Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Oops! Those directories don't pass link juice.

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Recently I’ve pulled a nice competitive link report for each competitor for a specific clients.  SEOMoz has a tool called linkscape which made it really easy (you need to be a pro member to access it).  After pulling the individual reports I created a master document of all the competitive backlinks and sorted the results by link value.  In the report many of the competitors had links from directories.  Some of the competitors are fairly large players and a link in these directories is a big vote of confidence.  They are definitely links to duplicate.

To my surprise I found some directories using redirects for all their listings.  The two directories in question are:

http://www.galaxy.com/
http://www.toptenlinks.com/

I became interested in how they were redirecting their links and copied the link source by right clicking on the link.  From there I entered the URL in this nifty Redirect Checker Tool

And guess what?  None of the links in these directories are passing juice.

If they were using a 301 Redirect they would be passing juice to the websites in their directory. 302 redirects are temporary redircts and send the visitor on their way but search engines don’t assign link love.

That really stinks for all the websites in those directories.  What’s the lesson here?  Try to get good clean links without any redirects.  If that’s not possible, make sure to check the type of redirect!

3 must have Firefox tools for SEO and Web Analytics

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Firefox is the only browser that allows for 3rd party extensions. This being the case here are the best Firefox tools for SEO and web Analytics

SEO Tools

Pulls useful market research data right into Google’s and Yahoo!’s search results, including the following data near each search result.

  • PR: (Google PageRank) an estimated measure of global link authority
  • Age: age pulled from Archive.org, shows the first time a page was indexed by Archive.org’s spider. The theory is that if Archive.org found a page so did many of the major search engines.
  • Links: (Yahoo! linkdomain) shows a rough estimate of the total number of links pointing at a domain
  • .edu Link: (Yahoo! .edu linkdomain ) shows a rough estimate of the total number of .edu links pointing at a domain
  • .edu Page Link: (Yahoo! .edu link ) shows a rough estimate of the total number of .edu links pointing at a specific page
  • .gov Link: (Yahoo! .gov linkdomain ) shows a rough estimate of the total number of .gov links pointing at a domain
  • Page Links: (Yahoo! link) shows a rough estimate of the total number of links pointing at a page
  • del.icio.us: number of times a URL has been bookmarked on Del.icio.us. Heavily skewed toward techy / Web 2.0 stuff.
  • Technorati: an estimate of the total number of links to a site from blogs
  • Alexa: rank based on website traffic . Heavily skewed toward internet marketing and webmaster related resources.
  • Cached: (Google site:) shows how many pages from a site are indexed in Google
  • dmoz: searches the Google Directory to count the total number of pages from a site that are listed in DMOZ, and the total number of pages listed in DMOZ that reference that URL.
  • Bloglines: shows you how many people are subscribed to a particular blog via Bloglines.
  • dir.yahoo.com: is a site listed in the Yahoo! Directory or not.
  • WhoIs: makes it easy to look up the whois data for any site.

WEB ANALYTICS

WASP is the Web Analytics Solution Profiler, a specialized Firefox extension aimed at web analytics professionals Buy! who want to do quality assurance and understand how their web analytics solution is implemented.

Note: The free version of WASP offers the unrestricted sidebar and statusbar info. Site crawls are limited to 10 pages. To crawl more pages you need to upgrade.

This project may be of some help for the following:

  • Help debugging web analytics implementations.
  • See which kind of web server the website is using.
  • See the cookies set by website and 3rd party adverting partners.

Are there any other ‘must have’ tools that you use regularly? Please leave a comment if you do.

How to SEO – 14 Standard Techniques

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

This is a short list of how to SEO.  There are many many more factors that effect your rankings but these are the proven techniques.  Due to the high amount of speculation there are many things that may or may not work.   These however, are accepted industry-wide as standand SEO practices.

Good SEO 🙂

  1. Keywords in URL – The primary domain is somewhat important but having keyword rich URLs instead of query strings helps.  Remember that the first word gets the most weight, the second word gets the next most weight, and so on.  Keep your keywords as close to the domain name as possible. About.com has mastered this technique.  They use clean page names and keyword rich subdomains.  
  2. Keyword in Title Tag – The Title Tag is defined in the Meta Data in the HTML pages.  It is surrounded by <title></title>.  It is the title on the top bar of your browser, what appears when you bookmark a page, and what search engines use as your listing title.  Use keywords wisely and make it readible (by humans).
  3. Keywords in H1, H2, H3 – When you write your article make sure a keyword or two is featured with an <h1> tag.
  4. Anchor text of links – Links within your site and links from other sites sound have your keywords as part of the link.  Insted of ‘click here for discount mortgage loans’ make the link ‘Discount Mortgage Loans’.  ‘Click Here’ Tells the search engines nothing about what the page is about.  To see the power of this type the phrase “Miserable Failure” into Google and see what you get.
  5. Links from relevent or expert websites – One link on NBA.com if you sell basketball shoes will do wonders for your website.  Don’t waste your time getting links from non-related websites (it can actually hurt you).  Try to build links with older expert websites. 
  6. Get listed in the DMOZ Directory – Google uses this human edited directory heavily for their search results.  Submit your site but don’t hold your breath.  It can take years if you get in at all.
  7. Get listed in Yahoo Directory – Yahoo’s Directory costs $299 a year.  If you are serious about your site and SEO get listed there.
  8. Old Site – The older the site the better.  It shows stability and it weeds out the spammers.
BAD SEO 🙁
  1. No links pointing to your website – Get at least a single link to stay in the Google index. 
  2. Link Buying – If you do buy links make sure it as a rel=nofollow tag on it.  If Google finds out you’ve bought a link they will not be happy.  Also, if you do buy a link make sure you keep it forever. Loosing links can really hurt you.
  3. Keyword Spamming – Don’t go crazy on the keywords.  While it’s good to have them sprinkled here and there don’t over do it.  Not only will your customers get annoyed but you might just get penalized.  This is true for inbound links too.  Try to mix it up a little with the anchor text.
  4. Duplicate Content – Don’t steal or repeat copy from other websites.  Google will penalize duplicate content.  It is a waste of time to steal content for SEO purposes.
  5. Too many incoming links too fast – If you are a new site too many links in the begining might look suspicious.
  6. Don’t link to bad neighborhoods – If you look like a spammer, smell like a spammer, and build links in the same neighorhoods as smappers Google thinks you’re a spammer.
These are only the begining but if you get these steps down you’ll be doing pretty good.  If you have any more ‘standard’ techniques that work for you please leave a comment below.

Free Keyword Suggestion Tools

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Keyword research can uncover demand, customer linguistics, and profitable niches.   Using keyword suggestion tools can expand your options.  It is surprising to see what customers call the products and services you sell.  There are also ways to leverage untapped opportunities.

As a general rule I like to start with generic phrases and then scan the list for the specific phrases.  Working from generic to specific lets the surprises and real gems come to the surface.  

These are the top four keyword suggestion tools online:

Google AdWords: Keyword Tool
https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Wordtracker
http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/


KeywordDiscovery
http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html


SEO Book (Powered by Wordtracker)
http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/


Other free tools on the market are powered by one of the sources above.  They also have very hard to read captcha phrases. Good luck with your keyword research!