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Below is a collection of all the SEO articles written for the High Rankings Advisor SEO newsletter. If you enjoy and learn from these SEO articles, subscribe to the newsletter to read the latest as soon as they are published.

Jill's Random Website Marketing Thoughts

October 9, 2013
I had a few interesting topics to write about this week, but none of them seemed meaty enough to spawn a full-fledged article on their own. So I decided to throw them all out there with a little bit of commentary to go with them. I hope some of them resonate with you! Read More >>

How to Do SEO for Now and Forever

September 25, 2013
While it's easy to say what SEO isn't, it's a lot harder to pin down exactly what SEO is these days. On the other hand, SEO is still the same thing I said it was when I first started writing about it over a decade ago -- that is, making your website the best it can be both for people and search engines. Read More >>

How Your Site Architecture and Website Navigation Affect SEO

September 11, 2013
As discussed in my last article about technical SEO issues, it's crucial to be sure that you have no server errors on your site. But there are other technical issues that relate to your website navigation and how you set up your overall site architecture. Read More >>

Technical SEO Issues

August 28, 2013
While uncovering and fixing technical issues has always been an important part of SEO, in the wake of Panda and Penguin, technical SEO has moved closer to the forefront. You may have thought that the better Google gets, the less effect technical problems would have on SEO -- I know I did. But in fact, it has been the opposite. Read More >>

Why Links You Place Yourself Aren't Really Links

July 31, 2013
Jill Whalen explains why you should forget about "SEO link building." Read More >>

Outdated Keyword Optimization Techniques that Could Be Killing Your Rankings

July 17, 2013
Today I've got a guest article about how to optimize your content for today's Google. Read More >>

4 Google Trust Factors That Can Provide Negative Signals About Your Website

June 19, 2013
While just about anything you do with your site that makes it seem spammy (such as keyword stuffing, for example) would also make it seem less trustworthy, Google now looks beyond just the obvious. Read More >>

3 Reasons Why SEO and PPC Are a Match Made in Heaven

June 5, 2013
Pauline Jakober looks at three ways SEO and PPC work together to create a mutually beneficial relationship for a website. Read More >>

What Does Social Media Have to Do With SEO?

May 22, 2013
Nothing and Everything

How to Fix a Wrong URL in Google and Bing

April 10, 2013
What do you do when you accidentally provide the search engines with a bad URL? Read More >>

Are Numbers in URLs Okay for SEO?

April 10, 2013
I am wondering if numbers in URLs negatively affect SEO. Read More >>

Content Marketing Metrics Fun With Google Analytics

March 13, 2013
When you add great content to your website on a regular basis and get the word out about it to your target audience, you'll gain more rankings, traffic, conversions, leads and sales. Read More >>

Merry-Go-Round Sites

February 13, 2013
With the introduction of the Panda filter by Google (originally dubbed "Farmer") in February 2011, one commonality of sites that were hit was what I called merry-go-round sites. Read More >>

Sneaky Footer Links and Other Footer Abuses That Google Dislikes

January 16, 2013
In my "18 SEO Killers" article from the end of last year, I mentioned footer links as a potential SEO problem. I know this confused many people because I didn't explain what I meant by them. This article takes an in-depth look at footer abuses.

My 7 Most Popular 2012 SEO Articles

January 2, 2013
Missed any of Jill's articles in 2012? Do not fear, today's HRA recaps the most popular ones! Read More >>

Why Running Ranking Reports Is a Fool's Errand

December 19, 2012
By now you've heard the news that a few of the major SEO tool companies will no longer be providing ranking reports as part of the website data they supply. While you are probably still in shock and scrambling to figure out what to do about it, if you're serious about your online marketing, it's actually the best thing that could happen to you. Read More >>

SEO and Duplicate Content Issues That Hurt Google Traffic

December 5, 2012
As part of my SEO for 2013 and beyond series, I promised to provide more in-depth information about the "SEO killers" I mentioned last time. Today I'm delving into duplicate content as it relates to SEO.

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

November 14, 2012
There's a lot of talk lately of Google having finally killed SEO through their Panda and Penguin algorithms, which continue to ensnare more and more websites with every new update. So is SEO really (finally) dead? Read More >>

Personalized Search Results and Image Captions

October 3, 2012
When I searched a phrase on my computer, I did not come up at all but I get traffic for that phrase. How does that happen? Read More >>

Moving an HTML Site to WordPress After Loss of Website Traffic

September 19, 2012
Does moving from an HTML site to a WordPress site have any big SEO issues? Read More >>

Measuring SEO Success via Google Analytics

September 5, 2012
I've put together some of the main metrics that I like to look at when I'm evaluating the SEO progress of a website, as well as how to find or gather those metrics via reports and dashboards. Read More >>

Wasting Client Money With Some Unnatural Link Removal Requests

September 5, 2012
This week, rather than a High Rankings Question of the Week, I've got a rant of the week instead. Read More >>

Matt Cutts Reveals Google's Updated SEO Copywriting Strategy

August 22, 2012
Karon's been noticing for quite some time that the top sites in Google didn't always have the exact keyphrase used multiple times within their copy. So she went to Matt Cutts from Google to confirm her suspicions--that we no longer need to use keyword phrases as a whole, but should use the individual words contained within the phrases. Read More >>

What Are Low-Quality Pages and How Do You Fix Them?

August 8, 2012
In some of my recent reviews of websites that have recently lost Google traffic, I've found a common thread: lots of low-quality content pages. But the interesting thing is that this wasn't the sort of low-quality content created by some scammy SEO in an attempt to boost search engine rankings. Read More >>

What to Do If You Receive an Unnatural Linking Message From Google

July 25, 2012
As you know, I've been reviewing tons of websites that have lost Google traffic lately. Most of the reasons that the sites lost favor with Google have been fairly obvious (to me)--especially the sites that have seen steep declines. Most of the reasons include any combination of... Read More >>

Paying for Penalties: Lies That Shady SEO Companies Tell

July 11, 2012
Ever since Panda and Penguin have hit, a lot of companies have lost a large percentage of their website visitors. Unfortunately, many of them were taken advantage of by shady SEO companies. Read More >>

Using Keyword Research to Find Long-Tail Keyword Phrases

June 27, 2012
What are you supposed to do if there aren't any long-tail keywords for your niche? Read More >>

Getting Ahead in Google: Dare to Be Different

June 13, 2012
I recently did a site audit for a client who was wondering why they were having a hard time showing up in Google. When I read through the information they sent me and took a quick look at their website, it was obvious to me what the problem was: They simply didn't deserve to be there. Let me explain... Read More >>

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

May 30, 2012
This post provides 5 mistakes I've seen often enough to warrant a mention so that you can learn from others who weren't so lucky. Read More >>

Your Most Common SEO Questions Answered

May 2, 2012
Today I browsed through the 3,500 or so SEO questions people asked at Google and chose the most common ones to answer.

Measuring Natural Keyword Traffic in the Age of (Not Provided) Secure Search

April 4, 2012
What does Google expect honest search marketers to do when we can no longer accurately report the natural keyword segmentation of traffic? Read More >>

Giving Has Its Own SEO Rewards

March 7, 2012
It's pretty amazing and very cool that a simple gesture can have such a profound effect on someone's career – and, I daresay – life. Read More >>

SEO Question and Answer Lightning Round

January 25, 2012
What does a good online marketer do when stuck for topic ideas these days? Go to Twitter, what else! I asked my followers to hit me with their burning SEO questions and they didn't disappoint. Read More >>

5 6 Reasons Why You Need to Use Rel=Author on Your Content

January 11, 2012
If you're thinking that implementing the Rel-Author tag on your content isn't worth the trouble, Jill Whalen provides 5 6 reasons why it's super important. Read More >>

Our 7 Most Popular 2011 SEO Articles

December 28, 2011
Click through to see which HRA SEO articles were the most popular of 2011! Read More >>

10 Questions for New SEO Clients

November 30, 2011
If you could only ask 10 general (non-industry-specific) questions of your new SEO customers, what would they be and why would their answers help you help them? Read More >>

The Meta Description Tag

November 16, 2011
The keywords and phrases you use in your Meta description tag may not affect your page's ranking in the search engines, but this tag can still come in handy in your overall SEO and social media marketing campaigns. Read More >>

Ending Social Media Marketing Confusion

November 2, 2011
You know you're supposed to get on Twitter to somehow promote your website. So you start randomly tweeting out links to a product or service page on your website. But who is going to care? Read More >>

Why Both Weight Loss and Google Rankings Are Limited Goals

October 19, 2011
Similar to weight loss being a poor main goal for your health and fitness regime, where your pages rank for specific keyword phrases is also a poor main goal.


Why SEO in All the Right Places Doesn't Cut It Anymore

October 5, 2011
Learn why many websites that were making their owners tons of money in the past through traditional SEO, no longer work as well "post Panda." Read More >>

Microsite or Main Domain?

September 21, 2011
I was wondering if you had any advice about which option is better SEO wise…buying a domain for a microsite or adding the information to your website as additional content? Read More >>

Is pageid= in the URL Harmful to Website SEO?

September 21, 2011
Recently I had a conversation with an SEO expert who claimed that the most important thing we need to do for SEO on our website is URL rewriting. Our old CMS system still uses parameters in the URL ("?pageid="). Read More >>

Deceptive Marketing: A Necessary Evil for Search Marketers?

September 7, 2011
When building links or doing other search marketing tasks, it necessary to lie? Isn't that sort of thing exactly what gives marketers in general (not just search marketers) a bad reputation? Read More >>

How to Optimize Copy When You Can't Use Keywords

August 24, 2011
What's the first thing you think of when writing with keywords? Probably one of the first is that keywords and phrases are descriptive of the products and/or services you're writing about. But what happens in those circumstances where you can't (or don't really want to) use your chosen keyphrases descriptively? Read More >>

Converting Your Website Visitors One Small Step at a Time

August 10, 2011
Adding value to your website through free articles, blog posts, videos, and any other type of content that may be helpful to those at the not-ready-to-buy-yet stage, is a great way to gain extra traffic. The problem (if you want to call it that) with all this "value-added" content is that it brings those very people who will rarely convert into a lead or a sale. Read More >>

Many SEO Questions

July 27, 2011
I have many questions about SEO. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated! Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

July 27, 2011
What are your quick words of wisdom for a business owner just starting out with SEO for their site? Read More >>

Help People Find Your Blog Content with Categories and Tags

July 13, 2011
Today's feature article is a guest post from my friend and B2B marketing consultant Dianna Huff. If you're a B2B company in need of online content writing and marketing, you'll be in good hands with Dianna! In addition, she’s also hosting local, low cost, lunch time web marketing seminars in the MA-NH Merrimack Valley area. Read More >>

Back to SEO Basics: Choosing Keyword Phrases

June 29, 2011
As you try to choose the best keyword phrases for each page, you will have to work them into the content of that page. They absolutely must be highly relevant so that you don't drive your copywriter crazy when s/he sits down to do the writing. Read More >>

Who Keeps Spreading Silly SEO Stupidity, and Why?

June 15, 2011
Not a week goes by where a reader or a client doesn't ask me a question based on some bad SEO advice they heard or read somewhere. In this article, I try to figure out where it's coming from and why it gets spread. Read More >>

URLs With Hashtags

June 1, 2011
Do you think the hashtag in a URL affects the site's SEO or link building in any way? Read More >>

Rankings Disappear

June 1, 2011
I have noticed for a long time that we have many keywords that we will rank fine for, but then one week they are not ranked at all and the following week they will be back to around the original ranking. Read More >>

Does Google Spam Still Work Post-Panda?

May 4, 2011
It's been more than 5 months since my open letter to Google lamenting the state of their search results and how web spam was getting the best of them. Jill takes a look at how far they've come with improving their search results. Read More >>

Getting Found Locally in Google With Only One Company Address

April 20, 2011
Is there a way to tell Google which states the site is relevant for? Read More >>

16 SEO Tactics That Will NOT Bring Targeted Google Visitors

April 6, 2011
In an effort to keep you from spending your precious time on supposed SEO tactics that will have absolutely no effect on your rankings, search engine visitors, conversions or sales, I present you with 16 SEO tactics that you can remove from your personal knowledge base and/or SEO toolbox as being in any way related to SEO. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

April 6, 2011
Name a common SEO tactic that doesn't actually move the needle in terms of rankings or traffic. Read More >>

The Truth About Search Engines and Flash

March 23, 2011
If your company wants people to actually understand what you do when they come to your website, how does playing with the spinning balls further this goal? Read More >>

Some Farm Aid for the Afflicted: Google Farmer Update

March 2, 2011
By now you've surely heard of the recent Google algorithm changes dubbed the "Farmer Update." This article highlights some of the interesting things I noticed that made me go hmmm...with the small set of sites I've looked at so far. Read More >>

Stirring Up SEO Trouble

February 16, 2011
Hi, my name is Jill, and I’m a %#@$ stirrer! Read More >>

Google (and Bing) Love Anchor Text Link Spam

February 2, 2011
I'm tired of Google (and Bing) returning sites that use anchor text link spam to get on the first page of results. Read More >>

Google Sucks All the Way to the Bank!

January 19, 2011
Jill writes about why Google wants their organic search results to "suck just enough." Read More >>

3 SEO Traps to Avoid During Your Redesign

January 5, 2011
Going live with a redesigned website without considering the SEO implications is like being ensnared in a nasty trap that you cannot escape from. Read More >>

SEO Consultants Are Not the Enemy!

December 15, 2010
When a client hires an outside SEO consultant during the design and development of a new website, it's often not looked upon kindly by the development team. Chances are the team has had bad experiences with an SEO who forced them to design for search engines and not for people. Read More >>

Back to SEO Basics With Keyword Research

December 1, 2010
Today's article focuses on your first line of SEO defense -- keyword research. Optimizing for the wrong keywords -- either those that are not truly relevant to what your business offers or those that aren't being used by searchers -- will have the dire consequence of making you think that SEO is mythical marketing magic that doesn't work. Read More >>

Just Say No to SEO Articles!

November 17, 2010
Last week I was speaking with a potential client in need of SEO consulting who told me that they had been working on their product part e-commerce website over the past few months by adding "SEO articles" to it on a regular basis. Read More >>

CMS Keeps Two Sets of URLs

November 3, 2010
We are moving our site to a new CMS and have a few questions regarding URLs and our sitemap. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

October 6, 2010
What's your measure of a successful SEO implementation? Read More >>

Dear Google...Stop Making Me Look Like a Fool!

September 22, 2010
Jill Whalen writes an open letter to Google lamenting the amount of spam still found in their search results. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

September 22, 2010
What type of search engine spam do you see still working well in Google? Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

September 22, 2010
Getting Better Rankings for Category Pages

SEO Is Bound to Fail If...

September 8, 2010
...If you don't keep your SEO abreast of website changes.
...If you think your SEO can work independently and not need (a lot of) your help.
...If you know enough SEO to be dangerous.

Twitter Question of the Week

September 8, 2010
What's the biggest reason you've seen for SEO failure with clients? Read More >>

SEO Copywriting Telesummit

September 8, 2010
It's somewhat late, but I have free passes available to Karon Thackston's SEO copywriting telesummit this Thursday, September 9, 2010. Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

September 8, 2010
Keyword Phrases in Product Listings

Do You Suffer From BlindWebsititis?

August 25, 2010
When you review the keywords from which people clicked to your site, are they only peripherally related to what you offer? If so, your website is likely suffering from BlindWebsititis! Read More >>

Social Media Marketing Doesn't Replace SEO

August 11, 2010
Looking at the latest search marketing conference agendas, articles, and online news in the SEM space, it certainly appears that social media marketing and networking are the wave of the future. Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

August 11, 2010
Is Switching Domains a No-no?

Questions About Starting an SEO Company

July 28, 2010
I'm considering starting my own SEO company and working with local businesses and I was wondering if you could offer any advice. Read More >>

Will My Website Rank #1 With Articles?

July 28, 2010
Are articles a smart and strategic way to invest our money? Is this person being completely honest in saying we "will rank on page 1" with their articles? Read More >>

No Metas?

July 28, 2010
I noticed you do not use meta descriptions or meta keywords on many of your pages. Why not? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

July 28, 2010
Do you use "article marketing" as a form of SEO? Read More >>

Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

July 28, 2010
Using Divs and JavaScript for SEO Purposes

Opt Out of SEO at Your Own Peril!

July 14, 2010
If you're a small-business owner, you know you need a website in order to compete online. But I sometimes wonder how many owners know they don't just need a website, but one that's been developed with SEO baked in from the start. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

July 14, 2010
If you're a website designer, do you work with SEOs? If you're an SEO, do you work with developers? Read More >>

9 Steps to Diagnosing Lost Search Engine Traffic

June 30, 2010
For the past few weeks I've been tasked with reviewing a few different sites that have seen a loss in traffic – their owners hoped to find out why... I can usually make some educated guesses based on what I dig up in Google Analytics. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

June 30, 2010
Have you seen sites obviously penalized by Google and, if so, what was the cause? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

June 16, 2010
True or false? Today's SEO could be tomorrow's search engine spam with the turn of an algo crank. Read More >>

Search Engine Algorithm Changes Effects on SEO

June 16, 2010
Jill's response to whether today's SEO techniques could become tomorrow's search engine spam. Read More >>

HRA 283 Wrap-up

June 16, 2010
Lots of new SEO website reviews and site audits to take care of over the next few weeks. Let me know if you're interested in one for your site. Read More >>

Dupe Content From Tracking Links

June 2, 2010
I have a question about the duplicate content issue when you append tracking codes. But, as a safety measure to avoid duplicate content, I've included a 301-redirect in the htaccess file... Read More >>

Ranking for Local Keywords – Part 1

June 2, 2010
Why does one of our websites come up #5 on Google under the keywords "our keyword phrase Los Angeles" when the keywords "Los Angeles" are nowhere to be found on our pages? Read More >>

Ranking for Local Keywords – Part 2

June 2, 2010
My client has a local shop. Should every keyword phrase contain the locale, such as Denver, Arvada, Westminster, etc., and then just change up the item? Read More >>

Linking to Low-Authority Sites

June 2, 2010
If websites have links pointing externally, is there a difference when pointing to high- or low-authority sites? Read More >>

Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

June 2, 2010
Did any of you experience that faster load speed of pages got you better rankings at Google SERP? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

May 19, 2010
How often do you view your web analytics? Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

May 19, 2010
Title Tags and H1 Tags: Same or different for best SEO? Read More >>

8 SEO Myths Debunked

May 5, 2010
Here are some of the more prevalent myths I hear and see bandied about in SEO articles, at SEO conferences, in SEO blogs and on SEO forums. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

May 5, 2010
What's Your Favorite SEO Myth?

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

May 5, 2010
Help Choose: Subdomain or Directory?

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

April 21, 2010
Coding from Scratch or a CMS?

Targeting Different Countries

April 7, 2010
As a long-term subscriber I would like to ask for your advice concerning optimisation of an e-commerce site for multiple countries. Read More >>

Supplemental Index

April 7, 2010
Due to my very low link popularity, is that enough to send my pages to Google's Supplemental Index? Read More >>

Manually Submit to Search Engines

April 7, 2010
Should one manually submit a site to a search engine? Read More >>

Forwarded Domains

April 7, 2010
I have one main website and own about 10 other domain name versions that are similar. Read More >>

Ampersands and Search Engines

April 7, 2010
On my web page I have H2 tags that include the HTML ampersand (&) character code. I've been told that this confuses crawlers. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

April 7, 2010
What do you feel is THE most important SEO tactic for any website? Read More >>

Stuff You Might Like

April 7, 2010
High Rankings Online SEO Course

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

March 24, 2010
Okay to Launch a New Site Without Redirects in Place? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

March 10, 2010
Which Parts of SEO Do You Outsource?

SEO Recommendations Don't Implement Themselves!

February 24, 2010
I've had the opportunity to work with a variety of businesses through the years – from tiny one-person small businesses to huge international companies. While there are many similarities in working with different sized companies, there are also important differences. Read More >>

Stuff You Might Like

February 24, 2010
New Affordable SEO Small-Business Package.

Why We Do What We Do in SEO

February 10, 2010
One thing that can help you figure out how to SEO your site is to learn the whys behind the specific techniques you always hear about. But to understand the whys, you first need to get the gist of how search engines work. Read More >>

SEO Copywriting Tomfoolery

January 20, 2010
Do you have any info on the issue of spamdexing – specifically the practice of adding keywords into text unnaturally and then emphasizing just the keywords (for example, boldfacing and/or italicizing them)? Read More >>

Same Article on Blog and Website

January 20, 2010
Is it OK to have the same articles on your site as you do on your blog? And, if not, is it better to have a blog with a link back to your site, or to put the article directly on your site? Read More >>

SEOing a Live Site

January 20, 2010
When you begin optimizing a website, does it have to go down while creating meta tags – title, description, keyword? OR do we need to back up the website first? Read More >>

XML Site Maps

January 20, 2010
Is an XML sitemap mandatory if you have a CMS? Read More >>

Many Domain Names for SEO

January 20, 2010
I own many domain names related to my business. Would I have a problem with Google if I made one-page websites with good related copy on these domain names and linked the one-page websites back to my main website? Read More >>

Difference Between SEM and SEO

January 20, 2010
I was wondering what the differences are between SEM and SEO. Read More >>

Natural Inbound Links

January 20, 2010
Inbound, good-quality links are a struggle for me. I can sort though all sorts of tech stuff resulting in a good-looking, professional website, but link building is a real challenge. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

January 20, 2010
What (if anything) will you be doing differently with your SEO strategy this year? Read More >>

A Decade of 21st Century SEO

January 6, 2010
I've been SEO'ing websites long before the 21st century began. Sometimes I feel I've been touting the same SEO processes and procedures for the past 10 years. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

January 6, 2010
What has changed most in Search Marketing since 2000? Read More >>

6 Website Redesign SEO Secrets Your Developer May Not Know

December 16, 2009
You need to address a number of SEO tactics before you get too deep into your website redesign. The reason you need to keep SEO front and center during this time is twofold: so that you do not lose your previous traffic, but also so that you can gain additional targeted search engine visitors when the new site goes live. Read More >>

Stuff You Might Like

December 16, 2009
2010 SEO Class Dates Announced: March 12 or April 16, 2010 Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

December 16, 2009
Chopping and Changing Titles Frequently

SEO Trends

December 2, 2009
Each year around this time, I like to review the traffic trends to our High Rankings website, and compare the traffic to the previous year. I usually learn a lot from this exercise, and I highly recommend it to everyone. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

December 2, 2009
The easiest part of SEO is...

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

December 2, 2009
Rankings Are Dead?

10-plus SEO Questions - Google Rules

November 11, 2009
This morning I woke up to someone having submitted a pile of SEO questions using our newsletter question form. At first I thought, "Yikes, that's kind of pushy to think I have time to answer all those questions!" But then I remembered that this was a newsletter week and I still had no idea what I was going to write about. Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

November 11, 2009
Meta Description – Beyond 155 – Still Alive? Read More >>

Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

October 28, 2009
SEO Best Principles for Local Service

What's Good for Users Is Good for Search Engines

October 14, 2009
I know that you HRA readers know that what's good for your users is almost always what's good for search engines too, but not everybody gets this yet.

Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

October 14, 2009
Last week at the SMX East conference, a Yahoo representative stated on a panel that the Yahoo search engine no longer supported the meta keyword tag, and supposedly hadn't for months. Unfortunately, what the Yahoo rep stated was simply not true. Read More >>

Title Tags Revisited

September 30, 2009
The title tag has been – and probably will always be – one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings. Read More >>

Website Traffic and Its Effect on Rankings

September 16, 2009
Advanced Forum Thread of the Week: New forum member "wsajay" was wondering if and how the traffic to a given website affects its search engine rankings. Read More >>

Crazy Jill's Price Slashing SEO Services

September 16, 2009
So you're probably wondering what's up with the price slashing in the newsletter ad for our SEO services. Have I finally lost my mind completely? Is this a last-ditch effort before we go bankrupt? Read More >>

SERP Description

September 2, 2009
I've been asked to provide some info on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) description of my site, and how to manage it. Read More >>

Adjusting Domains

September 2, 2009
My plan is to move all the home decor products from the old site to the new one AND change the products of the old one back to selling the jewelry, perfume, wallets, etc. – that is, the "gifty" stuff. What is the best way to make this change? Read More >>

SEO for a Swiss Site

September 2, 2009
I have a corporate client that is planning to purchase a company in Switzerland and they are wondering if I can do the SEO. But then it dawned on me, checking their rankings with a U.S.-based IP address might deliver different search results…do you think? Read More >>

Any Good SEO Books?

September 2, 2009
I am new to SEO. I am writing my first website and would like to get a better understanding of building a great website that will attract my target market to my site. Can you suggest any good books that can help me achieve this goal? Read More >>

Do you give ballpark SEO quotes...?

September 2, 2009
The Twitter Question of the Week is: "Do you give 'ballpark' SEO quotes to companies if/when they won't tell you what the website is? It's kinda necessary, no?" Read More >>

How to Exponentially Boost Your Targeted Website Traffic

August 19, 2009
Few things in an SEO's life are sweeter than watching one page of a site hit pay dirt for a high-volume, high-relevance keyword in Google. Read More >>

Bing and 301-redirects - Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

August 19, 2009
Forum moderator "Qwerty" noticed that Microsoft's Bing search engine is indexing 301-redirected pages, which is very disconcerting. Read More >>

Determining Keyword Competition

August 5, 2009
I'm a Keyword Discovery subscriber, and I use the tool for organic SEO keyword research purposes. I've recently discovered that the keyword analysis information (competition and thus KEI info) is based on exact match search instead of partial match. Read More >>

The hardest part of SEO is...? - Twitter Question of the Week #TQW

August 5, 2009
My Twitter question for this week was:

"The hardest part of SEO is...?" Read More >> Interview - Stuff You Might Like

August 5, 2009
In response to my "Most of SEO Is a Boondoggle" article, my buddy Andrew Goodman from had some very interesting follow-up questions for me. Read More >>

Keywords in Domain vs. Volume of Content - Advanced Forum Thread of Week

August 5, 2009
Forum member "jsp1983" wondered which might be better, "Essentially, a very localised domain, but with less content vs. a less specific domain, but with lots of content." Read More >>

5 Factors When Choosing an SEO Company

July 22, 2009
A lot of companies get so confused when attempting to hire an SEO firm that they simply give up altogether and don't hire anyone. Part of the problem is that they simply don't know whom to trust for this service. Read More >>

What are you not doing on your website? - Twitter Question of the Week

July 8, 2009
I asked my Twitter peeps, "What are you not doing on your own website that you often recommend your clients should do?" Read More >>

Building an eCommerce Site with SEO in Mind

June 24, 2009
Have you ever noticed that ecommerce sites have their own set of challenges when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO)? If you're a small ecommerce site owner, I'm sure you have. One reason is that copy plays such a vital role in the optimization process. Read More >>

New Optimized Page vs. New Site -Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

June 24, 2009
Forum member "taterchips" (great name!) is interested in tackling a specific niche within their profession and was looking at the most effective way to play to that niche. Their question has to do with whether they should add a new page or section to their existing website or start a new website for this particular niche. Read More >>

Publishing Text Ads

June 10, 2009
We are being contacted more and more by companies asking if we will add to our websites and/or clients' websites a short paragraph of text that includes a link to one of their clients' sites – i.e., a text advertisement. Read More >>

The Time for SEO Is Before You Need It! - Stuff You Might Like

June 10, 2009
Thought you might be interested in my TalentZoo column from last week entitled: "The Time for SEO Is Before You Need It!" Read More >>

PageRank Evaporation When PR Sculpting - Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

June 10, 2009
There was big news last week from the SMX Advanced conference, which we've been discussing at the forum, regarding the use of PageRank sculpting. Read More >>

Blog Post Metadata

May 27, 2009
Are the Title, Description and Keywords (the metadata) always the same for each blog post? Read More >>

Calendar for Long-tail SEO

May 27, 2009
We want to put a calendar of events on our website. Google Calendar appears to be a great product but since it is not hosted on our website the long-tail SEO value (which is one of the main reasons we want to do the calendar) is lost. Read More >>

Redirecting Website to a New Domain

May 27, 2009
We have a website of which the home page has 5 PageRank. This website has 5,000 pages that are indexed in and many of the pages have good PageRank. Read More >>

Multiple Keyword-rich Domains

May 27, 2009
I have a series (15) of keyword domains (3 to 5 years old) that are related to my site. Currently most of them are mirrors with just a slight content differential. Read More >>

85 Reasons Why Developers/Designers Keep SEOs in Business - Stuff You Might Like

May 27, 2009
A few months ago, I was quoted by Google's Matt Cutts as saying that "website developers keep SEOs in business." I honestly do believe that and have for a long time. While I don't mean to say that ALL website designers and developers believe or do all of these things, you'll likely encounter many who have done or believe in some of these. Read More >>

Page Title Question - Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

May 27, 2009
Forum member "vanzist" asks what the best Title tag for a page would be. While my first response was the usual "it depends," additional comments make for a very interesting forum thread. Read More >>

Setting Up an SEO Shop Overnight!

May 13, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I received the following request from an email address in India:

"sir/madam.i want to start SEO(search engine optimization)business.but before that i want to know about to intitate this?can u please help me?"


Blogs and SEO

April 15, 2009
My question is: How does Google know that the blog is part of my website if the address isn't under my website address or hosted by my server? Read More >>

All-Graphical Home Page

April 15, 2009
I realize that Google picks up Alt text data (aka Alt tags), especially if the graphic acts as a link; however, I am a bit puzzled on how Google ranked a particular site. Read More >>

Embedded YouTube Video Vs. Self-hosting – SEO benefits? Advanced SEO Forum Thread

April 15, 2009
Forum member "cswilliams" wonders if hosting your videos on your own server rather than on YouTube would provide any SEO benefits. Read More >>

No Copy on Home Page - Forum Thread of the Week

April 1, 2009
I am doing SEO for a website, and I have tried to persuade the owner to include some copy on the home page to sell their services and for ranking, but they prefer just an image and navigation. Is this going to be a big setback in terms of SEO? Read More >>

Dynamically Generated Pages and Dynamic Titles

March 4, 2009
I run an apartment search website. The sites search results pages are dynamic and pulled from the database. If these dynamic pages also have dynamic page titles, will they be search engine relevant? Read More >>

Duplicate Content Via Press Releases

March 4, 2009
I disseminate news releases for clients using online wire services. Additionally, the releases are posted on my clients' websites, usually as PDFs, and on my firm's website, the same PDF. My programmer just told me that unless I make these releases different I am causing search engine apoplexy. Please let me know the facts and, more important, what I should be doing. Read More >>

Measuring SEO Services

March 4, 2009
My question is, how should SEO services be evaluated? In other words, what measurable objectives beyond landing above the fold are appropriate? Read More >>

Fixing Duplicate Content

March 4, 2009
We have a travel website where people can enquire about beautiful small hotels we offer. Even though each hotel has a unique URL with unique content, the categories pages have a duplication problem. Read More >>

Discontinued Products Showing in Google

March 4, 2009
I would like to ask a question too, please. Our website is geared to sell GPS equipment. Many of the products have a life of about 6 months to a year. Google indexes these very well, and we rank highly. However, some searches display discontinued products (I guess because they have been around the longest). Read More >>

Combining Subdomains - Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

March 4, 2009
Forum member Convergent7 has a website that uses a subdomain along with the main domain. He/she wonders if it would be better to combine them into one. Read More >>

Canonical and Base Tags

February 18, 2009
Forum moderator Jonathan Hochman posted about Google's new method for specifying canonical URLs, which the other major search engines have also agreed to use. Read More >>

Same Content, Different URLs

February 4, 2009
I have a new website selling children's eco friendly toys. The site was designed to enable customers to search for toys by age, by type of toy, by brand, and by country of manufacture. A given toy description would be in each of these categories as well as in multiple age categories and multiple toy types (i.e., in puzzles and wooden puzzles). Read More >>

Submitting to Directories and Search Engines

February 4, 2009
I'm writing now because a colleague and I have some questions on search engine/directory submission and we are hoping to get your expertise on the subject. We currently submit new sites to major SEs once they go live, but are wondering if some of the services are worth pursuing or if you advise against these? Read More >>

SEO Non-compete

February 4, 2009
What do you think about a potential SEO client who asks you to agree not to work with any related company for 2 years after the conclusion of the business relationship? Read More >>

Can Lots of Clicks Equal Higher Rankings?

February 4, 2009
If I hire people through something like crowdsourcing just to Google some keywords from various areas of the globe to click through to my site and stay there for 5 minutes, will it improve my rankings? Read More >>

Absolute Links or Relative?

February 4, 2009
I've been researching absolute vs. relative links and there seem to be two camps -- one that advocates absolute as better for SEO purposes and the other that says that absolute links won't improve your rank. My site is set up with relative links, so is it worth the effort to change them to absolute? Read More >>

Effect of Navigational Content on SEO

February 4, 2009
I'm redesigning my website using CSS for the layout. In the HTML code the navigation information comes before the actual page content. What worries me is how I have my navigation set up. I use CSS and span tags to make neat little information boxes appear when my navigation links are hovered over. These boxes will tell the visitor more about what to expect from that particular link. Read More >>

Podcast Conversation: Length of Copy for Search Engines- Stuff You Might Like

February 4, 2009
Karon Thackston and I were discussing copy length the other day (yeah, we're total geeks when it comes to that stuff) and decided to share our conversation via a podcast. You can click to it and listen from Karon's copywriting workshop page. Read More >>

How Many Keywords Is Too Many? - Advanced SEO Forum Thread

February 4, 2009
Forum member "anne999" was wondering how many keywords she could target on her website. Read More >>

Are You Ignoring the Cries of Your Website?

January 7, 2009
While traveling by plane to Florida to visit my grandmother for the holidays, we were sitting next to a couple with 2 small children, probably around 2 and 3 years of age. We expect a lot of children during holiday travel, and typically it's not that big of a deal. With this family, however, it was a different matter. Read More >>

Setting Realistic SEO Expectations

December 17, 2008
In 2005, when I originally wrote the article below, I thought by the time 2009 approached, things would have changed. Yet many businesses continue to have unrealistic expectations of what an SEO campaign is all about. We've had a number of calls to our office recently from companies who continue to be hung up over one specific keyword phrase, with no interest in branching out to others. Surprisingly, I changed very little of the content of this article because the message is still as valid as the day I wrote it. Read More >>

Optimizing a Local School Site - Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

December 17, 2008
Forum member jass_blink is looking for tips on optimizing a local school website. Read More >>

Organic SEO or PPC?

November 19, 2008
If organic SEO is so important, why are we being sold on PPC as most important by PPC trainers? Why is there less about organic SEO? Read More >>

Penalized for Buying Links?

November 19, 2008
In Google's Webmaster Tools there is a section where you can submit someone you think is buying links. Here is what I don't understand – can Google really penalize you for purchasing links? Read More >>

Shutting Down a Site

November 19, 2008
I work for a nonprofit that since 2000 has been operating an e-commerce website to provide emerging artists with a web presence. It has earned a toolbar PageRank of 5, thanks to some decent inbound links. Due to a variety of things, the parent company of the website has decided it's time to shut the site down. Read More >>

Search Marketing Benchmark Webinar Recording

November 19, 2008
The High Rankings / MarketingSherpa free webinar that was held last week was a huge success! Read More >>

Free SEMNE Passes

November 5, 2008
SEMNE (Search Engine Marketing New England) is offering High Rankings Advisor Newsletter subscribers 6 free passes to the November 18, 2008 networking event in Providence, RI featuring Nick Gerner from SEOmoz (one of the developers of the much talked about "Linkscape" project). Read More >>

Google Indexing Robots.txt Files? - Advanced Forum Thread

November 5, 2008
In today's forum thread of the week, it was actually ME who had a question! I noticed that our robots.txt file had been indexed by Google and was curious if others had ever had this happen. Read More >>

Pages Indexed, Descriptions and Title Tags

October 22, 2008
How important is it to have a large number of indexed sites through Google? If so, how do we increase the number, and how do we edit what text appears under the link?

Keywords, Traffic and Link Popularity

October 22, 2008
I performed a keyword analysis for one of my projects, picked several powerful "traffic juicy" keywords and optimized the landing pages for those keywords. My site went to the first page in the search engines, and yet we've got no more than 100 unique visitors per month. Have you any idea why? Read More >>

1 Site Plus 4 Subdomains: Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

October 22, 2008
Forum member "bobmeetin" explains how a business he's evaluating has a main website plus 4 subdomains and seems like one big organizational mess.

Stuff You Might Like: Jill's Latest SEO Columns

October 8, 2008
In case you missed them, my September columns for both Search Engine Land and TalentZoo are definitely worth a read (if I do say so myself!). Read More >>

SEO Is Not a Last-Ditch Effort

September 23, 2008
Sales are down for many businesses due to the slow economy. Business owners and CEOs are looking for that one thing that can pull them through the hard times and keep them afloat. When times get tough, many turn to SEO, hoping that it will be the ticket to increased sales. While SEO is almost always a good idea, if you're counting on it to save a failing business, you may want to rethink things. Read More >>

Example of Nofollow in Action, Unsustainable?

September 10, 2008
Last week Twitter decided to remove the ability to gain any link popularity via people's Twitter profile page. This set off a firestorm from some SEOs who always look for as much link popularity as they can gather. What really made them mad was that they felt that Google (via Matt Cutts) had "bullied" Twitter into the decision. Read More >>

Can Google Follow Non-www Links?

August 27, 2008
For purposes of discussion, let's say my main URL is I have a plethora of links in my site for indexing purposes between pages. The page links all go to their respective pages properly, but are linked to (without the www part). Read More >>

Blog on Different IP

August 27, 2008
I'm wondering if there is more link value provided by a new blog if it is hosted on an IP with a different C block than the IP address of the web site itself. The owner of the business would be writing the blog and sharing business expertise with the idea of building the brand of the business.


Getting Search Engines to Re-crawl

August 27, 2008
I recently set up a new site, which isn't something I often do, and forgot to set up the meta title and description. Now what is called up on Google for my site is HOME and a sentence from mid-page. Now that I have fixed the Web problem, how do I get the search engines to do another crawl of the site?

Top Search Engine Ranking Software

August 27, 2008
I'm about to renew our contract with our search engine ranking optimization software, but thought I'd check out other options before committing. What do you folks use?


Stuff You Might Like: Recent Interviews With Jill Whalen, CEO High Rankings

August 27, 2008
I had the pleasure of being interviewed recently by a number of online marketing folks and thought you might enjoy learning more about me and my thoughts on a plethora of search marketing issues.

Advanced SEO Forum Thread: Will Google Suggest Changes in the Way You Optimize?

August 27, 2008
Google has announced that they are rolling out "Google Suggest" this week, which will provide searchers with a list of query suggestions when they start typing into the search box.

Advanced Forum Thread of the Week: Important Hub Pages in Supplemental / Not Ranking

August 27, 2008
Forum member "don h" discusses a website problem that's been plaguing him for ages. Read More >>

Are Websites Ranked as a Whole?

July 16, 2008
I recently signed up as an advertiser with [a blog review website] so I could purchase blog review postings for one of my clients. After enrolling, I purchased a PR5 blog review posting at the standard PR5 price of $40. Eventually my offer was picked up by a blogger, but the review posting only stayed on their PR5 home page for one day as the next day it was shifted from the front page of the blog to an archived page that had a PR0. Read More >>

SEO Plagiarism

July 2, 2008
Over the past few weeks, I've had a few run-ins with plagiarism in various forms and thought I'd take the opportunity to have a little rant about it. My hope is that by discussing it, people will become more educated about the issue and perhaps it will become a little less rampant online. Read More >>

Should You Change Your Copy When Rankings Fall?

June 11, 2008
Karon Thackston has a great article on her blog that I highly recommend. Read More >>

Will Linkbait Ruin the Internet?

May 28, 2008
When the term "linkbait" first appeared on the search marketing scene a few years ago, I wasn't too keen on it because it has a lot of negative connotations. In fishing, bait is not really a good thing (to the fish). One minute the fish thinks he's going to have a tasty meal, and the next minute he IS the tasty meal! Works out nicely for the fisherman, however. Read More >>

Review of Advanced SEO Course from SEMPO Institute

May 28, 2008
Today. Here are some thoughts on another one of SEMPO's online training courses. Enjoy! – Jill Read More >>

Lost Toolbar PageRank

May 14, 2008
The front page of my website has a [toolbar] PageRank of 4 and most of my inner pages had a PageRank of 3. After this quarter's Google [toolbar] update, my homepage remained a 4, but most of my inner pages went down to a 2. Read More >>

2 Domains, 1 Website

May 14, 2008
I have a client who has 2 domain names: and pointing at the same IP address. Is it bad SEO to have multiple domain names for the same site? And will this negatively impact search engine results for each? Read More >>

Optimizing Articles for Long-tail Keywords

April 30, 2008
Regarding long-tail keywords, I often find it difficult optimizing them in an article, mainly because it can look unnatural if you include them too often. How do you recommend I deal with this problem? Apart from in the headline, at what density do they need to be mentioned in an article in order to maximize our chances of getting good listings? Read More >>

Diagnosing the SEO Health Of Your Website

April 30, 2008
Is your website sick? In many ways, SEO consultants are like doctors, only instead of analyzing your personal health symptoms, we analyze the overall health of your website. It's true we're not working with life or death situations the same way doctors do, but having a website that is not receiving all the targeted search engine traffic it could be, is a sign of a sick website. Read More >>

Same Tags and Keywords But No High Rankings

April 23, 2008
If I have the same title tags and keywords as the company listed first in Google, Yahoo, etc., why don't I get a high ranking? Read More >>

Creating Terrific Title Tags

April 23, 2008
Read the third installment of my "Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze" series at TalentZoo. Read More >>

9 Websites on 1 Server

April 9, 2008
Here is the scenario: I had a Virtual Private Server (VPS) with 9 websites on it that were all interlinked. It worked great for awhile. Then in Nov. 2004, Google did a big adjustment, and all 9 of my sites dropped out of sight. Read More >>

Different Results in Different States

April 9, 2008
Search engine results seem to vary for US states. For instance, one of my clients gets top results while one of my clients from another state doesn't get the same results. Read More >>

Sitemaps: How Important Are They?

April 9, 2008
When you're done reading the SEO Standards threads, here's a good one on sitemaps. Read More >>

Client Responsiveness: How Do You Prod Them Into Action

March 26, 2008
Forum member "lenwood" has provided a client with lots of SEO recommendations that should ultimately increase their search engine traffic. That is, however, if the client would only implement them! Read More >>

Using Nofollow: Good, Bad, or Indifferent?

March 26, 2008
Now that the nofollow link attribute has been around for awhile, and even sanctioned by Google's Matt Cutts for "PageRank Sculpting," forum member "nethy" is wondering what your thoughts are on it. Read More >>

Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze Series

March 26, 2008
If you're looking for an organized SEO method that won't confuse you, you may want to check out my recent columns at TalentZoo. I'm writing an series of articles on how to do on-page SEO from start to finish in a step-by-step manner. Read More >>

PDFs Not Being Completely Indexed

February 20, 2008
I was checking to make sure that all my client's PDFs were appearing in Google's index and noticed something odd. Luckily all the PDFs appear when I do a filetype:pdf. Read More >>

Which Is More Likely to Be Clicked?

January 31, 2008
Is someone more likely to click on my organic or paid search result if they appear side by side? Read More >>

Measuring B2B Conversions

January 23, 2008
You briefly hit on ROI and basically described perfectly a dilemma I have. We are a B2B manufacturer of machinery that costs anywhere from the 10's of thousands to the 100's of thousands each. We sell a handful of these machines each year. Consequently, the buying cycle can take up to a year or more. How would you suggest we figure ROI and conversions for this kind of business? Read More >>

Does Google Use Theming?

January 23, 2008

An interesting topic of discussion has broken out in the forum regarding whether Google understands the "theme" of a website.


Number of Words on a Page

January 16, 2008

I have a customer who is convinced that for maximum SEO, the page length must be between 450 and 625 words. He has a software program that tells him this. Is there any truth to it?


Duplicate Content Within Shopping Cart

January 16, 2008

I have plain html pages that describe the various health-related products that I recommend. If one of my readers wishes to purchase a product, they click on an "order now" button, which takes them to the desired product at my shopping cart.


Are SEO Conferences Worthwhile If You're Already #1?

January 16, 2008

I really would like to go to a SEO conference someday, but which? I'm not an SEO novice and PPC is not my strategy. Plus being #1 what could anybody teach me, anyway? Now, I know that is a very stupid and dangerous statement. ;-) Future trends or expert hints very specific to my site are what I think I need. What do you think?


The 2008 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide

January 2, 2008
This week we read Marketing Sherpa’s 2008 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide, and have provided our thoughts about it for you here. Enjoy! – Jill Read More >>

SEO Software

December 19, 2007

I am coming across a lot of offers for software for SEO.  A lot of them are
offering different sorts of analyzers, etc. — which I’m not sure are
helpful.  Is there any sort of software that is real SEO software and
actually does some actual SEO work to your site?



SEO Training Class: Learn How To Optimize Your Website

December 19, 2007
I mentioned last time that we were going to start offering highly personalized SEO training classes (limited to 10 people per class) at our High Rankings headquarters in Framingham, MA. Read More >>

Search Marketing Training Videos

December 19, 2007
If you'd rather learn from the comfort of your own home/office, we have an alternative for you -- our video of a past High Rankings seminar (different from the training sessions mentioned above, but just as good!). Read More >>

Pauline's Poll of the Year

December 19, 2007
We haven't hit you up for a poll in awhile because we didn't want to wear you out. But now we have a survey for you that's a little bit longer than usual. Don't worry, it's really not that long, only 10 questions, and one of those asks for your email address (if you want a crack at the free gift). Read More >>

Wikipedia and Social Media Event from SEMNE

December 12, 2007
SEMNE, the search marketing networking organization for New England, is having an event entitled "Wikipedia & Search Marketing" on Jan. 9, 2008 in North Hartford, CT at the Tumblebrook Country Club from 6:30PM-9:30PM. Read More >>

Google Analytics Online Training Starts Jan. 10

December 12, 2007
Our friends at ROI Revolution are starting their next round of Google Analytics online training classes on January 10, 2008. There's still time to sign up, and still time to get a $100 discount using our affiliate discount code of HIGHRANKINGS in the coupon field. Read More >>

SMX West Conference

December 12, 2007
The Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West Conference is quickly approaching! It's going to be held on Feb. 26-28 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Register before Jan. 11 to save $400. I'll be there speaking at some sessions, and I hope to see you there as well! Read More >>

SEO Beginner Advice

December 12, 2007
Forum member "Vini" wonders why his/her website keeps going down in the rankings rather than up. Read More >>

Changing URLs

November 28, 2007
I am in the process of changing all my URLs from things like news123.html to OurCompany_Announces_New_CEO.html Read More >>

Market Motive Online Marketing Membership Site

November 28, 2007
Market Motive is a new, subscription-based website which brings together some of the top minds in the Internet marketing world to teach you SEO, Web analytics, PPC, social media, online publicity, and more. Read More >>

DMOZ Description

November 14, 2007
It appears the text Google is now showing [for a particular keyword phrase] is from our DMOZ directory listing. Read More >>

Static-seeming Sites

November 14, 2007
My company is considering building some new sites where content is loaded from a database. We plan on using static URLs no matter what, but we are wondering if it matters whether the content comes from static, unique HTML files, or if the HTML page is served from a database. Read More >>

PR Popping

November 14, 2007
Two weeks ago, my Google PR was still at 0/10. We have a 6-month-old site, for which I've been doing many of the "slow growth" SEO tactics as my time allows. This week, I find that my Google PR is now 5/10. Read More >>

Search Engine Wiki

November 14, 2007
Search Engine College has launched Search Engine Wiki Read More >>

Seo Expert Rant, Arrrghhh! Forum Post of the Week

November 14, 2007
Forum Member “Deverill” is ticked off at the SEO guy in his office due to some strange advice he is giving. Read More >>

Charging for SEO Services

October 31, 2007
One of my biggest headaches is working out how to charge and how much to charge my clients for my services. Read More >>

Google’s Paid-link Smack in the Face

October 24, 2007
The SEO world is abuzz today with Google’s smack in the face to a number of websites that are selling obviously paid-for, keyword-rich text links. Read More >>

Anchor-text and Nofollow Links

October 24, 2007
I noticed something interesting the other day that made me wonder whether links that have the nofollow attribute on them can/do still pass anchor-text “juice” in Google. Read More >>

In-house vs. Agency SEM/SEO - Danny Sullivan Interview

October 16, 2007
Pauline Kerbici has put on her interview hat once again, this time to speak with Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land, about in-house SEM/SEO vs. agency SEM/SEO. Take it away, Pauline! - Jill Read More >>

Adding New Content to an Existing Site

October 3, 2007
I have a question: I created a site (read a book on HTML, a book on SEO, and a book on globalization of websites). After about 10 months, the site is doing very well and I am pleased with its rankings. Read More >>

Unoptimized Site Ranks #1

October 3, 2007
I am currently looking at doing SEO work for a [generic type of alcohol for drinking] industry-related website. I have come across one problem though. Read More >>

Article Submission Services

October 3, 2007
We have an information site which sells nothing. Our site consists of about 140 articles. I have authored several, and I'm wondering about submitting a couple of my articles to certain type of sites which claim to boost links to your site. Read More >>

Follow-up: Paying for Ongoing SEO Services

October 3, 2007
To gain credibility, I often send my clients to sign up for your newsletter to show that I am not the only one telling them whatever it is I am telling them at the time. With that, the answer to a question from your last newsletter could severely hurt my (our) business. Read More >>

Avoiding Clueless-is as Clueless-does SEO

October 3, 2007
I hope you will take the time to read my latest column at Search Engine Land, where I wonder whether SEOs have lost the plot. It's all about making sure that when you make changes to a site for SEO purposes, you truly understand the reasoning behind why you're making those changes. Unfortunately, many people don't. Read More >>

$100 Discount on Google Analytics Online Training Oct. 4

October 3, 2007
The Google Analytics Online Training Course from ROI Revolution that we mentioned last week is starting this Thursday, Oct. 4. You can still apply the $100 High Rankings discount by simply typing "highrankings" into the discount code field when you register. I believe that even if you miss the first live class you could watch it online, so don't be shy about signing up late. Read More >>

Where Your Site Is Hosted

October 2, 2007
I wonder if you can help me. We have a website in New Zealand and it is hosted here too. We are expanding our business to Australia and building a new website for this. My web company has said that the new site should be hosted in Australia as we would get a good start with Do you agree with this? Does Google take into account where your site is hosted for rankings? Read More >>

Is a FrontPage Website Search Engine Unfriendly?

September 26, 2007

I am a small business owner with a circa 2003 website that needs an overhaul both in terms of SEO optimization and visual appeal. I have no time or talent to do this and want to hire a company.


I have received a reply from one company that said the problem with my website is that it was written in FrontPage. They implied that that was a problem both from a design perspective and for SEO. Do you agree? And if so, does my website need to be recreated in HTML?


Submitting to Google or a Sitemap?

September 25, 2007
I submitted our website sitemap to Google a while back, but I was reading a forum this morning where somebody was saying you have to submit every page to Google. What is the real procedure and are sitemaps important? Read More >>

Will Site Drop Out of Engines if Not Paying for SEO?

September 25, 2007
I have a really quick question I hope you can help with. There is a small business in town that is paying $200 a month to have another company make sure it stays at the top of the ranking lists in search engines. Now if there is no new competition, except maybe a new office every few years, is it necessary to pay them, or could they do it themselves with the guidance you offer on your website? Read More >>

Search Engines and PDFs

September 19, 2007
I came across your site on Google while trying to find some information and found it very helpful. However, I did have a question that was not covered. Will the search engines be able to find text in a PDF document, or am I better where possible to include the information in a web page? Read More >>

It’s What You Say AND How You Say It, Part 2 of 2

September 18, 2007
In Part 1 of this series, I introduced you to Announce It!, an online candy-bar-wrapper manufacturer that was seeking professional help with their search engine copywriting. Read More >>

It’s What You Say AND How You Say It, Part 1 of 2

September 4, 2007
The old cliché is wrong. All our lives we’ve heard, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” That may occasionally be true, but for the most part it’s what you say AND how you say it. Read More >>

Revisited: The Art of SEO

August 29, 2007
Hey everyone! I’m back from vacation and the conference and raring to go. Today’s article is an updated version of one I wrote back in 2004 on the art of SEO. I recently reviewed it and was surprised at how accurate it still is today. I figured there are many of you on the list who never read it the first time around, and for those who did, you’ve probably forgotten it by now. Read More >>

Same Title Tag for Every Page

August 29, 2007
Forum member “SEMMatt” wonders if it’s good or bad that the Title tags on his website are all the same. Read More >>

Should You Include Plurals?

August 29, 2007
Forum member “malhyp” asks if there’s a benefit to using both the singular and plural forms of his/her keyword phrases when optimizing. Read More >>

Supplemental Results? What Supplemental Results?

August 1, 2007
Google has decided to stop labeling pages in their Supplemental Results Index as such, and some webmasters are up in arms over it. Personally, I think it’s smart of them not to differentiate the results anymore, as all it served to do was cause unnecessary grief for people. Read More >>

Matt Cutts Giving Out Clues via Google Webmaster Central?

July 25, 2007
Forum moderator Jonathan Hochman (jehochman) noticed a post on Matt Cutts’ blog asking people to vote for what features they’d most want added to Google’s Webmaster Tools. Jonathan thought it was curious that one of the proposed features would tell webmasters which pages on their sites don’t validate. He wondered why Google would do that if they don’t care about pages that validate. Read More >>

Getting Into Google - New Unavailable_after Tag and More!

July 11, 2007
Last night was our third SEMNE event (Search Engine Marketing New England), and we were humbled to have Dan Crow, director of crawl systems at Google, spilling the beans about how to get your site into Google. He talked for a half hour or so, and then proceeded to answer audience questions for at least another hour. As I sat there listening to him (yes, I actually listened to this one!), I was struck by what an awesome opportunity it was for everyone in that room to be provided with such important information — straight from Google. It was clear that the 100 or so people in the room agreed. In fact, at 7:30 on the dot, everyone spontaneously stopped their networking activities and simply took their seats without being asked to. These folks definitely came to hear Google! Read More >>

What’s the Best Use of Keyphrases?

June 6, 2007
There has been a debate about the use of keywords for years. Many SEO copywriters will tell you that using keyphrases in their entirety is the best practice for getting high rankings. Others insist it really doesn’t matter — that as long as all the individual words within the phrase are used, your copy will do its job. Before we get into whether keyphrases are best used in their entirety or as individual words, let’s sidestep for just a minute to talk about the inner workings of information-retrieval systems (aka search engines). Read More >>

Cache Dates on Pages Getting Old

May 30, 2007
Forum member "DannyAFC" tells us that he ranks well on the competitive keywords in his industry, but he's getting concerned because his cache dates are starting to get quite old. Read More >>

Does a Site Redesign Spell Trouble for Rankings?

May 30, 2007
In another post, "DannyAFC" says he feels that his site needs a redesign but isn't sure what elements he can safely change without hurting his search engine rankings. Read More >>

File Names and SEO

May 23, 2007
Does what you name a page (not the “Title” but the file name) matter to search engines when they crawl a site? Read More >>

Keyword Competition

May 23, 2007
When I am searching on terms that apply to our website or our specific products I’m finding that the perfect phrases or keywords have tons of competition. And the more obscure phrases that don’t have a lot of competition are not searched on much. Read More >>

Display: None

May 23, 2007
I have to create some pages for a client. They are full of images and little to no content and have no title tags…however, they still want SEO services…*groan* Read More >>

Meta Keywords and Descriptions

May 22, 2007
My understanding is, if you have Meta tags with keywords and descriptions, this should also be reflected in your actual page content. But what if you have an ecommerce site and a homepage that displays mostly products and very short descriptions, and a menu with category names, etc.? Read More >>

Wrap-up 198: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

May 16, 2007
In case you missed it, my column at Search Engine Land this month called "Don't Sweat the Small SEO Stuff" caused a bit of a stir online (which was my intent!). Read More >>

Best Practices for 50 Micro-sites

May 9, 2007

I wanted to discuss the possibility of developing a best practice/checklist
guide for our company to follow.  Our new  initiative will be to launch 50
or so micro-sites focused on our key product categories.  These sites will
need to be rolled  out quickly.


HTML vs. Joomla

May 9, 2007
What if you have 2 identical websites with the same Meta tags and same content, but one is “100% HTML web design (clean code, CSS design)” and the other is “100% Joomla, fully loaded with SEO options”? Read More >>

Any Good SEO Tools To Promote My Site?

April 25, 2007
Forum member "rachellee" wonders if there are any good SEO software programs around. Read More >>

I Need Expert Opinions!

April 25, 2007
Forum member "fromtherooftops" has an ecommerce site and has a bunch of SEO-related questions for the crew. Read More >>

Need Some Diagnostics

April 25, 2007
Forum member "sleidia" wonders why his or her website isn't performing well, even though it has a high ranking for a specific keyword phrase. Read More >>

6 Newbie SEO Questions

April 4, 2007
Someone emailed me with a list of quick questions about some SEO terminology they didn’t understand. I figured if one person was looking for these answers, many of you would be, too. Read More >>

Creating a New Site Based on One Product

April 4, 2007
We have a website with tips and advice about health products. The competition is quite tough in this field, but we have one product that is doing extremely well in search engines and other websites are starting to link to it as well. Read More >>

Copywriting Makeover: Value vs. Vision - Part 1 of 2

April 3, 2007
There’s no doubt. Wholesalers USA knows their customers. They’ve spent the time digging through log files to analyze site stats. They’ve spoken with customers on the phone and emailed with them. They’ve used client feedback to develop new products that have taken off like a rocket. Read More >>

What’s Important to Search Engines and What’s Not

March 21, 2007
I recently had an inquiry from someone who was looking for some possible SEO consulting with me. He was in the process of a redesign and wanted to be sure not to make any mistakes along the way, which is super-smart! The time to be looking at SEO is definitely in the beginning stage of any design or redesign project. Read More >>

CSS Better than Tables?

March 21, 2007
Are Sites Created with CSS Better than Those Created with Tables? Read More >>

Expanding Services and SEO

February 28, 2007
Your email newsletter is one of my favorites, and I get a bunch of them from SEO “experts” and others. Read More >>

Working on Conversions

February 28, 2007
My SEO’s Good. Now Should I Work On Conversions? Read More >>

Optimizing All Pages or Few?

February 28, 2007
Forum member “seo_bright” has a couple of SEO questions for the High Rankings Forum members this week. Read More >>

Alternate Domain Names

February 28, 2007
A client of “Bobmeetin” was given some advice about registering a bunch of alternate domain names. Bob knows it’s not good advice, but decided to come to the Forum for a little back-up. Read More >>

Free Web Hosting To Test SEO

February 21, 2007
"Christelle" wonders if it would be useful to get some free hosting accounts in order to test out some SEO techniques. Read More >>

MSN Listings Different in Different Locations

February 21, 2007
"Heather" wonders what to tell her clients when the rankings she sees for their site at MSN are different from the ones they see. Read More >>

Question About Cross-linking Websites

February 21, 2007
"Jammin' Jake" tells the forum, "My employers would like to start three new websites for these three aspects of our consulting services to focus on each individual consulting service." Read More >>

Talking SEO/SEM on the "Duct Tape Marketing" Podcast

February 21, 2007
Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing about search marketing for small businesses. Read More >>

All About Title Tags

February 14, 2007
The title tag has been — and probably will always be — one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings. In fact, fixing just the title tags of your pages can often generate quick and appreciable differences to your rankings. And because the words in the title tag are what appear in the clickable link on the search engine results page (SERP), changing them may result in more clickthroughs. Read More >>

Online Shoppers Ask for More Detailed Copywriting

February 14, 2007
I found out quite by chance. I noticed a research brief in my inbox entitled, “Bad Web Experience Impacts Brick and Mortar Shopping.” Being primarily focused on Internet business, I really didn’t pay it much attention. But then I noticed it made reference to a customer’s online experience, too, so I read on. Read More >>

Landing-page Dilemma

January 31, 2007
I work for a nonprofit retreat center for which our main offerings are (you guessed it) retreat programs. Until recently, whenever we sent out email flyers about our programs, we had the link go directly to the program’s unique page on our website. Our marketing director has been trying to make a case for sending the clicker to the landing page that would then direct the clicker to a list of programs, including the one on which he or she clicked. Read More >>

Meta Tag Includes

January 31, 2007
I have a question relating to Meta tags and the head document. Read More >>

Why Use Keyword Research Tools?

January 17, 2007
Keywords. I have been designing web sites for 5 +/- yrs, so I am aware of what they are and how they are being used / can be used. I’m not saying I am an expert, just that I’m not a novice. Read More >>

302- vs. 301-redirects for Domain Changes

January 17, 2007
Not quite 2 years ago, Scottie Claiborne wrote a brilliant article here in HRA on how to switch to a new domain while avoiding the nasty effects of the aging delay. Read More >>

Optimizing Flash Sites

January 3, 2007
I am working for a Flash site that is brand-new. How can that be indexed and come up in the SERPs? Read More >>

Wrong Code

January 3, 2007
I recently met with a company that provides SEO as one of their services and I was told point-blank that our site is written with the “wrong code,” and therefore the search engines can’t read it. I use FrontPage and have nothing more fancy than text, tables, pictures, and some links to other industry sites. Should I be suspicious? Read More >>

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

January 3, 2007
I recently SEO-ed my site. Yahoo started re-indexing my website: they already showed 37 of the new links (internal URLs) within my site. This morning I had another look at these links within Yahoo and got an unpleasant surprise: they showed the links from the previous version of my site. I’m wondering if you have an explanation of why this happened. Read More >>

Trade-off Between Company and Search Term in Title

January 3, 2007
I really would prefer having company name come first, but I feel, looking at competition that the best search term leading off (3-5) words at beginning and the company after… Read More >>

Fewer Links, but Better Rankings

December 13, 2006
I have better backlinks than my competitor and my site is also optimized, but why is my competitor’s ranking better than mine? Our backlinks are around 90 and the competitor’s backlinks are around 55. What can I do for better rankings than the competitor? Read More >>

Outbound Links

December 13, 2006
In the scheme of things, do you think it is important to add outbound links from a web site? Read More >>

Translated Pages and Duplicate Content

December 13, 2006
I have a client who has a website in England for his English branch. He also has a branch in Turkey that doesn’t have a website yet. He would like to use the template for his existing English website for his new Turkish website. Read More >>

Update on Redirecting Multiple Domains

December 13, 2006
I recalled some advice you gave on redirecting multiple domain names from a while back and to my surprise I was actually able to locate it on your site... Read More >>

Overture’s Keyword Selection Tool

December 13, 2006
I have been using Overture’s “Keyword Selection Tool” for a long time. Lately I have experienced problems with it. Read More >>

Cold Fusion Pages

December 13, 2006
I have a client whose web site has been created in Cold Fusion. I am not all that familiar with these types of pages but right now most of their page text and metas are being pulled from another document and are not actually part of the “live site code.” Read More >>

Search Engine Using Old Domain Name

December 13, 2006
At the beginning of October we regenerated our entire site and ran into a very strange problem. All of a sudden all our search results were showing up under one of our old domain names. Read More >>

Content in Tables

December 13, 2006
If my pages are in a table, and if I add a header to that table for a caption, put my main keyword for that page in it, and make it a bold and big h1 tag, will it help? Read More >>

Who Coined the Phrase “Search Engine Optimization”?

December 13, 2006
We’ve got a thread in the forum where we’re trying to figure out who coined the phrase “search engine optimization.” Read More >>

10 Signs That Your SEO Is a Quack

November 29, 2006
As you know there are a lot of so-called SEO/SEM experts/gurus claiming all
sorts of things. The analogy to me is like "quack" doctors compared to the
genuine article.

Are there 6 or a dozen questions that would expose those purporting to be
experts?

Copywriting Makeover: Facts vs. Fantasy (Part 2 of 2)

November 29, 2006
Karon's back today to show us the results from the Julie's Jewels copywriting makeover that she wrote about last time. Read More >>

High Rankings® Seminar Comes to Minneapolis in March

November 29, 2006
We've listened to your feedback and understand that you'd like to be able to have more advance notice for our seminars, so we're announcing that our spring event will be held March 15th and 16th, 2007 at the Crowne Plaza Northstar in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, MN. Read More >>

Keep Current SEO or Take It In-house?

November 8, 2006
My CEO has been forwarding me your newsletters for some time now. I am in need of advice, and I am hoping you might be able to help me out. We offer online services and have been online since 1997 with our websites. I know a little about SEO because I was once a junior SEO rep for my former SEO manager but my primary skill set is not doing SEO but more managing those who do it. Read More >>

Copywriting Makeover: Facts vs. Fantasy (Part 1 of 2)

November 8, 2006
Time for a pop quiz! Name three products that sell better when a facts-based approach to copy is taken. Read More >>

Google Minus-30 Penalty

November 8, 2006
Do you have a page that used to rank #1 in Google that is now suddenly ranking #31? Read More >>

Project Management eBook Site Questions

October 25, 2006
Sixty-year-old newbie here with his first e-book! My site is unlinked --
just "up there."   I teach project management for a living -- but ill health
is forcing early retirement, and I have an urgent need to keep paying the
mortgage!

Opening Sentences That Close the Sale

October 25, 2006
It's one of the best pieces of copywriting advice I've ever been given. "As often as possible, start your paragraphs with sentences that hook readers and drive them deeper into the copy." Read More >>

H1 Hidden in Comment Tag

October 25, 2006
Forum member “arteworks” noticed a competitor site that had a keyword phrase
in a comment tag wrapped with an H1 tag.  Is it spam or just stupid?  (Or
perhaps both!)

Will Longer Keyphrases Hinder the Effectiveness of Your Copy?

October 11, 2006
The length of search phrases continues to grow. Back when the Internet was just an upstart, single keywords were the only thing you needed. But in recent years we've seen the number of words used in search phrases triple and quadruple. Read More >>

Whom Can You Trust?

October 11, 2006

Clients Who Think They Know SEO

September 27, 2006
In cases where a client is smarter than you are about SEO, insists on saturating his keyword pages (10 per 200-word page) at 5% (which includes the keyword phrase in two header lines), and currently (without keyword saturation) consistently hits in the top 20 on his Google searches. Read More >>

It's Not What You Say, but How You Say it

September 27, 2006
My friend and fellow High Rankings® Seminar speaker Matt Bailey writes today's guest article. Read More >>

UK-specific Keyword Database

September 27, 2006
KeywordDiscovery announced today that they have a UK-specific keyword database! Read More >>

New Sherpa Search Marketing Guide

September 27, 2006
Are your search marketing results as good as they should be? Get the most up-to-date tactics you should consider to improve your ROI for 2007. Read More >>

Organic SEO

September 20, 2006
Here's a question for you to answer in your newsletter. I was recently quoted a job by an SEO consultant, and he kept using the term "organic" to describe the methodology. What does this mean? And do I want it? Read More >>

Same SEO but No Rankings

September 20, 2006
I have been receiving your excellent newsletter for more than 3 years and find it an invaluable help to understand the ins and outs of SEO. Indeed I am sure that your advice has been instrumental in achieving a top 5 listing for the last 3 years in Google for my London site. Read More >>

Characters in Meta Keyword Tag

September 20, 2006
How many characters are allowed in the keyword Meta tag? How will the crawler treat a page that goes over this limit of characters? Read More >>

Optimizing for Conditions

September 20, 2006
I wonder if you can give me a steer on a particular SEO problem. I have a client who specializes in acupuncture and other alternative remedies in London We would like to optimise for the conditions she treats such as back pain, insomnia, headaches, etc - about 40 different in all. Read More >>

Lack of Copy on Home Page

September 20, 2006
The site I'm asked to work on really has no room for keyword rich copy (or any copy in general). Nor do they want it there. They're very much in favor of the current design which is mostly products. They like the way it looks. The copy -- in their opinion and to some degree mine too -- would look odd, even though everyone now understands the value of this copy on the front page. Read More >>

Tables and SEO

September 20, 2006
I have been a regular reader of your newsletter for some time. I hope you have time to give me your thoughts on the following comment that I received from a website designer. Read More >>

Stats Demonstrating SEO/SEM Improvement

September 13, 2006
I represent a golf accessory manufacturer considering doing some serious SEO/SEM. We are interested in determining the real efficacy of SEO/SEM as it translates into online unit sales growth or online revenue growth. I have searched through many, many sites and haven't been able to come up with any good stats that demonstrate B2C improvements in eCommerce sales after applying SEO/SEM. Read More >>

PPC Rant

September 13, 2006
The usually unflappable High Rankings® Forum admin Alan Perkins has had it with all 3 PPC providers and rants about it this week. Read More >>

Will a "Soft Launch" Cause Problems?

September 6, 2006
I have an interesting case of a client who is wanting to do a “soft launch” of his site. The client wants to make the landing page or homepage a login section with little to no information about his product on it except for the name of the product and login details, as he wants to keep […] Read More >>

Alt and Title Attributes

September 6, 2006
Forum member "suzstephens" asks: "Can anyone explain the difference [between] ALT and TITLE image attributes? Read More >>

Redirected Links

September 6, 2006
I’d like to thank you for the great information that you make available. I read it and implement it — and it works. Thanks! Read More >>

Questions about High Rankings® Search Marketing Seminar

August 30, 2006
The following is an email exchange I had with someone who was wondering whether he would benefit from attending our High Rankings® Search Marketing Seminar in Dallas on Oct. 19-20, 2006. Read More >>

The Purpose and Practice of Writing Successful SEO Article

August 30, 2006
Here’s Karon’s latest and greatest article on…well…writing articles! Read More >>

Worth Getting a Link on a PR0 Page?

August 30, 2006
Forum member “excel30″ asks whether it’s worth getting a link on a PR0 page. Read More >>

Why Would Anyone Link to Some Sites?

August 16, 2006
Push the button of every SEO expert and he/she will start talking about the importance of links for high rankings. Read More >>

Biggest Misconceptions People Have About SEO

August 16, 2006
In our forum thread of the week, new forum member “Carica” posted some information showing that many people have a lot of misconceptions about SEO. Carica was surprised by this, but we old, crotchety moderators weren’t. Read More >>

Two Companies Merging

August 2, 2006
I'm looking for some advice on the impact of natural search on two companies that have merged so I can advise on how best to proceed. They currently have two sites that perform well in the SERPS and have different content but are obviously competing on the same keyphrases and are now one company. Read More >>

Domain Extensions

August 2, 2006
I have a question for you. Do extensions have any bearing on search engine return? For example, are sites with .com extensions returned at a higher ranking than a site with .net or .org? Read More >>

What To Do with 3 Domains

August 2, 2006
I have found some great information on 301 redirects, but nothing which exactly answers my two questions. Read More >>

Keywords in URLs

August 2, 2006
Do you know if repeating keywords in the URL will help increase rankings within search engine results? If so does it have a big impact? Read More >>

Home Page Redirect

August 2, 2006
You were talking about robots.txt files and how you want to use them to prevent the search engines from indexing duplicating information. I use a Miva cart and custom Miva pages. Read More >>

Extra Characters in Title Tags

August 2, 2006
Do the search engines see the addition of this character: | in the title tag as words/characters, thus reducing the amount of words you should put in the title tag? Read More >>