile computing, Meeker’s report indicated sales of Smartphones and tablets will continue to increase, growing to 1.7 billion devices in 2015. On the other hand, the sale of desktops and laptops will ring in at 400 million.

The sale of eReaders has also skyrocketed — nearly 30 percent of American adults own a tablet or eReader up from only two percent less than three years ago.

To read the full report, click here.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Services Vs. Goods — Mary Meeker Report Indicates Shift in Consumer Focus

Google+ Announces 500M Users, Launches Google+ Communitie

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Social Media News, test

Google+ is growing.

Google+ announced Dec. 6 that 500 million people have created profiles on the site.

Also, 235 million people have used at least one of its features (like +1′ing a webpage), and 135 million visit monthly — an increase of 35 million since September.

As the social networking site becomes a more popular Web destination, the Google+ team is offering a new feature to encourage even more people to become regular users.

Google+ Communities, which will integrate group functions into the social media site, debuted on the site Dec. 6.

“Google+ has always been a place to crowd around common interests and meet new people,” reads a blog post by Vic Gundotra, senior-vice president, engineering.

“What’s been missing, however, are more permanent homes for all the stuff you love: the wonderful, the weird, and yes, even the things that are way out there. With Google+ Communities there’s now a gathering place for your passions.”

Communities allows users to share files, photos and calendars. It also gives users the ability to notify everyone in the group by sending a single message.

The following are community examples:

• Public or private membership to support all kinds of groups—from topics and interests to local neighborhoods to regular poker nights;

• Discussion categories to find the conversations you care about most;

• The option to start hangouts and plan events with community members;

• The ability to share with your community from any +1 button across the web.

“To give it a try just click on the new ‘Communities’ icon (rolling out today), then create or join your favorite community,” Gundotra said. “It’s only a preview, and mobile’s coming soon, so we’re keen to get your feedback.”

For more information, check out the Google+ Communities video.




Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Google+ Announces 500M Users, Launches Google+ Communitie