What is SEO?

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means to build and edit a website so that it will be discovered by search engines and the content on the page is written and organized to be the most relevant it can be to what the searcher is looking for.

Organic Search Results are the usual source of search engine traffic which often comes from being listed on the first page of ten hits.

Adwords search results are the couple search results to the top in a light color called “sponsored” and the row to the right in google also sponsored in google. They are competitely bidded on and are worthwhile, however organic should always come first and adwords are optional if the budget allows.

Not only is the number of your “hit” on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) important, but what it blurts out in it’s short title and summary and even the link matter. These are the items that may compel the searcher to click yours even though it’s a lower hit number. Be aware that if you attracted them with specific text, then look at the page it links to and make sure your page speaks to that. This is called “relevancy”.

Keyphrase Research and Intelligence:

Your keywords and your keyphrases are your lure to the whole world. When it comes to search engines, you won’t even get a chance to show dazzling content if you haven’t succeeded in attracting attention. It’s almost imitating mating behaviour in life these days, the peacock has a short and distinctive call to attract through a forest of trees in order to get you close enough to see it display it’s most dazzling visual effects.

Keywords are the peacock’s call. Your website may have the feathers and features, but it must attract the attention to be seen.

Your “divining” of what your visitors will type into a search engine to find you is a marvelous sense.

Our “mining” of what they actually do type, combining with divining makes a process. This is the process of keyphrase optimization, it’s not a one time deal, a shot in the dark, or an expert’s guess at what a layman will type.

Every month (or bi-weekly) we deliver a report to you which reveals so many unexpected habits and quirky searches of your visitors. This is real world intelligence, if you are not taking advantage of your analytics data, you are wasting an opportunity presented on your doorstep.

We also have ways of finding out what people searched for and didn’t click on your hit. This can open up a world of unexpected keyphrases that can be folded into your content month by month.

You will have a baseline report, and you will have future reports which show clearly how your traffic is increasing or decreasing.

We can customize the reports to show you how many times your shopping cart was loaded with product but not purchased. This is the process of optimizing “conversions”.

Meta Tags – Titles and Descriptions – Google was the first to ignore the “keyword” Meta Tag:

Meta Tags “keywords”, “description” and “Title” Tags are hidden HTML code that helps describe and classify the content on a web page.Of these “Title” is the most important to getting organic traffic. In fact it’s #2 on the MASTER LIST.

The SERP summary is also very important because this is what humans will see as your blurb next to the other nine on the SERP page, who’s blurb will they click in their 8 second window? Meta Description can come in to play when the SERP page shows your summary, sometimes it’s this Meta Tag and you have direct control over what the search engine puts for your summary. Sometimes you don’t have direct control and have to finesse it with your actual page content. (back to page relevancy, a careful rewording by a top notch copy writer is worth it here)

We focus quickly and clearly on Meta Titles to help your SERP standing in the quickest and least laborious way.

Keyphrase Optimization Service:

Find, fix and fold. Each iteration it gets better and the analytics should show this.

Roll your own:

Have your own copy writers? We will train them. This information is gathered from over 15 years of continuous internet field experience by our founding member and amplified by our bright and sharp new guys and girls.

We want you to look good, it is in our best interest for you to do very, very well and become a testimonial and a reference for what we can do for you. When your website gets traction, you may want to take off your training wheels and be free.

Permanent 301 Redirect the easy way

First, .htaccess and mod_rewrite can be very tricky and if you break your website redirect you may even fix it and not know because your browser session has not been restarted.

Use [R] instead of [R=301] while you are testing . When you are 100% certain the rule does exactly as it’s expected to, then switch it to [R=301] for your live site.

How to redirect any and all website pages to another website removing the page reference. This way if you have an old website with old links everyone will be redirected to the front door. Search engines will see the permanent 301 redirect and update their index to not list your old website.

# redirect anything with base url in the second line to the first one and remove any page references
redirectMatch 301 ^(.*)$ http://mynewwebsite.com
redirectMatch permanent ^(.*)$ http://www.myoldwebsite.net

Redirect with URL masking:
from: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090904141904AAd3mjB
“the apache rewriteengine doesn’t have any functionalities to mask URLs. Traditional masking techniques (pull out the source of the page that’s been masked and you’ll see) is done through a frame.


However you can accomplish dynamic masking by a little bit of additional code (I have an example in django but it’s out of the scope of this discussion.)

Here’s a basic masking frame

<frameset rows = “100%, *” border = “0” framespacing=”0″ frameborder=”0″>

<frame noresize = “” src = “http://yourwebsite.com/”></frame>

</frameset>

@EDIT:

That would be for contemporary redirects.

Let’s say that you want host1.com to redirect to mysite.com

The usual .htaccess redirect rule would be

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^host1.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.host1.com$
RewriteRule ^.*$ “http://mysite.com/” [R=301,L]

in apache.

(The string of ” acts as escape sequences for [‘:’,’/’,’.’], with a R response code of 301)

However this does not allow you to mask the pages.

In order to achieve masking effects, use the following as your HTML in the index.html file on host1.com

<frameset rows = “100%, *” border = “0” framespacing=”0″ frameborder=”0″>

<frame noresize = “” src = “http://mysite.com/”></frame>

</frameset>

Just copy paste this into the index.html file under host1.com and it should work.”

More .htaccess tricks with various redirects and how to do them:

from: http://corz.org/serv/tricks/htaccess2.php

Posted in html tips, SEO. No Comments »

Maximum Page Title length

The longest page title that I would use is 67 characters, many use a 60 character limit, some use 64, and some 128.

I’ve read different opinions on webmaster and seo forums (like 64 character limit and truncate to 64 if longer than 70), but seen with my own eyes that the page title on a serp can be up to 70 characters, this is including the … that is added, so that leaves 67 characters as the max, but only if your word boundary falls at the 67th character! huh?…read on for more.

Google truncates (and may not index) anything over 67 characters (including spaces) if you have a page title over 70 characters, based upon what I’ve seen. Looks to me like the length varies because the truncation is to the next shortest whole word. Amazingly, I’ve not actually read or heard this, so try it for yourself if you want to believe it. Just search for whatever and use a text editor to count characters on the longest titles returned on the search results page.

The truncated part (the tailing part is clipped off and discarded) may not even be indexed! I am not sure of this, but have a personal policy of not deliberately using anything over 67 characters to describe my page.

Also a longer page title “dilutes” the keyword weighting of those that are in the title, so if you use a long title with lots of words the ones you do use will have less importance to the search engine.

About 6  to 7 words is a good working objective.

How to remove your website or your phone number or webpage from google

There are cases where you do not want to be in google’s index. For instance if you have an old webpage that has been replaced by a new webpage, but the old one comes up higher in google’s results.

To remove your old webpage or website or blog from google.

Or if you have a phone number listed in google’s phone lookup and don’t want it to be listed on the search engine.

To remove your phone number from google.

If you have an old website location or URL that you replaced with a new one or you have a second webpage that points to your other webpage google prefers it if you do a 301 permanent redirect on the old website.

If you don’t want a certain page to show up in google’s cache, if you take it down, it will instantly disappear, you can tell google not to cache your webpage.

ex: META NAME=”googlebot” content=”noarchive” in the HEAD section of the HTML files.

If you have a page that is already in the cache, you can request it be removed from google’s index, or a quick and dirty workaround is to replace your cached page with a blank page (on the same server with the same title) and the next time google spiders your page it will update the cache of that page by removing all previous text on it.

Google maps business listing free

Here’s the place you can show up on a google map with your business name, website, contact info and info for free.

Your listing will only show up within a certain radius of your zipcode of your listing. Need more info here!

Google tools I use

Google Webmaster Tools Troubleshoot your website’s robots.txt file and many other factors.

Google Analytics Comprehensive log analysis at google, from Urchin code.

Information of interest to webmasters posted on the official google blog website

Matt Cutts blog, and just the Google/SEO section, it’s pretty much a tool, senior engineer at google in charge of filtering web spam. Lots of good tricks here, but you must be a patient reader, he’ll post, then a jillion people comment saying “Hey Matt, my website ratings bombed after we moved our server, what gives!?”, he gets overloaded with questions, so I firefox search scan the page for only his answers if I don’t have an extra hour!

Google Trends just showed up on my radar, surprised it’s not in the “My Account” area, I found it on the official google blog.

Another new tool that works much like Google Trends, only more straightforward, “See what the world is searching for”:
Google Insights

Hyphens in URLs or URL Rewriting – get search engine friendly

The article on

Hyphens in URLs or “URL Rewriting” for WordPress SEO or any SEO:

is located here, this applies to dashes in the URL and whether you want them or not for SEO and usability purposes. It also shows how to rewrite your URL using WordPress to do the rewrite (as usual, the self-hosted application on your server)

If you want to do URL Rewriting not using WordPress, you might want to read why first, and then go to a great tutorial on doing this at a low level if you want to get your hands dirty.

In any case, the link above will take you there…

Website traffic analysis, SEO, and hit tracking with Google Analytics

How to track your website visitors and do website hit tracking and analysis using Google’s services.

Google acquired Urchin a great website tracking tool, which embeds code on your website’s server, then google analyses it on their end. You use your google account to check your website traffic (you have to create a login if you don’t already have one)

The results are very detailed and once you set this up you will be able to receive charts and graphs of traffic patterns including some really helpful detailed information beside “Page Views” and “Unique Views” such as “Keywords“, and “Top Traffic Sources“.

So, login to google, then go to “My Account”, then (click) “Analytics” (it’s currently their top link on the right side for “My Products”), then “Add Website Profile” then past your URL in (copy it from your URL bar so you don’t have any problems with syntax or typos) and (click) “Continue”, then copy the Tracking Code (the new tracking code ga.js had a syntax error missing a “>” that the google engineers missed which made faulty code in the era of My-Jul 2008, but works now), then when you click “Finish” you’ll get a list of your websites that google is currently tracking using the Urchin engine.

Your new addition will be there, but it will read “Tracking Unknown” under the column “Status”, you can then click “Check Status” where you can force feed it your website index page (the first one to load and the page that should have your google tracking code in it)

Next you’ll need to download your index.php or index.html, or index.htm or index.etc and add the javascript tracking code that you copied in to your clipboard to your webpage (you haven’t replaced your clipboard contents by copying something else since the google tracking code, new or Legacy, have you?). It should be right in front of your </body> tag so that most of your page can load before the user’s browser must get the rest of the page from analytics.google.com! If you run WordPress or another dynamic page creation engine or blog generator, then you must put it into a template that loads into the page, like footer.php.

When your tracking code is in place do the “Check Status” then “Finish” (button) routine and google will instantly re read your website index page and look for the tracking code it issued to your website domain.

From now on, then you can login in to analytics.google.com and you will get the detailed website traffic reports on that website and have them downloadable as a beautifully formatted pdf so you can email them to your customers.

Go start collecting!

Google SEO (search engine optimization) information

Google SERP (search engine results page) summary description length

These are different ways of saying:
google description character limit

Answer: 155 characters can be shown on Google’s summary of your web page google search results paragraph listing.

description under link from google search
summary length on search results

Maximum Characters for Meta Tag Description in Google SERP :
155 characters can be shown on Google’s summary of your web page depending upon the word boundary and where it’s truncated.
Google will grab description text from the web page if it does not “like” the Meta tag supplied one, according to Susan Moskwa talking about Meta Descriptions somewhat vaguely, (works at Google but in WA). I think the total character limit is 155 characters, sometimes as short as 145.

This description of your webpage is shown in google directly underneath your page title. Whether the text is grabbed from your webpage or from your Meta Description, it will be cut off at 155 characters.

If you have a situation where google cannot see or get any text from your website, such as a website made with Flash, then your meta tag for description is vital, because you will have nothing under your link which provides no compelling reason for anyone to click on your link. Google has been working on specifically reading this tag in the case of Flash, otherwise, it’s the case of the previous sentence, worthless.

HTML code length: (this is not the length shown on the SERP summary, it’s just what is indexed by Google)
It has been noted that Google places most emphasis on indexing the first 150 words on the webpage (counting code in the html), recommended to place Javascript and CSS in a separate file or at the end of the page.

Maximum Characters for Meta Tag Keywords:
For Google? Useless. Most search engines now ignore this Meta Tag.
If you have a situation where google cannot see or get any text from your website, such as a website made with Flash, then your meta tag for keywords is vital, because you will have nothing in the search engine index for keywords other than your domain name and page titles!

For other search engines, 255 characters is a good number. Don’t stuff the keywords more than 3 times is thought to be safe.

Another thing to note is that the Meta Tag for Description has no bearing on your website’s standing on a search. It’s only for humans to read a summary to determine whether they want to click on your link.

There is speculation that it is used to determine the uniqueness of a page, I have doubts about that.

Posted in Google tips and tricks, SEO. Tags: . No Comments »