“Don’t forget About the Body” When it Comes to Website Optimization

Straight from the disembodied head of Matt Cutts… “Don’t forget the body” when you optimize your website.

Each page of a website is made of at least 3 main parts.

  • The Head: This is where links for style information, scripts and meta tags (Title, Description) are found.  The code in the Head is not directly visible when someone visits your page.
  • The Body:  This is where the main visible portion of your page is. So, what visitors see when the view your site. The main body copy, images, etc.
  • The Footer: This also has contains elements that are visible to visitors, but it can also contain scripts and other code.

When it comes to website optimization, one aspect of optimizing is to make sure that the Title and Description meta tags are unique and include keywords relevant to what the page is about (pay no attention to the “Keywords:” meta tag. The search engines don’t, so why should you?). Many people get caught up in thinking this is all that matters and think if the put a bunch of keywords in the Head and meta tags, they will rank high for those keywords. Sadly though if the body content does not include the keywords, they likely will never rank well!

Google continues to improve and is trying to make their search results better. They are looking at the content on websites and what the site is about. Without keywords and content in the body of your pages it will be very difficult for Google to understand what your site is about.

So, listen to Matt’s head, and don’t forget about the body.

 

Ever Wonder How Google Really Works?

Google seems to have a magical way of finding things online. I mean you just type something into Google and “boom!”, there’s your answer.

Well, they actually have a process. Our friends over at QuickSprout created a great infographic that explains how Google really works in simple terms. Check it out!

How Google Works
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Top 3 Ways to Get Punished by Google

Getting punished by Google can be tragic. It could not only slow down your incoming traffic,  but even worse it could halt it completely. Search engines are always looking for ways to improve their search results because they know that the search algorithm with the best results wins. In the past couple of years Google has made pretty big changes to improve their algorithm and stop people from tricking them for better rankings.

There have been several well-known companies that have recently fallen victim to Google’s wrath because of link building scams: iAquire, JC Penny and Forbes. Just to name a few. Some will argue that Google was too harsh or that these companies were punished for mistakes or not understanding what was considered a bad tactic. But, like it or not everyone has to follow Google’s rules, but for the most part though I think they have made changes with the idea of cleaning up search results to make them better for users.

google penguin update ninja

Below are 3 tactics to avoid so that you don’t fall victim to the Google search results ax:

1. Joining Link Farms and Bad Link Neighborhoods

When you include a link on your site to another site it is similar to a recommendation. You’re saying, “I think this is a quality site and I recommend it to my visitors.”

So linking to a bunch of low quality site can damage your reputation. Plus, on the flip side Google looks at outgoing as well as incoming links. If shady sites link to your site Google will start to think you are shady too. Start paying for links or use Link Schemes and you will start to hear the whistle of the ax as it chops down your site.

Unfortunately you can’t always control who links to your site, but Google does give you some recourse. Make sure you sign up for Webmaster Tools and links you can’t get removed you can notify Google and ask them to ignore them.

So the old saying “You’re only as good as the company you keep,” works online too.

2. Duplicate Content

This is a pretty old tactic, but many people still fall for it. In the old days black hat SEOs used to create multiple pages with the same content hoping that it would increase the chances of getting ranked for keywords. One typical use was to use a page for every city a company serves using the same content except for the name of the city. Google picks up this duplicate content before most of us get out bed in the morning.

A tactic like this will likely get you served to the back of the line in terms of search results.

One thing to note it is possible to inadvertently create duplicate content with your blog via categories, tags and archive pages. This most likely won’t ruin your site, but it might be penalized.

3. Writing Content with a Machine

Let’s face it, it would be great if we never had to produce our own content and it just appeared on our site. Lazy marketers love this one.

Usually this content is created by scraping content from existing sites and re-posting it. Sometimes it is modified slightly, and sometimes it’s not. Either way, Google will punish this sort of content.

 Conclusion:

The rules of online marketing can be tricky and using tactics like these or a variation can be a slippery slope that could drop you in the abyss. In the end is it worth the risk?

The best thing you can do is pay attention to any notices Google Webmasters account and produce unique and useful content.

return on investment roi

Getting Into Holiday Campaigns – Google Style #GooglePartnersPumpkins

#GooglePartnersPumpkins

Google sent us a pumpkin today.
Time to get our holiday campaign creative on!
Thanks Google Partners!

Are your online marketing campaigns ready for the holidays?

The World Has Gone #Hashtag Crazy – Justin Timberlake Video

It seems these days everyone is jumping on the #Hashtag bandwagon. The phenomenon was started by Twitter users. Essentially it started as a tag on a post to signify what the post was about. This created a way to tag your post so it would come up in search even though you didn’t explicitly mention the search term for which you wanted your post to be found. So to tag a post to show it is about social media, you would add the hashtag: #socialmedia

After it became widely used on Twitter, Google+ started using it. Now even Facebook has added the functionality. Facebook becomes Twitterfied People are now using hashtags for everything.

Hashtags can be a very useful, but overuse can just be ridiculous. This video shows just that. Enjoy!

“Buy a Link Now” and What Will You Get?

Today I notice on the bottom of the Reuters site there are ads that are served by Marchex. After there ads their a link that says, “Buy a Link Now.” As an SEO this made me cringe a little.

(Click image to Enlarge)buy a link now

The reason this bothers me is because clearly Google does not want people to sell links. This practice has long fallen under the grey or more so black hat approach to SEO. Coming out and saying “buy a link now” instead of “buy an ad now”, seems to be blatantly saying, “Hey Google look at us, we’re selling links.”

Interestingly enough Matt Cutts posted a video today explaining what happens if they discover you are buying or selling links. Short answer your site will be penalized, but watch the video to see the full answer.

Google Trends Not Reporting Data for Wyoming

Here’s a strange tidbit of information. It doesn’t appear that Google Trends is reporting an data from the US State of Wyoming. I noticed it today when I was doing keyword research for an SEO project that I’m working on for a client. I even tested the keyword “dog. ”  This still showed no searches for Wyoming. Is there an error in the Google algorithm or is there some sort of law against showing search data from the state?

keyword research google trends - no wyoming

5 Changes to Google Analytics You Need to Know Now

I’m typically not a big fan of infographics, but thought this one was quite good. Brian Clifton Author of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics shared this over the weekend. There are several changes coming to Google Analytics that are going to be pretty important. You’ll find 5 of them below.

 

What's coming next for Google Analytics

Google Offers Virtual Tours of Its Data Centers

Google has recently opened the doors (virtually of course) to it’s infamous data centers. Now you can see where your bits, bytes and gigabytes are traveling when you search for something on Google.com, watch a YouTube Video or send an email through Gmail.
From the virtual tour:

When you’re on a Google website (like right now), you’re accessing one of the most powerful server networks in the known Universe. But what does that actually look like? Here’s your chance to see inside what we’re calling the physical Internet.

The virtual tours were unveiled on Wednesday and feature images from Google’s data centers in the United States, Finland, and Belgium. Later Google’s Street View will share virtual tours through their data center in North Carolina.

This is a great chance to see what’s behind Google’s  curtain and whoever coined the analogy that the internet is series of pipes.. Well guess what, at Google it is!

Check it out! Google Data Centers

Google Data Center Pipes

Does Search Traffic Show a Decline in the Power of TV Commercials

retro tvI’ve been working on an SEO project for a client that has a variety of websites. One aspect the project entails going through multiple sites and making sure they are following onsite SEO best practices. Keywords include product names, brand names as well as other related phrases. Many of the sites have a page of videos with their latest TV ads. So, I was curious to see the trend comparison between “tv ads” and “tv commercials.” Basically to see if one is a more important keyword phrase than the other. What I found was quite interesting.

For a long time we have heard that online marketing is replacing TV marketing. There are plenty of people on both sides of this argument. If you look at the chart below, you’ll see that from 2004 to September 2012 there has been a steady decline in Google searches for both keyword terms.

What does this tell us? Does it tell us that less people care about tv ads? Does it mean tv commercials are making less of an impact? Maybe that TV in general is on the decline.

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments.