Advanced SEO


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40-minute presentation at Professional eBay Sellers Alliance conference at Broadbeach, QLD on 1 June 2012. Covers recent Google algorithm changes.

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Advanced SEO

  1. 1. Advanced SEO with Ash Nallawalla Twitter: @ashnallawalla PESA Internet ConferenceCopyright © TrainSEM Pty Ltd 2007 - 2012
  2. 2. Ash Nallawalla - @ashnallawalla • SEO Consultant and trainer • CEO, National Training Centre of Australia P/L (an RTO) – Online training: – Social media outsourcing: www.twemps.com1 June 2012 2
  3. 3. What is “Basic SEO”?• “On-page” SEO – the stuff you can see and the stuff behind the page (code). – Information architecture choices – On-page content must be topical, focussed and fresh. – Page coding decisions – Page linking (internal and to other sites) – Title, Description and image tags• Web server – Speed/Page size – Broken pages – URL length and makeup• “Off-page” SEO – quality inbound links – Who links to you (and who links to them) – Webmaster Tools (Google and Bing)1 June 2012 3
  4. 4. So what’s wrong with Basic SEO?• Nothing – that’s the least everyone must do.• Not sufficient if you’re a motel/jeweller/etc in a large city or popular destination.• Worse if your SEO did things that Google doesn’t like now: – Spun articles and submitted to article directories – Auto-submitted comments to blogs with a link – Auto-submitted comments to forums with a link – Exact-match anchor text links en masse e.g. “cheap motel gold coast”1 June 2012 4
  5. 5. Some questionable practices• SEO is risky if done wrong/on the cheap. What “works” today might not work tomorrow.• Let’s look at some practices to eliminate them from inclusion as “Advanced SEO” – Black hat tactics • Comment spam • Link saturation • Article spinning • Keyword stuffing1 June 2012 5
  6. 6. Examples of comment spam1 June 2012 6
  7. 7. Examples of anchor text links• These are site-wide on a blog (usually seen in the sidebar)• One is no-followed (probably hasn’t renewed)1 June 2012 7
  8. 8. Examples of anchor text links• These are spun articles and contain keyphrase-anchor-text links1 June 2012 8
  9. 9. Artificial link saturation (not advisable)• Xrumer – Automated posts to forums and blogs – Bypasses CAPTCHA – Uses proxies to avoid IP address blocks – Creates forum profiles with a link in the signature – Generate email accounts on some services• Link sellers1 June 2012 9
  10. 10. Spinning an article• The tool is marked up with synonyms{As you|When it comes time to|When the day arrives to|While you}{prep|prepare|set up} your {home|property|real estate property|real-estate property|house} for your {first|1st|initial} {open house|openhouse event}, {try|be sure|make sure} to {look at|view|see|envision}it {through the eyes|from the point of view|from the perspective} of a{potential|possible|likely} {buyer|purchaser}.While you set up your home for your first open house event, make sureto see it from the perspective of a potential buyer.When the day arrives to prepare your property for your initial openhouse, make sure to look at it from the point of view of a possiblepurchaser.While you set up your house for your first open house, try to envision itfrom the perspective of a possible purchaser.1 June 2012 10
  11. 11. Example of keyword stuffing• (Sad example of optimising for a keyphrase by repetition – so 1998…)1 June 2012 11
  12. 12. Negative SEO• To lower a ranking• How done: – Remove quality links to competitor – SEO 3rd party site for same search term – Flood competitor’s site with spammy links – Dob a competitor for buying links – Copy competitor site and get it indexed first – Technical attacks on server1 June 2012 12
  13. 13. Now we finally come to the“advanced SEO” slides…
  14. 14. What is “Advanced SEO”? • Stuff you must do (as applicable) if you are in a competitive niche. • Anything you don’t know. – Get training to keep in touch – Attend conferences – Participate in the better SEO forums – Subscribe to SEO blogs and Twitter accounts – Deep, technical knowhow – Legal/Professional rules, e.g. Dentists • Overcoming internal politics • Costs more to outsource.1 June 2012 14
  15. 15. Inbound marketing = engagement• Many of these tactics will attract customer comments – engage with them. FB, forums Blogs Twitter etc Video, Website Micro sites Podcasts Link Bait Google+1 June 2012 15
  16. 16. Links ain’t links• Not all links are equal Anchor Text – Clean links e.g. <a href=“”>IBM</a> – No-followed links e.g. <a href=“” rel=“nofollow”>IBM</a> – Redirected links e.g. Link > Intermediate site > Ultimate site – Citations e.g. “” (in a block of text online)1 June 2012 16
  17. 17. No-follow links • Searchstatus add-on for Firefox browser shows no-follow links with a pink background. • Shows PageRank • Social links are usually no-follow or redirected.1 June 2012 17
  18. 18. Google’s Panda Update (2011)• Quality content update known as Panda. It targeted: – Keyword stuffing – Spun articles – Content spam• Panda continues to be rolled out in phases, even now.1 June 2012 18
  19. 19. Google’s Penguin Update (2012)• “Webspam” update known as Penguin. (24 April). It targeted: – Unnatural backlinks – Sudden influx of backlinks – High incidence of anchor-text backlinks.• Some innocent sites were hit. – Check with the query followed by –• Solutions for sites hit by Penguin: – Wait and see (if you are innocent). – Undo the bad tactics (if possible). – Build a new site and start again. Penguin image by Larry Ewing, Simon Budig, Anja Gerwinski via Wikipedia1 June 2012 19
  20. 20. SEO firm de-indexed• Latest firm to be removed from Google:1 June 2012 20
  21. 21. So easy to make the alleged connection…1 June 2012 21
  22. 22. Anchor text in links • Old linking tactic, say for a fictitious Luxor Motel: 1. Use a popular keyphrase as your anchor text e.g. “cheap motel in Cairns”. 2. Rinse and repeat (on many websites). 3. Enjoy improved ranking for that phrase. • New (post Penguin update) linking principles: 1. Use branded anchor text, e.g. “Luxor Motel” most often, relative to keyphrase anchor text (max. 60%). 2. Some anchor text should be “” or even “Click here”. 3. Get links slowly, preferably unsolicited. 4. Do not spam forums and blogs. 5. Few good links are better than many dubious ones.1 June 2012 22
  23. 23. Site-in-the-middle technique• Anchor text variations (2011 experiment) “T” Site to be ranked for “cheap motel in cairns” “I” Intermediate (but old) site “L” Link providing site1 June 2012 23
  24. 24. Additional facets • You also need to integrate Basic and Advanced SEO with: – Local Search SEO – Video SEO Local Microsite – Social Media Optimisation Basic +  Advanced SEO – Video SEO – Micro Sites Social Video – etc1 June 2012 24
  25. 25. A brief look at patents• Example: PostRank patent1 June 2012 25
  26. 26. What PostRank does• A high-quality blog post attracts: – Comments – Links from other sites – Mentions in social networks – Bookmarks in social bookmarking sites Blog Links post Score Mentions Comments1 June 2012 26
  27. 27. Facebook EdgeRank• Algorithm that determines if your content will be seen by others.1 June 2012 27
  28. 28. score• Don’t obsess over score but learn about your social visibility.1 June 2012 28
  29. 29. Social signals and Bing • Bing uses Twitter and public Facebook (FB) information to improve their search engine. • Bing does look at the number of followers you have. • Bing looks at the number of people you follow relative to the number that follow you. • The relevance of the followers is also noted. • Retweets (and who RTs and their relevance) also noted. • Facebook friends who like a page are shown in the search results page. From an interview between Eric Enge and Paul Yiu of Bing (Microsoft)1 June 2012 29
  30. 30. Twitter followers• Maintain a high followers:following ratio• Keep your Twitter profile relevant to your niche.• Example of an automated Twitter follow:1 June 2012 30
  31. 31. Authorship - Influencers• Mainly Google+ but Bing also uses author signals.• Getting popular.• Easy to do.1 June 2012 31
  32. 32. Makes your page stand out• Rel=“author” tag is associated with your Google+ profile• Your image shows up next to your page in search results.• Might help to get clicks.1 June 2012 32
  33. 33. Authorship – how to• Create a Google+ profile 1. Go to 2. Get a Google Account, e.g. sign up for Gmail• Go to 1. Sign up with your Google Account 2. Verify the account. – (Or link your content to your Google Profile)• Test via hsnippets1 June 2012 33
  34. 34. Editing Google+ profile• Edit visibility in profile.• Add your sites to “Contributor to”1 June 2012 34
  35. 35. Rel=“canonical”• Easy to create duplicate content inadvertently, e.g. – pages also available as PDFs – IIS server set to case-insensitive – IP-address URLs in the index – Copies of files on CDNs• You could block the PDF pages but you want any link juice that points to them.• Solution is rel=“canonical” header.• Handy plugin available for WordPress.1 June 2012 35
  36. 36. Local Search• Get listed in Google Places: – Add details, ask for testimonials, add photos.• Use vocabulary with microdata format on your web pages.1 June 2012 36
  37. 37. Video SEO• Host on your own site first, not on YouTube, Vimeo etc.• Choose player – Wistia, Brightcove, etc• Title, Description, VideoObject schema, URL, embed code• Transcript, closed captions• Surround video with relevant text• Video XML sitemap1 June 2012 37
  38. 38. Image SEO• Use the right images for the content – Unique better than stock. – 300x300 px or bigger• Use alt tags with short descriptions.• Specify HTML dimensions for faster loading.• Include in sitemap.xml• They help press releases• They help social engagement, esp Pinterest and Facebook sharing1 June 2012 38
  39. 39. Micro Sites• Very easy to put up a WordPress site.• Make more than one, with each focusing on one topic. – • (blog that links to watches) • (blog that links to jewellery) • etc• Each site deep-links to the main website for its money term.1 June 2012 39
  40. 40. Social Networks• Forums – check rules before dropping URLs in content or in signatures.• Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter – links are no-followed, but search engines do take note of these links.• Such links may also have value as citations.1 June 2012 40
  41. 41. Takeaways• Don’t rely on free traffic – Create your own loyal following by providing something of value. Encourage bookmarking. Get others to talk about you.• Pay for ads where it makes sense.• Don’t be impressed by your Follower count: – Connect – Engage – Influence – Integrate• Enhance your technology – content, code, server.1 June 2012 41
  42. 42. Thank youAsh Nallawalla: @ashnallawallaTrainSEM: Online SEO training Outsourced community managers June 2012 42