Pinterest Unveils Guided Search for Mobile Devices


Pinterest’s new guided search feature is a different way for people to discover the things they’re looking for on Pinterest, and perhaps, discover things they weren’t looking for, either. Available on mobile for iPad, iPhone, and Android, guided search offers “descriptive guides” comprised of categories of places and things that are delivered as a person searches using a particular keyword phrase. Users can explore those guides as a way to refine their intent.


“Now when you search for something (road trips, running, summer BBQ), descriptive guides will help you sift through all the good ideas from other Pinners. Scroll through the guides and tap any that look interesting to steer your search in the right direction,” Pinterest said in its announcement.

Here’s how to use it (via Pinterest’s help files):

  • Tap the search icon.
  • Type in something you’re looking for in the search field.
  • Tap any of the guides to help refine your search.
  • Type in any extra search terms to get even more specific

“Guided search is focused on discovery rather than finding,” Naveen Gavini from Pinterest was quoted as saying in a TechCrunch report. “The serendipitous experience of finding things you didn’t know you were looking for is what makes it so special.”


TechCrunch further explained the guided search process:

When users start a search, they can choose between pins, boards, and pinners. After they enter their initial search, Pinterest will show a slideable row of additional terms that can be tapped to refine a search. For example, a search of “Plants” will reveal suggestions like “for shade,” “potted,” and “keep mosquitos away.” Even a relatively specific query like “hairstyles for medium length hair” will offer ways to go deeper still, such as “bangs.”



Are All Sitewide Links Unnatural?

These days, doing a regular audit of your backlinks is an excellent idea. However, if you don’t have experience with auditing links, you may find that it is difficult to determine whether some of them are natural.


One thing that commonly confuses site owners is when they see a newly obtained sitewide link. While sitewide links can be unnatural, they can also be really good links! I’ve seen several webmasters who have gone about disavowing some excellent links in error because of a fear of sitewide links.


Let’s look at how you can evaluate sitewide links pointing to your site and determine whether you should try to remove or disavow these links.


What Is a Sitewide Link?

Most will already know this, but just to be clear, a sitewide link is one that appears on most or all of a website’s pages. A common area to see sitewide links is in the blogroll that is in the sidebar and appears on every page. You can also get sitewide links from being mentioned in the footer of a site if the site uses a template where the same footer is used for every single page.

An Example: A Recipe Site.

Let’s say you have a website where you publish healthy recipes. We’ll call it It’s really good and unique and so a lot of bloggers want to reference it.

It’s possible that our fictional recipe site could get links from blogrolls where people have listed their favorite recipe sites. When this happens, what you’ll see in your Webmaster Tools console, under “Links to your site” is something like this:


If you saw more than 24,000 new links from, and let’s say that they linked to you using the anchor text, “Healthy recipes,” which would be your reaction?


1. Wahoooo! I got a great link!


2. Crap. A sitewide with exact match anchor text. I’m going to have to contact them to ask them to take it down or nofollow it. Or maybe I’ll disavow it.


More often than not, when a site owner sees that Webmaster Tools is reporting that a site is linking to them with thousands of links, the natural instinct is to say it is unnatural. But, this isn’t always the case. In a Webmaster Central hangout, John Mueller said that “Generally speaking, sitewide links can be fine. That’s not something where we would say that if a link is across a whole website then it’s automatically considered bad.” (You can read his entire quote and see the video here).


Here are some tips to help you decide whether a sitewide link is a good link:


Do You Have a History of Buying Sitewide Links?

If you know that you have purchased sitewide links, blogroll links, or footer links in the past, then I would treat every sitewide with suspicion. The main reason why some people call every sitewide an unnatural link is because in the past this type of link was commonly one that link builders would purchase.

Before I knew much about SEO, I ran an information website. I remember when a site owner contacted me and offered me $100 for a link from my blogroll. I turned them down, but I am sure that that site obtained many links in that manner and that now, those links are most likely flagged as unnatural by Google.

If you have a history of purchasing sitewide links, then, even if you get a potentially natural mention in a sidebar, I would consider asking for a nofollow or disavowing that link. On a manual review, if Google sees that you have a bunch of purchased sidebar links and then one natural one, they may not trust that your natural link is truly natural.


Do You Have a History of Doing Widespread Link Exchanges?

The Google quality guidelines list “excessive link exchanges” as part of a potential link scheme. They don’t tell you what “excessive” means, but if you’ve done more than a few link exchanges, then often blogroll links are a means of doing this.

It’s OK to do some reciprocal linking. For example, if a realtor links to a home inspector, a mortgage broker, and a real estate lawyer, and they all link back to him, that would probably be OK in Google’s books.

However, let’s say that realtor had a blogroll on his site that listed recommended resources and that list contained links like “Realtor in Austin” and “Miami Real Estate” and “Seattle Homes for Sale.” Those links are more obviously set up as part of a link exchange that was created for the main purpose of improving everyone’s search engine rankings rather than being a helpful list of resources for the realtor’s clients.

If you’ve participated in widespread reciprocal linking like this and a new sitewide link pops up then again, on a manual review, Google may not be able to tell the difference between a natural sitewide link and one that was provided in exchange for a reciprocal link. As such, if you’ve got a history of exchanging sitewide links, then I’d be quite suspicious of any new sitewides that pop up.


What Do the Other Sitewide Links From This Domain Look Like?

Sometimes you can get an idea of the authenticity of a sitewide link by looking at what other sites they link to. If your healthy recipe site is listed on a blogroll that also contains links like “Free Casino Games” and “Best Payday Loans,” then it isn’t likely to be a natural one! Similarly, if the site linking to you is in no way related to yours then this could be a sign that it’s an unnatural link.


Is the Site Indexed?

If the link looks like it could be a natural one, but something in your gut is telling you otherwise, then another clue could be to see if the site is in the Google index. You can do so by doing a search for “” If Google doesn’t have any pages from this site in the index, then it’s possible that the site has been penalized for link selling. As such, you’d want to remove or disavow that link.


Ask the Site Owner

If, after all of this, you still aren’t sure whether the link is a natural mention, it doesn’t hurt to ask the site owner. You can send a quick note that thanks them for linking and asks how the link came about. You may find that the site owner really just liked your site and wanted to link to it. But, you might also be surprised to find out that someone on your marketing team, or an SEO company working on your behalf, actually purchased the link. I can’t tell you how many times businesses have said to me, “We have never purchased a link!”, when in reality their SEO company is doing exactly that.


OK, It’s Natural. Should You Keep It?

Let’s say that you’ve convinced yourself that this sitewide link really is a natural mention in the sense that someone liked your site and wanted to link to it and wasn’t paid or given anything in return for the link. You’ve also got no history of purchasing blogroll or footer links or participating in blogroll reciprocal link schemes. If a sitewide link like this pops up should you keep it? Yes! But what if it has exact match anchor text? Should you still keep it? Yes! I know that some people would argue with me in regards to keeping a sitewide keyword rich link. Some would say that it’s better to be safe than sorry and that you should remove or disavow an exact match keyword anchored sitewide link because Google might think it’s unnatural.

In a Webmaster Central Hangout at 41:39, a site owner asks Mueller this question, “I have been using keyword rich anchor text when referencing other websites in articles that I write. There is no collusion between me and the other webmasters…should I stop?”

Mueller’s answer: “Generally that’s fine. If these are normal links on your website and you’re providing them in a natural way then that’s not something I’d really be worried about.”

It isn’t the anchor text that makes a link unnatural. If someone links to your healthy recipe website and uses the anchor text, “Healthy recipes,” that’s OK! But when hundreds of people are doing the same, then it starts to look suspicious to Google because it’s very uncommon for hundreds of people to link using the same anchor text unless something unnatural is going on.

If you’ve got a history of doing unnatural linking and you have abused the use of exact match keyword rich anchors, then you may possibly consider asking the site owner who linked to you with a sitewide keyword rich link to change their anchor to your URL or brand. But, in my opinion, if the link is truly a natural mention, then it really should be fine to keep it just as it is.

A real culture of fear surrounds links now that Google is penalizing sites and unleashing algorithms like Penguin. But, one sitewide link, even if it produces tens of thousands of links containing an exact match keyword anchor, won’t cause Google to penalize you.

The sites Google catches and penalizes have been involved in wide-scale cheating in order to manipulate their rankings. Someone linking to you with a sitewide won’t cause a penalty.


What Do You Think?

I know that many link auditors will automatically flag any sitewide link as an unnatural one. Do you agree? Or do you think that some sitewide links can be good links? Share your thoughts in the comments.



LinkedIn Announces Mobile Photo Sharing


Today, LinkedIn announced the launch of photo sharing on Android, iPhone and the mobile web. This new feature will be rolling out to all users over the next few weeks.


According to the announcement, members who share images with their LinkedIn network are five times more likely to have other members engage with their update. If you’re not sure what kinds of photos you would should share on LinkedIn from your phone, they have offered a few suggestions:


Conferences, networking and professional development events: LinkedIn suggests showing your network that you take an active interest in career developments by taking pictures at conferences and sharing quotes from speakers.


View from your desk: LinkedIn suggests taking pictures that capture what a day in your life looks like, as they can tell people a lot more about what you do in a day than a basic job description could.


Show off your talents: LinkedIn suggests taking pictures that demonstrate your talents and skills: “If you are an interior designer, show the remodel you’ve been working on. If you’re a hairstylist, proudly show off photos of the latest up-do you created.”


Professional selfie: According to LinkedIn’s announcement, a profile with a photo is 11 times more likely to be viewed. LinkedIn suggests uploading something other than the typical headshot, such as a shot of you in the midst of your work – during a presentation if you’re a professional speaker, or typing away at your keyboard if that’s what your workday entails.


Currently, if you choose to share photos they will only be visible as status updates. There is no ability to create photo albums at this time.



Searchmetrics Releases New Tools to Analyze & Optimize Web Page Performance


Searchmetrics has announced a new addition to the Searchmetrics Suite tools that promises to help marketers “more effectively analyze and optimize the organic search performance of specific landing pages on their sites.”


The “Page Cockpit” collects page-level search performance metrics like analysis of traffic, conversions, backlinks, and social media activity for a Web page, as well as analyzes individual pages to make recommendations for content, technical, and internal link optimization.


“Managing search performance for your website is increasingly about delivering valuable content to searchers on specific pages rather than focusing at a domain or keyword level or trying to manipulate search engine algorithms using SEO tricks,” said Marcus Tober, CTO and founder of Searchmetrics. “Which is why we’re giving users this highly focused, URL level analysis capability to make it easier to optimize individual landing pages.”


Searchmetrics has created a number of new URL-based metrics to track, such as:

  • URL SEO visibility, which provides an overall picture of the optimization of a page based on search rankings for millions of keywords.
  • URL keyword trends, which provides a trend over time for whether a page is losing or gaining rankings for its targeted keywords.
  • URL optimization, which looks at the on-page optimization score for individual URLs, and factors in criteria like number of detected errors, warnings, and notes for the URL.
  • Traffic index potential for URLs, which shows the possible traffic that can be generated to a page as it rises up the search rankings for targeted keywords.

“One of our primary goals is to ensure our enterprise SEO software keeps pace with the way search is evolving so that users are always equipped with the right tools to continue improving their organic visibility in searches,” said Tom Schuster, CEO of Searchmetrics. “These new URL level optimization facilities are a great example – as they help SEO professionals focus on optimizing individual pages in line with the way search engines are now increasingly focused on showing searchers those pages that deliver the most helpful, unique content within search results.”


4 Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Pack


Whether it’s attached to a small business, a large corporation or maybe as a business in itself, a blog is a reflection of its owner. But you’re not the only one blogging.

There are an estimated 68,124,670 WordPress sites, and for good reason; an active blog is necessary for a successful SEO initiative. Add to the mix the sites that run LiveJournal, Blogger, TypePad or one of the other blogging platforms, and there are easily over 150 million blogs on the Internet; so how do you get yours to stand out from the pack? Many say that if you write compelling content that people want to read, the visibility and exposure will take care of itself. But in these days of intense online competition and easy access to blogging platforms, social media, and content creation specialists, I’d argue that simply isn’t true.


What makes content compelling? Many blogs rehash the same information shared countless other places by adding a bit of their own style. But for the most part, the story, commentary, and information don’t vary much from blog to blog. Take a minute to perform a little experiment. Open Google News in a new tab or browser window. See the Top Story? Check to see how many sources there are for that story alone. There’s a good chance you could wind up with over 2,000 different versions to choose from.


Select 10 of these sources at random and odds are you‘ll be reading the same story ten times over. Nothing new or different other than the author’s name and maybe an image or two. They may change the wording around a bit, but not enough to really add anything new or exciting. If someone stumbles across your blog for the first time, what are they seeing? Are they getting something new or just more of the same? Are they going to remember your blog and make a point to come back?


When many people think about this, they may have the feeling that their blog is a bit bland. Think your blog could use a little more spice and uniqueness? Let’s take a look at some ways to spice things up for your readers.


1. Be Controversial

People love controversial topics, regardless of whether they agree with what you have to say. Just look at America’s fascination with Sarah Palin. She created controversy with just about everything she did. Some people love her, others hate her, but nonetheless, she’s stayed in the news. Writing controversial content is a great way to get people to read your blog, share your posts, and comment on them, which drives social signals and activity. But you can’t just throw anything up on your blog. Always support your claims with facts. If you make blanket statements with nothing to support them, your blogging efforts will backfire. Controversy and opinions can be tolerated if there’s something to back them up.


Additionally, make sure you pick a topic you’re familiar with. Lack of knowledge around a controversial subject will stick out like a sore thumb, and hurt your credibility. But most importantly, make sure any controversy that you get involved with adds value. It shouldn’t be hateful, spiteful or cheap. You want to get more loyal readers; not drive some quick traffic your way.


2. Top XX Lists

If you flip over to the NFL Network at any given time, there’s a good chance you’ll see one of their “top 10” shows. They have the top 10 quarterbacks, uniforms, undrafted players, draft busts, and many more. The reason they air these so often is because people love lists. They’re easy to digest and don’t require a lot of thought. On the web, they’re easy to read as well if you format them with headings, ordered lists, or bold font subheaders. Lists also attract links easier than other forms of content and are usually shared more often, leading to higher organic search engine rankings, visibility, and traffic.


3. Solve a Problem

Starting a headline with “How To” is one of the easiest ways to capture a reader’s attention. If they see that your content can solve their problem, you’re much more likely to hook them. They’ll come back to your blog time and time again for solutions if you’re able to provide them. Find questions in your field or niche and come up with the best solution for them. Write them down in simple to follow directions, or use video. Most businesses claim to be industry leaders, or experts. But people want proof; they want to be shown, not told. Being able to solve problems for your readers shows that you are an expert. And that builds trust.


4. Take a Stand

Sometimes you have to cover current events in your blog. But just because everyone else is writing on the topic doesn’t mean you have to be as bland as they are. If you’re running a business, your blog can’t be a personal sounding board for opinions, but it can be strong. The best way to get noticed is to take a stand. Write the article using objective facts but throw your opinion in the mix. Not sure how to take a stand? Look at “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He interjects his opinions into the news just as much as he is “reporting.” Dennis Miller was a master at this as well, and much more overt.



These days, blogs are everywhere; the content marketing trend is on the rise, and competition has become red hot. So, what are you doing to make your blog better than the rest? Your blog should be your medium through which you build brand awareness, authority, credibility, and trust. It should drive traffic, leads, and sales. If it’s not doing that for you yet, it’s time to get strategic and competitive. Outshine your competitors by simply being better than they are. Use these content tactics to achieve that.


Will Link Building Be Important in the Future?


SEO practices change every single day with the evolution of technologies and the emergence of new tools. But, the power of links remains unchanged.

Even if are many other important things such as crawlability, site structure, indexation, etc., it is required that we should pay attention to link acquisition. Links are the most powerful signal we give to Google showing the importance of our website and content. Thus, if you make attempts to improve search visibility, links should be your primary goal.

Because Google fights against spam links the situation is quite complicated and there are several messages that need to be announced within SEO:

 •             Content marketing and link building are different subjects;

•             Link building is possible without great content;

•             Links are still important to Google search algorithm;

•             Link building is able to improve your content marketing;

•             Content marketing is not easy at all. Often SEO professionals lack necessary skills to create relevant content.

1. Content Marketing and Link Building Are Different Subjects

Today many think content marketing is the new link building and call it “link earning” or “link acquisition.” But content marketing and link building are different in essence. It is not even SEO. SEO is used to improve search visibility, while content marketing is about creating relevant content that is to be shared.

2. Link Building is Possible without Great Content

There are many people who have websites for which content marketing just doesn’t make sense due to target audience, products, resources or size. Because there is no online marketing solution that would fit any size, you still can build good links using:

•             Local links;

•             Reviews;

•             Fresh mentions;

•             Contests;

•             HARO;

•             Relevant niche;

•             Broken link building, etc.


3. Links Are Still Important to Google Search Algorithm

Links continue to be powerful. Nonetheless, we all know about Google’s attitude towards link building activities. But, due to the fact that we collaborate with real companies that want to increase their search visibility, it is important to make sure our methods are effective, safe and long term. This forces SEO pros to develop new strategies in order to ensure powerful and safe links.

 4. Link Building Is Able to Improve Your Content Marketing

We all know that content marketing requires SEO. Creating great content isn’t enough, it is necessary to promote it. Hence, you need SEO in order to improve the visibility.

If you decide to invest in content, you must invest in visibility. An effective SEO is able to supercharge valuable content, promote relevant content and even improve poor content.

5. Content Marketing Is Not Easy at All

Often SEO professionals lack necessary skills to create relevant content. In order to create a good piece of content, you will need:

 •             Writers;

•             Editors;

•             Experts in the field;

•             Designers;

•             Technical (app, coders, web dev, etc.).




Seven Important Facts About the Disavow Tool

Many believed the Google Disavow Links Tool is a mystery. If you are trying to understand the principles of this tool, here are seven facts you should know about it.


1. Disavowed Links Remain in Webmaster Tools

There are a lot of forums where people say that the disavow tool doesn’t work and that the disavowed links are still seen in the Webmaster Tool.

It worth mentioning that when a link is disavowed, the next time Google crawls it an invisible no-follow tag will be added to that link. Unfortunately, there is no external evidence of this. As your no-follow links are shown in the Webmaster Tools, the disavowed links are shown as well.

2. The Size of the Disavow File

Aaseesh Marina, a Google representative, stated that the disavow file has a 2 megabyte size. Anyway it is considered to be not that small.

3. The Webspam Team Does Not Read the Comments in Your Disavow File

The disavow file is processed automatically, Google’s John Mueller said. If there are many comments in your disavow file, nobody is going to read them. The comments are important for your better understanding of the file.

4. Don’t Include No-Follow Links in the Disavow File

Google rankings cannot be affected by no-followed links as they do not carry any PageRank. Here is Mueller’s opinion on no-followed links:

“It is not necessary to include no-follow links due to the fact that what happens to the links you disavow, when recrawling them we process them similarly to other no-follow links.


5. You Can Reavow The Disavowed Links

If you decide to disavow a certain link, there is the possibility to remove it and reuplaod it. The next time Google processes that link, they will notice that it is not your disavow file anymore and will count it towards your PageRank.

In other words, if you for a certain reason decide to remove a link, then when Google reprocesses that URL they will treat it as a normal link again. But, if the link has been a problematic one in the past it will be a problematic link again.

6. The Issue Related To 301 Redirect

If you have bad links pointing to Site A, you decide to disavow them. Hence you implement a 301 redirect to Site B. The redirect passes close to 100% of the link equity related to that link and also passes unnatural link signals. In brief, if you redirect pages from one site to another one and the original source has bad links, it would be better to add that links to the disavow file for the second site.

7. Disavow Info Isn’t Used Against Sites That Are Being Disavowed

As far as the disavow links tool is concerned, Google doesn’t use that data against sites being disavowed due to the existence of a huge number of reasons why a link has been disavowed. Even if some links are in a disavow file it doesn’t mean they are necessarily bad.