Thursday, October 29, 2009

Include Keywords in Meta Description and Increase Your Page's Relevancy

Are you updating the meta description tag for your pages? Make sure you don't ignore this very important tag, and also that you include your target keywords in that description.

The meta description is a way for a webmaster to tell search engines (and through that to people searching) what a particular page is about. Given that, this is one of the factors that search engines look to when assessing what a particular page is about and therefore what the relevancy of that page is to various search terms. If you want the page to be highly-relevant to certain target keywords, make sure to include them in that description. All that said, although meta description helps, it has a "light" effect on overall rankings.

Also, remember that the meta description oftentimes shows up in the search engine results page (SERP) and therefore is a big driver of the clickthrough rate to that result. So, if you're description is comprised of keywords stuffed together, but not logical sentences, a human being is not going to be able to make any sense of it and therefore be less likely to click. So remember, make sure that you build your site and pages for humans and not for search engines.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Using Nofollows in SEO: Controlling Page Rank Passthrough and Avoiding Links to Spam and "Bad Neighborhoods"

Nofollows are a powerful and important tool when thinking about SEO. They are used by adding a rel="nofollow" to a link, for example (courtesy of Wikipedia):
a href="" rel="nofollow"

Nofollows should be used to indicate to the search engine that you do not want to pass any authority on to the page the link is pointing to. It either means that the page is one of little importance, or one who you're not necessarily sure you trust and therefore don't want to endorse with a link.

The first case is often done for footer links on your site, or to limit the number of followed links a page has. This is oftentimes mixed up with the practice of "PageRank sculpting" which is a practice that we'll talk about another time and that has unclear value.

The second case is great to employ if you have a site with user-generated content and user-generated links. By no-following things like comments and posts, it discourages spammers to post links from your site pointing to theirs in efforts to boost their own credibility with the search engines. Also, it prevents you from getting penalized by the search engines for (unknowingly) linking to "bad neighborhoods," or sites that are known to be malicious or spammy.

The bottom line? Use nofollows when you point to pages on your site you don't want to pass authority to as well as for most out-going user-generated links that you cannot reliably trust.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Titles and Meta Descriptions Drive Clickthrough Rate on Search Engine Results Page

When a user searches for a keyword, the search engine displays the results on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The information that is displayed on that page is generally formatted to include a title and a description for each of the results (among other things). The title is underlined as the actual link to the indexed page and the description is right below it to provide the user with some more context as to the contents of that page. Also, the search engine shows the keyword bolded whenever it appears in the title and/or description.

The search engine decides which title to show for a page by looking at the title tag for that page and displaying that. The description below that is generally what's included in the meta description tag (meta name="description" content=...). The search engine may not show the description if it finds that to be inadequate in some fashion (e.g., if it's too short).

For this reason, what you define as the title and description of a page is not only important for SEO, but it's also important in driving clickthrough rates from the SERP. A title and description that is written for a search engine (e.g., non-sensical string of keywords) may help you rank better, but it oftentimes may reduce the potential clickthrough rate as users are unable to understand what a page is about and skip over it. Make sure to keep that potential tradeoff in mind as you craft those two fields.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Title Tags and SEO

The title tag for a page is one of the most important factors you can control for.

Ensure that the title contains the keywords you are targeting in it. Go back and review the titles for your pages and ensure that they're optimized.

Keep in mind, however, that titles are what shows on Google search results (as the title of the page), so make sure that they're readable to humans (and not just stuffing keywords!) or else no one will click on your result.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Advanced SEO Tips

Here are all the tips that fall under the Advanced category

Intermediate SEO Tips

Here are all the tips under the intermediate category

Beginner SEO Tips

here is a list of all the SEO Tips that fall under the beginner category

SEO Tools

Need to tools to make SEO easier? here are some (coming soon)

SEO Blogs and SEO Resources

Want to see what else is out there? Here's my list (coming soon)

SEO Training and Learning SEO

So you want to learn SEO? What's the best way to do that - here are some resources (coming soon)

Contributors to Daily SEO Tip

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What is SEO? An Overview of Search Engine Optimization

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