Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SEO Automation

There are plenty of SEO software applications, from site evaluation software to article generation and submission software. Does this mean we are covered? Of course existing software will continue to improve and most likely get better, but are there still areas that could be automated?

What happens when websites get bigger, or more complex? Are new tools required to manage the content not from a design approach, such as Adobe Photo Shop, but rather from an SEO approach?

For example, it is one thing when you have content to cover 5 or 10 keywords, but what about the SEO strategy of targeting "long tail" keywords, when the more competitive keywords are not obtainable. In this case, there could be several hundred, or more keywords. How is this created, managed and modified, when what is required is a well organized website that is linked in a clean and well integrated structure?

Now, more then ever, there is a need, not only to blog on your area of expertise, but to make blog comments for the purpose of showing your authority regarding a subject and to get links back to your site. To do this can be both time consuming, especially if you are trying to find good sites worthy of your comments, and hard to track if there is a growing number of blogging sites. It seems most SEO experts try to track this in a spread sheet or word document. I suppose this is fine, if there is nothing better, but it seems this is a perfect database application.

I am sure plenty of software tools can be developed to help the serious SEO expert automate these tasks, but of course one question that always must be asked:
will the automation be sufficient to charge enough for the time it takes to develop the product? What are your thoughts?

By: Nick the SEO guy

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What Counts the Most?

We have seen that what you place in the title bar counts for a lot. There are two common approaches to the title bar.

1) Put two keywords (or keyword phrase) separated by a pipe symbol, eg | , plus the business name, or

2) Your category of business, plus business name, plus keyword.

But lets assume the first 10 in the SERP all follow item one above. What then? How will google differentiate between them? By content? By backlinks? or the other hundreds of parameters?

Everyone knows, or should know by now what are the most important factors, especially if you are in that select group that wants to be ranked on the first page. Just doing a few things correctly that your competitors dont do, can make all the difference in the world. Of course, if you have 10 times better content, or ten times better backlinks, the little things may not matter much. This is because not all parameters are equally weighted.

One of the little things that can make a difference, for example, is the organization of your content. I call this, the power of the pyramid. This is where less common keyword phrases are used to support more common keywords. The building blocks of the pyramid. There are three common errors when creating content.

  1. Building content for highly competitive keywords, without using less competitive keywords in a supporting role, or the opposite,
  2. Creating content for long tail keywords, and ignoring the highly competitive keywords, when you now have the supporting keywords that can make a difference, and
  3. Not organizing your content in a supportive role, by using folders and files the search engines can easily drill down.

I have heard that, some highly ranked sites with lots of content don't even use the keywords in their content pages. This may work if you have lots of content, but this may not be where you are at right now, so you should always try to prioritize you activities, so you are working on the most important things first, and then work your way down your priority list.

Also, when doing tasks, it does not mean you have to finish one task before starting another. Another words, if your goal is to have a lot of good content, it doesn't mean you have to finish this task, before starting to work on backlinks. On the other hand, when doing content pages, it would be good to think through the organization of your content before you start. Having organized pages, is better then having one long list of blog pages, if what you want is to get highly ranked on multiple keywords.

By: Nick the SEO guy

Friday, October 23, 2009

SERP Factors: Best Guess by Experts

No one knows for sure what factors influence Search Engine Rank Positions. It is surprising we dont know more from ex-employees. Probably because it has become so complex, it is little like the Internal Revenue Code. No one person could possibly know all the code (play on words).

What is possible, is to get some idea of the relative importance of different factors based on asking the opinion of as many SEO experts as possible. Impossible you say? Well it has been done. Check it out at: .

Even now, I see blogs where they are arguing which is more important? Content or Linking?

Rather then debate this, a better question is for you to ask yourself if your website is "authoritative" for the keyword you want to get highly ranked on?

Within the privacy of Google, I am sure they argue what will be the "value" for everything they do, against the notion; will this help us select the most authoritative website related to that keyword? If that means a website should have relevant content, then they do it. If it means a website should have links from other related websites, then they do it.

So if you dont know anything about SEO, then be guided by "is what I am doing or about to do, help to make my website the Authoratative website, relative to my keywords"?

If you need more incite, then seek out an expert, or do a lot of research at your local library, or on the internet.

By: Nick the SEO guy

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What is my SERP?

Recently, we started a campaign to move our client higher on google search engine results.

When we started, his google search engine position was 245 for Keyword 1 . Not a very enviable position to be at all. We start on a mixture of activities, from redefining his page title, to getting links back to his site. At the same time we started monitoring his SERP (Search Engine Rank Position).

After one week, he had already moved up to position 102. We thought a remarkable advancement in such a short period of time. A week after that he moved to position 75, so we now knew we were on the right track, but would he drop back down? Now we were starting to see some of the linkbacks starting to kick in by checking his backlinks with yahoo.

After the third week and a 10% increase in backlinks, he moved up to position 52. Nice. but what was very strange, was when we looked at google webmaster tools (for the same keywood 1, it listed him at position 9! When you actually did a search, he still showed up in position 52, and when we use other SERP tools, he comes up in position 52. So he was really in position 52? Right? Wrong! A few days later when did an actual search of his keywood 1, he was in position 2! WOW Was this right? Wrong! It turns out I was logged into google webmaster tools. For some strange reason, if you are logged into google webmaster tools, you will get a false reading when doing searches. After logging out, my serp results yielded a positon of 49.

So what gives? Why different SERP results:

google webmaster tools: 9
Actual search results: 49
SERP Tools: 52

Is google forcasting future results? or is that just my wishful thinking?

By: Nick the SEO guy

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Google Is No.1, and Should Always Be No. 1

Should there be only one search engine?

Have Search Engines become like Utilities, eg like cable ? or water utility, or electric? where we will have one large search engine company? From an advertisers point of view, it would be great. The simplicity of it all.

Other advantages, would be the ability to get the most amount of traffic available for low volume keywords from just one source. In addition, all your PPC can be managed in one place.

The disadvantages would be all the problems associated with a monopoly, eg higher costs, lower innovation, government regulation and potential for abuse of power. You say what abuse of power? For example, G, could start forcing the use of their other applications or suffer lower SERP, or other unforeseen problems. You say this scenario is unlikely, so why am I raising this as an issue?

Yahoo and MSN, the only other potential competitors to G, are so far behind it seems like we are almost there. How can the consumer shift this power, when most websites have ads by google?

By: Nick the SEO guy

How do I rank high on the search engines?

Potential Clients ask me 'How do I rank #1 on Google?'

Most 'SEO companies/individuals' may feel the same way that I do. How do you answer a question so general with answers based on so many variables?

That is like asking a friend, who is a mechanic, "How do I change the oil in my car?" It is something that requires a lot of detailed explanation. However, I have come up with a very basic analogy of what is needed to gain ranking.
(I will get into further details on future posts)

So, there are 3 basic areas:
1) Content
2) Meta Data
3) Link Popularity

[Before I go any further I would like to note that no one can guarantee a # 1 spot on Google. They have a large algorithm used to determine your placement, and no one really knows the exact formula; they can only speculate. However, experienced SEO companies have a general idea of what works well enough to move high.]

I relate Search Engine Placement to applying to Universities.
There are no guarantees that you will be accepted.

Content - Content is king. This is like the essay part of your application. In your own words, you are providing them information about who you are. It should be original, authoritative, and show quality.

As with your application, your site should not:
- Have duplicate content
- Copyright
- Be 'stealthy' with your writing. Write honestly, not what you think they 'want to hear.'

Meta Data - This is code written on your site, which can be related to your grades, extracurricular activities, etc.

Link Popularity - When someone puts a link on their website that points to yours, that is a back link. It is similar to getting a reference on your application to the university; the more references, the better. Also, the source of the reference matters.

Those three things are the basic building blocks to successful organic/natural marketing campaign. Some SEO specialist debate that Content is all you want to focus on. Others are convinced that link popularity is the answer.

Bottom line: you need all three.