(photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid)
As regular readers will probably remember, Gerald made a post at the end of October that was titled 5 Social Media Sites That You Must Explore. In this post, Gerald provided an overview of five popular social media sites (Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Technorati and Plaxo). In addition to discussing all five of these websites, Gerald also promised that a detailed look at each one would eventually be published on this blog.
Since my personal favorite out of these five websites is StumbleUpon, I thought that I would kick off the series of five detailed posts with a look at why you should start stumbling today (if you haven’t already).
Of all the topics that are discussed within the SEO blogosphere, one of the topics that creates the most controversy and disagreement is that of duplicate content. I think one of the reasons that there are so many different viewpoints surrounding this issue is because there are multiple ways that people define the phrase “duplicate content.”
Since I always believe in going straight to the source, let’s find out what Google has to say about duplicate content. According to Google, “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” Now that we have Google’s definition of duplicate content, let’s look at what they have to say on the issue of how it can impact a website’s ranking:
“Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.”
“However, in some cases, content is deliberately duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic. Deceptive practices like this can result in a poor user experience, when a visitor sees substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results.”
“Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.”
Although the economy is obviously not in the best condition right now, the holiday season is upon us, and while people might not be spending as much money this year as they have in previous years, people are still going to spend money on presents for their loved ones.
Since you are smart enough to spend your valuable time reading this blog, if you are a small business owner, I’m going to assume that you have a website for your small business. If this assumption is correct, I want to say congratulations, because you have a huge advantage over many of your competitors. While it seems obvious to me and everyone else who is involved in the Internet marketing industry, a large percentage of small businesses still don’t have websites (and even fewer have properly optimized online presences).
So, because we know people are using the Internet to shop for Christmas presents, and you have a website that you want to use to attract more customers for your small business, what’s the single most effective way to accomplish this goal? Not only is there a single method that is truly the most effective, but it is a simple, seven letter word: coupons.
If you read Internet marketing and SEO blogs on a regular basis, you undoubtedly come across posts about free SEO tools quite often. While there are a lot of great free tools on the Internet for SEOs, I have recently noticed that almost all of these posts profile the same core set of free tools (such as SEO for Firefox). Since you most likely already use the most popular free SEO tools, I want to look at five SEO tools today that are very useful, but simply don’t get as much attention as they deserve:
Google Insights Bookmarklet: While Google Insights can provide very valuable keyword information, you can waste a lot of time switching from one window to another window in order to use Google Insights. To eliminate the need toswitch browser windows , add the Google Insights Bookmarklet to your browser, and anytime you are browsing one of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo or Live), you can instantly access the Insights data for the keyword you were searching with a single click of the bookmarklet.
Social Media Metrics Greasemonkey Plugin for Google Analytics: I know I’m not alone when I say that Google Analytics is one of my favorite analytics packages. Although it’s not perfect, this package can provide you with a significant amount of very useful information. In addition to the information that is already provided, you can increase the data you have at your fingertips by installing the Social Media Metrics Greasemonkey Plugin. As you can see from the screenshot above, this plugin not only adds data for content from all of the major social media websites, but it also adds Yahoo’s backlink data directly for you to see.
I have personally been using Google webmaster tools for only a couple of years now, however I could not imagine my life/career as an SEO professional without it now. For those of you who don’t currently use Google webmaster tools you should start right away. You can go here www.google.com/webmasters/tools and simply sign in with your Google account.
What is Google webmaster tools?
Google Webmaster tools is a very powerful tool that was created by Google a few years ago in response to popular demand of many webmasters wanting a better way to become more “Google Friendly”. Google webmaster tools can help you get a great deal of feedback from Google regarding how Google robots view and index your site as well as assisting you in diagnosing potential problem areas in your site.
Read more >>
Social media being a fairly recent phenomenon, some marketers still have yet to dip their toes in the social media river. This post is intended to help newcomers get started in the social media world. There are many social sites out there; however, the following 5 should be a part of any social media marketing plan. The following is a synopsis of the author’s 5 favorite social media sites; an in-depth blog relating to each of these sites will follow.
Twitter: Follow Me!
is at the forefront of the current social media craze. If you do not already have a twitter account, you need to get one right now and you can do that here www.twitter.com. (Ok you can finish reading this post first).
In this post we will be talking about increasing conversions with good landing page strategies.
Tip 1: Have an offer, along with a clear call to action
Your landing page was created with one idea in mind and that is an online conversion. Now a “conversion” can mean different things, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Whether it is for the user to fill out a contact form, or to make a purchase, you need to have a clear call to action that very clearly informs your visitor what needs to be done. (i.e. “Call today!”,or “Fill out the form to the left!). It helps to give users an incentive such as a special discount or a free consultation (remember to put a time limit on your special offer). Read more >>
Plagiarism is a growing problem for webmasters these days, given the implications that plagiarism can have on a webmasters search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, this is an area that deserves some attention. Many webmasters spend hours upon hours writing content for websites, only to sometimes have it stolen or scraped by unscrupulous webmasters, who are either lazy or do not want to take the time to create their own content for whatever reason. Aside from the obvious fact that it is unethical for someone to copy original content and pass it off as their own, the implication that duplicate content can have on search engine optimization goes much deeper than that. Duplicate content can and probably will depreciate the search rankings for one or both of the sites with duplicate content. Read more >>
Tip 1: Avoid Bad Coding
Make sure that your code validates and is W3C Compliant. Search engine spiders crawl your site and analyze the code. The idea is to ensure that html is neat, clean and error free so that search engine spiders can easily index every page of your website. Also, using CSS (cascading style sheets) to define look and feel rather than tables and font tags helps remove code that is unnecessary. Validation errors and excessive code can lead to only part of your site getting indexed by the search engine spiders, and ultimately this can result in sub-par search engine rankings. Read more >>