Google Shares 5 Common SEO Mistakes :
Recently, Google’s Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead, shared via video five common SEO mistakes the Google teams sees on a regular basis. If these catch Google’s attention, they must be worthwhile to know and understand so you won’t make the same mistake. At SEM Media, we know how to avoid these five common SEO mistakes and how to get your site ranked high in search engines.
Mistake #1: Your site has no value proposition before you start building it.
“Ask yourself, why would a user choose my site in the search results?” says Ohye. Whether your website is promoting an offline business (like a brick-and-mortar store) or an online business, you must know and be able to relate that which makes you different than your competitors. Do you have the lowest prices, free shipping, are you a non-profit, have a good central store location? Relating these answers is what will give your business (and thus your website) value.
Mistake #2: Don’t have a segmented approach to SEO.
Segmentation is “great for your sushi, but it’s not as great when there’s no communication between your marketing, business development and SEO team,” explains Ohye. You must consider SEO in the entire user experience, from your marketing campaign to conversion.
Mistake #3: Wasting time on time-consuming workarounds instead of researching best practices and new features. On sites with lots of pages, a “canonical” approach can dilute pages in the search index. Rather, Google now allows for “next” and “prev” markups for paginated content, giving equal weight to each page on your site, not just your home page. However, avoiding Mistake #3 and lead to Mistake #4, so be careful.
Mistake #4: Getting caught up in SEO trends. In the “old days,” both websites and search engines were trying to reach the same audience: users. Today, however, it seems more sites are trying to reach search engines instead of users. To avoid this trend, you need to produce good content that will interest a user.
Mistake #5: Slow iteration. “At Google, we’ve been known to say that the main constant in SEO is that it’s constantly evolving,” says Ohye. The faster your team can iterate the better. You must be able to define metrics, implement improvements, measure the impact, create new improvements and repeat.
So those are the mistakes Google sees, but what about the good things we do with SEO? Google suggests the following for “best practices” in SEO:
• Do something cool
• Include relevant keywords in your copy
• Be smart about your tags and site architecture
• Sign up for email forwarding in Webmaster Tools
• Attract buzz and natural links, votes, +1s, follows
• Stay fresh and relevant (social media sites, accessible on new devices)
SEM Media thrives on following the above “best practices.” If you have questions about how your site ranks, or you want to be better at SEO, contact a SEM Media professional today.
Good Thing SEM Media isn’t Heavy Handed :
With great foresight, SEM Media is not surprised by Google’s head of search, Matt Cutts, as he spoke at the end of SXSW saying that Google will be tweaking its search engine to stop favoring sites that go overboard with SEO.
Cutts explained that Google’s move was aimed at getting websites on a “level playing ground” and those who have been overly-ambitious about search engine optimization will have their sites demoted compared to those who are making great content and a fantastic site. That’s why SEM Media doesn’t fear this change by Google; we’ve been stressing the importance of good content and great site craftsmanship since day one. We’re not into “black hat” SEO techniques; we build up organic traffic through both innovative and time-honored techniques.
Again, Google is going after those sites that abuse SEO and overstuff keywords or exchange too many links; basically, they are targeting sites that are too aggressive in their SEO tactics. So, as a business owner, beware any SEO firm that tries too hard to sell you on their far-reaching SEO talents; they may just be taking you too far for Google’s liking.
Cutts explained at SXSW that the change has been in the works for months and will finally come out in the next several weeks.
Google has already made one change toward this goal last year, when the company rolled out its infamous Panda update, which slashed traffic to previously popular sites, such as About.com and eHow.com, by 30%. Previously, these sites ranked high for keywords because of the sheer volume of content on them; Google was asking that content on websites also be useful, not just plentiful.
That’s why SEM Media builds state-of-the-art websites with useful content as a standard practice. If you have questions about how your site may be affected by Google’s change, talk to an expert at SEM Media today.
Google+, Page Rank and How It All Works :
Google Plus (+) has been out long enough for most people savvy to search to have either seen it or used it. Now the “+1” button is about as common as the Facebook “Share” button and the Twitter “Tweet” button. In other words, it’s a common way for people to share the content they discover with their friends. But what does Google+ do for a website’s SEO?
The +1 has an indirect effect on a website’s search ranking. Unfortunately, having lots of +1’s will not translate into a directly highly ranking in traditional search results, but it can help you. Here’s why. When a Google user +1’s a piece of content (web page, blog article, etc.) he/she finds useful it now shows up in Google’s new “Search plus Your World” functionality, where the first results given are personal if a person is signed into their Google account when searching.
Users are now seeing which search results have been “endorsed” by their friends, so those sites/articles/etc. that have been +1’d tend to have higher a CTR (Click Through Rate), and that is what then leads to that user sharing the content via their social media accounts and providing quality traffic. It is these two things that drive up a website’s ranking.
So while getting a ton of +1’s doesn’t factor directly into higher rankings, it will/should have an indirect effect on traffic volume and other social sharing, and that will help your SEO. So continue to encourage your customers and fans to +1 your content; just don’t expect it to bump you to the top of the search results immediately.