Category: Site Optimisation

Is your site over-optimised?

In the SEO world, backlinks are a great thing. Increasing the amount of backlinks pointing toward your site will help improve your site’s visibility in common search engines, such as: GoogleBing, and Yahoo. Even though increasing your backlink count is a good practice to undertake, sometimes where the backlinks come from can be an issue, especially if the backlinks are inorganic. For some time Google’s Penguin update has added considerable weight to backlink origin, so it’s important to check the backlink origins of your website if you want to improve your existing optimisation.

If this is overlooked, the algorithm may decide your website has used unfair techniques to get ranked, and as a result you might suffer the opposite effect – a penalty from Google. Originally Google confirmed these penalties did not exist, but that was now several years ago andits stance has long since changed. Search engines want to ensure nobody is cheating the system, and every major update brings them closer to picking up on any illicit tactics that are being employed by websites.

To check if your site is overly optimised to the point of penalty, there are a few free tools you can turn to. Some of these tools will e-mail you a report of the amount of bad/inorganic links that are pointing to your website. All that you have to do is to specify the URL of your website, along with the e-mail address where you would like the report e-mailed to you, and the software will automatically review your website for you.

Following these steps, a comprehensive list of the inorganic backlinks will be displayed. This will help you determine how to organise your current backlink situation, along with displaying the anchor text that the backlinks to your website come from. It might be that you find your website is classed as over-optimised, and this is an indication that Google is likely to penalise you for this tactic. Cleaning up any grey or black hat SEO techniques that might have been acceptable a few years ago is always an important priority for websites looking to maintain good positions in the long term.

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The Mysteries Of URL Shorteners Explained

Over the past few years, URL shorteners have become a popular tool, especially with the rise of social networking as an easy way of sharing information which relies on short and snappy content. Many people have wondered how shortening links affects the SEO world, considering the amount of links that are shortened on the Internet and search engines continuing to rely on visible links to make ranking decisions. This premise has been answered by Matt Cutts, who is head of the Webspam team at the search giant Google.

If you are unsure of what URL shorteners are, these are services that truncate lengthy URLs so that social networking users can easily fit a specific URL into the allotted space that a specific social network provides (e.g. a status message, link share, etc.). A shortened URL actually takes up the same number of characters in a Tweet as any other length URL, contrary to popular belief. However, for visual and branding purposes it’s much better to tidy up your messages with shorter links. The common URL shorteners that are currently popular on the net today are: Bit.lyGoo.gl, and TinyURL.com.

Since URL shorteners have become so popular, there has been a lot of confusion within the SEO world of how this can improve or hurt a site for any reason. Fortunately Google’s Matt Cutts gave a solid answer which has proved useful for those in the know.

Firstly, there are no penalties involved with Google rankings if you use URL shorteners. In short, you can use URL shortening tools however much you like and there will be no negative consequences for your positions. However, Google has pointed out that it would not be advisable to shrink links for submitting your business to a directory. For branding purposes, and to make it clear that everything is above board, it’s vital to include your full link for any listing submissions.

Overall the main point is that URL shrinking tools can be highly useful, and mainly for branding purposes when you’re considering a real user looking at your message and making a snap decision on whether to click through or not. From an SEO point of view, this is doing you no harm, but it’s not likely to do much good either, so if your link is for Google’s benefit you are better off not hiding it.

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How to instantly pull up informative stats about a website

The web is filled with all sorts of tools to help you gain SEO-related knowledge about your website; however, I came across the tool below and found that it provides a lot of relevant information that can help your website succeed on the web. For this week’s tool on mySEOblog, I would like to bring your attention to StatMyWeb.

This tool provides up to date and relevant statistics for any site of your choice. StatMyWeb provides a coherent history for a website and detailed stats including the date it was created, information about its hosting provider, its estimated value and its general rankings on search engines.

When performing a lookup of a website on StatMyWeb, this quality website tool will display the following statistics:

  • Overview – Displays general SEO-related statistics, such as: Alexa Rank, Page Rank, load time (average), daily visitors, and daily pageviews. Some of these may now be slightly outdated factors but it gives you an idea of what has been done previously for the SEO on the website.
  • Daily Visitors Country Map Analysis – A geographical visitor map broken down by country. Highlight any specific country to find out how many visitors to your site come from there.
  • Keywords Ranking at Good Position on Google Analysis – This will display a table showing what keywords from Google took organic search users to your site. This table is organised by keyword, impact factor, and query popularity.
  • Homepage Link Analysis – Counts how many internal and external links are on the website that you are evaluating.
  • W3C HTML Validation Analysis – Checks to see if your website has any W3C validation errors or warnings.

As we mentioned, it’s not necessarily the best idea to take all the statistics you find using tools like this as concrete facts. Statistics tell you a lot about what a website has had going on in the past, but this isn’t always an indication of its current or future value. This is especially true if you’re only looking from an SEO point of view, because again we only really know what has helped websites to rank in the past. We can’t be positive what factors Google and its rivals are using as their mid-low priority factors, so if you’re looking for an advantage over your competition take any conslusions drawn from tools like this with a pinch of salt, and keep an eye on the latest SEO news to judge what factors are the most important today.

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SEO Administrator – A multi-purpose tool for optimisation

It is always useful to have more tools at your disposal when trying to increase the value of your website in the eys of search engines. There are so many factors to consider it is almost impossible to devise a strategy without some sort of software to guide you and collate all the relevant statistical information. Some tools are free and can give you quick, simple insights, while others require purchase or subscriptions but offer a lot more detailed information or more advanced functionality.

One such tool is SEO Administrator, which includes the following quality tools that will help analyse your website’s popularity on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

  • The Ranking Monitor Utility – This SEO tool uses your website’s keywords to obtain the ranking position of your website from a wide range of search engines.
  • The Link Popularity Checker – The number of inbound links to your website is a major factor in successful search engine promotion, and this tool analyzes these links.
  • The Site Indexation Tool – This SEO tool checks for website page indexing. Before being included in keyword-based search results, a web page needs to be indexed by the search engines. SEO Administrator reveals the pages of your site that have been indexed by various search engines. The program supports all major international search engines.
  • The Site Analyser – The Site Analyser module is an SEO software tool that includes a broken link checker, sitemap creation software, and robots.txt file generator. It finds broken links and images, checks the Google PageRank value for every page, searches for errors in html code, and generates html and Google-compatible xml sitemaps for your web site.
  • The HTML Analyser – The HTML Analyser module is a program that analyzes html page content. The program provides a full report on the weight and density of keywords and keyphrases in your web pages, as well as providing a preliminary analysis of your own site. It can also be used to analyse your competitors’ sites as well.

With powerful software like this at your disposal (and there a huge number of alternatives available too), you might find you have all the tools you need to optimise your website thoroughly. This depends on whether you already have all the necessary technical expertise and experience required to interpret the information your tools have unearthed.

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