Some Links Shouldn’t Matter – But Do

Links and linking are undeniably a significant factor in search engine ranking algorithms. On the surface that even makes sense. The more valuable a site is, the more sites will link to it. The more sites that link to it, the more search engines trust it. This is the Kool-Aid the SEO industry has been drinking for the past several years. Continue reading

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Privacy For Sale?

Privacy for Sale?On October 18th, Google made the announcement that they would begin encrypting search queries for users that were signed-in or chose to use the https url to initiate searches. Their reasoning for this change was to enhance the default search experience and protect the personalized search results they deliver.

What is encrypting?

In this instance, encryption refers to utilizing a secure sockets layer, or SSL connection. An SSL connection allows the information you enter on a web page and submit to be encrypted, or protected, from unauthorized, prying eyes.  Most browsers recognize SSL connections, or secure forms, by displaying an https url instead of the standard http version. For example, Google’s standard url – http://www.google.com is the unencrypted url and the newer https://www.google.com is the encrypted page. Continue reading

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Why Does Google Contradict Itself?

This post is a bit on the geek-centric side of SEO. You’ve been warned. Also, this is strictly an opinion rant. I still love Google and believe every client should optimize their site for the best rankings in Google. <hugs></hugs>

Ever wonder why the number of pages indexed in Google (as shown in the Sitemaps section of Webmaster Tools) is different from the number of pages indexed in Google (as shown in a site: search of Google itself)?

<rant>Google forums and blogs, as well as other industry sources say that it could be because of the way Google stores data. You see, Google utilizes what are called data centers. According to the Webmaster Central Blog, “Occasionally, fluctuation in search results is the result of differences in our data centers. When you perform a Google search, your query is sent to a Google data center in order to retrieve search results. There are numerous data centers, and many factors (such as geographic location and search traffic) determine where a query is sent. Because not all of our data centers are updated simultaneously, it’s possible to see slightly different search results depending on which data center handles your query.” Continue reading

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Online Negativity – Embrace the Dark Side

As Michael Fauscette describes in his post How to Deal with Negativity Online, there are a few different types of online negativity you may be required to deal with (Real Issue, Constructive Criticism, and Unwarranted Attack)- regardless of whether or not your company has an online presence.  This post focuses mainly on the third type. You’ll need to be honest with yourself or get an unbiased third party opinion to decide which of these types applies to your situation.

Regardless of what’s been said about you or your company, there are 5 rules of the road that will keep you from escalating the situation and making it a total disaster. Continue reading

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Search Engine Optimization – The Basics

I get asked a lot by new and existing clients, what SEO is all about. People in the industry know what it is, but sometimes we assume everyone knows. But, believe it or not, a lot of people still believe SEO is stuffing the keyword meta tag with words and “voila” the page is ranked number one instantly. This is a basic overview of what we believe SEO or search optimization is. I won’t be getting into specifics in this article, nor will I be discussing paid advertising.

What is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing web pages to increase the organic ranking of web pages in search engine results. Organic ranking is defined as the non-paid, main search results you see in Google and other search engines. Paid ranking is the area at the top or on the right side of search results pages that is usually a slightly different color (pink or yellow) and is paid per click by the domain owner. Continue reading

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(Don’t) Set It & Forget It

I always get calls from potential clients that already have web sites who say that they can’t find themselves on Google – not only for specific keywords, but even their company name. If their company can’t be found, it’s usually due to the fact they’re not linked to anyone (and no one is linked to them) and the crawlers don’t know the site is out there. Some clients simply built the site themselves and never thought of a linking strategy – even in it’s most basic form. In rare cases, the site can be made so poorly there are NO text or link references to the company at all. Continue reading

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Structure of a Successful SEO Campaign

In order for your search engine optimization campaign to be a success, there are several things you must consider, and an order in which to accomplish them. In this article, I’ll describe the view from 1000 feet.

Step 1 – Define Goals
If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you will likely never accomplish it. Write down your goals. I know, it sounds stupid, but if you write down your goals you are much more likely to actually accomplish them. What return on investment to you expect? What increases in your key performance indicators (KPIs) would you like to see? How many more sales or conversions each month?

As you set your goals, also plan the time frames in which you expect to achieve them. Set some deadlines. Keep in mind that many facets of the SEO process can take some time to begin performing – so allow a little wiggle room.

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