The Google Hawk Update and the impact on local SEO

The Google Hawk Update and the impact on local SEO

On August 22nd 2017, Google seems to have released a big algorithm update. The update is called  “Hawk” by the SEO community. In this blog you will read all about this update and the impact for your company.

  • What is Google Hawk?
  • What is the impact of Google Hawk?
  • What should I do now?
  • Why is it called Hawk?

What is Google Hawk?

Hawk is the name of a Google algorithm update that was released on 22nd of August 2017.

What is the impact of Google Hawk?

This update impacts the local SEO results. The changes affect the way local search results are filtered. Google tries to avoid having duplicate businesses in the local and the “normal” organic search results. With a previous update (the Possum update in  September 2016) there have been some changes for this. This included filtering businesses offering the same kind of services or products and that are on addresses close to each other. However, in some cases businesses were filtered out a bit too strict and businesses that already had strong organic rankings were given a huge advantage over others. There was also quite some shady ways to influence this and bump out your competitors from the search results… With this new update this filtering has improved. The filtering is less strict and more companies should be visible now. However, companies located on the same address (with the same kind of services / products) will probably not be affected yet.

What should I do now?webtexttool on google maps

Check these important things for your local SEO :

  • Make sure you have a (up to date)  Google Business Listing
  • Try to gather positive reviews for your company (via Google and/or other well known review platforms for your business type)
  • Make sure all the basic SEO things are taken care of. .
  • Consider adding more content, that is focussed on your local market(s) / city. With webtexttool you can easily create effective and optimized content.

Why is it called “Hawk”?

Google doesn’t give official names to updates. They rarely even confirm or deny updates at all 🙂 In this case the update was called “Hawk” by SEO expert Joy Hawkins. The idea behind this, is that it is connected to the Possum update and Hawks like to eat  Possum 🙂



Webtexttool update : competitionchecker, inspiration and more

Webtexttool update : competitionchecker, inspiration and more

First of all, let me start by saying that we are very very happy with all the feedback that we have received from all webtexttool users! We are trying hard to add as much as possible in our frequent releases. In this short blog I’ll give you a quick overview of the main updates we did in the past months. If you have any suggestions and idea’s, don’t hesitate to share them with us at Thank you!

Competition checker

Inspiratiion module webtexttool
The competition checker will show you on which keywords your domain is well indexed. On top of that we’ll show you the top 3 competing domains – which also have top-10 positions on related keywords and topics.

Inspiration module

The inspiration module gives you …. inspiration 🙂 Enter your topic and you’ll get a list of blogs that you can read and use as inspiration for your own blog.

Keyword volume and historykeyword volume webtexttool

In the keyword suggestion module you can now see the estimated monthly search volume for the keywords. And, you can retrieve data from previous keyword analyss y clicking on the new icon in the keyword history list. It will reload the results, and it doesn’t cost you a keyword credit 🙂

Team projectswebtexttool team project

With Team projects, available on our Business plan, you can collaborate on content. The handy Team project wizard will help you set up a new project: add teammembers, add the content and track progress.

SEO suggestions : internal vs. external linksset domain webtexttool

The SEO suggestions will tell you if you are using (enough) internal and external links in your content. Previously, the internal link checking only worked when you would use so called relative URL’s. Now you can set the domain of your website and webtexttool will consder all links with this domain as internal links.

New settings

In My Account we’ve added three small, but frequently requested items.

First of all you can now set the default SEO ruleset. This ruleset is used as a default for new pages you create. The default is the Blog / Article ruleset, but if you create a lot of productpages you can set the Product ruleset as default. Next, we’ve added the option to enable the “proces page title as H1” by default – with this option enabled webtexttool will consider the page title as an H1 / heading 1 in the content by default. And on the settings page you can now see the credit renewal date for your account; this is the date that your keyword credits will be reset.

webtextool settings

Page import

We’ve rebuilt the page import process from scratch. Importing and extracting content is still a technical challenge even though it might seem something trivial. What we try to do is extract only the main content from a page, removing the navigation, sidebars, footers, widgets, etc. Because of the many different ways pages can be built, this is not a straightforward task to do :-). However, the import process has been improved massively. We are really interested to hear your opinion on this. And please keep in mind, that the import will work best for real content pages, like blogs and articles (and homepages are always a big challenge).

Added a lot of languages and domains for keyword analysis and pagetrackers

We’ve added a lot of new domains / languages for doing keyword analyses and tracking Goole rankings. The complete list can be found here.

Various updates in webtexttool

  • Paste-from-Word update : copying content from Word has been improved.keyword history webtexttool
  • Video embed in the editor : in mark up bar you now have the option to embed a video
  • Upgrade spell checker: installed a new version and added languages
  • A lot of small updates and improvements. Eg. you can now change the keyword directly without going to the keyword analysis module first.
  • In the pagetracker overview you will see the Google domain the pagetracker is set for.
  • Business/Team plan: every teammember can now set and see pagetrackers
  • Redesign of dashboard: added tabs for last updated pages, projects, team projects and pagetracker overview
  • Add multiple fonts and sizes to the editor

Word add-in

We’ve released the first version of our Word add-in that allows you to use Webtexttool directly within Microsoft Word.. More information here.

Updates WordPress, Joomla and Drupal plugins

We’ve spent a lot of time improving and enhancing our plugins. In our WordPress plugin we have added support for a lot of pagebuilders, added a SEO data migration tool (to migrate data from other SEO plugins to Webtexttool so you can disable other SEO plugins) and added Social media sharing tags (no need for a seperate plugin for that anymore). For Joomla we have also added the social media sharing tags and a lot of other smaller improvements. For Drupal we have created the Drupal 8 version of the module.

Of course we keep on developing webtexttool. Our mission is to make content creation easy and fun. We love to hear your idea’s and suggestions – please get in touch!


Eight Things to Consider Before Starting a Blog for Your Business

Eight Things to Consider Before Starting a Blog for Your Business

The blog is arguably one of the hottest tickets in internet marketing. It comes as among the cheapest, most effective forms of advertising in existence, and if yours comes out a success, you’ll quickly see why you had to start one in the first place. Many successful online bloggers use this strategy to keep in touch with their existing clients and attract new ones as often as possible.

While starting a blog for your business can be one of the best methods to promote your business, it can also sap your mental energy and demand a huge deal of your time.  With that mind, you may need to figure out how to do it the fuss-free way without compromising quality. Consider these eight key questions before jumping on the business blogging bandwagon:

1.  Why are you creating a blog?

The first question you need to ask yourself is how starting a blog can help promote your small business in particular. Determine why you decided on creating a blog for your business in the first place. However, one vague idea isn’t going to cut it. You have to come up with primary and secondary objectives for your brand. Once you’ve achieved that, you can move on to planning how you will track your blog’s performance in the long run.

2.  What topics will you be talking about?

Each blog has a specific set of topics that it specializes in, and the first thing you need to do is to establish what those key subjects are. From there, you can begin making better decisions on what is going to end up on your blog and gain a solid following from a community of readers interested in what you have to say.

3. Who will you be talking to?

What you write about depends on whom you’re writing for. Identifying your audience and what they want is the first step to creating content that matters. Remember to write each post with your readers in mind.Doing so will ensure that you are on the right path to establishing a successful blog.

4. How often will you post?

Frequency is an important aspect to consider when starting a blog for your business. Posting too regularly and too soon may be overwhelming for a first-time blogger. However, blog posts too few and far between may not be enough for you to garner a meaningful audience. Much like anything else, timing is everything, and posting blogs is no exception to such rule.Try to commit to at least a single post a week in the first couple of months, and from there, you can decide on whether or not you should be creating more content.

5.  What type of content do you want to post?

You don’t need to be a bestselling author to make great content. It’s all about meeting the needs of your audience by answering their questions and knowing what type of knowledge and information you want to share with them.Simply put, figure out what floats your audience’s boat. Call it a cliché, but unique, high-quality content still proves to be the top criteria for the success of your blog. However, if writing isn’t your thing, then incorporating a few photos and videos into your posts may be a fresh alternative.

6.  Which is web hosting service best suits your blog’s needs?

Running your blog on a free service provider may make sense at the start, but as you begin to give blogging a bigger role in your business, you should consider switching to a paid service. If you’re a small business owner, dedicated or VPS hosting is the way to go. This type of web hosting service provides your blog with a server of its own, allowing it to take full advantage of the server’s resources.

7.  What will be your blog’s domain name?

Your blog is the face of your business online, and choosing the right domain name is just as important as choosing your business name. Select a domain name that is short, specific, memorable, and relevant. And always keep in mind that your blog’s domain name is as much a part of your company’s identity as your logo and products are.

8.  Where should you promote your blog posts?

Be vocal and go social when it comes to promoting your blog posts. Make sure your RSS feeds are readily available and obvious enough for people to subscribe to. Set up profiles on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and automate link sharing from your blog posts to those services.

It’s important for your business to have an online presence, and starting a blog is one surefire way of promoting it. Now that you’ve learned how to make a blog for your business, heed these important points to jumpstart your entrepreneurial endeavor.

Hi, my name is Fred! I’m your latest Google update :-)

Hi, my name is Fred! I’m your latest Google update :-)

Fred : google update - webtexttoolSome will love him, some will hate him… Fact is that Fred is here, and he is here to stay 🙂
In case you don’t know Fred yet, let me introduce him to you. In short: Fred is Google’s latest update. And he is shaking up Google rankings big time, affecting rankings for a lot of pages and websites.

So, what does Fred do and why is he here?

As always Google is not releasing any information on updates. But by not denying it, they are confirming that something big has changed in the past days. And we are not talking about the minor changes that Google is making every day (on average 3 changes per day). So there is no exact details on what Fred does. But a lot of SEO and ranking monitoring services have been seeing huge fluctuations in Google rankings. Stormy weather in SEO land! When digging deeper and trying to find out what Fred is all about, it turns out that Fred seems to be affecting sites that have been doing Black Hat SEO stuff, but probably also other factors affect the ranking of sites. So it seems that Fred is a friend of the well known Penguin and trying to remove webspam. If this is true, your site’s ranking might be impacted in a negative way if there is external “spammy” links. Of course, it will also work the other way around: when these sites are removed from the search results, your site might rise in Google rankings 🙂

[update 24 March 2017: there is a confirmation by Google that there has been an update. It should affect sites with (very) low quality content that is merely aimed at clickbaiting.Having (a lot of) affiliate links to your site should not be an issue.]

Stormy SEO weather

Stormy SEO weather reported by Mozcast

What do we see?

We ran a quick analysis of the 1000’s of Pagetrackers that our webtexttool customers have running. These pagetrackers are tracking Google rankings and include a wide variety of domains, keywords and types of websites – from very small to very big, from blogging to webshops, from corporate websites to personal blogs. By looking at the rankings, we can confirm that we also see extreme fluctuations: some pages that were in top 10 positions are dropping even out of top 100, and also the other way around, pages moving in Top 100 or moving more than 50 positions. What this means for the website traffic? Check the SEO Calculator to find out.

Is Fred affecting your website?

If you already had pagetracking in place, you can check your pagetrackers to see if this update has affected your rankings. If you don’t have them set up, you could consider setting them up to monitor from now on. In order to set up, just login into Webtexttool and open the page you would like to monitor (or create a new page). On top of your page are 2 green buttons, press the left (with the graph) and start monitoring! Of course, it’s also a good idea to take a look at your website analytics: what is happening to your organic traffic?

Sign up for a free webtexttool trial account: find the best keywords, optimize your content and track your rankings!

Webtexttool launches Drupal module

Webtexttool launches Drupal module

Webtexttool is now available on Drupal. The module (or plugin) enables Drupal users to apply the webtexttool SEO suggestions directly in their Content Management System, while writing new web content. Both keyword analyses and the live SEO optimization suggestions are integrated in the plugin. The plugin is free and available via

Kyrill Poelmans, CEO of webtexttool, shared that a lot of users had the need for a integration with their content management system. We’ve started developing for these two platforms because both WordPress and Drupal are widely used systems. At the beginning of may we’ve launched the WordPress plugin.

More about webtexttool plugins: