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Tag Archive for seo

Anchor Text

I know most of you understand the importance of using the right anchor text, but I’m writing this with the newbie webmaster in mind and I’m including a few easy tips to get you started.

Basically, anchor text is used in a link (hyperlink) to describe the site or page that this link will take you to. It’s a short keyword rich description of the destination website. For example, the proper anchor text for a direct link to my “become a degree broker” post might look like this: Be A Successful Degree Broker! It describes the content for the website, blog, post, page or any other url on the net that you’re about to visit.

Easily the most common mistake that people make in writing their text is using very general words like “click here” or “visit us here” or similar, as it doesn’t accurately tell the surfer where they are about to go. That may seem ok to you if you’re thinking they just need to get there, but anchor text is about way more than just clicking a link. It’s also used by search engines to figure out what a site is all about.

This is where it becomes important for you to never generalize your words. If you have a pet store website, then you don’t want links pointing to your site that say “check this site out!” or anything like that. You want strong keywords used instead, like “Best Pet Supplies On The Net!” or whatever keyword phrase works for your situation.

One last point of caution I’d like to make is that most people who have a very basic understanding of how this works tend to overdo it by using the exact same phrase EVERY time and, at least in some search engines, this will actually get your site penalized instead of helping you. A good example is when John Chow asked everyone to point to his site using the key phrase “make money online” and, instead of a boost, he got the “Google slap” for his efforts.

The general rule of thumb, according to the biggest search engines, is to not use the same phrase more than 60% of the time. A good workaround for this problem is to use trailing or surrounding text that has your desired words within it. Example: If you want to always have “make money online” as your keyword phrase then just make sure those exact words are in your links BUT have other words with it to make unique link combinations each time, such as “Learn to make money online now!”, “make money online blog ideas!” or similar anchor text combinations. You can be very creative this way and not get penalized for doing so. Have fun with it!

All the best to your success!

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Focus SEO For Buyers

This is from a post I made at Link Referral, where I am a regular participant in the advice forums. I felt it was worthwhile reposting it here to help others focus on a different approach to SEO…

Everyone seems so concerned with bending over for Google and pleasing their algorithm every time it changes that they sometimes miss the potential in the next biggest search engine, Yahoo. You’ll notice that the search results in Yahoo can be wildly different from Google, so obviously they use a different set of rules to list results. That can be to your advantage if you’re not currently doing so well in Google.

Yes, they have a lot less surfers, as they are a distant 2nd to Google, BUT I’ve noticed through my research that it’s more of a BUYERS audience, and that’s what you really want when trying to convert visitors into sales.

I’ve noticed through experimenting with some of my sites and maximizing some for Google and others for Yahoo, that the ratio of visits to sales is much better in Yahoo, and this is for the exact same products offered through all the sites. This may have something to do with Yahoo being a portal site with a wide variety of visitors, including other sellers with Yahoo stores, whereas Google is still mostly used as a search engine for people just looking up information.

Another bonus I’ve noticed through Yahoo is, unlike Google, they list subdomains created to get affiliate sales. Those of you who cloak your affiliate links through tinyurl or whatever will notice how Google penalizes that as duplicate site names, as well as penalizing subdomains that point to duplicate content on affiliate pages, but Yahoo allows it and I make FAR more sales from my cloaked subdomains that way.

Yes, Yahoo is a smaller audience, but it’s a better converting audience. Would you rather have 1000 visits through Google with 1 sale, or 100 through Yahoo with 5 sales? Don’t put all your eggs in the Google basket.

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Search Engine Friendly Keywords

Keywords are obviously an important thing to understand correctly for SEO work on any website, but many people see it as more straightforward than it really is. Most people think they can just list a few of their most important words and the visits will roll in, but it’s much more complicated than that.

There was a time when “keyword stuffing” was popular, but now those days are gone. It’s all about percentages now. For every keyword you add to your list you are effectively diluting the importance of each word used in a search. The percentage is broken down and divided among those words used.

For example, if you have a website about successful marketing research online, you may use keyword terms like “marketing, research, success, advertise, online”, and each word would rate a percentage of 20% out of 100. If you used only 4 keywords then each one would be worth 25%. It works the same with descriptions used as well. The more you use certain keywords in a description, the higher it’s percentage of importance will be. There used to be variables such as emphasizing certain words with the use of capitals, but things change so rapidly in the SEO world that it’s not as important as it once was.

How the percentage rate effects you when ranking in “organic” (ie. not paid) search engine listings is that, if someone else’s site uses the same keywords at a higher percentage, then they will be found ahead of you, regardless of PR or site size. If my own marketing research site used just the keywords “marketing” and “research” then each word would be valued at 50% and, therefore, be more valuable than your keywords at 20%. I’ve had new sites show up as number one in the listings within a couple days of launch just by keyword percentage strength alone.

What you should do about this is really quite simple. Just use the keywords that are absolutely essential. In my first example, the word “online” isn’t necessary, as it’s a website, so that should be obvious. Your “success” is also subjective, so should be left out. Just emphasize what really needs to be without overdoing it.

The other point that needs to be addressed is spelling errors. That is another SEO relic of the past. “Experts” would use every spelling mistake variation they could think of in their keywords in the hopes of full optimization. That is also no longer necessary and can dilute your “good” keywords significantly. The majority of your potential search engine visitors will type the words correctly and, hopefully, find you. Those who make spelling mistakes in Google will now see a “Did You Mean” warning at the top showing them the correct spelling for that word. Try typing in a mispelled word and see for yourself! I’ve had search engine visitors find my sites using all sorts of horrible spelling variations, even though I only use the correct ones.

You should really only need to consider word variations when branding an uncommon name, and that’s really an entirely different post altogether, so, until next time, have a great and search engine friendly week!

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