Browsing articles in "SEO Blog"

Looking for an AdSense Alternative? Consider T3Ads

Dec 11, 2012   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog  //  4 Comments

Whether your site falls outside of Google’s AdSense program or you’re simply not happy with your current payouts and are looking for an alternative, T3Ads wants to help you maximize the value of your traffic.

What is T3Ads?

Although T3Ads is a new concept, the team behind it has a lot of experience. The platform was developed by T3Leads, which is a company based in Encino, CA. Since 2006, they have provided affiliates and merchants with the tools they need to maximize the value of their marketing efforts. T3Leads’ areas of expertise include US and UK payday loans, debt settlement, home loans, auto finance, home insurance, debt relief and home improvement. They’ve built an especially strong reputation around their payday affiliate program.

Because T3Leads has been working with affiliates for over half a decade, they have seen just how difficult it can be for publishers in many verticals to properly monetize their sites. As the company grew to over 20,000 active affiliates, they had the opportunity to talk to more and more publishers. During these discussions, they noticed that the same issues came up time and time again. Common complaints included lack of human support, unclear policies, low payouts and constant fear of accidentally doing something wrong that would immediately result in a permanent ban.

After continuing to hear these complaints and realizing that Google was in no hurry to change their AdSense policies, T3Leads decided to tackle the problem on their own.

5 Reasons to Use T3Ads

Because the entire platform was built around feedback they received from actual online publishers, T3Ads has several key features that set it apart from other advertising program. Whether you have a single blog or a network of websites, here are five reasons to test out T3Ads:

  • 24 hour live support means that if you ever have a question, instead of waiting for days to receive an answer (or never getting one at all), you’ll have an answer within minutes.
  • Instead of constant fluctuations, you’ll receive transparent information that explains exactly how your payouts are calculated.
  • The easy to use platform makes it dead simple to create ad units and place them on your site.
  • T3Ads is far more open with the types of sites they accept, as well as sources of traffic.
  • Publishers get full control over how they monetize their site thanks to the ability to easily customize ads.

If you like what you’ve read about T3Leads and their new advertising program, all you’ll need to do is visit their site and complete their simple signup process. And since the company truly cares about taking care of its customers, if you have any questions when you visit the site, all you’ll need to do is grab your phone and call the number in the upper right corner of the site.

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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How to Customize Google Rich Snippets with Microdata?

Dec 10, 2012   //   by Brian Taylor   //   Google, guest blogging, SEO Blog  //  No Comments

Do you know what Google Rich Snippets are? Even if you don’t know them by name, I am sure you must have seen them several times on the Google SERPs, as you browse through the Web.

What are Google Rich Snippets?

Google Rich Snippets are nothing but the additional lines of information that appear next to the Google search results. They are designed to provide quick information to users regarding what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query. These snippets encompass star ratings for the web page and other detailed information related to the query. Generally, you can find Google Rich Snippets in websites of restaurants, music, people, events, videos, recipes, products and businesses. Having a 5-star rating in your Google Rich Snippet encourages Internet users to click on your listing. This is the reason why Google Rich Snippets are considered to be the perfect addition to your online marketing strategies.

Now that we have seen the advantages of using Google Rich Snippets, let us move to the next step of creating and customizing Google Rich Snippets with Microdata.

Defining Metaboxes: A metabox helps you to add content or scripts to any part of the website.First of all, to qualify for Google Rich Snippets, you have to define metaboxes. You don’t have to provide all the properties included in the specification, even though each content type has a minimum requirement. There are numerous custom metaboxes available and is indeed a great way to make custom fields friendlier to users.

Marking up your pages with Microdata: The specialty of Google Rich Snippets is its structured, semantic markup that enables Google to understand the content of the web page. So, it’s your duty to markup your content properly to describe the particular type of content on your website. When it comes to marking up your content, there are three types of formats – microformats, Microdata and RDFa. Google has always recommended the Microdata format for rich snippets as it allows search engines to understand your content a lot better and delivers more meaningful search listings for the user’s query. In fact, Microdata has no effect on your search engine rankings but it provides a richer and more useful browsing experience for users.

Use vocabulary: All the major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex have launched is a not a language but a Microdata vocabulary, that helps you to create common vocabulary for structured data markup on web pages. As it uses the same vocabulary across all participating search engines, there are fewer chances for confusion over twofold meanings or unsupported jargons. The most vital thing you have to keep in mind is that you can use to markup only the visible part of your web pages and not any of the hidden page elements.

Many sites are already experiencing great SEO benefits with rich snippets. With the guidelines provided above, you now know how to customize Google Rich Snippets with vocabulary. Using and Microdata have positive impacts on your website, as they help improve the user experience and invite more clicks.

Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor is the VP, Business Development at Forix web design in Portland, OR. Forix offers affordable and ethical SEO services in Portland and web design and development services helping small businesses with their Internet marketing needs.

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Santa’s Making An Early Run: Save Big on Guest Blogging

Dec 7, 2012   //   by Gerald Weber   //   blogging, SEO Blog  //  1 Comment

Even though the temperature is rising towards 80 degrees outside my office today, I’m still a sucker for the all things Christmas. So, in the spirit of giving, I’ve decided to run a special guest blog post offer. Our standard rate for guest blogging is $150 a post. But because nonstop Christmas music and more glasses of eggnog than I can count have revved up my Christmas spirit to full blast, I’m offering discounts as big as Santa’s belly through the end of December:

  • $75 a post for agencies
  • $100 a post for individual site owners

That’s a massive savings of up to $75 per post! 

(since I don’t want to end up like Bob Cratchit, this deal requires an order of at least 10 posts)

I’m no Grinch, but this deal really is going to end on 12/31. Since the last thing you want is to start 2013 with regrets about not saving money on a proven service, order today so you don’t miss out!

To get started simply call 281-727-0484 ext 5 or simply contact us.

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Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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Buying Online Traffic for Links – Worth it?

Dec 7, 2012   //   by Carter   //   internet marketing, SEO, SEO Blog  //  2 Comments

Distilled recently discussed the possibility of buying awareness to build links, a possibility that I’ve toyed around with in the past with some success. Carson Ward’s test certainly demonstrated it was possible to build links this way, but is it a worthwhile use of time and money?
I hate giving vague answers, but the truth is that it’s going to depend on your content, audience, and industry. However, I can offer some advice on how to figure it out for yourself, and possible other uses of advertising traffic you may not have considered.

Which Channels Are Best?

Carson’s results are in line with my own on this. AdWords impressions cost more than the keyword tool says they’re going to, and the value probably isn’t there, because even low competition informational keywords end up going for about half a dollar per click. AdWords appears to be for selling, plain and simple.

Reddit and StumbleUpon ads are cheapest, but also have some of the lowest time on site. Of course, high bounce rates can make time on site appear lower than it actually is. The most promising ads seem to be on Facebook or targeted display ads, with the display ads doing best in terms of links and price. Obviously, Facebook ads can lead to social subscribers and word of mouth that are beneficial even in the absence of links.
That said, I wouldn’t write off Reddit or StumbleUpon as possibilities, simply because they send such a large amount of traffic at such a low cost. If you gain enough traction with StumbleUpon, it’s algorithm will continue to send traffic for quite a while. In both cases, if you can get the conversion rates high enough, the huge traffic potential makes these promising channels for those who know how to use them.
As I said, success is going to depend on your company, which is why you’ll need to find ways to…

Measure Success

How you measure success is going to depend on what your goals are, and links aren’t necessarily the only thing you should be taking into consideration. However, assuming it’s all about search engine authority, you’ll need to be thinking about:

  • Time invested in the ad campaigns
  • Time that would have been invested in outreach for the same results
  • The financial value of the time invested in either
  • The possibility that ads and outreach can work together as multipliers
  • The link diversity, the quality of the site sites that link, the domain and page authority of the links, the relevance of the link pages and anchor text, the number of referrals from the links, and the quality of the referral traffic
  • The actual impact on rankings

Clearly, metrics are never as clean in this industry as we’d like them to be, but here are a few ways to make things cleaner (I’m considering outreach a “channel” as well):

  • Track which channels are used on which posts, and the number of hours invested in each channel toward that post
  • Vary which channels are being used to what extent, and randomly choose one channel to avoid using at all for each post
  • Over time, look for correlations between the number of hours invested in each tactic, and the results
  • Examine whether a mixture of strategies results in a different impact than either of the strategies acting alone
  • When possible, compare metrics between posts that went live at the same time

This is not nearly as clean as straightforward A/B testing, but it can be hard to justify using only one channel for each post. Even when you can, you still have to recognize that the content of each post is different, and this is going to have an impact on your results. You can only compensate for this by testing the results on a large number of posts.

Another Use for Paid Traffic

What many online marketers don’t realize is that paid traffic can also be used to test content. All too often, a piece of content goes live and falls flat on its face. If you’ve invested in particularly large amount of time in a piece of content, it may be worth the effort to test its effectiveness using paid traffic. In this way, you can test the content before it is released the general public.


Is it worth it to buy awareness as a method of building links? My experience tells me that it probably will be useful for most businesses to divert some of their funds in this direction. The most important aspect of this is making sure the ads are only displayed and written for influencers, the kind of people who will link to and share content. Other advertising dollars will probably be better spent on direct conversions.
However, it’s equally important to recognize that advertising channels become increasingly saturated over time, and ad blindness is a growing concern. Investing in relationships is a skill that can’t be outright replaced with ad money.
Do you think it’s worth it to buy traffic as a link building method?
Image credit: joiseyshowaa


Carter Bowles is a freelance writer, science blogger, and SEO enthusiast. He lives in Idaho with his wife and daughter, where he is pursuing degrees in physics and statistics. Carter writes for Northcutt, a Chicago based SEO and Inbound Marketing company. Like Northcutt on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and check out all they have to offer at

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Google Knowledge Graph: What is it and what are its Functions?

Dec 5, 2012   //   by Stuart   //   SEO Blog  //  6 Comments

Just this May, Google rolled out a new feature in their search results. Since this is best explained if you can visualise it, here is what you should do:

  • Open up a Web browser
  • Point it to Google
  • Type a name of a person or a place. For this example, let’s just use C. S. Lewis

Are the results you generated similar to this image?

Knowledge Graph

Now, if you take a look at the far right corner, you would notice that it shows a short biography of C. S. Lewis, a list of his works, and a “People also search for” section. All of these things are what you call a Knowledge Graph.

What it is

Basically, it is a way for the search engine giant to give you what you are searching for without leaving the page. However, it is important to note that it does not always appear for every query.

Right now, it only returns results on things, people, and places that Google knows about. And these include art works, celebrities, cities, films, and geographic locations, to name a few.

In short, it is a method devised by Google to enhance the search experience for you, so that you will find the information you want quickly and easily.

If you are wondering how it gets its facts, Google has mentioned that it retrieves information from websites such as the CIA World Factbook, Freebase, and Wikipedia. If you look at most of the results, you would notice that most of them come from Wikipedia.

What it does

What is the main reason you would use a search engine ()? The obvious reply would be to learn about something.

It understands what you are looking for

Now, before the Knowledge Graph came into being, when you typed “Taj Mahal” into the search bar, you would receive results based solely on those two exact words. But Google took this to a whole new level and developed a “graph” that understands how entities in the real world are connected to each other.

So, when you search for “Taj Mahal,” it will give you the most likely result that you are looking for, i.e. the iconic structure in India. Below that, under the “See results about” section, it also lists other things that might refer to your search.

Search Result

There are also cases where it just lists the related entities. Let us take Ahab as an example. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when the name is mentioned? Do you immediately think about the biblical character? Or do you know him best as the captain in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick?

Google provides you with all the possible answers!

It gives you pertinent information

Let’s say you need to find all you need to know about the author Charles Dickens. Through the Knowledge Graph, you will be given a brief overview of his life. In addition to that, you will also be presented with facts such as the day he was born, the date that he died, the name of his wife and children, and his body of work.

It allows you to dig deeper

Let us take the information returned about Dickens a little further. If you look at the “People also search for” section, you are given Mark Twain, Jane Austen, and Arthur Conan Doyle as suggestions. For the literary lover, this could mean new writers to discover.

Here is another example. If you want to know “Chinese restaurants” that are closest to your location, Google will give you a list of dining establishments as well as a map showing their locations.

This is also true if you want to find out the next concert of your favourite singer or band. You just type in their name onto the search bar and, if they have new shows, it will be listed under the “Upcoming events” section.

Also, if you want to visit a particular place and want to know famous attractions, this will be listed in the “Points of interest” area.

Points of Interest

The Knowledge Graph also has a carousel feature that allows you to explore further the topic you are searching for. Let us take “museums in London” as an example. It displays a series of images featuring the museums found in London. However, this is not yet available for all Google domains. But if you point your browser to “” and type in a query, you can see this in action.

It allows you to see relationships between entities

This is a relatively new feature added by Google. To help you understand this better, let us use another example. This time it is Kevin Bacon.

Knowledge Graph

If you look at the “People also search for area and hover over the images that you see, it would show you small pop-up with added information. Take the case of Kyra Sedgwick. It would tell you that she is his wife and also mentions a few films that they worked on together.

In his Inside Search blog, Google engineer Golan Pundak states that the search engine giant is starting with the connections between actors, actresses, movies, TV shows, and even family relations.

However, it is also important to note that this does not apply for all search queries. As Pundak adds in his article, “When there is an interesting explanation available, you can now see it at a glance.



The Knowledge Graph  is still in its early stages, having just been released this year. As Google continues to improve upon this addition to its search engine results page, we can only hope to expect changes that would enhance the user search experience in the near future.



Stuart Pollington is Head of Technical Operations at Smart Traffic an SEO company providing online marketing services for businesses across the globe.

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Multivariate Testing for Better Results With Your Online Business

Dec 5, 2012   //   by Ruben   //   SEO Blog  //  1 Comment

Operating a business over the Internet is no different than running a mortar and stone shop. The process entails a utmost customer satisfaction by delivering services or products that appeal most to their specific preferences.

 The most successful entrepreneurs are then spawned by the methods that involve constant solicitation of consumer feedback and suggestions. After all, it is the buyers that liquefy the flow of profits towards the biz.

In an online setting, surveillance of the buyers’ inkling can take place through forums, digital questionnaires and e-mailing services. While these are usually effective, they can have major lapses – only visitors with enough time to spare in formulating messages for the company can participate in the discussions.

Plus, there is not guarantee on the objectivity of the reviews submitted. For all you know, some of the items in the site may have been written by the competition to mislead proprietors. This is an unruly ploy, but it does exist in the World Wide Web.

Fortunately, there’s a better alternative in studying the purchasing motivation and partiality of the consumers: multivariate testing.


Snippet of Information About Multivariate Testing


Multivariate testing is an experiment conducted by marketing experts to assess how certain website components are performing in terms of traffic and conversion.

In essence, it mimics the process of holding out two equivalent products and asking the consumers which of the items are more likely to be bought.

Web developers would then create two different versions of a web page and see check which among the variants provide favorable results in terms of hits, sales and engagement.

Multivariate testing is different from A/B testing in that more than one element can be tested at the same time. Still, web visitors participate in the experiment unconsciously. The variants will be displayed in their screens, and their online activity will be recorded.

Among the things that entrepreneurs can monitor include click out rates towards links, number of views on the landing page, volume of items sold, number of users who signed up for subscription, etc. It actually depends on the metric used for the test, and the primary goal of proprietors in conducting the experiment.


How Multivariate Testing Contributes to Online Success


Multivariate testing satisfies various principles in marketing that can guarantee triumph in the industry. For one, it gives businessmen a clear direction on how to please their niche. Results from the test practically maps out the most viable steps that they can take to deepen the engagement of web visitors and boost revenues.

At the same time, multivariate testing helps in accelerating optimization process. Given that multiple components can be tested together, they can quicken the pace of coming up with designs to implement for the site. The very same reason allows entrepreneurs to enjoy liberty of dry-running their ideas.

Limitless elements for testing defy the boundary of evaluating ideas.

When these benefits are rolled together, they pave the way for endowment of competitive edge that may not be possible to acquire from any other means.

Multivariate testing increases the chance even of small businesses to have continuous flow of income amidst the tight competition. Given that adopting structures and designs can lure audiences into making an action, multivariate testing is the sharpest tool in slicing through company rivalries and bringing highest possible conversion rates.


Most Effective Ways in Doing Multivariate Testing

Before Multivariate Testing…

  1. Assess the performance of the website. Prior to the experiment, it is best to step back and analyze the strengths and weakness of the site including plusses and glitches. Focus on design and web content. Then determine the areas of improvement.
  1. Prepare for the test. Multivariate testing may be straightforward, but it is not a mere push of a button. Make a list of all the elements that can be tested and rank them according to priority. Test the most important components first. You may also consolidate the elements and separate those that need to be tested individually.
  1. Bridge disparities. Come up with a goal (usually concentrated on addressing pressing problem of the site) and formulate hypothesis (probable solutions to the troubles).
  1. List all the possible combinations of the elements to be tested.
  1. Craft the variants and finalize them before running the test.

There are actually loads of programs that you can use to carry out the test. Most of the software can automate the redirection of users towards certain variants, even the generation of potential combinations and recording of data.

But this doesn’t spare them from technical hitches. Always be hands-on during the period of the test. Make sure that the test is running simultaneously and is within the expected timeline. Otherwise, you end up with bunch of raw data that leads to no definite conclusion.

Then interpret the data wisely after the testing period.

Remember that your skills and knowledge is the most major determinant of multivariate testing success. Have a fill of information by reading more on Maxymiser about the procedure and going through with it. Only then can you have the right armor to thrive in the cyber market.




This is a guest post by Ruben Corbo. He is a freelancer writer specialized in different topics including technology, online marketing with an AB Testing guide and Product Recommendation Engines, music, art, and motivation. When Ruben is not writing he is producing and composing music for short films and other forms of visual arts.

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How the Title of Your Posts can Increase Web Traffic

Nov 26, 2012   //   by Deny Saputra   //   SEO Blog  //  11 Comments

All writers strive to be creative. From our first five-paragraph essay to our most recent blog post, our mentors have been telling us to be imaginative and think outside the box. Sure, being creative and finding new ways to express yourself can get you noticed. However, when it comes to the title of your posts, you should start thinking inside the box. This doesn’t mean you have to think of boring titles to dumb down the topic of your writing. Instead, you have to be smart and strategic when you name your post.

Think about the way people search online. Maybe even to find this post, you searched for a simple question. People often go to Google with questions in mind. “What should I feed my cat when he’s sick,” or “How do I know if I have heat stroke?” These questions are simple to answer, but many websites make them more complicated by getting creative with the title. For example, a medical blog might answer the second question in a straightforward article, but might name it “The Dangers of Hyperthermia.” The person suffering from heat stroke is not going to take the time to even look at this lengthy article, and they probably don’t even know offhand that “hyperthermia” is the technical term for heat stroke. Even though that website has exactly what the heat-stroke sufferer needs (aside from a cold glass of water), it will not receive this valuable click. Instead, the curious web surfer will move on to the next search result hoping for answers.

So, what should you name your post to get traffic? The answer is simpler than you might think. You need to answer people’s questions directly in the title. If the person with heat stroke saw, “How to tell if You Have Heat Stroke” in the list of results, there is a good chance he or she would click it right away, because it is the answer to their question. It’s impossible to know exactly what your audience will be searching for, but if you include one of the following six words in your title, you’re bound to answer hundreds of the questions that pop up around the web.


First of all, anyone searching for a specific question will probably use the word “what” in their search, which will put you higher up on the Google search results. Obviously, if you answer the question they typed in but there’s no indication of that in the HTML code or title, you might not even come up in the search results. Second, there is a higher chance of people clicking on your page if it seems to answer exactly the question they have in their head. If they’re wondering what foods are low in carbs, or what the best airline is, you can answer their question in the title. It’s essentially reading their minds and beating them to the punch. Articles such as “What to Avoid in Your Next Job Interview” or “What Foods Help Your Kids Concentrate” are irresistible even to people who just happen to stumble upon them.


When you use the word “how” in your title, people will assume you have some sort of secret to share. “How-to” books have always been popular, and it’s because the word “how” indicates that there is a simple and direct way to learn something new. If you’re going to tell people how to do something in a single post, there’s a good chance they’ll grasp the concept and walk away that much smarter. The word “how” can appear in titles of all sorts of articles. They can be simple, serious, funny, or informative. For example, some “how” titles include:

  • How to Register to Vote
  • How to Organize Your Shoe Collection
  • How to Get Ready for Work in Ten Minutes or Less
  • How to Impress your In-Laws
  • How to Find Love without Dating Sites


Obviously, some of these articles are ones that people would directly search for to learn something. Upon their search, your article would be most appealing from a list. Others are funny and would catch the eye of anyone just perusing your site. When you set out to answer a single, simple “how” question, the answer becomes a secret that no one can resist.


This is another way to make your article sound like a simple article. It might seem difficult to pare down your title to contain any of these words, but with a strategic attitude, anything can apply. The “where” titles are perfect if you’re writing for a local site or if you’re simply doing a regional article. For example, you might have a post called, “My Favorite Burger Joints in Memphis.” People that know you will be excited to read this, like your mom. Otherwise, people won’t really care which you like unless you’re a world-renowned expert. Instead, try titling your post, “Where to Get the Best Burger in Memphis.”


Everyone loves to gossip and hear about other peoples’ victories and failures. It’s why sites like Facebook are so addictive. For that reason, using the word “who” in your title ensures readers that they’ll get some juicy information on a single person, and that’s almost impossible to resist. Articles like, “Who Flashed the Paparazzi on her Way to the VMA’s?” “Who Made Oprah Cry on National TV?” and “Who Bought a $300 Dress for Their Baby?” are all enticing to readers. Obviously, the “who” question is more applicable to celebrity, TV, and political news, but you can try to spin it to fit your article.


Using the word “when” in your title will give your readers a sense of urgency to hear what you have to say immediately. Even if they didn’t ask “when,” they’ll probably read your article to make sure it’s not already too late anyway. For example, your audience might have searched, “How do I start a new career?” and you might have a post titled, “When to Change Careers.”  Your post sounds even more interesting than the one they were looking for, so you’ll get more traffic that way.


At the root of all questions is a resounding, “why?” You can answer more serious and more complex questions with a “why,” so you should try putting it in your title. “Why You Need to Stop Eating Meat,” “Why Your Boyfriend Left You,” and “Why You’re So Stressed All the Time” will certainly get your article attention. People see the statement, and even if they weren’t interested when they started searching, they’ll find it difficult not to click and at least browse the page.

By using one of these six words in the title of your article, you are giving up on more flowery, artistic titles. However, you are also making your post irresistibly appealing, which translates into getting more visitors for your site. These titles make your article sound simple and straightforward, which charms the waning attention spans of most people searching the Internet every day.


Deny Saputra

Deny Saputra is an internet marketer and writer. Read more valuable articles by Deny and team at GetWebsiteTraffic blog that specially sharing various topics about internet marketing and targeted traffic generations follow me @denygwt

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The Art of SEO – How Not To Do Things

Nov 26, 2012   //   by Matt Beswick   //   Google, SEO Blog  //  4 Comments

On a daily basis, the volume of pixels expended on the right way to do SEO could fill a virtual Library of Alexandria. We’re so awash with great ideas on how to correctly promote and perfect quality content that we sometimes lose sight of what not to do. Poorly executed SEO is a major hindrance to your goals. Here’s a quick summary of the techniques to avoid when optimizing content for the search engines.

Low-Quality Content

The typical web user is searching for relevance and meaning in a sea of generic content online. So many webmasters try to “phone it in” with mass produced web spam, and it’s no surprise that they often fail to achieve the desired results. Your SEO success starts with the basics, which is original and unique content that actually delivers value to the end user. Put some serious effort into your content first and foremost.

Keyword Stuffing

A major mistake made by bloggers and marketers every day is the practice of stuffing irrelevant keywords into articles in an attempt to dominate Long Tail queries. Google’s wise to this practice, and they have ways of figuring out if your keyword-stuffed content actually delivers the goods. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs, and only include the major keywords that assist your pages in being indexed properly by the search engines.

Building Spammy Links

While a solid 25% to 30% of SEO revolves around content creation, the rest of the formula is largely inbound links that show Google and Bing how valuable a site is to readers. Link exchanges are dead, and they’ll do you more harm than good these days. The same goes for forum spam and mass referrals from sites with low PageRank. Build organic links the right way through viral social media promotion and guest blogging on reputable sites.

Doorway Pages

If you’re not familiar with the term, then suffice it to say that Doorway Pages are indeed a major faux paus. Otherwise known as gateway pages, jump pages or portal pages, they’re designed to trick search engines into thinking that they have value while delivering very little to an actual user. Many rely on Javascript redirection to get unsuspecting users to click through to a desired landing page. In short, avoid this chicanery.

Content Cloaking

If you’re a decent human being, it’s likely that you don’t know what Content Cloaking even is. Still, it’s important to understand how it works. In a nutshell, it’s all about using server-side script to identify search engine spiders based on their user agent and IP address. When a potential Googlebot rather than a regular user is detected, a different version of a page is served up. If you’re running a website of any note, you’ll eventually get caught using this tactic and be consequently punished in the SERPs.

Taking Shortcuts in General

In spite of the best efforts of Google and Bing, it’s still possible to temporarily trick the search engine algorithms and slide some weak content through their filters. In all your SEO efforts, stop and think about what you’re doing before proceeding. If it’s fundamentally disingenuous, don’t do it. Trying to cheat won’t get you anywhere in the long run, and it’s also a huge waste of time. Last but not least, mind the fundamentals like canonical URLs, 301 redirects, sitemaps and basic meta tag implementation.

Running a Tight SEO Ship

When you foolishly choose to deploy the tricks described above, the consequences can be ultimately catastrophic. Each one is a surefire way to incur algorithmic penalties courtesy of Google’s Penguin and Panda, and can even lead to manual penalties if not kept in check. Put in the time to produce high-quality, well-optimized content and the search engine gods will reward you. Otherwise, don’t be shocked by the inevitably low SERPs rankings that result.

Matt Beswick

Matt Beswick is UK based SEO Consultant and founder of Pet365. Find him on Twitter - @mattbeswick.

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Black Friday Special Offer: Guest Blogging Blowout!

Nov 23, 2012   //   by Gerald Weber   //   guest blogging, SEO Blog  //  No Comments

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Just wanted to share a quick announcement about a very special offer we’re running:

Black Friday Special Offer: Guest Blogging Blowout

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday (Nov 23 to 26)

  • Only 5 Slots Available

If you’ve been thinking about our guest blogging services or know someone who has a guest blogging need, this is the deal to take.

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I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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Social Media and Intellectual Property: Should You Spend Your Time Preparing?

Oct 15, 2012   //   by AmandaD   //   SEO Blog  //  21 Comments

Many businesses are excited to share ideas and start conversations on social media—and they should be. It isn’t always easy to get people to really connect with your accounts and participate in your discussions, so you want to do what you can to be impressive and earn some engagement. Unfortunately, sometimes sharing all of your ideas on social networks can backfire, and most small businesses aren’t prepared.

Getting your readers interested in an idea or a great contest is never a bad thing, but you want to take precautions to make sure that someone out there isn’t stealing your idea. Most businesses have heard of “intellectual property,” but now the term is being brought into the social media world.

What is Intellectual Property and How Does It Work With Social Media?

For those who are unfamiliar, intellectual property is and idea that you own when it is published or printed (so on social media). Even though you may not have a patent or official documentation, it is your intellectual property. When things go wrong, someone steals you’re idea, he/she gets the credit, and you get to watch someone else get rich. Someone stealing a company’s intellectual property can usually just go right over to a Facebook page or LinkedIn account, check it out as if he/she was just a normal reader, steal a few ideas, and leave. It’s as simple as that.

Fortunately, there are measures that small businesses can take to protect what is said on their social accounts. A few of these precautions include:

  • Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts to track certain key terms or your company name. This will help you see when these things pop up online.
  • Trademark: Before you set up your social media accounts, make sure that your company has a trademark to help protect the name. If you have any strong ideas that you want patented, do this before posting on social accounts.
  • Scheduling Tools: Consider using social scheduling tools (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc.) to track your company name and keywords. This focuses on social media as opposed to the web like Google Alerts.

It is also worth mentioning that it isn’t always a good idea to take action when it comes to intellectual property. If you think someone has stolen an idea, talk with that person to determine if it was unintentional. In most cases, the person will remove whatever is bothering you. It’s also not a good idea to take action if you’re benefitting from someone trying to use your company name—it’s only when your business is in jeopardy that you should take the next step.

What to Do When You Want to Take Action about an Intellectual Property Issue

Taking action involves some research. First, you will want to read up on the “terms of service” of the social network account where you think the intellectual property issue occurred. These pages usually help you see what steps you can take. Next, file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice to hopefully block the website that has stolen your idea from Google. Lastly, you’ll want to talk with a legal professional to determine the final process.

While it may seem easy, this is a new issue. Many small businesses simply don’t even realize this is a problem until it’s too late. People have been dealing with intellectual property issues for many years, but the issue with regards to social media is new. The sooner your company gets prepared, the better.

Has your company ever been a victim in a similar situation? Is this something that concerns you when you think about your business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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