Stephan Spencer

Stephan Spencer

Stephan Spencer is the creator of the 3-day immersive SEO seminar Traffic Control; an author of the O’Reilly books The Art of SEO, Google Power Search, and Social eCommerce; founder of the SEO agency Netconcepts (acquired in 2010); inventor of the SEO proxy technology GravityStream; and the host of two podcast shows Get Yourself Optimized and Marketing Speak.

PPC

SEO Is Not Free Traffic

One of the first jobs I have to do as a consultant going into an SEO engagement is to debunk the myth that SEO is “free.” SEO has never been, nor will it ever be, free traffic. It takes work, and that comes at a cost. You need to hire staff or allocate internal resources […]

SEO

Being Off-Topic, Off-Message, Or Off-Brand Can Be Good For Your SEO!

Ok, perhaps I’m being a bit provocative here, but sometimes it’s the off-topic, off-message, or off-brand content that earns you the most valuable links—links that you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. Those links can really pay the bills, in terms of the extra search traffic and resulting sales. The brand police within your company may pitch […]

SEO

Think You’re Successfully Flying Under Google’s Radar? Think Again.

Have you been trying to “fly under the radar,” engaging in activities outside of Google’s guidelines but subtly so as not to get caught? More and more SEOs are moving into this dangerous territory as the guidelines continue to broaden (prime examples of which being the expanded definition of doorway pages and the addition of […]

Content

Sculpting Your PageRank For Maximum SEO Impact

If you are a large online retailer, you’re looking at thousands upon thousands of pages that have the opportunity to get crawled and indexed in the SERPs (search engine results pages). You’re also looking at near infinite choices for how you interlink all those pages. Out of all those permutations, there is one configuration that […]

SEO

Effective Tagging For Both Usability & SEO

In this era of Web 2.0, it seems that blogs, mash-ups, RSS feeds, and wikis have been the buzzwords occupying most of the limelight. But personally, tagging is the Web 2.0 technology that excites me the most, because of its versatility and wide applicability. A tag, according to Wikipedia, is “a (relevant) keyword or term […]

SEO

The Search Engine Unfriendliness Of Web 2.0

Wouldn’t it be great if all those whiz-bang Web 2.0 interactive elements based on AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and Flash—such as widgets and gadgets and Google Maps mashups— were search engine optimal? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, these technologies are inherently unfriendly to search engine spiders. So, if you intend to harness […]

SEO

The Pros And Cons Of Microsites As An SEO Option

I’ve never been a fan of “one page salesletter” web sites espoused by some marketers (here’s an example). Such sites seem to drone on, with so many screenfulls that I get tired of scrolling. And there are so few pages to the site that it’s an SEO nightmare. If each page should only have a […]

SEO

Twelve SEO Mistakes Most Bloggers Make

Since I’m speaking this week at Search Engine Strategies on the topic of SEO through Blogs and Feeds, it seems fitting that this issue of “100% Organic” be related to blog optimization. Even the top SEOs make mistakes with their blogs (and yes, I make some of them too). What are they? Here’s my list: […]

SEO

Scalable On-Page SEO Strategies

Optimizing a website that has tens of thousands—or even hundreds of thousands—of dynamically generated pages, requires thinking differently. Old school SEO, where you assign each page a keyword theme based on keyword research and hand-craft a title tag, H1 tag and intro copy, then figure out the best internal links to send to the page, […]

Google SEO

Deconstructing Grouped Google Results

My favorite session at SMX Advanced last month was “Give It Up,” the session where panelists shared little-known secrets. I’m a little biased, since that was the panel I spoke on. But still, as the last session of the two days, it really ended the conference with a bang. For those of you who didn’t […]

SEO

Search Friendly CMS Does Not Equal Search Optimized One

Having a supposedly “search engine friendly” website isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it can be quite a disappointment. That’s because it’s not the same thing as being “search engine optimized.” I’ve seen the words “search engine friendly” bandied about quite a lot, particularly to market and sell blog platforms, shopping carts, […]

Content

The Art Of SEO For Wikipedia & 16 Tips To Gain Respect

Wikipedia’s importance as an authority site is undisputed. It’s at the point where it seems a bit ridiculous how often Wikipedia shows up in the first page of Google for just about every search imaginable. In many cases, these Wikipedia entries are extremely light on content. Oftentimes they are what are known as “stubs,” just […]

SEO

Good Cloaking, Evil Cloaking & Detection

Is cloaking evil? It’s one of the most heavily debated topics in the SEO industry — and people often can’t even agree on what defines cloaking. In this column, I wanted to look at an example of what even the search engines might consider "good" cloaking, the middle-ground territory that page testing introduces plus revisiting […]

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