Posts in Category SEO
In today’s ever-changing quest to satisfy Google, there are numerous elements of search engine optimization (SEO) that all website owners need to understand if they wish to rank well on the web. The most significant elements of SEO include keyword research and link building. However content has made a recent climb in SEO importance.
We’ve previously discussed the significance of writing quality content in a post-panda environment, but now let’s take an in-depth look into what that really means to Google.
Be Original – There is a reason why this is rule number one. Duplicated content was the primary target of Google’s Panda update in February 2011. If your content is rehashed and can be found all over the Internet, you’re going to have a hard time ranking well.
Avoid “thin” content – Google labels content as thin when it is too short, too long, or too vague. The topic of a page should help dictate its length. If you’re writing about the evolution of music, you’ll need more than a few hundred words to discuss it. If you’re writing about the shape of an index card, you probably don’t need 200 words to describe it. More than 200 words on this topic would likely be repetitive and feel stretched.
When you’re writing a page make sure you’re fully answering a question, solving a problem, or offering some kind of value. If you’re not informing, educating or providing a service, you’ll have a hard time convincing Google you’re an authority on any topic.
Write for your audience – Content for the medical community should be a lot different than content for the general public. Your audience should be priority number one because you want them navigating your site and not your competitor’s site. Content that is clear and easy to understand is much more attractive than complex discussions.
Relevance is key – Relevancy has become a buzz word among SEO professionals in recent years. Your content should be strictly relevant to your site and the page it’s on. Don’t discuss sub-topics in detail if they’re deserving of their own page. Simply mention the topic and interlink it to its corresponding page.
Repetition is not key – Repetitive content can be penalized by Google regardless if it’s on one page of your site or on multiple. Having two or more pages on a similar subject is a major offense of repetitive content. Either combine the pages into one or make them extremely unique. Since we’ve mentioned the medical community, one example of repetitive content could be pages titled “life expectancy” and “prognosis.” These are very similar topics and unless you’re able to strictly distinguish the two, it’s best to avoid having both on your site.
Don’t waste time – People searching the Internet are looking for quick answers. If they don’t find what they’re searching for fast enough, they’ll leave and move on to the next site. That’s why it’s crucial to let your visitors know what they can expect to find at the top of the page. A “teaser” or slow buildup may be great for a story, but not on the Internet. Let your visitors know what they can expect to read on your pages within the first paragraph or two.
Get creative – The addition of pictures, videos, podcasts, graphs or infographics is a great way to add unique content to your site. Finding ways to replace big blocks of text or commonly used phrases are great concepts in Google’s eyes.
Proofread – Google’s algorithm can detect grammar mistakes in your content. However don’t edit your content just because Google says it’s important. Edit it because your visitors will appreciate it and stay on your website. Well written content is shareable and that’s what you want to achieve.
Are you looking to improve your content production? Contact us today to see how we can help.
Posted in SEO Writing
The Ultimate SEO Glossary (brought to you by Web Solutions of America) was created to help answer some of the basic questions concerning the internet and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is updated weekly so check back often for updates and additions. Feel free to ask questions or make suggestions in the comments of this post.
(Last Updated 5/16/2013)
A Permanent File Redirect (301 Redirect) – This type of file redirection is used to permanently designate that a file has been moved to a new location. Most search engines prefer this method over other redirection types. If you plan on moving part of a site, or an entire site to a new location, a 301 redirect should be used. In most cases your previous rankings and inbound links will also be kept intact. Apache servers use the htaccess file to designate a 301 redirect.
A Temporary File Redirect (302 Redirect) – In the past, search engines would struggle with 302 redirect handling. Temporary 302 redirects tell SEs to read and use the content on the new page, but to keep checking the original URL because it is a temporary change and the original URL will ultimately be reestablished. It is often a good idea to avoid using temporary redirects because it may cause ranking issues and possible SE penalties.
404 Status Error
A 404 error is an HTTP status code that indicates that the web page you were trying to reach couldn’t be found. A 404 error message is typically customize by individual websites to help keep visitors interested even though they page they were looking for didn’t exist.
500 Status Error
A 500 error code indicates that the server that normally serves the web domain encountered an unexpected problem that prevented the server from completing the action/request to access the URL.
It is an internal server side error. So if you ever see this message in your browser just understand that it’s not you, your internet connection, your browser, or your computer. It is a web site’s server error that is typically temporary and resolved very quickly.
A/B testing (aka split testing) is a process for measuring how one web element compares to another in relation to a goal or conversion. It is typically setup in an environment where both elements can be displayed equally for a specified time period (usually 90 days). A/B testing is often utilized in ads as well as web layouts where one variable is tested to determine which version is better based upon a pre-set conversion metric. These testing methods are great for eliminating speculation and allowing real statistics to answer specific performance questions.
Above the Fold
Above the fold refers to a marketing concept originally used to describe the content at the top portion of a newspaper. Anything (news stories, ads, etc.) that was included at the top of the newspaper before it was folded was considered “above the fold”. Web and email marketers use the term in almost the same fashion. The area of web content visible prior to scrolling is considered “above the fold”.
An absolute link displays a full URL in the anchor tag of a linking web page. A relative link on the other hand only shows a relative path instead of having the entire referenced URL. Due to canonicalization and hijacking related issues, most experts recommending using absolute links over relative links.
Example of an absolute link:
<a href=”http://www.wsoaonline.com/SEO_results.aspx“>SEO Results</a>
Example relative link:
<a href=”../SEO_results.aspx“>SEO Results</a>
Affiliate marketing is a performance based program that gives advertisers the ability to expand their market reach by paying affiliates on a cost per action (CPA) basis. Affiliates only get paid if the visitors on their site completes an action (fills out a form, buys something, etc.)
Most search engines index images based upon Alt tags. Using alt tags gives web publishers the ability to help search engines understand what is being displayed by providing a text equivalent. Alt tags are also given some SEO weight when ranking a particular web page. Alt tags also give visually impaired individuals the ability to distinguish an image through text.
Anchor text is hyperlinked text that a user would click on to move from one particular URL to the next. Search engines use anchor text to determine how a particular page ranks for a particular keyword phrase. If a web page has the majority of its links pointing to it with a particular keyword phrase, in most cases, that web page will rank higher for that keyword. Too much similar anchor text may be a considered a sign of manipulation, and thus discounted or filtered. When links occur naturally they typically have a wide array of anchor text combinations.
Astroturfing is a term used to describe a technique that is employed to mimic widespread support or opposition for a particular product, service, or idea. In the online world, astroturfing is accomplished using counterfeit profiles on social media sites and forums. These channels can be used to engage potential consumers and persuade them to act in a manner that isn’t based on anything but the end goal of the conspiring entity.
Behavioral Marketing (Behavioral Targeting)
Behavioral marketing is a relatively new technique that gives website owners the ability to target specific web visitors based upon their behavior and search history. Behavioral targeting is a way for marketers to increase the effectiveness of their advertising by knowing the past and present behavior of a visitor. Displaying advertisements that are more relevant and match the interests of a visitor will typically lead to higher conversion rates.
Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO is defined as the practice of using unethical or deceptive techniques in order to increase the rankings and/or exposure for a particular website, brand, or product. Examples of black hat search engine optimization often include:
- Invisible Text
- Scraping Content
- Forum & Blog Spam
- Website Cloaking
- Keyword Stuffing
- Social Media Spam
- Invisible Text
- Doorway Pages
- Link Farms
- Hacking a Website
- Duplicate sites
Black hat SEO is technically not illegal but it often violates certain search engine guidelines (Terms of Service) which could lead to a penalty or outright ban. Some webmasters may not even realize that they are doing it. Whether a webmaster is aware or not, utilizing any of the deceptive practices that go against a search engines terms of service, in the long run, will wind up hurting the integrity of their online presence.
The term blogger can be used to simply describe an individual that actively maintains a blog. It does however have an alternate definition that is based upon the website blogger.com. Blogger.com is a Google owned property that allows anyone to start a blog or web log of their own. The information that is stored on blogger is held on remote servers owned by Google, Inc. Blogger.com is currently one of the largest blogging communities on the web and is the easiest to start for the beginning blog owner.
Broad Match Modifier
The term broad match modifier is used within the Google Adwords advertising platform. It is a relatively new keyword bidding method that gives users a bit more control over the keywords that can be used to display their Google ads. Using the default “broad match” gave Adwords users the ability to bid on dozens of keywords; however, it did sometimes go too far and would often display ads for irrelevant keywords. Using the “phrase match” gave users a bit more control but ultimately fell short because it didn’t give enough in terms of its overall range. The broad match modifier gives Adwords users the best of both worlds by giving them more control over “broad match” keywords but not so much to limit additional opportunities.
Canonical tags are simple one line elements that are added to the <head> of a web page. They are used to essentially tell a search engine how a site should be indexed. See example below.
<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.wsoaonline.com/canonical-tags/” />
<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://wsoaonline.com/canonical-tags/” />
They also ensure that PageRank is not split between the www & non-www version of a site. These tags are supported by all of the major search engines including: Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Conversions are every marketer’s end game and one of the most important parts of any paid or organic SEO campaign. It is measures the number of visitors that perform a specific desired action. This action could be buying a product, filling out a form, the amount of time they are on your site, or another measurable goal.
Cookies (Browser, Computer Cookies)
Cookies are essentially small text files that are deposited into your browser when you visit a particular site. The next time you visit that site, your computer/browser will verify if a cookie exists and sends the information contained in the cookie back to the originating site. They are typically used to track web activity and give users the ability to maintain many of the preferences that were used in previous browser sessions.
CPA (Cost Per Action)
CPA or “Cost per Action” is another online marketing model that pays publishers based upon a certain action. The action could be a sale, a lead, or other information the advertiser finds valuable. Again, this puts more pressure and risk on the publisher to produce results.
CPC (Cost Per Click)
CPC or Cost per click is an online advertising model that charges the advertiser a specific price (typically auction based) for every click that is delivered to their website. This pricing model is the most popular and accepted online advertising delivery method because the advertiser is only charged if their ad is delivered and clicked upon.
CPL (Cost Per Lead)
CPL or “Cost per Lead” is another term used in marketing and online advertising. It represents the amount paid for information that may “lead” to a sale. A lead is essentially the contact details of a potential client. This information is very valuable and many businesses will pay big money to acquire them. A lead generator will only get paid when a qualified lead is delivered. Many businesses prefer this model over cost per click pricing as this model transfers much of the cost and risk (for conversions) to the publisher.
CPM (Cost Per Mille)
CPM is a term used in online advertising. It is a term that is used to describe the cost for 1,000 ad impressions. It stands for “Cost Per Mille”. The CPM model was popular with banner ads in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
CSS stands for cascading style sheets. It is used to style web pages by giving webmasters the ability to separate content from design and layout. Style sheets can be updated to quickly change certain parts of a site without changing any of the underlying code.
Click through rate is a term usually found and used in a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns. It is calculated by dividing the impressions you have received for your ad by the number of clicks your ad has received. Google Adwords has stated that the CTR is the most important part of determining the quality score of an ad.
Cybersquatting is the practice of buying and holding a domain name with the intent to profit from it by holding the URL hostage from the official trademark holders. It is actually illegal in the USA.
Dayparting is a term used to describe an option within Google Adwords that allows users to specify the times of day their ads display. From the beginning, Google has strived to give their advertisers the most control possible over their ads. Dayparting was one method that gave users the ability to automatically turn on or shut off their accounts at certain points in the day. Advertisers noticed that their conversions significantly dropped during certain times of the day. Google came up with this feature to eliminate clicks during certain “parts of the day” that historically did not convert for the user.
Dedicated Server (Web Hosting)
A dedicated server (in the web hosting world) is essentially just a computer that is reserved for one particular client or account and is typically accessed remotely. The customer that utilizes a dedicated server has exclusive rights to files, bandwidth, memory, and storage on the hard drive (usually for a monthly fee). Unlike shared hosting accounts, the performance of your system is not affected by traffic from other customers sharing the server (computer).
A dedicated server account will often provide a dedicated IP address and full control of server usage and software installation. They are useful for websites that experience very-high traffic levels and bandwidth.
Deep linking is an SEO term that describes the act of internally linking the pages of your website. Linking to specific pages of your site from other content rich pages can result in increases to authority, relevance, and visibility.
Duplicate content is a term used to describe content (text, articles, etc.) that has been published in more than one domain or URL. In many cases duplicate content is done accidentally and often without the webmasters knowledge. There are cases, however, where certain unscrupulous webmasters have copied the content and text from other domains and used it to fill their own. According to Google, their ultimate goal is to provide the best user experience possible so copying content from other sources to manipulate rankings is typically frowned upon by them. The Panda update was one of many Google solutions used to fight the problem of content being used more than once online.
Exact Match Domain (EMD)
An exact match domain is a URL that targets a specific keyword or key phrase in the domain itself. The use of exact match domains and how they rank is often a topic of hot debate. Some believe that search engines give an advantage to EMDs, allowing them to rank higher for their included keyword phrase based upon the URL alone. Others believe that an inherent advantage already exists with EMDs based upon how inbound links are accumulated (w/ targeted keywords). In September 2012 Google issued an update to reduce the number of low quality EMDs (The EMD Update).
A favicon is a 16 pixel by 16 pixel image icon that appears next to the URL address bar in supporting browsers. Favicons are essentially a branding tool that often mimics the logo of the website itself.
Adsense is Google’s publishing network that pays web owners for displaying relevant ads for Google Adwords. Any web publisher that agrees to their publishing terms will automatically be given the opportunity to earn revenue based upon their content. When someone clicks or views these ads, the publisher and Google will share the profits.
Google Adsense Ad Sizes
Adsense publishers make up Google’s publishing network. Google pays publishers for the right to include Adwords Ads on their sites. The ads may be either image ads or text ads. If they are image ads, Google allows up to 9 different ad sizes: 728 x 90, 468 x 60, 336 x 280, 300 x 250, 250 x 250, 200 x 200, 120 x 600, 160 x 600, and 300 x 600. According to studies, the most popular Google Adsense ad style is 300 x 250.
Adwords is Google’s link auction network that gives advertisers the opportunity to display their ads to potential customers by bidding on relevant keywords. Advertisers pay Google for every click (Pay-Per-Click) that is sent to the URL they specify. Adwords gives advertisers the ability to display text links, image, and video ads to an extremely large audience.
Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) are important SEO attributes that are used to establish and label the principal sections of a web page. The H1 tag (for all practical purposes) should be utilized one time, per page, to designate the main theme. The H2 tag can be used several times as needed and the H3?s should be used to indicate significant parts within each section. Each header tag is important and will make it easy for search engine spiders to determine what each page of a site is about. Google Adsense, for instance, uses heading tags to determine the overall theme of a page and the subsequent types of ads to display.
A hyperlink is the click-able text (Also see Anchor Text) that directs visitors to another page of a website or to an entirely new web property. Hyperlinks are very important to search engines and are often give the highest priority in their algorithms. They are also used for discovery. Most search engines will send out spiders that use hyperlinks to find and index new sites and changes to existing sites.
An impression typically involves online advertisements and is counted when an ad is loaded to a web page. Interaction with the ad is disregarded. The CPM pricing model is based upon impressions and charges the advertiser a fixed price for every 1000 views. The CPM pricing model is often linked to early online banner advertising. The cost per click (CPC) model soon followed and in many cases proved to be superior.
Search Engine Algorithm
A search engine algorithm is a mathematical formula that is specifically written to determine the order of results (See SERP) that are presented to users for specific queries on a search engine. Most search engines have a proprietary algorithm with unique attributes that are defined by what they’ve determined to be most important to searchers. SEs will update this formula often to deter abuse.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
SERP is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Results Page. When a search engine user types in a query, the results are displayed on a page known as a SERP (name by SEO professionals and other industry insiders). In most cases, the higher you rank for a specific query, the more traffic your website will receive for that specific search.
The title tag is a descriptive element that gives webmasters the ability to describe what a particular web page is about. It is used by search engines to organize web pages based on theme and topic. It is also one of the most important SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on-page elements. The title tag is typically displayed at the top of most browser windows as well as the linked text on all search result pages (SERPs).
User Generated Content
User generated content is content that was not supplied by the owner of a website but rather the website’s visitors. In the context of a web 2.0 platform, user generated content can be in the form of blog posts, comments, forum posts, or any other interaction that allows a visitor to post content.
Posted in Internet Marketing, Organic SEO, Pay Per Click - PPC, SEO
Tagged seo glossary
One of the best ways to gain new customers as well as boost local SEO for your website is by submitting your business listing to directories. Local SEO refers to a business that is looking to get customers in their own town, possibly to get these customers to come to the brick-and-mortar store. Local SEO is especially important for service professionals such as
dentists, lawyers, photographers, caterers, etc. While driving traffic to your site is great, if someone lives across the country from your office it doesn’t do you much good that they visited your site.
Directories commonly show up for search terms you may also be targeting as a local business due to the large amount of content they contain. For example, our Orlando SEO team found that “nail salon Orlando” is a relatively competitive term, one that would take a good bit of SEO to rank number 1 on Google for. Because directories have several listings and reviews for nail salons in Orlando, Google sees this content as being relevant to this search and is likely to list a well-known directory higher than your nail salon’s website. If you are listed in this directory you will have an even better chance of being found. Another added benefit of adding your business to multiple directories is that each one provides a link back to your site which helps your SEO.
What Directories Should I Use for Local SEO?
Examples of directories include CitySearch, Superpages, and Google Places. There are companies that specialize in business directory listings as well as updating them. Yext.com is one such company, and on their blog they provide a great list of directories where you can list your business. Of course, if your business is larger and you can afford it, hiring a company such as this may not be a bad idea, either. Then if your business phone number or address changes, you simply need to tell your directory service, and they will update it across the web for you.
Citysearch.com is a popular directory and business owners can “claim” their business for free, as well as set up a profile and add pictures. It is possible that your business already has a listing on Citysearch, as anyone can create a listing for a business and review it. By claiming the listing as the owner, you can control the information that is conveyed about your business, make sure it is accurate, and use the photos you want to use. The more information on your page the better, as this will make you look more legitimate. You can add hours of operation, your physical address, a phone number, and a menu if applicable.
Yelp has become a large online presence for reviews and finding local businesses. More and more people are using Yelp to find a business in their town or to find a business when visiting elsewhere. Yelp allows free business accounts and it is advisable to keep on top of your reviews. Should a bad review occur, which is likely to happen for any business, a professional and courteous response from the business owner can persuade readers to not let that one bad review sway them too much. It has also happened that the reviewer returned to the establishment and wrote a follow-up positive review. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you show your business is willing to make it up to customers when something goes wrong it will keep your customers loyal. Yelp even provides guidelines for business owners responding to a negative review. Of course, if you are receiving several bad reviews perhaps it’s time to rethink the way you do business!
Google Places has changed a bit recently with the advent of Google Plus. In order to be listed on Google Places, you must create a Google account for your business and then have it verified. To do this, Google sends a postcard with a code to your physical business address. Once this postcard is received, you log in to your Google account and put in the pin. Google looks at verified businesses more favorably and you are much more likely to show up in search results if your business is verified.
The above are just a few of the many directories available. The addition of your business to directories can greatly improve your presence in your local online marketplace. People tend to trust a business that is verified and reviewed across several websites more than a business that seems to completely neglect their online presence. You will also be better able to manage your online reputation by taking control of your listings and responding to potential bad reviews.
Posted in Organic SEO, SEO, SEO Local
You can find an abundance of information sorting out the strategies behind guest blogging. However the real benefits of guest blogging are not always clear. When done correctly, guest blogging can be used as an important tool in the virtual world to help businesses of all industries grow and expand. Contrary to what many may think, guest blogging offers value beyond a few backlinks. Let’s dive into how guest blogging increases brand awareness, sends targeted traffic, and improves SEO metrics.
Businesses are constantly struggling to set themselves apart from the competition. Fortunately the internet provides a great venue to spread brand awareness at a relatively low cost. By contacting and submitting quality content to highly relevant and authoritative websites, it’s an extraordinary opportunity to spread their brand across a much larger audience. It’s important to remember that Google recognizes quality guest blogging so it’s important to know how Google determines the difference between spam and a quality blog.
Targeted Website Traffic
It goes without saying that businesses are always in need of more website traffic. Guest blogging is a terrific way to drive more qualified, target customers to a site. With guest blogging, business owners can pick and choose their target audience. If done correctly, owners can see a spike in website traffic in a relatively short period of time. Choosing highly relevant and authoritative blogs to place excellent content will result in higher conversions as well.
Guest Blogging for SEO
Guest blogging provides an excellent strategy for building quality, relevant backlinks to a website. However, when discussing backlinks, it’s important to understand quality over quantity. Google is continually tweaking its algorithms, putting more value on higher quality links. Although writing and submitting quality content is much more time consuming than traditional back-linking methods, backlinks from guest blogging are worth the effort. When done correctly, this typically results in greater website visibility in the search engines.
If you’re thinking of new, innovative ways to expand your audience and grow your customer base, guest blogging is the perfect strategy. Web Solutions of America offers professional SEO services for all industry types. Our mission is to provide clients with proven marketing strategies that work. Contact us today for your free, no obligation website evaluation.
Posted in SEO Writing
Tagged guest blogging
If you’re into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) then you remember Google’s February 2011 algorithm update called Panda. It shocked website owners by impacting nearly 12 percent of search results.
Those who were unaffected let out a big sigh of relief as others scrambled to recover and find out why their site had dropped in the rankings. This particular algorithm update targeted duplicate, low quality content and some offenders paid the price.
The key word there is “some.” Reasons why some offenders weren’t penalized can still be debated, but many believe the Panda update revealed more about other SEO practices outside of content production. For example, some think high-ranking websites with duplicate or low quality content showed everyone the power behind backlinks – links to your website presented on someone else’s website.
Google received countless complaints from website owners asking why their website was penalized and why others who displayed similar content tactics were left alone. The answers to these complaints were numerous and included copied content, repetitive content, irrelevant content, poorly researched or written content, and so much more.
But the major difference was that some websites were just too strong to be impacted by the Panda update. The power of their backlinks outweighed their low quality content and any influence that Panda was intended to make.
Quality Content Standards
For websites that felt the effects of Panda, they quickly learned their content needed to be changed. They also realized they needed to strengthen their website with backlinks. Some tried to handle these changes by themselves while others hired an SEO company to ensure a quick recovery.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re trying to improve your content:
- Eliminate or enhance all content that appears to be thin or lacking information
- Present clear, comprehensive and easy to understand content
- Ask yourself if you’re presenting content in a new way. Is it original?
- Avoid repetitive content. Make sure it’s worthy of its own page and check to see if the content you’re adding can be an addition to a previously existing page on your site.
- Ensure your content is relevant to the title of the page as well as your website
- Make sure your visitors can understand what the page is about within the first few paragraphs
- Present pictures, graphs or infographics whenever possible to enhance your content
- Edit content and eliminate all spelling or factual errors
Does content impact your website’s ranking? Absolutely. Are we still operating under the impression that “content is king” two years after Panda? Certainly not. The best SEO practice is to present high quality content on a site that is powered by its backlinks.
Looking to improve your web presence in the Orlando area? Web Solutions of America is the leader in Orlando SEO and web design. We also offer a free analysis for your website. For more information call us at 407-998-5593.
Posted in SEO, SEO Writing
The biggest reason a website ranks well on Google is because of its inbound links. This is also the #1 reason why websites don’t rank well! Google uses inbound links from other websites as a key indication of where to rank a website. Unfortunately many website owners use tactics such as buying links, link trading and automated submittal tools as a way to trick Google into ranking them higher. These methods worked years ago but not anymore.
Web Solutions does not use any link schemes as a method of boosting ranks, for good reason. Google has greatly reduced its tolerance for low quality links in its most recent updates. Before these updates it was estimated that Google penalized sites when 80% of its inbound links were considered low quality. Now that number seems to be at about 50%. Google considers a link to be low quality if the website it comes from is not relevant, if it is purchased, or if the webpage with the link participates in link schemes. Google has announced another update will be coming later this year, and it is presumed these links will be looked at even more closely.
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO Link Building, SEO Spamming
When you decide to hire an SEO company such as Web Solutions of America, the goal is to become ranked for the key terms that you believe will lead to the highest conversions. So you sit with your SEO team and discuss what can be done to your website to get you to that goal. After a few months, you are ranking for many of the terms and your phone is ringing off the hook. Your SEO team has done their job, so you don’t need them anymore, right? Wrong. If you fire your SEO company after your website appears in the top 5 search results, in a couple months you’ll probably end up going back.
On-Site and Off-Site SEO
SEO is not a “set it and forget it” practice. Google’s algorithm changes all the time, and keeping up with it is truly a full time job. SEO also is not just about what is on your actual website. That is part of it, and this is called On-Site SEO. The title tags, image tags, headers, content, URLs, etc. all need to be optimized and relevant to the search terms you want to rank for. This is of course the easiest to control, and the easiest to continue to tweak should something not work. Off-Site SEO is a whole other ball game, and it takes time. One of the most crucial off-site SEO tactics is link building, and this is also a full time job.
Some companies may promise to build links and get you to the top of Google in just a couple weeks. These companies are using shady tactics and your time at the top of Google will be short lived. Building quality links back to your site takes time. Sites must be researched, and the administrators of the site contacted. A guest blog may be written on your behalf, which provides the link back to your site from another site that is relevant to what you do. Even just the task of finding a reputable and relevant website that will agree to provide a link back to you can take a long time, then there is the back and forth with the site administrator. How many backlinks will they allow? Do they want one in return? What are their rules on topics for guest blogging? Even once all this is determined and a guest blog submitted, the administrator may decide it’s too similar to a post they already have or would be a conflict of interest to link to your site. So then it’s on to the next one.
Google Panda and SEO
Google’s Panda updates have taken a toll on many websites that were previously doing well in the rankings. They have started to penalize duplicate content much more harshly, and the rules for determining a site to be relevant and not a spam site are much stricter. This has meant a complete overhaul in SEO strategy for many websites. Those who already employed an SEO company didn’t drop too far before this was caught, and a fix could be determined. If you get rid of your SEO company after ranking and then Google’s algorithm changes, it could mean your business is hurting before you even notice. It could then be another few months to get you back to where you were.
If you do not have the time to deal with all of this, then continue to employ your SEO company. If, and when, your rankings start to fall, wouldn’t you rather call someone and say “My rankings are falling, fix it!” then get back to your job, instead of having your day derailed by trying to figure it out yourself? Our Orlando SEO clients can rest easy knowing we stay on top of Google’s updates and their rankings every day.
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, SEO
Blogs are a vital form of communication in today’s world, and if your website doesn’t have one you need to add one asap. Fresh, unique content that is relevant to the rest of your website will improve your search engine result rankings. If you need assistance in adding a blog or coming up with fresh content, contact Web Solutions of America.
Anonymous Blogging- Freedom of Speech or Getting Away With Defamation?
We all know the 1st Amendment protects our freedom of speech, but that this does not cover any and all kinds of speech. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater, and you can’t publicly defame someone in a way that negatively affects their livelihood.
Two anonymous bloggers, moderators of fightcopyrighttrolls.com and dietrolldie.com are faced with law suits for defamation. The bloggers claim to be protected under the 1st amendment. Even when the blogging platform WordPress was subpoenaed to reveal the identities of the bloggers, they refused and called the subpoena “legally deficient and objectionable.”
Bloggers or Trouble Makers?
What are these bloggers in trouble for? They both consider themselves watchdogs for “copyright trolls.” Copyright trolls are generally law firms who target citizens that download music and movies using BitTorrent, or peer-to-peer file sharing. Those against the copyright trolls claim the law firms exploit the stiff penalties that can come with copyright infringement, scaring those who downloaded a movie into settling out of court once faced with seemingly huge penalties. Law firms have sent threatening letters to these defendants claiming they may have to pay up to $150,000 in damages. Fightcopyrighttrolls.com even claims that some of these lawyers are uploading their client’s work to torrent sites on purpose in order to entrap those who download the movie. Usually the IP address is obtained from the Internet Service Provider in order to locate the individual who did the downloading.
What Is Wrong With Pursuing Copyright Infringements Through Downloading?
You may wonder why people are so against this, after all, isn’t downloading movies illegal? Yes it is, but the means by which these law firms are going after these copyright infringement cases is the real problem. As mentioned above, there are accusations of entrapment. It is also argued that an IP address is not the same thing as a person. Furthermore, these watchdogs groups state that Due Process is violated by these lawyers, as defendants are not represented properly. In order to fight the subpoena, the defendant must go public. As long as they settle, the defendant can remain anonymous. It is likely that this is the reason these law firms also tend to target those who have downloaded pornography. Again, it could be argued that the defendant shouldn’t have downloaded porn illegally to begin with, but many people agree that the fact that porn downloads are targeted is a bit shady. The overall feeling is that these law firms are casting out a huge net to see who they can get to settle.
What Does This Mean for the Future of Blogging?
Both fightcopyrighttrolls.com and dietrolldie.com are being sued by lawyer Paul Duffy and his law firm Prenda Law LLC, who claim to have been defamed by these blogs. Despite the subpoena, neither moderator has revealed their identities.
The Internet has grown so fast, it is hard for laws to keep up, especially when creating new laws is a notoriously slow process. Either side of this debate can be argued, and cases like this will be the precedent for future cases to come.
Posted in SEO, SEO Blogs
If you browse through a SERP (search engine results page) for a particular keyword you’ll notice an interesting phenomenon. The results you’ll find will often not match the keyword or phrase that you’ve entered. It’s close, but it often isn’t an exact match. Over the past few years it appears that Google has gotten a bit smarter and has figured out a way to distinguish synonyms as well as closely related keywords & keyword phrases. This is great news for writers.
Google isn’t looking for pages and pages full of keywords. They are looking for fresh, informative, original, and natural content that flows. The biggest mistake many bloggers & writers are making is applying the old rules of SEO to their content. A keyword doesn’t need to be repeated over and over anymore. As long as you have enough variation for a particular phrase you’ll be eligible to rank for it. According to Matt Cutts, “So, instead of always using “blue suede shoes” as-is (the entire, original keyphrase together), you can also use just “blue” and just “suede” and just “shoes” within the copy”. Keyword density should be an afterthought and according to Google “shouldn’t even be analyzed”.
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) & How it Works
Latent semantic indexing refers to the indexing and retrieval method used by Google to deliver results to searchers. It is one part of Google’s algorithm that can establish associations between different keywords & keyword phrases. Due to LSI being included in the algorithm, articles can now be written with multiple keywords rather than simply focusing on one. This indexing method ultimately removes the handcuffs that have been placed on many great writers for years. The days of writing an article and then adding keywords are over. Quality content, with correct grammar, can now actually rank for a specific keyword.
Writing Quality Content for Humans
If you can deliver quality content on a consistent basis and understand how to promote that content properly, the rankings will come. Quality content should be the goal of each and every article, blog post, or web page. Here is a list of goals that can be utilized to create new content as well as improve your existing content:
- Look for low quality, thin content with repetitive keywords & text.
- Utilize copyscape.com to check for existing duplicate content
- Avoid spinning articles for your site or for others.
- Don’t add or stuff keywords after you have written your copy. We know it’s difficult. Don’t be tempted. Focus on text for humans not robots or search engines.
- Longer articles are often seen as being of higher quality. 500 words per written piece is a good goal. It isn’t necessarily a written rule but one that makes sense.
- Research keyword variations and use them instead of the targeted keyword.
“Never sacrifice the quality of your copy for the sake of the search engines.” – Matt Cutts. That sentence should be enough to get you thinking about what Google wants to include in their index.
Posted in SEO, SEO Writing
Google announced today a new search algorithm update that will help increase the freshness in the search results. This “freshness algorithm” change will impact roughly 35% of all search results and is expected to give the surfer more up-to-date relevant results.
If a search is made for [football scores] you would probably want the most recent scores of the football games that just happened, not from games that are a few years old. This new algorithm change is designed to give you the most up to date results, without having to specify 2011 or the actual date the event took place.
To better clarify what content will be affected in the update, Google gives us these varying degrees of freshness.
- Recent events or hot topics
- Regularly recurring events
- Frequent updates
How will Google’s freshness update affect your website’s previous rankings?
If your industry or website content fits the list of the 3 varying degrees of freshness you might see a change in your rankings. For website’s that do not have trending topics or frequent product updates, don’t expect to see too much of a change.
Seeing decreased ranks or loss of traffic?
Our SEO team at WSOA loves new algorithm updates but sometimes for others it can lead to a disaster in your online strategy. If you have noticed a drop in your rankings or a decline in traffic to your website please contact us to see how we can help.
By: +Adam Lang
Posted in Internet Marketing, Internet Marketing News, Organic SEO, SEO, SEO News, Social Media