Some nice SEO Tips

It’s a known fact that the best way to get traffic to your website is by simply having your site show up in the first page or two of the major search engine’s results. Visitors that come in from those search engine results pages (referred to as SERP) have two main things going for them. They are more likely to buy, and they didn’t cost you any money to get there.

Getting your site onto those first two pages can be a struggle, and people are always watching what you are doing and gunning for the top spot. You have to keep aware of all of the latest tactics and methods and measure yourself against your competitors.


The True Nature of SEO

Before we go any further it’s important that you understand the nature of SEO. It is not an exact science. The exalted minds inside the Googleplex do not share their secret sauce with the unwashed masses. The reason for this is simple: if they revealed exactly how their logic works, it would be exploited–this has happened before. The methods for performing SEO are based upon the trial and error of many, many internet users as they worked out what works, what doesn’t and what will get your site unindexed – or worse: banned.

This is important. There are good and bad ways to optimize your site. The bad ways are called ‘Black Hat’. Sure, they may work for awhile, and some Google can’t (or doesn’t bother to) pick up automatically. However you can report a site to Google as using Black Hat SEO tactics and Google will remove that site from the index (meaning it won’t show up in search results).

Removing a site from the index is usually only done for a certain amount of time and can be appealable. Banning is far more severe and banned sites are often gone for good with no way to get Google to add it back to their index. Beware of a lot of things that seem shady. If you think they are shady, chances are that the folks at Google will think so too and if one of those other sites in the SERPs wants to rise up and they visit your site and see your shady tactics, they won’t hesitate to report you.


On Page Optimization

This is what most people think of when they think of SEO. In reality it is the less effective of the two methods, though as Google improves its ability to determine real content from fluff it is getting more valuable.

You’re asking yourself how Google can know what a site is about then. They asked themselves the same question and came up with an obvious answer: they can’t. But other humans can. This is called ‘Off Page Optimization’ and is covered in the second type of optimization.

They never really disregarded the webpage entirely, but they lowered its importance in their overall factoring of a page’s importance and relevancy. However, as their savvy increases and they have more computing power to analyse content, search engines are starting to consider the page’s content as being more and more important. They can often discern the difference between human generated and computer generated text, and can tell if the content on a page is relevant to a particular topic or not. As they do this more, the page itself will continue to get more important.

There used to be a lot of tactics and tricks to get the search engines to pay more attention to your page, but the number one tip is now this: Write human readable content (don’t try to write it to load it with terms and keywords) that has value and real relevancy. Make sure that you do use the words and phrases you think people will search for, and do use them more than once, but don’t go overboard. Bolding and using larger fonts (and H1 tags) will help as well, but don’t overdo it. If you make your page look too wonky it will not work for the second type of optimization.


Off Page Optimization

Search engines care little about ‘websites’ and care more about ‘web pages’. The reason for this is that they don’t link to a site, they link to a page. So what is this mysterious type of SEO you ask? Well, if you read the on page part above you will have learned that Google and the other search engines decided that they couldn’t trust the page itself too much as too many people put fake content on a page to generate traffic. So they decided that the best way to know if a page was relevant was to let people do it for them.

How do they make this work? Well, they simply look at who links to you and what their page is about. If your page is about sewing, and another page that Google knows people like is also about sewing and it links to you, then your page is probably not misrepresenting itself. This is the driving force behind what is called ‘Page Rank’. Page rank is essentially a calculation of the importance of the pages linking to you vs the relevancy of your content to those pages. If a page about banking links to a page about peanut butter, then chances are that the search engines won’t assign any importance to that link, but links between pages of similar content have high importance.

There is also a nebulous thing that we know exists, but don’t know how to quantify. It is the matter of how much a search engine trusts a site. Sites with high trust have their outbound links given more importance than sites the search engine does not trust. An easy way to determine if a site is trustworthy or not is to think about it yourself. The folks at the search engines are humans, they will trust the same sites you do and distrust the same sites you do (give or take a bit).


Untrustworthy Sites

Link/Banner farms – sites with nothing but links to various other sites. These used to work, but the search engines wised up and now having a link farm link to you will hurt, not help.

Sites with a lot of advertising on them – The search engines know that these sites are mostly computer generated and have no valuable content, and so don’t pay any heed to what they link to.

Black Hat Sites – sites that use questionable SEO tactics aren’t ones that you want linking to you. Google is suspicious of them, no reason to make it suspicious of you.


Trustworthy Sites

Directories – There are two types of directories. Automatic and Human verified. Google knows which are which and if your site is listed on a human verified directory (meaning that someone looked at your site and verified that your description and content match the category you chose to have it listed in) then it knows that your content is relevant to the description you gave. Find the directories for your market (just google things like sewing boston directory or whatever your niche/market is and you’ll find some to list in.

News Sites – Many news sites allow you to post comments on them. Don’t spam, but find some relevant articles to your site and post a few comments. Its not advised that you place your link right in the article (unless you think it applies) but rather have your link in your profile.

Sites with high page rank – This is key. There is little point having sites with no page rank link to your site with no page rank. You want sites with high page rank linking to you. Install the Google toolbar and select yes when it asks if you want to view pagerank. This will let you know how other sites rank and help you determine where to try to get links.

Also read more about links – click here


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