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Does Duplicate Images Invite Google Penalties?

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Search By Image Option

It is always recommended to create your own content in order to rank high in search engine. However, it will be almost impossible for retailers and affiliates to create original content every time, especially in case of images. So, whether pictures are considered as a duplicate content, will be one of the common doubts that are haunting most people who are in the online marketing and SEO field. This doubt is really prominent now, as Google is becoming more and more vigilant each day and growing very smart in discovering duplicated content.

What is Duplicate Content?

According to Google, “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” With every passing day, Google algorithms are becoming smarter and smarter to figure out the sites that are copying the content from other websites. The main criterions that are considered to determine the duplication include similar context, spotting texts that match with others, a similar order of context, etc.

There are times though, when you will have to copy the text from other sites, such as some quote or speech. In such cases, you can use them giving appropriate credit to that particular site using the <blockquote> tag so that it is not considered as duplication. In fact, the usage of this tag is increasing more these days, and it is a good option to rank high in search engines if used in the right way.

What is a Duplicate Image?

It is a big question whether Google or other search engines will be able to spot similar images that are located in different domains with different names. The answer to that is Yes, they can; in fact, there is a ‘Search by Image’ option in Google as well that reads the image and finds the tags related to it.

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Create Your Own Content

Anyhow, you might not be penalized for copying an image, as there are numerous reasons to use the similar image on different websites. Still, it will be hard to figure out those reasons for each and every situation. For instance, if you are the owner of an online site that sells the products of various brands, you can use the authentic images of those brands for marketing and you will not be penalized for that.

Besides, using stock library images and infographics of other sites to your own with a credit link to the author or creator is a good practice in Google’s eyes. Yet on the contrary, some websites are also penalized for copying the image; this is when a site uses any authentic image of another website in an unauthorized manner. This is usually termed as copyright infringement and is illegal.

Why Implement Text Ads in a Blog Layout Other than on the Sidebar

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Implementing Text Ads

A sidebar is a column that appears to the left or right of a blog post. Blog sidebars are classic web page layout designs. For online marketers, it is often the place to put text ads or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) adverts in a bid to lure visitors to a landing page in response to clicks. Since it serves as a space to bait clicks, sidebars have been favored by bloggers and SEO professionals as a means to generate traffic on a lead capture page.

Digital marketers often come up with call-to-action buttons and keyword optimized content to make full use of landing pages meant for online marketing campaigns. Often, most of such web pages have a layout without sidebars. Instead, designers implement call-to-action buttons below or above the fold, or on the lower or upper half of the web page.

Using external links on blog sidebars would lure clicks, thus many web designers favor using it on blog layouts; also because it contributes to landing page conversion. Since blogging is now a popular way to make money, many bloggers prefer using text ads on sidebars as well. However, making sidebars into a space for putting extensive text ads or call-to-action buttons may affect user experience say bloggers & SEO professionals. Besides, since the purpose of a blog is to provide information to readers, not necessarily to click-bait, it will not be a bad idea to use call-to-action buttons and text ads elsewhere.

This does not mean that bloggers should get rid of text ads entirely, but should make use of other areas of a blog page to follow the best SEO practices. Even pro digital marketers, who feel that sidebars can be cleared from web design layout, recommend using call-to-action buttons on other areas.

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Call-To-Action Buttons

Several things make up the sidebar content in a blog, including an author’s bio, follow buttons that lead readers to social media sites, newsletter feeds used in email marketing, signup forms, and ads. However, to use the space to the maximum benefit, the author bio can be reduced to a line below blog title alongside the author name and photo. Apart from that, you can make use of social media buttons above the fold so that readers can navigate through them easily.

Targeted ads and banners can be placed below the fold or in the article body if you insist. You can make such minute layout changes with the help of a professional web designer, who can also provide split testing to experiment and find out the best-performing layout.

Features to Look for While Choosing an SEO Package

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Keyword Research

There are many digital marketing companies in the market that offer the best SEO packages catered to the specific needs of their clients, which are bundled up with the latest services in the field. Apparently availing any such SEO package, which has all the tools and strategies to boost your website rankings and performance in the SERPs, will help for the betterment of your website and will save you a lot of time and resources. However, different companies offer different packages, and that might make it more challenging and confusing to choose the perfect option for you. So to help you out, below are some of the important services that you must look for in your SEO package.

Technical Audit

The technical infrastructure that includes the current architecture and the content management system of your website is crucial for the accomplishment of your SEO campaign. So, prior to optimizing your website, a good SEO consultant will do the technical audit of your website in order to figure this out. The technical audit may include analysis of the off page and on page elements as well to ensure that there are no technical obstacles in the way of your online success.

Note that both on page and off page optimization are very important to boost the ranking and position of your website on search engines. As a validation, the search engines mainly look for a web references or backlinks, and your site will get ranking as per the positivity of these factors. So, try to include the link building citation building service also in your package.

Keyword Research

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Choosing SEO Package

Keyword research is really crucial to the success of your brand promotion, and hence, it is an inevitable component of all the best SEO packages. The number of keywords will obviously depend on the type of package you choose. However, make sure that your SEO services provider uses a variety of techniques to find out the best keywords related to your brand, so that it can drive the maximum traffic to your website.

SEO Copywriting

This is another service, which must be included in your package if you want to reap optimum results from your SEO campaign. It is to be noted that incredible skills are required for writing an optimized copy for the website, as the keywords must be inserted into the content naturally, strategically, and seamlessly. In fact, the keywords and phrases must be included in the content in such a way that the readers are engaged throughout the copy. Additionally, the search engine spiders must also be able to detect the keyword presence when crawling the page.

A Few Tips on Image Optimization in SEO

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Image Optimization Tips

Image optimization is one of the best SEO tactics that helps to increase the traffic to a particular website as well as the web page rankings. The power of an image to deliver more ideas about the topic to the clients rather than thousands of words contributes to this.

Images are capable of raising the traffic to the website through image search also because of its inclusion in universal search results. Hence, image optimization in SEO helps to make searching things in the web more user-friendly, and as a result, ropes better rankings for the website in search results page. Below are some useful tips on image optimization in SEO.

Find the Appropriate Images

Always try to choose the right image that is relevant to the content on your web page rather than using some random ones. If the image is credible, users may share or embed the images to their blog as well, resulting in more backlinks to your website. Remember, images play a major role in selling your content, so do not mislead your users with wrong images.

Try to Include Keywords in the File Name

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Include Keywords In File Name

Just as you include keywords in the post URLs of the page, it is necessary to choose a filename for your image that includes the keyword as well. However, make sure that the name also reflects the idea, which you want to deliver by means of the image. This will help the search engines to determine the relevancy of the image on your web page. Furthermore, always use common file types like PNG, JPEG, BMP, and GIF files, which are easy on the browser resources.

Perfect Anchor Text

Anchor text plays a key role in the ranking of your image for keywords, especially if you plan to link to images through text. Try to use any descriptive anchor text that portrays the image that you used; this will also help a user find your page much easily. That is, if you use generic terms like ‘photo’ or ‘image’ in order to link a photo, search engines will not provide much relevant information about that particular image.

Apart from that, use proper alt texts or alt tags to your images. Using alt tags is another way to let the search engine understand the relevancy of the image on your web page. Besides, search engines are not capable of determining the content of an image, and they usually read it through the alt tag and anchor text.

3 Things to Do Right with Traffic Monetization

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Intrusive Pop-Ups

Monetizing website traffic has many risks. If done wrong, it can endanger the usability of your site, not to mention its organic search ranking and engagement. You need to keep knowing more about SEO and the changing digital trends, as well as many marketing pitfalls. Below, we have laid out the 3 things you can do right while marketing your website.

Keep Away from Intrusive Pop-Ups

If you are an advertiser that wants to monetize mobile traffic, then the first thing you need to do is check for any banners, interstitial advertisements, and pop-ups on your site. Pop-ups can be used in ways that do not hurt your SEO, although it is a bit hard to know if they are intrusive or not.

Google advises using legal-related verification, age verification, cookie verification, and sign up dialog boxes. What you can do is, put up pages that pique the user’s interest in the product being offered. Moreover, it is a good choice to display banners only after a certain number of pages on the site have been visited.

Limit the Space Given to Ads

There needs to be a balance between the ads and the SEO content, or you will have Google down rank the site. This will lead to less revenue from reduced traffic. Google is big on user experience and site engagement metrics, two of them being average session duration and dwell time. You may favor money over UX, but choosing that way can mean increased bounce rate, or decreased average session duration and pages per session.

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Site Engagement Metrics

In Google’s eyes, this means the site does not value users the way it should, meaning you will probably lose traffic, ranking, and revenue. What you can do here, is place no more than one or two ads per page, and place them next to the content on the right side, or at the top of the page. Moreover, you will need to make sure that the ads are positioned properly in different browsers and versions.

Limit Content Span

Readers do not like having to bounce around pages reading parts of the same post. If they have to, chances are they won’t visit your site again. So instead of focusing on page views and ads, set up good content and earn a devoted following that keep returning.

It would be better to look at engagement metrics and set up neat and clean pages with content that profits the reader and is easily accessible to boot. This way, your audience will be back for more.

Facebook Advertising and Engaging Content

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Calculating Post Engagement

When laying up ads, it is always desirable to get the best results for the least efforts. It is paramount to keep the engagement of the post highly positive so that you can reach the most number of people while widening the range of your audience. Following are some tips on how to make a reasonably good Facebook advertisement.

How Ad Cost is Determined

Advertisers and marketers have to pay for ad impressions, which are given over in units of 1,000. These get reported as CPM in the ads manager. The CPM can be different based on timing, budget, placement, demand, relevance score, etc. Another factor to consider is engagement custom audience, which is a list of the users who have had an interaction with the ad-based Facebook content. With custom audience, the first reason they interact is brand aspects.

Calculating Post Engagement

  • Sign in to the page admin.
  • Launch Facebook Page Insights
  • Go down a bit and locate Your 5 Most Recent Posts. Here, choose See All Posts.
  • At the top, you will normally see three colored boxes as well as two drop-down menus. Choose Reach out of the first menu.
  • Choose Engagement Rate out of the second menu.
  • Figure out the posts that received the highest engagement rates, and compare these. From that, isolate the ones that are similar. See what has been working this far, and keep assessing. Don’t bother with the low engagement posts.
  • Always refresh your content strategy, and make the same or better posts than the ones you have currently. When Facebook next changes its algorithm, you will be better placed to optimize the best performing content.
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Social Media Promotion

With better engagement rates, you can be sure that the posts will be relevant to the algorithm, and people can get to your content easily. When you have high post engagement reach, you will have a custom audience that is re-targetable, and for whom you can obtain the best Facebook ads.

Engaging Content

If you are looking to put up posts, which engage the targeted audience, make sure that these are conversational, and that your audience is able to share their views over and over. For creating conversational content, it is important to ask questions, and engage the reader in chat threads on the page. As more and more people interact on the page, it will lead the algorithm directly to the said page.

5 Things you Should Know about Anchor Texts

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Anchor Text Variation

Anchor text or link label is defined as “a clickable text in hyperlink” that are mainly used by SEO services providers to generate backlinks to a website. Search engines ideally use the keywords in the anchor texts to determine the ranking the web page will receive by various search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Having said that, it is better to use an anchor text that is relevant to the page it is linking to rather than having some generic text.

As per the web standard, a common anchor text will be shown in blue with an underline. However, you can change the color and underline of the text using HTML coding. Furthermore, if there are any links on the website without anchor text, they are known as URL anchor texts or naked URLs. Some of the terms associated with anchor text are described below

Anchor Text Variation

A large portion of links on the internet is usually naked URLs. This is because if all the web pages that link to your website have exactly the same anchor text, a Google spam filter will be triggered detecting it unnatural. That is why professional SEO services recommend anchor text variation with respect to long tail keywords.

Backlink Anchor Text

A backlink is defined as “the link from another website” and a backlink anchor text is defined as “the anchor texts used by other websites linking to your website”. These anchor texts or link labels will help the search engines to determine and verify the keyword relevancy that a web page must have, and then rank the page accordingly.

One-Way Anchor Text Backlinks

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User-Unfriendly Method

If one website links to another website using an anchor text backlink and the latter website does not link back to the former one, it is known as one-way anchor text backlinks. If a web page has a few one-way anchor text backlinks from a website with high rank on Google or Bing, that web page is believed to rank better on the search engine.

Excessive Anchor Text

A case of excessive anchor text occurs when there are many keywords in a page linking to various other web pages or the same page but with different anchor texts. This is considered as a “user-unfriendly” method and the search engines may even penalize you for this.

Spammy Anchor Text

If an anchor text on a page has no relation to the page on the website it is linking to, it is considered as a spammy anchor text. This is used mainly to make a temporary hike in web page ranking or to harm the website of competitors by doing negative SEO.

How Crucial is Google Trends to SEO

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It is a widely known and accepted fact that Google has introduced a number of innovative and nifty tools that made the lives of digital marketers and SEO analysts a lot easier. Digital marketing experts often incorporate the use of some of the free tools of Google such as Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Google Trends to check the progress of their sites, to do keywords research, and to ensure that their SEO strategies are on the right track.

Unfortunately, most digital marketers, especially beginners, prefer not to use Google Trends because they have a misconception that this Google tool does not have much to offer. However, the reality is that Google Trends is one the best Google tools out there and it makes keyword research a lot easier and simpler. In addition to that, Google Trends also brings the trending searches of web users, which in turn, enables you to develop fresh contents on trending topics.

If you are new to the world of digital marketing or if you have never used any Google tools, then you might be probably wondering what Google Trends really is. In simple words, Google Trends can be defined as a service, which allows you to compare and view the popularity of different keywords or search terms based on the search data, which was collected by Google since the year 2004.

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In short, Google Trends enables you to identify what web users are searching for and when. One of the best things about this Google’s tool is that it allows users to break the search terms into different categories such as Sports, Shopping, Entertainment, Leisure, Travel, Science, Nature, Politics, Business, and more.

In addition to that, digital marketers and SEO analysts who use Google Trends will also be able to identify the type of search for each of these search terms. This means that you will be able to decide whether users are searching for the term in News Search, Image Search, Web Search, or even on YouTube.

Several digital marketers, even the most experienced ones, often complain that they find it difficult to identify what kind of topics will capture the attention of their prospective customers. If you are stuck in such a difficult scenario, all you need to do is to simply log into Google Trends. Just imagine what all you could do if you had a clear idea on the trending searches of internet users!

Performing Keyword Research in 2018

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Know Your Audience

The constant developments and innovations in the field of digital technology have brought significant changes to the marketing strategies over the years. One of the prime examples of this is SEO. Google is constantly introducing new tools and rules to make the life of internet users a lot easier. However, the downside is that the arrival of some of these new tools and rules might make the life of digital marketers a bit difficult.

For instance, let us assume that you have nailed the SEO of your website, and then a sudden update or new set of rules introduced by Google makes it all go erratic. Of course, keeping with the regular Google updates and making necessary changes to your website would save you the pain, but that might seem like a challenge if you are handling everything on your own. That is why most businesses hire an expert SEO service provider to do the job for them.

The year 2018 has brought some expected changes to the digital marketing arena. A lot of stress is on content marketing and keyword planning these days. So to help ease things, below are a few keyword research tips SEO experts recommend to follow in 2018.

Know your Audience

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Check Your Competition

You should always remember the fact that the keywords that you choose should be entirely based on your target audience. Therefore, you will need to put in extra efforts and understand what your target audience really needs. If you are able to identify what your potential customers are interested in and what they like, then you will be able to easily identify the right type of keywords with utmost ease.

Use Google’s Tools

Until a decade ago, most businesses had to conduct intensive studies and research to identify the needs of their target audience. Thanks to the latest technology innovations and tools, we no longer have to carry out such difficult researches manually. Tools such as Google Trends and Google AdWords can make the research process extremely comprehensive and instantaneous. Moreover, these tools can give you valuable insight to any keyword and even help you with more suggestions.

Check your Competition

Let us assume that you have already figured out more than a few keywords for your website. Type one of these keywords into Google and check the websites that appear in the top of Google’s search results page. These are your competitor sites, so take a good look at these websites and try to learn what is giving them a competitive edge. You can get help from SEO experts to analyze your site and compare it with your competitors’, which will help you know the strengths and weakness of your competitors’ SEO strategy.

Trends that will Shape Content Marketing in 2018

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Content marketing can be referred as a content-based marketing tactic, which is entirely focused on creating visual and textual content and then distributing it through different channels. Even though the major goal of content marketing is conversion, you should note that the content should not seem promotional to the audience. Instead, the content should be attractive, engaging, and it should also grow the interest of the target audience to your products and services.

It is significant to note that content marketing is one of the simplest and most effective SEO techniques that you can implement to grow your sales and to acquire a better rank in the search results page of Google. If your business wishes to establish a strong digital presence, which captures the imagination and attention of your target audience, then content marketing is the way to go.

A recent survey conducted by experts in the field of digital marketing revealed that the popularity of these types of contents would increase in 2018 and 2019.

  • Social media posts – 45 percent increase
  • News articles – 44 percent
  • Videos – 43 percent
  • Interactive articles – 31 percent
  • Research content – 31 percent
  • Blogs – 29 percent
  • Business or work-related long form contents – 21 percent
  • News related long contents – 17 percent
  • Podcasts – 17 percent

It was also revealed that the most commonly produced type of content for marketing strategies in the year 2016 was blog posts. However, it is estimated that more digital marketers will incorporate the use of videos, news articles, and social media posts in the future.

Some of the content marketing strategies of 2018 that you need to keep a close eye on are as follows.

Live Streaming

Several social media platforms such as Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook have already started to offer easy-to-use live platforms to customers. You can make use of this live streaming method to raise awareness about your brand, product, and services.

Virtual Reality 

An innovative technology advancement, which is slowly building a solid position on the digital marketing platform, is virtual reality (VR). You can use this new methodology to showcase the premium products and services of your business.

Augmented Reality

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Social Media Posts

Online games have gained immense popularity over the last few years. Most of these reality-based games are made by using augmented reality. It is estimated that more businesses will make use of the augmented reality in the near future.

Email Newsletters

As you probably know, newsletters are one of the oldest tricks in SEO, which is used by both B2C and B2B marketers to build a connection with their audience, clients, and others. The recent email marketing success rate might urge digital marketers to implement this tactic too in their content marketing strategy.

Storytelling

Storytelling is the future content marketing strategies. Readers and audiences who have been stuffed with information neither have the patience nor the time to go through an uninteresting content. Therefore, you need to realize that the best way to feed contents to your audience is through storytelling.