SEO: Pagerank and Penguin 2.0
May 23rd, 2013 3:55 PM
If you have paid attention to search engine optimization for long, you have heard the term Page Rank. It used to be that Page Rank was the primary driver of search engine rankings on Google. Today it is part of a broad set of factors that determine where the pages in your website rank for particular keywords and phrases. Still, page rank is an important factor and should be correctly understood by those responsible for SEO in theirs or other’s websites.
So what is page rank? Simply put, it is a number between 1 and 10 determined by the number of links to your website from other websites, and the importance of those other websites. That is, a website with high page rank that links to your website potentially increases the page rank of your website by that link, especially if the subject matter of that website and yours is similar.
So the best way to determine whether you should ask another website to link to yours and v.v. is to use what I call the R & R test. Is the other website relevant to the subject matter on your website, and reputable in regards to that subject matter. If it is, ask for the link. If not, don’t bother.
The reason I was prompted to write this today is Google’s latest major algorithm update that launched yesterday. It is actually not a new one, but is a continuation of the Penguin update from last year – Penguin 2.0 they call it. The Penguin series of updates is focused on reducing the value of links from non-relevant and non-reputable websites, especially link-farms and the like.
So, now even more than before, the next time some guy calls and says “We can get you a bunch of links to help your SEO”, ask this question first, “Oh yeah, which websites exactly?” Next, if He gives you the site URLs (he won’t, but if he does) install the Pagerank/Alexa toolbar on Chrome Browser and check the page rank of all of those sites. Then review the sites to see if the subject matter is relevant to yours. Finally, if the sites look good to you, ask one more question, “Do I pay you when the links are in place and verified?” At that point expect to hear a click followed by a dial tone. But if He says “Sure”, it may be worth a shot.
SEO: Long Tail Key Words
March 18th, 2013 12:48 PM
Have you heard the term ‘Long Tail Key Words?” If you have been engaged is SEO (search engine optimization) theory for the last several years, you have.
What is “Long Tail key Words?” They are longer phrases in page text, link anchor text or URL strings that use a page’s primary key words in more specific and longer (Long Tail) phrases. E.g. If a web page was about how to remove ticks from a dog safely, you will obviously use the words ‘dog’ and ‘tick’ in your text, URL string, page title, and in link anchor text leading to that particular page. The temptation is just to strategically place those two words (Dog and Tick) in your content. But the Long Tail string would be something like “Learn how to safely remove ticks from your dog.”
The evidence says that these are increasingly important as search engines learn to ‘think’ more like humans. Consider this. When you search for information about safely removing a tick from a dog, how do you type your query in the search engine? Do you type “dogs ticks” or ‘Safely remove tick from dog?” If you are like most users, your query will be more like the latter.
That is the power of “Long Tail Key Words.” If your page has that phrase in it, your chances of being ranked above others who just used the words instead of the phrase is much greater.
SEO: SEO 2013
January 17th, 2013 10:13 AM
This morning, as I do almost every day, I received a email with some links to articles on SEO. I read as usual and was struck by part of one of the articles. It was confirming what we have known for several months, but well put. The article is "Enterprise SEO in 2013" by PJ Fusco. Here is the excerpt that I thought would be helpful for everyone concerned with SEO.
"The fundamental tenet of organic search engine optimization (SEO) is that great content triumphs online. This ideology is user-centric in that it presumes the preponderance of search engine users know what content they seek when they see it … And stop searching when they find it.
By observing how, what, and when searchers hunt and gather around specific bits of content, search engines learn how to provide relevant search results for other searchers that repeat the pattern over time. Based on this principle, all an enterprise needs to do is generate content that serves searchers, not search engines, in order to produce successful search engine strategies over, and over again."
Fourteen years ago, when I took on our first SEO project, we had many 'tricks' up our sleeves to acheive SEO success. Now there is really just one primary consideration - do my website visitors benefit from the content on my website? If they do, search engines pick up on that by the activity of searchers.
That made another article that came this morning even more important in my mind Read it here . This article urges us to do what we have preached many times - pay attention to page titles and descriptions when pages are created and edited. Of course, those need to perfectly describe the page content, but these are what makes a user click. And if you have told them what they will find on a page, if they want that and click, and then they find exaclty what they expected - the user is satisfied and so is the search engine.