Category Archives for Search Engine Optimization

Can your site get a Bing Penalty?

Bing Logo

Do Bing Penalties Really Exist?

By stripping away most of your organic traffic, a Google penalty can make or break your website. A Bing penalty is not as dire – but it could still have an impact on your bottom line. I recently was successful in restoring Bing and Yahoo #1 rankings to a site that had dropped off the first page for their head term. Here’s what I did and what you might try if you are in the same situation.

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Does User Experience Matter for SEO?

bad user experience with a donut

Don’t do this to your users !!

I have lost count of how many times a business owner has said to me: I’m good with my SEO, I got my keywords added to my site and I am done.

Well it’s a little more involved in that.

For example, did you know that the user experience of your site may be harming its SEO performance? When you step back and look at the bigger picture, it makes sense. Google has repeatedly said that its top goal is to deliver a great search experience to you, the searcher. If you are clicking through the search engine results pages and getting crappy sites and consequently leaving right away – don’t you think Google notices if enough people are behaving this way?

User Experience and how it matters for SEO was the topic of a recent interview I did for Ann Hession’s radio show: Turning Problems into Profits

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Local SEO 101

When I created citations for a business six months ago, I wrote this 101 style blog post while it was still fresh in my mind. Since I now offer a local SEO video module as part of my SEO for Business Owners Course, I’ve returned to it and added even more details. You’ll learn how the local seo ecosystem works and all the basics you’ll need in getting started in local SEO.

local SEO

Get Started with local SEO for Web Visibility

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5 Awesome Things About Google Webmaster Tools

5 Awesome GWMT Tools

My Favorite GWMT Features

Most website owners I meet know about Google Analytics and have set it up (or some other Analytics package) on their website, but not everyone also sets up Google Webmaster Tools (often referred to as GWMT). This is a shame because they are missing out on an important conduit of information from Google about their website. In fact, I’ll go so far and say you are blind if you don’t have GWMT set up for your website.

While Analytics is all about your traffic, GWMT focuses on how your site is crawled and indexed. GWMT is also the place where Google notifies you of any penalties and when malware is detected on your site.

  
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Duplicate Content on Dynamic Websites

This post originally appeared in 2012. I’ve updated it to include more approaches on handling duplicate and similar content. May 8, 2014

A while back, I wrote about how Bing had duplicate content in its index even with the use of some tools that should have removed it. Here I cover the topic of duplicate content on dynamic websites. As you probably know, duplicate content is a common technical SEO problem, and it is frightening easy to get it on dynamic websites.

Duplicate Content isn't Cute

Duplicate Content isn’t Cute

First some definitions

  • Dynamic Websites are websites that are generated in all or in part at the time of access. This is often done by assembling information retrieved from a database. WordPress is an example of a dynamic website. All the content is stored in a database and it is presented as needed in multiple forms.
  • Duplicate Content here refers to duplicate content within a site (not duplicate content across domains). In this case, duplicate content is when more than one page has the same content. Or, put another way, there are multiple URLs that lead to the same page. SEOs also classify pages with very similar content as duplicate content, I touch on this briefly below, but it really deserves a separate post.

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My Top 5 Chrome Extensions for SEO

If you do on page SEO work on a regular basis, you need some key tools to give you information about the page you are looking at. Some, but not all, of the information you need can be obtained by viewing the HTML source, but these cool Chrome extensions make a lot easier to review key SEO on page settings such as the title, meta_robots and canonical tags as well as viewing the HTTP response headers from a page and even to diagnose a slow performing page. And if you don’t use Chrome? Not to worry, many of these are available as Firefox add ons as well.

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Moz Releases 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors Survey

2013 Moz search engine factors surveyEvery other year Moz (formerly known as SEOMoz) surveys SEOs in the industry and asks them to weigh in on what they think are the most important search engine ranking factors. The 2013 edition of the survey has been released and this post has the results embedded in the full post – plus an embed of the Google+ discussion.

Perhaps the most noteworthy item on the survey is the belief by SEO’s that the number of +1’s has a positive correlation with high rankings ……

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Why am I not ranking on Bing like I am on Google?

bingMany SEOs will tell you to focus on optimizing your site for Google and that will be sufficient to rank well in other search engines such as Bing. But there are times where it’s useful to look at how your web pages are ranking in Bing, as there are times that pages rank differently in Bing than in Google.

Recently I took a look at a case of a site that was ranking in position #1 for a search term on Bing – but was not even on the first page in Google. The question from my client (who consistently had the number one spot on Google but ranked third or fifth on Bing) was “why is this site beating me out?” I did a comparison of the two pages to see if I could figure out the answer.

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Build Rich and Awesome Search Snippets

Three years is an awfully long time ago in the internet age. Let’s take a trip in the Internet way back machine to see what SEO used to be. That’s when we used to think of SEO of as a two pronged discipline, namely on-page optimization and off page optimization. Off page optimization, or linkbuilding has been replaced by inbound marketing as I just wrote recently. On page optimization is still very valid, but it’s boundaries have gotten rather fuzzy.

It used to be all about keywords, keywords, keywords. Keywords in your title tag, keywords in your header tags, keyword density. Keywords are still really important, but so is engagement and user behavior as signals the search engine algorithms pay attention to. It’s not just about getting the traffic, it’s winning the hearts and minds of the user once they are on your site.

You want to take that optimization and conversion mindset and apply it to the little welcome mat that Google builds for your page when it ranks for a search query. Known as a snippet, this is the listing that appears in Google’s search results pages, called SERPs for short.

Rich Video Snippet

Rich Video Search Snippet from AllRecipes.com

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SEO Friendly WordPress Category Pages

friendly search engine botWordPress is a great CMS and sitebuilder, but one area it can fall a little short is its interstitial pages that are designed to help you navigate a site’s posts via category, author or even date. WordPress automatically generates archive pages for each of these grouping mechanisms, but from the SEO perspective these pages fall a little short in providing unique content that the search engines love.

Search engines such as Google want to see pages that have content that can’t be found anywhere else on the site (or in fact elsewhere on the internet). But WordPress’s default archive pages just show a list of posts for that given category (or author). If the blogger has used the “more” tag, then the post’s content is shown on the archive page up to the tag, otherwise the post is shown in it’s entirety. Either way there is no new content on the page that isn’t already on on the individual post pages. Today we are going to look at ways to modify your WordPress category page to be more SEO friendly.

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