Vetting SEO providers is a real challenge today for numerous reasons. Let’s look at just a few of them just from the discussion forums:
”A few free memberships and my e-mail being associated with the site is all I needed to be overwhelmed by the ‘SEOs’. They come in fast and they are almost always in two catagories: One is a flood of Indian men named John or Keith telling me that he can submit the site to search engines and directories for me and will even throw in some free ‘advanced penquin-proof link building’ if I pick up their premium package. The other is the SEO services and programs…they are worse than Keith and John. Keith and John are easily ignored and tend to leave my boss alone…the ‘professional’ or ‘enterprise’ or any other bull___ service tends to get their e-mails read by my boss…and then I have to spend time explaining to him why these are b.s. and should be shunned -they will waste money at the least and hurt the company at the worst!”
Duplicate content isn’t just caused by content scrapers. Content scrapers do create issues with your own content, but what happens more frequently is that webmasters generate their own duplicate content issue without realizing it. If you’re still doing clean-up on your site because each Google Panda update inflicts more pain, be sure to review the common duplicate content causes and rid your website of these issues.
At the end of this post I’ll share a link to download the User Experience Checklist for SEO & Conversion to help you evaluate your website and landing pages.
Businesses can get into trouble when they do not balance user experience and SEO or SEO and conversion. Some businesses put too much weight on search rank for their keywords or too much emphasis on social media, overlooking on site SEO and user experience. You can’t do that today and expect good search rank from Google. Instead you must balance out the focus between user experience and SEO so that your target audience not only finds your site but it is useful and even excites them.
Google launched the latest algo change named Penguin on April 24th and gave plenty of warning about it. At the South by Southwest (SBSX) conference in March, Matt Cutts mentioned an algo update they were working on to better deal with sites that have been “over optimized.”
Most people complain about Google’s algo updates, but consider that the same percentage of sites that moved down also moved up; can I hear somebody say – “ain’t that sweet!”
There are instances when SEO is not the best solution as a traffic source, the squeeze page is one of them. Here’s a good example of a question I’ve seen in marketing forums a number of times…
Q: “I understand that SEO is content and backlinks and all that mumbo jumbo. Now normally I’d think you’d stick your squeeze page out there and SEO that, but with that there’s no real content so no real SEO. The other issue I have is that I went and wrote some articles a while back and when I really changed to what’s working for me now, none of the directories will except my new squeeze page as its very small and has about zip content (but has been converting the best for me). So do I need to completely reconstruct everything I”m doing to get started with SEO or is there something I’m just not getting about what pages need SEO and what pages can get subscribers?”
Social SEO is a hot topic right now. It refers to the social factors that can influence search engine results. If you are overly focused with your on-page efforts you may be missing this component. One solution is to put yourself in the position of your audience. In your experience what information has prompted you to comment or share with your network? It is likely including these factors in your writing will propel your content through the social pipes.
Do you want your blog to succeed? Well, you can’t just expect it to do so without putting in any hard work or effort, can you? So, here are the 6 steps of blogging that you need to follow in order for your blog to succeed. Continue reading “6 Blogging Steps to Success”
SEOmoz’s 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors offers some interesting details about Google’s current algorithm as it relates to individual page features and their correlation to search rank based on 10,000+ pages they tested earlier this year.
The correlation chart below outlines how features on a page tend to relate to higher rankings on a scale from 0 to 1. There are also negative correlations which means the more the particular feature showed up on a page, it tends to relate to lower rankings. But, remember these are correlations, not causes and based on a test of 10,000 pages. So, don’t run off and change your site just because you see something here that correlates to higher or lower rank, but do consider it especially in light of the Panda updates.
Emory, it’s great to have another interview! The last one was on cost per action marketing and it was popular, but today you have something else on your mind, specifically digg. When did you get started with digg and what kind of success did you have with it?
I started using digg on 4/22/06 and had zero success. I loved the idea of reading news stories that had been voted into popularity rather than picked by editors. But, I admit in the forefront of my mind was the possibility of nudging some of my underappreciated content toward the top of the digg front page. So, like any noob would, I submitted my own posts to digg, sat back, and watched them fall flat, rarely if ever getting out of the single digit range.
Whether you are doing SEO in-house, on your own time or with a professional, it still takes time for a site to begin ranking well for a keyword that has never been targeted before, unless you’re involved with a brand with a huge following. Here’s the gist:
Engaging content to the searcher is the foundation so please don’t try to push a web page that’s all about “me and my super awesome company.” You’ve often got to create content that’s not about you if you want conversions.
That new content should have a few good quality links pointing at it from sites that are reputable and/or relevant to the topic to gain good search rank.
In a somewhat recent Matt Cutts video he goes over some of the objectives of the Panda update and iterations that followed. Then Matt says, “It helps to step into the Google Mindset and how we think about these sorts of things because whenever we’re trying to write the algorithms, whenever we’re trying to uncover the signals, those kinds of questions can be very helpful to understand how we’re thinking about the problem and how we’re trying to return higher quality sites.”
Matt says they are going to keep iterating on the Panda update to try to keep sites that don’t produce quality content from ranking as high as sites that do produce content that users love.
I was working on an ecommerce development project when they approached me about helping with their SEO. I began researching SEO and discovered I had a passion for the subject. My first SEO client was an Ecommerce site, and it has been my favorite ever since.
So, how did Digg rise to wild popularity, fall to mediocrity and give birth to numerous social voting sites?
Digg really was “The Great White Hope”, so to speak, but they blew it with Version 4. They made a classic mistake that so many companies make. When they tried to reinvent themselves, they did not play to their strengths. Coca Cola made that same mistake with New Coke.
Google’s User Experience Research team released an eye-tracking study to determine whether incorporating aspects of Universal Search like images and video into the search engine results page (SERP) affects the way users scan the page.
Google concluded that when thumbnail images are in the results it seemed to “make results with thumbnails easy to notice when users wanted them.” In other words searchers who were trying to find an image, even if they didn’t specify that in their search query found relevant information more readily since the images were included right in first SERP they see. More importantly they found that even if a searcher wasn’t looking for an image the thumbnails being included in the SERP actually helped them find more relevant information by focusing their eyes on the most relevant information. Google found that the searcher quickly skipped over the images if they weren’t looking for them and still found most relevant result even if it appeared below the images on the SERP.
This was obviously a successful result for Google because it shows that including more diversity in their SERPs through Universal Search creates a higher quality user experience and helps Google to better accomplish their primary goal: Help people find relevant information.
So you have a new business and, to keep expenses down and ROI up, you use the Internet to find new customers or clients. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best investment, but it normally takes 3 to 6 months to see top rankings. Since you must have customers to stay afloat, you want immediate and qualified prospects to come to your site. So what you need right now is paid search (pay-per-click advertising). And implementing both SEO and paid search simultaneously can give your business an irresistible one-two advantage.
When paid search is the main source of new customers, you have to maximize the ROI from your immediate – yet pricey – web visitors. How? By clearly communicating with the most desired prospect whose problem you can solve, and who is willing, able and ready to engage now.