SEO Facts and Tutoring examples

A premier SEO guide

1 - INTRODUCTION TO SEO

2 - BASIC ATTRIBUTES OF SEO

3 - WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD RANKING COMPOSITION?

4 - STRATEGIC SEO OPTIONS

Firstly, unlike usual SEO FAQs that were reliable a few years ago and with techniques that haven’t been developed or even tested by the people who wrote it since then, this guide actually contains up to date tips and tricks. We provide a complete walkthrough with easily understood info that may seem too simple to work but in fact have a high success rate.

This guide won’t offer any ways around Google’s policies or illegitimate methods. All the tips we offer are approved and recommended information.

1 - INTRODUCTION TO SEO
In the last ten years of internet marketing, SEO has been one of the most important terms used, and this trend doesn’t seem to weaken. SEO is a popular topic of conversation, everyone uses it and most people succeed at it. Our objective is to make you part of that category. If you already have some experience in SEO you can go directly to chapter 3, if you are new to it just read through the basics.

SEO explained
SEO is the abbreviation of “Search Engine Optimization”. However, unlike what its name may insinuate, SEO is more about optimizing the targeted websites for the search engines and increasing traffic than optimizing the search engines themselves. Lets start with a basic description of search engines.

Search engines were first used in the early 90’s to find information on the web. Web search engines work by storing information about web pages, which they obtain from the html itself. When a person enters a query, mostly keywords, the engine goes through its index to find the best matching sites.

So, a website with a lot of keywords has a higher chance of being shown in the search engine’s results.

Thus, SEO is basically a way to increase the ranking of your website in the search engines. There different methods of SEO, some are legitimate, and others, called “blackhat” methods, are heavily penalized by search engines.

Will I need SEO?
Most people would say yes. But on second thought what do you need SEO for? If its to advertise for new products and services available at your store or for a shop you just opened there are better ways to do so. On the other hand, if you own an Internet business then SEO is for you.

Hire SEO expert or try it myself?
One of the biggest decision when opting for SEO is whether to do it yourself or to hire an SEO expert. Both options can be attractive, here are some advantages and disadvantages:


Advantages

Disadvantages

Hired SEO

1. You won't have to waste your time with the technical details;

2. You won't need to learn SEO yourself;

3. SEO experts are often quite reliable and offer satisfactory results.

1. You will have to regularly check on the hired SEO’s progress.

2. You to be careful when you hire a SEO expert as there’s no guarantee that they will complete the work.

3. The hired SEO expert may have no experience in the theme of your site.

4. SEO experts may require a regular payment.

Do it yourself

1. You do it yourself and the way you want.

2. The knowledge you gain learning SEO may be very useful later on.

3. You don’t have to pay for it.

4. You apply changes and updates when and how you want.

1. Reading guides and maintaining the SEO is time consuming.

2. The results may not be as great as you wanted.

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2 - BASIC ATTRIBUTES OF SEO
Search engines
Firstly we need to understand how search engines work. Every search engine consists of 3 parts:

  1. The Web Crawler, also called spider bot or web scutter. The web crawler usually starts with a list of downloaded websites’ pages, looks for the hyperlinks within them and adds them to the crawl frontier. The crawler will visit the websites in the crawl frontier regularly to check for changes and the rate at which contents are updated. How fast the crawler visit’s a website again depends mostly on how much traffic you get.

    The crawler itself doesn’t rank the websites, it simply leaves the information retrieved to the indexer but crawlers can also be used for automatic maintenance tasks on a website, like checking links or validating HTML code.
  2. The Indexer is a module that collects, parses, and stores data about all the pages crawled by the spider bot in its database, the index. The indexer can determine whether a word exists within a particular document and where it is. The index updates itself every time the spider bot crawls a website, however this process may take time to apply the changes to the database as the index’s volume is quite large, thus people may say that a website has been crawled, but not yet indexed.

    After the contents of the websites are added to the index, the ranker starts to work.
  3. The ranker is the search engine software the user works with. The ranker applies the search query and goes through the indexed to find relevant contents. The results are then sorted according to their contents and their ranking before being showed to the user.

Read “Ranking factors” for more information.

SEO business lingo
Here are the basic terms you need to know. All others will be explained along the way.

Anchor text
This is simply a text of a link. If you have a link like this:
<a href="………">…………<a>
The link to click on will be as follows:

The text "The essentials of SEO - a complete guide" - is the anchor text in this case. The anchor text is the most important part of a link building strategy. The anchor text must always be relevant to the theme of the webpage. For example if your page is about movies you cant link it with a “lose weight“ anchor text. While you cannot manage every links on the web, you can at least make sure that your website has the appropriate anchor links.

Inbound link
Its also called backlink, a link that directs people to your site. Its best to have as much of those as you can. But more importantly there are many conditions to this rule, so read the Off-Page optimization section to get more details.

Keyword
It’s a set number of words that describe the topic of a website or page. In fact, there is a difference between keyWORDS and keyPHRASES, however when using SEO they are all called keywords. Basically, the keywords for this page are: SEO FAQ, SEO tutorial, etc.

Short-tail and long-tail keywords
Short-tail keywords are some commonly used keywords and usually obtain more results than lon-tail results, examples are music, movies, poems, games and so on. Long-tail on the other hand describes a particular theme to obtain less results but much more specific to what you were looking for. Examples are "paramore free music", "online rpg games", "rent a red Ferrari car" etc. Specific queries tend to be less popular and less visitors will type this exact query. However these queries are quite well demanded as such visitors may become regulars at your site, if not customers. Remember this! Long-tail queries are not very popular, but the conversion rate for such queries is much much greater than for short-tail ones.

SERPs
You have probably heard this term before, but didn’t understand what it meant. The acronym SERP refers to "Search Engine Result Page". When visitors asks for a query they are directed to a SERP. They are afterwards shown a number of sites they can click on. Of course the first results shown receive more visitors, that’s what you are aiming for and what we are trying to help you accomplish. In short this SEO guide aims to make you move higher in SERPs.

Snippet
The snippet is the basic information the search engine will show in the SERP‘s database. It is mostly retrieved from a Meta Description tag, but it can also be made based on the page’s content by the search engine.

Landing page
Landing page is a page that appears when a person clicks on a SERP to visit the website.

Link juice
The term link juice refers to the value a website may obtain from backlinks posted on other websites. In short, your website will get link juice from the sites where the backlinks were posted. Your page‘s rank will rise as it accumulates link juice. If a page is worth $20 - that‘s the page‘s value. If the page has 4 links, each of them will receive $5 then - that is the amount of link juice passed to the linked page. If the origin page has 5 links, each of them will receive $4.

Simply put, the more links a Page X has, the less value will be distributed to pages Y. Obviously, the real link juice value is not measured in dollars.

Nofollow links
Nofollow link is a link that search engines aren’t allowed to follow. Below is the code to make a nofollow link:
<a href="somepage.html" rel="nofollow">Some anchor text</a>
Google does not follow nofollow links and link juice isn‘t passed down these links.

Link popularity
Link popularity refers to the number of links directing to a site. The more popular sites are, the more links the have. However, the number of inbound links is only a half of it all. The ‘off-page optimization” section offers you more information on this topic.

Keyword stuffing
Putting a lot of keywords in a tag is called keyword stuffing. For example, the title tag of this page would be: <TITLE>SEO guide, SEO FAQ, SEO tutorial, best seo faq, seo techniques, seo strategy guide</TITLE> and so on. This is what keyword stuffing is like. Keyword stuffing isn’t recommended as a) it does not work; b) it may affect your ranking negatively.

Robots.txt
robots.txt is a file that allows you to control the level of access spider bots have on your website. It is a simple txt file placed in the root folder of your website. Here are examples of robot.txt:

This txt will prevent GoogleBot from accessing your entire site:
User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /

This txt will block all files within a single folder except myfile.html for all crawlers:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /folder1/
Allow: /folder1/myfile.html

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3 - WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD RANKING COMPOSITION?
There are usually two main groups of ranking factors. There is no one definite answer which one is the most important, but we’ll get to that later on in this tutorial, for now just know that they are both important and need your complete attention.

On-site ranking factors
There is a great number of on-site ranking factors and during the rise SEO even more were known. Some of these factors are crucial to optimizing your website to search engines, while others simply affect your ranking badly. Since the early years of search engines, they have been evolving, and nowadays methods that worked great then are now not only out of date but also useless. Below are some ranking factors sorted by their importance and SEO value.

Necessary material
Title
This is seen as one of the most important on-page factors. Give proper attention to the title tag. There are several factors to keep in mind when writing a title tag, here are some tips to decide on a good one:

  1. It is a popular belief that Google does not read past the first 60 symbols of title tags. That's not true (the proof). Google read almost everything you write on your title tag even though the key words will have less value on mostly the first dozen of words will get credit from being in the title. So keeping it short would be an advantage. Also, a long and spammy title tag wont be attractive to visitors It is the first step towards the sale - don't ignore it.
  2. Do not try to stuff it with keywords such as “ download rock music, pop music, r’n’b music, blues music, country music,….”, use human-friendly title tags instead, such as “Great variety of downloadable music”.
  3. Do not use the same title through all the pages of your website, each page should have a title reflecting it’s theme.
  4. Your title should be attractive and eye-catching to the visitors, that’s what they will first see while browsing the search results.

Content
The page’s content may seem futile at first thoughts. Well that’s wrong. As SEOs often claim Content is the king. The content describes what you have to offer and helps you get regular customers. It also gets you a good ranking through Google‘s quality filters and by giving you more backlinks to your site.

Basic tips when writing contents are:

  1. The contents are for visitors, not the search engines as visitors are the ones that will be reading it and decide if they wan what you have to offer or not. What’s the point if your site is ranked first on search engines but the content doesn’t persuade the visitors to purchase with you. So the content you create should be interesting to the visitors.
  2. You should not only describe the product but also show the potential customers what the may gain by purchasing with you rather than elsewhere.
  3. Share your experience. Share what you know about related services through articles to attract people to link their pages to your site through backlinks.
  4. You should keep the text on a page within one theme. Search engines are more and more about themes than keywords nowadays. So concentrate on choosing one theme per page just like you would do with keywords. For every page on your site select one theme that relates to your website an write contents relevant to the theme.

Navigation and internal linking
Again an important ranking factor. It seems obvious to create a proper navigation so the search engine crawler could follow all the links on a website and indexed all of its pages then. However, this factor is still being highly underestimated. Creating a clear and easy plain-text navigation helps both search engines and human visitors.
Avoid using JavaScript or Flash links since they are hard to read by search engines. Also make as ite map available on your pages.

And example would be if u have more 2 pages or more and one of them generates much more income than the others. You should obviously give priority to the page with more value when ling, using a relevant anchor text.

Good SEO additions
The following factors aren’t among the most important ones don’t have much effect but they still help you gain a higher in SERPs.

Headings
Heading tags (H1-H6), once quite popular, no don’t have much impact on the search engines as they are easy to manipulate. Still you will need them to sort the paragraphs on your page. You can use the H1 tag to write the main heading and H2 and H3 for the heading of the paragraphs and sub-paragraph. This would definitely earn you some SEO points.

Bold and italic text.
They are almost useless to SEO and are mostly used to make pages attractive to visitors. They can however still offer a little SEO value so long as you don’t abuse of them, this would bring down the page's quality and be a bother to readers.

Keywords placement.
How you place the keywords in a text greatly affects their value, they are usually placed at the top of a page as they get more value that if placed near the bottom. Note that by top and bottom we mean the actual codes in the HTML source that aren’t visible visitors. So you might prefer to keep all the important keywords at the top of the page and the navigation and additional text closer to the bottom. You should also know that the first keyword in a title tag gets more value than the second, third etc...

Keywords in filenames and domain name.
A common tip is putting your keywords into a relevant filename or into a domain name. However you shouldn’t expect much from this method and its always better to have a short easily remembered domain name than one that's too long. As for putting keywords in a filename, unless your webpage is written in a language other than a default language, it will boost your ranking slightly, and since you have to name your files either way it wont take much of your time. However it wont be of much help in competitive query.

Image Alt attribute.
A few years ago using alt Attribute for keywords stuffing was quite popular. Nowadays it doesn’t give pages any SEO value. One of the best uses of the Alt attribute would be <img src="some-pic.gif"alt=accurate description of the pic>

Type an accurate description of each of the images. This will help you by giving your site a better ranking in image and Google will also often take the Alt text when creating a snippet for the SERP.

Meta Description
Meta Description tag is one of the most popular and regular myth. It is said to give you a better ranking on search engines. That when filled with proper description of a page’s content it can have a great impact on your website and that you must have it on all your web pages . That is not true. With the actual evolution of internet marketing Meta Description is only actually useful for search engines to create a snippet for the SERP with its content. And that’s it. You don’t gain anything else with Meta Description, but you don’t get penalized for using it either.

Worthless material
Meta Keywords
A dozen of years ago <meta name="keywords" content=""> tag was used to inform the search engine of keywords relevant to the particular page. Nowadays, search engines download websites to retrieve the relevant keywords from the contents. So Meta K tag isn’t used for SEO anymore.

Keyword Density
Keyword density is one of the most over-rated ranking factors. What is it and why is it still so popular? The following equation shows how the keyword density of every word:

KD = Word_Count / Total_Words * 100%

This means that if a page has 150 words and the word "SEO" is mentioned 24 times on that page, its keyword density would be: 24 / 150 * 100% = 16%

However this value doesn’t mean anything nowadays as search engines have greatly evolved do not rely on keywords density anymore. There is a great number of other factors used to rank websites and search engines wont use method that’s so out of date and easy to cheat with.

Pages written in normal language are more popular to search engines. Any webpage on a site can have a keyword density from 0% with no keywords at all to 100% with just one keyword on the page and still rank high. It is however a cheap way to estimate a page’s theme, and is simply a number with no value to SEO. Any value, no matter how low it is will work if you write for a human reader.

But why do so many people still think keyword is reliable? Maybe because is easy to check the progress of your site and maintain it. That’s just a mirage, keyword density is useless.

Dynamic URLs vs. static URLs
That may be surprising but the both have the same value. Long ago, search engines had difficulties to index dynamic URL websites, but nowadays it makes no difference.

www.site.com vs. site.com
No difference here either. Just add the following to your .htaccess file if you want your site to be accessed by both ways:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domain.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.domain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Underscore vs. hyphen in URLs. Your position in SERPs wont be affected whether you use them or not.

Subfolders
Which is better? Having a a /red-small-cheap-widget.php or a /widgets/red/small/cheap/index.php? Putting your content deep into subfolders wont hurt your ranking, in fact it doesn’t matter how deep in the folder tree it is. What’s important is the number of clicks needed to reach that file.

However if that file can be reached in one click it will clearly be more important and have more value than one that needs 7 clicks to be reached. And since a homepage has many link juice to pass down the pages it links to will have more value than others.

W3C validation
W3C refers to the World Wide Web Consortium - an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. Simply put, HTML, CSS, SOAP, XML and other web technologies were invented by them.

Validation is the process of checking a page or website for its compliance with W3C standards. To validate your website for free go here. This valuator will check if there’s any encoding problems, obsolete or undefined tags, compatibility to specified DOCTYPE wrong attributes, etc.

Why is validation needed? A 100% valid website will surely be displayed perfectly in all browsers supporting standards. Sadly, all browsers do not follow the W3C standards completely, thus a great number of cross-browser problems will arise. This however doesn’t contest W3C standards‘ value.

When it comes to SEO however validation isn’t all that important. While running a validation through google.com and you will encounter a lot of warnings and errors on their website. Google doesn’t give much importance to this however, it doesn’t grant a big boost to your rank and not validating your website doesn’t penalize you either. It is recommended to do a W3C validation to get your site working with almost every browsers. If you meet no cross-browser issues then it means your site works fine.

Possible SEO setbacks
Keyword stuffing
Google defines
keywords stuffing accurately. As we always say write for humans, not search engines. Writing keywords all along the page may penalize your site or even get it banned if it is detected by Google spam filter. Write as you would normally, create quality contents for the visitors and insert keywords where possible without excess.

Hidden text / Invisible links
Before starting you may read what Google says about hidden text. You probably guessed, Google doesn’t approve of this practice and your risks exclusion from Google’s should you use such technique. Some may say that by setting "display:none" in your external CSS file and by controlling the level of access to the particular CSS file with “robots.txt“. Question is will Google be able to detect that your site has hidden text? The answer is yes and no. This may seem to be working for some time, even though it may not work at all as there have been cases where GoogleBot didn’t follow robot.text instructions precisely. Also in the long term your disguise will fall and Google will take action sooner or later.

Doorway pages
As bad as some SEO method could ever be. One of the worst SEO methods. It consists a few landing pages that while not containing any valuable content were created for the sole purpose getting a high ranking on search engines for some particular keywords. It attracts the visitor then points to some other page not related to his query.

Splogs
Splogs refers to spam blogs. It is the latest version of the old-evil doorways. The concept is quite simple, creating thousands of blogs using free blog services like blogspot.com, and obtain backlinks by posting comments spam and through other blackhat methods. Splogs themselves do not contain any valuable information, only automatically generated articles with a lot of keywords that are however ranked high inm SERPs because of the amount of inbound links dislodging many legitimate blogs. Google later on implemented filters to find such blogs and delete them as fast as possible.

If you own a blog - do not spam it. Just write high quality content. This works better in to be honest.

Cloaking
Its not as immoral as other practices, but is still a blackhat technique with negative effects for your website‘s ranking. Its basically a method to find out if a visitor is a human or a spider bot, showing content based on what they want to increase ranking, humans are shown proper pages with quality contents while search engines get a different page stuffed with a great number of keywords.

Duplicate content
It is actually not as bad as people say. Two kinds of contents are called duplicates. The first one is when a website possess several ways to be accessed, for example:

http://www.somesite.com/
http://somesite.com/
http://somesite.com/index.php
http://www.somesite.com.index.php?sessionid=4567
etc.

All these links direct to the same page but are considered as different pages that have the same contents. This kind of duplicate pages is easily resolved by Google itself and isn’t penalized.

The second kind of duplicate content is to have the same content on different sites with their own domain names. However, if the duplicates adds some value of your own to the original information, it isn’t considered a duplicate.

Also please note if anyone copies your text and uses it on another site, it is quite unlikely that you will get any penalty as Google tracks the age of each page and usually considers the older one as the original content.

Also you can always borrow some items from other websites with almost no risks of getting a penalty if you rewrite it in your own words. However we would recommend you to use methods like “Synonymizers“, Markov chains and others to produce random replacement texts. It can affect your ranking on Google so write for the visitors.

Frames
This practice, while not being considered a blackhat SEO by itself still might still have a negative effect on your ranking in SERPs, search engines not seeing it as a good method as frames disrupt the set idea of one URL per page an load several URL’s contents on one page. This makes crawling and indexing harder. We would recommend against using frame tags, but if you do really have to we would advise you to offer an alternative way for search engines to index your pages, like for instance by using a NOFRAMES tag with backup contents to show to search engines.

JavaScript and Flash
Google can read the text of JavaScript and Flash, but it is always recommended to make it easy for human visitors as well as bots to read a website’s materials with regular text links. So avoid basing your site on these two only as this will have an awful impact on your SEO ideas.

SEO main on page items for good ranking
With this you should have an idea of on-page factors and what you shouldn’t do. Remember that content is the king and that you need you write for humans, not search engines. Don’t attempt to cheat search engines as you’ll get busted soon enough causing your rankings to drop for good. The key to on-page factors is writing valuable and interesting contents for both human and bot visitors. Master that and you will have do half of the way toward success. Lets start preparing for the other half with off-page ranking factors.

Off site ranking topics
Explain it?
During their first years, search engines only based their rankings on the websites, contents. After the rise of Google however that changed. Google's algos didn’t give as much attention to the contents, focusing on the link popularity instead. Thus, for Google, the more a site has inbound links, the higher it rank is. Nowadays that concept didn’t really change, except for the new ways by which websites are ranked for keywords while having no keywords in their texts (the proof), search engines still rank sites by the number of backlinks they have, and also for the quality of their contents.

Obviously, off-page ranking factors require as much attention as on-page factors. You should keep everything you’ll read in mind when maintaining your backlinks.

Google Page Ranking
Before getting started we should differentiate the online/offline tools like the green bar in Google toolbar that shows PageRank (green PageRank) from the real PageRank. The Google bar PageRank ia a simple indicator. The real PageRank of websites reflect the actual probability of visitors following random links on websites to land on a particular website, all in a simple mathematical value. A value of 1 means that there is 100% probability that any random surfing visitor will land on your website at least once. On the other hand, having a value of 0 means that random visitors wont ever open your site through links posted on other sites.

Read the following thoroughly to begin.

Even though the number of websites grow everyday, the PageRank value doesn’t change. Basically, there is 100% chance that a visitor will open some site on the web. Thus the probability of a visitor going on a particular website diminishes by minutes. Lets say that there are 4 websites, A, B, C, and D with their links on another website. All of them would have a PageRank of 0.25. If another site, E gets its link placed on that site, the PageRank value of each page would drop to 0.20 and so on. That's the PageRank - its value drops regularly. This makes it difficult to calculate the exact value of websites’ PageRank. Fortunately there is the green PageRank that updates this value every 3-4 months, and shows it in a way that’s easier to understand as a digit between 0 and 10. This number however only shows basic trends.

Also, the green PageRank scale is non-linear. Simply put, the difference between PageRanks value of 1 and 2 may be greater than the difference between PageRanks value of 2 and 3.

PageRank also follows the concept of link popularity, the more links over the web point to your site, the higher its value is. Lets say that there are links pointing to A, B, C and D on site E, with an original value of 1, each site will get 0.25 PageRank value. However, if pages A, B and C have links pointing towards Page D, they would confer PageRank to site D as shown below: PR(A)+PR(B)+PR(C)+PR(E/4)=PR(D), PR referring to PageRank.

By now you should know that the number of backlinks influence off-page ranking factors greatly when calculating PageRank value and and that the green indirect indicator of that value. However, the quality factor, implemented by Google through value dumping factors and filters, is also applied in the calculation of PageRank.

Need to know
This part is crucial, it will tell you about the most important off-page ranking factors, so read it thoroughly.

The theme of the linking website
The theme of the website where you place your backlinks is very important. Placing your links on websites with the same theme as yours or closely related to it will greatly increase these links’ value so look for those. However having links not related to your site’s contents doesn’t affect your ranking, just try to filter links pointing to websites with illegal or unethical contents and remove them.

The theme of websites you link to
You however have a full control over websites you link to on your own pages, be careful of what links you place on your site. For example if you link to unrelated websites, you will be the one to take responsibility and may face penalty. You may avoid being penalized but the sites you link to also affect your site’s quality.

Anchor text
The anchor text of your backlinks is crucial and if you can modify it take all you can from it with synonyms, paraphrases, different keywords etc. Afterwards put all the most important keywords on top of the anchor text, just avoid putting all your keywords into the link, keep the anchor text shorter than a dozen of words.

Landing pages
A factor that’s often belittled, sometimes even ignored by SEO experts that say having a link to your site is enough for the landing page. It isn’t. The link has to be of good quality and relevant, and don’t forget to check that both the linked and linking sites meets these qualifications.

While not being necessary, it does help to properly optimize your landing pages for every link you have. This involves adding the keywords we talked about in anchor text in its content and all important parts like the title tag. Also the keywords must match the topic of your page. Doing all this will qualify your site for a significant rise in its rank as it will increase the value of the corresponding backlinks.

PageRank
The PageRank doesn’t actually help you get a higher rank itself, its only a value, but this value can be used by YOU to select websites with the highest PageRanks to place your links on. These sites are also trustworthy to Google and may earn you more value should visitors open your backlinks from there.

For example, having a link on a PageRank 10 website, if you actually manage to have one, will give your site a rapid ascension to a PageRank of 7, also increasing your rank in SERPs. single link from a PageRank 10 website (if you somehow manage to have one, of course) will quickly boost your own website’s PageRank to 7 or even 8 giving you the comparable boost in your search positions. However it is hard to find high ranked website that will agree to post a link to your website, thus it is advised to choose sites for their quality rather than their rank. Having a link on a gardening website with a PageRank of 9 when your site is about music wont do much for you.

Website mechanics
Reciprocal linking
C. The basic reciprocal linking is quite simple: site A links to site B while site B links to site A.
B. In cross linking site A links to site B from page A1 and site B links to site A from page B1.
C. With circular linking site A links to site B, site B links to site C and so on till site Z links to site A.
D. Three-in-a-row linking. Site A links to site B, site B links to site C. No link back from C.
E. Combined site A links to site D from page A1, site D links to site C from page D1, site C links to site B from page C1 and site B links to site A from page B1.

It is wrongly believed that reciprocal linking isn’t effective nowadays. It actually works, but it simply doesn’t work as well as in the early years of search engines. The value of reciprocal links was greatly reduced in 2009, particularly for basic reciprocal linking and circular linking, the whole method however still works and help to increase your ranking in the early stages of SEO. For it to work you have to choose your partners with caution so verify factors its theme, quality of its content, the sites it links to and the link’s anchor text. Also try to avoid spammy websites as you wouldn’t want your sites a dozen of links away from the homepage.

2. Web directories
Another method that supposedly doesn’t work nowadays , but to be honest it never actually worked that great. Google's Open Directory (or DMOZ) a free, human-edited web directory of high value, is the only one that would truly benefit you should you get include into it. It is however a pain to get included into it as it may take sa few months for your application to be reviewed, but honestly if you do get accepted it will be worth it. Your site’s value will get a major boost as well as high quality link juice.

3. Social bookmarks
Due to spam, social bookmarking websites don’t work as well as a few years ago. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of this method:

Advantages

Disadvantages

1. Spider bots visit social bookmarking websites quite often, like every 3 hours. So if you can place your links there you should be getting a nice share of traffic soon enough.

1. You may get a lot off traffic at first but it doesn’t last long, even these short boosts still benefit you.

2. Social bookmarking increase the value of your links and also bring you genuine traffic depending on the popularity of the article you posted the links on.

2. The quality of the traffic you get is pretty low as out of 100 visitors, only 1 may become a customer, most visitors following the links by curiosity rather than by actual interest in the content. This is however useful if you only need a lot of people to visit your site, for Google Adsense for example.


3. The links you post on popular social bookmarking websites will rapidly disappear under hundreds of new posts. And since popular social bookmarking are the only ones that will really increase your link’s value you will have to do with. Also these websites’ moderators may filter the posts and delete your links, if not ban your account.

Disadvantage 3 may dissuade you from using this method but there are actually some ways around it:

1. A whitehat technique that consist of writing valuable articles with a high quality and wait for someone to link to it, then bookmark that site instead. It wont increase your ranking on SERPs but you will still get traffic. Also this other site doesn’t have to be a stranger’s, it could be your own. Then you woul have a profit making website and a non-profit blog pointing to this site and even another blog pointing to this particular blog

2 The other one is considered a blackhat method that consists of the creation of several fake accounts to promote your bookmark on social bookmarking websites. This technique is however a bit out of age as social bookmarking websites get spammed with such posts everyday.

Trust factors
Those are ranking factors you cant really control. They don’t add any direct value to your sites but instead increase your trust rating. Search engines give more value to trusted sites ant tend to give them better rank boosts. The most important factors that increase your trust rating are:

Domain name age. The older websites are, the more trust points they are, this however doesn’t apply if the domain’s owner changed.

The number and quality of inbound links, the PageRank. If several other websites link to yours it also gets trust rating boost. The quality of the linking websites isn’t really considered in this calculation as you have no real control over the backlinks on other websites. If that were there case it would be possible to hurt sites ranking by placing links to them on malware websites.

Website content. Avoid using blackhat methods as it lowers your trust rating.

Outbound links. Linking to websites with high trust rating will boost your own site’s rating.

Press releases, related resources, word of mouth etc.
This isn’t really related to SEO but can still earn you some links with press releases, posting on thematic resources or simply by talking about your website.

Outdated seo techniques
Here are some techniques that never actually worked, don’t work anymore or with a value not worth the trouble

Many links pointing to the same page
If there are many links directing to the same URL on one page, it wont give any added SEO value to your site as Google only takes the first link into consideration. For an on-page optimization perspective it is advised to put the navigation menu links close to the bottom of your HTML source. From the off-page perspective it would mean that you only need a single link from one URL posted on your page. It may even hurt your ranking as the page’s link juice is divided into the number of links on the page. So there are 3 links on the page, one of them being yours and the two others belonging to other site owners, each of you would get like 33% of the link juice, however if you added two other links of yours pointing to the same URL as the first one, it would go down to 20% per link. Some may think that this would make them 60% of the total link juice, but keep in mind that only the first link will receive link juice, which would get you 20% instead of 33%.

Nofollow links
While the traffic they generate can be quite high, the nofollow links don’t have any SEO value since they don’t pass the PageRank and link juice doesn’t pass through them.

Links in signature
Forum post signature is often used to place links. They however have low SEO value as:

1. The amount of link juice you get from them isn’t worth the time.

2. Nobody will actually read your signature unless you are popular on the forum. And even then there is no guarantee that people will actually follow the links.

3. The links on these forums are usually nofollow links.

4. Even if the links can be followed, they would soon get buried under hundreds of new posts.

If you manage become quite popular on these communities and attract enough attention it might really benefit you to place links there. This would however require a lot of time an effort. It is up to you to decide if its worth it or not.

Guestbook links
This method never actually worked.

Blog comment links
Posting comments only to include a link is considered spam. Also it doesn’t work but annoys other people too.

No-PR links
Don’t waste your time posting links on PR=0 and no-PR websites as while PageRank itself doesn’t affect your site’s position, it affects the trust rating of other sites you link to. So it is recommended to choose websites with a high PR instead of others.

Article submission
Many SEO FAQs and guides on the web recommend writing articles to submit articles to websites all over the web. This however doesn't do anything for SEO anymore. Articles usually contain useful contents to readers, however none of them will read thousands of articles with the same topic. Also no one want to link want to link to authors of articles made of rewritten contents from dozens of original articles from years ago.

Articles can however be good in some ways, just don’t post them on articles websites, try doing some link bait instead.

Submitting your site to Google
This is only useful to get your site back in the index if it has been removed by Google for some reason, like the use off blackhat methods, and you fixed the issue. Otherwise if you will get crawled anyway, it wont make any difference to your ranking in SERPs.

Items that damage page rankings
Link Farms
Link farms worked great in the early days of search engines. It consists of group of websites that link to each other to earn “link popularity”, so back then when link popularity influenced the factors of SERPs rating greatly, link farms were really useful. Afterwards however, search engines countered this practice with filters. Thus, nowadays since there are many other factors more important than link popularity its not really useful and search engines also penalizes these websites.

FFA (Free-For-All) sites
This method not only doesn’t work, but it also hurt your ranking badly. The concept is simple, thousands of site owners submit their links to a FFA site where they get displayed on a page. However as the number of sites displayed is limited and they get replaced progressively as new links are submitted. So these links not only aren’t displayed long enough, but search engines also don like these links.

Also you will only get traffic made of other web owners that submitted links on the FFA sites and you will most probably be spammed with e-mails. Is being displayed for 5mins on a site search don’t like worth all that??

Forum/Blog/E-mail Spam
No matter in what form, spam IS spam. One of the most important rules of “whitehat” SEO is that you shouldn’t use spam.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t use spam:
1. Spam simply bothers forums/blogs readers own owners

2. You may get signaled to anti-spam organisations.

3. You will need abuse-proof hosting, abuse-proof domain registrar and an abuse-proof payment processor.

4. You wont get significant link juice from sites where you can spam as they will be low quality websites. And as for high quality websites the will be moderated to filter spam comments and may even have nofollow link codes.

Also is immoral and bad. So don’t spam or we’ll tell Santa!

Paid links
Paid links are hard to categorize. They can be useful, hurtful or simply have no effect on your SEO. We don’t recommend buying links as the go against the whole concept of SEO that gets you visitors that visited your with a genuine interest in the contents. Pain links instead get you visitors that are paid to get on your site. If Google finds out that you prefer paid links to normal ones, you will be greatly penalized.

Despite all this, paid links can useful in some ways. They can be used as advertising for your website even though following Google paid links guidelines they would have to be no follow links. Since you wont be getting any link juice from it, at least try to choose paid links that are related to your site so you get quality traffic that are related to your site. Also check their trust rating and don’t hesitate to contact them if you have doubts.

Inappropriate neighbors
Inappropriate neighbors refers to questionable websites such as sites with reference to hack, porn, malware , fishing, etc.. So basically:

1. Try to avoid having backlinks on these categories of websites as it will have a negative effect on your trust rating..

2. Don’t allow any links pointing to them on your pages as it will simply hurt your ranking.

Unrelated websites
It doesn’t hurt your ranking as bad as the others but it can still bring it down. As we said earlier its better to place your links on relevant websites and also place links pointing to relevant websites on your own pages. At least make sure that their theme is related to yours. For instance, if your site is about mp3 music, post links on another mp3 website or an mp3 player retailers company’s website. If the themes differ too much, the link is filtered out, and its value reduced. So in short, a link on a relevant website is worth more than 5 links on an unrelated site.

Off site ranking tools
Here is a short overview of what we talked about in this section:

1. Place backlinks on websites with relevant themes, high trust rating and high PageRank.

2. Don’t underestimate the value of keywords in and around your backlinks’ anchor text.

3. Choose the landing page your backlinks point to according to its keywords.

4. Don’t put too much effort into reciprocal linking, it wont work wonders as many will assume.

5. Articles submission are useless to SEO.

6. Don’t spam!

7. Choose related paid links with no follow codes to avoid penalty.

8. Filter your neighborhood.

Back To Top

4. STRATEGIC SEO OPTIONS
Here we will talk about the SEO strategies. It is very important to help you get a better ranking in SERPs. Again, we will go through on-page and off-page strategies in separate sections of this chapter, but still keep in mind that to obtain the highest SEO results, you should apply all the strategies efficiently. Don’t neglect any aspect of the link building. Both on-page and off-page strategies are important.

On site SEO development strategy
The main on-site SEO strategy is creating quality and interesting for the visitors of your site. Produce perfectly explained, valuable info about the services you offer. However, avoid creating “dull” contents, try using catch-phrases that will stay on the readers’ mind. Also the content created should be used to help with your SEO, for example by using it landing page for search engines. Here are a few tricks to create quality content:

Discover your keywords
The most important step when starting the optimization work of your site is finding the most valuable keywords relevant to your theme. Every sector of activity you could possibly work in will have hundreds, or even thousands of related keywords. Potential customers may type in one or several of these keywords in search engines. Some keywords may be more popular than others but don’t neglect any of as this affects your ranking greatly.

Use Google Keyword Tool or Search-based keyword tool to find keywords related to your site and people often type in search engines. They show you the most popular keywords and how their ranking change every month so you can filter the best terms to choose.

Note the keywords and sort them using the results you get got from Google keyword tool and then and then by relevance. Afterwards make a query with the keywords you obtained, check on your competitors and analyze their website with a “website analysis software” and select the most relevant keywords from their pages.

By now you should have enough keywords for your web pages.

Prepare the content
Now that you know what people are looking, give it to them! Set up a landing for each search term. Do not write copies and stuff them with keywords, it will benefit you more to create your copies based on these keywords. Write for humans and make your content attractive with an interesting title and phrases your readers wont forget.

Don’t forget that keywords should be at the top of your title, write naturally use headers where you can but try not to use them too much, it may affect your contents badly. The most effective strategy here is to limit the keywords of you landing page to 3 phrases, containing short-tail and long-tail keywords effectively distributed. Do this for all your keywords. It could be quite time consuming and complicated to write the most effective contents for all your keywords but when its done the result will be worth it. We would recommend you write naturally and avoid copy-pasting the text to another page, only changing a few keywords, this wont help you.

Interlink your pages
This is a crucial part of your on-page strategy. As we mentioned before an important ranking factor is setting relevant links for every page with properly prepared anchor texts. At this stage you probably wont have enough backlinks on other websites. Successfully building your internal links will give you your first taste of rank boost.

An effective strategy is choosing keywords on your pages and linking them with other highly relevant pages through anchor tags as shown in the following illustration

As you can see, the gadget page linked to the widget page through the widget anchor text and to the orange gadget page through the unique orange gadget anchor text giving more details on the products while taking getting SEO benefits from the links. Keep in mind however that too many links will not only affect the quality of your page to readers but also bring your ranking down. If you have 100 pages you don’t need to put 100 links on each page. Only place links where appropriate, like to help readers understand complex term and information or select an option on the page. Also remember that only the first link counts, which means that you should put the navigation links close by the end of your HTML source and links within anchor text near the beginning.

Create navigation and site map
Firstly note that it is not necessary to submit an XML sitemap to Google as it wont make any difference. Simply offer proper navigation to human visitors and search engines bots. Don’t forget to link all pages, detect broken links if any and add all the pages together to one location. Then make sure your site map is always one click away from all your pages.

Keep working
Now that your pages start positioning themselves in SERPs don’t take these ranks for granted. Never stop maintaining and updating your SEO strategies, your competitors wont rest and SEO is constantly evolving.

Off site seo content development SEO
This may be surprising but off-page optimization strategy actually starts with the content. In this case however, its about the quality of the pages you place links on. Place links on websites with valuable contents and the quality of your backlinks will increase greatly.

However, as you probably guessed, you cant base your off-page SEO strategy on the content alone. You need to:

Know your product
This may seem like a trivial factor to SEO BUT many people don’t know everything about what they are offering and thus cannot explain what they deal with exactly. But you must know your product. You need to know who to target, how it will benefit your customers and why they should choose your product rather than others. You also need to understand your potential customers perfectly, why they need your product and what could make them choose you. Once you figure that out put in in words and set the bait.

Set objectives
Now that you know who to target the next question is what you want from them? Fame? Money? Traffic? Or simply share your knowledge? You can only succeed once you know that.

Research
Research is crucial to SEO. You need to accumulate all information you can get your hands on. The market should have no secret to u, at least not secrets known by others. So ask questions, get partners, investigate, dig as deep as you can, experiment. Every bit of information counts. Once you have all this, sort them by importance and relevance to your products and services. Find out what the demands in your sector are and supply them. Also the most recent news in your contents are, the more popular it will be, which also means you‘ll have more backlinks.

Build content
Use all the information you obtained to create quality contents for your pages or hire someone to do it.

Acquire links
The most common practice to acquire links is link baiting. This refers to a way to obtain links that doesn’t involve asking site owners to place links pointing to your pages on their websites but instead consists of persuading them to links to you. Here also you need to research a lot to get them to do it. A few common reasons webmasters would decide to link to you are:

A) Because your site has interesting value to them, or related to theirs.

B) You provide services others don’t, or your product is more effective than others.

C) Your website has a high trust rating.

D) Your site attracted their attention (through advertising).

The most common form of website is on resources relevant to your them such as authoritative web directories, blogs, forums, attractive banners etc. Find out who links to your competitors and why they do. Then try to best your competitors out and find a way for the sites that link to them to find out about it. Offer promotion and if possible, free products to respected bloggers. They will most likely talk about it blogs and link to your pages. This can be quite simple. Other ways to get people to link to you is to let them test your products or review them if possible.

Keep working
Never stop working. Keep going through step 1-5 and update where necessary. Learn new methods as soon as they are created, always keep your website ready for changes, and apply them before you competitors. You may even try to get more info through talks with related sites.

Learn new tricks, read industry news, interview interesting persons (why not?), communicate with related sites of your field. SEO is dynamics. Every day something happens and your website is better to reflect the changes, otherwise your competitors do that.

Page rank tacking options
A mistake new webmasters often do is checking their ranking constantly (every 10-20mins). Its just like staring at you phone’s screen waiting for a text from last night’s date. You are wasting time waiting for something that will come either way on due time.

To be honest it is quite normal to want to track your website’s results but you could use this time more effectively working on your SEO by updating your pages or working on your backlinks. It is okay to check your ranking once a week but try not to go beyond the first 40 pages as it is quite unlikely that anyone would go beyond that and open your website. Most people only stick to the first results page, only going beyond if they are looking for something specific they didn’t find in the first pages but they usually simply change the keywords query after the first pages.

There are shared opinions about whether to track the results manually or with a tool to check it. They both have their advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages

Disadvantages

Manually- 1. You can take advantage of the results to check on your direct competitors.

2. You will find a list of related websites to link to and to try to place backlinks on.

Manually- 1. It would take too much time to track the results if you have hundreds of keywords, and the repetitive work would be quite boring.

Using tools- 1. You will save a lot of time.

Using tools- 1. Their results isn’t always accurate or they may simply lie.

2. If you have too many terms to check it may result into a ban of your IP address.

Going back through this section:

1. Its useless to go check your rankings more than once a week and to go beyond the first 40 pages.

2. If your site isn’t in the first 40 pages you need to work harder at your SEO.

3. Depending on your sector of activity, you may use a browser or a tool to check your ranking.

OOOPS my rankings are misplaced
First of all - don't panic! There are plenty of possible reasons for the lost of positions and not all of them are results of Google penalty. Here are a few causes:

1. Your competitors are not sleeping
This happens quite often. While your site was rising in the SERPs ranking, other sites’ ranking fell. So following the same logic, if other site owners developed their SEO while you didn’t, their sites will you rank, bringing yours down. This loss of position may be by a few ranks only, or much more depending on various factors. So wake up and get back to work.

2. Some of your inbound links were filtered out or devalued
This will occur if Google devalued the backlinks you placed on other sites. If Google judges your link irrelevant or of low quality, its value will be decreased by them, it may even be filtered out. This may also be due to factors you have no control upon. For example if one of the sites linking to you lost its trust rating for some reason, or saw its quality drop, the strength of your links will drop greatly.

Your links losing their value may have an instant, or slow and regular effect on your ranking. One way to counter that is by continuously placing links on high PR websites.

3. New ranking algorithm introduced
Google may update its ranking algos to increase the search’s quality, this may affect your site either positively or negatively. Usually their key objective is to counter blackhat methods and to make sure visitors get appropriate contents.

The most effective methods to avoid the negative impacts of the updates are:

A) keep your site’s quality at a high level,

B) by keeping your neighborhood clean,

C) having valuable links from relevant high PR websites,

D) read this guide and gain from the loss of those who didn’t and went down in SERPs,

E) and obviously avoid using blackhat methods.

If you manage to do all this perfectly you may even be among those to benefit such updates.

4. On-site problems
We all make mistakes, so sometime the issue is not Google, but your own site. The most common case is when you buy a new domain name and transfer your website to it, but do not setup a redirect ftom the old one correctly. So the links are now pointing to non-existing pages and Google has no other choice but remove them from the index. The other common situation happens when your hosting provider changes some script execution rules and your dynamic pages suddenly stop working returning with 404 or 503 or any other server-side error. If your ranking are going down - check your website first.

5. Penalty
Google will penalize your website if you use blackhat techniques like hidden links, link farms etc. You wont actually know you have been penalized by Google, they will simply apply the penalty according to your infraction. So you wont know if your ranking fell due to a penalty or other reasons. But if you knowingly used blackhat methods, take care of that fast. Also verify that nothing about could have indirectly earned you a penalty (bad neighborhood).

Finally check that your content is relevant to your keywords. Here are a few advices from Google My site isn't doing well in search.

6. Site is banned
This means that your site has been excluded from search engine’s index for using major blackhat methods or going against the Google Webmaster Guidelines. To know if your site has been banned, type the search query site:mysite.com on Google, mysite.com standing for your website’s URL. If you don’t get any result then it means your site got banned. This may also mean that your site has never actually been crawled. One way to solve this is by removing all the blackhat contents from your website an submit your site to Google again.

Here are a few things to do to avoid losing your rankings:

A) Don’t use blackhat methods.

B) Don’t stop updating your site.

C) Use original contents with information your readers need.

Doing this will most likely keep you from having any trouble with causes 2-6.

5. SEO software gadgets
Here we will be talking about SEO tools. If they are worth being used, or if you have to be cautious with them. We will go through both on-page and off-page tools and software.

Keyword tools
Those are useful tools related to the search of keywords and can also be used to analyze websites. Their uses vary from the gathering of popular keywords to the research of synonyms.

Web ranking SEO software
As the name implies, those are tools that help you check your ranks on SERPs.

Link tools
All tools related to links, from their maintenance to their commercialization.

Submission tools
SEO tools that help submit your site to resources such as web directories and search engines.

All-in-one packages
A multitask tools with a lot of useful and useless options.

Automation SEO software
This category includes softwares that are not fully automated and cant complete tasks human action. For example a keyword searching software wouldn’t need someone to control them once you typed in the keywords. Automation SEO softwares however do not have such capabilities, for instance, they need a person to manage them when controlling your Google AdSense accounts, find interesting blogs and link partners. still needing you to do a great majority of the work.

All of the above can be a software tool working on your computer, or a online tool working remotely through a browser. I won't digg deeply into this matter, neither will I review any particular names. Some of the SEO software and web promotion tools can be found at our website, though. Instead, I would like to point out the main idea of this section.

There is no shortcut to SEO, and tools are even farther from that. Don’t believe fake ads that claim that tools will get you the top of SERPs in days. They don’t work and are only a waste of money. Don’t expect a fairy to appear and grant your wish if you buy these tools. SEO is all about hard work for great results. Again tools are no shortcut toward successful SEO.

A popular question is whether you should purchase SEO softwares or get free ones. There are some nice and quite useful free tools such as the Google Keyword Tool that is actually a must for your SEO. Some paid tools however are more effective than free ones and may deserve your attention. Simply don’t forget that softwares are merely tools and wont do the SEO for you.

Apart from automated rank checking softwares, SEO tools don’t trigger a penalty from Google as long as they don’t go against any of the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

In short, don’t expect any miracles from SEO tools. The don’t have the human factor that can create master arts out of nothing. They may know all about SERPs rankings and can deal with search engines better than you but they merely function with data when SEO is also about human visitors. And who will use these search engines you expect so much from? Tools will always remain what they are, tools. Without someone to use them effectively there‘s no point in having any.


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