Archive for the ‘Featured Article’ Category

Jockeying for Position

Jockeying for Position. *click to enlarge*

As an SEO practicioner, you will often find yourself in the position of having to estimate traffic potential.  If you’re like me, you’ve probably used the AdWords Keyword Research Tool to do this.  Most people do this with “Exact Match” turned on and use the “Local Searches” number, then make assumptions about what position they might be able to obtain on average, then they assume an average click-through rate based on various studies that have been done on click-through rate versus position.  For individual keywords, the click-through rate in reality will vary widely from the average, but if you’re doing estimates for hundreds or thousands of keywords this should “all come out in the wash”.

I’ve done this exercise numerous times but have always had the sense that I’m probably overestimating, because the traffic amounts predicted didn’t materialize, even when positions were achieved.

These two postings will identify the reasons for this, and we’ll construct Read on »

This guy had some pretty good advanced tricks too

This guy had some pretty good advanced tricks too

Important note – before reading this article, read the previous posting “SEO for Local Search: The Complete Guide“.

Before going into the list of advanced ranking techniques for Local Search I’ve uncovered reviewing a myriad of other folk’s postings, let’s talk about what proof is available first.

David Mihm does a *great* yearly survey of local search experts on what variables they believe are important for Local search, very similar to what SEOMoz runs for overall organic search.

It’s important to note that it’s well established (read the book “Supercrunchers” if you’re not convinced) that experts are great at determining what variables matter, but figuring out importance or weightings is best left to machine-learning, or statistical reverse-engineering exercises.

Fortunately, the folks at SEOMoz have done some correlation analysis of some of the Local Search ranking factors Read on »

Google Places Entry for the Business "123kjkjad9 -"

Location of a Business Called "123kjkjad9 -" * click to enlarge*

“Local search” is a term used for searching on websites that let you find different types of businesses in a geographic area.  These can be map sites, search engines, yellow pages sites, or local directories.  Unlike traditional organic search optimization, there are numerous places you must go to create, correct, and optimize your business’ listing, and this can be a daunting task.  Also, this portion of the SEO industry uses intimidating terms like “7-pack” “NAP”, and “Citations” that can be a little off-putting.

This posting will de-mystify all of this and simplify the process by breaking it down into eleven steps Read on »

Rankings Explained

Rankings Explained. Any Questions? *click to enlarge*

Last year, some people from the academic community who hadn’t been snatched up yet by Google or Bing did a really interesting study.   Rather than simply researching factor correlations to rankings, as SEOMoz does a great job of doing every so often, they used machine learning techniques to create their own search engine, and trained it to reproduce results similar to Google.  After the training process, they extracted the ranking factors from their trained engine and published them and presented on them at an industry conference.  They were able, for the queries they trained on, to correctly predict Read on »

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Website *click to enlarge*

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Website *click to enlarge*

Google and Bing are in an arms race.  The two weapons they are deploying are datacenters and Ph.D.’s, which are substitutable for each other.  If a Ph.D. comes out with a way to store or index data that is 5% more efficient,  this can result in hundreds of *millions* of dollars of savings in datacenter costs.

Often these companies will file patents if they have some really good ideas, or they will file them just to have some patents in a particular area they are worried they may eventually face a lawsuit in.  For instance Read on »

y SEOToolset

Bruce Clay's SEOToolset *click to enlarge*

In our recent post, High-End SEO on a Low-End Budget, we briefly mentioned Bruce Clay’s SEOToolSet®.  This is a great subscription service that has been around for a long time and has recently gone through a major upgrade – here we’ll take some more time to run through the service in detail.

Bruce is one of the original SEOs from back in the day, and his company provides a wide variety of training classes, SEO services, and even access to its proprietary optimization toolset.  In a nutshell, this subscription service contains Read on »

meta-description

Black Hat SEOs of Yesteryear Working on a Meta-Description

Meta-descriptions are critical for two reasons; they are used by Google in the ranking process, and they are ultimately responsible for the Click-through-rate that your page will experience.

A properly written meta-description will stand out and have users clicking on it more often than it simply deserves based on its position in the SERPs; a poorly written one may garner as few as zero clicks.  Here we’ll detail best practices for writing your Read on »

1-2-3, That's How Elementary It's Gonna Be

Last week we covered the basics of SEO for YouTube – this week we will run through some of the more advanced techniques I came across when researching this topic Read on »

Internet World Stats

Truly Penetrating Analysis

You’ve probably had to research internet usage at some point – whether to figure out browser usage percentages so you can decide which browsers to bother supporting, looking at internet usage by country for a business looking to expand geographically, or any other myriad of reasons.  Like me, you probably did this by doing a ton of Google searches.  Well, I ran across a site that aggregates much of that information, and also the sources for the rest of it, all in one convenient spot Read on »

Mining for PageRank

Google’s Toolbar PageRank, the value that you can obtain by surfing websites while the Google Toolbar is installed, has been available via a number of websites for years, ever since someone figured out how to reverse engineer the protocol that the Toolbar uses to talk to Google’s datacenters to obtain the value. Google appears to have been fairly tolerant of tools that obtain this data over the years (otherwise many of them would have been banned, or they would have changed the protocol frequently, etc.). This tolerance sometimes makes me suspect that Toolbar PageRank is a bit of a purposeful red herring, and ranking is perhaps all about anchor text instead, but that’s a whole other discussion.

The most popular tool for checking individual PageRank values is probably Read on »