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Category: Google (page 1 of 3)

Search Engine Tools

Geographic Target – If a given site targets users in a particular location, webmasters can provide Google with information that will help determine how that site appears in its country-specific search results, and also improve Google search results for geographic queries.

Preferred Domain – The preferred domain is the one that a webmaster would like used to index their site’s pages. If a webmaster specifies a preferred domain as www.example.com and Google finds a link to that site that is formatted as example.com, Google will treat that link as if it were pointing at www.example.com.

URL Parameters – You can indicate to Google information about each parameter on your site, such as “sort=price” and “sessionid=2“. This helps Google crawl your site more efficiently.

Crawl Rate – The crawl rate affects the speed (but not the frequency) of Googlebot’s requests during the crawl process.

Malware – Google will inform you if it has found any malware on your site. Malware creates a bad user experience, and hurts your rankings.

Crawl Errors – If Googlebot encounters significant errors while crawling your site, such as 404s, it will report these.

HTML Suggestions – Google looks for search engine-unfriendly HTML elements such as issues with meta descriptions and title tags.

Crafting Website Content

For search engine success

“Develop great content” may be the most oft-repeated suggestion in the SEO world. Despite its clichéd status, though, this is sound advice. Appealing, useful content is crucial to search engine optimization. Every search performed at the engines comes with an intent—to find, learn, solve, buy, fix, treat, or understand. Search engines place web pages in their results in order to satisfy that intent in the best possible way. Crafting fulfilling, thorough content that addresses searchers’ needs improved your chance to earn top rankings.

As mentioned, original content goes a long way with Google and your visitors. Copying other people’s content will result in a punishment from Google, which can crush your bottom line.

Want proof?

Remember when you used to find ezine articles in top Google rankings? You don’t see them anymore, and it’s no accident. They were one of the hardest hit by Google’s algorithm update, which aimed to prevent bad content from ranking highly.

Mahalo was a content farm that updated every day with new content, but it wasn’t original content. Google punished them for it, and that resulted in Mahalo needing to pivot their business.

But let’s take this a little further. Original also means originality. Your ideas should be original! Rehashing the same concepts or other posts over and over again is not original. If your content is played out, no one will link to it – and that defeats the purpose of writing content in the first place.

Here’s the train of thought that most website owners have (thinking that gets them in trouble):

“So it says here that we need to create a lot of content…OK…well how can we do this as easily and cheaply as possible?”

“Can we make a bot to scrape content and re-combine it into some form of gibberish that at least the search engines will read?”

“Can we outsource cheap, near slave labor priced, content writers to write filler content?”

“Can we collect articles from around the web and just get permission to re-post them?”

STOP THINKING THIS WAY!

Remember these two rules in life:

You get what you pay for.

If you don’t have anything useful to say, then don’t say it at all.

These two simple points will keep you on the path of making quality content that will yield returns for years to come. They can also help in other aspects of your life.

Keyword Stuffing

Ever see a page that just looks spammy? Perhaps something like:

“Bob’s cheap Seattle plumber is the best cheap Seattle plumber for all your plumbing needs. Contact a cheap Seattle plumber before it’s too late.”

Not surprisingly, a persistent myth in SEO revolves around the concept that keyword density—the number of words on a page divided by the number of instances of a given keyword—is used by the search engines for relevancy and ranking calculations.

Despite being disproved time and again, this myth has legs. Many SEO tools still feed on the concept that keyword density is an important metric. It’s not. Ignore it and use keywords intelligently and with usability in mind. The value from an extra 10 instances of your keyword on the page is far less than earning one good editorial link from a source that doesn’t think you’re a search spammer.

Website Content Value

As we’ve seen, an individual page’s value is computed in part based on its uniqueness and the visitor’s experience; likewise is the entire domain’s value assessed. Sites that primarily serve non-unique, non-valuable content may find themselves unable to rank, even if classic on- and off-page SEO is well-optimized. The engines simply don’t want thousands of copies of Wikipedia filling up their indexes, so they use algorithmic and manual review methods to prevent this.

Search engines constantly evaluate the effectiveness of their own results. They measure when users click on a result, quickly hit the back button on their browser, and try another result. This indicates that the result they served didn’t meet the user’s expectations.

It’s not enough just to rank for a query. Once you’ve earned your ranking, you have to prove it over and over again.

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