Archive for the ‘SEO Mistakes’ Category

Keyword Density Myth – Find the Bonsai Trees

Monday, April 2nd, 2007 |

Is their an optimal keyword density?Our SEO copywriters have wrestled with this question for years. I believe there used to be an optimal keyword density, but nowadays I don’t think there is. I do believe there is a density level that will get your site penalized, but an optimal density is just a myth. Don’t believe me, then take a look and do a few searches in Google. Let’s try “bonsai trees”.

Here are the top four results and the keyword density for the term “bonsai trees” on each page.

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonsai – 0.17%
  2. http://www.bonsaiboy.com/ – 5.74%
  3. http://www.bonsaisite.com/ - 0% (Yes, that is zero percent)
  4. http://www.helpfulgardener.com/bonsai/ – 1.38%

From these examples you can clearly see that keyword density shouldn’t be a major consideration in your writing efforts.

Instead, focus on the on-page factors that help the search engines determine the ranking of your web page: title tags, link text, navigation, heading tags and quality content.

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Bad Neighborhood Links Can Affect Web Site Rankings

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 |

Linking to other web sites can hurt your rankings if you link to the wrong web sites. Links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web can have a negative effect on your rankings on Google and other search engines.

A Google official has recently commented on bad neighborhood links and how they affect your web site rankings on Google.

What are bad neighborhood links?

Google doesn’t like the following type of web sites:

  1. free for all links pages (FFA)
  2. link farms (automated linking schemes with lots of unrelated links)
  3. known web spammers

Linking to that type of site can have a negative effect on your Google rankings.

Is there an official Google statement about bad neighborhood links?

In a discussion in a webmaster forum, Google’s Adam Lasnik has recently clarified what Google looks for in regards to bad neighborhood penalties:

  1. There is no relation between outbound links and Google’s supplemental index“It’s unlikely that your outbound linking is causing your pages to be listed in the supplemental, rather than main index.”
  2. Google looks for bad neighborhood linking patterns

    “Also, be assured that we’re not looking to penalize folks for a ‘bad’ link here and there. Rather, our algorithms are tuned to look for patterns of ‘egregious’ linking behavior – both on individual sites and in the aggregate.”
  3. You should check the links on your web site”It’s certainly in your users’ interest that you regularly audit outgoing links on your site (especially prominent ones) to ensure that you’re not losing folks’ trust by sending them to inappropriate places or 404 pages.

Sure, it’s great to keep Google happy, but it’s usually more important (long term) to have your users be return visitors.”

What does this mean to your web site?

Google looks for linking patterns. That means that it may not hurt your site if you link to a bad neighborhood by mistake.

Many links to 404 error pages might cause ranking problems. It’s a good idea to check the links on your web site every now and then.

Source: Axandra

Ten Signs That Your SEO Is a Quack

Thursday, November 30th, 2006 |

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. I’ve discussed in previous articles the Meta
keyword tag’s lack of importance, so I won’t go into that again here. In regards to PageRank, increasing the little green bar graph’s number should never be the ultimate goal of a professional SEO campaign. A good campaign will automatically increase your real and true PageRank (as measured by
Google) without your specifically setting out to increasing it on your own.
Since PR doesn’t bring you traffic and sales (nor rankings), increasing it should not ever be the main goal of your campaign. This fact is of course lost on SEO quacks.

2. Your SEO company’s site (or those of their clients) has the same Title tags on every page. Sounds crazy I know, but I’ve seen this more than once!

I once got a client who had previously used a very major SEO company that most people have heard of. They had been with this firm for a whole year, and yet the Title tags on every page of their site were all the same (the name of the company). Since Title tags are probably the most important (and
easiest) thing to change on a site, any SEO company that can’t do this one basic thing for their own site or their clients’ is most definitely a quack! (more…)

Error Pages – 404 Error Pages

Thursday, November 30th, 2006 |

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 and editor for the SiteProNews & SEO-News newsletters.

Search Engine Optimization Pitfalls in Google

Thursday, May 4th, 2006 |

On Page Factors – Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly?
So you have a website but where is it on Google? Have you fallen
foul of a penalty or have you overlooked one of the many common
search engine optimization pitfalls when designing your
site?

Understanding what works for the search engines and what doesn’t
when it comes to the content on your website can have a crucial
impact on the relevance and/or page rank of your pages from a
SEO perspective.

Here we highlight common mistakes that could affect your ranking
on Google and other search engines.

Optimizing for the Correct Keywords
Basically ‘Get real’ about what keywords you feel your website
can be ranked for. If you have a ten page website in a highly
competitive market then ranking naturally for the major terms
will be close to impossible.

Use the Overture keyword tool together with the number of
results on Google to find out what keywords are searched for and
how many other websites are targeting them. If you are lucky
then you might even find a popular keyword that not many other
websites are optimized for. Alternatively a good tool for this
job is Wordtracker from Rivergold Associates Ltd.

Code Validation
If your html code is not valid, then this could make it very
difficult or even impossible for a search engine to separate
your page content from your code. If the search engine cannot
see your content, then your page will obviously have no
relevance. (more…)

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at contact@bigoakinc.com or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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