Online Marketing

SEO Battle: How to Fight Back When Google Smothers Real Search Results and Borrows Your Website Content

Until a few years ago, Google played fair and honored its mission to be a trusted resource for good information.

But back in 2016, the giant search engine moved those paid ads to the top of search results and life has never been the same for digital marketers who put SEO strategies in motion.

The ads were only part of the problem. The search engine results pages (SERPs) now contain a parade of elements that often push down the natural search results - things like image carousels, top stories, People also ask, Google answers, etc.

I don't know how Google can defend its aim to "deliver the most relevant and reliable information available." Really, if "reliable" data is suppressed, how does that fulfill the purpose?

Plus, Google routinely shares basic facts with results - so much that people don't even need to click to websites. I especially dislike People also ask.… Read more

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SEO Tips for 2020: Google, Keywords, Rankings and More

I cover 20 key tips in a new piece I just did for Content Marketing Institute:
20 of the Best SEO Tips for Keyword Rankings and Google in 2020

SEO Google tips and keywords.

At the end of the day, backlinks that matter the most. Sure, you need quality content. But well-written text doesn't guarantee top Google rankings for your favorite keyword phrases.

My CMI article looks at:

  • Ranking factors
  • BERT, the natural-language-processing algorithm
  • SEO complications and opportunities related to changing SERPs
  • E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness)
  • One-and-Done Syndrome
  • and more...

The article cites several studies, including this ranking factors survey by SparkToro:

I mention SparkToro data in Tip #5 as well:

Don’t expect relief from buried organic pages on search engine result pages (SERPs)

A No. 1 organic page ranking is not necessarily a cause for celebration or a traffic increase. In the past few years, I’ve seen website pages with high rankings lose traffic.… Read more

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Speaking at Content Marketing World – Sept. 3-6, 2019

I'm looking forward to leading a 3-hour workshop on SEO at Content Marketing World next month.

My presentation is Sept. 3: "SEO Essentials: Tips, Tools, and Tactics to Crush the Competition."

I'll have tons of tips, tools, and insights to help marketers protect their top organic positions while making major headway on other keywords that should rank higher.

Register today (use promo code MURRAY19).

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Get A Grip on SEO and Domain Names

Earlier this year, I came across a successful business owner who also has a bad habit of dreaming up useless domain names.

Owning a domain name makes sense if you're going to tie it to website content or to protect it so no one else acquires it (i.e. variations of your company name or brand).

One of my friends, an adviser to his business friend, asked for guidance. Here's what I suggested:

  1. Owning domains is great if he's trying to protect them so no one else gets them.
  2. Some people buy and sell as investments. Maybe he spends a lot each year to keep them. But maybe he gets a "return" as he sells them (Note: Turns out that's not the case - no selling).
  3. Beyond that, domains have no value (until they're used for websites of any size or sold to the highest bidder).
  4. Domains that sound good have no value unless they've been tied to past content with backlinks.
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Keyword Selection Tips for SEO, Google

Too often, keyword selection can be based on desire or a best guess. But choices should involve many variables and data.

I’m an advocate for focusing on your keyword “sweet spot.” Let me explain. You should assess how well you’re ranking now for keywords and their estimated search volume on Google. You can see Google search data when using Google Ads ( and with tools like SEMrush ( Look at how you’re ranking today for keywords in the top 10 positions on Google.

If you don’t have top 10 rankings, you should go for keywords with the lowest monthly search volume – like 10 searches a month. You can always revise your SEO efforts and pursue more competitive keyword phrases down the road.

Hopefully, you have some keywords that are ranking in the first 10 positions with some search volume even if it’s only 10, 20 or more searches per month.… Read more

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