For those who have been in the SEO profession for awhile, it’s easy to remember the good old days of link building. You just had to submit your article, name, address or website to get numerous links within a day.
Unfortunately, the scenario has completely changed. For some people, the bad link building tactics are still lingering. In this post, we discuss four far too common link building techniques that can actually have a negative impact on SEO (or are simply just a waste of time.)
Back in the old days of SEO (okay, so maybe just year or less ago,) the primary goal of keyword specific anchor text was to let the search engine and users know what they could find on a page.
Experts of organic SEO believed that if the links were placed on the target keyword text, websites would rank better. Thus, they added keyword specific anchor text almost everywhere. However, everything changed when the Penguin update was introduced.
Since search engines have evolved, they can easily correlate words with websites. They don’t need webmasters telling them what can be found on a page. Similarly, they don’t need links to know that a mention is about a specific web page.
It is important to understand that links are still valuable. If you have an opportunity to use a keyword focused link, you should just take it. However, you won’t often get a straight up URL or branded link. Just remember that if it’s an authority or relevant website linking to you, there’s no need to be concerned about what the link says.
It is important to understand that not every directory is bad. The problem is with placing the site in directories that aren’t related or relevant to your industry or business. Until a few years ago, the primary purpose of directories was to help search engines find websites. The links used to help websites get ranked.
In the modern age, search engines don’t need directories anymore. Moreover, websites with too many directory links get penalized. A webmaster should only submit to a directory when it’s being used by the target audience or potential customers. Unless directory will hold some real business value for your company, you should learn to say No.
Although directories are no longer the optimal source for links, they do retain value in building citations for local SEO.
We are living in a world of digital footprints. Social media, blogs, search engines and other such platforms make it easier to find information about a person. While conducting outreach, it is important to take your time to find out who you want to reach out to.
Before sending a generic outreach email, you need to gather information about the site’s owner, his or her interests, preferable medium to be reached and so on. Most importantly, you need to make sure the concerned person wants to be reached.
PageRank is used by popular search engines like Google to measure the page’s value. Link builders need to find pages with high value to link back to the website. Most link building services charge by the overall PageRank of a link.
If the PageRank is higher, the cost of the link is also higher. In order to get better results, you need to focus on the overall website versus the PageRank. Although PageRank plays an important role, the overall quality of the website can’t be overlooked.
So are you still stuck in these ancient ways of generating links? Perhaps you've been penalized and need backlink portfolio assessment? Hop on over to ClickCentricSEO.com for a free SEO audit. They will assess you're current situation and provide insights as to how to get your site ranking (and build links more meaningful.)continue...
Every webmaster wants his website to generate more traffic, and increase conversion rate. Both these aspects of a website represent better growth opportunities. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes to play. However, a lot of webmasters fail to understand the essentials of technical SEO.
Since usability is directly related to user interface of the website, users can see the result of a web browser’s interpretation of the HTML code, and not the code itself. HTML can be used to improve your website’s usability and rankings. This post will discuss how you can leverage HTML code and technical SEO to realize gains in your website’s search engine rankings.
This is considered to be the most important aspect of the HTML structure of a website from a technical SEO perspective. In this section, you need to insert title tags, meta description, and search engine analytics code. In addition to this, the head tag uses other crucial tags, including meta tags and canonical tags. The Head tag needs to be relevant to the content and purpose of your website. It should not be general or random.
Unlike the good old days, you can’t just stuff the title tag with some random keywords to attract more traffic. Search engines also display the content of the title tag as a clickable headline on Search Engine Results Pages. Moreover, the title tag is also used to determine the subject of your web page.
The primary reason is that search engine crawlers or spiders analyze the content on your page title, and translate the page topic. Due to this, the content of the title tag needs to be relevant to the content on your web page. If you consider this simple rule, the title tag will provide you with an optimized title tag.
Search engines tend to retrieve the web content placed in meta description tags. This content is displayed as the description in Search Engine Results Pages. It is worth mentioning that the length of description content in SERPs varies with search engines. Thus, you should try not to exceed 160 characters. The presence of meta description can help you attract more traffic. You will also grab users’ attention.
A canonical page is a set of pages with similar content. In case your website has some pages with similar content, you don’t need to keep making changes to every page. Setting a URL as canonical can help you overcome the problem of similar content in your website. It is important to understand that duplicate content is penalized by search engines.
Links are extremely important for technical SEO. With XML site maps, links represent the standard way in which crawlers index and locate web pages. In order to determine the basic value of the links, Google uses link juice, or the Page Rank of the linking domain. Thus, links need to be search engine friendly. They should be descriptive with keywords and a complete title attribute.
Besides these simple SEO elements, there are many other ways to leverage HTML for better rankings. You can need to focus on every aspect of your website. Successful website optimization for companies depends on an integrated approach towards HTML, web design and other elements.continue...
There's a great deal of speculation in the SEO community on the influence that social media has on the overall ranking/indexing on search engines. Most SEO experts believe that though Google and Bing have both denied any impact on the “natural selection” algorithm, there is great likelihood that social media has a part in the process.
The number of likes, tweets, pins, +1's, and shares should, to an extent, influence the indexing. John Mueller (Google) and Duane Forrester (Bing) recently responded to these uncertainties during the London SMX that took place on the 13th May 2014. Although their explanations still maintained social media activities are not part of the ranking reckoning, they did provide useful insights on possible influence. This is how they broke it down:
Both Bing and Google explained that there has to be a definite reason why people would share, tweet or like a given page in larger numbers. This naturally attracts the search engines attention which they maintain is purposefully for evaluation meaning; the system will be interested in the content in these pages.
If the content is relevant, there is a great chance of a higher ranking for the pages. This is a basic explanation to address how social media can influence ranking. It is acceptable that where there are more shares, likes, pins, tweets and related socail activities, people must be to some extent realizing usefulness and search will close down on the same. In simple terms, more social activities combined with information relevance may increase your rankings.
Usually Google and Bing rank sites that have been evaluated and determined to provide useful and relevant information according to the search. The two greatest search engines explained how social indicators are used in link evaluations rather than ranking. When webpage content receives a lot of social activity, it should be obvious that some people will make links to that content and include them in their sites/blogs or pages permanently.
This reshapes the idea behind links and introduces a new definition as well as evaluation, which search engines use to evaluate “credibility” and actions taken may include penalization. What this means is that a new content with over 100 links should exhibit correspondence in the number of shares it receives.
If say it only gets three shares, that situation would arguably be very abnormal insinuating less relevance and subsequent low rating. If it receives 1000 social shares on the other hand, that makes more sense and could influence indexing although this was not proclaimed in the event.
For any keen SEO expert, social indicators certainly do have an indirect influence on indexing which is entirely aimed at providing the most relevant and informational result as per the search. Search engines use social media to some extent in determining how quick content is indexed and whether the permanent links pointing to such content are valid.
However in conclusion, social media does not form part of the search engine algorithm, bet rather content relevancy and links still remains the strongest consideration.continue...
If you’re going to create influence with content marketing, then it goes without saying that you must get the length of the content right. The biggest question then becomes, what is the ideal length of online-based marketing content?
While most online marketers may want to wish this question away, the truth of the matter it’s a very crucial question. The ideal content length is determined by a number of factors including industry standards and the level of engagement with the readers. While there are no rules cast in stone as far as the length of your content is concerned, there are universal guiding principles outlined below as per content type.
The ideal length of a blog post varies from one author to the other. For instance some authors are comfortable writing short blog posts while others can write posts containing more than one thousand words.
According to statistics, the ideal length of a blog post should take the reader about seven minutes to skim through. This in essence means that it should be 1,400 to 1,750 words long bearing in mind that a typical person reads 200 to 250 words per minute. Anything that takes more than 7 minutes to read might not prove to be very popular.
Blog posts and articles should be broken in to short paragraphs to enhance readability. Use headings, subheading and bullet points. Have line breaks and let the length of each paragraph be three to four lines long. Also, if you're doing guest blogging, then be mindful of your blog host and the nature of the content presently on the their site.
There’s a set upper limit on the number of characters you can use in most social media sites but no lower limit. Here’s a look at how long your content should be on various social platforms.
If you want your tweet to be re-tweeted a number of times, then it should have 72 to 100 characters. Keep in mind that you need to engage with the audience and desist from using all the 140 characters allotted for tweeting. One hundred or less characters are bound to attract up to 117% engagement rate.
Images are very powerful when it comes to creating engagement on Facebook and Google+, which are both very similar in nature. As a matter of fact images attract up to 120% engagement rate. How about text posts? What is the ideal length to encourage engagement?
According to some quarters, long posts put up a poor engagement standpoint. The perfect length for a Google+ or Facebook post should range from 100 to 119 characters.
Short videos and podcasts will attract more viewers. Videos which are 30 seconds long usually have an amazing 85% completion rate. The ideal length of a YouTube video should be between 3 to 4 minutes so you must ensure you pass the intended message to your audience as fast as possible.
Title tags need to be eye catching while optimizing the keyword at the same time. A title tag shouldn’t be too long; it should be 50 to 565 characters and in case it’s longer than that, Google will abbreviate it.
In the same breath, Meta descriptions should be short too. They should contain precise words to summarize content, thus their ideal length should be between 150 and 160 characters. For more best practices regarding content length for title tags and meta descriptions, check out this blog post.
How long or short your content should be depends on a number of factors. The guidelines outlined above are just that; guidelines. They are meant to help you make the most out of your content and Internet marketing efforts; therefore it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s all there is to content-length.continue...
When Bing introduced their first keyword research tool, it received low appreciation and Google’s keyword tool was the bee's knees. However, this meant a great room for improvement and they have now launched a new tool that meets all the user friendly faults.
The new Bing Ads Intelligence allows users to perform keyword research for all their accounts held on Bing. It is an add-on for Microsoft Excel and exhibits customization of keyword lists according to the search trends derived from the Bing search engine.
Keyword research is basically used to identify the common search patterns that users type in the search engines. This information can then be used to perform search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) optimization, among other search marketing strategies.
Some of the features of the Bing Ads Intelligence include the campaign button that allows users to import keywords from existing websites and create extension versions of higher performance. Others include the bulk sheet that offers additional evaluation for an already existing analyzed worksheet. This tool works when the user is logged into an account and requires internet connectivity to use.
The main advantage of using Bing Ads Intelligence is that it was designed using information derived from search patterns in Bing search engine. This makes it more appropriate in performing keyword research for the Bing clients.
Some benefits of Bing Ads Intelligence include the following:
Ease of installation – This tool does not require any technical skills to install and immediately introduces a tab in Excel. This application does not affect other functions of the original Excel and can be easily used in keyword researches.
Easy usage – The Bing Ads Intelligence tool can be used by anyone with basic PPC knowledge and houses enhanced GUI features to help direct users. The descriptions are vivid, links easily navigable and the generated display in a clear readable format.
Profound research options – The traffic, keyword performance and “more research” options allow users to ponder further on how keywords are typed on the search engine. With Bing Ads Intelligence, one can access a list of keywords relevant for a given webpage. Additionally, one can select a single keyword and request further expansion and ideas in order to facilitate online campaigns.
Robust menu – The functionality of Bing Ads Intelligence is enormous with several features on the menu such as the campaign button. This allows users to import from other keyword campaigns and use it to formulate better efficient campaigns.
Bing has finally produced an excellent keyword research tool that can be used by online companies to optimize their words thus become more visible. This tool is easy to install and the user friendliness is incredible. It is configured to blend with Microsoft Excel and carries out speedy research as well as analysis.
This feature also helps to monitor keyword campaigns and how other established sites are succeeding in their approaches. Keywords can be mapped and extensions formulated intelligently to create better versions that will be optimized in Bing’s engine. Additionally, relevant keywords from existing sites can be extracted making this tool very efficient in research and online campaigns.
To get started with this new and awesome platform, download it here.continue...
Since the first launch of Google Panda in February 2011, the name of this algorithm update became a nightmare for many SEO's and website owners, including huge names in the industry.
The new Google Panda 4.0 update was no different then the first. The main objective is to support websites that have high quality content while penalizing sites that have duplicate, meaningless, and spammy content.
Website owners who only optimize their content for ranking high in search engine results without providing something valuable to visitors will lose, because the update aims to prioritize the usefulness of high quality websites for readers.
The new update had some negative consequences on reputed businesses, such as eBay, History.com, Ask.com, biography.com and many others.
On the other hand, some popular websites had a lot to gain from this and good examples can be buzzfeed.com, glassdoor.com, medterms.com, etc.
These websites are known for their high quality, original, unique and useful articles. According to what SEO's are saying, it is quite difficult to know if your site has been penalized or not. But, you can still be successful if you do things right.
It is not known when this series of updates for Google Panda will end, but until it will, many websites will continue to be destroyed. Content that has already been posted thousands of times will not be considered unique even if it is written a bit differently, so you will have to create really original articles for Google to consider them reliable.
It can be hard to do that, but with enough practice and work, it can be achieved. This is for a greater good, as in the long term sites with awesome content that really deserve to be well ranked will have a lot to gain. If your websites have that originality, there is nothing to fear of, because Google will notice your work and rank it accordingly.
To stay abreast the latest on Google Panda, visist SearchEngineLand.com's Panda News section and keep up to speed.continue...
SEO has drastically changed after the last update of the Google's search algorithm. And nowadays, it is not enough to build a few links and expect good ranking results.
Today, a good SEO strategy is based more than ever on good quality content that comes with useful information and solves peoples’ problems. Great blog posts, articles, videos, and PDF's can generate quality social signals, inbound links, and traffic.
These days, content marketing is the most effective and the cheapest way to implement a SEO strategy. Writing quality content or creating quality infographics, videos, and podcasts can naturally generate links at a faster pace than manually building them and your content will also get naturally shared on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
So to help get you inspired and motivated, here are five content marketing ideas to support your SEO strategy.
Educational content, either videos or in-depth articles that offer meaning and insight to targeted audiences can support your SEO strategy and even play off of current memes and generate viral content. You need to provide for your readers some content that is genuinely useful. Your readers would enjoy beginner’s guides or articles that tell them how to do things. You can keep your educational content as simple or as comprehensive as you need.
When posted on social media networks, these links can attract even more visitors and help your website get noticed by the search engines. That will likely improve your site’s ranking on the search results.
Time sensitive content that covers news and current events may also help increase your website traffic. Time sensitive content should be posted close to that event in order to maintain its temporal relevance. Search engines will place more relevance to an article or blog post if you post it soon after a current event happens. Time sensitive content can be incorporated on a blog with frequently updated posts.
Infographics and visual engaging content can attract more visitors than text based articles and blog posts. A good infographic should be simple and easy to understand. It should also be visual appealing and interactive. Making a good infographic is a real art that you can learn and master.
Done right, an infographic can present a large amount of information in a visually appealing format. Infographics should be fun and entertaining too. An infographic may contain different types of visual aids such as informational videos, flow charts, graphs, or interactive maps.
Studies have shown that videos are the most engaging way to connect with your audience because they are much more memorable and easier to digest than text. The best type of videos used to support your SEO strategy are explainer videos that can be screen recorded or animated. Think about what your website visitors and potential customers need. Create some explainer videos that provide useful information on how to solve the problems they face. You can also showcase the best features of your products in an explainer video. This tactic is especially effective when doing SEO for ecommerce websites.
Hybrid content covers more approaches in the same article. For example, you can create a list of 20 things that are used in every medicine cabinet and organize your list in order of importance. You can get very creative with hybrid content, but the overall concept is to entice your target audience with quick and punchy bits of value. The objective, which can also help with SEO, is motivated engaged readers to share it without hesitation.
If you're interested in learning more content marketing strategies to help fuel your SEO efforts, then visit Click Centric SEO, an enterprise level web marketing firm that specializes in the craft of content-driven SEO.continue...
A successful SEO campaign is always described as a project that revolves around keyword optimization and building quality links. While these two serve as crucial components of successful SEO strategies, HTML coding is something that makes everything possible in the first place. HTML coding helps webmasters develop SEO optimized webpages organically.
While it is impossible to list out all the tags used to create a successful and organic SEO, here are 10 most comprehensively used ones. The below given tags have direct impact on your website when creating SEO success organically.
This is one of the most important tags used on any webpage. It is like a cover of a book that tells the users and search engines about the subject and content of the webpage. This is the reason it is important to use targeted keywords and phrases to create impactful site. In short, it is a very crucial tag and any word or phrases you put within these tags will directly impact your search engine ranking.
Meta Description Tag has no direct impact on the ranking of your website, but it is still very important HTML tag to ensure SEO success. This is because it can convince users to click on a particular link and click through the webpages.
The H1 tag or heading tag 1 is the very first HTML tag that directly relates to on-page content structure. H1 tag is basically like a headline of a newspaper or any blog article you see on a day to day basis.
Since the search engine crawlers understand H1 tag as the most important part of the content, it is recommended to use the keyword within this tag. It gives the site better rank on search engines. Using this tag once in every page will give you better ranking organically.
The H2 tag defines subsections or subheadings on the targeted webpages. Subheadings help organize the content well, assisting both readers and search engines to determine the significance of each section. Using targeted keywords incorporated in long-tail phrases within this tag is also a good practice to drive more traffic to the site.
The Rel=Canonical tag is one of the most significant tag for search engines. It helps search engine crawlers determine which webpages are relevant to the search term and which should be ignored from a complete website. This is helpful in case of duplicate content.
With the view that Author Rank is likely to be incorporated in the future, most new websites have started using Rel-Author tag. Assigning an author name to the content being posted on your website can take your webpages from being anonymously written to something more valuable and trustworthy. Attaching author’s name with Google+ account will instantly guarantee success to your website on search engines making it a more reliable source for your readers and search engine.
While the author tag can give relevance to the content being posted on the webpages through personal perspective, the publisher tag can do something similar for your entire business. If you have a Google+ page in the name of your company, then using publisher tag will create a good connection between your website and Google+ page. As a result, you’ll enjoy preferential treatment that will positively impact your SEO campaign.
Using rel=nofollow can help preventing your website from looking spammy. This was developed to help webmasters prevent blog posts from becoming link farms for marketers looking to pass the PageRank to websites. But with Google’s new update, bloggers are require to use this HTML tag more thoughtfully, especially the ones who are blogging on other’s sites.
By using targeted keywords with Image Alt HTML attribute, you can easily increase the keyword value of webpages on your site. Image Alt attributes is also a good tool to promote higher rankings for images in Google’s image, as well as blended web search results.
When it comes to ecommerce SEO, check out this great article at Click Centric SEO which shows five HTML tags that are ideal for product page SEO. Some of the latter HTML tags are included, but there are also a few unique SEO-friendly HTML tags to check out.continue...
It is normal that any individual signal to lose over time its value in the search engine algorithm, as more variables are added into the mix. This is also the situation for links, which have been losing value for about five years now, due to the increasing manual and algorithmic penalties and adding in of other metrics.
Some of the Google queries have paid vertical adds, some are localized, some have lots of usage data, some are using Google’s new knowledge graph, some are mobile centric. All these variations of queries impact different areas of SEO, to different degrees. SEO might still be profitable for another five years or a decade, for small businesses.
There are other search engines, such as Russian search engine Yandex, that work without links. Google can also use some vertical bases metrics to replace links, such as Google+ activity, search history, location, YouTube usage data, and others means.
Low-quality links are slowly replacing links-in-general in the Google search algorithm. There are already in place policies for massive manual and algorithmic penalties that have the effect of having the links not count for some websites. The Google’s Webspam policy filters out the link value through spam filtration systems or algorithms like Penguin, that remove low-quality links or spam.
Matt Cutts, the Google’s head of search spam, declared that, over time, backlinks will lose their value but they still have many years left in the Google ranking algorithm. See video here.
Google is focusing now especially on finding ways to evaluate whether or not a web page meets an expert user’s expectations. This is currently performed by evaluating the page’s links, the quality of the content provided, and the overall reputation of the website and pages.
Google made progress in understanding the natural language, which you can notice in their conversational search. In the near future Google will improve its understanding the queries made by expert users and will be able to provide better answers to those queries.
In order to achieve that, Google tries to evaluate whether or not the content on a page is written by an expert in a certain niche. Google is also working to boost the rankings of expert authors. Until new progress is to be made in improving Google’s search algorithm, they are using natural languages on a page by page basis in order to determine if the author is an expert on the subject query.
The conclusion is that it might be wise for webmasters and online business owners to focus their efforts in creating quality content and building just a few links that really matters rather than building all kind of links in great numbers.continue...
Search engines determine to a great extent to how much your online store will be located by online clients. Most online clients engage with search engines like Google to seek specific products and brands.
If your website is not doing well on search engines, it is obvious that the profits will not be as good as they could be. To ensure that you gain a lot from your ecommerce store, it is good to think about investing in ecommerce SEO services. These are specialized SEO services designed to help your ecommerce store bring in more money at the end of the month.
Remember that driving traffic towards your website is not enough. In fact, it is possible to have a lot of traffic, but zero buyers. This is because there are many things that prospective clients look at before committing their money. In order to get good results therefore, you need to target both the traffic and the conversion rate. The traffic rate increases the number of visitors while the conversion rate ensures that people visiting your website take the action you need.
It’s obvious therefore that you should focus more on conversion rate optimization to ensure that your website converts as many clients as possible. This strategy though is tricky sometimes as it requires professional help. It is good therefore to consider hiring a good ecommerce SEO services company to jumpstart your business big time.
A good ecommerce SEO company will enable you to tailor your ecommerce website in a manner that clients love. For instance, the company will help you create a secure shopping cart, arrange web content well, initiate call for actions and create appropriate links. In addition, the ecommerce SEO company will ensure that your clients will get an easy time when accessing important information, making purchases and paying for goods. As reinforced by ecommerce SEO firm, ClickCentricSEO.com, these simple aspects make the difference between million dollar businesses and struggling ones.
It is important though to entrust your ecommerce SEO services to the best company. This is because only the best ecommerce SEO companies have the capabilities, resources, and skill-sets to deliver high quality services. Do not therefore make a mistake of hiring any company as this can compromise your income.
In your quest to hire the best company, it’s important to consider certain things. One of the things you need to consider has to do with reputation. Good companies have an impeccable track record. Such companies have been offering high quality services over the past years. This means that they can equally produce good services even now. You therefore need to establish through online means how the company has been fairing on during its existence.
You also need to consider technology relevance. It is no doubt that ecommerce SEO services are changing from time to time. The best company to handle your situation is the one that updates itself with the current technology. Such a company undertakes constant training to its experts so as to be at par with the current technological demands.
Finally, you need to look at the website of the ecommerce SEO services company you intend to hire. It’s ironical for a company to promise you good results when it cannot even organize its website. The best company is the one that has organized its website well and ranks well in Google search. You therefore need to visit the website of the company and see how it is arranged. If the website is arranged well and tempts you to take action, then you can commit your money. If the website though is not lovely, you should run away from such a company.continue...
A variety of software, tools, blog articles, learning resources, and services for SEO.
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Very enlightening article on how to organize the pages of your site for the maximum SEO impact.
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