Wildfire Tech PR Blog

Google’s Panda 4.1 update: move along, nothing to see here

Posted by Ian McKee on Oct 02, 2014

Traffic copI know, not the most gripping headline you’ll ever see, but it sums up my feelings about Google’s latest update.

Panda 4.1 as we’re calling it, is another, small, iterative algorithm update to flush out bad content, low quality sites, and those using spamming tactics involving the two to boost their search rankings.

That, really, is all you need to know. If you’re doing SEO the right way (which I’m sure you are), you probably didn’t need to know even that. Just like all of Google’s algorithms, this is about Google trying to serve better, more relevant content to its users.

A couple of months ago I wrote that the bare fundamentals of SEO are –

  1. Create good content that is relevant to your intended audience.
  2. Share it with your intended audience and influencers that they trust.

If you really want to know a bit more detail about what this latest update entails, read Econsultancy’s handy summary.…

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Is the end of Google Authorship a blow to PR thought leadership?

Posted by Ian McKee on Aug 29, 2014

type writerWell, c’est la vie, Google Authorship. John Mueller of Google’s Webmaster Trends has announced in a Google+ post that the search engine will no longer be showing any kind of authorship data in search results.

What could have been

If you’re unfamiliar with what Google Authorship mark is (was?), it’s a method of marking up web pages so that the authorship can be attributed to a particular individual. Google had connected it up with its social network Google+, which essentially functions as Google’s index of individuals’ identities on the web. If you had ever seen a person’s profile photo pop up in search results next to content they’d written, that was Google Authorship.

Google had actually already removed those photos in June, leaving only by-lining links to profiles next to results. But the real reason that Google Authorship was a big deal for PR practitioners was its potential for thought leadership positioning.…

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The shocking truth about SEO: it’s not as complicated as you think

Posted by Ian McKee on Aug 08, 2014

Magnifying glassThis post originally appeared on Econsultancy.

As you probably know by now, SEO and PR are getting more closely related. But there is one aspect that both have always had in common, and that is that both have long been labelled a supposed ‘dark art’.

PR and SEO; mysterious art forms that deal in the unknown, experts fixing things unseen, like wizards behind the curtain.

It has suited both industries, to be known this way.

“Oh, yeah, we just need to curbudgle your whojamaflip. It’s absolutely essential, or you’ll get befluddled. You don’t want to get befluddled. Yes it’s an extra thirty grand.”

The importance of transparency

Fortunately, we have been forced to throw back the curtain somewhat on PR. Even the real masters of its dark arts, the government spin doctors, have had their behind-the-scenes treatment in TV shows such as the BBC’s The Thick of It.

Of course, the life of a tech PR in an agency such as the one I work for is not quite that of a government PR, and our own MD Richard Parker is a bit less sweary than Malcolm Tucker.…

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Shaping our perceptions – the Google lens

Posted by Alex Warren on Dec 02, 2013

GlassesWith over 130 thousand webpages being created every day, the internet’s potential for information overload has long been a cause for concern amongst technological critics and stuffy cardigan-wearing academics.

We have found ourselves faced with a greater quantity of information than anyone could ever hope to absorb. In fact, research suggests that it would take over seven years simply to read the current contents of Wikipedia.

Thankfully, rather than reading every page in existence just to find what we’re looking for, there exists a rather nifty little tool called Google. (You may have heard of it)

Rather than scrolling through trillions of webpages, Google kindly sorts the contents of the internet by order of relevance. While this may prove incredibly helpful, it does beg a number of difficult questions.

First off, what on earth is relevance? Surely the mere concept of what is and isn’t relevant is a subjective decision? Even more importantly, is it really wise to be handing over the global responsibility of deciding what is “relevant” to a third party organisation?…

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SEO: Hot for PR or not?

Posted by Debby Penton on Nov 21, 2013

Magnifying glassSEO is right up there with hot PR topics for the PR industry, along with measurement, social media and content marketing. But regular changes from Google hoping to stop SEOs trying to game their algorithms can cause headaches for even the most SEO-savvy PRs.

We carried out a survey of 250 marketing decision makers which confirms that almost 75% of marketers believe an understanding of SEO is important to marketing, and 68% state that SEO is now a core part of their organisations’ marketing strategy.

But only one in three believe they have the SEO knowledge in-house to deliver on this strategy, highlighting their dependence on external agencies.  So can PR help?

Well, yes, in theory. Despite recent alarmist proclamations that Google killed PR, the opposite is in fact true. PR is now more relevant to SEO than ever. On top of delivering huge value in building awareness, managing reputation, and even generating business, PR can now have the biggest impact in your search rankings.…

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