Checking your Canonical Link Element En Masse

Auditing your website’s canonical link elements

The ability to cite canonical URLs can be a great asset for an SEO. Unfortunately it can also have negative impacts if used inappropriately. Between site migrations, the creation of new pages, switching to https, misuse or bugs in an SaaS, domain name switches and just the everyday grind of making changes that are due yesterday, it’s not that uncommon for an SEO or webmaster to use the canonical link element in a counterproductive fashion. Since it’s not visible and its effects are behind the scenes, incorrectly used canonicals can go unnoticed for years. Fortunately, finding bad canonicals can be rather simple.

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SEO Spy Tools – 6 SEO Spy Tools to Research your Competitors

SEO Spy Tools

SEO Spy Tools

In a previous post, SEO Keyword Research – Choosing Keywords for SEO, I mentioned the ability to spy on your competitors for SEO purposes.  I’d like to expand on that in this post.  Below is a list of free research & spy  tools that will give you insight into a competitor’s SEO status.  Seeing which keywords your competitors are ranking or bidding on may give you a few ideas for your own campaigns. These tools should help you make more informed decisions for your search engine marketing campaigns.  Not being first in the game isn’t always a bad thing.  You can skip the growing pains and trial and error of the first comers have to endure and put all your time and resources into the proven methods, and avoiding the first-comer blunders.  Spy tools like this allow you to see which other sites are being visited by visitors to your website (as well as your competitor’s) can provide expanded knowledge on who your competitors are.

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Stop Saying SEO is Dead!

SEO is not Dead

It seems that every time Google deploys a major change in their algorithm, a few authors/bloggers proclaim the death of SEO, and marketing websites/blogs are awash with titles like “SEO is Dead” and “Is SEO Dead?” In most cases they admit (later on in their piece) that it’s not really dead, but rather that “SEO as we knew it is dead.” In other words, their blog/article title was mainly hyperbole (no doubt meant to increase click throughs and serve as link bait).

SEO is Dead

SEO just keeps dying!

However, some authors/bloggers appear to really believe that this is the case. Never mind that it was supposedly dead in 2009 when Google began to place more emphasis on personalization. And before that, it was dead in 2007 when Universal Search became more prominent. This time it’s for real! And no doubt, SEO will continue to suffer more fatalities in the years to come.

So why did SEO die this time?

All that’s happened is this:
Google has gotten better at weeding out gimmicks meant to ‘trick’ their algorithm into giving a page/wesbite more relevance and/or authority than it actually deserves. For years Google has been giving SEO people mixed signals. On one hand we’ve been told time and again that useful and intuitive content is the way to improve rankings and we’ve been told to avoid gimmicks. On the other hand, we’ve had to watch competitors climb the SERPs by gaming the system through link networks and other schemes. Google is simply doing a better job of putting into practice what they’ve been preaching for years.

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SEO/Marketing Blogs/Articles for 2010-03-08

SEO/Marketing  Blogs/Articles for 2010-03-08

Blogs/Articles for 2009-06-17

Blogs/Articles for 2009-06-17

SEO for Static Websites: Creating/Editing Static Pages for SEO

SEO Search EngineDue to the time needed to create and edit them, static pages are often the bane of web developers and designers alike. To an SEO professional, however, they provide for an easy way to tailor SEO efforts to specific keywords. Here is a guideline for creating new or editing existing static pages for maximum SEO effect. As you go through these, keep in mind that the end goal is to provide useful content to your visitors, so none of these steps should be carried to the point of making your website less useful to your visitors (ie keyword stuffing, giving your URLs ridiculously long file names, etc).

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Using Google Analytics to Track Email Address Signups

If your website has an email sign up form you can use Google Analytics to keep track of which email addresses are signing up.  Simply use the parameter you are using to pass the email address as the query parameter in your Analytics Site search setup (go to Profile Settings and click Edit Profile on the profile you want to add this to).

Use parameter you pass on the email address sign up as your Site Search parameter

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SEO for Dynamic Pages and Content

Dynamic websites have their obvious advantages. The ability to automate, create, edit, and delete content through a database and server side scripting is a must when dealing with large and constantly updated websites.

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Canonical Link Rel vs 301 Redirects: Using Canonical Link Rel tag for SEO purposes

Back in February, Google announced their support of the Canonical Link Rel element, and it was also announced that Yahoo! and MSN would soon follow suit.  If you’re not familiar with it, think of the Canonical Link Rel element in terms of a 301 redirect–you can tell the search engines to ‘focus’ (though in this case, there’s no redirect) on a page you specify.  It is placed within the head tags of a web page, and is a great remedy for the duplicate content stigma.

Essentially it looks like this:

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Blogs/Articles for 2009-05-05

Blogs/Articles for 2009-05-05

Hootsuite Product Review: Hootsuite helps mitigate your Twitter addiction

I jumped onto the Twitter bandwagon fairly recently and like many others, have found it addicting. In looking for ways to pass on useful articles and blog posts I run into without cutting into my productivity, I ran into Hoostuite. I’ve been using HootSuite for about a week now and I continue to find it more and more useful. Perhaps the most useful features are:

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Blogs/Articles for 2009-04-20

Blogs/Articles for 2009-04-20

Blogs/Articles for 2009-04-15

Blogs/Articles for 2009-04-15

Optimize On Page SEO Text & Design with CSS

Content Placement and Keyword Density matter.

Content placement is an important part of on-page SEO. It’s good practice for both search engine optimization and reader usability to place your important keywords early in your content. This emphasizes to both your readers and the search engines that these words or phrases are important to the page.

The effectiveness of this technique has been debated quite a bit, and it’s not difficult to find SEO professionals sharing anecdotes of how they’ve done well without this or other on-page techniques. The problem with this, of course, is that it doesn’t mean that these SEO campaigns couldn’t have done even better had they included on-page factors such as this, or that they wouldn’t have been necessary had the keywords been more competitive.

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