Category: SEO

Five Myths About Google SEO Debunked

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 1.48.45 PMNo online marketing strategy would be complete without considering the effect that Google has on the internet navigation, and on how people will find your website. As the world’s most popular search engine, Google can potentially drive substantial amounts of traffic to your site and 64% of your website traffic comes from organic search. So, you should pay close attention to how it derives its results and how it interprets your site.Today so much has been said and written about search engine optimisation for Google that sometimes oft-repeated fictions get mixed up with the truth. To help you sort the nonsense from the facts, here we examine some of the most common myths about Google SEO.Untitled1

Source: Conductor

1. Web content should be keyword heavy

Back in the dark days of the internet, Google’s search results were awash with low quality pieces of content that had managed to scale their way to the top simply by being shot through with keywords and phrases. At the time, many marketers cared more about search position and traffic than providing a pleasing and useful experience to their visitors. They seized upon Google’s predisposition towards keywords as a chance to force their way to the top. And Google eventually responded, predictably, by lowering the weighting that it gave to keyword density.Today, it’s still important that your web content contains at least some keywords, as these are important flags that Google uses to identify how relevant your page is to a user’s query. But you only need to include each keyword 1-3 times in a piece of content, and there really is no ‘magic’ keyword density that will bestow SEO goodness and floods of traffic upon your site.It’s more important that your keywords should fit into the natural flow of your content and enhance it rather than diminish its readability.

2. Google favors websites that have lots of content

While it’s true that larger sites may have more resources to throw at getting themselves to the top, there is no automatic advantage to simply having an abundance of content. In fact, in recent years many sites that have large quantities of mediocre or substandard content have actually seen themselves slide out of the first few pages of the search results. Google recognises the difference between quantity and quality and you should too.What Google DOES like are sites which have an appropriate amount of well-written, well-researched content. Ultimately, the content being should offer value to website visitors and provide them with the solutions that they seek.

3. Link building is a sin

RecentlyJohn Mueller, Google’s ‘webmaster trends analyst’, was asked in a Google+ Q&A, “Is link building in any way good?” His response to this was, “In general, I’d try to avoid that,” prompting many marketers to immediately declare link building to be a dead tactic.However, many missed that he went onto say that webmasters should make sure that your content kind of stands on its own and make it possible for other people of course to link to your content. He added, "Make it easy, maybe put a little widget on your page… make sure that the URLs on your website are easy to copy and paste… we do use links as part of our algorithm but we use lots and lots of other factors as well."What Mueller seems to be saying is that online marketers should adopt a more natural approach to link building. Rather than actively seeking links, they should instead focus on creating great web content that people actually want to link to, and then make it easy to find and share. At the same time, you should avoid pursuing exploitative linking strategies that Google looks down upon, such as linking schemes, link exchanges, paying for links and signing up to sub-standard web directories.

4. PageRank is the be-and-end-all

Some online marketers still see Google’s PageRank as some sort of omnipotent cyber deity bestowing good or bad fortune upon their websites. But the fact is, PageRank is no longer as important as it once was, and is actually not that significant in determining where your pages will show up in Google’s results pages.PageRank remains one of several hundred metrics that Google uses to determine where your page will rank in the search results.But as it is no longer being actively updated, its importance has diminished considerably. Furthermore, recent research by Moz shows that, “PageRank correlates poorly with search engine rankings”. Getting a high PageRank is no longer the ‘holy grail’ it once was, and you instead need to focus on creating a good all round SEO strategy that takes many more factors into account.Untitled2

Source: Moz

5. You can ‘trick’ Google into ranking your pages highly

Google wasn’t born yesterday, and as it nears the end of its second decade it has got pretty good at identifying attempts to ‘game’ or trick its results. Google’s anti-spam and black hat detection techniques are now so sophisticated that it really is pointless searching for some shortcut to success in the search results.As mentioned earlier, keyword stuffing has not worked for a long time and such pages are instead perceived as ‘spammy’ by Google, and are penalised or not even indexed. Other potentially tempting techniques that might see you penalised include:
  • Cloaking – Showing one page to Google and then sending visitors to another
  • Buying/ swapping links – Only natural links work. Google can spot a manufactured one a mile off.
  • Hidden text – Disguising keywords using a font the same colour as your background will hinder you a whole lot more than it will help, as Google’s all-seeing bots are somewhat colour blind.
Instead of trying to find a chink in Google’s armour, why not spend your time and resources giving the search engine what it wants? That would be:
  • High quality, accurate web content
  • Content that is relevant and useful to users
  • A website that is easy to navigate and information that is intuitive to find
Hopefully this article has helped sort the facts from the fictions, and has given you a clearer idea of how to progress with your SEO strategy. As a famous children’s character once said, “knowing is half the battle”, and once you know how Google works you can create content that both it and your users will love.Chris is a UK copywriter at Big Star Copywriting, a Devon-based copywriting agency who create content for top brands around the world. Chris frequently blogs about content marketing, copywriting, search engine optimization and other matters relating to the ever-expanding world of online marketing. Connect with Chris on Twitter

Top SEO Tips to Get More Attention for Your Content

Do you wish the number of page views your site gets was higher? Most people do. There are a lot of factors that contribute to a website’s following: social media popularity, inbound links, influencer connections, etc. But one of the biggest ways websites gain traction is through search engine optimization, or SEO.

The truth is that SEO is constantly changing, and there are a lot of factors involved. But these tips have stood the test of time (what limited time it may be) and will make your content far more visible to search engines and live users alike. Here are 8 SEO tips that will work every time:

1. Make sure your information is easy and clear to index.

Ugly things like broken links, Page Not Found messages, title tags and meta tags hurt your website’s search-ability. Clear these things out so that the spiders that crawl the Web and index sites (and determine their page rank) can more easily interpret your content.

2. Use a Content Managing System (CMS) to your advantage.

Try to focus on creating unique features instead of going for minor fixes. Content Managing Systems provide procedures to help systematize information, often used to run websites containing blogs, news or business marketing. The New York Times uses a CMS called Scoop. Another popular CMS is WordPress, which is both accessible to the public and easy to use.

3. Be ready to go before you publish.

You should have a checklist ready before you go live. The Huffington Post, for example, doesn’t allow bloggers to publish a post until the post has covered all the online bases: a searchable headline, tags, images, links, a tweet, and pre-composed Facebook post. That way your posts remain unchanged once published, making them more search-engine-friendly.

4. Archive well.

One of the greatest walls the New York Times hit in their Innovation Report was not having a clear, easy way to sort through their 15 million archived articles published since 1851. None of the content was tagged or organized, and it therefore became impossible for them to optimize any of the archive data.  So keep tabs on articles as they are published, so that you can carefully and precisely categorize content with tags that will be easy to search for in the future.

5. Recirculate, regenerate, re-use…re-click.

You want your audience to leave wanting more. Really, you want your audience to be wanting more while reading. Make your content relatable to other relevant content on your website, so your readers stay on your website longer. The Guardian seems to have mastered this – almost all of their links within an article are to other/older Guardian articles.

6. Be conscious of the time you publish.

You want your audience to be online when you’re publishing. The most popular time for an audience (especially a news audience), is an early-morning website perusal with breakfast and coffee. Don’t be publishing your content in the wee hours of the morning or during dinnertime. Catch your audience when they’re looking. For news organizations specifically, Sundays are the most popular days for print readership, with mornings and early afternoons being the most popular time for online readership.

7. Comment bubbles…not so comment-able.

According to the New York Times report, a mere 1% of their readers write comments. 3% of readers (claim to) read them. Enough said.

8. Be flexible, fast and relevant.

Plan for next week’s content before you’ve published this week’s. Get ahead of the game and know your audience. This may not directly improve your SEO, but it will spare your sanity, giving you more mental capacity to devote to your SEO.

By implementing these basic SEO tips, you’ll make your site more discoverable by search engines and the robots they use to index the Web. And if search engines rank your site well, more and more of your target audience will be able to find it. Try these tips today to bring in more viewers for your website.

This is a guest post written for the 60 Second Marketer by tech enthusiast, writer, gamer, and master of Plants vs Zombies, Owen AndrewHe is also a contributor for Shopify.com.

  

Using Organic SEO Practices Will Ultimately Beat Manufactured SEO [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you're like most people, you've tried to make your site as Google-pleasing as possible. You may have lots of keywords, paid posts, etc. But that may not be the best approach.This infographic from SEO Sherpa walks us through what the difference is between organic and paid SEO and the benefits of each. Spoiler alert: the benefits of organic SEO are much longer-lasting. Here are some highlights:
  • Organic SEO is powered by humans, not automation programs or machines.
  • Manufactured SEO is actually against Google's terms and conditions.
  • Manufactured SEO falls apart quickly, while organic SEO lasts a long time.
  • The focus of organic SEO is providing the most relevant and useful content possible and positioning it to be easily retrieved by search engines, NOT to beat the Google game.
Check out the full infographic here: