Within the considerable subject of SEO and its implementation, two main facets can be focussed upon. One is the creative element which covers aspects of SEO such as content creation, accessibility, and some parts of user experience (UX).
The second aspect is technical SEO, and, as its name suggests, it deals with much of the work you will not usually see such as coding, metadata, and the structure of the website. Technical SEO includes elements that ensure a website is indexed which is essential for it to appear in the search engines, and also for it to be crawled so that its ranking can be determined. The element within a website’s coding that ensures this happens is ‘robots.txt’ so let us look at this in more detail.
What Is ‘robots.txt’?
Before we go any further, we must clarify that robots.txt has nothing to do with Androids or any artificial intelligence tool. Instead, it is a few lines of text within the source code of a website that instruct search engines which pages of that website they can and cannot crawl. The robots.txt acts like a signpost showing the search engine bots to the correct pages and away from the wrong pages. It also lets the bots know how often they should return to crawl the page.
How Does ‘robots.txt’ Work?
The bots and spiders the search engines send out have two main functions. The first is to crawl the internet to discover content, and the second is to index that content so that the search engines can create search results whenever a user types in a search term.
An online business website that depends on promotion and sales needs a good search engine marketing strategy to be successful and profitable. Generating targeted traffic to the website is the main function of a search engine marketing strategy.
A variety of different traffic building methods and techniques can be used to attract traffic to a particular website. One such widely used methods of search engine marketing that is used by online businesses to generate traffic is “pay per click”. Pay per click is an acceptable method used to attract traffic to your websites, however it is important to monitor it frequently to determine its efficiency in generating traffic that is beneficial to the project.
If you run a business, you want the dollars you spend to attract customers to be as effective as they can be. Back in the day, that might have been a little simpler. Advertising and marketing to build your brand was done in print publications, via networking and word of mouth referrals. But the internet, social media and search engines changed all of that.
First of all, let’s be clear about what we mean when we say SEO. Most websites get the majority of their traffic from Google. Even if you don’t go to ‘Google.com’ if you use a search bar on an iPhone or an Android-powered phone, then that search bar is also powered by Google.
Here’s what most people don’t realise though. The ‘search results’ that appear after you put in a query like ‘dentist in Sydney’ is different for every single person. It’s based on the specific data that Google has about each of its users based on their estimated age, gender, previous searches, location, social media and a whole host of other things.
Improving the ranking of your website can play a huge part in the success of your local business, but it takes specialist skills to achieve it. Trying to do it yourself might seem worthwhile, but it can cost you a lot in terms of time and money. The wisest course of action is to employ a local SEO agency or company who have the skills and resources to implement an effective search engine optimisation campaign for you.
The first advantage of using a local SEO agency might not seem obvious, as you will likely have to pay them a fee upfront, but doing so will reduce your costs. The reason is that each element of an SEO campaign will require a specific expert whose work you would have to pay for. If you are contracting each individual piece of work to a different agency or company each time, the costs will be huge.
By comparison, employing an agency who will oversee all the work, means the overheads will be greatly reduced, as most of the work can be done by the staff which the agency employs. Even if they must outsource some of the work, they will be able to secure the services of experts with whom they may have negotiated a special rate due to the volume of work they are generating for them.
1. Having your website linked from your Google+ profile gives it search credibility.
Simple fact. Plus if your business sells widgets, and you post to your Google+ account about your widget blog, and your location is known to Google, then when users search for widget merchants in your area, your site or your account will pop up closer to the top.
2. There’s fewer distractions on Google+.
Some users might compare Facebook and disdain the lack of things like having a “favorite music” or “books you’re read” section. But really, what does that do? Google+ also removed games, and has a general lack of gizmos entirely. That’s a good thing. There’s less noise, more room for you, yourself, to shine.
3. Google+ has superior market targeting.
Because Google+ has Communities, Hangouts, and Pages, all of them excellent opportunities to make connections through your product. Keep an eye out for communities that target your market, and be sure to post there. Make a few extra pages detailing your products and services. Host hangouts within your target market’s niche.
We’re downright nostalgic for the good old days when SEO work didn’t involve so many animal names. here’s the latest breakdown on Google Panda vs Google Penguin and what they mean to you. It’s a great resource and you should read it carefully, because there’s a lot of half-baked theories and general panic going on out there and this post is a smooth voice of reason.
Let’s try to view the Google Penguin update rationally: Keywords are not dead. Even Google’s own webmaster guidelines advise “Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.” That’s all you have to do. Deep breaths, everybody. We’ll get through this. Continue reading
SEOMoz modestly states “If you’re looking for SEO secrets, you’ll be disappointed by this post.” Oh, we beg to differ. While it isn’t exactly Earth-shattering or surprising, we found this list of 16 Google Ratings Guidelines to be worth passing along, just because it’s obvious that many of you out there do not know them.
Take for example:
Generic Queries Are Never Vital – So why are there so many web entrepreneurs out there fighting tooth and nail over domains like “beer.com” and “vacations.org”? Sorry to break this to you, but most of us expect to find a rather unhelpful domain at a generic.com address, and we’re usually right.
Copied Content Can Be Relevant – That’s startling! We’ve had so much bad press about copied content drilled into our skulls that we’re going to avoid it anyway.
Ads Without Value Are Spam – Not news to you and I, but breaking headlines to a ton of landing pages out there. We’re guessing they’re all owned by people in third-world countries who haven’t gotten the news.
Google Raters Use Firefox – Yay! Not only our favorite browser, but our favorite add-on gets a plug too!
It’s hard to believe that we’re still hearing about Panda. It seems as old as Y2K now. Yet here we are looking at another story about a webmaster sore at Google over it. Search Engine Watch gives us a refreshing reality check: Maybe a site drops in Google’s SERPS just because its junk?
There’s also, at the bottom of the article, a handy list of things to check when your site rankings drop. It’s good to keep in mind that sometimes webmasters throw themselves into a panic when they don’t have to. We’ve seen web-workers at lunch with a laptop: They order lunch, hit F5, pay the cashier, hit F5, take a seat, hit F5, and they go “Whoa! We dropped three places!” and out the door they run while we watch their sandwich get cold, or until somebody eats it.
Search Engine Land reports on Google’s latest move in its attempt to horn into the social networking banquet, where they’re going to start verifying an account identity. The chatter about this one is, surprisingly, more positive than you’d expect. While there are still concerns about online privacy, it seems that web users are sick of something else even more:
Trolls, scams, spammers, sock-puppets, and general fools using the whole wide world for their personal playground.
It is true that the state of the web as we know it does lend itself to a hostile environment. Take the case of David Mabus, a Canadian who made a career out of sending thousands of threatening emails and IMs to everyone he saw on the web for more than ten years. He has just now been arrested. If you were on any side of an issue opposite him, chances are you were threatened under one of his many accounts.
In the film Minority Report, we see that advertising in the future is triggered by iris scanners who identify you by eye pattern and use that to have talking billboards address you by name. Our present is getting closer and closer to that science fiction scenario!
The latest musing on Google+ is over at SEO Chat, which asks How Google Plus Could Change SEO. There’s a list of features which Google+ adds, each of which have the handy side effect of offering more targeted advertising.
How often we, in the web SEO business, chase down every rumor and scrap of information about search engine optimization, especially for Google. How seldom we get it straight from the horse’s mouth. Ok so most SEO consultants will know him, but for those that don’t – may we introduce Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO, a blog by a bona-fide Google engineer.
Chock-full of SEO wisdom, this candid blog should be mandatory reading for every budding web entrepreneur. A great example is the glossary section, with some down-and-dirty dirt on breaking a URL into its component parts, and busting some jargon on algorithms. And note, he doesn’t burble on about meta-tag voodoo and link-exchange witchcraft, he just tells you what’s going on!
We all see dozens of articles targeted at the basic SEO strategies for daily use, but there’s a second set of techniques which we rarely see addressed: the needs of a mature website. If your site is five, ten, fifteen years old or older, and regularly publishes content, chances are good that you have pages on your own website that you haven’t even checked on in years.
You might want to blow the dust off of some of those. After all, you’re paying for the server space to host them and they’re all very well-indexed by the spiders by now. As time goes on, various little instances of webpage rot begin to creep in. here’s something to keep in mind if you do revisit those back-roads off the beaten brush:
This is one of those defining moments when it really hits you that you’re living in the 21st century. Twenty years ago, web searches were barely an explored concept. Sixteen years ago, the Google search engine launched. Four years ago, the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary added the word “google” to their listings. And this year, we have a hostess doing a video segment on the week’s most popular searches, available through a streaming video site.
Have you tried an alternative search engine lately? I know, as an SEO marketer or search engine marketing consultant, you probably groan every time somebody suggests it. Yes, these other have ridiculously small market share. But just remember, the one to watch in the future isn’t Google. The one to watch is the one who’s going to beat Google. It’s only a matter of time. No monopoly stands forever…
Linkbait is the social web term for the kind of content that regularly gets linked from social bookmarking and news-sharing sites. Think Digg, Reddit, Delicious, Metafilter, Yahoo Buzz, and even just plain blogs. The best link-bait is something that appeals to the lazy nature in all of us. After watching the social web for a few years now, here are the kinds of things you might post to your blog to more frequently get visitors from social sites:
Video – Number one with a bullet. Video content is extremely popular, especially if it’s under five minutes. Consider it for your next tutorial of handy tips.
Images – Especially a funny one. Even a vaguely amusing one. Heck, any picture at all. I’ve followed links to a picture of somebody’s shoes – regular ordinary shoes. But I had to click, because I just couldn’t believe that somebody would just post a picture of their shoes! Continue reading
Who cares about any other search engine but Google? Oh, OK, maybe Yahoo or Bing. But seriously, every single time you read a website marketing blog, it’s Google, Google, Google. It’s as if it were the only search engine in the world, as far as search engine optimization is concerned.
But what could we learn from optimizing for other search engines? And furthermore, what would the SEO world look like right now if we had one of these companies as the king of search instead of Big-Daddy-G?
It started out being the fix for web browsers that couldn’t display images – yes, they weren’t a given for the early web browsers. Just when we thought we could get rid of alt-text, the blind and visually-impaired community spoke up, “Whoa! We need those to read what the picture’s about!” and so now using alt-tags became a matter of accessibility.
And now search engines use them to index images. So alt-text is here to stay. To use it, you would put:
< img src=”http://mysite/image.jpg” alt=”our company logo” / >
And you can go one further and use a title tag, which makes text pop up when the user mouses over it. To see a title tag in action, visit XKCD and hover your mouse over a comic strip. Sometimes it adds to the joke, sometimes it explains it, and sometimes it’s a secret message!
SEO is necessary to achieve high rankings. But, there are certain ethics and guidelines that most of the webmasters must keep in mind. Though there is no specific definition for black hat SEO, yet there are some things that may be considered inappropriate for websites of different categories. Something may be allowed for a gambling site, but may not be allowed for a health care site. Black hat SEO techniques are mostly those, which may break search engine rules or are a poor user experience or may have unethical presentation of content.
Some of the things considered as Black Hat SEO may even have been considered as legitimate ones earlier, but after being taken a bit too far by some, these were blacklisted. Generally, the black hat SEO practices may offer short term gains, but they may be limited to the rankings.
Avoid SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, using invisible text etc that are considered black hat SEO.
Keyword stuffing is nothing, but packing your keywords onto the website. If you have a list of keywords to use, do not make liberal use of them in you website. Use tools, which can help you to find the keyword density. Maintain a standard of around 3% to 7% keyword density. Make use of synonyms and make yourself aware of LSI to ensure that you have a good page developed within limits of acceptable use of keywords.