Many myths surrounding SEO

There are many myths surrounding SEO and with Google’s alogrithms evolving, a lot of people are very confused as to what is acceptable and what is not. Take linking, there are so many contradictory stories regarding linking that many are put off even considering it now. Backlinks are still important to your SEO strategy and you need to check your links occasionally so that you are only linking to suitable sites. Google’s Penguin algorithm scared a lot of people into clearing out virtually all of their backlinks and has left many wondering what to do about linking. Many experts advise choosing links carefully so that you are only linking to relevant sites who will complement and raise your site’s profile, it pays to be choosy and to take your time considering linking strategies. So, what other myths are there? Take a look at this article to see some more.

One of the challenges that the world of SEO presents us with is its lack of clarity. The search engines obscure their algorithms, and as a result, SEO is really a best practices game. You can learn more about what works best by constantly testing ideas on your site, but ultimately your overall SEO strategy will be part art and part science.

Layer on top of that the fact that the search engines continuously tune their algorithms, and the result is an unstable landscape. Worse still, there is tons of misinformation published, often as the result of the ignorance of the author. Some SEO myths have been with us forever, but today I plan to focus on the newer myths that have been emerged only in the past few years.

7 New SEO Myths

1. All Guest Posting is Bad: This myth is the newest of them all, and it was spawned by Matt Cutts blog post of January 20th, 2014 called: The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO. In this post Cutts details the many ways that people have abused the concept of pursuing guest posts to obtain links to your site. In fact, he goes so far as to say: “stick a fork in it”.

However, it is foolish to translate this into the notion that all guest posting is inherently evil or bad. The article you are reading right now is effectively a guest post. However, I don’t publish articles here to obtain links for SEO, I do it because I value the Forbes audience, and because of the reputation and visibility benefits it brings. Click here to continue reading

Further information

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3 things to consider before choosing multi-location social strategy

A Video About Joomla! SEO – A Step by Step Tutorial

We are not Joomla! SEO experts at Serendipity, so it is really great when you come across a video like this. Saying that, we won’t be offering SEO for Joomla! ourselves, as at SOM we only provide services for areas we are ‘experts in’, or are at least ‘pretty good’ at…

So, if you have a Joomla! site and need some help in optimising it, then please view on, and if you need help with Joomla! then please let us know, we can’t help you ourselves, but we do know people who can and will be more than happy to put you in contact with them.

Joomla! SEO – A Step by Step Tutorial

 

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The 9 On-Page SEO Elements You Need In 2014 – From Forbes

We’ve all seen the posts saying that SEO has changed so much in 2014, and so it’s good to see a post that goes over the issue in detail and one that reaches such good conclusions, without a lot of hype and the ‘smoke and mirrors’ that are so often a part of SEO presentations these days.

With so many significant changes in the world of SEO over the past year, it can be hard for non-SEO professionals to keep track of what’s still relevant and what isn’t.

Fortunately, while Google completely replaced their previous algorithm with Hummingbird, their gold standard for webmasters hasn’t changed: they want us to provide the best content and the best user-experience possible.

But what does this mean in 2014? What on-page factors are still relevant, both for readers and search engines?

1.A Frequently-Updated Blog with Awesome Content

2. Google Authorship Integration

3. Optimized URLs

4. Title Tags

5. Heading Tags

6. Alt Image Tags

7. Keywords in Content

8. Appropriate Depth of Content

9. Appropriate Topical Targeting

Conclusion

As you can see, some important SEO elements really haven’t changed much over the years, while others have. Perhaps our understanding of their importance has, but Google’s goal has remained the same all these years: to provide the most valuable and relevant content to the people who are searching for it.

Ensuring that your topic and keywords are clearly identifiable in your content, URLs, and header and image tags isn’t difficult (though it does take time), and will go a long way toward ensuring the best possible organic search rankings for your content. But most important of all, ensure that you’re publishing awesome content on a regular basis. That’s the foundation of on-page SEO in today’s modern era of SEO.

Click here for the full article on SEO in 2014.

How do Google’s algorithms work?

We’ve all heard about Google’s algorithms and how they have affected websites over the last few years. With Panda and Penguin taking down some very big branded websites, many ordinary website owners were left quaking in their boots and wondering what was going on. The whole point of these algorithms is to give searchers the best quality answers to their queries so that people find what they are looking for. Panda is all about content and the quality of it as well as ensuring the content is relevant to the site. Penguin is all about linking and the quality of the links and the sites to which the site is associated. Hummingbird reinforces what Panda and Penguin have done but also take into consideration mobile searches. So, now you have an idea of what these algorithms are, have you ever wondered about how they actually work? Read on to find out.

 

Have you ever been curious about how Google decides which algorithm is better than another, when they’re pushing out one of the many tweaks they do weekly? How do they judge which tweak actually produces better results and which produces lots of good results? Or does the spam team just wave a nerf bat over the server before hitting a big red button and hope for the best?

Google’s Matt Cutts spills the beans on how the search team actually does it in a webmaster help video, which asks what metrics Google uses to evaluate whether one iteration of the ranking algorithm is delivering better quality results to users than another.

While Cutts starts off saying that he could geek out on this topic for quite some time, and I’m sure many of us would love to hear him do just that, he said he will try and hold back for the sake of video length.

“Whenever an engineer is evaluating a new search quality change, and they want to know whether it’s an improvement, one thing that’s useful is we have hundreds of quality raters who have previously rated URLs as good or bad, spam, all these sorts of different things.

“So when you make a change, you can see the flux, you can see what moves up and what moves down, and you can look at example searches where the results changed a lot for example,” he said. “And you can say OK, given the changed search results, take the URLs that moved up, were those URLs typically higher rated than the URLs that moved down by the search quality raters?”

While Google tries to keep the specifics of their quality rater guidelines secret, they inevitably end up getting leaked. The most recent version became known in November and detailed exactly what quality raters are looking for when they rate search results. Click here to continue reading

 

Further information

5 ways SEO still dictates content marketing success

Not ranking in Google: manual penalty, algorithm change or content

Busting the jargon of SEO

We are always being told that we must adhere to ‘white hat’ techniques when marketing our websites but what does this actually mean? There are so many terms and so much terminology that many ordinary business folk don’t really know what it all means. Take white hat, what it means is that you are using approved methods of site promotion, for instance, you are using high quality content with the right amount of keywords which have been carefully and naturally incorporated into the text. Your content is interesting for the human reader and is unique and attractive to the search engines. Black hat on the other hand is the murky underworld where the search engines and Google in particular takes a very dim view of such things as keyword stuffing, duplicate content and poor quality content. So, if you are a bit confused about some of the terminology used, see this guide to help clarify things for you.

I’ve been making a point in my journey as a writer for Econsultancy to investigate the many and varied terms in digital that I don’t understand.

As I am a relative newcomer to the digital marketing world, this is like a trial-by-fire.

In my first few weeks, terms like CRM, CRO, iBeacons, retargeting and PPC all felt like an alien language.

None more so than the phrases ‘black hat’ and ‘white hat’ in relation to search engine optimisation (SEO).

In this article I’ll be investigating what is meant by each of these terms by asking: What are the basic principles of each ‘hat’? What is considered best practice? and what should be avoided?

“Boy, have we got a vacation for you”

High noon

My basic assumption is that ‘white hat’ is all about being a goody-two-shoes and sticking to the rules. Abiding the law. Hiding under the table whenever trouble comes wandering into the saloon.

Whereas ‘black hat’ is all about being that trouble. A gun-slinging outlaw, working on the edge of society, disobeying the rules and generally being a bit dangerous and sexy. I assume you get a cooler costume too.

I guess the temptation to be that second guy is always strong.

However being that second guy, the one with the really good boots and slightly darker theme music, means that you won’t be long for this world. It’s only a matter of time before you’re either rounded-up by the lawmen or snuffed out and put in the ground with nothing but a lonely horse to mourn your passing.

By lawmen I of course mean Google, and Google can indeed be a merciless punisher of the transgressive. Click here to continue

Further information

Long term SEO: sustainable tactics, strategies and solutions

A complete glossary of essential SEO jargon