Friday, November 25, 2011

Link Building With Directories: Does it Still Work?

In the past, submitting your website to SEO friendly directories as a link building strategy was a great way to build your backlink profile and improve your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). It didn't take a lot of time, effort, or critical thinking to get the job done. As a result, it was one of the most relied upon link building strategies for many years. And yet, as Google and other search engines improve their algorithms to better recognize quality backlinks and the value behind them, submitting to directories as a link building strategy has become less popular. This transition has a lot of people throughout the SEO community asking, "Does submitting to directories still work? Should directory submissions be a part of my building strategy?" Let's discuss what you need to know.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Duplicate Content Issues With Search Engines

Duplicate content has long been a problem for many websites, one that ultimately has prevented these sites from ranking well in different search engines' results pages. For this post, I want to focus primarily on Google, and how that search engine views sites that have duplicate content. One reason I want to narrow the focus to Google is the fact that their Panda algorithm update, which has been rolling out all year, was implemented to reward sites that had valuable, unique content, while pushing sites back in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for those that do not.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Optimizing Websites for Search Engines: Revisiting the Basics

I like to revisit the basic strategies one can utilize to optimize their website for search engines every few months or so. One of the reasons I like to do this is that things change, namely the search engines and what is factored in to their ranking algorithms, and it is necessary to account for those changes and make adjustments on the fly. With that in mind, there are also a number of basic on-site and off-site elements one needs to know as he or she attacks the problem of how best to optimize their site so it can rank well in the search engine results pages (SERPs). No matter how much things change, the basics remain constant, and ensuring that they are worked in to the process a must. Let's recap exactly what those basics are.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rand Fishkin Questions Matt Cutts' Statement Regarding Encrypted Searches

Rand Fishkin has (albeit indirectly) appropriately called out Matt Cutts via Twitter - and because Rand garners the sort of respect throughout the SEO community, Cutts actually responded. As many of you know, and as I discussed earlier this month, Google is encrypting searches for those that are signed in to a Google account. As a result, the keyword data for these individuals is no longer available within the Google Analytics reports. Regardless of what Google's intentions were for doing this (was it truly to address privacy concerns?), Cutts had stated that the number of people searching online while signed in only makes up a single-digit percentage of the total number of searchers. And because of that, the implication was that it shouldn't have a negative impact on running a search marketing campaign as the keyword data lost would be minimal. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

On-Page SEO Ranking Factors Update: A Fresh Take

Over the years, there have been a number of on-page SEO factors utilized to better optimize a web page for the search engine results pages (SERPs). Many of those on-page factors still play a prominent role in whether or not a page ranks well for the keywords that are being targeted. However, there has been a lot of debate as to which on-page factors are most important for ranking, how strong an influence each particular factor actually has on rankings, and what factors if any are no longer incorporated in to Google's ranking algorithm. My goal is to revisit these strategies, clear the air regarding which strategies are the most important, and make best-practice recommendations as to how each can be implemented.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sponsored Reviews: Paid Link Forum Review

Sponsored Reviews is a forum that webmasters can access to find paid link opportunities. Back in June, I wrote a review on Digital Point, perhaps the most popular paid links forum, and since then have had some requests to give my input on Sponsored Reviews as well. As I always do when discussing paid links, it is necessary to point out that Google is not a fan of paid links, and if you are overdoing it, there is some risk involved a la JCPenney and While we know that buying links at times can be necessary depending on the industry and particular keyword phrase one is trying to rank for, it is best to respect the process and ensure that the links you are paying for are placed on related (and quality) websites. With that in mind, let's discuss some of the positive and negative factors associated with using Sponsored Reviews.