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There are pretty few search engines on the world wide web which have a different way of ranking through link popularities. Figuring out all your possible inbound links requires much time. You can group your links in categorical manner base on their purpose in your website. If it happens that your website got linked to website that appear to have no content relationship then you can have a request for the removal of this link. This kind of links is not important to search engine spiders which are more concerned with the quantity match. Always check thoroughly for (FFA) “Free For ALL” or those link farms. The inbound links present in these website are known to be hazardous in your website ranking.

Your category for inbound links must include those links that creates traffic around your website. Here is the lists of the major categories which you need to search for.

On Site. Always use keywords on each link on your website that directs to another website.

Directories. Directory links that are fee based

Subscribers. This refers to the related industry search engine in which your website information was requested.

Your Partners: Reciprocal linking to trade and professional associations, business partners and resellers.

Media. Use

this medium for publishing useful articles, site reviews and press releases that will help the promotion and marketing of your website.

Ideally, most of the links in your website would possibly fall in about two to five categories. If majority of you inbound links seem to be outside or not belonging on those categories, then do a request to web administrators asking them the removal of those links to your page. It will be useless to keep a link that are not relevant or connected to your site.

Anything or whatever you choose to do, always avoid the what you call LINK BUYING. This are schemes which are promoted and can be found mostly on different sites on the internet. This schemes promises you to have hundreds of inbound links in a very short period of time. Search engines are very sensitive to this kind of techniques. If they go over your website at a certain month and if during that time you have about 100 links then after a month you will then be having about a thousand inbound links, be watchful about this or else you are risking your website from being removed permanently in the search engines.

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What is the easiest and quickest way to get your site spidered and listed by Google and Yahoo?

This is an enternal question, one that many frustrated SEO specialists and online business owners are still trying to figure out. The trick to answering this question is to find out exactly what Google and Yahoo want you to do to get listed; not what you THINK they want you to do. That being said, the tried and true methods to get your pages indexed and listed by Google and Yahoo have been the following:

1. Blogging and Pinging

2. Submit your website through the standard submission form provided by Yahoo and Google

3. Pay a search engine submission service to do it for you

4. Figure out how to create a Sitemap for each of the engines to get the spiders to come to your site (you still have to manually submit)

These are all decent methods. However, the problems with 3 of these methods are many, and here are just a few:

1. Blog and Ping and submission forms are all slow ways to get listed. Who has that kind of time?

2. Search Engine Submission services can be expensive

3. Using an automated search engine submission service can get you banned, if the search engines think that you are “spamming”

Of all the methods listed above, both Google and Yahoo prefer that you create a sitemap and then submit your site to them. You create a database file that contains information about ALL of your web pages. You then load that file onto your website and then let Google know where that file is. Google is extremely specific about how the database should be submitted, which is in XML format.

By submitting your website in this way, you are cutting

down on their overhead by a huge amount. You see, when you submit the old-fashioned way, using the standard submission form we talked about earlier, Google and Yahoo have to convert your information to the database XML format themselves. As you can imagine, this takes time, especially with the zillions of webpages that are submitted daily. So, those sites that are submitted in the manner and format that Google and Yahoo are already using will get their pages spidered faster…do you see the logic here? Using this process, you are enabling them to visit many MORE of your web pages quickly and easy. This is exactly what Google and Yahoo want you to do.

By submitting your sitemap in the preferred format, you will accomplish the following:

1. Save enormous amounts of your valuable time and money.

2. You don’t risk getting banned

3. You will get Google and Yahoo to spider the pages of your site faster.

So, if you want to get your site spidered, and therefore listed, faster, you must create and submit the sitemap. In theory, the search engines can list your pages whenever they want. In reality, until you get them to spider your webpages, you will never get them listed!

Joe Borges makes it easy to get your website quickly spidered and listed in all the major search engines. Learn how by visiting our Google Sitemap website.Joe Borges is an experienced Internet Marketer and Software Consultant with experience in website development and implementation. He is also a professional SEO Consultant, helping internet businesses increase their web presence, website traffic and Search Engine Ranking. Get tools and strategies that you can use right now to make your online business thrive by visiting:

http://www.tekretail.com/seo-software.html

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It’s happened to all of us. You wake up one morning feeling like a million bucks, you stretch and if you’re like me, you notice the eye-rolling as once again your significant other catches you with a toothbrush dangling from your mouth and a laptop or iPhone in front of you while you check rankings and emails. And then it happens – you start your browser with a search phrase already set to display and you notice that your site no longer holds it’s previous position and the move is not in the right direction. We’ve all faced it and the longer you’ve been an SEO or website owner the more times you’ve seen it happen. But still … what do you do? To quote the immortal Douglas Adams, "Don’t panic."

Believe me – I know how hard it is sometimes. It’s easy for me to say this to clients when I see an engine fluctuating or a site has dropped only a position or two and we’re working to react but it’s a completely different thing when it happens to you and (might I add) a good reminder to SEO’s as to what our clients go through. But I still haven’t answered the question have I? What do you do? What … do … you … do?

There are five basic steps one must take when their site drops (I like to keep things simple and a 5 step check-list is a great way to do that). These steps assume that to start with you had a well-optimized website with good SEO practices followed. If you don’t then the reasons you dropped are pretty clear but if you’ve got a well-optimized site and your site has fallen – then this is for you. You should:

1 – Build Links

It’s very difficult for people to not want to do something proactive when they notice their site drop. I know – I’ve been there. One of the easiest things to do to keep yourself busy while working on the other 4 steps below is to build links. Building good, solid links to your site will never hurt and will only help you out so even if one of the later steps might show you other actions you need to take (or not take) you’ll never go wrong with some solid link building and if nothing else – it’ll make you feel like you’re doing something and stop you from doing other things that might do you more harm than good.

I’m not going to go into all the different types of links you could build or what the anatomy of a good link is. Many articles, forums and blog posts have been written in the past and are easily found online. I’m sure if you monitor a few good SEO forums you’ll find more being written every day. If you can – find articles by Eric Enge. While he doesn’t give it all away (who does?) – you won’t go wrong taking his advice and even seasoned SEO’s are likely to learn a thing or two from reading his work.

2 – Relax For A Couple Days

Before you rush to your favorite site editing tool – relax. Slight tweaks in content are unlikely to make much of a difference (if any) to your rankings. If you’ve got solid, well-optimized content and suddenly your site’s fluctuating – cramming in a few more instances of your targeted phrase will likely do more harm than good.

Now – when I say relax I basically mean, don’t touch your site. There are steps (such as link building) that you can work on including the analytical work noted below. Just don’t go editing all your copy to try to chase some tweak in Google’s algorithm. Relax.

3 & 4 – Analyze The Sites That Have Out-Ranked You (Onsite And Offsite)

One of the best things you can do is to take a look at the sites that are out-ranking you to find out what they’ve done. This will tell you two things: One – are there some good tactics that you’re missing, and Two – are these rankings likely to hold or are they flawed? There are two areas you’ll want to look at and those are the onsite optimization and the backlinks.

When you’re looking at the onsite optimization you need to only briefly look at their keyword densities, H1 and title tags, internal linking structure, number of indexed pages and the amount of content on the page. Remember: I’m assuming that (as you were ranking previously) you have a solidly optimized website with some good SEO practices

and content guidelines followed. If you look at these and compare the newly ranking sites with your site and with other sites that have held their positions and dropped you’ll get a feel for whether there are trends. If there are common traits among the sites that have moved up then you may be on to something. Remember the common trends among the sites that have climbed and held and also remember what they have that the sites that have dropped do not. Remember: there may be no common trends or nothing you can find out with this small a sample. Once this step is complete it’s time to move on to backlink analysis.

Backlink analysis is a good practice to undertake every few months regardless of updates but definitely necessary now that you’re dropping. What you need to do now is to analyze the backlinks of the sites that are out-ranking you. Depending on the competition level this can be a brutal task in that it’s not just about numbers. You should use Yahoo!’s link:www.domain.com command and visit many of the sites in your comeptitors backlinks. What you’re trying to do is get a full view of what their links look like. You’ll also want to download SEO Link Analysis (A Firefox extension you’ll find at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/7505/). When you’re doing a backlink check it automatically displays the PageRank and anchor text of the backlinks though I’d still HIGHLY recommend visiting a good many of the sites to see what kind of links they are.

Once again you’re going to be looking for the architecture of the backlinks of the sites that are moving up. What tactics they’re using, what their links look like on the page, what anchor text distribution they’ve got. Once again you’re going to compare that with other sites on the rise, your site and other stable sites to see what is common between those that are climbing and holding their grown vs those that have fallen.

Once we’ve collected this data it’s time to act. Collect all the common traits that the climbing and holding sites have and …

5 – Take Action

You’re done waiting around preforming the tedious task of link building. You’ve got your data and you’re ready to launch into action and get some stuff done. But wait (oh no – did he say wait again?) is action really the best thing?

When you’ve pooled your data you need to decide what it means. Let’s take for example a situation where the newly ranking sites have very low word counts and tons of footer links (looks paid to me). Do you REALLY want to follow their lead? The question you need to ask yourself in this case is do the factors that are apparently working RIGHT NOW overall going to provide better or worse results? Is less content more or less likely to results in a satisfied visitor? Do paid footer links help Google deliver quality results over the whole of the Internet? In these cases the answer is easily "no" but your findings might be more subtle such as an extremely disproportionate use of targeted anchor text among the ranking sites or sp@mmy copy with keyword densities at 8 or 10%.

What you’re in a position to do now is figure out a moving-forward strategy. If the common trends among the top and improving sites are bad or sp@mmy then you know the algorithm will correct itself eventually and you shouldn’t chase it. If you need to do something – build some additional links and look for new phrases to rank for on other pages to help stabilize your traffic when individual phrases decline.

If you find that the factors that have created the new results are legitimate and will lead to better results overall you know you need to make some changes to what you’re doing and fortunately – with the research you’ve just done you’ve got a great starting spot in that you can probably get some great resources and tactics from the lists of backlinks and onsite optimization you’ve just collected.

It may take hours or even days to properly perform this research but then – you needed something to do while your rankings are down. It might as well be productive.

About the author:

Dave Davies is the CEO of Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization, Inc. Beanstalk’s SEO services include full-services SEO packages, consulting, training, copywriting and link building. Dave has been involved in SEO since 2001, co-authored SitePoint’s SEM Kit, has spoken at SES and SMX events and hosts a weekly radio show on WebmasterRadio.fm.

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Before you can even consider getting high rankings in Google, Yahoo and MSN, you have to get indexed by the search engines. Here’s how you do it for free.

Submitting?

Getting indexed is relatively easy, far more so than it used to be in the past. It is so easy that I am surprised I still get spam with submission offers.

Each of the big three search engines has a page where you can submit your site. The only one worth using is on MSN. Google and Yahoo take for every to get around to manual submissions, and there are far easier ways of getting into them. To find the MSN submission page, just search for “submit MSN.”

Google

Google has really gone to great lengths to help you get indexed. If you are updating your site frequently, you should use the Google Sitemaps tool. The tool is free and gives Google a direct path for visiting your site on a regular basis. If you don’t update that frequently, there is an even easier method for getting indexed.

For Google, the simplest method is to go to blogger.com and start a blog for your site. This blog platform is free. Just start writing about anything you wish. Within your ramblings, create links to pages on your sites. Since Google owns blogger.com, it will check the site every few days and follow the links to your site. Once on your site, Google is pretty good about indexing as many pages as possible.

Yahoo

The company tries to make money by charging you to be listed in the Yahoo directory, a companion section to its search engine. Depending on the type of site, this can run a couple hundred dollars a year with no guarantee of even being ranked! Many sites bypass this process by trading links with sites already in the Yahoo directory. Yahoo then follows said links to your site and indexes it. The beauty of this approach, of course, is no money comes out of your pocket.

Showing no shame, Yahoo has recently moved to turn its search engine into one giant pay-per-click engine. This new program is called “SiteMatch” and has met with a ton of controversy. Essentially, Yahoo wants you to pay

to submit each url of your site, with prices ranging from $49 for the first one to $29 and $15 for subsequent sub-domains depending on the number of listings. As if that weren’t bad enough, Yahoo also is demanding that you pay for each hit these pages get from organic listings! The cost per click is either 30 or 15 cents depending on the type of site. In my humble opinion, this is a disgraceful move by Yahoo, and I refuse to be held up. You can make your own choice.

An alternative way to get listed in Yahoo is to turn your blog into a news feed. You’ll need a free email account with Yahoo. Take the blog you created for Google and go to a free feed converter site like Feed Burner. Convert your blog into a news feed using the free service. This may sound complex, but it is exceedingly simple once you are on the site.

When the site kicks out your feed domain, add it to the My Yahoo page associated with your free Yahoo email account. Just go to the My Yahoo page and click the “add content” button in the top left. Enter your feed domain where indicated on the page that appears.

Next, go to a site like PingOMatic and ping the various blog listing sites out there. My Yahoo is one such site. Eventually, Yahoo will read the My Yahoo listings and follow the links in the blog to your site. This doesn’t work as well as it used to, but it beats paying the SiteMatch fees.

MSN

MSN is very good about hunting down sites. If it hasn’t found yours, just go to the submit site page mentioned in the “Submitting?” paragraph at the beginning of this article. Enter a url and MSN will crawl it within a week or two.

Getting indexed in Google and MSN is fairly easy if you follow these steps. As to Yahoo, you’ll have to evaluate whether you want to be part of the shenanigans.

Halstatt Pires is a search engine optimization specialist with http://www.marketingtitan.com – an Internet marketing and advertising company in San Diego offering meta tag optimization services and link popularity services.

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Search engine copywriting has become an extremely important part of the overall search engine optimization process. However, in addition, search engine copywriting has developed into a misunderstood craft.

Shoving keywords in anywhere they can possibly go is not considered search engine copywriting. The process is more defined than that. Successful SEO copywriting takes planning. Any half-hearted efforts at writing copy geared strictly toward the engines will usually result in a decline in your customer’s experience at your site.

What’s the best way to write SEO copy? Starting with a plan is always a good idea. Keep in mind, these are guidelines of techniques that can be used *IF* they make sense for your site visitors. I never recommend writing solely for the search engines. In the case of search engine copywriting, the customer is truly #1.

1) Use Three Keyphrases Per Page – Not a carved-in-stone rule, the guideline of three keyphrases per page gives good variety and helps keep the copy from sounding too repetitive. I always choose keyphrases first – before I write – because they can have a direct impact on the focus of the page.

2) Have 250 or More Words of Copy – The length of your copy depends on several things: Your target customer’s preferred communication style, whether the product is new to the marketplace, if a detailed explanation needs to be given, site design and many other factors. However, the 250-word minimum gives enough room to get your message across and offer an effective level of keyword support. Remember though, it’s all about the customer. If your target customers prefer longer copy, write longer copy. If they like shorter copy, write shorter copy.

3) Write In Natural Language – “Natural language” is a term popular in SEO copywriting. It means that the reader should not be able to (or should barely be able to) detect what keyphrases the page is being optimized for. The copy should flow as if it were not written with the search engines in mind. You don’t want the copy to sound forced or stiff. When you generate ideas for the page copy, keep your keywords in mind. Ask yourself whether you can use them in the copy in such a way that they won’t be obtrusive.

4) Use Keyword Phrases

In Headlines and Sub-headlines – IF it makes sense to do so. You will not blow your rankings if you have no keyword-filled or other tags. If your headline sounds stupid with keywords in it, don’t use them. There are countless sites online that rank highly which have no keywords in the headline.

5) Use Keyword Phrases Once or Twice Per Paragraph – Again IF it makes sense. Remember what I keep repeating? None of these guidelines are carved in stone. Read your copy out loud. If it sounds stupid or forced, take out some keywords or find ways to rework them so they flow more naturally.

6) Use Keyword Phrases In Bold, Italic or Bulleted Lists – IF it makes sense to do so. Don’t automatically bold or italicize every instance of your keywords. It will make your page look stupid, and your visitors will wonder what kind of drugs you’ve been doing!

7) Do NOT Use Keyword Phrases As Substitutes For Generic Terms – For example, do not replace every instance of the generic word “cruise” with the keyphrase “Mexico cruise vacation.” Your copy will sound ridiculous.

We offer Mexico cruise vacation packages on the most popular Mexico cruise vacation ships to the most breathtaking Mexico cruise vacation destinations. Oh please!!

8) Use Keyword Phrases As Anchor Text In Links – This is certainly not always possible. If your primary keyphrase is “Mexico Cruise Vacation,” you absolutely should not write every link to include that phrase. However, if you can include keywords in anchor text within body copy or in text navigation links, you might score a little extra credit.

9) Test and Track – Lastly, and above all, please remember, it may take some tweaking to get your page to convert the way you want it to. All customers are not the same, and all sites are not the same. All keyphrases are not the same. There is no magic bullet. You’ll have to test and track and see what works best for you.

© 2005http://www.copywritingcourse.com/keyword

Copy not getting results? Learn to write SEO copy that impresses the engines and your visitors at http://www.copywritingcourse.com. Be sure to check out Karon’s latest e-report “How To Increase Keyword Saturation (Without Destroying the Flow of Your Copy)” at http://www.copywritingcourse.com/keyword.

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Search engine marketing services sure can decrease the amount oftime you are required to devote to your business to make it asuccess. However, even though there are many advantages to searchengine marketing services, there are disadvantages to beconsidered as well.

Before you make the critical decision to hire or not to hiresearch engine marketing service providers, be sure you haveweighed the pros and cons as they relate to your particularsituation. After all, each and every woman-owned business isunique, so what works for one business owner may or may not beright for you.

The primary advantages to contracting search engine marketingservices are: 1) not having to manage your search enginemarketing campaigns saves you a lot of time, and 2) when youcontract professional search engine marketing services, theylikely have more experience in search engine marketing than whatyou have.

Disadvantages are: 1) search engine marketing services can beexpensive, especially with ongoing monitoring of your marketingcampaign, which is crucial, and 2) there is some potential thatyou will not get search engine marketing services that are worthwhat you are paying for them.

The main toss-up in deciding between do-it-yourself or searchengine marketing services is between time and money. If you’vegot more time than you’ve got money, doing your own search enginemarketing is likely best; however, if you’ve got more money thantime, using professional search engine marketing services isprobably for you. The second consideration is whether to masterthe learning curve so you can do your own search enginemarketing, or to rely upon professionals to take care of it foryou.

It is important to realize that ongoing monitoring andadjustments to your search engine marketing campaign isnecessary, so consider that when reviewing your options. Somebusinesswomen opt to have search engine marketing services planand launch their search engine marketing campaign, and then theytake the reins in managing the campaign over the long-run.

Search engine marketing services generally offer a variety ofservice options.

Search engine marketing services that design andrun your marketing campaign always begin with research. Theresearch should include analyzing your competition andidentifying keywords and keyword phrases that will optimize yourwebsite for the search engines.

They may include natural search engine optimization and otheroptimization services that involve strategic placement ofkeywords and keyword phrases in your web content and meta tags.Building link popularity is also generally a part of the naturalsearch engine optimization process.

The design and management of pay-per-click advertising campaignsis often an option provided by search engine marketing services,as is paid inclusion management, and online public relations.Paid inclusion programs may include getting paid listings indirectories, portals, newsletters, ezines, or other online,industry-based publications that will direct targeted traffic toyour website and increase your link popularity. Most searchengine marketing services provide ongoing monitoring andmaintenance to ensure that your website receives the bestpossible results from your search engine marketing and paidadvertising.

Link popularity is one of those things that remain constant as atactic for getting a good rank in search results. However,professional search engine marketing services should know thatlink relevancy is just as important. You can have tons of linkscoming into your website, but if they are coming from websitesthat are totally irrelevant to yours, they will not usuallyaccomplish the objective of boosting your website’s performancein the search engines. Last but not least, search enginemarketing services should be able to provide you with detailedreports that clearly demonstrate the services they are providingand the results, in terms of traffic, that those services aregenerating.

Copyright Christopher J. Enders. Are you at the end of your rope,fed up and confused by all the scrambled internet marketingadvice you’re getting? Whether you are new to internet marketing,or a website owner who wants to make more money from yourwebsite, learn the proven strategies that will sky-rocket yourinternet business at http://BiznessTips.com

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Ever see a website that seems to speak a foreign language…in English? We encounter many SEO client websites that rely on buzzwords in the page copy to get the word out about their product. The problem lies with visitors who may not be familiar with those terms. This means optimizing with buzzwords may not be the best way to gain traffic. If your prospective visitors are not searching for those terms, how do they find your website?

Start With The Obvious

You really need to know your industry. Study your prospective visitors–who your target audience is. If your prospective visitors are highly technical and work and talk in “buzzword speak”, no problem. But if you also want to attract prospective visitors who may not be immersed in the terminology used in your business, you must compensate by optimizing with a wider array of targeted keywords.

How Do I Find All Those Keywords?

Start researching. Yes, it’s going to take a little work on your part to take a close look at what keywords you may be missing out on. Keep account of prospective website visitors who may use other terms to find your website. Track the keywords used by visitors through your log reports. Most log statistics programs have a report showing the keywords used by searchers to find your website. Using your server logs or log statistics program for keyword information is a good way to get a better picture of how visitors are finding your website. Use Overture’s keyword tool (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/) or Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com) and note the words used on your competitors’ websites. Using these, or similar tools, type in your buzzwords and see what variations come up. Competitor websites may use a slightly different language than you when writing copy for their pages. Visit their websites and learn all you can about how many ways your business can get its message across. Read online articles; visit business newsgroups and forums. Find research information through industry websites and companies that specialize in producing reports about your industry.

Help Search Engine Robots Do Their Job

Search engine robots are just automated programs. Their concept and execution is relatively simple: search engine robots “read” the text on your pages by going through the source code of your web pages. If the majority of the words in your source code text are buzzwords, this is the information that will be

taken back to the search engine database.

It’s Obvious (the “DUH” factor)

Ok, so it’s obvious to you what your industry buzzwords are. But don’t discount the simpler versions of those catchy words. Focus also on some lesser used terms and make a list of additional keywords you might be able to add. Clear, precise copy that catches the visitor’s attention and tells your story is generally more effective in the long run.

Compromise – Mix SEO Keywords and Buzzwords

You don’t want to change the copy on your webpages? This is often a problem with business websites. Once you have your keyword list of other-than-obvious words, work at fitting them into the page text carefully. You want them to make sense with the context of the web page. Use these new keywords as many times as “makes sense” so they do not sound spammy. Read your copy out loud or have a colleague read your copy to get a sense of how it might sound to a website visitor.

The Bottom Line

It should be easy enough to see how those extra keywords are producing for you. Keep track of your log reports and see if those new terms start showing up in your reports. Test a variety of keywords, then test again to see if visitors are staying on your website, moving through your individual web pages, or clicking away. Create specific pages using those keywords as a test scenario. The information you need should be available to you in your log statistics reports for visited web pages.

Don’t let business jargon get in the way of getting your message across to your audience. Yes, buzzwords may sound cutting edge, but the bottom line is, traffic and sales are what you really want to show for your hard work.

Copyright © 2003 Search Innovation Marketing. http://www.searchinnovation.com – All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this article is granted as long as all text above this line is included in its entirety. We would also appreciate your notifying us when you reprint it: please send a note to reprint@searchinnovation.com.

About The Author

Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant for Search Innovation Marketing (http://www.searchinnovation.com), a Search Engine Promotion company serving small businesses. She has specialized in search engine optimization since 1998, including three years as the Search Engine Specialist for O’Reilly & Associates, a technical book publishing company.

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When Paypal’s official Web site no longer ranked #1 in Google on a search for “paypal,” it was obvious that Google had become more aggressive in penalizing sites with “unnatural” backlink anchor text. Although the high-profile Paypal example has since been rectified, thousands of webmasters are suffering the consequences of not ranking for even their official company name, let alone their top keywords. It is important for search engine optimizers to understand both how anchor text penalties are being applied and how LSI ensures that anchor text variance will not dilute a link popularity building campaign.

Anchor Text Penalties

In the past year, webmasters have found that the aggressive link popularity building tactics that work well in search engines such as Yahoo! do not fare well in Google. Google has implemented several features to filter out sites that appear to have an unnatural backlink structure; one of these features seems to be specifically penalizing sites with unnatural backlink anchor text.

It has always been an SEO best practice to use descriptive anchor text in both external and internal links. But search engine optimizers have often focused on a single keyword phrase when choosing anchor text, especially if their topic has one keyword that receives vastly more traffic than any secondary keywords. Since good links are hard to come by, they do not want to “waste” any of those backlinks with anchor text that does not contain their main keyword.

The drawback to this approach is that it can be interpreted as unnatural by a search engine. A site with organic, passively-obtained backlinks will have a wide variety of backlink anchor text variations such as: “official site title,” “keyword,” “keyword synonym,” “www.thesite.com” and even “click here.” If the vast majority of a site’s backlink anchor text is simply “keyword,” it is obvious to an algorithm that the link popularity was not obtained organically.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Basics

Let’s now touch upon the myth I mentioned before, that if a backlink’s anchor text does not contain your Web site’s main keyword, its power is wasted. The concept of latent semantic indexing, which may be more fully implemented by major search engines in

the near future, will prove this myth to be false.

Latent semantic indexing can help overcome the “vocabulary mismatch” problem when a human uses a search engine. Individual words do not always provide reliable evidence about the conceptual meaning of a document. For instance, a Web page that is highly relevant to the term “laptop” may never use the term “notebook,” however it is clear to a human being that “notebook” is often used as a synonym for “laptop.”

While it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the mathematics behind LSI, its implications for search algorithms are simple. LSI can use statistical techniques to create a semantic analysis for any given query topic. In practice, this means that a page can be considered relevant for a particular keyword, even if it does not contain that keyword. For instance, a page that is considered relevant for “laptop” can also be considered relevant for “notebook” even if it does not contain the word “notebook,” if LSI determines that “notebook” is semantically related to “laptop.”

The principle can be applied to backlinks as well. Backlinks with anchor text that do not contain your Web site’s main keyword, but instead contain a synonym or related word, may still be giving your site a bonus for the main keyword.

Link Popularity Building Best Practice: Vary Your Anchor Text

The recent increase in penalties given to sites with unnatural backlink anchor text, along with the possible implementation of LSI, should give webmasters motivation to vary their backlink anchor text heavily. Rather than seeking to only obtain links using their main keyword, webmasters should include synonyms, variations and related words. Certainly no single keyword variation should be used the majority of the time; rather, the text of all links should vary widely, just as they would if the links were obtained passively. This will ensure a site’s improvement in the SERPs, without drawing a penalty flag.

Andy Hagans is a search engine optimization consultant who specializes in link popularity building and risk management. Visit http://www.andyhagans.com for more information. See http://www.andyhagans.com/link-building.php for more information on Mr. Hagans’ link building services.

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The quiz is

1. Entertainment

2. Link bait

I don’t think it’s meant to be the authority on how much you really know about seo. No 75 question multiple choice tests are going to honestly assess your seo skills. Is it important that you know who Danny Sullivan is? Not really. If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes with seo you should know who he is and chances are he’s taught you something in those 5 minutes, but does knowing who Danny is make you a better SEO? Of course not.

The quiz is entertaining, though and it’s already generating some links, which are its two main goals. To a lesser degree you might find it educational depending on where you are on the seo learning curve. If you’re new to seo you probably will learn a few things. For more details simply go to www.offline-promotion.com. At the very least you’ll learn about a few issues that a seo thinks about that you might not have realized were important.

If you’ve been a practicing seo for awhile you probably won’t learn much new, but you might find a couple of interesting topics for discussion. Contrary to Rand’s warning the quiz isn’t all that difficult if you’ve spent any time in the industry. The most difficult questions are on par with the 10 seo questions Rand asked about a month ago.

You can see from the badge at the top of this post that I did quite well. However the badge is the result of my second time through the quiz. I scored 83% the first time through, though I disagreed with about half the answers to the questions I got

wrong. Today I got one answer wrong and only because Rand changed the answer from yesterday based on some of the criticism.

My guess is the questions are easy enough to appeal to the ego of people like me so we’ll display the badge along with the associated link back to SEOmoz. It worked. What can I say? I wasn’t going to display a badge saying I’d failed the quiz after all.

Vanessa Fox is right when she says your score has more to do with how your seo philosophy is aligned with the philosophy of SEOmoz than it is with your skill in optimizing a website. For help visit www.the20seotools.com. As a reader of SEOmoz I knew what the right answer to some of the questions would be even though I might not have agreed with it. Remembering Rand’s post on the subject certainly helps boost your score a little.

Vanessa is also right when she points out that seo is art as much as it is science and many of these questions have no one right answer. The answer depends on the situation of the site being optimized and context of the question being asked.

Still the quiz is a worthwhile effort. It is entertaining and if you have 15 minutes to a half hour of time to fill go ahead and take it. I’m sure the quiz will generate links and if it teaches you even one thing or gets you thinking about why one answer might be better than another it’s served an educational purpose.

So give yourself a diversion and take the quiz and then come back and share your thoughts about it.

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If they want to have success, companies should do everything they can to ensure that their SEO firm doesn’t provide lousy service. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind:

1. Be realistic.

Don’t waste your time or the SEO firm’s expertise by arguing about broad search terms. Don’t say you want to be in the Top 10 for “e-commerce.” The SEO firm should ask: “E-commerce and what else? E-commerce consultants? Please be specific.”

2. Think long-term.

If you can’t help yourself and you want broad search terms, such as “toys,” think through what it may take to pull that off. Variations on your favorite term may be best in the short term. If you start looking a year or two out, then make sure there aren’t site design, programming and link popularity flaws.

3. Be open with log files.

Don’t shield log files from the SEO firm. Admit if your web analytics capability is poor. How can the SEO firm do a good job if your host company can’t provide decent statistics, such as the number of visitors from search engines and the actual search terms they use?

4. Change text.

If an SEO firm wants to change text, give the consultant lots of room. If a graphic can be modified so the words appear as text, be open-minded about the change. Chances are, it won’t hurt the overall look of the web site. SEO professionals grit their teeth when clients say they want rankings and then resist change.

5. Don’t sit on recommendations.

You may end up discouraging the SEO firm you’re paying if you hire them and then fail to review their suggestions.

6. Reply to e-mails, voicemails and other

communications.

If an SEO firm contacts you, especially for a scheduled meeting, make a point to return the e-mail or call. Really, it’s a good idea to be available for strategic conference calls.

7. Stick to the program.

Don’t ask the SEO firm to optimize the web site and then expect them to provide Pay-Per-Click (PPC) guidance as well. If you can’t handle PPC on your own, pay the experts.

8. Keep statistics in perspective.

With many search terms and engines, it’s always going to be possible for some keywords not to rank. Don’t get hung up on what search terms didn’t pop in the Top 30. Focus on your traffic growth and conversions.

9. Know your limits.

SEO firms appreciate informed clients – to a limit. Read the articles. Pick up an SEO book. Keep up with the news. But don’t hire an SEO expert and then tell them you’re an SEO expert. For example, you may be excited to learn about all of the SEO devices that could be at your disposal. Don’t blame the SEO firm for failing to use them all at once. Measured, gradual changes are best.

10. Take your company name out of title tags.

Do yourself a favor and make title tags available for search terms, not your long company name. Only keep it if it’s short and useful from a title tag proximity and density standpoint.

Michael Murray is vice president of Fathom SEO, a Cleveland, Ohio-based search engine optimization (SEO) firm. He authored the “U.S. Manufacturers Resist Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Online Sales Leads” study and a white paper, “Search Engine Marketing: Get in the Game.”

michael@fathomseo.com

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