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SEO, Under The Hood

By: Steven Jimenez, ABT Internet

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 08:51:00 EST




 

Marketing company products and services on the world wide web can be a difficult task. How can you attract people to visit your website? Sure you can spam email random people, inviting them to look at your site, but the reality of it is that rarely anyone reads those emails. One way to increase awareness of your products and services is by landing the number one site on a search engine. By following easy guidelines to enhance your On-Site SEO, you are on your way to landing that number one spot on search engines.

When people want to be informed or want to make a purchase they go to search engines. The most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. So how can one land on the first 10 top searches? Just because your website has beautiful graphics and may seem very professional does not mean that search engines are going to favor you. Remember, you can not judge a book by its cover. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process that will take your company webpage and make it more attractive for a search engine. When Search Engines dig through the web, they look to see if what the user is looking for matches with the specific details that lie under the hood of different websites. Search engines want to give the user the best website that they can give. The ideal website would be one that has running links, has good content and is what the user is looking for. SEO makes sure that your site has strong properties of what these search engines are looking for.

There are two parts that make up SEO services. There is On-Site SEO and Off-Site SEO. On-Site focuses on the files such as html, php, or css files that make up the site. Off-Site SEO takes a look on how your site is interacting with the rest of the web. It analyses how many backlinks the site has. Backlinks are links from other webpages directing to your page. Many companies and individuals offer both On-site and Off-site services. The majority of the SEO can be done yourself, all there is to do is to follow simple guidelines. There are also third party websites that will analyse your site for you and will notify certain factors that may need some changes. There are third parties that will check the speed of your website, others will validate your CSS files, and there are also HTML validation sites. Google analytics is another useful tool to help you see what you can improve in and what needs to be removed. Google analytics will diagnose your website and will give you a detailed explanation of what is wrong with your site.

Search Engines and the way they look for sites are always being updated with new algorithms and new factors to look for. Some factors will become more important and others will become less important. There is no guarantee to get a perfect Page Rank. It is important to tackle the factors and modify your site as best as possible. The wrong approach would be to ignore the factors that have less impact and to focus on those factors that will boost your Page Rank.

   

On-Site Good SEO Factors

  Keywords Keyword Selection
Important Keywords located within URL Having keywords in the URL is a quick way of getting attention.
Important Keywords located within URL Same as in page-name-with hyphens
  Keywords-Header Tag  
Important Keywords in Title Keep the title tag short, but make sure keyword(s) are located in the beginning of the title.
  Keyword in meta tag "Description" Descriptions canbe a bit more lengthy than thetitle tag. Make sure you have keywords that help describe the specific page.
  Keyword in meta tag "Keyword" This meta tag must contain at max 10 words. The words within the tag must also be present within the code itself
  Keywords-Body  
  Keyword denisty 5-20% - (all keywords/total words) Avoid keyword spaming which will hurt you instead of help you.
  Individual Keyword Density 1-6% (each keyword/total words)
Important Keyword in H1, H2, H3 Headigns state the topic of what you will be talking about, so make sure that the Headings are used correctly
  Keyword font size Bold/Italics Keywords
  Keyword proximity (for 2+ keywords) Consecutive keywords are the best fit
  Keyword phrase order Does word order in the page, match word order in the query? Anticipate query, and match word order.
  Keyword prominence How early your keyword is located within the page or tag? It can be at teh top of a page standing out with bold large font.
  Keywords-Other  
  Keyword in alt text The alt text is used to describe a picture if the file is not found and the user can not see the picture. Leaving a picture without an alt tag may be harmful.
  Keyword in links to site pages Instead of using CLICK HERE as a link use your keywords
  Naviagation-Internal Links  
  Internal Pages-Keywords Links should alwys containkeywods. It is better to sue hyphenated filesnames rather than other special characters.
  Internal Links Must Be Valid A broken link is not acceptable
  Efficient Structure Have two access points to a page, avoid having more than 4 access points
  Intra-site Linking Appropriate links between lower-level pages
  Naviagation-Outgoing Links  
  To external pages-keywords Avoid linking bad pages such as link farms. You must carefully choose who your external pages are.
  Outgoing Link Anchor Text Depending on what the context is, make sure the link is related to what you are discussing
  Link Stability Over Time Avoid LINK CHURN or links that at one point are not working.
  All External Links Must Be Valid Similar to your internal links, you do not want broken external links. Make sure your links are valid.
  Less than 100 links out total According to Google Inc. its limit is 100.
  Other On-Site Factors  
  Domain Name Extention High status: .gov, .edu, .org
  File Size Do not go over 100K page size
  Hyphens in URL Its the best way to ensure a space, separate and indicate keywords. However do not use too many hyphens or else it will hurt you.
  Freshness of Pages Keep updating your information, the more you update the better
  Freshness-How much change wtithin the Content Did you insert new pages? Ratio of old pages to new pages
  Frequency of Updates The more Frequent updates the more frequent spidering
  Theme of Page Is the theme of your page consistent?
  Keyword Stemming Advise, Advertisers, Advertising,Advertisements
  Applied Semantics Synonyms
  LSI Latent Semantic Indexing may or may not be used
  URL Length Keeping your url short is beneficial, longer than 100 may not be helpful.
  Other ON-Site Factors  
  Site Size Sites such as Google, like large websites. However overdoing your site with 1000 pages will definitely be considered spam
  Site Age The older the better
  Age of page vs. age of site New pages on an old site will be recognized faster

 

On-Site Bad SEO Factors

  On-Page SEO Factors  
Avoid Text is only available or seen as a picture or in jpg file If you do not have any body text on a page and is only found in pictures, the search engine will not detect any text
Avoid Affiliate Site Be wise with who is connected to your site
Avoid Over Optimization Penalty If you use keyword stuffing, overuse of h1 tags, or meta-tag stuffing, you may fall into an OOP
Avoid Link to a bad neighborhood Do not link to farms, FFAs (Free for All). You can also get penalized for linking to a bad site.
Avoid Language-ethnic slur Avoid using words that will cause a proximity penalty. Avoid foul language and combination of wods.
Avoid Poison Words These words used in the title tags will cause in a decrease in your ratings.
Avoid Excessive cross-linking If you have many sites with the same web host, prolific cross-linking can indicate more of a single entity, and less of democratic web voting.
  Stealing images/text blocks from another domain Copyright violation
Avoid Keyword Stuffing Avoid doing this in your body, meta, alt text and in other places
  Keyword Dilution Only keep the important keywords that are relevant to your page. Having too many irrelevant keywords is bad for your site.
  Page edit can reduce consistency Make sure that your last edit did not alter your keywords or theme.
  Frequency of Content Change If it is too frequent search engines will see that as a problem
  Freshness of Anchor Text If it is too frequent search engines will see that as a problem
  Dynamic Pages Problematic - know where the problems lay, shorten URLs, reduce variables
  Excessive Javascript Do not use for redirects or hiding links
  Flash page Spiders will not read flash content, use an HTML alternative
  Use of Frames Spidering Problems with Frames
  Robot exclusion NO INDEX tag Intentional self-exclusion
  Single Pixel Links Engines will throw a red flag seeing this
  Invisible Text There is no penalty but avoid from using invisible text where the text color is the same as the background color
  Gateway, Doorway Page Google Inc. used to reward these pages, they advise against this
  Duplicate Content Avoid fom taking content from another webpage. The engine simply looks for the older version
  HTML Code Violations Google also advises against this. Simple HTML verification is NOT required.
  Phrase, Filters, Penalties Do not use phrases that are commonly known with spamming techniques.
  Poor spelling and grammar Pages that ahve goodspelling and grammar are usually found to be higher quality pages

 

Off-Site Good SEO Factors

  Incoming Links:  
Important Page Rank Your page is anked by Google and other sites. It is based on the number and quality of links that take you to your website
  Backlinks Using SEO Tools you can keep count of the number of backlinks to your website.
  Incoming Links From High Ranking Pages Links from high ranking page are low in number but are valuable.
  Acceleration of Link Popularity You do not want to have too many links too fast. Having more links growing exponentially will be looked as spam.
  Page Rank of The Referring Page Based on the quality of links to you
Important Anchor Text of Inbound Link To You Does not need to have the keyword.
  Age of Link The older the link is the better.
  Frequency of Change of Anchor Text There really is no reason for doing that so often.
  Popularity of Referring Page Popularity means that the site is respected and there is a lot of interest
  Number of Outgoing Links On Referrer Page Fewer is better, it makes you stand out more
  Position of Link On Referrer Page Early in HTML is Best
  Keyword Density on Referring Page For search keywords
  HTML title of Referrer Page Same subject/theme
  Link from Expert Site? Gives a good time boost.
  Referrer Page - Same Theme From the same or related theme.
  Referrer Page - Different Theme From different or unrelated theme, Worse
  Image Map Link Problematic?
  Javascript Link? Problematic-attempt to hide link?
  Directories:  
  DMOZ Categoy Theme fit category? General category?
  Site Listed in Yahoo Directory? Being listed in the Yahoo directory by paying a yearly fee may or may not be helpful
  LookSmart Directory May be another good aid for your site.
  Inktomi Inktomi is basically run by Yahoo.
  Other Directories This will definitely help if and only if the directories are positive and respected links to your site
  Expert Site? Large-sized site, with quality incoming links.
Important Site Age, Old age shows stability Long established sites with the new pages beign indexed
  Site Age, New Boost Temporary boost for new sites, boost last only from 1 to 3 weeks.
  Site Directory - Tree Structure Influences SERPs - logical, conssitent, organized
  Site Map Complete - keywords in anchor text.
  Site Size Bigger legitimate site is better. Fewer pages are preferred
  Site Theming Does a theme exist? Did you use a keyword suggestion tool?
  Page Metrics - User Behavior  
  Page Traffic The number of visitors will create a trend.
  Page Selection Rate How many times is the page clicked on?
  Time spent on page Being on a site for a long time generally hints at a good hint.
  Did user Bookmark the Page? The more bookmarks the better.
  Bookmark Add/Removal Frequency Has there been any recent bookmark activity such as adding a bookmark.
  How They Left, Where They Went Back button, link clicked, etc.
  Site Metrics-User Behavior  
  Site Traffic Number of vsiistors, increasing trend is a plus.
  Referrer Authoriative referrer?
  Keyword Keyword searches used to find your site.
  Time Spent Oon Domain Relatively long time = indicates relevance hit
  Domain Owner Behavior  
  Domain Registration Time Domain Expiration Date. If you are registered for 5 years, engines will know you are serious
  Are Associated Sites Legitimate? Meaning that there is no spam, there is ownership, etc.

Off-Site Bad SEO Factors

  OFF-Site SEO Factors  
  Traffic Buying If you buy web traffic for a company it will probably be low quality traffic. Providers of traffic can be considered as bad neighborhoods.
  Temporal Link Analysis New links are not valued, old links are valued. This is connected with the idea of having an exponential growth of new links. You do not want this.
  Change of Meanings Query meanings changes over time, due to current events
Avoid Zero Links To You You must have at least one incoming link or backlink from some website.
Avoid Link-Buying The reason why buying links should be aboid is becuase engines like Google will have errors in the PR model. Make sure that you gain links linearly not exponentially over time. check if you high-PR links are unrelated sites.
  Prior Site Ranking A high ranking is what you should be aiming for.
Avoid Cloaking Presenting one webpage to the search engine spider, and anothe webpage to the users.
  Links From Bad Neighborhoods, Affiliates Do not fall into web rings or join link farms.
Avoid Penalties From Domain Hijacking This is considered Theft, you are stealing if you are hijacking a domain
  Penalty-Google TOS Violation WMG is the worst offender engines,google will block your IP
  Server Reliability Make sure that the server that you are using is working well and is not unavailable.
  Pages Being Dropped Pages that are being dropped is becuase they are considered computer generated pages.
  Rank Manipulation by Competitor Attack There are ways to make your competitor Rankings down such as making it appear to be link spammers.
  Bouncing Ball Algorithm A change in the algorithm can boost or demot your site. Your position in PR is never secure.



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