• Posted on August 16, 2010

Internal Linking – Don’t Be Afraid Of The Long Tail

One of the most important on-site optimisation strategies is your internal link building. Internal link building serves several purposes. The most obvious is to lead visitors to more content and, hopefully, to conversion, be it a sale or sign-up.

Internal link building also helps to lead the search engines deeper inside your web site. More importantly, it can lead the search engines deeper while helping to build the search engines’ overall view of those deeper pages. This is done through the anchor text used in the links.

The problem with many web site owners is the use of that anchor text. It needs to be varied, not concentrating on the same text every time. If your link page is about ‘blue widgets’, you only need a couple of links for the search engines to get the message.

That internal page is not just about ‘blue widgets’. If it’s about ‘installing blue widgets’ then use that as anchor text as well. In fact, you should ask yourself what subsections you have on the page. Is there is a section on ‘installing blue widgets for WordPress’? If so, then use that as anchor text. This is what we call long tail anchor text and it can be quite powerful.

This is becoming the type of phrase that searchers are likely to use to find information. If you have used that phrase as anchor text, you are providing the search engines with more information about that target page. If your page is associated with that search phrase then you are quite likely to gain traffic if you rank for that phrase.

If you have any doubts about long tails and longer search phrases, check your web analytics. You will be surprised when you see some of the search terms that have been used to find your pages.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 at 3:04 pm and is filed under Link Building. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  • Posted on August 16, 2010

SEO Report: Avoiding the Ban

Getting banned from a search engine index can spell disaster for your website.

banned

While being enthusiastic about optimizing your websites for better results is admirable, you can unknowingly trigger search engine alerts and your site could end up being black listed for various reasons. This makes it important not to go overboard with any of your optimization efforts. Ensure that you always use only approved SEO strategies to get good ranking.

Search engines  like Search Engine Optimization that is helpful in giving searchers the best information, not tactics undertaken that try to manipulate the ranking by feeding what search engines look for. In other words, while all the search engines advise that you should make your websites search engine friendly so that they can easily access our websites and list them, you still should stay aware of the boundary drawn by search engines within which we should work.

When you cross those boundaries, search engines can penalize you in a number of different ways. Your search ranking could drop suddenly, your pagerank could drop suddenly – or in a  worst scenario, your website might disappear completely from the search results. When a website gets banned, you no longer feature in the search results, meaning that your website can be accessed only by typing the website URL in the browsers link field. This is possibly the worst thing that can happen to a website.

Here are few things that you should be avoided when optimizing your website so that you will not set off the search engine alarms.

Keyword stuffing is one of the top reasons why websites get penalized by search engines. To get good rankings in the search  results page, you need good keyword optimization – but it should not be overdone hoping that you can get to the front page instantly.

The next important task is linking – but if your websitesuddenly explodes with 1000+ back links, it will set off the search engine alarm, indicating that there is something underhanded about the sudden rise of links. So when you are engaging in link building campaign make sure that you are doing it in gradual fashion, such as building a link wheel or doing careful article marketing.  Do not get greedy or rushed and try to acquire 10000 links in one month. Make it look like a natural process; getting your link building done by experienced link building companies can help you avoid trouble.

Another factor to be taken into consideration while building links is that the anchor texts used should be different. Not all the anchor texts should be the same if it is natural linking! If all your links have the same anchor text, it looks manufactured – like you used a paid linking campaign, which can also set off the alarms. Here is yet another reason why you should use only an experienced company to work on your website’s link building campaign.

Avoiding keyword stuffing and suspect linking can help you keep out of trouble and maintain your website’s ranking.

Tags: banned, keywords, Linking, overoptimization, SEO

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  • Posted on August 16, 2010

SEO Report – Website Security

Taking care of your website isn’t all SEO and content and linking and site architecture. You also have to look into one of the more crucial aspects when it comes to how your website’s interaction with the outside world – and that means website security. While website security is not directly linked to your site’s SEO,it certainly can affect the traffic rate to your websites. Online users should feel comfortable and safe using your websites. If they don’t, they will hesitate to visit your website and this can create an insurmountable obstacle to your sales plans.

When your website is not secure, others can take advantage of the loopholes in your website’s security and use it for their own purposes. They can install scripts or malicious software that will attack any innocent user who visits your website, infecting their computers with viruses or spyware that will be installed remotely and turn their personal computers into spam generation machines.

If your website hosts such malicious programs or software, or even if it is suspected of hosting such harmful programs, then people will report you. Since Google in particular takes such issues very seriously, they will attempt to alert innocent users and prevent them from walking in to such a trap by displaying a notice stating that your website may harm their computers. You can expect to see your traffic dwindle to nothing after such a notice is associated with your website. since no one in their right mind will visit your website after reading such a clear warning.

This means that all the money that you have spent on your website and all your SEO efforts will be ruined – just because your website’s security has been compromised. All of your work getting to top positions in Google can be in jeopardy just because of your success – people are ready to spend a lot of money to reach the top positions, and some have no scruples against hiring hackers to sabotage their competitors. If you have made your way to top ranking, then you need to be all the more careful because hackers target such sites – even if they aren’t hired to do so, because top ranking means your site has high visibility and only such sites can spread the hackers desired malicious software quickly to thousands of users.

It can be very frustrating to work so hard to get top rankings in Google and other major search engines only to become a target for hackers to plant their malicious programs in your site. Paying attention to your website’s security by hiring professionals to check your website’s security or using programs that scan for intrusion and alert you in case your site is hacked can help you guard yourself and your visitors.

If the worst happens and you wake one morning to find that Google has indeed posted one of those notices for your website, do not panic. Simply take the necessary steps to get the warning removed by attending to your website’s security issues. You can check for such a warning by simply conducting a search for your own site on Google at periodic intervals to ensure you have not been reported for malicious activity.

Tags: hackers, malicious webware, spyware, website security

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  • Posted on August 15, 2010

Reversing the SEO Process: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Mistake | Correct SEO Process

correct SEO process The Correct SEO Process

Posted by randfish on August 9th, 2010 at 11:34 pm Business Tactics

I’ve had the chance to talk to lots of folks who are just starting out building new web businesses, many of them for the first time and a few with some experience under their belt. What worries me is that a lot of these new businesses are reversing the SEO order of operations; making it 100X more difficult to succeed than need be. Think about making chocolate chips: think about the correct SEO process like a recipe.

How Do You Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies? (think about the correct SEO process)

Seriously. I don’t mean a recipe; I mean close your eyes and think about the standard methodology and order of operations you follow. If you’re like me, it looks something like this:

Determine what kind of cookies you’re making – crispy, chewy, big, small – and what quantity. Line up your ingredients – flour, eggs, sugar, baking soda/powder, butter, salt, vanilla extract, chocolate chips Mix together ingredients in some relevant order Form dough balls Bake for appropriate time period Remove from oven; eat

Now let’s imagine SEO as a part of your recipe – you’re trying to bake a great web business, and SEO is an essential ingredient. Let’s say for the purposes of our analogy it’s the chocolate chips.

Here’s how many websites bake their SEO-chocolate chip cookies:

Mix together some of the ingredients (maybe the butter, sugar, eggs and flour) Form dough balls Bake for appropriate time period* Remove from oven Realize there’s a few missing ingredients – vanilla extract (social media strategy), salt (viral content) and, oh yeah, the chocolate chips (SEO) Sprinkle these on the cookies

Now instead of this:

Fresh Cookies
Courtesy of SavorySweetLife’s excellent post

You’ve got this:

correct seo process

Not quite as appealing.

A website that’s pre-built its content, pre-conceived of its information architecture, pre-envisioned its marketing & communications strategy and already created its underlying code, CMS and functionality without considering SEO impact will always be at a severe disadvantage. And when it comes to links, that disadvantage is even stronger.

We all worry about a poorly built site and whether it will be accessible to spiders, but I see so many SEOs who approach a business or a site that’s got many of the basics right and think, “OK, I just need to get some links.” If instead, we flipped this thinking on its head and said “wait, this website hasn’t established a strategy for link acquisition? Then we need to go back to the drawing board,” the results might be dramatically better.

For every aspect of search engine optimization, there’s a critical need to make it part of the business strategy, particularly as the field gets more competitive. If you’ve put together a remarkable company, solving a tough problem with a great website, you could still lose in search (and social) to the relatively amateurish competitor who asked and answered these critical SEO strategy questions before building their business/site:

What does my site do for web content creators (Linkerati) that rewards them in such a way that they’ll naturally share my brand and link to my site? What content is in demand (or soon will be) that aren’t sites aren’t addressing well (and how do I effectively keyword target that demand)? What functionality/organization will make my site more attractive to search engines? How do I build ongoing SEO refinement and growth into my business processes?

The site that answered those questions during the brainstorming phase is the one who can overtake the existing market leaders and win the rankings. Those who keep trying to sprinkle chocolate chips onto already-baked cookies will have a painful time trying to keep up.

* Notice my conspicuous lack of a pun about “half-baked” sites. I plan to use this karma on some horrifyingly bad joke in the future.

p.s. Credit for the analogy goes to the same person who bakes me most of my chocolate chip cookies. She’s pretty awesome.

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Login Email Password Remember my info Register Email: (Kept Private) Display Name: (Public) Password: Confirm Password: I agree to the SEOmoz Terms of Use seo-himanshu seo-himanshu Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 12:28 am

I would like to add one more question to your critical seo strategy question list:

How do i engage with my target audience and potential linking partners and build long lasting relationships?

IMO engagement drives links and traffic. Otherwise majority of time link worthy contents get twitted, re-twitted, bookmarked and forgotten.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 4 up, 0 down Reply Permalink QLP2004 QLP2004 August 10th, 2010 at 10:27 am

Throughout my career i have always come back to the fact that if you can relate to someone then you have your foot in the door.

Whether your emailing back and forth with a potential linking partner or creating content for your target audience, try to let them relate to you.  No one wants to be getting a mass email that is going to thousands of people (hence why junk mail folders were created) You have to make them feel that there is an actual person sitting on the other side of there computer screen that is speaking directly to them.  If you let this over flow in your mission to engage your target audience then you will start making content, Marketing campaigns, etc… that is geared toward “relating” to the people your pursuing. Which in most cases helps conversion rate and traffic etc…

I hope this helps!

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Ultramod Ultramod August 10th, 2010 at 1:01 am

Should have gone with the half baked joke 🙂

This raises a good question. If you meet a client with a 3/4 year old site which has a few already half decent links but horrendous basic SEO (bad URLs etc) then is it best to rescue the recipe or simply start again.

It’s a very difficult thing to suggest to a company that they need to wipe their slate clean and start again despite the longer term benefits that may exist for doing so.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink baczoni baczoni August 10th, 2010 at 2:46 am I often run into this problem myself here in Hungary and I always go with the start again option. Usually sites like these need a redesign anyway in order to appeal a bit more to customers and to convey a little bit more trust.
On top of that it gives your client something newsworthy to talk about to its past customers and if you/they do it right they can even make a few more sales in the process even before SEO really kicks in – it’s an easy quick win and your client will love you for it! Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 3 up, 0 down Reply Permalink dvansant dvansant August 10th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

I second the start-over approach. Usually, SEO is not the only issue with an old site. When you add all of the benefits of propper SEO, conversion rate optimization, and improved architecture / content, then a new site becomes a no brainer and may not even be that much more effort than trying to put a square peg in a round hole by wrestling with the old site.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Victoria Blount Victoria Blount August 10th, 2010 at 1:13 am

I think the cookie analagy works well, sometimes when you get a client who would like to improve on the basic SEO on there site, instead of being straight and saying you need to wipe the slate clean it’s easier to work on top of previous work, but it ends up being more work and less effective.

I do agree that when building and writting the content for a site with SEO you need to focus your campaign on your keyword selection as this will help with the quality of the content, instead of adding it in as an after thought.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Jayeshk Jayeshk August 10th, 2010 at 1:20 am

Hi Rand

Awesome post.

I really like the way you explain things. You make it look so easy. I would hope you will soon post the next part of this post answering the questions that put up by you only like

What does my site do for web content creators (Linkerati) that rewards them in such a way that they’ll naturally share my brand and link to my site?What content is in demand (or soon will be) that aren’t sites aren’t addressing well (and how do I effectively keyword target that demand)?What functionality/organization will make my site more attractive to search engines?How do I build ongoing SEO refinement and growth into my business processes?Waiting badly for your next post.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink jschweitz jschweitz Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 1:41 am Mmm Killer content num num num… (cookie monster impression). Nice analogy but for existing sites a lot of times the cookies are already half-baked and there is no chocolate chips (they had no idea chocolate chips make for a really tasty cookie).

However, I will try this analogy for clients with new sites: You see SEO is like making cookies…

It really helps to have some analogies that everyone can relate to. It helps to break down the process into (edible?) pieces for people who don’t understand the technical aspects (which is why they need my help). Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Summer Sellers Summer Sellers August 10th, 2010 at 8:10 am

Sesame Street isn’t letting Cookie Monster eat any cookies anymore!

They say it’s because he’s promoting unhealthy eating habits to kids. How lame!  Every time I look at my Cookie Monster Cookie Jar, I get sad.  A Cookie Monster eating carrot sticks or celery sticks just doesn’t cut it for me. Boooo!!!!

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 2:08 pm That is just plain wrong Summer. They’ll have to rename him then. The carrot stick monster… nah that’s lame. The celery monster…equally bad…The broccoli and cauliflower monster…Nope. Nothing else fits. I say we start a petition. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink traxor traxor Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 2:17 am I’m loving all of the food-related photographs here. Is it baby season in Seattle or something? If it is, congrats.

Your analogy here is perfect, I’d say that between 50 – 95% of websites built are not built with SEO in mind, whether it’s because it’s relatively new or whether they’re unaware of it I’m not entirely sure.

Either way, it’s a huge mistake. SEO should be part of the strategy from step one, not only should the site be built with SEO in mind, there should be an entire marketing strategy or it’s very likely that the company will fail – I’m not saying they’ll definitely fail I’m just saying that it’s very likely.

Your final three bullet points sum it up for me completely.

Unfortunately, we do live in a World where people just whack a site online with no strategy in mind. It’s unfortunate for both us and them.

Sometimes, I find one of the most appropriate things to do is sit down with them and offer them the opportunity to head back to square one and for me to sit down with pen and paper to let them know what can be improved. Usually involving a re-think of the design and a complete re-code of the entire site at a one-off cost. For me, if their site is poorly structured then this is a must. This is always a one-off cost. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 3 up, 0 down Reply Permalink freshfishdesign freshfishdesign August 10th, 2010 at 3:01 am Often I find, especially with small businesses, that there is no marketing plan at all, let alone an SEO strategy. Businesses feel they need to have a website simply because their competitors do. To them, it’s a necessary evil and once it’s built and live, they can just forget about it. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 5 up, 0 down Reply Permalink traxor traxor August 10th, 2010 at 10:29 am “Often I find, especially with small businesses, that there is no marketing plan at all, let alone an SEO strategy.”

I couldn’t agree with you more here. I’m working on a site at the moment for a small company and they say they want “web optimisation” but they can’t really tell me what they want and I highly doubt they’d be willing to pay for any sort of ongoing SEO.

Just a note, it goes without saying that I take my SEO very seriously and, although I’m a website designer and front-end developer, every site I code is coded well and with SEO in mind. Call it a freebie.

“Businesses feel they need to have a website simply because their competitors do. To them, it’s a necessary evil and once it’s built and live, they can just forget about it.”

You’ve hit the nail on the head again. So many companies believe that having a website is the same as having an “online presence” but they’re fantastically wrong.

I like to use this analogy: “If you were owned a shop that could earn you a lot of money, or were paying for a billboard to market your product… Would you put it down a dark alleyway that people rarely visit?”

To me, that sums up the mentality completely, and when you put it like that most people wouldn’t think about it that way. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 2:13 pm Hah! I had to go look up what “one-off cost” meant trax! I was thinking it meant “cost-plus”, but apparently, the translation for those of us that don’t speak the Queen’s English is “one time cost” Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink traxor traxor August 10th, 2010 at 2:16 pm Apologies! I forgot that not everyone speaks the Queen’s English!!!

Yeah, I meant one-time cost. 🙂 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink seo2005 seo2005 August 10th, 2010 at 3:22 am

Search engine optimization should be an essential part of business strategy. Couldn’t agree more.  But most of the times ( this is what i have experienced ) the design team and the SEO team have no coordination. This is a grave mistake.

Last year, while working on a site, I told the client that the site is not even prepared for search engines.To which he replied “why didn’t you tell me earlier when the site was being designed”. Later i came to know that it was designed by our design team.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 2:15 pm To which he replied “why didn’t you tell me earlier when the site was being designed”. Later i came to know that it was designed by our design team.

Ouch! Now that would be an uncomfortable conversation. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink admadm admadm Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 3:31 am It is a good comparison. Seems to be simple. But competition for each keyword is growing. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Sorano Sorano August 10th, 2010 at 4:50 am I agree with you, cookies are increasingly better hehe but there’s always a way to add new ingredients for better results.

It’s an easy-to-understand post !

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink rob williams rob williams August 10th, 2010 at 3:34 am

Great post, I love the posts with food analogies; seems good SEO is a lot like following good recipes.

Understanding how to make SEO part of a site’s design and business model is key in helping make it a success, but, as many above have commented, we often end up working with sites that were created before our time. So we have to work trying to sprinkle on some choclate chips or other decorations on a baked cookie (often stale).

The issue we face is, how do we reverse-cook the site to make it work in a far more SEO friendly manner?  In some cases there is a paralysing fear of changing what has worked before.

Anyway, thanks Rand, will use this metaphor in the future!

Edited by rob williams on August 10th, 2010 at 3:35 am Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink WebProTechnologies WebProTechnologies August 10th, 2010 at 4:42 am

No doubt, for any website to come up well for the visitors as well as the search engine bots this anology of baking a cookie or for that matter preparing any other dish would be applicable as for acheiving the best result in both the cases the right ingredient has to be added in the right quantity at the right time.

The anology of grooming also can be aptly applied to websites which come to us for optimization after being there on ther invisible web for quite sometime. That is the time when the SEO has to decide whether the website needs just an SEO facial or a complete fitness programme.

I came across a website having only a flash presentation on the index page without any link to the other pages and the website was on the web for 8 years without any search engine presence. The link to the other about us page was embedded in the movie only and from there the visitor could navigate to the other pages.

The on page SEO for the other pages was excellent but due to the absence of links on the home page the site suffered this fate.

We kept the flash presentation as it is and added text links for the other pages and submitted the XML siltmap and the site started getting the search engine presence that it deserved.

Edited by WebProTechnologies on August 10th, 2010 at 5:11 am Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink CharlieB29 CharlieB29 August 10th, 2010 at 5:23 am You absolutely have to start from the beginning with the keyword selection in mind otherwise what`s the point? I agree in that a lot of business/websites probably feel that it`s an easy process to just “add” seo to an existing site but the truth is it could be a site that is a mess or just hasn`t been structured properly to make it more accessible to the spiders. I believe it is key to prioritise the keywords from start to finish though. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Mike Feuti Mike Feuti Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 6:24 am

I’m slowly making cultural changes at work, but SEO still gets stuffed under “support” in client presentations sometimes. At other times I get asked to look at the IA and other semantic website structures when the site is past dev and sitting on staging. I love the resulting look in their collective eyes as 3 managers want to punch me in the face. To which I reply, “I don’t make this stuff up. Let’s get me in sooner.”

Since, I already steal so much form this site, I will definitely be pulling together insights from this posts (and there’s a number of related ones too) in order to re introduce how this all should work to my business comrades.

You know what?

This out of order scenario is 100% our fault. It’s our fault when it continues. That’s the ultimate point I want to make here. We can sit as all knowing Web Marketing Masters, but our expertise is questionable if we only report with 100% hindsight accuracy and I “told you so’s”.

Maturing corporate culture by getting people to follow us is as much of our job as our ability to point the way. Most of us yell from the sidelines but until we step forward with the plan to help and guide our businesses and clients, then how good are we, really? This post offers a good conversation starter. Thank you.

Edited by Mike Feuti on August 10th, 2010 at 6:25 am Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 3 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 2:22 pm Well said Mike, but it’s easier said than done when dealing with clients and existing sites. I totally agree with your point for the in-house SEO.

But when you’re introduced to a new clients site for the first time, and all you see is a train wreck, there’s no opportunity for guidance. At that point you just kinda have to get your fire gear on and start extinguishing the blaze. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Mike Feuti Mike Feuti August 11th, 2010 at 6:14 am Yup. In-house SEO was definitely where I was coming from. The train wrecks are always out there and they are a part of our business.

BUT … if said client continues down this track of doom on future projects after we have spewed out our wisdom, well then, that is our fault. In that latter case we have failed to imprint the critical message to the right people.

I’m not saying we will be successful as corporate culture is nigh impossible to change in short notice. Yet we gots ta try all the same. Eventually we’ll learn how to be better business partners to each client and effect real, positive change.

That’s my goal anyway. I would love to raise clients to such a degree that my services are no longer needed. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink efluence efluence August 10th, 2010 at 7:00 am Great post, solid analogy.
Education is the major hurdle. Getting clients to understand that you have to begin with the end in mind is a challenge.
Convincing them to “tear down the house” and start over is tough too, however, completely necessary.

A lot of sites were built with what worked 5 years ago or what some “consultant” convinced the company was cool/best.

Don’t be afraid to tell someone their “site” is a tear down!

Controlling the process from day 1, step 1 is ideal and ensures optimum performance/results.
Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink JVRudnick JVRudnick August 10th, 2010 at 7:13 am

great analogy, Rand!

and I now await that “half-baked” follow-up, eh!

🙂

Jim

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink SandroM SandroM August 10th, 2010 at 7:18 am

This is the fault of SEOs. Please don’t hate, I still like you all! Before I start, let me say I have a propensity to write a novel when I need to write a sonnet, but I will try and be brief.

There are two factors causing these problems, and Rand, if this is your way of educating the future small business/website owner about the value of incorporating SEO into their startup strategy…

Is SEOMOZ the best place to publish it?

Anyways, here are the two factors:

1) I firmly believe the average person thinks that a higher rank in search engines means better match to their query. No big jump there. But they also believe that the search engines determine it on there own- there’s no “cottage” industry that shapes their SERPs.

2) SEOs really like to talk to other SEOs about how important SEO is. SEOs don’t typically do a very good job of communicating the importance of SEO to people who think SERPs are put together through Google magic.

Typically a website/online business learns what SEO is when they say “Hey! My website looks awesome! It has exactly what this search is for! And I’m on the 17th page… what gives?” And then they search for “how to get higher in google search” and end up at http://www.web-inspect.com/google-tips-for-higher-rankings.php

Well, at least Google magic worked fairly well this time 🙂

I think, eventually, some SEO/agency is going to be brilliant and write an article for the NY Times Small Business Blog.* They are going to approach Inc.com’s blog about an article about SEO for small businesses. They will stop writing for other SEOs, and start writing for small business owners.

That person, I think, will be very successful in educating the world about SEO. They’ll also make boat loads of cash (maybe.) But I really think it would be better for everyone if SEOs branched out a bit and stopped preaching to the choir 🙂

*There was recently an article on there about an online store selling women’s plus-size fashion/trendy clothes. The woman talked about how her PPC failed miserably, so she decided PPC was worthless and a waste of money. She then realized she could get a lot of traffic and jump in search engine rankings by commenting on blogs. She would comment on any blog having to do with plus-size women (and) fashion/clothes and make sure to link to her store. She talked about how great it was and how she recommends others try the same thing.

I do think her intentions were good, but I think we can generally agree that comment ‘spamming’ is not a great SEO strategy. This is the education the target audience for this post is receiving from THEIR sources of information.

EDIT: I do realize the value of a post like this providing an analogy that SEOs that visit this site can use when explaining the value of SEO to a prospective client. However, in that situation it is in a “selling” atmosphere, which inspires a bit of distrust, and the SBO has most likely already started their website and now realized they need help to not be result #476 for their top keyphrase.

Edited by SandroM on August 10th, 2010 at 7:21 am Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 5 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Emil Emil August 10th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

@SandroM,

There are two types of SEO:

People That Know SEOPeople That Think They Know SEO

SEO starts at example.com just like Rand says in this post and there is no way around that.

“It is not the job of Search Engine Optimization to make a pig fly. It is the job of the SEO to genetically re-engineer the web site so that it becomes an eagle.” Bruce Clay

Now going back to some of your comments. SEO isn’t a Rocket Science but if not used properly “you” can easily make things even worse, meaning not only that example.com will not rank higher but it could potentially rank lower.

PPC isn’t really worthless, one should first do a research prior to getting into PPC and it doesn’t matter who is doing it as long as the person knows what to look for while choosing the right keywords.

I’ve seen in past where people bid on high-competitive (way to expensive keywords) with low budget and get very little or no ROI, why? simple if you are in “car insurance industry” and don’t have the budget you need, don’t “kill” your PPC campaign and bid on “car insurance”, instead go after low-competitive keywords and/or local audience and that will make huge difference and most of all successful PPC campaign.

Commenting a/k/a spamming to heck out of “blogs that dofollow” isn’t just bad SEO recommendation it is also negative for a long-haul SEO process. Sites that do this (SEOs as well) if you can call them an SEO will last very short and once the big “G” realizes their tactics the site will get “penalized” and soon after deranked.

I do an SEO since 2003, currently managing dozen of websites and still learning new things every day and still coming to blogs like SEOmoz to continue my education, learn not only from their authors but also from people that contribute and comment on posts like this, regardless of their background.

One of the biggest things that I learn from my experience is to be patient, get as much as information possible and start slowly. SEO is a process and it does take time to achieve your goals.

PS The easiest way to learn how SEO works is to create a separate site with similar content as your main website and start testing the tuts/articles from this or any other blog out there. We all make an experiments and you know what? if they are good you can use them on your main site, if not of well too bad, let’s move on 🙂

Thanks,

Emil

Edited by Emil on August 10th, 2010 at 2:21 pm Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink SandroM SandroM August 11th, 2010 at 6:04 am

I completely agree with you 100%. I know PPC is a lot more than set a budget, set a bid, and go. There are match types, negatives, landing pages to customize, geo-targeting, split tests to run… the average person sees it as set a bid, set a budget… wait, where are my sales?

As far as certain SEO tactics, I read this site fairly religiously, and others. My SEO knowledge journey only started a few months ago, but I generally understand what works, what doesn’t work, and what can you get your in trouble.

My point was that the NY Time Small Business Blog ran an article interviewing a small business owner who basically said:

“PPC is worthless, we lost tons of money. I commented on lots of (relevant) blogs with links to my store, that’s called SEO. It’s much better than PPC.”

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/trial-and-error-with-adwords-and-s-e-o/

Now, I’m exaggerating a little bit. There were things she was doing well- on-site optimization, she understood the coding aspect of SEO, she has a blog… but her link acquisition strategy is “comment on blogs.”

SEO Pros/Agencies need to get out there the chamber meetups/local business conferences, write guest articles for these blogs, etc. showing the world that “Hey, SEO needs to be there at step 1, right with where are we going to work from and how will we pay the bills.”

That’s just my opinion 🙂

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink SandroM SandroM August 11th, 2010 at 7:27 am

On Marketing Pilgrim today:

http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2010/08/why-does-google-hate-you-so-much.html

Instead we pretend that Google really is free and fair.

Of course it’s really not. The chances of ranking in on the first page for a super-competitive term are 10,000 to 1, or worse. Yet because it’s still possible technically, we still believe it can be done. The reality is that to get on page one (organically) for something like “debt consolidation” will mean you’re competing with businesses that are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on seo firms. Probably even more.

Discouraging.

“You know why you dislike search Jim? It’s because you play by the rules.”

It’s an excellent, short article, well worth a read. What would your response be?

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Emil Emil August 11th, 2010 at 10:23 am SandroM,

Don’t let anyone anything discourage you! With all do respect to NY Time and all others not really SEO sites is nothing but mambo, don’t read that it will not help you in any way.

Read sites with positive vibe and sites where people share their success not their failure while trying to rank better on search engines.

SEOmoz, I find it very useful try going back year or two and collect more info. Do you know what I do when there is a problem? The answer is very simple! Back to basics and before that always back-trace your steps and in most of the situations you will surely find it and correct it.

Get a WordPress man, write daily posts about you and your online business, people love to read good stuff and Google will “like” you better if they see fresh content all the time.

Get in Google Blogs and make sure that you stay there. Write Press Releases, i.e. onlineprnews.com will let you do this for free and they will also give you a backlink as well. My “secret” in any new site that I work on is to publish one press release every week. You don’t need to have anything major to say, “Example.com just announced new and easier way to buy online” will do just great.

Can’t get on page one for “debt consolidation” an example post below? No problem, start adding and combining keywords http://www.google.com/sktool/#keywords?q=debt%20consolidation and start with the easiest one to work with and go up towards the main keyword. When you combine all* the keywords with smaller value you will gain much more than you think.

Oh man I never write this long on SEOmoz oh well got to earn the points somehow, LOL just kidding. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Emil Emil August 11th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

It should read:

Don’t let anyone or anything discourage you!

Sorry 🙂

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 2:44 pm LOL. If this is a sonnet, I can’t even imagine what your novel looks like! ;-p

I’m not sure if you said this exactly or I just extrapolated it, but think you hit the nail on the head in this respect: The SEO/Agency that learns how to get the ear of the clients HIPPO (highest paid persons opinion) and educate them in the facts of web marketing will bring home a lion’s share of business. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink SandroM SandroM August 11th, 2010 at 6:05 am What’s funny is that when I HAVE to write a blog post, I struggle for 300 words 🙂 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink trafx2 trafx2 August 11th, 2010 at 10:36 am First of all, thanks for pointing me to the Small Business blog. Pretty interesting stuff. In terms of the woman running La Grande Dame, it sounds like she’s a bit more savvy than the NYT article implies. She isn’t actually comment spamming per se as far as I can tell – she’s seeking out blogs in her niche and potentially building relationships. That’s not a terrible tactic. I see plenty of small businesses climb to the top on much spammier tactics, like link farms and directory submission. And hey, she’s in the New York Times! Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink SandroM SandroM August 11th, 2010 at 11:42 am Yeah, talk about a sweet link 🙂 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink todd.p.stevenson todd.p.stevenson August 10th, 2010 at 7:48 am Good stuff randfish, you seem very confident that this is the secret, what if big corporations somehow influence this in the future?  What if Google decides otherwise? Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Seoteric Seoteric August 10th, 2010 at 8:12 am

I love cookies almost as much as I love SEO 🙂

If you guys have seen any of my comments, you might know that I like to do my own coding and site development, but as in the case of any growing business, we are reaching the point where that is no longer feasible.  We are hiring on another developer, and the first thing we are doing together is going over our best practices for optimized code, using clean CSS for layouts, and getting the right site architecture.  I am still a little uneasy letting go of the development, but I intend to oversee the development closely until I get comfortable with their growing SEO knowledge.  This post was timely for me as I have been working this out over the last few days – and one that I will let my new developer read!

Thanks Rand.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 2:46 pm Congrats on your growth Matt. Best wishes for a uber smooth transition for you. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Mike Feuti Mike Feuti August 11th, 2010 at 6:35 am I have talked to the people, watched the videos and consulted the mystical texts.

Cookies are better than SEO.

If given a choice between getting a cookie or hearing about SEO, cookies win. Try it.

This is why I will have cookies in my business plan. LOTS of cookies. Just watch. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink gfiorelli1 gfiorelli1 Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 8:35 am

The concept Rand is explaining is something somehow (and with other metaphores) we all who are making of SEO our profession know… especially us who are on the consulting side (also the in house, but they probably have less wide experience).

As FFdesdesign wrote, the cookie issue is especially present in the small businesses web arena (the medium to big businesses – thanks god – usually have an in house person or team). And I agree also with SandroM, when he says that these kind of educational posts should have to find the opportunity to be published on mainstream media in order to be read and without objections believed and welcome in their working practice by the small businesses.

But when it comes “to educating the mass of not expert entrepeneurs” (and I’m dealing actually with some and their psichology would be worth a post), I think it is possible to find a way. A way that we all know as it suggested by so many SEO like Rand from the night of the SEO-times: to organize local conferences about SEO and/or Marketing Online on a local base, trying to have the support of the local Chamber of Commerce (that would give the “trust” factor to the conferences).

In that kind of situation, and with Cookie or Spaghetti or Paella metaphores (us SEO are surely great creating metaphores) we can help creatig with time an educated class of entrepeneurs who will know how to not miss the internet marketing train.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 3 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 2:55 pm organize local conferences about SEO and/or Marketing Online on a local base, trying to have the support of the local Chamber of Commerce

Really great Marketing idea Gianluca. Pursued properly (which I define as really giving away excellent information to the businesses that come) I’ll warrant it would be a tremendous source of leads. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink FofM FofM August 10th, 2010 at 10:09 am

This is EXACTLY my predicament; I got handed a six year-old website (and accompanying editor) and was asked to do modern SEO with it as it was. To add to the analogy, sometimes the right amount of ingredients aren’t in the half-baked part… too much butter and not enough flour!

Now I’m on a mission to convince my boss to let me build a new website from scratch and hopefully do it more according to the recipe.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Emil Emil August 10th, 2010 at 2:29 pm I would rather work on “six year-old website” instead of creating a brand new one. There are many things you could get much faster with older/established website -vs new. Convince your boss to make changes on old site, you will be doing yourself a huge favor 😉 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 2:57 pm Be careful what you wish for Emil. I’m working on a 10 year old site right now that I’d really like to just push off a cliff and start from the ground up. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Emil Emil August 10th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I know been there, done that 🙂 Sometimes it isn’t easy, especially if you have 500+ (WordPress) posts that needed to be edited, well not an easy task, just time consuming that’s all.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink gfiorelli1 gfiorelli1 August 10th, 2010 at 3:31 pm Ditto here with a similar case… the shame is that the client added “I want to give a modern image with my marketing…”… I felt as I was in a Monthy Pithon gag. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 4:09 pm That’s when you should have reported him and his website to The Ministry of Silly Walks. That’d fix his wagon but good! Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink dvansant dvansant August 10th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Gfiorelli1: I wish to register a complaint about this web site.

Owner: What’s wrong with it?

Gfiorelli1:This web site you gave me is dead.

Owner: It’s not dead, it’s just resting. Why, it’s probably pining for a modern image…

Gfiorelli1:Pining for a modern image?! This is an ex-website…

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 3 up, 0 down Reply Permalink FofM FofM August 11th, 2010 at 7:12 am

I can understand the advantage of having an established website, but I think it’s hurting more than helping at this point. The internal structure is a mess with horse sale pages I’ve tried to remove but still have clients contacting me asking about horses that are no longer available. The aesthetic quality is horrid and the layout of pictures and text don’t line up, the image producing scripts are broken and the URLS are a complete mess (and cleaning them up breaks the site itself)… it’s all stuff I know should be fixed, but I don’t know enough HTML and PHP to do so. I can’t get support on the editor anymore too.

The whole site image needs to be re-done, and completely echo goodnewscowboy’s desire to boot it down a very steep and sharp crevasse. We get the majority of clients through it, and sometimes it’s a bit of an embarrassment for me since that’s how we’re being presented. I definitely do need to know what advantages I’d be losing in doing a new site, but i think it’s time for a simpler and cleaner site that can be easily maintained and adjusted.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Peter V Zelst Peter V Zelst Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 10:20 am

Nice analogy, although essentially you could still eat the cookies without the chocolate chips. In my experience, its sometimes that people do remember the fancy, sweet, attractive add ons but forget the fundamental ingredients…. like the overall business strategy.

If we’re working through this analogy it could be that they knew roughly what they throught should go in to the cookies but set out without a recipe or any idea of how exactly they wanted the cookies to turn out, throwing in ingredients randomly along the way….

or maybe I’ve just had a bad day!

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink CourtneyArea203 CourtneyArea203 August 10th, 2010 at 10:48 am

Great analogy Rand! I think you did an excellent job of explaining what companies do (or don’t do) when it comes to SEO.

I just recently started doing SEO, so I am always looking for new ways to understand certain aspects and to compare them as well. I actually wrote a blog of how SEO is like a play. I figured that if I found a way I could relate SEO to something I am more familiar with, than I would understand the concept better. You did exactly the same thing and I now have a better understanding of the SEO process. Thanks!

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 2 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy August 10th, 2010 at 3:04 pm Loved the visuals in your blog post Courtney. The analogies were perfect! Now you need to do a YOUmoz post titled Romeo and Juliet, where the SEO’s are the Montagues, and maybe Matt Cutts will be the head of the Capulet family.

And Romeo would be the white hat SEO, and … nah , forget it. The analogy is starting to go South in a hurry. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink GPro GPro Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 11:04 am

Great post! Something for people to consider, before and after they have created their sites. It just becomes tough for those people who may enter a company that has skipped that first step: What kind of cookies do we want?

It’s tough to get chips into a cookie thats been in the oven already.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink KRONiS KRONiS August 10th, 2010 at 2:47 pm You’re right. I’m trying to not eat a cookie now and its affecting my day. Edited by KRONiS on August 10th, 2010 at 2:49 pm Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink goodnewscowboy goodnewscowboy Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 3:09 pm How could you Rand. How could you be so cruel as to stick a big ‘ol picture of the perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies up for me to stare at all day at work today. Unable to satisfy the cravings that you created I suffered in silent agony. I could smell their warm sweet aroma. I could taste how they would have melted in my mouth.

When did you become such a meany?

PS – All will be forgiven if you can talk Mystery Guest into mailing me some of her next batch. Edited by goodnewscowboy on August 10th, 2010 at 3:10 pm Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink SBS SBS August 10th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Dead on. My single biggest take-away from BlueGlass LA was this: what is your strategy for community, a.k.a., social media? I’m back in the kitchen making a new batch.

New SEO reality show: Rand’s Kitchen Nightmares?

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink michael_housebook michael_housebook August 10th, 2010 at 4:31 pm I hope that Rand would nicer than Gordon 🙂

I would love that show… Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink SandroM SandroM August 11th, 2010 at 6:07 am

An SEO reality show? What’s the cut line? Instead of “You’re fired” or “Take off your jacket” or “Please pack your knives and go”…

“You’ve been penalized.”

“Your PR is now 0.”

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 3 up, 0 down Reply Permalink GPro GPro August 11th, 2010 at 10:55 am

LOL “Your PR is now 0” thats perfect.

or “Please step into the sandbox”

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 3 up, 0 down Reply Permalink michael_housebook michael_housebook Premium Member August 10th, 2010 at 4:38 pm Great post. Love the analogy. I should show it to few people but I am afraid that their ego won’t handle it.

I think that sometimes companies don’t think at all about SEO,marketing and strategy. It seems having a website is enough. After a while they might find out that the website is not working and they start thinking what is the problem?

So they go and try to fix the problem by adding some stuff on the top of what they got.

Tell someone who just spend few thousand dollars on that flashy looking website that it is shit. They probably think you have no idea about latest cutting edge technology. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink Anirban_Das Anirban_Das August 10th, 2010 at 10:49 pm Awesome recipe..I like it all the way. Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 0 down Reply Permalink jvallecorsa jvallecorsa August 13th, 2010 at 9:30 am Great points. I knew very little about SEO when I started my photography website, and luckily, I was able to easily make the changes I needed in order to start ranking in google. I see so many websites in my industry that try to work with what they have when sometimes the easier solution is just to scrap the existing pages and start over. Edited by caseyhen on August 14th, 2010 at 6:01 am Thumbs Up Thumbs Down 1 up, 1 down Reply Permalink Add Comment A Simple Guide to Creating Linkbait 5 Ways to Build Links at an SEO Conference Navigation Email Updates Popular Blog Entries SEOmoz Top Members Blog Disclaimer Feedburner Feed Related Posts Yup, SEO Can Be A Competitive Advantage Conversion Rate Lessons for Newspaper Paywalls 8 Reasons In-House SEOs Hire SEO Consultants Maximizing Conversions By Offering Multiple Conversion Options SEO Site Audits: Getting Started More Related Posts Related Q&A dupe content on domain & geo-targeting When to create a new site versus integrating a new feature into an existing site? New Site Best Practise domain performance globally/locally WordPress optimisation More Related Q&A Share SEOmoz Badges I < SEOmoz I < SEOmoz Latest Tweets Please wait while our tweets load… SEOmoz Partners Distilled Authorized Partner ExactTarget Authorized Partner Services SEO Consulting SEO Guides SEO Tools PRO Content Community SEO Blog YOUmoz SEO Marketplace Affiliate Program Company About Contact Store SEOmoz Copyright © 1996-2010 SEOmoz. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Statement | Terms of Use | Contact Categories SEO Basics Link Building Search Marketing Issues Search Spam & Black Hat Paid Search Marketing Internet Advertising Social Media Marketing Vertical Search Web Analytics Events & Conferencing Blogging & the Blogosphere General Marketing Topics Web Design & Development Web 2.0 Platforms & Tech Online Demographics Internet Law Business Development

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  • Posted on August 15, 2010

SEO Report – Dynamic Pages and How to Handle Them

All about Dynamic Pages

Most pages on a website were traditionally static, but with the advent of ‘real time results’ many of us have dynamic pages.

In the past posts, all the optimization strategies that we discussed were basically for static pages. However, not all websites or not all the pages of a website are static. Most websites today have a combination of static plus dynamic pages. We need to have both static pages as well as the dynamic pages optimized for the search engines. This is where many webmasters struggles.

How dynamic pages are created

The first point that we need to know is that dynamic pages are not like your static pages that are stored in your server and accessed as the address is accessed. Dynamic pages are just temporary pages that are generated on the fly as it were. So they do not reside in your server. The URLs or the web addresses of these dynamic pages are created on the fly. These pages will be based on a template that is stored in the server. One of the best examples of dynamic pages are the products pages in an ecommerce site. When you search for a product in an ecommerce site, the search query will collect data from the database and will assemble all the details in a preset template page so that it will look like yet another regular page in the website. Only the template is the permanent page but all the details that get filled in will be in the database.

Optimization of dynamic pages

All these factors make optimization of the dynamic pages very difficult. Search engine bots cannot possible index these pages. The session id of these pages change every time a fresh query is passed. Google is capable of indexing dynamic pages but only in a limited way. When Google tries to index dynamic pages, it limits the total number of dynamic pages it will include in the index. Because indexing of all the dynamic pages will over load the Google servers.

Some websites use CGI/PERL to generate search engine friendly URLs for the dynamic pages which replace “?” with a “/” symbol. Yet another possibility of dealing with this issue is to check with your hosting service provider and ask them to reconfigure your server to apache server.

If your website is a relatively smaller website, you can take another long shot, which would be to create static pages for all your dynamic pages and load it in a server. But if you happen to have a database enabled site with thousands of pages, then such an approach will not be the best approach. However, when you do this then you can optimize the replica static pages like your regular pages. It is best to consult an experienced SEO company to assist you with their professional help. SEO for complex dynamic sites have to be done on case by case basis so your SEO company will be able to provide you with a tailor made solution.

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  • Posted on August 15, 2010

SEO Report – Optimizing for Bing

Since MSN launched their new search engine Bing, many webmasters are wondering if there are any tips and tricks to optimizing for Bing. With Yahoo planning on using results from Bing to power their own search, Bing has moved up to the second spot besides Google – at least in theory.  MSN is constantly trying to increase its market share so the stiff competition between Google, Yahoo and MSN has powered a lot of competitiveness over the years. Now that Yahoo is focusing on other areas besides search, we can expect Bing to start competing more heavily directly with Google.

optimize for Bing

MSN traditionally favored and gave added  value to pages and websites that were more focused; in other words, each page should have a topic of its own and the site’s content should be faithful to the topic. If your site has scattered interests, then untargeted pages may not rank well in the search engines. This indicates that MSN gives a lot of importance to keyword density. When you have too many topics of interest on the same page, the keyword density will be diluted and the search engine will have difficulty assigning value since it can’t discern which topic  is the main area of interest of your webpage for any given search. You should come up with a site structure that will help you concentrate on a single topic on each page.

MSN also does not like pages that are heavily loaded with graphics because the page size increases beyond optimal size of the pages. It is best to have web pages under 150 KB not including the images. MSN also recommends static links for your web pages. You should have a minimum of one static link for both users and search engine spiders to gain entry into your website.

MSN cannot read the image files so all the important content of your website should be presented as HTML text. If it is not, then your website will not gain relevance for the keywords that are most important to your website. Use labels for any images, and tag relevant images with keywords so the search engine knows they are relevant.

It’s best to include a sitemap for your website when optimizing for Bing – but this is nothing like the Google sitemap. You just need a regular HTML page with the structural linking of all the pages in your website to ensure that the MSN spiders index all the pages of your website. MSN spider does not drill down completely into your navigation menu, so without such a map they can skip some of your pages – which might be some of your most your important pages. Adding a site map helps MSN spiders to visit all the pages and index them. If your visitor sitemap is well put together, this is all you need.

MSN also recommends to webmasters that all web pages on the site be accessible in three clicks. This helps both website visitors in finding the information they need quickly and easily and helps search engine bots to reach your pages easily.  Bottom line; if you want to place well in Bing rankings, focus on high quality content well optimized with keywords and plenty of inbound links – although links do not have to be sorted and pursued according to webpage PageRank as they are with Google.

Tags: Bing, content, keywords, links, SEO

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  • Posted on August 15, 2010

SEO Report – Google VS Yahoo VS Bing

When it comes to optimizing websites, many webmasters concentrate on Google optimization – and for all the right reasons, as Google is the most used search engine in the world.. However, Bing and Yahoo can also send a considerable amount of traffic to you, and therefore it is important that you make your website attractive to and in synch with other search engine algorithms as well.  By making your website friendly to both search engines you will be able to get better rankings across the board, and snag traffic form multiple sources.

Google in general has the most comprehensive set of guidelines for SEO. They are looked to as the standard, so when you optimize your websites for Google you automatically satisfy many of the requirements of most of the other search engines. However, each search engine will have their own unique approach to rating websites despite the common elements between them, so learning the quirks can help you rank the very best in as many engines as possible.

Yahoo has both free listing as well as paid listing. According to the Yahoo guidelines:

In Yahoo! Search, paid Sponsor Results are visually differentiated, clearly labeled, and presented separately from other search results… Web Results might also include listings submitted via “pay-for-review” or “pay-for-inclusion” programs… The Yahoo! Directory also includes sites that have paid Yahoo! for an expedited review and consideration for inclusion in the Yahoo! Directory. These sites have been submitted via the Yahoo! Directory Submit program. The sites are required to comply with the same editorial quality standards as any other Directory submission… The Directory Sponsor Listings is a program that lets commercial web sites that are already listed in certain Yahoo! Directory commercial categories be featured in the “Sponsor Listings” module in that Directory category. These sites are also highlighted in the regular alphabetic list of sites.

Google  is a completely free search engine. It does not have any paid inclusions – they offer paid sponsored listings in the form of Google Adwords, but these have nothing to do with the algorithm or rankings; indexing and placements depends on the quality of your website.

Google uses the concept of pagerank to assess the importance of websites, which is unique among search engines. Pagerank is assigned based on various factors and one of the deciding factors is the number of links a website has; if your website is well linked and has a good number of one-way links, then the chances are that you will secure a good pagerank and in turn a good search ranking. Optimizing your website for Google should include both on-page optimization, and off-page optimization through a solid  link building strategy.

Yahoo and as far as can be seen Bing,  emphasize on-page optimization and don’t regard links as important as Google, so don’t neglect on page optimization. Another area of variance between search engines is the meta tags. Google has moved away from the concept of meta tags long time ago, but many think that Bing and Yahoo still pay attention to meta tags so stay on the safe side and pay attention to meta tags as well, optimizing them correctly.

Google  is content oriented search engine. Your website content plays a tremendous role in making your website relevant for a search that is made. Not only do you need good links, you must make sure you have keyword rich content and regularly update your website’s content so that Google bot will regularly visit your site and update your listing so you can keep moving up the rankings.

In summary, you should attempt to to cover all possible areas of SEO so that you can satisfy all search engines, from Google to Yahoo and Bing and beyond – there are plenty of even smaller engines that can give you good traffic!  When you use total optimization on all fronts, you will automatically perform well with these search engines as well.

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  • Posted on August 15, 2010

SEO Report – Broken Links

Broken Links

Dealing with Broken Links on your website

Having broken links is a terrible thing for your website’s reputation. Everyone knows how frustrating it can be to be searching for some important information on the internet and think you have found what you want – only to discover that the page you thought was going to give you everything you needed ended up being a 404 page with the error message. Suddenly your hopes plummet as you get the message that ‘the page you were searching cannot be found’. Usually you give up on that site in a hurry and look somewhere else for your needed information.

Take this into account the next time you tell yourself that you’ll check all your links later, or fix that one tomorrow instead of today. Your website visitors too will face the same frustration if your website should have broken links. It’s not only human visitors who get frustrated with broken links in websites, too, but the search engine spiders hate broken links and will also give up on crawling and indexing your site they find too many broken links, causing you untold damage in lost traffic.

Your website maintenance should take into consideration broken links as a major aspect of your checklist. Not many webmasters are aware of the loss that they are incurring on daily basis due to what they consider as few broken links, but not only are you losing potential visitors, broken links can actually pull your website’s ranking down. Ask your SEO professional if you are unsure about this!

Immediately after you launch your website, your first act should be to check every internal link in your website. Don’t content yourself with thinking “Oh,the links have been tested completely offline before launching the website, they are fine”. So many things can go wrong when uploading your site to the server; Folders can be uploaded in the wrong places, or you can change the name of files, etc. Broken links are almost a given.

Of course, if you have a massive site, then manually testing your links will not be a practical thing to do; however there are number of online tools that are available online or as downloadable programs that will help you check your links. You can use such reliable tools to find the broken links; but you will have to expend real time effort in order to fix them, since the problem must be immediately rectified to stop you from losing any more traffic.

WordPress tip: Broken Links Checker plugin

As to the second issue, if you have broken links, search engine spiders will not be able to crawl your website completely. Search engine bots use your site’s navigation (or your Google sitemap in case of Google bot). In cases where links do not reach the landing page, the the search engines will consider your site to be under maintenance or construction. Search engines generally rank well only those sites that are fully complete, to ensure that they provide only valuable and high quality information to their users. Incomplete sites or sites under construction does not live up to this standard, and are therefore considered unworthy of good placement in the search results page.

Schedule enough time periodically to check the status of all your websites links, and fix problems without delay. Don’t assume any broken link is an isolated incident, delve deeper to find the cause and check all links both internally and going out of your site. Your SEO professional can help by checking your links and fixing them if needed.

Fix your broken links! You know it makes sense!

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  • Posted on August 15, 2010

SEO Report – Multiple Language SEO

globe-europeShould you have various language versions available on your website? While the biggest search engines in the world are based in English speaking countries, you have to remember that when it comes to your audience, the World Wide Web is really world wide.  Only 6 to 8% of the world’s population speak or read English, although many webmasters don’t consider this fact and may even be believe that the entire world understands, speaks, writes or uses English in some form or the other -or that automatic translating systems on their browsers are adequate.

By keeping your website solely in English you are severely limiting your website’s potential. Only around 25% of people use English on the internet, and many businesses today are of global nature with products shipped worldwide and services offered across the borders. When you limit your website to English, you are limiting the total number of international users accessing your website or ordering your service.

Though your websites can be viewed in other languages using Google translator tool and other similar tools, not many internet users will take the trouble to do that. It’s just easier to use websites that are already available in their mother tongue (besides, free translator tools are notoriously unreliable) . Moreover, most users will be more comfortable with a local service provider or at least a service provider who shows them that they can communicate in their local language.

You can easily increase your website’s traffic by launching your websites in all the major languages of the world. (You don’t have to launch all of them at once; you can do it in phases.) of course, it is not merely enough to launch websites in the other languages; you must also take care of multilingual SEO.

You can use SEO companies that serve global websites and have access to translators who speak the languages you want to target.  The search pattern varies from region to region so one has to be familiar with the local search trends while optimizing your website in a different language. You simply can’t expect to get your desired results by optimizing your other language websites with the same keywords that you use for your English website.

It may seem a daunting task to launch your website in the other languages and optimize them for each language. Many webmasters consider this an unnecessary expense. However, those do make the effort reap amazing rewards since so many do not offer this level of service. With each language translation and optimization, you will be opening up your website to millions of new users. This will give you a high traffic level, good conversion rates and better profits.

If you have not considered  multi-language websites or multilingual SEO, it is high time to start concentrating on a global viewpoint! You need all the traffic and customers you can get.

Tags: global, language, multilingual, SEO

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  • Posted on July 05, 2010

Unbelievable wp plugin for SEO…

Unbelievable wp plugin for SEO http://dld.bz/ksc6 – Check it out!