Coming back from our SMXAdvanced conference last week, I found myself doing some soul searching. Howwas it that some people could wonder if advanced SEO means spamming searchengines? And have I been contributing to this confusion? For the record — no,advanced SEO doesn’t mean you have to spam. Not in my book. But as SEO hasmatured, I find myself wondering if the importance of good site architecture —search engine friendly design — has become lost as an advanced techniqueitself. And has the battle for links caused us to segment too much intodifferent halves of an SEO "house?" Is SEO splitting apart? Too Blackhat? Lisa Baroneblogged on Friday in her review of the show that it seemed moreblack/grayhat than last year. In particular, she was struck by the very samething at the show that struck me. Microsoft’s Nathan Buggia, leading off inhis presentationfor Search Friendly Development on the second day, opened by saying he’d talkedto some people the … [Read more...] about No, Advanced SEO Does Not Mean Spamming
Links long ago became the currency of the Web, thanks in no small part to Google and its PageRank algorithm. Like anything of value, link authority is bought, sold, leased, bartered, brokered, swindled and stolen. The fact that links are valuable is widely accepted. But yet when pressed, can any SEO or link builder really say what that value equates to in real dollars? Of course, attributing sales revenue to direct click-through traffic (from the linking page) is a straightforward exercise (albeit sometimes an incomplete one, if/when the referring URL data is scrubbed). But what about the SEO impact of that particular link on the linked-to page? Or even harder to measure: the “rising tide that lifts all boats” effect that the link has across the site by boosting nearby pages / sitewide PageRank / domain authority? Is that value quantifiable? Many times, we’re asked by prospects to substantiate our claim that link building (when done well) is a high ROI generating … [Read more...] about A Prerequisite For Advanced SEO
It’s been a few months since I have written for SEL. I had to take a short ‘sabbatical’ to hunker down and focus on a major phase of development and updates on our own site. It’s nice to get back to blogging but I have to admit that I feel a bit off the pace. Writing is like exercise; once you are out of practice the first time back takes longer and feels harder to produce content that you’re happy with. Before I started writing this post I did a sweep through the last few months of Local Search and SEO articles on SEL and on other prominent blogs. I reminded myself of just how much information there is out there and how much new data we churn out each month. SEOs are information junkies! The more insights, research, data and charts we can consume the better; we love this stuff. But this glut of information is overwhelming for business owners and even for some experienced SEOs to make sense of – myself included. Information is our greatest asset, but … [Read more...] about The Building Blocks Of Good Local SEO
People often ask us how to improve their rankings on specific keywords. In our site reviews, we can really analyze a site and come up with a tailor-made answer to that question. But in most cases, the information about cornerstone content written by Joost de Valk almost an era ago would still be sufficient. In Joost’s awesome post, you can read you have to create a few really awesome pages and optimize these pages for your most important keyword. Subsequently, you should link to these very awesome pages with your other pages and blogs (focusing more on long tail keywords). In this blog post, I would like to tell you a little bit more about cornerstone content. What type of content should these pages have? What should you be writing on these pages? And why? What Exactly are Cornerstone Articles? Cornerstone articles are the most important articles on your website. This is the content that exactly reflects your business. These articles should be relatively high in your site … [Read more...] about What Should a Cornerstone Article Be?
The overwhelming majority of sites that I audit have been hammered by either Panda, Penguin, or both. Sure, there are some sites where the drop in rankings can’t even correlate to a known Panda or Penguin update. Some of those can track with fairly high confidence to other updates, such as the EMD update, and some just show a steady, more time-neutral drop in rankings. Regardless of the source, by the time I am even partway through a forensic site audit, enough patterns have emerged to inform me that weakness exists across the same common range of problems. And whatever that range is, the patterns that stand out consistently in regard to what’s wrong can be summed up in five words. Quality Uniqueness Authority Relevance Trust Whether it’s on-site or off, content level or code level, clearly identifiable as user experience-related or muddier as far as “is this truly a user experience issue?” — or some combination of these, it always comes down to … [Read more...] about QUART – The 5 SEO Super-Signals