Often in the world of search your ideas and scope are limited by the available resources and budgets. The knack of a good SEO is working within those parameters, but what would you do if there weren’t those limits?
So I fired up my Rolodex and asked some of the great and good of UK SEO and asked…
You’ve been approached by a start up backed by some of the biggest VCs in the world. They’ve got one mission to beat Amazon at it’s own game. They’ve hired you in-house and given you a million pound budget to spend.
Where and what would you spend the money on? Read on
In this instalment of the ABC’s of SEO, I wanted to hit on a few subjects around international SEO. Increasingly businesses are looking to tap into foreign markets and search is obviously a very powerful way of doing just that.
Do Google Favour Local Domain Suffixes?
There was a conversation recently in our LinkedIn Discussion Group about domain suffixes and their effect on rankings. Colin asked whether having a foreign domain such as .co (registered in Colombia) makes it more difficult to climb search engine results pages in the UK. Google will prioritise relevant domain suffixes, but there are many other ranking factors. Look around, international sites can still rank really well. Some businesses really benefit from having these bespoke URLs, such as bit.ly or del.icio.us.
Having local domain suffixes is generally thought of as best practise, but there are other things to consider to maximise your performance. Google also score geographical relevance by checking where the server of a website is based, so it could be worth ensuring that this is the country in question. Additionally, a geographic location for a site can be specified on Webmaster Tools.
Three months I had a hair-brained idea it would be interesting to see who in the office who was the best at predicting the future. Obviously we’re a search agency, and you’d expect us to be able to reasonably accurately estimate the success of an SEO campaign, whether that’s due to intuition, analysis or forecasting. I set up a Google doc with ten clients and one of their keywords with its current ranking. The task of the experimenters was simple. They just had to predict the ranking in three months time. The more accurate they were the more they scored.
Generally people didn’t do too bad, but far away the most successful of our predictors was Lyndsey. A Global Hypercolour t-shirt is winging her way to her as a prize. What the experiment did show some interesting patterns. What I found is that we’re better at improving results than we give ourselves credit for, and that Graeme, who gets involved in our forecasting, is the most conservatitive of our team when it comes to these estimates!
Maybe I’m stuck in the past but I don’t think link builders give enough attention to back link analysis. The process of understanding who links to who is, in my eyes, an unavoidable step in the process of building the type of links that lead to more search traffic.
Lots of people have been talking about this in the world of PR and Social media, but not in search, which is a shame as I would have thought the industry should be thinking about these ideas.
I’m a big believer that there’s a fine line between Link Building and SEO and I’d go as far as saying as ‘online earned media’ is probably a better description of what most link builders get up to rather than building links. Read on
I think that an interest in words, punctuation and grammar can really help an SEO when thinking of keyword synonyms, acronyms, misspellings and such. It’s the same eye for detail which can help you to use those keywords and phrases naturally and correctly within copy.
Working in search, it’s sometimes too easy to forget that content is for readers. We spend so much time trying to manipulate search results with highly targeted content, sometimes we risk sacrificing quality for exposure. When creating a website, the written word is the most popular way of communicating, and making it clear, concise and sensical should be paramount.
The Matt Cutts video admits that despite the correlation between good spelling and grammar and high page rank, they are not currently being used as “direct signals”. It will probably be quite tricky to give a website score based on its spelling and grammar, but he has indicated that it is something he would support. Google have admitted that they use testers to manually score sites’ quality, asking questions like “Would you trust this site with your credit card?”, so it is possible that a site can be penalised for poor grammar.
In this screencast Kelvin is talking about Link anchor text and the impact it has on search engine rankings. This was previously for premium subscribers and was part of a series covering the VAVA principles so please disregard any mention of other videos.