Google authorship: the free ride is over

Dear SEOs and businesses: I've got some terrible and wonderful news. It's only going to get tougher out there. The fun and exciting ride of authorship is about to come to a screeching halt – and in this piece, I'll explain exactly why.

This winter was especially cold for authors. Around mid-December, authorship snippets and author photos began disappearing from Google. Not entirely, mind you – but by a significant amount.

Shocked as the industry acted, it was a culling foretold by Google's grand wizard of search, Matt Cutts at Las Vegas PubCon.

 

7 types of stock images you must stop using today

You've probably heard it many times that visual content drives engagement (read more traffic and conversion). Just a month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content - photos and videos - saw a 65% increase in engagement. Are you sure your site's images are good enough to drive traffic?

It's high time to re-consider image use on most websites, as the standards of what's good and what's not have significantly changed since the 1990s (time when stock image sites started to gain their popularity). Images for the sake of images are not a good practice anymore. 

 

The one metric you can’t quantify and why it’s holding you back

You’ve tried everything to build an audience. You’ve bought every course in existence and finished them entirely. You’ve used every tactic in the book to get people to pay attention to you, but still you feel like something’s missing.

Instead of the thriving audience you’ve been searching for you’re left with an audience that doesn’t seem to care if you succeed or fail. Meanwhile, you feel like the peers you started this journey with are seeing the success you know you deserve.

You know something is missing, but you can’t quite pin it down. You won’t be able to find it by mining your analytics data. This missing element can’t be quantified, but it’s going to hold you back if you don’t master it.

The hidden element you’ve failed to cultivate is trust. And in order to succeed, you'll want to shift from external metrics to one that’s a little tougher to keep track of.

Top 15 digital marketing agencies with remarkable SEO blogs

There are thousands of SEO blogs around the web. Some of them are magazine-type platforms like Search Engine LandSearch Engine JournalSearch Engine Watch. Others are blogs by SEO software providers, for example WebMeUpMozAdvanced Web Ranking. There are hubs by individual SEOs - Point Blank SEOBlind Five Year OldOnReact, to name a few.

Also, there are blogs by digital marketing agencies, which I believe deserve a special look. Just imagine, they're written by people who deal with multiple SEO cases in various industries daily, and who are willing to share this experience in highly-practical content.

Below you'll find a list of 15 remarkable SEO blogs by digital marketing agencies to keep an eye on. For each blog, there's a short description, some quick engagement stats, references to key people behind the blog and posts you might like to read. Besides, blog authors were asked how they felt their blogs were different from the rest, and some replies will be provided below. 

8 top WordPress plugins to improve user experience and SEO

SEO has evolved and is continuing to evolve.

It’s not just about getting the technical SEO right, it’s also about improving user experience.

If your users aren’t getting a good experience when they come to your site – they’re going to leave and probably not come back.

That’s why in this post, I’ve not just put together a list of SEO plugins to help you get the technical elements right, but also plugins that will have a positive impact on your sites usability.