Don’t let the Negative SEO Assassin kill your website!
About a month ago, SEO operatives were abuzz about the latest stick in the eye from Google. Once again, the nefarious beast Penguin was unleashed in a refreshed 3.0 version to basically check up on sites that had been previously penalized to see if they have gotten their act together. Of course newer sites were also scrutinized and fell under the Penguin axe if found lacking. Some conspiracy theorists even claim that Penguin’s pal Panda tagged along to create some havoc as well. Who knows? Matt Cutts never tells us exactly what Google is doing, so speculation runs rampant and we either bemoan the ramifications of shoddy SEO or rejoice when our websites jump in the rankings. Who ever thought that SEO could be so cloak and dagger?
What Is Negative SEO?
Now some SEO magicians who had their websites obliterated from the rankings staunchly have claimed that they were operating under the strict graces of Google. So how could their sites have tanked so badly? Well, one possibility is that they, or their sites to be specific, were the victims of Negative SEO. Pray tell, what is Negative SEO you ask? Let me lay it out for you. Negative SEO is when a competitor, rival company, malicious SEO dweeb, etc. directs some nasty spammy links to your site, usually in horrendous quantities, for the sole purpose of torpedoing your website’s Google rankings. It can even be accomplished inadvertently when links are purchased from not so reliable sources that claim to have “Penguin friendly” or “Google safe” links but in reality are selling, to put it bluntly, nothing but crappy links that Google will spot like a dog turd in the snow. Continue reading
As an SEO Consultant, I know the importance of On-Site SEO and optimizing your website or blog so that it ranks for the keywords you want to show up for in the SERPs. As the previous Local SEO article emphasized, you probably want to go after local long-tailed keywords so that customers can find you when they are looking for your local products or services. And you want them to find you on Page 1, preferably near or at the top. But according to some SEO gurus, using long-tail keywords in your content is mandatory, and there are certain places where they must be inserted. All well and good, if your only “readers” are Google bots. But what about the human experience?
Does your SEO Consultant spin your content?
An e-book that I recently read got me thinking about that very thing. It professed that long-tail keywords must be in the title, headings and content of the article. But are we as webmasters so concerned about what Google thinks of our website and getting high rankings that we will ignore the underlying reason why we created the site to begin with? Websites are created for people, and how people engage with our sites is what Content Marketing is all about. So why do we “optimize” our content to make sure that our marketing keywords are strategically inserted even if it makes no sense or negatively affects the reader experience? Beats the heck out of me. So let’s take a look at two commonly employed SEO tactics that are not necessarily conducive to reader engagement. Continue reading
Following is a scenario that highlights why Local SEO is important to your business. Let’s say your business offers local plumbing services, and a potential customer walks into her kitchen and discovers a geyser of a leak coming from under the sink. She tries to shut off the water supply, but the valve is old and rusty and she can’t manage to turn it, even with a big old wrench. In the meantime, the pool of water in the kitchen is getting bigger and deeper, and she knows she better either call a plumber or put on her bathing suit. She tries to remember where the phone book is, but then recalls she threw it out after her hulk of a husband did the old “tear a phone book in half” routine. Actually, he was pretty impressive. Anyway, it’s too bad, because you sprung for a nice half page listing in that phone book, but it won’t do you any good now.
Traffic Won’t Flow Without Local SEO!
Our maiden in distress grabs her cell phone, and starts searching the internet for a local plumber. She needs someone really local, because if a plumber doesn’t get to her house within the next 15 minutes, well, the fish tank is in for a major expansion. Fortunately, your shop is just 5 minutes away from her house, and a plumber happens to be available that can leave ASAP. But when she Googles “Rockford Plumbers” your business doesn’t show up on the first page. Or the second. Heck, it doesn’t show up until the fourth page, which she never gets to. She calls a plumber from a first page listing who is twice as far from her house as your shop because she never sees your listing. But you don’t know that. You are just sitting in your office wondering why business is so slow today…again. See why Local SEO is important? Here are 5 reasons that drive the point home. Continue reading
There is no magic Snake Oil for SEO Consultants
I’ve been an SEO Consultant for a while now, and try to stay abreast of current developments in the Worlds of SEO and Google. Since I subscribe and opt-in to a lot of content, naturally I am the target of more than a few drip marketing campaigns. Actually, I am bombarded with e-mail offers for this soft-ware or that e-book or this secret report, all claiming to make my life easier and my bank account fatter. Usually claiming minimal effort required by me. And the best part? If I act now, there are 3, no 2, no only 1 copy left at the ridiculously low price of almost nothing. Can’t beat that! And if they are really good, there will be a time clock ticking down the opportunity to buy such a marvelous product. Where’s my credit card.
No, my name isn’t Rube Moore, and I learned many years ago that if it sounds too good to be true, then run like hell in the opposite direction. But once in a while, a subject line is too intriguing to pass on opening the email, and usually the content lists many marvelous things that will be gained by buying the product. A typical e-mail may contain a list of benefits such as
- Gain Page 1 rankings overnite!
- Crush your competitors using their own keywords!
- Drive a million new visitors to your site with higher conversions!
- Learn the secret Google ranking formula that only Matt Cutts knows!
- Make $1,000 a day on autopilot without even having a website or a product!
- Work a lot less and earn a lot more as an SEO Consultant!
- Google Page 1 in One Minute! (Actual email received today)
- And much, much more! Continue reading
Good SEO Consultants are worth their weight in Gold
SEO Consultants rely on a myriad of tools to analyze and measure the performance of their client’s websites. As far as the cost of these tools, well, they run the gamut from being free to quite expensive. As far as the free ones, many are worth exactly what you pay for them, unless you “upgrade”. Not in the case of Google Webmaster Tools. In a previous article, we talked a little bit about Google Analytics and how it is a great tool for measuring traffic, determining its source and finding out what kind of content it is drawn to. SEO Consultants can take their analysis a step further with Google Webmaster Tools. There are too many features to adequately do them all justice in a single blog post, so we will concentrate on a few tools that will help you optimize your site for your chosen keywords. But to summarize, following is a partial list of tools you can utilize in your account.
Webmaster Tools allows you to:
- Submit your sitemap
- See the external links to your site’s pages
- See the internal links to your pages
- See your most linked to content
- See what Keywords have significance on your site
- Check the Index Status of your site
- See the Keywords your pages show for in SERPs and the click through rates
- Check for Crawl Errors and Blocked URLs
- Check or generate a robots.txt file
- And more!
With all of these wonderful tools, probably the most useful, in my humble opinion, are the ones that help you to optimize your site for the keywords that you want to rank for. So, let’s take a look at how to determine if you are on the right track with your SEO and if your SEO Consultant is worth his or her weight in gold. Continue reading