Articles on SEO

The articles below cover various techniques you can use to strengthen the SEO of your website. Click the headline to read the full article.

I’ve seen a rash of automated backlinking products being promoted recently, but the way they’re promoted and what they offer makes me angry. Google makes around 500 changes a year to its search algorithms (there were 40 in February alone). Its major focus is on eliminating abuse (particularly automated abuse) of any aspect of the… . . . Read more

For some time now Google has taken website (or, rather, page) load-times into account when ranking pages in their search results. The reason is simple: fast page-load speeds give your visitors a better experience, and Google is all about improving web users’ experience. Because of this, I’m not surprised to see questions in the forums… . . . Read more

I see an awful lot of bad advice in some of the forums I visit – advice that, at best, will deliver no benefit and at worst may be harmful. One such is on the question of keyword density, and the advice I see so often is to have a density of anywhere between 2%… . . . Read more

I spent some time analysing my Google Webmaster Tools crawl errors this week and tidied up some of those pesky 404’s that keep showing up. There was a time when I had zero 404 errors on this site, and very proud of it I was too. But my pride was misplaced. As this site has… . . . Read more

This video is designed for people new to both WordPress and to working online. It covers the basic SEO details that you should fill in for each new WordPress post and page you write, in order to get more search engine traffic. I use the Thesis theme, so the screenshots are Thesis screens, but the… . . . Read more

Interesting question in the Warrior Forum from someone who had recently set up a new website and was worried because it had disappeared from the search results. So here’s the thing: initially, new sites often do appear quickly in the natural search results. But then they bounce up and down a bit, going from maybe… . . . Read more

Interesting question in the Warrior Forum today: How do you set up internal linking on your site correctly? The questioner explained that they had currently set up their site by linking each page back to the two previous pages via a link entitled ‘recent articles’. While that would link all the pages together, it would… . . . Read more

For the everyday webmaster (as opposed to SEO academics) Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has changed a lot in the last couple of years. There was a time when we sweated over keyword density, what to put in our title tags, how many keywords to use and so on. And the result was often a page… . . . Read more

A while ago I wrote about activating Gzip to speed up your page load time. But speeding up your page load time is about a lot more than 1-shot answers – whether it’s activating Gzip, installing a caching plugin or anything else. This graph shows an interesting (and encouraging) trend: It’s from my Google Webmaster… . . . Read more

With Google now including page-load times in the factors it uses to rank sites for the natural search results, a recent article on the SEOmoz blog giving 7 ways to speed things up caught my attention. Some of them I was already using but one that I wasn’t was Gzip compression, so I dived right… . . . Read more

A while ago I wrote about hitting Google page 1 out of 192,000,000 results for the search term ‘online home business tips’. Having hit that target I confidently waited for my traffic to start kicking up. But it remained pretty much unchanged. Digging a bit further revealed that although there were around 200,000,000 results for… . . . Read more

Last week I wrote about some key points that came out of a website review I completed recently (see it here) One of the things I delivered as part of that review was a set of META tags for each page on the site, so I figured I’d explain how I went about that. A… . . . Read more

I’m just completing an SEO review on the website of a local business, and I thought it may be helpful to talk generally about some of the major points that came out. Don’t fret – total confidentiality is guaranteed! First thing to keep in mind: Search Engine Optimisation is a dynamic environment. The search engines… . . . Read more

Interesting thread in the Third Tribe forum today: don’t ignore the SEO. It was started by someone who’d taken the ‘write for people, don’t write for the search engines’ mantra literally – and not done any SEO work on their site. Now, I’ve repeated the ‘write for people …’ theme many times on this site… . . . Read more

I’ve had two occasions recently to be shocked at what Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) consultants charge versus what they actually deliver. And angry, because (in one case) it was daylight robbery. So here’s a tip if you’re struggling with optimizing your site for the search engines: Get your self a free Google account (if you… . . . Read more

It may not be a big deal to you but it is to me. After 2 years of work this site is finally on the first page of Google, out of 192,000,000 results, for the search term Online Home Business Tips. And here’s the picture to prove it. OK, I’m only at number 10, but… . . . Read more

I’m often amazed when I look at the source code of web pages, because creating a page that’s optimised for the search engines is so straightforward – yet so seldom done. I’ve said repeatedly: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not a black art, so don’t let anyone tell you it is. All you need to… . . . Read more

I read a post recently in a forum that argued quite strongly that META tags are a waste of time. The argument was that they don’t serve a useful purpose any more, with the exception of the Title and Description tags. I disagreed quite strongly with that position. Here’s why:   META tags are part of… . . . Read more

I received a question through my Dear Martin page the other day from someone who was asking how backlinks affected page rank, and how the ‘nofollow’ tag affected backlinks, therefore affecting page rank. Here’s the response I offered: The first thing I’d say is don’t get hung up on Page Rank and all that other… . . . Read more

Here’s a question I saw in a forum this week:  is it better to have a good page rank or lots of visitors to your site. The person in question had a site which was focused on design and design services, so my opening response was that what they really wanted was lots of visitors… . . . Read more

Here’s another question I saw in a forum this week: what’s the difference between Search Engine Optimisation and Social Marketing, or are they the same thing. Here’s the reply I offered: They are different things but Social Marketing will help your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts, if you do it properly. Firstly, SEO This stands… . . . Read more

I read a post today from someone who’s experienced the frustration of focusing on the Search Engines for their website traffic. The problem is – the search engines keep changing their algorithms in order to improve the relevance of their results and to block loopholes the black-hatters find.  And this can really blow your search… . . . Read more

I saw another question on META tags today, specifically on the use of Title, Description, Keywords and Footer.  Here’s a copy of my response: The Title Tag This tag is what appears in the blue bar at the very top of your browser window. Google currently places a lot of emphasis on the Title tag… . . . Read more

I just saw an interesting question in a forum: how does a blog help with SEO?  Here’s the answer I offered: An active (and that’s important) blog is attractive to a search engine for three primary reasons: It’s updated with new information regularly Through the mechanism of tags and categories (or labels on blogger), its… . . . Read more

A few days ago I covered some basic on-page SEO techniques. So, as promised at the end of that article, here’s the second part of the answer to the question about whether SEO or good content is better for generating good search engine visibility: content and its impact on off-page SEO. Off-page SEO is more… . . . Read more

Which is better for making your site visible to the search engines – SEO or Good Content?  This summarises a question I saw the other day, and here’s the basis of my response: For the best search engine visibility you need a combination of both – good, current content and a well-optimised site. In this… . . . Read more