Quality Links Help Your Search Results

One of the key factors that search engines use to determine rankings is the number of other sites that believe your site is important enough to create a link to it. A link is essential a vote for the page that’s being linked to. However it is not simply the site with the most votes win. Not all sites are created equal and carry the same link value.

Quality links

Many factors are used to determine the value of a link. The analysis of link quality is complex and not an exact science. What gets analyzed as part of the link has changed over the years to provide better search results.

Search engines started using links to determine rankings by simply looking at sheer link volume. Sites with the most links won. People did everything they could to create a huge volume of links and watering down their value.

The search engines realized that the relevance of the linking page to the linked content had great value. While sheer link quantity continues to play a role, it is no longer the only factor in link analysis.

Search engines started analyzing link text. The words in the link started to matter. The words spoke about the page it was linking to and therefore when the words match up with the text on the page the more relevant your page became for those keywords.

Next, search engines started looking at the quality of each link. The higher the authority of the site linking out carries more link value than a lower authority site.

Link age became a factor as it was assumed that higher quality links seem to stay in place longer. Links that come and go might say something about the quality of the site being linked to, or if the link was perhaps just an ad purchased. It’s impossible for the search engines to determine with 100% accuracy whether a link was purchased or not.

There is more to a link that meets the eye. As the progression of link analysis has changed, that means we need to pay attention to our links in order to make sure that we are getting the most value out of each.

Anchor Text: Search engines and searchers get their clue about the content of the page linked on the external site. These words weigh heavily in determining the value of the link and deciding if it worth linking. Links should be keyword rich.

Where it Appears: Where the link appears on the page tells the search engines a great deal about the link itself. Search engines try to determine the value of the link by its placement on the page. Links in the midst of the page’s primary content, referred to as Editorial links, are deemed most valuable. These links are relevant to the searchers topic. Links in ad spaces are generally ignored.

We help businesses review their website’s quality links by our technical SEO team.

Developing Long Lasting SEO Takes Time

Good things come to those who wait

Patience is a virtue in search engine optimization. Placing paid sponsored ads in the Pay per Click (PPC) area via Google AdWords can achieve almost immediate results but SEO does not produce immediate results. You won’t get your return on investment a week after SEO starts. However the long term benefits of SEO often out weight the almost instantaneous results of PPC. This is one reason that the two often work well together in a campaign.

Optimizing your site for your targeted key phrases won’t get you to Page 1 overnight. You won’t find all your keywords rankings in the top 10 on Google in 19 days (despite some claims you read), nor will you get significant traffic improvement after an hour of SEO consultations. SEO is like boiling water: you don’t get a hard boil the moment you turn on the burner… you have to wait for it.

Boiling water on the burner

The process of optimizing a site can take months or even over a year, depending on how competitive your area of practice and your geographic target. SEO is an ongoing process with growing measures of return. The return in SEO is good, but you’ve got to be willing to invest the time to let it happen.

Developing a Proper Base Takes Time

Hours of research, developing the proper site architecture, and making the site user friendly must all be completed prior to the actual optimization of specific pages. Keyword research, research on your specific product or service and your specific targeted geography, competition research, and more, must be completed before any optimization can begin.

Every website has different construction, design, layout, history, and speaks differently. No two sites are the same; therefore no research is the same. Some elements of the research can be applied, but you can’t just take what works for someone else and apply it to your site. You don’t get ahead by cloning a competitor; you get ahead by outsmarting a competitor.

There Are No Magic Bullets in SEO

Many businesses have quality websites. To get the search engines to rank you higher than other businesses competing in your same product or services, it is important to do all the little things right. There is no one thing you can do that will send you to the top of the rankings. You must do a series of small things right over time. Overall website construction including “Site maps”, help both search engines and visitors quickly and easily get to the information that is important on your site.

Up against a similar site, these things can help you keep visitors engaged with your content and prevent them from jumping off to a competitor. It’s often the small things that can make the biggest difference. Providing unique content offers value to visitors, videos give people an understanding of you, your personality and FAQ that address real issues are some of the examples that separate you from the rest.

Even the design and navigation of the site play a major role. The easier it is for visitors to find their way around your site the easier it is for the search engines to crawl and index all your web pages.

Picking a SEO friendly Domain Name

They say all the good domain names have been taken and for the most part that is true. I see a lot of new webmasters searching for days to find a good domain name to register, what they don’t realize is that there may be a much faster and better way to get a good domain. The first thing you should do is make a list of the main keywords your domain should have. It will make ranking high for niche much easier in the long run.

SEO friendly Domain ExampleThere are millions of domains available in domain markets and the benefits of an aged domain are countless. I wanted a domain name that had some SEO value and I didn’t want to spend much money on it. The first place I looked was GoDaddy and found it with a Buy it Now of only $.99. So I got what I wanted without spending much money. You won’t always get the domain name you want that cheaply but there are some good ones out there for a good price. The most I’ve spend for a domain was a few dollars.

It was no secret that Google was taking the age of a domain into account in it’s algorithm. It’s also no secret that newly registered sites usually end up in the Google sandbox for a year or more. So definitely try and find an aged domain that has a clean history. It’s important to make sure the domain you’re going to purchase is clean and did not have a bad reputation before.

Another thing to consider is the .tld of the domain. Any webmaster would pay a fortune for a .gov or .edu domain but sadly those are not available. Your first choice should be a .com and if that’s not available try and find a .org or .net. You should avoid anything else. I have a few .info domains that just don’t seem to do well no matter what.

Step 1 for your new website is to do a search for a good domain name in the domain market.

If you would like assistance or suggestions in picking a SEO Friendly domain name, please contact me.

Mobile friendly Google Algorithm update

As most you may know by now and expect the next major Algorithm update to roll out by Google by around the 21st April week.

mobile friendly google test

Let’s take a closer look at what Google’s trying to accomplish by rolling out this update.

This is Google’s much awaited step towards providing primarily mobile friendly sites in mobile search.

The update will impact mobile search results globally in all languages, and Google says it will have a “significant” impact.

To make sure your site is mobile friendly or not on Google’s mobile search results, run your site through the mobile-friendly testing tool. If you get through, you have nothing to worry about.

There are many websites in Sri Lanka that are not Mobile friendly and needs immediate action in order to keep up to speed with Google.

SEO Snake Oil Sales

If you work in SEO you are familiar with the jerks that have given you a bad name. Con-men with laptops have already given many of your clients SEO complexes that you now have to work through.

Snake Oil

Photo Courtesy of Moz.com

Companies that market online are going to be targets for these slimy sales men. For every real SEO webslinger you are likely to find a baker’s dozen selling snake oil, promising they can make the crippled walk and the blind see.

Unfortunately it is impossible to punch every single one of them in the face. This being so, my goal in this blog is to give a couple of hints as to how to tell the difference between a qualified technician and a quality conman.

One of the easiest indicators that someone selling SEO is in fact selling snake oil is how you get approached.

An SEO cold call is often a good indication that something’s up. Be more worried if they promise instant results. They might just tell you that they can get you a spot on Google’s first page right away. Often this means they set up a pay per click program. Pay Per Click is a sponsored listing. You get on the first page because you pay to be there. Once the money dries up your ranking disappears as well.

Also beware if your so-called SEO expert talks about a secret method that only they know and then refuse to divulge details. Guess what….people know how they get the caramel into Caramilk bars. In the world of the web there are no secrets, there are just people who do their research and keep up to date on the newest techniques. If they won’t tell you what they do, it probably isn’t worth hearing in the first place.

Another good indication that things are not on the up and up is when you are guaranteed results. The only way anyone can guarantee anything in this business is if they are investing in useless keywords or they are making promises they do not intend to keep.

Another easy way to find the slimy salesman is if they focus exclusively on your Google ranking. This is a tricky one because the actual SEO experts will also talk about rankings, because getting on that first page of results is in fact quite important, but how you get there influences how long you stay there.

Another good indication that you’re dealing with a grifter is if they sell themselves as practicing only offsite or onsite optimisation. You need both. If they approach you and tell you they can make you rich and only talk about content optimisation, keyword research and visibility analysis, take a second look. You should be equally suspicious if they tell you that their process is entirely based on links. Once more, repeat after me… SEO involves both offsite and onsite optimisation or it won’t provide long lasting results.

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