Guest blogging for links

Guest blogging has become common practise and can also be an opportunity to achieve back links. More importantly, it is an avenue for a writer (whether well known or not) to build a rapport with the Blog audience and offer useful and informative information. With social media, your post can also reach audiences beyond the Blog audience.

Where it becomes low quality is when the post is solely written for the purpose of obtaining link(s) and offers no value.

Matt Cutts from Google has recently answered a question about guest blogging (video below) and I quote the following:

  • It is a worthwhile exercise especially from high quality writers
  • It can also be a great opportunity for a writer who isn’t as well known but produces high quality work
  • Where it is not good is when the practise of guest blogging is taken to extremes, for example the same blog post is distributed multiple times or spinning the blog and distributing to multiple sources. Once it becomes a mass production kind of activity where low quality posts are produced for the sole purpose of obtaining links, these are the types of links Google won’t count.

As Matt has mentioned, there is a case for high quality posts that are well written and offer value rather than those posts which are of low quality and offer the bare minimum just to get by.

Do I need SEO?

You’ve heard it many times, produce great content and you will be rewarded by your audience and by the search engines!

If you do great things for your community (let’s just say you give your time for free to those in need such as the sick and elderly), people will naturally recommend you and naturally talk about you in a positive light.

Similarly, if you produce great website content for your target audience, they will naturally talk about it and naturally recommend it.

Seems simple enough. All you need to do is produce great content, put it out there and people will love your website content and so will the search engines!

Then why do you even need SEO?

Well believe it or not, SEO still plays an important role. You need to know what your target market is looking for in terms of content. I’m sure you have your own ideas about this, after all, it is your website and you know your business better than most. That being said, it is a good idea to know how your audience searches online for your products and services.

As SEO’s, we can help you with this 🙂

Your site needs to be structured in a way that meets the needs of your audience. It must be clear, concise, and user friendly. It must quickly and easily lead them to the information that they are looking for.

It needs to be accessible, to both users and search engines! Again we can help.

We can ensure your site is error free so that all of your content becomes visible.

As SEO’s, we can guide you to produce content that your audience wants and needs. We can help you to achieve popularity and relevancy with the search engines – naturally and ethically.

These days, as the search engines evolve and become smarter, you won’t get away with ‘black-hat’ tactics and over optimisation techniques. You won’t get away with link buying schemes and automatic methods. Instead, you will pay the heavy price of severe drops in rank, traffic, and business.

You need to remain focused on your audience and produce the content that they want and seek. You need to offer an enhanced user experience. You need to engage with them, and become an authority for your offering.

Together with SEO, Social Media continues to play a vital role in that it serves not only as a great medium for interaction and engagement with your audience, but also as a search engine validator for your organic rankings via social signals.

Again, as an SEO, we can guide and help you so that you maximise your website goals.

Hopefully this answers your question, do I really need an SEO? You do, more than ever, though seek the services of an SEO who cares for your product or service and uses ethical tactics to get your great website content found.

Written by Bill Vasiliadis

Codename freshness plus other changes

Google’s recent algorithm changes emphasizes the importance of keeping your site fresh with updated and new content. As a result of the algorithm changes, fewer stale pages are shown to searchers.

As always, you shouldn’t produce content for the sake of content, instead produce meaningful and high quality content that is useful to your target audience.

Here are the changes for the project codename “Freshness” taken directly from Google:

Improvements to freshness. [launch codename “Abacus”, project codename “Freshness”] We launched an improvement to freshness late last year that was very helpful, but it cost significant machine resources. At the time we decided to roll out the change only for news-related traffic. This month we rolled it out for all queries.

More precise detection of old pages. [launch codename “oldn23″, project codename “Freshness”] This change improves detection of stale pages in our index by relying on more relevant signals. As a result, fewer stale pages are shown to users.

Here is a complete list of the recent algorithm changes.

Pagination for SEO

A very nice explanation on pagination for SEO.

This is useful when you have paginated content for blog posts, product categories, or any other content that is paginated.

If you have a ‘view -all’ page for your paginated content, it is useful to implement a ‘rel=canonical’ on the component pages of the paginated content pointing to the ‘view-all’ page. This hints to Google that this is the preferred page to index and to also pass value (such as links) to it.

If you don’t have a ‘view-all’ page for your paginated content, the other option is to implement ‘rel=next’ and ‘rel=prev’ on the component pages. This groups the paginated content together as one entity and hints to Google the preferred page to index, usually page one.

Which option do you prefer for your paginated content?

Search plus your world

Big news from Google, a way to search both private and public content – Search Plus Your World! For now, content only coming from Google+.

Google and Bing pull back on data

In case you missed it, here is a great article on how Google and Bing pulled back on keyword and link data that they were providing to SEOs and publishers. Not long after, we discovered why Google did this with the introduction of “Search Plus Your World.

Rich snippets

Rich Snippets are special markup that can be included in your page code to let search engines know what parts of your page are about. This allows search engines to display further information with each listing at the search results pages. For example, the authors photo and name may be included with the authorship markup or images and star reviews may be included with the recipe markup.

This extra information with each listing at the search results pages has the potential of increasing traffic and improving the quality of traffic to your site since searchers have more information before clicking through to your page.

Here is a quick introduction on Rich Snippets.

View further Rich Snippets videos produced by Google Webmaster Help.

You may also want to visit the following references for further information on implementing Rich Snippets for your site.

Rich Snippets Test Tool:
Available Markup Tags:

Take credit for your content using rel=author

Have you connected your content to your Google profile yet? This can easily be done using the authorship markup. Here is a nice video with Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson discussing how to connect authors with their content using authorship markup.

SEO is the marketing choice for small and medium business

Interesting US survey. The question asked was: “If you had to put all your marketing time and budget into only one channel, what would it be?” The list of choices included SEO, paid search, mobile, social and traditional media. As you can see, SEO beats everything else by a mile.

For professional and affordable small business SEO, visit SEO for Small Business.

Canonical tag on every page?

Two of the main search engines giving contradictory advice on the use of the canonical tag. How are you using the canonical tag? Do you have the tag on pages that point to themselves?

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