SEO Articles

Google starts new Search Console training series on YouTube

Today at SMX East, Daniel Wasiberg a Search Advocate at Google, announced a new YouTube series aimed at training users on how to get the most out of using Google Search Console.

It’s on the YouTube channel. The new series will be on the Google Webmasters YouTube channel available at

What it covers. The series covers everything from the basics, such as getting started, verifications, reports and settings. The series will go through how to monitor your site traffic, fix numerous issues reported by Search Console, as well as help searchers find your web site on Google search.

Coming soon. Right now, Google only posted a teaser video on the channel, but Daniel Waisberg said the series is coming soon.

The trailer. Here is the trailer:

Why we care. Google Search Console offers a critical set of tools that should be mastered by everyone in the SEO space. It should also be a toolset used by developers, webmasters, publishers and site owners. This video series should help everyone learn more about how to use Google Search Console through tips and advice from a Googler, Daniel Waisberg, who not only gets search but deeply understand analytics and the publishing world.

The post Google starts new Search Console training series on YouTube appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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How to Fix the WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website”

With the release of WordPress 5.3, there is a new WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website”. There are a lot of errors that you can encounter with WordPress, like internal server errors, database connection errors, and even ones that say “There has been a critical error on your website.” A lot of times, the full error is:

“There has been a critical error on your website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.

Learn more about debugging in WordPress.”

There has been a critical error on your website

Things being what they are, you’re likely thinking about what it means, and how to fix it? All things considered, ideally you’ll have the option to illuminate it, however in case you’re not happy with investigating WordPress issues, or apprehensive you’ll destroy something, WP Fix It can help with this issue.

What does this error mean?

On the off chance that you’ve at any point known about the Blue Screen of Death with Windows, well WordPress has a proportionate, which is known as the White Screen of Death. That appears to be frightening. The blunder “There has been a critical error on your website” is really a comparable adaptation of the White Screen of Death. After WordPress 5.3, this is generally observed rather than the previous White Screen of Death. Kindly note that despite the fact that it might be terrifying, your site isn’t lost. It very well may be fixed.

How to Fix the WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website” issue

A great deal of times, the straightforward issue is to rollback the site. To do that, you have to have a reinforcement of your site. Shockingly, not every person backs up their site, so in case you’re understanding this, and one of those individuals who don’t have a reinforcement accessible, at that point this investigating instructional exercise is for you.

So as to fix the issue, you need to discover where the issue turned out badly. You do this by investigating whether it was a subject or module strife.

Theme Conflict Troubleshoot

To perform this, you just activate a default theme, like Twenty Nineteen. Unfortunately, because your site is showing an error, you will need to perform the troubleshoot with either your web host’s file manager (like cPanel’s Filemanager), or use FTP or sFTP (it’s like secure version of FTP.) It’s important to note that in switching themes, you won’t lose your chosen theme’s settings. To do this, you rename your active theme’s folder by adding DISABLE or OFF to the end of the folder’s name. For example, if you’re using Twenty Eighteen and the folder is ‘twentyeighteen’, you would name it ‘twentyeighteenDISABLE’ or ‘twentyeighteenOLD’ . Go back to the front of your site and refresh.

The objective is to check whether the mistake leaves. In the event that it doesn’t, it is anything but a subject issue. Try to rename the organizer back to its unique name when you’re finished investigating.

Plugin Conflict Troubleshoot

If it’s not the theme, it might be a plugin issue. In a way, troubleshooting is similar. However, it’s much easier to rename the plugin folder to ‘pluginsOFF’. Visit the site, and log-in. This will turn off all of the plugins. Please note that it won’t remove the original settings of those plugins, as they will be there when you reactivate them later on.

Once the plugins are off, go back and rename the folder back to ‘plugins’. Go to your WordPress admin area and reactivate each, one-by-one, until you get the screen that says “There has been a critical error on your website”. The plugin that you just reactivated, is the problem.

(Change plugins folder name via cPanel)

(Change plugins folder name using FTP – Filezilla)

Once more, in case you’re not happy with doing any of these investigating steps, WP Fix It is here to help solve this issue.

When you’ve discovered the issue, you probably need to rollback the subject or module that caused it. You can do this several different ways.

  1. Download the original plugin files directly from the WordPress plugin directory, and replace the plugin via Filemanager with your web host (or cPanel), or through FTP or sFTP.
  2. Use WP Rollback plugin to roll the plugin back to the previous version.

If you use WP Rollback, it will give you several versions to choose from. It will tell you what version you have. Below, you can follow the images to get an idea of how to use WP Rollback.

Step 1: Choose the plugin to rollback. Click ‘Rollback’ if it is available in the plugins listed in your WordPress admin.

There has been a critical error on your website

Step 2: Choose the version you want to rollback to.

There has been a critical error on your website

Step 3: Read the warnings. It might be better to test, before rollback. Only rollback if you’re sure.

There has been a critical error on your website

You will want to hold off to update when the developer does another release of the plugin or theme.

Hopefully this article will help you through solving this issue with “There has been a critical error on your website”, but if you’re not computer savvy to troubleshoot, then no worries, we’re here to help at WP Fix It.

When you’ve investigated the issue and everything is up and working on your WordPress site, true to form, you ought to consider utilizing a reinforcement tool like UpdraftPlus, and backup up your site.

The post How to Fix the WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website” appeared first on WP Fix It.

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Let’s kill the hourly rate: We are leaving money on the table

One of the hottest topics and hotly debated threads on r/ppc is about rates and what you should charge. What does an agency charge? What should I charge as a freelancer? How do you charge if you do work on Amazon versus Google or Facebook?

Different ways to charge clients

There are a lot of models for how you are going to charge a client. No one model is perfect and you have to do what is right for your business in the end.


Bill for each hour of your time and track how many hours you worked that week. This is one of the most common ways we have seen freelancers charge for their time.


Work more hours and you know you are going to get paid more (all things being equal). Clients love to love the hourly rate because they are familiar with it from designers and other creative industries.


As you get better at a task and it takes you less time, you end up making less money even if you are getting better at your task. How does that make any sense? This is the biggest drawback to the hourly rate, in my opinion.

Percent of spend

Scale that spend up and bill each of your clients more money at the end of the month. This is the most common way we see agencies charge. It’s what clients expect to hear but increasingly clients do not want to pay this way as it can lead to abuse.


As clients trust you and they spend more money, you see your agency revenue increase in lockstep with that higher spend. Assuming that increase is leading to a profitable business, this can work out well for both sides.


Not every client loves this because it can be abused by some agencies to just spend money but not have it be profitable. Also, there are some clients who don’t think an agency should be paid $10,000/month, even if they manage a large ad spend budget that has a good ROAS. 

This can lead to “negotiation” on agency fees or firing the agency and taking it all in-house. The latter being from a lack of value for what agencies can do and thinking they are easily replaceable. You can not in-house an outside point of view for your business.

Monthly retainer

Charge a fixed or flat monthly fee for the work that was agreed upon in the contract and proposal.


It keeps billing simple and both sides know what to expect each month. It’s easier to sell it to clients versus other methods above. Clients are less likely to feel like they are getting ripped off.


Scope creep can increase the workload and yet, it can be harder to increase that monthly fee. If you don’t think about where you will be a year from now with that client, you could find yourself with an unprofitable client on your hands.


Not as widely used but an interesting model we have done with clients. You set a target based on top-line revenue you bring into the business. As you hit different tiers, you get paid on that tier level.


Clients love it because they feel the agency is putting skin in the game. If the agency is good at what they do and the client’s site is top-notch you can make a lot of money each month.


This depends on trust from both sides and a site that is ready to convert. If that site is not good, you can spend a lot of time going nowhere. Also, some clients may not pay the bonus even after the agency did an amazing job. I worked on an account in the UK where this happened.

Mixed Model

Do a combination of the above. Maybe you do a month strategy fee and then do 5% of ad spend each month. You could do a monthly retainer with a performance bonus basked in. There are a few ways you can mix this model up.


It gives you a base retainer for each client but gives you the upside if work increases and the client wants a deeper relationship. You can make more money to cover your costs.


A more complex pricing model that some clients might find more complicated. It can be harder to explain to some clients or turn them off because you still have a percentage of spend in there.

Kill that hourly rate

Once you start charging hourly, you often get into discussions about how long something took. 

This could be because the client was thinking it would take less time or they feel it should take less time because they used to do it themselves.

If you spend all of your time talking about hours and how long a task took on their invoice, the conversation shifts away from outcomes and towards labor.

This shift is about pressuring you to be faster at a task, where there might not always be a faster way to do it. Sometimes faster is not better if you don’t reach the same outcome.

Less time spent on a task means the client spends less money on marketing. So many view marketing as a cost center, when it’s an investment center. Based on my experience, the majority of clients who like hours are just trying to find the cheapest person to do the task.

Hiring agency A at $50/hour is going to be the same as hiring agency B at $100 or $150/hour. We all know this is not the case.

If agency B comes down in price, then this tells the client that this set of work is worth that much. Even if it’s going to cost you a lot more to deliver on the work. We should stop selling hours and starting selling outcomes.

No one right way future

As much as I believe there is no right answer to what we should charge as an industry, I also believe that we should stop underselling ourselves and leaving money on the table. The biggest way we leave money on the table is by competing on price.

Tell me if you heard this one before: you are talking to an awesome client and the brand is one you want to work with. They love you and you love them…you got that first date vibe going on. They ask about your pricing for the project and you tell them your fee structure.

There is this pause and you just wait for them to respond. What has only been 30 seconds feels like minutes. The client then tells you some other agency can do the work for X or your hourly rate of $150/hour is too high because they talked to someone who can do it for $100 cheaper.

Not valuing the work can come from not understanding the task and what it takes to deliver. What is worse is that the client does not value the task and just wants someone, anyone…the cheapest agency to do the work. Large brands have been known to be just as bad at this as SMBs.

What do you do? Some agencies will come down in price and not change the scope of work. Other agencies will come down in price but will ask for a change in scope of work. Other agencies will just say they don’t compete on price and this is what it costs to do the work right the first time.

Working with a client needs to be a partnership. Both sides need to understand that each other’s success creates a rising tide which lifts all boats. Creating a win-win partnership is the only way that both sides will succeed and will be in business a year from now. Remember, an agency is a business and needs to make a profit. Killing the hourly rate can help us get there as an industry.

Duane Brown will be participating in a roundtable discussion about profitable pricing strategies at SMX East on Nov. 12.

The post Let’s kill the hourly rate: We are leaving money on the table appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Five sure-fire strategies to build inbound links

Google’s Matt Cutts declared guest blogging (and other tactics) as a way of generating SEO inbound links as a “spammy practice” that was dead and gone, way back in 2014. It was a statement that generated plenty of response, both defending and arguing against Cutts’ assessment of the practice.

Five years later, guest blogging — or guest posting if you prefer — hasn’t gone the way of the dodo.

Now as far as flooding your site with poor content that relies on tricking people with the anchor text, yes, those days are mostly behind us. Search engine algorithms have really wised up in recent years and the value of the inbound link hasn’t gone away. It’s only changed.

Before starting your link-building journey, it’s important to understand the primary objectives:

Value and quality take top priority

A guest post can be a great way to bring in new traffic and boost your SEO, but there’s a catch. It has to contain relative information that offers something of value to the audience. The choices on the internet are endless and in an age where everyone knows how to explore the internet, a clickbait guest blogging strategy doesn’t hold up for long.

As for what goes into that content, longer content tends to do better than the shorter stuff. This isn’t to say that an effective guest post needs to be 4,000 words. You don’t necessarily want to test the limits of your audience’s attention span, but the 125-word blurb isn’t likely to result in a lot of traffic.

The main focus is to provide value to the readers with the information and give them a reason to finish and share the content. Generally, the most successful guest posts tend to fall in the sweet spot of 300 to 1,600 words.

Grammar and voice of the content are also of importance. If you were writing a guest post for a medical journal, you would probably use a less conversational style than if you’re writing for “Parents Magazine”

Don’t go crazy with the keyword stuffing

Just because you have access to all the words, that doesn’t mean you need to use all the words. Throwing as many keywords into your post and finding a way to cram them into every sentence simply isn’t going to do much good in the long run. Google’s algorithms are going to pick up on this and if you really overdo it, the article could get marked as spam. Then all that hard work was for nothing.

It goes back to what we touched on earlier about adding value to the audience. Yes, keywords matter, but keyword stuffing is a frowned upon blackhat technique that works against your link goals. 

So how do you know when your content is in danger of falling under the keyword stuffing label? Say you’re working on a post and want to rank for “best gardening hose” and wrote something like this:

“If you’re looking for the best gardening hose the Acme Aqua 2000 is the best gardening hose on the market today and will meet all your needs. More people think it’s the best gardening hose than all the others and tell their friends that it’s the best gardening hose on the market today.”

Yikes! Not only will Google spot this as spam but your savvy readers will too. If you’re still unsure about how to recognize if you’re guilty of keyword stuffing, you may want to brush up on why it’s bad for SEO.

Target websites with a higher domain than yours

Just like we mentioned earlier in regards to content, quality counts as well when building in those links. The internet is a battlefield and websites are constantly vying for power in the form of higher search rankings. By guest posting for websites with higher domain authority, you’ll be giving yourself a leg up and getting the most value out of those blogging efforts — from an SEO perspective, of course.

Google cares not just about the number of links, but the quality of those backlinks. As to what makes a high-quality link in 2019, there are a few must-haves.

Consistent traffic flow is important because it shows that it’s active. Authority is also of importance and by that, we mean domain authority. Websites with a low domain authority as ranked by Moz, tend to have a low ranking of 0-20. They may be new or simply not very active. Whereas a website with a domain authority ranking of 60+ is going to be a well-established one that has a steady flow of traffic and is regarded for high-quality content.

All links are not created equal, so think critically about who you want to link to and who you want linking to you. Now that we understand this, it’s time to start on with link-building:

Five sure-fire strategies to build inbound links

So how to go about guest blogging with a strategy that actually works for you rather than throwing chance to the wind? Obviously, you need to find some places that would welcome a contribution to your knowledge.

1. Target keyword phrases

A Google search for a keyword phrase as simple as “write for us” or “become a contributor” is one way to go about it, but that approach can be a little tedious. A great way to hone in on potential places for guest posts is to check out relevant industry sites and competitor sites. Looking at where their inbound links are coming from can provide a valuable springboard to start with.

2. Use guest blogging platforms

If writing isn’t your forte or you don’t have the time, you can still use guest blogging as a viable means of high-authority link building. There are multiple outlets such as DFY Links that offer a variety of guest blogging campaigns with high-quality backlinks.

3. Build an authority content piece

Pitching a blogger for a backlink is a lot easier when it’s to a long-form resource page. Rather than just pitching a topical article to a blogger, focus on selling your existing authority content. Many bloggers have a “resource” section and are looking to populate it with the “right” content.

4. Provide a testimonial

Testimonial link building is a win-win scenario. On the one hand, this is a perfect way for them to build customer trust. Testimonials have an associated level of credibility that garners customer trust. Additionally, these mentions also include a rare backlink of high value that will pay dividends in your SEO strategy for years to come. Finally, some clients also find that these specific backlinks provide a steady stream of click-through traffic which augments their current SEO and paid ad efforts.

5. Using SERPs to find sites that accept guest posts

The internet is replete with a multitude of link building opportunities. Forums, blogs and millions of websites all host backlinks but one must be judicious in selecting which avenue to explore. After generating your list of potential opportunities, it’s time to start filtering by: 

  • Domain Authority 
  • Domain Rating 
  • Referring Domains
  • Spam Score (Moz)

By targeting sites of high domain authority and ones with low spam scores, you can develop a sound SEO strategy. Strong SEO strategies tend to remain relatively unaffected by search engine algorithm changes that may arise in the future.

A few search operations that I typically use

  • [target keyword] + “Become a Contributor”
  • [target keyword] + “Become a Guest Blogger”
  • [target keyword] + “Contribute”
  • [target keyword] + “Submit a Guest Post”
  • [target keyword] + inurl:guest-posts
  • [target keyword] + inurl:write-for-us


When it comes down to it, you should consider every link, both inbound and outbound as a potential place to establish a connection when building an effective guest posting SEO strategy.

The SEO shortcuts of just a few years ago are becoming a thing of the past. Trust and authority are more valued by today’s search engine algorithms. Thankfully, guest posting as an effective strategy for link building is still alive and well in 2019 and the years to come. It’s all about how one goes about it that determines its effectiveness. 

The post Five sure-fire strategies to build inbound links appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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14 Free SEO eBooks Available for Immediate Download (PDF)

Free SEO EBooks

If you’re looking for the best free SEO eBooks worth downloading, then this list is for you. We did our research and crafted a list of the top SEO eBooks available for download in PDF format.

We visited each and every eBook to ensure that it has up-to-date SEO information and that it’s free to download.

For each eBook, you’ll get a summary of what you’ll learn and detailed instructions on how to download it.

This collection will not only help you learn the basics of SEO but more advanced concepts like link building and conversion optimization.

All eBooks are published by highly reputable and trusted websites.

Let us know in the comments if there is an eBook that should be included in this list.

The pre-requisites are simple: to offer valuable and up-to-date information about search engine optimization or related topics and be available as a free PDF download.

14 Must-Read SEO eBooks for SEO Professionals

This is the ultimate list of the best SEO eBooks available for download on the Internet today and for free!

1. Most Effective Methods to Drive Traffic to Your Website

eBook: Most Effective Methods to Drive Traffic to Your Website
eBook: Most Effective Methods to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Publisher: | Pages: 20

What you’ll learn

This eBook will walk you through the process of driving traffic to your website repeatedly and reliably. It outlines the 8 methods that can really make a difference to your ranking and traffic. The eBook is updated regularly to include the latest methods and techniques.

How to download

To download this free eBook, you first need to register to newsletter. Click the button below, enter your name and email and you’ll be redirected to the eBook downloads page. You can view and download the eBook as PDF.

Download eBook

2. How to Start and Grow a Successful WordPress Blog (Easy Guide)

eBook: How to Start and Grow a Successful WordPress Blog
eBook: How to Start and Grow a Successful WordPress Blog

Publisher: | Pages: 39

What you’ll learn

In this eBook, you’ll learn how to set up a WordPress blog from scratch. It’s a super easy guide for beginners to WordPress and blogging.

Besides learning how to register a domain name and hosting, installing and configuring WordPress, you will also learn how to grow the traffic of your blog using SEO.

So, if you are a beginner in blogging, get a cup of coffee and find out how blogging can literally change your life.

How to download

To download this free eBook, you first need to register to newsletter. Click the button below, enter your name and email and you’ll be redirected to the eBook downloads page. You can view and download the eBook as PDF.

Download eBook

3. SEO Starter Guide

eBook: Google SEO Starter Guide
eBook: Google SEO Starter Guide

Publisher: Google | Pages: 32

What you’ll learn

If you are looking for an SEO eBook directly from Google, then this is the eBook for you. The Search Engine Optimization Starters Guide was originally created to help teams within Google to optimize their web properties for Search Engines but they eventually decided to release it to the general public.

In this eBook, you’ll learn the SEO fundamentals. It starts with the SEO basics like page title optimization, meta descriptions, site structure, and internal linking. It also talks about crawler optimization, mobile SEO and white hat SEO promotion methods.

It is highly recommended that you download and read this eBook. It is suitable for both SEO beginners and SEO Experts. Any SEO advice given by Google is worth reading and taken into account.

How to download

Click the link below. This will open the eBook in a new browser tab. Right-click anywhere in the document and select SAVE AS for downloading this Google SEO eBook as PDF.

Download eBook

4. 11 Growth Tactics for Your Ecommerce Business

eBook: eCommerce Growth Tactics
eBook: eCommerce Growth Tactics

Publisher: SEMRUSH | Pages: 133

What you’ll learn

In this eBook by SEMRUSH, you’ll learn what it takes to SEO optimize an eCommerce website. It covers technical SEO, AMP for eCommerce, image optimization, schema markup, and conversion optimization.

Data in this eBook is backed by research studies and statistics, which makes it a very good resource if you want to optimize and grow an eCommerce website.

How to download

Click the button below and enter your details in the form provided. You’ll gain instant access to view and download this eBook as PDF.

Download eBook

5. Complete SEO Starter Pack

eBook: Complete SEO Starter Pack
eBook: Complete SEO Starter Pack

Publisher: HubSpot | Pages: 78

What you’ll learn

In this eBook by HubSpot, you’ll learn what is SEO, how to do on-page SEO optimization and how to plan and implement a 30-Day SEO strategy.

When you register to download this SEO Kit, you get 2 PDFS: What is SEO and How to Increase SEO Traffic in 30 Days and an excel template for on-page SEO.

It is a comprehensive guide covering all aspects of SEO and it worth download and reading.

How to download

Click the button below to go to the download page. Enter your email and click the download button. You’ll get instant access to download this eBook on your device as a zip file. Extract the zip file and you’ll see 3 files (2 PDFS and an Excel Template).

Download eBook

6. How Search Engines Work

eBook: How Search Engines Work
eBook: How Search Engines Work

Publisher: Search Engine Journal | Pages: 148

What you’ll learn

Before optimizing your website for search engines, you need to know how do search engines work and this is what this eBook is all about.

It’s a very detailed guide covering all the work that search engines do once they find a new page on the web. Among other things, it includes how crawling and indexing works, how search engines render pages, search engine algorithms, SERPS and rich results.

This eBook is easy to read with nice graphics and illustrations.

How to download

Click the button below, enter your details and you’ll receive the PDF download link by email.

Download eBook

7. The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

eBook: Beginners Guide to SEO
eBook: Beginners Guide to SEO

Publisher: Web Savvy Marketing | Pages: 27

What you’ll learn

If you are looking for a quick introduction to SEO, then this is the eBook to download and read.

It explains what is SEO and how it works in a simple to understand language.

How to download

Click the link below to go to the eBook download page. Once you enter your details, you’ll get instant access to the eBook download link.

Download eBook

8. How to Write Content that Converts

eBook: How to Write Content that Converts
eBook: How to Write Content that Converts

Publisher: Blogging Wizard | Pages: 25

What you’ll learn

SEO is not just about getting organic traffic from search engines but it’s also about converting that traffic into regular readers and customers.

In this eBook, you’ll learn how to write blog posts that target the right audience, with the proper message and suitable voice. This eBook has 3 chapters and it’s very easy to read.

How to download

Click the button below to go to the VIP Blogging Resources. Click the ‘Yes, I want Access” button. Enter your email address and click the download button.

Once you confirm your email, you’ll get a link to access the VIP resources and download this eBook and other resources.

Download eBook

9. Link Building for SEO

eBook: Link Building for SEO
eBook: Link Building for SEO

Publisher: Backlinko | Pages: 90

What you’ll learn

Link building is a critical SEO process. Links in SEO are considered as ‘votes of trust’ and to rank high on Google, you need to have links pointing from other websites to yours.

One of the most known link building experts is Brian Dean and this 90 page eBook, you’ll learn the best methods to use to build links to your site.

How to download

Click on the link below to visit the online version of the article. To download as PDF click the ‘Yes, Give me the PDF’ button, enter your email address and you’ll get instant access to this SEO eBook.

Download eBook

10. 21 Signs of a Perfect Landing Page Design

eBook: Landing Page Design
eBook: Landing Page Design

Publisher: Template Monster | Pages: 29

What you’ll learn

In this free eBook, you’ll learn how to create high converting landing pages. As mentioned above, it’s not enough to be able to get traffic to your site from SEO but you also need to know how to convert that traffic.

Knowing how to design landing pages that convert is a must for modern SEOs.

How to download

Click the button below to go to the download page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page (in the download area) and enter your email address. You’ll then receive an email to confirm your address and once confirmed, you’ll get another email with the link to download the eBook.

Download eBook

11. 8 Key Steps to Blogging Mastery

eBook: Blogging Mastery
eBook: Blogging Mastery

Publisher: | Pages: 59

What you’ll learn

Jeff Bullas is a well-known marketer and online marketing influencer. In his eBook, you’ll learn how to create a memorable blog brand.

Branding is indirectly related to SEO. It’s much easier for brands to rank high with the proper SEO than unknown blogs or websites.

How to download

Click the button below to go to Jeff Bulla’s website.  Scroll down and look in the right sidebar for the “FREE EBOOK” banner. Enter your name and email and click the DOWNLOAD button. Once you confirm your email, you’ll get a link to download the PDF.

Download eBook

12. Copywriting 101 – How to Craft Compelling Copy

eBook: Copywriting 101
eBook: Copywriting 101

Publisher: Copyblogger | Pages: 32

What you’ll learn

As stated by copyblogger, “Copywriting is the art and science of strategically delivering words that get people to take some form of action.” Copywriting is an essential skill of every good search engine optimization specialist.

With Copywriting, you can optimize an article to achieve high rankings for the keywords that matter for your website or business.

How to download

Click the button below to go to the PDF download page. Enter your email and wait for the confirmation email. Once your email address is confirmed, you can download this SEO eBook.

Download eBook

13. Finding and Targeting Your Ideal Audience

eBook: Finding your ideal audience
eBook: Finding your ideal audience

Publisher: Optinmonster | Pages: 32

What you’ll learn

Optinmonster is one of the best tools you can use for lead generation and conversion optimization. It’s the tool we are using on this website for increasing our subscribers’ list, redirecting visitors to our SEO course sales pages and for many other functions.

Besides being a great tool, optinmonster offers a number of free eBooks to their users for educational purposes. One of them is this eBook that talks about creating buyer personas.

Knowing who your potential customers are, can help you adjust your SEO strategy to target them at the various stages of the sales funnel.

How to download

Download this eBook is simple. Just click the button below to visit the download page and click the “Download Guide” button. You’ll be prompted to save the PDF on your computer.

Download eBook

14. Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines

eBook: Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines
eBook: Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines

Publisher: Google | Pages: 167

What you’ll learn

Do you want to learn how Google evaluates websites? If the answer is Yes, then this is the eBook to download, read and keep to your library for future reference.

Google has a team of thousands of people called “Search Quality Raters”. These people are responsible to provide feedback to Google on how their search algorithms are performing.

Their job is to perform hundreds of search queries, visit the websites that appear in the top positions of the Google results and answer a detailed questionnaire.

The instructions and criteria to use for this task are explained in detail in this free eBook.

If you’re serious about SEO, you need to read this guide from start to finish. It will give you a very good idea of what Google is looking for when ranking websites.

It should be noted that the feedback provided by the search quality raters does not directly influence the ranking algorithms but it’s a way for Google to test if their changes are producing better or worse results for the users.

How to download

Click the button below to open the PDF in a new browser tab. Right-click anywhere in the document and select SAVE AS to save the eBook as PDF.

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Google's Robots.txt Parser is Misbehaving

The newly-released open source robots.txt parser is not, as Google claims, the same as the production Googlebot parsing code. In addition, we have found cases where each of the official resources disagrees with the others. As a result, there is currently no way of knowing how the real Googlebot treats robots.txt instructions. Read on for example robots.txt files that are treated differently by Googlebot and by the open source parser.

Googlers: if you’re reading this, please help us clarify for the industry how Googlebot really interprets robots.txt.

Google recently released an open source robots.txt parser that they claimed is “production code”. This was very much needed because, as they said in the announcement blog post, “for 25 years, the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) was only a de-facto standard”.

Before they released it, we might have thought that the substantial documentation from Google and the online checking tool from Google amounted to a reasonable ability to know how Googlebot would treat robots.txt directives in the wild.

Since the release of the open source parser, we have found that there are situations where each of the three sources (documentation, online checker, open source parser) behave differently to the others (see below for more on each of these situations):

Table of misbehaving robots.txt parser

This might all be just about OK if, as claimed, the open source parser is the authoritative answer now. I guess we could rely on the community to build correct documentation from the authoritative source, and build tools from the open source code. The online checker is part of the old Google Search Console, is clearly not being actively maintained, and documentation can be wrong, or fall out of date. But to change the rules without an announcement in an area of extreme importance is dangerous for Google, in my opinion. 

The existence of robots exclusion protocols is central to their ability to cache the entire public web without copyright concerns. In most situations, this kind of mass copying would require opt-in permission – it’s only the public interest in the existence of web search engines that allows them to work on an assumption of default permission with an opt-out. That opt-out is crucial, however, and Google is in very dangerous territory if they are not respecting robots.txt directives.

It gets worse though. The open source parser is not the same as the production Googlebot robots.txt parsing code. Specifically, in the third case above, where the open source parser disagrees with the documentation and with the online checker, real Googlebot behaves as we would previously have expected (in other words, it agrees with the documentation and online checker, and disagrees with the open source parser). You can read more below about the specifics.

The open source parser is missing Google-specific features

Even if you don’t know C++ (as I don’t), you can see from the comments on the code that there are a range of places where the open source parser contains Google-specific features or differences from the specification they are trying to create (the line linked above – line 330 of – is one of a number of changes to make Googlebot more forgiving, in this case to work even if the colon is missed from a “User-agent:” statement).

Given these enhancements, it’s reasonable to believe that Google has, in fact, open-sourced their production parsing code rather than a sanitised specification-compliant version that they extend for their own purposes. In addition, they have said officially that they have retired a number of enhancements that are not supported by the draft specification.

Take the code, their official announcements, and additional statements such as Gary Illyes confirming at Pubcon that it’s production code, and we might think it reasonable to believe Google on this occasion:

That would be a mistake.

If you use the open source tool to build tests for your robots.txt file, you could easily find yourself getting incorrect results. The biggest problem we have found so far is the way that it treats googlebot-image and googlebot-news directives (and rules targeting other sub-googlebots as well as other non-googlebot bots from Google like Adsbot) differently to the way the real Googlebot does.

Worked example with googlebot-image

In the absence of directives specifically targeting googlebot-image, the image bot is supposed to follow regular Googlebot directives. This is what the documentation says. It’s how the old online checker works. And it’s what happens in the wild. But it’s not how the open source parser behaves:

googlebot-image misbehaving

Unfortunately, we can’t fall back on either the documentation or the old online checker as they both have errors too:

The online checker has errors

googlebot/1.2 is equivalent to googlebot user-agent

Now, it’s quite hard to work out exactly what this part of the documentation means (reviewing the specification and parser, it seems that it means that only letters, underscores, and hyphens are allowed in user-agents in robots.txt directives, and anything that comes after a disallowed character is ignored).

But, it is easy to understand the example – that googlebot/1.2 should be treated as equivalent to googlebot.

That’s what the documentation says. It’s also how it’s treated by the new open source parser (and, I believe, how the real Googlebot works). But it’s not how the online robots.txt checker works:

Google Search Console robots.txt checker is wrong

The documentation differs from reality too

Unfortunately, we can’t even try to build our own parser after reading the documentation carefully because there are places where it differs from the online checker and the new open source parser (and, I believe, production Googlebot).

For example:

user agent matches the first most specific rule

There are some examples in the documentation to make it clear that the “most-specific” part refers to the fact that if your robots.txt file disallows /foo, but explicitly allows /foo/bar, then /foo/bar (and anything contained in that, such as /foo/bar/baz) will be allowed.

But note the “first” in there. This means, to my understanding, that if we allow and disallow the exact same path, then the first directive should be the one that is obeyed:

Search Console is correct in this instance

But it turns out the order doesn’t matter:

Search Console doesn't match the documentation

In summary, we have no way of knowing what real Googlebot will do in every situation

All the sources disagree

And we know that real Googlebot can’t agree with all of them (and have tested one of these areas in the wild):

And actual Googlebot behaves differently to all of them

What should happen now?

Well, we (and you) need to do some more testing to figure out how Googlebot behaves in the real world. But the biggest change I’m hoping for is some change and clarity from Google. So if you’re reading this, googlers:

  1. Please give us the real story on the differences between the newly-open-sourced parser and production Googlebot code
  2. Given the proven differences between the old Search Console online checker and real Googlebot behaviour, please remove confusion by deprecating the old checker and building a compliant new one into the new Search Console

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