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Do old domains have any advantage from newer sites?

1959 Microwave

1959 Microwave (Photo credit: SportSuburban)

People often times talk about new domains – and how soon will Google index the site…but what about the old websites and its pages and previous rankings, how does that apply to what Google is doing?  What are the algorithm updates doing to those older domains?

If you have not updated your website since before Y2K – you probably have some updates to do to your website.

Matt Cutts talks about Old Domains

The fact is – most older sites tend to put the page creation process on “cruise control” at times.  The same vigor that got you to the top of the rankings in “the old days” with your seasoned, older domain – has much of the same value today…sometimes even more.

“The advice that I can gives you as the owner of the site that has been around for 14 years is to take a fresh look at your site. A lot of time if you land on your site and you land on a random website from the search results, even if they have been in business for 14-15 years, sometime the haven’t updated their template or their page layout or anything in years, and it looks like, frankly, a stale older site, and that sort of thing where users might not be as happy about that.”
Matt Cutts – Google

So basically – fight to stay number one or in the top ten.  Be hungry like these new site people are being.  You have to continue to push out new content, look at social sharing, new ways to do things – essentially you need to have your old domain stay current.  Old domain doesn’t mean you have to do “old” things with it.

If the site you are running is a WordPress site – there are tons of new, fresh themes out there to give you old site a new look.  If you’re not WordPress – many of the other platforms are doing the same.

Are links from article directories with relevant content OK?

Not that long ago – the main way to get more traffic to your website was using links…they were (and still are) the commodity of the web.  Now there are questions if you can still get/use without penalty links from relevant content in article directories and if that is seen as good or bad in Google’s eyes.

Matt Cutts talking about links from article directories:

Matt basically says the quality of the link directories has been on the decline.  I think Google’s ability to detect has just gotten better – many of these have been garbage for a long time.

“An article directory is basically where you write several hundred words of content and then you include a little bio or some information about you at bottom of the article, and you might have, say, three links with keyword rich anchor text at the bottom of that article. Then, you submit that to a bunch of what is know as ‘Article Directories’ which then anybody can download or pay to download them and they use them on their own website.”
Matt Cutts

These were a precursor to guest blogging, and people would search for keyworded content and if they found it – many use it or link to it on their site.  With all good things – it started out with good intentions and was essentially spammed away.

Google's Server Error page

Google’s Server Error page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of the time – article directories are just poor man’s PR tools – where same amounts of copy and content are spread wildly over the internet.  Sometimes this was multiplied by auto-posting-bots which could literally post the article to thousands of blogs all over the world.

It appears Google has become wise to the auto-posters and it will be almost impossible to get SEO traction with ideas like these.  So – in conclusion, from a white hat perspective…probably a bad idea.

 

The importance of historical web traffic in ranking a site?

TrafficJam

TrafficJam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people who make their living online are interested in the subject of historical web traffic. What is historical web traffic and how can it be used? In order to define the terms you must look to see the traffic that a given website has gotten over a certain period of time.  Alexa rankings are some of the ways that web traffic can be counted.

Historical Web Traffic

Individuals keep a ranking ordinarily of the traffic that has come to a website over a period of time, anywhere from the past 3 months to the past 5 years. Those who are looking at these patterns can determine which unique visitors have come to their website over a given period of time.

It is really helpful to see the type of traffic the site has gotten and where it has come from. These are some of the things that to find when getting to know the site well. Most people use google website analaytics and google tracking tools to get the statistics on some of the traffic that has come their way.

They can use these options to view the traffic and take advantage of the things necessary. There are lots of ways to gauge the traffic coming into a website Having traffic counters, and so forth is one of the ways to do this. These are just some of the ways site owners can make sure they have the traffic they need.

Page Rank History

Those who use wordpress can also find out how their website has been performing over time. It is important for individuals to find since they need to track their websites history, and make sure that they make any necessary amendments or adjustments to the website in question.

Server Tools

Another way to find how many hits the blog or website is getting is to use server tools. For those who wish to see website statistics on their own or someone else’s website they can use domain.com/webalyzier to find the statistics of a particular site. Domain.com is one of the sites that you can use to find the statistics and take advantage of the server tools. Another possible place to check website stats and page history is domains.com or stats.com.

Other places to check would include stats.domain.com or domain.com/statistics. Successful owners use these to access traffic stats that may be needed to find their own stats or stats for a particular website. A note is that you as the website owner need to enable these tools first. They are helpful tools and something to bear in mind in order to track the traffic as it comes to a site.

Another tool that may be in your arsenal to look up information on sites you don’t own is traffic estimate. You can enter any website or blog to find out how much traffic the site had over time. This is also a way to find the google page rank of the site, Alexa rank to find out the traffic that the site has.

Many people can find the information they need and can find the ways to locate their historical traffic data as it comes in. It is always good to note this information to draw conclusions about what direction to go in next with the website. It is simply necessary information that owners can use when trying to adjust the website.

Some individuals also want to find their historical page rank as they want to find out whether adding items such as a banner ad would be helpful or appropriate. These are some of the things to use to analyze traffic patterns These are the ways to find out information about how others view the website.

A bit about Page rank history. Those who are somewhat familiar with the inner rankings of google know that google page ranks all of the websites on the internet. It is helpful for those who wish to keep track of their history, and are looking to know how they are ranking, Page rank is one of these things that individuals can use when they list websites by their importance.

Ways that google determines page ranks of sites are as follows:

  • Some of the ways individuals can use page rank is to determine the website rank and its degree of importance as far as google is concerned.
  • Page rank is an algorthim used by google to measure the importance of websites and their relevance to consumers.
  • The algorithim that is used by google was the first one developed by the company and one that has been used since google’s initial definition.
  • Page rank may be considered a probability definition where the page rank is determined by the possibility or probability of anyone clicking on a website at the same time.

Knowing how your page rank changes over time is really useful to those who have websites. Google changes their page rank periodically and is something that to be used when looking for statistics and popularity on a site. It is one of the things that owners can use to track their website’s importance.

It should be noted though that google does not calculate page ranks that often. The page rank that you actually see is the pseudo page rank and it is updated every 3 months. Psuedo page rank is a method that tracks how often the page is searched. It is something owners can use to make sure that you they are on target. It may be a rough guide to actual page rank which is not changed as frequently.

Website authority is another factor that can be used. Website authority in its purest terms is one of the things that measures the age of the domain, content of search and rank,and length of website operation.This is one of the things owners can use to document the impact of their site. It is important to know this as well. In general the longer the site has been around the greater it’s authority.

What is an authority site?

Young people have no respect for authority now...

Young people have no respect for authority nowadays (Photo credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy)

Making an authority website should be the goal of any business that focuses on SEO. While it is possible for an ecommerce website with little content that is able to rank for a wide range of different high profile keywords, the goal needs to be the main information source for individuals looking for information about that particular niche. An authority site is typically an information hub, but it can fill a number of different roles, depending upon the needs of the business and it’s current SEO outlook. Typically, an authority site will contain some of the following characteristics.

Authority site: Definitive Information Provider

One thing that many authority sites have in common is the fact that it is a bonafide information provider for information that is related to the business’ particular industry. Typically, the more information contained on the website the better. Websites that are able to achieve status as an authority website are able to provide a wide range of information about any and all subjects related to their niche.

By looking at what other websites have done successfully, businesses that are interested in becoming an authority site will be able to learn how to go about structuring content and navigation to make the experience seamless for the end user, while also remaining search engine friendly.

Depending upon how broad a particular niche is, a site could be an authority website with just a few pages. Broader niches could require hundreds or thousands of pages to be a true authority. In example, if a particular niche focused on “Stock mufflers in Honda Civics,” that authority site might only need 10 to 15 pages to display all of the relevant information. However, if the website were focused on “Honda Civic Parts,” in general, there would be a lot more content required to provide well-rounded information on the subject as a whole.

Authority websites should strive to cover the entirety of their subject matter as wholly as possible. There can be dozens of websites considered to be an authority in the same niche, but those that are able to go above and beyond in terms of information quality and quantity are much more likely to position themselves as an authority site.

Keep in mind that there are no strict definitions of an authority site. There is no magical number of pages that needs to be reached in order to be considered one. Instead of setting limits and aiming for a certain number of pages, set goals for providing the best coverage of the subject matter within that niche.

Links

While it is not a necessity to be considered an authority site, a large majority of websites will have links from other authority sites within their niche. While links might not play the same prominent role in SEO as they once did, having a high quality inbound link profile still helps the website to rank and is required for most competitive keywords. A website can have the greatest content in the world, but if the website does not contain what the Google algorithm is looking for, it will never be able to rank. The goal of any would-be authority site should be to garner links from other authority sites within the niche. This signals to google that the website provides excellent information that is worth being linked to. The higher quality the website is that the link comes from, the better.

Additionally, would-be authority sites also need to make sure that they link to other high quality websites as well. Understanding link juice, how it flows from one page to another, and how to structure it’s outbound links for maximum effect is an important part of SEO. The business need to make sure that the website is linking to other high quality websites in its niche. An easy way to make sure that a website has appropriate outbound links is to link to sources for the information provided. If a particular website was used during article research, a link to that website would be appropriate and would help to establish professionalism as well.

Links allow websites to pass their Google authority from one page to another, and one site to another. This is commonly referred to as ‘link juice.’ A strong navigation system helps authority sites to pass this Google authority from one page to another on their own site. The outbound links allow the website to pass that authority on to other websites. Essentially, an outbound link is viewed as a vote of confidence for the websites that are linked to. This is applied in reverse for inbound links, meaning that the goal should be to garner as many votes of confidence as possible.

Expanded Content

One thing that can be noted by visiting authority sites is the fact that many of them offer expanded content, greatly helping their ranking authority. Expanded content refers to adding other, usually visual additions to the content so that it is more than just words on a page. Remember, half of the population learns better visually. For this reason, would-be authority websites should add images, videos, and info graphics that help to support the claims that are being made on the page.

By providing better information with expanded content types, the website is able to not only help users to better understand the information that is provided, but this also makes a website much more likely to garner links from other authority sites that find the content useful as well.

The ranking authority of a given website depends on a number of different factors. Not only should the website be the best provider of information in the given niche, but it should also have a solid SEO structure, links from other websites that are within the niche and considered to be authorities, and enough information to cover the entire niche as a whole.

Having an authority website can mean big returns for a business. No matter what style a website is published as, whether it is an e-commerce site, informational site, web magazine, or other type of website, that doesn’t stop them from offering a wealth of high quality information related to their subject matter. There is no set requirement that must be met to be an authority site, but there are certain considerations that need to be taken into account such as what subjects need to be covered. Building an authority site takes time, effort and knowledge, but can pay off big in the long term.

How Quality Articles Affect Your SEO Position

English: Opening chess position from black sid...

English: Opening chess position from black side. Français : Jeu d’échecs en début de partie, vu depuis le coté des noirs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the new updates that Google has implemented, it seems as people’s rankings dropped quite a lot – what can you do to get your website back to the top and how do you improve your SEO position?

SEO Position – Improving it is Not That Hard

Improving your SEO rankings is not that hard. Google has made it loud and clear that authority websites will always have the upper edge. The saying that content is king has yet to be proven false, and will probably remain so for a long time.

Writing good quality and unique content has been somewhat hard to do for many website owners, and many of them even outsource this tedious process. Hundreds and thousands of dollars go to writers every day, and to no surprise it seems, as quality content is that really helps improve your SEO position.

Is there no coming back after the latest Google updates? Many of you might think so, but that is hardly the case. Links can always be removed and articles can always be updated. Google loves fresh content, and there’s no better time to update your content than after the Penguin and Panda updates.

Is Unique Content that Important?

Is sure is – many experienced webmasters make the mistake of disregarding content and just throw whatever spun content they can find up on their website. Search engines do not go for quantity, they mostly want quality. Think about it, would you read a blog or an article that is mostly gibberish? Even if it had articles thousands of words long, even if it had hundreds of articles, all that wouldn’t matter to the average reader.

It’s all about your audience. Do not ever think your SEO position is not affected by your audience. That bounce rate you see on your analytics profile is something Google also takes into consideration when calculating your rankings. It’s common sense really – if people like your site it’s natural for them to browse through it, and even come back if they truly find helpful information on it. Google knows this, thus web pages with a lower bounce rate are usually the ones ranking in first position.

How can you get your audience hooked? As mentioned earlier, people like quality content. What is quality content? Well, if a piece of information helps me, then I consider that to be very valuable, thus increasing its quality. There isn’t much to this really; if you just rewrite redundant articles and throw them up on your website, don’t expect a large readership, as redundant and obsolete topics are not that popular.

Research is super important

Nobody can lecture on topics they have no clue about. If your selected niche is something you have no clue about, then you’re going to have a hard time. However, you can always find information about any subject, making it somewhat easier for you to write unique articles. Your Google rank will improve if and only if you provide your readership with valuable content and articles.

How to do your research thoroughly and how to make sure you don’t just copy older articles? Well, research is somewhat tricky. Original research involves going to various websites and skimming through their articles, noting down everything that might be useful and even drawing logical conclusions yourself. Connect the dots and voila, you have yourself a small guideline on how to write a great article.

Let’s say you want to write about dental insurance, but you have no knowledge on this subject whatsoever. Well, worry not, as any information you might need is just a click away. Do a quick search on Google about this subject and you can easily find out what you need.

Here’s a small list for what to look for when doing your research:

  • For products, look up their cost. Whether it’s a stuffed teddy bear or dental insurance, look average cost median of the product. Readers generally want to know how much a thing costs, so adding it to your articles will only add value to your website.
  • Guidelines: People love reading guidelines, so during your research try to incorporate them in your articles. How to obtain a product, how to improve your grammar, how to make money from home, etc. are all things that people want to know.
  • Don’t just visit one website for research. The more websites your visit, the more information you obtain, and adding all this information up will result in one hell of an article, thus increasing your SEO rank.
  • Always take note of interesting things. Whether in notepad or in a simple textbook, always make sure you note down everything you find and deem useful. Nobody expects you to remember everything you read, so having a notepad near you will be very useful.

Your SEO Position is Bound to Increase

Think about what other websites do to achieve those high rankings. Look at CNN, Wikipedia and Amazon; what do all these websites have in common? They are all high authority websites, of course, but not just that. They all provide people with a valuable service.

A valuable service can be anything from information to selling quality products. If you aren’t planning on selling anything on your website, then think about how you can add value to it through your writing. Pass on your knowledge to others, try to find topics that interest people and answer their questions on said topics. Wikipedia has been around longer than ever and is still ranked high, and that is because it is a renowned authority website that provides great content on merely any subject.

Webmasters should perhaps stop thinking about how to improve their SEO position for a second and try to focus on offering a great service for their audience. Quality websites are not built in a day, so make sure to be patient with yours, as it won’t get on the first page of Google in just one day.

Look at what other websites are doing and try to learn from them. How the sites are structured, what kind of service do they offer and what makes them indispensable? Try to answer these questions for each and every website and then figure out what your website should be offering. Keep in mind that people want information that is helpful and easy to understand.