• 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

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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