link building

The posts here examine link building

SEO Bucket

The SEO Bucket

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When you think of a bucket, you get a picture of something that holds a bunch of stuff, right? A bucket is a pail you can carry a load of just about anything in. A bucketful is a large quantity of something. A bucket list is all the things you want to do before you kick … well, there’s another phrase that includes the word ‘bucket.’ But what, then, is the SEO bucket? The meaning of the SEO bucket is the same as the other meanings (minus that last one, of course). The SEO bucket includes everything that goes into search engine optimization. All the enterprise, actions, all those big and little things that go into creating the best SEO in order to receive the highest page rankings … that’s the SEO bucket. So, just what are some of those actions that SEO experts perform that can get your website to the coveted number-one spot? (more…)

How to Reduce Link Rot

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Link Rot

Link Rot

The simplest definition of link rot is links to web pages which decay or over time simply become unavailable. Typically a programmer who cites another site and links to it doesn’t really consider that it will continue to be active forever. But when internet users are browsing through a site and click a link only to find out that the link no longer works, it can be frustrating. Link rot can be found on many different types of sites and broken links are not isolated to junky sites; they can happen anywhere. The trouble is when they occur on a reputable or knowledgeable site such as an educational source it can diminish the authority or value of the content according to the way search engines see it. (more…)

How to Target More Long Tail Keywords

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Long Tail Keywords

Long Tail Keywords

Google has begun to look kind of like a zoo, with Panda, Penguin and now Hummingbird updates.  The Hummingbird is a complete redo of Google’s algorithm used for indexing. Of course, the SEO world was holding their breath until they could determine the ramifications of this huge update. On one hand, those who are practicing white hat SEO for building quality content and acquiring natural and valuable backlinks will probably not see much difference. But this complete overhaul of Google’s algorithm is likely to have some ramifications and there are some SEO strategies and best practices that are worth a second look post Hummingbird. Long tail keywords are just one of these areas. (more…)

Websites

Top Web 2.0 Platforms for Spring 2013

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Websites

Web 2.0 Platforms

Over the last few years we have all witnessed the evolution of the World Wide Web. It used to be that we could liken it to a one way street with participants sort of driving by and catching information while they kept right on moving. But once the Web 2.0 took over it became more like a busy interchange where each participant could give as well as receive. There’s a good reason one term used for the internet is the “information highway.” But thanks to so many of the latest Web 2.0 platforms each person can share within their own area of expertise while gleaning from others knowledge as well. There are many platforms, some more popular than others. Here are some of the most popular platforms being used to share information today.

Build a Squidoo Lens

This is an internet users chance to be the expert on virtually any topic. Users can build a lens around just about any topic that exists. It can be a topic that is well discussed, a list of favorites or information that is not readily available to the masses. Users create a page, called a lens that focuses on the topic. A well designed lens will contain a balance of text and images, but can also include audio or video files when it is pertinent to the information being shared. This Web 2.0 based platform can be a useful tool for any business as information which is pertinent to the business or services offered can be shared along with links to the main site. Squidoo designers have done a great job making this a very handy SEO tool as well as a great place for clients and potential clients to learn more about a business or topic. (more…)

Chain Links

How Does Google Measure Good Links?

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Chain Links

Chain Links

Before Google’s Penguin update people were very reckless with link building campaigns. There were many who used some questionable methods to obtain links since they were valuable when it came to site ranking. Penguin was designed by Google as an attempt to punish the black hat methods that were being used for link building just to try and increase rankings. For the most part, reputable SEO specialists and companies were okay; but a few were surprised by penalties and it took them a while to recover from them if they recovered at all. It sent the whole SEO world reeling trying to figure out what the Penguin update meant to link building campaigns. The focus had to be shifted to building more natural links to help prevent costly penalties. In the post Penguin world, Google continues to hand out penalties to sites which appear to be building unnatural links. It can be useful to know what Google sees as a valuable and relevant link and what they count as unnatural. (more…)

Google's Disavow Tool

What is Disavow?

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Google's Disavow Tool

Google's Disavow Tool

As usual, Google’s latest announcement has webmasters and SEO specialists buzzing. Instead of an update though, this time it came in the form of a keynote address by Google’s own Matt Cutts. The idea was to help explain and clear up any misunderstandings about the disavow tool; but it seems to have had the opposite effect of causing even more confusion and a small amount of panic. Over the last few years, Google became a little more stringent in the use of their algorithm and have begun taking into account links that are poor quality or paid when determining SERP rankings. They have begun notifying owners of sites about inbound links that are suspicious and this has caused webmasters to pay attention and try to clean up their link profiles as much as possible. Sometimes these are simply very old profiles that no one was paying much attention to; and some of them were put into place by an SEO company that worked the site before. As Google has gotten better at detecting links of poor quality, some negative SEO campaigns occurred. This is an unethical technique which is used by competitors who will buy links and point them at sites that they want to rank lower than themselves. This leaves innocent webmasters in a bind even if they find out what did actually occur. Google created the disavow option for situations like these. (more…)

Joomla Versus WordPress

Joomla Versus WordPress

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Joomla Versus WordPress

Joomla & WordPress Logos

Joomla and WordPress are both very popular content management systems. The primary difference between the two is that WordPress is a blog and Joomla is a portal – or a community type set up. They can tend to overlap each other in several different areas. Plus they can each be extended by the use of various plugins. Both of these platforms are free and many web hosting providers now have them in their tools section so that they are easily implemented on a web site. Which one is better? That is something each has to decide on their own; but here are a few comparisons to help sort through the information.

File Name Formatting/ URL

WordPress and Joomla can both be setup to optimize URLs without using a plug-in. WordPress organizes content through the use of Permalinks while Joomla allows users to create sections or categories to help with organization. These section names or category names are then used in the URL.  When using Joomla, it can be difficult to create a file path unless the page appears in a subdirectory. (more…)

Social Bookmarking Sites

Digg is Dead

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Social Bookmarking Sites

Social Bookmarking Sites

Digg was a social bookmarking site that was an online community through which users could share content. Once the content was shared, then users could vote on it. When content was “voted” on it gained better positioning and this could lead to more views and shares. Users could find an interesting story online and then submit it online. Others could then “Digg” the story, or give it a thumbs up.

Out with the Old

The original Digg will always be sort of sentimental since it was really one of the first big Web 2.0 social media successes. But recently it was sold to Betaworks who has completely redone the site and relaunched it. The question is whether these changes can ever make it into a top social site again or not. It’s missing some of the elements that were huge pluses for many users. (more…)

Penguin Update

What is Google Penguin Update

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Penguin Update

Penguin Update

Google’s latest update was released on April 24th. The “Penguin Update” has some SEOs and webmasters on edge and there are some site owners that report having lost substantial traffic as well as revenue due to the “web spam update.” The goal seems to be to penalize pages or sites that have been trying to spam Google. The update is designed to punish sites which use some black hat methods for website optimization. While this update is crucial to web site optimization it does not seem to have nearly as widespread of a negative effect as the previous one. Google has officially announced that the Penguin update only impacted about 3% of the English queries where the Panda 1.0 Update affected somewhere around 12%. Of course this is very difficult to calculate since the rankings are in a constant state of change. However, it does seem that Penguin’s impact is both substantial and immediate.

Link Building Practices

It seems that one of the most affected by the Penguin Update are sites which abuse link building strategies as part of their website optimization campaign. Most of the sites which were penalized with this particular update used tactics like exact match anchor text. Preliminary research indicates that the sites that got hit the hardest used some sort of “money” keyword in the anchor text for more than 60% of the incoming links. If less than half of your incoming links had some sort of “money” keywords in the anchor text they were not generally affected by the update.

This does not mean that you need to go in and start cutting away all your back-links. The problem with just randomly cutting away links may hurt you more than you realize. If you have links that are not causing any problems and you cut them the site rankings could drop even more. What you do want to cut are links that are obviously paid links. You will also want to get rid of links that were recently delisted by Google. Footer links and any other links site wide with exact match anchor text should also be removed.

What if I was Affected?

One way to find out if your site was affected by the Penguin Update is to check your traffic from just before April 24. If you saw a sharp drop in your site’s traffic on April 24 it is likely that you were hit by Penguin. One thing is for sure – Google has made it obvious that you do not need to contact them for a reassessment. They stated that if your site was affected it will have to recover naturally. You will have to take a good look at your sites. Clean up any spam that you know has occurred and clean up any bad links that you are aware of. Penguin is only targeting spam – get rid of any links you know are spam.

It is certainly time to get rid of all your paid link building campaigns. Even though you may not have been hit by Penguin it is still included in the overall algorithm Google is using and it’s only a matter of time. Use all white hat link building strategies. Also make sure that your anchor links do not match exactly. If you want your site to rank high for “purple bananas” and you use it in the anchor text site-wide Penguin will penalize the site. Keep the anchor text varied.

Content is Still King

Spend your efforts on providing fresh, quality content on the site. Update it regularly with fresh content and use all your resources such as updating the associated blog(s) daily if reasonable; but at least 2 to 3 times per week. Write how-to guides and build landing pages or include product reviews.

The Role of Social Media

A good social media strategy can be used to help keep the site active. Through content sharing on various social media platforms the links you need can be generated naturally. Make use of the most popular social media sites by joining a social bookmarking community or Facebook. Include links in tweets which can be used for genuine regular updates and also help inform users of what’s going on with the business site.

Over-Optimization?

This term can wreak havoc in the SEO’s mind! With each Google update there can be ripples of fear that go out across the SEO world and everyone takes a deep breath and readjusts to see what needs to be changed. Just take a step back so that you can look at the big picture. Check your content to see if it serves a purpose. Make sure your anchor text matches the targeted intent and make sure that each of your pages is necessary. Go for generic and natural link building strategies and even sites that have been hit unfairly will soon start ranking again.

RSS Feeds

RSS Feed Optimization

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RSS Feeds

RSS Feeds

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a format that is used for syndication of web content. It is just one of the many ways that can be used to spread various types of web related news such as when a new post is made on a blog. Many sites offer users the ability to subscribe to an RSS feed from their site. Once they subscribe they can view feeds in various readers such as Bloglines or Google Reader. Other programs such as Microsoft Outlook can also support RSS feeds. Feeds can also be displayed on a browser home page. An RSS feed can be a very effective way to spread pertinent information to an online audience and it can be a great SEO tool.  Although RSS feeds are typical useful when it comes to displaying blog content, [since feeds make it easy for users to subscribe to a blog and receive notification when a new blog post is posted] it is possible to create a feed for any page and from an SEO perspective it is advisable that every site has an RSS feed.

Optimizing RSS Feeds

There are a couple of things that can be done to optimize and RSS feed. In premise it is similar to website optimization. Make sure that the feed’s description and channel title contain relevant keywords. Every feed item should have a unique title as well as its own description. The title should be relevant as well as enticing to readers. A feed’s description is usually a summary or introduction to the main content. When creating a feed, provide some extra information on an HTML site and invite readers to click through to receive all the information. Provide enough information that will encourage readers who are interested to click on the link.

There are so many possibilities for using RSS feeds in successful SEO campaigns. It is all about getting your business’ important information into the hands of clients. RSS feeds when optimized can generate a substantial amount of traffic to blogs or sites which contain business information. Even though RSS feeds are a tool to generate traffic, remember that you are trying to reach a human audience. This simply means that you want to ensure that the feeds are offering them legitimate information; unless they are genuinely interested in your content it will not be a productive venture. One way to ensure that readers can receive the types of information that they are interested in is to invite users to subscribe to just the feeds that they find interesting. Do not focus so heavily into keywords that you forget about your human audience. You can generate several feeds that are categorized by different topics. This allows readers to choose to receive the topics that are of interest to them. This may sound like it is too divided, but it can actually help increase relevant traffic and provide generic links to the site when readers are clicking through because they are genuinely interested in the content. Most readers will make a decision on whether or not to click on a link based on a quick scan of the headline. Be sure that your headline and description contain enough information to get their attention which will encourage them to take action and click through.

Social Networks and RSS Feeds

RSS feeds can be fed directly to various social networks. Simple tools such as twitterfeed or dlvr.it will publish the newest RSS items directly onto social media accounts. The headline for your feed is a very important feature here as some social networks have limited space and sites like Twitter will only display the link and the headline. Headlines must be relevant and succinct to boost traffic.

Displaying RSS Feeds

Spiders do crawl RSS feeds. Most of the time it is a good idea to include RSS feeds as part of the web design. Make sure that you use HTML, ASP or PHP so that search engines will spider the feed’s content that is displayed. If you are using a template for displaying feeds, it is important to use header tags. Search engines will give header tags more weight when crawling and indexing a site.

Creating Backlinks

When creating an RSS feed it is very important to include entire URLs to the sites you want it to be linked back to. This is your ticket to getting backlinks. This will also ensure that if your RSS feed is shared across social media platforms, email or other means that the link will be included and provide a way for the link to be spread across the web.

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