Posted in Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media by Josh Nicholas

Hey everyone! I’ve been in the habit lately of collating all the monthly SEO and digital marketing news for the benefit of both our team and clients.

People seem to like this (separating the wheat from the chaff can be a mammoth task for a lot of people), so I’ve decided to share it here too. Enjoy!

Google Algorithm Updates

There were no major algorithm updates in January 2014.

Matt Cutts Says Guest Blogging “is Done”

Matt Cutts sent the digital marketing community into a frenzy this month by announcing that “he’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward”.

After receiving hundreds of outraged comments on his blog, Cutts then updated the post with:

“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”

Cutts, ever renowned for his ambiguity, has again left webmasters and business owners confused about how they are allowed to market their businesses in the eyes of Google.

Since Cutts’ statement, the general consensus in the online marketing community is that high quality guest posts (e.g. high quality content posted on legitimate websites) will still be acceptable going forward.

However, at Digivate we always prefer to take a low risk approach to SEO. While we are certain our guest posts fall in the “high quality” category (they don’t even closely resemble the “spammy” examples Matt Cutts has cited in the past), we think it makes sense at this point to further diversify and future-proof our link building strategies. This is the only way we can ensure we avoid any collateral damage that may come from a future algorithm change targeting guest blogging.

How the Digital Marketing Community Reacted to Cutts’ Statement on Guest Blogging

More on Guest Blogging

A guest blog post I wrote entitled “The 10 Commandments of Great Guest Posting” was featured on Search Engine Journal this month. It turned out to be quite timely advice, if a little ironic!

Link Building

Slightly tongue-in-cheek post by Eric Ward on link building being “dead”. Cites techniques Google claim don’t work, and counters with examples where they still do.

Keyword Research

Comprehensive article on how keyword research should be done post Google Keyword Tool, Hummingbird and “Not Provided”.

Content Marketing

Four content marketing techniques that attract links.

Four types of content every site needs (with infographic)

Moz 2014 Marketing Trends Industry Survey

Survey results give interesting insights into the top tools, metrics and activities of the SEO and social media marketing word in 2014.

Moz Beginner’s Guide to Social Media

Released this month. Nice accompaniment to the company’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO, long considered a right of passage for people entering the industry.

Moz Whiteboard Friday – What Should I Put on the Homepage?

Moz Whiteboard Friday video shows you what to include on your website’s homepage to generate maximum conversions.

SEO in 2014

A must read article from Distilled about the changing nature of online marketing.

Key takeaways:

  • Move from targeting keywords to targeting topics & audiences
  • Forget about brand vs. non brand – instead track the performance of key landing pages vs. organic search overall
  • Forget about last-click attribution – customers engage over time across multiple devices and channels
  • Don’t operate in a silo – SEO needs to encompass everything – conversion rate optimisation, user experience, content, social, PR etc.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools “Search Queries” now shows top pages by keyword clicks.

Round Ups

Best SEO posts of 2013 – 70+ epic SEO blog posts, stats, tips, case studies and more.

Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments!

About Josh Nicholas

Digital Marketing Strategist at Digivate. Josh's professional specialties revolve around organic search strategy, web content and social media engagement. We also suspect he may live downstairs at the pub below our office.

View all posts by Josh Nicholas

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