There is a key component that can be the bridge between your business and online success. While your website may be top of the line and your product, service or blog may be well worth the visit, you may get no where without SEO. If you do not know what SEO is or if you do understand but do not know where to start this article will help.
To increase your site’s profits and improve your search engine rankings at the same time, work to improve your click through rate. Several major search engines have stated that they use click through rates as part of their page ranking algorithms. More clicks means more profits from ads, and more visitors who are genuinely interested in your site.
Some search engine optimization companies promote the use of meta tags and others do not suggest you utilize them. Whatever you choose to think about meta tags, if you do decide to use them then you need to make sure to add them to your website correctly. If you do this, then it will highly increase the amount of traffic to your site.
Don’t fall into the SEO trap of believing that links can outweigh good content. Building a site that will appear at the top of the search engine rankings isn’t about beating the algorithms, it’s about providing good content. A single link from a high-ranking site will not help you outrank other sites that have relevant, recently-updated content about your keyword.
Use an HTTP 301 redirect instead of a meta refresh or a 302 redirect. 301 redirects tell the search engine that the new location for your site is permanent and they should index the new location. Meta refresh and 302 redirects are intended for temporary re-locations, and are often used by spammers, meaning that using them could hurt your rankings.
Be careful how often you use ALT and TITLE attributes on a page. If you have 14 images and very little text, the ALT and TITLE tags, full of keywords can appear to be overused and an attempt to game the system. Try to balance out, how often you use them against how much copy is on the actual page.
Limit the focus on creating your website for SEO strategies and try to focus on human preferences. The most important component to your website is the people who are logging in to purchase products. Therefore, you must be sure to create a wonderful experience for the visitors to your site, in order to help increase your overall chance of a sale.
Having a blog on your website not only gives you another way to provide relevant content to potential clients but also gives you another way to search engine optimize your website. You can use the free Google AdWords keyword generation tool to determine which article topics will drive the most traffic to your site.
Having your website reach it’s full potential is a gratifying and profitable experience. If you use the tips outlined in this article you will find that your website can receive more traffic. More traffic means more consumers. More consumers is great news for any website. In short, embrace SEO today make more money tomorrow!
A Simple History On Backlinks
Backlinks have always had some bearing on how well a site ranked in search engine result pages (SERPs). However, in the past, the algorithms were not designed to take into account people trying to cheat the system by loading up on backlinks from sites that had nothing but links on them, no content of any real relevance. These sites quickly became known as “link farms” and were used by webmasters to increase the ranking of their multiple sites.
In addition to this practice, webmasters often created one web page specifically to house reciprocal links called a links page. It was used by people building reciprocal links to better leverage their site in search engine results but provided no real content. Sometimes, reciprocal links were even exchange between sites that had no direct relevance to each other too. So, in a links page you might find a link to a toy site when the website hosting the link had to do with the elderly. It obviously made no sense to reward this type of behind the scenes ranking manipulations!
Google was one of the first major search engines to start looking at how to reward good quality links that had relevance and added content to a site instead of rewarding savvy, but somewhat unscrupulous practices of cheating the search engine results with backroom deals and black hat tricks. They kept using backlinks as a determinant of reputation, but also strengthened the algorithm to look for specific quality links and penalizing link farms and other black hat maneuvers.
A backlink is really very simple. Anytime another website places a URL link on their site that links directly back to your site, it’s called a backlink.
Why are backlinks important? Because they help bring people to your website, but also because they help boost your site’s search engine standing.
All this from just a simple link to your site? Yes! But only if you know the differences between types of backlinks and understand how to get the best mix of types to get the most traffic to your website.
Beware, though, because there are some pros and cons to each kind of backlink, and if you use them incorrectly or in the wrong combination you could end up actually lowering your search engine ranking by mistake.
About Backlinks And Search Engines
With all this talk about Google, you might think it’s the only major search engine around. Actually, there are various search engines around, but Google with its Adwords campaign of advertising is the most influential one for advertisers. Many advertisers and website owners make significant income from Adwords. When such a company threatens to ban you, it isn’t just about losing a few backlinks, it can also mean the loss of significant revenue from Adwords, which is a pay-per-click scheme.
There is a whole culture built around Google’s search engine policies with some practices being labeled “black hat” for evil marketing practices that allow people to pay their way into a top search engine ranking and “white hat” practices that are deemed more natural estimates of a site’s reputation. In the grand scheme of things, there are many gray areas, and “gray hat” practices that can be allowed even though they may be commercially motivated and that’s hard for any search engine to spot.
However, Google does try to keep people from buying their way into top rankings as this would make their search engine ineffective and help them to lose market share. Then, someone else might be cleverer in delivering search engine pages that match a higher level of integrity in search matching that isn’t influenced by commercial interests. That’s why when Google decides to penalize people for tricks (whether black or white hat) that help them to place better in SERPs, there are many cries of dismay when the rules change. They mean serious business and won’t be upset if you lose your livelihood in order for them to keep their business alive.
However, no matter what rules Google puts in place, Yahoo! and MSN are their own separate search engines. Their rules may be different. And, the myriad of other smaller search engines too may not be following the same standards that Google tries to enforce on the Internet. So, despite the fact that Google is a major player right now, it doesn’t mean they will forever dominate the Internet search engine business.
Try to follow Google’s rules as best as you can without alienating potentially other profitable ways to do business on the web such as gray or white hat tricks of the trade. Google might penalize your for a paid backlink or review, while Yahoo! and MSN couldn’t care less. They are just one player in a very large, and dynamic, environment that is constantly changing.
Who knows if Google will be there tomorrow or not? Since it is the BIGGEST it probably will. But hopefully, your focus is on keeping yourself alive on the Internet and making sure your business is healthy while not tripping any live wires out there that other Internet entities rig for their benefit.
It seems like every day someone on the Internet discovers and ingenious way to get a one-way backlink.
Sometimes people luck into them by buying advertising in a paper publication or directory that later gets posted on the Internet. If they happen to land on a .edu site this way, they can end up with great backlink ratings and not even know how they managed to get it. So, always keep an eye out for additional strategies.
Here we offer you a sampling of some innovative ways that other people have used and whether they will help or hurt you in the long run.
SCOPING OUT THE COMPETITION’S BACKLINKS
This is actually a great way to see how your competition has scored some good PageRank. You can also try to get the same backlinks to your site and at least keep par, until you can figure out a way to surpass them. Use the following search engine to figure out what backlinks are going to any site, whether it is your own or the competition’s: www.backlinkwatch.com. This easy to use SEO tool allows you to see the people linking to you or any url, and more importantly, to see whether the link is a nofollow link. It even gives you the anchor text being used to link back to you. Use this on your own or on the competition to quickly size them up and start your own backlink campaign.
OFFER RSS FEEDS
Today’s surfer is far more sophisticated than in the past. They not only surf for content through search engines but also RSS feeds. If you have constantly updating content, you can attract people who are searching the web for it quite easily. Just offer an RSS feed that puts it all in one place for them. People take multiple RSS feeds and are able to read and search them in an RSS feed reader. This helps people locate content quickly that is recent and up-to-date. If you submit your RSS feeds, then many readers will link back to you.
If you’ve done something noteworthy, don’t forget to toot your own horn. Send out press released with a backlink embedded back to your site. This offers you valuable publicity and keeps you front and center in the public’s eye.
There are myriads of social networking sites out there that will allow you to add some lateral backlinks to your site. These are areas that are set up as community sites that can help build your PageRank, especially if you get good reviews from people because of them. Facebook and Myspace are great sites for networking and there’s nothing wrong with discretely putting a backlink in your profile. YouTube is a great place to put up videos that attract people back to your profile page, where you’ve placed another backlink.
This strategy offers several benefits. First, social networking sites cater to a large audience of people. You can get quite a bit of exposure just setting up a profile and becoming part of the community. Secondly, they offer you the ability to get feedback on the offerings of your site. This can help you to tweak your website so that it becomes more naturally popular. Finally, social networking sites are a great place to network and find more websites that might help you boost your rank by putting up a backlink, whether reciprocal or one-way.
Here are a few additional strategies that might help or hurt your site when planning out your back linking strategy and the reasons why:
• Do Scope your own and competition’s backlinks
For this you will simply log into one of the main search engines and type in special search terms to pull up information on your own or your competitor’s backlinks. It’s like online business spying.
• Do Offer RSS feeds
If you offer people looking for content, an RSS feed to content on your site, they will automatically backlink to you.
• Do Press releases
If you have noteworthy news, you can write up a press release and send it out to sites that publish new announcements.
• Don’t Do Backlink bombing
If you own more than one site (and start to put in reciprocal interrelated links for all your sites in a massive bombing), Google will penalize you.
• Do Lateral linking
Add content to popular social networking sites like YouTube or Facebook with a backlink to your site. If your content goes viral, you can end up with many quality links going back to your website.
• More, more, more
The more back links you get the better so continue to keep working on your back linking strategy on ongoing basis forever, not just when you launch your new website. One of the quickest ways the search engines are going to realize that your back links are real is if you have a huge surge of back link building activity right when your site launches and then it stops immediately in the near future.
In order to show natural growth and look like a truly important site in your niche you’re going to need to continue to build your back links on an ongoing basis for the life of your website. This is not a part-time job unless you want to make part-time money, to put in the time to continually build your back links your website will rise in the search engines faster than you can imagine.
There are many different companies out there selling text links. It is a very profitable business for both the publishers and the advertisers. As advertising sources shrink from television and radio, more and more people are seeking new ways to promote their goods and services online. If you own a website, you can have people paying you to add one-way inbound links to their sites from your site. Also, you can pay others to put up your links on their sites. Google does have some ways to discern many of the major companies’ links that sell text-based links, but it doesn’t stop people from buying them. In addition, Google also is thinking of selling its own text links now (in addition to their Adwords program), and their algorithms are set to ignore those links when establishing a site’s reputation. So, it’s not the text-based link advertising concept they are unhappy about, it’s the fact that they tend to discredit the ranking by letting people pay for a good reputation.
If you want to use the text-based links to earn some money and get some traffic, in addition to a campaign for natural links, you can do this by using the nofollow attribute in the html coding. This tells search engines to ignore the link. Google is using the nofollow attribute to ignore paid links. We’ll go into this concept more in the next chapter. For now, if you want to buy text links, be aware that this is a tricky business that is very controversial. If your sole purpose is to increase PageRank, it will most likely fail in the end as search engine algorithms target them more and more. However, if you are trying to build traffic and make your site profitable, they can be used in an Internet marketing scheme as long as you are careful.
Here are a few places you buy links online:
This is one of the oldest companies selling static text link based ads. They are so well-known that Google really frowns on using them. However, many people have used them in their marketing campaigns. They sell their links on 30-day ad runs.
This site credits itself as the “one of the largest and most innovative marketing portals.” They do offer a wide variety of services besides just text link ads. They also offer paid blog reviews, rotating text ads, hosted content pages, directory and article submission, plus more.
Their claim to fame is the lowest price links on the market and their recent entry into the market. They have a program that gives you 50% off if you are an SEO specialist or consultant.
Now, that you understand how a backlink is coded and some of the history behind why the search engine ranking algorithms were changed, you are in a better position to see how your website might be analyzed for quality links. Obviously, you don’t want to add your link to websites that are link farms as this will now penalize, rather than enhance your search engine ranking.
And, you know that search engine optimization is interested in the relevance of your site compared to the content of your site. Understanding this makes it easier to understand that when your backlinks are analyzed, they aren’t just done so based on their isolated coding, they are done with respect to the environment too. This environment includes, the page rank of the site that is linking to you, your own website’s content, and the page environment and content that the backlink springs from.
” PageRank (PR)
The best types of quality links come from sites that have a high page rank in Google’s search engine. Page rank ranges on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest page rank. This is a measure of the referral site’s reputation and will give the search engine an idea of how reliable this source is about giving out links that are not relevant or within their own content stream. If you don’t know a site’s PageRank (PR), you can download the Google toolbar and it will tell you what it is. It takes time to develop page rank and you should try to link to sites with a slightly higher page rank than your own, thus building up your own site’s reputation.
” Website Content Matching
Ideally, you would want to get a backlink from a site that not only has a higher page rank than you do, but also that has something to do with the content of your site. If your site is about dating, you may want to be included in a site that reviews dating sites. If you just get a backlink from someone who is selling Bibles, it’s likely to be ignored as a good quality backlink.
” Page Positioning
A link that shows up near the top of the referrer’s page is worth more than one at the bottom. This may seem odd, but you have to remember that paid links are often placed nearer the bottom or out of the way of the relevant content. Paid text links are now not considered good quality links by Google, but how that algorithm is determined, it’s anyone’s guess. They appear to make page positioning an indicator of whether a text link is paid or not.
” Page Hierarchy
Within any website, there is a directory tree that leads people deeper and deeper into the site. The higher a web page is in the directory structure the more value it has to you as a potential host for your backlink. The home page of a site with good ranking is an excellent place to get a backlink because this is the prime real estate for websites that everyone is sure to visit.
” Anchor Text
The anchor text used by the linking site is becoming more important. If you have a site that sells shoes and the anchor text that backlinks to you is “pretty wear” then it won’t be as efficient as one that clearly describes your offerings like “quality top-brand shoes.” This effect appears to be evaluated across the board with the more backlinks using quality anchor text, the higher your page ranking in the results pages becomes.
Apply these elements in your backlink campaigns and you’ll absolutely gain additional traffic.