Google Penguin 2.0 is Live – are you ready?

Google Penguin 2 - is your website ready

Penguin 2.0 – is it relevant to your website? Well, if you are interested in keeping your website at the top of the Google rankings then you need to make sure that your website is ready for Google’s Penguin 2.0 to – the latest and major update to Google’s search algorithm.

Google-Penguin-2Matt Cutts, Google’s Search Engineer and key spokesman for all things Google, first announced that there would be the next generation of Penguin in March. He officially branded it Penguin 2.0 in tweets earlier this month and earlier this week he said it was rolling out late Wednesday afternoon on the channel “This Week in Google”.

“It’s gonna have a pretty big impact on web spam,” Cutts said on the show. “It’s a brand new generation of algorithms. The previous iteration of Penguin would essentially only look at the home page of a site. The newer generation of Penguin goes much deeper and has a really big impact in certain small areas.”

In his blog post , 22nd May 2013, Cutts added more details of Penguin 2.0, saying that the rollout is now complete and affects English language queries, and that it affects non-English queries as well. He said:


We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the roll-out is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.

This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh), we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally. For more information on what SEOs should expect in the coming months, see the video that we recently released.

What does Penguin 2.0 mean to your website?

The main thrust of this release is to clamp down on ‘spammy’ backlinks i.e. links that have been bought or add no value to the ranking of your site. Backlinks must adhere to key rules, they must not:

Come from sites built exclusively for the purpose of SEO
Use overly-optimised anchor text throughout
Come from adult or other “bad neighbourhood” websites
Come from sites that are irrelevant to your own site and its content

Download the key features overview of Google Penguin 2.0

And if you are not managing your website SEO – email us now to discuss how you can ensure your website is adhering to 2.0 and previous Google guidelines to manage your visibility on Google search results. Or call us on 0843 289 3060.


Why you’re not getting retweeted

how to get retweeted

how to get retweetedIf you’re on Twitter for business, one of the things you’ll want to happen is for other people to retweet your tweets. This means that people are interacting with your brand, like what you’re saying, and helps spread the word about your business to new audiences. It also helps with SEO as shared Tweets will show Google that your content is valuable and important to people and so your retweeted Tweets are likely to show up in search results.

So why make it difficult for people to retweet you?

We manage social media campaigns for several clients and one of the things we like to do is retweet other users, it’s a way of forming a relationship because if we retweet them, they’re more likely to interact with us in the future.  But I’m telling you that most Twitter users make it difficult for us to retweet them.

What makes it difficult to retweet a tweet?

We all know that Twitter allows up to 140 characters in a tweet. So a lot of people use up the whole 140 or very close to that. It’s not a lot of space and it’s easy to use it all up, I’ll grant you that. But then if someone else wants to retweet your tweet, they’ll click the retweet button and Twitter (or Hootsuite or whatever you’re using) will create a new tweet starting with the text “RT @nameofperson: “, (don’t include the quote marks, Twitter doesn’t put those in, I’ve just done it to explain the example) followed by the tweet. So already, before the tweet even starts, you’ve added extra characters into your retweet – a whole 18 characters in the above example.

If the original tweet was 140 characters, this means that the new tweet will be 158 characters. So if I want to send that retweet, I’ve got to delete some character out of the original tweet.  Maybe change “and” to “&” or “three” to “3”, or delete a hashtag. And really, I can’t be bothered, it’s too much hassle, and sometimes it’s difficult to see how you can shorten the tweet without having to totally rewrite it.

So if your tweets are too long to retweet, most people won’t be bothered, and won’t retweet you even if they want to. And then you’ve lost an opportunity to spread your word around the Twittersphere.  What a waste.

How to make sure your Tweets can be retweeted easily

Work out how many characters are in your Twitter ID, including the “‘@” sign. Our business Twitter ID is @insightgroup so we’ve got 13 characters in ours.  Add on the “RT” and the space after it, then add on the “:” and the space after that, and that’s another 5 characters, making 18 in total. Subtract that from 140, that’s 122 left. So our tweets should never be more than 122 characters if they’re the sort we want to get retweeted.

Please do this from now on.  It astounds me how many businesses don’t know about this and blithely carry on posting Tweets that are far too long.  If you’re not doing it right, at best it shows that you don’t understand Twitter and at worst you’re annoying the very people you need because you’re making it too difficult for them to retweet your Tweets.

If Twitter is all too much for you, we can take your pain away and handle your campaign for you. If this sounds like it would be a relief to you, take a look at our social media management packages.

Sales Prospecting Gets Smart in Outlook/Gmail

Sales Prospecting Gets Smart - Sales Crystal Ball Shows and Tracks Prospect Activity

Sales Prospecting Gets Smart Crystal Ball Approach Shows and Tracks Prospect ActivityJust imagine … that you had a sales prospecting crystal ball. (No, not the ‘dreaming one’ that shows you how you are going to be rich and famous through amazing sales feats!) But a crystal ball that works like a two way mirror, so that you see what your sales prospects are doing right now and just how interested they are in your company and services.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

Well technology just delivered a sales prospecting crystal ball. Now you can stop ‘wondering’ if prospects are interested and know that they are ‘real’ and not time wasters by showing you exactly how they responding to your email proposals.

With the market pressure on most companies (even without a triple dip recession!) sales leads and prospects are still high on the agenda. Reacting to hot prospects, ignoring time wasters and staying ahead of the competition is crucial. Well actually it’s essential as illustrated when Forbes ran a survey of 10,000 companies and found that:

Companies don’t respond fast enough to sales leads

And the main reason sales people (and these days, no matter what your role, we’re all sales people) don’t follow up fast enough is because we don’t really know, for each prospect, when is the right time. When is it too fast to follow up and upset your prospect? When is too slow and you have to start all over again?  And when is it too late to continue your sales prospecting because have you missed the boat? Or worse your competition followed up at the ‘right time’ and closed the deal!

It’s a problem that I’ve seen time and again while working with companies of all sizes from a one person sales company to sales teams of 50+. Forbes results are 100% right, in sales prospecting, timing is everything in closing the cheap car insurance toronto ‘deal’.

So when I ran across a company called ContactMonkey that provides an app for Outlook and Gmail that gave me my own ‘sales crystal ball’ and told me…

  • when a prospect opened an email
  • where they were when they opened it
  • what device they opened it on
  • and how many times they opened it

 I got very excited!


Suddenly I could see immediately when a prospect opened the proposal they’d asked for. If I send the email at lunchtime and they open it straightaway on their mobile, then again a short while later on their desktop, I know they are interested. I can follow-up in the knowledge that the sales prospect is real and they are actively reviewing. What better time to make contact?

Some of the great things that got me excited!:

  • I can focus on active prospects to maximise ‘the sales moment’. If I have 10 prospects then why waste time with the 7 that haven’t opened the email? Much better to focus on the 3 ‘real’ leads that are reviewing my proposal.
  • I can quickly prioritise ‘hot prospects’ by filtering the display to only show prospects that have opened the email several times
  • Knowing when an email is opened means I know when to call to make contact. No leaving voicemails when they are out. I see when they open the email with display bubble. I know how long it will take for them to get a feel for the contents of my proposal and then I can strike while the proverbial iron is hot.
  • ContactMonkey is integrated directly in my email so I can handle everything from one place.
  • Clicking a ContactMonkey alert takes me straight to the email so I know which email they have read, and can call with all the information right in front of me.
  • All email opens are integrated with my CRM so I have historical and sales tracking
  • It’s really a no-brainer when it means I am ramping up the effectiveness of my sales prospecting cycle.
See ContactMonkey in Outlook
See ContactMonkey in Gmail

As Forbes highlighted in their survey report:

The Internet is shortening our attention spans, but sales teams still have absolutely no idea how fast they need to respond to inquiries to be effective and they don’t have the technology to help them do it.

With ContactMonkey I have the technology and the information to know how fast and when to respond. That just leaves the rest to me and gives me a major advantage over my competitors in sales prospecting.

How marvellous that technology can deliver my very own sales crystal ball to my email. Dreams do come true after all!