SearchGuild - Chris Ridings SEO Forums.
V7N Web Dev Community - John Scott’s SEO forum
Search Engine Watch Forums - Lots of breaking news breaks at SEW forums.
SEO Guy Forums - Very recent updates and good advise.
Search Engine Optimization Articles
SearchGuild - Chris Ridings SEO Forums.
Are shades of grey SEO really Black Hat SEO? Black hat SEO is a strategy which gets a web page or entire site banned from a search engine. A shade of grey is when you use a black hat strategy but your site has not been banned yet. Remember the acronym for YET: Youre Entitled Too!
There are many different opinions on the subject of Search Engine Optimization. Many folks will deliver advice which will work to get you top 10 rankings but what is really the difference between Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO? There has been many good attempts to define Black Hat SEO.
All are relevant and an example can be found at http://www.blackhatseo.com. The site contains a page of example Black Hat SEO and a directory of not recommended products and services. But is there more to it than just keyword stuffing, hidden text and spamming image alt tags?
If you read the the Webmaster guidelines at Google: http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html, youll notice that sneaky Redirection pages are not welcome. (This does not include the 301 redirect.) What are Sneaky Redirection Pages? Sneaky redirection pages are set up in in groups of 10 or 20.
They all target similar and related keywords or phrases. The only links on these pages are links to other pages in the same family creating a false sense of related linking. They do not contain content that any human would be interested in.
These pages show up high in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). When you click on one of these pages from a search engine result, you will be redirected to another page.
(Usually a high pressure sales page.) Is this misleading? You bet. Why? Because the page you click on from the serps is not the page you actually get to read. Can Sneaky Redirects be considered as a Black Hat SEO tactic? I think so.
The reason being is that if your page is discovered, it does get banned. These pages are smart when it comes to getting a higher search engine position but they will vanish if another marketer reports your page.
What SEO Strategy Should You Use? All SEO strategies have value. I think that the focus of attention should be to avoid Black Hat SEO if your intention is to keep your site from being banned.
Visit SEO forums and use the ideas that you feel comfortable with. There are many SEO forums out there. Here is one to get you started: http://www.searchguild.com Be aware of search engine guidelines.
If you read conflicting information, or if the tactic does not feel 100% OK, maybe the tactic should be placed on the back burner or even avoided forever.
Why should you want to use Active Server Pages or PHP and what’s the difference? PHP is a server-side scripting language that’s cross-platform compatible, embedded in HTML, lets you create dynamic web pages on the fly for the UNIX (Linux) or Windows platform. It’s comparable to Active Server Pages which run on Windows platforms. All you need to run PHP is for it to be installed and enabled on your server, and some PHP code in your page(s), saved with the extension .php. Both platforms allow you to create dynamic pages. Dynamic pages are executed by pulling data off the server and creating pages ‘on-the-fly’ as they are requested, instead of being parsed in the browser like static pages. They are extremely quick and most of the routine tasks associated with displaying content and information can be automated.
The code is kept in text files on the server and served up immediately into the browser as it’s requested. It’s extremely compact, just as powerful as ASP and can also be used with databases (mySQL/postgreSQL). PHP is an open source project of the Apache Software Foundation and doesn’t cost anything to use. If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘open source’, it means FREE! The advantage of using PHP is that it can be run on UNIX and Windows (unlike .asp which requires a third-party software solution to run on UNIX).
One of the biggest differences between using PHP and ASP is the cost. PHP and all things Linux are open source and freely available for use by anyone personally or commercially. And the good news is that you don’t have to be a programmer to make use of ASP or PHP scripts. If you can cut, paste and edit, you can learn use them too.
Using PHP or ASP applications on your server gives you many more options for interactivity and information storage than static pages, while speeding up your site in the process. It’s not just for programmers anymore. This is something anyone can learn how to do.
Keep in mind that most search engines cannot index dynamic pages or read information stored in a database, so if you’re optimizing your site for higher rankings, you also need static, content-rich pages that include your targeted keywords so the bots can crawl and index them. To be effective, your static pages must be included in your site map and linked in your navigation.
Ever wonder what strategies that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts consider to be the most important? Stephen Mahaney, President of Planet Ocean Communications , a search engine consulting and SEO publishing firm, was asked this very question. He was kind enough to send us his response for publication in MarketPosition:
I decided to write this article after receiving the following comment and question from a reader…
“I usually don’t ask questions, often intimidated by my lack of knowledge but I guess I’ll ask the age old question. To get more traffic to my website, what are the top five simple steps to take. If you can give them to me in point form that will be sufficient as I’m sure I can go from there.”
Actually, we thought it was a great question - so much so it merits a short article. Granted, all of these tips are well known and relatively simplistic but they are also the must-do aspects of search engine optimization.
In other words, before you do anything else, these are the items that you should check off your list.
Be certain the words that you wish to be found under show up in your
Many people fail to place their keywords in their title tags - in fact, this is the #1 optimization mistake. You don’t have to put all your keywords in every page’s title, just put in the ones that are relevant to that specific page.
On your main (home) page, focus on the core keywords that reflect the overall theme of your site.
Link to all of your subpages from the home page.
There may be times when this seems impractical but there are usually unobtrusive ways to do it. By having links to all of your sub-pages you provide the means by which a search engine can find the various pages on your site whenever they visit your “home” page.
Ideally the spider should be able to access every page on your site by clicking on a series of links. And, the fewer clicks the better because search engines score page relevance from top to bottom - the deeper a page is found within a site the less relevant the search engine considers it to be. In addition, some engines will not spider more than a few levels deep.
Be sure that keywords are being used in the text links that are pointing to pages within your site.
If your site is about cameras, make sure when you post a link to your site from some other web site that the word cameras appears in the text of the hyperlink that is pointing to your site.
A correct example would look something like…
Click here for the best prices in cameras
In contrast, it would be a mistake to use a link like…
Click here” for the best prices in cameras
If you were to make such a mistake the search engine - especially Google - would believe your site was about “click here” (ouch!).
The more pages the better.
Just like fishing, the more hooks you have in the water the better your chances of catching something. Same deal with search engine optimization. The more pages you have on your website, the better chance you’ll have of hitting those ever changing “correct” formulas for keyword density, keyword combos, and so on.
Of course, your pages should contain quality information so the visitor doesn’t just click back to the search engine when he or she arrives. Fast click-backs are noticed by many engines and can work against you. In such cases the engine figures the visitor didn’t find what they were looking for so your page must not have been relevant to their search.
One way to fit the bill is to create a new page of content every week. Chances are likely that there will be some aspect related to one of your products or services about which you can write a special report or a feature article. Perhaps you’ll do a weekly Q&A where you explain the benefits and features of what you do in greater detail.
And by all means look for ways to make the material work double-duty by, perhaps, assembling it into a newsletter that could then be made available to your customers. These are legitimate and valuable ways to expand your site and thereby broaden the net you cast to snare prospects that turn into future customers.
Use a good, reliable web hosting service.
There is no substitute for a hosting service that is dependable and one that assigns a unique IP address to every domain.
Remember, if your host goes down when a spider comes visiting you’ll likely get knocked out of the index. Quality hosting services are a must in the same way that an appropriate physical location in a brick-n-mortar operation is essential.
Many people make the mistake of attempting clever “tricks” while ignoring the basics. That is foolish. It’s possible that a site can score at the top using only the basics. However, “tricks” alone will never help you achieve top scores without first integrating those basics.