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, , 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.