During this past month’s monthly marketing Q&A session, we received many questions about competitor conduct, analytics, Google’s Panda update and site setup. If you have any questions you would like for us to answer, leave them in the comments below or click here to email us a question.
Google’s Panda Update
Q: What are some easy content tweaks to make my content more unique?
A: At Fahrenheit we have our own model for making content unique by adding perspective, context and additional information to make posts relevant and engaging. Our blog often covers online marketing news, but we would not get any value if we simply paraphrased a news article and posted it to our blog. When we create a blog entry, we add our own commentary on the subject and include additional context like historical data, related stories or other unique qualities that separate our entries from scrapers and other sites that simply rewrite news.
Q: When was the international Panda update implemented?
A: April 12.
Q: Can a competitor legally copy my marketing strategy?
A: With the exception of trademarks and material you own, a competitor can copy your marketing techniques. It’s important that you keep this in mind because once you discover a new technique that works, your competitors are going to include it in their own campaigns. Sending a link request to a site owner, tweeting and sharing your content on social sites are procedures that can’t be patented and the strategy behind it cannot be claimed either. The only thing a competitor cannot copy is your identity: text, images (assuming you have ownership) and registered trademarks (if your domain is examplecompany.com and their domain is theexamplecompany.com). The trademark issue is a little murky, but any business owner with common sense will not try to interfere with domains that could confuse visitors.
Q: Should you report your competitors for using bad SEO tactics?
A: Yes, but keep in mind the saying- “Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.” When one engages in black/grey SEO, there is an assumption that they may eventually be caught. However, the process of finding sites that violate the rules and subsequently penalizing them is a process that takes time and many sites gamble on the fact that by the time Google discovers their techniques, they will have already moved on to something else. If you plan to report your competitors, keep in mind that the understaffed search quality team receives thousands if not more complaints each day. Make your complaint short and to the point.
Q: Why does Google Analytics show zero visits for a search query?
A: It has to do with a user’s session. Read the full answer here.
Q: Should my site include a links page?
A: Link pages used to be an essential part of the browsing experience. In the early days of search engines, the technology was so poor that they had few sites indexed and finding relevant sites through search was more difficult than it is today. Links and resource pages were essential because they allowed people to continue browsing on their current subject and since the links were moderated, there was some level of confidence the webmaster was directing you to quality content. Today, however link and resource pages are obsolete as search technology has improved. The discovery method of browsing is now social and the value has shifted towards people sharing interesting content through social media.
Through the growth of search engine optimization, link pages have become spam magnets and any webmaster who maintains a links page likely gets bombarded with constant requests for links and reciprocal links. If you need to keep a links page (for example, resources for a rare disease) make sure you link to quality content and make sure you really evaluate any site that requests a link on your page. You should also run a periodic link check using Xenu or Integrity to remove any links that may break over time.