Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How Links and Linking Work

You’ve read in the last post how important links are to your SEO strategy, but how, really, do links work for improving your SEO? As you’ve already seen, a link to your site is a vote for the relevance of your site. So, if you’re linking out to other sites, then you’re voting for them. And internal links ensure that a search engine crawler can find the various pages in your site. A dangling link is a link that leads into a page that has no links leading out of it.

Each of these different types of links affects site ranking differently for engines that take linking architectures into consideration. For example, a dangling link could be ignored entirely by a search engine, or the page to which the link points could score lower on the linking metrics because all the links are coming into the page, but there are none going out. And that’s what makes linking such a fine science. You need to know how the links on your site will affect the amount of traffic the site has. You also need to know how to have links without going overboard, so that the crawler labels your site as a link farm.

Snagging inbound links

Nearly every web site has links that lead out to other web sites. It’s rare to find a site that doesn’t link to another site somewhere on the Web. That’s how communities are built around specific industries and topics. And the links that leave your site are important, but they’re not nearly as important as those links that lead to your site. These inbound links, as you’ve already discovered, are seen by search engines as votes for your site within a particular community of sites.

Anytime you’re being voted for, you want to have as many votes as possible. Inbound links are no different. You want to have a large number of links that lead to your site. You can achieve those links in a variety of ways, some more effective than others:

  • Requesting Links: The oldest method of gaining inbound links is to request them. This requires that you study your market to find out who the players involved in the market are. Then, you contact each one of the sites that you discover and ask them to link to your site. In most cases, the person you contact receives your request, but providing links to other sites is the least of their worries, so you may not even hear from them. If you do, it can sometimes be months later. So, you put a lot of time into requesting links from other sites for a relatively small return on your efforts.

  • Writing Articles: One of the most effective methods of gaining inbound links is to offer an article for other companies to use as long as they include a paragraph of information at the bottom that includes credits for you as well as a link back to your site. This method of gaining inbound links works well, because web sites are always looking for good content to include on their pages. The catch here is that the article you write should be wellwritten, accurate, and useful to other sites in your industry. Once you’ve produced an article that meets these requirements, you can begin to let others know that you have content available for them to use for free. Just remember to require a link back to your site in return for the freedom to use your article on their sites.

  • Blogs: Another way to get links back to your site is from bloggers. What started as a strange phenomenon that was mostly personal has now become a powerful business tool, and many businesses rely on links back to their sites from the various industry bloggers out there. In most cases, though, bloggers aren’t just going to stumble onto your web site. Here is the example how we use blogs to create backlinks: T20 World Cup News, T20 World Cup Photos.

    It’s far better for you to contact the blogger with information about your organization, some product that you offer, or with news that would interest them. This information then gives the blogger something to use in his or her regular posts. Keep in mind, however, that you can’t control what a blogger might say, so it’s possible that the review you get from the blogger won’t be favorable.

  • Press Releases: Press releases are one of the mainstays of any marketing program. It can be so effective that many organizations hire companies to do nothing but distribute their press releases as widely as possible. What’s so powerful about a press release? It’s just the facts, including benefits, and it’s sent out to publications and organizations that might publish all or part of the press release. Use press releases to send out new items of all types, and send them as widely as you can. New organizations, publications, newsletters, even some forums will post press releases. When you write it, make sure a link back to your site is included in the press release. Then, when someone posts it, the link you provide leads back to your site.

  • Affiliate Programs: Affiliate programs are a type of paid advertising. Amazon.com’s affiliate program is one of the best-known affiliate programs. You provide a link to people who want to link back to your web site. They place the link on their site and then when someone clicks through that link to your site and makes a purchase (or converts any other goal you have arranged), the affiliate — the person who placed your link on their site — gets paid a small percentage. Usually the payment for affiliate programs is very low ($.01 to $.05 per click or a small percentage of the sale). But some people make a good living being affiliates, and many organizations receive additional traffic because of their affiliate programs. There are some ethical considerations with affiliate programs. Many believe that because you’re paying for the link back to your site it’s less valid than if you were to land organic links. However, most search engines see affiliate programs as an acceptable business practice and they don’t reduce your rankings because you use affiliate programs. The trick with affiliate programs is to not allow them to be your sole source of incoming links. In addition, most affiliate programs utilize some click-tracking software, which by definition negates the value of the link, because the link on the affiliate’s page is going from that page, to the ad server, to your site. So the link is from the ad server rather than the affiliate site.

  • PPC and Paid Links: Pay-per-click advertisements (which i will be covering in future Chapters ) are an acceptable business practice. There is no problem with using PPC advertisements to achieve inbound links to your site. Remember that, like affiliate links, PPC links are not direct links to your site. Paid links, on the other hand, are different from affiliate links — you pay to have a direct, or flat link, placed on a page. Some search engines frown on the practice of using these types of links. Using paid links (especially those that land on link farms) is a practice that carries some business risk.

  • Link to Yourself: Linking to yourself is a technique that sits right on the line between ethical and unethical. Linking to yourself from other sites that you might own is an acceptable practice. For example: SEO Expert Blog, but if you set up other sites simply to be able to link back to your own site and create the illusion of popularity, you’re going to do more damage than it’s probably worth to you. If you are linking to yourself and you suspect that you might be doing something that would adversely affect your search engine ranking, then you shouldn’t do it. There are plenty of links to be had without linking back to your own web sites; you just have to work a little harder for the higher quality links.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Role of Links & How they Affect in SEO

Even though we have powerful search engines today to help us find information on the Web, linking from one page to another is still a powerful tool for helping your site get found. And links can group together sites that are relevant, giving you more leverage with search engines than a site without links might have.

Links are the foundation of topical communities, and as such they have as much, if not more, weight with search engine crawlers than keywords do. If you truly want your site to succeed in the search engines, a major part of your SEO strategy must focus on the importance of incoming links. The process of submitting your site to the search engines can take from a few weeks to several months. However, even a new site will be indexed rapidly, if it has incoming links.

There is a fine science to creating a linking strategy, however. It’s not enough just to sprinkle a few links here and there within the pages of your site. There are different types of links that register differently with search engines and it’s even possible to get your web site completely de-listed from search results if you handle your links improperly. When you really begin to consider links and how they affect web sites, you see that links are interconnected in such a way as to be the main route by which traffic moves around the Internet. If you search for a specific term, when you click through the search engine results, you’re taken to another web page. As you navigate through that web page, you may find a link that leads you to another site, and that process continues until you’re tired of surfing the Internet and close your browser. And even if the process starts differently — with you typing a URL directly into your web browser — it still ends the same way.

You can increase incoming links rapidly by participating in forums, provided you use your URL in your signature. Google does not however, appear to give a much weight to this type of incoming link. Submitting to so called link farms is a poor way to attempt to increase links to your site, and is strongly discouraged by Google Guidelines. "Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or bad neighborhoods on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links."

The purpose of links, then, is to first link your web site to others that are relevant to the information included on your site. In addition, links provide a method by which traffic to your site is increased. And isn’t that the reason you’re playing the SEO game? Your desire is to increase the traffic to your site, which in turn increases the number of products that you sell, the number of sales leads you collect, or the number of appointments that you set with highly qualified clients. In short, links lead to increased profit and growth. So of course you’d want to use them on your site.

Another reason links are so important is that links into your site from other web sites serve as “votes” for the value of your site. The more links that lead to your site, the more weight a search engine crawler will give the site, which in turn equates to a better search engine ranking, especially for search engines like Google that use a quality ranking factor, like PageRank.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What Are Robots, Spiders, and Crawlers?

A robot, spider, or crawler is a piece of software run by search engine program, to build a textaul summary of a website’s content (content index). It creates a text-based summary of content and an address (URL) for each webpage. These are programmed to “crawl” from one web page to another based on the links on those pages. As this crawler makes it way around the Internet, it collects content (such as text and links) from web sites and saves those in a database that is indexed and ranked according to the search engine algorithm.

When a person searches, the keyword(s) they enter are compared with the available website content indexes. Due to the large number of webpages indexed, direct text-only-matching is rare, rather search engines use sophisticated logics (algorithms) to rank potential matches. For example, the underlying information hierarchy of a webpage (semantic markup) may be factored into the ranking a webpage is assigned.

As to what actually happens when a crawler begins reviewing a site, it’s a little more complicated than simply saying that it “reads” the site. The crawler sends a request to the web server where the web site resides, requesting pages to be delivered to it in the same manner that your web browser requests pages that you review. The difference between what your browser sees and what the crawler sees is that the crawler is viewing the pages in a completely text interface. No graphics or other types of media files are displayed. It’s all text, and it’s encoded in HTML. So to you it might look like gibberish.

The crawler can request as many or as few pages as it’s programmed to request at any given time. This can sometimes cause problems with web sites that aren’t prepared to serve up dozens of pages of content at a time. The requests will overload the site and cause it to crash, or it can slow down traffic to a web site considerably, and it’s even possible that the requests will just be fulfilled too slowly and the crawler will give up and go away.

If the crawler does go away, it will eventually return to try the task again. And it might try several times before it gives up entirely. But if the site doesn’t eventually begin to cooperate with the crawler, it’s penalized for the failures and your site’s search engine ranking will fall.

Reasons a URL may not be included in the index

Below is a list of common reasons that a document may not be indexed:
  • ROBOTS.TXT ACCESS DENIES: The site's "/robots.txt" file prevents access to the document.
  • YOUR PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. If you can avoid it, you don’t want a crawler to index your site while this is happening. If you can’t avoid it, however, be sure that any pages that are being changed or worked on are excluded from the crawler’s territory. Later, when your page is ready, you can allow the page to be indexed again.
  • PAGES OF LINKS. Having links leading to and away from your site is an essential way to ensure that crawlers find you. However, having pages of links seems suspicious to a search crawler,and it may classify your site as a spam site. Instead of having pages that are all links, break links up with descriptions and text. If that’s not possible, block the link pages from being indexed by crawlers.
  • DYNAMIC PAGES: Dynamic pages are often ignored by the search engine spiders. In fact, any URL containing special symbols like a question mark (?) or an ampersand (&) will be ignored by many engines. Pages generated on the fly from a database often contain these symbols. In this situation, it's important to generate "static" versions of each page you wish to be indexed. In regard to the search engines, the simpler the page is, the better. Does this mean, for example, having a javascript to count visits to the page will prevent you from being indexed, or lower your rankings? No. It simply means that the search engine will most likely ignore the javascript and index the remaining areas of the page. There is evidence that going too far with fancy scripts and code on a page can hurt your rankings if the bulk of your page consists of java or VB scripts.
  • PAGES OF OLD CONTENT. Old content, like blog archives, doesn’t necessarily harm your search engine rankings, but it also doesn’t help them much. One worrisome issue with archives, however, is the number of times that archived content appears on your page. With a blog, for example, you may have the blog appear on the page where it was originally displayed, and also have it displayed in archives, and possibly have it linked from
  • some other area of your site. Although this is all legitimate, crawlers might mistake multiple instances of the same content for spam. Instead of risking it, place your archives off limits to crawlers.
  • REDIRECTS: If your site contains redirects or meta refresh tags these things can sometimes cause the engines to have trouble indexing your site. Generally they will index the page that it is redirecting TO, but if it thinks you are trying to "trick" the engine by using "cloaking" or IP redirection technology that it can detect, there is a chance that it may not index the site at all.
  • PRIVATE INFORMATION. It really makes better sense not to have private information (or proprietary information) on a web site. But if there is some reason that you must have it on your site, then definitely block crawlers from access to it. Better yet, password-protect the information so that no one can stumble on it accidently.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tagging: Social Bookmarking

First of all, what's this tagging business all about? Tagging used to refer just to the tags that you placed in your web site’s HTML to indicate certain types of formatting or commands. Tagging today often refers to something entirely different. When you hear the terms “tagged” or “tagging” in conversation today, it could very well refer to a phenomenon called social bookmarking.

From initial research, it seems that there are two main players in tagging. These are del.icio.us and furl.net. These are sites which make it possible for users to 'tag' any web page. Social bookmarking is a way for Internet users to store, share, classify, and search Internet bookmarks. There is some debate over how important social bookmarking is in SEO, but the consensus seems to be leaning toward the idea that social bookmarking, along with many other social media optimization (SMO) strategies, which I will discussing in future posts, is quickly becoming a serious consideration for SEO.

Social bookmarking is provided by services such as de.icio.us, Digg, Technorati, and Furl.net, which are taking the Internet by storm. All these sites do basically the same thing, allowing users to put a label on a webpage that they have visited, so that they can easily find it again. Users have the option of making their tags public or private (where only the person themselves can see what they have previously tagged) or they can share tagged site information with other individual members. Where the tags are public, other visitors can then see the tags that have been assigned to particular sites by users. They’re often referred to as Web 2.0 services, because they involve a high level of social interaction, which is the fastest growing element of the Internet today.

In social bookmarking, people create their own topics and lists for places on the Internet that they like or dislike. Those people can then give the places they choose a category (or tag) and a rank. Once they’ve ranked a site, they have the option to send that ranking out to anyone who is subscribed to their RSS feed.

The implications this can have on SEO are dramatic. For example, let’s say that one person visits your site during a web search and finds that it’s easy to use, and contains all the information they were looking for. That person could very well tag your site. The tag is then distributed to the people who are subscribed to his or her RSS feed. It’s word-of-mouth marketing — called viral marketing in today’s world — at its best.

One person tells 25, who then visit your site. Then maybe 15 of those people (60 percent) tell another 25 people each. The list keeps growing and growing. So, the question, “Should you pay any attention to social bookmarking?” becomes “How do I take advantage of social bookmarking?” And the answer is, make your site worthy of bookmarking.

Bookmarks appear to web crawlers as links to your page, and that makes them very valuable SEO tools. For some search engines, the more bookmarks that lead back to your site, the more “votes” you have on their popularity scale.

So, visit some of the social bookmarking sites on the Internet. Learn how they work. And set up your own account. Then, create your own list of links that includes your web sites, as well as other web sites that users might find relevant or useful.

On the web-site side, be sure to include the code snippets provided by social bookmarking organizations that allow users to tag your site easily. Then, maintain it all. Don’t just forget your account completely. If you do, eventually it will disappear and all the advantage of having one will go as well. Instead, continue using social bookmarking. Over time, the rewards will be increased traffic to your web site.

How Does Site Tagging Work?

Site tagging, as you already know, is about putting the right HTML commands in the right place. However, the big question from our point of view, is there an SEO benefit to be got from tagging? Well, on face value, the answer is...Yes. The difficulties come in knowing what types of tags to use and what to include in those tags. The basic tags — title, heading, body, and meta tags — should be included in every page that you want a search engine to find. But to make these tags readable to the search engine crawlers, they should be formatted properly. For example, with container tags, you should have both an opening and a closing tag. The opening tag is usually bracketed with two sharp brackets (). The closing tag is also bracketed, but it includes a slash before the tag to indicate that the container is closing ().

Notice that the tag name is repeated in both the opening and closing tags. This just tells the crawler or web browser where a specific type of formatting or attribute should begin and end. So, when you use the Bold tag, only the words between the opening and closing tags will be formatted with a bold-faced font, instead of the entire page being bold. There’s another element of web-site design that you should know and use. It’s called cascading style sheets (CSS) and it’s not a tagging method, but rather a formatting method. You should use CSS so that formatting tags are effective strictly in formatting, while the other tags actually do the work needed to get your site listed naturally by a search crawler. Think of cascading style sheets as boxes, one stacked on top of another. Each box contains something different, with the most important elements being in the top box and decreasing to the least important element in the bottom box. With cascading style sheets, you can set one attribute or format to override another under the right circumstances.

When you’re using an attribute from a CSS, however, it’s easy enough to incorporate it into your web page. The following is a snippet of HTML that uses a cascading style sheet to define the heading colors for a web page:

Looking at this bit of code more closely, you see:

HTML - (This tag indicates that HTML is the language used to create this web page (were this part
of an entire web page).
TITLE - SEO Blog - Heading TITLE indicates the title of the page.
STYLE - This is the beginning of a CSS indicator for the style of the web page. In this case the style applies only to the headings.
H1, H2 { color: green } is the indicator that heading styles one and two should be colored in purple.
STYLE - is the closing CSS indicator.
BODY - indicates the beginning of the body text.
H1 - First Heading H1 is the first header. In the live view of this page on the web, this heading would be purple
P - Enter any text that you would like to paragraph of text.
UL - is the opening tag for an unordered list.
LI - List item one is the first item in your list.
LI - List item two is the next item in your list.
LI - List item three is the last item in your list.
UL - is the closing tag for the unordered list.
H2 - First subheading H2 This is the first subheading. In the live view of this page on the Web, this heading would be purple.
P - Another paragraph of text can go here. Add whatever you like. Again, another paragraph of text.
BODY - is the closing body tag. This indicates that the body text of the web page is complete.
HTML - is the closing HTML tag, which indicates the end of the web page.

It’s not difficult to use CSS for the stylistic aspects of your web site. It does take a little time to get used to using it, but once you do it’s easy. And, when you’re using CSS to control the style of you site, you don’t need to use HTML tags, which means those tags will be much more efficient.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What’s so important about site tagging?

As I have mentioned in my previous posts about the HTML tags which are most commonly used in SEO. Some HTML tags are title tags, heading tags, body tags, meta tags, and the alt tag. No web site should be without those tags in the HTML that makes up the site.

However, those tags aren’t the only ones that you should know. In addition, there are several others you might find useful. In fact, a basic understanding of HTML is nearly essential for achieving the best SEO possible for your web site. Sure, you can build a web site using some kind of web design software like Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe Dreamweaver. However, those programs won’t necessarily ensure that all the essential HTML tags are included in your site. It’s far better if you know enough HTML to understand where your HTML tags go, and how to put them there without trashing the design of the site.

There’s also another aspect to tagging your web site, and that’s using the right strategies to ensure the tags are as effective as possible. For example, some HTML tags are strictly for formatting (like the bold tag), but formatting a word with bold doesn’t tell the search engine that the word is important.

Using a more appropriate HTML tag (like strong) works much better. These are all elements of site tagging that you should know. And if you haven’t taken steps to ensure that your site is tagged properly, do it now. Search engine crawlers don’t read web sites or web pages. They read the text on those pages, and HTML is a form of text. With the right HTML tags, you can tell a search engine far more about your site than the content alone will tell it.

Even beyond the keywords and the PPC campaigns, site tagging is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your web site shows up on search engine results pages.

The HTML tags that you include on your web site tell search engine crawlers much more about your site than your content alone will tell them. Don’t misunderstand. Content is an essential element for web-site design. But it’s a more customer-facing portion of the design, whereas HTML is a crawler-facing portion. And before customers will see your content, crawlers must see your HTML.

So when you ask the question, “What’s so important about site tagging?” there’s only one possible answer: Everything. Your SEO ranking will depend in large part on the tagging that controls your page behind the scenes. Customers never see it, but without it, they never see you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Don't Get Banned BY Google..!!!

In the last post we talked about avoiding keyword stuffing which can cause your website to be banned by Google.

Similarly some other onpage optimization factors which may get your website punished by search engine, specially Google, are as follows.
  • Hidden Text
  • Alt Image spamming
  • Meta tag stuffing
  • Title tag stuffing
  • Duplicate Content or Websites
  • Doorway Pages
  • Redirect Pages

Now, let’s discuss above listed factors in detail:

Hidden Text

Hidden Text is simply text that users can’t see when they visit your web page. How can text been hidden? Well, there are a variety of ways - some are more sneaky than others. Some webmaster will do this so that they can add keywords throughout their web page without it interfering with what the visitors actually see. But is boils down to this: it is considered hidden if the text or link is invisible to the website visitor but can be seen by search engine spiders. This used to be done quite often, such as making your text white on a white background or using cascading style sheets (CSS) to hide your text, but search engines can easily spot this today so it is best to avoid it altogether.

For example, let’s say you have a white background on your website. If you wanted to hide text, you would simply make the color of your text white (#FFFFFF) and users couldn’t see it.

Webmasters incorrectly or say intentionally use the above method for keywords that they want to rank well for and want the search engines to see when they first visit their website. Yet, they don’t want their visitors to see this text. So, they’ve made the text white, to blend in with the background.

Alt Tag spamming

This is another way that people will try to cram keywords into their website, allowing search engines to see their keywords, but not allowing visitors to notice any difference in their website.

For example a website that wanted to rank well for “civil engineering” has inserted a graphic of a civil engineering product. And now, they’ve then added an alt image tag to the graphic.

When a visitors visits the website, hovers their mouse over the civil engineering product graphic, a little popup will appear repeating the keyphrase “civil engineering products, civil engineering softwares, civil engineering, engineering products, engineering, civil engineering instruments”

Notice how many times they’ve repeated the word “civil engineering” and “engineering”? Way too many! It serves no purpose other than to cram as many keywords as possible into their webpage.

The real purpose of an alt image tag is if a user visits your website and the graphic will not load, or is disabled by their web browser, text will appear instead of the graphic. This is often used for blind people. Alt image spamming is something you want to stay clear of. Using alt image tags is an excellent marketing practice, but you can overdo it as you can clearly see above. A good alt image tag in this case would simply be: "civil engineering products and instruments".

Meta Tag Stuffing

What I’m referring to here is when people throw in thousands of the same exact keyword into their meta tags.

For example, a website is trying to rank well for “insurance” and uses this keyword meta tag: Insurance,health Insurance,Insurance,Insurance India,Insurance Insurance

This is obviously ridiculous. Google does not use Meta Tags when ranking websites - so why waste your time? Google WILL penalize it. Stay away from it!

Title Tag Stuffing

The title is what appears in the top left hand corner of your webpage. Webmasters incorrectly stuff their title tag with different versions of their keyphrase. Don’t do it… You only need to include your keyword(s) one time in your title tag.

Anymore than 1 time will only dilute the effect, and if you overdo it, you may get banned.

Those are just a few of the things that people are continuing to do online. These things will eventually get your website banned and WILL NOT help you rank well.

It’s just a waste of time and effort, plus just plain ignorant to waste your time on something that doesn’t work and will get your website banned from the search engines. Unfortunately, over 50% of the websites online are currently employing these incorrect techniques and are dropping out of Google by the handful.

Duplicate Content

You've probably heard about the duplicate content penalty. What is duplicate content? Well, if Google finds multiple web pages have the same content they may penalize each website for this. The truth is that Google and Yahoo are banning websites from their search results in record numbers. Of course, someone may have copied your content and Google banned you even though it was your original content that was taken. If you are not using unique articles for your website or blog but are instead getting your content from PLR packages and article directories, your sites are at risk of getting banned.

Make sure no other site is using your content. You can do this by performing a Google search using some of your text with quotation marks (") around it. If you do find someone is using your original copy visit here to learn more about copyright infringement.

Doorway Pages

Doorway pages have been developed to position high for a specific keyword or phrase. Don't try to hide these pages on your site so that surfers should not see. Instead think of every page on your site as a Doorway, or Salesman for your website. These pages aren't in the navigation most of the time. If you come across a page where much of the information is duplicated from other pages on the site but it is different in terms of keywords only, this is most likely a doorway page.

If you sell more than one widget & most do, it is impossible for you to optimize one page to cover all 150 widgets. However, by creating doorway pages you can create entry pages to your site which spotlight on keyword & phrases for their specific widget.

Excessively Redirecting Pages

Sneaky redirection pages are set up in groups from 5 to hundreds. They all target similar and related keywords or phrases. Usually, the only links on these pages are links to other pages in the same family creating a false sense of related linking. This is called Cloaking which is an unethical practice of creating different Web pages for search engines and visitors. That is, webmasters create meaningless web pages that are stuffed with highly searched keywords. When the visitors click the link, the site redirects them to a well-written meaningful page but search engine spiders see the meaningless page loaded with keywords and links that has been designed to impress them. These pages don't necessarily contain content that any human would be interested in. These pages may show up high in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS), but when you click on one of these pages from the SERPS, you will be redirected to another page. In other words, the page you click to see is not the page you actually get to read.

Most engines today repeatedly speak out against cloaking. Nevertheless, the practice continues to thrive, because the engines have traditionally done a poor job of finding and penalizing sites employing this technique. Just because search engines are less effective in detecting cloaking, it doesn't mean you will never be detected. Avoid cloaking and redirects to protect your site from a ban by search engines.

The redirect can be automatic, done with a meta refresh command or through other means such as a the mouse moving while on the redirect page.

Which were only a few of the onpage SEO "no-no's" you should stay far away from.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Don't Get Tempted To Do Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is one more black-hat SEO technique that you should avoid. It’s a practice of loading your web pages with keywords in an effort to artificially improve your ranking in search engine results. Because search engines scan Web pages for the words that are entered into the search criteria by the user, the more times a keyword appears on the Web page the more relevancy the search engine will assign to the page in the search results. Depending on the page that you’re trying to stuff, this could mean that you use a specific keyword or keyphrase a dozen times or hundreds of times. Temporarily, this might improve your page ranking. However, if it does, the improvement won’t last, because when the search engine crawler examines your site, it will find the multiple keyword uses.

A search engine crawlers use an algorithm to determine if a keyword is used a reasonable and you’ll have to use caution when placing keywords on your web site or in the meta tagging of your site. Thus, using your keywords only the number of times that it’s absolutely essential is considered as a proper rule. And if it’s not essential, don’t use the word or phrase simply as a tactic to increase your rankings. Don’t be tempted. The result of that temptation could be the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Making Keyphrases Work for Search Engines?

Does your site rank highly for keyphrases that no one searches on? If no one is searching on your keyphrases, it won't matter how highly your site is ranked on the search engines. Here's a technique for securing just the right keywords.

When a Web site needs to be optimized for high rankings, usually the first step is to find the keyphrases most relevant to the site. But what happens when the keyphrases that are most relevant are not the ones that people are actually searching out?

A high ranking for "Civil Engineering" or "Civil Engineering Products" but if no one is looking for that type of site, your high rankings will not bring your site any traffic. We recently optimized a portal site for local businesses that had this very problem.

Here's how we overcame our keyphrase dilemma.

A civil engineering instruments manufacturers, www.aimil.com , for the purposes of this article, let's say it was based in the Boston area. The site had been optimized to rank highly for phrases such as "Civil engineering instruments in India". However, a quick Word Tracker report revealed that people weren't using that phrase when searching the engines.

The report showed that the most searched-on phrases relating to Boston included "Civil engineering India". It also showed that people were searching for "Engineering Tools Manufacturers in India", "Civil Engineering Products dealers of India,."

At first, it seemed that it would be a daunting, if not impossible, task to optimize for keyphrases that would bring targeted traffic to this site. However, the site owner was prepared to alter the focus of his site in any way he could to get more traffic.

Together, we brainstormed an optimization plan. We thought long and hard about how we could integrate some of the keyphrases mentioned above into this business portal without tricking the engines and the visitors. Finally, a plan began to gel.

The Transformation

First, the client found a script that showed the up-to-date Stock report and added that to the main page of the site. He also hired a programmer to create a script that would integrate state trade and business leads results into his main page. He already had a listing of local business clients, as well as a section for free trade news. All that was left to do was create a page of links to the most sought-after local sites, such as the civil engineering consultancy. The next step was to rewrite the main page, focusing on the fact that this site now offered information on the 'Engineering Career News' and 'Engineering Instruments updates'. We also heavily emphasized the most important keyphrases on the links page.

The business directory itself was still prominently featured, however, it didn't get the same focus on the page as it previously had. Once everything was in place, we optimized the tags and other HTML code accordingly, and began the submission process. Luckily this site had not yet been submitted to the major directories such as Yahoo! and Looksmart. Using those engineering directories', 'civil engineering services', we were able to get the keyphrases 'civil engineering', "civil engineering India" into the descriptions, since these were now a major focus of the main page of the site. Yahoo! did give us a bit of a problem at first by severely editing the description, however, a simple e-mail appeal worked wonders. Yahoo! added our important keyphrases back in.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Using Anchor Text

Anchor text is the text that is visible in a link to a web page the linked text that is often included on web sites — is another of those keyword anomalies that you should understand. Anchor text usually appears as an underlined or alternately colored word (usually blue) on a web page that links to another page, either inside the same web site or on a different web site. Broadly speaking, search engines see anchor text as a description of the page they link too.

What’s important about anchor text is that it allows you to get double mileage from your keywords.Anchor text is an extremely important factor in your on-page optimization strategies. When a search engine crawler reads the anchor text on your site, it sees the links that are embedded in the text. Those links tell the crawler what your site is all about. So, if you’re using your keywords in your anchor text (and you should be), you’re going to be hitting both the keyword ranking and the anchor text ranking for the keywords that you’ve selected. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. In fact, everything in SEO has these, and with anchor text the exception is that you can over-optimize your site, which might cause search engines to reduce your ranking or even block you from the search results altogether. Over-optimization occurs when all the anchor text on your web site is exactly the same as your keywords, but there is no variation or use of related terminology in the anchor text.

Sometimes, web-site owners will intentionally include only a word or a phrase in all their anchor text with the specific intent of ranking high on a Google search. It’s usually an obscure word or phrase that not everyone is using, and ranking highly gives them the ability to say they rank number one for whatever topic their site covers. It’s not really true, but it’s also not really a lie. This is called Google bombing. However, Google has caught on to this practice and has introduced a new algorithm that reduces the number of false rankings that are accomplished by using anchor text in this way. The other half of anchor text is the links that are actually embedded in the keywords and phrases used on the web page. Those links are equally as important as the text to which they are anchored. The crawler will follow the links as part of crawling your site. If they lead to related web sites, your ranking will be higher than if the links lead to completely unrelated web sites. These links can also lead to other pages within your own web site, as you may have seen anchor text in blog entries do. The blog writer uses anchor text, containing keywords, to link back to previous posts or articles elsewhere on the site. And one other place that you may find anchor text is in your site map. Then to have those page names (which are keywords) on your site map is another way to boost your rankings and thus your traffic — remember that a site map is a representation of your site with each page listed as a name, linked to that page.

Anchor text seems completely unrelated to keywords, but in truth, it’s very closely related. When used properly in combination with your keywords, your anchor text can help you achieve a much higher search engine ranking.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Optimizing Webpage with Meta Tags

In this section you will learn about optimize using two invisible text elements: the meta description tag, and the meta keyword tag.Optimizing Webpage with Title Tags. Meta tags are lines of HTML code added into web pages that describe your web site to the search engine spiders. These tags previously factored into the ranking aspect of search engines, but this is no longer the case. META tags now are responsible for telling the spiders what your site is about.

The standard Meta Tags are the descriptioo Meta Tag, the keyword Meta Tag, which exist in approximately every web page. These Meta Tags, which stores meta data including keywords, keyphrases, descriptions, site author information, copyright information, site titles and other details. There are other important Meta Tags as well, which is why Meta tag optimization must be part of any web site optimization service. Meta Tags are among the several factors that the search engines look for, that any search engine optimization strategy needs to keep on top of.

Meta tags are incorporated in the 'HEAD' Tag of an HTML document. If you are using meta tags to Boost your Rankings in search engines, then you should concentrate on your description and keywords.

Meta Description tag:

It basically describes summary of site. Usually appears in search engine. If no summary exists, the search engine usually grabs the first several lines of the page. Another important factor is the title. This may be the most important. Titles should be descriptive and explain what your site offers in a short sentence or phrase. Search engines make extensive use of titles, so always review each pages title to make sure it describes the content found on that page.

Meta Keyword tag

Keywords help search engines to categorize your site, and allow people to find speedily your page. However, most search engines have limits as to how many Meta Keywords are viewed. It is suggested to review your keywords and ensure that they are concise and specific.

Implementing these tags aptly is crucial to generate high rankings. The most significant aspect of meta-tags is that search engines pay a lot of importance to them and hence they have come to be widely accepted in the SEO process.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Optimizing Webpage with Title Tags

Page titles are one of the most important elements of site optimization. Title tags are among the “big three” as far as the search engine algorithmic weight is concerned; they are equally as important as your visible text copy and the links pointing to your website.

The title tag is appears at the top of the browser window, as well as in the search results as the linked title to your Web page, when your search using a search engine interface. Title tags enable search engines to determine the web page's relevancy for that particular keyword phrases. Creating a good title tag is pretty simple. However, there are few criteria that should be taken care off, while making title tags.

§ Unless you’re Google, Yahoo or Microsoft, don’t put your company name in the page title। A best choice is to use a descriptive keyword or keyword phrase that tells users exactly what’s the page is about। This helps ensure that your search engine rankings are accurate with that .

§ Don’t repeat keywords in your title tags। Repetition can occasionally come across as spam when a crawler is examining your site, so avoid repeating keywords in your title if possible, and never duplicate words just to gain a crawler’s attention। It could well get your site excluded from search engine listings

§ Keep the length of your title tags to around 65 characters or less, anything longer will usually get truncated by search engines, including spaces। Some search engines will index only up to 65 characters; others might index as many as 150। However, maintaining shorter page titles forces you to be precise in the titles that you choose and ensures that your page title will never be cut off in the search results.

§ Include ONLY our main keywords. The least amount of words you can place in the title, the more insurance Google will give to each of the keywords and the higher you will rank.

When creating your page title, it should not look like this:

Welcome to our website!

It should not even look like tahis, which does contain our main keywords, but contains an unnecessary number of words:

health insurance and accident insurance and travel insurance

Although that title isn't horrible and does contain all of your main keywords, you should do a couple of things to cut down on words used.

This would be a perfect title for your webpage:

Healh Insurance | Travel Accident Insurance | Insurance Policy

Taken out all of the "ands", Replaced one of the "ands" with a "|" character

Note: This character is located on the keyboard directly above the "enter key". Combined the keywords "Accident Insurance" with "Travel Accident Insurance” …Always Combine

Understanding The Components of an SEO-Friendly Page

Creating or Building an SEO-friendly web page that ranks well and is easily seen by your customers can be a real challenge for the SEO webmaster, especially if there is a lot of competition for your keywords or phrases. Building an SEO-Friendly site certainly doesn't happen by accident. It requires a deep understanding of the various elements that search engines examine and how those elements affect your ranking. It requires an understanding of what elements search engines examine and how those elements affect your ranking. It also requires including as many of those elements as possible on your site. It does little good to have all the right meta tags in place if you have no content and no links on your page.

It’s easy to get caught up in the details of SEO and forget the simplest web-design principles — principles that play a large part in your search engine rankings. Designing is the base of search engine optimization and it plays a very big role in seo work for any site. Having all the right keywords in the right places in your tags and titles won’t do you much good if the content on your page is non-existent or completely unreachable by a search engine crawler Understanding which of your pages are likely to be entry pages helps you to optimize those pages for search engine crawlers. Beginning with Entry and exit pages, these are the first and last pages that a user sees of your web site. It’s important to understand that an entry page isn’t necessarily the home page on your web site. Entry pages are important in SEO, because they are the first page users see as they come onto the web site. The typical web site is actually several small connected sites. Your company web site might contain categories, for several different topics. Say you’re a health insurance company owner. Then you’ll have various insurance plans within your sites for consumers. Each health insurance plan will have a main page — which will likely be your entry page for that section — and several additional pages leading from that central page to other pages containing relevant content, products, or information about specific topics.

Because entry pages are important in the structure of your web site, you want to monitor those pages using a web-site analytics program to ensure they are working the way you expect them to work. A good analytics program, like Google Analytics, will show you your top entry and exit pages. Exit pages are those from which users leave your site, either by clicking through an exit link, selecting a bookmark, or typing a different web address into their browser address bar. But why are exit pages important? They have two purposes; the first is to drive users from their entry pages to a desired exit page. This is possible with implementation of proper navigational scheme. There’s an added benefit to understanding the navigational path of your users. When you know how users travel through your site, you can leave what’s called a bread-crumb trail for them. That’s a navigational indicator on the web site that allows them to quickly see where they are on your site.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How To Optimize A Website?

Web-site optimization is all about creating a site that is discoverable by search engines and search directories. Though it sounds very simple, however there are several factors which are to be considered while optimizing a website and not all of them are about Meta tags, keywords or other html codes of the site.

Search engines evaluate all websites based on a number of factors. The process of search engine optimisation starts long before a new site goes live. In fact, selecting the domain name itself could have serious implications for SEO. The next logical step, selection of a hosting company is just as important, but a lot more complicated.

Every domain name requires registration and that registration can be made public, or kept private. Most website owners are unfamiliar with this option, simply filling in their contact details and putting ticks in boxes they think appropriate.

Does Hosting Location Affect Website Optimization?

That question comes up frequently when a company or individual is designing a web site. Does it matter who hosts your site? The answer is no, but that’s not to say that domain hosting is unimportant. Elements of the hosting have a major impact on how your site ranks in search results. One of the biggest issues that you’ll face with domain hosting is the location of your hosting company. If you’re in the United States and you purchase a domain that is hosted on a server in India, your search engine rankings will suffer.

Geographically, search engine crawlers will read your site as being contradictory to your location. Because many search engines serve up results with some element of geographical location included, this contradiction could be enough to affect your ranking. The length of time for which you register your domain name could also affect your search engine ranking. Many hackers use throw away domains, or domain names that are registered for no more than a year, because they usually don’t even get to use the domain for a full year before they are shut down. For this reason some search engines have implemented ranking criteria that give priority to domains registered for longer periods. A longer registration also shows a commitment to maintaining the web site.

Multiple domains hosted on the same server indicate to the search engines that they might belong to the same company. Similarly, links from multiple domains hosted with the same provider indicate artificial link building with the aim of influencing search results. And websites hosted on blacklisted hosting companies are likely to be unreliable.

However, most importantly, the location of the website host provides the search engine with information about the location of the business and thereby enables it to provide more relevant results based on location of searchers. For example, a website hosted in India is more likely to be relevant to a person searching for a service in India than a website hosted in New York.

Tips for Naming a Domain

When selecting a name, most people think in terms of their business name, personal name, or a word or phrase that has meaning for them. In the modern world of the Internet, where people automatically turn to the Web for information, it pays to have a domain name that reflects your site or business. There are just fewer things for your customers or visitors to remember. Moreover, you don’t seriously think that they’ll try to memorise an unrelated URL just because you want them to, do you? The only people who’ll memorise it are you and your competitors who want to compare your prices. Yes, as far as is practical, your domain names should contain your top keywords. What they don’t think about is how that name will work for the site’s SEO.

There are many factors besides SEO factors that determine a good domain name. Having your most important keywords in your domain helps in terms of SEO, but having a very long domain like www.this-domain-name-is-very-long.com is just not worth it.

A few more things that you should keep in mind when you’re determining your domain name include:

  • Keep the name as short as possible. Domain names can be of any length up to 67 characters. Too many characters in a name mean increased potential for misspellings. It also means that your site address will be much harder for users to remember unless it’s something really startling.
  • Avoid dashes, underscores, and other meaningless characters. If the domain name that you’re looking for is taken, don’t just add a random piece of punctuation or numerology to the name to “get close.” Close doesn’t count here. Instead, try to find another word that’s relevant, and possibly included in the list of keywords you’ll be using. For example, instead of purchasing www.yourwebsite2.com, try to find something like www.yoursitexyzsubject.com.
  • Opting for COM, ORG, NET, etc? Well choosing a .com name whenever possible, is always good for SEO purpose. There are lots of domain extensions to choose from: info, biz, us, tv, names, jobs. However, if the .com version of your chosen domain name is available, that’s always the best choice. Users tend to think in terms of .com, and any other extension will be hard for them to remember. Com names also tend to receive higher rankings in search engines than web sites using other extensions. So if your competition has www.yoursite.com and you choose to use www.yoursite.biz, chances are the competition will rank higher in search results than you. Again, it’s important to realize that domain naming is only one facet of SEO strategy.

Understanding usability of the website

It is not only keywords in URLs and on page that matter. The site theme is even more important for good ranking because when the site fits into one theme, this boosts the rankings of all its pages that are related to this theme.

Web-site users are impatient. They don’t like to wait for pages to load, they don’t want to deal with Flash graphics or JavaScript, and they don’t want to be lost. These are all elements of usability - how the user navigates through and uses your web site. And yes, usability has an impact on SEO. Especially from the perspective of your site links and loading times.

When a search engine crawler comes to your site, it crawls through the site, looking at keywords, links, contextual clues, meta and HTML tags, and a whole host of other elements. The crawler will move from page to page, indexing what it finds for inclusion in search results. But if that crawler reaches the first page and can’t get past the fancy Flash you’ve created, or if it gets into the site and finds links that don’t work or that lead to unexpected locations, it will recognize this and make note of it in the indexed site data. That can damage your search engine rankings.

Programming Languages and SEO

One aspect of web-site design you might not think of when planning your SEO strategy is the programming language used in developing the site. There are a lot of programming languages. Among the best known are DotNet, Smalltalk, Beta, C++, C#, HTML, Java, PHP, Perl, Fortran, C, Cobol, Ada, Pascal, Delphi etc. Programming languages all behave a little differently. For example, HTML uses one set of protocols to accomplish the visuals you see when you open a web page, whereas PHP uses a completely different set of protocols. And when most people think of web-site programming, they think in terms of HTML.


The use of JavaScript can look fantastic on your web page, though an excessive use of Java will often hinder a search engine spider. JavaScript is a programming language that allows web designers to create dynamic content. However, it’s also not necessarily SEO-friendly. In fact, JavaScript often completely halts a crawler from indexing a web site, and when that happens the result is lower search engine rankings or complete exclusion from ranking.

To overcome this, many web designers externalize any JavaScript that’s included on the web site. Externalizing the JavaScript creates a situation where it is actually run from an external location, such as a file on your web server. There are many others, and depending on your needs you should explore some of those.


Flash movies can be a great thing. They can help catch eyes that are otherwise bored with static looking pages, and they can help tell a story better than plain text. However the use of flash affects with the ability to rank in search engines. It causes pages to load slower, and users often get stuck on an opening Flash page and can’t move forward until the Flash has finished executing. If the user is in a hurry, it’s a frustrating thing to deal with.

Using a technique similar to one I described in the externalizing JavaScript article, you can externalize the code used to render the flash. The best and the easiest way to overcome Flash problems is simply not use it. But despite the difficulties with search rankings, some organizations need to use Flash. If yours is one of them, the Flash can be coded in HTML and an option can be added to test for the ability to see Flash before the Flash is executed. However, there’s some debate over whether or not this is an “acceptable” SEO practice, so before you implement this type of strategy in an effort to improve your SEO effectiveness, take the time to research the method.

Dynamic ASP/JSP

Most of the sites you’ll encounter on the Web are static web pages. There are two types of URLs: dynamic and static. A dynamic URL is a page address that results from the search of a database-driven web site or the URL of a web site that runs a script. Dynamic web pages are web pages that are created on the fly according to preferences that users specify in a form or menu. Most commonly, these pages are created using a technology like ASP, JSP, Cold Fusion, Perl, etc… It works great from a user perspective, but from a search engine optimization perspective it is problematic.

The problem arises from the fact that these dynamically generated web pages don’t actually exist until they are called by programmed variables to generate them and a search engine spider does not call or select these variables.

The best way to overcome this difficulty is to re-write URLs i.e. to convert them to static URLs with the right coding. It’s also possible to use paid inclusion services to index dynamic pages down to a predefined number of levels. Generate XML optimized feeds for a search engine’s inclusion program. This process can generate hundreds of keywords and key phrases with rich, page-oriented search engine-friendly information that the spiders crave.

SEO Elements for a Web Page

Basic SEO is not very difficult to learn, if it’s done with a properly, provides a methodic and logical approach to your Market. Another facet of SEO to consider before you build your web site is the elements needed to ensure that your site is properly indexed by a search engine. Each search engine places differing importance on different page elements.

The main criteria that every search engine looks for are the site text (meaning keywords), tags — both HTML and meta tags — site links, and the site popularity.

Site Navigation:

Text is one of the most important elements of any web site. JavaScript, Flash, and Images are bad. Of particular importance are the keywords within the text on a page, where those keywords appear, and how often they appear. Best practice is to use Keyword in navigation links. Your keywords make all the difference when a search engine indexes your site and then serves it up in search results. If a drop-down or panel based navigation, make sure it’s crawlable, with no flash or image in it. Rollovers are okay as long as they are crawlable again, avoid use of flash and images for the menu.

Keyword Rich Tags:

In search engine optimization, two kinds of tags are important on your web site: Meta tags and HTML tags. Technically, a Meta tag is a hidden tag that lives in the of an HTML document. It is used to supply additional information about the HTML document. The two most important Meta tags are the keyword tag and the description tag.

The keyword tag occurs at the point where you list the keywords that apply to your web site. A keyword tag on a search engine optimization page might look something like this:

meta name=”keywords” content=”SEO services, search engine optimization, on page seo, off page seo”

The description tag gives a short description of your page. Such a tag for the search engine optimization page might look like this:

meta name=”description” content=”This seo blog provides complete and comprehensive information abFout search engine optimization basics. It’s an ultimate guide to search engine optimization!”

The title tag is especially powerful when the keywords are also contained in the text on the web page, even more so if there is a lot of relevant text with paragraph or section headers organized using keywords in h1, h2, or h3 tags.

High-level headings (H1s) are also important when a crawler examines your web site. Your keywords should appear in your H1 headings, and in the HTML tags you use to create those headings.

Anchor tags are used to create links to other pages. An anchor tag can point users to another web page, a file on the Web, or even an image or sound file. You’re probably most familiar with the anchor tags used to create links to other web sites.

Links (External and Internal):

Links show an interactivity with the community (other sites on the Web), which points to the legitimacy of your web site. Links aren’t the only, or even the highest, ranking criteria, but they are important all the same. Quantity and quality of links are the keys here. Broken links can lower your search engine ranking. To be of value, the links on your web pages must be related to the content of the page, and they are considered as biggest single factor to effective SEO is good quality links. These are the external links.

Create footer with “quick links” that contain keyword. Create a separate webpage for each keyword.

There is another group of links that can also help your SEO rankings. Internal linking is simply the process of linking to other pages within your site. Wherever you can be sure to link to internal pages using anchor text and hopefully that anchor text contains your keyword for the page that the link is going to.

URL Structure:

Always build a website having static (not dynamic) URL structure to include the keywords in the directory, path names or in file names. To separate keywords, always use hyphens on priority basis otherwise underscores, and forward slashes are good separators. Dynamic URL’s are not considered as seo friendly.

Page Content:

Content is the major and the most crucial element in search engine optimization. Make sure keywords in the content, are used appropriately as well in text links. Ideally use at least 250-500 words of text between the body tags. Use keyword throughout copy. Write unique content as It is in content quality that a site’s true potential shows through, and although search engines cannot measure the likelihood that users will enjoy a site. Don’t just reuse a manufacturer’s product description (e.g.: duplicate content issues).