Everything You Need To Know About SEO Web Structure & Internal Links

Website structure and internal linking is one of the most inconsistent topics within search engine optimization. Not only are SEO practitioners frequently at odds among ourselves, we must compete with the often conflicting goals of designers, usability experts, and marketing or sales teams. There is a lot of disagreement out there. Look for yourself. Pick five websites from among your favorite SEO companies or experts. Compare their navigation structures on the homepage, category pages, topic pages and content pages. I am confident you will find noticeable  differences. Does the top na [...]


3 Essential Features For Multinational Content Delivery

Content Delivery Network Map Most multinational sites will serve content via a Content Delivery Network (CDN). But not all CDNs are equal: what should you look for to get the best bang for your buck in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) across the globe? Since Google's Caffeine update to its server infrastructure back in June 2010, Google has stepped up the importance of page load speed to its core algorithm. But page load speed has always been important to Google in providing a good searcher experience for Google searches. And this is a logical stance if you take a second to think it through. After all, if you [...]


An Interview With A Google Search Quality Rater

google-search-quality-featured Since at least 2005, Google has been using a large, worldwide focus group to help review its search results and the quality of the web pages that rank well in its algorithm. The people in this program are called Quality Raters and, as you can imagine, the work they do is important to search marketers everywhere. Google was actually advertising Quality Rater jobs in late 2004, but today the Quality Raters don't actually work for Google; they work for contractors such as Lionbridge, Leapforce, Butler Hill and possibly others. According to Lionbridge's Internet Assessors Program job page, it h [...]


2011: The Year Google & Bing Took Away From SEOs & Publishers

stealing-cookie-jar-featured Increasingly over the years, search engines -- Google in particular -- have given more and more support to SEOs and publishers. But 2011 marked the first significant reversal that I can recall, with both linking and keyword data being withheld. Here's what happened, why it matters and how publishers can push back if Google and Bing don't change things. Where We Came From Some might believe that search engines hate SEOs, hate publishers and have done little over the years to help them. They are mistaken, either choosing to deliberately ignore the gains or, more likely, are simply unaware of [...]


Survey Says SEO The Single Most Important Marketing Channel For SMBs

Screen shot 2011-12-08 at 6.24.13 AM SEO: one channel to rule them all? A new "merchant confidence survey" from lead-gen company MerchantCircle/Reply.com, among 2,500 US small businesses, finds that search engine optimization is the marketing channel they would choose if they could choose only one. The question asked was: "If you had to put all your marketing time and budget into only one channel, what would it be?" The list of choices included SEO, paid search, mobile, social and traditional media. As you can see below SEO beats everything else by a mile. What's also interesting is how high "traditional media" ranked. [...]


They’re Back! Google Issues Weather Report For Panda Update

weather report Google's Matt Cutts has just issued a "weather report" about upcoming changes to be expected from Google's Panda algorithm. If you're not familiar with algorithmic weather reports, sit back and learn. Because they're back, and that's a good thing. Before There Was Panda, There Was Florida At the end of 2003, Google released what became known as its Florida Update. Now kids, if you think Panda was bad, Florida was a storm that seemingly blew the roofs off SEO homes everywhere. It hit during the holiday shopping period. It caused confusion and havoc among many SEOs. Search engine optimizati [...]


How You Can Build Links Easily With Product Reviews

The art of building links to increase search rankings has been a big topic in the SEO community for a long time. This always seems to be the topic of discussion at the Search Engine Optimization meetings I attend each month. Everyone seems to be looking for the latest and greatest ways to increase in-house links. All of the examples below are great ideas that any link builder can use at an agency or in-house. In my experience, my business (empirecovers.com) has shown to benefit from each of these tactics and we’ll touch on each in the following. Empire Covers has consistently targeted [...]


SEOs Share Thoughts On Google News Ranking Factors

google-news-logo-square Almost 20 SEOs have come together to take a stab at deciphering how Google News ranks articles. The result of their collaboration is a survey that's now been published at GoogleNewsRankingFactors.com. The survey tackles issues such as on-page factors (keyword usage in headlines, keyword usage in page titles, etc.), off-page factors like inbound links from other websites and social media exposure, time-based factors, publisher authority and much more. It's quite comprehensive and anyone publishing news and looking for traffic from Google News should find plenty to think about in the survey r [...]


What Is Search Engine Optimization? The 3 Minute SEO Video!

seo-featured Don't know SEO? Know someone who needs a short, easy to understand overview of search engine optimization and how it works? Grab some popcorn and watch our new SEO video, which in just three minutes covers the basics of search engine optimization: What is SEO? New to SEO? Start with this quick and easy to understand video about search engine optimization. We worked with Common Craft to produce this SEO video, and they have many more great videos like this in their Common Craft video library, so check that out! You'll find our v [...]


Pagination Strategies In The Real World

pages-pagination-featured One of the hot topics at SMX Advanced in Seattle this June was the best way to handle paginated sites. It seemed like the topic that would not go away, as it came up in panel after panel. The reason this happened is that it is a complicated topic. There are two major scenarios that we will examine, including a look at the potential solutions and the choices that publishers can make. No Place For Rel=Canonical The "The Really Complicated Technical SEO Infrastructure Issues" panel at SMX Advanced started with controversy when REI's Jonathan Colman said that REI.com benefitted from using rel [...]


21 Essential SEO Tips & Techniques

Businesses are growing more aware of the need to understand and implement at least the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). But if you read a variety of blogs and websites, you'll quickly see that there's a lot of uncertainty over what makes up "the basics." Without access to high-level consulting and without a lot of experience knowing what SEO resources can be trusted, there's also a lot of misinformation about SEO strategies and tactics. 1. Commit yourself to the process. SEO isn't a one-time event. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the tactics that worked last year ma [...]


It’s Not “He Said, She Said” Over Google Rankings & Facebook Shares

facebook-logo-featured On Tuesday morning, SEOmoz's Rand Fishkin presented evidence at our SMX Advanced conference that there's a high correlation between Facebook Shares and ranking well on search engines. In afternoon, the head of Google's web spam team Matt Cutts said that Google doesn't see Facebook Share data at all. An SEO-search engine catfight? No, both actually agree. I've been somewhat amazed to read some of the tweets this evening that are positioning what Matt said as somehow contradicting what Rand said. A few on Twitter are even squaring off over whom to believe. That's dumb, when both "sides" agree [...]


SEO Industry Takes A(nother) Stab At Deciphering SEO Ranking Factors

seo-featured More than 130 search engine optimizers around the world have shared their opinions on the most important (and least important) factors that influence natural search engine rankings. Those opinions are included in SEOmoz's just-published 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors survey. Due to changes in how SEOmoz conducted the survey and presents the results, it's quite difficult to compare this year's results to the last survey in 2009. Some of the factors that survey participants deem to be highly influential in current search algorithms are: keyword is the exact-match root domain key [...]


Introducing: The Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors

Periodic-Table-of-SEO-flip SEO -- search engine optimization -- is one of the most important marketing activities available to companies and publishers, but it's too often considered some murky "dark art" or a sinful practice that should be avoided. It's not. To help clear away some of the mystery and fear for those new to SEO, and provide a "reset" for those who are experienced, we've created "The Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors." Clicking on the image above will take you to where we've permanently housed the table, along with information on how to download it for yourself. We've also created a new Search Eng [...]


Should You Ban A Country From Visiting Your Website?

Website owners often put a website online and let the entire world access its contents. Essentially, they are claiming to service the world. But how often is this really the case? We found that on average, 10% of our clients' website traffic was coming from outside of their geographic target market. This average is from selecting some clients from each industry we serve, understanding that some industries had a much larger percentage of visitors from other geographic locations outside of their service areas than others. We asked ourselves, why would we showcase a website to a country [...]


Lessons Learned at SMX West: Google’s Panda Update, White Hat Cloaking & Link Building

An amazing amount of great information came out of SMX West this week. Below is a summary of some of what I found to be the most actionable and useful. Google's Own Words About the Farmer/Panda Update Google's Matt Cutts said that while the change isn't 100% perfect, searcher feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. He noted that the change is completely algorithmic with no manual exceptions. Blocking "Low Quality" Content Matt reiterated that enough low quality content on a site could reduce rankings for that site as a whole. Improving the quality of the pages or removing the pages alto [...]


SEO Remains A Viable Marketing Strategy For Anyone

Ah, another SEO is dead post from a non-SEO to get the blood rushing on an otherwise calm weekend. I've been ignoring these more and more lately, but in the wake of Google's Farmer Update, it looks like everyone could use some history lessons. Don't depend solely on SEO, but don't neglect it, either. SEO Is Not The Only Way Let me quote someone I know really well, some sage words about SEO, from 1996. That's 15 years ago, from before anyone was even saying "search engine optimization" widely. This person had written one of the first guides on how webmasters and site owners should ensure t [...]


Forrester Research Publishes 1st Report On Enterprise SEO Automation Tools

Today, Forrester Research unveiled a 6- page report on the utility of SEO automation tools for use in larger enterprises. Six vendors were covered in the landscape report, including Altruik, BrightEdge, Conductor, Covario, SEOmoz PRO, and Yield Software. The report mainly covers key issues in scaling automation across larger enterprises, integration of IT services and in-house marketing, and improving measurement of SEO impact beyond just search result rankings. There's a features comparison chart which includes technology integrations available with each tool, including web analytics packa [...]


The Two Sides of SEO

Often, when people in the industry talk about the two sides of SEO, they’re talking about black hat and white hat tactics. Having worked as an SEO since 2003 and in Internet marketing since 2000, both with Fortune 50 and mom and pop businesses with business goals as different as night and day, I think the distinction is deeper than just black hat and white hat. It seems the best way to illustrate this is with a description of two SEOs, in the literary tradition of Goofus and Gallant: Two Sides Of Link Building This SEO refers to herself as a link builder, and spends all day c [...]


The Big List: 168 Marketing Trends, Predictions & Resolutions For 2011

You've had a week to put 2010 in the past and start unpacking 2011. If you're the type to do so, you've probably already made your own marketing resolutions for the new year, or thought about the trends and predictions that might make a difference as the year goes along. You have? Good. So has just about everyone else you know in the search and online marketing industry, and dozens of people you've probably never heard of, too. Fear not, we've got all their collected thoughts about marketing in 2011 wrapped up in this year's Big List of Trends, Predictions and Resolutions. And I mean "big" [...]


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