6 03, 2012

Panda devalues anchor text

By | 2016-11-18T14:46:50+00:00 March 6th, 2012|Categories: SEO|Tags: , |


A little over a year ago, Panda made its debut. The debut was not soon after it was revealed that AOL was prepping to add massive waves of content. A content farm to end all content farms.  Panda put a stop to that.

Another scandal that erupted just prior to the Panda launch was the J.C. Penny paid link fiasco.  The NY Times wrote the headline – The Dirty Little Secrets of Search.

There was speculation as to how Panda may handle that.


As a prelude,  the first anchor text action was an end to anchor text boilerplate repetition.  And now the second wave has hit.  An end to exact keyword matching in anchor text.

There were predictions early on and later some indications that exact match anchor text was going to be a casualty.

With Panda 3.3, exact match anchor text no longer carries the weight it once used too.

There was always the knowledge that varying anchor text and using descriptive phrases in the anchor text was a good thing.

Google could detect indications when a growing link profile was unnatural.

In Google patent – Document Scoring Based on Link-Based Criteria :

“[0114] This indication may be strengthened if the growth corresponds to anchor text that is unusually coherent or discordant.  This information can be used to demote the impact of such links.

So ongoing, some techniques to follow with your link strategy:

  • Try to build a natural link profile and avoid using exact match at least initially.
  • Instead of exact match, utilize synonyms and phrases instead
  • Incorporate your brand name along with the anchor text






22 07, 2011

Beacon Technologies Through the Eyes of an Intern – Week 10

By | 2017-08-11T16:07:39+00:00 July 22nd, 2011|Categories: Beacon News|Tags: , , , , , , |

Well sadly, this is my last blog post at Beacon.  It’s been a great 10 weeks.  I really have enjoyed my time here.  Looking back, I can’t think of anything negative to say about my experience.  I want to take the chance to kind of do a recap of my time here.

When I came in the first day, I will admit that I was pretty nervous.  I hadn’t really had a lot of exposure to the kind of work that Beacon does so well.  I knew what most of the terms were from talking to a friend of mine who has been doing similar work.  However, the WMS team here helped me learn the skills I needed.  Everyone took time to show me how to do certain tasks and helped me with understanding the clients I worked on as well as what needed to be done for each client.  As the weeks have gone by, I have grown more confident in doing SEO work, managing social media campaigns, and working with PPC campaigns.  I know that I still have a lot to learn in these areas, but Beacon has given me a strong foundation on which to build.

I know that people traditionally think of internships as being filled with a lot of grunt work.  Getting coffee, running errands, doing tasks that no one else wants to do themselves.  That is far from the case here at Beacon.  As you can tell if you have been following my blog posts thus far, I have been an equal member of the WMS team.  I have shared the same responsibilities as everyone else.  I’ve done the same tasks for my clients as they did for their clients.  Often times, interns don’t get to offer advice and feedback during meetings as it is intended that they learn by watching.  Again, this is not the case at Beacon.  The WMS team meets weekly to brainstorm ideas for clients as well as share interesting articles or other helpful information and tools.  The leading of the meetings rotates each week and regardless of the fact that I am an intern, I led the meeting twice during my time here.  I also contributed equally with the team as much as possible.  I will admit that I often did sit back and listen during meetings.  I know that I do not have nearly the amount of knowledge or experience in this field, and as such I wanted to try to learn as much as possible when everyone was together sharing ideas.

Looking back, I have gained a lot of valuable experience.  There are several tasks and projects that I was able to work on and contribute to during the 10 weeks.  I can honestly say that anyone who is looking for an internship should consider Beacon.  The atmosphere, company culture, and employees all lend themselves to a great work environment.

Thank you to everyone here!  It’s been a great experience and I have learned a lot from you all.

24 06, 2011

Beacon Technologies Through the Eyes of an Intern – Week 6

By | 2017-08-15T16:15:00+00:00 June 24th, 2011|Categories: Beacon News|Tags: , , |

This week was a fun week.  I got the opportunity to learn some things that I was not familiar with and then got to put what I learned into practice.  I learned how to create SEO landing pages.  Basically these pages serve the purpose of helping a website rank for keywords that are important to the website.  This is turn helps the page to appear higher in search results.  Making and editing these pages is not the most fun task, but it is a good skill to have.  I think I spent probably around four hours learning how to do this and then actually working on them.  All-in-all, I would say it was a good experience.  I learned some information on effectively creating title tags, meta descriptions, and page content.  These are skills that will help me even outside of SEO work.  I had to think about getting my message across in a short message and efficiently say what I am trying to say in that short message.  This is a valuable skill to have.

Another thing I did this week was to learn a lot about Twitter and how to utilize it.  One of the clients I am working with is focusing a lot on social media and trying to increase its presence and better communicate with whom it is connected.  One of the things fun things with this client is that I am getting to learn more about Twitter and then share that information as well as help manage the Twitter account.  Some of the things I’ve been working on are optimizing whom the client follows as well as helping with communicating to the client’s followers.  I have been looking over some of the tweets that the client sees and retweeting them to the client’s followers as well as a few other related tasks.

Aside from that, there were the usual meetings/brainstorming sessions.  These are great because I get to learn more about SEO and different methods and tools.  Another thing I did this week was start to conceptualize a layout for a monthly newsletter for a client.  I really like to do things like that because it allows me to be more creative.  I don’t really have great drawing talent so it looks pretty rough on the piece of notebook paper that I hashed it out on, but it gets the job done.  I guess the next step is to practice using Photoshop to work on my graphic editing skills and also using Dreamweaver to compile the newsletter since it will be sent out in HTML.

24 05, 2011

The Benefits of Using jQuery

By | 2016-11-22T10:57:29+00:00 May 24th, 2011|Categories: Web Development, Creative Design|Tags: , , , |

Recently I have had the opportunity to make really exciting and interactive web pages using jQuery. Before working on these projects I had very little understanding of jQuery and what all it could be used for. So I decided to do some research on what the benefits are of using jQuery over other applications such as conventional JavaScript and wanted to see what all I can build using it. Basically you can do almost anything with jQuery to make effects and animation on your site and still be SEO friendly and cross browser compliant.  But those aren’t the only benefits….

What is jQuery?

“jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development. jQuery is designed to change the way that you write JavaScript.” http://jquery.com/

Benefits of using jQuery:

  • Search Engine Optimized – While search engines are getting better at being able to read content within some Flash, everything within jQuery is setup as text. This means it is completely readable to all the search engines, exposing all your keyword rich content.
  • Save Time – Five lines of jQuery are equivalent to 25 lines of conventional JavaScript code. This means smaller files and faster loading web pages.
  • Plug-ins – There are an abundance of plug-ins on the web that make creating special effects simple and fast for web developers.
  • Help? – With an abundance of plug-ins comes with an abundance of help. There is a large helpful support community on the web to help you quickly remedy any bug issues.
  • That was easy! – jQuery has easy implementation for web developers in comparison to other applications.
  • Cross Browser Friendly – jQuery is currently the most popular JavaScript library and works in all browsers.
  • FREE! – free, open source software.
  • Mobile Devices – jQuery is supported by any mobile device whose web browser supports JavaScript. A lot of mobile devices like iPads and iPhones don’t run Flash at all.
  • Simplifies AJAX
  • Wow Factor – Web developers use jQuery to make web pages more exciting, interactive, cleaner, and more user friendly. Make your users go WOW!

jQuery in action! A few examples of jQuery Usage

11 04, 2011

The New +1 Google Button

By | 2016-11-18T12:10:26+00:00 April 11th, 2011|Categories: Social Media|Tags: , , |

Get ready everyone because having a +1 is no longer just for party RSVP’s.  Recently, Google launched their new +1 button on Google search to allow users who are fans of your business to click to recommend your paid ads for all of their friends and contacts to see.  This feature, which to me is their attempt to one-up Facebook’s like button, has already started popping up, and will continue to increase in visibility over the next few weeks.  In order to see the +1’s attached to the organic listings and paid ads, you must be signed-in to Google and not using IE7 or any earlier version of IE.

This popularity feature is the next step that Google is taking to help their searchers see more relevant results, while helping businesses continue to gain better qualified traffic.  And, it doesn’t end with paid ads because soon you will have the option to include these +1 buttons to your website’s pages to make it even easier for people to approve and validate your content.  This personal annotation of “+1’ing” something is the next step since Google opening admitted to using data from social services, such as Twitter and Flickr, as signals in organic search rankings.

So far, Google says that quality score and ad rankings will not be impacted by the +1’s.  Hopefully the buttons will contribute to better click-through rate for paid ads since the personal annotations will increase user confidence to click on the ads if their friends, family, and colleagues already approve.  You will also be able to track the number of +1’s your campaigns are getting within the Adwords interface.

To sign up for email updates with more information about this button go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/+1button.

30 12, 2010

NCTA Partnership

By | 2017-02-21T11:24:58+00:00 December 30th, 2010|Categories: Web Development|Tags: , , , |

Beacon Technologies inks partnership with the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) to provide full scale web marketing for the association, including search engine optimization (SEO), blog development, social media marketing management, email management consulting and deep Google Analytics setup & consulting.  The objective of this agreement is to support NCTA in becoming the primary destination website for technology-related information in North Carolina.  Beacon will also become an Annual Investor and Sponsor for all the 2010 NCTA Events and the Emerging Technology and Trends Series across North Carolina (RTP, Triad and Charlotte).  Beacon will also sponsor NCTA’s weekly email campaigns.  “This is the first time in Beacon’s 12 year history that we plan to market our services more across North Carolina, primarily focusing on the 3 major business areas of the state,” says Mark Dirks, Beacon’s CEO.  “We are very excited about the relationship with NCTA.  They work very hard to help the technology sector of our state and sometimes they go unnoticed.  Our job is to bring them visibility, more members and more communication through their website – and ultimately, bring the organization and its members closer together.”

27 12, 2010

Reasons to NOT do SEO

By | 2017-02-23T17:47:21+00:00 December 27th, 2010|Categories: Web Development|Tags: , , |

SEO is a term that is finally moving outside of tech circles.  Even most laypeople are starting to understand that it stands for Search Engine Optimization and the many advantages associated with having good SEO on a site.  Which begs the question, why are so many professional websites so bad at it?

Well, I thought long on this, and came up with the following possible explanations:

1)  You want to hide your site.  There are situations where I can understand this.  If you a Mexican drug cartel and want to start selling your wares online (this is the 21st century afterall), it would make all the sense in the world to nofollow all the links in your site and use misleading and unpopular title tags (i.e. “Cloris Leachman Nude”) to prevent search engines from putting you in their cross-hairs.  It would be best to limit your site to referral traffic only.  With bad SEO – that’s all you’ll get.

2) It’s too much time and effort.  The hours that you use every month to optimize your site and bring in hordes of potential clients take away from the days and weeks that are used to pick up leads through traditional methods.  Why waste time developing keyword rich content that will attract people who are interested in your product when you can cold call through the phone book and get less results in twice the time?

3) You’re an internet communist.  This is nothing to be ashamed of, you represent the pinnacle of netiquette.  Why does your site deserve to be at the top of high traffic search results?  Don’t your competitors deserve just as much exposure?  It is only fair that they be given every chance to sell their products to your customers as well.

4) You’ve sold numerous old ladies 50% of your sites future profits.  So long as the site loses money, you make money on the initial sales.  Otherwise, you’re a programming version of Bernie Madoff.

5) Customers suck.  Let’s face it, they are just a pain in the rear.  They have all these annoying questions about which of your products they should buy and how your products can improve their business/lives.  Most jobs would be great if it weren’t for all the customers.

Beyond this, I can come up with no good reason that a professional site shouldn’t engage in SEO.  If you currently do not make this a priority, rest assured that your competition does.

6 12, 2010

If these NBA players were SEOs…

By | 2017-02-21T11:18:10+00:00 December 6th, 2010|Categories: Web Development|Tags: , , , , , , , |

What type of an SEO would the following basketball players be?

Kobe Bryant – This SEO has seen more #1 search engine rankings than anybody else out there.  He rode a better marketer’s coattails early in his career to the point where he was a bit overrated.  In an effort to improve his legacy, he had his entire team fired and tried to win more rankings all by himself – with disastrous results.  He then demanded a trade to another company until management hired another top SEO to team with him.  This has led to him again finding top rankings and being mentioned as one of the best all-time.

Lebron James – This SEO was hired by a terrible company.  They gave him resources and were patient with his learning curve.  Eventually, he got great results and obtained rock star status.  He never got them #1 rankings, but the first page Google links he obtained were far better than they were used to.  However, when it came time to make a long term decision about his future, he jumped to another company where a couple of his friends worked and they promised to do much of the heavy lifting for him.  He took his [SEO] talents to South Beach.

Tim Duncan – This SEO does it all.  Not just Google rankings, but also PPC and Email Marketing.  He doesn’t toot his own horn at the company picnic, but upper management knows he’s been the reason for their success.  However, he’s a bit past his prime and hasn’t seen the same results with the advent of social media.

Allen Iverson – This SEO always showed great individual stats.  He can tout #1 Google rankings in a variety of categories.  However, this has never translated to great overall results with his clients.

Chris Paul – This SEO is speedy.  He doesn’t get #1 rankings, but he gets you on the first page FAST.

Manu Ginobili – This is your classic “glue” SEO.  He doesn’t do anything outstanding, but he understands all aspects of web marketing.  He knows how social media, search engines, and PPC interact with each other and how to keep the entire team involved in the process.  He’s not going to win you large contracts on his own, but you need to have him if you’re to be at the top of your field.

Stephon Marbury – This SEO has some talent, but he always been with poor companies and will be quick to blame others for his lack of overall success.  Eventually, this leads to him having a breakdown and posting a “What the Heck?” youtube clip.

Dirk Nowitzki – This SEO is tall and German.


2 12, 2010

How To Drive More Website Traffic

By | 2017-02-23T17:39:10+00:00 December 2nd, 2010|Categories: Web Development|Tags: , |


Building Killer Keyword Campaigns

When building out your keyword lists, it’s best to think of keywords as questions. Does your product or service answer a given question or provide more information about it on your landing page? If the answer is no, then that keyword should not be utilized in your campaign. Once an extensive keyword list is compiled, it is time to strategize the structure of your paid search campaign. Structure refers to the organization of keyword buckets under campaigns in order to maximize the volume of qualified traffic. The structuring process creates a hierarchy based on performance (conversions), thereby making it easier for search marketers to find the most efficient mix of traffic and scale campaigns to maximize allocated budgets.

The key to planning an efficient paid search campaign is having a firm understanding of websites’ offerings, marketing goals, and campaign management experiences. The more firsthand knowledge paid search professionals have about a specific vertical or company, the more likely they will be able to predict successful strategies.

Spending adequate time planning a paid search campaign is crucial to driving qualified traffic. Doing so affords paid search professionals the ability to create scalable campaign structure, which makes future optimizations easy. It also makes account management more efficient when dealing with budget constraints (i.e., marketers forced to make cuts must be able to ensure the most qualified traffic is not lost). Secondly, campaign structure and keyword grouping are vital components when it comes to determining the quality score of an account. If quality scores are high, this will help costs-per-click (CPCs) and account costs decrease over time. This means, if everything else remains constant, you can maintain a consistent budget level while driving a larger volume of qualified traffic to your site.

A few simplified tactics of campaign structuring include segmenting by:

  • Keyword stage in the conversion funnel
  • Audience segments (i.e., experts vs. novices)
  • Geo-targets, site structure, and available landing pages
  • Product benefits or features
  • Historical search trends and seasonal patterns.

There isn’t one standardized template for developing the right structure. The important thing is to maintain tightly focused keyword groups and a cohesive overall strategy. ~ Guest Post by: J Bannasch

11 11, 2010

Go Excellence Resorts and Go Secrets Resorts Site Launches

By | 2016-11-21T17:52:30+00:00 November 11th, 2010|Categories: Beacon News|Tags: , , , , , |

Beacon is proud to announce the launch of two micro-sites for A Way to Go Travel.  The client is a full service, award winning travel agency that has been in business for over 15 years. The new sites feature basic information on specific Excellence and Secrets resorts, quote forms, news, specials and testimonials. Along with website design and development, Beacon also provides hosting services for both sites.

Click on the images to visit Go Excellence Resorts and Go Secrets Resorts.

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