All Things SEO covers a variety of topics related to improving website visibility in the natural (free or unpaid) listings of search engine results pages by employing the best practices for organic search engine optimization (SEO). Columnists share technical expertise on how to build search engine friendly websites, how to use search engine tools and webmaster dashboards, how to avoid common SEO problems such as duplicate content and spam penalties, plus SEO advice from a marketing perspective, opinion and commentary about algorithmic shifts in the search engine industry.
Oct 23, 2013 at 9:00am ET by John E Lincoln
Schema.org was launched on June 2, 2011, providing a structured data markup supported by major search engines. Since then, we have seen schema.org markup implemented on many websites; however, you usually only see it on the tech-savvy and gung-ho webmasters' sites (or being generated by a CMS). This structured markup can be tedious to implement, and webmasters often don't take the time to capitalize on the real benefits.
As we move forward into a new era of semantic search, I expect to see this markup added to many more websites. I believe that the Google Hummingbird update and greater depe [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google: Hummingbird | Schema.org
Oct 18, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Rick DeJarnette
"News is anything that's interesting, that relates to what's happening in the world, what's happening in areas of the culture that would be of interest to your audience." Kurt Loder, American journalist.
Consider this: does the above quote describe the content of your website? Does your website publish a continuous flow of fresh content about current events? Perhaps you publish frequent reports of local activities, the goings-on within a niche industry or a specialized area of interest? Do you publish a regularly-updated blog with timely commentary?
Developing high-quality news content i [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google: News | Google: News Keywords Tag
Oct 18, 2013 at 8:59am ET by Carrie Hill
Not Provided is all anyone is talking about these days -- with good reason. Holding data hostage and forcing users to buy ads to see it is pretty dirty pool, in my opinion. Most of my clients cannot lay out the money just to grab data, so we've had to come up with some creative ways to see information at a keyword level.
I've shared previously how using a "Not Provided Filter" can give you insights into landing pages that are triggered by a keyword search. If you know the landing page, you can extrapolate and "guess" what the keywords might be. This is great if you have time to really loo [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: Search Marketing | Google: Analytics
Oct 18, 2013 at 8:55am ET by Kathy Nielsen
There's been valid debate over how influential keyword and exact match domains are in search engine optimization. Whether or not the latest Google or Bing algorithm takes the words in your domain name into consideration, the reality is that searchers -- those consumers actually choosing to click your link -- most likely do.
The phenomenon has been dubbed "domain bias," defined as a user's propensity to believe that a page is more relevant just because it comes from a particular domain. While search engines generally reward good content with good rankings, there are certain qualities that ma [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Search Marketing: Landing Pages | Search Marketing: Search Term Research | SEO: Domain Names & URLs | Stats: Search Behavior
Oct 17, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Nathan Safran
In late September, Google announced it had been gradually rolling out Hummingbird, a completely new search algorithm. The algorithm emphasizes semantic search and focuses on understanding the meaning behind the user query rather than simply trying to match instances of words in its Web index.
Take a look at Danny Sullivan's great FAQ for more specifics on what's changed.
Hummingbird Unprecedented In Scope
This significant change in the core underpinnings of search has a lot of folks wondering about its impact on their business. (When combined with the recent spike in Not Provided, it make [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google: Algorithm Updates | Google: Hummingbird | Google: Web Search
Oct 14, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Jenny Halasz
I have glimpsed the future of search, and it is not keyword-driven. While I have long been an advocate of using keywords as an indicator of a searcher’s intent, I am about to eat my words.
The truth is that search is heading in a direction that most of us could not have foreseen… a technically complex and varied amalgamation of platforms, devices, and inputs.
What I mean by this is that as the search engines become more focused on discovering user intent based on various elements that can be measured before a user even types anything -- location, search history, mobility, circles, et [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Schema.org | SEO: General
Oct 14, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Eric Enge
There are many in the SEO community that get very frustrated with Google, and one of the reasons for this is simple: there is a communications gap.
This is not a simple case of US English vs. UK English, but more like Swahili vs. Latin. Many publishers -- and many who profess to be SEO professionals -- get upset or angry every time Google communicates. In fact, I'd suggest this Eye Chart captures how many feel Google communicates:
In other words, people see that Google does a lot of communication but believe the search giant is deliberately vague and misleading about it. On the other han [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google | Google: SEO
Oct 11, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Tom Schmitz
This month, I'm going to discuss content marketing strategy as it relates to search engine optimization. A lot of businesses get this wrong by focusing too tightly on the sales parts of the marketing funnel.
With PPC, Money Buys Placement
Before I get into SEO, let's examine PPC as a contrasting approach. In paid search, you rent access to a search engine's audience. That means, unless you're doing a branding campaign, conversions and ROI are paramount. This makes it logical to begin with keywords possessing high searcher intent for buying. Once you get your selling keywords running on all c [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Link Building | Link Building: General | SEO - Search Engine Optimization | SEO: General
Oct 10, 2013 at 9:10am ET by Barbara Starr
The announcement of Google's Hummingbird algorithm last month made quite a stir in the tech and SEO communities.
[caption id="attachment_173764" align="aligncenter" width="466"] Question Answering – The Key to Understanding Hummingbird[/caption]
In a blog post released the same day as the Hummingbird announcement, Google revealed some new features and ended the post with this:
We'll keep improving Google Search so it does a little bit more of the hard work for you. This means giving you the best possible answers, making it easy to have a conversation and helping out before you even h [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google | Google: Hummingbird | Google: Knowledge Graph
Oct 10, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Josh Dreller
I think that I can confidently say that anyone reading this post has an intimate relationship with Google. After all, it's one of the most important companies in the world and has helped to spearhead the Internet revolution -- which is up there with invention of the wheel, the discovery of electricity, and the creation of all-you-can-eat buffets.
One of the biggest indicators of its dominance is that -- like Kleenex, Band-Aids, and Scotch Tape -- the Google brand name is used interchangeably with its category.
Don't believe me? Just Google it.
Google Search recently released a timelin [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: Consumer | Google | Google: Web Search | Stats: History
Oct 8, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Chris Liversidge
Most sites deliver regularly produced content as part of their architecture. At its simplest it might just be a blog section through which company news, updates, and outreach are posted. At its best, however, it’s a carefully pruned source of evergreen SEO traffic and a lean component of your site indexing strategy.
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO
Oct 7, 2013 at 8:54am ET by Paul Bruemmer
Last month, I asked you to imagine the future of SEO with a focus on Entity Optimization as I interviewed veteran semantic strategist Barbara Starr. We discussed an "answer engine" that uses relevant, machine-recognizable "entities" on Web pages to answer specific, well-refined queries.
The Hummingbird Update
On September 26, Google took another step toward becoming that answer engine with its Hummingbird update. In Danny Sullivan's live blog about the Hummingbird algorithm, he explains how Google is rapidly adopting semantic Web technology while still retaining parts of its old algorithm. T [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google: Hummingbird | Google: Knowledge Graph | How To: SEO | Schema.org | Search Engines: Answer Search Engines
Oct 4, 2013 at 12:00pm ET by John E Lincoln
Ezine Articles and press releases have long been utilized by SEO professionals for building backlinks. In late July 2013, news broke that links should be no followed in press releases. Right around this same time, Google also mentioned that if you are guest blogging for links this could be a violation of their guidelines.
Apparently, the Google folks meant what they said. Now, Google has supplied example backlinks from Ezine Articles and a press release in Webmaster Tools. These are examples of links which Google felt were against its quality guidelines. You can see this notification below. [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google: Webmaster Central | Link Building | Link Building: General
Oct 3, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Janet Driscoll Miller
For SEOs, reporting hasn't exactly been easy over the past few years. How we measure and how we strategize has had to evolve as Google has altered or retired the tools we use or the way search works. We've seen five main shifts that have truly changed how we originally measured SEO success, and I argue that we now need to face reality and dramatically shift our views on how to measure SEO effectiveness.
Issue 1: Personalized Search & Geotargeted Results
While Google has nearly always tried to personalize organic search results, a major shift occurred in 2009 as personalized search took o [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Analytics | Google: SEO
Sep 27, 2013 at 8:53am ET by Warren Lee
Quality people to fill high-profile SEO jobs are in high demand. There is a talent war ongoing between advertisers and tech companies that compete ferociously for SEO people who have data science knowledge. That talent is scarce and comes at a premium price.
One of the reasons this talent is so rare is because the SEO world moves at a fast pace, presenting unique challenges for its practitioners. Search data is now being encrypted, for example, so keyword data is no longer available for organic clicks. This encryption was done quietly and without fanfare. Only SEOs with a deep technical un [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO
Sep 26, 2013 at 10:07am ET by Trond Lyngbø
When I was a little boy, my parents had an effective way of making me behave. They'd warned me that if I was rude, disobedient or messy, the bogeyman would come and get me. I never saw a bogeyman or even knew what one looked like -- but my imagination ran wild over this terrifying phantom that held my fate in its cruel hands and would ruthlessly punish me if I deviated from the straight and narrow path!
Well, replace "parents" with "Google" and '"bogeyman" with "Panda" or "Penguin" (or any other fanciful fauna Google-watchers come up with in the future), and you have our SEO universe in a n [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google: Algorithm Updates | Google: Penguin Update | Google: SEO
Sep 24, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Jim Yu
Enterprise SEO marketers developing a global footprint see tremendous value in global SEO. Targeting greater performance from global search engines is a top priority for enterprise search marketers since it is a gateway to increase leads, conversions and revenue.
Successful global SEO can translate to even greater marketing ROI since extending SEO success to global markets can be built on the reuse and repurposing of existing investments in people, content and best practices. Marketers need a global, connected approach to SEO marketing to realize these benefits.
Global SEO Is All About O [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Search Marketing: Multinational
Sep 20, 2013 at 9:30am ET by Stoney deGeyter
I made a mistake. It was a classic SEO blunder. Don't judge me -- it was one that you (and almost every other SEO) has probably made as well.
What did I do? I allowed a client to sign a contract without fully vetting them first. I didn't ask the right questions, and I wasn't sure of their prospects for success. A few months and a bit of knowledge and wisdom later, I realized the future for this prospect wasn't looking so bright.
[caption id="attachment_171038" align="aligncenter" width="540"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption]
As with almost every business that comes to us, we were eage [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO
Sep 19, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Nathan Safran
If your organization is like most, the process of establishing KPIs to track natural search probably looks something like this: "Put together high-level KPIs such as X and Y, and run it by a few key stakeholders."
At first glance, that process likely seems to have worked pretty well -- after all, few stakeholders make much noise about the reporting. But that should not necessarily be accepted as an indicator that your SEO reporting is working.
Our experiences at Conductor have shown that there are two general categories of stakeholders when it comes to SEO reporting in the organization:
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: Strategy
Sep 17, 2013 at 9:00am ET by Eric Enge
At SMX Advanced, I presented results from a study we had done that convinced me that links in shares from Google Plus and Facebook behave like traditional web-based links. My statements at SMX Advanced were later disputed by Matt Cutts during his keynote interview by Danny Sullivan, leading to a live discussion -- Matt even invited me up on stage during the keynote:
[caption id="attachment_171790" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image Credit: BruceClay.com[/caption]
As a result of my keynote visitation, Matt and I agreed that I would rerun the study, this time with some guidance from hi [...]
Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Google: +1 | Google: SEO | SEO: General