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SEO Warrior

Book Description

How can you make it easier for people to find your website? And how can you convert casual visitors into active users? SEO Warrior shows you how it's done through a collection of tried and true techniques, hacks, and best practices. Learn the nuts and bolts of SEO theory, the importance of keyword strategy, and how to avoid and remedy search engine traps. You'll also learn about search engine marketing (SEM) practices, such as Google AdWords, and how you can use social networking to increase your visibility. Ideal for web developers, savvy marketers, webmasters, and anyone else interested in SEO, this book serves not only as an SEO tutorial, but also as a reference guide for implementing effective SEO techniques.

  • See website optimization in action with detailed case studies of five website types

  • Optimize your site for Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft's Bing, as well as search engines used in different parts of the world

  • Conduct keyword research to find the best terms to reach your audience-and the related terms they'll respond to

  • Learn what makes search engines tick by utilizing custom scripts

  • Analyze your site to see how it measures up to the competition

Table of Contents

  1. SEO Warrior
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Preface
      1. Who This Book Is For
      2. How This Book Is Organized
      3. Conventions Used in This Book
      4. Using Code Examples
      5. We’d Like to Hear from You
      6. Safari® Books Online
      7. Acknowledgments
    3. 1. The Big Picture
      1. SEO Benefits
        1. SERP Real Estate
          1. Popular keywords
          2. Niche keywords
        2. The Trust Factor
          1. The Golden Triangle
        3. Lower Cost of Ownership
      2. SEO Challenges
        1. Competition
        2. No Guarantees
        3. Ranking Fluctuations
        4. Time Factors
        5. Organizational Structure
          1. Big companies and organizations
            1. Virtual teams
            2. Outsourcing
          2. Large, complex sites
          3. Small companies and individuals
      3. The SEO Process
        1. The Research Phase
          1. Business research
          2. Competitor analysis
          3. Current state assessment
          4. Keyword research
          5. Output of the research phase
        2. The Planning and Strategy Phase
          1. Content strategy
          2. Link-building strategy
          3. Social media strategy
          4. Search engine targeting strategy
          5. SEM strategy
          6. Technical strategy
          7. Output of the planning and strategy phase
        3. The Implementation Phase
          1. Internal optimization
          2. External optimization
          3. Output of the implementation phase
        4. The Monitoring Phase
          1. Web spider activity
          2. Website referrals
          3. Search engine rankings
          4. Website traffic
          5. Conversions
          6. Output of the monitoring phase
        5. The Assessment Phase
          1. Output of the assessment phase
        6. The Maintenance Phase
          1. Output of the maintenance phase
      4. SEO Alternatives
        1. Paid Ads (or Links)
        2. Traditional Marketing
      5. Summary
    4. 2. Search Engine Primer
      1. Search Engines That Matter Today: Google
        1. Yahoo!
        2. Bing
      2. Types of Search Engines and Web Directories
        1. First-Tier Search Engines
        2. Second-Tier Search Engines
        3. Regional Search Engines
        4. Topical (Vertical) Search Engines
        5. Web Spider–Based Search Engines
        6. Hybrid Search Engines
        7. Meta Search Engines
      3. Web Directories
      4. Search Engine Anatomy
        1. Spiders, Robots, Bots, and Crawlers
          1. Search engine web page viewer
        2. The Search (or Query) Interface
        3. Search Engine Indexing
      5. Search Engine Rankings
      6. Summary
    5. 3. Website Essentials
      1. Domain Name Options
        1. Domain Name Namespaces
          1. Generic top-level domains
          2. Country code top-level domains
          3. Country code second-level domains
        2. Buying Domain Names
          1. Domain name size
          2. Keyword-rich domain names
          3. Nonsensical domain names
          4. Domain registration period
          5. Tapping into expired domain names
          6. Buying existing domains
          7. Utilizing the unsolicited approach
          8. Domain name resellers
          9. Parking domains
          10. Transferring domains
          11. Renewing domains
      2. Hosting Options
        1. Choosing Platforms
          1. Operating systems
          2. Web and application servers
          3. Selecting database servers
          4. Selecting the development platform
        2. Hosting Types
          1. Free hosting
          2. Shared hosting
          3. Dedicated server hosting
          4. Collocation hosting
          5. Comanaged and managed hosting
          6. Internal hosting
      3. Custom Site Design or Third-Party Software
        1. Employing Custom Development
          1. Benefits of custom development
          2. Disadvantages of custom development
          3. Site page layouts
            1. SEO-friendly site layout
          4. Building a dynamic site skeleton
          5. Dealing with dynamic links
        2. Utilizing Free or Paid Software
          1. Advantages of using third-party software
          2. Disadvantages of using third-party software
          3. Free software
          4. Paid software
      4. Website Usability
        1. General Considerations
        2. Linking Considerations
        3. Know Your Demographics
        4. Ensure Web Browser Compatibility
        5. Create Simple Page Layouts
        6. Use Intelligent Page Formatting
        7. Create Smart HTML Forms
        8. Optimize Your Site for Speed
        9. Test Your Interface Design for Usability
      5. Website Accessibility
      6. Summary
    6. 4. Internal Ranking Factors
      1. Analyzing SERPs
      2. On-Page Ranking Factors
        1. Keywords in the <title> Tag
          1. Titles in search results
          2. Title keywords in the page copy
        2. Keywords in the Page URL
        3. Keywords in the Page Copy
        4. Keywords in the <meta> Description Tag
          1. Search engine alternative to <meta> description tags
        5. Keywords in the Heading Tags
        6. Keyword Proximity
        7. Keyword Prominence
        8. Keywords in the Link Anchor Text
        9. Quality Outbound Links
          1. Keywords in outbound links
        10. Web Page Age
        11. Web Page Size
          1. Calculating the optimum number of words per page
      3. On-Site Ranking Factors
        1. Domain Name Keywords
          1. Exact keyword matching
          2. Partial keyword matching
        2. Size or Quantity of Content
          1. Estimating size of content
        3. Linking Considerations
          1. Internal link architecture
          2. Pagination problems
          3. Distributed internal link popularity
          4. URL canonicalization
        4. Freshness of Pages
      4. Putting It All Together
        1. Running the Script
          1. Program directory structure
        2. Final HTML Report
          1. Report metrics summary
      5. Summary
    7. 5. External Ranking Factors
      1. External Links
        1. Know Your Referrers
          1. Utilizing Yahoo! Site Explorer
            1. Parsing the TSV file
        2. Quantity and Quality of External Links
          1. Speed of backlink accumulation
          2. Topical link relevance
          3. Backlinks from expert sites and the Hilltop Algorithm
          4. Backlinks from .edu and .gov domains
          5. Backlinks from directories
          6. Age of backlinks
          7. Relative page position
          8. Spilling PageRank effect
          9. Relative popularity among peer sites
      2. Broken Outbound Links
        1. Handling Broken Links
          1. Running linkchecker.pl
      3. User Behavior Patterns
        1. Analyzing the Search Engine Query Interface
          1. First point of contact: the search form
          2. Interactions with SERPs
        2. Google Analytics
        3. Google Toolbar
        4. User Behavior Lessons
      4. Website Performance and Website Age
        1. Website Performance
          1. Monitoring website performance
        2. Website Age
          1. Domain registration years
          2. Expired domains
          3. Plan for long-term benefits
      5. Summary
    8. 6. Web Stats Monitoring
      1. Web Server Logs and Formats
        1. NCSA Common Format
        2. NCSA Combined Format
        3. NCSA Combined Format in Apache
        4. Converting IIS W3C to NCSA Combined
        5. Spotting a Web Spider in Web Logs
      2. Popular Web Stats Tools
      3. Using WebLog Expert
        1. Number of Visitors
        2. Unique Versus Total Visitors
        3. Number of Hits
        4. Number of Page Views
        5. Referrers
        6. Search Engine (Referral) Hits
        7. Searches/Keywords
        8. Web Spider Hits
      4. Using AWStats
      5. Using Webalizer
      6. Tying Searches to Individual Web Pages
      7. Web Spider Patterns
      8. User Patterns
      9. Filtering Specific Data
        1. Types of Web Page Elements
          1. Conversion tracking with web server logs
      10. Summary
    9. 7. Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics
      1. Google Webmaster Tools
        1. Webmaster Tools Setup
        2. Dashboard
        3. The “Site configuration” Section
          1. Sitemaps
          2. Crawler access
          3. Sitelinks
          4. Change of address
          5. Settings
        4. The “Your site on the web” Section
          1. Top search queries
          2. Links to your site
          3. Keywords
          4. Internal links
          5. Subscriber stats
        5. The Diagnostics Section
          1. Crawl errors
          2. Crawl stats
          3. HTML suggestions
      2. Google Analytics
        1. Installation and Setup
        2. Navigating Google Analytics
        3. Dashboard
          1. Visitors Overview page
          2. Benchmarking
          3. Map Overlay page
          4. New versus returning visitors
          5. Languages
          6. Visitor trending
          7. Visitor pages
          8. Browser capabilities
          9. Network properties
        4. Traffic Sources
        5. Content
        6. Goals
          1. Defining goals
          2. Defining funnels
          3. Viewing goal stats
        7. Google Analytics Shortcomings
          1. Based on JavaScript
          2. Metrics accuracy
      3. Summary
    10. 8. Search Engine Traps
      1. JavaScript Traps
        1. JavaScript-Generated Content
        2. JavaScript Dynamic Links and Menus
        3. Ajax
      2. Dynamic Widget Traps
        1. Using Flash
          1. Google’s support of Adobe Flash
        2. Using Java Applets
        3. Using ActiveX Controls
      3. HTML Traps
        1. Using Frames
        2. Using Iframes
        3. Using External DIVs
        4. Using Graphical Text
        5. Extremely Large Pages
        6. Complex HTML and Formatting Problems
      4. Website Performance Traps
        1. Very Slow Pages
          1. Web server compression
          2. Web page caching
      5. Error Pages
      6. Session IDs and URL Variables
      7. Splash or Doorway Pages
      8. Robots.txt
      9. Summary
    11. 9. Robots Exclusion Protocol
      1. Understanding REP
        1. Crawling Versus Indexing
        2. Why Prohibit Crawling or Indexing?
          1. New sites
          2. Content duplication
          3. REP and document security
            1. Protecting directories with .htaccess
          4. Website maintenance
          5. Saving website bandwidth
          6. Preventing website performance hits
      2. More on robots.txt
        1. Creation of robots.txt
        2. Validation of robots.txt
        3. Placement of robots.txt
        4. Important Crawlers
        5. Understanding the robots.txt Format
        6. Robots.txt Directives
          1. The Allow directive
          2. The Disallow directive
          3. The wildcard directives
          4. The Sitemap location directive
          5. The Crawl-delay directive
        7. Case Sensitivity
        8. Common robots.txt Configurations
          1. Disallowing image crawling
          2. Allowing Google and Yahoo!, but rejecting all others
          3. Blocking Office documents
          4. Blocking Internet Archiver
        9. Summary of the robots.txt Directive
      3. Robots Meta Directives
        1. HTML Meta Directives
          1. Mixing HTML meta directives
          2. Targeting HTML meta tags
          3. Yahoo!-specific directives
          4. Google-specific directives
        2. HTTP Header Directives
      4. The nofollow Link Attribute
      5. Dealing with Rogue Spiders
        1. Reverse DNS Crawler Authentication
      6. Summary
    12. 10. Sitemaps
      1. Understanding Sitemaps
        1. Why Use Sitemaps?
          1. Crawl augmentation
          2. Poor linking site structure
          3. Crawling frequency
          4. Content ownership
          5. Page priority
          6. Large sites
          7. History of changes
      2. HTML Sitemaps
        1. HTML Sitemap Generators
          1. Creating a custom HTML Sitemap generator
      3. XML Sitemaps
        1. XML Sitemap Format
          1. Understanding <loc>
          2. Understanding <lastmod>
          3. Understanding <changefreq>
          4. Understanding <priority>
        2. XML Sitemap Example
        3. Why Use XML Sitemaps?
        4. XML Sitemap Auto-Discovery
        5. Multiple XML Sitemaps
        6. Sitemap Location and Naming
        7. XML Sitemap Limitations
        8. XML Sitemap Generators
        9. XML Sitemap Validators
        10. XML Sitemap Submissions
          1. Using Google Webmaster Tools to submit Sitemaps
          2. Using the ping method to submit Sitemaps
            1. Automating ping submissions
      4. Utilizing Other Sitemap Types
        1. Pure Text (URL Listing) Sitemaps
        2. News Sitemaps
        3. RSS and Atom Sitemaps
        4. Mobile Sitemaps
        5. Video Sitemaps
      5. Summary
    13. 11. Keyword Research
      1. Keyword Strategy
        1. Long Tail Keywords
          1. Long tail keywords explained
      2. Keywords and Language
        1. The Importance of Word Stemming
        2. Keyword Modifiers
          1. Types of modifiers
          2. Niche modifiers
          3. Keyword combinations
        3. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
          1. Page and site theme
      3. Keyword Research Process
        1. Establish a Current Baseline
        2. Compile a Draft List of Keywords You Wish to Target
          1. Keyword brainstorming
            1. Make use of localized terms
          2. Utilize keyword stemming
            1. Make use of generic keyword modifiers
            2. Continue by finding related keywords
          3. Finding related keywords
            1. Make use of Microsoft Word
          4. Using search engine keyword suggestions and related searches
          5. Google keyword tools and resources
            1. Google AdWords Keyword Tool
            2. Google Sets
            3. Google Trends
            4. Google Insights for Search
          6. Microsoft adCenter Labs
            1. Entity association graph
            2. Keyword group detection
            3. Keyword mutation detection
            4. Keyword forecast
            5. Search funnels
          7. Yahoo! keyword tools
            1. Yahoo! Research
            2. Yahoo! Search Marketing
          8. Additional keyword research tools
            1. Free keyword research tools
            2. Commercially available keyword research tools
        3. Evaluate Your Keywords
          1. Estimating keyword competition, revisited
          2. Estimating keyword search volume
        4. Finalize Your Keyword List
        5. Implement Your Strategy
      4. Summary
    14. 12. Link Building
      1. Precursors to Link Building
        1. Start Building Your Reputation Early
        2. Assess Your Current Situation
        3. Emulate Your Competitors
        4. Natural Link Acquisition
        5. Link Sources and Link Quality
      2. Elements of Link Building
        1. Basic Elements
          1. Take out the guesswork
          2. Run a daily, weekly, or monthly email newsletter
          3. Provide registered services
        2. Link Bait
          1. Website widgets in detail
            1. Popular website widgets
            2. Creating custom website widgets
            3. Widget promotion and distribution
        3. Social Bookmarking
          1. Integrating social bookmarks on your site
          2. Tracking your bookmarks
          3. Stay away from too many bookmarking icons
        4. Website Syndication
          1. Understanding syndication formats
          2. Feed readers
          3. Understanding FeedBurner
            1. FeedBurner features
            2. Integrating FeedBurner with your site
            3. Future of FeedBurner
        5. Directories
          1. Start with the top general directories
          2. Continue with niche directories
          3. Consider regional directories
        6. Adding Your Links Everywhere
          1. Submitting articles
          2. Utilizing blog comments, newsgroups, and forum postings
        7. Build a Complementary Site
          1. Niche directory hubs
          2. Awards websites
          3. Site review websites
          4. Site software
      3. Summary
    15. 13. Competitor Research and Analysis
      1. Finding Your Competition
        1. Keyword-Based Competitor Research
          1. The manual approach
          2. Utilizing SEO tools and automation
        2. Finding Additional Competitor Keywords
          1. Using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool Website Content feature
          2. Using Alexa keywords
          3. Using Compete keywords
          4. Additional competitive keyword discovery tools
        3. Competitor Backlink Research
          1. Basic ways to find competitor backlinks
          2. Free backlink checkers
          3. Commercially available backlink checkers
      2. Analyzing Your Competition
        1. Historical Analysis
        2. Web Presence and Website Traffic Analysis
          1. Number of sites
          2. Finding subdomains
          3. Hosting and ownership information
          4. Geographical location information
          5. Estimating domain worth
          6. Determining online size
        3. Estimating Website Traffic
          1. Alexa Reach
          2. Compete traffic estimates
        4. Estimating Social Networking Presence
          1. Technorati blog reactions and Authority
          2. Digg.com (URL history)
          3. Additional tips
      3. Competitor Tracking
        1. Current State Competitor Auditing
        2. Future State Tracking
          1. Existing competitor tracking
          2. New competitor detection
        3. Automating Search Engine Rank Checking
      4. Summary
    16. 14. Content Considerations
      1. Becoming a Resource
        1. Predictive SEO
          1. Future events, buying cycles, and buzz information
            1. Future events
            2. Buying cycles
            3. Buzz information
        2. Short-Term Content
          1. Unexpected buzz
          2. Expected buzz
        3. Long-Term Content
        4. Content Balance
          1. Organic content
        5. Content Creation Motives
          1. Engaging your visitors
          2. Fortifying your web authority
          3. Updating and supplementing existing information
          4. Catching additional traffic
      2. Content Duplication
        1. Canonical Link Element
          1. What is a canonical link?
          2. Canonical link element format
          3. The Catch-22
          4. Possibility of an infinite loop
        2. Multiple URLs
          1. Trailing slash
          2. Multiple slashes
          3. WWW prefix
          4. Domain misspellings
          5. HTTP to HTTPS and vice versa
        3. Fine-Grained Content Indexing
        4. External Content Duplication
          1. Mirror sites
          2. Content syndication
        5. Similar Pages
        6. Deep-Linked Content
          1. Sitemaps
          2. Resurfacing
          3. Navigation structure
        7. Protecting Your Content
          1. Preventing hot links
      3. Content Verticals
        1. Vertical Search
          1. Google Images
          2. Google News
          3. Google Product Search
      4. Summary
    17. 15. Social Networking Phenomenon
      1. Social Platforms and Communities
        1. Blogs
        2. Twitter
          1. Twitter tips
          2. Twitter tools
          3. Overcoming limitations
        3. Content-Sharing Sites
          1. YouTube
            1. YouTube tools and resources
          2. Flickr
            1. Flickr tips
            2. Flickr tools and resources
          3. Podcasts
            1. Podcast.com
            2. ITunes podcast publishing
        4. Social Bookmarking Sites
          1. Digg
          2. StumbleUpon
        5. Social Networking Sites
          1. Facebook
            1. Facebook account types
            2. Facebook tips
          2. MySpace
          3. LinkedIn
      2. Social Media Strategy
        1. Do Some Research
          1. Understand the benefits
          2. Understand the risks
          3. Understand the process
        2. Formulate Your Strategy
        3. Implement Your Strategy
          1. Reevaluate your strategy
      3. Using Automation
        1. Creating a Twitter Scheduler
          1. Creating the database
          2. Building the interface
          3. Sending tweets
          4. Scheduling tweets
          5. Extending the application
      4. Google and Social Media Sites
      5. Real-Time Search
        1. Twitter Real-Time Search
        2. OneRiot Real-Time Search
      6. Summary
    18. 16. Search Engine Marketing
      1. The World of SEM
        1. PPC Platforms
          1. PPC platform selection
        2. PPC Fundamentals
          1. Know your variables
        3. The SEM Process
          1. The planning and research phase
          2. The content creation phase
          3. The campaign creation phase
          4. The campaign monitoring and analysis phase
          5. The campaign refinements phase
      2. Google AdWords
        1. AdWords Setup
          1. Creating a Google account
          2. Navigating through AdWords
        2. Campaign Setup
          1. Creating a campaign
          2. Creating an ad group
        3. Keyword Match Types
          1. Broad match
          2. Phrase match
          3. Exact match
          4. Negative match
        4. Ad Setup
          1. Anatomy of a text ad
          2. Ad copy
            1. Dynamic keyword insertion and keyword capitalization
        5. AdWords Testing
          1. Conversion and conversion rate
          2. Improving conversions and ROI
          3. A/B testing
          4. Multivariate testing
        6. AdWords Tips
          1. Observe and track your competition
          2. Experiment
          3. Refine your ad copy
          4. Try other platforms
          5. Bidding
          6. Keywords
          7. Google Content Network or Google SERPs
          8. Conversion rate
      3. Google AdSense
        1. AdSense Setup
        2. AdSense Earnings
        3. AdSense Website Setup
        4. AdSense Tips
          1. Unique content
          2. Seamless blending
          3. Strategic placement
      4. SEM and SEO Unison
        1. SEO Keyword Tuning with PPC Testing
        2. Choosing Better Keywords
      5. Summary
    19. 17. Search Engine Spam
      1. Understanding Search Engine Spam
        1. What Constitutes Search Engine Spam?
          1. Google guidelines
          2. Yahoo! guidelines
          3. Bing guidelines
        2. Search Engine Spam in Detail
          1. Keyword stuffing
          2. Hidden or small text
            1. The <noscript> element
            2. The text font color scheme
            3. CSS
          3. Tiny text
          4. Cloaking
          5. Doorway pages
          6. Scraper sites
          7. Link farms, reciprocal links, and web rings
          8. Hidden links
          9. Paid links
          10. Blog, forum, and wiki spam
          11. Acquiring expired domains
          12. Acquiring misspelled domain names
          13. Site hacking
        3. What If My Site Is Penalized for Spam?
          1. Requesting Google site reevaluation
          2. Requesting Yahoo! site reevaluation
          3. Requesting Bing site reevaluation
      2. Summary
    20. 18. Industry Buzz
      1. Bing
        1. The Keyword Dashboard Tool
      2. SearchWiki
        1. SearchWiki in Action
        2. Benefits of SearchWiki
        3. Addressing SearchWiki Concerns
      3. The nofollow Link Attribute
        1. Format
        2. Further Thoughts
      4. Finding the Buzz
        1. SEO-Related Sites Provided by Search Engines
        2. Blog Sites
      5. Summary
    21. A. Script Listings
      1. Chapter 2
        1. spiderviewer.php
      2. Chapter 3
        1. layout1.html
        2. layout2.html
        3. layout3.html
      3. Chapter 4
        1. rankingfactors.pl
      4. Chapter 5
        1. linkchecker.pl
        2. mymonitor.pl
        3. inlinksAnalysis.pl
      5. Chapter 6
        1. searchPhraseReportGoogle.pl
      6. Chapter 13
        1. getRankings.pl
      7. Chapter 15
        1. sql.txt
        2. config.php
        3. index.php
        4. add.php
        5. delete.php
        6. sendTweet.php
        7. Crontab
      8. Chapter 18
        1. index.html
        2. bParser.php
        3. gParser.php
        4. yParser.php
    22. B. Ping Servers
      1. Ping Server List
    23. C. Programming Environment
      1. Building Your Own Environment
        1. Apache Web Server
        2. Perl
        3. PHP
        4. MySQL
      2. Utilizing Distribution Packages
    24. Index
    25. About the Author
    26. Colophon
    27. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly