Penguin 3.0 In Like A Lamb?

Penguin 3.0 In Like A Lamb?

Penguin 3.0 In Like A Lamb

In Like A Lamb

In Like A Lamb… Penguin 3.0? If so, it seems fairly gentle for a Penguin update. Lots of changes in search results for some. Lots of chatter about Penguin 3.0 or Penguin 6 etc. The obvious is that something event-class happened early Saturday Oct 18, 2014. Anyone’s guess what it could be if not a Penguin refresh. That’s my vote but Google hasn’t confirmed. I have seen a few things improved where I knew someone had a Penguin penalty. Waiting for confirmation from Google if it ever comes.

Here’s what it’s not:
These are my observations only. Any of them could end up being off center of what is really happening but one thing is clear, the update seems to have extremely little or no impact on higher quality links.

The weekend has been abuzz with an obvious update in the algorithm. Recovery of websites, including some that I have managed, disappearance of other websites (none of which I have managed) seem to fit within the definition of a Penguin algorithm refresh or update. There are a lot of things this update is NOT (yet) which should be paid attention to until more information can be verified. Here is my short list:
• Not confirmed by Google (Now it’s confirmed)
• Not necessarily Penguin as we know it – far weaker right now than previous updates
• Not necessarily completed. Anything could follow this. It could roll back, stay the same or get more intensive.
• May not be too strong because of the reported difficulty in distinguishing between negative SEO and intent-to-rank SEO.
May not be permanent. Could be just another test. Previous reports show penguin like recovery followed by repositioning to penalized rankings.
• Seems to more clearly target lowest quality automated link building such as GSA, Magic submitter, SENuke etc. This would certainly be the easiest footprint to separate from the rest and this update has done just that by my observations. This is also the more likely source of negative SEO as well so it’s hard to say what will happen next if a lot of complaints about negative SEO flood Google in the morning.

Google, Freshness And Your Business SEO

Google, Freshness And Your Business SEO

Set it and Forget it? Forget it!

One day soon, somewhere, someone will wake up and check on their local business listing and find it has disappeared. Google will have removed it without a trace and without fanfare. No, they didn’t take a punitive action against an offending product or behavior, but rather the lack of one.

One thing Google loves is freshness and change. Something new to offer its searching audience. The BSO (bright shiny object) is what people like and Google knows it. They want a steady stream of them to hand out on their portal. You could make a case for the different as a marketing strategy. There are lots of opportunities in niche content creation and page one, even #1 search results that would surprise you like: California business cash flow solutions

Keeping it Fresh for the Search Market is SEO in Action

what's new

Google wants you to keep up and keep it fresh. That simple. Take that places page you created last year. If you leave it alone, you may find that Google has decided that if it isn’t relevant enough to you to update it, it isn’t relevant to others either and they’ll go ahead and let if go with the purge that happens with any healthy data management system whether it is the human mind or a virtual system like Google. Memory and data get pruned, trimmed and purged routinely in human minds and in Google. What color was the car parked next to you in the parking lot this morning? If you do remember at all, what about yesterday? Eventually, information is purged and consolidated.

From the Google + TOS page: Google may, without notice, remove your Google+ Pages if they are dormant for more than nine months.

One thing you’ll want to do is keep up with your potentially most valuable online asset. A local listing that places above competitors goes a long way. SEO is becoming PR a little bit more every day. Keeping it fresh isn’t just an SEO tactic, it’s a necessary strategy and plan.

It may be convenient to set some processes in business and have to give minimal thought to them afterward but Google local and SEO in general aren’t among those set it and forget it processes.

SEO Case Study B & B Site

SEO Case Study B & B Site

I participate in a forum for SEO advice. Mine isn’t always in the professional vernacular but I focus on clearing up major issues fast for websites. Real estate websites are close neighbors of Bed and Breakfast websites so I thought I’d share some observations on this particular website just for people in real estate to gain some perspective into what should and shouldn’t be happening on their sites as well. I hope you gain some benefit from this review of a B&B website.

I have a client at with a blog at I could use some advice on how to get this site up in rankings.

… I want SEO recommendations for both the blog and the main site. Thank you for your help in advance.



Hey, Dave Keys here again. We’ll just start out with the main website then I’ll touch on the blog and how to leverage it.

I have some initial observations that don’t require much formal “analysis” at all. The site is on page one for its title, “Long Island bed and breakfast.” Nice. You’re ahead of a lot of competitors in organic search but your owner needs to get their focus squarely on the social factors starting with Google reviews. They have two and one is a negative review so they need to start soliciting reviews. They can even ask people who are willing to do a review right there at checkout. Happy people will be happy to oblige and they need to fix whatever was wrong if anything that caused that negative one and then bury it deep under a bunch of positive reviews.

A little imagination can go a long way. You could even ask people to review the website after some design changes. Why design change? I’m known to frequently say ugly websites sell, (I don’t mean this one is ugly but that message and communication done right will outperform competition in nearly any design) but there are a few key things that people would like that would also keep them on the site longer, improving visitor metrics.

  1. Large format photos. What’s there now are almost thumbnails by today’s standards. People want to see everything large as life. It doesn’t have to be spectacular but get some size into the photo tour. Check out my website about everything and see what I’ve done with photography. If they can’t deal with site redesign, that’s fine, get an account on Smugmug and put the photos there so people can see large format views to their heart’s content. It has free account options and albums give killer layouts like this with full screen slideshows and embed codes for websites so there’s little excuse to leave it looking like the last site build was in 2004.
  2. Video. Get out the iPhone or the latest $189 HD Flip equivalent (Flip went out of business but you get the idea) and get some slow steady pans and get some video on the website. Talk in the video about what’s nice there. Attract the kind of customers you want by accentuation of what you like and what your best customers like.

Many competitors won’t bother to do video and especially frequent video updates. I have a feeling that a well optimized video might show up in organic search as well and help the marketing along.

More in a bit…

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 50 minutes ago


Let’s look at Google itself again. This is critical. Competitors are all over the top of the fold because their Google Places is preferred. Let’s review what makes it count.

Dave’s own educated philosophy on the matter:

Two important Google “properties” Places and Plus


See? I used an H1 tag in the middle of a post because this is so important. The big G is relying heavily on its own validation schema now and a large part of that is Places and Plus combined.

101% completion of the Google places profile data. Every photo, every allowed character of description and narrative, every video, every description, everything Google will let you fill in, fill it all in and make sure the name address and phone match the website exactly. I can’t stress this enough. Make it complete and leave out nothing.

Be sure not to spam the Google Places with over-reaching keywords but describe the business completely. Don’t go into repetition, Don’t put the words bed and breakfast over and over but do some variations for sure. B&B, honeymoon suites if they have them, Weekend getaway. Describe the services and benefits in glowing details.

This gets results. I have a places result for real estate SEO expert no matter where in the country you look it up. The map with red pushpin, the mini sitemap, the address and phone, the whole shebang. It’s worth tweaking the places profile absolutely perfect.


The same goes for Google Plus and your Google profile. Get it waaaaayy completed. Everything. Use every bit of space to build this profile and then crosslink your site and Google Profile using the rel=”author” tag or rel=”me” tag. I like author best and it works well for me. Get it onto both the website and the blog and sooner or later Google will give you a thumbnail of the Author avatar in search results. See mine as an example A photo of a person is not mandatory but that always works well if there is an owner who is a central personality. My photo is in my logo but it shows up and blows away my competition no matter where I am in search. Get it done and reap the benefits. People click on results with that avatar image. It’s still a bit of a surprise and gets attention.

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 33 minutes ago

OK, while I’m on the layer of top level observations of the obvious, let’s switch over to the blog.

1 consideration of content is the title.

This blog’s title is “blog @ shorecrest bed and breakfast” That’s clever but it’s wrong. Nobody is going to search Google for that title except people who already know about it. Not a lead gen at all.

The description would be a far better title: A North Fork, New York Bed and Breakfast, but I’m thinking that may not be a well searched term either. I don’t know.

Remember, your title and description metas are what show up in Google and what tends to rank in search, so let’s presume they want to rank for “Long Island Bed and Breakfast” then your title and description should end up looking like this on Google:

Find new adventures Every Day | Long Island Bed and Breakfast Blog

Book with us and never forget how wonderful an enchanted getaway can be. Call 888-333-4545. Visit now. We serve Anne’s Famous Pies daily.

Next for the blog, turn it into a keyword and marketing machine that happens to be a lot of fun. Blog about the things people want in this B & B. Don’t be boring. The owner needs to figure out this one thing fast: Why should people choose this B & B above any and every other option available? Get that reason into every part of the website and blog. There should always be a call to action. Phone number. Call us. Book today. Reserve a week, etc.

These are all things that will increase your client’s bottom line without one single visitor more coming to the website.

I promise I’ll get to the technical SEO stuff but this is just as critical to succeeding in ranking as well as conversions.

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 16 minutes ago

SEO Observations techniques

That’s French for “what I just saw looking over your site.”

When you click the home link on the top menu the site goes to That’s bad because you have aduplicate home page. Get rid of it. Everything should go to

Look over all the page titles and get them in line with desired keywords.

Example: look at the rates page. The title is: Bed and Breakfast on Long Island: Shorecrest in North Fork

How many people are searching for “Long Island Bed and Breakfast rates” Hmmm? Get the keyword in the title. If the rates are really good then make the title say something like: Get best rates for Bed and Breakfast on Long Island: Shorecrest in North Fork

Same thing for the description which says: Shorecrest is a Bed and Breakfast in Long Island, New York. We have a bed and breakfast and a beach house on the North Fork.

Should be more like: Book now with Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast in Long Island, New York. Beautiful getaway in North Fork. Call now: 888-333-4444

Don’t repeat keywords the way they are now. Google knows it’s a bed and breakfast. You don’t need to say it twice in the same meta tag. Use the space for a better marketing message instead.

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 4 minutes ago

By the way, I want you to know I’m enjoying this because I love B&Bs. I just like mine to be in Maui
alt text

Quick break…

Posted by Dave-Keys 56 minutes ago

Links and a Warning

Since it’s a Long Island Bed and Breakfast and there are 880 phrase matched searches for that term and thousands of broad context searches (Google Adword Keyword Tool) and only two of your links to the site that I seen in Majestic’s or Moz’ site explorers, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few more links mentioning Long Island and B & B. etc.

WARNING. With Google’s latest strictness on overdoing anchors, don’t go crazy on this. Just a few can help a lot IF you get your site titles a little more aligned.

Posted by Dave-Keys 48 minutes ago

Your link profile is one of the more diverse and natural ones I’ve seen in some time, including some of my own clients’. Don’t go getting extreme. Keep links coming in from quality sources and incorporate some of the desired keywords in natural ways and slowly along with every thing else. Google is watching this so don’t let improvements in search results tempt you to go aggressive to get more faster. It won’t work.

Posted by Dave-Keys 46 minutes ago

The bloggity

The blog is doing very well for what is entered in it. Last post ranks #1 and #2 for its title.check it out.

Blog post #2 is a bit more competitive but is still on page 1 toward the bottom. It might do a little better if the word “vacation rentals” didn’t show up on the page 11 times in the many categories and the post tags, but nowhere in the actual post content.

Recommendation: Streamline posts to mean what they say and say what they mean. If post #2 is really about North Fork Long Island Vacation Rentals from Shorecrest BandB as the title says, then perhaps “North Fork Long Island Vacation Rentals should be in the post body as well but it isn’t. I think you’d do a lot better with the words in the content rather than only in the tags and categories.

Categories and Tags

Read Bruce Clay’s article on siloing.
The over-use of categories and tags on this blog is probably making it difficult to create silos of content. The claim seems to be that “This post is about everything I could think of.” This all amounts to keyword stuffing via the use of tags and categories. I would ease up on that a lot. The blog’s performance should improve if it’s a bit more focused on individual topics. If they have that many things to talk about then they should create posts for each topic individually.

Blogs are very powerful for exact match long tail topics. Get into the shoes and into the skin of your best potential clients. Think like someone who doesn’t know about your business and use titles that match the kind of searches they might use, even slightly less than completely logical ones. Think like someone might think when they’re not so familiar with search engine strategies. People will ask very direct questions in search. Example: “people my age who live in mountain lakes nj” That’s not exactly logical, but it is predictable. The type of person who would use this query would also be more responsive to a direct marketing message when they visit your website. The post for that result also ranks high for “ages of people who live in mountain lakes nj” a bit more logical and almost as likely to be a good lead. By the way, the red badge in the search result makes my result the likely candidate for a click. I’m competing in a vacuum. That’s why the Google profile is critically important now.

Posted by Dave-Keys 9 minutes ago

En résumé

You’ll notice I didn’t focus all that much on links. The link opportunity should be taken advantage of but the site is likely to perform far better with some focus on desired keywords. The blog should link back to the home page and use a lot less tags and categories. Use tags and categories to clearly define content and don’t use them to do keyword stuffing. The blog will perform wonders when it’s used as a well aimed rifle instead of as a shotgun. Geese, ducks and Google all hate shotguns so don’t use them. Geese and ducks may reward you if you’re looking for dead birds, but Google will more likely slap your shotgun and take away your hunting license so go to the website and blog and eliminate the excess keywords, get them focused on individual topics and primary goals and enjoy the results!

I hope I’ve helped you truly get better performance from the website and blog. If you have specific questions, please post them here and don’t forget to “accept.”


Dave Keys
Top of the game in Real Estate SEO

la fin de cette histoire

more about SEO for real estate search here

Google Boilerplate Anchor Text Over-Optimization Filters and Penalties

This article is syndicated from my real estate SEO blog and Activerain, but I wanted to add here that the website observed here has moved in and out of the top ten pages of SERPs. Today, it’s at the bottom of page four. It may yet recover but the obvious takeaway here is that at the very best, overoptimizing anchor text doesn’t help your cause.

In any SEO campaign, whether for real estate or anything else, best results correlate to best practices and what’s demonstrated here is poor practice indeed.

If you want to fall from Google page one to page five in search results, follow this example. Otherwise, follow some real estate SEO expert advice and avoid this practice like the plague. Google is getting better at finding poor SEO practices and discounting them. It may seem like a penalty, but it’s more like an equalizer. Google determines that if your one-trick-pony is your sole SEO strategy, your real estate website is probably not as valuable as other real estate websites and a downgrade is surely on the way for you.

Your real estate website is on Google’s radar all the time and the Boilerplate Anchor Text algorithm along with Panda and a host of other analyses of your on-page and off-page SEO is always ongoing. If you’ve been risking your website with poor SEO practices frowned on by Google then any short term gain you may have obtained is probably going to turn in to long term pain when the machines of Google’s 200+ algorithms catch up with you. Why not get the right kind of SEO strategy now? Contact Real Estate SEO expert Dave Keys at 714-222-7961.

Is SEO Worth The Effort for Your Business?

Is SEO Worth The Effort for Your Business?

ROI for Orange County SEO

Orange County SEO

Is SEO going to pay off for your business? Here is the essence of deciding on what, if anything, to do about SEO for your business website: make your determination strictly based on acceptable ROI (return on investment) and your business sales process. In sales training, this will be the sales path, or cycle or any number of monikers but it is the process by which your business persuades customers to make a purchase. The same process should be absolutely followed when making decisions about SEO. No marketing strategy or campaign should stray away from the formulation and execution of an effective sales process and SEO is as much a marketing campaign as any other form of marketing or advertising.

So, ask yourself. What would create an acceptable ROI? Can I get that with SEO? Will a page one, or number 1 top position for a keyword deliver increased sales volume? Is it worth the expense of getting that spot? How does organic placement perform vs. PPC? How much search traffic is there actually for this keyword or phrase? Do people who search this phrase make a buying decision or are they likely to only be investigating and evaluating? The job of SEO is to sell products and services.

SEO is a topic of debate these days and opinion varies from person to person. Opinion varies from people who think that SEO is just a frivolous activity and that it’s useless and over-simplified (it is made so by some purveyors of “partial SEO” solutions) to those who advocate SEO in the highest terms as an essential core component of online marketing success. Ultimately, the leading companies presently enjoying online marketing success utilize the services of SEO companies. The successful SEO firms (including this Orange County SEO consultant) are those that employ all the essential factors in an effective site optimization and link building campaign. They do their customers and themselves a viable and valuable service producing a win-win result.

Before deciding on any SEO link building effort, companies, and anyone, can get a glimpse of whether it will be worth investing in site optimization. The first course of action is to evaluate search traffic and competition for your business by testing terms associated with your product or service in the free Google Adword Keyword Tool. It is undoubtedly a critically important step missed or misunderstood by many who are new to SEO practices. The process is straightforward: think in terms of the consumer and test terms that they might type into a search when they are seeking a solution, an end result and a benefit. Again, the determining factor in making a purchase is the confidence a decision maker or buyer has in receiving a valuable benefit from your offering. These search terms, or keywords, are the same kind of things you think of during your formulation of the right kind of presentation, script or telephone dialogue in the development of your sales process. A common mistake many business owners make when it comes to optimizing a website is that of forgetting the sales process and forgetting the importance of the emotional connection created by effective, compelling presentation of the benefit of features or products or services that you provide. Consumers online are looking more than ever for the benefit. They are not necessarily looking directly for your product or service or service unless it is the precise benefit they are seeking. You probably already know enough how to promote your business in ways that deliver the highest ROI, and that knowledge should be directly transferred and applied to any search marketing or SEO effort.

Let us stipulate here that the majority of companies are in favor of search engine optimization in some form, but  many do not have enough understanding of SEO to transform the process into an effective return on investment. There are numerous “SEO companies” selling partial solutions, or misrepresenting the amount of investment or work that will be required to deliver an appreciable ROI that many business owners have already been left with unsatisfactory results that add to the impression that SEO is not a viable pursuit for their business. These partial solutions tend to exclude a difficult component of SEO and that component is usually effective link building. Contextually relevant links from external sources must be created or obtained and that’s an intensive process that must be done in accordance with the Google TOS to provide a lasting, effective result. Many so called SEO providers will try to sell businesses on shortcut strategies like PPC which is proven to receive a predictable but small and expensive ratio of click-thru and conversion traffic. PPC is fair enough if you understand its metrics and expectations but the overwhelming majority of online search trust goes to the organic results. The other usual “trick” of those offering an incomplete solution is providing only on-site optimization including site design, blogging, content creation and structure, etc. These all account for around 15% of the total factors in search engine rankings according to surveys of top SEO experts. The other 85%? You guessed it. Acquisition and aggregation of quality, contextually placed, keyword-rich anchor text back links.

Companies who understand this holistic approach to SEO continue to dominate search engine results and acquire the lion’s share of online business.

Contact me at 888-216-1231 for ROI focused SEO | Orange County SEO.

Why You Shouldn’t Pay Premium Prices for Domain Names

Why You Shouldn’t Pay Premium Prices for Domain Names

When you buy a house, you generally don’t get the car you saw in the garage with it.

IMG 8306

Domain Name squatting is almost as old as the Internet itself. Recently, I  generated no small backlash when I suggested that the sale of a domain name was probably not worth the $6000 price paid for it.

Keywords in a domain name are but one tiny factor in how Google ranks a website or webpage. Since the domain in question was related to real estate,  that makes this topic all the more easy to illustrate.  Let’s use the community,  Fullerton California as an example.  A typical real estate search that gets plenty of search volume and is targeted to buyers is, “Fullerton homes for sale.”  results?



Both of these have the word Fullerton in the URL path, but the domain names have nothing inherently connected to real estate–only the business itself has been obviously optimized effectively through the aggregation of back-links, coupled with rich content related to real estate.

You can be sure that Google knows a lot about your domain.

If someone buys a domain and develops it using traditional white hat SEO methods and meaningful content on-site, and then sells it there is absolutely no harm- if you, the buyer get to keep the current content and back-links to the website. Usually that isn’t the case. You get the domain name, not the website itself- unless you’re buying out the website contents as well. Google, of course, will know that ownership has been transferred. If the new owner continues on topic and builds a following and aggregates back-links, that site may once again rank well in search engines- but it isn’t automatic or guaranteed. In fact, it probably isn’t any better than simply buying a fresh domain name and undertaking the same effort.

Paying a premium price for domain just because it has words that you think are important is a naïve approach and, in fact, if the domain has been parked for a long time, or worse yet–if it has a bad history, you are no better off than if you had purchased Fullerton–homes–

Most of my clients new to SEO for real estate, however, become overly focused on the domain name, thinking that it makes a great difference in how well their site will rank. Some are willing to throw money after what looks like a perfect domain name. Domain squatters have a lot of them and there are always people who will pay for them- so the business of selling names continues- but it does the buyer little good.

Back to the Fullerton keyword- There are about 3100 websites with the words “Fullerton” and “homes” in the URL. There is even a domain, Fullerton–homes–for– It ranks nowhere near the top pages of Google. website is fairly new, hosted on WordPress, has good content and may well position much better in the future. But for now, it’s a very small fish in a big lake.  Higher ranking in search results will happen, not because of keywords in the URL, but because of rich content, plenty of back links with keyword anchor text and the growth of  its domain authority over time.

Again, in most cases once ownership of the domain is transferred, page rank and domain authority will experience a reset by Google.

So, in summary, you are selling real estate in Gotham City, and the domain name is for sale for a premium price, be careful about spending much money on that idea. You can do just as well by purchasing or even  if you don’t think Google knows what RE means, try typing “Orange County RE” into Google and watch all the real estate results that appear.

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