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Changes to the way that search engines evaluate pages mean this is an outdated attitude.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...
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...
Everyone knows that Google is slowing getting rid of its referrer data. For years, this is how we were able to verify our keyword data from the free Keyword Tool put out by Google. With referrer data coming up "not provided" - even on the analytics dashboard, how are we to figure out how people find our site? Enter WassUp.
What Is Wassup?
WassUp is a simple Wordpress plugin that gives you analytics right from your Wordpress dashboard. It collects a lot of data about your visitors including their ip/hostname, whether they're a bot or human, search engines used to find your site, the operating system of the user, complete user agent, spam and hack attempts.
The plugin also have a really simple admin console area that allows you to filter by:
record count per page
"top ten" charts with aggregate data (i.e. top queries, requests, etc.)
records by time period
records by entry type
You can even customize how often the...
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...
Regardless of where you get traffic from, keywords matter - at least a little bit. Keywords are what your target market uses to describe what they're looking for. If you're not mentioning them on your page, in your ads, and as descriptors in meta descriptions and titles, you're probably not capturing the traffic you could be. Still, you could overdo it a bit when it comes to keywords - especially when it comes to keyword targeting. Do you make any of these common mistakes?
You Overemphasize Volume
Traffic volume is important, but it's not the only thing that matters. Here look at what happens when we search for the term "SEO" using Google's keyword tool:
Holy cow, that's a lot of searches per month for the term "SEO." All you have to do is get ranked for that one keyword phrase, and you're set, right? Not so fast. You see, it doesn't matter how many people search for any keyword if it's too competitive....
There are a lot of SEO plugins out there, but few of them can really match the power of SEO by Yoast. It's powerful, deceptively simple to use, and it has just about everything you need for optimization of posts and pages. You don't have to monkey with a lot of settings, and the optimization is done right under the text editor (which is good, since you don't have to leave your post or page to optimize it). If that weren't enough, it's available for free from the Wordpress plugin directory. But it's surprising to see so few people making full use of it. Here's how to get more out of this great plugin:
Choose Your Focus Keywords
Yoast doesn't choose your keywords for you. You do have to put in the wrench time on that one to figure out what you should be targeting. However, once that's done, Yoast will keep you focused. It does this using an input box aptly named "Focus Keyword" under the "general" tab (which is...
There has been a lot of chatter online and within the SEO community over the last week that a major update for Google’s Panda algorithm was going to be released in the very near future. Many SEO professionals took to the web on Friday 15 March declaring that Panda 25 (the latest update) had in fact been released. Other professionals claimed that the release date was set for Monday 18 March; and all the while Google remained hush releasing only the following statement through a spokesperson:
“I don’t expect us to tweet about or confirm current or future Panda updates because they’ll be incorporated into our indexing process and thus be more gradual.”
SEO professionals and Google officials could go back and forth for days about whether or not Panda and Penguin updates have been released, are just rumors, or are still in the works. The best way to get to the bottom of it is to look at a timeline of events from the past week that point to a planned...
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...