Articles written in August, 2011

August 29 2011

Keyword Density is Only a Small Part of SEO


Keyword density, proximity, repetition — placing your keywords properly can be a major part of an SEO campaign. It’s easy become overwhelmed and obsessed with finding the perfect words or phrases to fit your pages, then cramming keywords in.

A basic guideline we give our clients is a keyword density of 2% – 4% per webpage, meaning a keyword or keyphrase should only appear four times or less for every 100 words. Anymore than that, and search engines may flag the page for spam. Four-percent may not sound like a lot, but you can try it for yourself. Read a selection of text with a keyword density of 5% or more out loud to yourself. You may be surprised at just how “spammy” it sounds, or how difficult it is to read.

It’s important to remember that good SEO is more than trying to find the right amount of words in the right order to gain the attention of a search engine. Many other factors come into play and keyword density is just one of them (and it’s not even the most important one). When you look at a few of what Google considers to be important factors in SEO, like inbound links and the growth of social search, you can see that quality content is what earns high rankings.

When developing content for your site, try not to obsess over keywords. Instead, focus on creating compelling content that people will share. Always remember to optimize for the user, not the search engine.

August 19 2011

Putting a Face with Organic Listings


When someone reads a newspaper article online, there is normally a picture of the author/journalist above or next to that article. What would happen if everyone had their faces posted by article they have written? We could be closer to that happening than you think because Google+ is helping to make this a reality.

Google+ members who publish an article, and link to it in their Google+ account are standing out in Google’s organic listings. It’s one thing for a person’s article to appear in the organic listings, it’s an even greater bonus when your name and picture show up next to it.   Look at the example below. This article has a picture of the author right next to it along with their name.   It definitely makes it stand out from the other listings.
The organic listing links to the website where the article was originally published and the picture links to the author’s Google+ account.

Putting a Face with Organic Listings

This can be utilized as a great SEO tool for businesses.   For example let’s say the CEO for company A, which is a home improvement store, publishes blogs monthly. The CEO also has a Google+ account. Every time the CEO posts a blog to company A’s website, he links to it through his Google+ account. As people are searching the web for home improvement they come across the blog in the organic listings. It stands out because there is a picture next to it, and it seems to be related to what they are searching for. After clicking on the organic listing, they read the blog and proceed to do business with Company A. Company A received several benefits. First they received a sale. Second they improved their SEO value when the CEO linked to the blog. Third their blog drove traffic to the website which brought in a sale.

Many companies could benefit SEO-wise from this Google+ feature. In fact, it’s all the more reason to blog and publish articles.   There’s no word yet, if this capability will be given to individual companies (once Google+ opens up to companies), so it’s good to have a company representative(s) who can post and link to articles that they have written on the company’s behalf.

August 18 2011

Google’s Recent Site Link Update


We have all probably viewed site links within Google’s organic search results before.   The site links that you have most commonly seen, until recently, have probably looked something like this:

Google’s Recent Site Link Update

The purpose of site links is to help searchers navigate your website more easily.   They are essentially shortcuts to help funnel searchers to the specific page they are in need of as quickly as possible. However, earlier this week when searching, I noticed something very different about how Google was showing site links. Instead of site links looking similar to the image above, they now are appearing more prominently on the search engine results page. Below is an example of how these site links are now being displayed:

Google’s Recent Site Link Update

These enhanced site links appear most frequently when a brand name or specific website name is searched.   As you will see, there are quite a few more links displayed (up to twelve) in the newer version of site links, versus eight in the older version. In addition, the URL and one line of text are displayed, making them stand out even more.

At this time, these site links are automated; marketers can’t specify which links they want to appear. These site links can also change from query to query leading to better results for the searcher, and hopefully for the marketer, too.   These changes are now reflected in Google Webmaster Tools where you can manage your site links. Although marketers can’t select specific site links to show, they can demote site links (removal is not guaranteed).

So how do you get site links like this to show for your organic listings?   The best tactic is to make sure that the search engines can easily crawl all of the pages on your website and that you have a proper website structure. If your site does not have an optimal structure, these site links may not appear.   In addition, optimizing your meta data for every page should help, as a portion of title tag appears within the site links.

Check to see if site links are displaying for your website.   If not, search engine optimization may be in order.


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