With Thanksgiving just hours away, I’m sure you have been thinking, if not daydreaming, about all the food you’re going to eat. In that daydream, which of the options below appear in your vision? Image A or B?

1&2

Of course you want to devour B! This is not your first Thanksgiving. You’ve chewed your way through enough nuggets to know that they simply don’t satisfy. But hey, don’t feel bad for the nuggets, there’s always room for them at the kids table.

You’re not a kid. You won’t find any nuggets here. The following is your full 7-course Thanksgiving meal of SEO learning for the long weekend. We’ve hand picked each of these blogs. They all provide a good in-depth knowledge of certain changes in the SEO space. From Pigeon to Penguin and Apple vs Google Maps, you can stuff your face while stuffing your brain full of SEO knowledge this weekend. You may feel drowsy afterwards, but you’ll kick butt on Monday when you impress your co-workers will all of your shiny new expertise.

We also want to say thanks to the entire SEO community for so freely sharing their knowledge.

First Course: Recent Google Algorithm Updates

  1. Moz Google Algorithm Change History: http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change
    This is your single repository of knowledge for the most recent and past updates from Google. Did you see a drop in traffic? Check out this page to see if there was an update to match.
  2. Barracuda Panguin Tool: http://www.barracuda-digital.co.uk/panguin-tool/
    We’ve talked about this tool before but it’s worth mentioning again because of just how useful it is. Imagine the Moz Google Update page in an interactive format that you can lay over your analytics to see if any updates line up. It is invaluable for diagnosing penalties.
  3. Understanding Pigeon: http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2363063/how-google-pigeon-impacted-local-queries-and-what-you-can-do
    There is still a lot of confusing around Pigeon. This post explains thing clearly so you can understand not only what happened but also what you can do about it.
  4. Understanding Panda and Penguin: http://www.vieodesign.com/panda-and-penguin/
    Not only does this post do a good job of explaining what these cuddly animals have to do with your rankings, it gives some tips on what to do if you have been hit.

Second Course: The Headache that is Google My Business

  1. What is Google My Business? http://localvox.com/blog/understanding-google-my-business/
    Google Places, Google Local, Google + Local, Google My Business, who knows what to call it these days. Get the skinny in this post.
  2. The Benefit of Google My Business: http://niftylaw.com/the-need-to-know-guide-to-google-my-business-for-lawyers/ and http://niftylaw.com/my-business-insights-for-attorneys-useful-or-frivolous/
    A bit of self-promotion for our sister site but our pieces on Google My Business cover everything you need to know about features and uses to help you make the most of your listing. It focuses on attorneys, but the information is useful for all types of business.
  3. Bulk Managing of your listings in Google My Business: http://blumenthals.com/blog/2014/11/09/a-visual-guide-to-using-my-business-bulk-business-accounts-for-multi-user-management/
    Blumenthal is the go-to guy for all things Google Local and his piece on the bulk editor is a great way to introduce yourself to the feature if you have 10+ locations to manage.
  4. Understanding Google Updates: http://niftylaw.com/the-google-zoo/

Third Course: Content is King, or in this case, the Turkey.

  • Writing Local Content in A Post-Pigeon World. http://moz.com/blog/scaling-geo-targeted-local-landing-pages-that-really-rank-and-convert-whiteboard-friday
    We love White Board Friday here at Nifty and this post was just one of Rand’s that covers content. In the end though, with the changes that Pigeon wrought, we think you’ll find this one to be the most helpful.
  • Content Truths To Live By: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/11/25-content-marketing-truths
    CMI is a great source for inspiration about Content Marketing and what you should be doing with your content. This post just went live today but we couldn’t help but include it because of the sheer awesomeness of the truths presented here.
  • Engage With Your Audience Every Time: http://dannybrown.me/2014/09/26/video-how-atomic-reach-2-0-creates-the-perfect-content-for-bloggers-and-marketers/
    We just recently found Danny’s blog but we gobbled it up (sorry for the Thanksgiving pun). This post discusses how to use Atomic Reach 2.0 to ensure that your content is going to be something your readers will love.
  • Fourth Course: Optimization For The Advanced Crowd

  • Advanced On-Site Optimization: http://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo
    You know the nugget and turkey metaphor we used earlier? It was because of this post. This is a 50-pound bird that could feed a small nation. Cyrus goes deep and explains a lot of things you might not have heard of before. Be prepared for multiple readings.
  • Every Local SEO Diagnostic You’ll Ever Need: http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2014/11/24/every-local-seo-diagnostic-youll-ever-need-to-know-plus-some/
    They weren’t joking with the title. It took us a long time to go through this post and understand how each one can play a role in our processes. There are some real gems in here.
  • The Ultimate SEO Checklist For Optimizing Your Content Marketing Plan: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/11/seo-checklist-15-steps-optimize-content-marketing-plan
    Another one from CMI, this one is a great in-depth look at how you can optimize your content marketing plan for fun and profit (but really just the profit part). It changed the way we do our content plans here at Nifty.
  • Fifth Course: Mobile Search and You

  • The Battle Over Maps: http://blumenthals.com/blog/2014/11/20/apple-maps-vs-google-maps-throwdown-in-buffalo/
    The future of search is in our hands, literally. Mike B. takes the opportunity to find a route home from the airport to pit Google Maps vs Apples Maps to interesting results.
  • Optimizing for Mobile: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2367531/a-beginner-s-guide-to-mobile-seo
    Yes it says beginners guide in this post but it really covers everything you need to be aware of in order to rank well on mobile, which is a completely different beast then desktop results.
  • Is Google Changing Mobile Results: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/10/17/is-google-changing-mobile-search-results/
    It’s not very often we find an article on Forbes that can teach us something but Jayson Demers did a great job of talking about the changes going on in Mobile Search and explaining what you should do about it.
  • Sixth Course: Schema And You

    1. Using Schema to Get Ahead: http://niftylaw.com/get-ahead-of-your-competitors-with-schema/
      This is another selfless plug but Jami did a great job of explaining what Schema is and why you should use it on your website (even if you are not an attorney).
    2. More Support for Schema: http://moz.com/blog/schema-examples
      Here’s another blog that explains why you should be using Schema, regardless of what type of business you are. If you exist, there is most likely a Schema markup for you to use.
    3. Yet Another Post Supporting Schema: http://searchengineland.com/schema-org-7-things-for-seos-to-consider-post-hummingbird-172163
      It’s sometimes easy to forget that we are living in a post Hummingbird world. As Google tries to become more all knowing, marking up your content will make them love you even more.

    Seventh Course: Managing Your SEO Business

    1. Dealing with Clients: http://www.link-assistant.com/blog/infographic-25-ways-to-deal-with-vagarious-seo-clients/
      We all love a good infographic. This is a great no-nonsense guide to help you know how to handle the many different personalities we encounter as SEOs.
    2. It’s Easier With A Plan: http://pointblankseo.com/keep-seo-clients
      Staying level headed when a client is yelling at you is one of the hardest things we have to deal with as SEOs. Point Blank SEO’s post can help you address many of the common client problems before they even happen.
    3. Remember What It Is Really About: http://moz.com/blog/from-zero-to-a-million-20-lessons-for-starting-an-internet-marketing-agency
      Our president wrote this post over a year ago and we still have people contact us about the things he wrote. Keeping the goal in mind is the single best way we know to grow your business and not go crazy.

    Bonus Course:

    We want to share one last blog with you: http://moz.com/blog/stepping-out-of-the-seo-echo-chamber.

    This post is everything we love and hate about SEO. It’s constantly changing and staying up to date on what is going on in the space is a struggle. We are grateful to all of the experts and bloggers out there who are willing to take time out of their day to share what they know and are striving to keep “I’m an SEO” a title of honor. We appreciate all of you.

    Now go stuff your face with delicious food!

    Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Nifty

    Author McKenzie Mortensen

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