Category Archives: website principles

Professional Website Design

If you think hiring a professional is expensive, you should try hiring an amateur.”

As far as the average web surfer is concerned, you are your website. You interact with the public, do business, air your thoughts and grievances. Even if you believe in “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”, that adage does not hold true on the World Wide Web unfortunately.

If you have a professionally designed website, with engaging and relevant (to their search) content, then it stands to reason that visitors will spend time reading your website. If, however, you’ve personally built your website, with a website template on a free hosting site, odds are *if* anyone finds your site, they won’t be staying for long. “The first impression is the lasting impression” should be on your mind as you plan your website.

A professional web development service will work with your concepts, content, and needs and will produce a web site built for you.

As professionals, search engine optimization can easily be incorporated into your new websites design. Search engine marketing can also be addressed. In the end, contracting a professional web design company is very important! Investing your time, and your money on the best services are never lost, because your site stands a better chance of succeeding on all fronts of online marketing.

Trying to have a unique presence on the Internet is becoming more and more difficult as the web grows. Only the Freshest web designs, which have had search engine optimization performed, stand a genuine fighting chance in the Internet of tomorrow.

–Nathan

Website Design Process

So, you have a great product, a perfect pitch; it’s so great it could sell itself. The only problem being you live in a tiny market, and have already reached saturation. The next step? Take it online of course!

Website design can be a frightening prospect if your knowledge of the internet extends only to reading your email and news daily. There is however, a few basic guidelines that should be followed that will allow even the internet novice to become visible with their own website.

The first step, of any website may not seem important initially, but it can make all the world of difference. You need to decide upon your websites domain name. Something that shouldn’t be taken lightly at any degree, as it has been said, “It’s all in the name”

Once you’ve chosen a name, you should then decide on a website host. You can start with a free host, which will place ads on your site, or you can pay monthly for your very own domain name and have no ads running (aside from your own).

Typically a free host will have a variety of premade sites which require you only to fill in the blanks. You can literally be up and running your site in an hour or two if you have all of your information organized and ready. Even if you’ve decided to pay monthly for hosting, there is a plethora of templates out there, ranging in price from free, to hundreds of dollars.

Bear in mind now, the more you have on your website the longer it will take to load. Text is not a problem, pictures, sounds/songs, and little movies can slow down your page load speed dramatically, depending on your hosting.

And that’s just the beginning of an online presence!

Then there’s online marketing, constant updating, and search engine optimization to consider.

You could of course, just let someone with some Fresh ideas do all of the aforementioned work for you.

-Nathan

10 Simple Steps to Boost Search Engine Rankings

There are several steps to follow to ensure top rankings in search engines. Sites that follow these simple steps will likely see their traffic and search engine rankings soar through the roof. The better optimized your site is for the search engines, the better results you can expect.

1. Implement Title Tags and Meta Tags
Title tags are an important aspect of search engine optimization as they are the way to convey your marketing skills to your target audience. The wording should flow smoothly while containing important keywords. This is where the search engines and your target audience get a feel for what your Web site is about.

You want to stress all the viral information in this limited area of space. This is your area for free advertising, so take full advantage of this. Insert information like company name and your targeted keywords that you have chosen for this page. Every page on your site should have unique title tags and meta tags.

2. Offer Quality Content
Your content is very useful for the search engines in determining whether or not your Web site is relevant to your topic. You want quality, keyword rich content. You do not want to stuff your keywords, but place them sporadically throughout you site.

Keyword stuffing is a black hat technique that will get you permanently banned from the search engines. Make sure that your content flows smoothly and rolls off the tongue easily. Remember, humans — not search engines — have the ultimate decision to purchase your product or service. Write your content first for your audience and then add keywords where it makes sense to.

3. Acquire Quality Links
Links are a valuable tool for gaining top search engine rankings. Links (backlinks) are viewed as a vote from one site to another, so the more links to your site, the more popular the search engines think your site is. Higher-quality links from authority Web sites are weighed more heavily when ranking your site. So, acquire links from reputable Web sites that are popular.

You want to get links that are related to your line of work to increase rankings. Make sure all your links are related in one way or another to your Web site. If not, then your site will be penalized in the rankings, which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

4. Strive for Quality Backlinks
Recently, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) began to crack down on link farm sites (sites where you buy links) by penalizing them in the search engine rankings. Avoid link farms or buying links from non-authority sites, as they will only do more harm than good.

Remember, it’s not the quantity of links you have, but the quality of those links you do have. Make sure your links appear natural, not like they have been paid for. You must have something of quality to offer others so they will link to your site and increase your search engine rankings.

5. Have a Keyword Relevant Domain Name
Before purchasing a domain name, you should look for a URL that has relevant keywords to your company. Ensure that your domain name has some relevancy to your Web site.

Your sub domains should not be long and full of strange characters and symbols. This will only confuse the search engines and your human visitors. The simple domain that has your keyword specific to your page is great for the search engines and human readers.

6. Use HTML
Search engine spiders have a hard time reading coding other than HTML (hypertext markup language). To avoid any confusion for the spider, have your Web site written in HTML — not Flash. If you are a large, well-known company, this does not play as big a role, but if you’re a small company trying to make a name for yourself, ensure that your programmer is using HTML.

7. Make Site Navigation Easy
You want a Web site that is easy to navigate through. The more confusing and broken links to your site, the less likely it is that the spider will fully crawl and index all your pages.

You want to submit a xml sitemap for Google so it can find and index all the pages in your Web site. Sitemaps are a necessity for Web sites getting all your pages indexed and included in the search engines.

8. Use Fresh, New Content
Search engines do not want old, outdated content on their search results, so you must make sure to add new content to your site on a consistent basis. Both humans and spiders like to see new content on your Web site. Make sure to update your content to make sure it is up to date and relevant.

You can make simple grammatical changes to your site or add pages — anything counts as new content. If you stop adding new content to your Web site, your rankings will start to slip and fall way below your desired results. If you see your rankings start to slip, make sure you add new content to your site.

9. Add a Blog to Your Site
A blog is a great tool for keeping visitors up to date to with your site. Blogs help promote your site and give your visitors another way to locate your Web site. Blogs and blog posts get indexed in the search engines quite quickly as well.

If you start a blog about the industry you are in, you can quickly build up your rankings. Blogs are especially useful for adding fresh content to your site. Blog posts are seen as new content, so post in your blog at least once a week to keep your content new. Blog postings do not have to be relevant to your Web site, but it does help to keep the content somewhat relevant to build up and authority blog.

10. Make Your Web Site for Humans – Not Spiders
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes committed by newcomers to Internet marketing. They write and organize their Web site for the search engines to achieve high rankings, yet the traffic that comes in does not make a purchase.

You want to have a Web site that is easy to read and comprehend — not a site that is made for the spiders to read. Ultimately, your site is viewed by humans who hold the purchasing power. Ensure that your Web site is easy to read and does not have any misspellings.

SEO all the way to Pics

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a virtual no brainer when it comes to the long term marketing of your website. When you work to develop your website using SEO strategies you will likely focus most of your approach on the development of knowledge-based content filled with keywords or phrases that assist in positive site rankings.

Some online business owners do themselves a disservice by stopping short of full optimization. For instance site development can include adding SEO keywords and phrases to meta titles. This is information visitors will not see, but search engines will. Since they pay attention to the meta titles shouldn’t you?

Some website owners also stop before they provide a full compliment of SEO strategies in other text based areas of their website. This may include the ‘about us’ section that allow visitors to learn more about the company. Presumably your SEO keywords relate to your business. The use of those keywords in this section is very important.

Site owners can tastefully place their keywords in product descriptions and the frequently asked questions (FAQs) segment of their website.

Your home page should also include SEO strategies. The truth is you should pay attention to every single page and every text entry you place on your site. This includes any forums or blogs you might host on your site.

One area that is often overlooked when it comes to Search Engine Optimization is the photos you might display on the site.

Visit virtually any website and roll your cursor over a picture. In most cases a small yellow box will pop up and a series of words will pop up to describe the picture. Most visitors do not use this function so enterprising web owners will use photos to increase their SEO exposure since search engines do pay attention. You can use the name of the website or the primary key phrase you are using to enhance search engine placement.

There are other areas where SEO principles apply, but the above principles should help you fully develop a website that is inviting to a system that can do more for the long-term marketability of your site.

SEO principles are not the stuff of overnight success. In fact it can take several weeks for search engines to crawl and index your website to improve your website’s placement in overall search rankings.

Think of SEO like you might a mutual fund. You invest in SEO, but the accumulated interest can take time to mature. Ultimately it is a sound investment, but your interest is always drawn later than your investment. It also has the potential to return more than you invest.

It always surprises me to see web owners who refuse to consider the use of SEO because they believe that the merit of their business is based exclusively on marketing skills that may be best applied in a brick and mortar environment.

The problem is the skills associated with online marketing operate on a different platform. You will help yourself, search engines and best of all your potential customers by making sure your site is optimized for search engines – all the way down to the photos.

Mapping Basics

Have you ever wondered how a search engine works? Have you experienced instances where the link that supposedly contains your keywords is not exactly what you have in mind? You would probably think that there must be something wrong with the search that it generated irrelevant results.

How does a search engine work? Two things figure greatly in making search engines work: the electronic spider and the sitemap.

A sitemap is basically a page serves as a directory by listing all the links to all documents and files on a website. It is not just a random listing of links, it is organized in such a way that it gives the user an idea of how all the information that can be found in the site fits into an outline. It is like viewing the table of contents of a book.

What is a spider? In SEO language, spider is not an animal, the search spider is actually a bot which collects data and copies content to be stored in the search engine’s database when keywords are fed into the search dialogue box. The spider reads the content of the site and sends another bot to follow the links and copy the content contained in them.

What purpose does a sitemap serve?

A sitemap like any other map gives directions to a navigator. It primarily targets search engine spiders so that they are properly directed to your site and to the links where keywords entered in the search box. It is actually a useful tool in search engine optimization. A well organized site map would guide the spider to find the information it needs when keywords are entered during a search.

What are the benefits of having a sitemap for my website?

1.No page would be left out:
Back to the purpose of sitemaps, having one would mean faster and easier tracking and crawling of spiders all over your site. As a result, search engines would get to the view all the pages of your site and not just the pages containing keywords.

2.Easier navigation for visitors:
Once a user has accessed your sitemap, they need not go back to the search engine page to look for what they need. If what they are looking for is in your site, then they would have an easier and faster way of finding it.

3.Encourage traffic to your site:
If your company site has a sitemap then potential buyers would have an easier time in accessing your products and services. Also, they would not miss out on any product that might be of future interest to them.

There are at least three major kinds of sitemaps: indexed, categorical, and restricted categorical. An indexed site map appears as an alphabetical listing or directory. A categorical map displays all links classified into categories; while a restricted categorical sitemap displays all links listed in a chosen category at a time. The full and restricted sitemaps are very similar except that the former displays all links in all categories all at once in a page, while the latter focuses only the links under the selected category for easier and less eye-straining viewing.

Some tips in setting up your sitemap

1.Link the sitemap only to your homepage. This ensures that the spider will start searching from your homepage down through all the pages listed in your sitemap. In this way, no page will be missed.

2.Try not to go beyond 30 pages for a sitemap. Large websites having 50 plus pages should not go beyond 30 since this adds more pages to the site, and may make search engines think that the sitemap is a link farm.

3.Check the integrity of the links listed in your sitemap. It can be discouraging when you click on a link only to find out that nothing is displayed. Test your sitemap!

4.Give keyword-rich titles to sitemap links. Keyword-rich titles give your site more advantage in being searched properly under the right category.

5.Provide a short description for the links in the sitemap gives readers a better idea of what to find in the link.

6.Be consistent in designing your sitemap with the other pages of the site.

–N

Search Engine Optimization Techniques

Webmasters who are interested in building high traffic to their site and maintaining a successful site, should pay particular attention to Search Engine Optimization techniques which can help them improve the search engine rankings. All search engines employ some type of algorithm that brings up the resulting links when a user searches for something. No, all search engines don’t use the same algorithm. But that’s not what this discussion is all about. I’m sure all of you are interested in getting your website/blog listed in the topmost search results. listed below are 5 simple tweaks that can greatly influence your ranking in the search results.

1. Keyword Optimization

The use of relevant keywords in your site is one of the most common and also one of the simplest ways to optimize search engine ranking. It will increase your ranking if you use commonly searched words like for example: If you have a gardening site, you might want to use the word “Home gardening” or maybe even “House-keeping” more in your posts. As a result, when people actually type those phrases in the search box, your website is shown earlier because of the use of it in your web page is higher than the rest.

TIP : Don’t ever overdo it.

2. Get Link Love

Many search engines (almost all) rank your site on basis of the number of back links that lead to your site. Now basically you could do link-exchange, but search engines will rank you even higher if you get one-way links. It’s simple: The more back links one has, higher up in the search results you climb.

TIP: Try and get as many as One-way links as you can.

3. Use Image Tags to your Advantage

Site owners should also be aware that any pictures used on their site can be used to improve search engine rankings with some search engines. This aspect of search engine optimization is often overlooked because many believe the pictures are not viewed by search engines. While this is true the search engines do crawl the code of the blog in addition to the content on the blog. This means the search engine will view the information provided in the image tags. Take advantage of this by using the image tags to provide relevant keywords which can bolster search engine rankings. However, care should be taken to ensure the keywords used in these tags also accurately describe the image because visitors will often see the text included in these tags when they scroll over pictures on your site.

TIP: Make sure that the tag is relevant to the picture.

4. Site maps are Necessary

All websites need site maps. Why? Well, every site map has links to all the pages in a website and it helps search engine spiders gain even more easier access to your content. And it’s obvious that if more content is tracked by the spiders, the more results appear.

TIP: Well, K.I.S.S, keep it simple silly.

5. Search Engine Friendly URL’s

Using Search Engine friendly URL’s like http://www.freshtraffic.ca/search-engine-optimisation/ will be more effective than the long ones. Why? Well long URLs are most likely to be considered as spam by search engines and users. Keep it brief. Don’t be under the impression that longer URLs will impress your visitors. Users generally despise those kind of addresses. It’s not tough to make the change, and frankly the faster you shift to Search Engine friendly URL’s the better.

–N

SEO When Should You Invest?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessary part of any website strategy. The potential traffic is simply too big to ignore.

The question isn’t “Should I do SEO?” it’s “When should I do SEO?”

As a site owner, you have to make hard decisions about how to spend your always-not-enough budget and when. In this post, I’m going to talk about some of things your should consider when trying to determine…

When Should I Invest in SEO?

SEO is not direct marketing. Just because you put a dollar in today does not mean you’re going to get a $1.50 out tomorrow.

Fundamentally, natural search optimization is a long-term investment. With the right strategy and the right implementation, I do believe you will get the return on that investment and, possibly, a sustained competitive advantage.

Of course, this presents a problem: you have to spend the money now, but you might not see it for a while.

Fundamentals to Make the Most of SEO

Search engines don’t buy from you, people do. There a few things you need to have in place in any site to make the most of SEO:

Functioning Site – There’s no point in bringing people to your site if it doesn’t work. People don’t like it and neither do the search engines. Getting your site to work properly is as important as getting people there.
Great Product – You can optimize your site till you’re blue in the face, but if you’re product stinks, you’re fighting an uphill battle. They say the quickest way to kill a bad product is to advertise it…
Measurement (Web Analytics) – Spending money without any way to track it is pointless. What’s more, you need analytics in place to help you refine the SEO you do execute.

The Resources You Need to Execute SEO

There are 2 paths to SEO: do-it-yourself or hiring an SEO consultant.

The choice between the two could fill several blog posts. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you are looking for professional help.

A good organic search optimization agency will:

Do your keyword research
Make recommendations about your platform and information architecture
Address on-page code elements
Conduct a competitive and market analysis
Make specific content recommendations
Build and, possibly, execute a link strategy
You then have to execute that advice you paid so much for.

Oftentimes this is a hurdle for people who buy SEO services. With so many priorities clamoring for your attention, it’s easy to put off.

Don’t.

Make sure your marshal the right people together before the start of the project to convince them of the value of SEO.

Your key people will be:

The Developer – Someone will have to change your code and address server/platform issues. With apologies to the technology folks in the audience, these folks are usually the least inclined to understand the importance of SEO, but they’re absolutely essential to doing it right.

The Creative – Search engines are text readers. You will probably need to get more content onto your sites. This is going to piss of some artist. Best to suck up to them now and get them on your team.

The Copywriter – Somebody has to write all of that new content. What’s more, they have to do so in a search engine friendly way. A new way of writing + new things to write = another team member to persuade.

The Marketer – If this isn’t you, then it’s likely your colleague or boss. The marketer has to ensure everything is on-brand, and that includes the changes to the meta-data and content you’re going to recommend. Figure out the approval process and key concerns early.

Chose: Buy SEO Services or Something Else?
You can buy $25 worth of paid search. You can’t buy $25 worth of SEO.

In reality, you’re going to have some per hour, per project or per month fee to get sound SEO advice customized for your business.

Assuming you’ve addressed the fundamentals mentioned above and can convince the key team members to pitch in, you now have to ask yourself: is this the best time to invest in SEO services?

There are times when SEO is a no-brainer:

Pre-Launch – It is 10 times easier to change things in the design phase than during coding or after launch. What’s more, the education and research will also weave its way into all of your decisions the sooner you learn about SEO.

Starting Paid Search – It makes sense to coordinate paid and organic search marketing. Think about it: do you want to pay for clicks you could get for free? Shouldn’t buy words that will take you months to win?
You’ve Done Everything Else – Well, that just makes logical sense :-)
It’s always better to start SEO sooner rather than later, but there’s often an opportunity cost with that choice. The opportunity you could be giving up is better email marketing, more paid search, affiliate expansion, upgraded user experience, multivariate testing… the list goes on.

You need to ask:

Do I have the cash flow to pay for natural search optimization when it could take 6-9months before I get that money back?
Can I execute the SEO recommendations in a timely fashion?
Are there minor site changes that I could address in 1-3 months that would produce immediate returns across all channels (e.g., shopping cart improvements)?
How much traffic and revenue would I have to generate to make this investment worthwhile?

Conclusion

I’m not trying to scare you away from SEO. It’s totally the opposite–I think SEO is vital and, frankly, amazing. It’s important to have realistic expectations about how and when SEO will pay off.

The point is that there’s a reason many people don’t succeed at SEO–they’re not willing to put in the effort and give it time to succeed.

Understanding what it takes to be prepared for SEO will help you understand when you should invest in it.

Let me turn the question back to you: how/when did you decided to focus on SEO?

SEO Experts Secrets They Dont Want You To Know.

Are you ready? There are no magic tricks or quick answers. I know this may sound crazy, but when you create your website pages you have to keep one very important thing in mind, the end user. KISS, keep it simple stupid will allow you too page rank in the top 5 search on any niche or keyword you are using.

Even when Google changes their algorithms you won’t be worried. These SEO techniques are not really fantastic, they just work. You will need to stick with the basics, these have worked for years, they work now and it is what the search engines want I feel there are two types of SEO people, 1. the first is simply setting up your website so the search engines will serve you when a potential customer types in your keyword, 2. the second is Search Engine Octopus.

This person constantly sits and tweaks their pages , not thinking about the end user. You don’t want to be the second SEO. We all want to be on the #1 page and listed with all the major search engines. Keywords are the bread and butter to your online success, but gathering a large number of keywords and then dumping them into your site will not work.

Relevant keywords and relevant content on your keyword is the key to success. Don’t build your pages using only your main keyword, search engines will also determine other relevant keywords, use variation keywords.

A reality check, use every possible keyword, one month that keyword may only have 300 searches, but the previous month it may have had over 1500. Here is another basic SEO technique often overlooked, site structure. We all do it including myself, create a couple of pages ftp them and then hope the search engines pick them up. Maybe later on you will add a couple of pages and hope for the best this is generic and wrong!

Want to see how a site should be properly structured?. Head over to Ebay. The key here is to concentrate on categories and not the menus on our site, use your keywords and create a skeleton structure of your website so that your keywords flow consistently. Another important part of getting listed in the search engines is the Title tag, get this wrong and you will lose a lot of traffic.

Remember the first two or three words should have your keyword in it, I also wouldn’t go over a maximum of 9 words. Try and create a catchy and inviting title, something that will appeal to the surfer, so you can get the click. Elaborate and make the title catchy, provide a solution for your customer to ensure the click.

I believe 99% of all webmasters shoot for the top ten keywords, certainly understandable to get a lot of traffic. But consider this, why not concentrate on the bottom of the list and work your way up, here you will want to try and focus on the targeted keywords for your industry. What you want to do is understand your main keyword and think logically.

Yes .it may have less people searching for them but at least they will be more accurate and highly targeted. Remember each page you create for your website will have it’s own value, so each page is keyword targeted. If your particular market has 50 keywords then by all means create 50 pages. Linking between sites is an crazy task, most webmasters will spend weeks searching for links and a lot of webmasters are very choosey with whom they exchange links with.

If you set up your site properly and it is established, you can let them come begging to you for links, the key here is to properly structure your site.

Maintain Website Focus People

If you set yourself up properly, when users click through an ad for your product or company on another site, they end up on your main page. This is your chance to grab their attention and keep their attention. You’ll find plenty of tips for building, testing, and improving your site, but it all boils down to one word: focus.

Hard selling belongs on your main page, but it’s a special kind of hard sell. You must take your visitors by the hand and guide them to what you want them to do. In the days before the web, consumers simply read and/or watched ads, which marketers could at least imagine led smoothly and directly to a sale. But it’s quite rare for a person to go online, type a URL into a browser, visit that single site, accomplish a task, and leave the web completely.

This is what you’re up against when you create your main page. Your main page needs to grab your visitors’ attention, hold onto that attention while giving them what they want and expect, and persuade them to do what you want them to do: buy the product, sign up for the newsletter, what have you. In marketing, this is sometimes referred to as the three C’s: capture their attention, communicate the value of your offering, and close the deal.

A main page is actually a “second impression.” The first impression is the ad through which the visitor clicked to arrive at the main page. Since they left one page to go to another, it behooves you to make sure they know they arrived at the right place. Tell your visitors that the main page is relevant to what they clicked through. Use the same colors and logos if you can. Use the same title as you used for the original ad. If you made a particular offer in the ad, it should be clearly visible on your page. Some main pages that visitors arrive at through sponsored links on search engines even include search text: “You searched for Gibson guitar,” for example.

Once your visitors know they’re in the right place, it’s your job to keep them focused. Most people have a shorter attention span for online activities than they do for offline things. That’s even true for something as simple as reading. No matter how good your monitor is, it’s still much more enjoyable to read a book or magazine offline than it is to read online. This makes users restless; they’ll fidget, and fidgeting can mean they click away from your site if they’re bored.

–NG

Google SEO Advice – The Do’s & Dont’s

You may or may not be aware, but Google has released a list of SEO do’s and dont’s that you should follow if you want any hope of being indexed and ranked in the search engines. Most SEO information is disputed, but when it comes from the BIG G’s mouth, you know it’s probably very true!

Ok, so maybe this isn’t breaking news – and although it’s been out for a while, Google has a small guide on what to do and what not to do when it comes to getting ranked in their glorious index. Again, while these are some common sense items, you’d be surprised at the amount of people that do not read it, and end up either suffering a drop in rankings, penalized, or banned from Google’s index all together.

I want to sum up the Do’s and Don’ts of Google’s guidelines to SEO best practices (not all of them, because some are extremely basic, so just the ones that you may have forgotten)

Do’s:

Have other sites link to yours (quality, relevant sites).
Submit a sitemap using your Google Webmaster Tools account.
Submit your site to quality, high authority directories in the appropriate category.
Make a site with text links and a clear hierarchy, and make sure every page is reachable by at least one static text link.
Create useful, unique, and clearly written content. Relevancy is key.
Make sure your TITLE tags and ALT tags are”descriptive and accurate” (see, even Google recommends this – told you I wasn’t BS’ing!)
Maintain clean HTML code.
Keep the outgoing links on a particular page under 100.
Make it easy for search bots to crawl your site without error.
Make use of the robots.txt file to limit crawling on pages that aren’t useful to visitors.
Make pages for users, not search engines. (It’s fine to optimize your page, but don’t do nasty spammy things just to get the search engine’s to look for it)

Dont’s:

Don’t have any broken links on your site.
Don’t use hidden text or hidden links (people, doing that is soooo 2002, and will get you heavily penalized)
Don’t cloak or use “sneaky” redirects.
Don’t load pages with keywords or keyphrases. This is spam, and Google knows it.
Don’t send automated queries to Google.
Don’t create duplicate content. (This will kill your rankings most of the time)
Don’t create pages that install bad things (trojan’s, viruses, malware, etc..) – kind of a no brainer anyway.

If you participate in an affiliate program, don’t provide duplicate, run of the mill content. Provide useful, relevant content for the user.

DON’T participate in linking schemes!!! Bloggers pay attention to that one. So many of those viral linking posts go around, and they are just not good for business.

That’s why you rarely see the bigger A-list blogs take part, because they know it’s bad for rankings. Resist the temptation to gain 30 extra links overnight (do you really think Google doesn’t know what’s up with that, c’mon….).

So, what you just read comes from the horses mouth itself, and I personally agree that you can’t go wrong by following the above advice. I take it for granted sometimes that people know all of this stuff, but I see it every single day that people will still try to keyword stuff, white text on white background, cloak, and all sorts of nasty things. Rarely, there are a few that get away with this and achieve good rankings, however, those rankings don’t last long at all.

Google is all knowing, and will catch you eventually. You can bet on that.

To read the entire paper from Google, check it out here.