Seo >Start Here<

Introduction to SEO

When SEO started, SEO wasn’t called SEO. It was best described by those who practiced it as a form of hacking.

The early search engines weren’t the best , so it was relatively easy to figure out their sorting algorithms. There was a time when Infoseek’s algorithm was almost entirely based on keyword density and keyword position.

I’m sure many  SEOs remember those days with a sense of nostalgia. It was more of a pure technical pursuit back then.

As search engines got more sophisticated, and more money flowed online, the nature of the game changed. SEO moved beyond technical hacking to an exercise in making connections.

In Googles early days, you could build a couple of high PR (Page Rank) Links and that was enough to get you ranking top ten. (Click here is you want to read the current status on PR) Add a few more if you really wanted to go hard.  It’s clear to see we haven’t completely left the era of High PR but it’s clear to see their has been a shift away from this method.

Today a holistic approach is required to capitalize on SEO.

Get your head round current SEO

If you’re starting out in SEO now, Don’t try and cover it all at once it’s going to take a while.

It helps to understand the big picture first. The reason people engage in SEO is about making money, Driving visitors to your site, Building your online presence, and increasing your search ranking.

They want people to connect with them, rather than their competitors.

They want people to find their web site.

They want people to do this so they can convert these people to buyers, of their goods, their services, or their ideas. If a site were only to rank, on keyword terms no-one searched for, or that weren’t directly applicable to the objectives of the business, then the SEO work is largely useless.

So SEO isn’t solely about rankings.

The rankings must translate to something tangible. In most cases, this means gaining qualified visitor traffic.

A low bounce Rate

To get this traffic, a site must do more than rank, a site must appeal to visitors. To appeal to visitors, the SEO must first understand them.

Once the SEO provider understands what is available to the visitor and what the aim is of the Employer of the SEO provider, relevant traffic can be driven to he relevant sections of a site.

If for instance we are providing SEO for a company that sells Crockery there’s no point providing quality seo for plates and the visitor arriving at the home page and then having to find that information within the site. We want to send the visitor straight to the most relevant part of the site relating to Plates.

Please share your thoughts and ask some questions in the comments as I’m looking to keep this post updated and added to.

Am I really doing that well? Exclude Internal Traffic

Are you actually getting 100 hits per day already or is that you reading and reviewing your own webiste?

Your most likely to be the most frequent visitor to your website and or people from your own intranet (that pretty much means anybody on your wifi, or Ethernet network).

This is especially true if you are running a blog site / cms site or an e commerce site that means you have to visit your site regularly to update the content.

Here is how to ad a custom filter in Google Analytics to remove the home grown traffic.

Start by going to Filters in your Google Analytics and click Add Filters. Up pops the normal filter form.

Following the example below, placing your own IP address into the field, add it to what ever profile you want. Now all internal traffic is gone.

If you don’t know your i.p address click here.

Of Course you could filter out by City, or State or even Country (if you lived in Luxembourg) However some genuine traffic will come from as close to home as next door, If you are using Mobile broadband or dial up or maybe don’t have a fixed i.p you can filter by i.p starting with and use the first two to three numbers in my example I would filter by all i.p’s starting “92”


Don’t believe a word you hear about incoming links, the quality of the link or anything to do with link exchange because the truth is; it doesn’t really matter how many links you have to your site and what sites link to you.

What does matter is the way the sites link to you and how often new links show up to your site.

If you wake up tomorrow and, overnight, 1 million other sites decided to link to you, that would not affect your position in any way (what it may do is hurt your listing because it will look like spam).

Here is how links work for you:

  1. If you are a boat builder and another boat builder site links to you, that will give you a boost because you are being linked to a site that has some relevance to yours.
  2. If your site sells traditional jukeboxes and the link to your site is like this traditional jukeboxes that will give you a boost because the link is a search term.
  3. If you acquire new links slowly over the course of time, that will give you a boost because it looks like your site is gaining popularity.
  4. If people link to internal pages of your site, as well as your home page, that will give you a boost because it looks like you have lots of pages of relevant information.


No I’m not talking 80’s street.

You may be able to get your site listed in the top ten within 30 – 60 days, but that’s no guarantee it will stay there.

As per my previous example of pizzajim they were at Number one because we put them there but as the updates are few and far between (mostly new menus) the site has started to become a bit stale.

If your site is not continually being updated with fresh content and growing, then the search engines will simply dump it

in favor of newer fresher sites.  You should be adding a new page to your site every time the crawler visits and updating your old content as much as you can.  Daily is preferred, but weekly at the very least.  This will mean that the crawler will have fresh content to index and new links to explore.  Thus, it will never see your site as stale and drop it.

Frames and Flash

The major search engines, i.e. Yahoo, Google and MSN, will all say the same thing on their web masters pages and that is “some web crawlers have difficulty reading the context of these pages”.

What it doesn’t say is don’t use flash or framed pages because this is a no-no.  The reason why I want to make that clear is a lot of SEO’s will try and tell you that this is a bad thing and that all your pages need to be flat static pages with lots of alt text behind your flat images.  This is not the case.

We have gotten many websites in the top ten and number one spots, some of which use both flash and framed pages. Case in point search “pizza barton” in google and out of the more than three quarters of a million results our site comes number three (it’s slipped from number one admittedly)

Some do not even have any indexable text or links on the home page.  So how do we do it?  Simple and its something you should be doing anyway. You should have an alternative version of your site which viewers with flash installed will be directed to.  For a framed site, you should also have a non-framed version for people whose browsers don’t support framed pages.  Now that you know how simple it is, here is the temptation.  Because your index page will most likely only be seen by maybe 10% of the people that come to your site, the temptation will be to flood that page with keywords and search text to get yourself bumped up the search and that will happen.  However, when you get caught (which you will), you will be dumped.  This page should only contain a stripped down version of your site and should only contain the same text content as your flash or framed site.

Nofollow: No seo benefit of using Twitter

Twitter and nofollow is the topic of this week’s Twitter column: While even Google who has introduced, along with other search engines, the nofollow attribute to combat spam a few years ago does not propagate the use of it anymore, Twitter went nofollow big time just recently. What does this mean?

Twitter will not improve traffic to your site other than twist reading your tweets.

Not only outgoing links get the so called link condom so that search engines ignore them. No, now also internal links from your tweets on Twitter get wasted.

While you might argue that you don’t tweet to get links or for the SEO of it this means that everything you say gets treated like spam.

Andy Beard, a well known figure in the SEO industry, has even quit Twitter due to their new disdain for their users. Now many people don’t know Andy Beard, he’s not Danny Sullivan or John Battalle but his voice gets heard on the marketing community. Also he’s an early adopter. This means he also knows when to leave a site and seek alternatives. He’s quite active on Google Buzz right now instead.

Andy points out that the nofollow attribute and other hurdles lead to very poor indexing and searchability of tweets. In other words: Your tweets get lost very quickly. In order to archive your tweets and relationships you basically need a third party tool or rather more than one. I don’t know one single tool that is able to both save all of my tweets and those of others who address me and make them all easily searchable while keeping an up to date list of my friends.

I archive my own tweets using RSS readers. I simply subscribe to them. A backup of my relationships is not that easy though. I haven’t found a perfect social CRM tool for that. Most tools that add a social CRM layer to Twitter depend on the data from Twitter itself. So in case you want to discontinue your Twitter account like Andy Beard did you lose your relationships. In case they don’t rely on Twitter you have to add your contacts manually which means more effort and work.

Twitter seems to obstruct indexing of tweets on purpose. Pagerank sculpting by using nofollow does not work anymore these days so

Twitter does not use nofollow for SEO reasons.

They either assume that all user generated content is potential spam or they want to sell searchability in future. They might want to charge for archives and search of older tweets. I don’t like this idea of selling your content and relationships back to you. It’s time to re-evaluate the way we use Twitter.

Twitter has stopped access to its data for many free tools out there. Now they limit the access of search engines to the content. What comes next? Follow 100 people for free and pay for more? Just in case, follow me on Google Buzz as well.

Keywords when is enough enough?

When writing the copy for your site, write it for your viewer and not for the serach engines.

A lot of people get tempted to use the same word or phrase over and over to try and get themselves placed first on an web search.  This is a no no move and can also get you bumped for what’s called keyword flooding.  Here are some examples:

  • BadPizza Barton upon Humber

    Pizza jim is located in Barton upon Humber Nortlincolnshire, Here at piiza jim we specialize in pizzas, pizza calzone, pizza stuufed crust, pizza pie. In barton Upon Humber we feel we are the best available in barton and so strive to give the people of barton the best possible service.

  • GoodPizza Barton upon Humber

    Pizza Jim is located in barton upon Humber North liuncolnshire, as well as Pizzas we also serve top quality kebabs and sundries, We always go above and beyond for all of our customers, etc……..

I’m sure you notice the difference. site does show up in the top ten for the search term “Pizza Barton upon Humber“.  However, that was before we wrote this article.  So how many times can you include the same search term?  That only the Search engine companies know for sure.  However, based our experience with sites we have successfully placed in the top ten, we would say no more than once every two paragraphs or once every 100 words.

A touch of style and class

Style sheets are one of those things that are easy to abuse.

When used correctly, they can really help you when optimizing a site.  To abuse the use of style sheets is simple.
All you have to do is make your H1 tag the same as your normal text style to try and make the crawler (search engine software) think that all your text is important.

The trouble is crawlers are better than they used to be.

They figured out that nobody has a header that lasts 8 paragraphs.  The proper use of the H1 tag is your main page header.  For example, this page is “Peter Bending”. Sub headers like “A touch of style and class” should use the H2 tag and your content should always be normal text.

Don’t be shy

Never, no matter how tempting it is don’t make any text hidden by use of style sheets or any other method because your site will be bumped.  Also do not make the folder that your style sheet is in hidden or private because, if the web crawler can’t read your style sheet, it’s not going to trust that everything is legitimate.

Status Symbol

Page Rank

If you have downloaded Google’s toolbar, you will see a bar at the top of each page which gives you a rating from 1 to 10 of how Google ranks your site.

Google describes PageRank:

PageRank reflects our view of the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Pages that we believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.PageRank also considers the importance of each page that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are considered to have greater value, thus giving the linked page greater value. We have always taken a pragmatic approach to help improve search quality and create useful products, and our technology uses the collective intelligence of the web to determine a page’s importance.

Some search engine companies think that getting a high page rank means you are going to be listed higher in the search.  This is not the case.  In fact, it couldn’t be further from the truth.  What this little bar indicates is simply how important Google sees your site and it makes that judgment on the quality of sites that link to you.

The single most important thing about your site is not page rank, it is not how many incoming links you have

and it is not how long your site has been up.

It is your content, plain and simple.

If your content matches the search criteria, then you will be listed.  The more relevant content you have, the higher your site will be listed.

There are a lot of sites listed in the number one spot that don’t have any page rank. is as I’m writing No1 for the term “seo specialist”