SEO companies are in business to make money. This doesn't mean that all SEO companies are fly-by-nighters, or that all of them are selling you worthless services. However, this industry is rife with scam artists and people selling snake oil. Fortunately, you can protect yourself by understanding how major search engines, like Google work (and, more importantly, how they don't work).
If your SEO company tells you any of the following, then fire them:
1) "Googlebot doesn’t read CSS, so don't worry about validation and don't worry about those hidden "divs."
This lie is insidious because you're hiring your SEO company to help you rank higher in the SERPs. Some SEO companies engage in shady tactics like burying hidden "divs" in the CSS while telling you not to worry about their tactics because Google won't find out, and neither will your competitors. Google checks for those hidden divs, by the way. You...
You've probably seen URL shortening services on the web. These services allow you to take a long URL and shorten it. For example, let's say that you have a website, yourwebsite.com. You sell widgets on this website. One of your pages on the site has a URL that looks something like this:
That's a long URL, but you can shorten it using a URL-shortening service. You track one of these services down on the Internet (i.e. tinyurl.com), and find what looks like a search box. You enter your long URL into that search box. Then, the shortening service shortens the link for you, thus making it a bit more manageable.
You end up with something like "tinyurl.com/6yry78."
You then post this link everywhere. After all, this "new and improved" version of your long URL looks neat and tidy, and it will definitely fit in a Twitter post. There's just one catch: it might...
There are some people who believe that sitelinks are expanding and that these sitelinks are a way to help gain exposure for your website. This is partially true. Yes, sitelinks help people find more pages on your website via search engines. However, Google is not really expanding the use of sitelinks.
Just in case you're already lost, let's back up for a moment. What is a sitelink? These are sitelinks:
A sitelink is a link that appears underneath the main link for a website. In some cases, sitelinks appear underneath a subpage of the site. These links help users navigate a website directly from Google's search engine results pages, rather than having to click through to your website, and then having to click through your site's navigation links. The purpose of sitelinks is to simplify site navigation by displaying sitelinks to important pages within your website.
Google has been showing sitelinks in its search results for a...
Search intent is something that isn't talked about very much by many SEO companies, but it can impact your SEO in a major way. Have you ever searched for something in Google but couldn't find what you were looking for? It's as if website owners, and even Google itself, is not understanding what your intent is.
This can be very frustrating for users. When you design websites, and then market those sites, you have to keep this in mind. Take "insurance," for example. If you run an insurance website, you have to know what your users want. If you write articles on car insurance, life insurance, or even homeowners insurance, there are specific keywords that your potential site visitors will use to get to your website.
If you set up your SEO strategy so that "insurance" is your target keyword, you'll have to work really hard to get ranked for that keyword. The problem is that "insurance" doesn't tell you...
The business of Search Engine Optimization is huge. There's not a single day that goes by that an SEO firm tries to entice customers into taking unnecessary risks. How so? Well, many, but not all, SEO firms sell their clients worthless services and spread myths that don't help the client at all. At best, they result in the client wasting money. At worst, they actually hurt search engine rankings for the client.
How do SEO firms pull off a stunt like this? Simple, they rely on the client being ignorant. Between Google's Matt Cutts, and several reputable SEO companies and experts, there are many myths that are now dying a horrible and much deserved death. Here are 10 that you should be aware of:
Myth #1 - "Our firm is endorsed by Google."
Some SEO firms will lure you in by saying that they are associated with Google, affiliated with Google, approved by Google, or that they are somehow endorsed by Google. Other firms are a...
With all of the SEO forums on the Internet, you might be getting the idea that paid search is dead. Paid search consists of advertisements that you pay for that are included on websites and in many popular search engine results pages. Even FullTraffic's business model is oriented around a "paid search" model. What you might be asking yourself is: "why would I pay for traffic when I can get it for free?" Well, there's a very good reason why you would pay for traffic.
You're already spending money on SEO to help improve your organic ranking, so it's not really free. The only difference between paying for an ad and paying for SEO is that you can track your results with paid ads. It's really hard, if not impossible, to directly measure your results with organic SEO.
Now for the really good news: a new study finds that paid search drives $6 in local sales for every $1 in online sales. The U.S. Commerce Department reports...
If most of your business is local, you are probably familiar with Google's local results pages. However, you may also have been told that Facebook and Twitter are great ways to promote your business locally. Which marketing strategy should you focus most of your attention on?
Facebook pages are sort of a subset of Facebook. Once you set up a page, you can advertise it, and get people to "like" your page. The value of this is that you form a community on Facebook, which can help you create "buzz" about your business. This type of thing works great for boutique product and service businesses. You can even set up your Facebook page so that only people who "like" your page get special promotional offers and invites to special events that you host.
In this sense, you can create a sort of "buyers club" or "VIP club" without the hassle of a bunch of paperwork and plastic cards....
There is a school of though that says that you must spy on your competition when looking for backlink prospects. If you get the same backlinks as your competitor, you'll get the same, or similar, ranking as your competitor.
Not so fast. It doesn't really work that way, despite what your SEO company tells you. There may be many reasons that your competition is ranking higher than you in the search engine results pages. Your competition could have better site structure, or more pages with more content. Your competitor could also have better internal linking than your site. Aside from all of that, what if your competition is engaging in dirty blackhat techniques? Are you willing to copy your competition so much so that you end up going down with him when someone snitches on his unethical linkspam tactics?
When you normally spy on your competition, you are usually told to use simple Google search operators to see who is linking to your competition's site. You...
The first thing you were probably told about building a website and marketing that site was "content is king." When you started fumbling around with SEO, you read or heard this slogan again: "content is king."
In fact, this slogan has been repeated so often that it might almost seem like common sense. While content is certainly important, Derrick Wheeler, Microsoft's senior SEO architect, argues that there is much more to SEO than just good content. Wheeler argues that structure is king, not content.
In the debate over the most important aspect of SEO, many Internet marketers argue over the importance of links vs content. Some say that the number or quality of inbound links is what drives your search engine rankings, while others say that links are important but great content trumps links, since your content will naturally attract the best links and therefore you should just focus on writing and distributing great content....
Have you ever wondered why some websites just seem to have all the luck in the search engine results pages? How does Demand Media, for example, keep sites like eHow at the top of the search results for all of those long-tail keywords? Recent Panda tweaks have hit some of Demand's properties, causing a decline in traffic no doubt. However, much of Demand Media's authority remains in the search results.
There's something that can explain this kind of phenomenon, as well as other SEO oddities. For example, why do some websites seem destined for the fabled "sandbox" while other websites rank well for keywords right out of the gate? A recent slip by Google may shed some light on this matter, and serve as a warning to you when you try to compete in a crowded niche.
Searchneutrality.org recently profiled Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt and his recent testimony to the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee. One company, which was the focus of...