SEO Corner

Search Engine Optimization Curicullum

Archive for SEO

Promoting Site beyond SEO

SEO is great but once in a while you should pause to make sure you are not neglecting your non-SEO efforts done to promote your site. Some of the things you SHOULD definitely be doing if you are not already doing it now would include:

Using social media sites – There are tons of social media sites out there. If you are not a member of one you should at least consider joining the most popular ones like Facebook and MySpace. You should also look into industry specific social media sites and join those to develop contacts not only with prospective clients but also to keep touch with the latest developments in your industry.

Blog – Chances are you already have a blog but I can’t help but emphasise how much a blog can contribute to your site. It’s not only a way to get fresh content up frequently, which is the SEO aspect, but it is also a good venue for keeping your regular customers/visitors updated about anything you (and they) deem important.

Promote your site the old fashioned way – Do whatever you can to promote your site. Use bumper stickers, posters, give away your business card, sponsor a charity event, etc. Whenever you have an opportunity stamp your website URL to let people know they can find you online.

There are lots of other stuff you can do to promote your site. Feel free to give suggestions in the comment section!

Time To Think Non-traditionally?

 

Admit it or not, there are some aspects in SEO that can be classified as traditional.  These are the practices that have been established from the beginning and are considered to be the building blocks of all SEO activities. These are ideas which have withstood the test of time and that everyone takes for granted to Admit it or not, there are some aspects in SEO that can be classified as traditional.  These are the practices that have been established from the beginning and are considered to be the building blocks of all SEO activities. These are ideas which have withstood the test of time and that everyone takes for granted to be the “ultimate truth.”

Take the use of keywords for one.  We all know that in order to optimize our web sites, we need to choose those keywords which most people are using when they search for information.  For a certain niche, there is a group of words or phrases that are most commonly employed by people who want to find out more about that niche.  And these are the words that we want to use most in our web sites in order to rank well in the search engine results.

Now how about if we diverge a bit from that traditional way of thinking?  Let us say that we try to use other keywords which may not be as popular?  Non-traditional indeed but it just might give good results in the long run.  Come to think of it, this concept is not that new.  We have heard of the argument which pits short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords against each other so many times.  In essence, using the not so popular keywords mean using long-tail keywords, right?

Experts say that SEO is going to enjoy a modest boost in 2009.  Perhaps it is time to be part of that success and try other less common methods – such as using less popular keywords.  What do you think?

Internet Explorer 8 and SEO


internet_explorerI have not used Internet Explorer for quite a while now. Ever since I tried Mozilla Firefox, I was hooked. I did try out Safari and Google Chrome – and still use them sometimes – but never IE. I can’t overlook the fact that there are still countless people out there who use IE, though, and when working on web sites or blogs, those users cannot be discounted.

There is some news with regard to SEO and the new version of the Internet Explorer, IE8. Andrew Girdwood has this to say about the matter:

Popular search engine optimisation and internet marketing blogs look set to prove that they practise what they preach by boasting designs that hold up well in the forthcoming Internet Explorer 8.

These highly optimised blogs will avoid the need to make any significant changes to their HTML or CSS.

It is the new ‘Suggested Sites’ feature that is most likely to upset these stalwart bloggers as Microsoft’s technology offers to take readers straight to competing blogs or, in some cases, unfamiliar download sites.

In his article, he highlights some of the most prolific blogs on SEO and search and points out things about their design that may be affected by IE8. You might want to take a closer look at those points in his article, especially if you have picked up a design idea or two from any of those blogs he talks about.

Is your Website W3C Compliant ??

“Double U what?” was the most common answer I got when I posed this question to some friends who are also casual bloggers. I then realized that not everyone pays attention to W3C anymore – especially those who are relatively new to the Internet game. I was once again reminded of W3C when I read Ann Smarty’s post on the topic.

So what is W3C exactly? She explains it as:

The World Wide Web Consortium working to develop open standards for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3) so that Web documents can be consistently displayed across all platforms.

Founded in 1994 the consortium is still the main web standard against which all websites are evaluated. The most well known W3C tool is Markup Validation Service that checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc. Other valuable tools include RSS/Atom feed validator or CSS validator, Mobile content checker, and broken link checker.

So if it is a standard, does it mean that it is most updated? Unfortunately, technology seems to be developing too fast for W3C and this may not be the case. Ann Smarty further writes:

• many of the standards are too old and are based on the last century realia (e.g. according to W3C any page limit is twenty kilobytes which is not necessary to conform to with today’s high-speed Internet connections);
• the market is moving many times faster than the W3C committee (e.g. mobile Internet which evolves too fast for both W3C and Google to compile).

So should you check your web site if it is W3C compliant? I suggest that since it is still considered the main standard, you might as well. However, do not be content with merely being W3C compliant. Do take a look at other trends and see how your web site can be improved.

How to Improve Search Engine Ranking ( Part 1 )


We hear this term all the time –search engine ranking – and rightly so.  It is one of the important things that we should pay attention to when engaging in SEO.  That is why it is called “Search Engine” Optimization after all.  So what should we do in order to climb the ranks of the very high search engine ladder?

I am sure that there are countless ways and means by which we can do so – every SEO expert will probably have his own list.  I found a comprehensive – and yet simple – list of tips at About.com.  Let’s take a look at them.

Do not purchase a new domain unless you have to.

Due to Google’s aging delay for all new domains, your best bet is to use your existing domain/website if at all possible. If you’re redesigning or starting from scratch and you have to use a brand-new domain for some reason, you can expect to wait a good 9-12 months before your site will show up in Google for any keyword phrases that are important to you.

This is so true!  That is why there is a very profitable market which peddles domains that have been around for quite some time.  The longer the domain has been around, the higher you should expect to pay for it.  That is also why I suggest buying a domain immediately when you think of a potential idea.  It doesn’t mean that you have to use this domain at once – you can keep it for future use.  In the meantime, for your current needs, try sticking to your existing domain or shopping around for one that is already established.

(to be continued)

 

Bother with Alexa Rank

alexa logo
We’ve been talking about how to increase your Alexa Rank in the past two posts.  What I didn’t realize is that some people do not understand all the hullabaloo about Alexa.  My apologies to those who feel this way and thanks to Adam, one of our readers, who brought this to my attention.

So, indeed, why should we bother with Alexa Rank?  Is it really important?  More so, what is Alexa Rank?

Simply put, Alexa collects data regarding the traffic that goes through your site or your blog.  This was explained in the previous post where I quoted the text from Alexa itself. So it is much like a system which measures your site’s popularity.

So how is this important? Ask yourself, why are you maintaining your blog or your web site?  If it is fully for your own pleasure and no one else’s, then Alexa Rank may not be important to you at all.  However, if you want to let the rest of the world know about your site, then Alexa could work for you.

Another important thing is that Alexa is being used by a lot of advertisers and publishers.  If you are working on monetizing your blog, then you definitely need these people.  And how do you attract them?  By getting a high ranking in the eyes of the people at Alexa. Of course, there are other factors that could come into play, it is not always that simple.  However, this is the basic premise behind the importance of Alexa.

I hope that helps.

Common SEO Company SCAM

Search engine optimization has reached new heights in the past year. Suddenly, everybody and their mom are interested in engaging in SEO in order to make their web sites more visible. Not everyone knows even the basic SEO practices and not everyone wants to spend some time on them. That is why there are many SEO companies making a killing in this niche. However, you should know that not everyone who claims to be an SEO expert is for real. In fact, I just read the results of a research conducted by an SEO firm, Increase Visibility, which shed light on some of the common SEO scams being run today.

I am hoping that you have not been victimized by any of these but to be on the safe side, here are some of the major warning signs that they have pinpointed:

• Emails guaranteeing number #1 Google rankings.
• Offering guaranteed rankings for a very small fee.
• Achieving a #1 ranking for a unique, very long search term. The very long search term has no search volume. This practice is a scam.
• Guaranteeing a #1 search engine ranking by purchasing it with Google Adwords or pay per click advertising. The Adwords might show up on the top of the search page or in the sponsored link section in the right column. However, the majority of searchers use the organic search results located in the left column.
• Offering to submit a website to a vast number of search engines for a small payment (this strategy simply fails).
• Not having a legitimate website or they own an amateurish site.
• Offering to submit a website to over a thousand important directories, however there are only a small number of directories that bring traffic to websites.

My suggestion is for you to start learning about the basics of SEO yourself. You can build on this in the future and actually be your own SEO person OR you can use your basic knowledge to hire legitimate and knowledgeable SEO professionals.