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Best-kept Secrets to Search Engine Optimization Success: the Art and the Science

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Stephan Spencer presented this deck at the Web 2.0 Expo on April 23, 2008.

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Best-kept Secrets to Search Engine Optimization Success: the Art and the Science

  1. Best-Kept Secrets for Search Marketing Success Stephan Spencer, Founder & President, Netconcepts
  2. Advanced SEO: Part Art, Part Science <ul><li>Stay tuned for the tools and tactics that most search agencies won’t reveal… </li></ul><ul><li>These tools and tactics will be broken into three major categories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical Optimization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Optimization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link Building </li></ul></ul>
  3. Technical Optimization
  4. Grouped Google Results <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding the true position of an indented result by appending &num=9 to the URL of the Google SERP, then &num=8 etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://searchengineland.com/070705-123736.php </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knocking out your competitor’s indented second listing </li></ul></ul>
  5. This isn’t really #3
  6. Nope, not yet
  7. Gone! It’s true position was #9
  8. SEO the title of #12 to bump it up to page 1 – it will be grouped to #2. Then link to #11 and bump it up to page 1 to knock #4 to page 2
  9. Indexation <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Essential tools: Yahoo Site Explorer, Netconcepts URL Checker, Netconcepts Product Page Checker (www.netconcepts.com/productcheck) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set Google preferences to “English Only” to get a more realistic number, minus pages not crawled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XML Sitemaps generators </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Figuring out the main indexation threshold for your level of PageRank/authority </li></ul></ul>
  10.  
  11.  
  12. Results estimate decreased by 2/3rds
  13. Flowing PageRank <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using rel=nofollow on low-value internal links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEOChat PageRank Search tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEOChat PageRank Lookup tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO for Firefox tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing which of your pages to nofollow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iterative testing </li></ul></ul>
  14. 301 Redirects <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When moving sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For canonicalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Conditional” redirects? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When to use 301 and when to use 404 or 302 </li></ul></ul>
  15. Cloaking <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewed cloaked content with Google Translate and translate it from English to English </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=en&u=URLGOESHERE&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=9&ct=result </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good cloaking vs bad cloaking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For bots only, drop tracking tags and other superfluous parameters from the URLs of your links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use “user agent” detection and don’t “noarchive” the pages to obscure what you’re doing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://searchengineland.com/070301-065358.php </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. Supplemental Index <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Figuring out which pages are and are not in “Supplemental hell” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.mapelli.info/tools/supplemental-index-ratio-calculator/ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>site:www.xyz.com -allinurl:www.xyz.com </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Popping pages out of supplemental with robots.txt disallow, rel=nofollow, internal linking, link building </li></ul></ul>
  17. Duplicate Content <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scanning for duplicate content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blocking duplicate content without blackholing the PageRank (i.e. disallowing with rel=nofollow) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If using tracking parameters in URLs, use 301 redirects or JavaScript </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/444/SEO-The-Duplicate-Content-Penalty/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Augment and/or revise duplicate content with APIs, unique titles/metadata, </li></ul></ul>
  18. CSS <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reordering content above navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Image replacement technique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Progressive enhancement for Flash & AJAX </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/251/SEO-Harness-the-Power-of-CSS/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design worthy of CSS Zen Garden </li></ul></ul>
  19. Content Optimization
  20. Keyword Research <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mastering tools such as KeywordDiscovery, Google Suggest, Spyfu,WordTracker, Google Trends, Googspy, SEOSleuth, Yahoosearchranking.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Working in misspellings without looking stupid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking like a thesaurus - finding related words that machines can’t </li></ul></ul>
  21. Keyword Density/Prominence <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ranks.nl </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing keyword density and prominence in a way that looks natural to the engines and reads well </li></ul></ul>
  22. “ Thin Slicing” <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mass edit admin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanical Turk </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separating the wheat from the chaff </li></ul></ul>
  23. Link Building
  24. Reverse Engineer Competitors <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo Site Explorer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>link: on Google & on Google Blog Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Backlink Analyzer or Neat-o tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiating links from the same sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outing competitors’ dodgy link schemes </li></ul></ul>
  25. High-Value Link Targets <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build spiders to find sites with super high PageRank, 1 click away from Google, .edu or .gov, high Alexa ranked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding situations that erode the value (e.g. reciprocal, in footer, site-wide, adjacent to paid links, too many links on page) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use tools like SEOMoz Page Strength tool, SEO for Firefox, SEO-Links Firefox extension </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying sites with a propensity to give link love (e.g. acknowledging patrons/sponsors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crafting approaches & incentives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buy them </li></ul></ul>
  26.  
  27.  
  28.  
  29.  
  30. Mining Your Own Links <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Locating inbound links with poor anchor text with BLA or Neat-o </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiating with these linkers to change the anchor text. Pull some favors with friends who link to you. It helps to be a blogger when reaching out to other bloggers. </li></ul></ul>
  31.  
  32. Wikipedia <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikiscanner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Article monitoring (e.g. trackengine, changenotes, urlywarning, changedetect, watch function) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building up a long & virtuous contribution history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flowing pagerank internally with Disambiguation pages, Redirects, Categories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiating with an article’s “owner” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making friends who will back you up in AfDs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earning Barnstar awards & adminship status </li></ul></ul>
  33. Digg <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stripping away all commercial links during the initial Digg swarm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friending popular Diggers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timing your presence on the Digg front page for daylight hours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crafting a killer title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting a powerful Digger to submit your story </li></ul></ul>
  34. YouTube <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proper formatting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Title and description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Channels </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Entertainment value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding that viral hook </li></ul></ul>
  35. MySpace <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration of your profile and page (e.g. profile type) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing critical mass with #s of Friends by targeting bands </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting your brand in the URL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating a viral MySpace avatar, comment graphic, layout etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Having a profile layout that differentiates you without killing usability </li></ul></ul>
  36. Flickr <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Title and description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Albums / photosets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Commons licensing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commenting (note: links in comments no longer pass juice) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Photo quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Viral hook </li></ul></ul>
  37. Blogs <ul><li>Science: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing which blogs pass PageRank to commenters (e.g. Mark Cuban’s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decoupling your blog’s title tags from the post titles (e.g. “SEO Title Tag” WordPress plugin) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using “Sticky” posts to improve keyword prominence on your blog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Courting bloggers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commenting in ways that add to the conversation so they get approved and stay </li></ul></ul>
  38. More SEO Tools <ul><li>For link analysis and PageRank </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TouchGraph </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live PageRank </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WebmasterEyes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Webmaster Central </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thumbshots Ranking tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEOpen </li></ul></ul>
  39. More SEO Tools <ul><li>Technical optimization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User Agent Switcher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SwitchProxy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scrutinizer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyscape </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poodle Predictor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Xenu Link Sleuth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Robot Replay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CrazyEgg </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s That Site Running </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wayback Machine </li></ul></ul>
  40. More SEO Tools <ul><li>Other reporting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alexa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DigitalPoint Keyword Rankings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Urltrends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hitwise ($$) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>List and links at </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/368/SEO-Toolkit/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/176/SEO:-Tools-for-Link-Building/ </li></ul></ul>
  41. Q&A! <ul><li>For an ebook on Google power searching, SEO checklists & worksheets, and audio recording, executive summary & transcript of an SEO thought leaders teleconference, email seo@netconcepts.com or give me your business card </li></ul><ul><li>Any questions come to you later, contact me: stephan@netconcepts.com </li></ul>

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