Current status of the Ning Platform is always available on the Ning Status Blog.

Yes we know original content is king and admittedly I'm a novice when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) but I'm learning!  That being said I'm certain there are different opinions on what can damage your SEO but this video by a Google webmaster seems legit. 

In it, he outlines how external RSS feeds (such as RSS feed widgets from RSSinclude, RSSpump, yahoo pipes, etc.) as well as copied content from other sites damage your ranking in Google.............even flag pages with these as malicious or SPAM.  

Note:  My guess is this is the reason Ning wasn't going to bring back external RSS feeds in 3.0 (even though many of us begged them to do so and they are reconsidering it).  Still, if you have members copying external articles as I do (it seems over 40% copied in an article triggers a flag), it's hurting your for 2014 it seems obviously we need realign our thought process and focus on boosting your original content.


Hold on, wait a minute.  Does this also mean that Ning sites which use/embed RebelMouse and ScoopIt that pipe in external news are harming their SEO as well?  I don't know on this but it makes sense and given Rebelmouse's popularity among NC's, I thought I better bring it up for discussion.  Being that the video is from a Google Webmaster, I would tend to believe it.

Additionally I came across this article from Search Engine Land which absolutely rips apart the use of sliders and carousels for a number of reasons.  While everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'm certain there are those who would disagree, (for me) numbers speak louder than words and the bottom line from this B2B poll was that service promotion are clicked far, far more - not the carousel.

Oh I almost forgot.  I totally enjoyed this video on Panda and Penguin.  So much so I watched it four times to absorb just "what" Google's algorithms are up to nowadays and "what" criteria is hurting SEO results.  I recommend a cup of coffee and a note pad.  Worth the 20 minutes.

What else folks?  Do you believe any of this?  Is it bunk?  What else can be done to boost one's SEO?   I know SoaringEagle has been all over his SEO since the release of Penguin and Panda in these discussions here and here.  (I bet there are more)  Hopefully he can jump in here and lend us his insights in addition to Jen, JF, SP, George, Patrick and ALL of you other experienced NCs.  What say you?


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  • NC for Hire

    Thanks for doing the homework on this. Very informative.

    • I'm skeptical on the guy's call saying carousels are bad.  Seems he's talking about ones with h1tags in them but does that apply to ones we tend to use here in Creators?  idk  Like I said, I need you guys/gals to all chime in; pick your brains.  lol

  • Great topic, Kos!

    Well, first off, he illustrates the instances where duplicate content is acceptable. For example, I have a [dot]com, [dot]info, [dot]net, etc. Occasionally, content from one or the other will overlap. This would be acceptable to Google and other search engines. Duplicate content only becomes a problem when a high percentage (or 100% of) your website's content has been copied from somewhere else. 

    The same applies to RSS feeds that are used in similar fashion. The problem aren't RSS feeds per se, but the manner in which they are used. He's talking about sites where the bulk of the content comes via RSS feeds.

    Content curation services such as RebelMouse actually help boost SEO.

    Search engines only penalize sites that are trying to artificially boost SEO, have spammy content, and so forth. If you're posting quality content to your sites, not trying to manipulate search engines, stuffing keywords, etc., you should have no problem.

    • Don't Rebelmouse and ScoopIt pull/copy content from other sites (not necessarily "sister" sites) like an RSS?

      • This reply was deleted.
        • Jords thank you!  I think this is an enormous subject we don't talk about enough here.  I'm certain there are Milligan videos which would be helpful although to be perfectly honest, the guy puts me to sleep faster than a of Nyqil and a sleeping pill. (sorry Ning)

          On curation and aggregation:  ok I have a ScoopIt widget.  With ScoopIt - I select the articles which will be shown there so I'm in complete control over the content....but isn't that technically an RSS feed?  (I have those as well)  It seems to me that guy implied RSS = bad for SEO.  No?  Would my page fare better without it?

          I use Scoopit and RSS feeds b/c my guys are sporadic.  One month they want to blog their brains out and then they go into hibernation for long periods of time (lazy slugs *lol*).  Tough to get consistent new articles or lure writers from the web w/o a high # of page reads.  We definitely need to "share" more to attract visitors and crank out more original content; of that there's no doubt.  I just don't want things in my site that will harm us along the way.......

        • Thanks Jords! I was having a hectic Christmas Eve, so couldn't respond.

          You did an excellent job explaining everything. 


    • Patrick a friend of mine has a Ning site which was hugely popular (political site) and since Panda/Penguin, her numbers just fell off a cliff.  I mean a complete crash and burn.  We've been trying to determine just why.  Some of her members do copy/paste articles from elsewhere and she does have an RSS feed.  It's just tragic that a site with thousands of pages and posts just gets taken out to the woodshed and we truly can't understand "why" or how to change it.

      We're going to focus on more social sharing, retweeting, etc. but at this juncture, I have no clue if it will help or no.

      Certainly wish Google were more transparent on an individual basis.........augh!

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Sure, there's that - they can be attractive and eye catching.  I found it interesting how few were actually "clicked" on (although I've always suspected as much) so it makes me wonder if they're really worth it (taking up the space when viewed on smaller devices)?

      Is a designer better off emphasizing their services offered, authority, site statistics or past successes and never mind the pretty slider? 

      Clearly there's no one method to fit all sites.  Just thinking out loud.

      I keep going over the video and looking at the pages of web designs at MediaQueri.  Focusing on the views of tablet and phone.  I'm this close to totally chucking my design in 3.0 now although I think I'm going to wait until Ning releases the new Design Studio layouts first (praying for less padding as well).  Luckily my guys won't care.  They could arrive on the site one day and see an entirely new website with a new layout and fresh coat of paint and not even notice.  They'd chuck it up to me (female) re-decorating the house again.  As long as they can find Chat, they're happy.  *lol*

      • Funny you should mention chucking your current 3.0 layout, I'm considering doing the same.

      • This reply was deleted.
        • Morning Rowald.  Agreed.  It's because of smaller devices, I began to use SP's responsive slider on my 3.0 so the new visitors (if on tablet or phone) could see - in a small space - all that my site had to offer.  I do wish, however, it was hidden for signed in members.  They could care less to see that once they've joined and then it does become a waste of space.

          Hoping Ning comes out with their own slider down the road without using h1 tags so it won't harm SEO and includes that "hidden from members" option.   Even better would be an option for the slider to  pull highlights from new or featured articles and photos.  Then we could place them on multiple pages - some viewable and others hidden to members.  I sure can dream, can't I?!  *lol*

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