Avoid Over Optimizing Your Site For Google

This article is guest posted by David Nance.

Up until recently, most people would try to optimize their sites as much as possible to try and jockey their sites to the top of the search engines. While this may have worked for a while, it has recently been announced that Google may actually penalize you for “over-optimizing” your sites. In March of 2012, Matt Cutts, who works in the search quality group at Google, announced at South by Southwest that Google is trying to level the playing field somewhat by people who are over-doing SEO.

While this may be a frustrating announcement for many SEO companies or people who are well-versed in SEO, this was to be expected. Since the beginning, Google has always stated that they want to have the best search engine in the world. And because of this, they are constantly reworking their algorithms to only rank sites that have quality content associated with them. Now let’s take a further in-depth look at this over-optimization penalty and find out the best ways to avoid it.

What Type of Penalties Come Along With Over-Optimization?

Unfortunately, instead of simply dropping in the rankings like many sites did after the Panda update, if you are accused of over-optimization, your site will be de-indexed from Google entirely. In effect, this is the same as the popular Google “sandbox” where bots stop crawling your site and you are completely invisible to the search engine.

How Do You Know If You Have Over-Optimized Your Site?

There are plenty of factors that determine whether or not a site has been over-optimized but if you’ve done plenty of white hat linking or had your site ranked by a professional company, then you should be entirely fine. Google is using this penalty to go after those who have engaged in far too many black hat tactics.

Here are some of the strongest signs that would lead Google to de-index your site:

1. Domain name is the keyword you are ranking for: While this won’t automatically de-index your site, it looks entirely too spammy to Google

2. Duplicate Content: This is somewhat of an old SEO rule but Google hates seeing duplicate content on your site.

3. Too much keyword density: The general rule when utilizing keyword density is to never go over 2-3%. If you’re trying to rank for a keyword and are shoving the same one inside the title, description, meta tags, heading, and body tags, you are doing it completely wrong.

4. Too many backlinks using the same url: People used to get away with this dirty trick in the past but Google has quickly caught on. If you’re linking to the same main URL using the same keyword text, you are playing with fire. In order to look great to Google, trying building natural and organic backlinks with unique variations of anchor text

5. Non-Creative Content: This relates back to the duplicate content rule in that you should never ever do it. So many new website creators make the silly mistake of copying all of their information from Wikipedia and slapping that into an article. Google’s bots can see that this information has been copied and won’t give your site a higher ranking because of this.

What do I do if I am Penalized?

If your site has been penalized and you have lost all traffic, the first thing to do is to try and see if you’ve committed any of the mistakes listed above. Keep in mind that the ones listed are only some of the most important factors but there are hundreds of different factors that Google will look at.

If you believe that your site has been wrongly penalized or if you have seen the mistakes you have made and have fixed them, you can submit a request to Google for them to reconsider adding your site back to their search engine.

Is SEO Dead Now?

For those marketers that are ready to hide in a corner and cry, SEO is nowhere near being dead. Google’s updates are simply created to weed out the sites that provide no valuable content and those that were ranked using black hat tactics. By providing great quality content and following proper SEO practices with your site, your site should be entirely fine and you may possibly see a jump in the rankings for your site as the bad sites become de-indexed!

This article was written by David Nance for the team at 522 Productions, who are committed to helping your business shine through the use of Internet and social media.

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SEO Tips for Utilising Facebook For Online Businesses

This make money online article is guest posted by WebGuru India

Website design is not just a matter of using latest web designing apps and media enriched content. It is also imperative to implement necessary search engine optimization incorporating social media in web sites for long term success.

Google, the undisputed king of online search, ranks web sites on the basis of their presence and image in social media sites. Hence, a web site owner needs to have a page in Facebook for his company not only for product promotion but also for higher ranking in search engine results.

As social media incorporation in SEO becomes crucial with time, SEO firms need to know how they can make the most out of popular social media services for their clients. Facebook, with a user base exceeding 700 million users worldwide is, undoubtedly, among the most sought after social media sites.

Last year, Facebook turned out to be most widely used term in Google and the company said its internal search jumped significantly. With the number of Facebook users going up everyday, this trend is likely to continue. Hence, an SEO Company streamlining its social media usage strategy should consider ways to utilize Facebook for SEO.

Web developers implementing social media centric SEO methods may face some hardships in getting Facebook pages appearing in top search engine results. They need to master effective Facebook Page optimization measures. Web developers may often find Facebook pages featuring their client brands not appearing in Google searches despite implementing optimization techniques.

In a well-known survey in 2010, nearly 200 reputed Fortune 500 brands having their pages in Facebook fared poorly in Google search results. Only 30 percent of those pages appeared in Google search results. This can be owing to several reasons, the main being Google and Facebook are, after all, competitors.

However, optimizing for external web search is not much complicated, this professional rivalry notwithstanding. Facebook pages that are ‘liked’ by majority of viewers have a higher chance of reaching out to maximum number of online users anyway. Developers should maintain parity when it comes to URLS and naming methods for getting traffic.

  • Facebook pages should have multimedia content that are optimized properly. Tagging and naming Facebook images is also an important step, which is often overlooked by marketers. Web developers making client site pages on Facebook should also understand mindset and preference of web users. Facebook users usually do not like being redirected to another site for buying a product they are interested in. They want all information and services within their
  • Optimization for Facebook can be a bit complicated for developers owing to the fact that Facebook’s AutoComplete results get affected by a number of factors. It gets affected by user preferences, their usage history etc.This can be both helpful and troublesome for businesses. This optimization is subject to change as per trends of Facebook users and it may be difficult to find a cohesive logic behind these changes at all.
  • Web developers can cross link their Facebook pages with profiles in other social media sites to attract more users. This can help businesses in building multiple touch points with their customers.

WebGuru India is a website design company based in India, offering high-quality and cost-effective website design and website development solutions to people worldwide. The company has authored several articles on web design, logo design, Flash design, SEO services etc, providing updated information on technological developments and advancements.

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How to Make Your Blog Disappear Completely (And Never Be Viewed Again)

This make money online article is guest posted by Carol Wilson

As a kid, you probably wished you could turn invisible. Who didn’t? As an adult blogger, you probably feel invisible on a regular basis, and direct all your energy toward more views. It’s easy to be overlooked—there are millions of blogs to read, and billions of people poring over them, only giving half a second’s glance before moving on to the next one.

Hopefully you read the title of this post and thought, “But I don’t want my blog to disappear completely and never be viewed again!” That was the correct response. If you want your blog to get more attention and be consistently great, such that readers keep coming back (and bring more readers with them), then the following list should point you in the right direction.

For the sake of clarity, I’m just going to go ahead and remind you that this is an ironic list. If you don’t want to disappear from the blogosphere and go forever unnoticed, DO THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS:

1. Indulge in your narcissism.

Everyone hates narcissists, especially on a website that’s supposed to be about helping others. Keeping an online record of how you solve your personal problems might be personally therapeutic, but it is socially irrelevant, and professionally alienating and boring.

Even if you manage to expand your meditations on your problems to include universal problems others can relate to, you still aren’t fulfilling the basic purpose of a professional blog—offering advice, tips, and solutions to your readers that are important to them.

Writing “I just improved my SEO ranking by 20%” is a sure-fire way to get people to never look at your blog again. If you’re trying to eject your dedicated readers and keep new ones away, definitely never say things like, “Do you wish you could improve your SEO rankings?” Never address or focus on the readers if you want them to abandon you; this will attract them, and probably even keep them reading.

2. Be as pretentious as possible.

Nothing screams elitism and alienation like pretentious language and ideas. Talk about your niche as if everyone knows everything about it, and never condescend to give them necessary background information.

Exclude anyone who isn’t also an expert, and solely discuss obscure, erudite, and impractical topics in a way that is inconclusive and meandering. Doing all of these things will almost infallibly make all your readers jump ship, and effectively deter new ones from ever repeating one visit.

Conversely, respecting your readership enough to introduce topics that are relevant to their everyday experience, explain them thoroughly in a friendly, familiar tone will probably keep readers reading, and might even inspire them to encourage others to visit your site. If you want to preserve the deserted aspect of your blog, better not do this.

3. Hack away any visually attractive design elements from your page.

In fact, try to make your page as visually confusing as you can. Intentionally place ads in inconvenient places; use garish color schemes; arrange your content in disorienting ways—anything you can do to keep the experience challenging and frustrating for readers will help keep them far from your blog.

Never take the time to make your blog look respectable, clean, attractive, or beautiful; this will only frame your blog with pleasing images, and give your readers an all-around extraordinary blog experience, which will certainly convince them to make repeat visits and spread the word.

If you follow these steps, you’ll have zero followers in no time, and you can watch as your blog’s livelihood shrivels to nothing. However, if you don’t want to just stand by and let your blog become invisible, don’t follow these steps—do the opposite of what you see here, and you’ll be on your way to a popular, successful blog.

This is a guest post from Carol Wilson who writes for business insurance. She contributes articles about a variety of marketing, business, stock market, small business topics. She can be contacted at: wilson.carol24 @ gmail.com.

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Hard News and Image Lookup for Affiliate Marketing

This article is guest posted by Riley Kissel

Although many successful bloggers are using different affiliate marketing techniques to build stronger relationships with their clients and increase traffic flow through to their website, the majority of traditional techniques are soon to fall by the way-side because they’re too predictable.

Rewarding online followers with gifts and other incentives for clicking and browsing is soon to become trite and overrated. The new hot approach to affiliate marketing is going to be using less-traditional modes like the reverse phone lookup of Anywho.com and the image lookups.

Reverse phone-lookup allows the user to find names, addresses, and businesses that they could then use on map searches or image searches, while the image lookups allow bloggers to add visual appeal to their websites and connect photos and images to content within their website on a particular subject matter.

The thing that makes image lookups so powerful is that for those who like using affiliate marketing to generate traffic, the blogger can use images to find topics to talk about or use images to compel online readers to click certain keywords within articles that the reader would have before ignored (without a shadow of a doubt).

When using image lookup systems, because search engines cannot read images (at least not just yet), in order for the images to be ranked, the system has to look for clues, which seems a little more cumbersome. Also, to successfully incorporate images, it is a good idea to keep one image per/page and to link the image with the keyword anchor text link with the same similar word-choice.

What I mean relating the image to the text is that each image should have a caption that uses some if not all of the same words as the hypertext associated with the blog. This way each reader is attracted to both the image and the text almost simultaneously.

It is also important that all images are readable when reduced to a thumbnail. It seems that the best use of image lookup with affiliate marketing will be when the subject matter applies to hard news and other more serious projects or when bloggers wish to connect to government entities and/or non-profit organizations.

Just as in writing or anything else, it is clearly important and critical to be selective in the images used with affiliate marketing and to limit the amount of images associated with a particular blog. The images should not take away from the written word or conflict with the writer’s intention or message. Any image that would distastefully create a negative image for your blog should not be included.

It’s going to be interesting how images take over the written word in the blog world and how blog-writers and the relationships they create with their clients will have to deal with the new sensation of having to use visual appeal to increase web traffic consistently.

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Can Inbound Links Harm Your Website?

This article is guest posted by Angie.

This is a question that I get asked from clients from time to time and in most instances, the answer is NO.

Google and other search engines do not make it easy for competitors to damage your business. If inbound links could have a detrimental effect on your SEO than it would be in your competitors’ interest to ‘sabotage’ your site, thereby improving their own positions by knocking you out of the search engine result pages. That would be crazy! Search engines will not penalise you for something which you as a site owner have no control over.

According to Google: “There’s almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.”

However, there are certain link-building techniques that can be seen as “unnatural” and result in the links being ignored or discounted. If you’ve got a link building campaign going on and are quality links coming to your site at the same time as you suddenly get 100s of links from a known link farm or websites associated with a “bad neighbourhood” you could run the risk of all links being discredited, even the quality link that would have otherwise benefited your site.

Too Many Links Too Quickly

If you suddenly get 100s of links to your website as soon as it goes live or in one go, they are likely to look unnatural and be discredited. For this reason, link building should be an on-going, gradual process that is carried out throughout the life of your website.

Link Farms

Link farms sell text links. As a norm, they are likely to be of little value. For the reasons discussed above, they are unlikely to have a detrimental effect on your site or search engine rankings, however, they are likely to have no effect and can risk detrimentally affecting other link building efforts that are being carried out at the same time.

Vary Your Anchor Text

In order to keep your back links looking as natural as possible it’s best to vary your anchor text. Therefore, if you’re targeting, “Whitening Toothpastes” for example, try using variations such as “Toothpastes for Whitening”, “Tooth Whitening” & “Lightening Toothpaste” in conjunction with your main target keyword.

Linking out from your website.

At this point it would be worth a quick mention that whilst links to your site are unlikely to have a detrimental effect, links from your site to others can. Avoid linking to web spammers or link farms on the web, your web ranking may be affected adversely by promoting those types of sites.

Guest Post by Angie Stewart, Online Marketing Consultant for Maginus. Maginus provide online marketing service, specialising in ecommerce marketing solutions.

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How To Use Images To Improve Your SEO

This article is guest posted by Lior Levin.

Everyone knows that you should add images to your blog posts to make them more attractive. Blog posts with images look better, stand out more and attract more readers.

If you are routinely blogging without images, you are likely wasting a good deal of your potential readership simply on the fact your content looks boring to those who find your words.

But can images be useful for SEO?

Everyone knows that Google can’t “read” images like it can text nor are they truly searchable. Sure, there is an image search function, it only looks at text around the image and is not exactly the best tool for gaining traffic, especially after the recent overhaul.

Still, there are several ways that images can easily help you improve your SEO, including these 5 very easy suggestions:

Use Original Images

Google Image Search now has a “similar images” function that works moderately well. Images that are too similar to others on the Web are less likely to get attention from Google as the results try to focus on a variety of relevant images. If possible, use your own images, even if you have to take screenshots.

Use Keywords in File Names

Load up your file names with relevant keywords. Make it clear what the image is and how it relates to the larger post.  Try to separate keywords with a dashes to help the SEs understand what the keywords actually are.

Use the Title Attribute

Use the title attribute on your IMG tags as a means to add still more relevant keywords. Your title is a way to associate text with your image directly in a way that human visitors rarely see but SEs place high value on.

Use the Alt Attribute

Much like the title attribute, the alt attribute of the IMG tag is yet another opportunity to add relevant keywords. However, remember that the alt attribute is also used by screen readers for the visually impaired so make sure that this tag is also useful for human that might need to read it.

Link the Image

An image is also an opportunity to provide another link to a different page on your site. WordPress, for example, automatically creates a new page for each uploaded image and can link to that. You can also have the image link back to the post itself, which is useful if the post is scraped or otherwise misused.

In addition to the above steps, you may want to consider enabling reuse of your images, either via embedding or a Creative Commons License, to let others take advantage of them in exchange for dofollow links back. Depending on the nature of your site, the links from external domains may be much more valuable than the exclusive use of the images themselves.

All in all though, images are an often-overlooked but still very important part of a robust SEO strategy. Fortunately, it only takes a few seconds to turn an image into a powerful tool for SEO and, since you are probably putting images into your posts anyway, it’s time well spent.

In fact, the hardest part for many is remembering to take the steps, no actually doing them.

This blog post was written by Lior who is a consultant for an online task management company and also advises to an MBA abroad school.

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