Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization

10 SEO Mistakes

Your website might have great content but small & simple mistakes can lead to poor ranking on search engines. Here’s a list of common mistakes people make on their website that prevent them for getting better ranking.

Targeting Wrong Keywords:
List of appropriate keywords is an essential part of every website owner. A common mistake made by most people is targeting wrong keywords or not enough keywords. It is important you know what your customers are looking for. You can make use of free tools like: Google Adwords Keyword Tool & Overture Keyword Tool to find out appropriate keywords for your website.

No robot.txt File:
“robot.txt” protocol, also known as the Robots Exclusion Protocol prevents the search engine spiders and other web robots to access all or certain parts of a website. In simple words they tell these web spiders which portion to crawl and which not to crawl. There is a possibility that your entire site might not be indexed if you do not have this file.

Inappropriate or Ignoring Title tag <title>:
There are many site that use short or inappropriate title tag. In the worst scenario, they completely ignore title tag. This could be one of the biggest SEO mistakes. It will be much better if you can use different title for different page depending on its type. While some use their company name, it is always wise to include few keywords in it. For example: <title>company name – keyword1 keyword2.. </title>.

Use of Flash:
Flash could make a website look attractive but it is always advisable to use a HTML alternative as well. Search engines spiders find it hard to read flash sites. This could be a reason why your site did not get indexed at the first place. If you really want to use flash on your site, you can always optimize it.

Lack of Keywords in the Content:
You might have listed all the keywords on the meta tags but lack of keywords in the content is another mistake people usually make. You should place your keywords at appropriate places in the content. Also make sure you do not over stuff your keywords that make your content unreadable.

JavaScript Menus:
If your site includes JavaScript menu, it is necessary you use a site map or put the links on a noscript tag to be crawled by web spiders. It is best if you do no use JavaScript menus as search engines cannot read them.

Consistency and Maintenance:
Some people make a mistake by thinking site optimization is just for once. It is very important that you keep yourself updated with the changes that occur in search engines, keep an eye on your competitors and keep optimizing your site accordingly.

Usability:
User usability should not be ignored. Easy navigation, proper site structure and descriptive link text is admired by visitors as well as spiders.

Keyword Stuffing:
Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. Keyword stuffing is taken as spamming and you could be banned from the search engines. So be careful not to stuff your keywords.

Backlink Spamming:
Search engines do give priority to website with backlinks, but plastering your link all over will be considered more as spamming than proper SEO. You should try to get quality backlinks from websites with higher page rank or appropriate websites.

APRIL 17, 2008 ISSUE #6

Site not indexed yet?

Top reasons why your webpage may not be indexed by search engines.
Search Engine optimization being important for a website, you define the keywords, provide a Search Engine friendly content, even use submission tools to submit your site but yet your website doesn’t seem to get indexed by these search engines. There might be various reasons why they seem to take forever to index your site.

Index Time:
It is important that you give enough time to get your site indexed. It is sometimes listed on search engine’s submission page the amount of time before it gets indexed. Index time usually ranges from 1 – 8 weeks depending on the type of search engine. Search Engines like AltaVista and Inktomi provide paid option to get listed quickly. You can give up to 4 months time to get indexed. If you are still not indexed then you need to go through your keywords, meta-title, meta description and other aspects of SEO.

Already Indexed:
There is a possibility that you’ve already been indexed but do not know about it. It is up to you to find out whether you’ve been indexed or not since major search engines do not tell you if you’re listed. It is not possible for you to search for keywords related to your site and expect it to pop up on the first page. You can find out if your site has been indexed with the command: “url: www.yourdomainname” on Google, Yahoo or Live search.

Missing Page:
It is a must that you upload the pages to your site before submitting them. Submitting a page that does not exist or submitting with a subtle typo in the URL is an error we might all make at one time or another. There is a greater possibility that many search engines will not notify you if the URL does not exist when you submit them hence it is important you make sure all the pages exist.

Roadmap from Home Page:
There are some search engines that have been known to drop pages that cannot be traveled to/from the home page. The reason behind this is that search engines might decide the page is unnecessary or unimportant if there’s no road from your home page to the page you want indexed. You can think of your site links as a series of roads from one page to another.

External Links:
There are some search engines that refuse to index websites that do not have any other websites linking to them. There is a possibility that they might index your home page but refuse to index other pages until you achieve at least one or more links from another domain. The best way to solve this problem is by establishing some links and after that you can resubmit your pages as well as the pages that link to you. Hence it is recommended that you have links to your websites making it easier to get indexed and get better rankings.

Frames:
If you have content inside HTML frames, it can cause problems with submissions because the search engine may index the main content of the page, but not the surrounding menu frame. Visitors find some information but miss the associated menu. It is therefore, for your best if you can create non-framed versions of your pages. Optimizing a non-framed page will often achieve better results.

Free Sites:
One of the drawbacks of free websites is that many search engines do not index pages from them because of all the “junk” submissions. It is a better choice to buy your own domain as they are preferred by search engines. The other drawbacks of free website domains include unreliability, forceful display of banner ads etc.

Spider Blocks:
When you design a website it is always suggested to make it search engine friendly which means the search engine spiders should be able to crawl and index your site. These spiders cannot index sites that require any kind of registration, password authentication or filling out forms. For this you need to create static pages that search engines will be able to find and index without performing special action on your site. There are utility programs that help you with this depending on the database system you have.

Guilt through Association:
You can ask your hosting service if your domain name has its own unique IP address assigned to it. If your website shares the same IP as other websites then there is a possibility that your IP has been banned because of something someone else did.

Dynamic Pages:
Dynamic pages are often ignored by search engine spiders. Pages generated on the fly from a database usually contain symbols like a question mark (?) or an ampersand (&) which are ignored by many search engines. The simpler the page the better it is for search engines. So avoid using unnecessary fancy scripts and code which can hurt your page rankings.

Submission Limits:
There are some search engines that have specific number of submissions per day for the same domain. If you exceed their limit, all your submissions could be ignored. Some submission consultants suggest not submitting more than one page a day to an engine for a given website.

Spam:
Spamming is usually blacklisted by many search engines. Excessive use of keywords, same color text as background are few of the spamming techniques that might result in ignoring or being rejected by search engines.

Large Pages:
If your website has pages that are very complex and takes too long to load then it might time out before the spider finishes indexing it. The solution to this is to limit your page size to 50k or less. Visitors with slow internet connection might leave your page before it is fully loaded, hence it is better to limit your page size.

Page Limits:
Search engine spiders crawl only certain number of pages of your website. This might range from few dozen or three or four hundred depending upon the engine. Search engines like Google tend to crawl deeper into your site. The best way to get search engines to crawl your pages is to get quality backlinks.

Redirects:
If your site contains redirects or meta refresh tags, they can sometimes cause the engines to have trouble indexing your site. Search engines generally indexed the page that it redirects to but if they think you might be trying to trick them by using cloaking or IP redirection, there is a chance that your site might not get indexed at all.

Unreliable Hosts:
A reliable hosting service usually guarantees 99.5% up time. The reason for choosing a reliable hosting service is because when your website fails to respond when the search engine spider visits your site, it might not get indexed at all. In the worst scenario even if your site is indexed but when the engine spider visits at the time your site is down, you might be removed from their database.

Random Errors:
There might be times when search engines just lose submissions at random through technical errors and bugs. Therefore, it is advisable to resubmit your site once or twice a month for good merit.

It is for your best if you stop submitting your site once it achieves a desirable ranking. The search engines might re-evaluate the page and might reduce the ranking.

APRIL 11, 2008 ISSUE #5

Search Engine Optimization basics: 10 SEO Points to remember

It is quite necessary for every webmaster to know few basics about SEO if they want to get good page ranking. It might be quite expensive to hire a SEO expert. If you can optimize your site yourself and follow other internet marketing rules, it might prove really beneficial for your site at less cost.

1. Domain Name:
You do not have to get a domain name with keywords on it. The best way to choose a domain name is to keep it simple and short which could be easily remembered.

2. Title Tag <title></title>:
The title tag is one of the crucial part of site optimization. The title tag is usually placed at the top of your html page and tells search engines what the page is all about. It is important that this tag includes your main keywords and should be 63 characters or less to appear full on Google. It is highly recommended that you have a title that incorporates your website name and your main keywords.

3. Meta Description Tag:
Meta description tag contains the description of your website. A meta description tag helps you boost your page rankings on some search engines. Some search engines even display this on their result page giving the readers to get a brief idea before visiting the site. Here is an example of meta description tag:
<html>
<head>
<meta name=”description” content=”Site summary here.”>
</head>
</html>

4. Natural Keyword Integration:
Search engines simply hate keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing means over usage of keywords in your content. If your content uses too much of your keywords than normal, your site may be banned from many search engines. Keyword density is the thing of a past. Keyword stuffing not only drives search engines away but if the visitors do not understand what you are trying to sell they might never want to visit your site again. So make your content sound natural with proper usage of keywords.

5. Checking Google Cache:
You can type into Google Search: cache: yourURL to check the Google cache. You will also discover when it was last retrieved. You can check it at: http://www.yourcache.com/

6. Finding Backlinks:
One of the keys to get better ranking on search engines is to get quality backlinks. Search engines like Google give much preference to sites who have backlinks from higher PR sites. If you could get backlink from famous directories like www.dmoz.org or www.aboutus.com you have better chance of getting indexed sooner. You can check the number of back links to your site by typing into the Google Search: link: yourURL

7. Site Map:
Site Maps make it easy for search engines to find and index every page of your website. According to Wikipedia, “A site map is a representation of the architecture of a website. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for web design, or a web page that lists the pages on a website, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.” Site maps are important if you use Flash or JavaScript menus instead of HTML.

8. Limit Flash Usage:
It is quite difficult to optimize websites that use Macromedia Flash. While it is not impossible to optimize such site, it is highly recommended to minimize the usage of Flash on your website.

9. Duplicate Content:
It is for your best to avoid duplicate content. Unique content is much preferred by Search Engines. If you are afraid your content might be copied too, you can use this free tool: http://www.copyscape.com/

10. Proper Foundation:
It is always wise to check if your site is working properly. It is necessary that you check:
– that all your pages load properly.
– meta tags have been defined.
– your site have no browser compatibility issues.
– robots.txt validates and sitemap.xml works.

 

APRIL 03, 2008 ISSUE #4
 
 

 

 

Get great links | Backlinks

Methods of Hyperlinking:
Google has given importance to backlinks ever since it existed. However, getting links from just any other site is not the solution to be on the good list of Google. The trick here is to get as many “Authority Links” as possible. Authority links are those which have been considered as websites of highest value by top search engines. In other words these web pages have high page rank and appear on top when you search for related keywords. It is for the best to avoid getting backlinks from sites that have been banned by Google. Text links are better option than banner links or image links so use text link using keyword anchor text. It is important you know the various methods of website linking or hyperlinking in regard to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for building back links.

Reciprocal Links:
In this type of website linking two websites interchange links to ensure mutual traffic. For example: A and B have websites. If A’s website links to B’s Site and B’s website links to A’s, the websites are reciprocally linked. There are many reciprocal linking websites where one can get many reciprocal linking partners. Some of the popular ones are: www.linkexchanged.com, www.linkpartners.com.

  • Three Way Linking:
    Three way linking is a special type of a reciprocal linking where you don’t have to give a link back to link partner but place his/her link on any other third party site. Three way linking can be explained as: Site A àSite B àSite CàSite A. Site A gives link to Site B, B places A’s link on a third party Site C which in turn links to Site A. This method is adopted to get link partners and save own site’s page rank. There are many websites that provide this service for free. Continue reading

Bring more Traffic to your website, increase visibility and backlinks

The popularity of internet seems to rise immensely in the past few years. It brings along a greater demand for websites. The new success formula is: “Successful Business = Successful Website”. It’ll be a waste if you build one of the best websites and yet it remains unknown. In order to gain success on the internet, visibility hence is a must. The website should be visible to both search engines and the users. The best way to draw attention is to be on the first page of search engines’ results esp. on Google, Yahoo or MSN. Most internet users rely on search engines to find what they are looking for. If you had built a website about 10 years ago, visibility was the easiest thing. A little bit of keyword stuffing and the search engines crown you the first page ranking. The Search Engines however have become really choosy on this aspect for the past few years. Keyword stuffing or other traditional methods won’t do much good to impress them.

So how do you really impress search engines these days? The first thing you need to do is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The other thing you can do is build inbound links. Inbound links are still given much preference by search engines. Getting one way links from popular sites have mainly two advantages: first your site gets indexed when the search engine spiders crawl the popular site and second is search engines think your link is important as it has been placed on a good ranked site. There are many methods to gain inbound links. The simplest way is to request the site owner to place your link on their website. It is simple but websites with high page ranks do not readily agree to place your link for free. You might have to pay them, exchange links with them or just look out for other websites since your page rank is not good enough for them. Yes it can get really depressing at times but hey no worries, I am here to help you with that. The other ways to increase your inbound links are as follows:

1. Pay Per Click (PPC):
If you cannot get on the first page of Google, Yahoo or MSN then PPC or Pay Per Click could be the thing for you. You bid for certain keywords and according to the clicks or the highest bid your advertisement with your URL will be listed on the search engine pages. This also is a good form of getting backlink or inbound link.

2. Social Networking:
Social networking is now the target for many marketers. With millions of users worldwide social networking is the best place to let the word out about your website. Go ahead open your own profile, let people know about you, your website, your expertise field and lots more. Here’s the list to start socializing on the internet.

3. Social Bookmarking:
Social bookmarking is similar to bookmarking in your browser. Wikipedia defines it as a method for internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet. These bookmarking sites are the best way to get one way links. The idea is to get your website bookmarked. The more it is bookmarked the better it is for your website. Here’s the list of popular social bookmarking sites.

4. Blog Comments:
It’s time to get a bit creative here. Smart comments, suggestions are usually welcomed by bloggers. If you love to read then this is the best way to get backlinks for your website. Read the posts, drop your piece of mind, leave your URL and there you go, you got another easy way to get inbound links.

5. Forums:
You can participate on forums related to your business which is another way of marketing and getting backlinks for your website. If you are an expert in your field you can always be a forum authority. A forum authority is someone who is referred to as an expert in a certain field by the members. Forums are all about interaction, so communicate, provide tips, suggestions and people will respond to you.

6. Wikipedia:
There are very few internet users who haven’t heard about Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia. You can sign in for free and provide information about various fields. You can even edit contents of wikipedia. This is an informative site so anything that sounds like product promotion might be banned. It will be wise to go through their terms and conditions before posting your view on Wikipedia.

These are the 6 simple ways to get inbound links and advertise about your website. Even if you’ve made the best website in the world, no one would know about it until you spread the word. So go ahead, a little bit of hard work and creativity will bear fruit for sure.

MAR 19, 2008 ISSUE #2