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The SEO Myths You’re Still Falling For

SEO is one of my favorite aspects of digital marketing. It still has this elusive quality, and very few people understand it properly. The other great thing about SEO is that it is always evolving. Google constantly update their algorithms, meaning we have to stay on our feet. It means coming up with new tricks and techniques. Writing this blog has introduced me to countless new conversations about SEO. And what is striking about it, is that people still get deceived by these 5 SEO myths. It’s time to clear things up, once and for all.

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Well, at least until Google changes its algorithm again…

5 SEO Myths:

Myth 1: SEO is something you do once

I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard this one. Several conversations about SEO have started when a colleague says, “oh, I hired an SEO company once, but it didn’t make a difference.” Of course it didn’t! SEO isn’t something that kicks in overnight. You don’t just flip a magic SEO switch and suddenly dominate Google. No, you take a long-term strategy. You practice SEO techniques with every single piece of content you write. You make changes and stay up to date. SEO never ends.

Myth 2: All you need is one keyword to rank

Wrong. Sure, you can place all your eggs in one basket. But, when has that ever worked? When you hire SEO services, the first thing they do is ask you to write a list of long-tail keywords. That’s not just your main keyword, but everything else around it too. Let’s say you sell skis for a living. Your main keyword is ‘skis’, but that won’t capture everyone in your market. You need to include keywords like ‘ski shop’, ‘ski poles’, ‘snow’, ‘mountains’, ‘ski equipment’, ‘ski blog’. See what I’m getting at? Cover the whole sector with your keywords.

Myth 3: Link building is dead

A Google official recently sent the SEO world into a tailspin by claiming that people should stop building links. Unfortunately, the quote was taken out of context. Link building is still VERY important. It’s the only way to show authority and determine how useful people find your website. What Google meant by its statement was to avoid poor links. Look for natural, high quality, and relevant linking strategies.

Myth 4: It’s all just metadata, right?

No! SEO isn’t just about titles, tags, and URL keywords. Sure, that stuff is all important. Google’s spiders need to see what your site is about. But, there are more important things at play. Quality of content. Authority. Site performance. Web traffic. Think in terms of value; how much value do users get from your site. That’s what Google is looking for.

Myth 5: Social media doesn’t matter

Social media matters. No, Google don’t count your follower numbers or register how many likes you got. But, this social activity leads to more traffic. It leads to more websites linking back to you. It grows your authority and readership. You’re providing value and Google does take notice of that. Don’t ignore social media. It is your launching pad.

Have you heard any other awful SEO myths?

5 SEO Tips for Bloggers

5 Spot

5 Spot (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

You you just trying to do good writing and not playing the game of all the SEO tricks?  All those silly “tips” that are supposed to skyrocket you to the top ten of Google.

Instead of all that junk – here are five simple and straightforward SEO tips that will help you rank better integrating seamlessly with your writing.

SEO Tips:

  1. One post, one topic, one title. Titles are not only important for your readers but for search engines too, which after all are also readers, although not human. Make sure that the title reflects the topic of the article, and that the article is about a specific topic only. Search engines don’t like confusion and neither do your readers.
  2. Add the metadescription. This one not about ranking but about getting more clicks. If you scroll down your WordPress text editor page (because you are using WordPress, right?), you will likely see a box where you can add a description of the page with a maximum of about 140 characters. This is what searchers will likely see when they find your page in the search engine results, so use it.
  3. Don’t forget the main keywords. We’re not asking you to do keyword research, or maybe we are, but a very quick one. Go to Google and start typing the keyword that best describes the topic you are writing about: the auto-complete function will give you the phrase that people actually use to search that topic on the internet, with probably a couple of variations as well. Incorporate those keywords in the body of the text, just to help search engines understand even better what you are talking about.
  4. Use images and give them titles. You are probably already using images in your posts (and if you’re not, start now), but you should also give them a title using the so called ALT-tag. That’s what search engines use to “read” a picture, so the content of the post will gain more clarity in their eyes. An added bonus is that you might even rank and receive organic traffic from those pictures. Again, WordPress makes it very easy to add the ALT-tag, so there’s nothing technical to learn.
  5. Write guest posts. No blogger’s an island, as the poet used to say (well, sort of), so reaching out to the other people in your niche should be a natural thing to do. You can do it in forums, via email, or commenting on their blogs. The most effective thing you can do however, is to write a post for their blog, with a link to your site. Just one word of caution though: do it for the relationship and the traffic, not for the link.

That was our five quick and painless SEO tips to make your blogging efforts more rewarding.  Good luck.

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5 Important Things about Penguin

5 Important Things about Penguin – Keeping Up with the Ever-Changing Internet

5 Important Things about PenguinIf you have been working at an Internet business for a while now, then I probably don’t have to tell you that the only thing guaranteed is change. It’s inevitable, so we might as well accept it and keep an open mind.

For me, the lifestyle that my wife and I have obtained through working from home is worth putting up with the multitude of changes that have occurred over the 13 years. Now, I am not saying that I am always happy to see them, but I have accepted that it’s part of the Internet world. And the payoff surpasses the inconvenience of having to keep up with change.

We no longer have to worry about getting stuck in daily commutes to the office, or missing kid activities. In fact, we can help out with our new granddaughter during the day, and still enjoy a successful career. It’s because we are not tied to a 9-5 schedule and have the flexibility to work around our life, rather than our life worked in around our job.

But, if you have been at this for as long as I have, you probably already know this. Whether you are a blogger, affiliate marketer, or sell retail online, you know the benefits outweigh the inconvenience of the many changes we have all seen, including the latest…Google’s Penguin.

Let’s take a look at this latest change and what you need to do to survive it.

1. Penguin is not Panda in Disguise

On April 24 of this year, Google launched Penguin, their latest algorithm. Not to be confused with Panda, which focuses on poor quality content, Penguin was designed to target spam.

Panda will nail your site if it has poor quality content, even though it’s not spam. In other words, if your content is loaded with keywords, or is ‘thin’ in substance, it’s not necessarily spam. But, Google doesn’t like low quality content either, regardless of your intent.

I have been in the world of affiliate marketing since 1999, and have gone through many changes the Internet has thrown us since then. Google was barely off the starting block at that time. I knew more about WebCrawler, Excite, and AltaVista.

However, Google’s dominance in the Internet world now is obvious, and has been for over a decade. So, when they make changes, I want to know as much about the change as possible.

2. Penguins’ Primary Goal

Penguin’s ultimate goal is to target pages of content that are spamming Google, primarily through backlinking. This latest salvo has targeted the low (or no) quality blogging networks that, for example, have been designed to ‘sell’ backlinks to webmasters looking to increase Google rankings.

As crazy as it sounds, some ‘networks’ consist of 2,000 to 3,000 WordPress sites. Management of these networks purposely set up these sites with several different server locations, IP addresses, and names. Their goal is to trick Google into thinking they are not the same entity.

They then set forth in selling subscriptions and links, so they can load an overwhelming amount of articles to their varied sites. Unfortunately, it seems they dropped the ball in terms of quality, instead focusing on quality and profits.

Google is highly protective of their algorithm, and it seems they are targeting, and in some cases, delisting and removing these sites from the BIG Google search results entirely.

In turn, those receiving ranking ‘benefits’ links from these types may be seeing major drops in ranking, all thanks to Penguin.

3. The Impact of Penguin on Your Website

The bad news is that Penguin won’t interpret your intent. You might not have any intent in participating in these backlinking schemes, but might be receiving links from them anyway.

It seems to me that “Penguin” is taking out the blogging networks and other SPAM content containing backlinks. Needless to say, it’s more important than ever that our inbound links (aka “Backlinks”) are embedded within quality content.

In contrast, Panda is focused on low quality content, whereas Penguin is focused on pages that are spamming Google.

4. The Necessary Steps

Unlike Panda, Penguin is an algorithm, without any human element in the detection process. If your site has been flagged, that is actually good news for you then, as the penalty could be temporary …if you do some work on your site (and clean up the offending backlinks).

As troublesome and time consuming as it is, you will need to remove as many of the incoming spam links to your site as possible. While it can be a real pain to do that, it should pay off in the end.

Matt Cutts, from Google, states that once the characteristics are removed that caused the flagging in the first place, your page will be re-indexed. At that point, your page will pop up again, and start increasing in its ranking.

Removing the spam links is up to you. Then, let Google do its job in getting it back up and functioning the way it should.

5. Protect Yourself from Further Incidents

In addition to removing the links, you need to focus on making sure your new backlinks are embedded within quality content on quality sites. Make sure it’s relevant to where it sits, and not stuffed with keywords and phrases. Here’s 4-things what to avoid:

1.) Article directories
2.) Blog networks
3.) Footer and sidebar links
4.) Crappy content

If you want to know where you stand with Google, check your traffic activity. A significant drop after April 24th would indicate a problem (but you probably already know that). I suggest that you simply clean it up and avoid the list above.

In Closing

If you continue to focus on quality content and take the efforts to be careful of how you are linked, you should be fine. Google’s intent is to improve our business, not hinder it. By weeding out the spam, those of us with legitimate businesses will benefit.

About the Author

Starting back in 1999, James Martell has enjoyed a successful career in affiliate marketing. He and his wife Arlene have taught others make money with affiliate marketing through various methods, such as speaking engagements, eBooks, seminars, and podcasts, including the 1st ever, and longest running, in the affiliate marketing industry called the “Affiliate Buzz” in early 2003. James and Arlene reside in a seaside community in Vancouver, and enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.

SEO 101: Getting the Attention Your Website Deserves

Obtaining a high rank in the search engines is simply a must for any business using the Internet for their marketing. It doesn’t matter if you offer products or services the goal needs to be hitting the first page on the Google search engine results pages. I have been working on reaching the highest organic position in the SERPS for a while now and I can tell you it is a never ending process.

There are some ways to help achieve your goal of reaching the top spot, and they are not difficult. I have been implementing these methods for the past year and the difference they have made to my online exposure in the search engines has been excellent. So if you wish to help increase the amount of traffic to your site, grow your brand and increase sales I recommend reading the following tips to see if you are missing some of the easy ways to be recognised as a quality website by the search engines.

SEO 101 Tips:

Evaluate your website

You can create the most remarkable and fascinating piece of writing ever, but if you place it on a poor website the likelihood of anyone sticking around to read it is minimal. You need to make sure your website looks smart and runs smoothly. Investing in a web designer is a good idea but this is not always an option for everyone, especially if you are a start-up business.

If you need to create your own site there are some excellent places to host your site that can help to make the process of building a site a lot easier such as WordPress. You will find it possible to customise your site and make it your own and there are plenty of plugins available that can help you monitor SEO, help your readers share your content and more.

Evaluate Content

Check out all of your previous posts and study the ones that achieved the highest amount of hits and comments. Discover what your readers are most interested in and try to create content along the same line. Consider how you advertised that content too; did you share some posts and not others? What time of day did you share the content?

See which search terms are being used most frequently by people visiting your website and see if they are actually related to what you consider to be the best keywords for you. If not you may need to work on being associated with the correct terms and keywords. You can do this by adding optmised content on your website and off your site in places such as free online directories and guest blog posts.

Finally go and visit the websites that you consider to be the most popular in your niche area. Find out what they are doing right, how does their content flow? DO they use more than one writer? What is the frequency of their blog posts? Use the information you gather and work it into your own plan.

Do your research before writing

You really cannot spend too much time researching, unfortunately time is often lacking. If you are going to creating unique and interesting posts you should be aiming to be as knowledgeable on the subject as possible. There should be plenty of information available online but if it is a breaking news story you may need to pick up the phone and carry out your own research. This can be difficult to do depending on your line of work and the type of story you are reporting but it is worth a shot.

If you find you do not have the time to dedicate to your website why not consider outsourcing to a SEO copywriting company and use their skills to create great content.

SEO 101: Importance of Picking The Right Keyword

Advertising is evolving and although some people may use a lot of the same wording on a webpage that they would with a newspaper copy, the content still needs to be web friendly.  The process of picking the right keyword can be vital to making sure content is truly developed in the way that you need it to be.  A person can look at things like Yahoo Trends in order to make sure that people are getting an idea of what people are searching for what news articles in particular happen to be in people’s minds.

SEO 101 Tips:

An SEO firm can make your content web friendly

The SEO firm can end up submitting your website URL to Yahoo’s search engine through their Yahoo site explorer website.  A number of people who may not truly comfortable with submitting to different Search engines can hire an optimization expert in New York in order to get this done.

The question of whether the headers on your website are truly working for you can make a big difference in whether or not people are truly gaining the amount of access to your website that you would like to see.  Open Graph Tags are something that can help you learn more about how to create more profitable content with your social media networks.

It needs to be possible for people to use proper research tools in order to select the right keywords.  It may not be a good idea to promote particular Search Engine Optimization tools, but a tool like SEOmoz can truly give a competitor a good idea of what you are doing with your keyword strategy.  SEOmozis a great tool to make sure that customers know what kind of deals your clothing store may be offering on Mardi Gras related clothing in New York during that time of year.  New York is not necessarily known for their great Mardi Gras celebrations, but a New York clothing store should want to draw in new customers and they would be more likely to do this through proper keyword selection.

Broken links

Proper keyword selection can even help correct mistakes on a website that are tired to broken links.  Broken links can have an extremely negative impact on a Search Engine Results Page.  A Search Engine Results Page can be vital to the overall success of a keyword strategy, an individual may want to use a Free Keyword Selector to help you select the top keywords that can be good for your e-book.

An e-book and an e-book title may not always be focused on keyword selection, but this does mean that an SEO firm cannot help you with your e-book.  Top keyword selection may even help a company set up a Pay Per Click campaign.  An SEO firm in New York can help you with the world of site structure as well.  The structure of the site and the quality associated with the content can  make the difference when you are trying to create the revenue.

Author Info: An SEO firm in New York is something that can help develop a detailed marketing strategy for you.  SEO New York is the best SEo firm.