Search engine optimization — onsite and offsite, keywords and linking 2

Search Engine Optimization – 2

A Summary of SEO Topics, cont’d

Continuing our discussion . . .

Offsite Optimization
Inbound Links
That Which is Verboten
Other

Offsite Optimization

Google was founded by two graduate students at Stanford and, not surprisingly, the algorithm they developed was patterned after a similar equation in academia. In academia, an article is considered important to the extent that other authors cite it. Google began with the same approach. The algorithm has changed and grown more sophisticated, but most SEO experts continue to believe that these basic principles remain in effect at Google and that they were implemented by the other major search engines. And there are implications for optimization of your website.

1. Before the search engines will consider your pages important, you need to have other websites pointing to them (“inbound links”) that imply the owners of those sites consider your pages important

2. Your pages get more credit from inbound links if the web pages they come from are also considered important by Google

3. If the pages linking to you have subject matter similar to yours, you will get more credit for the link

4. There is a way to optimize the inbound link to ensure that it has the right keywords for you

How do you know how important Google considers a web page? I can show you how to identify the importance of every one of the over-3-billion pages that Google crawls.

We’ll also look at:

Inbound Links

• Known places to get inbound links
• How to find other inbound links on your own that are most suitable for your site (as opposed to the many inbound links you will be offered that would be of little value)
• How to identify when pages from which inbound links are offered are of little or no value – even if the home page of the site is touted as rating as extremely important to Google
• How to know which inbound links you should never pay for
• What to do about reciprocal links (or link exchanges, or link swaps, or free-for-alls)
• How to use directories to boost your inbound links – as well as the search engines’ view of your site’s importance – and which directories to avoid, even if they’re free
• How to make proper submission to directories so that your submission isn’t ignored – and so you’re not banned*

You also need to know how to build a natural link structure that search engines favor (and not build an artificial one that can get you penalized), including:

• Varying the inbound anchor text
• Gradually increasing inbound link count
• Having your site link out only to reputable pages
• Rarely using reciprocal links

That Which is Verboten

There are some things that can quickly get you in trouble.
• Link Farms
– A long page filled with nothing but links
• Hidden text
– Keyword added to page, turned to same color as background
• Cross-linking
– Linking your own sites together
• Keyword spam
– loading up your page with your primary keyword for the purpose of ranking
• Mirroring of a website
– duplicating a site from one domain to another while changing only something minor, like the graphics
• Hidden Links

– Adding hidden links (also known as “link cloaking”), usually within the hidden text mentioned above to hide it from view.
• Keyword Stuffing

– Adding keywords, usually as hidden or nearly-hidden text, to the bottom of your page for the sole purpose of obtaining ranking.
• Page Cloaking

– Using special software to serve up one page to the spider for the sole purpose of ranking and then to serve up a different page to your visitors.
• Artificial Link Structures
– inbound anchor text is identical
– inbound link count increases suddenly (via automation)
– site links-out to link farms or web rings
– a high percentage of links are reciprocal

Other

We’ll also discuss the value of hiding Javascript and HTML in CSS and making frequent updates to your site.

* This is only the tip of the iceberg.  You think a link’s a link?  Look at Jim Hedger’s article in Insider Reports, “Google United – Google Patent Examined”, in which he analyzes Google’s recently-public patent filing.  Here is his verbatim assessment of other factors Google considers when examining an incoming link:

•  How long a domain or URL has has been registered.
•  Has ownership of a domain changed after previous registrations expired?
•  Has the physical location of the registrant changed?
•  How lengthy is the URL itself? Was it registered to game the index?
•  How many pages are included in the website? (A one document or page website is not considered a highly relevant source of information.)
•  Freshness and age of document.
•  Use of anchor text (both on site and in links directed to site).
•  “Trust Factors” regarding sites or pages outbound links refer to, and inbound links are found on.
•  The “discovery date” of a particular link and the history of changes involving that link.
•  Rate of growth for new links. A sudden burst of growth likely indicates some form of link-spam.
•  Variations in anchor text used to phrase links directed to a page being evaluated. If the same anchor text is used in every inbound link, are they phrased that way for branding purposes or spamming purposes?
•  Number of searches for keyword phrase associated with the anchor text used in links.
•  Number of times Google users click on Google results by entering keyword phrases used in anchor text of incoming links. Does the page being evaluated receive visitors for that keyword phrase on Google’s search engine?
•  How do users actually behave while on the page, site or document being evaluated?

Related Articles:

Why Use Search Engines?

Search Engine Optimization

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