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From the folks who brought you High Rankings!

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#8939 Tips For New Seos

Posted by Scottie on 12 September 2003 - 02:39 PM

UPDATE 2012: For the Most Up-to-date SEO Tips, please see the latest archived SEO Articles
- Jill

Jill's search engine optimization articles pretty much cover everything you need to know to optimize. Some are slightly dated, but they do have dates on them and Jill's been updating many of them over the past months.

Start with the 10 Tips to the Top of the Search Engines article.

And there are a few newsletter articles that are a good place to start and Jill's other SEO articles.

A good one is the Art of SEO which helps to explain why there's no specific formula to getting high rankings.

For Link Building Advice, see our pinned Link Popularity Articles thread.

I'm going to add my own Successful Sites Articles because they are written for newbies as well. If you are just getting started, I'd recommend reading:
The Hungry Little Spider and
Threads of the Web- Linking for Success and
The Secret Sauce in Web Site Marketing.

Also, if you think you need a submitting service, don't miss Search Engine Submission is a Scam.

If you've been working at SEO for a while, you may want to read Superstition and Sacrifices: Cause and Effect in Search Rankings Hard to Determine
  • gregorysmith, Julie and Graham like this

#92878 Tips For New Seos

Posted by Jill on 31 August 2004 - 11:50 AM

When you're done with those articles, you probably will want to start on Karon's Copywriting Articles.

Oh, and if you want to save yourself some wasted time and speed up the learning process, be sure to read my Evolution of a Search Marketer article.

Just realized that we should be pointing out the SEO Frequently Asked Questions as well.

Here are the questions from the FAQ, which may very well answer whatever is on your mind:Jill
  • gregorysmith, gaganmasoun, Julie and 1 other like this

#336825 Is Link Building Necessary?

Posted by Michael Martinez on 11 October 2014 - 11:11 PM

Link building is a legitimate part of Website promotion;

Not really, promotion does not mean 'link building'.

Yes, REALLY, since I didn't say that promotion means link building. There is nothing wrong with building links to a Website.

Link building is NOT just for search engines; link building is for whatever purpose you intend.

If you're linking to your site from your social media profile, that is link building.

If you're Tweeting your latest articles, that is link building.

If you post a link to your articles on Facebook or Google Plus, that is link building.

If you start a second Website and link back to your first Website in any way, that is link building.

Whether you use "rel='nofollow'" or block the page with the link in "robots.txt" or just let the search engines do whatever they want with the link data is irrelevant.

Link building predates all attempts to manipulate search engines and the vast majority of link building continues to happen quite naturally and happily without taking search engines into account. That will never stop; nor should it.
  • Jill, torka, n0tSEO and 1 other like this

#337723 Switching To Https - Do I 301 Every Single Page In My Site?

Posted by lister on 18 December 2014 - 11:30 AM

OK - we are switching to HTTPS and no - don't worry - I'm not asking the forum for any SEO 'benefit' from HTTPS - for us it is 100% cosmetic - it just gives a 'safe' experience...

So, with that being said, we have a checklist of things that we are keen to get right to keep our rankings...

- Do we have to 301 every single URL that we have and place that in the .htaccess?


  • DwightKt, Patrickwer and AlbertPr like this

#337713 Redirect Site Map To Fix The Crawl Errors

Posted by BloominHuman on 17 December 2014 - 10:51 PM

I recently opened a google.com/webmasters account to better manage my website. Over the years I have accumulated about 50 crawl errors that are reported in my account. Most of these are the result of URL changes I have made.
I wish to "redirect" these old URLs to the current URLs. My guess is that I need to provide Google with a redirect site map to fix the crawl errors. I was able to download the errors which opened on my system as an Excel file. Is there some format I need to follow, perhaps inserting the current URLs in the Excel file and sending it back.
My question is how do I do this?

  • Phillipet, MichealNus and Johnnydut like this

#337022 Please Help: Google Dropped Me From Their Search Results (No Manual Ac

Posted by Michael Martinez on 25 October 2014 - 09:33 AM

Looking at your Website, I would say you are trying to use "SEO tricks". I'm glad you're happy about recent changes to your Google visibility but you seem to be very naive about the risks you're taking. For example, you have a post on your blog that reads:

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has a high PageRank of #9. Because of this, YouTube videos will naturally rank higher on Google search over the same video on, let’s say Vimeo, with the same SEO efforts. But, as most of us are aware, the social media platforms with high PRs like Facebook, Twitter, etc...

Wedding photographers don't need to be fussing about "dofollow" links on YouTube.

BTW -- you cannot prevent people from copy-and-pasting your code or your images. There are multiple ways that people can get past your safeguards. I did not type the above into this post by hand, for example.

Using SEO plugins is not going to give you much of an advantage, either. If you spend enough time to learn about how to do search engine optimization properly you won't need SEO plugins; but then, you have to decide whether you want to be an SEO or a wedding photographer.

The best business model you can build for your site is to learn to live without Google because sooner or later you're going to become so dependent on that Google traffic you will do anything for it. And that is when you'll get into trouble.
  • Jill, torka and chrishirst like this

#335958 Buying Relevant Expired Domains !

Posted by qwerty on 07 August 2014 - 08:11 AM

If you're asking not about a domain name that in and of itself indicates that a site is about graphic design (in your example), but a domain name that (no matter what that name might be) previously hosted content about graphic design and has links and other citations indicating that it is/was a good source for information about that topic, then yes, there can be some benefit to it. You can either take over that site and continue to publish information about that topic there, or just set up 301 redirects from URLs on that domain to URLs on another domain that publishes content about the same topic. Basically, you'd be getting the algorithmic benefit of those links that someone else earned.


But you know what? There's a real difference between buying a business and buying a domain name. If people felt that ABC Graphic Design was a great company and deserved attention, they told people about it and linked to it. If I take over ABC Graphic Design, even if I make changes to the company to make it my own, as long as I'm transparent about what those changes are, I'm carrying on the business. People can decide for themselves whether I've ruined the company or if it's still worth recommending.


If I just buy the domain name in order to benefit from whatever's out there pointing to it, that's kind of deceptive, in my opinion. I'm taking credit for recommendations I did nothing to earn and probably don't deserve. I didn't buy the business, so I certainly don't deserve the reputation that business built. The business doesn't exist anymore. Or maybe the business still exists, but they don't have a web presence anymore. But I'm still claiming that those links are about me. Basically, I'm self-serving scum, trying to take credit for someone else's work.


And I may not realize it, but maybe ABC Graphic Design wasn't quite as squeaky clean as I thought. While I think I'm going to get the benefit of the links they earned, I might in fact be exposing my business to the toxic links they bought, and instead of getting credit for something I didn't earn, I'm about to get penalized for some nasty business I had nothing to do with.


If you're going to buy a domain name, do your due diligence to make sure you're not buying something dangerous, but only buy it because it's a name you like and can brand, not because of what it previously hosted or because it contains keywords.

  • Jill, torka and reseo like this

#335481 Reason Behind Sudden Increase In Alexa Rank

Posted by torka on 07 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

You are seeing a prime example of why Alexa rank is worthless.


If the number of visitors to your site has stayed the same, why do you care what changes might have shown up in this useless made-up number?


Why it changed... most likely, someone who was visiting your site uninstalled the Alexa toolbar. Or maybe it's you: if you have the toolbar installed and just stopped visiting your own site so often, that could have caused the change. I once "improved" my Alexa rank by several hundred thousand points simply by installing the toolbar and visiting my own site three or four times a day for a month.


See, that's how the application determines your "rank": by counting the number of visits from people who have their stupid toolbar installed. (Including you, the site owner.) And since the vast majority of real people don't have the toolbar installed, the Alexa rank simply measures the number of visits from a tiny minority of people who are either (1) too oblivious to realize they have the toolbar installed, (2) too technologically challenged to figure out how to uninstall it and/or (3) too obsessed with Alexa ranking to understand they're wasting their time with trying to influence it.


Want to "recover"? Make sure you have the Alexa toolbar installed and start visiting your own site several times a day. Recruit a couple of friends to do the same. It won't help you make any more sales or do anything even remotely worthwhile for your site, but if it makes you feel better, go ahead and waste your (and their) time with the project.


In summary: The Alexa "rank" is a meaningless number. There is no reason I can think of to even check this number, much less worry over changes in it. Focus instead on metrics that actually mean something (number of visitors, conversion rate, revenue or leads generated) and stop wasting time obsessing over useless "rankings" that have nothing to do AT ALL with anything worthwhile.


--Torka :oldfogey:

  • Mikl, Harshada and iliyaamin like this

#334923 Changing Which Page Shows Up In Specific Search

Posted by Mikl on 28 May 2014 - 08:03 AM

Rather than trying to arrange things so that Google shows your "default page" (whatever that is). wouldn't it be better to fix your content so that, no matter which page a visitor lands on, they will immediately be enticed into the site, and they will be able to quickly find the information they need about your products and how to order them?



  • Jill, torka and chrishirst like this

#328269 Forum Posting For Back Links - Am I Doing It Wrong?

Posted by Michael Martinez on 21 March 2013 - 09:51 AM

If the forums have dedicated marketing/classifieds sections then using them is an acceptable practice in itself (especially if they nofollow the links or block crawlers from the marketing sections, which many do these days).


But copying the same ad to each and every forum is generally frowned upon (I would not like that in my own forums although I know it happens from time to time).


These kinds of advertising sections work best for actual, productive, active, long-term forum members.  The other members of the community know your history and are more likely to trust you.


As far as "link building" goes, that is a path fraught with peril.  Yes, everyone in the SEO world says you need to build links (opinions vary on how many, how, and for how long, etc.).  Nonetheless, link building leads to a huge majority of the penalties and downgrades that Websites suffer in the search indexes.


It's better to write about your business, products, and services on a public blog that is quickly indexed by the search engines so that people find your site organically.  By building up visitors to your site gradually over time you earn their trust and from their feedback you learn how to publish the kinds of articles that they will share for you.


You can compensate for a lack of organic traffic through pay-per-click advertising (although if you need a lot of traffic right away it's better  to hire a professional to help you manage your campaigns than try to do it all yourself).


There are tons of ideas for attracting links published across the Web (most of them very bad ideas).  You should first read through the Google and Bing Webmaster guidelines so that you understand what is basically permitted; then begin experimenting on a small scale with simple ideas for attracting links and gradually improve your knowledge and skill.


Rapid link acquisition is your worst enemy.  Don't let anxiety about your competitors' "progress" drive your business plan.

  • Jill, torka and MikeBanawa like this

#328243 Title Tag Length

Posted by Michael Martinez on 19 March 2013 - 04:51 PM

People are way overthinking their page titles.

  • Jill, torka and chrishirst like this

#326169 Seo And Duplicate Content Issues That Hurt Google Traffic

Posted by Mikl on 06 December 2012 - 08:00 AM



Thanks for this article. One particular point caught my attention.


You suggested looking under "HTML Improvements" in Google Webmaster Tools. On your advice, I did so. I noticed that two pairs of pages were showing with duplicate meta descriptions, which surprised me, because I've always carefully hand-written every description myself. On a closer look, I saw that the two offending pages were test pages. I had uploaded these over a year ago, to test various colours and styles, and forgotten about them.


The interesting thing is that I never created any links to these test pages anywhere, nor did I give the URLs to anyone. And yet, they are showing up in Google's index. When I searched for a snippet of text, both the "real" page and the test version showed up.


I've now deleted the test pages. I don't suppose their presence harmed the site's rankings at all, but I didn't like the idea of a visitor stumbling across them, and anyway I like to keep things tidy.


So, thanks for drawing my attention to the "HTML Improvements" tool. It's one of the many features of GWM that I never got round to exporing.



  • Jill and torka like this

#323200 Google Reminds Me Of The Irs

Posted by chrishirst on 25 April 2012 - 10:23 AM

Should we believe they have your best interest at heart, and always will? Even if Google has the best of intentions, can we be unintentionally harmed, i.e., collateral damage? Can we trust Google to correct unintended consequences? Do they have systems and procedures in place to do that? Do their statements and actions support that?

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Lord Acton (1834-1902), British historian

What happens when Google controls 30% of the market worldwide, should we still trust them to be a benevolent dictator then?

Google DO NOT have ANYONE'S "best interests at heart" other than protecting their own investment and their corporate income.

Do you think "Gmail" happened for philanthropic reasons? No of course it didn't! It is a marketing opportunity, and of course if you have your customers likes, dislikes, hates, hobbies, rants, raves, in their Google+ profile AND what they buy (Google Checkout/Wallet) you can make some serious targeting to the adverts you show them.

Chuck are you SO naive to think that Google offer all these products and services out of the goodness of their heart?? Google is a money making enterprise that has a HUGE "client" database that they know a lot about.

I bet you also think supermarket chains have "reward" or "loyalty" cards just because they like you and want to do their level best for you as an important, honoured or privileged customer. Do they bollocks! They give them out because by knowing who you are and what you buy means they can target offers, coupons etc. for things that you WILL buy

Chuck, please, c'mon! Do you understand marketing at all?? It is THE first rule of marketing and the primary driving force of customer relations.


Google are INCREDIBLY GOOD at it! So good in fact we all clamour to give them as much information as they want.

Their aim isn't to "control" the Internet, because that would actually be bad for business, what they want is to do, is be able to market other people's products (that they get paid for) to the largest possible audience, and an audience that they can PRECISELY target their advertising to.

It is the finest example of "Sniper Marketing" that you could ever possibly imagine. One that the "outsourced" numptie marketers and the "Machine Gun Marketers" should learn from.

As we have said several times WE (optimisers, "organic" marketers and site owners) are not whom Google wish to please. It is their customer base they need to please, the paying advertisers, the searching public, without whom of course there would be no paying advertisers.

If some marketers and owners are disgruntled because THEIR pages are not on page one, who cares? So long as the public are satisfied and keep on buying products, it really does not matter to Google one little bit who's page they buy those products from
  • Jill, torka and cfreek like this

#278850 Tips For New Seos

Posted by Jill on 09 May 2008 - 11:20 AM

Also check out the Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze series which provides a step-by-step approach to SEO.
  • gaganmasoun, Graham and Valuehits like this

#337696 What You Think About That ?

Posted by reseo on 16 December 2014 - 08:01 PM

Hi there,


I would be interested in buying a domain. It's nothing special. But I would be interested in buying it since it has some low traffic.. I just like the domain name very much and the topic around it...


So I asked the owner if the site is all fine, he said yes.

I also asked him if he ever had Google AdSense on it, and he said yes.

I asked, why he has not Google AdSense anymore ?


His answer:

His Account was closed from google.. 


Aha.. I said.. well.. I really appreciate the honesty.


So here it comes.. of course I do have my own personal Google AdSense account... 


But if I would buy the Domain, and if the Domain was already banned once from google.. to use AdSense.. 

well.. could I possible use it for my own AdSense ?


I simple don't know if it's URL based, or Account based ?


Does it make somehow any sense ?


Just don't know if I would buy the Domain if I could also run Google AdSense on it, since it was once shut down from Google.



Thx for any little help,

like always. highly appreciated !



  • ArnoldfEp and LeslieGesy like this

#337423 New Site Struggling With Page Rank

Posted by Michael Martinez on 27 November 2014 - 10:19 PM

When searchers cannot find what they are looking for they will change their query, so even if we assume for the sake of discussion that no one ever clicks through to the second page of results, they will still change their queries.

Hence, you're thinking about one query and everyone else is thinking about thousands.

Building a site that is relevant to thousands of queries brings in a lot of qualified organic search traffic. Not worrying about where you rank for those queries, but instead measuring your success in terms of growth in interested traffic and conversions is how you should be optimizing for search.
  • torka and chrishirst like this

#337134 How To Get New Blog Post Indexed Fast?

Posted by Michael Martinez on 03 November 2014 - 09:48 AM

If you are using WordPress then be sure to publish POSTs and not just PAGEs and let the blog ping the search tools (do not block search engines in your settings).

And you can submit your pages for crawling through Bing and Google's Webmaster dashboards.
  • karthick and kayes95 like this

#337105 Google Next Search Rollout

Posted by Michael Martinez on 31 October 2014 - 06:49 PM

I expect 2 more on Monday. And then 2 more on Tuesday. And then 2 more on Wednesday. And it sort of continues on like that every day of the week, all year long.

As for MAJOR algorithm updates like Panda or Penguin or Payday Loans or Page Layout, well, they tend to announce one of those every 1-2 months. Some months you get lucky and they announce 1-3 of these rollouts.

The future should be plenty exciting for people who want to know when the search engines change their algorithms. Most guesses will be close to the truth so everybody wins eventually.
  • Jill and torka like this

#337088 Facebook Likes

Posted by chrishirst on 30 October 2014 - 11:34 AM


Here is the thing; My boss gave me a challenge, "get 500 Facebook likes on our page within 1 week and

You have an idiot for a boss.

  • Mikl and KickBoostSEO like this

#336709 Domestic Keyword Research

Posted by chrishirst on 04 October 2014 - 10:55 AM

It is no more complicated than;


Use the words or phrases (all of them) that your target audience are likely to be using.




But I want to make sure I get it 100% right this time before I start.

Never going to happen.


Real SEO is about trying, testing, improving, ... trying, testing, improving, ... trying, testing, improving  ...

  • Kroeriks and johnklok like this

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