Monday, June 26, 2017

7 Google Penalty Checker Tools To Diagnose Your Site Instantly

It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it?

One day you close your laptop safe in the knowledge that your site is getting healthy amounts of search traffic.

Then, the next morning, you find out your site has been hit with a Google Penalty.

What was once a solid stream of targeted traffic is now nothing more than a trickle of slightly interested people.

But you can come back from this.

The first step is to know which Google Penalty has stung you and why you’ve been penalised.

The second step is to know how to monitor for future algorithm changes to make sure it doesn’t happen to you again.

In this article I’m going to share with you seven Google penalty checker tools that will allow you to see exactly which update is to blame, and how you can future-proof yourself against future penalties.

What You Will Learn

  • How to identify exactly which penalty you have
  • How to protect yourself against future penalties
  • 7 Google penalty checker tools that make life easy
  • How to recover from a Google penalty
  • The best Google penalty recovery services

Identify The Penalty Before You Make Any Changes

A lot of Webmasters start trying to change parts of their site before they’ve found out what’s caused the problem.

Not only is this a dumb move, it can also go on to make problems worse in the long run.

Instead of making an emotional decision you should take a step back, analyse the problem, and build a rehabilitation strategy that’s going to work for you site.

Just stabbing in the dark and trying to fix something blindly isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Accurately diagnosing which penalty is at play is essential to recovering your site, and it can be done in less than five minutes using one of the tools on this list.

7 Google Penalty Checker Tools That Make Life Easy

This list isn’t ranked in any order from best to worst, however it is a little bit split.

Tools number one to four will allow you to see the penalty that hit your site.

And tools number five to seven will help you keep an eye on Google activity and protect your site against possibly upcoming Google updates.

#1 – Moz Change History

Moz maintain a very helpful page that lists all of the major updates, the date they happened and additional information about the update.

moz Google penalty checker tool

You can also use this page to get further reading to help you understand how this problem might affect your site, or what could be coming in the future.

This page is updated immediately after a major change is reported so if you’ve seen a big drop-off in your results, there’s a good chance that it’s been featured here.

If you ever suspect you’ve been hit with a Google Penalty, I’d suggest you start with this tool.

#2 – Panguin Google Penalty Check Tool

The Panguin Tool from Barracuda has been around for a long time. It’s simple, easy to use and provides a lot of quick information for you.

All you have to do is sign in with your Google Analytics accounts and you’ll be able to instantly see a map of your traffic and the exact moment a Google Update went live:

panguin google sandbox and penalty checker tool

The vertical lines on the graph represent the different major algorithm updates to show you the impact they could have had on your traffic.

If you click on any of the lines it’ll give you a description of the update, why it happened and what it could mean for your site.

What I also like here is that it comes with this little dashboard of icons:

filter options

This allows you to switch on and off all of the different possible causes for your drop in traffic and see through a lot of the more confusing data.

In my opinion the Panguin Tool is the best Google penalty checker on the planet.

#3 – Rank Ranger

Rank Ranger combines elements of Moz’s Change History tool and their MozCast tool to bring you all the information on one screen.

It offers a deeper level of information for you about each individual update:

rank ranger penalty check tool

But it is also a little more black and white about what it considers to be an important change.

If the chart is in the green range you’re okay, once it’s red you’re in danger, and when it’s blue you don’t need to worry about anything at all.

It simplifies the information a little, while giving you a deeper insight into what might be happening.

A really cool alternative.

#4 – Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker Tool

Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker is a little known, but powerful tool for pinpointing exactly what made a difference to your site.

In order to use it you’ll need a free account set up. But once you’re in you can get a wealth of data. The first data you’ll see is a plot graph of updates how they’ve impacted your site:

 Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker Tool

But it really comes into it’s own when you scroll below the fold and look at the written data.

In the chart it will show you every recent Google algorithm update, and calculate the probability that it will have changed traffic to your site:

easy to read chart

You’re even able to see the changes in traffic that it could bring you through different devices.

And, if you’d like, you can learn more about each of the changes in further detail.

#5 – SEMRush Sensor

SEMRush Sensor is by far the most comprehensive tool on this whole list.

While Panguin is still arguably my favourite, this comes in a close second.

Taking a slightly more ‘medical’ approach SEMRush show you a pretty precise monitor of what Google has been doing the last few days:

But you can also look at the activity within individual niches too. Which is a truly extraordinary set of results to be giving away for free.

semrush sensor

Drilling down into the tool further you can add your own site for analysis.

Then SEMRush Sensor will look at every page and keyword you rank for and spit back a bunch of data about your personal SERP volatility-

semrush sensor personal site

There are a bunch of other awesome features as well and this is a tool I’d highly recommend you keep an eye on going forward.

#6 – Accuranker’s Google ‘Grump’ Rating

This is one of my favourite tools for monitoring what’s going on with Google’s Algorithms.

The Grump Rating shows you how active the Google Algorithms have been updating lately, and how likely a change is going to come today – or in the next few days – that will impact your SERP rankings.

grump rating

You can check this out across a range of devices and locations around the world. Giving you location specific insights for wherever you’re located.

The tool grades current Google activity at one of the following four levels:

rank activity

It’s rare to see Google down at the chilled level, but I have known it drop to cautious from time to time.

You’re also able to go back and see what the activity has been like over the past few days, weeks, months or years and look for patterns in Google’s movements.

Or find where you site might have been slightly penalised in the past.

accuranker stats

I’d recommend you check in with this tool at least once a week to keep yourself up to date with the current state of affairs.

#7 – MozCast

If you prefer your data delivered to you in a more bite sized chunk, a good alternative to Accuranker is MozCast.

MozCast displays the current state of Google’s activity like a weather forecast, showing a daily weather report-


If the forecast is getting warmer and stormier you could be heading towards an algorithm update. And if it’s cool and clear skies, rankings will be staying where they are.

You don’t have the same level of flexibility you do with the Accurank tool, but it’s nice if you want a morning rankings report to see what’s happening on a general level.

What To Do Once You’ve Identified Your Penalty

Once you have isolated the problem with a Google penalty checker tool, you can start to analyse the cause of the issue.

Remember that correlation of your search traffic dropping with an algorithm update doesn’t necessarily mean it is the update at fault, for example your site may have being hacked and hosting malware.

Always check Google Search Console for error messages or problems before anything else.

If a drop in your traffic does correlate with an algorithm change then that should point you in the right direction of what to look at first as a cause.

Usually issues fall into 2 or 3 categories-

  • Backlink Based – If you have a backlink based penalty then you need to perform a backlink audit.
  • Content Based – If you have a content based penalty, follow this guide or this guide to perform a content audit.
  • On Site Penalty – If you have an on site penalty that is not caused by content then use a tools like URLProfiler or Screaming Frog to analyse your site.

Many webmasters set off in the wrong direction from the get go, so make sure you take time to understand why the site dropped with the Google penalty checker tools before taking any action.

Google Penalty Recovery Services

The easiest way to fix a Google penalty is to have someone else fix it for you.

My agency has a 100% recovery success rate like this site that went from penalty to 114 number 1 rankings.

If you want my personal SEO team to take care of your Google penalty, then please get in touch!

7 Google Penalty Checker Tools To Diagnose Your Site Instantly was originally published on Matthew Woodward

from Matthew Woodward

16 Essentials to Creating a Trust-Boosting Twitter Profile

I don’t need to tell you how big trust in business and marketing is.

Trust is everything.

You can pull every clever trick in the book, invest thousands of dollars in slick, sexy advertising and work tirelessly on conversion optimization tactics.

But at the end of the day, it’s trust that leads to sales.

That’s probably why word-of-mouth marketing is just as important as it’s ever been.

A new study from Ogilvy, Google and TNS found,

word of mouth is the most powerful factor when it comes to consumers’ relationships with brands.

According to that study, 74% of consumers cite word of mouth as being the most powerful factor.

And this totally makes sense.

I’ll trust the input of a friend or family member over some hotshot salesman any day of the week.

So, when it comes to your Twitter profile, trust-building should be given top priority.

You obviously want to grow your following.

But more importantly, you want your followers to trust you and take your opinion seriously.

Which elements should you focus on to build trust?

In this post, I share 16 essentials mandatory for creating a trust-boosting Twitter profile.

1. Use a branded background image

What’s the first thing Twitter users see when landing on your profile?

For most, it’s your background image.

Of course, it needs to look great and have the right pixel dimensions.

But it also needs to incorporate the same branding elements you use in your logo, on your website, other social accounts and so on.

Here’s a good example from Burt’s Bees:


Here’s another from Mashable:


Both incorporate a color scheme, style and message congruent with their overall brand.

This is important because it typically takes being exposed to your brand five to seven times before customers will buy.

2. Add an appropriate profile picture

Equally important is your profile picture.

Again, it needs to be appealing and be in line with the rest of your branding.

Here’s the image I use for my Neil Patel Twitter profile:


It’s simple yet professional, and visitors can instantly recognize me.

Here’s the profile picture for The Art of Manliness:


It’s matches the central theme of the Art of Manliness website.

3. Get verified

I’ve mentioned before that adding a trust seal to your checkout page can increase conversions.

Twitter has its own version of a trust seal, which is a blue check mark.

It looks like this:


Although it’s just a small, simple icon, it can pump up your trustworthiness considerably because Twitter users instantly know your account is authentic.

I know I always look for the blue verified badge when I’m searching for a celebrity or major brand.

To get verified, you’ll need to submit a request, which you can learn about here.

And here are some of the basic elements you must have in order to be approved:


4. Highlight your credentials (without being obnoxious about it)

Twitter allows you to include some brief biographical information on your profile.

This is the perfect place to explain your credentials and what you bring to the table.

Use this space wisely.

Here’s the info I include on my profile:


Here’s the info Chris Ducker includes:


Just don’t go overboard tooting your own horn to the point of being annoying.

5. Connect your website

Twitter also allows you to include a link to a website in your profile.

This is great for driving referral traffic and can also serve as a trust-booster.


6. Pin your best content to the top

Just like Facebook, Twitter gives you the option of pinning a top tweet to the top of your profile.

At the moment, I’m using this feature to promote my podcast.



Pinning a top tweet is a simple way to maximize the visibility of a particular post and is great for increasing trust.

Pick what you feel is your absolute best tweet, and pin it to the top of your profile.

Ideally, it would have already received plenty of engagement (e.g., retweets, likes, etc.) because this will make you seem more legit to first-time visitors.

Keep in mind this is the first post they will see.

Pinning a top tweet is simple.

Click on the downward arrow on the top right-hand corner of your favorite tweet.


Then click “Pin to your profile page:”


That’s all there is to it.

7. Stay away from garbage content

This is a no brainer but definitely worth mentioning.

At the end of the day, you’re only as credible as the content you tweet.

If you post genuinely insightful, relevant content, people will trust you more.

If you post garbage content that’s worthless, spammy and overtly self-serving, it’s going to kill your trustworthiness.

That’s why I always try to make sure my content hits its mark and matches the interests of my audience, which fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.


8. Retweet credible sources

Retweets are a big part of Twitter’s appeal.

With just a couple of clicks (or taps) you can retweet interesting content and share it with your audience.

But here’s the thing.

People will assess your legitimacy based on the type of content you retweet.

If you’re retweeting epic content from a credible source, you’re good to go.

This is going to enhance your image and increase your followers’ sense of trust toward you.

But if it’s crap, it’s going to diminish that sense of trust.

In other words, don’t retweet posts from spammy, irrelevant sources.

9. Link to major sites

Again, the content you associate yourself with can help or hurt your brand.

Sprinkle in a few articles each week from major publications such as The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, etc.—whatever matches your industry or niche.

It needs to be relevant to your audience and cover a topic of genuine interest to them.

And here’s another thing.

It’s best to include the URL of the publication so that people can instantly recognize it.

Like this:


The idea here is you can inform/entertain your audience while benefiting from the trust people have in an established, trusted site.

10. Stick with a consistent theme

A big component of gaining trust is being seen as an expert or an authority on a particular subject.

To achieve this status, you have to be selective about the type of content you post.

For instance, you won’t catch me tweeting about interior design or cooking.

You’ll find me posting content strictly about digital marketing.

That’s my MO.

Be clear about what your niche is by sticking with a consistent theme.

11. Maintain a steady posting schedule

Of all the social networks, people tend to post the most frequently on Twitter.

According to a recent study from CoSchedule, “15 tweets per day is recommended.”


Don’t be afraid of going a little crazy with your tweets.

The most important thing is to be consistent and not have any major gaps between posts.

12. Pepper in some videos

I’m sure you know how huge video marketing is right now.

Brands that use video report more traffic, more leads and a higher ROI.

We Have the Statistics to Prove It 01

I also find video to be perfect for breaking down walls and making deeper connections.

Why not throw in a few videos on your Twitter page?

I’ve been doing this recently and am seeing some great results.


Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income does the same.


Just link content from your YouTube channel or website.

13. Don’t flood your tweets with hashtags

Hashtags are an effective way to increase the visibility of your tweets.

Their overuse, however, can backfire, especially on Twitter.

While it’s fine and even encouraged to use 10 or more hashtags on other networks, like Instagram, it’s considered best practice to use a maximum of three hashtags on Twitter.

However, two hashtags is ideal and is the number I typically aim for.


Recent research shows that

engagement drops significantly once any more than two hashtags are used, on average.

tm20hashtags1“Loading the box” with hashtags looks spammy and can be a trust killer.

14. Strive to hit the perfect ratio of followers

Let’s say someone has 100k followers.

That’s great.

But what if they’re following 500k people?

All of a sudden, they don’t seem as legit and trustworthy.

But let’s say someone who has 100k followers is following only 50k people.

You’re probably more likely to take them seriously because their number of followers outweighs the number of people they’re following.

It may seem like a popularity contest, but you should try to reach a favorable ratio of followers.

I would like to think I’ve got a nice ratio:


According to Kred Stories,

it is essential that you get at least 20% of the users you follow to follow you back before you move on to the next group of followers.

In other words, don’t follow a ridiculous number of accounts unless you’ve got a sizable following.

It just looks bad if you’re following thousands of people and you have only a handful of followers yourself.

15. Be a stickler for spelling and grammar

There’s evidence that indicates poor spelling and grammar costs businesses millions each year in sales.

Just like you should double-check your blog posts and emails, you should always look over your tweets before publishing anything.

Otherwise, blatant errors will make you look amateurish.

16. Reply to (valid) complaints

More and more businesses are using Twitter as a platform for handling customer service these days.

You’re likely to receive some complaints at some point along the way.

The worst thing you can do is ignore them.

Your followers will see them, and you’ll look bad.

The best approach is to respond as quickly as possible and try to resolve the situation.

Here’s a good example of Domino’s pulling this off perfectly:



Psychological studies have found that we have an innate desire to connect with others.

Researchers found,

based on perceptions of trust, people reported positive interactions with a ‘close friend’ to be more rewarding than interactions with a stranger or a machine.

They also found that two specific brain regions—the ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex—were actively engaged when someone thought they were trusting a close friend.

Your goal on Twitter is to maximize your trustworthiness and create more positive interactions.

You want to bridge the gap and make people feel a sense of camaraderie with you.

The essentials I listed in this post should help you accomplish this in a variety of ways.

This should make first-time visitors more willing to follow you and help you strengthen your rapport with your existing followers.

How do you decide whether or not you trust a person or brand on Twitter?

from Quick Sprout

Friday, June 23, 2017

How to Discover Your Customers’ Most-Googled Frustrations (and solve them)

Google is a treasure trove for marketers.

Currently (2017), it “processes over 40,000 search queries every second!”

This “translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.”

And just look at how much Google use grew between 2000 and 2012:


It’s ridiculous!

And this all means one thing.

Google can generate valuable data like it’s nobody’s business.

There’s arguably no other resource in history that compares to it.

Another thing I love about the search engine is the arsenal of free tools it offers for gaining insights.

There’s the Google Search Console, Google Analytics, the Google Keyword Planner and Google Alerts, just to name a few.

These are all ideal for providing you with the data you need to better understand the behavior of your audience and improve your marketing.

And as we all know, data is a marketer’s best friend.

Without data, I wouldn’t know what direction to take, making it much more difficult for me to reach my demographic.

In this post, I’m going to cover an extremely important aspect of marketing.

It’s this: how to discover your customers’ biggest frustrations and how to solve them.

I’ve found that Google is perfect for finding out what irks my audience, and you can implement the same methods too.

Here are several techniques you can utilize.


Let’s start with an incredibly simple yet effective feature: autocomplete.

I’m sure you’re familiar with it.

With the insane amount of data Google has accumulated and continues to accumulate, it offers autocomplete to streamline user searches and help people find the information they’re looking for quicker.

Here’s a screenshot that summarizes how this feature works:


Notice I highlighted two key points.

Autocomplete predictions factor in the popularity/freshness of search terms and terms other people are searching for.

Using autocomplete can provide you with valuable intel on what your customers are searching for and, more importantly, what their collective frustrations are.

Let me give you an example of how you can use it.

Type in a broad keyword phrase that relates to your industry, niche or product you’re selling.

I’ll use “organic soap” as an example.

Here’s what pops up:


Just like that, I can tell what some of the most popular search terms are.

It’s obvious people are interested in organic soap bases, recipes and organic soap-making supplies.

Therefore, this user base has questions and concerns about these topics.

So this is a good starting point.

I recommend recording these popular searches for future reference because you’ll want to create content around those topics.

Performing a question-based search

Another easy way to understand your average customer’s frustrations is to figure out what types of questions they’re asking regarding your niche/product.

You can do this by typing in search phrases such as “what is,” “why is,” “how to,” etc., followed by a broad keyword.

Here’s an example:



Within seconds, I can get a pretty good idea of which aspects of the organic soap topic people are curious about.

Remember, if it pops up on Google autocomplete, you know a large number of people have entered that search phrase.

So, you’re dealing with a high volume of searches.

Again, you’ll want to record those search phrases because you can target them later on.

Performing a problems search

Let’s take it one step further.

Type in your broad keyword followed by the word problems:


Here are some of the results I got:



I also highlighted some frustrations, concerns and questions people have.

Considering the fact these are all on page one of this Google search, it’s safe to say there’s a significant number of people who share these frustrations.

As a result, these are all potential topics I could cover.

Using the Google Keyword Tool

You probably already use this tool for performing keyword research for SEO.

But it can also be useful for finding your customers’ pain points as well.

Here’s what you do.

Type in your broad keyword in the search box:


Then scroll down to see what people are most interested in.

The main thing you’ll want to take into consideration is the number of average monthly searches.

Here are some highly searched keywords that let me know what types of questions and frustrations customers have:5211f908db704c3988acaf1cc3c86e72

Using Google Trends

I absolutely love Google Trends.

It’s one of the best ways to get a quick snapshot of the popularity of something and see how interest has either grown or declined over time.

I also like to use it to generate graphs for great looking visuals for my content.

To use it in this context, just type in your search phrase:


Then scroll down to “Related queries.”

You can view related queries as either “Top” or “Rising.”

“Top” lets you know what’s most popular over time in the grand scheme of things.


“Rising” lets you know what’s most popular at the moment and what’s trending upward.


Use this information to spot any potential frustrations your customers might be having that you may want to address.

Identifying top blogs in your niche

Here’s one last technique.

Do a Google search that combines your broad keyword and the word blogs.

You’ll get results like this:


Then click on one or more of the results.

This one looks good to me:


Now, I can get a glimpse of the types of topics the top blogs are covering, which are indicative of what your average customer is most interested in:


I can get quite a bit of information by just looking at the description of each blog.

But, of course, I can learn a lot more by actually clicking on a specific blog and scanning through the posts.

This should fill in the gaps in terms of discovering the average customer’s frustrations and can give me even more ideas for content.

Solving those frustrations

Okay, so I’ve discussed several different ways to gain an understanding of what’s irking your customers.

As you can see, Google is pretty much a be-all and end-all tool for this.

But how do you solve those frustrations?

It’s simple.

You want to create robust, comprehensive content that exhaustively answers these questions and addresses these frustrations.

I recommend writing down a list of topics based on your research and prioritizing them in terms of importance.

For instance, I found people were interested in:

  • what organic soap is made of
  • how to make organic soap from home
  • how to make organic soap without lye
  • toxic soap ingredients to avoid

and so on.

Now I can start creating content that covers those topics.

More specifically, my goal is to create content that outranks the competition.

Skyscraper it

As you may already know, I’m a huge proponent of the skyscraper technique: producing content that betters and outperforms your competitors’ content.

If you’re unfamiliar with this concept or need to brush up, this guide from Backlinko will tell you everything you need to know.

By following this formula and addressing the unique concerns of your customers, you’ll quickly be on track to generate traffic, build trust and “scratch their itch.”

Diversifying your content

I’ve mentioned many times before that interactive content significantly outperforms conventional static content.

Here are a few stats from Impact Marketing that show the importance of creating interactive content:


When you break it all down,

interactive content drives 2x the number of conversions as passive content like blogs and eBooks.

Here’s what I suggest.

Look for ways to create different types of content your competitors have overlooked or ignored.

Rather than writing your standard 800-word blog post, write a long-form, 2,000-word post full of visuals, including relevant videos, graphs, stats, etc.

Or if there’s a pervasive question your customers have, try creating an infographic that succinctly answers it step by step.

In other words, think outside the box and be willing to go where your competition doesn’t.

This should kill two birds with one stone because you’re solving your customers’ biggest frustrations and providing them with incredibly helpful information while offering a level of depth your competitors are not.

It’s a win-win situation.


It’s amazing the insights you can gain from Google.

It’s a godsend for doing market research and will provide you with a wealth of valuable intel if you know how to use it correctly.

And the longer people use Google, the bigger the data pool becomes.

The best part is that it’s completely free.

As you’re probably aware, every demographic has its own specific pain points.

Your job as a marketer is to identify these frustrations and provide an effective solution.

By using the techniques I mentioned, you can do this in a very streamlined manner.

From there, you’re in a much better position to create content that hits its mark and can provide your audience with the answers they crave.

This, in turn, translates into a host of benefits including increased traffic, more leads and bigger profits.

Do you have any other suggestions for using Google to discover customer frustrations?

from Quick Sprout