- Don’t omit alt text for images. This is especially true for images inside the text. While images inline with your text can dress up your Web page, if you don’t bother to include alternative text (alt text) then search engines won’t recognize the content relevance. In addition, the more packed your page is with images, the less likely that search engines will rank it highly. Text is what gets web-pages ranked in most search engines, and alt text is no substitute.
- Don’t use images instead of text links. Search engine optimization is all about text. If you get lazy, and replace text with images instead of using the images to enhance the text (even if you have good alt text) search engines will not rank your site as highly. This rings true for navigation as well – search engine spiders crawl through your site by following links, and any links on images will always be harder for them to follow than text links. If your images are big, using them can make your pages slower for visitors, too. Try styling your text with CSS, instead of using images.
- Don’t misspell your keywords in your content. This practice is pretty much obsolete, as Google now suggests and shows correct spelling over wrong ones. This practice can hurt your credibility with your customers who end up on your page and assume you are unprofessional.
- Don’t try to optimize for more than 2-3 keywords and phrases. This is just confusing to search engines and spammy to boot. Excessive phrases on one page can make it hard for search engines and your customers alike to figure out what you’re talking about. Instead of cramming, write multiple short pages on each topic.
- Don’t use your keyword phrase too much. Keyword stuffing is an even bigger no-no than before thanks to Panda and Penguin. Use keywords naturally and by no means exceed a 2% density. Blatantly stuffing keywords can get your site banned from search engines.
- Don’t rely on links from domains on the same IP. Google may not discriminate against domains that have the same IP but Bing and Yahoo aren’t so clear on the matter. This is another situation that can get all your sites banned from search engines if you are careless, so don’t cram in links all from a matched virtual host.
- Don’t have more than 10 words in your URL. Keyword stuffing your url is even more hateful to Google than keyword stuffing your content! Long URLs look spammy to both customers and search engines.
- Don’t use URL parameters if you can avoid it. Parameters on URLs can make for a real mess. Search engines can get confused by them, and often don’t rank dynamic pages as high as static pages. If you use parameters, consider doing a URL rewrite to static URLs for your most important pages.
- Write great content. A weak, nonsensical blog that manages to get your main keywords in a few dozen times isn’t going to cut it anymore. Google has cracked down and now considers links that come from bad content as not good at all. Develop a clear, crisp writing style and create 300-700 words blogs with at least one takeaway that is of value.
- Don’t over-use anchor text. In the past, anchor text seemed like the number one way to create links that would boost up the content being linked to. No more – Google is not rewarding sites based on anchor text links and in fact finds sites with over use of anchor text links to be suspect. (Use Read more about *your topic* here, instead!)
- Limit your links to 1 per 200-400 words. Don’t spam links in your blog text. Several websites were penalized in the recent updates for blogs that linked back 15 or even more times per post. 1-3 links per 300-700 word post is ample.
- Add images or video. Using visuals in your blog posts, and captioning them can make them much more interesting to viewers and encourage sharing – especially if the caption is funny. Internet memes can cause a post to be shared just for the meme!
- Ride on the back of the news. Finding a way that your niche or topic relates to big news stories can help you piggyback on interest in those stories, increasing traffic and possibly getting your links shared to a wider audience.
- Use social sharing. Have all the buttons available on your blog to get your message out there. If you use WordPress, follow other bloggers and see if they will follow you back. Getting reblogged on a regular basis can help boost your visibility.
- Blog regularly. Going for a few weeks with no blogs then pounding in a dozen overnight is not a good plan. Post every other day, or twice a week, and keep it consistent.
- Re-blog relevant content. This can help keep you blog going strong on off days when you don’t have a new original post. It also brings you to the attention of other bloggers who may return the favor.
- Turn off pingbacks. If you are blogging regularly, Google will index you and you really don’t need these – plus, some think they are now looked on unfavorably by Google.
- Moderate comments. Spam comments can hurt your blog, so check before you approve! Delete comments that are only using you for a spam backlink to their own site.
By following these ten tips, you can blog responsibly and help your cause, not hurt it. A lot of the tips apply to guest blogging and commenting as well – if you wouldn’t want it on your own blog or in your own comments section, be courteous and don’t put it on someone else’s blog or in their comment section. Now you are ready – let the power blogging commence!
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There’s been a lot of talk about link building post – Penguin, and many people have instantly blamed their SEOs for drops in rankings. 2 months in, lets take a look at the results of many evaluations and target problem areas.
Believe it or not, many of the issues most websites have had are not from inbound links – they are from internal ones. Even major websites have suffered from internal linking habits. These websites for the most part are well put together and deserve good rankings, but Google flagged something about them that caused them to drop.
- Footer links have been found to be an issue in many cases. Excessive footer links that appear on every page of a large website can make the pages they link to seem inflated with the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of identical links coming to them from every other page on the site. Several sites we know of removed footer links and regained rankings within a few weeks.
- Category drop down links also were a problem for some sites that had a drop down on every single page. As with the footer links, the removal of these category drop downs from all except a few key pages resolved the issue.
- Excessive links from the blog can cause problems; in many cases, sites that tanked had blog posts with 10-15 or more links all pointing to pages on their site.
- Abuse of anchor text is something that can also cause issues. Having the exact same anchor text on hundreds of links pointing to the same place raises a red flag to Google that the links are not organic.
Bottom line – avoid artificiality, and cut down on masses of identical links both internally and externally. Vary your anchor text, get links from a wide range of platforms, and look for natural link-building strategies. SubmitEdge has excellent link-building packages that combine linking techniques with content creation and social bookmarking to give you a variety of links that will help your website – not hurt it!
When you are link-building, remember that using approved web 2.0 platforms like Squidoo and Hub Pages can help you. Contextual links – meaning links surrounded by relevant text – are becoming more and more valued. Use social sharing to bring in extra links, and blog responsibly. These tips will serve you well in the post Penguin world.
Don’t assume anything that goes wrong is the fault of your SEO. Some website owners saw their rankings go climbing amazingly well after depending on their SEO to build links for them, then did an about face when their rankings fell, saying that they paid money for nothing. In actuality, they paid money and received value – and saw their site respond – then when Penguin hit other factors about their website caused their rankings to dip. Look internally at first if your site has tanked in the rankings. Usually it’s not going to be about your SEo firm at all, but problems that have been around for a while and were just recently targeted by Penguin.