All Posts By

Mike Houston

Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Make-or-Break Holiday Shipping Deadlines for 2019

By | Blog, Holiday, Uncategorized

There are few things more important to e-commerce sellers than ensuring their products arrive on time during the holiday season. This quick blog outlines some of the most important U.S. holiday shipping deadlines for sellers using Newegg fulfillment services as well as sellers utilizing USPS, FedEx, and UPS. Read up and memorize these dates by heart, because they may be the most critical 2019 dates to your business!  Read More

[Blog] SEO Series pt1 – How Do Search Engines Work?

By | Uncategorized

 

This will be the first article for our series on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Before we get too deep into the weeds with best practices and tips for SEO, we thought we should cover the fundamentals. We aim to outline the foundations of how search engines work, and in the second post we discuss the history of SEO, before we later build up to an SEO plan.

 

What is a Search Engine?

Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Baidu, and DuckDuckGo act as our tour guides to the World Wide Web. They help us discover the information (search results) that we are looking for. As an ecommerce seller, a top marketing goal of your business is to have your products ranked highly within these search results.

This is the “O” in Search Engine Optimization.

 

how do search engines work

How Do Search Engines Work?

Search engines all deliver results a little differently to their users. The logic and algorithms they use create different results, but the fundamentals of how search engines find their content are all the same.

Crawl

This term disguises the frightening truth behind what’s really going on – robots roaming and rummaging through your page’s data and URLs! These “crawlers” act as a user would and scan billions of documents, webpages, images, and videos for content and keywords. After this, the bots then follow all the links associated with your content and add this data to an index.

Index

Once these bots have found the data, they decipher its code and then store and categorize the info for later search queries. As you can imagine, all of this data takes up monumental amounts of storage space, which leads to the need for massive server farms.

Rank

Now that sites have been indexed and the search query is made, the search engine will use its complex algorithms to determine the context and order in which to display these web pages.

 

How Do Search Engines Differ?

Think of these different search engine companies as competing fast food chains, each with algorithms acting as their “secret sauce” to differentiate them. The algorithms these search engines use to rank content are all trade secrets that are constantly evolving.

For example, it is believed that Google’s algorithm is updated every two days, and although countless businesses have tried to game their algorithm, it’s Google’s prerogative to make sure no one ever gets the upper hand. We’ll never know the nuances of each search engine’s code, but their core prioritizations will always be the same.

 

What Do Search Engines Prioritize?

Though their methods may vary, all search engines strive to provide high-quality answers to their users’ questions. By introducing different mediums such as videos, reviews, articles, comparisons, and images, search engines deliver innovative platforms that answer these questions.

A leading trend in search engine prioritization for the last decade has been a focus on mobile platforms. Accounting for over 50% of searches in 2018, mobile platform searches show no signs of slowing down, and therefore content that can easily be adapted to mobile will always be well received.

Trends aside, the biggest influencers of what ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs) are:

Content

Content should be looked at in two ways:

  • Is your content easy to find? You need to make a search engine recognize and associate your content as the answer to a user’s search queries.
  • Does your content do a good job of answering their question? As we’ve addressed earlier, there is no magic bullet for creating the best content, but the best solution for your ecommerce blogging strategy is to always strive for creating valuable and accessible content.

Backlinks

Think of backlinks as other sites linking to your content and creating an internet “buzz”. Search engines will associate you with the specific content other sites have mentioned you in with various links. If important and reputable sites are referring to you, then search engines can presume your content is trustworthy and relevant for users.

 

Which Search Engines Should I Focus On?

If this were 2005, we would be having a much different conversation here, but the fundamental truth is that appeasing Google should be your business’ primary SEO concern. The reason behind this is when you stack up Google’s 30+ major search engine competitors, their combined traffic equates to only 10% of global web searches.

Google is just that big.

When you factor in all the Google properties such as Images, Maps, and YouTube, it’s easy to see just how dependent so many web users are on their platforms.

Don’t think that Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines aren’t worth your time, though. It goes back to what we referenced earlier – that all search engines prioritize informative and engaging content, and with a solid SEO strategy in place, you can see success on any search engine.

 

how do search engines work

What’s Next?

With this SUPER top-level view of how search engines work, we can now take what we’ve learned and apply it to our SEO efforts.

We’ll go into more detail about SEO in the next blog post in the series, but it’s important that sellers understand what search engines, and their users, want to see. From there, you can work to create it.

[Webinar] Unwrapping E-commerce Success in Time for the Holidays

By | Uncategorized

It’s that time of the year again- Q4 is approaching, do you have a plan? Q4 is uniquely different from all other quarters, meaning there are key elements you need to maximize your effectiveness on Newegg Marketplace and capitalize on the biggest shopping season of the year. We all know that once the holiday season begins it’s already too late to start planning for success, you need to take action now!

Don’t worry..we’re here to give you guidance.

Hear from us as we lay out proven tactics for winning the holiday season on Newegg.

You’ll learn:
• Strategic insights on how to present your products
• Priming your products for conversion
• Marketing opportunities that make sense for your products
• Pricing strategies to keep you in the black
• Data and analytical tools that power profitable business through the season
• Fulfillment – How to live up to your customer’s high expectations
• And more

 

[Webinar] Maximizing Enterprise Seller Benefits & the Post Purchase Email

By | Uncategorized

Sellers on Newegg’s Marketplace have access to loads of tools at their disposal to drive traffic and convert sales. Enterprise sellers know this well, but there is a key program that many sellers aren’t aware of: the Post Purchase Email.

The Post Purchase Email program is a way for sellers to take control of some of the marketing communications with their customers on Newegg, driving engagement and traffic to their seller store to build a stronger relationship with customers, resulting in repeat purchases.

Join Newegg Marketplace as we host a webinar discussion detailing the benefits of the Enterprise level seller program, with a focus on the ins and outs of the Post Purchase Email program, your voice on Newegg. 

Take action to bring your selling to the next level.

Maximizing Enterprise Seller Benefits & the Post Purchase Email

By | Webinars

Sellers on Newegg’s Marketplace have access to loads of tools at their disposal to drive traffic and convert sales. Enterprise sellers know this well, but there is a key program that many sellers aren’t aware of: the Post Purchase Email.

The Post Purchase Email program is a way for sellers to take control of some of the marketing communications with their customers on Newegg, driving engagement and traffic to their seller store to build a stronger relationship with customers, resulting in repeat purchases.

Join Newegg Marketplace as we host a webinar discussion detailing the benefits of the Enterprise level seller program, with a focus on the ins and outs of the Post Purchase Email program, your voice on Newegg. 

Take action to bring your selling to the next level.

[Blog] SEO Series pt2- SEO History: How We Got Here

By | Uncategorized

seo history

In the previous installment in our SEO blog series, we learned just how search engines work. For this piece, we’ll cover SEO history: the trends and innovations that have shaped the internet and search engines into what we know today. Trust us when we say that with e-commerce, you can’t know where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been.

SEO History

It’s novel to think what Archie (short for archive) set into motion back in 1990. As the world’s first search engine, it acted as the foundation for countless predecessors, algorithms, and companies to build upon and eventually develop into what the entire world recognizes as the internet.

The 1990s

SEO history begins in the 1990s with the rise of once-household names like Lycos, Alta Vista, Ask Jeeves, and Yahoo. These companies were some of the first to utilize the core elements we associate with modern search engines – the ability to crawl, index, and rank.

Today, these algorithm elements are ever-changing and top secret, but in these early “wild west” days of search engines, they were quite exploitable. This burgeoning but lax system was being heavily exploited by shady black hat techniques designed to manipulate rankings.

The following “cloaking” techniques of the time battled against the best intentions of search engines and made those early years of the internet a bit more disingenuous:

Keyword stuffing

This is when sites try to trick bots by cramming keywords into text and meta tags in non-organic ways. During these days, a common trick was to lay white text over a white background and really pump up the term quantity.

keyword, seo, search engine optimization, black hat, best practices, history

Doorway pages

Imagine you want to visit your favorite X-Files fan site, but you don’t remember the URL. So, you type “X-Files” into a search bar and click on the highest-ranking site. You quickly realize that this site has nothing to do with your beloved show and you have been instead directed to a scam site. This page gained its high rankings through keyword stuffing and false meta tagging for things facing search engine bots, but then redirects everyone to a different site, usually spam.

Spammy backlinks

Black hats would join cabals of sites dedicated to boosting their rankings through backlinks. Imagine a giant network of sites who are just patting themselves on the back for their “valuable” content and gaining the reputable cred for doing so.

The 2000s

The turn of the millennium marks a major turning point in SEO history. The internet had become a much more popular, predictable, and safe place for its users. By this time, businesses developed a firm grasp of what the internet could be and began to invest heavily. Now we begin to see the monetization of search and the birth of paid ads – the primary funding driver behind today’s internet.

Google wasn’t
the first to implement paid-search listings, but they certainly did it the best. The following are a few things implemented by Google during this time that allowed them to rise above the competition:

The enforcement of guidelines

Google recognized how black hat SEO developers were gaming the system and watering down their vision of the internet. They created guidelines and actually punished webmasters who didn’t follow them. We won’t name names, but huge sites who didn’t play by Google’s rules were publically dragged to the back of the SERPs until they complied.

PageRank algorithm

The first of many of Google’s game-changing algorithms. This ranks search results based on the “quality” of the content and is not reliant upon keywords. The quality is derived from backlinks from trustworthy and informative sites.

Local SEO

We take it for granted today but imagine looking up a pizza place on a search engine and being delivered results of restaurants hundreds of miles away. Beginning in 2004, Google began delivering results based upon geographic intent. This inclusion of relevant and usable individualized information helped connect users to the businesses near them – and helped Google sell more targeted advertising.

2010 to Present

At this point in SEO history, we need to recognize Google as the victor of the great search engine wars. With the launch of their Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird algorithms, former black hat efforts become obsolete, and Google has achieved its vision of a search engine dedicated to the user experience.

The successes and failures from Google and countless 
other companies in their pursuit of a better search engine have shaped the internet into what we see today.

Using our knowledge of past innovations and their lasting impact, SEO history foretells the following elements will be the driving forces shaping the internet of tomorrow: 

Evolving SERPs

The trend over the years has been to improve the algorithm behind search engine results pages (SERPs) to better predict and deliver the best answers for their users. While there are still many “legacy” elements on SERPs such as blue links, green URLs, and star links, the availability of these front-page slots is dwindling due to the expansion of the Knowledge Graph.

Content within the knowledge graph has expanded into videos, reviews, imagery, shopping links, music clips – the list goes on and on. With this dedication to sourcing the answers to user questions right on the SERP page, Google is essentially acting as a middleman and providing site content to users without the heavy burden of actually clicking a link. The algorithms behind this are so sophisticated that they can find relevant information within YouTube videos and play precisely where the video provides the answer.

All of these additions to the top SERPs can be seen as denying valuable real estate to quality sites in lieu of the valuable content within – essentially mining the gold without paying royalties to the landowners.
However, another way to look at this is that Google is hunting to discover top content elements and reward its significance by driving impressions to it.

serp, seo, search engine optimization, reviews, shopping, front page

A dedication to mobile

In 2018, mobile searches accounted for 60% of all search, in many ways thanks to Google leading a push for mobile content for the last decade. Since 2015, Google has been boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly (responsive) sites and has also been factoring page speed in their ranking algorithm since early 2018.

The embodiment of this drive for mobile-optimized content is AMP. Characterized by their lightning icon, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) were dreamt up by Google and Twitter in 2015 to deliver a responsive, stripped-down HTML site to mobile users at unimpeded speeds. AMP sites are optimized for mobile, which means it loads faster. Faster loading sites are prioritized by algorithms and get higher rankings on SERPs. Pages ranked higher on SERPs gain more natural page views. What this boils down to is that if your site is not optimized for mobile viewing or speed, then you might already be dropping in page rank.

amp, seo, search engine optimization, mobile, rankings, site speed, page views

What’s Next?

So far in this blog series, we have learned the details of How SEO Works and now the marketing behind SEO history and their prioritizations. For the next installment, we will shift our focus to best practices of search engine optimization and what content sellers should be creating.

[Blog] SEO Series pt1 – How Do Search Engines Work?

By | Uncategorized

how do search engines work

This will be the first article for our series on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Before we get too deep into the weeds with best practices and tips for SEO, we thought we should cover the fundamentals. This blog’s aim will be to outline the foundations of how search engines work before we later build up to an SEO plan.

What is a Search Engine?

Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Baidu, and DuckDuckGo act as our tour guides to the World Wide Web. They help us discover the information (search results) that we are looking for. As an e-commerce seller, a top marketing goal of your business is to have your products ranked highly within these search results.

This is the “O” in Search Engine Optimization.

Top Search Engines, google, yahoo, duckduckgo, yandex, baidu, msn, aol, bing, wolfram alpha
How Do Search Engines Work?

Search engines all deliver results a little differently to their users. The logic and algorithms they use create different results, but the fundamentals of how search engines find their content are all the same.

Crawl

This term disguises the frightening truth behind what’s really going on – robots roaming and rummaging through your page’s data and URLs! These “crawlers” act as a user would and scan billions of documents, webpages, images, and videos for content and keywords. After this, the bots then follow all the links associated with your content and add this data to an index.

Index

Once these bots have found the data, they decipher its code and then store and categorize the info for later search queries. As you can imagine, all of this data takes up monumental amounts of storage space, which leads to the need for massive server farms.

Rank 

Now that sites have been indexed and the search query is made, the search engine will use its complex algorithms to determine the context and order in which to display these web pages.

SEO, bots, search engines, crawl, rank, index, google, search engine optimization, marketing

How Do Search Engines Differ?

Think of these different search engine companies as competing fast food chains, each with algorithms acting as their “secret sauce” to differentiate them. The algorithms these search engines use to rank content are all trade secrets that are constantly evolving. For example, it is believed that Google’s algorithm is updated every two days, and although countless businesses have tried to game their algorithm, it’s Google’s prerogative to make sure no one ever gets the upper hand. We’ll never know the nuances of each search engine’s code, but their core prioritizations will always be the same.  

What Do Search Engines Prioritize?

Though their methods may vary, all search engines strive to provide high-quality answers to their users’ questions. By introducing different mediums such as videos, reviews, articles, comparisons, and images, search engines deliver innovative platforms that answer these questions.

A leading trend in search engine prioritization for the last decade has been a focus on mobile platforms. Accounting for over 50% of searches in 2018, mobile platform searches show no signs of slowing down, and therefore content that can easily be adapted to mobile will always be well received.

Trends aside, the biggest influencers of what ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs) are:

Content 

Content should be looked at in two ways:

  • Is your content easy to find? You need to make a search engine recognize and associate your content as the answer to a user’s search queries.
  • Does your content do a good job of answering their question? As we’ve addressed earlier, there is no magic bullet for creating the best content, but the best solution is to always strive for creating valuable and accessible content.

Backlinks

Think of backlinks as other sites linking to your content and creating an internet “buzz”. The more that reputable sites are talking about you, the more search engines will associate you with this positive “word-of-mouth”. The logic behind this is that if important sites are referring to you, then search engines can presume your content is trustworthy and relevant for users.

Which Search Engines Should I Focus On?

If this were 2005, we would be having a much different conversation here, but the fundamental truth is that appeasing Google should be your business’ primary SEO concern. The reason behind this is when you stack up Google’s 30+ major search engine competitors, their combined traffic equates to only 10% of global web searches.

Google is just that big.

When you factor in all the Google properties such as Images, Maps, and YouTube, it’s easy to see just how dependent so many web users are on their platforms.

Don’t think that Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines aren’t worth your time, though. It goes back to what we referenced earlier – that all search engines prioritize informative and engaging content, and with a solid SEO strategy in place, you can see success on any search engine.

What’s Next?

With this SUPER top-level view of how search engines work, we can now take what we’ve learned and apply it to our SEO efforts.
We’ll go into more detail about SEO in the next blog series, but it’s important that sellers understand what search engines, and their users, want to see. From there, you can work to create it.