Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the links Category

Google’s Penguin Update

Penguin Update

The most recent significant update to the Google ranking algorithm is the Penguin Update unleashed on April 24. It’s designed to reward high quality websites and penalize what Google calls webspam. Web sites that may have enjoyed high rankings due to things like keyword stuffing and excessive keyword placement in various places in the code may experience lowered rankings.

The Google Penguin updateThe main focus of this change is to remove content from websites with:

Have you suffered from Penguin?

If you think you’ve been unfairly penalized by this update, Google has a form to complain about it and possibly get your website re-evaluated. Google’s Pengiun complaint form is here.

Ned help recovering from a Penguin slap-down? Need help optimizing your site without running into a problem with the Penguin update? Rank Magic can help.

Do Links From Blog Posts Help Your Link Popularity?

Blog posts are really just web pages,

so a link to your site from a blog post counts just like any other link. But there are a couple of considerations to bear in mind in terms of how beneficial the blog links will be for you.

  • If the link is coded as a “nofollow” link it won’t give you any link juice.
  • Other than that, the value of the link is a function of three things:
      • The PageRank of the blog post linking to you (higher is better)
      • The number of outbound links on that blog post (lower is better)
      • Whether the blog post is on your domain or not (being on another domain adds weight to the link)

How about links from your own blog?

If you’re concerned about links from your own blog posts, let’s discuss that last issue a bit. We always recommend that our clients host their blogs on their own websites rather than on another domain. That provides many opportunities for incoming links to their domain (and that’s a subject for another time). But does that mean links from a blog post to pages on your own website count less than if your blog was on another domain? Actually, yes. But don’t worry.

Links to your web pages from blog posts on your own domain may be less powerful than they would be if from another domain, but not enough to make up for the loss of link juice you’d suffer from hosting your blog on another domain. So don’t move your blog off your domain just so the links back are a tad more beneficial. Instead, syndicate your blog.

Syndication

When you write a blog post, you can have it duplicated on blog aggregators, and the links to your web pages from those copies of your post will count as external inbound links. There are lots of these available to you  — as an example, see Business2Community or BlogEngage.

Done right, your blog can help your link popularity at the same time that it funnels potential customers into the marketing content on your website. That’s certainly a winning proposition.

For professional help with maximizing your blogging power, SEO for your website, or building link popularity, contact us at Rank Magic.

Is Your Content Good Enough for SEO?

Content is the foundation of SEO.

The purpose of an SEO campaign is to drive visitors to your website. But why do you want to do that? So they can see your content, of course.

  • Without content, you don’t have a website.
  • With lousy content (visually poor, grammatical errors, keyword stuffing, lack of organization) you have a website that chases people  away.
  • With ineffective content you have a website that fails to convert visitors into paying customers.
  • With effective content your website becomes a powerful sales tool.

But that’s not the only kind of content that’s important. You may not have realized it, but you have off-site content, too. That’s content in other places that helps promote your brand and direct potential customers to your website. What kind of content is that specifically? How about this:

  • Articles and white papers posted on other sites.
  • Online press releases.
  • An email newsletter. (Sign up for ours!)
  • Blog posts you write that are syndicated at one or more other blogs.
  • Twitter mentions.
  • Mentions at other social media like Facebook, Google+, Delicious, Digg, FriendFeed, StumbleUpon, MerchantCircle, LinkedIn and others.
  • Mentions and links from other websites related to yours.

Is your content good enough for effective SEO?

How good is the copy on your site? You have to start there because everything else drives people to your on-site copy. Is it unique? Does it provide value by providing non-obvious information and answering questions? Is it interesting to read? Is it literate? Does it funnel visitors toward a buying decision? If not, have you considered hiring a professional copywriter?

Do you have the necessary off-site copy? This is one of the most forgotten factors in SEO. You need a strong presence in as many off-site places as possible to build your link popularity and to drive more visitors to your website.

Once you’ve considered all that, you may decide you need professional help with your SEO. If so, talk to us.

Citations Can Help Your Local Search Visibility

Local search listingsGoogle is not just counting links for their local search results in Google Places. Now they’re counting citations, too.

Links, as we all know, are important for organic search rankings. A citation is a mention of a company or website that’s not clickable as a link. It’s just a mention.

Many of us considered them worthless insofar as search engine visibility goes, but that’s not the case anymore. Citations in places like YellowPages.com, Yelp, Merchant Circle, Localeze and others can give your local search listing (the one associated with a map) a significant boost.

We’ve found a handy list of 20 excellent websites where you can easily get citations. Some of them allow customer reviews, too. Encourage your most delighted customers to go and write reviews once you have a listing there. Just remember not to write rave reviews yourself; you’re likely to get caught at that.

Helpful Link Building Resources

Link popularity — the number and quality of other websites that link to yours — is an important factor in search engine rankings, especially in Google. But few of us have the patience to sit and wait for others to link to us. So we have to resort to active link building.

The KissMetrics blog posted a list of helpful link building resources. Some that struck me right off the bat were

  • A list of resources to help you beuild incoming links better and faster.Top 9 Ways to be a Link Magnet
  • How to Use Blog Commenting to Get Backlinks
  • Link Building Tips for Small Businesses
  • Linkbait Failure – Not Understanding the Need for Instant Gratification
  • 24 Advanced Link Building Strategies
  • 4 Kinds of Prospecting Phrases for Link Building Queries
  • Link Building in a Panda World
  • Fundamentals of Getting Big Links from Big Media Sites

You may find some that strike a chord with your needs. Check out the list of link building resources here.