Heavenly SEO Practices: Unique Content

April 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Seo For Advanced

The concept of unique content is inextricably linked to the issue of duplicate content. Duplicate content, even the most inexperienced of internet marketers will know, is a big no-no – even if the exact rules (and what qualifies as duplicate content) are a little blurred. Yet everyone knows that duplicate content is to be avoided if at all possible, so the phrase ‘unique content’ gets bandied about as the savior

Yet what is duplicate content? It very much depends on your definition. For some, perhaps less experienced or professional, internet marketers, unique content is simply a catch-all term that means any content that won’t receive a flag in a program such as CopyScape. That can mean that the content of the article (such as “how to build a doll house”) is exactly the same, only the words of the article are rearranged to appear in a different order, and thus pass CopyScape

Is that really unique content though? Probably not. Unique content, in the truest meaning of the word, is something that is truly unique. Something that has been written from scratch, by a human being, which imparts a previously undiscovered knowledge or opinion. That is the true meaning of unique content, and it’s websites that feature this kind of information that rank well in search engines.

Of course, if you’re working within a much written about niche, it’s hard to keep finding groundbreaking information to refer to continually. So perhaps the truth of unique content is somewhere in between the two extremes; content that is freshly written for the specific website by a human being, that may cover old ground, but at least does it in a useful and well written way.

Heavenly SEO Practices: Site Maps

April 23, 2013 by  
Filed under SEO Information

Reduced down to its simplest form, a sitemap is just a list of URLs. For something so completely basic, it’s incredible to believe how very important sitemaps can be when it comes to successful SEO.

To add pages to search engine results, engines send out what is known as a ‘bot’ or a ‘spider’. This non-human bot will search the internet for pages, and whatever it finds will eventually be indexed (that is, included in a search engine results page). Yet there are literally millions of websites on the internet, and sometimes waiting for a search engine bot to crawl your page and index it – well, it can literally take weeks.

This is where the sitemap comes in. The sitemap is a “heads up”, basically calling the search engine’s attention to your website.

When your website is complete, you will need to build your sitemap (or ideally, build it as you go along). This can be done using a simple Notepad .txt file, with a list of URLs of each page of your site, written on a separate line and then uploaded to your server. Alternatively, if you are using WordPress self-hosted, you can install a plugin called “XML Google Sitemaps” – which automatically generates and updates your sitemap as you go along.

The plugin will generate a URL (usually www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml), or alternatively with the .txt file, upload it and obtain the URL yourself. You should then take the URL of your sitemap, and submit it to all of the major search engines, using a tool such as Google Webmaster Tools. When submitted, the engine will know to send a bot to crawl the pages you’ve submitted – and will usually do so in a matter of days. Sitemaps really can make indexing that easy, and are therefore an absolute must.

Search Engine Optimization – What You’ll Need To Know

April 16, 2013 by  
Filed under SEO Tips

As we move into the second decade of the third millennium, it is made all the more obvious to us all that moving with the times is essential, no matter how difficult we may find it from time to time. At the start of this millennium, marketing your business via the Internet was a very simple thing. Get a website up and find as many different places to put a link as you imaginably could. This has changed in the last couple of years, and now the big deal is SEO – Search Engine Optimization. What is SEO? Well, it’s a little bit complicated, but the important elements you need to know are as follows.

Google and other search engines read every site that they can find and rank them on the basis of how appropriate they are for people’s search terms. Therefore, to make your site turn up in people’s search results you have to think about what they’ll be searching for, and what kind of terms will be used by people who might want to use your business. If you have a business that sells knitting supplies, then you will want to make sure that people who search for “best knitting supplies”, “cheap knitting supplies” and “knitting supplies [your city here]” are shown a link to your site.

Therefore you need to make sure these terms are in your website text, and you need to do it while keeping the text readable. It is not as easy as it looks, but – when you get the hang of it – it really works.

Black Hat SEO – A Bad Idea Disguised As A Cunning Plan

April 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, SEO Information

Since the development of Search Engine Optimisation as a concept, there has been a fairly obvious temptation for some people to try to rig the system in their favor by using the principles of SEO in a less-than-honest way. Because the idea of SEO is they keywords create cash, the idea that has occurred to a lot of people can best be summed up in the following sentence: “If they want keyword volume, we’ll give them keyword volume”. This tends to occur in the shape of website text that contains nothing but keywords.

Of course, this means that the website will be scarcely readable, if it is readable at all, but the trick is usually applied by webmasters who don’t really care if you actually read what is on the site. Usually they will use it as a landing page that immediately redirects you to the site they want you to read. It will happen instantly and you will not see the landing page, but it will have done its job. For the reader it may be little more than an inconvenience, but for other people operating in the same niche, it is cheating.

The main reason that tricks like this are a bad idea has only a small amount to do with the fact that it is cheating. In actual fact, it is incredibly limited as an SEO tool because Google and other search engines check for such tricks and will relegate any such site in their rankings – so not only is it dishonest, it is also ineffective, which is what will really stick in the craw of the people doing it.