Weekly SEO Roundup on Ahrefs Blog: Week of 17 Jan 2014

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Ahrefs Insights

Search Engine DuckDuckGo is Gaining Popularity With Focus On Private Searches
According to Matt Southern, the “anti-Google” DuckDuckGo is gaining popularity with up to four million searches per day. But will this search engine be able to gain much more market share on the basis of privacy alone? Who’s gonna win users’ hearts: Google with more relevant search results or DuckDuckGo offering users a private search experience?

Can I Still Build Links Manually?
Outreach, guest blogging, user generated content, commenting… Manual link building is often misunderstood as low quality and frowned upon by webmasters and Google. Wondering if it still makes sense after Penguin? Tad Chef defines manual link building more objectively and describes what manual link building tactics still work.

How Google Processes Queries in a Semantic Web Environment
The unknown scares. It’s high time to find out more about semantically based search environment, as Google’s recent Hummingbird update bears a close relationship with semantics. Joydeep Bhattacharya gives you a great opportunity to learn the basics of processing queries in semantic web.

SEO Research and Trends

SEO 2014
The author of this post rightly notes that SEO has become an integral part of digital marketing. So, what is the challenge of SEO in 2014? Digital marketers “must integrate search strategy into other aspects of digital marketing.” Utility, differentiation and engagement are ways to go. If you are ready to try, check out 10 things you should focus on these days.

Only 15% Say The Disavow Tool Benefits Their Rankings
Wondering if disavowing links will automatically improve your rankings? Barry Schwartz informs that, judging by the results of the poll he ran, only 15% of SEOs said using the Google Disavow tool benefited their rankings. The author concludes that this tool “is a solution for fixing a penalty but not necessarily for improving your rankings.”

Google Cuts Authorship in Search Results by 20-40%
Eager to get your photo displayed on Google’s search results pages via authorship? Looks like it’s getting harder each day! Google has seriously undertook restoring order in displaying authorship and become more strict with the conditions for when they will display it. More details provided by Jennifer Slegg in the post.

Domain Name Importance in Ranking
In this post Duane Forrester, Sr.Product Manager of Bing, points out that having a keyword-rich domain name will not guarantee you a major ranking boost. It’s a myth and might have worked 10 years ago. In today’s reality, a keyword inclusive domain name is useful, but if you want to rank above your competitors, you should focus primarily on the user experience and relevancy.

Matt Cutts: Google Search Result Positions Aren’t Weighted Differently
In this post Jennifer Slegg reports that in his recent Webmaster Help video Google’s Matt Cutts revealed that, when it comes to organic search results, it’s the same algorithm that is applied to all search results that show up on the first page, not different algorithms for different positions in the SERPs.

Link Building

The 10 Commandments of Great Guest Posting
Don’t miss your chance to become a better guest poster! The author of this article shares a comprehensive list of what you should and shouldn’t do to ensure the success of your guest posting. Just try to live by these commandments, and the internet would be a friendlier place.

Creating Links That Offer The Best User Experience
In this post Erin Everhart reminds us about the importance of creating links that not only are high-quality, but also look good and provide the best user experience. Check out some basic tips on link formatting and make sure your links will bring you as much valuable and desired traffic as possible.

Penguin VS. Unnatural Link Warnings
No more confusion when differentiating between an unnatural link warning (also called a manual warning) and Google Penguin! The author of this article touches upon the key differences between the two and how to address the issues related to each penalty.

21 SEO Techniques You Can Use Today to Get More Search Engine Traffic
Brian Dean rocks again offering in this post for your consideration 21 SEO strategies “that actually work”! It has never been easier to succeed in SEO with all those great actionable tips shared. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed!

Content Marketing & Blogging

SEO 101: The Only Algorithm That Matters (For Writers & Publishers)
The author of this post suggests that rather than trying to keep up with each change Google makes to its SERPs ranking algorithm, publishers and businesses should understand Google’s intentions with these updates and create a search strategy focused on “on page factors”, specifically those that are tied to quality content.

Using Content as a Tool to Drive Customer Passion
Wondering how you can use content to foster your brand passion with customers? The author of the article reveals that brand passion is caused by consistent brand experience, identification, and trust. What should help you trigger those passion-drivers? Check out the detailed explanation in the post. And many passionate customers to you!

The Anatomy Of A Perfect Blog Post That Gets Results
We can’t but agree with the author of this article saying that just creating content is not enough. Key point is to create great content that visitors would want to read! How do you accomplish that task? The knowledge of the top 8 elements that make up a good blog post should help.

Social Media

5 Tips To Leverage Twitter’s New Nearby Feature
Have you heard about Twitter’s new Nearby feature? According to the author of this article, these are five simple steps local businesses can take to benefit from what this experimental tool has to offer: opt-in to share your location, preview the local conversation, test-run engaging in the local conversation, make your Tweets resonate with local consumers, get started now.

Social Media Metrics – Perfection Of Means & Confusion Of Goals
It stands to reason that social media is an important aspect of online marketing. Anyway, trying to keep up with rapidly growing social media options, marketers easily lose sight of what’s really important and start focusing more on vanity metrics rather than business goals. Jim Yu helps you set the right priorities for proper marketing optimization across social channels.

Facebook Gives Yandex Access To Its Firehose In Return For Improved Presentation Of Its Own Content
In this post the author draws our attention to an interesting deal Yandex has recently signed with Facebook. To improve their search results, Yandex gets access to the Facebook firehose, will index and show in Yandex’s Blogs search results “public” content published to Facebook by users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, other CIS countries, and Turkey.

6 (More) Interesting Facebook Tricks You Might Not Know
Do you think you know all tricks and hacks for using Facebook? Jayson DeMers shares 6 new tricks to help you make the most of Facebook for your business. Learn how to view non-public profile photos in full size, download an entire Facebook photo album, mute a conversation, post a blank status update, disable read receipt, find out who’s un-friended you.

Mobile Marketing

It’s 2014 — Is Your Content Mobile Ready?
Arnie Kuenn makes a good point saying that in 2014, when mobile traffic continuously grows, marketers can no longer afford to ignore mobile users. Discover several steps you should take to ensure that you are having a good mobile content strategy and your mobile visitors have a positive experience when browsing your content.

Local Search

5 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business
According to Chris Marentis, this is what local marketers should do to “reap the benefits of online reviews for the best local search visibility”: examine current review and online reputation, address all feedback, build review generation into workflows, amplify good reviews. Now you know, so go for it!

Analytics

Bing Begins Supporting SSL Search – Query Data Does Not Pass [Not Provided]
In this post Barry Schwartz reports that Bing begins supporting secure search and enables searchers to go to https://www.bing.com and search over Bing SSL search. Still, they promise to “keep the SEO/SEM community needs top of mind and balance them with consumer privacy and security concerns.”

Infographics

Why Local Businesses Need to be Found on Mobile Devices [Infographic]
Still not convinced that in 2014 mobile should be a major focal point for every business? Let the numbers – nicely illustrated – speak for themselves!

10 Awesome Infographics to Guide your Marketing Plan for 2014
Combine business with pleasure: check out these 10 great and fun infographics providing you with useful stats, information and suggestions about online marketing.

SEO Humor

One-Line Google Reconsideration Request Worked
Good news for lazy webmasters! Barry Schwartz reports the case when Google approved a one-line reconsideration request, responded to it, and the penalty was removed! What a luck!

Two Videos Of What It Would Be Like If Google Was A Real Living Person
Sometimes we love Google as a search engine, sometimes we hate it. But how would you treat Google, were it a real person? Would it look anything like this?

Helen Datsenko

Helen plunged into the world of digital marketing in 2009 and since then has been accomplishing various tasks in the sphere of SEO and content marketing. Helen's first stint with Ahrefs was editing, and curating content for SEO Digest before joining customer support team recently. Happy to work on something that is helpful to and valued by many people, Helen does her best making the service even better by sharing her knowledge and experience with customers.

Also in: SEO Digest.