You are previewing Search Engine Optimization Secrets: Do What You Never Thought Possible with SEO.

Search Engine Optimization Secrets: Do What You Never Thought Possible with SEO

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Authors
  3. About the Technical Editor
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Read This First
    1. WHO THIS BOOK IS FOR
    2. WHY THIS BOOK IS BETTER THAN OTHER SEO BOOKS
    3. HOW I LEARNED THE SECRETS SHARED IN THIS BOOK
    4. WEBSITE SUPPORTING THE BOOK
    5. FEATURES AND ICONS USED IN THIS BOOK
  6. 1. Understanding Search Engine Optimization
    1. 1.1. THE SECRETS OF POPULARITY
      1. 1.1.1. Domain and Page Popularity
    2. 1.2. THE SECRETS OF RELEVANCY
      1. 1.2.1. Text Is the Currency of the Internet
      2. 1.2.2. But Why Content?
      3. 1.2.3. Link Relevancy
      4. 1.2.4. Tying Together Popularity and Relevancy
    3. 1.3. SUMMARY
  7. 2. Relearning How You See the Web
    1. 2.1. THE 1,000-FOOT VIEW—UNDERSTANDING THE NEIGHBORHOOD
      1. 2.1.1. Action Checklist
    2. 2.2. THE 100-FOOT VIEW—THE WEBSITE
      1. 2.2.1. How Important Is a Domain Name?
      2. 2.2.2. Don't Fool Yourself, Looks Matter
      3. 2.2.3. Duplication and Canonicalization
      4. 2.2.4. Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml
      5. 2.2.5. Action Checklist
    3. 2.3. THE 10-FOOT VIEW—THE WEBPAGE
      1. 2.3.1. The Importance of Good Site Architecture
      2. 2.3.2. Evaluating Homepages
      3. 2.3.3. Evaluating Category Pages
      4. 2.3.4. Evaluating Subcategory Pages
      5. 2.3.5. Evaluating Content Pages
      6. 2.3.6. Evaluating URL Structure
      7. 2.3.7. Action Checklist
    4. 2.4. THE 1-FOOT VIEW—INDIVIDUAL CONTENT PIECES
      1. 2.4.1. What Is Good Content?
      2. 2.4.2. Good Content with a Bad Haircut
      3. 2.4.3. Action Checklist
    5. 2.5. SUMMARY
  8. 3. Picking the Right SEO Tools
    1. 3.1. VIEW SOURCE
      1. 3.1.1. Key Data Points When Viewing Source
      2. 3.1.2. Common Questions Viewing Source Can Answer
    2. 3.2. USEFUL SEARCH ENGINE QUERIES
      1. 3.2.1. Key Data Points Search Engine Commands Can Generate
      2. 3.2.2. Common Questions These Queries Can Answer
    3. 3.3. SEARCH ENGINE–PROVIDED TOOLS
      1. 3.3.1. Key Data Points
      2. 3.3.2. Common Questions These Tools Can Answer
    4. 3.4. GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS
      1. 3.4.1. Key Data Points
      2. 3.4.2. Common Questions Webmaster Tools Can Answer
      3. 3.4.3. Dashboard
      4. 3.4.4. Messages
      5. 3.4.5. Site Configuration
      6. 3.4.6. Your Site on the Web
      7. 3.4.7. Diagnostics
      8. 3.4.8. Labs
    5. 3.5. RELEVANCY DETERMINING TOOLS
      1. 3.5.1. Key Data Points
      2. 3.5.2. Common Questions Relevancy Determining Tools Can Answer
    6. 3.6. SEO TOOLBARS
      1. 3.6.1. Key Data Points
      2. 3.6.2. Common Questions SEO Toolbars Can Answer
    7. 3.7. HTTP HEADER ANALYZER
      1. 3.7.1. Key Data Points
      2. 3.7.2. Common Questions an HTTP Header Analyzer Can Answer
    8. 3.8. FIREFOX USER AGENT SWITCHER
      1. 3.8.1. Key Data Points
      2. 3.8.2. Common Questions the Firefox User Agent Switcher Can Answer
    9. 3.9. FIREFOX RENDERING MODIFIER
      1. 3.9.1. Key Data Points
      2. 3.9.2. The Common Question Firefox Web Developer Can Answer
    10. 3.10. SUMMARY
  9. 4. Finding SEO Problems
    1. 4.1. THE 15-MINUTE SEO AUDIT
      1. 4.1.1. Preparing Your Browser
      2. 4.1.2. Assessing the Homepage
      3. 4.1.3. Checking a Website's Global Navigation
      4. 4.1.4. Checking for Optimized Category Pages and Subcategory Pages
      5. 4.1.5. Auditing Content Pages
      6. 4.1.6. Analyzing the Links
      7. 4.1.7. Checking a Website's Search Engine Inclusion
    2. 4.2. THE 5-MINUTE BRAND REPUTATION AUDIT
      1. 4.2.1. Using the Brand Search Engine Result Page
      2. 4.2.2. Brand Searching in the Social Media
    3. 4.3. IDENTIFYING SEARCH ENGINE PENALTIES
      1. 4.3.1. Algorithmic Penalty Symptoms
      2. 4.3.2. Manual Review Penalty Symptoms
      3. 4.3.3. Meeting with Clients Suffering from Penalties
    4. 4.4. SUMMARY
  10. 5. Solving SEO Problems
    1. 5.1. FIRST THINGS FIRST
    2. 5.2. FIXING POPULARITY PROBLEMS
      1. 5.2.1. Page Not Indexed
      2. 5.2.2. Page Indexed but Not Ranking Well
      3. 5.2.3. Page Indexed and Ranking Well
    3. 5.3. FIXING RELEVANCY PROBLEMS
      1. 5.3.1. Fixing Duplicate Content
      2. 5.3.2. Fixing a Page That Ranks for the Wrong Term
    4. 5.4. FIXING PENALTIES
      1. 5.4.1. Page with a Penalty
      2. 5.4.2. Domain with a Penalty
      3. 5.4.3. Poison Links
    5. 5.5. LINK BUILDING TECHNIQUES
      1. 5.5.1. Low-Risk Link Building Techniques
      2. 5.5.2. Riskier Link Building Techniques
    6. 5.6. SUMMARY
  11. 6. SEO Best Practices
    1. 6.1. PAGE-LEVEL INFORMATION HIERARCHY
      1. 6.1.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.1.2. Reasoning
    2. 6.2. DOMAIN-LEVEL INFORMATION HIERARCHY
      1. 6.2.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.2.2. Reasoning
    3. 6.3. URL
      1. 6.3.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.3.2. Reasoning
    4. 6.4. TITLE TAG
      1. 6.4.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.4.2. Reasoning
    5. 6.5. META DESCRIPTION
      1. 6.5.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.5.2. Reasoning
    6. 6.6. HTML HEADINGS (H1 – H6)
      1. 6.6.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.6.2. Reasoning
    7. 6.7. IMAGES
      1. 6.7.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.7.2. Reasoning
    8. 6.8. NOFOLLOW
      1. 6.8.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.8.2. Reasoning
    9. 6.9. REL CANONICAL LINK ELEMENT
      1. 6.9.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.9.2. Reasoning
    10. 6.10. META KEYWORDS
      1. 6.10.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.10.2. Reasoning
    11. 6.11. JAVASCRIPT AND FLASH
      1. 6.11.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.11.2. Reasoning
    12. 6.12. 301 REDIRECTS
      1. 6.12.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.12.2. Reasoning
    13. 6.13. BLOCKING PAGES FROM SEARCH ENGINES
      1. 6.13.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.13.2. Reasoning
    14. 6.14. TRAFFIC AND RANKINGS
      1. 6.14.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.14.2. Reasoning
    15. 6.15. PARAMETER-DRIVEN URLS
      1. 6.15.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.15.2. Reasoning
    16. 6.16. FOOTER LINKS
      1. 6.16.1. Best Practice
      2. 6.16.2. Reasoning
    17. 6.17. SUMMARY
  12. 7. The SEO Consulting Process
    1. 7.1. ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS FROM CLIENTS
      1. 7.1.1. Why Should I Care about SEO?
      2. 7.1.2. What Is the Advantage of Outsourcing SEO to a Consultant?
      3. 7.1.3. Why Do I Need SEO if I Already Rank Number 1?
      4. 7.1.4. My Nephew/Cousin/Hosting Provider Already Does SEO, so Why Don't I Just Use Them?
      5. 7.1.5. What Do Google and Bing Think about SEO?
      6. 7.1.6. If You Are Such a Good SEO, Why Don't You Rank #1 for "SEO"?
      7. 7.1.7. What Is Google's Algorithm?
      8. 7.1.8. How Do I Improve My PageRank?
      9. 7.1.9. Why Don't I Just Buy Links?
      10. 7.1.10. Are Links Really That Important?
      11. 7.1.11. Do You Offer a Guarantee?
      12. 7.1.12. How Much Will My Traffic Improve?
      13. 7.1.13. Switching from Parameter-Driven URLs Is Hard; Is it Really Worth All of the Work?
      14. 7.1.14. Is Company XYZ a Google Killer?
    2. 7.2. PREPARING FOR THE FIRST MEETING
      1. 7.2.1. Learning about the Client
      2. 7.2.2. Presenting Yourself to the Client
      3. 7.2.3. Communicating What You Can Do for the Client
      4. 7.2.4. Explaining SEO Concepts to Clients
    3. 7.3. PAPERWORK: SETTING EXPECTATIONS
      1. 7.3.1. Master Services Agreement
      2. 7.3.2. Nondisclosure Agreement
      3. 7.3.3. Statement of Work
    4. 7.4. DELIVERABLES
      1. 7.4.1. Quick Hit List
      2. 7.4.2. Comprehensive Site Audit
    5. 7.5. ESTABLISHING PRICE POINTS
      1. 7.5.1. Your Skill Level and Reputation (Multiplier)
      2. 7.5.2. Report Price Ranges
    6. 7.6. WHAT TO GIVE AWAY FOR FREE
      1. 7.6.1. Site Audits
      2. 7.6.2. Lunch Meetings
      3. 7.6.3. Interviews
      4. 7.6.4. General Advice
    7. 7.7. SUBSEQUENT MEETINGS
      1. 7.7.1. E-mail
      2. 7.7.2. Phone Calls
      3. 7.7.3. Wrap-Up Meeting
      4. 7.7.4. Follow-Up Meeting
    8. 7.8. SUMMARY
  13. 8. Comprehensive Site Audit (Informational Website)
    1. 8.1. HOW TO READ THIS CHAPTER
    2. 8.2. SAMPLE WEBSITE
      1. 8.2.1. Informational Website
      2. 8.2.2. SEO Scorecard
    3. 8.3. SAMPLE REPORT
      1. 8.3.1. Steps Before Writing the Report
      2. 8.3.2. Cover
      3. 8.3.3. Table of Contents
      4. 8.3.4. SEO Scorecard
      5. 8.3.5. Most Pressing and Valuable Changes
      6. 8.3.6. On-Page/Content Optimization
      7. 8.3.7. URL Conventions
      8. 8.3.8. Information Architecture
      9. 8.3.9. Robots Control Protocols
      10. 8.3.10. Technical Issues
      11. 8.3.11. Search Guidelines and Spam Protocols
      12. 8.3.12. Inbound Links
      13. 8.3.13. Link-worthiness
      14. 8.3.14. Metrics
      15. 8.3.15. Conclusion
      16. 8.3.16. Addendums
    4. 8.4. AFTER COMPLETING THE REPORT
      1. 8.4.1. Formatting the Report
      2. 8.4.2. Final Client Meeting
    5. 8.5. SUMMARY
  14. 9. Comprehensive Site Audit (E-Commerce Website)
    1. 9.1. HOW TO READ THIS CHAPTER
    2. 9.2. SAMPLE WEBSITE
      1. 9.2.1. E-Commerce Website
    3. 9.3. SAMPLE REPORT
      1. 9.3.1. Steps Before Writing the Report
      2. 9.3.2. Cover
      3. 9.3.3. Table of Contents
      4. 9.3.4. Most Pressing and Valuable Changes
      5. 9.3.5. Search Engine & Third-Party Statistics
      6. 9.3.6. Technical On-Page/On-Site Issues
      7. 9.3.7. Individual Section Reviews
      8. 9.3.8. Keyword Targeting
      9. 9.3.9. Visitor & Search Analytics
      10. 9.3.10. Information Architecture & Internal Link Structure
      11. 9.3.11. Content Analysis
      12. 9.3.12. User Experience
      13. 9.3.13. Link Building Opportunities
      14. 9.3.14. Vertical Search Opportunities and Inclusion
      15. 9.3.15. Glossary
    4. 9.4. SUMMARY
  15. 10. Understanding the SEO Industry
    1. 10.1. A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEO
      1. 10.1.1. In the Beginning
      2. 10.1.2. Coming of Age
    2. 10.2. WHO ARE INTERNET MARKETERS AND WHERE CAN I FIND THEM?
      1. 10.2.1. Understanding the Differing Views on SEO
      2. 10.2.2. Getting Involved
    3. 10.3. THE SEO PYRAMID AND WEARING MULTIPLE HATS
      1. 10.3.1. Search Engine Optimizer (SEO)
      2. 10.3.2. Paid Search Marketer (Also Referred to as an SEM or PPCer)
      3. 10.3.3. Social Media Marketer (SMM)
      4. 10.3.4. Conversion Rate Optimizer (CRO)
      5. 10.3.5. Affiliate Marketer
    4. 10.4. SEO LEADERS
      1. 10.4.1. Danny Sullivan (Search Engine Land)
      2. 10.4.2. Matt Cutts (Google)
      3. 10.4.3. Rand Fishkin (SEOmoz)
      4. 10.4.4. Vanessa Fox (Nine By Blue)
      5. 10.4.5. Aaron Wall (SEOBook.com)
      6. 10.4.6. Barry Schwartz (Search Engine Roundtable)
      7. 10.4.7. Todd Friesen ("Oilman")
      8. 10.4.8. Michael Gray (Atlas Web Service)
      9. 10.4.9. Bruce Clay (Bruce Clay, Inc.)
    5. 10.5. THE PEOPLE AND TECHNOLOGY BEHIND GOOGLE AND BING
      1. 10.5.1. Google
      2. 10.5.2. Microsoft
    6. 10.6. LONG-TERM PERSPECTIVE IN SEO
    7. 10.7. SUMMARY
  16. 11. Search Engine Verticals
    1. 11.1. UNIVERSAL SEARCH
    2. 11.2. LOCAL SEARCH
      1. 11.2.1. Determining Locality
      2. 11.2.2. Ranking Factors
    3. 11.3. IMAGE SEARCH
      1. 11.3.1. Is Image Search Traffic Useful?
      2. 11.3.2. Bing Is Winning
      3. 11.3.3. Ranking Factors
    4. 11.4. VIDEO SEARCH
      1. 11.4.1. Who Cares If It's Not YouTube?
      2. 11.4.2. Ranking Factors
    5. 11.5. INSTANT SEARCH
      1. 11.5.1. Ranking Factors
    6. 11.6. SUMMARY
  17. 12. Optimizing for Alternative Search Engines
    1. 12.1. AMAZON
      1. 12.1.1. What Niche Is it Helpful For?
      2. 12.1.2. Ranking Factors
      3. 12.1.3. How Does This Alternative Engine Affect Primary Search Engines?
    2. 12.2. YOUTUBE
      1. 12.2.1. What Niche Is it Helpful For?
      2. 12.2.2. Ranking Factors
      3. 12.2.3. How Does This Alternative Engine Affect Primary Search Engines?
    3. 12.3. FACEBOOK
      1. 12.3.1. What Niche Is it Helpful For?
      2. 12.3.2. Ranking Factors
      3. 12.3.3. How Does This Alternative Engine Affect Primary Search Engines?
    4. 12.4. DELICIOUS
      1. 12.4.1. What Niche Is it Helpful For?
      2. 12.4.2. Ranking Factors
      3. 12.4.3. How Does This Alternative Engine Affect Primary Search Engines?
    5. 12.5. FLICKR
      1. 12.5.1. What Niche Is it Helpful For?
      2. 12.5.2. Ranking Factors
      3. 12.5.3. How Does This Alternative Engine Affect Primary Search Engines?
    6. 12.6. TWITTER
      1. 12.6.1. What Niche Is it Helpful For?
      2. 12.6.2. Ranking Factors
      3. 12.6.3. How Does This Alternative Engine Affect Primary Search Engines?
    7. 12.7. SUMMARY
  18. 13. Test, Test, Test
    1. 13.1. SETTING UP A TESTING PLATFORM
      1. 13.1.1. Picking a Web Server
      2. 13.1.2. Domain Name
      3. 13.1.3. Basic Information Architecture
      4. 13.1.4. Code
    2. 13.2. RUNNING A TEST
      1. 13.2.1. Planning a Test
      2. 13.2.2. Setting Up the Test
      3. 13.2.3. Changing One Variable
      4. 13.2.4. Redundancy
    3. 13.3. RECORDING RESULTS
    4. 13.4. THE IMPORTANCE OF SHARING KNOWLEDGE
      1. 13.4.1. Building a Reputation
      2. 13.4.2. Holding Search Engines Accountable
    5. 13.5. SUMMARY
  19. 14. SEO Resources
    1. 14.1. SEO CHEAT SHEET PART 1: ON-PAGE OPTIMIZATION
    2. 14.2. SEO CHEAT SHEET PART 2: CANONICALIZATION ERRORS
    3. 14.3. SEO CHEAT SHEET PART 3: META ROBOTS AND ROBOTS.TXT
    4. 14.4. SEO CHEAT SHEET PART 4: SITEMAPS
    5. 14.5. SEO CHEAT SHEET PART 5: USER AGENTS
    6. 14.6. SWITCHING DOMAINS CHECKLIST
    7. 14.7. SEO QUICK HIT LIST
    8. 14.8. SUMMARY
  20. A. Attending SEO Conferences
    1. A.1. PICKING THE RIGHT CONFERENCE
      1. A.1.1. SMX
      2. A.1.2. SES
      3. A.1.3. Pubcon
      4. A.1.4. SXSW Interactive
      5. A.1.5. Other Conferences
    2. A.2. WHAT TO EXPECT
      1. A.2.1. The People
      2. A.2.2. The Venue
      3. A.2.3. The Sessions
      4. A.2.4. The After Parties
    3. A.3. PREPARING TO GO
    4. A.4. WHAT TO BRING
      1. A.4.1.
    5. A.5. WHAT TO DO
      1. A.5.1. Show Time
      2. A.5.2. Parties
      3. A.5.3. Before Sleeping
    6. A.6. AFTER THE CONFERENCE
    7. A.7. SUMMARY
O'Reilly logo

Chapter 13. Test, Test, Test

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Setting up a testing platform

  • Running a test

  • Recording test results

  • Sharing knowledge

Testing the ways the search engines operate is the most important thing a Search Engine Optimizer can do. In fact, everything that we as SEOs know about the search engine algorithms is the result of testing. Testing is an ongoing process that must happen more frequently than the search engine algorithm updates. This chapter teaches you the skills you need to perform professional quality tests of your own so you can more accurately predict what types of techniques are required to improve your site's rankings. Although the following is designed to be performed on separate mini websites, the same principles apply to testing on your own website. Remember, SEOs can always be doing better and ranking for more terms.

SETTING UP A TESTING PLATFORM

To reverse engineer specific aspects of the major search engines, you will need to build a testing platform. (Note: If you are content just following the advice of the leaders in the industry and not performing your own tests, you can skip to the section "Running a Test" and perform the tests on your primary website.) The advantage of a testing platform over manually constructed web pages is that a platform will allow you to drastically cut down on the time it takes to set up a test and focus on interpreting results. This is because with a platform you do not have to rewrite code when you are performing a task you have already ...

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