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Best (Less Obvious) Ways to SEO...

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by bamme, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. bamme

    bamme Senior Member

    Hello, I was reading a post of yours about SEO - that said said good quality content is they key, pretty much, and that this person had been putting sites at 1 on Google for a long time without being a specialist and relying mostly on providing good content..

    That caught my eye, as I know a lot now about meta tags etc, and also that you should submit your site to google, do a sitemap, few tricks with the actual copy on the page, and the styling/tags, and how to generally optimise a page using its html code only.

    ive recently learned about backlinks being effective, and also if you have visibility elsewhere i suppose.

    but i really dont know the ins and outs of how links work as part of seo, or anything else you can do to improve things (i know there are lots, i couldnt get through google ad(sense or words?) how to book..)

    so im not in the least a specialist but i know the basics

    i have a view to putting to optimise a my site ameliealden.com (when its templates been changed - its a mess at the mo) nd generally increase the visibility of 'Amelie Alden' when people search uk model in search engines. I wondered if anyone could advise me in any way?

    (I will be modifying the code to include the things ive mentioned above, but am interested in other things i can focus on to improve seo..)

    sorry that was an essay. would be great to get some help :)
     
  2. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Emma,

    Here's a very, very quick run-down of my experience with SEO and some of the knowledge I've picked up.

    OK so SEO, you have two main areas of SEO, on-site SEO, and off-site SEO.

    On-Site SEO consists of all your code elements, so you'll be wanting clean code (W3C Compliant) good use of H1, H2, H3 tags, etc. relevant and unique page titles, META descriptions, just general good techniques for compliant coding.

    Off-Site SEO is in my opinion more influential with your search positions, this is the links pointing to your site, remember with backlinks it's not about quantity of links but the quality. For example 1 link from a trusted, reputable and relevant site will be far more valuable than 20 links on irrelevant directory submissions.

    So in this example you mentioned, yes good content is key, and they're most likely gaining the positions as they have sites linking to that content. If you can provide good content you already have won the battle in earning the link back, make great content and people will want to link to it. For example Design Forums does very well with SEO, this is part based on all the great content and part based on the fact it's an advert-free site so people are more willing to give us a link.

    With regards to ranking for your own name this would be pretty easy to achieve (assuming there's no celebrities with the same name) with a good structured site, the term included in the title, H1 tag, and some decent backlinks you should be near the top before long. I would argue it's not always ranking for your own name, as how many people will be searching for that, so you may be better optimising for localised services terms instead? ie. 'graphic design kent'.

    Hope that helps as a starting point!
    For further reading on SEO I'd recommend this book;
    Get to the Top on Google: Tips and Techniques to Get Your Site to the Top of Google and Stay There: Amazon.co.uk: David Viney: Books

    Thanks,
    Greg
     
  3. dbushell

    dbushell Member

    If you haven't seen the Google webmaster videos they're very informative and give you some insight into Google search.
     
  4. bamme

    bamme Senior Member

    Wow thanks for the detailed reply! I think i have on-site seo pretty nailed down now (I know my own site is not a good example..) but its the off-site stuff im getting my head around now!

    You mention backlinks a lot - what are these? Literally just having a link to site 1 placed on site 2? What about this link affects the SEO, and what would show up in the search results? Site 1 or site 2's link to site 1?

    And what factors of a 'trusted' site affect SEO? The amount of hits that site gets itself, considering its 'trusted'?

    Thanks for continued help!
    Emma
     
  5. bamme

    bamme Senior Member

    i suppose it is driving traffic to my site in general that i want to focus on :)
     
  6. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    Hay Emma, Gregs post is very good but if i may add to it.
    Not every link is equal as Greg rightly says, and one way to find out which links are better than others is to check the PageRank of the page you get the link off. If the PageRank is 0-1 it's not a great link if it is 9-10 it is a great link and thus will do you a lot better.

    Now PageRank, and bare in mind this is only 1 factor, is basically a score Google gives to each page it has index, and it's number is basically what would be your chances of coming across this page by chance if you just followed links around the web.

    A page can get more PageRank (equity/link juice/votes) by getting more pages indexed in Google to link to it.

    So a PageRank of 1 doesn't actually mean 1 it is a representation of a larger number for example 101, where as a PageRank of 9 could be 1000000000000000000000000000001, think of it as equity or a voting power that that page has.

    So the higher the PageRank the more equity that page will pass to yours.

    Now links coming to your site are not as straight forward as they pass all their equity to your page.

    For example you get a link on a page and that page has say 20 internal and external links and has a true PageRank of say 100, so really low, that means you will only get 100/20 so 5 equity/votes (Not great). Now if the page is not relevant to the page it is linking to, if you have provided a reciprocal link (a link back), if the page is on a dodgy domain and about a hundred other factors that equity will be decreased as a result.

    You can find out the PageRank for a page by getting SEOstatus for FireFox or by downloading the Google toolbar, but don't get hung up on it though well written unique content is what you should get hung up on as pages with a lower PageRank (equity) can rank above pages with higher (equity).

    If a link to your site is also on a page not indexed in Google, or has the nofollow attribute applied to it, again it wont do you any good.

    Now what kind of links are the best.
    Well I would rate them as the following ~

    1. http://example.com //A straight forward link to your site using your domain name.

    2. Your main keyword //Your link with anchor text as your main keyword, this is because links, internal and external count as votes and if they include your main keyword then they will help you to get better positions for those keywords as a result.

    3. A review of Gregs Digital media design company
    For all you graphic designers out there I came across this graphic design site. Greg, a graphic designer from the UK can design websites to a very high standard blar, blar other stuff all containing relevant words to graphic design.

    Now that's the best 1 as search engines also use the surrounding text to provide the corresponding page with the best votes if you like and credit it with the best terms for that page. As a link in copy tends to be better from a site visitor than 1 in just a list of links.

    Now do you need each page to have external links pointing to it to gain good positions?

    No.

    If your site has got links coming in and the content is indexed, good, well written (that means for the site visitor), well optimized, site relevant content can get you great positions on there own.

    In fact on small sites I tend to only get links pointing back to the home page and the content on the secondary pages is enough to acquire top 1-3 positions on their own.

    Hope that helps to explain it.

    Jaz
     
  7. bamme

    bamme Senior Member

    hi jaz, thanks very much thats v helpful :) Just a couple of q's if i may..terminology is my problem really.

    assuming reciprocal link = someone links to me, i link back to them

    1) So, if site X linked to me, and if iplaced a link on any of my pages back to site X, this would decrease the points/kudos/'juice'?

    2) The link structure you said was best - am i right in understanding you chose this one:

    3. A review of Gregs Digital media design company
    For all you graphic designers out there I came across this graphic design site. Greg, a graphic designer from the UK can design websites to a very high standard blar, blar other stuff all containing relevant words to graphic design.

    "search engines also use the surrounding text to provide the corresponding page with the best votes if you like and credit it with the best terms for that page." - by corresponding page, do you mean the page being linked to? (Here, gregs design company..)

    I also didnt quite understand this:
    "Now do you need each page to have external links pointing to it to gain good positions?

    No.

    If your site has got links coming in and the content is indexed, good, well written (that means for the site visitor), well optimized, site relevant content can get you great positions on there own."

    Do you simply mean you dont need to get links back to every page of your site, you can just get them to the homepage, or one page? I know a lot of people write articles and get links back from sites like articlebase etc.. is this what theyre doing?

    I hear of pingbacks, trackbacks.. i dont know what these terms mean but are they relevant for SEO?

    Thanks for continued help :)

    Emma
     
  8. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    That's a good assumption ::D

    1. If their link was on a page on your site and that page was indexed yes, as reciprocal links in the past have pretty much been used to improve both site positions in search engines. 1 way links are therefore considered better as they are, in theory, not done to manipulate rankings.

    2. Yeah the corresponding page in this case the fictional media company.
    This is because a page of related text is more relevant to a user than a list of links it is also a more related page if the copy matches your sites copy as in similar keywords are found on both pages.

    3. Well that depends. If your site is 10,000 pages with 5 levels to it.

    example.com/category/sub-category/sub-sub-category/article-page

    I would say you would need deeper links from the home page.
    If the site is a small 4 page site then yes only links coming into 1 particular page maybe enough.
    Obviously if you have got related sites linking to your articles, work pages, portfolio what ever using the correct link text then those pages are going to get a good boost as a result.

    But it's not always needed if the article is good enough, if it's unique then well it's unique and will get great results on it's own.

    For example if you are the only/ or 1 a few ppl to have written an article on the migration patterns of elephants in the article then if some1 searches for it there are only going to be a few possible results search engines can use, hence why you don't always need links coming in if the article has got good copy. Bare in mind a link is a link be it an internal link or an external link.

    Well that's a link but TBH the site 9 times out of 10 wont be related it will be a site listing articles not a site similar to yours (related) and thus wont be the best link you could get. But it's still a better link than getting a link from a banana company website if you sell dolphins. As that link wont pass on many votes, if any to yours as why would a banana website be linking to a dolphin seller website? Manipulation of rankings? So why give it all the credit? Does that makes sense.

    End of the day look for links related to yours. If you run a forum that does not mean getting links from other forums though, not the same. :D

    Pingbacks and Trackbacks
    Are ways of telling you who's linking to your articles or pages.
    If you then place these sites found our article useful section and link back you have just devalued that link as you have provided a reciprocal link and as that got spamed heavily to manipulate positions in the past it isn't as great as it once was. So I would avoid them, well not publish them anyway.

    Does that explain it better?
     
  9. bamme

    bamme Senior Member

    Thanks so much for such a detailed explanation - I love this forum! :)

    A couple of quick things that sorta went over my head, only because of terminology:

    "and that page was indexed yes," - indexed = submitted to search engines?

    "If you then place these sites found our article useful section and link back you have just devalued that link as you have provided a reciprocal link and as that got spamed heavily to manipulate positions in the past it isn't as great as it once was. So I would avoid them, well not publish them anyway." - youd avoid posting articles and letting articlebase use them? or can i just avoid placing their link on my site in return?

    Emma
     
  10. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    No indexed means in the search engines database, just because you submit a page does not mean they will add it to thier database (index)

    To find out if it is search for the exact page in the search engines ~

    http://example.com/some-page-on-your-site

    No hits means it hasn't been indexed.

    I don't use articlebase, but no you can.

    What I meant is there is some software I think on wordpress, I could be wrong, that allow you to post pingbacks.

    As in ~ "These sites found our article of use because they linked to it"

    You then list those sites and make those 1 way links a reciprical link which is not as good.
    That would depend on your ethics and if they have said you must link back to them, if they haven't said you must then you don't need to link to them.

    Hope that helps to explain it a bit better, if not let me know.

    Jaz :)
     
  11. bamme

    bamme Senior Member

    Thanks jaz managed to build a whole little txt file of notes from this thread! :)

    Ive also downloaded a couple SEO books.. looking over them i think i have an issue with my course project media website i discuss in other threads - its build using a sort of slide effect on divs in jquery, meaning there is only one index file and no other pages. is this bad for seo? i dont really want to change it (its taken me ages and does demonstrate that ive studied jquery!) can i make seperate html pages about the company just to work around it, but not associate the site with them except for a link to the site? are there any better workarounds?
     
  12. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    I'll happily take the grief and say yes 1 pages sites suck on many levels, not just SEO but accessibility, usability, web conventions and performance. But hay what do I know.

    To get it to work well create the whole site as a html site then bring it in via Ajax, that way you only stop the links from working, and add content only when it's needed.

    That way the page is still light so preforms well, it is accessible to ppl with disabilities and thus SEO friendly still breaks web conventions in my book but hay.

    Thats how you should do it.

    Always remember JavaScript should only be used to enhance a site not be the site.
     
  13. bamme

    bamme Senior Member

    Yeah i know i know :( I kinda wanted to show what i could do with jquery really.. youre completely right!

    Sorry but could you expand on this a bit: "create the whole site as a html site then bring it in via Ajax, that way you only stop the links from working, and add content only when it's needed."

    Not really sure how you mean..

    Emma
     
  14. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    Create the whole thing in XHTML then once it is finished bring the content in via AJAX into a div on the same page. You can find a detailed function that is explained on this AJAX form thread.

    Then save each page's content that you created in a separate file and when the links click add return false; and bring it in and wella you have a highly accessible site if JavaScript is turned off, and 1 that looks like a 1 page site if JavaScript isn't.

    Personally though I still wouldn't add the whole site to create a 1 page effect, but that depends on what the site is about really.

    If I haven't explained it well enough let me know.

    Jaz
     

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