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SEO Red Flag: “Links Don’t Matter”

SEO Red Flags - Links Don't Matter

Every once in a while, SEOs try to be so cutting edge that they fall off the deep end. In the past few years, there have been some pretty significant shifts in search algorithms, and cracking down on links has been one of the primary focuses at Google. But no where in there did links suddenly become irrelevant.

Google even stated that they made an attempt at removing link signals completely from their algorithm and, well, the result was not what they had hoped. Which tells us that links, at this point in time, are still valuable.

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The Complete Guide to Mastering Your Meta Tags

Complete guide to mastering meta tags

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 11/8/2012 and updated 7/30/2015

If you were ever going to tell a “back in the day” story about SEO, it would have to include a discussion of meta tags. Long before links were built, before content was king and before social was sharable, meta tags were optimized. Meta tag optimization is the original SEO.

But gone are the days when throwing long lists of keywords into a meta tag could move your site to the first page of Alta Vista, Excite or Webcrawler. For that matter, gone are Alta Vista, Excite and WebCrawler. Today’s SEO isn’t the SEO of, well, your slightly older sibling. While there is still some value to optimizing your meta tags, it just isn’t what it used to be.

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Why You Should Always Put Your Site To The Test

Why you always put your site to the test

One of the first things we do when optimizing a site is to institute common Best Practices. As important as best practices are, they are still only a baseline for good usability.  They are really no more than starting point.

Once you have instituted your best practices and have tracked them in analytics for a while, you now have a place to begin making additional, incremental improvements. This is where multivariate and A/B testing comes into play. Best practices only tell you what works for the masses. Your visitors may react differently, and with some additional and ongoing tests, you may be able improve the overall performance of your site.

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Tomorrow’s Search Engine Algorithms Matter More than Today’s

Tomorrow's search engine algorithms

As an SEO, we always have to keep one eye on the customer and one eye on the algorithm. While doing things for the customer makes perfect sense, we still have to do them in the right way so as to make our work available to the search engines and hopefully earn decent rankings.

If you’re not keeping up with the constantly changing algorithms, you’ll miss some important updates. For example, if you’re only focused on building an experience for your visitors, you generally don’t care much about whether Google can read your CSS or Javascript, or if your entire site is HTTPS secure. However, Google does care about those things now, so you need to as well.

But what matters more than today’s algorithms is the algorithms of tomorrow.

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Critical Steps to Optimize Your WordPress Site For Search Engines And Visitors

How to Optimize Your WordPress Site

WordPress is an incredibly powerful content management system that can be customized in an infinite amount of ways to fit each unique website. But the focus of my latest Search Engine Journal article is about things that nearly EVERY business needs to do to get their site off on the right foot for search engine optimization and web marketing in general. Check out the article to find out what settings and plugins I recommend for most businesses.

Editor’s Note: This blog was written from a presentation Stoney gave for WordCamp Dayton 2015. You can view the entire presentation on WordCamp TV.

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Just Because Mobilegeddon Didn’t Happen Doesn’t Mean It Won’t Happen to You!

mobilegeddon impact

Let’s face it, Mobilegeddon didn’t happen. From the short amount of time we had from Google’s announcement of a new algorithm for mobile devices to the day it was rolled out, Mobilegeddon was about as over-hyped as Y2K! (Those of you under 25 might need to look that up.)

But just because Y2K didn’t bring the world’s computers crashing down around us, doesn’t mean there wasn’t a real threat. There was. We just had to spend years prepping for it. And guess what? Just because businesses who weren’t “mobile ready” on Mobilegeddon day didn’t see their business come crashing down doesn’t mean they’re safe.

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The Complete Guide to Mastering Your Title Tags

The complete guide to mastering title tags

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 10/9/2012 and updated 7/6/2015

When it comes to on-page optimization, the title tag of any given web page is the single most important piece of optimizable real estate there is. Think of it as beachfront property in the Florida Keys. Unlike other areas of a website, the optimizable space in the title tag is extremely limited but has great search visibility, which means it can really pack a punch! In fact, aside from a site’s total architecture, I can’t think of any single area of a site that holds as much sway over search engine rankings as the title tag.

The title tag represents the most powerful collection of characters on the entire web page. Assuming your site architecture is in order, if you could only make one change to a page to help it rank, I’d recommend making an unoptimized title tag fully search and user-optimized. All that to say, optimizing it right is extremely advantageous!

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“SEO” Be Damned, It’s Time Give Your URLs An Upgrade

Give URLs Upgrade

Are you afraid to upgrade your URLs because of the potential loss in link value and search engine rankings? That’s understandable. Even when you use the proper 301 redirect, you can lose 5-10% of your link value every time you change a page’s URL. However, it may be worth it. By creating more usable (i.e., readable) URLs, you make URLs more relevant to both search engines and users.  That can make up for any losses in link value, and then some.

I show you how this all works in my latest SEM Post article.

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The Road To SEO Victory is Paved with Patience

The road to SEO victory

 

Everything about web marketing takes time to produce the results you want. We tell our clients that the best time to start prepping for Christmas is January! Why? because growth doesn’t happen over night, especially if you’re starting with very little site authority.

You can optimize a site in a decent amount of time, but authority takes time to build. But that’s not to say you can’t get some quick victories under your belt. A few good wins up front allows you to start seeing some of the benefits of your web marketing campaign. However, those quick wins are relatively small victories compared to what comes after a significant and sustained push.

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Avoid “SEO Creep” (And Unnessary Site Rebuilds)

Avoiding SEO Creep

Search engine optimization is awesome. But just like with everything else, sometimes you need to go back and look at what you’ve done and make sure it all still is relevant and works the way you expect. Unfortunately for many organizations, what they find is SEO that might have worked awhile ago but doesn’t now. The only way to fix it is an entire site rebuild. Granted, site rebuilds are needed every few years anyway, but sometimes “SEO creep” can force you to rebuild more often than you normally would. My latest article for Search Engine Journal tells you how you can avoid this nasty SEO creep and the site re-dos it causes.

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