SEO or Search Engine Optimization Articles, dealing with the vast array of topics found within. No Black Hat here. Only good White Hat SEO topics.

Top 5 Online Marketing Tools

Online Marketing and SEO Toolbox

Tools for the SEO Consultant and Online Marketer

Here’s links to some tools & knowledge-base sources I’m currently wading through:

  1. SerpStat – Growth hacking tool for SEO, PPC and Online Marketing
  2. Making the Most of Social Media Marketing – Links
  3. 42 ways to use video to grow your business
  4. SpyFu – Competitor Keyword Research Tools for AdWords PPC and SEO
  5. BeanStalk – SEO Services and Internet Marketing
Google Stars for Reviews

Google Stars of SEO - Reviews

Google makes search even more personal with stars.

Replacing SearchWiki, Google is now adding Stars to search results as a way to make it easier for you to rate your favorites and rediscover them as well.

As Google says "With stars, you can simply click the star marker on any search result or map and the next time you perform a search, that item will appear in a special list right at the top of your results when relevant."

Read more about Google’s Starred Results.

Google Stars Resources

Aardvark

Google buys Aardvark

Update on Google and Aardvark

Google Kills Aardvark, Which It Bought For $50 Million Last Year

Google Purchases Social Search Service, Aardvark

Google, the search engine giant, gets even bigger.

For $50 Million, Google has purchased the social search service Aardvark.

Developed by The Mechanical Zoo, Aardvark was founded by a group of former Google employees, as well as Damon Horowitz and Rob Spiro.

Aardvark was created as a social search service, connecting users with friends/friends-of-friends able to answer questions, like a "knowledge market."

Google Buzz

Google Buzz for SEO

So there’s a new SMO (Social Media Optimization) and Social Networking tool out…

Google Buzz has now been released (now very much defunct). A tool very much like FriendFeed (also now defunct; in fact, the url www.friendfeed.com now redirects to Facebook!), it easily integrates into your Gmail and other Google tools.

I’m not sure how it will catch on, and if I really like it yet.

Yet another tool for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), however…

What are your thoughts? Have you tried it yet?

Check it out and let me know

Age

Domain Age and SEO

So you’re steadily optimizing your site using various SEO strategies, and you’ve made some visible progress.

You’ve come up in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Page), and yet – there is that one competitor who you just can’t seem to pass. You do some Competitive Intelligence reporting and look at your benchmarks. You’ve got higher stats in most areas, and they haven’t done much.

What’s going on here?

You need to consider the Domain Age of your site and that of your competitors.

If you’re not sure how to do this, use this handy Domain Tool. Just enter in a domain name, and you’ll find lots of interesting information, including when the domain was created, when it expires, and when the domain entry was last updated.

In short, the older the better.

Consider the age of the website & the length of time the domain has been registered.

Domain Age is a pretty large SEO factor in Google’s algorithm. Why? Think about spam sites that pop up and die off quickly – should they really rank above a real, quality site? The age factor is akin to business in the brick & mortar world; if a company has been in business for quite a while, then they’ve built up trust, reliability and are fairly good at what they do.

The same logic applies online.

Unfortunately there is little you can do about Domain Age. All you can do is to continue with fresh & unique quality content, and continue to tweak your on-page factors, as well as working on your off-site factors as well.

So before you pull all your hair out when running analytic & status checks on your SEO campaigns – look at the Domain Age.

Eat at URL's>

SEO - URLs and Domain Names

Domain Names are an extremely important consideration in SEO.

If you’re selling used green pants, how do you think www.usedgreenpants.com or www.pants.com/usedgreen.hmtl would fare in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page)? Well, I think you know – it would do great!

Domain Names

So what should we do about Domain Names, URLs and what are they?

Wikipedia’s entry on Domain Names says this:

A domain name is an identification label that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet. Domain names are also hostnames that identify Internet Protocol (IP) resources such as web sites. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS).

Domain names are used in various networking contexts and application-specific naming and addressing purposes. They are organized in subordinate levels (subdomains) of the DNS root domain, which is nameless.

The first-level set of domain names are the top-level domains (TLDs), including the generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as the prominent domains com, net and org, and the country code top-level domains (ccTLDs).

Below these top-level domains in the DNS hierarchy are the second-level and third-level domain names that are typically open for reservation by end-users that wish to connect LANs (local area networks) to the Internet, run web sites, or create other publicly accessible Internet resources. The registration of these domain names is usually administered by domain name registrars who sell their services to the public.

Use keywords as part of the domain name where possible. Purchase other domain extensions to protect the brand. Buy the .net, .org, .us, and other extensions so competitors do not. Keep URLs concise & descriptive. And ensure that the user should be able to determine where he is at based on the URL.

What I suggest is that you look at this article: How to Choose Domain Names for SEO.

Now get out there and optimize your domain names, master of your SEO domain!

Personalized Search in Google

Google Personalized Search in SEO

Google’s Personalized Search is a very cool feature, but when working with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), can give a skewed view in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Attempting to personalize the results to your query, Google’s Personalized Search happens usually by default, so…

If you’re logged into Gmail or any other Google-based service while entering in a search query into the box, the results will be personalized, based on you’re click history, as well as other factors.

This means that if you’ve done some SEO work on your site, go into Google to check your ranking and are signed in, you get personalized results. And when you continue to click through to your own pages – well this tells Google that you really like this site and are "voting" for it; thus personalized/altered results may happen in the future.

But for SEO, we want to see the actual results – not the personalized ones.

There are two ways to avoid seeing Google’s Personalized Search results:

  1. Log out of your Google services
  2. Add &pws=0 to the end of your search string in the search box or address bar

Now get out there and optimize your searching skills, you saucy SEO searcher!

RSS-SEO

RSS in SEO

RSS (Really Simple Syndication or RDF Site Summary, Rich Site Summary) Feeds can add to your SEO campaign.

Aside from being a great alternative way to receive updated content on your site, RSS feeds bring you closer into that hip Web 2.0 world.

And not to mention that Google looks for fresh content; having feeds ensure your people get your information in a timely manner, as well as the search engines.

What is RSS?

As Wikipedia says:

RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.

An RSS document (which is called a "feed," "web feed,"

or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship.

This brought forth the term SLATES (Search, Links, Authorship, Tags, Extensions, Signalling) during that whole Web 2.0 time.

Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically.

They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an "RSS reader," "feed reader," or "News aggregator," which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based.

How do RSS feeds work?

RSS Video

Check out this cool and informative tool / video on RSS by CommonCraft.

Now…Spend some time optimizing the text in your RSS feeds just like you’d do for your pages and posts. Be sure to use descriptive, keyword targetted text in your titles and descriptions.

Now get out there and optimize your feeds, you SEO spider!

Titles in Google SERPs

Title Tag in SEO

Title tags are an extremely important factor in SEO. Unlike other aspects of Search Engine Optimization, page titles can not be over-emphasized.

Think about it for a minute…A Title Tag:

So how do we optimize the title tag for each page?

Do:

  • Make each & every title tag unique, based on the unique content of each page.
  • Include keywords & key-phrases, based on content.
  • Put those keywords at the beginning of the title, yet make it human-readable.
  • Use a maximum of about 63 characters, or somewhere between 3 – 10 words.
  • Branding & Company name can go here, but probably at the back end of the title; is your brand so household-recognized that people will be searching for it?
  • Ensure the words in the title tag of your page are in the body text and various headings in the actual content of your page.

A good example would be: "Very Important Keyword Phrase – Company Name".

Do Not:

  • Have multiple title tags. This does not work and may prevent the proper title from being used.
  • Have more than 63 characters in the title.
  • Don’t put keywords in the title that are not contained on the web page
  • Don’t use stopwords or dead word such as "with, the, and, of, or welcome, etc."
  • Repeat words

Now go and make us a good Title, you SEO rockstar!

Google PageRank

Google PageRank

PageRank is an important consideration in SEO, however don’t get too caught up in it.

PageRank is just one small piece of the SEO puzzle, being a Google-specific link analysis algorithm in its own right.

Google explains PageRank in their Patent page on it, as well as the life of a Google Query. This makes for great reading, and will help you grow your SEO understanding. I highly recommend checking it out.

PageRank Resources

In case you want to study up on Pagerank for your SEO efforts, however, here’s some places to start your research:

So yes, PageRank should a factor in your SEO efforts, as well as even your personal (but quiet) KPI (Key Performance Indicators) but it’s definitely not everything. Understand what it is – perhaps even track it – and then move on, to more important on-page and off-page SEO factors.