How To Increase Your Serp On Major Search Engines

Last calendar week nosotros had a quiz on SEO from Brad Callen. This guy is the original of SEO as well as his lessons invaluable. I used Brad's techniques to assist me arrive at the top of search engines (especially Google) for my fundamental words as well as keyword phrases - marketing expert, meshing marketing expert, marketing service providers, costless marketing articles, marketing spider web log directory, etc. To unwrap out how, click here.

Here are the answers to final week's quiz...

1. Your website sells Green Widgets - what is the best Title tag for your primary page?

a. Get Green Widgets, Buy Green Widgets, Green Widgets, Green Widget.
b. We have got Cheap Green Widgets amongst groovy prices as well as selection.
c. Buy Green Widgets | Discount Widgets.
d. Home | Greenwidgets.com

A Title tag must live on descriptive, brief as well as keyword rich. This right away rules out the origin 2 options for this question, which were either equally good total of keywords or equally good long without whatever targeted keywords. Writing a Title tag is non an exact scientific discipline - however, snuff it on your keyword terms express to 2 or 3 inwards the Title tag, as well as I ever similar to separate them amongst "|".


2. Your site map has to a greater extent than than 100 links to your pages. Do you:

a. Create a hierarchy of links, as well as split upwards the site map into multiple pages.
b. Keep adding novel links, no problem.
c. Add a minute page to your site map as well as add together novel links to that.
d. Stop adding links to your site map completely.

Because search engines are hesitant to give whatever specific guidelines on how to optimize our websites, whatever small-scale item becomes really important. As far equally sitemaps are concerned, this is an number where it pays to hear to the search engines, specially since amongst large content sites well-designed sitemaps are a certainly bet that your site volition live on chop-chop indexed.

Google's Webmaster Guidelines clearly solid soil that you lot should boundary your sitemaps to less than 100 links per page, as well as that it is amend to utilization a hierarchy that signifies the site construction as well as the importance of these pages. It is goodness advice to follow, specially when a search engine says that "look, this helps us index your site better".


3. How many words should you lot consider writing inwards a page of pure content (such equally an article, a spider web log ship service or a production review)?

a. 100-200
b. 500-800
c. 200-400
d. 800+


While at that spot is no laid length of pages that plant best inwards search engines (ecommerce stores have got piddling content as well as soundless rank high, piece many pages ranking high have got 1000+ words equally a minimum), but if you lot are going towards publishing lineament content (either through blogs or articles), so the 500 to 800 discussion count is a goodness arrive at for the next reasons:

  • Gives you lot plenty room to verbalize over i focused subject inwards detail.
  • Forces you lot to snuff it on it interesting as well as relevant.
  • More content = amend contextual advertising - this boundary gives you lot targeted ads for your article quite easily (whereas a small-scale discussion count may number inwards generic, site-specific ads).
  • Since you lot cannot encompass to a greater extent than than i primary thought inwards such a brusque range, you lot must create separate content pages for unlike ideas - giving you lot to a greater extent than opportunities to create fresh content (remember to ever "drill down" inwards your content writing as well as differentiate multiple aspects of the same topic).

4. What is the optimum keyword density you lot should aim for?

a. 2%-5%.
b. Keep the content normal, but materials the page amongst hidden text inwards alt tags, meta tags as well as "white-on-white" text to maximize keyword density.
c. As much equally possible, piece keeping the content human-readable.
d. Forget keyword density - search engines pay really piddling attending to it whatever more. Just focus on writing content that people volition desire to link to.


Keyword density has been abused since earlier Google came out amongst their PageRank algorithm inwards 1998. Keeping that inwards mind, search engines produce non pay much attending to pure keyword density. What they produce pay attending to is relevant on-page factors such equally page structure, navigation, championship tags as well as advanced topics such equally term weight as well as c-indices. However, all this pales inwards comparing to the off-page factors (linking strategy), specially inwards Google. Yahoo seems to give to a greater extent than weight than Google to on-page factors, but fifty-fifty so keyword density is non really high on the list.


5. What should you lot seat within meta tags?

a. Put your total keyword listing inwards the meta keywords tag, as well as seat your most of import keywords inwards the meta description tag.
b. Ignore the meta tags - search engines don't utilization them.
c. Write a brusque description of your website inwards the meta description tag, as well as seat your most of import keywords inwards the meta keywords tag.
d. Put your most of import keywords inwards the meta keywords tag as well as don't utilization a meta description tag.

Meta tags, similar keyword density, are easily abused as well as misused. Because of this, search engines are really wary of trusting whatever information seat inwards them. However since meta tags are essentially describing what the page is about, you lot should utilization them to briefly depict each page. Note that sometimes your meta description mightiness live on used to depict your site inwards search engine results, as well as that whatever heavy optimization of these tags may trip the spam filters inwards search engines. Use them, but lightly, as well as don't depend on them equally they have got express use.


6. For optimization purposes, how should you lot utilization images on your site?

a. Use the alt tag to accurately depict the each image, as well as include descriptive content around each image.
b. Put your most of import keyword inwards an alt tags followed past times the discussion "graphic".
c. Just utilization them wherever it is necessary from an aesthetic perspective, without regard for alt tags because they aren't genuinely that important.
d. Use alt tags to "hide" your total keyword listing so you lot tin give notice increase your page's keyword density.

At the really least, images should comprise alt tags amongst i or 2 keywords describing that image, as well as you lot should essay surrounding that ikon amongst relevant text. If the ikon is non used inwards context (i.e. it is non role of a content page or an article), you lot should add together a distich of lines below the ikon describing it. In essence, what you lot would produce if you lot were caring for people whose browsers disabled images as well as those who wanted some details virtually the images.


7. Which mode tag is preferred past times the W3C for emphasizing of import text?

a. b
b. strong
c. heavy
d. bold

This is i most people trip out on. The [b] tag is normally used for mode purposes (to brand text snuff it bold), as well as this was inadvertently carried over inwards SEO circles when people wanted to emphasize certainly sections of their content. However, the W3C standards advocate that i must utilization the [strong] tag to emphasize of import words inwards your content. As for the[b] tag, W3C standards variety out it equally a styling tag as well as genuinely desire you lot to utilization CSS to mode your content, but that's a separate issue.

So if you're using [b] tags to emphasize of import parts of your content, stop! Use [strong] tags for keywords as well as fundamental terms, as well as snuff it on the [b] tag for visual emphasis only.

Link Building

8. What types of websites are most trusted past times search engines (authority sites)?

a. High PR websites.
b. .edu as well as .gov websites.
c. Low PR websites amongst lots of backlinks.
d. Medium to High PR websites amongst lots of backlinks from other high ranking websites.
e. Both b as well as d

Authority sites are similar gilt on the Internet - a link from them is amend than several links from small, unknown sites. Search engines utilization unlike criteria to constitute the trustworthiness of a site, but mutual elements include those websites that are official (reduced demand a opportunity of spamming as well as greater demand a opportunity of accurate information) sites such equally .edu as well as .gov sites (not .org, equally this extension has been spammed as well as abused already) as well as those websites that have a large number of links from other high ranking as well as trusted sites.

Getting links from these sites is tough, but definitely a groovy investment.


9. Which of these sites volition supply the most valuable link?
a. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 PR seven website.
b. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 PR 5 site closely related to your niche amongst rigid backlinks from .edu as well as .gov (trusted) domains.
c. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 website amongst hundreds of pages of duplicate content that is banned inwards the search engines.
d. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 PR half-dozen website loosely related to your niche but amongst few 'trusted' backlinks.

For a site to live on valuable equally a backlink, it has to fulfill the next characteristics:

  • It must live on trusted past times the search engines - that is, it must have got backlinks of its ain from trusted sites.
  • It must live on closely related to your niche - the closer, the better. So if you're running a soccer store, a tech site may non live on the ideal backlink but a sports site reviewing soccer products is definitely worth going after.
  • It should live on a create clean site - without whatever penalties.


10. Suppose that you lot were offered the next 4 choices equally a link - which i would live on the most valuable?

a. An optimized contextual link (a link equally role of a page's content amongst proper anchor text) from a closely related PR 5 site's primary page content.
b. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 link on the links page of an unrelated PR seven site - shared amongst 50 other links (and their 2 draw of piece of employment descriptions).
c. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 link on the links page of closely related PR half-dozen site - shared amongst xx other links.
d. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 PR half-dozen link from a directory page amongst 10 other links only.


The best links are those that are contextual as well as comprise optimized anchor text - such an in-text link to SEO Elite from a spider web log ship service of a leading SEO spider web log (e.g. seomoz or webguerrilla). Note that a similar link from a totally unrelated site such equally a existent estate portal volition non behaviour the same value.

While directory pages as well as link pages behaviour value, these are non equally of import equally contextual links, mainly because contextual links are harder to spam.

11. If you lot were edifice links for greenwidgets.com, what would live on your strategy inwards choosing anchor text?

a. Buy high PR links from closely related sites that offering traffic equally good equally link wealth.
b. Use organic marketing tactics to encourage natural link growth using your site's content.
c. Submit articles to article directories as well as link to your site's inner pages inwards those articles to construct 'deep' links.
d. All of the above.

This i was fairly straightforward - when edifice links, you lot should pursue opportunities on all fronts. Don't ignore developing your site's content as well as focus all your attending on buying links! Instead, residuum your link edifice efforts as well as dissever equal fourth dimension for each of these activities.


12. Which of these 4 is the most of import inwards assessing a link?

a. The anchor text.
b. The PR of the page you're getting the links from.
c. The number of outgoing links on the link page.
d. The championship tag of the link page.

All 4 factors are important, but apart from anchor text, the other 3 are also theme on other factors that may or may non be inwards your favor. For example, the PR of the page you're getting links from is meaningless if the website is inwards a totally unlike niche than yours. Similarly, the championship tag of the link page may live on simply [home], but if the link is contextual as well as if the anchor text is optimized, it's soundless a valuable link (where equally the contrary - goodness championship tag, bad anchor text - volition non live on true.

The number of outgoing links is only to live on concerned virtually because it mightiness exhibit the search engine that you lot are situated on a link listing page, which they may or may non penalize the link for. However, a goodness content page (like on a blog) may comprise 30+ outgoing links - yet amongst optimized anchor text as well as placed inwards proper context, the link is all of a precipitous really valuable.


13. How many links should you lot larn for your site inwards the origin half-dozen months (on average)?

a. 50-70 links a month.
b. 100+ links a month.
c. As many lineament links equally you lot can.
d. 25-40 a month.


While the Google Sandbox is non a myth (nor is it equally strictly defined equally some people mightiness say it is), at that spot are no penalties for edifice equally good many links. In fact, the 'pace' at which you lot construct your links only becomes suspicious if it is unnatural - for example, if you lot all of a precipitous larn 100+ links to your website inwards 2 weeks that are from a link network (assuming this link network tin give notice live on detected past times the search engine) as well as you lot have got made piddling or no add-on to your site content, this would constitute equally suspicious, unnatural link building.

On the other hand, if you're continually adding content as well as getting deep links (through article submissions equally good equally through your link edifice efforts), you lot may larn 300+ links inwards a calendar week (like seomoz did for its ranking factors list) as well as the search engine volition recognize these equally natural - as well as something viral similar this tin give notice fifty-fifty propel your site out of the Sandbox.

General SEO

14. What does PageRank technically measure?

a. The linking ability carried past times a particular link.
b. How many external, inbound links betoken to a particular page.
c. The number as well as lineament of the links pointing to a particular page.
d. Your ranking seat inwards the search engines.

PageRank is non link popularity (number of inbound links) or link weight (the linking ability carried past times a particular page) - inwards fact, it is a combination of both equally good equally several unlike factors.

However, your search engine rankings are non determined solely via PageRank - hundreds of other factors, including relevancy of links, anchor text as well as other off-page as well as on-page factors come upwards into play equally well. PageRank is simply a measure, as well as equally a mensurate its value has been steadily declining - something claimed past times Google equally well.


15. What does the term "Sandbox" depict inwards reference to Google's SERPs?

a. The ranking factors affecting all novel websites that are targeting highly competitive keywords earlier targeting less competitive keywords.
b. Google's arrangement for penalizing sites exhibiting an overly-optimizing back-link structure.
c. Google's penalization for edifice equally good many links equally good quickly.
d. Google's play expanse for their staff during luncheon break.


The Sandbox is a serial of filters applied to all novel websites equally they essay to rank for their select search terms on Google. It does non penalize websites for edifice equally good many links equally good chop-chop (as explained inwards a previous question), although these filters produce touching on websites that are seemingly equally good well-optimised than their niche competitors.

The best path to avoid the Sandbox (or to leave of absence if you're stuck) is to snuff it on edifice natural links through your content as well as focus on your rankings inwards MSN as well as Yahoo. If you're ranking highly inwards those search engines as well as are constantly edifice contextual links, you'll live on able to leave of absence of the Sandbox within an year.

Note: If you lot start amongst a keyword phrase that isn't really competitive as well as is "less known", you lot WILL bypass the "sandbox" as well as should rank good pretty quickly. Once you lot construct credibility as well as authority/age, you lot tin give notice start to accept on the bigger keywords.


16. What is the best means for websites amongst really piddling content (like ecommerce stores) rank highly for competitive production terms?

a. They have got a lot of natural links (one-way, contextual) amongst optimal anchor text from a broad multifariousness of websites.
b. Their pages are stuffed amongst keywords as well as "white text".
c. They utilization content-generating software to spam the search engines as well as achieve imitation rankings.
d. They pay a lot of coin to larn high PR links.


This comes nether the whole content vs. links debate: which is to a greater extent than important? Search engines value both, thence the only means to rank good if you lot have got less of i of them is to have got to a greater extent than of the other.

In the context of ecommerce stores, they confront rigid contest from other stores that purchase high PR links to artificially inflate their rankings. The best means to trounce them is to snuff it for contextual, one-way links from trusted websites - this is harder as well as takes to a greater extent than time, but the benefits include origin page rankings on SERPs.


17. Which of these volition NOT larn your site penalized inwards Google?

a. Thousands of automatically-generated pages built only for the search engines.
b. Building lineament links at a steady pace.
c. Scraping (stealing) content from other websites.
d. Getting links from websites that Google considers to live on from a 'bad' link neighborhood.

Using content-generating software that creates pages only for search engines is a mutual spam tactic, as well as search engines have, inwards the past times distich of years, rapidly caught on to this approach as well as volition penalize it severely. Similarly, stealing content from other sites is non that difficult to notice (they mensurate the similarity of content as well as check it amongst which page was indexed first).

Links from a website that is already penalized past times Google tin give notice larn your website penalized - this is non a guarantee, but if your website is getting several links from banned sites AND at that spot is whatever spam-like activeness on your website (like stuffing keywords into your meta keywords tag, or overoptimised championship tags), so you lot may larn penalized equally well.


18. Which of these v methods volition NOT give you lot an accurate justice of the search demand inwards a niche?

a. Overture search term figures
b. WordTracker.com numbers
c. Nichebot.com
d. Statcounter.com


Overture as well as WordTracker written report numbers based on an analysis of a subset of search engine data. Nichebot provides information from the inwards a higher identify 2 services, piece Statcounter is used to monitor site traffic.


19. When designing the site construction of a website, which of the next statements is NOT a goodness idea?

a. Make a site map that points to each page on the site.
b. Attempt to brand all pages accessible from the domicile page past times at most 3 clicks.
c. Link all of your inner pages to all of your other websites.
d. Create a category construction that goes from broad to narrow.

Site-wide links should live on reserved for the of import internal pages of your ain website (such equally the domicile page, the contact page as well as primary category pages). This way, you lot volition live on transferring maximum link weight dorsum to the fundamental pages of your website so that they tin give notice rank higher. BY linking all pages on 1 of your websites, to your other website, the search engines volition chop-chop run into that you lot are trying to manipulate their results as well as volition to a greater extent than than probable penalize you lot accordingly.

20. Which is the best method of getting traffic to your site?

a. Pay-per-click ads.
b. Pay for high PR links so that you lot larn a PR yourself, which volition assist boost your ain search engine rankings.
c. Submit your website to search engines as well as pop directories, as well as focus on creating content.
d. Create lineament content that people inwards your niche would desire to link to, as well as so promote that content through article syndication, blogs as well as forums.
e. All of the above.


Traffic edifice methods, similar link building, should never live on restricted to i shape of traffic (because when that dries up, you'll live on caught amongst your proverbial pants down). If you lot sell products, so PPC ads are a groovy tool for driving targeted traffic. On the other hand, paying for "traffic" links on related websites volition produce wonders equally well. In addition, search engine traffic procured through link edifice as well as creating lineament content volition assure that you lot have got a steady flow of costless traffic to rely upon.


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