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My 3 part series on how to optimize for google (part 1, part 2, part 3) were recently published over at SiteProNews, and I have been seeing a number of people commenting and asking questions. Here is a post to address all the comments thus far.


A question begins here Do you think the keyword density formula will change soon? Read more…

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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Top Posts on Links

Today is the launch of our new website. Unfortunately the majority of our blog content still resides on news.stepforth.com while we deal with transition issues so here are the top posts on Links from the old SEO blog.


Link Building Tips with Loren Baker – from SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM

‘The ins & outs of Link Building’

3 Methods to Build Links with a Blog – An Interview with Ross Dunn

‘Advantages of blogging for building valuable links and reputation online.’

Building Links with Directory Submissions

‘Some things to consider before using online directories to build links to your site’ Read more…

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Friday, January 23rd, 2009

SEO Results Take Time

SEO Results Take TimeThere is one important factor to remember whenever you are involved in improving the organic rankings of a website, and that factor is time. One of the most common questions I receive as an SEO is “How long till I start to see results?” This article is dedicated to anyone who has ever asked that question.

It doesn’t matter what industry you are involved in, or what techniques you follow, in all cases you will be a prisoner of time. In the vast majority of cases search engine rankings don’t come over night. Read more…

SEO QUESTION:

“I have a number of websites used to market XYZ Travel. The main site features all products and a number of specialist / boutique websites feature duplicates of these products. Is this an acceptable practice or am I being penalized by Google? How can this be overcome?

“I accept that creative write-ups can be rewritten if essential but fact is fact – what can I do about factual data i.e. room numbers, types, facilities, amenities, address, rates, name etc?” Read more…

Over the past few weeks I have received a few questions regarding my 3 part series on How to Optimize for Google. This post will answer a few of the questions I have received.


Do hyperlinked images count as back links? Which scores higher, text or image links?

Yes, Google does count hyperlinked images, however, to get the most out of imaged based links it is best to have relevant, preferably keyword-rich, alt text tagged onto the image.

As far as which scores higher, for the most part they are equal, assuming that the image has the appropriate alt text. In some cases a text based link may actually pass on a little more value if it is located within a highly relevant paragraph as an in-line link. Read more…

The following were questions sent to us by readers of the StepForth SEO Newsletter and the StepForth SEO Blog. If you have a question of your own we would love to hear from you; email us your SEO question.

Question from Steve:
Information about the why’s & how-to’s of the BLOGosphere have made for a plethora of copy all over the SEO world, yet my constantly recurring question never seems to come up! And this first question always leads me to second one. (1) If your business is NOT in any way concerned with… let’s call it “journalism” (it seems that the business of StepForth would have a sizable reliance on journalistic talent), how would a company go about deploying a blog initiative and still have time to sleep more than one or two nights a week? (…there’s this business we gotta keep running!) And (2) if one were to hire one of many firms offering such a BLOG service, how would it come off as more than a thinly veiled SERP ranking initiative, when your business is not of the type where there is really any “news” to report — AND further, where the BLOG service cannot possibly be expected to have the specific knowledge needed to write usefully pertinent journalistic copy? Read more…

Today Google announced it is acquiring Adscape, a company that has pioneered dynamic integration of advertisements within video games. This purchase is yet another brilliant move that will continue to keep Google on the cutting edge of advertisement distribution.

Here are some highlights from Google’s FAQ on the Adscape acquisition: Read more…

Transferring traffic and popularity to a new domain is a painstaking process that no one on the web appears to be immune to, or so Topix.net has realized. Topix.net is a leading news aggregation resource that has been in the news lately because they are planning to move their site from Topix.net to Topix.com after purchasing the .com for a cool million from a Canadian animation company.

The Wall Street Journal wrote this article explaining how damaging a seemingly simple process of switching from .net to .com could be for Topix LLC. The author goes on to explain such a switch is usually fraught with ranking drops while the major search engines notice and respond to the changeover. The fact that switching addresses will cause problems is not news in the SEO world; however, I thought Topix.net’s situation was a great opportunity to review what one might expect when switching domains. Read more…

Complete Question: “How about duplicate content for resellers where the manufacturer or producer of a product describes a product with technical details and so on. Do I have to rewrite text, create my own descriptions? Or is Google able to recognize that i have to use the original text from the manufacturer and not to punish me?”

Answer: Google has a powerful algorithm that may be able to determine “right” or “wrong” duplicate content. That said, I would not rely on it. In this scenario I would rewrite the product descriptions wherever possible and improve the optimization of each description while I was at it. After all, many default descriptions are boring and less than ideal for rankings anyway.

But allow me to remind you of one thing… If you are talking about a shopping cart system where you have thousands of widgets and they all appear using similar text then DO NOT be overly concerned about this duplicate content; it is not a threat to your rankings. Yes it is usually ideal to have unique content but in this case just concern yourself with balancing this duplicate content with added value within the rest of the site. You can do this by adding unique pages dedicated to each widget. These pages can be created whatever unique content you want (diagrams, specs, reviews, etc.) but they ultimately serve to introduce a particular widget to users (and search engines) while providing direct links to the appropriate section of the cart.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.
Original source article and permalink: SEO Answers #15

Answer: Excellent question. The fact is there are a few ways to ensure you are chosen as the primary content provider. The best option is to require that all who syndicate your content provides a inline text link directly to your original posting of the article. For example they would say something like this at the end of the article included in a link: “SEO Answers #15 by Ross Dunn”. This way everyone who repost’s your article is sourcing your content as the original.

If you do not source the original release in this manner the website who publishes your article and gets the most attention for it (via links or publicity measurable by Google) will have a better chance of being chosen as the original content provider.

In conclusion, unless you strictly enforce your ownership to the article you may not get the final credit when Google is forced to guess who published it first.

For more info here is an article on article syndication content duplication I recently wrote.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.
Original source article and permalink: SEO Answers #15
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