Category Archives: seo

Halfway SEO, halfway results

Many local businesses look online to take advantage of SEO/SEM marketing tactics to “try it out”, and to see if it works. Newsflash! It works. But it doesn’t work if you’re just “trying it out”. You have to want to make it work, and that requires a level of seriousness and dedication, just like it does for the rest of your business.

Here’s an example of “trying it out”. Your local fire department shows up at a house fire with their gear to “see if it works”. How long do you think they need to keep their hoses on the fire before they decide it’s working? Five minutes? A half hour? Three hours, maybe? I’m no firefighter, but I know enough to know that every fire is different. Some fires can be put out in 30 minutes. Some can’t be put out with water! So how long should your fire department remain on the scene before they decide that firefighting works?

Search engine optimization isn’t anything like fighting fires, but it does require a commitment, and is much different than other forms of marketing and advertising. How long will you only go through the motions before you realize if you only go halfway, you only get half as much?

SEO Mechanics

In frequenting a forum or two, I’ve come across some rather interesting questions and scenarios from time to time. Potential clients asking about techniques, both white and black hat, SEO “experts” posing questions that they should undoubtedly know the answers too, in order to consider calling themselves even an SEO, let alone an expert.

Today I encountered a scenario I wasn’t entirely ready for, a person who used to create and publish advertisements under the Google Adwords program, wanted to use Google as a reference on a job application for a position as an “SEO Expert”.

The biggest and most blatant problem with their question being notably; under Adwords, you don’t work for Google. The relationship between yourself and Google, is one of independant contractors, not as an employer/employee relationship. So, out goes that reference.

The second problem, and it’s as much a pet peeve as an actual issue, writing Adwords does not qualify a person to be a search engine optimization expert. Trying to draw the comparison between the two, would be the same as having applied to be a mechanic after changing a tire on your car.

Would you go see that “mechanic” with your business, knowing his prior experience?

Not the time to save..

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most common internet marketing strategies used by website owners to promote their popularity on the Web. Driving traffic to you site is the goal of this strategy — making sure that you appear on the first page, preferably, in the top 5 results.

Marketing itself is pretty much simply an act of finding out what people want and then giving it to them exactly how they want it. It is important you carry this thinking over into your SEO campaign and make sure you give each search engine, Google/Bing/Yahoo, EXACTLY what they want. Good SEO practices will have a positive effect on all engines, but each has their differences.

Ask any online marketer, whether they are affiliate or network marketers, and they can readily explain to you how powerful being #1 in the Google listings can be for their business. Being able to rank #1 on Google, for your chosen keywords (if they are keywords that attract buyers) is like a blank check you get to fill in. The best part is you can rank high with some work, and your cost to receive this advertising is zero dollars. Your ROI is thus very high since you are not paying for traffic. Everything is profit. Since Google is the Big Daddy of the online marketing field, it is also the most difficult search engine to climb, and maintain top ranking position in.

Can you save some money and hope to maximize your return? Of course, but as true as it is in all circumstances, “you get what you pay for” is a very powerful phrase to bear in mind when looking at embarking on your SEO campaign. Google catches 75% +/- of all search traffic, can you afford to miss out or make a wrong step?

New Possible Criteria to be Integrated in Search Engine Algorithms

The first criteria that are possibly going to be added are the amount of Click data. It has been noted that Google news does not use links as a ranking factor rather it uses clicks or the amount of clicks as a ranking factor.

Second Criteria is web referencing, a web reference is not a link but rather a mention of the target website in an external website. This means that the mere mention of your website from another website which you do not own is already considered as a ranking factor, not just by links anymore.

A third criterion is the presence of your website in social media networks. Social media is now considered to be the latest craze among different walks of life and the popularity of your website in a social media community will contribute greatly to your ranking.

Finally, page loading time is also going to become a factor nowadays that is why website design and web development will play an important role in the field of SEO. The rationale behind using page loading time as a ranking factor is the fact that fast page loading time improves user experience.

With these new criterias added would it help revolutionise the search engine algorithm?, we might also see another shift in terms of the SEO approaches being done by different SEO companies and SEO consultants

Latent Semantic Indexing A Bit Of A Myth?

There are hundreds of search theories out there, stuff that the ‘SEO Guru’s’ discuss and say ‘may’ be a ranking factor, people then jump on the bandwagon and before you know it we have a new (100% fabricated) ranking algorithm.

The truth is ranking on Google is about being smart with keyword selection and implementation. If you have a site about super cars and you use the keyword “super cars” there is a good chance you will rank for it, you will not rank for “fast cars” if you never use the keyword on the basis they mean pretty much the same, it’s a myth.

If you want to rank you use your main keyword in the title tag, you create content using different ’search’ variations, you build links to all your content using varied anchor text, that’s it, read the theories if they interest you but don’t ‘read’ too much into them.

Bing or Google?

Following yesterday’s news that Microsoft’s Bing is gaining share on Google (its searches are up 7% for October), a look into their similaries and differences was in order.

Bing’s stance on SEO doesn’t appear to be all that different from Google’s, however, users get different results, which is how to two can coexist in the first place. The difference isn’t necissarily in how the results are found, it is in how the results are presented. Remember that Microsoft marketed Bing as the “decision engine”.

Bing and Google have separate, unique algorithms, but both like quality, relevant links and good content, as opposed to deception and spam. In a white paper for webmasters, Microsoft says:

“There have been no major changes to the MSNBot crawler during the upgrade to Bing. However, the Bing team is continuously refining and improving our crawling and indexing abilities.”

Bing separates results into categories, which has so far worried some in the SEO sector, but Microsoft says proper SEO will work just as well. Bing also has the explore pane, which corresponds with the categories in the SERPs. This is similar to Google’s recent addition of “search options.”

Doing a quick search for comparison between Bing and Google for the keyword “snowboards” yields the following results. Bing gives you categories like shopping, brands, buying guide, providers, accessories, images, videos, and local. Google returning the relevant websites from sales, to local, to forums.

With Bing, it’s not so much about getting to the top of the results, it’s about getting to the top of the right set of results. And still, as always, having quality and relevant content is the best thing you can do. Incidentally, this will help your cause in Google (and other search engines) at the same time.

Curious About What Bing Looks for in Links?

Rick DeJarnette of Bing Webmaster Center recently posted a pair of blogTo try and help determine the good, and the bad:

- If you can’t endorse the quality of the content at another site, you shouldn’t be linking to them.

- Don’t seek links from sites whose content isn’t link worthy.

- Links to and from your site should be relevant to your site or the page you’re linking to.

- Quality > quantity.

- Avoid hidden text

Winnipeg Internet Marketing Agency Wins Awards

Press Release: The SEO experts at Fresh Traffic, the Winnipeg based internet marketing agency, have won two prestigious IMDM trophies at the award ceremony that took place in Toronto.

The team took home the awards for “Best Use of Organic Search (SEO and “Best Use of Paid Search (SEM, both awarded for the staggering search engine optimization success they achieved with one of the largest online sport retailers. Full Story

Canadian search engine optimization guru


Top Canadian search engine optimization guru, I see this advert on the paid sponsored links in Google all the time in my city of Winnipeg.

I thought first someone was advertising my company, hey and it would be for free too.

It was not to be, it was another company in town trying to drill up business using the phrase Top Canadian search engine optimization guru, so I then thought lets type that in google and see if they list organically, enclosed results.

Don’t say SEO Experts without being able to back it up, anyone with half a brain can list on google adwords, but to list top of the Google Organic results takes a bit more, people and company’s like this are the ones that get the SEO industry a bad name.

You don’t write a few blogs, twitter daily or do a radio spot and all of sudden become experts or guru’s. Time to stop kidding people and stick to what your good at. Rant!

Link Building and you

Of the many steps involved in properly conducting a sound SEO (search engine optimization) campaign for a client, a step which seems to invoke some confusion is the link building portion of the campaign. Properly researched link building is just as important to your success as is the content on your website.

Because of the somewhat, misunderstood nature of link building, there are many fallicies which float around on the web about it. What sites to link to, which ones are worse, too many back links are bad for you, but too few isn’t worth the money.. And they go on and on. You can find some of these myths, demystified below.

Myth No 1.
It is bad for your website to leave your link on an “inner page” or inside page that is either new or has a very low Page Rank like PR0 which has a high Page Rank home page.

This is absolutely false. A solid strategy is to look for good quality sites to link to and most of these times linking is done through any of the many pages of such sites. Content doesn’t exist on only the front page of a website.

Myth No 2.
You should always obtain “relevant” links in the same niche as your website otherwise these non-relevant links won’t don’t help in your search engine optimization and will get you penalized by Google.

Ideally all of us should always try to obtain links belonging to the same niche, however it will not hurt you even if they come from sites belonging to entirely different niche. There is just no way that Google can exert much control over incoming links to your website. If this myth were true, many nasty people just need to start linking bad sites with their own competitors just to bring their sites down.

Myth No. 3
Building lots of backlinks too fast will get your penalized by Google.

Most people make this statement without defining what is considered too many links. The average marketer does not build links to the tune of tens of thousands on a daily basis. Only when this happens would we think it is too excessive and could raise an alert to Google, who may investigate if spamming has taken place.

Continue reading about the myths of link building..

BBC Finally bows to SEO

BBC News website to feature longer headlines on story pages, making them easier to find on search engines.

Not before time, I remember being called by them in 2006 for advice which they thought a bit expensive on the marketing budget at that time, obviously with dollars dwindling and more eyeballs on websites now they have had a change of heart.

“We estimate that about 29% of BBC News website UK traffic comes from search engines.”, says Steve Herrmann, editor of BBC News website.

The BBC will therefore allow its journalists to create two headlines for a story. While the shorter one between 31 and 33 characters appears on the front page and the website indexes as well as on mobile phones, the longer one – up to 55 characters will appear on the story itself – and in search engine results.

Search engine optimization has become a standard practice for most online organisations over the past couple of years, the guardian.co.uk included. As users began to find stories more and more via search engines or Google News, via personal recommendations on social media or in email, via links on Twitter or their RSS readers, news publishers wanted to be sure of reaching them.

“The practice of ‘search engine optimization‘ – making content in such a way that it is easily retrieved via search engines – is an important area for us and for others across the web.

So does the justification damage the use of language? Or does it only stop journalists from inventing too complex phrases that were not understandable anyway? Since search-optimized headlines will tend to include all the key words a user might type in when he or she is searching for a topic, the headlines may even be more useful.

In fact, in the news sector, the changes are minimal – as the BBC shows in an example: “Possible counter-bid for Cadbury” becomes “Ferrero and Hershey in possible counter-bid for Cadbury”. Might be a bit harder to scan on a front page, but the longer headline is definitely more informative.

May be the Canadian newspapers, TV and Cable companies here might eventually catch on