February 18, 2009

Publishing a Website - The Importance of SEO

With the modern software and online technologies that offer simple, ready-to-use website packages, even a child could be a website publisher. But the truth is that publishing a website is not so simple.

Websites created with cheap software by those with no design and coding skills look cheap, unsophisticated and have low chances of performing well in the search engines’ positioning results – those results you get from a search engine when you perform an online search.

Statistically, the search engines deliver to websites more than 40% of the traffic. The rest comes from other online channels like traffic exchanges, banner exchanges, social bookmarking sites, link advertisements, forum signatures and so on.

Publishing a website without respecting even basic principles of search engine optimization causes other problems aside from traffic loss.

Google, the strongest search engine, has a special algorithm to rank sites and a very good barometer of the quality and authority of a website is the Google PageRank.

If you fail delivering quality, people will not link to your site, so Google will consider it less important than the sites that have many links pointing at them and move it lower in the search results. This is something you don’t want to happen with your site.

Experienced web publishers and SEOs concluded a long time ago that “content is king”. This already stereotypic quote could be translated with: “content is the food of the search engines”.

But content alone is not enough. The best content fails to be scanned and indexed in the absence of inbound links.

So when you publish your site, consider the following basic SEO strategies to ensure that your site is getting indexed fast and accurately:

Create a correct code, preferably CSS based. CSS uses external style sheets that will reduce the loading time of a site and also provide for a clean, uncluttered code. A clean code is scanable and the search engine bots will reach to the text (their food) faster than when scanning a table-based website. Try to eliminate unnecessary tables from your design and you already have more chances to rank well in the SERPs than competitors who don’t pay attention to such details.

Don’t publish a site that fails the basic accessibility tests and doesn’t validate when checked with the W3C HTML validator. It’s not a bad practice; it’s just unproductive. Websites that validate are considered by the search engines “accessible”. Users are happy when they find accessible, navigable sites. As the search engines want happy users it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that valid, accessible sites score better in the SERPs than sites that don’t respect any standards.

When publishing your site pay attention at your page title, description and on-page titles and subtitles. Don’t repeat page titles and descriptions to each page of the site. Google tends to index such pages in its supplemental results and that’s another Google box where you don’t want your website to land.

To make a long story short: if you are serious about your online success, treat website publishing with utmost care. Think attention to detail, think keywords and web analytics, but above all, think ethical strategies that will not endanger your site’s existence in the search engines results.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Publishing

February 16, 2009

Specify Your "Canonical" Link

Carpe diem on any duplicate content worries: we now support a format that allows you to publicly specify your preferred version of a URL. If your site has identical or vastly similar content that's accessible through multiple URLs, this format provides you with more control over the URL returned in search results. It also helps to make sure that properties such as link popularity are consolidated to your preferred version.

Let's take our old example of a site selling Swedish fish. Imagine that your preferred version of the URL and its content looks like this:


However, users (and Googlebot) can access Swedish fish through multiple (not as simple) URLs. Even if the key information on these URLs is the same as your preferred version, they may show slight content variations due to things like sort parameters or category navigation:


Or they have completely identical content, but with different URLs due to things such as a tracking parameters or a session ID:


Now, you can simply add this tag to specify your preferred version:

Now, you can simply add this <link> tag to specify your preferred version:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish" />

inside the <head> section of the duplicate content URLs:


and Google will understand that the duplicates all refer to the canonical URL: http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish. Additional URL properties, like PageRank and related signals, are transferred as well.

This standard can be adopted by any search engine when crawling and indexing your site.

Of course you may have more questions. Joachim Kupke, an engineer from our Indexing Team, is here to provide us with the answers:

Is rel="canonical" a hint or a directive?
It's a hint that we honor strongly. We'll take your preference into account, in conjunction with other signals, when calculating the most relevant page to display in search results.

Can I use a relative path to specify the canonical, such as ?
Yes, relative paths are recognized as expected with the tag. Also, if you include a link in your document, relative paths will resolve according to the base URL.

Is it okay if the canonical is not an exact duplicate of the content?
We allow slight differences, e.g., in the sort order of a table of products. We also recognize that we may crawl the canonical and the duplicate pages at different points in time, so we may occasionally see different versions of your content. All of that is okay with us.

What if the rel="canonical" returns a 404?
We'll continue to index your content and use a heuristic to find a canonical, but we recommend that you specify existent URLs as canonicals.

What if the rel="canonical" hasn't yet been indexed?
Like all public content on the web, we strive to discover and crawl a designated canonical URL quickly. As soon as we index it, we'll immediately reconsider the rel="canonical" hint.

Can rel="canonical" be a redirect?
Yes, you can specify a URL that redirects as a canonical URL. Google will then process the redirect as usual and try to index it.

What if I have contradictory rel="canonical" designations?
Our algorithm is lenient: We can follow canonical chains, but we strongly recommend that you update links to point to a single canonical page to ensure optimal canonicalization results.

Can this link tag be used to suggest a canonical URL on a completely different domain?
No. To migrate to a completely different domain, permanent (301) redirects are more appropriate. Google currently will take canonicalization suggestions into account across subdomains (or within a domain), but not across domains. So site owners can suggest www.example.com vs. example.com vs. help.example.com, but not example.com vs. example-widgets.com.

Sounds great—can I see a live example?
Yes, wikia.com helped us as a trusted tester. For example, you'll notice that the source code on the URL http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Nelvana_Limited specifies its rel="canonical" as: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Nelvana.

The two URLs are nearly identical to each other, except that Nelvana_Limited, the first URL, contains a brief message near its heading. It's a good example of using this feature. With rel="canonical", properties of the two URLs are consolidated in our index and search results display wikia.com's intended version.

Feel free to ask additional questions in our comments below. And if you're unable to implement a canonical designation link, no worries; we'll still do our best to select a preferred version of your duplicate content URLs, and transfer linking properties, just as we did before.

Valid Comparison Between SEO Vs SEM

Search engine optimization and search engine marketing are two different terms aimed at single goal of marketing your website and related products online. Generally SEO is the part of SEM and its one of its technique to bring forth your site in search engine ranking. SEM is marketing technique that involves tactics like paid inclusion, paid ads, etc for advertising a website.

In search engines the page showing search results is known as SERP (search engine result page). Results on this page is very diverse, here you can find paid ads listed on the sides of the search pages and also paid inclusion shown on the top of the page. You may select any of these services for special showcasing on the search engine results page by paying certain nominal amount of fees.

SEO which is a part of SEM makes your website friendly by optimizing it in an organic manner. This technique does not require any purchasing of ads or paying for your site to rank higher. It functions by making your site attractive with apt keywords/phrases so that it ranks high in the result page. Usage of inbound links, META tags coding and keywords makes a website desirable for web crawlers.

Sometimes the problem arises while selecting which tool to use SEO or SEM? As discussed earlier SEM is a paid form of marketing where you have to shell out certain amount of money for getting a special position in result pages. But overall if seen, it is less beneficial than SEO. Instant short term results can be procured by SERP, but sometimes visitors seldom clicks on these paid results leading to loss to both your money and resource.

Some basic ways to optimize a website are- giving title to images utilizing the keywords, alt tags being named using keywords, keywords in domain name and page title.
Widely used SEM techniques are video marketing, pay per click advertising, social network marketing, search engine optimization and article marketing.

Any method you use for website optimization stresses more on creating relevant online content rich in keywords. The content consists of apt back links that points back to your website. Major search engines make use of these factors for ranking your website higher. More the number of back links from the original content better the results.

SPINX Web Design Firm Los Angeles offers Internet Marketing Los Angeles, SEO Company LA, SEO Company CA, web design Los Angeles, website design San Diego & much more.

February 11, 2009

Building Link Popularity in SEO

Link popularity approaches with web legatees consolidating quality, relevant links from other web owners. The collectors use databases to buildup e-mails addresses and linking Internet URL links, which the SEO marketer will write e-mails to receiving web owners requesting permission to link to their pages or to back link with collaborating sites. Some web owners strive on one-way link exchange, which is the basic exchange to one site, rather than adding each other's links to sites. Back links is popular. In short, back links are inbound links that point to a specific web page, which SEO experts sometimes refer to as In-Links or back links.

Web proprietress commonly hire in SEO experts, or users online that specialize in collecting SEO links by searching other websites to build databases saturated with quality and relevant links. Link exchange experts offer flexible benefit plans, or else has gathered links they sell to Internet marketers.

SEO is known, as search engine optimizing, a marketing tool that web heir have devoted time in for years to get websites listed at major search engines. SEO involves link reasoning, which experts explore possibilities that could lead to a higher rank at Google's, Yahoo, MSN, or other major search engines.

Cybernetics is martial. Web owners' often select innovative tools that will bear you to promote web sites to search engines while making the load lighter. Link popularity checkers and link-building tools often help webmasters in promoting web pages.

Link builders will often research web pages online. Often they use open directories or major search engines to find relevant links. By typing in keywords or phrases, web owners often find the links quicker. For example, say you are searching for similar car sites to your web page. You would type in the search engine, "links to car sites," or something to this effect. This will direct the search engines to begin searching sites for relevant links that connect you to sites online that hold potential relevancy to your web sites.

Relevancy is applicability to current issues in SEO reality. Since, simulation is progressing toward relevancy; according technology designers are creating each day innovative tools to assist webmasters with web design and link building. Each day new Link popularity checkers and link-building tools come available. Merchant of web pages is easier now, since webmasters can seek these excellent marketing tools so to get the quality and relevancy desired to promote a web page.

If you are considering link building to promote your web page, ok, but perhaps you should learn more about keyword density, web page content, and similar products before wasting too much time searching for relevant links. Link building opens the door to harm, since when you search through a number of web pages online you just might find your self affixed to a dangerous virus, or spyware.

Martin Lukac, represents EnginePromoter.com, http://www.EnginePromoter.com search engine marketing web-site for search engine optimization and website submission. Promote your website and get top rotating positions on over 250+ search engines, including a niche website submission.