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10 things which any SEO must know March 1, 2010

Posted by simarprit in : Uncategorized , add a comment

This is a list straight from my top of the mind recall, no specific order

  1. Google still makes or breaks SEO
  2. http://twitter.com/mattcutts helps you understand Google’s point of view better
  3. Spending time on http://Quantcast.com can keep you going and in business
  4. http://Alexa.com still matters
  5. Using “Google Insights” helps
  6. All Meta tags are important
  7. You can never fool search-engines over a stretch of time
  8. Your competitors are not fools. They are either Clever or Smart
  9. Single word SEO positioning has no substitute
  10. Clever keyword stuffing helps. For definition of clever refer to Google Webmaster Tools

And the other 1.

  1. Know your bests at all times. Best hour of the day, best day of the week, best week of the month and best month of the year. The endeavor should be to work on verticals and geographies which can make the best hour of the day become an average performance figure for the day.

More to come…

SEO Basics and Understanding February 10, 2010

Posted by simarprit in : Search Engines, SEO, Uncategorized , 2comments

I am a part of training session, this is series of thoughts which are passing through my mind as the trainer is going through his slides.

  1. Understanding  definition of search engine is essential
  2. Search engines are nothing without the BOTS which do the job of crawling around from them and populating them
  3. Query mapping has a role to play, query mapping works on the basis of Search Engines algorithm applicable at that time.
  4. Cache of websites play a role but with social media penetration that role is changing quickly. Now you can get many results without the search engine cache being updated
  5. Algorithms work on essential parameters – 1. Tags (Title, Description, Keywords) and H1 tags are essential parts of it
  6. Giving a correct result is priority and purpose of a search engine
  7. For a search engine it is important to focus on freshness of the content.  A usefulness of a search engine depends on its ability to aggregate User Generated Content from numerous sources and process them on the basis of merit
  8. Assigning of weights is becoming a bigger challenge for search engines
  9. More unique the content, more need by search engines to have you there. It is also important to keep in mind the users of these unique content and their needs to be mapped against current availability
  10. Size of page matters to the BOT and to the surfer
  11. Images right sized and properly tagged are a permanent asset to SEO
  12. Relevancy Matrix remains a yardstick for search engines to capture a holistic view of the website
  13. Domain Age helps to a certain degree only. At one point of time it was very important. Domain name generic attributes remain important.
  14. Links from and to your site make the neighborhood you belong too. And neighborhood matters. Good neighborhood matters to a good extent.
  15. What do you want the user to do on your site, it is important to know and plan on how much time you want your user to spend on the site.
  16. Hidden text can hurt big time, you can’t have a strategy of cheating a search engine while defining your SEO plan.
  17. No of links on a page have two parts to play, allow BOTS to create map for crawling and allow users to navigate
  18. Your understanding of your domain name makes a difference to your SEO strategy. Try to read your domain in staggered words not initially intended. If your domain name is IndianaProfile. It would read also as IndianAProfile
  19. Search Engines can read dynamic codes now and they do. It is not a question of reading dynamic code, it is a question of reading data held in tables and deriving it the same way a surfer would do while doing natural navigation
  20. If you map your structure with Yahoo/ Google or DMOZ directory structure the site would have a tested and proven navigational approach
  21. Is your layout talking in the same language as a bot would like to hear
  22. Navigational steps should be well documented and should carry the objective through and through
  23. I am sure Google does consider everything good about your site including Meta Description and Meta Keywords
  24. Multiple usage of  a word in a long URL may not hurt you with search engines. Adjacency matrix of a search engine usually works on content but he same matrix may have a use in mapping out URL stuffing.
  25. Search Engines are based on fundamentals, it doesn’t matter if the site is on WordPress or on Drupal or on Joomla it treats all of them as a “Content Management System” and works it s way around the, A searchengine needs content in a structured manner and any CMS does that. So fundamentally any bot or serachengine would move the world to talk to any popular CMS and reach to all its inside folds.
  26. Junk on your site is your junk and search engines are bound to hate it. Keep the trash out and keep your site clean.
  27. Site-maps help and having them updated would help you big time at every stage
  28. Broken link audit of your site should be part of the job. If you are the owner and there is a team which works on the site, make sure you check manually the homepage for important links

Thank you Manish

What is SEO? September 28, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Internet, Search Engines, SEO, websites , 3comments

SEO – Search Engine Optimization Basics

  1. What is SEO? – To make your website cut through the clutter and deliver business is SEO.
  2. What is this clutter all about? - Everyday hundreds of thousands of web-pages are born, each with an expectation to deliver results and be on the top. This is the clutter. Fifty five million pages on Google respond to the words  – What is SEO and over 136,000 pages are working precisely to be on the phrase “What is SEO?”. This page, once posted would add yet one more page to this clutter.
  3. How does a website deliver business? - If you know your business, half the job is done. Congratulations! Now for the other half, you need to cut through some jargon’s and face several challenges. SEO is one of the many challenges and definitely not the only challenge. SEO only helps you to get the eyeballs to move to your website, for your website to deliver business, you would have to attend to those eyeballs to convince the rest of the body to do business at your website. You would also need to get the RIGHT EYEBALLS and not yet any eyeballs. Landing Page is the page where your SEOed eyeballs land. SEO job ends and the landing page’s job begins. Many SEOs (the individuals who do the SEO) consider Landing Page as a different subject, however, no SEO strategy can succeed without a functional landing page. Landing Page is a marriage between the two half’s of online business – your business knowledge and your website’s effectiveness, it is the place where the SEO meets business and each order is an offspring of this marriage.
  4. So who should do the landing page? - The landing page should always be done by the business, it should have inputs from sales, marketing, production, dispatch, finance and every-other department which keeps your business running. The business should ask the SEO company or the inhouse SEO professionals - zillions of questions and incorporate SEO essentials to the landing page. An SEO firm doesn’t know your business, so take their inputs, look at the landing pages of your competitors and write down your essentials for the landing page. You may also study specific challenges on Landing Page Optimization.
  5. What do we mean when we say Organic Search Results? - Let us step back and understand the origin of this phrase. As per Wikipedia – “Organic farmingis a form of agriculture that relies on crop rotation, green manure, compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests, excluding or strictly limiting the use of synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms”. Now let us check what Wikipedia has to say about Organic Search – “Organic search results refers to those listings in search engine results pages that appear by dint of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being adverts”. I would phrase it very differently: Organic Search Resultsare the snippet listings from those webpages which are most likely to focus on the searched term, the order of organic search results is reflected by the user friendly projection of the relevance of the webpage to the various automated programs (robots/spiders etc) which visit the page periodically, organic search results explicitly exclude cloaking (projecting what you are not to the robots/ spiders), paid link building and Black Hat (Illegitimate means of projecting your page) SEO techniques. So what do we call those results which show up in Organic Search results using Cloaking, Black Hat and Paid Linking – They are fakes.
  6. How important are Keywords to SEO? – To understand SEO Basics well, it is important to understand and underline the difference between Keywords and Key-phrases. Keywords are essentially the words on which you would like your site to come-up on SERPs (Search engine Result Pages), for instance if your business is all about selling birthday favors, your keywords would be, amongst others, birthday and favors. However your key-phrase would be “birthday favors.” Coming on Birthday favors as a phrase should be everything to you, as it is 100% business relevance. All the leads which this key-phrase would get you would be a potential sale.  So Keywords are important but in many cases the key rests with the key-phrases.  Literally.
  7. What is Keyword Stuffing, and does it hurt? -The act of populating disproportionately your content or meta tags with one particular or few keywords or key-phrases is referred to as Keyword Stuffing. Keyword stuffing is gross, it is bad for your site, bad for your business, bad for your client/ surfer, bad for the search engines and bad for the internet on the whole. It is a malpractice. As it hurts all concerned, it hurts you too, directly and indirectly. Directly it hurts as search engines are becoming smarter to identify keyword spammers, surfers report keyword stuffing more often, Indirectly as the surfer who lands on your website, discovers that you indulge in malpractices may decide not to do business on your website.
  8. Do you SEO a site, or you SEO individual pages? – You SEO individual pages, and if you SEO all pages on your website, your whole site is done. Having said that, you do SEO your website. You define the focus of your website and ensure that every page contributes and reflects that focus. Let us say, you have a hotel website which covers all the 50 states of the United States of America and over 600 cities, it would help you to use your anchor words and phrases on every page when you are optimizing them. If you come on say “Hotels in San Jose”, “Hotels in San Francisco”, “Hotels in Sacramento”, “Hotels in Los Angeles” there is a good opportunity to come on “Hotels in California”. Similarly if your site comes on “Hotels in Texas”, “Hotels in California”, “Hotels in New York”, “Hotels in Washington” and “Hotels in Florida”, it would be easier to make it perform on “Hotels in the US”, “Hotels in the USA”, “Hotels in the United States of America”, and on “Hotels” itself. So, work multi-stage – Stage I: Focus “Hotels in San Jose”- Stage II “Hotels in California” – Stage III “Hotels in the US” – Stage IV “Hotels” – Where Stage I is your web page focus and stage IV is your website focus.
  9. Is SEO genetically modular, or is SEO genetically absolute? – SEO is anything but an absolute exercise, it is totally modular in nature. You can work on Optimizing your site part by part.

Much More coming…