Google favoring fresh content

Google has announced that they have updated their algorithm to support more fresh content for their searches. This new update is expected to impact 35% of all the searches all over the world. Search engine land has written a post discussing about the algorithm change and SEOmoz has also mentioned about the its impact in the search market in their Whiteboard Friday.

This announcement hasn’t came as a surprise for most of us, as Google has always been stressing on the freshness of content. However, it would be very interesting to see the impact on the searches where the content is not updated more often. How much weight will Google put on the freshness of content over links and its other ranking signals and whether the sites with daily updated content will get the extra edge over the other sites?

So, is this update going to favor the blogs even more? We will have to wait and see.

4 Common SEO Errors to Avoid

The task of getting your information in front of potential customers is critical, as search engine optimization or SEO skills have become a vital part of modern business, the skills and techniques required for success continually evolve.

Many large companies have taken to farming out these important SEO tasks or hiring staff just to tackle the job.

That isn’t an option for many smaller businesses that also rely on their web presence to survive, and they find themselves taking on this important task and hoping they don’t make a mess of it.

Here are four common SEO pitfalls to avoid when promoting yourself online:

 

1. Bad Titles

The information that appears in your title bar, the description of your website’s content that appears at the top of an open browser window, is a lot more important than most people realize.

Search engines use that information when looking for the search terms users enter when doing a search, so if the only information in it is the name of your company then that’s all the search engines will see.

People who search for your company name already know who you are, so not being creative and descriptive when titling your page could cost you traffic.

Titles should be loaded with information about the content on the pages. That’s what people are looking for, something that tells them what you and your company do, the products you sell, the services you offer.

Do some research into how people interested in your products or services search for them.

Find out what keywords they use when looking for the products you offer and put those terms in the titles of your web pages. If it’s not there for the search engines to read they’ll never see it.

2. Bad Content

If your website is full of nothing but filler, then modern search engines will know it.

When Google, Bing or some other company offers its users search results that are full of nothing but fluff content designed to be a placeholder for an advertisement, readers get frustrated and look elsewhere for their needs.

That’s why those giants of the online world work hard to create complex search algorithms that can tell the difference between useful information and junk.

How search engines know what they’re reading and how good it is are closely guarded industry secrets, but rest assured they can do it and will give your websites poor search result rankings if your content is bad.

If you’re not Shakespeare, there are plenty of people in the world who think they are and most of them are willing to work to pay the bills. Find one and give her a job.

3. Bad Backlinks

Backlinks, links at other websites leading back to yours, are a critical component used by search engine software for ranking a website or its pages. Creating them can help move a site’s ranking ahead, but only if they’re meaningful.

If your website specializes in hard-to-get car parts, then backlinks from a pet shop aren’t useful.

This is a sort of variation on the notion of content being important. Not only can search engines tell if a site’s content is worthwhile, it can tell if the links on that site should be there.

A shotgun approach to back-linking may seem like a good idea, and it may even give your traffic a temporary boost, but eventually the search engine’s clever programs will figure out the ruse.

4. Failing to Monitor Changes

Making random changes to a website may increase its SEO or it may tank it entirely.

If you don’t have a way to track traffic after you’ve made a change then there’s no way to know if the change was worthwhile or not.

Services such as Google Analytics show exactly how many people came to your site, how they got there and what they did during their visit. This information is invaluable to your SEO work.

While these basic measures will help, they’re just the beginning of your ongoing SEO journey. Keeping up with blogs like this one will give you great advice and keep you on top of changes in the online landscape.

About the Author:
Laura E. is a current graduate student who writes online for car insurance companies to help people save on their auto insurance payments. When not studying or writing, she likes to relax with her coffee and a good book.

6 quick tips to learn SEO

These days Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a household name and almost all generations are well acquainted with the term. However, if you are still wondering what SEO exactly refers to? For your information, SEO is the required modification of online content to make it easier to find within search engines. In the world of internet marketing SEO certainly helps content writers or providers to promote their products and services more effectively. In today’s market, with the cut throat competition going on among the webmasters to rank their site at top level on the search engine, learning SEO online can certainly help you to succeed in the online business.

    • Your first and foremost duty is to make a list of the common words and phrases related to your subject and use them in your content. You can conduct a research on the common phrases and words that people use, when searching for any given information or service. Make sure your wordings are short, snappy and to the point. You can experiment with different searching techniques and can use a variety of words and phrases in a search engine of your choice.

    • Choose keywords that are high in demand but has comparatively low competition. Tools like Google AdWords and WordTracker can help you in this regard by providing statistics about keywords searched for on a monthly basis. Examine the phrases well that are not widely used by websites, which is also disclosed within its statistics section. This is an effective way to stay unique, while providing well-optimized content for the search engines.

    • Your next step should be determining your overall rank on the Internet. The SEO learning process requires you to know where your content stands among your competitors. Services like Alexa and PRChecker can help you to determine your current status in respect of other entrants.

    • Your must assess your competitor’s overall page rank and compare it to yours. Suppose a website currently rank higher than yours, because the information within it has been established for a longer period of time. However, if you discover your rival site does not contain any information about a recent topic, seize the opportunity to offer fresh, high-quality content on your website.

    • You must evaluate your demographic well and provide optimized content for a particular audience. In fact, part of learning SEO online consists of determining who your services or content are for. You can use Google Analytics or iWebTrack in order to check where your page views come from. If you are not satisfied with the results, make changes to your chosen keywords and study your website’s analysis accordingly.

    • It’s best to write about current trends and popular subjects. The best way to learn SEO online is by analyzing what users are currently interested in. Google Trends is there to help you out. It provides the 10 most searched phrases each day. Examine any repeating or related topics and provide content about it.

    Final thought

    Apart from the above mentioned points, there are plenty of other ways to learn SEO as well. Stay updated and keep the aforementioned points in mind to learn SEO online quite easily.

    Author’s Bio :

    This is a guest post by M.S who is a content writer and a financial adviser working with one of the largest MNC in the eastern part of Nevada. She writes on a variety of finance related topics with a special focus on debt which is of course my favourite subject and also write articles on SEO related topics.

  • How Has Search Engine Optimization Evolved?

    When one looks back to the early days of Search Engine Optimization, it is clear just how much the technology and online marketing strategies have evolved. Aside from many algorithm updates from Google, other factors such as ranking, reputation management and of course, social media, have all played a vital role in the constant changes of SEO.
    This evolution is especially important for SEO strategists, webmasters and website owners, as the changes over the years have also brought new responsibilities into the role of Search Engine Optimization. Understanding how SEO has changed, and what is needed to ensure those crucial high rankings are both vital to stay ahead of the game.

    Organic Web Strategies – the New Search Engine Optimization? 

    When Search Engine Optimization began to take hold in the early part of 2000, the rules were far simpler. SEOs simply needed to focus on on-site optimization and linking strategies in order to get results. Over the years, other elements were added, such as good content, off-site work and smart keyword research. Today, SEO has become a constantly evolving online marketing tool, integrating a number of additional elements to ensure the best results.

    Some of the factors that are now vital to Search Engine Optimization success include:

    • Social search – with over 20% of our time is spent on social networks, users are changing the way that they find information online SEO campaigns therefore need to incorporate social media strategies as part of their online campaigns to reach the huge numbers of web users on major social networks.
    • Content – solid content strategies have also become more essential than ever, company running blogs being essential to boost traffic and ensure consistent, unique content that assists traffic and usability. Along with traditional web content, infographics, apps and interactive content are also becoming the norm.
    • Reputation – this has become a vital aspect of Search Engine Optimization. New Google algorithm updates have made reputation, trust and authority one of the most important ranking factors. This makes websites such as Wikipedia, major newsgroups and retail giants feature high in the SERPs. Social media monitoring, traffic analysis and ranking are all core elements of reputation management.
    • On-site – elements such as accessibility, all-inclusive keyword research and strategising, linkbuilding, search verticals in images, video, mobile, web pages and social platforms plus recent search protocols, for instance Schema.org, Rel=Author and video XML sitemaps, are now a basic part of any Search Engine Optimization strategy.
    • Local search – Google maps opened the world up to social search using geolocation, allowing web users to find businesses and services in their exact area. From an SEO point of view, maps offer a way to optimise on a local scale, reaching users who are very close to that crucial buying point.

    SEOMoz’ Rand Fish had some interesting views in the slide show The Death & Rebirth of SEO. In his words, ‘search is no longer living in a vacuum – today it lives in the broader inbound funnel’. Simply put, what this means is that the basic SEO practices are not enough to ensure results in today’s age of evolved Search Engine Optimization – SEO should be seen as a broader picture to ensure online marketing success.

    Author Bio:
    Alek Jones discusses a number of search marketing trends, offering a wealth of resources for businesses who are seeking web design and online marketing information to help them improve their presence online.

    7 quick tips on On-page optimization

    On page optimization is one of the very first step of SEO which every webmaster should look into. On-page optimization can be defined as an art of making your website search engine friendly. It is one of the most important aspect of SEO and the easiest to learn, yet most of the people either simply ignore it or hire someone else to do this for them because they do not want to take the pain of doing it themselves.

    Hiring a SEO professional to do this can be very expensive sometimes. However if you have a basic knowledge of the basic structure of a webpage you can do it yourself. Here are a few useful tips on on-page optimization.

    1. Include your main keywords in your domain name

    Many people do not think about SEO right from the start, they build the whole website and then think about it if its search engine friendly or not and how they should optimize their website. When this work should have been done throught the desgning process.

    It is better to think about all the aspects of SEO at the very beginning of the process. Always choose a domain name that includes your most primary keywords for example, suppose if you sell flowers in florida then you should have a domain name like http://www.abcflowers.com. After registering the domain, design the whole site structure keeping in mind your primary keywords. Include your keywords in the directory names and subpages of your website. For example,

    http://www.abcflowers.com/florida-flowers/ or

    http://www.abcflowers.com/floridaflowers.html or

    http://www.abcflowers.com/florida-flowers/flowers.html

    2. Make your site user friendly as well as search engine friendly

    Your site should be readable by humans and search engines, so keep them both in mind while designing your website. Do not design a website that is completely made in flash or is loaded with images. Search engines can not read whats written in your images or flash so make sure that you have enough text available on your webpage.

    If your webpage contains javascripts or styling instructions try to keep them in a seperate file inorder to give prominence to your text.

    Try to use your primary keywords at the beginning of the webpage with a keyword density of 2-3%. Thus a webcopy of 500 words would contain your primary keyword 10-15 times. Just be natural and write something that makes sense, do not stuff your webpage with keywords.

    3. Write unique and descriptive title tags for each webpage

    Title tag is one of the most important aspects of SEO so make sure you utilize it properly. Write a unique title tag for each webpage of your site. The title tag gives a search engine a good indication as to what the webpage is all about, so make sure that you use your primary keywords here also.

    While writing a keyword rich title try to be as descriptive as you can, because at the end its the user who you are appealing to to visit your site. For example the title for our flower website should be something like this.

    Flowers Shop Florida – lilly, white rose etc flowers by abc shop.

    4. Write brief and unique description tags for each webpage

    Description is the kind of a summary of webpage. The text that you use in this tag is displayed below your title in the search results so it is always better to write a short description as to what that webpage is all about. Try to include your important keywords in the description but make sure that you do not fill it with keywords only.

    Always use seperate descriptions for each webpage which describes about the webpage without looking spammy. For example, description tag for our flower site would look something like this.

    A flower shop based in Florida providing all kinds of flowers.

    5. Optimize your images

    As search engines can’t read what’s written in your images it is always advised that you prefer text more over images. But if you have to use images optimize them too so that the search engines can get the idea of what the image is of.

    Always use an ALT text with the images that you use on your webpages, in this ALT tag describe what the image is about. Include your primary keywords again making sure that you do not stuff them.

    6. Use your keywords in headlines

    Headlines are considered as important indicators of the page, search engines give importance to the phrases that are encased in header tags such as H1, H2, H3, etc. H1 is considered most important and your first headline should be labeled with this tag. If the header tags make your text look too big, then you can change the size of the headers by creating style instructions.

    You can start your webpage with a heading using H1 tag including your most important keywords and then you can divide the whole page into sub-topics where you can use the remaining tags including your other keywords.

    7. Build an indexable navigation and a sitemap

    It is very necessary that you contain text link navigation to your other webpages so that the search engines can follow these links as most of the search engines find it difficult to index other kind of links.

    Always build a site map for your website that links to each and every webpage of the website and it itself is linked from all the webpages.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
    This post was brought to you by Akash Kumar who is the editor at iSEOforGoogle.

    New aspects of SEO

    For many years, online marketers understood just how SEO worked. They understood that keywords appealed to search engines, and they knew that they had to create content that contained keywords and keyword phrases that potential clients or customers were searching for.

    However, Google has made some very profound changes recently, including the new algorithm method and its own social media site. Online marketers must realize that these two changes have significantly impacted how SEO works.

    Panda update

    First, the Panda update targeted low quality sites that were obviously made to appeal to the search engines. These sites were poorly written, designed and executed. They contained black-hat methods and content that did not even make sense at times. These sites were not made for people who were searching for information; they were made to make a quick sale, and Google respectfully handled these types of sites. As a result, many sites, such as eHow, Hubpages and Squidoo, suffered from a loss in traffic — since Google decreased these sites’ page rank.

    Google+

    Google+ is Google’s social networking site. While it may seem like just another social media site, it is actually much more. Google is using this site and the new plus 1 button to help with certain SEO aspects. Google is giving power to the users, allowing them to decide what they deem as a high quality website.

    The plus 1 button is Google’s version of the “like” or “thumbs up” button. However, unlike Facebook, Youtube and Twitter, the plus 1 button operates on a search engine scale. The more plus 1s a site has, the higher it appears in search results. Also, that site is shown to people whose friends have plus 1’d the site.

    How you can benefit from the new aspects of SEO

    Stop creating content that is specifically made for search engines. Instead, create content that people are searching for — content that is unique and informative. Google greatly favors sites that are very unique. Also, make sure that your site has a limited amount of placed ads. While two or three ads won’t hurt your rankings, any more than that will probably raise red flags.

    It is important to note that keywords have not truly lost their meaning. Google still places relevancy on sites based on certain keywords, but they are not as important as they used to be. Keep that in mind.

    Also, when people view your site, compel them to press the plus 1 button next to your site’s URL in the search engines. Google has also made it possible to include a plus 1 button within your site via html code. The plus 1 button is like a continuing word of mouth marketing strategy; you want to accumulate as many plus 1 clicks as you can.

    As the Internet changes, new SEO methods will undoubtedly develop. You must always research new ways to optimize your site.

    This information was brought to you by Fatwallet.com, home of HP coupons, cash back, and deals.

    All you need to know about Link Building

    A couple of years back a link building campaign consisting of forum posting, blog commenting, article marketing, link exchanges and buying a few links would have done the trick, but a lot has changed since then. Link exchange is dead, article directories have been hit by Google Panda, and buying links is more dangerous than ever before. So it leaves us wondering what one should do to build links? I have written this post to cover some of the ways which you can use to build quality links for your site. Most of the advice I will be giving throughout this post is most likely available from a large number of sources but I felt it would be great to bring everything together under one simple post.

    Is your site good enough to get a link?
    This is a question which I think everyone should ask themselves before trying anything on link building, because if your site is not worthy enough then why should someone link to you? Remember a useful site always gets a link, so if it is not then first make it one.

    Link Placement
    In recent times Google has started giving value to link placement, it has been observed that links within the content gets more value and links from sidebar and footer the least.

    Nofollow & Dofollow
    After many of the search engines started to ignore the links containing the no-follow attribute a lot people go out and source dofollow links, but in doing this they do more harm to their link profile. Every website should have a good balance of dofollow and nofollow links both so that your link profile appears to be natural.

    Authority Links
    I always believe most of the search engines place a great value on the links coming from established and authority sites. Links from sites that are considered as an authority within your niche are the ideal links to have.

    Anchor Text and Internal Pages
    The most common mistake that a lot of people commit while link building is that they focus most of their time in building links to their homepage and that too with the same acnhor text. Your link profile to look natural must contain links to internal pages with varying anchor text.

    Directory Submissions
    Directory submission is an important task in any link building campaign. These links make up the numbers when it comes to authority links. Submit to the right directories and they will improve your overall domain trust. A lot of people waste their time in submitting to thousands of free directories when hardly any of them matters much.

    Blog Commenting and Forum Posting
    Blog commenting and forum posting for links is seen as spam and has been devalued due to many people taking advantage of unprotected blogs and forums. If blog and forum commenting is part of your link building campaign then put some effort in it. Instead of spamming forums and Blogs with “Thanks”, “Nice Post” and other unrelated stuff provide something useful in your comments and posts so that you contribute something to them.

    Blog commenting and forum posting should be viewed as more of a reputation building rather than link building. This type of link building is best for increasing the number of nofollow links to your website as most of the popular blogs and forums use a nofollow.

    Guest Blogging
    After the rise of a lot of Guest Blogging communities like My Blog Guest, it can be viewed as one of the most natural ways to get a link. The idea is to look for related blogs accepting guest posts and offer them your informative posts in return of a link from that post. A well written and informative blog post featured on a popular blog can get you loads of traffic and links.

    Link Bait
    Link bait is any content or feature, within a website, created specifically to gain attention or generate links to the website. Link bait could be anything from an article to an event or a special feature that can gain people’s attention. A Link Bait can be created either by writing about some topic that has been hardly written on within your niche or offering some useful stuff like free services or coupons to your users or even writing about something controversial.

    Conclusion
    Although link building is a tough task in itself but a properly planned link building campaign and tracking the progress will make the job easier with time.

    Just remember link building is an ongoing process and every link building campaign is different from others.

    How to start Link Building?

    1. Directory Submission

    Many people feel that links from directories don’t carry enough of weight these days as they used to a few years back. That’s true, but not with all of them. There are too many directories on the internet now and most of them are just a waste of time and money because they don’t maintain their quality. So you have to be very picky investing either your time or money in these directories.

    There are thousands of free directories on the Internet but that doesn’t mean you need to submit to all of them, because most of them maintain a very low qaulity so its a complete waste of time even if they are free.

    Even if a directory is a paid one that does not guarantee the quality because most of them are too busy making money that they would accept any site into their database.

    You can submit your site to Dmoz, STPT, Yahoo and Business (very expensive, submit if you can afford!), UncoverTheNet, BOTW, JoeAnt, Gimpsy, GoGuides, Skaffe.

    2. Blog Commenting and Forum Posting

    Blog Commenting and Forum Posting used to be very useful in generating links sometime ago. The best thing about blog commenting and forum posting is that you provide your useful comments and information and you get a link in exchange from those sites. They were one of the most simple ways of generating links thats why they have been exploited so much by the spammers that they have lost their value.

    “Links from Blog comments and Forum signautures don’t have value”, true fact! But that does not mean that they are useless, because every link counts but yes they are not the most ideal links you can have.

    I always feel you need to interact with people within your niche via popular blogs and forums specially if you have just started your business, because that way you not only get to learn things but you also have an option of being known as an authority in your niche. If you share your views, knowledge and experience with others people will treat you as an authority.

    So if your sole purpose of posting and commenting is to get links then yes they don’t add much of a value. But as I said esatablish yourself as an authority.

    3. Article Marketing

    Article marketing used to be one of the best ways to generate high quality one-way links. A properly writen and marketed article not only gives hundreds of backlinks but also tons of traffic. But there has been a lot of discussion over the importance of article marketing after the Google’s Panda update.

    In article marketing whatever articles you are going to write and publish on the article hubs are going to be all over the internet. So when you write an article make sure you first add it to your site and let Google index it first so that Google would you are the original author of the article. After it gets indexed submit the article to popular article hubs with a link back to the original article.

    A well written article can provide you loads of quality backlinks and tons of traffic.

    4. Link Exchanges

    Link exchanging is dead as many people think but it can be benificial it all depends on how you utilize always exchange a link to provide your visitors a resource instead of just getting a link. Be very specific about the niche you are exchanging links with exchange links with only related sites. Limit the exchange to only 20-30 links and make sure that the site you are exchaging the links also does that that.

    Don’t link to just any one for the sake of a link. Make sure that these sites you are exchanging links with provide useful content and that they follow Google’s guidelines.

    Remember every link counts so do they. So you will have to be very specific and picky while looking for potential link partners.

    Google Plus is here – why is it better than Facebook?

    Google has just launched a new service named Google Plus (Google +). When it first started it appeared to be yet another social network but it proved out to be more than a social network.

    Google Circles - It allow you to filter content by circles. Think of these circles as a ring or circle where one can simply tune into the acts and people for which they have an interest. The best part is that the user controls who is in or out of the circles.

    By default, Google+ has five Circles – Acquaintances, Family, Following, Friends and Work. You can add the same person to more than one circles.

    Sparks - Sparks make it easy for people to find interesting information to share with their circles. Sparks also filters information, providing you relevant content about your interests. An example may be an organization or a topic using sparks to find new information on Google Plus and then starting a conversation about how that news affects you.

    Hangouts - With hangouts you can hangout with friends on video chat, the best part is that you can have a video chat with a group of friends. You can hangout with upto 10 people at once. Google plus lets you tell specific people about the hangout and invites them to hangout on a particular day.

    Huddles - Huddles is the group chat option which shows up as a separate app on your device. Using huddle you can ask people to join group chat and can invite them by finding them via name or email. The best part is that whether you are a creator or just a participant you can always add more people to Huddle. Every Huddle is like a conversation session and it stays there until you leave the conversation. Do note that simply closing the Huddles app doesn’t remove you from conversations. In Huddles, you can see the list of participants on top.

    Conclusion - Google Plus thus proves out to be a real plus than Facebook, with time we will have to see how it proves out to be when more and more people get to use it. For now Google plus is just under a test and you can join only if you get invited by someone. So if you get an invitation go for it and let us know your reviews.

    Link Exchange – Is it still worth it?

    In the earlier days Link Exchanges were considered to be one of the easiest and effective way of link building. Site owners simply used to list the links of the related sites on their site and asked them to do the same. At that time even this type of links were awarded a high value by the search engines. But we have come a long way forward from those times and search engines have become a lot smarter and they are now looking for natural links.

    So is link exchanging dead?

    Well not really, if effectively done it still can be a good way to get some good quality links to your site. The idea should be to limit these link exchanges and as much relevant as it can be to your niche. Here are few tips for exchanging links.

    1. Limit the link exchanges
    Make sure that you limit the exchanges to a certain number like 20-30 for a site. Do not go on making a whole directory out of it. Also look to get links from sites who do the same.

    2.Relevancy is very important
    Do not exchange links with unrelated or spam sites as it can get you penalized. Search for your keywords in the search engines and request them to exchange links with you.

    3.Quality of the sites you link to
    The sites you link to affects your reputation, so make sure who you link to. Don’t just link to a site just for a back link the quality of the site you link to is equally important.

    Conclusion – Link exchanges can still be a side weapon in your link building arsenal as far as you follow relevancy and quality. But mainly focus on other ways for link building like article marketing, directory submission, forum posting, blog commenting,  social networking are just a few examples.