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Matt Cutts video on Penguin 2.0

Matt Cutts of Google recently posted a video discussing Penguin 2.0. Some of the key changes he mentioned include:

  • It is coming during Summer 2013
  • He called this update “deeper” and says it will have more impact than Penguin has so far related to “link spamming.”
  • It continues cracking down again on paid links. They need to be nofollowed and identified as paid links rather than trying to pass for natural or editorial links.
  • Google is trying to detect hacked websites and communicate better with webmasters and add information to Google Webmasters to help site owners understand the nature of the hack.
  • They are working to do a better job of identifying sites that are a true “authority” in their space. (more…)

WordPress Basics – The All In One SEO Pack Plugin

This video explains how to set up the All In One SEO Pack Plugin and how it can be used to automate important SEO elements for your site, or how to take full control of your title tags, meta description and meta keyword tags in WordPress.

As a client you gain access to additional training videos on more advanced features used in maintaining your WordPress powered website or blog. If you are interested in a custom website or WordPress blog theme, please contact me about your project.

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Matt Cutts of Google talks about SEO at WordCamp San Francisco 2009

Matt Cutts joined Google as a software engineer in January 2000 and is currently the head of Google’s Webspam team. He spoke at WordCamp San Francisco 2009 this summer and explained why WordPress is such an incredible platform for a website or blog in regards to the search engines. He also gave some excellent advise that is easy for any blogger or site content manager to follow.

WordPress SEO Video

I just discoverer Stephan Spencer’s blog, An SEO & Web Marketing Blog: Scatterings, and watched a video of a presentation he gave on optimizing your WordPress blog. The last video I posted was more technical in nature, but this one has loads and loads of easy, actionable tips that anyone can learn.

Clients ask me all the time about “doing SEO” on their blogs, but honestly, when you have a blog, you have to learn to do your own SEO. This video will show you EXACTLY how. If you want to follow along using the powerpoint he references, you can find it here.

Enjoy!

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Viddler video.

How To Ensure Your WordPress Blog Is Google Friendly

Here’s a terrific video from Michael Grey about avoiding duplicate content. He does an excellent job of explaining how WordPress creates duplicate content, and how Googlebot sees the blog. If you’re confused about how to actually fix your blog, I can help you out with that, just contact me!

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Why web design is only one part of building a website

I love Aaron Wall’s blog on SEO, and today I was catching up on some of his recent posts and found this gem entitled “Why Web Design Matters”.  This is an excellent article for web designers certainly, but I think it’s most crucial for people who are about to get a new website, or a website redesign, or who are considering hiring a web designer in the future.

Most people rely heavily on their website designer or developer to structure their site and steer the course on visual appearance and navigation (content). I totally understand this, since more people find it intimating, and also realize that their time is best spent on their business. That’s why they hire an expert, right?

Yes…

or maybe no. (more…)

Search Engine Traffic and Website Conversion

A client who we are doing some search engine optimization work for was wondering why, despite the fact that we have been working on SEO for his site for 3 months and have dramatically increased his traffic – why he was not getting any inquiries. His complaint was that he was paying us, but not getting a return on that investment.

My answer to him was the same as it had been the first time we spoke on the phone, the day I drove over to his office to meet with him, and pretty much every time I have been in contact with him since. His site (which we did not build) was absolutely NOT built to get conversions, meaning getting the site visitor to TAKE ACTION, to contact this business.

It’s not enough to get traffic, you’ve gotta get that traffic to DO SOMETHING that will give you the lead!

Despite the fact that our client specifically did not hire us to perform the revamp of his website that would help his conversion, I’m a nice person. And I truly want him to see – and GET – the great value we’re providing. So, I added some simple contact forms to his site.

BOOM! Overnight, leads started pouring into his inbox, and in the two weeks since we added the forms, he’s trending up. We have already reached his goal of how many leads he wanted from his site daily, but we still have a few weeks to go on our retainer, and will be seeing more and more as we continue to bring in more traffic.

What did we do? Simply found great, highly targeted keywords, optimized his site extremely well on page, started building links, and added a few forms. He went from a “useless” website to one that delivers very high quality leads right to his inbox. That’s fun!

(In case you’re wondering, I’m not going to reveal this site because of the competition that we are battling for search placement. I don’t want my good marketing techniques getting ripped off by the other sites in this space!)

Beers Design founder chimes in to answer John Reeses’ SEO questions.

Tonight John Reese asked some SEO questions regarding blogging and Beers Design founder Lisa Beers commented her answers. Below is a synopsis, but click here to read John’s original post and all the comments he got.

–Lisa’s Answers–

I think there are other SEO issues that are more critical to bloggers than these, in terms of title and meta tags and avoiding duplicate content primarily. I actually don’t use plugins for these issues, as I’ve never found any that were totally satisfactory. We do some code adjustments that work much better. (more…)

More SEO Ethics Issues

Last week I blogged about unethical search engine optimization practices we uncovered while getting a new SEO client going. Actually, it was more SEO fraud, as the “service provider” was charging their client but actually sabotaging them. Fraud’s more the word for it.

Anyhoo, today we established a new relationship with a local modular home builder. We’ll be taking over their website maintenance and search engine optimization. Heck of a great guy, the owner, and I look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship.

His current site is terrific, his previous webmaster did a fantastic job of building a great site. Good usability, great on page seo, nice clean design. Just wonderful.

Except… the previous guy built a directory site “on his client’s behalf” – “to optimize the client’s site.” Except, the webmaster owns that site himself. And it outranks the client’s site. And it’s monitized.

Sorry, but I smell a rat.

Rebekah and I have daily conversations about our “high bar” approach in one way or another. I’ve been told plently of times that I leave money on the table by not running with stuff other web developers would.

But I have to sleep at night.

I’m sorry, but using the knowledge you gain in an industry, while being paid by a client, developing traffic network sites for fee… You just DON’T turn around and take that to outdo your client. Maybe the laws haven’t caught up with technology for now, but to me it’s fraudulant.

High bar or not. I sleep well.

Ethical SEO

Today I was working on a SEO client’s website and made some very startling discoveries. Our client had been previously paying another person for optimizing their site. Obviously the client was not getting good results, which is why they are now with us.

This person who they had been paying actually built and manages multiple sites in the same niche, and is being paid to optimize them all. The original site ranks #1 for the top keyword phrase.

It is a BIG MISTAKE to hire someone that’s already working for all of your main competitors, who has longer relationships and more loyalty to those competitors. Really, that should be common sense. Our client told me they were paying over twice as much as the others, and that while the others were bunched up in the top 10, they were way below that. He was flabbergasted as to why that could be. Really, so was I.

I knew that the fella doing their optimization had to be up to something, and boy was he. Despite the hundreds of dollars a month being paid to him, I have found no evidence he did anything good. And worse, I found evidence he was doing BAD stuff. No, uh uh, not black hat even. I mean he appears to have been actively sabotaging the client!

1st – the most basic onpage optimization was not fully executed on the client’s website. Strike one.

2nd – there were very few links to the site. Actually around 50, and the other sites had hundreds. Strike two.

3rd – funny business in the .htaccess file. This server file was set up to redirect traffic AWAY from the client’s website if it were coming from any number of sources, including some small search engines, directories, and even myspace.com. We seriously think that any time the “SEO service provider” found a backlink into the site, he must have gone into the .htaccess file to discount it.

This whole thing made me feel sick to my stomach. On the other hand, we now have even more of a burning desire to blow the others away in the SERPs (search engine rankings). And the jerk who was ripping off our client, we can’t wait to KICK HIS A$$!