Slinky Search | Internet Marketing

Online Marketing Advice, Tips & Strategies

Category: SEO (page 1 of 2)

Why Employing A Local SEO Company Makes Sense For Your Business

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.

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Mod Rewrite shopping carts for SEO

Many websites use URL rewrite technologies to make the URL’s friendly to the search engines.

Also known as a mod_rewrite, it has been described as “the Swiss Army Knife of URL manipulation”!

However, not all rewritten URL’s are the same. Some people rewrite URL’s to simply remove the (?) and (&) from the resulting URL. However, this does not provide the best form of rewritten URL.

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Monitor Your Website Traffic – Search Engine Marketing

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.

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Five Reasons Why Your Business Profile Belongs On Google+ Rather Than Facebook

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.

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Penguins and Pandas and Pagerank, Oh My!

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

Google Ratings Guidelines

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!

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Is Google Getting Blamed More Than It Should?

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.

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Will Google+ Lead The Way For Erasing Anonymity On The Web?

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.

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How Google+ Could Change The Rules Of the SEO Game

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.

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Have You Felt The Wrath Of The Panda Yet?

SEO bloggers were abuzz only a few months ago about the mighty Google update. Nicknamed “Panda”, this was the update that was to limit the ranking of low-quality text-farm type sites that clog search results. The new update valid about June of 2011 is Panda 2.2, and Search Engine Roundtable has the dirt on that.

Now, they didn’t specifically come out and say content farms… but it’s pretty clear that they were looking in their direction.

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Thinking Like a Google Engineer

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!

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Webite SEO Optimization Strategies You’re Probably Forgetting

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:

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Google Beat – A Video Log For Hot search Topics

In a move that comments on just how important search trends have become in our modern world, Google has launched Google Beat, a video blog reporting on weekly search trends and what they mean.

This is quite an awesome little development, and we’ll be watching the Google Beat YouTube channel to see where this goes.

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.

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Search Engines That Show You A New Way To Think About Search Engines

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…

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Five Recipes For Linkbait

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

An SEO Expert’s Garden Of Lost Search Engines

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?

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ALT Image Tags in Web Marketing

The “alt” tag as alternative text for an image placed on a web page, has a curiously evolved history.

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!

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Thinking Of Doing Black Hat SEO, Think Again!

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.

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More On Black Hat SEO

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.

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How To Make The Most Of Latent Semantic Indexing-LSI

Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI is a very significant technique used by search engines like Google to determine the topic of your website by looking at all the keywords and seeing how they relate.

LSI became popular with its use by Google, mainly for the purpose of detection of spam and for detection of excessive use of keywords to fool the search engines, to get a high listing. Earlier people have used it, to make use of rotating synonyms into which keywords could be multiple inserted. You can make good use of this technology, to get better rankings.

Web masters can make use of this technology, while developing content for their websites and ensure that they use keywords and terms, which are interpreted as expert and relevant content by search engines and the site given a high ranking. Using synonyms is preferable today, rather than using the same keyword to achieve certain keyword density.

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More On How To Make The Most Of Latent Semantic Indexing

Tools like Adwords from Google are freely available. It can be used to understand, what Google considers as synonyms. You may enter a keyword and check the “use synonyms” box and click on “Get more keywords”.

You can get a list of synonyms for the keyword. This way, you get some very relevant list of keywords. You can use these in your content without repetition of the same keywords. This can help you get good rankings.

Another use of this tool is that it determines the true meaning of words on the basis of various factors. It is used to determine heteronyms, polysemes and homonyms. Homonyms are spelt and pronounced the same way, but have different meanings. Heteronyms are spelt the same way, but pronunciations are different.

Polysemes are spelt the same way, but they come from the same root and are used in different context. When you are developing content, you have to keep this in mind, so that you are clear about what keywords you are using and what it is related to.

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Analyzing Your Competitors Website

When you develop your website to promote your products and reach out to relevant customers, you have to give due consideration to your competitors’ websites.

You should make a careful study of your competitors’ websites. It can give you an informative insight on strategies used by them to attract customers. You can form your own digital strategy based on relevant information to help you score over your competitors.

You have to know the value of competition.

Identify the leaders in your field. You can use Yahoo directory, which can provide you with a view of the major players in the field related to your own industry.

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Internal Linking

Here’s a great example of how you can enhance your Web site’s usability and assist your SEO efforts.

Too often, you may have created a lot of Web pages but they don’t “speak” to each other. If a visitor is on my company’s Internet Marketing Services page, then they might also be interested in our web analytics services or our search engine marketing services.

So, we’ve added links to those pages on the Internet Marketing Services page. Simple stuff.

Linking like this creates great internal linking, which is great for the user experience. These internal links provide an opportunity to use a keyword-rich anchor text link to that page.

Usability and SEO

The search engine’s job is to deliver the most relevant result against a given search query. In order to be seen as “relevant” to the search engines, you must first be relevant to a user of your web site.

There are no shortcuts here.

You need quality content and pages upon pages of supporting content.

Too often, people redesign their web sites to make them more “user friendly.” They believe this is accomplished by having fewer pages with less verbiage and more graphics.

If you think about it, though, people use search to read and research when they’re looking for your business.

Tracking seo results

Tracking the online traffic to your website is called – Website Analytics.

This should be given the upmost importance, after you have completed the search engine optimization process.

You have to be able to determine, which keywords and search items are helping you enhance the traffic to your website.

One tip for all you webmasters would be that search engine optimisation process does take time – so don’t be discouraged, if you don’t see any immediate results.

If done correctly, you will slowly be on your way to climbing up the search engine results page of major search engines like Google, Yahoo & Live.

Google algorithm and your SEO

Google is continually tweaking its algorithm. Often changes to the algorithm will change the position of search engine rankings.

It might be that one of the latest changes affected your website.

In 2007, Google released more than 450 changes of the ranking algorithm. That’s more than 1 per day!

Peter Brittain
Northland Digital

The secret to getting the best directory listing on the internet

By Peter Brittain – Managing Director Northland Digital & Slinky Internet Marketing

We all know that DMOZ is the famous Open Directory Project, right?

The Open Directory Project (ODP) is known as DMOZ because of its original domain name, directory.mozilla.org and is a multilingual open content directory of web sites that is developed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.

Being listed in the directory is free.
DMOZ uses a hierarchical system for organizing website listings. Listings are sorted into categories, which can then include sub-categories under them. Google uses DMOZ as a directory source so it is important to have your site listed in its index. Google’s own directory is actually the whole DMOZ directory. Robozilla which is DMOZ’s web crawler checks the status of all sites listed and periodically flags websites which appear to have moved or disappeared. This helps to reduce the link rot in its web directory.

Now, it has been said that without a DMOZ listing you will not rank well in Google. This is not true, but it is one of the best authoritative links around.

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Expanding on Mod Rewrite shopping carts for SEO

There are two types of mod rewrites. Each meet the same purpose, but the advanced URL rewrite is more search engine friendly. The following examples will give you an idea of the important factors.

Non-URL Rewrite URL

http://www.yoursportsshop.com/shop.php?cat_id=1&item_id=2

The above URL indicates to the database that the returned information should be from the category with id equal to 1 and the item id equal to 2. This works fine for the system because it understands the variables. Many search engines however do not understand this form of URL.

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Heading Tags

Heading tags are those tags that identify the importance of a piece of content and elevate it above the remaining content. For example, an h1 heading tag is the most important of all heading tags.

When a page uses the h1 tag it announces to the search engines that the enclosed text is of vital importance and it is usually the topic of the page.

For example, a page about Web Design that uses an h1 tag enclosing the words Web Design identifies to the search engine that the main topic of the page is, in fact, Web Design. This can elevate your page above all others that talk about Web Design if they do not utilize the h1 tag.

Over use of the h1 tag on a single page can be considered spam by the SE’s. This can get the page banned and may even get the site banned.

We find it is usually better to use the h1, h2 & h3 tags in a methodical procedure down the page leaving the most important juice line for the h1 tag.

How To Create A Successful Link-Baiting Post

The easiest and probably the most cost-effective link baiting technique is to post unique blog articles that online users might find interesting to read. The trick here is to offer something truly and comprehensively unique, obviously because there will be thousands more like you trying to achieve the same thing.

So, how do you create one? Well, if you are creative enough, you can do it yourself, but in case you lack that ability to create something valuable out of nothing, then you might have to get help from professionals.

If you have the requisite funds, you can hire professional blog writers and give them the task to create truly and comprehensively unique blog articles for your website. However, just make sure that you own the copyrights, obviously because if you do not do so, other websites may stake their claims on that interesting piece of content that you might be planning to use as bait for generating the required back links.

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