SEO

Make Your Website Quicker for Rankings

Page speed is becoming an important ranking factor.

By Ben Hook

Matt Cutts’ recent announcement that page speed is likely to become a factor seems to have built up a lot of hype around the subject and is now likely to play an increasingly important point on every SEOs checklist.

Google wants your website to be quicker, because a quicker website is better for users. In this day and age it seems like nobody wants to spend more than 3 seconds doing anything in particular. Well, in order to speed up your website Google has provided webmasters with a new addition to the firebug tool called page speed checker. The tool can be found here. The tool will look at you website and analyse it to make recommendations on how you can speed up your website. It’s all broken down easily to help you see what factors you will be able to adjust and what you will need to pass on to your webmaster. Although it is quite specific and goes into details such as javascript compression and browser caching, some of the suggestions are well worth following and will a few tweaks you can often easily reduce your page size by half, which can make a big difference.
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SEO

109 Quick SEO Tips Even Mom Would Love

SEO tips even mom would love

Even Mom Could Cook With These Tips!

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Everyone loves a good tip, right?

Here are 109 quick tips for search engine optimization that even your mother could use to get cooking. Well, not my mother, but you get my point. Most novices with some web design and beginner SEO knowledge should be able to take these to the bank without any problem.

(Note: This list of tips is an update to the original post 55 Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love. I am not blogging much these days, but hope this is of use to you.)

1. If you absolutely MUST use Java script drop down menus, image maps or image links, be sure to put text links somewhere on the page for the spiders to follow.

2. Content is king, so be sure to have good, well-written and unique content that will focus on your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

3. If content is king, then links are queen. Build a network of quality backlinks using your keyword phrase as the link. Remember, if there is no good, logical reason for that site to link to you, you don’t want the link.

4. Don’t be obsessed with PageRank. It is just one isty bitsy part of the ranking algorithm. A site with lower PR can actually outrank one with a higher PR.

5. Be sure you have a unique, keyword focused Title tag on every page of your site. And, if you MUST have the name of your company in it, put it at the end. Unless you are a major brand name that is a household name, your business name will probably get few searches.

6. Fresh content can help improve your rankings. Add new, useful content to your pages on a regular basis. Content freshness adds relevancy to your site in the eyes of the search engines.

7. Be sure links to your site and within your site use your keyword phrase. In other words, if your target is “blue widgets” then link to “blue widgets” instead of a “Click here” link.

8. Focus on search phrases, not single keywords, and put your location in your text (“our Palm Springs store” not “our store”) to help you get found in local searches.

9. Don’t design your web site without considering SEO. Make sure your web designer understands your expectations for organic SEO. Doing a retrofit on your shiny new graphics-based site after it is built won’t cut it.

10. Use keywords and keyword phrases appropriately in text links, image ALT attributes and even your domain name. Continue reading

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SEO

100 Quick SEO Tips Even Mom Would Love

Even Mom Could Cook With These Tips!

Even Mom Could Cook With These Tips!

Everyone loves a good tip, right?

 

Here are 100 quick tips for search engine optimization that even your mother could use to get cooking. Well, not my mother, but you get my point. Most novices with some web design and beginner SEO knowledge should be able to take these to the bank without any problem.

(Note: This list of tips is an update to the original post 55 Quick S E O Tips Even Your Mother Would Love. I am republishing this expanded version for the attendees of a local Palm Springs SEO training class that I am doing. It is also available as a downloadable e-book.)  

1. If you absolutely MUST use Java script drop down menus, image maps or image links, be sure to put text links somewhere on the page for the spiders to follow.

2. Content is king, so be sure to have good, well-written and unique content that will focus on your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

3. If content is king, then links are queen. Build a network of quality backlinks using your keyword phrase as the link. Remember, if there is no good, logical reason for that site to link to you, you don’t want the link.

4. Don’t be obsessed with PageRank. It is just one isty bitsy part of the ranking algorithm. A site with lower PR can actually outrank one with a higher PR.

5. Be sure you have a unique, keyword focused Title tag on every page of your site. And, if you MUST have the name of your company in it, put it at the end. Unless you are a major brand name that is a household name, your business name will probably get few searches.

6. Fresh content can help improve your rankings. Add new, useful content to your pages on a regular basis. Content freshness adds relevancy to your site in the eyes of the search engines.

7. Be sure links to your site and within your site use your keyword phrase. In other words, if your target is “blue widgets” then link to “blue widgets” instead of a “Click here” link.

8. Focus on search phrases, not single keywords, and put your location in your text (“our Palm Springs store” not “our store”) to help you get found in local searches.

9. Don’t design your web site without considering SEO. Make sure your web designer understands your expectations for organic SEO. Doing a retrofit on your shiny new graphics-based site after it is built won’t cut it.

10. Use keywords and keyword phrases appropriately in text links, image ALT attributes and even your domain name.

11. Check for canonicalization issues – www and non-www domains. Decide which you want to use and 301 redirect the other to it. In other words, if http://www.domain.com is your preference, then http://domain.com should redirect to it.

12. Check the link to your home page throughout your site. Is index.html appended to your domain name? If so, you’re splitting your links. Outside links go to http://www.domain.com and internal links go to http://www.domain.com/index.html. Ditch the index.html or default.php or whatever the page is and always link back to your domain.

13. Frames, Flash and AJAX all share a common problem – you can’t link to a single page. It’s either all or nothing. Don’t use Frames at all and use Flash and AJAX sparingly for best SEO results.

14. Your URL file extension doesn’t matter. You can use .html, .htm, .asp, .php, etc. and it won’t make a difference as far as your SEO is concerned.

15. Got a new web site you want spidered? Submitting through Google’s regular submission form can take weeks. The quickest way to get your site spidered is by getting a link to it through another quality site.

16. If your site content doesn’t change often, your site needs a blog because search spiders like fresh text. Blog at least three time a week with good, fresh content to feed those little crawlers.

17. When link building, think quality, not quantity. One single, good, authoritative link can do a lot more for you than a dozen poor quality links, which can actually hurt you.

18. Search engines want natural language content. Don’t try to stuff your text with keywords. It won’t work. Search engines look at how many times a term is in your content and if it is abnormally high, will count this against you rather than for you.

19. Not only should your links use keyword anchor text, but the text around the links should also be related to your keywords. In other words, surround the link with descriptive text.

20. If you are on a shared server, do a blacklist check to be sure you’re not on a proxy with a spammer or banned site. Their negative notoriety could affect your own rankings.

21. Be aware that by using services that block domain ownership information when you register a domain, Google might see you as a potential spammer.

22. When optimizing your blog posts, optimize your post title tag independently from your blog title.

23. The bottom line in SEO is Text, Links, Popularity and Reputation.

24. Make sure your site is easy to use. This can influence your link building ability and popularity and, thus, your ranking.

25. Give link love, Get link love. Don’t be stingy with linking out. That will encourage others to link to you.

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SEO

Reciprocal Linking for Ranking is Anything But Dead

Over the past couple of years I’ve heard the mantra that the value of reciprocal linking is diminishing daily, to the point where it’s no longer worth the time and effort.

Even Google’s Matt Cutts has said, “As Google changes algorithms over time, excessive reciprocal links will probably carry less weight.”

In fact, one of my own quick search engine optimization tips is: The acid test for a potential link is if there is a natural, logical reason for that site to link to you. If not, then you don’t want the link.

If Google’s recent rankings are any evidence, then that mantra is dead wrong and Matt, it ain’t working!

Over the past few months I have noticed that fairly new sites with thousands of reciprocal links, frequently using keyword phrases for anchor text, have come out of nowhere to rank extremely well, sometimes dominating their space. Some are just using power reciprocal linking. Others are combining thousands of reciprocal links with another supposedly dead black hat technique, triangular linking, sometimes called a mini-net.

For this article, I’ll use an example of a site using purely reciprocal links to power it.

Here’s one site that didn’t show up in Google Trends until about March and is now ranking #2 for “sunglasses” in the Google serps.

Google Trends for reciprocal link driven site

The site itself is pleasant enough, but until recently, the only way to contact whoever is running it was using an e-mail form. No address or location information is given, nor is any information about who owns it, just that it is incorporated in Toronto. All I can tell from a domain check is that it was registered with GoDaddy.com and the I.P. is in Albany, New York. They don’t appear to want you to have much information about them. Only recently have they added a telephone number so that orders can be placed by phone.

Not what I would call a trusted, authority site.

What appears to be driving the rankings for this site is the sheer volume of backlinks to it, mostly from reciprocal linking. The site includes a link page that lists hundreds of their link buddies, almost none theme related. The links are from every variety, size and flavor of web site, blog and directory out there.

So much for the value of link theme.

Here’s what Yahoo! Site Explorer sees:

Backlinks for this reciprocal link driven site

See that correctly? This site has 184,079 links to it! By comparison, I did the same backlink check for the Coca-Cola web site, a trusted site with a long history and authority. It only has 87,971 backlinks.

Clearly, reciprocal links are still working and well for many sites that otherwise would be left in the dust by longer established sites with more history and backlinks with theme focus.

I still don’t recommend this magnitude of reciprocal linking, though. Google is supposed to consider massive link trading to be spam, even though it currently appears to be ignoring it’s own statement:

“A spike may indicate either a topical phenomenon (e.g., a hot topic) or an attempt to spam search engine 125 by, for example, trading or purchasing links.”

Apparently, if you can get enough links of any kind, you can still power your way to the top in Google.

At least for the moment.

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