Archives for March 2010

The More Things Change…

Yea, you know the rest of that coined phrase… But let me get to the point. As we march towards 20 years of the internet it’s easy to point at the remarkable changes shaping the way we use this resource. For us in the SEO trenches, perhaps the biggest difference between then and now is the shear magnitude of competition. Back then 1 in 100 websites might have a form of SEO that helped the search engines deliver relevant results. Now its probably 1 in 10. Nowadays, you can’t tinker at it and you need to seriously employ a variety of strategies.

Fifteen years ago it was very hard to find a firm that could build a web site in what we call a search engine friendly way. Today, more programmers are sensitive to the short comings of a search engine spider and are capable of building to the specifications of a set of search goals layed out before them. But that doesn’t guarantee your next web site will be a search engine friendly site unless you have an “advocate” consultant making sure. We work with a variety of very large and sophisticated web development companies as well as small shops all around the country. When we tell them what we want, the answer 99% of the time is, oh sure we can do it like that. You have to understand that there are limitless ways to have a page display. But only some of them work well with search engines.

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Blog Tags and Blog Categories

Tags and Categories are used by your blog to organize content and enhance the on-site searchability. Both can help your blog visitors (and the search engines) to quickly find specific articles and blog posts. So what is the right way to use these elements when blogging?

Blog Categories are used to sort main ideas, topics, and subjects that are going to be repeated in your blog on a regular basis. The number of categories that you create in your blog should be as limited as possible. Categories will generally be used on your blog in a similar fashion to navigation. Think of, and create blog categories in the way you would when developing the top level of your websites navigation menu. When creating a post you should select only one category for your topic. Placing a blog post in multiple categories can have a negative effect on SEO by creating potential duplicate content issues.

Blog Tags are used to tie articles together by topic that may reside in a different category. In addition, tags are used by your blogs search function, so tags are really keywords or phrases. Because tags fuel the search system, you should use the same tags over and over to tie related articles together. You should also use relevant unique tags on individual articles to provide for search variations. Creating keyword rich tags can have a positive effect on your articles search engine ranking because you are inserting additional relevant content into each blog post.