Nothing puts fear into the heart of a webmaster (see also in my case: amateur writer trying to run a website) like a sudden seemingly inexplicable drop in site traffic resulting from technical issues. Well, if we’re being honest, plenty of things are scarier, ranging from the decline of the west to eye contact with strangers, but complex tech issues are frustrating as heck. [Read more…] about My Google Search Results Say “No Information Available”… But I’m Not Blocking Via Robots.Txt!! What’s Up?!
Such is the case with SEO’s recent entrance in the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. punctuation debate. A blend of my day job and comic book TV from Joss Whedon? It’s the role I was born to play. Let’s do this. [Read more…] about You Can’t Spell Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Without SE… Oh
Of all the many splendored powers Google Webmaster Tools promises, one of the most useful is the Sitelinks Demotion tool.
As you may find with your websites, though, this promise of ultimate branded search control is often ineffective or ignored. Why is this exactly? Was it something you said, or is this just a case of Google asserting their subtle dominance as Lord and Master of your universe? [Read more…] about Why is Google Webmaster Tools Not Listening to My Sitelinks Command?
When WordPress announced its update to version 3.5 about a month ago, the big takeaway was the cool new Media Uploader. While I appreciate the usability improvements, there is one major gripe I have with the uploader’s default image URL setting. If you’re vaguely interested in your WordPress website’s Google search indexation, keep reading. If not, I have no idea how you got here, but here’s one of the all-time YouTube greats. [Read more…] about WordPress 3.5 Media Uploader Annoys The SEO Inside of Me
I don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about Bing. Nobody does, really. I don’t think even Microsoft employees spend a lot of time thinking about Bing.
It’s sort of like the red-headed step-child of search engines, except for the fact that red-headed step-children are sort of unique and more likely to evolve into talented stand-up comedians.
At about 15% of search share, though, Bing is relevant enough that you want to be visible. How do you make sure this happens?
Like any good Whovian, I’m consistently excited by most manipulations of time. Google recently gave me cause for such celebration by crediting me with a blog post written a full month in the future. Don’t believe it’s possible? Check this out: [Read more…] about Google Thinks I’m a Time Lord – Fun-Filled Future Schema
If you’re anything like me (note: if you distrust elevators, you’re anything like me), you get a little intimidated whenever art/design elements rear their pristinely pixelated heads. Let’s say you’ve spent hours crafting a fantastic, well-researched blog post. You feel great about the content, but would really like some visual eye-candy to push the piece over the top and set your industry ablaze (metaphorically speaking… if that’s even a good thing. Actually, you know what, don’t burn anything; Arson is not the answer).
This is where I frequently get intimated. All the sudden I’m having nightmares starring monsters named ‘InDesign’ and ‘Adobe Creative Suite,’ waking up in a cold sweat worrying I’ll need all sorts of training, money and new skills if I ever want to have success online.
Fortunately, in the case of infographics, the outlook doesn’t have to be quite so bleak. [Read more…] about How to Create Free Flowcharts for WordPress – An Amateur’s Guide to Infographics
As an individual working in SEO, there’s nothing more frustrating than the inevitable barrage of “SEO is dead” articles that pop up over the course of a year. For just about any industry or art form, the question is uninspired, manipulative bait. Unless we’re talking about Keith Richards, in which case it’s a totally valid concern, nothing dies quite as quickly as these pageview-snatchers would have you believe. That’s true of everything from poetry to SEO; so long as there’s a need the creative minds involved will adapt, evolve, and work within new systems. [Read more…] about Feel Free to Stop Killing SEO – Not Dead Yet
I recently got a good question from a friend of mine about buying keyword rich domains. He wanted to know if buying multiple “keyword rich domain names” and redirecting them to your main site is worthwhile in terms of SEO value. I responded with the following:
I wouldn’t recommend it. For starters, those domains have no established value (assuming the webmaster in question is buying the domain fresh and not from a current owner. If the site is already established, and it’s an acquisition from a competitor, there’s potential for this move to make sense). So simply because these are keyword rich domains doesn’t mean redirecting them will boost the main site in any way. It just means direct traffic to those keyword rich domains will now lead to less confusion. If your site is “rhcp.com” and the available domain is “redhotchilipeppers.com,” and you think you’re losing direct traffic on that, a redirect would be perfectly plausible. But it won’t help your search engine rankings unless redhotchilipeppers.com exists as its own established entity, with some semblance of worth and value already acknowledge by Google and the like.
Only other situation where I like the move is if the company wants to invest in what they consider quality, available URLs. If they’re worried about a competitor snatching this quality domain, then sure, spend the $10 and keep that from happening. Redirect can’t really hurt here (on the off chance someone types it in directly), but it won’t boost SEO.
The same applies here with ‘.net’ or ‘.org’ versions of a URL. Buying these alternate-reality domains won’t give your main ‘.com’ any boost, but it will prevent competitors from copying your branded domain name and potentially stealing visitors with a confusing URL.
Final thing I’d add is that keyword rich domains are decreasingly relevant. Certainly doesn’t hurt, but if you’re in a competitive market, you’re better off putting the focus on a higher quality site. The domain alone won’t guarantee you any rankings. When selecting a domain, I’d consider branding and user experience above SEO value. If the two coincide, then by all means take advantage.
It’s kind of strange when the answer isn’t right in front of you.
We’re so used to just popping our questions and needs into a search engine like Google that it’s legitimately surprising when we have to really research a topic.
This is over-simplifying, of course, as Google results may take some navigating, but for most straight-forward questions, it really isn’t hard to find the information you need. If you’re looking to drive traffic to a website, though, it’s in these ill-defined questions, the ones without a clear online guide established, that you’ll find some of the greatest and longest lasting opportunity.
An example: I’m an unabashed comic book fanatic and run a comic book blog in my spare time. I have an online subscription to Marvel Comic’s digital offerings, but because of the iPhone software’s widely publicized resistance to Flash, I’m unable to access my subscription on the go.
So here I am taking the train to work every morning with a stark lack of Daredevil in my life. Never has a man suffered so. This seemed like a waste of my subscription so I started searching for ways to get around the iPhone’s Flash banishment.
There weren’t really any answers.
Bits and pieces of answers, yes, but no clear cut “This is how you solve your problem” articles. So I took what information I could find, experimented with some options, and reported my findings in a thought-provoking and erudite post.
To be honest, when I posted my work-around, I couldn’t have told you how many other people were looking for the same information. All I knew was I had a question related to my blog’s niche, I couldn’t easily find the answer in search, and I had done enough research to make an answer available.
The early results were pretty underwhelming. Very small amounts of traffic here and there. But, over time, the amount of searchers looking for the same information I had looked for started picking up. And they started finding their way to my site.
Since the post went live, I’ve seen traffic from 171 variations on the core phrase “Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited iPad.” Better, those visits have accounted for over 13% of my total site traffic. It’s my number one traffic-generating keyword, and it didn’t come from keyword research of any kind. It came from genuine interest in my subject matter and experiencing a problem without an answer within the site’s niche.
Now, my site still isn’t the number one result for these phrases, but because I experienced the problem first-hand, I’m fairly confident my post answers the consumer-need in a very real way. Does my captivating and charming authorship photo make my search result more appealing? Very probably. Nonetheless, find an open need online and provide the best attempt to help, and consumers will find you.
Again, the chances that you are the only person who will ever search for answers to a certain problem are so minuscule it’s really not worth worrying about. Unless you ride the train to work wondering “How many bananas can a Minotaur eat before he feels sick?” your curiosity is likely going to lead to new opportunities.
Having said all of that, I would still highly recommend you refine your passion-driven keywords with some help from Google. A very small amount of keyword research helped me realize searches including iPad were far more likely – and I’ve seen that data backed up in the results.