SEO - Frequently Asked Questions

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SEO - Frequently Asked Questions

Post  Angel eddy on Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:48 pm

This FAQ is the result of a brain storming session between myself a couple of other Warrior SEOs. It's my way of giving something back to this great forum and sharing some of the useful stuff I've learned.

Please note: It's incomplete. I'd never intentionally leave anything out but I'm bound to have missed stuff. Please ask away in the thread and as well as posting to answer your questions I'll update the main FAQ sections as we go.

So without further ado ...

Contents -

Introduction (SEO 101)
What is SEO?
What's the difference between SEO and SEM?
What's the difference between paid and organic search listings?
What's on-page SEO?
What's off-page SEO?
How quickly will I see results?
Should I rank my own content or articles on other sites?

Other factors ("Advanced" SEO)
What other factors affect rankings besides backlinks?
Does domain age help?
Why would I want to 301 redirect an aged domain?
What is rel="canonical"?
What's the truth about duplicate content?
What is a doorway page/cloaking?
What are meta tags?
What is the "freshness" factor?
What is a C-class IP and why should I care?
What is LSI?
Should I build links for human beings or the search engines?
What is an XML Sitemap?
What's the sandbox?
What is robots.txt for?
What's a spamblog?
What's an autoblog?
What's an "authority" site?
What are "supplemental" results?

Google and Page Rank
What is Page Rank?
How often does Google update Page Rank?
Does PR matter?
What is the "Google Dance"?
How does Google personalize my results?

Link Building Basics
What is a backlink?
What is anchor text?
What is a do-follow/no-follow link?
Types of backlinks?
Can paid links harm my ranking?
Are reciprocal links bad?
What is a one-way link?
What is three-way linking?
What is a site wide link?
What is pinging?

Advanced Link Building
What is link velocity?
Can I build links too fast?
What is page rank sculpting?
What is a link wheel?
What is a mininet?
What makes a good site for a link wheel?
What is link bait?
What is a link farm?
What is a footprint?
How do I search for footprints?
What is a proxy?

Indexation
How do I get my site indexed?
How do I get my backlinks indexed?
How can I tell if my site has been visited by a spider/bot?

Statistics and monitoring
What percentage of people click on the first listing in Google?
How do I use Google alerts to monitor the SERPs?
How can I track the number of backlinks I have?

Keyword Research
What makes a good keyword?
How many people are searching for my keyword?
What is the "true" competition for a keyword?
What are long tail keywords?

Official Stuff
What is the official Google/Yahoo/Bing policy on SEO?
Why doesn't Google tell me how many links I have?
Who is Matt Cutts?
Google webmaster tools

Automation, outsourcing and 3rd party stuff
Can anyone guarantee a 1st place ranking?
What is a backlink packet?
I bought a packet of "high pr links" but all my links are PR0, what happened?
What automation tools are there?
What SEO service should I use?
What does an SEO host give me that a regular one doesn't?

Glossary
SEO
SERP
Spider/Crawler
Backlink
Anchor Text
LSI

Major Contributors
bgmacaw

Required Reading
This is a list of the best SEO posts we've got in the forum. I'll try to keep it up-to-date but let me know if there's good stuff I'm missing.

Angel eddy

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Re: SEO - Frequently Asked Questions

Post  Andy Fletcher on Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:51 pm

Introduction (SEO 101)

What is SEO?

SEO = Search Engine Optimization, ie getting your site ranked higher so more people show up at your doorstep.

In theory we’re interested in all search engines. In practice SEO = Google.


What's the difference between SEO and SEM?

While some people use SEO and SEM interchangeably, SEO (search engine optimization) is actually a part of SEM (search engine marketing).

SEO refers to the process of using on and off page factors (typically free) to get your web pages ranked for your chosen keywords in order to get more search engine traffic to your sites. SEM takes it a step farther to include using paid search engine listings and paid inclusion to get more traffic to your websites.


What's the difference between paid and organic search listings?

Organic search engine listings are the main results users see when they do a Google search. The websites appearing in the organic listings appear because those sites are most relevant to the user’s keywords. Indeed, most of these sites appear in the top of the search engine results because the webmasters of these sites have used SEO tactics to ensure top rankings.

The paid (or “sponsored”) listings usually appear on the top, bottom and to the right of the regular organic listings. Usually these are pay per click (PPC) ads, which means the website owner only pays when someone clicks on his ad (as opposed to paying for impressions).

This isn’t an either/or game. Just because you do SEO doesn’t mean you can’t/shouldn’t use PPC and vice versa.

SEO is not free traffic, it takes time and/or money to get good organic rankings but in the long run it’s usually cheaper than PPC.


What's on-page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to the things you do on your own site to enhance it’s ranking in the search engines. This includes but is not limited to:
Creating content around specific keywords.
Formatting/designing your site so that the most important keywords are emphasized and appear near the top of the page.
Including the chosen keywords in meta tags.
Including the keywords in the navigation menu and other links.
Using your keywords in other parts of your site, such as the title of the page, the file name, etc.
Using related keywords on the site (see the question on LSI for more information).


What's off-page SEO?

Off page SEO refers to those things you do outside of your own web pages to enhance their rankings in the search engines.

This is a glorified way of saying, “get links” and did I mention, “more links”.


How quickly will I see results?

If you target long tail keywords you can see results pretty quickly but always remember SEO is a long term strategy not a set and forget thing.

If you’re after more competitive keywords prepare to commit to it for at least three months of consistent effort.


Should I rank my own content or articles on other sites?

Yes – but let’s qualify that.

Because you can’t control what third-party sites do, you should focus the vast majority of your efforts on ranking content on your own sites.

However, you can leverage high-ranking third-party sites by posting SEO’ed content on them and then you including a link back to your own site. Not only do you get the SEO benefits of the backlinks, you’ll also get indirect search engine traffic from people clicking through to your main site.

Andy Fletcher

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Re: SEO - Frequently Asked Questions

Post  Fernando Veloso on Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:55 pm

That's a heck of a powerful thread.

Kudus to you Andy!!!!

Fernando

Fernando Veloso

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Re: SEO - Frequently Asked Questions

Post  Kim Davis on Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:57 pm

Some good info, but there are some items I don't agree with...

"Your individual web pages should all fit under one main theme"

You mean single themed sites like About.com, Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, etc, etc, etc

This kind of targeting is somewhat helpful with Adsense and for the impact of outbound links but doesn't seem to significantly affect search results for that site itself.

"(e.g., a .com is better than a .info)"

Search for...

pagerank checker
Noam Chomsky
roman coins
new york transit
craft ideas
regular expressions
move your money
etc.....

It's all in the links, not the domain extension.

"Having a lot outgoing or reciprocal links"

Outgoing links are not a huge factor in and of themselves, but it's what they're pointing to. In fact, you might have a more authoritative site if you link out correctly.

"How frequently you update your site"

Not a significant factor in many cases. A lot of older sites haven't been updated in over 10 years and still rank well because their content is evergreen. Now, if you're doing a celebrity blog, you'll need to update like crazy.

"using text that’s the same color as the background can negatively affect your rankings."

Only a factor is a site is visually inspected and there are many cases where the use of this technique is legit, such as hiding TV/Movie spoiler information.

"Just make sure they do a domain push at the same registrar it was originally registered at or all these effects are lost."

Not necessary at all. Google doesn't appear to algorithmically track this. Otherwise, the old domain penalty problem you mentioned just above this wouldn't be a factor.

"Links from the same IP have very limited value. Links from the same C-Class IP block have a little more value but still not much."

Not as important as it once was, especially when it comes to sites hosted on huge shared server clusters like those at HostGator/ThePlanet, BlueHost and others. The shortage of available IP addresses is driving this.

"Google analyzes webpages using LSI"

Pure LSI analysis isn't scalable enough to handle the volumes of data that Google processes. Instead they use more streamlined and scalable content analysis algorithms that have some basis in LSI and other related technologies. It also appears that this analysis is ongoing and not just a one time run through the system.

"The reason to create a sitemap is so that the search engines can easily find and crawl all your web pages."

This is really only important if you have a large and complex site that won't be crawled easily. A 10-20 page HTML mini-niche site doesn't really need one while a 20,000 page product catalog might benefit from one. Also avoid automating this on WordPress autoblogs since sitemap generation is a processor hog and can get you kicked off of shared hosting.

What's the sandbox?

The disappointment webmasters feel when Google's stupid algorithms don't appreciate their site. It can't be them so it must be Google's fault.

Kim Davis

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