Ten Signs That Your SEO Is a Quack

Have you wondered how so many SEO companies could possibly exist on the web? Well, most of them are fly by night, opportunistic companies with little to no experience. Below is a helpful “top ten list” which can help you discern the honest SEO companies and those looking to take your money. There are so many SEO/SEM firms cropping up that talk a good game but don’t deliver results. This is in part because there’s so much information that is freely available about search engine optimization. On the surface, SEO sounds easy — and it really is — once you’ve had a number of sites to experiment with. What’s even easier than SEO, however, is discussing SEO as if you know what you’re actually doing (when you don’t)! Here are 10 signs to watch out for that may very well indicate that your potential SEO is a quack. Please note that one of these individually may not be bad, but if you notice more than 2 or 3 of these when speaking with any SEO company, you may just want to head for the hills! 1. Your SEO company talks about Meta tags and Google PageRank (PR) as if they are the magic bullet to high rankings. For the most part, there’s no reason to even bring up the keyword Meta tag nor toolbar PR in a discussion about what needs to be done to get better search engine exposure for your site. Both of them are issues that quack SEO companies will talk about because they actually believe they are the key to SEO success. They are not....

Error Pages – 404 Error Pages

The dreaded 404 page is something that almost everyone has encountered in their online journeys. The most common reasons for landing on a 404 page include: a mis-typed URL an out-of-date bookmark a search engine link that is out-of-date an internal broken link that the webmaster hasn’t noticed Surveys suggest that approximately 40% of users who run into a 404 Page Not Found error will leave your site, never to return. However, as a webmaster, these pages should be customized in order to help the user find their way back to your website. To create your own customized 404 page, keep the following guidelines in mind. Provide an explanation of what went wrong. A nice way to apologize would be to offer them a free report. By using this technique, your visitors will not only be impressed by your creativity, but you can also collect their name and email adress at the same time. Provide a link to the site map. By redirecting them to your sitemap, they should be able to quickly and easily find what they are looking for. Provide a search box for users to target in on exactly what they originally came for. Use minimal navigation. This is not the place to put your entire site navigation. You simply want to pull them back into your website so that you are not losing any of your potential customers. Some helpful examples of 404 error pages can be found at: http://www.lockergnome.com/404 http://www.fool.com/error Here is a great article on what should be on your 404 Error page: http://www.plinko.net/404/howto.asp?article=2 About This Author Kim Roach is a staff writer...

Deep Linking and Hosted Marketing Pages

What a great idea, and one that we have been trying out ourselves. Creating entire pages to swap links in and supplying content to other sites to link to you are wonderful ideas. As link marketing becomes more competitive we shall see how things change in the SEO world. The problem with Search Engine Optimization is that every body does it. Whenever a new technique gets into the public domain, it soon becomes overused. As the SE industry is itself becomes more and more competitive, increasing the pressure to deliver relevant, quality results, the search engines quickly devalue it for their algorithms, in order to maintain the credibility and usability of their search results. Linking is a case in point. A central factor to “relevancy”, inward/outward links contribute significant weight to page rank and overall search ranking. However, as linking is now both hackneyed and abused, the SE’s are damping or reducing the weighting attached to certain types of links. As they become more sophisticated, the SE’s are able to differentiate between links for their relevance both to the page they are on and the page they point to. This has in turn led to a renewed emphasis on quality content – useful, unique, timely, fresh – and links that fit into this new paradigm are given more weighting than those that don’t. Not only are link farms out, but links on so-called resource pages, even when properly categorized and sparingly placed (not more than 100 per page) are being penalized. The SE’s, unable to fully differentiate between organic link building, and software-enabled, cookie-cutter link spamming have tweaked their...

Good Design with Good SEO, is It Possible?

At Big Oak SEO we come across the debate of Search Engine Optimization versus good design. We feel both can be achieved if the company working on your site understands both. At Big Oak SEO we do. We have trained graphic designers who work with trained SEO Consultants to create a site, both pleasing to the eye and high-ranking in the search engine Results. We can help your site or business. Visit our site today for more information. Technology Column: Design vs. SEO: Can My Site Look Good and Rank Well? Do you have to sacrifice all of the creative and artistic elements of your web site to rank in the search engines? Later in this article I’ll show you a real case scenario and the design and SEO approach used. Thanks to the birth of professional search engine marketers the top ranks are saturated with the pages of companies that can pay for such insight. That said, it’s certainly possible to employ high ranking tactics in your own website. Actually, the most basic tactics can move you up from an 800 position to a 300. However, it’s the top of the scale where efforts seem almost inversely exponential or logarithmic, you put a ton in to see a tiny change in rank. How do you meld the ambitious overhauls required to attain significant ranking and NOT compromise the design of your site? Design Can’t Be Ignored If you have an existing site, you’ve probably tied it into your existing promotional content. Even if you’ve allowed your website to cater to the more free form of the net, it...

Why Reciprocal Linking Works for SEO

The first question you have to ask and answer about whether to embark on a reciprocal link exchange program for your website is “why”. After all, it’s work, time and money. It has to stand up to business analysis. I’ve been doing reciprocal linking for websites since 1996. In that time, I’ve seen this work evolve from one that was primarily a way for niche interest, hobbyist-oriented sites to reach out to each other, to one that is now a business function, often driven by the need for quality traffic exchange, and good search engine results. Web Promotion Before Google Before Google came along and put the focus on link popularity, only the savviest businesses were running link directories and pursuing links with other relevant sites. Most businesses ignored reciprocal linking. The prevailing wisdom was that a business website should not link out to anyone else, if they could help it. The concept was that you should capture visitors, hold them hostage, and never, ever cooperate with anybody else. This has been proven wrong. What’s interesting, though, is that the purpose and linking methods that worked well for those niche sites in the pre-Google days still work well today. It is important to keep this in focus, as there are now a lot of people out there who are trying to do this work using misguided methods, for misguided reasons. Why Link? First and foremost, linking should be pursued as a branding function of your business. If other websites that are relevant to your business are running link directories, and offering to list yours for free, then it makes...