The Blog

Should You Put Keywords in the URL? (An Age Old Question)

Posted Thursday, June 26th, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

keywords in url topSince the age of dinosaurs, SEOs and their clients have been asking if they should put keywords in their URLs in order to improve visibility in search engines.

The short answer?

“Yes, but…”

That wasn’t very satisfying, was it?

Educated SEOs have known for some time that putting your keyword in the URL can help with your rankings, but some argue that the impact is miniscule and not really worth thinking about. Others say that it doesn’t matter anymore, or even that it’s bordering on “black hat.” Still others think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

So, does putting a keyword in the URL matter enough for you to worry about it?

Read on to find out. (more…)

Will a CDN Like CloudFlare Help or Hurt Your SEO?

Posted Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

serversSite load time is a ranking factor, so a CDN that speeds up load time should be good for your SEO, right?

...not necessarily.

Alright, first a little background.

A CDN, or Content Delivery Network, is a network of servers deployed in data centers across the world. Why? To deliver content to users more quickly by connecting them to a server that is close by and/or not under heavy load. Using a CDN can boost your site's load time and protect you from DDoS attacks, and that's all great.

Google employees have also publicly said that fast site load time can improve your rankings, so isn't that the end of it?


Here's why a CDN isn't always going to be beneficial for your SEO. (more…)

The Payday Loan Algorithm Means "Black Hat" Techniques Work

Posted Thursday, June 19th, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

On June 12, version 3.0 of the Payday Loan algorithm went live, and the effect on some of the search results couldn’t be funnier:

payday loan algorithm 01

Because, as we all know, the user intends to find 2 Wikipedia listings at the top of the page when they search “online casinos.” I’m sure they’re also looking for Wikipedia when they search for “payday loans:”

payday loan algorithm 02

But, to me, what’s most revealing about the Payday Loan algorithm is the fact that it exists at all.

Here's why. (more…)

How to Improve Your Local SEO with Data Aggregators

Posted Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 in Keyword Research, Search Engine Optimization by .

This is a guest post by Rob Walling. He runs popular long tail keyword tool HitTail and he wrote the book on small software startups. In his spare time, he co-hosts one of the leading podcasts for bootstrapped startups, called Startups for the Rest of Us.
More about Rob Walling | @robwalling

Do you want to rank your business at the top of local search results?

Or are you tired of finding inaccurate information about your business on the net?

The solution lies in citation building – listing your business information across directories. It’s one of the special ingredients for local SEO.

But HOLD ON a second - if you go about it the wrong way, you’ll waste valuable time. That’s why understanding data aggregators (the key players of directories) will help you streamline the process.

Attack these players and you’ll take control of your business information on the web.


SEO Myths 27 Experts Say to Stop Buying

Posted Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

expert only

I know what you're thinking. "Really? Another SEO myths post?"

Here's why this post matters.

After doing some digging, I realized that while there are tons of posts about SEO myths, nobody has ever put together a collection of SEO myths shared by a list of industry experts.

Weird, right?

I dug and dug through the Google search results, and I couldn't find a single post like this.

So, I figured I better get started on that. I emailed top experts in the SEO industry, and I asked them what they thought the biggest myth was. Below, you'll hear from experts like Barry Schwartz, Rand Fishkin, and companies like Raven Tools, Screaming Frog, and Conductor, and many other professionals I have loads of respect for.

I couldn't be happier with the results. This ended up being anything but another generic "avoid these SEO myths you already know about" post. While a few of the answers are well known, they're important enough to deserve the repetition.

The rest aren't so obvious.

Also, to make things a bit different from the usual "list of expert responses" post, I've also added by own thoughts after each expert's contribution.

Let's dive in. (more…)

Why Most SEO Firms Will Let ROI Wither and Die

Posted Monday, June 9th, 2014 in Keyword Research, Link Building, Search Engine Optimization by .

wasted timeYou and I both know it’s a problem with the industry.

Done right, SEO offers some of the highest returns you can possibly expect, because the value is cumulative. Every hour you put in now will offer something in return for years to come.

But SEOs have trouble with reporting ROI and, in general, they have trouble maintaining it over the long term.

You probably think the problem is difficulty measuring ROI, and there’s certainly some truth to that.

But in reality, there’s more going on here.

It’s a fundamental problem with the standard approach, and it needs to be fixed. So let’s talk about how to do that, right now. (more…)

Local Search is Creating More Sales Than You Think

Posted Thursday, June 5th, 2014 in Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Optimization by .

crystal ballWhat if you ignored an opportunity that was already making you money, just because you didn’t have a way to attribute it?

There’s a good chance that most businesses are doing exactly that when it comes to local search.

According to a recent study conducted by Google, 50 percent of smartphone users who performed a local search visited a business within a day. Computer and smartphone users did that 34 percent of the time.

On top of that, 4 out of 5 people use search engines to find local information, and 51 percent of them use their smartphone to search for that information when they’re already on the go.

Assuming people can find you in the search engines, that means a good portion of the people who walk through your front door are doing it because they found you in a Google search.

And if you don’t know about it, you’re probably not investing as much in local search as you should be.

So how can you attribute walk-ins to local search? Does it take a crystal ball? (more…)

May Resource Round-up: The Best of SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing

Posted Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 in Resource Roundups by .

three pandasWhile you probably noticed that Google rolled out Panda 4.0 this past month (if you're in the SEO industry, we really hope you did), you may not have noticed that Spider-Man made the switch from Bing to Google in the film franchise's most recent installment. And that's what this roundup is all about. We make sure that you stay well informed on the biggest news of the month, as well as the most interesting and just plain silly articles. That being said, here's the best articles from May that we think you'll appreciate. For the same great content the rest of the year, join us on Twitter, Google +, or Facebook. Enjoy!


On Google's Right to Know vs. Europe's Right to Be Forgotten

Complaining about the recent decision of the European Court of Justice on the so-called “right to be forgotten,” Google's Eric Schmidt has invoked an intriguing legal defense to justify his company's aggressive business practices: the right to know.

SEO Storm or Light Shower? Google’s Panda 4.0 Update

The thunder clap of Google’s Matt Cutts’s Twitter post could be heard across the web this week with the announcement of the search engine’s latest update, Panda 4.0. Of course the type of Panda I’m talking about isn’t a cute bear from China. It’s the name of an algorithm used by Google to filter out low quality content from search results.


Google Rolling Out Panda 4.0

Posted Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

Google Panda 4 - NorthcuttIf you've got your ear to the ground regarding all things "Google", you'll know that the search engine giant started rolling out Panda 4.0 a little while ago. To re-cap for those of you who aren't fully aware, Google often updates their algorithms to include various enhancement that they've been working on. The most prominent of these updates have been Penguin and Panda; Penguin, which targeted sites making use of dodgy link-building tactics and Panda, which clamped down on sites with very poor or thin content.

I am particularly fond of the Google Panda algo-update because in my eyes, it's a great mediator for the web that prevents poorly written content from getting any air-time. In the digital age, everyone has a blog or platform from which they're able to offer their opinions, but some of them don't deserve the airplay they previously received. A lot of spun content and poorly constructed, keyword infested posts used to manage to crawl their way up in rankings, but now you really have to put in some effort in order to make it to the limelight. This ensures that whatever we search for is met with accurate, relevant and well written results, which can only benefit us as search engine users as we'll always find something worth our time.


Get Indexed in Google (It's Harder than You Think)

Posted Monday, June 2nd, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

magnifying glassYou’d think this kind of thing wouldn’t be a common problem.

The most basic thing SEO needs to accomplish is to get your pages listed somewhere in the search results. In fact, it seems so basic that you’d think an SEO hardly needs to worry about indexation.

Just get an XML sitemap up and you’re done, right?

…not always.

In fact, many of the pages you think are indexed may not actually be in Google’s main index. If a site shows up in Webmaster Tools, I wouldn’t necessarily call it fully indexed. If it’s been crawled, that doesn’t mean it’s been indexed.

Even if you can find it in a Google search, I still wouldn’t necessarily say it’s in the main index.

Let me explain, and let’s talk about how to prevent these problems. (more…)

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