Major Google Ranking Drops for Ripoff Reports

Search Engine Result Page

Ripoff Reports has been experiencing a major rank drop in Google since November 2018.

Ripoff is a complaint website where anyone over the age of 14 can write a negative report about a person, business or website anonymously.

This allows for genuine consumer complaints and business defamation by competitors.

The site does not guarantee that all reports are accurate and truthful. Some people claim that they accept complaints without verification or proof.

Ripoff has a ‘no removal’ policy.

They don’t remove a negative report, even when it was posted by mistake. A counter complaint, rebuttal or sending a message to the company won’t help. The author of the complaint can’t remove it either.

They, however, accept payment ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 for investigation of complaints and reports, and to remove negative statements from reports. The process is called VIP arbitration.

Ripoff was founded in 1998 and has been known for its good SEO. It always obtains a good position in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP).

Unfortunately, once a person complains about your company on Ripoff, it appears at the top ten search results on Google for the brand.

This has become a huge pain for most businesses. Many have lost millions of potential deals as a result.

The site has been known to not adhere to court removal orders, or search engines removing its URL from the SERP.

It simply creates another URL with the same content months later, and the content will reappear on Google or Bing.

Since November 2018, however, Ripoff and some other complaint sites like Pissed Consumer, Consumer Affairs and Complaints Board have lost their visibility on Google.

Organic searches for company names do not show a Ripoff report at the top ten results.

Pierre Zarokian, who first discovered the Google ranking drop, says it might be caused by an algorithm update.

He called it the ORM update because he was searching for keywords related to Online Reputation Management when he noticed that Ripoff was no longer ranking among the top ten in Google.

He investigated by trying out several keywords and checking out other complaint sites. He went on social media to research the ranking drop. He asked his colleagues and they confirmed it.

He suggested that the ‘SERP punishment’ might be because Ripoff does n’t honor court-ordered removals.

Google hardly targets websites individually or remove them from its SERP anymore.

It tweaks its algorithms to disfavor certain actions. This reduces the rankings of the sites.

It seems Google has received a lot of reports about these complaint sites and is targeting them.

Nevertheless, Ripoff has been known to bounce back on its feet.

It has seen similar ranking drops and came back to the top of the SERPs weeks later.

If this is truly an algo update, will the complaint site bounce back this time around? Or will several businesses and people be happy that their Ripoff review will no longer be number 3 when their name is Googled?

Google Copy Column Preferences to the New Google Ads

Google Ads interfaceRebuilding beautiful column layouts from the old Google Ads interface can be stressful. If you’ve been put off by this before, congratulations! Google has acknowledged your pain. The tech giant now allows users of its advertising platform to copy column preferences from the classic version of Google Ads to the new Google Ads interface.

On October, 2018, Google announced its acknowledgment of feedbacks from its users requesting an easy way to copy their column preferences from the previous Google Ads interface to the latest interface.  According to the tech giant:

“We have heard reviews requesting for an easy way to copy your column preferences from the old Google Ads version to the new experience,” Google Ads team wrote on the company’s website.

Thus, for example, “if your ‘campaigns’ statistics chart always showed ‘Conversions’, ‘Cost,’ ‘Clicks’ ‘Impressions’ and ‘Cost/Conv” – with just a single click, you can copy these column preferences to the new Google Ads experience” the team said.

Some feature differences between the old and new Google Ads

  • With the new Google Ads experience, the tech giant has unplugged the users’ ability to make ‘reporting changes’–like saving a filter, which was available in the old Ads experience. Google recommends you make reporting changes using the new experience.
  • Works done in the Report Editor will be synced between the old and new experiences.
  • Google has changed some features and names in the new Ads experience.

You can read more about the differences here

How to copy column preferences from the classic version to the new Google Ads interface

Step one: Locate the tools icon in the upper right corner->preferences->columns preference

Step two:  Click ‘Copy Columns’ to start your copy column preferences

Step three:  Allow 24 hours for your preferences to update in new Google Ads.

Important things to note before choosing this option

There are few things to note before changing your column preferences. First, you will not be able to undo the option later—the change is permanent! If you choose the “Copy Columns” option, for example, you’ll be warned copying column will replace all your existing Google Ads columns.

Second, if you are logged into your master’s account, changing the column’s preferences will affect all other accounts under it. Log into individual accounts to effect the changes if you don’t want your preference setting to copy over to all your accounts.

How to determine which Google Ads experience you are using

Here’s a quick way to tell which Google Ads interface you are using:

Sing into your Google Ads account. look for this  gear icon in the upper right corner. If its there, you are in the previous AdWords experience.

Nevertheless, Google says your account, ads and campaigns will run the same way they did on the old platform.

Study Shows Web Security Directly Affects SEO

Search Engine Optimisation

Most internet users rely on Google search to provide them with the results they need; which is why over 93% of internet users conduct their searches on Google. In return, they trust that Google will not only provide the results they need for their queries, but that they would be satisfactory. This means web owners have to focus on creating quality content, optimise their site’s responsiveness to all device types including mobile; generally all the things we have come to understand as basic SEO best practices.

However, most people haven’t really considered site security as one of the factors that affect search engine optimisation. It is clear why web security can directly affect SEO since Google’s main goal is providing users with access to quality content in a safe environment. Studies have shown that web security is no longer an indirect factor that affects SEO (since say a hacked site can’t easily be accessed by Googlebot), but a necessity.

A Godaddy report shows that 73.9% of all web hackings are done for SEO proposes; which means the hackers go as far as adding links to sites or an entire webpage whose content might cause your site to get blacklisted. What is more, some of them even show a different website to Googlebot, which leads to a significant decline in your search ranking.

Once this occurs, the effects are crippling so that the only available option is to be proactive and monitor your website’s security. See the exercise as one of the critical SEO efforts for your site. While protecting yourself, also protect the interest of your visitors. If they find that their devices are often infested with viruses after visiting your site, they won’t come back.

The same applies to your use of WordPress plugins. Ensure you conduct a thorough check on every plugin and script you intend using on your site. Run background checks on the companies you buy from through Google and find if the plugins are frequently hacked. It is common to find businesses who purchase plugins from their authors, then add hidden links in them which will serve their own purposes against the interest of the new owner.

In most cases, finding out that a site has been compromised is impossible for most owners. Some of them rely on Google’s ban notification to know if their security has been breached. Such practice is not recommended. Not only does it show you are not proactive, but only a few hacked sites get banned. In fact, study shows that only 10% of compromised sites get banned and consequently notified. The rest will have to figure this out themselves and put appropriate measures in place.

However, what cannot be overlooked is the significant negative impact security breaches have on your site. Most web owners would rather redesign their sites and rework their content than pay attention to the security needs of their site. Today, web security has come to be a crucial SEO necessity which has to be incorporated in your website for optimal performance.

How the Changing Paid Search Landscape Will Impact Marketers

Paid Search

In an ever-evolving digital world, the ability to adapt to change is what keeps one on top. For digital marketers, the challenge is to integrate with their changing business world so as to meet their objective which is to drive higher traffic to their websites.

The changing paid search landscape will impact marketers in so many ways. It means that what is regarded as success will no longer be the amount of traffic they are able to generate through PPC (which is directly proportional to the amount of money they pump into the campaign). Marketers will have to see beyond the initial click and make their campaigns more engaging.

This means that a search campaign will have to involve SEO, UX, UI, and so on. Consumers now demand comprehensive information about brands, their products and services. They want to know how relevant the ads they click on are.

Marketers have to invest more in ad extensions. This allows a marketer to put additional information in their ads. The goal of the extension is to give users the opportunity to know the brands better and be more inclined to not only click but convert.

Conclusion

2018 has been a great year for paid ads. Technological advancement in this sector has seen to more specific audience targeting. As consumers’ demands and expectations become greater, marketers are forced to measure up to the ever-changing standards.

4 Ways of Optimising Websites for Multiple Keywords

search engine optimization

Ranking high on search engine listings is the sole aim of most search engine optimisation companies today and how to effectively optimised keywords relevant to their websites is a question often asked. How exactly does a website get optimised? Context is more important than keywords in today’s search engine optimisation, because you can adequately evaluate the success of a websites ranking based on the particular phrases and terms a user searches that is available on the website. Getting good traffic to a website is carried out best using search engines, but how exactly does it work, the following methods will show you just how.

Selecting a Relevant Keyword and Linking That Key Word to Your Site

Do not make the mistake of squeesing too many keywords at a time on the pages of your website; rather concentrate on picking a particular keyword for each page. The goal is to make sure that the relevant keyword is captured by the page without any distractions. Search engines especially Google take notice of the title tag that contains the link to your site, therefore pay attention to your title tag and make it relevant to your website!

Make the First Hundred Words of Any Age Count!

The first hundred words of your page must be loaded with keywords to achieve optimisation. Search engines come up with various algorithms to rank websites and when these key words are searched by a user it has to come within the first hundred pages. It is therefore wise to make the left column of your website keyword rich or make your title, website description and web copy visible within the first hundred words of your website.

Keywords Must Be In the Description and Title Tag

Meta tags also known as headers tag is a feature a search engine uses to better understand the content of its page. These Meta tags are usually in the source code of the page. Tweaking the source code of the page ensures full optimisation of the website; this is achieved by inserting the keyword in the title tag (Google shows the result when your website is listed). A catchy description containing the relevant keyword(s) is important because the Meta tag description contains information that is listed immediately after the title tags when using a search engine. A catchy description (keyword embedded) makes your website have an edge over other listings.

Keyword(s)-Embedded Web Copy Like No Other!

An essential aspect of optimising websites for multiple keywords is to create a keyword(s) embedded web copy.  Make use of the hour glass template; which is including majority of the keywords at the top and bottom of the page and adding just a few keywords in the middle. The total make up of your web copy page should be between 400 words to 600 words, with the keywords making up about 6-14% of the entire words of the web copy page.

Follow these four steps and notice an upgrade in your keywords ranking on search engines.

Google My Business Reportedly Removes Anonymous Reviews

Online Reputation

From all indications, it looks like anonymous reviews no longer count towards the total rating for businesses on Google My Business. In some cases, anonymous reviews have disappeared completely from some pages on GMB.

This new move by Google closely tailors similar policies by local review websites like Yelp and Trip Advisor which allows only registered users to submit reviews. There are whispers in certain circles that this crackdown is coming on the heels of Google’s announcement to crackdown on negative and fake reviews dropped by disgruntled employees to compromise the online reputation of certain businesses. A lot of business owners will agree that a high number of negative and fake reviews come from anonymous users that cannot be identified or tied to any legitimate Google account.

There are arguments that this development is a smart move by Google as allowing only authentic and registered users to drop reviews will result in more honest reviews being made and less overly critical reviews from users who for one reason or another had a less pleasant experience with the business.

On the part of the business, it helps to identify who is leaving a review, whether positive or negative as it allows the business acknowledge the positive reviews and provides an opportunity to make amends next time the dissatisfied customer comes around.

There is as yet no official word from the people at Google concerning this change, however it is clear that reducing the impact of anonymous reviews that can be hijacked by disgruntled employees, competitors and trolls would bring up GMB to the standard of other prominent review websites that already understand the need to protect businesses from unfair press and provide customers with a platform where they can freely speak their mind.

Having said that, if you notice that your business is still getting negative reviews from actual customers and registered users, chances are there is actually a real problem that needs to be addressed promptly. While both positive and negative reviews have several benefits to businesses, there has to be a balance otherwise your customers will be getting the wrong impression about your business. And when this happens, it is safe to say that there is no amount of Google updates that would be able to solve that problem for you.

Google Rich Results Testing Tool Adds Support for Events, Movies, and TV Shows

Firstclick Digital

Aaron Bradley of Semantic Search Marketing posted on Google+ that Google rich result testing tool now supports testing of structured data markup for movies, TV shows and events. He went further to state that he has conducted tests to confirm that the tool is able to validate TV, movie and event code and did provide a preview. So in addition to supporting job postings, recipes and course, it now also supports these three new additions.

The list now covers:

  • Job posting
  • Recipe
  • Course
  • TV and Movie
  • Event

What are Google rich results?

There are different ways web pages can be used and even more ways to structure and code it. This can make it difficult for search engine crawlers to identify and understand what each web page is about. What rich results do is to highlight important information contained on a web page which will help search engines better understand the purpose of the page and so index it appropriately. This reduces the guesswork for Google bots and makes it easier for users to get the most relevant results.

Google rich results typically appear at the top of the search engine results page, in what is known as ‘position zero’ above the regular search results.

So what’s new?

Google rich results contain results that are different from the usual blue text links and this includes content such as images, carousels and other non text elements.

For example, if you make a search for “open mic night weekend”, you will get a result of related events happening close to your location as indicated by your device. Google is able to present the results you will see by reading the structured data markup of the relevant event pages. At your end, if you are hosting such an event, you will need to use the markup for your event to appear on Google’s rich results page.

What Google rich result testing tool does is to help website owners check that their structured data is correctly implemented so that their content can be featured in rich results for relevant search. Presently, Google rich result testing tool does not support every rich result markup, but additions are made on a regular basis. Using Google rich result testing tool to validate your markup data is the one sure way to tell if Google can read your markup.

Google’s structured data guidelines shows the different types of rich results and the best way to markup your content.

Linkedin Targeting – How to Create Targeted Audiences That Scale

With hundreds of millions of followers, Linkedin is practically the biggest social media platform for professionals. Targeting the right audience on linkedin is key and needs to be done with precision. Truth is, it is easy to target so many people and still not reach the people relevant to your business.

Reaching your target audience

Sponsored content ads are a great way to reach out to your target audience. Unlike regular audience targeting that makes use of age, gender and other less specific details, sponsored ads allow you to use more detailed demographics such as geographic area, type of industry, position and experience and even certain companies and groups.

Interestingly, audience size matters, but so does audience relevance. If your sponsored ad is too specific, you may miss out on a significant part of your audience, and if it is too generic, you may be wasting resources with little effect.

To create an audience that is wide enough and is relevant as well, the following tips would be great to use.

Basic Linkedin research

When you have figuredout what audience group you want to reach out to, get information from their profiles to see what common features they might share.These features include their geographic region, job titles, positions and so on. This information can help you decide if you can focus your ads in certain areas.

Merge your target features

Given that users rarely give all of the information you need to find them easily, you could run similar ads for several audiences. This will give you enough data to determine which audience you should spend time and resources on.

Try job title against skills. Job titles are relatively easy and there quite a lot to choose from, but skills can give you a broad audience with relevance as well. Try job function and seniority, specific industries and regions, skills and seniority, and so on.

Multiple campaigns allow you target the same persona on a larger scale, making sure you do not leave out any relevant audience. With these campaigns running, you can figure out what works and what adjustments to make at lower costs.

Use your retargeting options

Linkedin retargeting options allows you to make follow up moves on potential customers who may have checked out your page or taken some other relevant action.

The algorithms come into play

The audience expansion option on Linkedin helps you create a wider and relevant audience using the analysis on the features of your target audience.

Don’t forget to…

  • Use matched audiences to get the details of your existing contacts
  • Create specific audiences using the Demographics tab in campaign manager

Keep experimenting and working on your ads

Publisher Group Blasts Google Over Forcing GDPR Liability On Small Publishers

A couple of months ago, Google indicated how they intend to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in May 2018.

The new GDPR law addresses the years old legal question concerning the use and ownership of data created by visitors when they interact with websites. Google’s response to this new GDPR law was to publish a letter to its partners and publishers informing them of their responsibilities in informing and obtaining consent from users of their websites and apps. This caused a furor as publishers accuse the search engine giant of shifting the responsibility of managing the process on to the shoulders of publishers and partners when they are the one using the data more.

Since the receipt of the letter from Google, publishers have decried the way Google intend to handle the process even going as far as releasing a 5 page letter jointly written by at least 4 major publisher groups addressed to the Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google.

The basic message of the joint letter is that the group is not impressed with Google’s proposal which they say will undermine the primary purpose of the GDPR, making it difficult for publishers to fulfill the letter and spirit of the law. The letter signed by the group made up of The European Publishers Council, Digital Content Next, News Media Association and News Media Alliance altogether representing about 4000 media and newspaper companies located primarily in Europe and North America, including the Telegraph Media Group, New York Time, Axel Springer, Thomas Reuters and Associated Press ended by posing a series of questions to Google.

These questions which they say they need answers to include:

  • How and why Google believes it can legally play the role of data controller in relationship to publishers’ data?
  • Will the search engine giant will seek and receive publishers’ input before making future changes to its terms concerning accessing advertisers’ services?
  • How Google’s services can be integrated into an industry accepted management platform should the publishers decide to make use of one?

The publishers also accuse of Google of anti-competitive tendencies because the proposal states that Google may stop placing ads on a publishers’ websites if it feels that their compliance with the new rule is insufficient.

“Google wants to eat its cake and have it” says Executive Director of the European Publishers Council, Angela Mills Wade. “It wants to control data provided by publishers without the accompanying legal liability and with the total freedom to do what it likes with the data, Google is essentially preventing publishers from choosing which partner to work with by imposing their personal standard for regulatory compliance” she said.

Other players in the digital advertising industry also express concern that Google is pushing publishers to interpret the GDPR only the way Google themselves see it.

Google Starts Letting Anyone Register ‘.app’ Domains

More than thirty-six months after Google paid $ 25 million for the limited rights to the TLD “.app” the company is finally allowing .app domains to be available for registration until May 7 at 09:00 PDT using its Early Access Program. The next day, May 8th, the domains will be put on sale to the public, also through other registrars.

The new top-level domain (TLD) is an apparent choice for application programmers and developers in the technology sector because it serves as an easy and identifiable alternative to .com, where for a while now popular words has been running low.

In addition to the expected application, Google requires HTTPS for every. app websites. This in-built security safeguards against the injection of malware advertising by Internet service providers and protects against eavesdropping on open Wi-Fi networks, says the Company.

Google has been a supporter of web promotion to HTTPS adoption, and said last fall that about 64 percent of the traffic flow that passed through its Chrome browser on Android was secure, 42 percent more than the previous year. Chrome’s traffic on Mac was up to 75 percent and Windows up to 66 percent at the same time. The increases are due to a number of Google actions, including the decision to flag all websites that use HTTP to transmit private information as “unsafe”.

This year, Google said it would mark all pages without HTTPS encryption as hazardous as of July, with the release of Chrome 68.

Given the company’s plans, it is logical that the new addition to the Google domain also includes integrated HTTPS protection.

Still, it’s something of a milestone, Google says.

“Because .app is the first top-level domain, with greater security available for general registration, it is helping to move the site to an HTTPS-worldwide future,” reads the announcement of the company’s new top-level domain.

Prior to the public appearance of .app, Google had contacted possible candidates, giving them a first chance to get a .app domain to show possible use cases. A few of those who have started using .app domains include, Cash App, Outdoor Voices, Bark, Sitata, Picnic, Trail, MenaVR, BNEXT, The Podcast App, Albert, CallApp, Pickle, amongst others around the globe.

The corporation has also eliminated the domain requirement restricted to application developers, although Google suggests that the name makes more sense in that market.

In an interview last month with Domain Name Wire, Google said its goal is to make .app domains cheap and accessible – expect the price to be lower than other TLDs such as .come or .song, for example. The site said that would mean that the wholesale prices would total $ 10-12 and registration would be $ 20 (However, prices were not detailed in the announcement).

If you are interested in the .app domain, you can register your preferred domain until May 7, 2018 from 09:00 PDT, if you wish to pay an additional fee for early access before the launch of the public domain through other registrars.