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An Insider’s Peek at Great Holiday Deals

That time of the year is coming once again. The air is cooling (in places that aren’t Los Angeles), leaves are changing, turkeys are thawing in fridges across the country, and Thanksgiving is almost upon us! That means, of course, that two other important days are right on its heels: Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Here at Wpromote, we’ve got tons of amazing clients who are offering awesome promotions over this holiday of giving thanks and great deals. You won’t find a scoop like this anywhere else, because you’re getting the insider’s look at all the incredible promotions our clients put on over this coming holiday weekend!

So this Thanksgiving, sit back, relax, indulge in an amazing meal, and then prepare to get shopping!


walaWala Swim

Wala Swim curates some of the most beautifully designed, best fitting swimwear on Earth. If you want a suit that fits perfectly and looks like it was made just for you, look no further than Wala Swim!

Get 25% off site-wide from Tuesday, 11/24 through Monday, 11/30! All full-price merchandise will be 25% off and all markdowns will be an additional 25% off.


Bicycle Adventures

bicycleBicycle Adventures provides fun, active, safe, scenic, and absolutely care-free vacations. Their bicycle tours will take you on the exciting journey of a lifetime!

Enter to win a tour of Bryce and Zion national parks, an Orbea Carpe urban road bike, and more with the #BikeBlackFriday campaign! Check it out over here.


Nice Laundry

Upgrade your sock drawer. Get cool, crazy, fun, and colorful socks for men and women, meticulously crafted by people who love socks and want you to love yours.nicelaundry

Get an exclusive free pair with your first purchase by unlocking early access to Black Friday. You’ll receive a black and white American Flag print for Black Friday (from 11/26 – 11/29), and a Faire Island print for Cyber Monday (from 11/29 – 11/30). Sign up at their site now!


Stop Staring!

stopstaringStop Staring! is a vintage-inspired ready-to-wear clothing collection by Alicia Estrada, based in Los Angeles. This affordable brand, loved and flaunted by celebrities, is known for the perfect blend of timeless and classic styles with an excellent fit!

From the 23rd through the 27th, enjoy their exclusive $40 sample dress sale!



onehopeONEHOPE Wine has a mission: to make the world a better place through beautifully crafted products and experiences. Their world-class vineyard in the heart of Napa produces award-winning wine, gourmet coffee, and memorable gifts.

From the 21st through the 27th, enjoy a buy three, save 40% promotion plus free shipping with promo code FRIDAY!


Learning Resources

learningresourcesGive your children more than a toy this holiday – give them memories and the power to grow. Learning Resources is a leading global manufacturer of innovative, hands-on educational products that are trusted by teachers and parents and loved by children of all ages.

Get 25% off site-wide and free shipping on all orders, with more special deals to follow throughout Cyber Week! Check out their holiday gift guide to see all the cool things they have to offer.


Trex Outdoor Furniture

trexTrex Outdoor Furniture is the leader in all things outdoor and offers the ultimate in relaxation: stylish, comfortable, and durable outdoor furniture. Their eco-friendly lumber is soft to the touch but so durable it can withstand even the most extreme weather.

For Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Trex is offering not just one, but two different great deals. You can buy two rockers and get a free side table, or buy two Adirondacks and get a free side table. Check out both deals here!


Bespoken New York

bespokenCombining the rich history of classic Savile Row tailoring with Rock ‘n Roll styling, Bespoken New York adds modern details to existing classic fabrics and construction techniques to produce menswear that has the fit and quality of a bespoke piece, or a garment that has “been spoken for.”

On 11/30 only, from 12 AM through 11:59 PM EST, you can get a 35% discount site-wide with promo code CYBER35 at checkout!


I See Me!

iseemeI See Me! publishes very high quality personalized children’s books that build self-esteem by celebrating the uniqueness of each child. Their mission is to make children feel great about themselves.

From November 25th through December 2nd, save $5 on orders over $25 with promo code 5SAVE. Save $10 on orders over $50 with promo code 10SAVE. Save $20 on orders over $70 and receive free shipping with promo code 20SAVE!


The Original Muck Boot Company

muckThe Original Muck Boot Company started in 1999 with the sole purpose of building the most comfortable, high-performance outdoor footwear on the market. Today, The Original Muck Boot Company is known to have the most reliable, durable boots that work anytime, anywhere in the harshest conditions.

While their Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals run from the 20th to the 30th, quantities are limited! Get up to 50% off select items. Check out the exclusive deals here.


Gorilla Gadgets

gorillaGorilla Gadgets was created for people who appreciate elegantly designed products at a super low price. Find the best new products, like portable chargers, bluetooth vibration speakers, and mobile device covers, at the lowest prices offered.

On the 25th and 26th only, get 30-70% off on select items, including Chicoboards, which will be just $699.99 (reg. $999.99)!


John Elliott + Co

johnelliotInteresting people live outside their comfort zones. John Elliott + Co is a modern and aspirational men’s apparel company. Their garments feature clean lines and tailored fits with custom fabrics.

Get 20% off storewide between the 27th and 29th during their Black Friday sale!



papyrusPAPYRUS is a celebration of greeting cards, stationery, wrap, and gifts. They believe in embracing all that life has to offer, and elevate everyday living and moments in that journey to become joyful events, visual statements, and objects of beauty that convey a sense of self and punctuate the way we experience life.

From 11/25 through 11/29, you can enjoy a variety of offers both in stores and online. All greeting cards are buy three, get one free. All boxed holiday cards are buy one, get one 50% off. All wrap, bags, and trim are buy one, get one 50% off. Finally, all pre-wrapped holiday gifts are 50% off! For Perks members, there is an exclusive offer. Sign up in stores only today!


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What Makes a Solid 404 Page? (With Examples!)

If there’s one page on your site that you never want users to see, but have to proceed as if they will, it’s your site’s 404 error page. For years, having a well-crafted 404 page has been a staple of SEO best practices that we’ve used to help improve websites and make them better. “But Brian,” I hear you wondering, “Why put work into a 404 page? You don’t want users to see it and I don’t think search engines crawl or value it!” You would be correct, nameless voice in my head! 404 pages serve multiple purposes, NONE of them strictly SEO-related. They don’t have weight, they don’t have value in the eyes of the search engines, and many times they aren’t even indexed. Why the heck give a whoopsie daisy about them, then?

I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening?


No, wait – wait, sorry, usability. 404 pages are excellent for usability, for a variety of reasons, the main being user stickiness. A solid 404 page isn’t just memorable, but it helps keeps users on your site even if they arrive at a broken page for whatever reason. There are two primary things one should adhere to when creating a solid 404 page, which include…


A Good 404 Error Page Must Be Useful

Any good 404 page worth its salt has a variety of links to various important portions of the website. This includes not only 404the homepage and HTML sitemap (you…do have one of those, right?), but links to either top level sections, most recent blog posts, or important pages that users spend most of their time on. 404 pages need to help users find this information quickly so they don’t get frustrated or feel stuck, but they also need to help guide users to where they need or want to go next, so they need to be cleanly arranged and easy to understand. It’s not enough just to have a link to the homepage and a search bar, in my opinion – though it’s a step in the right direction. The second tenet of a good 404 page is…


A Good 404 Error Page Must Be Engaging

Building on the last tenet, a good 404 page doesn’t simply have to be useful. It should also be engaging. It’s one more way to give the user a memorable experience, by providing them with a moment of levity in their usual web browsing experience. Many 404 pages that are ranked the best or most newsworthy include catchy graphics, interesting bits of interactivity, funny text and much more. A good, solid 404 page should help add to the user experience by being memorable and encouraging the user to return for your products or services again. Now I could spout out platitudes all day, but I’m more of the hands on type, so let’s do some examples!


Examples of Solid 404 Error Pages (with Critiques!)

In this portion of the article, I’m gonna show off some 404 pages to popular sites and tell you whether they meet the criteria above successfully or not. Let’s start with:

Wpromote’s 404 Error Page

I might be a bit biased here, sure, but I really do like the 404 page of our own site. It’s got some text, links to popular sections of the site, and even a horse fighting a bear! It, to me, hits all the right notes of charm and usability.

Wpromote 404 Error Page

NPR’s 404 Error Page

This might be my favorite of the bunch. Why? It has a bit of introductory text, some links, and then links and blurbs to some of their most popular stories about lost things and people, which is both funny and relevant. This not only helps people remember this site and this page, but also engages with users and trusts their intelligence. Overall, an excellent 404 page.

NPR 404 Error Page

Lego’s 404 Error Page

Not much text on this one, but it’s almost too cute to be an issue. As much as I love, love, love, LOVE Lego, I wish this one had a bit more text on it. I mean the image is perfect, and it helps get the site more attention, AND it fits the brand perfectly…for a brand as large as Lego, maybe that’s enough. You, likely, aren’t Lego, however, so you’ll need a bit more content than this one.

Lego 404 Error Page

Starbucks’ 404 Error Page

Not a ton of text, but a decent amount, and well-written as well. Only has a few links, but they link to important places. The coffee stain is a really nice touch as well. Overall, this one could be a bit better organized — I’m not a fan of links in body copy, I’d much rather a simple bulleted list of links — but it fits the style and brand perfectly. Is that enough to be the perfect 404 page? It’s close, but it’s no NPR.

Starbucks 404 Error Page

Nike’s 404 Error Page

Okay, this is a bit unfair, right? I mean…it’s Nike. They’re such a huge brand they don’t need a lot of text, everyone knows Nike. I disagree, however. I find this 404 page to be a big jarring and disjointed, and not as helpful as I’d like. If I’m looking for a specific product, for example, I’d much rather be presented with a link to that product category, rather than to a similar type of product I’m likely not interested in. I also think this one needs to have SOME content, rather than the barely-a-sentence they have right now. Overall, this one is likely my least favorite.

Nike 404 Error Page


To close up, a good, solid, usable, engaging, and dependable 404 error page is a key part of any site’s usability strategy. By offering users one more way to get around your site should they get lost or arrive at a broken page, you’re ensuring a user’s stickiness, which is super important these days, as search engines have long been able to monitor how long a user stays on-site and on-page. Thanks for reading these tips, I hope you found them useful, and I hope you’ll give your own 404 page a second look to see if it also needs improving.



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A Smattering of SEO News – Mobile Madness

Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering of SEO News, hitting the news highlights in the SEO world from the last week. Looks like there was a lot of focus on mobile SEO: from Google’s new ratings guide focusing much more on mobile, to Bing’s new mobile friendliness tool! All this and more below, so check it out!

Google News:

  • search-quality-guidelinesGoogle Updates Its Quality Rater’s Guide With A Heightened Focus On Mobile – Google has released its latest Quality Rater’s Guide, announced back in October, and it features an unsurprising new focus on mobile site quality. While emphasis has been added on local search and mobile site quality, the biggest addition seems to be a “Needs Met Rating,” which rates mobile sites based on how well they meet the needs of the searcher. The guide goes all the way from “Fully Meets” to “Fails to Meet” with many levels in-between, and covers a wide array of issues to look for. It’s a pretty fascinating read, so be sure to check it out.
  • Google Working To Fix Outdated Search Console Data – A lot of y’all might have noticed that traffic data in Google’s Search Console might’ve stopped on 11/11, and you’re not alone, because it’s affecting everyone. While this happened a few weeks back, and Google said they fixed it, the lack of data is rearing its ugly head again. Google is aware of the issue, thankfully, and is working on a fix which should be implemented by week’s end.
  • Google Launches App Streaming, Strives To Create Web-Like Experience With Apps – One thing that’s been concerning both search engines and search engine marketers are the rise of using apps rather than the browser for visiting specific web properties as well as conducting searches. Google is taking a step to rectify this with a new capability that allows users to effectively “stream” apps without having to install them. Right now, when users of certain apps like The Weather Channel and Chimani, do a search via Google on an Android 5 or 6-enabled phone, you’ll get this new experience. It’s currently a pilot program that if expanded, could drastically change how we use the web, apps, and more. We’ll keep you apprised as to how this goes, but I’m excited about the idea of it all.


  • Schema Data Not Used In Featured Snippets. Yet. – A little while back, it was reported that schema can help with the creation of featured snippets, at least according to Google’s John Mueller. Recently, however, Google’s Gary Illyes said that Google doesn’t use schema for its featured snippets right now. “Right now” is what a lot of folks are clinging too, and the fact that he needed to correct an earlier statement makes a lot of folks think this is something Google will eventually implement. We’ll keep an eye on this as it develops.

Other News:mobile1

  • Bing Launches Mobile-Friendliness Tool – Around a year ago or so, Google launched their popular and useful Mobile-Friendly testing tool, which a lot of us folks use regularly to test a site’s…well, mobile-friendliness. Now, Bing – who’ve stated they’re working on their own mobile algorithm – have launched their own mobile testing tool. The tool is slick, but doesn’t seem to offer as detailed info as Google’s tool. Regardless, this could be a good way to back up findings from Google’s tool if, say, a client needs convincing about their site becoming mobile friendly.
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Common Mistakes with Google’s Disavow Links Tool

Few things arouse such fear and trepidation as Google’s disavow links tool. But if your site has been affected by one of the Penguin updates, or if you’ve been given a manual action for unnatural links – or if you think you’re at risk for either of those – then you really don’t have much choice. (Unless you think Google is just lying about the whole thing.)

Recently Google’s Gary Ilyes has stated that Google expects to update Penguin before the end of the year. If your site has some backlinks you’re not crazy about, now is the time to disavow them. And if you’ve already submitted a disavow file, it might be time to revisit your disavow file and make sure everything’s correct.

Over the past year, I’ve completed more than a hundred backlink risk assessments and looked at a few dozen disavow files. Here are the most common mistakes I see.


The Basics

First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. If you’re working on a disavow file, you should have these pages bookmarked for easy reference:


Disavowing Individual URLs When The Whole Site Needs To Be Disavowed…

I’ve seen plenty of disavow files where the webmaster just tossed in a bunch of URLs, like this:

There are a couple problems here: For one, just disavowing the URL doesn’t guarantee that page is disavowed, because it might load under several URLs – with or without “www”, with or without a trailing slash, etc. More importantly, there could be other links from that same domain that are causing the penalty.

In May 2013, Matt Cutts, then the head of Google’s spam team, recommended using the disavow like a machete instead of a scalpel, and disavowing links at the domain level:

Of course, it’s possible there might be a domain that has good, valuable links pointing to your site, and you just need to disavow a few pages. But I have yet to see a situation where disavowing individual URLs was preferable to disavowing the entire domain. In my experience, if you need to disavow one link from a site, you need to disavow all of them.


Disavowing Certain Subdomains When The Whole Domain Needs To Be Disavowed

Similarly, sometimes webmasters go crazy trying to list all subdomains they found:

Disavowing the root domain also disavows all subdomains, so the above lines can be replaced with this:

Of course, there are situations where you want to disavow a specific subdomain but not the entire domain, especially when you’re dealing with free blogging platforms like and That leads to the next common mistake I see…


Disavowing The Whole Domain When Only Certain Subdomains Need To Be Disavowed

It’s not uncommon that webmasters put free blogging platforms into the disavow:

This isn’t using disavow like a machete – this is more like slash-and-burn. By disavowing these blogging platforms at the domain level, you’re asking Google to cancel out the link value from all blogs hosted on these domains. Instead, specify each subdomain you’re disavowing:

Sure, it’s possible that there are just too many spam blogs pointing to your site, but if you’re going to nuke these sites from orbit, then you’re probably at the point where you need to just start all over with a new domain anyway.


Disavowing Different Country-Code Blogspot Domains

As detailed in this article by The SEM Post, there’s no need to specifically disavow all the different Blogspot domains, because they’re all canonicalized to the “.com” domain.

You can easily convert all international Blogspot blogs to the .com using Excel. If you have a list of just the subdomains, do a Find and Replace for:


and replace with:

If you have a list of URLs instead of the bare subdomains, then instead find:


and replace with:


Using “Site:” Instead Of “Domain:”

Actually, this one is a mistake I’ve made. I mixed up the “site:” search operator with the “domain:” disavow directive. Whoops! Luckily Google will catch this error when you try to upload the file.


Adding A Space After “Domain:”


Does this break anything, or does the parser ignore it? I have no idea. (Please comment if you do!) This is a “better safe than sorry” recommendation. If you’re using a spreadsheet to generate your disavow file, then you can use this formula on your list of domains:


(Where A2 is the cell containing the domain you want to disavow.)


Including Unnecessarily Verbose Comments In The File

You can include comments by starting a line with “#”, which tells the parser to ignore that line. This doesn’t mean you should fill up the file with your notes, however:

# contacted webmaster 3 times (
# but got no response
# contacted webmaster 2 times (
#and he sent back a mean reply :(
# the "ww" in the next line is NOT a typo:

This isn’t a mistake per se, it’s just a waste of your time. Disavow files are processed automatically, so no human at Google will read the file and appreciate your thoughtful notes. In fact, the more notes you include, the greater the chances you’ll include a typo that prevents the file from being parsed correctly.

Google is partially to blame for this one, because their disavow example uses this kind of overly fastidious commenting:


You should only include notes in the disavow file that will help you (or a future analyst) understand and edit the file later. Contact info and dates of contact are important to track, but they don’t need to be reported in the disavow file.


Including No Notes At All

That being said, it’s not much help when I find a disavow file without any notation, especially if I’ll need to modify it, or if the site has already been through a few rounds of Reconsideration Requests. Why were sites X and Y disavowed? Has site Z been disavowed since the start, or was it added recently?

I like to include a line like this at the start:

# disavow file for revised 24 August 2015

Then I’ll break up the disavowed domains by type and indicate when they were added:

# spam blogs added 24 August 2015
# spam directories added 5 June 2015

This will help later if you don’t remember why you disavowed certain domains. And just in case you lose rankings because you disavowed good sites, you can go back and narrow down the culprit based on the dates they were disavowed.


Forgetting To Re-Upload Your Disavow File When Switching From HTTP To HTTPS

Make sure you upload your disavow file to the correct Google Search Console profile – remember that there may be separate profiles for the “www” and non-“www” versions of your domain, as well as secure (HTTPS) and non-secure. So if your site makes the switch from HTTP to HTTPS, make sure you re-upload the disavow file to the new profile.


Worrying About Links From And Other Thin Aggregators

If you’ve downloaded your backlinks from Google Search Console, you’ve probably seen a ton of links to your site from, which is ostensibly a search engine that happens to have thousands of subdomains.

These links may look risky and unnatural when you’re looking at them in a spreadsheet, because the anchor text usually contains keywords and there’s so many of them. But the keyword-rich anchor text occurs because they usually use a page’s title tag as the anchor text – and there’s so many links from these sites because they link out to everybody. Seriously, every site gets links from

Several years ago, John Mueller stated that Google ignores links from a similar but now-defunct site, That might be an indication that Google just ignores links from all of these scraper sites.

There are lots of site like around, that exist just by scraping data from elsewhere – they come and go all the time, so it’s not worth the time to try and keep track of them. A few years ago in backlink assessments, I used to see large numbers of links from a series of thin aggregators:,, – every possible combination between 1 and 100. Now almost all of those domains redirect or are expired. Marie Haynes recently noticed that two scraper sites whose links often show up in backlink audits, and, have now rebranded or shut down altogether.

Do you need to disavow and other thin aggregators? Probably not. But I’ll admit that I could be wrong in assuming that Google ignores these links – and it’s theoretically possible that these links could push a site past the threshold for losing rankings due to a Penguin update. So if it’ll help you sleep better, then toss “” into your disavow file and stop worrying.

You can distinguish thin aggregator sites by these characteristics:

  • Identifies itself as a search engine or question-and-answer site
  • Page looks like it was stitched together from scraped data
  • Links often use the Title tag of the linked page as anchor text
  • Links to 10 or more similar pages, likely including your competitors


Disavowing Natural, Valuable Links

It’s a real possibility you might unnecessarily disavow links that Google considers natural votes of trust for your site. But if your site is suffering from the effects of a manual action, maybe you can’t afford to spend too much time going through the links too finely. Sometimes desperate site owners just toss up their hands and say, “Disavow ’em all, let Google sort ’em out.”

Directories can be especially tricky to evaluate. In general, the high-quality directories are specific to a business niche or geographical location, and prioritize user experience. Low-quality directories are typically generic-looking with no specific topical focus. They usually have a “Submit Site” link in the main navigation menu, and sometimes include a “Remove This Link for $20″ link on the linking page.

Links in forums are often nofollowed by default, but if they’re not, they’re generally OK, if they’re just people discussing a topic and linking to your site to help other users. You don’t need to disavow forum links unless they’ve been spammed – if someone has gone through and posted the same spammy links in multiple threads – or if there are risky links in forum signatures or on profile pages.

Here are some more articles to help you figure out what not to disavow:


Good luck with all your future disavow endeavors!


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How Google Alerts Can Improve Your Digital Strategy

There are plenty of tools floating around out there that help SEOers with things like keyword analysis, page speed, and competitor analyses. One of the most underrated tools I use is Google Alerts! In this post I’ll show you how setting up Google Alerts can help your efficiency and how to set it up to become more proactive within your SEO campaign and online marketing efforts.


Related News & Current Events

Setting up Google Alerts on related news and current events for your brand is an easy way for your brand to insert itself into relevant industry conversations and provide your stance on the subject matter.

Let’s say your company is passionate about technology and education because you sell consumer electronics. Setting up a Google Alert around “school budget cuts” leads you to an elementary school in New York who won’t be receiving the funding for technology they need to teach their students due to budget cuts. Could you help with a charitable donation or raise awareness on the matter? What’s your take on the subject? How are you helping the situation?

related news and current events



Setting up alerts for your named competitors is an easy way to see what they’re up to at a glance.

In this Google Alert for Best Buy, two articles give insight into the company’s Black Friday promotions. In upcoming promotions like Black Friday, we know consumers are going to be looking for the best deals and will definitely be doing some comparison shopping. Can you provide them with a better deal or deals on newer products?



Your Brand

Setting up a Google Alert on your own brand name lets you know how you’re being talked about around the web. This can lead to opportunities to:

  • Find your fans and see what others have to say about you
  • Get ideas for new features or content partnerships
  • Acquire new links


So let’s say an alert comes up that your electronics company has been mentioned by a leading technology publication. This is great! Right? The electronics company is saying your review on the latest Canon DSLR camera was in their top 3, and anyone looking to purchase that model should check your review out. Problem is, they didn’t link back to your site when they mentioned you. You now have an opportunity to maximize the mention by requesting that they link back your brand to your domain in order to gain link equity from that post. These are also called unlinked mentions.

This can also be seen as an opportunity for a content partnership or feature: in the future, when you’re posting your next product review or coming up with a new tech tip, said technology publication readers would really enjoy seeing your relevant content.


That’s it! What are some ways you like to use Google Alerts? Comment below!



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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: Play With Video + Multi-Emoji Reactions…Again

#Hashtag #Blessed: 2 weeks worth of Social Media news in this week’s Smorgasbord! Sorry, got distracted playing around with Facebook and Twitter’s new
interactive videos.



VR-Style 360 Ads Launch

The first Virtual Reality 360 Ads launched on Facebook last week, a week after reporting an average of 8 billion video views on Facebook each day (up from 4 million views in April). Personally, these ads make me kind of nauseous with all the movement, but you can’t deny that being able to control a video and explore it on your own is pretty fun.


Facebook Notify

Facebook launched Notify for iOS, a new potential competitor with Twitter for real-time news. Notify pushes news notifications to iPhones in short blurbs, delivering more timely news than Facebook’s algorithm-based News Feed. One plus for Notify over Twitter is it pulls your page likes from Facebook to give you a recommendation of stations to follow. Currently, it doesn’t feature any ads and only works with a select 70 partners, but there’s talk about future possibilities for advertisers. 


Expanded Search

Facebook is testing a new feature that allows users to search for specific posts on an individual profile. It’s only been seen on personal pages so far, but brand functionality isn’t ruled out.


Facebook Live Subscribe

Facebook added a subscribe button to their Facebook Live feature, which will allow users to get notified when someone goes live. This is supposedly different from the notifications you get when a Facebook page you’ve liked is going live.





Like Facebook, Instagram launched a partner program to pair businesses with marketing firms. At launch, there are 40 partners divided into three categories: Ad Tech, Community Management, and Content Marketing. After initial runs, Instagram reports some businesses have seen a 64% higher ROI since teaming up with an Instagram Partner.



Goodbye ⭐️, Hello ❤️… and 💯🍻🙈?3

Soon, you might be able to 😤💯😴🎉 your way through Twitter. The social network began testing multi-emoji reactions on select accounts (sound familiar?). This comes after the controversial switch from ⭐️ (favorite) to ❤️ (like), which Twitter says has brought a 6% increase in activity after 1 week.


Twitter has a new toy for GIF lovers. ScratchReel lets you scrub back and forth on GIFs, letting you rewind and pause to your heart’s desire. Head to Twitter to play with this one for a minute or ninety and see for yourself.




Pins Get Reorganized

Pinterest added some new features to help Pinners stay organized on iPhones and Androids. Now boards can be sorted alphabetically and by most recent, pins are more easily searchable, and recent pins will be seen first. Plus, if you have enough pins in a board, you can find different topics you’ve pinned within the board and organize it that way, too.


Visual Search

Pinterest’s new visual search is huge (especially for fans of Google’s search by image tool, like myself). See a dining table that would look absolutely perfect under that microwavable popcorn chicken you’re planning to heat up for dinner? Find one that looks just like it by selecting that part of the image and get more granular details, even where to find it. For now, promoted pins will not appear in results for visual search.




Verified Snapchat

Be 100% confident the Biebs you Snapchat your deepest secrets to is in fact the real Biebs (and then crawl in a hole in embarrassment) with Snapchat’s new “Official Stories” feature. Celebrities (no brands, yet) are also now easier to find with Snapchat’s upgraded search. A special section in search results for “Official Stories,” plus random emojis next to celebrities’ usernames, are Snapchat’s new version of the blue verified check.


6 Billion Daily Video Views

Like Facebook, Snapchat also recently reached a video milestone. Since May, Snapchat video views have tripled to more than six billion videos a day. Keep in mind, though, Snapchat’s views are counted when someone watches even just a fraction of a second (Facebook counts a view as 3 seconds).


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A Smattering of SEO News – Machines that Learn, Search Console Missing some Beats, and More!

Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering of SEO News! Since I missed last week, this week you’ll be getting TWO weeks worth of news highlights, including learning machines, HTTP2, and much more! Check it out!

Google News:

  • Google’s Fetch And Render Tool Now Ranks Blocked Resources By Severity – The Fetch and Render Tool found in Google’s Search Console has always been a handy tool to diagnose spiderability issues, especially since blocked resources are becoming more and more important to avoid. Thankfully, the tool has recently taken a page from Google’s Page Speed tool and begun to rank issues based on severity, which will make it a lot easier to determine what needs fixing first.


  • Messages Being Sent To Webmasters With Mismatched SSL/TLC Certificates – HTTPS secure browsing has become more and more important to Google, and one of the most common issues we see with HTTPS implementations is certificates that are for the wrong domain. Google is now sending messages via Search Console reminding webmasters to update their certificates so they’re fully HTTPS compliant, which is nice if you ask me.
  • Google’s TensorFlow Machine Learning System Goes Open Source – Google has released what Matt Cutts – remember him? – called Google’s “secret sauce” into the wild. TensorFlow is Google’s machine learning system that they use in all sorts of their products, such as: Google Now, Google Maps, and much more. By releasing this tool, Google hopes to expand the capabilities of machine learning even further, so it’ll be fascinating to see what comes of this. Sadly for us SEO types, I don’t think we can reverse engineer this in order to learn how to rank our sites more highly.
  • Search Console Data Finally Getting Caught Up – Recently it was discovered that data in Google Search Console has been delayed back to earlier this month, around the third or so. Thankfully webmasters are reporting that the data is finally beginning to appear. Google’s John Mueller said this is a known issue and that the folks at Google are working on it, so hopefully it’ll be back up to snuff soon.
  • HTTP2 Googlebot Support Coming Hopefully By Year’s End – In a hangout with John Mueller, he said he hoped Googlebot support for HTTP2 – the next iteration of HTTP – will be coming by year’s end. As of right now, Google can’t crawl HTTP2 sites, so it makes sense that as it becomes more widely adopted, Google will have to alter their Googlebot in order to adapt with this growth. More on this as it develops.
  • Google Launches Mobile App Interstitial Devaluation – Google announced that as of 11/3/15, they’ve begun to devalue sites that force app interstitials upon users. These sites will no longer be considered mobile-friendly, and Google will see them as less valuable. Google suggests that, if you want to push an app on users, to find more user-friendly ways to do it such as banners.


  • Don’t Just Build Apps for A Ranking Boost, Says Google – In something of a contradiction to the actions mentioned in the last post, Google has been talking about ranking sites more highly if they have an accompanying mobile app to go with it. This is clearly due to the fact that apps can help with the user experience if they’re built well. Apparently, however, folks have been making what are called “dummy apps” that offer no inherent user experience improvement in order to cash in on the app indexing API benefits. Google’s Michael Fink, at SMX Israel, basically said, “Don’t do that.” Apps should only work to improve the user experience, he stresses.
  • Google Cracks Down Further On Aggressive Mobile Redirects – Lots of mobile-focused news this week, huh? This one comes to us via Google Webmaster Central Blog post in which they talk about how they’re becoming more aggressive with what they call “sneaky mobile redirects,” which take users to places they didn’t intend to go. If these are detected, sites will be hit with manual actions. The blog post gives quite a lot of detail as to how to avoid this, so go check it out.
  • Google Says Next Penguin Update Will Drop Before End of Year – Google’s Gary Illyes recently posted on Twitter that he expected the next version of Penguin to drop in 2015, which means they have two months left to make this happen. This will also likely be the real-time version they’ve been talking about for a while now. This could make for a tumultuous holiday season, so stay tuned!

Other News:

  • SEO Pros Share #SEOHorrorStories On Twitter For Halloween – Around Halloween last week, the hashtag #SEOHorrorStories became popular on Twitter as SEO pros used the hashtag to share some of their best horror stories. The tag began with Search Engine’s Land Aleyda Solis, and took off from there. A ton of SEO pros got in on the act, even Google’s own Analytics Twitter account as well as Matt Cutts himself. It’s pretty funny, so head over to Twitter to read all the horror stories.


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Rev Up Your Local SEO Campaigns With These Powerful Tools

So you have a Local SEO Campaign and don’t know where to start? A paid solution is usually a great place. The vast majority of vendors offer an all-in-one option that includes application, integration, and reporting. Most of the time, in addition to functionality, a fancier user interface is also available. Below you will find some of the tools that may just give you that edge you are looking for with your local SEO efforts:






  • Designed for Local SEO projects
  • Business listing creation
  • Pushes to aggregators and applications including Infogroup, Neustar Localeze, Acxiom, Factual, and Foursquare
  • Checks for accuracy across the five main local aggregators

  • Limited detail and flexibility for business owners in descriptions compared to other vendors
  • Lacks a powerful dashboard to display all listings at once
  • Main focus is on five main local aggregators and not Google or Yahoo
  • Slow application updates




  • Built for Local SEO Reporting
  • Ability to white label reports
  • Optimize listings
  • Citation building geared toward Yelp, Foursquare, Bing, Yahoo, Etc.
  • Review widgets
  • Audit citations

  • Slow customer support
  • User interface is sometimes not intuitive, requiring more steps to use features than necessary





  • Business Listing Creation
  • Helps uniform business information across online maps, directories, and search results
  • Works across different platforms including social media and analytics
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Strong customer support

  • Relatively expensive solution
  • Revision of listings after subscription cancellation





  • Built-in GeoAPI with serveral types of reporting
  • Top Search Results for different countries by Local IP in Real Time
  • Local Citations are possible through reverse IP lookup
  • Alerts for Local Rankings Changes
  • Reports for Heatmapping

  • No SEO Competitor Analysis
  • No Traffic Hunting



Let’s say committing to any of the aforementioned applications is a tough financial pill to swallow for now. Another road to take is through open source or one-off tools, which are usually free and can be a great addition to your arsenal. While they are not the most aesthetically pleasing and do not offer that all-in-one solution, they can radically help you on your journey to Local SEO stardom. The tools below are building blocks that can be combined to form a strong campaign:


51 Blocks lets you download a free SEO checklist.




5 Minute Site is a local keyword generator for multiple cities or locals.




Blumenthals is a Google Places for Business category tool for selecting correct categories, which can be filtered for different countries.



Whitespark offers free Google review creation for both desktop and mobile use.



The Verdict?

As you can see, there are numerous paths you can go down when starting to optimize your website for local SEO. The tools above all have there own pluses and minuses, so choosing the correct one will be based off of what is right for your specific needs. Hopefully this article will help you make this decision! I would love to hear your thoughts, so please let me know what your favorite tool is in the comments below.



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Google Hangout Series: (1) Holiday Planning

We’re excited to announce a brand new video series that Wpromote is jointly producing with Google! CEO & Founder Michael Mothner met with Google’s own Katheline Jean-Pierre, business development manager and Google ad exec, for a series of videos and interviews at Google HQ about what we do at Wpromote, our holiday efforts, marketing strategies, and more! We’ll be releasing these videos steadily over the next few months. The first of these videos is available now, and you can watch it below.

Wpromote’s relationship with Google goes way, way back. We’ve been an exclusive Google partner since 2001, and we’re the only agency in the country to be a member of Google’s SEM Council, Social Council, and Client Forum. We’re also one of only four firms worldwide to be tapped by Google to provide product feedback and help shape the way that Google works with agencies. This close friendship is what allows us to help provide Google with the input that we do, and why Wpromote can work together with Google on video series like this one.

This first video is all about our comprehensive 100 Days of Holiday initiative. In it, Mothner discusses why holiday marketing preparation, launch, and execution really does take up one hundred days, and in fact really should occupy an entire year’s worth of planning. Towards that end, we developed a full holiday roadmap to help our clients and any business interested in streamlining their holiday season learn all the key dates they need to know.

Be sure to check out our custom holiday revenue calculator to help businesses determine just how much revenue they could earn this season by optimizing their marketing this holiday. This handy tool allows any business to input their numbers from the 2014 season, as well as fill out a short form about how well they did (or didn’t) perform, and find out how they’ll do during 2015.


For the rest of the video, Jean-Pierre and Mothner discuss the major takeaways of the holiday season, the most commonly overlooked issues in holiday digital marketing, and what Michael would expect his biggest holiday 2015 successes to be if he could look back from the future. Check out the video above to hear his insights and to learn more about the Holiday Planning White Paper straight from the man himself! Continue to check back here in the coming months for more updates on the Wpromote and Google video series as these videos are released.

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Playing Your Cards Right in Google Shopping

So you’re running ads on Google Shopping…that’s great! And what are you doing to gear up for the holidays? Oh, you’ve made some bid adjustments, that’s a start…and anything else?


If this conversation ends here, then keep reading. If not, just keep reading anyway!


Google Shopping is one of the most profitable channels for Ecommerce companies, but after a shopping campaign is up and running, many are left with the question, “Is there anything else?”



Well, there is! So gather around and I will tell you a tale about datafeed optimization

Optimizing your datafeed boils down to two things:

1. Making sure the content of your datafeed is relevant to keywords consumers are searching.

2. Structuring the datafeed in such a way to create an optimal bidding structure for your PPC Manager.


Any PPC manager will agree that even if a Google Shopping campaign is doing well or poorly, when changes can’t be made to a datafeed, you’re limiting the opportunity to succeed. I like to compare it to a hand at poker where everyone else is dealt five cards and you’re dealt 3. Yeah, you’re going to win some hands, but you’re not going far if the best hand you can play is a 3 of a kind.


In our recent  white paper, we give a little insight into the additional opportunities that exist when you optimize your datafeed. Under our feed management, we can ensure that you are playing your best hand. We may even give you a couple aces up your sleeve.


Find out what you can do to take your Google Shopping campaigns to the next level this holiday and contact us if you have any questions!