When it comes to search engine optimization, many people make the mistake of focusing largely or exclusively on a site's text content. As long as articles and blog posts are well written and the right keywords have been deployed in the right places, some site owners and even SEOs assume that there's little else to be improved as regards a site's front end.
Changes to the way that search engines evaluate pages mean this is an outdated attitude. Today's search algorithms, especially Google's, place much more emphasis on multimedia content than in the past. Good image content, properly tagged and titled, can really boost a site's profile. The value of image searches in driving traffic can't be overstated — especially since Google serves a block of image results at the top of its regular search results page. These naturally draw the eye and encourage searchers to click on the associated links.
The vital role of social media in determining a page...
Google Analytics is a free, but incredibly powerful tool that can provide you with a wealth of detailed data about your website or sites that you can then use for marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. Analytics is available to anyone with a Google account. The program includes quite a few innovative features – some that were included from the first Analytics release, and others that have been added more recently. Understanding these features, their use and their purposes can help you take better advantage of Google Analytics’ power.
Many companies that maintain an online presence use Google’s Adwords program to generate traffic to their sites by posting ads next to relevant search results pages. Analytics can help you determine exactly which keywords or search phrases are generating the most traffic – as well as which generate traffic that converts the best into actual paying customers.
Article marketing has long been a popular way to generate backlinks to your website and, in doing so, increase your search engine ranking and the amount of traffic that your site receives. In the last few years, however, Google has introduced various updates to its algorithms which have changed the way in which it delivers results. The Google Penguin update made by far the biggest impact on many aspects of SEO, including article marketing.
Many of the article directories, used primarily by article marketers for posting their content, suffered considerably from Google's latest updates. Once popular sites such as ezinearticles.com, articlesbase.com and numerous others were hit hard by the Google Penguin update and, as a result, rarely appear much in search results. For this reason, many Internet entrepreneurs are asking themselves if article marketing it still a viable way of generating traffic.
How Article Marketing Works
Article marketing is a simple enough...
You've heard of AuthorRank, and you want to capitalize on it, but how? SEO changes so fast. It used to be that you could stuff your meta-keywords tag and rocket yourself to the top of the SERPs. A wellspring of anonymous authors got a lot of traffic, and a lot of spam sites presumably made a lot of money. Now, apparently, Google wants more quality and less anonymity. Meta-keywords have been out for a long time, but authorship hasn't been a big deal - until now.
Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
Google is encouraging you to stop being anonymous. It's going to start following you all over the web. That's probably a good thing for a couple of reasons. First, the web is becoming more social with Facebook and Google+. It's not that the web wasn't social before though, it's just that people are wandering away from blogs and going to social networking sites. Yeah, they end up back on blogs in the comments section too, but bloggers and businesses...
Matt Cutts (@mattcutts), the head of Google’s Webspam Team, is on record as a believer in SEO’s ability to make the internet a better place. Search engine optimization (SEO) is integral to effective online marketing; without it, getting your message out to a wide audience is extremely difficult, at best. SEO will have a place in internet marketing for the foreseeable future, but do it wrong and there is a price to pay. Google will penalize your website for perceived attempts to manipulate rankings with grey or black hat techniques. The old-school is out, and the new-school is focusing more and more on visitors, less and less on search engines.
There are many different ways to implement SEO strategies. Analyzing and optimizing speed, navigability, ad designs and placements, and of course keywords, will improve page rank and increase revenue. Each of these factors can be assessed, and usually improved with a good SEO strategy. However, Google is developing something...
There's an old joke that goes something like "99% of lawyers give the other 1% a bad name." You chuckle, but you know it's true. And that's not all - it's become something of a running gag in the SEO industry too. For years, SEOs have been beating the backlinks drum and small business owners have been marched off an optimized cliff. After Panda, a lot of the old backlink strategies just up and died. Article directories withered away into obscurity, and link networks were (and continue to be) crushed by Google.
Anchor Text Isn't That Important
SEO firms (and their clients) got a major wake-up call when Google dropped this bombshell on its Inside Search Blog in 2011:
Better page titles in search results by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors: We look at a number of signals when generating a page’s title. One signal is the anchor text in links pointing to the page. We found that boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as...
Doing keyword research is part of SEO (if you're doing it yourself, that is). It's hard word. You have to grind it out, sitting at your desk all day, thinking of what your ideal audience is looking for. Sometimes, it's helpful to look at your competition. But, your competition isn't exactly banging down your door and telling you what they're doing. So, you have to do a little research. Here's how:
This search operator allows you to query terms that you specify in the anchor text on links to the page. It's helpful for finding pages with the same anchor text you're targeting. While Google has placed a lot less emphasis on this, it's still helpful to see who's out there - because for many years, anchor text was important. There are a lot of anchor text links still floating around out there, and so this is still one way to spy on your competition.
If you start a search query with the...
Sometimes the simplest SEO tweaks make a huge difference in how you're perceived by the search engines. A finely tuned site can boost traffic and even make conversion easier as visitors find it easier to find what they're looking for. While many webmasters think of SEO as a long-term strategy, here are 5 things that will make an immediate impact.
1. Review Your Robots.txt File
If you have a robots.txt file on your site, check it out. You might be surprised by what you find. Many sites are unknowingly withholding pages, folders, and images that would make for good search engine spider food. Also, run a site scanning tool like "Screaming Frog" to see if you're excluding any pages. Both of these provide a quick fix and have both short and long-term benefits for you.
2. Assess Canonicalization of your Domain
Search engines hate duplicate content. Most sites unwittingly hurt themselves by giving the search engines two copies of their...
When working on link building for your website, don’t just look at it from a technical perspective. While the technical details of link building matter a LOT, another refreshing way too look at it is by seeing it through the eyes of a social butterfly.
A social butterfly is by definition, a “people person”. Social butterflies are the types of individuals that are always connecting with others and aren’t afraid to put themselves out there. And while it’s tempting to associate them with social media alone, the fact is, being a social media butterfly can also have tremendous advantages to your SEO strategies.
Consider the following traits and see how they can be relevant to your link building efforts:
They focus on others (Feature other businesses on your site) – One of the reasons why the world loves social butterflies is the fact that they are not self-absorbed. They fly off from one person to the next with interest, and...
Optimistic SEOs all believe that Google's message is consistent: meritorious links win the day. Content is king. Play by the rules, and you will be rewarded. Blackhat SEOs believe the opposite - that Google is pragmatic in allowing some paid links to influence search results while punishing other companies who use them. Officially, Google tells us that paid links are a one-way road to nowheresville in the search engine. However, there is evidence that Google allows spam to make it through - despite its much-touted Panda and Penguin solutions.
Proof That Google Allows SERP Manipulation
Our site specializes in sending traffic to other sites - a service that, arguably, a lot of webmasters need. Last month, we noticed a significant drop in traffic:
While this could happen for any number of reasons, we decided to look into the problem a bit further. What we discovered shocked us. Another site had taken our spot in the SERPs for one of our keywords using less than...