Hi, I'm awesome!

Welcome to my personal blog, Philippines Internet Marketing blog! I'm Sef and I'm the author of Rankingelite. I hope you can find actionable Internet marketing ideas, SEO tips and link building development best practices etc. If you don't, better luck next time! I have been in the Search Industry since 2011. I've had experience handling B2B sites and B2C sites in various industries.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a continuously changing and fast phased industry. A tactic that might be working today may notwork tomorrow so it is always a requirement in this industry to keep learning and improving by conducting own studies or reading the studies of other SEO experts from their personal or professional experiences.

While some studies don't really seem to have shown and proven results, others have seen a tremendous positive impact that can be very effective for every websites in any industry such as:

However, this does not mean that if their strategy worked for their industry or niche, it would work for your industry as well, right? Before you do any further SEO on a website, you should first look at the backbone of your own property for improvement and follow the studies mentioned above. This list of SEO tips may actually help you lead your way to succeed in ranking in organic search without having to rely on various case studies and everything.

Note: Case studies mentioned above are awesome. I use and follow those ideas for better performance in search industry. :)

The main purpose of this post is to help websites become search engine friendly, increase organic traffic and improve user experience.

This post consists of the SEO tips for on-site optimization that are not about the meta data, image alt, keyword in URL etc as you already know more about them than I do and there have been a lot of articles written about them so I won't attempt to rewrite the history.

Find 404 pages

Giving the best user experience to our visitors is what we always wanted to improve in the long run. We obviously don't want them to be disappointed whenever a new visitor discovers our site by giving our audience pages that are no longer available or live. For small or enterprise businesses out there, Im sure it will be a huge slap to their website when a visitor left their website due to annoying 404 pages and went back to organic results to look for your competitors. So dealing with 404 pages is not just an option, it is an important tip that should be incorporate to a website.

Also, did you know that this can help build your website the following benefits?

  •  Longer engagement rate
  • Increase conversion rate
  •  Increase return visit rate
  • Trust rate

How to discover 404 pages on a website?

Finding 404 pages should not be really time consuming and difficult to perform as there are tools that can help you do the job as quick as possible! In this phase, you will need to acquired ScreamingFrog tool to see the list of 404 pages

The process:
  1. Have your website crawled by the tool
  2. Go to URL list of your website and select the response code status found on your website.
  3. Export the list of 404 pages and start redirecting them to related content on your website.
Another way, you can see 404 pages by checking your site errors in GWT.

Login to your GWT account, go to your website, CRAWL section to and see CRAWL errors.

Eliminate 302 redirects

This is rarely happens on every website but it is still something that should not be kept as far as optimizing a website as a whole is concern. In an SEO perspective, losing high quality inbound links to a website is definitely a serious matter. Especially if those links are from governmental or educational sites so the value of links should be given priority.

For 302 status code, this is quite similar to losing your links to your site as 302 redirect or temporary redirect don't pass any value and authority to a website compare to 301 redirect. So getting rid of 302 redirects is imperative especially for e-commerce website.

How to identify 302 redirects on your pages

  1. Have your website crawled by the tool
  2.  Go to URL list of your website and select the response code status found on your website.
  3.  Export the list of 302 pages and start redirecting them to related pages using 301.

Resolve unresponsive website design

While the uses of desktop computers are high, the uses of smart phones and tablet are on the rise. A study show that engagement on Mobile and Tablet is becoming more popular in for search users as this gives them a convenient way of browsing the internet at their comfort times. So giving your audience an optimal viewing experience is definitely crucial if you want to give positive user experience in various technology platforms to your audience.

Resolve canonical issues

It has always been an issue for websites to avoid duplicate content issues. Although Google has told many times that duplicate content can severely damage a website ranking in organic search, it is still surprising to see websites that practice having duplicate content on their website unconsciously or consciously. One good example of this issue is by having unresolved canonicalization issues; it is very given that when a website is accessible in different URL format, it triggers duplicate content as search engines look at it that way.

Example of accessible website in different URL format:

  •  http://www.domain.com/main.html
  •  http://www.domain.com/index.html
  •  http://domain.com
  • http://domain.com/main.html
  • http://domain.com/index.html

While we all know that those URLs mentioned above points to the same page, Google considers them different as pages with the same content that causes duplicate content issue.

Another way of identifying duplicate issue on a website is by using Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), one of the beneficial features is this can help webmasters spot the potential duplicate issues of title and description within a website, which is not a good practice approach in the field of digital marketing.

How to spot HTML improvement to a website using Google Webmaster tools:

  • Login to your Google mail account and go to Google.com/webmasters
  • Spot duplicate meta title and description within your website as defined in HTML improvement of your website

Optimize your rich snippets

One crucial SEO tip a webmaster needs to be taken into practice and implementation is by optimizing your search preview for your target key phrases that will drive organic traffic to your website. In organic search results, the more information your website is able to show in SERPs, the higher the chances that you will increase your CTRs which is highly important as far as increasing organic traffic is concern.

There are several types of rich snippets that Google supports for several content types; this summarizes a page that helps users to understand what the page is about in our search results. These types are actually the information that Google believes are informative to search users and can give them an idea of whats on the page and why its relevant to their search query.

  • Reviews
  • People
  • Products
  • Businesses and organizations
  • Recipes
  • Events
  • Music
  • Videos

How to get started with rich snippets and structured data?

  •  Learn what micro data is
  • Start marking up your content
  • Test your rich snippet

To see full example of implementation of rich-snippets, visit this blog post by HobSpot.

Implement breadcrumbs

For large websites like news sites or e-commerce sites, it is important that they help their audience track back their locations on a particular page of a website. This set of links can help a user understand and navigate your site's hierarchy that can give them a better user experience while on a website.

In digital marketing industry, implementing breadcrumbs navigation is not just a requirement; it is a mandatory for every website which aims to help their audience have a wonderful experience.

Importance and best practices of breadcrumbs for a website:

  •  SEO Benefit
  • This helps your audience navigate your site
  • Always start from your home page down to category page  individual page
  • Utilize relatively keywords as displayed anchor text in your trail
  • Breadcrumbs should always reflect to your website hierarchy

A good example of breadcrumb is listed below:

Dresses Real Dresses Real Green Dresses
Webmaster Tools Help articles My site and Google Creating Google-friendly sites

Doing your website and your audience a small favor will give you huge success in terms of user experience, longer visitor engagement and most importantly, this helps your website for being search engine friendly which is absolutely important for larger websites.

Appearing in In-depth articles

Optimizing your appearance in organic search is really crucial as this helps provide more information to your audience on what information they should expect to see on your website. In related to that section, Google has given another feature that websites and webmaster would enjoy hopefully in the long run. Google will reward websites that provide high quality content to appear in in-depth article section that can increase your organic traffic from Google.
What are the requirements for this markup on a website?

Normally, this will require schema article markup highlighted the following features:

  • headline
  • alternativeHeadline
  • image (note: the image must be crawlable and indexable)
  • description
  • datePublished
  • articleBody

To see the benefits of this awesome mark-up on Google, visit this blog post on QuickSprout.

Allow comment board section

Having a conversation with your audience about specific topic posted on your blog section can help you get to know them. Perhaps, this is also a good section to hear their opinion and thoughts about a specific topic.  Of course, anticipating that spammers will come around to spam your comment section, you need to set some rules that even if a spammer drops a comment, that won't have negative result to your website at all.

Have some rules:

  • Use real name
  • Require email
  • Don't ask for a URL
  • Review comments

Implement social buttons

Essentially, giving your audience a way to connect with you in different ways is a great approach in digital marketing. I know it is very common for every digital marketer out there to place social buttons on their clients' website or their own but surprisingly, a lot of them failed to do this. The opportunity they actually missed here is not actually a lot - sarcasm saying! They are just losing potential social followers that could be a big help to them!

Moving forward, placing your favorite social platforms on the very prominent place of your website is good enough to catch your audience attention. If you want help with installing social buttons on your site, you can use the Addthis plugin. There are free and paid plugin with different design that you can choose from so do an experiment to see which design will work best!

Give Subscribe button!

Looking to expand your email subscribers list is actually one of the high priorities to establish in digital marketing space. You need to have a sky is the limit list but you also want to ensure that those subscribers are the right people to target.

And this is where subscribe button comes in. By adding subscribe button on the very prominent section of your website, you can actually increase the list of people who are happy to get updates from you.

Actually, there is a plugin that I'm using on this blog called ManyContacts - a free subscribe to me plugin that can help you build your sky is the limit list! If you want to know how this plugin works, checkout this review by KaiserTheSage.

If you are marketing your business online, getting all the potential help that can help you improve your traffic, links, user experience and more importantly sales or conversion in a legitimate way, this one is right for you.

Shazam! It ends here..

Doing your website and your visitors a huge favor in terms of user satisfaction experience is actually a big win to achieve for business owners. If you don't think it is not very rewarding, it is not probably your goal to improve your user experience.

Remember that Google monitors a website in so many ways with (GA code installed) particularly based on visitors behavior on a site. If they leave right away and went back to SERPs, this would mean that you didn't meet the expectations of your visitors and could cause negative impact to your website. So dealing with issues and looking for improvement is a good combination that an SEO must always use to a website.

If I missed SEO tips for webmasters, let me know in comment section and I'll be happy to update the list. If you like this post, you can socialize with me! 

SEO Tips for site optimization

There is no doubt that the key to succeed in digital marketing is to improve, develop and maintain the quality of a website. Regardless of what industry you are in or how boring your niche is, optimizing a website for search engine and audiences’ benefit is what really matters at the end of the day, right? So developing a high quality website should be the top priority of every webmasters out there and not the rankings or links that can unfortunately trigger future problems.

Although it is widely known and practically given nowadays, it is still surprising that you will see websites out there that are not properly optimized and hope to rank higher in organic search for their target keywords. Obviously, that’s not how the game goes here in digital marketing. In order to compete in digital space, there are some essential implementations that webmasters need to cover deal with to compete with its competitors.

Prerequisites On site optimization

Page title and Descriptions

One of the basics but imperative aspects that webmasters must not overlook when optimizing a website is identifying each important pages of a website as descriptive as possible. This helps search engines and search users understand what a page is about just by looking at the snippets being showed in Google SERPs. 

Page title and descriptions are being used by search engines aside from context body of the page, as relevancy signal whenever a keyword related phrase searched by search users. So if your website pages don’t have descriptive page titles and descriptions, your pages may find it hard to rank in organic search.

Although there are some cases that webmasters purposely don’t provide title and descriptions on their important pages as Google sometimes choose the title and description of a page for search rich snippets, it is still recommended by most SEO practitioners to provide a descriptive title and description of your pages to make increase the ranking ability of your website.

Important tips in creating page title and description:

  • Limit your page title for only 65 characters and limit your description for only 150 characters. - To ensure that your page title and description characters will all fit and appear in search snippets.
  • Incorporate your main/important keywords in your page title and descriptions to give weigh on your important keywords being cited as title and descriptions.

Readable URL format

While page title and description help define a page straightforwardly, URL format plays a very vital role in helping a website rank in organic search as this helps users and search engines have a much clearer idea and understanding of what a particular page is about. Also, it has been proven that shorter, readable and descriptive URLs that are easier to remember tend to rank higher than URLs with longer URLs that are not human friendly. 

In digital marketing space, giving your audience a good experience is what really matters to build trust and increase their engagement on your website. So if your website has non-user friend URLs, this can impact your website as a whole negatively compare to your competitors that have their URLs formatted for their audience and search engines.

Important tips in customizing your URLs

  • Include your important keywords in your URLs 
  • Keep your URLs short and avoid using special characters
  • Keep static URLs
  • Make your URLs readable by human and easy to remember

Internal linking

To ensure that your audience to a website will have a better user experience, connecting all your page based on relevancy, importance and quality is a good way to make sure that not only your audience will discover your important pages but also search crawlers. Internal linking is also a good way to expand the flow of “link-juice” throughout the entire website and pass authority to its important pages which is vitally important in digital marketing.

To help your website increase its visitors’ engagement, inter linking your pages is a better way to increase the bounce rate of your website. Bounce rate will let you see if your visitors are exploring your website by going to one page to another or they just then leave right away after seeing or reading your website content. So if you will smartly connect your pages, the chances that your visitors will engage longer on your website will increase and can be used by search engines as positive indication of high quality website.

Important tips in implementation off internal linking 

  • Utilize your keywords when internal linking your pages to help increase the referring links to your important pages
  • Use your brand name as anchor text whenever possible to diversify your anchor text throughout your site
  • Incorporate the internal linking from your blog post or article post to interlink your important pages from your blog section
  • Use long tail and short tail keywords as anchor text to your important pages

URL Canonicalization

URL canonicalization usually causes trouble in search engines. They can lead to duplicate content that can affect a website performance in organic search and may also be hit by an algorithm of Google which is called “Panda or The Farmer”. While this can give you large amount of indexable pages in search engines, it won’t matter if they are all duplicated to your other pages as this can only trigger problem on your website.

Schema Markup

For most websites out there, having schema mark-up implemented on their website is definitely helpful in terms of providing essential information to be displayed as part of rich snippets in organic search. This is very helpful for e-commerce sites as they can use this feature to display the most relevant information in organic search such as; product reviews, user ratings, business operations etc. 

This may not be visible in onsite appearance of a website and in terms of creating quality website, but it helps improve your search appearance in organic search which makes your website quality and helpful to its organic viewers by displaying relevant and important information to its audience.

Page speed

The most essential factors that a webmaster need to focus on a website as part of the process in making a website quality is increasing the speed of their website loading time. Often times, this is always what search engines recommend to webmasters, to help give good user experience to their target audience. I’m sure as a webmaster and search user yourself, you’ll probably be annoyed whenever you visit a page that takes time to fully load the page. I know what it feels like and it does not satisfy me in any way at all. 

Important tips in reducing the page/file size on your website to increase its page speed

  • Minify Javascript
  • Minify CSS
  • Reduce images size

To check your website speed load time, visit the Google page speed test.

Responsive design

For most webmasters out there, it is imperative that they know for every websites as part of making them high quality, is be responsive for every technology or devices being used to access their page. Meaning, the website pages has to fit for every screen of the devices being used to view their web pages. 

Things to consider when creating a responsive website:

  • Make sure that your website should respond to the user’s behaviour and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.
  • Make sure your pages load faster


As a part of making a website quality, customizing a website’s navigation to make it easier for users to navigate and find the information they are looking for holds the keys in making a website quality. Although that’s not all there is to it as far as quality of a website is concern, it is imperative for websites to have a clear navigation for their benefits.

There are several types of navigation that a webmaster can implement on a website such as:
  • Top navigation
  • Side navigation
  • Footer navigation

However, while navigation is an imperative part of a website, utilizing the side, footer and top section of a website for navigation purposes may cause trouble to a website especially if they are all pointing to the same page which is why you have to ensure that the links will be included in the navigation are important pages of your website.


One of the main responsibilities of a webmaster to a website is to help its audience have a better user experience – UX whenever a visitor comes to your website. To make this possible, implementing breadcrumb navigation for the benefits of your users can help them track their location on your website. 

Now that you have covered the most essential onsite SEO factors to help make a website SEO friendly and quality, this might be the right time for you to evaluate you’re the quality of your content as part of making a website quality .

Content quality

Aside from technical aspect of a website, content also plays an important role in developing high quality websites that can standout on its on base on its quality. While technical aspects of on-page SEO helps websites rank higher in organic search, quality of the content being hosted on a website is what really matters as this is what search users are looking for and it what really matters at the end of the day.

In digital marketing space, quality of content holds the key to establish a website authority, earn editorial inbound links and build exposure within its industry as well as building brand awareness. Hence, developing an eye catching and informative content also matters in developing quality website.

There are some basic ways to help you create and identify quality content such as:

Uniqueness of content

As part of developing quality content for a website, uniqueness is one of the main factors to consider. It helps build authority and increase returning visitors rate to a website whenever there is something new content that has never been posted elsewhere online  which is an indication of a quality website that search engine recognize in a positive way.


Along with unique information, freshness of information being displayed or stated on a website adds up when determining quality of a website. Regardless of technical aspect of a website, if the information being presented on a website isn’t something new, this might affect a website as far as quality is concern.

Hence, in digital marketing, fresh information is what recognized and often gets click through rates – CTR so freshness of content and information may help a website compete in organic search.


Length of content

Content length of a website is also an important factor to look at as far as quality development is being practiced on a website. In 2011, Google has released their “Panda” algorithm which targets thin and duplicate content on a website, which means, search engines don’t give value to websites with thin and duplicate content so it’s not recommended to have shortly written content posted on a website. Also, short content does not stand a chance to compete with longer content and it does not also deserve to earn editorial links especially if it does not cover the most important information about the topic.

Guidelines in determining high quality site

There are some ways to help visitors and webmasters out there determine if a website is quality and trustworthy on its own without having to purposely create links to their website to build its reputation. For some, they may consider a website high quality by using SEO metrics tool out there such domain authority or page rank. However, Google posted on webmaster blog a list of questions on how an individual can define himself if a website is quality on its own regardless of having extensive SEO knowledge in mind.

Here’s the list:

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don't get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of page you'd want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopaedia or book?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

While this list of questions is to justify whether a site is trustworthy and authoritative on its own, building reputation and authority within its industry can also give huge positive impact to its target audience and can help ranking in organic search.

Final word

By making your website quality, useful and easy to navigate can help you build trust with your online visitors and search engines. Since having a quality website holds a key to success in digital space, having a website only for the sole of online presence is not enough to compete in digital marketing. It’s only a one part of the game you have to play with along with your competitors.

Also, the demand of digital marketing for enterprise and small businesses has been definitely crucial regardless of what industry you are in as this can help your business grow, build reputation and awareness within your target geographic location and audience. This can also help you attract more potential clients and customers for your business that are looking for your services or products through your digital marketing strategy.

It’s just everything starts with your own website, make it quality through technical aspects, content aspects and off-site aspects will help your business and website quality in your industry.

How to develop high quality websites

One must know the basics and rules before he puts himself into something new particularly in digital marketing industry. Before you start on doing something, you will need to prepare yourself by learning new information, process and extra patience of course. Whether you’re thinking of getting into Paid advertisements, Social Media and even Content Marketing, you need to know how the process works in order for you to cope up with the demand of your chosen field.

Particularly, this is most likely applicable for SEO link builders, who are in charge of increasing the quality of inbound links to a page in order for a website to rank higher in organic search in a natural way. Since links are probably one of the most important ranking factors that search engines use, link builders must know the rules of obtaining links in a non-manipulative way which means, links that can stand the test of time.

In this post, I’ll provide the information for startup link builders before they start creating links for the website of their clients before they mess up and put those websites at high potential risks of getting penalized due to manipulative approach or unnatural linking approach.

Let’s get started.

First off, let’s get the definition of link building from Wikipedia, everyone’s source of information.

Right, creating links is easy though, but are those the links that your website needs to increase their authority and visibility of your website in your industry that can stand the test of time? Or those are the links that will deteriorate your website’s credibility in search engines that can result to penalization? You have to know the answer, otherwise you will probably lose your clients if they get hit or penalized by Google’s algorithm when they roll out or launch a new one. 

For helpful information about Google Algorithm, visit Moz’s algorithm change history.
To understand how search works, visit Google’s inside search.

Importance of links for rankings

Google uses links for search rankings, thats for sure and thats why they often send manual penalty emails to websites through Google Webmaster Tools that they believe manipulating their search visibility With this in mind, you can validate that search engines use links as an important signal to determine a websites value, importance and worthwhile your website is to audience and industry.

Manual Action by Month

However, although links play an important role for websites, link builders should not get all the links that they want even the websites they are thinking of getting a link from are high quality and authoritative due to following reasons:

Relevancy – Search engines reward sites that get links from the websites that are related to them naturally – so if the link source of your website are mainly from artificial link building approach such as submission, blog comments, forum signatures and bookmarks in a large scale, your link profile might become questionable.

Location – Search engines use the location of the links that are referring to your website as a signal to identify where you’re attempting to rank – so if the domain extension of your website ends with .ca, you only have to create links from websites with the same domain extension of .ca and if you happen to create links from .au site in a large, you will probably not rank in your target location. 

Engagement – Visitors engagement on a website is also important and a top priority when deciding to create links on your prospect websites – Your website needs to benefit from links you’ll generate in terms of traffic and not only juice.

Links play an important role for websites; they serve a vote for a website to escalate its authority and ability to rank in organic search. Links are also indication of trust to a website, which means the more inbound links your website has, the more trust factor they can send to your domain.

Link Acquisition Methods

Link building is an art. Its one of the basics but the most challenging part as a link builder as you are opt to practice the approach that is not against in search rankings. It also requires creativity, patience and dedication when youre creating links for your website this means, you will have to create links that can be really useful to your website and not the type of links that you create just for the sake of links.

There are several types of link building methods that can link builders can put into practice and incorporate to benefit their websites, but the getting to know the basics is sometimes much better than doing the advanced approach in which you are not yet sure will work effectively for your websites.

Editorially given links

These are the links that your website earned naturally, given by other websites that are related to your industry. Editorial links are much more valuable and trustworthy in link development as it shows that a website has produced something important and unique to its audience which deserves to be shared widely within their industry via link back or social share.

How to get editorial links?

  • Produce a share worthy content
  • Do case study content
  • Controversial content
  • Newsworthy content

Manual outreach link building

This type of method requires strategy and creativity as youll have to communicate with the people in your industry particularly website owners or bloggers that can potentially allow you to link to their website in a non-manipulative way of course. 

How to do manual/outreach link building approach?

  • Create an alert of your brand mentions
  • Offer your content to industry bloggers
  • Broken link building

Self-created links building

Self created links are the ones you personally created with intent to link your personal blog, website or article in your contribution in various channels that are topically related to your website, niche or industry. This type of approach is normally overly abused by link builders that aim to build inbound links to their website and hope to increase their search rankings. Unfortunately, it does not work out that way since Google released their Google Penguin algorithm.

Since Google has been dedicated in identifying and penalizing websites that they believe practicing SEO against their Guidelines, performing the following methods below will help you create links to your profile that does not violate their search guidelines:

  • Q&A approach
  • Forum contribution
  • Content distribution
  • Business and Individual profile creation

Significant things to know in link creation

There are some imperative approach that you need to keep in mind when link building for a website. This approach can help you make your link profile non-manipulative, although not essentially pure natural link building, you can assure to your clients that its not overly against to Google guidelines and the end result will not be prone to website penalty.

Anchor text and source diversification Practice diversifying your anchor text profile and links sources dont just focus on one source of link ie; guest blogging and dont repeatedly use the same keywords youre targeting.

Website Relevancy Practice getting links from websites within your industry or topically related to the content that youre building links on.

Domain Authority Avoid getting links from low quality domain as they may put your website at risk by getting links from low quality websites.

Followed links Followed links are the ones that can pass juice/authority to a webpage which helps a page to rank higher in SERP. However, if you focus on creating followed links to your website, this may cause negative results to your website Remember the terms diversify is one crucial word in digital marketing.

Hottest Google Algorithms

Googles dedication to fight spammers have never been doubted, they keep on releasing and updating their algorithms to identify which websites are manipulating their search rankings, practicing link building methods or tactics that are against their rules and guidelines.

Google Panda Is a change to Google's search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The change aimed to lower the rank of "low-quality sites" or "thin sites"

Google Penguin Aims to decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Googles Webmaster Guidelines by using now declared black-hat SEO techniques involved in increasing artificially the ranking of a webpage by manipulating the number of links pointing to the page. Such tactics are commonly described as link schemes.

Google Hummingbird About synonyms but also about context of search queries which aims to deliver search results as quick as possible Google could come up with

SEO tools:

Ahrefs The largest and the freshest index of live links. Index is updated every 15 min. Ahrefs Site Explorer is free to try.
Open Site Explorer Open Site Explorer is Moz's Search Engine for Links. Perform competitive link research, explore backlinks, anchor text, and more for free
Majestic SEO - Link intelligence tools for SEO and Internet PR and Marketing. Site Explorer shows inbound link and site summary data.
Monitor backlinks Monitoring tool for your backlinks for good SEO rankings and finding spammy links to help you avoid having negative signals to Google.

To stay updated in the industry trends, news and updates, visit the following websites regularly for knowledge improvement.

SEO sites:

Search Engine Journal News on search marketing, blogs, and Web 2.0
Search Engine Watch A guide to search engine marketing and search engine optimization
SEO by the Sea SEO by the Sea explores search engine patents and white papers, and provides internet marketing and search engine optimization
Search Engine Land Search Engine Land is a must read hub for news and information about search engine marketing, optimization and how search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Live.com and Ask.com work for searchers.
Search Engine Roundtable A well-rounded view on search engines and search engine marketing from five segments of the Web population represented by senior members of the major SEO/SEM forums on the Internet.

SEO blogs:

Google products:

Google Plus

For more link building insights, Twitter and Google+

Guide for startup link builders: What you need to know?