December 2008 Archives

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Before I get rolling on this I feel I need to make an important distinction:

When attempting to affect the position in which a given page shows in the Search Engine Results there are generally two lines of work that are performed.

First we have SEO or Search Engine Optimization.  This is the work that is done ON a website (which in the Search Engines’ eyes is actually a collection of interlinked individual pages) to help guide the engines to associating pages with the topics we want them to.  This also includes designing pages so they are Search Engine friendly meaning it is as easy as possible for the Search Engines to move through a page and rapidly determine its focus.  This also includes a well designed linking strategy within a site’s pages to maximize and control the flow of page rank as it is passed from page to page.

This is an area that once upon a time was the key to ranking highly in the Search Engines results.  These days, the on-site work still needs to be done to maximize results but it is all that happens off of your site that is most important to the Search Engines.

Search Engine Marketing or SEM is the collection of tactics and efforts that take place off of your site for the purpose of increasing a page’s standing in the Search Engine results.  This can be made up of many activities but at the root of it all is linking.

In the evolution of SEM there was a time when simply having the most links pointing to a page got you the results you wanted.  It didn’t matter from where those links came as long as there were lots of them.  That can still be true to some extent today but the game has changed.

There are many factors that a Search Engine considers (at least the ones we are aware of) when determining its "opinion" of what a link does for your page.  These factors include:

  • The age of the domain from where the link is coming
  • The relevance of the page content from where the link is coming
  • The relevance of the link anchor text
  • The page rank of the linking page
  • The overall "quality" (a nice subjective view) of the linking page
  •  And a number of other factors

 Taking all of that into consideration the impact of fewer, high-power links as opposed to a ton of lower quality links would start to explain how some pages with seemingly low link counts (relative to the other ranking pages around them, are able to make it onto the first page of the SERP’s.

 Logic says then that website owners would serve themselves well to put their efforts into securing links from high PR, well respected sites (which can take some serious work) as opposed to going the easier route which is the acquisition of tons of lower quality links.

This leads to one more issue…

What the client expects.

I purpose that we as SEO practitioners and consultants owe it to our clients to explain the situation and shift their focus away from expecting to see a rapidly growing number of links over time to seeing instead the results they desire — top ten placement for their target search terms.

What’s your take on this?

Filed under Blog, General Musings, Online Marketing, SEO by  #

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I believe one of the greatest hurdles for most small businesses is that they don’t know who THEY are.

It does next to no good to identify and try to sell to other businesses or consumers if you haven’t yet defined who you are and clearly developed your own brand.  I do a fair amount of work in Competitive Intelligence for clients and in all cases the first thing I make sure happens is that they know everything about themself that they would like to know about their competition.

I liken this to the idea that if you do not have a clear picture of your starting point followed by a clear picture of your goal… there is no way you can successfully navigate from one to the other.

So what exactly is a "Brand" and how does one define it?

Well, I have a gift for you today in the form of a presentation that I stumbled across on SlideShare.net.  I strongly urge you to take a few minutes and watch it below.  There is not audio (so don’t worry that your speakers are not working) but what you’ll see on the screen says it all.

Enjoy… Learn… Put Into Practice… I am.

 [slideshare id 28886&doc=the-brand-gap-14630&w=425]

 (Use the controls above to move through the presentation)

 

Let me know what you think after you watch it.  Your comments will help us all use this information.

Onward & Upward!

Sam

Filed under Blog, General Musings, Offline Marketing, Online Marketing by  #

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seo-pyramid.jpg

 

All I want to do here today is share what I feel is a very good visual for the general SEO process.

The only aspect of this tower with which I take a little issue is having keywords on the second level as I feel they are the basis for the way the current Internet works and as such should be a consideration from the very beginning.

My gift (and SEOmoz.org‘s gift) to you.

Onward & Upward!

Sam

Filed under Free Resources, General Musings, Gifts from Sam, SEO by  #

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