Address: Rankhigher
980 Fraser Dr #116, Burlington, Ontario, ON L7L 5P5

Phone: +1 (905) 637-9033


Director of Web Development meets Matt Cutts

While attending San Francisco’s SMX West Conference, Rankhigher’s new Director of Web Development had a chance to meet with Matt Cutts.  Tyrone asked Matt about the top 10 SEO Fundamentals.  These were the ten things Matt said about good SEO.

You should not:

  • Don’t Have an Unnatural Link Profile
    • Don’t use black hat techniques to build your backlinks profile.  Many companies try to create spam on forums or blogs by commenting with their website page.  Don’t build exact match anchor text links.
  • Don’t Cloak and Use Hidden Text
    • Don’t show different information to different users.  Cloaking refers to showing different info to the google bot and your visitors.  This is bad practice.
    • Don’t use CSS to hide links on page.
  • Don’t Steal / Duplicate Content
    • Don’t steal other websites information.  Proper citation is fine but don’t copy entire web pages or sites.
  • Don’t Spin Content
    • Don’t spin content, this is creates a bad user experience.  Google’s AI can detect spun content.
  • Stuff Keywords
    • Don’t stuff keywords into your page, this is considered spam.
  • Don’t Spam Google Maps
    • Don’t create fake listings on google maps – you will get penalized if caught.
  • Don’t Create Microsites
  • Don’t Sell links
    • Don’t buy or sell links.  This is considered black hat and will get you penalized by Google.
  • Don’t Go Overboard on Ads
    • Ads are good if they are done with moderation.  Adding too many ads creates a poor user experience and google will reduce your page rank.
  • Don’t Create multiple websites to rank for the same business

    Just like Rand Fishkin said, “Search engines have metrics that they apply to pages, such as PageRank, and metrics they apply to subdomains and root domains (including things like TrustRank, various quality scores, domain level link metrics like Domain mozRank, etc.).”  Through years of experience, observation and testing, SEOs have observed some very steady patterns of behavior:

    • Individual pages benefit from being on powerful subdomains & root domains. This is why if someone copies your personal blog post on the best way to microwave burritos into Wikipedia, that page will rank far better than yours, even with the exact same content (ignoring the duplicate content issues).
    • Subdomains DO NOT always inherit all of the positive metrics and ranking ability of other subdomains on a given root domain.
    • Some subdomains GET NO BENEFIT from the root domain they’re on. These include sites like,,, and many others where anyone can create their own subdomain to begin publishing.
    • Subfolders DO appear to receive all the benefits of the subdomain they’re on and content/pages behave remarkably similarly no matter what subfolder under a given subdomain they’re put in.
    • Good internal and cross linking CAN HELP to give share the positive metrics from one subdomain to another (but not always and not perfectly).

Mobile Or Fully Responsive Designs | Benefits To Your Business

Having a website with your product or service on it, isn’t enough to attract and keep customers. Nowadays, consumers are accessing information from more than one platform, and it is crucial that your website allows for effortless usability and readability. Without these vital features, it is unlikely that your sales will maintain, let alone improve.

46% of internet searches are conducted on a mobile device; this includes smart phones and tablets Although the majority of users are still at their desktops, you are ignoring a massive demographic of your users due to the functionality of your website.

In order to reach all potential customers, on all available search platforms, you need to upgrade the functionality of your website, i.e. mobile responsive websites and fully responsive websites. A great example of a fully responsive website we designed was for a Vancouver personal injury lawyer.

Mobile Responsive Website Designs

Mobile devices are quickly becoming a popular search tool. Users have the ability to complete tasks on their mobile devices, from start to finish. Whether it is booking a hotel or purchasing tickets to a concert, users are accessing websites on the go, at the moment in time they think of a product.

What happens if your website doesn’t provide users with the smooth experience they hope for when completing a purchase? People love simplicity and ease. If your website does not provide the same effortlessness on a mobile device as it does on a desktop, you are guaranteed to lose customers.

The Benefits Of A Mobile Response Website For Your Business

Mobile responsive websites are a large task, but with the right web team, your new website can be launched within 10 days of your approval. Your mobile website is automatically synced with your desktop website.

It is important that additional analytics for mobile website performance are added to your campaign so you can track how well your website is performing. Simple or minor changes to your website theme are easy to make.

Overall, you will see an increase in engagement from your users, as well as an increase in the time spent on your website. A bounce rate is the percentage of users that visit your website, and leave immediately due to poor user engagement, or lack of relevance. You will see your bounce rate drop significantly because your user experience has improved to meet the quality needed to support mobile devices.

The Benefits Of  Mobile Responsive Websites For The User

A mobile responsive website improves the overall user experience. Due to the increase of mobile device searches, it is important that you are reaching all audiences. You don’t want to limit yourself to just those using a desktop. 46% of all searches on the internet are from mobile devices. 22% of mobile device users will purchase from their phone.  If this 46% cannot read the content on your website, or navigate through your website, they will not purchase your product or service.

A mobile responsive website has content that can be seen clearly, without having to zoom in or scroll horizontally. When a website is designed to work with a mobile device, it makes it easy to navigate and find exactly what you are looking for with ease.

Fully Responsive Website Designs

Fully responsive websites are designed to adjust to all screen sizes. Whether it’s a cell phone, an iPad, a laptop or a television screen, the website will modify itself. Although desktops are the most popular devices for search, for now, mobile devices still facilitate high search traffic. As mentioned before, you don’t want to limit your audience by only appealing to users with desktops.

A fully responsive website design will allow for readability and usability on all platforms. The website will adjust to the size of the screen the user is searching on. You will have a tailored website to each and every potential customer.

The Benefits Of A Fully Responsive Website For Your Business

Although building a fully responsive website can be a daunting task, if you find a fair and talented web team, there are so many advantages to your business. One of the benefits of a responsive website is that they are fully customizable. Your website’s look and functionality are completely up to you. You can make it a unique representation of your brand. It also allows for a competitive advantage over your competitors because not all businesses are fully aware of the benefits of a fully responsive website.

In addition, a fully responsive website is a future proof option for your website. Five years ago, mobile phones and tablets were not used for search. The use of these devices for search has only becoming popular in the recent years. Five or ten years from now, you want your website and business to be relevant. With a fully responsive website, your website will adapt to whatever the new technological phase is of the time.

The Benefits Of A Fully Responsive Website For The User

A fully responsive website is easy to use and engages users quickly. By formatting the website to the custom screen of each user, the simplicity makes for an easy and enjoyable experience. The website will load fast, and improve the readability.

Users will no longer have to “pinch and scroll;” they can easily access content that is flexible and adjustable. It also accelerates rending on the user’s side. Overall, a positive user experience that leads to increased user engagement and product sales.

The Best Option For Your Business

The advantages of mobile responsive and fully responsive websites are undeniable. The question becomes which is the better option for your business.  If you currently have a website that you are happy with, but have noticed an increase in your mobile traffic, a mobile responsive design would be the best option for you. This will decrease your bounce rate and allow for simple navigation for those users on a mobile device. On the other hand, if you are open to the possibility of a rebuild, a fully responsive design is a great choice. Your website will appeal to audiences from all devices, inlcuding mobile devices.

It’s best to find a trusted web team who can give you suggestions on the best design for your website, and your business model. The key to sales is providing users with the best experience on your website, no matter what device they are using to search.

Bringing Bing Back

On July 8, was pleased to welcome Andrew Yang, Microsoft’s Canadian Search Evangelist, for an in-house training exercise.

Several of our staff attended a Bing training event hosted by Andrew in downtown Toronto on June 4.  We felt the whole team could benefit from his insights and invited him to join us in our office.

Andrew’s training included information on the user demographics for Bing Ads, new functions Bing has recently rolled out, and Bing Places.

Bing is responding to marketer feedback with efforts to make it easier to use, faster, and offering more data.

One of the most significant changes for Marketers working primarily with AdWords is Bing’s move to make transferring campaigns and ad groups from AdWords to Bing easier and faster.  Perhaps in recognition of Google’s greater market share, Microsoft wants to make it easy for you to migrate campaigns to Bing.  Using the Bing Importer Tool, Marketers can now easily transfer their AdWords campaigns over to Bing Ads.

Perhaps the Bing feature that grabbed our attention the most was Bing Ads Intelligence. This tool provides extremely useful features, including keyword analysis for specific pages and for your site as a whole.  Bing’s ability to scrape a page and pull out all the potential keywords it could rank for is a significant asset.  Combined with the fact that Bing Ads Intelligence is an easily downloadable add-on for excel, and you have a product you can be sure to see RankHigher using more of in the future.

Microsoft has also expanded its paid search program to include a variety of marketing opportunities, including Xbox Live, Windows 8, Skype and MSN.  For example, search queries through Windows 8’s Search function provides results for what’s on your computer, but also internet search results and the Satori results (similar to the Google Knowledge Graph) on your search subject.  You can place Bing ads in these results.

One of Bing’s most useful updates, from our perspective, is its new and improved Bing Places account.  We have consistently recommended that many of our clients embrace local search.  Every year, our entire team travels to Oleans New York to study under local search expert, Mike Blumenthals.  Microsoft is working to streamline Bing Places, making it easier to claim listings and transfer listings from Google My Business.

As an additional bonus, Andrew provided us with valuable training on Excel.  One of Bing’s significant benefits is its interoperability in with other Microsoft products.  For example, Andrew demonstrated how to modify and adjust Bing ad campaigns through Excel pivot tables. This interoperability is one of Bing’s defining selling features, and is one not to be discounted lightly.

A few other takeaways:

Rich ads

  • Ads resulting from branded searches can now include videos embedded into the ad result.
  • Andrew noted a 40-45% increase in click-through-rates


  • Allows you to import data from Bing to Google Analytics, streamlining your data collection efforts.


  • Official sites can now have favicons served in search results, helping to increase brand reach and CTRs.

RankHigher At Google Partners Event

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of their “Google Partners” campaign, Google Canada invited to an exclusive event in downtown Toronto.

At their launch event last year, was honoured to be hand-picked by Google to be one of the first 30 Google Partners in the world.  Google awarded us this prestigious position  because we were one of the top performing digital marketing agencies in all of Canada.  They were impressed by the enormous business growth we were able to achieve for our clients.

This year, Google hosted the event at the stylish and contemporary Andrew Richard Designs Building. Staying true to their focus on brand simplicity, the room was entirely white and scattered with their iconic red, yellow and green branding material. The room showed flashes of their quirky “Googley” culture too – manifesting itself in a never-before-seen wall of donuts, a penny candy bar, and a loving Coca-Cola machine that dispensed cans of pop in exchange for hugs.

While we enjoyed the treats, Country Marketing Manager for Google, Sophie Chesters, announced several important developments in the Partners program.

First and foremost, Google is ramping up the number of support staff and support hours it provides to its Partners. This means we’ll get deeper insight into how Google’s suite of products operate. This is good news for our clients, who can now have more certainty that any particularly challenging or unique questions they have will be answered in a timely and thorough fashion.

Secondly, for those clients still on the fence about the merits of Advertising on Google’s Search, Display and YouTube network, “Google Breakfasts” aim to put your mind at ease. For select Partners, Google will open its offices and host joint-presentations to demonstrate to prospective clients just how powerful its Advertising tools are. may very well be hosting a Google Breakfast sometime soon, so watch this space.

The night finished on a high. We reveled at the examples of innovative Marketing methods on-display, such as the Molson Canadian Fridge that dispensed a beer to Canadians abroad, on-the-house, with a simple swipe of their Passport. And of course, there were gifts. Google presented each attendee with a Chromecast, a thumb-sized HDMI device that plugs into your TV and is able to seamlessly connect to your laptop, smartphone or tablet to your TV.

Overall, it was a brilliant night and we’d like to extend our warm gratitude to Google Canada, and more specifically, Sophie Chesters, Chris Henry & Todd Boxer.

Hummingbird – Google Expands “Conversational” Search

On Thursday September 26, Google announced the launch of its new ‘Hummingbird’ search algorithm.  This launch marks a significant evolution in Google search, with Hummingbird strengthening the search engine’s focus on pages with relevant, high-quality content.

In an interview with Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan, Google search chief Amit Singhal noted that Hummingbird is the most dramatic rewriting of Google’s algorithm since at least 2001.

Without getting bogged down in details, Hummingbird’s most significant change is its focus on ‘conversational’ search.  Essentially, Hummingbird will contextualize long-tail search terms to better address the user’s search query.  Sullivan broke down what this means with the following query example:

“What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example.

Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.

While conversational search already existed, it will now apply to billions of new web pages.

So, what does this mean for your business?  First off, don’t worry, this is not the death of SEO.  You will still be able to target keywords to raise page rank.  However, simply targeting key words will likely not be enough to rank you at the top of the search list.  It will become increasingly important to provide quality, relevant content for your search queries.  We at RankHigher have always advocated the need for quality content, and Hummingbird is only further justifying our view.

We believe that Google’s Hummingbird will rank pages based on both the quality and the quantity of the content you provide.  The more related key words and relevant content on your page, the more Google will trust you as an authority on search terms.  The days of 150 word landing pages are over.  If you want customer to find you, you’ll need to say something of substance and of value.  We can help.

Search Engine Land, Sept. 26, 2013