seo tips

With Google continually making changes to the layout of their first page of results and rolling out updates to punish low-quality pages, it has never been more essential to use every technique at your disposal to compete for a top spot. If you’re a website owner or SEO practitioner, then you know that’s it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments, and that’s why today we’re going to go over how to roll-out an SEO for Video strategy that will help you rank highly and improve your traffic.

The WordPress platform has many characteristics that make it excellent from a search engine optimization point of view. SEO is largely an endeavor that has to do with generating content and making it accessible to users and to the search engines to index. WordPress has its origins in the world of blogs, which are all about providing interesting information and sharing it among users. When you consider the fact that generating a great deal of content and linking to other content are two of the most important considerations in many SEO strategies, it’s easy to see why WordPress would be a natural choice for a content management system.

A cold chill has hit the world of Search engine optimization consulting and online business over the past few months. An arctic chill, to be precise, as Google rolled out its search algorithm update, Penguin 2.0. Online business and SEO forums are aflame with debate about the effects on site portfolios of this latest Google “housekeeping” update and of course, the main question that is being asked is “how do we get around it?”

Why has Google released Penguin 2.0?

To understand how to “get around” Google Penguin 2.0[1] requires that you understand the point of it in the first place. For the past ten years, Google has been the search engine powerhouse of the internet and no other company has managed to oust them form the top spot. Google’s goal, apart from making money, is to make sure the results it returns to searchers are valuable to them. The more relevant and high quality the results, the more money Google makes and the better the user experience for everyone. Google is investing heavily in algorithmic updates to weed out the junk, spam and downright illegal and that’s where Penguin and its predecessor Panda[2] come in.

What is Penguin?

Penguin 2.0 is Google’s attempt to weed out sites that use keyword stuffing, duplicate content and keyword cloaking. Penguin 1.0 was first released in April 2012.

post penguin update
They’re cute, right? WROOONG!
Image by geekdashboard.com

What links are affected?

Panda was all about thin content and poor quality user experience. Penguin is all about manipulation and poor content. In July of 2012, Google sent out unnatural link warnings to around 1.5 million webmaster tools users. These are links that are solicited, black hat, bought or found through link directories and which help a mediocre website work its way quickly up the search engine rankings unnaturally. In combination with Penguin, Google is taking direct action on sites that use these unnatural linking methods and are bringing down sites manually from their high ranking positions where abuse or blissful but spammy ignorance is found.

Which links to get post-Penguin?

If you want to recover your search engine rankings after taking a beating from Penguin, or you just want to make sure you only acquire clean, white hat links, then follow the guide below.

    • Anchor Texts: Pre-Penguin, anchor texts were rewarded for being keyword rich. Now the tables have turned and your inbound linking strategy should appear as natural and diversified as possible, with no over-optimisation.
    • Quality Content: This is and always will be one of the best ways to get good quality links and avoid the wrath of algorithm changes. Good quality content is what the internet is about and what Google is aspiring to achieve. Keep your spam anchor texts to a minimum even in good content, write at least 500 words per piece and keep your keyword density at around 1% for the almost perfect, Penguin-proof website.
    • Image Links: These are loved by Google post penguin and will do wonders for ranking your site providing the alt tags are correctly optimised and explain the image to users who cannot view it to prevent inadvertently showing Google something users are not seeing.
    • News: Google also loves news for link building, so think about press releases, company news and comment on recent events through your site or blog. It provides rich quality content whilst offering you the opportunity to build some great quality, Penguin friendly links.


Which links to AVOID post-Penguin?

In general, Google rewards sites which have an overall tendency to organic, high quality SEO and high quality, user-friendly content. Any site, network or other vehicle for artificially building rank for “thin” sites is out post-penguin. Here are the main links to stay well away from (at least for now) or Matt Cutts will show you this:

penguin penal by Matt Cutts
Image by seotrainingsw.com
  • Blog Networks: These networks have been hot big time by Google. They have gone as far as to de-index altogether any blogs found within these networks. Popular link building blog network Buildmyrank.com was almost decimated in April by the first roll out of Penguin.
  • Link Directories: Except for respectable and long-standing directories such as Yahoo and DMOZ, no other link directories are safe post-Penguin. You will find it difficult to be listed with DMOZ unless your site is top quality.
  • Article Marketing: Thanks to the very poor quality of many articles on the web and the usage of them solely to rank spam and poor quality websites, article directories have taken a huge hit in Penguin 2.0. Many of the article repositories are taking measures to clean up their submissions process so this formerly fantastic way of getting links is a temporary (hopefully) method to avoid.

Oliver Ortiz works for Expert Market, a division of MVF Global. Expert Market is a B2B UK based provider of a wide variety of business related equipment. Our services include helping your business acquire trackers for vans. Follow us on Twitter and connect with us on Facebook.

1. Google Penguin – 2.0 or 1.2 | State of Search

2. Google Panda | Wikipedia

A common misconception amongst businesses is the belief that anyone can perform SEO (search engine optimisation). Of course, injecting popular keywords into your content and linking your pages to appropriate pages will help to raise your rankings; however there is more to SEO than managing the visibility of your content.

There are other elements to take into consideration such as: competition (the more websites competing for one keyword, the harder it will be for you to rank for it) and reputation (top SEO services post relevant articles across directories and appropriate sites, to increase your links and more importantly build up your reputation).

For this reason, we strongly recommend employing the services of an SEO team.

They can help you to ascertain what are the best words to target on your website; manage your content and more importantly help to increase traffic/conversions to your website.

But where do you start?

You want your website to do well, so it only makes sense that you want to employ the best SEO team. And the easiest way we have found to narrow this list, is implementing the following tactics.

  1. Where do they rank?It makes sense that as an SEO company, they should rank well.

    Yes, you could argue that there is a lot of competition in this field, meaning a team on page 1 of Google may only be slightly better than one on page 4, and yes, a quality SEO team that is part of a digital design agency may not rank as high as others as their site is targeting other design related phrases. However, the higher they rank for phrases such as ‘SEO services’ or ‘Digital Design Agency’, the more confident you can be that they can offer your website similar results.

    So do a search, see how well they rank on search engines and then compare their fees, so you can pick the best company for you.

  2. Have they got certificates?A good thing to look for when comparing SEO companies is whether they have got ‘SEO certification’. These certifications are designed to prove the ability of an SEO team as their skills have been evaluated.

    So when you are looking at different SEO teams, look to see if they have been granted these certifications. Find one on their website and you can feel confident that they meet the standard.

Now, these are just 2 of the many tricks you can use to help you find the best SEO companies in the field. And we think you’ll agree that they will certainly make a difference when helping you to narrow down your list.

seo process
Image by increaserss.com

However, if you are struggling we suggest doing the following:

  • What is their portfolio of work? What other websites are they working on? How are these websites ranking? Ask for data/references and check to see if they have managed a website in your industry niche before.
  • Ask for references. If possible try speaking to previous clients to see what they are like to work with; the results they have produced and how their websites are doing now.
  • What services do they offer? A SEO team that forms part of a digital design agency may not rank as high in Google as independent SEO companies (as they will be targeting a larger range of keywords); however they may be able to offer you a range of other services i.e. web design, email marketing, content etc that can prove beneficial to your business in other ways.
  • What tactics do they plan to use on your website? Alongside their quote, get them to put together a proposal containing their research, statistics and predicted projections. Essentially get them to outline exactly what they believe they can do for your business.

Finding a quality SEO team is within your research, so try implementing the tips above and make your search even easier.

This article was written by the web design agency, Soula Ltd

This is the perfect topic for starting a young and possibly successful SEO blog. I will go over all of the steps of the process you need to pay attention to if you want a successful SEO campaign.

1. Keyword research

This is probably the most important step of the process since if you mess this up, you’ll have a hard time fixing it later in the game.
Basically, if your website has been active for some time and if you have created your Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytic accounts you’ll have some data to work with.

First, check the GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) for all keywords and phrases that get you to show up in search queries and then cross-reffence them with the GA data. Find the crossover between the easiest and the most rewarding keywords and analyze them by checking competition, manually and by using Google Keyword Tool (it lacks precision but it will do the job). Test both options there, your newly found keywords and your website URL (for all the suggestions Google might give). Just make sure to set your geo location and language correctly. When you’ve picked your targeted keywords it’s time for the next phase.

2. On-site Optimization

On-Site Optimization
Image by web-marketing-toronto.com

When you have your keywords, the most important thing (as far as I’m concerned at least) is to properly optimize your website for them (and for the best user experience as well).

Simply, you need to do everything that Google and the other SE suggest:
make your website faster (good starting point is checking your website in GTmetrix), make it highly visible for mentioned keywords. Forget meta keywords and stuffing your meta description with keywords, that will just dissuade visitors from clicking on your listing in the SERP. Pay attention to the use of your page title and H tags. Optimize content for your keywords, pick inner pages for specific keywords, but avoid keyword stuffing (you can use one neat tool on WeSEOAnalytic).
Build your inner link structure, let the link juice flow trough your website. Use canonical tag to avoid any content duplication and “noindex, follow” command for a finer tuning of your content.
Keep checking your website in the SERP for any URLs that might have been mistakenly indexed by Google by using a simple command: site:yourURL in the Google search box. You can fix that with the new addition to the Google Webmaster Tools called “Remove URL”, under “Crawler access” tab.

That’s the way you wanna roll. On-site is far to complex to be fully explained in one article so I will get back to that in some of the next ones. Also, make sure you avoid duplication of page Titles and Descriptions. We are all creative enough to make something up for every page.

3. Off-site Optimisation

Link building tips and tricks
Image by rylanclayne.com

Off-site optimization or, how many like to call it, LINK BUILDING is highly important for whole SEO. Unfortunately, it’s so much more then plain (and it’s even not that plain) link building.
Word alone (optimization) is telling us that you already have something to optimize or work with. Let’s be optimistic and suppose that you already have a website that has been up and running for some time. Let’s also suppose that you’ve spent that time acquiring some links, in organic way or you just built them yourself. Now you have a new set of phrases, and you have your old links pointing to your website with wrong anchors…. Yeah, you’re getting the point. If it was you who built them, just use your previous contacts and ask them to change the anchors to your new targets. Use your old accounts to fix the links you created manually and also use Google Alerts to check for possible mentions of your website’s name/brand without a link, so you can contact the people mentioning you and ask them to add a link to it.

There are numerous ways of building quality links and this article would become boring quite fast if I started to mention them all, so I’ll list just a few of them:

  • guest blogging
  • sponsoring
  • quality directory entries
  • quality profile links
  • plain old asking for a link
  • etc.

Try to keep the link income steady to avoid drawing any kind of bad attention from the Google’s Webspam Team. Build some noFollow links, just to get your backlink portfolio a bit of that natural look. Don’t be insane and buy like 10.000 bad links for a bit of cash and then just lay back and enjoy your rankings. They will last about 3 weeks and then your website will be doomed to Google Hell.

4. Soc.Media promotion

Soc.Media Promotion
Image by talkofthetownworkshop.com

For a quicker indexation or reindexation you can use another addition to the Google Webmaster Tools called “Fetch as Googlebot”, but I prefer the old way of social sharing (twitting, liking, +1) to draw attention of the crawlers. Search engines also like the content that is loved, shared and similar, so they tend to give better rankings to websites that have this kind of content. Soc.Medias are at your disposal, you just need to tame them.

Enough for the first article but stay tuned, there will be some fresh articles from my friends and colleagues and maybe some guest posts soon.