Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SEO 1

You might have read a 1000 tips about bringing more traffic to your site. And yet you might feel that those tips arent really helping you. Well I would say ideally, if your site contains relevant content traffic should follow. When you don't have content and yet you want traffic, I cant call you anything short of being self-centered. And this article is not for those self-centered people.
This article has been a long time coming, and this is aimed at people who have relevant content on their site and yet cant get enough traffic because of 'n' number of reasons. I understand how bad it feels when you've done all the work and finally you cant make it because of one big 'G' or another shaky 'Y' and rarely cos of the just begun 'B'.

Basically recommending something for a site in general is something I really don't believe in . But there are general practices to be followed , and these may not help you with an outburst of traffic (or more pages indexed). But they are the basics and without them you cant get any outbursts. SO READ THE FOLLOWING EXTRACT...

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving th

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.

Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may be incorporated into web site development and design


Initially, all a webmaster needed to do was submit a page, or URL, to the various engines which would send a spider to "crawl" that page, extract links to other pages from it, and return information found on the page to be indexed.[1] The process involves a search engine spider downloading a page and storing it on the search engine's own server, where a second program, known as an indexer, extracts various information about the page, such as the words it contains and where these are located, as well as any weight for specific words, as well as any and all links the page contains, which are then placed into a scheduler for crawling at a later date.


Early versions of search algorithms relied on webmaster-provided information such as the keyword meta tag, or index files in engines like ALIWEB. Meta tags provide a guide to each page's content. But using meta data to index pages was found to be less than reliable because the webmaster's choice of keywords in the meta tag could potentially be an inaccurate representation of the site's actual content.


While graduate students at Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed "backrub," a search engine that relied on a mathematical algorithm to rate the prominence of web pages. The number calculated by the algorithm, PageRank, is a function of the quantity and strength of inbound links. PageRank estimates the likelihood that a given page will be reached by a web user who randomly surfs the web, and follows links from one page to another. In effect, this means that some links are stronger than others, as a higher PageRank page is more likely to be reached by the random surfer.





Any content that is hidden using CSS or other forms of subterfuge, regardless of intent, may be regarded

as an invisible factor and devalued. At worst, if employed excessively, the page or site may be penalized as

a whole.




Page Title

The page title is a string of text, defined by contents of the </span></span><span style="color:#000000;"><span lang="en-US">element in the </span></span><span style="color:#000000;"><span lang="en-US"><head> </span></span><span style="color:#000000;"><span lang="en-US">section</span></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">of the HTML document. The title is visible both in the title bar of a browser window, as well as the</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">headline of a search engine result. It is arguably one of the most important factors in search engine</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">optimization because it is both an important factor in search engine rankings, as well as a critical call</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">to action that can enhance the click-through rate (CTR). Vanessa Fox of Google states, “Make sure each</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;"> <span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;font-size:85%;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span lang="en-US">page has a descriptive </span></span><span style="color:#000000;"><span lang="en-US"><title> </span></span><span style="color:#000000;"><span lang="en-US">tag and headings. The title of a page isn’t all that useful if every page</span></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">has the same one.”</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;"><i>One of the biggest mistakes web developers make is to set the title for all pages on a web site to the same</i></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;"><i>generic text. Frequently, this text is the company name and/or a slogan. In this case, at best your pages</i></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;"><i>will be indexed poorly. At worst, the site could receive a penalty if the search engines see the pages as</i></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;"><i>duplicate content. Be sure all pages on a dynamic site have unique and relevant titles.</i></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">When writing titles, it is also wise to insert some targeted keywords. You should not lose sight, however,</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">that a title is also a call to action. Even if a title successfully influences a search engine to rank a page</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">highly, that ranking effectiveness is then multiplied by your CTR. Keyword stuffed titles are not always</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">effective for CTR, though they may rank well. As a reminder, these keywords should also appear in the</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">document’s copy.</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">People will also frequently use a page title for the anchor text of an inbound link. Anchor text is an</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; widows: 2; orphans: 2;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;">important off-page factor, and its beneficial effect is discussed later in this chapter.</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; widows: 2; orphans: 2;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;"><br /></span> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm; line-height: 100%;" lang="en-US"> <span style="font-size:85%;color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Times NewROman, serif;"><title>BrandAdda: Community for Companies & Consumers around Brands & Products



<title>Mentos, Community, News, Review, Ideate, Rate, Discuss, Polls, Blog, Ads, Promotions, Photos, Videostitle>



Page Headings

Page headings are sections of text set off from web page copy to indicate overall context and meaning.

They are usually larger in size than the other copy within the document. They are typically created using

tags in HTML, where x is a number between 1 and 6. They have been abused in the past to manipulate

search rankings, but they are still an important on-page factor, and they also serve to help the user

navigate a page.



<h1>Mentosh1>a>

div>

<h3>Description: h3>


<h2 class="drupal-tabs-title">Last Weekh2>



Page Copy

It is intuitively clear that a page that contains the keywords that a user is looking for should be relevant

to his or her search query. Search engine algorithms take this into account as well. Keyword insertion,

however, should not be done in the excess. Mentioning the keywords in various inflections (plural, singular, past, present, and so on) is likely beneficial, as well as varying word order (“chocolate

chip cookies” versus “cookies with chocolate chips”). Excessive and contrived keyword repetition—

keyword stuffing” — however, could actually be perceived as spam.

Because the search engine algorithms are unknown, “excessive” is an unfortunately vague qualifier.

This is one of the times we will reference something requisitely in an imprecise manner.

SEO copywriting aims to produce content on a web site in such a way that it reads well for the surfer,

but also targets specific search terms in search engines. It is a process that legitimately, without the use

of spamming techniques, seeks to achieve high rankings in the search engines. SEO copywriting is an

art, and it takes time to master. There is no magic solution that will make it easy to create copy that is

persuasive, contains relevant keywords a few times, and sounds like it is not contrived specifically to

do so. There are a few tricks, and a few useful hints, however.

One of our favorite tricks is to use the end and beginning of a sentence to repeat a keyword subtly.

Example: “Miami Hotels: You may want to try one our fine hotels in Miami. Hotel accommodations at

the Makebelieve Hotel will exceed your wildest expectations.”

The copy should also contain words that are related, but not necessarily inflections of your targeted key

phrase. For example, a search engine algorithm would likely see a page on cookies that also contains the

words “chocolate chip” or “cakes” as relevant. This tends to happen naturally with well-written prose,

but it is worth mentioning.


Mentos is a brand of mints, of the "scotch mint" type, sold in many markets across the world by the Perfetti Van Melle corporation. Mentos was first produced in the Netherlands during the 1950s. The slogan of Mentos is "The FreshMaker."

To


Mentos is a brand of mints, of the "scotch mint" type, sold in many markets across the world by the Perfetti Van Melle corporation. Mentos was first produced in the Netherlands during the 1950s. Mentos slogan is "The FreshMaker."





Outbound Links

Search engines will evaluate the links that a document contains. A related link on a web page is valuable

content in and of itself, and is treated as such by search engines. However, links to totally irrelevant or

spam content can potentially hurt the rankings of a page. Linking to a “bad neighborhood” of spam sites

or even lots of irrelevant sites can hurt a site’s rankings.


<a href="http://www.mentos.com/"



Keywords in Page URL and Domain Name

It is likely that keywords contained by a URL, both in the domain name or in the file name, do have a

minor but apparently positive effect on ranking. It also likely has an effect on CTR because keywords in

the URL may make a user more likely to click a link due to an increase in perceived relevance. The URL,

like the page title, is also often selected as the anchor text for a link. This may have the same previously

mentioned beneficial effect.



http://brandadda.com/bh/mentos


Internal Link Structure and Anchors

Search engines may make the assumption that pages not linked to, or buried within a web site’s internal

link structure, are less important, just as they assume that pages that are not linked well from external

sources are less important than those that are. Linking from the home page to content that you would

like to rank can improve that page’s rankings, as well as linking to it from a sitemap and from various

related content within the site. This models real-world human behavior as well. Popular products are

often prominently featured in the front of a store.

One horrible way to push pages down the link hierarchy is to implement pagination using “<>

next >” links, without linking directly to the individual pages. Consider the example of the fourth page

of an article that is split into four parts. It is reached like this:

Home Page Article Part 1 Article Part 2 Article Part 3 Article Part 4

This fourth page is harder to reach not only by humans (who need to click at least four times), but also

by search engines, which would probably consider the content in that page as less important. We call the

effect of this link structure “death by pagination,” and we suggest two possible approaches for mitigating

the problem:

1. Don’t use simple pagination. Page with “<>” links, but also add links to the

individual pages, that is, “<>.” This creates a better navigation scheme to all

pages.

2. Add a sitemap with links to all the pages.



Invisible factors


Meta Description

For the most part, the importance of a meta description lies in the fact that search engines may choose to

use it in the SERPs, instead of displaying relevant bits from the page (this is not guaranteed, however).

Speaking from a marketing point of view, this may improve CTR. A meta description may also have a

minor effect on search engine rankings, but it is definitely not a critical factor in that regard. Here is an

example:

cookies that make you wish thousands of calories were actually good for you!” />

...


<meta name="description" content="Consumer self-expression through ideas, reviews, comments, photos, videos. Companies interact with Consumers via comments, blogs, ads, polls, promotions.">



Meta Keywords

This criterion is widely regarded as totally unimportant because it is completely invisible and subject

to manipulation. It is wise to place a few major keywords as well as their misspellings in the meta keywords

tag, but the effectiveness of targeting misspellings this way has been disputed:

cookies, choclate, cokies” />

...


<meta name="keyword" content="Consumers, Companies, Brands, Products, Services, self-expression, collaboration, community, ideas, reviews, forums, discussions, photos, videos, company blogs, polls, ads, promotions.">



Alt and Title Attributes

Because these tags are mostly invisible, they are likely not an important ranking factor. Many assert

that their value is higher on hyperlinked images. They are important, however, for screen readers and

text-based browsers — that is, for accessibility and usability in general, so they should not be ignored

for that reason alone. Neither of these attributes will make or break you, but blind visitors using screen

readers will thank you in any case. This is a case where accessibility, usability, and search engine optimization

coincide. The descriptions should be short. Keyword stuffing in an alt tag will irk blind

users using screen readers, and possibly “irk” the search engines as well. Alt tags can only be used in

image tags, whereas title attributes can be used in most tags. Here is an example of the alt attribute

in an image:

”a

chocolate chip cookie”>

And the title attribute on a link:


Page Structure Considerations

Search engines use block-level elements, for example

, , or elements to group related

text. Using block-level elements indiscriminately for layout, as illustrated in the following example, may

be harmful:

Dog

food
is likely to be less relevant than:

dog food
.


Time-Based Factors

Try as you might, but the only criterion that cannot be manipulated in any way is time. Old men and

women are often sought for their knowledge and experience. And the price of wine is directly proportional

to its age for a reason.

This is a useful analogy. Because time cannot be cheated, an old site that slowly accumulates links over

time and regularly adds new knowledge is what we term “fine wine.” Search engines tend to agree, and

give the deserved credit to such fine wines.

Many users previously purchased expired domain names that used to house an older popular web site

in the interest of tricking search engines into thinking a site is not new. Search engines are now aware

of this practice and reset the “aging-value” of any site that is housed by an expired domain name,

as well as devalue its preexisting links. In fact, there may also be a penalty applied to such expired

domain names, as discussed later in this chapter in the section “The Expired Domain Penalty.” There

are still opportunities, however, in buying domains directly from users with old existing web sites.

The time-based factors that are used as ranking factors are the site and page age, and the age of the links

referring to it. The registration length of a domain name may also influence rankings.me may also influence rankings.


External links


Quantity of Inbound Links

A site with many inbound links is likely to be relevant because many people voted for it by placing the

link on their sites. There are some caveats here with regard to whether the links are detected to be part of

an artificial link scheme, and quality is also a concern as explained in the next section. However, more is

generally better.



Quality of Inbound Links

A popular web site that links to you prominently that itself has many inbound links and a good reputation

is likely to mean more than a link from a random page from an unimportant web site with few

links. There is no absolute definition that describes “quality.” Search engines themselves struggle with

this definition and use very complicated algorithms that implement an approximation of the human

definition. Use your judgment and intuition.


Relevance of Inbound Links

A search engine is likely to view a link from a semantically related web page or site as more valuable than

a link from a random unrelated one. Usually, a series of links with very similar anchor text from unrelated

sources is an indicator of an artificial link scheme, and they may be devalued. Too many links from irrelevant

sources may result in a penalty. This has led to speculation that competitors can hurt your web site

by pointing many such links to your web site. Google states in its Webmaster Help Center, however, that

there is “almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our

index” (http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34449). The

verdict is out on MSN Live Search, as documented at http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/

006666.html.



Link Churn

Links that appear and disappear on pages are likely to be part of a linking scheme. The rate at which

these links appear and disappear is termed “link churn.” If this happens frequently, it may be regarded

as spam. Those links will either be devalued, or at worst your web site will be regarded as spam and

penalized. Unless you are participating in such a scheme, this should probably not be a concern.


Link Acquisition Rate

An algorithm may view the acquisition of many thousands of links by a new site as suspicious, if not

also accompanied by relevant highly ranked authority sites. Usually this is an indicator of a linking

scheme. This consideration was affirmed by Google engineer Matt Cutts in one of his videos at http://

www.mattcutts.com/blog/more-seo-answers-on-video/.


Link Anchor Text and Surrounding Copy

Inbound links that contain semantically related anchor text to the content they point to have a positive

effect on rankings. The copy surrounding the link, if present, may also do the same. Some even posit

that this copy is as important as the link anchor text itself. Links with such surrounding copy are widely

believed to be valued more by search engines, because links without copy surrounding it are frequently

purchased and/or less indicative of a vote.

Manipulating link anchor text and the surrounding copy, if done en masse, can be used to manipulate

search results by creating a phenomenon called “Google bombing” (http://en.wikipedia.org/

wiki/Google_bomb). One popular example of this is illustrated, at the time of writing, with a

query to Yahoo!, Google, or MSN, with the keyword “miserable failure.” The top result is the White

House’s official biographical page for President George W. Bush, which doesn’t contain either of the

words “miserable” or “failure” in the copy, but is linked from many sites that contain the words

miserable failure.” This particular Google bomb, and a few related ones, are described at http://

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miserable_failure.


Reciprocal Links

A long time ago, webmasters used to trade links strategically to achieve radical improvements in rankings.

This created an artificial number of self-serving votes. Over time, search engines became wiser and they

devalued such reciprocal links. In response, search engine marketers created link-exchanging schemes with

multiple parties to avoid detection. Modern search engines can detect such simple subterfuge as well. That

is not to say that reciprocal linking is bad, but it should be balanced by several one-way links as well. The

combination of the two models something more natural-looking and will result in higher ranking.


Number of Links on a Page

A link on a page with few outbound links is generally worth more than a link on a page with many outbound

links. This concept is also implied by the formula for Google’s PageRank.


Semantic Relationship among Links on a Page

A search engine may assume that a page with many links to pages that are not semantically related is a

links page, or some sort of page designed to manipulate rankings or trade links. It is also believed that

even naming a page with the word “links” in it, such as links.php, may actually devalue links contained

within that particular page.


IP Addresses of Cross-Linked Sites

It is sometimes useful to think of an IP address as you do a phone number. For this example’s sake, format

a hypothetical phone number, (123) 555-1212, differently—as if it were an IP:

123.555.1212

The first number, 123, is the area code, the second, 555, is the exchange, and the third, 1212, is the number

within that exchange. The numbers go from most significant to least significant. 123 probably indicates

somewhere in this or that state.” 555 means “some county in the state,” and so on. So we can assert that

the person answering the phone at 123.555.1212 is in the same neighborhood as 123.555.1213.

Likewise, IP addresses located in the same C class — that is, addresses that match for the first three

octets (xxx.xxx.xxx.*) — are very likely to be nearby, perhaps even on the same server.

When sites are interlinked with many links that come from such similar IP addresses, they will be regarded

suspiciously, and those links may be devalued. For example, a link from domainA on 100.100.1.1 to

domainB on 100.100.1.2 is a link between two such sites. Done excessively, this can be an indicator

for artificial link schemes meant to manipulate the rankings of those web sites. Matt Cutts affirms that

Google scrutinizes this sort of interlinking in his video at http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seoanswers-

on-google-video/.

Perhaps you host quite a few sites with similar themed content for whatever reason, and do not wish

to worry about this. There are a few vendors that offer hosting in multiple C classes. We don’t have

experience working with any of these providers, and do not make any recommendations. This is just

a list of hosting services that we’ve found that



TLD of Domain Name for a Link

It is widely believed that .edu and .gov domain names are less susceptible to manipulation and therefore

weighed more heavily. This is disputed by some search engine marketers as the actual factor, and

they assert that the same effect may be as a result of the age (most schools and governmental agencies

have had sites for a while), and amount of links that they’ve acquired over time. Matt Cutts coincides

with this view (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/another-two-videos/). It is mostly irrelevant,

however, what the underlying reason is. Getting a link from a site that fits this sort of profile is very

desirable — and most .edu and .gov domains do.


Link Location

Links prominently presented in content near the center of the page may be regarded by the search

engines as more important. Links embedded in content presented near the bottom of a page are usually

less important; and external links at the bottom of a page to semantically unrelated sites may, at worst,

be a criterion for spam-detection. Presentation location is different than physical location. The physical

location within the document was historically important, but is less of a factor more recently. Ideally, the

primary content of a page should be early in the HTML source of a web page, as well as prominently

displayed in the center region of a web page. More on this topic is discussed in Chapter 6, “SE-Friendly

HTML and JavaScript.”


Web Standards Compliance

Standards compliance and cleanliness of code is historically unimportant, but the recent accessibility

work may eventually make it become a small ranking factor. That said, Matt Cutts downplays it because

40% of the web doesn’t validate (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/more-seo-answers-on-video/).

Content on google.com itself does not validate, at the moment of writing this text. You can use the W3C

Markup Validation Service at http://validator.w3.org/ to test your web pages for compliance.




Detrimental “Red-Flag” Factors

Obviously writing spammy content, launching thousands of spammy doorway pages simultaneously, or

soliciting spammy links that actually get detected as such are detrimental in nature, but we will not continue

in that vein. Some of these factors are discussed in more detail in Chapter 8, “Black Hat SEO.”




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