There are numerous things you can to manipulate your site to help it perform better in the search results. There are literally hundreds of different factors that are analyzed, many of which you, as the site owner, have direct and immediate control over. But for as many factors there are that you can manipulate to give you better ranking performance, there are other things that when not properly addressed will do a fantastic job of preventing your site from performing as well as it could and should. While this is not a conclusive list of search engine ranking killers, these five issues can, cause serious damage to your site. Fixing these five rank-killing issues will undoubtedly clear the way for better optimization performance. Little or No Content Can sites with very little content rank well for certain keywords? Absolutely. It doesn't take a lot of content to get a keyword to the top of the search results. However, when sites have very little content there are far fewer keyword … [Read more...] about 5 Search Engine Ranking Killers You Want to Avoid at All Costs
Dear Client: I love you. I really do! But please, for the love of all that is good and holy, will you stop obsessing over search engine rankings? I get it, you hired me to perform Search Engine Optimization on your website. Why do we optimize for search engines? For rankings, right? Well, no, not anymore. It's been almost a decade since the SEO industry began it's turn toward a fuller website marking experience, looking beyond search engine rankings as a metric of success, and instead looking at business growth, conversion rates, and return on investment. Rankings are a traffic delivery mechanism. Traffic can be hit or miss. Not all traffic is targeted. We see it all the time, clients like you are looking for rankings for your industry terms. But, quite often the time and effort needed to rank these favorite phrases holds no value compared to the conversions it delivers. That means, the ROI just isn't there. Instead of focusing on these "pet" terms, and potentially wasting … [Read more...] about Dear Client: I Love You, But Will You PLEASE Stop Obsessing Over Your Search Engine Rankings?
One of the important factors in ranking high in search engine results is link popularity. It is not enough to just have the best website in the world - other sites have to point back to you. The thought is that if your site is good enough for others to link to you, then you must have a great site. How do I increase link popularity? Building link popularity is hard work. You've searched endlessly. You've sent every reciprocal link email you can think of. What else can you do? Surprisingly, writing articles on your topic can lead you to a wealth of link popularity. What are the benefits of writing articles? Think about it. If you write articles, you get to use them on your website and you build your website content. You can also submit your articles to other sites. With both methods you get a lot in return: You build your content. More is better when it comes to site content. You promote your website. With more keyword-rich text on more pages, you will increase the number of pages … [Read more...] about Improve Search Engine Ranking With Topical Articles
What is Link Popularity? Link popularity is a factor that many search engines use when ranking web pages within their index. Simply put, most search engines give a ranking boost to sites that have incoming links from quality, related sites. This method of establishing importance, pioneered by the increasingly popular Google, is now used in some form by 19 of the top 20 search engines. While it is still possible to achieve high rankings for non-competitive terms without a great deal of link popularity, it is unlikely your site will rank well for very popular terms without it. Directories It is important to note that the sheer number of incoming links is not as important as the quality of the sites that are doing the linking. The fastest way to get some quality incoming links is to get listings in the popular directories, such as Yahoo and the Open Directory Project. For business sites, Yahoo costs $299 per year (it is free for non-commercial sites, although it takes a while to get … [Read more...] about Building Link Popularity Improves Search Engine Ranking
When search engines return web pages in search results in response to a query, most people assume that the pages being show are the ones that a search engine has decided are the “best” pages in response to their search terms. But what does the word “best” mean in that context? The search engines attempt to show pages that are both relevant to the query (and the intent of a searcher), and are popular. Google’s PageRank algorithm is a popularity algorithm based upon a citation analysis approach to finding pages, or as Google Founder Larry Page noted in Improved Text Searching in Hypertext Systems (pdf): The intuition is that if your query matches tens of thousands of documents, you would be happier looking at documents that many people thought to mention in their web pages, or that people who had important pages mentioned at least a few times. There are other ways of measuring popularity that the search engines may be using as well, such as the number of … [Read more...] about Authority vs. Popularity in Search Engine Rankings
Before November of 2003 it was easy to rank well in Google for just about anything just by using the keywords in your anchor text and plastering the term everywhere in your page copy. I appreciate that, knowing that back then I ranked in Google’s top 10 results for search engine marketing without knowing much about the topic. As time passed it became clear that Google began to look for natural and unnatural patterns, and what I was doing did not fit the mold. In a recent 100% Organic column, Jill Whalen wrote you can’t OVER optimize, which is true, but what put you at the top of the search results a few years back might get your site filtered out of the search results now. We all look back and say we predicted some of the trends, but after the Florida update some of the people who claimed it was no big deal also learned to change with the algorithms to remain relevant. Mixing it up & Changing word order Some people are still focused on keyword density, but you really … [Read more...] about Lower Keyword Focus To Improve Search Engine Rankings
Next month, I will speak at SMX Advanced as a member of the authority panel, so it makes sense to discuss authority in my column this month. Authority is a term that has been around as long as I can remember, probably longer than the term search engine optimization itself. That is because classic SEO divides itself into four quadrants based on on-site vs. off-site and relevance vs. authority. Before Google, most search engines could find relevant documents, but they struggled with ranking them in an order that surfaced the best matches. This led to SEO tricks like extreme keyword stuffing, hidden keyword text, and writing title tags like AAA Keyword Keyword Keyword. Google recognized the conundrum so it separated relevance from authority by counting links. Every link became a vote. Off-site links brought authority onto your site while on-site links flowed that authority through your website. Links signaled popularity and trust. PageRank was born. This is a simplified description. If … [Read more...] about What Is Search Engine Ranking Authority?
Search engine rankings are powerful. Ranking at the top of a search query can add commas to your business profits. So how do we focus on the right things to secure our place at the top of search engines? I cover the details in this post. This is excitement for an SEO. Rankings and Reporting. Watching the SERPS do their work. The thrill of victory is few and far between. What does it take to make a site grow forever? The Typical Discouraged Search Engine Ransack Crisis Begins When you start a website, you want traffic. You want people to share every post. Then you expect their friends to share and visit. You expect people to come flocking from all ends of the earth to read your amazing website. You even expect to make money and fast. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced that moment of hitting publish and hearing crickets. Tweet this if you know that feeling! Then we get that one amazing email. A comment on your blog is on hold for moderation. Excitement feels every ounce of your … [Read more...] about How to Get Results From Search Engine Rankings
Brian Dean of Backlinko conducted an experiment with 1 million Google results to determine which factors help web pages appear on the first SERP and I’ll be discussing two of those ranking factors here: Dedicated IP address – page or site’s speed SSL Certificate – HTTPS 1. How a dedicated IP address affects your search engine rankings Every online business uses a hosting company and most of the time pay no attention to what kind of IP address was assigned to their hosting account, be it a “dedicated or shared hosting IP address.” There are two types of IP addresses in the web hosting industry and they are: Shared IP address: this means there are numerous websites sharing the same address. The hosting server determines which website is requested by the URL entered. Dedicated IP address: this means a website has its own IP address. Typing in the URL of the website or its IP address would bring you to the same website. Mind you, there are … [Read more...] about How a dedicated IP address and SSL certificate affects your search engine rankings
The bounce rate debate continues… Bounce rates and how they affect a website’s ranking on Google has been discussed, dissected, and dismembered over and over again. As fully transcribed on this site, a conversation between Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, and Andrey Lipattsev, Google’s search quality senior strategist, led to a surprising discussion on click and bounce rates affecting search rankings. Rand stated that he has recently been running a few experimental tests with various crowds of 500 to a couple thousand people. Everyone participating was prompted to take out their cellphones, laptops, and digital what-have-yous and perform a specific search. Once the search listing appeared, he had everyone in the crowd click one of the listings at the bottom of the results page and then click away from that site. He then monitored the results over the next few days. Rand found a whole bunch of inconsistencies. In a little more than half of the experiments, the ranking did … [Read more...] about Do bounce rates affect a site’s search engine ranking?