Top 5 Google SEO Myths

Posted: Tuesday February 21st

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a part of every website life cycle. Since Google consistently changes its algorithm, SEO experts are forced to change the code on every web page to keep up with the search engine giant. A technique called “black hat SEO” has been developed for people who try to game Google into giving the website a higher value than competitors. Unfortunately, these methods have become mainstream techniques, and many unsuspecting webmasters incorporate them and find their website penalized by Google. Before you decide to optimize your website, know the top Google SEO myths to avoid being penalized.

Meta Tags and Google

Meta tags were one of the first implemented techniques used by search engines. The two prime meta tags you’ll find on web pages are “keywords” and “description.” The keywords tag is used by some uncommon search engines, so it’s still slightly useful. Some webmasters stuff the keywords meta tag with dozens of phrases to improve index rank in Google. However, Google does not include the keyword meta tag in its algorithm, so stuffing code into this part of your web pages does not improve rank.
The description meta tag is still used by Google, but webmasters should only insert one or two sentences in the code. The description should be carefully considered, since this is the snippet seen on the search engine results page. The description should display an overview of the web page. Additionally, Google does not always honor description meta tags if the algorithm does not detect valid text. If this happens, Google’s algorithm will replace description meta tags with other text within the page.

Create Multiple Domain Names for Better Rank

An old technique used by webmasters is creating multiple domains to promote one business entity. Webmasters bought several domains and interlinked them together to pass PageRank and improve organic search results. However, Google now penalizes this practice. The common term given to people who host dozens and even hundreds of domains is “domain farm.” A domain farm webmaster attempts to saturate the search engines with dozens of domain names, so his websites dominate the search engine results. These websites normally have similar or identical content, but the business is indexed several times in the search engines. Google has added domain farming into the company’s guidelines as a black hat method. Consequently, a webmaster who runs a domain farm can have all of his work devalued by Google and ultimately cost thousands of dollars in lost revenue. For some webmasters, Google may remove the domain farm altogether from the index.

Doorway Pages Bring in More Sales

Doorways are one-page websites that point to the main domain of the business. Similar to a domain farm, these sites were popular as a means to get several websites into the search engine results page. Doorway sites are distinct from domain farms in that they have one page of links and very rarely have any content. A doorway website may rank high in Google for a short period of time, but very rarely does the page keep its rank.

Keyword Stuffed Content

Keywords and keyword phrases are the main component of website content. Google has perpetuated the increase in the need for content on websites. Google has hundreds of factors it uses to rank a web page, but one known way to boost search engine rank is by writing content that uses keyword phrases. Keyword phrases that focus on a website’s purpose increase search engine rank for that phrase. For instance, if a website design company wanted to rank for the phrase “website design,” the webmaster needs to focus on this phrase within the page content. However, keyword stuffing is a blackhat technique that can lead to a penalty.
Many people write articles with the intention of including keyword phrases at a certain percentage throughout the article. There is no documentation from Google that recommends a certain percentage of keywords. In fact, Google has stated that writing naturally on pages improves search engine rank performance and helps webmasters avoid a penalty.

Duplicate Content and Articles

One of the most popular myths on the Internet is that duplicate content increases search engine rank. The myth has made webmasters believe that articles should be posted on several websites with links that point back to the business domain. In fact, duplicate content should be avoided. Duplicate content devalues a site, and it causes erratic behavior from Google. Duplicate articles should not be hosted on several e-zine sites. Instead, create content rich articles and host them on your own website. Monitor your content for theft to avoid getting stuck in Google’s content duplication filter.
These five SEO myths are the most popular reasons webmasters incorporate poor optimization on a website and find their domains buried in the list of results. Ensure you read the Google webmaster guidelines before incorporating any SEO on your website. Additionally, be careful of scams that promise to bring your web page to the top of the search engine ranks. Many SEO experts use black hat techniques that do more harm than good for a website. Follow the Google guidelines, and a slow, gradual increase in rank will be accomplished.

Online Marketing – Why is My Site Not Being Indexed?

Posted: Friday February 17th

The vast majority of website visits start off when a web surfer enters a search query into Google or another search engine. For your site to have any chance of succeeding, it is going to need to be visible to the search engines otherwise it will not appear in the results. Search engine software known as a ‘crawler or ‘spider’ regularly scans over websites and adds them to the search engine index. They will then appear in the results when someone enters a relevant key word or phrase. There are a variety of reasons why your website might not be indexed properly. Consider the following tips to remedy this problem and make your site more search engine-friendly.

Pages Inaccessible Without a User-Submitted Form

Any section of your website which requires extra user interaction to access will not be indexed by the search engines. If you want the content of your site to be indexed, then it needs to be public. Search engine crawlers cannot submit forms or do anything else other than scan content which is visible to anyone. Any content or links that you want the search engines to see should be outside of any restricted section of the site. Likewise, search engine crawlers cannot see any content which is only accessible by performing a search.

Content in Java, Flash and Other Plug-Ins

Content programed in Java, Flash or any other plug-in cannot be scanned and indexed by search engine crawlers. Any content including links and keywords embedded into these mediums will be completely invisible to the search engine crawlers. This is precisely why it is a bad idea to have a site fully programmed in Java or Flash unless you don’t care about search engine optimization or you have a text-based version of the website which the search engine crawlers can read.

Content Blocked by robots.txt

Robots.txt is a robots exclusion protocol (REP). It is a text file stored in the root directory of your web server. This text file allows web masters to specify which pages of their websites should not be indexed by the search engines. If you find that your site does not appear in any search results, you should try checking through the robots.txt file to see if anything is excluded. There are also other methods of blocking content from the search engine crawlers such as Meta Robots. This provides more features and customizability.

Too Many Links on a Page

Depending on the search engine, crawlers only scan a limited number of links. This is typically no more than 100 links per page. The idea is to help cut down on spam and keep accurate rankings. If you have a page containing too many links, split it into different pages, ideally categorizing your list of links in the process to make for a more user-friendly experience for your visitors.

How to Reach the First Page on Google Search

Posted: Friday December 2nd

Creating a great website is half the battle; the other half is to get it noticed on the web. The favorite method which has been used by many Internet Marketers for the past decade is to rank their online property on Google Search. That number one spot or even the first page can make a great difference when it comes to attracting visitors to your page, but how can one achieve these ranking?

The Google Algorithm is a very complex tool which is constantly being tweaked to allow only the most relevant results on top of its pages. This algorithm is not revealed to the public, nor does it discriminate between individuals when it comes to online content, which means that anyone in the world has an equal chance of getting their site on the first page. It is however important to understand that this process takes time and that nothing will happen if enough effort isn’t put into ranking your site.

The first thing a successful webmaster must know when it comes to ranking websites is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. This acronym will be thrown at you very often if you decide to venture in this field, but what is it exactly? Some Internet Gurus market it as “voodoo” or magic they perform on their sites in order for them to rank on the first page. Search Engine Optimization is actually very simple, it is the action of providing your website with the best possible tools to succeed on the web. SEO is broken down into two major branches: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. It is crucial to have optimal on-page SEO before moving on; this article will therefore only cover the best practices when it comes to your own web pages.

The first rule when it comes to internet marketing is to have unique content and this is absolutely crucial; Google will quickly notice the page that has been copied from a different source and the page in question will disappear from Google in a second. Unique content is not the only thing required by Google, it will also eliminate all pages which try and cheat their way to the top. Make sure to stay away from shady methods you encounter all over the web and take no easy shortcuts! Once a topic has been selected, it is important to check the Google Keyword Tool and pick the right keyword for each page. If you are just beginning in this field, it is important to set realistic goals and pick a low competition keyword which will be indicated in the Google Keyword Tool. With your keyword in hand you can start writing a five hundred to seven hundred word article or page; make sure to include the chosen keyword at least ten times. Your article will also need a catchy title containing the keyword you chose. It is also crucial to write the proper description of your page ensuring the keyword you chose is mentioned at least twice.

There are a lot of discussions and debates on the web which claim the keyword has to be included ten or twenty times, once or twice in the title, at the beginning or the end of your article, but you need to understand those are simply speculations. Not a single person in this world knows the exact answer to getting a page to the first rank, but you have just been given the tool with which you can experiment and see what works best for you!

Effective SEO Strategies for Your Facebook Business Page

Posted: Saturday July 2nd

Many businesses are realizing the potential value of a Facebook page as another cost-effective marketing tool. In fact, using a Facebook page for business is like having a second homepage for your company website. Recent updates to Facebook have made it even easier for businesses to harness its power for promotion and search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. But there are certain SEO strategies you need to employ within your Facebook page to improve your ranking with Facebook and the universal search engines.

Before you even begin to create a Facebook business page, it’s essential to get the right name for your page. It’s not acceptable to simply use generic terms for your page title, or use multiple keywords in the title as an SEO strategy. Facebook are stamping out such tactics and you could get banned. Besides, it will ultimately harm your long-term growth within Facebook, as users won’t appreciate a name that sounds like spam. As a general rule, simply use the real name of your business, and stick with it. Changing it later could damage your ranking with Google.

With Facebook’s recent addition of usernames or “vanity URLs,” you have more opportunity to include keywords for SEO purposes. As with page titles, Facebook frowns upon generic terms, so it’s probably best to combine your business name with additional keywords. As long as you have at least 25 fans, you can take advantage of this useful SEO tool.

When creating your Facebook page, make certain you fill in as much information as possible. For example, every Facebook page has in “Info” tab that contains fields for important page information. This is one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO power. Here, you can include keyword-rich descriptions of your business, products and services, and add direct links to company websites or links to any other relevant platform. The “About” box is especially important as this information appears close to the top of your page and is therefore more valuable for SEO purposes.

Another effective SEO tool that should be used is the static Facebook Markup Language (FBML) application. Developed by Facebook engineers, this application enables administrators of a business page to add extra content to a page using CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and FBML. Using this application, you can add additional content to your page such as text, links, and videos. Although you may need to research how to use the application, it’s an extremely useful SEO tool to strengthen your online presence.

Having more inbound links to your Facebook business page will also improve your ranking with search engines. Therefore, remember to include links to your page on your website and other relevant platforms online. Facebook has even made available a “Find Us On Facebook” badge which you can take advantage of.

Status updates offer another way to improve your SEO strategy. Including relevant URLs within the text of an update will help to improve your Google ranking. Posting links to other pages on Facebook and the internet gives your page more credibility and enhances your status in the eyes of search engines. When posting photos, make sure you use appropriate keywords in the description. Also consider adding a discussion forum to your page. All of the content on your page can have an effect on how you are viewed by search engines.

As always, fresh and relevant content must be a part of your SEO strategy. Regularly post informative and entertaining content on your wall, post questions and surveys, offer exclusive deals to fans, and harness the power of YouTube videos. Attaching videos to your business page is a smart way to improve your ranking with Google. A Facebook page that is rich with exciting content should result in more fans. And more fans represent more reciprocal links, which should improve your status with the search engines. With Facebook, the power of user interaction should not be underestimated.

All of these factors can improve your SEO strategy, as long as you’re committed to regularly updating your Facebook page and reviewing which tactics work best for your business. Having an effective SEO strategy can improve your chances of reaching a wider Facebook audience. Furthermore, it can make your business more visible online.