November 19th, 2012
Earlier this year, Google made changes to their algorithm that they codenamed “Penguin.” With these changes, Google began penalizing certain SEO techniques. Since that update went live, many webmasters have been scrambling to regain their previous Google SERP rankings by removing the items that are causing penalties.
One of the techniques that is now penalized is a practice commonly known as “Spamdexing.” Spamdexing involves getting hundreds of links to a webpage all using the same anchor text (the text that you click on.) Google uses the anchor text of incoming links to determine what a page is about, so hundreds of links with the same anchor text can cause a page to rank highly for a certain search phrase. Read more »
November 15th, 2012
What is the goal of SEO? The same could be asked of CPC, what is the goal? Is it to get more traffic to your site? If you are just making money through Adsense revenue or trying to build name recognition, then maybe. But typically, this is the goal: To make sales.
If I have a customer that sells televisions, and I get them ranked number one in the SERPs for “free tv,” they would get tens of thousands of visitors to their webpage, all of them looking for free cable, free satellite, free televisions, etc. Almost none of those visitors will actually be converted into paying customers. Read more »
November 13th, 2012
After the Google Penguin and Panda updates this year, I hear a lot of complaints from the SEO community (and admittedly, I have voiced complaints myself.) Suddenly, those hundreds of comment and profile backlinks that were giving us juice are nearly worthless. The dozens of links we have to a page using our keyword as our anchor text no longer has the effect it once did. And the overall effect that we see is that our SEO efforts do not work as well as they once did.
But while we are busy complaining that our SEO efforts have been stomped on, we may fail to notice that our competition is feeling the burn as well. On one niche page and for a certain keyword, I was consistently ranked behind a competitor who obviously used shady SEO to lock in his high position. After the recent updates, he is now buried in the middle of page 2. Read more »
November 7th, 2012
Google, this week, has taken the wraps off of their new link disavow tool, a tool frequently requested this year since the Penguin update to the Google algorithm. This tool, as part of the Google Webmaster Tools, allows website owners to disavow ties with incoming links to their website.
In case you haven’t been paying attention this year to the Google updates, let me explain why you might want to disavow a link. The fundamental concept behind Google when it was created was that pages with more incoming links from high-quality pages are more valuable and should be ranked higher in results. Google devised a nifty formula and assigned every page a “Pagerank,” which not only affected how high they appear in results, but also the value of links from that page. Links from very low quality, “spammy” websites passed on no value at all. Read more »
June 28th, 2012
Large advertising companies religiously use split testing on all of their advertising. For instance, they may send one sales letter out in one city, and a different sales letter in another city, and then track which letter was able to better increase sales. They may then continue to tune the sales letter up and split test again until they eventually come up with a perfect sales pitch that generates the maximum amount of sales.
This kind of split testing was once the sole domain of large businesses, but can now easily be done by you to test your CPC advertisements. Diligent testing will allow you to create advertisements that get the maximum click-through rate and lead to the highest number of sales. I once thought that I could easily determine which ad copy would sell better just by reading it, but after many successful split tests, I have found that testing is the only way to really know. Read more »
March 1st, 2012
HTML markup tags can help SEO
The above sentence is very large and bold because I have it inside H2 header tags on my page. H1 and H2 header tags can be tuned is CSS, but typically text inside those tags appears large and bold and important. Search engines assume that anything you are saying that loudly on your page is probably what you are talking about.
In a previous post I talked about the importance of optimizing the title tag. But other markup on the page can also help the spiders know what the page is about. Header tags used like this:
<h1>This is a header</h1> Read more »
January 19th, 2012
It’s a little surprising to me that I still find myself trying to convince people that they should be doing search engine optimization. It is one of the most crucial steps in building a successful website, as a website only really has value if you have visitors, and search engines are the method by which most people will find your site.
Two reasons for having a website
If you have a website, it is for basically one of two reasons, or a combination of both: Read more »
October 9th, 2011
If you are new to search engine optimization, then the very first thing you should learn is how to optimize the title tag of your web pages. The title tag is one of the most important indicators that search engines like Google and Bing use to determine what your page is actually about. Also, the title tag is often used automatically by the search engines as the hyperlink text that is displayed as search results. So when someone sees the link to your site in the search engine results listings, you can use this tag to let them know that you have what they are looking for.
The most critical part of the title is the beginning of it. The search engine will take the first words in the title as an important indicator of what the page is actually about. So on each page of your website, the title should start with the keyword phrase that you are targeting, and then (optionally) have the name of your website next. So for instance, if you want people to find your company when they search for “New York pizza,” then your title tag should not look like this:
Bernie’s Pizzeria – The Best Pizza in New York (WRONG!)
Instead, we are going to start with the exact phrase that people will search for, and put your company name last.
New York pizza – Bernie’s Pizzeria (RIGHT!) Read more »
June 11th, 2011
CPC advertising programs like Google Adwords and Microsoft Adcenter, aren’t cheap. They have a wonderful product to sell, laser-targeted traffic looking for what you have to sell, and they aren’t going to give it away. So, if you aren’t using every resource available to target potential buyers of your product, you are going to be spending too much money for the advertising. One of the most effective targeting tools: negative keywords.
In Google Adwords, negative keywords are entered on a per Ad Group basis, which is a great reason (among many) to have separate ad groups for every keyword. (I use no more than 2 keywords in any ad group, as a general rule.) These keywords in the negative column are dis-qualifiers for showing your ad. For example, if a company is selling window shades, they may want to have negative keywords of “Ray-ban,Oakley” and other sunglasses manufacturers. This way if someone types in “Buy shades Oakley,” their ad for window shades is not shown to that person. Read more »
June 3rd, 2011
Since I started this new site, as a test project, I am working on slowly building my ranking for this page so that I can eventually be No 1 in search engines for the term “Kyle Howard.” As I previously mentioned, this is complicated by there being a famous actor with the same name, meaning I will have to beat out his Wikipedia page and his IMDB page. Not easy.
The early good news is that this page has jumped from somewhere around page 6 to the middle of page 2. I am now occupying position 15 for the term on the big G. Unfortunately Bing has still not indexed the page, but they are typically a little behind. Read more »