Duplicate Content and SEO

Duplicate content is bad for your website but the good news is that you can avoid having duplicate content. Keep in mind that duplicate content that can have an impact is your own duplicate content. What other websites will do with your content is way out of your control, but you have full control over your own content.

Some negative effects of duplicated content include the dilution of the anchor text, and fragmentation of your PageRank among other negatives. The only sure way you can tell that your content is duplicated is to make use of the ‘value’ aspect. Ask yourself if there is any extra value to your web page content. Do not reproduce content without any reason.

Is this page fresh content or a slight rewrite of the previous page? Make sure you put in unique valuable content. Your main concern should be not to send the search engines any bad signal as they are able to identify all duplicated content from very many signals. Just like ranking, notorious duplicated contented will be pinpointed, and marked.

Note that every website could have some degree of duplicate content which is perfectly OK. Your main concern here would be how to manage the content. You can have some genuine reason for content duplication such as: 1) Varying document formats when you have content being hosted as Word, HTML, PDF etc 2) Genuine/legitimate content syndication  such as using RSS feeds 3) Use of common code such as JavaScript, CSS, or any boilerplate constituents.

In point one; you can have alternative ways in which your content is delivered. You have to select a default format and prohibit the search engines from recognizing the others, but still allowing the users to have access to the other formats. This you can do by adding the right code robot .txt file, and ensure you exclude all urls to the other versions on your sitemap also. Still on the urls point, use nofollow attribute on the website to eliminate duplicate pages as other people are able to link to them.

In point two; if you have one page that contains a rendering of an rss feed from another website and 10 other websites contain pages on the same feed, it could appear less of duplicate content to search engines. You will not risk duplication except if large parts of your website are based on the feeds.

In point three; disallow all common codes to get indexed. If you have CSS, ensure you put it in a different folder and make sure that folder isn’t crawled in the robots.txt. You should do the same for JavaScript and all other common external codes. A point to note on duplicate content is that any URL has the likelihood of getting counted by search engines. Unless you are able to tactfully manage two URLs that refer to similar content, they will appear duplicated.

Search Engine Optimization Relative To Site Design

One of the main principles of SEO or search engine optimization is to design a site that is clean and has very relative content to the products and services that you offer.  So what does this mean?  The following tips will provide you with the fundamental guidelines for a site that is search engine friendly and more than what Google ever expected.

Whenever beginning site construction of any website assure that you are optimizing your site.  Many web designers fail to do so and his or her practice of optimization comes after the fact.  And even though you may be practiced at following SEO practicum by a matter of course the best way to start any form of optimization is to define the subject matter:  SEO is what you must do on a very basic level to make the search engines happy.  There are many designers and practitioners of SEO who get around it by trying to trick the algorithms built into the search engines.  This will get you in more trouble than what it is worth.  Google as well as other well known search providers are constantly updating and changing their techniques as to search inquiries.  Therefore the first rule of thumb is work with the search engines and do not try to defy them even if you find in-roads in which to do it.

When you are designing your site to meet with fundamental SEO you first must draw out a map or plan.  You certainly wouldn’t start out on an extensive journey without a map as to where you were going or the stops you would make along the way:  and so it should be when implementing SEO.  The search engines are businesses just like you see in the brick and mortar world and as such they are in line to make a profit just like any other worthwhile business venture.  In order to gain the greatest market share therefore it is to their benefit if they have visitors of all styles of distinction and demographics who are searching on their sites and finding whatever it is they were looking.  This is also instrumental to your success.  That is why keywords relative to your product’s theme are so important and worthwhile respective of the whole process of SEO.  Therefore, you next must decide what way if you were your customer would be the most viable if you were searching for your own products and or services.  In example, if you wanted to search for luxury cars would you just do a general search using the keywords luxury cars or luxury automobiles?  That approach would be too standardized.  If you were going to conduct a search most likely you would search on the year, make and model of the car you’d like to purchase.  Therefore, if you auction luxury cars you will want to include secondary keywords on your site that better define the product you are offering.  In example, Lexus inclusive of a year and model is better.  Summarily you will want to define keywords you’d like to incorporate onto your site and make certain they appreciatively fit your niche market.

Third you will want to plan for your website’s tabs and construction.  Assure all other pages link appropriately to your home page and are no more than two layers from the root.  Then go to work devising a storehouse of content for the page titles of which you decided.  In order to be SEO maximized you’ll want to write short precise articles and at least one hundred pages of content before allowing your site to go live.  The pages should be peppered generously with your combination keywords however not so much so that it is blatantly obvious.  A one percent to two percent density ratio is quite appropriate nowadays and won’t be viewed as keyword stuffing by the major search engines.

Fourth, within your http coding you will also want to place your primary and secondary keywords which you derived from your research.  The keywords should always appear at the top of your page within the http coding such as the title lines and the headers.  Also when devising content you should include them once in the title of your article unless you are going to brand your site; once in the first sentence of the first paragraph, somewhere in the body of the content even if it is a subheading and lastly in the final paragraph.  The way density has just been described is approximately at one percent and plenty sufficient for your purposes.  Also make certain you supply plenty of content and pages on an ongoing basis to keep in good standing with the search engines and moving up the ranks.

Social Bookmarking Software – Is It Worth The Money?

Time is money in any business, and that’s especially true when applied to internet marketing. The fact is, that having a great website full of superb sales copy, a killer product and even a large mailing list at your disposal is no longer a guarantee of online sales. If you want to guarantee long term traffic and consistent sales then you really need to spend a lot of time on search engine optimization.

SEO can be split into 2 broad categories; on page and off page. On page optimization should really be done at the website design stage and covers such things as keyword research and optimization and making sure that your sites layout is clean and that you are registered with the major search engines. Off-page optimization, however, is a much longer term task, and it’s here that good search engine optimization software can really help you with your efforts as well as save you time and money. The main end result of any off-page optimization campaign is to build back links to your site.

The reason for this is that back links are still regarded as one of the major determining factors of a sites authority in the eyes of the search engines. Simply put, the more high power, relevant back links you have, the higher your site will rank for any given keyword. The problem with building back links is that it’s boring and time consuming, and many internet marketers simply don’t enjoy doing it. They would rather move on to developing the next site and marketing the next product than pumping out articles or forum posting in order to get back links. Of course, these talks can be outsourced but this can be an expensive task if there are thousands of back links to build and you lose a great deal of control over your sites promotion. It only takes one rogue freelancer to wipe your website from the search engines, and you could lose months or even years of work.

The good news is that there is now a booming market in search engine optimization tools that will automate many of these processes and all for a fraction of the cost of hiring a freelancer. You can start off with keyword analysis tools that enable you to generate huge keyword lists, analyse the competition and even determine how much it will cost you to run a PPC campaign, all within a few minutes. There are also many dubious packages that enable you to post forum and blog comments automatically although these have gained a reputation as being spam generators and are frowned upon by many ethical marketers – I strongly suggest staying away from them. A better solution is to use a social bookmarking automation package. This type of software can automate the creation of accounts, schedule bookmarking runs, crawl your website to get a list of URL’s and keywords and, of course post thousands of bookmarks in a single run. Even the most advanced social bookmarking software usually costs only a few hundred dollars but can save you many times that in terms of time and money spent outsourcing the task. I highly recommend using Bookmarking Demon. At $147 it is certainly not cheap, but with the rankings you can achieve with it (especially for long tail keywords), it is worth each penny.

Since they usually cost a few hundred dollars at most, software packages that automate your search engine optimization tasks are well worth the money. They can save you a lot of time and hassle while enabling you to remain in full control of your promotional efforts.

Link Building and Organic SEO

Search engine optimization or organic SEO is a dawdling, steady but sure process. Getting top search engine results ranking takes a lot of time and link building forms a great part of that effort. For you to have a successful website and get the best search engine rankings you ought to have quality pertinent websites linking to yours. The quality and amount of links that you will require will be determined by how competitive the keyword phrases that you wish to optimize are.

You will find other webmasters putting their focus on quantity hence attaining numerous links fast. This isn’t advisable because it appears like you’re trying to manipulate the search engines. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines of those search engines that you are optimizing for, to get a clear idea of what to and not to do. When you seek links from other websites, put your focus on the quality of the link, how relevant are the pages to your website?

Does the link look natural? What is the link’s anchor text? These are few of the questions that you should ask yourself when thinking to optimize an off site link. Even though reciprocal links too have value, the invention of software that is able to automate the process has destabilized it. Additionally, do you really want to have a link on a low quality directory page? What is the value that you will get if such a page links to your website?

There are numerous easy ways to obtain permanent one-way links. If you don’t have a competitive keyword phrase, all you need might just be directories, which can also be an ideal source of relevant web traffic. Look for well established and well reputed directories and if possible, you can even ensure you’re listed in a particular niche directory for you to be able to increase your website’s relevance.

If you’re promoting, selling or using certain products, the product owner’s links can also be an ideal link source. If you can get their links, you will be better off. This you can do perhaps by offering a good testimonial in trade for a link back to your website. Article writing can be another way to get several incoming links as well as web traffic. There are certain websites which you can submit your articles to for free. The links will be valuable on the page of the article since the page will normally have very few or no links, and the articles will be relevant to the product or service that you offer.

Write press releases to publicize your new business, a new service offering etc. you may in the end get several links in addition to the fact that press releases tend to stay for long on the web. When all is said and done, ensure you provide very relevant information. Remember that when a potential customer gets enough information to be able to make a wise informed decision, they are highly likely to make a purchase. Just like you would want to link to a good website that has relevant informative content, so are other websites.  Keep your link building process gradual and steady from different sources and repeat the steps on and on and on.

Combining Keywords in Search Engine Optimization

It is not enough to select the keywords that will give you optimum results in search engine optimization. Some other factors affect your website’s rankings. This could be your website’s structure, keyword placement or the interplay of keywords in your content. This article will discuss some major points in the process of combining your keywords to achieve the desired results.

One needs to bear in mind that no matter how much effort you pour into keyword research, results will always depend on the behavior of people performing searches. What a website owner needs to do is to further do some brainstorming as to how you could combine your keyword lists.

Combining your keywords and adding some other words to the main ones will improve your rankings. It is because long tail keyword searches are often used in search engines. Give it some thought. The keywords that you are promoting may help in the highly technical and complex world of search engine optimization but look at things the way the real world does.

You may have an ongoing keyword promotion and everything is all set to fire up your rankings online. That is something positive. Apart from this, you need to focus on how people perceive the words to be something of use in search engines. If you have a keyword like “machinery”, you may want to add words that are associated to it and serves your purpose best. You can come up with something like “machinery parts” or “used machinery”, if your website discusses topics related to it. Depending on the market segment that you belong to, you can decide to make the combination of your keywords more purposeful.

You need to make a list of keywords and sort them in descending order. It should be arranged in the order of their perceived importance. You also need to make use of these keywords to compliment your content if they show in your meta tags. It is important to make sure that your keywords, no matter how they are assigned, should reflect in your content and the overall make up of your site to justify their use. It’s a good idea to use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to research keyword volumes.

Discard keywords that you think may not be used frequently in searches. You may come up with just a short list of effective keywords to be able to focus on a selected number of keyword combinations to be used. Your keyword list should work best with your marketing efforts and the general presentation of your website. This is because search engines will be able to determine the relevance of the text or keywords you use and should always reflect on your content.

A wise selection of keywords will give you more room to build on keyword combinations and will result in higher ranking when used properly. Stuffing your website and content with keywords will not do you any good. Excessive use of keywords will result in the search engines decreasing the value of keywords found on your website and is referred to as “keyword stuffing”. Caution should be observed in publishing your website and its content.

Once you have determined ways on how to improve your keyword combinations, you will be sure of the worthiness of your website in search engines. It is all a matter of selecting the most effective keywords to use, combining them with other keywords to determine purpose and applying your keywords wisely into the content. Neglect in this aspect could result in the deterioration of your website’s credibility in search engines.

Local SEO for Your Business

More and more people are turning away from localized print media, and towards online searches, to find what they need. This includes the major search engines, of course, but also online yellow pages and directories.

This means that the SEO work that you do for your site needs to be increasingly more localized. Let’s say a customer wants a local source for craft supplies. “Craft supplies” as a Google search, yields 19 million hits scattered all over the world. The customer would certainly refine their search to their local area. “Craft supply stores Portland Maine” brings it down to 21 thousand. More importantly, the first few pages are filled with local names and addresses, plus a map.

Therefore, it is important to localize your keyword choices. This gives you a much better chance of landing nearer the top of the results list.

More and more searches are zip code specific. Using the above example “Craft supply stores 04101” comes down to 6 thousand hits, mostly all local.

You may have both an ecommerce and a local brick-and-mortar presence. In this case you have to walk a fine line between the two. A good way to solve this problem is to use different pages and include a site map. In this way you can use location specific keywords, like your zip code, on one page and general ecommerce specific terms like “We ship anywhere”, for example, on the other. The search engines will note and credit your site map for all relevant words but you haven’t had to jam too many keywords onto one page.

In addition, many people use internet searches to find information, not just goods and services. Let’s say our craft supply customer first needs some help and then will later need a product source. There are two good ways to attack this problem, speaking SEO wise. First, offer help on your site. An FAQ section or perhaps even a chat room would bring the traffic to you if your site were search engine optimized to get this type of traffic.

Another way to benefit would be to try to establish as many links as possible with the purely informational sites. Post articles and contribute to blogs and forums that are, in this case, “craft supply stores Portland Maine” specific. Conceptually, this is much like using local classified ads were in the old days. It’s a link.

The internet is both global and local in its scope. You need to be both too if you are to maximize your site’s success. I call it “Glocal”… and the ‘G’ does not stand for Google in this case 😉

The Importance of Link Building in Search Engine Optimization

It is common knowledge that search engine optimization will fortify your website rankings. There are a number of widely accepted approaches that can even make your website stand out with minimal support from other websites. Why do you have to engage in link building then?

If you are under the impression that the vast amount of resources, money and the amount of time you spend in SEO is enough, then you are making a grave mistake. Link building is very important even if your site is something that has very unique content. It makes your website maintain its ranking and the results would be lasting given that you have quality sources of links.

Do not resent the fact that you still may need to spend more time, money and resources to do a bit of search engine marketing. This will be the focus of this article. Effective ways of maintaining your rankings may have been accomplished by your SEO efforts but making sure that you really maintain your status would not hurt a bit.

It would be wise to make use of tools online to determine the best sites to establish links with. This is because you really need to be selective of sites to link to and get linked from. Otherwise, some poorly optimized website may drag you website down along with them. Associating with “quality” websites that are within your market segment/niche would definitely maintain your rankings and would even cause it to be of higher value.

Have a different mentality in business. When you are dealing with matters that focus on link building, it does not mean that your strongest competitor is always a threat. You must realize that in the online world associating with your competitors will not always be to your detriment. Establishing links with your competitors actually eliminates a great scope in the competition.

Successful and effective link establishment with your competitor could further boost your website’s relevancy. There is a great chance, of course, that your competitor has valuable content that is directly related to yours. It is always a matter of relevancy. Outranking them would then be a matter of focusing on yet other factors affecting your website’s ranking.

Link building is an effective tool when used properly. However, you need to be careful not to link with websites that are poorly structured. Remember that while your content needs to be relevant, associating with poorly structured websites may have drawbacks. You need to study not only what the linking page is but also the quality of the links associated with that page.

In a nutshell, you need to build on what has been established in your search engine optimization efforts. Refer to your marketing structure first and then engage in fruitful association. You need to study each linking page and be careful to find out if the linking page violates any of the search engine rules before establishing ties with them. Continue to develop your keywords and content and make sure you open a door to profitable interaction online. Once you have successfully established association efforts or link building, you can proceed with your cycle in optimizing your website and keep track of your website’s standings.

3 Proven Search Engine Optimization Strategies For Niche Domination

It can be very confusing if you are researching search engine optimization techniques on the internet with a whole range of conflicting opinions, and some unfathomable jargon to wade through. The fact is, though, search engine optimization is basically a very simple process.

What you need to understand before you build any website or on-line business is that getting to the top of the search engine rankings for your keyword phrase is the best long term strategy for success that you can undertake. Once you achieve a top position in the major search engines the traffic will flow with no effort on your part and your site will generate amazing amounts of new and repeat business.

So, how do you get that coveted top spot for your chosen keyword? Well, here are 3 well established and proven search engine optimization techniques to help boost your websites rankings,

1. Article Marketing. This form of marketing has become very popular in recent years and with good reason. Article marketing involves writing short 250-500 word articles on a subject related to your product, and embedding links within the article back to your website. These articles are then posted onto the many free article directories where they are read and hopefully distributed further. Article marketing offer two advantages. First of all there is the initial traffic surge as people read your article and click on the embedded links to visit your sites. Then there the long term effects of these embedded links, which all count as back links to your site. The most popular article directories all have high page rank so these back links are excellent for search engine optimization purposes.
2. Directory Submission. Similar to article marketing, directory submission provides you with a great way of generating permanent one way back links to your site. Some directories are paid, but may be worth it depending on your niche. Although there are thousands of directories out there try and avoid anything less than a PR 3 as these offer few advantages for search engine optimization purposes
3. Social Bookmarking. This is one of the quickest and easiest to get good high powered relevant back links to your site. Just sign up with the major social bookmarking services (most of these have PR 6 or above), and create an entry pointing back to your site. It only takes a few minutes of your time but the back links carry a lot of weight with the major search engines. It possible to get social bookmarking software that automates the process enabling you to really get the most from your social bookmarking efforts. I highly recommend Bookmarking Demon for doing this.

Despite its appearance as something of a black art, search engine optimization can really be broken down into two simple categories. The first is on-page optimization where you structure your sites layout and content to get the best results from your targeted keywords. Second is off page optimization which refers to the process of building links to your site to help your rankings.  There are many techniques and a lot of jargon associated with this, but never lose sight of the simple fact that the more back links you have, the better your site will rank.

Understanding all about Links and SEO

This article tackles a much discussed topic in the internet community, more specifically SEO. Webmasters and even clients always wonder on the right kinds of links to use and how they can get the links. We will not talk of reciprocal links in this article, due to the availability of better alternatives and because of the fact that the effectiveness of these links apply to a very small percentage of websites. Here are the major links you would want to have on your website.

1. The natural one-way links

This happens to be the safest way to link build as far as search engines that look at the ‘aim’ of links. These links are mainly based on resources and good content although they happen to be the slowest. If you are just setting up a new website, ensure you submit some of the one-way links to niche web directories, not undermining both paid and unpaid industry-specific directories.

You should however start with a few trustworthy directories although you shouldn’t have over 15% of all your links coming from them. To say the least, these links will drive highly qualified traffic to your website and can be a great bargain. The web directories will give your website a lot of natural one-way links, at a substantial natural rate of growth. The mixture of speed and type is quite helpful. You should ensure you get websites that will profit from giving their users your web content.

2. Linkbaiting (link bait)

It requires a lot of creativity, is not as easy but it’s worth every bit of effort. Linkbaiting is simply the videos, content, images or anything you include in your website with the aim of increasing links to it. When talking of what the ‘bait’ will cost you, it offers a very effective and cheap way to get links. Because all the links created will appear natural to the search engines, it currently has no negative effects from search engines. When you complement linkbaiting with social bookmarking, all networks linked to these links will become even more valuable to them.

3. Paid links

Paid links are ideal for sites that have a lot of content on their pages and have been in existence for many years. They offer outstanding short-term benefits. Because such sites have been in existence for many years, they contain numerous natural links to them. Paid links are ideal for websites that have been established for many years and aren’t recommended for upcoming websites.

Ensure you link with websites whose niche complements your site’s niche and those that are rich in content. Evaluate the links thoroughly by looking at the age. The latest effect as reported by Google is that websites that are found beyond the top 30 in the search engine results page affect those which do a lot of link buying.

Bad links and their results

Outbound links have a crucial role to play in how search engines will determine websites that are in your ‘neighborhood’. Needless to mention, a bad neighborhood will have a negative effect on your search engine rankings. Free For All link pages and link farms are examples of this category of links that should be avoided. Although a small amount of bad links wouldn’t affect your website, just avoid it and ensure your website isn’t associated with any of the bad link patterns.

How to Increase Your Search Engine Rankings

A lot of webmasters get frustrated when search engines change algorithms on a regular basis. However, there are some basic principles that don’t change, at least in years. If you apply the tips, you will be guaranteed of improving your search engine rankings hugely.

–         Avoid changing domain names too quickly. Google for example has this aging delay tactic for each new domain that it can take your domain name up to a year to get the keywords recognized in the search engines

–         Optimize the website for the target audience and not particularly for the search engines. Always put your website users first and think of the impression it will have on them.

–         Conduct an extensive keyword research – all else revolves round the choice of your keywords and phrases hence it’s very critical to select the best of the best.

–         Based on the results of your keyword research, design and even categorize the navigation and architecture of your website on that. Optimize your homepage for more general keyword phrases and the other inner pages for specific keywords. If you can, let the keyword phrases be your navigation words.

–         Your internal text links and all clickable image ALT attributes should be labeled as secretively as possible. As for the text links in the website, the phrases that tell about the pages one is clicking to should be used while the phrases that have the image codes should be used in case of image links.

–         Come up with convincing copies of the key pages of your website based on your selected keywords. Select a few keywords that are in line with a certain page that you’re working on and make your copy from them

–          Your keyword phrase should also feature in the title tag of each page. Search engines give some considerable weight to title tags.

–         Ensure you have a ‘link-worthy’ website because such engines will also categorize your website by the amount of links that it has. To ensure you get links from other websites, you have to have something worthy to offer them.

–         Optimize each of your keywords for all the pertinent phrases and don’t be tied down to one phrase or keyword.

Ensure your website is ‘crawler-friendly’ since search engines will use ‘crawlers’ to collect info from your website to be able to know how to rank it. This you do by creating links using HTML and not using JavaScript because ‘crawlers’ aren’t designed to read JavaScript. You can also make a site crawler-friendly by not designing it in Flash as crawlers can’t read it too hence will not be able to categorize it. Finally, ensure your copy isn’t text graphics but HTML. Although it may appear like a copy, a text graphic will be seen as blank by crawlers.