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My 7 Most Popular 2012 SEO Articles

January 2, 2013

Today I'm recapping my best articles of 2012 for you in case you missed any or need a refresher. I've included two types of articles here: the most popular based on social media shares and mentions, and those that received a lot of organic search engine traffic. It is quite interesting how some articles that are very popular in social media don't get a lot of search engine traffic, and vice versa. (Which is why you and I need to always use all marketing channels available to us!)

1. 18 SEO Killers You Must Clean Up and Avoid for 2013 and Beyond

This was my most popular article by far even though it was just published this past November. It had a record number (for me) of Tweets, Facebook Likes and Google+'s and shares. I'm pleased about that because the article was very much a compilation of my findings from all the website reviews I have done thus far. It's the first in a series I plan to continue throughout 2013, and will play a part in my upcoming SEO training class. (Here's the next one in the series in case you missed it: SEO and Duplicate Content.)
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2. Measuring SEO Success Via Google Analytics

This article was hugely popular within social media channels, but in my opinion it didn't get the overall page views it deserves. Probably because it's more of a tutorial – that is, the kind of article that, while somewhat boring, comes in handy when you need the specific information it provides. With automated ranking reports finally going the way of the dinosaur, I hope this article will see a resurgence in visitors and mentions and continue to do so for some time to come. Honestly, it's what you truly need to be measuring if you're doing any sort of SEO work for your website.

3. 5 Rookie SEO Mistakes That Can Kill Your Search Engine Traffic and Some Tools to Help

This article did very well in both social media and search engines because it hits home for many people who've just started learning SEO. Like the first article in this list, it is based on my extensive reviews of hundreds of websites. It upsets me to see the same mistakes being made time and time again across multiple websites. I always write this type of article with the hope that it will save at least a few website owners some anguish. Judging by the number of pageviews this one has received since it was written at the end of May, I'm pretty sure it's been doing its job!

4. 67 Ideas for Blog Topics

Confession: I wrote this one early in the year, mainly because I couldn't think of anything else to write. It's a comprehensive list of ideas that pretty much any blogger can use when they've got a case of writer's block. Here's the secret I never shared on how I came up with these topics: Basically, I trolled Twitter and Facebook one day and made note of every article title that people had posted. Then I categorized them and compiled them into this generic list! Apparently bloggers are constantly running out of ideas because this article gets tons of Google traffic every day from people looking for blog topic ideas.

5. Paying for Penalties: Lies That Shady SEO Companies Tell

I was compelled to write this article over the summer after seeing what a very crappy "SEO company" did (and said) to a client whose site I was reviewing. She sent me some of their emails and it was sickening to see the garbage SEO they were espousing. It's one thing to simply talk a bad game, but to actually take people's hard-earned money and use it to get someone's website penalized in Google is quite another. If you are ever in the market for an SEO company, please read this article to learn what to avoid.

6. 6 Reasons Why You Need to Use Rel=Author on Your Content

This article started out with 5 reasons for using rel=author on your content, but I added a 6th one at the end of September. If you are not already using rel=author (or don't even know what it is), you are doing a huge disservice to your website and all of your online marketing efforts. I heartily suggest reading this article ASAP, but more than that – implement it already!

7. Your Most Common SEO Questions Answered

I wrote this article in May and, while it got some decent social media play when it was first out, its real strength has been in the organic traffic it has brought to my site. There are a lot of SEO newbies out there, and they are asking exactly the sorts of questions that I answered here. If you're fairly new to SEO (or to my website), I encourage you to read this one for sure. You may be surprised at some of the things you didn't know!

Overall, I'm proud of all of my 2012 articles. I tried to keep the quality up as best I could by using my own experiences and writing about what I know to be true. There are plenty more than the 7 listed above, so be sure to browse the 2012 archives in case you missed any the first time around.


Jill Whalen has been an SEO Consultant and the CEO of Jill Whalen High Rankings, a Boston area SEO Company since 1995. Follow her on Twitter @JillWhalen

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Post Comment

 Gordon Edstrom said:
Hi Jill,
I am relatively new to SEO and really dislike all of the spamming, gaming, and tricks people are using. Your insight and expertise is refreshing.
After reading your article on 18 SEO killers I do have a question. I was recently directed to by another expert. I have been studying the information on their website and implementing the strategies they suggest. Your article states that being listed on directories is no longer a good practice. Can you give me your opinion on and if the information they are giving is still pertinent?
 Jill Whalen said:
@Gordon I don't really know much about that particular site, but it seems to be focused on local SEO. That's not the same as typical old-fashioned directory listings.
 Gordon Edstrom said:
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Yes, it is for local searches. It appears to be be different from the type of listing you are talking about in your article.