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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

SEO Myths and Facts

In the decade or so since the search engine was first invented, the field of Search Engine Optimization
has evolved. Some obsolete information and old wives' tales still persist, and these can damage your standings.

The myths and obsolete techniques fall into a few broad categories:

- Keyword density: There are many number of magic formulas touted on the internet, claiming that if you reach the perfect number of keyword instances per page, your rankings will go up. While you do need to have the keyword somewhere in your text in order to have your stated keywords considered relevant, artificially inflating the number of instances is a bad plan. First, it simply decreases the quality of your content. Second, the search engines may begin classifying your site as too spammy, and actually downgrade your rating.

- Tags and META: Loading keywords into your page headers and the meta data of your site is also an old trick that's now likely to get you classified as spammy. Only keywords that are relevant to your content and specific to what your users are searching for should be included.

- Links: Some fraudulent SEO services, and some outdated pieces of advice, will associate your website with link exchange systems and link farms. Since the search engines keep track of these farms and exchanges, and using them is considered trickery, being part of them can actually significantly downgrade your rating.

- Submission to search engines: Once upon a time, submitting your site to search engines was a long and arduous process, which was nonetheless necessary to get a good place in the rankings. These days, search engine submission is generally not needed at all, since the engines automatically search for new sites. If they don't find yours quickly, manual submission is quite easy and there are a few top search engines that have most of the market share.

Conversely, there are a few relevant and current strategies for climbing the ranks of search results. (It should come as no surprise that these are broader and more difficult or time-consuming to implement than the myths would suggest.)

- Unique content: Consistently offering high quality content that is valuable to your users, unique on the web, and from original sources is by far the best way to attract users - and search engines - to your site. If your site consists of copy, providing a unique value in information filtering, commentary and analysis, or other user-friendly services.

- Voice of authority: Along with unique content, offering an authoritative voice is a good way to increase your links and therefore your page ranking. Either become an authority yourself or offer interviews, quotes, or guest content by noted authorities in your field. If well-respected people and organizations recommend or reference your site, your popularity will rise.

- Professional networking for link sharing: As a web master, blogger, marketer, or business owner, professional contacts matter for a wide range of activities. Additionally, you may ask these people to link their sites with yours, or to provide expert and authoritative content for your site.

- Crawler files: Having a robots.txt file that is updated, accurate, and properly configured can make your site easier to catalogue correctly. Building the site's architecture in a crawler-friendly manner can give your site a slight edge that may be worth pursuing. Do remember that search engine developers are concerned with their users and serving them appropriate content. They're smart enough to outwit most technical tricks.

By : SEOSapien

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Don't Make the Top 30 SEO Mistake

By: Michael Murray

SEO consultants will tell you that you need to be in the Top 30 or you can pretty much give up any hope of getting a visitor to your web site.

Yes, there is truth in that Top 30 goal. Occasionally, a potential customer will make his or her way to the #30 position in search of a particular product or service. The odds just aren't that high.

Yet, industry research and ongoing search engine user behavior analysis shows that most people will focus on the first few results. Who can blame them? It takes a great deal of patience to wade through the rest of the options.

It's going to mean a great deal more if you can get that prized search term in the Top 10 (first screen) or even the Top 3 or Top 5 with the right SEO marketing strategies.

With so much competition, is that even possible? Yes - if you're realistic. Here's the key: don't spend an inordinate amount of time in the single keyword "cars" if you offer something more specific, such as "automotive accessories." You stand a much better chance of getting that coveted top spot with a more reasonable search phrase.

Don't ignore those single words if they really represent what you do. Generally, single words have a fighting chance if other SEO factors are rooting for you along the way, including pages with lots of content, options to include content up high, other pages featuring the same keyword, a domain name with the keyword, a page name with the keyword and plenty of link popularity built around the keyword. You just have to tie it all together.

Obviously, fewer people search for "automotive accessories" than "cars." But you'll be able to reach more search engine users - and prospective customers - if you frame most of your SEO strategy around specific search engine phrases that adequately reflect what you do. Join the Top 10 Club and reap the benefits

Understanding SEO Competition and Your Goals

By: SEOSapien

Website owners who keep up to date with SEO competition are finding out that if you are not learning and evolving you're falling behind. It's becoming more and more difficult for websites to maintain high rankings on search engines and that's even if your site is already a few years old. If you are starting a new website it's even more difficult to make your mark on a SEO. Expectations for new sites should be set up with the goal for long term results.

The most important factor in determining your website's success is to know what you are looking for from your site. Most owners believe that rankings dictate a website's success and while rankings are important they do not determine the overall success of the site. Owners should pay attention to the traffic they receive because that is going to factor into your business success and put money in your pocket. That's why you have the site, correct? To make more money! Most website owners want to be in the top five of Google and Yahoo searches, when at the end of the day those rankings to not affect their bottom line.

This will not change the fact that rankings will continue to be a highly sought after commodity. Website owners need to think outside the box if they want to move up on SEO rankings. Owners have been expanding their keywords in hopes of attracting more surfers to their site. What they should be doing is figuring out what keywords people are using and incorporate those words and phrases onto their site.

At the end of the day websites are all about content, but what constitutes good content? In one word: Creativity. Your website is an extension of you, just like your business is. Use your voice and be unique with the content you decide to put on your website. This includes videos and pictures as well. Look at the resources you have and incorporate all the good things around you into your website. Do not steal or copy from other websites, it is superficial and that comes across to the visitors on your site. Make your content genuine. Do what you do best and speak from the heart. Make sure you write content for your site and not based on search engines. It's a disservice and will not help your business or rankings.

The best advice one can give a website owner is: Do not compete with other websites! Continue to expand and evolve your own website and don't saturate your brain with other people's ideas. There is no right or wrong, what works for one does not work for another. Start with what you need to have on your site and work up from there.

You can pay all the money in the world to a SEO company and be number one on all the search engines, but did you really start a website to spend money or to make money?

The Worst SEO Mistakes You Can Make

By: SEOSapien

Everyone wants their websites to be search engine optimized, or SEO-friendly. However, there are some common errors that people make when they're doing SEO work on their site, and these errors can actually cost them that highly coveted top ten ranking that everyone wants. Here are some things to avoid when doing SEO work on your website.

Remember the ALT tags! Almost every image on your website (not including the background and any images that serve as buttons and the like) needs to have ALT text. This is the text that shows up if the image doesn't load. More importantly, however, it's the text that tells search engines what the image is since the programs can't actually see the picture. A good ALT tag will include two or three of your keywords, and it's a great place to stick in extra keywords that the viewer will (hopefully, unless your image is missing) never see.

Don't use the same title tag on every page of your site. While it may be easy to simply write one title for your homepage and then leave it on every page, this is another place where you're losing out on a place to stick keywords. Vary the title for each page so that search engines will notice the difference, and try to include different keywords for different pages.

Avoid scripts! While Flash and the like are becoming more compatible with search engines, it's still difficult for more search engines to see inside Flash objects. This means you're losing places to put meta tags, ALT tags, and more.

Don't just write for robots. While writing articles with a high keyword density might get your page ranked higher by the search engine, it's going to send actual human readers away. They don't want to read anything redundant or clumsy. "Our furniture store in London provides great furniture for London residents looking for furniture designed specifically for London" is going to either annoy readers or make them laugh at the horrible writing. Be sure your SEO phrases and such can be integrated into the text seamlessly so they don't stand out and don't over-use them.

Also, actually write your website text yourself (or hire someone to write it). Don't plagiarize - don't copy and paste text off of one website and put it on yours without making it clear where the text came from. Too much duplicate text on your page will be flagged by search engines.

Likewise, avoid any bad SEO practices like hidden text or keyword stuffing. Hidden text refers to adding a ton of keywords at the bottom of a website and then making them the same color as the background, effectively hiding them from viewers. Search engines still see them, however. In the past, this was a technique that did actually make search engines rank sites higher, but today's robots are smart enough to recognize this technique and ignore it. Likewise, keyword stuffing, or making a webpage that's almost nothing but keywords, raises a number of flags in search engine robots and may actually get your pages ranked lower.

Finally, make certain all of your links describe where they're going. No one likes to click links that aren't clearly described by the surrounding text or give a good idea of their target. Plus, links are another factor a search engine uses to determine site relevancy, so not clearly marking them is detrimental in several ways.

SEO Tactics Revealed

By : Jack

Though there are many different theories out there regarding what makes the best SEO technique, when it comes to some issues that will work against your SEO efforts, there are some issues where everyone agrees. Among these, the most prominent are:

· Not having a web page title

· Using too many graphics, images, or flash animation on a given web page

· Having a menu system that is prohibitively complex

It is extremely important that every web page on your site has a title. Without providing a

descriptive title that is search engine optimization with the right keywords, you'll not only hurt your ranking, but you'll turn visitors away. Consider it the equivalent to owning a store without a sign and with blackened windows.

To make sure that you're doing your best on that level, make certain that each web page on your

site has its own unique title that is specific to its content. Try to make sure that it includes the

primary keyword for that page, to ensure proper SEO for search engine spiders.

By using too many graphics, images, or flash animation, you may be pleasing the eye, but search engine spiders won't see it the same way. Search engines focus on the text content of your

website. Their spiders crawl through your site looking for text, keywords, and other indications

of purpose.

They cannot, however, understand images or flash animations, nor will they ever understand their appeal. Therefore, though images are great ways to add appeal to your visitor's adding too much to any given web page, you're decreasing the value of your search engine optimization

To reduce this problem, try to create a balance on your page where the text content is given the true priority, and images, graphics, and flash animations are only a compliment, not a focus for the page. You can also help your website by adding alt tags to each of your images so that you are providing the search engine spiders with a bit of text, even when it's an image that

actually shows up on the page.

The menu system of your website is the key to being able to properly navigate around it. Search engine spiders are typically considered to be relatively basic programs and struggle with anything but the most primitive menu systems.

For example, if your menu involves JavaScript or a Java applet, the search engine spider will not be able to recognize any of the features, and will not be capable of properly navigating the site. Certainly, these can be very appealing to people, but search engine spiders don't have the same ability to interpret the features of a website as people do.

For proper search engine optimization, a simple textual link is your best option as it is the

easiest for a search engine spider to understand. It makes your site much more likely to be seen in full by the spider, and therefore receive the best indexing and ranking results.

Furthermore, the majority of the time, an extremely complicated menu system can quickly be replicated and implemented using textual links and CSS. This will make an enormous difference in your SEO results, and will be welcomed by all of your visitors who are still using dial-up and other slow connections.

If you must use a complex menu or site navigation system, then make sure that you at least

provide a site map that is readily available via a text link from the home page. This site map

should use text to clearly link to every one of the other pages of your web site. This way, even if a spider is unable to use your regular menu system, it will be able to reach all of the pages by way of the site map.

Refraining from working against your own SEO efforts due to simple errors, and will enjoy much larger amounts of traffic to your website.

Want to Increase Traffic to your Website using Articles

By: SEO Traffic Spider

One always wants to drive traffic to their website or blog on a daily basis. This is normally achieved by performing various SEO traffic techniques that help in driving traffic by either doing it yourself or hiring an expert. In the former case, you will end up spending too much time doing it yourself as the processes are time consuming and cumbersome while in the latter case you will save on time but end up spending a lot of money to the provider.

However, there is one technique that can achieve a lot of traffic without having to spend too much or investing a lot of time. Article Writing!

Now the next question that may come to your mind is how does Article Writing drive traffic? It’s quite simple! The Internet comprises of a lot of information and there are millions of visitors, researchers and webmasters who are looking out for content for their blogs and websites. They have a choice where they can either create their own content or search on the Internet for a good quality article which they can utilize easily and quickly. This is exactly where you come in.

This article will describe the points that you need to keep in mind while writing your article:

Choosing the Right Headline:
It is important to create a headline that is appealing. A catchy headline will attract the attention of the viewer and will appeal them to read the article.

Preferred Word Count:
A good article is one that can convey a message, strategy and tips in 500 to 750 words. Making an article too long will dilute the attention of the reader and may be considered as a drag.

Preferred Software:
The best software is Microsoft Word as it has a spell check, word count option, synonyms option, etc. If you don’t have Word, you can use Open Office Word (which is free) or you can use Notepad.

Resource Box:
This is where one hits the bulls-eye. Use this box to the maximum possible extent. Write about the author, place a link of your website, add a freebie if possible, create a call to action phrase (Download now, Submit now, Click here, Submit here, etc).

Editing the Master Piece:
Once you have written your article, don’t forget to proofread and edit it. Ensure that the article is grammatically correct and free of any spelling mistakes, etc.

Now that you are done with writing the article, the next step would be to find an online website where you can submit your article. In this way you will be able to create an online archive of all your articles. If the site has an article content management system, then it will be excellent as it automates the submission of the article to your website.

Strategies for building the traffic through the article

* This involves submitting your article to the top page rank article submission directories that will publish your article on their website.
* Create a blog if you don’t have one and post the article there.
* You can register with Yahoo Groups and post your articles there as well.
* Create an eBook on a collection of articles that relate to a topic and give it away for free. When you give it away for free, you are actually engaging in viral marketing which brings in wide exposure.
* Add the article to your website and if possible do generate some extra revenue by adding Google AdSense to it.
* You can also create an e-course on the articles that you have written and send it out through an auto-responder. Example, Free Auto Bot.
* Use any social media to build awareness around your article.
* Submit your article to various article announcement groups. For example, Yahoo Groups. These groups give a lot of eyeballs to your article as they can be used on their own websites.

By adopting the techniques listed above, you will be able to get loads of incoming links which boosts traffic and also the performance of your website.

Choosing a SEO Friendly Domain Name

By : SEO Traffic Spider

Only a few years back, you could be a successful entrepreneur without the need of a website. And the reason for this was very simple, before the nineties there was no Internet! With the introduction of the Internet, things changed drastically. And nowadays, it is impossible to even think of a globally successful enterprise that does not have an online presence. But what is more important is the fact, that just the presence of a visually appealing, information rich and well crafted website is not enough to get your company noticed on the internet. It has to be correctly marketed online through certain procedures so that it is prominently indexed by search engines. This is the primary reason why SEO or Search Engine Optimization has become such an important key to Internet business success.

We all know the importance of search engine rankings these days. Therefore, choosing a SEO friendly domain name means that you have started on the right note in the virtual world. One of the crucial roles in search engine rankings is played by domain names related to keywords that focus on your business and website. It definitely goes a long way in attracting target audience, getting increased conversions and generating business.

The process of choosing the right domain name needs careful considerations and deliberations, when you are thinking of starting a new website. And this is especially important if search engine optimization is going to be the main tool for directing traffic to your website. A SEO friendly domain name is one of the key factors that contribute to the success of the website. Therefore, you have to keep in mind the objective of your website and accordingly choose targeted keywords that you are planning to use to get top search engine rankings for your site. Inserting the main keywords of your business into the URL is a good idea. This is because not only is your website theme kept same throughout but Google, too, looks favorably on it.

Now, let us see what the different factors are that can be adopted to make a SEO friendly domain name.

Keywords in the Domain Name
Keywords play the role of a catalyst in a domain name. Though the keywords themselves do not constitute the entire process of SEO but they definitely contribute in making the entire procedure happen at a much faster rate.

Stick with the “.com”
The top level domain or TLD remains the most popular extension for a domain name. A .com domain definitely allows credibility boost. It is the most widely accepted extension. Of course, we can’t neglect that there are a lot of successful websites that end with a “.net”, “.uk”, or a “.biz”, but at the same time a .com extension by far is the most recalled one. If your business happens to be a new one, do you really want your customers to forget all about you just because they recalled to type in a “.com” instead of your “.edu”, and as a result couldn’t go back to your site! However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, especially if your business is geographically constrained and targets only local customers, in that case a “.au” will work as well.

Shorter and Catchier

It is best to have a domain name that is short and catchy. It is easier for visitors to recall and remember these. And you definitely don’t want a website that loses out on traffic because the domain name is too long, tricky or complicated to remember. Short names can also be typed more easily. Ensure that your domain
name is easy to remember and easy to type.

No Hyphens or Numbers
Use of hyphenated or numbered domain names should be avoided. This is because it creates complications. Most often than not such domain names are forgotten easily, because it can’t be recalled where exactly the hyphen or the number has to be placed. You may end up losing your customers to other similar named websites, who do not use a hyphen or a number. And more often than not, hyphenated domain names sound like cheap substitutes of the real thing.

Type-In Traffic
This is when someone simply arrives at a particular website by just typing what they are searching for in their URL bar, and add a “.com” at the end. And a lot of people actually do that! Therefore, if you can choose a domain name that has an exact match keyword then you have better chances of receiving traffic. Also these kinds of domain names have better SEO benefits going for them.

Choosing a domain name that is SEO friendly can work wonders for your business by attracting lots of visitors to your website. With a heavy inflow of traffic, there are better chances of increases in conversion. All this definitely contributes in making your business a success.