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Posts Tagged ‘Search Engines’

Thousands of backlinks in 1 day?

Jodi

How many times have you see ads like the above one? How many times did you encounter sales threads like that on webmaster forums? Have you ever considered outsourcing link building to companies/freelancers claiming to deliver thousands of backlinks to your money site? Think twice before doing this!

Search engines’ algorithms have evolved massively over the years and you should probably know by now that any unnatural link building campaign can do more harm to your website than raising its rankings. But how can this type of links harm your rankings?

First of all, link spikes play a major role in determining whether a company has engaged into using “black hat” methods to trick the search engines. It is unlikely that a website can receive hundreds of backlinks in a day or so, all anchored with a certain keyword and most of all coming from the same platforms (forums, blogs etc). When talking about massive linking we refer of course to:

Blogs – blog comments with Scrapebox/Xrumer

Forums – forum profiles with Xrumer/SenukeX/SickSubmitter

Social bookmarks – made with tools such as Bookmarking Demon and so on

The interesting thing is that these links have their place in a link building strategy, however not when it comes to linking to money sites. You can use these with great results on “buffer sites”, such as: social networking websites, guest posts, reviews and so on for getting more link juice to those, link juice that it is transferred to your money site, washed.

These days quality comes over quantity so before getting thousands of backlinks to your website, think twice and have a chat with an experienced SEO company that could tailor a safe strategy based on your requirements/website.

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92% of all UK searches pertaining to Google

Jodi

Yet another interesting study launched by HitWise related to search engines and social networks market share. Google has increased the search share in UK with about 1.50% when compared to May 2011, thus reaching a whopping 92% of all UK searches.

Maybe the most interesting part of this latest study is that with all the Google growth within search, the sources of traffic for most websites has declined, in terms of “sources from search engines” from around 40% to 34.29% in June 2011. Computers & Internet category holds the first position among all search categories, followed by Search Engines and Social Networking and Forums.

Although this could be seen as a decline in the search market, in fact it is not – this is a big sign that social media is getting higher and higher when it comes to sending traffic to a website. And indeed, according to HitWise, Facebook’s decline seems to have stopped in June – growing with a 0.11% last month and holding the first position in social networking visits from UK with 53.72% while YouTube is continuously growing its market share, reaching 20.76% in June – a 0.24% increase.

Social networking websites are far away from reaching search engines’ popularity however their constant growth is a sign that anyone serious about expanding an online business should keep a closer eye on everything that means social websites. Whether if we are talking about YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, these are soon to become some really big competitors for Google and also they can be a great source for traffic and sales.

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Tips for employing an SEO agency

Jodi

Although many people are aware of the benefits a great SEO company can bring to an online business, the whole search engine optimisation industry is just at it the beginning and more importantly, it is rapidly growing. There are many business owners searching for the right company that can drive their rankings on top of search engines but also there are many others that have tried different SEO vendors with bad results, from not getting the ranks they were running for to even worse – getting their websites de-indexed/banned from search engine results.

How to avoid bad SEO firms is a question anyone should ask so here are some tips below regarding how to sort the wheat from the chaff:

1.      Check on their previous clients

Most SEO agencies have a page where they list their previous clients. Analyse some of them, see what keywords they are targeting and do a rank checking. Are they ranking high? Moreover, do a little spying on how they did reach their rankings and see whether the SEOs have used black hat methods or not.

2.      Check the actual SEO company’s rankings

If they are really as good as they sound, see where they are ranking for industry related keywords like SEO, search engine optimisation, SEO company and so on.

3.      Contact previous clients

This is probably the best method for seeing if they are using bogus testimonials, fake achievements and so on. Call some of their previous clients and ask them if they are satisfied with their rankings, how the “partnership” went etc.

4.      Avoid “number 1 guarantee” services

Nobody can predict how Google will rank a website and claims like top 3 guarantee should not be taken into consideration. SEO means dedication and hard work and top rankings usually come only after a good period of time, depending on the industry/keywords difficulty. Again, no one can guarantee a certain spot in search engine results!

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How to create your SEO strategy

Jodi

There are many website owners that are trying to optimise their websites, some for very difficult keywords and others for easier ones, also known as long-tail keywords. However, depending on the keywords’ difficulty there are different approaches in creating an SEO strategy for outranking your competition.

Of course, the most important aspects related to optimising a site are on-page and off-page SEO but what happens in the case of very low competition keywords? There are sometimes phrases that get lower numbers of searches each month but on the other hand a perfectly optimised page can get top results only by doing on-page optimisation like title, description, tags and so on. With a couple extra anchor text links one could get on number 1 in a matter of days.

On the other hand, when it comes to more competitive keywords things are changing. This does not mean on-page optimisation should not be used (in fact this is probably the most important aspect of SEO) but when you are dealing with difficult keywords is the number (and quality) of inbound links that count more. From anchor text diversity to link relevancy, these are the features that count more when doing off-page SEO.

One important aspect to keep in mind is the fact that high-optimised pages for long-tail keywords tend to be the best approach for trying to rank later on for more difficult keywords as well. Say you are trying to reach top rankings for “web design”, you should be probably going first with easier terms such as “affordable web design in London” or something alike. Once you have started gaining some good ranks for that keyword you will definitely have more chances in going after that bigger fish, in our case the “web design” keyword.

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Track your Local rankings with Local Search Rank Checker

Jodi

There are a plethora of tools for keeping a track of organic rankings for different keywords in different search engines, however this cannot be say for local rankings as well. Local Search Rank Checker is a great tool that helps any local business easily tracking its ranking on local search results and not only.

This is a free tool, you do not have to register for using it however you cannot use it more than 5 times from the same IP. Using it is such an easy task any business owner could handle: just enter up to 25 local terms, your URL, choose between US and UK and choose what search engines you want results from.

Once all the details have been provided the web-based tool starts “working” on its specific queries (should not take more than a minute or two) and reveals a nice report that contains your positions in search results, your last positions and what type of results you have – organic, local or paid. Whether you want to keep the report for future references or you want to handle it to your client (in case you are an SEO agency), you have the ability of exporting the report in PDF or CSV.

However, for saving the reports you must register for a 30 day trial but this comes with other benefits as well such as reports scheduling and sending the reports to 5 different email addresses.

This is not the single tool provided by BrightLocal, keep an eye on their CitationBurst, ReviewBiz or other interesting local tools any local business/SEO company should have in their arsenal.

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Bing gets more popular in the UK

Jodi

A recent press release from Experian HitWise (one of the best global information services companies) disclosed some interesting facts related to Bing and YouTube. The press release revealed the results from UK Search Engine and Social Analysis report made by HitWise and it seems Bing is gaining more and more popularity within the UK.

Although over 90% of all searches from UK pertain to Google, Bing increased its market share with 0.28%, thus becoming the fastest growing search engine between February and March 2011; but on the other hand, Google lost about 0.66% from its market share. Speaking about yearly figures, Yahoo!, Google and Ask lost up to 0.61% of their market share while Bing has gain a whopping 1.43%, showing that it is starting to become more popular among the UK users.

However, when it comes to social networking, there are no surprises here: Facebook has over 56% of all visits to social networking websites (although its market share declined in the last month with 1.22%) while YouTube increased its visits with over 18.32% in one month. Yet again, speaking about monthly figures, Facebook has grown with 4.16% and it does not show any signs of stopping its growth.

Conclusion of this study is that each and every brand should look more into optimising for Bing while Google is not the single player on this market (although its market share is huge). With Facebook’s huge growth, not having a presence on that social networking website can mean nothing more than lost customers. Waiting for some more advertising options though…

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