SEO

Google Webmaster Tools Now Sees Subdomains As Internal Links

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 | SEO | No Comments

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A previous post of mine Subdomains – Pros and Cons for SEO/ explained how search engines were seeing subdomains as a separate website to the naked domain.

This has some serious points for consideration when deciding whether to use a subdomain from an SEO perspective as any link juice from the root domain may not be shared onto the subdomain.

However a recent announcement by Google Webmaster blog has changed this strategy as now subdomains are regarded as internal links in Google Webmaster Tools.

So what does this mean?

Basically links from subdomains such as cats.example.com or pets.example.com will also be categorised as internal links for www.example.com.

Links for www.google.com External links Internal links
Previously categorised as… www.example.com/

www.example.org/stuff.html

scholar.google.com/

sketchup.google.com/

google.com/

www.google.com/

www.google.com/stuff.html

www.google.com/support/webmasters/

Now categorised as… www.example.com/

www.example.org/stuff.html

scholar.google.com/

sketchup.google.com/

google.com/

www.google.com/

www.google.com/stuff.html

www.google.com/support/webmasters/

Large publishing networks such as ninemsn often use subdomains for different aspects of their site i.e. News, weather etc – linking from subdomains to other subdmains on their own network will have previously given authority as these subdomains were treated as separate websites but now this network linking will only contribute to each as an internal link.

For these large websites it is worth now considering external link building pratices outside of their network directly to the relevant subdomains to aid authority in each aspect of the site.

Note that, if you own a root domain like example.com or www.example.com, your number of external links may appear to go down with this change; this is because, as described above, some of the URLs we were previously classifying as external links will have moved into the internal links report. Your total number of links (internal + external) should not be affected by this change.

Tags: internal links, link building, SEO, subdomain, webmaster tools, website links

Everybody loves an Infographic – Infographics in SEO

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 | SEO | No Comments

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Anyone who spotted the Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors as featured on SearchEngineLand.com will know this quirky little illustration summed up basic ranking factors in a niffty graphic that people can share with their pals.

That is the beauty of inforgraphics, if the are interesting or relevant enough people will share them. And did they ever! check out the shares on this one!

Now as previously mentioned social signals are important to driving traffic after all if you can get people to spread the word about you, your product or your service then volia! your reach increases considerably making it great for increasing traffic.


What to remember if producing an infographic-

  • Make it simple – don’t over egg the pudding with snazzy graphics if it means the infrographic is confusing or does not tell a story
  • Provide something useful – make sure that it has a “stickiness” to it, that people want to read on and find the information on it useful so they might want to pass it around
  • Consider technical issues – the aim is to get people to share this so consider making that easy for them, offer them the code to embed on their own sites and blogs, don’t make the image too large in physical size and file size
  • Include a back link – now you want people to share this but if they are going to find it useful enough to promote on their own websites why not ensure that in the embed code you include a back link to your site to help with link building
  • Optimise the image – if your subject is around stats on a certain subject ensure the title etc is relevant to a search around this subject. Also make use of the ALT and TITLE attribute to allow for it to be found via Google images.
  • Make it relevant – make sure it relates to you, your business or your service, develop a page to place it on and optimise this page around the subject of the inforgraphic to allow for a better chance of this page ranking. (don’t forget all your share buttons and embedded code elements on this page also)

And there you go. Whether you are producing an infographic for link baiting, link building or to help drive traffic and increase your reach bear one thing in mind…make it shareable!

Tags: infographic, link baiting, link building, SEO, social signals

Track your Social Signals in Google Analytics and Webmaster tools

Thursday, June 30th, 2011 | SEO | No Comments

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Its been a busy couple of weeks for Google, with the launch of their +1 and Google+ set to rival Facebook they are proving to have their finger on the pulse when it comes to becoming more social after appearing to be a little reluctant to jump on the social band wagon.

Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools have added new tools for tracking the impact of tweets, likes, +1s & more on your website’s traffic.

Google Webmaster Tools now allows you to report on the impact of the +1 Button and how this can affect your click through rate. You can also view the new “Activity Report” within Webmaster Tools which will help you see how many +1’s your site pages have received

A great new tool launched within Google Analytics is the Social Plugin Tracking tools. This not only tracks +1s but other Social Signals such as Twitter tweets, Facebook Likes and Facebook Sends.

Google recently admitted that Social Signals now do play a part in ranking success and this is backed up in a study by SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin for the new Ranking Factors for 2011 have been revealed with Social Signals play a significant part.

The Social Plugin Tracking allows you to create three reports: Social Engagement, Social Actions and Social Pages.

Social Engagement tracks behavior changes (time on site, pageviews, bounce rate, etc.) for visits from social plugins.

Social Actions tracks the number of social actions users take on your site,

Social Pages compares your pages on the number of social actions they are receiving.

These new tools offers a greater insight into Social Signals and the impact of such on your website. Especially how Social Signals are driving traffic to your website.

This is invaluable data and means web masters can better devise a social strategy to aid website rankings.

Tags: google, google analytics, google webmaster tools, SEO, social engagement, social signals

Latest Google algorithm change (Farmer Update) in US could mean a clamp down on content farms

Monday, February 28th, 2011 | SEO | 1 Comment

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Google has finally taken a step towards weeding out content farms from search results. These sites have been a bain for many a user over the years and Google have announced an algorithmic change to help combat searchers frustration, affectionately named within the SEO community as the “Farmer Update”.

Officially, Google isn’t saying the algorithm change is targeting content farms. It is more targeted to those sites that scrape or automate content. This should reduce the chances that sites who use duplicated content from outranking the original source.

However this may indeed pose questions for those who use article sites to submit content as part of an offline strategy and whether this tactic will now be penalised.

In a recent article on SearchEngineLand by Danny Sullivan it appears that this should not be an issue as long as the content submitted is of course original and interesting and the sites themselves are of high page rank and relevance to the subject.

So far 12% of sites in U.S have seen drop in rankings, in particular article sites i.e. Hubpages.com, buzz article.

The long term effects of this Google algorithm change in other countries remains to be seen but for many SEO consultants now would be a good time to review your offsite strategies.

Best practice – ensure relevance to your subject and avoid spamming within your content. Make it interesting and compelling but be sure to watch this space as this could be a shake up of things to come from Google.

Tags: Algorithm Update, Amit Singhal, Farmer Update, Google algorithmic change, google Caffeine, Matt Cutts, panda, panda update, SEO, shallow content

Open and Honest Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation Consultancy

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 | SEO | No Comments

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A new company called Search Marketing Consultancy has emerged with the view to reveal those closely guarded secrets within SEO and Search Engine Marketing.

I believe this could be a very good move as it seems this industry often exploits peoples lack of knowledge. When providing a service to a business they may not want to know how everything works but I believe it a positive to offer them the tools carry out their own on line marketing strategy and best of all not be baffled by science!

Why shouldn’t SEOs be open and forthcoming with techniques – yes I know people want to work out the best strategies and stay ahead of the competition but by offering the everyman (or woman) the comprehension of what needs to be done and more importantly why and the potential affect on their business! Isn’t this above and beyond what most agencies offer?

I know this overt approach is definitely something I have not experienced working within agencies. Most SEO Managers will be reading this thinking “surely this approach makes us obsolete?” — no I don’t think so. Open and honest advice is the name of the game here so it can only excel our reputations. To long we have been tarred with the same brush as the cowboys out there (and there’s a lot of them with a copy of Dreamweaver thinking they can do SEO) I say lets take a different approach and embrace Search Marketing Consultancy’s ethos and values.

It seems too many online marketing and SEO agencies are out to take hard working peoples money and relish in the fact that not everyone understands search engines which is a shame – surely we can share this knowledge with them and help enhance their marketing from all sides.

I think this is a refreshing approach to SEO and Search Engine Marketing Consultancy.

Tags: online marketing, search marketing consultancy, SEO, smc

Subdomains – Pros and Cons for SEO

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 | SEO | 4 Comments

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I have recently been looking into the impact of subdomains on SEO, so I have put up a post about what I have found.

What is a Subdomain?
A subdomain is just as it sounds, a sub or second-level of a domain. A standard domain looks as follows: www.mydomain.com. A sub domain would be http://prefix.mydomain.com. Subdomains do not take on the “WWW”.

Subdomains will rank as well as regular domains however Search Engines will treat each subdomain as a new, individual site. This will mean new work on building PR and links.

It is a good idea to adopt subdomains if site is large and convoluted although there is alot of extra work involved in terms of SEO in order to get that subdomain ranked well.

Each subdomain should reflect a section of the site (used as an alternative to folders) but If the site is easy to navigate folders will be a better option as any back links, page rank optimisation can be inherited from the main domain without having to start again.

An advantage of subdomains is that If you were to submit to directories (i.e. Dmoz) you could submit each subdomain as its own individual category and not get penalized.

However it is worth noting that If a subdomain becomes banned will it will affect the main domain
• Don’t create pages with malicious behaviour, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.
• Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
• If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.
If you determine that your site doesn’t meet these guidelines, you can modify your site so that it does and then submit your site for reconsideration.

Tags: search engine optimisation, SEO, sub domains, when to use sub domains

Meta Tags Quick Tips

Thursday, November 19th, 2009 | Career, General Interest, SEO | 2 Comments

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For those of you who find a distinct lack of creative inspiration when it comes to writing meta tags you are not alone. I also feel slightly perplexed when it comes to writing meta as common knowledge will tell you that the tags need to be unique and not duplicated across a site it can be quiet a challenge, especially on larger websites.

I have also read various “guides” on writing meta and all seem to suggest that the keywords meta tag is now of little importance and not reviewed by some search engines. So that leaves the title tag and description. I can understand that the description tag is important as I have seen it used as the excerpt on SERPs so this needs to be thought about.

So here are a few of my thoughts on writing meta tags – hopefully it is helpful

Title Meta Tag
Include the keyword or phrase the page is trying to be optimised for as the primary keyword followed by any secondary keywords which will reinforce it i.e.

Primary Keyword – Secondary Keywords | Brand
Or
Brand | Primary Keyword and Secondary Keywords

If you are trying to rank for a very competitive term, I have found that it is best to include the keyword at the beginning of the title tag. If you are competing for a less competitive term and branding can help make a difference in click through rates, it is best to put the brand name first.

Description Meta Tag
Acknowledged by all search engines so this is important and needs to be included on all pages and be unique per page.
Summarise the page as best you can using the pre-defined primary and secondary keywords and limit it to 170 characters or 200 characters.
This requires using the most creative juices and you need to ensure it is coherent.

Keywords Meta Tag
This is more important for Yahoo then Google or Bing – try and limit to no more than 10-15 keywords to a page.
Include the keyword of phrase the page is trying to be optimised for first.


Keywords
More important for Yahoo then Google or Bing – no more than 10-15 keywords to a page
To include the keyword of phrase the page is trying to be optimised for first:

Tags: description meta, keywords meta, meta, meta tags, SEO, title meta

Link Building and SEO – A quick guide

Monday, November 16th, 2009 | Career, General Interest, SEO | 4 Comments

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Recently I have been more “hands on” with link building and link building strategies as part of SEO. I thought I would share my findings – although I have kept this basic and brief!

What is Page Rank?

Page Rank is an analysis of links which is used by Google to establish a numerical weight of the page of your website based on the volume and relevancy of links to your site from other sites of a similar genre and good page rank.

As my own page rank has lapsed a little in recent months I decided that I needed to take on more research into this subject and optimise my page rank and that of my clients.

My research and professional opinion is that link building is an important part of any SEO strategy.

Why is link building Important?

Well in order for a site to gain creditability and maximum exposure you need to look at getting back links from other websites linking to you.

Think of back links as a “vote” for your site. So a “vote” from a high page ranking site is a very credible “vote” and a high page ranking site will be a site that will be crawled often so you link will be picked up.

Now this sounds easy but it takes quiet a strategic approach as it is not productive to target just any websites for you back links.

The websites page rank is important and its relevancy in relation to your website. So this means taking the time to indentify websites with high page ranks who are themed around the same subjects or products as your own website.

Where to start…

Well a good place is look at submitting to Dmoz (Page Rank 8 ) and other directory sites (basic stuff). Dmoz is great as it is a high page rank and gets crawled by Google regularly so there is a good chance your site will be picked up and associated with the category you have submitted to. Also to submit to Dmoz is free! Just make sure you submit as specifically as possible i.e. drill down you category as far as possible rather than trying to get submitted to the highest level of category. Dmoz is edited by real people and a more narrow category may mean that your submission gets revised quicker.

Another place to look at getting back links is simply use web searches for subjects you want your site associated with – then approach them for a link to your site. Not all sites will offer you a link for free or at all so be warned you may need to pay for links – the question to ask yourself at this point is whether the back link from this site is worth the money.

You can purchase software which will analyse your website and find sites associated with the same subjects/products that may be looked at for potential back links – however my experience of this software is that it still need a human touch to filter out competitors (who aren’t going to give you a back link) or sites that are just of no value.

Another area is to submit well written optimised articles to various websites and contain a back link to your site. These sites are usually reputable with a high Page Rank and categorised so you will find a relevant category to post your article. Just three sites I have found are www.HubPages.com/ www.ezinearticles.com/ and http://www.articlesbase.com/

Another area to explore is social networking site but I feel this is a subject in itself so I will post separately about this.

You can also opt for link exchanges (sometimes called reciprocal links) although I believe this is to be avoided where possible to avoid search engines seeing a straight forward link from a site, to another site and back again.

In some circumstances this needs to be adopted to take advantage of a sites relevancy and page rank although this need to be kept to a minimum and only considered from sites that will enhance relevancy and page rank.

Another common technique is commenting on blogs relevant to your site – this is fine but check for no follow links and ensure your comments are constructive and relevant to the post not a blatant attempt at shoe horning you url in as this will be seen as spamming and removed.

So what have I learnt from my recent link building 101? Well it is certainly organic process and takes time. It needs to be a natural progression and well strategized . There are lots to consider and it really involves thinking outside the box. You are also in the laps of the gods as to when your link will be picked up as it depends on the webmasters of the website you are linking from and how often they submit sitemaps, and how often Google visits.

As I submerge deeper into link building I will do my best to share my experiences with you. Watch this space!

Tags: back link, google, link building, page rank, SEO, submit url

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