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SEO Tips & Tricks


SPAM in the SEO World

So by now, if you’re learning about SEO (search engine optimization/search engine marketing), you’ve probably heard of Black Hat SEO. What exactly is spamming as far as SEO is concerned? Ultimately search engines like Google, Yahoo, ask and MSN want to provide the most accurate and complete research results that they can to their target market. At the end of the day, a search engine is only as good as the results that it delivers to those that use it. If their audience does not have faith in their search capability, the traffic will dry out and so will the sponsored listing fees as well, and any other advertising fees that they’re able to obtain.

It wasn’t all that long ago (1994) that Internet marketers used various techniques to trick search engines into positioning their sites high in the search results for search terms that didn’t apply to their site. This was very prominent in the adult entertainment world as a matter of fact. It’s in my opinion; the inception of search engine optimization came from the adult entertainment industry.

Today, these techniques do not work for long-term search engine optimization campaigns. It’s true that you can obtain quick rankings in a very short period using “Black Hat SEO” ; however, usually it takes a great deal of work, and the results do not last very long. Once the search engines discover that you are trying to “Duke” their search engine, many of them may not list your domain at all. Search engines are programmed through their algorithms and robots to detect many of the techniques used in “Black hat SEO.” A few of the search engine tricks that used to work, especially pertaining to website design are:

Keyword stuffing — several websites repeat the same keywords over and over again on both the home page, and even places that you can’t see. They do this by hiding the keywords in invisible layers such as tag, and in meta-tags. Also, spammers will repeat those keywords over and over again at the bottom of the document. For example:“Maui attorney, best attorney in Maui”. There’s been much talk as to what is an acceptable amount of keyword stuffing, or keyword placement within the text of the document. As a rule of thumb I have heard that Google does not like to see more than 7% saturation, while MSN and Yahoo! Do not want to see more than 5% keyword density within any given page.

Hidden Text and Links – another tactic used by spammers has been hidden text and links. What they are doing here is simply hiding keywords from human eyes. By making the text the same color as the background of the website. There is no fooling Google, Yahoo or MSN with these old tricks as the “Google bots” have been able to spot these tricks. Another example of this might be hiding keywords in areas which are not visible, such as placing these keywords in style sheets.

Content duplication — I know that there are several other search engine optimization professionals that are completely against duplicate content, I do think it has its place. Why would I say such a thing? We should probably start as to why search engines do not like content duplication. Take for example a website that you already own, it ranks very well. You decide that you would like to have two sites on the first page of Google so you simply duplicate your first and post it under a different domain. Search engines want to provide unique content to their searchers; they do not want to provide duplicate content again and again. I should probably explain why I think duplicate content does make sense from time to time. If you’ve written an excellent article and published it with E-zine articles for example, I think it is completely within reason to go ahead and post that on your own blog or website as well.

Page swapping or cloaking — this is where the website owner has taken content from a top ranking site and placed it on their page to achieve the top ranking. Once they have achieved that ranking they replace that page with completely different content. Cloaking is very similar to page swapping. The intent of cloaking is to serve search engines one page while the end-user is served in other, not a good move!

Misleading Title Changes — making regular title changes so the indexing bots believe that your site is a new site. The desired effect from this is so that the site is listed again and again, this is considered misleading.

Domain Spam (Mirrored Sites) — this is very close to content duplication. Ultimately this is why the search engine’s do not like content duplication. Some web owners have duplicated their entire website or maybe even slightly modified their site and target under a different domain or URL. Usually the intention was to obtain more than one listing on the first page. In the end all this does is get you banned from practicing this type of technique, once again it is misleading.

Refresh Meta-Tag — I am certain that you have visited a website and automatically you were brought to a different page within the site, this is the result of a “refresh meta- tag”. At the end of the day you do not want to use a redirect unless it is absolutely necessary and I strongly recommend using a “permanent redirect” (301) which tells the search engines that the page they are looking for has a different home now. The preferred way to use a refresh meta-tag is to use a delay of at least 15 seconds or more and provide a link on the new page back to the page that they were taken from. Often times a website will use a redirect or refresh meta-tag to take visitors from a page that is obsolete and is no longer being used.

Cyber Squatting — this refers to taking traffic from legitimate websites. So for example let’s pretend that somebody was to operate a website called www.example.com it would be hoping to obtain traffic by visitors that have misspelled the domain that they were truly looking for. Usually when companies are doing this they are promoting completely unrelated contents to that of the site that they are trying to obtain traffic from. Google very much dislikes the cyber squatting.

Watch this video about Negative SEO:

So even if you do not understand anything about search engine optimization or search engine marketing, it is easy to see that none of the search engines tolerate misrepresentation, misleading searchers or tricky techniques. If the technique you are using on your website does not offer value to the end-user and it is done solely for SEO it is very likely that Google, Yahoo or MSN will take notice. Trying to avoid the hard work of realsearch engine optimization is practically impossible. Certainly you can avoid the hard work and go with a technique or strategy that will get you listed with Google rapidly, eventually that domain will get you delisted. At the end of the day it is twice the amount of work to optimize two websites quickly vs. optimizing one website in a nice slow and steady manner.


Writing Articles for Internet Marketing Campaigns

Do you consider yourself a talented writer, but you’re not sure how to go about it? If you enjoy writing and you want to be able to make money off your skill, consider writing articles to help with other’s internet marketing campaigns. There is probably an SEO company in your area who would be willing to pay for niche related articles. Article writing is a great skill to develop and market yourself. Writing is in high demand so take advantage of your writing skills and make some extra cash. Well-written articles on any topic are always in high demand.

Get to the Point

Internet articles are written slightly differently to the conventional articles you read in the daily newspapers or magazines. Your style should be simple. The contents of the article should be pitched in a brief but informative manner to hold the person’s interest. Internet searchers are impatient and want to find information quickly as possible. This being said, keep your articles quick and to the point. Often times online articles are written with numbers or bullet points to guide readers through quickly.

Catchy Article Titles

Think about what will grab the attention of your audience, start with an attractive title. It will be the first chance you have to gain interest of searchers to your article and also help you begin your introduction.  Writing a catchy title will separate your article from the others around it. A nice title may be the key to attracting searchers to your articles and getting them to click on your links driving more traffic to your site which is obviously the main point of any internet marketing campaign.

The introduction of your article should summarize the focal point of what you’re going to write about.

This will draw your reader in and they’ll want to continue reading. Start with the main point of your article and defend it or describe it in the rest of your article. If the reader finds your point interesting they will read the rest of your article and hopefully click on the links to the website you are promoting. When it comes to writing, remember that ‘less is more’. Don’t make your articles too long. Most internet articles vary between 300-500 words.

Avoid getting technical

. Don’t get wrapped up in impressing your reader. They care more about your points and topics, not your vocabulary. Your intention is to share information in a friendly, efficient manner. The ideal internet article should be clearly communicated, easily understood, and looked at as a resource. Remember if further information is required, the person will pursue the matter by themselves.

All internet articles should be submitted in Word.

Once you’re finished writing, make sure you proofread the article and put it through a grammar and spelling check. Did you communicate your ideas clearly? Are you happy with the end result? If so, you are going to want to start finding places to submit your articles or sites that buy articles. Often times you can contact a local SEO company near you and ask them what types of articles they could use. Work out a deal with an internet marketing firm and start making money with your writing skills.

Finally, don’t be disheartened if your first article is not accepted.

Stick with it, and success will soon come your way. You will be sure to find an SEO company who is willing to buy articles for their clients.


3 SEO Tips to give your website the advantage over your competitors

The entire process of search engine optimization and internet marketing can be very frustrating. As an SEO professional, I hear from customers frequently wanting to know the progress of their project. We document all of the work that we are completing on a constant basis, and we have many tools to mark their progression through the search engines. This got me to thinking about those that do not have access to the same tools that we do, as a matter of fact many who are marketing their websites will often give up as they don’t see immediate results from the many hours they have sat in front of the computer trying to obtain a page one ranking.
While you are waiting for results, here are some basic SEO tips that you can follow which should help you cut down your time waiting.

Make certain to select a keyword theme for each page of your website.

Many sites that we have evaluated and reviewed do not have enough diversity within the pages or the subordinate pages to obtain the wide range of keywords that they would like to achieve. So identify a group of keywords for every page that you publish, a group of keywords that fit well into your SEO plan.

If the website you are building and promoting does not have enough content to tip the scales of the search engines to your favor as “The Resource” for the keywords you are approaching, or if your site does not contain enough significant or important internal links, how will you possibly be able to surpass your competitors that are using large amounts of content and links?

So, plan each page with plenty of content and key words with internal links throughout your website. Make certain that you do not stuff your site with too many keywords as you will want to make the site readable and interesting for your human visitors as well.
Identify the keyword theme to each page using the Meta tag keywords. Since Google and some of the other major search engines do not utilize the keyword Meta tag, we have made it useful by indentifying the “keyword theme” to each of our pages.

Internal links from pages and to other pages using the keyword that you want the target page to rank for.

This is probably one of the most difficult aspects of search engine optimization to keep track of. For our projects we have literally drawn out a diagram or flow chart of the pages within the site that we are marketing and labeled each with the keyword theme for each page. Once we have identified the pages and the keyword themes for each page, it is much easier to take the keyword phrases throughout your website and link those phrases to the page that matches that theme.

This tactic is very similar to that of Wikipedia. You are simply identifying the “resource page” for the designated keyword by consistently using keyword-rich anchor text throughout your website.  By doing this you will also be able to achieve double indexing in some cases for your website.

We believe that this step for onsite optimization is critical to outperforming your online competition. If you are working with a SEO company, than it is imperative that you bring this approach to their attention and that they explain to you their internal linking strategy.

Optimize the page for many variations of the keyword that you are targeting.

If you are going to optimize a page for a certain keyword, you might as well go for as many variations or extrapolations of that keyword that you can. So, using an example here, let’s go with the keyword “SEO Company”. Variations that you might want to use would be, “SEO Company’s”, “SEO Companies”, “Internet Marketing Company”, “Internet Marketing Companies” and “Search Engine Optimization Company”. You can see from the example that I have used, I have pluralized the keyword, misspelled the keyword and even brought in a synonymous keyword phrase.

By following these three steps you should be able to really shore up your website so that as Google or any other indexing robots devour your website, you will obtain an advantage over your online competitors that have not followed these same simple techniques. Any worthwhile SEO campaign takes a great amount of time and dedication, so as you are working on link building strategies and submitting your site to different directories, make certain to work these strategies and you will start to see a major difference in the way your site is ranked in the search engines.

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