Tag Archives: SERP’s

Top 10 Search Engine Positioning Mistakes!

Search Engine Positioning is the art of optimizing your web site so that it gets into a high position on the search engine results page whenever someone searches for keywords that relate to your products and services.

However, some people make basic mistakes while designing their web site and as a result, never make it to the top. Even if they work hard on it! Or may be waste a lot of money on useless tools and services.

Do you make these mistakes too?

1. Designing a Frames-based web site
This one is the biggest loser of them all. Frames may make the job of maintaining a very big and complicated web site easy but search engine absolutely hate them. Most of the search engines cannot find out their way easily through them and end up indexing only the home page.

Now imagine this. One of your internal pages has been reported by the search engines and the user has clicked on it. What a mess! The page looks orphan without the outer frame and the navigation.

Lose your frames right away. You will start getting positive improvements the moment you redesign your site without frames.

2. Having an all-Flash or graphic-only home page

This is another classic mistake. Many designers design web site home pages like brochures. A beautiful cover which has to be opened to read. But on the Internet every click takes away some prospects. Did they click your ENTER button or the Back button?

You see, search engines need content to index. If you don’t have content on the home page but only a Flash movie or a big animated graphic, how will the search engine know what you deal in. And why will it give you a high enough ranking?

3. Not having a good title

What’s your title, Sir?

A good title is an absolute must for getting a good search engine position and the most vital thing — the click-through. With the title, you are always walking a tightrope. You need a title with your most important keyword near the beginning but it should still appeal to the human reading the results.

Don’t, don’t stuff it with the keywords. How does this look to you —

Search engine position, search engine positioning, search engine ranking

If you saw this in the search engine results, will you click on this or you will prefer-

Top 10 Search engine positioning mistakes!

4. Hosting your site with a FREE host

It takes away all your credibility. You want to do business from your web site. Right? And you can’t even afford a decent web hosting package. How do you expect your prospect to trust you?

Most of the search engines do not spider web sites hosted on the free hosts. Even if they do, they rank them quite low. How many geocities web sites have you seen in the top 10?

Also, will you be comfortable buying your merchandise from someone who can’t even afford a small shop? And web site hosting is much cheaper!

Do you want your visitor to look at your message or look at the pop-up that your free web host popped over your site?

Go get a good web hosting package right away.

5. Putting all links on Javascript

Google and many other search engines don’t read and process JavaScript. So if you have all your links on JavaScript only, Google is blind to them.

You must have at least one text-based link to all the pages that you want to link to. And the anchor text (the visible text on the site) should contain your important keywords, not “Click here”.

6. Stuffing lots of keywords in the keywords tag

Do you have a keywords tag that lists all the words related to your product in a big long series? This is a certain recipe to invite negative points.

While many search engines have already started to ignore keywords tag precisely because of this misuse, you should have the keywords tag for the search engines that still use them. It also serves as a reminder of the keywords that you are optimizing for.

However, put only the 2-3 most important keywords in there. Here’s a quick test – don’t put any term in the keywords tag if it does not appear at least once on the body copy.

7. Not having any outgoing links

Do you know why the Internet is called the Web? Because the web sites link to each other. If you are only having incoming links but don’t have any outbound links, it is not appreciated by the search engines as it violates the web-like structure of the Web.

Because some people try to conserve PageRank (a proprietary index used by Google to measure link popularity), they avoid having any outbound links. This is one big myth. You can get very good points if you have some outbound links with keyword-rich anchor text and preferably keyword-rich target URL also.

Of course, you should not turn your web page into a link-farm. There should be a few good links amidst some good content.

8. Insisting on session variables and cookies to show information

Session variables are used extensively by ecommerce-enabled sites. This is to trace the path used by the visitor. Shopping cart and various other applications also benefit by using session variables. However it should be possible to visit the various information related and sales pages without needing to have session variables.

Since you can’t put cookies on the search engine spiders, they can’t index your pages properly if the navigation requires cookies and session variables.

9. Regularly submitting your site to the search engines

“We will submit your site to the top 250,000 search engines every month for only $29.95.” Who has not seen these ads or received Spam with similar messages?

And which are those 250,000 search engines? There are only about 8-10 top search engines worth bothering about. And a handful of directories.

With most of the search engines, you only need to submit once to get spidered and then they will keep your listing fresh by crawling your site at regular intervals. All you need to do is to keep adding fresh content to your site and the search engines will absolutely love you. In fact, Google prefers to locate you through a link and not through the URL submission page.

For some sites like DMOZ, if you resubmit while you are waiting to be indexed, you entry is pushed to the end of the queue. So you can resubmit regularly and never get indexed 🙁

10. Optimizing for more than 2 or 3 search terms

It is virtually impossible to optimize a page for more than 2-3 keywords without diluting everything. Don’t try to work on more than 3 phrases on one page. Split.

Get similar phrases together and work on those in this page. Take 2 or 3 out of the other phrases and develop a new page with entirely new copy. Remember, you cannot just copy the same page and squeeze these new phrases in there. It will look very funny to the visitor.

SEO – Natural Linking Strategies

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be the difference between a small, barely profitable or visible website and a traffic magnet website. There are a lot of ways, both good and bad, to influence the search engines. Some search engines react to certain strategies better than others. Some even have conflicting strategies that they react to. To document all of these things would require a significant number of pages and research that goes beyond the scope of this article.

However, there are a number of things that can be documented that will work for most if not all search engines. And let’s face it; there are really only 3 that make a difference between a successful and an unsuccessful SEO strategy. They are the big three: Google, Yahoo and MSN. These three search engines in any given month are responsible for over 90% of all internet searches.

So, what is this article about? It’s about what you can do as a website owner that will influence the search engines using commonly accepted practices of linking to other websites (outbound) and getting website links (inbound) back to you. There are basically 4 strategies that a website owner usually will employ to increase their website value in the eyes of the search engine. They are reciprocal linking, one-way linking, multi-site linking and directory linking. A website owner should not think that using just a single strategy is the right answer – sure it will help your SEO but it won’t be the Best answer. The Best answer is to employ all 4 techniques and to do it naturally.

Each of the four linking strategies has specific descriptions that can be summed up as:
1. Reciprocal Linking = Site A links to Site B, Site B links back to Site A
2. One-Way Linking = Site B links to Site A
3. Multi-Site Linking = Site A links to Site B, Site B links to Site C, Site C links to Site D, and Site D links back to Site A. Could be 3..N number of sites involved.
4. Directory Linking = Site Directory A links to Site A

That seems simple enough but it takes time and effort to perform all 4 strategies and most website owners aren’t willing to spend the time or don’t have the time to spend on it. As a website owner, SEO needs to be one of the highest priority tasks that you need to address, just after Order Processing and Fulfillment and Customer Service. Without free traffic from the search engines, other traffic generation strategies that usually require payment must be engaged.

Now doing the 4 strategies above is great, but it gets even harder because you have to do it in a way that doesn’t trigger the search engines to enforce a penalty upon your website. No one except the search engine engineers know all of the exact penalties but we have some good theories for some of them.

The first is the rate at which links are created. There is a certain threshold for creating links that is too fast. It’s possible that the threshold is a sliding scale and is related to the age of the website according to the engine. For example, a young low-traffic website should not normally be getting 1000 links a month whereas an older website that gets a lot of traffic could be OK to get 1000 links a month. As you progress in your linking strategies make sure you keep this in mind, especially if you are thinking about buying links.

The second is that having a link to every site that links to you will likely reduce the value of the links. In other words, if all you ever get is Reciprocal Linking, you will likely move up the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page’s) but you won’t reach your sites full potential. Having a mixture of all 4 strategies will appear more natural to the engines.

The third is having all inbound links to your site on “linking” pages will make those links less valuable than having a natural link on a contextually relative page for a percentage of the inbound links. The higher you can drive this context percentage, the better your website will rank. These types of links are often some of the most difficult links to generate an exchange for because it requires more time and effort for both website owners.

The fourth is to have links inbound from all different ranking sites. If all you have linking to you is page rank 6 and 7 sites then you are likely to be sending the message that you purchased your links and that is not natural to the engines. Some would argue that purchasing links for driving traffic is just fine and it is. However, you should not expect the search engines to give those inbound links very much weight when calculating your SERP positions. It is significantly more natural for you to have a large number of rank 1 and 2 inbound links and a decreasing number of inbound links as you move up the page rank scale (0 – 10).

The fifth is to have the text of you inbound links varied. It isn’t natural to have every website that links to you to have the same text on the link description. The natural tendency would be to have a certain percent be the sites name, but after that it should be a wide variety of description. Your link text description is a key factor for how your site/page will rank, so make sure that you keep that in mind as you specify your preferred link text description on your website.

Finally, it would be best for a good percentage of your inbound links to appear within the text of a page that appears natural for the reader of that site. And for those links to not all point back to the home page of your website. It’s most natural for a good high quality link to appear in the text of a page and have it point internally within your site.

So, when you begin or continue your SEO activities keep all of these things in mind and don’t be impatient. Impatience could incur penalties or worse. Your website could end up in the “sandbox”. It is rumored and becoming more concrete that Google supposedly uses a sandbox that questionable sites are put in until they have aged to a point that Google no longer feels that they are being manipulated. Many of the search engines use similar protection schemes to eliminate spam sites and manipulation sites to keep their SERP’s from being cluttered.